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Israel Accused of War Crimes in West Bank

Written by Subject: Israel - Palestine
Israel Accused of War Crimes in West Bank

by Stephen Lendman

Amnesty International's (AI) new report is blunt. It's titled "Trigger-Happy: Israel's Use of Excessive Force in the West Bank." It begins saying:

"Out of nowhere many soldiers jumped out and ambushed Samir. They shot him first in the leg, yet he managed to run away towards the village."

"But how far can an injured child run? Twenty, maybe 30, metres? They could have easily arrested him, especially when he was injured, but instead they shot him in the back with live ammunition."

"To me, this is premeditated murder." Killing 16-year old Samir was no isolated incident. Israel's entire history is blood-drenched.

It includes multiple crimes of war, against humanity and genocide. It's been ongoing since 1948. It shows no signs of ending. Israeli viciousness knows no limits.

Samir tried fleeing from where Israeli soldiers ambushed peaceful Palestinian children. They were protesting against Israel's illegal apartheid wall.

They posed no threat. Soldiers used live fire. They remain unaccountable. They're licensed to kill. They do so with impunity.

They're promoted. They're decorated. They're honored for committing cold-blooded murder. AI reflected on disturbing circumstances regarding Samir's assassination.

They're "reminiscent of other killings of Palestinians during demonstrations against Israel's continued military occupation in the West Bank that have occurred in recent years," said AI.

In 2013, Israel murdered at least two dozen other nonviolent Palestinians. Four were young children. They were shot in cold blood. Some in the back.

Thousands of Palestinians are wounded annually. Thousands more are lawlessly arrested and detained. Many get long prison terms.

Their crime is wanting to live free in peace on their own land in their own country. They want it free from Israeli occupation.

Persecution, deaths and injuries are part of daily Palestinian life. Media scoundrels report virtually nothing about it.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Israeli forces killed 27 Palestinians in 2013. Live fire or rubber-coated metal bullets claimed them.

Killing Samir followed a familiar pattern. Mostly children and youths protest Israel's occupation. They're justifiably outraged about policies underpinning it.

They include lawless settlements, land theft, dispossessions, arrests, kangaroo court justice, detentions, torture, closures, checkpoints, curfews, exploiting Palestinian resources, denying the right of return, calling Jerusalem Israel's exclusive capital, holding an entire population hostage, and denying them fundamental civil and human rights.

At most, Palestinians throw stones. Virtually never is a soldier injured. They respond violently. They use tear gas, pepper spray, stun grenades, skunk water, batons, rubber bullets and live fire.

They're unrestrained. They do whatever they damn please. They're brainwashed from pre-school through higher education and military service. They're taught to hate Muslims.

Anything goes against them is OK. Collective punishment is official policy. Severe amounts are dispensed multiple times daily.

The right to peacefully assemble and protest is enshrined in international law. America's Constitution affirms them. So do international treaties.

They're fundamental. Not in Israel. Not in Occupied Palestine. Excessive force against non-threatening Palestinian protesters is longstanding Israeli practice.

Documented evidence is extensive. It's incontrovertible. It reveals lawlessness. It's indefensible. It persists multiple times daily without end.

Young boys and girls are as vulnerable as adults. Hundreds of military orders control daily life. They cover virtually everything.

Freedom of expression and assembly are denied. Gatherings of 10 or more people publicly or privately are prohibited "for a political purpose or for a matter that could be interpreted as political."

Doing so requires advance permit authority. Military commanders have sole authority. Violators face up to 10 years imprisonment and/or stiff fines.

Palestinians are forbidden from entering Israeli-declared closed military zones or areas for Jews only. Palestinians caught doing so can be shot.

Investigations when conducted are whitewashed. Almost never are soldiers prosecuted. Rare convictions when occur are meaningless wrist slaps.

AI's report shows how "Israeli forces have repeatedly violated their obligations under international human rights law by using excessive force to stifle dissent and freedom of expression," it said.

It "result(s) in a pattern of unlawful killings and injuries of (nonviolent) civilians..."

They include young children. Israel acts with impunity. It's "in no small part" because authorities fail "to conduct thorough, impartial and independent investigations," said AI.

"Such arbitrary and abusive use of force contravenes policing standards that protect the right of life and other human rights, and they also violate international humanitarian law applicable in territories under foreign military occupation, including in the West Bank."

AI said some cases it documented showed "willful killings."  Innocent victims were murdered in cold blood. Doing so constitutes "war crimes."

