Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Hamas’ Category

We can wait no longer to restart the peace process. The human suffering demands urgent relief

Jimmy Carter, The Guardian/UK, Dec 19, 2009

It is generally recognised that the Middle East peace process is in the doldrums, almost moribund. Israeli settlement expansion within Palestine continues, and PLO leaders refuse to join in renewed peace talks without a settlement freeze, knowing that no Arab or Islamic nation will accept any comprehensive agreement while Israel retains control of East Jerusalem.

US objections have impeded Egyptian efforts to resolve differences between Hamas and Fatah that could lead to 2010 elections. With this stalemate, PLO leaders have decided that President Mahmoud Abbas will continue in power until elections can be held – a decision condemned by many Palestinians.

Continued >>


Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)

Read Full Post »

Peres Condemns UN for ‘Spreading Lies’

by Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com, October 21, 2009

In a meeting today with America’s Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, Israeli President Shimon Peres condemned the UN for “spreading lies” in allowing the Goldstone Report’s consideration.

Richard Goldstone

The Goldstone Report details war crimes committed by both Israel and Hamas during the January invasion of the Gaza Strip. Rice vowed that the United States would stand by Israel “as a loyal friend” and fight against the report in the UN Security Council.

The UN Human Rights Council formally endorsed the report last week, with the US one of the few nations to vote in opposition to it. It has been referred to the Security Council, but the US is expected to use its veto power to prevent it from going any farther.

The report’s contents are largely the same as those from human rights groups that investigated the conflict, in which over 1,000 Palestinian civilians were slain. Israel has insisted that the author, South African Judge Richard Goldstone, is an “anti-semite” for penning the report, and the government has insisted its backers in the UN are also anti-semites which seeks to see the Jews slaughtered.

Read Full Post »


Times Online

September 16, 2009

Sheera Frenkel in Jerusalem

Israel launched a diplomatic offensive today in an attempt to discredit a damning UN report that accuses it of committing war crimes during the Gaza offensive.

Yigal Palmor, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, said that Israel would “deploy great diplomatic and political efforts on the international stage to block and contain the perverse and noxious effects of the Goldstone Commission report”.

He added that the report set a dangerous precedent: “Every time a democracy will want to take measures to defend itself from terror, it will have to take into consideration a wide international legal campaign against its leaders and officials, based on the propaganda of the terrorists.”

Israeli officials have stated that they will not allow an independent inquiry into the military’s conduct in Gaza, so rejecting one of the key recommendations of the report.

~More~


Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch:

“Justice Goldstone’s reputation for fairness and integrity is unmatched, and his investigation provides the best opportunity to address alleged violations by both Hamas and Israel. What’s at stake is not just finding out the truth about what happened in Gaza, but the future of international efforts to hold those who violate international law accountable.”

Read Full Post »

Transcript of former US President Jimmy Carter’s Address to the United Nations Relief Works Agency’s Human Rights Graduation in Gaza, June 16, 2009.

By Jimmy Carter | Information Clearing House, June 16, 2009

Director of UNRWA operations John Ging, thank you for inviting me to Gaza. Distinguished guests, children of Gaza, I am grateful for your warm reception.

I first visited Gaza 36 years ago and returned during the 1980s and later for the very successful Palestinian elections. Although under occupation, this community was relatively peaceful and prosperous. Now, the aftermath of bombs, missiles, tanks, bulldozers and the continuing economic siege have brought death, destruction, pain, and suffering to the people here. Tragically, the international community largely ignores the cries for help, while the citizens of Gaza are being treated more like animals than human beings.

Continued >>

Read Full Post »

by Geezer Power

Israel demolishes two houses in East Jerusalem

Israel considers all of Jerusalem its “eternal and united capital” but has not won international recognition of its claim.

If you don’t believe it check out the the ‘City of David’ digs, featuring excavation of the ancient Silwan aqueduct tunneling around and under the Old City. Israeli archaeologist Yoni Mizrachi says the Israel Antiquities Authority relies on ElAd for funding and has given control over the archaeological sites in Silwan to ElAd; According to Mizrachi, ‘Ir David’ is “one of the few sites operated by private organisations and it is the only one run by a right-wing organisation.” In an Op-Ed for The Guardian, Palestinian rights activist Yigal Bronner (faculty of the University of Chicago), says of the Israel Antiquities Authority: “the same government agency that in 1997 warned against handing over the site to the settlers is now Elad’s happy subcontractor.”

The Palestinian Authority says it wants East Jerusalem as the capital of the state it hopes to establish in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

So we now see the US offering monetary assistance to Palestine. This after sitting on their hands while Gaza’s infrastructure was deliberately destroyed and civilian deaths topped 1000. This looks like a deja vu to me where Bu$hco offered $3 million to Lebanon, while Kuwait offered a$800 million and Saudi Arabia’s offer topped 1 billion.

US offers $900,000,000 in aid to Palestine

march 2, 2009

(CNN) — The United States has offered more than $900 million to help the Palestinian people, particularly those in Gaza, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Monday.

While at the same time we see Israel proceeding with business as ususal.

