Palestinians seek International Protection from Israelis
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is to ask the United Nations to put the Palestinian Territories under “international protection” following the continued bombardment by Israeli forces of the Gaza Strip.
Israel has been bombarding the Gaza Strip for seven days following continued rocket attacks by Hamas from Gaza. Israeli air strikes and artillery fire have killed at least 172 people so far as well as 1,000 injured including the elderly, women and children. Israel says it is targeting Hamas and casualties include the death of five Palestinian Members of Parliament.
Israel launched “Operation Protective Edge” on Tuesday with no time limit to the bombardment.
Israel has also undertaken wide scale arrests across the Palestinian Territories which have included the arrest of ten Palestinian Members of Parliament.
Hamas has reportedly fired 700 rockets into Israel in the last week but no deaths have been reported and one or two people have been slightly injured. This is probably because Israel has a system called Iron Dome which destroys nearly all of the rockets in the air through airborne interception.
Below are two statements from the two sides. The first is from the Israeli Cabinet and the second is from the Palestinians Permanent Mission to the United Nations.
Statement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the Cabinet as published on the Independent Media Review Analysis (IMRA) website:
“Sunday, July 13, 2014
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday, 13 July 2014):
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:
“Israel is conducting a vigorous military campaign against Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip. Hamas has Chosen to attack our cities with massive and indiscriminate rocket fire. I Said from the outset that we would respond in strength against this Criminal firing at our citizens and this is what we are doing.
We are striking Hamas with increasing strength. We are hitting commanders, militants, arsenals and command centers. The IDF, ISA, security services, firefighters, the Israel Police – everyone is doing their part and doing it in the best way possible. But one must understand how our enemy operates. Who hides in mosques? Hamas. Who puts arsenals under hospitals? Hamas. Who puts command centers in residences or near kindergartens? Hamas. Hamas is using the residents of Gaza as human shields and it is bringing disaster to the civilians of Gaza; therefore, for any attack on Gaza civilians, which we regret, Hamas and its partners bear sole responsibility.
The leadership of Hamas and the other organizations has chosen – at a time when they are using the population of Gaza as human shields – to hide under ground, to flee abroad and to deliberately put civilians in the line of fire. This is the entire difference between us and Hamas – we are using defensive systems against missiles to protect the residents of Israel and they are using the residents of Gaza to protect arsenals of missiles. Nothing better underscores the difference in this campaign. Israel is a democracy that is fighting – in a legitimate and focused manner – against unbridled terrorists and no country in the world would do any less than we are doing to protect our citizens.
We will continue to act in a patient and level-headed manner, with responsibility, and vigorously in order to achieve the goal of the operation – the restoration of quiet for a long period while inflicting a significant blow on Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip. The IDF is prepared for all possibilities.
Now, two other points. First, to the citizens of Israel: You are showing maturity and responsibility and I think that you are impressing the entire world. But I have one request: Do not be complacent. I know that there are people who are going out and who want to see the missiles. I ask you: Do not do this. I ask that you enter protected spaces. We are speaking here from a protected space. We ask you to be in protected spaces and to listen to instructions from IDF Home Front Command. Someone rightly said that that regarding civil defense, one needs not only an Iron Dome but iron discipline as well. You have shown this up until now. This could yet take a long time and we need both your support and your discipline.
The last point: Today in Vienna, the foreign ministers of the major powers are discussing the question of dealing with Iran’s nuclear program. I would like to remind them Hamas and Islamic Jihad are being financed, armed and trained by Iran. Iran is a major power of terrorism that finances, arms and trains the terrorist organizations we are fighting against. This Iran cannot be allowed the ability to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons. If this happens, the things we are seeing around us and the things that are happening in the Middle East will be far worse. In recent years we have made various forecasts for the Middle East – me and my colleagues here around the table – and these forecasts have, to my regret, come true one by one. The prediction of Iran as a nuclear threshold state cannot be allowed to come true, it cannot. This cannot be and it will not be.”
2. Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, and the head of the IDF Intelligence Branch Research Division briefed ministers on the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israeli communities over the past week, on IDF and security operations in the framework of Operation Protective Edge and on actions being taken in the field of home front defense.”
Press release from the Palestinian Authorities as published on the Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations New York website:
“11 July 2014 — Continuation of the Israeli aggression on the Palestinian People
11 July 2014 by Palestine at the UN
Over the past 48 hours, Israel, the occupying Power, has continued with its savage military campaign against the Palestinian civilian population in the besieged Gaza Strip, wreaking ever more havoc, death and destruction and declaring the intention to continue attacks, endangering many more innocent lives. We condemn in the strongest terms this barbaric Israeli aggression and the continued perpetration of State terror against the Palestinian people. We reiterate our call for immediate protection for the Palestinian civilian population from this murderous and criminal Israeli rampage.
