Saturday, 21 March 2009

Obama must convict Israel for proven war crimes

Now that Israeli soldiers themselves have already admitted to killing
innocent, helpless civilians, what more proofs do you need to convict
Israel and Jewish Israelis who commit these war crimes.

If OBAMA were sincere in wanting world peace and cooperation of the
Muslim world, he must show his commitment to justice and peace with
actions. Words are meaningless.

It is surprising that supporters of these war crimes are silent on
these blatant admissions by honest Jewish soldiers. In fact it is the
Jews who are most vocal in defending the HELPLESS Palestinians of all
religions not just Muslim Palestinians but also Christian

What happened? FActs and logics had deserted all these proven racist
bastards who continue supporting the obvious war crimes committed by
Israel. And you still want peace and respect for your racist
By Skeptic

JERUSALEM — An increasingly disturbing picture of the Israeli Defense
Forces' (IDF) misconduct in the Gaza invasion has emerged as
confessions from Israeli troops describe wanton destruction of
Palestinian homes, humiliation of civilians, and loosened rules of
engagement that resulted in high civilian casualties.

An Israeli defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity
because he was not allowed to make the information public, said the
IDF used 120-mm mortar rounds, among the largest, on a large group of
civilians who had taken refuge for safety in a hospital. At least five
blast patters indicating direct hits were found on the hospital

Revelations of the IDF Gaza crimes have set off alarms in a nation
where the military is revered. They also confirm Palestinian
allegations that the IDF did not distinguish between civilians and
combatants, and the admissions also confirmed international human
rights groups' contention that Israel deliberately violated the
humanitarian laws of war.

Israel launched the Gaza offensive on Dec. 27, 2008 in what it
explained was an effort to end Palestinian rocket attacks in which
four Israeli citizens were hit. The Palestinian Center for Human
Rights, which conducted casualty count, reported a total of 1,417
people killed during the offensive, including at least 930 civilians.

Israel originally denied the findings, saying the most of the dead
were legitimate targets, but offered no evidence to back up that

The Israeli government has insisted it did everything it could to
prevent civilian casualties. But the IDF has now ordered a criminal
inquiry into its own soldiers' reports that IDF troops deliberately
targeted civilians, including children, by shooting them or by calling
in air strikes, confident that the Israeli relaxed rules of war would
protect them.

The inquiry is based on postwar testimony from IDF soldiers who were
involved in the Israeli offensive and who were eye-witnesses. The
findings were published in a military institute newsletter and leaked
to two Israeli newspapers. The Haaretz daily published additional
details. A transcript of the IDF soldiers' confessions was obtained by
The Associated Press.

According to one account, an Israeli sniper killed a Palestinian woman
and each of her two children after they misunderstood another
soldier's shouted order and turned in the wrong direction. The sniper
was not told that the family had just been released, and so he opened
fire on them as they walked toward him.

In another account, an elderly woman was shot dead while walking alone
on a road. The soldier who described the incident, identified only as
"Aviv," said the woman was not a threat. "I simply felt it was murder
in cold blood," Aviv said, according to the transcript. "The order was
to take that woman out the moment you see her."

Aviv admitted in another instance his unit was sent to take over a
house by bursting in, going up floor by floor and shooting to death
anyone they saw alive.

"I call this murder," he said. "...they told us it was permissible
because anyone who remained in the sector and inside Gaza City, was in
effect condemned to death as a terrorist, because they hadn't yet
fled." In the end, he said he managed to change the order so residents
would be given five minutes to leave their homes, drawing protests
from other soldiers. "Anyone who's in there is a terrorist, that's a
known fact!" he quoted another soldier as saying.

Aviv said he felt an attitude among soldiers that "inside Gaza you are
allowed to do anything you want, to break down doors of houses for no
reason, other than that it's cool; to write 'Death to all Arabs' on
the walls, to take family pictures and spit on them, just because you
can" he said.

In another incident, a large group of Palestinian civilians were
herded into a school building and forced to stay inside "for their own
safety." A few minutes later, Israeli artillery strikes were called in
on the building.

Some 15,000 Palestinians packed the UN's 23 Gaza schools because their
homes were destroyed, or they were designated a safe haven from the
fighting. The UN had provided the IDF with GPS coordinates for all of
them so they could be avoided.

The IDF reported the shelling of the school - the deadliest single
episode in the first two weeks of the IDF invasion of Gaza - was a
response to mortar fire from within the school building, and that
Hamas militants were using the civilians as cover. The IDF had no
additional comment.

During the fighting, the military acknowledged it loosened the rules
of engagement aiming to reduce casualties among IDF troops.

At one point, six hundred Palestinian civilians were trapped under
fire when Israeli forces refused to allow them to leave Gaza in

Another soldier, "Ram", described what appeared to be a rift between
secular and religious soldiers. "What I do remember in particular at
the beginning was the feeling of an almost religious mission," he

"Their message was very clear: 'We are the Jewish people, we came to
this land by a miracle. God brought us back to this land and now we
need to fight to expel the gentiles who are interfering with our
conquest of this holy land,'" he said.

Earlier the IDF "severely reprimanded" an officer for distributing a
religious booklet urging soldiers to show no mercy to their enemies.
The army said the chief military rabbi had not yet approved it.

The published accounts revealed debate and soul-searching among the
soldiers. Discussing the death of the old woman, one soldier, Zvi,
said the shooting could be understood in the context of the battle
zone. "Logic says she should be there," he said.

IDF trooper Yossi said his unit was forced to clean up a home it had
occupied on the same day that a Palestinian rocket wounded a mother
and baby in an Israeli city. He said soldiers were unhappy, but they
complied. "In the end, I was convinced it was the right thing to do,"
Yossi added.

Danny Zamir, the head of the military institute, called the discussion
"instructive," but also "dismaying and depressing. You are describing
an army with very low norms of value," he said.

The heavy Palestinian civilian casualties and widespread destruction
during the three-week war provoked international outcry against
Israel, which ceased fire on 18 Jan. 2009.
israel, IDF, Crimes, Gaza

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