Tag Archives: palestine

‘Soldiers Expel Palestinians from Pool in Area A to Enable Settlers to Bathe Undisturbed’

http://www.btselem.org/south_hebron_hills/20150604_birkat_al_karmel

“On 7 April 2015, during Passover holidays, a group of hundreds of settlers accompanied by Israeli security forces came to Birkat al-Karmil – a natural pool close to the village of al-Karmil, which lies in the southern Hebron Hills within Area A. In 2011, Yatta Municipality renovated the site, creating a park there and restoring an ancient pool at its center.

B’Tselem’s investigation found that at about 2:00 P.M., hundreds of settlers arrived at the pool accompanied by dozens of soldiers, Border Police, and representatives of the Civil Administration (CA). The security forces ordered the Palestinian bathers to leave the pool and remain on the edge of the park. They allowed the settlers, however, free and exclusive use of the rest of the park. At about 5:30 P.M., the settlers and the security forces left the area.

“According to media reports, reveal that the settlers came to the pool on the initiative of the Susiya Tour and Study Center. In its publications, the center described the pool as the historical site of the Biblical settlement of Carmel and emphasized that the visit was authorized and accompanied by the military. The center reported that some 1,000 people had taken part in the tour, including Chief Military Rabbi Rafi Peretz, and that similar events have been held at the site for several years, particularly during the festivals of Sukkot and Passover.

According to testimonies collected by B’Tselem, when the settlers arrived at the pool there were almost 200 Palestinians there. Some were bathing in the pool, while others were relaxing in the park. Muhammad Mahaniyah, 20, a resident of Yatta, told B’Tselem field researcher Musa Abu Hashhash that when the settlers arrived, accompanied by the security forces, he was bathing in the pool with friends:

A Border Police officer ordered me to get out of the water quickly. At first I refused and told him that I wanted to be in the pool and had a right to be there. I said that I had no problem with the settlers swimming along with me. He threatened to use force if I didn’t get out of the water quickly, so my friends and I had no choice but to get out. The soldiers ordered the Palestinians who were around the pool to move back to the edge of the park, to stay there, and not to approach the settlers.

Ibrahim Abu Tabikh, 15, from the village of al-Karmil, told Abu Hashhash:

At about two o’clock I went to swim in the pool, which is about 500 meters from my home. When I got there, I saw groups of settlers moving towards the pool. There were dozens of soldiers and Border Police officers with them. The settlers began to undress and jump into the water. I also jumped in with my brother Muhammad, 16, and we began to swim. The settlers complained about our being in the pool and three young settlers started swimming towards us. Some soldiers intervened and asked them to move away from us. After they swam away, one of the soldiers ordered us to get out of the water. I refused and stood by the edge of the pool. Another soldier came up to me, pointed his gun at me, and shouted at me to get out of the water quickly. Muhammad and I got out of the water because I was afraid of the soldiers. As I got out, dozens of Palestinian residents around the pool shouted slogans against the settlers being there. The soldiers moved the residents away from the pool to the northern section of the park and prevented them from wandering around the park. In the meantime the settlers continued to swim while the soldiers guarded them. I stayed in the park until the settlers left at about half past five.

During the incident, the mayor of Yatta came to the pool and protested to the CA representatives who were with the settlers. One representative informed him that the visit had been coordinated with the Palestinian DCO. B’Tselem contacted representatives of the Palestinian DCO, who denied any coordination and claimed they had submitted an official complaint to the Israeli DCO. In fact, whether the visit was coordinated is immaterial, as the Palestinian DCO is not free to refuse such requests by Israeli security forces.

This incident is yet another example of how Israeli authorities operate in the West Bank. Almost any desire expressed by settlers, however capricious, is automatically facilitated at the expense of the Palestinian population. In this case, the military used its force and authority solely in order to allow settlers the pleasure of bathing at that particular location. This purpose is unjustified in its own right, and certainly cannot justify the entry of soldiers into Area A or any disruption to Palestinians’ lives.

B’Tselem wrote to the IDF Spokesperson requesting a response to the incident, including a series of detailed questions. The IDF Spokesperson replied with a laconic response that offers no explanation for the authorities’ conduct in the incident.

