Israeli War Crimes Committed In Lebanon In 1978 And 1982
Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem, Chapter Thirty, Part 4 of 4
ANOTHER INDEPENDENT INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION OF INQUIRY ARRIVES
AT THE SAME CONCLUSIONS (continued from
I. CRIMES AGAINST PEACE
Having bombed and shelled and having seized a sizeable part of Lebanon, Israel went beyond merely violating the general prohibition of the use of force in international relations, as written in Article 2, Paragraph 4 of the UN Charter. Israel has committed an aggression in the sense as it is worded in the Definitionof Aggression adopted by the UnitedNations General Assembly on December 14, 1974, Resolution 3314 (XXIX).
The State of Israel and its leaders are accused of at least the following acts of aggression:
(a) Invading or attacking with the armed forces of the state the territory of another state or any military occupation, provisional as it may be, resulting from such an invasion or attack, or any annexation through the use of force of the territory of another state or any part of it,
(b) Bombing by the armed forces of a state the territory of another state or using any weapon by a state against the territory of another state,
(c) Blockade of the parts of the shores of a state by the armed forces of another state. It is committing a premeditated aggression and the occupation of the territory of a sovereign independent state, founder member of the United Nations, and a direct interference in the internal affairs of Lebanon. We are forced to conclude that Israel is trying to install a "new order" in Lebanon serving its own interests.
It should be underlined that as stipulated by Article 5, Para I no consideration of any nature - political, economic, military or any other- can justify any aggression. In the light of this Article, Israel's references to its right to resort to self-defence, in conformity with Article 5 1 of the UN Charter, appear absolutely groundless. This Article provides for a right to self-defence only in case of an armed attack on a UN member, and Israel was not the object of such actions on the part of Lebanon. As to the actions of individual Palestinians to which the Israelis refer, once these actions were justified as carrying out of their inalienable right to self-defence.
The UN General Assembly had denounced Israel's actions against the Palestinian people as an aggression (Resolution 36/226 of December 17, 1981). We can add that the Palestinian presence in Lebanon has grown since 1967, and has been based on an institutional convention called the Cairo Agreements of 1969. The presence of the Syrian troops in Lebanon as a part of the Arab Force of Dissuasion is based on the agreement concluded in the Riyad summit held on the 15th of October, 1976 in Saudi Arabia. Six states including Lebanon and the PLO signed that agreement. Thedemand for the protection of Arab troops has been made by the Lebanese President. On that base every Israeli aggression against the Palestinian and Syrian troops in Lebanon can be considered as an aggression against the sovereignty of Lebanon. This nature of Israel's actions was confirmed by the Security Council Resolution No. 509 of June 6.1982 which demanded immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all Israeli troops from Lebanon.
The Israeli aggression has led to the occupation and vast indiscriminate destruction of the greater part of the independent Arab state of Lebanon. It has also endangered its political independence. The Israeli aggression has, concurrently with the above, become a serious threat to international peace and security.
Witnesses from inside Israel referred to the gradual change taking place within an influential section of the people of Israel towards the hostile policy of their government to the Lebanese and Palestinian peoples. The Commission is satisfied there is a rethinking among these sections about the justification and continuance of the aggression and brutalities committed by the invasion.
II. CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY
Having committed an unprecedented act of aggression against independent Lebanon, the State of Israel and its leaders have carried on a course of genocide against the Arab people of Palestine.
According to the definition contained in Article II of the Convention on the prevention of the crime of genocide and on its punishment of December 9, 1948, genocide is defined as actions, committed with an intent to exterminate, fully or partly, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group per se. The Israelis have committed the broadest actions against the Palestinians which can be qualified as genocide.
The Israeli leaders donot conceal that the main aim of their actions is to liquidate the Palestine Liberation Organization and to exterminate or disperse the Palestinian people as a historical and ethnical entity.
As a result of the policy of genocide, the Palestinian inhabitants of Lebanon have been put into sych a position which endangers their very existence.
