Friday, January 23, 2009

Israel Mission Accomplished Gaza Reduced To Rubble & UN Accuses Israel of War Crimes

UPDATE: Jan.23, 2009 10:29 AM

Israel's Occupation and the Palestinians
Will the United Nations and other International Organizations hold Israel accountable for possible War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity ?
President Obama could begin by exerting pressure on the UN and Israel to ensure that there is an independent investigation into possible War Crimes committed by the Israeli forces during the recent conflict in Gaza -
President Obama should also use his influence possibly with just a phone call to ensure Gaza is getting the humanitarian aid it needs by telling Olmert to stop the blockade and open up its borders -
But don't count on it since Israel is considered the third rail in American politics and the United States has historically supported Israel unconditionally and has obstructed any measures the UN has tried to take against Israel.

Gaza 'looks like earthquake zone' Jan. 21, 2009

The worst-hit areas in the Gaza Strip after Israel's three-week offensive look as if they have been hit by a strong earthquake, aid agencies say.

Correspondents in Gaza City say entire neighbourhoods have been flattened and bodies are still being recovered.

The UN says it is still sheltering at least 35,000 Palestinians while 400,000 people are without running water.

(note footage without sound )

Tuesday, January 20, 2009 by the Times Online (UK)
Ban Ki-Moon Lambasts Shelling of UN in Gaza Jan 20, 2009

by Jenny Booth

Ban Ki-moon today called for those responsible for bombing UN-run buildings and schools in Gaza to be held accountable following Israel's 22-day war on Hamas.

Clearly angry, the United Nations Secretary-General was speaking outside the still-smouldering main UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) compound in Gaza City that was hit during shelling by Israeli artillery last Thursday, setting fire to the building and to the food aid stored inside.

Other UN buildings were hit during the fighting, and a number of Palestinian refugees allowed by the UN to take shelter inside its schools were killed.

"It is an outrageous and totally unacceptable attack on the United Nations," said Mr Ban.

"There must be a full investigation, a full explanation to make sure it never happens again. There should be accountability through a proper judiciary system."

The Israeli offensive ended on Sunday, leaving extensive damage in its wake. Some 1,300 Palestinians were killed, and thousands more wounded. A sixth of the buildings in the overcrowded territory were reduced to rubble.
And it appears Israel is not cooperating with the UN and Humanitarian Relief Agencies but is only allow a trickle of aid into Gaza. Is Israel therefore continuing to punish ordinary citizens of Gaza for this conflict. Are they continuing their Medieval Siege on Gaza.

UN demands flow of goods to Gaza BBC News Jan 21, 2009

UN humanitarian chief John Holmes has urged Israel to fully open all crossings with Gaza to allow a free flow of goods.

Mr Holmes said that unless Israel allowed building materials into Gaza, no reconstruction could begin there.

The UN says rebuilding Gaza after Israel's three-week offensive against Hamas militants will cost billions of dollars.

Early on Wednesday, Israel said it had completed its troop pull-out from Gaza.

"The last soldier left the Gaza Strip this morning," an Israeli military spokesman told journalists.

Obama, take away the pain in my stomach- An Open Letter To obama Jan. 13, 2009

Palestinian doctor wonders why three of his children were killed by the Israeli forces.
Did Israeli forces the IDF target the Gaza doctor's residence to silence him ? Odd how the Israeli armed forces make so many disastrous mistakes bombing schools, clinics , hospitals, the UN compound and places clearly marked as shelters for refugees or bomb a house after herding civilians into it . Yet the Israelis we are told have has one of the best trained and disciplined and well equipped armies in the world but still they make all of these mistakes which they then shrug off as unimportant in the scheme of things. Israel could after admitting to errors made in the recent Gaza conflict and allow for an independent investigation by an International committee . But don't count on it . The Israelis like the Americans don't trust any International Humanitarian or human Rights organizations and they believe the United Nations is hostile to Israel.

