Mail Destined to Gaza Strip from Canada Stopped By Israel

August 10 2010

Canada Post is advising customers that it is unable to accept outgoing mail to the Gaza Strip.

In a statement to customers on Tuesday, Canada Post said it has been informed by Israel Post that mail service to the coastal Palestinian territory is unavailable “due to circumstances beyond their control.”

Canada Post does not stop delivering mail to countries or areas. Instead, countries indicate they can not receive mail for conflict or other reasons.

Canada Post said it has not been able to find alternate routes to move mail in the area.

“All Gaza-bound mail accepted by Canada Post that is undeliverable will be returned to the sender as we do not know when mail service to the area will resume,” the statement said.

Once mail service to the Gaza Strip resumes, customers will be able to mail their items at no additional charge.

It is unclear whether the service disruption is related to a blockade Israel and Egypt have imposed on Gaza since June 2007, when militant group Hamas seized control of the territory from rival Palestinian group Fatah. Source

External Links

Canada Post’s statement on mail destined for Gaza Strip

Seems to me they could send via Egypt. Israel is up to no good again!

No real excuse in my opinion. Seems to me knowing Israel as I do this is just another act of intimidation and isolation.

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Published in: on August 10, 2010 at 4:47 pm  Comments Off on Mail Destined to Gaza Strip from Canada Stopped By Israel  
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‘Situation in Gaza must change’

June 17 2010

A top UN official has bristled at Israel’s “failed policy” toward Gaza-bound aid convoys and said the UN is ready to take responsibility for the safety and distribution of humanitarian assistance.

In an open briefing, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry told the UN Security Council that “the flotilla crisis is the latest symptom of a failed policy” and the “closure and blockade of the Gaza Strip needs to come to an end,” the Ma’an news agency reported.

Serry also said the UN is ready to accept responsibility on an exceptional basis to ensure the safety and distribution of aid cargoes of the three Turkish-registered ships.

The Israeli military attacked the Freedom Flotilla in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea on May 31, killing nine Turkish citizens on board the M.V. Mavi Marmara and injuring about 50 other people who were part of the team on the six-ship convoy.

Israel also arrested and later released nearly 700 activists from 42 countries who were on board the ships of the Freedom Flotilla, which was attempting to break the siege of Gaza in order to deliver 10,000 tons of humanitarian assistance to the long-suffering people of the territory.

The attack sparked widespread criticism across the globe and calls for Israel to lift its crippling blockade on Gaza.

Serry said there is international consensus on Gaza, adding that it is fully agreed by the diplomatic Quartet (the UN, the European Union, Russia, and the United States) that there must be a fundamental change to the situation.  Source

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Gaza Freedom Flotilla Eyewitness Accounts

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Gaza Flotilla Drives Israel Into a Sea of Stupidity

Most Jerusalem Palestinians Live in Poverty

Why won’t Israel allow Gazan’s to import coriander?

Interpol Fugitive “Maksim Bakiyev” arrested in UK

Israel Gags News on Extra-Judicial Killings

April 3 2010

Written by Mel Frykberg

Anat Kam, 23, who used to work for the Israeli news site ‘Walla’, was arrested last December for allegedly copying secret Israeli Defence Force (IDF) documents during her compulsory military service.

These documents outlined how Israeli assassination squads would plan the killing of Palestinian political leaders and fighters months beforehand and then pass their deaths off as ”mishaps” during ”failed” attempts to arrest them.

Uri Blau, a reporter from the daily ‘Haaretz’, then wrote a piece on the copied documents and is refusing to return to Israel from Britain fearing that Israel’s domestic intelligence agency, the Shin Bet, will arrest him if he does.

Due to a military gag order the news has remained suppressed even as Israeli journalists fight the suppression order in court.

The news was broken several days ago by Donald McIntyre from Britain’s ‘Independent’.

The controversy has highlighted Israel’s extra-judicial killings which violate international law and have caused death and injury to thousands of Palestinian civilian bystanders despite the country having no death penalty.

Israel’s judiciary has approved ”targeted killings” but only of militants who were allegedly involved in carrying out or planning armed attacks against Israeli soldiers or civilians both within the Palestinian occupied territories and in Israel proper.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) in Gaza says that during the period September 2000 to March 2008, 500 Palestinians suspected of being involved in military resistance to the Israeli occupation were executed.

However, the ”collateral damage” during the assassinations included another 228 civilian bystanders – 77 of them children. Eleven Palestinians have been assassinated in the last two years.

”Israel is using disproportionate force. Civilians are paying the price. In the overwhelming majority of cases the targeted individuals could have been arrested and brought to trial without being killed. Many of them have been killed in cold blood,” Jaber Wishah from PCHR told IPS.

”International law’s right to life says that state authorities are obliged to follow due process when they are in a position to arrest individuals,” says Michael Kerney from the Ramallah-based rights organisation Al Haq which researched and documented many of the killings.

”Everybody is entitled to a fair trial and no state can dismiss this,” Kerney told IPS.

Some of those targeted have included individuals who were ”pardoned” by the Israelis after having agreed to give up armed resistance to the occupation.

Last December three pardoned members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, a military offshoot of the Palestinian Authority (PA)-affiliated Fatah movement, were shot dead in Nablus in the northern West Bank following the death of an Israeli settler.

According to their families and the subsequent investigations of human rights organisations they had already surrendered and were unarmed despite Israeli claims that they had refused to surrender.

”By failing to produce any evidence linking the targeted individuals to attacks allegedly committed by members of the Palestinian resistance, as well as failing to utilise peaceful means in order to arrest and detain suspects, the soldiers assumed the role of both judge and executioner,” reported Al Haq.

Furthermore, unarmed Palestinians, who have not been involved either politically or militarily in resisting the occupation, also continue to die in what some have called deliberate premeditated murder.

Several weeks ago four Palestinian teenagers were shot dead amidst dubious circumstances in two separate incidents in the villages of Awarta and Iraq Burin near Nablus.

According to medical reports they were shot at close range with live ammunition after clashes between Palestinian youngsters and Israeli soldiers had broken out.

However, the individuals concerned had not been involved in the clashes according to several investigations carried out by Al Haq, PCHR and Israeli rights group B’tselem.

One was shot in the back and another had a bullet lodged in the back of his skull despite Israeli soldiers saying they had only used non-lethal ammunition.

The Israeli military police declared they would investigate the incidents following contradictory testimony given by the soldiers involved.

However, when IPS visited one of the sites a week later with family members, approximately 20 spent cartridge cases, bloodied gloves, a saline solution kit and other bits of evidence lay on the ground undisturbed.

None of this is new. Israel has a history of assassinating political opponents predating its official establishment.

In 1944, the Israeli terrorist group, the Stern gang, assassinated Britain’s Lord Moyne, the military governor of Egypt, accusing him of interfering with Jewish migration to Palestine.

In 1948, Count Folke Bernadotte – a Swedish diplomat who had secured the release of 15,000 inmates from Nazi concentration camps while he was vice-president of the Swedish Red Cross  was also murdered by the Stern gang.

Stern gang members believed Bernadotte, as the U.N.’s Palestine mediator, to be too sympathetic to the Arabs. Yitzhak Shamir, later to become an Israeli prime minister, was one of the Stern gang’s leaders.

”Since the outbreak of the second Intifada, Israel has increasingly avoided accountability for the serious violations of the human rights of residents of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip for which it is responsible,” says B’tselem.

”This avoidance is seen, in part, in its policy not to open criminal investigations in cases of killing or wounding of Palestinians who were not taking part in the hostilities, except in exceptional cases, and in its enactment of legislation denying, almost completely, the right of Palestinians who were harmed as a result of illegal acts by Israeli security forces to sue for compensation for the damages they suffered.”

Source

Journalist on the run from Israel is hiding in Britain

‘Haaretz’ writer fled to London fearing charges over exposé on Palestinian’s killing

April 2 2010

By Kim Sengupta

An Israeli journalist is in hiding in Britain, The Independent can reveal, over fears that he may face charges in the Jewish state in connection with his investigation into the killing of a Palestinian in the West Bank.

Uri Blau, a reporter at Israel’s liberal newspaper, Haaretz, left town three months ago for Asia and is now in London. Haaretz is understood to be negotiating the terms of his return to Israel with prosecutors, according to an Israeli source, who declined to be identified, because of the sensitivity of the situation.

The news of Mr Blau’s extended absence comes just days after it emerged that another Israeli journalist, Anat Kam, has been held under house arrest for the last three months on charges that she leaked classified documents to the press while completing her military service.

Although no media outlet or journalist has been specifically named as the recipient of the classified information, there is speculation on Israeli blogs that Ms Kam gave documents to Mr Blau that formed the basis of a story he wrote in November 2008.

In his article for Haaretz, Mr Blau reported that one of two Islamic Jihad militants killed in Jenin in June 2007 had been targeted for assassination in apparent violation of a ruling issued six months earlier by Israel’s supreme court. While not outlawing assassinations in the West Bank altogether, the ruling heavily restricted the circumstances in which they were permissible, effectively saying that they should not take place if arrest was possible.

In an unusual move, Israel has placed a gagging order on national media, preventing them from reporting any aspect of the Kam case. Israel’s Channel Ten and Haaretz are expected to challenge this order on 12 April.

According to the court order, Ms Kam, 23, is being held on “espionage” charges. It alleges that she passed classified documents to a male journalist while working as a clerk in the Israel Defence Forces Central Command during her military service.

She was arrested more than a year after Mr Blau’s report, which was cleared by military censors at the time of publication, when she was working for the news service Walla, until recently owned by Haaretz.

Ms Kam denies all the charges. Her trial has reportedly been set for 14 April and she could face a lengthy prison sentence if convicted. Mr Blau did not respond to requests for comment; his friends and colleagues refused to discuss the case in detail.

Dov Alfon, Haaretz’s editor-in-chief, said in an emailed statement: “Haaretz has a 90-year-long tradition of protecting its reporters from government pressures, and Uri Blau is getting all the help we can provide him with.”

The move to gag Israel-based media has sparked fevered debate on Jewish blogs, which have freely reported the story. Bloggers have railed against the blackout, saying it represents a critical challenge to the freedom of the press.

“I do not believe that a citizen can be arrested and tried for suspected security offences right under our noses without anyone knowing anything about it,” wrote former Haaretz editor Hanoch Marmari in an eloquent cri de coeur on the Seventh Eye website.

“Trials do not take place here in darkened dungeons, nor do we have show trials behind glass or chicken wire. I have no doubt that such a strange, terrible and baseless scenario cannot take place in such a sophisticated democracy as our own.” Source

Well Israel never really does an investigation even when settlers kill a Palestinian.  They say they do, but in actuality they do not. That is not new at all. That is standard proceedure.

Israel kills anyone they feel like killing anyone no matter if it is a child or and adult. They kill people quit often.

As a matter of fact they have been killing for years so again this is not new. It is old hat.

As we well know they even go to other countries and kill people. They as we all know use fake passports. That to is standard procedure.

There is no real justice for Palestinians under Israeli law.

Even reporters or others who have been killed in Gaza or the West Bank, do not get a real investigation into their deaths by Israel.  They never have.

Deaths of Palestinians or outsiders are usually swept under the carpet.

Some Democracy. More like no Democracy.

Related

License to kill

By Uri Blau

December 4 2008
The announcement made by the Israel Defense Forces’ spokesman on June 20, 2007 was standard: “Two armed terrorists belonging to the Islamic Jihad terror organization were killed last night during the course of a joint activity of the IDF and a special force of the Border Police in Kafr Dan, northwest of Jenin. The two terrorists, Ziad Subahi Mahmad Malaisha and Ibrahim Ahmed Abd al-Latif Abed, opened fire at the force during its activity. In response the force fired at them, killing the terrorists. On their bodies two M-16 rifles, a pistol and ammunition were found. It was also discovered that the terrorists were involved in planning suicide attacks against the Israeli home front, including the attempt in Rishon Letzion last February.”

The laconic announcement ignores one important detail: Malaisha was a target for assassination. His fate had been decided several months earlier, in the office of then head of Central Command, Yair Naveh. As far as the public was concerned, on the other hand, the last declared assassination carried out by the IDF in the West Bank took place in August 2006; at the end of that year the High Court of Justice set strict criteria regarding the policy of assassinations in the territories.

A Haaretz Magazine investigation reveals for the first time operational discussions in which the fate of wanted men and innocent people was decided, in apparent disregard of the High Court decision. Thus it was revealed that the IDF approved assassination plans in the West Bank even when it would probably have been possible to arrest the wanted men – in contradiction to the State’s statement to the High Court – and that in cold military terminology the most senior IDF echelons approve, in advance and in writing, the harming of innocent Palestinians during the course of assassination operations. Moreover, it turns out that the assassination of a target the defense establishment called part of a “ticking infrastructure” was postponed, because it had been scheduled to take place during the visit of a senior U.S. official.

Leading legal experts who were asked to react to the documents say that the IDF is operating in contradiction to a High Court ruling. “Morality is a very difficult issue,” Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer of Hebrew Univeristy said. “The thought that there are people who sit behind a desk and determine that someone is fated to die is a frightening thought.”

Another two killings

(at most)

The IDF spokesman refuses to provide precise figures about the number of targeted assassinations carried out since the start of the intifada in 2000: “The subject of preventive strikes is concentrated in the hands of the Shin Bet [security service].” A spokesman for the Shin Bet stated that the organization “does not publish data of this kind.” According to the human-rights organization B’Tselem, the IDF assassinated 232 Palestinians between the start of the intifada and the end of October 2008, in operations that also killed 154 non-targeted civilians.

The most common code names for assassination operations are the acronyms Pa’amon (peula mona’at – preventive action) and Sakum (sikul mimukad – targeted assassination). During the past two and a half years the IDF has not announced the carrying out of assassinations in the West Bank, and when wanted men were killed there, the official reports stated that these were “arrest operations” or “exchanges of fire.” This was also reported in regard to the killing of Abed and Malaisha – who has now been revealed as a previous target for assassination.

On March 28, 2007 a representative of the Shin Bet, a representative of the Special Police Unit Yamam and several officers from Central Command convened in Naveh’s office. On the agenda was the Two Towers operation (the strike at Malaisha). “The mission” said the head of the command, “is arrest,” but “in case identification is made of one of the leaders of Palestinian Islamic Jihad: Walid Obeidi, Ziad Malaisha, Adham Yunis, there is permission for the force to intercept them, and that is according to the situation assessment in the course of carrying out the mission.” Naveh did not allow an assassination if there were women or children near the wanted man, and explained that, “in the event that there are women and children in the vehicle, the method is arrest.”

On April 12 Naveh convened another meeting about Malaisha. This time he decided that permission would be granted to carry out the assassination of the target and “another two people at most.” On the day of the meeting in Naveh’s office another discussion took place, chaired by the head of the Operations Directorate, Brig. Gen. Sami Turjeman. At the meeting, the plans for a preventive operation against Malaisha were presented, and the head of the Operations Directorate explained that “a preventive strike in Ayush [Judea and Samaria] is an exceptional sight … It could be seen as an attempt to damage the attempts to stabilize, which means that it requires sensitivity to causing a minimum of collateral damage. Everything possible must be done to prevent harm to those who are uninvolved.” The target of the operation, he added “leads a ‘ticking’ infrastructure and meets the required criteria for a preventive strike.”

At this point Turjeman spelled out the conditions of Malaisha’s incrimination, and ruled that only if they existed would the targeted assassination get a green light. He added that no more than five people (including the driver) should be assassinated in the operation. Turjeman approved the operation even if there should be one unidentified person in the car. Regarding the matter of timing, he said that “in light of the anticipated diplomatic events, the prime minister’s meeting with Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] and the visit of the U.S. Secretary of Defense, I recommend … implementation afterward.” In the discussion Turjeman also referred to the High Court ruling about appointing a committee whose job would be to examine targeted assassinations after the fact, and said that in light of the High Court instructions on the matter, the operation should be documented.

The next day the operation was brought up for the approval of Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi. A limited number of senior officers convened in his office, including his deputy, the head of the Operations Directorate, the head of the Operations Brigade, the chief military prosecutor, a representative of Central Command and a representative of the Shin Bet. The paper summing up the meeting says that Ashkenazi “emphasized that due to the High Court orders regarding the establishment of a professional committee on targeted assassinations, the composition of the committee should be agreed on with the Shin Bet as soon as possible.”

Although Malaisha was defined as part of a “ticking infrastructure,” Ashkenazi too was disturbed by the timing of the action and said that “in light of the diplomatic meetings anticipated during the course of the week, the date of implementation should be reconsidered.” Ashkenazi prohibited attacking the vehicle in which Malaisha was traveling if it was discovered that there was “more than one unidentified passenger” in it.

Two months after the Two Towers plan was approved, and long after the diplomatic visits and meetings that took place in the second week of April 2007, came the operation in which Malaisha was killed in the Jenin area.

Legal approval

At the beginning of 2002, attorneys Avigdor Feldman and Michael Sfard petitioned the High Court of Justice against the policy of targeted assassinations on behalf of the Public Committee against Torture in Israel and the Al-Haq organization. Almost five years later, on December 14, 2006, the president of the Supreme Court at the time, Justice Aharon Barak, issued his decision. Barak, with the concurrence of Justices Dorit Beinisch (now the president of the Supreme Court) and Eliezer Rivlin, rejected the petition and did not rule out the legality of targeted assassinations in the territories.

“We cannot determine that every targeted preemption strike is forbidden under international law, just as we cannot determine that every targeted preemption is permissible under international law,” Barak wrote in the last judgment he published in his 28 years on the Supreme Court.

According to the High Court ruling, well-founded and convincing information is necessary in order to classify a civilian as being part of a group of civilians who are carrying out hostile acts; a person should not be assassinated if it is possible to use less damaging methods against him; and he should not be harmed more than necessary for security needs. In other words, a person should not be assassinated if it is possible to arrest him, interrogate him and indict him. However, if the arrest involves serious danger to the lives of the soldiers, there is no need to use this means; after every assassination a thorough and independent examination must be conducted regarding the degree of precision, the identity of the man as a terror activist, and in the case of mistaken identity, the payment of compensation should be considered; harm to innocent civilians should be avoided as much as possible during an assassination, and “harm to innocent civilians will be legal only if it meets the demands of proportionality,” ruled Barak.

In this context, Barak gave an example according to which “it is possible to fire at a terrorist who is firing from the balcony of his home at soldiers or civilians, even if as a result an innocent bystander is liable to be hit. Such a strike at an innocent civilian will meet the demands of proportionality. That is not the case if the house is bombed from the air and dozens of its residents and bystanders are hit.”

Barak stated that, “The struggle against terror has turned our democracy into a ‘defensive democracy’ or a ‘fighting democracy.’ However, this struggle must not overturn the democratic nature of our regime.”

According to B’Tselem, since the ruling regarding targeted assassinations was handed down, 19 Palestinians who were targets of assassination have been killed in the territories, and 36 Palestinians who were close to the targets were hit in the course of IDF operations, all of them in the Gaza Strip.

“It turns out that in total contradiction to the High Court ruling, there are cases in which there is an order to assassinate someone when it is possible to arrest him,” says David Kretchmer, a professor of international law. “Advance approval to kill civilians who do not take part in hostile activities makes things even worse. The principle of proportionality, to the effect that if one strikes at a military target an accompanying strike against civilians will not be illegal, does not apply in a case when the attack itself is illegal – for example, in a case where there is an obligation, according to the High Court ruling, to arrest the suspect.”

Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer: “According to the High Court ruling it is clear that where it is possible to carry out an arrest, we must carry out an arrest and avoid what is called a ‘targeted assassination’ and which I call ‘preventive killing.’ A substantial part of Judea and Samaria is under the effective rule of the IDF, and in my opinion, in such an area preventive killing must be ruled out. The limited interpretation that I am suggesting for the international law is that an attack must take place in the course of that person’s participation in a dangerous action, because then you are in effect acting in self-defense based on the situation taking place.”

Legal commentator Moshe Negbi: “‘Unidentified people’ can also be totally innocent and you are ostensibly giving a license to kill here. The problem is previous knowledge, because usually when we refer to collateral damage we are referring to ‘after the fact,’ but here this is almost certain foreknowledge. It is very problematic that permission is given to execute an innocent man deliberately. The question is whether it is proportional. I think that the High Court was referring to a situation where perhaps among a mass of people there is one who is innocent, but here it is one on one. It is very grave to grant permission when you know ahead of time that 50 percent of those you are hitting are innocent. Such a thing must certainly be discussed at the level of the attorney general and it certainly must be known to the public and undergo public criticism, if only so that anyone who thinks it is patently illegal can turn to the High Court.”

Regarding the fact that assassinations can wait until the conclusion of diplomatic meetings, Kretchmer says: “Postponing an operation for diplomatic reasons is unequivocal proof of the fact that this is not a ‘ticking bomb’ situation.” Kremnitzer adds: “According to my legal understanding, these cases [targeted assassinations] must be cases in which you must act immediately, and if it is not a matter of an immediate need, in my opinion it is against the law.”

Although almost two years have passed since the High Court ruling, a committee to examine the assassinations after the fact has yet to be appointed. Last week Aviad Glickman published on Ynet (the website of the mass circulation paper Yedioth Ahronoth) that Attorney General Menachem Mazuz had turned to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert demanding the establishment of such a committee as soon as possible. “This step must be completed without further delay,” wrote Mazuz, “for fear that a continued delay is liable to constitute contempt of court.”

The bad guys

Yair Naveh, who served as head of Central Command from 2005 to 2007, confirms that occasionally, there is no genuine attempt to arrest wanted men. “If the guy doesn’t put his hands up we don’t get into stories, we immediately establish contact. I don’t want to have people hurt for no reason. If I know that the guy is armed and is a ticking bomb, then I want him to be hit immediately without fooling around. It’s not the preventive action procedure, it’s an entirely different story.

“In my time there were no targeted assassinations. Not a single one, as far as I recall. In principle, there were no targeted assassinations in Central Command and none were approved. What I did have was an ability to reach all of [the wanted men]; therefore there is no reason for a targeted assassination. It is relevant only when you can’t reach someone, but if you can reach him and arrest him at night or have an exchange of fire with him, then it is not a targeted assassination.”

Is it possible that programs were approved and in the end were not carried out?

“No. In principle there was no such thing during my time, because in every operation there were special forces that had to arrive and arrest the guy. To tell the truth, in some places we knew a priori that there would be firing. If you know that you are operating against Islamic Jihad or against Hamasniks or even against some of the jokers who were in the Casbah, then it was clear to me that there would be engagement.”

In the approval of the March 2007 plan regarding Ziad Malaisha you said the mission was arrest, but if one of the leaders of Islamic Jihad was identified, the force had permission to carry out interception. What is that if not targeted assassination?

“Those are guys for whom we received basic confirmation that they are ticking bombs. Those are guys that if we had contact with them, because we knew in advance that they were armed, the default choice was not to start calling on them to halt and then to see whether or not they fled, but right from the start, if they didn’t put up their hands and throw away their weapons, then we engaged with them. That’s not because they had to be killed. It’s also because they are both ticking bombs and armed. That’s the assumption.”

That is semantics. You gave permission to fire at them from the moment they were identified.

“If they don’t put up their hands right at the start. You arrive, shout ‘IDF, hands up!’ You surround them. If the guys don’t put up their hands, then you don’t wait to close in on them, to make a declaration. If you receive confirmation that the guys have received all the relevant approvals, then we say, ‘Friends, I don’t want you to get into a pressure cooker here’ [methods used by the IDF to make someone give himself up]. If they don’t surrender immediately then you immediately engage them, so that you won’t be hurt. That’s the story. It’s not a targeted assassination, where you are approving their execution even if they put up their hands.”

The approval you gave the forces states that if there are women and children, there is to be an arrest. In other words, it would have been possible to arrest them.

“That means that if there are women and children we assume another risk and tell the guys that if they fire at you and begin to flee you don’t begin to exchange fire, but you try to stop the vehicle by shooting at the tires.”

The Operations Directorate approval in the case of Malaisha states that this is a preventive action operation.

“If it was approved as preventive action, that is, as a target for assassination, it’s a different story.”

But then it contradicts the High Court orders to the effect that Israel controls the area and approval of the plan includes the option of arrest.

“Don’t bother me with the High Court orders, I don’t know when there were High Court orders and when there weren’t. I know that a targeted assassination is approved and there is a preventive action procedure and I receive instructions from the Operations Directorate.”

What is the difference between the preventive action procedure and people that you give permission to fire at if they are identified?

“The difference is language. You say ‘Hands up. If not, I’m opening fire,’ and here I don’t say anything and drop a bomb from a plane.”

In the instructions there is no mention of the arrest option, and permission is given to fire if there is identification of a wanted man.

“I’m not familiar with such a document.”

Why in the approvals for targeted assassination is permission given in advance to harm unidentified people?

“Weren’t there people in the Shahadeh case? [Fatah leader Mohammed Shahadeh was assassinated by Hamas in October 2006]. But those aren’t questions that you should ask me. What is approved as preventive action goes through approvals all the way to the prime minister, and what is decided is decided. Usually these guys hung around with bad guys, not good guys.”

Linguistic innovations

In the State’s reply to the High Court, prior to its ruling, it was claimed that carrying out a targeted assassination is “an exceptional step” that is taken “only when there is no other, less severe way of implementing it … In the context of these strict instructions it was decided that when there are realistic alternatives to the action, such as arrest, these alternatives should be used.”

But the most noticeable thing the High Court ruling changed regarding the assassinations is the language used by the IDF in planning them. On December 13, 2006, a day before the High Court ruling was handed down, wanted man Muhammed Ramaha was killed in the Ein Beit Ilma refugee camp in the Nablus area. According to the IDF spokesman’s report to the media at the time, Ramaha was killed in the course of a joint “arrest operation” of the IDF, the Shin Bet and the Yamam police unit.

Now it turns out that Ramaha’s fate had been sealed a month earlier, when the Central Command conducted a discussion on an operation planned by the IDF’s Maglan special operations unit in the Nablus area. Those in attendance were presented with orders from Maj. Gen. Naveh, who ruled that the armed men walking around the area were connected to Mohammed Ramaha’s unit and “should be attacked.” There was no option offered of trying to arrest the members of the squad, and conditions for opening fire were the identification of two armed men, “conspiratorial” activity involving at least one armed man, or “when an indication is given” of the presence of Ramaha in the squad. As mentioned, a month after the discussion Ramaha was killed.

The Maglan soldiers were also the ones who carried out an operation on November 8, 2006 that ended in the killing of five Palestinians, two of them unarmed. The IDF, as usual, did not present it as an assassination mission, but it turns out that the force’s assignment was “to sneak into the center of the village, up to the observation point overlooking the killing area that had been designated in advance, to lie in ambush for armed terrorists and to hit them at short range.”

Another example: At the end of September 2006 the then head of the Operations Directorate, Maj. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot (today GOC Northern Command), conducted a discussion in which approval was given to assassinate a Fatah member – an expert on the production of explosives belts – in the Nablus area. “The Time For Chaos Has Arrived” was the name of this operation, in which the major general approved attacking the man “in the context of the procedure of targeted assassination of important figures in light of the fact that he is a ‘ticking bomb.'” As opposed to operations planned after the High Court ruling, where there are specific instructions regarding conditions in which the action should not be carried out, in this case the only instructions were “to try to refrain insofar as possible from harming innocent people.”

“Apparently what happened in the wake of the High Court ruling is mainly ‘word laundering,'” says Kretchmer. “In other words, the use of words referring to arrest when in fact there is no real intention of carrying out an arrest, but the reference is to assassination.” Sfard says that, “whoever gave the IDF a permit to execute civilians without trial should not be surprised when the death squads it has created do not adhere to the few restrictions imposed on this policy. It’s a natural, logical and inevitable process of moral deterioration involved in assassinations.”

