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THE WAR IN GAZA

 
 
revel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Jan, 2009 09:43 am
Hamas fired the rockets before they declared their own cease fire. In any event; I am glad of the cease fire from both parties and hope it last long enough to get some needed aid to those suffering.

Quote:
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip " Militants in Hamas-ruled Gaza agreed Sunday to a weeklong cease-fire with Israel, after three weeks of violence that Palestinian medics say has killed more than 1,000 people and turned Gaza's streets into battlegrounds.

Sunday's announcement came about 12 hours after Israel declared its own unilateral ceasefire.

Hamas' Syrian-based deputy leader, speaking for the militant Palestinian factions, said on Syrian television that the cease-fire will give Israel time to withdraw and open all the border crossings to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza.

An Israeli security chief told Cabinet ministers the military operation "is not over" and that the next few days would be critical to determining whether it would resume.

The military said no one was injured by more than a dozen militant rockets that struck southern Israel ahead of the announcement from deputy Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouk on Syrian television.

"We the Palestinian resistance factions declare a cease-fire from our side in Gaza and we confirm our stance that the enemy's troops must withdraw from Gaza within a week," Abou Marzouk said.






source
0 Replies
 
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 11:30 am
Israel battles Hamas so the U.S. and the rest of the world don’t have to


* * * last week outgoing U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Israeli Foreign Minister Tsipi Livni signed an agreement in which the U.S. affirmed its commitment to preventing Hamas from rearming in the wake of Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Fortified by this support, Israel's National Security Cabinet voted Saturday evening to end the military operation in Gaza. The cease-fire went into effect early Sunday morning.

Since then, more rockets and mortar shells were fired at southern Israel, even as Israeli forces have begun to withdraw from Gaza. Later Sunday, Hamas also declared a cease-fire and demanded all Israeli forces be withdrawn in one week's time.

Thus the Middle East equation becomes even more complex for U.S. president Barack Obama. * * *

In order to determine the appropriate diplomatic path for the U.S., it’s helpful to review some key facts about Hamas and the current conflict in Gaza. * * *

1. Hamas is a terrorist organization---so declared by the U.S. and the E.U. and factually demonstrable by its constant rocket attacks on Israeli civilian populations. (Surely the irony is not lost on you: Israel is daily condemned for targeting civilians in Gaza [which it does not do], while Hamas, which openly does target civilians, gets a free pass from the international community.)

2. Hamas is dedicated to the annihilation of Israel and Jews. This is no secret: Destruction of Israel is part of the Hamas charter.

3. Hamas believes in global jihad. As a fundamentalist Islamic organization, with ties to the radical Muslim Brotherhood, Hizbollah and Iran, Hamas wishes to impose Shari’a---Islamic law---upon the world’s people. As such, it is the enemy of all nations that don't subscribe to fundamentalist Islam, including the U.S. (and Egypt and Saudi Arabia). Again, Hamas makes no secret of its jihadist mission.

4. Hamas militia hide among Gaza’s civilians, risking the lives of thousands of innocent people. Hamas does not deny this tactic---indeed they revel in it, citing the willingness of Palestinians to martyr themselves for the cause. Example: An Israeli response to Hamas rocket fire last week hit a U.N.-sponsored school in Gaza and killed several people. According to the NY Times, a Palestinian witness reported that the rockets were fired just 25 yards from the school.

As obvious as these facts seem , it’s astounding that the press, many world leaders and NGOs, like Amnesty International, completely ignore this self-evident reality. * * *

-- factsandlogic.org
FreeDuck
 
  3  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 11:46 am
@Advocate,
Advocate wrote:

1. Hamas is a terrorist organization---so declared by the U.S. and the E.U. and factually demonstrable by its constant rocket attacks on Israeli civilian populations. (Surely the irony is not lost on you: Israel is daily condemned for targeting civilians in Gaza [which it does not do], while Hamas, which openly does target civilians, gets a free pass from the international community.)


