An Open Letter to the Ministers of Singapore – Why are we silent on Gaza?

Dear Leaders of Singapore,

I was born in Singapore in 1990 – the year of great beginnings and start ups in Singapore.

A country that prides in its diversity where race and religion is concerned. A country that has upheld and strove for racial harmony and multiculturalism in every sense of the word. A country that rose from the ground since it gained complete independence in 1965 to a world class nation that is comparable to super powers. A country where people use to joke about not being able to see on the map but holds one of the highest GDPs in the world.

For the past 24 years I’ve lived in this country, I have felt grateful, blessed & safe. Except, right at this point, as a patriotic citizen of Singapore, I feel dispirited.

Clear skies in our beautiful country- Singapore

As of July 16th 2014, the time I wrote this, 214 Palestinians have died with over 2000 wounded. These are unarmed civilians, most of whom, targeted by Israel at their own homes, places of worship, schools, hospitals etc. It has been 8 days of intense firings and bombings which has murdered so many innocent women and children – the youngest being a 9 month old baby. The city goes dark even at night- except when the missiles strike- as the technicians in charge of vital infrastructures such as water and electricity are afraid to move to repair damages caused by the bombs. This obviously has consequences on hospitals which heavily depend on electricity especially right now. Unlike Israel, which holds its position as the world’s best military and most advance in defence technology with iron domes over their famed iron walls – Gaza is a tiny, over populated third world STRIP with every entrance and exit blocked with nowhere to run for cover. Israel has occupied Palestine for the longest time, rejected the United Nation’s partition plans, erased over 400 Palestinian villages and counting & forced the people of Palestine to live as second class citizens in their own country under military rule.

The everyday skies in Gaza.  (And we thought the haze was bad)

The everyday skies in Gaza.
(And we thought the haze was bad)

What does this have to do with Singapore?

48 years before I was born, – the Japanese military occupied Singapore. What destroyed me was reading the ‘Sook Ching Massacre’ that took place on our land. ‘Sook Ching’ in traditional Mandarin means ‘to purge through cleansing’ – it was a systematic hostile extermination by the Japanese of our Chinese people in Singapore. This massacre was not the conduct of a few evil people but rather the entire Japanese defence army was consistent with the line of horrific actions applied. Over 400 Singaporean Chinese were shot by the firing squad at Punggol Beach. 300 more bullet ridden corpse washed up at the shores of Sentosa. But that’s not all.

According to Mr Lee Kwan Yew, our then Prime Minister and current Minister Mentor, in an interview with National Geographic, “I was a Chinese male, tall and the Japanese were going for people like me because Singapore had been the centre for the collection of ethnic Chinese donations to Chongqing to fight the Japanese. So they were out to punish us. They slaughtered 70,000 – perhaps as high as 90,000 but verifiable numbers would be about 70,000. But for a stroke of fortune, I would have been one of them.”

90,000 innocent Singaporean civilians who were ruthlessly killed on their own shores by the army of a country that occupied us and forced us to live under their military rule & we had nowhere to run.

Innocent lives taken by the Japanese Army. -Sook Ching Massacre

Innocent lives taken by the Japanese Army.
-Sook Ching Massacre 1942

 

Innocent lives taken by the Israeli Defence Army. -Gaza Massacre 2014

Innocent lives taken by the Israeli Defence Army.
-Gaza Massacre 2014

All that said, how exactly am I affected as a Singaporean under your leadership?

As a proud citizen of this country, I have always valued how our country remains unaffected by international issues which plaques other countries and affect the relationships of their citizens with each other, such as islamophobia in USA & Europe & ethnic cleansing in Africa, Burma & Bosnia. Of course there are hints of racism in our usually racially harmonious society but since the 1964 racial riots, we have made tremendous progress in strengthening trust between our ethnic groups. It is our National Pledge. Our laws charge those who dare incite hate speech or make disparaging remarks against any race or religion under the Sedition Act. My best friends since Secondary 1 is a Chinese Buddhist and an Indian Christian. This is normal for most Singaporean youths. We cant imagine it otherwise.

Our values to and for humanity has been instilled in us since primary school across the nation. Since young, we were taught to stand up for what is right, for justice, for equality especially against bullies and…to say no to drugs. We were also pushed to strive for the best, to be number 1 in everything we do, to achieve as many A’s as we can, as many gold medals as we can. To be top in academics, sports, arts – you name it. Why not, when our country top the ranks in every possible index you can think of – best airport, highest gdp, most busiest port, best city to live in Asia, safest city, cleanest city, least corrupted, best education.. etc and even one of the top few countries with the best military.

