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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

DOCUMENTS OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO ISRAELI CRIMES AGAINST THE LEBANESE AND PALESTINIAN PEOPLES

DOCUMENTS OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION OF INQUIRY
INTO ISRAELI CRIMES AGAINST THE LEBANESE AND PALESTINIAN PEOPLES

[introduction.]

p Findings and conclusions of the International Commission of Inquiry ’into Israeli Crimes Against the Lebanese and Palestinian Peoples, August 15–16, 1982, Nicosia, Cyprus
(Excerpts)
p           On June 6, 1982, regular Israeli
troops invaded Lebanon and committed aggression against the Lebanese and Palestinian peoples. The goal of this invasion was to liquidate the Palestine Liberation Organization primarily by killing as many Palestinians as possible. The aggressors killed, wounded and maimed dozens of thousands of the Lebanese and Palestinians, predominantly women, children and old people; thousands upon thousands of people are missing, while close to a million people have 192 been left homeless or have been forced to flee from their native cities and villages. It was in cold blood that the invaders destroyed fourteen Palestinian refugee camps, three major cities in Southern Lebanon, and 32 villages...
p In reaching its conclusions and findings, the Commission made it a point to be satisfied beyond doubt before doing so.
p The Commission heard the evidence of a wide range of witnesses, many of whom had actually observed events in Lebanon. These included three members of the Commission itself, Paulette Pierson-Mathy, Mikis Theodorakis and Hans Goran Franck, who were sent to Lebanon before the meeting, members of Scandinavian, Greek, Dutch, Canadian, Finnish and French medical teams, social workers and journalists who had worked in or visited West Beirut, and experts on military matters and on the lethal^ effects of the sophisticated weapons used by the Israelis in Lebanon and also witnesses from inside Israel...
p The doctors also gave the effects of different kinds of bombs, particularly cluster bombs and phosphorus bombs, on men, women and children, and the total destruction of the livelihood of people already living near the edge of existence...
p From the Commission members who visited West Beirut and the doctors and journalists who entered the city in the last few weeks came detailed evidences of the bombing of the city. The widespread indiscriminate character of the destruction was shown by many slides, examples of the different kinds of bombs used had been photographed or brought to us...
p The state of Israel and its Zionist rulers are accused of the following criminal actions: I—crimes against peace;
p II—crimes against humanity;
193
p III—war crimes, and 
IV—actions aimed at denying the right of self– determination of the Palestinian people.

I. Crimes Against Peace

p ...The state of Israel and its leaders are accused of at least the following acts of aggression:
p a) invading or attacking with the armed forces of the state the territory of another state or any military occupation, provisional as it may be, resulting from such an invasion or attack, or any annexation through the use of force of the territory of another state or any part of it;
p b) bombing by the armed forces of a state of the territory of another state or using any weapon by a state against the territory of another state;
p c) blockade of the parts on the shores of a state by the armed forces of another state.
p Israel is committing a premeditated aggression and the occupation of the territory of a sovereign independent state, founder member of United Nations, and a direct interference in the internal affairs of Lebanon. We .are forced to conclude that Israel is trying to install a "new order" in Lebanon serving its own interests...
p The Israeli aggression has led to the occupation and vast indiscriminate destruction o’f the greater part of the independent Arab state of Lebanon. It has also endangered its political independence. The Israeli aggression has, concurrently with the above, become a serious threat to international peace and security.
Witnesses from inside Israel referred to the gradual change of unwinding taking place within. an influential section of the people of Israel towards the hostile policy 194 of their government to the Lebanese and Palestinian peoples. The Commission is satisfied there is a rethinking among these sections about the justification and continuance of the aggression and brutalities committed by the invaders.

