Posts tagged Civilians

Israel Attacks Palestinian Residential Area Killing At Least Two And Injuring 25, Including Children, Casualties All Civilian
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli troops used tanks and machine guns to fire toward a residential area in Gaza, killing two civilians and wounding at least 25, after an explosion targeted an Israeli military vehicle on Israel’s border with Gaza, Palestinian officials and witnesses said.
Ayman al-Sahbani, a doctor at Gaza’s Shifa hospital, said all the casualties were civilians and children were among the wounded. Witnesses said the firing hit people who were returning from a funeral near Gaza City.
Photo: Palestinians carry a wounded man into a hospital in Gaza City following Israeli shelling. (Reuters / Mohammed Salem)

Israel Attacks Palestinian Residential Area Killing At Least Two And Injuring 25, Including Children, Casualties All Civilian

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli troops used tanks and machine guns to fire toward a residential area in Gaza, killing two civilians and wounding at least 25, after an explosion targeted an Israeli military vehicle on Israel’s border with Gaza, Palestinian officials and witnesses said.

Ayman al-Sahbani, a doctor at Gaza’s Shifa hospital, said all the casualties were civilians and children were among the wounded. Witnesses said the firing hit people who were returning from a funeral near Gaza City.

Photo: Palestinians carry a wounded man into a hospital in Gaza City following Israeli shelling. (Reuters / Mohammed Salem)

On this day in 2009: Israel attacks UN school in Gaza with white phosphorus, killing two brothers and wounding 12 others
1,898 people were taking shelter from the fighting when artillery shells hit the UN school in Beit Lahiya at around 6 a.m. on 17 January, 2009. Two brothers, aged five and seven, were killed. Their 18-year-old sister was grievously injured and had to have her leg amputated. Their mother lost a hand and sustained a serious head injury. Twelve others were injured. According to relatives, they had fled their homes to escape the bombardments and had come to the school hoping to find safety.
Human Rights Watch visited the site on January 23, six days after the attack, and saw white phosphorus wedges still burning when children dug them out of the sand.
The use of white phosphorus as a weapon – as opposed to its use as an obscurant and infrared blocking smoke screen – is banned by the United Nation’s third convention on conventional weapons.
Watch: Rain of Fire: White Phosphorus in Gaza
(Photo: Iyad El-Baba)

On this day in 2009: Israel attacks UN school in Gaza with white phosphorus, killing two brothers and wounding 12 others

1,898 people were taking shelter from the fighting when artillery shells hit the UN school in Beit Lahiya at around 6 a.m. on 17 January, 2009. Two brothers, aged five and seven, were killed. Their 18-year-old sister was grievously injured and had to have her leg amputated. Their mother lost a hand and sustained a serious head injury. Twelve others were injured. According to relatives, they had fled their homes to escape the bombardments and had come to the school hoping to find safety.

Human Rights Watch visited the site on January 23, six days after the attack, and saw white phosphorus wedges still burning when children dug them out of the sand.

The use of white phosphorus as a weapon – as opposed to its use as an obscurant and infrared blocking smoke screen – is banned by the United Nation’s third convention on conventional weapons.

Watch: Rain of Fire: White Phosphorus in Gaza

(Photo: Iyad El-Baba)

Robert Fisk: Why do they hate the West so much, we will ask
 
PUBLISHED DURING OPERATION CAST LEAD, 3 YEARS AGO TODAY: 7 JANUARY, 2009
So once again, Israel has opened the gates of hell to the Palestinians. Forty civilian refugees dead in a United Nations school, three more in another. Not bad for a night’s work in Gaza by the army that believes in “purity of arms”. But why should we be surprised? 

