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Israeli war criminals to receive Spanish justice after all

In an amusing turn of events, Tipsy Livni is boasting that Spanish Foreign Minister has told her that the Spanish government is to enact legislative changes to head off Spanish trials of Israeli war criminals.

Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos informed Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Friday of Spain’s plan to amend legislation that granted a Spanish judge the authority to launch a much-publicized war crimes investigation against senior Israeli officials.

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“I just heard from the Spanish Foreign Minister Moratinos, that Spain has decided to change its legislation in connection with universal jurisdiction and this can prevent the abuse of the Spanish legal system,” Livni told the Associated Press. “I think this is very important news and I hope that other states in Europe will do the same.”

This of course won’t help said Israeli war criminals if the US decides to support the ICJ.

Regardless of any alleged moves by the Spanish government to amend legislation, Israel is supplying documentation to the Spanish court.

Israel on Friday said it would provide “relevant material” for a Spanish crimes against humanity probe over a 2002 Israeli bombing in Gaza, after vowing to quash the investigation.

“The Israeli justice ministry will provide the Spanish government with the relevant material,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Israel’s embassy in Madrid on Friday sent judge Fernando Andreu of the National Audience documents which are still unofficial, in Hebrew and English, over the bombing in which a Hamas leader and 14 civilians were killed, a Spanish judicial source said.

The judge will decide whether to go ahead with the inquiry or shelve it once the documents have been translated into Spanish.

The changes in legislation, if any are indeed made, apparently will not affect cases currently before the Spanish courts.

Spain’s Foreign Ministry did not reply to repeated telephone requests for confirmation.

Spanish state television TVE quoted government sources as saying the possibility of a legal “adjustment or modification” may have been mentioned, but it would not be retroactive and would not affect the case before the courts.

Any government-initiated changes to Spanish law would have to be approved by congress. TVE said Spain would not renounce universal jursidiction, which has been on its statute books since 1870.

Looks like Livni’s remonstrations are just electoral bluster and the disgraceful Israeli war criminals will receive justice in Spain after all.

In parallel moves in Turkey, Mazlumbder, a human rights group has approached the Turkish courts with a suit against Israeli war criminals for their part on the more recent attack by Israel on the Gazan people.

Mazlumder Istanbul Branch chairman Ayhan Küçük and other members and volunteers went to Sultanahmet Court in ?stanbul “to ask investigation for Israel’s war crimes against humanity” for their involvement in Gaza massacre.

The written application demands “20 Israelis, whose names and involments in the killings of 160 Gazans are known”, to be put on trial and punished for “their crimes against humanity according to the Turkish Criminal Law and International agreements.”
After submitting the petition calling for the Israeli officials of the massacre in Gaza, Küçük said they went to Gaza to probe violations during Israeli bombings and assaults, and this petition is “the result of their findings that shows Israel committed serious crimes during the attacks.”

“What Israel did in Gaza is a genocide, war and crimes against humanity. In our first investigation, we witnessed that all infustracture of Gaza had been destroyed, people`s bodies were burned by phosporus bombs, Gaza Islam University building and its most important laboratory, stores in the city center, UN schools, mosques, ambulances, and official buildings were bombed, he added.

” Additionally, we have seen flatten out buildings, orange fields, animal farms, small manifacturing facilities, and public buildings in Jabaliya. We want all Israeli officials who are responsible for this attack to be put on trial in International Criminal Court and in Turkey,” he said.

Gazans have demonstrated in the streets in support of Hamas, waving Palestinian and Turkish flags in appreciation of Erdogan’s strong stand against Peres.

Across the Gaza Strip, thousands took to the streets in support of Hamas and its leader Khalid Mashaal who called for the creation of an alternative representative authority to replace the Fatah-run Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), Press TV’s correspondent Tarek al-Farra reported from Khan Younis on Saturday.

“The Israeli cowards failed in this war they thought that they would destroy the resistance and Hamas, but we must tell them that the popularity of Hamas has grown more than before,” said one of the demonstrators.

“The resistance will continue to work toward achieving its goals, which are liberating all Palestinian prisoners, repatriating all Palestinian refugees and completely ending the siege,” he added.

Hamas Spokesman Hamid al-Rakeb, who took part in the rally, also said that Israel’s offensive had increased Palestinians’ confidence.

“The message coming out of Gaza after the war is a cry of rage against the Israeli occupation. Gazans are holding on more to their rights and the resistance is more confident of its ability to achieve bigger victories in the future,” al-Rakeb said in the southern city.

Hamas announced that it no longer recognized Mahmoud Abbas as the Palestinian Authority Chief after his term expired on January 8.

More Israeli war crimes are coming to light –

Two Gazans killed ‘in cold blood’, say witnesses

The idea to bombard the closing ceremony of the Gaza police course was internally criticized in the Israel Defense Forces months before the attack.

