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Tags Israel issues , Israel-Palestine conflict , Palestine issues

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Old 18th December 2012, 01:25 AM   #1
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General Israel/Palestine discussion thread - Part 2

Mod InfoThis is a continuation of the General Israel/Palestine discussion thread.
Posted By:Locknar
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Old 18th December 2012, 01:26 AM   #2
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General Israel/Palestine discussion thread - Part 2

Originally Posted by marksman View Post
Fatah holds power because they have disenfranchised Hamas. In the 2010 elections, the Fatah-led government -- which claims to represent all of the West Bank and Gaza -- refused to hold any elections in Gaza, so Hamas refused to participate in the elections, because they would be underrepresented in any government.

So we cannot use the results of Fatah's elections as any sense of how popular Fatah is. Fatah is rigging the results in their favor.
-cite
I didn't see anything that supports that claim. Hamas boycotted the election, people complained about a lack of choice.
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Old 18th December 2012, 07:15 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
I didn't see anything that supports that claim. Hamas boycotted the election, people complained about a lack of choice.
So people complained that they didn't have the choice to vote for the religious nutjob genocidal terrorist organization?

What does that tell you?
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Old 18th December 2012, 12:04 PM   #4
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The article states Hamas boycotted the election because Fatah would not include election results in Gaza which is where Hamas support is strongest. That is rigging the election.
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Old 18th December 2012, 03:33 PM   #5
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Is it me or is this site becoming unbearably slow?
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Old 19th December 2012, 01:24 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by marksman View Post
The article states Hamas boycotted the election because Fatah would not include election results in Gaza which is where Hamas support is strongest. That is rigging the election.
No, I don't see that anywhere.
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Old 19th December 2012, 04:09 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jonnyclueless View Post
Is it me or is this site becoming unbearably slow?
It's just you.
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Old 23rd December 2012, 08:27 AM   #8
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Latest opinion Poll from the West Bank: Hamas would win if elections held today. Not that that's going to happen because elections have been suspended indefinitely. The wonders of Palestinian democracy.

Because Hamas were not wiped out as a result of Pillar of Defense, that is taken as a great victory. Pure self-delusion and fantasy but that's the way things work there.
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Old 23rd December 2012, 07:32 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Virus View Post
Latest opinion Poll from the West Bank: Hamas would win if elections held today. Not that that's going to happen because elections have been suspended indefinitely. The wonders of Palestinian democracy.

Because Hamas were not wiped out as a result of Pillar of Defense, that is taken as a great victory. Pure self-delusion and fantasy but that's the way things work there.
Odd, isn't it, that peace-loving peaceful Palestinians prefer a genocidal terrorist group as their government.

I'm sure the usual suspects will come alomng shortly and explain how it's all Israel's fault that anti-semitism runs rampant in the PA.
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Old 24th December 2012, 12:23 AM   #10
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Here are some peace loving Hamas members from a recently aired Israeli program about Hamas in the West bank.

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
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Last edited by Virus; 24th December 2012 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 24th December 2012, 10:47 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Virus View Post
Here are some peace loving Hamas members from a recently aired Israeli program about Hamas in the West bank.

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
Clearly these are reasonable people that Israel can work with?

What a sick, backwards, barbaric society.
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Old 27th December 2012, 12:23 AM   #12
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Is there anyway to post in this thread without subscribing to it?

Quote:
Human Rights Watch also specifically scrutinized the justifications for attacking journalists made in multiple media outlets by Israeli army spokesperson Avital Leibovich:
During the November fighting, an IDF spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich, told the media that the IDF [Israeli military] targeted “people who have relevance to terror activity.” She further sought to justify attacks on media by writing that Hamas’s al-Aqsa TV and a radio station called al-Quds Educational Radio, which has ties with Islamic Jihad, are “intricately linked with Islamic Jihad and Hamas and have encouraged and lauded acts of terror against Israeli civilians for the past decade.” She continued: “Such terrorists, who hold cameras and notebooks in their hands, are no different from their colleagues who fire rockets aimed at Israeli cities and cannot enjoy the rights and protection afforded to legitimate journalists.”

