Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Recruiting to Kill – It Is Not Just an Israeli War on Gaza

Jul 29 2014 / 12:55 pm

US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) meets with Israel's President Shimon Peres in Tel Aviv on July 23, 2014 (AA via MEE)
US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) meets with Israel's President Shimon Peres in Tel Aviv on July 23, 2014 (AA via MEE)
By Ramzy Baroud
To some, US secretary of state John Kerry may have appeared to be a genuine peacemaker as he floated around ideas during a Cairo visit on 25 July about a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian fighters in Gaza. But behind his measured diplomatic language, lies a truth not even America’s top diplomat can easily hide. His country is very much involved in fighting this dirty war on Gaza which has killed over 1,050, injured thousands more, and destroyed much of an already poor, dilapidated space that was barely inhabitable to begin with.
US War on Gaza
US economic and military aid to Israel is measured annually in the billions, and the US government continues to be Israel’s strongest and most ardent ally and political benefactor. In fact, the US-Israel “special relationship” is getting more “special” by the day even though Israel is sinking further into the abyss of a well-deserved isolation.
True, there are some, even in the justice for Palestinians camp, who speak of how exceptional and fair the Barack Obama Administration has been in comparison to its predecessors. However, they neglect the fact that aside from a few particularly strong-worded statements, Obama  has been a dedicated stalwart of Israel and copper bottoming its vision of its security by going as far as defending Israel’s ‘Operation Protective Edge’ war – the slaughter of thousands of innocent civilians in Gaza.
On 5 March, 2014, a Congressional bill – The United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act (H.R. 938, S. 462) – declared that Israel is a “major strategic partner of the UnitedStates.” The sweeping bill covered many programs from energy, to “research pilot programs” between Israel and the US Department of Homeland Security. What is most important to note is that Congress now requires additional reports that would update the government on the US’ commitment to Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge (QME).
This is merely one of many bills and government initiatives that continue to give Israel a special undeserved status. But this military edge is used mostly to maintain Israel’s illegal military occupation. Most of Israel’s victims in its latest war on Gaza are civilians who are killed by US weapons. There is no escaping the fact that the US is a partner in the Israeli crimes in Gaza and the rest of Palestine. Without a complete reversal of US attitude towards Israel, the US will continue to lack any credibility as a peacemaker or a mere ceasefire mediator.
But America’s support for Israel is crossing new red lines. There are reportedly over 1,000 US citizens fighting in the Israeli army according to reports that are now resurfacing due to the recent killing of two US-Israeli soldiers – Max Steinberg, 24, of California, and Nissim Sean Carmeli, 21, of Texas. Like the rest of the IDF soldiers killed in recent fighting, they were killed while invading parts of the besieged Gaza Strip. But the number must be an understatement since some of Israel’s most ardent Jewish settlers are also American, and happen to be armed and dangerous. Although this is causing a bit of a media buzz, there is no political crisis. Instead, only condolences are offered to the families of the Americans fighting the genocidal war on Gaza.
EU Duplicity
The US is not alone in this. European governments display an incredible amount of hypocrisy as they continue to utilise doublespeak in their approach to Middle East conflicts in general, and the situation in Palestine in particular. The pressure mounting from European civil society makes it a bit more challenging for EU governments to endow Israel with the same unconditional love and support as that bestowed upon it by the US. EU hypocrisy is too palpable even for clever politicians to hide. The British government is shamelessly on the Israeli side, even while entire families in Gaza are being pulverized by western weapons and military technology. Meanwhile, the French government imposed a ban to prevent French society from showing its solidarity with the besieged and massacred Palestinians in Gaza.
But why ban mere demonstrations of solidarity while France, the US and other Western governments are allowing their Jewish citizens to be enlisted in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) which is actively killing Palestinian civilians? Shouldn’t that be a much greater concern to the duplicitous French government than some protesters chanting some slogans during a solidarity rally that may or may not be deemed anti-Semitic?
Indeed, not only are western governments providing Israel with arms, funds and political cover to sustain its occupation and war, but they are also contributing thousands of military experts and boots on the ground in order to fight a war in Gaza where war crimes and crimes against humanity are being committed on an hourly basis.
Consider this: While British citizens fighting against the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad are being detained and persecuted, British citizens who are fighting for Israel are not. The British government is turning a blind eye to what should be considered a criminal act.
Belgium Double-standards
Western hypocrisy on this is as profound as the phenomenon of westerners killing Palestinians, which some are now calling ‘Israeli Jihadists’.
Belgium also stands accused of allowing such criminality. Although Belgian civil society is one of Palestine’s strongest supporters, their government is cloaked with unmistakable dishonesty. Many Belgian citizens are also taking part in Israel’s lethal wars in Gaza and military occupation of the occupied territory, with little or no protest from their government. The recruitment of Belgians is mostly done through the same organisations that recruited thousands of foreign fighters for the IDF. Think of them as terrorist headhunting organisations that operate in a perfectly legal environment.
Recently, Mayor of Antwerp, Bart De Wever, called on the Belgian government to cancel dual citizenship of ‘Syria jihadis’. His call was made during a recent visit to a synagogue in Brussels after four people were shot by an alleged French-born citizen suspected of having spent time fighting in Syria. The country’s Minister of Justice Annemie Turtelboom took the initiative further by calling on EU countries to block jihadists from going to Syria, suggesting the creation of a list of all known “Syria jihadists.”
But what about the number of Belgians who are fighting, killing and committing war crimes on behalf of Israel? Why is the Belgian government keeping silent about those in the Israeli army, with no statement yet issued, even after the killing of Belgian citizen Eytan Barak?
The French and Others
Not only is the Belgian government miserably failing to prevent Belgians from fighting in Gaza, but the mainstream media is also failing to report such events. Only alternative media seems interested in what should be a major story in Brussels.
The same questions apply to other western governments. The hyper-sensitive French government turned a blind eye when a French citizen was killed during the Gaza onslaught. While the Israeli daily Haaretz reported on the killing of staff Sgt. Jordan Bensemhoun, most of the French media and government have looked the other way. The very government that continues to make life difficult for African immigrants in France, sees no problem of its own immigrants taking part in foreign wars that are in violation of its own citizenship laws.
In fact, the French are now considering a six months ban on those travelling to Syria and Iraq, so as not to take any chances that some of them may be recruited in the ongoing strife there. As for travelling to Israel to join the IDF? Well, for Paris, that’s a whole different matter.
The list of participating countries is growing as is the number of those suspected war criminals fighting and killing in the name of Israel. This is not met with enough civil society initiatives to bring criminals to justice for the sake of exposing the organizations that recruit them, the “support groups” that sustain them, and government silence and hypocrisy that tolerate the entire criminal enterprise.
Israeli-western War
Western involvement in the war on the Palestinian people is indeed going beyond the usual and known support of funds, military technology and economic aid, to actual participation in the slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza. This is not a matter that can be addressed within the larger argument of Western double standards in Israel and Palestine, but an urgent issue that demands immediate attention.
By preventing those who leave their countries to kill Palestinians in Gaza, less civilians are likely to be murdered.
Legal cases should be brought before courts throughout western capitals to try known names of US-EU soldiers, and new lists should be composed of others who use dual citizenship status to further the suffering of the Palestinians so that legal action may immediately take place.
It is one thing to fail to stop war crimes from being committed, it is a whole other level of failure to defend, finance and take active part in carrying out these war crimes. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not the only leader culpable of Gaza’s bloodbath; others in western capitals should also be held to account.
(Thanks to Laila Benallal for her help with the research for this article.)

