Archive for the ‘Victims’ Category

Willful Killing of 72-Year-Old Civilian by Israeli Forces
June 11, 2007

 

 

At approximately 12:20 am on Wednesday, 6 June 2007, a large Israeli military force, comprising at least 50 soldiers, came to the house of Yehia al-Jabari. Yehia, who was 72-years-old, lived with his family in a two-storey house in the B’er Haram area of Hebron city. Upon opening the front door of the house to the soldiers, Rajih al-Jabari, the 26-year-old son of Yehia, was dragged outside. Without any warning or justification, the Israeli soldiers began to beat Rajih, violently hitting his head against the wall of the house. At this point, Yehia, who had only moments earlier returned home from visiting a relative, came outside with his wife Fatima to see what was happening. Seeing the soldiers attacking his son, Yehia, who was unarmed, attempted to intervene and protect his son. While doing so, he was shot once in the forehead by an Israeli soldier; the bullet exiting the rear of his head. He then fell to the ground, where he lay motionless, presumably having been killed instantly. Immediately afterward, his wife, who was also unarmed, began screaming and attempted to reach Yehia’s body. An Israeli soldier, however, opened fire on her, hitting her six times. Fatima, who was hit in numerous parts of her body, including the head and chest, fell to the ground.

At this time, two of Yehia’s sons, 24-year-old Kamil and 36-year-old Radi, exited the front door of the house. There, they found their parents lying in pools of blood on the ground, surrounded by a large number of Israeli soldiers. In attempting to move their father’s corpse from the front steps, where it was lying, the two brothers were screamed at by an Israeli soldier who ordered them to stop. Radi ignored the soldier, pushing him away. In response, however, the soldier opened fire on the brothers, hitting Kamil in the foot. After Kamil had fallen to the ground, Radi knelt beside his father’s body and began to cry. The soldiers, however, began to beat him in an attempt to move him away.

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By this stage, a number of other family members and neighbours had gathered nearby. They were prevented from reaching the injured persons by the Israeli soldiers who forced them back violently, in some instances, beating the men and women with the butts of their guns.

Soon after the aforementioned events had taken place, the injured were transferred to ambulances that had arrived at the scene. Despite the serious condition of several of the wounded, the Israeli soldiers refused to allow the ambulances to leave the area for a full 15 minutes after they were ready to do so.

Once the injured persons were eventually transferred to hospital, the soldiers gathered the remaining family members, as well as a number of other individuals who were present, inside the house. There, the women were kept in a single room, while the men were kept under guard in the corridor outside. They remained there for 45 minutes while the Israeli soldiers carried out an extensive search of the house, in the course of which they found no weapons, nor did they arrest any individuals. Only after the soldiers had completed the search did they inform the Palestinians present that they were looking for Salih al-Jabari, the 17-year-old son of Yehia. At approximately 2:30 am, the soldiers finally agreed to leave the area after receiving assurances that Salih would present himself to the Israeli authorities the following day.

Regarding those Palestinians taken to hospital for treatment, a number of individuals were released after being treated for shock and/or for the injuries they sustained having being beaten by the Israeli soldiers. More worryingly, 57-year-old Fatima al-Jabari is presently in a critical condition, while her son, Rajih al-Jabari, remains in an extremely serious condition.

Al-Haq is deeply disturbed by the nature of this and other recent military operations in the OPT where the intention to kill and/or the indifference to preserving civilian life on the part of the Israeli forces has been all too evident. Al-Haq strongly condemns this morning’s unprovoked and unjustifiable attack on civilians as an egregious violation of the fundamental principles of international law. The non-derogable right to life, that most basic of human rights from which all others stem, was brazenly disregarded by the Israeli soldiers involved.

Under customary international humanitarian law, the Israeli army is obliged to distinguish at all times between civilians and combatants, and to in all circumstances refrain from directing attacks against civilians. The use of force in a situation such as this, whereby the Israeli soldiers were met with no resistance, cannot be justified on the grounds of military necessity and is clearly unlawful.

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Resource:

Electronic Intefada

Design:

What’s Wrong With Them

Fallujah..The Hidden Massacre….
June 11, 2007

 

 

“Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre,” a documentary by Sigfrido Ranucci and Maurizio Torrealta. Broadcast today on the Italian state television network RAI.

This documentary featuring interviews with U.S. soldiers, Iraqi doctors and international journalists on the U.S. attack on Fallujah. Produced by Italian state broadcaster RAI TV, the documentary charges U.S. warplanes illegally dropped white phosphorus incendiary bombs on civilian populations, burning the skin off Iraqi victims. One U.S. soldier charges this amounts to the U.S. using chemical weapons against the Iraqi people.