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‘Fire at every person you see’: Israeli soldiers reveal they were ordered to shoot to kill in Gaza – even if the targets may have been civilians’

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/fire-at-every-person-you-see-israeli-soldiers-reveal-they-were-ordered-to-shoot-to-kill-in-gaza–even-if-the-targets-may-have-been-civilians-10223427.html

The Israeli military deliberately pounded civilian areas in the Gaza Strip with incessant fire of inaccurate ordinance during last year’s war against Hamas and was at best indifferent about casualties among the Palestinian population.

Those are the conclusions of a report complied by Breaking the Silence, an Israeli group that has spent the eight months since the end of the war, known as Operation Protective Edge,interviewing more than 60 members of the Israeli army, air force and navy, including soldiers and officers up to the rank of major.

The service personnel paint a picture that runs counter to official Israeli military claims that the surgical operation – which became a full-blown conflict after three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and murdered in the occupied West Bank – took great care to avoid civilian casualties and that Gaza’s already fragile infrastructure was not unnecessarily targetted.

International critics of Israeli tactics during the seven-week conflict have argued that the army, the IDF, and the country’s other forces, responded disproportionately to rocket attacks from groups such as Hamas. This, they say, led to 2,220 Palestinians being killed, according to UN figures, the vast majority of them civilians.”

There were seven civilian deaths on the Israeli side of the border as a result of rockets fired from inside the Gaza Strip by militant groups. A total of 66 Israeli military personnel were killed. Those Palestinian militants firing rockets across the border could not possibly have known where they were going to land.

This latest report by Breaking the Silence comes not only from within Israel itself, but includes more than 100 testimonies from soldiers who took part in the campaign.

The testimonies include examples of the acts of individual soldiers, including the shooting dead of civilians where those providing evidence say a more measured approach could have been taken. Others talk of incidents where confusion in the midst of a military campaign led to lethal decisions being made when there were other courses of action. A large number of soldiers maintain that the way in which the war was conducted was reasonable, but have decided to speak out against particular decisions or practices.

More worryingly, the report which runs to 240 pages, also details policies and norms – some of which came directly from IDF high command, which Breaking the Silence claims are systematic and led explicitly to greater loss of life and more damage.

“While the testimonies include pointed descriptions of inappropriate behavior by soldiers in the field, the more disturbing picture that arises from these testimonies reflects systematic policies that were dictated to IDF forces of all ranks and in all zones,” the report says.

“The guiding military principle of ‘minimum risk to our forces, even at the cost of harming innocent civilians,’ alongside efforts to deter and intimidate the Palestinians, led to massive and unprecedented harm to the population and the civilian infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. Policymakers could have predicted these results prior to the operation and were surely aware of them throughout.”

Chief among Breaking the Silence’s findings is that the IDF watered down the rules of engagement such that any person in a combat zone was considered an enemy threat.

“Many of the soldiers testified that the rules of engagement they were provided with before the ground incursion into Gaza were unclear and lenient. The soldiers were briefed by their commanders to fire at every person they identified in a combat zone, since the working assumption was that every person in the field was an enemy,” Breaking the Silence claims.

One solider, a First Sergeant in the IDF’s engineering unit who was sent to Gaza City, said: “The briefing on rules of engagement was [to open fire at], ‘Anything you think you should [open fire at]… Anyone you spot that you can be positive is not the IDF.’ The only emphasis regarding rules of engagement was to make sure you weren’t firing at IDF forces, but other than that, ‘Any person you see.’ From the very start they told us, ‘Shoot to kill.’ As far as the IDF was concerned, there wasn’t supposed to be any civilian population there.”

The Israeli air force dropped thousands of leaflets on areas it was preparing to attack, but according to the testimonies, it was assumed that once these leaflets had been distributed, anyone left would be from Hamas, or one of the other militant groups that took part in the war.

Another first sergeant, from an infantry division operating northern Gaza, said that he was told that, “if it looks like a man, shoot. It was simple: You’re in a motherf***ing combat zone. A few hours before you went in the whole area was bombed, if there’s anyone there who doesn’t clearly look innocent, you apparently need to shoot that person.”

