Advertisement recently in Ha'aretz
is a soldier's right and duty to refuse to shed innocent
blood. We, combat soldiers and
officers of the Israeli Defence Forces, have served long
years on various fronts and lost comrades in the struggle
to defend our homeland. The security of Israel and the
values of the IDF were and are our guiding principles. We call upon IDF regular and reserve
troops - pilots, sailors and artillerymen - to refuse to
shoot on Gaza. The IDF shooting on Gaza has already
caused the death of dozens of innocent civilians,
including little children. It has achieved nothing but
intensification of the shooting of Qassam rockets on
Sderot and stoking the fires of hatred against Israel.
Shooting into the world's most thickly populated area is
a war crime which contravenes the spirit of the IDF and
harms the security of the state. We call upon the soldiers of the IDF to
refuse to break the State of Israel's moral spine. True security would never be achieved by
the killing of children. It is the right and duty of
every soldiers in the IDF to refuse to shed innocent
blood. Ometz Le'sarev
- Courage to Refuse: Refusing - for the sake of Israel
Shalit, Prisoner of War
June 26, 2006
The Other Israel's email updates
evening to Israel's Second Channel TV news, one
starts to doubt whether captured soldier Gil'ad Shalit
stands much chance of being released soon. PM Olmert
declared firmly that the Israeli government is not
willing to think even about any prisoners exchange and
that drastic military measures are being prepared. It's perhaps
remarkable that the next speaker on same TV is senior
Hamas member Razi Khamad, spokesperson for the
Palestinian government, who speaks good Hebrew. He starts
with reassuring the soldier's mother that her son is
alive and being taken care of well. Following item: the
Palestinian parents of prisoners, waving their sons'
pictures. What is apparently worrying our
authorities especially is that the June 25 attack was not
something which could be called "a terrorist
attack"; it was an attack on an IDF unit and army
representatives spoke of the professionality of this
enemy operation. This is not going to end the already
sky-high escalation in the Gaza Strip, which until
yesterday costed a lot of (Palestinian)
civilian lives and doesn't allow the people in
Sderot a day without Qassams. Especially after such a
successful Palestinian military operation the Israeli
army will want to increase its deterrence. Or could the
scales be turned by such people as Rabbi Menachem
Froman, in a long-time politico-religious dialogue
with Hamas Muslim leaders, and bereaved father
Yitzchak Frankenthal*, whose soldier son Arik was
kidnapped and killed in 1994? The two of them declared on
the radio - not only that the government should talk to
Hamas, but that they themselves are ready to mediate on
behalf of the release of Gil'ad Shalit. Also Arab Israeli
Knesset Member Ibrahim Tzartzour (Islamic Movement)
requested permission of the government to enter Gaza for
this purpose. Yesterday Gush Shalom sent out a
press release and called upon the government
to behave as is usual in the case of prisoners
of war - and not treat it as a kidnapping - and
achieve his release by negotiating with the
Palestinian elected government. *The
latest news is that Yitzchak Frankental has offered the
Hamas: Take me instead, and let the boy go.
Outpost attack almost legitimate
It may not be nice to say, but world will have hard
time condemning Kerem Shalom attack
Palestinian sources call Sunday morning's attack on an IDF outpost near the
Gaza border "Operation Fading Illusion". The
Palestinian propagandists who coined the phrase had
something else in mind, but Israel would also be wise to
take note of the name: In many ways it describes the
reality that will be created here after all the illusions
the government has been selling us these past three years
realignment, separation fence, us here them
there are put into place.
This is what post-West Bank withdrawal terror attacks
will look like if there is no one on the other side with
any true weight, and if all Palestinians do not have a
clear interest in maintaining quiet: Long-range weapons
like Qassams, occasional, well-planned operations with
The attack on Kerem Shalom was conducted from deep
inside the Palestinian consensus. And it may not be nice
to say, but the world will have a hard time condemning
it. It was an attack on soldiers, it took courage. It was
not a cowardly act.
As much as it may disgust us, it is seen
against the recent, successive reports of civilian deaths
as a result of IDF artillery as almost legitimate.
This significantly reduces the options available to
Israel's government, the IDF and the media when
responding to the attack.
This is what we can expect, even if we assassinate the
entire Hamas upper echelon and attack Gaza without
differentiating between soldiers and civilians. We have
no control over areas we don't have forces in (and even
in areas where we do have forces, we dont really
have control, as we discovered over all these years in
south Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank).
South Lebanon is a good example: A guerilla opposition
developed, it attacked soldiers, and over time set the
rules of the game with regard to Israel. Don't be
surprised if the attack on Kerem Shalom wasn't conducted
by Jihad International, and they are trying to hint, but
rather by knowledge and a mentality learned from
A border institutes routine. Outposts on the other
side are immovable targets. With a border, there is time
to plan and prepare. Run-of-the-mill patrols, routine,
the daily burnout and every eventless day that passes
turn this huge, immobile army into an easy target.