The people and leaders of our country are looked up upon and respected everywhere in the world. So please tell us dear Ministers, how can we be so great in almost every aspect a country should be but keep silent where a huge humanitarian crisis is ongoing? In the times where other countries have faced natural disasters and needed aid, Singapore has sent their civil defence, medics, monetary aid and made passionate pledges out loud and clear for the world to hear. That’s the Singapore we know. Why the silence now? Do we keep quiet out of fear? From who? Does the fear and insecurity of weakening bilateral relations win over innocent lives and blood spilled in vain? If there were Singaporeans in Palestine stuck in the crossfire will our leaders step up to bring them home? Does it have to go that far, for our own to be hurt for us to speak up against injustice? As your countrymen, we cannot facilitate a peaceful protest or campaign because your laws don’t allow us to and we respect that because we convince ourselves that our leaders will be the voice of our people. Except there is no voice. Just silence. Where are the strong statements that should come from our cabinet ministers the same way they stand up when Singapore was oppressed?

There are comparable similarities between us and Gaza but the HUGE difference is this. We became free from the horror of our lands. We became free of the Military occupation. Our people no longer had to fear deaths when they walk the streets. Our leaders were free to decide the path we will take for our future, for the people of Singapore.

UK’s Deputy PM Nick Clegg said Thursday that “…I really do think now the Israeli response appears to be deliberately disproportionate. It is amounting now to a disproportionate form of collective punishment. It is leading to a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, which is unacceptable.”

Claiming the bodies of their loved ones.

Claiming the bodies of their loved ones.

Since this massacre began, 214 Singaporeans have died. Most of the Singaporeans were nursery kids and primary school children. The rest were mostly Singaporean civilians on their way home or taking cover in the mosque, church and hospitals.

Did it hurt to read those 2 lines??? Did it mean anything to you?? Does it make more of a difference if it is one of us? We don’t want to remain silent anymore and pretend we don’t know what is going on. Let other countries remain silent out of fear or ignorance. But I urge my leaders whom we have elected with faith to act according to the Spirit of Singapore. To stand up,speak up & speak out against this atrocity. Let us create awareness, boycott, divest & send aid to the people when they need us. We may be small but there is nothing any country can do that Singapore cannot overcome better. Let us shine and be an example to the rest of the countries who are undecided in their stand.

According to Mr Lee, in an interview with the Discovery Channel Programme, on the Japanese Occupation of Singapore, “It was the catastrophic consequences of the war that changed the mindset, that my generation decided that, ‘No…this doesn’t make sense. We should be able to run this island as well as the British did, if not better. The Asians had looked to them for leadership, and they(the British) had failed them.”

His son, Mr Lee Hsien Loong, the current Prime Minister of Singapore said in his 2014 New Year speech, “The Singapore spirit burns bright in our people – in the concern of volunteers who distributed masks to vulnerable groups during the haze, in the determination of a SEA Games cyclist who fought back from a serious car accident to win gold, and in the courage of Home Team officers who formed human shields to protect colleagues during the riot in Little India. We must nurture this spirit, and keep faith with our nation and our people. By trusting and helping one another, we will create a brighter future for ourselves and our children.”

We, the people of Singapore are now looking at you, our leaders whom we have elected with full confidence, we are looking at you for your leadership and stance to step up, unlike other countries who simply get their foreign affairs minister to make a diplomatic statement and then go into oblivion.

Keep our faith upon you and let’s continue to nurture our Singapore spirit that burns bright. You have never failed us.

You know how you kept asking for ideas for Singapore’s 50th Birthday? This will be the greatest gift for her and all of us. That we acted with dignity and stood up for humanity.

I end this letter with my favourite quote from the man who our Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong hailed “as an inspiration to himself and millions for his lifelong fight for humanity, courage and freedom”-

For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. – Nelson Mandela

With hope,
A proud citizen of Singapore


 

From the time this blog has been published,17/07, 230 Palestinians and 1 Israeli have died. That’s 231 people who died in vain. This includes 4 young boys who were playing soccer on the beach.

This letter was sent to the following Ministers of Singapore :

1) President of Singapore : Tony Tan Keng Yam –  (tony_tan@istana.gov.sg)
2) Prime Minister : Lee Hsien Loong –  (lee_hsien_loong@pmo.gov.sg)
3) Deputy Prime Minister for National Security & Home Affairs : Teo Chee Hean –  (teo_chee_hean@mha.gov.sg)
4) Minister for Foreign Affairs : K Shanmugam  – (k_shanmugam@mfa.gov.sg )
5) Embassy of the Republic of Singapore : Israel – Lt Gen Winston Choo Wee Leong – (winstonwlchoo@gmail.com)

This letter was sent on 17/07/2014 – the writer awaits the response from her respected Ministers.
PS: Please feel free to copy the letter and add your name and  opinion & send it to our Ministers.

For those of you who want the EASIEST way to understand the WHOLE issue, watch THIS VIDEO done by a National Jewish Organisation – Jewish Voice for Peace

I also urge every reader to watch this 3 minute video to fully understand what happens to the plight of people who are oppressed and helpless. A Singapore team has created ASRIT to aid these people in Syria. Find out how you can help and make a difference by watching THIS VIDEO.


