Gaza War 2014

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Event.png Gaza War 2014  Rdf-icon.png
Corbyn Gaza.jpg
Jeremy Corbyn leading the demonstration
Date 8 July 2014 - 26 August 2014

Gaza War (2014), disproportionate civilian Impact concerns those attacks which may not be justifiable by the military advantage obtained, during the period July - August 2014.

Also known as "Operation Protective Edge" and a more accurate translation from the original Hebrew ("Tzuk Eytan") "Operation Solid Rock" (which could also be translated as “Mighty Cliff”). It was the IDF that mangled the translation, as being more acceptable to Foreign ears in terms of its claimed purpose.[1]

Such attacks could be excessive directly in deaths and injuries or by destroying vital civilian infrastructure. Some parts of the deaths and damage could be true "collateral damage" and unavoidable but no such incidents have been definitely identified in the following.

It has been alleged (and sometimes claimed or admitted) that the intention of attacks on civilans was to apply pressure either to individual militants via their families or to their military command/government. Such an intention could be construed as outside the rules of warfare.[2]

Civilian impact in Gaza

Civilian Dead and Wounded

A UN-estimated 1396 Palestinian civilians killed including 222 women and 418 children, thousands more wounded.[3]

Attacks on hospitals

Early targets were HOSPITALS: "Israeli forces fired a tank shell at a hospital in Gaza on Monday ... It was the third hospital Israel's military has struck since launching a ground offensive in Gaza last week."[4]

Attacks on health professionals

There has been mounting evidence that the Israel Defense Forces launched apparently deliberate attacks against hospitals and health professionals in Gaza ... Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International (said) ‘the Israeli army has targeted health facilities or professionals. Such attacks are absolutely prohibited by international law and would amount to war crimes.’[5]

Destruction of homes

Frode Mauring, the UN Development Programme’s special representative said that with 16-18,000 homes totally destroyed and another 30,000 partially damaged, and 400,000 internally displaced people, ‘the current situation for Gaza is devastating.’[6]

Creating homeless, refugees

Effect on children

Pernille Ironside, who runs the UNICEF field office in Gaza, said the agency estimates that roughly 373,000 Palestinian children have had some kind of direct traumatic experience as a result of the attack and will require immediate psycho-social support ... added that she's seen "children coming out of these shelters with scabies, lice, all kinds of communicable diseases."[7]

Damage to Economic Infrastructure

175 of Gaza’s most successful industrial plants had also taken devastating hits, plunging an already despairing economy into a deeper abyss.

For nearly four decades, Al Awda Co. has stocked Gaza’s shelves with sweets and snacks, starting as a humble refugee-camp bakery and growing into a 180,000-square-foot factory with 600 workers. ... A barrage of Israeli artillery turned Al Awda into a charred graveyard of machinery and material. The $1.3 million German control panel that powered the place became a metal cabinet of fried wires. Some 300 tons each of sugar, flour and margarine - gone. Metal roofs collapsed, cinder-block walls had gaping holes, floors were carpeted in rubble.[8]

Attacks on water infrastructure

Oxfam said: "We’re working in an environment with a completely destroyed water infrastructure that prevents people in Gaza from cooking, flushing toilets or washing [their] hands."[9]

Attacks on the Electrictity supply

Mr Mauring said that the bombing of Gaza’s only power station and the collapse at least six of the 10 power lines from Israel, had "huge development and humanitarian consequences".

Attacks on schools

United Nations officials accused Israel of violating international law after artillery shells slammed into a school overflowing with evacuees Wednesday ... The building was the sixth UN school in the Gaza Strip to be rocked by explosions during the conflict.[10]

Attacks on religious buildings

As many as 80 mosques have been damaged or destroyed. Many farming areas and industrial zones, filled with the small manufacturing plants and factories that anchored Gaza’s economy, are now wastelands.[11]

"Hannibal Directive" attacks

One Israeli soldier may have been captured, the IDF then shelled the area as to kill him, along with at least 130 civilians and an unknown number of militants in the process.

The policy is disturbing to many Israelis and others, while the application in a potentially disproportionate form, also raises concerns.

Civilian impact in Israel

Casualties

The vast majority of Israelis killed were soldiers within Gaza (4 were also killed just outside).

For the purpose of this article, "Civilian Impact" concerns the psychological impact, injury and deaths suffered by Israeli civilians.

Arguments regarding culpability

The Palestinian administration (almost universally referred to as "Hamas") expended considerable effort attempting to kill Israelis within Israel, more or less without distinction as to their status.

This has widely been held to be automatic evidence of war-crimes - indeed, it has been argued that the use of primitive, unguided or inaccurate munitions by Palestinians in Gaza (or Hezbollah in Lebanon) is automatically a war-crime.