 

And here’s some REALITIES appeared from this documentary…

JEFF ENGLEHART (ex-U.S. soldier): I was personally involved with escorting a commander to Fallujah for Operation Phantom Fury. We were told going into Fallujah, into the combat area, that every single person that was walking, talking, breathing was an enemy combatant. As such, every single person that was walking down the street or in a house was a target.

JEFF ENGLEHART: It seemed like just a massive killing of Arabs. It looked like just a massive killing.

REPORTER: Were any chemical weapons used in Fallujah?
JEFF ENGLEHART: From the U.S. military, yeah, absolutely. White phosphorus. Possibly napalm may or may not have been used; I do not know. I do know that white phosphorus was used, which is definitely, without a shadow of a doubt, a chemical weapon.
The gases from the warhead of the white phosphorus will disperse in a cloud. And when it makes contact with skin, then it’s absolutely irreversible damage, burning of flesh to the bone. It doesn’t necessarily burn clothes, but it will burn the skin underneath clothes. And this is why protective masks do not help, because it will burn right through the mask, the rubber of the mask. It will manage to get inside your face. If you breathe it, it will blister your throat and your lungs until you suffocate, and then it will burn you from the inside. It basically reacts to skin, oxygen and water.
REPORTER: Have you seen the effects of these weapons?
JEFF ENGLEHART: Yes. Burned. Burned bodies. I mean, it burned children, and it burned women. White phosphorus kills indiscriminately. It’s a cloud that will within, in most cases, 150 meters of impact will disperse, and it will burn every human being or animal.

JEFF ENGLEHART: I don’t doubt that American soldiers who are frustrated after being involved in combat for a year would have any problems with doing any kind of vandalism. I mean, it’s very common. Indiscriminate vandalism was found – I mean, there was carvings in the walls at Babylon, an ancient structure, a historical monument. It was common for soldiers to carve, you know, “Hello, mom, I’m from Texas,” on these walls. I just think there’s a certain lack of respect within the American military ranks, especially when dealing with soldiers who are frustrated. I personally did not witness any mosque vandalism. Our brigade was good about keeping that very controlled. But I did hear stories. Places such as Samarra, Baghdad, Mosul, mosques being attacked, mosques being vandalized, the Koran being damaged. I think it’s very common.

ALICE MAHON (a Labour parliamentarian from 1987 until a few months ago, until she decided to walk out on Westminster: I didn’t lose my seat. I deliberately stood down, because I didn’t want to be part of a government that was conducting an illegal and bloody war against people who had done us no harm whatsoever. Well, I heard from the American military at the beginning of the war, at the beginning of the bombardments of Iraq, there was an admission by the American military that they had used a substance similar to napalm when they first went into Iraq. I put the question down. And as you can see, the reply was “No, they hadn’t.” My government were not aware of it. Now, I’m afraid some of us do not believe everything we’re told at the moment, and so I did pursue it, even when I stood down from Parliament. And months later, we did get an admission from the Ministry of Defense, from the minister himself, that a similar substance to napalm had been used in the bombardments of Iraq.

And you can find more and more when you watch the documentary….
Fallujah..The Hidden Massacre….

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Resources:
U.S. Broadcast Exclusive – “Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre” on the U.S. Use of Napalm-Like White Phosphorus Bombs

Fallujah..The Hidden Massacre….

 

Design:

Weapon of Mass Distruction

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When Killing is Easy..Rachel, James, Tom,…& The List is Endless
June 11, 2007

In a seven-week period, two overseas observers were killed by the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip, and a third left brain dead. But has the truth yet been told?

James Miller was not the first international witness to fall silent in Rafah. He was the third. This spring, in less than seven weeks, and within a radius of less than three miles, the American human-shield activist Rachel Corrie was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer; the British photographer and peace activist Tom Hurndall was shot in the head and rendered brain-dead; and James Miller was shot dead.

To understand what happened to James, it made sense to investigate the killing of Rachel and the maiming of Tom, whose family are currently discussing with doctors whether or not his life-support machine should be switched off. One day we filmed Tom lying in his hospital bed at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability in Putney, south-west London. On the wall was a battery of photographs showing Tom with a whole life ahead of him. The bleep-bleep of the monitor was the only sound. That afternoon, we has traveled to a Devon village to film Sophy Miller, James’s widow, and their children, Alexander, three, and Lotte, not yet one.

