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israel under investigation August 23, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in politics.
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Is it impossible to accuse both sides of an armed conflict as war crimes? Lets hope so. Amnesty International has recently accused Israel of committing war crimes in their defensive measures against the Hezbollah in Lebanon. The direct events justifying and leading to the conflict are questionable at best, but the actions of both sides during the conflict are now under scrutiny. Amnesty International is alleging that Israel deliberately attack Lebanese civilians. The response by the Israeli Foreign Ministry dismisses the allegations, stating that Lebanon civilians were warned ahead of time. This is nothing new, as Hezbollah has continued to been the target of blame for the deaths of their own people. If what Israel says is correct, the ratio of 1500:40 deaths is irrelevant to the matter and Israel gave themselves blank cheque to destroy as much of Lebanon as it wanted.

On the other side, one has to decipher through the political rhetoric of Israel’s stance that seems to be discrediting their position more than helping them. If Hezbollah are really to blame, the focus should be on the years of specific acts committed against Israel without retaliation leading up to this conflict. Amnesty International has stated that the investigation of war crimes into the Hezbollah is separate, as it should be. Setting up two independent investigations is the only way to discern the truth behind the rhetoric of both sides. This will also, hopefully, distinguish any double standards by Israel or Hezbollah.

Israel has much more to lose than the Hezbollah in this investigation. Guilty or not, the Hezbollah will continue to be considered a terrorist organization. Should Israel be found guilty of war crimes, they have essencially reduced themselves to the same status as the Hezbollah. One terrorist organization and one terrorist state, each protecting their own people and ideologies.

terrorism: the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion
terror: violent or destructive acts (as bombing) committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands

Incidents since the ceasefire:

  • An Israeli soldier was killed and three others wounded on Tuesday evening by a landmine laid by Israeli forces in southern Lebanon, the army said
  • Israeli soldiers entered the Lebanese border village of Rub Thalatheen and seized two residents, the official Lebanese news agency said
  • There was artillery fire near the Shebaa farms area at the convergence of Lebanon, Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights; Israel said it fired only onto its own territory near the border, as a deterrent, but Lebanese officials said Israeli troops had fired into a Lebanese village


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