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.
“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.
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
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§ionid=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:
For more pictures, visit http://www.hrw.org/en/features/israelgaza-photographs-white-phosphorus-use
The children, 300 from the Afaluna Society for Deaf Children and 700 associated with the Culture and Free Thought Association in Gaza will be screened with particular attention to the long-term effects of the use of white phosphorus weapons by Israel during its war against the Gaza Strip.
Children requiring follow-up treatment and medications will be seen by both Japanese and Jordanian doctors, who are supporting the initiative.
For full article, visit http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=37056
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Richard Falk
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:
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.
Darraz stated that there are 5200 orphans in the Gaza Strip, and added that the organization received so far 500 forms asking for sponsorships for orphaned children, but the organization only managed to approve 200.
Israel is facing accusations if committing war crimes against the Palestinian people in Gaza as it shelled civilian areas and used White Phosphorous shells.
Numerous eyewitness accounts revealed that Israeli soldiers used civilians as human shields during the war which is a direct violation to the Fourth Geneva Convention.
For full article, visit http://www.imemc.org/article/59779
American NLG Lawyers Release New Findings that Israel Violated International Law, US Domestic Law in Gaza
The Delegation also uncovered evidence of Israeli soldiers using Palestinians as human shields, acts that constitute war crimes, as well as evidence that the Israeli military targeted civilian infrastructure and grossly misused weapons. Further, Israel denied the wounded access to medical care and routinely fired on emergency medical teams attempting to reach those in need of help. Paramedics and doctors reported to the Delegation that many civilians could have been saved if the Israeli army allowed Palestinian medical services access to the wounded. “On one occasion, when Israeli forces did allow Palestinian medical services to enter an area after four days, soldiers prohibited their ambulances from approaching and paramedics were forced to pile the injured on donkey carts,” reported Reem Salahi, a California-based civil rights attorney. “Medical workers were then forced to pull the carts to their ambulances two kilometers away.”
For full press release, visit http://www.nlg.org/news/index.php?entry=entry090402-082738
To download full report of the National Lawyers Guild Delegation to Gaza, click the link below:
Onslaught: Israel’s Attack on Gaza and the Rule of Law