Regev, the Israeli government spokesman, said that those working for Hamas media cannot be considered journalists: “They are an integral part of the Hamas structure and no one can deny that fact.” He added: “All those involved in targeting Israeli civilians directly or indirectly should not feel that they have impunity.”

“Israeli officials have dangerously and unlawfully blurred the distinction between civilians who call for or support military attacks and those who directly participate in attacks,” [Human Rights Watch’s Middle East director Sarah Leah] Whitson said. “This claimed justification for attacking civilians opens the door to war crimes.”

Last edited by bit_pattern; 27th December 2012 at 12:25 AM.
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Old 27th December 2012, 02:41 AM   #13
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So they've invented a new "war crime" to apply exclusively to Israel. What took them so long? They're getting sloppy.
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Last edited by Virus; 27th December 2012 at 02:50 AM.
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Old 27th December 2012, 08:59 AM   #14
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It's at least a small step upwards from his brilliant "**** Israel!!" argument.
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Old 27th December 2012, 09:24 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by trustbutverify View Post
It's at least a small step upwards from his brilliant "**** Israel!!" argument.
He gets his opinions from Electronic Intifada. It makes sense now.
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Old 27th December 2012, 10:51 AM   #16
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Bit pattern's source is suspect, but Human Rights Watch did question Israeli explanations for some targeting of journalists.

The key here is that Israel claims that propagandists are not entitled to the protection of Geneva. It should be noted that journalists don't gain special protection -- they are as protected as any civilians. The question then is two-fold: (i) were the individuals in question specifically targeted (as opposed to being, say, an embedded journalist or a civilian standing near a legitimate target), and (ii) were the targets legitimate military targets.

There were four attacks listed by the HRW: (i) a car carrying two cameramen, (ii and iii) two antenna towers atop buikldings; and (iv) two floors of a buildign housing media.

As to the first question (whether the individuals were specifically targeted), only the first attack specifically targeted individuals.

As to the second question, Israel claims the cameramen -- Mahmoud al-Kumi, and Hussam Salama -- were "Hamas agents". HRW claims they worked for al-Aqsa TV. However, Israel admits that they were not primary combatants -- they were nto armed and Israel did nto believe them to be armed. Instead, Israel claims they were propagandists, inciting further violence against Israel. Whether a propagandist is a combatant seems to be a bit of a grey area. HRW believes that freedom of speech means they are civilians. Israel believes them to be combatants. I admit I am troubled by the targeting of cameramen on the grounds they were "propagandists". I don't know that Tokyo Rose and Axis Sally are legitimate military targets.

The other three attacks are easier to handle. No individual was specifically targeted. Thus, the question is whether the buildings targeted were legitimate military targets. Israel claims the antennae were used by Hamas for communicating strategic actions. If true, that makes them a legitimate military target. Israel claims the two floors targets were used as a communication and command center. And since a Hamas military operative was killed in that strike, I think Israel's story makes sense.

I find it troubling that HRW's report did not mention that.

So, in the end, as far as I am concerned, the only question is whether Mahmoud al-Kumi and Hussam Salama can be considered combatants. Were they propagandists? Are propagandists legitimate military targets? I think those are questions worth exploring.

Of course bit pattern makes no mention of the fact that while Israel maybe targeted two civilians, HRW also condemned Gaza for launching hundreds of rockets, which resulted in the deaths of three civilians and wounding three others, including an eight-month old. Hamas has not denied that it targets civilians and has not claimed that the civilians were located near valid military targets (as HRW reports they were not). If Palestine now claims to be a member of the international community and a State, it has an obligation to investigate these allegations of war crimes against Aharon Smadja, Mira Scharf, Yitzhak Amsalem, Kfir Rosen and others, as surely as Israel has an obligation to investigate the deaths of Mahmoud al-Kumi and Hussam Salama. (HRW also reports that rockets fired from residential areas in Gaza towards residential areas in Israel sometimes malfunctioned and struck Palestinians, killing two (including a four-year old boy) and wounding five others. These too would be war crimes (firing rockets from residential areas) that Palestine has an obligation to investigate and prosecute.