How odd that both sides seem to have such terrible aim then. Hamas aims for civilians supposedly, yet killed mostly soldiers (I believe 9 of the 14 dead were soldiers) in this offensive. Israel, who claims not to target civilians, has a very poor batting average for such first rate technology -- approximately 1300 killed, only 500 of which Israel claims were militants. It is easy to see why people more vocally condemn Israel looking at just the numbers.

Quote:
2. Hamas is dedicated to the annihilation of Israel and Jews. This is no secret: Destruction of Israel is part of the Hamas charter.

Only half of this statement is backed up. The charter rejects Israel as it is, not Jews. And it has often been mentioned that Likud similarly rejects a Palestinian state.

Quote:
3. Hamas believes in global jihad. As a fundamentalist Islamic organization, with ties to the radical Muslim Brotherhood, Hizbollah and Iran, Hamas wishes to impose Shari’a---Islamic law---upon the world’s people. As such, it is the enemy of all nations that don't subscribe to fundamentalist Islam, including the U.S. (and Egypt and Saudi Arabia). Again, Hamas makes no secret of its jihadist mission.

Yes? And I want to be queen of the universe. What they want and the likelihood of them getting it stand at stark contrast.

Quote:
4. Hamas militia hide among Gaza’s civilians, risking the lives of thousands of innocent people. Hamas does not deny this tactic---indeed they revel in it, citing the willingness of Palestinians to martyr themselves for the cause. Example: An Israeli response to Hamas rocket fire last week hit a U.N.-sponsored school in Gaza and killed several people. According to the NY Times, a Palestinian witness reported that the rockets were fired just 25 yards from the school.

There is no other place to "hide" when the battlefield is a densely populated city(ies). Israel made the battleground a territory packed full with civilians with no place to go and now blame Hamas for fighting on the battlefield that Israel chose. Nobody is buying this excuse anymore.

Quote:
As obvious as these facts seem , it’s astounding that the press, many world leaders and NGOs, like Amnesty International, completely ignore this self-evident reality. * * *

-- factsandlogic.org

There is a self-evident reality, but you won't find it in this post. This post is self-justification for a massacre. Nothing less. Better to name it "propagandaandtorturedlogic.com".
0 Replies
 
revel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 11:55 am
Gaza City, a scene of destruction as the Israeli offensive ends

But of course, in each and every case there were Hamas firing or storing weapons either in or nearby thereby justifying demolishing an already suffering Gaza. Sighs.
0 Replies
 
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 01:22 pm
This speaks to the wonderful nature of Hamas.


Last update - 15:16 21/01/2009


Hamas: Israel must consider Shalit's fate after bombing Gaza

By Haaretz Service

Tags: Hamas, Israel, Gaza

The Qatari daily A-Sharq quoted Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzuk on Wednesday as saying that Israel must think about the fate of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit after its massive bombing of Gaza, Israel Radio reported.

Israel dropped tons of munitions on Hamas targets throughout the coastal strip during its 3-week campaign against the Islamist group, which ended on Sunday when both sides declared cease-fires.

Nevertheless, the Damascus-based Abu Marzuk was quoted as noting that the issue of Shalit will receive more prominence in the future. The Israel Defense Forces soldier was kidnapped by Gaza militants in June 2006
during a cross-border raid.


According to A-Sharq, Abu Marzuk also said that Hamas had killed Gazans suspected of collaborating with Israel during the IDF offensive. He was quoted as claiming that some of them had marked targets for the Israel Air Force to strike.

Abu Marzuk's reported comments echoed ones he was said to have made last week. The Lebanese daily Al-Hayat quoted Abu Marzuk last Sunday as saying that Hamas no longer cared whether Shalit had been wounded in the IDF campaign.

"Shalit may have been wounded, and he may not have been," Abu Marzuk reportedly said. "The subject no longer interests us."

Israel, meanwhile, wishes to renew negotiations with Hamas for the return of the kidnapped soldier. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Tuesday that progress in the talks was a precondition for any Israeli concessions to Hamas.

revel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 08:30 am
Quote:
Amnesty International said it found “indisputable evidence of widespread use of white phosphorus in densely populated residential areas in Gaza City and in the north.” In a statement, it said its investigators “saw streets and alleyways littered with evidence of the use of white phosphorus, including still-burning wedges and the remnants of the shells and canisters fired by the Israeli Army.” It called such use a likely war crime and demanded a full international investigation.

