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‘Israel responsible for Gaza strikes on UN schools and shelters, inquiry finds’

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/27/israel-responsible-gaza-strikes-un-schools-ban-ki-moon?CMP=share_btn_fb

“Israel was responsible for striking seven United Nations sites used as civilian shelters during the 2014 Gaza war in which 44 Palestinians died and 227 others were injured, an inquiry ordered by UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon has concluded.

Releasing the report on Monday, Ban condemned the attacks “as a matter of the utmost gravity” and said “those who looked to them for protection and who sought and were granted shelter there had their hopes and trust denied”.

Ban insisted that UN locations were “inviolable”.

The issue is particularly sensitive as the locations of all UN buildings – including schools used as shelters – are routinely provided to the Israeli military and updated in times of conflict.

Ban’s criticism was contained in the published summary letter of a confidential internal report, commissioned by the secretary general in November, running to 207 pages.

In his letter Ban also hit out at Palestinian militant groups for putting some UN schools in Gaza at risk by hiding weapons in three locations that were not being used as shelters.

“I am dismayed that Palestinian militant groups would put United Nations schools at risk by using them to hide their arms.”

He added, however, that: “The three schools at which weaponry was found were empty at the time and were not being used as shelters.”

Israeli diplomats had exerted pressure on the UN to delay publication of the report until the completion of Israel’s own investigations into the attacks – conducted by the Israeli military advocate general Danny Efroni. Israel’s military in September opened five criminal investigations into its Gaza war operations, including attacks on some of the UN schools and an incident that killed four Palestinian children on a beach.

The UN inquiry, which examined both forensic evidence and testimonies of UN staff in Gaza during the 50-day war last summer, concluded seven incidents were attributable to the Israel Defence Forces.

Ban added: “I will work with all concerned and spare no effort to ensure that such incidents will never be repeated.”

Although the report has no legal status, the disclosure of the inquiry’s findings comes at a difficult time for Israel on the international stage, facing increasing international isolation over its policies and following the acceptance of the Palestinian Authority as a signatory to the International Criminal Court earlier this month.

The attacks on UN schools being used as shelters were among some of the mostcontroversial incidents of the war. International humanitarian law – while complex – requires attacking forces in areas where there are non-combatants to protect civilians and adhere to the principle of proportionality, safeguards even more stringent when civilians are under UN protection.

In one of the most serious incidents, the UNRWA school in Jabaliya was struck by Israeli fire, killing 20 people and wounding dozens.

In the aftermath of the attack Israel claimed – including in a report into the incident – that soldiers near the school were had come under fire.

In another incident that saw Israeli munitions strike a UN school in Beit Hanoun 15 Palestinians were killed in the playground as they awaited evacuation while dozens more injured.

Israeli sources had originally tried to suggest that the attack had been due to a Hamas weapon falling short.

The UN inquiry – separate form an inquiry launched by the UN Human Rights Council – was headed by retired general Patrick Cammaert, a former officer in the Dutch military and included military and legal experts.

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed during the Gaza conflict last July and August. Sixty-seven Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel were killed by rockets and attacks by Hamas and other militant groups.

The details of the contents of the board of inquiry are confidential and only Ban’s covering letter has been made public. Conceding that the report was of “considerable interest” he said he had taken the decision to release a summary of the inquiry’s findings.

The report was compiled from analysis of weapons, medical reports, photographs and video footage, and submissions and testimonies both by UN staff and other organisations.

Ban thanked Israel for its cooperation in preparing the report and allowing investigators to access Gaza.

Ban wrote: “I deplore the fact that at least 44 Palestinians were killed as a result of Israeli actions and at least 227 injured at United Nations premises being used as emergency shelters. United Nations premises are inviolable and should be places of safety, particularly in a situations of armed conflict.”

He added: “I note this is the second time during my tenure as secretary general that I have been obliged to establish a board of inquiry into incidents involving United Nations premises and personnel in Gaza that have occurred during the course of tragic conflicts in the Gaza Strip.

“Once again I must stress my profound and continuing concern for the civilian population of the Gaza Strip and Israel, and their right to live in peace and security, free from the threat of violence and terrorism.”

When Ban visited Gaza in October, he said the destruction was “beyond description” and “much more serious” than what he witnessed in the Palestinian territory in 2009 in the aftermath of a previous Israel-Hamas war.

Ban said on Monday he has established a group of senior managers to look into the inquiry’s recommendation. A number of questions remain unaddressed in the summary of the report, not least the issue of what communications there were between UN staff and the Israeli military in particular ahead of the attack on the school in Beit Hanoun when UN staff are understood to have communicated to Israeli forces their intention to bus out civilians who were waiting for evacuation at the time of the attack.

Also unaddressed is why Israeli forces fired on designated protected locations outside of the principle of immediate self-defence when they were aware of concentrations of civilians sheltering there.

Chris Gunness, spokesman for UNRWA, which runs Gaza’s UN schools said: “The inquiry found that despite numerous notifications to the Israeli army of the precise GPS coordinates of the schools and numerous notifications about the presence of displaced people, in all seven cases investigated by the Board of Inquiry when our schools were hit directly or in the immediate vicinity, the hit was attributable to the IDF.

