Posts Tagged ‘War Crimes’

Occupied Palestine | فلسطين




Follow the genocide in Gaza - In Photos and Video Click here to watch the genocide in Gaza – Day by Day -In Photos and Video



For who does not understand the need or concept of resistance of Palestine, recommended read:

The History of Resistance – The Eagle of Palestine



THE LEGAL RIGHT OF RESISTANCE

Is Resisting Genocide a Human Right?

81 Notre Dame Law Review1275(2006). Conducting an in-depth study of the genocide in Darfur, Sudan, and also discussing other genocides, this article details the inadequacy of…

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Occupied Palestine | فلسطين


Published on Jul 31, 2014

Senator David Norris Israel bombs first and weeps later.




Follow the genocide in Gaza - In Photos and Video Click here to watch the genocide in Gaza – Day by Day -In Photos and Video



For who does not understand the need or concept of resistance of Palestine, recommended read:

The History of Resistance – The Eagle of Palestine



THE LEGAL RIGHT OF RESISTANCE

Is Resisting Genocide a Human Right?

81 Notre Dame Law Review1275(2006). Conducting an in-depth study of the genocide…

View original post 510 more words

Occupied Palestine | فلسطين

Free press advocates advise newspaper to ignore such censorship, but incident raises larger questions in debate over coverage of ongoing conflict

AUDIO: The Myth of a Free Press

Following its reporting of the latest events in the Gaza Strip on Friday, including available details about an IDF soldier captured by Hamas soldiers early in the day, the New York Times was contacted by Israel’s military censor and told that future reporting related to the capture would need to be run through its office before publication.

The Times updated their original story by adding:

“…the military’s censor informed The New York Times that further information related to the soldier would have to be submitted for prior review. Journalists for foreign news organizations must agree in writing to the military censorship system to work in Israel. This was the first censorship notification The Times had received in more than two years.

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Occupied Palestine | فلسطين

People hold a banner in solidarity with Palestinian people during a protest at the Pantheon in Rome. (AFP Photo / Andreas Solaro)

People hold a banner in solidarity with Palestinian people during a protest at the Pantheon in Rome. (AFP Photo / Andreas Solaro)

Hundreds of Italians have signed an online petition slamming Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip as a “slow genocide” of the Palestinians and demanding a “Nuremberg trial” for Israel over the “destruction” of Palestine.

READ MORE: Israel must be held criminally accountable for Gaza war crimes – HRW

The petition was signed by 525 Italians, mainly academics, Haaretz reported. The signees say they are dismayed by the events in Gaza and accuse Israel of pursuing colonial policies and “ethnic cleansing” of the Palestinians.

The document calls for Israel to face an international tribunal, a Nuremberg-like trial, for its war crimes and the “slow genocide” of the Palestinian people. Italian activists believe that not only the Israeli military and the…

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Occupied Palestine | فلسطين

[ PIC 13/07/2014 – 02:41 PM ]

images_News_2014_07_13_salam_300_0BEIT LAHIA, (PIC)– Al-Salam rehabilitation center for disabled people has called for an investigation into the Israeli bombing of the headquarter of al-Mabra association, which took away the lives of two disabled persons.

Al-Salam rehabilitation center called on all international human rights associations to immediately step in so as to stop Israeli arbitrary attacks targeting rehabilitation centers for disabled people, saying the attack has not been one of its kind as another strike rocked al-Basma rehab center in Beit Lahia.

The center demanded the urgent prosecution of Israeli former crimes against Palestinians with special needs, which took away the lives of Palestinian child Kifah Ghanem, diagnosed with a hearing loss, and the visually-impaired-child Shahd al-Qarinawi.

According to Muhammad al-Gharbi, al-Salam Center Chairman, Israel has been making proof of an unparalleled barbarism, manifest in the frequent violations of international laws and humanitarian decrees.

He…

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Global Research, November 19, 2013

     88, Jalan Perdana,
Taman Tasek Perdana,
50480 Kuala Lumpur
(T): +603 2092 7248
(F): +603 2273 2092
(E): info@criminalisewar.org
www.criminalisewar.org

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 
TRIBUNAL HEARING AGAINST ISRAEL AND YARON TO COMMENCE


KUALA LUMPUR, 19 November 2013
– The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal (KLWCT) will be hearing genocide and war crimes charges against the State of Israel and Amos Yaron, a retired Israeli army general from November 20 to 25, 2013 in Kuala Lumpur.

This is the first time that genocide charges will be heard against the State of Israel and theretired Israeli army general in compliance with due legal process. The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (KLWCC), having received complaints from victims from Palestine (Gaza and West Bank) and the Sabra – Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon, in 2012, investigated these complaints resulting in the institution of formal charges against the accused.

The suffering of the Palestinian people have been well documented over the decades without any legal recourse being open to these people. Legal obstacles are placed in their path denying them the right to be heard. The international community too has failed to recognise their fundamental human right to be heard. The KLWCC founded in 2008 was established to fill this void and act as a peoples’ initiative to provide an avenue for such victims to file their complaints and let them have their day in a court of law.

Witnesses are scheduled to testify against the accused during the course of the tribunal hearing. Eyewitnesses of the Sabra – Shatila massacre will be testifying at the hearing and one of them include prominent surgeon and author Dr Ang Swee Chai. Other witnesses at the hearing will also include those from Gaza during the Operation Cast Lead 1 that resulted in the loss of numerous civilian lives and destruction of property where even children were victims. Expert witness Paola Manduca, a retired Professor at University of Genoa, Italy who is an expert Geneticist will testify on the impact of weapons on reproductive health arising from the attacks in Gaza, especially to children. There will also be witnesses from the West Bank to testify on alleged Israeli state violence and atrocities against the Palestinian people.

The charge against the State of Israel for the Crime of Genocide and War Crimes, is as follows:

From 1948 and continuing to date, the State of Israel (hereafter ‘the Defendant’) carried out against the Palestinian people a series of acts namely killing, causing serious bodily harm and deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction.

The conduct of the Defendant was carried out with the intention of destroying in whole or in part the Palestinian people. These acts were carried out as part of a manifest pattern of similar conduct against the Palestinian people. These acts were carried out by the Defendant through the instrumentality of its representatives and agents.

Such conduct constitutes the Crime of Genocide under international law including the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide 1948 (‘the Genocide Convention’) in particular Article II and punishable under Article III of the said Convention. It also constitutes the crime of genocide as stipulated in Article 10 of the Charter of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission.

Such conduct by the Defendant as an occupying power also violates customary international law as embodied in the Hague Convention of 1907 Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.
Such conduct also constitutes War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity under international law.

The charge against Amos Yaron for War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, and Genocide is as follows:

The defendant Amos Yaron perpetrated War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, and Genocide in his capacity as the Commanding Israeli General in military control of the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Israeli occupied Lebanon in September of 1982 when he knowingly facilitated and permitted the large-scale Massacre of the Residents of those two camps in violation of the Hague Regulations on Land Warfare of 1907; the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949; the 1948 Genocide Convention; the Nuremberg Charter (1945), the Nuremberg Judgment (1946), and the Nuremberg Principles (1950); customary international law, ‘jus cogens’, the Laws of War, and International Humanitarian Law.

The judges of the Tribunal will be headed by retired Malaysian Federal Court judge Tan Sri Dato Lamin bin Haji Mohd Yunus Lamin, who also served as an ad litem judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Republic of Yugoslavia. The other judges in the Tribunal include notable names such as Tunku Sofiah Jewa, practising lawyer and author of numerous publications on International Law, Prof Salleh Buang, former Federal Counsel in the Attorney-General Chambers and prominent author, and Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi, prominent academic and professor of law, Dato’ Shaari Yusof, former Appeal Court judge, Mr John Philpot, a senior litigation lawyer from Canada and Tunku Intan Mainura from the Faculty of Law, UiTM and a specialist in international law.

The Tribunal will adjudicate and evaluate the evidence presented as in any court of law. The judges of the Tribunal must be satisfied that the charges are proven beyond reasonable doubt and deliver a reasoned judgement.

In the event the tribunal convicts any of the accused, the only sanction is that the name of the guilty will be entered in the Commission’s Register of War Criminals and publicised worldwide. The tribunal is a tribunal of conscience and a peoples’ initiative.

