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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 06:11 AM
Original message
Lebanon hospitals cut off, running out of supplies
Lebanon hospitals cut off, running out of supplies
Thu Aug 10, 2006 6:49am ET
By Michael Winfrey

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Hospitals were running out of food, fuel and other supplies in southern Lebanon on Thursday and aid groups said fighting and a ban on movement meant they could not reach thousands trapped in the area.

Medecins Sans Frontieres said that since an Israeli air strike destroyed the last coastal river crossing for trucks to the south on Monday, aid agencies had been reduced to carrying supplies by hand over a log across the Litani river.

It said Israel's warning that it might attack any vehicle south of the Litani that was not part of an aid convoy with Israeli clearance significantly undermined the chances of the tens of thousands of people still believed to be trapped in the region.

"The people in the south are afraid. They are terrified to move," Rowan Gillies, president of MSF International, said in Beirut. "To forbid all forms of movement, without distinction, will lead to even more civilian deaths and suffering."
(snip/...)

http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=top...

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bunyip Donating Member (180 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:09 AM
Response to Original message
1. Israel has the right to defend itself
We are witnessing the birth pangs of a new Middle East - from the Nile to the Euphrates, as Ben Gurion promised.

:cry:
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tocqueville Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:11 AM
Response to Original message
2. In total breach with the 4th Geneva Convention
Article 15
Any Party to the conflict may, either direct or through a neutral State or some humanitarian organization, propose to the adverse Party to establish, in the regions where fighting is taking place, neutralized zones intended to shelter from the effects of war the following persons, without distinction:

wounded and sick combatants or non-combatants;
civilian persons who take no part in hostilities, and who, while they reside in the zones, perform no work of a military character.
When the Parties concerned have agreed upon the geographical position, administration, food supply and supervision of the proposed neutralized zone, a written agreement shall be concluded and signed by the representatives of the Parties to the conflict. The agreement shall fix the beginning and the duration of the neutralization of the zone.

Article 16
The wounded and sick, as well as the infirm, and expectant mothers, shall be the object of particular protection and respect.

As far as military considerations allow, each Party to the conflict shall facilitate the steps taken to search for the killed and wounded, to assist the shipwrecked and other persons exposed to grave danger, and to protect them against pillage and ill-treatment.

Article 21
Convoys of vehicles or hospital trains on land or specially provided vessels on sea, conveying wounded and sick civilians, the infirm and maternity cases, shall be respected and protected in the same manner as the hospitals provided for in Article 18, and shall be marked, with the consent of the State, by the display of the distinctive emblem provided for in Article 38 of the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of 12 August 1949.


Article 23
Each High Contracting Party shall allow the free passage of all consignments of medical and hospital stores and objects necessary for religious worship intended only for civilians of another High Contracting Party, even if the latter is its adversary. It shall likewise permit the free passage of all consignments of essential foodstuffs, clothing and tonics intended for children under fifteen, expectant mothers and maternity cases.

The obligation of a High Contracting Party to allow the free passage of the consignments indicated in the preceding paragraph is subject to the condition that this Party is satisfied that there are no serious reasons for fearing:

that the consignments may be diverted from their destination,
that the control may not be effective, or
that a definite advantage may accrue to the military efforts or economy of the enemy through the substitution of the above-mentioned consignments for goods which would otherwise be provided or produced by the enemy or through the release of such material, services or facilities as would otherwise be required for the production of such goods.
The Power which allows the passage of the consignments indicated in the first paragraph of this Article may make such permission conditional on the distribution to the persons benefited thereby being made under the local supervision of the Protecting Powers.

Such consignments shall be forwarded as rapidly as possible, and the Power which permits their free passage shall have the right to prescribe the technical arrangements under which such passage is allowed.

Article 30
Protected persons shall have every facility for making application to the Protecting Powers, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the National Red Cross (Red Crescent, Red Lion and Sun) Society of the country where they may be, as well as to any organization that might assist them.

These several organizations shall be granted all facilities for that purpose by the authorities, within the bounds set by military or security considerations.

Apart from the visits of the delegates of the Protecting Powers and of the International Committee of the Red Cross, provided for by Article 143, the Detaining or Occupying Powers shall facilitate, as much as possible, visits to protected persons by the representatives of other organizations whose object is to give spiritual aid or material relief to such persons
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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:20 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. You know, after actually reading your reply...
I see loopholes big enough to drive the Exxon Valdez through re: the halt of all traffic, because Israel has serious reasons for fearing that a definite advantage may accrue to the military efforts of the enemy by allowing aid through. Or at least, it claims it does, which is more or less enough.

I don't go crying Israel's violating the laws of war on the drop of a hat generally but... I'll actually have to be LESS inclined to be critical, after reading what you posted from the treaty, because Israel can rightfully claim it's not in technical violation.
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jpkenny Donating Member (224 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:43 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. These are matters of the sould of a nation and its people. No man
made rules will ever be able to appropriately label or resolve the morality of the soul. You either ascribe to higher human behavior or you operate from the depths of beastly animal instincts. For myself, I see the lowest of human instincts operating in this Lebanese atrocity. It rivals even what happen in Rwanda because the US and Israelis believe themselves to be more moral and more civil but I have strong doubts that they are.
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tocqueville Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. the Israeli technical interpretation is irrelevant
This is not more "badly" written than the US Constitution. But of course you can have the "Gonzales reading" or the normal people reading. Like the US saying that "the Geneva convention doesn't apply" and that technically torture is OK or that the President can do everything he wants.

Fact is that it doesn't really matter what the Israeli or the US say with their own "readings". What matters is what the OTHERS say. And that's the others reading that will forge the doom of history, not Israel or the US. Because they are no longer writing it.
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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 05:45 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Well whether it's prosecutable or not, cruelty is cruelty.
And it's sad for a modern army existing over 50 years after WWII needing to declare indiscriminate bombings of all moving motor vehicles because they MIGHT have the enemy or arms for the enemy within, but we just don't know so, we'll bomb 'em all, God can sort it out.
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tocqueville Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. that's what I mean n/t
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eccles12 Donating Member (385 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. But who will have the moral courage to hold them accountable?
Certainly not the US or the UK.
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