Gaza Isn’t Going Anywhere Despite Israeli Efforts!
Gaza Isn’t Going Anywhere Despite Israeli Efforts!
(The United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict)
The Commission was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council in September 2014 to investigate all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the context of the military operations conducted last summer. The Commission comprises Justice Mary McGowan Davis (United States) and Dr Doudou Diene (Senegal). The Israeli authorities did not respond to repeated requests by the Commission for information and direct access to Israel and to the Occupied Palestinian Territory. However the Commission obtained harrowing first hand testimony by means of Skype, VTC and telephone interviews. It also conducted face-to-face interviews with victims and witnesses from the West Bank during two visits to Jordan and spoke to victims and witnesses from Israel who travelled to Geneva. The Commission conducted more than 280 confidential interviews and received some 500 written submissions. Announcing the release of the report Monday, Justice Davis (chair) and Dr. Diene outlined a number of steps the parties and the international community should take. One of these was that countries should actively support the work of the International Criminal Court in relation to the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
See the Report in full at:
The report into the 51 day genocide that Israel perpetrated on the people of Gaza, who were effectively trapped behind the walls Israel had built, with a sea blockade in place so that no aid or evacuation could take place. These were people effectively imprisoned due to their race, their religion and their proximity to Israel. You would have thought that the Jewish homeland would have had more tolerance and understanding considering what they went through in the Second World War, which in many ways makes their continued assault on the civilian population of Gaza more heinous. Yes Hamas should be stopped from indiscriminately firing rockets into Israel but these aren’t even aimed and nearly always fail to hit anything, very few ever die from these small rockets and mortars. The Israeli response is totally disproportional, it is one of the most modern armies in the world against the terrorists that are few in number, have little training and little funds. The actions of the Israeli Defence Force, IDF, (which is perversely ironic considering how much attacking they do) would be the same as Britain building a wall around Belfast during the ‘Troubles’ as it is now called, locking everyone inside the wall, then using the might of the British Army, RAF & Navy to bomb the hell out of Belfast with thousands of tonnes of explosives. Sure you will kill a few terrorists but the vast majority are innocent men, women and children that are kill, injure and maim, not that they can do much about it as part of the deliberate targeting of the civilian areas include the Hospitals, roads, electricity, food, water, sanitation, communications, etc., infrastructure. Unthinkable isn’t it but this is exactly what Israel have been doing to the West Bank but in particular to Gaza, reaching its pinnacle of utter evil in 2014 when Israel unleashed 51 days of shear, undiluted hell onto the innocents’ of Gaza, hence the investigation by the United Nations (UN).
“UN Gaza Inquiry finds credible allegations of war crimes committed in 2014 by Israel”
22nd June 2015
The United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza conflict gathered substantial information pointing to the Commission of war crimes by Israeli Military Forces and Hamas Terrorists. The Chair of the Commission, Justice Mary McGowan Davis (an American High Court Justice) stated:
- 1,462 Palestinian civilians were killed, a third of them children;
- Palestinian armed groups fired 4,881 rockets and 1,753 mortars towards Israel in July and August 2014;
- Killing 6 civilians;
- Hundreds of Palestinian civilians were killed in their own homes, especially women and children;
- 142 of Palestinian families lost three or more members in an attack on one residential building during the summer of 2014;
- This is resulted in 742 deaths;
The Commission noted the fact that Israel did not revise its practice of air-strikes, even after their murderous effects on civilians became apparent, this must mean this was part of a broader policy which was approved at the highest level of government. The Commission noted Israel’s extensive use of weapons with a wide kill and injury radius; their use in densely populated areas was certain to kill civilians indiscriminately and it was obvious this would occur. For example, Israel used 2,000 pound bombs with a huge destructive capability, demolishing whole neighbourhoods and with a kill zone of up to 500 meters in any direction. The Commission was extremely critical of the Israeli tactic of issuing warnings with little time for people to leave a neighbourhood and then automatically considered anyone remaining to be a terrorist or acceptable collateral damage. This ‘warning’ practice was certainly not extensively used and it was argued that on occasions they used this to ensure people were out in the open when airburst bombs were used with murderous results.
During the Israeli ground incursion into Gaza that began in mid-July 2014, hundreds of people were killed and thousands of homes destroyed or damaged. Ambulance call centres said they received desperate appeals for help from people in Shuja’iya during which they could hear young children screaming in the background. “There was an explosion about every ten seconds,” said a witness in Rafah in early August where Israel launched a major operation after they believed one of their soldiers had been captured. “When the safety of an Israeli soldier is at stake, all the rules seem to be disregarded,” commented Justice Davis. The hostilities also caused immense distress and disruption to the lives of civilians in Israel. Witnesses living near Gaza spoke of being disturbed by seeing the bombing from their sitting room windows, watching Gaza burn.