The prosecution for the trial will be lead by Prof Gurdial S Nijar, prominent law professor and author of several law publications and Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Abdul Aziz Bin Abdul Rahman, senior barrister, and assisted by a team of lawyers.

The trial is open to the public and will be held on November 20-25, 2013 at the premises of the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War (KLFCW) at 88, Jalan Perdana, Kuala Lumpur.

For further information, please contact

Dato’ Dr Yaacob Merican
Secretary General of the KLWCC Secretariat
Tel: +6012-227 8680

About Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (KLWCC)

The KLFCW established the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (The Commission), to investigate cases of war crimes that have been neglected by established institutions such as the International Criminal Court. The Commission seeks to influence world opinion on the illegality of wars and occupation undertaken by major Western powers.

The aim of The Commission is thereby to hold perpetrators of war crimes accountable for their actions especially when relevant international judicial organs fail to do so.

The Commission
The commission’s function is to:
i) receive complaints from any victim(s) of any conflict on:

(a) Crimes against peace
(b) Crimes against humanity
(c) Crimes of genocide
(d) War crimes

ii) investigate the same and prepare a report of its findings. To further call for more evidence or where The Commission is satisfied to recommend prosecution

The Legal Team
The legal team’s aim is to present the complaints of victim(s) of any conflict and to act on the recommendation of The Commission’s report and to frame charges and prosecute accused person(s).

The Tribunal
The Tribunal shall adjudicate on the charges filed against the accused person(s) The applicable standard of proof shall be beyond reasonable doubt.


About the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War (KLFCW)
Malaysia’s fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad founded the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War (KLFCW), a non-governmental organisation established under the laws of Malaysia on 12 March 2007.

The main objectives of the Foundation, as stated in its Statutes are, inter alia:

1.    To undertake all necessary measures and initiatives to criminalise war and energise peace;

2.    To provide relief, assistance and support to individuals and communities who are    suffering from the effects of war and armed conflict wherever occurring and without discrimination on the grounds of nationality, racial origin, religion, belief, age, gender or other forms of impermissible differentiations;

3.    To promote the education of individuals and communities suffering from the effects of war or armed conflict;

4.    To foster schemes for the relief of human suffering occasioned by war or armed conflict;

5.    To provide for mechanisms or procedures in attainment of the above purposes.


WHY is it that the murder of one man is considered a criminal act whereas the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent people committed in wars, is not considered so?
-Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad

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Rebels Endanger, Kill Civilians; Damage Churches
November 19, 2013
  • Destroyed church pews were found at Mar Mikhael Church in Sadad, Syria, after opposition fighters occupied the church in October 2013.

    © 2013 Human Rights Watch
  • The interior of a bloodstained well in Sadad, Syria, where village residents discovered the bodies of six of their neighbors after opposition fighters retreated on October 28. The victims’ hands were tied, they wore blindfolds, and their bodies bore gunshot wounds, a witness said.

    © 2013 Human Rights Watch
  • Graffiti mars the renowned frescoes of Mar Sarkis Church in Sadad, Syria, after opposition fighters occupied the church in October 2013. The graffiti reads, “No banner but the banner of Islam. Down with Bashar. Jabhat al-Nusra, Liwa al-Tawhid. “

    © 2013 Human Rights Watch
Opposition fighters came into Sadad claiming they would not harm civilians, but they did just that.There is no excuse for indiscriminate or targeted attacks against civilians or civilian sites.
Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director

(New York) – Opposition fighters in Syria apparently executed civilians and others in their custody during an offensive in the Christian village of Sadad from October 21 to 28, 2013. Other civilians were also killed unlawfully by opposition sniper fire. Civilians killed by opposition shelling, as fighting between government and opposition forces in the village continued, may have been killed unlawfully.

During the offensive against government forces in Sadad, 100 kilometers northeast of Damascus, rebel fighters refused to allow residents of the village to leave their homes in areas with active fighting, residents told Human Rights Watch. In at least one case, fighters allegedly used a resident as a human shield. Residents also said that opposition fighters also stole personal items, and vandalized, stole, and damaged property in at least three churches of local and historical significance.

“Opposition fighters came into Sadad claiming they would not harm civilians, but they did just that,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “There is no excuse for indiscriminate or targeted attacks against civilians or civilian sites.”

Opposition fighters should never execute or directly target civilians or anyone in their custody or target civilian sites, including religious sites, Human Rights Watch said. They should take precautions to protect civilians from harm during operations in residential areas including by easing the way for residents to leave the area if they wish to. They should not subject civilians to additional risk by using them as human shields.

Opposition groups referred to the Sadad operation as part of the “Battle of God’s Doors Do Not Shut” on social media sites, where several groups also announced their participation in the operation and released footage apparently showing their members fighting in Sadad. The groups involved in the operation include al-Maghaweer of the Dera’ al-Islam battalion of the Free Syrian Army (FSA),Ahel al-Athar battalion of the FSA, Liwa al-Huq, Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Khadra’ battalion, and the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS). According to a post by al-Khadra’ battalion on Twitter, al-Khadra’’s leader commanded al-Khadra’, ISIS, and Jabhat al-Nusra forces during the operation. Abu Ayham is the field commander of Dera’ al-Islam.

In most cases, Human Rights Watch has not been able to establish which of the participating opposition groups were responsible for the abuses that Human Rights Watch documented. One resident told Human Rights Watch that fighters who identified themselves as Jabhat al-Nusra used him as a human shield, and Human Rights Watch observed graffiti damaging a church in Sadad apparently left by Liwa al-Huq, Jabhat al-Nusra, and Liwa al-Tawhid.

Human Rights Watch visited Sadad during an investigative mission to Syria with permission from the Syrian government and interviewed 10 residents and the mayor, Sleiman Khalil. Human Rights Watch also later spoke to three residents by phone. Human Rights Watch interviewed each resident separately in various locations in the village. The mayor was interviewed in the municipal offices. Except for the mayor himself during his own interview, no Syrian government officials were present during the interviews. The names of those interviewed have been changed for their safety.

Residents of Sadad said that armed opposition fighters entered their ancient village of 12,000 people on the morning of October 21, and battled government forces, who sent reinforcements to the village over the course of the next week. The village, which borders Qalamoon to the south, Mheen to the east, Hissya to the west, and an-Na`amiyah to the north, is one of the many residential areas affected by the ongoing fighting between government and opposition forces in the “Battle of God’s Doors Do Not Shut.”

Residents of Sadad said that over the week that opposition fighters were in the village, fighters mostly did not target or abuse residents, but that in some instances, they endangered and killed civilians and people in their custody and intentionally damaged and looted civilian sites, including churches. Rebel fighters forced residents to stay in areas with active fighting, allegedly used at least one resident as a human shield, and apparently executed residents and killed others with sniper fire. As opposition forces battled government forces in the village some residents were also killed by opposition shelling which may have been indiscriminate.

Human Rights Watch identified the names of 46 people from Sadad killed in the village during the weeklong operation. Forty-one of the dead were civilians, residents told Human Rights Watch, including 14 women and two children. Three of the dead were police officers, one a soldier in the reserves who was not currently serving, and another an off-duty soldier on home leave from his service, residents said. If correct, only the soldier on home leave and police – if participating in counterinsurgency operations- would have been combatants. In 22 of the 46 cases, Human Rights Watch spoke to residents who described how the other residents were killed. In the remaining cases, Human Rights Watch received the names of the dead from local church officials who coordinated the burials. Human Rights Watch received reports that Syrian government and opposition fighters also died in the course of fighting, but has not confirmed the number of those killed.

Human Rights Watch urges the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC). An ICC referral would be a crucial first step toward achieving justice for victims of atrocities by all sides in Syria’s armed conflict and would send a strong message that serious crimes will not be tolerated. Over the last two and a half years Human Rights Watch has extensively documented abuses by government and pro-government forces during ground operations including executions, indiscriminate shelling and sniper attacks, and the use of human shields. Human Rights Watch has also documented indiscriminate shelling, and executions and kidnapping by opposition forces during ground operations.

Currently, 64 countries, including six Security Council members, have expressed support for an ICC referral. Russia has described the effort to seek a referral as “ill-timed and counterproductive.” Security Council members such as the United States that have not yet supported an ICC referral should publicly do so, and should take all available steps to encourage Russia to drop its opposition, Human Rights Watch said.

