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August 3, 2015 / 18 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Human Shield’

UN Releases The Schabes Report: Israeli Self-Defense a ‘War Crime’

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

A wave of disapproval, and perhaps resigned expectation rolled across most of Jewish Israel on Monday afternoon with the release of The Schabes Report (183 pages) by the “Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict.” Professor William Schabes led the Commission, which included Mary McGowan Davis and Doudou Diène.

(The complete 34-page advance executive summary of the report can be viewed by clicking here.)

A Canadian professor of international criminal and human rights law, Schabes has been called “the world expert on the law of genocide and international law.” But Schabes was forced to resign in February 2015 after Israel publicly revealed that he had once been a legal adviser to the Palestine Liberation Organization – a clear conflict of interest. Justice Davis took up the mantle of leadership for the time remaining to the Commission.

Everywhere Israeli soldiers fought in the summer of 2014 was Occupied Palestinian Territory according to the United Nations. But even the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) was forced to admit in The Schabes Report that Hamas controls the Gaza region.

As such, even the UN Commission was inspired to refer to the region’s terrorist rulers as a separate governing entity (see item five, page three of the 34-page advance executive summary of the report.) However, the Commission failed to note that it was the population of Gaza who in 2006 democratically elected Hamas* – a terror group whose charter still documents its vow to annihilate the State of Israel — to rule the enclave.

Instead, according to The Schabes Report, anything the Israel Defense Forces did in Gaza to conduct their counter terror military campaign against “Palestinian armed groups” was considered illegal.

There was no mention of the term “human shields,” nor was there any reference to the military activities by Hamas that had provoked the war. Oddly, the Commission blamed the “Occupation” by Israel on page five in item 14: “The hostilities of 2014 erupted in the context of the protracted occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, and of the increasing number of rocket attacks on Israel.”

The Commission continued its rant against Israel in a similar vein on page seven, in item six:

“The most important characteristics of the hostilities of 2014 … [were those] that reflect new patterns, notably attacks by Israel on residential buildings resulting in the death of entire families; Israel’s ground operations, which leveled urban neighborhoods; and violations by Palestinian armed groups and authorities in Gaza, including their reliance on attack tunnels.”

The Commission flatly implied that Israel had deliberately set out to murder Gaza civilians and destroy as many civilian residential structures as possible; thereby swallowing terrorist propaganda hook, line and sinker if not in fact actually helping to write the script.

This, despite numerous, concrete satellite imagery and other photographic evidence to the contrary made public during the war by the IDF – all disregarded.

Here’s a snippet from page 12, items 50-52, from the executive summary of the report:

1. The extensive use by the Israel Defense Forces of explosive weapons with wide-area effects, and their probable indiscriminate effects in the built-up neighborhoods of Gaza, are highly likely to constitute a violation of the prohibition of indiscriminate attacks. Such use may, depending on the circumstances, qualify as a direct attack against civilians, and may therefore amount to a war crime. 2. In addition, the fact that the Israel Defense Forces did not modify the manner in which they conducted their operations after initial episodes of shelling resulted in a large number of civilian deaths indicates that their policies governing the use of artillery in densely populated areas may not be in conformity with international humanitarian law. 3. The commission examined several additional incidents, including attacks on shelters, hospitals and critical infrastructure, in which artillery was used. The use of weapons with wide-area effects against targets in the vicinity of specifically protected objects (such as medical facilities and shelters) is highly likely to constitute a violation of the prohibition of indiscriminate attacks. Depending on the circumstances, indiscriminate attacks may qualify as a direct attack against civilians, and may therefore amount to a war crime.

For the record, according to international law, residential buildings become legitimate military targets when used for military purposes.

If Hamas is Evil, then Israel Must be Evil Too

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

It would actually be a very unusual war if only one side had committed violations of the laws of war and the other side behaved perfectly… That would be an unusual situation and an unusual conclusion. And the greater likelihood is that both sides actually [violated international law]” – biased anti-Israel “investigator” William Schabas

William Schabas has a problem.

Schabas can’t understand how there could be a situation in the world where one side is evil and the other side is good, where one side commits war crimes, and the other side doesn’t.

Following Schabas’s logic, if Hamas sends suicide bombers to blow up civilians, then Israel must also be doing something bad.

If Hamas is kidnapping soldiers bodies and not letting the International Red Cross check on live prisoners, then Israel must also be doing something bad.

If Hamas is launching thousands of rockets on Israeli civilians, men, women and children, then Israel must be also be doing something bad.

