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08 January 2009


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Dan M

Pat -- what's the working definition of "attrocity" in this context? (Happy new year by the way).

Patrick Lang

Dan M

Deliberate killing, mutilation, or abuse of non-combatants. pl


Here's a post from an Israeli human rights org. with lots of details:

I appreciate your blog very much. Thank you for your efforts.

G Hazeltine

Your contacts should be able to help you clarify this. The Zaitoun affair: Ordering the clan to assemble at the house. Presumably preventing their flight. Shelling the house. Sixty of seventy dead from blast and 'falling masonry.' Preventing medical treatment or evacuation of the survivors by firing on ambulances. The Red Cross is able to reach the house four days? five? later, finding four children emaciated and unable to stand, lying with the corpses of their mothers, "meters" away from IDF positions, whose soldiers had offered no aid.

Shades of 1938 and 39, 1947 and 48, 1953. Lebanon in 1982 and 1996 and 2006 and God knows when else. Bury them in their stone houses. Especially the women and children.

Irgun, Special Night Squads, Special Squads, the Stern, the Haganah and the IDF from then until now.

It's the culture. Sergeants won't solve it.


Not sure if this is what you want....

But this press release from a Palestinian Human Rights org in Gaza has circumstances including names and ages of the dead.


Hard reading.

Helena Cobban

Lots of very experienced, specialized organizations have been compiling data on the atrocities from the very beginning. Go to the websites of the UN's OCHA for the OPTs, or the ICRC, or Btselem, or the Palestin Human Rights Center, etc etc. No need to re-invent the wheel.

You can access much of this material through Reliefweb. And a coalition of eleven Israeli rights organizations has started a new Gaza-conflict blog, here in English, which compiles their reports and testimonies. Like I said, no need to reinvent the wheel.

Patrick Lang


I want my own wheel. pl

Michael Chevalier


Pat, this is from the BBC site. The shelling of a home:

Israeli forces shelled a house in the Gaza Strip which they had moved around 110 Palestinians into 24 hours earlier, the UN quotes witnesses as saying.



several blog do daily update on Gaza situation. Mostly personal.

this one has list of items that probably can be confirmed later on.



Tank crew slaughters a family after locking them in a house for 12 hours:


Israelis put gun placements on top of apartment buildings after locking all the residents in their rooms, cutting the phone lines, and taking away their celphones.



PL: `Atrocity': Deliberate killing, mutilation, or abuse of non-combatants.

Having read this article, the first image that came to my mind was the saddening and horrifying black and white WW II footage of murdered Jews being indelicately bulldozed into mass graves and covered with dirt and rubble.

100 Survivors Rescued in Gaza From Ruins Blocked by Israelis


The Red Cross has accused the Israeli military of repeatedly refusing to grant permission for ambulances to go to Zaytoun, even though soldiers were stationed outside the damaged houses and were aware people were wounded inside. In a statement issued early Thursday, the agency called the episode "unacceptable" and said the Israeli military had "failed to meet its obligation under international humanitarian law to care for and evacuate the wounded."


B'Tselem, the Israeli human rights group, said residents of Zaytoun who had been trapped in other houses have given similar accounts of how Israeli soldiers were aware of their plight but refused to allow rescue workers into the neighborhood. "What these family members say consistently is that the IDF was close by," said Sarit Michaeli, a spokeswoman for the group, referring to the Israel Defense Forces. "This wasn't some remote area. The soldiers certainly were about and were aware of their position."


On Friday, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said it had confirmed the account of what happened to the Samuni family. Calling it "one of the gravest incidents" in Gaza since the start of the fighting, the U.N. said Israeli soldiers had packed about 110 Palestinians into the house Sunday, then "shelled the home repeatedly" 24 hours later.


Cloned Poster

We know they (IDF), are committing war crimes as we blog. They couldn't care less, because Uncle Sam approves and Barack Obama is just another charlaton.


Ad Addendum

Analogy : Jews - Palestinians : gas chamber - Samuni house : Zyklon-B pellets - bombs

On Friday, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said it had confirmed the account of what happened to the Samuni family. Calling it "one of the gravest incidents" in Gaza since the start of the fighting, the U.N. said Israeli soldiers had packed about 110 Palestinians into the house Sunday, then "shelled the home repeatedly" 24 hours later.



Col Lang,

Sorry to be off topic but I have a question. Is there a reason why all the comments can't be seen on this site? For instance, I browsed through during the IDF thread when there were 20+ comments and read what everyone had written. I now see there are 70+ comments yet only the same 20+ are displayed. This happens to me on this site all the time. Am I doing something wrong?

Sorry for the interruption.

Patrick Lang


There are often numerous pages of comments. Look at the bottom of the comments pages and you will see little blue arrows which are links to other pages. pl


Strike on well known media target:


The Gaza media house is used by serveral services, not only Iranian.

