Did Israel provoke rockets from Gaza to pressure Palestinians to back off UN bid?

on 72 Comments

Are Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak using the threat of another full on war against Gaza as a bargaining chip against the international community’s support for an upgrade of Palestinian statehood at the UN later this month? While some might consider this too speculative, the history of Israeli aggression in Gaza, the timing of this escalation and reports from Israel indicate that Netanyahu may be attempting to provoke a broader fight in Gaza in order to sabotage the Palestinian UN push.

Yousef Munayyer wrote in February, 2012 demonstrating how Israel often instigates the escalation in violence with Gaza suggesting:

[I]t is the Israelis and not the Palestinians who, through their capacity to actually inflict high casualties with their projectiles, control escalation in cross border dynamics.

Were provocations against Gaza discussed election eve at the closed meeting between nine Israeli ministers on ways to coerce/threaten/punish Palestinians over the UN bid?

As we reported earlier, on the evening of November 7 in Israel, 10 hours after Obama was elected to his second term in office the Defense Minister of the Israel, Ehud Barak went on the radio and said the Palestinian UN bid had to be delayed “immediately.” The next day a Palestinian child was dead, killed in Gaza by invading Israeli military forces. That news has been erased from the narrative rapidly developing over the last 72 hours.

At dawn, the morning after the Defense Minister’s radio address, Israel military forces crossed over the border into Gaza with tanks and bulldozers sparking off a new round violence when 13-year-old Ahmed Younis Khader Abu Daqqa was killed by rounds of live ammunition fired by an Israeli military helicopter on Nov, 8. The Popular Resistance Committees responded by firing rockets into southern Israel saying they were a “revenge invoice” for the increased Israeli attacks on Gazans, making it clear they viewed the Israeli attacks as a provocation. Still, the Palestinian response has served as a PR-friendly casus belli to “prepare international public opinion for an Israeli operation in Gaza.”

Why now? This was not like the build up to September 2011 UN bid when the Palestinian effort for statehood was all over the news. This year, between the US election and Israeli sabrerattling over Iran, the Palestinian bid for statehood has taken a back seat, until immediately after the election. In fact, it still has to take a back seat, because frankly, Israel’s argument against a state for Palestine is just not very compelling (no kidding, Oren’s “ Top item on U.S.-Israel agenda is Palestinian statehood bid” never even got picked up by the mainstream media). Was the attack meant to pressure Abbas into backing off, drive a wedge between Palestinians and justify another war against Gaza, should he dare go through with it? Are Palestinian rockets being used to build support in the international community for retribution and prevention of Palestinian statehood?

Now, Haaretz is reporting that “Netanyahu is interested in taking advantage of the situation in Gaza to provoke Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas ahead of his plan to apply for observer status at the UN”:

A source in the Prime Minister’s Office said Sunday in a press briefing that Netanyahu is conducting hasbara – efforts to explain and justify Israel’s policies to the rest of the world – in order to “prepare international public opinion for an Israeli operation in Gaza.”


It appears that despite the big statements and threats, Netanyahu is interested in taking advantage of the situation in Gaza to provoke Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas ahead of his plan to apply for observer status at the UN at the end of the month – this, despite the fact that the sovereign power in Gaza is Hamas. “Abu Mazen claims he is the sole representative of the Palestinian people, but is not assuming responsibility for the fire from Gaza,” the PMO said Sunday evening.

Netanyahu discussed the issue with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who earlier Sunday released a message condemning Abbas for the situation in Gaza.

“Abbas’ failure to denounce or relate to the rocket fire into southern Israel in recent days once again raises the question of whom Abbas represents, what is his responsibility for what is done in this area and what value will an agreement with him actually have,” Lieberman said.

On election day in 2008, Israel invaded Gaza and broke the ceasefire. The ensuing rocket fire was used as the pretext for a full on invasion and war against Gaza beginning 3 weeks later. November 29th, the day the Palestinian delegation is expected to submit its bid for observer status at the US, is two weeks from tomorrow.

As we watch how Netanyahu takes “advantage of the situation in Gaza” to impact Israel’s positioning over the Palestinians UN bid, it will be important to remember the caged people whose lives are treated as nothing but political pawns to the powerful players.

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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72 Responses

  1. Les
    November 12, 2012, 5:16 pm

    Abbas loses credibility daily in the eyes of Palestinians. Why does Israel bother to knock someone down who is already down?

  2. Hostage
    November 12, 2012, 6:00 pm

    Abbas loses credibility daily in the eyes of Palestinians. Why does Israel bother to knock someone down who is already down?

    Because every one of those settlement tenders or attacks against civilians is an indictable offense in the Hague under the Article 12(3) declaration filed by Abbas.

    • Annie Robbins
      November 12, 2012, 6:02 pm

      hostage, i think many people have grossly underestimated the power behind this move by the PLO, but the israeli government would not be amongst them.

      • Mooser
        November 13, 2012, 11:55 am

        Wow, there’s no underestimating dear Hostage’s comment. One sentence from him is worth wading through all the dime-a-minyan mayhem in the thread to get to.

      • Hostage
        November 14, 2012, 12:38 am

        hostage, i think many people have grossly underestimated the power behind this move by the PLO, but the israeli government would not be amongst them.

