Will Israel be Held Accountable for War Crimes?
The Real Agenda
November 22nd, 2012
The question above is one that always comes to mind wheneverÂ a more powerful military force uses its might to destroy livelihoods anywhere in the planet. In the case of the Israeli regime, its despise for live, especially that of Arab people is simply horrendous, and that is why it is just fair to ask. During the latest attacks carried out by the Israeli army, almost 50 percent of innocent victims are children and women.
The sum of civilian deaths in Operation Defensive Pillar continues to rise inexorably. OnÂ Monday morning there was a score, and throughout the day another dozen were killed in different parts of the Gaza Strip. The total number of deaths already exceeds one hundred.
â€śWhatÂ is happening here is a war crime,â€ť said SalahÂ Abed Alaty, a representative of the Independent Commission for Human Rights in theÂ north of the Gaza Strip. â€śTheÂ international community can not remain indifferent to a massacre likeÂ this, especially women and children,â€ť he adds, when suddenly leaps up to feel the rumble and flare caused by a QassamÂ rocket launched from a hundredÂ yards of the Omar el Moktar Avenue.
StatisticsÂ are never the best way to provideÂ an account of the damage and destruction caused by war, but according to the numbers compiled by the Ministry of Health in Gaza, mostÂ of the fatalities in the territory are children, women and the elderly. The same three groups are also an important minorityÂ among the wounded, which already hitÂ 700. The indiscriminate killing of civilians in Gaza caused the officialÂ condemnation by the UNICEF and international NGOs present in the area. Such condemnation has never been heard so publicly in the past, which is why is relevant to ask whether this time, the murder carried out by the Israeli army will be punished.
OnÂ Monday, four members of a family, including two children underÂ four years of age, were killed in an Israeli air strike on a house in the town of BeitÂ LahiyaÂ in northern Gaza. â€śAlthoughÂ a senior officer of the QassamÂ Brigades EzadĂnÂ had been in the building, there wasÂ no justification to destroy it,â€ť saidÂ Abed Alaty, a lawyer who witnessed the attack. InÂ his opinion, the alleged â€śextrajudicial executionâ€ťÂ of aÂ militia leader of Hamas is not enough to launch several missiles at theÂ building in which he was assumedÂ to be.
Israelâ€™s Air Force bombed a second time the building in Shuruq,Â Gaza City, whichÂ until Monday harbored Al AqsaÂ TV, which was linked toÂ Hamas. In the same venue also operated crews fromÂ foreign channels such as Sky News and Al Arabiya.
PalestinianÂ sources reported that at least two people died, one RamizÂ Harb, leader of Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad. The Israeli military said in a statement that Harb was â€śresponsible for the propagandaâ€ť of the militia. At least three other people were injured, including two journalists.
The tower was converted into a column of black smoke, and in dozens of soil and debris from broken glass objects. OnÂ Sunday, theÂ tower next to the Al Shawa, which also hostedÂ television producers serving international channels, wasÂ hit by an air to land missile. TheÂ director of the press office of the Hamas government, IhabÂ Al Ghusain says that the antennas were used exclusively for television. â€śThe Israelis say masts served as the communications signal of our security forces,â€ť he says. â€śButÂ thatâ€™s silly, because these antennas are in the barracks and police stations, which are alsoÂ being systematically bombed,â€ť the spokesmanÂ stressed.
â€śWeÂ have come to the Beach Hotel,â€ť said Mahmoud Jaber, the CEO of Palestinian Media Productions, the production company that was attacked on Monday for the second time.Â TheÂ new headquarters is a constant bustle of journalists, some are quick toÂ come out with cameras, others stay glued to computer screens and connected to the radio, the most reliable source of information on the Strip.
â€śWeÂ believe that hotels are the safest, as host to foreign journalists andÂ aid workers, so we have temporarily changed to Hotel Beachâ€ť concludedÂ Jaber.Â The crisis is generating great benefits for the many directÂ connections promptedÂ for foreign television. From the hotel, journalistsÂ follow the last-minute attempts in Cairo to reach a ceasefire through Egyptian mediation. TheÂ leader of the political wing of Hamas abroad, Khaled Meshal, and other members of the intelligence apparatus of the military require guaranteesÂ that Israelâ€™s bombings will be halted.
Palestinians also called for an endÂ to targeted killings against members of their militias and other armed groups in Gaza.Â The Israelis want to maintain control over the security zone near the border with Israel, which covers between 300 meters and a kilometer, butÂ Hamas leaders have refused to accept such a request.
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Contributed by Luis Miranda of The Real Agenda.
Luis R. Miranda is the Founder and Editor of The Real Agenda. His 16 years of experience in Journalism include television, radio, print and Internet news. Luis obtained his Journalism degree from Universidad Latina de Costa Rica, where he graduated in Mass Media Communication in 1998. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcasting from Montclair State University in New Jersey. Among his most distinguished interviews are: Costa Rican President Jose Maria Figueres and James Hansen from NASA Space Goddard Institute.
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