Category Archives: Atrocity

Why are the children of Gaza deemed to deserve trauma, mental illness and death?

Traumatised: here’s a child whose legs had to be cut off after an Israeli attack in Gaza. Wouldn’t you agree that such an event at such an early age is likely to have repercussions for the rest of this poor mite’s life?

The Chair of the United Nations’ child rights committee has spoken out against the persecution of children in Gaza, caused by Israel’s genocide there.

Here’s part of what she had to say:

No doubt the Israeli “authorities”, such as they are, will dismiss Ann Skelton’s comments as they come from the United Nations and Israel does not recognise the UN’s authority.

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It’s a strange attitude to the organisation that brought the current state of Israel into being. Perhaps if Israel doesn’t recognise UN authority on this, it should make a statement that the UN had no authority to create Israel and dissolve itself immediately?

Nobody seriously believes that is a possibility. But its current attitude reveals the Israeli government and military to be hypocrites.

And the bombings continue. And the children continue to die. Or be traumatised into suffering mental illness for (possibly) the rest of their lives.

How would you feel if these were your children?


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Israeli troops murdered Gazans and buried them in mass grave – like the Nazis

No longer an anti-Semitic comparison, it seems: bodies of Gazan civilians have been found, after they were apparently executed by members of the Israel Defence Force and dumped in a mass grave – as the Nazis dumped Holocaust victims during World War II. To whom does that make Benjamin Netanyahu equivalent, then?

The first This Writer knew of the latest Israeli atrocity in Gaza was this message on ‘X’:

Some commentators tried to dismiss the claim as the ravings of a pro-Palestine propagandist – but it was not wrong, as the first few seconds of this Turkish news report make clear:

Here are the details in written form, along with video of the bodies (wrapped in rubbish bags) being unearthed:

https://twitter.com/BeckettUnite/status/1752827593672261668

This is a terrible atrocity.

Not only is it a war crime to execute any civilian non-combatants at all, let alone in large numbers, but it is also a crime to hide what was done by burying the bodies in mass graves.

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It is also a huge mark of disrespect for the religion to whom the deceased belonged; according to their beliefs, they need to be buried in a very particular way, at a particular time.

I also hope the bodies are being checked to ensure that no organs are missing.

Furthermore, the discovery invites comparison with another organisation that executed people and dumped them in mass graves: the Nazis, in World War II.

Even worse, many victims of the Nazi Holocaust were buried in mass graves.

These Israelis are plumbing new depths of depravity.

It has been claimed that comparing Jews with the Nazis is the height of anti-Semitism – and that may be true when such a comparison is false.

When the comparison is accurate, on the other hand, it indicates a level of insult not only to the rest of the world but to their own fellow Jews – by these Israeli armed forces – that is breathtaking in its scope.

Incidentally…

I can find no mention of this Israeli atrocity on any of the UK’s mass media news sites. Has it been censored – to stop us from drawing the logical conclusions and comparisons that I have?


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If the UK’s foreign secretary thinks Israel is committing war crimes, he should say so

David Cameron: what did you just say?

David Cameron always was full of flannel and he’s no different now.

Look at this, from the Torygraph:

Israel may have broken international law in Gaza, Lord Cameron has said, as he called for a humanitarian pause covering the enclave.

The Foreign Secretary said he had seen things regarding the conflict that have been “deeply concerning” and called on Israel to restore water supply to Gaza.

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“Am I worried that Israel has taken action that might be in breach of international law, because this particular premises has been bombed, or whatever? Yes, of course,” Lord Cameron said as he took questions from parliament’s foreign affairs committee.

However, the former Prime Minister declined to say whether he had seen any Foreign Office legal advice stating that Israel has breached international humanitarian law in Gaza.

“Declined to say”? He backed away from it as though it was radioactive!

Now look at this:

You might also want to consider this:

It is clear that the UK government knows Israel is indeed committing genocide in Gaza.

Sadly, nobody there wants to admit it.

Spineless? You tell me.