A GREAT CARTOON BY CARLOS LATUFF: Please, RT! @BarackObama on #Ukraine and #Gaza – via @jornalSul21 #GazaUnderAttack @UN

Obama Ukraine Gaza

أبعاد الاتصالات الجارية لوقف الحرب على غزة

محمد ضيف: ما عجزت عنه الطائرات والمدفعية لن تحققه القوات البرية

محمد ضيف: ما عجزت عنه الطائرات والمدفعية لن تحققه القوات البرية
عــ48ـرب
تاريخ النشر: 29/07/2014 - آخر تحديث: 22:14

INCLUDES VIDEO OF QASSAM BRIGADES FIGHTERS ATTACKING AN ISRAELI TOWER AT NAHAL OZ AND KILLING ALL 10 IOF SOLDIERS AND RETURNING SAFELY'

في خطاب له بث في العاشرة من مساء اليوم، الثلاثاء، أكد القائد العام لكتائب عز الدين القسام، محمد ضيف، على أن إسرائيل لن تنعم بالأمن ما لم ينعم به الشعب الفلسطيني.
كما أكد على أن مقاتلي القسام يستهدفون جنود الاحتلال، بينما يستهدف الاحتلال المدنيين الفلسطينيين في وخاصة في أعقاب كل عملية تنفذها المقاومة الفلسطينية. كما أكد على استعداد المقاومة الفلسطينية وجاهزيتها للقتال، معتبرا أن "موازين القوى باتت مختلفة، وأن العدو يرسل جنوده إلى محرقة محققة".
وقال ضيف إن جنود الاحتلال كأنهم يساقون إلى الموت في ما أسماه "ورطة الحرب البرية"، مشيرا إلى أن هذه المعركة باتت مختلفة، لأنهم "يواجهون مقاتلين يعشقون الموت كما تعشقون الحياة". على حد قوله.
وأضاف أن ما عجزت عنه الطائرات والمدفعية والزوارق الحربية لن تحققه القوات البرية، لافتا إلى أن استمرار عمليات الإنزال خلف خطوط الجيش الإسرائيلي.
وتابع أن المقاومة الفلسطينية آثرت قتل العسكريين على مهاجمة المدنيين، في الوقت الذي "يرتكب فيه العدو المجرم الجرائم ضد المدنيين، ويهدم منازلهم" عندما يعجز عن مواجهة عناصر المقاومة.
وأكد ضيف على أنه "في هذه الجولة لن ينعم الكيان الغاصب بالأمن، ما لم ينعم به شعبنا"، مشيرا إلى أنه لن يكون هناك وقف لاطلاق النار بدون فك الحصار عن قطاع غزة، ويعيش الشعب الفلسطيني بحرية وكرامة، وأنه لن تقبل الحلول الوسط على حساب حرية وكرامة الشعب الفلسطيني.
وأكد في ختام كلمته على أن المقاومة الفلسطينية تؤكد جاهزيتها واستعدادها لهذه اللحظة، مشيرا إلى أنها بذلت كل جهد ممكن، وأنها واثقة من النصر.
وفي نهاية كلمة القائد العام لكتائب القسام عرض شريط مصور يظهر عملية التسلل عن طريق الأنفاق إلى موقع عسكري في "ناحال عوز"، كما يظهر الشريط عودة المقاومين الفلسطينيين سالمين بعد قتل 5 جنود إسرائيليين، ومحاولة أسر أحدهم، والاستيلاء على قطعة عسكرية تعود للجيش الإسرائيلي.
يذكر في هذا السياق أن الجيش الإسرائيلي كان قد زعم، مساء أمس، أنه أحبط العملية، وأنه تمكن من قتل 5 من منفذي العملية.
تجدر الإشارة إلى أنه لم تعرض صورة القائد العام لكتائب القسام على الشاشة، كما تجدر الإشارة إلى أنه سبق وأن تعرض لخمس محاولات اغتيال باءت بالفشل.
محمد ضيف: ما عجزت عنه الطائرات والمدفعية لن تحققه القوات البرية

محمد ضيف: ما عجزت عنه الطائرات والمدفعية لن تحققه القوات البرية

محمد ضيف: ما عجزت عنه الطائرات والمدفعية لن تحققه القوات البرية

محمد ضيف: ما عجزت عنه الطائرات والمدفعية لن تحققه القوات البرية

محمد ضيف: ما عجزت عنه الطائرات والمدفعية لن تحققه القوات البرية

محمد ضيف: ما عجزت عنه الطائرات والمدفعية لن تحققه القوات البرية

محمد ضيف: ما عجزت عنه الطائرات والمدفعية لن تحققه القوات البرية

محمد ضيف: ما عجزت عنه الطائرات والمدفعية لن تحققه القوات البرية

محمد ضيف: ما عجزت عنه الطائرات والمدفعية لن تحققه القوات البرية

محمد ضيف: ما عجزت عنه الطائرات والمدفعية لن تحققه القوات البرية

محمد ضيف: ما عجزت عنه الطائرات والمدفعية لن تحققه القوات البرية

Israel is finding it harder to deny targeting Gaza infrastructure

With blackouts, food shortages and sewage in the streets, observers say the IDF either targets civilians or has terrible aim


Smoke rises after an Israeli air strike in Gaza City.
Smoke rises after an Israeli air strike in Gaza City. Photograph: Sameh Rahmi/NurPhoto/Corbis
Israel's attack on the Gaza power plant on Tuesday is likely to fuel speculation that the enclave's civilian infrastructure is being deliberately targeted in the continuing war against Hamas.
The Israeli army has said previously that it does not target critical non-military facilities, insisting that it is seeking to destroy terrorist targets such as tunnels, and rockets that are fired into Israel. It did not immediately comment on the power station shelling, reportedly by tanks. It was "simply not known" what had happened, one official told the Guardian.
The scale of Gaza's humanitarian crisis has already alarmed human rights organisations. Last week, Israeli NGOs warned that more than half of Gaza's 1.2 million people were now affected by a lack of adequate access to water and sanitation services, with raw sewage spilling on to the streets from damaged pipes. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are without power. Hundreds of thousands more face severe shortages.
Between five and eight of the 10 power lines that bring electricity from Israel have been disabled, some by Hamas rocket fire. Maintenance crews have been unable to access them to carry out repairs. Refrigeration and hospital services that are close to breaking point will also suffer. Civilian suffering looks set to boost international anger over the crisis. "No power, no water, no hope," tweeted the film star Mia Farrow. "Poor, poor Gaza and it's people."
If the power station attack was deliberate it may signal the application of the so-called "Dahiya doctrine" – the idea that Israel will use its overwhelming technology and firepower to destroy far more than strictly military targets. If it was accidental it will likely raise new questions about Israel's claims to be accurate in its targeting.
The concept is named after the southern suburbs of Beirut, (Dahiya in Arabic) where Hezbollah has its strongholds, hit by intensive Israel bombing in the 2006 war as the militant Lebanese Shia organisation fired rockets into Israel. The idea is to use disproportionate force to damage civilian property and infrastructure in the hope of undermining popular support for the armed group in control of the area. Haaretz's military correspondent Amos Harel was reminded of the Lebanese example as he surveyed the devastation in the Gaza suburb of Shujaiyeh, at the weekend.
In the past, influential Israeli politicians have called for power to Gaza to be shut off. Zeev Elkin, chairman of the Knesset foreign affairs and defence committee, asked Binyamin Netanyahu, about cutting off water and electricity from Israel into the strip. Netanyahu responded that government legal advisers would not permit that. The issue has also come before Israel's high court. Israel did however target the Gaza power plant in 2006 and in 2009 and hit a Lebanese plant in the 2006 war.
Gaza produces a lot of its own food and staples are allowed in despite the overall closure. But shortages are growing as residents try to stock up during lulls in the fighting and farms on the eastern edge of the strip have become inaccessible. Stocks have come under pressure with the end of Ramadan and this week's Eid holiday. Banks are closed. Cash is in short supply.
Three weeks of combat have also restricted the number of trucks entering Gaza from Israel. According to Gisha, an NGO that monitors access, an average of 81 truckloads have entered Gaza per day compared to 194 per day in June, - a 58% decrease. Israel has limited the types of permitted goods to food, medicine and fuel, along with humanitarian supplies.
The World Food Programme says that more than 115,000 people in Gaza are in urgent need of food assistance. It has reached over 100,000 with emergency rations since the crisis started but is running low on ready-to-eat food stocks.
Looking beyond the immediate crisis, talk has already begun about reconstruction. The UN has announced a $115m (£68m) plan to rebuild Gazan homes, schools and hospitals. The cost is certain to continue to rise as long as the fighting rages.