Updated 19/12

A few days after this post, Singapore pledged monetary aid to Gaza and Mr K Shanmugam made an amazing statement on how the acts of terror are to be condemned and how they will vote to punish those guilty of genocide and war crimes. Thank you Ministers. That wasnt so hard was it? 🙂

As to those of you, who assumed i wanted my island to send armies and forces to destroy Israel and Hamas………. I dont even know what to say. Seriously? Smh.

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113 thoughts on “An Open Letter to the Ministers of Singapore – Why are we silent on Gaza?

  1. Haxxxlam says:

    This ain’t bout who started it all or what.. We all noe that Israel only appeared in the map when they came to Palestine n invade n create their own country in it as Israel… N oso killed innocent people in the process while taking over it with the backing of USA gov… Now it’s not about all that issue, now it’s about humanity.. Israel is too much in bombing n Killing innocent ppl.. Kids especially… All u above ppl whu r not supporting this #savegaza thing, don’t sit behind there n be a keyboard warriors…

    • Truth says:

      Sry, read history. There was never a palestine state. The Hamas should take responsibility for all the lives lost. They use their OWN citizen as a shield to protect themselves.

      The Citizen had been warn by Israel to evacuate. It’s the Hamas that broadcast-ed, saying Israel will not attack and told them to stay put. Go search youtube for the video, It’s from the mouth of the citizen.

      So Hamas is alright to keeping firing rockets into Israel? bombing their innocent citizen and young? Good thing Israel has the Iron Dome to protect them. If Israel do not possess the iron dome defence, how many innocent will die due to Hamas’ rocket?

      Will you condemn Hamas for their action?

      Educate yourself. In history, There NEVER was a Palestine state.

      Gaza is less than 200-300 hundreds years old. It’s not even qualify to be called “Ancestral land”.

  2. Free Willy says:

    Good Job on the letter.

    As to those who says Hamas brought this unto Gaza or the Palestinians deserved it, you need to educate yourselves.

    Before 1948, there was no Israel. For over one thousand years, Arabs and other Muslims have called Palestine home.

    During that time, Jews were a but a tiny minority. For over one thousand years, there were no Jewish state or any other Jewish political entities.

    Jews, during that time, were mostly living outside of Palestine.

    In other words, Israel was constructed from stolen lands which had been Arab and Muslim for over one thousand years.

    How would feel if your family has lived on a land for several hundreds years and then suddenly you got kicked out because someone whose ancestor had lived on that land two thousand years ago decided it was his ?

    How is that fair to you and your family who had lived there for several hundreds years ?

    That is essentially the problem.

    Jews left Palestine. Arabs moved in. After more than one thousand years, the Jews wanted it back. The Arabs refused. The Arabs fought back in only ways they know how. The Jews then killed, maimed and bombed the Arabs for refusing to give in to this injustice.

    It is as simple as that. Jews in Israel are colonists who are punishing the Palestinian Arabs because the latter chose to fight against this colonization. It is as simple as that.

    • Truth says:

      Educate yourself. The Arab or Palestine can continue to lie. But there NEVER was a Palestine or Jew State on that land.

      Go research, In the 1800, the land was basically empty desert. It’s well documented with no village or anything.

      The Jews came and build the lands with sweat and blood and Neighboring went over for better living condition.

      If history documentation and records show NO one is living there. TELL me how did you get your THOUSAND years historical evidence?

      They want Israel because the Jews build and made it a good place to live in.

      If the Jews leave Israel and destroy every infrastructure, facilities and systems. Nobody will want to go in.

  3. Grow Up says:

    Why does the Singapore government remain silent? Because it wants to maintain good diplomatic relations with its allies, because it wants to secure the important military and economic agreements integral to the nation’s function, because it wants to protect its people.

    Politics is and was never about standing for the just or innocent. It is about forming the right alliances and antagonisms where it benefits the nation the most.

  4. kinz says:

    Omg…why are u guys arguing…
    the main point here is…killing is wrong…n it shd b stop…stop hurting those kids..FULLSTOP!!
    WHERE IS HUMANITY??

  5. МАРИЯ З. says:

    jzkk, thanks, writer for saying my mind. may Allah bless you for doing this amal jariyyah cos we’re all spreading this beautiful note of yours. may the people see of how ignorant they sound when they comment on this post saying its nonsense. we just have to sit back and keep reminding the blinded hearts of what they cannot see and feel. it is entirely their choice to change or not. you, and me have done our part.

    p/s: and as i learnt from a lecture today, Uthman ibn Affan (ra) used to advice the Sahabis that whatever we work for on this earth is only to prepare for our lives in the Hereafter. wallahualam.