II. Crimes Against Humanity

p Having committed an unprecedented act of aggression against independent Lebanon, the state of Israel and its leaders have carried on a course of genocide against the Arab people of Palestine.
p According to the definition contained in Article II of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of December 9, 1948, genocide is defined as actions, committed with an intent to exterminate, fully or partly, a national, ethnic, racial or religious groups per se.
p The Israelis have committed the broadest actions against the Palestinians which can be qualified as genocide...
p As a result of the policy of genocide, the Palestinian inhabitants of Lebanon have been put into such a position as to endanger their very existence.
p The overall direction of Israel’s criminal activities is also seen from the fact that, according to the witnesses and documents, all Palestinian males from 16 to 60 years of age have been taken prisoner.
p They really are prisoners of war but were put into concentration camps where they are treated in a most cruel and degrading manner.
p The Commission received eye-witness accounts of Israel maltreatment of Palestinian prisoners of war from members of a Norwegian medical team. The Commission was informed of the extensive use of violence, of regular and 195 systematic beatings, of degrading and inhuman treatment, of physical and mental abuse against these men.
The methods of conducting military actions employed by the Israelis, their treatment of Palestinian prisoners of war, the new orders they brought in with them into Lebanon’s occupied regions, contradict a whole range of norms of international law and, in fact, by their very nature are military crimes.

III. War Crimes

p 1. The Conduct by the Israelis
p of Military Actions Against the Civilian Population, Bombing and Shelling of Peaceful Cities and Villages Violate:
p a) The St. Petersburg Declaration of 1868 which obliges both sides in a conflict to fight against the enemy’s armed forces only;
p b) Article 25 of the Statement supplemented to the Hague Convention of October 16, 1907 which prohibits attacking open or non-defended cities;
p c) Article 6 of the “B” Section of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal in Niirnberg which equates the unwarranted destruction of cities and villages to a military crime;
p d) Article 48 and subsequent Articles of the Supplementary Protocol of June 8, 1977 to the Geneva Convention of August 12, 1949 on protecting war victims;
p e) Resolutions 2444 (XXIII) and 2675 (XXV) of the United Nations General Assembly, which prohibit military operations against the civilian population.
p The three member group of our Commission who visited Lebanon confirmed that as a result of the operations of the Israeli army, substantial parts of Beirut, Tyre, Nabatiya 196 and Saida, as well as of many other places, were destroyed, and whole camps of the Palestinian refugees were razed from the face of the earth. Over 600,000 Lebanese were left homeless, and the occupied territory of Lebanon has been plunged into a critical situation. According to a report compiled by UN observers, some 300,000 Lebanese citizens and not less than 83,000 Palestinians urgently need aid and shelter.
p 2. Use of the Cluster, Phosphorus, Fragmentation and Other Bombs.
p The use of the cluster and phosphorus bombs, and of some other weapons is a violation of the St. Petersburg Declaration of 1868 and the Hague Convention of 1907. They prohibit the use of arms which cause unnecessary human suffering. Quite recently these weapons were expressly added to the Supplementary Protocol to the 1949 Geneva Conventions.
p All witnesses stated that these horrendous weapons of mass destruction were widely used by Israel in Lebanon, and the overall majority of those who have suffered from them were peaceful civilians. We heard rumors about even more frightening devices such as the vacuum bomb; we have the duty to inquire further about these weapons.
p 3. Bombing of Hospitals and Clinics Protected by the Red Cross and Red Crescent Insignia.
p This is a violation of one of the oldest rules of the humanitarian law. This is reflected in a number of documents, particularly in Articles 18 and 23 of the Geneva Convention of August 12, 1949, on the protection of the civilian population in case of war.
p The Israeli military obstructed even the International 197 Red Cross from rendering aid to the Palestinians and the population of Beirut.
p 4. Cutting Off Food, Water and Energy and Essential Medical Supplies from the Civilian Population.
p This represents actions against the civilian population prohibited by humanitarian conventions, namely by Article 1, Para 1 of the Supplementary Protocol which prohibits the causing of hunger among the civilian population as a method of conducting warlike actions.
p Such Israeli actions were confirmed by the United Nations Security Council Resolution of July 30, 1982. The Security Council demanded in that Resolution that the government of Israel should immediately lift the blockade of the city of Beirut, so as to permit supplies necessary to satisfy urgent needs of the civilian population and to allow the distribution of aid delivered by UN agencies and by non-governmental organizations, especially by the International Red Cross Committee (IRCC).
p 5. Article 51, Para 2 of the Supplementary Protocol Prohibits Acts of Violence or Threats of Violence Aimed at Terrorizing the Civilian Population.
p The Israeli leaders widely used threats of violence, especially during the siege of Beirut.
p 6. The Refusal to Grant POW Status to Palestinian Fighters Violates:
p Article 4 of the Geneva Convention of August 12, 1949 on the treatment of prisoners of war.
p The Commission was informed that the Israeli 198 government is denying prisoner of war status and treatment to the Palestinians...
p The non-granting to Palestinians of POW status also runs counter to the UN General Assembly resolutions, such as No. 3103 (XXVIII) of December 12, 1973 which demands that this status be granted to those persons who fight against foreign occupation and for their right to self– determination.
p 7. Cruel Treatment of Palestinians, Both Combatants and Civilians, Captured by the Israeli Forces.
p This violates some basic provisions of the Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war and the Geneva Convention on protecting the civilian population in case of war. Article 13 of the former contains general provisions that prisoners of war should always be treated humanely. It is prohibited in particular to maim them.
p 8. Preventing the Authorities in the Occupied Territories to Execute Their Functions...
p 9. The Israelis Systematically and Purposefully Shelled and Destroyed the Beirut-Based Diplomatic Representations of the USSR, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, France, Algeria, All Arab Embassies and the Canadian Embassy, Which Traditionally Enjoy Protection at Times of Armed Conflicts.
p 10. The Destruction of Monuments and Cultural and Scientific Institutions.
p This violates the provisions of the Hague Convention of May 14, 1954 and Article 53 of the Supplementary 199 Protocol on protecting cultural values in case of armed conflicts.
p The Israelis have -committed exactly such actions in Lebanon.
p The Israeli planes systematically and quite deliberately destroyed the buildings of the Arab University and the Exhibition Hall of the works of art and culture of Palestiniari painters.
p 11. Violation of Other Traditional Rules of Conducting Military Actions.
p The international law prohibits, in particular, any perfidious actions (see Article 3 7 of the Supplementary Protocol).
The Israeli troops on numerous occasions perfidiously violated ceasefire to regroup their forces, to replenish their supplies and to fortify the captured positions, only to perfidiously violate the ceasefire after that.

