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Israel/Lebanon: End Indiscriminate Strikes on Civilians (HRW)

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Up2Late Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 05:28 AM
Original message
Israel/Lebanon: End Indiscriminate Strikes on Civilians (HRW)
(This is a very long News Release from Human Rights Watch, links to the actual report are at the HRW website. And before I get labeled as a Israel hater, I'm not. I'm the Son and Grandson of Holocaust survivors, but I do not support the current Israeli Government, or their disproportionate attacks on civilian infrastructure, which are War crimes according to the Geneva Conventions.)

Israel/Lebanon: End Indiscriminate Strikes on Civilians


Some Israeli Attacks Amount to War Crimes

(Beirut, August 3, 2006) Israeli forces have systematically failed to distinguish between combatants and civilians in their military campaign against Hezbollah in Lebanon, Human Rights Watch said in report released today.
The pattern of attacks in more than 20 cases investigated by Human Rights Watch researchers in Lebanon indicates that the failures cannot be dismissed as mere accidents and cannot be blamed on wrongful Hezbollah practices. In some cases, these attacks constitute war crimes.

The 50-page report, Fatal Strikes: Israels Indiscriminate Attacks Against Civilians in Lebanon, analyzes almost two dozen cases of Israeli air and artillery attacks on civilian homes and vehicles. Of the 153 dead civilians named in the report, 63 are children. More than 500 people have been killed in Lebanon by Israeli fire since fighting began on July 12, most of them civilians.

The pattern of attacks shows the Israeli militarys disturbing disregard for the lives of Lebanese civilians, said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. Our research shows that Israels claim that Hezbollah fighters are hiding among civilians does not explain, let alone justify, Israels indiscriminate warfare.

The report is based on extensive interviews with victims and witnesses of attacks, visits to some blast sites, and information obtained from hospitals, humanitarian groups, security forces and government agencies. Human Rights Watch also conducted research in Israel, assessing the weapons used by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

Human Rights Watch researchers found numerous cases in which the IDF launched artillery and air attacks with limited or dubious military objectives but excessive civilian cost. In many cases, Israeli forces struck an area with no apparent military target. In some instances, Israeli forces appear to have deliberately targeted civilians.

(more at link) <http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/08/02/lebano13902.htm >
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DemforNagin Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 06:49 AM
Response to Original message
1. But not a word about....
Hezbollah's intentional, deliberate, made-to-order attacks on civilians?

Interesting... Wonder what the agenda here is..?
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 06:59 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. The agenda is that Israel is doing to Lebanon what Germany did to Poland
in 1939, and those criminal pukes in the Olmert government should be hung as the war criminals that they are.

Israel has no moral standing whatsoever, not until she abides by UN Resolution 242 and gets the hell out of all the land she took in 1967. They do that, and then we can talk about Hezbollah.
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One_Life_To_Give Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:17 AM
Response to Reply #2
18. When they intentionally strafe fleeing civilians
to induce panic clogging up the roads and bridges so reinforcements can't be brought up the comparison with the Nazi Blitzkrieg will be justified. Your comment only lessens the horror that Blitzkrieg was.
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #18
28. Israel has been bombing fleeing civilians--there are witnesses
in the Western non-American press that have reported this, and they are not isolated incidents.

Israel is committing the same war crimes in Lebanon that Germany committed in Poland in September 1939. Same thing, different army and victims!
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DemforNagin Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #28
33. Your reasoning
is so seriously flawed that I doubt that anything could overcome it.

It's sad to see someone with the blinders so completely in place, but...

To each thier own.
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DemforNagin Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #2
31. The agenda is that Israel is doing to Lebanon what Germany did to Poland
??


When did Poland attack Germany with rockets or anything else? I must've missed that particular history lesson...
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Strawman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:16 AM
Response to Reply #1
8. That's false
"In previous reporting, Human Rights Watch has addressed the conduct of Hezbollah forces, condemning its attacks on civilian areas as serious violations of international humanitarian law amounting to war crimes . Human Rights Watch has called on the governments of Syria and Iran to use their influence on Hezbollah to promote respect for the laws of war. In this report, it urges Hezbollah to take all feasible steps to avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas and to remove civilian persons and objects under its control from the vicinity of military objectives."

http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/08/02/lebano13902.htm

And...see here. This is the previous report they link to.