مروان البرغوثي من زنزانته: التفوا حول المقاومة

مروان البرغوثي من زنزانته: التفوا حول المقاومة
دعا القيادي الفتحاوي، الأسير مروان البرغوثي، الشعب الفلسطيني إلى"الالتفاف حول خيار المقاومة الشاملة وتفعيلها في كافة الأراضي الفلسطينية المحتلة". كما طالب بـ"إعادة النظر في وظائف السلطة الفلسطينية كافة، بما يخدم خيار الصمود والمقاومة، بعد الفشل الذريع للتجربة السابقة".
وشدد البرغوثي، في بيان صحافي، من زنزانته رقم 28 في معتقل "هداريم"، اليوم الثلاثاء، على أن "معركة الكرامة الفلسطينية الجديدة، والملحمة التي يصنعها فرسان المقاومة في قطاع غزة، تؤكد أن خيار المقاومة كان وسيظل الخيار الذي يلتف حوله شعبنا، وأنه الكفيل بمواجهة الاحتلال والاستيطان والطريق لنيل الحرية والعودة والاستقلال".
ودعا إلى "أوسع تحرك شعبي ووطني وسياسي لمساندة ونصرة غزة في مواجهة الاحتلال والعدوان". وأكد، في الوقت نفسه، "تعزيز وتدعيم وحماية حكومة الوفاق الوطني، التي يجب أن تنتقل الى قطاع غزة، كما القيادات الفلسطينية والرئيس محمود عباس".
كما شدد على "أهمية إعادة الحياة للنظام السياسي الفلسطيني وتحريره من حالة العجز والفشل وتفعيل المؤسسات المعطلة والمشلولة لتعزيز المشاركة الوطنية". وطالب القيادة الفلسطينية بالإسراع الفوري "في عقد الإطار القيادي لمنظمة التحرير الفلسطينية، في أي مكان يسمح للجميع  بالمشاركة فيه".
وذكّر البرغوثي بـ"شرعية المقاومة وضرورة مساندتها، وعدم تخفيض سقفها". وشدد على "أهمية الإصرار على انهاء الحصار المفروض على قطاع غزة، من خلال إعادة فتح وتشغيل المطار والميناء، وفتح المعابر البرية في كافة الاتجاهات وعلى مدار الساعة ودون قيود".
وفيما أعرب البرغوثي عن "اعتزازه الكبير بالمقاومين الأبطال، الذين قدموا قتالاً احترافياً عالياً ومتميزاً في مواجهة العدوان الصهيوني"، دعا "الدول العربية الشقيقة ودول العالم إلى تخصيص صندوق خاص لإعمار قطاع غزة".

"Nowhere to Go": Gaza Suffers One of Deadliest Days so Far as Israel Vows "Protracted" Assault

Democracy Now!

"Despite a U.N. Security Council call for a ceasefire, Israel has intensified its attack on Gaza and warned of a "protracted campaign." Palestinian officials say more than 110 people have been killed in the past 24 hours, with some saying Monday was the most intensive night of bombing so far. In this time period, Israel attacked more than 150 sites including Gaza’s only power station and a media center that houses the broadcasting headquarters of Hamas and a number of other Arab satellite news channels. Earlier on Monday, 10 people were killed, eight of which were children, and 40 others wounded by an explosion in a park near the beach in the Shati refugee camp in Gaza City. The child victims were said to be playing on a playground swing when they were hit. Israel denied carrying out the attack, but eyewitnesses said the explosion was caused by an Israeli air strike. Another Israeli bombing reportedly hit an outpatient building at at Shifa, Gaza’s main hospital. Meanwhile ten Israeli soldiers were killed on Monday. Fifty-three Israeli soldiers, two Israeli civilians and a Thai farmworker have died since the assault began. We go to Gaza City to speak with Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous. "[Israel has] shelled hospitals, U.N. schools, they’ve bombed people in their homes," Kouddous says. "There’s literally nowhere for these people to run to."...."

Palestinian Journalist Mohamed Omer: Lifting the Blockade Isn’t a Hamas Demand — It’s a Human Right

Democracy Now!

"The Palestinian death toll has topped 1,100 after one of the deadliest 24-periods since the Israeli assault on Gaza began 22 days ago. Most of the dead have been civilians. More than 180,000 Palestinians have been displaced over the past three weeks — that is roughly 10 percent of the population of Gaza. We are joined from Gaza City by award-winning Palestinian journalist Mohammed Omer. "I believe Israel wants to make people turn against the resistance," Omer says. "There is no way for people to turn against the resistance — in fact it is the other way around. People in the street say we do support resistance because that is the only way to end the occupation. ... I’m afraid we are going to have more radical generations in the Gaza Strip, and I fear for the future of Gaza and the future of the West Bank — and I fear the future of the region if the international community is not acting now to end the blockade and the operation in Gaza."...."

A GOOD COMMENT BY TUJAN FAISAL (Jordanian writer)

COMMENT:
I agree in general with her views. I strongly disagree with her about her characterization of the so-called "axis of resistance" and Hassan Nasrallah.

ما قامت به المقاومة الفلسطينية في غزة, وما أظهره أهل غزة من شجاعة وصمود يصل لمرتبة "الملحمة" التاريخية التي ستخلدها حتما أعمال أدبية 
وفنية, غير مكتفية بتدوين المؤرخين لوقائعها. 

ولكن مهمة السياسيين هي أن يصنعوا الأحداث في حينها. ونحن هنا نحاول ألا تصبغ ملحمة غزة بلون المأساة فقط، كما تاريخ فلسطين لحينه, دون النصر والتحرر المأمول لشعب فلسطين وأرضها.. آخر شعب وأرض يقعان تحت استعمار كولونيالي مباشر بدأ -وهنا الحرج التاريخي- مع أفول الاحتلال الكولونيالي من العالم, وتحت حكم "أبرثايد" بقي وحده بعد إسقاط توأمه في جنوب أفريقيا بملحمة أخرى قادها المناضل الأسطورة نلسون مانديلا.

والآن حلفاء إسرائيل محرجون مما يجري في فلسطين كلها وليس غزة وحدها، من ممارسات تنتمي لعصور بائدة! فشعوبهم باتت تدرك حقيقة ما يجري بمعايشة أحداثه المأساوية لحظة وقوعها, بفضل الإنترنت الذي كسر ما تبقى من سيطرة على الفضائيات.

وشوارع عواصم ومدن الغرب تترجم غضب وصدمة الشعوب في مظاهرات يومية قمعها أو تجاهلها يهدد مقاعد حكامها. لهذا نرجح أن تجري محاولة طمس ما يجري بقرار وقف إطلاق نار يصدر عن مجلس الأمن يرفع عن إسرائيل حرج قبول شروط الفلسطينيين المشروعة, ويحول دون مراكمة خسائرها وصولا لهزيمتها. وكالعادة سيصدر القرار لحظة تريده إسرائيل وبالكيفية التي تريدها وبما يمهد لاعتبار المقاومة في غزة -إن رفضت الالتزام به- معتدية خارجة على الإرادة الدولية, بل ومفرّطة بحقوق إنسان غزة كون القرار سيتغطى بزعم الضرورات الإنسانية!
"حلفاء إسرائيل محرجون مما يجري في فلسطين كلها وليس غزة وحدها، من ممارسات تنتمي لعصور بائدة! فشعوبهم باتت تدرك حقيقة ما يجري بمعايشة أحداثه المأساوية لحظة وقوعها"
ويؤكد هذا دعوة وزير خارجة أميركا, مؤيدة من الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة, "لوقف إطلاق نار لأسبوع لأغراض إنسانية " زاد عليها بان كي مون بذكر "الاحتفال بالعيد" في حين يتوجب على كل عربي ومسلم أن يعلن مشاركة أسر الشهداء وكامل أهل غزة وفلسطين الحداد على الشهداء! 

وموجبات رفض الفلسطينيين لوقف إطلاق النار لا يضمن قبول شروط غزة, تتوفر في خطاب كيري في القاهرة الذي قدم فيه مقترحه بهدف تحقيق "أمن إسرائيل وسكانها" (مستوطناتها بالذات) وعدم المجازفة "بفرص تنمية اجتماعية واقتصادية للفلسطينيين"!! ولا ذكر لمستقبل "سياسي" ولا حتى إشارة لذات "الأمن" كحق للفلسطينيين فقدوه تماما منذ الاحتلال, ما يؤشر على أن المقترح اجترار لمقولة "السلام الاقتصادي" الذي تحمل لواءه حكومات عباس منذ الانقلاب على حكومة حماس المنتخبة, وثبت أنه كذبة كبرى تطوعت إسرائيل لكشفها بتدميرها الممنهج للبنى التحتية الفلسطينية ووسائل الإنتاج فيها وحصار وإتلاف منتجاتها! 