The overall direction of Israel's criminal activities is also seen from the fact that, according to the witnesses and documents, all Palestinian males from 16 to 60 years of age have been taken prisoner.
They really are prisoners of war put into concentration camps where they are treated in a most cruel and degrading manner.
The Commission received eyewitness account of Israeli maltreatment of Palestinian prisoners of war from members of a Norwegianmedical team. The Commission was informed of the extensive use of violence, of regular and systematic beatings, of degrading and inhuman treatment, of physical and mental abuse against these men.
The methods of these men conducting military actions employed by the Israelis, their treatment of Palestinian prisoners of war, the new orders they brought in with them into Lebanon's occupied regions, contradict a whole range of norms of international law and, in fact, by their very nature are war crimes.
III. DELIBERATE WAR CRIMES AGAINST THE CIVILIAN POPULATION, BOMBING AND SHELLING OF PEACEFUL CITIES AND VILLAGES
1. The conduct by the Israelis of military actions against the civilian population, bombing and shelling of peaceful cities and villages violate:
(a) The Saint-Petersburg Declaration of 1868 which obliges both sides in a conflict to fight against the enemy's armed forces only;
(b) Article 25 of the Statement supplement to the Hague Convention of October 16, 1907 which prohibit attacking of non-defended cities;
(c) Article 6 of the "B" Section of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg which equates the destruction of cities and villages to a war crime;
(d) Article 48 and subsequent Articles of the First Supplementary Protocol of June 8, 1977 to the Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949 on protecting war victims.
(e) Resolutions 2444 (XXIII) and 2675 (XXV) of the United Nations General Assembly which prohibit military operations against the civilian population.
The three-member group of our Commission confirmed that as aresult of the operations of the Israeli army, substantial parts of Beirut, Tyre, Nabatiyeh and Sidon, as well as of many other places, were destroyed, and whole camps of the Palestinian refugees were razed from off the face of the earth. Over 600,000 Lebanese were left homeless, and the occupied territory of Lebanon has been plunged into a critical situation.
According to a report compiled by UN observers, some 300,000 Lebanese citizens and not less than 83,000 Palestinians urgently need aid and assistance.
2. Use of Cluster, Phosphorous, fragmentation and other bombs:
The use of the cluster and phosphorous bombs, and of some other weapons is a violation of the Saint-Petersburg Declaration of 1868 and the Hague Convention of 1907. They prohibit the use of arms which cause unnecessary human suffering. Quite recently these weapons were expressly added to the Supplementary Protocol to the 1949 Geneva Conventions.
All witnesses stated that these horrendous weapons of mass destruction were widely used by Israel in Lebanon, and the overall majority of those who have suffered from them were peaceful civilians. We heard rumours about ever more frightening devices such as the vacuum bomb. We have the duty to inquire further about those weapons.
3. Bombing of hospitals and clinics, protected by the Red Cross on Red Crescent insignia:
This is a violation of one of the oldest rules of humanitarian law. This is reflected in anumber of documents, particularly in Articles 18 and 23 of the Geneva Convention of August 12, 1949, on the protection of the civilian population in time of war.
The Israeli military obstructed even the International Red Cross from rendering aid to the Palestinians and the population of Beirut.
4. Cutting off food, water and energy and essential medical supplies from the civilian population:
This represents actions against the civilian population prohibited by humanitarian conventions, namely by Article I, Para I of the Supplementary Protocol which prohibits the causing of hunger among the civilian population as a method of conducting warlike actions.
Such Israeli actions were confirmed by the United Nations Security Council Resolution of July 30, 1982. The Security Council demanded in that Resolution that the government of Israel should immediately lift the blockade of the city of Beirut, so as to permit supplies necessary to satisfy urgent needs of the civilian population and to allow the distribution of aid delivered by UN Agencies and by non-governmental organizations, especially by the International Red Cross Committee (IRCC).
