Goldstone report findings support Amnesty's own field investigations

Amnesty International said yesterday that the recommendations of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict, if implemented, offer the best hope for justice and accountability. The UN-mandated report by Judge Richard Goldstone found that both Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups committed grave violations of international law, including war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity, during the Gaza conflict this year.

 

 The report supports Amnesty International’s own findings of war crimes committed by both sides.

Donatella Rovera, who headed Amnesty International’s fact finding mission last winter in Israel and the Gaza Strip, said:

“The UN Security Council and other UN bodies must now take the steps necessary to ensure that the victims receive the justice and reparation that is their due and that perpetrators don’t get away with murder. The responsibility now lies with the international community, notably the UN Security Council, as the UN’s most powerful body, to take decisive action to ensure accountability for the perpetrators and justice for the victims. The Security Council must refer the Goldstone findings to the International Criminal Court Prosecutor if Israel and Hamas do not carry out credible investigations within a set, limited period.”

Note:  The United States holds the Presidency of the United Nations Security Council for the month of September.

Despite powerful evidence of war crimes and other serious violations of international law which emerged during and in the aftermath of the conflict, both Israel and Hamas have failed to carry out credible investigations and prosecute those responsible.  The UN Security Council condemned attacks against civilians during the conflict and urged both sides to respect international law, but so far it has turned a blind eye to the allegations of war crimes and other grave violations committed by both sides.

The report’s findings are consistent with those of Amnesty International’s own field investigation into the 22-day conflict during which some 1,400 Palestinians and nine Israelis were killed (four other Israeli soldiers were killed by their own side in ‘friendly fire’ incidents).

Most of the Palestinians killed by Israeli forces were unarmed civilians, including some 300 children. Amnesty’s investigations also found Israeli forces carried out wanton and wholesale destruction in Gaza, leaving entire neighborhoods in ruin, and used Palestinians as human shields.  Amnesty’s findings also agree with the Goldstone report in that the rocket fire into southern Israel by armed Palestinian groups, including Hamas, was indiscriminate which constitutes a war crime.

Key findings of the Goldstone report include:

• Israeli forces committed violations of human rights and international humanitarian law amounting to war crimes and some possibly amounting to crimes against humanity. Notably, investigations into numerous instances of lethal attacks on civilians and civilian objects revealed that the attacks were intentional, that some were launched with the intention of spreading terror among the civilian population and with no justifiable military objective and that Israeli forces used Palestinian civilians as human shields.

• Israeli forces committed grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention, notably wilful killing, torture and inhumane treatment, wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, and extensive destruction of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly. As grave breaches these acts give rise to individual criminal responsibility.

• Israel violated its duty to respect the right of Gaza’s population to an adequate standard of living, including access to adequate food, water and housing. Notably acts which deprive Palestinians in Gaza of their means of sustenance, employment, housing and water, that deny their freedom of movement and their right to leave and enter their own country, that limit their access to an effective remedy and could amount to persecution – a crime against humanity.

• Palestinian armed groups violated the principle of distinction by launching rocket and mortars attacks which cannot be aimed with sufficient precision at military targets and that their attacks into civilian areas which had no intended military target constituted deliberate attacks against civilians. Such attacks constitute war crimes and may amount to crimes against humanity.

• Palestinian combatants did not always adequately distinguish themselves from he civilian population and they unnecessarily exposed civilians to danger when they launched attacks close to civilian or protected buildings.

• The Fact-Finding Mission found no evidence that Palestinian armed groups directed civilians to areas where attacks were launched or that they forced civilians to remain within their vicinity, nor that hospital facilities were used by the Hamas de-facto administration or by Palestinian armed groups to shield military activities, or that ambulances were used to transport combatants, or that Palestinian armed groups engaged in combat activities from within hospitals or UN facilities that were used as shelters.