"Israeli rocket strikes Gaza media building, wounding two," Press TV said in a breaking news headline, after initially porting there were no casualties in the incident.

"Israeli forces have targeted Press TV and al-Alam television stations in the Gaza Strip," the English-language satellite station said. Al-Alam is Iran's Arab-language television station.
A Press TV news presenter said Israel knew the building's map coordinates and had given assurances it would not be attacked. Its Web site said staff had kept light projectors working on the roof of the building to mark it.


Use of phosphorus by IDF, with photos of missiles from USA.




A detailed account posted on CounterPunch and written by Ewa Jasiewicz who is described as "an experienced journalist, community and union organizer, and solidarity worker. She is currently Gaza Project Co-coordinator for the Free Gaza Movement."

The problem I/we face is that the first-hand reports are by those who are in Gaza and ipso facto are likely to be described(more or less accurately) as "pro-Palestinian" or the like and so their testimony is discounted by many who do not already agree.

At least in NY where I am, and where I am trying to speak to and influence those who do not agree, it seems that most of what I cite as evidence is discounted for such reasons. Similarly discounted is less direct "opinion" - even when from Israelis with impeccable credentials.

I hope there is an audience for whatever you will do with what you gather aside from those of us who already more or less agree.

Then I would feel like I am "doing something" or helping you "do something", instead of feeling enraged and impotent.

Jackie Shaw

Thank you for asking that question. I appreciate the answer also.


Thanks colonel. I see it now. It shows up so small on my computer that I had never noticed it before.

William R. Cumming

Sorry to disagree with PL's definition and some of the posted commentators but I have always believed that so-called "Collateral Damage" even when and if extreme (and it may even rise to "War Crime" status) but are not (is not)"atrocities" are even above that in requiring international and other policing to prevent and to document and to see the perps tried and appropriately punished. "Atrocity" means specifically that innocents and non-combatants that are fully within the power of the combatants that have complete control over them--i.e. de facto or de jure prisoners-- are not murdered. Should be no further assistance by the US to any nation-state not joining the ICC. And of course we should have joined long ago.


"Deliberate killing, mutilation, or abuse of non-combatants."

Well, that's an interesting definition. It excludes, at least on its surface, the deliberate use of civilian areas as shelters, launching pads, or screens for military action.

I'm sure you already have access to the amply-documented indiscriminate rocket fire, and will include it on your list. But the largest number of 'atrocities' committed thus far have been against the Palestinian civilian population - by Hamas and allied groups. Amira Hass' reporting is as good a place as any to begin, but there are other accounts.

-Hamas is estimated to have executed between 40-80 civilians suspected of 'collaboration.' One account details how, immediately after the bombing of the Saraya, Hamas forces seized former prisoners being treated in the hospital, and turned them over to the family members of those who had died in the airstrikes for execution.

-Hamas is estimated to have shot several dozen Fatah activists in the leg or the knee. Hamas claims it shot only those who "passed out candy in the streets" or otherwise publicly celebrated the Israeli assault; other reports indicate that the victims were prominent Fatah members, shot as a warning.


This from B'Tselem: specific contradiction of interpretation of drone footage shown by the IDF


31 Dec. '08: Suspicion: bombed truck carried oxygen tanks and not grad rockets

On 29 December '08 the Israeli army bombed a truck in Gaza City, claiming it carried Grad rockets, designated for attacks on Israel. Drone footage of the bombing was shown by the Israeli army.

B’Tselem received the testimony of Ahmad Sanur, the owner of the truck bombed. Sanur claims the truck was carrying oxygen canisters used for welding, not Grad rockets. B'Tselem field worker took photos of oxygen canisters left on the site of the bombing.

According to Sanur’s testimony, he and members of his family were trying to salvage material from a metal workshop he owns, which was next door to a bombed house, in order to prevent looting. He denies any connection to militants, or military activity, and is willing to talk to any journalist, or investigator.

Photo [go to link for photos] from Army footage of the loading of the truck and photo of the oxygen canisters left next to the truck taken by B'Tselem fieldworker.
8 people were killed in the bombing, including his son. Two were severely wounded (names may have different spelling):

Muhammad bassel Madi, 17
Wisam Akram ‘Eid, 14
‘Imad Ahmad Sanur, 32
Rami Sa’adi Ghabayan, 24
Mahmoud Nabil Ghabayan, 14
Ashraf a-Dabagh, 26
Muhammad Majed Ka’abar, 20
Ahmad Ibrahim Khila, 15
Two were severely injured:

Bilal Suheil Ghabayan, 19
Baha Suheil Ghabayan, 16

Clifford Kiracofe

This Gaza specific site has some data as well as links:

Arabic language source:

Legal issues and perspective:

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