A captain, who didn’t want his unit to be publicised, said: “During the briefing with the battalion commander on the night of the incursion, he was asked what the rules of engagement were, how we conduct ourselves, whom we shoot and whom we don’t. What he said was – and this was the general gist of things – ‘We are entering a war zone.’ Meaning, what we prepared for during training – combat in urban areas. The IDF distributed flyers informing the residents of the areas we were entering, and that anyone remaining in the area was in effect sentencing themselves to death. That’s what was said.”

Gaza, measuring about 40km by 10km, is one of the most densely populated areas on Earth with about 1.8 million residents. It is inconceivable that, even at a time of war, entire civilian populations could move to different areas of the strip. Moreover, the crossings between Gaza and Israel, and Gaza and Egypt, were for the most part closed to civilians during the war, meaning that civilians were unable to leave the enclave.

Another central claim by the Israelis was that buildings targetted by its bombers received a “knock at the door,” before they were destroyed. In practice, this was a small missile that caused only marginal damage to a building. The suggestion was that places being used by Palestinian fighters as command centres would receive a warning before they were destroyed, allowing civilians to leave.

During this war, this policy was lauded by the Israelis as a sign that civilian casualties were being kept to a minimum.

“I do remember there was this one house of five or six stories in Khirbet Khuza’a. I remember there was ‘hot’ intel [sic] data on a meeting between militants there,” said one of the soldiers quoted in the report.

“The head of the cell was there for sure, and a decision was made to ’knock on the building’s roof,’ … and then immediately after that drop a bomb on it.”

Asked by Breaking the Silence what he means by “immediately,” the soldier replied: “Not enough time for everyone to leave. Somewhere between 30 seconds and one minute.”

The bombing began on 8 July last year, nine days before Israeli forces entered the Palestinian enclave. Whole areas of Gaza, particularly Shuja’iyya and Beit Hanoun, were flattened during the campaign. Other military personnel interviewed by Breaking the Silence admit that this was part of a deliberate effort by the IDF, and say that inaccurate weapons were used to bombard neighbourhoods before ground troops arrived. “… shells, shells, shells. A suspicious structure, an open area, a field, a place where a tunnel shaft could be – fire, fire, fire. There was a period of about five days from the moment when we were first called in for duty until there was a ground incursion. Throughout that entire time, fire.”

Breaking the Silence has specifically condemned the IDF for the use of what it describes “statistical weapons” – mortars and other artillery that are almost impossible to aim accurately. In such a densely populated area, and where homes are built on top of each other, collateral damage was inevitable, the group argues.

“In practice, during the preliminary shelling, the army pounded populated areas throughout the Strip with artillery shells in order to scare off enemy combatants who were in the area, and at times also to urge the civilian population to flee,” Breaking the Silence say.

Israel won plaudits from its allies in London and Washington for the war was conducted. General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the US joint chiefs, the United States’ most senior military officer said in November last year that, “Israel went to extraordinary lengths to limit collateral damage and civilian casualties”.

Last week, in an interview with the Jewish Chronicle newspaper, David Cameron made one of his strongest defences of the Israeli position yet.

Using a phrase that was coined by Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister said that it was “important to speak out” about standing by Israel and said there was an “important difference” between Israel’s use of weapons to defend itself and Hamas’ use of them “to defend its weapons”.

Other Israeli soldiers interviewed by Breaking the Silence talked about the need to win the propaganda war. The war was characterised by a number of ceasefires that fell apart, and when an Egyptian brokered deal eventually brought an end to the fighting, both the Israelis and Hamas claimed victory.

One soldier described a system by which targets would come with a rating – zero, one and two, to describe the potential loss of civilian life that came with destroying it.

“It’s always ‘Targets, targets, targets.’ And at a certain point they say ‘You can start submitting targets to the planning crews, you can start submitting targets for approval that are at the highest collateral damage levels, at collateral damage level two.’ This was during a later stage of the fighting… So they just say that there was an instruction issued by the general staff (The IDF’s supreme command) that from now on we can plan strikes on targets that are level two collateral damage.