A military source said that the first years of the intifada were “a period lacking order. They fired at just about anything that moved.” He says that in recent years, especially after the High Court ruling, the procedure in Central Command and the Operations Directorate is somewhat different, one reason being that representatives of the Military Prosecutor’s Office “are breathing down their necks.” As for the importance attributed by the army to the country’s image and to the timing of its activity, the source said, not without a degree of cynicism, that “the criteria for a ‘ticking bomb’ change if Condoleezza Rice is in the country.”

An investigation by Haaretz indicates that IDF operations that are defined in advance as arrest operations rather than assassination operations do for the most part end in arrest. However, there is something disturbing about the fact that when it comes to the plan to arrest a Palestinian, the commander in charge of the operation sometimes feels a need to explain that this is not an assassination assignment and that the wanted man should be brought back alive. For example, in an operation planned last May for the arrest of a Fatah activist in Bethlehem, the GOC Central Command explained to the commander of the Duvdevan undercover commando unit that “the mission is arrest rather than killing.” And in fact, that activist was arrested alive. In the same operation, incidentally, it was explained to the forces that “there is no permission to behave aggressively toward foreign media crews.”

When Naveh was asked why he occasionally told the forces that the wanted men be brought back alive, which should ostensibly be obvious, he explained: “That means that I am exposing our forces to additional risk, and even if he opens fire, they do not kill him immediately but try nevertheless to arrest him.” It also turns out that the presence of children is not always an excuse to cancel military operations. At the end of March 2007, the chief of staff allowed Duvdevan to carry out the arrest of a wanted man during the birthday party of one of his children. The name chosen by the IDF for this action was Kindergarten Party.

Source

Israeli journalists on ice for report on Israeli assassinations

Other Israeli crimes . There are many.

Fake Al Qaeda, Fake Passports, Fake planes

Dubai police chief to seek Netanyahu arrest as well as the Mossad agents

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Mossad using Spanish passport Arrested in Algeria

British MPs call for review of arms export to Israel

Australia: Fraser calls for expulsion of Israeli diplomats

Israel to Allow Shoes into Gaza Strip After Three Year Ban

UK warns of Israel travel amid passport scandal

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Women in Iraq Miss Saddam

Israel condemned at Arab summit over Israel’s illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land

Israel to Allow Shoes into Gaza Strip After Three Year Ban

Pressure From US Seen as Key to Allowing Footwear Into Strip

by Jason Ditz,
March 29, 2010

According to Palestinian officials, the Israeli government has made one of its most significant revisions to the Gaza blockade in three years, allowing the importation of shoes and certain types of clothes into the tiny enclave.

Israel has not allowed any shoes to be legally brought into the Gaza Strip since 2007, and officially cemented the ban in 2008 under the claim that shoes were a ‘dual use technology.’ This argument was based on claims that since militaries wear shoes as part of their uniforms, any shoes imported into the strip might be used as part of a military uniform. This same argument was made in the banning of many types of clothing.

For those who could afford it, this meant having to import shoes by way of the tunnels into Egypt, which regularly come under Israeli bombardment because they allow the importation of banned goods, from shoes to iPods to cars. For Gaza’s poor however, importation is not an option and they must make do with what they have or go without.

Officials say that the move is a concession by the Israeli government after pressure from the Obama Administration. The shoes will be allowed in later in the week, after the Passover holiday blockade is lifted. It is unclear if the move signals a semi-permanent end to the ban on shoes, or if the shipment will be a one-shot deal.

Source

I find it hard to believe that any country would ban shoes of all things.

Then again posting a story on it, is not an every day occurrence.

To ban shoes is ridiculous in the first place.

Imagine if shoes were banned from your country for three years.

Israel does a lot of ridiculous things, this is just one.

If shoes were banned in the US, Canada or Britain imagine the uproar.

But it was quiet alright to ban them from Gaza.

This just proves Israel is doing deliberate things to  torment and antagonize those in Gaza.

Banning shoes how pathetic.

Is there any other county in the World that bans foot wear?

I could be wrong but the answer is NO.

Well lets give them  a pat on the back for being so gracious, as to allow shoes into Gaza. Gee now Israel can  be so proud of itself.

No excuse is acceptable for such behavior.

Maybe shoes should be banned from Israel. Just imagine how they would react to a shoe ban????????

On March 5 2010 Channel 4 aired an episode of Dispatches entitled “The Children of Gaza”. It is heart breaking,  but you must watch it. The children tell their stories. Through the eyes of the children.

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Published in: on March 30, 2010 at 4:11 am  Comments Off on Israel to Allow Shoes into Gaza Strip After Three Year Ban  
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A message From “Rachel Corrie’s” Mother

Rachel died 7 years ago today March 16 2003

March 16 2010

From Rachel’s Mother

This month, a civil lawsuit in Israel in the case of our daughter Rachel Corrie will converge with the seven-year anniversary of her killing in Gaza. A human rights observer and activist, Rachel, 23, was crushed to death by an Israel Defense Force (IDF) Caterpillar D9R bulldozer as she tried nonviolently to offer protection for a Palestinian family whose home was threatened with demolition. This lawsuit is one piece of our family’s seven-year effort to pursue accountability for Rachel while, also, challenging the Occupation that claimed her life.

On this day, when Rachel’s presence is powerful for many of us, we’re asking all of our friends to support Rachel’s vision of freedom for Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip by participating in what we are calling the International Day of Conscience. Please join her struggle by calling the White House today – this link has all the information you need:

http://tinyurl.com/Corrie4Gaza

Seven years later, Rachel’s memory is still vibrant. I’m writing to you from Israel where we are plaintiffs in a civil case against the state of Israel for its responsibility in her death. In addition to seeking accountability through the Israeli court system, we’re asking all of our friends to support Rachel’s vision of freedom for Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip by participating in a national call-in day to the White House.

I hope I can count on you to:

  • Call the White House at 202-456-1111
  • Urge Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell to visit Gaza and demand that the United States break the blockade of Gaza by providing immediate humanitarian aid and building materials.
  • Tell us about your call. Tracking your calls makes a difference.

You can also make the call tomorrow. Please forward this  to help spread the word.

Thank you,
Cindy Corrie

P.S. Click here to view the trial updates page on the Rachel Corrie Foundation website.

A few Documents from above link.

March 15: Eye Witness Testifies: Israeli Military Investigator Tried to Influence My Statement

English (pdf, 166.24 KB)

Eye Witness Testifies: Israeli Military Investigator Tried to Influence My Statement

    Today, March 15 2010, the Haifa District Court saw the third day of testimony in the civil lawsuit filed by Rachel Corrie’s family against the State of Israel for her unlawful killing in Rafah, Gaza. Rachel was crushed to death on March 16, 2003 by a Caterpillar D9R bulldozer. She had been nonviolently demonstrating against Palestinian home demolitions with fellow members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct action methods and principles. Today’s only testimony came from British citizen Alice Coy, a nurse, who was an eyewitness to the killing. The state spent most of the day trying to establish that contrary to all eyewitness accounts and human rights reports, the Israeli Military had no intention of demolishing homes in the area on the day Rachel was killed.

Ms. Coy testified that:

  • She first visited Israel in order visit Israeli family members.
  • When the Israeli Military interviewed her on April 1st about Rachel’s killing, the soldier who documented her testimony refused to record her statement that she believed the bulldozers were going to destroy civilian homes.
  • She believed the Israeli Military was planning to demolish homes on the day Rachel was killed because the Israeli Military had been demolishing homes on the Philadelphi Corridor in the days and weeks prior, and because they had already begun to demolish a house earlier that day by damaging its porch.
  • She had spoken with many Palestinian families in the area where Rachel was killed whose homes had been demolished by the Israeli Military.
  • She believed the bulldozer driver who killed Rachel could see her.
  • She described her view of her work with ISM as promoting peace for the whole region.

The home Rachel Corrie was protecting, that of Dr. Samir Nasrallah, was in fact demolished by the Israeli Military later that year.

According to an October, 2004 Human Rights Watch report, Razing Rafah: Mass Home Demolitions in the Gaza Strip, between 2000 and 2004, the Israeli Military demolished over 2,500 Palestinian houses in Gaza, nearly two thirds of which were located in Rafah, resulting in more than 16,000 people – over 10% of Rafah’s population – losing their homes. The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, in its 2004 report Through No Fault of their Own, found that contrary to Israel’s claim that prior warning is given before a home is demolished, occupants were given prior notification in a mere 3% of the cases.

The Human Rights’ Watch report further documented that most of the destruction in Rafah occurred along the Israeli-controlled border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt known as the Philadelphi Corridor, the area where Rachel was killed. During regular nighttime raids and with little or no warning, Israeli forces used armored Caterpillar D9 bulldozers to raze blocks of homes, incrementally expanding a “buffer zone” that is currently up to three hundred meters wide.The pattern of destruction strongly suggests that Israeli forces demolished homes wholesale, regardless of whether they posed a specific threat, in stark violation of international law.

The trial will resume on Wednesday, March 17, 2010, at 9 a.m. at the district court in Haifa.

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Trial Witness ‘I saw Israeli bulldozer kill Rachel Corrie’

Rachel Corrie’s parents Get Nasty Letter from professor at Haifa University

Rachel Corrie Gets Her Day in Court

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US/Israeli Charity uses little Palestinian Childs photo to raise money for Israel’s Hungry

Updated March 8 2010 The 2 updates is down below.

Update on the Charity and also added a link to yet another Charity which isn’t so Charitable either.

You may want to take the time to read both.

January 13 2010

This is the little girl in question

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. Israeli ground troops and tanks cut swaths through the Gaza Strip early Sunday, cutting the coastal territory into two and surrounding its biggest city as the new phase of a devastating offensive against Hamas gained momentum.”photo by Fady Adwan/propaimages”

A Palestinian girl cries during the funeral of her brother who was killed after an Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza Strip January 4, 2009. Israeli soldiers and Palestinian militants battled on Gaza City’s outskirts on Sunday after Israeli troops and tanks invaded the coastal enclave in the worst fighting in the conflict in decades. REUTERS/Ismail Zaydah (GAZA)

This is a story about the day her picture was taken with the above REUTERS photo

Life gets worse for Palestinians in Gaza

For the first eight days of Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip, codenamed Operation Cast Lead, many Palestinians trapped inside the territory believed that living conditions could not get any worse. They were wrong.

By Tim Butcher on the Israel-Gaza border
Published: 6:29PM GMT 04 Jan 2009

To go to the Story click HERE

She is the same little girl in both pictures.

This was discovered January 12 2010 and  screen shots was taken so it could be proved, this child was the one being used as advertising for the Charity. One has to wonder how long they were using her photo?
Both pictures used by the Charity were cropped,  but if you look closely both have the Design on the clothing of the woman, who standing on her right, in her time of such tremendous, sorrow,  considering she lost her brother an being surrounded by war.
Just check the top right hand corner of the picture. Look for the green part of the design.
Definitely the cropped version of  the larger  “photo by Fady Adwan/propaimages”  above was  used at the Charity site and HAARTZ.com
The same  by “photo by Fady Adwan/propaimages”of the little girl is also HERE as well third row down, third picture in.
These photos are also on this site as well HERE along with many other photo’s of the War on Gaza
The two screen shots can be enlarged by clicking on them.
po101141

This Screen shot of the Charity site itself was also taken as well.

Again the design is also in the top right hand corner.  Also a of version of  the larger  “photo by Fady Adwan/propaimages”

po101142

Second Screen shot of Charity site. Click on it to enlarge

Today the Charity Meir Panium removed the little Palestinians girls photo from its flyer.  This of course I imagine after there were complaints about it’s immoral use. There were thousands of people who saw this reprehensible use of this little girl to raise money for Starving children in Israel.

Their new poster girl. Now is she really Israeli I wonder? If you see this little girls picture and she is from anywhere but Israel do let inquiring minds know.

This ad

is still on the HAARETZ site however. Seems the Charity has yet to contact them. So check to see if it is still there, it may or may not but if  it is, you will see to  the  right of the picture of State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss.  Then again in the past two days she has been most of their news stories.

Update Seems the little Girl is still on the HAARETZ site

January 15 2010 Just click on the screen shot to enlarge.

http://www.meirpanim.org

Email  info@meirpanim.org

Update January 16 2010

The little Palestinian  girl has finally been removed  from HAARETZ.com  site as noted in the screen shot below.

I do believe we all will need to monitor the Charity sites to be sure nothing like this happens again.

To some it may seem like a small thing.

Just imagine if your son were killed by someone, then that someone used your daughters picture to make money for themselves.

All the while that someone is still committing crimes against you, your family and your friends.

Imagine how the rest of your family and friends would feel.

Then you may find it is no small thing.

If this were my daughter I would be outraged.

I cannot even fathom,  the words to express how angry I would be.

So if nothing else, try to  imagine this is your tiny little girl.

Think about how you would feel.

If the roles were reversed and this was Hamas using an Israeli child in the same context, it probably would have been on news casts world wide and Hamas would have been demoized as evil hateful horrid people.  I can see the Tiger Woods craze go wild..

There to the embarrassment of many was no coverage of this in the US Canada or Britain even.

The we also have to wonder why Israel has Charities for Israel in many countries around the world as well. Israel is not a third world country by any means.

Questions to think about.

Do the Canada, US, Britain, France or Germany etc have Charities in other countries to get money for food for their hungry children? If not why not?

Those countries all have hungry, starving, people. They do have charities set up to help the poor, but they also remain within their borders. Canadians help take care of Canadians and Americans help take care of American etc. I have never seen any ad in all my travels that had offices in other countries however.

I can fully understand why others would want to help those in Gaza considering they have been blown back to the stone age. I can see helping those in Afghanistan or Iraq they to have been devastated.

I can see helping those in Africa, Haiti and other third world countries.

Israel however is questionable. They have all sorts of Charities set up to get moeny for all sorts of things.

Not so long ago one was in the news. It was suppose to be raising money for schools in Israel, turns out some of the money was actually going to  settlements. Which of course is illegal. The money can only go to the place the advetising says. If it says food it can only go for food etc.

I do believe some of these charities should be checked to see if others have done the same thing.

I as a person who donates money to different causes want to be assured the money I donate, goes to the people and the cause the advertising says it will.

If I donate $100 for school books for children in Afghanistan, it had better to go to school books for children in Afghanistan.

If I donate money to go to Haiti for food,  it had better go to Haiti for food.

If it is for medical needs such as Doctors Without Boarders it had better go to medical help and supplies for those in need.

If I discovered it was going to Israel for settlements,  instead I would be fuming.

Other wise it it is fraud and theft. Those crimes would be directly against anyone who donated. That means the charity stolen from you the person, who was kind enough to give to the cause advertised..

We will be watching.

Found this Report today as I was wandering about.

This is not the first report of this type but should be read by all.

If you need Adobe Reader

http://get.adobe.com/reader/

It is from June 2009

The systematic and institutionalised ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children by Israeli authorities

Click Screen shot to enlarge.

March 8 2010 update

Their  new poster children. The question is “Are they really Israeli children”?

Click on Shots to enlarge them.

New Ad for Meir Panim

As shown at HARRETZ

The children in Gaza are far worse off, then any child in Israel. If Israel has hungry men, women and children maybe they should spend less on weapons, checkpoints  or imprisoning those from Gaza and the West Bank.

The Building of the illegal wall could and should be stopped.  The entire wall should be torn down.

Those in Gaza do not have enough medical supplies, hydro, food, water heating fuel, cooking fuel and next to no building supplies and the list goes on an on. Many still live in tents. The things most people take for granted, they do not have.

They are in desperate need of real help.  That little Palestinian girl if she is still alive really does need help. She is an innocent little girl.

Using her picture for profit to help those in Israel is beyond reprehensible. She and everyone in Gaza are desperately in need.

Thank You to all who take the time to read this and those who took the time to do screen shots pictures and get copies of all the information pertaining to this horrid incident.

Thank You to all the blogger’s or those from forums and there are many for sharing this information.

You will never see this on the main stream media.

If not for others who took the time no one would know the crime against this innocent child. This is a crime.  Even Charities have laws they must live by.

Thank you all for caring. I know she is just one small little girl but we must be her voice, as her voice is so small.

The children in Gaza  don’t get almost 3 billion dollars from the US every year.

They don’t get the millions Israel gets from Charities set up for them around the world.

Just in a recent report the US has built buildings in Israel and I guess they need them for the $800 million in munitions Israel will also have access to as well.

The US just gave it to them.

Seems to me if Israel  has so many hungry should be given food not weapons.  The US should stop giving weapons aid to Israel. If they are so desperately, hungry as they say they are, which I doubt,  they do not in need more bullets, bombs, tanks, planes, etc.

The same can be said of the US they have many hungry people as well and over 45 million without health insurance because it is unaffordable.

Yet they spend about or over 500 billion dollars on war.  That doesn’t include what they give in aid to other countries for weapons.

Then there are all their military bases they have to run. Over 800 or more by now.  In most countries the people who live there do not want them there to boot.  This of course all at the expense of the American citizens.

Seems to me they need to get their priorities straight. Feed your people and stop warmongering is my motto.

The UN and many others have demanded the blockade be lifted.

The world is watching.

Contact your Governments and tell them to have the Blockade in Gaza lifted.

When people try to get aid into Gaza, they meet with a numerous problems.

Added March 8 2010

Now for that other so called  Charity which helps in removing land from Palistinians. Very interesting read this is. The Jewish National Fund.  They have many offices all over the world as well.  They have been taking peoples hard earned money and using for the worst of reasons.  This a recent report and well worth reading.

E-book on Jewish National Fund’s role in colonization of Palestine

Seems to me Israels Charities should all be scrutinized. Who do they really benefit and is the money actually being used for good or bad.  This one is used to take land and hide what really happened.

George Bush once said something about watching the Charities. Well dare I say, maybe he was right. Maybe they were watching the wrong Charities however. Seems old George may have hit the nail, but on the wrong head.

Viva Palestina Update George Galloway and Ron McKay Deported from Cairo

Gaza sees more newborns of malformation

Come the iron wall-Gaza Tunnels only used for Necessities

Turkey, Lebanon lash out at Israeli Violation of airspace

Disapproval and Lawsuit against Egyptian “Wall of shame”

UN Calls for Israel to Open Crossing for Goods

Gaza sees more newborns of malformation

By Sami Ajrami, Hamoudi Gharib

December 31 2009

GAZA,

Um Hamza, a 22-year-old pregnant woman, from Jabalya refugee camp in northern Gaza Strip, woke up at night numerous times during the 22-day Israeli war which ended on Jan. 18, sniffing the smell of gas.

Several weeks later she started experiencing terrible pain in the abdomen. Although she had been pregnant for two months then, it was impossible for her to conduct necessary tests as the hospitals were overwhelmed by injured people of Israeli bombardments.

The pain continued for a couple of months before she was finally able to get the medical checkup, and the results left her shocked and speechless. The child she was carrying suffered from malformation and may die either inside her womb or shortly after birth.

The baby came to this world while his brain hung out of his head like a bag of skin covering his eyes, therefore, the baby will never experience sight. Meanwhile, he could not breathe either because of the malformation in his nose as it appears clogged.

The baby’s grandfather, who knew about his grandson’s malformation two months after he was born, said he wished Hamza had died before birth so he could escape the torture, no matter how long.

Um Hamza said she hopes her son would receive treatment abroad, as technology in foreign countries is more advanced, though the chances of recovery is slim.

Since the Israeli Operation Cast Lead last winter, the besieged Gaza Strip saw an increase in the proportion of fetus and newborns malformations.

Thabet Masri, director of neonatal division in the community of medical healing, told Xinhua that from July to September, the rate of children born with different congenital deformities was 17 per month, compared with nine per month over the same period of 2008.

He said the increase of fetal deformity cases is related to the radioactive and toxic materials resulting from Israel’s use of prohibited weapons.

Although fetus malformation was caused by several reasons, we should not ignore the impact of toxic substances and chemicals, especially the white phosphorus, which Israel used in a disproportional way during the war, and white phosphorus is prohibited to use in places of civilians, said the doctor.

White phosphorus bombs are internationally considered dangerous in terms of its impact on respiratory system.

Doctors at the incubation department in the Shifa Hospital said exposure to toxic chemicals and radioactive substances primarily lead to fetal malformations in the first months of pregnancy when the neural tube is formed.

Italian scientists said this month that The Gaza Strip’s soil contains poisonous and cancer-causing materials after collecting soil samples from several areas bombed during the war.

Source

This should not happen to anyone, but has happend in other countries as well.  No surprise considering they use the same types of weapons.

War pollution is one of the worst types of pollution.


Link below has more information on deformities

War “Pollution” Equals Millions of Deaths

Israeli war crimes: Soldiers admit to deliberate killing of Gaza civilians

Gaza offensive: Israeli war crimes are in little doubt
By Jonathan Cook

December 27 2009

NAZARETH

The debate reverberating in the human rights community one year after Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip is not about whether Israel committed war crimes during its attack last winter, but whether and how its political and military leaders can ever be brought to book.

The problems were highlighted this month when an arrest warrant was issued in Britain after action by activists for Tzipi Livni, Israel’s foreign minister during the war, after it was mistakenly believed she was visiting.

The British government responded with anger and promised to change the law to ensure future restrictions on the use of “universal jurisdiction” powers that grant British courts the power to try suspected foreign war criminals.

Human rights experts mostly agree that Israel extensively violated the rules of war during its three-week operation, known as Cast Lead. The consensus was formed early on, as organisations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch carried out investigations. Their findings were backed by testimonies from Israeli soldiers.

The organisations condemned Israel for using disproportionate force, deliberately targeting civilians, blocking access to medical services, using Palestinians as human shields, and employing controversial weapons, including white phosphorus and high-explosive shells, in civilian areas. Hamas, which rules Gaza, was also accused of war crimes, mostly for firing rockets into Israel.

The final blow to Israeli claims that no war crimes were committed was the appointment of a distinguished judge, Richard Goldstone, to head a United Nations fact-finding mission.

According to a current prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, who wished not to be named, the significance of the Goldstone report, published in September, lies in its conclusion that Israel’s leaders “planned and predetermined the grave violations [of international law] and human rights abuses” long before the attack on Gaza.

Mr Goldstone pointed to a spate of reports in the Israeli media that the army and cabinet held detailed discussions six months before the operation about the objectives to be realised and the strategy to be used.

In particular, The Hague prosecutor added, Mr Goldstone had highlighted the Israeli army’s premeditated implementation of the “Dahiya doctrine”, developed three years earlier during its war in Lebanon. This strategy justified laying waste to large swathes of Gaza infrastructure, supposedly because it offered support to Hamas, despite inevitable civilian casualties.

Almost 1,400 Gazans were killed during the operation, the vast majority of them non-combatants, including more than 400 women and children. In addition, more than 20,000 homes, as well as schools, mosques, food stores, factories and businesses, were damaged or destroyed in the Gaza Strip.

The Goldstone report said it was “particularly worrying” that Israel “viewed disproportionate destruction and creating maximum disruption in the lives of many people [in Gaza] as a legitimate means to achieve not only military but also political goals”.

Israel’s justification for the assault – that it was in self-defence against Hamas rockets – has been rejected by many human rights experts.

A letter published last January in Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper by 30 leading international jurists called the attack a “war of aggression” – the “supreme international crime”, according to the principles laid down in 1950 by the Nuremberg tribunal into Nazi crimes.

Victor Kattan, an international law expert at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, said Operation Cast Lead could be defined as self-defence only if it had been sanctioned either by the UN Security Council or by Article 51 of the UN Charter. Neither applied. The attack also failed the tests of proportionality and necessity, he said.

There are still major questions among human rights experts about whether Israelis can be brought to trial. The most probable avenues are through an ad hoc tribunal of the International Criminal Court (ICC), or trials in one of a number of mainly European countries such as Britain, where local courts have universal jurisdiction.

However, Mr Kattan said both the ICC and most countries with universal jurisdiction would be reluctant to pursue a trial against an ally of the United States, or allow a precedent that might later be used against them. He said one opening for war crimes trials might be of Israelis with dual nationality, where they are also citizens of a state that had ratified the 1998 Rome Treaty, which established the international court. “They could be prosecuted by the ratifying state, and if that state failed to prosecute, then the ICC could take up the case.”

In September, the ICC’s chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, told Newsweek, a US magazine, that he was considering investigating an Israeli lawyer, David Benjamin, who is also a South African citizen, after he gave an interview to the Bloomberg news agency admitting that his unit, the military advocate corps, had authorised “the targets that could be struck, war material – everything passed by us”. In particular, observers believe Mr Benajmin, a reserve soldier, may be liable to prosecution over his unit’s approval of the use of white phosphorus.

Israel’s political and defence establishments appear worried. Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, has led a campaign of vilification of Mr Goldstone and refused to approve a public investigation into the army’s actions in Gaza, as Mr Goldstone has demanded.

Israel has set up a task force to deal with possible defences in war crimes trials, barred the local media from identifying senior officers, and approved aid packages for soldiers to fight arrest warrants.
The Israeli government has also sought to block funding, particularly from the European Union, for Israeli human rights groups that have been trying to bring war crimes to light.

Source

According to Israeli law, if a Turk does wrong to a Jew in Turkey, he may be snatched, arrested, tried and punished in Israel. Turkey should introduce a symmetrical law, covering offences against Palestinians who otherwise are not protected by law.

Seems to me this should apply to those in Israel who commit crimes against others, especially war crimes , assassinations and terrorist activities such as car bombings or other bombings. They too should be snatched, arrested, tried and punished in another country.  Their terrorist activities over the years do add up.

About NGO Monitor and organization that says it monitors Human rights groups like Amnesty International or  Organizations like Breaking The Silence.
Their Office is located
1 Ben-Maimon Blvd
Jerusalem 92262
Israel

They represent no one, but Israel. Seems from what I read they have a lot of propaganda on the site.
This is their Mission statement. http://www.ngo-monitor.org/articles.php?type=about
Then we have this statement which is rather  amusing considering Israeli lobby groups through out the world and how they do everything imaginable to influence Governments in favour of Israel.  Seems they have a problem with  Human Rights or other organizations that criticize Israel.
http://www.ngo-monitor.org/digest_info.php?id=2748
NGO Index A to Z These are the groups they monitor

http://www.ngo-monitor.org/ngo_index.php?letter=A

This organization reminds me of Honest Reporting which hounds the press. Or Camera. They all have one goal in mind to stop all criticism of Israel.  They serve no other real purpose. It is just another Israeli  Lobby group.

Lets face it Israel is guilty of war crimes.

They have broken numerous UN Resolutions and Ruling from the World Court.

They continually  pretend to be the victim, but in fact are anything but the victim.

Israeli soldiers admit to deliberate killing of Gaza civilians

From March 20, 2009

The Israeli army has been forced to open an investigation into the conduct of its troops in Gaza after damning testimony from its own front line soldiers revealed the killing of civilians and rules of engagement so lax that one combatant said that they amounted on occasion to “cold-blooded murder”.

The revelations, compiled by the head of an Israel military academy who declared that he was “shocked” at the findings, come as international rights groups are calling for independent inquiries into the conduct of both sides in the three-week Israeli offensive against Palestinian Islamists.

The soldiers’ testimonies include accounts of an unarmed old woman being shot at a distance of 100 yards, a woman and her two children being killed after Israeli soldiers ordered them from their house into the line of fire of a sniper and soldiers clearing houses by shooting anyone they encountered on sight.

“That’s the beauty of Gaza. You see a man walking, he doesn’t have to have a weapon, and you can shoot him,” one soldier told Danny Zamir, the head of the Rabin pre-military academy, who asked him why a company commander ordered an elderly woman to be shot.

I gathered the graduate students of the course who fought in Gaza, to hear their impressions from the fighting. I wasn’t prepared for any of the stuff I heard there. I was shocked,” Mr Zamir said. “I think that the writing was on the wall, but we just didn’t want to see it, we didn’t want to face it.”

One non-commissioned officer told Mr Zamir, himself a deputy battalion commander in the reserves, that the army “fired a lot of rounds and killed a lot of people in order for us not to be injured or shot at.

“When we entered a house, we were supposed to bust down the door and start shooting inside and just go up storey by storey… I call that murder. Each storey, if we identify a person, we shoot them. I asked myself – how is this reasonable?”

The same unnamed NCO said that his commanding officer ordered soldiers on to a rooftop to shoot an old woman crossing a main street during the fighting, which a Palestinian rights groups said left 1,434 people dead, 960 of them civilians.

“I don’t know whether she was suspicious, not suspicious, I don’t know her story,” the NCO said. “I do know that my officer sent people to the roof in order to take her out… It was cold-blooded murder.”

Another NCO recounted a military blunder that led to a mother and her two children being shot dead by an Israeli sniper. “We had taken over the house… and the family was released and told to go right. A mother and two children got confused and went left… The sniper on the roof wasn’t told that this was okay and that he shouldn’t shoot… you can say he just did what he was told… he was told not to let anyone approach the left flank and he shot at them.

“I don’t know whether he first shot at their feet or not, but he killed them,” the soldier said.

The soldiers’ accounts were submitted anonymously at a meeting at the academy around a month ago. The Israel army said that it had started an investigation, but that this was the first time it had heard such testimony, despite having debriefed troops itself.

Breaking The Silence, an organisation of former soldiers who gather witness accounts from troops in the Palestinian territories, said that its own investigation into Operation Cast Lead, as the war was known in Israel, had revealed a similar picture of the fighting.

“It’s definitely in line with what we are hearing,” said one of the researchers.

Another disturbing element reported by the soldiers was the role of military rabbis in distributing booklets that framed the fighting as a religious war. “All these articles had a clear message: we are the Jewish people, we have come to the land by miraculous means, and now we have to fight to remove the Gentiles who are getting in our way and preventing us from occupying the Holy Land… a great many soldiers had a feeling throughout this operation of a religious war,” said one soldier.

There were also accounts of soldiers being ordered to throw all the furniture out of Palestinians’ homes as they were taken over.

“We simply threw everything out the windows to make room and order. The entire contents of the house flew out the windows: refrigerator, plates, furniture. The order was to remove the entire contents of the house.”

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This is not New behavior for Israel. Seems crime is their motto.

The Occupied West Bank Latroun Villages

The Occupied West Bank Latroun Villages
By Stephen Lendman

On June 6, 1967, when Israeli forces invaded Gaza and the West Bank, on the second day of the so-called Six-Day War (June 5 – 10, 1967), they entered three Palestinian villages in the Latroun salient – Imwas, Yalo and Beit Nouba, forcibly expelling the residents, numbering over 10,000 at the time. By the next day, most were gone while Israel began razing village lands and erasing their memory in an area well-known for its water resources and fertility, located northwest of Jerusalem along the Green Line. One soldier at the time explained that they:

“were told to take up positions around the approaches to the villages in order to prevent those villagers – who had heard the Israeli assurances over the radio that they could return to their homes in peace – from returning to their homes. The order was – shoot over their heads and tell them there is no access to the village,” even though Fourth Geneva’s Article 49 states:

“Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.” Doing so is a “grave breach,” and those responsible are criminally liable.

Forty-two years later, their former homes gone and land expropriated, the survivors remain displaced, unable to return in violation of international law and Article 11 of UN Resolution 194:

“Resolv(ing) that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live in peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.”

Israel never complied even though its admission to the UN was conditional on accepting this and other relevant UN resolutions.

Established in 1979, Al-Haq is a Ramallah, West Bank-based independent Palestinian human rights NGO dedicated to protecting and promoting these rights and the rule of law in Occupied Palestine. In December 2007, it published a report still relevant titled, “Where Villages Stood: Israel’s Continuing Violations of International Law in Occupied Latroun, 1967 – 2007,” and dedicated it “To the people of Imwas, Yalo and Beit Nouba, and to all Palestinians who remain displaced from their homes, their villages, their land.”

Focusing on the Latroun villages, it highlights the plight of all Palestinians – denied their rights by forced displacements, prevented from returning, and in the Occupied Territories still living under an oppressive 42-year military occupation. Al Haq’s purpose was to document an international crime, disclose the policy behind it, provide victims the evidence they need to seek justice, and the world community ample reason to demand it. After 42 repressive years, Israel’s occupation “has acquired some of the (worst) characteristics of colonialism and apartheid” with no redress in sight to end it.

Following the Six-Day War, Israel expropriated 400 square km from displaced persons and refugees, and threatened Palestinians along the Green Line with more, especially in the three Latroun villages, targeted for annexation prior to the occupation by establishing irreversible “facts on the ground” when completed.

Al-Haq’s study uncovered official Israeli political and military documents and compiled firsthand accounts from interviews with former soldiers who participated in the operation and were willing to discuss it freely. Thankfully so because their truths must be told.

The Story of the Latroun Villages: Their Destruction and Displacement

In Israel’s 1948 “War of Independence,” the Old City of Jerusalem (in East Jerusalem) and Latroun salient were key targets fought hard for, lost, and thereafter “engrained in the collective psyche of the Israeli military.” As a result, Latroun remained a West Bank enclave along the Green Line, separated from Israel by a “No Man’s Land” buffer zone.

The Six-Day War achieved the earlier loss, erased a “bitter memory” according to Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, and provided an opportunity for more land and its valuable resources by expelling Palestinian residents and denying their right to return.

From the start, no resistance was met because the Jordanian military withdrew the night before, knowing it would be outnumbered so prioritized its defense of Jerusalem. As a result, Palestinian residents began fleeing as soon as Israeli tanks approached, and those remaining were forcibly expelled, in many cases with no time to take essentials, including food and water for a 20 km walk to Ramallah (in intense heat), their only way to get there not knowing their fate, yet believing at the time they’d be allowed to return.

Unknown to them then:

  • expulsion meant permanent displacement;
  • Latroun was to be part of Israel and all traces of their former land destroyed, except in their collective memories;
  • village destruction was a punitive land grab accomplished by bulldozing and blasting with explosives, not the result of war; reportedly, some residents who remained were buried under their homes, a willful act of murder;
  • destruction was complete, including homes, schools, mosques, archaeological landmarks, a medical clinic, wells, an agricultural association, and a police station – everything leveled to Judaize it.

One participating soldier said it was “the blackest hour of my life. Things were done here which should not have been done, and I participated in an action that I shouldn’t have been part of.” Others felt the same way as they witnessed innocent civilians, including the sick and elderly, persecuted and displaced. Those too frail to leave were buried alive, an act too horrifying for some to bear.

Dr. Moussa Abu Ghosh remembered his cousin, Hasan Shukri, buried beneath his home:

He “was nineteen, an invalid, paralyzed from polio. They found his wheelchair outside and found his body underneath the house.” Others recalled similar incidents, but how many is unknown, perhaps dozens of civilians willfully murdered, guilty of being Arabs on land Israel wanted and took.

After the war, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol told Israeli ministers:

“For the first time since the establishment of the state, the security threat to Israel from the West Bank has been removed, and here I am reminded particularly of Latroun, which for us was a worry, as (in 1948) the territory in that area cost us much blood even though in the end it remained on the other side.”

No security threat existed, but Israel got its revenge and the territory it sought. The major Western media was silent, much like today, so most people accept the mythology of a beleaguered Israel surrounded by hostile Arabs, acting heroically in self-defense.

Israel’s Use of the Latroun Land

After the Six-Day War, Israeli Defence Forces and Defence Ministry Archive (IDFA) Military Organising Orders, June 1967 IDFA 901/2/281, section 4 stipulated that the GOC Central Command would be in charge of the area west of the Green Line, including Latroun, to secure it permanently for Israel. Judaizing followed in violation of international law, amounting to what former UN Special Human Rights Rapporteur for Occupied Palestine, John Dugard, called:

a “form of colonialism of the kind declared to be a denial of fundamental human rights and contrary to the Charter of the United Nations as recalled in the General Assembly’s Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.”

It “solemnly proclaims the necessity of bringing to a speedy and unconditional end (of) colonialism in all its forms and manifestations” because it’s fundamentally contrary to international law and the very notion of human rights.

Not for Israel, however, acting outside the law thereafter to colonize the Territories (focusing on the West Bank) and incorporate them into greater Israel, with borders yet to be determined because land seizures keep expanding them for new settlements and enlarging established ones.

In 1970, Mevo Horon was built on Beit Nouba land, initially for ideologically religious settlers in prefabricated buildings, now greatly expanded in more permanent form. “The settlement contains a Jewish religious school and it exploits the surrounding land, to which Palestinian access is banned, for agricultural purposes.” The entire settlement, of course, is built on Palestinian land, stolen to provide new homes for Jews.

Canada Park

In 1973, Bernard Bloomfield, president of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) of Canada, led a campaign to raise $15 million for a recreational park for Israelis. His vision was realized where Imwas and Yalo once stood:

“a proud tribute to Canada,” in his words, “and to the Canadian Jewish community whose vision and foresight helped transform a barren stretch of land into a major national recreational area for the people of Israel.”

Unmentioned was that it was on stolen, occupied land, the village names now erased, forgotten, and forbidden to be mentioned until the JNF and Civil Administration agreed under pressure, in March 2006, to erect two signs acknowledging its former existence. It was short-lived, however, as within weeks the signs were vandalized, uprooted and stolen to preserve the new name – Ayalon Park or Ayalon/Canada Park under the administration of the Canada JNF.

It’s a recreational area solely for Jews on former Palestinian land, where its former owners can’t enter. Canada’s JNF calls it “Israel’s Central Park.” Knowing their history, Palestinians are justifiably outraged.

The Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Railway

Israel Railways Ltd. is the independent state-owned company running the nation’s rail network, and since March 2003 began building a high-speed line connecting Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, via Modi’in. By early 2008, trains were to be operating between Tel Aviv and Modi’in Central Station, but the entire line to Jerusalem won’t be in service until 2016, according to current estimates.

The final portion from Modi’in to Jerusalem will go through Latroun between Canada Park, Mevo Horon, and Beit Sourik. As a result in May 2006, the Civil Administration issued military orders to seize Palestinian land, the way the Separation Wall is expropriating about 12% of the West Bank. The rail line is taking more.

Denying Latroun Residents Their Right to Return

Before the Six-Day War, Israel planned to expel Latroun residents and prevent their return, although at the time there was debate on how and whether to do it. On June 25, 1967, disagreement arose between the military and government ministers over whether destruction and displacement was justified and about how to deal with refugees post-conflict, mainly from Qalqiliya and Latroun. At issue was Israel’s image, a matter of less concern to the military that wanted full control over a strategic area, the position that finally prevailed.

In the end, a compromise let Qalqiliya residents return but not Latroun ones on the premise that showing some concern would be diplomatically beneficial. Former Imwas, Yalo and Beit Nouba residents in Jordan were forced to stay while a grossly inadequate resettlement proposal was offered others in the West Bank, one they never accepted.

Thereafter on October 23, 1967, Military Order No. 146 barred them from returning and declared Latroun a “closed area,” effectively confiscating their land and declaring that “persons using the road will not delay their travel nor will they leave the road” in order to prevent their return to Latroun. The order is still in force.

Nonetheless, village residents kept petitioning for their rights, each time without response, most recently in November 2007, but as time passes, the more embedded facts on the ground become.

Legal Analysis

Fourth Geneva Convention’s relevance affected Article 35 of Israel’s Military Proclamation No. 3 stating that its military courts “must apply (its) provisions….In case of conflict between this Order and the said Convention, the Convention shall prevail.” So why hasn’t it?

Because the ruling was subsequently reversed despite the international community’s firmness that it applies universally and Israel has no right to disregard it. In its 2004 ruling on the Separation Wall, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) affirmed this interpretation, and so did the 1907 Hague Regulations.

In addition, international humanitarian and human rights laws apply, according to the UN General Assembly, ICRC, and independent judicial bodies. “Israel’s claim that customary and conventional human rights laws do not apply to the OPT as the Palestinian population is not within its sovereign territory has been almost universally refuted.”

Forcible Transfer

Under Fourth Geneva’s Article 4, Latroun villagers were protected persons prohibited from being forcibly displaced, yet they were and prevented from returning.

This principle goes back to the 1863 Lieber Code that says “private citizens are no longer (to be) carried off to distant parts,” and the Hague Regulations state that “the practice of deporting persons was regarded at the beginning of (the 20th) century as having fallen into abeyance,” stopping just short of prohibition but inferring that interning or expelling civilians falls below minimal civilized standards and are hence unacceptable and effectively illegal.

Israel is bound under international law but disregards it nonetheless. Yet two weeks after the Six-Day War ended, serious cabinet debate considered compliance because keeping legitimate residents displaced served no military or security purpose. Nonetheless, Latroun ones lost everything, so for them the consequences were grim. Families were separated and unprotected, and accounts reported road side deaths from exhaustion and exposure.

The ICRC’s Appeals Chamber (ICTY) emphasized the link between prohibiting deportation, forced transfer, and residents’ right to their property stating:

The “protection interests underlying the prohibition against deportation include the right of the victim to stay in his or her home and community and the right not to be deprived of his or her property by being forcibly displaced to another location.” Latroun villagers lost everything. For some, including their lives.

Property Destruction and Appropriation

Article 23(g) of the 1907 Hague Regulations affirms a well-established international law principle that it’s “especially forbidden (to) destroy or seize the enemy’s property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war.” This applies to property owned privately, publicly, and by institutions related to religions, charities, education, and the arts and science.

According to Article 6(b) of the Nuremberg Charter:

War crimes include “violations of the laws or customs of war (including) plunder of private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.”

Under Fourth Geneva’s Article 53:

“Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities, or to social or cooperative organizations, is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.”

These provisions apply to occupied territory, and thus relate to Israel’s wanton looting and destruction of Imwas, Yalo and Beit Nouba. No military necessity warranted it. After fighting ended and Israeli forces occupied the area, it was done solely to displace the residents and seize their land for Jews only use.

“That the villages were destroyed in the context of occupying forces exercising effective control over the area as opposed to in the course of battle between two armies is significant in rendering Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention applicable to all property destroyed in Latroun.”

Military Necessity

The 1868 Petersburg Declaration first recognized the principle, stating that:

“the only legitimate object which States should endeavour to accomplish during war is to weaken the military forces of the enemy.”

Thereafter, the concept was interpreted to mean acts of war must be warranted by “absolute military necessity.” An authoritative ICRC study also prohibits property destruction “unless required by imperative military necessity.”

The post-WWII Hostages Trial of Wilhelm List and Others (United States Military Tribunal, Nuremberg) established that the:

“destruction of property to be lawful must be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war…. Destruction as an end in itself is a violation of international law. There must be some reasonable connection between the destruction of property and the overcoming of the enemy forces.”

This was “patently not the case in Imwas, Yalo or Beit Nouba.” The IDF brazenly violated established international law. Fighting had ceased. There was no resistance. Those displaced were non-combatants, and the property destroyed served no military objective.

Collective Punishment

According to IDF chief of staff, Uzi Narkiss (1925 – 1997), destroying the Latroun villages was done for “revenge” after failure to capture the area in 1948. For Defense Minister Moshe Dayan (1915 – 1981), it was done “not as a result of battle, but of punitive action.” It led Israeli writer Amos Kenan (1927 – 2009) to question “this idiotic approach (of) collective punishment,” forbidden under Fourth Geneva’s Article 33 stating:

“No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited. Pillage is prohibited. Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited.”

Destroying Latroun continued what began during Israel’s War of Independence that expelled about 800,000 Palestinians, slaughtered many others, and destroyed 531 villages, crops and agricultural land, and 11 urban neighborhoods in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and elsewhere.

After expelling 650 Palestinians on June 11, 1967, Israeli forces destroyed the entire Mughrabi Quarter of East Jerusalem’s Old City, and thereafter continued a state policy of displacement and demolition:

  • for punitive reasons;
  • to build and expand settlements;
  • establish military zones; and to
  • create public areas solely for Jews and tourism.

According to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, an estimated 24,145 homes have been demolished in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza from 1967 – July 2009 – 4,247, according to the UN, during Operation Cast Lead alone.

Settlement Construction

All Israeli settlements are illegal under Article 49(6) unequivocally stating:

“The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

However, according to Israeli authorities, this provision only prohibits “forcible” transferring of the occupying power’s population from its territory unrelated to “voluntary or induced migration.” Not so, however, as is clear and unequivocal. Again, Fourth Geneva’s Article 49 states:

“Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.”

In addition, the International Criminal Court (ICJ) affirmed that Article 49:

“prohibits not only deportations or forced transfers of population….but also any measures taken by an occupying Power in order to organize or encourage transfers of parts of its own population into the occupied territory.” As a result, “the Israeli settlements in the OPT (including East Jerusalem) have been established in breach of international law.”

They represent a calculated scheme to displace Palestinians and expropriate as much of their land as possible. From 1967 – 2007, Israel established 121 settlements, 106 outposts, and a dozen (de facto settlement) neighborhoods, now home to about 500,000 Jews. As of summer 2009, construction continues. No settlement freeze exists, and official state policy is to keep expanding them, seize all of East Jerusalem, and all valued West Bank land, expelling Palestinians in the process.

Grave Breaches and Individual Criminal Responsibility

The Nuremberg Tribunal established the principle of individual responsibility for committing international crimes directly or by “order(ing), solicit(ing) or induc(ing) the commission of such a crime (as well as) aid(ing), abet(ting) or otherwise assist(ing) in its commission.”

These are “grave breaches” under Fourth Geneva’s Article 147 and are considered among the most serious war crimes requiring “effective penal sanctions” against persons committing them or ordering them to be committed. As such, all High Contracting Parties are obligated to seek justice by arresting and bringing those responsible before a domestic or foreign court. In other words, for crimes this heinous and others as severe, the well-established universal jurisdiction principle applies.

For Imwas, Yalo and Beit Nouba, at issue are protected persons and property rights under Fourth Geneva and other long-standing international law provisions. As explained above, they’re unambiguous so parties in violation must be fully held accountable.

However, in prosecuting war crimes, it’s often challenging to establish a clear link between senior commanders and civilian authorities on the one hand and acts committed by their subordinates. Yet the highest authorities can be held responsible if they knew, should have known, and/or failed to take all necessary measures to assure no laws of war were broken.

“In the case of the Latroun villages, evidence of the direct responsibility and complicity of figures (at) the (highest levels of the) political and military leadership presents itself,” including the prime minister, members of his cabinet, IDF chief of staff, and his top commanders. They ordered and agreed to actions on the ground by a 10 – 3 cabinet vote.

In addition, “the forcible expulsion and continuing displacement of the Latroun residents was not a once-off occurrence, never to be repeated elsewhere in the OPT.” The policy continues unabated and is ongoing through home demolitions, land seizures, settlement expansions, daily harassment, house searches, arrests, killings, torture, cutting off water and power, restricting free movement, curtailing economic activity, denying farmers access to their land, and more in grave violation of international law.

The Right of Return

Besides being established under numerous UN Resolutions, including UN Resolution 194, Fourth Geneva’s Article 49 requires that persons forcibly displaced “shall be transferred back to their homes as soon as hostilities in the area in question have ceased.”

In addition, Principle 28 of the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement says it’s the:

“primary duty and responsibility (of combatants and/or occupiers) to establish conditions, as well as provide the means, which allow internally displaced persons to return voluntarily, in safety and with dignity, to their homes or places of habitual residence.”

Latroun villagers “hold an inalienable right to return to the OPT under instruments of international human right law….This right is held not only by those who fled to Jordan in 1967, but also their descendants, once they have maintained genuine links with the territory of origin.” In addition, those unable to return or whose homes have been destroyed, are legally entitled to compensation for their loss and suffering.

Corporate Responsibility

Businesses benefit prominently from the spoils of war and occupation, yet their responsibility has “yet to be clearly defined or regulated by international law.” However, “precedents….have arisen….primarily in the context of reparations for victims of human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law.”

The Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor’s finding is pertinent to Latroun and other occupied territories. It held that:

“Indonesian business companies, including State Owned Enterprises, and other international and multinational corporations and businesses (that) benefited from the occupation” must contribute to reparations to compensate East Timorese occupation victims.

According to the ICRC, international humanitarian law obligates states, soldiers, other armed groups, and corporations, whose activities were involved in a war or military occupation. In other words, war profiteering has a price, but who’ll enforce payment.

Conclusion

After 42 years of military occupation, Israeli policy remains defined by its:

  • lawlessness and belligerency;
  • ruthless incivility and suppression of human and civil rights;
  • “voracious desire” (for) permanent control over as much of the West Bank as possible, including East Jerusalem,”
  • refusal to seek an equitable durable peace; and
  • determination to fragment the population into powerless, servile, isolated cantons under an oppressive Kafkaesque “matrix of control.”

No easy solutions exist. None are proposed, nor will there be any from the top down. With their growing grassroots support, it’s for committed Palestinians to achieve their long-denied equity, justice and self-determination. That’s how change always comes.

Source

Right of return for Palestinians denied but NUMBER OF JEWISH IMMIGRANTS (with no valid claim) UP BY 17% Immigration numbers rise

December 28, 2009

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The number of immigrants to Israel this year rose 17 percent over last year, posting the first increase in 10 years.

Some 16,244 people immigrated to Israel in 2009, compared to 13,859 last year, according to the Jewish Agency for Israel. The announcement was made Sunday by Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky and Immigration and Absorption Minister Sofa Landver.

Some 5,294 people immigrated from English-speaking countries in 2009, an increase of 17 percent over the 4,511 who immigrated the previous year.

The immigration figures do not include Ethiopian aliyah.

Source

Seems odd any Jewish person can go to Israel to live and yet Palestinians who were forced  off their own land and promised they could return cannot.

Jewish people can build homes and Palestinians cannot.

Israel pretends to be the victim.

Israel announces new Jewish homes in Jerusalem area

Palestinians struggle to build in West Bank

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Published in: on December 29, 2009 at 4:46 am  Comments Off on Israeli war crimes: Soldiers admit to deliberate killing of Gaza civilians  
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Obama Approves $30 Billion in Military Aid to Israel Over Next Decade

By Jason Ditz,
December 18, 2009

As the single largest expense of the 2010 foreign aid budget, President Obama approved $2.775 billion in military aid to Israel, the first payment in a decade-long commitment that will reach at least $30 billion.

Last year, Israel’s military budget amounted to $13.3 billion, so the US funding is a significant portion of their overall expenditure. The US formerly provided both military and civilian aid, but it has since been folded entirely into military aid, at Israel’s request.

The money is not a blank check, however. The US requires that Israel spend at least 75% of the money given in military aid with US military contractors, effectively using the foreign aid budget to subsidize domestic weapon-makers.

In addition to military aid, the US also provides $3.148 billion in loan guarantees to Israel, part of a Treasury Department program aimed at keep Israel’s debt manageable. Ironically, though the US budget is spiraling out of control and America’s own debt continues to rise, there was no serious debate of reducing aid to Israel.

The budget also pledges $500 million in American aid to the Fatah Party’s Palestinian Authority. This aid is contingent on certain requirements, including that the group recognize Israel. This funding is distinct from any funding the CIA may give the Palestinian Authority’s security forces, which would be secret.

$500 Million in Aid Also to Go to Palestinian Authority

Source

The US debt is now nearing 13 trillion.

CIA working with Palestinian Authority security agents

US agency co-operating with Palestinian counterparts who allegedly torture Hamas supporters in West Bank.

Palestinian security agents who have been detaining and allegedly torturing supporters of the Islamist organisation Hamas in the West Bank have been working closely with the CIA, the Guardian has learned.

Less than a year after Barack Obama signed an executive order that prohibited torture and provided for the lawful interrogation of detainees in US custody, evidence is emerging the CIA is co-operating with security agents whose continuing use of torture has been widely documented by human rights groups.

The relationship between the CIA and the two Palestinian agencies involved – Preventive Security Organisation (PSO) and General Intelligence Service (GI) – is said by some western diplomats and other officials in the region to be so close that the American agency appears to be supervising the Palestinians’ work.

One senior western official said: “The [Central Intelligence] Agency consider them as their property, those two Palestinian services.” A diplomatic source added that US influence over the agencies was so great they could be considered “an advanced arm of the war on terror”.

While the CIA and the Palestinian Authority (PA) deny the US agency controls its Palestinian counterparts, neither denies that they interact closely in the West Bank. Details of that co-operation are emerging as some human rights organisations are beginning to question whether US intelligence agencies may be turning a blind eye to abusive interrogations conducted by other countries’ intelligence agencies with whom they are working. According to the Palestinian watchdog al-Haq, human rights in the West Bank and Gaza have “gravely deteriorated due to the spreading violations committed by Palestinian actors” this year.

Most of those held without trial and allegedly tortured in the West Bank have been supporters of Hamas, which won the Palestinian elections in 2006 but is denounced as a terrorist organisation by the PA – which in turn is dominated by the rival Fatah political faction – and by the US and EU. In the Gaza Strip, where Hamas has been in control for more than two years, there have been reports of its forces detaining and torturing Fatah sympathisers in the same way.

Among the human rights organisations that have documented or complained about the mistreatment of detainees held by the PA in the West Bank are Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, al-Haq and the Israeli watchdog B’Tselem. Even the PA’s human rights commission has expressed “deep concern” over the mistreatment of detainees.

The most common complaint is that detainees are severely beaten and subjected to a torture known as shabeh, during which they are shackled and forced to assume painful positions for long periods. There have also been reports of sleep deprivation, and of large numbers of detainees being crammed into small cells to prevent rest. Instead of being brought before civilian courts, almost all the detainees enter a system of military justice under which they need not be brought before a court for six months.

According to PA officials, between 400 and 500 Hamas sympathisers are held by the PSO and GI.

Some of the mistreatment has been so severe that at least three detainees have died in custody this year. The most recent was Haitham Amr, a 33-year-old nurse and Hamas supporter from Hebron who died four days after he was detained by GI officials last June. Extensive bruising around his kidneys suggested he had been beaten to death. Among those who died in GI custody last year was Majid al-Barghuti, 42, an imam at a village near Ramallah.

While there is no evidence that the CIA has been commissioning such mistreatment, human rights activists say it would end promptly if US pressure was brought to bear on the Palestinian authorities.

Shawan Jabarin, general director of al-Haq, said: “The Americans could stop it any time. All they would have to do is go to [prime minister] Salam Fayyad and tell him they were making it an issue.. Then they could deal with the specifics: they could tell him that detainees needed to be brought promptly before the courts.”

A diplomat in the region said “at the very least” US intelligence officers were aware of the torture and not doing enough to stop it. He added: “There are a number of questions for the US administration: what is their objective, what are their rules of engagement? Do they train the GI and PSO according to the manual which was established by the previous administration, including water-boarding? Are they in control, or are they just witnessing?”

Sa’id Abu-Ali, the PA’s interior minister, accepted detainees had been tortured and some had died, but said such abuses had not been official policy and steps were being taken to prevent them. He said such abuses “happen in every country in the world”. Abu-Ali sought initially to deny the CIA was “deeply involved” with the two Palestinian intelligence agencies responsible for the torture of Hamas sympathisers, but then conceded that links did exist. “There is a connection, but there is no supervision by the Americans,” he said. “It is solely a Palestinian affair. But the Americans help us.”

The CIA does not deny working with the PSO and GI in the West Bank, although it will not say what use it has made of intelligence extracted during the interrogation of Hamas supporters. But it denies turning what one official described as “a Nelson’s eye to abuse”.

The CIA’s spokesman, Paul Gimigliano, denied it played a supervisory role over the PSO or GI. “The notion that this agency somehow runs other intelligence services … is simply wrong,” he said. “The CIA … only supports, and is interested in, lawful methods that produce sound intelligence.”

Concern about detainee abuse is growing in the West Bank despite an effort by the international community to create Palestinian institutions that will guarantee greater security as a first step towards creating a Palestinian state. More than half of the PA’s $2.8bn (£1.66bn) budget came from international donors last year; more than a quarter was swallowed up by the ministry of the interior and national security. Human Rights Watch and al-Haq have said that in raising the security capacity of the PA, donor countries have a responsibility to ensure it observes international human rights standards.

At the heart of the international effort is the creation of the Palestinian national security force, a 7,500-strong gendarmerie trained by US, British, Canadian and Turkish army officers under the command of a US general, Keith Dayton. Many Palestinians blame Dayton for the mistreatment of Hamas sympathisers, although the general’s remit does not extend to either of the intelligence agencies responsible.

Some in Dayton’s team are said to have been warned by senior CIA officers that they should not attempt to interfere in the work of the PSO or GI. Privately, some of them are said to fear that the mistreatment of detainees, and the anger this is arousing among the population, may undermine their mission. One source said: “I know that Dayton and his crew are very concerned about what is happening in those detention centres because they know it can jeopardise their work.”

Source

The CIA are the torture teachers. They seem to be doing what they always do, considering Obama said no more torture. I guess he lied.

I have great faith the CIA  have helped immensely in the torture of
Hamas victims. I don’t believe the so called spokes person for the CIA. Not knowing what I know about the history of the CIA.  They are in it up to their ears, as usual.

Torture is illegal under  International Law.

At least Hamas was elected democratically and they are the ones being punished by the PA, Israel, the CIA and the rest of the world just sits idly by while they are also being tortured as well.  US tax dollars hard at work.

Just more Guantanamo Bay slop.

So the US tortures, Israelis torture and now the Palestinian Authority also tortures.

Those citizens who pay for this in the US should be so proud their tax dollars go to a good cause. The Enablers are as bad as the ones who torture.

Aid should be for the hungry people of the world not for torture or weapons. Of course all the weapons that are purchased with the military aid are from  US weapons manufactures.  They make a fortune off the tax payers in the US who pay for it all.  The enablers of wars around the world.

The US Gov uses tax payers money given to other countries to buy weapons from the US.  Not profitable at all.

Not for the people who give their hard earned money in taxes just to profit the weapons dealers.
I bet those weapons manufactures  give a whole lot of money to candidates at election time however. Nothing like getting business on silver platter given to you.

1263 – U.S. Foreign Economic and Military Aid by Major Recipient Country [Excel 74k] | [PDF 458k] Up to 2007 Source

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Foreign Arms Supplies To Israel from other countries

Israel: True Cost to U.S. Taxpayers

Poll: Should Israel be disarmed of Weapons of Mass Destruction

New report highlights Israeli exploitation of migrant workers

PA minister accuses Israel of neglecting prisoners’ health and torture of prisoners reports

Recent

US Refuses To Allow Monitoring Of WMD, President Obama rejected inspection protocol for US biological weapons

Pentagon’s Role in Global Catastrophe: Add Climate Havoc to War Crimes

Beck, Limbaugh, O’Reilly; Ties to Racism & Murder?

Swedish newspaper reveals Israeli army murders Palestinians for their organs

August 20 2009

DataFiles_Cache_TempImgs_2009_2_images_News_2009_08_20_organ-harvesting_300_0

From Khalid Amayreh

OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM — Israeli officials and spokespersons have been railing against a leading Swedish newspaper for publishing a report claiming that the Israeli occupation army murders Palestinians in order to use their organs for transplants for Jewish patients.

The Tabloid Aftonbladet, one of Sweden’s most popular newspapers, on Tuesday, 18 August, reported that Israeli occupation soldiers had been murdering Palestinian youngsters in the West Bank in order to extricate their organs and sell them. The report carried a photograph showing the body of a victim of such an execution, with a large scar running from his chin to abdomen.

The report quotes the family of one of the victims as saying that “our sons were plundered from their organs.” The report also makes a connection with the recent corruption scandal in New Jersey involving elected officials, rabbis, and illegal organ trading.

The author of the report, Donald Bostrom, spoke of a strong suspicion among Palestinians that young men’s organs were harvested by the Israeli army. He suggests that the International Court of Justice in the Hague should open an investigation into the matter.

Witness

Bostrom quotes a Palestinian witness as describing one case in which the Israeli occupation army shot dead a young Palestinian from a West Bank village and then extricated his organs.  The Palestinian victim is identified as Bilal Ahmed Ghniyan.

“He was taken away by a military helicopter and brought back by the army five days later, dead. As his family members buried him, they saw a large scar running from his stomach to his chin.”

Bostrom also quotes other eye-witnesses testifying that their sons were used as “forced organ donors.”

“Blood libel”

Israeli spokesperson and Foreign Ministry officials were raving and ranting against Aftonbladet  accusing the mass circulation newspaper of indulging in “blood libel” and making “canards” against Israel .

Israeli spokesman Yigal Palmor said the Swedish newspaper had “turned the demonization of Israel into a sacred cause.”

Other Israeli officials threatened to sue the Swedish newspaper for libel, claiming that the report was an expression of anti-Semitism.

Israel has been  reacting with exaggerated sensitivity toward international criticisms of its manifestly harsh treatment of Palestinians and the brazen racism associated with this treatment.

Earlier this year, the Israeli army, using internationally-banned weapons launched a massive and deadly blitzkrieg on the virtually unprotected population of the Gaza Strip, killing, maiming and incinerating thousands of innocent civilians, including hundreds of children.

Human rights organizations described the huge  rampage of terror and death, which lasted for more than 20 days,  as “clear war crimes” and “crimes against humanity.”

Similarly, Israel had killed thousands of innocent civilians in the West Bank , and many of the victims were sent to the Abu Kabir forensic institute for autopsy operations.

However, it is unclear if the vital organs of these young victims were always  disposed of or taken out for transplant in Jewish patients.

The Israeli army, which exerts huge political and legal influence in Israel, nearly always resisted scrutiny of its operations in the West Bank which are carried out in utter violation of international law, especially the international humanitarian law.

Precedent

In January, 2002, an Israeli cabinet minister tacitly admitted that organs taken from the bodies of Palestinian victims might have been used for transplants in Jewish patients without the knowledge of the Palestinian  victims’ families.

The minister, Nessim Dahan, said in response to a question by an Arab Knesset member that he couldn’t deny or confirm  that organs of Palestinian youths and children killed by the Israeli army were taken out for transplants or scientific research.

“I couldn’t say for sure that something like that didn’t happen.”

The Arab Knesset member who posed the question to Dahan is believed to be Ahmed Teibi. Teibi pointed out that he had received “credible evidence” proving that Israeli doctors at the forensic institute of Abu Kabir extracted such vital organs as the heart, kidneys, and liver from the bodies of Palestinian youth and children killed by the Israeli army in Gaza and the West Bank .

During an interview with al-Jazeera TV in 2002,  the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat  accused the Israeli apartheid regime of murdering Palestinian infants, children, and youths and harvesting their vital organs for transplants.

“They murder our kids and use their organs as spare parts` Why is the whole world silent? Israel takes advantage of this silence to escalate it’s oppression and terror against our people,” said an angry President Arafat.

During the interview, which took place on 14 January, 2002,   Arafat held up photos of the mutilated bodies of the children.

“I’m not worried about myself”, as the President is under house arrest, “I’m worried about the Palestinian people who have been under siege for the past 15 months.”

Israel had  admitted that doctors at the L. Greenberg Institute of Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir had harvested the organs of 3 Palestinian youth killed by the Israeli army near Khan Younis.

After 10 days the bodies of the three victims  were returned to their families for burial but with their organs and even their eyes removed.

Israel never carried out a serious investigation into this and other incidents involving the extrication of vital organs from the body of Palestinian victims killed by the Israeli occupation forces.

According to reporter Saira Soufan,  the illegal harvesting of the organs of Palestinian soldiers and freedom fighters has been documented since before the 1990’s.

“Upon return of the soldiers’ bodies to their mourning families, the pillage of body parts is discovered during the burial process.

“ The empty cavities have been filled with garbage such as cotton wool, garden hoses, and broomsticks, then sewn up as a result of a so-called  ‘autopsy.’”

Occasionally, Israeli authorities steal body organs from the bodies of tourists who die in Israel .

An  unpublicized instance occurred  in 1998,  when a Scotsman, Alistair Sinclair, died under mysterious circumstances in the Ben-Gurion Airport lockup.

Mr. Sinclair’s parents sued the Israeli authorities  upon finding that  their son’s heart and other organs missing. A replacement heart and organs were sent to his mother, who didn’t  believe that these were those of her son’s.

Source

Mores stories and pictures about Gaza in the Archives.

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

Published in: on August 22, 2009 at 3:05 am  Comments Off on Swedish newspaper reveals Israeli army murders Palestinians for their organs  
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Did You Know: About Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis

The Final Solution is a No-State Solution
By William Bowles

January 31, 2009

It was either in 1941 or maybe 1942 that the Nazis implemented the ‘Final Solution’, the extermination of all ‘non-Aryan’ peoples that included not only the Jews but also the Roma and the Serbs. So the term Holocaust is not copyright © the Jewish ‘race’ in spite of their appropriation of the Upper case.

The numbers are not important, let the historians and researchers argue over whether it was five or six million Jews or whether it was half-a-million or two million Roma who ‘went up the chimney’[1] (I don’t have a number for the Serbs, but perhaps a million died at the hands of the Croatian Ustase, the local Nazis in the then Yugoslavia, as well as at the hands of German Nazi occupiers).

What is important about the ‘Final Solution’ is that it was a state-sponsored project to not only entirely eradicate ‘non-Aryans’ but to erase all traces of their existence; their history, their cultures and languages, what today we call genocide. An apt lesson for the creation of the state of Israel, that for its creation, also required the total removal of all things non-Jewish.

The parallels with the Nazi state are so obvious yet not alluded to at all in the current tragedy of the Palestinian people, but Eretz (Greater) Israel flows from the same source, the imperial urge to expand and subdue, to exterminate all that is non ‘Jewish’ in the land that is Palestine.

And it doesn’t require much digging around in the history books to find that the Zionist founders of Israel drew much of their ‘inspiration’ from Nazi ideology in the 1930s.

“Zionism convicts itself. On June 21, 1933, the German Zionist Federation sent a secret memorandum to the Nazis:

“Zionism has no illusions about the difficulty of the Jewish condition, which consists above all in an abnormal occupational pattern and in the fault of an intellectual and moral posture not rooted in one’s own tradition. Zionism recognized decades ago that as a result of the assimilationist trend, symptoms of deterioration were bound to appear, which it seeks to overcome by carrying out its challenge to transform Jewish life completely.

“It is our opinion that an answer to the Jewish question truly satisfying to the national state can be brought about only with the collaboration of the Jewish movement that aims at a social, cultural and moral renewal of Jewry–indeed, that such a national renewal must first create the decisive social and spiritual premises for all solutions.

“Zionism believes that a rebirth of national life, such as is occurring in German life through adhesion to Christian and national values, must also take place in the Jewish national group. For the Jew, too, origin, religion, community of fate and group consciousness must be of decisive significance in the shaping of his life. This means that the egotistic individualism which arose in the liberal era must be overcome by public spiritedness and by willingness to accept responsibility.”
Thus from the getgo we see the idea of ‘racial purity’ embedded in the Zionist project. Avraham Stern of the infamous Stern Gang and his followers announced that

“The National  Military  Organization (NMO), which is well-acquainted with the goodwill of the German Reich government and its authorities towards Zionist activity inside Germany and towards Zionist emigration plans, is of the opinion that:

1. Common interests could exist between the establishment of a new order in Europe in conformity with the German concept, and the true national aspirations of the Jewish people as they are embodied by the NMO.

2. Cooperation between the new Germany and a renewed folkish-national Hebraium would be possible and,

3. The establishment of the historic Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis, bound by a treaty with the German Reich, would be in the interest of a maintained and strengthened future German position of power in the Near East.

Proceeding from these considerations, the NMO in Palestine, under the condition the above-mentioned national aspirations of the Israeli freedom movement are recognized on the side of the German Reich, offers to actively take part in the war on Germany’s side.”

Brenner concludes this section by saying,

“They hanged people all over Europe after WW II for notes to the Nazis like these. But these treasons against the Jews were virtually unknown in the run up to the creation of the Zionist state in May 1948.” — ‘51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis’ by LENNI BRENNER, Counterpunch 22 December, 2002

That such collaboration took place should not come as a surprise given the history of Zionism and the concept of ‘racial purity’ that Zionism and Nazism held in common (this not to say that Zionism and Nazism were the only exponents of the doctrine of ‘racial purity’).

In any case, is there such a thing as the Jewish race? After all, both Jews and Arabs from the Middle East and North Africa are all Semites. My mother used to quote a Jewish joke, ‘A Jew is just an Arab on horseback’. The same cannot be said for most of the European Jews who constitute the majority in Occupied Palestine.

The twists and turns of Zionism are a wonder to behold. Am I Jewish by ‘race’, religion or culture, for Zionism conflates the three to the point where it is impossible to disentangle them.

Defenders of Israel argue that Stern and co. do not represent the views of the majority of Jews who settled in Palestine a view which may or may not be true but frankly it’s neither here nor there as those who led the occupation were adherents to Stern’s view of Palestine as “the Jewish Nation Lawful Owner of the Land of Israel, and the Palestinian Arabs, its Unlawful Occupiers”, as a letter I received today, put it.

Thus the important point here is that from the day Israel was founded in 1948 its driving force has been the creation of a ‘racially pure’ state for the ‘Chosen People’ and as such, the removal by one means or another of the original inhabitants inevitably led to the slaughter we have witnessed in the Gaza Strip.

One can only come to the conclusion that the destruction of the physical infrastructure of the Gaza Strip, let alone the thousands of dead and injured, is intended to make the place uninhabitable leaving only the West Bank as the putative Palestinian state.

So Israel too, has its ‘Final Solution’ for the Palestinians of which the assault on Gaza was the coda, following sixty years of ‘softening up’, leaving only a ‘mopping up’ operation for the West Bank, of which around 66% is already in the hands of Israel’s frontline Fascist shock troops, the settlers, armed to the teeth and mostly immigrants from the US.

Two-state solution? How about a no-state Final Solution? The obscene destruction of Gaza, witnessed by the entire world (in spite of the BBC and other corporate/state media’s attempt to blank it out), was as brazen as anything undertaken by the Nazis, perhaps more so given that it was done in the name of all Jews, everywhere. Never again? Gimme a break!

But how did such a situation come to pass?

The dominant view in the West is that Israel, because of the history of the persecution of the Jews is entitled to ‘defend’ itself by whatever means it has at its disposal. The Jews (or Israel or the Zionists, take your pick) therefore, constitute a ‘special case’, whereas the Palestinians do not.

But how can there be one law for Israel and none for the Palestinians, best illustrated by the current furore surrounding the BBC’s refusal to air the aid appeal, for buried in the refusal is the idea that the Palestinians are less than human thus not entitled to humanitarian assistance.

And why are they less than human? Because they resist and thus must be bombed into submission. For proof we need only look at the language used by media outlets like the BBC which regularly describes Palestinians who resist as “terrorists” or “militants” and by implication all the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip are therefore not deserving of aid for they too are “terrorists” or “militants”. What other conclusion can be arrived at when the BBC decides that showing an appeal video would compromise their ‘impartiality’?

Is the Israeli ‘Defence’ Force ever described as an army of occupation or its actions as terroristic when it showers phosphorus or ‘flechette’ bombs on schools, hospitals and homes?

It appears then that the Palestinians got what they deserved for not submitting, for not surrendering and by implication, there are no innocent Palestinians.

Chris Hedges in a piece for Truth Dig, talking about US media coverage of the destruction of Gaza but it could equally well apply to the BBC, wrote,

“We retreated, as usual, into the moral void of American journalism, the void of balance and objectivity. The ridiculous notion of being unbiased, outside of the flow of human existence, impervious to grief or pain or anger or injustice, allows reporters to coolly give truth and lies equal space and airtime. Balance and objectivity are the antidote to facing unpleasant truths, a way of avoidance, a way to placate the powerful. We record the fury of a Palestinian who has lost his child in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza but make sure to mention Israel’s “security needs,” include statements by Israeli officials who insist there was firing from the home or the mosque or the school and of course note Israel’s right to defend itself. We do this throughout the Middle East.” — ‘With Gaza, Journalists Fail Again’.

This is the ‘balanced’ and ‘impartial’ journalism that the BBC speaks of when it tries to justify why it refuses to show the video.[2]

Note

1. The term ‘up the chimney’ was used by people who lived near Nazi death camps, in some instances as a threat to frighten children who misbehaved and is often cited as proof that ordinary Germans knew exactly what was going on in the concentration camps.

2. See Sarah Gillepsie: ‘The BBC and the transformation of suffering into propaganda’

Postscript:
A report in the Israeli daily Ha’aretz (26 January, 2009) illustrates the corrosive nature of the Zionist ideology masquerading it seems to me as being a message directly from God. Titled ‘IDF rabbinate publication during Gaza war: We will show no mercy on the cruel’, it contains the following quotes circulated to IDF troops involved in the destruction of Gaza, the first by Rabbi Aviner,

“Is it possible to compare today’s Palestinians to the Philistines of the past? And if so, is it possible to apply lessons today from the military tactics of Samson and David? … A comparison is possible because the Philistines of the past were not natives and had invaded from a foreign land … They invaded the Land of Israel, a land that did not belong to them and claimed political ownership over our country … Today the problem is the same. The Palestinians claim they deserve a state here, when in reality there was never a Palestinian or Arab state within the borders of our country. Moreover, most of them are new and came here close to the time of the War of Independence.” [my emph. Ed.]

Another is an excerpt from a publication entitled “Daily Torah studies for the soldier and the commander in Operation Cast Lead,” issued by the IDF rabbinate.

“[There is] a biblical ban on surrendering a single millimeter of it [the Land of Israel] to gentiles, though all sorts of impure distortions and foolishness of autonomy, enclaves and other national weaknesses. We will not abandon it to the hands of another nation, not a finger, not a nail of it.”

In another, circulated amongst IDF troops but not an ‘official’ publication of the IDF’ rabbinate,

“In addition to the official publications, extreme right-wing groups managed to bring pamphlets with racist messages into IDF bases. One such flyer is attributed to “the pupils of Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburg” – the former rabbi at Joseph’s Tomb and author of the article “Baruch the Man,” which praises Baruch Goldstein, who massacred unarmed Palestinians in Hebron. It calls on “soldiers of Israel to spare your lives and the lives of your friends and not to show concern for a population that surrounds us and harms us. We call on you … to function according to the law ‘kill the one who comes to kill you.’ As for the population, it is not innocent … We call on you to ignore any strange doctrines and orders that confuse the logical way of fighting the enemy.” [my emph. Ed.]

Visit Williams website http://www.creative-i.info/

Zyklon B insecticide

From 1929 onwards the U.S. used Zyklon B to disinfect the freight trains and clothes of Mexican immigrants entering the US.[2] Farm Securities Administration photographer Marion Post Wolcott recorded the use of cyanide gas and zyklon by the Public Health Service at the New Orleans Quarantine Station during the 1930s.

Zyklon B was originally developed as a cyanide-based insecticide in the 1920s by Dr. Fritz Haber was born in Breslau, Germany (now Wrocław, Poland) to Jewish parents of one of the oldest families of the town, a world-renowned chemist and recipient of the 1918 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of a method for the synthesis of ammonia (see Haber Process). Haber played a major role in the development of chemical warfare in World War I. Part of this work included the development of gas masks with absorbent filters. In addition to leading the teams developing chlorine gas and other deadly gases for use in trench warfare, Haber was on hand personally to aid in its release.

Gas warfare in WW I was, in a sense, the war of the chemists, with Haber pitted against French Nobel laureate chemist Victor Grignard.

His wife, Clara Immerwahr, a fellow chemist, opposed his work on poison gas and committed suicide with his service weapon in their garden, possibly in response to his having personally overseen the first successful use of chlorine at the Second Battle of Ypres on 22 April 1915.[1] She shot herself in the heart on 15 May, and died in the morning. That same morning, Haber left for the Eastern Front to oversee gas release against the Russians.

Haber was a patriotic German who was proud of his service during World War I, for which he was decorated. He was even given the rank of captain by the Kaiser, rare for a scientist too old to enlist in military service.

In his studies of the effects of poison gas, Haber noted that exposure to a low concentration of a poisonous gas for a long time often had the same effect (death) as exposure to a high concentration for a short time. He formulated a simple mathematical relationship between the gas concentration and the necessary exposure time. This relationship became known as Haber’s rule.

Haber defended gas warfare against accusations that it was inhumane, saying that death was death, by whatever means it was inflicted. During the 1920s, scientists working at his institute developed the cyanide gas formulation Zyklon B, which was used as an insecticide, especially as a fumigant in grain stores, and also later, after he left the program, in the Nazi extermination camps

Ironically, Haber fled Germany in 1933 due to his Jewish ancestry (he died of heart failure one year later).

By early 1942, Zyklon B had been selected by the Nazi Regime as the preferred extermination tool at both the Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek extermination camps during the Holocaust. The chemical claimed the lives of roughly 1.2 million people at these camps.

What you create could kill your own people. He even got a prize for it.

I think this is what one would call Bad Karma. He had no qualms about killing however.


THE ROLE OF ZIONISM IN THE HOLOCAUST

Israel: “Did You Know?”

Interview: Adam Shapiro, co-founder of the ISM/UN Reports: Gaza  destruction/ US Aid to Israel 6. 5 million a day

Spain: Judicial probe looks at 2002 Gaza War Crimes Claims

Letting AP in on the Secret: Israeli Strip Searches are “Torture” “this desrves attention” Israel still Tortures people

Why Americans get a distorted View of the Conflict between

Gaza detainee treatment ‘inhuman’

Israeli troops fire warning shots at European diplomats

Israel Broke Ceasefire From Day One

Information Wanted by the International Criminal Court/ UN: Falk Likens Gaza to Warsaw Ghetto

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

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

Letting AP in on the Secret: Israeli Strip Searches are Torture

European Diplomats thought they had a problem at the border? They only got a couple of warning shots. They should have had to go through this like others had too. Then they would really  have something to whine about.

Seems they got off rather easy.

They should take a look at what was done to this young photojournalist. and others. Things that never made it to the mainstream media.

Letting AP in on the Secret:
Israeli Strip Searches

By Alison Weir

July 29, 2008

On June 26th a young Palestinian photojournalist named Mohammed Omer was returning home from a triumphant European tour.

In London he had been awarded the 2008 Martha Gellhorn Prize for journalism – the youngest recipient ever and one of the few non-Britons ever to receive the prestigious prize.

In Greece he had been given the 2008 journalism award for courage by the Union of Greek Journalists and had been invited to speak before the Greek parliament.

In Britain, the Netherlands, Greece, and Sweden he had met with Parliament Members and been interviewed on major radio and TV stations.

In the US several years before, he had been named the first recipient of the New America Media’s Best Youth Voice award.

In an Israeli border facility he was violently strip-searched at gunpoint, forced to do a grotesque sort of dance while completely naked, assaulted, taunted about his awards and his ethnicity, and finally, when Israeli officials feared he might have been fatally injured, taken by ambulance to a Palestinian hospital; if he died, it would not be while in Israeli custody.

As readers may have already guessed, Israel was not part of Omer’s speaking tour.

AP, in its over 60 reports from the region in the following week never mentioned any of this.

The reason Omer was even in ‘Israel’ (actually, an “immigration terminal” controlled by Israel on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank) is a simple one: He was simply trying to go from Jordan to his home in the Gaza Strip. Gaza is basically a large concentration camp to which Israel holds the keys. It is extremely difficult for Palestinians to get out. It is just as difficult to get back in.

Despite Omer’s journalism credentials (Gaza correspondent for the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs and IPS, stringer for AFP, occasionally appears on BBC, etc.) and despite being invited to receive an international award, Omer was only able to exit Gaza through the considerable efforts of Dutch diplomats.

When the 24-year-old journalist tried to return to Gaza, it again required intercession by the Dutch Embassy. After being forced by Israel to wait in Jordan for five days (and therefore missing his brother’s wedding), Omer finally received word that he would be allowed to go home.

However, when he arrived at the Israeli immigration terminal, an Israel official told him that there was no entry permit for him in the computer and he was told to wait. Three hours later an official came out and took Omer’s cell phone away from him. While Omer’s Dutch Embassy escort waited outside, unaware of what was going on, Omer’s ordeal began.

“He then asked me to leave my belongings and follow him. I recognized we were entering the Shin Bet [Israeli internal security service] offices at Allenby. Upon entering, he motioned for me to sit in a chair within a closed corridor…

“After what seemed to be one hour and thirty minutes, both doors at the end of the corridor opened. I watched as one of the Palestinian passengers exited securing his belt to his trousers. A second man followed behind and was struggling to put on his T-shirt. Immediately I realized I was not in a good place. The rooms from which they exited must be used for strip searching…

A uniformed intelligence officer and two others began rifling through all of Omer’s possessions.

“They were looking for something specific but I wouldn’t know what until green eyes demanded, ‘Where is the money, Mohammed?’

“What money I thought. Of course I had money on me. I was traveling… For a moment I was relieved, thinking this was just a typical shakedown. I’d lose the cash with me, but that would be about it…

“However, my traveling money failed to suffice. Dissatisfied, he pressed, ‘Where is the money from the prize?’

“I realized he was after the award stipend for the Martha Gellhorn Prize from the UK and I told him I did not have it with me. I’d arranged for a bank transfer rather than carry it with me. Visibly irritated the intelligence agent continued to press for money.

“The room filled with more intelligence officers, bringing the total Israeli personnel, most well armed, in the room to eight: eight Israelis and me…

“Dissatisfied that larger sums of money failed to materialize, green eyes accused me of lying. I again repeated the prize money went to bank draft and I already had shown him all the cash I had on me. Avi interjected, ordering me to empty my pockets, which I already had. Seeing they had tapped out, he escorted me into another room, this one empty.

“’OK take off your clothes’ Avi the intelligence officer ordered.

“I asked why. A simple pat-down would have disclosed any money belts or weapons; besides, I had already gone through an x-ray machine before entering the passport holding area.

“He repeated the order.

“Removing all but my underwear, I stood before Avi. In an increasingly belligerent tone he ordered, ‘take off everything’.

“’I am not taking off my underwear,’ I stated. Again he ordered me to remove my underwear.

“At this point I informed him that an escort from the Dutch embassy was currently waiting for me on the other side of the interrogation center and that I was under diplomatic transit.

“He replied he knew that, thus indicating he didn’t care, and again insisted I strip. Again I refused. There was no reason for me to do so.

Omer asked:  ‘Why are you treating me this way? I am human being.’

“For a moment I flashed on the scene in the Oscar winning film, The Pianist where the Jewish man, being humiliated by a Nazi quoted Shakespeare, invoking his faith in place of written words, ‘Doth a Jew not have eyes?’ the old man queried, attempting to appeal to the humanity buried somewhere in the soul of his oppressor. Finding myself confronting the same racism and disdain I wanted to ask Avi, ‘Doth a Palestinian not have eyes?’

Would his indoctrination inoculate him from empathy as well? Likely, I reasoned, it would.

“Avi smirked, half chuckling as he informed me, ‘This is nothing compared to what you will see now.’

“With that the intelligence officer unholstered his weapon, pressing it to my head and with his full body weight pinning me on my side, he forcibly removed my underwear. Completely naked, I stood before him as he proceeded to feel me up one side and down the other…

“Avi then proceeded to demand I do a concocted sort of dance, ordering me to move to the right and the side. When I refused, he forced me under his own power to move side to side…”

After awhile Omer was allowed to put his clothes back on, but the interrogation continued. His eight, mostly armed interrogators taunted him over his awards, his appearance on BBC, and the misery he was returning to in what they termed “dirty” Gaza. Finally, after hours in Israeli custody and a total of 12 hours without food or water, Omer collapsed.

“….without warning I began to vomit all over the room. At the same time I felt my legs buckled from the strain of standing and I passed out… I awoke on the floor to someone screaming, repeating my name over and over…

“As he screamed in my ears I felt his fingernails puncturing my skin, gouging, scraping and clawing at the tender flesh beneath my eyes. This was the intelligence officer’s method for gauging my level of consciousness. No smelling salts as is the civilized manner for reviving a person. Clawing at my eyes and tearing the skin on my face proved his manner of rendering aid.

“Realizing I was again conscious, though barely, the Israeli broadened his assault, scooping my head and digging his nails in near the auditory nerves between my head and ear drum. Rather then render first aid, which is the protocol and international law in instances whether prisoners of war or civilians, the soldier broadened his assault. The pain became sharper as he dug his nails, two fingers at a time into my neck, grazing my carotid artery and again challenging my consciousness before pummeling my chest with his full weight and strength.

“I estimate I lay on the floor approximately one hour and twenty minutes and I continued to vomit for what seemed like a half hour. Severely dehydrated, focusing took flight and the room became a menagerie of pain, sound and terror. The stench further exasperated and seemed to inflame my captors further…

“All around me I heard Israeli voices and then one placed his combat boot on my neck pressing into the hard floor. I remember choking, feeling the outline of his shoe and in my increasing delirium thought for a moment perhaps someone was rendering aid. Reality destroyed that hope. Around me, like men watching a sporting match I heard laughing and goading, a gang rape of verbal and physical violence meted by men entrenched in hatred and rage… I again lost consciousness and awoke to find myself being dragged by my feet on my back through my vomit on the floor, my head bouncing on the pavement and body sweeping to-and-fro like a mop…

Eventually, Omer was transferred to a Palestinian hospital, but only after Israeli officials tried to force him to sign a paper absolving them from responsibility.

“In other words, if I died or was permanently disabled as a result of Israel’s actions, Israel could not be held accountable. One would think I was in a third world dictatorship rather than the ‘only democracy in the Middle East’. One would think.”

Where is AP?

One would also think that such treatment of a journalist by America’s “special ally” would be news.

Since journalists tend to be particularly concerned when fellow journalists are victimized, it would be expected that Omer’s abuse would receive considerable press attention – especially since he had just received international recognition from the journalism community. One can only imagine the multitude of headlines that would result if an Israeli journalist, perhaps even one who had not just been feted internationally, had been similarly treated by the Palestinian Authority.

Oddly, however, despite the fact that Reuters, BBC, the UK Guardian, Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper, and others issued news reports, the Associated Press, which serves virtually every daily newspaper in the U.S., sent out nothing on it.

Astounded, I finally phoned AP headquarters in New York to find out how they had missed it.

I asked for the international desk, told them I had a news tip, and briefly described the incident. I was told, “Oh yes, we know about it.”

I asked them when they were going to report it and was told: “The Jerusalem bureau is looking into it.” The Jerusalem bureau is located in Israel; many of its editors and their wives/husbands/children have Israeli citizenship. It is not the most unbiased of bureaus. Yet, it is the control bureau for the region – the filter through which virtually all AP reports, photos, video footage from Palestine and Israel must pass.

A day or two later there was still no story. I phoned the international desk in New York again and was told that the Jerusalem bureau had decided not to cover the incident. There was no explanation.

I tried phoning higher-ups, including CEO Tom Curley, who goes about the country lecturing about the “public’s right to know” and Kathleen Carroll, Executive Editor, to learn on what basis AP had determined this incident was not newsworthy. Neither returned my call. I kept trying, hoping to find somewhere in the AP hierarchy at least a semblance of a journalist committed to AP’s alleged mission of reporting the news “accurately and honestly.”

Finally, I found one. I reached the managing editor in charge of international reporting, and asked him why AP was refusing to cover the case of a prize-winning journalist being strip-searched at gunpoint and physically abused by Israeli officials when he returned to Gaza from receiving the Martha Gellhorn award in London.

The editor admitted that he hadn’t heard of the incident and was interested in the details. I told him what I knew, referred him to the UK Guardian article and others, and he said he’d look into it.

As a result, two weeks after Omer’s ordeal, and after Israel had solidified its denial narrative, AP finally sent out a report.

The belated story, datelined Jerusalem and carrying a byline by Karin Laub, left a great deal to be desired.

It depicted the incident as a “he said/she said” dispute, in which it termed Omer’s statements as “claims,” while never using this verb for Israeli statements. In every case Israeli statements are placed in the rebuttal position.

The lengthy article places Omer’s strongest descriptions in the second half of the story, where they would typically be cut by the averaged-sized print newspaper, and leaves out a great deal of important information.

For example, while AP reports that Omer was discharged from one hospital, it neglects to report that Omer was admitted to a second one where he was hospitalized for four or five days. It does not name the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism, neglects any mention of other awards, and omits entirely Omer’s meetings with Parliament Members in multiple countries. It fails to report the statement by the former ambassador from The Netherlands:

“This is by no means an isolated incident, but part of a long-term strategy to demolish Palestinian social, economic and cultural life … I am aware of the possibility that Mohammed Omer might be murdered by Israeli snipers or bomb attack in the near future.”

The international organization Reporters Without Borders reported issued a condemnation of the attack, stating that in the ten days preceding Omer’s incident alone, it had recorded five incidents of “wrongful arrest” of journalists by Israel, and that one journalist was still being held. None of this was in Laub’s article.

All of the missing material, of course, would serve to add credibility to Omer’s statements. Perhaps this pattern of omission was a coincidence.

Early in the story, while admitting that Palestinians complain about “rough” treatment at the border (a considerable understatement), Laub seems to go out of her way to discredit Omer’s description of being forcibly strip-searched, by writing: “However, Omer’s allegation of being forced to strip naked appeared unusual.”

The Strip-Searching “Secret”

This is a bizarre statement.

As Dion Nissenbaum, Jerusalem bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers,  wrote last year, “While Israeli security won’t admit it, it is a widely accepted secret that Palestinians and Arabs…are routinely subjected to intense, hours-long questioning that can include strip searches.”

Is it possible that AP is not in on this secret?

The reality is that frequent, random humiliation by Israeli soldiers and officials is part of the Palestinian experience. Numerous degrading strip searches – some of them particularly grotesque – have been forced on Palestinian men, women, and children of all ages for decades.

In addition, Israeli officials periodically strip search others whenever, it appears, they wish, including:
The British Consul General  (Israeli media reported that her search was “prolonged, needless and humiliating” and that she was “visibly upset)

An American holocaust survivor (she was treated to a “cavity search”)

Sixteen Christian evangelicals rounded up at gunpoint;

Journalists from around the world (an Argentinian journalist wrote: “… they made me go to another office and strip naked. An official came in stands next to me, while I’m naked, with a machine gun in his hand…” A Swiss reporter was forced to remove her pants in public and stand in her underwear, hands raised, in front of an x-ray machine);

A wheel-chair bound New Jersey woman with cerebral palsy whose sanitary pad was confiscated, humiliating her publicly;

An American doctoral student, who was also subjected to a cavity search…  and the list goes on and on.

Yet, somehow, AP missed all of these. In fact, amazingly, a LexisNexis search of Associated Press stories over the past 10 years, using the search terms “Israel” and “strip search,” turns up only one result – a few stories on a hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners protesting against, among other things, their daily strip searches by Israeli guards.

Since we think it’s unfair for AP to be excluded from what others in the region know, we compiled a very partial list of reports about Israeli strip-searches, with excerpts from each, and emailed AP the 25-page document. We asked for a correction and received the following response: “This acknowledges receipt of your e-mail. We have no further comment at this time.” Our request for an interview was “respectfully declined.”

Following are just a few of the stories on this topic that AP never reported to the thousands of newspapers, radio and television stations that rely on it for their foreign news.  The entire document is available on the If Americans Knew website.

* In 2007 the Palestinian Minister of Women’s Affairs issued a statement protesting the policy of Israeli soldiers taking Palestinian women “to separate rooms in the checkpoint and being forced to remove all clothes, to become fully naked.” The minister demanded that the UN and the international community provide security for Palestinian women.

* Even the New York Times (which justified it) reported about the Allenby border in 1987: “Before any visitor gets in, however, he must go through a stringent security check at the Israeli terminal. Besides being examined by metal detectors, each visitor must undergo a private strip search…”

* A University of Utah law student describes a PhD student conducting research in the region who was detained at the border crossing for six hours, “Then a female guard conducted a strip/cavity search while two male guards observed.”

* A British researcher reports: “While men have also reported forms of sexual torture in jail, women prisoners are particularly vulnerable to this as a form of humiliation by their captors. Women are forced to strip naked in front of guards, many of whom are male, and subjected to brutal body searches. Many women prisoners have detailed sexual assault by Israeli military and prison staff. On some occasions women are detained as a way of threatening or putting pressure on a male member of the family.

* A woman trying to reach a hospital reports: “…the labour pains grew stronger. I saw a lot of soldiers in front of me. I called out at them using the word “baby” which I think some understood. They started to talk to me in Hebrew as they pointed the guns towards me. They used signs and gestures. I understood that they wanted me to show them how pregnant I was which I did. One soldier asked me to take off my robe, which I did. But it was not sufficient and he asked me to remove the T-shirt and the trousers. I had no choice and I was ready to go as far as that in order to get to the hospital before it was late. He asked me to take off my underwear which I did. After this humiliation, they fetched a stretcher from one of the tanks. I was naked. I was carried to a tank and was given intravenous glucose into my arm. A few minutes later, they brought my father-in-law inside the tank. They drove for almost half an hour. I was thinking they were taking me to a nearby hospital but it turns out they were taking us back to the Huwwara checkpoint. We were taken out of the tank and were laid nude on the stretchers for almost one hour…”

* Reuters reported: “Three Israeli soldiers forced a Palestinian man to strip naked at gunpoint and walk like a dog in a West Bank city under curfew…A Reuters photographer snapped Yasser Sharaf, 25, standing naked in a cold, muddy street in Nablus on Sunday as two men were handing him clothes to put on and two Israeli armoured vehicles were pulling away from the scene.”

* Reporters who entered Nablus after the Israeli invasion of 2002 quoted from an interview with one of the inhabitants: “The men were then driven to a nearby yard, ordered to strip naked, and made to lie face down in the dirt. While my neighbor Jamal Sabar was taking off his pants, they shot him dead…”

*  “A soldier inside the jeep ordered me to raise my hands and get out of the car and said, ‘take off your shirt.’ I did; then he said, ‘and the pants.’ I did; then he said, ‘the undershirt and underwear.’ I begged him not to force me; and he said, ‘I’ll shoot you.’ And all the soldiers pointed their guns at me. I took off my underclothes and stood naked in front of everybody. He ordered, ‘proceed with your hands up.’ I came up to him and he gave me a transparent plastic bag to cover myself. He blindfolded me and made me sit 20 meters away. Then the soldier shouted at a passenger called Islam ‘Abed al-Sheikh Ibrahim, 18, who was sitting in the front seat, and ordered him to get out of the car. He told the soldier that his leg was broken, but the soldier insisted. He Islam got out and stood on his crutches. The soldier ordered him to take off his clothes. He tried by failed. The soldier came to me and removed the binding off my eyes and told me at gunpoint to go and help him take off his clothes. I went and helped the passenger take off all his clothes. The soldier told me to help him walk to the soldier. We walked up and he gave me another nylon bag for Islam. Then, he told us to sit on the ground. Soon after, the soldier ordered another passenger, Yasser Rasheed al-Sheikh Ibrahim,60, to get out of the car and take off his clothes like us…”

* The Guardian described an incident in which a commander was “awaiting a court martial on several charges, including ordering the boy to strip naked, holding a burning paper under his testicles, threatening to ram a bottle into his anus and threatening to shoot him…”

* “We were mostly older people, sick and wounded. We had nine handicapped people with us, three were from the same family, sons of Abu Ibrahim. Some of us were too old, they were senile. When they told them ‘go left’ they would go right, but they stripped them naked anyway. I tried to help them as much as I could. I was the only one who spoke Hebrew…Close to us was a group of young men. They were handcuffed, naked and lying on their stomachs. The Israeli tanks would pass by them so fast, only forty centimeters away from their heads.”

*  “Other residents described how young men were stripped naked and then shot. Yusuf Shalabi, a young man from the camp explained how the Israeli soldiers denied medical treatment to the wounded, ‘…I remember this nightmare very well. It is very difficult to talk about it. I remember them stripping the people naked, they would handcuff them and blindfold them. I remember seeing two wounded men, one was wounded in the shoulder and the other in the leg. They were screaming in pain and the soldiers would not allow them to be treated.’”

Incredibly, AP seems to have missed all of these, and more. As a result, Americans have little idea of the life is like for Paleestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

Moreover, strip searches are just the tip of the iceberg. According to an Israeli government report released in 2000 (five years after it had been written) Shin Bet “used systematic torture against Palestinians and regularly lied about it.” An Israeli human rights organization estimated that 85 percent of Palestinian detainees had been subjected to torture.  In 2002 Foreign Service Journal carried a major expose on Israel torturing American citizens.  AP missed this Foreign Service Journal expose – as did, therefore, every newspaper in the country.

AP’s Ownership

AP is a cooperative. That means that every single newspaper, radio station, and television station that uses AP news stories is an owner of AP. This includes Democracy Now, which apart from a report on Mohammed Omer also seems to have covered this subject minimally, if at all.

It is time for all these news media, and for their readers, listeners, and viewers, to demand that AP provide the full story.

Americans have long given Israel, the size of New Jersey, far more of our tax money than to any other nation on earth. It is time to end the cover up. Americans need to know how Israel is using our money.

Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew (which found in a statistical study that in 2004 AP had covered Israeli children’s deaths at rates 7 times greater than they had reported Palestinian deaths). The full document listing Israeli strip searches can be viewed at http://www.ifamericansknew.org/cur_sit/strip-searches.htmlDVDs containing a short video about Israeli strip searching of women and children are available for readers wishing to educate their local media and community on the information that AP is choosing not to report. The Washington Report has created a petition on the incident for people to sign.
Omer’s complete statement can be read at:

“British consul strip searched at Israeli PM’s office,” Rory, The Guardian, March 28, 2007

“Humiliation and Child Abuse at Israeli Checkpoints: Strip-Searching Children,” Alison Weir, CounterPunch, March 15, 2007; Video interview: The Easiest Targets: http://www.ifamericansknew.org/about_us/easiesttargets.html

“Israelis arrest 16 from US in roundup of Christians,” Charles M. Sennott, The Boston Globe, October 26, 1999, Pg. A2

http://peoplesgeography.com/

http://www.fpa.org.il/?categoryId=422

“Humiliation and Child Abuse at Israeli Checkpoints: Strip-Searching Children,” Alison Weir, CounterPunch, March 15, 2007; Video interview: The Easiest Targets: http://www.ifamericansknew.org/about_us/easiesttargets.html

http://www.law.utah.edu/blogs/show-entry.asp?EntryID=252

http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=23480

“ALLENBY BRIDGE JOURNAL; A 15-Yard Span Over a Great Divide,” Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times, July 18, 1987

http://www.law.utah.edu/blogs/show-entry.asp?EntryID=252

“Israel’s Palestinian Prisoners: The Forgotten Facts,” Isabelle Humphries, Researcher – Nazareth http://www.islamonline.net/

“Israel’s Implementation of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), May, 2005, Al-Haq: Law in the Service of Man, the Palestinian Centre for Human rights (PCHR), and the Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC)
http://www.pchrgaza.org/special/OPT%20CEDAW%20Main%20Review.pdf

“Israelis Make Palestinian Strip Naked,” Reuters, Nov. 25, 2002

“Jenin: Lying Down On Broken Glass, Crushing Bones,” April 16, 2002 (IslamOnline & News Agencies) http://www.islamonline.net/english/News/2002-04/16/article40.shtml

“Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian    Territory,” 01 – 07 September 2005, http://www.pchrgaza.org/files/W_report/English/2005/08-09-2005.htm

“Commander charged with torturing Palestinian boy,” Chris McGreal, The Guardian, October 22, 2002

“Stripping Palestinians has Become Common Practice: Eyewitness Accounts,” Suzanne Russ, Palestine Chronicle, November 26, 2002, http://www.ifamericansknew.org/cur_sit/strippingcommon.html

“Stripping Palestinians has Become Common Practice: Eyewitness Accounts,” By Suzanne Russ, Palestine Chronicle, November 26, 2002, http://www.ifamericansknew.org/cur_sit/strippingcommon.html

“Report: Palestinian suspects mistreated by Israeli captors,” Joel Greenberg, Chicago Tribune, May 6, 2007

“Arab-Americans in Israel: What ‘Special Relationship’?” Jerri Bird, Foreign Service Journal, June, 2002

Source

In case you don’t get it Mohammed Omer was “tortured” just trying to go home.

Also see:

Israeli Strip Searches: A Partial List

Why Americans get a distorted View of the Conflict between Israel and Palestinians

Gaza detainee treatment ‘inhuman’

Israeli troops fire warning shots at European Diplomats

Israel Broke Ceasefire From Day One

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

Israeli troops fire warning shots at European diplomats

Israeli troops fire warning shots at European diplomats

France summons Israeli envoy over Gaza shots

January 28 2009

PARIS

France has summoned Israel’s ambassador to protest as French and other European diplomats were blocked for hours on the Jewish state’s border with the Gaza Strip and Israeli soldiers fired warning shots at their convoy.

A diplomatic convoy carrying France’s consul general was halted by Israeli troops at the Erez border crossing on Tuesday and held for six hours as it tried to leave the Gaza Strip and return to Jerusalem, a spokesman said.

“The convoy, which included other European diplomats, was subject to two warning shots from Israeli soldiers,” French foreign ministry spokesman Eric Chevallier told reporters during a briefing.

Chevallier said France’s consul general based in Jerusalem and several of his colleagues travelled to Gaza to assess the reopening of border crossings and to inspect projects funded by France.

He said the Foreign Ministry summoned Ambassador Daniel Shek “to protest against this unacceptable incident and demand explanations from him”.

For three weeks until Jan. 18, Gaza saw fierce fighting between Israeli forces and Hamas, the Palestinian group which controls the territory that left 1,300 Palestinians dead, according to Gaza medics.

Both sides have declared ceasefires but tensions remain, and international diplomats are attempting to broker a lasting peace.

An Israeli soldier was killed by a bomb at a different location on the border with the Gaza Strip on Tuesday and troops then killed a Palestinian, violence that strained the ceasefire and left people in Gaza fearing further Israeli attacks.

Source

They are lucky the Israelis didn’t shoot them like they shoot the Palestinians continually. They should try being a Palestinian for a few years and take in the starvation and blockade. To live it is to understand it. They have no idea whatsoever what it is like to be a prisoner in Gaza.

France to send frigate to patrol waters off Gaza

Says in full cooperation with Egypt and Israel

Sarkozy went on two Mideast tours during the Israeli offensive in Gaza

January 23 2009

PARIS

France will deploy a frigate carrying helicopters to international waters off the coast of Gaza to participate in a mission against arms trafficking in the territory, the presidency said Friday.

A statement from President Nicolas Sarkozy’s office said the surveillance, aimed at preventing arms trafficking by sea to Hamas-ruled Gaza, would be carried out in full cooperation with Egypt and Israel.

“What is urgent now is to consolidate the ceasefire, and that requires humanitarian action, a total halt on arms trafficking to Gaza, the durable reopening of the border crossings, reconstruction and inter-Palestinian reconciliation,” the statement said.

Sarkozy went on two diplomatic tours of the Middle East during the Israeli offensive in Gaza to try and obtain a ceasefire. He said that France was ready to help bring back peace in whatever way it could.

Israel’s 22-day offensive, launched to stop Hamas fighters from firing rockets at southern Israel, killed 1,300 Palestinians and injured more than 5,000 others. Thirteen Israelis were killed: 10 soldiers and three civilians hit by Hamas rocket fire.

The statement from Sarkozy’s office called for close coordination as quickly as possible between the new U.S. administration and European partners to propose complementary actions to combat arms trafficking by land and by sea.

“These actions must be matched by a total and permanent reopening of the border crossings to Gaza. That is why the president reiterated his call for a rapid re-activation of the Rafah checkpoint, under European control in which France will take part fully,” the statement said.

Israel on Friday dismissed a number of other international calls for a full reopening of border crossings with Gaza.

Source

President Nicolas Sarkozy should be sending the damb frigate to protect the Fishermen and those in Gaza if anything.  But NO.

He must make sure Israel is protected.  Like they need protection.  They are the problem. They do not want Peace and never have. They only want to keep killing.

Their leaders are are Criminals.

Why is France protecting war criminals?

Seems the innocent die and the criminals get protection.

So how about we let all the murderers in the world our of  prison  and put all the innocent civilians in jail. That is exactly what has been done to the Palestinians, they are the innocent in the “Concentration Camp” and the criminals are the ones getting help to make damb sure they stay their totally defenseless.

How bloody stupid are people? Assisting Israel on any count, is assisting bloodthirsty, power hungry, lieing,  murderers.

So “Who” will protect the Palestinians?

“Who” is going to stop Israel from killing even more of them?

Seems no one has the intelligence, to realize the Palestinians are the ones, who need the protection.

The evidence is right in front of them and they are too blind to see who the real victims are.

Well Israel needs to be disarmed the sooner the better. Before they blow up all of the Middle East and Europe. And they would mark my words they most certainly would.

Hamas has wanted Peace for some time. Israel is the one, who does not now, or ever wanted Peace.

The blockade is illegal and inhumane.

Israel is the abusive parent beating the crap out of a baby. There is  no difference.  Apparently the parent who murders their children goes to jail. That is the only difference.

Israels behavior is pure insanity. Seems the West and Europe suffer from the same insanity. Nothing like a bunch of bloodthirsty power hungry lunatics sticking together.

Goes to show what kind of leadership there is in the world and they have the nerve to call themselves Civilized.

Well if nothing else, we can take notes on who supports Israel in their bloodthirsty rampage and not vote for them, because it is obvious they are as corrupted as the leaders in Israel itself.

When is the US going to stop supporting the “Welfare Bums”? That is what Israel is, a bloody welfare bum. A welfare bum, that murders innocent people no less. Pre-meditated murder at that.

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Israel Broke Ceasefire From Day One

Illegal Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank increased sharply in 2008

Aid Workers Protest Restricted Access to Gaza

Army rabbi ‘gave out hate leaflet to troops’,Israel: ’We Could Destroy All European Capitals’

Information Wanted by the International Criminal Court/ UN: Falk Likens Gaza to Warsaw Ghetto

Gaza (6) A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

Published in: on January 30, 2009 at 1:10 am  Comments Off on Israeli troops fire warning shots at European diplomats  
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Israeli aircraft strike Gaza Tunnels-Residents Again

January 28 2009

GAZA

Israeli aircraft struck at tunnels used for smuggling goods and weapons on the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt on Wednesday, residents of the Gaza town of Rafah and Hamas security officials said.

Rafah residents began to flee their homes in panic as the aircraft struck three times before dawn, Hamas officials said. There was no initial word of any casualties.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said she was checking the report.

The strike came as an apparent response to Tuesday’s attack by Gaza militants on an Israeli military vehicle that was hit by a roadside bomb while patrolling the Gaza border, killing one soldier and wounding three others.

An air strike shortly afterwards killed one Palestinian on a motorcycle but Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said late on Tuesday that it was only an initial reaction and that Israel’s full response was still to come, Israeli media websites reported.

The Israeli military said its aircraft hit a large number of tunnels during their 22-day campaign in the coastal enclave which ended earlier this month in which some 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed.

Israel began its attack on Gaza, ruled by the Islamist group Hamas, on Dec. 27 saying it wanted to stop militant rocket fire into nearby Israeli towns.

Hamas and Israel declared separate ceasefires and are negotiating through Egyptian mediators on a longer-term truce. Hamas wants Israel to lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip. Israel wants guarantees that Hamas will not again fire rockets at Israeli towns. (Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi; Writing by Ori Lewis; Editing by Giles Elgood)

Source

datafiles_cache_tempimgs_2009_1_images_news_2009_01_27_gaza-casualty_300_0Israeli aerial bombardment of a motor bicycle in Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip, on Tuesday Jan 27  wounded three Palestinian citizens including two children.

Seems Israel just can’t wait to to kill. Like just after the Ceasefire they shot two people a father and daughter walking on the shore line. They said they were shooting at a Fishing Boat which was just totally uncalled for.  No one on the boat was shooting at them however.

Well I hate to say it but I was right. Israel  has no intention of stopping their bombardments in Gaza. I guess those weapons from the US must have arrived.  Now they can go back to bombing the hell out of innocent people.  They want all Palestinians dead or out of Gaza. The Rabbi says it all.

Army rabbi ‘gave out hate leaflet to troops’,Israel: ’We Could Destroy All European Capitals also Testimonies from ex soldiers’

Information Wanted by the International Criminal Court/ UN: Falk Likens Gaza to Warsaw Ghetto

Unusually Large U.S. Weapons Shipment to Israel: Are the US and Israel Planning a Broader Middle East War?

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

Published in: on January 28, 2009 at 4:30 am  Comments Off on Israeli aircraft strike Gaza Tunnels-Residents Again  
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Outcry over weapons used in Gaza

Outcry over weapons used in Gaza

January 19 2009


One doctor described the injuries as ‘new’ and ‘much more dramatic’ than landmine wounds Photo: AFP

Medics working in the Gaza Strip have condemned Israel’s use of suspected “new weapons” that inflict horrific injuries they say most surgeons will not have seen before.

Dr Jan Brommundt, a German doctor working for Medecins du Monde in the south Gazan city of Khan Younis, described the injuries he had seen as “absolutely gruesome”.

Speaking to Al Jazeera on Tuesday, Brommundt said surgeons had reported many cases where casualties had lost both legs rather than one, prompting suspicions that the Israelis were using some form of Dense Inert Metal Explosives (Dime).

When detonated, a Dime device expels a blade of charged tungsten dust that burns and destroys everything within a four-metre radius.

Brommundt also described widespread but previously unseen abdominal injuries that appear minor at first but degenerate within hours causing multi-organ failure.

“Initially everything seems in order… but they will present within one to five hours with an acute abdomen which looks like appendicitus but it turns out on operation that dozens of miniature particles can be found in all of their organs,” he said.

“It seems to be some sort of explosive or shell that disperses tiny particles at around 1×1 or 2×1 millimetres that penetrate all organs, these miniature injuries, you are not able to attack them surgically.”

The doctors said many patients succomb to septicaemia and die within 24 hours.

Dr Erik Fosse, a Norwegian surgeon who worked at the Al-Shifa hospital in northern Gaza during the Israeli offensive in Gaza, also told Al Jazeera there was a significant increase in double amputations.

“We suspect they [Israel] used Dime weapons because we saw cases of huge amputations or flesh torn off the lower parts of the body,” he said.

“The pressure wave [from a Dime device] moves from the ground upwards and that’s why the majority of patients have huge injuries to the lower part of the body and abdomen.”

Cancer fears

Fosse described the injuries as “extreme” and “much more dramatic” than those inflicted by landmines as “legs are blown off to the groin, it’s like they have been cut to pieces”.

He described them as “new injuries” that most doctors will not have come across, although he noted similar wounds were reported in the 2006 Lebanon war.

Noting that Dime explosives are precision weapons that are supposed to minimise civilian casualties, Fosse said: “The problem is that most of the patients I saw were children. If they [the Israelis] are trying to be accurate, it seems obvious these weapons were aimed at children.”

Fosse called on the UN to establish a body in Gaza to monitor survivors to see if they developed cancer, following claims Dime devices contain radioactive material.

Medics and observers have also accused the Israelis of using white phosphorus – banned from use near civilians under international law – in the densely populated Gaza Strip.

Human rights organisation Amnesty International (AI) said on Monday that delegates it sent to Gaza had found “indisputable evidence of widespread use of white phosphorus in densely populated residential areas in Gaza City and in the north”.

“We saw streets and alleyways littered with evidence of the use of white phoshorus, including still burning wedges and the remnants of the shells and canisters fired by the Israeli army,” Christopher Cobb-Smith, a weapons expert touring Gaza as part of AI’s four-person delegation, said.

White phosphorus is a toxic chemical that causes severe burns and sparks fires that are difficult to extinguish.

It is dispersed in artillery shells, bombs and rockets and burns on contact with oxygen and is used to create a smokescreen to hide the movement of troops.

War crimes?

Israel fiercely denies using weapons in such a way as to contravene international law.

Major Avital Leibovich, a spokeswoman for the Israeli military, reiterated Israel was using “munitions that other militaries in the world are using” and that weapons were deployed “according to international law” .

Pressed on the number of civilian and child casualties in Gaza, she accused Hamas, the Palestinian faction that controls the territory, of hiding fighters within civilian areas and using ordinary Gazans as “human shields”.

Leibovich also said the international community needed to ask itself whether Hamas and other Palestinian factions had committed war crimes by firing rockets at Israeli citizens for eight years.

Just have to put this in here.

“In 8 years  20 Israelis died because of rockets, 4,000 Israelis died in car accidents.

Many more Palestinians died in that time then did Israelis.  Since the beginning 100’s of thousands have been displaced and many Palestinians  have died.

You would be shocked to find out how many. Of course if there were no apartheid there would be no rockets. There  would be no war.

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.

This is far from over they plan to expand. They are determined to reach their goal no matter how many years it may take.

Back to the story at hand.

More than 1,300 Palestinians have been killed in the 22-day offensive, many of them woman and children, and 5,340 injured. Thirteen Israelis, including 10 soldiers and three civilians, have been killed in the same period.

The number of civilian deaths has provoked an international outcry, with senior UN officials demanding an independent investigation into whether Israel has committed war crimes.

The likelihood of either side being subject to a war-crimes action seems remote as the International Criminal Court (ICC) has no jurisdiction to investigate because the Gaza Strip is not a state.

In addition, Israel has not signed the Rome Statute that enshrined the ICC so any investigation would require a UN Security mandate – likely to be vetoed by Israel’s ally, the US.

However, Mark Taylor, an international law expert, told Al Jazeera that individual commanders and politicians on both sides could be subject to legal actions lodged abroad.

“I think that Israelis in responsible positions, as well as Palestinians in responsible positions, are going to be looking over their shoulders in the days and weeks to come,” he said.

Source

Bolivia bid to have Israel prosecuted by ICC

Group of Bolivian diplomats plan to ask International Criminal Court to bring human rights abuse charges against Israel.

Analysis: the Israeli plot against Gaza

Gaza events demonstrate how official Israeli justification for assault bears no basis to reality.

Video History: Gaza Occupation

Included is an Interview with “Rachel Corrie” who died trying to protect Palestinians. A beautiful woman, who should never be forgotten. Many of those in the videos, may no longer be with us today.

All should be remembered with Love.

Unusually Large U.S. Weapons Shipment to Israel: Are the US and Israel Planning a Broader Middle East War?

The State of Israel: Since its Creation

Israel Used Internationally Banned Weaponry in Massive Airstrikes Across Gaza Strip

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

Published in: on January 20, 2009 at 1:23 am  Comments Off on Outcry over weapons used in Gaza  
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Unusually Large U.S. Weapons Shipment to Israel: Are the US and Israel Planning a Broader Middle East War?

A very large delivery of  US weaponry to Israel consisting of “3,000 tons” of “ammunition” is scheduled to sail to Israel. The size and nature of the shipments are described as “unusual”:

“Shipping 3,000-odd tons of ammunition in one go is a lot,” one broker said, on condition of anonymity.

“This (kind of request) is pretty rare and we haven’t seen much of it quoted in the market over the years,” he added.

“Shipping brokers in London who have specialized in moving arms for the British and U.S. military in the past said such ship charters to Israel were rare. (Reuters, Jan 10, 2009)

The Pentagon has entrusted a Greek merchant shipping company to deliver the weapons to Israel:

“The U.S. is seeking to hire a merchant ship to deliver hundreds of tons of arms to Israel from Greece later this month, tender documents seen by Reuters show.

The U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC) said the ship was to carry 325 standard 20-foot containers of what is listed as “ammunition” on two separate journeys from the Greek port of Astakos to the Israeli port of Ashdod in mid-to-late January.

A “hazardous material” designation on the manifest mentions explosive substances and detonators, but no other details were given.(Ibid)

It is worth noting that a similar unusually large shipment of  US ordinance to Israel was scheduled in early December:

“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 [2600 tons] and filled up to 989 standard 20-foot containers to Ashdod from North Carolina.” (Press TV, 10 Jan 2009)

Are These Large Shipments of Ordinance Connected to the Invasion of Gaza?

The request by the Pentagon to transport ordinance in a commercial vessel, according to Reuters, was made on December 31, 4 days after the commencement of the aerial bombings of Gaza by F16 Fighter jets.

Analysts have hastily concluded, without evidence, that the 2 shipments of “ammunition” were intended to supply Israel’s armed forces in support of its military invasion of Gaza.

“A senior military analyst in London who declined to be named said that, because of the timing, the shipments could be “irregular” and linked to the Gaza offensive.” (Reuters, January 10, 2009)

These reports are mistaken. Delivery of ordinance always precedes the onslaught of a military operation. The ordinance required under “Operation Cast Lead” was decided upon in June 2008. Further to Tel Aviv’s request under the US military aid program to Israel, the U.S. Congress approved in September 2008 the transfer of 1,000 bunker-buster high precision GPS-guided Small Diameter Guided Bomb Units 39 (GBU-39).

The GBU 39 smart bombs produced by Boeing were delivered to Israel in November. They were used in the initial air raids on Gaza:

“…The Israel Air Force has used the new lightweight GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb acquired from the USA, in the recent attacks in Gaza. The [Jerusalem] Post mentioned the new weapons ordered last September having arrived last month [November], and already put to action with the IAF fighters. These weapons could have been deployed by the Boeing/IAF F-15Is, since sofar SDB is cleared for use only with this type of aircraft.

It is highly unlikely that the bulk of the weaponry included in these two large shipments, scheduled to arrive in Israel in late January, is intended to be used in Israel’s military operation in Gaza. The GBU-39 is lightweight (130 kg). The entire shipment of GBU 39s (1000 units) would be of the order of a modest 130 tons. In other words, the specifications of the GBU 39 do not match the description of the “unusually large” and  “heavy” shipment of ordinance.

GBU-39

Escalation Scenario

The shipment ordered on December 31 is of the order of 3000 tons, an unusually large and heavy cargo of “ammunition” pointing to the transfer of heavy weaponry to Israel.

According to US military statements, the ordinance is for stockpiling, to be used “at short notice” in the eventuality of a conflict:

“This previously scheduled shipment is routine and not in support of the current situation in Gaza. …The U.S. military pre-positions stockpiles in some countries in case it needs supplies at short notice.” (Reuters, 10 Jan 2009, emphasis added)

Whatever the nature of these large weapons shipments, they are intended for use in a future military operation in the Middle East.

Since the launching of the Theater Iran Near Term Operation Operation (TIRANNT) in May 2003, an escalation scenario involving military action directed against Iran and Syria has been envisaged. TIRANNT was followed by a series of military plans pertaining to Iran. Numerous official statements and US military documents have pointed to an expanded Middle East war.

What these shipments suggest is that the “escalation scenario” not only prevails, but has reached a more active stage in the process of US-Israeli military planning.

Whether these weapons will be used or not is not known. The central question, in this regard, is whether the Gaza invasion is part of a broader military adventure directed against Lebanon, Syria and Iran, in which heavier weaponry including US made bunker buster bombs will be used.

History of US Weapons Shipments to Israel

The stockpiling of US made bunker buster bombs by Israel has been ongoing since 2005:

“The United States will sell Israel nearly 5,000 smart bombs in one of the largest weapons deals between the allies in years.

Among the bombs the [Israeli] air force will get are 500 one-ton bunker busters that can penetrate two-meter-thick cement walls; 2,500 regular one-ton bombs; 1,000 half-ton bombs; and 500 quarter-ton bombs. The bombs Israel is acquiring include airborne versions, guidance units, training bombs and detonators. They are guided by an existing Israeli satellite used by the military.

The sale will augment existing Israeli supplies of smart bombs. The Pentagon told Congress that the bombs are meant to maintain Israel’s qualitative advantage [against Iran], and advance U.S. strategic and tactical interests.” (Jewish Virtual Library: September 21-22, 2004, Haaretz / Jerusalem Post.)

The actual shipments of US made bunker buster bombs started in 2005. The US approved in April 2005, the delivery of:

some 5,000  “smart air launched weapons” including some 500 BLU 109 ‘bunker-buster bombs. The (uranium coated) munitions are said to be more than ‘adequate to address the full range of Iranian targets, with the possible exception of the buried facility at Natanz, which may require the [more powerful] BLU-113 bunker buster [a variant of the GBU 28]'” (See Michel Chossudovsky, Planned US-Israeli Nuclear Attack on Iran, Global Research, May 1, 2005)

The BLU-109 is smaller than the GBU 28. “It  is a 2,000lbs warhead that can be used in combination with a GPS guidance kit […], and can penetrate up to 15 feet of fortified concrete.” (See F16.net)

In 2006 at the height of the Lebanon War in August 2006, a major shipment of the 2.2 ton GBU 28 bombs, according to the New York Times, was dispatched to Israel.

The GBU 28 is produced by Raytheon. It was used against Iraq in the 1991 Gulf War, has the the capability of penetrating some 20 feet of reinforced concrete. (Haaretz, 9 Nov 2008)  In contrast to the GBU 39 smart bombs (130 kg) used against Gaza, each GBU-28 weighs a hefty 2.2 tons.

“The Guided Bomb Unit-28 (GBU-28) is a special weapon developed for penetrating hardened Iraqi command centers located deep underground. The GBU-28 is a 5,000-pound laser-guided conventional munition that uses a 4,400-pound penetrating warhead.” Federation of American Scientists,

(For a visual depiction see  “Bob Sherman, How the GBU-28 works”, USA Today on-line.).

GBU-28

Video of GBU 28 on UTube

The recent unusually large shipments of weaponry to Israel are part of the 2004 agreement between Washington and Tel Aviv, financed by US military aid to Israel.

As mentioned above, there is a history of delivery of bunker buster bombs (including the GBU 28), going back to 2005. While the nature and composition of these recent weapons shipments to Israel are not known, one suspects that they include the heavier version of the bunker buster bombs including the GBU-28.

In this regard, it is worth noting that last Summer, Israel requested the Pentagon to deliver GBU-28 bunker buster bombs. The stated purpose was to use them in the eventuality of a military operation directed against Iran.

In September 2008, according to US and Israeli press reports quoting Pentagon officials, Tel Aviv’s request was turned down. According to the reports, Washington categorically refused to deliver the shipment of GBU 28 bunker buster bombs, to be used to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. “Instead” Washington accepted to deliver the lightweight GBU-39 for use against Gaza.

The U.S. had “rejected an Israeli request for military equipment and support that would improve Israel’s ability to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.”

The Americans viewed [Israel’s] request, which was transmitted (and rejected) at the highest level, as a sign that Israel is in the advanced stages of preparations to attack Iran. They therefore warned Israel against attacking, saying such a strike would undermine American interests. They also demanded that Israel give them prior notice if it nevertheless decided to strike Iran. In early September, Haaretz reported that the request had included GBU-28 “bunker-buster” bombs.

In mid-September, the U.S. agreed instead to sell Israel 1000 GBU-39 “bunker buster” bombs which Israeli military experts said “could provide a powerful new weapon” in Gaza, AP reported.

So: when Israel requested weapons that the U.S. expected would be used for bombing Iran, the U.S. said no, and added explicitly that it did not want to see an Israeli attack on Iran. And there was no Israeli attack on Iran. (Defense Update.com, December 2008)

Media Disinformation

The official statements and press reports are bogus. Israel and the US have always acted in close coordination. Washington does not “demand that Israel give them prior notice” of a military operation:

The report in Haaretz suggests that the Bush Administration was adamant and did not want the Israelis to attack Iran. In fact, the reports suggested that the US would shoot down Israeli planes, if they tried to attack Iran:

“Air-space authorization: An attack on Iran would apparently require passage through Iraqi air space. For this to occur, an air corridor would be needed that Israeli fighter jets could cross without being targeted by American planes or anti-aircraft missiles. The Americans also turned down this request. According to one account, to avoid the issue, the Americans told the Israelis to ask Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki for permission, along the lines of “If you want, coordinate with him.” (Haaretz Nov 9, 2008)

This Israeli report is misleading. Israel is America’s ally. Military operations are closely coordinated. Israel does not act without Washington’s approval and the US does not shoot down the planes of its closest ally.

The Nature and Composition of  the Recent US Weapons Shipments to Israel

These unusually large shipments of ordinance would normally require Congressional approval.  To our knowledge, there is no public record of approval of the unusually large shipments of heavy “ammunition” to Israel.

The nature and composition of the shipments are not known. Was Israel’s request for the delivery of the 2.2 ton GBU 28 accepted by Washington, bypassing the US Congress? Are GBU 28 bombs, each of which weighs 2.2 tons part of the 3000 ton shipments to Israel. Are tactical bunker buster mini-nuclear bombs included in Israel’s arsenal? These are questions to be raised in the US Congress.

The two shipments of “ammunition” are slated to arrive in Israel, respectively no later than the 25th and 31st of January.

Secretary Robert Gates who remains at the helm of the Department of Defense ensures continuity in the military agenda.

Preparing for a Confrontation with Iran: Beefing Up Israel’s Missile Defense System

In early January, the Pentagon dispatched some 100 military personnel to Israel from US European Command (EUCOM) to assist Israel in setting up a new sophisticated X-band early warning radar system. This project is part of the military aid package to Israel approved by the Pentagon in September 2008:

The Israeli government requested the system to help defend against a potential missile attack from Iran. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates signed off on the deployment order in mid-September. ….

Once fully operational, the system will be capable of tracking and identifying small objects at long distance and at very high altitude, including space, according to U.S. Missile Defense Agency officials. It also will integrate Israel’s missile defenses with the U.S. global missile detection network.

“This will enable the Israelis to track medium- and long-range ballistic missiles multiple times better than their current radar allows them to,” Morrell said. “It will … more than double the range of Israel’s missile defense radars and increase its available engagement time.”

This, he said, will greatly enhance Israel’s defensive capabilities. “There is a growing ballistic missile threat in the region, particularly from Iran,” Morrell said. “And no one in the region should feel more nervous about that threat than the Israelis. And they clearly do, and they have asked for our assistance.” (Defense Talk.com, January 6, 2009, emphasis added.)

The new X-band radar system ‘permits an intercept soon after launch over enemy instead of friendly territory” (Sen. Joseph Azzolina, Protecting Israel from Iran’s missiles, Bayshore News, December 26, 2008).

The X-band radar would “integrate Israel’s missile defenses with the U.S. global missile detection network, which includes satellites, Aegis ships on the Mediterranean, Persian Gulf and Red Sea, and land-based Patriot radars and interceptors.” (Ibid)

What this means is that Washington calls the shots. The US rather than Israel would control the Air Defense system:  ”This is and will remain a U.S. radar system,’ Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said. ‘So this is not something we are giving or selling to the Israelis and it is something that will likely require U.S. personnel on-site to operate.'” (Quoted in Israel National News, January 9, 2009, emphasis added).

In other words, the US military controls Israel’s Air Defense system, which is integrated into the US global missile defense system. Under these circumstances, Israel cannot launch a war against Iran without the consent of the US High Command.

The large shipments of US ordinance, slated to arrive in Israel after the inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States and Commander in Chief are part of the broader program of US-Israeli military cooperation in relation to Iran.

The reinforcement of Israel’s missile defenses combined with the large shipments of US weapons are part of an escalation scenario, which could lead the World under an Obama Administration into a broader Middle East war.

New Cold War?

There has been a military build on both sides. Iran has responded to the Israeli-US initiative, by beefing up it own missile defense system with the support of Russia. According to reports (December 21), Moscow and Tehran have been holding talks on the supply by Russia of “medium-range air defense systems – specifically, S-300 surface-to-air missile systems” (Asian Times, January 9, 2009)

Source

I did post a story on this earlier:
US delivering more “Weapons of Mass Destruction” to Israel

So “why” does Israel need so many Weapons of Mass Destruction?

“Who” is paying for them? Their bank records should be examined to see who and how money is being “funneled” into the country to pay for weapons.  Said money should be also stopped.  Funding a “war criminal” is the same as funding a terrorist state, and  is a crime. Check the “Patriot Act” I do believe it is all probably in there. Anyone could be funneling money into Israel for war toys. No different then Saddam in Iraq or any other terrorists/rogue  state.

Banks could also be funding Israel as well, not to hard to launder money so it can be funneled into a terrorist/rogue state and if the US can go after Lloyds in England one could,  go after money headed to Israel.

Banks like the one George Bushes grand-daddy worked for,  gave money to Hitler and so did many other banks in the US.  This of course was considered a crime then and is still a crime today.

Banks could fund terrorism and launder money just as well, if not better then anyone else. Maybe the banks are stealing “tax dollars” for bailouts to fund wars, for all we know.

Seems they don’t want to tell anyone, where the money from the bailouts, is going or to who.

Could they be doing what Georges grand-daddy did?

Could they be helping terrorists/rogue states.  Sure they could. They did it before they may be doing it now. Where there is one, there is always more and do we trust banks these days? Especially the ones who so desperately needed bailout money. And now refuse to tell us where the money went and seems the Bank of America, is again asking for more Bailout money? Banks make money from war. Go figure.

Seems no one is really checking and those who have tryed got no answers. Maybe they are being naughty.

When there is no transparency, they could be doing anything.  Banks and War have always gone hand in hand however.

Just a thought to ponder.  Of course ? I was pondering that thought even before the Financial Crisis hit.

Israel has been accused of “War Crimes”.

Like any criminal that murders, you would not give them  weapons until the trial is over and only if they were found not guilty .

In light of these circumstances “NO weapons of this magnitude.”, should be allowed into Israel. Nor should they be given money to purchase or produce weapons.

Any more then you would give it to Saddam.

Who was of course accused of war crimes. Triad and convicted.

What is good for one leader, is good for all leaders. Equality you know. We all must obey the laws of the world and country. Justice is there to serve all.

There is really no difference,  a war crime, is a war crime, no matter who does it.

If  Sadddam did to those in” GAZA” that Israel just did, who would be the first to jump on the “sanction him” , HE is a terrorist, war criminal, charge him, bandwagon? Saddam was also an Ally of the US,  received “weapons of mass destruction” from the US and! and! and!

He only did what Israel leaders are doing.  I see no difference in their crimes against humanity, war crimes etc. The US also wanted Saddam to attack Iran. Talk about Dejavue.

Did Israel using illegal weapons in its offensive on Gaza?

January 16 2009

The earth shaking under your feet, clouds of choking smoke, explosions like a fireworks display, bombs bursting into all-consuming flames that cannot be extinguished with water, mushroom clouds of pinkish-red smoke, suffocating gas, harsh burns on the skin, extraordinary maimed live and dead bodies.

All of this is being caused by the bombs Israel is dropping on the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, according to reports and testimonies from there. Since the first day of the Israeli aerial attack, people have been giving exact descriptions of the side effects of the bombing, and claiming that Israel is using weapons and ammunition that they have not seen during the past eight years.

Furthermore, the kinds of grave injuries doctors at hospitals in the Strip have reported are providing yet another explanation for the overwhelming dread inhabitants are experiencing in any case.

It is precisely for this reason that Marc Garlasco, a senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch (HRW), has come to Israel. His mission: to examine whether the weapons that both sides are using are themselves legal and whether the use of them is legal.

The American-born Garlasco has not been permitted to enter Gaza – as is also the case with people from other human rights organizations and foreign journalists. Therefore, he says, since he is unable to examine actual remnants of the explosives and see the wreckage with his own eyes, he can only guess or make assumptions in some cases. But even from afar, he has no doubt: Israel is using white phosphorus bombs. That was immediately clear to him while he stood last week on a hill facing the Gaza Strip and observed the Israel Defense Forces’ bombings for several hours.

Last Saturday HRW hastened to publish a call to Israel to “stop unlawful use of white phosphorus in Gaza.” The use of white phosphorus is permitted on the battlefield, explains Garlasco, but the side effects on humans and the environment are severe and highly dangerous. The statement notes that the “potential for harm to civilians is magnified by Gaza’s high population density, among the highest in the world.”

The fireworks-like explosions, the thick smoke, suffocating gas, and flames that are not extinguished by water, but rather are heightened by it – all of these are characteristic of the white phosphorus bombs the IDF is using. Garlasco believes the decision to make such extensive use of these bombs, manufactured by America’s General Dynamics Corporation, stems from conclusions drawn from the Second Lebanon War, in which the IDF lost many tanks.

“The phosphorus bombs create a thick smokescreen and if Hamas has an anti-tank rocket, the smoke prevents the rocket from tracking the tank,” he explains. There are two ways to use the bombs: The first is to impact them on the ground, in which case the resulting thick smokescreen covers a limited area; the second way is an airburst of a bomb, which contains 116 wafers doused in phosphorus. The moment the bomb blows up and the phosphorus comes in contact with oxygen – it ignites. This is what creates the “fireworks” and billows of jellyfish-shaped smoke. The fallout covers a wide area and the danger of fires and harm to civilians is enormous. The phosphorus burns glass, and immediately ignites paper, trees, wood – anything that is dry. The burning wafers causes terrible injury to anyone who comes in contact with them. The irony is that tear gas is included in the Chemical Weapons Convention and is subject to all kinds of restrictions, whereas phosphorus is not.

And in the meantime, in the hospitals in Gaza there are people lying in beds – among them many children – whose severe injuries and burns have appalled the medical teams.

Missing the target

Another new weapon that has forced itself upon Gazans is the GPS-guided mortar – a system equipped with satellite navigation, developed in Israel in late 2006-early 2007, in the wake of the Second Lebanon War. According to local military sources, it was this kind of mortar that missed its target by 30 meters and erroneously hit a United Nations Relief and Works Agency school last week; according to the UN report, 30 people were killed immediately and others died later of their injuries. “It really boggles my mind,” Garlasco comments. “According to the literature, it has 3 meters’ error – not 30.” It is a mortar that is launched in an arc toward an unseen target, he explains, with the intention of being precise and to some extent minimize civilian casualties.

Garlasco says this is the first time the weapon has been used in any military conflict: “The Palestinians say, ‘Oh, they use it on us, “experiment” with it for the Americans.’ Experimenting has a different meaning for Americans. We think animal experimenting, but it is indeed a field test.”

The new mortar was developed jointly by the Israeli weapons industry and a private American company called . Israel, notes Garlasco, has learned a lot from the wars the U.S. is waging in Afghanistan and Iraq, but above all learned from its own war in Lebanon in 2006. The mortar that was not supposed to have landed on the school was developed with the knowledge that troops “are fighting an enemy that is in a densely populated area, and here is the first time they use it.”

Another important lesson Israel learned from the Lebanon war is that it cannot rely entirely on the U.S. to provide weapons. During that war, when the IDF ran out of cluster bombs, Israel asked for an emergency shipment of 1,200 such munitions (each containing 644 bomblets). The United States refused, and at that point, Garlasco notes, Israel realized it could not rely solely on American help in this realm.

Therefore, Israel has, for example, developed a new type of rifle, the (Tavor) TAR-21 (“an incredible weapon,” says Garlasco; he can’t help being complimentary) to take the place of the U.S.-made M-16. It has also invented the Delilah guided missile, but Garlasco does not know whether it has been used in Gaza. But not to worry, he adds: Despite the cluster bombs and independent Israeli development, Israel and the United States “still have a great relationship. By and large, the weaponry that Israel is using is American.”

Not all of the weapons are new and innovative. Most, in fact, are American products developed during the Cold War. The artillery and incendiary weapons in Israel’s possession were designed to destroy Russian tanks “and not Palestinian homes,” he notes. The weapons being produced now are developed in the knowledge that the target is militants who operate from within a civilian population. Yet, much of the killing and destruction in Gaza are the result of old-fashioned, cheaper and less-sophisticated weapons.

Only last September did the United States grant Israel’s request to supply it with 1,000 bombs of a new type, the GBU-39. They arrived at the beginning of December, and inhabitants of Rafah have witnessed their use – without knowing what they were – since the first day of the aerial attacks on the tunnels there. (The Jerusalem Post was the first to identify these as GBU-39s.) Gazans were surprised when they did not hear an explosion immediately after the Israeli aircraft fired; instead, the earth shook beneath their feet.

The manufacturer of the GBU-39 is the Boeing Corporation. The small diameter and light weight of these guided bombs ensure that any fighter plane can carry a large number of them and thus increase the number of attacks in every sortie. Garlasco says that the weapon is very accurate and penetrates deep into the earth. It is also designed to minimize collateral damage, since it does not explode over a large area like other bombs do. But other types of bombs are also being used and are destroying houses along the border with Egypt.

Gazans have noticed that there are bombs that produce mushroom clouds in various shades of red. Here, Garlasco admits, “I can only speculate. It looks like Israel is maybe using a new weapon that it was not using before: DIME – the dense inert metal explosive, consisting of 25 percent TNT and 75 percent tungsten, a heavy metal. You mix the two, in a fine grain, like pepper, and when the bomb hits the ground it aerosolizes. In less than a second, the mist dissipates and explodes.”

He says the advantage of DIME is that “it strikes a very small area, 10 to 20 meters, and the fire it ignites burns out very quickly; if it hits us now, we will die, but no one around us will be hurt. The problem is that when you are killed – you are ripped to shreds and there is nothing left.” Indeed, the injuries DIME causes are in general more severe than those caused by a “regular” bomb.

A paramedic at the Al-Awda Hospital in the Jabalya refugee camp has told the Palestinian Center for Human Rights that about 90 percent of the wounded he has rescued during the past few weeks were brought in with at least one limb missing. Is it the DIME that is causing the severe injuries being reported by the medical staff? Garlasco says there are “only rumors. No one has ever seen it used before, maybe it is being used now, but with Israel not letting in journalists and human rights organizations, these rumors are growing, and people say that Israeli is using terrible new weapons.”

Perhaps, he says, the redness is a result of the metal in the explosives, but it will only be possible to ascertain this if experts are allowed into the Gaza Strip, or they talk to the IDF. Garlasco notes that herein lies the big difference between the Israeli army and the American army: As a worker for a human rights organization, he receives daily e-mails from the U.S. Air Force with a detailed report of the bombs it has dropped in Afghanistan and Iraq. “The Israelis would never do that,” he explains. “They would never talk about what weapons they use and will never allow any discussion in society of whether the weapons should be used.”

Another new weapon that he believes is now in use is the Spike: “It is very new, [from] 2005-2006, a special missile that is made to make very high-speed turns, so if you have a target that is moving and running away from you, you can chase him with the weapon. It was developed by the U.S. Navy jointly with Rafael [the Israel Armament Development Authority]. Rafael is the manufacturer.”

Drones, incidentally, are a totally Israeli product, he notes; Israel is the world leader in this field, and America is learning a lot from it. The warships bombing Gaza are also Israeli made. But the cannons on the ships are Italian, produced by the Oto Melera company.

From his frustrating observation point outside Gaza, and on the basis of Israel’s “very bad record of using cluster bombs in Lebanon and selling them to Georgia,” Garlasco says he is worried that Israel is also now using the APAM (Anti Personnel/Anti Materiel) – a new type of round, or unit of ammunition, for tanks that was developed after Lebanon, each of which contains six cluster bombs. The tank guns aim above a target that is hiding behind some kind of cover and the ammunition explodes above people’s heads – like those of Iz al-Din al-Qassam cells, for example, when they are firing rockets.

The other side

Garlasco and Human Rights Watch also examine the other side, and he says, “We believe that the Grad and Qassam are illegal weapons because they are not accurate enough to be used in this situation.” He adds that Hamas makes frequent use of land mines and explosive charges that are liable to injure civilians.

However, because he and his fellow experts can’t go into Gaza, “We don’t know what the extent of any [Palestinian] civilian casualties is because of Hamas – whether they are shooting soldiers and their bullets end up killing civilians, or whether their anti-tank missiles miss an Israeli tank and hit a house. We don’t know.”

In 2005, Garlasco met with a political representative of Hamas and told him that use of Grads is a contravention of the Geneva Convention. The reply he got from the Hamas man was: “‘All Israelis are military.’ And I explained to them that their reading of international law is wrong.” It is amazing, he adds, that the Palestinians can manufacture the Qassams under the conditions in Gaza. The Grad, however, “is a real military weapon, three meters long. It has a significant warhead. The problem is that it is designed to be fired in mass, to be fired 21 rockets at a time, so that you are covering an area and you are having a shock effect. You don’t only have an explosion, but also a shock and it covers a big area. Shooting one at a time is almost useless from a military perspective.”

As for the Israeli claim about weapons and ammunition being hidden in public buildings such as mosques, Garlasco reiterates that only independent sources will be able to examine this claim and clarify its veracity. If the mosques blown up in the heart of densely populated residential neighborhoods indeed served as hiding places for weapons and ammunition, he would expect to see many secondary explosions, which would have caused significant collateral damage and deep craters. It is difficult to analyze the Israeli claims on the basis of photographs, he notes.

Garlasco is not prepared to accept without question the Israeli claim that Hamas hides behind civilians and makes use of civilians. “Israelis are very quick to say they are doing it, but very short on proof. By keeping the independent people out, they leave doubt in people’s minds.” Furthermore, he believes, Israel has a record of not telling the truth: “They said in Lebanon they did not use cluster bombs. We found 4 million. They evade answering that they use phosphorus, and we stand there every day watching. They claim to have bombed a truck full of Grad missiles, and according to witnesses who spoke with Haaretz, it turned out to be a truck with oxygen tanks. Not everything that is long is a missile. How can anyone trust the Israeli military?'”

The IDF Spokesman responds: “The IDF is fighting the terror elements while meticulously observing the rules of engagement under international law. For understandable operational reasons, the IDF will not relate to a detailing of the materiel that is in its possession and the parameters in which it used. It should be emphasized, however, that the IDF uses only methods and materiel that are permitted under international law.”

Source

Did Israel test new weapons in Gaza?

Did they use people in Gaza as “Guinea Pigs”? Experimenting on people like this would be illegal and yet another war crime.

If in fact they tested new weapons on the innocent civilians in Gaza, they will also be bragging, to potential buyers about how  effective they are and of course want to sell them.

They may even be planing on selling some of the ones being shipped in by the US. Or they are planning on bombing the crap out of the entire Middle East.

Getting the weapons while Bush was still in power may have also been the only way they would get any to stockpile as well. Obama may not be so Generous.

Obviously there is something going on the Public is unaware of.

I wouldn’t give a mass murder weapons of this sort. No one should.

This shipment should be stopped and confiscated. If by no one else, the UN it self.

If  a Police officer is accused of “pre mediated murder” would you ?

Let him have a weapon?

Let him have a passport so he could flee the country?

Would you even let him out on Bail?

Would any accuse murderer for that matter?

The leaders of Israel are not to be treated any differently then any person or country or leader ore civilian accused of murderer.

Would Saddam have been given Weapons while he was waiting trial for War Crimes?

Lets just stop and think here for a moment,  are those leaders in Israel any better then Saddam?

Seems to me they may be worse if they are not stopped now.

A very large delivery of  US weaponry to Israel consisting of “3,000 tons” is not, what one would  give to an accused “war criminal”. Anymore then you would give a machine gun to an accused murder.

Israel shells another UN school in Gaza: Israel just had to get one last UN building  in before it says, it is going into a Ceasefire.  A ceasefire at their discretion, of course.  The blockade on Gaza  still stands and they will, still be short of food, medical supplies etc.  The starvation continues as the leaders in Israel pat themselves on the back. They are thinking they did such a wonderful job.
They are mad of course in their thinking and  relishing in their murderous rampage, as justifiable.

January 17 2009

un-school-jan-17

The UN has called for a war crimes investigation over the shelling of its school. Photo:  AFP

Two Palestinian boys have been killed after Israeli tank shells hit a UN-run school in Gaza – hours before Israel’s security cabinet is expected to vote on a proposal for a unilateral ceasefire.

The boys, aged five and seven, died and 25 other Gazans were wounded as they sought to shelter in the school run by the UN relief and works agency (Unrwa) in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza.

The school is the third UN shelter to be hit by Israeli fire in its 22-day war on the territory.

The attack came as heavy artillery and aerial bombardment of what Israel described as “Hamas targets” continued on Saturday.

Christopher Gunness, an Unrwa spokesman, said several rounds hit the UN school at about 6:45am. The third floor of the school took a direct hit after a short pause, killing the pair and injuring another 14 people.

Witnesses said four more people were killed when other shells struck nearby as people tried to escape.

Investigation demanded

About 1,600 civilians had sought refuge from the fighting inside the building, Gunness said.

“The Israeli army knew exactly our GPS co-ordinates and they would have known that hundreds of people had taken shelter there,” he said.

“When you have a direct hit into the third floor of a UN school, there has to be an investigation to see if a war crime has been committed.”

Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, said: “I condemn in the strongest terms this outrageous attack, which is the third time it’s happened.

“Top Israeli leaders have apologised and assured me two days ago that UN premises would be fully respected.

“I strongly demand a thorough investigation and punishment for those responsible,” he told reporters in Beirut.

John Ging, the director of Unrwa, told Al Jazeera: “People today are alleging war crimes here in Gaza. Let’s have it properly accounted for. Let’s have the legal process which will establish exactly what has happened here.

‘A failure for humanity’
“It is another failure for our humanity and it is exposing the impotence of our [the international community’s] inability to protect civilians in conflict.”

In Jabaliya refugee camp, Dr Ezzedine Abu al-Aish, a Palestinian doctor from al-Shifa hospital, lost his three daughters and one niece during an Israeli air attack as he was being interviewed on an Israeli television channel.

At least 10 people were also killed late on Friday after a tank shell slammed into their home during a funeral wake in Gaza City.

More than 1,200 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s offensive, including more than 400 children, according to UN and Palestinian medical sources.

At least 13 Israelis have also died in the same period, three of them civilians.

About five rockets were reported to have been fired from Gaza into southern Israel on Saturday.

Source

Under no circumstances, should Israel be given any weapons.

Nor should they be given anything, to make weapons of their own.

Prevention is paramount.

Israel must also open their doors, to weapons inspectors.

Gaza must be allowed to let in “Inspectors” to “investigate” what type of weapons Israel used.

Israel is accused of war crimes and in any criminal investigation, investigators must be allowed to gather “evidence”.

Israels refusal to allow the media or anyone else into Gaza is a sign of guilt.

The more times they  refuse, the “guiltier”,  they obviously are.

They are trying to hide their crimes.

They are covering up “evidence” with Bulldozers even.

They have lied.

They have mislead their own Citizens.

They have attempted to mislead the world.

Apologizing for destroying UN building or hospitals doesn’t cut it.

Apologizing for killing innocent civilians doesn’t cut it either.

Rates right up there with the wife beater: saying he is sorry to the woman, he just pounded the crap out of.  “Oh honey I am so sorry”. Cry, whimper and big pretend, tears of sorrow. “I will never do it again”.

Well anyone with any knowledge of spousal abuse knows, how it goes.

After 10 or 20 beating, still comes the “I am sorry BS”.

“Israel is so sorry”. “B.S.” are we actually, all suppose to  fall for that crap?

So what Israel is saying in essence is:

If I kill my next door neighbour, my saying “I am sorry”  would be sufficient enough to allow me to “walk free” with  weapons in hand. Wouldn’t it?

Of course:

In the eyes of the Police, the Courts or the rest of the public at large,  “Not flippin likely”.

Israel is not to be trusted at this point in time.

It is in the best interest of everyone on the planet, that these weapons are kept out of the hands of Israel. Preventing them from building more in their own country is also essential.

Prevention, as I said before paramount.

If the UN body or other International bodies fail to see this or do nothing then I can only assume they are corrupt.

They can and should be stopped.

Who wants another world war?

I don’t, do you?

The Israeli Government: is not Sorry.

They are in fact very proud,  about what they have done.

If Saddam can be prosecuted,  so can any leader, any where in the world. No exceptions. Commit a war crime go to trial. What goes for one leader goes for all leaders.  Elected or not. Makes no difference.

A criminal is a criminal.

Mass murder is a crime.

You have become a very dangerous, untrustworthy, leadership. Not only to the rest of the world, but also you endanger your own people.

You are more Dangerous then Saddam. He after all really didn’t have any weapons of mass destruction now did he?

We know for a fact the Israeli Government has  “Weapons of Mass Destruction”

We know  for a fact the  Israeli Government, would use them on innocent civilians.

The State of Israel: Since its Creation

Well to those in the Israeli Government:

“I am so sorry,  but I don’t trust you and I don’t believe you”.

“You like anyone, who has betrayed my trust,  now have to prove to me, beyond a shadow of a doubt, you can be trusted.  Sorry isn’t good enough”.

What you say and what you do are two very different animals.

Ban Ki-moon should not trust you either. No one should. You are treating the UN, the same as an abusive woman beater, treats his wife.

You have given me the “Yah Yah syndrome” just like George W. Bush did.

yah yah???????????????????????????????????????????

I had tons of clues before,  you were a rogue state . Now I have “3000 more tons” of clues headed your way.

“Bunker Busters” are Nuclear bombs.  Just a different type,  so to speak, but a Nuclear bomb all the same.

700 Israelis arrested for protesting against war

79 % of the time: Israel caused conflicts not Hamas

Gaza (6) A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

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

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

Any casualties in Gaza Resemble those from the Iraq War.

I wonder. US Dropped Nuke on Iraq

Or Images of War Afgahanistan and Iraq

700 Israelis arrested for protesting against war

‘Israel is acting like a state terrorist’

January 13 2009
In eight years: twenty Israelis died from Gaza rockets, 4,000 Israelis died from car accidents.
PACIFICA

About 700 Israelis have been arrested for protesting against the war on Gaza since the beginning of the deadly offensive, said Neve Gordon, chair of the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel on Monday.

“700 Israelis have been arrested since this war began, because they protested this war. This has not made it to an international media, and it’s an act of intimidation by the state against those who protest the war,” Gordon told Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!.

On the number of Israeli deaths, Gordon said: “between ten and twenty people, Israelis, have died from rockets in the eight years that rockets have been launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel. During the same amount of time, 4,000 Israelis have died from car accidents.”
But Israel still used that as an excuse to bomb Gaza.

“From these twenty people, we’re allowed to enter into the Gaza Strip and bomb them from the air into their cage and kill 275 children,” said Gordon, who is also the author of the book Israel’s Occupation.

Gordon criticized Israel’s continuous violations of international law.

“Disproportionality is a term from international law. Israel has been defying international law and international agreements and international decisions from 1967, or probably from before.

One of these decisions is that Israel must return these (Palestinian) territories. And by maintaining and holding onto these territories through violent means,” said Gordon.

Although Gordon opposes Gaza rocket fire, he explained that the Palestinians are trying to defend themselves.

“The right to self-defense is a right to self-defense from violence. We have to understand that the occupation itself is violence. It’s an act of violence.

Putting people in a prison, in a prison of one million and a half million people and keeping them there for years on end without basic foodstuff, without allowing them to enter and exit when they will, is an act of violence.

Without electricity, without clean water, it’s all an act of violence. And these people are resisting. I am against the way they’re resisting, but we have to look at their violence versus our violence,” said Gordon.

“Gaza is still under occupation, because Israel controls all of its borders, and the West Bank is under occupation, and East Jerusalem is under occupation. And the act—the first, the initial, the primordial act of violence is the occupation.

The rockets are a reaction to that act of violence. And so, we have to keep in mind that within—it’s not between a state and another state. It’s been between an occupier and an occupied,” he noted.

On the media war, Gordon noted: “Israel is dealing with a propaganda war. Israel is the one that disseminated a video of Hamas shooting rockets from a school, a video that’s almost two years old, claiming that the video was taken a day or two earlier. So Israel is in a propaganda war.”

Gordon noted that “although Hamas did launch an incredible amount of rockets at the end of the ceasefire,” it was Israel which broke the ceasefire on November 4th “when it attacked in the Gaza Strip.”

“Israel actually is a first actor that broke the ceasefire,” noted Gordon.

Gordon also accused Israel of committing acts of terrorism.

“Yes, the Hamas is fighting out from a civilian population, but Israel has the choice whether it’s going to bomb the civilian population or not, and it is intentionally deciding to bomb the civilian population.

So in terms of intentionality in bombing areas where there are civilians, Israel is acting like a state terrorist.

So, if your definition of terrorism doesn’t take into account the identity of the actor—and state actors can also be terrorists—then when you bomb a school and when you bomb a university and when you bomb a neighborhood and you’re killing much more civilians than militants, then you’re doing something that is an act of terror,” he explained.

Gordon cited two reasons behind Israel’s offensive against Gaza.

“I think the actual reasons have to do—the two major reasons—with rebuilding the reputation of the Israeli military after its humiliation in 2006 in Lebanon and the upcoming Israeli elections.”

But the Israeli author believes that there is a way to solve the conflict.

“Hamas is the elected government of the Palestinian people. We don’t need to like them. I don’t like them. But they are the elected government, and we need to sit down and talk with them and not bomb them,” he noted.

“We have to come out and say we are willing to talk with our enemies, even with people that say that they do not believe in the existence of Israel.

The PLO said that they do not believe in the existence of Israel for many years. And ultimately, we sat down and talked with them, and they are now considered our Palestinian partner. I believe that if there is a pragmatic side, a strong pragmatic wing in Hamas, that if we start negotiation with them, over the years these people will also agree to the existence of Israel and be willing to live side by side with us,” he added.

“If we do not talk with them, if we continue this cycle of violence, ultimately Israel will be destroyed, because ultimately, the technological edge that we have over our neighbors will not be meaningful. So we have to change our approach.

We have to be pro—by changing our approach, we’re actually pro-Israeli. We say we want to see Israel a hundred years from now. And the only way we’ll see Israel exist a hundred years from now is if Israel makes peace with Syria, with Lebanon and with the Palestinian people,” Gordon explained.

Source

The should really get the roads cleaned up in Israel, they are more dangerous then Hamas.

Israel Bars Arab Parties From Election

Left Claims Ban is ‘Patriotic’

By Jonathan Cook in Nazareth

January 16, 2009

The only three Arab parties represented in the Israeli parliament vowed yesterday to fight a decision by the Central Elections Committee to bar them from running in next month’s general election.

In an unprecedented move signalling a further breakdown in Jewish-Arab relations inside Israel, all the main Jewish parties voted on Monday for the blanket disqualification. Several committee members equated the Arab parties’ vocal support for the Gazan people with support for terrorism.

The decision follows the arrest of at least 600 Arab demonstrators since the outbreak of the Gaza offensive and the interrogation by the secret police of dozens of Arab community leaders. The three parties — the National Democratic Assembly, the United Arab List and the Renewal Movement — have seven legislators out of a total of 120 in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset.

The elections committee barred all three from putting up candidates for the Feb 10 election on the grounds that they had violated a 2002 law by refusing to recognise Israel as a Jewish state and by supporting a terrorist organisation.

Ahmed Tibi, the leader of Renewal, denounced the decision as “a political trial led by a group of fascists and racists who are willing to see the Knesset without Arabs and want to see the country without Arabs”.

A petition against the disqualification will be heard by a panel of Supreme Court justices this week.

Hassan Jabareen, the director of the Adalah legal rights group, which represents the Arab parties, noted that the disqualification motion had been introduced by far right-wing parties.

Such parties include Yisrael Beiteinu, which campaigns for the country’s 1.2 million-strong Arab minority to be stripped of citizenship.

“It is absurd that the committee is backing a motion from racist parties in the Knesset to exclude the Arab parties whose platform is that Israel must be made into a proper democracy treating all its citizens equally.”

The elections committee is composed of representatives from all the major parties. Although it has voted for disqualification of Arab candidates before, it is the first time both that the left-wing Labor Party has backed such a motion and that all the Arab parties have been included in the ban.

Mr Jabareen accused the right-wing parties of exploiting the war atmosphere. Labor’s secretary general, Eitan Cabel, called his party’s conduct in voting for the disqualification “patriotic”.

All the Arab parties have harshly criticised the attack on Gaza. This week Mr Tibi described Israeli actions as “genocide”, while Ibrahim Sarsour, of the United Arab List, said Israel was seeking to “eliminate the Palestinian cause”.

In the past, Arab Knesset members have also upset their Jewish colleagues by travelling to neighbouring Arab states, defying a change in the law to prevent such visits.

Following the vote on the ban, Avigdor Lieberman, leader of Yisrael Beiteinu, suggested his party had additional goals: “The next battle is making [the National Democratic Assembly] illegal because it is a terrorist organisation whose objective is harming the state of Israel.”

Mr Lieberman and other legislators have been hounding the NDA for years, chiefly because it is led by Azmi Bishara, an outspoken proponent of equal rights for Arab citizens. Israeli secret police forced Mr Bishara into exile two years ago, accusing him of treason after the 2006 Lebanon war.

During the 2003 election, when the committee barred the NDA and Mr Tibi from running, the decision was overturned by a majority of the Supreme Court. But few of the justices from that hearing are still on the bench.

“There are reasons to be fearful,” Mr Jabareen said. “The Supreme Court is also susceptible to the current war atmosphere and its authority has been greatly eroded over the past year. It has been forced on to the defensive over claims from the Right that its decisions support the Left.”

If the ban is upheld, some Arab representation in the Knesset is likely to continue. The joint Arab and Jewish Communist Party is allowed to stand, and the three major Jewish parties include one or two Arab candidates on their lists, though not always in electable positions.

Meanwhile, Israeli police admitted they arrested about 600 people involved in protests against the Gaza offensive, some of them for stone-throwing. Adalah lawyers said more than 200 people, most of them Arab, were still in jail.

“We’re talking about mass arrests,” said Abeer Baker, adding that Israel was exploiting a 30-day window before an indictment had to be filed to hold suspects without producing evidence.

In addition, the Shin Bet, Israel’s secretive domestic security service, has called in dozens of Arab leaders for interrogation. Ameer Makhoul, head of the Ittijah organisation, which promotes Arab causes in Israel, was detained last week. He said a security official who interrogated him threatened to jail him over demonstrations he helped to organise in support of Gaza.

“The officer called me a rebel threatening the security of the state during time of war and said he would be happy to transfer me to Gaza,” Mr Makhoul said.

Haaretz, a leftist Israeli daily newspaper, has called the interrogations “intimidation tactics to prevent legitimate protest”.

Source

They also arrest you and put you in jail,  if you refuse to fight in their army.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

UN Document Series Symbol: ST/HR/

UN Issuing Body: Secretariat Centre for Human Rights

United Nations

Adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 217 A(III) of 10 Dec.1948.

PREAMBLE

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in cooperation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, therefore,

The General Assembly,

Proclaims this Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Article 1

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6

Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7

All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8

Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11

1. Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

2. No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State.

2. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 14

1. Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.

2. This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 15

1. Everyone has the right to a nationality.

2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 16

1. Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.

2. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.

3. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17

1. Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.

2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

2. No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21

1. Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.

2. Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country.

3. The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 22

Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23

1. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.

2. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.

3. Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.

4. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24

Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25

1. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

2. Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26

1. Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.

2. Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

3. Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27

1. Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.

2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28

Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29

1. Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.

2. In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.

3. These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30

Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

Israel Navy ships turn back “Spirit of Humanity” carrying Gaza humanitarian aid

A group barricades itself in Turkish ruling party office to protest Gaza

President of the United Nations General Assembly: Israel violating International Law

79 % of the time: Israel caused conflicts not Hamas

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

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

Published in: on January 17, 2009 at 3:10 am  Comments Off on 700 Israelis arrested for protesting against war  
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Shoot Then Ask, Israeli Soldiers Told

As of January 15 2009

Official: over 1,010 Palestinians were killed and over 4,600 others wounded since Israel launched on Gaza.
Official: Among the dead Palestinians, 225 are children and 69 are women.
Hamas announced it has accepted an Egyptian-brokered initiative to reach a ceasefire with Israel.

Shoot Then Ask, Israeli Soldiers Told

January 14 20009

Israeli occupation forces returning for a break from the fighting in the Gaza Strip are revealing ruthless tactics they are being ordered to follow.

“We are treating everything as hostile right now,” Alon, an army lieutenant, told the Times on Wednesday, 14 January.

When his unit ventures into any alleyway in the densely-populated Jabalya refugee camp in northern Gaza, they opened fire without hesitation.

“We were told not to take chances — to shoot rather than ask questions,” says Alon, citing his orders.

Since the start of Israel’s onslaught, over 1,013 people, nearly half of them civilians, have been killed in countless aerial bombardments and 10 days of heavy fighting.

No less than 315 children and 100 women are among the dead, according to Gaza medics.

Around 4,700 people have been wounded, hundreds critically, in Israel’s largest-ever offensive in the heavily-populated coastal territory.

With the borders sealed, there was no place of safety for civilians to flee the fighting, meaning they were forced to live in fear and terror.

Nine Israeli rights groups stressed Wednesday that the Gaza offensive has caused unprecedented suffering to civilian residents who are being subjected to “extreme humanitarian distress.”

“The level of harm to the civilian population is unprecedented,” they wrote in a joint open letter to Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

They accused the army of “making wanton use of lethal force which has to date caused the deaths of hundreds of uninvolved civilians.”

“This kind of fighting constitutes a blatant violation of the laws of warfare and raises the suspicion… of the commission of war crimes.”

Destruction

Lieutenant-Colonel Yehuda said it was standard practice for Israeli troops to enter buildings with bursts of shooting.

“In one case the building started burning but we managed to clear out our men in time.”

Even the Israeli soldiers are shocked by the scale of destruction they are leaving behind.

“It doesn’t look like we’ve been there a few weeks — it looks destroyed, demolished, like we were bombing it for years,” said Alon.

“You can’t imagine what damage we have done.”

Hundreds of homes, government buildings, schools, hospitals and mosques have been razed to the ground in air, sea and ground attacks.

“I’m not a newcomer in the army. Both my brothers served in combat units that saw action in Gaza,” Alon told the Times.

“And I can say that this is the most aggressive line that we have ever taken towards fighting the Palestinians.

“As you say in English, the gloves were off.”

White Phosphorus

Israeli soldiers confirmed what their army is vehemently denying; using white phosphor shells in bombing Gaza targets.

“We’ve been using it responsibly…it’s been around the whole time,” one soldier told the Times.

The Israeli army on Monday insisted all weapons being used in its Gaza war were within the bounds of international law.

Medics in Gaza say they have treated more than 50 people suffering burns caused by controversial white phosphorus shells, a toxic chemical agent which burns away human flesh to the bone.

Early this week, Human Rights Watch accused Israel of using white-phosphorus in bombing the densely-populated Gaza Strip.

Under international law, white phosphorus is banned for use against civilians, but is permitted if used for creating a smokescreen.

Two Norwegians who returned from Gaza on Monday, January 12, also accused Israel of using Gaza as a testing ground for a new extremely nasty type of explosive.

They had seen clear signs, including very brutal amputations without shrapnel injuries, that DIME explosives, a new experimental kind of weapon, were being used in Gaza.

The Massacre in Gaza: Check the Facts

By Max Kantar
January 14 2009

Israel’s operative military policy in the Gaza Strip has been fairly consistent with its stated definition of what it considers to be legitimate military targets, which in practice has amounted to mass killings of innocent Palestinian civilians.

Based on the overwhelming evidence available, one conclusion can be drawn regarding the nature of the US-backed Israeli attacks on Gaza: a genuine massacre of ordinary, unarmed people has been taking place for over two weeks.

Here is just a small part of the documentary evidence to prove it.

Targeting Civilian Police Stations and Officers

In the opening days of Israel’s aerial bombardment of the Gaza Strip, its main targets were police stations and officers. For civilian police officers to be considered legitimate military targets, they must be directly engaged in hostilities, in this case, towards Israel. No evidence has been presented by Israel, or anyone else, that even reasonably suggests that the police officers in Gaza fall into this category. Therefore, the police officers that were targeted and murdered by Israel were clearly civilians: not lawful military targets.

“The First Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions establishes two conditions that must be met for an object to be considered a legitimate military target: it must effectively contribute to military action and its total destruction or partial neutralization offers a clear military advantage.” — B’tselem, Dec. 31, 2008

“Police were not combatants and could not represent legitimate targets unless actively engaged in hostilities…it was Israel’s burden of proof to show [that] the police they targeted were, indeed, Hamas militants.” — Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch (Middle East & North Africa Division), January 7, 2009

“Police members who do not take part in any hostilities are not considered legitimate military targets under international humanitarian law and must not be deliberately targeted.” — Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, December 28, 2008.

“Police stations, police officers and law enforcement officials are classified under the international law as civilians, and targeting them as such while they were not engaged in military action constitutes a violation of the international law.” — Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, December 27, 2008.

“[The Israeli Air Force] bombed the main police building in Gaza and killed, according to reports, forty-two Palestinians who were in a training course and were standing in formation at the time of the bombing. Participants in the course study first-aid, handling of public disturbances, human rights, public-safety exercises, and so forth.” — B’tselem, December 31, 2008.

“[During the week of December 24-31, 2008] 165 civil police officers were killed on the first day of the IOF offensive, when they were not engaged in any hostilities.” — The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, December 31, 2008 .

Targeting Civilians and Civilian Objects

Every relevant human rights group and international body has documented and denounced Israel’s military practice of “targeting civilians” and “civilian objects” in the Gaza Strip. As a result, human rights groups and medical officials in Gaza have reported that the vast majority of the (currently) 900 Palestinian causalities have been unarmed civilians.

