Let's review eyewitness accounts of yesterday's shelling of the beach when four Arab youngsters were killed:
I had returned to my small seaside hotel around 4 p.m. to file photos to New York when I heard a loud explosion. My driver and I rushed to the window to see what had happened. A small shack atop a sea wall at the fishing port had been struck by an Israeli bomb or missile and was burning. ...
...A small metal shack with no electricity or running water on a jetty in the blazing seaside sun does not seem like the kind of place frequented by Hamas militants, the Israel Defense Forces’ intended targets.
The IDF seems to have targeted a specific structure, not an open area or the boys.
From a Guardian correspondent:
Beaumont, who has been in Gaza for the last nine days, said that during the time he has been at the hotel, that area of the harbor has been hit by the IDF "at least three times." Following the explosion, "on the retaining wall there were puffs of smoke and we saw four people running along it.
The area, having been attacked "at least three times" previously, would seem to indicate a terrorist target. You don't waste ordnance on children.
Was Hamas launching rockets from there?
Was it a naval base?
It is not unusual for militants to launch rockets from sites near my hotel. Israeli missiles and shells have also landed pretty close to al-Deira, an old red stucco inn with a large terrace overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Just a few hundred yards down the beach is the fishing harbor.
UPDATE of an acknowledgement from The Guardian:
A witness who identified himself only as Abu Ahmed said the boys had been scavenging for scrap metal when the first shell hit a nearby shipping container used in the past by Hamas security forces. He said the boys fled but a second projectile "hit all of them".
There you have it --- one, two, three.
And because of Hamas terror, four young kids lose their lives.
Israel’s military has warned tens of thousands of Palestinians to leave their homes as the conflict escalates, raising fears that a full ground invasion of Gaza is imminent. However, many do not heed the warnings because Hamas dismisses them as psychological propaganda – and because it is not immediately clear where Palestinians are supposed to go while the entire Gaza Strip is under threat of Israeli airstrikes.
But that area had been targeted thrice this past week:
The Gaza beach area has been shelled frequently since Israel began its offensive in the enclave on July 8 following a surge in Palestinian cross-border rocket strikes.
And Hamas discourages safety precautions.
the deaths of the four young Bakr cousins, killed by an Israeli airstrike as they played on a beach, a place with no apparent militant targets.
A pair of explosions in what had been nine days of relentless bombings between the two countries are to blame. The boys had been told to stay indoors. And as children tend to do, they disobeyed their parents to play on the beach where they had always been safe before...In war there are no clean lines. There are no safe beaches to play on. There is no safety....