Asked why the target level changed, the soldier explained, “because the target bank was being depleted. Like, ‘Hamas is pushing for a display of victory,’ that’s always the expression used, ‘pushing for a display of victory’ is this sweeping expression that’s used at the end of every round [of fighting].”

Breaking the Silence argues that its findings justify an independent investigation into the conduct of last summer’s war. The group says each time Israel goes to war in Gaza, the threshold of what is acceptable is pushed up a level.

In a statement the IDF said: “The IDF is committed to properly investigating all credible claims raised via media, NGOs, and official complaints concerning IDF conduct during operation Protective Edge, in as serious a manner as possible.

“Today, as in the past the organisation ‘Breaking the Silence’ has been asked to provide any evidence or testimony related to IDF activities prior to publication, in order for genuine investigations to be carried out. Unfortunately, as in the past, ‘Breaking the Silence’ has refused to provide the IDF with any proof of their claims.”

In a letter seen by The Independent, Breaking the Silence approached the IDF on 23 March. The group wrote to the IDF chief of staff, Gadi Eizenkot, requesting a meeting. “With the completion of the first stage of gathering testimonies from the combatants from Operation Protective Edge, and in the light of the severity of the facts described in the [testimonies], we ask to present the findings to you, urgently,” the letter says.

The group says that it approached soldiers to interview, and that it rejected the testimony of some on the grounds that it was unreliable. Included in that number is a new Israeli MP from Mr Netanyahu’s Likud party, Oren Hazan, who approached the group with the intention of giving false testimony with the aim of discrediting the organisation. Mr Hazan did not take part in the conflict.

http://www.breakingthesilence.org.il/pdf/ProtectiveEdge.pdf

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‘B’Tselem: new low in Israeli authorities’ disregard for lives of Palestinians in Occupied Territories

http://www.btselem.org/press_releases/20150414_state_attorney_decision_in_samir_awad_killing

“Today Israel’s State Attorney’s Office notified the High Court of Justice (HCJ) that in the case of Palestinian youth Samir ‘Awad it had decided, “subject to a hearing and to the end of privilege proceedings”, to file an indictment for the minor offense of committing “a reckless and negligent act using a firearm”. The State’s response did not note which of the soldiers involved was to stand trial.

This is a new low in Israeli authorities’ disregard for the lives of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. The State Attorney’s Office has sent security forces in the Occupied Territories a clear message: if you kill an unarmed Palestinian who poses no threat, we will do everything to cover it up and ensure impunity. Killing a wounded, fleeing youth who posed no threat by shooting him in the back is not a “reckless and negligent act”. The disparity between the grave action and the minor offense is incomprehensible and outrageous.

It is also not clear why it took two years and a petition to the HCJ for the authorities to decide to serve this indictment. Had the petition not been filed, would the Military Advocate General’s (MAG’s) Corps have continued to drag its feet? When, exactly, were the authorities planning to end this sorry affair? Sixteen-year-old Samir ‘Awad was killed in January 2013 by soldiers close to the Separation Barrier in the West Bank village of Budrus. He was shot in the back although he posed no danger to anyone. The Military Police Investigations Unit (MPIU) has long since completed all aspects of the investigation into the incident, yet although more than two years have passed since then, no decision was reached until today. The boy’s father, Ahmad ‘Awad, petitioned the HCJ together with B’Tselem a little over a year ago, in March 2014, to have the MAG decide whether to indict the soldiers who killed his son or close the case file.

Background on the incident

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‘Hamas removed from list of terrorist organisations by EU court’

“Hamas should no longer be included on an influential list of international terrorist organisations, an EU court has ruled.

The General Court of the European Union, the second-highest court in the bloc, found that the inclusion of the group was not based on a “concrete examination” of Hamas’s acts but on “imputations derived from the media and the internet”.

In a statement, the court acknowledged that Hamas contests its inclusion on the list, maintained since it was created in 2001. Regularly reviewed, the list allows the bloc to freeze funds going towards those named, and acts as “a regulation to combat terrorism”, the court said.

