World View: Israel and Hamas Accuse Each Other of War Crimes

This morning's key headlines from

  • Israel and Hamas accuse each other of war crimes
  • US Embassy in Tel Aviv closes due to rocket fire from Gaza
  • Measles spreading rapidly in China

Israel and Hamas accuse each other of war crimes

The United Nations is expected to hold crisis talks on the Israel-Hamas war on Thursday, as the war escalates. 

On Wednesday, Palestine’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, said the following: 

The intensification of Israel’s aggression against the 1.7 million Palestinians imprisoned in the Gaza Strip by Israel’s immoral blockade threatens to further destabilize the dangerous situation on the ground and fully ignite yet another round of deadly violence...

[T]he occupying Power has intensified its onslaught against the besieged Gaza Strip in grave breach of international law, including international humanitarian law and the relevant provisions regarding the protection of civilians in armed conflict and in grave breach of the prohibition of reprisals and collective punishment against the civilian population under occupation...

War crimes are clearly being perpetrated by Israel against the Palestinian people and this must be unequivocally condemned and stopped. A strong message must be sent to Israel, the occupying Power, to cease immediately its military campaign and abide by the law, in order to deescalate this dangerous situation, to promote calm, and, most importantly, to save innocent civilian lives.

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor responded, making the following points which I'm summarizing from memory: 

  • No country in the world would tolerate rockets from an adjoining country targeting civilians in its own country.
  • Israel is targeting military installations and taking exceptional care to avoid civilians, even messaging Gazans with locations prior to strikes.
  • However, Hamas is committing war crimes by crowding civilians around military installations to act as human shields.

Prosor's charge is confirmed by a Hamas spokesman in an interview, translated by Memri, when asked about people "reverting to the human shield method" of opposing Israel: 

This attests to the character of our noble, Jihad-fighting people, who defend their rights and their homes with their bare chests and their blood. The policy of people confronting the Israeli warplanes with their bare chests in order to protect their homes has proven effective against the occupation. Also, this policy reflects the character of our brave, courageous people. We in Hamas call upon our people to adopt this policy, in order to protect the Palestinian homes.

According to Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu: 

Hamas is committing a double war crime by intentionally trying to hit Israeli citizens, and using the local Gaza population as human shields.

The rhetoric appears to be heating up to the extent that neither side is giving itself a way to back down. Tensions are rising and events are moving quickly in the Mideast. It's still possible that things will settle down and return to the usual status quo, but it's also possible that we'll be seeing a major war within a week or two. WAFA (Palestine) and Memri and Jerusalem Post

US Embassy in Tel Aviv closes due to rocket fire from Gaza

The US Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, has been closed and is providing only "minimal services," mostly by e-mail. Some rockets and missiles that have been launched from Gaza in the last few days have reached as far as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. According to a leaked United Nations report, it's believed that Iran has been supplying Hamas with long-range M-302 missiles. US Embassy in Israel and Jerusalem Post and CS Monitor

Measles spreading rapidly in China

The number of cases of measles is growing rapidly in China this year. The rise in the number of cases is being blamed on the number of migrant workers -- 245 million migrant workers, or 18% of the population -- and the fact that migrant workers haven't been getting vaccinations. China Digital Times

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Gaza, Israel, Riyad Masour, Ron Prosor, Benjamin Netanyahu, China, measles

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