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 [F] New York Times on the Web Forums  / Science  /

    Missile Defense

Technology has always found its greatest consumer in a nation's war and defense efforts. Since the last attempts at a "Star Wars" defense system, has technology changed considerably enough to make the latest Missile Defense initiatives more successful? Can such an application of science be successful? Is a militarized space inevitable, necessary or impossible?

Read Debates, a new Web-only feature culled from Readers' Opinions, published every Thursday.

Earliest Messages Previous Messages Recent Messages Outline (5479 previous messages)

lunarchick - 01:18pm Nov 5, 2002 EST (# 5480 of 5482)

America puts $10m per day into Israel ...

Israel charged with war crimes: Amnesty report

TEL AVIV, Nov 4: Amnesty International accused Israel on Monday of committing war crimes during its invasion of the West Bank towns of Nablus and Jenin between April and June.

An Amnesty report, entitled "Shielded from Scrutiny: IDF violations in Jenin and Nablus", demanded that Israel and the international community investigate those responsible, no matter how high their position in power.

It charged that between last April and June the Israeli army killed civilians, tortured prisoners, used civilians as human shields, destroyed homes and blocked humanitarian aid to Palestinians.

"Amnesty International believes that some of the acts by the IDF (Israeli army) described in this report amount to grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention and are war crimes," it says.

The rights watchdog called for "a full, thorough, transparent and impartial investigation into all allegations of violations of international human rights and humanitarian law".

Javier Zuniga, Amnesty's international director of regional strategy, said Israel should accept responsibility for its actions and cooperate with an investigation into the army's conduct during the spring offensive.

"The culpability goes from the soldier who shot somebody with no necessity to those in the line of the command who ordered or condoned or covered up and to the highest authority of the state because they are politically responsible - that would be the prime minister," said Zuniga. But Zuniga, one of the authors of the report, added: "We are not a court of law ... The first thing that has to happen is a proper judicial investigation and this has not happened yet."

The report came out just two days after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon named as his defence minister former army chief of staff Shaul Mofaz, who headed the military's six-week occupation of the West Bank.

The left-wing Meretz party called for Mofaz's appointment to be delayed until a full government inquiry had been carried out on the Amnesty charges.

The report was also critical of the UN probe into the fighting in Jenin, which began when the army entered the town and barred access to humanitarian groups from April 4 to 15.

The 31-page UN report, released by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on Aug 1, said no widespread killing occurred in Jenin, after the Jewish state blocked an on-the-scene investigation and withheld.

In April, Palestinian officials accused Israel of massacring between 300 and 500 people. Although that charge has been discounted, Amnesty says 54 Palestinians were killed in the fighting in Jenin, many of them civilians.

The Jenin toll includes "seven women, four children and six men over the age of 55. Six people had been crushed by houses", it added.

Amnesty said that without a visit to the scene or cooperation from Israel, "The secretary general's report on Jenin cannot be a substitute for a full, independent, impartial and thorough investigation or inquiry."

In Nablus, Amnesty said at least 80 people were killed in April, including seven women and nine children under the age of 15.

"The IDF ill-treated and sometimes tortured detainees arrested in mass roundups of males between 15 and 45 years old," it added.

In one case, the report chronicles the beating of a 25-year-old man in a wheelchair who was taken into detention and pushed down a stairwell.

Last week Amnesty's US-based equivalent Human Rights Watch called Palestinian bombers "war criminals" and said the Palestinian Authority (PA) bore heavy responsibility for not stopping them. -AFP

lunarchick - 01:23pm Nov 5, 2002 EST (# 5481 of 5482)

Not to condone violence ... but ... it was put to the board that

    in International law an occupied State (Palestine) under conventions of war might use whatever means to remove occupants.
    Conversely a State such as Isreal has to protect the 'rights' of those under it's subjection.
So in strict international law - are Palestinian bombers 'war' criminals?

Seems the world would be a whole lot better off without WAR - wasting accumulated resources!

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