Fundamental Human Rights

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Posts Tagged ‘Occupied Palestine’

Breaking Silence on Israeli War Crimes

Posted by terres on July 15, 2009

25 Israeli soldiers speak on Israeli war crimes in Gaza

GAZA WAR CRIMES
Source: BBC UK

Israeli soldiers denouncing Gaza war crimes, describe “the use of ‘permissive’ rules of engagement that cost civilian lives during the recent military campaign in Gaza.

israeli war crimes
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Following excerpts are from the same BBC report :

Israel soldiers speak out on Gaza

The troops said they had been urged to fire on any building or person that seemed suspicious and said civilians were sometimes used as human shields.

Breaking the Silence, a campaign group made up of Israeli soldiers, gathered the anonymous accounts.

Israel denies breaking the laws of war and dismissed the report as hearsay.

Breaking the Silence described most of the testimonies of soldiers who took part in Operation Cast Lead as “sober, regretful and shocked”.

Many of the testimonies are in line with claims made by human-rights organisations that Israeli military action in Gaza was indiscriminate and disproportionate.

According to testimonies from the 14 conscripts and 12 reserve soldiers:

  • Rules of engagement were either unclear or encouraged soldiers to do their utmost to protect their own lives whether or not Palestinian civilians were harmed.
  • Civilians were used as human shields, entering buildings ahead of soldiers
  • Large swathes of homes and buildings were demolished. Accounts say that this was often done because the houses might be booby-trapped, or cover tunnels. Testimony mentioned a policy referred to as “the day after”, whereby areas near the border where razed to make future military operations easier

According to various reports the overwhelming majority of Israeli troops are aggressive and poorly-disciplined, a fact that was confirmed in the latest “confessions.”

  • There was widespread vandalism of property of Palestinians
  • Soldiers firing at water tanks because they were bored, at a time of severe water shortages for Gazans
  • White phosphorus was used in civilian areas gratuitously and recklessly
  • Many of the soldiers said there had been very little direct engagement with Palestinian militants

The report says Israeli troops and the people who justify their actions are “slid[ing] together down the moral slippery slope.”

The report obviously assumes many of the readers are ignorant of the crimes of genocide and all other diabolical crimes against humanity committed by Israelis against Palestinians ever since the military occupation of Palestine began in 1947. This begs the question: since when did the Israelis occupy a high place above the “moral slippery slope?”

“This is an urgent call to Israeli society and its leaders to sober up and investigate anew the results of our actions,” Breaking the Silence says.

Israeli officials insist troops went to great lengths to protect civilians, that Hamas endangered non-combatants by firing from civilian areas and that homes and buildings were destroyed only when there was a specific military need to do so.

Israel said the purpose of the 22-day operation that ended on 18 January 2009 had been to end rocket fire from Gaza aimed at its southern towns.

Palestinian rights groups say about 1,400 Palestinians died during the operation. Thirteen Israelis died in the conflict, including 10 soldiers serving in Gaza.

According to the UN, the campaign damaged or destroyed more than 50,000 homes, 800 industrial properties, 200 schools, 39 mosques and two churches.

How did the Israeli military react to the report?

Israeli military spokeswoman Lt Col Avital Leibovich said: “The IDF regrets the fact that another human rights organisation has come out with a report based on anonymous and general testimony – without investigating their credibility.”

Dismissed the document as “hearsay and word of mouth,” she added:

“The IDF expects every soldier to turn to the appropriate authorities with any allegation,” Lt Col Leibovich added. “This is even more important where the harm is to non-combatants. The IDF has uncompromising ethical values which continue to guide us in every mission.”

[And if you don’t believe the Israeli Occupation Forces, ask the tens of thousands of slain Palestinians who would, no doubt, verify the Israeli claims.]

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Posted in human rights, human shields, Lt Col Leibovich, Operation Cast Lead, the day after | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Israel Trains Next Generation of Terrorists

Posted by terres on May 1, 2009

Image of the Day: Learning Ethnic Cleansing


An Israeli boy holds an assault rifle during a military exhibition near Ammunition Hill memorial on Independence Day in Jerusalem April 29, 2009. REUTERS/Baz Ratner. Image may be subject to copyright.