وفي ظل الإصرار على ضيق النظرة لما يجري, فإن أولوياتنا تنصب على توسيعها والنظر لما يجري وللدماء المدفوعة فيه كثمن اضطراري لباب "الحرية الحمراء" الذي كلنا نعرف أن فتحه سيكلف دماء زكية.

وهذا فرصة تاريخية مستجدة مسنودة بمقومات غير مسبوقة، لتحقيق اختراق كبير في القضية الفلسطينية يضعها على طريق التحرير. وكما قالت سيدة غزية على قناة الجزيرة, مقولة ستدخل التاريخ دون خطابات الحكام العرب, التعويل هو على الفلسطينيين فقط. 


فلا يمكن الركون للدعم العربي الذي جلّه بات يلغي بعضه المتاح, ما يضطر الفلسطينيين للخيار الذي دعت إليه تلك السيدة (ممثلتهم بحق) والتي قالت "إنشا الله يهدّوها على راسنا (مشيرة لمكانها في غزة) مشان نبنيها في أنقاضهم" (مشيرة لهناك حيث يقوم الكيان الإسرائيلي على أرض فلسطين).

ولكن لطرد "الشيطان" المزروع في تفاصيل الحديث عن "وحدة الشعب الفلسطيني"، لابد أن يخرج هذا الحديث من الفخ الذي نصبته له إسرائيل وأعوانها, بقسمة الفلسطينيين لفلسطينيي "داخل" و"خارج", ثم قسمة من أصروا على البقاء على أرضهم لـ"عرب الـ48 " و"أهل الضفة وغزة ", لتعود فتقسم من بقوا خارج امتدادات الكيان الصهيوني لفلسطينيي غزة وفلسطينيي الضفة, ثم لقسمة هؤلاء حد زرع عداء قادته سلطة عباس تحديدا (سلطة عرفات قامت في غزة وأريحا بظن أن الضفة والقدس الشرقية ستضم لهما) بقسمة أخرى لأتباع سلطة عباس وأتباع حماس, ومن هم خارج هذين لا وجود لهم إلا كقصّر ولاية عباس عليهم محتمة! 

والهدف النهائي ليس فقط ضمان استمرار امتيازات "سلطة" حكم على حساب حقوق وحريات وأمن الشعب, مما تعانيه بقية الشعوب العربية وحتّم تفجر ثورات الربيع العربي. 

فالشعوب العربية, مهما طالت أو تعرجت طرق سبل ثوراتها, باقية على أرضها لتعلن تحرر إنسانها وأرضها في أية لحظة. ولكن ما يجري للشعب الفلسطيني على يد "سلطته" سيؤدي لإلغاء وجود شعب ووطن من على خارطة التاريخ والجغرافيا, لا أقل. ولهذا كان يلزم أن تسبق انتفاضة الربيع الفلسطيني انتفاضات الربيع العربي لا أن تتأخر عنها لسنوات!
"في ظل الإصرار على ضيق النظرة لما يجري, فإن أولوياتنا تنصب على توسيعها والنظر لما يجري وللدماء المدفوعة فيه كثمن اضطراري لباب "الحرية الحمراء" الذي نعرف أن فتحه سيكلف دماء زكية"
وحدة الشعب الفلسطيني يجب أن تكون حالة وطنية عابرة للفصائل الفلسطينية بل ومتجاوزة لها ولكل الاختلافات والفروق بما يجعل أي فلسطيني غير منتم لأي تنظيم على ذات السوية إلى جانب أي محارب مدرب منتم لفصيل. ويتوجب ألا يقبل زعم زعامة أو أي تدخل في الشأن الفلسطيني ممن لا يقدم مساهمة نضالية على الأرض الآن, وليس في قصور الحكم وفنادق الخمسة نجوم وغرف التآمر العربي والدولي الفارهة

فأخطر ما لحق بالشعب الفلسطيني وما يتهدد فرصته التاريخية هذه, هو ذات ما يتهدد شعوبا عربية أخرى، وهو محاولة قرصنة انتفاضته التي تتشكل. فالربيع العربي بما أتاحه من فهم دولي للشعوب العربية (وبخاصة الأوروبي كون شعوب أوروبا مرت بمثله وهي من أسمته بالربيع أسوة بثوراتها هي) يكسر الصورة النمطية التي جرى تكريسها بتواطؤ حكامنا مع أصحاب النفوذ المالي السياسي في الغرب. 

وترسم الصورة الجديدة تكنولوجيا الإنترنت التي هدمت الأسوار مدشنة عصر معرفة جديدا على غير ما سبقه. ولكن يتوجب للمنافسة على الاهتمام الدولي, إدامة سخونة الحدث وإدامة الصورة المشرّفة للمقاومة الفلسطينية بعكس صورة الاحتلال الصهيوني وجيشه ومؤسساته الدينية والمدنية وصولا للأكاديمية التي تطرح اغتصاب أمهات وأخوات المقاومين صراحة كسلاح لوقف المقاومة!

وهذا بعض ما تورط وسيتورط بمثله الصهاينة المعتادون على عدم وزن مواقفهم أو تنقيح أو تشذيب كلامهم, كونهم باتوا يؤمنون أنهم فوق أية مساءلة أو اعتراض، وأنتج ذلك تحولا عن دعم إسرائيل لما يقارب تعداد نساء العالم مضافا له نشطاء حقوق الإنسان والسلام. 

فقد وضعت هذه الدعوة إسرائيل في خانة المتطرفين العنصريين وأعادت للذاكرة جرائمهم في البوسنة والهرسك ورواندا وبوروندي, وحتى جرائم الاغتصاب الممنهج في الحرب العالمية الثانية والتي تحركها نساء ضحايا أصبحن عجائز, ويلقين دعما دوليا غير مسبوق.. ما يفتح الباب لسرد جرائم الصهيونية التي قام بها الكيان الصهيوني أثناء الحرب العالمية ذاتها! 


وما يجري في غزة الآن هو "محرقة" للغزيين تجري للمرة الثانية (بعد عمليته "المتدحرجة " عام 2008 والتسمية ذات دلالات) بمواصفات ذات المحارق النازية, بدءا بتجميع أكبر عدد من البشر في حيز ضيق, ثم الشروع بقتلهم جماعيا، وهي صورة مكبرة عن "محرقة" أخرى حديثة وموثقة في قانا, وفيها جرى تجميع أطفال ونساء وكهول في ملجأ تابع للأمم المتحدة ذاتها, ليجري حرقهم بأمر من "عراب السلام" وحائز "جائزة نوبل للسلام", شمعون بيريز

و"محرقة" تفوق هذين جرت عند إعادة اجتياح مدن وقرى الضفة الغربية عام 2002 فيما أسمته إسرائيل "السور الواقي", في استهداف بيوت الفلسطينيين كي لا يخرج منها أي مقاوم! هكذا هدف معلن يخرق صراحة وبسبق تصميم كل القوانين والمواثيق الدولية التي تمنع استهداف المدنيين أثناء الحرب, فكيف باستهدافهم في بيوتهم تحوطا من أن يخرج منها أو يولد فيها مقاتل ضد "الاحتلال" المعترف بوصفه هذا دوليا, ما يجعل حق المقاومة حقا "إنسانيا" للمحتلة أرضهم! وجرائم ذلك الاجتياح موثقة كونها جرت في عهد الفضائيات ولكنها لم تأخذ مكانتها المناسبة في الوعي العالمي لأنها سبقت فورة الإنترنت، وإعادة نشرها وتداولها يعين عليه أن يكون هنالك على ذات أرض الضفة انتفاضة تنبئ العالم بأن تلك الجرائم لم تنته ولن تنهي مطالبة الفلسطينيين بحقهم كاملا. 

