Israel’s Attack on Gaza: A War Crime Ab Initio, Continues

All is fair in love and war, it is often stated.
But that’s not exactly true since there are laws regulating what an entity/individual can do nationally or internationally. Putting aside the issues of love, while it might seem like an oxymoron, there are actually laws for warfare. When these laws are violated, the violators can be charged by war crimes, arrested and brought before the International War Crimes in The Hague.

Slobodan Meets Tzipi
This International Criminal Court is real. Slobodan Milošević, the late President of Serbia, was arrested and tried before it for the war crimes committed against Bosnians and Croatians. Just likeMilošević, Israeli officials and officers, when they travel internationally, face the threat of being arrested and tried for war crimes. Recently, a Belgian court was petitioned to arrest Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni upon arrival in Brussels, Belgium for the war crimes in Gaza. Olmert and Barak are not immune either. The only safe place for the Israeli war crimes’ suspects is Israel because once they travel internationally they are exposed to possibility of arrest and being brought to The Hague.

Real Concern in Israel
Israel is concerned about the possibility of its political figures and soldiers facing arrest for war crimes when they travel abroad. Israel tries to deflect accusations of criminal behavior by alleging anti- Semitic motives for the accusers but this defense is a political defense that has worked with diplomacy and is not effective as to international law. The fact is that even Israeli human rights activists have charged the Israeli army with war crimes. Israeli human rights activists have set up an Internet site detailing war crimes committed by Israeli official and army officers.

“Arrest Order” for Barak, Drafted by Israeli Jews

Examples of these websites are, according to the Israeli paper Haaretz include “ www.wanted.org.il, includes "arrest orders," complete with pictures and personal details, for Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Livni, Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai, Public Security Minister Avi Dichter, National Infrastructure Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi and his two predecessors, Dan Halutz and Moshe Ya'alon, former air force commander Eliezer Shkedy and others.” Haaretz states: The "arrest order" for Barak, for instance, states: "On December 27, 2008, the suspect ordered an aerial assault on all of Gaza's population centers. The assault included hundreds of sorties by fighter jets that dropped hundreds of tons of bombs on residential areas of Gaza, which led to the deaths of 1,200 people - men, women and children. Some 5,300 people were wounded and hundreds of thousands became refugees. On December 10, 2008, a formal complaint was filed against Ehud Barak to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Holland ... on suspicion of war crimes and crimes against humanity because of the siege of Gaza."

Israel Prepares for International Criminal Lawsuits
There is no doubt that war crimes were committed by Israel in Gaza. No one knows this better than the government of Israel itself. In an action that brings to mind the Bible insight that the guilty run when nobody pursues, the government of Israel ratified a bill granting support to Israeli officers facing potential war crime lawsuits for the many war crimes in Gaza. Israel also has banned the disclosure of the names of the officers that participated in the Gaza slaughter to protect them from possible international arrest and prosecution.Prime Minister Ehud Olmert trying to calm the real fears of the Israeli officers who participated in the Gaza atrocities stated that “the commanders and soldiers who were sent to Gaza need to know that they are safe from various tribunals.” This is another Israeli lie. Israel cannot promise safety from tribunals, it can only promise to help defend its officers in case they are captured and prosecuted.

Israeli War Crimes
Of course, there were many war crimes committed during Israel’s attack on Gaza. This can be discerned from the instances of blocking of and or rationing food and medicine importation into Gaza, using excessive force, disregarding the law of proportionality (the military benefit has to outweigh the harm to civilians for an act of war to be proportionate and thus permitted in international law), using white phosphorous munitions in civilian areas, bombing the UNRWA compound (the USA is one of the biggest donors to UNRWA- that was American money that Israel burned in Gaza’s UNRWA storage), firing at medical personnel, bombing medical facilities such as clinics and storage facilities, bombing the only university in Gaza, the Islamic university, and bombing mosques and civilian residences.

Crime Begets Crime
The reality of it is that the whole Cast Lead operation is a war crime in and of itself and the subsequent war crimes that followed are logical consequences of this crime. The blockade that preceded the war as well as the operation are war crimes. In both instances, the blockade and the operation Cast Lead were targeting civilians. “Making Palestinians pay a price,” “convincing the Palestinians that they are a defeated people,” “reducing the motivation of the Palestinians to fight/fire [the primitive and inaccurate rockets],” is a war crime. A war crime could only produce other war crimes.

From the Start, a War Crime, Continues
The war crime against Gaza has not stopped with the end of the shooting war. Relief organizations are still complaining about the arbitrariness of the Israeli army in allowing humanitarian aid into Gaza. Israeli officials claim that choking Gaza is a tactic to keep the pressure on Hamas. But this is collective punishment of the Palestinians that denies civilians food and medicine. The war crimes have not stopped with the ceasefire. The war crimes continue in an albeit different form.

“Moral Army” Uses White Phosphorous on Noncombatants
Israel always wonders why it gets the critical attention of the international community. Israel itself is a creation of the international community. Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that the Israeli army is "the most moral army in the world.” Amnesty and Human Rights Watch have already documented the war crimes violations by the “moral army” of Israel, such as the use of white phosphorous munitions in civilian areas.

For more information on this subject see
http://www.btselem.org/English/index.asp
http://www.pchrgaza.org/
http://www.pchrgaza.org/
http://www.amnesty.org/en/gaza-crisis
http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/01/12/israel-end-gaza-s-humanitarian-crisis-once

Comments

Anonymous said…
Israel doesn’t need lawyers, they never do, if anyone says anything about the Israeli wrongdoings they will be called anti-Semitic or a terrorist sympathizer, and if that doesn’t work the US will give them a pass. I’m still waiting for the results of the banned munitions the Israelis used on the civilian population in Lebanon that is considered a war crime. I Believe it was the Nazis that said they where only following orders, that didn’t seem to work for them either.

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