5. Article 51, Para 2 of the Supplementary Protocol prohibits acts of violence or threats of violence primarily aimed at terrorizing the civilian population:
The Israeli leaders widely used threats of violence, especially during the siege of Beirut.
6. The refusal to grant POW status to Palestinian fighters violates:
Article 4 of the Geneva Convention of August 12, 1949 on the treatment of prisoners of war.
The Commission was informed that the Israeli govemment is denying prisoner of war status and treatment to the Palestinians despite the fact that the Palestine Liberation Organization reaffirmed their intention to abide by all Geneva Conventions by informing the Swiss Foreign Affairs Minister on 7th June, 1982, of their intentions.
The non-granting to Palestinians of POW status also runs counter to the UN General Assembly Resolutions, such as No. 3101 (XXVIIl) of December 12, 1973 which demands that this status be granted to those persons who fight against foreign occupation and for their right to self-determination.
7. Cruel Treatment of Palestinians, both Combatants and Civilians, Captured by the Israeli Forces:
This violates some basic provisions of the Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war and the Geneva Convention on protecting the civilian population in time of war. Article 13 of the former contains general provisions that prisoners of war should always be treated humanely. It is prohibited in particular to maim them.
8. Preventing the Authorities in the Occupied Territories from Executing their Functions:
Such actions violate Article 54 of the Convention on protecting the civilian population in time of war which forbids the captor power to alter the status of officials or judges.
9. The Israelis Systematically and Purposefully Shelled and Destroyed the Beirut-based diplomatic representations of the USSR, the CSR, Bulgaria, France, Algeria, all Arab Embassies, Canada, which traditionally enjoy protection at times of aimed conflicts.
10. The Destruction of Monuments and Cultural and Scientific Institutions.
This violates the provisions of the Hague Convention of May 14,1954 and Article 53 of the Supplementary Protocol on protecting cultural values in case of armed conflicts. The Israelis have committed exactly such actions in Lebanon.
The Israeli planes systematically and quite deliberately destroyed the buildings of the Arab University and the Exhibition Hall of the works of art and culture of Palestinian painters.
11. Violation of Other Traditional Rules of Conducting Military Actions:
International Law prohibits, in particular, any perfidious actions (Article 37 of the Supplementary Protocol).
The Israeli troops on numerous occasions perfidiously violated the ceasefire to re-group their forces, to replenish their supplies and to fortify the captured positions.
IV. DENYING THE RIGHT OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE TO SELF-DETERMINATION
Since the United Nations General Assembly adopted, on December 14, 1960, the Declaration Granting Independence to Former Colonial Countries and Peoples, any subjugation of peoples to foreign yoke and domination, any military actions or repressive measures against people fighting for their right to self-determination should be viewed as a grave international crime. All the more theGeneral Assembly of the United Nations in 1974 adopted the Resolution No. 3236 confirming officially the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.
Israel and its leaders, by their systematic actions, primarily by their use of military force, aimed at denying the Palestinian people the right to self-determination and setting up their own state, and by their occupation of the territories that belong to this people, have committed just this crime.
V. INTERNATIONAL RESPONSIBILITY
A. The USA as an Accomplice in Israel's crimes The United States of America is internationally responsible for the violations of international law by Israel because of the support they are rendering to Israel in committing the above international crimes.
This support included:
1. Military aid through shipments of arms and modern technology, while the US-Israeli Memorandum on Strategic Cooperation signed last year provided for coordinating their operation in the Middle East;
2. Economic aid through granting gratuitous assistance and very big loans;
3. On the political and diplomatic plane, direct support of the Israeli aggression as reflected in the use by the United States of their veto right in the Security Council when the USA vetoed Resolutions demanding the withdrawal of the Israeli forces and refused to vote for a UN General Assembly Resolution denouncing the Israeli aggression.
More than 50 per cent of the Israeli exports go to the European Economic Community (EEC) where they receive preferential custom rates and credit benefits. This form of economic support to a state which continues with aggression and occupation of Lebanon constitutes a form of indirect support. Obvious precedents show that aggression is met with immediate sanctions. We call upon the USA, the EEC in particular to take action in conformity with what has been done before.