"... such rockets and mortars are - unlike the state-of-the-art shells and missiles fired by Israel at apartment blocks, schools, hospitals, and UN facilities - not precision-guided and therefore according to HRW incapable of distinguishing between a military and civilian target. Such gunners can also not hide behind the excuse that they hit an empty field or even that they successfully aimed at and struck a legitimate military target; for HRW it is the act of using yesterday’s weapon rather than its impact that defines the crime. [12]

While it seems certain that Palestinians have carried out war-crimes at various times, some of the accusations seem wilfully exaggerated:

In 2006 HRW additionally leveled war crimes charges against Palestinian militants who captured Gilad Shalit - a uniformed soldier on active duty - on the grounds that they intended to exchange him for Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.

Consequently, the main and clearest finding of "Israel: Gaza Offensive Must Limit Harm to Civilians" of 28 June 2006 is that "A hostage is a person held in the power of an adversary in order to obtain specific actions, such as the release of prisoners, from the other party to the conflict - which is a war crime under the laws of war".

Against this apparently unprecedented act in the annals of military history, Israel’s own actions, which included the mass arrest of Palestinian parliamentarians and in some respects resembled a test run for Israel’s latest onslaught on the Gaza Strip (and which were the alleged subject of the press release), elicited only legal exegesis, shorn of meaningful conclusions.[12]

Wikipedia bias

Difficult editing at every "GAZA WAR" article

Having barred almost every fair-minded person from editing participation, Wikipedia was left with a problem at "Gaza War (2012)". This snap-shot taken 2 years later, 30th August 2014.

GazaWar2012wikipediaFail.jpg

It might appear that Wikipedia has been forced to abandon its attempt to develop an acceptable article on this important topic. Maybe "Gaza War (2014)" will have more luck.

Wikipedia conflict on names in 2014

The original title of the Wikipedia article on "Gaza War (2014)" was "Operation Protective Edge" and much time was consumed trying to get a change to something more generally acceptable to other editors who are, in theory, from all over the world. Administrators sought to reduce the time wasted and change it to "2014 Israel-Gaza conflict", which generated more discussion.

The process of naming the 2014 article has still not been completed, days after the end of hostilities. (30th August 2014)

Compilation credit

This article was originally based on the article "Open Letter to Israel’s Supporters - Where Do You Draw the Line Between 'Defense' and Atrocities?", that appeared before the war was over, figures and links have been updated in some cases.[13]

 

Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Gaza - is annexation Israel's 'permanent solution'Article31 July 2014Oliver TickellThe UN Security Council stands supine, knowing that the US will veto any attempt to hold Israel and its military accountable. We are not in the "realm of accountability", but precisely where we have always been as far as Israel's crimes are concerned - in the realm of impunity.
Document:The Tragedy of Gaza was all foreshadowed in the Biblearticle4 August 2014Christopher BookerSenior Establishment journalist Christopher Booker accuses Israel of identifying 'Race' with being 'Right' - an accusation which is self-evident from its constitution but which is too sensitive for publication in his newspaper The Sunday Telegraph


References

  1. Operation Solid Rock, Gaza Invasion, Begins Tikun Olam - 7 July 2014
  2. "Jeremy Corbyn's speech at Stop the War/PSC Gaza demo in Whitehall" 23 August 2014
  3. "Month-long War in Gaza Has Left a Humanitarian and Environmental Crisis," Information Management Unit in the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Washington Post. August 6, 2014.
  4. "Another Gaza Hospital Hit by Israeli Strike" NBC News, July 21, 2014.
  5. "Mounting Evidence Of Deliberate Attacks On Gaza Health Workers By Israeli Army" Amnesty International, August 7, 2014.
  6. "Gaza’s Survivors Now Face A Battle For Water, Shelter And Power" The Independent, August 5, 2014.
  7. "Amid Gaza's Ruins, Impact on Children Most 'Severe': UN Official" Common Dreams, August 6, 2014.
  8. "Conflict Leaves Industry in Ashes and Gaza Reeling From Economic Toll" NY Times, August 6, 2014.
  9. "Gaza’s Survivors Now Face A Battle For Water, Shelter And Power" The Independent, August 5, 2014.
  10. "U.N. Says Israel Violated International Law, After Shells Hit School In Gaza" Washington Post, July 30, 2014.
  11. "Month-long War in Gaza Has Left a Humanitarian and Environmental Crisis" Washington Post. August 6, 2014.
  12. a b Mouin Rabbani on Human Rights and the Gaza Massacre Norman Finkelstein's Blog in 2009.
  13. Dear U.S. supporters of Israel in Gaza: As a human being, where do you draw the line? Alternet web-site. August 19, 2014.