“An ICC referral would strip all sides of their sense of impunity and make clear that abuses could land them behind bars in The Hague,” Whitson said. “It’s long past time for the Security Council to overcome the current stalemate on justice for the serious ongoing crimes in Syria.”

For detailed accounts of the killings and other abuses, please see below.

The Villagers’ Accounts

In interviews in Sadad on November 11, five residents and the mayor told Human Rights Watch that opposition fighters entered the village on October 21 at approximately 6:15 a.m. The mayor said that the fighters approached from the south, north, and east, and gained access after they set off two nearly simultaneous explosions at army checkpoints to the east and west, killing a number of government soldiers. In announcements on social media sites, some opposition groups said that the twin bomb attacks were suicide operations.

The mayor said that approximately 2,000 armed fighters, predominately Syrians, but also some foreigners from Libya, Chechnya, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, entered the village on its three main roads in about 50 pickup trucks. They took control of the local police station and a political security facility, two government security buildings in the area.

Rebel fighters fanned out throughout the village, and, the mayor said, announced over a bullhorn that they meant the residents no harm. Soon Syrian army soldiers came from neighboring areas and entered Sadad to fight them. Throughout the following week, the rebels engaged government forces in battles from their positions in the village. On October 28, the rebels retreated from the village.

Apparent Executions

The mayor told Human Rights Watch that in the initial assault on the village, opposition fighters executed three police officers and one resident who was a reserve soldier, all of them unarmed and in the custody of opposition fighters. The mayor told Human Rights Watch that they were seized at approximately 6:30 a.m. on October 21 on their way from the municipal building, where they had met the mayor, to the police station. He said that he saw the officers get into the clearly marked municipal vehicle unarmed on their way to the police station.

A video Dera’ al-Islam published on October 25 on its YouTube channel shows opposition fighters in Sadad with five dead bodies in civilian clothes bearing bullet wounds – people the videographer calls “the dogs of Bashar.” The mayor identified four of them as the officers who were killed. The four bodies appear in the video lying in a row.

The position of their bodies appears to indicate that they were lined up and shot in the chest from approximately the same distance, and that the velocity of the shots had spun some of them around. The absence of blood splattered on the ground, except for immediately around the bodies, or any marks in the dirt, also suggests that the bodies had not been dragged or moved, but rather that the men were placed in a line and then shot. Further investigation is required to establish the exact circumstances of their deaths. Parties to a conflict who execute anyone, combatants or civilians, in their formal or effective custody, are guilty of war crimes, Human Rights Watch said.

The mayor and several residents also told Human Rights Watch that days after government forces pushed opposition fighters out of the village, residents followed a putrid odor to locate – and, with the help of the civil defense forces, retrieve – six corpses that someone had apparently thrown into a well. They identified the bodies as civilian residents from one family: Najla Mtanes al-Sheikh, 45; Fadi Sarkis Drouj, 16, and Ranim Sarkis Drouj, 18, Najla’s sons; Mtanes Sleiman al-Sheikh, Najla’s elderly father; Habbsa Nassif al-Sheikh, 75; and Maryam Nassif al-Sheikh, 90. The age of the three elderly residents and the presence of one child killed with his brother and mother, support the residents’ claim that these family members were civilians. A neighbor who was present when the bodies were retrieved said the victims were blindfolded with their hands tied and had been shot in the head.

The neighbor told Human Rights Watch that before the rebels withdrew, he had been helping people leave the village. On October 24, he had called Najla, whose family was among the last to remain in a neighborhood under opposition control, to try to arrange her escape. He said she told him it would be impossible for her to leave because she had three elderly relatives with her. The next morning, when the neighbor called her again, there was no answer.

Later that day, Syrian government soldiers regained control of the central part of the village, where Najla and her family lived. The neighbor said he asked soldiers to check on Najla and her family, but the soldiers told him they saw no sign of them. The neighbor told Human Rights Watch that the well where the bodies were later found was four houses and about 25 meters away from where Najla and her family had lived.

Human Rights Watch visited the well and observed bloodstains on its inner and outer walls and what appeared to be two bullet markings on the interior wall of the well but did not locate any witnesses to the killings. Further investigation is required to establish who killed the family.

Endangering Civilians: Restrictions on Movement

The mayor of Sadad told Human Rights Watch that as soon as opposition fighters entered the village, he recognized that some of them were from neighboring villages. He said he began reaching out to local and international humanitarian agencies and community leaders, including Christian and Sunni Muslim religious leaders from neighboring areas, to try to negotiate a ceasefire to enable civilians to flee. A local Christian religious leader who participated in the negotiations also told Human Rights Watch attempts were made to negotiate a ceasefire.

But residents told Human Rights Watch that opposition fighters in some instances had stopped them from leaving their homes, with devastating consequences.

Antonious, who lives on the main road on the western side of Sadad, told Human Rights Watch that on the first day of the opposition offensive, he and his family stayed inside their home, listening to calls of “Allah Akbar” outside. The next day, he tried to convince the rebel fighters to allow him and his relatives to move to a safer area, but they refused, he said. Antonious said that on the third day, out of the sight of opposition fighters, he and his relatives used a ladder to climb over a small wall behind the house to go to his uncle’s house, which seemed safer because it was off the main road. But around 3 or 3:30 p.m., he said, an enormous explosion sounded and the uncle’s entire house collapsed. Human Rights Watch was unable to determine the cause of the explosion or whether it was due to an attack by opposition or government forces.

I was in the garden, so I was okay, but my mom, brother, dad, and my uncle’s wife were all killed. My uncle was also in the garden … Both the houses, ours and theirs, were gone … After that, they let us go to a house [in a safer area] with other neighbors and there we stayed in the basement.

Jamil, who also lives with his family on the western side of Sadad, told Human Rights Watch that on October 21, opposition fighters surrounded and entered his neighborhood, positioned their rocket launcher 2 to 3 meters in front of his home, and told him that he and his family could not go anywhere because of ongoing fighting. On October 25, he said, his house caught fire after government forces shelled the opposition military position in front of his house. He and his relatives managed to escape, but the house was destroyed. After the attack, he said, opposition fighters transported his family and several of their neighbors to a safer area.

‘Ala, who lives on the eastern side of Sadad, told Human Rights Watch that opposition fighters evicted his family from their home to occupy it. He said that enabled 16 family members to escape fighting, while the fighters forced their neighbors to stay put.

Under the laws of war, parties to a conflict must take all feasible precautions during military operations to minimize loss of civilian life and must, to the extent feasible, remove civilians under their control from areas where they are deploying their military forces.

Endangering Civilians: Alleged Use of a Human Shield

In at least one instance, opposition fighters allegedly seized a man from his house, apparently to use him as a human shield as they passed within range of a government sniper. The man, Fouad, lives with his wife and three young children near Mar Elias Church on Sadad’s main road. He said that on October 26, three fighters who identified themselves as members of Jabhat al-Nusra came into his house and demanded his money, cell phone, and ID card.

His children were terrified, Fouad said. The fighters told everyone else to be quiet, and interrogated Fouad about his phone calls, apparently trying to assess whether he was contacting people to help the government. Fouad said one fighter redialed the last phone number Fouad had called – his sister – and told him not to say a word while the fighter determined who she was. Fouad said that as his mother, niece, wife, and three children looked on, the men told him to lie down and then hit him with their rifle butts. One of them said, “We kill Nasara [Christians],” Fouad said.

Later, Fouad said: “Two of them took me with them to walk down the street, walking on either side of me until we passed the [government] sniper, so he wouldn’t shoot. And then they left me. When we were walking, the sniper didn’t shoot at us.”

Opposition fighters should not endanger civilians by restricting the ability to flee or by using them as human shields, Human Rights Watch said.

The use of human shields – using the presence of civilians to prevent the targeting of military objectives – is prohibited under international humanitarian law. Combatants who deliberately use civilians as human shields to deter attacks on their forces are responsible for war crimes.

Civilian Deaths from Sniper Shots, Shelling

Residents told Human Rights Watch that rebel sniper fire and indiscriminate shelling killed their family members and neighbors.

‘Ala told Human Rights Watch that on October 25 or 26, a sniper in the opposition-controlled eastern section of Sadad killed his cousin, Jamil Asfour, 35, his uncle’s wife, Shamsa al-Boufi, 65, and her mother, Fouda al-Boufi, in her 80s, as they tried to flee to a safer part of the village. He said that after Syrian government soldiers pushed the rebel fighters back, soldiers found the bodies with gunshot wounds in the eastern section of the village. A second relative who lives in the eastern section also told Human Rights Watch that these three family members had been killed by a sniper positioned there.

