by Editor (Editorials, Crescent International Vol. 48, No. 2, Rajab, 1440)
That Israeli rulers — civilian and military — are war criminals is well known. They are also racists and bigots based on their own statements and conduct. Zionist apologists living outside the racist entity in Colonized Palestine vehemently protest when Zionist crimes are exposed. Mention Israel’s crimes and they trot out the vicious allegation of anti-Semitism. This is wearing thin as increasing numbers of people are becoming aware of the Zionist entity’s true nature.
If anybody still harbors any illusions about Zionist Israel’s ugly and atrocious conduct, the Independent Commission of Inquiry established by the UN Human Rights Council’s report should dispel them. Tasked with investigating the killing of Palestinians in Gaza, the UN Inquiry Commission released its report on March 18. As an official body, it couched its findings in carefully phrased diplomatic language but the message was clear.
The report said that Israel may be guilty of war crimes in Gaza. The Commission investigated Israeli snipers shooting unarmed Palestinian protesters participating in the Great March of Return that was launched a year ago (March 30, 2018). The Palestinians demand the right of return for all Palestinians including refugees scattered in different parts of the world in accordance with UN Resolution 194 of 1948.
While the UN Inquiry Commission covered the period from March 30 to December 31, 2018, the number of deaths is exceedingly high and also extremely disturbing. Based on the testimony of eyewitnesses, video footage, photographs, as well as hospital records, the Inquiry Commission found that Israeli snipers deliberately directed indiscriminate fire at unarmed civilians. These, according to the Commission, “may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity.”
In the nine-month period, more than 250 Palestinians have been killed, including 48 children. Further, more than 26,000 have been injured, many hit with high velocity bullets that shatter bones leaving the victims permanently disabled. The Zionist occupiers have continued their murderous onslaught on Gaza as well as the West Bank in complete disregard for the sanctity of life.
The Inquiry Commission had given a preview of its findings at a press conference in Geneva on February 28. Its spokesperson said that by shooting unarmed civilians in Gaza, Israel “may have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu trotted out old clichés and worn out allegations about bias against Israel but was unable to refute the very serious charges contained in the report.
And to underscore his total disregard for Palestinian lives, Israeli warplanes bombed the besieged Gaza Strip again on March 9. A day later, Netanyahu reaffirmed the racist nature of the Zionist entity by openly declaring that Israel is home only for the Jewish people, ignoring Arab citizens who make up 20% of its population.
In a copycat move of that other racist ensconced in the White House, Donald Trump, Netanyahu also resorted to Twitter and wrote, “Israel is not a state of all its citizens… According to the basic nationality law we passed, Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people — and only it.” This confirms, if confirmation indeed were needed, that the Zionist entity is racist; it is an apartheid state that does not represent all its citizens. No amount of protests or obfuscations can hide this ugly reality.
Let us return to the plight of the people in Gaza, the tiny sliver of land measuring 10 miles by 25 miles. It has been described as a large “open air prison.” Its healthcare system has virtually collapsed. While the Zionists have besieged it from three sides, including the sea, the Egyptian regime — a Zionist puppet — has blocked the outlet at Rafah Crossing.
Nothing can go in or out of Gaza: no medicine, no food and, of course, no spare parts to repair the water treatment plants or electricity grid. With raw sewage flowing in the streets, 90% of Gaza’s water is contaminated, adding to diseases that cannot be treated because of lack of medicines. In Gaza’s hospitals, doctors often have to amputate children’s limbs without anesthesia.
The UN Inquiry Commission report says investigators are in possession of the names of those responsible for crimes against the Palestinians. These include the names of snipers who actually killed people, of senior Israeli military officers who adopted the barbaric “shoot to kill” policy and, of course, the war criminals in Tel Aviv who gave the order to do so.
The Commission “found reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli snipers shot at journalists, health workers, children, and persons with disabilities, knowing they were clearly recognizable as such.” Israeli soldiers “have intentionally shot children, they intentionally shot people with disabilities, they intentionally shot journalists,” said Sara Hossaini, a member of the Commission, at the February 28 press conference in Geneva. Since the Inquiry Commission has identified those who committed these criminal acts, it is theoretically possible to bring them to trial before the International Criminal Court (ICC). Even while the Commission has requested the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, to share the report’s findings with the ICC, whether anything will come of it is doubtful.
The reason is that international institutions are controlled by the US, and the Zionist entity is protected from legal action because the Washington warlords would not allow this to happen. Even so, the UN Inquiry Commission report is welcome if only to shine light on the horrible nature of Zionism and the war criminals that masquerade as leaders of a state.