Last edited by marksman; 27th December 2012 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 27th December 2012, 11:15 AM   #17
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The only people in that conflict blurring the lines between civilians and combatants is Hamas.
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Old 27th December 2012, 12:15 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
The only people in that conflict blurring the lines between civilians and combatants is Hamas.
That's not true in this case. The two men -- Mahmoud al-Kumi, and Hussam Salama -- worked for Al Aqsa tv, Hamas' hateful Jew-hating television station. However, that does not mean that all Al-Aqsa employees are legitimate military targets.

" Journalists per se are not a legitimate target, but if they are wounded while visiting or working in a legitimate target, it is considered collateral damage. *** Legitimate communications targets include broadcasting and television stations, and telephone and telegraph exchanges of fundamental military importance."
-Cite

So that would seem to mean that the last three attacks mentioned by HRW would not be war crimes as they targeted broadcasting and television stations.

But that still leaves Mahmoud al-Kumi and Hussam Salama, who were in a car and not even broadcasting at the time, much less visiting a legitimate communications target. Article 79 of the Geneva Convention (enacted in 1977) makes this very clear. The only question is whether "they take... action adversely affecting their status as civilians", which would vitiate this protection. Israel claims their broadcasting of propaganda on behalf of Hamas adversely affects their status as civilians. But I don't think that makes sense.

A civilian is defined as any person who does not belong to the categories of persons referred to in Article 4 A (1), (2), (3) and (6) of the Third Convention and in Article 43 of this Protocol. Those people are:

Quote:
(1) Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.

(2) Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfill the following conditions:

(a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;

(b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;

(c) that of carrying arms openly;

(d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

(3) Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power.

* * *

(6) Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war.

* * *

Article 43 -- Armed forces
1. The armed forces of a Party to a conflict consist of all organized armed forces, groups and units which are under a command responsible to that Party for the conduct of its subordinates, even if that Party is represented by a government or an authority not recognized by an adverse Party. Such armed forces shall be subject to an internal disciplinary system which, ' inter alia ', shall enforce compliance with the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict.

2. Members of the armed forces of a Party to a conflict (other than medical personnel and chaplains covered by Article 33 of the Third Convention) are combatants, that is to say, they have the right to participate directly in hostilities.

3. Whenever a Party to a conflict incorporates a paramilitary or armed law enforcement agency into its armed forces it shall so notify the other Parties to the conflict.
It does not appear that Mahmoud al-Kumi and Hussam Salama were members of any militia or armed force. They were employees of Hamas' television station. They are no more a legitimate military target than journalists working for Stars and Stripes (the American military's own news reporting service).

Last edited by marksman; 27th December 2012 at 12:18 PM. Reason: added emphasis
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Old 27th December 2012, 12:52 PM   #19
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You can't join Al-Qaeda then claim immunity by carrying around a video camera.
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Old 27th December 2012, 02:07 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by marksman View Post
That's not true in this case. The two men -- Mahmoud al-Kumi, and Hussam Salama -- worked for Al Aqsa tv, Hamas' hateful Jew-hating television station. However, that does not mean that all Al-Aqsa employees are legitimate military targets.

" Journalists per se are not a legitimate target, but if they are wounded while visiting or working in a legitimate target, it is considered collateral damage. *** Legitimate communications targets include broadcasting and television stations, and telephone and telegraph exchanges of fundamental military importance."
-Cite

So that would seem to mean that the last three attacks mentioned by HRW would not be war crimes as they targeted broadcasting and television stations.
But as you already know it's not a civilian structure if it's also being used for military purposes.

