Sunday, September 14, 2014

After the war

Israel is a state of democracy and law.  As in all democracies, the wheels of justice turn slowly, but they do turn.  For example, the Attorney General of the IDF is investigating 99 cases of potential breaches of international humanitarian law from the IDF actions in Gaza this summer.  Considering that the IDF carried out ca. 5,000 sorties over Gaza during the 50-day long Operation Protective Edge, and there were numerous ground operations, that is not a large number.  According to media reports, so far 12 cases have been investigated and of those 7 have been dropped and 5 have been referred for judicial enquiry.  This includes for example, the killing of 5 Palestinian boys who were playing soccer on the beach and were killed by IAF fire.  Since Hamas stages many incidents, one cannot believe their version of events or so-called eye-witnesses in any case, and that is why the IDF carries out its own investigation.  If there is a case to answer, then the IAF pilot involved will be charged accordingly and there will be a trial.
All this is independent of the so-called UN Human Rights investigation of Israel for "war crimes" that is known to be biased even before it starts.  For example, clearly Israel cannot investigate the Hamas war crimes, but the UN investigation could, however their remit only includes investigating Israel, not Hamas.  The well-documented actions of Hamas for firing ca. 4,500 missiles into populated Israeli territory, the numerous cases of using civilians as "human shields," and the cases of misusing UN facilities for storing weapons and firing from them, all warrant legal investigation, but neither Hamas nor the UN will in fact be investigating them. 
A report investigated by AP concluded that Hamas gunmen threatened UNWRA personnel at gunpoint during the fighting in Gaza.  They terrorized them and stole humanitarian goods as well as stored munitions in UN facilities.  Trucks marked with the UN logo were hijacked by Hamas gunmen and their contents were off-loaded for Hamas use. Hamas missile launching squads deliberately launched missiles from next to UN facilities, even though they were warned and asked to move their launchers. Yet, the main complaint by UNWRA and the UN Secty Gen Ban-ki Moon were all against Israel for supposedly targeting their facilities.
As evidence that Israel is a state of law, witness the following: a. Human Rights Watch a left-wing Israel NGO produced a report without any real investigation concluding that Israel commited war crimes in Gaza during the Operation this summer. Since Israel is an open society they are free to publish any report they like, which doesn't mean that its conclusions are correct.  b. The Israeli High Court of Justice ordered the demolition of 5 apartment buildings in the midst of the settlement of Beth EL, because it has accepted that they were built on privately Arab owned land without permission.  Anyone can go to court in Israel, including Palestinian Arabs and sue for their own interests, and they often do.  c. Two border policemen and a soldier were arrested Mon and charged with illegally robbing foreign workers, including Eritrean and Chinese laborers.  d. The Attorney General has ordered an investigation into the activities of Judge Yitzhak Cohen of Nazareth District Court over allegations of sexual offences.


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