U.S. media suppressed 2009 UN report showing Israel using chemical weapons against Palestinians Obama ignores Israel's chemical weapons abuse while targeting Syrian government that may not be responsi

clevelandchallenger

This Palestinian teenager is one of the victims of the Israeli military’s
illegal white phosphorous missile attacks on unarmed civilians,
including a UN relief compound set up to shelter and provide medical
attention to Palestinian refugees. Israel’s military conducted its own
investigation of the incidents, apologized for the attack and called it a
“grave error.” A UN fact finding mission overseen by South African
lawyer and former justice Richard Goldstone called the use of white
phosphorous a “war crime.” [INTERNET PHOTO BY RADEN MAS
SOTO]

NEW YORK, NY – Few major mainstream American news outlets
exposed the sordid details of a 2009 United Nations (UN) fact finding
report that revealed how Israel’s military illegally aimed chemical
missiles at a United Nations Relief & Work Agency (UNRWA) for
Palestinian refugees in a 22-day invasion of the Gaza strip that
began in 2008 called “Operation Cast Lead.”
As the U.S. and world media watch to learn if claims that President
Barack Obama will execute a military strike against Syria, without a
vote of Congress or the support of the UN, the same media outlets
are burying information that suggests preparation for war could be
premature. Little media attention is being paid to claims from a UN
commission that Syrian rebels, not government soldiers under
President Bashar al-Assad’s control, were responsible for recent
chemical weapons attacks that killed over 300 Syrians.

“During our investigation for crimes against humanity and war
crimes, we collect some witness testimony that has made to appear
that some chemical weapons were used. In particular, nerve gas,”
said Carla del Ponte, a member of the U.N. Independent
International Commission of Inquiry on Syria. ”What appears to our
investigation is that this was used by the opposition, by the rebels.
We have no indication at all that the Syria government have used
chemical weapons.”

What’s also questionable is why Obama has drawn a “line in the
sand” over highly questionable allegations that Syrian soldiers used
chemical weapons when the Israeli military was proven, and
officials have admitted, to using chemical warfare to attack a United
Nations relief compound. The facility provided shelter and medical
attention to Palestinian refugees in 2009.

Cleveland Challenger obtained a copy of the 575 page 2009 UN report
that a fact finding mission headed by ex-South African Judge Richard
Goldstone prepared after an investigation of the events surrounding
Operation Cast Lead.

The Israeli missile and ground assault on the Gaza strip began on
December 27, 2008 and ended on January 18, 2009. The attack
resulted in an estimated 1100 to 14oo Palestinian deaths. 13 Israeli
soldiers were killed. Four died from friendly fire.

The invasion was stimulated by Israel’s claims that rockets were
being fired at Israeli’s by Hamas militants. Three Israeli civilians
and one soldier were killed by Hamas’ rockets in the days leading up
to the assault that led to an estimated $1.3 billion in damage to
Palestinian property and businesses. Israel’s military was also
accused by the UN fact finding mission of violating war protocols by
using Palestinians as human shields, murdering unarmed civilians,
destroying water and sewer treatment plants, and wiping out food
supplies and production facilities to starve the population.

The UN commission Goldstone led met extensively with Palestinian
officials, victims and survivors after the Israeli military assault. The
interviews and investigation led to the discovery of information and
evidence that Israel’s military deployed missiles containing “white
phosphorous” against civilians and the hospital.

White phosphorous is a highly-combustible chemical agent that
burns on contact with air. In humans it burns upon contact with
skin and creates very deep tissue wounds. It can also cause death
when inhaled. It’s customary use has been as a “smoke screen”
although it is illegal to use against civilians in times of war.

commission found Israel’s use of the burning agent against the
hospital to be particularly deplorable.

When first questioned about the white phosphorous missile
allegations that struck the UNRWA compound, the Israeli military’s
first response was to issue a denial. On January 15, 2009, three days
before the attack ended, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak called
the chemical weapon attack a “grave error” and allegedly apologized
to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. On the same day, Israeli
President Shimon Peres apologized for the attack, but added the
false claim that Israeli troops were being fired upon from inside the
facility.

In a July 2009 report of its own findings, the
Israeli government now led by President
Benjamin Netanyahu, claimed the white
phosphorous was supposed to have only
been used as a smokescreen to protect
soldiers from Hamas anti-tank crews that
were claimed to have been operating
adjacent to the compound. Israeli officials
falsely claimed that only missile
“fragments” entered the compound.

