Juan Cole: Israel Guilty Of War Crime
But can Israel be blamed for what it deems self-defense? Aljazeera English says the death toll is nearly 300, as Israel is calling up reservists, and the UN is urging an end to the escalation.
Juan Cole writes that it was the Israeli occupation of the Palestinians that led to 9/11 and that Egypt, which has partnered with Israel in blockading Gaza, is calling this murder. White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe is branding those Israeli is targeting as “thugs”, while French President Nicolas Sarkozy is asking both sides to stop and exercise self-restraint.
Israel blames Hamas for primitive homemade rocket attacks on the nearby Israeli city of Sederot. In 2001-2008, these rockets killed about 15 Israelis and injured 433, and they have damaged property. In the same period, Gazan mortar attacks on Israel have killed 8 Israelis.
Since the Second Intifada broke out in 2000, Israelis have killed nearly 5000 Palestinians, nearly a thousand of them minors. Since fall of 2007, Israel has kept the 1.5 million Gazans under a blockade, interdicting food, fuel and medical supplies to one degree or another. Wreaking collective punishment on civilian populations such as hospital patients denied needed electricity is a crime of war.
The Israelis on Saturday killed 5% of all the Palestinians they have killed since the beginning of 2001! 230 people were slaughtered in a day, over 70 of them innocent civilians. In contrast, from the ceasefire Hamas announced in June, 2008 until Saturday, no Israelis had been killed by Hamas. The infliction of this sort of death toll is known in the law of war as a disproportionate response, and it is a war crime.Click here for reuse options!
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