US Secretary of State John Kerry’s condemnation of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas for targeting enemy combatants is “breathtaking” hypocrisy, a political commentator says.
International lawyer Barry Grossman, who is based in Indonesia’s Bali island, made the remarks on Saturday during a phone interview with Press TV, commenting on Kerry and other US officials’ “strong condemnation” of Hamas for capturing one of Israel’s troops, who have been slaughtering Palestinian civilians in Gaza for nearly a month.
US officials termed the reported capture of the Israeli troop in the Gaza town of Rafah as “barbaric" and called on Palestinian resistance fighters to immediately release him.
Grossman said: “The audacity of John Kerry’s statement is nothing short of breathtaking. Remember, America is the country which confers on the citizenry in many of its states an almost absolute right to use lethal force to protect their property and chattels. Yet Kerry denies Palestinians their inalienable and lawful right to defend themselves against marauding enemy combatants who have massacred some 1,500 civilians, seriously injured many thousands more and laid waste to Gaza.
“When you consider all that he might have chosen to say about the loss of life in Gaza and the related international rules of armed conflict, it is extremely revealing that he chose instead to speak against Hamas over its legitimate targeting of enemy combatants who occupy all Palestine and who have taken part in this latest belligerent attack on the 1.8 million civilians held hostage by the occupation forces through its blockade of Gaza.
“Even in the United States, no government official seriously argues against allegations that Israel has become a rogue state. The problem is that Israel is America’s rogue state and the killing of women and children in Palestine has become big business for special interests that dominate the United States government.
“The United Nations’ Human Rights Council, Amnesty International and many other NGOs, countless international law experts, and of course the tragic brutality we have all witnessed through photographs and media reports, all confirm that Israel has again crossed the line and violated almost every principle of military conflict. You don’t need to be an expert in international law to understand this, and indeed for Americans, almost anyone who misspent their youth watching reruns of Hogan’s Heroes should have enough exposure to the Geneva conventions to understand what is happening.
“The simple fact is that the international community recognizes that Gaza is occupied by Israel, and that it is the occupiers who have a duty to ensure the welfare of Gaza’s civilian population. Palestine is not a state and Hamas is certainly not the military arm of an autonomous Palestinian government, so the umbrage both the United States and Israel feign at the firing of symbolic rockets toward neighboring occupied territories is irrelevant to the consideration of Israel’s crimes which include:
1. Launching a belligerent attack under false pretences;
2. Targeting civilians,
3. Using prohibited weapons,
4. Targeting medical infrastructure and tunnels used for civilian
5. Collective punishment,
6. Using disproportionate force, and, more generally,
7. Violating its legal obligations as an occupying force.
“One of the few things we can identify in this sustained massacre which does not violate international principles of armed conflict, is the targeting and capture of enemy combatants by Hamas. That Kerry would elect to make an issue of this matter, is sad evidence of the extent to which the US apparatus of state is dominated by a fifth column made up of Zionist and corporate special interests,” Grossman concluded.
President Barack Obama also called on Hamas to “unconditionally” release the Israeli soldier. "If they are serious about trying to resolve this situation, that soldier needs to be unconditionally released as soon as possible," he told a news conference on Friday.
Obama framed the release of 23-year-old Hadar Goldin as a precondition for a possible ceasefire.