        Of course. It will be impossible for Netanyahu and his cabinet to get on a plane and visit EU member states of the ICC without weighing the risk of being arrested and spending a few decades in jail. Last week a former IDF JAG even warned the IDF commanders named as defendants in the Turkish Mavi Marmara trial against traveling to the USA:

        Asked about any concerns the four Israelis may have about traveling overseas, Mandelblit said, “Naturally they have no reason to travel to Turkey because they won’t be able to return and they should definitely stay away from the US.


        The government’s media echo chamber at Haaretz, Barak Ravid, writes that:
        *”For Netanyahu, the UN vote trumps southern rocket fire”. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sees the vote in the UN as having extremely serious consequences for Israel. Netanyahu has held discussions on the matter almost every day over the past few days, and has been dealing with the matter no less than with that of the escalation and rockets in the south – if not more. Netanyahu is of the opinion that while the present round of fighting in the Gaza area can be controlled, the snowball effect started by the Palestinian initiative in the UN could be much harder to stop.

        *Monday evening, Netanyahu held a meeting with a number of his senior ministers to deal with the issue Israel fears the most: a scenario in which Palestine’s new status as a non-member state would allow it to be accepted as a member of the International Criminal Court of the UN in the Hague and demand Israel and its leaders be tried for war crimes. Israel is not a member of the International Criminal Court, and as a result its decisions do not obligate Israel. But a prosecution against Israel or senior Israeli officials in the international court could initiate a wave of criminal proceedings against Israel around the world and encourage the implementation of various economic sanctions against Israel, such as a ban on imports from the settlements.

        During the meeting with Netanyahu, Lieberman and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said the Palestinian approach to the International Criminal Court would be “a declaration of war,” which would require Israel to respond even more strongly than the Palestinian initiative in the General Assembly.

        * Israeli ambassadors around the world were instructed to deliver a message to the presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers of the countries in which they serve, stating Israel will consider partial or full cancellation of the Oslo Accords if the United Nations General Assembly adopts the resolution to upgrade the status of Palestine to that of a non-member observer state in the organization.

        *On Sunday, the Foreign Ministry sent an urgent cable to all Israeli representatives around the world, asking ambassadors to deliver a number of messages to senior officials in those countries as soon as possible. “You are asked immediately at the beginning of the work week to contact the foreign ministry, prime minister’s office, national security adviser or president’s office and request to do all possible to halt the Palestinian initiative because of its far-reaching consequences,” the cable to the ambassadors said.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 14, 2012, 12:48 am

        thanks for the links hostage. i knew it. i just hope people hold strong . i do fear they will do more than implore, i wonder what kinds of threats and coercions could be at play over the next 2 weeks. crossing my fingers.

  3. Mayhem
    November 12, 2012, 6:30 pm

    What about the obvious interpretation that Hamas and its virulently anti-Israel operatives are making earnest efforts to undermine any moves to make peace deals with the infidels?

    • Annie Robbins
      November 12, 2012, 6:46 pm

      obvious interpretation? what peace deals? the peace process has been frozen for a long time and israel keeps expanding settlements. so i don’t know what kind of ‘earnest efforts’ you’re referencing. by all means explain yourself.

      • Mayhem
        November 12, 2012, 8:32 pm

        Hamas is not part of the PLO and does not agree with what it is trying to do at the UN. The obvious thing then for Hamas to do is to sabotage the current efforts by Abbas and his cronies.

      • Abdul-Rahman
        November 13, 2012, 2:09 am

        Hamas itself has already hinted even it would accept a two-state solution on the pre-1967 borders http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2008/04/2008615098393788.html

        Of course Hamas and all Palestinian groups have been very clear they will never recognize Israel as a “Jewish state” (whatever that whole “Jewish state” even means as the modern day state of Israel is not ruled by any form of Rabbinic Halakha so how is it supposedly a “Jewish state” to start with anyway??). This stance by the Palestinians is quite natural, as recognizing Israel as a “Jewish state” would not only likely see the Palestinians being forced to relinquish their refugees right of return to their homes (which is guaranteed under international law, UNGA Resolution 194, etc) but also locking in place a system of institutionalized discrimination against Palestinian Israelis (who make up close to 25% of the Israeli population today according to most estimates) if these Palestinian Israelis weren’t just forcibly transferred to a Palestinian state in the two-state solution which some right-wing Zionist groups have stated they want to do (along with these same right wing Zionists’ vision of the “two-state solution” being Palestinian Bantustans cut up and divided even further by illegal Israeli settlements these Likudniks have clearly stated they want kept in place for good. That is also if one doesn’t even mention the even further extremist/fascist modern Zionist groups that still advocate “completing” the Nakba, etc).

      • Mayhem
        November 13, 2012, 3:19 am

        @abdul-rahman, I can hardly believe you have posted a link to an Aljazeera article that is more than 4 years old?
        The overall concept of a Jewish state has nothing really to do with religion although for many Jews that is important; it is about the right for Jews to live in a country where the essential identity of the society is Jewish, a nation where they have full entitlement to self-determination, just as the Palestinians desire that in their own land.
        These two peoples have demonstrated they cannot live together in peace so they must live apart at this time.

      • Cliff
        November 13, 2012, 4:02 am


        You are delusional. It doesn’t matter what you say or think a Jewish State is supposed to be about.

        All that matters is the truth and history. And a Jewish State is – in truth – about Jewish supremacy, apartheid and colonialism. A Jewish State can only exist through the oppression of the indigenous population and constant war with its neighbors.