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Owen Jones goes to the movies – and Israel’s cheerleaders scream

Owen Jones: he has been slated by Israel’s cheerleaders and warmongers, for expressing views that should be held by all of us.

Last night – November 28 – This Writer was asked by a very young friend (she’s 21) which side I’m on in the Israel/Hamas conflict.

My answer surprised everyone who was there. I said I’m on the side of peace.

They had not considered that as an option. It won me applause all around – in contrast to what happened when a left-wing journalist said the same thing after watching Israel’s film that purportedly shows Hamas atrocities committed during the October 7 attack.

Owen Jones created a YouTube clip describing his feelings, which you can find below. I urge you to watch it before drawing any conclusions about the comments it attracted.

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In it, he says he was invited to a screening of the film, which the Israel Defence Forces specifically stated was intended to drum up support for their onslaught against civilians in the Gaza Strip.

He acknowledges from the start that the film confirms that Hamas committed war crimes (along with members of other groups who crossed the border on the same day, one assumes, although that isn’t actually made clear in the clip). He makes it clear that the taking of hostages is itself a grave war crime. It should be emphasised that he does not attempt to hide or minimise the fact that war crimes were committed. As I have mentioned several times in articles about Israel and Hamas (quoting Paul Newman in another – Hollywood – movie): “There are only murderers in this room.”

He emphasises the principle that “no cause on Earth justifies the killing of civilians”. This indicates that, no matter what Jones saw in the IDF film, it was never going to sway him into supporting the IDF’s operations in Gaza that are now said to have killed more than 14,800 people, including 6,000 children (Jones himself suggests more than 20,000 people – 20 times as many as the number of Israelis killed on October 7 and one per cent of Gaza’s population, including more than 8,000 children).

He makes the point that the 43-minute film is a selection of what the IDF says are thousands of hours of material, and concludes that it is likely to show the worst events the Israeli authorities were able to find. This is logical as they are trying to trigger outrage in their chosen audience of journalists and influencers, and support for ongoing slaughter in Gaza.

But it means the material is biased, and all footage gathered by the IDF should be submitted to independent inspection; this is basic journalistic practice – a genuinely independent journalist or historian would not be able to say they could accurately assess what happened on October 7, based only on this selection. For balance, Jones adds that some horrors may not have been recorded or be in the captured material.

The footage does not support some of the most serious claims made by Israel and the IDF in the weeks since October 7. So:

  • There is no material suggesting that babies were beheaded. There are beheadings – one of a dead soldier (therefore not an execution) and one attempt to behead a dying Thai migrant worker that fails.
  • There is no evidence of torture.
  • There is no evidence of rape and sexual violence. Bodies found without underwear do not constitute conclusive evidence of such crimes, as Jones states.
  • Some have claimed that there is material showing children being killed but Jones could find no evidence of this.

Jones makes it clear that this is not to say that none of these things happened. It simply doesn’t prove that they did.

The images are coupled with audio recordings, purportedly of Hamas communications that were intercepted. Jones questions their veracity. Other such clips have been released by Israel/the IDF in the past weeks, and have been dismissed as fake by experts. There is no reason for this material not to be passed on for independent assessment.

Some of the most shocking footage was of bodies burned beyond recognition – but we have learned that hundreds of them belonged to Hamas personnel, according to Israel spokesman Mark Regev. These people would not have been burned by their colleagues in Hamas – so Jones asks the obvious question: who burned them and how?

He also asks how many people were killed by reckless fire – from either side, although he does qualify this by saying evidence only suggests two incidents involved IDF forces allegedly killing Israelis – at Kibbutz Be’eri and at the Nova rave (and the rave claim is hotly disputed). This Writer would add the IDF’s Gaza Battalion headquarters, where the commanding officer, safe in a bunker, ordered an airstrike on the surface where his troops were engaged in combat with Hamas personnel.

Jones moves on to examine articles by other journalists, including one saying the film shows Hamas are worse than the Nazis – which he correctly describes as “insulting” and “ahistorical”, belittling the horrors of the Holocaust.