Attacking civilian areas indiscriminately is a serious violation of international humanitarian law and can constitute a war crime, said Sarah Leah Whitson, director of the Middle East and North Africa division at Human Rights Watch. Hezbollahs use of warheads that have limited military use and cause grievous suffering to the victims only makes the crime worse.

http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/07/18/lebano13760.htm

...bold type added by me for emphasis.

I suspect maybe you are the one with an agenda: to stifle criticism of Israel over actions that are plainly wrong. Human Rights Watch has an agenda and a good one: to stop the killing of innocent civilians on both sides.

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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #1
13. Oh pluleeeeeeaze....
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 07:08 AM
Response to Original message
3. 900 dead, 3,000 wounded, 1,000,000 displaced in Lebanon
according to Lebanese government and reported this morning by BBC News on TV. These are war crimes on the scale of what Germany did to Poland in September 1939!

Israel is another aggressor state, just like Iraq in its invasion of Kuwait, US in its invasion of Iraq, Japan in its invasion of China, Germany in its invasion of Poland, and North Korea in its invasion of South Korea. Nice company!
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ckramer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #3
16. Just for two soliders' capture
The Israeli leader is a fool, even a criminal.
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kamtsa Donating Member (226 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #16
21. And 2000 rockets targeting civilians in Israel
What part of "we want to destroy Israel" you don't understand?
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ckramer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. Only if you have the concept of time
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funnymanpants Donating Member (569 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #21
25. No, Israel started the war and then the rockets came
The rockets came after Israel started bombing the hell out of Lebanon. HRW is correct in noting that Hezbollah also commits war crimes when it fires those rockets, but those rockets haven't killed 900 Lebonese: Irael's missiles have (unless you want to engage in Orwellian logic).

I condemn Hezbollah's actions. Do you condemn Irael's? Do you support human rights or not?
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BonnieJW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 07:41 AM
Response to Original message
4. Please read this opinion at Salon
http://www.salon.com/opinion/blumenthal/2006/08/03/mide...

by Sydney Blumenthal

"Aug. 03, 2006 | The National Security Agency is providing signal intelligence to Israel to monitor whether Syria and Iran are supplying new armaments to Hezbollah as it fires hundreds of missiles into northern Israel, according to a national security official with direct knowledge of the operation. President Bush has approved the secret program.

Inside the administration, neoconservatives on Vice President Dick Cheney's national security staff and Elliott Abrams, the neoconservative senior director for the Near East on the National Security Council, are prime movers behind sharing NSA intelligence with Israel, and they have discussed Syrian and Iranian supply activities as a potential pretext for Israeli bombing of both countries, the source privy to conversations about the program says. (Intelligence, including that gathered by the NSA, has been provided to Israel in the past for various purposes.) The neoconservatives are described as enthusiastic about the possibility of using NSA intelligence as a lever to widen the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah and Israel and Hamas into a four-front war."

(snip)

"Bush's rejection of and reluctance to embrace the peace process concluded with the victory of Hamas in the Palestinian elections. This failure was followed by a refusal to engage Hamas, potentially splitting its new governmental ministers from its more radical leadership in Damascus. Predictably, the most radical elements of Hamas found a way to lash out. And Hezbollah seized the moment by staging its own provocation.

Having failed in the Middle East, the administration is attempting to salvage its credibility by equating Israel's predicament with the U.S. quagmire in Iraq. Neoconservatives, for their part, see the latest risk to Israel's national security as a chance to scuttle U.S. negotiations with Iran, perhaps the last opportunity to realize the fantasies of "A Clean Break."

