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New Amnesty International report accuses Israel of committing war crimes in Gaza

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Amnesty International released a report today, “Families Under the Rubble- Israeli attacks on inhabited homes” (pdf) , accusing Israel of committing war crimes by targeting and killing scores of Palestinian civilians with no warning during Operation Protective Edge, last summer’s slaughter in Gaza.

Citing the report Amnesty International News quotes Amnesty Director of Middle East and North Africa Programme Philip Luther saying Israeli forces “brazenly” flouted the laws of war and “deliberately flattened entire homes full of civilians” without any warning:

“[D]isplaying callous indifference to the carnage caused….The report exposes a pattern of attacks on civilian homes by Israeli forces which have shown a shocking disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians, who were given no warning and had no chance to flee.”….

“Even if a fighter had been present in one of these residential homes, it would not absolve Israel of its obligation to take every feasible precaution to protect the lives of civilians caught up in the fighting. The repeated, disproportionate attacks on homes indicate that Israel’s current military tactics are deeply flawed and fundamentally at odds with the principles of international humanitarian law,” said Philip Luther.

The report focuses in specific (often gruesome) details of Israeli attacks on 8 multi storied residential homes, where 104 civilians were massacred, including 62 children. Noting Israeli officials have failed to acknowledge any of the attacks detailed in the report, much less justify or explain the rationale behind any of them, Amnesty concludes by recommending Israel cooperate with the Commission of Inquiry set up by the UN Human Rights Council and allow access to relevant personnel and documents as well as provide access to Gaza to facilitate and investigation of international law “by all parties to the conflict.”

“The onus in[sic] on the Israeli government to explain what the intended target was in each of these attacks, in what way the target was a lawful military objective, what the means and methods of attack used were and why they were selected.”

The Israeli government has responded by saying it is conducting its own investigation of the instances in the report and accusing Amnesty of serving “as a propaganda tool for Hamas and other terror groups.” Israel has also questioned the credibility of Amnesty’s use of field workers to collect the data for the report, a strategy the organization was forced to use because Israel will not allow them to enter Gaza.

Amnesty says that ultimately the International Criminal Court should be given the authority to investigate. From Amnesty News:

Given the failure of Israeli and Palestinian authorities to independently and impartially investigate allegations of war crimes, it is imperative that the international community support the involvement of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Amnesty International is renewing its calls on Israel and the Palestinian authorities to accede to the Rome Statute and grant the ICC the authority to investigate crimes committed in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). The organization is also calling for the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Israel and the OPT to the ICC so that the prosecutor can investigate allegations of crimes under international law by all parties.

Israel has continued to deny access to Gaza for international human rights organizations including Amnesty International and the organization has been forced to conduct its research for this report remotely, supported by two fieldworkers based in Gaza. Israel has also announced that it will not co-operate with the Commission of Inquiry established by the UN Human Rights Council.

“Failing to allow independent human rights monitors into Gaza smacks of a deliberately orchestrated attempt to cover up violations or hide from international scrutiny. Israel must cooperate fully with the UN Commission of Inquiry and grant international human rights organizations such as Amnesty International immediate access to Gaza to prove its commitment to human rights,” said Philip Luther.

Annie Robbins

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

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46 Responses

  1. just on November 5, 2014, 11:53 am

    What will Power/Kerry/Obama do? I did not hear anyone in the administration or anywhere else in our government make mention of the testimony from the Russell Tribunal either.

    This fits here as it is a war crime: RIP Salem Shamaly

    http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/video-poem-salem-shamaly-youth-murdered-gaza

    • Kathleen on November 5, 2014, 12:09 pm

      “what will Power/Kerry/Obama do?” Absolutely nothing. Israel banking on this. Just goes on building and expanding illegal settlements in West Bank and illegal housing in E Jerusalem.

      • bilal a on November 9, 2014, 8:04 am

        what can they do , the administration is riddled with Israeli spies:

        Israel learned independently about the secret letter U.S. President Barack Obama sent to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, according to a Jerusalem official who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the matter.

        The official said Israel learned about the letter shortly after it was sent. The information arrived indirectly, through channels that are not part of Israel’s official contacts with the American administration.

        http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/1.625380

      • annie on November 9, 2014, 3:09 pm

        bilal, the israelis must be completely crazy if this is considered normal journalism. ravid’s framing is absurd.

