Class interview Mark Regev On The Ropes (War Crimes)


Uploaded by wotdoesitmatter on 22.01.2009

Transcript:
Well joining us now from Israel
the Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev who is in Jerusalem
Mark Regev, does Israel accept that it has been using phosphorus bombs,
flechettes and fragmentation bombs?
As your own reporter said,
Israel only uses weapons that are acceptable in N.A.T.O. forces,
that are acceptable weapons used by other western nations, democratic nations
we use no weapons whatsoever that are illegal under international convention or under international law
These weapons are not illegal under international law
but it is illegal to use them in civilian areas.
And that is your allegation
Do you accept that you have been using them in civilian areas?
Well we are currently conducting our own internal investigation
because of these sort of allegations
But I think it has to be said,
the sort of report we have just seen is methodologically very flawed.
Ultimately, the fact that there was a combat zone, that there was fire
that the people were living unfortunately in a military zone where Hamas had turned
civilian neighbourhoods into places where they store weapons and explosives
where there were difficult fire-fights.
It was almost by your report
that Israel went in randomly and killed civilians. That's clearly not the case.
The problem is that you have a 24 mile long strip in which 1.5 million people live
and you by your own word have been throwing phosphorus,
and flechette and fragmentation bombs into this area
not illegal under international law
but nevertheless illegal to be put in civilian areas and you knew them to be civilian.
First of all, we are investigating because we take such allegations extremely seriously
But let's be clear here.
You have to be very careful because Hamas controls the Gaza Strip, unfortunately but they do
and when a reporter comes in, even a very good reporter from channel 4
everyone he speaks to afterwards when channel 4 leaves, Hamas is still there.
And for someone to say the Israelis targeted my house
because Hamas was shooting rockets from it or in my basement Hamas had forcibly...
I mean to be fair sir, it's very difficult for anyone to get true information
where Hamas has this regime based on internal terror. You know...
since the war is over there are numerous reports
of Hamas shooting people who have been talking out of line
of shooting people in the leg, political dissidence and so forth. It really is a regime of terror
With respect Mark Regev,
you can say however much you like about how many people who have been shot by Hamas
I'm afraid these are injuries that have been shown to us by the people who have suffered them
they can't make them up and they can't be forced to reveal them by Hamas
they showed them to our cameraman and to our reporter and he has put them out
and Amnesty International also chronicled what has happened
I'm sorry but I think that is a bit naive.
When you walk into a totalitarian government where people have injuries.
How do you know that these injuries weren't caused, for example,
by Hamas munitions? But can someone say that to a camera from channel 4?
Mr Regev, you are now saying it is not the Israelis who dropped the phosphorus and the fragmentation bombs.
It is Hamas is that right? Is that your allegation?
If you let me make my point, I will make it very sanely.
First of all, I said we're investigating our use of munitions but you do know
that Hamas also uses phosphorus weapons and they shot them at Israel. That's a documented fact!
And I think you should be very careful when you ever, in any journalist situation,
when you interview people who live in a authoritarian regime, you know there are limitations on what they can say.
Mr Regev, with the greatest respect...
(# Shouting angrily) CAN SOMEONE I'D ASK YOU SIR...
can someone living in Gaza
say something critical of channel 4 and not...
say something critical (sorry) to channel 4 about Hamas, and be there tomorrow to answer another question?
Was Hamas democratically elected just a couple of years ago?
Correct. And then they took over in a military coup and the ruled Gaza by terror.
Ask Amnesty International.
You know you could just clear all this up by just signing up
to Protocol One of the Geneva Convention and then you would be completely in the clear
because you would be abiding by it but you refuse to do so. Why?
So do so many N.A.T.O. members and democratic countries like India
because there are severe problems with that first Protocol.
We have of course signed up to the Geneva Convention
but there are many democratic countries who refuse to do so precisely because the first
Protocol, blurs the distinction between combatant and non-combatant, a distinction that is so important.
Mr Regev, I need to clarify this tonight because clearly the evidence you are giving us,
must be given to the war crimes investigations that are being carried out in Gaza.
You are saying that our evidence of flechettes, of phosphorus bombs, of fragmentation bombs,
of shells that hit balconies and then spewed shrapnel around the walls,
these things were done not by Israel but by Hamas, correct?
I did not say that whatsoever sir, you are putting words in my mouth.
All I said was, any objective journalistic or otherwise investigation,
is extremely difficult to do in a situation
where people are not free to give evidence of what they saw. If people understand...
I can assure you, that Mr Miller has been in very many conflicts, Congo and many others
and is extremely experienced and has moved perfectly freely around that territory.
There is no question of him having been strong-armed by Hamas,
or indeed the people he has spoken to having been strong-armed by Hamas.
As you well know, Hamas is virtually in hiding when it comes to these situations.
Not anymore, they came out since the fighting started and they have been taking their revenge
very strongly against their political opponents has been documented.
Can Mr Miller walk down the street in Syria and ask people do they like President Assad?
What will they say? If he walks down the street in North Korea. Do you like President Kim?
What will people say?
Mr Regev, Jonathan Miller is not in North Korea, Jonathan Miller is not in Syria, he is in Gaza.
(# Mr Regev angrily shouts over JS - repeating "a very authoritarian regime")
Do you deny that Gaza has a authoritarian regime?
I'm grateful to you for joining us.