25 January, 2009

Israeli War criminals subject to arrest in Europe

Israeli media reports said the military had been advising its top brass to think twice about visiting Europe.

uk.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUKLP650350


In 2005, reserve Major-General Doron Almog, the former head of Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip, was warned by Israeli diplomats not to leave an El Al aircraft that landed in London after a tip-off British police were about to arrest him on war crimes charges. Almog stayed on the plane and flew back to Israel.

Speaking at the weekly cabinet meeting, Olmert said Israel's justice minister would consult with the country's top legal experts and find "answers to possible questions relating to the Israeli military's activities" during the 22-day war.


GAZA CITY, Jan 22 (IPS) - Eighteen-year-old Mona Al-Ashkar says she did not immediately know the first explosion at the United Nations (UN) school in Beit Lahiya had blown her left leg off. There was smoke, then chaos, then the pain and disbelief set in once she realised it was gone - completely severed by the weapon that hit her.

Mona is one of the many patients among the 5,500 injured that have international and Palestinian doctors baffled by the type of weaponry used in the Israeli operation. High-profile human rights organisations like Amnesty International are accusing Israel of war crimes.

Mona’s doctors at Gaza City’s Al-Shifa hospital found no shrapnel in her leg, and it looked as though it had been "sliced right off with a knife."

"We are not sure exactly what type of weapon can manage to do that immediately and so cleanly," said Dr. Sobhi Skaik, consultant surgeon general at Al-Shifa hospital. " What is happening is frightening. It’s possible the Israeli army was using Gaza to experiment militarily."

Both international organisations and human rights groups, including the UN, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have condemned Israel’s use of unconventional weapons in civilian areas of the Gaza Strip.

Amnesty International’s chief researcher for Israel and the Palestinian Territories, Donatella Rovera, told IPS in Beit Lahiya that Israel’s use of white phosphorus and other "area weapons" on civilian populations amounted to war crimes.

"The kind of weapons used and the manner in which they were used indicates prima facie evidence of war crimes," she said.

http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/wp-content/close-up.JPG

Israel announced Wednesday it would be launching its own probe into reported use of white phosphorus, but has so far refused to comment further.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN’s nuclear watchdog, said it would look into a claim made by the ambassadors of a number of Arab nations that Israel used depleted uranium in its recent attacks on Gaza.

Local doctors say a number of both widespread and unusual injuries may indicate that new types of weapons were used on the Gaza population during the war. Health officials are seeing wounds they have never seen before, or at least not on such a massive scale.

"There has been a significant loss of life here in Gaza for reasons that are unexplainable medically," said Dr. Skaik.

Mona’s injury is characteristic of Dense Inert Metal Explosives (DIME). DIMEs are munitions that, packed with tungsten powder, produce an intense explosion at about the level of the knee, with signs of severe heat at the point of amputation.

"If you ask a patient how it happened, how their leg was removed, they won’t know," Dr. Skaik said. "They’ll say that a rocket or missile exploded and took only their lower limbs off."

http://www.globalresearch.ca/articlePictures/Israeli%20attacks%20on%20Gaza%201.jpg

Once in the body, tungsten is both difficult to detect and extremely carcinogenic, and can produce an aggressive form of cancer, according to both military experts.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2237/2321185353_b3aaa9245c.jpg

Dr. Skaik says the Al-Shifa hospital alone has seen between 100 to 150 patients with this type of injury. Over 50 patients at Al-Shifa had two or more limbs severed, he says.

But because Gaza’s hospitals are so poorly equipped, it has been nearly impossible so far to test properly for the substances and count accurately how many wounded Palestinians may have been hit with this weapon.

The Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert who worked at Al-Shifa hospital during the siege confirmed to journalists that the injuries were aligned with those produced by DIME explosives.

Human rights groups say Israel used the weapon for the first time in Lebanon in 2006.

What is worrying health officials even more, however, is that some of the patients’ organs are being ruptured with little or no sign of a shrapnel entry point.