Making our film, When Killing Is Easy, has been the most harrowing ordeal of my professional life. But it is vital that it isevidential – and that is really tough when the Israeli government and the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) have refused to speak to us. From mid-August we faxed and telephoned the Israelis repeatedly, asking them to explain their actions. All we got was a series of old press releases.

Rachel Corrie was the first of the three victims. She was a member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). They are young idealists, mainly European and American, who offer themselves as human shields. You could call them naive, even foolish. There is no doubting their guts. They stand between the Israeli bulldozers and their targets, the Palestinians’ homes that the IDF wants to flatten.

The Israelis have their reasons. Rafah is a stronghold of Islamic extremism in Gaza. The Palestinians dig tunnels underneath the Israeli-controlled border to their relatives in Egypt. The tunnels, the Israelis say, are used to smuggle guns and bombs. It is fair to point out that few, if any, suicide bombers have come from Gaza, for the simple reason that the Israelis have made it virtually impossible for ordinary residents to leave the strip. Even so, to make the tunneling more difficult the IDF has created a Berlin Wall-style “death strip”. The ISM people come along and get in the way. The Israeli government calls them “irresponsible”, “illegal” and “terrorist sympathizers”.

All of this must be seen in the context of the second intifada, where Israeli military actions have frequently occurred in response to Palestinian suicide bombings. So far, 800 Israelis have been killed and 2,200 Palestinians.

On 16 March this year, Rachel and her friends from the ISM were defending the home of Dr Samir Nasser Allah from the bulldozers. The human shields had been successful in getting in the way. Tom Dale and Alice Coy, fellow ISM activists, watched a bulldozer rumble straight towards Rachel. She stood her ground. The bulldozer didn’t stop. Dale, an Oxford undergraduate, had a clear view of the incident. “He [the driver] knew absolutely she was there. The bulldozer waited for a few seconds over her body and it then reversed, leaving its scoop down so that if she had been under the bulldozer, it would have crushed her a second time. Only later when it was much more clear of her body did it raise its scoop.”

Rachel was able to tell Coy: “My back is broken.” She died soon afterwards. A still photograph of the scene clearly shows the ISM activists gathered around the mortally wounded Rachel. In the background is the bulldozer. Connecting the two are straight bulldozer tracks.

The Israeli pathologist Dr Yehudah Hiss noted that Rachel appeared to have been run over by a bulldozer, and found the cause of death to be “pressure to the chest”. Rachel’s shoulder blades had been crushed, her spine broken in five places and six ribs broken. Her face was apparently slashed by the blade.

The IDF produced a field report that stated that “Corrie was not run over by an engineering vehicle”, and, for good measure, that she was “hidden from view of the vehicle’s operator”. The IDF backed up its version by allowing Israeli television to do a sound-only interview with the soldier who drove the bulldozer. He said: “When I was doing the earthworks, I picked up a load of earth and pushed it along. Nobody was there at the time. Maybe she was buried there. I don’t know. I didn’t see her.” There was a second soldier in the bulldozer. What did he see? We don’t know.

The IDF report goes on to assert that Rachel “was struck by dirt and a slab of concrete, resulting in her death”. But what about the Israeli pathologist’s finding of multiple crush injuries, which is not consistent with a single slab of concrete falling on her? Curiously, when the military police later carried out a criminal investigation, they concluded that she was not “hit by a bulldozer” but had stumbled on building waste.

The family of Rachel Corrie believe the Defense force’s version of events to be a blatant fabrication. The IDF wouldn’t talk to us about Rachel’s death; the Israeli military police’s investigation is complete and no Israeli soldier has been charged with any wrongdoing.

Tom Hurndall was shot in the head on 11 April. The IDF has admitted shooting Tom, but they imply that they had good reason to do so; he was wearing camouflage fatigues and firing a gun at an IDF outpost. The IDF’s field report even provides two diagrams showing the location of the gunman firing at them.

Tom’s father, Anthony Hurndall, a City of London property lawyer, has investigated his son’s shooting. The two diagrams in the IDF report locate Tom’s position when he was shot in two different places. The sites are contradictory. Thirteen eyewitnesses and two chains of photographs locate Tom in a different place, about 100 meters further away from the death strip. The eyewitnesses say that Tom was not firing a gun at the Israelis, but helping a Palestinian toddler who had frozen under Israeli fire.