Have we forgotten the 17,500 dead – almost all civilians, most of them children and women – in Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon; the 1,700 Palestinian civilian dead in the Sabra-Chatila massacre; the 1996 Qana massacre of 106 Lebanese civilian refugees, more than half of them children, at a UN base; the massacre of the Marwahin refugees who were ordered from their homes by the Israelis in 2006 then slaughtered by an Israeli helicopter crew; the 1,000 dead of that same 2006 bombardment and Lebanese invasion, almost all of them civilians?
What is amazing is that so many Western leaders, so many presidents and prime ministers and, I fear, so many editors and journalists, bought the old lie; that Israelis take such great care to avoid civilian casualties. “Israel makes every possible effort to avoid civilian casualties,” yet another Israeli ambassador said only hours before the Gaza massacre. And every president and prime minister who repeated this mendacity as an excuse to avoid a ceasefire has the blood of last night’s butchery on their hands. Had George Bush had the courage to demand an immediate ceasefire 48 hours earlier, those 40 civilians, the old and the women and children, would be alive.
What happened was not just shameful. It was a disgrace. Would war crime be too strong a description? For that is what we would call this atrocity if it had been committed by Hamas. So a war crime, I’m afraid, it was. After covering so many mass murders by the armies of the Middle East – by Syrian troops, by Iraqi troops, by Iranian troops, by Israeli troops – I suppose cynicism should be my reaction. But Israel claims it is fighting our war against “international terror”. The Israelis claim they are fighting in Gaza for us, for our Western ideals, for our security, for our safety, by our standards. And so we are also complicit in the savagery now being visited upon Gaza.
I’ve reported the excuses the Israeli army has served up in the past for these outrages. Since they may well be reheated in the coming hours, here are some of them: that the Palestinians killed their own refugees, that the Palestinians dug up bodies from cemeteries and planted them in the ruins, that ultimately the Palestinians are to blame because they supported an armed faction, or because armed Palestinians deliberately used the innocent refugees as cover.
The Sabra and Chatila massacre was committed by Israel’s right-wing Lebanese Phalangist allies while Israeli troops, as Israel’s own commission of inquiry revealed, watched for 48 hours and did nothing. When Israel was blamed, Menachem Begin’s government accused the world of a blood libel. After Israeli artillery had fired shells into the UN base at Qana in 1996, the Israelis claimed that Hizbollah gunmen were also sheltering in the base. It was a lie. The more than 1,000 dead of 2006 – a war started when Hizbollah captured two Israeli soldiers on the border – were simply dismissed as the responsibility of the Hizbollah. Israel claimed the bodies of children killed in a second Qana massacre may have been taken from a graveyard. It was another lie. The Marwahin massacre was never excused. The people of the village were ordered to flee, obeyed Israeli orders and were then attacked by an Israeli gunship. The refugees took their children and stood them around the truck in which they were travelling so that Israeli pilots would see they were innocents. Then the Israeli helicopter mowed them down at close range. Only two survived, by playing dead. Israel didn’t even apologise.
Twelve years earlier, another Israeli helicopter attacked an ambulance carrying civilians from a neighbouring village – again after they were ordered to leave by Israel – and killed three children and two women. The Israelis claimed that a Hizbollah fighter was in the ambulance. It was untrue. I covered all these atrocities, I investigated them all, talked to the survivors. So did a number of my colleagues. Our fate, of course, was that most slanderous of libels: we were accused of being anti-Semitic.
And I write the following without the slightest doubt: we’ll hear all these scandalous fabrications again. We’ll have the Hamas-to-blame lie – heaven knows, there is enough to blame them for without adding this crime – and we may well have the bodies-from-the-cemetery lie and we’ll almost certainly have the Hamas-was-in-the-UN-school lie and we will very definitely have the anti-Semitism lie. And our leaders will huff and puff and remind the world that Hamas originally broke the ceasefire. It didn’t. Israel broke it, first on 4 November when its bombardment killed six Palestinians in Gaza and again on 17 November when another bombardment killed four more Palestinians.
Yes, Israelis deserve security. Twenty Israelis dead in 10 years around Gaza is a grim figure indeed. But 600 Palestinians dead in just over a week, thousands over the years since 1948 – when the Israeli massacre at Deir Yassin helped to kick-start the flight of Palestinians from that part of Palestine that was to become Israel – is on a quite different scale. This recalls not a normal Middle East bloodletting but an atrocity on the level of the Balkan wars of the 1990s. And of course, when an Arab bestirs himself with unrestrained fury and takes out his incendiary, blind anger on the West, we will say it has nothing to do with us. Why do they hate us, we will ask? But let us not say we do not know the answer.

Photo: A Palestinian girl injured in the Israeli bombardment of a UN school on January 6, 2009 is taken to Shifa hospital in Gaza City. (AP)

Robert Fisk: Why do they hate the West so much, we will ask

PUBLISHED DURING OPERATION CAST LEAD, 3 YEARS AGO TODAY: 7 JANUARY, 2009

So once again, Israel has opened the gates of hell to the Palestinians. Forty civilian refugees dead in a United Nations school, three more in another. Not bad for a night’s work in Gaza by the army that believes in “purity of arms”. But why should we be surprised?

Have we forgotten the 17,500 dead – almost all civilians, most of them children and women – in Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon; the 1,700 Palestinian civilian dead in the Sabra-Chatila massacre; the 1996 Qana massacre of 106 Lebanese civilian refugees, more than half of them children, at a UN base; the massacre of the Marwahin refugees who were ordered from their homes by the Israelis in 2006 then slaughtered by an Israeli helicopter crew; the 1,000 dead of that same 2006 bombardment and Lebanese invasion, almost all of them civilians?

What is amazing is that so many Western leaders, so many presidents and prime ministers and, I fear, so many editors and journalists, bought the old lie; that Israelis take such great care to avoid civilian casualties. “Israel makes every possible effort to avoid civilian casualties,” yet another Israeli ambassador said only hours before the Gaza massacre. And every president and prime minister who repeated this mendacity as an excuse to avoid a ceasefire has the blood of last night’s butchery on their hands. Had George Bush had the courage to demand an immediate ceasefire 48 hours earlier, those 40 civilians, the old and the women and children, would be alive.