  6. Syaz says:

    Where you said that Singaporean leaders are highly respected all across the world….most people around the world don’t know where Singapore even is and most people would say it’s in or near china. So there, that’s the Singapore media making out to it’s own Singaporeans what foreigners think of Singapore which is utter bullshit. And I know, I’m a Singaporean who’s lived around the world and back.

    Although I do agree with your article, Singapore will never take action. It wants to be Switzerland really…

  7. Amber1097 says:

    can you be more specific on what kind of actions do u want Singapore to take? Fight for Palestine? On 15 Jul, MFA said: “We are deeply concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian crisis and the continued conflict in Gaza,” and supported Egypt’s proposal of a ceasefire. So I wondered how can you say that SG is silent about Gaza???

    • noormastura says:

      Hi Amber. Thanks for pointing that out. I read that article. It will be good to note that MFA said that to SINGAPORE MEDIA.

      It will also be good to know that the POPE, personally called both the President of Israel and Palestine to tell them, on the phone – to end ceasefire.

      Now THAT shows ‘deeply concerned’.

      Speaking to Singapore Media has nothing, no impact whatsoever on a humanitarian front.

      As a country – i expect us to be examples in greatness in every way imaginable INCLUDING COMPASSION.

      There are many other diplomatic ways Singapore can make a stand.

      To those people who read the entire letter and came to the conclusion of sending our Singapore army………
      I dont even know what to say to that. Surely, we cannot be THAT daft. Surely.

      In anycase, thank you for reading. 🙂

      • SomeAdvice says:

        I don’t know if your views have changed recently, but since there have not been any new posts on this issue, I would like to give some input as another Singaporean Muslim.

        We must understand that as much as we want action from our government, given our situation as a small country that is really quite insignificant in the scope of the economies and interests of the world, the government has to exercise extreme caution in order to protect the stability that we enjoy. The government has given money to the government and are strongly in the interest of stopping the violence happening in Palestine. As citizens, we should trust our government to make the right choices because there are so many factors to consider when taking actions as a government.

        For more info on the governments position and action on the issue you can go to this website

        http://www.mfa.gov.sg/content/mfa/media_centre/press_room/pr/2014/201408/press_20140508.html

  8. Mat says:

    Assalamualaikum, I applaud you for this letter…most Muslims share the same sentiment on why SG has been silent and even blatantly supporting Israel in the mainstream media..but I think Singapore is in too deep with the Zionists and offending them may cause repercussions, on the economy and God knows what else. The Zionists control the financial world, politics, media, entertainment. Everything. For most countries, the welfare of the majority is more important, and in SG’s case, our majority would care more for our economy than Arabs or Muslims killed elsewhere. That’s the reality. What we can do is spread information about these evil Zionists who murder/plot/cheat just to achieve their goals.

  9. $0.20 says:

    Gaza is govern by Hamas which shot missiles near densely populated area at Israel during march 2014. They are classified as terrorist militant for their reputation for terrorist especially suicide bomb. From my perspective Israel is defending their citizen by retaliating however it does saddened me seeing the innocents paying their life for this conflict. Singapore basically can’t do anything but praying and hoping the conflict will resolve soon. We are a small country which we can’t provide much assistance no military support etc even if we do we are inviting troubles more than as an assistance to Gaza. The conflict will not stop unless Hamas agrees with the ceasefire which i doubt it will happen since they are notable for being a religious extremist against the Jews. Judging by the situation IDF attack Gaza, Hamas returning the favour too using animal(courier) bomb, ground movement and missiles back to Israel. We are really in no position in this issue.

  10. 7724 says:

    Media coverups obviously. US funds Israel. And SG has a close relationship with Us, do you think they will show their citizens a negative image of US? Definitely not.

  11. 123 singapore says:

    hi. let me quote one of the readers commented..HAZLEE says:
    If any of our Muslim SAF commanders or any highest ranking officer of any race or religion for that matter that can lead us or bring us over to Palestine for humanitarian efforts or to stall the Israel attacks. I will volunteer and I am sure most of my friends will also ….

    i guess some guys here might have mis-understood the writer intention..

    I guess we all wanted peaceful settlement… whether there is a difference between race,language and religion..

    if it is as easy as making a phone call and the wars would ended ..i guess anyone would have done so .. 🙂

    I like to stressed that all innocents does have whole singaporean empathy..

  12. 123 singapore says:

    Hi NOORMASTURA ,i really applaud u for what u have written..you are a person with courage and devotion with great compassion.

    can u suggest how singpore can make a stand through other diplomatic ways can make a stand?

    And if someone here can show us what is our neighbouring countries is doing regarding this issue?

  13. BiggerPicture says:

    Actually if you do stop and think about it, Israel played a huge role in building up the Singapore army. This isn’t widely publicized but it is true, NSmen learn a few Israeli self-defence moves (to a certain extent), and in the pioneering days of Singapore, they were the ones that provided support. Through funding, equipment and training. Bilateral ties between Singapore and Israel actually do exist, albeit behind the scenes. If Singapore were to come out of the silence, i’m not sure they would speak up from the angle you’re coming from.

