Israel Killed and Injured More Civilians with Explosive Weapons than Any Other State in 2014

 

Damage caused by Israeli explosives remains visible in this mosque and many other buildings in Gaza. Mohammed Asad/APA images.
 
Israel killed and injured more civilians with explosive weapons than any other state in the world in 2014 due to its military assault on Gaza. This is according to a new report by Action on Armed Violence (AOAV), an organization that tracks the global impact of explosive weapons on civilians.The report defines explosive weapons as “munitions such as air-dropped bombs, mortars, improvised explosive devices and artillery shells” which cause “deaths, injuries and damage by projecting explosive blast, heat and often fragmentation around a point of detonation.”

While both state and non-state groups contributed to civilian casualties in 2014, states were responsible for 28 percent of civilian injuries and deaths, a sharp 17 percent rise from the previous year. This was due in large part to Israel’s military assault on Gaza, which accounted for 44 percent of all explosive violence in 2014.

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Bolstering previous human rights assessments that have accused Israel of war crimes, the AOAV report sheds further light on the degree of firepower the residents of Gaza were subjected to last summer.

Dubbed Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s 51-day bombing campaign killed 2,251 Palestinians and injured another 11,000, according to UN figures. The vast majority of those killed (1,462) were civilians, including 551 children, making Gaza the third most dangerous place in the world to be a civilian in 2014, according to AOAV.

As a result, Palestinians in Gaza made up 43 percent of global civilian casualties from artillery shelling, 35 percent of civilian casualties from aerial bombings and 40 percent of worldwide child casualties from explosive violence in 2014.

After the dust settled, bomb disposal experts estimated that Israel dropped the equivalent of six atomic bombs on Gaza.

In 2014, Gaza accounted for the third highest number of civilian casualties from explosive violence globally, exceeding civilian death and injury in Nigeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Ukraine.

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Of the 4,022 injuries and deaths from explosive violence AOAV recorded in Gaza, 3,813 were civilians.

This means that civilians comprised an alarming 95 percent of those killed or maimed by explosives in Gaza, placing Israel in the same league as the militant group Boko Haram, whose deadly suicide and IED (improvised explosive device) attacks resulted in a 97 percent civilian casualty rate in Nigeria. By comparison, the rate of civilian casualties in Syria, to which Israel often refers to deflect from its own atrocities, was 81 percent.

Such findings contradict Israeli proclamations that it does more than any other force on earth to avoid civilian casualties.

Israel was responsible for more than one third, or 35 percent, of civilians hit by air-launched explosives, Syria for 43 percent and Iraq for 8 percent, leading to a nearly threefold global rise in civilian casualties from aerial explosives in 2014.

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Israel launched more than 6,000 airstrikes in Gaza, which caused 53 percent of Gaza’s civilian casualties, according to AOAV. The other 47 percent were killed or injured by ground and naval shelling.

Furthermore, the report found that 43 percent of Israeli air attacks were launched by drones, accounting for 29 percent of Gaza’s civilian casualties.

An investigation by the Associated Press generated similar results, finding that over half of civilians killed in Gaza died in Israeli airstrikes on their homes, “including 19 babies and 108 preschoolers between the ages of one and five.”

Aerial explosives were particularly detrimental to children around the world, “with 44 percent of all deaths and injuries being reported as caused by air launched weapons,” the AOAV report states, citing as an example the 29 July air assault on an apartment building in Khan Younis that killed 18 children and critically injured another four as they sheltered with their families.

study by Defense for Children International-Palestine found that 225 Palestinian children were killed in Israeli airstrikes “while they were in their own homes or seeking shelter, often as they sat down to eat with their families, played or slept.” Another 164 children were “directly targeted and unlawfully killed” by Israeli drone strikes on their homes and in the street as they attempted to flee to safety.

Indeed, Israel proved itself to be a world leader at killing and maiming children with explosives. Of the total child casualties from explosive violence in 2014, 40 percent were in Gaza and 25 percent were in Syria, revealed AOAV.

Artillery shelling

Though Israel possesses a high tech arsenal of precision-guided weapons, it pounded the densely populated Gaza Strip with 34,000 unguided shells, including 19,000 high-explosive artillery shells. As a result, Palestinians in Gaza made up 43 percent of global civilian casualties from artillery shelling.