Lawless Israeli actions need urgent addressing and correcting, AI stresses. It wants independent, impartial, transparent, prompt investigation of all incidents involving Israeli forces killing or injuring Palestinians.

It wants those responsible held fully accountable. AI focused on lawless Israeli force since 2011. It detailed numerous violations. They're too egregious to ignore.

Israeli policy of settling its population on occupied Palestinian land alone "is considered a war crime." Fourth Geneva and other international laws say so.

AI's report came days before Netanyahu meets Obama. He'll address this year's AIPAC conference.

It's in Washington. It begins Sunday, March 2. It runs through Tuesday, March 4.

"Instead of giving (him) standing ovations, (congressional members) must hold him accountable during his visit to Washington," said Sunjeev Bery.

He's AI Middle East/North Africa advocacy director.

"Israeli soldiers have repeatedly opened fire on peaceful Palestinian protestors in the occupied West Bank," he added.

"This trip is an opportunity for President Obama to decisively address Israeli security force violations in the occupied West Bank by suspending all US arms shipments to Israel."

Philip Luther heads AI's Middle East/North Africa program.

AI's "report presents a body of evidence that shows a harrowing pattern of unlawful killings and unwarranted injuries of Palestinian civilians by Israeli forces in the West Bank," he said.

"The frequency and persistence of arbitrary and abusive force against peaceful protesters in the West Bank by Israeli soldiers and police officers - and the impunity enjoyed by perpetrators - suggests that it is carried out as a matter of policy."

"The staggering numbers of (killed and wounded Palestinians) provide a sobering reminder of the relentless daily danger" they face.

Israel does nothing to address egregious crimes. They persist. They repeat with disturbing regularity. Without international community action, there's no stopping them.

AI didn't reveal what's already known. Many reports document Israeli crimes. Reputable independent human rights groups prepare them.

AI's commitment to human rights often falls short. According to Francis Boyle:

AI is primarily motivated not by human rights but by publicity. Second comes money. Third comes getting more members. Fourth, internal turf battles. And then finally, human rights, genuine human rights concerns."

To be sure, if you are dealing with a human rights situation in a country that is at odds with the United States or Britain, it gets an awful lot of attention, resources, man and woman power, publicity, you name it. They can throw whatever they want at that."

"But if it's dealing with violations of human rights by the United States, Britain, Israel, then it's like pulling teeth to get them to really do something on the situation."

"They might, very reluctantly and after an enormous amount of internal fightings and battles and pressures, you name it. But you know, it's not like the official enemies list."

AI loosened up on Israel. Maybe pressure brought to bear paid off. Try getting AI to address US war crimes. Try getting it to report accurately on US enemies.

"Trigger Happy" departs from usual AI reporting. It's a refreshing exception. Maybe more reports like it will follow. Maybe enough pressure will force them.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

3 Comments in Response to

Comment by Lola Flores
Entered on:

Paint me blue and call me babe.  Imagine the Zionists...errr...I mean, Kerry's friends committing war crimes.  Who woulda thunk it?  

Comment by Forty Four O Nine
Entered on:

Comment by J E Andreasen
Entered on:

Wow!  Has it been a week already? 

Eeeevil christ-killer Jooooz ritually sacrifice blond-haired, blue-eyed, innocent Aryan child.... ummm...

I mean ... Evil "Zionist" Israelioid IDF Space Monsters wantonly slaughter cute-as-a-button Palestinian Children descended from Jesus H. Christ, hizzz-self! 

Lendman is like listening to KRIZ radio in 1968.  The top 15 same-ol' songs, and nuthin else. Whatt'a BORE. 

 Ok, on to direct criticism of the primary claim and claimant; the "vaunted" Amnesty International... 

Amnesty proves its anti-Israel bias yet again

Tomorrow, Amnesty International is releasing a new anti-Israel report.

Before it is even released, we already know how ridiculously biased against Israel it will be - because of the title.

It is called "Trigger-happy: Israel’s use of excessive force in the West Bank."

Let's look at some numbers.

Last year, according to B'Tselem and the UN, the IDF killed 27 Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank. Compared to 2012, when 8 were killed in 2012, that is a 237% increase. It can be assumed that Amnesty will trumpet that number as evidence of the "trigger-happy" IDF.

What the report won't calculate is the percentage increase of Israeli deaths at the hand of West Bank Palestinian Arabs during the year. You see, in 2012, there were no Israelis killed by Arabs from the WB, but in 2013 there were five.

That's not an increase of 237% or 1000% or a million percent. That is an increase of infinity percent.

