Protective Edge War Crimes

BADIL Releases No Safe Place: crimes against humanity and war crimes perpetrated by high-level Israeli officials in the course of ‘Operation Protective Edge’

The BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights announces the release of No Safe Place; a report based upon BADIL’s formal submission to the International Criminal Court, delivered to the Office of the Prosecutor in February 2016. No Safe Place provides a damning indictment of Israeli acts and policies employed during ‘Operation Protective Edge’; and concludes that high-level Israeli officials were culpable for both war crimes and crimes against humanity in the context of this operation.
 
Protective Edge – a 50 day military assault directed by Israel against the Gaza Strip and its population – left more than 2,250 Palestinians dead, and almost 170,000 Palestinian homes destroyed or damaged, leaving 108,000 Palestinians homeless. The Gaza Strip’s sole power plant ceased operation following Israeli airstrikes. 17 out of 32 hospitals were damaged, with six closed down as a result. Out of 97 primary health centers monitored for damage and closures by UN bodies, four were completely destroyed, while 45 sustained damage. Palestinian agricultural infrastructure suffered damage to the tune of $550m.
 
This staggering level of death, injury and destruction naturally produced mass forced displacement of Palestinian civilians on a vast scale, and at the height of the violence roughly half a million Palestinians were internally displaced inside the Gaza Strip, accounting for 28% of the enclave’s total population.
 
With forewords from Professor Richard Falk and Dr Michael Kearney, No Safe Place draws upon 90 interviews conducted by BADIL with Palestinians displaced during Protective Edge, and locates this displacement within the appropriate frameworks of international humanitarian and criminal law.
 
As such, the report sets out in vivid detail the wide range of policies and practices deployed by Israel which, contrary to international law, forced Palestinians to flee their homes and communities en masse, including Israel’s active targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure. Moreover, these displaced Palestinians were provided with no safe place to which to flee. To the contrary, humanitarian shelters and civilian escape routes were deliberately attacked by Israeli forces, whilst Israel’s continuing closure of the Gaza Strip has made it impossible to conduct adequate reconstruction, with the result that, for many tens of thousands of Palestinians inside this enclave, their displacement and suffering has no ending in sight.
 
The report thus concludes that there exists a reasonable basis to believe that high-level Israeli officials, within both military and political office, were culpable of, inter alia, the war crime and crime against humanity of forcible transfer, and the crime against humanity of persecution. In addition, the report highlights a range of grievous structural failings in Israel’s internal investigative processes; failings which remove any possibility of these processes providing effective review of the conduct of Israeli forces and/or Israeli officials during Protective Edge.
 
Israel shows no willingness to address these critical shortcomings, and intervention by the International Criminal Court therefore represents the only realistic means of holding to account Israeli perpetrators of these international crimes, and of delivering justice to Palestinian victims. Accordingly, BADIL calls upon the Office of the Prosecutor, as a matter of priority, to initiate a formal investigation into the conduct of high-level Israeli officials in the context of Operation Protective Edge.

This report constitutes a progressive and expert-reviewed analysis on an area which has not previously been thoroughly explored; namely that of forced displacement of Palestinians as a war crime and crime against humanity. This is an area which is steadily gaining greater awareness in the context of Israel’s ongoing occupation of Palestinian territory, with forcible transfer recently receiving extensive coverage in the report of the UN Secretary-General on Israeli settlement construction.  To this end, the evidence presented within No Safe Place points directly towards the culpability of senior Israeli politicians and military commanders for the war crime and crime against humanity of forcible transfer, as well as the crime against humanity of persecution.
For any questions or media requests relating to this email, please contact media@badil.org

Criminalisation of Free Speech and Double Standards | Dissident Voice

http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/04/criminalisation-of-free-speech-and-double-standards/

These opening paragraphs from the Dissident Voice post above show how close we sit in Oz to the Canadian govt’s obsequious relationship with the zionist lobby and Israel.

The BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) Movement is a legitimate peaceful struggle against Israeli apartheid in an illegal occupation. But as we have known forever, one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist…. Oh Canada…zero tolerance against rhetoric? Spare me….

“In what appears to be another attempt to suppress criticism of Israel, the Canadian government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Israel which makes the claim that “the selective targeting of Israel is the new face of anti-Semitism” and declares that Canada will oppose those who support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Shortly after the MOU was signed, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney announced to the UN General Assembly that the Canadian government would exercise “zero tolerance” toward “all forms of discrimination including rhetoric towards Israel, and attempts to delegitimise Israel such as the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.”1

Well, “Thats It!”