This happened when Israel occupied Gaza (remember the
attacks on the Merkava tanks), but it will really come
about if Israel leaves the West Bank unilaterally.
The decision if this is better or worse than the
situation we've got at the moment is another question.
But it is important to understand that no withdrawal and
no fence will give total security. The only thing that
will create security is a Palestinian interest for quiet,
and a strong force that can enforce it.
Palestinian university president comes out
against boycott of Israeli academics.
Israeli academics threatened by boycotts have received
support from an unlikely source: the Palestinian
president of Al-Quds University.
"If we are to look at Israeli society, it is within
the academic community that we've had the most
progressive pro-peace views and views that have come out
in favor of seeing us as equals," Sari Nusseibeh
told The Associated Press. "If you want to punish
any sector, this is the last one to approach."
Nusseibeh acknowledged, however, that his is a minority
viewpoint among his colleagues.
Britain's main academic association recently called on
its members to consider boycotting Israeli professors,
and a top Canadian labor union voted in favor of
divestment from Israel.
The 69,000-member National Association of Teachers in
Further and Higher Education in Britain, censuring Israel
for "apartheid" policies.
"It just reminds people that somehow Israel is
always singled out, that we're the case study,"
David Newman, a professor of politics and government at
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Be'er Sheva, said.
Israel has been targeted by numerous boycotts throughout
its history, ranging from weapons embargoes to product
blacklisting to the blocking of Israeli web sites.
But the latest resolution by the British association,
encouraging a boycott of Israeli academics, touched a raw
nerve in the Jewish state.
"I wonder why not China, why not Chile, why not
Burma, where the human rights issue is far, far worse
than here," Newman said.
Responses in Haaretz:
Howard, USA- Nusseibeh has consistently
opposed boycotting Israeli academia for exactly this
reason. He publicly opposed the original boycott by the
AUT as well.
While I don`t agree with some things the man says/does,
the fact that he continues to champion a moderate and
hatred-free position in this area earned my respect, and
leads me to always give his views a hearing.
Mark,London - Sari Nusseibeh has
consistently been a voice of reason and compromise,
something distressingly rare on the Palestinian side (and
to be honest, to a lesser extent on the Israeli side).
Academics everywhere, including the UK and US, should be
strengthening ties to counterparts in Al Quds Univ. but i
fear the Palestinians view Nusseibeh (from a very
distinguished family in recent Pal. history) as a lone
wolf, or worse. Sad.
Gaza Boy,London - (Newman),This fool guy
said why not China?
China is on the up and most of the world factories
depends on chinese products and he wants china education
to be boycotted? is this guy normal or what? Chinese born
clever, they don`t even need to be educated because they
are already intelligent and on the up very quickly.
Green - Mr Nusseibeh, You are a smart
man and you look towards a better future than the awful
present that ties the Palestinian society. Israeli
knowhow and R&D is just one step away. Use it, profit
from it and build a healthy society based on progress and
not on destruction. It`s never too late.
Sam,Newhaven - "..why not burma,
where human rights issue is far worse.."
Well, Newman, Burma is an independent country with a
brutal dictatorship, that commits its crimes with no
complicity from the West. Israel, on the other hand, is
an invented state which would not last a day without the
billions of dollars of American aid. Therefore the
horrors that you commit are really our (American)
Don`t you think it`s a little absurd to defend your
violations of human rights by pointing out even worse
violations committed by others? What are you trying to
say -- if Burma does it we should be allowed to do it
also? Why not go all the way, and say -- if Hitler did it
to us why can`t we do it to the Palestinians?
The day will come when you finally realize the absurdity
of taking land from one people to give it to a newly
arrived people. As the United States finally recognized
indigenous rights, as South Africa finally gave the
Blacks the right to vote, so too you will have to give
SAM - MAYBE SOMEONE SHOULD CONDEMN
BRITISH UNIVERSITIES TOO FOR THE BRITISH WAR CRIMES IN
IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN, AND NO ONE CAN FORGET THE IRAQIS
WHO WERE BEATEN BY THE BRITISH SOLDIERS LAST YEAR AND WAS
SHOWN ON TVs ALL OVER THE WORLD.
bbl - The man is right.It doesn`t make
him a traitor to state that the Israeli academic
community is one of the more supportive elements of
Palestinian aspirations in Israeli society.
Any idiot could figure that out. The British academic
boycott targeted academic institutions because that`s the
only power that British academics can wield.
On the one hand, it`s nice that they are doing what they
think will lead to a better world, but, on the other hand
it was suprisingly stupid in that it cuts off ties to the
very Israelis that can talk both: to the Israelis; and of
the disasterous situation the Palestinians have landed.