This is something they have never seen before, they say, and also something they do not know how to treat.

http://www.indypendent.org/wp-content/photos/Gaza.jpg

"Normal shrapnel has a clear path, with both an entry and an exit point," said Dr. Mohamed Al-Ron, another surgeon at Al-Shifa hospital.

"But someone’s entire abdomen will be ripped open, and only after searching will we find a miniscule hole in the skin. Then we will find small black dots all over the organ, but we don’t know what they are."

It is an indication, he continued, that whatever is entering the body is exploding and doing the damage once it is inside. Multiple organs will fail, and will continue to fail even after surgery removes any shrapnel.

"We are consulting with international colleagues, and they are confirming that there is something unusual going on with these cases," said Dr. Skaik.

"We have seen plenty of nails, of metal shrapnel and foreign metallic parts, but there was never violence of this character or something that continued to damage even after the parts of the weapon were removed. What is being intentionally created is a population of handicapped people."

http://djiin.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/gaza-2008-children.jpg

Some of the injuries, including multiple organ failure, mutilation and severed limbs, are so debilitating that Dr. Karim Hosni, an Egyptian doctor volunteering at the Al-Naser hospital in Khan Younis, says he wishes he could just end his patients’ misery.

"Sometimes I wish my patients would just die," he said. "Their injuries are so horrifying, that I know they will now have to lead terrible and painful lives." (END/2009)


Source: rainnews http://internationalnews.over-blog.com/article-27112239.html


http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/45389000/jpg/_45389031_gaza_mon.jpg

Gaza destruction.

GAZA massacre - US citizens MUST READ this.


http://www.pchrgaza.org/images/2007/w20.jpg


Pilger on GAZA massacre

Israeli PM in war crimes pledge

Rights groups say white phosphorus shells were fired into built-up areas of Gaza

Any Israeli soldiers accused of war crimes in the Gaza Strip will be given state protection from prosecution overseas, the country's PM has said.

Ehud Olmert said troops should know Israel would keep them safe after they acted to protect their country.

Palestinians say 1,300 people died during the offensive, and UN officials want independent probes into whether war crimes were committed.

Meanwhile, a Hamas delegation is in Egypt for talks on cementing a truce.

Israel ended its military operation in Gaza on 18 January, and Hamas declared a ceasefire hours later.

No formal framework for a lasting ceasefire has yet been agreed.

While Israel says it requires Hamas to end weapons smuggling into Gaza and rocket attacks on Israel, Hamas has demanded that Israel lift its economic blockade of the territory.

In Gaza, Hamas has begun handing out cash to people who had their homes destroyed, or lost relatives.

Hamas insists it will make payments based on the scale of each person's loss, not on their political affiliation.

But the BBC's Aleem Maqbool, in Gaza, says there are those who will simply see this as a way of buying support.

Soldiers 'safe'

In Israel, Prime Minister Olmert told a weekly cabinet meeting that soldiers who had put their lives on the line for their country need not fear prosecution for war crimes overseas.

"The commanders and soldiers that were sent on the task in Gaza should know that they are safe from any tribunal and that the State of Israel will assist them in this issue and protect them as they protected us with their bodies during the military operation in Gaza," he said.

View of devastation from Jabaliya

Israel's military tactics have come under intense scrutiny as evidence has emerged of the high numbers of Palestinian civilians killed in Gaza.

Among complaints made by human rights groups are accusations of indiscriminate firing and the use of white phosphorus shells in civilian areas.

Israel has admitted using white phosphorus in Gaza but says it did not break international law in doing so.

White phosphorus is legal for creating smokescreens in open battleground. But rights groups and journalists say it was used in crowded civilian areas.

The weapon sticks to human skin and will burn through to the bone.

Gaza massacre - PHOTOS

Hamas says it will pay Palestinians whose homes were damaged

Representatives from Fatah, the main rival Palestinian faction, were also due to attend the talks.

There was no word of the substance of discussions in Egypt with Omar Suleiman, the Egyptian intelligence chief who brokered a previous six-month truce between Israel and Hamas.

