Gaza Bloodbath 29 Mar 2008
do not apologise for starting with this horrible cartoon. It comments more
powerfully than I can on the horror experienced by people in Gaza. It also points out the complicity of governments such as our own in the
from the field workers of the human rights organization, Al Mezan, show
that the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) killed 236 people in the Gaza
Strip in the period between
The IOF frequently targets ambulances or prevents them from going to help the injured. This happened three times on 1 March. With much difficulty, an ambulance crew got permission from the IOF to attend an injured girl. However, as the vehicle went to her soldiers fired at it, immobilizing it. Thus denied help, she bled to death. After being shot in his home, a young man also bled to death because the IOF refused to let an ambulance crew go to him. In addition, a paramedic was seriously wounded when the IOF fired on ambulances going to the aid of people at the site of a helicopter rocket attack.
The blockade to which Israel has subjected Gaza following the democratic election of a Hamas-led government in January 2006, considerably reduced the ability of hospitals to cope with the large number of casualties caused by the Israeli onslaught. They were already short of drugs and medical supplies. Electricity cuts caused additional problems and there was only enough fuel to run half the ambulances.
Many houses and other buildings were damaged or destroyed during “Operation Warm Winter.” On 29 February and again on 1 March, neighbours showed great courage by congregating in large numbers at houses the IOF had said they were going to bombard. The non-violent resisters reasoned, fortunately correctly, that the IOF would not risk international condemnation by killing so many people together.
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Where law ends, tyranny begins – John Locke
Mezan’s records document the systematic use of excessive and lethal
force by the IOF against civilians, with the deliberate killing and
injuring of many, including children. This killing of civilians is clearly
a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva convention. Articles
146 and 147 state that those who commit grave breaches of the convention,
such as the wilful killing of civilians, must be brought to trial, and
that each Contracting Party is under an obligation
to search for persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be
committed, such grave breaches.
33 stipulates that no civilian may be punished for an offence he or she
has not personally committed. The siege to which Israel has subjected Gaza for over a year
prohibits entry and exit of goods, including essential supplies such as
food, medicine, fuel, and electricity, is therefore a despicable form of
collective punishment imposed on a protected civilian population,
contravening the absolute prohibition of such actions by international
his report to the UN General Assembly on
Palestinians are the victims of repeated violations of international law