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ANNONS
Av K - 24 januari 2009 10:11

Israel forms war crime defence team
I
f Israel's use of white phosphorus is proven, it could form the basis of war crimes charges [AFP]
 

Daniel Friedman, the Israeli justice minister, has been appointed to lead a defence team should war crimes charges be brought following the 22-day war on Gaza.

Mark Regev, a spokesman for the Israeli prime minister, confirmed to Al Jazeera on Friday that Friedman would lead an inter-ministerial team to co-ordinate a legal defence for civilians and the military.

Israel has been criticised by many human rights organisations for using excessive force, including flame-generating chemical munitions, in densely populated areas during its aerial, naval and ground assault on the coastal strip, which began on December 27.

The Israeli army has already banned the publication of the identity of military leaders who fought Hamas in Gaza.

Ali Kashan, the Palestinian justice minister, met Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor, in The Hague on Thursday to discuss "allegations of crimes", a special adviser to the prosecutor said.

IN VIDEO




 News special: Gaza in ruins
 Injuries puzzle Gaza medics

Gaza medics put the death toll in Gaza at 1,330 with at least 5,450 wounded following Israel's attacks. About 65 per cent of the dead were civilians, including 400 children and 100 women.

Eight Israeli human rights groups have called on the Israeli government to investigate allegations of war crimes given the scale of the casualties, describing the number of dead women and children as "terrifying".

Richard Falk, a UN human rights expert, said on Thursday that there was evidence that Israel violated humanitarian law by conducting the offensive "against an essentially defenseless population".

Accountability calls

A total of 53 installations used by the United Nations Relief and Works agency (UNRWA) were damaged or destroyed during Israel's Gaza campaign, including 37 schools - six of which are being used as emergency shelters - six health centres, and two warehouses.

Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, demanded on Tuesday that those responsible for bombing UN buildings in the Palestinian territory be made accountable and accused Israel of using excessive force.


Friedman will lead a ministerial team to co-ordinate a legal defence for the military [AFP]

Israel insists its troops did their best to limit civilian casualties in heavily-populated areas, accusing Hamas fighters of hiding behind Palestinian civilians and firing at Israelis from civilian and UN buildings.

Pictures released by the UN showed what appeared to be flame-generating munitions, thought to be white phosphorus "wedges", falling into a UN compound in Gaza where hundreds of people were sheltering.

If the munitions are proved to be white phosphorus - which causes extreme burns when in contact with the skin - Israel's use of the chemical could form the basis of war crimes charges.

International law forbids white phosphorus use against military targets within areas where civilians are concentrated, except when the targets are clearly separated and "all feasible precautions" are taken to avoid casualties among non-combatants.

The Israeli military is also suspected of using Dense Inert Metal Explosive (Dime) weapons in urban areas, causing horrific abdominal and leg injuries.

When detonated, a Dime device expels a blade of charged tungsten dust that burns and destroys everything within a four-metre radius.

 Source:Al Jazeera and agencies

ANNONS
Av K - 21 januari 2009 08:38

Ban demands probe into Gaza attacks



Ban said he was 'appalled' after witnessing the aftermath of the attack on the UN complex [EPA]

Ban Ki-moon, the secretary-general of the United Nations, has demanded a "full investigation" into Israel's bombing of a UN compound in Gaza City.

Speaking during an official visit to the devastated territory on Tuesday, he condemned the attack on the UN complex as "outrageous" and "totally unacceptable".

"It is particularly significant for a secretary-general of the UN to stand in front of this bomb site of the UN compound," he said.

"I am just appalled and not able to describe how I am feeling having seen this ... it's an outrageous and totally unacceptable attack against the UN. I have protested many times, and I protest again in the strongest terms."

Ban called for a "full investigation" into the incident to make those responsible for the attack "accountable".

He also announced he was sending a high-level delegation to oversee humanitarian support for Gazans and assist with the rebuilding effort following Israel's three-week offensive.

Ban is the highest-ranking official to visit Gaza since Israel and Hamas declared separate, unilateral ceasefires on Sunday.