        A Palestinian State makes sense and is natural. A Jewish State in Palestine is unnatural – hence why hundreds of Palestinian villages and nearly a million Palestinians were DRIVE OFF THEIR LAND to make way for a Jewish majority.

        There is no parallel between Zionist ‘self-determination’ (completely artificial and at the EXPENSE of the people you STEAL FROM) and the natural outgrowth of Palestinian identity in Palestine (a Palestinian nation/State).

        Zionist Jews stole their ‘self-determination’ from the Palestinian people. You are not indigenous to Palestine/Israel. You are a European thief.

      • Shlomo
        November 13, 2012, 4:10 am

        > “the right for Jews to live in a country where the essential identity of the society is Jewish”

        Like Aryans living in an essentially Aryan country?

        > “These two peoples have demonstrated they cannot live together in peace so they must live apart at this time.”

        Goebbels said the same thing.

        In fact, though, it’s only ONE of the “people” who can’t live in peace. You know, the ones who live in the only arrogant, insolent, law-breaking, borderless, Constitution-free, nuclear, socialist, racist, colonial, land-stealing, parasitic, militaristic, supremacist, undemocratic apartheid theocracy in the region.

        What if America became a “Christian State” that booted out Jews? You know, like sundry other nations have throughout history? Or is racism only good when post-WWII Ashkenazis do it?

        Also, how viable would a “Jewish-only” state be when America finally pulls the plug politically, militarily, and financially?

        Imagine, too, the fate of a huge all-Levant Israel, walled-in for “security,” that the whole world treats as a shunned ghetto?

        Cool beans or what?

      • talknic
        November 13, 2012, 5:21 am

        Mayhem November 13, 2012 at 3:19 am

        “… a nation where they have full entitlement to self-determination…”

        American/UK/Australian/etc/etc Jews don’t have the same self determination as the other citizens of their countries?

        “… just as the Palestinians desire that in their own land”

        .. except they’re not from the US, Russia, UK /etc/etc and have had half their land given for a Jewish State which has since being declared, illegally acquired over half of what remained of Palestine

        “These two peoples have demonstrated they cannot live together in peace so they must live apart at this time”

        Odd, for over 2,000 years Jews and non-Jews live relatively peacefully in Palestine as Palestinian citizens. In fact in Herzl’s lifetime, he could have immigrated to Palestine, taken Palestinian citizenship, bought land and settled anywhere in Palestine. He didn’t bother, never lived there, visited only briefly. Now he’s buried in territory not recognized as Israeli.

      • Ellen
        November 13, 2012, 5:59 am

        What a twist of bizzare logic? These two peoples have demonstrated they cannot live together in peace so they must live apart at this time.

        You mean that Zionist have demonstrated that they cannot live together with others. And that Zionist have absolutely no wish to live in anything but a state based on ideas of ethnic supremacy — “where the essential identity of the society is Jewish.”

        Jews were Palestinians, with a Palestinian and Jewish self identity for many hundreds of years. Palestinians were/are Muslim, Christian and Jewish. That was the identity of a people who lived in peace together.

        Then came ideas of ethic claims of blut und boden based on religion from Europe.

        Mayhem, your ancestry is European, right?

      • Ellen
        November 13, 2012, 6:05 am

        When Hamas was not a player, the line was that Israel could not negotiate with the PLO, that the PLO did not represent anyone.

        Then Hamas (which was originally funded by Israel, btw) came into power, Israel was handed another excuse not to have a partner for negotiation.

        Meanwhile, the conflict industry flourishes, driving the Israeli economy and sheep, whipped into paranoia and fear and sometimes hate, go along.

        Such is the face of Zionism and all it’s related variants.

      • Abdul-Rahman
        November 13, 2012, 6:58 am

        Judaism is officially ONLY a religion, so your statement that “The overall concept of a Jewish state has nothing really to do with religion” really makes no sense. http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com/news/newsletters/RJ20080516.cfm (and of course “race” is an unscientific social construct to start with)

        Some will claim “well Judaism is kind of like an ‘ethnicity'” but it is simply not, kind of like how “Semitic” is only a branch of languages within the Afroasiatic language family and not a supposed “race” or ethnicity as well http://www.counterpunch.org/2003/07/11/semitic-is-a-language-group-not-a-race-or-ethnic-group/

        And in the case of the modern state of Israel it has been noted there has been much heated debate and no actual legitimately stated definition of “who is a Jew” (i.e. with Atheist “Jews”, again with Judaism being a RELIGION, makes about as much sense as saying an “Atheist Muslim” or “Atheist Christian”); and of course there has never been an official Israeli nationality declared simply “Jew” or “non-Jew” with all the benefits going of course to the Jews which is how studies say many Israelis want it http://mondoweiss.net/2012/10/most-israelis-say-its-apartheid-not-that-theres-anything-wrong-with-that.html and http://972mag.com/poll-israelis-support-discrimination-against-arabs-embrace-the-term-apartheid/58258/

        As academic Noel Ignatiev has noted in his article “Zionism, Anti-Semitism and the People of Palestine” that “If one part of the Zionist project is the expulsion of the indigenous population, the other part is expanding the so-called Jewish population. But here arises the problem, which has tormented Israeli legal officials for fifty years, what is a Jew? (For a century-and-a-half U.S. courts faced similar problems determining who is white.)”. I could point especially to the case of many recent Russian “Jews” the Israeli authorities have brought in who didn’t even fit their farcical interpretation of who was allegedly Jewish (but they needed these Russians for the “demographic warfare”) and from this have come cases like the Russian neo-Nazis that were given Israeli citizenship.

