Mar 31 2009

Israel’s Ongoing War on Gaza: The Battle Over History

Feature Stories | Published 31 Mar 2009, 9:46 am | Comments Off on Israel’s Ongoing War on Gaza: The Battle Over History -

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HRW

Responding to reports of abuses by its soldiers, the Israeli government this week ended an investigation that concluded no abuses took place during the recent attack on Gaza. The investigation was prompted by leaked first-hand accounts of Israeli soldiers at a university conference. The accounts included firing on unarmed Palestinian women and children. Nine Israeli human rights organizations are calling for an independent investigation into war crimes in Gaza. The accounts of abuses is underscored by a recent controversy over T-shirts worn by some Israeli soldiers to celebrate their graduation: the T-shirts depicted a pregnant Palestinian woman in a cross hairs of an Israeli rifle with the caption “One shot, Two kills.” The Israeli government has been working overtime since the war ended, to fight the battle over it’s own public image, a battle that has revealed the official Israeli version of events in direct contradiction to eye-witness accounts, independent investigations, and the actions of its own soldiers which imply serious and systematic abuses of power. Adding to the barrage of allegations, Human Rights Watch released a report late last week condemning Israel’s use of white phosphorus in the densely populated Gaza city. The Israeli government dismissed the report as “baseless.” Even the final death toll of the 22-day war is a controversial figure: Israel estimates that 2-300 civilians were killed, while the Palestinian Center for Human Rights says the number is actually 926.

GUEST: Marc Garlasco, Senior Military Analyst for Human Rights Watch, Amjad Shawa, the Palestinian NGO Network coordinator for Gaza

Read the Human Rights Watch Report, Rain of Fire here: http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2009/03/25/rain-fire

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