Netanyahu's War on Gaza - by Stephen Lendman
Governing lawlessly by any standard, Netanyahu waged war on Gaza since becoming Israel's prime minister for the second time on March 31, 2009.
Under his leadership, May 31 marked the anniversary of Israel's barbaric slaughter of nine Freedom Flotilla activists in international waters, injuring dozens more trying to deliver thousands of tons of vital aid to besieged Gazans, suffocating illegally since June 2007.
At the time, Defense Minister Ehud Barak blamed Flotilla organizers for inciting the attack, while his deputy, Danny Alalon, said they were connected to international terrorist organizations, trying to smuggle in arms. In fact, none were on board nor on other aid ships trying to breach Israel's lawless blockade.
Caught red-handed in a bald-faced lie, Haaretz writer Gideon Levy said:
"The Israeli propaganda machine has reached new highs (distributing) false information. It embarrassed itself by entering a futile public relations battle....There is nothing to explain, certainly not to a world that will never buy (its) web of explanations, lies and tactics."
Video footage on board the Mavi Marmara mother ship showed Israeli commandos opened fire during the assault, activists saying it began when they stormed on board.
Al Zazeera's Jamal Elshayyal, aboard the ship, said "a white surrender flag was raised (and) there was no live fire coming from the passengers."
What happened was clear. IDF commandos planned and executed a premeditated attack against unarmed, nonviolent activists, trying to break Israel's illegal blockade to deliver essential aid. Cold-blooded murder resulted.
An independent UN Human Rights Council (HRC) fact-finding mission held Israel entirely culpable, calling its assault brutal and disproportionate. Based on eye witness testimonies, forensic evidence, video footage, and other photographic material, it:
"concluded that a series of violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, were committed by the Israeli forces during the interception of the flotilla and during the detention of passengers in Israel prior to deportation....The preponderance of evidence from impeccable sources is far too overwhelming to come to a contrary opinion."
Israel's justification on "security grounds" was called entirely baseless. Moreover, prosecuting Israeli criminals is warranted and essential under Fourth Geneva's Article 147, covering:
-- willful killing;
-- torture or inhuman treatment; and
-- deliberately causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health.
In emergency session ahead of its investigation, the HRC criticized Israel's "outrageous attack on aid ships attempting to breach a blockade on the Gaza Strip," calling it "piracy, (an) act of aggression, (a) brutal massacre, (an) act of terrorism, (a) war crime, (a) crime against humanity - unprovoked, unwarranted, atrocious, (and) brutal."