Israeli soldiers check their weapons on the southern border with the Gaza Strip. (Photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)
Earlier this month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly asked the U.S. for help in combatting charges of war crimes committed over the last month in Gaza. He will definitely need it.
In recent days, well-documented accounts of war crimes have poured out of the Gaza Strip from journalists and human rights advocates. Some of these stories will likely be followed up on by the United Nations team that has been tasked with investigating war crimes in the Gaza Strip.
Many of these accounts have focused on Khuza’a, a village near Khan Younis that was the site of intensive Israeli bombardment in late July. Khuza’a is near Gaza’s border with Israel, and Israeli forces battled Palestinian fighters there. By manyaccounts from Palestinians and journalists, the village suffered from indiscriminate shelling and firing, leading to the deaths of many Palestinian civilians. There are also reports that Israeli soldiers shot unarmed civilians at point-blank range. (Mondoweiss printed accounts from Palestinians on the apparent massacre in Khuza’a here, here and here.)
Daily Beast’s reporter Jesse Rosenfeld was among the first to document with his own eyes what look like blatant war crimes in the village. On August 1, he published a harrowing account of a mass execution in the village. What was left in the village, Rosenfeld wrote, is “rubble, bombed-out buildings and the all-encompassing, sickening smell of death.” Rosenfeld broke the story of how there were at least six rotting, dead bodies piled together in a small home. He’s careful not to assign blame, but he does report that “the house is filled with casings from the bullets used in assault rifles. They are marked on the bottom as ‘IMI’ (Israel Military Industries).”
Human Rights Watch added their own report three days later. The human rights organization said that Israeli soldiers shot and killed civilians who were fleeing Khuza’a, which is a blatant violation of international law. On July 23, for instance, Israeli soldiers ordered about 100 Palestinians to leave a residence they had gathered in for shelter. When Shahid al-Najjar left the residence, he was shot in the jaw by an Israeli soldier. Then, Human Rights Watch reported, soldiers detained all of the males over the age of 15. They brought some of the detainees into Israel for interrogation. The Israeli forces let some of them go, but fired on one unarmed group while they were walking to Khan Younis, killing one Palestinian and wounding two others.
But perhaps the most disturbing documentation of war crimes was published by the Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights. (The Electronic Intifada’s Rania Khalekcovered the report here.) In Euro-Mid’s August 10th release, the group relayed Palestinian accounts of being used as human shields–a particularly important charge given that Israeli officials have repeatedly accused Hamas of using civilians as human shields with no evidence.
Ramadan Muhammad Qadeeh said that on July 25th, Israeli soldiers raided his home in the village. They killed his 65-year-old father at point-blank range after he tried to tell the soldiers they were just civilians. Then, Qadeeh said, “they ordered us to take off our clothes and tied our hands up. They took us to one of the rooms and used us as shields, making us stand at the windows as if we were looking outside…I was at one window and three children from my family at another. The soldiers then began firing around us.” There are many detailed accounts of how Israel has used Palestinian civilians as human shields during past military operations in Gaza.
The Palestinian journalist Mohammed Omer also reported on apparent war crimes in Khuza’a for the Middle East Eye. Omer wrote on how the Qudeh family was sheltering in their home on July 25 when an Israeli army-operated bulldozer crashed into the home and then soldiers entered the residence. 64-year-old Mohammed Tawfiq Qudeh went to talk with the soldiers while waving a white flag. But as witnesses told Omer, an Israeli soldier shot and killed him.
For who does not understand the need or concept of resistance of Palestine, recommended read:
The History of Resistance – The Eagle of Palestine
- Special Topic – All Israeli Massacres on Palestinians
- iRemember… – Confirmed Names of Martyrs Occupation (*)
- Special Topic – Ethnic Cleansing
- Israeli escalation in Gaza – A cover-up for settlement activity
- “Slow Death” -International report: Collective punishment of Gaza has reached critical stage – Incl Full Report PDF
- A “Leaflet” to the World about it’s own “forgotten” Extermination Camp called Gaza
- Gaza Siege Harshness Continues. Israel’s committing slow-motion genocide ~ by Stephen Lendman
THE LEGAL RIGHT OF RESISTANCE
81 Notre Dame Law Review1275(2006). Conducting an in-depth study of the genocide in Darfur, Sudan, and also discussing other genocides, this article details the inadequacy of many of the international community’s response to genocides, such as “targeted sanctions” or international peacekeeping forces. Examining international legal authorities such as the Genocide Convention, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Court of Justice, the article demonstrates that groups which are being subjected to genocide have a legal right of self-defense. International treaties, Security Council arms embargoes, or national gun control laws cannot lawfully be enforced in a manner which prevents self-defense resistance to a genocide in progress, because under international law, the prohibition against any form of complicity in genocide takes legal precedence over lesser laws. With Paul Gallant & Joanne D. Eisen. In PDF.
- The Palestinian Right of Self Defense
- Brayer: The Absolute Right of Palestinian Resistance – Source
- No. Israel Does Not Have the Right to Self-Defense In International Law Against Occupied Palestinian Territory – Source
- If Jews in WWII Warsaw would have had rockets: They would have fired them too – by occpal
MYTHS & FACTS ABOUT THE ROCKETS FROM GAZA
- The “Rocket” from Gaza Myth – Photography
- More facts about the Rocket from Gaza Myths – Storify
- Half the story: What @IDFSpokesperson leaves out about #Gaza ~ by @yousefmunayyer
- Israel and #Gaza: Context Behind Projectile Fire ~ by @yousefmunayyer
- Truths and lies behind Israel’s attacks on Gaza and its whining about rockets ~ by @AliAbunimah
- Israel is not looking for peace. Nor talks. But: This
* The list of shuhada does not display, the numerous victims of the zionist occupation which are undocumented by media. Nor it displays the victims of the “silent onslaught” due to restrictions of movement, ability to go to hospitals for treatment or life saving surgery, due to lack of medication because of the blockades and so on. For example: The Slow Motion Genocide by the Siege on Gaza only, killed 600 patients since Gaza got under Israeli Siege.
Neither does this list, display the avoidable mortality. A clear and statistical factual evidence, about the number of deaths due to indecent ruling by occupation forces. For even an occupier has obligations under International Laws, Geneva Convention and the Hague regulations, which it is neglecting. These circumstances, together with deliberate policies of the occupier to neglect and even deny every basic human right, severes avoidable mortality which is totally silenced by media or reporting organisations. While in the Holocaust, 1 on 6 Jewish people directly died of deliberate neglect, so if we believe the facts over 1 million due to avoidable mortality, neither should these same circumstances be ignores which are ongoing in Palestine. For this report displays a avoidable morality of at least 0,5 million Palestinians.
How many more dead corpses of Palestinians does the international community need to see in order to act? How many more cruelties and violations of Human Rights, Regulations and International Law will be needed to intervene so this ongoing warcrime is being stopped once and for all.