    But other than that, i hereby conclude your article is one-sided. Yes, it’s true that many Palestinians have died, but what triggered the break from this wavering cease-fire was the kidnappings and executions of three Israeli youth. All along, Israel and the Hamas leaders have been in conflict. (HAMAS, not the whole of the bloody Gaza strip. There is a difference between terrorists and citizens.) And Israel – as far as i can remember- was never on the offensive. They’ve never been loud and extremist on their demands, never wanted to fully reclaim the whole of Gaza strip, but instead only responded in self-defence. The ONLY reason why you do not hear about Israelis being massacred during this period of time is due to their iron dome technology. Years before, i recall reading articles on Hamas rockets destroying and plainly snuffing out Israeli lives, that of which includes many many children. They targeted school buses for goodness’s sake.

    One other thing you clearly failed to realise is the fact that there are MANY muslims living in Israel as well. Don’t be blinded by what you see on the media, there is a muslim quarter in Israel. In fact, they are in control of Temple Mount, a traditional Jewish site, which was (stupidly) given over to the Muslim faction in Israel. If they are really so bigoted and against Palestinians and Muslims, why hadn’t their vastly superior military force just about bloody massacred all the muslims residing on their soil??????? So before you point a finger and call for Singaporean ministers to take a stand against Israel, remember two things:

    1) Don’t bite the hand that fed you

    2) Don’t be so damned ignorant of the situation before you post anything online. Calling for action against Israel will DEFINITELY harm your fellow muslim associates in Israel.

    Side note: What i truly believe about the Singaporean government is this, that they will not do what is popular for the people but what is right. They are not compelled to heed your requests, or fall in the trap of wanting to prove that they are better than the imagery of them you have painted in your article. But whatever that they do (or not do) is always in the best interests of us Singaporeans.

    • CH says:

      Thank you for articulating this…you have no idea how much I’ve wanted to put this point across but I never knew how to word it. You did it very well!

    • Mat says:

      How about those one sided articles in the mainstream media? Is so horribly biased even a child can tell. There were no evidence that the 3 teenagers were even kidnapped by Hamas. In fact in the distress call made by the teenagers, the kidnappers were speaking in Hebrew! It’s just an excuse to justify Israel’s aggression. If they are just so called defending themselves, why do they have to kill the innocent civilians??? I agree that the Singapore govt will never stop backing Israel, even when they are wrong. And most non Muslims here support Israel too, looking at ST and FB forums. Even when they see little children with their heads blown off, intestines spilling, they are actually enjoying the show of Muslims being massacred.

      • RLY says:

        Israel issues evacuation warnings whenever they are about to bomb an area, whether the civilians choose to evacuate or not is a different issue. Hamas drives your ‘innocent civilians’ into these bomb areas and uses them as human shields and even brags about it and you still choose to support them?
        Hamas has been perpetually targeting Israel no matter what the situation for years, always claiming to wipe Israel out. I’ve studied the Arab-Israeli conflict before and Israel has only acted in defense toward all the Arab countries surrounding them that are trying to destroy them. When the Palestinians decided to elect a terrorist group as their political party, they spelled their own doom.
        Israel is doing everything as morally right as possible in warfare to avoid civilians from getting injured or killed but Hamas is making them get killed and then uses it as propaganda against the Israelis to show how ‘evil’ they are.
        As the poster above also stated, there are Muslims in Israel as well and if the Israelis are acting against the Muslims and killing them because of it then they would have slaughtered the Muslims in their own country a long time ago. Hamas is the real enemy of the Palestinians, not Israel. Please look at both sides of a situation instead of rallying with the side that best fits your interests.
        I do sympathize with the people who are dying because there is no excuse for taking innocent human lives, but I will never sympathize with Hamas pushing them to their deaths just to perpetuate their “Destroy Israel” agenda.

      • Mat says:

        This human shield theory is nothing but a blatant lie. So the 4 kids who were killed and bombed at the beach, were they shields too? And bombing hospitals???Throughout the conflict, the number of Palestinians killed is way way higher than Israelis. This 2 weeks alone, almost 600 killed. I do not have any agendas. It just pains me to see children and innocents murdered, no matter what creed or colour. If there’s oppression, there will be resistance. It’s plain to see that Israel is the terrorist and the aggressor.

  14. md nassir yassin says:

    Come on people, the whole world knows that the Israel is the bad one. No point supporting a country that support mass killing of innosent life.

    • What says:

      And Hamas is very angelic and good in using the innocent civilians as human shields? Open your eyes and look at the bigger picture.

