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Thread: Israel debates 'loyalty' law

  1. #101
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    Re: Israel debates 'loyalty' law

    Quote Originally Posted by Apocalypse View Post
    Riots? No. Terrorism? Yes.
    The house is only demolished if it's written on the terrorist's name. If it isn't, only the terrorist's part of the house is being destroyed. Israel needs to do something to deter terrorism.
    And here we go again with the bombing and terrorizing civilians stuff.
    yes, I changed it, attacks, you are right. But they punished the whole family. Did that deter the Palestinians from committing more attacks ? no.

    I remember a journalist watching the demolitons at that time who later said
    "each child standing there watching the family house being bulldozed is a future suicide bomber"
    "True wisdom is less presuming than folly. The wise man doubteth often, and changeth his mind; the fool is obstinate, and doubteth not; he knoweth all things but his own ignorance." -- Akhenaton
    To understand does not mean to support or to excuse

  2. #102
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    Re: Israel debates 'loyalty' law

    On 17 February 2005, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz adopted an IDF committee’s recommendation to stop demolishing the homes of Palestinians suspected of carrying out attacks against Israelis. The committee found that house demolitions are not an efficient deterrent.

    Since 1967, Israel has implemented a policy of demolishing and sealing houses in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as a punitive measure against the Palestinian population. The scope of punitive house demolitions has varied over the years (in the four-year period 1998-2001, it was not used), in part because most Palestinians were living in areas in which governing powers had been transferred to the Palestinian Authority, and the IDF did not enter those areas. In October 2001, during IDF actions in Area A in the West Bank, Israel renewed its policy of punitive house demolitions.

    The declared objective of house demolitions was deterrence, achieved by harming the relatives of Palestinians who carried out, or were suspected of involvement in carrying out, attacks against Israeli citizens and soldiers. Indeed, the main victims of the demolitions were family members, among them women, the elderly, and children, who bore no responsibility for the acts of their relative and were not suspected of involvement in any offense. In the vast majority of house demolitions, the person because of whom the house was demolished no longer lived in the house, either because he was “wanted” by Israel and was in hiding, or because he was being held by Israel and was awaiting a long prison sentence, or because he had been killed by security forces or in the attack he carried out.

    Furthermore, unlike house demolition in the past, in which the IDF was careful to damage only the house of the nuclear family of the person because of whom the house was being demolished, in many cases during the al-Aqsa intifada, the IDF has also damaged nearby homes. In some instances, the damage to neighboring homes apparently resulted from the force of the explosion, and was not deliberate. However, B’Tselem’s research clearly shows that in some cases, soldiers intentionally damaged adjacent homes. Destruction of nearby homes is especially common when the residents of the nearby homes belong to the suspect’s extended family. Almost half of the homes demolished by the IDF as punishment during the current intifada were adjacent homes.

    Israel tried to give the impression that it destroys only homes of Palestinians who were directly involved in attacks that caused many Israeli civilian casualties. In practice, the IDF also demolished homes of Palestinians who were involved in any kind of violent actions against Israelis, from suicide attacks that caused many casualties, to failed attempts against soldiers’ lives. Also, not only did Israel demolish houses of persons suspected of carrying out attacks or of attempting to carry out attacks, it also demolished the house of Palestinians suspected of planning, dispatching, or assisting in the commission of attacks.

    It should be mentioned that the deterrent effect of house demolitions has never been proven. In his book on the first intifada, Brigadier General Ariyeh Shalev examined the effect of house demolitions on the scope of violence. He found that the number of violent events did not diminish following house demolitions, and at times even rose. Similar findings were reached in an internal IDF report on house demolitions during the al-Aqsa intifada. In their book The Seventh War, journalists Amos Harel and Avi Isacharoff reported that the IDF report stated there was no proof of the deterrent effect of house demolitions, and that the number of attacks even rose a few months after implementation of the policy began. However, regardless of the deterrent effect, B’Tselem believes that the effectiveness of a particular measure does not make it legal.

