Sun. May 26 2019

Israel cannot control Palestinians without war crimes, Israeli rights group says

‘Do not anticipate any investigation, and even if eventually one is conducted, certainly do not expect accountability.’

Apr 08 2018

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Director of the Israeli Human Centre for Human Rights in Palestinian Territories Hagai El-Ad has said that Israel is unable to control millions of Palestinian without committing war crimes.

In an op-ed published by Ynet News, Al-Ad said: “Israel’s leadership is gradually admitting a basic fact of life—and death: That Israel’s ongoing control over millions of Palestinians is impossible without committing war crimes.

“This is the meaning of controlling another people: not ‘merely’ a matter of usurping its land, imposing a regime of masters and subordinates, denying political rights, or deploying an endless maze of oppressive bureaucracy. It is also a matter of repeated killings.”

Blaming the victim

El-Ad mentioned Bayit Yehudi leader, an extremist Israeli party, Naftali Bennett “found himself during the summer of 2014, when hundreds of Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip by Israel’s ‘surgical’ bombings, declaring in a CNN interview that ‘Hamas is conducting massive self-genocide.’”

He added: “Bennett was thus already openly discussing the genuine implications of Israel’s usage of military force policies. He attempted to make the crime acceptable by blaming the victim, but his recognition of the scale of the bloodletting—and still more so of its deep meaning—reflected an internalisation of reality.”

Illegal orders

Giving another example, El-Ad said: “In December 2017, former Prime Minister and Defence Minister Ehud Barak touched on the same subject, warning that ‘an attempt to implement the one-state agenda will lead to a situation where some of the members of the military and the Shin Bet—who under Israeli law are not merely permitted to disobey an illegal order, but are obliged to do so—are liable not to follow the orders they receive.’

“Barak failed to mention the real danger, however: that some of those who receive these overtly illegal orders would obey.”

Great March of Return

Turning to the ongoing Great March of Return, he said: “On Friday, once again, this is what happened: The orders were illegal, and a military operation commanded, according to reports, by the chief of staff himself, realised the danger that Barak failed to mention.

“Soldiers obeyed, and Palestinians were shot with live fire, over a period of many hours. The scale of the casualties was clear to the Israeli leadership, but no one stopped it. Not after a hundred injured Palestinians, and not after many, many more.”

Explaining how Israel plays the game, he said: “As usual, the official propaganda declares that Hamas is responsible for it all, just as it declared Hamas responsible for the annihilation of dozens of families and the death of hundreds of children and youths during the Israeli bombardment of Gaza in 2014.

“The IDF spokesperson outdid himself, boasting in a tweet (that was later deleted): “Nothing was carried out uncontrolled; everything was accurate and measured, and we know where every bullet landed.”

Gaza Strip

El-Ad said how Israel is dealing with Gaza, saying: “The one-state’s Gaza province is managed from the outside like a huge prison. The wardens determine how much electricity, water, and food will reach almost two million non-citizens living non-lives. Live fire is used for crowd control.

“The prisoners have no right to protest. Their desperation is their fault. Their injury and death are solely their responsibility: our hands did not shed this blood, since they stormed forward into our bullets.”

Bloody Friday

About Friday massacre, he said: “Friday was a bloody day, but Israel has already long since become an expert at whitewashing such bloody days and weeks.

“Do not anticipate any investigation, and even if eventually one is conducted, certainly do not expect accountability.

“‘Investigations’” are merely a routine stage in the organised whitewash. But even so, how fortunate that they are to blame for it all—they who kill themselves by themselves. After all, if—heaven forbid—it was our fault, what could we do with our shame?

“From time to time, control over another people requires days of killing and slaughter. More bloody days lie ahead.”

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