Originally Posted by marksman View Post
But that still leaves Mahmoud al-Kumi and Hussam Salama, who were in a car and not even broadcasting at the time, much less visiting a legitimate communications target. Article 79 of the Geneva Convention (enacted in 1977) makes this very clear. The only question is whether "they take... action adversely affecting their status as civilians", which would vitiate this protection. Israel claims their broadcasting of propaganda on behalf of Hamas adversely affects their status as civilians. But I don't think that makes sense.
Are they involved in communicating military orders or other information to active fighters from Hamas commanders?

Originally Posted by marksman View Post
A civilian is defined as any person who does not belong to the categories of persons referred to in Article 4 A (1), (2), (3) and (6) of the Third Convention and in Article 43 of this Protocol. Those people are:



It does not appear that Mahmoud al-Kumi and Hussam Salama were members of any militia or armed force. They were employees of Hamas' television station. They are no more a legitimate military target than journalists working for Stars and Stripes (the American military's own news reporting service).
That is not the definition of a combatant! That is the definition of combatants who are eligible for POW status if captured.
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Old 28th December 2012, 04:00 AM   #21
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Pdf: Members of Hamas' Internal Security Services Who Were Also Operatives in Hamas' Military-Terrorist Wing and Were Killed in Operation Pillar of Defense
Quote:
An Israeli anti-terrorism think tank has issued an update in its ongoing project chronicling Hamas fighters who were publicly classified as civilians killed in Israel's recent Operation Pillar of Defense. The report, from the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, outlines how the Iran-backed terror group lists its fighters as civilian members of Hamas's internal security services. That classification, which implicitly and falsely denies their roles in Hamas's combat operations, is then echoed in human rights criticism of Israeli self-defense operations.
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Old 28th December 2012, 09:41 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
But as you already know it's not a civilian structure if it's also being used for military purposes.
Wildcat, I'm not sure if you're just agreeing with me in a disagreeable tone, or you think you're countering something I wrote which you quoted. I already said that communications center were legitimate military targets.

Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
Are they involved in communicating military orders or other information to active fighters from Hamas commanders?
Well, that's the question, isn't it? Israel, however, did not say they were. Rather they only stated that they were involved in disseminating propaganda, not military orders. So as it stands, it doesn't look like they were.

Quote:
That is not the definition of a combatant
I wasn't defining "combatant". I was defining "civilian". And Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions, which defines "civilian" for purpose of determining wh is entitled to the protection of civilian status incorporates as "civilian" anybody who doesn't fit in the definition of combatant for POW purposes.

I even gave you a link to the treaty provision, Wildcat. The least you could do is read it.

Originally Posted by bigjelmapro View Post
That report does not state that al-Kumi and Salama were secret operatives. I'm pretty sure they weren't. However, I have found new reports that convinces me that al-Kumi and Salama were not targeted for being journalists. Rather, they were harboring Muhammed Shamalah, the military commander for Hamas' southern forces.

al-Kumi and Salama were killed in an attack on Tuesday, November 20. The IDF confirms that Shamalah was killed in a press vehicle on Tuesday, the 20th. Although the IDF report does not mention the deaths of the journalist, there is no report of multiple press vehicles being targeted on that day. It seems to me that Shamalah was trying to escape Israel's attack on the Hamas communication center by hiding in a press vehicle. The cameramen were either willing accomplices or human shields. Either way, the attack on Shamalah was an attack on a legitimate military target and the deaths of al-Kumi and Shamalah are not Israeli war crimes. (They could be a war crime attributable to Shamalah, however, as using a human shield is a war crime -- assuming al-Kumi and Salama were unwilling participants. The issue is moot, however, since Shalamah is dead.)

