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                                        Volume. 12157

In memoriam of the children of Gaza
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As the Zionist regime bombs have rained down on the residential areas, hospitals, schools, and UN shelters in the Gaza Strip, major cities in the West have witnessed thousands of people coming out to protest the attacks. Unfortunately, the only place where there is virtually no dissent is the capital cities in the West. The Zionist regime has the region’s strongest military, the only possessor of nuclear weapons arsenal in the Middle East which enjoys the unconditional support of the United States.
 
U.S. taxpayers also have a stake in this conflict as Washington keeps sending Israel billions of tax dollars, while failing to push Tel Aviv to stop violating international law.
 
Almost every single elected official in Washington has come out in full support of the Zionist regime over the past three weeks as the Zionist entity launched a bloody offensive strike across Gaza. Every day, the Israeli military operations perpetrate new horrors in Gaza. One day, it is the bombing of Gaza’s main power plant. The next day it is the bombardment of a United Nation school killing 16 civilians, where they believed was immune to any military strike. Nevertheless, given the horrific atrocities occurring in Gaza, the U.S. political class remains silent and doesn’t express a word of protest! As Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip rages on, temporary ceasefires last just enough for the Palestinians to dig out the dead from the collapsed buildings, getting the injured to overcrowded and under-resourced hospitals while gathering enough food and water to live through the next round of raid and airstrikes.
 
Israeli assault on Gaza violates the Geneva Conventions since Israel has been imposing a large collective military strike against the entire Gaza, shelling hospitals using disproportionate force. Many people search desperately through the rubble of what had been their home before constant attacks. Casualties are soaring daily and after 26 days of raid, more than 1950 are killed, 350 of whom are children and more than 1400 civilians, while hundreds of thousands have been displaced. Israel claims that the large number of civilian casualties is due to the “human shields” used by Hamas, something that doesn't carry much truth on the factual basis.
 
Nevertheless, Amnesty International which has been monitoring and investigating such reports throughout the conflict has failed to find any concrete evidence of the use of human shield by the Palestinian groups.
 
An American politician claimed that Hamas “uses Palestinian men, women and children as human shield" in violation of international humanitarian law. For example, by placing its missile batteries in densely populated areas such as schools, hospitals, mosques. This however, is a deliberate act of misjudging the public opinion and does not reflect the reality. This was echoed by BBC’s Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen, who wrote, “I saw no evidence during my week in Gaza of Israel’s accusation that Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields.”
 
While Gaza is a tiny land, it is the biggest prison in the world with very high population density and no military force to defend itself from the rockets. Hamas and other Palestinian groups might fire rockets from within Gaza’s civilian areas but that does not fall within the international legal definition of human shield. In June 2013, a UN report accused Israel of using Palestinian children as human shields. Other human right groups have also documented how Israel uses human shields. A B’Tselem report from 2002 denounced the use of the “neighbor procedure” by Israel, in which Palestinians are forced to go into their militant neighbors’ home to find out if it is booby-trapped with explosives.
 
The establishment of settlements by an occupying force violates the international humanitarian law, the governing framework within which armed conflicts as well as military occupations are investigated. Yet Israel is expanding its settlements into the West Bank without any concern for those Palestinians who will no longer be able to return home. Israel is the perfect definition of an apartheid settler state, where they have set up check points, blockades and have taken away the very basic human rights from the Palestinian population.
 
Our world is faced with genocide, perpetrated by the Zionist regime which is committed to the deliberate killing of Palestinians, including women, children, and old unarmed civilians.
 
The United Nations Security Council has let down billions of people around the world by failing to condemn the genocide and to bring those behind it to a criminal court. Further, it has left Palestinians with no solution but resistance through rockets and stones.
 
Nosratollah Tajik served as Iran's ambassador to Jordan from 1999 to 2003.

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