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Posts Tagged ‘Gaza’

by César Chelala, CommonDreams.org, Dec 14, 2009

The collusion between Egypt and the U.S. to build a wall separating Egypt from Gaza not only threatens Gazans’ health and quality of life, already severely deteriorated by the de facto Israeli blockade, it is a serious violation of international law.

According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, Egypt is installing an underground metal wall 70-100 feet deep along the border strip where Palestinians have dug a maze-like set of tunnels to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. The construction of the wall, carried out with the collaboration of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, has been denied by the Egyptian government.

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Making an American ‘Impenetrable Underground Wall’ the Laughing Stock of the World—Leave It to the People of Gaza

By Ann Wright, Information Clearing House, Dec 10, 2009

No doubt at the instigation of the Israeli government, the Obama administration has authorized the United States Army Corps of Engineers to design a vertical underground wall under the border between Egypt and Gaza.

In March, 2009 the United States provided the government of Egypt with $32 million for electronic surveillance and other security devices to prevent the movement of food, merchandise and weapons into Gaza. Now details are emerging about an underground steel wall that will be 6-7 miles long and extend 55 feet straight down into the desert sand.

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Professor Stephen Zunes, Foreign Policy In Focus, November 4, 2009

In a stunning blow against international law and human rights, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a resolution on Tuesday attacking the report of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict. The report was authored by the well-respected South African jurist Richard Goldstone and three other noted authorities on international humanitarian law, who had been widely praised for taking leadership in previous investigations of war crimes in Rwanda, Darfur, the former Yugoslavia, and elsewhere. Since this report documented apparent war crimes by a key U.S. ally, however, Congress has taken the unprecedented action of passing a resolution condemning it. Perhaps most ominously, the resolution also endorses Israel’s right to attack Syria and Iran on the grounds that they are “state sponsors of terrorism.”

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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.

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Promote Justice for Victims on Both sides

Human Rights Watch, September 27, 2009

(Washington, DC) – The Obama administration should fully endorse the report of the United Nations fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict led by Justice Richard Goldstone and demand justice for the victims of serious laws-of-war violations in the conflict, Human Rights Watch said today.

Dismissal of all or parts of the Goldstone report would contradict President Barack Obama’s stated commitment to human rights in the Middle East and reveal an ill-timed double-standard in Washington’s approach to international justice, Human Rights Watch said. It would also undermine efforts to revive the peace process.

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Gideon Levy, Haaretz/Israel, Sept 17, 2009

There’s a name on every bullet, and there’s someone responsible for every crime. The Teflon cloak Israel has wrapped around itself since Operation Cast Lead has been ripped off, once and for all, and now the difficult questions must be faced. It has become superfluous to ask whether war crimes were committed in Gaza, because authoritative and clear-cut answers have already been given. So the follow-up question has to be addressed: Who’s to blame? If war crimes were committed in Gaza, it follows that there are war criminals at large among us. They must be held accountable and punished. This is the harsh conclusion to be drawn from the detailed United Nations report.

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By Jeremy R. Hammond | Foreign Policy Journal, July 1, 2009

The 'Spirit of Humanity' sets sail for Gaza (Free Gaza Movement)The ‘Spirit of Humanity’ sets sail for Gaza (Free Gaza Movement)

The Free Gaza Movement announced in a press release on Tuesday that its boat The Spirit of Humanity had been intercepted by the Israeli navy while en route from Cyprus to the Gaza Strip to deliver humanitarian supplies to the Palestinian people.

The people of Gaza have suffered under an Israeli siege and a three-week military assault code-named Operation Cast Lead that began on December 27 last year.

Israel has been heavily criticized by human rights groups for its actions during that campaign, which included indiscriminate bombing of civilian targets and the use of white phosphorus as a weapon, forbidden under international law.

The Israeli navy intercepted the boat, named the Arion but dubbed The Spirit of Humanity by its passengers, boarded it, and then forcibly directed it to Ashdod, Israel.

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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.

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Editorial

The Guardian, UK,  Tuesday 24 March 2009

Evidence that Israel committed war crimes in its 23-day operation in Gaza mounts by the week. Amnesty and Human Rights Watch have both appealed for a United Nations inquiry, after conducting their own investigations. Last week Ha’aretz published the testimonies of Israeli soldiers who alleged that a sniper shot a Palestinian mother and her two children, and that a company commander ordered an elderly woman to be killed. Yesterday Physicians for Human Rights accused soldiers of ignoring the special protection that Palestinian medical teams are entitled to receive. Today the Guardian releases three films in which our reporter Clancy Chassay reveals evidence that Israel used drones to fire at civilian targets, killing at least 48; he interviews three Palestinian youths used by Israeli soldiers as human shields and alleges that soldiers targeted paramedics and hospitals.

None of this is to deny that a case also exists against Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza. Firing unaimable rockets at civilians in southern Israel is also a war crime. But there is no symmetry of guilt. Israel has weapons it can place to within a metre of its intended targets. Its drones have high-quality optics that can see the colour of the target’s sweater. And they film everything both before and after each attack. The army has the means to refute these allegations, but feels no obligation to do so. An international inquiry should be launched for no other reason than to hold it accountable.

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Press TV | Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Laboratory tests conducted by a Turkish university on Gaza soil have confirmed the use of phosphorus bombs by Israel in the coastal sliver.

Istanbul’s Yildiz Technical University conducted the tests on soil transferred by the Association of Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed Peoples (MAZLUM-DER).

The tests yielded results confirming the existence of white phosphorus particles in the samples, the daily Vakit reports.

White phosphorus, classified as a ‘chemical weapon’ by US intelligence, is an incendiary material that causes horrific burns, severe injuries or death when it comes in contact with humans.

During Israel’s 23-day offensive in the Gaza Strip, a fierce controversy broke out over the alleged use of white phosphorus — also known by the military as WP or Willie Pete — by the Israeli army.

The legality of the toxic chemical agent is a matter of debate, with many groups recognizing it as an illegal weapon, while international law allows its usage solely for smoke-screening.

Israel maintains that its actions were being conducted under international laws, despite contradictory reports of the Israeli claim.

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