        And as Israeli Henry Lowi has so accurately put it; “Israel is not a ‘Jewish state’ in the sense that its laws are based on Halacha. They are not. It is not a ‘Jewish state’ in the sense that most Jewish people live there or plan to live there. They do not. It is a ‘Jewish state’ only in the sense that the Jewish ethnic group enjoys privileges that are denied other ethnic groups, and that within the Jewish ethnic group much misery is caused by there being a state monopoly to define ‘who is a Jew’. … The State of Israel is ethnic nationalism institutionalized and gone wild. With all the limitations of historical analogies, Israel is a ‘Jewish state’ in the sense that racist South Africa was a Boer state and in the sense that Nazi Germany was an Aryan state. In short, there is nothing ‘Jewish’ worth preserving in the ‘Jewish state’.”

        And as for the link from Al-Jazeera, I posted it because it was of Hamas stating they would accept a Palestinian state on the 1948 borders, without recognizing Israel. And with the not recognizing Israel part, I added the clear statement of the vast bulk of Palestinians and Palestinian organizations that they will never recognize Israel as a “Jewish state” again chiefly for what that would mean for Palestinian refugees and for the status of discriminated against Palestinian Israelis. Also your attacks on Hamas and claims of “infidels” are quite tired (especially right after Jewish-American Noam Chomsky just visited Gaza to speak); I could throw the same barbs about Netanyahu, Lieberman, and the increasingly resurgent and powerful Kahanist movement in Israel and there view towards Palestinians and “goyim” in general. Also Jews lived in Palestine as a minority with the Palestinian Muslims and Christians for centuries it was only the hostility and colonizing aims of the modern Zionist movement that developed the problem so it has not been Palestinians who have supposedly been unable to live with Jews but rather Zionists who wanted to ethnically cleanse (Yosef Weitz and his “Transfer Committee”, Plan Dalet, the work of historians like Ilan Pappe, etc) Palestinians that are the issue.

      • Hostage
        November 13, 2012, 12:15 pm

        These two peoples have demonstrated they cannot live together in peace so they must live apart at this time.

        Whaddya mean pilgrim? 1 in 5 citizens of Israel are Palestinians and they are not immigrants or tourists.

      • Mooser
        November 13, 2012, 12:47 pm

        “Some will claim “well Judaism is kind of like an ‘ethnicity’” but it is simply not, kind of like how “Semitic” is only a branch of languages within the Afroasiatic language family”

        Wait a minute! Are you saying that all those people are not descended from Shem? Wasn’t he one of Noah’s son’s?

      • Shingo
        November 13, 2012, 4:09 pm

        Odd, for over 2,000 years Jews and non-Jews live relatively peacefully in Palestine as Palestinian citizens.

        Yes, I often laugh at the contradiction hasbrats purvey about Palestine and the plight of Jews there. On one hand, they say they picked Palestine as a haven from persecution in Europe, so they must have regarded the place as tolerant – otherwise, it could not have been considered. But once they decided they were in a position to take Palestine and hang onto it, they suddenly began spinning the rubbish about Palestinian anti Semitism going back hundreds of years.

      • Shingo
        November 14, 2012, 2:17 am

        A Palestinian State makes sense and is natural. A Jewish State in Palestine is unnatural

        That’s so true on so many levels. The effort, cost and energy required to maintain the state tells us that it is unsustainable. Even the fact that the Europeans felt the need to plant pine Forrest’s rather than local vegetation tells us that’ the whole story about the Jewish connection to the land is a complete myth.

        Even when you compare the Arab architecture with the abomination of the settlements, there is the stark contrast between a design that is in halny with the landscape as opposed to one that clashes with it.

      • seafoid
        November 14, 2012, 10:00 am

        There was a hilarious moment in the Al Jaz Café program from Tel Aviv when the host asked a right wing Jew if Hanin Zoabi , a palestinian, was a foreigner in her own country and he said “Yes” ! The look on her face was priceless.

      • thetumta
        November 14, 2012, 7:47 pm

        I’m sure a lot of dead Germans would have agreed with you on the ethnic purity thing? Have you stumbled into an episode of “Doctor Who” or have I? One of us has been transported into the 1930’s somewhere. Maybe Alabama?

      • johnshoemaker
        November 19, 2012, 5:31 am

        “The obvious thing then for Hamas to do is to sabotage the current efforts by Abbas and his cronies.”
        More obvious would be to react stupidly in reaction to provocation as annie writes in the article we’re replying to. A rocket grenade against a militarytarget somehow leads to unguided rockets that might have hurt civilians. Stupid. Media gives us pictures of these rockets. We don’t have good information as to how the explosives, rocket fuel got in Gaza. We need a jouirnalist to go ask how the fuel got there or be satisfied that Israel just hoped the stuff got in so the obvious stupidity of violent HAMAS would react.

    • sardelapasti
      November 13, 2012, 1:26 pm

      “Interpret” what you want, Annie seems to have forgot to tell you that any and all armed attacks by the occupied population on its armed invaders are perfectly legal anyway and cannot be used legally as a pretext by the Zionist Meisterrasse aggressors. See Nuremberg Principles and the summary of post-WWII review of armed civilian action against the Nazi occupation.