        The fact that the Obama administration kept Israel out of the loop, and that Israel found out about the letter indirectly, adds to already deep suspicions in the Prime Minister’s Office about the White House on the Iranian issue.

        why would the state department or obama feel obligated to share a letter addressed to iran w/israel? there was noting weird in the letter. obama just reiterated what we’ve all heard in the press a million times,, that they are urging iran to reach a nuclear deal by nov 24. ah, so what. and the other part, about joining forces to get rid of isis? sounds like the US is trying to sweeten the deal to get iran to comply w/US demands in the nuclear negotiations. why should the US discuss this with israel? there’s nothing revealed in this letter that suggests anything other than the US not following netanyahu’s instructions:

        Jerusalem responded harshly to the letter over the weekend. “I think the struggle with ISIS doesn’t need to come at the expense of preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear arms,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, before meeting with the European Union’s new foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini. “One has to act in both these directions, and not tie one to the other.”

        ok, i’m sure the, by now, understands this is what netanyahu thinks. and i’m fairly certain the US has probably responded during discussions with their own opinions. but that doesn’t mean the US is obligated to share a private diplomatic letter with israel. i though when i saw the headline there was going to be some radical news. it’s kind of a non brainer, since both the iranian and US govs want to get isis out they would be allies on the front. that’s probably what’s throwing netanyahu into a frenzy. they was the US and iran to remain enemies. i would like nothing more than rapprochement.

    • Horizontal on November 5, 2014, 12:10 pm

      We’ll have to see if this report makes it into any of the pressers at the White House or State. Somehow I doubt that any of the reporters will broach the subject.

      Also, it doesn’t help that the US isn’t keen on AI looking too closely at what Uncle Sam is doing, either.

  2. Horizontal on November 5, 2014, 12:05 pm

    We all knew this was coming; the Amnesty International Report and Israel’s shilly-shallying non-response.

    It’s a neat trick Israel performs — bar an organization’s investigators from the scene of the crime and then reject their conclusions because they didn’t use their own investigators. Israel never misses an opportunity to reach new lows in morality.

    And we also all know if it wasn’t Israel/US preforming these dark deeds, they’d be readily denounced in Washington & Tel Aviv as, “cowardly.”

  3. Kathleen on November 5, 2014, 12:10 pm

    Thanks Annie. Hopefully folks will share everywhere they can. Link on MSNBC facebook pages etc

  4. eljay on November 5, 2014, 1:27 pm

    Amnesty International released a report today, “Families Under the Rubble- Israeli attacks on inhabited homes” (pdf) , accusing Israel committing war crimes by targeting and killing scores of Palestinian civilians with no warning during Operation Protective Edge, last summer’s slaughter in Gaza.

    The fault lies not with Israel – which has been stealing, occupying and colonizing Palestinian land and oppressing, torturing and killing Palestinians for over 60 years – but with:
    – (the) Hamas;
    – anti-Semitism;
    – terrrrrrr (incl. terrrrrrr tunnels);
    – Iran; and/or
    – the Holocaust.

  5. DoubleStandard on November 5, 2014, 2:11 pm

    No point for Israel to cooperate. The report is written before any investigation is actually done. No one really gives a s*** what organizations like HRW and Amnesty say — nothing but mouthpieces of terrorists.

    • talknic on November 5, 2014, 6:58 pm

      @ DoubleStandard
      No point for Israel to cooperate. The report is written before any investigation is actually done. No one really gives a s*** what organizations like HRW and Amnesty say — nothing but mouthpieces of terrorists.

      LOL Of course, of curse ….. oooops …. typo! LOL

      Shall I start quoting AI on terrorism? Cute name BTW. Zionutters are so abusi …. ooooops another typo … amusing.

    • Horizontal on November 5, 2014, 7:07 pm

      DS, we were talking about AI, not the IDF.

    • just on November 5, 2014, 7:33 pm

      A lot of real, live HUMANS really do give a “s*** what organizations like HRW and Amnesty say”.

      It’s only the ‘mouthpieces of the terrorists’ Isr state and 95% of Israelis that don’t.

    • eljay on November 5, 2014, 7:49 pm

      >> DoubleStandardeee: No one really gives a s*** what organizations like HRW and Amnesty say — nothing but mouthpieces of terrorists.

      It’s funny as hell to see a Zio-supremacist – a justifier of past and on-going acts of oppression, theft, colonialism and supremacism (when committed by Jews) – referring to human-rights organizations as “mouthpieces of terrorists”.