  15. 123 singapore says:

    About human shield and iron dome
    The Israeli Government claims that, during the Second Intifada (2000–2005) Palestinian gunmen used civilians and children as human shield, by surrounding themselves with children while shooting on IDF forces.[14]

    In November 2006, Palestinian women volunteered as human shields to allow the escape of Hamas gunmen from Israeli forces in Beit Hanoun in the Gaza Strip.[citation needed] The armed Palestinians had barricaded themselves in a mosque, which was surrounded by Israeli troops and tanks.[citation needed] According to a Hamas spokesman, a crowd of women gathered outside the mosque in response to an appeal on the local radio station for women to protect the Hamas fighters.[citation needed] The Israeli Army claims, The Palestinian gunmen escaped by dressing in women’s clothes and hiding in the large group.[citation needed]

    Also in the same month, the Israeli Air Force warned Mohammed Weil Baroud, a Palestinian leader said to be responsible for firing Qassam rockets at Israel, to evacuate his home in Beit Lahia in the Gaza Strip in advance of an airstrike. Instead, hundreds of Palestinians, including many women and children, gathered outside Baroud’s house. Israel suspended the airstrike out of fear that the human shields would be killed or injured. In response to Israel’s reaction, another Palestinian leader said: “We have won. From now on we will form human chains around every house that is threatened with demolition.”[citation needed] The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs says Hamas now regularly uses human shields to protect the homes of Hamas officials.[citation needed]

    The human rights group Rabbis for Human Rights agreed to act as human shields during the annual olive harvest to protect Palestinian villages from settlers.[15]

    On October 29, 2007, in response to criticism of Israel’s bombing of a Beit Hanoun Elementary School for boys run by UNRWA, the Israel Defense Forces released drone footage of mortars shot from a street adjacent to the school.[citation needed] Israel warned Ban Ki Moon about the danger and requested an investigation.[citation needed]

    In remarks related to the Al-Fakhura school incident during the Gaza War of January 2009, a Hamas spokesman stated that no attacks were launched from the school though Israel claimed that they had come from the school.[16] 43 Palestinians were reported killed when a street outside the school was hit by return fire.[17] Israel accused Hamas of “cynically” using civilians as human shields. A report from the IDF brigade responsible for the attack stated that militants had launched a rocket into Israel from a yard adjacent to the UN building and the paratroop brigade had fired three rounds of mortars at the position. An IDF mortar hit the UN building. An IDF report claims that this was caused by a GPS error.[18]

    An Amnesty International report in 2009 criticized Hamas for human rights violations, but “found no evidence Palestinian fighters directed civilians to shield military objectives from attacks, forced them to stay in buildings used by militants, or prevented them from leaving commandeered buildings”.[19]

    The Israeli Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center accused Hamas and other armed groups of making extensive use of human shields as integral part of their war doctrine, in order to prevent the IDF to target them, during the Gaza War (2008-2009). According to the ITIC, tactics used by Hamas that qualify as using human shields include hiding military infrastructure in civilian buildings – including “mosques, hospitals and educational institutions”, firing rockets and mortar shells from civilian population centers, “summoning civilians to come to operatives’ houses to serve as human shields for terrorist operatives in danger of being attacked by the IDF” and using children as human shield by “surrounding operatives with children to facilitate their escape from combat zones”.[citation needed] The IDF released a video accusing an alleged Hamas member of using civilians as human shield for allegedly walking away with children after an attack during the Gaza War (2008-2009).[20] However, it is not clear if anyone in the video is a Palestinian or combatant.

    Pictures from the Gaza Strip have documented incident of Hamas and Popular Resistance Committees using children as human shield, to prevent the IDF from firing over gunmen and Qassam rockets.

    Israel[edit]
    Prior to 2008-2009 Gaza War[edit]
    The IDF admitted it had used Palestinians as ‘human shields’, in limited capacities, a practice subsequently banned by Israel’s High Court of Justice.[21] The Israeli Defense Ministry appealed this decision.[22] Specifically, while acknowledging and defending the “use of Palestinians to deliver warnings to wanted men about impending arrest operations”, the IDF denied reports of “using Palestinians as human shields against attacks on IDF forces”, claiming it had already forbidden this practice.[21]

    Amnesty International[23] and Human Rights Watch[24] said the Israel Defense Forces used Palestinian civilians as human shields during the 2002 Battle of Jenin. The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said that “for a long period of time following the outbreak of the second intifada, particularly during Operation Defensive Shield, in April 2002, the IDF systematically used Palestinian civilians as human shields, forcing them to carry out military actions which threatened their lives”.[25][26] Al Mezan reported the systematic use of “human shields” during the invasion of Beit Hanoun in 2004.[27]

    The practice was outlawed by the Supreme Court of Israel in 2005 but human rights groups say the IDF continues to use it, although they say the number of instances has dropped sharply.[25][28] In 2006, the IDF again used civilians as human shields in Beit Hanun.[29] In February 2007, Associated Press Television News released footage of an incident involving Sameh Amira, a 24-year-old Palestinian. The video appears to show the West Bank resident serving as a human shield for a group of Israeli soldiers.[28][30] The Israeli Army launched a criminal investigation into the incident.[28] In April 2007, the Israeli army suspended a commander after the unit he was leading was accused of using Palestinians as human shields in a West Bank raid.[31]

