Posts Tagged ‘Geneva Convention’

PCHR: Confirmed figures reveal the true extent of the destruction inflicted upon the Gaza Strip; Israel’s offensive resulted in 1,434 dead, including 960 civilians, 239 police officers, and 235 fighters. (more…)

India national magazine Frontline interviews Prof. Chomsky on the post-Gaza situation in Palestine-Israel and the region. (more…)

E-mail to members: Amnesty International researchers’ found serious violations of international law. (more…)

Prof. Chomsky speaks at MIT on Gaza, Israel, Hamas, Lebanon, Hizbollah, State Terror, the West’s tacit consent and overt support of Israel, and more. (more…)



The New York Times:

The Israeli military said in a statement that the objective of the ground campaign was “to destroy the terrorist infrastructure of Hamas,” the militant Islamic group that controls the area, “while taking control of some of the rocket launching sites” that Hamas uses to fire at southern Israel.

Officials have stated repeatedly that the aim is not to fully reoccupy Gaza. But it was clear that the military was leaving the door open for a long-term operation; a spokesman said Saturday that the ground push “will continue on the basis of ongoing situational assessments.” And it remained an open question whether Israel would try to eliminate the Hamas government.

The NYT relays the Newspeak that basically tells that we have to believe that Israel’s main objective is to take out Hamas, not to commit genocide and further occupy Gaza. If we’re to believe the NYT, we’re to believe that Israel’s sophistication is faltering.

BBC:

Israeli ground troops have started to enter the Gaza Strip, Israeli military officials have confirmed, a week after the offensive against Hamas began.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said the intention was to “take control” of areas from which Palestinian militants have been firing rockets into Israel.

A BBC reporter in Gaza says it appears to be a limited operation with 10 to 15 vehicles crossing the northern border.

Earlier, Israel intensified air and artillery attacks on the territory.

In one raid, at least 13 people were killed when a missile struck a crowded mosque in Beit Lahiya, Palestinian medics said.

Witnesses said more than 200 people had been inside the Ibrahim al-Maqadna mosque for evening prayers when it was struck.

Palestinian medics and Hamas officials said they believed dozens were injured. At least one child was among the dead, they added.

Militants in Gaza meanwhile fired more rockets into southern Israel on Saturday, one of which hit the port of Ashdod, injuring two people.

On Friday, Israel allowed hundreds of foreigners to leave Gaza before taunting Gazans with ‘polite’ leaflets in preparation for this well-coordinated attack of Gazans that occured as people were attending weekly Saturday evening prayer services. Gazan health officials report 480 deaths since Israels attacks began over a week ago.

ei posts the report from Al Mezan Center for Human Rights:

As this press release was being translated into English, initial news reported that Israeli aircrafts bombarded al-Makadma Mosque in Beit Lahia while dozens of people were praying in it. Initial news reported that 25 people were killed in this attack, which would further raise the above-mentioned number of casualties of the Israeli operation. [At the time of The Electronic Intifada’s publication of this release, news agencies reported at least 11 were killed.

Al Mezan Center for Human Rights expresses its strongest possible condemnation of the Israeli military operation against Gaza, which has already caused unprecedented loss of civilian life and suffering for the 1.5 million people living in it. Al Mezan therefore reiterates its calls upon the international community to take effective action to bring to an end these operations without delay. Al Mezan calls upon:

  • The United Nations Secretary-General to condemn the Israeli disproportionate use of force and the targeting of civilians and civilian objects in defiance of peremptory rules of international law;
  • The United Nations agencies to provide urgent humanitarian aid and safe shelters for Gazans who have been displaced and those living in threatened areas
  • The International Committee of the Red Cross to double its efforts to ensure humanitarian access for civilians and ensure tending to the urgent needs for medicines and water;
  • The international community to condemn the grave breaches of international humanitarian law (IHL) and human rights by Israel in the Gaza Strip, and take concrete steps to bring them to an end;
  • The Human Rights Council to request the UN general Assembly to call for the convening in Switzerland of a conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilians in Times of War, of 1949, to consider the breaches by Israel of its nonderogable obligations under the Convention in the course of its ongoing military actions in Gaza, and to consider the necessary measures to ensure respect of the rules set out in the Convention and its relevant protocols.
  • Civil societies around the world to exert pressure on their governments so that they act in conformity with the relevant human rights and humanitarian obligations as prescribed in relevant international law.

Using violent or coercive means to meet political ends is the literal defintion of ‘international terrorism’. The TerrorState of Israel’s Defense Minister/Labor Party leader Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister/Kadima Party candidate Tzipi Livni have received rises in polling numbers to challenge the front-runner, hawkish Likud Party candidate Bibi Netanyahu, since the well-orchestrated attaks on Gaza and public opinion began with tacit consent from their suppliers in the US — as we’ve chronicled the Newspeak in this blog as it’s happened:

US weapons are being used for the massacre in Gaza to which the White House and Pres.-elect Obama tryranically (yet, simultaneously cowardly) consent.

AFP: “Mexico Zapatista Leader Slams Obama over Gaza Silence”:

Mexico’s Zapatista rebel leader “Subcomandante” Marcos slammed US president-elect Barack Obama for failing to speak out on Israel’s bombing of Gaza, in a speech on Friday marking the 15th anniversary of his rebellion….