Then he tackles criticism of his own behaviour, and his words (found at around the 15-minute mark in the video clip) are worth quoting here: “The roots of my politics is a revulsion at human suffering. That is the entire point of all of my work. You might not believe it, you may have invented a perverse, bogeyman caricature in your head, of who I am, but that is the point of everything that I believe in.

“Watching this film of horrors – and they are horrors – does not lead me to want to support other horrors. Watching innocent civilians being killed in Israel does not make me more likely to support killing more innocent civilians in Gaza. Indeed, several times over more innocent civilians.

“The fact that this is controversial – and I know that … those who supported this screening and its purpose find this controversial – is absurd.

“Now, you have a choice, when you learn of the horrors that humans are capable of inflicting against each other. You either allow these horrors to deepen your humanity or you use those horrors to numb your humanity so that you can be complicit in even more, and indeed even greater horrors.

“This is a very basic and fundamental lesson from human history, which is never learned, with a grave human cost.”

He returns to this later in the clip: “It’s that point at which you either look at horror, you see horror, and you deepen your humanity – or you numb your humanity; you allow your humanity to be chipped away.

“And here’s how I understand the purpose of the screening can be used for just that, is that when attendees see what is happening in Gaza, the thousands of innocent civilians, many thousands of little kids among them, as well as maimed little toddlers, newborns suffocating to death, and feel horror and anguish – and then we are meant to think back to what we saw at those screenings, to remember those poor, injured little boys crying for their dead father, and then to wipe away the horror and anguish we feel about Gaza’s innocence, so that we continue – we can continue – to support a military onslaught which will take many more lives.

“This has happened throughout history, where you are encouraged to break down your empathy for the suffering of others by selectively focusing only on the suffering of some.

“I won’t do that.”

He continued: “Those behind the screening would rightfully regard even one of the killings of Israeli civilians which I saw as intolerable. I did.

“But 20,000 dead Palestinians, many thousands of them children – that’s entirely tolerable?

“Well, there we differ in our responses to the horrors that we saw.”

He concluded: “Throughout the tortured history of our species, horror at atrocities has long been used to build consent for yet more atrocities.

“I left that screening, yes… ashen-faced, horrified, disgusted, repulsed – and more determined than ever to spare innocent people from violent deaths and suffering. That should be your response too.

“No cause on Earth justified crimes committed against innocent civilians. And those crimes don’t justify collective punishment and the mass slaughter that the people of Gaza are now suffering.”

Here’s the clip:

The response Jones received for this display of humanity in the face of horror has been, itself, horrifying.

Here’s a selection, so you can see for yourself, and put names to those who have numbed their humanity and allowed themselves to become complicit in more and greater horrors:

I answered this one:

None of the people attacking Jones in the tweets above deserve any of your attention. They present as bloodthirsty warmongers intent on the annihilation – not of Hamas, but of Palestine and all Palestinians.

If you can remember all the way back to the beginning of this article, you may recall that when I was asked whose side I take in the Israel/Hamas conflict, I said I was on the side of peace.

You don’t get peace by invading somebody else’s country, subjugating them, stealing their land, walling in, oppressing and murdering them for 75 years – as Israel has discovered.

You don’t get peace by breaking through the walls and murdering your oppressors in a vain and (proportionately) tiny act of rebellion – as Hamas has discovered.

All you get is a perpetuation of the cycle of violence.

International law says Palestine has a right to resist the occupation of its land and the oppression of its people by Israel. But that does not give it a right to commit a single act of violence against a civilian.

Israel has a right to defend itself against acts of violence that are committed against its civilians. The issues are muddied here because it is questionable whether those acts of violence were committed on Israeli land or land that has been stolen from Palestine, in which case those civilians had no right to be there. But in any case, that does not give it a right to commit a single act of violence against a civilian.

Both sides are in the wrong. Both have committed war crimes. Both have committed atrocities.

In fairness, both have also been trying to whip up support for further atrocities. That’s why my friends were so surprised when I didn’t say I supported Israel or Hamas (or Gaza, or Palestine) but wanted peace instead.