    During the 2008-2009 Gaza War[edit]
    During the 2008-2009 Gaza War known as Operation Cast Lead, Israeli military forces were accused of continuing to use civilians as human shields by Amnesty International and former Israeli soldiers (see Breaking the Silence).[citation needed] According to testimonies, Israeli forces used unarmed Palestinians including children to protect military positions, walk in front of armed soldiers; go into buildings to check for booby traps or gunmen; and inspect suspicious objects for explosives.[32][33] Amnesty International claimed that the Israeli military used human shields during the Gaza War of 2008-2009, stating that it found cases in which “Israeli troops forced Palestinians to stay in one room of their home while turning the rest of the house into a base and sniper position, effectively using the families, both adults and children, as human shields and putting them at risk.[34] The Israeli military responded only by calling the report “unbalanced” and saying that it ignored “blatant violations of international law perpetrated by Hamas”.[citation needed] The UN Human Rights Council also accused Israel of using human shields during 2008-2009 Gaza Conflict.[35][36]

    The Guardian compiled three videos and testimony from civilians about alleged war crimes committed by Israeli soldiers during the 2008-2009 Gaza War, including the use of Palestinian children as human shields.[37][38] In the videos three teenage brothers from the al-Attar family claimed that they were forced at gunpoint to kneel in front of tanks to deter Hamas fighters from firing at them and that they were used to “clear” houses for the Isreali soldiers.[38]

    An Israeli military official responded to these allegations: “The IDF operated in accordance with the rules of war and did the utmost to minimise harm to civilians uninvolved in combat. The IDF’s use of weapons conforms to international law.” An Israeli embassy spokesperson considers these allegations suspect because of Hamas pressure, adding: “Anyone who understands the realities of Gaza will know that these people are not free to speak the truth. Those that wish to speak out cannot for fear of beatings, torture or execution at the hands of Hamas.”[38]

    On March 12, 2010, the Israel Defense Forces prosecution filed indictments against two staff sergeants of the Givati Brigade for allegedly forcing a 9-year-old Palestinian boy to open a number of bags they thought might contain explosives in January 2009. The IDF said it opened the investigation after the incident was brought to its attention by the United Nations.[39] On October 3, 2010, a conviction in this matter was handed down by the military court against both defendants, though neither soldier was jailed.[40][41][42]

    Iron Dome (Hebrew: כִּפַּת בַּרְזֶל, kippat barzel) is a mobile all-weather air defense system[8] developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.[7] The system is designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells fired from distances of 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) to 70 kilometres (43 mi) away and whose trajectory would take them to a populated area.[9][10] Israel hopes to increase the range of Iron Dome’s interceptions, from the current maximum of 70 kilometres (43 mi) to 250 kilometres (160 mi) and make it more versatile so that it could intercept rockets coming from two directions simultaneously.[11]

    Iron Dome was declared operational and initially deployed on 27 March 2011 near Beersheba.[12] On 7 April 2011, the system successfully intercepted a Grad rocket launched from Gaza for the first time.[13] On 10 March 2012, The Jerusalem Post reported that the system shot down 90% of rockets launched from Gaza that would have landed in populated areas.[10] By November 2012, official statements indicated that it had intercepted 400+ rockets.[14][15] On 19 November, defense reporter Mark Thompson wrote that while these numbers were impossible to confirm, the “lack of Israeli casualties suggests Iron Dome is the most-effective, most-tested missile shield the world has ever seen.”[16]

    According to the leading developers of Iron Dome, due to schedule and low-cost settings constraints, some of the missile components have been taken from a toy car sold by Toys “R” Us.[17]

  16. Boycotting all Israeli made products.

  17. Truth says:

    After Hamas refused the cease fire agreement and fired rockets into Israel. Israel warn the Citizen of Gaza to evacuate as they are planning to attack from the ground.

    Go search youtube for the Video. Citizen of Gaza told the media THEMSELVES, they were told by Hamas’ leader to stay put as the threat is not real and Israel will not attack.

    Hamas is using their citizen as human shield to protect themselves.

    So who is evil? Israel told them to evacuate and stay away and Hamas told them to stay put. Who is sending them to the death?

    Egypt and Jordon is a Arab state. If the land of Israel really DO have thousand of years history, proving that the land belongs to the Arab. Why we don’t see Egypt or Jordon bombing Israel and trying to take back the lands?

    Bullshit right? BECAUSE there NEVER was a Palestine State. few hundreds years ago, the land was empty and own by no one.

    Educate yourself people.

