yosi wrote:It is perfectly clear that every Palestinian terrorist who has killed a civilian meant to do so. That is not at all the case, and most likely not the case, for the vast majority of Palestinian civilian deaths.
Tell that to the 13-year-old Palestinian schoolgirl who was shot 17 times at close range by an Israeli Captain. '[Witnesses] said they saw the captain shoot Iman twice in the head, walk away, turn back and fire a stream of bullets into her body.
...[Witnesses] described her as at least 100 yards from the military post which was in any case well protected.
...After soldiers first opened fire, she dropped her schoolbag which was then hit by several bullets establishing that it did not contain explosive. At that point she was no longer carrying the bag and, the tape revealed, was heading away from the army post when she was shot.'http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/nov/16/israel2
You could also tell it to the wheelchair-bound Palestinian man who was shot and then run over by a tank:http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2003/ ... -does-fit/
Human Rights Watch reports that of the “twenty-two civilian killings” during the Israeli siege of Jenin, “Many of them were killed willfully or unlawfully, and in some cases constituted war crimes. Fifty-seven-year-old Kamal Zghair, a wheelchair-bound man, was shot and then run over by IDF tanks on April 10 as he was moving his wheelchair—equipped with a white flag—down a major road in Jenin. Thirty-seven-year-old Jamal Fayid, a quadriplegic, was crushed to death in the rubble of his home on April 7 after IDF soldiers refused to allow his family to remove him from their home before a bulldozer destroyed it.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/sep/06/israelIsraeli soldiers tell of indiscriminate killings by army and a culture of impunity
In recent months dozens of soldiers, including the son of an an Israeli general, all recently discharged, have come forward to share their stories of how they were ordered in briefings to shoot to kill unarmed people without fear of reprimand.http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/sep/06/israel1Israeli troops say they were given shoot-to-kill order
Israeli military prosecutors have opened criminal investigations following allegations by soldiers that they carried out illegal shoot-to-kill orders against unarmed Palestinians.
Some of the soldiers, who also spoke to the Guardian, say they acted on standing orders in some parts of the Palestinian territories to open fire on people regardless of whether they were armed or not, or posed any physical threat.
The soldiers say that in some situations they were ordered to shoot anyone who appeared on a roof or a balcony, anyone who appeared to be kneeling to the ground or anyone who appeared on the street at a designated time. Among those killed by soldiers acting on the orders were young children.
Also, on the subject of not intentionally harming civilians, how do you explain the following?:Norman Finkelstein - 'Knowing Too Much' - Why The American Jewish Romance With Israel Is Coming To An End
P.145: In February 2008 HRW [Human Rights Watch] issued a report entitled 'Flooding South Lebanon: Israel's use of cluster munitions in Lebanon in July and August 2006'. The report found that Israel dropped as many as 4.6 million cluster submunitions on south Lebanon during the war. It was the "most extensive use of cluster munitions anywhere in the world since the 1991 Gulf war," while relative to the size of the targeted area the density of the attack was historically unprecendented. (Apparently the only reason Israel did not drop yet more cluster munitions was that it's stocks had been depleted). Some 90 percent of these cluster munitions were dropped "during the final three days when Israel knew a settlement was imminent," the U.N ceasefire resolution having already been passed but not yet gone into effect.
P146: Israel's cluster munition attacks on Lebanon were indiscriminate in multiple respects: the inaccuracy of their delivery (or carrier) systems; the "wide dispersal patterns" of such weapons; and the "high dud rates" endangering civilians returning to their homes after the ceasefire. In addition, the saturation use of these weapons in civilian areas multiplied manyfold the inherent dangers posed by them.
P.147: HRW reported that Israel's cluster attacks "blanketed" both "built-up areas" and "fields", resulting in the high saturation of towns and villages," and the "systematic 'flooding' of certain villages and populated areas."
The "vast majority" of cluster munitions targeted "population centers" such as towns and villages. In the village of Yohmor, "bomblets littered the ground from one end...to the other. They were on the roofs of all the houses, in gardens and spread across roads and paths. Some were even found inside houses." In the village of Zwtar al-Sharkiyeh deminers had to remove "2000-3000 submunitions" inundating a primary school and it's environs, although "Hezbollah had not used the school at any time during the war and there had been no Hezbollah forces anywhere in the town."
Meanwhile, according to a "very conservative" estimate, "submunitions contaminated at least 26 percent of south Lebanon's agricultural land," transforming olive and citrus groves and tobacco fields into "de facto minefields." Many fields were simply "abandoned," while desperate farmers continued to work others despite the lethal hazards. From the ceasefire until December 2009 the explosion of duds caused 227 civilian casualties, of whom 35 percent were children.