The only way to get peace is to put the weapons away, sit down with the people you’ve been fighting and talk about how it can be achieved.

The longer that moment is delayed, they harder it will be to achieve that peace.

And yes, every one of us has a responsibility to seek that peace. You don’t get it by cheerleading for war and its atrocities.


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WAR CRIMES: Israel has been targeting Gaza refugee camps

Despair: A Gazan holds his head in his hands, sitting over the crater that an Israeli airstrike made of part of the Jabalya refugee camp. Can you see any evidence of an underground Hamas tunnel system?

An air attack on the Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza is just the latest in a series of Israeli raids on areas it has claimed not to be targeting, it seems.

According to the BBC,

A large explosion rocked the Jabalia camp yesterday afternoon. Pictures taken at the scene by news agencies in the immediate aftermath showed several large craters surrounded by destroyed buildings. Children could be seen among the dead and injured, as people searched through the rubble for survivors.

BBC Verify geolocated the blast site to an area located within the refugee camp, which is made up of many residential buildings and was home to 116,000 people before the war.

The Israel Defense Forces later confirmed a strike, saying it had killed a senior Hamas commander, Ibrahim Biari, and targeted “underground terror infrastructure” beneath buildings that collapsed.

It said a “large number of terrorists were killed” and accused Hamas of intentionally using civilians as human shields. Hamas denied any commander had been there.

AFP news agency said their footage from the scene showed at least 47 bodies pulled from the rubble. A senior doctor at the nearby Indonesian Hospital told the BBC it received 120 dead, the majority women and children.

The BBC can’t independently confirm casualty figures. The IDF said it was looking into “reports of collateral damage and non-combatant casualties”.

This is not the only refugee camp to be hit by Israel.

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Here‘s more from the BBC:

In central Gaza, there are four refugee camps. The BBC has verified strikes on two of them. Social media footage of the aftermath of a strike on al-Bureij camp on 17 October shows extensive rubble, flames, and bloodied bodies being carried out of the damage. We have verified the footage by matching up buildings in this footage with photos by news agencies of the aftermath. We also verified the footage location using a mosque that was visible.

Another camp nearby, al-Nuseirat, was struck the next day, on 18 October. We have verified social media footage of the aftermath, which shows ambulances, detritus, people trying to douse flames and a destroyed bakery. We located it by matching the shop names that can be seen in the video with those seen in photos published before the strike took place.

Despite the earlier 8 October warning instructing residents of the eastern and southern Maghazi area to go to camps in central Gaza, there do not appear to be any camps in the location specified on the tweet’s map.

We have however identified three camps nearby: al-Nuseirat and al-Bureij, hit by the strikes on the 17 and 18 October, and another camp called Deir al-Balah.

We cannot discount the possibility that there were then subsequent different instructions, but the BBC has not found any evidence of this.

There seems to be no evidence of a Hamas tunnel system beneath the Jabalya camp – or any of the others. If other information becomes available, This Site will update.

So Israel’s claim to be attacking Hamas seems specious. And the protestation that Hamas is using refugees and hostages as human shields seems to be nonsense.

What we see is Israel targeting refugees and hostages – innocent civilians – indiscriminately in yet another war crime to add to the list.


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How many Israelis were killed on October 7, again? And, how many were children?

*Caveat: this article is based on information that may change as more becomes available.

Duper’s delight: Look at that smug smile – Benjamin Netanyahu may have been telling fibs again.

It seems Israel may have been lying to us all (surprise, surprise!) about what happened on October 7 – the number of civilian fatalities, the number that were children, and what happened to them.

The following material comes from a website called The Cradle, which suggests that “evidence is now emerging that up to half the Israelis killed were combatants; that Israeli forces were responsible for some of their own civilian deaths [we knew that, right?]; and that Tel Aviv disseminated false ‘Hamas atrocities’ stories to justify its devastating air assault on Palestinian civilians in Gaza.”

