I thought I would post a few articles about Israel’s war on Gaza that occurred a couple months ago.
“Tracing Gaza’s chaos to 1948” by Mark LeVine (Al-Jazeera, July 13, 2009). LeVine does a great job of tracing the roots of Gaza’s suffering.
“How Israel brought Gaza to the brink of humanitarian catastrophe” by Avi Shlaim (The Guardian, January 7, 2009). Avi, an Iraqi Jew, is a professor of international relations at the University of Oxford. He served in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and never questioned the legitimacy of Israeli’s policies. However, Israel’s actions in Gaza led him to rethink his view of Israel. This is a very insightful piece and provides a useful background to the Gaza attack.
“War on Gaza – Who will save the Palestinians?” by Mark LeVine (Al-Jazeera, July 13, 2009). This is a good article about how Hamas’ violent tactics are counterproductive to winning peace and justice for the Palestinians.
“Israeli soldiers reveal the brutal truth of Gaza attack” by Donald Macintyre (The Independent, July 15, 2009). Israeli soldiers reveal the truth about their actions in the recent Gaza attack. They tell of killing civilians, using Palestinians as “human shields”, using white phosphorous, destroying Palestinians homes, and the use of extreme air power. Their superiors told them to prioritize their own lives and safety over those of Palestinian civilians.
Here are some reports by Human Rights Watch on Israel’s actions:
“Israel: White Phosphorus Use Evidence of War Crimes” (Human Rights Watch, March 25, 2009). This passage was very telling:
“All of the white phosphorus shells that Human Rights Watch found were manufactured in the United States in 1989 by Thiokol Aerospace, which was running the Louisiana Army Ammunition Plant at the time. On January 4, Reuters photographed IDF artillery units handling projectiles whose markings indicate that they were produced in the United States at the Pine Bluff Arsenal in September 1991.”
This is evidence that the U.S. government is directly funding atrocities committed by Israel against Palestinians. To justify its actions, Israel blamed Hamas for using human shields and for fighting from civilian areas. However,
“Human Rights Watch found no evidence of Hamas using human shields in the vicinity at the time of the attacks. In some areas Palestinian fighters appear to have been present, but this does not justify the indiscriminate use of white phosphorus in a populated area.”
Human Rights concluded that
“the IDF had deliberately or recklessly used white phosphorus munitions in violation of the laws of war. First, the repeated use of air-burst white phosphorus in populated areas until the last days of the operation reveals a pattern or policy of conduct rather than incidental or accidental usage. Second, the IDF was well aware of the effects of white phosphorus and the dangers it poses to civilians. Third, the IDF failed to use safer available alternatives for smokescreens.”
The organization also demanded that Israel and the United States investigate this issue and prosecute accordingly.
“Israel: Misuse of Drones Killed Civilians in Gaza” (Human Rights Watch, June 30, 2009). Human Rights Watch’s latest report on Israeli drone attacks
“details six incidents resulting in 29 civilian deaths, among them eight children. Human Rights Watch found that Israeli forces failed to take all feasible precautions to verify that these targets were combatants, as required by the laws of war, or that they failed to distinguish between combatants and civilians. Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups have reported a total of 42 drone attacks that killed civilians, 87 in all, during the fighting in December 2008 and January 2009.”
As for investigating these actions,
“a fact-finding team from the United Nations Human Rights Council headed by the respected international jurist Richard Goldstone is currently investigating alleged violations of the laws of war by both Israel and Hamas. Israel has said it will not cooperate with the investigation because the Human Rights Council is biased against Israel. Hamas has said it will cooperate. Human Rights Watch called on Israel and Hamas to cooperate fully with the Goldstone investigation. Regarding drone-launched missiles, Israel should provide the recorded video footage and other documentation of its attacks in which civilians were wounded or killed.”
The article also has a 24-minute video clip at the end. You can view the video here on YouTube.
Let’s keep up the fight for justice.