Supplementary MEMORANDUM to the UN Fact-Finding Mission:
Hamas usage of Human Shields proven by Aerial Maps
- submitted by Take-A-Pen, on July 22, 2009,
as supplement to Take-A-Pen's Original MEMORANDUM
submitted to the UN Fact-finding Mission on June 30, 2009,entitled:
Eleven major war crimes hamas has committed
1. The Rationale of this Supplementary Submission:
We have felt obliged to further elaborate at least on one of the 11 Hamas war crimes presented briefly in our original Memorandum: on Hamas usage of Human Shields (in two major forms); because this crime seemed almost unbelievable to us, or to any human mind, in its "normal practice" and its cruelty against their own. We wanted to double-check whether this belief was true, widespread as it had been, and looked for more evidence about this, for ourselves. We have found such evidence and are honored to submit it to this UN Mission too.
2. The Submitter and this Submission:
The Submitter of this Supplement, like of the original Memorandum, is Take-A-Pen, an independent and fully volunteer international grass-roots organization operating since 2001 - http://www.takeapen.org/ - watching media and politics for anti-Israel errors, bias or distortions in up to 18 languages, and countering those with facts and figures; in the spirit of seeking the truth and understanding as a precondition to peaceful co-existence.
We are submitting this Supplement in high appreciation of the Mission's, actually of Judge Goldstone's announcement that you will give careful consideration to "all the information already received and still to be received". We see this implicit extension of accepting additional material as a sign of the Mission's firm will to find the facts and the truth.
However, we have also a major concern what we'd like to communicate to you, hoping to receive clarifications, or, even better: factual corrections. As we wrote in our main submission, after considerations we had decided to trust your Mission, in spite of the previous consistently one-sided, biased and even hostile record of UN's HRC towards the state of Israel and its people. We decided to hope that your Mission would be a positive turning point in the HRC's attitude towards Israel and the region, enabling the UN to contribute to a balanced and viable Peace Process in the future, unlike until now.
We are waiting for signs that Take-A-Pen's submission is carefully considered by the Mission. In the meantime we haven't received any reflection beyond a formal acknowledgement of receipt. There have been no questions to us, no invitations to witness, no requests to provide further evidence. We only hope this is not final. Or, maybe our presentation of the Hamas war crimes has been fully accepted, and is going to be adopted in your Report as is? Anyway, we'll look in Your report for the discussion of all the 11 Hamas war crimes we listed.
3. Abstract of this SUPPLEMENT:
After an overview of the Human Shield subject, this Supplement presents hard evidence supporting especially one of the statements in Take-A-Pen's original Memorandum submitted on June 30; that Hamas deliberately committed also the special Human Shield war crime of systematically exposing special Protected Civilian Objects (like school buildings, hospitals, a mosque, a football stadium etc.) to maximum lethal danger.
We present and briefly analyze two IDF aerial maps, showing the exact location of rocket launches from two regions in Gaza, executed mostly from close vicinity of such Protected Civilian Objects. Hamas' hope was obviously that the returned Israeli fire would cause maximum Palestinian civilian casualties. This is a severe Hamas War Crime. It gives an explanation also to at least part of the Palestinian civilian casualties.
4. Hamas usage of Human Shields proven by Aerial Maps
This SUPPLEMENT intends to be self-explanatory, howeverfor supportive material we shall refer to documents stored on Take-A-Pen's website http://www.takeapen.org/ .
The Original Memorandum of Take-A-Pen about Hamas War Crimes, submitted on June 30, 2009, discussed 11 major types of Hamas war crimes. One of the most appalling Hamas war crimes has been the systematic use of Human Shields. Actually there are two different ways Hamas - and collaborating terror and militant organizations did this, see in (a) and (b).
(a)The direct use of civilians, children in particular,as Human Shields for hiding or acting Hamas gunmen. Many photos are known showing Palestinian kids placed in the closest vicinity of acting gunmen, sometimes when those kids are "bravely" posing with the gunmen. A whole section of relevant documents is at the Mission's disposal in Take-A-Pen's website itself :
We suggest that you read for example Gaza's Killing School . You may be surprised to read Abu Mazen: 40 children in Rafah who received money to throw Bangalore torpedoes lost their arms quoting the now PA President Abu Mazen: "I am against little children sent out to die. It is a terrible thing. At least 40 children in Rafah [in Gaza] lost their arms from the throwing of Bangalore torpedoes [a form of pipe bomb]. They received 5 Shekels [approx. $US 1.00] in order to throw them. Who would be prepared for something like that to happen to his son or to his family? In the end there was an uproar regarding the 13 year old children sent against the settlements. Why is this done?"