What happened was not just shameful. It was a disgrace. Would war crime be too strong a description? For that is what we would call this atrocity if it had been committed by Hamas. So a war crime, I’m afraid, it was. After covering so many mass murders by the armies of the Middle East – by Syrian troops, by Iraqi troops, by Iranian troops, by Israeli troops – I suppose cynicism should be my reaction. But Israel claims it is fighting our war against “international terror”. The Israelis claim they are fighting in Gaza for us, for our Western ideals, for our security, for our safety, by our standards. And so we are also complicit in the savagery now being visited upon Gaza.

I’ve reported the excuses the Israeli army has served up in the past for these outrages. Since they may well be reheated in the coming hours, here are some of them: that the Palestinians killed their own refugees, that the Palestinians dug up bodies from cemeteries and planted them in the ruins, that ultimately the Palestinians are to blame because they supported an armed faction, or because armed Palestinians deliberately used the innocent refugees as cover.

The Sabra and Chatila massacre was committed by Israel’s right-wing Lebanese Phalangist allies while Israeli troops, as Israel’s own commission of inquiry revealed, watched for 48 hours and did nothing. When Israel was blamed, Menachem Begin’s government accused the world of a blood libel. After Israeli artillery had fired shells into the UN base at Qana in 1996, the Israelis claimed that Hizbollah gunmen were also sheltering in the base. It was a lie. The more than 1,000 dead of 2006 – a war started when Hizbollah captured two Israeli soldiers on the border – were simply dismissed as the responsibility of the Hizbollah. Israel claimed the bodies of children killed in a second Qana massacre may have been taken from a graveyard. It was another lie. The Marwahin massacre was never excused. The people of the village were ordered to flee, obeyed Israeli orders and were then attacked by an Israeli gunship. The refugees took their children and stood them around the truck in which they were travelling so that Israeli pilots would see they were innocents. Then the Israeli helicopter mowed them down at close range. Only two survived, by playing dead. Israel didn’t even apologise.

Twelve years earlier, another Israeli helicopter attacked an ambulance carrying civilians from a neighbouring village – again after they were ordered to leave by Israel – and killed three children and two women. The Israelis claimed that a Hizbollah fighter was in the ambulance. It was untrue. I covered all these atrocities, I investigated them all, talked to the survivors. So did a number of my colleagues. Our fate, of course, was that most slanderous of libels: we were accused of being anti-Semitic.

And I write the following without the slightest doubt: we’ll hear all these scandalous fabrications again. We’ll have the Hamas-to-blame lie – heaven knows, there is enough to blame them for without adding this crime – and we may well have the bodies-from-the-cemetery lie and we’ll almost certainly have the Hamas-was-in-the-UN-school lie and we will very definitely have the anti-Semitism lie. And our leaders will huff and puff and remind the world that Hamas originally broke the ceasefire. It didn’t. Israel broke it, first on 4 November when its bombardment killed six Palestinians in Gaza and again on 17 November when another bombardment killed four more Palestinians.

Yes, Israelis deserve security. Twenty Israelis dead in 10 years around Gaza is a grim figure indeed. But 600 Palestinians dead in just over a week, thousands over the years since 1948 – when the Israeli massacre at Deir Yassin helped to kick-start the flight of Palestinians from that part of Palestine that was to become Israel – is on a quite different scale. This recalls not a normal Middle East bloodletting but an atrocity on the level of the Balkan wars of the 1990s. And of course, when an Arab bestirs himself with unrestrained fury and takes out his incendiary, blind anger on the West, we will say it has nothing to do with us. Why do they hate us, we will ask? But let us not say we do not know the answer.

Photo: A Palestinian girl injured in the Israeli bombardment of a UN school on January 6, 2009 is taken to Shifa hospital in Gaza City. (AP)

Israel rejects Palestinian lawsuit over IDF missile that struck family home

Jerusalem court calls incident, in which missile killed 2 Gaza family members during 2006 hit operation, legitimate act of war, orders family to pay NIS25,000 in legal fees.

An Israeli court on Thursday threw out a lawsuit filed by a Palestinian family that lost two relatives after their home in the Gaza Strip was bombed during an Israel Defense Forces operation.

The Jerusalem District Court refused the family’s request for damages, ruling that the fatal 2006 bombing was a legitimate act of war.

Fatma Wahabe and her son Khaled were killed after a missile fire by an IDF assault helicopter hit their home in Khan Yunis, instead of the targeted vehicle carrying wanted Palestinian militants.

The court’s decision was based in part on an affidavit filed by the head of the Shin Bet security service’s department on Gaza, who defended the IDF operation as necessary “to prevent a clear, immediate, and present danger to public safety.”

Justice Chana Ben-Ami determined that the IDF had no choice by to carry out that missile strike, as it represented the only way to perform the mission without risking the lives of Israeli soldiers.

"It was an initiated attack meant to strike a top terror operative based on solid intelligence, according to which he was about to attack Israeli citizens," the judge said. The plaintiffs were also ordered to pay NIS 25,000 in legal fees.

Men, women and children were all given medical care at Kamal Adwan Hospital in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip after Israeli aircraft launched a series of attacks in densely populated civilian areas. 25th August 2011 (Demotix Images)