VI. ON THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE ORGANIZERS AND INSPIRERS OF THE CRIMES IN LEBANON
The above-mentioned international legal norms violated by Israel are binding upon, either on the treaty basis (the Geneva Conventions, with regard to Israel, came into effecton June 6, 1951), or because these norms have been formed on the habitual basis and have now become a composite part of the modem general international law, compulsory for all states without exceptions.
Israel's responsibility acquires an even graver character due to its refusal to implement the compulsory decisions of the Security Council.
The general legal principle of the inevitability of responsibility for the committed offenses should be applied to international crimes on even stricter basis, because they jeopardize international peace and security and lead to incalculable economic, moral and ethical losses for the countries and peoples and undermine the entire international law and order. (199)
The above facts are sufficient evidence to indict members of the Israeli Cabinet and all officers of the Israeli Armed Forces who ordered or took part in the commission of the aforementioned war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.
NOTES TO CHAPTER THIRTY
1. Jewish Daily Forward, New York City, April 14, 1951.
2. Ze'ev Schiff and Ehud Ya'ari, Israel's Lebanon War (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1984), pp. 13-14.
3. Moshe Sharett, Diaries, 2/27/54, pp. 2397-2398.
4. Ibid., 5/16/54, p. 996.
5. Oded Yinon, "A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties," Kivunim (Directions), Department of Education, World Zionist Organization, February, 1982.
6. Uri Dan, Blood Libel (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987), p. 45.
7. Schiff and Ya'ari, Israel's Lebanon War, p. 18.
8. Dan, Blood Libel, p. 191.
9. Schiff and Ya'ari, p. 252.
10. Lebanese Ministry of Information, South Lebanon 1948- 1986, Facts and Figures (Beirut: 1986), pp. 3-8.
11. Al Hamishmar, March 3, 1978.
12. South Lebanon 1948-86, Facts and Figures, p. 8.
13. Ibid., p. 8.
14. Ibid., pp. 8-9.
15. Ibid.,p. 10.
16. Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee, ADC Background Paper No. 5: Cluster Bombs, 1982, pp. 2-8.
17. South Lebanon 1948-1986, Facts and Figures, pp. 10- 11 .
18. The Washington Post, March 25, 1978.
19. Jonathan Randal, Going All the Way (New York: Viking Press, 1984), p. 218.
20. UN Security Council Resolution 425(1978) Sl12610, Meeting 2074.
21. UN Security Council Resolution 426(1978) Sl12612, Meeting 2075.
22. South Lebanon 1948-1986, Facts and Figures, pp. 12-22.
23. The Beirut Massacre: The Complete Kahan Commission Report (Princeton: Karz-Cohl, 1983), pp. viii-ix.
24. Schiff and Ya'ari, p. 102. I 25. Benjamin B. Ferencz, Planethood (Coos Bay, Oregon: Vision Books, 1987), p. 17.
26. Habbakuk 2: 17.
27. The Washington Post, June 7, 1982.
28. Dan, p. 76.
29. Israel in Lebanon: Report of the International Commission to Enquire into Reported Violations of International Law by Israel during its Invasion of the Lebanon (London: Ithaca Press, 1983), p. 203-212.
30. Noam Chomsky, The Fateful Triangle (Boston: South End Press, 1983), p. 231.
3 1. Ibid., pp. 232-233.
32. Ibid., pp. 233-34.
33. Ibid., p. 240.
34. The New York Times, June 10, 1982.
35. The Washington Post, June 11, 1982.
36. The New York Times, June 15, 1982.
37. The Washington Post, June 17, 1982.
38. The Jerusalem Post, July 1, 1982.
39. The New York Times, July 3, 1982.
40. The Washington Post, June 11, 1982.
4 1. The New York Times, June 13, 1982.