IV. Denying the Right to
SelfDetermination of the Palestinian
People

p           Since the United Nations General
Assembly adopted, on December 14, 1960, the Declaration granting independence to former colonial countries and peoples, any subjugation of peoples to foreign yoke and domination, any military actions or repressive measures against peoples fighting for their right to self-determination should be viewed as a grave international crime. All the more so since the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1974 adopted Resolution 3236 confirming officially the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.
Israel and its leaders, by their systematic actions, primarily by their use of military force, aimed at denying 200 Emacs-File-stamp: "/home/ysverdlov/leninist.biz/en/1985/G243/20071130/243.tx" the right to self-determination and to setting up their own state to the Palestinian people, and by their occupation of the territories that belong to the Palestinian people, have committed just this crime.

V. International Responsibility

p The USA as an Accomplice in Israel’s Crimes.
p           The United States is
internationally responsible for the violations of international law by Israel because of the support it has been rendering to Israel in committing the above international crimes.
p This support included:
p —military aid through shipments of arms and modern technology, while the US-Israeli Memorandum on strategic cooperation signed last year provided for coordinating their operations in the Middle East;
p —economic aid through granting gratuitous assistance and very big loans;
p —on the political and diplomatic plane, direct support of the Israeli aggression as reflected in the use by the United States of its veto right in the Security Council when the USA vetoed resolutions demanding the withdrawal of the Israeli forces and refused to vote for a UN General Assembly resolution denouncing the Israeli aggression.
More than 50% of the Israeli experts go to the EEC, where they receive preferential customs rates and credit benefits. This form of economic support to a state which continues with aggression and occupation of Lebanon constitutes a form of indirect support. Obviously precedents 201 show that aggression is met with immediate sanctions. We call upon the USA and the EEC in particular to take action in helping with what has been done before.

