Posts Tagged ‘a war crime’

Why Israel Chooses Violence

June 6, 2010

Israel’s leaders, both civilian and military, are not fumbling, hysterical novices. Their actions are deliberate and carefully weighed. To realise its expansionist ambitions, Israel has always sought to avoid serious negotiations with the Palestinians because, if negotiations were to succeed, they would inevitably mean ceding territory, notes Patrick Seale.

Middle East Online,  June 4, 2010

Israel’s deadly commando assault last Monday on the Free Gaza flotilla has been variously denounced around the world as state terrorism, piracy, a war crime, and as the latest example of Israel’s arrogant contempt for international law and its criminal indifference for (non-Jewish) human life.

In view of the enormity of the act — and the toll of dead and wounded among unarmed activists seeking to break the three-year Gaza siege — these charges appear justified. But they do not explain why Israel chooses to behave as it does. Its leaders, both civilian and military, are not fumbling, hysterical novices. Their actions are deliberate and carefully weighed. So what is the cold-eyed strategy behind them?

Continues >>

US Sold Phosphorus Shells to Israel

February 4, 2009

Among Israel’s Most Condemned Tactics in Gaza Was Enabled by Arkansas-Made Rounds

Posted February 3, 2009

The Pine Bluff Arsenal, a United States Army installation in Arkansas, specializes in chemical and biological weapons. The military touts them as the only facility in the Northern Hemisphere which fills white phosphorus munitions. That’s the important point here, as it once again ties the US military directly into the Israeli war in the Gaza Strip, and one of its most unseemly practices.

State Department officials told the Associated Press that the United States provided Israel with white phosphorus rounds, and photos taken during the Israeli conflict show the military readying rounds with Pine Bluff Arsenal serial numbers.

The use of white phosphorus is not in and of itself a war crime, and is generally considered acceptable as a means of obscuring troop movements or illuminating areas. Its use in civilian areas however, even if not directed at the civilian population, is banned under the Geneva Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. Preliminary investigations show indisputable evidence that Israel used white phosphorus in some of the most densely populated portions of Gaza, and still burning fragments were found after the war ended wedged into civilian buildings.

The Israeli military officially denied using such munitions during the war, though they eventually conceded to it. Their official story now is that the use was not illegal and that Hamas was the one committing war crimes by provoking such attacks. The treaty prohibits the use of such weapons against military targets in civilian regions however, and makes no exception allowing the nation violating it to transfer blame to others in case they really wanted to hit those targets. Related Stories • February 2, 2009 — Relative End to Gaza War Bolsters Israeli Right in Polls • February 1, 2009 — Israel Bombs Central Gaza as Olmert Vows ‘Disproportionate’ Response • January 30, 2009 — Israeli Envoy: Attack on Gaza a ‘Preintroduction’ to Attack on Iran compiled by Jason Ditz [email the author]

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