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37 thoughts on “Goldstone report findings support Amnesty's own field investigations

  1. Some findings in Goldstone's report are correct, but so what? By his standards, no two armies can ever fight, even less a state can fight terrorist organizations. How many US servicemen would be prosecuted after WWII on Goldstone's standards?
    Also, we prepared a huge list of biased reporting and errors in his report at http://samsonblinded.org/blog/goldstone-report-th

  2. Some findings in Goldstone's report are correct, but so what? By his standards, no two armies can ever fight, even less a state can fight terrorist organizations. How many US servicemen would be prosecuted after WWII on Goldstone's standards?
    Also, we prepared a huge list of biased reporting and errors in his report at http://samsonblinded.org/blog/goldstone-report-th

  3. Some findings in Goldstone's report are correct, but so what? By his standards, no two armies can ever fight, even less a state can fight terrorist organizations. How many US servicemen would be prosecuted after WWII on Goldstone's standards?
    Also, we prepared a huge list of biased reporting and errors in his report at http://samsonblinded.org/blog/goldstone-report-th

  4. Danny,

    International customary law and the Rules of War (Necessity, Proportionality and Distinction) are not arbitrary standards that Justice Goldstone pulled out of a hat. It is understood that nations will fight and it is understood that civilians will die when nations fight. International human rights law and humanitarian law were created to try to prevent as much as possible the needless death of civilians and destruction of civilian property when fighting takes place.

    I believe it's ironic that you ask how many U.S. servicement would be prosecuted after WWII on Goldstone's standards when it's exactly the atrocities that took place during WWII that prompted the creation of so many of these standards and prompted nations to adhere by them.

    The rules of war on which Justice Goldstone's team based their investigation are internationally recognized by militaries around the world and all military commanders are expected to follow these standards. His 'standards' are not unreasonable.

  5. I have not read the entire report, (the link seems broken) but I understand it made nasty remarks about the Israeli justice system and the capability of Israel to investigate itself.

    How does this square with what Louise Arbour, former UN High Commissioners for Human Rights, former chief Justice of the Canadian Supreme Court, and former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for War Crimes in Yugoslavia said about the independence and high standards of Israeli Judiciary and legal system in this interview that can be watched here:
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3331812

    “….this country, Israel, where the court is so sophisticated, so professional, so well respected all over the world, I think Israelis should be very proud of their court."

  6. I have not read the entire report, (the link seems broken) but I understand it made nasty remarks about the Israeli justice system and the capability of Israel to investigate itself.

    How does this square with what Louise Arbour, former UN High Commissioners for Human Rights, former chief Justice of the Canadian Supreme Court, and former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for War Crimes in Yugoslavia said about the independence and high standards of Israeli Judiciary and legal system in this interview that can be watched here:
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3331812

    “….this country, Israel, where the court is so sophisticated, so professional, so well respected all over the world, I think Israelis should be very proud of their court."

  7. I have not read the entire report, (the link seems broken) but I understand it made nasty remarks about the Israeli justice system and the capability of Israel to investigate itself.

    How does this square with what Louise Arbour, former UN High Commissioners for Human Rights, former chief Justice of the Canadian Supreme Court, and former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for War Crimes in Yugoslavia said about the independence and high standards of Israeli Judiciary and legal system in this interview that can be watched here:
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3331812

    “….this country, Israel, where the court is so sophisticated, so professional, so well respected all over the world, I think Israelis should be very proud of their court."

  8. edie: While I respect free speach, I have to point out that the link above, to samsonblinded, clearly supports the late Rabbi Kahane, who was an open anti Arab racist whose organization has been banned for decades from standing in elections in Israel due to anti-Arab racist incitement and whose support is less than 1% of the Israeli and Jewish world. So is this an appropriate link to have on an Amnesty website ?

    It is certainly not representative of the vast mainstream Jewish Zionist viewpoint, a mainstream which wants to live in peace with the Arabs.

  9. Danny,

    International customary law and the Rules of War (Necessity, Proportionality and Distinction) are not arbitrary standards that Justice Goldstone pulled out of a hat. It is understood that nations will fight and it is understood that civilians will die when nations fight. International human rights law and humanitarian law were created to try to prevent as much as possible the needless death of civilians and destruction of civilian property when fighting takes place.

    I believe it’s ironic that you ask how many U.S. servicement would be prosecuted after WWII on Goldstone’s standards when it’s exactly the atrocities that took place during WWII that prompted the creation of so many of these standards and prompted nations to adhere by them.

    The rules of war on which Justice Goldstone’s team based their investigation are internationally recognized by militaries around the world and all military commanders are expected to follow these standards. His ‘standards’ are not unreasonable.