Another resident, Sarah, told Human Rights Watch that five people, including her son, were delivering food, unarmed, to besieged neighbors in the northern part of Sadad on October 25 when shelling killed three of the five, including her son. One of the survivors, who was injured, told her that the mortar shell that killed her son came from an opposition position, from which fighters were striking toward a government-controlled area in the north of the village. There were no government positions in their neighborhood, however.

Human Rights Watch spoke to one of the men injured in the strike, whose father had died in the attack. He said that on October 25, government soldiers passed through his neighborhood to search for fighters and reassure residents. After government forces were no longer in the area, at around 2:15 p.m., three shells landed in his neighborhood, one right after the other. He said that the third strike killed the three people delivering food, and injured him and a fifth person, and that after the attack, government soldiers came to the neighborhood and transported the dead and wounded to nearby hospitals. He gave Human Rights Watch the names of the dead and injured.

The absence of military targets in the area hit by shells fired by opposition forces reflects that their method of attack or the attacks themselves may have been indiscriminate, Human Rights Watch said. Combatants should only target military objects and should take precautions to not harm civilians.

Theft and Destruction of Property, Including at Religious Sites
Four Sadad residents told Human Rights Watch that fighters broke into their homes or cars and stole their property. Residents also described damage to several of the churches in Sadad. Human Rights Watch visited three churches that residents said were among the worst damaged.

Two residents said they saw opposition fighters enter Mar Theodore Church on October 25. When government forces retook the village, the residents said, items were missing from the church and it had damage that appeared intentional.

When Human Rights Watch visited the church on November 11, residents had already cleaned up much of the damage they described. Human Rights Watch observed a broken candelabra, and a broken door on a locked cabinet behind the church altar, where residents said a sound system had been stolen, leaving wires dangling. Human Rights Watch also saw two crowns intended to be worn by priests of the church that appeared to be intentionally flattened and bent in half. The residents also said that opposition fighters had stolen copper candlesticks and chalices, along with religious relics. Shelling – whose origin was unclear – also damaged the church roof, leaving the wooden ceiling visibly damaged.

In Mar Sarkis Church, which residents said is hundreds of years old, Human Rights Watch observed graffiti tags on the interior walls, some on the edges of the church’s rare and renowned frescos. One tag read, “Saqar the Libyan passed through here freedom for Mheen [a nearby village],” a town where rebels were fighting the government. Others said, “Liwa al-Huq,” “Jabhat al-Nusra,” and “Liwa al-Tawhid,” names of opposition groups, some of which announced their participation in the battle in Sadad. The glass on the doors to the church was shattered near the knobs, suggesting a forced entry.

In Mar Mikhael Church, Human Rights Watch observed bullet holes in the ceiling and walls, and in several religious paintings, in patterns suggesting vandalism rather than firefights. A resident told Human Rights Watch that he saw rebel fighters occupy the church, and showed Human Rights Watch some food and personal items he said they left behind. Human Rights Watch observed destroyed religious icons, pews with smashed wooden legs, seats, and backs, and the church’s broken and empty collection box. A resident told Human Rights Watch that religious relics were also missing.

Under international humanitarian law, parties in an armed conflict have a responsibility not to intentionally attack religious buildings that are not being used for military purposes. They are prohibited from seizing, destroying, or willfully damaging religious buildings or institutions, and from theft, pillage, or vandalism directed against important cultural property. Pillaging and deliberate attacks on religious sites that are not military objectives are war crimes.

Part I: Global Warfare

Global Research, July 02, 2013
Global Research 1 August 2010

This article was first published by Global Research in August 2010

Humanity is at a dangerous crossroads. War preparations to attack Iran are in “an advanced state of readiness”. Hi tech weapons systems including nuclear warheads are fully deployed.

This military adventure has been on the Pentagon’s drawing board since the mid-1990s. First Iraq, then Iran according to a declassified 1995 US Central Command document.

Escalation is part of the military agenda. While Iran, is the next target together with Syria and Lebanon, this strategic military deployment also threatens North Korea, China and Russia.

Since 2005, the US and its allies, including America’s NATO partners and Israel, have been involved in the extensive deployment and stockpiling of advanced weapons systems. The air defense systems of the US, NATO member countries and Israel are fully integrated.

This is a coordinated endeavor of the Pentagon, NATO, Israel’s Defense Force (IDF), with the active military involvement of several non-NATO partner countries including the frontline Arab states (members of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative), Saudi Arabia, Japan, South Korea, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, among others. (NATO consists of 28 NATO member states  Another 21 countries are members of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), The Mediterranean Dialogue and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative include ten Arab countries plus Israel.)

The roles of Egypt, the Gulf states and Saudi Arabia (within the extended military alliance) is of particular relevance. Egypt controls the transit of war ships and oil tankers through the Suez Canal. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States occupy the South Western coastlines of the Persian Gulf, the Straits of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman. In early June, “Egypt reportedly allowed one Israeli and eleven U.S. ships to pass through the Suez Canal in ….an apparent signal to Iran. … On June 12, regional press outlets reported that the Saudis had granted Israel the right to fly over its airspace…” (Muriel Mirak Weissbach,  Israel’s Insane War on Iran Must Be Prevented., Global Research, July 31, 2010)

In post 9/11 military doctrine, this massive deployment of military hardware has been defined as part of the so-called  “Global War on Terrorism”, targeting “non-State” terrorist organizations including al Qaeda and so-called “State sponsors of terrorism”,. including Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Sudan.

The setting up of new US military bases, the stockpiling of advanced weapons systems including tactical nuclear weapons, etc. were implemented as part of the pre-emptive defensive military doctrine under the umbrella of the “Global War on Terrorism”.

War and the Economic Crisis

The broader implications of a US-NATO Israel attack on Iran are far-reaching. The war and the economic crisis are intimately related. The war economy is financed by Wall Street, which stands as the creditor of the US administration. The US weapons producers are the recipients of the US Department of Defense multibillion dollar procurement contracts for advanced weapons systems. In turn, “the battle for oil” in the Middle East and Central Asia directly serves the interests of the Anglo-American oil giants.

The US and its allies are “beating the drums of war” at the height of a Worldwide economic depression, not to mention the most serious environmental catastrophe in World history. In a bitter twist, one of the major players (BP) on the Middle East Central Asia geopolitical chessboard, formerly known as the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, is the instigator of the ecological disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Media Disinformation

Public opinion, swayed by media hype is tacitly supportive, indifferent or ignorant as to the likely impacts of what is upheld as an ad hoc “punitive” operation directed against Iran’s nuclear facilities rather than an all out war. War preparations include the deployment of  US and Israeli produced nuclear weapons. In this context, the devastating consequences of a nuclear war are either trivialised or simply not mentioned.

The “real crisis” threatening humanity, according to the media and the governments, is not war but global warming. The media will fabricate a crisis where there is no crisis: ”a global scare” — the H1N1 global pandemic– but nobody seems to fear a US sponsored nuclear war.

The war on Iran is presented to public opinion as an issue among others. It is not viewed as a threat to “Mother Earth” as in the case of global warming. It is not front-page news. The fact that an attack on Iran could lead to escalation and potentially unleash a “global war” is not a matter of concern.

The Cult of Killing and Destruction

The global killing machine is also sustained by an imbedded cult of killing and destruction which pervades Hollywood movies, not to mention the prime time war and crime TV series on network television. This cult of killing is endorsed by the CIA and the Pentagon which also support (finance) Hollywood productions as an instrument of war propaganda:

“Ex-CIA agent Bob Baer told us, “There’s a symbiosis between the CIA and Hollywood” and revealed that former CIA director George Tenet is currently, “out in Hollywood, talking to studios.” (Matthew Alford and Robbie Graham, Lights, Camera… Covert Action: The Deep Politics of Hollywood, Global Research, January 31, 2009).

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The killing machine is deployed at a global level, within the framework of the unified combat command structure. It is routinely upheld by the institutions of government, the corporate media and the mandarins and intellectuals of the New World Order in Washington’s think tanks and strategic studies research institutes, as an unquestioned instrument of peace and global prosperity.

