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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Goldstone Commission member: Hamas fired 'something like 2' rockets in month before war

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs reports that Irish Colonel Desmond Travers, a member of the Goldstone Commission, recently stated that Hamas only fired 'something like 2' rockets in the month before Operation Cast Lead began.
Travers rejects the idea that Israel launched the offensive in Gaza on December 27, 2008, as an act of self-defense in response to Hamas rockets.

The Jerusalem center report says he bases this idea on a "fact" that he presents that in the month prior to start of the war, only "something like two" rockets that fell on Israel.

The report quotes an extensive interview with Travers in the Middle East Monitor, in which he also says that Hamas had sought "a continuation of the cease-fire" prior to Israel's offensive in Gaza.

Travers also rejects Israel Defense Forces photographs as proof that Hamas hid weapons in mosques during the conflict.

"I do not believe the photographs," Travers said, describing the IDF evidence as "spurious."

Travers also criticized Israel's past presence in Southern Lebanon, asserting that Israeli soldiers had "taken out and deliberately shot" Irish peacekeeping forces in the area.

He accused "Jewish lobbyists" of influencing British foreign policy in the Middle East and said that efforts to block the Goldstone reports findings have failed.

"The court of world opinion seems determined to see the report prevail," he said.
Shalom Life notes that Travers was the Commission's 'military expert' (What? Marc 'Nazi Fetish' Garlasco wasn't available?) and adds the following regarding Gilad Shalit.
Among the findings is a statement made by Travers regarding the negotiations for a prisoner exchange deals for the release of captive soldier Gilad Shalit, held in captivity by Hamas since June 2006. In an interview conducted with Middle East Monitor (a pro-Palestinian British news website) on February 2, 2010, Travers was asked why the Goldstone report called for the release of Gilad Shalit but did not mention by name any of the Palestinian prisoners held captive in Israeli prisons. Travers responded: “We got immensely disturbing presentations from human rights organisations, at least two, one with respect to children and one with respect to prisoners, especially when we were in Amman, and we were extremely disturbed by the treatment, illegal detention, torture and abuse of women and children and men, and I think we have said something in the report.”

Travers then went on to explain why Shalit was specifically mentioned in the report, and said that “the subtext in the raison d’etre for going into Gaza by the army was the hope that they could release him.” He also emphasized that when the IDF rounded up people and interrogated them, they always asked them whether they knew the whereabouts of Gilad Shalit. He then claims that those questioned were ordinary Palestinian women and children who were also offered a sum of $2 million if they provide information that could lead to the release of Shalit.

Towards the end of the interview, Travers claims that the Palestinians should really demand that more prisoners be released for Shalit: “When the Palestinians sign up to, say, the release of Shalit for 2000 Palestinians, they degrade their own value system. They ought not to do that. But then no civilized country ought to detain 8000, is it 8000 Palestinians? Very nearly 9000.”
Anyone still want to argue that the Goldstone Commission wasn't biased? Unbelievable.


At 9:32 AM, Blogger Ashan said...

Travers is unquestionably very mentally disturbed.

At 2:49 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Unfortunately, Travers' views are in the public record. And people reading the LA Times (for example) over the years will not see any inaccuracy in his assertions.

Hopefully, at some point, some Israeli organization will see it as part of their job to specifically outline the effects (especially physical) of the x number of rockets falling on x civilian area. They will delineate the types of property improvements that have been made for shelter, the military, police, and civil defense training involved (and $ required for it all).

I don't think Israel (e.g., the IDF) understands that all the detailed specifics they have produced on the Gaza, and Lebanon, ends of the conflicts amounts to only half of the case that needs to be made. While it may seem like an unnecessary waste of time and effort, it is not. The diaspora needs the data to provide backup data for making Israel's case. It is a complete bafflement to me why Israel would not write this up.


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