VI. On the Responsibility of the
Organizers and Inspirers of the
Crimes in Lebanon

p The above-mentioned international legal norms violated by Israel are binding upon it either on the treaty basis (the Geneva Conventions, with regard to Israel, came into effect on June 6, 1951), or because these norms have been formed on the habitual basis and have by now become a composite part of the modem general international law, compulsory for all states without exception.
p Israel’s responsibility acquires an even graver character due to its refusal to implement the compulsory decisions of the Security Council.
p The general legal principle of the inevitability of responsibility for the committed offences should be applied to international crimes on an even stricter basis, because they jeopardize international peace and security and lead to incalculable economic, moral and ethic losses for the countries and peoples and undermine the entire international law and order...
p The International Commission warns that all those guilty directly or indirectly of transgressions and violations of international law and crimes against humanity will have to answer for them before the bar of international justice.
202
p Findings and Conclusions of the
International Commission of Inquiry

into Israeli Crimes Against the Lebanese

and Palestinian Peoples,

February 27–28, 1983, Geneva,

Switzerland

(Abridged
)
p           ...In violation of the resolutions of
the Security Council about the immediate and unconditional recall of Israeli troops from the Lebanese territory, the aggressor is deliberately postponing the ceasing of its military occupation to an undetermined date.
p In the time lapse between the Commission’s first and second sessions, its delegated missions went to Lebanon and Israel. They met numerous representatives of Palestinian and Lebanese opinion, as well as witnesses and victims of violence by the Israeli army; they also conversed with responsible persons from various committees opposed to war...
p At the close of the auditions and multiple interventions at a high level on the part of numerous speakers, the Commission came to the following conclusions:
p The prolongation and persistent occupation of an important part of the territory of the Lebanese state constitutes a permanent violation of the most fundamental norms of international law. This occupation is the source of all tragedies and all crimes to which the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples have been subjected for months. This is why everything must be done to put an end to this occupation.
p The Commission gives the main conclusions which it reached:
203
p I. Persistent occupation
Crimes against humanity
Crimes of war
Concentration camps of Ansar and other criminal actions by Israel in Lebanon.
p —The facts collected unquestionably prove that the Israeli occupation authorities are using their military presence to achieve their expansionist goal. To this end they provoke and make use of violence in all its forms. They organize massacres in the Palestinian refugee camps, assist and encourage the dealings of extremist forces which give rise to confrontations between Muslim and Christian communities, as in the case of the area of Mountain Lebanon.
p —The Israeli occupation engenders destabili/ation of the system of political relations and strikes at the normal functioning of the State, in violation particularly of articles 53, 54, 64 of the Geneva Convention of 1949.
p —The Israeli occupation leads to massive and gross violation by Israeli troops and administration of the rights and liberties of the Lebanese and Palestinian civilian population:; round-ups and massive arrests, deportation and internments in concentration camps, use of torture and other forms of violence against detainees, violation of articles 47, 49 and 70 of the Geneva Convention on the protection of civilian populations in case of armed conflict.
p —Persistent occupation and the accompanying barbaric violence, the contempt in Israel of the principles and norms of international law are serious obstacles to an equitable and global settlement in the Middle East, taking into account the legitimate rights of all peoples and in particular the guarantee of the right of the Palestinian people to create its own State.
204
p —By voluntarily multiplying obstacles in face of the humanitarian action of governments and international organizations wishing to intervene in favour of the Palestinian and Lebanese populations victims of the aggression— the Israeli authorities are impeding the supply of food and sanitary material for this population, thus violating articles 55, 56 57 and 59 of the Geneva Convention.
p —Israel persists in totally ignoring the Geneva Convention of August 12, 1949 relating to prisoners of war, by refusing this status to Palestinian and Lebanese combatants who,. . are waging a legitimate armed struggle against the invaders (Article 4 of the Convention). Israel takes no notice whatsoever of the 1977 Protocol concerning international armed conflicts as annexed to the Geneva Convention of 1949 on the defence of victims of war, though it took a direct part in its elaboration.