Israel fired these weapons indiscriminately into Gaza’s densely populated neighborhoods.

On 19 and 20 July, Israel battered the neighborhood of Shujaiya with 7,000 high explosive shells, firing 4,800 shells within a seven-hour period. The extent of the indiscriminate shelling, which killed at least 55 people, including 19 children and 14 women, was so unprecedented, senior US military officers who participated in the US destruction of Iraq were reportedly left “stunned.”

While the AOAV report attributes high civilian casualties by states to the targeting of groups and individuals in populated areas, it should be noted that statements by Israeli military leaders demonstrate a calculated military strategy that deliberately and systematically targets civilians and civilian infrastructure.

As a recent investigation by the UN Human Rights Council observed, Israel’s widespread attacks on civilians in Gaza “may have constituted military tactics reflective of a broader policy, approved at least tacitly by decision-makers at the highest levels of the government of Israel.”

Still, Israeli officials and their American benefactors are adamant that Israel is an enlightened democracy surrounded by a hostile sea of ruthless Arab dictators and marauding terrorist groups. However, the reality in Gaza suggests Israeli leaders have far more in common with the figures they detest than they would care to admit.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration has approved a $1.9 billion weapons package to Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, essentially guaranteeing Israel’s capacity to reenact its 2014 attack against the people of Gaza. At this point, it’s simply a matter of when.

 

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). Unruly Hearts will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.

 

 

Israel’s Seven Year Illegal Blockade of Gaza: A Gross Violation of the EU-Israel Association Agreement

 

europe-israelThe blockade has been criticized by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Human Rights Council and other human rights organizations, a criticism that has been officially supported by United States administrations. In June 2010 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the humanitarian needs in the Hamas-controlled area must be met along with legitimate Israeli security concerns. International institutions consider the blockade illegal.’

‘The legal framework for EU- Israel relations is provided by the EU-Israel Association Agreement signed in Brussels, on 20 November 1995, and following ratification by the 15 Member States parliaments, the European Parliament and the Knesset, entered force on 1 June, 2000.’

‘Among other things, the agreement states that the respect for human rights and democratic principles guides the internal and international policy of both Israel and the EU and constitutes an essential and positive element of the Agreement.’

CONSIDERING the importance which the Parties attach to the principle of economic freedom and to the principles of the United Nations Charter, particularly the observance of human rights and democracy, which form the very basis of the Association:

The EU does not recognise Israel’s sovereignty over any of the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967 comprise the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and does not consider them to be part of Israel’s territory, irrespective of their legal status under domestic Israeli law. The EU has made it clear that it will not recognise any changes to pre-1967 borders, other than those agreed by the parties to the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP). The EU’s Foreign Affairs Council has underlined the importance of limiting the application of agreements with Israel to the territory of Israel as recognised by the EU.

There is but one option now open to the EU Commission – it must abrogate the EU-Israel Association Agreement on the grounds of the gross violation and breach of its specific provisions, by Israel, since 2007.

The Genocide of the People of Donbas, E. Ukraine, must be stopped

WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT

 Bodies Pile Up in Donetsk Morgue as Ukraine Ceasefire Continues to Crumble

 

 

 

 

 

 

War Resumes in Ukraine. Kiev Violates OSCE Ceasefire Agreement, Re-Invades Donbass

Ukraine’s President Says All Ukrainians Who Reject His Government Should Die

The EU has finally admitted that Kiev had violated the cease fire and the Ukrainian Government was now in open and public violation of it, and in public contempt of it.  But at the same time the EU called for continued adherence to the truce’s terms,

“We are worried that the truce has been breached. We count on the truce to be respected because it is a necessary condition allowing the peace process to move forward, the OSCE and the Red Cross employees to work there,” Soren Liborius, the head of EU information department said, according to RT.

Ukrainian troops had resumed their heavy shelling of towns in the former Luhansk and Donetsk Republics, two regions which had been joined together as a new nation Novorussia.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel “Wall of Hypocrisy” regarding the crimes committed by the fascists in power. 

To add to her hypocrisy, after the “elected” president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko order the terrorist attack against the people of Donbas, East Ukraine, the horror Kiev’s war crimes, the destruction of the homes of thousands of families in Donbas who are struggling with the consequent trauma, the grief and survival with winter and the slow death by starvation declared to them by the Hitler of Ukraine.  But Chancellor Merkel did not condemned the atrocities of his friend Poroshenko. Instead she blamed Russia for all that is happening in Ukraine.

