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Monday, December 29, 2008

The Gaza Massacre.

Israeli Jews alone are the initiators of the terror, assassination and intimidation in Palestine!!!

Israel started with . . . .

David Ben-Gurion (Polish born (1886-1973) was Prime Minister of Israel 1948-53, 1955-63) Chief architect of the state of Israel and revered as Father of the Nation.

whose m.o. was . . .

1) “We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population.”

2) "Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves ... politically we are the aggressors and they (The Palestinians) defend themselves" ...

3) "The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country."

To this day, Olmert with Bush's help carries on . . .

Today, Monday, December 29, 2008; the third day of bombardment of Gaza the Washington Post reports a growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where the death toll from Israeli air strikes has reached 300 with 1300 wounded.

Washington Post writes:

'Humanitarian aid groups sounded the alarm Sunday about what they described as a deteriorating medical situation in the strip and urged the opening of Gaza's borders to allow supplies to flow to hospitals. There are growing shortages of vital medicines and equipment, the aid workers said. "There are hundreds of wounded in the hospitals in the Gaza Strip, and what we have received so far has only been a fraction of our need. Our supplies have been depleted, and we are in desperate need for supplies," said Iyad Nasr, a spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Gaza.'

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As written by the author kim and posted at on 16 September, 2007

War Crimes: From Sabra and Shatila to Gaza

Today marks 25 years. Twenty-five years since 3500 unarmed men, women and children were brutalised and massacred in cold blood in Lebanon in the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila. The massacre was carried out over three days in 1982 from September 16 to September 18 by the rightwing Lebanese Christian milita, the Phlangists, under the direction of the Israeli Defence Force headed by Ariel Sharon.

In the wake of the Nakba (the catastrophe) - the 1948 partition of their homeland - and the subsequent invasion and occupation of what was left of it in 1967, Palestinian refugees fled in fear of their lives to safety in Lebanon. It was in the refugees camps that Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) grew up, as the Palestinians - dispossessed, forgotten and abandoned by the world -no longer were content to remain silent. Instead, like so many other “un-people”, they began to fight back and demand not only the restoration of their homeland but justice and Al Awada (return).

In 1982, supposedly in retaliation for the attempted assassination of the Israeli ambassador in London, Israel invade Lebanon. The assassination attempt, however, was not carried out by Arafat’s PLO but by a rival militant group. Israel, who wanted to oust the PLO from Lebanon, used the attempted assassination to launch an invasion supposedly in the name of destroying the PLO. On 6 June 1982, Israel began its invasion and occupation of Lebanon, sending in more than 60,000 troops.

On September 14, Bashir Gemayel, the President of Lebanon and leader of Kataeb - the right-wing Christian nationalist party, known as the Phalange - was assassinated. The assassination was carried out by a member of the Syrian Nationalist Party, however, Israel’s Defense Minister at the time, Ariel Sharon, decided to use the assassination attempt to make a push to occupy West Beirut.

On September 15, the Israeli occupying force surrounded the twin refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila, with the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) command stationing itself in a number of highrise buildings, allowing them a panoramic view of the two camps for the next three days. From September 15 through to September 16, Israel carried out non-stop shelling of the two camps, which was home to 20,000 unarmed Palestinian refugees. On the afternoon of September 16, 150 Christian Phalangists, trained by and under the direction and control of the Israeli forces, entered the camps. The Israeli military cordoned off the camps ensuring no-one could escape. For the next 40 hours, with the full knowledge and cooperation of the Israel military, the Phalangist forces tortured, brutalized, raped and massacred the unarmed inhabitants of Sabra and Shatila.

On September 18, the first western journalists were able enter the camps. They saw first hand the tortured and mutilated bodies of the refugees. Robert Fisk, one of the first foreign journalists to enter Sabra and Shatila wrote that what he and his fellow journalists found what could only described as “a war crime.”

In his book, Pity the Nation, Fisk recalled that: “Jenkins and Tveit [fellow journalists] were so overwhelmed by what we found in Chatila that at first we were unable to register our own shock. Bill Foley of AP had come with us. All he could say as he walked round was "Jesus Christ" over and over again. We might have accepted evidence of a few murders; even dozens of bodies, killed in the heat of combat. But there were women lying in houses with their skirts torn up to their waists and their legs wide apart, children with their throats cut, rows of young men shot in the back after being lined up at an execution wall. There were babies - blackened babies because they had been slaughtered more than 24-hours earlier and their small bodies were already in a state of decomposition - tossed into rubbish heaps alongside discarded US army ration tins, Israeli army equipment and empty bottles of whiskey”.