'Shocking' devastation

Ban stressed "the UN and the international community will support and help you [Gazans] to overcome" the devastation, which he described as "shocking and alarming".

While Ban reiterated his condemnation of Israel's "excessive use of force", he was careful to underline that he believes rocket attacks on Israel by Gazan fighters are also "unacceptable".

In video

Unearthing Gaza's destruction 

Israel's scorched earth tactics

Israel had said the aim of its operations in Gaza was to cripple Hamas's ability to launch rockets into the south of the country.

Ban urged Palestinians factions to unite to allow the international community, including the UN, to help broker a lasting peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

However, while offering to do "all [he] can as secretary-general of the UN to help in this time of need", Ban is not expected to meet Hamas officials during this visit.

Ayman Mohyeldin, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Gaza, said because much of the international community, including the US and the European Union, regard Hamas as a "terrorist organisation", it would be political difficult for the UN chief to hold direct talks with Hamas officials.

Hamas won parliamentary elections in 2006 which were internationally recognised as being both fair and free.

Rebuilding Gaza's devastated infrastructure is expected to cost billions of US dollars.

Without supplies

John Holmes, the UN humanitarian chief, says hundreds of millions of dollars in emergency aid supplies will be needed for the people of Gaza.

Although water supplies were restored to many Gazan homes as of Sunday, 400,000 were still without running water, Holmes said.

GAZA TOLL


At least 1,300 people killed, including more than 400 children and more than 100 women

At least 5,300 Palestinians injured, including nearly 1,900 children and 800 women 

At least 100,000 people forced from their homes

At least 13 Israelis killed, including three civilians

Electricity in Gaza is available for less than half the day and around 100,000 people have been left homeless by the war.

Scores of bodies have been discovered in the rubble of destroyed buildings since both sides declared unilateral ceasefires on Sunday.

Palestinians returning to their neighbourhoods have begun to unearth the true scale of destruction.

Mohyeldin reported that the World Health Organisation had issued a warning of an outbreak of disease as weeks-old bodies remain unburied and sewage continues to flow in many areas because of the destruction of Gaza's infrastructure.

The deposed Hamas-led government in Gaza estimates that more than 5,000 buildings were completely destroyed and another 20,000 damaged or partially destroyed in the fighting.

Despite the three-week Israeli onslaught that killed more than 1,300 Palestinians and destroyed thousands of buildings, Hamas and other Palestinian factions have claimed victory in the fighting.

Following his visit to Gaza, the UN chief also visited the southern Israeli town of Sderot - one of the main targets for Palestinian rocket-launching squads based in Gaza.

Ban said he was "totally committed to Israel securing its rightful place as a nation within secure and recognised borders" and called for the current ceasefires to be turned into a durable truce "respected fully by all parties concerned".

 Source:Al Jazeera and agencies

Av K - 20 januari 2009 09:16

Gazans count cost of war



Palestinians say 25,000 buildings were damaged
or destroyed in Israel's assault on Gaza [EPA]

Palestinians returning to their neighbourhoods have begun to unearth the true scale of destruction left by Israel's 22-day offensive on the Gaza Strip.

Fragile ceasefires - declared separately by Israel and Palestinian fighters - continued to hold on Tuesday, as Israeli troops pulled back from some key points in Gaza towards the border.

Israeli army radio quoted unnamed military officials as saying that troops would pull out of Gaza by the time Barack Obama, the US president-elect, takes office on Tuesday.

Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, is also set to survey the destruction in a trip to Gaza during the day.

Estimates for the rebuilding of Gaza's devastated infrastructure have been put at billions of dollars.

Dire situation

In video

Unearthing Gaza's destruction 

Israel's scorched earth tactics

John Holmes, the UN humanitarian chief, says hundreds of millions of dollars in emergency aid supplies will be needed for the people of Gaza.

Although 100,000 people had running water restored in their homes as of Sunday, 400,000 were still without it, Holmes said.

Electricity in Gaza is available for less than half the day and about 100,000 people have been displaced by the war.