By using NSA intelligence to set an invisible tripwire, the Bush administration is laying the condition for regional conflagration with untold consequences -- from Pakistan to Afghanistan, from Iraq to Israel. Secretly devising a scheme that might thrust Israel into a ring of fire cannot be construed as a blunder. It is a deliberate, calculated and methodical plot."

Why? Why is the US doing this? What is the gain to these snakes? Is it just for the war profits? Just for the oil? I don't mean to be dense, but I really don't understand what can be gained from instigating WWIII. How can you enjoy all the money if the world ends?

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station agent Donating Member (290 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #4
15. This Salon story is scary as hell
because it rings so true. Any pretext will do.

more from me:

http://icestationtango.blogspot.com/2006/08/report-neoc...
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Up2Late Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #4
24. None of that surprises me one bit. I'm still convinced that Cheney...
...who we've not seen since this all began, is in a bunker somewhere directing this new War or at least, these Air-strikes.

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kamtsa Donating Member (226 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:10 AM
Response to Original message
5. From the report ...
"While not the focus of this report, Human Rights Watch has separately and simultaneously documented violations of international humanitarian law by Hezbollah, including a pattern of attacks that amount to war crimes. Between July 12, when Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers and killed eight, and July 27, the group launched a reported 1,300 rockets into predominantly civilian areas in Israel, killing 18 civilians and wounding more than 300. Without guidance systems for accurate targeting, the rockets are inherently indiscriminate when directed toward civilian areas, especially cities, and thus are serious violations of the requirement of international humanitarian law that attackers distinguish at all times between combatants and civilians. Some of these rockets, Human Rights Watch found, are packed with thousands of metal ball-bearings, which spray more than 100 meters from the blast and compound the harm to civilians."

I wonder when they will publish that 'seperate' report. Don't hold your breathe.

I found it interesting that hrw.org offers a section in Arabic but none in Hebrew. I presume they are following the discrimination patern of the Red Cross.
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newyorican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:14 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Before you condemn...
the composition of rockets fired by Hezbollah, the Israeli military is using flechette rounds.

I will spend equal breath condemning both.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #6
32. Where did you hear this?
Please, please tell me that's not true.

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Strawman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:23 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. Looks like they already have published a report condemning Hezbollah
As Human Rights Watch said in a 1997 report on Lebanon and Israel, Katyushas are inaccurate weapons with an indiscriminate effect when fired into areas where civilians are concentrated. The use of such weapons in this manner is a blatant violation of international humanitarian law. That is, their use in civilian areas violates the prohibition on indiscriminate attacks and would be a war crime. Customary international law prohibits such bombardment near or in any area containing a concentration of civilians, even if there are believed to be military objectives in the area.
http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/07/17/lebano13748.htm

Here's a more recent release from July, 18

Attacking civilian areas indiscriminately is a serious violation of international humanitarian law and can constitute a war crime, said Sarah Leah Whitson, director of the Middle East and North Africa division at Human Rights Watch. Hezbollahs use of warheads that have limited military use and cause grievous suffering to the victims only makes the crime worse.

http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/07/18/lebano13760.htm

Maybe I will make a donation to Human Rights Watch in response to your vicious smears.
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IntiRaymi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:31 AM
Response to Reply #5
10. Ah yes, but who is more effective at killing them?
Take a look at the numbers, THEN pull your head out of the sand.
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kamtsa Donating Member (226 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:17 AM
Response to Reply #10
17. Israel is very effective in protecting its citizens ...
For example, every new house must have, by law, a special enforced room on ground floor.
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funnymanpants Donating Member (569 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:43 AM
Response to Reply #17
26. Isarel guilty of war crimes, so please answer the posts
The Katysha rockets are very inaccurate, so even without bomb shelters they would do very little damage. On the other hand, Lebanon could build all the bomb shelters it wants. If Israel "deliberately" targets the bomb shelter, the civilians will still be dead.
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #5
14. HRW and the International Red Cross are both great organizations
Whatever reason can you have to smear EITHER of them???? Because they say stuff you don't like? What? Seriously, what?