A culture of killing and violence has become imbedded in human consciousness.

War is broadly accepted as part of a societal process: The Homeland needs to be “defended” and protected.

“Legitimized violence” and extrajudicial killings directed against “terrorists” are upheld in western democracies, as necessary instruments of national security.

A “humanitarian war” is upheld by the so-called international community. It is not condemned as a criminal act. Its main architects are rewarded for their contributions to world peace.

With regard to Iran, what is unfolding is the outright legitimization of war in the name of an illusive notion of global security.

A “Pre-emptive” Aerial attack directed against Iran would lead to Escalation

At present there are three separate Middle East Central Asia war theaters: Iraq, Af-Pak, and Palestine.

Were Iran to be the object of a “pre-emptive” aerial attack by allied forces, the entire region, from the Eastern Mediterranean to China’s Western frontier with Afghanistan and Pakistan, would flare up, leading us potentially into a World War III scenario.

The war would also extend into Lebanon and Syria.

It is highly unlikely that the bombings, if they were to be implemented, would be circumscribed to Iran’s nuclear facilities as claimed by US-NATO official statements. What is more probable is an all out air attack on both military and civilian infrastructure, transport systems, factories, public buildings.

Iran, with an an estimated ten percent of global oil and gas reserves, ranks third after Saudi Arabia (25 %) and Iraq (11 %) in the size of its reserves. In comparison, the US possesses less than 2.8 % of global oil reserves. The oil reserves of the U.S. are estimated at less than 20 billion barrels. The broader region of the Middle East and Central Asia have oil reserves which are more than thirty times those of the U.S, representing more than 60% of the World’s total reserves. (See Eric Waddell, The Battle for Oil, Global Research, December 2004).

Of significance is the recent discovery in Iran of the second largest known reserves of natural gas at Soumar and Halgan estimated at 12.4 trillion cubic feet.

Targeting Iran consists not only in reclaiming Anglo-American control over Iran’s oil and gas economy, including pipeline routes, it also challenges the presence and influence of China and Russia in the region.

The planned attack on Iran is part of a coordinated global military road map. It is part of the Pentagon’s “long war”,  a profit driven war without borders, a project of World domination, a sequence of military operations.

US-NATO military planners have envisaged various scenarios of military escalation. They are also acutely aware of the geopolitical implications, namely that the war could extend beyond the Middle East Central Asia region. The economic impacts on the oil markets, etc. have also been analyzed.

While Iran, Syria and Lebanon are the immediate targets, China, Russia, North Korea, not to mention Venezuela and Cuba are also the object of US threats.

At stake is the structure of military alliances. US-NATO-Israel military deployments including military exercises and drills conducted on Russia and China’s immediate borders bear a direct relationship to the proposed war on Iran. These veiled threats, including their timing, constitute an obvious hint to the former powers of the Cold War era not to intervene in any way which could encroach upon a US-led attack on Iran.

Global Warfare

The medium term strategic objective is to target Iran and neutralize Iran’s allies, through gunboat diplomacy. The longer term military objective is to directly target China and Russia.

While Iran is the immediate target, military deployment is by no means limited to the Middle East and Central Asia. A global military agenda has been formulated.

The deployment of coalition troops and advanced weapons systems by the US, NATO and its partners is occurring simultaneously in all major regions of the World.

The recent actions of the US military off the coast of North Korea including the conduct of war games are part of a global design.

Directed primarily against Russia and China, US, NATO and allied military exercises, war drills, weapons deployments, etc. are being conducted simultaneously in major geopolitical hotspots.

-The Korean Peninsula, the Sea of Japan, the Taiwan Straits, the South China Sea threatening China.

-The deployment of Patriot missiles in Poland, the early warning center in the Czech republic threatening Russia.

-Naval deployments in Bulgaria, Romania on the Black Sea, threatening Russia.

– US and NATO troops deployments in Georgia.

– A formidable naval deployment in the Persian Gulf including Israeli submarines directed against Iran.

Concurrently the Eastern Mediterranean, the Black Sea, the Caribbean, Central America and the Andean region of South America are areas of ongoing militarization. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the threats are directed against Venezuela and Cuba.

US “Military Aid”

In turn, large scale weapons transfers have been undertaken under the banner of US “military aid” to selected countries, including a 5 billion dollar arms deal with India which is intended to build India’s capabilities directed against China. (Huge U.S.-India Arms Deal To Contain China, Global Times, July 13, 2010).

“[The] arms sales will improve ties between Washington and New Delhi, and, intentionally or not, will have the effect of containing China’s influence in the region.” quoted in Rick Rozoff, Confronting both China and Russia: U.S. Risks Military Clash With China In Yellow Sea, Global Research, July 16, 2010)

The US has military cooperation agreements with a number of South East Asian countries including Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia, involving “military aid” as well as the participation in U.S.-led war games in the Pacific Rim (July -August 2010). These agreements are supportive of weapons deployments directed against The People’s Republic of China. (See Rick Rozoff, Confronting both China and Russia: U.S. Risks Military Clash With China In Yellow Sea, Global Research, July 16, 2010).

Similarly and more directly related to the planned attack on Iran, the US is arming the Gulf States (Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates) with land-based interceptor missiles, Patriot Advanced Capability-3 and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) as well as sea-based Standard Missile-3 interceptors installed on Aegis class warships in the Persian Gulf. (See Rick Rozoff,  NATO’s Role In The Military Encirclement Of Iran, Global Research, February 10, 2010).

The Timetable of Military Stockpiling and Deployment

What is crucial in regards to US weapons transfers to partner countries and allies is the actual timing of delivery and deployment. The launch of a US sponsored military operation would normally occur once these weapons systems are in place, effectively deployed with the implementation of personnel training. (e.g India).

What we are dealing with is a carefully coordinated global military design controlled by the Pentagon, involving the combined armed forces of more than forty countries. This global multinational military deployment is by far the largest display of advanced weapons systems in World history.

In turn, the US and its allies have established new military bases in different parts of the world.  “The Surface of the Earth is Structured as a Wide Battlefield”. (See Jules Dufour, The Worldwide Network of US Military Bases , Global Research, July 1, 2007).

The Unified Command structure divided up into geographic Combatant Commands is predicated on a strategy of militarization at the global level. “The US Military has bases in 63 countries. Brand new military bases have been built since September 11, 2001 in seven countries. In total, there are 255,065 US military personnel deployed Worldwide.” (See Jules Dufour, The Worldwide Network of US Military Bases , Global Research, July 1, 2007

Source: DefenseLINK-Unified Command Plan

World War III Scenario

“The World Commanders’ Areas of Responsibility” (See Map above) defines the Pentagon’s global military design, which is one of World conquest.  This military deployment is occurring in several regions simultaneously under the coordination of the regional US Commands, involving the stockpiling of US made weapons systems by US forces and partner countries, some of which are former enemies, including Vietnam and Japan.

The present context is characterised by a global military build-up controlled by one World superpower, which is using its numerous allies to trigger regional wars.

In contrast, the Second World War was a conjunction of separate regional war theaters. Given the communications technologies and weapons systems of the 1940s, there was no strategic “real time” coordination in military actions between broad geographic regions

Global warfare is based on the coordinated deployment of a single dominant military power, which oversees the actions of its allies and partners.

With the exception of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Second World War was characterized by the use of conventional weapons. The planning of  a global war relies on the militarization of outer space. Were a war directed against iran to be launched, it would not only use nuclear weapons, the entire gamut of new advanced weapons systems, including electrometric weapons and environmental modification techniques (ENMOD) would be used.

The United Nations Security Council

The UN Security Council adopted in early June a fourth round of sweeping sanctions against The Islamic Republic of Iran, which included an expanded arms embargo as well “tougher financial controls”. In a bitter irony, this resolution was passed within days of the United Nations Secrity Council’s outright refusal to adopt a motion condemning Israel for its attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in international waters.

Both China and Russia, pressured by the US, have endorsed the UNSC sanctions’ regime, to their own detriment. Their decision within the UNSC contributes to weakening their own military alliance, the Shanghai  Cooperation organization (SCO), in which Iran has observer status. The Security Council resolution freezes China and Russia’s respective bilateral military cooperation and trade agreements with Iran. It has serious repercussions on Iran’s air defense system which in part depends on Russian technology and expertise.

