The Guardian investigation uncovers evidence of alleged Israeli war crimes in Gaza

Hoe zal het Nederlandse kabinet reageren op de aanzwellende roep om onafhankelijk onderzoek naar de beschuldigingen van het begaan van oorlogsmisdaden door de Israelsche krijgsmacht in Gaza? Uiteraard zouden bij zo’n onderzoek ook de mogelijke inbreuken op internationaal recht door Hamas onder de loupe moeten worden genomen.

The Guardian has compiled detailed evidence of alleged war crimes committed by Israel during the 23-day offensive in the Gaza Strip earlier this year, involving the use of Palestinian children as human shields and the targeting of medics and hospitals.

A month-long investigation also obtained evidence of civilians being hit by fire from unmanned drone aircraft said to be so accurate that their operators can tell the colour of the clothes worn by a target.

The testimonies form the basis of three Guardian films which add weight to calls this week for a full inquiry into the events surrounding Operation Cast Lead, which was aimed at Hamas but left about 1,400 Palestinians dead, including more than 300 children.

The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) refused to respond directly to the allegations made against its troops, but issued statements denying the charges and insisted international law had been observed.

The latest disclosures follow soldiers’ evidence published in the Israeli press about the killing of Palestinian civilians and complaints by soldiers involved in the military operation that the rules of engagement were too lax…

Guardian investigation uncovers evidence of alleged Israeli war crimes in Gaza

Civilians, medics and investigators talk to the Guardian about allegations of war crimes during Israel’s 23-day campaign in Gaza

Gaza war crimes investigation (VIDEO’S The Guardian)

The evidence of war crimes in Gaza is a challenge to universal justice: will western-backed perpetrators ever stand trial?

Evidence of the scale of Israel’s war crimes in its January onslaught on Gaza is becoming unanswerable. Clancy Chassay’s three films investigating allegations against Israeli forces in the Gaza strip, released by the Guardian today, include important new accounts of the flagrant breaches of the laws of war that marked the three-week campaign – now estimated to have left at least 1,400 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 13 Israelis dead.

The films provide compelling testimony of Israel’s use of Palestinian teenagers as human shields; the targeting of hospitals, clinics and medical workers, including with phosphorus bombs; and attacks on civilians, including women and children – sometimes waving white flags – from hunter-killer drones whose targeting systems are so powerful they can identify the colour of a person’s clothes.

Naturally, the Israeli occupation forces’ spokesperson insists to Chassay that they make every effort to avoid killing civilians and denies using human shields or targeting medical workers – while at the same time explaining that medics in war zones "take the risk upon themselves". By banning journalists from entering Gaza during its punitive devastation of the strip, the Israeli government avoided independent investigations of the stream of war crimes accusations while the attack was going on.

But now journalists and human rights organisations are back inside, doing the painstaking work, the question is whether Israel’s government and military commanders will be held to account for what they unleashed on the Palestinians of Gaza – or whether, like their US and British sponsors in Iraq and Afghanistan, they can carry out war crimes with impunity…

There is of course no chance that the UN security council will authorise the kind of International Criminal Court war crimes indictment now faced by Sudan’s leaders over Darfur. Any such move would certainly be vetoed by the US and its allies. And Israel’s own courts have had no trouble in the past batting away serious legal challenges to its army’s atrocities in the occupied territories. But the use of universal jurisdiction in countries such as Spain or even Britain is making Israeli commanders increasingly jumpy about travelling abroad.

With such powerful evidence of violations of the rules of war now emerging from the rubble of Gaza, the test must be this: is the developing system of international accountability for war crimes only going to apply to the west’s enemies – or can the western powers and their closest allies also be brought to book?

Will Israel be brought to book? (Seumas Milne in The Guardian)

Israeli Defence Forces ceased long ago being ‘most moral army in the world’ (Haaretz)

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5 thoughts on “The Guardian investigation uncovers evidence of alleged Israeli war crimes in Gaza

  1. Zolang Amerika stelt dat Israel een absoluut goede heilige staat is die boven alle menselijke wetten moet worden geplaatst zal er niets veranderen.
    Israel = Oorlog en oorlog is volgens de zionist Van Creveld het mooiste en edelste wat er is, juist omdat het een spel ZONDER REGELS is. De sterkste en degene die het beste kan liegen bepaalt wat goed en wat slecht is. En daarom mag hij nooit onderworpen worden aan het oordeel van anderen (hoe eerlijk, intelligent en bekwaam die anderen ook mogen zijn).
    De grote vraag is of de huidige kredietcrisis, die heeft laten zien dat een SPEL ZONDER REGELS uiterst gevaarlijk is, blinde ideologen tot inkeer kan brengen.