The use of white phosphorus and other incendiary weapons is covered in one protocol of a 1980 international treaty, the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, that bans making civilians “the object of attack” by such arms. More broadly, though, international officials have acknowledged that militaries can legitimately use the substance in some cases.


NYT
0 Replies
 
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 10:05 am
This speaks to Hamas's motivation.


Israel dance to tune set by Hamas
January 22, 2009
Those who are so critical of Israel's retaliation for the constant attacks to which it has been subjected should realize that they are dancing to the tune Hamas is playing ("Hamas acts to reassert control in Gaza," Jan. 20).

Hamas' tactics should be transparent to everyone who cares to look.

Step one is to goad Israel into action by constantly rocketing Israel from Gaza or kidnapping an Israeli soldier. Step two is that since Hamas does not care at all about Palestinian citizens, it hides its leaders among them and stores munitions in mosques, hospitals, schools, etc. Step three is to express outrage that the Israelis then bomb the innocent women and children Hamas itself has put in harm's way.

Sadly, there are many who fall for this cynical course of action, some of whom are predisposed to believe ill of Israel to begin with.



When the day comes that the rocketing stops, Hamas disavows its aim of destroying Israel and the Palestinians are willing to live side by side in peace, there will be no more bloodshed.

--baltimoresun.com

Steve 41oo
 
  2  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 01:58 pm
@Advocate,
The Zionist entity in the middle east is an abortion. And the Israeli Disgrace Force, its commanders and political overlords war criminals and sons and daughters of bitches.

Who else but the Israelis would use white phosphorus against densely packed civilians? Against UN and ICRC personnel. Flaschette and DIME weapons against children?



Advocate
 
  0  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 02:46 pm
@Steve 41oo,
You have a cute way with words. But we both know you are spouting BS.

The use of phosphorus for certain purposes is legal. But leave it to the Pals and Pal sychophants like you to exagerate its usage.
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 03:26 pm
@Advocate,
Advocate wrote:

You have a cute way with words. But we both know you are spouting BS.

The use of phosphorus for certain purposes is legal. But leave it to the Pals and Pal sychophants like you to exagerate its usage.


It's legal to use white phosphorous to execute civilians you don't like?

Your apology for the butchery of Israel is sickening, Advocate. You really would be happy to see all the Pals exterminated, wouldn't you?

Cycloptichorn
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 04:09 pm
@Steve 41oo,
Steve 41oo wrote:

The Zionist entity in the middle east is an abortion. And the Israeli Disgrace Force, its commanders and political overlords war criminals and sons and daughters of bitches.

Who else but the Israelis would use white phosphorus against densely packed civilians? Against UN and ICRC personnel. Flaschette and DIME weapons against children?


Kind of laying it on aren't you? Israelis are human beings just like everyone else. Very few things in this world either are all good or all bad. While I have fundamental disagreements with Israeli policy, I don't believe the evidence suggests they are solely responsible for all that is wrong in the Middle East. You seem not to make that distinction here.

Incidental use of white phosphorus as a marker or illumination source is both legal and standard in modern warfare. There is no creditable evidence that Israel has done more than that.

Widespread use of it as an incindary device to create mass urban conflagrations was pioneered by the USA and the UK during WWII.
revel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 06:30 pm
@georgeob1,
From the quote of NYT above

Quote:
Amnesty International said it found “indisputable evidence of widespread use of white phosphorus in densely populated residential areas in Gaza City and in the north.”


