In an effort to prevent further Israeli airstrikes, Palestinians have begun forming human shields around target buildings, taking advantage of the Israeli policy of sending telephone warnings that give occupants 10 minutes to evacuate.
The Christian Science Monitor calls the new tactic:
perhaps the most effective act of nonviolent protest in the six-year Palestinian uprising
But I wonder if it is actually one of the least effective.
The Israeli policy of telephoning warning was one of the most positive developments in the otherwise pointless conflict in Lebanon. It was one more step in the long road taken by democratic countries towards limiting civilian deaths through conflict. It wasn’t perfect, but it was certainly better than bombing target buildings where civilians were sheltering.
But now Israel can’t send warnings to civilians about which buildings it will bomb. Instead, if it feels it needs to destroy a building, it will need to attack it while civilians are still in residence. The results will be awful, and the death toll among innocent bystanders will increase.
This is a victory for Palestinian civilians?