Israel-Palestine News Compiler

S. Africa: War crime suspects must think twice

Posted in 1 by beyondtheborder on August 24, 2009
War crime suspect Lt. Col. David Benjamin is thought to be behind Israel's use of white phosphorous against Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

War crime suspect Lt. Col. David Benjamin is thought to be behind Israel's use of white phosphorous against Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

The international condemnation over Israel’s winter invasion of Gaza and allegations of war crimes has made it increasingly uncomfortable, if not difficult, for members of the Israeli military to travel abroad. A recent incident in South Africa reveals the power and limitations of attempts to enforce international law and to hold war criminals accountable.

At the beginning of August, accused international war criminal Lieutenant Colonel David Benjamin visited South Africa. Benjamin, a native South African who obtained his law degree from the University of Cape Town in 1989, was scheduled to address Limmud, a Jewish cultural and educational organization. Limmud takes the form of an annual conference, and is widely viewed as a highlight on the local Jewish calendar as it usually offers a star-studded lineup of South Africa’s most prominent Jewish academics, business leaders and political heavyweights.

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Amnesty International Report: Operation Cast Lead – 22 Days of Death and Destruction

Posted in 1 by beyondtheborder on August 19, 2009

“Soldiers came to the area at night [on 3  January 2009] and at dawn on 4 January many relatives came to my house to stay with us.  We though that if we stayed in our house we would be all right. After a while soldiers came to  the house and my father spoke to them in Hebrew; he told them: ‘These are my children, my  family, there are no terrorists here.’ The soldiers told us to leave our house and go to Wa’el’s  house across the road and we obeyed. We were many relatives, about 100 altogether, many of them children. We stayed there all day and all night. We had hardly any food in the house  and the children were hungry. Nobody could come to the area, not even ambulances. We were scared. The following morning (5 January) three of my cousins and I tried to go out of  the house, to the walled garden to get some tomatoes and some wood to cook something. As  soon as we got out of the door we were shelled. My cousins Muhammad and Hamdi were  killed and Wa’el and I were injured and we retreated back into the house. Then the house was shelled again – at least two shells – from above. Some 25 people were killed and most of
the others were injured. My little girl, Azza, was killed and my wife was injured. My mother Rahma was holding baby Mahmoud (six months old) and she was killed but she shielded the  baby with her body and saved him. My father was killed. Wa’el’s children, a boy and a girl, were both killed. Safa, the wife of my brother Iyad, was killed and Maha, the wife of my brother Hilmi, and their baby son Muhammad were all killed. Why did they shell the house after having put us all in there? We thought we’d all be killed; those of us who could ran out  of the house. Many of us were injured; I was injured in the head and blood was pouring down  my face as I ran. Nearby there were soldiers in the house of the Sawafiri family and they shouted to us to go back and shot at us, but we kept running. When we got to safety we raised the alarm, called the Red Cross to send an ambulance to the house to get the injured, but the army did not let any ambulances approach the area. We knew there were people still alive in the house because we called the mobile numbers and children answered; they were scared, with dead bodies all around them. Some of the injured died in the house waiting to be rescued. Only three days later could the Red Cross go in, but only on foot as the army did not let the ambulances approach; they found some children still alive and many others dead.”

For full report, click here.

Fact finding committee leaves Gaza, disappointed over Israel’s lack of cooperation

Posted in 1 by beyondtheborder on June 7, 2009

Israel refused to cooperate with the investigation and claimed that its own investigation “proved that the Israeli army acted in accordance to international principles, and did not violate the International Law”.

Goldstone, a Jewish South African Judge, was appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council to investigate Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip.

For full article visit http://www.imemc.org/article/60704

Amnesty: Israel violated laws of war in Gaza

Posted in 1 by beyondtheborder on May 28, 2009

“Israeli forces repeatedly breached the laws of war, including by carrying out direct attacks on civilians and civilian buildings and attacks targeting Palestinian militants that caused a disproportionate toll among civilians,” the group said in its annual report on the state of human rights worldwide.

For more, visit http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=38146

Wounded adults and children of the Samouni and Daya families in the Zeitoun neighbourhood of Gaza City were left among their dead relatives’ bodies in collapsed houses for four days as the ICRC and Palestine Red Crescent Society were denied access to the area by the Israeli army from 3 to 7 January 2009. Of 110 people sheltering in the houses, 30 had been killed. The ICRC said that the Israeli soldiers stationed nearby must have known of the people in the houses but that the wounded died as they waited for medical care due to the slow negotiations for access.

For full report, click here.

International Law Seldom Newsworthy in Gaza War

Posted in 1 by beyondtheborder on April 30, 2009

As of January 13, only two network evening news stories (NBC Nightly News, 1/8/09, 1/11/09) had even mentioned international law—a mere 3 percent of the total stories that NBC, ABC and CBS’s newscasts had broadcast on the Israeli military offensive since it began.

For full article, visit http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=3767

A Tribute to Mads Gilbert

Posted in Arab-Israeli Wars, News Excerpts, Operation Cast Lead, Videos by beyondtheborder on April 16, 2009

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There are certain people I truly admire. Their moral principles, courage and contribution to society is purely breathtaking. As I read about their work in awe, I can’t help but feel motivated to fight for humanity, fight for justice, fight for peace, just like they do. One of those people is Mads Gilbert, the Norwegian physician who arrived along with Erik Fosse to support the humanitarian effort at al-Shifa Hospital during operation cast lead, or more accurately, the Gaza massacre. This post will be a compilation of all his interviews and videos during the recent attack on Gaza.