  10. I have not read the entire report, (the link seems broken) but I understand it made nasty remarks about the Israeli justice system and the capability of Israel to investigate itself.

    How does this square with what Louise Arbour, former UN High Commissioners for Human Rights, former chief Justice of the Canadian Supreme Court, and former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for War Crimes in Yugoslavia said about the independence and high standards of Israeli Judiciary and legal system in this interview that can be watched here:

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3331812,00.html

    “….this country, Israel, where the court is so sophisticated, so professional, so well respected all over the world, I think Israelis should be very proud of their court.”

  11. edie: While I respect free speach, I have to point out that the link above, to samsonblinded, clearly supports the late Rabbi Kahane, who was an open anti Arab racist whose organization has been banned for decades from standing in elections in Israel due to anti-Arab racist incitement and whose support is less than 1% of the Israeli and Jewish world. So is this an appropriate link to have on an Amnesty website ?

    It is certainly not representative of the vast mainstream Jewish Zionist viewpoint, a mainstream which wants to live in peace with the Arabs.

  12. Judo – The Goldstone report first and foremost encourages both Israel and Hamas, the de facto administration in Gaza, to conduct their own credible and transparent investigations into these allegations and prosecute those found responsible for violating international human rights and humanitarian law. It is only if the parties fail to do so, that the report recommends international bodies to move forward with actions.

    I'm not aware of any denigrating language about Israel's justice system in the report. It should be noted that although Israel has highly respected democratic institutions, investigations conducted into violations by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) are conducted by the IDF and usually consist of interviews with the troops involved only. Field investigations where witnesses are interviewed, forensic evidence examined and the lay of the land examined are rarely undertaken which can contribute to an incomplete picture of the whole story. Many times, the findings of these investigations are not made public, and even when they are, the evidence to substantiate the findings is not released making independent verification difficult.

    Hamas, to my knowledge, hasn't even attempted to undertake any investigations and justify their use of indiscriminate rockets without apology.

    The liklihood that Israel will conduct an independent, transparent investigation or Hamas will conduct any investigation at all and then prosecute those found responsible for violating international laws is unlikely.

  13. Judo – The Goldstone report first and foremost encourages both Israel and Hamas, the de facto administration in Gaza, to conduct their own credible and transparent investigations into these allegations and prosecute those found responsible for violating international human rights and humanitarian law. It is only if the parties fail to do so, that the report recommends international bodies to move forward with actions.

    I’m not aware of any denigrating language about Israel’s justice system in the report. It should be noted that although Israel has highly respected democratic institutions, investigations conducted into violations by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) are conducted by the IDF and usually consist of interviews with the troops involved only. Field investigations where witnesses are interviewed, forensic evidence examined and the lay of the land examined are rarely undertaken which can contribute to an incomplete picture of the whole story. Many times, the findings of these investigations are not made public, and even when they are, the evidence to substantiate the findings is not released making independent verification difficult.

    Hamas, to my knowledge, hasn’t even attempted to undertake any investigations and justify their use of indiscriminate rockets without apology.

    The liklihood that Israel will conduct an independent, transparent investigation or Hamas will conduct any investigation at all and then prosecute those found responsible for violating international laws is unlikely.

  14. Pingback: ACT Now: Justice and Accountability not impediment, but foundation to peace | Human Rights Now - Amnesty International USA Blog

  15. I have been a long time support of AI and I'm disappointed in the way this is presented. The way this is presented presents a slanted view of the situation and careful examination by the editors should result in some changes.
    First, let me say that I see no excuse for Israel's actions in Gaza. Their actions deserve condemnation and, perhaps, international sanction. However, the sequence in which the article is written makes it seem that the Hamas missile attacks on Israeli civilians are 1) a reaction to the Israeli invasion, and 2) the accidental result of attempts to attack military targets. Both are false. The Israeli invasion was precipitated by continual intentional attacks on civilian targets over a prolonged period of time. Hamas had no intention of attacking military targets, they aim at civilian populations. They did so not in response to Israeli attacks, but in response to a lack thereof. In doing so, they provoked the response they were hoping for to improve support from the people Israel victimized.
    If you are going to weigh in on this, at least make an effort to appear impartial.

