Monday, November 26, 2012

Israeli War Crimes: “Surgical Strikes” against Palestinian Children
Felicity Arbuthnot, Global Research, Nov 24 2012
Light the fire,
so I can see my tears
On the night of the massacre
- Samih al-Qasim, b 1939
It was that “pinpoint accuracy surgical strike” stuff again, there were “unavoidable tragic errors, mistakes, scrupulous efforts made to avoid,” etc, etc. And as Britain’s Col Richard Kemp declared of the fourteen hundred dead of the Christmas and New year onslaught on Gaza in 2008-2009:
Mistakes are not war crimes.
Col Kemp, with impeccable ties to British Intelligence, spoke to the BBC from Jerusalem in similar sanguine vein on Nov 21 of the then latest 24-hour bombardment of the tiny, walled-in Gaza Strip, where over half the population are children. But Col Kemp has seen a fair amount of carnage in his time, from Belfast to the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Seemingly after a while the dead and dismembered are just part of the day job. The eight-day blitz killed 162 Palestinians in what were merciless attacks on families with no where to hide. 999 were injured. 865 houses are damaged or destroyed. 6 health centres are damaged, 30 schools, 2 universities, 15 NGO offices, 27 mosques, 14 media offices, 11 industrial plants, 81 commercial stores and a UNRWA food distribution centre. In addition, 7 Ministry offices, 14 police or security stations, 5 banks, and 2 youth clubs. The sports complex where the Palestinians athletes and paralympians trained for the 2012 London Olympics is reduced to rubble, as is the beautiful and most necessary Gaza Interior Ministry. On Universal Children’s Day, Nov 20, an Ma href=””>air strike destroyed the Oxfam-supported al-Bajan kindergarten school and damaged the al-Housna kindergarten. Oxfam’s Sara Almer commented:
More than 150 children attended these kindergartens. The children are safe, but the places where they learned and played are now in ruins. They already suffer a high level of trauma.
The Oxfam project was as a result of the devastation caused by “Operation Cast Lead” between Dec 27 2008 and Jan 17 2009, when they also repaired the now re-fractured water and sanitation facilities. There is a shortage of 230 schools in Gaza, the Agency points out, and a ban on importing construction materials, which means the further 32 damaged, the 2 universities and all else may well stay that way. Ironically, on the day of the nurseries’ destruction, UN Sec-Gen Ban announced the launch of a major UN initiative marking Universal Children’s Day called “Education First.” The day commemorates the adoption of the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child of 1959 and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989. The 1989 Convention entered in to force on Sep 2 1990, under a month after the UN embargo on Iraq, with even baby milk formula importation denied. The preamble to this fine document states among other things:
The child needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection before as well as after birth.
4-yr-old twins Suhaib and Muhammed Hijazi will never learn of the “protection” they are entitled to by the UN. They were killed when their home was bombed as the dawn of Universal Children’s Day approached. Their parents Fouad and Amna died in hospital. 18-month-old Saraya won’t grow to read these fine words either. She died of a heart attack, literally frightened to death by the bombardment. As the lights went off in Gaza’s hospitals, and their generator fuel hovered on empty, Gilad Sharon, youngest son of 84-yr-old Ariel Sharon, who has benefited from Israel’s fine health services and been on life support systems since 2006, stated:
We need to flatten entire neighbourhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The US didn’t stop with Hiroshima. The Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki too.
Israel’s Interior Minister Eli Yishai stated that the goal of the attacks was to “send Gaza back to the Middle Ages.” Palestine has no army, navy, air force, no heavy weaponry. Israel is an undeclared nuclear power, regarded as having the fourth strongest military on earth. Gaza was, of course being bombed by US-supplied F-16s and a variety of US weaponry. But as Gaza grieved, the US had parades across the land, ate turkey, prayed over their festive dinners on Thanksgiving Day, Nov 22 (and the Jewish press produced bizarre festive comparisons between ‘thanksgiving’ and ‘passover’ – RB). Reality would have had them burning, city to city, the UN Declaration and Convention on the Rights of the Child, the UN Declaration on Human Rights, the Geneva Convention and the Nuremberg Principles, making a pyre of all the fine, meaningless words which do not end or mask international lawlessness and inhumanity. A bonfire which might light the lie of the whole murderous hypocrisy of self-proclaimed “democratic” nation-states.

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