    B'Tselem - House Demolitions as Punishment
    Last edited by Mira; 06-01-09 at 07:07 PM.
    "True wisdom is less presuming than folly. The wise man doubteth often, and changeth his mind; the fool is obstinate, and doubteth not; he knoweth all things but his own ignorance." -- Akhenaton
    To understand does not mean to support or to excuse

  3. #103
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    Re: Israel debates 'loyalty' law

    31 Dec. '08: B'Tselem to Attorney General Mazuz: Concern over Israel targeting civilian objects in the Gaza Strip

    Since the beginning of the military operation in the Gaza Strip, on 27 December 2008, the army has bombed dozens of houses, public buildings, and other structures throughout the Gaza Strip.

    The principle of distinction, one of the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law, states that all parties engaged in combat must distinguish between civilian objects and military targets, and are forbidden to intentionally attack civilians and civilian objects. The First Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions establishes two conditions that must be met for an object to be considered a legitimate military target: it must effectively contribute to military action and its total destruction or partial neutralization offers a clear military advantage.

    Despite this, other statements made by Israeli officials in recent days raise the suspicion that the army is not maintaining the requisite distinction in its attacks in Gaza. Prime Minster Ehud Olmert stated that, “Israel is not at war with the Palestinian people but with Hamas, which has dedicated itself to acting against residents of Israel. Accordingly, the objects attacked today were selected with the emphasis on the imperative to prevent harm to innocent persons.” In an article published in yesterday’s Washington Post, a senior military official was quoted as follows: "There are many aspects to Hamas, and we are trying to hit the whole spectrum, because everything is connected and everything supports terrorism against Israel." Major Avital Liebowitz, of the IDF Spokesperson’s Office, told the correspondent that the army had indeed widened its target list in comparison to previous operations, saying Hamas has used ostensibly civilian actions as a cover for military activities. "Anything affiliated with Hamas is a legitimate target," she said.

    These comments suggest that the operation in Gaza is aimed against every person and entity tied in some way to Hamas, even if they are not engaged in military action against Israel. An examination of the sites that were bombed in recent days raises questions regarding the legality of targeting many of them.

    For example, the military bombed the main police building in Gaza and killed, according to reports, forty-two Palestinians who were in a training course and were standing in formation at the time of the bombing. Participants in the course study first-aid, handling of public disturbances, human rights, public-safety exercises, and so forth. Following the course, the police officers are assigned to various arms of the police force in Gaza responsible for maintaining public order.

    Another example is yesterday’s bombing of the government offices. These offices included the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Labor, Construction and Housing. An announcement made by the IDF Spokesperson’s Office regarding this attack stated that, “the attack was carried out in response to the ongoing rocket and mortar-shell fire carried out by Hamas over Israeli territory, and in the framework of IDF operations to strike at Hamas governmental infrastructure and members active in the organization.”

    These are just examples of what appear to be clear civilian objects attacked by the army. On the face of it, the activity carried out in these places is not military activity aimed against Israel, and the IDF spokesperson does not even make this claim. Clearly, then, they cannot be considered military objects in accordance with the provisions of international humanitarian law – they do not make an effective contribution to the military activity against Israel and the attack provides Israel with no militaryadvantage whatsoever, and certainly not a clear militaryadvantage.

    Hamas is certainly responsible for missile fire at Israeli civilians, which constitutes a war crime. However, as the entity effectively governing the Gaza Strip, it is also responsible for maintaining daily life. As such, it supervises the activity of all civilian frameworks in Gaza – among them the welfare, health, housing, and legal systems. Hamas must also ensure public order and safety by means of a police force. Therefore, even if Hamas is a “hostile entity” whose principle objective is to undermine the existence of the State of Israel, this does not lead to the conclusion that every act it carries out is intended to harm Israel and that every government ministry is a legitimate target.

    The argument that striking at objects of this kind is consistent with international humanitarian law is untenable. Such an interpretation, which relates to these bodies as military objects, stretches the provisions of international humanitarian law in a way that is inconsistent with the articles cited above, and contravenes the principle of distinction that lies at the foundation of international humanitarian law. An intentional attack on a civilian target is a war crime.