  16. I have been a long time support of AI and I’m disappointed in the way this is presented. The way this is presented presents a slanted view of the situation and careful examination by the editors should result in some changes.
    First, let me say that I see no excuse for Israel’s actions in Gaza. Their actions deserve condemnation and, perhaps, international sanction. However, the sequence in which the article is written makes it seem that the Hamas missile attacks on Israeli civilians are 1) a reaction to the Israeli invasion, and 2) the accidental result of attempts to attack military targets. Both are false. The Israeli invasion was precipitated by continual intentional attacks on civilian targets over a prolonged period of time. Hamas had no intention of attacking military targets, they aim at civilian populations. They did so not in response to Israeli attacks, but in response to a lack thereof. In doing so, they provoked the response they were hoping for to improve support from the people Israel victimized.
    If you are going to weigh in on this, at least make an effort to appear impartial.

  17. Thank you Charlie for your thoughtful remarks. Your concerns about the order in which the facts were presented is common. I often hear it from those from both sides. It is very difficult to present a story chronologically when discussing events concerning Israel and the Palestinians as the history of violence between the parties go back quite a ways and each sides interpret the reading differently.

    For instance, those who sympathize with Israel point at the thousands of rockets fired into southern Israel as the cause of the conflict while those who sympathize with the Palestinians point to the wall which was built around Gaza in 2005 and the devastating blockade which is over two years old for prompting the rocket fire.

    Upon reviewing the post, I find that it in no way insinuated that the rocket fire was 'in retaliation' or 'in response to' the Israel's offensive. Nor does it say that the rocket fire was intended to hit military targets, but accidently hit civilians. Matter of fact, it clearly says, "… that their attacks into civilian areas which had no intended military target constituted deliberate attacks against civilians. Such attacks constitute war crimes and may amount to crimes against humanity."

    Amnesty International takes no political 'side' in a conflict, but holds all parties to the same standard of international humanitarian law and human rights law based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Justice Richard Goldstone's report did the same, examining evidence of violation of the rules of war by all parties of the conflict. His team's findings corresponded exactly with our own field investigations last winter that both Israel and armed Palestinian groups, including Hamas, violated the rules of war.

  18. Thank you Charlie for your thoughtful remarks. Your concerns about the order in which the facts were presented is common. I often hear it from those from both sides. It is very difficult to present a story chronologically when discussing events concerning Israel and the Palestinians as the history of violence between the parties go back quite a ways and each sides interpret the reading differently.

    For instance, those who sympathize with Israel point at the thousands of rockets fired into southern Israel as the cause of the conflict while those who sympathize with the Palestinians point to the wall which was built around Gaza in 2005 and the devastating blockade which is over two years old for prompting the rocket fire.

    Upon reviewing the post, I find that it in no way insinuated that the rocket fire was ‘in retaliation’ or ‘in response to’ the Israel’s offensive. Nor does it say that the rocket fire was intended to hit military targets, but accidently hit civilians. Matter of fact, it clearly says, “… that their attacks into civilian areas which had no intended military target constituted deliberate attacks against civilians. Such attacks constitute war crimes and may amount to crimes against humanity.”

    Amnesty International takes no political ‘side’ in a conflict, but holds all parties to the same standard of international humanitarian law and human rights law based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Justice Richard Goldstone’s report did the same, examining evidence of violation of the rules of war by all parties of the conflict. His team’s findings corresponded exactly with our own field investigations last winter that both Israel and armed Palestinian groups, including Hamas, violated the rules of war.

  19. "Those who sympathize with the Palestinians point to the wall which was built around Gaza in 2005 and the devastating blockade which is over two years old for prompting the rocket fire."

    Edie:
    Obviously you have different definitions of a number of english words than I do.

    For example the word “around”.

    The Gaza strip has a 20 km long border with the Muslim Arab country of Egypt. Not one single Israeli soldier has been anywhere near that border since the 12th of September 2005. Israel has a wall on its side of the Gaza-Israel border only and has nothing what so ever to do with the Egytian-Gaza border. So your use of the word “around” is just bizzare.

    Secondly your use of the word “blockade”.

    Once again, a “blockade” it is not since Israel is just in control of its border with Gaza, and what Egypt does with its border with Gaza is up to Egypt.