I met a Muslim man who was said to be the font of all religious knowledge for a group of Palestinians in Melbourne. I asked him if the time of Ramadan was placed like the time of Easter was over seasonal times of celebration and the moon phases. His answer?

“It is what it is and THATS IT!”

Luckily others I met were less rigid. He was known to us after that simply as Mr Thatsit.

I am thinking his type of person has started to take over the world…..but I wont let myself go that far. It does look like the last nail in the coffin that was Yarmouk, Damascus has been nailed this week.

At the end of this post I have included a video posted yesterday which shows IS moving through the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee area yelling “Takfir.” There is no doubt that the beautiful piano man in the video below has gone and any smiles disappeared under Al Nusra and now their ‘friends’ the IS or as they are all known to the locals Da’ash. First the piano man……………

Read the electronic intifada article here

But that’s all gone now as on April Fools Day, 6 days ago, Al Yarmouk, once the largest area housing Palestinian Refugees in Syria,  was overrun by IS. Not that the Nusrats were any better, in fact it is believed it was them that ushered IS in through the corridor streets to Yarmouk. The name Al Yarmouk in Arabic means literally, “The Camp”. Just 8ks from the centre of the once beautiful city of Damascus. Yarmouk was, until late 2011, a thriving metropolitan suburb.

Then in 2011, things started to crack. We were told the war in Syria was a result of the so-called Arab Spring, people inside Syria wanting ‘Regime Change.’ The so-called Free Syrian Army (Moderates?!) were intent of removing a ‘corrupt regime’ and ‘instituting democratic reform’. It was clear then that these FSA Leaders were people who had not lived in the country for years. They were political exiles who did not have the support of the majority of the Syrian people. But the neo-lib and hasbura press continued to ploy us with platitudes and rhetoric to keep us dumbed down.

My first site on MSM of the now bitter and criminally insane war was in 2011. It was of unidentified uniformed snipers labelled ‘Assad regime forces,’ shooting western guns (?) at demonstrators in Deraa from behind a low brick wall…..remind anyone of past covert regime change ‘interventions’? When things got hotter we were ‘informed’ by MSM that the fight was a ‘Civil War,’ ‘fuelled by sectarian interests’. This in a country where Christians still made wine, Muslims were quietly accepting of their various typology and even included around 20,000 Israeli Jews who entered when the Golan Heights were taken by Israel.

Palestinians generally wanted to stay non-aligned, many making this declaration on-line. But Palestinians and their cause is always a international hot potato. They were about to be forced to chose. We saw the Palestinians drawn into a War that they on the whole did not see as theirs. They generally supported the government of Bashar Al Assad who had clearly supported them in the past and this was not their War, but it was closing in on them.

Palestinian refugees in Syria over 18years old do compulsory military service in the PLA (Palestinian Army in Syria) for 18 months, trained by the PLA with  Syrian army weapons and facilities. The PLA was also based in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon with mandates to cooperate with their hosts. Now, the Syrian PLA base is the only one in the entire Arab world. Between January and July 2012, seven organised assassinations were carried out on senior military PLA  members. My brother in law was shot under such circumstances and no doubt other similar lesser ranked soldiers died in in the same way. On 2nd August 2012, a visiting reporter to Yarmouk, Sharmine Narwani (nsnbc), talked to residents following the first major mortar attack on the suburb which killed 20 people.

Foreign media headlines suggested the Syrian government was shelling Yarmouk, but Palestinians inside expressed doubt. Some said these were rebel mortars from adjacent neighborhoods, but it was clear nobody could provide definitive answers for what may simply have been a series of stray shells…. Yarmouk, once home to around a million Syrians and 160,000 Palestinian refugees, was an oasis of calm that summer day of my visit. By contrast, driving through rebel-occupied Tadamoun, Yalda and Hajar al-Aswad on my way in and out of the camp, one could only gape at the burned buildings and vehicles, shuttered shops, rubble in the streets and makeshift checkpoints dotting these new conflict zones.

Attacks inside Yarmouk began with snipers and mortars from neighbouring suburbs, people began to disappear for ransom or just disappear for ever. People knew there was a strong push from Saudi Arabia to ‘change the state of play in Syria and that their money fed the so called ‘insurgents’ who were no more than mercenaries. PFLP leader Ahmad Jabril was clearly behind Al Assad, and left Yarmouk for his own protection, internal cracks began to show. People who remained inside the camp were divided. Thousands of Islamist fighters invaded and occupied Yarmouk on December 17, 2012 In Dec 2012 it was reported that…