Immediately after Tom was shot, he was moved out of the firing line by two Palestinian youths to a safer place where he could be given first aid. Two photographers took a series of stills showing Tom being picked up. Blood is spurting from his head, so you can tell the pictures were taken within seconds of him being shot. In the background of both sets of photographs are some distinctive Hamas graffiti, nailing the site of Tom’s shooting to the location identified by the eyewitnesses.

The IDF field report asserts that Tom was wearing camouflage fatigues. ISM activists deliberately wear bright fluorescent jackets, to identify themselves and to distinguish themselves from Palestinian terror groups. The South African photographer Garth Stead took black-and-white pictures, but one of them shows clearly that Tom is wearing a distinctive jacket. The second set of stills and an amateur video recording prove the jacket to be, not camouflage fatigues, but orange. I asked Stead whether it would be possible to mistake orange for camouflage. He replied: “Not unless he was an orange-picker.”

The family of Tom Hurndall also believes the IDF’s version of events to be a fabrication. His father, after six weeks of investigation, reluctantly came to the conclusion that “this is a case of attempted murder. If Tom dies, and that is a likelihood, then it will be murder.” A military investigation continues.

James Miller was shot on 2 May. He had been in Rafah for more than two weeks, for a good part of the time basing himself in a private home that the IDF called “the house of the journalists”. On the last night of filming there had been some gunfire, mainly or exclusively from the Israeli armored personnel carriers, at Palestinian targets.

Quiet followed, and then the troops in the personnel carriers addressed James and his reporter Saira Shah. (The pair had made two stunningly successful films in Afghanistan, winning many awards.) James’s camera recorded that the Israeli troops were calling out to them, not in Hebrew, but in Arabic. It is believed that they were from the Bedouin Desert Patrol Unit; Arab volunteers who fight for the Israelis for money. The Bedouin are not nervous Israeli reservists but battle-hardened volunteers who serve in Rafah for long periods of time.

They called out in Arabic: “Do you like Fairuz?” (a Lebanese folk singer) and: “Do you wear perfume?” – a catchphrase from an Egyptian sitcom. Saira Shah thought them so outspoken that they might have been high on something.

There were two cameras recording the scene; James’s and that of a Palestinian stringer working for Associated Press TV News (APTN). Two personnel carriers that had been in the area shut off their engines and switched off their lights. It’s an old soldier’s trick; to see in the dark you douse your lights and your natural night vision improves dramatically. You can see them; they can’t see you. Moreover, thanks to American military aid, the IDF has some of the best night-vision equipment in the world. The armored personnel carriers in Rafah routinely carry two rifles equipped with Aquila night-sights, which draw in the available light and give fourfold magnification. James and his team were sitting in a well-lit veranda. The soldiers in the personnel carrier would have seen them clearly with their natural night vision and brilliantly through their night-sights.

The IDF field report into James’s death remains confidential, but we have seen a leaked version. It clearly states that, after some shooting, the night fell quiet.

James had been filming in the hope of recording the Israelis dynamiting one of the abandoned homes on the edge of the death strip, but it looked as though the IDF had stopped work for the night. The team decided to leave the house from where they had been filming and return to their (much safer) flat in the center of Rafah. It was the last day of filming.

They decided to be open and straightforward; to approach one of the personnel carriers directly and ask for safe passage. James, Saira and their local fixer Aboud headed directly for the vehicle, shouting in English and Arabic. Saira was holding a British passport, Aboud held a white flag on to which James was shining a torch. From the veranda, the APTN cameraman filmed the scene. On tape you can clearly hear that the night is deathly quiet. There is no sound of crossfire. Had there been any, the team would not have taken the risk.

They had walked about 20 meters from the veranda when the first shot rang out. The team froze. For 13 seconds, there is silence broken only by Saira’s cry: “We are British journalists.” Then comes the second shot, which killed James. He was shot in the front of his neck. The bullet was Israeli issue, fired, according to a forensic expert, from less than 200 meters away.

Immediately after the shooting, the IDF said that James had been shot in the back during crossfire. It later retracted the assertion about where in his body he was shot, but until today it has maintained that he was shot during crossfire. There was no crossfire on the APTN tape.

The Israeli Defense Force and the government of Israel chose not to talk to us about James Miller’s case. A military investigation continues.

Since the start of the second intifada, 2,200 Palestinians have been killed. Nine Israeli soldiers have been indicted for various offenses, but none has been convicted of unlawful killing. But this, from the killing fields of the Occupied Territories, is something new: the killing and maiming of Western journalists and peace activists. And, unlike the Palestinians, the families of the international victims have been able to bring pressure to bear. They have, however, had precious few satisfactory answers.

