Another blood libel against IDF soldiers has been refuted

IDF forces at Shifa. Source: IDF website

In the past two days, the Qatari Al-Jazeera network has begun spreading a tale against IDF soldiers operating in the area of Shifa Hospital in the framework of Operation ‘Local surgery’, regarding sexual abuse of Palestinian women and even rape. This was first mentioned by the journalist Ismail al-Ghoul, who was in the hospital and was even arrested by IDF forces for a certain period. Notwithstanding the absence of evidence or the ability to point on a specific victim or aggressor (elements required for any charge of sexual abuse; In the investigations published by Israel about the sexual violence launched by Hamas on October 7th, there is a full detail on these matters), the rumours spread on social networks in the Arab world, provoking waves of anger, and harsh calls for revenge and harm to Israel.
But it soon became clear that the plot, which was intended to blacken Israel’s face and to inflame the winds against it, had a very significant side effect – a great awakening of fear among many residents in the northern Gaza Strip, with families who had not migrated south so far even beginning the long journey to the southern Gaza Strip to allegedly save their daughters from rape. The fear of harming the family’s Honor on a sexual basis is very great in Arab culture; and this makes an echo of the Deir Yassin affair of the War of Independence. When in April 1948, the village of Deir Yassin was conquered by Irgun and Lehi forces with a large number of civilian deaths, rumours quickly circulated about cruelty, mass murder, and even rapes. The Arab leadership encouraged these rumours in order to try to increase the spirit of the Arab struggle against the Jewish community, but in practice this led to the opposite effect – when among the Arab population a deep fear of the Jews developed, which contributed to the great escape of the Arabs of the land – the Nakba.
To contain these fears, Hamas carried out a rare move against Al-Jazeera’s investigation, explicitly claiming that there was no evidence of rape or sexual violence during IDF forces’ activity in Shifa. Al-Jazeera has for the time being removed the investigation, and Israel has a rare opportunity to undermine its credibility – and at the same time, if possible, to exploit the sentiment that has developed among the Gaza population for the sake of advancing its interests during the war.
To respond – rxpuyhi@gmail.com

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