So, in short, I think the HRW report can be disregarded as insufficiently researched. As unusual, it relies entirely on eyewitness accounts and makes no attempt to verify any of the facts it reports.
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Old 28th December 2012, 10:37 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by marksman View Post
Wildcat, I'm not sure if you're just agreeing with me in a disagreeable tone, or you think you're countering something I wrote which you quoted. I already said that communications center were legitimate military targets.
So then the probem with bombing Hamas communications centers is...?

Originally Posted by marksman View Post
Well, that's the question, isn't it? Israel, however, did not say they were. Rather they only stated that they were involved in disseminating propaganda, not military orders. So as it stands, it doesn't look like they were.
Who are their superiors? These weren't independent journalists, they work for Hamas.

Originally Posted by marksman View Post
I wasn't defining "combatant". I was defining "civilian". And Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions, which defines "civilian" for purpose of determining wh is entitled to the protection of civilian status incorporates as "civilian" anybody who doesn't fit in the definition of combatant for POW purposes.

I even gave you a link to the treaty provision, Wildcat. The least you could do is read it.
"1. The armed forces of a Party to a conflict consist of all organized armed forces, groups and units which are under a command responsible to that Party for the conduct of its subordinates"

Do the Hamas journalists take orders from Hamas?
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Old 28th December 2012, 11:40 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
So then the probem with bombing Hamas communications centers is...?
Wildcat, you are not reading what I write. I have no problem with Israel bombing communications centers. I said that from the get-go. Why do you keep responding to me as if I had any problem with it?! I have been consistently saying that it is a legitimate military target. Go back and check my posts. I'll wait.

For some reason, you got it in your head that I am criticizing Israel's targetign of communication centers when my position has been entirely consonant with your position.

Can you please, please, please, turn off the auto-attack mode you've put yourself in? You're attacking someone who has been agreeing with you this whole time.

Quote:
Who are their superiors? These weren't independent journalists, they work for Hamas.
Working for Hamas is insufficient. You can't target the janitorial staff of a military base when they are off-base. Unarmed employees of groups still qualify as civilians. You can target military facilities that they are currently in. but you can't bomb them in their cars, unless there is a legitimate military target in the car with them (as appears to have been the case with al-Kumi and Salama).

Quote:
Do the Hamas journalists take orders from Hamas?
Wrong question. The question is whether they take orders from armed forces of Hamas. Not every employee of Hamas is a legitimate military target under the Geneva convention. Only those who take orders from the armed forces.

To be clear: the journalists work for Al-Aqsa, a broadcastign company run by Hamas. Specifically, Al-Aqsa TV is directed by Fathi Hamad as the chairperson of the station's board of directors. Fathi is a hateful antisemite who exhorts violence against Jews worldwide and offered bounties to Palestinians who could abduct IDF soldiers. But Fathi is not a part of the armed forces of Hamas. Al-Aqsa does not take orders from the armed forces. Just as the Stars and Stripes has its own board of directors. Stars and Stripes reporters are not legitimate military targets. Neither are al-Aqsa "journalists". However, in this case, al-Aqsa journalists were not the target -- their passenger Shalamah was. And he was a legitimate military target.

Last edited by marksman; 28th December 2012 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 29th December 2012, 12:58 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Virus View Post
You can't join Al-Qaeda then claim immunity by carrying around a video camera.
I think the TV station is Al-Aqsa, not Al-Qaeda.
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Old 29th December 2012, 11:50 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by marksman View Post
Wildcat, you are not reading what I write. I have no problem with Israel bombing communications centers. I said that from the get-go. Why do you keep responding to me as if I had any problem with it?! I have been consistently saying that it is a legitimate military target. Go back and check my posts. I'll wait.

For some reason, you got it in your head that I am criticizing Israel's targetign of communication centers when my position has been entirely consonant with your position.

Can you please, please, please, turn off the auto-attack mode you've put yourself in? You're attacking someone who has been agreeing with you this whole time.