p —The Israelis maintain and multiply concentration camps in South Lebanon. Numerous Lebanese and Palestinian detainees in the Ansar camp are subjected to torture and undergo inhuman treatment. The Commission finds that Israeli authorities still prohibit access to camps to families of detainees, to their lawyers, as well as to representatives of the international media, whilst they do not have the benefit of an international protection of any kind.
p II. Sabra and Shatila: extreme consequences of a policy of extermination o.f the Palestinian people.
p The Commission heard numerous testimonies; it studied documents, films, photos and other elements of proof on the massacre of Sabra and Shatila which it communicated to all participants.
p It also referred to the report of the Israeli Commission of Inquiry and to various hearings given before the Israeli 205 Commission by witnesses attending the February 27 and 28, 1983 Geneva session.
p It took good note of the positive aspects of this inquiry and was pleased therewith.
p But it also pointed out the limits and inadequacies of the documents published by the Commission, and especially the conclusions which it considers not to have any valid implications for those responsible for the massacres.
p For its part, the Commission came to the conviction that these horrible, out-of-the-ordinary events are part of the global policy of aggression, annexation and extermination pursued by the Begin government, and that they bring out the racist aspects of Zionism.
p The invaders continue, in astonishing cold blood, to destroy the Palestinian refugee camps on Lebanese territory. Seventeen camps have been deliberately erased during the months which have passed since the beginning of Israel’s invasion of Lebanon. The objective is to chase off all, or almost all, refugees, first "to the North”, then "in the direction of Syria”, and then towards Jordan, to "finally solve" the problem of Palestinian independence.
p The Commission added to inquiry documents the following statement by Yaakov Meridor, the Israeli minister in charge of refugee problems: "Send them eastwards, to Syria. Allow them to leave, but do not let them come back.”
p Lt. Col. Dov Yirmiah found himself excluded from the top reserve of Israel’s army for having disclosed this statement by the minister.
p Thus, Yaakov Meridor confirmed the anti-humanitarian essence of the premeditated, forced expulsion plan of the Palestinian refugees. He admitted, at the October 13, 1982 meeting of the Israeli government, that his plan consisted, as a first step, in the evacuation of refugees from South Lebanon to the North. The systematic destruction of the Palestinian refugee camps and the terror in the 206 southern area of this Arab country were aimed at provoking the flight of Palestinian refugees to Syria and Jordan.
p Scornful of Security Council resolutions and in violation of the promises made by Philip Habib, the American emissary, to the Palestinians about non-entry of Israel’s army into West Beirut, about the non-violation of the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and the security of the Palestinians remaining in that country, Israel clearly manifested the intention to pursue a policy of genocide against the Arab people of Palestine.
p In spite of the full guarantee by the Americans, the Israeli army started to take over West Beirut on the night of September 15, 1982. It was an operation planned in advance and prepared with the greatest care in all details. The Israeli army units participating in this operation had been air-lifted to Lebanon the day before.
p The massacre in the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila circled by Israeli army units lasted 40 hours without interruption from September 16 to 18. Undisputable facts attest that Israeli Defence Minister Ariel Sharon, Chief of Staff Rafael Eitan, General Amir Drori, BrigadierGeneral Amos Yaron, and other Israeli military leaders participated in the instruction of the gangs responsible for the killings at Sabra and Shatila. It was upon Sharon’s orders that’Israeli army units illuminated these Palestinian camps during the night. The electricity supply of West Beirut had been deliberately cut off to hide the massacres.
p Uri Avneri, Israeli politician and journalist, had warned that under cover of the West Beirut invasion operation General Sharon had the intention of destroying the Palestinian refugee camps in the neighbourhood of Lebanon’s capital city. This warning got published in the Israeli press in the morning of September 17, 1982, but the authorities of Israel did not take any notice.
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p Israeli citizen Ben Yishai confirmed having witnessed the massacres which took place literally next to the commanding post of the Israeli brigade which encircled the Sabra and Shatila camps. He communicated immediately his observations to Sharon, but the Minister did not react in any way. "He thanked me and expressed his wishes for a good year. I got the impression that apparently he was informed about what was happening in the camp.”
p An Israeli officer testified that the Israeli units had received the order not to impede the murderers who, as was said, "were clearing the place”.
