Israel's war crimes 

Israel's war crimes

Well, the USA blocks every attempt by the UN to stop Israel's ethnic cleansing activities (the USA via the UN Security Council uses its veto to block resolutions, and has done so a LOT over the past decade or so), but at least some people out there are taking notice.


Amnesty blasts Israeli 'war crimes'
By James Gooder

Tuesday 14 October 2003, 2:31 Makka Time, 23:31 GMT

Human rights group Amnesty International has condemned as ???war crimes??? the weekend Israeli raids on the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah that killed eight Palestinians.

Amnesty slammed Israel's use of "disproportionate force" and called for an end to its destruction of homes in the Palestinian territories.

"The repeated practice by the Israeli army of deliberate and wanton destruction of homes and civilian property is a grave violation of international human rights and humanitarian law ... and constitutes a war crime," Amnesty said in a written statement issued in London.

"Amnesty International calls on the Israeli authorities to put an immediate end to the practice of destroying Palestinian homes and other properties, and of using excessive, disproportionate and reckless force against unarmed Palestinians ... which frequently result in the killing and injuring of unarmed civilians, including children," the statement said.

Amnesty also urged Palestinian armed groups to "immediately halt" deliberate killings of Israeli civilians.

Overstretched medics

Eight Palestinians were killed and about 80 injured during the incursion launched on Thursday night which Israel says was aimed at destroying tunnels used to smuggle in weapons from across the border with Egypt.

The assault was likened to the atrocities carried out by the Israelis against Jenin in April 2002 which also brought international condemnation.

The UN assembled a team of inspectors to investigate allegations of war crimes, but Prime Minister Ariel Sharon refused to allow in the United Nations.

In Rafah, one eyewitness described an overstretched hospital struggling to deal with the dead and wounded. His account was received by the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a Palestinian support group.

???People filled up the hospital and in the morning it was already low on supplies. Nobody could get to the European Gaza hospital, the only decent facility in the area, where (Israeli) tanks had been parked for days not letting anybody out or in,??? the witness said.

???The dead waited in the refrigerators for identification. The beds were overflowing,??? he added.

Another witness told ISM of the Israeli Army???s retreat: ???It left, not through the streets as it had come, but by creating a path through the homes still standing in Yibnah (an area of Rafah).???

Around 1500 people were also left homeless in Rafah refugee camp, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees has said.

Egypt responds

Meanwhile, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Maher dismissed Israeli charges that Palestinians were smuggling weapons via tunnels from Egypt as "without foundation."

"These are old and useless allegations that (the Israelis) know very well are without foundation," Maher told reporters when asked about the Israeli army's operations to destroy tunnels in the southern Gaza Strip.

"We already said in the past that Egypt is opposed to arms smuggling operations," Maher said.


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