      • Mooser on November 6, 2014, 4:40 pm

        ” referring to human-rights organizations as “mouthpieces of terrorists”.

        http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/UN/unantisem.html

        There’s a cute little piece called “Anti-Semitism at the UN” Advances a wonderful theory: The Geneva Accords were formulated to deal with the actions of Hitler’s Germany, actions with Jews as the victim. Therefore, the Geneva Conventions can’t really apply to Israel. Not really, just sorta, a little.

    • straightline on November 6, 2014, 12:03 am

      To the eponymous DoubleStandard, this is from Scott Long – a former HRW employee:

      http://paper-bird.net/2013/05/03/hillel-neuer-liar-mona-seif-hero/

      “Human Rights Watch, where I worked for many years, strains all its muscles to be completely objective on Israel/Palestine — an effort that has never gotten it a scintilla of credit from the militant pro-Israel side. Its releases on Israel and Palestine are the only ones in the entire organization that are routinely edited by the executive director himself. An informal arithmetic dictates that every presser or report criticizing Israel has to be accompanied by another criticizing the Palestine Authority or Hamas — or, if that isn’t possible (the PA barely retains enough authority to violate anybody’s rights) at least one of the surrounding Arab states. “

      • Horizontal on November 6, 2014, 10:03 am

        Don’t bother using facts, straightline. DoubleStand’s post was written before the Amnesty report was even released.

      • DoubleStandard on November 6, 2014, 1:26 pm

        I don’t need to read it — if I wanted trashy fiction I’d go to the library.

        Doesn’t matter what the defendant does in a kangaroo court — the verdict isn’t changing.

      • straightline on November 6, 2014, 4:49 pm

        I know it will have no effect on DoubleStandard, Horizontal . I agree with your take – written in stone or perhaps wood.

        But it is important – as you know – that others who come to this site for the first time are made aware of the facts.

      • Mooser on November 9, 2014, 3:17 pm

        “I don’t need to read it — if I wanted trashy fiction I’d go to the library.”

        You mean like all the over-the-top, impossible-to-believe, and other fantastical claims about a “Jewish Holocaust” which my local library carries?

  6. just on November 5, 2014, 2:32 pm

    Here’s something that is hardly surprising:

    ” Dan Cohen retweeted
    Max Blumenthal @MaxBlumenthal · 14h 14 hours ago

    [email protected] devotes 6 grafs of article on @amnesty Gaza report to Israel’s response, uncritically printing false claims http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/11/05/world/middleeast/amnesty-international-says-israel-showed-callous-indifference-to-gaza-civilians.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0&referrer= …”

    https://twitter.com/dancohen3000

    • Horizontal on November 5, 2014, 8:08 pm

      From your linked NYT article:

      Amnesty said its employees had been barred by Israel from entering Gaza since 2012, and thus relied on two fieldworkers who visited the site of each bombing multiple times.

      Not until the 14th paragraph does Ms. Rudoren inform us of this rather important fact. She’s either a shill or simply a poor reporter.

    • bilal a on November 6, 2014, 8:44 pm

      Not the first Israeli war crime:

      “After the torpedo hits, torpedo boats circle, machine-gunning the ship with armor-piercing projectiles for another 40 minutes. At 3:15 p.m., as lifeboats are lowered into the water, the Israelis proceed to machine-gun the lifeboats. This is a full hour after confirmation has been given that the ship is American.”

      http://m.digitaljournal.com/news/world/jerusalem-post-confirms-israel-knew-usaliberty-was-american/article/413296#tab=comments&sc=

      VIDEO Al Jazeera ‘The Day Israel attacked America’

  7. seafoid on November 5, 2014, 3:10 pm

    Israel will say Hamas were worse. We warned Gazans. Before we started wiping out families and blowing up rehab centres. And then will whine about anti-Semitism.
    So the next time a bot mentions the Shoah remember about whataboutery.

  8. Kay24 on November 5, 2014, 3:19 pm

    Thanks for this article Annie, something we may never see in the MSM. They will not even refer to this report. Looks like Israel has been able to discredit reports just like this with their brand of lies, and despite the facts that AI has revealed, will be ignored largely by the US and the EU. The entire world watched the Palestinians being killed in large numbers, especially the little children, but then we saw similar scenes of horror before too. What has any entity done to hold the criminals accountable for past massacres? Israel is worse than ever, and keeps going with impunity, in spite of such reports.
    There will never be justice for the children of Gaza who were blown up by deadly US and Israeli weapons. It is noticeable that when ONE Israeli is killed, many Palestinian lives are taken as a result.

  9. Donald on November 5, 2014, 4:14 pm

    “Israel has also questioned the credibility of Amnesty’s use of field workers to collect the data for the report, a strategy the organization was forced to use because Israel will not allow them to enter Gaza”

    Reminds me of the definition of chutzpah–a man kills his parents and throws himself on the mercy of the court because he’s an orphan.

  10. Moto on November 5, 2014, 5:01 pm

    This is exactly what happened when Israel all but destroyed Jenin years ago. The IDF herded dozens of Palestinian women and children ahead of them as they murdered Palestinian civilians.

    When it came time to investigate claims of war crimes, the Israelis disallowed external, independent investigators and used their own people to conduct the investigation. Of course the result of that was that Israel was totally innocent of any wrongdoing.

    These people are a blight unto nations.

    • Horizontal on November 5, 2014, 7:29 pm

      These people are a blight unto nations.

      I’m thinking that the nations aren’t so hot, either, letting these thugs get away with it.

      Again.

    • seafoid on November 6, 2014, 1:08 am

      Moto
      What did they actually do in jenin?

  11. Horizontal on November 5, 2014, 7:23 pm

    Coming from the State Department, if any reporter even dares to bring it up:

    Yes, We’ve seen the report, and it’s absolutely heartbreaking; however, releasing unbalanced and unsubstantiated reports such as these is unhelpful to the peace process, particularly in light of today’s troubling events in Jerusalem. We urge both sides to show restraint . . .

    That is how they deal with it; like a pebble in the Pacific, and it’s gone.

  12. Mayhem on November 5, 2014, 8:50 pm

    Amnesty International’s sham report accuses Israel of wrongdoing while producing no concrete evidence. The report ignores documented war crimes perpetrated by Hamas, including the use of human shields, as well as firing at Israeli civilian population centers from within schools, hospitals, mosques and civilian neighborhoods in Gaza. The report does not mention the word “terror” in relation to Hamas or other armed Palestinian groups, nor does it mention tunnels built by Hamas to infiltrate Israel and perpetrate terror attacks.

    Meanwhile in Israel, investigations are currently underway by several bodies, inside and outside the IDF, into over 90 incidents. In comparison to Israel’s probing procedures, Amnesty’s report was written by local “field workers” with no independent verification of their claims.

    The Israeli foreign ministry has questioned why the fieldworkers who conducted the interviews were not named in the report, and their credibility  “never questioned.” It said “extreme bias” was displayed in Amnesty’s recommendations.

    “Hamas is not mentioned, as if the group has no responsibility for the bloodshed; meanwhile, the report dismisses Israel’s security challenges,” the statement said.

    All very typical and predictable. In typical fashion Israel found guilt with no proper evidence and no mention of Israel’s defence. Refer http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/PressRoom/2014/Pages/Response-to-Amnesty-report-on-Gaza-conflict-5-Nov-2014.aspx 

    • talknic on November 9, 2014, 12:40 pm

      @ Mayhem “Amnesty International’s sham report accuses Israel of wrongdoing while producing no concrete evidence.”

      Uh huh… (kind of like Israel assassinates ‘suspects’ without trial)

      “The report ignores documented war crimes perpetrated by Hamas….”

      Ahem, ‘scuse me folks….YOU’RE A LYING F^&*ing SCUMBUCKET BUSTER!

      At the same time, Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups fired thousands of indiscriminate rockets and mortar rounds into civilian areas of Israel, killing six civilians, including one child.

      Dozens of other Israelis, including at least six children, were directly injured by rockets or shrapnel. A total of 66 soldiers were killed in the fighting.
      Amnesty International has documented and is continuing to document serious violations of international humanitarian law, including unlawful killings and injuries to civilians and destruction of civilian property, both by Israel and by Hamas and Palestinian armed groups. http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE15/032/2014/en/613926df-68c4-47bb-b587-00975f014e4b/mde150322014en.pdf

      ” .. nor does it mention tunnels built by Hamas to infiltrate Israel and perpetrate terror attacks.”

      No tunnels came out anywhere near civilians. They DID come out near IDF stations. No terrorist attacks were carried out from the tunnels

      Meanwhile in Israel investigations are currently underway by several bodies, inside and outside the IDF..”

      Uh huh. In Gaza? Interviewing victims? How is Israel cross checking? By asking and answering its own questions I guess. AMAZING!!