Since my last letter, on 9 July, the Israeli occupying forces carried out hundreds more bombings and missile strikes targeting hundreds of locations in Gaza. Reports indicate that, since the start of this aggression, more than 100 Palestinians have been killed. This lethal campaign has also wounded over 700 other Palestinians, some critically wounded and struggling for their lives. The casualties have tragically included dozens of children, among them many children under the age of 5, women and elderly persons, many persons of the same families as well as the killing of entire families. The following are just some of the names of the Palestinians brutally, wilfully murdered by the occupying Power over the past 48 hours:
Salem Qandeel, Amer Al-Fayouni, Bahaa Abu Elail were killed by a strike on their car north of Gaza City;
Mahmoud Al-Haj, Tariq Saad Al-Haj, Saad Mahmoud Al-Haj, Omar Al-Haj, Najla Mahmoud Al-Haj, Amina Al-Haj -all from the same family- were killed by an airstrike on their home west of Khan Younis;
Raed Shalat (age 30) was killed by an airstrike on his home in Al-Nuseirat camp, which also injured his wife and their three children;
Ibrahim Khalil Qanan (age 24) and his brother Mohammed Khalil Qanan (age 25), Ibrahim Swali (age 33) and his brother Mohammed Swali (age 28), Salem Al-Astal (age 55), Mohammed Al-Ackad (age 24) were killed by an Israeli airstrike at crowd that had gathered at a beach café Khan Younis;
Abdullah Abu Ghazl (age 4) was killed and his brother injured by an Israeli airstrike on their home in the Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza;
Hussein Abu Jamei (age 57) and his son Ismail (age 19) were killed by strike on their home in Khan Younis;
Mohammed Ihsan Farawneh (age 19) was killed in an airstrike in Khan Younis;
Mahmoud Wloud, Hazem Baalousha, Alaa Abdel Nabi were all killed by an airstrike on their car in the Al-Saftawi neighborhood in northern Gaza Strip;
Yasmeen Al-Mutaweq (age 4) was killed by an airstrike in southern Gaza Strip;
Ahmed Zaher Hamdan (age 22) died of injuries he sustained in an Israeli airstrike in the previous days;
Mohammed Al-Kahlout was killed in an airstrike east of Jabaliya refugee camp;
Sami Adnan Shildan (age 25) was killed in an airstrike on Al-Zaitoun neighborhood of Gaza City;
Shahd Helmi Al-Qarnawi (age 5) died of injuries she sustained in an Israeli airstrike in the previous days;
AbdelHalim Ashra (age 54) was found under the rubble of his home which was hit by an Israeli war plane in Deir Al-Balah;
Abdallah Abu Mahrouq died of injuries he sustained during an Israeli strike yesterday, 10 July, while he was on his motorcycle in Deir Al-Balah;
Anas Rizq Abu Al-Kas (age 30) was killed in a strike on Burj Tal Al-Hawa west of Gaza City;
Adnan Salem Al-Ashhab (age 40) was killed in a strike south of Gaza City;
Mazen Aslan and Shahraman Abu Al-Kas were killed in a strike in Al-Breij camp in central Gaza;
Mohammed Rabii Abu Hmaidan (age 65) was killed by an airstrike in Beit Lahia;
Wisam Abdel Razeq Ghannam (age 23), Mahmoud Abdel Razeq Ghannam, Kifah Shehada (age 20), Ghalia Deeb Ghannam (age 7), Mohammed Mounir Ashour (age 25), were all killed by strike on their home in Rafah;
Nour Marwan Al-Najdi (age 10), was killed by an airstrike on Al-Nahda neighborhood in Rafah;
Saber Sukkar (age 80), Hussein Mohammed Al-Mamlouk (age 47) died of injuries sustained in an Israeli airstrike on Al-Shujaiah neighborhood in Gaza City.
For all of these heinous crimes against the Palestinian people, Israel must be held fully accountable and justice must be achieved for the victims. The failure to do so will only embolden Israel’s impunity, further exacerbating this conflict and deepening the already-grave suffering of the Palestinian people under this illegitimate occupation. In this connection, we reiterate our urgent call on the international community to act collectively and responsibly to address this crisis. The duties of the international community, including the Security Council, are clear and must be respected and upheld. International law, including humanitarian and human rights law, must be upheld and must not be allowed to be so flagrantly dismissed without consequence. Immediate action must be undertaken in particular by the Security Council in accordance with its Charter authority to bring a halt to Israel’s onslaught against the Palestinian people and to extinguish the flames of this most recent, deadly cycle of violence that has already claimed too many innocent civilian lives.
This letter is in follow-up to our 505 letters regarding the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which constitutes the territory of the State of Palestine. These letters, dated from 29 September 2000 (A/55/432-S/2000/921) to 9 July 2014 (A/ES-10/xxx-S/2014/xxx) constitute a basic record of the crimes being committed by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people since September 2000. For all of these war crimes, acts of State terrorism and systematic human rights violations being committed against the Palestinian people, Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable and the perpetrators must be brought to justice.
I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter distributed as a document of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 5, and of the Security Council.”