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Monday, February 23, 2009


Israeli use of human shields

The evidence is incontrovertible that Israeli troops frequently hid behind human shields in Gaza; taking over houses, imprisoning the residents on the ground floor while using the upper floor for firing positions automatically makes the house a military. But, as Amira Hass reveals, the use of human shields was much more extensive than that, and much more literal:
Haaretz spoke with eight residents of I'zbet Abed Rabbo neighborhood, who testified that they were made to accompany IDF soldiers on missions involving breaking into and searching houses - not to mention the family members who remained in the houses the army took over, which were used as firing positions. The eight estimated that about 20 local people were made to carry out "escort and protection" missions of various kinds, as described here [in the rest of the article which details specific instances, complete with names], between January 5 and January 12.
Meanwhile, the claim is that the U.S. is about to pledge $900 million for Gaza reconstruction. We'll believe that when we see it, but, needless to say, the money is intended first and foremost not to help the people of Gaza, but to undermine Hamas and try to re-establish the prestige (such as it isn't) of the Palestinian "Authority" [sic] by funneling the aid through them (how that is going to happen, given the near total lack of presence of the PA in Gaza, is rather unclear). Yes, that would be the same Palestinian "Authority" who, according to Hamas, provided Israel with maps to local mosques, institutions, tunnels and workshops, along with with the blueprints of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyah's home, all for use in targeting during the assault of Gaza.

And in more of the "we'll believe it when we see it" category (and probably not even then), an email from the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation asserts:

There are growing indications that the Obama Administration is considering sanctioning Israel. According to a senior Israeli security official in a Feb. 17 article in Ma'ariv, Israel fears that Special Envoy George Mitchell will convince the White House to cut military aid as a response to Israel's ongoing settlement activities in the occupied West Bank. A Feb. 15 Ha'aretz article speculated that amounts available for U.S. loan guarantees to Israel would be cut for the same reason.
They encourage people to write Obama and other actions which is certainly fine; as for me, if this actually happens in other than some extremely nominal amount or length of time, I'll re-register as a Democrat. Hey, I have an idea. Some people are busy questioning where that $900 million for Gaza mentioned above is going to come from given the state of the U.S. economy. Well, the answer is obvious if you think about it.

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