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Most famous current claims and their counter-arguments

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  • “It started on October 7th”
    October 7th was not an isolated incident; framing it this way, along with consistently
    refusing to present any context, is misleading and deceptive:
    ● Gaza has been under siege since 2007, with everything coming in and out
    controlled entirely by Israel. Without provocation, Israel carried out bombings
    approximately once every two years.
    ● The Israeli army and illegal settler colonies occupy the West Bank.
    ● Israel is breaking more than 45 resolutions by the United Nations. Israel has
    been condemned by UNHRC more than the rest of the world combined.
    With the protection of the USA and the continuing use of the “Veto”, it was
    never held accountable. For the record, the USA has vetoed UN Security
    Council resolutions on Israel a total of 46 times.
    ● Israel has been illegally occupying and controlling Palestinian lands for
    decades.
  • “Israel-Hamas War”
    It’s NOT a war with no equal power; it’s Genocide.
    ● Hamas is not a country; Hamas – an acronym for Harakat al-Muqawama
    al-Islamiya (Islamic Resistance Movement) – translates to zeal.
    It emerged as the leading political force in Gaza in 1987 during the first
    Intifada – the peaceful mass uprising against Israeli land expropriation and
    settlements. It has a presence in the occupied West Bank as well, along with
    other Palestinian resistance movements.

Who is under constant attack in Gaza? the 2.3 million unarmed innocent
civilians who are being attacked, killed, and ethnically cleansed by the Israeli
occupation forces.
When dealing with a school shooting, you won’t ask the police forces to
bomb the entire school to eliminate the shooter. Instead, you make all
the necessary procedures to protect the whole school’s students,
teachers, and staff. However, IOF ignores these obligations and
executes mass shootings and bombardments against civilians,
journalists, and doctors while constantly targeting schools, hospitals,
food storages, and religious/sacred places (i.e., mosques and
churches).

● Gaza is not a country: It is a strip of land that meets all the criteria of a
“concentration camp” housing over 2.3 million Palestinians, half of whom
are children.
● Gazans have no Army: no military, air force, navy, or any of Israel’s defense
systems like the Iron Dome. Gazans also do not have nuclear weapons,
unlike Israel, which possesses all of these capabilities.
● It is a Genocide: Leading scholars and UN experts have asserted that the
current events constitute genocide. Numerous Israeli politicians openly have
called for a second ‘Nakba’ and expressed their genocidal intent: to wipe off
the Palestinians’ entire gene pool, to flatten Gaza to the ground, with some
suggesting bombing it with nuclear bombs and turning it into a parking lot.
More details here. They even cited holy verses from the bible, “the Old
Testament,” declaring a “Holy War” and the incitement of killing every man,
woman, child, or animal in Gaza.
“Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that
belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and
women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and
donkeys.”

  • Netanyahu, October 2023, citing from 1 Samuel 15:3.
    The intent is also evident in the use of powerful weaponry, including
    internationally forbidden weapons, with indiscriminate impacts,
    resulting in a colossal death toll. Along with the intentional destruction
    of life-sustaining infrastructure.

● Dehumanization: Israeli officials have publicly used terms such as “Human
Animals, Savages who deserve no water, food, or electricity, and Children of
the Dark”.
To directly quote Netanyahu:
“This is a war between the children of light and the children
of darkness.”

This is identical to Nazi propaganda tactics, where particular ethnic
groups were consistently labeled as Untermenschen (subhuman) to
justify their genocide.

● War Crimes: Israel has directly targeted hospitals, schools, apartment
buildings, churches, mosques, UN buildings, and nearly all the
infrastructure of Gaza. It also targeted Journalists, health workers, and
ambulances.
As a result, this led to a massive humanitarian crisis. In the first 49
days of the Israeli aggression, over 20,031 Palestinians have lost their
lives, including more than 8,176 children and 4,112 women. The
number of injuries has exceeded 36,350 with over 75% of them being
children and women. Additionally, thousands of individuals were still
trapped under the rubble of fallen buildings. With 99.5% being civilians,
the Israeli Army’s accuracy rate is only 0.05%. According to
international law, Israel’s actions are deemed war crimes.
Please check the latest numbers, as they change every minute.
● Anti-Semitism: The West seems to forget that Palestinians are Semites too
deliberately. Those who voice opposition to the ongoing tragedy and call for
a ceasefire MUST NOT be unjustly branded as “anti-semites.” Instead, they
are individuals asserting their humanity, unwilling to stand idly by as innocent
children fall victim to a massacre. It is entirely legitimate to criticize any state
and resist its genocidal policies.