42. The Washington Post, June 14, 1982.
43. The Washington Post, June 16, 1982.
44. The Washington Post, June 17, 1982.
45. The New York Times, June 17, 1982.
46. The Financial Times, London, June 22, 1982.
47. The Baltimore Sun, June 2 1, 1982.
48. The Washington Post, June 22, 1982.
49. The New York Times, June 22, 1982.
50. The Washington Post, June 23, 1982.
5 1. The New York Times, June 23, 1982.
52. Manchester Guardian, June 24, 1982.
53. The Washington Post, June 25, 1982.
54. The Washington Post, June 26, 1982.
56. Baltimore Sun, June 28, 1982.
57. Newsweek, June 28,1982.
58. The New York Times, July 5, 1982.
59. The New York Times, July 5, 1982.
60. The Washington Post, July 7, 1982.
61. The New York Times, July 10, 1982.
62. The New York Times, July 1 1, 1982.
63. The New York Times, July 12, 1982.
64. The Washington Post, July 13, 1982.
65. The Washington Post, July 20, 1982.
66. The New York Times, July 23, 1982.
67. The New York Times, July 24, 1982.
68. The Los Angeles Times, July 25, 1982.
69. The New York Times, July 26, 1982.
70. The Washington Post, July 27, 1982.
71. The Washington Post, July 28, 1982.
72. The Financial Times, July 29, 1982.
73. The Washington Post, August 1, 1982.
74. The Washington Post, August 2, 1982.
75. The Washington Post, August 6, 1982.
76. The Washington Post, August 7, 1982.
77. Chicago Tribune, August 14, 1982.
78. Israel in Lebanon, pp. 173-176.
79. South Lebanon 1948-1986, Facts and Figures p. 27.
80. Ibid., p. 26.
81. Ibid., p. 27.
82. Ibid., p. 30-31.
83. Financial Times, August 2, 1982.
84. Christian Science Monitor, August 19, 1982.
85. Franklin P. Lamb, Reason Not the Need: Israel's War in Lebanon (London: Spokesman, 19841, p. 118.
86. Ibid., p. 127.
87. Ibid.,p. 131.
88. Ibid., p. 134.
89. Ibid., p. 139.
90. Ibid., p. 144.
91. Ibid., p. 162.
92. Ibid., p, 165.
93. /bid., p. 167.
94. Ibid.. p. 177.
95. Ibid., p. 292.
96. Ibid., p. 300.
97. lbid., p. 311.
98. Ibid., p. 312.
99. Ibid., p. 319.
100. Ibid., p. 323.
101. Ibid., p. 325.
102. Ibid., p. 331.
103. Ibid., p. 340.
104. Ibid., p. 346.
105. Ibid., p. 350.
106. Ibid., p. 351.
107. Ibid., p. 353.
108. Ibid., p. 356.
109. Ibid., p. 379.
110. Ibid., p. 381.
111. Ibid.. p. 382.
112. Ibid., p. 385.
113. Ibid., p. 387.
1 14. Ibid., p. 402.