It's even esp. bad because you are mistaken.
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kamtsa Donating Member (226 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #14
19. The Red Cross is a recist organization ...
It recognizes the red cross and the red crescent (both are religious symbols) but not the star of David.
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. Maybe if you learned to spell "racist" you would recognize them.
Go play with someone else. I'm not biting anymore.
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funnymanpants Donating Member (569 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #19
23. What propaganda!
I heard Olmert's brother speak at the University he started to yell at me when I questioned him as to why the Red Cross deemed Israel's illegal settlements war crimes. In reality the Red Cross did not want each country to use its own symbol for the Red Cross because it would simply dilute the universal recognition of the Red Cross. For example, the Red Cross also does not recognize any Buhdda symbols, either. Are they biased against Bhuddists? Nor does it allow symbols for any other religion.

In fact, the Red Cross has reached a compromise on this issue:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Cross

I know: it's always easier to throw out charges of anti-semitism than to actually admit that Israel is "deliberately" killing civilians, to quote from a UN human rights report, endorsed by over 140 nations. I suppose all 140 nations are also anti-semitic, and only poor Israel and its backer the US are not?
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kamtsa Donating Member (226 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:31 AM
Response to Original message
7. Hesbolla, read this ...
"The Parties to the conflict shall, to the maximum extent feasible:

(a) without prejudice to Article 49 of the Fourth Convention, endeavour to remove the civilian population, individual civilians and civilian objects under their control from the vicinity of military objectives; (b) avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas; (c) take the other necessary precautions to protect the civilian population, individual civilians and civilian objects under their control against the dangers resulting from military operations."

(Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, 8 June 1977. PROTOCOL I, article 58.)

Storing ammunition and shooting from villages puts civilians at risk, save goes for having military headquarters in heavily populated neighborhoods in Beirut.

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IntiRaymi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:37 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. Kamtsa, read this.
Israel thinks that the 4th Geneva Conventions are a joke, as a matter of official policy:

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/Hum...

From the last paragraph:

"International efforts led by the United States were successful in scaling down the July 15th special UN meeting in Geneva. The closed-door meeting lasted a mere 45 minutes. However, a resolution was unanimously passed stating that the Fourth Geneva Convention does apply to Israeli settlements in the "occupied territories.""

However, this has obviously not stopped Israel from repeatedly violating them.
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #7
29. Israel read this: UN Security Council Resolution 242
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 02:03 PM by IndianaGreen
Leave the Golan and Shebaa Farms, leave Gaza and the West Bank, and leave Arab Jerusalem!

And stop the genocide in Lebanon!
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funnymanpants Donating Member (569 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 10:50 AM
Response to Original message
12. So much for the excuses that Israel doesn't target civilians
We have continually heard that Israel doesn't target civilians. Well, yes it does.

I will also point out that Israel has been targeting civilians for years, or perhaps I should say decades. For example,the UN Human Rights commission found Israel guilty of "deliberate killing" and "torture." This report was endorsed by something like 140 nations, with only two refusing to endorse it. Guess who the two were: Israel and the USA.

All human rights groups that have looked at Israel's behavior--Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, B'Tsleem (based in Israel), a Palestinian Human Rights group, and the UN Human Rights commission have found Israel guilty of numerous human rights.

If Israel is deliberately killing civilians, why don't we see more main stream coverage of this? After all, when a suicide bomber kills Israelis, it becomes the news story of the day. No one (that is, in America) understand that Israel, in its deliberate attacks, is just as guilty. For example, I am reading a book called growing up Palestinian, written by a journalist who spent 10 years in the occupied territories. She notes how the IDF wounded a Palestinian, and how that Palestinian told his brother to flee because the IDF would make sure he got to a hospital. The brother fled to a nearby roof and watched as the IDF riddled his wounded brother with bullets.
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mom cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:04 PM
Response to Original message
27. Send this to all your congress folk and the media. K&R& Thanks.
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Up2Late Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 04:47 PM
Response to Original message
30. kick n/t
:kick:
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-06-06 02:57 PM
Response to Original message
34. .
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