The court said it was nevertheless maintaining the effects of the measures for three months in order to ensure that any possible future freezing of funds would be effective.

And in a statement, the court stressed that taking Hamas off the list was a decision taken on “procedural grounds”, rather than implying “any substantive assessment of the question of the classification of Hamas as a terrorist group”.

Today’s decision follows an appeal filed by Hamas, which argued that the process used to declare it a terror organisation did not follow EU procedures or include sufficient legal evidence.

Lawyers for Israel and the EU, anticipating the ruling, said that the three-month window was designed to give the court time to rebuild its file against Hamas with fresh evidence.

The court said today that the measures would be in place “for a period of three months or, if an appeal is brought before the Court of Justice, until this appeal is closed”. Since an appeal is expected, it is unlikely the asset-freezing measures will be removed for any length of time.

Speaking to the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, Israel’s leader of the opposition Isaac Herzog called the expected decision “a big mistake”.

Hamas fought a 50-day war with Israel in Gaza this summer. On Sunday it staged a parade marking the 27th anniversary of the group’s creation, a show of force including around 2,000 armed militants.

To its followers, the group represents a legitimate resistance movement. But its charter includes a pledge to destroy Israel, and it is designated as a terror organisation in that country, the US and a number of other nations.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/hamas-removed-from-list-of-terrorist-organisations-by-eu-court-9930124.html

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‘The Double Identity of an “Anti-Semitic” Commenter’

“Like many other news websites, Common Dreams has been plagued by inflammatory anti-Semitic comments following its stories. But on Common Dreams these posts have been so frequent and intense they have driven away donors from a nonprofit dependent on reader generosity.

A Common Dreams investigation has discovered that more than a thousand of these damaging comments over the past two years were written with a deceptive purpose by a Jewish Harvard graduate in his thirties who was irritated by the website’s discussion of issues involving Israel.

His intricate campaign, which he has admitted to Common Dreams, included posting comments by a screen name, “JewishProgressive,” whose purpose was to draw attention to and denounce the anti-Semitic comments that he had written under many other screen names.

The deception was many-layered. At one point he had one of his characters charge that the anti-Semitic comments and the criticism of the anti-Semitic comments must be written by “internet trolls who have been known to impersonate anti-Semites in order to then double-back and accuse others of supporting anti-Semitism”–exactly what he was doing. (Trolls are posters who foment discord.)

The impersonation, this character wrote, must be part of an “elaborate Hasbara setup,” referring to an Israeli international public-relations campaign. When Common Dreams finally confronted the  man behind the deceptive posting, he denied that he himself was involved with Hasbara.

His posting on Common Dreams illustrates the susceptibility of website comment threads to massive manipulation. As another illustration, he even audaciously tricked the white-supremacist Vanguard News Network, posing as “DeShawn S. Williams,” a “Pro-White/Black, anti-jew.”

On Vanguard, where this African-American persona posted more than 1,400 times, he encouraged the malevolence of Frazier Glenn Miller, the neo-Nazi accused of killing three people whom he believed were Jews outside a Jewish community center and retirement home in Kansas in April. The character Williams was engaged in a comment thread more than 200 times with Miller, whose screen name was Rounder.

In a Vanguard post under the Williams screen name the commenter asked rhetorically, “Are left wing folks finally waking up to the jew?” He then referred the Vanguard online community to a thread of anti-Semitic comments on Common Dreams–most of which he had written himself under several screen names.

A typical DeShawn Williams comment might include: “Israel is a stain on the world that needs to be expunged once and for all.” Or: “The jews are the most racist people on earth. Just look at their Talmud. They consider the ‘goyim’ (non-jews) to be cattle whose only purpose on earth is to serve them.”

Read More here,

http://www.commondreams.org/hambaconeggs

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The Christian Taliban

Are ‘Christian’ extremists any different from Islamic extremists such as the Taliban? Well no, no they aren’t. Over the past two days i re-visited a web site called ‘Christian Voice’. Being a Scotsman i got interested in an article on the ‘CV’ site titled ‘Independent Scotland won’t join anti-IS coalition’ posted by a fellow called Stephen. In this post Stephen, who claims he is a Christian, lambasts Alex Salmond for not wanting to wage war on IS in Iraq….Can you believe that? A Christian criticising someone for not wanting to wage war..