In the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, 27 Palestinians were killed and 3,020 injured between June and August 2014. The number killed in these three months was equivalent to the total for the whole of 2013. The Commission was concerned about the increasing use of live ammunition for crowd control by the Israeli Security Forces, which deliberately resulted in death and serious injury of unarmed protestors supporting their fellow Palestinians in Gaza. Impunity prevailed across the board for violations allegedly committed by Israeli forces, both in Gaza and the West Bank. “Israel must break with its lamentable track record in holding wrong doers accountable,” said the Commissioners. The Commission was disturbed by Israel’s decision to close its criminal investigation into the case of the killing of four children on the beach in Gaza on 16 July 2014. International journalists and many Palestinian eyewitnesses were not even interviewed by the Israeli authorities, making it evident they had no interest in holding to account those who ‘murdered’ these children who were just playing on a beach as children do around the world.
But even this act became less concerning than the deliberate targeting of schools, hospitals, UN safe zones, utilities, UN food storage warehousing, etc. by Israel’s forces, knowing this directly resulted in a population of civilians being subjected to war crimes and immense suffering. Many concluded this was as close to a modern genocide that one has seen, all being played out in front of the world’s media and Israel could not have cared less. In response Israel repeated its claim that the United Nations inquiry investigating whether war crimes is a “kangaroo court.” The Israeli government has refused to cooperate with the inquiry and denied its investigators access to Gaza. In a telephone interview, the Israeli Prime Minister’s chief spokesman, Mark Regev, dismissed the UN Human Rights Council, which set up the inquiry, as “institutionally biased”, saying its “treatment of Israel has been a travesty”. “We fully expect another unbalanced report from this institutionally biased UN body, which treats Israel unfairly,” Mark Regev told Channel 4 News. “It’s a kangaroo court, yet its report will have the credibility of the United Nations.
The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has led the charge, releasing its own report into the conflict earlier this week. The 277-page tome claims that Operation Protective Edge (as the Israel called it) was both “legal” and “moral.” The Government launched an attack on the foreign media, mocking what it casts as the “gullibility of journalists covering the conflict in Gaza”.
See John Snow of Channel 4 News take on Mark Regev; Regev’s arrogance is unbelievable:
I want Gaza to know, Palestinians to know, some of us have not forgotten you. What you continue to suffer at the hands of Israel is criminal and I hope all those responsible one day find themselves on trial for the genocide they have committed in Gaza and the war crimes they perpetrated. The world needs to wake up that this hasn’t ended, it continues right now as you read this and Gaza is still blockaded by Israel, still in rubble, still children are dying. The international community must:
- Force Israel to end the sea blockade;
- Send aid to Gaza and the West Bank by the shipload, by the tonnage and by force if necessary;
- Rebuild Gaza and the West Bank, replacing rubble with homes, hospitals, schools, factories, businesses, infrastructure, etc.;
- Force Israel to leave the Palestinians alone by use of UN Peacekeeping forces who have a mandate to stop Israel’s murderous behaviour towards unarmed civilians;
- Freeze all of Israel’s assets abroad and use these assets to pay for the rebuilding of Gaza;
- Sanction, embargo and isolate Israel as easily as it does to Russia, until Israel changes its behaviour and allows the arrest of the war criminals identified by the UN;
- Create a buffer zone, a safe haven around the West Bank and Gaza that precludes any Israel forces, use of force by Israel and settlements by Israel to allow Palestinians peace and time to build, grow and have a positive future;
Some will accuse me of being anti Jew I am sure but I am not, I totally accept Israel’s right to exist and it to act as the Jewish homeland, in fact I respect the Jews for wanting to have such a homeland. But I do not accept the behaviour of Israel in respect of the Palestinians, of all the races, creeds and religions of the world the Jews know what it is like to be persecuted, yet they perpetrate genocide on a population that cannot escape the prison that is Gaza. To justify the killing of children on the scale seen in 2014 in Gaza is to disrespect the past of Israel and the price so many millions of Jews paid in order that Israel may exist. Israel will never see an end to the attacks by groups such as Hamas whilst it continues the crimes against civilian Palestinians. It would be like demanding the ceasefire and restraint of the IRA whilst openly wandering around killing thousands of Catholics in Northern Ireland. We learnt that there is no such thing as a military solution and use of aggression from military forces simply strengthens terrorists. They can only be piece when Gaza is rebuilt, allowed to breathe, allowed to have a future without fear, and I strongly suggest Israel learns from what we went through in Northern Ireland.
VIOLENCE BEGETS VIOLENCE!
The 63% Who Didn’t Vote Tory
Smiling Cat Ventures (www.smilingcatventures.org)
Foreshore Fossils (www.foreshorefossils.com)
Twitter: @AbleNotDisabled (https://twitter.com/)
Face Book: Disability in Business (www.facebook.com/DisabilityInBusiness)
Linked-In: Jonathan Wade (Innovative Minds at Work) (www.linkedin.com)
Pinterest: JWSmilingCat (http://uk.pinterest.com/JWSmilingCat/)
Word Press: Disability in Business (https://disabilityinbusiness.wordpress.com)