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The first anniversary of Gaza massacre

By       Message Abdus Sattar Ghazali     Permalink
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December 27th marks the first anniversary of Israeli assault on the besieged Gaza that left over 1,440 Palestinians dead, of whom 313 were children and 116 women. In the Israeli assault, called Operation Cast Lead, another 5,380 Palestinians were injured.

Shockingly, Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira of the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar recently released "The King's Torah" which absolves the Israeli army of killing innocent children as it says that Jews can kill Palestinian children who threaten Israel.

"It is permissible to kill gentile [read "Palestinian"] babies "because their presence assists murder, and there is reason to harm children if it is clear that they will grow up to harm us... it is permissible to harm the children of a leader in order to stop him from acting evilly... we have seen in the Halakha that even babies of gentiles who do not violate the seven Noahide laws, there is cause to kill them because of the future threat that will be caused if they are raised to be wicked people like their parents."

This goes way beyond preemption. Shapira is advocating killing Palestinian babies who don't even pose a threat to a Jew and who he can't possibly know in the future will do so.

The Gladstone report

In its report, the Goldstone-led UN investigatory team described the assault as Israeli terror. South African Judge Richard Goldstone, himself a Jew, led a transparent UN mission into the horror that happened in Gaza during the 23-day massacre. The report documented evidences of Israeli war crimes.

Not surprisingly, Israel withheld co-operation from the team right at the onset, prevented their entry into Gaza through Israel and leveled all sorts of accusations and verbal insults on Goldstone.

Tellingly, a day before the United Nations General Assembly voted to endorse the report that has also been affirmed by the U.N. Human Rights Council, the US House quickly passed a resolution calling on President Barrack Obama to reject the report.

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The 575-page report, released in September, detailed gross human rights violations and war crimes committed by Israel in Gaza during the Dec. 27, 2008 to Jan. 18, 2009 Israeli assault on unarmed civilian population. The report also concluded that evidence exists that Palestinian armed groups committed war crimes, as well as possibly crimes against humanity, in their repeated launching of rockets and mortars into southern Israel.

It was particularly critical of Israel, calling the military assault "a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate, and terrorize a civilian population, radically diminish its local economic capacity both to work and to provide for itself, and to force upon it an ever increasing sense of dependency and vulnerability."

The Israeli assault also led to the destruction of schools, mosques, houses as well as UN compounds, inflicting $1.6 billion damage on the Gaza economy.

The report also described Israel's longstanding economic blockade of Gaza a form of "collective punishment" against the population and cited a number of attacks on civilian targets during the operation for which there was "no justifiable military objective".

The key recommendation of Goldstone which the US opposes is to get a credible investigation into the Israeli war crimes that the Goldstone commission found evidence of in Gaza Strip, and the UN Security Council is the only body that can move forward and demand an investigation. Sadly, the General Assembly simply does not have that power.

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Israeli political and military authorities now face the possibility of international prosecution and arrest over war crimes in the Gaza Strip. A British court has issued an arrest warrant for former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni who was forced to cancel his visit to UK last month.

The Goldstone report favors universal jurisdiction as a tool for enforcing international law, preventing impunity and promoting international accountability. The report concluded that there was strong enough evidence that Israel committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in Gaza. Therefore, the 194 states that signed the Geneva Conventions carry the responsibility to actively search for suspected war criminals and bring them before its courts.

The Siege of Gaza

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
 

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