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2 Israeli Soldiers Found Guilty

Posted on Oct 3, 2010
AP / Abdel Kareem Hana

Fire and smoke from Israeli military operations light up the night sky over Gaza City in 2009.

Two Israeli soldiers were convicted in a military court of using a Palestinian child as a human shield during their army’s siege of the Gaza Strip in 2009. The soldiers, who forced the 9-year-old boy to check for suspected booby traps, are now awaiting sentencing. —JCL

The BBC:

The soldiers were found guilty of reckless endangerment and conduct unbecoming for forcing the nine-year-old boy to check suspected booby-traps.

It is reportedly the first such conviction in Israel—where the use of civilians as human shields is banned.

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By Robert, October 3, 2010 at 5:23 pm Link to this comment

Netanyahu Humiliates Obama Again

The Obama administration must understand that the Israeli prime minister is essentially a right-wing Republican.

By MJ Rosenberg

“October 02, 2010 “Al-Jazeera”—The Obama administration’s attempts at seducing Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, are getting embarrassing. Netanyahu has made it very clear he is not interested.

According to Ha’aretz, the latest (and most cringe-worthy) moment in the saga came this week when Dennis Ross, the president’s top adviser on Israel-Palestinian issues, convinced Obama that Israel would only agree to an extension of the settlements freeze if Obama would “come off as friendlier” to Bibi.

So Ross and his aides (working with the Israelis) drafted a letter to Netanyahu in which the US would give Israel everything it could possibly want in exchange for a two-month freeze.

The details of the letter were revealed by researcher David Makovsky on the website of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

According to the report, the letter included incentives crucial to Israel’s security that Netanyahu has been demanding for years. For example, the US pledged to support Israel’s position on stationing Israeli troops in the Jordan Valley after the establishment of a Palestinian state, in order to prevent weapons smuggling.

The US also would not ask Israel to further extend the building moratorium and would pledge that the issue of settlements would be dealt with only as part of final-status talks with the Palestinians, the letter reportedly said.

The US also reportedly would veto any UN Security Council resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict this year, would upgrade Israel’s defence capabilities after the peace agreement, and would increase security assistance.

This reportedly would include providing Israel with advanced fighter jets and early warning systems, including satellites. The US also would start talks with Arab countries toward a regional agreement vis-a-vis Iran.

Netanyahu’s one-way street

It is hard to imagine anything Ross left out. For Bibi, the Ross offer was a dream come true. All that for a 60-day freeze.

But Bibi said “no”.

And why? “Netanyahu said he appreciated the letter but could not accept the American proposal because it included a two-month extension of the construction moratorium, which he said would damage his public credibility.”

But the “moratorium” was the whole point of the offer. Bibi seems not to believe that his dealings with the US have to be two-way streets. He will only consider deals where the US gives and he gets. (But then, that is the way it always is.)

Ross and the other administration figures are now “incensed,” having been played yet again.

They even went up to Capitol Hill to discuss the situation with Bibi’s pals up there. No dice.”

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By diamond, October 3, 2010 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment

The Israeli army shoots children in the back and holds them in prisons without charge or trial. When are they going to investigate these rather fundamental crimes against children which go on as part of business as usual.

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By vajoiner, October 3, 2010 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

the last half of that article was grossly irrelevant and, in my view, included to dilute the story.

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