    Thirdly your use of the word “devastating”.

    As I have pointed out to you elsewhere on other of your blogs and you have always ignored and refused to answer is that according to the UN, Gaza has the lowest infant, child, maternal and general mortality in the third world, 10 times lower than Africa and lower even than most Arab countries even fabulously rich ones like Saudi Arabia. So once again I ask you, knowing you will not answer, how possibly could the situation in Gaza be considered “devastating” when the general health of the population as indicated in the UN population database
    http://www.un.org/esa/population/

    shows Gazans are just about healthier than the entire third world, i.e. their situation is better off than several billions of people on earth. Just explain how you can justify using hyper exaggerated language like “disaster” and “devastating” to describe a humanitarian situation 10 times better than Africa, better than just about the whole entire third world?

    Israel has never once violated international law by preventing humanitarian supplies nessisary to maintain life from entering Gaza, never once. There has never ever been hunger in Gaza, no medicine has ever been blocked, there is almost complete access to clean fresh water, electricity, cooking fuel etc.

    For just one example, never, not even in the middle of the Gaza War, has Israel ever once cut off the 10 high voltage lines directly connecting Gaza with the Israeli power grid, supplying 70% of Gaza's power needs.

    And for this Israeli behavior, which shows high respect for international humanitarian law and Israel's acceptance of its responsibility to allow humanitarian goods to enter Gaza to prevent undue civilians suffering, for this you condemn Israel.

    How about some honesty Edie, how about for once you admit Israel is not all bad. How about just once you admit the provable fact Israel actually does allow humanitarian goods into Gaza, 100s and 100s of trucks worth of medicine and food and other needed goods every single day of the week, and saying it does not are just lies and propaganda.

  20. "Those who sympathize with the Palestinians point to the wall which was built around Gaza in 2005 and the devastating blockade which is over two years old for prompting the rocket fire."

    Edie:
    Obviously you have different definitions of a number of english words than I do.

    For example the word “around”.

    The Gaza strip has a 20 km long border with the Muslim Arab country of Egypt. Not one single Israeli soldier has been anywhere near that border since the 12th of September 2005. Israel has a wall on its side of the Gaza-Israel border only and has nothing what so ever to do with the Egytian-Gaza border. So your use of the word “around” is just bizzare.

    Secondly your use of the word “blockade”.

    Once again, a “blockade” it is not since Israel is just in control of its border with Gaza, and what Egypt does with its border with Gaza is up to Egypt.

    Thirdly your use of the word “devastating”.

    As I have pointed out to you elsewhere on other of your blogs and you have always ignored and refused to answer is that according to the UN, Gaza has the lowest infant, child, maternal and general mortality in the third world, 10 times lower than Africa and lower even than most Arab countries even fabulously rich ones like Saudi Arabia. So once again I ask you, knowing you will not answer, how possibly could the situation in Gaza be considered “devastating” when the general health of the population as indicated in the UN population database
    http://www.un.org/esa/population/

    shows Gazans are just about healthier than the entire third world, i.e. their situation is better off than several billions of people on earth. Just explain how you can justify using hyper exaggerated language like “disaster” and “devastating” to describe a humanitarian situation 10 times better than Africa, better than just about the whole entire third world?

    Israel has never once violated international law by preventing humanitarian supplies nessisary to maintain life from entering Gaza, never once. There has never ever been hunger in Gaza, no medicine has ever been blocked, there is almost complete access to clean fresh water, electricity, cooking fuel etc.

    For just one example, never, not even in the middle of the Gaza War, has Israel ever once cut off the 10 high voltage lines directly connecting Gaza with the Israeli power grid, supplying 70% of Gaza's power needs.

    And for this Israeli behavior, which shows high respect for international humanitarian law and Israel's acceptance of its responsibility to allow humanitarian goods to enter Gaza to prevent undue civilians suffering, for this you condemn Israel.

    How about some honesty Edie, how about for once you admit Israel is not all bad. How about just once you admit the provable fact Israel actually does allow humanitarian goods into Gaza, 100s and 100s of trucks worth of medicine and food and other needed goods every single day of the week, and saying it does not are just lies and propaganda.

  21. "Those who sympathize with the Palestinians point to the wall which was built around Gaza in 2005 and the devastating blockade which is over two years old for prompting the rocket fire."