So i got involved in the comments and during my exchange i said Stephen was almost like the Christian version of the Taliban, then Stephen had this to say,

by supporting the right of the Assyrian Christians in Iraq to fight for their lands and their towns I am like the Taliban.

So i asked if he supported the same actions [war] for the Palestinians to regain their lands, homes and towns. He told me he supported Palestinian Christians but made no mention of supporting them to fight for their lands [strange that he claimed he supported Palestinian Christians when he fulluy supported Israel’s murderous assault on Gaza…Maybe he thinks Israel’s smart bombs can distinguish between Muslim and Christian] So i further pressed on why he supported war against IS on behalf of Assyrian Christians but didn’t support war on Zionism’s land theft on behalf of his Palestinian brothers and sisters. Well if you’ve ever tried to get a straight anaswer from a rabid Zionist you’ll know what came next. Firstly came the accusation of being an ‘Israel hater’ when that didn’t work he tried to undermine my question on his hypocrisy by simply replying ‘oh, please’ , later he decided to edit that comment and added a couple of more sentences which totally avoided answering my question but i pushed on for an answer only to find that he decided not to publish my comment and one must assume he went for censorship rather than be caught out in his blatant hypocrisy….Zionists ‘eh.

So maybe you’re thinking, well that doesn’t make him Taliban-esque…Well think again! Stephen also supports the death penalty for murderers and for the following ‘crimes’..Anyone who curses their father or mother, adulterers and adulteresses, a man who has sexual relations with his father’s wife, a man who has sexual relations with his daughter-in-law and a man who has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman. I’m sure if you check his site you’ll find much more…that’s if you can stomach wading through the Islamophobia and homophobia. http://www.christianvoice.org.uk/

It should also be noted that he’s in some kinda cahoots with ultra hate group and heretics Christians for Zion. You can read more about them here  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-east-wales-11096886

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IMEU Fact Check: Israeli Claims About the Assault on Gaza

“The Claim: Israel ended its occupation of Gaza in 2005.

The Facts:
Although in 2005 Israel removed approximately 8000 Jewish settlers who had been living in illegal colonies in Gaza under then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s so-called “disengagement” plan, Israel continues to exercise “unconsented-to effective control,” the legal definition for qualifying as an occupying power. Israel continues to control Gaza’s airspace, coastline, and all of its entry and exit points except for one controlled by Egypt, which has cooperated with Israel in maintaining the siege and blockade of Gaza.
The international community, including the United Nations, the United States, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch all consider Gaza to be under continued Israeli military occupation. According to an October 2004 Human Rights Watch statement:
“The Israeli government’s plan to remove troops and Jewish settlements from the Gaza Strip would not end Israel’s occupation of the territory. As an occupying power, Israel will retain responsibility for the welfare of Gaza’s civilian population.”

“Under international law, the test for determining whether an occupation exists is effective control by a hostile army, not the positioning of troops… Whether the Israeli army is inside Gaza or redeployed around its periphery and restricting entrance and exit, it remains in control.”
In 2004, Dov Weisglass, a senior advisor to then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, told an interviewer that the Gaza withdrawal was designed to put the peace process and efforts to create a Palestinian state in “formaldehyde,” stating:
“The significance of the disengagement plan is the freezing of the peace process… And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda. And all this with authority and permission. All with a presidential blessing and the ratification of both houses of Congress.

“The disengagement is actually formaldehyde… It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.”
In reality, after withdrawing its settlers in 2005 Israel laid siege to the territory, effectively locking the door and throwing away the key to what many have described as the world’s largest “open-air prison.”

The Claim: Tunnels dug into Israel by Hamas were designed to carry out terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians.