    B'Tselem - 31 Dec. '08: B'Tselem to Attorney General Mazuz: Concern over Israel targeting civilian objects in the Gaza Strip
    Last edited by Mira; 06-01-09 at 07:16 PM.
    "True wisdom is less presuming than folly. The wise man doubteth often, and changeth his mind; the fool is obstinate, and doubteth not; he knoweth all things but his own ignorance." -- Akhenaton
    To understand does not mean to support or to excuse

  4. #104
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    Re: Israel debates 'loyalty' law

    14 Jan. '09: Israeli Human Rights groups: Clear and present danger to the lives and well-being of tens of thousands of civilians
    An Israeli Call For Urgent Humanitarian Action In Gaza

    Since the beginning of the campaign in Gaza on December 27, a heavy suspicion has arisen of grave violations of international humanitarian law by military forces. After the end of the hostilities, the time will come for the investigation of this matter, and accountability will be demanded of those responsible for the violations. At this point we call your attention to the clear and present danger to the lives and well-being of tens of thousands of civilians.

    The level of harm to the civilian population is unprecedented. According to the testimony of residents of the Gaza Strip and media reports, military forces are making wanton use of lethal force which has to date caused the deaths of hundreds of uninvolved civilians and destroyed infrastructure and property on an enormous scale. In addition, Israel is also hitting civilian objects, having defined them as "legitimate military targets" solely by virtue of their being "symbols of government."

    Caught in the middle are 1.5 million civilians in extreme humanitarian distress, whose needs are not being adequately met by the limited measures taken by the army. That distress is detailed in the Appendix to this letter. Its main points are as follows:

    The fighting is taking place throughout the Gaza Strip, whose border crossings are closed, so that residents have nowhere to flee, neither inside the Gaza Strip nor by leaving it. Many are unable to escape from the battle zone to protect themselves. They are forced to live in fear and terror. The army's demand that they evacuate their homes so as to avoid injury has no basis. Some people who did escape are living as refugees, stripped of all resources.


    The health system has collapsed. Hospitals are unable to provide adequate treatment to the injured, nor can patients be evacuated to medical centers outside of the Gaza Strip. This state of affairs is causing the death of injured persons who could have been saved. Nor are chronic patients receiving the treatment they need. Their health is deteriorating, and some have already died.


    Areas that were subject to intensive attacks are completely isolated. It is impossible to know the condition of the people who are there, whether they are injured and need treatment and whether they have food, water and medicine. The army is preventing local and international rescue teams from accessing those places and is also refraining from helping them itself, even though it is required to do so by law.


    Many of the residents do not have access to electricity or running water, and in many populated areas sewage water is running in the streets. That combination creates severe sanitation problems and increases the risk of an outbreak of epidemics.
    This kind of fighting constitutes a blatant violation of the laws of warfare and raises the suspicion, which we ask be investigated, of the commission of war crimes.

    The responsibility of the State of Israel in this matter is clear and beyond doubt. The army's complete control of the battle zones and the access roads to them does not allow Israel to transfer that responsibility to other countries. Therefore we call on you to act immediately as follows:

    Stop the disproportionate harm to civilians, and stop targeting civilian objects that do not serve any military purpose, even if they meet the definition of "symbols of government."

    Open a route for civilians to escape the battle zone, while guaranteeing their ability to return home at the end of the fighting.


    Provide appropriate and immediate medical care to all of the injured and ill of the Gaza Strip, either by evacuating them to medical centers outside of the Gaza Strip or by reaching another solution inside the Gaza Strip.


    Allow rescue and medical teams to reach battle-torn zones to evacuate the injured and bring supplies to those who remain there. Alternatively, the army must carry out those activities itself.


    Secure the proper operation of the electricity, water and sewage systems so that they meet the needs of the population.

    B'Tselem - Press Releases - 14 Jan. '09: Human Rights groups: Warning of a clear and present danger to the lives and well-being of tens of thousands of civilians
    Last edited by Mira; 06-01-09 at 07:26 PM.
    "True wisdom is less presuming than folly. The wise man doubteth often, and changeth his mind; the fool is obstinate, and doubteth not; he knoweth all things but his own ignorance." -- Akhenaton
    To understand does not mean to support or to excuse

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