Amnesty: Gaza Firing of Indiscriminate Rockets is War Crime

Amnesty notes in a new report that attacks by Gazans resisting Israeli occupation, invasion, and terrorist attacks amount to war crimes, due to the uncontrollable nature of the rudimentary projectiles Gazans are forced to use because of the Israeli occupation and siege keeping Gaza isolated from the rest of the world.

“According to UN data, more than 4,800 rockets and 1,700 mortars were fired from Gaza towards Israel during the conflict.”

By contrast, Israel, both the occupier and aggressor, fired more than 7,000 high explosives into just one neighborhood of Gaza in a 24 hour period during its massive assault on the whole of Gaza.  The assault on the residential neighborhood of Shujaiya included Israel firing 4,800 high explosives in just one seven hour period, prompting a senior US military officer to remark

“The only possible reason for doing that is to kill a lot of people in as short a period of time as possible … It’s not mowing the lawn [the term, implying an indiscriminate and genocidal mindset, that Israelis often use for their assaults on the trapped Gazans]. It’s removing the topsoil.”

The Western response to Amnesty’s report is typical.  Whereas Western media is relatively silent over US collaborators in Kiev’s forces using indiscriminate rockets to kill more people than Israelis killed by rockets from Gaza (7, plus 13 or more Palestinians, due to the low quality of the Gazan projectiles), the report on Gaza is all over the corporate news outlets.

(Human Rights Watch reported of Kiev: “Unguided Grad rockets launched apparently by Ukrainian government forces and pro-government militias have killed at least 16 civilians and wounded many more… [this] may amount to war crimes.” Note that while occupied Gaza’s firing of similar weapons “amounts to war crimes”, a US collaborator’s firing of also-unguided weapons only “may amount to war crimes”.)

While Amnesty, in its new report, does give the death toll from Israel’s massacre against the trapped refugees of Gaza – “At least 1,585 Palestinian civilians, including more than 530 children, were killed in Gaza, and at least 16,245 homes were destroyed or rendered uninhabitable by Israeli attacks” while 67 Israelis, almost all soldiers and including less than ten civilians and one child, were killed – the New York Times, in its story on Amnesty’s new report, does not give the death tolls, as, obviously, it is damning to be on the side, as the US is, of an illegal colonial-settler occupier that commits massacres against the occupied, refugee population, slaughtering children at a rate of nearly 600 to 1.

Western reports also contain an implicit genocidal mentality: they make no suggestions for how Gazans should fight back (against illegal Israeli occupation and terrorism), the legal right of people struggling for self determination. Gazans, they thus suggest, should simply lie still and do nothing.

A proposal that instantly comes to mind for an alternative to unguided projectiles might be for Israel to trade Gaza its unguided projectiles for some guided ones, so that Gaza could have a deterrent that is legal to use (as unguided weapons are not).  It would still be a completely unfair fight, which Israel and the West want.  However, Gazans would then be able to train those weapons directly at Israeli government and military installations, which are woven throughout the cities of Israel, and Israeli officials would much rather have the projectiles whizzing off in random directions, hitting civilian and open areas or, rarely, being intercepted by the Iron Dome system, than increase the chance that they themselves face consequences for their aggression.

Another proposal would be for an Iron Dome system (ineffective as they are, stopping ~10% of projectiles) to be installed in Palestine.

But Israel’s ideal situation, of course, is for Gazans to simply lie still and die, to go away or disappear, allowing their land to be absorbed and annexed by Israel.

Here are is a comparison between the damage done by projectiles fired from Gaza and the ones fired by Israel:

Damage caused in Israel by Gaza projectiles:

Damage caused in Gaza by Israeli projectiles:

The head of the Red Cross recently commented that he had never seen such destruction, and Oxfam noted that, with Israel’s siege against Gaza in place, it will take 100 years to repair the destruction Israel inflicted.

Amnesty reported that Israel “deliberately flattened entire homes full of civilians”.

In a damning act of self-incrimination, Israel is now physically blocking human rights monitors from entering Gaza to report on what Israel did.

In Israel’s 2008,/2009 massacre against Gaza, in which Israel also committed aggression (being the occupier and breaking the ceasefire), the UN was able to enter, and reported that Israel’s operation was “a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to … terrorize a civilian population” (UN fact-finding mission, pg. 408, par. 1).

Israel remains the largest recipient of US funding and backing.

More background and details on the situation here and here.

Also note that Israel has recently re-confirmed its position against the two-state solution required by international law and supported virtually uniformly by the international community for ~40 years.  The solution affirms the right of Israel to exist – within its legal borders – to have as many arms as it wants, and even to build a wall, but only on its legal border.  Israel currently uses the building of the wall to steal land and resources reserved for the Palestinians by the United Nations.

The charter of Israel’s ruling party, Likud, promises that it will never allow a Palestinian state to exist.  See prof. Juan Cole’s “The Hateful Likud Charter Calls for the Destruction of Any Palestinian State“.

Robert Barsocchini, Author and UK-based colleague on Twitter.

Articles by: Robert Barsocchini

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