Working for Hamas is insufficient. You can't target the janitorial staff of a military base when they are off-base. Unarmed employees of groups still qualify as civilians. You can target military facilities that they are currently in. but you can't bomb them in their cars, unless there is a legitimate military target in the car with them (as appears to have been the case with al-Kumi and Salama).


Wrong question. The question is whether they take orders from armed forces of Hamas. Not every employee of Hamas is a legitimate military target under the Geneva convention. Only those who take orders from the armed forces.

To be clear: the journalists work for Al-Aqsa, a broadcastign company run by Hamas. Specifically, Al-Aqsa TV is directed by Fathi Hamad as the chairperson of the station's board of directors. Fathi is a hateful antisemite who exhorts violence against Jews worldwide and offered bounties to Palestinians who could abduct IDF soldiers. But Fathi is not a part of the armed forces of Hamas. Al-Aqsa does not take orders from the armed forces. Just as the Stars and Stripes has its own board of directors. Stars and Stripes reporters are not legitimate military targets. Neither are al-Aqsa "journalists". However, in this case, al-Aqsa journalists were not the target -- their passenger Shalamah was. And he was a legitimate military target.
I really don't see how you can seperate the military compnent of Hamas from the other components, there is a huge amount of overlap. And that is done deliberately by Hamas, so frankly they should be held at fault not Israel. Hamas has even been caught using ambulances to ferry troops around, use hospital basements as headquarters, declare dead fighters innocent civilians to the west while hailing them as Hamas martyrs at home, etc etc.

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Old 29th December 2012, 03:15 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by bit_pattern View Post
Is there anyway to post in this thread without subscribing to it?
So you can do drive-by postings of propaganda from Electronic Intifada?

Yeah, you could just unsubscribe every time you make a post...but I don't think you're going to earn any respect or change any minds that way.
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Old 29th December 2012, 03:23 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by marksman View Post
Bit pattern's source is suspect, but Human Rights Watch did question Israeli explanations for some targeting of journalists.

The key here is that Israel claims that propagandists are not entitled to the protection of Geneva. It should be noted that journalists don't gain special protection -- they are as protected as any civilians. The question then is two-fold: (i) were the individuals in question specifically targeted (as opposed to being, say, an embedded journalist or a civilian standing near a legitimate target), and (ii) were the targets legitimate military targets.

There were four attacks listed by the HRW: (i) a car carrying two cameramen, (ii and iii) two antenna towers atop buikldings; and (iv) two floors of a buildign housing media.

As to the first question (whether the individuals were specifically targeted), only the first attack specifically targeted individuals.

As to the second question, Israel claims the cameramen -- Mahmoud al-Kumi, and Hussam Salama -- were "Hamas agents". HRW claims they worked for al-Aqsa TV. However, Israel admits that they were not primary combatants -- they were nto armed and Israel did nto believe them to be armed. Instead, Israel claims they were propagandists, inciting further violence against Israel. Whether a propagandist is a combatant seems to be a bit of a grey area. HRW believes that freedom of speech means they are civilians. Israel believes them to be combatants. I admit I am troubled by the targeting of cameramen on the grounds they were "propagandists". I don't know that Tokyo Rose and Axis Sally are legitimate military targets.

The other three attacks are easier to handle. No individual was specifically targeted. Thus, the question is whether the buildings targeted were legitimate military targets. Israel claims the antennae were used by Hamas for communicating strategic actions. If true, that makes them a legitimate military target. Israel claims the two floors targets were used as a communication and command center. And since a Hamas military operative was killed in that strike, I think Israel's story makes sense.

I find it troubling that HRW's report did not mention that.

So, in the end, as far as I am concerned, the only question is whether Mahmoud al-Kumi and Hussam Salama can be considered combatants. Were they propagandists? Are propagandists legitimate military targets? I think those are questions worth exploring.