وأراضي الـ48 أخليت "بمحارق" قامت عليها, وينبغي وضعها على خارطة ما يسمى بإسرائيل, بدل المحرقة المصطنعة لليهود التي أقامها الكيان على أرضنا لتركيع كل زائر كبير أمامها لضمان تنكّره للمحارق التي أباد فيها الصهاينة أصحاب الأرض التاريخيين.
"ففي حين لا تريد إسرائيل من غزة غير شاطئها, وبخاصة الآن بعد اكتشاف الغاز تحت بحرها، تبدو مصرة على الاحتفاظ بالضفة وتسميها أرض "يهودا والسامرة"، ومن لا تريده إسرائيل فيها أولى أن يرحّل أو يُباد"
وكل هذا يتوجب بيانه لشارع غربي لم يكن يوما بهذه الدرجة من التعاطف مع الفلسطينيين, ولا بهذا القدر من فقدان الصبر على ممارسات لإسرائيل زادت عنجهيتها من عبئها, فيما لم يعد الكيان الإسرائيلي يعود عليهم بأي من النفع الذي كان عند إقامته, والذي تلزمه مقالة منفردة، وأتمنى على زملائي الكتاب التصدي له بعلمهم.

والظرف الإقليمي أكثر من موات لحشد دعم حقيقي للفلسطينيين, وليس فقط التعاطف. فالشعوب العربية كلها داعمة للفلسطينيين فيما غالبية الأنظمة العربية تتراكض مذعورة من انتفاضات شعبها التي تطل شرارتها من كل شق في الأرض التي تقف عليها، ومعسكر الممانعة يتحفز لعودة قوية، وضرورة دعم المقاومة الفلسطينية ستعيد وصل أقطار بقيت خارج ما أسمي محور الاعتدال, والذي تحول بعد سقوط نظام مبارك لدوران في الفلك السعودي محكوم بقوة المال.. فيما خطاب السيد نصر الله تضمن مؤشرات قوة، بل وأشر على فائض قوة. ومجرد ظهور نصر الله بنفسه لإلقاء خطابه المعروف أنه سيكون ظهورا مطولا، يمثل تحديا لإسرائيل أظهر ضعفها وكونها بالكاد تتصدى للمقاومة في غزة ولاحتجاجات لم ترق بعد لانتفاضة في الضفة الغربية!

هي فرصة نادرة لاحت للقضية الفلسطينية, وللضفة المحتلة أكثر منها لغزة. فبعد الانتهاء من غزة ولأجل ترتيب أوضاع "إسرائيل الكبرى" في المنطقة كقائدة لـ "كونفدرالية ثلاثية " (تسرب مؤخرا أنها ستكون رباعية لكون إسرائيل لم تسقط لبنان من حساباتها, وخماسية بالنظر للتغلغل الإسرائيلي في العراق منذ احتلاله.. إلخ), سينعكس على الضفة بأسوأ مما على غزة, بخاصة إن كان السكوت عما جرى لغزة.

فالانسحاب الأحادي من غزة بعد حشد كمّ سكاني هائل محاصر في ظروف صعبة تدفعه للهجرة, كان جزءا من خطة شارون (حسب مقالة نشرت حينها لبروفسور في جامعة تل أبيب تبرر قرار شارون) لحشر مماثل لأهل الضفة الغربية في كنتونات ضيقة مفصولة ومحاصرة وضمن ظروف مصعّبة تدفع لرحيلهم للضفة الشرقية، ومنها لخارج المنطقة ما أمكن.

وفي حين لا تريد إسرائيل من غزة غير شاطئها, وبخاصة الآن بعد اكتشاف الغاز تحت بحرها، وتبيد الغزيين لأنهم رفضوا هذا الحال ويقاومونه.. هي مصرة على الاحتفاظ بالضفة وتسميها أرض "يهودا والسامرة"، ومن لا تريده إسرائيل فيها أولى أن يرحّل أو يُباد.

وعملية "السور الواقي" عينة من وسائل التخفف الآتي من سكان الضفة، قاوموا الاحتلال أو لم يقاوموه!
المصدر : الجزيرة

"إسرائيل تريد السعودية وليس قطر"

عــ48ـرب
تاريخ النشر: 29/07/2014 - آخر تحديث: 09:49
"يديعوت أحرونوت": فرصة لتعزيز العلاقات مع السعودية
تحت عنوان "وقف إطلاق النار: إسرائيل تريد السعودية وليس قطر"، كتبت "يديعوت أحرونوت" في موقعها على الشبكة أن إسرائيل معنية بتسوية بموجب "مسار مصري – سعودي"، وليس بموجب اقتراحات قطر، وتعتبر ذلك فرصة لتعزيز العلاقات مع السعودية. وبحسب الصحيفة فإن الرئيس الفلسطيني محمود عباس يحاول إعادة ما أسمى بـ"المبادرة المصري" إلى الأضواء.
وتدعي إسرائيل أن وزير الخارجية الأمريكية، جون كيري، لم يتمكن من فهم ما يجري على الأرض، ولذلك فهو لا يدرك لماذا ترفض إسرائيل بشدة المبادرة القطرية.
وأضافت الصحيفة أن المستوى السياسي في إسرائيل يناقش في الأيام الأخيرة، ويدفع باتجاه تسوية بموجب "مسار مصري – سعودي".
ويتحدث وزراء في المجلس الوزاري المصغر بأن التدخل السعودي يهدف أيضا إلى المساعدة على المستوى الاقتصادي، وإعادة البناء في غزة بعد الحرب. كما يتحدثون عن هذا المسار باعتباره ينطوي على إمكانيات كثيرة.
وفي هذا السياق أشارت الصحيفة إلى زيارة الرئيس الفلسطيني محمود عباس إلى السعودية، باعتبار أن إسرائيل تأمل أن تثمر لقاءاته هناك عن مبادرة لوقف إطلاق النار.
في المقابل، نقلت الصحيفة عن مسؤول سياسي إسرائيلي كبير قوله إن الجيش بحاجة إلى أيام أخرى لإزالة خطر الأنفاق الهجومية. وأضاف أن الجيش صعد من غاراته الجوية، وبدأ بقصف أحياء جديدة في قطاع غزة.
وبحسبه فإن الجيش ليس معنيا باحتلال قطاع غزة، ولا بإدخال قوات برية عندما يستطيع سلاح الطيران تنفيذ المهمة، وعليه فإن إسرائيل ستصعد من الغارات الجوية على القطاع.
كما نقلت الصحيفة عن مصادر سياسية شاركت في المباحثات التي جرت في المجلس الوزاري مؤخرا قولها إنه حصل تغيير لدى الرئيس الفلسطيني محمود عباس، بما في ذلك قدرته على تقديم المساعدة، وأن يكون عاملا يسهم في التهدئة.
وأضافت أنه بحسب بعض التقارير التي ترد من المجلس الوزاري المصغر فإن معارضة جزء من وزراء اليمين لمحمود عباس بدأت تميل إلى الاعتدال، وأنه من الممكن أن يكون له دور أكبر في الاتصالات الجارية من أجل التوصل إلى التهدئة، وذلك بعد أن "عبرت السلطة الفلسطينية عن غضبها بشأن الاقتراح الذي بلوره كيري مع دول أخرى في المنطقة".
وأضافت أنه من الواضح لدى المستوى السياسي في إسرائيل أن تعزيز العلاقات مع السعودية يتطلب القيام بإجراءات تجاه السلطة الفلسطينية، كما يتطلب اتخاذ قرارات من جانب رئيس الحكومة بشأن العلاقات مع السلطة الفلسطينية، حيث أن إسرائيل معنية برؤية محمود عباس ذا دور في التسوية على الأرض بعد أن تنتهي الحرب.
وتابعت الصحيفة أنه على ما يبدو يحاول محمود عباس إعادة ما أسمى بـ"المبادرة المصرية" إلى الأضواء، حيث التقى في جدة الملك السعودي عبد الله بن عبد العززي، الذي سبق وأن عبر عن دعمه الجارف للمبادرة المصرية في مكالمة هاتفية مع الرئيس المصري عبد الفتاح السيسي.
كما أشارت الصحيفة إلى أن محمود عباس صرح لصحيفة سعودية، يوم أمس، أنه بالنسبة له فإن المبادرة المصرية تستجيب لاحتياجات الشعب الفلسطيني. كما أن عباس، وفي مكالمة هاتفية مع السيسي، بعد عودته إلى رام الله، قال إنه بالنسبة له فإن الحديث عن الخيار الأفضل للخروج من الأزمة الحالية.
وتابعت الصحيفة أن عباس ادعى أنه رفض المشاركة في مؤتمر وزراء الخارجية في باريس، السبت الماضي، بذريعة أنه لم توجه الدعوة لمصر صاحبة المبادرة.
وتابعت "يديعوت أحرونوت" أن السعودية تقع في معسكر عباس والسيسي، ضد المحور التركي – القطري الداعم لحركة حماس والمطالب بفك الحصار المفروض على قطاع غزة.
 

Khalil Bendib: Gaza Genocide

Israeli attacks designed to “terrorize” Gaza population, international law experts say

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Akram Muqdad holds the body of his son, Baraa, 6, who was killed along with nine other people, mostly children, in an explosion at a park at al-Shati refugee camp in northern Gaza City on 28 July. (Abedllah Jadallah / APA images)
The civilian population in the Gaza Strip is under direct attack,” dozens of international law experts have warned in a statement laying out numerous Israeli violations of the laws of war, some amounting to war crimes.
The statement came as the death toll from Israel’s three weeks of bombing reached 1,088 today, the first day of a somber Eid al-Fitr, the holiday marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
Ten Palestinians, including at least eight children, were killed when missiles struck a park in al-Shati refugee camp as families gathered to mark the holiday.
Israel denied it was responsible for the attack and blamed misfired Hamas rockets, but the Palestinian resistance group dismissed the Israeli statement as “a failed attempt to escape from this crime and its fears that this crime will be exposed and held judicially accountable.”

Terrorizing civilians

Most of the recent heavy bombings in Gaza lack an acceptable military justification and, instead, appear to be designed to terrorize the civilian population,” says the statement, signed by more than 140 international and criminal law scholars, human rights defenders, legal and other experts.
Among them are John Dugard and Richard Falk, both former UN special rapporteurs on the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Others include Daniel Feierstein, president of the International Association of Genocide Scholars; Penny Green, director of the State Crime Initiative, King’s College London; and Karim Lahidji, president of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).
Gaza’s civilian population has been victimized in the name of a falsely construed right to self-defense,” the statement adds.
Israel’s illegal attacks include its assault on the Gaza City neighborhood of [Shujaiya], which the statement says “was one of the bloodiest and most aggressive operations ever conducted by Israel in the Gaza Strip, a form of urban violence constituting a total disrespect of civilian innocence.”

“Pre-fabricated excuse”

The statement also points to Israel’s deliberate destruction of the homes of thousands of people and Israel’s practice of giving “warnings” either in the form of smaller projectiles fired at a building, or via text message or telephone.
Despite such warnings, “it remains illegal to willfully attack a civilian home without a demonstration of military necessity as it amounts to a violation of the principle of proportionality,” the experts say.
“Not only are these ‘warnings’ generally ineffective, and can even result in further fatalities,”the statement notes, “they appear to be a pre-fabricated excuse by Israel to portray people who remain in their homes as ‘human shields.’”
“Israel’s illegal policy of absolute closure imposed on the Gaza Strip has relentlessly continued, under the complicit gaze of the international community of States,” the statement says.
The statement also denounces “the launch of rockets from the Gaza Strip, as every indiscriminate attack against civilians, regardless of the identity of the perpetrators, is not only illegal under international law but also morally intolerable.”
“However,” it adds, “the two parties to the conflict cannot be considered equal, and their actions – once again – appear to be of incomparable magnitude.”

Accountability

Calling for accountability, the statement blames “several UN Member States and the UN” for pressuring de facto Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas not to seek “recourse to the International Criminal Court (ICC).”
The statement calls on “the Governmental leaders of Palestine” – presumably a reference to Abbas – to ratify the ICC treaty.
It also urges the UN Security Council to “exercise its responsibilities in relation to peace and justice by referring the situation in Palestine to the Prosecutor of the ICC” – an action that would require the support of veto-wielding countries such as the US, France and UK, all of which have defended Israel’s assault on Gaza.
The full statement and list of signers follow.

The International Community Must End Israel’s Collective Punishment of the Civilian Population in the Gaza Strip