Posted in ethnic cleansing, how to train a terrorist, israel occupation forces, Next Generation of Terrorists | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

American severely wounded by Israeli troops

Posted by terres on March 24, 2009

American man severely wounded by Israeli troops

Israel must take full responsibility for the shooting of our son. —Mike Anderson, Victim’s Father

From Guardian UK

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/feedarticle/8418011

By DIAA HADID –  Monday March 23, 2009

tristan_anderson
American Peace Activist Tristan Anderson, 38, from Oakland, Calif., was severely wounded after he was hit in the forehead and face by a tear gas canister fired at him by Israeli troops in the town of Naalin, in the West Bank, March 13, 2009. Photo AP. Image may be subject to copyright.

Associated Press Writer JERUSALEM (AP). The parents of an American man severely wounded by Israeli troops during a West Bank protest have asked Israeli police to launch an investigation, their lawyer said Monday. Tristan Anderson, 38, from Oakland, Calif., was struck in the head by a tear gas canister fired by members of Israel’s paramilitary border police in the Palestinian village of Naalin on March 13.

Anderson had joined a protest against Israel’s separation barrier, which cuts off Naalin from 300 acres of olive groves. In the past year, four Palestinians were killed in Naalin by Israeli troops quelling weekly stone-throwing protests against the barrier, according to Israeli human rights group B’tselem.

The couple’s lawyer, Michael Sfard, said he asked Israel’s police to launch an investigation.

The Andersons, of Grass Valley, Calif., held back tears Monday as they described their son’s critical condition. “We don’t know if he’ll recover, and if he does, we don’t know what abilities he will ever regain,” his mother, Nancy, told reporters.

His father, Mike, said Israel must “take full responsibility for the shooting of our son.”

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Anderson’s injury was “an extremely regrettable result of rioting.”

The incident is under investigation, the Israeli military has said, though it is not clear if police will investigate separately.

Rachel Corrie

rachel_corrie_after_attack
Rachel Corrie lies on the ground fatally injured by the Israeli military bulldozer driver. Rachel’s fellow activists have dug her a little out of the sand and are trying to keep her neck straight due to spinal injury.
Picture taken at 4:47PM on 16 March 2003, Rafah, Occupied Gaza. Photo by Joseph Smith. (ISM Handout)

Rachel Aliene Corrie (April 10, 1979 – March 16, 2003) was an American member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) who traveled to the Gaza Strip during the Second Intifada. She was killed when an Israeli soldier drove his bulldozer over her as she protested against the destruction of Palestinian homes by the Israeli Occupation Forces in the Gaza Strip.

rachel_corrie_is_alive
Israeli Occupation Forces murdered
Rachel Corrie, but they couldn’t kill her spirit.

Tom Hurndall

Tom Hurndall a student and a British peace activist was shot in the head the 11 April 2003 as he tried to help a Palestinian woman and her children flee Israeli gunfire. Tom Hurndall was shot as he moved towards the family in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. He was wearing a fluorescent orange vest, and witnesses say that there had been no exchange of fire between the Israeli army and Palestinian gunmen that day.Near

tom-hurdall
Tom Hurndall was in a coma for nine months after being shot in the head by an Israeli sniper on  April 11, 2003. He died January 13, 2004. Source

James Miller

james-miller
James Miller, a British cameraman, was shot dead by Israeli soldiers. Photo source: Mona Baker

James Henry Dominic Miller (18 December 1968 – 2 May 2003) was a British  (Welshman) cameraman, producer, director  and recipient of numerous awards, including five Emmy Awards.  He was murdered by a single shot fired by a an Israeli military sniper on 2 May 2003 while filming a documentary in Rafah. The soldier who shot him was identified as Captain Hib al-Heib.

…  Tristan Anderson ‘hanging by a thread’

The Israeli military has said there was heavy stone-throwing and troops fired tear gas during the demonstration, though protesters said the stone-throwing was sporadic. Anderson did not throw any stones and was struck after he had returned to the village, witnesses said.