Samed, Kansas - Reasons for boycott.1.
40 year illegal occupation. 2. torture
of prisoners (including children). 3.
killing 700 children in 4 years
Emily, Geelong - NATFHE boycotters no
better than their soccer thug counterparts
Omid the Persian, London - This boycott
will fail in isolating Israeli academics and hindering
their relentless attempts to contribute to the progress
and enhancement of our quality of life in every respect.
It is IMMORAL since it punishes those who as Nusseibeh
says are in fact quite sympathetic to the
"palestinian cause", and it stymies development
and knowledge creation. It is COUNTERPRODUCTIVE since
Israeli academics can always head to the States or even
stay in Israel, where the quality and scope for research
and development is much more substantial.
This boycott is an attempt to appease a nexus of
far-leftists and arabs and pakistani islamists who have
strong organizations and societies in unis across the
country. It is a shame for the so called Union of Higher
Education Teachers to acquiese to such hypocrites.
Israel: Investigate Gaza Beach
Artillery Strike Probably Killed
More Evidence on Beach Killings Implicates IDF, June 15,
(Gaza City, June 13, 2006) Israel should
immediately launch an independent, impartial
investigation of a June 9 Israeli artillery strike on a
beach north of Gaza City, Human Rights Watch said today.
Seven Palestinian civilians picnicking on the beach were
killed that day and dozens of others were wounded.
Human Rights Watch researchers have visited the site
to examine the fatal crater and have interviewed victims,
witnesses, security and medical staff.
There has been much speculation about the cause of
the beach killings, but the evidence we have gathered
strongly suggests Israeli artillery fire was to
blame, said Sarah Leah Whitson, director of the
Middle East and Africa division at Human Rights Watch.
It is crucial that an independent investigative
team, with the necessary expertise, verify the facts in a
The independent investigation should involve the use of
external, international experts. Human Rights Watch
called on the Palestinian Authority to permit such an
investigation, including allowing access to the site by
the investigative team. Israel has carried out an
internal army probe into the incident and released its
findings this evening, saying the explosion was not
caused by an Israeli artillery shell. However, such
internal investigations by the Israel Defense Forces
(IDF) have generally fallen short of international
standards for thorough and impartial investigations and
have rarely uncovered the truth or held to account the
perpetrators of violations, as documented in a 2005 Human
Rights Watch report, Promoting
Impunity: The Israeli Militarys Failure to
The head of the IDFs southern command, General Yoav
Galant, has said that IDF forces fired six artillery
shells at an area described as approximately 250 meters
away from the fatal incident between 4:32 p.m. and 4:51
p.m. on Friday, June 9. Human Rights Watch investigations
indicate that the evidence overwhelmingly supports the
allegations that the civilians were killed by artillery
shells fired by the IDF.
The attack at the beach comes amidst an intensified
Israeli response to Qassam rocket attacks by Palestinian
armed groups operating in the area. Human Rights Watch,
which is also investigating the use of Qassams against
Israeli civilians, has previously
called on Palestinian armed groups to cease such unlawful
attacks. The Qassam attacks violate international law
because they fail to discriminate between military
targets and civilians. Qassam rockets are highly
imprecise, homemade weapons that are incapable of being
targeted at specific objects.
Human Rights Watch researchers currently in Gaza
interviewed victims, witnesses, Palestinian security
officers and doctors who treated the wounded after the
incident. They also visited the site of the explosion,
where they found a large piece of unoxidized jagged
shrapnel, stamped 155mm, which would be
consistent with an artillery shell fired by the
IDFs M-109 Self-Propelled Artillery.
Human Rights Watch spoke to the Palestinian explosive
ordnance disposal unit who investigated three craters on
the beach, including the one where the civilians were
killed. According to General Salah Abu `Azzo, head of the
Palestinian unit, they also gathered and removed shrapnel
fragments consistent with 155mm artillery shells.
Eyewitnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch described
between five and six explosions on the beach between 4:30
p.m. to 5 p.m., the time frame when the IDF fired
artillery onto the beach and when the seven civilians
were killed. Two survivors said they heard the sound of
an incoming projectile and saw a blur of motion in the
sky before the explosion that killed the seven civilians.
Residents of northern Gaza are familiar with the sounds
of regular artillery fire.
Doctors also confirmed to Human Rights Watch researchers
that the injuries from the attack, which were primarily
to the head and torso, are consistent with the heavy
shrapnel of artillery shells used by the IDF. Doctors
said the shrapnel they removed from Palestinian patients
in Gaza was of a type that comes from an artillery shell.
According to readings from a Global Positioning Satellite
taken by Human Rights Watch, the crater where the victims
were killed was within the vicinity of the other
artillery craters created by the IDFs June 9
artillery attack and was the same shape and size. One
crater was 100 meters away from the fatal crater, and the
rest were 250 to 300 meters away.
