Horror after horror laid bare: remember us

Horror after horror
laid bare:
remember us

Par Abby Zimet

Une publication Common Dreams

Terrorisme Droits de l’homme
Israël Palestine Afrique du Sud États-Unis
• Langue originale : anglais

In their historic case against “the ongoing slaughter of the people of Gaza,” South Africa opened its presentation at the Hague with what rights experts deemed “chilling” and “devastating” evidence of Israel’s genocidal intent in “an exceptionally brutal military campaign” — from vast civilian deaths of mostly women and children to massive infrastructure destruction to looming starvation. A grim reminder: as they spoke, and today, and tomorrow, the atrocities — bolstered by U.S. funds — fester unchecked.

In “compellingly argued and powerfully presented” arguments, South African jurists at the International Court of Justice laid out what the U.K.’s Jeremy Corbyn called “horror after horror, laid out in plain sight for all to see,” in their case accusing Israel of violating the landmark Genocide Convention — incongruously enacted the same year Israel was born through the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Seeking an emergency order to halt Israel’s savage three-month assault on Gaza, South Africa’s 84-page filing offered a comprehensive account of “textbook genocide,” by definition acts intended “to destroy [a] national, ethnic, racial or religious group.” In such a case, intent is critical; fortuitously, the chutzpah of Israeli leaders bent on revenge was on full, damning display. “Let the Prime Minister’s words speak for themselves,” said attorney Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, who cited nine pages of genocidal statements by Israeli officials, from a Knesset member’s vow to “burn Gaza to the ground” to Netanyahu’s, “Remember what Amalek has done to you — spare no one.” As a result, “The evidence of genocidal intent [is] overwhelming and incontrovertible.”

Lawyers also noted that, once Israeli officials “systematically and in explicit terms declared their genocidal intent,” their goals were inevitably taken up by soldiers on the ground; evidence of that murderous cycle included unsettling video of IDF soldiers in Gaza dancing and chanting there are “no uninvolved civilians.” “What state would admit to genocidal intent?” rhetorically asked one jurist. “Yet the distinctive feature of this case is not silence, but the reiteration and repetition of genocidal speech.” At least part of Israel’s shameless, bloody audacity, notes Jeremy Scahill, stems from a sense of invincibility born of decades of well-funded complicity by a United States they know will shield them from accountability. “South Africa laid out a meticulous case detailing Israel’s genocidal intent,” he writes. “The U.S. supported it all.” Given the U.S. role as “ultimate overlord” of Israeli abuses — and its “macabre ritual” of feigning sorrow for the deaths of children while circumventing Congress to expedite them — it was unsurprising, if still shocking, to hear fucking Anthony Blinken blithely dismiss the exhaustively documented charge of Israeli genocide as “meritless.” Color us speechless with rage.

Oxfam estimates Israel kills 250 Palestinians a day, including 48 mothers and 118 children, many blown to pieces; Gaza’s 90,000-plus dead, wounded, missing make it the deadliest conflict of the century. In wrenching, closing arguments at the Hague, Irish lawyer Blinne Ní Ghrálaigh offered more grievous facts: “Entire multigenerational families obliterated,” “huge swaths of Gaza wiped from the map,” the daily death of at least 3 medics, 2 teachers, one journalist and UN worker and, every other day, a first responder who’s spent months digging dead or wounded from the rubble with bare hands. Each day, 10 children will have one or both legs amputated, often without anaesthetic; more will earn the acronym WCNSF — Wounded Child, No Surviving Family. She ended her speech with two photos of a Gazan hospital whiteboard that health workers, inundated by casualties early in the war, had wiped clean of previously scheduled surgeries. The first image shows a messag written by MSF Dr. Mahmoud Abu Nujaila: “We did what we could. Remember Us”; the second shows the board shattered in an Israeli strike that killed Abu Nujaila and two other doctors.

And still it goes on. CAIR regularly documents Israel’s “war crimes of the day”: the summary executions of unarmed Palestinians in front of their families, the shelling of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital that killed or wounded 40 people, the bulldozing of bodies in cemeteries and medical tents with injured Palestinians inside, the killing of four members of a Red Crescent ambulance crew in Deir al-Balah, the targeted executions of at least 77 journalists including Hamza Al-Dahdouh, 27, son of Al Jazeera’s Gaza bureau chief Wael Dahdouh, who’s now lost five family members. Mourned Wael of Hamza, “He was the soul of my soul.” Hundreds more Gazan civilians have been detained at Israeli “torture camps” for the “crime” of not leaving their homes, which soldiers then burned. In interviews, those released say they were beaten, punched, spat on, electric shocked, burned with cigarettes, tied handcuffed and blindfolded to fences, denied food, water and bathrooms, “treated like chickens or sheep,” and “tortured all day.” Pleading with IDF soldiers they are innocent civilians, they are told, “You are Hamas. Everyone who remains in Gaza is Hamas.”

Since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack, mass arrests, military raids and killings have also soared in the occupied West Bank, where at least 340 Palestinians have died. This week, Israeli forces stormed Tulkarem refugee camp, blasting so indiscriminately into residential areas even a Palestinian fighter called the heavy gunfire “delusional — they assassinate innocents.” After IDF soldiers surrounded the al-Kholi family home, video shows a long, loud barrage as six young men try to flee; three are caught and shot dead — Yousef Ali Al-Kholi, 22, Ahed Mousa, 23, and Tareq Shahin, 24. One soldier keeps firing into a still-moving body; then a jeep runs over another body. Relatives called the deaths “assassinations.” “The soldiers could have just surrounded and arrested them,” said Al-Kholi’s aunt. “The Occupation, they always kill.” Al-Kholi’s 12-year-old cousin Ahmad said he hid nearby; he could hear Yousef screaming but “soldiers were everywhere.” Once they left, Ahmad went to his body, took off the headband Yousef had given him, and dipped it in his blood “because he is my cousin. I love him. I love him as much as the sea.” And yes, he will remember him.

Source : article publié sur le site web Common Dreams


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