Rights activists say Israeli troops often use excessive force in dispersing West Bank protests, and fire tear gas canisters directly as protesters, using them as a weapon, rather than a means to disperse crowds.

The Israeli military says stone-throwing poses a threat to troops, and several officers have been injured by rocks. The military said troops used permitted means of riot dispersal, such as tear gas, rubber-coated steel pellets and stun grenades.

About 450 people have been injured, 12 of them seriously, in a year of Naalin protests, organizers say.

Israel says the barrier prevents Palestinian attackers infiltrating into Israel. Palestinians say it’s a land grab because it juts into the West Bank.

Posted in International Solidarity Movement, Israeli military snipers, James Miller, Rachel Corrie, Tom Hurndall | Tagged: , , , , | 25 Comments »

The Day Israeli War Crimes Became Too Obvious!

Posted by terres on January 24, 2009

UN investigator sees evidence of war crimes in Gaza

Thu Jan 22, 2009

By Jonathan Lynn

GENEVA, Jan 22 (Reuters) – There is evidence that Israel committed war crimes during its 22-day campaign in the Gaza Strip and there should be an independent inquiry, U.N. investigator Richard Falk said on Thursday.


Sabbah Abu Halima, who is suffering from very deep burns on her arm and leg, lies on a bed at Shifa hospital in Gaza January 22, 2009. The doctors treating Abu Halima at Gaza’s Shifa hospital said the burns were caused by white phosphorus incendiary shells used by the Israeli army. Shifa doctors said they received about 10 cases of severe phosphorus burns during Israel’s three-week assault on the Islamist Hamas stronghold in the Gaza Strip. REUTERS/Jerry Lampe. Image may be subject to copyright.

The mental anguish of the civilians who suffered the assault is so great that the entire population of Gaza could be seen as casualties, said Falk, U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Falk, speaking by phone from his home in California, said compelling evidence that Israel’s actions in Gaza violated international humanitarian law required an independent investigation into whether they amounted to war crimes.

“I believe that there is the prima facie case for reaching that conclusion,” he told a Geneva news conference.

Falk said Israel had made no effort to allow civilians to escape the fighting.

“To lock people into a war zone is something that evokes the worst kind of international memories of the Warsaw Ghetto, and sieges that occur unintentionally during a period of wartime,” Falk, who is Jewish, said, referring to the starvation and murder of Warsaw’s Jews by Nazi Germany in World War Two.

“There could have been temporary provision at least made for children, disabled, sick civilians to leave, even if where they left to was southern Israel,” the U.S. professor said.


Thirteen-year-old Dalal Abu Aisha stands on the rubble of her destroyed house in Gaza January 22, 2009, after she was brought there by an uncle after reporters who had heard of her suffering asked to interview her. Tragedy saved the life of Abu Aisha. The Palestinian girl was not at home when an Israeli bomb destroyed her family’s apartment in Gaza’s Beach refugee camp, killing her father, mother, two brothers and a sister. Dalal had been at her aunt’s house, paying a condolence call. REUTERS/Jerry Lampen.

Falk said the entire Gaza population, which had been trapped in a war zone with no possibility to leave as refugees, may have been mentally scarred for life. If so, the definition of casualty could be extended to the entire civilian population.

Falk, who was denied entry to Israel two weeks before the assault started on Dec. 27, dismissed Israel’s argument that the assault was for self-defence in the light of rocket attacks aimed at Israel from the Hamas-ruled Gaza strip.

“In my view the U.N. charter, and international law, does not give Israel the legal foundation for claiming self-defence,” he said.

Israel had not restricted fighting to areas where the rockets came from and had refused to negotiate with Hamas, preventing a diplomatic solution, Falk said.

About 1,300 Palestinians, many of them civilians, were killed and 5,000 wounded in the assault. [Ten Israeli soldiers were killed mostly by friendly fire. Three ‘civilians,’ were allegedly hit by cross-border rocket fire and killed. RTSF]

© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved

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Posted in diplomatic solution, Gaza massacre, human rights, mental anguish, white phosphorus shells | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »