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Fresh Breaches of International Law as Israel Collectively Punishes Gaza

Michael East, Red Revolution

This article contains images some readers may find distressing.

Israel was in clear violation of international law once again yesterday as it rained down airstrikes on Gaza, many of them into civilian areas. The airstrikes led to the deaths of 26 Palestinians, including an entire family and two pregnant women.

Videos from within Gaza show Israeli forces destroying entire housing blocks, an action that would appear to be in direct contradiction of the Geneva Convention.

The destruction of Gaza also includes 6 other large residential or commercial buildings and 14 smaller homes and offices. One of the buildings destroyed includes the Palestinian office of the Turkish news agency Anadolu, a flagrant attack on the press.

The attack was seemingly a direct targeting of the Anadolu Agency with the building owner, Iyad Yaser Iqtifan, saying that he received a phone call prior to the attack that asked him about the new agency located in his building. Half an hour later the building was destroyed by a combination of missile fire from an Israeli drone and warplane. The building was also home to the Prisoners Information Office.

Amongst the many victims of the latest Israeli atrocities were a pregnant woman and her two children, all of who were killed in a raid on the northern town of Beit Lahia and an entire family in an attempted assassination of the Director General of the Internal Security Forces in Gaza, Major General Tawfiq Abu Naim.

Firing missiles into a residential apartment at Sheikh Zayed Towers in the northern Gaza Strip, the attempt on Abu Naim’s life saw the deaths of the 4-month old Maria Ahmad Ramadan al-Ghazali alongside her father Ahmad Ramadan al-Ghazali, 31, and her mother Iman Abdullah Usrof, 30.

While Egypt is said to have negotiated a ceasefire in Gaza, there was evidence that Israel was moving tanks and troops toward the border in view of an impending ground assault.

On Friday Israel killed two unarmed protestors at the Great Return March, injuring 82 more, 32 of them children. This fact is conveniently ignored by most mainstream media sources as they attempt to make the latest offensive appear as a “justified” response to random rocket attacks by Hamas.

Despite continual attempts to whitewash the actions of Israel, the destruction of civilian buildings and targeting of residential areas is a direct violation of Article 52 of Additional Protocol I of the Fourth Geneva Convention and of Article 8 paragraph 2 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

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Gaza: An Inquest into its Martyrdom

By Norman Finkelstein

The Gaza Strip is among the most densely populated places in the world. More than two-thirds of its inhabitants are refugees, and more than half are under eighteen years of age. Since 2004, Israel has launched eight devastating “operations” against Gaza’s largely defenseless population. Thousands have perished, and tens of thousands have been left homeless. In the meantime, Israel has subjected Gaza to a merciless illegal blockade.

What has befallen Gaza is a man-made humanitarian disaster.

Based on scores of human rights reports, Norman G. Finkelstein’s new book presents a meticulously researched inquest into Gaza’s martyrdom. He shows that although Israel has justified its assaults in the name of self-defense, in fact these actions constituted flagrant violations of international law.

But Finkelstein also documents that the guardians of international law—from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to the UN Human Rights Council—ultimately failed Gaza. One of his most disturbing conclusions is that, after Judge Richard Goldstone’s humiliating retraction of his UN report, human rights organizations succumbed to the Israeli juggernaut.

Finkelstein’s magnum opus is both a monument to Gaza’s martyrs and an act of resistance against the forgetfulness of history.


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