p All during the morning of September 18,1982—so reported Israeli journalist Amnon Kapeliouk—many inhabitants of the camps were taken out and then disappeared... They were pushed into trucks leaving for an unknown destination. One still does not know what happened to the persons who so disappeared. Their bodies, thrown out of the trucks, were scattered along the roadsides leading to South Lebanon. These roads cross the areas of Al-Ouzai, Khalde, Harat an-Naame, Kafr Himah. Corpses were also found on the road to the international airport of Beirut”.
p Full information about the number of victims of the massacre has not yet been obtained. On September 22, 1982, an International Red Cross report announced the discovery of the burial of 663 bodies. On October 14, the Orient-Le Jour of Beirut stated that according to Lebanese government sources, 762 corpses had been found, 213 of them in a communal pit; 302 bodies had been identified, then burned by the local assistance brigades; 248 corpses had been buried by the International Red Cross after identification. According to the same source, "about 1,200 bodies have been taken by families for burial in individual tombs”.
p To the total number of victims of the massacre one must add the many corpses taken from the ruins of nearly 200 208 residential buildings destroyed in the course of the massacre in the camps. It was very difficult to make an exact estimate. It was stated that there were hundreds. 115 bodies were uncovered the first day of the search, 56 the second day. The search had to. be interrupted after a few days due to the rapid decomposition of the cadavers.
p On September 23, 1982, the France-Presse Agency assessed at 2,000 the total number of corpses of Palestinian refugees who had disappeared from the camps of Sabra and Shatila. This refers essentially to those taken by truck in an unknown direction.
p Israeli journalist Amnon Kapeliouk states therefore that one can speak of the extermination of a total of over 3,000 persons. During 40 hours, on September 16, 17 and 18, 3,000 to 3,500 men, women and children were killed of the 20,000 who were counted as being in the two camps. Among the 302 bodies initially identified, 136 were Lebanese living in Sabra and Shatila alongside the Palestinian refugees. And Amnon Kapeliouk draws the conclusion: "One believes that about one fourth of the victims of the massacre at Sabra and Shatila were Lebanese citizens, the remainder being Palestinians.”
p At the onset of the massacre the inhabitants of Shatila made two separate attempts to stop the carnage. In particular, a delegation of four persons had gone to the Israeli post near the Kuwaiti Embassy, the building of which was occupied by the Israeli soldiers, in order to explain that there were neither arms nor Palestinian fighters in the camp and that the inhabitants were surrendering. The delegation included Abu Hamad Ismail (55 years old), Abu Ahmed Said (65 years old), Abu Suaid (62 years old) and Tawfik Abu Hakhmeh (64 years old). Amnon Kapeliouk writes that in view of everyone they were approaching the southern exit of the Shatila camp, then disappeared. Two days later, the bodies of three of the members of the 209 delegation were discovered near the building of the Embassy of Kuwait.
p Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin is personally responsible for the massacre in the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Shatila. He authorized the invasion of West Beirut, which nothing could justify. His first argument, totally improvised, in favour of the occupation of that part of the Lebanese capital was that the murder of Bashir Gemayel, the recently elected President of Lebanon, would probably have led to general chaos. The recourse to such an argument shows that this murder was in fact all to the benefit of the aggressor.
p The second argument, according to which "thousands of terrorists" had stayed in the camps, was just as inconsistent. General Eitan, Chief of Staff of the Israeli army, had in fact declared on September 15 that only a few Palestinian combatants and a small representation of the PLO had remained in West Beirut (cited from the Israeli paper Haaretz).
p Although they immediately received the news about the carnage at Sabra and Shatila, the US Department of State and its civil servants did nothing to stop the crime. The allegations about American diplomats posted in Lebanon and responsible for investigating the situation on the spot not being able to enter the camps are inconsistent.
p At this point the Commission notes that Israel, equipped by the USA with modern arms and munitions, has used this material in violation of the agreements existing between the two countries, on the face of which American arms delivered to the Israeli army could only serve for the defence of Israel. In Lebanon they were in operation for aggression and conquest. The world press had on various occasions pointed out violations of the American-Israeli agreements, but the government of the United States has taken no measure of sanctions against Israel, nor did it try to put an end to these 210 violations; one can say that they practically encouraged the aggressor to the detriment of the victim. This attitude of the American administration can only qualify it as an accomplice of Israel in its crimes.
p The types of arms mostly supplied by the United States are:
p —vacuum bombs,
p —fragmentation bombs,
p —cluster bombs,
p —phosphorus bombs,
p —anti-shelter rockets.
p The way in which they were used by the Israeli army leaves no. doubt whatsoever about the determination of the Begin government to fundamentally conduct a war of terror and extermination against the civilian population—which lost tens and tens of thousands of killed and wounded.
p III. Destabilization of the economy and social structure of Lebanon.
p Starting with the inquiry it has been conducting, the hearing of testimonies, the. objective reports of the Lebanese and Israeli press, the large amount of news coverage on a worldwide scale, the Commission calls the attention of public opinion to the fact that following the systematic and deliberate actions of the armed forces of Israel, and of its occupation authorities, we can observe a destabilization of the economy and social structure of Lebanon. Whilst military operations were in full swing, the Israeli currency was introduced on all Lebanese territory occupied by the army of Israel, by an unilateral act...
p At the time of the assault on West Beirut, the Israeli army, with the’ help of Israeli finance experts, trespassed the inviolability of the Lebanese banks. The purpose of this unprecedented measure was to demonstrate that 211 henceforth Israel could control the Lebanese finances in accordance with its interests...
p Israel has been systematically destroying the socioeconomic structure of Lebanon. The infrastructure of the country is demolished, its development needs are being ignored, conditions have been created which make the functioning of the state impossible. The result is agricultural decline, the decline of all the branches of industry, of the national handicraft business and small traders. Many administrative sectors which had been dealing with the recovery of customs and income taxes do not function any more, and this has caused incalculable damage to the Lebanese State.
p This type of policy seems to be preparing for Lebanon to come under a protectorate mandate. It is applied and followed by all who, like Begin, Sharon and others, fanatically defend the conception of a Great Israel. This is why such an attempt must be denounced and fought against with the utmost vigour in the interest of the independence and sovereignty of Lebanon.
p The members of the International Commission declare:
p —the criminal situation created by the occupation can only come to an end with immediate, unconditional and total retreat of Israeli troops from Lebanese territory, according to resolutions 508 and 509 of the Security Council, an indispensable condition to the re-establishment of sovereignty in Lebanon and a normalization of its political and social life;
p —Israel, as an occupying state, is wholly responsible for all criminal acts committed by its forces and collaborators on the territory it occupies and controls...
p The Commission wants to stress once more the fact that in conformity with international law, such crimes are not subject to prescription and that the punishment incurred is 212 irrevocable (Convention of 1968 on non-prescription of war crimes and of crimes against humanity).
p The Commission recalls the practices of the Niirnberg Tribunal which passed judgement on the main war criminals of the Second World War...;
p —the situation persisting in Lebanon puts to the fore the fundamental role in this war of the United States, engaging its responsibility both with regard to occupation and the crimes for which Israel is the guilty party;
p —persisting occupation, brutal violence, the negation by Israel of the principles and norms of international law are serious obstacles to an equitable and global settlement of the crisis in the Middle East, taking into account the legitimate interests of all states and of all peoples of the area and in particular the need to vouchsafe the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to create their own state and to decide in all independence on their relations with the other states;
p —persisting aggression and Israeli occupation, and the ensuing crimes are also a danger to world peace. This is why the Commission deems it necessary to alert and call on world public opinion, political parties, social and religious movements, governments and parliaments, international and intergovernmental organizations to raise their voices and to act so as to guarantee and ensure protection of the Lebanese and Palestinian populations...
p The Commission has noted with satisfaction the development of the steps taken by political and social forces and leaders who in Israel denounced the criminal character of the aggression and annexation policy of the Begin government and who call for rapid achievement of a peace based on recognition of the rights of the Palestinian people for their self-determination and the creation of their own state.
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p Findings and Conclusions of the Medical Subcommittee of the International Commission of Inquiry into Israeli Crimes Against the Lebanese and Palestinian Peoples, November 20–21, 1982, Athens, Greece
(Abridged
)