January 5 2009
BBC Interview with the Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert, at the al-Shifa hospital in Gaza, during operation cast lead:

January 5 2009
Mads Gilbert talking to Sky News:

January 5 2009
Mads Gilbert says Israel using DIME (Dense Inert Metal Explosive):

Interview Transcript: http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=80685&sectionid=3510302

January 12 2009
Mads Gilbert in Egypt, after leaving Gaza:


Democracy Now, Interview with Marc Garlasco (Human Rights Watch) and Dr. Mads Gilbert:

Amy Goodman: Can you explain more fully these kinds of amputations, Dr. Gilbert?

Dr. Mads Gilbert: You know, often, if you have a grenade amputation or an amputation from any kind of metal fragment, it will be more like you had a hatch or an ax or a huge knife that cut through your bone and the muscle. What we see in these suspected DIME amputations is that the whole limb is crushed in a way that must suggest some sort of immense power that has hit the lower part of the body. And we know that these small bombs, which the DIME bombs are, explodes in a way so that it will mainly affect the lower limbs. The limbs are—you will have multiple very severe fractures. The muscles are sort of split from the bones, hanging loose. And you also have quite severe burns where this energy wave has hit.

If you look at pictures from sites where these patients have come, you don’t see fragments in the walls in the house around, maybe fifteen, twenty meters apart from the explosions. And you see only some stripes of power in the sand on the ground, and these actually are the examples that the power dissipates very quickly, maybe within five or ten meters of the explosion, so that you will not have this kind of collateral damage, as it’s called. But in Gaza, again, so densely populated, that these DIME weapons will have a devastating effect. Also, they are, by some, classified as nuclear weapons.

For full interview transcript, visit http://www.democracynow.org/2009/1/14/white_phosphorous_and_dense_inert_metal

Riz speaks with Mahmoud Daher (WHO) in Gaza and Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert:


War-shocked Gaza children ‘want to die’

Posted in Operation Cast Lead by beyondtheborder on April 12, 2009
Palestinian boys wounded by an Israeli tank shell wait for treatment at Shifa hospital in Gaza in January

Palestinian boys wounded by an Israeli tank shell wait for treatment at Shifa hospital in Gaza in January

“At the bravest times they’ve thought, ‘I want to die. My father was dead in the Israeli attack – I want to be with them. So I want to die. There’s nothing good about this life. At least when I die, I will be with my parents, and it will be heaven and paradise’.”

For full article, visit http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/04/13/2541280.htm?section=world

437 children killed, 1872 injured in Israel’s offensive

Posted in Arab-Israeli Wars, News Excerpts, Operation Cast Lead, The Gaza Strip by beyondtheborder on April 11, 2009

In interviews with human rights groups, several children said that they spend days next to their dead parents as the Israeli shelling was ongoing and medics could not enter the shelled areas to search for survivals.

Anne Finman of the UNICEF stated that she visited a UNICEF Psychological Support Center and the Red Crescent Society in Gaza last March, and witnessed children drawing missiles that targeted their homes; one child drew a dark area under her drawing and said that this is “a place for burying the dead”

For full news article, visit http://www.imemc.org/article/59886

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Richard Falk

Posted in Official Publications, Operation Cast Lead, Publications by beyondtheborder on April 8, 2009

The graph below, based on Israeli sources, shows the number of Palestinian rockets and mortar shells fired each month in 2008, with the period of the ceasefire stretching basically from its initiation on 19 June to its effective termination on 4 November when Israel struck a lethal blow in Gaza that reportedly killed at least six Hamas operatives. It dramatically demonstrates the extent to which the ceasefire was by far the most secure period with respect to the threats posed by the rockets:

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The authors of a study based on the data displayed in the graph above5 concluded that “the ceasefire was remarkably effective; after it began in June 2008, the rate of rocket and mortar fire from Gaza dropped to almost zero, and stayed there for almost four months.” The experience of the temporary ceasefire demonstrates both the willingness and the capacity of those exerting control in Gaza to eliminate rocket and mortar attacks.

To download Richard Falk’s full report, click here.

Cut to pieces: the Palestinian family drinking tea in their courtyard

Posted in Arab-Israeli Wars, News Excerpts, Operation Cast Lead, Videos by beyondtheborder on April 8, 2009

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Sitting around drinking tea with the family in their small courtyard, Mounir heard the loud buzzing of an Israeli drone, clearly visible in the sky above.

He went inside for a moment and, as he returned, he saw a ball of light hurtling down toward him. There was a loud explosion and he was thrown backward. He gathered himself and stumbled out into the courtyard, where he saw the scene he says will never leave him.

“We found Mohammed lying there, cut in half. Ahmed was in three pieces; Wahid was totally burnt – his eyes were gone. Wahid’s father was dead. Nour had been decapitated. We couldn’t see her head anywhere.”

For full article, visit http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/23/gaza-war-crimes-drones