      “In comparison to Israel’s probing procedures, Amnesty’s report was written by local “field workers” with no independent verification of their claims”

      The people of Gaza can’t be trusted to tell what happened to them? But LYING F^&*ing SCUMBUCKETS can be trusted.

      “Hamas is not mentioned… the statement said

      Uh oh. ‘scuse me again folks … LIKE YOU, THEY’RE LYING F^&*ing SCUMBUCKETS!

      • Mooser on November 11, 2014, 10:39 am

        “Uh oh. ‘scuse me again folks … LIKE YOU, THEY’RE LYING F^&*ing SCUMBUCKETS! “

        Annie, you gave it one hell of a try, the greatest most patient, effort I have ever seen here at Mondo. But sooner of later you have to reach a conclusion.

  13. Daniel Rich on November 6, 2014, 4:22 am

    This is why I believe the ICC is just another sock puppet masquerading as the West’s ultimate tool of injustice justice [as long as you’re African, Serbian, Libyan, etc.]

    War crimes ‘not of sufficient gravity’: ICC won’t investigate deadly Israeli raid on Turkish flotilla.

    Not having collected evidence itself, the Office’s analysis in this report must therefore not be considered to be the result of an investigation,”

    Puke!

  14. seafoid on November 6, 2014, 5:10 am

    Israel doesn’t give a fig about

    -international law
    -Amnesty international
    -the rules of war
    -human rights

    There is a very good story about this to explain what’ll happen when the IDF loses a war

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heasnJY8HMM

    • Mayhem on November 6, 2014, 7:24 am

      Get with it Seafoid – Hamas defeated Israel in the last Gaza war, aided and abetted by the anti-Israel media, their leftie lackeys, the power mongering of the OIC and politically compromised, cowardly governments (mostly European) compelled to placate burgeoning Muslim populations in their midst.

      what’ll happen when the IDF loses a war

      Hamas boasted the victory of the “resistance” — muqawwamah. The first to congratulate the organization was senior Hamas official Ismail Haniyeh, who on Aug. 5 released a recorded message. Other Hamas spokespersons — Khalil al-Hayya, whose son was killed during the operation and Sami Abu Zuhri who, throughout the fighting, gave  interviews to the media proclaiming that Israel was defeated by the resistance. Once again, they claimed, the resistance succeeded in defending the Palestinian people.

      • seafoid on November 6, 2014, 11:44 am

        “by the anti-Israel media, their leftie lackeys, the power mongering of the OIC and politically compromised, cowardly governments (mostly European) compelled to placate burgeoning Muslim populations in their midst. – ”

        you need to have the people behind you, Mayhem. And you don’t.
        Blame it on anti-Semitism all you want.
        Israel is no longer decent. That is your problem in a nutshell.
        And social media is lost.

      • seafoid on November 6, 2014, 11:45 am

        Life is cruel,Mayhem, especially when nobody wants the hasbara

      • Mooser on November 6, 2014, 4:49 pm

        ” Hamas defeated Israel in the last Gaza war, aided and abetted by the anti-Israel media, their leftie lackeys, the power mongering of the OIC and politically compromised, cowardly governments (mostly European) compelled to placate burgeoning Muslim populations in their midst.”

        Yup, it’s too bad when it goes like that, huh? Sorry Mayhem, as you yourself say “Hamas defeated Israel in the last Gaza war,”
        Oh, but gosh, if “Hamas defeated Israel” as you say, I guess that makes you the victim doesn’t it? And who on the left doesn’t feel sorry for a victim?

        But like I say, sorry about the combination of forces bringing Israel to grief, since “Hamas defeated Israel” but you know, as the old Yiddish proverb says “C’est la guerre”

        And stop whining.

      • just on November 6, 2014, 4:51 pm

        thanks for dealing with that, seafoid.

        (i’ve been itching to have at it for a long while now…)

  15. atime forpeace on November 7, 2014, 7:15 am

    Another Establishment America type condones war crimes for all the world to see.

    US general backs Israel on Gaza casualties
    Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff says Israel went to “extraordinary lengths” to limit civilian deaths during Gaza war.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2014/11/us-general-backs-israel-gaza-casualties-2014116223154357768.html

  16. talknic on November 9, 2014, 5:37 pm

    @mayhem and the Israeli foreign ministry’s blatant and easily disproven lies about the Amnesty report are a fine examples of why the Zionist regime should be wiped from the planet.

    They are evil.

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