  2. Ja , wat is het nu: bewijzen of mogelijke bewijzen….dat zegt tenminste je aanhef.
    En vraag jij jezelf soms niet eens af waar dan al die " bewijzen " vandaan komen als er geen journalist aanwezig was en het dus om achteraf hear-say gaat?…of laat je AS waas dat niet toe?

  3. Deze las ik zojuist in Counterpunch.
    February 2, 2009
    Israeli War Crimes
    Under the Black Flag
    By URI AVNERY
    A Spanish judge has instituted a judicial inquiry against seven Israeli political and military personalities on suspicion of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The case: the 2002 dropping of a one ton bomb on the home of Hamas leader Salah Shehade. Apart from the intended victim, 14 people, most of them children, were killed.
    For those who have forgotten: the then commander of the Israeli Air Force, Dan Halutz, was asked at the time what he feels when he drops a bomb on a residential building. His unforgettable answer: “A slight bump to the wing.” When we in Gush Shalom accused him of a war crime, he demanded that we be put on trial for high treason. He was joined by the Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, who accused us of wanting to “turn over Israeli army officers to the enemy”. The Attorney General notified us officially that he did not intend to open an investigation against those responsible for the bombing.
    I should be happy, therefore, that at long last somebody is ready to put that action to a judicial test (even if he seems to have been thwarted by political pressure.) But I am sorry that this has happened in Spain, not in Israel.
    * * *
    ISRAELI TV VIEWERS have lately been exposed to a bizarre sight: army officers appearing with their faces hidden, as usual for criminals when the court prohibits their identification. Pedophiles, for example, or attackers of old women.
    On the orders of the military censors, this applies to all officers, from battalion commanders down, who have been involved in the Gaza war. Since the faces of brigade commanders and above are generally known, the order does not apply to them.
    Immediately after the cease-fire, the Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak, promoted a special law that would give unlimited backing by the state to all officers and soldiers who took part in the Gaza war and who might be accused abroad of war crimes. This seems to confirm the Hebrew adage: “On the head of the thief, the hat is burning”.
    * * *
    I DO NOT object to trials abroad. The main thing is that war criminals, like pirates, should be brought to justice. It is not so important where they are caught. (This rule was applied by the State of Israel when it abducted Adolf Eichmann in Argentina and hanged him in Israel for heinous crimes committed outside the territory of Israel and, indeed, before the state even existed.)
    But as an Israeli patriot, I would prefer suspected Israeli war criminals to be put on trial in Israel. That is necessary for the country, for all decent officers and soldiers of the Israeli army, for the education of future generations of citizens and soldiers.
    There is no need to rely on international law alone. There are Israeli laws against war crimes. Enough to mention the immortal phrase coined by Justice Binyamin Halevy, serving as a military judge, in the trial of the border policemen who were responsible for the 1956 massacre in Kafr Kassem, when dozens of children, women and men were mown down for violating a curfew which they did not even know about.
    The judge announced that even in wartime, there are orders over which flies “the black flag of illegality”. These are orders which are “manifestly” illegal – that is to say, orders which every normal person can tell are illegal, without having to consult a lawyer.
    War criminals dishonor the army whose uniform they wear – whether they are generals or common soldiers. As a combat soldier on the day the Israeli Defense Army was officially created, I am ashamed of them and demand that they be cast out and be put on trial in Israel.
    My list of suspects includes politicians, soldiers, rabbis and lawyers.
    * * *
    THERE IS not the slightest doubt that in the Gaza war, crimes were committed. The question is to what extent and by whom.
    Example: the soldiers call on the residents of a house to leave it. A woman and her four children come out, waving white handkerchiefs. It is absolutely clear that they are not armed fighters….
    Lees verder >> http://www.counterpunch.org/avnery02022009.html
    Overigens dit via het uitstekende blog van Richard Dreyfuss, schrijver van Devil’s Game – How the US helped unleashed Fundamentalist Islam.
    Dreyfuss ontvangt veel reacties met interessante links. Bijvoorbeeld http://www.thenation.com/blogs/dreyfuss/421476/israel_bombed_sudanReactie is geredigeerd

  4. Richard Dreyfuss moet uiteraard ROBERT Dreyfuss zijn – zijn boek is een MUST (gaat ook over Israel’s Islamists – leden van de Moslimbroederschap, die Israël in 1967 "importeerde" en de interacties tussen Likud en Hamas).

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