If Amnesty is going to compare percentages between two years, they should do it for both sides of the equation. But you know they won't, just like the UN didn't.

Now, let's return to the title.

Of the 27 killed, according to B'Tselem, the vast majority were either known terrorists, were involved in throwing stones or Molotov cocktails at soldiers, or were resisting arrest raids. Maybe 5 or 6 were in the wrong place at the wrong time during riots.

That isn't exactly wonderful, but it is a far cry from "trigger happy." One killed every two weeks when there are several violent riots every week, and over 75% of those killed being involved in attacking the soldiers first or being terrorists, is hardly a bad record and far from indicating the IDF being "trigger happy."

In contrast, in Egypt earlier this year, in a single day, over 54 protesters were killed. since July there have been nearly 1500 killed by Egyptian security forces. They are not called "trigger happy" by Amnesty.

In the Ukraine, more than 70 protesters were killed last week. Amnesty did not call Kiev's police "trigger happy."

Venezuela killed 11 protesters in the past couple of weeks. Nothing about them being called "trigger happy" by Amnesty.

Amnesty has never titled any other of its reports with the phrase "trigger happy."

All the others countries, while perhaps acting excessively, aren't as anxious to kill as those bloodthirsty, trigger-happy Zionist Jews, if reading Amnesty's report titles indicates anything.

We already knew that Amnesty was hopelessly biased. I've seen it first hand.

This is just another in the long line of examples, and yet another reason to prove that at least when it comes to Israel, Amnesty is utterly untrustworthy and hateful.

(h/t NGO Monitor)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Proof of bias in Amnesty's "Trigger-Happy" report

As I mentioned yesterday, Amnesty released a ridiculously biased report against Israel this morning. Now that the report is released, we can confirm Amnesty's bias.

Here is their commentary on one incident, in August in Qalandiya, where the IDF fired live ammunition at stone throwers:

Although the army stated that Palestinians were posing a danger to Israeli soldiers’ lives when the latter opened fire, the fact that one soldier only was lightly injured in the incident inevitably raises the question whether the Israeli soldiers who used live ammunition gunfire against the Palestinians protesters acted proportionately or resorted to the use of lethal force when this was not justified.

Here is video of the incident. Notice the size of the stones being thrown, including those stockpiled on the roofs, as well as some stones coming from much higher roofs that are out of the view of the camera:


Nah, nothing life-threatening about that!

According to Amnesty, the IDF must wait until a soldier is killed before using lethal force. I guess there is a concept in international law that I am unaware of that you may not defend yourself until you are physically injured first.

Or does that only apply to a single party?

A quick comparison:

This report on Israel killing (by Amnesty's count) 22 civilians in 2013 is 87 pages long.  It goes into detail about every single one of those deaths, humanizing the victims and interviewing multiple friends of each, al lin an attempt to paint Israel in the worst light possible.

Amnesty's report about Egyptian repression since July 2013, where 1400 people were killed, is only 49 pages long. It only provides details on a few specific cases, and most of those aren't even for people being killed but for other violations of human rights.

In the report about Israel, Amnesty serves as judge and jury in its "conclusions and recommendations:"

Israeli soldiers have repeatedly committed serious human rights and humanitarian law violations, including unlawful killings, in response to Palestinian opposition and protests in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. The cases documented in this report represent only a minority of the cases that have occurred over recent years and which follow a general pattern, in which Israeli forces use excessive, often lethal, force against Palestinians who pose no threat to their lives or the lives of others. Soldiers are permitted to do so effectively with impunity – inasmuch as the official system established to investigate alleged human rights violations or other abuses by Israeli soldiers is neither independent nor impartial. This creates a situation of absolute absence of justice and the growing environment of impunity which the Israeli army and police enjoy 

But for Egypt, Amnesty makes no such determinations. It does not flatly accuse Egyptian forces of human rights violations. It is merely "concerned" about the 1400 deaths, sexual abuse cases and destruction of basic freedoms:

Amnesty International is concerned that the Egyptian authorities are utilizing all branches of
the state apparatus to trample on human rights and quash dissent. Armed with repressive

legislation, including the latest assembly law; unaccountable security forces ready to
implement it against political opponents; and a complacent judicial system that punishes critics while allowing perpetrators of human rights violations to walk free – the Egyptian authorities have the necessary tools to take the country further on the path of repression.

Unless, the authorities change course and comply with commitments to respect human rights and the rule of law, the future of Egypt looks bleak and the hopes of the “25 January Revolution” have little chance of becoming a reality.

The anti-Israel bias is blatant






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