Israel plans for 73,000 housing units in West Bank

Mon 2 Mar 2009

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli authorities have made plans for 73,000 new housing units in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, although only a fraction of the proposals has been approved, an anti-settlement group said Monday.

The information, in a new report by Peace Now, indicated that Israel’s next government, which right-winger Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to form following last month’s election, could have a wide choice of projects for settlement expansion.

Read Full Post »

by Geezer Power

CommonDreams.org January 15.2009

by Glenn Greenwald

Tom Friedman, one of the nation’s leading propagandists for the Iraq War and a vigorous supporter of all of Israel’s wars, has a column today in The New York Times explaining and praising the Israeli attack on Gaza. For the sake of robust and diverse debate (for which our Liberal Media is so well known), Friedman’s column today appears alongside an Op-Ed from The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, one of the nation’s leading (and most deceitful) propagandists for the Iraq War and a vigorous supporter of all of Israel’s wars, who explains that Hamas is incorrigibly hateful and radical and cannot be negotiated with. One can hardly imagine a more compelling exhibit demonstrating the complete lack of accountability in the “journalism” profession — at least for those who are loyal establishment spokespeople who reflexively cheer on wars — than a leading Op-Ed page presenting these two war advocates, of all people, as experts, of all things, on the joys and glories of the latest Middle East war.

MORE

Al Jazeera’s Sherine Tadros reports from Gaza on the 20th day of the war.

Read Full Post »

Israel Shells UN Headquarters In Gaza

IBRAHIM BARZAK and AMY TEIBEL | January 15, 2009 10:32 AM EST | AP

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israel shelled the United Nations headquarters in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, engulfing the compound and a warehouse in fire and destroying thousands of pounds of food and humanitarian supplies intended for Palestinian refugees.

U.N. workers and Palestinian firefighters, some wearing bulletproof jackets, struggled to douse the flames and pull bags of food aid from the debris after the Israeli attack, which was another blow to efforts to ease the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip. Dense smoke billowed from the compound.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who is in the region to end the devastating offensive against Gaza’s Hamas rulers, demanded a “full explanation” and said the Israeli defense minister told him there had been a “grave mistake.”

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the military fired artillery shells at the U.N. compound after Hamas militants opened fire from the location. Three people were wounded.

MORE HERE

Read Full Post »

Osama Bin Laden Challenges Obama In Tape

LEE KEATH | January 14, 2009 10:18 AM EST | AP

CAIRO, Egypt — Al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden urged Muslims to launch a jihad against Israel and condemned Arab governments as allies of the Jewish state in a new message aimed at harnessing anger in the Mideast over the Gaza offensive.

Bin Laden spoke in an audiotape posted Wednesday on Islamic militant Web sites where al-Qaida usually issues its messages. It was his first tape since May and came nearly three weeks after Israel started its campaign against Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers.

The al-Qaida leader also vowed that the terror network would open “new fronts” against the United States and its allies beyond Iraq and Afghanistan. He said President-elect Barack Obama has received a “heavy inheritance” from George W. Bush _ two wars and “the collapse of the economy,” which he said will render the United States unable to sustain a long fight against the mujahedeen, or holy warriors.

“There is only one strong way to bring the return of Al-Aqsa and Palestine, and that is jihad in the path of God,” bin Laden said in the 22-minute audiotape, referring to the revered Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. “The duty is to urge people to jihad and to enlist the youth into jihad brigades.”

MORE HERE

Read Full Post »

Sudhan @22:35 CET

Hamas’s violations are no justification for Israel’s actions.


By GEORGE E. BISHARAT | The Wall Street Journal, January 10, 2009

Israel’s current assault on the Gaza Strip cannot be justified by self-defense. Rather, it involves serious violations of international law, including war crimes. Senior Israeli political and military leaders may bear personal liability for their offenses, and they could be prosecuted by an international tribunal, or by nations practicing universal jurisdiction over grave international crimes. Hamas fighters have also violated the laws of warfare, but their misdeeds do not justify Israel’s acts.

The United Nations charter preserved the customary right of a state to retaliate against an “armed attack” from another state. The right has evolved to cover nonstate actors operating beyond the borders of the state claiming self-defense, and arguably would apply to Hamas. However, an armed attack involves serious violations of the peace. Minor border skirmishes are common, and if all were considered armed attacks, states could easily exploit them — as surrounding facts are often murky and unverifiable — to launch wars of aggression. That is exactly what Israel seems to be currently attempting.

Israel had not suffered an “armed attack” immediately prior to its bombardment of the Gaza Strip. Since firing the first Kassam rocket into Israel in 2002, Hamas and other Palestinian groups have loosed thousands of rockets and mortar shells into Israel, causing about two dozen Israeli deaths and widespread fear. As indiscriminate attacks on civilians, these were war crimes. During roughly the same period, Israeli forces killed about 2,700 Palestinians in Gaza by targeted killings, aerial bombings, in raids, etc., according to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.