115. Ibid., p. 406.
116. Ibid., p. 408.
117. Ibid., p. 412.
118. Ibid., p. 416.
119. Ibid., p. 528.
120. Ibid., p. 590.
121. Ibid., p. 603.
122. Ibid., p. 605.
123. Ibid., p. 607.
124. Ibid., p. 628-629.
125. Ibid., p. 630.
126. Ibid., p. 641.
127. Ibid., p. 686.
128. Ibid., p. 719.
129. Ibid., p. 738.
130. Ibid., p. 778.
131. Ibid., p. 790.
132. Ibid., p. 802.
133. New York Times, April 18, 1981.
134. South Lebanon 1948-1986, Facts and Figures, p. 50.
135. Ibid., p. 50.
136. Jerusalem Post, February 22, 1985.
137. South Lebanon 1948-1986. Facts and Figures, p. 49.
138. Ibid., p. 50.
139. Ha'aretz, September 23,1982.
140. Maariv, March 19, 1978.
141. Al-Hamishmar, May 1978.
142. Newsmakers, Cable News Network, October 2, 1982.
143. Lamb, Reason Not the Need, p. 106.
144. Ibid., p. 107.
145. Ibid., p. 106.
146. Ibid., p. 103.
147. Schiff and Ya'ari, p. 258.
148. Dan, p. 190.
149. The Washington Post, June 27, 1982.
150. Le Monde Diplomatique, July, 1982.
151. Broadcast on Jerusalem Domestic Service, published by Foreign Broadcast Information Service, August 16, 1982.
152. Mordechai Bar-On, "The Palestinian Aspects of the War in Lebanon." New Outlook, October, 1982.
153. Yuval Neeman, "Israel's Options in Lebanon," Jerusalem Post, June 24, 1982.
154. Jerusalem Post, September 24, 1982.
155. Koteret Rashit, January 19, 1983.
156. Jerusalem Post, August 27, 1982.
157. Haaretz, August 19, 1982.
158. Ha'aretz, December 6, 1982.
159. Koteret Rashit, March 16, 1983.
160. The Fateful Triangle, p. 237.
161. Ma'ariv, December 3,1982.
162. Amos Perlmutter, "Begin's Rhetoric and Sharon's Tactics," Foreign Affairs, Tall 1982.
163. Ha'aretz, October 28, 1982.
164. Haolam Hazeh, September 22,1982.
1 65. Ibid.
166. Ha'aretz, November 19, 1982.
167. Davar, August 29, 1982.
168. Christian Science Monitor, February 7, 1983.
169. Boaz Evron, "Castle of Sand," Yediot Ahronot, August 9, 1982.
170. Dov Yermiya, My War Diary: Israel in Lebanon (London: Pluto, 1983), p. 15.
171. Ibid., p. 19.
172. Ibid., p. 28.
173. Ibid., p. 33.
174. Ibid., p. 44.
175. Ibid., p. 80.
176. United Nations Security Council Resolution 508 (19821, 5 June 1982, Meeting 2374.
177. United Nations Security Council Resolution 509 (19821, 6 June 1982, Meeting 2375.
178. United Nations Security Council Resolution 5 12 (1982), 19 June 1982, Meeting 2380.
179. United Nations General Assembly, 26 June 1982.
180. United Nations Security Council, Resolution 5 13 (1 982). 4 July 1982, Meeting 2380..
181. United Nations Security Council, Resolution 5 15 (1982), 29 July 1982, Meeting 2382.
182. United Nations Security Council, Resolution 521 (19821, 19 September, 1982.
183. United Nations General Assembly, 24 September 1982.
184. United Nations General Assembly, 16 December 1982.
185. UN Security Council Resolution 508(1982), June 1982, Meeting 2374.
186. UN Security Council Resolution 509(1982), 6 June 1982, Meeting 2375.
187. UN Security Council Resolution 5 12(1978), 19 June 1982, Meeting 2380.
188. UN Security Council Resolution 513(1978), 4 July 1982, Meeting 2382.
189. UN Security Council Resolution 5 15(1982), 29 July 1982, Meeting 2385.
190. UN Security Council Resolution 521(1982), 19 September 1982, Meeting 2396.
191. UN General Assembly Resolution ES-7/5,26 June 1982, Meeting 24.
192. UN General Assembly Resolution ES-7/54 24 September 1982, Meeting 32.
193. UN General Assembly, 109th plenary meeting, 17 December 1982.
194. UN General Assembly Resolution 37/123D, 16 December 1982, Meeting 108.
195. Israel in Lebanon: The Report of the International Commission, p. iv.
196 Ibid., p. v.
197. Ibid., pp. 187-192.
198. Israeli Practices Against the Lebanese and Palestinian Peoples, Eyewitness Reports and Conclu.sions of an International Inquiry, International Commission of Inquiry into Israeli Crimes Against the Lebanese and Palestinian Peoples (London: 1982) pp. 5-6.
199. lbid., pp. 7-13.