As international and criminal law scholars, human rights defenders, legal experts and individuals who firmly believe in the rule of law and in the necessity for its respect in times of peace and more so in times of war, we feel the intellectual and moral duty to denounce the grave violations, mystification and disrespect of the most basic principles of the laws of armed conflict and of the fundamental human rights of the entire Palestinian population committed during the ongoing Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip.
We also condemn the launch of rockets from the Gaza Strip, as every indiscriminate attack against civilians, regardless of the identity of the perpetrators, is not only illegal under international law but also morally intolerable. However, as also implicitly noted by the UN Human Rights Council in its Resolution of the 23 July 2014, the two parties to the conflict cannot be considered equal, and their actions – once again – appear to be of incomparable magnitude.
Once again it is the unarmed civilian population, the “protected persons” under International humanitarian law (IHL), who is in the eye of the storm. Gaza’s civilian population has been victimized in the name of a falsely construed right to self-defence, in the midst of an escalation of violence provoked in the face of the entire international community. The so-called Operation Protective Edge erupted during an ongoing armed conflict, in the context of a prolonged belligerent occupation that commenced in 1967. In the course of this ongoing conflict thousands of Palestinians have been killed and injured in the Gaza Strip during recurrent and ostensible “ceasefire” periods since 2005, after Israel’s unilateral “disengagement from the Gaza Strip. The deaths caused by Israel’s provocative actions in the Gaza Strip prior to the latest escalation of hostilities must not be ignored as well.
According to UN sources, over the last two weeks, nearly 800 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed and more than 4,000 injured, of whom the vast majority were civilians. Several independent sources indicate that only 15 per cent of the casualties were combatants. Entire families have been murdered. Hospitals, clinics, as well as a rehabilitation center for disabled persons have been targeted and severely damaged. During one single day, on Sunday 20 July, more than 100 Palestinian civilians were killed in Shujaiya, a residential neighborhood of Gaza City. This was one of the bloodiest and most aggressive operations ever conducted by Israel in the Gaza Strip, a form of urban violence constituting a total disrespect of civilian innocence. Sadly, this was followed only a couple of days later by an equally destructive attack on Khuzaa, east of Khan Younis.
Additionally, the offensive has already caused widespread destruction of buildings and infrastructure: according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, over 3,300 houses have been targeted resulting in their destruction or severe damage. As denounced by the UN Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) on the Gaza conflict in the aftermath of Israel’s “Operation Cast Lead” in 2008-2009: “While the Israeli Government has sought to portray its operations as essentially a response to rocket attacks in the exercise of its right to self defence, the Mission considers the plan to have been directed, at least in part, at a different target: The people of Gaza as a whole” (A/HRC/12/48, par. 1680). The same can be said for the current Israeli offensive.
The civilian population in the Gaza Strip is under direct attack and many are forced to leave their homes. What was already a refugee and humanitarian crisis has worsened with a new wave of mass displacement of civilians: the number of IDPs [internally displaced persons] has reached nearly 150,000, many of whom have obtained shelter in overcrowded UNRWA schools, which unfortunately are no safe areas as demonstrated by the repeated attacks on the UNRWA school in Beit Hanoun. Everyone in Gaza is traumatized and living in a state of constant terror.
This result is intentional, as Israel is again relying on the “Dahiya doctrine,” which deliberately has recourse to disproportionate force to inflict suffering on the civilian population in order to achieve political (to exert pressure on the Hamas Government) rather than military goals.
In so doing, Israel is repeatedly and flagrantly violating the law of armed conflict, which establishes that combatants and military objectives may be targeted, i.e. “those objects which by their nature, location, purpose or use make an effective contribution to military action and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralization, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a definite military advantage.” Most of the recent heavy bombings in Gaza lack an acceptable military justification and, instead, appear to be designed to terrorize the civilian population. As the ICRC clarifies, deliberately causing terror is unequivocally illegal under customary international law.
In its Advisory Opinion in the Nuclear Weapons case, the ICJ [International Court of Justice] stated that the principle of distinction, which requires belligerent States to distinguish between civilian and combatants, is one of the “cardinal principles” of international humanitarian law and one of the “intransgressible principles of international customary law.”
The principle of distinction is codified in Articles 48, 51(2) and 52(2) of the Additional Protocol I of 1977 to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, to which no reservations have been made. According to Additional Protocol I, “attacks” refer to “acts of violence against the adversary, whether in offence or in defence” (Article 49). Under both customary international law and treaty law, the prohibition on directing attacks against the civilian population or civilian objects is absolute. There is no discretion available to invoke military necessity as a justification.
Contrary to Israel’s claims, mistakes resulting in civilian casualties cannot be justified: in case of doubt as to the nature of the target, the law clearly establishes that an object which is normally dedicated to civilian purposes (such as schools, houses, places of worship and medical facilities), are presumed as not being used for military purposes.
During these past weeks, UN officials and representatives have repeatedly called on Israel to strictly abide by the principle of precaution in carrying out attacks in the Gaza Strip, where risks are greatly aggravated by the very high population density, and maximum restraint must be exercised to avoid civilian casualties. Human Rights Watch has noted that these rules exist to minimize mistakes “when such mistakes are repeated, it raises the concern of whether the rules are being disregarded.”
Moreover, even when targeting clear military objectives, Israel consistently violates the principle of proportionality: this is particularly evident with regard to the hundreds of civilian houses destroyed by the Israeli army during the current military operation in Gaza. With the declared intention to target a single member of Hamas, Israeli forces have bombed and destroyed houses although occupied as residences by dozens of civilians, including women, children, and entire families.
It is inherently illegal under customary international law to intentionally target civilian objects, and the violation of such a fundamental tenet of law can amount to a war crime. Issuing a “warning” – such as Israel’s so-called roof knocking technique, or sending an SMS five minutes before the attack – does not mitigate this: it remains illegal to wilfully attack a civilian home without a demonstration of military necessity as it amounts to a violation of the principle of proportionality. Moreover, not only are these “warnings” generally ineffective, and can even result in further fatalities, they appear to be a pre-fabricated excuse by Israel to portray people who remain in their homes as “human shields.”
The indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks, the targeting of objectives providing no effective military advantage, and the intentional targeting of civilians and civilian houses have been persistent features of Israel’s long-standing policy of punishing the entire population of the Gaza Strip, which, for over seven years, has been virtually imprisoned by Israeli imposed closure.
Such a regime amounts to a form of collective punishment, which violates the unconditional prohibition set forth in Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and has been internationally condemned for its illegality. However, far from being effectively opposed by international actors, Israel’s illegal policy of absolute closure imposed on the Gaza Strip has relentlessly continued, under the complicit gaze of the international community of States.
As affirmed in 2009 by the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict: “Justice and respect for the rule of law are the indispensable basis for peace. The prolonged situation has created a justice crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory that warrants action” (A/HRC/12/48, para. 1958) Indeed: “long-standing impunity has been a key factor in the perpetuation of violence in the region and in the reoccurrence of violations, as well as in the erosion of confidence among Palestinians and many Israelis concerning prospects for justice and a peaceful solution to the conflict” (A/HRC/12/48, para. 1964).
Therefore,
  • We welcome the Resolution adopted on 23 July 2014 by the UN Human Rights Council, in which an independent, international commission of inquiry was established to investigate all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
  • We call upon the United Nations, the Arab League, the European Union, individual States, in particular the United States of America, and the international community in its entirety and with its collective power to take action in the spirit of the utmost urgency to put an end to the escalation of violence against the civilian population of the Gaza Strip, and to activate procedures to hold accountable all those responsible for violations of international law, including political leaders and military commanders. In particular:
  • All regional and international actors should support the immediate conclusion of a durable, comprehensive, and mutually agreed ceasefire agreement, which must secure the rapid facilitation and access of humanitarian aid and the opening of borders to and from Gaza;
  • All High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions must be urgently and unconditionally called upon to comply with their fundamental obligations, binding at all times, and to act under common Article 1, to take all measures necessary for the suppression of grave breaches, as clearly imposed by Article 146 and Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention; these rules are applicable by all interested parties as well;
  • Moreover, we denounce the shameful political pressures exerted by several UN Member States and the UN on President Mahmoud Abbas, to discourage recourse to the International Criminal Court (ICC), and we urge the Governmental leaders of Palestine to invoke the jurisdiction of the ICC, by ratifying the ICC treaty and in the interim by resubmitting the declaration under Article 12(3) of the Rome Statute, in order to investigate and prosecute the serious international crimes committed on the Palestinian territory by all parties to the conflict; and
  • The UN Security Council must finally exercise its responsibilities in relation to peace and justice by referring the situation in Palestine to the Prosecutor of the ICC.
Signers:
Please note that institutional affiliations are for identification purposes only.
  1. John Dugard, Former UN Special Rapporteur on human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