But on June 19, 2008, Hamas and Israel commenced a six-month truce. Neither side complied perfectly. Israel refused to substantially ease the suffocating siege of Gaza imposed in June 2007. Hamas permitted sporadic rocket fire — typically after Israel killed or seized Hamas members in the West Bank, where the truce did not apply. Either one or no Israelis were killed (reports differ) by rockets in the half year leading up to the current attack.

Israel then broke the truce on Nov. 4, raiding the Gaza Strip and killing a Palestinian. Hamas retaliated with rocket fire; Israel then killed five more Palestinians. In the following days, Hamas continued rocket fire — yet still no Israelis died. Israel cannot claim self-defense against this escalation, because it was provoked by Israel’s own violation.

An armed attack that is not justified by self-defense is a war of aggression. Under the Nuremberg Principles affirmed by U.N. Resolution 95, aggression is a crime against peace.

Israel has also failed to adequately discriminate between military and nonmilitary targets. Israel’s American-made F-16s and Apache helicopters have destroyed mosques, the education and justice ministries, a university, prisons, courts and police stations. These institutions were part of Gaza’s civilian infrastructure. And when nonmilitary institutions are targeted, civilians die. Many killed in the last week were young police recruits with no military roles. Civilian employees in the Hamas-led government deserve the protections of international law like all others. Hamas’s ideology — which employees may or may not share — is abhorrent, but civilized nations do not kill people merely for what they think.

Deliberate attacks on civilians that lack strict military necessity are war crimes. Israel’s current violations of international law extend a long pattern of abuse of the rights of Gaza Palestinians. Eighty percent of Gaza’s 1.5 million residents are Palestinian refugees who were forced from their homes or fled in fear of Jewish terrorist attacks in 1948. For 60 years, Israel has denied the internationally recognized rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes — because they are not Jews.

Although Israel withdrew its settlers and soldiers from Gaza in 2005, it continues to tightly regulate Gaza’s coast, airspace and borders. Thus, Israel remains an occupying power with a legal duty to protect Gaza’s civilian population. But Israel’s 18-month siege of the Gaza Strip preceding the current crisis violated this obligation egregiously. It brought economic activity to a near standstill, left children hungry and malnourished, and denied Palestinian students opportunities to study abroad.

Israel should be held accountable for its crimes, and the U.S. should stop abetting it with unconditional military and diplomatic support.

George E. Bisharat is a professor at Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.

Read Full Post »

Nasir@15:15 CET

By Professor Rashid Khalidi | New York Times,

Published: January 7, 2009

NEARLY everything you’ve been led to believe about Gaza is wrong. Below are a few essential points that seem to be missing from the conversation, much of which has taken place in the press, about Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip.

THE GAZANS: Most of the people living in Gaza are not there by choice. The majority of the 1.5 million people crammed into the roughly 140 square miles of the Gaza Strip belong to families that came from towns and villages outside Gaza like Ashkelon and Beersheba. They were driven to Gaza by the Israeli Army in 1948.

THE OCCUPATION: The Gazans have lived under Israeli occupation since the Six-Day War in 1967. Israel is still widely considered to be an occupying power, even though it removed its troops and settlers from the strip in 2005. Israel still controls access to the area, imports and exports, and the movement of people in and out. Israel has control over Gaza’s air space and sea coast, and its forces enter the area at will. As the occupying power, Israel has the responsibility under the Fourth Geneva Convention to see to the welfare of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip.

THE BLOCKADE: Israel’s blockade of the strip, with the support of the United States and the European Union, has grown increasingly stringent since Hamas won the Palestinian Legislative Council elections in January 2006. Fuel, electricity, imports, exports and the movement of people in and out of the Strip have been slowly choked off, leading to life-threatening problems of sanitation, health, water supply and transportation.

The blockade has subjected many to unemployment, penury and malnutrition. This amounts to the collective punishment — with the tacit support of the United States — of a civilian population for exercising its democratic rights.

THE CEASE-FIRE: Lifting the blockade, along with a cessation of rocket fire, was one of the key terms of the June cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. This accord led to a reduction in rockets fired from Gaza from hundreds in May and June to a total of less than 20 in the subsequent four months (according to Israeli government figures). The cease-fire broke down when Israeli forces launched major air and ground attacks in early November; six Hamas operatives were reported killed.

WAR CRIMES: The targeting of civilians, whether by Hamas or by Israel, is potentially a war crime. Every human life is precious. But the numbers speak for themselves: Nearly 700 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed since the conflict broke out at the end of last year. In contrast, there have been around a dozen Israelis killed, many of them soldiers. Negotiation is a much more effective way to deal with rockets and other forms of violence. This might have been able to happen had Israel fulfilled the terms of the June cease-fire and lifted its blockade of the Gaza Strip.

This war on the people of Gaza isn’t really about rockets. Nor is it about “restoring Israel’s deterrence,” as the Israeli press might have you believe. Far more revealing are the words of Moshe Yaalon, then the Israeli Defense Forces chief of staff, in 2002: “The Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people.”

Rashid Khalidi, a professor of Arab studies at Columbia, is the author of the forthcoming “Sowing Crisis: The Cold War and American Dominance in the Middle East.”

Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: