Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Focus

January 1 to 14, 2009 Gaza

Focus
International Criminal Court Wanted 1
International Criminal Court Wanted 2
Gaza Pictures 1
Gaza Pictures 2
Gaza Pictures 3
Gaza Pictures 4
Gaza Pictures 5
Gaza Pictures 6
January 14 to ... Gaza
January 1 to 14, 2009 Gaza
December Gaza 2008
November 2008 Gaza
Actions to help Those in Gaza
Lebanon 2006
Lebanon 2006 Pictures 4
Lebanon 2006 Pictures 3
Lebanon 2006 Pictures 2
Lebanon 2006 Pictures 1

Update on Deaths and attacks in Gaza

January 14, 2009

 

Day 19 of Israeli War On Gaza
Informative Report on Gaza War: Death toll 1015, wounded 4800

Israeli military operation is still increasingly killing more
Palestinians mostly civilians. The victims are in contrary of the
announced aim of targeting militants. Around 490 of the victims are
children while 160 are women. Israeli Artillery intensified the
shelling scale leaving more victims and destruction.
This is a new report for the 19th day of Gaza War and the outcomes ofIsraeli invasion.

****************************************************

Day 19 of Israeli War On Gaza
Daily Feed About
Gaza War:

1-Heavy artillery shelling on the central part of Gaza Strip. The area
was showered by tens of shells and a big cloud of strange smoke
covered the area.

2-Heavy fighting between Palestinian fighters and Israeli soldiers.

3-Israeli F16s bombarded the tunnels area in Rafah, many house
partially demolished and fire came into many others.

4-Rockets destroyed the old City Council of Gaza which is a historic
one built in 1910 in the Turkish period.

5-Bombings in east of Gaza and news that many killed near Hasanin clan.

6-Heavy shelling targeted Al Shikh Ijlin area.

7-Medical staff and Paramadics seek to evacuate tens of dead bodies
through the occupied strip, so far 4 dead bodied were found in Atatra
area northern
Gaza.

8-Three bodies of dead people still in Johr El Dik area and paramedics
unable to bring them out. Between them an old man and young woman.
9-Bombings from the naval forces into Al Nusairat area leaving many wounded persons.

10-Naval forces and gunboats shelled many targets in Gaza City.

11-Seven Palestinians killed in the northern area of Bait Lahia as
Israeli drones hit a car and shells rained into houses. Fire set in
many house and several people wounded. Two children were among
victims,Hanan AL Najar and Shefa’ Al Mutwaq.

12-Around 10 homemade projectiles fired into Israel leaving no loss nor damage.

13-Palestinian snipers shot at 2 Israeli soldiers in Bait Lahia and
fire RBG shell into Israeli troops.

14-Israeli Apache helicopters open its fire on the eastern part of
Gaza City and the northern areas as well.

15-Three Palestinians killed at Al Shati’ Refugee Camp as Israeli
army fired some rockets in the area.

16-Three rockets fired into Israel from Lebanon.

17-People fled their houses in Bir Al Naja area norther Gaza as
Israeli shells rain down.

18-Two Palestinians killed in Israeli bombings for Al Shoka area south of Gaza Strip city of Rafah.

19-Israeli tanks advanced into the outskirts of Rafah, Abu Muamar area with heavy fire from the air force.

20-Shells fired at Rafah city from the occupied air port.

21-A shell hit house of Dr. Abed Al Ad, a Hamas member in Toffah area east of Gaza. Many people wounded in the area.

22-A fire set in fuel station northern Gaza town of Thwam.

23-Tanks shelled Al Zayoun area.

24-Around 10 people wounded as Israeli army shelled a house in
northern Gaza Strip. One of the wounded lets all his 4 limps and he is
in critical situation.

25-A rocket hit an open space near Al Omari mosque in Jablia and no one wounded.

26-Two people wounded as Israeli army shelled Al Sultan buildings northern Gaza.

27-Two civilians killed, 10 wounded from the residents of Al Shaima’ area due to heavy shelling from Israeli tanks northern Gaza strip.

28-Tens of Phosphorous bombs hit the houses of civilians in north of Gaza.

29-More than 5 people wounded in Israeli strike hit Al Nidr street in
Jabalia town.

30-Two children wounded in the head, a young man and three women injured in Israeli bombing for the house of Salem Al Naor.

31-A shell hit house of Bashir Abd Rabu mid of Jabalia.

32-One killed and three others wounded as Israeli shells hit house
of Nahed abu Kmail in central areas of
Gaza.

33-One Palestinian killed and several wounded bombings Saftawi street north of Gaza.

34-Phosporous bombs burned to death Saed Abu Halima and his three sons! They were only burnt skeletons.

35-Heavy clashes between Palestinian fihters in east and north of Gaza Strip.

36-Three Palestinians killed as Israeli army shelled them at Al
Zaytoun quarter. Several other wounded and they are all civilians.

37-Israeli air force launched air strike on a car western Gaza City
and no news about victims.

38-Phosphrous bombs burned the house of Ashor family. One of the
family members was killed while having his launch.

39-Israeli air force targets a cemetery of dead people destroying
tombs. Many corps and bones threw out in the place.

40-A group of Arab and French doctors arrived to Gaza to help in
saving lives of many wounded people.

41-Rockets hit many fields and empty space in Rafah City.

42-Phospoerous bombs hit many houses in Zaytoun quarter.

43-Medical staff finds a body for Samir Rashi who was executed by
Israeli soldiers 10 days ago.

44-Hamas Radio: Our fighters are seizing five Israeli soldiers in one
house and firing at them!

45-Another car hit by Israeli bombs and 3 wounded in Al Zaytoun quarter.

46-Air strike destroyed a house in Al Nafaq street and many people
wounded mid of
Gaza City.

47-Air strike on al Maqousi buildings left 2 people killed and several
wounded. Fire set in many flats and people are trapped in the house.

Source

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO to help the Spirit of Humanity reach Gaza

January 14, 2009

Below are three reports from the Free Gaza movement which successfully challenged Israel's siege on Gaza in 2008, landing several boats in Gaza port with supplies, journalists and activists. Now en route to Gaza is another boat, the Spirit of Humanity.

Please read "WHAT YOU CAN DO", a request for your personal intervention with Israeli authorities.

For a full list of the passengers on board the Spirit of Humanity and the "Official Notification of Intent to Enter" sent by Free Gaza to Israeli officials, see: Source

-----------------------------

FREE GAZA MOVEMENT
For Immediate Release
January 14, 2009

SPIRIT OF HUMANITY RESUMING MISSION

Contact:
(
Cyprus) Lubna Masarwa, +357 97 625 828
lubnna@gmail.com
(
Cyprus) Mary Hughes, +357 99 081 767
friendsofgaza@gmail.com
(
Gaza) Ewa Jasiewicz, +972 598 700 497
freelance@mailworks.org

[Larnaca, Cyprus] The Free Gaza Movement vessel, SPIRIT OF HUMANITY, will resume its emergency mission to the besieged Gaza Strip at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 14, 2009. The ship will carry desperately needed doctors, journalists, human rights workers, and members of parliaments as well as medical supplies donated by the people of Greece and the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza.

After departure on January 12 at 3 pm from Larnaca Port the boat encountered problems with one of its two generators that was compounded by rough weather. For the safety of the passengers, the captain decided to return to port and the boat docked in Larnaca at about 9 pm on January 12. Thanks to the generosity and support of the people of Cyprus, the problem has been quickly repaired and the boat ready to depart.

Israeli authorities have threatened to use "any means" to keep the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY from reaching Gaza. Despite this threat and a previous attack by an Israeli war ship on our motor vessel DIGNITY, the Free Gaza Movement is determined to continue nonviolently challenging Israel's aggression and break the siege on the 1.5 million Palestinians being terrorized and slaughtered by Israel in the Gaza Strip. Free Gaza Movement organizer Huwaida Arraf said, "We will not let Israel's threats deter us. The Israeli authorities have been put on notice again of our mission; any attack by Israel on the boat will be considered a deliberate attack on unarmed civilians engaged in a humanitarian action."

The medical supplies being taken in include essential parts for ventilators, which will allow the only burn center in the Gaza Strip, at Shifa Hospital, to double its capacity, as well as medicines and basic medical supplies requested by area hospitals in Gaza.

----------------------------

New Free Gaza ship en route - ambiguous assurances from PM`s office

By Anis Hamadeh/Paul Larudee
Free Gaza Movement
January 12, 2009

Original title: `I can assure you that Israel will respect international law`

At 8:30 a.m. Pacific Standard Time, official Israeli Prime Minister Spokesperson Mark Regev discussed the current voyage of Free Gaza boat `Spirit of Humanity` with Free Gaza co-founder Paul Larudee.

Larudee was seeking assurance that Israel would not harm the boat or prevent it from entering Gaza with medical supplies and personnel, as well journalists and human rights workers. The boat is currently at sea, heading for Gaza. Israel is threatening to use `all available means` to stop the boat. On Dec. 30, an Israel gunboat rammed and almost sank a previous boat. Here is a rough, reconstructed transcript of the conversation:

Regev: Hello?
Larudee: Hello, Mark? This is Paul Larudee, calling from
California about the boat going from Cyprus to Gaza with medical supplies and personnel on board. [audible moan from Mark] The Israeli government has threatened to use `all available means` to stop the boat. I would like your assurances that the boat will not be attacked or prevented from completing its mission.
Regev: This boat is not really about humanitarian aid. The Free Gaza Movement is a group of Hamas sympathizers. The aid that they are carrying is less than half of what is carried by even one of the more than 1000 trucks that
Israel has allowed into Gaza since the start of the military campaign.
Larudee: But Mark, what is the harm in letting the boat through?
Regev: If these people want to free
Gaza, let them free Gaza from Hamas. Do you know how Hamas treats its own people? [ensuing diatribe about Hamas]
Larudee: I`m not sure I agree with you on all points, Mark...
Regev: This is not an opinion. These are facts. How can you dispute facts?
Larudee: Mark, I`m not going to argue with you about this. I will concede all of this, because I`m asking something else. The boat has doctors and medical aid aboard and has been inspected by the Cypriot government. What is the harm for it to go to
Gaza?
Regev: The Israeli government reserves all options, but the harm is that this is propaganda for Hamas.
Larudee: Mark, you will remember that on the very first voyage by Free Gaza in August, you announced that
Israel had decided not to interfere because you knew that it was not a security threat, and to interfere would provide a propaganda victory for the group. Why is this situation any different?
Regev: I`m not sure that we will do the same this time. It is a different situation.
Larudee: Well,
Israel did nothing stop the next four voyages and then one of your gunboats rammed the last one...
Regev: We dispute that version of events...
Larudee: OK, in any case the boat was heavily damaged somehow, and we are hoping that Israel will do what it can to make sure that nothing like that happens again. It is a war crime to attack a civilian target and a violation of the
Geneva accords to prevent humanitarian aid from reaching war victims.
Regev:
Israel doesn`t commit war crimes, and we always follow international law.
Larudee: Mark, I know you`re loyal to your government, and I wish I could be as sure of that as you are. I just want to be sure that the boat will be safe and will reach its destination.
Regev: I can assure you that
Israel will respect international law.
Larudee: Oh, Mark! This is wonderful news! That is exactly what I was hoping to hear. Thank you so much. I feel so much better now. I`m going to take this as a very good sign that the boat will get through.
Regev: Yes, well thank you for calling.
Larudee: Thank you, Mark.

Source

Friedmann: Shalit must be included in ceasefire deal

Justice minister tours Sderot, says Israel must secure kidnapped IDF soldier's release in any future truce deal; stresses Israeli offensive in Gaza does not breach international law

By Aviad Glickman

January 13 2009

Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann said Tuesday that the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit must be a part of any ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas.  

"Shalit must be part of any truce and Israel must make sure any agreement assures his release,' said Friedmann during a tour of Sderot.

srael, he said, "is determined to forge on with the operation for as long as it takes and until all the operational objectives have been met."

 Commenting on recent reports suggesting Israel may face a slew of international lawsuits following Operation Cast Lead, Friedmann stressed that "Israel is upholding international law and has been exercising maximum ethics and humanism in its fighting in the Gaza Strip."

"War, any war – especially one in which Hamas is using civilians as human shields – poses difficulties; but when you compare Israel to other countries fighting terror, you can see just how considerate Israel is of the civilian population."

 Meanwhile, Israel has made no clear statement as to whether it would demand Shalit's release as a prerequisite for any future ceasefire.

Hamas political bureau Deputy Chief, Moussa Abu-Marzouk told al-Jazeera Tuesday that the group is willing to accept the Egyptians truce initiative as long as the organization's reservations are taken into account.

 

As for Shalit, Marzouk was quoted as saying that "(Shalit) may be injured and he may be healthy. This question is of no interest to us anymore."

Source

 

Well there are prisoners on both sides. What about Palestinians who have been imprisoned.

What about the  killing innocent victims. Innocent children, woman and men even a UN driver.

What about Destroying all the buildings. Hospitals Clinics SUN schools etc.

What about all the War Crimes Israel has committed.

What about starving Palestinians for months.

What about Israel braking the Cease fire on November 4th 2008.

What about and the list goes on and on and on.

Seems, Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann, suffers from a rather, arrogant mind set.

 

Ship with Medical Aid supplies for Gaza Needs “Your” Help.

January 12 2009

Cyprus

The Free Gaza Movement ship, “SPIRIT OF HUMANITY,” left Larnaca Port at 3:00 pm, Monday, 12 January, on an emergency mission to besieged Gaza .

It is expected to arrive in Gaza at approximately 11am (UST) Tuesday morning. Aboard the ship are 36 passengers and crew, representing 17 different nations. They are doctors, journalists, human rights workers, and five European parliamentarians representing Belgium , Greece , Italy , and Spain (see below for a complete passenger list). The mercy ship also carries desperately needed medical supplies meant for hospitals in the Gaza Strip.

This voyage marks Free Gaza’s second attempt to break through the blockade since Israel began attacking Gaza on 27 December. Between August and December 2008, the Free Gaza Movement successfully challenged the Israeli blockade five times, landing the first international ships in the port of Gaza since 1967.

The Israeli military violently attacked an earlier attempt by the Free Gaza Movement to send an emergency boat filled with doctors and medical supplies to Gaza . In the early hours of Tuesday, 30 December, the Israeli navy deliberately, repeatedly, and without warning rammed the unarmed ship, the DIGNITY, causing significant structural damage and endangering the lives of its passengers and crew. The DIGNITY found safe harbor in Lebanon , and is currently awaiting repairs.

Shortly before the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY left Cyprus today, the Cypriot authorities informed the Free Gaza Movement that the Israeli government had officially contacted their embassy in Tel Aviv, and warned them that they felt “justified” in using “any means available” to forcibly prevent the mercy ship from arriving in Gaza. At the request of the ship’s organizers, the Cypriot authorities searched the ship prior to its departure to certify that it only carried medical supplies.

Fouad Ahidar, a member of the Belgian Parliament sailing to Gaza aboard the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY, responded to concerns that Israel may attack the unarmed ship by saying, “I have five children that are very worried about me, but I told them: ‘you can sit on your couch and watch these atrocities on the television, or you can choose to take action to make them stop.’”

Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip have injured thousands of civilians and killed over 900 people, including hundreds of women and children. This ongoing Israeli massacre severely and massively violates international humanitarian law defined by the Geneva Conventions, especially the obligations of an Occupying Power and the requirements of the laws of war.

The United Nations has failed to protect the Palestinian civilian population from Israel ’s massive violations of international humanitarian law. Israel has closed off Gaza from the international community and demanded that all foreigners leave. But Huwaida Arraf, an organizer with the Free Gaza Movements, stated that, “We cannot just sit by and wait for Israel to decide to stop the killing and open the borders for relief workers to pick up the pieces. We are coming in. There is an urgent need for this mission as Palestinian civilians in Gaza are being terrorized and slaughtered by Israel, and access to humanitarian relief denied to them. When states and the international bodies responsible for taking action to stop such atrocities chose to be impotent, then we–the citizens of the world–must act. Our common humanity demands nothing less.”

Israel has been notified that we are coming. A copy of the notification to the Israeli Authorities is attached. The Free Gaza Movement will hold Israel responsible for any harm that may be done to the ship or its passengers.

###

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Take Action! CALL the Israeli Government and let them know that the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY is coming to Gaza . DEMAND that Israel immediately STOP slaughtering civilians in Gaza and STOP using violence to prevent human rights and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people.

CALL:

Mark Regev in the Prime Minister’s officeat +972 2670 5354 or +972 5 0620 3264

mark.regev@it.pmo.gov.il

Shlomo Dror in the Ministry of Defence at +972 3697 5339 or +972 50629 8148

mediasar@mod.gov.il

Major Liebovitz from the Israeli Navy:

+ 972 5 781 86248

###

Official Notification of Intent to Enter

January 11, 2009

To: The Israeli Ministry of Defense, Fax: 972-3-697-6717

To: The Israeli Navy

To: The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Fax 972-2-5303367

From: The Free Gaza Movement

This letter serves as a formal notification to you as the Occupying Power and belligerent force in the Gaza Strip that on Monday, January 12 we are navigating the motor vessel, Spirit of Humanity, from the Port of Larnaca to the port of Gaza City. Our vessel will be flying the Greek flag, and, as such, falls under the jurisdiction Greece .

We will be sailing from Cypriot waters into international waters, then directly into the territorial waters of the Gaza Strip without entering or nearing Israeli territorial waters. We expect to arrive at the Gaza Port on Tuesday, January 13, 2009.

We will be carrying urgently needed medical supplies in sealed boxes, cleared by customs at the Larnaca International Airport and the Port of Larnaca . There will be a total of 30 passengers and crew on board, among them members of various European Parliaments and several physicians. Our boat and cargo will also have received security clearance from the Port Authorities in Cyprus before we depart.

As it will be confirmed that neither we, the cargo, any of the boat’s contents, nor the boat itself constitute any threat to the security of Israel or its armed forces, we do not expect any interference with our voyage by Israel ’s authorities.

On Tuesday, December 30, an Israeli Navy vessel violently, and without warning, attacked our motor vessel Dignity, disabling the vessel and endangering the lives of the 16 civilians on board. This notice serves as clear notification to you of our approach. Any attack on the motor vessel, Spirit of Humanity, will be premeditated and any harm inflicted on the 30 civilians on board will be considered the result of a deliberate attack on unarmed civilians.

The Steering Committee of the Free Gaza Movement

###

PASSENGERS & CREW OF THE SPIRIT OF HUMANITY

- Abufalah, Othman Mohammad, Journalist with Al Jazeera Television ( Jordan )

- Ahidar, Fouad, Member of Parliament ( Belgium )

- Arraf, Huwaida, human rights lawyer and Delegation Leader (Palestine/USA)

- Bitsanis, Konstantinos, human rights worker and crew ( Greece )

- Bolos, Nikolas, human rights worker and crew ( Greece )

- Bowden, David, Journalist with SKY TV ( UK )

- Caruso, Francesco, former Member of Parliament ( Italy )

- Dabbagh, Ali, Doctor ( UK )

- Dritsas, Theodoros, Member of Parliament ( Greece )

- Gentile, Alessandro, Journalist with CNN ( Italy )

- Gezelius, Mats, Journalist (Sweden/Finland)

- Giannopolis, Nikolaos, human rights worker ( Greece )

- Jacquier, Gilles, Journalist with France Channel 2 ( France )

- Kampani, Chalent, Orthopedic Surgeon ( Greece )

- Kanellakis, Yiannis, Journalist with Greek Mega TV ( Greece )

- Karatzias, Petros, Journalist with the Associated Press ( Cyprus )

- Kawkuby, Jasir, Doctor and Pediatric Intensive Care specialist ( Germany )

- Klontzas, George, Ship’s Captain ( Greece )

- Muncie , Andrew, human rights worker and crew ( Scotland )

- McLuckie, Garwen, Journalist with SKY TV ( UK )

- Mourad, Maimouni ( Belgium )

- Muir, Alistair, Journalist with the BBC ( UK )

- Nuet, Joan Josef, Member of Parliament ( Spain )

- Papachristopoulos, Athanasios, Surgeon ( Greece )

- Pissias, Vangelis, Univeristy Professor ( Greece )

- Pratt, David, Journalist with the Sunday Herald ( UK )

- Prieto, Monica, Journalist with El Mundo ( Spain )

- Rahali, Hassan, Journalist ( Belgium )

- Robbins, Sonia, Surgeon ( UK )

- Sakorafa, Sofia, Member of Parliament ( Greece )

- Shakir, Thair, Journalist with Al Jazeera television ( Iraq )

- Synodynou, Melina, Journalist with Ethnos ( Greece )

- Tsatsis, Angelos, Journalist with MEGA TV ( Greece )

- Vinci, Alessio, Journalist with CNN ( Italy )

- Yvon, Xavier, Journalist with RTL Radio ( France )

- Zdoukos, Theodoros, Doctor ( Greece )

Source

Israel Violating Egyptian Airspace to attack Gaza

January 12 2009

An increasing number of news reports have confirmed that despite claims by Cairo, Israeli warplanes have been entering Egyptian airspace.
Reuters has cited witnesses as saying that Israeli planes conducting Gaza attack operations have flown into Egypt on several occasions.

According to the Reuters, Israeli planes often fly at such low altitude that it leaves no doubt that they are over Egyptian territory.

CNN reported that two pairs of Israeli F-16 fighter jets that were on bombing runs in southern Gaza violated Egyptian airspace.

“We can tell they’re coming through Egyptian airspace because they’re over the far side of the building where we’re standing,” CNN’s Karl Penhaul reported from Rafah, Egypt. He was atop a building about 500 meters (547 yards) from the Gaza border.

Four Egyptians, including two children, were wounded on Sunday when Israeli warplanes targeted tunnels on the common border between Gaza and Egypt.

The tunnels are considered as the lifeline of the Palestinian territory, allowing Gazans to bring in food, fuel and medical supplies for the 1.5 million residents of the blockaded strip.

Israel says the tunnels are being used to smuggle weapons and explosives into the territory.

CNN report confirms that Israeli F-16s have at least once bombed between the border fences of Gaza and Egypt.

Egypt is seen throughout the Middle East as Israel’s main accomplice in the imposition of the 18-month Israeli blockade on Gaza and has been subject to severe criticism.

Popular Hezbollah leader Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah on Sunday slammed Egypt, saying Cairo gives its “full cooperation and intelligence to Israel and the US in order to force others into submission.”

Israel waged war on Gaza on December 27. So far, at least 900 Palestinians have been killed in the offensive and more than 4000 have been wounded.

Egypt claims it has not given Israel permission to violate its airspace.

Source

Egypt has allowed dozens of doctors along with some medical supplies pass through Rafah border crossing and enter the Gaza Strip.

“Some 61 Arab doctors and trucks loaded with medical aids crossed into the Gaza Strip through Rafah border crossing”, Al-Jazeera Television said on Monday.

This is the first time Egypt has allowed humanitarian and medical aids into the impoverished Strip, in dire need of medical supplies.

Many volunteer doctors and physicians have been waiting in Rafah for days, without being allowed passage into Gaza, to help the almost 4,000 people wounded by Israeli bombs and heavy weapons.

“Three thousand victims of bombs and gunfire would overwhelm the medical system of New York city,” Dr. Nicolas Doussis-Rassias, a volunteer said.

“Gaza now has no functioning medical system at all. Most of it has no electricity, nor running water. These people are in crisis - they need medical help, so we are here to help them,” he added.


Protests continue in Rafah border

Since the Israeli assault on Gaza began on December 27, more than 900 people have been killed - including 277 children - and another 4,080 have been wounded.

The conflict has sparked worldwide pro-Palestinian demonstrations, raising concerns about the humanitarian situation in Gaza, where most of the 1.5 million residents depend on foreign aid for their basic supplies.

Source

Israel continues to attack Hospitals, Clinics and Public Buildings in Gaza

As of January 12 2009 : During the 17-days Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip, over 900 Palestinians have lost their lives, while another 4080 have been wounded. According to Hamas records, 33 Israeli soldiers have also been killed.

Israeli missiles destroy a mosque and Islamic school in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip on Sunday.

Israel destroys medical clinic in Gaza
January 11 2009

Charity groups say Israeli aircraft have bombed and destroyed a clinic in the Gaza Strip, shortly after targeting Hamas’ ministry of culture.

The medical facility - administered by the Middle East Council of Churches - had been evacuated prior to the Sunday evening attack and no one was injured in the incident.

“The clinic is completely destroyed with all its equipment and medical supplies,” said Zack Sabella from the council’s Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees.

“Minutes before the missile hit the building, which hosts the clinic, the Israeli Air Force fired a warning missile next to it, forcing all residents of the building and the adjacent buildings to flee the area. A short while after, the army directly hit the building and razed it completely,” He added.

The building was registered as a medical facility and was given assurances that it would not come under attack.

The attack on the medical center came minutes after Israeli forces reduced the ministry of culture’s building to rubble.

Since the launch of Operation Cast Lead on December 27, Israeli forces have repeatedly targeted public buildings, civilian houses, schools, mosques, hospitals, as well as government buildings including the seat of Hamas Parliament.

Tel Aviv has intensified the incursion into the costal region, pounding the civilian areas across the populated enclave despite UN resolution 1860 which calls on Israel to put and ‘immediate’ end to the onslaught.

The offensive has so far claimed at least 890 lives and another 3,800 people wounded. Palestinian medics say women and children are among the victims.

Source

Israel kills five Gazan civilians
January 12 2009

At least five Palestinian civilians have been killed in separate Israeli attacks in the north and east of the impoverished Gaza City.

Medics in Gaza reported Monday that two women and a child were killed in eastern Gaza City after their house was hit by an Israeli shell.

Israeli tank shells also claimed the live of a Palestinian outside Jabaliya refugee camp, north of Gaza City, while a fifth died of wounds sustained the previous day.

Israeli forces continued operations inside Gaza on Monday for the 17th consecutive day, attacking residential areas and a children’s hospital in the strip, regardless of UN resolution 1860 which calls for and ‘immediate’ and ‘durable’ ceasefire in the region.

Israeli gunboats also opened fire on the southern parts of the city.

Despite sending thousands of reserve soldiers to invade Gaza City on Sunday, Israeli troops and tanks have been kept outside the city by resistance fighters, Press TV correspondent Akram al-Satarri has reported.

Tel Aviv attacked Gaza on December 27 and has so far killed at least 900 Palestinians and wounded over 4,000 others including women and children. According to the United Nations at least one-thirds of the dead or injured in Gaza are children.

In response to Tel Aviv’s full-scale invasion, the Palestinian group have kept firing several Grad missiles into the Israeli towns

Source

Israel keeps pounding Gaza, hits children’s hospital
January 11 2009

Israeli forces have attacked a children’s hospital in Gaza in a fourth day of attacks after a UN Security Council call for ceasefire.

The al-Dorra children’s hospital was targeted by Israeli forces, the Palestinian al-Aqsa TV station reported early on Monday.

The attack came as clouds of smoke filled Gaza’s skyline in day 17 of Israel’s deadly military onslaught in the region.

On Sunday, Israeli aircraft also bombed and destroyed a clinic in the Gaza Strip after firing warning shots close to the building.

Although evacuation of the clinic prevented any human casualties, all the clinic’s equipment and supplies were destroyed. This is while the region faces serious medical shortages, which make treatment of the wounded extremely difficult.

Since the beginning of its military campaign in the Gaza Strip, Israel has targeted several registered medical facilities, which were given assurances that they would not come under attack.

It seems that even Gaza’s main hospital, al-Shifa, is not save from the threat of deadly raids as the Israeli website Ha’aretz quotes intelligence sources as claiming that Hamas fighters are hiding in its basement.


A Palestinian man holding his wounded baby
This is while two Norwegian doctors who have been working in the al-Shifa hospital say that the medical center is nearing collapse, as patients die because of a lack of specialist doctors and basic medical equipment.

The Israeli army’s indiscriminate killing of civilians, denial of humanitarian aid, and attacks on aid workers forced the UN Security Council to pass a binding resolution for immediate and durable ceasefire in the region on Thursday. The US, Israel’s main ally, abstained from the vote.

The International Committee of the Red Cross, which earlier limited its activities to Gaza City alone, has now stopped escorting ambulances to hospital as medics and aid convoys are still targeted by Israeli forces, Press TV’s Yousef Al-Helou reports from Gaza.

This is while rights groups and medics confirm that the Israeli military’s is using banned weapons, such as phosphorus bombs, in its attacks on Gaza.

On Sunday, Human Rights Watch said that Israel had fired artillery shells with the incendiary agent white phosphorus into Gaza.


A Gazan woman who was burnt along with her sons, in an Israeli phosphorus bomb attack

Phosphorus bombs are extremely deadly weapons which cause fires on the ground and serious burns on the skin and in the lungs when inhaled. They can also cause severe heart, liver and kidney injures.

“My family was inside our house when a shell hit it spraying sparks like lava. Two more shells hit the house separately. The sparks set my sons on fire. But I couldn’t put out the blaze because my face was on fire. I couldn’t see. They were screaming mom, we’re dying. One of my sons was burned to death, burned to a crisp,” a Gazan woman told our Press TV reporter.

Source

UK firm blasted for arming Israeli military

hermes-450

Hermes 450, the primary UAV system of the Israeli air force

January 12 2009

A British company’s links to the Israeli military come under scrutiny, as pressure mounts on the government to curb arms sales to Tel Aviv.

UAV Engines, of Lichfield, Staffordshire, (known as UEL) is a world leading drone engine manufacturer that is owned by the Israel drone company Silver Arrow, which in turn, is a subsidiary of the Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems. reported.

According to The Guardian, one of UEL’s rotary Wankel engines is used in Elbit’s Hermes 450 drone, which carries out surveillance and targeting operations for Israel’s F-16 fighters in the current offensive against Gaza.

Reliable military news journals and Elbit’s own website suggest that the Lichfield factory produces engines for the Hermes, despite denials by Elbit’s head of corporate communications, Dalia Rosen.

“UEL engines are provided to the British UAV programs and to other international customers, not to Hermes 450 in the service of the IDF [Israeli military],” she said, rejecting all references given in support of the information.

Elbite denies the sales although arms sales records indicate that the export of ‘components for unmanned aerial vehicles’ to Israel has been authorized by the UK government.

Recently, many right groups and political figures have urged the UK government to stop the export of weapons to Israel, as the regime’s deadly attacks continue in the Gaza Strip, in violation of a UN Security Council resolution.

Last week, over a hundred lawmakers, from Britain’s three main parties, issued a statement, calling Israel’s military operation in the Gaza Strip as an outrage that should not be allowed by the international community, and urging an embargo on the supply of military equipment to both sides.

Campaigners against the arms trade also said that the sales must stop, citing the latest Foreign Office annual report on human rights, which raised ‘concerns over whether Israel’s use of lethal force has always been justifiable.’

“We have been particularly concerned that, in the course of Israeli Defence Forces operations, too little effort has been made to avoid civilian casualties. We are extremely concerned by the humanitarian situation in Gaza and remain committed to supporting the Palestinian people.”

In a soon to be released report, Amnesty International has also urged the British government to stop selling weapons to Israel.

“The UK should suspend all arms exports to Israel, including indirect exports via other countries and the sale of military components, until there is no longer a substantial risk that such equipment will be used for serious violations of human rights or international humanitarian law,” says the UK campaigns director for Amnesty International Tim Hancock.

During the 17-days Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip, over 900 Palestinians have lost their lives, while another 4080 have been wounded. According to Hamas records, 33 Israeli soldiers have also been killed.

Source

Embargo against Israel: Spreading Willingness in the Middle East

Qatar to cut relations with Israel?
January 12 2009

Qatar’s premier says Doha will cut trade ties with Israel if other Arab states are united.

Doha has proclaimed that it would be willing to sever its trade relations with Israel if the Arab world meets certain conditions.

“If Arab countries decide collectively to sever relations [with Israel], we will join the Arabs,” Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr al-Thani said in a televised interview with Al-Jazeera.

The Qatari prime minister added that Israeli operations in Gaza have created a humanitarian crisis that can only be alleviated by such collective action.

“They only want Qatar to make a sacrifice [while] they continue to deal with the Jewish state,” he added.

Even if it severs relations with Israel, Doha says it will not close down Israel’s trade office, which has been run by two Israeli diplomats since 1996.

Qatar has lobbied for an extraordinary Arab summit to discuss “measures to address the continued Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip”, but its efforts have been inconclusive.

Over 900 Palestinians — the native population of the land — have been killed and more than 4000 wounded in Israeli military operations in Gaza since December 27. The UN has only managed to adopt a nonbinding resolution to condemn the crimes.

The recent Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the latest of a series which began when world powers created Israel in 1948 under the Zionist slogan of a ‘land without a people and a people without a land’.

The establishment of Israel in the Middle East was carried out in compensation for the hardships and suffering imposed on the Jews of Europe due to anti-Semitism in the continent.

Zionists benefited by gaining power over the native land of the Palestinians, but the establishment and the subsequent terror attacks against the Palestinian population gave rise to the philosophy of resistance and in recent years armed retaliation.

According to Tel Aviv, the war on Gaza is aimed at ending rocket attacks against Israeli settlers, toppling Hamas and preventing the resistance group from rearming.

Hamas, on the other hand, demands a cessation of Israeli attacks and the opening of the Gaza border — which has been closed due to the 18-month blockade imposed on the strip by Tel Aviv.

Source

Jordan OK with forcing end to Israeli ops

Israel has been targeting the Gaza Strip in defiance of UN Security Council Resolution 1860.

January 12 2009

King Abdullah II says the world must force Israel to halt its operations in Gaza if Tel Aviv does not live up to current expectations.

“Israel should immediately abide by UN Security Council Resolution 1860 and should stop its aggression on the Gaza Strip,” the Jordanian monarch said on Sunday. Source

Iran to tighten screws on Israel funders

Tehran plans to punish firms that directly or indirectly aid or abet Israel.

January 12 2009

The Iranian government has sent a bill to parliament that would hold liable any firm that directly or indirectly aids or abets Israel.

The bill, finalized by the Ahmadinejad administration on Sunday, will impose sanctions on any foreign firms dealing with Israel or monetarily supporting Israeli interests.

The decision came after Israel launched a seventeen-day onslaught on the Gaza Strip that has so far killed 905 Palestinians — many of whom are women and children — and wounded 4080 others.  Source

Israeli settlers apply for Canadian Visas

‘Israeli settlers apply for Canadian visas’

January 12 2009

Israeli settlers in Sderot city have applied for Canadian visas as Palestinian fighters keep firing rockets from the Gaza Strip, a new report says.

Palestinian al-Aqsa TV quoted unnamed sources as saying that a growing number of Israeli settlers in the city are seeking Canadian visas.

Sderot is located in southern District of Israel and is just less than a mile away form the Gaza Strip. The city is considered as an easy target for rocket firings and mortar bombs of Palestinian groups.

The groups say they fire rockets to retaliate the ‘daily atrocities of the Israeli regime’.

Tel Aviv says it waged Gaza war in a bid to topple Hamas government and stop rocket firings from the Palestinian territory to Israel.

Despite heavy Israeli bombardments and a massive ground invasion which has so far killed at least 905 Palestinians and wounded 4000 others mostly civilians, Palestinian groups have managed to fire more rockets into Israeli towns inspiring widespread fear among Israelis.

Three Grad-type rockets hit the settlement of the Israeli towns of Kiryat Gad, Shaer Haniv, eersheba, Ofakeem and Eshkol on Monday.

The settlements of Nir- Aouz, Nir Iziq, al-Majdal, al-Ayan al Thalitha and Marhafeem also came under Palestinian rocket attacks on Monday.

Since the start of the Israeli incursion into the Gaza Strip Palestinian groups have fired home-made rockets deeper into Israel, hitting two Israeli military bases near Tel Aviv for the first time ever, according to Hamas affiliated Al-Aqsa television.

On Friday, al-Qassam grad rockets hit a major Israeli airbase 27 kilometers away from Tel Aviv, which is believed to house nuclear arms.

On Sunday, a Palestinian rocket struck Israeli Palmachim Air Force base 15 Kilometers from Tel Aviv.

Since the beginning of the US-backed Israeli onslaught on Gaza and the escalation of the rocket firings by Palestinian groups there have been several anti-war demonstrations in Israel.

The Israeli military however says the number of rockets fired from Gaza has reduced as a result of its military campaign.

On Saturday, at least one thousand of Israeli protesters held a demonstration opposite the Israeli Defense Ministry building in Tel Aviv, calling on Israel to review its military policies on Gaza.

The angry protesters expressed deep concern about the fate of Israeli soldiers and firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip.

Source

Samouni family recounts Gaza horror

Shelled family recounts Gaza horror

January 12 2009

Ahmed Samouni just about survived the shelling of their Zeitoun home, but lost his mother and four brothers
The United Nations human rights council is considering a draft resolution on the treatment of civilians in Gaza by the Israeli army.

A number of allegations have been made about the use of white phosphorus and the treatment of the Palestinian population as the Israeli offensive against Hamas continues.

In the second week of the offensive, the International Committe for the Red Cross alleged that the Israeli army had refused to let them help a family trapped in a shelled house.

They said it took four days to get access to the building, even though army units were stationed nearby and did nothing to help the injured inside.

When paramedics were granted access, they say what they found was shocking: starving children were sitting beside the bodies of their dead parents and family.

Al Jazeera’s Sherine Tadros has gained exclusive access to the survivors and their rescuers.

Ahmed Samouni witnessed what many are calling a massacre, after being left for days amidst the dead bodies of his mother and four brothers.

The horror that the 16-year-old has seen is hard for him to put into words, but the effects are written all over his face.

“It was the third missile I remember. The other ones had killed my elder brother and injured people, they kept bleeding. But the third missile, that killed them all,” he said.

“My brother was bleeding so much and right in front of my eyes he died. My other brother Ismail, he also bled to death,” he narrated in between sobs.

“My mum and my youngest brother, they are gone. Four brothers and my mother, dead. May God give them peace.”

On January 7, paramedics brought back the dead and injured from the Samouni and other houses nearby, after they had spent four days trapped in their home.

‘Israeli shelling’

According to the survivors’ accounts, partly corroborated by the International Red Cross and the United Nations, Israeli soldiers raided their homes and then huddled the extended family together into one house.

The following day they shelled and dropped missiles around the house.

Witnesses say at least 30 members of the Samouni family were killed.”We were put in an ambulance, but there were still people inside the house, dead and injured,” Ahmed told Al Jazeera. “For days we all bled. We were so hungry; I remember giving my brother Isaac a tomato to eat before he died.”

Al Jazeera tracked down the ambulance driver who rescued Ahmed. The Red Cross personnel were denied access by the Israeli army to the area for four days after the house was shelled.

“On the day we got permission, the army told us to leave the ambulances around two kilometres from the house,” said Mohamed el-Halby, a paramedic. “So we walked and all around us we could see they had bulldozered the area. The houses we passed had Israeli soldiers standing on the roofs.”

“We went inside and heard screams coming from one room. There were about 15 people inside, two were dead, the rest sitting around them. That was just one room.”

Six year-old Abdullah was trapped inside the same house as Ahmed, surrounded by his dead cousins and uncles. Terrified and distraught he struggled to speak.

He said they only had tomoatoes to eat, and when asked what happened to his family, he said they were there, in front of him, dead. All he could do was just look at them.

Wael, Abdullah’s father, escaped on the first day of the Israeli raid. For four days he thought his son was dead.

“I didn’t know what to do, I still don’t…look at him he is so ill, they are all terrified,” Weal said.

“He cries all the time. His shoulder is hurt and it has infection but he cant stand the smell, he cries when he looks and smells his wounds. And his leg, look. I want to take him out of Gaza for treatment and I want to be able to go back to the house and get the rest of my family so that I can bury them.”

Al Jazeera tried to get to the family’s house, in an area called Zeitoun, but it wasn’t safe.

The closest one could get was about one kilometre away, and journalists, paramedics and aid workers need Israeli army permission to get to the area.

‘War crimes’

Zeitoun is only one neighbourhood where Israeli ground forces are operating.

The Red Cross says there are many more homes in other areas with people dead and trapped inside.

Wael, Abdullah’s father, escaped on the
first day of the Iraeli raid

Raed el-Heleky, another paramedic who took part in the rescue effort, said he could smell dead bodies and blood in the area.”We saw people lying dead on the streets,” he told Al Jazeera. ”More than nine along the way before we got to the houses. We only went into five homes, there are other homes in the area and I am sure there are more dead in these houses. But the Israeli army stopped us from going any further.”

The United Nations says the Samouni family’s story appears to have all the elements of war crimes.

Humanitarian organisations have asked for an investigation, but while these processes get under way, Israel is denying access to the areas worst effected by its ongoing war.

Aid workers fear Abdullah and Ahmed’s stories may well be just the beginning of what Israel has done, and continues to do to the people of Gaza.

Source

US delivering more “Weapons of Mass Destruction” to Israel

US Plans Massive Arms Delivery to Israel

The Pentagon plans to make a large arms delivery to Israel, rising fears that the military campaign in Gaza will go on for a long time.

January 10, 2009

The US is trying to hire a merchant ship that can carry hundreds of tons of weapons from Greece to Israel later this month; Reuters reported citing tender documents it had obtained.

According to the US Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC), the ship will transport 325 standard 20-foot containers of what has been called ‘ammunition’ from the Greek port of Astakos to the Israeli port of Ashdod on two separate trips in the second half of January.

A description on the manifest says the containers will be loaded with ‘hazardous material’, such as explosive substances and detonators, without giving any more details.

The Pentagon announced the tender for the ship in the last hours of 2008. The two deadlines set for the deliveries are January 25 and the last day of the month.

Meanwhile, a Pentagon spokesman confirmed the planned arms shipment to Israel, but denied that the delivery was linked to the Israel’s deadly offensive in Gaza.

“This previously scheduled shipment is routine and not in support of the current situation in Gaza,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Patrick Ryder.

However, a senior military analyst in London, who wished to remain unnamed, said the timing of the shipments shows that they may be ‘irregular’ and linked to the military operation in Gaza.

The tender for the ship followed a December US arms delivery to Israel, which was also carried out by a merchant ship.

This is while shipping brokers in London who have carried out weapon deliveries for the British and US military in the past say that shipment of such a large cargo of weapons to Israel is rare.

“Shipping 3,000-odd tons of ammunition in one go is a lot… this is pretty rare and we haven’t seen much of it quoted in the market over the years,” one broker said, on condition of anonymity.

Tender documents indicate that the German ship hired by the US in early December also carried a massive cargo of weapons that weighed over 2.6 million kg and filled up to 989 standard 20-foot containers to Ashdod from North Carolina.

In September, the US Congress approved a plan to sell Israel 1,000 bunker-buster bombs, of the Guided Bomb Unit-39 (GBU-39), that use GPS to find their way and are able to penetrate deep fortified constructions, such as Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Last week, The Jerusalem Post, reported that the first shipment of the missiles arrived in early December, adding that the bombs had been used in the military onslaught in Gaza.

So far, Israel’s 15-day offensive in the besieged Palestinian enclave has claimed the lives of more than 800 Palestinians and wounded almost 3500.

Hamas on the other hand says Palestinian fighters have so far killed at least 30 Israeli soldiers and wounded more than 80 others.

Source

These weapons  must not get to Israel under any circumstances.

Anyone who is willing to deliver them is contributing to Genocide.

I don’t care how much money is offered, only a a greedy, murderous, thug, would ever allow such a thing. To partake in an act of this kind is just as bad as doing the killing yourself.

The word No comes to mind.

The US has a lot of nerve,  contributing, to the bloodthirsty, mass murdering,   Israeli Government.

Of course the US is responsible for the deaths of over a million innocent people in Iraq,  so we shouldn’t be surprised at this act of enabling a “Rogue state”. Considering they are a “Rogue state” themselves.

They are a member of the “Superior Race” as they believe themselves to be. US Senate Endorses Israel’s War on Gaza

They themselves are bloodthirsty, profiteers. When they said they were endorsing the war “Weapons of Mass Destruction” are their contribution to the slaughter of innocent children., men and women.

Of course needless to say these weapons will kill not only those in Gaza, but other in the area around Gaza and Israel. Israel is killing their own by Using Deadly Weapons of Mass Destuction against Gaza The wind blows and it goes. So how far does the wind blow the toxic slop dropped on Gaza? One of the worst types of “Pollution” is caused from “Weapons of Mass Destruction”. By delivering those weapons you may be murdering,  your own child, friends or other family members.

So who wants to be responsible for the deaths of millions of innocent people, including those from future generations? You could be murdering your own grandchildren. This “cancer causing” deadly, life taking, mass murdering,  slop must not be delivered to Israel.

You may even be killing yourself? Who is stupid enough to risk it? No one is exempt from the the wrath of Chemical Toxins in “Weapons of Mass Destruction. All you have to do is breath the air it’s in. Drink the water it has polluted.  Eat the food it slithered it’s way into. No one is free from pollution. It also contributes to global warming. But hey no problem right.  Radiation also destroys the ozone layer. But hey no problem.

Lets go for destroying the environment on the planet we live on. We can always move to Mars right? Anyone who has been “brainwashed” into believing these Weapons are safe needs a wake up call.

These weapons are “killing” all of us around the world. Wake up people.


Israel keeps pounding Gaza, hits children’s hospital

Israeli forces have attacked a children’s hospital in Gaza in a fourth day of attacks after a UN Security Council called for a ceasefire.

The al-Dorra hospital was targeted, as clouds of smoke filled Gaza’s skyline in day 17 of Israel’s deadly military onslaught in the region. Source

So I suppose Israel didn’t know it was a hospital?

I suppose as usual they will do an investigation.

What Bull Shit.  What lies they spew.

Do they really believe we are all so gullible? They are nothing more then murderers, and should be treated as such. I just can’t wait to see what’s her name that always spits out their propaganda for them blathering on about how they will investigate the incident. What crap. Like the slop she spew out on the UN school being hit. Oh this ought to be just so  enlightening. So impressive so sick.

She will also have that  typical I really don’t give a damb attitude as well.

The first time I saw her I knew she was lieing. Her lies are a  totally insulted to anyone,  who has a glimpse of  intelligence. We are apparently all suppose to believe these occurrences are mere accidents. Only the a complete and utter, numb skull would believe her lame ramblings, she presents to the public at large.

Logic on it’s own merit, is enough to know she is lieing. Oh how she reminds me of the slop the US spewed out. We will investigate sure we will. Bull Shit their is nothing to investigate, they planned it that way. They know it.

They will propagate, lies to cover up their crime, as par usual.

They are using the same scripts, the US did in Iraq.

I wasn’t gullible enough to believe the US  when they used those scripts then, why would I believe it now , knowing all I know.

Their trillion dollar, scripts, written by some sick, perverted, think tank, with the “Superior Race” mentality, are not working any more. They haven’t been working for some time. Well except on the really dim who may not be uneducated enough  to realize they are premeditated, pre written,  lies.

I just can’t wait to see what kind of slop, they will attempt to spoon feed, the populous of the world.

Whatever turns their crank.  Not all of us are stupid.

Israel is a “terrorist” state and should be treated as such.

If their military  had a single solitary brain cell they would turn on their own country.

They would stop the criminal,  mass, slaughter they are “forced”  to commit. Their warmongering, blood thirsty, dictatorial, psychotic,  profiteering,  den of thieves, who they serve, like good, expendable, slaves , must be stopped. Their own government is killing them too.

Those who sit in prison, because they refused to serve their masters are the hero’s. They said No. They had the guts to refuse, full well knowing they would be  imprisoned. Now that is my kind of Criminal.

79 % of the time: Israel caused conflicts not Hamas

Who will save Israel from itself?

By Mark LeVine

 

The Israeli government’s justifications for the war are being scrutinised [GALLO/GETTY]

One by one the justifications given by Israel for its latest war in Gaza are unravelling.The argument that this is a purely defensive war, launched only after Hamas broke a six-month ceasefire has been challenged, not just by observers in the know such as Jimmy Carter, the former US president who helped facilitate the truce, but by centre-right Israeli intelligence think tanks.

The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, whose December 31 report titled “Six Months of the Lull Arrangement Intelligence Report,” confirmed that the June 19 truce was only “sporadically violated, and then not by Hamas but instead by … “rogue terrorist organisations”.

Instead, “the escalation and erosion of the lull arrangement” occurred after Israel killed six Hamas members on November 4 without provocation and then placed the entire Strip under an even more intensive siege the next day.

According to a joint Tel Aviv University-European University study, this fits a larger pattern in which Israeli violence has been responsible for ending 79 per cent of all lulls in violence since the outbreak of the second intifada, compared with only 8 per cent for Hamas and other Palestinian factions. Indeed, the Israeli foreign ministry seems to realise that this argument is losing credibility.

During a conference call with half a dozen pro-Israel professors on Thursday, Asaf Shariv, the Consul General of Israel in New York, focused more on the importance of destroying the intricate tunnel system connecting Gaza to the Sinai.

He claimed that such tunnels were “as big as the Holland and Lincoln tunnels,” and offered as proof the “fact” that lions and monkeys had been smuggled through them to a zoo in Gaza. In reality, the lions were two small cubs that were drugged, thrown in sacks, and dragged through a tunnel on their way to a private zoo.

Israel’s self-image

The claim that Hamas will never accept the existence of Israel has proved equally misinformed, as Hamas leaders explicitly announce their intention to do just that in the pages of the Los Angeles Times or to any international leader or journalist who will meet with them.

With each new family, 10, 20 and 30 strong, buried under the rubble of a building in Gaza, the claim that the Israeli forces have gone out of their way to diminish civilian casualties - long a centre-piece of Israel’s image as an enlightened and moral democracy - is falling apart.

Anyone with an internet connection can Google “Gaza humanitarian catastrophe” and find the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Territories and read the thousands of pages of evidence documenting the reality of the current fighting, and the long term siege on Gaza that preceded it.

The Red Cross, normally scrupulous in its unwillingness to single out parties to a conflict for criticism, sharply criticised Israel for preventing medical personnel from reaching wounded Palestinians, some of whom remained trapped for days, slowly starving and dying in the Gazan rubble amidst their dead relatives.

Meanwhile, the United Nations has flatly denied Israeli claims that Palestinian fighters were using the UNRWA school compound bombed on January 6, in which 40 civilians were killed, to launch attacks, and has challenged Israel to prove otherwise.

War crimes admission

Additionally, numerous flippant remarks by senior Israeli politicians and generals, including Tzipi Livni, the foreign minister, refusing to make a distinction between civilian people and institutions and fighters - “Hamas doesn’t … and neither should we” is how Livni puts it - are rightly being seen as admissions of war crimes.

Indeed, in reviewing statements by Israeli military planners leading up to the invasion, it is clear that there was a well thought out decision to go after Gaza’s civilian infrastructure - and with it, civilians.

The following quote from an interview with Major-General Gadi Eisenkot that appeared in the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth in October, is telling:

“We will wield disproportionate power against every village from which shots are fired on Israel, and cause immense damage and destruction. From our perspective these [the villages] are military bases,” he said.

“This isn’t a suggestion. This is a plan that has already been authorised.”

Causing “immense damage and destruction” and considering entire villages “military bases” is absolutely prohibited under international law.

Eisenkot’s description of this planning in light of what is now unfolding in Gaza is a clear admission of conspiracy and intent to commit war crimes, and when taken with the comments above, and numerous others, renders any argument by Israel that it has tried to protect civilians and is not engaging in disproportionate force unbelievable.

International laws violated

On the ground, the evidence mounts ever higher that Israel is systematically violating a host of international laws, including but not limited to Article 56 of the IV Hague Convention of 1907, the First Additional Protocol of the Geneva Convention, the Fourth Geneva Convention (more specifically known as the “Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949″, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the principles of Customary International Humanitarian Law.

None of this excuses or legitimises the firing of rockets or mortars by any Palestinian group at Israeli civilians and non-military targets.

As Richard Falk, the UN special rapporteur, declared in his most recent statement on Gaza: “It should be pointed out unambiguously that there is no legal (or moral) justification for firing rockets at civilian targets, and that such behavior is a violation of IHR, associated with the right to life, as well as constitutes a war crime.”

By the same logic, however, Israel does not have the right to use such attacks as an excuse to launch an all-out assault on the entire population of Gaza.

In this context, even Israel’s suffering from the constant barrage of rockets is hard to pay due attention to when the numbers of dead and wounded on each side are counted. Any sense of proportion is impossible to sustain with such a calculus.

‘Rogue’ state

Israeli commentators and scholars, self-described “loyal” Zionists who served proudly in the army in wars past, are now publicly describing their country, in the words of Oxford University professor Avi Shlaim, as a “rogue” and gangster” state led by “completely unscrupulous leaders”.

Gazans inspect the damage after an air strike hit a mosque [GALLO/GETTY]

Neve Gordon, a politics professor at Ben Gurion University, has declared that Israel’s actions in Gaza are like “raising animals for slaughter on a farm” and represent a “bizarre new moral element” in warfare.”The moral voice of restraint has been left behind … Everything is permitted” against Palestinians, writes a disgusted Haaretz columnist, Gideon Levy.

Fellow Haaretz columnist and daughter of Holocaust survivors, Amira Haas writes of her late parents disgust at how Israeli leaders justified Israel’s wars with a “language laundromat” aimed at redefining reality and Israel’s moral compass. “Lucky my parents aren’t alive to see this,” she exclaimed.

Around the world people are beginning to compare Israel’s attack on Gaza, which after the 2005 withdrawal of Israeli forces and settlers was turned literally into the world’s largest prison, to the Jewish uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Extremist Muslims are using internet forums to collect names and addresses of prominent European Jews with the goal, it seems clear, of assassinating them in retaliation for Israel’s actions in Gaza.

Al-Qaeda is attempting to exploit this crisis to gain a foothold in Gaza and Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and Syria, as well as through attacking Jewish communities globally.

Iran’s defiance of both Israel and its main sponsor, the US, is winning it increasing sympathy with each passing day.

Democratic values eroded

Inside Israel, the violence will continue to erode both democratic values in the Jewish community, and any acceptance of the Jewish state’s legitimacy in the eyes of its Palestinian citizens.

And yet in the US - at least in Washington and in the offices of the mainstream Jewish organisations - the chorus of support for Israel’s war on Gaza continues to sing in tight harmony with official Israeli policy, seemingly deaf to the fact that they have become so out of tune with the reality exploding around them.

At my university, UCI, where last summer Jewish and Muslim students organised a trip together through the occupied territories and Israel so they could see with their own eyes the realities there, old battle lines are being redrawn.

The Anteaters for Israel, the college pro-Israel group at the University of California, Irvine, sent out an urgent email to the community explaining that, “Over the past week, increasing amounts of evidence lead us to believe that Hamas is largely responsible for any alleged humanitarian crisis in Gaza”.

I have no idea who the “us” is that is referred to in the appeal, although I am sure that the membership of that group is shrinking.

Indeed, one of the sad facts of this latest tragedy is that with each claim publicly refuted by facts on the ground, more and more Americans, including Jews, are refusing to trust the assertions of Israeli and American Jewish leaders.

Trap

Even worse, in the Arab/Muslim world, the horrific images pouring out of Gaza daily are allowing preachers and politicians to deploy well-worn yet still dangerous and inciteful stereotypes against Jews as they rally the masses against Israel - and through it - their own governments.

What is most frightening is that the most important of Israel’s so-called friends, the US political establishment and the mainstream Jewish leadership, seem clueless to the devastating trap that Israel has led itself into - in good measure with their indulgence and even help.

It is one that threatens the country’s existence far more than any Qassam rockets, with their 0.4 per cent kill rate; even more than the disastrous 2006 invasion of southern Lebanon, which by weakening Israel’s deterrence capability in some measure made this war inevitable.

First, it is clear that Israel cannot destroy Hamas, it cannot stop the rockets unless it agrees to a truce that will go far to meeting the primary demand of Hamas - an end to the siege.

Merely by surviving (and it surely will survive) Hamas, like Hezbollah in 2006, will have won.

Israel is succeeding in doing little more than creating another generation of Palestinians with hearts filled with rage and a need for revenge. Second, Israel’s main patron, the US, along with the conservative Arab autocracies and monarchies that are its only allies left in the Muslim world, are losing whatever crumbs of legitimacy they still had with their young and angry populations.

The weaker the US and its axis becomes in the Middle East, the more precarious becomes Israel’s long-term security. Indeed, any chance that the US could convince the Muslim world to pressure Iran to give up its quest for nuclear weapons has been buried in Gaza.

Third, as Israel brutalises Palestinians, it brutalises its own people. You cannot occupy another people and engage in violence against them at this scale without doing even greater damage to your soul.

The high incidence of violent crimes committed by veterans returning from combat duty in Iraq is but one example of how the violence of occupation and war eat away at people’s moral centre.

While in the US only a small fraction of the population participates in war; in Israel, most able-bodied men end up participating.

The effects of the latest violence perpetrated against Palestinians upon the collective Israeli soul is incalculable; the notion that it can survive as an “ethnocracy” - favouring one ethnic group, Jews, yet by and large democratic - is becoming a fiction.

Violence-as-power

Who will save Israel from herself?

Israelis are clearly incapable. Their addiction as a society to the illusion of violence-as-power has reached the level of collective mental illness.

As Haaretz reporter Yossi Melman described it on January 10, “Israel has created an image of itself of a madman that has lost it”.

Not Palestinians, too many of whom have fallen prey to the same condition.

Not the Middle East Quartet, the European Union, the United Nations, or the Arab League, all of whom are utterly powerless to influence Israeli policy.

Not the organised Jewish leadership in the US and Europe, who are even more blind to what is happening than most Israelis, who at least allow internal debate about the wisdom of their government’s policies.

Not the growing progressive Jewish community, which will need years to achieve enough social and political power to challenge the status quo.

And not senior American politicians and policy-makers who are either unwilling to risk alienating American Jewish voters, or have been so brainwashed by the constant barrage of propaganda put out by the “Israel Lobby” that they are incapable of reaching an independent judgment about the conflict.

During the US presidential race, Barack Obama was ridiculed for being a messiah-like figure. The idea does not sound so funny now. It is hard to imagine anyone less saving Israel, the Palestinians, and the world from another four years of mindless violence.

Source

Gaza Reports from: Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières

Civilians Trapped with Nowhere to Flee

January 10, 2009

Security issues have complicated the situation in Gaza.  Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) faces major problems in obtaining access to the wounded. The security conditions still prevent medical teams and humanitarian aid workers from providing aid to a population that has nowhere to flee and finds itself trapped.

The lull in fighting is not helping humanitarian aid workers do their job or patients to reach hospitals. It affects only Gaza City, not the urban areas on the outskirts. Our post-operative care clinic in Gaza City is open every day, but given the risks, very few patients manage to get there.

Our Palestinian medical team continues to provide care in the immediate area of their place of residence, but these activities are also very limited in comparison to the enormous needs.

On Wednesday, January 7, our teams visited three schools housing displaced persons. They evaluated the medical needs there and distributed medical supplies and medications. There are doctors in the group and they are providing care.

Our field teams are in constant contact with Palestinian hospitals and report that hospital workers are exhausted by the flow of wounded patients, especially at night.

An MSF surgical team is currently in Jerusalem. It includes a vascular surgeon, general surgeon, nurse/anesthetist, operating room nurse and an anesthesiologist specialized in intensive care. MSF hopes that they will be able to enter the Gaza Strip as soon as possible. This team will support the Palestinian medical teams at the Shifa referral hospital.

MSF is also awaiting final authorization to bring in 21 tons of medical supplies, including two inflatable tents. The tents would be used to increase intensive care in-patient capacity and, possibly, set up an additional operating room. An MSF logistician will also join the field teams to set up these facilities.

A Health Situation Worsening for Over a Year

While the problems in the Palestinian health care sector have become even more striking as the conflict intensifies and violence achieves crisis levels today, they have been persistent and predate these episodes of extreme violence.

For MSF, the situation in Gaza has been worsening for nearly a year, the consequence of multiple political and economic factors.

Years of Israeli-Palestinian conflict and violence; the economic embargo, which was tightened in January 2008 (specifically with regard to electricity and fuel supplies); the inter-Palestinian clashes in summer 2007, which targeted hospitals; the forced strikes among hospital staff; attacks on humanitarian aid workers; and the blocking of access to medical care have all helped, over time, to sap and weaken the health system in the Palestinian Territories. Hospitals have experienced a host of maintenance and operating problems, health services have been limited, medical supplies and medications have been in short supply and access to specialized care outside the Gaza Strip has been restricted. Similarly, while supply problems are not new, the current surges of violence have increased the pressure on already-weakened health facilities.

In addition to the problems resulting from the economic blockade, internal conflicts have arisen over the last year. With two competing health authorities (one under the Palestinian Authority, and the other, Hamas), Palestinian health professionals have been squeezed by conflicting interests. They face contradictory instructions, blocked access to health care, difficulties at the workplace based on political affiliations and reduced quality of care. The “general strike” called by the Palestinian health workers’ union on August 30 (which resulted in 50 to 80 percent levels of absenteeism among critical hospital employees) thus had catastrophic consequences for access to care for the 1.6 million residents of the Gaza Strip, already profoundly affected by the years of conflict.

Source

“The Daily Pause in Bombing Has Not Changed Anything”
Jan 9 2009
drs-without-boarders

 

A wounded patient receives treatment at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

Jessica Pourraz, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) field coordinator in Gaza, observes that the situation in the field remains unchanged. Given the security conditions, medical teams and humanitarian aid workers are still unable to deliver aid to a population that has nowhere to flee.

It is still extremely dangerous to move about because aerial bombing continues unabated. Ambulances have not received authorization to pass behind the tanks in search of the wounded. Most of those who reach a hospital are seriously wounded. Others remain at home, waiting for the fighting to stop so that they can seek treatment.

The daily pause in bombing has not changed anything. It affects only Gaza City, not the urban areas on the outskirts. Tanks have begun to return to those areas, including the neighborhoods of Beit Lahia, Beit Hanoun, Sijaya, and Zeïtoun. Given growing numbers of wounded civilians, that’s where you have to go to find them. Don’t be deceived—the lull in bombing is not helping humanitarian aid workers to do their jobs or helping people reach the hospitals. We are in Gaza, in the middle of everything, but we can neither reach patients nor do our work properly. There is a real problem. We need to be able to reach the wounded and the wounded need to be able to get to the hospitals. We have to be able to bring in supplies, which remain very limited because the trucks cannot move around.

Addressing specific medical shortages
We are providing medical supplies to hospitals, and our medical staff are treating the wounded and ill who are in areas close to those hospitals because it is too dangerous to move around. Hospital facilities are functioning with skilled staff. Between December 27 and January 5, Shifa Hospital performed more than 300 major surgeries, primarily amputations, cranial and multiple trauma procedures, and exploratory abdominal procedures—all difficult operations.

There is a lack of specialized surgeons. An MSF team with a vascular surgeon is scheduled to arrive—if the team manages to enter. This specialty is critical when dealing with wounded patients whose wounds bleed heavily. There is a space shortage in intensive care, but we are trying to arrange for the delivery of inflatable tents so that we can set up an intensive care unit and two operating rooms. If we have access, we have the resources necessary to provide medical care here.

A human catastrophe
“The displaced persons need drinking water and basic survival items …The worst is that humanitarian aid workers are there and can do nothing.”

A human catastrophe is playing out before our eyes. Usually, when a country is at war, people flee. However, in Gaza no one is fleeing. Gaza has the world’s highest population density, and Gazans have nowhere to go. People are living in a state of constant terror and want just one thing: for it all to stop. They cannot sleep. Every time you go to bed, you don’t know whether the house will still be standing in the morning.

Many families have left their homes, either because the tanks are approaching or because the house has been completely destroyed. They try to take refuge in schools, as best they can, but there is no safe place in Gaza today. The bombing is incessant. There is no electricity. The hospitals depend on generators.

Lack of food and basic supplies
Food is lacking, too. There are huge lines in front of the bakeries. Before the war, 1 million people—out of a total population of 1.5 million—received food aid. Today, the needs have probably grown but access has decreased. Trucks can no longer travel safely and people cannot get to the distribution centers. The displaced persons need drinking water and basic survival items, like mattresses and blankets—all those things that allow people to survive. The worst is that humanitarian aid workers are there and can do nothing.

Source

Temporary Halt to Gaza Bombing a Paltry Response as Extreme Violence Victimizes Civilians

January 7, 2009 : The military offensive in the Gaza Strip is affecting civilians indiscriminately, while medical teams continue to face serious obstacles to providing assistance. The international community must not be content with a limited truce, which is largely inadequate for providing lifesaving assistance. Read more »

Gaza: Medical Services Overwhelmed

January 4, 2009: More than one week after air strikes began on the Gaza Strip, and following the beginning of a land incursion by Israeli forces, surgical services in Gaza are overwhelmed and are in need of surgeons specialized in vascular surgery in order to deal with the increasing number of wounded people. Read more »

Gaza: Bombings Keep Patients at Home, MSF Takes Clinics to Neighborhoods

January 2, 2009: Three expatriate staff members from MSF were able to join local MSF teams in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, December 31, 2008. They describe the tension and difficulties working in Gaza, with air strikes and bombings making it very difficult for patients and healthcare personnel to move around. Read more »

Norway provides aid to Gaza

By Luna Finnsson

January 8 2009

Norway’s government has voted to send NOK 30 million worth of humanitarian relief to Gaza in the wake of Israeli attacks on the region. Norway’s Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere stated: “We are extremely concerned about the precarious humanitarian situation in Gaza.” He added that it is essential to guarantee the aid actually reaches those in Gaza who need it.

The Norway Post reports that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is currently allocating funds to a number of humanitarian organisations that work to provide emergency medical help to injured residents of the Gaza Strip. “We presume that Israel will provide the necessary access for humanitarian aid. There is an acute need for medical and surgical equipment at the hospitals in Gaza. We join in a broad international appeal to Israel to help to ensure that humanitarian relief supplies reach those in need,” Stoere said in a public statement.

Priority is being given to those aid groups who can ensure the aid will get directly to the victims who need it. Most of the funds are being sent through the World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Red Cross (ICRC) and the Norwegian Aid Committee (NORWAC), and the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Middle East (UNRWA).
Source

Reports from: “Save the Children Canada” Charity in Gaza

save-the-children

A young boy remains indoors, hoping to escape harm. Escalating violence in and around Gaza has made a very bad situation even worse for hundreds of thousands of children living in the region. Photo Credit: Tha’ir Mahmoud Al- Hassani/Save the Children

Toronto, Canada

January 6, 2009

Save the Children strongly protests the continue violence in Gaza that has now claimed the lives of more than 100 children.

“All wars are waged against children,” were the words of Eglantyne Jebb, founder of Save the Children, nearly ninety years ago. It is in this spirit that we are calling for a peaceful solution to the current crisis that endangers the lives of nearly every child in Gaza and the lives of Israeli children in areas subject to attacks.

“Recent attacks on two United Nations shelters set up for families forced from their homes in Gaza have killed additional innocent children and family members,” said Annie Foster, who heads Save the Children’s emergency response in the region.

“This crisis continues to have an enormously devastating impact on children and families, many of whom have left their homes and have no safe place to go.”

We are calling for a cessation of hostilities by all parties including rocket attacks from Gaza and air and ground assaults from Israel.

We are also seeking free access for humanitarian assistance to allow aid agencies to provide much-needed relief to vulnerable children.

Our staff in Gaza has distributed 2-week food packages to about 6000 people, including 3000 children, but the inability to move additional supplies into Gaza and the continued violence are hampering our ability to distribute aid.

Source

Children in Gaza need to be protected

January 6, 2009

Save the Children strongly protests the continued violence in Gaza that has now claimed the lives of more than 100 children.

“All wars are waged against children,” were the words of Eglantyne Jebb, founder of Save the Children, nearly ninety years ago. It is in this spirit that we are calling for a peaceful solution to the current crisis that endangers the lives of nearly every child in Gaza and the lives of Israeli children in areas subject to attacks.

“Recent attacks on two United Nations shelters set up for families forced from their homes in Gaza have killed additional innocent children and family members,” said Annie Foster, who heads Save the Children’s emergency response in the region.

“This crisis continues to have an enormously devastating impact on children and families, many of whom have left their homes and have no safe place to go.”

We are calling for a cessation of hostilities by all parties including rocket attacks from Gaza and air and ground assaults from Israel.

We are also seeking free access for humanitarian assistance to allow aid agencies to provide much-needed relief to vulnerable children.

Our staff in Gaza has distributed 2-week food packages to about 6000 people, including 3000 children, but the inability to move additional supplies into Gaza and the continued violence are hampering our ability to distribute aid.

Save the Children Delivers Food to Families in Gaza Despite Violence
January 4, 2009
JERUSALEM
Save the Children staff members today began delivering much-needed food to children and families in Gaza despite continued violence.

On Sunday staff members delivered food parcels to 641 families — or nearly 6,000 people, including over 3,000 children — in Gaza City, east Jabaliyah, Beit Lahia, Beit Hanoun and Um Al Nasser. However, air assaults and ground fighting are making movement dangerous for needy families and Save the Children staff trying to assist them.

“The situation has reached a critical level for children who are exposed to and experiencing violence, fear and uncertainty,” said Annie Foster, Save the Children’s team leader for the emergency response. “Parents are facing enormous challenges to protecting and caring for their children. Either they cannot leave their house to attend to basic needs for fear of being caught in the crossfire — or they are being forced from their homes, into harm’s way, to find shelter.”

Dwindling resources in homes is increasing the vulnerability of children as is the collapse of Gaza’s electricity and sanitation infrastructure. Save the Children warns that lack of electricity for heating at night presents a hypothermia risk for children, particularly babies and newborns.

“The cold only adds to the stress and health threats — including scarce food and water and a lack of sanitation — faced by children and their parents in Gaza,” said Annie Foster, Save the Children’s team leader of the emergency response. “Families must leave windows open at night so that they will not be broken by percussive shocks or flying debris from the ongoing bombardment. This means children, the majority of them poor and malnourished, are essentially spending the night exposed to the elements.”

Even before the latest outbreak of violence, 50,000 Gazan children were malnourished, more than two-thirds of all children suffered from vitamin A deficiency and almost half of children under age 2 were anemic. Lack of access to food, clean water and medical supplies exacerbates threats to children’s health and well-being.

Save the Children is calling for a peaceful solution to the current crisis that endangers the lives of nearly every child in Gaza, and the lives of Israeli children in areas subject to attacks. Save the Children is calling for a cessation of hostilities by all parties including air and ground assaults from Israel and rocket attacks from Gaza. The agency is seeking free access for humanitarian assistance to allow aid agencies to provide much-needed relief to vulnerable children.

Since the fighting began, 59 children have been killed, according to Gaza health officials and major news media. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) reports that some 2,000 Gazan families have been displaced. Many families have taken in relatives and neighbors, adding to the household burden and stress on parents and children.

Once a humanitarian corridor opens, Save the Children also will be able to provide baby hygiene kits, household kits and safe play kits.

Save the Children has worked in the area for more than 30 years.

Save the Children

US Senate Endorses Israel’s War on Gaza

The Ceasefire was broken by Israel, when their armed forces carried out several attacks on November the 4th 2008,  resulting in the death of 6 Palestinians.

Hamas had not fired a rocket since June 19 2008 ( when the Ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was finalized) and only resumed after the Israeli attacks.

Senate Endorses Israel’s War on Gaza

By Jeremy R. Hammond

January 09, 2009

The US Senate on Thursday passed a non-binding resolution promoted by the influential Israeli lobby AIPAC (The American Israel Public Affairs Committee), effectively endorsing Israel’s war on Gaza. The resolution, entitled “A resolution expressing solidarity with Israel in Israel’s defense against terrorism in the Gaza Strip” recognizes “the right of Israel to defend itself against attacks from Gaza” and reaffirms “the United States’ strong support for Israel in its battle with Hamas”.

The resolution does not recognize the right to self-defense of the Palestinian people.

The resolution criticizes Hamas for refusing “to comply with the requirements of the Quartet”, which include to “recognize Israel’s right to exist” and to “renounce violence”.

It makes no mention of Israel’s continuing settlement expansion in the West Bank, also in violation of the Quartet requirements. Nor does it call upon Israel, which illegally occupies the West Bank and has held Gaza under siege for three years, to recognize the “right to exist” of a Palestinian state or to renounce violence.

The resolution condemns the use of “human shields” by Hamas, but says nothing of the indiscriminate killing by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) that is taking a devastating toll upon civilians in Gaza.

The resolution, quoting from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, blames Hamas “for breaking the ceasefire and for the renewal of violence there”.

It makes no mention of the fact that Hamas had strictly observed the cease-fire until it was violated by Israel on November 4, when Israel launched an airstrike into Gaza that killed 5 and injured several others.

The resolution notes that “the humanitarian situation in Gaza, including shortages of food, water, electricity, and adequate medical care, is becoming more acute”.

It neglects to point out that this is the direct result of Israel’s policy of blockading Gaza, and that the humanitarian crisis has been greatly exacerbated by Israel’s aerial bombardment and invasion of Gaza, instead praising the minimal amount of humanitarian aid Israel has allowed into the territory.

The resolution also states that “a sustainable resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that will allow for a viable and independent Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with the State of Israel … will not be possible as long as Israeli civilians are under threat from within Gaza”.

It says nothing about the impossibility of such a two-state solution so long as Palestinians live under occupation and threat from Israel.

Members of Congress Voice Support for Israel

Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) voiced her support for the resolution by saying that Israel’s war on Gaza was “a phase in a war against Iranian terror”. She said she looked forward to being able to visit Israel when its citizens were no longer under threat, presumably from rockets fired from Gaza.

She said nothing about wanting to visit Gaza or looking forward to its citizens living no longer under threat from Israel.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) characterized Israel’s war as “self-defense” and said it was well within its rights to engage in such action. He said he supported a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but added that such a solution would only be tenable if Israel is “secure”. He added that “Israel can always look to the United States for support and that this will continue to be true “when Barack Obama becomes President”.

He said nothing about the security of any future Palestinian state, or of the security of the territories at present that are illegally occupied by Israel. He offered no suggestions as to where the Palestinian people could look to for support.

Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV) expressed having “every confidence that the incoming administration would continue the unwavering support of the United States of America for the state of Israel. She said her own opinion, “as a Jewish member of Congress” is that Israel has “every right to defend itself” and that Israelis “have been too patient” in responding to rocket attacks from Gaza. She expressed that it was unacceptable for tunnels to be used to smuggle weapons into Gaza.

She failed to note that it was Israel, not Hamas, that first violated the cease-fire. She expressed no similar empathy for the Palestinian people, who have lived under oppression and terror on a much greater scale, and who have been killed in far higher numbers by Israeli military actions. She made no mention of the fact that tunnels are also used to avert a complete humanitarian catastrophe, to bring in food, fuel, medical supplies, and other humanitarian goods because Israel’s blockade has prevented such basic necessities from being delivered into Gaza.

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) condemned Hamas’ firing of rockets into Israel because they were intended to kill civilians even though only a small number had been killed. He said the US looks forward to “supporting Israel through its difficult time now”.

He did not condemn the Israeli killing of hundreds of Palestinian civilians or express any empathy difficult time the Palestinians are going through.

Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NV) said “if you don’t want to be hit back, don’t hit. That’s really the message” of Israel’s war on Gaza. He blamed criticism of Israel on “anti-Semitism” and called it “blaming the victim”. He said “Israel has that right, to protect itself”.

He neglected to mention that it was “Israel”, not Hamas, which broke the cease-fire. Nor did he offer any indication that this standard applied equally to both Israelis and Palestinians. He expressed no support for the right of Palestinians to protect themselves.

Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) expressed that weapons should not be made available to Hamas.

He offered no similar comments about weapons being made available to Israel.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) was a lone voice in the Congress expressing any kind of empathy for the plight of the Palestinians. In remarks from the floor of the House, he said:

“Wake up America. We have trillions for a war machine and the banks while our government stands by and sniffs at the slaughter of innocents in Gaza, where Israel is blocking aid for wounded Palestinians. Here’s today’s Washington Post. It says, ‘The International Committee of the Red Cross said Thursday that it found at least 15 bodies and several children emaciated but alive in a row of shattered houses in the Gaza Strip and accused the Israeli military of preventing ambulances from reaching the site for 4 days. 12 corpses lying on mattresses in one home, along with 4 young children lying next to their dead mothers.’ That’s a quote. Today, US tax dollars, US jets, and US helicopters provided to Israel are enabling the slaughter in Gaza. The administration enables Israel to press forward with the attack against defenseless civilians, blocks efforts at promoting a cease-fire at the UN, and refuses to make Israel compliant with conditions that arms shipments will not be used for aggression. Israel is going to receive $30 billion in a ten year period for military assistance, without having to abide by any humanitarian principles, international laws, or standards of basic human decency. Wake up America.”

Jeremy R. HammondJeremy R. Hammond is the editor of Foreign Policy Journal, a website dedicated to providing news, critical analysis, and opinion commentary on U.S. foreign policy
Source

If you wonder why the UN has done little or nothing to stop the violence in Gaza the US is behind Israel all the way. Of course they have been behind the take over of as was Britain, the Palestinian land for a very long time.

The UN will do nothing to actually stop the violence in Gaza. They will pretend and they will put out news releases but in actuality they are just  a puppet for the US as par usual.Just like when Hamas was  elected by the people of Palestine, western governments and Israel cut off aid and imposed an embargo on Gaza.  Seem the Hamas government wanted to look out for the interests of the people of Gaza by protecting the Natural Gas.

Now in the so called UN resolution they want to put The government back in power, that will comply and give them access to the Natural Gas.

It doesn’t matter that Israel is committing war crimes, nor the fact they have stolen massive amounts of land from the Palestinians over the years. It doesn’t matter how many will die as long as like in Iraq they get access to the Natural Gas.

The Self Defense issue is just a lie to cover up mass murder. Gaza had been under occupation for about 48 years.

Israel must be stopped and the US must stop supporting them. The American people are the ones, who must stop their government from giving weapons and aid to Israel.

The rest of the World must not stand idly by, an allow this Genocide to continue. It has gone on for far to long.

The rest of the world must Defend those in Gaza from the profiteering, power hungry, land grabbing,  murders.

Israel is not the innocent victim they pretend to be.

Gaza: international plan hatched to bring back Fatah

plan to create a new foothold in Gaza for the Palestinian Authority and to bring in international monitors was being drawn up by diplomats yesterday as a UN ceasefire call was dismissed by both sides.

The plan would allow a return of the authority, led by the secular Fatah faction, to the territory 18 months after it was expelled by the Islamist Hamas. Diplomats are considering taking a triangle at the southern end of Gaza, including the Rafah crossing to Egypt and the Kerem Shalom crossing to Israel, to be policed by Turkish and French military monitors to stop arms smuggling into Gaza.

The zone would nominally be controlled by the authority, the internationally recognised Government. Such a plan would allow the crossings to reopen for the first time since Hamas seized power in Gaza in June 2007.

((Sept. 11, 2005:  The last Israeli soldiers and settlers leave Gaza, completing Israel’s withdrawal after 38 years of military occupation.  Fatah was in power until July of 2006 when Hamas was elected, they did not, seize power exactly in 2007, (they took back the government they had been elected too and forced out of), with a majority of votes I might add- Jan. 25, 2006: In the election of a West Bank-Gaza parliament, Hamas wins 76 of 132 seats, most of them in Gaza.
“Western powers then proceeded to cut off aid to the Palestinians. Israel withheld tax revenues. They also set up the embargo. Because they dislike the election results, did not give them the right to manipulate Hamas  or remove them from power.”

This was over the “Natural Gas”  among other things, of course. Hamas also want the boarders of 1967 back. Can’t have that now can we? Of course the US and others are very good at toppling governments that have been elected by their people, if they do not comply with their wishes. As they did in Haiti.  So says history. Any way the plan now is to give back the control of Gaza to Fatah))

 

The plan is being negotiated as part of the Egyptian peace initiative, announced by President Mubarak after talks with President Sarkozy of France, which calls for an immediate ceasefire to be followed by talks on securing the Gaza-Egypt border and reopening the crossings.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]It faces formidable obstacles. Diplomats said yesterday that the Egyptian efforts were getting bogged down because of disagreements over how to secure the border. Hamas has said it would consider allowing observers at the border crossings with Egypt but opposes an international force. It also claimed yesterday that a delegation of three Hamas leaders had crossed the border into Egypt to join talks.

Israel, however, is insisting on a robust international force to destroy smuggling tunnels under the border.

Egypt, for its part, does not want international troops on its territory. Instead, Cairo wants to revive the 2005 agreement on movement and access, under which EU monitors oversaw the passage of people through the Rafah crossing and vehicles through Kerem Shalom, a deal that fell through when Hamas came to power. The new plan came as the UN ceasefire proposal was flatly rejected almost as soon as the Security Council backed it 14-0, with the US abstaining.

The US had been expected to back the UN resolution but abstained at the last minute. Diplomats said Condoleezza Rice, the Secretary of State, changed her position after a call from President Bush.

Yesterday F16s continued to fire missiles at houses and apartment blocks in Gaza City, and the air reverberated with artillery fire. The fire was not all one way, though. Rockets repeatedly streaked out of Gaza towards the settlements of Sderot, Beersheba and Ashkelon just across the border.

Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, said: “Israel has never agreed for any outside influence to decide on its right to defend its citizens. The firing of rockets this morning only goes to show that the UN decision is unworkable and will not be adhered to by the murderous Palestinian organisations.”

Israel’s rejection of the resolution was no surprise. The offensive against Hamas is hugely popular: a poll in the Maariv newspaper showed 91 per cent of Israelis supporting it. “This is the time to back the commanders, soldiers and pilots working day and night to conduct a difficult, complex and entirely just war,” Ari Shavit, of the left-of-centre Haaretz newspaper, said.

Source

This was planned for some time by Israel, with the help of the  US. The US still helping them as we know,  as are others who will profit and gain power from the “Demise of Gaza”.

Hebrew U. students scuffle during demonstration

Jewish students briefly scuffled Tuesday at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, during a small protest against Israel’s Gaza offensive, police said.

There were no injuries reported in the incident at the university’s Mount Scopus campus, and the melee was broken up by campus security guards even before police arrived on the scene, Jerusalem Police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said.

The early afternoon clash erupted during the anti-Israel protest, held by dozens of Arab and a few leftist Jewish students at the main entrance to the campus. During the gathering, a Palestinian flag was unfurled.

The demonstrators were confronted by other students who were offended by the protest, and a scuffle ensued.

But within 20 minutes or so, the students had dispersed, and were nearly outnumbered by forces who had rushed to the scene.

The demonstration was the second such protest at held on the campus in the past week.

The previous protest, which was larger, ended without incident.

A separate demonstration Tuesday at Haifa University was forcibly broken up because it was not approved by the university. Ten protesters were arrested, including the chair of the Arab student union.

The Arab student group said in response that the university was engaging in intimidation.

A demonstration outside the Prime Minister’s residence in Jerusalem, organized by the Israeli Arab human rights organization Adallah, turned violent when a protester pelted a motorist with a stone after he shouted insults at them, police said.

The stone missed the driver and hit a police officer in the head.

The protester was arrested, while the police officer was treated by Magen David Adom medics, police said.

Source

Those who refuse fight for Israel in Gaza are jailed. Numerous people teenagers included have been jailed.

So if you do not comply with Israels wishes you have problems. Not everyone in Israel is for the war.  Many are against it, but you will never the truth as to how many. They will not publish the truth whatever it may be.

When is came to the war with Lebanon it was reported about 20,000 protesters  were against the war. That is only those who went to the rally, many who did not go were against it as well. You will of course never get the entire truth from the mainstream media. Just like we are not getting the entire truth now. Those who are against the war are also called leftist,  like in the US.

Not much difference between the two in the use of demonizing, bigoted, tactics. Two peas in a pod I must say the similarities are uncanny.

Like the US they also have a relatively high poverty rate as well. It is more important to spend money on weapons to wage war,  then on their people. Even those who were survivors of the Holocaust, are treated poorly by their own Government in Israel. Many of them live in poverty as well.

Here is something very interesting.

Israel is suppressing a secret it must face

May 1 2008 But I can’t do it. Whenever I try to mouth these words, a remembered smell fills my nostrils. It is the smell of shit. Across the occupied West Bank, raw untreated sewage is pumped every day out of the Jewish settlements, along large metal pipes, straight onto Palestinian land. From there, it can enter the groundwater and the reservoirs, and become a poison.

Standing near one of these long, stinking brown-and-yellow rivers of waste recently, the local chief medical officer, Dr Bassam Said Nadi, explained to me: “Recently there were very heavy rains, and the shit started to flow into the reservoir that provides water for this whole area. I knew that if we didn’t act, people would die. We had to alert everyone not to drink the water for over a week, and distribute bottles. We were lucky it was spotted. Next time…” He shook his head in fear. This is no freak: a 2004 report by Friends of the Earth found that only six per cent of Israeli settlements adequately treat their sewage.

Meanwhile, in order to punish the population of Gaza for voting “the wrong way”, the Israeli army are not allowing past the checkpoints any replacements for the pipes and cement needed to keep the sewage system working. The result? Vast stagnant pools of waste are being held within fragile dykes across the strip, and rotting. Last March, one of them burst, drowning a nine-month-old baby and his elderly grandmother in a tsunami of human waste. The Centre on Housing Rights warns that one heavy rainfall could send 1.5m cubic metres of faeces flowing all over Gaza, causing “a humanitarian and environmental disaster of epic proportions”. Source

A couple of other tid bits.

Israel ‘needs Georgia for Iran strike’

August 26 2008 A recent report suggests that the US and Israel had plans to use Georgia as a launchpad for aerial strikes on Iranian nuclear sites.

Columnist Ian Brockwell says the US is interested in Georgia because it borders Russia, has a pipeline that is intended to transfer oil to Israel, and most importantly is a country that can be used in an attack against Iran.

Source

The Puppet Masters Behind Georgia President Saakashvili

August 21 2008 The controversy over the Georgian surprise military attacks on South Ossetia and Abkhazia on 8.8.08 makes a closer look at the controversial Georgian President and his puppet masters important. An examination shows 41 year old Mikhail Saakashvili to be a ruthless and corrupt totalitarian who is tied to not only the US, NATO establishment, but also to the Israeli military and intelligence establishment. Source

Israel is not the “victim”  it pretends to be They are warmongers like their American counter parts.

You can also bet there is more then $4 billion in Natural Gas to be had as well. There is more there is always more.

How typical, steal from the poor and give it to the rich. That is a world wide epidemic. This is “Fostered”  by the “Rich”, powerful, countries, with the most “Weapons of Mass Destruction” of course.

  1. Give us you resources or we will kill you is their motto.
  2. We will say the war against you is “Self Defense”
  3. We will sanction you.
  4. We will make you ill.
  5. We will deprive you of medical aid.
  6. We will starve you.
  7. We will steal your land
  8. We will get what we want, no matter how many of you die.
  9. We will kill you to get what we want says the “superior race” of war mongers and thieves.
  10. We will use you as slaves.
  11. We will torture you.
  12. We will imprison you.
  13. We will rape you women and children.
  14. We will lie to everyone.
  15. We will demonize you.
  16. We will poison your land……
  17. We will watch you die, from the poison, we bomb you with for years to come.
  18. We will make you the evil demons.
  19. We will destroy your hospitals
  20. We will destroy your schools
  21. We will destroy your roads.
  22. We will destroy homes
  23. We will never let you be free.
  24. We will brainwash you
  25. We will destroy,  your means, of making a living.
  26. We will destroy your places of worship, of whatever religion you may be.
  27. We will even pretend to rescue you.
  28. We will pretend to help you.
  29. We would kill every man woman and child given the opportunity.
  30. We will exterminate you.
  31. We let our our poor fight our wars.
  32. We will let our own die because, we use tax dollars, for war instead of our people
  33. We enlist our “poor”, to fight our wars for us, they are expendable and serve not other purpose.
  34. We will wage war on you with,  fabricated lies and propaganda.
  35. Comply or Die.
  36. We will see to it, you will be blamed for everything.  Just watch and see.
  37. Now comply or else?????????????
  38. We control you government forever.
  39. We will never let you be Free of our grasp.
  40. We will rule the entire planet.
  41. We will never stop our quest toward “world  domination”.
  42. We are the “Superior Race”

That is what they do  and how they think.

Time and time again they crawl out of their burning,  pits of hell, to wage war against the weak, in their thirst for power and control.

They are the “real terrorists” of the world.

They will even kill their own, when  they deem it necessary (”False Flags”). Then of course they blame the event on whom ever ,they want to wage war with. False Flags  sway public opinion in their favor however. The public at large usually do not find out until years later unfortunately. It has been done  many times,  as we all well know and if you don’t then you should. Even in the Days of J. F. Kennedy they wanted him to use a “False Flag” to wage war on Cuba. He fortunately refused to allow it. It was not the first time and certainly wasn’t the last.

Any so called Terrorist Attack, could be a” False Flag”.  It only becomes a False Flag, if they are caught, you see. What most fail to see is they don’t care who or how many die. This of course is what they count on. No one could ever imagine, they would deliberately kill their own people.  No Government would do that to their own would they? The answer to that is yes they most certainly would. Just like the USS Liberty. Co-Conspirators the “US” and “Israel”.

The UN and NATO are guilty of this as well. It is becoming more obvious every day. They help the power hungry profiteers.

The World Bank and IMF have played a great role in this as well.

History says it all.

The US wants this war in Gaza as much as Israel wants it. Make no mistke about that one. They encourage Genocide and Extermination. They have exterminated  over a million people in Iraq. It too is another illegal war built on lies and propaganda as we all well know.

Of course this so called “Superior Race” as they think themselves to be is killing everyone on the Planet due to their Weapons which are extremely toxic. So toxic the remnants, left behind, will kill for a billion odd years to come.

They are not, intelligent, wise let alone “Superior”, they are in fact ignorant, fools.

They poison the food, the water, the air and the earth.

Only an utter fool would do such a thing.

The Ceasefire was broken by Israel, when their armed forces carried out several attacks on November the 4th 2008,  resulting in the death of 6 Palestinians.

Hamas had not fired a rocket since June 19 2008 ( when the Ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was finalized) and only resumed after the Israeli attacks.

Jewish Voices Against the Israeli Attacks

Not in my name

In the midst of the carnage in Gaza, it defies belief that my synagogue has asked me to march in solid support of Israel.

By Brian Klug
January 9 2009

In any conflict between peoples, there is a time for balancing the books, for placing facts neatly in the debit and credit columns, for issuing measured statements about the rights and wrongs on both sides. But not in the midst of one-sided carnage. The only decent thing to feel at the present time is outrage. The only thing for decent people to do right now is to condemn, without reserve or qualification, the brutal campaign that the Israeli military is waging against the population of Gaza. Every if and but derogates from decency.

Earlier this week, my synagogue sent its members an email containing details of two rallies in support of Israel “which we would urge you to support”. No ifs and buts here, just solid support for the perpetrator in the midst of the horror, it is perpetrating. Is it possible to go further in the opposite direction to decency?

Attached was a flyer for a “Mass Rally in Support of Israel” organised by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council, with “the support of the major organisations of UK Jewry”, to be held in London this weekend. The flyer proclaims: “End Hamas terror!” No ifs and buts here either. No hint at the unspeakable state terror being unleashed, day after day, by the Israeli military. It defies belief.

So, let me place on record the following fact: the board does not speak for all British Jews and certainly not for this one. Nor does the so-called Leadership Council, nor any of the organisations associated with this misbegotten event.

None of them represents me or the Judaism that I cherish and which leads me to say as follows: I condemn utterly the military offensive by the government of Israel against the people of Gaza. The loss of any human life, on whatever side of this conflict, is a terrible thing. At this juncture, though, my heart is with the Palestinians on the ground in the midst of their misery. And I extend my hand to those Israelis who are speaking out against their own government.

For alternative views among Britain’s Jews, see the website of Independent Jewish Voices

Source

So I took Brian’s advice and went to the Independent Jewish Voices.

This is what I found.

We are a network of Jews in Britain who share a commitment to certain principles, especially with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in mind: putting human rights first, rejecting all forms of racism, and giving equal priority to Palestinians and Israelis in their quest for a peaceful and secure future. We believe that these principles, rather than group loyalty, should determine the parameters of legitimate debate.

Read the Declaration

Sign the Declaration

List of Signatories
*************************************************
On Gaza

Please find below viewpoints and links on the tragic situation in Gaza.
Jewish Voices Against the Israeli Attacks

‘They are doing good, but they can do more’, Avi Pilchick was photographed telling reporters (Jan 5). He was just one of the Jewish Israeli bystanders on nearby hill-tops, applauding the spectacle of bombs hurtling down upon Gaza.

The official voice of Jewish opinion around the world, if less celebratory, is rallying in support of Israel.

Yet, significant numbers of Jewish people, inside and outside Israel, are devastated. Unable to halt the routine violation of human rights in Israel’s occupied territories or the prolonged and brutal siege preventing even the most urgent supplies reaching Gaza, we now face the enduring horror of military invasion.

While condemning every rocket fired on civilians from Gaza, we reject as absurd the ubiquitous Israeli propaganda that bombing and terrorizing Gaza will end them.

Despite its ideological hatred of Israel, elected Hamas officials have proved willing to negotiate. Hamas largely kept its side of the ceasefire it had agreed with Israel before the ending of the truce period, while in Gazan eyes Israel’s continued siege of their territory constantly violated it, devastating civilian life.

Few people seem able to change the lens through which they view this tragedy. Yet, like the Canadian women who occupied the Israeli embassy in Toronto, the hundreds of well-known Israeli writers, artists, musicians, academics and others, calling upon the international community to stop Israel , more Jewish voices are fighting harder than ever to force the world to pressurize Israel to accept that there is no military solution to this conflict, and to begin honest negotiations with all parties necessary for a peaceful settlement: a strategy it has rarely attempted, and never consistently pursued.

Lynne Segal (Founding Signatory IJV)

“If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink” (Proverbs 25:21)

Our tradition contains some wise words. Perhaps the Israeli government would do well to return to the sources and reflect on the ethics of its actions.

Source

Jewish Voice for Peace statement on Gaza attacks

Independent Jewish Voices (Canada) - formerly known as the Alliance of Concerned Jewish Canadians - is a network of 18 Jewish groups as well as individual Jews from across Canada who are opposed to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

December 28, 2008

Jewish Voice for Peace joins millions around the world, including the 1,000 Israelis who protested in the streets of Tel Aviv this weekend, in condemning ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza. We call for an immediate end to attacks on all civilians, whether Palestinian or Israeli.

Israel’s slow strangulation of Gaza through blockade has caused widespread suffering to the 1.5 million people of Gaza due to lack of food, electricity, water treatment supplies and medical equipment. It is a violation of humanitarian law and has been widely condemned around the world.

In resisting this strangulation, Hamas resumed launching rockets and mortars from Gaza into southern Israel, directly targeting civilians, which is also a war crime. Over the years, these poorly made rockets have been responsible for the deaths of 15 Israelis since 2004.

Every country, Israel included, has the right and obligation to protect its citizens. The recent ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza shows that diplomatic agreements are the best protection for civilian life.

Moreover, massive Israeli air strikes have proven an indiscriminate and brutal weapon. In just two days, the known death toll is close to 300, and the attacks are continuing. By targeting the infrastructure of a poor and densely populated area, Israel has ensured widespread civilian casualties among this already suffering and vulnerable population.

This massive destruction of Palestinian life will not protect the citizens of Israel. It is illegal and immoral and should be condemned in the strongest possible terms. And it threatens to ignite the West Bank and add flames to the other fires burning in the Middle East and beyond for years to come.

The timing of this attack, during the waning days of a US administration that has undertaken a catastrophic policy toward the Middle East and during the run-up to an Israeli election, suggests an opportunistic agenda for short-term political gain at an immense cost in Palestinian lives. In the long run this policy will benefit no-one except those who always profit from war and exploitation. Only a just and lasting peace, achieved through a negotiated agreement, can provide both Palestinians and Israelis the security they want and deserve.

Source

Independent Jewish Voices Condemns Israel’s Gaza Massacre
By Independent Jewish Voices in  Canada

December 28 2009
Occupied Palestine

December 28, 2008
The Israeli military has unleashed its most vicious air assault against the people of Gaza in decades, killing over 280 Gazans and wounding over 700. Despite claims by the Israeli leadership that they are trying to avoid civilians the attacks have been concentrated on Gaza City and the towns of Khan Younis and Rafah. Israeli television reports that Israeli troops are massing on the border “in preparation for a supplementary ground offensive.”

Independent Jewish Voices (Canada) condemns this murderous escalation of violence by the Israeli government. Diana Ralph, IJV Coordinator calls this assault “completely disproportionate to the unsupportable firing of Qassam rockets by Hamas fighters which killed one Israeli. It’s important to put this into the context of the deadly siege of Gaza by the Israeli forces, which continued in violation of the terms of the recent six month truce between Israel and Gaza. In the ethics of violent conflicts, it is the responsibility of the force wielding power - the Israeli government in this case - to create the conditions for a just peace.”

Dr. Judy Deutsch, IJV representative, added: “This massacre will only intensify the cycle of violence in the region and heighten the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The aim of these attacks is not to bring about peace but to strengthen the position of the Israeli government as it heads into elections next February.”

Independent Jewish Voices (Canada) calls for an immediate halt to all violence in the conflict, the cessation of the Israeli government’s blockade against Gaza, a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Occupied West Bank and the dismantling of settlements.

We also call on the Canadian government to recall its ambassador to Israel and strongly condemn Israel’s assault.

Independent Jewish Voices (Canada) - formerly known as the Alliance of Concerned Jewish Canadians - is a network of 18 Jewish groups as well as individual Jews from across Canada who are opposed to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

Source

January 10 2008

In San Francisco, Jewish protesters joined pro-Palestinian forces this week as hundreds gathered outside the Israeli consulate to make their voices heard, some carrying signs saying “Gaza = Warsaw Ghetto.” Among them was Jack Fertig - known to many in town as performance artist Sister Boom Boom - who said, “I’m descended from Holocaust victims, and we need to identify with the oppressed, not imitate the oppressors.

Source

Gaza War Why?: Natural Gas valued at over $4 billion MAYBE?

So to date are we all with the Program? Are we getting the Truth of it all yet.

Lets see now

  1. Afghanistan: “Caspian Sea”  Oil,  Natural Gas ,”"Pipe Line”
  2. Iraq: Oil
  3. Gaza: Natural Gas

Well isn’t that all so interesting?

All  wars started in the Name of “Self Defense”.

British prospectors have found a substantial field of natural gas, holding an estimated 1.5 trillion cubic feet, off the coast of Gaza which Israel is coveting.

 January 5 2009
Two factors that are not being talked about much, but have figured prominently in the Israeli calculus are: natural gas and the upcoming elections to the Israeli Knesset, their parliament.

Gaza is a small strip of land on the Mediterranean Sea. Its territorial waters extend to about 35km off the coast. In 1999, the oil firm BG International discovered a huge deposit of natural gas 32km from the Gaza coast. The Gaza Marine gas field contains 1.2 trillion cubic feet of gas valued at over $4 billion. As per the Oslo peace accords, which created Gaza, Israel has security control over air and water around Gaza. So, it wrangled a deal with BG to get access to Gaza Marine gas at cheap rates.

But before the deal could go through, Hamas won the elections to the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2006. This sparked off a bitter power struggle between Hamas and the pro-west Fatah. Ultimately, the Palestinian Authority split in 2007, with Hamas taking control of Gaza and Fatah taking control of West Bank. One of the first things that Hamas did after getting elected was to declare that the natural gas deal would have to be renegotiated.

Then began the Israeli blockade of Gaza, which prevented much required food and medicines from reaching the hapless Gazans. Crammed into about 360 sq km, 1.5 million Gazans saw their lives crumble into dust. To get food and medicines, Gazans built tunnels under the Israeli barriers, and once even broke through on the Egyptian side. But the Israeli and Egyptian army tamped them down.

It appears that the current Israeli move is to try and turn the Gazans against Hamas, paving the way for a more pliable administration, so that the gas deal will go through. Reports from Israel indicate that preparations for this attack were underway since several months ago, with the ceasefire offered by Israel being just a ploy to lull Hamas.

In addition, the coming elections in Israel are predicted to see a tough challenge to the Kadima party-led government of Ehud Olmert by the hardline Likud party, led by Benjamin Netahnyu. Even within Kadima, Olmert is facing a challenge from foreign minister Tzipi Livni. Olmert has come under much criticism for the botched invasion of Lebanon in 2006. Many see the Gaza attack as an attempt by Olmert to revitalize his position within Israel.

Source

Gaza and the World: Will Things Ever Change?
One has to wonder: if Israel kills a thousand more, ten thousand, or half of Gaza, will the US still blame Palestinians?

By Ramzy Baroud
January 8, 2009
In times of crisis, most Arabs tune in to Aljazeera television. Sometimes it’s comforting for the truth to be stated the way it is, with all of its gory and unsettling details, without blemishes and without censorship. When Israel carried out massive air strikes against Gaza on Saturday, December 27, terrorizing an already hostage and malnourished population, I too tuned in to Aljazeera.

Within seconds I learned of the tally: 290 deaths and climbing, with 700 more wounded, all in one day. But as dramatic as this event may have seemed – the highest Israeli inflicted death toll in one day in Palestine since Israel’s establishment in 1948 – there was nothing new to learn.

Tragedies anywhere, natural or man made, tend to lead to social, cultural, economic and political upheavals, revolutions even, that somehow alter the social, cultural, economic and ultimately political landscapes in the affected regions, save in Palestine.

I gazed pointlessly at the screen. Learning of the aftermath of such tragedies seems more of a ritual than a purposeful habit. The Arab and international responses to the killings can only serve as a reminder of how ineffectual and irrelevant, if not complacent their timid mutterings are.

Once again the US blamed Palestinians, and the Hamas “thugs” using words that defy logic, such as “Israel has the right to defend itself.” The statement remains as ludicrous as ever, for a country like Israel with an army that possesses the world’s most lethal weapons, including nuclear arms, cannot possibly feel threatened by an imprisoned population whose only defense mechanism are fertilizer-based homemade rockets.

While Israel has killed and wounded thousands of Palestinians in Gaza (one thousand on Saturday alone) a handful of Israelis have reportedly died as a direct result of the Palestinian rockets in years. Do numbers matter at all?

European governments chose their words carefully, “expressing concern”, “calling on Israel to use restraint” and so on. Arab governments were, as usual, distracted with trivialities, protocols and easily lost sight of the crisis at hand.

Then, the same, ever predictable outbursts began. Passionate callers from all over the world called various TV and radio stations in the Middle East and shouted, yelled, cried, vented, called on God, called on Arab leaders, called on all of those with “living conscience” to do something.

In turn, audiences too cried at home as they listened to the heated commentary and watched footage of heaps of Palestinian bodies throughout the Gaza Strip.

The passion soon spilled to the streets of Arab capitals, of course under the ever-vigilant eyes of Arab police and secret services. Flags of US and Israel, and in some cases Egypt were sat ablaze along with effigies of Bush and Israeli leaders.

‘Rising up to the occasion’ some Arab governments declared, with much hype their intention to send an airplane or two of medicine and food to Gaza, a few boxes clad with the donor country’s flag, flashed endlessly on local media. Meanwhile, news reports spoke of Palestinians attempting to flee the Gaza prison into the Sinai desert. They were met with decisive Egyptian security presence at the border.

Strangely enough, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas remained faithful to the script, despite Gaza’s unprecedented tragedy. On Sunday, he blamed Hamas for the bloodbath. “We talked to them (Hamas) and we told them, ‘please, we ask you, do not end the truce. Let the truce continue and not stop”, so that we could have avoided what happened.”

Was Mr. Abbas informed of the fact that Hamas hasn’t carried out one suicide bombing since 2005? Or that the ‘truce’ never compelled Israel to allow Palestinians in Gaza access to basic necessities and medicine? Or that it was Israel that attacked Gaza in November, killing several people, claiming that it obtained information of a secret Hamas plot?

Even stranger that while Abbas has chosen such a position, many Israelis are not convinced that the war on Gaza was at all related to the Hamas’ rockets, and is in fact an election ploy for desperate politicians vying for Israel’s dominating right wing vote in the upcoming February elections. In fact, the Israeli design against Gaza had little to do with the ‘escalation’ of the rocket attacks of mid December.

“Long-term preparation, careful gathering of information, secret discussions, operational deception and the misleading of the public - all these stood behind the Israel Defense Forces “Cast Lead” operation against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip,” wrote the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz on December 28, which also revealed that the plan had been in effect for six months.

“Like the US assault on Iraq and the Israeli response to the abduction of IDF reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser at the outset of the Second Lebanon War, little to no weight was apparently devoted to the question of harming innocent civilians,” said Haaretz.

And why should Israel devote a moment to the question of harming civilians or violating international law or any such seemingly irrelevant notions – as far as Israel is concerned - as long as their “Palestinian partners”, the Arab League, or the international community continue to teeter between silence, complacency, rhetoric and inaction?

By Thursday, January 1, the death toll climbed to 420, according to Palestinian medics and news reports, and over 2000 wounded.

A doctor from a Khan Yunis clinic in Gaza told me on the phone:

Scores of the wounded are clinically dead. Others are so badly disfigured; I felt that death is of greater mercy for them than living. We had no more room at the Qarara Clinic. Body parts cluttered the hallways. People screamed in endless agony and we had not enough medicine or pain killers. So we had to choose which ones to treat and which not to. In that moment I genuinely wished I was killed in the Israeli strikes myself, but I kept running trying to do something, anything.

Until Arab countries and nations translate their chants and condemnations into a practical and meaningful political action that can bring an end to the Israeli onslaughts against Palestinians, all that is likely to change are the numbers of dead and wounded.

But still, one has to wonder: if Israel kills a thousand more, ten thousand, or half of Gaza, will the US still blame Palestinians? Will Egypt open its Gaza border? Will Europe express the same “deep concern”? Will the Arabs issue the same redundant statements? Will things ever change? Ever?

War and Natural Gas: The Israeli Invasion and Gaza’s Offshore Gas Fields

The military invasion of the Gaza Strip by Israeli Forces bears a direct relation to the control and ownership of strategic offshore gas reserves.

This is a war of conquest. Discovered in 2000, there are extensive gas reserves off the Gaza coastline.

British Gas (BG Group) and its partner, the Athens based Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC) owned by Lebanon’s Sabbagh and Koury families, were granted oil and gas exploration rights in a 25 year agreement signed in November 1999 with the Palestinian Authority.

The rights to the offshore gas field are respectively British Gas (60 percent); Consolidated Contractors (CCC) (30 percent); and the Investment Fund of the Palestinian Authority (10 percent). : Haaretz, October 21,  2007.

The PA-BG-CCC agreement includes field development and the construction of a gas pipeline.(Middle East Economic Digest, Jan 5, 2001).

The BG licence covers the entire Gazan offshore marine area, which is contiguous to several Israeli offshore gas facilities. (See Map below). It should be noted that 60 percent of the gas reserves along the Gaza-Israel coastline belong to Palestine.

The BG Group drilled two wells in 2000: Gaza Marine-1 and Gaza Marine-2. Reserves are estimated by British Gas to be of the order of 1.4 trillion cubic feet, valued at approximately 4 billion dollars. These are the figures made public by British Gas. The size of Palestine’s gas reserves could be much larger.


Map 1

Map 2

Who Owns the Gas Fields

The issue of sovereignty over Gaza’s gas fields is crucial. From a legal standpoint, the gas reserves belong to Palestine.

The death of Yasser Arafat, the election of the Hamas government and the ruin of the Palestinian Authority have enabled Israel to establish de facto control over Gaza’s offshore gas reserves.

British Gas (BG Group) has been dealing with the Tel Aviv government. In turn, the Hamas government has been bypassed in regards to exploration and development rights over the gas fields.

The election of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2001 was a major turning point. Palestine’s sovereignty over the offshore gas fields was challenged in the Israeli Supreme Court. Sharon stated unequivocally that “Israel would never buy gas from Palestine” intimating that Gaza’s offshore gas reserves belong to Israel.

In 2003, Ariel Sharon, vetoed an initial deal, which would allow British Gas to supply Israel with natural gas from Gaza’s offshore wells. : The Independent, August 19, 2003

The election victory of Hamas in 2006 was conducive to the demise of the Palestinian Authority, which became confined to the West Bank, under the proxy regime of Mahmoud Abbas.

In 2006, British Gas “was close to signing a deal to pump the gas to Egypt.” (Times, May, 23, 2007). According to reports, British Prime Minister Tony Blair intervened on behalf of Israel with a view to shunting the agreement with Egypt.

The following year, in May 2007, the Israeli Cabinet approved a proposal by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert  “to buy gas from the Palestinian Authority.” The proposed contract was for $4 billion, with profits of the order of $2 billion of which one billion was to go the Palestinians.

Tel Aviv, however, had no intention on sharing the revenues with Palestine. An Israeli team of negotiators was set up by the Israeli Cabinet to thrash out a deal with the BG Group, bypassing both the Hamas government and the Palestinian Authority:

Israeli defence authorities want the Palestinians to be paid in goods and services and insist that no money go to the Hamas-controlled Government.” (Ibid, emphasis added)

The objective was essentially to nullify the contract signed in 1999 between the BG Group and the Palestinian Authority under Yasser Arafat.

Under the proposed 2007 agreement with BG, Palestinian gas from Gaza’s offshore wells was to be channeled by an undersea pipeline to the Israeli seaport of Ashkelon, thereby transferring control over the sale of the natural gas to Israel.

The deal fell through. The negotiations were suspended:

“Mossad Chief Meir Dagan opposed the transaction on security grounds, that the proceeds would fund terror”. (Member of Knesset Gilad Erdan, Address to the Knesset on “The Intention of Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to Purchase Gas from the Palestinians When Payment Will Serve Hamas,” March 1, 2006, quoted in Lt. Gen. (ret.) Moshe Yaalon, Does the Prospective Purchase of British Gas from Gaza’s Coastal Waters Threaten Israel’s National Security? Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, October 2007)

Israel’s intent was to foreclose the possibility that royalties be paid to the Palestinians. In December 2007, The BG Group withdrew from the negotiations with Israel and in January 2008 they closed their office in Israel. (BG website).

Invasion Plan on The Drawing Board

The invasion plan of the Gaza Strip under “Operation Cast Lead” was set in motion in June 2008, according to Israeli military sources:

“Sources in the defense establishment said Defense Minister Ehud Barak instructed the Israel Defense Forces to prepare for the operation over six months ago [June or before June] , even as Israel was beginning to negotiate a ceasefire agreement with Hamas.”(Barak Ravid, Operation “Cast Lead”: Israeli Air Force strike followed months of planning, Haaretz, December 27, 2008

That very same month, the Israeli authorities contacted British Gas, with a view to resuming crucial negotiations pertaining to the purchase of Gaza’s natural gas:

“Both Ministry of Finance director general Yarom Ariav and Ministry of National Infrastructures director general Hezi Kugler agreed to inform BG of Israel’s wish to renew the talks.

The sources added that BG has not yet officially responded to Israel’s request, but that company executives would probably come to Israel in a few weeks to hold talks with government officials.” : Globes online- Israel’s Business Arena, June 23, 2008

The decision to speed up negotiations with British Gas (BG Group) coincided, chronologically, with the planning of the invasion of Gaza initiated in June. It would appear that Israel was anxious to reach an agreement with the BG Group prior to the invasion, which was already in an advanced planning stage.

Moreover, these negotiations with British Gas were conducted by the Ehud Olmert government with the knowledge that a military invasion was on the drawing board. In all likelihood, a new “post war” political-territorial arrangement for the Gaza strip was also being contemplated by the Israeli government.

In fact, negotiations between British Gas and Israeli officials were ongoing in October 2008, 2-3 months prior to the commencement of the bombings on December 27th.

In November 2008, the Israeli Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of National Infrastructures instructed Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) to enter into negotiations with British Gas, on the purchase of natural gas from the BG’s offshore concession in Gaza.  : Globes, November 13, 2008

“Ministry of Finance director general Yarom Ariav and Ministry of National Infrastructures director general Hezi Kugler wrote to IEC CEO Amos Lasker recently, informing him of the government’s decision to allow negotiations to go forward, in line with the framework proposal it approved earlier this year.

The IEC board, headed by chairman Moti Friedman, approved the principles of the framework proposal a few weeks ago. The talks with BG Group will begin once the board approves the exemption from a tender.” : Globes Nov. 13, 2008

Gaza and Energy Geopolitics

The military occupation of Gaza is intent upon transferring the sovereignty of the gas fields to Israel in violation of international law.

What can we expect in the wake of the invasion?

What is the intent of Israel with regard to Palestine’s Natural Gas reserves?

A new territorial arrangement, with the stationing of Israeli and/or “peacekeeping” troops?

The militarization of the entire Gaza coastline, which is strategic for Israel?

The outright confiscation of Palestinian gas fields and the unilateral declaration of Israeli sovereignty over Gaza’s maritime areas?

If this were to occur, the Gaza gas fields would be integrated into Israel’s offshore installations, which are contiguous to those of the Gaza Strip. (See Map 1 above).

proposed Israeli-Turkish pipeline with the Turkish port of Ceyhan.

Ceyhan is the terminal of the Baku, Tblisi Ceyhan Trans Caspian pipeline. “What is envisaged is to link the BTC pipeline to the Trans-Israel Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline, also known as Israel’s Tipline.” (See Michel Chossudovsky, The War on Lebanon and the Battle for Oil, : Global Research, July 23, 2006


Map 3

Source

War in Gaza: Israel accused of killing 30 after shelling safe house

By Philippe Naughton, and Martin Fletcher on the Gaza border
January 9 2009

The United Nations has accused Israel of evacuating scores of Palestinians into a house in the suburbs of Gaza City, only to shell the property 24 hours later, killing some 30 people.

In a report published today on what it called “one of the gravest incidents” of the 14-day conflict, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) complained that the Israeli Defence Force then prevented medical teams from entering the area to evacuate the wounded, including young children.

The Israeli military said it was investigating the claim but had no knowledge of the incident.

Citing “several testimonies” - but without identifying its sources - OCHA said that Israeli foot soldiers evacuated around 110 Palestinians into a house in Zeitun, south of Gaza City, on Sunday. Half of them were children.

“Twenty-four hours later, Israeli forces shelled the home repeatedly, killing approximately 30,” OCHA said. “Those who survived and were able walked two kilometres to Salah Ed Din road before being transported to the hospital in civilian vehicles. Three children, the youngest of whom was five months old, died upon arrival at the hospital.”

OCHA added that the International Committee of the Red Cross took several days to gain access to the area but managed to do so on Tuesday during the first daily three-hour humanitarian ceasefire. “Due to the limited time allowed, ICRC was not able to reach all houses in the area,” it said. “In all, ICRC evacuated 30 Palestinians, including 18 wounded.”

The ICRC had already issued a statement on the Zeitun incident yesterday, accusing Israel of “unacceptable behaviour” and of breaching international humanitarian law.

In that statement, the ICRC said its team had discovered four emaciated children living next to the corpses of their dead mothers in a house on which there were 12 dead bodies lying on mattresses. In another house, they found 15 survivors of the Israeli bombardment, several of them wounded, and, in a third, three corpses.

The ICRC declined to comment on the allegations in the OCHA report but a spokeswoman said that Red Cross teams had returned to Zeitun yesterday and evacuated around 100 people.

An Israeli human rights group, B’Tselem, quoted a Zeitun resident giving details of the alleged incident over the telephone but stressed that it was unable to independently verify the account.

Meysa Fawzi al Samuni, 19, said soldiers forced her and dozens of others to move into the warehouse-like home of another resident. Two men who left the house to pick up a relative were struck by “a missile or a shell,” she said.

“My husband went over to them to help, and then a shell or missile was fired onto the roof of the warehouse. Based on the intensity of the strike, I think it was a missile from an F-16,” B’Tselem quoted her as saying.

“After the smoke and dust cleared a bit, I looked around and saw 20-30 people who were dead, and about 20 who were wounded. As far as I know, the dead and wounded who were under the ruins are still there.”

The allegations risk further souring relations between Israel and the United Nations. The main UN aid agency in Gaza, UNRWA, said yesterday that it was suspending operations after two of its drivers were killed in an Israeli attack on an aid convoy.

Late last night in New York, the UN Security Council passed a resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, where around 800 Palestinians have been killed in a two-week Israeli offensive.

The 15-member council backed a resolution drafted by Britain in a 14-0 vote after the United States lifted its veto threat - infuriating the Israelis - but decided nevertheless to abstain.

The resolution “stresses the urgency of and calls for an immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.”

But the Israeli shelling continued unabated this morning, small plumes of white smoke rising every few minutes from the battered apartment blocks of Gaza City.

Israel carried out more than 50 air strikes in Gaza overnight, in which 12 Palestinian civilians were reported to have been killed. The Israeli military said that the militant group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, and its allies fired more than 15 rockets into southern Israel, wounding one person.

After a meeting of his security cabinet, Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, rejected the resolution as “unworkable” today and said that Israel had “never agreed to let an external body decide its right to protect the security of its citizens”.

“The firing of rockets this morning only goes to show that the UN decision is unworkable and will not be adhered to by the murderous Palestinian organisations,” he added.

Hamas, the Islamic militant group which controls the Gaza Strip, also rejected the UN resolution.

Source

Israel killing their own by Using Deadly Weapons of Mass Destuction again Gaza

Israel “Using banned arms against Gazans”
January 8 2009

beglari200901082136178281

Israel has been using phosphorus bombs, cluster ammunitions and banned arms against the civilian population of the Gaza Strip, a report says.

After examining video footage of the military operation in Gaza, Turkish military analysts confirmed that such weapons have been used by the Israeli military in Gaza, the Today Zaman reported Thursday.

Cluster bombs contain hundreds of bomblets, which can bring about a catastrophe when used in civilian areas. The bomblets often remain unexploded during the military operation and cause casualties thereafter.

The United States, Russia, China, India, Pakistan and Israel have so far refused to sign an agreement to ban the use of cluster ammunitions.

Journalists and medics also reported the use of white phosphorus shells by Israel in the Gaza offensive. The chemical can cause serious burns or death if it comes to contact with human skin.

Israel launched Operation Cast Lead on December 27 and escalated its offensive into a massive ground incursion late Saturday night.

The offensive has so far claimed 772 lives in Gaza and left more than 3,100 others wounded.

SB/MD

white-phosperous-weapons3

 

The pale blue 155mm rounds are clearly marked with the designation M825A1, an American-made white phosphorus munition.

January 8 2009
By Michael Evans, Defence Editor and Sheera Frenkel in Jerusalem

Photographic evidence has emerged that proves that Israel has been using controversial white phosphorus shells during its offensive in Gaza, despite official denials by the Israel Defence Forces.

There is also evidence that the rounds have injured Palestinian civilians, causing severe burns. The use of white phosphorus against civilians is prohibited under international law.

The Times has identified stockpiles of white phosphorus (WP) shells from high-resolution images taken of Israel Defence Forces (IDF) artillery units on the Israeli-Gaza border this week. The pale blue 155mm rounds are clearly marked with the designation M825A1, an American-made WP munition. The shell is an improved version with a more limited dispersion of the phosphorus, which ignites on contact with oxygen, and is being used by the Israeli gunners to create a smoke screen on the ground.

The rounds, which explode into a shower of burning white streaks, were first identified by The Times at the weekend when they were fired over Gaza at the start of Israel’s ground offensive. Artillery experts said that the Israeli troops would be in trouble if they were banned from using WP because it is the simplest way of creating smoke to protect them from enemy fire.

There were indications last night that Palestinian civilians have been injured by the bombs, which burn intensely. Hassan Khalass, a doctor at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, told The Times that he had been dealing with patients who he suspected had been burnt by white phosphorus. Muhammad Azayzeh, 28, an emergency medical technician in the city, said: “The burns are very unusual. They don’t look like burns we have normally seen. They are third-level burns that we can’t seem to control. ”Victims with embedded WP particles in their flesh have to have the affected areas flushed with water. Particles that cannot be removed with tweezers are covered with a saline-soaked dressing.

Nafez Abu Shaban, the head of the burns unit at al-Shifa hospital, said: “I am not familiar with phosphorus but many of the patients wounded in the past weeks have strange burns. They are very deep and not like burns we used to see.”

When The Times reported on Monday that the Israeli troops appeared to be firing WP shells to create a thick smoke camouflage for units advancing into Gaza, an IDF spokesman denied the use of phosphorus and said that Israel was using only the weapons that were allowed under international law.

Rows of the pale blue M825A1 WP shells were photographed on January 4 on the Israeli side of the Israel-Gaza border. Another picture showed the same munitions stacked up behind an Israeli self-propelled howitzer.

Confronted with the latest evidence, an IDF spokeswoman insisted that the M825A1 shell was not a WP type. “This is what we call a quiet shell - it is empty, it has no explosives and no white phosphorus. There is nothing inside it,” she said.

“We shoot it to mark the target before we launch a real shell. We launch two or three of the quiet shells which are empty so that the real shells will be accurate. It’s not for killing people,” she said.

Asked what shell was being used to create the smokescreen effect seen so clearly on television images, she said: “We’re using what other armies use and we’re not using any weapons that are banned under international law.”

Neil Gibson, technical adviser to Jane’s Missiles and Rockets, insisted that the M825A1 was a WP round. “The M825A1 is an improved model. The WP does not fill the shell but is impregnated into 116 felt wedges which, once dispersed [by a high-explosive charge], start to burn within four to five seconds. They then burn for five to ten minutes. The smoke screen produced is extremely effective,” he said.

The shell is not defined as an incendiary weapon by the Third Protocol to the Convention on Conventional Weapons because its principal use is to produce smoke to protect troops. However, Marc Galasco, of Human Rights Watch, said: “Recognising the significant incidental incendiary effect that white phosphorus creates, there is great concern that Israel is failing to take all feasible steps to avoid civilian loss of life and property by using WP in densely populated urban areas. This concern is amplified given the technique evidenced in media photographs of air-bursting WP projectiles at relatively low levels, seemingly to maximise its incendiary effect.”

He added, however, that Human Rights Watch had no evidence that Israel was using incendiaries as weapons.

British and American artillery units have stocks of white phosphorus munitions but they are banned as anti-personnel weapons. “These munitions are not unlawful as their purpose is to provide obscuration and not cause injury by burning,” a Ministry of Defence source said.

Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian war surgery specialist working in Gaza, told The Times that he had seen injuries believed to have resulted from Israel’s use of a new “dense inert metal explosive” that caused “extreme explosions”. He said: “Those inside the perimeter of this weapon’s power zone will be torn completely apart. We have seen numerous amputations that we suspect have been caused by this.”

Source

Bunker Busters in Action

MIDEAST ISRAEL PALESTINIANS GAZA

 

An explosion is seen as missiles fired from an Israeli aircraft fly towards a target in the northern Gaza Strip, as seen from the Israeli side of the border, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2009. .  Photo: AP/Gil Nechushtan

Bunker Busters are radioactive and  that will cause horrendous health problems in the future, not just in Gaza but also in Israel itself.

The wind blows and the radiation goes.

Israel can expect many things such as cancer, birth defects among other numerous health problems thanks to their own Government. Israel is killing it own people not just those in Gaza.

I can also be  sure there will also be health effects in Israel from the White phosphorus as well. The wind blows it goes. “Israel Breath Deep the Gathering Gloom.”

There is something  for Israeli’s to think about come election time. Their present Government is killing them too.

They also have used them before as well.

Bunker buster bombs containing depleted uranium warheads used by Israel against civilian targets in Lebanon


White Phosphorus

white-phosphorous

Israel used White Phosphorus against Hamas targets in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead in January 2009.

White Phosphorus (WP), known as Willy Pete, is used for signaling, screening, and incendiary purposes. White Phosphorus can be used to destroy the enemy’s equipment or to limit his vision.

It is used against vehicles, petroleum, oils and lubricants (POL) and ammunition storage areas, and enemy observers. WP can be used as an aid in target location and navigation. It is usually dispersed by explosive munitions.

It can be fired with fuze time to obtain an airburst. White phosphorus was used most often during World War II in military formulations for smoke screens, marker shells, incendiaries, hand grenades, smoke markers, colored flares, and tracer bullets.

The Battle of Fallujah was conducted from 8 to 20 November 2004 with the last fire mission on 17 November. The battle was fought by an Army, Marine and Iraqi force of about 15,000 under the I Marine Expeditionary Force (IMEF). US forces found WP to be useful in the Battle of Fallujah. “WP proved to be an effective and versatile munition. We used it for screening missions at two breeches and, later in the fight, as a potent psychological weapon against the insurgents in trench lines and spider holes when we could not get effects on them with HE. We fired “shake and bake” missions at the insurgents, using WP to flush them out and HE to take them out. … We used improved WP for screening missions when HC smoke would have been more effective and saved our WP for lethal missions.”

White phosphorus is not banned by any treaty to which the United States is a signatory. Smokes and obscurants comprise a category of materials that are not used militarily as direct chemical agents. The United States retains its ability to employ incendiaries to hold high-priority military targets at risk in a manner consistent with the principle of proportionality that governs the use of all weapons under existing law.

The use of white phosphorus or fuel air explosives are not prohibited or restricted by Protocol II of the Certain Conventional Weapons Convention (CCWC), the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons which may be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to have Indiscriminate Effects.

White Phosphorus (WP) - Incendiary

WP is a colorless to yellow translucent wax-like substance with a pungent, garlic-like smell. The form used by the military is highly energetic (active) and ignites once it is exposed to oxygen. White phosphorus is a pyrophoric material, that is, it is spontaneously flammable).

When exposed to air, it spontaneously ignites and is oxidized rapidly to phosphorus pentoxide. Such heat is produced by this reaction that the element bursts into a yellow flame and produces a dense white smoke. Phosphorus also becomes luminous in the dark, and this property is conveyed to “tracer bullets.” This chemical reaction continues until either all the material is consumed or the element is deprived of oxygen. Up to 15 percent of the WP remains within the charred wedge and can reignite if the felt is crushed and the unburned WP is exposed to the atmosphere.

White phosphorus results in painful chemical burn injuries. The resultant burn typically appears as a necrotic area with a yellowish color and characteristic garliclike odor. White phosphorus is highly lipid soluble and as such, is believed to have rapid dermal penetration once particles are embedded under the skin. Because of its enhanced lipid solubility, many have believed that these injuries result in delayed wound healing. This has not been well studied; therefore, all that can be stated is that white phosphorus burns represent a small subsegment of chemical burns, all of which typically result in delayed wound healing.

Incandescent particles of WP may produce extensive burns. Phosphorus burns on the skin are deep and painful; a firm eschar is produced and is surrounded by vesiculation.

The burns usually are multiple, deep, and variable in size. The solid in the eye produces severe injury. The particles continue to burn unless deprived of atmospheric oxygen. Contact with these particles can cause local burns.

These weapons are particularly nasty because white phosphorus continues to burn until it disappears. If service members are hit by pieces of white phosphorus, it could burn right down to the bone. Burns usually are limited to areas of exposed skin (upper extremities, face). Burns frequently are second and third degree because of the rapid ignition and highly lipophilic properties of white phosphorus.

If burning particles of WP strike and stick to the clothing, take off the contaminated clothing quickly before the WP burns through to the skin. Remove quickly all clothing affected by phosphorus to prevent phosphorus burning through to skin. If this is impossible, plunge skin or clothing affected by phosphorus in cold water or moisten strongly to extinguish or prevent fire. Then immediately remove affected clothing and rinse affected skin areas with cold sodium bicarbonate solution or with cold water. Moisten skin and remove visible phosphorus (preferably under water) with squared object (knife-back etc.) or tweezers. Do not touch phosphorus with fingers! Throw removed phosphorus or clothing affected by phosphorus into water or allow to bum in suitable location. Cover phosphorus burns with moist dressing and keep moist to prevent renewed inflammation. It is neccessary to dress white phosphorus-injured patients with saline-soaked dressings to prevent reignition of the phosphorus by contact with the air.

Some nations recommend washing the skin with a 0.5-2.0% copper sulphate solution or a copper sulphate impregnated pad. Wounds may be rinsed with a 0.1%-0.2% copper sulphate solution, if available. Dark coloured deposits may be removed with forceps. Prevent prolonged contact of any copper sulphate preparations with the tissues by prompt, copious flushing with water or saline, as there is a definite danger of copper poisoning. It may be necessary to repeat the first aid measures to completely remove all phosphorus.
White Phosphorus (WP) - Smoke
White Phosphorus (WP) creates a smoke screen as it burns. Phosphorus smokes are generated by a variety of munitions. Some of these munitions such as the M825 (155-mm round) may, on explosion, distribute particles of incompletely oxidized white phosphorus.

Smokes obscure vision and are used to hide troops, equipment, and areas from detection. Smoke screens are essential for movement in city fighting. In the December 1994 battle for Grozny in Chechnya, every fourth or fifth Russian artillery or mortar round fired was a smoke or white phosphorus round.

White Phosphorus and Red Phosphorus burn to produce a hygroscopic smoke containing phosphoric acids. Red phosphorus (RP) is not nearly as reactive as white phosphorus. It reacts slowly with atmospheric moisture and the smoke does not produce thermal injury, hence the smoke is less toxic. The extinction for these smokes is primarily due to scattering in the visible and absorption in the infrared (IR). These smokes are composed of spherical liquid particles that grow with relative humidity to an equilibrium size by absorbing ambient moisture that depends on the ambient relative humidity. The mass extinction varies significantly with relative humidity.

The White Phosphorus flame produces a hot, dense white smoke composed of particles of phosphorus pentoxide, which are converted by moist air into phosphoric acid. This acid, depending on concentration and duration of exposure, may produce a variety of topically irritative injuries.

Most smokes are not hazardous in concentrations which are useful for obscuring purposes. However, any smoke can be hazardous to health if the concentration is sufficient or if the exposure is long enough. Medical personnel should be prepared to treat potential reactions to military smokes once such smokes have been introduced to the battlefield. Exposure to heavy smoke concentrations for extended periods (particularly if near the source of emission) may cause illness or even death.

Casualties from WP smoke have not occurred in combat operations. At room temperature, white phosphorus is somewhat volatile and may produce a toxic inhalational injury. In moist air, the phosphorus pentoxide produces phosphoric acid. This acid, depending on concentration and duration of exposure, may produce a variety of topically irritative injuries. Irritation of the eyes and irritation of the mucous membranes are the most commonly seen injuries. These complaints remit spontaneously with the soldier’s removal from the exposure site. With intense exposures, a very explosive cough may occur, which renders gas mask adjustment difficult. There are no reported deaths resulting from exposure to phosphorus smokes. Generally, treatment of WP smoke irritation is unnecessary. Spontaneous recovery is rapid.

White phosphorus fume can cause severe eye irritation with blepharospasm, photophobia, and lacrimation. Irritation of the eyes and irritation of the mucous membranes are the most commonly seen injuries. These complaints remit spontaneously with the soldier’s removal from the exposure site. The WP smoke irritates the eyes and nose in moderate concentrations. With intense exposures, a very explosive cough may occur, which renders gas mask adjustment difficult. There are no reported deaths resulting from exposure to phosphorus smokes.
White Phosphorus - Non-Military Applications
The amazing thing is that White Phosphorus is used in almost every product imaginable – from soft drinks to toothpaste. White phosphorus is used by industry to produce phosphoric acid and other chemicals for use in fertilizers, food additives, and cleaning compounds. Small amounts of white phosphorus were used in the past in pesticides and fireworks.

In recent years, concentrated phosphoric acids, which may contain as much as 70% to 75% P2O5 content, have become of great importance to agriculture and farm production. World-wide demand for fertilizers has caused record phosphate production. Phosphates are used in the production of special glasses, such as those used for sodium lamps.

Bone-ash, calcium phosphate, is used to create fine chinaware and to produce mono-calcium phosphate, used in baking powder. Phosphorus is also important in the production of steels, phosphor bronze, and many other products. Trisodium phosphate is important as a cleaning agent, as a water softener, and for preventing boiler scale and corrosion of pipes and boiler tubes.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and numerous state/local law enforcement authorities throughout the United States, have noted an alarming trend involving illicit methamphetamine production. Methamphetamine (AKA speed, crank or meth) is a major drug problem in the United States. All businesses engaged in the sale of red phosphorus, white phosphorus and hypophosphorous acid products should be aware of the use of these products by clandestine methamphetamine laboratory operators.
White Phosphorus - Background
Phosphorus is an element, the name derived from the Greek “phosphoros” or light bearing, the ancient name for the planet Venus when appearing before sunrise. Brand discovered phosphorus in 1669 by preparing it from urine. Phosphorus exists in four or more allotropic forms: white (or yellow), red, and black (or violet). Ordinary phosphorus is a waxy white solid; when pure it is colorless and transparent. White phosphorus has two modifications: alpha and beta with a transition temperature at -3.8oC. It is insoluble in water, but soluble in carbon disulfide.

Never found free in nature, Phosphorus is widely distributed in combination with minerals. Phosphate rock, which contains the mineral apatite, an impure tri-calcium phosphate, is an important source of the element. Large deposits are found in Russia, in Morocco, and in Florida, Tennessee, Utah, Idaho, and elsewhere.

White phosphorus may be made by several methods. By one process, tri-calcium phosphate, the essential ingredient of phosphate rock, is heated in the presence of carbon and silica in an electric furnace or fuelfired furnace. Elementary phosphorus is liberated as vapor and may be collected under phosphoric acid, an important compound in making super-phosphate fertilizers.
White Phosphorus (WP) - Other Health Effects
Systemic toxicity may occur if therapy is not administered. Therapy consists of topical use of a bicarbonate solution to neutralize phosphoric acids and mechanical removal and debridement of particles. A Wood’s lamp in a darkened room may help to identify remaining luminescent particles. The early signs of systemic intoxication by phosphorus are abdominal pain, jaundice, and a garlic odor of the breath; prolonged intake may cause anemia, as well as cachexia and necrosis of bone, involving typically the maxilla and mandible (phossy jaw). Prolonged absorption of phosphorus causes necrosis of bones. It is a hepatotoxin.

The presenting complaints of overexposed workers may be toothache and excessive salivation. There may be a dull red appearance of the oral mucosa. One or more teeth may loosen, with subsequent pain and swelling of the jaw; healing may be delayed following dental procedures such as extractions; with necrosis of bone, a sequestrum may develop with sinus tract formation. In a series of 10 cases, the shortest period of exposure to phosphorus fume (concentrations not measured) that led to bone necrosis was 10 months (two cases), and the longest period of exposure was 18 years.

Signs and symptoms include irritation of the eyes and the respiratory tract; abdominal pain, nausea, and jaundice; anemia, cachexia, pain, and loosening of teeth, excessive salivation, and pain and swelling of the jaw; skin and eye burns. Phossy jaw must be differentiated from other forms of osteomyelitis. With phossy jaw, a sequestrum forms in the bone and is released from weeks to months later; the sequestra are light in weight, yellow to brown, osteoporotic, and decalcified, whereas sequestra from acute staphylococcal osteomyelitis are sharp, white spicules of bone, dense and well calcified. In acute staphylococcal osteomyelitis, the radiographic picture changes rapidly and closely follows the clinical course, but with phossy jaw the diagnosis sometimes is clinically obvious before radiological changes are discernible. It is good dental practice to take routine X-ray films of jaws, but experience indicates that necrosis can occur in the absence of any pathology that is visible on the roentgenogram.

Source

They are also using weapons that will contaminate the areas in and around Gaza for years to come. This will not only affect Gaza but Israel, Egypt,  Lebanon, Saudi Arabia,  Syria, and Jordon. It will pollute the Mediterranean sea as well. The wind blows and it goes.

The surrounding areas of Iraq have been contaminated by pollutants from the war and has extended for thousands of miles. This war on Gaza will and is doing the same thing. This just adds to the pollution in these countries compliments of wars.

contaminated-with-depleted-uranium-since-19911

 

Contaminated with depleted uranium since1991

This is a very small tip, of a very large Iceburg.

This is a relatively old map. That means the pollution has  now had time to spread farther because of  wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Gaza and is in fact more concentrated in these areas. Add to this the other Chemicals and Toxins from war and the area is extremely polluted.

Pollutants from war or any other pollutant for that matter can travel a very great distance. It can travel around the world. Each time there is a war and weapons such as the ones in Gaza, are used, they affect the entire planet.

The Toxins whether it be DU of other Toxic Chemicals will in time kill millions of people. Stop killing, future innocent victims. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but pollution from wars is really pissing me  off. The planet cannot sustain war pollution. War is destroying the planet in and extreme way. Radiation alone has killed millions around the world. DU is radioactive and one small invisible, particle can kill you.

Stop polluting the Air.

Stop polluting the water.

Stop polluting the earth.

Stop murdering future generations.

To all Israeli’s:

Next time you look at your children, ask yourself how long will  it be before they get cancer or other  related health problems, cause by the use of WMD used by your own Government, against those in Gaza.

Then, ask your self  how long will it be before you become ill?

You will die sooner,  now you have used this right next door to you country. The closer you are to ground zero the sooner you die.

History taught me that one. One teeny, tiny, invisible, particle is all it takes. There is no place to run. No place to hide. War pollution can affect you regardless of where you live. We are all trapped on this planet together. No escape for any of us. Warmongers are fools. Warmongers are Profiteers. Warmongers make everyone sick.

Oh and be sure to thank the US for giving you those lovely  deadly, weapons, to protect you from the evils of the world…..You should be so grateful for their help, in killing you and your children. This is however how the US Government saves people.


White Phosphorus Health Affects

Israel kills UN driver causing halt to UN Relief Aid in Gaza

UN agency halts operations in Gaza
January 82009


Deepening humanitarian crises in Gaza

A UN agency has halted operations in Gaza after a deadly strike on an aid convoy that prompted UN chief to issue his second call for an Israeli investigation.

“Operations will remain suspended until Israeli authorities can guarantee the safety and security of our staff,” said Christopher Gunness, a spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) that had been distributing food aid to about half of Gaza’s 1.5 million population.

The decision came after one man was killed and two others were wounded when a UN-flagged convoy of trucks was hit by two tank shells en route to the border with Israel to pick up humanitarian assistance.The Israeli military said it was investigating the incident.

Later two UN armoured vehicles that escorted an ambulance to recover the body of a local staff member in Gaza City came under small arms fire during the daily three-hour humanitarian lull Israel has declared in its Gaza offensive, a UN official said.

“The secretary-general condemns the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) firing on a United Nations aid convoy in Gaza,” a spokesman for Ban Ki-Moon said in a statement.

Ban, who plans to travel to the region next week to push for an end to the Gaza offensive, had already called for a probe of Israeli strikes on UN-run schools on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Thursday accused Israel of failing to help wounded people in one area after rescuers found four small children too weak to stand up and huddling next to their dead mothers.

It said Israeli soldiers tried to force the rescuers to leave when they finally reached the wounded in Gaza City’s shell-blasted Zeitun neighbourhood on Wednesday, four days after safe passage had been requested.

“This is a shocking incident,” said Pierre Wettach, who heads the ICRC’s delegation for Israel and the Palestinian territories.

“The Israeli military must have been aware of the situation but did not assist the wounded.”

The ICRC said that more wounded people are sheltering in destroyed houses.

Source

Red Cross slams Israel over 4 day wait to access wounded

January 8 2009

The international Red Cross accuses Israeli forces today of failing to assist wounded Palestinians and of  “unacceptable” delays in letting rescue workers reach a Gaza home where four small children were found alive next to their mothers’ bodies.

Rescuers had been refused permission by the Israeli army to reach the site in the Zaytun neighborhood of Gaza City for days, the International Committee of the Red Cross said.

The neutral aid group’s head of delegation for the region described the incident as “shocking.”

“The Israeli military must have been aware of the situation but did not assist the wounded,” Pierre Wettach said in a statement. “Neither did they make it possible for us or the Palestine Red Crescent to assist the wounded.”

Rescuers eventually received permission to go to the site Wednesday, “four days” after it was hit by Israeli shells.

They found 15 dead and 18 wounded in three houses, including the children who were too weak to stand.

The ICRC said requests to be allowed to reach other destroyed houses in this neighborhood, reportedly containing more wounded, were refused by the Israeli army.

“The ICRC believes that in this instance the Israeli military failed to meet its obligation under international humanitarian law to care for and evacuate the wounded,” the Geneva-based group said in a statement.

“It considers the delay in allowing rescue services access unacceptable.”

A spokeswoman for the Israeli mission in Geneva said she was unable to comment on the incident at this time.

Source

The making of Israel’s Apartheid in Palestine

The making of Israel’s apartheid

Phil Gasper recounts the history of how Israel was founded on the basis of the expulsion of the Arab population of Palestine.

An Israeli soldier stands guard over Palestinians waiting to cross at a checkpoint (Rami Swidan | Maan Images)

ZIONISM IS a political movement that originally emerged in the late 19th century as a response to anti-Semitism, particularly in Eastern Europe.

Capitalist development had undermined the traditional commercial roles that many Jews had played in the old feudal economy. As the economy moved into periodic crises, ruling groups in many countries deflected mass anger by scapegoating Jews.

Zionists drew the pessimistic conclusion that anti-Semitism couldn’t be eliminated–and that to escape persecution, Jews had to emigrate to a region where they could set up an exclusively Jewish state.

Theodore Herzl, known as the father of Zionism, wrote of “the emptiness and futility of trying to ‘combat’ anti-Semitism,” and called for a Jewish state to be set up in an undeveloped country outside Europe.

Herzl was explicit that the program could be carried out only with the backing of one of the major imperialist powers. Once such support had been won, the Zionist movement would conduct itself like other colonizing ventures.

Herzl wrote that, if a Jewish state were created in Palestine, it would form “a portion of the rampart of Europe against Asia, an outpost of civilization as opposed to barbarism.” In other words, the new state would be part of the system of colonial domination of the rest of the world.

The founders of Zionism were prepared to ally themselves with the most vicious anti-Semites. Herzl approached Count Von Plehve, the sponsor of the worst anti-Jewish pogroms in Russia, with the message: “Help me to reach the land sooner, and the revolt [against Tsarist rule] will end.”

What else to read

The International Socialist Review has extensive coverage of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, with numerous articles covering the background.

Annie Zirin’s “The hidden history of Zionism” recounts the history of the Zionist movement and its alliances with right-wing and anti-Semitic forces. “Israel and the Nakba” by Paul D’Amato describes the violence at the founding of the state of Israel. Hadas Thier gives the background to the current conflict in Gaza in “The siege of Gaza.”

For books about the formation of the state of Israel, look for The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine and A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples, both by Ilan Pappe, a radical Israeli historian. Pappe delivered a March 2007 speech titled “The History of Israel Reconsidered” that is worth the read.

Norman Finkelstein’s Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict is essential reading for picking apart the myths used to justify Israel’s apartheid. For an introductory take on the subject, see Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer, by Phyllis Bennis.

Between the Lines: Readings on Israel, the Palestinians and the U.S. “War on Terror,” by Tikva Honig-Parnass and Toufic Haddad, documents the apartheid-like conditions that Palestinians live under today.

For background on Israel’s war and the Palestinian struggle for freedom, read The Struggle for Palestine, a collection of essays edited by Lance Selfa on the history of the occupation and Palestinian resistance.

Zionist leaders offered to help guarantee Tsarist interests in Palestine, and rid Eastern Europe and Russia of those “noxious and subversive Anarcho-Bolshevik Jews”–in other words, the people who wanted to fight anti-Semitism, rather than capitulate to it. Von Plehve agreed to finance the Zionist movement as a way of countering socialist opposition to the Tsar.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

WHEN BRITAIN took control of Palestine at the end of the First World War, Zionists turned their attention to lobbying the British government. The Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann argued, “A Jewish Palestine would be a safeguard to England, in particular with respect to the Suez Canal.”

This argument began to seem increasingly attractive to the British ruling class. The war had underlined the importance of the Middle East, which guarded the sea routes to the Far East and contained the immensely profitable and strategically vital Persian oilfields. In November 1917, the British foreign minister Lord Balfour (a notorious anti-Semite) issued a declaration pledging his government’s support for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”

The Balfour declaration did not create a Jewish state, but it did encourage mass emigration to Palestine and the construction of an extensive settler community that was to become the basis of the state of Israel.

But there was one problem. Contrary to Zionist propaganda that Palestine was “a land without people for a people without a land,” the area was, in fact, the most densely populated region of the Eastern Mediterranean, with an Arab population that had lived there for about 1,000 years and which had developed an extensive economy.

Small Jewish settlements had existed in Palestine from the late 19th century, but after 1917, the colonization process accelerated considerably. Jewish organizations bought up large areas of land from absentee landlords, displacing large numbers of Palestinian peasants.

The Zionists also began building an exclusively Jewish “enclave” economy, organized around the Histadrut–the general confederation of Hebrew workers in Palestine. The settlers refused to employ Arab labor and boycotted Arab goods.

In the 1930s, the rise of fascism in Europe gave a further boost to Jewish immigration, even though most Jews had no interest in moving to Palestine. Zionism was still a fringe movement among Jews, and only 8.5 percent of Jewish migrants went to Palestine during this period.

The number would have been even smaller if countries like the U.S. and Britain had not had racist immigration policies that excluded most Jews. But the refugees who did arrive in Palestine strengthened the settler community.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

THE FOUNDING of a Zionist state is often justified as a response to the rise of fascism and the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust, which exterminated 6 million Jews. But far from being fighters against fascism, Zionists frequently collaborated with the Nazis.

In 1933, the Zionist Federation of Germany sent a memorandum of support to the Nazis: “On the foundation of the new [Nazi] state, which has established the principle of race, we wish to fit our community into the total structure, so that for us, too, in the sphere assigned to us, fruitful activity for the Fatherland is possible.”

The Zionist movement went so far as to oppose changes in the immigration laws of the U.S. and Western Europe, which would have permitted more Jews to find refuge in these countries. In 1938, David Ben-Gurion, who was to become the first prime minister of Israel, wrote: “If I knew that it would be possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England, and only half of them by transporting them to Eretz Yisrael, then I would opt for the second alternative.”

Jews in Palestine were given privileged status by the British colonial regime. The British helped establish and train a Zionist militia, granted Jewish capital 90 percent of economic concessions, and paid Jews higher wages than Arabs.

From the 1920s onwards, the British government used the Jewish settlers to help suppress mass Arab demonstrations against landlessness and unemployment, and for independence.

The most sustained uprising by the Palestinians took place from 1936 to 1939, and included a general strike of several months, withholding taxes, civil disobedience and armed insurrection. The British responded by declaring martial law and instituting mass repression, relying heavily on Zionist forces. Hundreds of Palestinians were executed or assassinated, thousands were imprisoned, and thousands of homes were demolished.

But Britain was greatly weakened by the Second World War and was forced to withdraw from Palestine. In 1947, the leading imperialist powers, including the U.S. and the USSR, decided to partition the country into separate Jewish and Palestinian states. Although Jews comprised only 31 percent of the population, the Zionists were given 54 percent of the fertile land.

Even this was not satisfactory for the Zionists, however. In 1938, Ben-Gurion had declared:

The boundaries of Zionist aspiration include southern Lebanon, southern Syria, today’s Jordan, all of Cis-Jordan [the West Bank] and the Sinai…After we become a strong force as the result of the creation of the state, we shall abolish partition and expand to the whole of Palestine. The state will only be a stage in the realization of Zionism, and its task is to prepare the ground for our expansion. The state will have to preserve order–not by preaching, but with machine guns.

The Zionist project could only be completed if the local Arab population was expelled. As Joseph Weitz, head of the Jewish Agency’s Colonization Department, had put it in 1940, “there is no room for both peoples together in this country…And there is no other way than to transfer the Arabs from here to the neighboring countries. To transfer all of them; not one village, not one tribe should be left.”

In 1948, this policy was put into effect. Zionist forces seized three-quarters of the land and expelled some 750,000 Palestinians.

Military groups whose leaders included the future Israeli Prime Ministers Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir, carried out massacres at villages like Deir Yasin–where over 100 men, women and children were murdered–designed to terrorize the rest of the Palestinian population to flee for their lives.

The official Israel Defense Forces carried out other massacres. One soldier gave the following eyewitness account of what happened at the village of Dueima:

They killed between 80 to 100 Arab men, women and children. To kill the children they fractured their heads with sticks. There was not one home without corpses…Educated and well-mannered commanders who were considered “good guys”…became base murderers, and this not in the storm of battle, but as a method of expulsion and extermination.

There were nearly 500 Palestinian villages in the territory that came under Israeli occupation after partition. During 1948 and 1949, nearly 400 of these were razed to the ground. More were destroyed in the 1950s.

In 1969, Moshe Dayan, former chief of staff and minister of defense, admitted: “We came here to a country that was populated by Arabs, and we are building here a Hebrew, Jewish state. Instead of Arab villages, Jewish villages were established…There is not a single [Jewish] settlement that was not established in the place of a former Arab village.”

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

ISRAEL ALSO learned the lesson of portraying its own aggression as self-defense against hostile neighbors. But in 1948, it was only after Israel had launched its attack on Palestinians that other Arab countries mobilized a token force, largely in an effort to mollify their own populations, rather than as a serious military effort. The Arab states did nothing to reverse the expulsion of Palestinians, and by the time the 1948 war ended, the Zionists were in control of 78 percent of historic Palestine.

Moshe Sharett, an Israeli prime minister in the 1950s, admitted that the Israeli political and military leadership never believed the Arab governments represented any serious danger to Israel. Rather, Israel has sought to maneuver Arab states into military confrontations it was certain of winning, with the aim of destabilizing the regimes and occupying more territory.

Israel’s goal, according to Sharett, has been to “dismember the Arab world, defeat the Arab national movement and create puppet regimes under regional Israeli power” and “to modify the balance of power in the region radically, transforming Israel into the major power in the Middle East.”

Before 1947, Jews owned about 6 percent of the land in Palestine. In the process of establishing the state of Israel, the Zionists expropriated 90 percent of the land, the vast majority of which had formerly belonged to Arabs.

Entire cities were emptied of Palestinians, and Palestinian orchards, industry, rolling stock, factories, houses and possessions were seized. The majority of Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from their homeland. Arabs who remained in Israel became second-class citizens, while Palestinians who were driven out of the country mostly lived in poverty in refugee camps throughout the Middle East.

Israel passed the “Law of Return,” which allows every person of Jewish descent to emigrate to Israel. But Palestinians weren’t allowed to return to their homes.

Following the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel occupied further territory, including the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In the West Bank, 55 percent of the land and 70 percent of the water were seized for the benefit of illegal Jewish settlers.

In Gaza, 2,200 Jewish settlers were given over 40 percent of the land, while 500,000 Palestinians were confined in crowded camps and slums. Israel finally withdrew from Gaza in 2005, but it has maintained a blockade that reinforced conditions akin to a giant prison camp.

Israel’s actions have been repeatedly condemned by the United Nations, but the U.S. government ensured that nothing was done to enforce a series of resolutions.

Since its creation, Israel has been a defender of Washington’s interests in the oil-rich Middle East. As the influential Jewish paper Ha’aretz put it in 1951:

Israel is to become the watchdog. There is no fear that Israel will undertake any aggressive policy towards the Arab states when this would explicitly contradict the wishes of the U.S. and Britain. But, if for any reasons the Western powers should sometimes prefer to close their eyes, Israel could be relied upon to punish one or several neighboring states whose discourtesy to the west went beyond the bounds of the permissible.

As a consequence, Israel has received billions of dollars of U.S. aid every year, which have made it one of the most heavily armed states in the world–one easily capable of undertaking the slaughter in Gaza we see today.

Source

This came out May  2007

Secret memo proves Israel knew occupation was illegal

LONDON
A secret memo proves that the Israeli government knew that its occupation of Palestinian land was illegal after it won the Six Day War in 1967, a British newspaper reported Saturday.

Theodor Meron, who wrote the memo as the Israeli foreign ministry’s legal advisor at the time, said “I believe I would have given the same opinion today,” according to The Independent newspaper.

With Israel now celebrating the 40th anniversary of the war, the 76-year-old Meron, who went on to become a leading international jurist, challenges Israel’s long-held argument that settlements do not violate international law.

The Independent said it obtained a copy of his legal opinion, which was marked “Top Secret” and “Extremely Urgent.”

Quoting its author, the newspaper said the memo concluded “that civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

Meron also told the newspaper that then foreign minister Abba Eban was “sympathetic” to his view that civilian settlement would go against the Hague and Geneva conventions governing the conduct of occupying powers.

But the Labour government at the time progressively approved the settlements in the captured West Bank despite the secret legal opinion which had been passed on to then prime minister Levi Eshkol.

Such actions paved the way for at least 240,000 Israelis to settle in the the West Bank.

Meron, who served as president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia until 2005, was also quoted as telling the Independent that the settlements have proven to be a real stumbling block.

“It’s obvious to me that the fact that settlements were established and the pace of the establishment of the settlements made peacemaking much more difficult,” he was quoted as saying.

In the Six Day War in June 1967, Israel captured the Sinai peninsula from Egypt, the Golan Heights from Syria and the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan.

Agence France-Presse

Source

Bombs rain down in Gaza as peace deal accepted ‘in principle’

January 8 2009

The first tentative hope of an end to the war in Gaza came yesterday when Israel said it accepted “the principles” of a French-backed Egyptian peace plan providing for international action to stop Hamas militants smuggling arms.

Israel, nevertheless, resumed its 12-day-old offensive against Hamas last night, which Palestinian medics say has killed 688 Palestinians, after halting it for three hours to allow humanitarian and medical aid into Gaza. The military said it may halt ground operations for three hours a day.

As witnesses reported tanks on the move close to the border parallel to the southern town of Khan Yunis, Israel began new air strikes against smuggling tunnels in Rafah after warning local residents to leave their homes. It was claimed that an Israeli airstrike destroyed a mosque in Gaza City, injuring at least 15 worshippers.

Amos Gilad, the top official in the Israeli Defence Ministry, flies to Cairo today for negotiations. It is clear Israel is seeking tough assurances on the strength and practicalities of any future international force on the Egypt/Gaza border before agreeing to end the war.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy appeared to jump ahead of events by announcing his “delight” that Israel and the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority, loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas, had accepted a new peace plan.

Israel’s security cabinet opted to continue pursuing its offensive, which yesterday resulted in the deaths of an estimated 29 Palestinians.

The UN said civilians continued to “bear the brunt” of the ground operation which started on Saturday night. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in Gaza said 130 children aged under 16 had been killed. Seven Israeli soldiers have died during the offensive. (4 were from Friendly Fire)

With Cabinet ministers reportedly deferring a decision on whether to deepen the offensive by moving further into inner-city areas to engage with the Hamas militants, Maj-Gen Gilad told Israel’s Army Radio the Gaza operation was “at a crossroads”.

The Egyptian foreign minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit , attending a deadlocked UN Security Council New said that the plan in Cairo was to forge a “temporary ceasefire that would lead to a consolidated, permanent ceasefire”. He said he was unable to confirm whether Hamas intended to send a team to Cairo today.

Amid reports a Turkish force was being considered to bolster border security as part of the peace plan, Mark Regev, the spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, said the plan’s success depended on the international community as well as Israel.

With 800,000 Gazans now without running water, the World Bank called on Israel to allow emergency fuel distribution to 170 halted water and sewage pumps and warned that 10,000 residents could be at risk of drowning if a combination of explosions and heavy rain resulted in the failure of Beit Lahiya sewage lake.

The exact details of what appears to have been one of the worst attacks of the war – the shelling on Monday of a compound in the Zeitoun district of northern Gaza City in which about 100 members of the Al Samoun family had taken shelter – are yet to emerge.

The Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem said a paramedic who had reached the compound during the ceasefire reported the removal of three bodies and 14 injured people but that about 16 bodies remained inside.

About 12 bodies were removed on the day of the day of the attack, making the paramedic’s report broadly consistent with reports that more than 30 people were killed. However B’Tselem said some family members were now saying the death toll was lower. Others have suggested that it is even higher.

From a hilltop half a mile from the northern Gaza border, near Sderot, the resumption of the bombardment could be seen and heard about 15 minutes after the designated 4pm end to the ceasefire. Helicopters hovered in the air above the Strip, plumes of heavy smoke rose from some of the areas under attack and the trails left by two rockets fired by militants could be seen against the sky as the sun sank.

At the UN, diplomats manoeuvred to avoid the tabling of a Libyan-drafted ceasefire resolution that would be almost certain to provoke a veto by the United States for failing to mention the Hamas arms smuggling.

British officials suggested the the 15 Security Council members may agree a compromise text just short of a resolution to avert a public split. They said this would not preclude negotiations on a full-blown resolution, with the ceasefire initiative put forward by Egypt as its likely basis.

Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, delayed her return to Washington to stay in New York and meet with counterparts from the Middle East and Europe, including Foreign Secretary David Miliband.

Mr Miliband said: “I’ve seen the first glimmerings of the possibilities of a ceasefire… we’ve got to try and make sure the action on the ground led by President Mubarak and the diplomatic work here in New York come together.”

Army admits there was no firing from school

The Israeli army has admitted privately to the UN that no firing came from a Gaza school where 42 people died on Tuesday after being hit by Israeli mortars, officials of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (Unrwa) disclosed last night.

Publicly, the Israeli army claims that the school, which was providing shelter for around 350 people, was being used by Hamas fighters to carry out attacks. Unrwa officials said they were fully confident this was not the case.

More than 20,000 mourners attended the funerals of the victims yesterday. The attack was the single biggest loss of civilian life since the Israeli onslaught began. Mourners chanted slogans against “aggressors” and “murderers” and called for Israeli government leaders to be tried for war crimes. The procession went from the Kamal Adwan Hospital, where the casualties were taken, to the Al-Fakhora school.

Source

20000-morners-jan-7-gaza

More than 20,000 mourners attended the funerals of the victims yesterday Photo:  AFP/Getty

Egypt floats truce plan after 42 killed in Gaza School and Bars Doctors from Gaza

January 6 2009

By Nidal al-Mughrab

GAZA

Israel and Hamas studied a proposal by Egypt for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday that won immediate backing from the United States and Europe, hours after Israeli shells killed 42 Palestinians at a U.N. school.

However, Israeli officials also said ministers would discuss a major escalation of their 12-day-old offensive that would push troops deep inside Gaza’s cities and refugee camps in their bid to end rocket fire into Israel by Islamist militant groups.

A Palestinian official said Hamas leaders, who want an end to Israel’s blockade of the coastal enclave, had been briefed in Egypt on the proposals by President Hosni Mubarak and were debating them internally.

Israeli officials have said they too are willing to look seriously at plans that would satisfy their demand that Egypt cut off Hamas’s supplies of smuggled weapons.

Mubarak made his cease-fire call at a joint news conference in Egypt with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. He gave little detail, but diplomats have described a process that would focus on bringing in foreign forces to seal the Egypt-Gaza border to Hamas arms smugglers while easing other trade routes.

Sarkozy, winding up a two-day tour of the Middle East, said: “I am confident the Israeli authorities’ reaction will make it possible to consider putting an end to the operation in Gaza.”

With Washington hamstrung by the transition period ahead of the January 20 inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama, France and its European partners, with backing from U.S. allies in the Arab world, have been pushing hard for Israel to cease fire.

But Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, speaking at the United Nations, quickly endorsed the Mubarak proposal and said a “sustainable” cease-fire should involve both closing off Hamas’s ability to rearm through tunnels from Egypt and easing the lives of the 1.5 million people of Gaza by reopening its trade routes.

“We need urgently to conclude a cease-fire that can endure and that can bring real security,” Rice told the Security Council.

She also welcomed an offer by Israel to open what it called a “humanitarian corridor” that would let aid agencies more easily distribute food and medicine around Gaza while it continues its military operation, which has killed over 600 people and carved the 40-km (25-mile) strip into several zones.

ISRAEL’S “THIRD PHASE”?

For all the talk of cease-fire, however, Israel continues to insist that it wants all rocket fire to stop — over 30 missiles hit Israel on Tuesday — and guarantees that Hamas cannot rearm.

And Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s security cabinet, convening on Wednesday morning, will discuss a third — and final — stage of the offensive, two senior political sources said, though the ministers may defer a vote on approving the plan.

“The plan is to enter the urban centres,” a source said, noting the first phase was an air campaign launched on December 27 and the second a ground invasion that began on January 3.

Olmert spokesman Mark Regev declined comment, saying: “We do not generally discuss the agendas of the security cabinet.”

CARNAGE AT SCHOOL

After nightfall, fighting eased to a sporadic rhythm of explosions and gunfire across the enclave. On Tuesday, 77 civilians were killed taking the total Palestinian death toll to 631, compared to 10 Israelis, seven of them soldiers.

Israel says it has killed dozens of militants this week in intensive close-quarter combat. Arab and widespread international anger mounted on Tuesday, however, when Israel admitted mortaring a United Nations school where hundreds of people were taking refuge. Medics said 42 people were killed.

The Israeli army accused Hamas militants of using civilians as “human shields” and said its troops had been returning mortar fire from the school.

An aide said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a bitter foe of Hamas, had ordered officials to look into taking Israel to international courts over the incident. A U.N. spokesman said it wanted an inquiry into both the incident and the Israeli allegations about militants firing from its schools.

The school killing could intensify pressure on Israel for a cease-fire. During Israel’s 2006 war against Hezbollah, the deaths of 28 unarmed Lebanese in shelling at the village of Qana intensified international pressure on the Jewish state to negotiate a cease-fire.

The deaths in the school prompted Obama to break his silence on the Gaza offensive, to say the loss of life among civilians was “a source of deep concern” for him. Obama said he would not engage in policy until he was in office but vowed to work rapidly thereafter to secure peace in the Middle East.

Some commentators have said the U.S. presidential transition has exposed the United States to greater risks from Israel’s action in Gaza. Al Qaeda second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri called on the Internet for Muslims to “hit the interests of the Zionists and Crusaders wherever and in whichever way you can.”

Washington’s allies in Arab governments have condemned the Israeli assault, which has contributed to rising oil prices, and the always vocally anti-American Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, another OPEC member, called it a “holocaust.”

Venezuela also expelled the Israeli ambassador.

Hamas, which has rebuffed Western demands to recognise Israel, end violence and accept existing interim peace deals, has demanded a lifting of the blockade of the Gaza Strip in any future cease-fire. It seized the territory in 2007, 18 months after it won a Palestinian parliamentary.

That created a schism with Abbas’s Fatah faction that helped kill off the outgoing U.S. administration’s efforts to broker a peace with Israel that would have created a Palestinian state. The violence in Gaza this month has raised questions over Obama’s ability to do better.

(Additional reporting by Dan Williams and Adam Entous in Jerusalem, Aziz el-Kaissouni in Sharm el-Sheikh and Claudia Parsons at the United Nations; Writing by Alastair Macdonald; editing by Myra MacDonald)

Source

France and Turkey willing to give monitors for Gaza

January 6 2009

UNITED NATIONS

France and Turkey said on Tuesday they were willing to contribute to an international monitoring team for a cease-fire in Gaza, where Israel launched a ground offensive last weekend.

“International monitoring mechanisms might prove necessary and we are willing to contribute to this,” French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told a session of the U.N. Security Council.

Kouchner said France was awaiting Israel’s response to a cease-fire proposal announced by Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak after a meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and “we harbour hope that it will be a positive one.”

Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan also said his country, which has been active in trying to end the violence in Gaza, would be prepared to contribute monitors.

“If Turkey is asked to be in such an international monitoring team, we are going to be of course willing to be there,” Babacan told reporters before the special U.N. session.

(Reporting by Sue Pleming and Claudia Parsons; Editing by John O’Callaghan)

Source

Egypt bars doctors from entering Gaza Strip

January 6 2009

RAFAH

Frustration is mounting at Egypt’s border with the Gaza
Strip, where many local and foreign doctors are stuck after Egyptian
authorities denied them entry into the coastal area now under an Israeli
ground invasion.

Anesthesiologist Dimitrios Mognie from Greece idles his time at a cafe near the border, drinking tea and chatting with other doctors, aid workers and curious Egyptians.

“This is a shame,” said Mognie, who decided to use his vacation time to try help Gazans. He thought entering through Egypt, which has a narrow border with the Hamas-ruled strip, was his best bet.

“That in 2009 they have people in need of help from a doctor and we can go to help and they won’t let us; this is crazy,” he added.

Gaza’s few hospitals have been swamped by the numbers of injured; health officials there reported more than 550 Palestinians dead and 2,500 wounded,  since Israel embarked upon its military campaign designed to stop Gaza’s Islamic Hamas from launching rockets at Israel on December 27.

Mognie and a colleague, both part of the Greek organization Doctors for Peace, came to Rafah four days ago, loaded with instruments and medical supplies. Egyptian border guards turn them back daily.

Mognie, who said he has worked in conflict zones such as Iraq, Angola and Somalia, added that he understood worries over security but that he was willing to take the risk to help the people in Gaza.

Along with Israel, Egypt has maintained the closure of the Gaza border,
imposed after Hamas took control of the area in June 2007. However, the Egyptian closure has been seen by some as abetting Israel’s siege of the crowded strip, home to 1.4 million people.

Since Israel’s offensive, Egypt has taken in a trickle of wounded Palestinians from Gaza through the crossing in the border town of Rafah. Cairo, the main mediator between Israel and Hamas, has said it would only open Rafah if moderate Palestinian forces of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are in charge of the crossing.

Calls to Egypt to ease the border bottleneck - where aid convoys first have to have their cargo unloaded from Egyptian trucks before it’s loaded onto Palestinian ones and taken into the strip - have increased, including from Hamas allies such as Iran.

Although Egypt allowed two Norwegian doctors into Gaza on Dec. 31, the majority of physicians are frustrated at their inability to get in.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hasan Qashqavi said Monday the his government submitted a formal request to Egypt to set up a desert hospital on Egyptian territory near the Gaza Strip to receive wounded Gazans.

Palestinian doctor Abed el-Qader Lubbad, who works in the intensive care at Shifa Hospital in Gaza, arrived in one of the ambulances transporting patients to Egypt on Monday. Out of the eight patients he ferried, one seriously wounded died on the way to the border, Lubbad said.

The Palestinian ambulances are not allowed to continue driving through Egypt. At the crossing, patients are taken out of the often poorly equipped Palestinian ambulances and transferred on gurneys to Egyptian ambulances.

On Monday, at least 18 Palestinian patients were brought to Egypt, according to Mohammad Arafat, a Palestinian representative in Rafah. The wounded included a man missing both legs and another who lost his eye and fractured his skull.

Another physician at Rafah was obstetrician Jemilah Mahmood from Mercy Malaysia. She said her group worked with the Egyptian Red Crescent to bring around $100,000 worth of medical supplies to the border for transport to Gaza. And while equipment eventually got through, Mahmoud said neither she nor her colleagues are allowed to cross.

“Can you imagine how many women are hurt and how few women doctors there are?” she asked. “All of us are sitting at the border.”

Source

Israel strike kills up to 60 members of one family

Some of the Samouni family died from shrapnel wounds and others from being crushed by falling masonry.

By Tim Butcher in Jerusalem
January 6 2009

But the one death that sticks in Nael al Samouni’s mind is that of the relative he claims was shot by an Israeli sniper.

“We ran from the shelling and there were people everywhere, members of my family, but one fell down injured,” Nael, 36, said.

“I heard the shot as I ran but there was nothing I could do.”

With Israel barring foreign journalists from reaching Gaza, it is impossible to verify the account of what happened to the Samouni family emerging from eyewitness testimony provided by survivors.

But different survivors all gave near identical accounts of how the Israeli army arrived at dawn on Sunday in the area of Zeitoun where the Samouni family have lived for generations.

In what the United Nations fears could be the bloodiest single attack of the Israeli assault, as many as 60 members of the extended Samouni family were killed near their homes in the Gazan town of Zeitoun while nine more died in hospital.

Dozens of bodies are believed to remain under the rubble of a large house hit repeatedly by Israeli shelling in the incident.

The International Committee of the Red Cross has formally requested permission from the Israeli army to visit the scene of the attack to establish the exact scale of the slaughter.

Israel has so far not granted permission to the ICRC due to ongoing fighting.

Palestinian ambulances have also tried to reach the scene but it remains too dangerous. Several ambulances have been hit by Israeli shelling and at least seven paramedics killed.

“There are many houses where we live and they ordered us into the house of my brother, Wael,” Nael said.

Wael, 39, another survivor, said as many as 100 members of the clan crowded into his single-storey home with strict orders from the Israeli soldiers not to move.

Three teenage members of the family – Walid, Moussa and Imad – were taken away for questioning by the Israeli army while the remainder waited anxiously without adequate food or water until night fell and fighting intensified outside.

They thought they had survived the night when at 6.35 am on Monday the house was suddenly hit by a shell that brought the roof down. It was then hit again and again.

“I saw my father and mother, and three of my children killed,” Wael said. “There was blood and bodies everywhere but some people were lost under the rubble.

“My wife survived and we had no choice but to run as the shelling continued.

“I carried my five-year-old son with me but when we got to hospital they had to cut off his arm.” He said the survivors ran on foot for about a mile and a half until they reached the main north-south road in Gaza, Salahudin Street, where they found civilian cars to take them to hospital.

It was in the chaos of the Israeli barrage that Nael said he saw someone fall down injured.

The exact number of dead is impossible to say at this time although doctors in the mortuary at Shifa, the biggest hospital in Gaza, recorded nine members of the Samouni family as reaching the mortuary by Monday afternoon.

Among them were Issa, 3, and two other infants. A photograph of their burial made it onto the front page of the International Herald Tribune yesterday.

Another survivor, Hilmi al Samouni, 26, said that when the Israeli soldiers ordered the 100 or so family members into one place they confiscated their mobile phones.

A source at the UN said the Samouni family killings could be the bloodiest single attack for civilians since Israel launched operation Cast Lead eleven days ago.

An inquiry about the incident was made to the press office of the Israeli army but by last night no answer had been received.

Source

They were ordered into  a house by Israeli Soldiers, told not to move  and then killed.

  1. Wael, 39, another survivor, said as many as 100 members of the clan crowded into his single-storey home with strict orders from the Israeli soldiers not to move.
  2. Another survivor, Hilmi al Samouni, 26, said that when the Israeli soldiers ordered the 100 or so family members into one place they confiscated their mobile phones.
  3. Three teenage members of the family – Walid, Moussa and Imad – were taken away for questioning by the Israeli army while the remainder waited anxiously without adequate food or water until night fell and fighting intensified outside.
  4. They thought they had survived the night when at 6.35 am on Monday the house was suddenly hit by a shell that brought the roof down. It was then hit again and again.

This was no accident, this was deliberate murder of innocent civilians, sickening,  shameful, premeditated murder.

GAZA : “This is an all-out war against the civilian Palestinian population”

January 6, 2009

Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian doctor working at Al-Shifa Hospital Al-Quds Hospital in Gaza City , tells Sky News that the number of civilians injured and killed in Gaza proves that Israel is deliberately attacking the population.

“Just a little bit more than an hour ago the Israelis bombed the central fruit market in Gaza city and we had a mass influx of about 50 injured and between 10 and 15 killed. At the same time they bombed an apartment house with children playing on the roof and we had a lot of children also. So this is really like speaking from the dumps of Inferno, it’s like hell here now, and it’s been bombing all night. Until now close to 500 people have been killed and the number of casualties is getting to 2,500 of which 50% are children and women.”

“Are your hospitals reaching capacity? Can you deal with these people?”

“We have been doing surgery around the clock. I have just talked with one of my colleagues in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit), he’s not been sleeping for three days and the hospital is completely overcrowded, we are running 6 - 7 Ors (Operating Rooms) and there are injuries you just don’t want to see in this world… children coming in with open abdomens and legs cut off. We just had a child that we had to amputate both legs and an arm. And their only crime is being civilians and Palestinians living in Gaza. The relief now is not more doctors and more drugs; the relief now is to stop the bombing immediately, this cannot go on, it’s a disaster.”

“You’ve talked about the civilians, the women, the children, the men who aren’t involved in this, but are you also getting casualties that are Hamas fighters?”

“To be honest, we came on New Year’s Eve in the morning. I’ve seen one military person among the tenths… I mean hundreds that we’ve seen and treated, so anybody who tries to portrait this as a totally clean war against another army are lying.

This is an all-out war against the civilian Palestinian population in Gaza, and we can prove that with numbers. And you have to remember that the average age of the Gaza inhabitants is 17 years. It’s a very young population and 80% are living below the poverty limit of the UN. So this is a poor and very young people, and they are able to escape absolutely nowhere, because they cannot flee like other populations can in war time, because they are fenced in and they are in a cage, so they’re bombing 1.5 million people in a cage… young people, poor people and, you know, you cannot separate between the civilians and the fighters in such a situation.”

Transcribed by Atenea Acevedo (Tlaxcala) and Hana Al Bayaty (IAON)

Source

Diplomats say U.S. blocks UN statement on Gaza

Jean-Maurice Ripert, French ambassador to the United Nations, speaks to reporters at UN headquarters after an emergency meeting on the situation in Gaza on Sat., Jan. 3, 2009. (AP Photo/ David Karp)
Jean-Maurice Ripert, French ambassador to the United Nations, speaks to reporters at UN headquarters after an emergency meeting on the situation in Gaza on Sat., Jan. 3, 2009. (AP Photo/ David Karp)

Diplomats say U.S. blocks UN statement on Gaza
January 4 2009

UNITED NATIONS
The United States has blocked approval of a UN Security Council statement calling for an immediate cease-fire between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers, diplomats said.

French UN Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert, the council president, said the 15 council members could not agree on a statement in closed discussions held after Israel launched a ground invasion into the Gaza Strip on Saturday. But he said there were “strong convergences” among the members to express concern about the deteriorating situation in Gaza and the need for “an immediate, permanent and fully respected cease-fire.”

Libyan Ambassador Giadalla Ettalhi said the United States during the discussions late Saturday objected to “any outcome” on the proposed statement. He said efforts were made to compromise on a weaker press statement but there was no consensus.

Several other council members, speaking on condition of anonymity because negotiations were closed, also said the U.S. was responsible for the council’s failure to issue a statement.

The U.S., Israel’s closest ally, has designated Hamas a terrorist organization. U.S. deputy ambassador Alejandro Wolff said the United States saw no prospect of Hamas abiding by last week’s council call for an immediate end to the violence. Therefore, he said, a new statement “would not be adhered to and would have no underpinning for success, (and) would not do credit to the council.”

Libya, the only Arab nation on the council, called the emergency meeting after Israel sent tanks and infantry across the border into Gaza on the eighth day of its offensive against Hamas militants. The ground attack followed a week of air strikes, which Hamas responded to with salvos of rocket fired into southern Israel.

Arab nations demanded that the council adopt a statement calling for an immediate cease fire and expressing “serious concern at the escalation of violence and the deterioration of the situation in Gaza and southern Israel,” a view echoed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

If it had been approved, the statement would have become part of the council’s official record but would not have the weight of a Security Council resolution, which is legally binding.

Egypt’s UN Ambassador Maged Abdelaziz said it was regrettable that one permanent council member – a clear reference to the U.S. – refused to accept any statement at a time when “the aggression is escalating and more people are dying and the military attack on the ground is at its full scale.”

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian UN observer, said: “We have war. We have aggression against the Palestinian people, and it is a sad and tragic moment when the Security Council cannot address this issue by at least demanding from Israel … to stop this aggression immediately.”

More than 480 Palestinians have been killed and nearly 3,000 injured in Gaza, and four people have been killed in Israel.

Israel maintains the offensive is aimed at stopping the rocket attacks from Hamas-controlled Gaza that have traumatized southern Israel.

Though the Security Council took no action on Saturday night, an Arab draft resolution circulated by Libya on Wednesday night that would condemn Israel and halt its military attacks on Gaza remains on the table. It would have to be revised, however, since the United States has already called it “unacceptable” and “unbalanced” because it doesn’t call for an end to the Hamas rocketing of Israel.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected in New York on Tuesday, along with half a dozen Arab foreign ministers who will be at the UN on Monday, to press for a cease-fire resolution.

Mansour said he hopes Abbas and the ministers will succeed in pushing through a resolution “so that we will have a durable and sustainable cease fire between us and the Israelis.”

Asked what kind of resolution would be acceptable to the United States, Wolff said: “The important point to focus on here is establishing the understanding of what type of cease fire we’re talking about and to ensure that it’s lasting, and to ensure that we don’t return to a situation that led to the current situation.”

Source

Israeli troops bisect Gaza, clash with Hamas fighters

Palestinians carry people injured during an Israeli army operation in Gaza, into Kamal Adwan Hospital in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, Sunday, Jan. 4, 2009. (AP / Fadi Adwan)

A Palestinian girl cries during the funeral of a relative that was killed in an Israeli air strike in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, Sunday, Jan. 4, 2009. (AP / Fadi Adwan)

January 4 2009

Israeli troops clashed with Hamas militants early Sunday, leading to a number of casualties on both sides, as an Israeli ground offensive in the Gaza Strip gained momentum.

After moving into Gaza after nightfall, Israeli tanks and troops bisected the narrow strip of land and surrounded Gaza City.

The Israeli military says that soldiers have killed or wounded dozens of militants, but according to Gaza officials, at least 31 civilians have been killed in the ground offensive.

However, Palestinian medical officials could not confirm the exact number of casualties, as they are unable to move around Gaza due to the fighting. According to Hamas, four of its fighters have been killed.

The Israeli military reports that one soldier has been killed and 30 wounded, two seriously, as television news images show army ambulances bringing soldiers to a hospital in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba.

The ground invasion came after a week of air strikes launched by Israel against Hamas targets in Gaza in an effort to stem the rocket attacks launched into Israel from within the territory.

The air strikes have killed more than 500 people in Gaza since the latest conflict began on Dec. 27, and Palestinian and UN officials say at least 100 of those killed were civilians.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday that Israel would protect its civilians from rocket attacks, which continued throughout the air assault.

“This morning I can look every one of you in the eyes and say the government did everything before deciding to go ahead with the operation,” Olmert said.

Israeli officials have said they do not intend to occupy the Gaza Strip and have been clear that the goal is to stop rocket attacks.

However, the ground offensive would not be “a rapid one that would end in hours or a few days,” warned one senior military officer, who asked not be named.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called the ground offensive “brutal aggression,” and reached out to his rivals in Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.

In response to the troop movement, Hamas officials said Gaza would become a “graveyard” for Israeli soldiers.

“You entered like rats,” Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan said in a statement on Hamas’ Al Aqsa TV. “Gaza will be a graveyard for you, God willing.”

Offensive widens

The Israeli army has called up tens of thousands of reserve soldiers in advance of a potential third phase that could include a wider ground offensive.

Defence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the troops could be called in should militants in the West Bank or Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon launch attacks of their own.

But early Sunday, the Israeli offensive targeted the northern Gaza Strip, cutting off Gaza City’s 400,000 residents from the rest of the region to the south.

It is from northern Gaza that most rockets are fired into Israel.

In an interview Sunday morning on Newsnet, CTV News correspondent Janis Mackey Frayer said that partitioning Gaza is an attempt by the Israeli army to “impede the movement of Hamas and other militant groups. They believe it disables fighters from being able to move around, it disables rocket squads, it’s trying to effectively take control of movement within the Gaza Strip.”

The heaviest fighting Sunday occurred in the town of Beit Lahiya, where an artillery shell killed eight civilians as they ran to a nearby school to take cover, according to local paramedics.

Earlier this week, Beit Lahiya was hit by at least two air strikes, which also killed civilians.

Israeli troops were also reportedly searching houses in the northern town of al-Attatra. However, many residents had already fled in advance of the soldiers’ arrival.

Humanitarian disaster looms

The week-long air offensive has knocked out power to many homes and businesses in the Gaza Strip, leaving many families without heat and many shops unable to store food supplies.

“They’re traumatized, they’re terrorized and they’re trapped,” John Ging of the UN Relief and Work Agency, which has 10,000 Palestinian volunteers in Gaza, told CTV Newsnet on Sunday. “The population is without water, food is critically low, there’s no electricity.”

Ging also said that the dead and injured have left Gaza hospitals “completely and utterly overburdened.”

According to Ging, one Palestinian UN aid worker volunteering at a local hospital has been killed. He did not elaborate on exactly how the worker died.

The Israeli army dropped leaflets on Gaza Saturday, warning residents to take cover in advance of the ground offensive.

“The problem of course is that Gaza is a sealed place. It is confined, it is densely populated,” Mackey Frayer said.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy will visit the region Monday in an attempt to broker a cease fire and encourage the resumption of peace talks.

Source

Israel prepares for possible ground offensive

Palestinian nurses treat Ihab Alhrzyn who was wounded in a recent Israeli airstrike, at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008. (AP / Hatem Moussa)

A Palestinian inspects damage at the Hamas Interior Ministry building, following Israeli missile strikes in Gaza City, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008. (AP / Hatem Moussa)

December 31 2008

Israel ramped up preparations Wednesday for a possible ground assault of Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, amassing more troops at the border after it rebuffed a possible ceasefire.

Soldiers gathered at the edge of the densely-populated strip of land, along with dozens of tanks. Israel’s government also approved the call-up of 9,000 reservists.

Overnight, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had discussed a 48-hour truce proposal put forth by France with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defence Minister Ehud Barak.

The meeting ended with a rejection of the proposal.

Israel has rebuffed international pressure to impose a temporary halt of its offensive in Gaza, promising not to stop until Hamas guarantees they will no longer shoot rockets across the border.

Overnight, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert discussed a 48-hour truce proposal put forth by France with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defence Minister Ehud Barak.

The meeting ended with a rejection of the proposal.

“Giving Hamas a respite just to regroup, rearm is a mistake,” Olmert spokesperson Mark Regev said. “The pressure on the Hamas military machine must continue.”

CTV Middle East Bureau Chief Janis Mackey Frayer sat down with Livni in Sderot, a town in southern Israel hit hard by Hamas rockets, and asked her about Israel’s objectives for the current military operation.

“When Israel is under attack we are going to retaliate, we are going to act back,” Livni said. “I’m not going to exist as a government and say to my citizens, ‘This is something you need to get used to’ — to be under attacks, even sporadic attacks, from the Gaza strip.”

She said Israel wants to “change realities” in the Gaza Strip, meaning a regime change. However, she also said removing Hamas from power is not the purpose of the current military campaign, but that Israel hopes Palestinians will vote out the group.

“Now (Hamas) knows that when they target Israel, Israel will act back, and I mean with forces that are not a proportionate answer to rocket attacks,” she said. “This should work once. And if they don’t understand it, it’s going to work in the future until they understand, and the population in Gaza understands, that Hamas is a problem for everybody.”

Livni also dismissed criticism that Israeli’s air strikes were carefully timed to coincide with the country’s upcoming election to draw support from voters, and before Barack Obama — who may be less supportive of Israel’s tactics than George Bush — takes office in the United States.

“It’s not connected to elections or to timing, it’s a question of a moment in which we can say, ‘OK, reality has changed,’” she said.

Livni also said Israel is “not the aggressor in the conflict.”

‘Far away’ from peace

Samah Sabawi, a spokesperson for the National Council on Canada-Arab Relations, said she was dismayed by that assertion.

“Israel has held, for 40 years, an illegal occupation of Palestinian land,” Sabawi, who was born in the Gaza Strip, told CTV Newsnet on Wednesday. “That occupation itself is a form of aggression against the Palestinians.

She said the way Israel has treated the Palestinians — building settlements in the territories, erecting walls — is also a “great form of aggression, and until Israel starts to understand that, we’re really far away from any kind of peaceful resolution.”

The campaign, which will enter its sixth day, has so far killed about 400 people in the Gaza Strip and injured 1,600. Of the dead, at least 200 were uniformed Hamas members. According to the UN, 60 Palestinian civilians have also been killed.

Hamas is protesting a blockade enforced by Israel that has reduced the amount of food and medical supplies entering the country. Sabawi said her sister, a doctor working in Gaza, told her the hospitals have been flooded with casualties but lack enough resources to treat them.

“The situation is very dire,” said Sabawi. “There is no hot water in the hospital. There is still no electricity, so the hospital is having to rely on generators to keep the lights on and keep the life-support machines running.”

She also said that while some supplies are still reaching the hospital, staff have run out of medication to help burn victims.

“Because Israel destroyed the infrastructure and the fire department, there’s a lot of fires going on from the bombings, and from people trying to find heat by burning wood and coal inside their homes,” said Sabawi.

Attacks continue

Gabriella Shalev, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, said the bombing campaign is the only way for Israel to bring about peace and security for Israelis targeted by rockets in the south.

“This is the right and the duty of every sovereign state to defend its own people so unless we get assurances and guarantees that Hamas will stop rocketing Israel, there will be no ceasefire,” Shalev told CTV Newsnet on Wednesday.

By midday Wednesday, more than two dozen rockets and mortar shells had been fired on Israel, including five that struck Beersheba, a major southern Israeli city.

Militants have been able to extend their reach with better rockets, putting more than one-tenth of the Israeli population in danger.

Since the conflict began, four Israelis, including three civilians, have been killed by militant rocket fire.

Hamas spokesman Taher Nunu said Wednesday that the Gaza government is still functioning.

“What our people want is clear: an immediate stop to all kinds of aggression, the end of the siege by all means, the opening of all border crossings, and international guarantees that the occupation will not renew this terrorist war again,” Nunu said in a statement.

The current crisis began roughly a week after a six-month truce between Israel and Hamas ended with a barrage of Hamas rocket fire. On Christmas day, 80 rockets were fired from Gaza into southern Israel.

Liberal Foreign Affairs Critic Bob Rae said Wednesday that Hamas needs to change the way it operates.

“Hamas has refused to recognize Israel and has rejected a ceasefire,” Rae told CTV Newsnet. “It’s absolutely crucial that Hamas change the way it behaves.”

At the same time, Rae said everyone has to work with the Israelis to achieve a real ceasefire that Hamas will respect.

“We all have to be working with the Israeli government to make sure that the long term efforts at finding a peaceful solution are not lost sight of,” he said.

Calls for an immediate ceasefire have also come from the Quartet — the U.S., E.U., UN and Russia — who joined together to attempt to broker a peace agreement in 2002.

“Israel says that at this stage there’s no use in exploring band aid solutions to what they still see as a grave problem — Hamas is still firing rockets from the Gaza Strip,” Mackey Frayer said.

Although it has rejected the temporary ceasefire, Israel has agreed to allow 2,000 tons of food and medical supplies into Gaza Wednesday.

Shalev said Israel’s borders were open all the time to allow aid into Gaza.

Source

 

Israeli tanks, soldiers invade Gaza Strip

January 4 2009

By Nidal al-Mughrabi

GAZA

Israeli tanks and infantry battled Hamas fighters in the Gaza Strip on Sunday in a ground offensive launched after eight days of deadly air strikes failed to halt the Islamist group’s rocket attacks on Israel.

A column of Israeli tanks, backed by aircraft, pushed deep into the territory, and Israel’s navy prevented travel along Gaza’s coastal road, witnesses said, effectively cutting the enclave in half.

In initial fighting, Israeli ground forces killed eight Gazans, five of them gunmen, bringing the Palestinian death toll since the start of an air campaign on December 27 to more than 450, Palestinian medical officials said.

Israel said 30 of its soldiers were wounded, two seriously, since the start of the ground assault and that Israeli aircraft struck more than 45 targets, including arms smuggling tunnels, weapons depots and mortar squads.

“During exchanges of fire overnight, dozens of armed Hamas operatives were hit,” an Israeli military communique said.

At the United Nations, the United States thwarted an effort by Libya to persuade the Security Council to call for an immediate ceasefire, diplomats said.

Israel said it called up tens of thousands of reservists and the military’s chief spokesman estimated the operation in the Hamas-run territory could take “many long days.”

Heavy casualties are likely to increase international pressure on Israel to halt its biggest operation in the Gaza Strip in four decades, fighting that holds significant political risks for Israeli leaders ahead of a February 10 national election.

The plight of the 1.5 million Palestinians crammed into the Gaza Strip was growing more desperate. People have taken shelter in their homes for days and humanitarian agencies warned that water, food and medical supplies were running short.

WIDESCALE OPERATION

The Israeli military said “large infantry, tank, engineering, artillery and intelligence forces” were operating throughout the Gaza Strip, backed by attacks by aircraft and warships off the Mediterranean coast.

A spokesman for Hamas’ armed wing, the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades, said Israeli troops faced certain death or capture. “The Zionist enemy must know his battle in Gaza is a losing one,” said the spokesman, Abu Ubaida.

At least a quarter of the 453 Palestinians killed in the current conflict have been civilians, a U.N. agency said. Another 2,050 Palestinians have been wounded. A leading Palestinian rights group put the number at 40 percent.

Four Israelis have been killed by rockets that continue to pound southern Israel.

In New York, the U.N. Security Council held a special meeting to discuss the latest developments. Several council diplomats said the U.S. refusal to back the Libyan-drafted demand for an immediate truce had killed the initiative, since council statements must be passed unanimously.

“It won’t be easy. It won’t be short,” said Barak, leader of the center-left Labor party and a candidate for prime minister in the election.

A spokesman for Hamas’ armed wing, the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades, said Israeli troops faced certain death or capture. “The Zionist enemy must know his battle in Gaza is a losing one,” spokesman Abu Ubaida said.

At least a quarter of the 453 Palestinians killed in the current conflict have been civilians, a U.N. agency said. Another 2,050 Palestinians have been wounded.

Four Israelis have been killed by rockets in southern Israel.

The United States, Israel’s main backer, said a ceasefire should take place as soon as possible but should guarantee an end to Hamas rocket attacks.

A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the Israeli attack as “a vicious aggression.”

(Writing by Angus MacSwan; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

Source

Israel has all the Weapons of Mass Destruction at it’s finger tips thanks to the US. Seems they pan on putting them all to use against Palestinians who have very few weapons of any sort.

Sort of like a 250 pound man, betting on a 2 year old kid that has been starving to death for weeks.  Why am I not impressed by this type of behavior.

Gaza offensive criticized across Asia
January 4 2008

ISLAMABAD

Israel’s deadly assault on Gaza drew cries of alarm across Asia Sunday, with Pakistan and China calling for it to end and angry Muslims in Indonesia urging war against the Jewish state.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi called for an immediate end to the Israeli air and ground offensive in the Gaza Strip.

“There should be an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. We should stop the loss of life and property there,” Qureshi told a televised news conference. “What has happened is unjustified.”

The offensive, launched more than a week ago by Israel in response to a wave of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip run by the Hamas Islamist movement, has killed at least 485 people so far, according to Gaza medics.

Rocket fire from Gaza over the same period has killed four Israelis.

In New York, the UN Security Council failed to agree on a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire after hours of closed-door talks.

Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso warned that Israel’s ground offensive into Gaza would only worsen the situation.

“I have asked both of them to show self-restraint,” Aso told a news conference, referring to Israel and Hamas.

“It was difficult for them to sort things out to begin with. I’m very worried that the dispatch of ground troops will make the situation much worse,” he said.

China, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, for the third time called for the armed conflict to end.

“China is seriously concerned with the escalating situation,” foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a statement.

“We strongly call on the concerned sides to immediately cease military activities and armed conflict and prevent more civilian casualties.”

Thousands of Islamists in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, rallied across the country to condemn the strikes and called on the government to send troops to fight Israeli forces.

Around 3,000 members of the Islamist Hizbut Tahrir movement filled the streets of central Jakarta in a peaceful march, carrying banners denouncing the Jewish state as a “terrorist” force.

“Indonesia’s military must go to war against Israel, not just as peacekeepers. We ask the government to send troops there, not just medicine,” Farid Wadjdi, the movement’s local head, was quoted as saying by news website Detikcom.

Protesters marched over an Israeli flag painted onto the ground in the city of Makassar in South Sulawesi province, rubbing their feet into the image as a sign of disrespect, television station MetroTV said.

Protesters had also rallied in several cities across Pakistan on Friday against the Israel’s operation, with some burning Israeli flags, and calling for jihad, or holy war, against the Jewish state.

Singapore’s foreign ministry said in a statement that Israel’s invasion was “extremely disturbing” and “can only exacerbate the already grave humanitarian situation,” reiterating a call for restraint on all sides.

“We hope that an immediate ceasefire can be agreed so that urgent humanitarian concerns can be addressed,” the statement said.

In Australia, some 2,000 people marched through Sydney in protest at Israel’s attacks and urged their government to condemn the invasion of the battered Palestinian enclave.

Source

El-Magadma Mosque Bombed to Ashes 13 Worshippers Killed Many are Wounded

By Hiyam Noir

17:25 pm local time
January 3 2009

On Saturday afternoon, the Zionists state of Israel launched two ballistic missiles at the El- Magadma Mosque in the Bietverdana; Lahia Project nearby Kamal Edwan Hospital, in the northern Gaza Strip. Many people are killed, unconfirmed reports say 12 worshippers has been killed inside the Holy Mosque and many are reported to be wounded.

This report from Biet Lahia is written while bombs are falling everywhere, people are fearing the main electricity power line will be destroyed in these heavy air strikes. Many Ambulances and medical team has arrived. The situation is plain horrible. Israeli ground artillery are expected to invade the northern Gaza Strip any time soon.
(Islam Kaloubcontributed to this report)

Source

 
Photo Fady Adwan January 2 2009 PalestineFreeVoice Images
By Hiyam Noir

January 3 2009 1.23 am

GAZA

In the seventh day of criminal assaults on Gaza Strip, Israeli ballistic missiles paid for with US money, where cutting through steel, bones and flesh - building structures, cars, homes and people across Gaza. By Friday early evening, more than 60 Gaza residents are reported to be maimed and killed.

During this week of Israeli carnage 57% of the killed are innocent children. On Friday morning the Israelis pounded again Hamas targets in Gaza with heavy air strikes.

The report of causalities listed by the Palestinian Governmental Health Ministry in Gaza Strip reveal that the number of death of more than 425 and over 2,000 people are injured.

In response to the assassination of Hamas respected and prominent political and military leader,the commander of Al Qassam Brigades, Nizar Rayan and his family, Hamas will possibly retaliate using its most lethal and effective weapon, which has not been used in several years, suicide operations inside the Jewish state.

In the three air strikes on Nizar Rayan’s home situated in the densely populated Jabaliya Refuge camp, in northern Gaza Strip, Nizar was killed together with his wives and most of his children. Rayan was also a theological lecturer at the IUG, Islamic University of Gaza, a good and brave man, he fought alongside his troops in the battles with Israeli heavy armed soldiers and tanks. He made a point of daring the enemy, the Zionists Israel, he chose to live among his people, openly in his home in Jabaliya refugee camp, and he encouraged other leaders to do the same. Nizzar Rayan’s son, a member of the armed Palestinian resistance, died a Martyrs death, at the early age of 22, in a suicide bombing inside an Israeli settlement.

A Hamas official, Ismail Radwan said on Thursday, regarding the Israelis threats to continue its targeted killings of Hamas leaders, that “after this crime [ the murder of Nizar Rayan], all our options are open to counter the Israelis aggression, including Martyr operations against Zionist targets everywhere, at any time”.

“The Israelis are mistaken if they believe that by killing Hamas leaders, the Israeli assassination campaign will uproot Hamas,” a professor of political science at Al-Azhar University in Gaza, Mkhaimar Abusada, said on Wednesday.” Hamas is a movement that has the support of over 40 percent of the Palestinian people, the assassination of Nizar Rayan, might be a morale blow to Hamas,” said Abusada, however Hamas movement will have no problem finding new leaders, killing Hamas leaders and courageous fighters will only increase the popularity of Hamas.

Ahmed Yousef, a Hamas spokesperson said on Thursday that “ the Israelis has killed our people, destroyed our homes, our governmental and other buildings, but the they can not destroy the Hamas movement - we are not worried about the existence of Hamas, even if their war machinery will destroy all of Gaza Strip - Hamas movement live inside the soul of the Palestinian people”.

Hamas’s media outlets are still broadcasting, Hamas police are still patrolling the streets of Gaza. Hamas will stand strong, in spite of the Israelis assault and the great Palestinian suffering and the loss of lives. On Friday morning, the military branch of Hamas, Al-Qassam were able to take over broadcast announcements trough the Israeli military radio channels, warning the Israeli soldiers from entering the Gaza Strip.

Hamas will stand steady despite of that, the Zionists Israel now are dropping leaflets calling for the Gazan’s to betray their own people. Similar tactics were used 2006 in the Israeli war on Lebanon. The Israelis used similar tactics intended to shake the civilian Lebanese population and crush the spirit of the home front.

In the months that will follow the Israeli ” Cast Lead Massacre” on Gaza Strip, after gathering all the evidence against the Zionist state of Israel including individual Israeli perpetrators, juridical procedures will be filed by thousands of Palestinian victims and their teams of lawyers. The questions of the amount of legal compensations and the sentence imposed, will be determined when the extent of violence and harm is determined. The court will render its decision when all the factors including both money compensation for loss of property and compensation for loss of life and body harm is consented.

The punishment for these unspeakable war crimes will be determined by the main World judicial tribunal, the World Court of Justice ( ICJ ) of the United Nations, and will apply to our international conventions and treaties. The judgment of the World Court of Justice (ICJ) is binding and cannot be appealed, once the parties have consented to its jurisdiction and the court has rendered a decision.

This time there is no way the Zionist state of Israel will get away with murder. The legal and cogent evidence of war crimes are overwhelming, plainly visible and will be supported by hundreds of thousands of testimonies.

( PFV have in possession, more than 500 photographical evidences on file, and transcripts, written or recorded, most of them wired throughout the world).

_____________________

Below the alleged Israelis leaflet distributed throughout Gaza Strip:

Dear people of the Gaza Strip, Bear the responsibility for your fate!

The projectile launchers and the terrorist elements pose a threat on you and your families. If you wish to provide help and assistance to your people in the sector, call the number below to provide us with the needed information. The future of the massacre is in your hands Don’t hesitate!

We will be glad to receive any information you have and it is not necessary to give us your personal information. We will keep it as a secret. Call us at the following number: 02-5839749 Or e-mail us at: Helpgaza2008@gmail.com

To provide us with any information on the terrorist factions. Note: To protect your safety we ask you to be secretive when you call us. Head of the Israeli defense forces.

Source

Lucky few leave Gaza, Israel planned attacks six months ago

Iranian clerics wearing shrouds chant slogans during an anti-Israeli demonstration after the Friday prayers at Palestine square of Tehran Jan. 2, protesting Israel's continuing bombardment of Gaza.`
Iranian clerics wearing shrouds chant slogans during an anti-Israeli demonstration after the Friday prayers at Palestine square of Tehran Jan. 2, protesting Israel’s continuing bombardment of Gaza.`
Photograph by: Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images

GAZA - They boarded buses in the pre-dawn murk on Friday, lucky foreign passport holders allowed by Israel to escape from seven days of Israeli bombardment in the Gaza Strip.

“The situation is very bad. We are afraid for our children,” said Ilona Hamdiya, a woman from Moldova married to a Palestinian. “We are very grateful to our embassy,” she said in lightly accented Arabic.

Between 350 and 450 foreigners were authorised by Israel to leave Gaza if they wish, via the forbidding concrete corridor that ushers them into Israel’s fortified crossing point and its panoply of security scanners to detect hidden suicide bombs.

Five busloads headed out on the short trip to the border, one of American passport holders and four of mainly East Europeans.

They left behind 1.5 million Palestinians unable to escape the conflict which has killed 414 people since it began last Saturday. Four Israelis have been killed by Gaza rockets.

Gaza city was waking up to another day of Israeli air strikes, flickering electricity and long queues for bread. Aside from the bakeries, the almost deserted streets were cold and dirty, littered with a week’s bombing debris.