      • Hostage
        November 13, 2012, 6:55 pm

        “Interpret” what you want, Annie seems to have forgot to tell you that any and all armed attacks by the occupied population on its armed invaders are perfectly legal anyway and cannot be used legally as a pretext by the Zionist Meisterrasse aggressors.

        That’s completely incorrect. All of the international criminal tribunals have rejected attempts to employ the tu toque defense to prevent investigation or prosecution of individuals for war crimes or crimes against humanity committed against civilians or civilian objectives.

        For example, the Special Rapporteurs for human rights in the Occupied Territories, including Prof John Dugard and Richard Faulk, have all reported to the UN that:

        Persons responsible for committing war crimes by the firing of shells and rockets into civilian areas without any apparent military advantage should be apprehended or prosecuted. This applies to Palestinians who fire Qassam rockets into Israel; and more so to members of the IDF who have committed such crimes on a much greater scale. While individual criminal accountability is important, the responsibility of the State of Israel for the violation of peremptory norms of international law in its actions against the Palestinian people should not be overlooked.

        — — A/HRC/4/17, 29 January 2007 http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/B59FE224D4A4587D8525728B00697DAA

        Here is a relevant extract from the report authored by Goldstone, Jilani, and Chinkin about Sderot:

        20. Impact on civilians of rocket and mortar attacks by Palestinian armed groups on southern Israel

        103. Palestinian armed groups have launched about 8000 rockets and mortars into southern Israel since 2001 (Chapter XIII). While communities such as Sderot and Kibbutz Nir-Am have been within the range of rocket and mortar fire since the beginning, the range of rocket fire increased to nearly 40 kilometres from the Gaza border, encompassing towns as far north as Ashdod, during the Israeli military operations in Gaza.
        104. Since 18 June 2008, rockets fired by Palestinian armed groups in Gaza have killed 3 civilians inside Israel and 2 civilians in Gaza when a rocket landed short of the border on 26 December 2008. Reportedly, over 1000 civilians inside Israel were physically injured as a result of rocket and mortar attacks, 918 of which were injured during the time of the Israeli military operations in Gaza.
        105. The Mission has taken particular note of the high level of psychological trauma suffered by the civilian population inside Israel. Data gathered by an Israeli organization in October 2007 found that 28.4% of adults and 72-94% of children in Sderot suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. 1596 people were reportedly treated for stress-related injuries during the military operations in Gaza while over 500 people were treated following the end of the operations.
        106. Rocke and mortars have damaged houses, schools and cars in southern Israel. On 5 March 2009, a rocket struck a synagogue in Netivot. The rocket and mortar fire has adversely impacted on the right to education of children and adults living in southern Israel. This is a result of school closures and interruptions to classes by alerts and moving to shelters and also the diminished ability to learn that is witnessed in individual experiencing symptoms of psychological trauma.
        107. The rocket and mortar fire has also adversely impacted on the economic and social life of the affected communities. For communities such as Ashdod, Yavne, Beer Sheba, which experienced rocket strikes for the first time during the Israeli military operations in Gaza, there was a brief interruption to their economy and cultural brought about by the temporary displacement of some of their residents. For towns closer to the Gaza border that have been under rocket and mortar fire since 2001, the recent escalation has added to the exodus of residents from these areas.
        108. The Mission has determined that the rockets and, to a lesser extent, mortars, fired by the Palestinian armed groups are incapable of being directed towards specific military objectives and were fired into areas where civilian populations are based. The Mission has further determined that these attacks constitute indiscriminate attacks upon the civilian population of southern Israel and that where there is no intended military target and the rockets and mortars are launched into a civilian population, they constitute a deliberate attack against a civilian population. These acts would constitute war crimes and may amount to crimes against humanity. Given the seeming inability of the Palestinian armed groups to direct the rockets and mortars towards specific targets and given the fact that the attacks have caused very little damage to Israeli military assets, the Mission finds that there is significant evidence to suggest that one of the primary purposes of the rocket and mortar attacks is to spread terror amongst the Israeli civilian population, a violation of international law.
        109. Noting that some of the Palestinian armed groups, along them Hamas, have publicly expressed an intention to target civilians as reprisals for the fatalities of civilians in Gaza as a result of Israeli military operations, the Mission is of the view that reprisals against civilians in armed hostilities are contrary to international humanitarian law.
        110. The Mission notes that the relatively few casualties sustained by civilians inside Israel is due in large part to the precautions put into place by Israel. This includes an early warning system, the provision of public shelters and fortifications of schools and other public buildings at great financial cost – a projected USD 460 million between 2005 and 2011- to the Government of Israel. The Mission is greatly concerned, however, about the lack of an early warning system and a lack of public shelters and fortifications available to the Palestinian Israeli communities living unrecognised and in some of the recognised villages that are within the range of rocket and mortars being fired by Palestinian armed groups in Gaza.


      • sardelapasti
        November 13, 2012, 8:59 pm

        That is effectively (and predictably) the interpretation of most people who work under the governments involved in the UN. It is definitely not the only reading of the WWII precedents (and such a reading would have been extremely awkward at that time, given Dresden, Nagasaki, Hiroshima…); not the only possible reading of the right to resist by all means judged necessary as in the Charter. Targeting the civilian occupation personnel brought by the Nazis has been judged as being fully justified. Luckily for their civilians, though, the Nazis have been much more careful in risking the lives of their own civilian population than the Zionists. Also, see the definition of civilian depends on the function they play in a military occupation.

