“As the occupying power in Gaza, Israel is legally accountable for the welfare of the population”

I quote from an article “The catastrophe inflicted on Gaza–and the costs to Israel’s standing”. Under international law, as the occupying power Israel is legally accountable for the welfare of the population.

Generally countries build up their defence systems in the light of threats from other powers who similarly spend huge fortunes on increasingly sophisticated armaments. Arms industries are also significant earners and enlist political leaders to help sell their wares indiscriminately. Even royalty is dragged in on their account on diplomatic missions. The Palestinian territories have no match for Israel’s economic and military might.

In the past it has been possible to some extent for the Israeli Government to rely on secrecy to cover its activities. The availability of social media has changed all that so the figures for casualties in Gaza have been plain for all to see:

“Of the fatalities whose identity and status have been verified so far, 86 percent are civilians, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Of those tabulated in its most recent update, 226 are members of armed groups; 459 are children.”

When in 1985/6 Mordechai Vanunu told the Sunday Times about Dimona and the highly dangerous nuclear arsenal held by Israel the official position was neither to confirm or deny the situation. It seems that although facts are there clear for all to see this is still the position. You pretend you didn’t see it. While this is harder and harder to sustain it remains a position shared with many of Israel’s supposed allies in the United States and Europe. As the United Nations speaks of “war crimes” it will be interesting to see if there is a variation in changes to policy of different states. Certainly rhetoric is changing markedly as there appears to be much less willingness to defend the indefensible in many quarters. As far as the people are concerned demonstrations have erupted far and wide with tangible effects on the BDS movement targeted at Israel’s economy, particularly where firms are operating on stolen Palestinian territory.

“It is—as usual—a matter of elementary simplicity to dispense with those declared objectives and the mendacious protestations and justifications Israel has fabricated around them. Gaza is not a sovereign state firing rockets across an international frontier: it is an occupied territory held under tight Israeli control. Sealed off by land, sea and air, even its population registry remains in Israeli hands. Internationally recognized as the occupying power in Gaza, Israel is legally accountable for the welfare of the population whose very capacity for life it has been obsessively reducing to ruins. And in any case the sequence of events leading to this bombardment was triggered not by rockets from Gaza but by the recent Israeli crackdown in the West Bank, which culminated in the burning alive of a Palestinian teenager by Jewish fanatics—and, beyond that, five decades of grueling military occupation.”

Note: Interesting to see in the Independent’s article on arms sales that supply to “Israel and Palestinian Territories” accounts for nearly £8,000 million, well over half the total, yet there is no marker re. concerns for human or civil rights! What, we might ask, is the division between Israel and the Palestinian Territories? Were rockets supplied to Gaza, or stones to be thrown in the West Bank?

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