Thursday, October 25, 2007

Collective Punishment

By Cernig

Yet again, the double standard that says the US and its allies can get away with thumbing their noses at international law will be applied:
Israel's defence minister has approved sanctions against Gaza, including cuts in the supply of electricity and fuel to try to halt rocket attacks.
Ehud Barak authorised the cuts, which are expected to follow immediately after rocket attacks are launched.

Palestinian leaders say the measure amounts to collective punishment.

Israel supplies 60% of the electricity for Gaza's 1.5 million inhabitants - but last month Israel declared Gaza a "hostile entity".

By formally declaring Gaza "hostile", Israel argues it is no longer bound by international law governing the administration of occupied territory to supply utilities to the civilian population.

But the position accepted by the international community is that Israel remains legally responsible for the coastal strip, despite withdrawing two years ago, because it still controls Gaza's borders, airspace and territorial waters.
I'm betting there will be no condemnation from the Bush administration of this contravention of laws concerning the actions of occupying powers and collective punishment - a clear war crime. Just as there was no condemnation of a unilateral attack on Syria which at the very best was years ahead of being justifiable and at the worst was aggresive warfare without cause - another war crime.

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