Gaza doctor's tragedy grips Israeli TV McClatchy Newspapers Checkpoint Jerusalem Blog Jan. 19, 2009

It is likely to be remembered as one of the most emotionally-charged moments of the Gaza conflict: An anguished Gaza doctor appeals for help on a live Israeli TV news show after his house was hit by Israeli fire, killing three of his daughters and one niece.

The Israeli reporters scrambled to help and got the doctor's family flown to Israel for emergency treatment.

As the doctor made an impassioned plea for answers the next day, an Israeli mother angrily lashed out and, knowing little about his story, accused the doctor of hiding weapons in his home.

Doctor appeals for help on live Israeli TV:

If the doctors house was fired upon according to Israeli citizens he therefore must be guilty of being a terrorist. It does not even ocurr to them that it might have been a mistake made by the IDF because Israeli forces are always right in what they do and never make mistakes. But the Israelis have admitted to making mistakes as in the bombing of the UN compound though they kept firing on the UN compound while UN personnel were talking to the Israelis on the phone telling them to stop bombing . Eventually the Israelis stopped bombing but it appeared to be a matter of the Israelis putting a stop to the bombing after they had completed their mission. Their mission was to attack the UN compound to send a stern and forceful message to the United Nations and other International Humanitarian and Human Rights groups and the media that they are not welcome in Gaza and Israel has no obligation to avoid blowing up the buildings they are in or killing their personnel.

Israeli citizens accuse doctor of being a terrorist-

Livni makes light of Gaza civilian casualty
PRESS /Jan 19, 2009

Israel's foreign minister has sought to justify the high number of casualties in Gaza by calling it a normal "product of circumstance".

"We seek out the terrorists, and it can happen that civilians are sometimes hurt in the fight against terror," said Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Israeli Radio.

Livni is running for prime minister in February elections.

"We had to carry out this operation. I am at peace with the fact that we did it," she said referring to a three-week long offensive against the Gaza Strip which killed at least 1,300 Palestinians, including more than 400 children.

Livni, who had formerly termed civilian deaths as a rather normal outcome of war, vowed to resume the deadly raids should Israel come under rocket attacks by Hamas resistance fighters.

"[Hamas] knows today what Israel does when it's harmed, the world knows what it does when it's harmed and even accepts this. Therefore, I think they won't do this again soon," said the Kadima leader.

Israeli spokesperson talks about perpetual war against Gaza and Hamas

Not all Israelis approve of the recent attack on Gaza nor do they approve of the Israeli policies in general in respect to the Palestinians and the occupied territories . At the moment the most extreme group of ultraconservatives have taken control of the Israeli government. The current Israeli government is more interested in propaganda and spin and treats the conflict in Gaza as a Public Relations matter. To them the facts on the ground are irrelevant when it comes to showing the Israeli people that the current government and its military is tough on Hamas especially with an election to be held soon. Like the former Bush Regime the Regime in Israel orchestrates what information is allowed to be reported by its media. Those Israeli's who protest can easily find themselves arrested and kept for extended periods without being charge and detainees in Israel are often abused and tortured. They have learned a great deal it would appear from Bush and Cheney .

Israelis Soldiers Refuse To Serve in Gaza
Social TV Jan. 11, 2009

Thousands of Israelis protest against the war in Gaza
Jan. 06, 2009

Noam Chomsky On Gaza - 2009.01.13 - MIT (1 of 11)

The Guardian calls the Israeli war on Gaza to have been at the least a Public Relations disaster and as a failure to achieve any real objectives. The Guardian also states that Israel's actions in Gaza necessitate an investigation by an independent party for War Crimes .

A Pointless War Has Led to a Moral Defeat for Israel

Editorial/ "The Guardian" January 18, 2009

That fact alone explains why the operation represents a defeat for Israel, as was always likely to be the outcome. The notion that the country's security problems can be resolved by the unilateral use of extreme force is a persistent delusion among Israeli politicians. In this case, the problem was perceived to be Hamas rocket fire into southern Israel; the solution was judged to be a war against Hamas. That analysis did not allow for the vital, humane recognition that, in densely populated Gaza, an all-out war against Hamas is, by necessity, an attack on the civilian population.

