THE President of Israel, Isaac Herzog (whose da was born in Belfast), disagrees with the controversial and inflammatory assertion that there are civilians in Gaza. Squinter had been labouring under the misapprehension that the people living in the high-rise homes in one of the world’s most densely-populated areas were families, but he was put right on that when the head of the ‘Apartheid State’* (*Amnesty International quote) spoke out last week about the reality on the ground.

Referring to the murder of innocent Israelis by Hamas on October 7, Isaac said: “It is an entire nation out there that is responsible. It is not true this rhetoric about civilians not aware, not involved. It’s absolutely not true. They could have risen up, they could have fought against that evil regime which took over Gaza in a coup d’détat.”

Which all makes perfect sense. Fair enough, if you were being really harsh you could say the same thing about civilians who didn’t rise up against Putin’s Russia, for instance; or Pinochet’s Chile; or – perish the thought – Nazi Germany; but the central point is a solid one. If babies won’t take up their rattles against terrorists, if toddlers won’t take up their dummies, and if parents won’t take up their kitchenware, then what right do they have to expect Israel to treat them as anything other than hostiles?

But if we thought that was Isaac’s most compelling contribution to the conflict debate, we were wrong – because more and better was to come. In a press conference at the start of the week, he pulled out a handful of laminated A4 sheets, the first with ‘AL QAEDA’ written on it, the rest full of technical information on how to construct a chemical weapon. The information, he said, had been taken from the body of a Hamas fighter. In a one-on-one interview with Squinter, an Israeli government spokesman explained the significance of the find.

– Why do you think Hamas brought the chemical plans with them? 
– Hard to say, really. Perhaps they thought they might come across a chemical weapons supplies shop when they arrived in Israel.
– Really?
– Oh, yes. Imagine being in the middle of all that material and not knowing how to use it.
– Anything else of interest found?
– Yes, later this week we will be announcing that on another body we found a plan to blow up hospitals in Gaza.
– Wow, so Hamas are killing all those people now?
– You betcha. Oh, and we found a map of Gaza on another terrorist with Gaza refugee camps circled in red marker.
– Handy. So Hamas blew them up too?
– Of course. And so that we’d get the blame for it, which is what we’re seeing.
– What about the ambulances that were hit and the Palestinian medics that were blown up?
– We also have a message from a private Hamas WhatsApp chat saying ‘Let’s blow up the ambulances and kill the crews for the craic and bants.’
– Unbelievable. So you guys didn’t do that either?
– Definitely not. We have the A4 laminated print-outs in big writing that’s easily read on television to prove it and we’ll be releasing those to the media in due course.
– Won’t there be journalists on the ground in Gaza to check this out?
– Probably, but we’re going to kill them too.
– We?
– Hamas. Sorry. Hamas is going to kill them too.
– And you can prove that?
– Oh, sure. We’re got a Hamas A4 sheet about that as well.