It claims that information from the Israeli news organisation Haaretz showed that, by October 23, only 683 Israeli deaths could be verified – not the 1,400 claimed by Israel’s government:

Of these, 331 casualties – or 48.4 percent – have been confirmed to be soldiers and police officers, many of them female. Another 13 are described as rescue service members, and the remaining 339 are ostensibly considered to be civilians.

There are also so far no recorded deaths of children under the age of three, which throws into question the Israeli narrative that babies were targeted by Palestinian resistance fighters. Of the 683 total casualties reported thus far, seven were between the ages of 4 and 7, and nine between the ages of 10 and 17. The remaining 667 casualties appear to be adults.

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So what about all those gruesome claims? Rapes, beheaded babies?

Aviva Klompas, a former speechwriter for the Israeli mission to the UN, was the first Israeli of note to spread the claim that there were reports of “Israeli girls being raped and their bodies dragged through the street.

She posted this on X at 9:18 PM (Palestine time), on 7 October, although an op-ed Klompa published with Newsweek at 12:28 AM (Palestine time), on 8 October, made no mention of any sexual violence.

Klompas is also the co-founder of Boundless Israel, a “think-action tank” that works “to revitalize Israel education and take bold collective action to combat Jew-hatred.” An “unapologetically Zionist” charitable group that works to promote Israeli narratives on social media.

The one case touted as proof of rape was that of a young German-Israeli woman named Shani Louk, who was filmed face down in the back of a pickup truck and was widely assumed dead.

It was unclear whether the fighters filmed with Louk in the Gaza-bound vehicle were members of Hamas, as they do not sport the uniforms or insignia of the Al-Qassam troops identifiable in other Hamas videos – some even wore casual civilian clothing and sandals.

Later, her mother claimed to have evidence that her daughter was still alive, but had suffered a severe head wound. This rings true with information released by Hamas that indicated Louk was being treated for her injuries at an unspecified Gaza hospital.

Complicating matters further, on the day these rape allegations arose, Israelis would not have had access to this information. Their armed forces had not yet entered many, if not most, of the areas liberated by the resistance and were still engaged in armed clashes with them on multiple fronts.

Nevertheless, these rape claims took on a life of their own, with even US President Joe Biden alleging, during a speech days later, that Israeli women were “raped, assaulted, paraded as trophies” by Hamas fighters. It is important to note that The Forward’s article on 11 October reported that the Israeli military acknowledged they had no evidence of such allegations at that point.

When the army later made its own allegations of decapitations, foot amputations, and rape, Reuters pointed out that “the military personnel overseeing the identification process didn’t present any forensic evidence in the form of pictures or medical records.” To date, there is no credible evidence of these atrocities that has been presented.

Other outrageous allegations, such as the story of Hamas “beheading 40 babies‘ made headlines and the front pages of countless western news outlets. Even Biden claimed to have seen “confirmed photos of terrorists beheading babies.” The claims trace back to Israeli reserve settler and soldier David Ben Zion, who has previously incited violent riots against Palestinians and called for the West Bank town of Huwara to be wiped out. No evidence was ever produced to support these claims and the White House itself confirmed later that Joe Biden had never seen such photos.

What do you think?

We have first-hand information from former Hamas hostages that they have been well-treated. It seems that, besides the destruction of the IDF’s Gaza Division, the aim of the Hamas incursion on October 7 was to take live hostages that could be exchanged with the circa-5,300 Palestinians said to be inhabiting Israeli jails for no good reason, many of them women and children.

If that’s true, then Hamas would have wanted to avoid causing serious harm to civilians.

So – if this information is accurate, then Israel’s spokespeople have lied about the number and nature of the people who were killed, and in their claims of atrocities inflicted upon the dead.

Considering how other claims by Israel’s government have also fallen apart (which one is your favourite?)…

Well, what do you think? Comment using the box below.


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Andrew Neil: hoist by his own petard over ‘beheaded babies’ lie

Andrew Neil: his aggressive response to criticism is inappropriate.