Fisk went on to recounted how: “Down a laneway to our right, no more than 50 yards from the entrance, there lay a pile of corpses. There were more than a dozen of them, young men whose arms and legs had been wrapped around each other in the agony of death. All had been shot point-blank range through the cheek, the bullet tearing away a line of flesh up to the ear and entering the brain. Some had vivid crimson or black scars down the left side of their throats. One had been castrated, his trousers torn open and a settlement of flies throbbing over his torn intestines”.

“The eyes of these young men were all open. The youngest was only 12 or 13 years old. They were dressed in jeans and coloured shirts, the material absurdly tight over their flesh now that their bodies had begun to bloat in the heat. They had not been robbed. On one blackened wrist a Swiss watch recorded the correct time, the second hand still ticking round uselessly, expending the last energies of its dead owner”.

“On the other side of the main road, up a track through the debris, we found the bodies of five women and several children. The women were middle-aged and their corpses lay draped over a pile of rubble. One lay on her back, her dress torn open and the head of a little girl emerging from behind her. The girl had short dark curly hair, her eyes were staring at us and there was a frown on her face. She was dead”.

“Another child lay on the roadway like a discarded doll, her white dress stained with mud and dust. She could have been no more than three years old. The back of her head had been blown away by a bullet fired into her brain. One of the women also held a tiny baby to her body. The bullet that had passed into her breast had killed the baby too. Someone had slit open the woman's stomach, cutting sideways and then upwards, perhaps trying to kill her unborn child. Her eyes were wide open, her dark face frozen in horror”.

According to Israeli journalist, Amnon Kapeliouk, in his investigative article, Sabra and Shatila: an inquiry into a massacre, in the days after the massacre, the International Committee of the Red Cross and Lebanese officials had counted and buried at 762 bodies in state graves and that 1200 other bodies were claimed by their families and buried in private graves. However, Kapeliouk noted that “there are three other categories of victims which must be added to the 2000 bodies recovered, buried and cremated after the massacre”.

These included (1) those who had been buried by the Phalangists in mass graves, which the Lebanese authorities prevented anyone from unearthing; (2) others who were buried in the ruins of 200 destroyed houses and whose bodies were unable to be recovered “because of the advance decomposition of the corpses” and; (3) up to 2000 other camp inhabitants had been taken alive to an unknown destination, many never to return (many of their bodies were later found on roadsides leading to the south of Lebanon). According to Kapeliouk, “if all these categories were added together, the number of victims reaches approximately 3000 people. Between 3,000-3,500 men, women and children were massacred within 48 hours between September 16 and 18, 1982”.

The massacre shocked the world. Israel’s Prime Minister Menachim Begin was forced to resign. In December 1982, the UN declared the massacre to be an act of genocide (despite the fact that all Western democracies abstained on the vote). An Israeli judicial commission found that the Israeli military had abandon its duty of care and that Ariel Sharon was “personally responsible” for the massacre. However, neither Sharon or any member of the Israeli military or the Christian Phalange were every punished for the war crimes they facilitated and carried out. In 2001, the Butcher of Sabra and Shatila, Ariel Sharon became the Prime Minister of Israel.

In Pity the Nation, Robert Fisk asked in relation to Sabra and Shatila, “When does a killing become an outrage? When does an atrocity become a massacre? Or, put another way, how many killings make a massacre? Thirty? A hundred? Three hundred? When is a massacre not a massacre? When the figures are too low? Or when the massacre is carried out by Israel’s friends rather than Israel's enemies?

In response to his own rhetorical questions, Fisk wrote that he suspected that the only reason that there was “debate” around whether or not Sabra and Shatila was a “massacre” was because “in Beirut, the victims were Palestinians”. Fisk noted that, however, “If Syrian troops had crossed into Israel, surrounded a Kibbutz and allowed their Palestinian allies to slaughter the Jewish inhabitants, no Western news agency would waste its time afterwords arguing about whether or not it should be called a massacre”.