We showed the APTN film of James’s shooting to a serving Israeli soldier. He noted that the television team did not look like Islamic terrorists and concluded: “That’s murder.”
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Written By: John Sweeney
Resourse: http://www.commondreams.org/

Rachel Corrie-Epsiodes 01
May 1, 2007

Rachel Corrie was a 23-year-old peace activist killed by a bulldozer driven by an Israeli army soldier. The time, day and place of her death are known, but, the question of whether she was murdered or whether her death was an accident continues to be as controversial today as it was when it happened March 16, 2003. With her death Corrie became an international symbol in the struggle against the Israeli occupation ofPalestinianlands.

(Rachel Corrie-7/2003)  “I have been in Palestine for two weeks and one hour now, and I still have very few words to describe what I see. It is most difficult for me to think about what’s going on here when I sit down to write back to the United States. Something about the virtual portal into luxury. I don’t know if many of the children here have ever existed without tank-shell holes in their walls and the towers of an occupying army surveying them constantly from the near horizons. I think, although I’m not entirely sure, that even the smallest of these children understand that life is not like this everywhere.

“No amount of reading, attendance at conferences, documentary viewing and word of mouth could have prepared me for the reality of the situation here

“I know that the situation gets to them – and may ultimately get them – on all kinds of levels, but I am nevertheless amazed at their strength in being able to defend such a large degree of their humanity – laughter, generosity, family-time – against the incredible horror occurring in their lives and against the constant presence of death”

These was Rachel’s words Just after two weeks of her arrival to Palestine.. describing the incredible situations they live in.. and after a few hours of writing these words… she was run over and killed by an Israeli military bulldozer in Rafah, Gaza, while defending a Palestinian home from demolition.. while she was just 23 years old.. She was a college student and human rights activist from Olympia, Washington as well as a gifted writer. she left behind a series of diaries and emails from an early age which were crafted into a play by Alan Rickman and Katharine Viner. While the United States government in its annual human rights report describes Rachel as “a US citizen peace activist” and designates her as a human rights observer,2 this is often obscured by the fog of misinformation and myths surrounding her.. And after a long trip between her words, fears, wishes… I picked you this few sentence.. they really summarize a lot about what is going on there…in Palestine…

(Rachel Corrie) “I should at least mention that I am also discovering a degree of strength and of basic ability for humans to remain human in the direst of circumstances – which I also haven’t seen before. I think the word is dignity.”….

(Rachel Corrie) “I have bad nightmares about tanks and bulldozers outside our house and you and me inside. Sometimes the adrenaline acts as an anesthetic for weeks and then in the evening or at night it just hits me again – a little bit of the reality of the situation. I am really scared for the people here. Yesterday, I watched a father lead his two tiny children, holding his hands, out into the sight of tanks and a sniper tower and bulldozers and Jeeps because he thought his house was going to be exploded.
I was terrified to think that this man felt it was less of a risk to walk out in view of the tanks with his kids than to stay in his house. I was really scared that they were all going to be shot and I tried to stand between them and the tank.”…

(Rachel Corrie) “Sixty thousand workers from Rafah worked in Israel two years ago. Now only 600 can go to Israel for jobs. Of these 600, many have moved, because the three checkpoints between here and Ashkelon (the closest city in Israel) make what used to be a 40-minute drive, now a 12-hour or impassible journey. In addition, what Rafah identified in 1999 as sources of economic growth are all completely destroyed – the Gaza international airport (runways demolished, totally closed); the border for trade with Egypt (now with a giant Israeli sniper tower in the middle of the crossing); access to the ocean (completely cut off in the last two years by a checkpoint and the Gush Katif settlement). The count of homes destroyed in Rafah since the beginning of this intifada is up around 600, by and large people with no connection to the resistance but who happen to live along the border. I think it is maybe official now that Rafah is the poorest place in the world. There used to be a middle class here – recently. We also get reports that in the past, Gazan flower shipments to Europe were delayed for two weeks at the Erez crossing for security inspections. You can imagine the value of two-week-old cut flowers in the European market, so that market dried up. And then the bulldozers come and take out people’s vegetable farms and gardens. What is left for people? Tell me if you can think of anything. I can’t.”..

——————————-To Be Continue———————————–

wikipedia.org

encyclopedia.com

http://www.guardian.co.uk
http://www.rachelswords.org
http://rachelcorriefoundation.org/
http://electronicintifada.net
http://members.aol.com/drovics/rachell.htm