      • Hostage
        November 15, 2012, 4:11 am

        It is definitely not the only reading of the WWII precedents (and such a reading would have been extremely awkward at that time, given Dresden, Nagasaki, Hiroshima…);

        All of those attacks would be illegal today under customary international humanitarian laws that were codified in post war conventions beginning in 1949. Many provisions of international humanitarian and humans rights law are non-derogable. They do not allow for any exceptions.

        The Nuremberg Tribunal was one of the first undertakings of the so-called members of the United Nations. The subsequent international tribunals have been subsidiary organs of the UN Security Council. Although it is not a UN organ, the Statute of the International Criminal Court says that it is based upon the same legal principles contained in the UN Charter. So, the legal viewpoints of the governments involved in the UN are simply inescapable. They have the power to establish conventional and customary international law and use the UN Organization to promulgate those laws.

        FYI, the UN Charter does not authorize resistance by all means that are judged necessary in the case of non-derogable or jus cogens law. In fact, neither side in an armed conflict can excuse wrongful or criminal acts by claiming a state of necessity. That is especially true in cases where the parties have contributed to the state of necessity by their own actions. See Article 25(2)(b) of Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts http://untreaty.un.org/ilc/texts/instruments/english/draft%20articles/9_6_2001.pdf

  4. dimadok
    November 12, 2012, 6:59 pm

    So not a word here about IDF officer arm being blown off or tunnel filled with explosives? And the actual reason why tanks and bulldozers went in, being to clear IEDs near the fence? Nothing? Something? Or it’s just another conspiracy post here?

  5. sandhillexit
    November 12, 2012, 8:00 pm

    It’s just a diversion to fill the news pages during the land grab. Nothing if not reliable. What kind of “joint military exercise” involves the deployment of bulldozers? The headlines are in Gaza but the dunums of farm land are in the Jordan Valley.

  6. yonah fredman
    November 12, 2012, 8:34 pm

    “The ensuing rocket fire was used as the pretext for a full on invasion and war against Gaza beginning 3 weeks later.”

    Technical point: the war on Gaza began on December 27, 2008, about seven and a half weeks after the incident/violation by Israel on November 4th.

    • mcohen
      November 13, 2012, 4:19 am
      • Mooser
        November 13, 2012, 11:52 am

        mcohen, you are aware that “yonah” is “not-a-Zionist” aren’t you?

      • Annie Robbins
        November 13, 2012, 11:59 am

        mooser, mcohen’s link sounds like it could have been written right out of israel’s foreign ministry. there’s not even any new hasbara in it (other than one new bogus claim) i have no idea why he bothered posting it since there are endless msm reports parroting these lines.

      • Cliff
        November 13, 2012, 2:52 pm

        Add Oldclench to that mix.

        They are “not-a-Zionist” Zionists.

      • yonah fredman
        November 13, 2012, 5:58 pm

        mooser- I wouldn’t label myself as “not a Zionist”. A Palestinian I once knew would refer to certain subjects as deep. The yiddish word is teef. I think this is a deep subject and certainly is not summed up by “not a Zionist”.

      • Ellen
        November 13, 2012, 7:47 pm

        Yiddish is an old German dialect. Tief is deep in German. Same in the Yiddish dialect like many German words and expressions.

      • Mooser
        November 13, 2012, 7:57 pm

        “I wouldn’t label myself as “not a Zionist”.”

        Yup, you’re nothing but a Zionist. But I’ll give you this, Yonah, with you it’s “deep”. Maybe you could hire somebody to shovel it out.

      • mcohen
        November 14, 2012, 12:20 am


        just curious -what is the bogus new claim

      • Annie Robbins
        November 14, 2012, 1:10 am

        well, it wasn’t “pulling off a widely perceived draw in the subsequent war” wrt lebanon 06, i had heard that before..referencing the 08/09 massacre as “the Jewish state launched a brief incursion codenamed “Operation Cast Lead” was crude but not unexpected. it was this (only the bolded part, we’ve already heard the bs about gaza militants initiating on sat):

        The current round was initiated by Gaza militants on Saturday (not counting an abortive attempt to blow up a tunnel full of explosives next to an Israeli force on Thursday)

        say whaaa? gotta link to substantiate that? or were they referencing something that happened after israel invaded gaza at dawn on thursday with tanks and bulldozers? in which case who was the initiator? helloooo.

        or does declaring a blockade allow israel the right to enter and bulldoze homes and farmland at their whim when ever they fancy?

    • sardelapasti
      November 14, 2012, 1:33 pm

      Technical point: all-out war on all the Palestine population has began at the moment the Zionist entity attacked in 1948, rejecting the Partition proposal and committing all war crimes in the book with no exceptions. This war has never abated.

  7. DICKERSON3870
    November 12, 2012, 11:03 pm

    RE: “On election day in 2008, Israel invaded Gaza and broke the ceasefire. The ensuing rocket fire was used as the pretext for a full on invasion and war against Gaza beginning 3 weeks later.” ~ Annie Robbins

    MY COMMENT: This was Israel’s way of letting (the just elected) Obama know who was the boss; lest Obama think his election was some kind of a mandate for him to seek peace in the Middle East! ! !
    In other words, Israel was “marking its territory”*.

    Expect a lot more of this in the wake of Obama’s recent reelection (while Washington D.C. is pretty much asleep/dormant/hibernating until Obama’s inauguration on January 21st of 2013). This also just happens to be the period leading up to the Israeli elections to be held on January 22nd of 2013. Consequently, Israel’s marking of its territory in the next couple of months will be a “twofer” for Netanyahu, if you get my drift.