Obama “supports the use of force” against Palestinian people, Marcos said in a speech to some 2,500 leftist politicians and activists from 25 countries.

The Real News Network – “Israel’s Politics Spill into Gaza” – 3 Jan 09 (8:24):

Thousands in London and Paris protest today and Chicagoans (left) did yesterday.

The Arab League (AL) and Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) call for an emergency meeting of the UN Security [sic]  Council (UNSC) expressing “disappointment at the failure of the UN Security Council to take the necessary measures to end the Israeli aggression,” that the UNSC “strongly condemned the brutal and sustained aggression which Israel perpetrates against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, killing hundreds of civilians, leaving thousands injured, and wreaking massive havoc on houses, civic facilities and infrastructure,” proposing a mission of observers “to stem the escalation of the conflict and to ensure the stabilisation of the situation,” and draft a resolution for a cease-fire.

An emergency meeting of the UNSC will convene at 7 PM EST. The US has veto power of any resolution, though the UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon is “deeply concerned over the serious further escalation,… conveyed his extreme concern and disappointment” to Israeli PM Ehud Olmert, “is convinced and alarmed that this escalation will inevitably increase the already heavy suffering of the affected civilian populations” and “called for an immediate end to the ground operation.”

AFP: “Iran Security Chief Meets Syria’s Assad over Gaza”:

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Saturday met Iran’s Supreme National Security Council chief Saeed Jalili to discuss the situation in the Gaza Strip, the official SANA news agency reported.

It said Jalili, who arrived in Damascus on Friday night, and Assad held talks on “the dangerous situation the Palestinian people of Gaza are going through because of the Israeli aggression.”

They discussed the “consequences on security and stability in the region of the Israel’s aggression continuing” and “ways Islamic countries can force Israel to immediately stop the massacres against the Palestinian people, end the Gaza blockade and open the crossing points,” SANA reported.

Jalili told Assad of “Iran’s commitment to cooperation and coordination with Syria on Gaza,” it added.

Israel extends its already tyrannical interference of the press:

“The enemy is trying to break our frequencies… do not listen to this,” said a broadcast on Al-Aqsa radio.

Earlier the radio’s programme was interrupted with a man’s voice speaking in Hebrew-accented Arabic: “Hamas leaders are hiding in the tunnels and are leaving you on the frontline of Israel’s Defence Forces.”

“Hamas leaders are lying to you and they are hiding in hospitals,” he said. “Launching rockets puts civilians in danger.”

Meanwhile a broadcast on Al-Aqsa television was interrupted with an image of a ringing phone that no one was answering.

“Hamas leaders are hiding and they are leaving you on the front line,” says a voice in accented Arabic.

The Israeli army did not have immediate comment.

On Friday, Hamas’s political supremo Khaled Meshaal was calling on Palestinians to rise up against Israel when his picture suddenly disappeared from the Al-Aqsa TV broadcast.

“Hamas has misled you and abandoned you,” a man’s voice said in Arabic. “If you call any leader of Hamas, nobody will answer.”

An Al-Aqsa official said the Israeli army was behind the spoiler interruption, which was repeated several times during the broadcast of what appeared to be a pre-recorded speech.

From our YouTube Playlist, “Israel Attack Gaza,” Saeb Erakat, Chief Palestinian Negotiator on CNN International (2:29):


The Elctronic Intifada (ei) co-founder, Ali Abunimah:

“I would like to ask President-elect Obama to say something please about the humanitarian crisis that is being experienced right now by the people of Gaza.” Former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney made her plea after disembarking from the badly damaged SS Dignity that had limped to the Lebanese port of Tyre while taking on water.

The small boat, carrying McKinney, the Green Party’s recent presidential candidate, other volunteers, and several tons of donated medical supplies, had been trying to reach the coast of Gaza when it was rammed by an Israeli gunboat in international waters.

But as more than 2,400 Palestinians have been killed or injured – the majority civilians – since Israel began its savage bombardment of Gaza on 27 December, Obama has maintained his silence. “There is only one president at a time,” his spokesmen tell the media. This convenient excuse has not applied, say, to Obama’s detailed interventions on the economy, or his condemnation of the “coordinated attacks on innocent civilians” in Mumbai in November.

The Mumbai attacks were a clear-cut case of innocent people being slaughtered. The situation in the Middle East however is seen as more “complicated” and so polite opinion accepts Obama’s silence not as the approval for Israel’s actions that it certainly is, but as responsible statesmanship.… [read the full article]

(more of Ali Abunimah on Little Alex in Wonderland)

The president-elect remains silent as the White House gives tacit consent to an Israel ground invasion:

The United States gave Israel free rein Friday on whether to send troops into the Gaza Strip, insisting that the key to a ceasefire is an Israeli demand for Hamas to permanently halt rocket fire….

“We’ve been in regular contact with the Israelis,” White House deputy press secretary Gordon Johndroe told reporters when asked if US officials were trying to prevent a possible ground offensive.

US officials have urged the Israelis “to be mindful that any of the actions that they’re taking in Gaza avoid unnecessary civilian casualties and also to help continue with the flow of humanitarian goods,” he said.

“So I think any steps they are taking, whether it’s from the air or on the ground or anything of that nature, are part and parcel of the same operation,” Johndroe said.

“Those will be decisions made by the Israelis,” he said.

What the deputy press secretary conveniently leaves out of the Newspeak is that Israel would do so supplied by the US.