If Hamas is building terror tunnels and tried to enter Israeli towns to massacre civilians, then Israel must be also doing something bad.

If Hamas uses human shields, then Israel must be also doing something bad.

Schabas has already proved his bias, not only when he prepared a complex legal brief for the PLO terror organization – for free, and kept it quiet that he did the work, but when he said he would want to see PM Benjamin Netanyahu prosecuted for war crimes (long before this investigation).

It upsets Schabas to no end, that Israel correctly chose to not cooperate with him and his biased UN Human Rights Council “investigation”, while cooperating with another UN probe that was not openly biased.

William Schabas has a problem.

It’s himself.

P.S. I do agree with Schabas that Israel didn’t behave perfectly… but in my opinion, that’s because Israel took unnecessary risks with our IDF soldiers lives to protect enemy civilians that Hamas put in the line of fire.

Captured Hamas Combat Manual Explains Benefits of Human Shields

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

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IDF forces in the Gaza Strip found a Hamas manual on “Urban Warfare,” which belonged to the Shuja’iya Brigade of Hamas’ military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades. The manual explains how the civilian population can be used against IDF forces and reveals that Hamas knows the IDF is committed to minimizing harm to civilians.

Throughout Operation Protective Edge, Hamas has continuously used the civilian population of Gaza as human shields. The discovery of a Hamas “urban warfare” manual by IDF forces reveals that Hamas’ callous use of the Gazan population was intentional and preplanned.

This Hamas urban warfare manual exposes two truths: (1) The terror group knows full well that the IDF will do what it can to limit civilian casualties. (2) The terror group exploits these efforts by using civilians as human shields against advancing IDF forces.

The Manual:

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In a portion entitled “Limiting the Use of Weapons,” the manual explains that:

The soldiers and commanders (of the IDF) must limit their use of weapons and tactics that lead to the harm and unnecessary loss of people and [destruction of] civilian facilities. It is difficult for them to get the most use out of their firearms, especially of supporting fire [e.g. artillery].

Clearly Hamas knows the IDF will limit its use of weapons in order to avoid harming civilians, including refraining from using larger firepower to support for infantry.

The manual goes on to explain that the “presence of civilians are pockets of resistance” that cause three major problems for advancing troops:

(1) Problems with opening fire (2) Problems in controlling the civilian population during operations and afterward (3) Assurance of supplying medical care to civilians who need it

Lastly, the manual discusses the benefits for Hamas when civilian homes are destroyed:

The destruction of civilian homes: This increases the hatred of the citizens towards the attackers [the IDF] and increases their gathering [support] around the city defenders (resistance forces[i.e. Hamas]).

It is clear that Hamas actually desires the destruction of homes and civilian infrastructure, knowing it will increase hatred for the IDF and support their fighters.

Why Shuja’iya is Important It is also of no small importance that this manual belongs to the Shuja’iya Brigade. The IDF fought a major battle in the neighborhood of Shuja’iya, which had been turned into a terrorist stronghold. The discovery of this manual suggests that the destruction in Shuja’iya was always part of Hamas’ plan.shajaiya

 

The Empty Spaces in Gaza

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Re-posted with permission from The Gatestone Institute

How many times have you heard on television or read in the media that the Gaza Strip is “the most densely populated area in the world”? Repeating this statement, however, does not make it true. There are dense parts of Gaza, especially Gaza City, Beit Hanoun and Khan Younis, but there are far less dense areas in Gaza between these cities. Just look at Google Earth, or this population density map:
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The fact that these sparsely populated areas exist in the Gaza Strip raise several important moral questions: First, why don’t the media show the relatively open areas of the Gaza Strip? Why do they only show the densely populated cities? There are several possible reasons. There is no fighting going on in the sparsely populated areas, so showing them would be boring. But that’s precisely the point—to show areas from which Hamas could be firing rockets and building tunnels but has chosen not to. Or perhaps the reason the media doesn’t show these areas is that Hamas won’t let them. That too would be a story worth reporting.

Second, why doesn’t Hamas use sparsely populated areas from which to launch its rockets and build its tunnels? Were it to do so, Palestinian civilian casualties would decrease dramatically, but the casualty rate among Hamas terrorists would increase dramatically.

