"When is a door not a door?" goes the old joke. The answer of course—"when it's ajar."

When is a school not a school, we might ask ourselves. When it is turned into a launch pad for missiles and a hideout for terrorists. We stare in horror at images of innocent men, women and children, slain because they were forced into a situation not of their making. Innocent lives are being lost daily in the Gaza Strip, and unfortunately this is a prime tactic of the terrorists Israel is trying to defeat.

Looped repeatedly on Al Jazeera, this is guaranteed to bring the Arab and international public to the boilHas there ever before been a "military" campaign waged by guerrilla fighters, terrorists, or soldiers where the game-plan has been focused on maximizing their own civilian casualties, to win a media war? The Second Lebanon War seems to have been the first time this happened. Rocket launchers were camouflaged in residential areas, and fired from the gardens of innocent citizens, aimed at drawing heavy return fire and killing the innocents—with the real terrorists long gone.

Hamas has learned this lesson well, and this is being replicated in the current conflict in Gaza. Not satisfied with the havoc wrought by the hundreds of missiles exploding daily into Israel, and aware that they are greatly outgunned and outmaneuvered, the only way these Hamas militia can win is by raising the death toll of those whom they know all civilized people care about—women and children.

They know full well that local Arab regimes would rejoice if Hamas was crushed, removing the specter of Iranian influence from this arena. And so, their only tactic is to ensure that TV and internet screens across the world are filled with gory images of wounded children. Looped repeatedly on Al Jazeera television, this is guaranteed to bring the Arab and international public to the boil.

Article 19 of the Geneva Convention states clearly that civilian infrastructure such as hospitals shall be entitled to protection unless they are used to commit, outside their humanitarian duties, acts harmful to the enemy. What we have now in Gaza is even worse than that. Not only hospitals but even schools and mosques are being used to stockpile munitions, and as launch pads for rocket attacks. And, of course, when shelled in return, there is huge "collateral damage"—an expression which cannot do justice to its harsh reality.

It is so hard for the civilized mind to comprehend this modus operandi, that it is often simply not believed...IDF drones have repeatedly filmed rocket fire from many such locations and even warned the UN that this must cease—to no avail. An IDF soldier filmed on Wednesday by a BBC cameraman allowed into Gaza spoke of a school building wired throughout with explosives and booby traps. (See here for the BBC report.) There is also ample video and photo evidence of armaments stored in schools and mosques (see here for IDF video).

It is so hard for the civilized mind to comprehend this modus operandi, that it is often simply not believed, but simply dismissed as Israeli propaganda.

We trust that our soldiers and their commanders are doing everything possible to avoid civilian casualties, and that they themselves grieve when innocents die. To quote Golda Meir, "We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children."

May G‑d watch over our soldiers, that they are able to complete their mission rapidly and efficiently with minimum civilian casualties, and that they all return home to a safer reality than that which they left.