There was no stopping the Chancellor’s banal posturing,

“We can change things for the better – for the people in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq and in many, many other regions of the world where liberty and human rights are threatened or being trampled.”

Glaringly omitted was Palestine, the longest trampling of human rights and freedom in modern political history by Israel and western governments. Mentioning Ukraine, Syria and Iraq was a free plug for US imperial ventures.

Merkel goose-steps in time to the U.S’s war drums and interests vis-à-vis support for sanctions against Iran, Russia, and arming Saudi Arabia.  She lacks the nationalistic  pride of former Chancellor Gerhard Schroder  who, in line with the majority of Germans, opposed the unsanctioned and unjustified US military intervention in Iraq opting instead for a peaceful solution.

Merkel penitentially made reference to November 9th‘s shared anniversary with ‘Kristallnacht,’ the 1938 Nazi pogrom against Jews and synagogues, which she condemned as a ‘day of shame and disgrace’.

In September, she publicly condemned antisemitism and anti-Israel sentiment, “Anyone who hits someone wearing a skullcap is hitting us all. Anyone who damages a Jewish gravestone is disgracing our culture. Anyone who attacks a synagogue is attacking the foundations of our free society.”

But, during the past weeks and present days, no such condemnation was heard from the German government over the destruction of people in Donbas, East Ukraine, the shelling of civilians, and the slow-death by starvation of the people of Donbas by the Nazi government of Kiev. 

If Merkel genuinely felt ‘the responsibility of German history’ she would ensure Germany never again participates in state terror and therefore would not have revoked the safeguards restricting arms exports to areas of conflict and to dictatorships.

Germany supplies Israel with nuclear capable Dolphin-class submarines,  anti-armour weapons systems made by German Dynamit Nobel Defense (became a subsidiary of Israel’s RAFAEL in 2004) which also combined with Israel’s Corner Shot  to create the CSP in 3 versions: a pistol, assault rifle  and grenade/ teargas launcher that fire around corners. Germany also supports the Nazi government in Kiev, and is a key player in funding the government.

The UN estimates more than 3,000 people have been killed since violence ignited in the region in April, while up to a million have fled their homes.

The United Nations is helpless in Ukraine. They don’t have a strong leader to come forward and denounce that the mass murder of civilians in Donbas, East Ukraine is a war crime.

If Kofi Annan, former secretary-general of the UN had been in charge, he would have done it. Annan openly criticized the decision by the U.S. and Britain to attack Iraq without a UN mandate. Once the war was underway, he turned his focus to the plight of the Iraqi citizens and urged member nations to promptly respond to Iraq’s pressing humanitarian needs.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been accused of commitment to a strategy of war against Syria. The reason behind this statement was the presentation of the report of the UN Commission on the use of chemical weapons in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21. A clear tendency to lean towards pushing the Western position is typical of Ban Ki-moon, but other people are not chosen for such positions.

Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General, acted as a prosecutor and the world judge, and was in the service of a military strategy rather than peace, France Presse quoted his words.

The UN Secretary General’s  statement accompanying the report has caused controversy. On Monday, September 16, Ban Ki-moon announced the conclusion of UN experts that on August 21 near Damascus a sarin gas attack took place. The experts did not identify the perpetrators, as this was not part of the investigation, the Secretary General said and showed the world the cover of the document depicting fragments of a Soviet missile that allegedly delivered the sarin.

Ban Ki-moon’s stance in the war of Ukraine is weak and most of the time his only sources of information are the members of Kiev’s fascist government. Never had he made an effort to send unbiased UN officials to talk to the self-defense forces in Donbas, East Ukraine. 

The UN’s “human rights” envoy that went to the Ukraine blamed the self-defense forces for the war going on and totally ignored the Kiev fascists in power. 

The genocide of the people of Donbas, East Ukraine, must be stopped. Their slow-death by starvation must be condemned by the United Nations and those countries whose leaders are constantly pounding their chests in defense of democracy when in reality they are a clan of HYPOCRITES.

The only country that can stop the genocide of ethnic Russians is RUSSIA. And if it takes to invade Ukraine to stop the mass murder, by all means let it be!