Corroboration of Killing
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The Turkish and Palestinian reactions to the Report of the Secretary-General’s Panel of Inquiry on the 31 May 2010 Flotilla Incident were a strong and clear rejection. The report recognized that Israel committed crimes during the Gaza’s Freedom Flotilla event, but the UN committee failed reaching the inevitable conclusions. They didn’t address properly the fact Israel attacked the ship on international waters. They didn’t address properly the fact the people attacked on the boat had the inalienable right of self-defense. After recognizing Israel evilness, the report just asked from Israel to apologize and indemnify the victims and their families. This is not enough. How can we make sure Israel won’t ever consider again committing similar crimes?
As such, the report is almost irrelevant, but only almost so, since a few gems hide inside:
In Article 34: Mr. Dogan’s motionless, wounded body was kicked and shot upon, execution-style by two Israeli soldiers.
Then, in Article 128: No evidence has been provided to establish that any of the deceased were armed with lethal weapons. Video footage shows one passenger holding only an open fire hose being killed by a single shot to the head or throat fired from a speedboat.
This is the most senior evidence ever of an ugly practice of the IDF. “Vidu Ariga” translates as “Corroboration of Killing” and is a term referring to a procedure performed by IDF units while in combat. It characterizes mainly commando units like Shayetet 13, Sayeret Matkal, and Shaldag, but regular and parachuted infantry units like Golani and Tzanhanim are not shy of using it. The idea is simple: during their attacks soldiers advancing wouldn’t leave wounded enemy soldiers behind in order to avoid being attacked from behind. Military doctrine worldwide recommends disarming the wounded enemy and putting them under guard. This is seen as a waste by the IDF doctrine, which teaches to perform a “corroboration of killing.” This is done by shooting a bullet in the head and another one in the chest – or back depending on the circumstances. Afterwards, the soldier may advance. Many times illegitimate types of weapons – like hollow-point bullets - are used during this type of operations to ensure the killings. Israel produces this bullets in the Taas-Natzrat factory in Nazareth.
On May 31, 2010, that’s exactly what happened on the Marmara ship, when soldiers of the Shayetet 13 assassinated nine passengers aboard the ship. They shot and killed unarmed passengers from close range. The UN committee put this mildly as “execution-style.”
I find intriguing their stopping the conclusions at this thrilling point. These IDF shootings violate the Geneva Conventions. The Geneva Conventions encompass four treaties and three protocols, which establish the standards of international law for the treatment of the victims of war. Its first treaty is named “Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field,” and dates back to August 12, 1949. Article 3.1 of this treaty reads:
Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.
The IDF assassination of wounded enemy (I use this term for clarity since Israel perceived this unarmed persons as the enemy) is a clear violation of international law, as the Geneva Conventions have already been recognized as such. Moreover, this was clearly an intentional violation and not the result of an error in the heat of the savage attack.
My point is simple, the Israeli soldiers that performed the act have become war criminals and should be judged by an international court. This holds true also for the officers that gave the orders and the Israeli political level which is yet again protecting the criminals.
President Obama, please prove you do not discriminate among criminals. Stand up as an honorable man and demand from Israel to surrender the criminals to international justice. Show you are not in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan just for the sake of being able to feed cheaply your R&R Hummer.
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