“The board confirms the use by the IDF of weaponry such as 120 mm high explosive anti-tank projectiles and 155 MM high explosive projectiles on or in the surrounding area of UNRWA schools where civilians had taken refuge. In the incidents investigated at least 44 people were killed and 227 injured including women and children. In none of the schools which were hit directly or in the immediate vicinity, were weapons discovered or fired from. If it were confirmed that militants did fire rockets from our schools we would condemn it, just as we robustly we condemned other violations of our neutrality.”

“The findings of the secretary general’s inquiry are fully consistent with the statements made by UNRWA that we did not hand any weapons over to Hamas. The Board of Inquiry has not found any evidence that we did. The Board of Inquiry found that upon the first discovery UNRWA senior management notified local authorities in Gaza about the weapons and asked for their removal. Within days of the first unprecedented discovery, the UN had established a mechanism for dealing with the weaponry and by the time of the third discovery, international experts were on hand.”

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Why Do Christians For Zion Lie So Much?

In his latest absurdly titled blog we find Chris Proudlove spouting the same old tired chestnut.

 

“…With Turkish rule ending in the Middle East the Allies’ aim was to create one Jewish state and a number of Muslim nations in the region. The LoN mandated Britain to sort out matters pertaining to Palestine and Mesopotamia (Iraq).”

 

No, it was never intended to create a “Jewish state”. The LoN mandate’s aim was to allow Jews, in certain numbers, immigrate to Palestine and take up PALESTINIAN citizenship.

 

Article 7 of the mandate,

 

“The Administration of Palestine shall be responsible for enacting a nationality law. There shall be included in this law provisions framed so as to facilitate the acquisition of Palestinian citizenship by Jews who take up their permanent residence in Palestine.”

 

Also,

 

“His Majesty’s Government believe that the framers of the Mandate in which the Balfour Declaration was embodied could not have intended that Palestine should be converted into a Jewish State against the will of the Arab population of the country. […] His Majesty’s Government therefore now declare unequivocally that it is not part of their policy that Palestine should become a Jewish State”

 

Chris then goes on to tell us,

 

“Britain’s Mandate, as far as Palestinian Jews were concerned, was to grant them statehood when they were deemed ready to rule.”

 

Again, no.

 

“it has been observed with satisfaction that at a meeting of the Zionist Congress, the supreme governing body of the Zionist Organization, held at Carlsbad in September, 1921, a resolution was passed expressing as the official statement of Zionist aims “the determination of the Jewish people to live with the Arab people on terms of unity and mutual respect, and together with them to make the common home into a flourishing community, the upbuilding of which may assure to each of its peoples an undisturbed national development”

 

And,

 

“The object of Zionism is to establish for the Jewish people a home in Palestine secured by public law.” ..It has been said and is still being obstinately repeated by anti-Zionists again and again, that Zionism aims at the creation of an independent “Jewish State” But this is fallacious. The “Jewish State” was never part of the Zionist programme. The Jewish State was the title of Herzl’s first pamphlet, which had the supreme merit of forcing people to think. This pamphlet was followed by the first Zionist Congress, which accepted the Basle programme – the only programme in existence.”

 

Nahum Sokolow, Zionist representative at the Paris peace conference.

 

Also,  at the Paris peace conference “US Secretary of State Lansing asked Dr Weizmann “to clear up some confusion which existed in his mind as to the correct meaning of the words “Jewish National Home”. Did that mean an autonomous Jewish Government?” Dr Weizmann replied in the negative.”

 

Although by the time the thuggish Ben Gurion and his gang of ethnic cleansers came along they did try to rewrite the Zionist aims.

 

 

He then goes on to tell us,

 

“As time wore on, however, war-weary and almost bankrupted Britain could not control the burgeoning military conflict between Arab and Jew. This led to Britain handing over the Mandate to the United Nations, LoN’s successor, in 1948.

 

The U.N was obliged to complete legalities stemming from its LoN predecessor. So, it was as Mandate holder that the UN facilitated the recreation of Israel. The action of U.N. was a ‘rubber stamp’ to what the LoN had stipulated.”

 

Again, no.

 

“The United Nations does not automatically fall heir to the responsibilities either of the League of Nations or of the Mandatory Power in respect of the Palestine Mandate. The record seems to us entirely clear that the United Nations did not take over the League of Nations Mandate system.”

 

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Warren Austin

 

And,

 

“On 2 April 1947, the United Kingdom directed a request to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the first part of which states:1

 

“His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom requests the Secretary-General of the United Nations to place the question of Palestine on the agenda of the General Assembly at its next regular annual session. It will submit to the Assembly an account of its administration of the League of Nations mandate and will ask the Assembly to make recommendations, under Article 10 of the Charter, concerning the future government of Palestine.”

 

Thus, the question of Palestine came before the General Assembly only as a request for a recommendation. No proposal was made by the United Kingdom to the General Assembly that the United Nations itself undertake responsibility for the government of Palestine.”