Mr Suleiman held talks with an Israeli envoy on Thursday.

In a statement, Egyptian state media said Hamas and Mr Suleiman discussed "Egyptian efforts to consolidate the ceasefire, reach a [permanent] truce, reopen Gaza crossings and resume Palestinian national dialogue".

Israel and Egypt tightened their blockade of Gaza when Hamas seized control of the territory in mid-2007.

news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7850085.stm

http://www.poica.org/editor/case_studies/Rafah%20photo%201.jpg

By Jeffrey Heller

JERUSALEM, Jan 25 (Reuters) - International calls to investigate Israel over alleged war crimes in the Gaza Strip prompted Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday to promise military personnel state protection from foreign prosecution.

"The commanders and soldiers sent to Gaza should know they are safe from various tribunals and Israel will assist them on this front and defend them, just as they protected us with their bodies during the Gaza operation," Olmert said.

Last week, the military censor ordered local and foreign media in Israel to blur the faces of army commanders in photos and video footage of the Gaza war for fear they could be identified and arrested while travelling abroad.

Israeli media reports said the military had been advising its top brass to think twice about visiting Europe.

Speaking at the weekly cabinet meeting, Olmert said Israel's justice minister would consult with the country's top legal experts and find "answers to possible questions relating to the Israeli military's activities" during the 22-day war.

Some 1,300 Palestinians, including at least 700 civilians, were killed, medical officials said, in the offensive Israel launched in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip with the declared aim of ending cross-border rocket attacks.

The civilian deaths sparked public outcry abroad and prompted senior U.N. officials to demand independent investigations into whether Israel committed war crimes.

Ten Israeli soldiers and three civilians, hit by rocket salvoes, were killed in the conflict.

Israel said hundreds of militants were among the Palestinian dead and that it tried its best to avoid civilian casualties in densely populated areas where gunmen operated.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3257/3170868262_ef88ec15fa.jpg?v=0

WHITE PHOSPHOROUS

Rights group Amnesty International has said that Israel's use of white phosphorus munitions -- which can cause extreme burns -- in built-up areas of the Gaza Strip was indiscriminate and therefore constituted a war crime.

more info: Marxist Med sez Israel uses CANCER bomb on Gaza

Israel has said it used all weapons in Gaza within the limits of international law. Its military, however, has opened an investigation into white phosphorous use during the conflict.
http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/wp-content/doctor-sm.JPG
Palestinians have long demanded international prosecution of Israel's military crackdowns. Yet legal frameworks are problematic.

The International Criminal Court in The Hague has no jurisdiction to investigate in the Gaza Strip, as it is not a state. Though the Palestinian Authority has been functioning as an interim sovereign polity since 1993, it was forced out of Gaza last year by Hamas after the Islamists won an election.

And while Israel has not signed the Rome Statute that enshrined the ICC, it can still be investigated, but that would require a U.N. Security Council mandate. Any such proposal would probably be vetoed by Israel's ally, the United States.

Some European nations allow for war crimes lawsuits to be filed privately against members of Israel's security services.

http://www.inthesetimes.com/images/web/web/gaza.jpg

In 2005, reserve Major-General Doron Almog, the former head of Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip, was warned by Israeli diplomats not to leave an El Al aircraft that landed in London after a tip-off British police were about to arrest him on war crimes charges.

A British Muslim group had won an arrest warrant alleging he breached the Fourth Geneva Convention in the demolition of Palestinian homes in 2002 in the southern Gaza Strip. Israel said the dwellings provided gave cover to gunmen.

Almog stayed on the plane and flew back to Israel. (Editing by Charles Dick)

Map of the depopulation of Palestine:

http://lw.palestineremembered.com/Maps/New/pal-english-2004.jpg

(big file, prints nicely!)


http://peoplesgeography.files.wordpress.com/2006/11/gaza_swimming_pool-by-latuff.jpg

PHOTOS of Gaza child victims of Israeli murder

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posted by u2r2h at Sunday, January 25, 2009

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