  2. Richard Falk, Former UN Special Rapporteur on human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
  3. Alain Pellet, Professor of Public International Law, University Paris Ouest, former Member of the United Nations International Law Commission, France
  4. Georges Abi-Saab, Emeritus Professor of International Law, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Former Judge on the ICTY
  5. Vera Gowlland-Debbas, Emeritus Professor of International Law, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland
  6. Chantal Meloni, Adjunct Professor of International Criminal Law, University of Milan, Italy (Rapporteur)
  7. Roy Abbott, Consultant in International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law, Australia
  8. Lama Abu-Odeh, Law Professor, Georgetown University Law Center, USA
  9. Susan M. Akram, Clinical Professor and supervising attorney, International Human rights Program, Boston University School of Law, USA
  10. Taris Ahmad, Solicitor at Jones Day, London, UK
  11. Maria Anagnostaki, PhD candidate, Law School University of Athens, Greece
  12. Antony Anghie, Professor of Law, University of Utah, USA
  13. Nizar Ayoub, Director, Al-Marsad, Arab Human Rights Centre in Golan Heights
  14. Valentina Azarov, Lecturer in Human Rights and International Law, Al Quds Bard College, Palestine
  15. Ammar Bajboj, Lecturer in Law, University of Damascus, Syria
  16. Samia Bano, SOAS School of Law, London, UK
  17. Asli Ü Bali, Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law, USA
  18. Jakub Michał Baranowski, Phd Candidate, Universita’ degli Studi Roma Tre, Italy
  19. Frank Barat, Russell Tribunal on Palestine
  20. Emma Bell, Coordinator of the European Group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control, Université de Savoie, France
  21. Barbara Giovanna Bello, Post-doc Fellow, University of Milan, Italy
  22. Brenna Bhandar, Senior lecturer in Law, SOAS School of Law, London, UK
  23. George Bisharat, Professor of Law, UC Hastings College of Law, USA
  24. Barbara Blok, LLM Candidate, University of Essex, UK
  25. John Braithwaite, Professor of Criminology, Australian National University, Australia
  26. Michelle Burgis-Kasthala, lecturer in international law, University of Edinburgh, UK
  27. Eddie Bruce-Jones, Lecturer in Law, University of London, Birkbeck College, UK
  28. Sandy Camlann, LLM Candidate, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, France
  29. Grazia Careccia, Human Rights Advocate, London, UK
  30. Baris Cayli, Impact Fellow, University of Stirling, UK
  31. Antonio Cavaliere, Professor of Criminal Law, University Federico II, Naples, Italy
  32. Kathleen Cavanaugh, Senior Lecturer, Irish Center for Human Rights, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
  33. Elizabeth Chadwick, Reader in International Law, Nottingham, UK
  34. Donna R. Cline, Attorney at Law, USA
  35. Karen Corteen, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, University of Chester, UK
  36. Andrew Dahdal, Lecturer, Faculty of Business and Economics, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
  37. Teresa Dagenhardt, Reader in Criminology, Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland
  38. Luigi Daniele, PhD candidate in Law, Italy
  39. Alessandro De Giorgi, Professor of Justice Studies, San Josè State University, USA
  40. Paul de Waart, Professor Emeritus of International Law, VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  41. Gabriele della Morte, Senior Lecturer in International Law, University Cattolica, Milan, Italy
  42. Max du Plessis, Professor of Law, University of Kwazulu-Natal, and Barrister, South Africa and London, UK
  43. Noura Erakat, Georgetown University, USA
  44. Mohammad Fadel, Associate Professor of Law, University of Toronto Faculty of Law, Canada
  45. Mireille Fanon-Mendés France, Independent Expert UNO, Frantz Fanon Foundation, France
  46. Michelle Farrell, lecturer in law, School of Law and Social Justice, University of Liverpool, UK
  47. Daniel Feierstein, Professor and President International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS), Argentina
  48. Eleonor Fernández Muñoz, Costa Rica
  49. J. Tenny Fernando, Attorney at Law, Sri Lanka
  50. Amelia Festa, LLM Candidate, University of Naples Federico II, Italy
  51. Katherine Franke, Professor of Law, Columbia Law School, USA
  52. Jacques Gaillot, Bishop in partibus of Patenia
  53. Katherine Gallagher, Vice President FIDH, senior attorney, Centre for Constitutional Rights (CCR), New York, USA
  54. Avo Sevag Garabet, LLM, University of Groningen, the Netherlands
  55. Jose Garcia Anon, Professor of Law, Human Rights Institute, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain
  56. Irene Gasparini, PhD candidate, Universitá Cattolica, Milan, Italy
  57. Stratos Georgoulas, Assistant Professor, University of the Aegean, Greece
  58. Haluk Gerger, Professor, Turkey
  59. Hedda Giersten, Professor, Universitet I Oslo, Norway
  60. Javier Giraldo, Director Banco de Datos CINEP, Colombia
  61. Carmen G. Gonzales, Professor of Law, Seattle University School of Law, USA
  62. Penny Green, Professor of Law and Criminology, Director of the State Crime Initiative, King’s College London, UK
  63. Katy Hayward, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland
  64. Andrew Henley, PhD candidate, Keele University, UK
  65. Christiane Hessel, Paris, France
  66. Paddy Hillyard, Professor Emeritus, Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland
  67. Ata Hindi, Institute of Law, Birzeit University, Palestine
  68. Francois Houtart, Professor, National Institute of Higher Studies, Quito, Ecuador
  69. Deena R. Hurwitz, Professor, General Faculty, Director International Human Rights Law Clinic, University of Virginia School of Law, USA
  70. Perfecto Andrés Ibánes, Magistrado Tribunal Supremo de Espagna, Spain
  71. Franco Ippolito, President of the Permanent People’s Tribunal, Italy
  72. Ruth Jamieson, Honorary Lecturer, School of Law, Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland
  73. Helen Jarvis, former member Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), member of IAGS, Cambodia
  74. Ioannis Kalpouzos, Lecturer in Law, City Law School, London, UK
  75. Victor Kattan, post-doctoral fellow, Law Faculty, National University of Singapore
  76. Michael Kearney, PhD, Lecturer in Law, University of Sussex, UK
  77. Yousuf Syed Khan, USA
  78. Tarik Kochi, Senior Lecturer in Law, School of Law, Politics and Sociology, University of Sussex, UK
  79. Anna Koppel, MSt Candidate in International Human Rights Law, University of Oxford, UK
  80. Karim Lahidji, President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and lawyer
  81. Giulia Lanza, PhD Candidate, Università degli Studi di Verona, Italy
  82. Daniel Machover, solicitor, Hickman & Rose, London, UK
  83. Tayyab Mahmud, Professor of Law, Director of the Centre for Global Justice, Seattle University School of Law, USA
  84. Maria C. LaHood, Senior Staff Attorney, CCR, New York, USA
  85. Louise Mallinder, Reader in Human Rights and International Law, University of Ulster, UK
  86. Triestino Mariniello, Lecturer in International Criminal Law, Edge Hill University, UK
  87. Mazen Masri, Lecturer in Law, The City Law School, City University, London, UK
  88. Siobhan McAlister, School of Sociology, Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland
  89. Liam McCann, Principal Lecturer in Criminology, University of Lincoln, UK
  90. Jude McCulloch, Professor of Criminology, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
  91. Yvonne McDermott Rees, Lecturer in Law, University of Bangor, UK
  92. Cahal McLaughlin, Professor, School of Creative Arts, Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland
  93. Araks Melkonyan, LLM Candidate, University of Essex, UK
  94. Antonio Menna, PhD Candidate, Second University of Naples, Caserta, Italy
  95. Naomi Mezey, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, USA
  96. Michele Miravalle, PhD candidate, University of Torino, Italy
  97. Sergio Moccia, Professor of Criminal Law, University Federico II, Naples, Italy
  98. Kerry Moore, Lecturer, Cardiff University
  99. Giuseppe Mosconi, Professor of Sociology, University of Padova, Italy
  100. Usha Natarajan, Assistant Professor, Department of Law & Centre for Migration and Refugee Studies, The American University in Cairo, Egypt
  101. Miren Odriozola Gurrutxaga, PhD Candidate, University of the Basque Country, Donostia - San Sebastián, Spain
  102. Georgios Papanicolaou, Reader in Criminology, Teesside University, UK
  103. Marco Pertile, Senior Lecturer in International Law,
  104. Faculty of Law, University of Trento, Italy
  105. Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, Professor of Law and Theory, LLM, The Westminster Law and Theory Centre, UK
  106. Antoni Pigrau Solé, Universitat Rovira i Virgili de Tarragona, Spain
  107. Joseph Powderly, Assistant Professor of Public International Law, Leiden University, The Netherlands
  108. Tony Platt, Visiting Professor of Justice Studies, San Jose State University, USA
  109. Scott Poynting, Professor in Criminology, University of Auckland, New Zeeland
  110. Chris Powell, Professor of Criminology, University S.Maine, USA
  111. Bill Quigley, Professor, Loyola University, New Orleans College of Law, USA
  112. John Quigley, Professor of Law, Ohio State University
  113. Zouhair Racheha, PhD Candidate, University Jean Moulin Lyon 3, France
  114. Laura Raymond, International Human Rights Advocacy Program Manager, CCR, New York, USA
  115. Véronique Rocheleau-Brosseau, LLM candidate, Laval University, Canada
  116. David Rodríguez Goyes, Lecturer, Antonio Nariño and Santo Tomás Universities, Colombia
  117. Alessandro Rosanò, PhD Candidate, Università degli Studi di Padova, Italy
  118. Jamil Salem, Director Institute of Law, Birzeit University, Palestine
  119. Mahmood Salimi, LLM Candidate, Moofid University, Iran
  120. Nahed Samour, doctoral fellow, Humboldt University, Faculty of Law, Berlin, Germany
  121. Iain GM Scobbie, Professor of Public International Law, University of Manchester, UK
  122. David Scott, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Liverpool John Moores University, UK
  123. Phil Scraton, Professor of Criminology, Belfast, Ireland
  124. Rachel Seoighe, PhD Candidate, Legal Consultant, King’s College London, UK
  125. Tanya Serisier, School of Sociology, Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland
  126. Mohammad Shahabuddin, PdD, Visiting researcher, Graduate School of International Social Sciences, Yokohama National University, Japan
  127. Dean Spade, Seattle University School of Law, USA
  128. Per Stadig, lawyer, Sweden
  129. Chantal Thomas, Professor of Law, Cornell University, USA
  130. Kendall Thomas, Nash Professor of Law, Columbia University, USA
  131. Gianni Tognoni, Lelio Basso Foundation, Rome, Italy
  132. Steve Tombs, Professor of Criminology, The Open University, UK
  133. Paul Troop, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers, UK
  134. Valeria Verdolini, Reader in Sociology, University of Milan, Italy
  135. Francesca Vianello, University of Padova, Italy
  136. Aimilia Voulvouli, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Fatih University, Turkey
  137. Namita Wahi, Fellow, Centre for Policy Research, Dharma Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, India
  138. Sharon Weill, PhD, Science Po, Paris/ CERAH, Geneva, Switzerland
  139. Peter Weiss, Vice President of Centre for Constitutional Rights (CCR), New York, USA
  140. David Whyte, Reader in Sociology, University of Liverpool, UK
  141. Jeanne M. Woods, Henry F. Bonura, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Law, Loyola University College of Law, New Orleans, USA
  142. William Thomas Worster, Lecturer, International Law, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands
  143. Maung Zarni, Judge, PPT on Sri Lanka and Visiting Fellow, London School of Economics and Political Science