    Edie:
    Obviously you have different definitions of a number of english words than I do.

    For example the word “around”.

    The Gaza strip has a 20 km long border with the Muslim Arab country of Egypt. Not one single Israeli soldier has been anywhere near that border since the 12th of September 2005. Israel has a wall on its side of the Gaza-Israel border only and has nothing what so ever to do with the Egytian-Gaza border. So your use of the word “around” is just bizzare.

    Secondly your use of the word “blockade”.

    Once again, a “blockade” it is not since Israel is just in control of its border with Gaza, and what Egypt does with its border with Gaza is up to Egypt.

    Thirdly your use of the word “devastating”.

    As I have pointed out to you elsewhere on other of your blogs and you have always ignored and refused to answer is that according to the UN, Gaza has the lowest infant, child, maternal and general mortality in the third world, 10 times lower than Africa and lower even than most Arab countries even fabulously rich ones like Saudi Arabia. So once again I ask you, knowing you will not answer, how possibly could the situation in Gaza be considered “devastating” when the general health of the population as indicated in the UN population database
    http://www.un.org/esa/population/

    shows Gazans are just about healthier than the entire third world, i.e. their situation is better off than several billions of people on earth. Just explain how you can justify using hyper exaggerated language like “disaster” and “devastating” to describe a humanitarian situation 10 times better than Africa, better than just about the whole entire third world?

    Israel has never once violated international law by preventing humanitarian supplies nessisary to maintain life from entering Gaza, never once. There has never ever been hunger in Gaza, no medicine has ever been blocked, there is almost complete access to clean fresh water, electricity, cooking fuel etc.

    For just one example, never, not even in the middle of the Gaza War, has Israel ever once cut off the 10 high voltage lines directly connecting Gaza with the Israeli power grid, supplying 70% of Gaza's power needs.

    And for this Israeli behavior, which shows high respect for international humanitarian law and Israel's acceptance of its responsibility to allow humanitarian goods to enter Gaza to prevent undue civilians suffering, for this you condemn Israel.

    How about some honesty Edie, how about for once you admit Israel is not all bad. How about just once you admit the provable fact Israel actually does allow humanitarian goods into Gaza, 100s and 100s of trucks worth of medicine and food and other needed goods every single day of the week, and saying it does not are just lies and propaganda.

  22. “Those who sympathize with the Palestinians point to the wall which was built around Gaza in 2005 and the devastating blockade which is over two years old for prompting the rocket fire.”

    Edie:
    Obviously you have different definitions of a number of english words than I do.

    For example the word “around”.

    The Gaza strip has a 20 km long border with the Muslim Arab country of Egypt. Not one single Israeli soldier has been anywhere near that border since the 12th of September 2005. Israel has a wall on its side of the Gaza-Israel border only and has nothing what so ever to do with the Egytian-Gaza border. So your use of the word “around” is just bizzare.

    Secondly your use of the word “blockade”.

    Once again, a “blockade” it is not since Israel is just in control of its border with Gaza, and what Egypt does with its border with Gaza is up to Egypt.

    Thirdly your use of the word “devastating”.

    As I have pointed out to you elsewhere on other of your blogs and you have always ignored and refused to answer is that according to the UN, Gaza has the lowest infant, child, maternal and general mortality in the third world, 10 times lower than Africa and lower even than most Arab countries even fabulously rich ones like Saudi Arabia. So once again I ask you, knowing you will not answer, how possibly could the situation in Gaza be considered “devastating” when the general health of the population as indicated in the UN population database

    http://www.un.org/esa/population/

    shows Gazans are just about healthier than the entire third world, i.e. their situation is better off than several billions of people on earth. Just explain how you can justify using hyper exaggerated language like “disaster” and “devastating” to describe a humanitarian situation 10 times better than Africa, better than just about the whole entire third world?

    Israel has never once violated international law by preventing humanitarian supplies nessisary to maintain life from entering Gaza, never once. There has never ever been hunger in Gaza, no medicine has ever been blocked, there is almost complete access to clean fresh water, electricity, cooking fuel etc.

    For just one example, never, not even in the middle of the Gaza War, has Israel ever once cut off the 10 high voltage lines directly connecting Gaza with the Israeli power grid, supplying 70% of Gaza’s power needs.