 

Chris then quotes hasbarrister Cambridge Ph.D. Cynthia Day Wallace,

 

“The U.N. cannot create a Palestinian Arab state until there is a territoral agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Israel as laid down by the Oslo Accords.”

 

Both Israel and the Palestinians can annul the Oslo accords at any time. The UN has also already given recognition to the Palestinians by giving them observer status at the UN.

 

Then we read,

 

“Anyway, U.N. resolutions are not legally binding. They are only recommendations.”

 

How peculiar. Previously, on this very blog, Chris, under the name of “Buster J Bailey” posted this,

 

“Israel actually has a better claim to its existence, having been created by the U.N.”

 

Wait, What!?!

 

He tells us that “Israel actually has a better claim to its existence, having been created by the U.N.” and then he tells us, or at least his “legal luminary” does, that  “… U.N. resolutions are not legally binding.”

 

Quite the contradiction.

 

Then his “legal luminary” tells us that,

 

“In the ECI summary Dr Wallace concludes: “In sum, the conflict is not a traditional conflict over borders – that is not even really the issue, as demonstrated by the fact that national boundaries have gone so long undetermined.”

 

Actually, little miss “legal luminary” Israel declared its borders in 1948 as seen here in a letter to the president of the U.S.A,

 

“MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I have the honor to notify you that the state of Israel has been proclaimed as an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947, and that a provisional government has been charged to assume the rights and duties of government for preserving law and order within the boundaries of Israel, for defending the state against external aggression, and for discharging the obligations of Israel to the other nations of the world in accordance with international law. The Act of Independence will become effective at one minute after six o’clock on the evening of 14 May 1948, Washington time.”

 

Israel has NEVER legally annexed any territory outside those declared borders.

 

Next we have this,

 

“It is a conflict over historic rights and the internationally recognized need of a unified ‘people’ to have a place( and territorial space) to come ‘home’ to after some 2,000 years of ‘statelessness’ and separation from the Land of their Fathers – the only place that they call ‘holy’ and the only land they have ever called home.’”

 

Jews had no legal claim to the Holy land hence why the wording “Historical connection”. Also, according to a recent DNA study most of today’s Jews are not from the holy land. Although having said that I understand there is talk of other DNA tests that will debunk that theory….We shall wait and see…

 

Then there’s this,

 

“The problem, as it was in 1937, 1947 and 2000-01 is that the Palestinian Arabs refuse to compromise when offered a two-state solution.”

 

Regarding 1937 and 1947 the Arabs, embarrassingly for Chris and his hasbarristers, wanted a one state solution on the lines of the San Remo treaty. Ie. An Arab majority and Jewish minority sharing Palestine with equal rights for both groups. As for 2000-01, I already posted up a blog titled ‘Myth of the generous offer’ and Chris made zero attempt at debunking the article. So we must ask why he mentions it in his blog?

 

Next we have,

 

“Dr Victor Pearce, a noted scientist, archaeologist and theologian, comments in his book ‘Prophecy’, that, as in subsequent wars between Arab and Jew, angelic action on Israel’s side was responsible for the nascent Jewish state achieving victory against all the odds.”

 

Actually the odds in all Arab-Israeli wars have been stacked in Israel’s favour with the possible exception of the 1973 Yom Kippur war. See here for the war of Independence,

 

http://users.ox.ac.uk/~ssfc0005%20/Israel%20and%20the%20Arab%20Coalition%20in%2019481.html

 

Now for what is for me the most alarming piece of Chris’s blog.

 

“In doing so, the Jewish King Jesus will say to Gentile nations supporting Israel: “… inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.”

 

I’ve already debunked that particular Zionist perversion of the bible here ,

 

https://christiansforzionwatch.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/why-are-christians-for-zion-perverting-the-bible/

 

Once again, despite numerous comments, Chris made no attempt to make a case as to why CfZ should make that particular claim. Also, if we read CfZ liar and Bible perverter in chief Mike Fryer’s latest blog we find him once again making the claim but he, Fryer, doesn’t stop there. He also says the following,

 

“You see without Israel or the Jewish there is no God.”

 

I assume he missed out the word ‘people’ after Jewish. In recent weeks I have noticed that Christian Zionists are trying to blackmail their fellow Christians into supporting Israel’s land theft and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian Arabs by making claims such as the two mentioned above and the following two claims.

 

“if it wasn’t for the Jews there would be no Bible” and “if it wasn’t for the Jews there would be no Christianity” Any Christian, true Christian reading these claims will be alarmed already. For those who are not so sure I will post these quotes from the New Testament gospel of John.

 

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

 

John Ch 1

 

“58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

 

John Ch 8.

 

We thank God for his word. We thank God for Jews who sacrificed much for their faith in Jesus.

 

We DON’T thank Jews for God. We DON’T thank Jews for the bible. If we did we would be committing Idolatry.

 

Please don’t ever believe a word that these Christian Zionists say….It may lead you into a pit!

 

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