All of the camp is under the control of the (rebel) Free Syrian Army,” said a Palestinian activist in Yarmouk. He said clashes had stopped and the remaining PFLP-GC fighters retreated to join Assad’s forces massed on the northern edge of the camp. The stories these fighters tell me is nothing I have read in English, or in any mainstream publication outside Syria. Theirs is a story that is black-and-white. Thousands of Islamist fighters invaded and occupied Yarmouk on December 17, 2012, and Palestinians and Syrians alike fled the camp, literally beginning the next day. see here

At this time most people left Yarmouk, for other Damascan suburbs or moved outside the country predominantly to Lebanon, and onto Europe if they could. In 2013 their fears were even more realised when it became clearer that return to their homes was, if ever possible, a very long way off. Jabat Al Nusra became entrenched in Yarmouk, after yo-yoing in and out due to local fighter efforts and government force attacks.

The militants, they say, systematically destroyed the camp, killed people, looted homes, hospitals – anything they could get their hands on. They insist that the rebels could not have captured Yarmouk without the help of Hamas, and are convinced that Hamas supporters are still inside the camp, now members of Al-Nusra Front, AknafBeit al-Maqdes, Ohdat al-Omariyya, Ahrar al-Yarmouk, Zahrat al Mada’en and other rebel groups that they say occupy the camp. They claim Hamas employed and provided financial assistance to displaced Syrians who escaped conflict elsewhere and settled in Yarmouk. “They hired them for this conflict,” says one. The finger-pointing at Hamas persists throughout all my conversations with refugees in the three separate camps I visit in Syria. While all Hamas officials exited the country early on in the conflict, the fact remains that many Palestinians affiliated with Hamas did not. On the outside, we understand Hamas is not there, but within the camps, Palestinians identify the individuals they accuse of sedition as “Hamas people.” This blurred line has provided Hamas’ political leadership with ‘plausible deniability’ against accusations that it has aided Islamist rebels in the camps. The fuzzy lines first became clear to me in the autumn of 2011 when a Hamas official confided that they had to “remove some people” from these areas who were displaying increasing sympathy with the Syrian opposition.

See complete article here The same journalist that reported the situation (above) returned in March 2014.

A year-and-a-half later, in March 2014, I visited Yarmouk again. The camp is unrecognizable now, and the pictures we see don’t do justice to the damage. At the entrance of the camp, I was greeted by armed Palestinians who are part of a 14-group ‘volunteer force’ formed for the purpose of protecting Yarmouk and ejecting the rebel fighters deep inside the camp. The group falls under the umbrella of the Popular Palestinian Committees for the Liberation of Yarmouk. When I ask them where they’re from, in rapid-fire, one after the other, they tell me,“Safad, Lubya, Haifa, Tiberias, Jerusalem, Acca,” though, of course, they’re too young to ever have been to any of these places. That’s where their parents or grandparents hail from. That’s where they intend to return one day. There’s a lone Syrian among them. He was raised in Yarmouk and is a Palestinian as far as he’s concerned. The stories these fighters tell me is nothing I have read in English, or in any mainstream publication outside Syria. Theirs is a story that is black-and-white.

On 24th Dec 2014, Palestinian Fatah leader Mohammad Ahmad Tarawiya was shot and killed in Yarmouk

The assassination of Tarawiya happened at sustained attempts, since 2012, to target Palestinian refugee camps and to weaken Palestinian factions in Syria which are among the strongest of the progressive and pan-Arabist Palestinian resistance fronts. The assassination also happens against the backdrop of disputes within Palestine’s Fatah movement itself. Within Yarmouk itself, there have been armed rivalries between Hamas and foreign-backed insurgents on one side, and Fatah, the Palestine Liberation Army (PLA), the PFLP-GC and other progressive as well as rejectionist factions on the other since 2012. While it is still uncertain who the masked gunmen that shot Tarawiya were, or on whose behalf they acted, it is certain that Tarawiya had both foreign and Palestinian foes.”

See source here This is what is there now, please check it, watching these guys manoeuvre through empty suburban streets is eerie…………………………………

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=870_1428256142

Ahmad Jebril said in 2012 if Yarmouk falls Damascus falls, I hope he was wrong. Enough people have suffered and 3500 children remain in Yarmouk. No playschool, dancing or piano classes for them.

Israel trains our dual citizens. We consider the IDF a ‘legitimate’ force and they act with impunity. How will these fighters behave when they come home?

As you may know, I am a huge fan of Jonathon Cook. A tireless sound journalist who lives in Nazareth. His insights and investigations are always read-worthy. His latest blog includes video’s of IOF home invasions that show  the complete disregard for human rights towards the Palestinian families whose homes are entered and whose children are traumatised.

