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Israel/Lebanon: Evidence indicates deliberate destruction of civilian infr

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oc2002 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-24-06 08:24 AM
Original message
Israel/Lebanon: Evidence indicates deliberate destruction of civilian infr

Amnesty International reports that:

Israel/Lebanon: Evidence indicates deliberate destruction of civilian infrastructure

Press release, 08/23/2006

Amnesty International today published findings that point to an Israeli policy of deliberate destruction of Lebanese civilian infrastructure, which included war crimes, during the recent conflict.

The organization's latest publication shows how Israel's destruction of thousands of homes, and strikes on numerous bridges and roads as well as water and fuel storage plants, was an integral part of Israel's military strategy in Lebanon, rather than collateral damage resulting from the lawful targeting of military objectives.

The report reinforces the case for an urgent, comprehensive and independent UN inquiry into grave violations of international humanitarian law committed by both Hizbullah and Israel during their month-long conflict.

"Israels assertion that the attacks on the infrastructure were lawful is manifestly wrong. Many of the violations identified in our report are war crimes, including indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks. The evidence strongly suggests that the extensive destruction of power and water plants, as well as the transport infrastructure vital for food and other humanitarian relief, was deliberate and an integral part of a military strategy," said Kate Gilmore, Executive Deputy Secretary General of Amnesty International.

The Israeli government has argued that they were targeting Hizbullah positions and support facilities and that other damage done to civilian infrastructure was a result of Hizbullah using the civilian population as a "human shield".

"The pattern, scope and scale of the attacks makes Israel's claim that this was 'collateral damage', simply not credible, said Kate Gilmore, Executive Deputy Secretary General of Amnesty International.

"Civilian victims on both sides of this conflict deserve justice. The serious nature of violations committed makes an investigation into the conduct of both parties urgent. There must be accountability for the perpetrators of war crimes and reparation for the victims.

The report, Deliberate destruction or 'collateral damage'? Israeli attacks against civilian infrastructure, is based on first-hand information gathered by recent Amnesty International research missions to Lebanon and Israel, including interviews with dozens of victims, officials from the UN, Israeli Defence Force (IDF) and Lebanese government, as well as official statements and press reports.

The report includes evidence of the following:

* Massive destruction by Israeli forces of whole civilian neighbourhoods and villages;
* Attacks on bridges in areas of no apparent strategic importance;
* Attacks on water pumping stations, water treatment plants and supermarkets despite the prohibition against targeting objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population;
* Statements by Israeli military officials indicating that the destruction of civilian infrastructure was indeed a goal of Israels military campaign designed to press the Lebanese government and the civilian population to turn against Hizbullah.


The report exposes a pattern of indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks, which resulted in the displacement of twenty-five percent of the civilian population. This pattern, taken together with official statements, indicates that the attacks on infrastucture were deliberate, and not simply incidental to lawful military objectives.

Amnesty International is calling for a comprehensive, independent and impartial inquiry to be urgently established by the UN into violations of international humanitarian law by both sides in the conflict. It should examine in particular the impact of this conflict on the civilian population, and should be undertaken with a view to holding individuals responsible for crimes under international law and ensuring that full reparation is provided to the victims.


check the website for a full report comming.
http://news.amnesty.org/index/ENGMDE020182006
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Sherman A1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-24-06 08:38 AM
Response to Original message
1. Paid for with U.S. Tax $$'s
Everything is going along just soo very, very well....
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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-24-06 09:04 AM
Response to Original message
2. There was another thread on this earlier
And several posts quite correctly shredded AI's position

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph... (post #7) and the NR article it references are pretty much right on.

Also, based on their record, AI will not substantively condemn Hezbollah. It would not matter if they did. The Arab and Muslim nations have never listened to them before.

AI will not/does not have access to key data, namely why the IDF targeted a particular facility. Making charges stick in a tribunal requires specific evidence AI will not be able to obtain. For example, there have been a few samples of IAF strike videos showing up on the net. Would AI consider some of those strikes a war crime?

Despite all of the above, the dead will still be dead and the underlying causes of the violence will remain un addressed.
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oc2002 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-24-06 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. nothing in those rambling posts that negates AI charges of War crimes.
nt.
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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-24-06 09:25 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Start with the New Republic article
and also recall that AI has no access to key documents from the IDF or Hezbollah. Not sure they have anything approaching probable cause for any specific event.
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The Stranger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-24-06 09:40 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. Waging "legal" war does not excuse war crimes committed.
Edited on Thu Aug-24-06 09:41 AM by The Stranger
Even if some of the airstrikes were "legal" (however morally absurd that notion is), that does not excuse numerous, documented, detailed illegal airstrikes.

Condemning Hezbollah has absofuckinglutely nothing -- zero, zilch, nada -- to do with Amnesty's Report about Israel's war crimes against Lebanon.

(Thanks for attempting to divert the topic with that red herring, but we can't let you do it. Sorry.)
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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-24-06 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. If it was legal, its not a war crime...
I was not claiming that Hezbollah was guilty of war crimes as a diversion, though the case against them is much more prima facie, now that you bring it up. I was stating without knowing what Hezbollah was doing in the immediate area (if anything) it is not possible to make a factual statement that there was no military reason for a particular strike.

Clearly what AI has done is little more than PR arm waving. Without tactical records from Hezbollah (who most likely has little or none) and the IDF (which should be extensive) they have no real basis for condemning anyone for war crimes, and you have even less for your statements "numerous, documented, detailed illegal air strikes". The media reports and websites are certainly not credible tribunal level evidence.

I am not white washing either side here, but the AI report is clearly little more than hyperbole . There should be real investigations done with some rigor and most importantly access to records.

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RethugAssKicker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-24-06 09:05 AM
Response to Original message
3. I thought that was a given... I didn't know there was any dispute
about the damage to the Lebaneese infrastructure.

Of course, they purposefully targeted the infrastructure !
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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-24-06 11:20 AM
Response to Reply #3
9. This issue is not what but why
Which is the pivotal point. Massive distruction, even to infrastructure, is not prima facie a war crime.
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Double T Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-24-06 09:27 AM
Response to Original message
6. Pictures, videos, first hand accounts don't lie........
Israel, in my opinion and based on the facts with overwhelming evidence, was wrong to kill innocent civilians, destroy their homes and destroy a neighboring country's infrastructure and should be called on it. When ANY country commits these types of unprovoked (by the innocents) acts of destruction, it must be stopped; abduction of soldiers does NOT warrant this widespread destruction of innocents life and property.
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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-24-06 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. Have you seen the IDF tactical video on YouTube?
Some post processing, some croping of the video, but still makes the case that those particular strikes were justified.
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