    * Territory (animal) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Territory_(animal)

    P.S. “FREE DON” SIEGELMAN PETITION – http://www.change.org/petitions/president-obama-please-restore-justice-and-pardon-my-dad

  8. Annie Robbins
    November 12, 2012, 11:18 pm

    Fatah: Gaza escalation aims to thwart UN bid

    RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israel is using the escalation in Gaza to try and thwart the PLO’s bid for state membership of the UN, a senior Fatah official said Monday.

    Jamal Nazzal, a member of Fatah’s revolutionary council, said Israel was trying to hold the Palestinian Authority responsible for rockets fired from the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

    “We are politically responsible for the people in Gaza and there is a parliament which represents Palestine as a whole and a president who was elected by all Palestinians.”

    Nazzal said Hamas feared the PLO’s diplomatic success at the UN for reasons Fatah will “expose in time,” but insisted the PLO would pursue Palestine’s admission to the UN as a non-member state.

    “Our current battle is against the Israeli occupation … The diplomatic path is very difficult and we will not look back at the planned escalation to take our attention off our main goal which is establishing an independent state on the borders of 1967 in spite of Israel and all its allies.”

  9. Taxi
    November 12, 2012, 11:59 pm

    Everything about zionists is hubris. Hubris hubris hubris!

    All the innocent blood spilled over the past 64 years has always been about greed for land. Never about peace, NEVER about sharing, as per international law – or per human decency.

    • seafoid
      November 13, 2012, 11:28 am

      Hubris plus incompetence on a tribal scale as well as thinking that anyone outside cares

  10. Elliot
    November 13, 2012, 12:55 am

    Haaretz (in Hebrew) is reporting in its lead article right now that the Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Shteinitz calls for keeping up the pressure on Abu Mazen, “even at the risk of breaking the PA.”
    “Abu Mazen’s diplomatic initiative in the UN is just as dangerous to us as the attacks from Gaza. We are under a double pronged attack.”
    Shteinitz also fesses up to secretly doubling Israeli government investment in settler infrastructure, including in the heart of Hebron.

  11. Elliot
    November 13, 2012, 1:31 am

    Steinitz in Haaretz (in Hebrew):

    • Annie Robbins
      November 13, 2012, 11:52 am

      thanks elliot, however i placed it all in goolge translate and couldn’t find any reference to abu mazen/abbas or the PA.

      • Elliot
        November 13, 2012, 7:39 pm

        this appeared twice. when you asked for a link, I went back to look for it and this version came up. couldn’t (and still can’t) find the full version. if it’s important I’ll find it for you.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 13, 2012, 8:27 pm

        no that’s ok, but thanks for your efforts.

  12. Abdul-Rahman
    November 13, 2012, 2:20 am

    It should definitely be noted how in the recent past, Rick Sanchez on CNN demonstrated how it was the Israelis who broke the ceasefire with Hamas back in late 2008 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wPOfi_iFnI

    Putting aside that Israel (backed by the US government) put in place an illegal, immoral and brutal siege upon the Palestinians of Gaza for daring to elect a group the US and Israel didn’t like (the fact that the Israelis didn’t like Hamas, was likely also the reason the Palestinian people voted for a group that was not corrupt like Fatah, would not collaborate with the enemy like Fatah, and would actually do something to defend the Palestinian people from Zionist aggression however meager those means of defense are). With this siege in place, anyone blaming Hamas for firing rockets (side note, it has been shown in many cases it is not even Hamas but rather smaller groups that are often rivals of Hamas in Gaza that carry out military actions around the Gaza-Israel border or sometimes fire rockets that are often not much bigger than bottle rockets to start with), again anyone blaming Hamas for firing something at Israel in this situation (i.e. the illegal siege on Gaza still in place) is missing the ORIGINAL injustice of the siege Israel continues to illegally impose on Gaza till this day http://www.ikhwanweb.com/article.php?id=25141

    And of course the US and Israel also tried to do a coup d’etat and overthrow the elected government in Gaza with collaborators from Fatah (in particular Mahmoud Abbas and Mohammad Dahlan) http://www.palestineremembered.com/Articles/General/Story12295.html

    That is also putting aside that a large bulk of the Palestinian population today living in Gaza happen to be refugees that Zionist forces ethnically cleansed from their homes; in particular in what is today parts of central and southern Israel. Including Palestinian refugees from cities like Isdud (Ashdod) and Asqalan (Ashkelon). http://lawrenceofcyberia.blogs.com/news/2009/01/a-land-without-a-people.html

  13. BradAllen
    November 13, 2012, 9:21 am

    I don’t think Hamas leadership is looking for a fight at this stage, especially after the visit from the Emir of Qatar where he made perfectly clear that they need to stand down with their hostilities. The Emir of Qatar who is working hard to establish himself as a regional leader, promised millions for Gaza and you canbe sure there were a lot of strings attached.
    This latest confrontation i am certain is made in Israel as a means of making Abbas back off the UN bid.
    Also, Israel needs to test many changes that have taken place in the region. The New Egyptian leader needs to be tested just like they tested Sadat after his peace deal. The new weapons that have found their way to Gaza are also worrisome I am sure and they will want to flush those out too, of course now that Obama did get his new mandate, Israel needs to remind him who calls the shots, remember, Obama came on the scene during the last Israelis invasion of Gaza, so maybe this is a way to remind him.