An internal search with the words "human shield" in the Take-A-Pen website - http://www.takeapen.org/ - would provide the honorable Mission with 31 supporting items, illustrating how widespread the Human Shield practice has been on the Hamas and other Palestinian sides.
Fewer documents are available, understandingly, disclosing actual violence used to force children to serve as human shield - to be in the most dangerous places in combat. Look at this rare appalling video, and notice the indifference of the adult walkers-by, indicating that such a scene is not exceptional in Gaza, or, that no-one dares to protest - or both.
(b)Another form of Hamas' human shields is to use Special Protected Civilian Objects (like school buildings, hospitals, a mosque, community center or a football stadium) - by putting themconstantly in harm's way.
This PCO-s are not serving directly as momentary Human Shields for hiding or acting Hamas military as the kids, but are deliberately placed constantly in harm's way. Either by launching rockets to Israeli territory from the PCO-s' vicinity and thus provoking the IDF to return fire causing Palestinian civilian casualties - or, if the IDF recognizes that vicinity, paralyzing it by the PCO used as human shield. This war crime was especially difficult to believe, and therefore we have been looking for convincing evidence untiringly. We have finally found such evidence and are submitting it to the Fact-finding Mission in the following.
See 9 Rocket Launchers in and around the School compound
The hard evidence that Hamas deliberately committed the special Human Shield war crime of systematically exposing Protected Civilian Objects (like school buildings, hospitals, a mosque or a football stadium) to maximum danger, is two IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) aerial maps showing the Deployment of Hamas in two different civilian regions in Gaza, with the exact location of the actual rocket launches there: executed in the closest vicinity of Protected Civilian Objects, hoping obviously that the returned Israeli fire would cause maximum casualties.
Map-1 shows Hamas Deployment in the Northern Sector of Gaza city. Look at the 9 rocket launchers concentrated a few meters only away ofthe school compound, left of the center of Map-1. 2 rocket launchers are seen inside the school compound in the center of the map (see also Zoom-1). No or hardly any rocket launchers are located around military and training camps.
Map-2 shows Hamas Deployment in Gaza's "Tel Zaatar Region". It shows an even more ill-intentioned rocket-launchers location pattern. Look at about 20 rocket launchers located in dense urban areas, 6 ones adjacent to a football stadium, 3 inside the "El Fakhura" Medical Center, 1 within the UNDP Community Center. Not a single rocket launcher was located in the large uninhabited open areas on the right low part of the map. Huge amounts of rigged explosives were concentrated in the Hamas training center - just adjacent to the Medical Center and the Community Center.
(If you click on the names of Maps 1 and 2 above, you'll reach them on the Take-A-Pen website in full resolution for maximum detail. In the same time we are attaching the Maps to this Supplement in somewhat smaller size in pdf format - for more convenient use in your Report.)
(c) According to international law all these cases are severe Hamas War Crimes, and de jure for any civil casualties in such cases Hamas should bear full responsibility.
But, de facto, the IDF mostly took responsibility, handled these cases with extreme self-constraint in order to save civilian life; and so Hamas gained undeserved military advantage. In the relatively rare cases of unintended civilian losses nevertheless, an uninhabited Hamas propaganda machinery sold its invented or at least exaggerated stories, what a self-appointed NGO community and the world media motivated by rating before the truth uncritically conveyed to the public. We hope that your Mission acts to correct these libelous image distortions.
While parts of the previous paragraph may be considered as Take-A-Pen's own view, we believe that the submitted factual material witnessing Hamas Human Shield war crimes do embody hard evidence.
We hope that we could contribute somewhat to your fact-finding Mission. We'd appreciate any sign of your active interest in the material we sent and would do our best to answer your further needs or questions. We apologize for eventual technical or linguistic imperfections of our Memoranda.
We are aware of it that the State of Israel does not formally cooperate with the present UN Mission, and it is understandable in light of the HRC's past attitude towards Israel. We hope however that your fair report will help to bring to create a better future cooperation. In order to help this to happen, in the meantime we, Take-A-Pen, offer to you again our best efforts to acquire published Israeli government or IDF documents and info you may need for your work, in case you'd ask us to do so.
Wishing you all the patience, wisdom, courage and good luck needed for writing a meaningful and fair report,