That mainstay of the UK’s right-wing media – Andrew Neil – seems to be coming unstuck because of his support for Israel in its conflict with Gaza.

Mr Neil was among those who rushed to push the story that Hamas beheaded Israeli babies in a kibbutz near the Palestinian territory:

But since then he has rowed back. Take a look at the following response to a critic:

We know now that there was no evidence of babies having been beheaded by Hamas; images were produced by the Israeli government a few days after the story broke, after it was questioned and far too late to be corroboration of the claim; they could have been fabricated. In fact, the circumstances suggest that they almost certainly were.

It was a matter of ease for Mr Neil’s original tweet to be brought back to light:

It seems to This Writer that Mr Neil’s only excuse is that he didn’t say 40 babies were allegedly beheaded – but the actual number is an irrelevance.

His tweet made it clear that he believed the claim – or at least, that he wanted the rest of us to believe it.

And, as Phil Gould points out, it is because of the endorsement of people like Mr Neil that the story “went round the world like wildfire”.

So Mr Neil has been shown where he reported that babies had been beheaded. He justified himself with a hypothetical question: if it was mutilation and slaughter, rather than beheading, would we owe Hamas an apology? That needs an answer too.

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And it is obvious: we do not know that Hamas did anything that has been alleged. We were given allegations by a source that has been disproved – twice. That makes any claim extremely suspicious.

Israel wants the world to see it as the victim, while its hugely superior armed forces pummel the Palestinian region of Gaza into rubble. We are told 2,300 Gazans have already died – nearly twice as many Jewish casualties in the current conflict – and we know that children are among the deceased.

It is extremely hard for other people to see you as a victim if you have killed nearly twice as many people – innocent bystanders, remember; we don’t know if any of them were members of Hamas so must assume that they weren’t – as have died among your own numbers. That is especially true if children are among those casualties.

So it seems likely that Israel manufactured a false claim to make Hamas look like monsters – that isn’t even original. The claim of babies being murdered was used to justify the first Gulf War, and goes back at least as far as World War One.

Do we owe Hamas an apology? No.

A very large, unprovoked, campaign of mass murder was carried out on October 7, and Hamas has taken responsibility for it. That should be condemned.

But we should also condemn Israel for responding with equally unprovoked war crimes against two million Palestinian non-combatants – and we should not have to be distracted from that by false claims publicised by the likes of this so-called journalist.


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Propaganda war? Israeli claims of beheaded babies must be independently confirmed

War is an ugly business and those involved often employ underhand tactics.

One such tactic is to claim an atrocity has taken place when it hasn’t. This is why any such claim should always be treated only as an unconfirmed story until it has been verified by an independent and impartial observer – preferably by several.

That is why This Writer is not ready to believe claims that babies were beheaded at the Kfar Aza kibbutz, near Gaza, solely on the word of Israel Defence Force soldiers. I don’t care how “shaken” they looked to the international reporters they invited in. The story should not have been released until the facts had been established.

This is not to say that the alleged massacre did not take place; I am simply saying that caution must be employed when encountering such claims.

Sadly, this message does not appear to have got through to some of the UK’s politicians and media outlets, as This Writer’s social media feed shows – to their shame.

This report from Israeli news broadcaster i24 News provides no supporting voices to corroborate the military claims and, from what the reporter says, she has not seen any evidence:

Jake Wallis Simons is the editor of the Jewish Chronicle, a UK-based periodical that has gained a reputation for the poor quality of its news reporting – particularly over anti-Semitism claims against Labour Party members and/or supporters. His claim here is debunked by Jews Sans Frontieres:

Here’s Aaron Bastani – of social media site Novara Media – reminding Rob Burley – ex-head of BBC Politics and now in charge of Sky News – that it is deeply unprofessional to report these claims as true without corroboration:

For clarity, I repeat: I am not saying this atrocity has not happened. I’m simply pointing out that, without independent corroboration, none of us can be sure that it has.

Even if it has, it will not justify any attacks that injure civilians in Gaza. Those would also be war crimes under international law.

Israeli politicians would do well to bear that in mind.


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