Monday, December 8, 2014

Amnesty Intl lets out a teeny-weeny whimper on Israel's war crimes

After five long months, Amnesty Intl. finds its balls, which like all other human rights organizations when it comes to criticizing Israel, have either shrunk to tiny little pebbles or have run away scared stiff right up into their yellow bellies. And, guess what?  Of course, it's only a whimper that comes out from this castrated org, just like the whimpers from all others..... because when Israel does anything wrong, it's very, very forgivable.

Israel's destruction of multistorey buildings: extensive, wanton and unjustified

Air strikes on landmark buildings at the tail end of the Israeli military’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in August 2014 were a deliberate and direct attack on civilian buildings and amount to war crimes, says Amnesty International today. 
“Nothing is immune”: Israel’s destruction of landmark buildings in Gaza provides evidence that attacks on four multistorey buildings during the last four days of the conflict were in contravention of international humanitarian law and calls for them to be independently and impartially investigated. 

“All the evidence we have shows this large-scale destruction was carried out deliberately and with no military justification,” said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International. 

“Both the facts on the ground and statements made by Israeli military spokespeople at the time indicate that the attacks were a collective punishment against the people of Gaza and were designed to destroy their already precarious livelihoods.” 
While the Israeli military warned the residents of the buildings to leave before they destroyed them, scores of people from nearby buildings were injured and hundreds of people were devastated to lose their homes, businesses and belongings.   

In all four cases, panicked residents hurried to evacuate the buildings and in most cases, were unable to salvage their belongings, including important documents, jewellery and savings. 
The Municipal Commercial Centre in Rafah, which contained a shopping mall, a garage, several offices and a medical clinic, was reduced to a tangled skeleton of iron girders and concrete. Businesses in this building provided the livelihoods for hundreds of families, who are now struggling to make ends meet. 

Other than the suggestion that one of the destroyed buildings housed a Hamas command centre and of “facilities linked to Palestinian militants” in another, the Israeli authorities have provided no information as to why they levelled four entire buildings. 
“Even if the Israeli authorities had good reason to believe that a part of a building was being used for military purposes, they had an obligation to choose means and methods of attack that would minimize harm to civilians and their property,” says Philip Luther. “The Israeli army have previously conducted air strikes on specific apartments in high-rise buildings without their complete destruction.” ....

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