“Israel has the right to Self Defense” Argument
No, in the case of the October 7th Events, it doesn’t
● According to International Law, you don’t have the right to self-defense if you
are an occupying force and attacked from a territory you occupy.
However,
Palestinians DO have the right to self-defense
● UNGA Resolutions 3314 (1974) and 37/43 (1982) affirm the “inalienable
right” of the Palestinian people “and all peoples under foreign and
colonial domination” to self-determination. They also reaffirm the
legitimacy of “the struggle for liberation from colonial and foreign domination
and foreign occupation by all available means, including armed struggle”.
● In short: Palestinians have the right to self-defense and resist occupation,
including armed resistance; this is granted to them by international law.

Bring back our hostages “Bring them home now”
● Israel rejected every suggested hostage deal during the first 47 days of the
aggression on Gaza until they finally accepted a deal due to the immense
pressure on them from the international community and the Israeli people.
● As of November 20th, 2023, more than 8,600 Palestinian hostages are
currently being held by IOF, including hundreds of women and children. Since
2015, The number of child prisoners has reached more than 10,000.
● Up until November 20th, 2023, there were more than 200 Palestinian boys and
girls under the age of 18 in occupation prisons, with a significant number
being subjected to administrative detention lasting for years now. Reports of
how the Palestinian hostages are tortured are horrific.
● Up until November 20th, 2023, more than 60 Israeli hostages have been killed
by Israeli airstrikes on Gaza. Israel is persistently bombing Gaza non-stop,
knowing its hostages are held there. The actions of the Israeli government
clearly indicate they do not care about the hostages.
● We are all for freeing the hostages, ALL of the hostages. The 240 Israelis,
along with the Palestinian hostages held in the West Bank, and the 2.3 million
Gazans who have been held hostage for 17 years.
The infamous “Human Shield” Argument
Claim: Hamas uses hospitals/homes and people as human shields.
● There is no proof for this claim, but even if there were, that’s still an
illegitimate justification. According to international law, it’s still a war crime
to bomb civilian areas, churches, and healthcare facilities. Not to mention the
trillions of dollars of foreign aid and funds invested in high-intelligence
technology Israel possesses. As of October 19th, 2023, the U.S. alone has
publicly disclosed that it has provided Israel with over $317 billion in military
funds since its founding in 1948. Can they not afford a specialized commando
unit instead of carpet bombing 2.3 million civilians, collectively punishing
them?
● If Hamas were hiding in Sourasky Hospital in Tel Aviv, would the Israeli
government bomb it? Would Israel follow the same approach they are
following in Gaza?
● Repeated Rejected International Inspection Requests: Since these claims
have circulated in the media, the government in Gaza has called multiple
times on internationally recognized committees to come to inspect the
hospitals in Gaza, a request which Israel rejects every time.
Fact: Israel Uses Human Shields all the time.
● If you accept Israel’s definition of a human shield, then you must admit that
Israel is using Human Shields. Armed Israeli soldiers and military bases are
nestled in densely populated residential areas. Israeli army broadcasts from

a residential apartment tower. The IOF’s “Israeli Occupation Forces” main
headquarters is in the middle of a residential sector of Tel Aviv and a major
shopping center. Is anyone holding Israel accountable for using human
shields?
● International laws of war aim to set a fair standard applicable to all sides.
However, Israel and the United States believe these rules only apply to their
enemies and can be adjusted as per their interests. This raises concerns
about fairness and consistency in applying humanitarian laws. Both nations
have been criticized for interpreting these rules in a self-serving manner,
undermining fairness and equality.
● In practice, Israel exploits the “Human Shield” defense to justify the killing
of civilian casualties resulting from their bombings. Conversely, when Hamas
defends Gaza against Israeli attacks, targeting army and military locations,
Hamas’s defense is swiftly labeled a war crime. This highlights a significant
disparity in the application and perception of international humanitarian
standards, particularly evident in media discourse.
Check the Basic rules of international humanitarian law in armed conflicts here
“Safe Zones”
“Israel has asked everyone to move south for their safety”
● There Are No Safe Areas: It doesn’t take much research to find out that there
is no safe space in Gaza. Although they did ask them to move south, they
bombed them on the way, and they bombed them in the south, too. You can
find enough evidence online of that; a quick search of “Khan Younis” bombing,
a densely populated area in the south, along with many other southern
areas, will demonstrate the lack of “safety” in the south.
According to Occupation and international humanitarian law, one of the most
important principles governing occupation is: “the Collective or individual
forcible transfers of population from and within the occupied territory are
prohibited.”
● Define Safe?: Gaza, a 365 km squared strip, has 2.3 million people who are
being pushed by the Israeli occupation to fit into less than 40% of what’s
already one of the most densely populated places on earth, with no water,
food, medical supplies, fuel, or electricity.
Check this report on the status quo and conditions in Gaza for more
information

BIBLIOGRAPHY

https://sites.google.com/view/advocatingforpalestine/home

Article written by Salam Qatnani

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