Despite the three-week Israeli onslaught that killed more than 1,300 Palestinians and destroyed thousands of buildings, Hamas and other Palestinian factions claimed victory in the fighting.

Israel had said the aim of its operations in Gaza was to cripple Hamas's ability to launch rockets into the south of the country.

But a masked man calling himself Abu Obeida and claiming to be a spokesman for Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's armed wing, said the group's rocket-launching capacity had not been diminished, and threatened to renew fighting if Israeli forces did not withdraw.

"They [Israel] say they weakened Hamas. We assure you that what we have lost in this war is nothing compared to what we [still] have," he said in a televised news conference on Monday.

Abu Obeida vowed that Hamas would replenish its arsenal of rockets and other weapons, in defiance of any Israeli or international efforts to cut off smuggling routes.

"Do whatever you want, bringing in and manufacturing the holy weapons is our mission, and we know how to acquire weapons," he said.

Disease fears

GAZA TOLL




At least 1,300 people killed, including more than 400 children and more than 100 women

At least 5,300 Palestinians injured, including nearly 1,900 children and 800 women 

At least 100,000 people forced from their homes

At least 13 Israelis killed, including three civilians

Meanwhile, scores of bodies have been discovered in the rubble of destroyed buildings since the fighting was halted.

Abed Sharafi, an ambulance driver, said on Monday that he had helped pull out the bodies of 15 children and women from under their house.
 
"They were so badly decomposed that we couldn't distinguish boys from girls. Some had been there for 15 days," he said.

Al Jazeera's Ayman Mohyeldin, reporting from Gaza City, said the World Health Organisation was warning of an outbreak of disease with bodies now several weeks old and sewage flowing over many areas because of the destruction to infrastructure.

The deposed Hamas-led government in Gaza estimates that more than 5,000 buildings were completely destroyed and 20,000 damaged or partially destroyed in the fighting.

 Source:Al Jazeera and agencies

Av K - 20 januari 2009 09:10


Det har startats en namninsamling som uppmanar riksdagen och regeringen att åtala Israel för brott mot mänskligheten.
 
Skriv på själva och sprid vidare till alla ni känner, viktigt att markera för svenska politiker att folket vill åtala Israel.
 
http://www.namninsamling.se/index.php?nid=2804


Åtala Israel för dess brott mot mänskligheten



Israels massaker på Gaza är bland de mest fruktansvärda i modern tid. Efter 18 månaders blockad som fått Gaza att lika Warsawaghettot bombade Israel sönder Gaza i 23 helveteslika dagar. Ingen skonades, barn, kvinnor, gamla, civila, skolor, sjukhus, ambulanser, FNs byggnader, moskéer och affärscentrum bombades. Tusentals hus raserades med bulldozers och förbjudna vapen så som vit fosfor användes på civila. Israel säger att de gjorde det för att sätta stopp på Hamas. Bilder som nu kommer från Gaza visar att det varit allt annat än att sätta stopp på Hamas. Gaza city liknar idag ett område som bombats med kärnvapen, allt är totalförstört.

Israel har således brutit mot ett flertal av FNs punkter för krigsförbrytelser och brott mot mänskliga rättigheter samt utfört en massmord som av FN förklarats som ett folkmord.

Vi uppmanar därför Sverige och dess regering att ta sitt demokratiska och mänskliga ansvar att dra Israel och dess ledare inför åtal för dessa brott mot mänskligheten.
Sverige har haft en lång tradition av demokrati och värnande av mänskliga rättigheter, låt oss inte sluta upp med det idag på grund av en västmakts ursinniga folkmord.



P.S Till alla er som stöttar Israels folkmord i Gaza uppmanar vi er att ta en titt på de bilder som kommit och som kommer in från Gaza nu och avgöra själva ifall er samvete och humanitet stöttar folkmord och omfattad förstörelse D.S  

Av K - 18 januari 2009 19:57

Hamas offers conditional ceasefire


Gazans' attempts at rescuing trapped bodies were hampered by continued attacks on Sunday [AFP]

Hamas and several allied Palestinian factions have announced a conditional, one-week ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, giving Israel seven days to pull out of the territory.

The move, following a meeting of the factions in Damascus, comes a day after Israel announced a unilateral ceasefire, ending its 22-day offensive in Gaza which has left at least 1,203 Palestinians dead.

"We in the Palestinian resistance movements announce a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and demand that enemy forces withdraw in a week and open all the border crossings to permit the entry of humanitarian aid and basic goods," Mussa Abu Marzuk, deputy leader of Hamas's political bureau, said in Damascus on Sunday.

Besides Hamas, Palestinian factions at the Damascus meeting included Islamic Jihad, Al Nidal, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and al Saeqa.

Israeli response

Israel says it will not consider a timetable for withdrawing all of its forces from the Gaza Strip until Hamas and other groups halt their fire.

Speaking to Al Jazeera on Sunday, Avital Leibovich, an Israeli military spokesperson, said: "I am sorry, Hamas will not give Israel a deadline to pull out its troops.

"We will pull out the troops if and when we will decide that a permanent safe and secure situation has arrived in our country - which has not [yet]. Since from the morning we were targeted by 16 rockets from Hamas.

"We have to assess the situation every day and then see whether we are heading towards a stable secure situation or [if] we have to continue the operation.

"The operation is not over. This is only a holding of fire."

'Objectives achieved'

Palestinian factions have continued to fire rockets into southern Israel since the beginning of the offensive, killing three Israelis, out of a total of 13 Israelis that have died since the begining of the war.

IN DEPTH

Analysis and features from Gaza and Israel

Al Jazeera Labs: Report on and track the war

Send us your views and eyewitness videos

Watch our coverage of the war on Gaza
They have also been fighting Israel's ground forces which enterd the Gaza Strip in the second week of the offensive.

An end to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip into Israel was the stated aim of the Israeli offensive.

Israel declared a unilateral ceasefire on Saturday, with Ehud Olmert, the prime minister, stating that the country had achieved its objectives.

"We have reached all the goals of the war, and beyond," he said. "[But] if our enemies decide to strike and want to carry on, then the Israeli army will regard itself as free to respond with force."

Olmert also said the war boosted Israel's deterrence and that Hamas's actions would decide when the military would withdraw.

"This operation strengthened the deterrence of the state of Israel in the face of all those who threaten us," he said.

"If Hamas completely stops its attacks, we will judge at what moment we will leave the Gaza Strip."

'Symbolic victory'

However, Ayman Mohyeldin, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Gaza City, said some in the Gaza Strip are claiming a victory for Hamas and other Palestinian factions.

"On an operational level on the last day of the war and even after the war Palestinian factions are still capable of firing rockets, no doubt about that.


Hamas and Israel declared independent ceasefires each with separate terms [AFP]
"In fact, more than a dozen or so have been fired today according to the factions here on the ground.

"On a symbolic level, at the end of the day the Palestinian people remain here on the ground, having paid a very heavy price though.

"Their position was one of steadfast defiance. The fact that they can stay and essentially ... claim that they have been able to stave off this aggression, in terms of the leadership and the command and control structure of Hamas and the government here, is certainly a sign for many here that they have been victorious."

'Extremely fragile'

At least 16 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel on Sunday morning after it declared its ceasefire.

Israel responded with air attacks, according to Israeli sources.

Barnaby Phillips, Al Jazeera's correspondent, reporting from near the Gaza-Israel border, said that the situation is extremely fragile.

"This ceasefire ... could go horribly wrong at any moment. There are thousands of troops in Gaza. We did see some withdraw we think this morning, we are not sure of numbers but they are in close proximity to Hamas fighters," he said.

 Source:Al Jazeera and agencies

Av K - 18 januari 2009 09:54

Rockets follow Israeli 'cessation'



The three-week war caused billions of dollars worth of damage to Gaza's infrastructure [GALLO/GETTY]

Palestinian fighters exchanged gunfire with Israeli forces in the besieged Gaza Strip just hours after Israel declared its unilateral end to hostilities.

Fighting broke out in Jabaliya on Sunday, as Israeli military aircraft dropped flares into the northern Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian factions fired six rockets into southern Israel, with some landing in the town of Sderot.

Israeli tanks and troops remain in the former settlement of Netzarim but many have pulled back fro urban centres to open land near the border.

Ehud Olmert, Israel's prime minister, announced a "ceasefire" overnight, claiming Israel had achieved its military objectives.

The cabinet is expected to ratify the decision on Sunday. No plan to withdraw Israeli artillery and ground troops has been announced.

The Palestinian faction Hamas, which is the de facto ruler in Gaza, was not consulted in Israel's unilateral cessation. Hamas leaders say the "resistance movement" will continue to fight as long as Israeli troops remain inside Gaza.

They have also maintained their pre-war demand that Israel ends its crippling 18-month blockade to allow for the free-flow of goods into the Palestinian territory.

Scepticism

As the cessation was set to begin, an Israeli military statement said Israel would "respond to any attack against Israeli civilians or soldiers".

IN DEPTH

Analysis and features from Gaza and Israel

Track the war and submit your own reports


Send us your views and eyewitness videos
At daybreak on Sunday, what sounded like machine-gun fire could be heard from Jabaliya near the Gaza-Israel border.

"We have heard a number of sustained gunshots," Al Jazeera's Zeina Awad reported.

"There is also a thick layer of cloud which would reduce the visibility on the ground in Gaza.

"We saw four rockets launched, literally within seconds of each other. We also heard the sirens going off in Israel."

Israeli reconnaissance drones and helicopters could be heard throughout the night, and Gaza residents said they could hear troops and tanks rolling through the streets.

After more than three weeks of war in the Gaza Strip, 1,203 Palestinians have been killed and more than 5,200 injured. Palestinians say they fear the assault could resume at any moment. Thirteen Israelis have also died since the start of hostilities on December 27.

Ayman Mohyeldin, reporting from Gaza, said that 25 bodies were recovered on Sunday from areas that had previously been inaccessible due to the fighting.

"The death toll is expected to rise significantly as paramedics reach these areas," he said.

Night fighting

According to Israeli military officials, Palestinian groups launched at least eight rockets into southern Israel between Olmert's announcement of "victory", and the declared deadline of 2am (00:00GMT) passing.

No one was injured in the attacks.

Israel kept up its assault until the last hour, carrying out more than 50 air raids overnight.

The Israeli military claims to have significantly damaged the capability of Hamas by killing a number of its senior commanders, as well as destroying its weapons stockpiles and smuggling tunnels.



Some Israeli soldiers return while others remain in the Gaza Strip [Reuters]
Yet in the 24 hours before Israel's ceasefire, Hamas's military wing and other armed Palestinian groups were reported to have fired more than 30 rockets and mortar rounds over the border - a signal that it still has firepower.

Analysts exhibited only scepticism that the halt in violence would last.

Rami Khouri, director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, told Al Jazeera that the "unilateral ceasefire has no chance of being a durable ceasefire".

"Israel has tried many unilateral approaches and each one of them has simply made the situation worse for Israel," he said.

"There is no chance of any unilateral move by Israel having any success. It has to be a negotiated agreement that responds to the basic legitimate needs of both sides.

Sharm summit

Israel decided on its unilateral ceasefire in preference to entering into an Egyptian-brokered truce with Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, analysts say.

This allows Israel to avoid agreeing concessions with the Palestinian group, such as easing the blockade that has prevented medical aid and basic supplies from reaching the civilian population. Much of the Strip remains without a power supply and Save the Children reports that one in four children in Gaza is malnourished.

Egypt has been pushing Israel and the rival Palestinian factions to reach an agreement.

A summit aimed at giving international backing to Israel's proposal is planned in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh later on Sunday.

It is to be attended by the leaders of Germany, France, Spain, Britain, Italy, Turkey, Jordan and the Czech Republic - which holds the rotating EU presidency - as well as presidents Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general.

It was not immediately clear whether Israel would send a representative, and Hamas has not been invited.

 Source:Al Jazeera

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