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HSBC divests from major Israeli arms company ten years after Operation Cast Lead

14 12 8
27.12.2018

It is ten years since Israel launched a major military offensive against the people of the Gaza Strip, which it called Operation Cast Lead. Israel started its bombardment on 27 December, 2008, as Palestinian children were heading home at the end of the school day. The war lasted for three weeks, during which the Israelis killed at least 1,383 Palestinians, including 333 children. Thirteen Israelis also lost their lives, of whom 3 were civilians.

The first images of Cast Lead’s death and destruction were of police cadets hit by Israeli fire while in training. In all, 99 policemen were killed. Israel claimed that it had launched the offensive “in self-defence” and that Hamas had violated the terms of a ceasefire. In fact, it was Israel which had breached the terms of the agreement on 4 November when it killed six Hamas operatives.

The war was investigated by a UN Fact Finding Mission led by Justice Richard Goldstone, a former judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and an ex-Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Israel refused to cooperate with the mission and would not allow Goldstone’s committee to travel to the Gaza Strip via Israel.

Fire and smoke rise from a destroyed building as Palestinians carry a victim of an Israeli air strike that targeted Buriej refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on December 27, 2008. The Israeli air strike was part of it’s ‘Operation Cast Lead’ offensive on Gaza. [YASSER SAYMEH/AFP/Getty Images]

The subsequent report, referred to as the Goldstone Report, stated, inter alia, that “the Israeli armed forces launched direct attacks against civilians with lethal outcome [chapter XI]. The facts in all bar one of the attacks indicate no justifiable military objective.” Hamas was also criticised by the report.

Goldstone pointed out that, “The Mission further examined an incident in which a mosque was targeted with a missile during early evening prayers, resulting in the death of 15 people, and an attack with flechette munitions on a crowd of family and neighbours at a condolence tent, killing five. The Mission finds that both attacks constitute intentional attacks against the civilian population and........

© Middle East Monitor