  14. seafoid
    November 13, 2012, 11:39 am

    The notion that attacking Gaza will stop Abbas is nuts. What has Israel got to offer Abbas?
    Take a case of domestic abuse. The battered wife has had enough. She tells her husband she’s going to the police. He says if she does she’ll beat up their child .
    Is that going to stop her ? She has met this really nice man called the international community and they want to start a family together. He’s bigger than her husband. And way more sensitive.

    How did the Jewish state, for which the people prayed for 19 centuries, end up as a wifebeater ?

    • Taxi
      November 13, 2012, 1:43 pm

      “He’s bigger than her husband”.


    • mikeo
      November 13, 2012, 6:37 pm

      Seafoid, I’d just like to let you know that I find the black humour in the imagery of your comments a merciful relief during my compulsive efforts to keep abreast of the seemingly endless and grim litany of crimes committed on the part of Israel. It is all so horrifying and needless, and your comments illuminate this in a very eloquent way. Thanks

  15. Rusty Pipes
    November 13, 2012, 7:49 pm

    Considering Israel’s possible 3-week escalation timeline, perhaps Abbas will consider moving up his UN bid to before November 29. Just before Thanksgiving would be a great time — it would give Susan Rice an excuse to miss the event. In addition, it would come at a time when Americans idealize a moment of peace between settlers and indigenous people. So why are we acting against Palestinians taking their equal place among the nations?

  16. seafoid
    November 14, 2012, 9:34 am

    Lieberman is worried about the vote. He’s threatening to cancel Oslo.

    Go ahead.


    “Israel: We will annul Oslo Accords if Palestinians seek upgraded UN status
    Israeli diplomats instructed to say Israel will consider partial or full cancellation of the Oslo Accords if UN General Assembly adopts resolution to upgrade status of Palestine to non-member observer state.”

    Israel reminds me of Josef Fritzl who kept his daughter in the cellar for 20 years and raped her repeatedly. She bore him several kids. He threatened to kill her if she went to the police.
    One day one of their kids was so sick they had to bring it to the doctor and suddenly the whole scheme fell apart.

    Untermenschen have to have a better deal to stop bringing abuse to the light. What has Lieberman got to offer the Palestinians?

    Upgraded superior Amalek status ! A Biblically referenced enemy of God’s own people !

    Fantastic. They are really going to run away from the UN for that, aren’t they?

  17. Hostage
    November 14, 2012, 10:09 am

    He’s threatening to cancel Oslo.

    so what? The Oslo agreements lapsed a long time ago. They may have been appropriate for an interim agreement between Israel and an public organization. But all States have an automatic right to exercise universal jurisdiction. So it’s nonsensical to hope that Palestine would accept the continued arrangement whereby Israel exercises exclusive personal or criminal jurisdiction over its citizens living in or occupying the Palestinian territory. The Geneva Conventions and other international laws will apply to situations between states or the two High Contracting Parties, not Israeli municipal laws. The regime of capitulations ended with the Ottoman Empire.

  18. seafoid
    November 14, 2012, 5:11 pm

    Map of countries that will support Palestine’s UN bid for statehood this month.


    • eljay
      November 14, 2012, 7:57 pm

      >> Map of countries that will support Palestine’s UN bid for statehood this month.

      Support in “The Progressive West” is conspicuously absent.

  19. thetumta
    November 14, 2012, 8:09 pm

    Iceland isn’t supporting the bid? Perhaps the map is not entirely accurate?

    • Hostage
      November 14, 2012, 10:20 pm

      Spain, France, Ireland, Austria, Finland and Greece already voted to admit Palestine as a full state member of UNESCO.

      There’s no logical reason for any of them to oppose a vote in the General Assembly that would afford Palestine the very same status as the one they conferred upon it in another UN organ or agency.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 14, 2012, 10:46 pm

        UPI report agrees:

        a senior EU diplomat told EUobserver the European Union is divided on the question, however, noting the votes likely will follow “the same pattern as with UNESCO,” referring to a 2011 decision by the United Nations’ cultural agency to admit Palestine as a member.

        Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Slovenia and Spain backed Palestine’s admission to UNESCO while the Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Sweden voted no. Britain, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Slovakia abstained.


      • Shingo
        November 14, 2012, 10:54 pm

        That’s really encouraging news Annie.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 15, 2012, 12:03 am

        yeah, it was almost to good to be true. just two weeks away. i knew israel would invade gaza. i knew the day wouldn’t come to pass without them giving their all,and i guess in this circumstance ‘their all’ means all the the death and vulgar destruction bestowed upon gaza. always the punching bag.i just hope everyone can hold out a little longer, who knows, they may assassinate abbas within the next 2 weeks. or a whole slew of leaders before someone gives in to them.

        anyway, if the bid survives, yes it is encouraging.

      • Bumblebye
        November 15, 2012, 1:02 am

        Punching bag is too damn right.
        Maan has an Israeli army statement saying they targeted 100 sites overnight. They really don’t give a flying f*** about civilian life, whether it’s starting a “war” (all out assault) at the exact time that kids are going to and coming from school, or blowing up kids playing football. They know all too bloody well, they’ve got most of the world’s msm well trained enough to just spout whatever sh*t they feed them for the consumption of the masses.

      • seafoid
        November 15, 2012, 3:21 am

        “the Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Sweden voted no”

        Jews were exterminated during the Shoah in 4 of these 5 countries

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