Wanna go Double Dutch?
9th December 2003
Israel soldiers speak out on Gaza
A group of soldiers who took part in Israel's assault in Gaza say widespread abuses were committed against civilians under "permissive" rules of engagement.
The troops said they had been urged to fire on any building or person that seemed suspicious and said Palestinians were sometimes used as human shields. Breaking the Silence, a campaign group made up of Israeli soldiers, gathered anonymous accounts from 26 soldiers. Israel denies breaking the laws of war and dismissed the report as hearsay. The report says testimonies show "the massive and unprecedented blow to the infrastructure and civilians" was a result of Israeli military policy, articulated by the rules of engagement, and encouraged by a belief "the reality of war requires them to shoot and not to ask questions". One soldier is quoted saying: "The soldiers were made to understand that their lives were the most important, and that there was no way our soldiers would get killed for the sake of leaving civilians the benefit of the doubt."
Investigations Reacting to the report, Israeli military spokeswoman Lt Col Avital Leibovich said: Israel spokeswoman disputes allegations "The IDF [Israel Defence Forces] regrets the fact that another human rights organisation has come out with a report based on anonymous and general testimony - without investigating their credibility." She dismissed the document as "hearsay and word of mouth". (..)
What a suprise, yet an other organisation concluded the clear and obvious facts of Israel break national and international law during it's latest campaigns: Using white phosphorus, a bit too trigger happy, destroying buildings without militairy justification and so on. And if Amnesty International, UN and the Red Cross (plus dozens of media reports ) aren't objective enough this report comes from an Israeli organisation (Breaking the silence). Using the testimonies of identified Israeli soldiers (though made anonymousin the report to protect them). It's pathetic that the Israeli spokeman event attempts to deny the accusations made to them. These soldiers are pride Israelis who are simply disgusted by what their miliairy/politicians are doing. I'd take their word quite seriously.
That you deny claims from Hammas (such as their "aphrodisiac gum" story), fair enough as manyof those stories are either outright false or atleast heavily biased and exaggerated. Hammas tries just a hard job as to exaggerated things as that Isreal tries to downplay any issue that is brought up by whoever it is that brings a certain claim of whatever nature up.
And yet the bullshit conitues for year after year, isn't it time to finally take action and slap Isreal on the wrist so to say?
I won't even go into why illegally occupying land, creating and expanding settlements and checkpoints where civilians are abused at will as palytoys of soldiers is a bad thing and counterproductive and that be doing so any peace treaty will be doomed to fail. But if they "have" to take action (sure Israel can't just let Hammas endlessly attack them, as Hammas isn't a real nice organisation) then atleast do it fairly and according to international law. Lowering your standards to (some) of your enemies can never be justified and it only drivers the endless circle of violence and counter actions deeper and deeper, faster and faster.
Isreal is doing a pretty piss poor job at being a modern and fair democracy, it's time something is done about it. Letting them know that enough is enough.
PS: In other news today: The Palestinian Authority has closed down the West Bank offices of Arabic satellite news channel al-Jazeera. The self-rule body said al-Jazeera promoted a negative view of its work and that the coverage is biased. (source)
Voice of joy and sunshine
26th May 2003
Rules; in a knife fight? There's only one real rule for war, it's the same as the rule for life in general: Don't get caught by someone who can and will do something about it.
1) Last I knew use of White Phosphorous is not on a list of banned weapons. It is generally frowned upon and some nations have sworn not to use it.
2) It is known Hamas sued human shields and video exists of Hamas firing rockets from inside UN building compound to encourage Israeli reprisal on a target guaranteed to raise international outcries.
2a) It is also known Hamas used their own civilians as human shields and tried to lure Israeli troops into areas to maximize casualties to Israeli troops and civilians for the purpose of raising international outcry and outcry in Israel as the body count climbed. Israel took the route of minimizing their own casulties.
This does not excuse Israel if war crimes were committed. But Hamas is not innocent here either. Both sides have plenty of blood on their hands.
IMHO the only way to avoid this would be with robotic remotely controlled vehicles which could go into a room and clear out Hamas resistance without exposing Israeli troops to direct fire.
I would also like to see a Hellfire missile capable of penetrating a structure and detonating with a low enough impulse to disable or kill those inside but not destroy the structure.
The US Marines modified their SRAW ATGW with a multi purpose warhead (SRAW-MPW) which allows them to fire a rocket from inside a room and blow a hole in a wall big enough for troops to enter so they dont have to go through the door.
One thing I am surprised I dont see is a 40mm flash bang grenade for use in a M79 or M203 grenade launcher.
The government of Israel is a puppet controlled by the United States, and the people of Israel are pawns in the games of war they play.