The senior IOF officer continues to alert his young soldiers to the need to have both hands on their weapons at all times and the disregard and abuse shown toward the Palestinian families is an offence to humanity.

Watch how  young Israeli Dual Nationals are trained and what they are expected to do when they go with our governments blessing to do ‘a tour of IOF duty’.

Wonder how their experiences in maintaining an illegal occupation will radicalise and transform them.

Consider how their apartheid occupation ‘duties’ will effect them and their relationships with others in our community when they return to Australia when violations of the human rights of Palestinians is ‘just another day’s work’ for them.

As Jonathon says what normal human instincts of compassion have to be battered into submission, what ugly instincts of tribal superiority have to be cultivated?”

Videos of Israeli raids on sleeping children

25 March 2015

I suspect the word “occupation” – even the more precise “belligerent occupation” – fails to convey to most people the reality of daily horrors inflicted on the Palestinians. Of course, we know that occupations in general are bad and that it would be better if this particular one ended. But what does an occupation feel like if you’re a child, if you’re four or eight years old?

Here are two videos, released by B’Tselem, to remind us of what an occupation is like as lived experience rather than as an abstract concept. They document masked, armed soldiers breaking into the homes of Palestinians in Hebron in the middle of the night to force children awake, and then photograph and interrogate them. The soldiers go door to door, from one apartment to the the next, as casually as if they were coming to read the electricity meter. For the soldiers, this is just one of dozens of “jobs” they have that night terrifying families.

Behind the immediate terror of being confronted by these faceless soldiers, the children know from friends or family that there is a real danger they will be seized – maybe tonight or another night – if the military decide they are wanted. They will be taken from their parents without warning to a military prison, where they may be held for months and their family will probably be unable to visit them.

What damage does this do to the children – and what dread do the parents have to live with?

Give a thought too, even if a very secondary one, to these soldiers. What normal human instincts of compassion have to be battered into submission, what ugly instincts of tribal superiority have to be cultivated, for someone to behave the ways these soldiers – and many thousands more like them – do?

– See more at: http://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2015-03-25/videos-of-israeli-raids-on-sleeping-children/#sthash.ZSf8tAg7.dpuf

Likud use vile electoral propaganda in their current drive to maintain power in Israel.

I just watched SBS ‘The FEED’ brief report on the outrage of Amman based Palestinian Hip Hop band, TORBYEH at the unauthorised theft of their music in a vile Likud advert for the upcoming elections in Israel.

Likud has hijacked on of the band’s  tracks for a deplorable ad that relates voting ‘left’ in the upcoming Israeli election with a vote for terrorism and connects the band’s song ‘Ghorbah’ (meaning ‘exile’ in Arabic) with IS.

Torabyeh’s track, ‘Ghorbah’ from 3 years ago, for your edification below

Yahoo News who I never like to quote, (but was lost for other reports) states;  (full report here)

  Torabyeh denounced the unauthorised artistic collaboration with the Israeli party’s “electoral propaganda attacking the so-called Zionist ‘left-wing’.”

“We strongly condemn and reject this ruthless infringement of intellectual property rights and the distortion of the reputation of Torabyeh,” the group said on their Facebook page.

They said use of their song in this context “implicates the Torabyeh group by containing serious accusations of terrorism and association with IS which is consequently putting the group’s members lives at risk”.

Torabyeh stressed it rejected “all forms of cooperation with the Zionist enemy”, and pledged to “take all necessary legal action against those responsible”.

The Likud advert shows the fear mongering behaviour of Netanyahu and his Likud goons. Sorry I can’t translate Hebrew (but not sorry really). But here’s the drum from liveleak…..

The video shows actors playing Islamic State terrorists driving in a white pickup truck with Islamic State flags waving from its windows on a desert road, as Arabic rap music plays in the background.They pull up next to another car and ask the (Israeli) driver how to get to Jerusalem and get the response, “turn left.”As the terrorists drive away, the “Anyone but Bibi” slogan can be seen on the truck’s bumper with the words, “the Left will surrender to terrorism,” and bullet holes appear on the screen. In the end of the clip the title shows “It is us or them. Only The Likud. Only Netanyau” The video is called: It’s us or them – Daesh version.
 (The) Left part(y) (sic) Meretz already demanded to probe the Likud for incitment in this political campaign ad”. See article here

The Likud Advert…..

The new UN Peace Envoy clearly shows the shonkiness of the “Middle East Process”

Repost from Medhajnews.com Indian news site on the announcement of Nikolai Mladenov as UN envoy to the ‘Middle East peace process’.

Nikolai Mladenov Photo BGNES

Nikolai Mladenov Photo BGNES

The article in full below.