p           The sitting of the Medical Subcommittee ... with the participation of 58 delegates from 17 countries, and three international organizations, after hearing testimonies of doctors, other medical personnel, lawyers and journalists, who worked in Lebanon and gave medical treatment to the victims of the Israeli aggression or visited medical establishments which had been destroyed or damaged; and having analyzed the evidence submitted, has reached the following conclusions:
p 1. The Israeli invasion in Lebanon, carried out with the full support of the US, constitutes a flagrant violation of international law.
p 2. The atrocities and indiscriminate bombings against the civilian population took on dimensions surpassing the limits of genocide.
p 3. The cutting off of such basic supplies as water, electricity, foodstuffs and even blood and plasma to the besieged part of Beirut, and the siege of this city withhundreds of thousands of inhabitants constitute an infringement on fundamental human rights and values.
p 4. The violation of every basic human right is also proved by the ruthless bombardment from air, sea and land of residential areas, refugee camps and other civilian targets, such as hospitals and even cemeteries.
p 5. The witnesses who spoke at the sitting proved the use of napalm, phosphorus, fragmentation and cluster bombs, toy and vacuum bombs; all banned by international conventions. The use of these bombs results in a great number of 214 casualties among the civilian population, including infants and children under the age of seven. Those attending the sitting are convinced that both the country of Lebanon and its population have been used to test the efficiency of the most sophisticated US weapons. This constitutes a most flagrant violation of the provisions of the St. Petersburg Declaration (1868), the Hague Convention (1907) and the Supplementary Protocol (June 10, 1977) to the Geneva Conventions on the Protection of War Victims (August 12, 1949).
p 6. The siege and blockade of the city, the explosions, the mock bombings, the dropping of threatening leaflets and the booby-traps were elements of the aggressor’s psychological warfare, which has caused many psychological problems, especially among children.
p 7. The planned, systematic and mass bombardment of hospitals and other buildings bearing the emblems of the Red Cross and Red Crescent is a gross violation of several international conventions, including the Geneva Conventions regarding the protection of civilians. The witnesses gave testimonies concerning specific cases of destruction of hospitals and clinics, of arrests and murders of doctors and medical staff, of the killing and injuring of hospitalized patients, both civilians and combatants, of destruction of first-aid centres, medical vehicles and medical equipment in general.
p 8. Hospital conditions for the injured were very bad, because hospitals were being bombed and could provide no security. Lack of medical supplies and equipment, the reduced numbers of medical ana para-medical personnel, lack of electricity, water and blood, caused insurmountable difficulties, resulting in a high rate of mortality and high percentage of postoperative complications.
p 9. The mass destruction of medical establishments, such as Barbir, Akka, Gaza, Makkassed and many other hospitals and clinics in Southern Lebanon, the creation of various 215 obstacles and prevention of medical personnel and official health bodies from carrying out their duties resulted in a complete paralysis of the health care system in the occupied regions. All this, together with the occupation of the Lebanese Ministry of Health, constitutes a violation of the Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilian Population, which forbids the occupying power to modify the status of officials (Art. 54).
p 10. We must say that the position of the International Red Cross is puzzling and negative. Throughout the war in Lebanon it has failed either to take action or fulfil the goals for which it had been founded.
p 11. Israel’s refusal to assign POW status to Palestinian and Lebanese fighters, the torture and cruel treatment of civilians captured by the occupation forces, their detention in prisons and concentration camps constitute a violation of the basic provisions of the above. Geneva Conventions. The violation of the privacy of the home, the repression of all trade union and political activity, the disruption of economic activity, as well as the silencing of every democratic expression, violate the sovereign rights of the Lebanese people.
p 12. The continuing occupation of the sovereign territory of Lebanon by Israeli troops and Israel’s efforts to conceal the facts and nature of its crimes against the Lebanese and Palestinian peoples impede a full and detailed investigation of the true dimensions of the crimes against humanity and the violation of human rights.
p 13. We express our concern over the attitude of the multinational military force in Lebanon toward Palestinian and Lebanese patriots, following the massacres at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.
14. The Israeli aggression in Lebanon can be classified as a grave international crime, violating established international conventions and international law, and causing unnecessary suffering both to fighters and the civilian popuktion...
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