(image by Carlos Latuff)
May 24, 2007
The annual global human rights report was released today by Amnesty International.
Amnesty International accused both Israel and Hezbollah on Wednesday of committing war crimes during the Second Lebanon War last summer, saying both were guilty of indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas.
But this is not why I’m writing tonight.
Looking at ISRAEL AND THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES part, the first paragraph tells the whole story:
STATE OF ISRAEL
Head of state: Moshe Katzav
Head of government: Ehud Olmert (replaced Ariel Sharon in April)
Death penalty: abolitionist for ordinary crimes
International Criminal Court: signed but declared intention not to ratify
Isn’t this just a GOOD start? It tells you in advance what to expect. Reading on…
Increased violence between Israelis and Palestinians resulted in a threefold increase in killings of Palestinians by Israeli forces. The number of Israelis killed by Palestinian armed groups diminished by half.
Note: threefold increase vs. 50 percent decrease!
Some 650 Palestinians, half of them unarmed civilians and including some 120 children, were killed by Israeli forces. This toll was a threefold increase compared with 2005.
- On 9 June, seven members of the Ghalia family - five children and their parents - were killed and some 30 other civilians were injured when Israeli forces fired several artillery shells at a beach in the north of the Gaza Strip. The beach was crowded with Palestinian families enjoying the first weekend of the school holidays. The Israeli army denied responsibility for the killings but failed to substantiate their claim.
- In the early morning of 8 November, 18 members of the Athamna family were killed and dozens of other civilians were injured when a volley of artillery shells struck a densely populated neighborhood of Beit Hanoun, in the north of the Gaza Strip. The victims, eight of them children, were killed in their sleep or while fleeing the shelling, which lasted for around 30 minutes and during which some 12 shells landed in the area. The Israeli authorities expressed regret for the killings, saying that the houses were mistakenly struck due to a technical failure, but rejected calls for an international investigation. The attack came in the wake of a six-day Israeli army raid in Beit Hanoun code-named "Autumn Clouds", during which Israeli forces killed some 70 Palestinians, at least half of them unarmed civilians and including several children and two ambulance emergency service volunteers. The raid also injured some 200 others, including scores of children.
- Eight-year-old Akaber 'Abd al-Rahman 'Ezzat Zayed was shot dead by Israeli special forces who opened fire on the car in which she was traveling to hospital with her uncle, who was seriously injured in the attack. The incident took place on 17 March in Yamun village, near the northern West Bank town of Jenin.
- On 19 December, 14-year-old Dua’a Nasser 'Abdelkader was shot dead by Israeli soldiers as she approached the fence/wall with a friend near Fara’un, a village in the north of the West Bank.[…]
- Nine members of the Abu Salmiya family were killed when an Israeli F16 fighter jet bombed their home at 2.30am on 12 July. According to the Israeli army, a senior leader of Hamas’ armed wing was in the house at the time of the strike but survived. However, the strike wiped out an entire family: the owner of the house, Nabil Abu Salmiya, a Hamas political leader and university lecturer; his wife Salwa; and seven of their children all aged under 18. Dozens of neighbours were also injured and several other houses were damaged in the strike.
Want more? Here is a sample:
Israeli settlers in the West Bank repeatedly attacked Palestinians and their property, as well as international peace activists and human rights defenders who sought to document their attacks on Palestinians. Some of the attacks occurred during the olive harvest season,[…]
- In the evening of 25 March a group of Israeli settlers assaulted 'Abderrahman Shinneran as he slept in his tent with his wife and three children in Susia in the southern Hebron Hills. When his brother 'Aziz went to his rescue he too was assaulted and injured.
- On 18 November, Tove Johansson, a 19-year-old Swedish human rights defender, was assaulted by Israeli settlers as she accompanied Palestinian school children through an Israeli army checkpoint near the Tel Rumeida Israeli settlement in the West Bank city of Hebron. She was struck with a broken bottle and sustained facial injuries. Israeli soldiers at a nearby checkpoint took no action to stop the attack or apprehend the perpetrators.
- Investigations and prosecutions relating to such abuses [by both soldiers and settlers] were rare and usually only occurred when the abuses were exposed by human rights organizations and the media[…]
Thousands of Palestinians, including scores of children, were detained by Israeli forces […] Trials of Palestinians before military courts often did not meet international fair trial standards, with allegations of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees inadequately investigated.
Beside the killing, artillery bombardments, expansion of illegal settlements, building the apartheid fence/wall, stealing more land from the Occupied Territories, Israel carried out air and Military blockades and increased restrictions on the movement of Palestinians and the confiscation by Israel of Palestinian customs duties causing the catastrophic deterioration in living conditions for Palestinian inhabitants in the Occupied Territories, with poverty, food aid dependency, health problems and unemployment reaching crisis levels.
But what is it with killing these hundreds of children and pregnant women that is so tempting to Israel, as targets? Maybe I’m naive, but can anyone explain this other than being 'deliberate’ war crimes?
How can anybody defend Israel with all of these facts? Oh, wait… wait… of course Amnesty is an anti-Semetic organization, that’s why!
Killings of Israelis by Palestinian armed groups continued but decreased to half the previous year’s figure and to the lowest level since the beginning of the intifada in 2000. In total, 21 Israeli civilians, including a child, and six soldiers were killed in Palestinian attacks in Israel and the Occupied Territories.
Of course I’m not defending targeting Israeli civilians, contrary, I condemn that too, but c’mon, what is 650 vs. 21? Yeah I know they are Semitic, but so is the 650 Palestinians!!
I am sick and tired of these hypocrites barking for the ONLY Democracy in Middle East, Israel. In no time, pro-Israel/warmongers will slam Amnesty International, and question its credibility, and accuse it of being "pro-Arab". Don’t be surprised if some even call it an extension of Hizbollah abroad. All this for saying that Israel and their puppets (IOF) committed war crimes.
The Zionist propagandist will open the manual book and start bring out all violations under the sun in the Arab world, and whine that the report never discussed them in a "balanced" way. This is typical. For Israel, human cost nothing and their crimes should be put in the same category as all other human rights violations, but it’s not. The ceaseless ongoing abuse of Palestinians in the occupied territories, in a totally lawless fashion is the most disturbing of all, because there is no "excuse" of wartime or counter belligerence.
Israelis have to understand that they can’t have it both ways. Majority of Israel citizens overwhelmingly approved the IOF’s tactics, in fact they are supporting more. They think that the army did not go far enough. Yet, as soon as Amnesty International attaches 'labels’ to those actions, many will start scream bloody murder. They have to understand that they can’t have it both ways. They either for the carnage or they’re not. And if they want the IOF to act in the manner in which they did, they should not cry when the other side does similar things. But again, there is no similar thing and no excuse for war crimes and killing civilians on any side.
The war criminals should be tried. There should be no hiding place for war criminals, Jews, Muslims, Christians alike. They all should be racked down and brought to trial. Maybe for once. Just once, Israel will hold those Israeli’s responsible for Israel’s actions to justice (if they know what justice is). The fact is that they don’t. How poor one has to be, to defend any act of War Crimes… no matter the reason what so ever!
No matter how it is addressed by Amnesty International or other organizations, no matter what the other side feels, does or says, the fact remains that Israel committed and continues to commit war and humanitarian crimes against the Palestinian. All the non-blind people in the world have come to that conclusion.
So what’s new? From the inception of the so-called Jewish state, Israel is the world star in war criminals club.