The Facts:
On July 29, The Times of Israel newspaper quoted a senior Israeli intelligence official stating that the Israeli military believes that recently discovered tunnels into Israel were intended to carry out attacks against military targets, not civilians, contradicting strenuous allegations made publicly by Israeli officials.
The Israeli government has yet to provide any evidence to support their claims that so-called “terror tunnels” were actually designed to be used in attacks against civilians.
To date, there have been no recorded attacks against Israeli civilians emanating from tunnels, while there has been at least one documented attack against an Israeli military target by Palestinian fighters using a tunnel.

The Claim: Hamas is to blame for the massive number of civilians killed and injured by the Israeli military in Gaza because Hamas uses Palestinians as “human shields.”

The Facts:
While it’s true that Hamas and other armed groups operate in populated areas in Gaza, a tiny, densely populated strip of land under tight Israeli siege with few open areas, there is no evidence that Hamas or other Palestinian groups deliberately use Palestinians as human shields.
According to a July 25 Amnesty International Q&A on the ongoing violence in Gaza:
“Amnesty International is monitoring and investigating such reports, but does not have evidence at this point that Palestinian civilians have been intentionally used by Hamas or Palestinian armed groups during the current hostilities to ‘shield’ specific locations or military personnel or equipment from Israeli attacks.”

“Reports have also emerged during the current conflict of Hamas urging residents to ignore Israeli warnings to evacuate. However, these calls may have been motivated by a desire to minimize panic and displacement, in any case, such statements are not the same as directing specific civilians to remain in their homes as ‘human shields’ for fighters, munitions, or military equipment. Under international humanitarian law even if ‘human shields’ are being used Israel’s obligations to protect these civilians would still apply.”
Regarding similar claims made by Israeli officials during Israel’s devastating assault on Gaza in the winter of 2008-2009, Operation Cast Lead, which killed approximately 1400 Palestinians, Amnesty stated in a 2009 report:
“Amnesty International, for its part, did not find evidence that Hamas or other Palestinian groups violated the laws of war to the extent repeatedly alleged by Israel. In particular, it found no evidence that Hamas or other fighters directed the movement of civilians to shield military objectives from attacks.”

By contrast, Amnesty International did find that Israeli forces on several occasions during Operation ‘Cast Lead’ forced Palestinian civilians to serve as ‘human shields’. In any event, international humanitarian law makes clear that use of ‘human shields’ by one party does not release the attacking party from its legal obligations with respect to civilians.”
While there’s no evidence that Hamas and other Palestinian groups deliberately use civilians as human shields, the Israeli military has a long and well-documented history of using Palestinian civilians as human shields, a practice officially known as the “neighbor procedure.”

The Claim: Hamas was responsible for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens in the occupied West Bank in June, which sparked the current outburst of violence.

The Facts:
Although Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials immediately blamed Hamas and promised to hold the group accountable for the disappearance of the teenagers, launching a massive crackdown in the occupied West Bank in response, they offered no evidence and many experts were skeptical of the claim from the start. For their part, Hamas officials denied responsibility.
Shortly after the teens disappeared, an Israeli security official in the West Bank told a reporter:
“What we do know, is that this was likely an opportunistic move. The men behind this may have ties to a larger terror group, but this does not have the markings of a well-planned, complex operation.”
On July 25, police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld was quoted by BBC reporter Jon Donnison saying that Israeli officials did not believe the Hamas leadership was involved in the murders, and that they had been carried out by a lone cell operating on its own, contradicting the official position of the Israeli government. Although Rosenfeld later backtracked after the comments made headlines, saying he was misquoted, Donnison stood by his report and Rosenfeld’s initial statement is consistent with all available evidence and the opinions of many observers.
The murders were not consistent with Hamas’ history of kidnappings, which have been designed to capture soldiers to exchange for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, not to murder civilians.
Many analysts believe the Israeli government exploited the teens’ disappearance in order to justify cracking down on Hamas and to undermine the recently formed Palestinian Authority unity government, which Hamas supported and which had been recognized by the United States and the international community despite Israel’s fierce opposition. According to reports, the Israeli government deliberately misled the public for weeks, concealing the discovery of the bodies of the teens while continuing a massive military operation in the West Bank, ostensibly to search for them while still alive”.

You can check the links here,

http://imeu.org/article/fact-check-israeli-claims-about-the-assault-on-gaza

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