It’s doubtful if any sane individual could successfully argue Hamas’s rocket attacks on Israeli civilians are legitimate warfare. Amnesty International describes them, rightly, as a war crime.
Any deliberate targeting of civilians by a military force is illegal under International Law. Hamas can argue its case indefinitely without convincing anyone, least of all an International Criminal Court prosecutor at The Hague.
Israel has again today defended its attacks on Gaza in December 2008. It, too, denies war crimes. Despite the hundreds of dead children pulled from the rubble before the eyes of Amnesty International’s observers, the female corpses and dead male civilians who had nothing whatever to do with Hamas, Israel’s mendacious spokesman, Mark Regev (of whom we’ve written before on Sparrow Chat) still insisted:
We tried to be as surgical as humanly possible in a difficult combat situation.”
A difficult combat situation? Because of the tight-packed communities living in refugee camp conditions? Yes, that would be a “difficult combat situation”.
The use of white phosphorus is similarly outlawed by International Law. It may only legally be used as a means to lay smoke-screens, and then only on “open ground”.
Mark Regev admitted to the BBC that the Israelis had used white phosphorus – but, “not as an anti-personnel weapon”.
The question still waiting to be asked of Mark Regev is:
if the Israeli military were trying “to be as surgical as humanly possible in a difficult combat situation”, how could they possibly be using white phosphorus in a legal manner?
According to AI’s report:
In Gaza, as the fighting ended, Amnesty International researchers found fragments and components from munitions used by the Israeli Army – including many that are US-made – littering school playgrounds, in hospitals and in people’s homes. They included artillery and tank shells, mortar fins and remnants from Hellfire and other airborne missiles and large F-16 delivered bombs, as well as still smouldering highly incendiary white phosphorus remains.
They also found remnants of a new type of missile, seemingly launched from unmanned drones, which explodes large numbers of tiny sharp-edged metal cubes, each between 2mm and 4mm square in size. These lethal purpose-made shrapnel had penetrated thick metal doors and were embedded deep in concrete walls, and are clearly designed to maximize injury.
So much for “as surgical as humanly possible in a difficult combat situation.”
It seems unlikely that Mark Regev would fare well before the probing questions of an ICC prosecutor.
According to Amnesty International, virtually all the armaments used against the Palestinians in Gaza last December were made in the United States. America is not only supplying weaponry to Israel, but under a ten year agreement not due to end till 2017, is paying for them using US taxpayer’s money – $30billion in total.
To sum up: The USA is providing vast quantities of advanced weaponry, free-of-charge, to another country that is using these weapons to slaughter Palestinian Muslims on a massive scale, and all paid for by the taxes of US citizens.
Is the US government seriously attempting to provoke another attack on American soil on par with the events of 9/11/2001? Does the administration not consider how its actions place its own citizens in deadly peril? Is the US government utterly irresponsible?
It will be interesting to note whether, in the present economic climate, President Obama continues to honor this contract agreed by his Republican predecessor.
Both Hamas and Israel are guilty of war crimes. The United States of America, and possibly some European nations, are complicit in those war crimes. These are facts that cannot be successfully argued against in a court of law. The evidence is undeniable, despite any utterances from Mister Mark Regev.
Hamas is far from innocent. There is much Israeli civilian blood on its hands. Yet its actions, and the extent of its crimes, are puny compared to the massive acts of violence and retribution unleashed by its enemies.
David and Goliath – only this time Goliath has the complete arsenal of US weaponry at his disposal, and David is armed with little better than a few homemade fireworks.
Amnesty International has called for an arms boycott of both Israel and Hamas. By so doing, it has provided US President Barack Obama with the perfect excuse to break George W Bush’s arms contract with Israel.
Will he have the balls to do that, and show the Arab world the American people will not stand by and aid the committing of war crimes against them?
If he chooses not to, the next “9/11” may be closer than we think.
 “A Role Model For The Chosen People” Sparrow Chat, January 15th 2009
 “Israel-Hamas arms embargo urged” BBC, February 23rd 2009
 “Foreign-supplied weapons used against civilians by Israel and Hamas” Amnesty International, February 20th 2009
Filed under: Only one sane option