Of course bit pattern makes no mention of the fact that while Israel maybe targeted two civilians, HRW also condemned Gaza for launching hundreds of rockets, which resulted in the deaths of three civilians and wounding three others, including an eight-month old. Hamas has not denied that it targets civilians and has not claimed that the civilians were located near valid military targets (as HRW reports they were not). If Palestine now claims to be a member of the international community and a State, it has an obligation to investigate these allegations of war crimes against Aharon Smadja, Mira Scharf, Yitzhak Amsalem, Kfir Rosen and others, as surely as Israel has an obligation to investigate the deaths of Mahmoud al-Kumi and Hussam Salama. (HRW also reports that rockets fired from residential areas in Gaza towards residential areas in Israel sometimes malfunctioned and struck Palestinians, killing two (including a four-year old boy) and wounding five others. These too would be war crimes (firing rockets from residential areas) that Palestine has an obligation to investigate and prosecute.
I think your analysis is spot on, including questioning the legitimacy of targeting Mahmoud al-Kumi, and Hussam Salama. Working as Hamas propagandists may make them disgusting human beings, but it probably doesn't make them valid military targets.
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Old 29th December 2012, 05:06 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
I really don't see how you can seperate the military compnent of Hamas from the other components, there is a huge amount of overlap.
FIrst of all, it's not me. It's the way the Geneva Conventions work and have worked since the early 1970's

Second, there's always overlap, but the definition is very clear. Follow the chain of command. Al-Aqsa isa propaganda arm, but it is not run by military commanders. The reporters don't carry arms. So, under the Geneva Conventions, the reorters are not legitimate military targets.

Quote:
And that is done deliberately by Hamas, so frankly they should be held at fault not Israel.
Hamas has not blurred the lines sufficiently for purposes of the Geneva Conventions. If they had, the onus would indeed be on them.

However, all of this is moot since the reporters were not targeted. They were either collaborating with or being used as human shields by a legitimate military target.

Israel did not violate the Geneva Conventions in the mostrecent conflict, as far as has been presented to date.

Quote:
Hamas has even been caught using ambulances to ferry troops around, use hospital basements as headquarters, declare dead fighters innocent civilians to the west while hailing them as Hamas martyrs at home, etc etc.
All of which is true, but none of which has anything to do with the specific incident we were discussing.

Can't you just be satisfied that Israel, unlike (apparently) you, understood the Geneva Conventions and actually followed them here? Is it really important to you that Israel be able to target Al-Aqsa employees, even though Israel does not appear to even want to do that and has not been doing that?

You're beginning to sound like the caricature of Israel put forward by the self-proclaimed anti-Zionists. Fortunately, Israel is not the caricature in this discussion.
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Old 2nd January 2013, 09:03 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
I think your analysis is spot on, including questioning the legitimacy of targeting Mahmoud al-Kumi, and Hussam Salama. Working as Hamas propagandists may make them disgusting human beings, but it probably doesn't make them valid military targets.
Respectfully suggest that the world has changed, information warfare is still an element of warfare, and the tea room theory of war as a board game between only soldiers is beyond archaic.

If a news organ or news team is acting as an advocate for a warring party, I will suggest to you that they are "on side" and as such not eligible for special protections.

Since I don't know what went into how a weapon ended up hitting them, I'll say no more.

