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by CTuttle

Gaza Update: Bibi’s Worried, The Carnage Continues, and Global Protests

6:05 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

As I noted in my last postIsrael fears UN investigation on its crimes in Gaza

…Israel Today quoted official Israeli politicians as saying that the UN commission of inquiry will be much more damning than the ‘Goldstone Commission’ report issued by a similar committee in the aftermath of the aggression on Gaza at the end of 2008, especially since the “Goldstone Commission” was a “fact-finding committee”, whilst the current committee is a ‘commission of inquiry.’

The newspaper considered the differences to be ‘extremely worrisome’ because the probe could refer its conclusions to the International Criminal Court and bring to trial the leadership in Israel on charges of committing war crimes, should the case reach such a conclusion.

The newspaper said that the Israeli government has formed a team to deal with the commission of inquiry, and the team will focus on facing legal and political campaigns as well as the international media immediately after the aggression on Gaza ends.

It seems that Israel will repeat its claims and arguments that the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip worked from within populated areas and used civilians as human shields, and that this lead to a large number of civilian deaths.

Haaretz reported today that the IDF puts together team to deflect war-crime allegations…

Legal work is being done ahead of possible international investigations like those that followed the 2009 Gaza offensive and the Mavi Marmara incident.

The Israel Defense Forces has established a team to collect evidence on the fighting with Hamas in Gaza in case the army is accused of war crimes. The IDF reiterated yesterday that Hamas had committed crimes, not Israel.

The team, headed by the chief of the IDF’s Planning Directorate, Maj. Gen. Nimrod Sheffer, includes officials from the Military Advocate General’s Office, Southern Command, the Gaza Division and the air force.

The team will collect evidence about Palestinian civilians used as human shields, particularly video documentation by the air force. The officials note a number of events in which Palestinian civilians have been harmed and it is not clear who was responsible. This includes firing on the Shati refugee camp and Shifa Hospital, a military source said.

The IDF also intends to discuss the air force’s target planning, which includes calculations of possible damage to surrounding buildings and sites during an air strike.

The daily Israel Hayom, which first reported on the establishment of the team Friday, said officials from government ministries would also be on board, including the Foreign Ministry and the Defense Ministry.

Legal work is being done ahead of possible international investigations like the ones that followed Israel’s January 2009 ground offensive in Gaza and the 2010 commando raid on the Gaza-bound ship the Mavi Marmara. The new team will also present findings on the conduct of Hamas during the fighting in Gaza over the past three and a half weeks.

Sheffer’s work will run simultaneously with probes coordinated by Maj. Gen. Noam Tibon, who is heading a General Staff panel tasked with clarifying cases in which the IDF harmed noncombatants.

Reflecting back on the ‘Cast Lead’ debacle, Wikileaks, had released this Tel Aviv cable…

Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

The ‘Incremental’ Genocide in Gaza

5:45 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

When a prominent Israeli pens an OpEd entitled: When Genocide is Permissable(text), let’s take a gander at the actual Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide

Article 1
The Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish.

Article 2
In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Article 3
The following acts shall be punishable:

(a) Genocide;
(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;
(c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
(d) Attempt to commit genocide;
(e) Complicity in genocide.

Article 4
Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article 3 shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.

Starting with Art. 2(a) Killing members of the groupGaza death toll surpasses that of Cast Lead as count hits 1,437

Pretty self-explanatory…!

Now, lets look at Art 2 (c & d) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part and, (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.

From Haaretz… Siege of Gaza

by CTuttle

UN Bid Changes Nothing For The Palestinians

2:45 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

As Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah clearly points out in that Al Jazeera interview, it was truly a hollow victory for the Palestinians, just another cheap gesture by Abu Mazen…!

Indeed, when the Palestinians awoke this morning they were greeted with this bit of ‘cheer’…

Defiant Israel to boost settlements after U.N.’s Palestine vote

Israel plans to build thousands of new homes for its settlers in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, an Israeli official said on Friday, defying a U.N. vote that implicitly recognised Palestinian statehood there.

The United States, one of Israel’s few allies in Thursday’s battle at the world forum, called “counterproductive” the construction blueprint, which included a stretch of land east of Jerusalem that Palestinians fear would bisect much of the West Bank and choke off their access to the holy city.

The Israeli official said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s conservative government had authorised the construction of 3,000 housing units and ordered “preliminary zoning and planning work for thousands of units in Jerusalem and settlement blocs including Maale Adumim and E1″.

Israel froze much of its activities in E1 under pressure from former U.S. President George W. Bush and the area has been under the scrutiny of his successor, Barack Obama.

The official, who did not want to be named, would not elaborate on the plans. But Israeli media said the government saw the settlement expansion as hammering home its rejection of Thursday’s upgrade by the U.N. General Assembly of the Palestinians to “non-member observer state” from “entity”…

As Columbia Professor Joseph Massad wrote…

Bitter Irony: UN Vote to Recognize Palestine Legitimizes a Racist Status Quo

…Yesterday, the general assembly voted to admit Palestine as a state with observer status. Despite assurances to the contrary, the new state is likely to undermine the status of the PLO at the UN. Whereas the PLO represented all Palestinians, the PA only represents West Bankers. This recognition has diminished the Palestinian state geographically from 43% of historic Palestine granted by the partition plan to less than 18% of it (possibly 10%, if we factor annexations, settlements, military areas, etc), and has reduced Palestinians from 12 million people to 2.4 million West Bankers, 40% of whom are refugees.

The vote is essentially an update of the partition plan of 1947, whereby the UN now grants Jewish colonists and their descendants 80-90% of Palestine, leaving the rest to the native inhabitants, and it risks abrogating the refugees’ right of return.

A small minority native to the West Bank (about 1.3 million people), for whom the PA claims to speak, will gain UN status as a state under occupation, while the Palestinian refugees in the West Bank (1 million people), along with six million other refugees, risk losing their right of return.

By recognising a diminished Palestinian state, the vote effectively abandons the UN understanding of the “Jewish state” as one that has no right to discriminate against or ethnically cleanse non-Jews. The new arrangement confers the blessing of this international forum on the Israeli understanding of what a “Jewish state” entails– namely, the actually existing legal discrimination and ethnic cleansing practised by Israel –as acceptable. That this occurred on 29 November, the date of the partition plan, reiterates this date as one of continuing defeats for the Palestinians who continue to suffer from Israel’s colonial laws, and repeats UN guilt in denying Palestinians their rights not to suffer dispossession and racism. The Palestinians, however, whose majority is not represented by the PA, will no more heed this new partition plan than they did the last one and will continue to resist Israeli colonialism until it comes to an end and until Israel becomes a state for all its citizens with equal rights to all regardless of national, religious, or ethnic background…

Let’s remember that our own Foggy Bottom knows that Israel’s “Principal Human Rights Problems Were(Are) Institutional, Legal, And Societal Discrimination”…!

And, to pour more salt into the wound… Hatch seeks cutoff of U.N. funding over Palestine stance.

*gah*

P.S. Pls. see mfi’s excellent compilation of UN lawfare… The International Criminal Court, The Palestinians, The Israelis, The American Veto – Some Resources For The Perplexed