“Set-Up! New UN Peace Envoy Mladenov To Palestine Is A Known Zionist!”

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) warned of the appointment of Nikolay Mladenov as United Nations envoy, replacing Robert Serry, to the Middle East peace process for being known for his support of Israel.

Kayed al-Ghoul, member of the PFLP Political Bureau, said of the appointment “It is contradictory to any effort leading to real peace with justice in the region; rather Mladenov will offer a real cover for the crimes of the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people”.

Ghoul said, in a statement that the appointment of Mladenov in this position is a further attempt by powerful parties in the international organization, particularly the United States, to strengthen the position of the occupation state in international institutions concerned with the Palestinian cause and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

In the same context, Ghoul denounced the attacks and pressures to which William Schabas, chair of the International Commission of Inquiry investigating the Israeli attack on Gaza and its war crimes against the Palestinian people, was subjected to by Israel and its allies, forcing his resignation and leading to his replacement by a US judge on the panel.

“This was clearly an attempt by the Netanyahu government to cut the road in front of the findings of Schabas on the crimes of the occupation in its war on Gaza”, said Ghoul.

Ghoul called on PA President Abu Mazen to take action urgently to stop the appointment of Mladenov because of his clear history of bias in favour of the Israeli occupation.

“It is definitely in contradiction with the rights of the Palestinian people and incompatible with the growing international public demand to hold the Israeli state accountable for its crimes and siege, and to support the rights of the Palestinian people and their struggle for freedom and justice”, he said.

Serry, whose name has been linked to Gaza reconstruction, is to end his work as UN envoy for Middle East peace process in March. He has been serving the position since 2007.

The legal period of the UN envoy for this assignment is five years. However, the UN Secretary General has the power to extend the term as happened with Serry who served the position for eight successive years.

Mladenov is known for his statements in support of Israel and justification of its crimes against the Palestinian people since he was foreign minister of Bulgaria.

Some history:

Mr. Mladenov earned a Master of Arts in War Studies at the King’s College of London, and a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in international relations at the University of National and World Economy of Sofia, in Bulgaria. Has held several positions in the inter-governmental and non-governmental sectors, including at the World Bank, the National Democratic Institute and the International Republic Institute.

2010-13 As Bulgarian Foreign Minister he is quoted as saying…

  • Turkey reacted “a little bit too strongly” to the Gaza flotilla ‘episode’
  • In 2010 in a meeting with President Shimon Peres, he said, “We are lucky that the majority of Bulgarian Jews were saved [during the Holocaust] and were able to go on to build Israel. This [history] creates a strong, emotional connection and responsibility on our part to ensure Israel’s safety and its future.” Asked why he made these comments at a time when Israel was facing increasing international isolation, Mladenov said, “Because I think that is what friends are for, to be with our friends when they are in trouble.”
  • Israel, needed to “work better” on explaining its position in Europe
  • tiptoed around the question of whether he felt Israel’s naval blockade on Gaza was legitimate, saying this was a decision Israel had to make based on its own security. He did say, however, that it was important to allow the access of goods in and out of Gaza to develop the economy there, which in turn would create “a bigger constituency in support of peace, because people will see the benefits of that peace emerging.” See 2010 Jerusalem Post Article here

And video of him speaking on Anti-Semitism here

The PFLP response to this UN appointment is clear…

Al-Ghoul said that the appointment of Mladenov in this position is a further attempt by powerful parties in the international organization, particularly the United States, to strengthen the position of the occupation state in international institutions addressing the Palestinian cause and the “Arab-Israeli conflict.”

In this context, he denounced the attacks and pressures to which William Schabas, chair of the International Commission of Inquiry investigating the Israeli attack on Gaza and its war crimes against the Palestinian people, was subject by the Israeli state and its allies, forcing his resignation and leading to his replacement by a US judge on the panel. This was clearly an attempt by the Netanyahu government to cut the road in front of the findings of Schabas and the ICI on the crimes of the occupation in its war on Gaza, said al-Ghoul.”

 

My opinion?

Not a good pick Ban Ki Moon, but it does show your position and that of the UN quite clearly.

 

14yo Palestinian Female finally Released from Israeli Prison Two days Ago – Video Interview

Thanks to the Indian medhajnews.com for the update on Malak, you may remember I posted on her imprisonment by the Israeli judicial system for ‘stone throwing’ after she was arrested on her way home from school.

See my previous post here (in new tab/window) on Malak from Jan 26th 2015

Malak has spoken to the media on her release. See the 6:32 min video below, where unbelievably Malak states the arresting police accused her of being a member of Hamas.