The Security Council resolution grants a de facto “green light” to wage a pre-emptive war against Iran.

The American Inquisition: Building a Political Consensus for War

In chorus, the Western media has branded Iran as a threat to global security in view of its alleged (non-existent) nuclear weapons program. Echoing official statements, the media is now demanding the implementation of punitive bombings directed against Iran so as to safeguard Israel’s security.

The Western media is beating the drums of war. The purpose is to tacitly instil, through repeated media reports, ad nauseam, within people’s inner consciousness, the notion that the Iranian threat is real and that the Islamic Republic should be “taken out”.

A consensus building process to wage war is similar to the Spanish inquisition. It requires and demands submission to the notion that war is a humanitarian endeavor.

Known and documented, the real threat to global security emanates from the US-NATO-Israel alliance, yet realities in an inquisitorial environment are turned upside down: the warmongers are committed to peace, the victims of war are presented as the protagonists of war. Whereas in 2006, almost two thirds of Americans were opposed to military action against Iran, a recent Reuter-Zogby February 2010 poll suggests that 56 % of Americans favor a US-NATO military action against Iran.

Building a political consensus which is based on an outright lie cannot, however, rely solely on the official position of those who are the source of the lie.

The antiwar movement in the US, which has in part been infiltrated and co-opted, has taken on a weak stance with regard to Iran. The antiwar movement is divided. The emphasis has been on wars which have already occurred (Afghanistan, Iraq) rather than forcefully opposing wars which are being prepared and which are currently on the Pentagon’s drawing board. Since the inauguration of the Obama administration, the antiwar movement has lost some of its impetus.

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Chemtrails: The Exotic Weapon

BREAKING THE SET

Published on Jul 1, 2013

Abby Martin Breaks the Set on Egypt Demonstrations, Victim of the Patriot Act, Obama’s Support for Apartheid, and Doing Away with Voting Rights

EPISODE BREAKDOWN: On this episode of Breaking the Set, Abby Martin talks to Susan Lindauer, former CIA asset, and author of ‘Extreme Prejudice’, about her experience being scapegoated under the Patriot Act for blowing the whistle about 9/11 and Iraq  foreknowledge.

Abby then remarks on Obama’s Africa tour, calling out his praise of Nelson Mandela as hypocritical, citing Guantanamo, the war on whistleblowers and Israeli apartheid, as issues Mandela would never stand for.

BTS wraps up the show with an interview with author and investigative journalist, Greg Palast, about the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on the 1965 Voting Rights Act, discussing the implications that could result in millions of minority voters being disenfranchised.

  • LIKE Breaking the Set @

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/outrage-at-cias-deadly-double-tap-drone-attacks-8174771.html

Occupied Palestine | فلسطين

“Settling” constitutes a warcime according to international law and ICC statute. Even under US’ own military legislations’
Law resources below this article





LAW

“States may not deport or transfer parts of their own civilian population into a territory they occupy.”

Summary

State practice establishes this rule as a norm of customary international law applicable in international armed conflicts.
International armed conflicts

The prohibition on deporting or transferring parts of a State’s own civilian population into the territory it occupies is set forth in the Fourth Geneva Convention.[1]

It is a grave breach of Additional Protocol I.[2]

Under the Statute of the International Criminal Court, “the transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”constitutes a war crimein international armed conflicts.[3]

Many military manuals prohibit the deportation or transfer by a party to the conflict of…

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http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2012/12/palestinians-may-take-israel-to-icc-over-child-detentions-2523674.html

Palestinian authorities are considering taking legal action against Israel over hundreds of Palestinian children being detained, with some reportedly maltreated.

Editor’s note: indeed, access to the ICC was a significant motivator for the Palestinians as I mentioned in August of 2012. It is also hardly surprising that so many in the U.S. Congress are pushing for closure of the PLO office in Washington, along with further de-funding of UN affiliated entities.

As a result of the United Nations General Assembly voting to upgrade the Palestinians’ diplomatic status to a “non-member observer state,” they now have chance to access UN agencies and the International Criminal Court (ICC).

“We need to use the newly gained state status to take measures against Israel for its crimes, especially the arrest, detention, and abuse of Palestinian children, let alone trying them before military courts,” Eissa Karakea, Palestinian Minister of Detainees’ Affairs told Al Arabiya news channel.

According to a report issued by the Palestinian Ministry of Detainees Affairs, 900 Palestinian children were arrested by Israeli authorities in 2012 – a significant surge from the 700 arrested in 2011. The report suggests that the children are often mistreated during interrogations and beaten in detention.

“Israel is violating the Child Protection Act and all international laws by subjecting children to such traumatic experiences. The Israeli minister of security had actually said earlier that Palestinian children have no immunity,” Karakea said.

Karakea stressed that the international community is aware of the crimes committed against Palestinian children and that several human rights groups are launching campaigns in solidarity with Palestinian children. “But this is not enough. We need to take further steps,” he told Al Arabiya.

Some 177 minors remain in prison as of December 1, according to a monthly report by the Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association.

Read the full report here

Occupied Palestine | فلسطين


[ PIC 19/12/2012 – 09:29 PM ]

images_News_2012_12_19_zaranouqa_300_0[1]
NAZARETH, (PIC)– The Israeli Supreme Court rejected the objection submitted by Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage regarding establishing a park in cemetery of Zarnouqa village, depopulated more than six decades ago, in 1948-occupied territories.

Al-Aqsa Foundation described, in a press statement on Tuesday, the court’s decision as biased to the Israeli Rehovot Municipality and as “an official tool contributing to the violation of the sanctity of dead Muslims and the obliteration of their graves, without respecting their religious constants”

The foundation demanded the municipality to immediately stop the works in the cemetery and find other areas to establish its parks and public facilities.

The lawyer for Al-Aqsa Foundation, Mohammed Suleiman, told the Israeli judge, who asked him to explain the reasons behind his opposition to the implementation of the municipality’s scheme, that implementing projects in a Muslim cemetery and on the ruins…

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Silver Lining

by Philip Giraldi, source

There has been considerable debate over who “won” the recent fighting in and around Gaza, though the question itself might lack relevancy as both sides have largely returned to the status quo ante. Hamas has indeed proven itself capable of resisting Israel and has gained the respect of its Arab neighbors while its political opponent Fatah has again looked weak and vacillating. That many of the frequently homemade Gazan rockets were able to penetrate Israeli defenses and even strike near Tel Aviv is also being promoted by some as a game changer, but in reality the actual impact was more psychological than lethal. Israel blinked because it had become clear that there were no real military targets remaining in Gaza and only civilians, many of them children, were being killed. Continuing the air assault or initiating a ground invasion would only lead to a major public…

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Iraq War Crimes: Kidnap and Murder of Ministry of Education Officials

Global Research, November 07, 2012
BRussells Tribunal
iraq

by Milad Rizooqi, Sawt Al-Iraq

Translation: Lubna Al Rudaini and Dirk Adriaensens,

BRussells Tribunal, 31 October 2012.

We hear a lot about “ militias” and their crimes everywhere in Iraq, but many Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish personalities still refuse to tell the media details about these militias, which persons are connected with them, and who represents them in the Parliament,in the government or even in the streets.

A couple of days ago, the Baghdad Operations Headquarter stated that they found the remains of tens of Iraqi academics that were kidnapped from the Ministry of Higher Education – Department of Missions -in 14 November 2006.They were buried in the Al-Sada Area in Sadr City. The bodies were found after one of the militia members (who is arrested by the Iraqi authorities) confessed and told about the place where the victims were buried, their number, the details of how the militias carried out the kidnapping, why they did it and who is behind all this. (2)

The Iraqi people always ask themselves when such “incidents” occur, like a kidnapping or a blast or a car bomb:“who is behind this?”

Everyone in Iraq knows that the Ministry of Higher Education kidnapping was the work of sectarian militias, more specifically the ones that are politically linked to the government.

When the Iraqi people ask about the names of these militias, and the reasons behind the secrecy of the Iraqi government, theyare surprised that no one wants to talk and no one dares to name names.The Iraqi government,the Army, the Ministry of Interior, the Parliament members,the human rights organizations, even the TV channels and media,all of them avoid to mention the names of those militias as if it was a sacred talisman or a taboo!

Do these militias consider the blood of their victims as the cheapest thing in the world, and are their crimes all sacred?