P148: According to HRW, individuals bear responsibility for "war crimes" if they "intentionally or recklessly" authorize or conduct attacks "that would indiscriminately or disproportionately harm civilians." In other iterations HRW defines war crimes as attacks that are "knowingly or recklessly indiscriminate or deliberate"; the "knowing or reckless disregard for the foreseeable effects on civilians and other protected objects"; "deliberate attacks on civilians, as well as indiscriminate or disproportionate attacks when committed with knowledge or reckless indifference to their illegal character": military justification and with criminal intent."
P.149: Consider now HRW's description of the Israeli cluster attacks on Lebanon:
By their very nature, these dangerous, volatile submunitions [i.e, the duds] cannot distinguish between combatants and non-combatants, forseeably endangering civilians for months or years to come.
It is inconceivable that Israel...did not know that...it's strikes would have a lasting humanitarian impact.
Many of the cluster attacks on populated areas do not appear to have had a definite military target. Our researchers...found only one village with clear evidence of the presence of Hezbollah forces out of the more than 40 towns and villages they visited.
The staggering number of cluster munitions rained on south Lebanon over the three days immediately before a negotiated ceasefire went into effect puts in doubt the claim by the IDF that it's attacks were aimed at specific targets or even strategic locations, as opposed to being efforts to blanket large areas with explosives and duds.
Cluster munition attacks on or near population centers, like those launched by Israel, give rise to a presumption that they are indiscriminate, as the weapons are highly imprecise with a large area effect that regularly causes foreseeable and excessive civilian casualties during strikes and afterwards.
P.150: Given the extremely large number of submunitions employed and their known failure rates, harm to remaning and returning civilians was entirely foreseeable.
Israel was well aware of the continuing harm to Lebanese civilians from the unexploded duds that remained from it's prior use of munitions in South Lebanon in 1978 and 1982.
The paucity of evidence of specific military objectives, the known dangers of cluster munitions, the timing of large scale attacks days before an anticipated ceasefire, and the massive scope of the attacks combine to point to a conclusion that the attacks were of an indiscriminate and disproportionate character.
A senior U.N demining official said he had "no doubt" that Israel had deliberately hit built-up areas with cluster munitions, stating "these cluster bombs were dropped in the middle of villages".
Israeli soldiers were well aware of the large numbers of duds their cluster strikes were producing. A soldier said that his...commander gave a "pep talk" after a period of heavy fire, saying, "just wait until Hezbollah finds the little presents we had left them".
Given the sheer number of cluster duds on the ground, casualties are unavoidable.
P.151: In South Lebanon in 2006, Israel employed a means of warfare that was likely to cause significant harm to civilians - unreliable and inaccurate submunitions used widely and heavily in populated areas. Despite ample past experience of the deadly effects of cluster duds on the civilian population of South Lebanon, awareness of the impending end of the war, and the knowledge that there would be a legacy of unexploded duds creating de facto minefields, the IDF did not refrain from launching these attacks...The post-ceasefire casualties have to our knowledge all been civilians or deminers, and civilian access to agricultural areas and property has ben severely affected. The aftereffects of israel's cluster strikes were foreseeable by the IDF.
The paucity of evidence of specific military objectives, the known dangers of cluster munitions, the time of large-scale attacks days before an anticipated ceasefire, and the massive scope of the attacks themselves lead to the conclusion that the attacks were of an indiscriminate and disproportionate character.
We found scant evidence that would demonstrate a concrete and direct military advantage with relation to any possible military objectives, such as attacking fighters, rocket launchers, or strategic locales.
When considering the foreseeable civilian damage that could ensue, the anticipated and soon-approaching end to the armed conflict weighs heavily against Israel's last-minute saturation of civilian areas with old cluster stockpiles...The fact that duds would turn civilian areas into de facto minefields, given the large number of submunitions employed and their known failure rates, was foreseeable - testimony from soldiers (and the reported IDF prohibition of firing cluster munitions into areas it would subsequently enter) indicate that the IDF knew this.
A composite distillation of these HRW statements would read: Just before an agreed-upon ceasefire Israel saturated Lebanese civilian areas having no military targets with cluster munitions; the inevitable and foreseeable - in fact foreseen - consequence was that many Lebanese civilians were injured and killed.
P.152: Like HRW, the U.N Commission of Inquiry found that Israeli cluster attacks were indiscriminate...many towns and villages were littered with the bomblets as well as large tracts of agricultural land," and that "the use of cluster munitions by [the] IDF was of no military advantage."
“Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.”
― Charles Bukowski