Listen to Cameron Reilly’s podcast with guest Antony Loewenstein from Independent Australian Jewish Voices. Cameron conducts a very professional in depth interview eliciting superbly comprehensive content from Antony – this podcast provides an essential overview of the politics surrounding current events in Israel and Palestine.

Bliar Pronounces on Hamas

Does anyone really take any notice of discredited Tony Bliar anymore? Still, as Middle East envoy for the Quartet, he has a whole story in Haaretz devoted to his thoughts on Hamas.

Blair is the Middle East envoy for the quartet of Middle East peace negotiators – the United States, the United Nations, Russia and the European Union.

Blair told the newspaper that that the strategy of “pushing Gaza aside” and trying to create a Palestinian state on the West Bank “was never going to work and will never work.”

“Yes, we do need to show through the change we are making on the West Bank that the Palestinian state could be a reality,” said Blair.

“The trouble is that if you simply try to push Gaza to one side then eventually what happens is the situation becomes so serious that it erupts and you deliver into the hands of the mass the power to erupt at any point in time.”

Blair repeated the Quartet position that there can be no talks, official or unofficial, with Hamas until they renounce violence and recognize Israel. However, he said that his “basic predisposition is that in a situation like this you talk to everybody.”

So what is he really saying? that his private position differs from that of the Quartet? furthermore has he REALLY noticed the changes on the West Bank in the past year?

In the Times, Bliar expands his position:

Hamas must somehow be brought into the Middle East peace process because the policy of isolating Gaza in the quest for a settlement will not work, …

In an interview with Ginny Dougary in the Saturday Magazine, Mr Blair says that the strategy of “pushing Gaza aside” and trying to create a Palestinian state on the West Bank “was never going to work and will never work”. He hints in references to how peace was eventually achieved in Northern Ireland that the time may be approaching to talk to Hamas … “My basic predisposition is that in a situation like this you talk to everybody.”

Mr Blair, speaking after talks with the new US envoy George Mitchell, says that Gaza will not be pushed aside because there are 1.25 million people there who want a Palestinian state.

However, he repeated the Quartet position that there can be no talks, official or unofficial, with Hamas until they renounce violence and recognise Israel.

Mr Blair then says that there is a distinction between the difficulty of negotiating with Hamas as part of a peace process if they would not accept one of the states in the two-state solution, and “talking to Hamas as the de facto power in Gaza”.

He declines to answer whether he has talked to Hamas unofficially, although his staff later insists that he has not, and that all contacts have been via Egyptian diplomats. Under intense questioning later he replies: “I do think it is important that we find a way of bringing Hamas into this process, but it can only be done if Hamas are prepared to do it on the right terms.”

Pressed to go further Mr Blair says that he has to be careful how he expresses things because “if you do this in the wrong way it can destabilise the very people in Palestine who have been working all through for the moderate cause”.

He added: “We do have to find a way of making sure that the choice is put before Hamas and the people of Gaza in a clear, understandable, unambiguous way, for them to choose their future. You have to find a way of communicating that choice to them in their terms. Now exactly what way you choose at the moment, that is an open question.”

Diplomats will point out that Mr Blair fully signed up to the Annapolis accord which envisaged the creation of a Palestinain state by the end of 2008 whether Gaza was part of it or not. Even though sceptics said that the goal was unrealistic, Mr Blair insisted that a deal could be done by the end of last year.

Why none of these Quartet goons recognise that it is the right under international law for an illegally occupied people to resist occupation with arms if necessary is beyond us. To not do so is to implicitly back fully Israel’s continued illegal occupation and repulsive domination of the Palestinian territories. Why are Palestinians denied the right to defend themselves from Israel’s obvious, disgusting aggression?

If Bibi Netanyahoo obtains power in the Israeli elections, extended confrontation between his goals to expand settlements and renounce previous agreements and Obama’s policies is liable to delay peace and the potential for a Palestinian state for years.

Hamas’ stance toward Israel’s demands is consolidated by senior member, Khalil Al-Hayya.

Hamas had not yielded on its demands that the Israeli blockade of the Gaza enclave be lifted and Gaza’s borders opened to normal trade, he said.

Hayya reaffirmed his group’s demands to conclude a prisoner swap with Israel that would see the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners for the return of Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, kidnapped by Gaza militants in 2006.

“Gilad Shalit will never see the light and life until our prisoners see the light among their women and children,” he said.

YnetNews steps up its vapid, transparent propaganda campaign, quoting unnamed sources in an attempt to show that Al Qaeda has thousands of supporters in Gaza. Who are they trying to kid? only the terminally stupid would believe such blatant manufactured claptrap.