Some Israeli officials have suggested the explosion may
have been caused by a mine placed by Palestinian
militants, rather than one of their artillery shells,
despite the fact that they cannot account for the final
landing place of one of their six shells.
However, according to on-site investigations by Human
Rights Watch, the size of the craters and the type of
injuries to the victims are not consistent with the
theory that a mine caused the explosion. The craters are
too large to be made by bounding mines, the only type of
landmines capable of producing head and torso injuries of
the type suffered by the victims on June 9. Additionally,
Palestinian armed groups are not known to have, or to
have used, bounding mines; the Palestinian government
bomb squad said it has never uncovered a bounding mine in
any explosive incident.
Since its September 2005 pullout from Gaza, the IDF has
regularly struck northern Gaza with artillery shelling,
in response to Qassam rocket attacks from the area by
Palestinian armed groups. In the last 10 months, Israel
has admitted to firing more than 5,000 artillery shells
into the area. The United Nations Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs puts the number at
5,700 IDF shells fired since the end of March 2006.
According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, IDF
artillery fire has killed 47 Palestinians, including 11
children and five women, and injured 192 others since
September 2005. It has also damaged dozens of homes in
Human Rights Watch researchers visiting the area say
almost every house on the periphery of areas of Beit
Hanoun and Beit Lahia in northern Gaza has holes in it
indicative of Israeli artillery shrapnel. In a June 10
interview with the New York Times, General Aviv Kochavi,
the Israeli commander for the south, indicated that the
purpose of the artillery shelling is to deter future
attacks and punish area residents: The message we
are trying to convey, you can call it deterrence, but
its Ladies and gentlemen, there is an
equivalence: so long as you shoot qassams at us,
well shoot at you.
International law requires attacking forces to
distinguish between soldiers and civilians, targeting
only the former. It prohibits indiscriminate attacks,
which use a method or means of warfare that cannot
distinguish between the two groups. It also prohibits
disproportionate attacks in which the civilian harm
outweighs military necessity.
The IDF has a legal duty to do everything feasible
to verify that targets are military objectives and to
avoid civilian deaths, Whitson said. The
investigation should determine how the beach picnickers
died and whether international law was violated. If
thats the case, it must consider how best to
compensate the victims and how to prevent future
Human Rights Watch researchers have been in Sderot and
Gaza on a fact-finding mission documenting the impact of
Palestinian Qassam fire from Gaza into Israel and Israeli
artillery shelling into northern Gaza. In Israel, the
team was in Sderot when the town was hit by two
Palestinian Qassams on Thursday, June 8, and also
witnessed two more Qassams hitting Nativ Haasara
the same day; there were no apparent injuries as a result
of those attacks. Since Human Rights Watchs visit
to the Western Negev, the Israeli media has reported that
54 Qassam rockets have been fired at Sderot. According to
news reports, on Sunday one rocket seriously wounded
Yonatan Engel, a 60-year-old resident of Sderot.
According to witnesses, the Ghalya family went to the
beach on June 9 for a family outing. After shells fell
nearby, the father, `Ali, hurriedly gathered his family
together and called for a car. An explosion then occurred
in the middle of the family group.
Their legs I could see inside. Their intestines I
could see spilling out, said Mohammed Sawarka, 28,
who rushed to the scene to help. A 1-month-old
child was dead inside its carriage. He also found a
hand in the sand. Doctors at the Shifa Hospital
corroborated this testimony.
Amani Ghalya, 22, suffered severe abdominal injuries and
lost her arm. Her sister, Latifa, 7, has brain damage.
Both were still in the intensive care unit on Sunday,
June 11. Their mother Hamdia, 40, `Alis second
wife, suffered a compound fracture and lost a chunk of
flesh in her arm. She also pointed to shrapnel wounds to
her abdomen and upper leg.
The family members killed in the attack, and their ages,
were: `Ali `Isa Ghalya, 49; Raissa Ghalya, 35;
Haitham Ghalya, 1; Hanadi Ghalya, 2; Sabrin Ghalya, 4;
Ilham Ghalya, 15; and `Alia Ghalya, 17.
Shrapnel from the blast also pierced a nearby car where
Hani Radwan Azanins daughters Nagham, 4, and Dima,
7, were hiding. They suffered serious injuries to their
backs and arms. Human Rights Watch visited the car and
found multiple shrapnel holes and a piece of shrapnel.
All of the patients are suffering from multiple
injuries. There was massive destruction of bone, muscle,
skin, said Dr. Nabil Al-Shawa of Gazas Shifa
Hospital, who treated some of the victims. The research
team took photographs
of some of the survivors, available on the Human
Rights Watch website.