Media Advisory: International Law Seldom Newsworthy in Gaza War

13 January, 2009

Israeli justifications often cited uncritically

U.S. corporate media coverage of the Israeli military attacks that have reportedly killed over 900–many of them civilians–since December 27 has overwhelmingly failed to mention that indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets are illegal under international humanitarian law.   

Israel’s recent aerial attacks on Gazan infrastructure, including a TV station, police stations, a mosque, a university and even a U.N. school, have been widely reported. Yet despite the fact that attacks on civilian infrastructure, including police stations, are illegal (Human Rights Watch, 12/31/08), questions of legality are almost entirely off the table in the U.S. media.
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Analysis: ISRAEL IN GAZA: A CRITICAL REFRAMING

Israel’s core messages, listed below, argue for the justice of its invasion of Gaza in late December, 2008, cast Israel as the victim and endeavor that its “war on Hamas” not be seen against the background of prolonged occupation, closure and sanctions, but of the broader Western “War on Terror.” The alternative view presented below argues otherwise. As Israelis committed to human rights, international law and a just peace as the only way out of our interminable and bloody conflict with the Palestinians, we contend that security cannot be achieved unilaterally, especially as Israel shows no signs of fully relinquishing its 41 year Occupation so that a truly sovereign and viable Palestinian may emerge. In that context, Israel’s attack on Gaza can be considered merely another attempt to render its Occupation permanent by destroying any source of effective resistance.

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Israelis Rain ‘Phosphorous Bombs’ Over Gaza – by Mel Frykberg

RAMALLAH – ‘There is no doubt that Israel is using phosphorous bombs over Gaza. Israel is flagrantly violating the Fourth Geneva Convention,’ says Raji Sourani, head of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) in Gaza.

‘This is not the first time we have documented Israel using this kind of prohibited weapon against Gaza’s civilian population,’ Sourani told IPS on phone from Gaza.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) confirmed Sourani’s assessment in a statement it released on Friday. Its researchers said they had seen ‘multiple air-bursts of artillery-fired white phosphorus over Gaza City.’
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Media Lens: An Eye For An Eyelash: The Gaza Massacre – Part 2

MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media

January 13, 2009

Plan Dalet – A Hidden History Of Ethnic Cleansing

Defending the BBC’s long record of biased reporting, the BBC’s Middle East editor, Jeremy Bowen, responded: “we have reported the facts about Israel’s occupation many times, and we will do so again.” (Bowen, email forwarded to Media Lens, January 2, 2009)

But the “facts” of the occupation are nowhere in sight.

Unknown to most of the British public, huge numbers of Palestinians were forced from their land when the Israeli state was formed in 1948. The Israeli historian Ilan Pappé notes that more than half of Palestine’s native population, close to 800,000 people, were uprooted and 531 villages were destroyed. (Pappé, ‘The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine,’ Oneworld Publications, Oxford, 2006)
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Muriel Mirak-Weissbach: If the Target is Iran Israel's Latest Gamble May Backfire

12 January, 2009 Global Research

The aerial war against Gaza launched by Israel just after Christmas, and the ground offensive, with which it rang in the New Year, were shocking in their brutality, but should constitute no surprise, if viewed from the standpoint of long-term Israeli strategic aims. The Israelis have argued that the offensive was launched in response to eight years’ of relentless attacks by Hamas rockets into Israel. But then, one asks: why now? Why should they wait eight years?

Perhaps the massive military onslaught, which has killed over 800 Palestinians and wounded thousands, has nothing to do with Kassam rockets. Perhaps it is not a tactical military operation by Israel, but a strategic decision on the part of Israel’s Anglo-American backers, whose ultimate aim is war against Iran.
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Muriel Mirak-Weissbach: If the Target is Iran Israel’s Latest Gamble May Backfire

12 January, 2009 Global Research

The aerial war against Gaza launched by Israel just after Christmas, and the ground offensive, with which it rang in the New Year, were shocking in their brutality, but should constitute no surprise, if viewed from the standpoint of long-term Israeli strategic aims. The Israelis have argued that the offensive was launched in response to eight years’ of relentless attacks by Hamas rockets into Israel. But then, one asks: why now? Why should they wait eight years?

Perhaps the massive military onslaught, which has killed over 800 Palestinians and wounded thousands, has nothing to do with Kassam rockets. Perhaps it is not a tactical military operation by Israel, but a strategic decision on the part of Israel’s Anglo-American backers, whose ultimate aim is war against Iran.
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PCHR: 17th Day of Continuous IOF Attacks cross the Gaza Strip: 26 Palestinians Killed, Including 6 Children and 3 Women

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights LTD (non profit)
Press Release

Ref: 11/2009
Date: 12 January 2009
Time: 12:30 GMT

The Total Number of Victims Mounts to 884, Including 211 children; Mass Displacement of Scores of Families

As the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) continue their indiscriminate attacks in the Gaza Strip for the 16th consecutive day, the number of Palestinian civilian deaths continues to rise amidst massive destruction of buildings and property. IOF have employed their full-fledged arsenal to bombard Palestinian residential areas. Gaza City and the northern Gaza Strip have been subjected the most aggressive attacks and more Palestinian civilians have been killed. The killing of children has become a basic characteristic of the war in these areas. The increasing number of civilian victims, especially children and women, and the excessive use of force indicate that IOF aim at causing maximum losses to Palestinian civilians and their property. Scenes of victims remind of the Sabra, Shatilla and Qana massacres, which were committed in Lebanon in previous years. PCHR points out that its field investigations indicate that Israel have used unusual weapons, which could be internationally prohibited, against densely populated area throughout the Gaza Strip. Such weapons include bombs that explode before landing and disperse flaming shrapnel, which causes serious burns that go deeper towards the bones and cuts the limbs. IOF have also used bombs that release white dense smoke that has a disgusting smell, which causes suffocation and fainting. In light of the deteriorating humanitarian situation and the continued killing of innocent civilians, including complete families, PCHR calls upon the international community to immediately act to stop such ongoing bleeding.

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The Katrina Myth – the truth about a thoroughly unnatural disaster

Few people understand what really happened in New Orleans or what caused it. Fewer still realize that they too may be living under a similar or an even greater threat. This video exposes the key myths and misunderstandings about the New Orleans flood.

http://widgets.vodpod.com/w/video_embed/Groupvideo.1961512Posted with vodpod