'Israeli commander admits Gaza crimes'

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Middle East
Sunday, 31 October 2010


crimes_israelAn Israeli commander has confessed to crimes committed by the Israeli army during the 22-day onslaught on the Gaza Strip, a report says.

Colonel Ilan Malka, who headed the Givati Brigade during the December 2008-January 2009 war against Gaza, has admitted to the killing of civilians during the Israeli incursion into the coastal sliver, the Arabic-language Al-Alam television network reported on Saturday.

Malka had earlier told Israeli investigators that he did not know there were civilians in a building that came under attack on January 5, 2009 after he ordered the strike.
Eyewitnesses, however, say Israeli military razed the building after the attack in order to obliterate traces of their crimes.

The deadly attack, which was denounced by the United Nations as "one of the gravest" of the offensives of the war, claimed the lives of 22 members of the Samuni family, ten of whom were minors.

Twenty-nine members of the family, who lived in Gaza City's Zaitun neighborhood, were killed, and 49 others were injured in the war.

The Samunis suffered more fatalities than any other Gaza family during the conflict, which the Israelis call Operation Cast Lead.

Meanwhile, Salah Abdul Ati, the director of the Independent Human Rights Center told Al-Alam that Tel Aviv had, at the time, rejected the killing of civilians in the attack.

Abdul Ati also stressed the need for the prosecution of Israeli authorities in international tribunals and called for an end to the Israeli occupation.

Israeli officials had previously claimed that the attack was an "operational error," saying the army had intended to attack a nearby weapons stockpile.

According to a UN report issued by veteran war crimes prosecutor Richard Goldstone, Israel used disproportionate force and deliberately targeted civilians in the Gaza war.

The conflict claimed the lives of more than 1,400 Palestinians, including over 900 civilians.

During the 1967 war, Israel occupied the West Bank, including East al-Quds (Jerusalem), a move that has been repeatedly condemned by the international community.

Israel expanding settlement near Nablus


Israeli settlers have installed a dozen caravans near one of the illegal settlements close to the northern West Bank city of Nablus, witnesses say.

The reports on Saturday come days after locals reported that Israeli forces in armored vehicles bulldozed a piece of land next to Shvut Rachel settlement to prepare for the installation of the caravans, 

Shvut Rachel was erected on confiscated Palestinian land in Jalud village where the settlement and five others set up in the same area have taken over up to 80 percent of the village's land.

Parts of the confiscated land were planted with olive trees, which villagers have only been allowed to access twice in the last decade, said the village mayor Abdullah Hajj Muhammad.

Commenting on the caravan installation, a representative of the settlement denied any major expansion plans.

"The earth works observed are the slight enlarging of the width of the road that comes off Highway 60 to Shiloh and on the Shvut Rachel and a bit further," said Yisrael Medad.

According to Medad, the construction is on either side of the road for safety concerns. It aims to "prevent accidents as the road is too narrow for two buses at the same time on the curves."

Earlier, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Robert Serry voiced alarm over the massive construction work launched since the end of Israel's partial settlement freeze in late September.

Israelis have started to excavate for and build at least 900 settlement units across the occupied West Bank since the expiry of the 10-month partial freeze which allowed construction in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

Palestinians have long demanded a halt to Israeli settlement projects, especially in East al-Quds which they see as the capital of their future Palestinian state.

They argue Israel's judaization of the illegally annexed city through settlement expansions would render the concept of an independent Palestinian state meaningless.

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Eyewitnesses, however, say Israeli military razed the building after the attack in order to obliterate traces of their crimes.

The deadly attack, which was denounced by the United Nations as "one of the gravest" of the offensives of the war, claimed the lives of 22 members of the Samuni family, ten of whom were minors.

Twenty-nine members of the family, who lived in Gaza City's Zaitun neighborhood, were killed, and 49 others were injured in the war.

The Samunis suffered more fatalities than any other Gaza family during the conflict, which the Israelis call Operation Cast Lead.

Meanwhile, Salah Abdul Ati, the director of the Independent Human Rights Center told Al-Alam that Tel Aviv had, at the time, rejected the killing of civilians in the attack.

Abdul Ati also stressed the need for the prosecution of Israeli authorities in international tribunals and called for an end to the Israeli occupation.

Israeli officials had previously claimed that the attack was an "operational error," saying the army had intended to attack a nearby weapons stockpile.

According to a UN report issued by veteran war crimes prosecutor Richard Goldstone, Israel used disproportionate force and deliberately targeted civilians in the Gaza war.

The conflict claimed the lives of more than 1,400 Palestinians, including over 900 civilians.

During the 1967 war, Israel occupied the West Bank, including East al-Quds (Jerusalem), a move that has been repeatedly condemned by the international community.

Israel expanding settlement near Nablus


Israeli settlers have installed a dozen caravans near one of the illegal settlements close to the northern West Bank city of Nablus, witnesses say.

The reports on Saturday come days after locals reported that Israeli forces in armored vehicles bulldozed a piece of land next to Shvut Rachel settlement to prepare for the installation of the caravans, 

Shvut Rachel was erected on confiscated Palestinian land in Jalud village where the settlement and five others set up in the same area have taken over up to 80 percent of the village's land.

Parts of the confiscated land were planted with olive trees, which villagers have only been allowed to access twice in the last decade, said the village mayor Abdullah Hajj Muhammad.

Commenting on the caravan installation, a representative of the settlement denied any major expansion plans.

"The earth works observed are the slight enlarging of the width of the road that comes off Highway 60 to Shiloh and on the Shvut Rachel and a bit further," said Yisrael Medad.

According to Medad, the construction is on either side of the road for safety concerns. It aims to "prevent accidents as the road is too narrow for two buses at the same time on the curves."

Earlier, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Robert Serry voiced alarm over the massive construction work launched since the end of Israel's partial settlement freeze in late September.

Israelis have started to excavate for and build at least 900 settlement units across the occupied West Bank since the expiry of the 10-month partial freeze which allowed construction in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

Palestinians have long demanded a halt to Israeli settlement projects, especially in East al-Quds which they see as the capital of their future Palestinian state.

They argue Israel's judaization of the illegally annexed city through settlement expansions would render the concept of an independent Palestinian state meaningless.

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