Dr. Dawg

Goldstone on Gaza

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And a scathing account it is:

In one case, armored bulldozers of the Israeli forces systematically flattened the chicken coops of a farm that reportedly supplied 10 percent of the Gazan egg market, killing all 31,000 chickens inside. In another, the forces carried out a strike on a sewage plant wall, sending 200,000 cubic meters of raw sewage into neighboring farmland, the report said. The panel did not find a justifiable reason for the Israelis’ actions in either case....

Israeli forces twice shelled civilian hospitals in Gaza, but in neither case was the attack justified, the report found. In the attack on Al Quds Hospital, the shelling of the building and an adjacent ambulance facility with white phosphorus shells caused fires that took a day to extinguish, and at no point was any warning given of an imminent strike, the report said. The panel found no evidence of the enemy fire that the Israeli military cited as rationale for its attack....

Another event that the panel judged equivalent to a war crime took place in the Samouni neighborhood in Gaza City, when Israel soldiers shelled a house where soldiers had forced Palestinian civilians to gather. In seven cases, the report found, “civilians were shot while they were trying to leave their homes to walk to a safer place, waving white flags and in some cases, following an injunction from the Israeli forces to do so.”

As for the Palestinians:

Palestinian armed groups, the group found, fired repeated rockets and mortars into southern Israel. By failing to distinguish between military targets and the civilian population, those actions also “constitute war crimes and may amount to crimes against humanity,” the report said.

Responding to Israeli allegations that Palestinian fighters used civilians as human shields, the panel found that Palestinian armed groups did launch rockets from urban areas in Gaza, and that Palestinian armed groups “were not always dressed in a way that distinguished them from civilians.”

However, the mission found no evidence that Palestinian combatants “mingled with the civilian population with the intention of shielding themselves from attack,” the report said, nor did it find evidence to suggest that Palestinian armed groups “either directed civilians to areas where attacks were being launched or forced civilians to remain within the vicinity of the attacks.”

Full report here.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on September 15, 2009 2:44 PM.

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