    And for this Israeli behavior, which shows high respect for international humanitarian law and Israel’s acceptance of its responsibility to allow humanitarian goods to enter Gaza to prevent undue civilians suffering, for this you condemn Israel.

    How about some honesty Edie, how about for once you admit Israel is not all bad. How about just once you admit the provable fact Israel actually does allow humanitarian goods into Gaza, 100s and 100s of trucks worth of medicine and food and other needed goods every single day of the week, and saying it does not are just lies and propaganda.

  23. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territories , SPECIAL FOCUS August 2009 UN OCHA oPt :

    "In August 2009, the number of truckloads allowed to cross from Israel into Gaza was 2,620, an increase by approximately 15 percent compared to July 2,231."

    "Food supplies made up the highest proportion of total truckloads, 77 percent, with the remaining truckloads consisting of fuel supplies, including cooking gas (six percent), hygiene and cleaning materials (six percent), agricultural raw materials (three percent), and other supplies (eight percent)."

    "During August 2009, approximately 9.7 million litres of industrial fuel (not included in the truckload count) were delivered from Israel to the Gaza Electric Power Plant (GPP), which supplies 30% of Gaza's power needs. The other 70% of Gaza's electrical power continues to be supplied by direct cross border connection to the Israeli power grid."

    "The provision of adequate medical services has also been challenged by recurrent shortages of pharmaceuticals and consumables. While the Israeli clearance procedures at the crossings have occasionally caused delays in their supply, these shortages occur mainly due to poor management and distribution of available supplies, unreliability of estimated needs, inefficiencies in the procurement process and funding shortfalls. The large influx of drug donations during the “Cast Lead” offensive has had only a moderate impact in the current stock levels, mainly due to a lack of coordination which resulted in the delivery of massive amounts of nonessential items, much of them with short expiry dates. As a result these items have not been able to
    be utilized and have caused a significant problem relating to storage and disposal of unused drugs and medical equipment and has resulted in increased storage costs and disposal costs. As of July 2009,
    there were 77 essential drugs (or 15 percent of the essential drug list) and 140 disposable items (or 20percent of the essential list) out of stock."

  24. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territories , SPECIAL FOCUS August 2009 UN OCHA oPt :

    “In August 2009, the number of truckloads allowed to cross from Israel into Gaza was 2,620, an increase by approximately 15 percent compared to July 2,231.”

    “Food supplies made up the highest proportion of total truckloads, 77 percent, with the remaining truckloads consisting of fuel supplies, including cooking gas (six percent), hygiene and cleaning materials (six percent), agricultural raw materials (three percent), and other supplies (eight percent).”

    “During August 2009, approximately 9.7 million litres of industrial fuel (not included in the truckload count) were delivered from Israel to the Gaza Electric Power Plant (GPP), which supplies 30% of Gaza’s power needs. The other 70% of Gaza’s electrical power continues to be supplied by direct cross border connection to the Israeli power grid.”

    “The provision of adequate medical services has also been challenged by recurrent shortages of pharmaceuticals and consumables. While the Israeli clearance procedures at the crossings have occasionally caused delays in their supply, these shortages occur mainly due to poor management and distribution of available supplies, unreliability of estimated needs, inefficiencies in the procurement process and funding shortfalls. The large influx of drug donations during the “Cast Lead” offensive has had only a moderate impact in the current stock levels, mainly due to a lack of coordination which resulted in the delivery of massive amounts of nonessential items, much of them with short expiry dates. As a result these items have not been able to
    be utilized and have caused a significant problem relating to storage and disposal of unused drugs and medical equipment and has resulted in increased storage costs and disposal costs. As of July 2009,
    there were 77 essential drugs (or 15 percent of the essential drug list) and 140 disposable items (or 20percent of the essential list) out of stock.”

  25. I believe that the Goldstone Report laid out the facts (Ie, it was a Fact Finding Mission) . He did lay the blame at both doors.

    Here is my review of the Special Session: http://therightstimes.blogspot.com/2010/02/review-of-2009-human-rights-council.html

    I was also at the presentation of the Goldstone Report at the UN in Geneva, and have followed it. See here: http://www.humanrightsnexus.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=186&Itemid