Everyone knows that the Al-Mahdi Militia, led by Muqtada Al-Sadr, is among those who committed such disgusting crimes. Some of the media dared to mention the details of this crime saying that Hakim Al-Zamili, one of the leaders of the Al-Mahdi Militia,was responsible for this crime that took the lives of more than 150 Iraqis, some of them Iraq’s best academics. Al-Zamili is a prominent member of the Iraqi Parliament, representative of the Al-Sadr Party. Many Iraqis know it, but the government and parliament representatives keep silent and never mention the name of the murderers of the academics in November 2006. (Read more about Hakim Al Zamili underneath: “A case study. The Ministry of Health, a very unhealthy Institution”)

When will the government,the parliament, and the judiciary authorities dare to name and accuse this criminal who killed numerous Iraqi citizens? When will the Iraqi government stop its courtship with the murderers,ignoring the bloodshed of innocent Iraqi people, and ignoring the judiciary authorities? A punishment is not only meant to punish the criminal, not only an attempt to do justice to the victim, it is also a way to show criminals that there’s a price to pay if they commit a crime, to set an example. But it is well known that the US occupation authorities created lawlessness themselves.

They have shown no inclination to investigate the crimes and bring the perpetrators to justice. This calculated disinterest is itself revealing. And even worse, official spokespersons gave overt expression to the pervasive inclination of the occupiers to view chaos and lawlessness as “creative” in the sense of providing opportunities to wipe the state clean, to create new beginnings, or start over from scratch. In the context of engineered chaos, the wanton degradation of Iraq’s once vaunted educational and health systems represented for them an “opportunity to begin again”.

Criminal gangs could rob and kidnap and murder with impunity. They played a marginal, but instrumental role in the instability in Iraq. Because none of the committed crimes were investigated, the victims had the impression that law and order were non-existent in the “new Iraq”. So in 2005-2008many Iraqis fled the country with their families.  These bandits could do their crimes under the eyes of 750.000 security forces, without fear of being caught or prosecuted. This feeds the suspicion among the Iraqis that the occupier at least tolerated these crimes in order to create as much chaos as possible, in order to encourage the process of ethnic cleansing and erasing collective memory.

We demand that the Iraqi judiciary,especially the High Judiciary Council spokesman stop being cowards and mention the name of those bloody sectarian militia’s to the public.We also demand of Baghdad Operations, the Ministries of Defense and Interior,the Parliament (especially Al-Nujaifi), and the Ministerial Council headed by Al Maliki, that they should take their responsibilities, respect the rule of law and arrest the culprits of this horrendous crime, to show the public that the blood of the victims is not cheap. If they don’t take the necessary measures, the reputation of the country and its government will sink even deeper in the quagmire of lawlessness and overall corruption.

It’s worth to mention that a few months ago Al-Maliki declared that he knows who is responsible for the kidnapping in the Ministry of Higher Education, at the time when Muqtada Al-Sadir made a deal with the Kurdish government and IyadAllawi’s Al-Iraqiya party,and declared that Al-Maliki is not trustworthy anymore.Maliki’s words were meant as a threat. That’s why Muqtada changed his mind immediately and withdrew from this cooperation deal. The same thing is happening again now.When Muqtada wanted a vote of no confidence against Al-Maliki,the latter made his move and told the media all about the kidnapping incident. That’s how the criminal ruling eliteuses the blood of innocent citizensas a winning card:to blackmail each other whenever it suits them. All of these criminals know who is responsible for which bloodbath. And the Americans know, because they helped to put these people in power.

Long before the invasion, the US and its allies were involved in the training and arming of tens of thousands of militias and anti-Iraq collaborators. The most conspicuous of these militia groups were:

1. The Iraqi National Congress (INC) led by Ahmed Chalabi.
2. The Iraqi National Accord (INA) led by IyadAllawi, now heading the Al Iraqiya party in Parliament.
Both groups constituted of Iraqi expatriates (including ex-Ba’athists), trained and armed by the U.S. and Britain.
3. The Badr Brigade, the armed wing of the Da’awa/SCIRI religious ‘parties’ led by Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, Ibrahim al-Jaafari and Nuri al-Maliki. This group constituted of thousands of Iraqi expatriates and illegal Iranian immigrants expelled from Iraq in the 1980’s. The group is trained and heavily armed by Iran and the U.S.
4. Then there was the Sadr movement (known as the Mahdi Army), led by Muqtada al-Sadr. The movement has been accused of many crimes and sectarian killings since the Sadr movement entered the political process. And now they’re the ones who stand accused for the kidnapping scandal in the Ministry of Higher Education.

Since the invasion, each militia group had mutated into several groups of death squads and criminal gangs such as the Wolf Brigade, the Karar Brigade, the Falcon Brigade, the Amarah Brigade, the Muthana Brigade, the Defenders of Kadhimiyah, and in 2006 integrated in the Special Police Commandos, created by the US Army. They were armed and financed by the U.S. and its allies, and fully integrated into the Occupation. Each group was carefully used by the occupying forces to terrorize the Iraqi civilian population in a campaign designed to erode the civilian population’s support for the Iraqi Resistance against the Occupation. U.S. military sources have openly admitted that the population, where support for the Resistance was high, “is paying no price for the support it is giving to the [Resistance] … We have to change that equation”, (Newsweek, 14 January 2004). In other words, Iraqis civilians were deliberately targeted for rejecting the Occupation. (3)

A Women for Women International – Iraq 2008 report gives a pretty accurate picture of how Iraqi politics work and who is responsible for the Iraqi catastrophe:
“Within the central government in Baghdad, Iraqi politics are largely deadlocked. The current government is made up largely of Shiite politicians closely tied to various militia warlords.

The Sunnis are not well represented in the government or the parliament, and tribal sheiks of Anbar, Ninawah, and Salah al-Din provinces tend to view the government as a front for Iran. Even among the Shiites, many believe that the politicians in Baghdad are working for the best interests of the militias, not the best interests of the Shiites as a whole, let alone all Iraq.

The problem derives in large part from the flawed decisions that went into the creation of the IGC in 2003 and the interim government of 2004. Having brought exiles and militia leaders into the government and given them positions of power, it became virtually impossible to get them out, and even more difficult to convince them to make compromises. The militia leaders used their positions to maintain and expand their power at the expense of their rivals outside the government as well as in the central government itself.

As a result, each ministry in Baghdad is wholly captive to the militia that controls it.”(4)(5)

Hakim Al Zamili – A case study: the Ministry of Health, a very unhealthy institution(6)

Minister of Health in 2006, Ali Al-Shimari, belonged to Moqtada Al-Sadr’s political movement while the latter’s military arm, the Mahdi Army, was acting inside hospitals with impunity. Sick and wounded patients were abducted from public hospitals and later killed. As a consequence, more and more Iraqis were avoiding hospitals.

“The hospitals have become killing fields,” said Abu Nasr.Ali Al-Shimari fled the country as soon as charges of sectarian acts were brought against officials at the ministry. Al-Shimari was granted political asylum in the USA.(7) After the attack hit Samarra’s Askariya shrine, also known as the Golden Mosque, on February 22, 2006,(8) Ali Al Shimari and his deputy Hakim Al Zamili, a commander of the Mahdi army, turned the Ministry of Health into a torture and killing centre.
In September 2006, when the streets of Baghdadwere swamped with thousands of brutally assassinated bodies, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered the Ministry of Health not to release further figures about casualties to the United Nations, as it had previously done.(9)

On February8, 2007, occupation forces raided the ministry and arrested Hakim Al Zamili. He was accused of allegedly funnelling money to the militias. He used private ambulances and hospitals to carry out the killings. He was the key suspect in the kidnapping and (suspected) murder of his colleague, Ammar al-Saffar, who was also a deputy Health Minister.(10)

After a two-day trial, marred by accusations of witness intimidation, the charges were dropped and Mr. Zamili was freed after spending more than a year in American custody.(11)According to accurate Iraqi sources,Hakim Al-Zamili killed 160 persons, among them D.rRaadAl Mahdawy– a Sunni- the general director of the health department in Diyala.