Marksman, I am pretty sure you'll disagree based upon a convention that has most certainly not accounted for 4GW nor Information Warfare as it has been practiced for decades. It doesn't need to be run by military commanders to be an arm of the state and as such a legitimate target. Power stations are also legit targets, see Iraq 1991 and in Serbia 1999, even if NOT run by military commanders. I do not find your argument to meet the times we are in.
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Old 3rd January 2013, 12:41 AM   #31
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Media advocates should not be considered combatants and shouldn't be targeted.
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Old 3rd January 2013, 08:46 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by trustbutverify View Post
Media advocates should not be considered combatants and shouldn't be targeted.
Not saying I disagree with you, but for the sake of discussion, why do you posit that they shouldn't be targeted?
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Old 3rd January 2013, 11:24 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Darth Rotor View Post
Marksman, I am pretty sure you'll disagree based upon a convention that has most certainly not accounted for 4GW nor Information Warfare as it has been practiced for decades. It doesn't need to be run by military commanders to be an arm of the state and as such a legitimate target. Power stations are also legit targets, see Iraq 1991 and in Serbia 1999, even if NOT run by military commanders. I do not find your argument to meet the times we are in.
For the third time, communications facilities can be targeted under the current laws. So can power stations. It is individual civil employees who cannot be targeted even if they work for the organization, unless those employees take direct orders from military personnel.

However, in this case it does not appear that the Al Aqsa reporters were targeted; the Hamas commander traveling in their van was. He is a legitimate military target.

Nor do I think the law needs updating. It works fine. Israel followed it. I see no evidence of war crimes by Israel here.
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Old 4th January 2013, 02:16 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by IDB87 View Post
Not saying I disagree with you, but for the sake of discussion, why do you posit that they shouldn't be targeted?
Because I feel it's imperative that Israel adhere to a code of war that, to the greatest degree possible, precludes targeting non-combatants. I'm not saying that happened in this case; I don't know if it did.
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Old 4th January 2013, 11:17 AM   #35
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Old 4th January 2013, 11:32 AM   #36
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Old 5th January 2013, 12:41 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Darth Rotor View Post
Respectfully suggest that the world has changed, information warfare is still an element of warfare, and the tea room theory of war as a board game between only soldiers is beyond archaic.

If a news organ or news team is acting as an advocate for a warring party, I will suggest to you that they are "on side" and as such not eligible for special protections.

Since I don't know what went into how a weapon ended up hitting them, I'll say no more.

Marksman, I am pretty sure you'll disagree based upon a convention that has most certainly not accounted for 4GW nor Information Warfare as it has been practiced for decades. It doesn't need to be run by military commanders to be an arm of the state and as such a legitimate target. Power stations are also legit targets, see Iraq 1991 and in Serbia 1999, even if NOT run by military commanders. I do not find your argument to meet the times we are in.
Part of the world changing includes broadening of the term "media", to include much more than just television, radio and newspapers. It's easy to justify targeting the people who work at the television stations run by Hamas or Hezbollah, but how about bloggers? Could the people who write for "Electronic Intifada" also become military targets? They're clearly acting as an advocate for a warring party.
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Old 5th January 2013, 05:26 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
Part of the world changing includes broadening of the term "media", to include much more than just television, radio and newspapers. It's easy to justify targeting the people who work at the television stations run by Hamas or Hezbollah, but how about bloggers? Could the people who write for "Electronic Intifada" also become military targets? They're clearly acting as an advocate for a warring party.
It's not about advocacy, but material support. Passing messages from commanders to the field, for instance.
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Old 5th January 2013, 10:46 PM   #39
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If they were doing that it would be arguable they were taking commands from the military. But Israel did not contend they were doing that. Nor did they need to in order to justify the attack.
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Old 6th January 2013, 11:43 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
It's not about advocacy, but material support. Passing messages from commanders to the field, for instance.
If that's the case in this specific incident, then it's a no-brainer, but Darth was talking about "informational warfare" and advocacy. In his opinion, if I understand him correctly, it's those elements that could make reporters and other media professionals "on side" and not eligible for special protection in the modern era of 4th generational warfare.

For the record, although I do respect DR, I disagree with him on this issue. If some international entity gets around to writing a new set of rules for 4GW that allow the targeting of Journalists if they are propagandists, then I'll be with him. Until then, you gotta look at the rules as they are.

But that discussion is hypothetical. As Marksman pointed out, in the real world those reporters were transporting a Hamas commander. HRW appears to be 0/4 on this one.
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