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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 11:34 AM
Original message
Gaza homes destruction 'wanton'
Human rights investigators say Israeli forces engaged in "wanton destruction" of Palestinian homes during the recent conflict in Gaza.


"Amnesty International has told the BBC News website the methods used raised concerns about war crimes.

Israel's military said buildings were destroyed because of military "operational needs".

The Israeli Defense Forces said they operated in accordance with international law during the conflict.

However, the use of mines to destroy homes contradicted this claim, the head of the Amnesty International fact-finding mission to southern Israel and Gaza, Donatella Rovera, has argued."


"Ms Rovera said Amnesty International was concerned about "large scale destruction of homes and other civilian properties" during the conflict.

"The destruction was, in our view, and according to our findings, wanton destruction - it could not be justified on military grounds," she said."

Audio slideshow: Homeless in Gaza

"Raed al-Atamna's family's six houses were destroyed in the recent Gaza conflict, as well as the cars he uses to earn his living as a taxi driver.

With nearly 3,000 families homeless, rented accommodation is scarce in Gaza - Mr Atamna's pregnant wife and seven children are now staying with relatives, while he sleeps in a corrugated metal shack next to his ruined house.

The Israeli military says it destroyed buildings because of "substantial operational needs", for example because of booby traps or militants in them, but Amnesty International says "wanton destruction" occurred, in violation of international law."
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Sezu Donating Member (920 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 11:47 AM
Response to Original message
1. AI was NOT on the ground. They have no idea what the military needs
were or were not.
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Maat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I, for one, don't give a rat's hiney what the military 'needed;'
it was an illegal invasion and attack. It was not self-defense. They attacked the ENTIRE population, without the permission of that sovereign state. Therefore, they improperly equated criminals with the entire state, and attacked the entire state (a state in which they were the occupying power, controlling the air, the water, the checkpoints and land entries/exits). They used deadly force against an entire population, not just criminal attackers. It was not in response to an imminent danger from the actions of a sovereign state. Moreover, they went far beyond the minimal force authorized in a situation warranting deadly force, as a response to deadly force causing imminent danger of serious harm or death at the hands of a sovereign state).

This was collective punishment, pure and simple. The Israelis wanted to pound the civilian population so hard that it would pressure on the criminal attackers (something that would never have been successful). Engaging in this type of collective punishment is a war crime.

I'm sure that you know that they are attempting to justify their war crimes using military necessity. That requires people listening to this argument getting confused, and taking their focus off of the underlying issue.

The destruction was wanton because they didn't care about keeping civilians safe, while pursuing criminals. The IDF just wanted to hurt, and "hurt bad."

When will the citizens of the world stand up to this kind of genocide?
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GoesTo11 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Israel caused as much damage to Gaza as they possibly could have.
Why didn't they hold back at all? Why use maximum force on a defenseless population?
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Taitertots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Do you really believe they used maximum force?
It is quite clear that Israel used constrained force despite an obvious military capacity to do significantly more.
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Maat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. I do not understand why they thought that this type of punishment could work.
Edited on Sat Mar-07-09 08:52 PM by Maat
Worse yet, there is evidence that they were crazy enough to use white phosphorus (some was found burning in the U.N. building, full of food and medical supplies, that was destroyed). They also may have used a deadly D.I.M.E.-type weapon, which caused many children to lose their limps. These children will ultimately die of a rare form of cancer (exposure to the radioactive and toxic substances in the weapon's remnants), even if they do survive their initial wounds, if this weapon was used (and it's use is illegal).

I watched quite a bit of video of the attack; to say it was restrained (as some are - not you) requires imagination that I certainly don't have.

Many, many people agree with us; ultimately, if Israel wants to be anything but shunned in the world community, it will stop this madness.
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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 10:36 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. You don't appreciate the power of modern weapons
if they didn't hold back they could have killed tens of thousands in the first minutes of the war. Think of all those people sleeping - how many apartment blocks could the Israeli air force have collapsed in seconds?
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Shaktimaan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 06:43 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. what would you have suggested that
Israel do differently? For example, how would you recommend that Israel ensure the safety of all civilians while trying to attack the militants who are using them as cover?

I disagree with all of your conclusions and don't really see what kind of information they are based on but I don't see the point in arguing over it. I do have a basic question though. At the time of the invasion Israel was enduring waves of rocket attacks from Gaza. Hamas had just refused a ceasefire arrangement and Israel's goal was to protect its population by ending these attacks. Considering the situation at the time, what actions do you think that Israel could have realistically taken to protect themselves which would not have been interpreted as unreasonable by yourself?
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Maat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. This is what I expect out of Israel:
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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. The fact finding team was in Gaza before the bombing stopped...
Donatella Rovera is a researcher in the Middle East & North Africa Program at the International Secretariat of Amnesty International in London. She has headed several AI missions to countries in the region during high-risk conflict situations. Chris Cobb-Smith served for nineteen years in the British Army and commanded a commando battery in the Royal Artillery. From 1996 to 1998 he worked as a weapons inspector in Iraq with UNSCOM and in 1999 served with the OSCE verification and monitoring mission in Kosovo. As a specialist security consultant he has conducted investigations into a number of high-profile human rights and humanitarian law violations, primarily in the Israeli Occupied Territories and those controlled by the Palestinian Authority. When required he commits to voluntary work in support of Amnesty International. During the recent conflict Donatella and Chris documented human rights violations on the ground in Southern Israel and Gaza. They entered Gaza on January 17, just hours before Israel declared a cease fire.

Also, I didn't realise there was a need to be right there in the spot where it happens to be able to see that there is no legitimate 'military need' for the wanton destruction of property, especially people's homes. Do you realise that weak argument would also lead to saying that AI has no idea what China's military needs are or aren't when for example Chinese border guards opened fire on a group of unarmed Tibetan refugees who were trying to cross into India? Doesn't it disturb you where yr logic leads?
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