Monday, December 24, 2012

Violations Affecting Israel

Nadene Goldfoot
War is like a football or basketball game.  There are actually rules and regulations today on what's allowed.

Where did Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Popular Resistance Committee and other resistance groups shoot from in Gaza?  They shot from their own densely populated areas into the civilian population centers in Israel.

Did they make any statements about what their aim was in doing this?  Yes, they stated clearly that harming Israeli civilians was their aim.

What they did was in direct violation to international law in the laws of War.  It's only taken the Human Rights Watch (HRW) about 12 years to make such a statement.  It was particularly noted during the recent "Pillar of Defense" attack of November 14-21, 2012,  in which the Palestinians are now taking so much credit and bragging rights for succeeding.

According to the laws of war summary, the Palestinians had placed their own population in grave risk by doing so which is an act that is condemned.

"Under International Humanitarian Law or the laws of war, civilians and civilian structures may not be subject to deliberate attacks or attacks that do not discriminate between civilians and military targets. Anyone who commits serious laws-of-war violations intentionally or recklessly is responsible for war crimes." (HRW)

Israel has been calling out for help about this ever since 2001 or earlier, but nothing has ever been said as condemnations of. the terrorists actions against Israel.   Now it's coming out that there is a prohibition of reprisal attacks against civilians regardless of attacks from the other side.  That's what's been happening between Gaza and Israel.  Israel has gone in to hit with precision the rocket launchers and their soldiers/terrorists manning them and then Gaza shoots rockets, missiles and mortars into a civilian population.

Israel was also in the wrong by attacking media facilities resulting in journalists being in harm's way according to HRW.  This was called a violation as they didn't say specifically that they were military targets and command centers for the terrorists; thus were not legitimate military targets.  They were in fact military facilities placed in these places that Israel knew of.  They  just didn't announce is early enough, though they did warn journalists and others to leave areas where military action was happening.  However, according to HRW, this was not a proven fact and that even though the TV and radio were cheering on the Palestinians, it was not a legitimate reason to attack them.

HRW is a Human Rights Watch and  is a nonprofit, non-governmental human rights organization started in 1978.   They will go to the UN to campaign for their decisions.  Their 280 staff members are country experts, lawyers, journalists, and academics of diverse backgrounds and nationalities.  Human Rights Watch is an independent, nongovernmental organization, supported by contributions from private individuals and foundations worldwide. It accepts no government funds, directly or indirectly.

Professor Gerald Steinberg, who received his doctorate at Cornell University in 1981, now at Bar Ilan University in Israel,   is an expert on international relations, law, and is a prolific writer.  One paper he wrote on February 26 of this year is about the Human Rights Watch's lost credibility.  He feels they have a consistent credibility gap between their universal moral objectives and the reality of its Middle East political agenda--including obsessive focus on Israel and their cooperation with dictatorships.  He's disappointed in that they haven't yet condemned the use of genocidal threats by the Iranian regime.

Perhaps Professor Steinberg's paper accelerated this HRW report to come out now.  I'm not sure.  If Steinberg watches and reports about HRW and HRW watches and reports on the ills of the world, it's all more than the UN is capable of doing.

Added 1/2/2013 Testimony of how Israel put themselves in harm's way in order to protect civilians, (The Israeli army has backed the rights of civilians in a combat zone)
Update: 1/28/13

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