I attended a very good talk given by Tony Blair to the Faith Foundation in Tel Aviv last week. An audience including Rupert Murdoch and Sarah Palin heard Mr. Blair deliver a lecture entitled 'The role of White Phosphorus in the Teachings of Jesus'
Posted by TONY on 20.9.09
A human rights group says more than half of the Palestinians killed during Israel's three-week offensive against Hamas in Gaza earlier this year were civilians, contradicting an Israeli military claim. Israel had said that more than 60 percent of those killed in the military campaign were "terror operatives."
The Israeli human rights organization B'tselem released figures Wednesday, saying that, of the 1387 killed, 773 "did not take part in the hostilities" and, that of those, 320 minors were killed. The accounting, which B'tselem says was based on "months of meticulous investigation and cross checks with numerous sources," is at odds with official numbers released by Israel.
In March, the Israeli military spokesman's office said that 1,166 Palestinians were killed in the Gaza operation, also known as Operation Cast Lead, and that 709 of them were "identified as Hamas terror operatives, amongst them several from various other 'terror' organizations." The rest included 162 names that had "not yet been attributed to any organization," according to the military. Israel said 295 Palestinians who were uninvolved in the fighting were killed, among them 89 children younger than 16.
B'tselem said it was it was unable to compare its list of names with that compiled by the Israeli military, which has declined to release the list of those Palestinians its says were killed in the fighting or the methodology used to compile the names.
The Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) published a study that put the total death toll at 1,419, including 1,167 "non-combatants," of which 255 were uninvolved police officers and 318 minors. The center said 252 took active part in hostilities.
Earlier this year, Jaber Wishah, a deputy director for PCHR, told CNN that Israel's decision to classify police officers as combatants is illegal. "Such classification constitutes a willful violation of the principle of 'distinction,' which is a key component of customary international law. This raises serious doubts about the accuracy of the figures published by the Israelis," he said.B'tselem said the death toll numbers raised "grave concerns that Israel breached fundamental principle of international humanitarian law" and the group urged the Jewish state to conduct "independent and credible investigation."
Posted by TONY on 9.9.09