It is illegal to use it in areas where civilians may be harmed. Amnesty International, the Red Cross, Human Rights watch and UN have all accused Israel of having done just that. At first Israel denied using it all and now they say they have only used in legally and that they will investigate. As though they don't know what their own army does and an army investigating itself means anything at all.



revel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 06:43 pm
@revel,
(Could be wrong about the Red Cross, but not the UN, Amnesty International and Human Rights.)
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 08:49 pm
@revel,
Quote:
It is illegal to use it in areas where civilians may be harmed. Amnesty International, the Red Cross, Human Rights watch and UN have all accused Israel of having done just that. At first Israel denied using it all and now they say they have only used in legally and that they will investigate. As though they don't know what their own army does and an army investigating itself means anything at all.



it seems that there are first hand accounts by knowledgeable impartial observers, plus some photo evidence and medical documentation. Israel had to know that they could not get away with this ****, but they did it anyways......idiots.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 09:50 pm
@revel,
revel wrote:

From the quote of NYT above

Quote:
Amnesty International said it found “indisputable evidence of widespread use of white phosphorus in densely populated residential areas in Gaza City and in the north.”


It is illegal to use it in areas where civilians may be harmed. Amnesty International, the Red Cross, Human Rights watch and UN have all accused Israel of having done just that. At first Israel denied using it all and now they say they have only used in legally and that they will investigate. As though they don't know what their own army does and an army investigating itself means anything at all.


Just out of curiosity, what "law" does it violate? Does the same body of "law" prohibit the firing of rockets randomly at cities? Does it prohibit the targeting of cities with nuclear weeapons in the event of nuclear attack?
okie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 10:12 pm
@Advocate,
Advocate wrote:

This speaks to the wonderful nature of Hamas.
...........

I have been watching your posts some in regard to illegal immigration and the Palestinian attacks on Israel, and interesting, Advocate, when are you going to wake up to the fact that your party, the Democrats, are on the wrong side of both of these issues?
0 Replies
 
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 10:51 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
I wouldn't cry were the Pals who kill Israelis, women, Christians, et al., to drop dead.

Phosphorus may be used by an army for smoke-screen purposes. I guess you didn't notice that Hamas always targets innocents.
0 Replies
 
revel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 07:56 am
@georgeob1,
Even though no one is accusing Israel of using White Phosphorus as weapons, what they are accusing Israel of is using it in Gaza in densely populated areas causing burns and injury to civilians which is against customary law rule of which Israel is bound. Just because they say there were not targeting civilians, the fact they used without care of injury to civilians. If you drop a tv outside a window from a two story building on a crowded cross walk, the fact that you only wanted to get rid of your tv does not negate the fact that you put innocent people in danger and so are responsible when your action caused injury or even death to someone.

Quote:
There is evidence that the smokescreen shells have injured Palestinian civilians, causing severe burns. White phosphorus is an incendiary material that causes severe burns when it comes in contact with human skin and its use in conflict zones is restricted inside civilian areas. The potential for harm to civilians is magnified by Gaza’s high population density, among the highest in the world. “Israel should not use it in Gaza’s densely populated areas,” said Marc Garlasco, senior military analyst at HRW.

The use of white phosphorus against civilians is prohibited under international law pursuant to Protocol III of the Convention on the Prohibition of Use of Certain Conventional Weapons. Israel is not a party to the Convention. However it is bound by customary international law, which prohibits the use of weapons that are by nature indiscriminate, and the indiscriminate use of other weapons. White phosphorus munitions are not by nature indiscriminate weapons because they can be directed at specific military objectives and used in ways that minimize incidental loss of civilian life and damage to civilian property. However Israel is bound by the customary law rule that dictates that when incendiary weapons are used, “particular care must be taken to avoid, and in any event to minimize, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects”. The use of white phosphorus in densely populated areas of Gaza may constitute a violation by Israel of this rule.

source

The underlined quote is the rule which may have broken by Israel.

And yes, by all means when Hamas or militant Palestinians fire rockets or suicide bombs onto innocent Israelis they are breaking international law and causing innocent death or injuries to civilians.
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 09:43 am
@revel,
It would be amusing were it not so pitiful. Israel is nitpicked over phosphorus, while the Israel haters say nothing about the (up to) 8,000 rockets shot into Israel and the innumerable bomber attacks on Israel's pizza and bingo parlors, buses, etc.
0 Replies
 
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 10:05 am
It is little wonder that civilians in Gaza become victims. This also speaks to the vicious nature of Hamas, a true terrorist group.