That is precisely why Hamas selects the most densely populated areas from which to fire and dig. The difference between Israel and Hamas is that Israel uses its soldiers to protect its civilians, whereas Hamas uses its civilians to protect its terrorists. That is why most of Israeli casualties have been soldiers and most of Hamas’ casualties have been civilians. The other reason is that Israel builds shelters for its civilians, whereas Hamas builds shelters only for its terrorists, intending that most of the casualties be among its civilian shields.

The law is clear: using civilians as human shields—which the Hamas battle manual mandates—is an absolute war crime. There are no exceptions or matters of degree, especially when there are alternatives. On the other hand, shooting at legitimate military targets, such as rockets and terror tunnels is permitted, unless the number of anticipated civilian casualties is disproportionate to the military importance of the target. This is a matter of degree and judgment, often difficult to calculate in the fog of war. The law is also clear that when a criminal takes a hostage and uses that hostage as a shield from behind whom to fire at civilians or police, and if the police fire back and kill the hostage, it is the criminal and not the policeman who is guilty of murder. So too with Hamas: when it uses human shields and the Israeli military fires back and kills some of the shields, it is Hamas who is responsible for their deaths.

The third moral question is why does the United Nations try to shelter Palestinian civilians right in the middle of the areas from which Hamas is firing? Hamas has decided not to use the less densely populated areas for rocket firing and tunnel digging. For that reason, the United Nations should use these sparsely populated areas as places of refuge. Since the Gaza Strip is relatively small, it would not be difficult to move civilians to these safer areas. They should declare these areas battle free and build temporary shelters—tents if necessary—as places of asylum for the residents of the crowded cities. It should prevent any Hamas fighters, any rockets and any tunnel builders from entering into these sanctuaries. In that way, Hamas would be denied the use of human shields and Israel would have no reason to fire its weapons anywhere near these United Nations sanctuaries. The net result would be a considerable saving of lives.

Hamas Fires Rockets Next to UNRWA School #HumanShield #WarCrime

Monday, August 4th, 2014

The IDF reports that on Saturday, Palestinian terrorists launched 11 mortars from right next to an UNRWA school in Zeitoun, Gaza.

On August 1, Hamas terrorists fired a rocket at Israel from the al-Mashtal hotel, which is frequented by foreign journalists in Gaza.

Former Human Shield: Palestinians Perfected Propaganda War [video]

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

A former 10-year-old Lebanese girl used as a human shield by Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon told Fox News “Kelly File” last week, “The Palestinians have perfected using children to win the world’s sympathy, and this goes back 30 years. The Palestinians have perfected the propaganda war.”

“My mother begged the Palestinian leader who used to park their rocket launchers in front of our homes, launch Israel fully knowing that when Israel retaliates, we will make the evening news,” she told Kelly File.

Gabriel added, “They would move their rocket launcher from home to home, fire one rocket and move away. When Israel retaliated,…guess what was on Lebanese television that night? People wounded because of Israel, and Lebanon television was saying look how horrible Israelis are. They are killing children.

“The Palestinians…cannot win militarily against Israel so they use their own children as disposable collateral in order to win the war of public opinion against Israel.”

Gabriel, an American journalist and activist, was born as Nour Saman in Lebanon. She has said that her life was saved by Israeli soldiers in the Litani maneuver in 1978, when she had been warned by someone of an Islamic attack on Christians.

Her constant condemnation of Islam has made her bait for criticism not only by Muslims but also by The New York Times. In an article by Deborah Solomon in 2008 its magazine, she called Gabriel a “radical Islamophobe,” a label that was protested by 250 people.

In 2007, she told Christians United for Israel annual conference, “The difference, my friends, between Israel and the Arab world is the difference between civilization and barbarism. It’s the difference between good and evil… They have no soul, they are dead set on killing and destruction. And in the name of something they call ‘Allah’, which is very different from the God we believe….”

Moshe Feiglin: Unethical to Endanger IDF Soldiers in order to Protect Gazans

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

The residents of Gaza were not occupied by the Hamas; they voted for the terror organization in democratic elections, by a huge majority, by virtue of its uncompromising struggle against Israel.

For this reason, the separation between the armed Hamas terrorists and those ‘not involved’ or ‘innocents’ is false. The Gazans are now paying for the choices they have made.

It is enough for the IDF to make one announcement for residents to evacuate a given area, giving them reasonable time to get away.

Any other measure taken to protect the population against the results of its choices – at the expense of the IDF soldiers – is unethical.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/moshe-feiglin/moshe-feiglin-unethical-to-endanger-idf-soldiers-in-order-to-protect-gazans/2014/07/24/

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