  18. Question: Which country alone in the Middle East has nuclear weapons?
    Answer: Israel

    Question: Which country in the Middle East has just recently used a weapon of mass destruction, a one-ton smart bomb, dropping it in the center of a highly populated area killing civilians including children?
    Answer: Israel

    Question: What country in the Middle East was cited by Amnesty International fordemolishing more than 4000 innocent Palestinian homes as a means of ethnic cleansing?
    Answer: Israel

    Question: What country on Planet Earth has the second most powerful lobby in the United States , according to a recent Fortune magazine survey of Washington insiders?
    Answer: Israel

    Question: Which country in the Middle East receives U.S. weapons for free and then sells the technology to the Republic of China even at the objections of the U.S. ?
    Answer: Israel

    Question: Which country in the Middle East regularly violates the Geneva Convention by imposing collective punishment on entire towns, villages, and camps, for the acts of a few, and even goes as far as demolishing entire villages while people are still in their homes?
    Answer: Israel

    Question: Which country in the Middle East routinely kills young Palestinian children for no reason other than throwing stones at armored vehicles, bulldozers, or tanks?
    Answer: Israel

    Question: Which country in the Middle East refuses to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and bars international inspections? ?
    Answer: Israel

    Question: Which country in the Middle East seized the sovereign territory of other nations by military force and continues to occupy it in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions?
    Answer: Israel

    Question: Which country in the Middle East routinely violates the international borders of another sovereign state with warplanes and artillery and naval gunfire?
    Answer: Israel

    Question: What American ally in the Middle East has for years sent assassins into other countries to kill its political enemies (a practice sometimes called exporting terrorism)?
    Answer: Israel

    Question: In which country in the Middle East have high-ranking military officers admitted publicly that unarmed prisoners of war were executed?
    Answer: Israel

    Question: What country in the Middle East refuses to prosecute its soldiers who have acknowledged executing prisoners of war?
    Answer: Israel

    Question: What country in the Middle East created millions of refugees and refuses to allow them to return to their homes, farms and businesses?
    Answer: Israel

    Question: What country in the Middle East refuses to pay compensation to people whose land, bank accounts and businesses it confiscated?
    Answer: Israel

    Question: In what country in the Middle East was a high-ranking United Nations diplomat assassinated?
    Answer: Israel

    Question: In what country in the Middle East did the man who ordered the assassination of a high-ranking U.N. diplomat become prime minister?
    Answer: Israel

    Question: What country in the Middle East blew up an American diplomatic facility in Egypt and attacked a U.S. ship, the USS Liberty, in international waters, killing 34 and wounding 171 American sailors?
    Answer: Israel

    Question: What country in the Middle East employed a spy, Jonathan Pollard, to steal classified documents from USA and then gave some of them to the Soviet Union ?
    Answer: Israel

    Question: What country at first denied any official connection to Pollard, then voted to make him a citizen and has continuously demanded that the American president grant Pollard a full pardon?
    Answer: Israel

    Question: What Middle East country allows American Jewish murderers to flee to its country to escape punishment in the United States and refuses to extradite them once in their custody?
    Answer: Israel

    Question: What Middle East country preaches against hate yet builds a shrine and a memorial for a murderer who killed 29 Palestinians while they prayed in their Mosque.?
    Answer: Israel

    Question: Which country in the Middle East deliberately targeted a civilian U.N. Refugee Camp in Qana , Lebanon and killed 103 innocent men, women, and especially children?
    Answer: Israel

    Question: Which country in the Middle East is in defiance of 69 United Nations Security Council resolutions and has been protected from 29 more by U.S. vetoes?
    Answer: Israel

    Question: Which country in the Middle East receives more than one-third of all U.S. aid to the world yet is the 16th richest country in the world?
    Answer: Israel

    Question: Which country in the Middle East had its Prime Minister announce to his staff not to worry about what the United States says because “We control America ?”
    Answer: Israel

    Question: Which country in the Middle East signed the Oslo Accords promising to halt any new Jewish Settlement construction, but instead, has built more than 270 new settlements since the signing?
    Answer: Israel

    Question: Which country in the Middle East has assassinated more than 100 political officials of its opponent in the last 2 years while killing hundreds of civilians in the process, including dozens of children?
    Answer: Israel

  19. To the pro-Zionist so-called “Truth” –

    I wonder how much Israel paid you to do propaganda for them. By the way I’m not receiving a single cent from Palestine or Hamas. But here’s a video to counter your video:

  20. 123 singapore says:

    @ mohamed ali
    your answer is about israel is not all found at wiki… and it is always come back as a set a question and answer in certain forum which is pro hamas …

    whether hamas or zionist..i believe there is bad eggs among them … there why there is conflict …( no1 really knows what is going on in there)

    it just take 2 hands to clap .. so .. all we have to do is not to debate who is right or wrong anymore…

    all we have to do is help the innocents….whether who they are and how are they related to us..:)

  21. Do to your own demise, because someday you may need a cure and it could be only Made in Israel!

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