Even on its own terms, the campaign has failed. Israeli authorities will insist that they have limited the ability of Hamas to launch rocket attacks. But the ostensible war aim was destroying that capability completely.

Posturing and Laughter as Victims Rot" by Robert Fisk The Independent, Jan. 21, 2009

Mahmoud Abbas stepped further into humiliation by saying the only option for Arabs is to make peace with Israel

...The front page of the Beirut daily As-Safir said it all yesterday. Across the top was a terrible photograph of the bloated body of a Palestinian man newly discovered in the ruins of his home while two male members of his family shrieked and roared their grief. Below, at half the size, was a photograph from Israel of Western leaders joking with Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister. Olmert was roaring with laughter. Silvio Berlusconi, arms on the back of Olmert's shoulders, was also joshing and roaring – with laughter, not grief – and on Olmert's right was Nicolas Sarkozy of France wearing his stupidest of smiles. Only Chancellor Merkel appeared to understand the moral collapse. No smiles from Germany.

Europe laughs while Palestinians mourn their dead. No wonder that in the streets of Beirut, shops were doing a flourishing trade in Palestinian scarves and flags. Even some of Palestine's most serious enemies in Lebanon wore the Palestinian keffiyeh in solidarity with the people of Gaza. Over and over again, Al-Jazeera television strapped headlines on to their news reports of Palestinians carrying the decomposing corpses of their dead: "More than 1,300 dead in Gaza, 400 of them women and children – Israeli dead in the war 13, three of them civilians." That, too, said it all.Posturing and Laughter as Victims Rot

And so Israel did accomplish much of what it wanted to in Gaza by reducing most of the area into rubble.

"Israel’s Doctrine of Destruction: Bombs to ‘send Gaza back decades" By Jonathan Cook in Nazareth -"Information Clearinghouse" Jan. 21, 2009

- In the last days before Israel imposed a unilateral ceasefire in Gaza to avoid embarrassing the incoming Obama administration, it upped its assault, driving troops deeper into Gaza City, intensifying its artillery bombardment and creating thousands more displaced people.

Israel’s military strategy in Gaza, even in what its officials were calling the “final act”, followed a blueprint laid down during the Lebanon war more than two years ago.

Then, Israel destroyed much of Lebanon’s infrastructure in a month of intensive air strikes. Even in the war’s last few hours, as a ceasefire was being finalised, Israel fired more than a million cluster bombs over south Lebanon, apparently in the hope that the area could be made as uninhabitable as possible.

Similarly, Israel’s destruction of Gaza continued with unrelenting vigour to the very last moment, even though according to reports in the Israeli media the air force exhausted what it called its “bank of Hamas targets” in the first few days of fighting.

The military sidestepped the problem by widening its definition of Hamas-affiliated buildings. Or as one senior official explained: “There are many aspects of Hamas, and we are trying to hit the whole spectrum because everything is connected and everything supports terrorism against Israel.”

That included mosques, universities, most government buildings, the courts, 25 schools, 20 ambulances and several hospitals, as well as bridges, roads, 10 electricity generating stations, sewage lines, and 1,500 factories, workshops and shops.

Also see:

"Olmert’s Poodle"

By Patrick J. Buchanan "American Conservative"Jan. 18, 2009


"Palestinians find 95 bodies in rubble of battle-torn Gaza"
By Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent, Haaretz Service Jan. 19, 2009

And it appears the US played a big part in making the situation in Gaza even worse by supporting an attempted Coup in Gaza.

The Gaza Bombshell Vanity Fair April 2008

After failing to anticipate Hamas’s victory over Fatah in the 2006 Palestinian election, the White House cooked up yet another scandalously covert and self-defeating Middle East debacle: part Iran-contra, part Bay of Pigs. With confidential documents, corroborated by outraged former and current U.S. officials, the author reveals how President Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and Deputy National-Security Adviser Elliott Abrams backed an armed force under Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan, touching off a bloody civil war in Gaza and leaving Hamas stronger than ever

and so it goes,

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