Armed Hamas Men Return To The Streets Of Gaza

By David Bedein, Middle East Correspondent
Published: Friday, January 23, 2009
Sderot, Israel " Social workers from humanitarian organizations that have been working in Gaza over the past few says report Hamas armed men have returned to the streets, this time in uniform.

According to the reports, they are trying reassert their authority over the residents of Gaza anew. During the recent fighting, Hamas militants disguised themselves as regular civilians during fights with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

According to local residents, the Hamas security forces have also turned their guns on people associated with Fatah, the rival Palestinian faction.

“They attack Fatah people from time to time, shoot them in the legs because of all sorts of situations. We don’t know exactly what their reasons are. We saw a few masked men grab somebody, take him aside and exchange a few words with him. Then they shot him in the legs, just because he’s a Fatah supporter or because he said something bad about Hamas,” according to one social work source, who explained that, “They’re trying to impose a reign of terror. They’re trying to tell everyone: we’re here and we’re in control and nobody better try to undermine our control over the Gaza Strip. Mainly, you see them in large numbers in the streets in order to say to people, ‘we’re here and there’s security and everything.’ They were hurt, but not enough for them to lose control.”

Another social worker said life was slowly returning to normal.

“One third of the stores and bakeries are open, since most of the bakeries operate on cooking gas, and there’s a shortage of cooking gas in Gaza. The water infrastructure was severely damaged and teams in Gaza are working day and night to try to repair the damage,” the source said. “In the northern parts, where electricity is supplied by Israel, the situation is reasonable, as it is in the south, where Egypt is responsible for the supply. In central Gaza, the problem is worse. The Gaza Electric Corporation is having a hard time repairing the extensive damage that was caused.”

Reports have reached Ramallah on the West Bank about humanitarian aid shipments that have been hijacked, attacks that were carried out on United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) officials as they were distributing food and medicine. Hamas has reportedly has sold the stolen goods to residents.

A high-ranking Palestinian Authority (PA) minister told the Voice of Israel Radio that Hamas has resumed committing the crimes that it used to commit before the warfare in Gaza.

“They seized control of a number of UNRWA trucks with aid that had arrived from Jordan. They dealt violently with the UNRWA officials and, in general, try to hijack all the aid that makes its way to the Gaza Strip,” the PA minister said. “That’s why they tried to reach an arrangement with UNRWA in which all of the aid for the residents would go to UNRWA, since it has the most extensive infrastructure and the largest warehouses, so that it would provide for the needs of all the residents and not only the refugees who are in centralized locations, but everywhere in the Gaza Strip.”

The Palestinian minister also addressed the incidents of Hamas shooting people associated with Fatah, and said the statements made by the leaders thus far notwithstanding, reconciliation between the Palestinian factions was not near at hand.

“Because of those incidents we don’t know and aren’t sure whether they’re inclined to a unity of that kind or not,” the minister said.

IDF Forbids Publishing Battalion Commanders’ Names

In a precedent-setting step, the IDF decided to forbid publicizing the names of the battalion commanders who fought in the Gaza Strip and who were interviewed yesterday by the media. The reason for this decision is the fear that they might be prosecuted for war crimes that they allegedly committed in the course of the operation in Gaza.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Office allowed all the media outlets to interview battalion commanders from the various brigades that fought in the three weeks of the incursion into Gaza.

Taking an unusual decision, just a few minutes before airtime on TV and before the reports were filed for the newspapers, new instructions were handed down instructing the media to blur the faces and to remove all reference to the names of the various battalion commanders who were interviewed.

The Israel Military Censor’s Office further instructed the media not to provide any additional information about the battalion commanders that might help identify them.

The decision was made following consultations with the IDF Judge Advocate General, due to a general concern that anything the battalion commanders might say could be used against them if and when suits are filed against them to the International Court of Justice.

One military official said yesterday that the publication of their identities could also place the officers’ lives at risk. On Monday, IDF officers were given a travel advisory of sorts prior to any trip overseas, lest they be arrested for alleged war crimes.

David Bedein can be reached at [email protected]
0 Replies
 
 

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