Twenty-five years after Sabra and Shatila, Fisk’s observation continues to ring true. The Palestinian people, in the eyes of the western media and many so-called “western democracies”, continue to remain what British historian Mark Curtis calls a “un-people”. According to Curtis, “un-people” are those whose lives are deemed worthless and/or expendable. They are “the modern day equivalent of the ‘savages’ of colonial days, who could be mown down by British guns in virtual secrecy, or else in circumstances where the perpetrators were hailed as the upholders of civilisation”.

The concept of Un-people is central, notes Australian journalist and filmmaker, John Pilger, to the way the Palestinians (and Arabs and Muslim) are viewed by the Western world and how their plight and the war crimes against them are ignored by a silent media and international community.

As an occupied people, the Palestinian people should be protected by 149 articles of the Fourth Geneva Convention - a convention that Israel is a signatory too. However, since 1967, Israel has repeatedly violated every single one of these articles by indiscriminately shelling Palestinian civilian residential areas (using warplanes, tanks and machine guns), by using Palestinian civilians as human shields during military operations, by transferring sections of the Israeli civilian population into the occupied territories (ie. illegal settlers), by forcibly deporting and transferring sections of the Palestinian population - both in and out of the Palestinian occupied territories, by building illegal settlements, by carrying out arbitrary arrests and detention, by jailing Palestinians without trail, by refusing to allow Palestinian civilians to access medical and educational facilities, by carrying out extra-judicial executions, by restricting the freedom of movement of Palestinians via checkpoints, road blocks, curfews and closures.

In 2006 alone, Israel was accused repeatedly by international and Israeli human rights monitoring groups of violating the Fourth Geneva Convention and committing war crimes. In June 2006, Israel began– once again – bombarding the Gaza Strip as part of Operation Summer Rain. According to Amnesty International, deliberate attacks by Israeli forces against civilian property and infrastructure in the Gaza Strip violated international humanitarian law and constitute war crimes. On June 9, Israel’s bombing of civilian areas resulted in 7 members of the Ghalia family, including 5 children and their parents, being killed as they picnicked on the beach in Gaza. Over the next three months, Israel would continue to bombard the Gaza, killing more than 200 Palestinian civilians - a quarter of them children.

In November, after a brief lull, Israel began bombing the Gaza again as part of their Autumn Clouds military operation. In the first 48 hours, Israeli’s occupation forces killed 70 Palestinian civilians. On November 8, Israel shelled the Palestinian city of Beit Hanoun, killing 18 civilians, including 7 children - all from the Athamna family. Fifty other civilians were wounded. B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories accused Israel of carrying out a war crime. By the end of November, as part of Autumn Clouds, Israeli had killed more than 200 Palestinians; half of those killed were women and children.

In August 2007, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) noted that since the beginning of the Al Aqsa intifada in September 2000, more than 3354 unarmed Palestinian civilians have been killed by Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank and Gaza. According to the PCHR, of those killed, 23% or 788 were children. During the same period, PCHR noting that 24,350 Palestinian civilians were wounded by the IOF.

There has been little outcry or outrage, however, by the world media who salivate at every facet of Paris Hilton or Britney Spear’s inane lives. There was little outcry or condemnation from the leaders of the so-called “free world”, as the Israeli Zionist state systematically violated (and continues to violate) the Fourth Geneva Convention and uses state terrorism to kill thousands of unarmed civilians in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Why? Because in Gaza, as in Beirut, the victims were Palestinian – a “un-people” whose lives are expendable and not as worthy as other human beings. From Sabra and Shatila to Gaza and the West Bank today, the Israeli state and its occupation forces have continued to violate the political, civil, economic, social, cultural and human rights of the Palestinian people with impunity. They have been encouraged in this by the leaders of the “free world” who have looked on in silence, turning a blind eye to the war crimes being carried out by the Israeli state.

Despite the odds, the repression and Israel’s state terror, however, the Palestinian people refuse to be a “un-people” or to give up their struggle. Why? Because in the words of the late Palestinian academic, Edward Said, “it is a just cause, a noble ideal, a moral quest for equality and human rights”

On the anniversary of Sabra and Shatila, we remember the dead. But we also remember the living and stand in solidarity with their struggle for justice and equality and to end the brutal Israeli occupation.

Sabra and Shatila: inquiry into a massacre by Amnon Kapeliouk can be read at: