From: The Nation
By Richard Falk
Editor's Note: This statement was issued December 27 in response to Israel's attack in Gaza by Professor Richard Falk, United Nations special rapporteur for human rights in the Occupied Territories and a longtime member of The Nation's editorial board.
The Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip represent severe and massive violations of international humanitarian law as defined in the Geneva Conventions, both in regard to the obligations of an Occupying Power and in the requirements of the laws of war.
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Richard Falk: If both sides embrace the fragile cease-fire with leaps of imagination and faith, Israelis and Palestinians could chart an escape route from the inferno.
Israel's War Crimes
Richard Falk: Israel's assault on Gaza is a massive violation of international law. Nations that have supplied weapons and supported the siege are complicit in the crimes.
Richard Falk: The sick man of Europe gets a jolt of life, but will it last? Those violations include:
• Collective punishment: The entire 1.5 million people who live in the crowded Gaza Strip are being punished for the actions of a few militants.
• Targeting civilians: The airstrikes were aimed at civilian areas in one of the most crowded stretches of land in the world, certainly the most densely populated area of the Middle East.
• Disproportionate military response: The airstrikes have not only destroyed every police and security office of Gaza's elected government, but have killed and injured hundreds of civilians; at least one strike reportedly hit groups of students attempting to find transportation home from the university.
Earlier Israeli actions, specifically the complete sealing off of entry and exit to and from the Gaza Strip, have led to severe shortages of medicine and fuel (as well as food), resulting in the inability of ambulances to respond to the injured, the inability of hospitals to adequately provide medicine or necessary equipment for the injured, and the inability of Gaza's besieged doctors and other medical workers to sufficiently treat the victims.
Certainly the rocket attacks against civilian targets in Israel are unlawful. But that illegality does not give rise to any Israeli right, neither as the Occupying Power nor as a sovereign state, to violate international humanitarian law and commit war crimes or crimes against humanity in its response. I note that Israel's escalating military assaults have not made Israeli civilians safer; to the contrary, the one Israeli killed today after the upsurge of Israeli violence is the first in over a year.
Israel has also ignored recent Hamas diplomatic initiatives to re-establish the truce or ceasefire since its expiration on December 26.
The Israeli airstrikes today, and the catastrophic human toll that they caused, challenge those countries that have been and remain complicit, either directly or indirectly, in Israel's violations of international law. That complicity includes those countries knowingly providing the military equipment including warplanes and missiles used in these illegal attacks, as well as those countries who have supported and participated in the siege of Gaza that itself has caused a humanitarian catastrophe.
I remind all Member States of the United Nations that the UN continues to be bound to an independent obligation to protect any civilian population facing massive violations of international humanitarian law--regardless of what country may be responsible for those violations. I call on all Member States, as well as officials and every relevant organ of the United Nations system, to move on an emergency basis not only to condemn Israel's serious violations, but to develop new approaches to providing real protection for the Palestinian people.
Some of the misguided people would say God love Israel so we can bless all its crimes. Millions of Muslims died because of the wicked nation of Israel. Remember they were working through American politicians to finance the war of Iraq against Iran with the support of the corrupt Arab tyrants. Then the Americans at one time supported both sides to continue killing each other. That is why a lot of American Christians think that America is mystery Babylon that is mentioned in the book of revelation in the new testament. For Muslims do not delude yourself the Zionists who control America and the world would not work to have us free and prosperous. They are just by nature are evil people. Give me one reason why they attacked Egypt in 1956 where the war was originally between England and France against Egypt. Nasser at that time found the Suzi canal contract with the British and France signed with one of the corrupted Egyptian head of state years ago was a mockery. The British and French thought to retaliate for that. Give one good reason why the Zionists the blood thirsty has any reason to enter this war.
The best Jihad is saying the word of truth to unjust King and I am saying that to a lot of Kings in the world. Let me tell you again and clear Obama is not Al Mahdi Al Muntazer. Christians it is time to stand to your Messiah and do not fear the Zionists. Your Messiah already had cursed them.