Thursday, July 02, 2009

Amnesty International on Gaza War Crimes

GAZA CIVILIAN DEATHS

Children: 300
Women: 115
Men over 50: 85
Civilian men under 50: 200
Non-combatant police: 240
Total: 940 Source: Amnesty International

BBCNews reports:

Israel committed war crimes and carried out reckless attacks and acts of wanton destruction in its Gaza offensive ...

Hundreds of Palestinian civilians were killed using high-precision weapons, while others were shot at close range, the group Amnesty International says.

Its report also calls rocket attacks by Palestinian militants war crimes and accuses Hamas of endangering civilians.
...
Amnesty says some 1,400 Palestinians were killed in the 22-day Israeli offensive between 27 December 2008 and 17 January 2009, which agrees broadly with Palestinian figures.

More than 900 of these were civilians, including 300 children and 115 women, it says.
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The 117-page report by Amnesty International says many of the hundreds of civilian deaths in the conflict "cannot simply be dismissed as 'collateral damage' incidental to otherwise lawful attacks - or as mistakes".

It says "disturbing questions" remain unanswered as to why children playing on roofs and medical staff attending the wounded were killed by "highly accurate missiles" whose operators had detailed views of their targets.
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The document also gives details of several cases where it says people - including women and children posing no threat to troops - were shot at close range as they were fleeing their homes in search of shelter.
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The Amnesty report says no evidence was found that Palestinian militants had forced civilians to stay in buildings being used for military purposes, contradicting Israeli claims that Hamas repeatedly used "human shields".

However, Amnesty says Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups had endangered Palestinian civilians by firing rockets from residential neighbourhoods and storing weapons in them.

It says local residents had in one case told researchers that Hamas fighters had fired a rocket from the yard of a government school.
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However, Amnesty does accuse Israel of using civilians, including children, as human shields in Gaza, forcing them to remain in houses which its troops were using as military positions, and to inspect sites suspected of being booby trapped.

It also says Palestinian militants rocket fire from the Gaza Strip was "indiscriminate and hence unlawful under international law", although it only rarely caused civilian casualties.
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Thirteen Israelis were killed, including three civilians, during the offensive, which Israel launched with the declared aim of curtailing cross-border rocket attacks.
Amnesty International had previously called for an arms embargo to be placed on Israel [and Hamas] for their unflinching use of illegal weaponry against civilians. Follow this link for pictures and more.

4 comments:

  1. Actually I am afraid that reality might still prove to be more horrific. No one to my knowledge has yet investigated the very serious accusations raised by Norwegian and German doctors accusing the IDF of using a new kind of ammunition called DIME. The issue is where did the IDF get the plans for DIME which was developed by the Lawrence Livermoore Labs in the US and are DIME ammunitions an illegal weapon of mass destruction designed to kill humans and save physical structures.

    (for more details visit rationalrepublic.blogspot.com February 15, 2009 where I have compiled many of my previous posts )

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  2. Thanks for that Ghassan. Readers can refer to the right sidebar for a *sticky* link to the Rational Republic blog. Otherwise keep a lookout on the left sidebar for new posts from that blog among the Lebanese Blogosphere feeds.

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  3. "Children" in these reports means anyone under 18, so some of the children are also teenage fighters. In my opinion, "children" should mean "under 13 years old".

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  4. "The Amnesty report says no evidence was found that Palestinian militants had forced civilians to stay in buildings being used for military purposes, contradicting Israeli claims that Hamas repeatedly used "human shields".

    However, Amnesty says Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups had endangered Palestinian civilians by firing rockets from residential neighbourhoods and storing weapons in them."


    anyone see the contradiction? hello?!?! what the?!

    what i find lame about these reports is not the sadness about the death but the fact that under international law israel has a positive duty to protect its citizens..

    so my question is this: after six years of constant qassam fire (which no doubt everyone understands preceded the war) and after a territorial pull out following which (despite opinions to the contrary) egypt is now in control of its border and israel of its borders.. nothing stopped..

    the "seige" as it is known in the world was imposed subsequent to the qassams and not the other way around..

    a whole intifada with suicide bombings came before the qassams..

    for this report to have any merit it needs to be able to outline how (in complete certainty) israel could have otherwise acted to assure the safety of its citizens..

    anything short of that is a defective argument..

    BECAUSE it cannot be the case that one country has a higher duty of care to the citizens of an enemy entity than it does to its own..

    on the personal note? i think we went too far.. that is my gut feeling.. but i cannot make any claim that it was wrong because honestly i have no alternative to offer while hamas was consistently stating that their charter remained in tact and that charter contains clear statements about what fate they wish upon me and my compatriots and how they value prior accords that we reaches with the PA..

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