Saturday, December 20, 2014

Israel Bombs Gaza

Israel Bombs Gaza

by Stephen Lendman

Israeli warplanes attacked on December 20. Lawlessly. Committed war crimes. More on this below. 

Operation Protective Edge (OPE) was cold, calculated, long-planned, premeditated Israeli naked aggression. 

Murdering or injuring thousands of Gazans. Around 80% civilians. Willfully targeted. In residential areas. 

Turning large parts of Gaza to rubble. Genocidal high crimes by any standard. War raged from July 8 to August 26. 

Ceasefire terms were agreed on. Hamas scrupulously observes them. Including halting all hostilities. Israel violated them straightaway.

As always, blaming Palestinians for its crimes. On December 20, Israeli warplanes bombed Gaza. Southern areas near Khan Younis.

An IDF spokesperson confirmed the attack. Saying Israeli forces "targeted a Hamas terror infrastructure site."

No casualties were reported, according to Gaza's health ministry. The attack followed a rocket fired from southern Gaza. Causing no injuries or damage.

Hamas claimed no responsibility. Or other resistance groups. IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner lied. Wrongfully calling Hamas a "terrorist organization."

Blaming it irresponsibly for "rocket fire." Viewing it "with severity." Suggesting perhaps more Israeli aggression to come. Repeating with disturbing regularity. Never with just cause.

According to Maan News:

"Hamas has almost entirely prevented any other factions from firing rockets since the ceasefire, despite repeated Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians at sea and near the border."

"On Friday alone, Israeli forces shot and injured six Palestinians as they participated in a (peaceful)  protest march near the border."

"Political analyst Hani Basous told Ma'an that the Israeli airstrikes are a mere reaction to the rocket and an attempt to send a warning message to all Palestinians."

"Israel wanted to deliver a message to the Palestinian factions and Hamas that any actions on the border will be confronted with a harsh response."

Aggression is part of Netanyahu's reelection strategy. Citing nonexistent threats. Responding harshly. Showing he's tough.

His extremism wore thin long ago. Why Israelis put up with him, they'll have to explain.

He did more than any previous leader to transform Israel into a pariah state. Lawless. Ruthless. Fascist. Belligerent. Inventing reasons for conflict.

Holding 1.8 million Gazans hostage. In the world's largest open-air prison. Suffocating them. Collectively punishing them.

Attacking cross-border. Bombing them for any reason or none at all. Committing slow-motion genocide.

Israel and America partner in each other's high crimes. Have the world's most deplorable civil and human rights records.

Operate extrajudicially. Wage war on defenseless civilians. Murder them in cold blood. Blame adversaries for their own crimes.

Bear full responsibility for virtually every indignity, degradation and crime. Ones too grave to ignore.

Vicious and then some. Getting away with mass murder. Over and over again. Unaccountably.

Core international laws don't matter. Occupation harshness persists. The late Law Professor Michael Mandel said earlier:

"Israel’s West Bank and Gaza settlements are war crimes in Canada."

"Under the Canadian Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act 2000, c. 24, Israel's settlements in territories taken in the June 1967 war constitute war crimes punishable in Canada."

Section 8, paragraph 2, item viii of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) prohibits "(t)he transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory."

"Although Israel denies it, there is no question (it’s) an Occupying Power for the purposes of the Geneva Convention, the Rome Statute, and the Canadian Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act," Mandel explained.

Law Professor Francis Boyle earlier accused Israel of "heinous war crimes inflicted (virtually) every day…against the Palestinian people."

"(W)illful killing" with impunity. Fourth Geneva breaches occur multiple times daily. Against Gazans. Throughout the West Bank. In East Jerusalem.

According to Boyle, including "murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts against any civilian population, before or during the war, or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated."

Israel treats Arabs the way Hitler treated Jews. Crimes against humanity “are the historical and legal precursor to the international crime of genocide as defined by the 1948 Genocide Convention," said Boyle.

Israel gets away with mass murder and then some. High crimes too grave to ignore.

Human Rights Watch accused Israel of Operation Protective Edge war crimes. So did Amnesty International.

Defined as grave Geneva breaches. Other serious violations of laws and customs. Ones applicable to armed conflict. 

As defined by Rome Statute principles. When committed as part of a plan or policy. Or on a large scale. 

Prohibited acts include murder. Mutilation. Torture and cruel treatment. Hostage taking. Intentionally attacking civilian or non-military related targets.

Including buildings related to commerce, religion, education, art, science,  charitable purposes, historical monuments or hospitals.

Other prohibited acts include pillage. Rape. Sexual slavery. Forced pregnancy. Other sexual assaults.

Conscripting or enlisting children under age 15 years. Using them as combatants.

A previous article discussed Washington's intention to veto Palestine's statehood bid. Partnering with Israel irresponsibly.

On December 19, General Assembly members overwhelmingly endorsed Palestinian self-determination. Voting 165 to six in favor.

Opposition nations included America. Israel. Canada. Three small Pacific Island states Washington controls.

Nine countries abstained. Including Australia, Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, Honduras, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Tonga, Vanuatu.

Resolution language demanded Israel cease exploiting, damaging, depleting and endangering Palestinian and Golan resources.

Called for immediate safe removal of all Gazan unexploded ordnance. The measure was the General Assembly's 43rd of its kind. Each year endorsed overwhelmingly.

A second resolution related to Palestinian rights. Supported without voting. Calling for Member States. UN financial institutions.

NGOs. Intergovernmental, regional and interregional organizations. To provide economic and social aid. Through official Palestinian institutions.

To reconstruct Gaza. Promote economic recovery and rebuilding in a timely and sustainable manner.

A third resolution passed overwhelmingly. (170 - 6). Demanding Israel pay $850 million. For "environmental disaster" it caused. 

Incurred during its July 2006 naked aggression on Lebanon. Polluting its entire coastline. Part of Syria's.

Israel responded as expected. An official statement calling the GA resolution "part of many other decisions we are used to from the UN."

It "never bothered to check what the war cost Israel in damages and did not mention that the war broke out in response to the operation by the terror group Hezbollah."

Israel is the region's leading terror state. Hezbollah is part of Lebanon's democratically elected government.

It bears repeating. Washington and Israel partner in each other's crimes. On Friday, Obama signed the "United States-Israel Strategic Partnership of 2014 (S. 2673)."

Congressionally passed unanimously. By voice vote. Not a single profile of courage in either house. 100% in lockstep with US/Israeli lawlessness.

A White House press release called the measure an expression of "unshakeable commitment to Israel's security and its future."

Reflecting "the importance of (Obama's) Administration on strengthening and deepening US-Israel bilateral cooperation and ties."

Reinforcing "critical defense and security programs. (L)ay(ing) the groundwork for increased trae and cooperation across a range of cutting-edge fields."

Including "energy, water, agriculture and technology." Directs "the Secretary of State to undertake certain diplomatic initiatives."

Obama intends implementing the measure's provisions. Consistent with what he calls "longstanding constitutional practice."

A document long ago abandoned. Dead and buried. Along with relevant international and US statute laws.

Washington usurping the right to operate extrajudicially. Taking full advantage. Partnering with Israel. One fascist regime supports another. Waging war on humanity.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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