The UN fact finding group challenged the
claims made by Israeli officials and accused
them of understating the nature and extent
of the chemical missile strikes. They
identified 10 strikes inside the UNRWA
compound, with seven white phosphorous
container shells discharging completely or
very substantially in the confines of a very
limited space.

“This is not a matter of a limited
number of wedges falling inside the
compound or shrapnel or parts of
shells landing in the compound
as the shells exploded elsewhere. It is
important to emphasize that we are dealing with shells exploding or
discharging inside the compound in areas where hazardous material
was stored.”
“Secondly, the claim that this result was neither intended nor
anticipated has to be reviewed carefully. In the first place the Mission
affirms the result to be reviewed is not fragments and wedges landing
in the compound but ten shells landing and exploding inside
the compound. It is difficult to accept that the consequences were not
appreciated and foreseen by the Israeli armed forces.”
“Those in the Israeli army who deploy white phosphorous, or indeed
any artillery shells, expertly trained to factor in the relevant
complexities of targeting, including wind force and the earth’s
curvature. They have to know the area they are firing at, possible
obstacles in hitting the target and the other environmental factors
necessary to ensure an effective strike. It is also clear that, having
determined that it was necessary to establish a safety distance, the
presence of the UNRWA installations was a factor present in the
minds of those carrying out the shelling.”
“The question then becomes how specialists expertly trained in the
complex issue of artillery deployment and aware of the presence of an
extremely sensitive site can strike that site ten times while apparently
trying to avoid it.”

Israeli government and military officials took issue with the report,
but mainly focused effort at discrediting claims that they
“randomly” and “intentionally” targeted and slaughtered Palestinian
civilians. UN interviews revealed that Israeli soldiers herded an
unarmed family of 29 into a home and bombed it.

Instead of sharing any of the details of the 575 page report with
newspaper and magazine readers, and television viewers, the U.S.
media concentrated all its attention on Israeli claims that denied the
allegations.

When Goldstone
authored an opinion
piece two years later, he
said the report would
have been different if
Israel had cooperated
and his fact finding
mission had access to its
officials and more
information. U.S.
reporters and columnists
with the New York
Times, Washington Post
and Huffington Post used
the statement to discredit
the report in its 575 page

Carla del Ponte is a UN fact finder who’s


entirety.


continued to raise doubt that the Syrian
military used chemical weapons



Goldstone’s opinion


containing “sarin” gas against the


reflected that he’d only


nation’s war weary people. What her


changed his mind about


commission did find was evidence that


whether or not Israel


Syrian rebels used the illegal gas. So why


“intentionally” targeted


is the Secretary of State John Kerry and


civilians in the 22 day


U.S. defense Secretary Chuck Hagel


military invasion of


pushing to attack the government for a


Palestine.


crime a top UN official doesn’t believe
they committed?



“The allegations of intentionality
by Israel were based on the deaths of and injuries to civilians in
situations where our fact-finding mission had no evidence on which to
draw any other reasonable conclusion. While the investigations
published by the Israeli military and recognized in the U.N.
committee’s report have established the validity of some incidents that
we investigated in cases involving individual soldiers, they also
indicate that civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of
policy.”

Goldstone also took the opportunity to balance a legitimate Israeli
government complaint that his 2009 report concentrated the
majority of its criticism on Israel and made little or no reference to
Hamas’ attacks on innocent Israeli citizens.

Nothing, however, in Goldstone’s opinion two years later,
denounced his fact finding mission’s findings as U.S. reporters seem
to have intentionally tried to shield Israel from criticism.

As I indicated from the very beginning, I would have welcomed Israel’s
cooperation. The purpose of the Goldstone Report was never to prove
a foregone conclusion against Israel. I insisted on changing the
original mandate adopted by the Human Rights Council, which was
skewed against Israel. I have always been clear that Israel, like any
other sovereign nation, has the right and obligation to defend itself
and its citizens against attacks from abroad and within. Something
that has not been recognized often enough is the fact that our report
marked the first time illegal acts of terrorism from Hamas were being
investigated and condemned by the United Nations. I had hoped that
our inquiry into all aspects of the Gaza conflict would begin a new era
of evenhandedness at the U.N. Human Rights Council, whose history of
bias against Israel cannot be doubted.
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Lookit, the fact you may already be well aware of this is immaterial to the fact that the Cleveland Plain Dealer is now just claiming o btaini.g information validating it. Spread the word far and wide. We already know the truth, now what we want are the answers !!!
I thought once that I couldn`t cry anymore but it was simply shutting myself down to the spinocracy. You see those sharks, if they stop swimming they will die. Don`t stop wimming, cuz they won`t. #truth #love #justice

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