« Home | Tabloid-watch: Put a gun to my head and paint the ... » | A certain romance. » | Terrorism and intelligence, or lack there of. » | News of the Screws-watch: No mention of the fake s... » | Closet racists and out in the open racists. » | Front page-watch: Dirty tabloids. » | Mail-watch: Politicial racism gone mad! » | Guardian only newspaper to publish Mahmood's photo... » | Victory for press freedom, bloggers and George Gal... » | News of the Screws loses, but appeals: Injunction ... » 

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 

Israel: still killing, and leaving the blame to the "lower orders".

Away from the continuing impasse which is going on regarding Hamas forming a government and the EU and US cutting off direct aid, the situation in Gaza continues to deteriorate. Various groupings continue to launch home-made mortars, sometimes called Qassam rockets, into the towns surrounding the Gaza strip. Most don't reach their target, and those that do usually cause very little damage, yet alone injure or kill anyone. What they do is instill fear and terror into those living in the area. In response, the IDF thinks it's only fair to instill fear and terror into those who live close to those launching the rockets. Only a small difference: since Friday 15 Palestinians have died in the shell attacks.

The Israeli government said yesterday it would continue its bombardment of northern Gaza with an estimated 300 shells a day despite international criticism over the death of a young girl.

Shaul Mofaz, the defence minister who is touring Israel's borders with Gaza, said: "As long as it's not quiet here [in Israel], it won't be quiet there [in Gaza]."

Israeli forces have been firing shells close to Palestinian communities to stop militants from firing rockets at Israeli communities. The army continued to bombard the outskirts of Beit Lahiya yesterday, but Palestinian militants fired their homemade missiles from different residential areas, which they believe are safe from Israeli reprisals.

Kim Howells, the Foreign Office minister, condemned the killing of the girl, Hadeel Ghabeen, whose home in Beit Lahiya was hit by two shells on Monday, and asked the Israeli government to exercise maximum restraint.

"Israel has the right to defend itself, but any actions in the occupied territories must be proportionate and in accordance with international law. Equally, we urge the Palestinian Authority to take steps to halt all attacks launched at Israeli targets from the Gaza Strip," he said.

Ghabeen, believed to be aged between four and 12, was the 15th Palestinian to be killed in Gaza since Friday in shell and air attacks. Israel has been firing about 300 shells a day at Gaza at an estimated cost of more than £125,000 a day, according to the Israeli media.

Palestinian militants have fired about 50 missiles at Israel in the past month without causing serious injury.

And so goes on the pointlessness of the tit for tat attacks which have come to define the situation regarding the Palestinians in Gaza. Despite the withdrawal last year, Israel has not properly respected its decision to let the EU control the borders leading into Egypt, and if anything the other checkpoints into Israel have been closed more often that when the settlers were still in Gaza. This leaves the farmers of Gaza with no way to export their goods, resulting in the crops going bad while they try to get authorisation to leave Gaza. It's incredibly to easy to sit back and say that if the Palestinians who are launching the home-made rockets stopped that the restrictions would be lifted, but even when they weren't the checkpoints were more often than not closed. The claims from the Palestinians that the withdrawal of the Israeli settlers would result in Gaza turning into a ghettoised prison (even more so than it was already) seem to have become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Meanwhile, the hellfire missile attacks continue on known militant leaders, and the shells continue to land on the scorched earth.

The last week has seen the St Pancras coroner's court in London come to the conclusion that both Tom Hurndall and James Miller were unlawfully killed by Israeli soldiers. Both of the men were clearly identifable as non-combatants, one wearing the orange top of the Palestinian Solidarity Movement, the other carrying a white flag, who had already identified himself to Israeli soldiers as he had arrived in the area. In the case of Tom Hurndall, Sergeant Taysir Hayb was convicted of manslaughter and jailed for eight years, in one of the harshest sentences received by an Israeli soldier for a crime committed in Palestinian territory. He always claimed that he was instructed by his commanding officer to shoot anyone, armed or not who was a perceived "threat", and that he was a scapegoat for Israeli policy as a whole.

He may well have a point. It's worth remebering the case of a man only identified as "Captain R", who was acquitted of all charges against him, despite unloading 17 bullets into an 13-year-old Palestinian girl who made the mistake of entering a security zone where anything that moves is shot at. Despite her dropping her school bag, which might have carried a bomb, she was shot as she was running away. Captain R then moved in and "confirmed" the kill, meaning that he shot her numerous times at close range.

Palestinian witnesses said they saw the captain shoot Iman twice in the head, walk away, turn back and fire a stream of bullets into her body.

On the tape, Capt R then "clarifies" to the soldiers under his command why he killed Iman: "This is commander. Anything that's mobile, that moves in the [security] zone, even if it's a three-year-old, needs to be killed."

It seems that justice can only be delivered if the person shot is foreign, and only then with intervention by the government of the killed national. Israel did everything it could not to co-operate with the inquest into Tom Hurndall. What hope is there for the hundreds of Palestinians killed if Britons can only get to the truth with expensive inquests that are even then boycotted by Israel? Even when Hamas suggests that it is to disown suicide bombing and gradually comes round to the idea of recognising Israel, there is little to suggest that Israel will negotiate, instead intent on carving out a Palestinian state around the security wall. "Peace" it seems can only be achieved with the Palestinians in the sight of a barrel of a gun.

Share |

Links to this post

Create a Link


  • This is septicisle


Powered by Blogger
and Blogger Templates