Morning air strikes hit six houses. A Palestinian girl of about 14 died apparently of a heart attack, terrified by an explosion which rocked her house, neighbours said.

In the south an Israeli missile killed three children aged 8 to 12, as they played in the street in southern town of Khan Yunis. One was decapitated. At Shifa hospital in Gaza City, doctors could not disguise their anger.

“These injuries are not survivable injuries,” said Madth Gilbert, a Norwegian surgeon unable to save one boy who had both feet blown off. “This is a murder. This is a child,” he said.

At the UN Beach Distribution Centre, teenagers with rickety trolleys and men with horses and carts collected sacks of flour and other food aid from a warehouse replenished the day before by 70 aid trucks allowed in via Israel.

“Only God can get us out of this mess,” said one old man waiting to buy his ration of unleavened loaves.

DIE BEFORE GOD

At Jabalya refugee camp to the north, boys inspected the twisted concrete left by one of the Israeli air force’s latest targets, the so-called Mosque of Martyrs which Israel says was a a hidden arsenal and command post for fighters of the Islamist Hamas group which rules the Gaza Strip.

The air force supplied black and white cockpit video of the strike to underscore the large number of secondary explosions which it said proved its case.

Several mosques that would normally be busy before Friday prayers were still closed in the morning because they had been warned by Israel’s army that they would be bombed.

Nine have been hit since the attack began on Saturday.

“I will pray at home. You never know, they may bomb the mosque and destroy it on our heads,” said one man buying humus from a street stand. Another was defiant: “What better than to die while kneeling before God?” he said.

Gaza markets, normally bustling on a Friday, were deserted.

“It is an adventure to get out of your house to fetch a kilo of tomatoes or something,” said Abu Yasser, a father of four.

“But I must take my chances because my children are not to blame for this and they do not understand why all this is happening,” he told Reuters.

Hundreds of families say they have had telephone calls warning their houses would be bombed, and they have left to stay with relatives or friends. Some of their neighbours have packed up and gone as well, wary of becoming “collateral damage”.

Duct tape has been in heavy demand by Palestinians who tape up their windows hoping to protect against flying glass from the heavy explosions.

Hamas police moved about mostly in plain clothes, with no guns on display. Merchants were warned against war profiteering.

Source

The True Story Behind this War Is Not The One Israel Is Telling

By Johann Hari

December 29 2008
The world isn’t just watching the Israeli government commit a crime in Gaza; we are watching it self-harm. This morning, and tomorrow morning, and every morning until this punishment beating ends, the young people of the Gaza Strip are going to be more filled with hate, and more determined to fight back, with stones or suicide vests or rockets. Israeli leaders have convinced themselves that the harder you beat the Palestinians, the softer they will become. But when this is over, the rage against Israelis will have hardened, and the same old compromises will still be waiting by the roadside of history, untended and unmade.

To understand how frightening it is to be a Gazan this morning, you need to have stood in that small slab of concrete by the Mediterranean and smelled the claustrophobia. The Gaza Strip is smaller than the Isle of Wight but it is crammed with 1.5 million people who can never leave. They live out their lives on top of each other, jobless and hungry, in vast, sagging tower blocks. From the top floor, you can often see the borders of their world: the Mediterranean, and Israeli barbed wire. When bombs begin to fall – as they are doing now with more deadly force than at any time since 1967 – there is nowhere to hide.

There will now be a war over the story of this war. The Israeli government says, “We withdrew from Gaza in 2005 and in return we got Hamas and Qassam rockets being rained on our cities. Sixteen civilians have been murdered. How many more are we supposed to sacrifice?” It is a plausible narrative, and there are shards of truth in it, but it is also filled with holes. If we want to understand the reality and really stop the rockets, we need to rewind a few years and view the run-up to this war dispassionately.

The Israeli government did indeed withdraw from the Gaza Strip in 2005 – in order to be able to intensify control of the West Bank. Ariel Sharon’s senior adviser, Dov Weisglass, was unequivocal about this, explaining: “The disengagement [from Gaza] is actually formaldehyde. It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so that there will not be a political process with the Palestinians… this whole package that is called the Palestinian state has been removed from our agenda indefinitely.”

Ordinary Palestinians were horrified by this, and by the fetid corruption of their own Fatah leaders, so they voted for Hamas. It certainly wouldn’t have been my choice – an Islamist party is antithetical to all my convictions - but we have to be honest. It was a free and democratic election, and it was not a rejection of a two-state solution. The most detailed polling of Palestinians, by the University of Maryland, found that 72 per cent want a two-state solution on the 1967 borders, while fewer than 20 per cent want to reclaim the whole of historic Palestine. So, partly in response to this pressure, Hamas offered Israel a long, long ceasefire and a de facto acceptance of two states, if only Israel would return to its legal borders.

Rather than seize this opportunity and test Hamas’s sincerity, the Israeli government reacted by punishing the entire civilian population. It announced that it was blockading the Gaza Strip in order to “pressure” its people to reverse the democratic process. The Israelis surrounded the Strip and refused to let anyone or anything out. They let in a small trickle of food, fuel and medicine – but not enough for survival. Weisglass quipped that the Gazans were being “put on a diet”. According to Oxfam, only 137 trucks of food were allowed into Gaza last month to feed 1.5 million people. The United Nations says poverty has reached an “unprecedented level.” When I was last in besieged Gaza, I saw hospitals turning away the sick because their machinery and medicine was running out. I met hungry children stumbling around the streets, scavenging for food.

It was in this context – under a collective punishment designed to topple a democracy – that some forces within Gaza did something immoral: they fired Qassam rockets indiscriminately at Israeli cities. These rockets have killed 16 Israeli citizens. This is abhorrent: targeting civilians is always murder. But it is hypocritical for the Israeli government to claim now to speak out for the safety of civilians when it has been terrorising civilians as a matter of state policy.

The American and European governments are responding with a lop-sidedness that ignores these realities. They say that Israel cannot be expected to negotiate while under rocket fire, but they demand that the Palestinians do so under siege in Gaza and violent military occupation in the West Bank.

Before it falls down the memory hole, we should remember that last week, Hamas offered a ceasefire in return for basic and achievable compromises. Don’t take my word for it. According to the Israeli press, Yuval Diskin, the current head of the Israeli security service Shin Bet, “told the Israeli cabinet [on 23 December] that Hamas is interested in continuing the truce, but wants to improve its terms.” Diskin explained that Hamas was requesting two things: an end to the blockade, and an Israeli ceasefire on the West Bank. The cabinet – high with election fever and eager to appear tough – rejected these terms.

The core of the situation has been starkly laid out by Ephraim Halevy, the former head of Mossad. He says that while Hamas militants – like much of the Israeli right-wing – dream of driving their opponents away, “they have recognised this ideological goal is not attainable and will not be in the foreseeable future.” Instead, “they are ready and willing to see the establishment of a Palestinian state in the temporary borders of 1967.” They are aware that this means they “will have to adopt a path that could lead them far from their original goals” – and towards a long-term peace based on compromise.

The rejectionists on both sides – from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran to Bibi Netanyahu of Israel – would then be marginalised. It is the only path that could yet end in peace but it is the Israeli government that refuses to choose it. Halevy explains: “Israel, for reasons of its own, did not want to turn the ceasefire into the start of a diplomatic process with Hamas.”

Why would Israel act this way? The Israeli government wants peace, but only one imposed on its own terms, based on the acceptance of defeat by the Palestinians. It means the Israelis can keep the slabs of the West Bank on “their” side of the wall. It means they keep the largest settlements and control the water supply. And it means a divided Palestine, with responsibility for Gaza hived off to Egypt, and the broken-up West Bank standing alone. Negotiations threaten this vision: they would require Israel to give up more than it wants to. But an imposed peace will be no peace at all: it will not stop the rockets or the rage. For real safety, Israel will have to talk to the people it is blockading and bombing today, and compromise with them.

The sound of Gaza burning should be drowned out by the words of the Israeli writer Larry Derfner. He says: “Israel’s war with Gaza has to be the most one-sided on earth… If the point is to end it, or at least begin to end it, the ball is not in Hamas’s court – it is in ours.”

Source

The video also states that Israel planned the attacks over six months ago.


If anyone thinks the US cares about Gaza you are wrong.
US gives Israel free rein on whether to invade Gaza

WASHINGTON

January 3 2008

US President George W. Bush, in remarks to be broadcast Saturday, urged all able parties to press Hamas to stop firing rockets at Israel and secure a lasting ceasefire, after a week of heavy Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip.

His administration meanwhile gave Israel free rein over whether to send ground troops into Gaza, despite growing criticism over its handling of a conflict that has killed at least 436 Palestinians and left 2,290 others wounded.

At least 75 of those killed have been children, according to emergency services inside Gaza.

“The United States is leading diplomatic efforts to achieve a meaningful ceasefire that is fully respected,” Bush said in his weekly radio address, the text of which was released by the White House in advance.

These were his first remarks since the conflict erupted a week ago.

He said “I urge all parties to pressure Hamas to turn away from terror, and to support legitimate Palestinian leaders working for peace,” including Mahmud Abbas, president of the US-backed Palestinian Authority.

He said he has been in contact with Abbas as well as King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah II of Jordan, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel.

Bush, who hands the White House to his successor Barack Obama in just 18 days, blamed Hamas for the latest violence and rejected a unilateral ceasefire that would allow Hamas to continue to attack Israel from the Gaza Strip.

Hamas shared power with the Palestinian Authority for a period after winning parliamentary elections in the West Bank and Gaza in 2006 but the arrangement collapsed and Hamas seized power outright in Gaza in June 2007.

“This recent outburst of violence was instigated by Hamas — a Palestinian terrorist group supported by Iran and Syria that calls for Israel’s destruction,” Bush said.

Bush said the Israeli strikes were in self-defense after Hamas let a six-month ceasefire lapse on December 19 and fired rockets at Israel.

He also accused Hamas of putting Palestinian lives at risk by hiding among them.

White House deputy press secretary Gordon Johndroe earlier said the United States has urged Israel to avoid civilian casualties in their military operations, whether they involve continued air assaults or a ground incursion.

“Those will be decisions made by the Israelis,” he said when asked if Israel would be justified in launching a ground assault.

Israel has thousands of troops massed for a ground offensive on Gaza that would aim to deal a hammer blow to Hamas and re-establish Israel’s military credentials with its other foes, experts said.

After briefing Bush earlier, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Washington sought a “ceasefire that would not allow a re-establishment of the status quo ante where Hamas can continue to launch rockets out of Gaza.”

She added: “It is obvious that ceasefire should take place as soon as possible, but we need a ceasefire that is durable and sustainable.”

Rice has had a flurry of consultations with her counterparts from Israel, Arab countries as well as Russia, Britain and the European Union, officials said. Johndroe added that Rice has also spoken to Obama in the last week.

Asked if she planned to travel to the Middle East to broker an end to the crisis, Rice replied: “I have no plans at this point.”

The Israeli offensive has prompted condemnation from around the world, but particularly from Arab and Muslim countries.

In New York, Amnesty International sent a letter to Rice berating the administration for its “lopsided” support for the Israeli assault and urged it to suspend weapons deliveries to Israel.

Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was national security adviser for US president Jimmy Carter, told CNN television that Rice’s remarks “clearly show that the US policy right now is completely bankrupt” and the Israeli offensive “will further radicalize the Palestinians.”

He said Obama, whom he supports, will have to make a “fresh start” when he succeeds Bush on January 20.

But the US president-elect has kept silent on the latest phase of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with his aides saying their boss was “monitoring” the situation.

The bottom line is Israel wants all of “What use to be Palestine”.

That has been the plan from the beginning. The US has been helping them do this.
Don’t be fooled by Israel or the US pretending to negotiate anything. They lie. Both have been lieing for years.
This will also lead to the destabilization of the Middle East in general. The on going war is for power and profiteering.
Just a pitty Israel leaders are so blind to the fact, they are being used by the US for their own self serving agenda.
When a county like the US give billions of dollars to a country for weapons, be  suspicious very suspicious. Israel is just doing the dirty work for the US as did Saddam way back when the US helped Iraq, only to attack Iran of course. Somethings are so obvious if you know a bit about history.

U.S. Government Uses Al-Qaeda To Attack Iran
Bush authorizes group formerly headed by alleged 9/11 mastermind to be bankrolled & armed by CIA for covert regime change

May 28, 2007
Paul Joseph Watson & Steve Watson

Recent revelations illustrating the fact that the U.S. government is using a Sunni Al-Qaeda terrorist group formerly headed by the alleged mastermind of 9/11 to carry out bombings in Iran undermines the entire war on terror as a monumental hoax that is being exploited purely to realize a geopolitical agenda.

“President George W Bush has given the CIA approval to launch covert “black” operations to achieve regime change in Iran, intelligence sources have revealed. Mr Bush has signed an official document endorsing CIA plans for a propaganda and disinformation campaign intended to destabilise, and eventually topple, the theocratic rule of the mullahs.”"The CIA is giving arms-length support, supplying money and weapons, to an Iranian militant group, Jundullah, which has conducted raids into Iran from bases in Pakistan,” the London Telegraph reported yesterday.

Jundullah is a Sunni Al-Qaeda offshoot organization that was formerly headed by alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Even if you believe the official story of 9/11 to the letter, the fact that Bush has personally authorized U.S. support for this group completely dismantles the facade of the war on terror.

The group has been blamed for a number of bombings inside Iran aimed at destabilizing Ahmadinejad’s government and is also active in Pakistan , having been fingered for its involvement in attacks on police stations and car bombings at the Pakistan-US Cultural Center in 2004.

The U.S. government is arming and directing a Sunni Al-Qaeda group to carry out bombings in Iran and yet Bush has the temerity to grandstand during his Rose Garden speech last week and wave the Al-Qaeda bogeyman to strike the fear of God into American citizens.

“As to al Qaeda in Iraq, al Qaeda is going to fight us wherever we are. That’s their strategy. Their strategy is to drive us out of the Middle East. They have made it abundantly clear what they want. They want to establish a caliphate. They want to spread their ideology. They want safe haven from which to launch attacks. They’re willing to kill the innocent to achieve their objectives, and they will fight us. And the fundamental question is, will we fight them? I have made the decision to do so. I believe that the best way to protect us in this war on terror is to fight them,” Bush said on Thursday.


Arms cache belonging to Jundullah - the Sunni Al-Qaeda terrorist group being funded by the CIA with President Bush’s approval.Bush’s definition of fighting Al-Qaeda is apparently to lend them all the funds, weapons and tactical know how they need to carry out attacks against innocent civilians in Iran, and let us not forget that
America’s allies the British have also been caught training insurgents in Iraq to carry out hi-tech bombings that are later blamed on Iran - just as the SAS worked with U.S. special forces to train the KLA in Kosovo , which was also an Al-Qaeda chapter having been financed directly by Bin Laden himself.

But in the world of newspeak and the lowest common denominator propaganda that cloaks the real agenda of the “war on terror”, anyone who rises up against occupation, be it a kid who throws a rock in Baghdad or a car bombing on behalf of an increasingly Shiite-led insurgency, the natural enemies of the Sunni “Al-Qaeda,” are terrorists and are Al-Qaeda members.

A cruel irony exists whereby anyone and everyone who opposes military occupation is smeared as an Al-Qaeda terrorist and yet the only real Al-Qaeda terrorists are being bankrolled, armed and directed by the CIA itself, with Bush’s explicit approval.

Since President Bush didn’t know the difference between Sunni & Shiite Muslims until two months before the invasion of Iraq and the incoming chairman of a congressional intelligence committee said Al Qaeda prominently came from the Shia branch of Islam, we can’t hold out much hope for Joe Public and this is why the simplest propaganda is always the most effective.

They’re the bad guys, we’re the good guys - black and white with no shades of gray.

In reality, Al-Qaeda only exists within intelligence circles coordinated by the highest echelons of the U.S. government, and is being used yet again as a tool for destabilization in nations targeted for regime change by the Neo-Cons.

Jundullah is not the only anti-Iranian terror group that US government has been accused of funding in an attempt to pressure the Iranian government.

Multiple credible individuals including US intelligence whistleblowers and former military personnel have asserted that the government is conducting covert military operations inside Iran using guerilla groups to carry out attacks on Iranian Revolution Guard units.

It is widely suspected that the well known right-wing terrorist organization known as Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), once run by Saddam Hussein’s dreaded intelligence services, is now working exclusively for the CIA’s Directorate of Operations and carrying out remote bombings in Iran of the sort that the Bush administration condemns on a daily basis inside Iraq.

After a bombing inside Iran in March, the London Telegraph also reported on how a high ranking CIA official has blown the whistle on the fact that America is secretly funding terrorist groups in Iran in an attempt to pile pressure on the Islamic regime to give up its nuclear program.

Source

If Hamas Did Not Exist

‘This crisis has nothing to do with freedom, democracy, justice or peace.’

By Jennifer Loewenstein
December 31 2008

Let us get one thing perfectly straight. If the wholesale mutilation and degradation of the Gaza Strip is going to continue; if Israel’s will is at one with that of the United States; if the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and all the international legal agencies and organizations spread across the globe are going to continue to sit by like hollow mannequins doing nothing but making repeated “calls” for a “ceasefire” on “both sides”; if the cowardly, obsequious and supine Arab States are going to stand by watching their brethren get slaughtered by the hour while the world’s bullying Superpower eyes them threateningly from Washington lest they say something a little to their disliking; then let us at least tell the truth why this hell on earth is taking place.

The state terror unleashed from the skies and on the ground against the Gaza Strip as we speak has nothing to do with Hamas. It has nothing to do with “Terror”. It has nothing to do with the long-term “security” of the Jewish State or with Hizbullah or Syria or Iran except insofar as it is aggravating the conditions that have led up to this crisis today. It has nothing to do with some conjured up “war” – a cynical and overused euphemism that amounts to little more the wholesale enslavement of any nation that dares claim its sovereign rights; that dares assert that its resources are its own; that doesn’t want one of the Empire’s obscene military bases sitting on its cherished land.

This crisis has nothing to do with freedom, democracy, justice or peace. It is not about Mahmoud Zahhar or Khalid Mash’al or Ismail Haniyeh. It is not about Hassan Nasrallah or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. These are all circumstantial players who have gained a role in the current tempest only now that the situation has been allowed for 61 years to develop into the catastrophe that it is today. The Islamist factor has colored and will continue to color the atmosphere of the crisis; it has enlisted the current leaders and mobilized wide sectors of the world’s population. The primary symbols today are Islamic – the mosques, the Qur’an, the references to the Prophet Muhammad and to Jihad. But these symbols could disappear and the impasse would continue.

There was a time when Fatah and the PFLP held the day; when few Palestinians wanted anything to do with Islamist policies and politics. Such politics have nothing to do with primitive rockets being fired over the border, or smuggling tunnels and black-market weapons; just as Arafat’s Fatah had little to do with stones and suicide bombings. The associations are coincidental; the creations of a given political environment. They are the result of something entirely different than what the lying politicians and their analysts are telling you. They have become part of the landscape of human events in the modern Middle East today; but incidentals wholly as lethal, or as recalcitrant, deadly, angry or incorrigible could just as soon have been in their places.

Strip away the clichés and the vacuous newspeak blaring out across the servile media and its pathetic corps of voluntary state servants in the Western world and what you will find is the naked desire for hegemony; for power over the weak and dominion over the world’s wealth. Worse yet you will find that the selfishness, the hatred and indifference, the racism and bigotry, the egotism and hedonism that we try so hard to cover up with our sophisticated jargon, our refined academic theories and models actually help to guide our basest and ugliest desires. The callousness with which we in indulge in them all are endemic to our very culture; thriving here like flies on a corpse.

Strip away the current symbols and language of the victims of our selfish and devastating whims and you will find the simple, impassioned and unaffected cries of the downtrodden; of the ‘wretched of the earth’ begging you to cease your cold aggression against their children and their homes; their families and their villages; begging you to leave them alone to have their fish and their bread, their oranges, their olives and their thyme; asking you first politely and then with increasing disbelief why you cannot let them live undisturbed on the land of their ancestors; unexploited, free of the fear of expulsion; of ravishment and devastation; free of permits and roadblocks and checkpoints and crossings; of monstrous concrete walls, guard towers, concrete bunkers, and barbed wire; of tanks and prisons and torture and death. Why is life without these policies and instruments of hell impossible?

The answer is because Israel has no intention of allowing a viable, sovereign Palestinian state on its borders. It had no intention of allowing it in 1948 when it grabbed 24% more land than what it was allotted legally, if unfairly, by UN Resolution 181. It had no intention of allowing it throughout the massacres and ploys of the 1950s. It had no intention of allowing two states when it conquered the remaining 22% of historic Palestine in 1967 and reinterpreted UN Security Council Resolution 248 to its own liking despite the overwhelming international consensus stating that Israel would receive full international recognition within secure and recognized borders if it withdrew from the lands it had only recently occupied.

It had no intention of acknowledging Palestinian national rights at the United Nations in 1974, when –alone with the United States—it voted against a two-state solution. It had no intention of allowing a comprehensive peace settlement when Egypt stood ready to deliver but received, and obediently accepted, a separate peace exclusive of the rights of Palestinians and the remaining peoples of the region. It had no intention of working toward a just two state solution in 1978 or 1982 when it invaded, fire-bombed, blasted and bulldozed Beirut so that it might annex the West Bank without hassle. It had no intention of granting a Palestinian state in 1987 when the first Intifada spread across occupied Palestine, into the Diaspora and the into the spirits of the global dispossessed, or when Israel deliberately aided the newly formed Hamas movement so that it might undermine the strength of the more secular-nationalist factions.

Israel had no intention of granting a Palestinian state at Madrid or at Oslo where the PLO was superseded by the quivering, quisling Palestinian Authority too many of whose cronies grasped at the wealth and prestige it gave them at the expense of their own kin. As Israel beamed into the world’s satellites and microphones its desire for peace and a two-state solution, it more than doubled the number of illegal Jewish settlements on the ground in the West Bank and around East Jerusalem, annexing them as it built and continues to build a superstructure of bypass roads and highways over the remaining, severed cities and villages of earthly Palestine. It has annexed the Jordan valley, the international border of Jordan, expelling any ‘locals’ inhabiting that land. It speaks with a viper’s tongue over the multiple amputee of Palestine whose head shall soon be severed from its body in the name of justice, peace and security.

Through the home demolitions, the assaults on civil society that attempted to cast Palestinian history and culture into a chasm of oblivion; through the unspeakable destruction of the refugee camp sieges and infrastructure bombardments of the second Intifada, through assassinations and summary executions, past the grandiose farce of disengagement and up to the nullification of free, fair and democratic Palestinian elections Israel has made its view known again and again in the strongest possible language, the language of military might, of threats, intimidation, harassment, defamation & degradation.

Israel, with the unconditional and approving support of the United States, has made it dramatically clear to the entire world over and over and over again, repeating in action after action that it will accept no viable Palestinian state next to its borders. What will it take for the rest of us to hear? What will it take to end the criminal silence of the ‘international community’? What will it take to see past the lies and indoctrination to what is taking place before us day after day in full view of the eyes of the world? The more horrific the actions on the ground, the more obscenely insistent are the words of peace. To listen and watch without hearing or seeing allows the indifference, the ignorance and complicity to continue and deepens with each grave our collective shame.

The destruction of Gaza has nothing to do with Hamas. Israel will accept no authority in the Palestinian territories that it does not ultimately control. Any individual, leader, faction or movement that fails to accede to Israel’s demands or that seeks genuine sovereignty and the equality of all nations in the region; any government or popular movement that demands the applicability of international humanitarian law and of the universal declaration of human rights for its own people will be unacceptable for the Jewish State. Those dreaming of one state must be forced to ask themselves what Israel would do to a population of 4 million Palestinians within its borders when it commits on a daily, if not hourly basis, crimes against their collective humanity while they live alongside its borders? What will suddenly make the raison d’etre, the self-proclaimed purpose of Israel’s reason for being change if the Palestinian territories are annexed to it outright?

The lifeblood of the Palestinian National Movement flows through the streets of Gaza today. Every drop that falls waters the soil of vengeance, bitterness and hatred not only in Palestine but across the Middle East and much of the world. We do have a choice over whether or not this should continue. Now is the time to make it.

-Jennifer Loewenstein is the Associate Director of the Middle East Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Source

If Hamas did not exist, Israel would find another scapegoat to blame. This is of course what they have always done.

The Holocaust

By Dahlia Wasfi
December 31, 2008

Holocaust denial is anti-Semitic. But I’m not talking about World War II, Mahmoud Ahmedinijad, or Ashkenazi Jews.  What I’m referring to is the holocaust we are all witnessing and responsible for in Gaza today and in Palestine over the last 60 years.  By definition, a holocaust is a mass slaughter of people or a thorough destruction involving extensive loss of life, especially through fire.  There isn’t a more accurate description of the hell that US-armed and –funded Israeli Occupation Forces are unleashing on the people of Gaza at this moment.  Since Arabs are Semites, US-Israeli policy doesn’t get more anti-Semitic than this.

If you think I’m being grandiose, let us look at the words of Matan Vilnai, Israel’s Deputy Defense [sic] Minister, from February of this year: “The more Qassam [rocket] fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, they will bring upon themselves a bigger shoah because we will use all our might to defend ourselves.” In Hebrew, “shoah” refers to the Jewish Holocaust of the 1940’s.  But massive airstrikes are not self-defense if you are the aggressor.  That goes for the whole stupid so-called “War on Terror,” in which not a single one of its victims had anything to do with the events of September 11, 2001.  That goes for the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan; that goes for Israel in Palestine.

And that goes for Germany in Poland.  In 1940, the Germans began massing Polish Jews into ghettoes prior to their deportation to extermination camps.  The largest one was the Warsaw Ghetto, where an uprising—a Jewish insurgency—began in 1943.

Today, Gaza is essentially a large ghetto, with a population of around 1.5 million living on about 139 square miles.  Israel controls Gaza’s land border, airspace, water, maritime access, and the flow of goods including food and medical supplies.

Since June 2007, Israel has imposed a blockade on the people of Gaza, slowly starving them to death, slowly killing them by denial of medical care amidst intermittent gunship airstrikes.

These crimes against humanity are, of course, in violation of the Geneva Conventions—international law established after World War II in the spirit of “never again.”  Unlike in Warsaw, Gaza is not the staging area for the extermination camps; Gaza IS the extermination camp.

Qassam rockets fired from Gaza as retaliation for Israeli F-16 airstrikes are the equivalent of the Molotov cocktails used by the resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943.  Like the small arms of the Polish Jews, they are no match for the sophisticated weaponry of the invading army.  This is why the death toll is so high for the people on the ground in Gaza, and minimal for Israelis.

The mainstream media is depicting this as an “all-out war,” as it depicts the illegal occupation of Iraq.  But in both cases, you have a starving, essentially unarmed people being assaulted with F-15s/F-16s, cruise missiles, depleted uranium, cluster bombs, tanks, and artillery.  This is not war; this is mass murder; this is genocide.  And it is American military, financial, and political support that makes this bloodletting possible.

From North America to Germany to Cambodia to Rwanda to Palestine to Iraq, mass murder is wrong.  When Americans are looking for whom to blame, we cannot blame the victims.  Yes, there are many players involved and many governments turning a blind eye to genocide, but don’t we brag about how much better we are than that?  Shouldn’t we stop being complicit in these supreme crimes against humanity?  All we have to do is abide by our own laws, which include all signed international treaties and agreements.

We must end our illegal occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and stop funding and providing armaments for the illegal occupation and stealth of Palestinian land.  In the words of Rachel Corrie, a 23 year old American college student who was murdered in Rafah by the Israeli Occupation Forces on March 16, 2003:

“…Just want to write to my Mom and tell her that I’m witnessing this chronic, insidious genocide and I’m really scared, and questioning my fundamental belief in the goodness of human nature. This has to stop. I think it is a good idea for us all to drop everything and devote our lives to making this stop. I don’t think it’s an extremist thing to do anymore. I still really want to dance around to Pat Benatar and have boyfriends and make comics for my coworkers. But I also want this to stop. Disbelief and horror is what I feel.  Disappointment. I am disappointed that this is the base reality of our world and that we, in fact, participate in it. This is not at all what I asked for when I came into this world. This is not at all what the people here asked for when they came into this world…So when I sound crazy, or if the Israeli military should break with their racist tendency not to injure white people, please pin the reason squarely on the fact that I am in the midst of a genocide which I am also indirectly supporting, and for which my government is largely responsible.”

Let us heed her brave wisdom, and end illegal occupation.  If we fail to act, then the next time someone flies airplanes into American buildings, let us not ask ignorantly, “Why do they hate us?”

Source

Enter supporting content here