Gaza Holocaust Continues …
Posted by terres on March 16, 2009
submitted by a reader
Israel is committing genocide with impunity
Members of the Palestinian Nabhan family live in the remains of their house in eastern Jabalya refugee camp March 14, 2009. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis. Image may be subject to copyright.
A group of leading judges and international prosecutors today called for a “prompt, independent and impartial” investigation into alleged war crimes that are being committed by Israel in Gaza since Dec. 27, 2008.
The 16 signatories, led by Richard Goldstone, a former chief prosecutor for Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, submitted a letter to the secretary general of the United Nations demanding an investigation, Reuters reported.
“Allegations of serious violations of the laws of war have emerged throughout the latest Gaza conflict, relating to conduct and actions by both the Israeli military and by the Palestinian armed groups,” the letter said.
“Without setting the record straight in a credible and impartial manner, it will be difficult for those communities that have borne the heavy cost of violence to move beyond the terrible aftermath of conflict.
“A prompt, independent and impartial investigation would provide a public record of gross violations of international humanitarian law committed and provide recommendations on how those responsible for crimes should be held to account.”
A Palestinian human rights group said last week reported that 1,434 Gazans were killed during the conflict, including 960 civilians, 239 police officers and 235 fighters. Among the civilians were 288 children and 121 women. Reuters said
Israeli military spokesman said the army had “made every effort to minimise harm to the civilian population”. Thirteen Israelis were killed during the Gaza massacre, mostly by friendly fire, 3 people were allegedly hit by rockets fired from Gaza.
The authors of the letter said they were “shocked to the core” by the Gaza episode adding that an independent investigation was necessary in compliance with the Geneva Conventions rules concerning conflict.
“The world must vigilantly demand respect for these standards and investigate and condemn their violations,” said the letter, which was published by Amnesty International.
“It said the commission of enquiry should be established by the United Nations, but not be limited to investigating attacks on U.N. facilities and have the ‘greatest possible’ expertise.” Reuters reported.
The following Editorial was published by the Guardian UK on March 3, 2009
Pledging aid for Gaza is the easy bit. Getting it delivered to Gazans living in tents after Israel’s three-week bombardment is another matter. The $3bn that donors promised in Sharm el-Sheikh yesterday will have to penetrate a labyrinth of barriers and conditions, the complexity of which King Minos of Crete would have been proud. The money will be given to the Palestinian Authority, not Hamas, even though the PA’s writ does not run in Gaza. The aid will pass through crossings currently closed by Israel. It will be distributed in such a manner as to avoid ending up in the hands of its governors. But how? This is like trying to spoon a thin gruel into a dying man, without letting it touch any part of his throat.
Forget the difficulty of getting macaroni or paper into Gaza, neither of which fell into Israel’s definition of humanitarian aid. How can the 14,000 homes, 219 factories, 240 schools, which Israel destroyed, or damaged, be repaired without cement? Cement, Israel argues, has a dual use. It can be used to build Hamas’s bunkers and tunnels, although the dual use of macaroni and paper is harder to fathom. But why repair Gaza’s infrastructure, if Israeli warplanes could return at any moment to destroy it again? Operation Cast Lead did not re-establish Israeli deterrence over Hamas and Gaza’s other rejectionist groups. About 120 rockets and mortars have been fired into southern Israel since the army withdrew. Which means, short of re-occupation and putting the leadership of Hamas on a boat to Tripoli, the only way to stop the rockets is political, not military.
There was scant recognition of that yesterday. In her first sally into the region as US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton had strong words for Hamas. She said it was time “to cut the strings pulled by those who exploit the sufferings of innocent people”. Israel’s blockade of Gaza, which the Quartet supported, is now universally acknowledged to have failed. It has not dislodged Hamas from Gaza. Tony Blair admitted as much on his first visit to the enclave. But no one, as yet, is prepared to contemplate a way around the conditions which Israel and the Quartet attached to ending Hamas’s isolation.
Hamas is not going to recognise Israel. If it did, another and more extreme group would take up the cudgels. But it is equally clear to everyone that Hamas will have to be included in a national unity government for peace to succeed. The only scant chance lies in the reconciliation talks between Fatah and Hamas, two groups who currently hate each more than they do their occupiers. Without a fundamental rethink about how to engage Hamas politically, the international community is willing the end while continuing to deny the means. (copyright the author or newspaper).