Al-Zamili’s 2009 release was, according to some Iraqi witnesses, part of the deal for returning the bodies of 5 Britons, held hostage for 2 years by an obscure militia known as “Islamic Shia Resistance in Iraq.” This group of Britons was seized while they were installing anti-corruption software in Baghdad’s Ministry of Finance, by about 40 men “disguised” as Iraqi policemen, in May 2007.(12) The Iraqi authorities acted as lead negotiator and broker for the deal.(13)”The first thing Hakim Al-Zamili did after being released was killing Hassan Aziz, a judge who was involved in trying to convict Mr. Zamili. Now this criminal is a member of the Iraqi new parliament!” an anonymous Iraqi source testifies. Hakim Al-Zamili, recently elected Member of Parliament from the Sadrist bloc, is now one of the strongest advocates for carrying out the death sentence on former Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz.(15)

This is today’s sad reality in Iraq’s “blossoming democracy.”

And it’s not getting any better.

Dirk Adriaensens is coordinator of SOS Iraq and member of the executive committee of the BRussells Tribunal. Between 1992 and 2003 he led several delegations to Iraq to observe the devastating effects of UN imposed sanctions. He was a member of the International Organizing Committee of the World Tribunal on Iraq (2003-2005). He is also co-coordinator of the Global Campaign Against the Assassination of Iraqi Academics. He is co-author of Rendez-Vous in Baghdad, EPO (1994), Cultural Cleansing in Iraq, Pluto Press, London (2010), Beyond Educide, Academia Press, Ghent (2012), and is a frequent contributor to GlobalResearch, Truthout, The International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies and other media.

References:

1 http://www.sotaliraq.com/mobile-item.php?id=120108#axzz2Arw4bF2Z
2 Read the article ‘Iraq’s Mass Graves’by Dirk Adriaensens on 23/10/2012,http://www.globalresearch.ca/crimes-against-humanity-iraqs-mass-gravesvoting-the-stolen-election-of-2004-2/5309313
3Ghali Hassan,http://www.countercurrents.org/iraq-hassan041206.htm
4http://www.womenforwomen.org/news-women-for-women/assets/files/IraqReport.03.03.08.pdf
5Alsomentioned in the BRussellsTribunal “Open Letter to the UN High Commissionerfor Human Rights, NaviPillay” by Dirk Adriaensens on 8 February 2012, http://www.brusselstribunal.org/UnspokenCrimes080212.htm
6 This case study was originally published in a BRussells Tribunal article: “Always someone’s mother or father, always someone’s child. The missing persons of Iraq.” By Dirk Adriaensens, 28 November 2010,http://www.brusselstribunal.org/pdf/Disappearances_missing_persons_in_Iraq.pdf )
7http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/29/AR2006082901680.html
8http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2008/885/re82.htm
9http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/22/AR2006022200454.html
10http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2007/feb/8/20070208-115125-4889r/
11http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/04/world/middleeast/04baghdad.html?_r=1&ref=world
12http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2008/03/iraq-british-oil-corruption
13http://peteinfoshare.blogspot.com/2009/09/iraq-body-confirmed-as-uk-hostage.html
14http://www.japantoday.com/category/world/view/iraq-president-opposes-tariq-azizs-death-sentence

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Occupied Palestine | فلسطين

Nov 1, 2012 by AllDunyaNews




A prominent Gaza-based pro-Palestinian activist says that Gazans are under heavy psychological pressure from Israel just because they pursue their member state bid at the UN.

The comments come as the Israeli warplanes have again carried out new airstrikes on the Gaza Strip in an unabated wave of aggression against the besieged territory.

The Israeli aircraft fired missiles at three targets in the central and southern parts of Gaza during the early hours of Monday.

On Sunday, a Palestinian was killed and another injured when a remote-controlled Israeli assassination drone struck the town of Rafah.

The Israeli military frequently carries out airstrikes and other attacks on the Gaza Strip, saying the actions are being conducted for defensive purposes. However, disproportionate force is always used, in violation of international law, and civilians are often killed or injured.

Gaza has been blockaded since 2007, a situation that…

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Iraq: Inside the Belly of the CIA

Global Research, September 08, 2012
middleeast

 

Much to the bitter disappointment of the  international community, a report recently declassified by the CIA reveals that a war that started in the name of democracy in Iraq in 2003 and claimed the lives of more than one million innocent Iraqis and thousands of US-led troops was waged on the basis of an unfortunate series of blatant lies fabricated by CIA.

In a nutshell, the report says the CIA failed to carry out sufficient research into the possibility of WMDs in the hands of the Iraqi despot Saddam Hussein and that without due proof, they concluded that since Saddam was in the habit of lying about WMDs, they guessed he was in possession of weapons and mass destruction and that Iraq had to be reduced to dereliction and misery at the hands of the US military on the strength of a sheer conjecture.

Prominent points in the report are as follows:

1) When the [U.N. and International Atomic Energy Agency] inspections proved more intrusive than expected, the Iraqi leadership appears to have panicked and made a fateful decision to secretly destroy much of the remaining nondeclared items and eliminate the evidence.

2) Iraq’s firmly established “cheat and retreat” pattern made it difficult for U.N. inspectors and Western analysts to accept new Iraqi assertions at face value.

3) A liability of intelligence analysis is that once a party has been proven to be an effective deceiver, that knowledge becomes a heavy factor in the calculation of the analytical observer.

The new report brings to fore and highlights the necessity of an idea audaciously expressed by some in recent past: the trial of Georg Bush and Tony Blair as war criminals for lying about WMDs in Iraq.

Only recently, South African peace activist and Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu pulled out of a leadership summit in Johannesburg because he refused to share a platform with Mr. Tony Blair whom he considers a war criminal. Loud and clear, Tutu has announced Tony Blair and George W. Bush as war criminals who should be taken to the International Criminal Court in The Hague over the Iraq war for lying about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. Besides, Tutu has said the US- and UK-led war against Iraq had brought about conditions for the civil war in Syria and a possible Middle East conflict involving Iran.

“The then leaders of the United States [Mr. Bush] and Great Britain [Mr. Blair] fabricated the grounds to behave like playground bullies and drive us further apart. They have driven us to the edge of a precipice where we now stand – with the specter of Syria and Iran before us,” he said.

No doubt, Bush and Blair will be eventually tried in a fair court of justice for the crimes they have committed in Iraq in the name of democracy under the hallucination of a divine decree; indeed, that is only a matter of when rather than if. As for Bush, he has explicitly stated that he was on a mission from God to strike Afghanistan and Iraq. Overwhelmed with a maniac feeling of messianic mission, Bush revealed this religious madness four months after the US-led invasion of Iraq in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in his meeting with a Palestinian delegation during the Israeli-Palestinian summit.

He said, “I am driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, ‘George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan’. And I did. And then God would tell me ‘George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq’. And I did.”

In an unprecedented ruling handed down by the Kuala Lumpur (KL) War Crimes Tribunal in Malaysia in May, George W. Bush and a number of his accomplices including Dick Cheney, former US Vice President, Donald Rumsfeld, former Defense Secretary, and Alberto Gonzales, then Counsel to President Bush were found guilty of war crimes.

Though the Kuala Lumpur Tribunal may not have the authority to try them in practice, it must be regarded as a great step in upholding justice and respecting humanity on a large scale.

Besides, the tribunal evinces a keen sense of public sensitivity to and awareness of a universal quest for truth and justice. It is manifest that global awareness is on the increase in the world and that the truth will emerge from behind the clouds one day.

Day by day, more evidence is building up to put Bush and Blair to abject shame for their crimes and fresh calls for arresting and trying the duo and their accomplices at the international criminal court fall upon the ears from time to time.

International community is waking up to the realities thanks to the efforts of peace activists and the justice-seeking dissidents across the world. It is indeed a good sign that a new age of social and political enlightenment has already begun to dawn and that a new light is in sight. This marks an imminent end to multitudes of atrocities perpetrated by Washington and its allies and the plots hatched by the Zionists to divide and rule the world.

Washington’s monophonic urge to decide for the world is growing weaker and weaker every day with a powerful polyphonic global voice taking the place of the old one. In short, the world is developing greater perceived need for sustainable peace and security.

What the CIA file documents is the fact that Iraq was ferociously devoured in the belly of the CIA beast not as a country with a dictator as its leader but as a nation which was denied the opportunity to hold its fate in its own hands and get rid of its dictator.

The sheer ouster of Saddam Hussein as a dictator barely justifies the innocent blood that was spilled in Iraq and a military invasion of such colossally devastating proportions.