Spokesperson for Israel says Palestinians are ‘human beasts’ – UN report

By Fr. Shay Cullen 

Millions of good, peace-loving people around the world are working to bring a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip. These include Israelis, too, but they are failing to persuade Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or the leaders of Hamas to agree to a permanent ceasefire. Israel is determined to totally destroy Hamas, an impossible goal, since every killing of a Hamas fighter and civilian is recruiting more fighters to join Hamas. Netanyahu is facing legal problems of corruption allegations in court and is prolonging the war to survive a conviction in Israel.

The International Court of Justice warned of real genocide crimes charges to be made against Israel because of the mass killing of civilians and because of war by starvation and the massive bombing. The International Criminal Court is ready to issue arrest warrants for Netanyahu, his defense minister, and three Hamas leaders.

The television is full of horrific images of the dead and wounded, most are civilians, women and children, from bombing and shootings. These are images of human atrocities, a frenzy of killing and bombing by Israel. This is in retaliation of the killing and atrocity done by Hamas on 7 October 2023 when they killed 1200 Israeli and captured and abducted 1251 people from Israel, half of them Israelis and the other half with foreign citizenship. Hamas took them into the tunnel complex in Gaza. Israel, for all its US-supplied military might and power, has failed to rescue all the hostages or defeat Hamas. The ongoing battle will kill more of the hostages by Israeli gunfire or bombs.

The heart and cause of the hostility and war is 48 years of cruel, oppressive occupation since Israel forces drove the Palestinians from their homes and lands and occupied them for themselves. This is the root cause of the war today.

Amnesty International says: “For half a century, Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, has resulted in systematic human rights violations against Palestinians living there. Since the occupation first began in June 1967, Israel’s ruthless policies of land confiscation, illegal settlement and dispossession, coupled with rampant discrimination, have inflicted immense suffering on Palestinians, depriving them of their basic rights.”

This mass land-grabbing and forcing the Palestine people to live in refugee camps and suffer deprivation imposed by Israel is no justification for the violent killing of 1,200 Israelis and foreigners by Hamas. The greatest failure of the Israeli army and Netanyahu was to protect their people. Nor is criticism of Israel’s war antisemitic. We recall Jesus of Nazareth was a Jewish person. He challenged the authorities for their cruel oppression of the poor.

Fanatics on both sides will not agree to a ceasefire. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he will destroy Hamas, but having allowed money to be funneled to Hamas for many years to control them, he in fact armed them, according to a BBC Panorama report. Now, with his extreme fanatical political supporters in his cabinet who seem to want to kill every Palestinian, he is destroying the respect, reputation and the dignity of Israel.

Israel’s international reputation is in tatters and Israel’s war is criticized internationally. It appears, however, that to Israel, Palestinian life has no value and 37,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israel, mostly women and children, and another 85,523 injured. Israelis will have to live with that truth and answer for that monstrous crime against humanity as the latest UN report says. That is not self-defense. They have left thousands of small boys and girls and mothers and grandmothers wounded, bleeding, rushed to hospitals, and then the hospital is attacked, clinics bombed, schools burnt down. It is clear from the latest UN human rights report that crimes against humanity and war crimes have been committed by Israel.

According to the investigation of only six bombing strikes out of thousands, the evidence powerfully points to crimes against humanity and war crimes by Israel for the indiscriminate killing of hundreds of civilians by the use of massive bombs. These were likely supplied by the United States.

The press release from the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights says in part: “The UN Human Rights Office published an assessment today on six emblematic attacks by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in Gaza last year that led to high numbers of civilian fatalities and widespread destruction of civilian objects, raising serious concerns under the laws of war with respect to the principles of distinction, proportionality and precautions in attack.”

The report details six emblematic attacks involving the suspected use of GBU-31 (2,000 lbs), GBU-32 (1,000 lbs) and GBU-(250 lbs) bombs from 9 October to 2 December 2023 on residential buildings, a school, refugee camps and a market. The UN Human Rights Office verified 218 deaths from these six attacks, and said information received indicated the number of fatalities could be much higher.

In the report, the following was quoted “Another IDF official was quoted as saying “Hamas and the residents of Gaza” are “human beasts” and “are dealt with accordingly. Israel has imposed a total blockade on Gaza. No electricity and no water, just damage. You wanted hell, you will get hell.”

The report concludes that the series of Israeli strikes, exemplified by the six incidents, indicates that the IDF may have repeatedly violated fundamental principles of the laws of war. In this connection, it notes that unlawful targeting when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population, in line with a State or organisational policy, may also implicate the commission of crimes against humanity.

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