The IDF, by its own admission, is unilaterally redefining who is a “civilian” and what is a “legitimate military target” to suit Israel’s political aims. While justifying Israeli attacks on civil and public institutions in Gaza, the IDF has claimed that “anything affiliated with Hamas is a legitimate target,” thereby opening up nearly everyone and everything for Israeli attacks. This new doctrine flatly contradicts international law which states that:

“All parties engaged in combat must distinguish between civilian objects and military targets, and are forbidden to intentionally attack civilians and civilian objects.”

To further comprehend Israel’s definitions of “legitimate targets,” it is instructive to apply the same standards to Hamas, which would then give Hamas a green light to bomb public Israeli synagogues, Jewish elementary schools, the Knesset, hospitals, homes, and so forth.

Furthermore, while it is certain that the IDF “targets civilians,” it is of no legal value for Israel to claim that, in the midst of attacking a military target, innocent civilians were not intended to be killed. According to the ruling of The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia:

“Attacks which strike civilians or civilian objects and military objectives without distinction, may qualify as direct attacks against civilians…This prohibition reflects a well-established rule of customary law applicable in all armed conflicts.”

Whether Israel is specifically targeting innocent civilians or not, if its attacks result in “indiscriminate” killing of civilians, then Israel’s attacks qualify as “direct attacks against civilians,” if we accept the ruling of the highest criminal court in the world.

“[Israel’s] air strikes were aimed at civilian areas in one of the most crowded stretches of land in the world, certainly the most densely populated area of the Middle East.” — UN Human Rights Representative, Professor Richard Falk, December 27, 2008 .

“Since the beginning of the military operation in the Gaza Strip, on 27 December 2008, the army has bombed dozens of houses, public buildings, and other structures throughout the Gaza Strip…[An] example [of IDF civilian targeting] is yesterday’s bombing of the government offices. These offices included the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Labor, Construction and Housing.” — B’tselem, December 31, 2009.

“Investigations conducted by the [Palestinian Centre for Human Rights] indicate that [the IDF] have continued to bombard Palestinian houses and civilian facilities persistently day and night, while the Palestinian civilian population suffer a humanitarian crisis as they lack electricity, water and food supplies….The high number of civilian victims and the extensive destruction to public and private property are clear evidence that [the IDF], instructed by the Israeli political and military establishments, intend to cause maximum deaths and casualties among Palestinian civilians and maximum destruction to their property.” — The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, January 10, 2009 .

“After 12 days of “combat,” the Israeli Defense Forces reported that more than 1,000 targets were shelled or bombed…Seventeen mosques, the American International School, many private homes and much of the basic infrastructure of the small but heavily populated area have been destroyed. This includes the systems that provide water, electricity and sanitation. Heavy civilian casualties are being reported by courageous medical volunteers from many nations…” — Jimmy Carter, January 8, 2009.

“There has been extensive destruction and many deaths reported in the Zeitun neighbourhood, south of Gaza city by IDF attacks…In one of the gravest incidents since the beginning of operations…on 4 January Israeli foot-soldiers evacuated approximately 110 Palestinians into a single-residence house in Zeitun (half of whom were children), warning them to stay indoors. Twenty-four hours later, Israeli forces shelled the home repeatedly, killing approximately thirty. 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.” — UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, January 8, 2009.

“Israel has directly targeted and completely or partially destroyed 13 mosques, two schools, one university, numerous government buildings, including different ministries and 40 civil police compounds, a medical storage centre, three money exchange facilities and three chicken farms, all of which Israel alleges were used by Hamas for military purposes. Israel’s air strikes and ground incursions have to date resulted in the total destruction of at least 300 houses and damage to 3,800 more.” — Al Haq, January 7, 2009.

“A characteristic example of an attack on a civilian object is the 6 January 2009 aerial bombardment on the Asma’ Bint Baker school, a facility of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA). Four days prior to the attack, UNRWA officials provided GPS coordinates to Israeli authorities of 23 UNRWA installations that were to be used as shelters for fleeing civilians. The location of the Asma’ Bint Baker School was one of the 23 coordinates provided. Three civilians were killed in the attack on the school.” — Al Haq, January 7, 2009.

“In the deadliest single attack on Gaza civilians since the war began, Israel fired three mortar shells at the United Nations’ al-Fahoura school in the Jabalya refugee camp. The school was filled with civilians who had been forced from their homes by the Israeli invasion, and the attack killed at least 46. The United Nations reports that at least 55 other civilians were wounded in the attack.

“The United Nations says the building was clearly marked with UN flags and that they were in contact with the Israeli military when the war began to inform them of the location of the school precisely to prevent it being targeted.

“Indeed, the Israeli military does not seem to deny that they deliberately targeted a building they knew to be filled with hundreds of innocent Palestinian civilians. Instead they claim that Hamas militants were using the school as a base of operations.” –Antiwar.com, January 6, 2009 [16]

“Just a little bit more than an hour ago, the Israelis bombed the central food 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.”

“It’s like hell here now and it’s been bombing all night…there are injuries that you just don’t want to see in this world…the only crime they have done is been civilians — Palestinians living in Gaza. The relief now is not more doctors and more drugs; the relief now is to stop the bombing immediately…I’ve seen one military person among…the hundreds we have seen and treated…This is an all out war against the civilian Palestinian population in Gaza and we can prove that with the numbers.” — Mads Gilbert, January 5, 2009.

“Police stations located in densely populated neighborhoods were attacked, destroying them and causing severe damage to tens of schools and homes and killing dozens of civilians, including children and old people.

“Air strikes have continued through the night, targeting houses and other civilian premises, including water-wells, workshops, mosques and communications facilities. A guard of a water well and three employees of the Palestinian Telecommunications Company were killed in North Gaza. Another two men were killed in a strike that targeted the al-Borno Mosque near al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. The hospital was damaged in the same strike. Moreover, IOF targeted prisons, including Gaza’s main prison facility of al-Saraya at noon today. Initial reports indicate that many policemen and prisoners were killed and injured in this attack.

“Additionally, dozens of homes were destroyed, along with tens of UNRWA and government schools and clinics. Local government offices and private vehicles were also destroyed. Al Mezan’s initial monitoring indicates that…of those [people that have been killed by Israel’s strikes] the vast majority are non-combatants and civilians; including 20 children, nine women and 60 civilians. The majority of the rest of the casualties are members of the civilian police who were inside their stations or undertaking training.” –Al Mezan Center for Human Rights Press Release, December 28, 2008 .

Dead and Injured Civilians: Numbers and Percentages

Within the first four days of the Israeli onslaught the UN placed the Palestinian civilian casualty rate at 25% while noting that “the number may well be far higher.”  This number cannot be taken very seriously because it admittedly did not include adult male civilian casualties. Now three weeks into the massacre, the UN has reported that at least 33% of Gaza’s dead and wounded are children alone, hence drastically abandoning its earlier estimates.

As noted below, UN officials have recently noted that at least half of those killed by the IDF in Gaza are civilians, although it appears that this estimate still does not include 165 civilian police officers, which would’ve, as of January 9, placed the civilian casualty rate at about 72%.

Furthermore, countless testimonies, medical reports, and human rights documentary reports coming out of Gaza continue to show that the large majority of the dead and wounded have been Palestinian civilians. The documentary sources that show civilian casualty rates hovering around 70-80% differ from those claiming around 50% largely because of the failure to classify civil police officers as civilians in the latter sources. Additional disparities may also potentially be explained by less precise documenting of adult male civilian causalities.

“Gaza medical officials say at least 870 Palestinians, about half of them civilians, have been killed in the conflict that began Dec. 27 with Israeli airstrikes…Palestinian medical officials reported about 60 deaths on Sunday [January 11], including 17 who had died of wounds suffered on previous days. Most of those killed Sunday were noncombatants, medical officials said, including four members of one family killed when a tank shell hit their home near Gaza City, and a 10-year-old girl killed in a similar attack.” — MSNBC, January 11, 2009.

“As night fell on Gaza on Saturday, the Israeli Army continued its illegal offensive for the fifteenth day, killing 854 Palestinians, including 230 children, 93 women, 92 elderly, 14 medics and three journalists. At least 3,681 Palestinians, 50% of them children and women, have been wounded, 500 seriously, Dr. Moawiya Hassanen of the Palestinian Ministry of Health reported.” — International Middle East Media Center, January 10, 2009. (Note that the “50%” number does not include adult male civilians) .

“As of Thursday, 257 children were among the approximately 760 reported dead in Gaza. There were another 1,080 children among the 3,100 injured in the conflict, according to statistics from Gaza’s health ministry. The U.N.’s top humanitarian official, John Holmes, described the numbers as “credible” and deeply disturbing. U.N officials say about half of the casualties were civilians.” — San Francisco Chronicle, January 9, 2009.

“Israel[‘s] “Operation Cast Lead,” a large-scale aerial offensive in the Gaza Strip [has] been followed by Israeli ground troops, which invaded the Gaza Strip on the night of 3 January 2009. To date, these attacks have resulted in the death of at least 729 Palestinians, 603 of whom were civilians, including 173 children, and the further wounding of over 3,200 more.”

–Joint Open Letter to the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, signed by 19 “local, regional and international human rights organizations concerned with respect for international humanitarian law.” According to the casualty numbers provided in the letter, which was endorsed and accepted by all 19 human rights organizations, the percentage of those in Gaza who were killed by Israel that were civilians is 83% as of January 9, 2009.

“Since the Israeli military operation “Cast lead” began on 27 December until 8 January (4:00PM), 758 Palestinians have been killed—approximately 42% of whom were women (60) and children (257) according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. The number of children fatalities has increased by 250% since the beginning of ground operation on 3 January.” — UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, January 8, 2009 .

“Within eleven days, Israeli occupying forces have killed at least 671 Palestinians, 547 of whom were civilians, including 155 children, and injured at least 3,000.” — Al Haq, Human Rights Organization, January 7, 2009. Note that according to these calculations, civilians make up nearly 82% of Palestinians killed by Israel, as of January 7th.

“Palestinian health ministry officials say 595 people have been killed since the attacks began, 195 of them children.” (over 33%) — BBC, January 6, 2009.

“In one of its bloodiest military operations, the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) initiated a wide-scale air strike operation against the Gaza Strip. More than 900 people have been killed and injured, most of whom are non-combatants. The number of casualties…because of the timing of the strike [coincides] with the change in school shifts when tens of thousands of schoolchildren were on their way to or from school.” –Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Press Release, December 28, 2008.

Source

Considering Israel broke the Ceasefire November the 4th 2008, they have a lot to answer for.

They have even bombed a Cemetery, as noted in Gaza 6 photos.

Gaza (6) A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

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

US delivering more “Weapons of Mass Destruction” to Israel

79 % of the time: Israel caused conflicts not Hamas

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

Gaza (1): A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

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

Can’t say I blame them. Those lovely weapons Israel is using could used on them any time Israel comes up with some feeble excuse.

They will also reap the Toxic Chemicals, DU etc being dropped on Gaza. Of course they want it stopped who wants their populations reaping the a plague of Cancer, and numerous other illness cause from the pollution,  because of a warmongering lunatics.

UK firm blasted for arming Israeli military

US delivering more “Weapons of Mass Destruction” to Israel

79 % of the time: Israel caused conflicts not Hamas

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

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

Gaza (1): A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

Jan 7: Lebanese children demonstrate for Gaza Children

January 7 2009

BEIRUT

Thousands of Lebanese children gathered Tuesday in front of the UN building in downtown Beirut to denounce the Israeli aggressions against the children of Gaza, Lebanese New TV reported.

Aged less than 13 years, the children gathered in front of the headquarters of the United Nations Economic and social commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) holding pictures of children killed during the Israeli attacks on Gaza which started on Dec. 27.

The children delivered a letter addressed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urging him to find a solution to the bloodshed and the killing of children in Gaza.

Demonstrations have been carried out in most Lebanese areas on daily bases, two demonstrations were violent in front of the American embassy in Awkar East of Beirut, and in front of the Egyptian embassy in West Beirut.

Moreover, sit-in demonstrators in front of ESCWA building have been staged since the Israeli operation on Gaza started.

Israel launched airstrikes in the Gaza Strip on Dec. 27 and ground operation on Jan. 3 in retaliation of Hamas militants’ rocket attacks into Israel. At least 590 Palestinians have been killed and in the attack, some 200 children and 60 women were among the death toll.

Source

Jan 7: Israel’s Gaza invasion provokes protests throughout Latin America

Jan 7 : India- Protest in New Delhi over Israel raids

Jan 7: Australian Jews protest against Israel’s action

Jan 7: Canadian Jewish women protesting against Gaza War, Arrested after occupying the Israeli Consulate

An Open Letter From Jewish Youth in Canada – Support of Gaza0 all Jewish youth can sign

Actions we can take to help Palestinians in Gaza -Petitions

Egypt floats truce plan after 42 killed in Gaza School and Bars Doctors from Gaza

Gaza (3): A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Gaza (2): A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Gaza (1): A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Israel strike kills up to 60 members of one family

Israel rains fire on Gaza with phosphorus Shells/Targets UN School

Gaza hospital overwhelmed by dead and wounded

Foreign Press still banned from Gaza/Israel attacks Media Building in Gaza City

Gaza wounded die waiting for ambulances

War on Gaza – Timeline: June 19 2008 to January 3 2009

Published in: on January 8, 2009 at 7:25 am  Comments Off on Jan 7: Lebanese children demonstrate for Gaza Children  
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War on Gaza – Timeline: June 19 2008 to January 3 2009++

The following is a timeline of events leading to the ongoing violence in the Gaza Strip that began on December 27 with Israel’s aerial bombardment of Hamas-linked compounds in the coastal sliver:

January 5 2009

2008

June 19: An Egyptian mediated ceasefire begins between Hamas and Israel. The Palestinian movement agrees to stop firing rockets as Israel accepts to gradually ease its embargo on the Gaza Strip.

July 27: Israel kills Shihab al-Natsheh, a senior Hamas fighter, in his house in the West Bank city of al-Khalil.

August 2: Three Hamas police officers and six pro-Fatah gunmen are killed in factional fighting in the Gaza Strip, the worst of such since June 2007.

October 8: Israel prevents Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) from entering the embattled Gaza Strip.

November 4 Israel killed six Hamas members without provocation

November 5: Israel raids houses in the Hamas-controlled region and arrests seven Palestinians.

Israel attacks areas inside Gaza, killing at least six Palestinians. Ghassan el-Taramse, a nineteen-year-old Palestinian activist, is killed in an Israeli air raid in the northern parts of the coastal sliver.

Palestinians fire several dozen rockets and mortar shells at western Negev in Israel in retaliation. No casualties or property damage is caused, but three women are treated for shock.

November 8: Israel violates the ongoing truce as its tanks and bulldozers cross the southern border of the Gaza Strip.

November 14: Hamas fires a barrage of homemade rockets at the city of Ashkelon. Four rockets are also fired into western Negev after Israeli air strikes wounded two people in Gaza.

November 15: Israeli air strike kills two Palestinians in the town of Beit Hanoun in Gaza.

November 18: Israeli tanks backed by a bulldozer and a military jeep roll half a kilometer into Gaza. The Israeli army claims the incursion is “a routine operation to uncover explosive devices near the border fence in the southern Gaza Strip.”

November 20: An Israeli tank fires shells, killing a Palestinian fighter east of Gaza City.

November 23: The Israeli army wounds two Palestinian residents while shelling homes in various cities in the strip.

November 28: Israeli forces backed by tanks enter the southern parts of the coastal region and kill two Palestinians.

November 29: Projectiles fired from the Gaza Strip wound eight Israeli soldiers in an army base in the town of Nahal Uz.

December 02: The Israeli army launches air strikes into southern Gaza and kills at least two civilians and wounding four others.

December 17: Five Qassam rockets fired from the Gaza Strip injure two Israelis in the southern town of Sderot.

December 18: A Palestinian man is killed in Jabaliya as Israeli aircraft target metal workshops in the towns of Jabaliya and Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli military claims the targets are used to manufacture rockets.

December 19: The six-month truce officially ends.

December 20: Israeli launches air strikes on the northern Gazan town of Beit Lahiya, killing one Palestinian and wounding two others.

December 21: Palestinian fighters fire rockets into Sderot and Negev and one Israeli is wounded.

December 22: A twenty-four hour truce is declared between Israel and armed Palestinian factions at the request of Egyptian mediators.

December 23: The twenty-four hour truce expires.

Clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian resistance fighters leave three members of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades dead along the border fence in northern Gaza.

Six Qassam rockets are fired into western Negev. The rocket attacks do not hit any targets in Israel.

December 24: Gaza fighters fire two dozen mortar shells at three different targets inside Israel.

An Israeli air raid kills a Palestinian and wounds two others in southern Gaza.

December 27: Israeli F16 bombers and apache helicopters carry out at least 30 simultaneous raids on various targets across the Gaza strip. The operation kills at least 230 and wounds hundreds of Palestinians.

Hamas responds with rocket fire from Gaza and kills one Israeli in the southern town of Netivot.

December 28: Israel begins a fresh wave of air strikes. Israel deploys tanks and troops along the Gaza border. Tunnels in and out of Gaza are bombed.

A Hamas missile strikes near the largest city in the south of the occupied lands, the deepest reach into Israel to the date.

Global protests against the Israeli attacks begin.

Palestinian death toll rises to 296; 900 are injured.

December 29: The third day of attacks on the strip brings the death toll to 340. At least 1,400 Palestinians are wounded.

Muslim world announces day of mourning.

Two more Israelis are killed and one is injured.

December 30: Israeli air operations continue as Tel Aviv declares the area around Gaza a ‘closed military zone’.

Israeli floats the idea that a ground invasion of Gaza is imminent.

Palestinian casualties rise to 360 dead and 1,500 injured.

December 31: Israel continues tunnel attacks and civilian casualties increase.

Hamas says Gaza will be victorious.

The UN and Arab League find no solution to end the crisis.

Palestinian death toll rises to 400 with 1,600 injured.

January 1: Israeli bombardments continue; first senior Hamas official dies in air attacks.

Israel denies a 48-hour request for humanitarian aid to enter Gaza by rejecting an EU truce.

Hamas calls for Palestinian protests; it rockets hit several positions.

417 Palestinians and 6 Israelis dead.

January 2: Curfew imposed on West Bank and foreigners are told to leave Gaza.

Top Israeli ministers discuss ground invasion into the Gaza Strip. The United Nations condemns Israel and describes situation in Gaza as “appalling”.

Kadima, Israel’s ruling party, losses ground in polls ahead of elections.

Death toll continues to rise.

January 3: A senior leader of the armed wing of the Palestinian Hamas is killed in Israeli air strikes in Gaza.

Hamas warns Israel not to “commit the stupidity” of taking its offensive to the next level. The group says its fighters have foiled an attempt by Israeli ground forces to cross the border into the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli cabinet approves a military ground incursion in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli warplanes bomb a bridge linking Gaza City to the rest of the coastal slither.

Hamas fires eight rockets into Israel, seven into the Western Negev and one into the Eshkol region.

Israeli warplanes raid several targets in Gaza and kill four people.

A Hamas rocket hits a four-story building in Ashdod — Israel’s second largest port – and lightly wounds four people.

An Israeli air raid on a mosque in the Gaza Strip kills at least 16 Palestinians.

Israeli tanks begin shelling areas inside the strip, causing a large explosion in Gaza City as well as a series of blasts stitching the nearby frontier with Israel.

Israeli tanks roll into Gaza.

A Palestinian rocket destroys a house in the Israeli city of Netivot.

Israel bans a “Red Cross medical team” from entering Gaza to treat injured residents.

Hamas says that nine Israeli soldiers have been killed and 25 wounded.

The United Nations Security Council calls for an emergency meeting.

January 4: United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calls for an immediate cessation of the Israeli ground invasion of the Gaza Strip.

Israeli warplanes bomb the coastal region, lighting up the sky hours before sunrise.

The United States blocks a UN Security Council bid to require an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli bombers hit the Hamas-run al-Aqsa radio station inside Gaza.

A Palestinian ambush allegedly kills five Israeli troops.

Hamas says its fighters have captured two Israeli soldiers during clashes with invading Israeli troops in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli forces surround the largest city in the Palestinian territories, Gaza City.

Clashes continue between Israeli troops and Hamas fighters in four spots in the north, around Gaza City, Beit Hanun, Beit Lahiya and Jabaliya.

Gaza resistance fighters fire ten more rockets into Israeli cities, two targeted at western Negev and three hit Sderot city.

Israeli bombers target heavily populated areas inside the Gaza Strip, killing five Palestinian civilians and wounding 40 others.

Medics inside Gaza confirm that they have found traces of “depleted uranium” in some Palestinians wounded in the Israeli ground offensive.

Israel kills two senior Hamas officials, Hussam Hamdan and Muhammad Hilo, in an air strike on Khan Yunis.

Palestinian fighters fire at least 40 Qassam and Grad rockets into southern Israel.

Israeli President Shimon Peres rejects the possibility of a ceasefire.

Palestinians target an Israeli helicopter and allegedly destroy seven Israeli tanks inside the strip.


Will the world do nothing to stop Genocide in Gaza?

Gaza: Al-Wafa Hospital received warning they would be shelled

Israel pounds Gaza strip, vows to continue attacks

Israeli tanks, soldiers invade Gaza Strip

Lucky few leave Gaza, Israel planned attacks six months ago

If Hamas Did Not Exist

Israel ‘rammed’ medical aid boat headed to Gaza

Leaders Lie, Civilians Die, Israelis-Palestinians

US Veto Blocks UN Anti-Israel Resolution

Israel ‘rammed’ medical aid boat headed to Gaza

Leaders Lie, Civilians Die, Israelis-Palestinians

US Veto Blocks UN Anti-Israel Resolution

Israel Used Internationally Banned Weaponry in Massive Airstrikes Across Gaza Strip

Iran preps humanitarian aid ship to Gaza Strip

Israeli teenagers jailed for refusing to serve in army

Israel’s ‘Crimes Against Humanity’

Gaza Families Eat Grass as Israel Blocks Food Aid

Israel blocks foreign media from Gaza

U.N.: Israel won’t allow food aid to enter Gaza

Jews protect Palestinians in harvest of hate

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

Actions we can take to help Palestinians in Gaza

Gaza: Al-Wafa Hospital received warning they would be shelled

January 5 2009

Gaza/Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israeli forces fired in the immediate vicinity of three hospitals in the Gaza Strip on Monday, witnesses and medical personnel told Ma’an.

The Al-Wafa Hospital eastern Gaza Strip received warning that they would be shelled, but the hosptial administration and staff refused to evacuate on account of the number of injured people being treated there. Some of the wounded have been injured so severely that they cannot be safely transferred.

At Ash-Shifa Hospital, the largest in the Gaza Strip, Israeli warplanes bombed the offices of the Health Committees, about 400 meters from Ash-Shifa hospital. Last week warplanes bombed the Ash-Shifa Mosque, which is part of the medical compound.

Israeli forces also shelled the parking lot of Al-Awda hospital in Jabaliya in northern Gaza.

Spanish human rights worker at the hospital Alberto Arce reported, “Two consecutive shells just landed in the busy car park 15 meters from the entrance to the emergency room of the Al Awda hospital. The entrance of the emrgency rooml was damaged. At the time of the shelling Ambulances were bringing in the wounded that keep pouring in. Medical teams and facilities are being targeted. Nowhere is safe.”

On Sunday, at least three paramedics were killed by two consecutive Israeli airstikes while they attempting to rescue the wounded from an earlier strike.

The international aid agency Oxfam has also reported that personnel working for its affiliates in Gaza have been killed, their ambulances coming under attack.

Source

Israel is targeting hopsitals. This is not about Hamas this is about killing innocent people,  murding those who are already injured and preventing people from being helped. Hospitals are not to be targeted during any war. This  war Israel has unleashed is baced on extermination not peace.

This has grim reminders of what the US did in Iraq. They too targeted hospitals. Two peas in a pod it seems. They use the same tactics.

Taking out hospitals and ambulances is not acceptable on any level.

This is just one more step in the Ethnic Clensing agenda.

Israel is Targeting

  • Police Stations
  • Mosques
  • Hospitals
  • Homes of Civilians
  • Schools
  • Water

To date these are just a few of the sites I have noted and none of the above are in any way destroyed to  protect Israelis. This is beyond ones imagination of cruelty.

It is also no accident these places are being targeted it is deliverate on part of the Isaeli Government.

They are stopping aid from entering Gaza.

  • Food
  • Medical Supplies

Israel is saying they let aid in but, what they have let in during the past week is certainly not enough, just a mere trickle of what is actually needed.

They waned people to get out of their homes because they were going to bomb them. Where exactly are they suppose to go? There is no where to go.

They are trapped in a death zone. They might as well be trapped  in a Gas Chamber. Depending on how much DU an other Toxic Chemicals that have been  dropped on Gaza or exposed to from the bombing of buildings, they may very well be in one. You just can’t see the Walls of the Chamber is all. Even with fires there are many Toxic Chemicals involved,  just from the building materials them selves. Ask any Fire Fighter in your neighbourhood what kind of dangers there are from  fires in a burning building.

Gaza is filled with Toxic Dangers, that have long term affects on people’s  health.

Israel is contaminating the water, the earth and the air in Gaza.

With war also comes numerous types of pollution.

Innocent children will die, long after this war is over, if any are left to die that is, because of the Toxic slop left behind, compliments of Israel. The History of  wars deem this to be true. I don’t even have to think about that. That is a well know fact.

The mental problems they will have to live with, are also paramount as well. War is a horrifying creature.

If one needs to kill something, “KILL WAR”!

If you think by chance this war isn’t affecting everyone around the world it is. No sooner did it start and the price of Gas/Oil is rising just as it did after the war in Iraq began.

This will of course affect the world in general. The price of everything will rise including your food. So be a complacent as you want but for all around the world this war will hurt you at the dinner table and in many other areas. This of course is great for the “Profiteers”. They profit and the rest of us lose. This could also bring on another wave of the “Financial Crisis” across the planet.

Not to worry the Governments will steal you hard earned tax dollars to pay for it all, the war included.  We all pay for wars, one way or the other.

Israel pounds Gaza strip, vows to continue attacks

Published in: on January 5, 2009 at 11:31 pm  Comments Off on Gaza: Al-Wafa Hospital received warning they would be shelled  
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Israel pounds Gaza strip, vows to continue attacks



Israel infantry soldiers walk in formation on the border as they leave Israel for the northern Gaza Strip, Saturday, Jan. 3, 2009. (AP / Sebastian Scheiner)

Israeli soldiers peer out of their tank as they move towards the Gaza Strip from southern Israel early Monday, Jan. 5, 2009. (AP / Anja Niedringhaus)

A wounded Palestinian boy is treated at the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, after an Israeli missile strike early Monday, Jan. 5, 2009. (AP / Hatem Moussa)

January 5 2009

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip

Israeli forces pounded Gaza Strip houses, mosques and tunnels on Monday from the air, land and sea, killing at least seven children and six other civilians, as they consolidated a bruising offensive against Palestinian militants.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the offensive would continue until Israel achieved its objective, “peace and tranquility” for residents of southern Israel who continued to be bombarded by Palestinian rocket and mortar fire.

A stream of diplomats and world leaders hoping to end the violence headed for the region to meet with Israeli leaders as world outrage over ballooning Palestinian casualties mounted. Gaza health officials reported 524 dead and nearly 2,000 wounded since Israel embarked upon its military campaign against Gaza’s Islamic Hamas rulers on Dec. 27. At least 200 civilians were among the dead.

Israeli forces seized sparsely populated areas in northern Gaza on Sunday and by Monday morning were dug in on the edges of Gaza City. Further movement into the heart of the built-up areas would mean deadly urban warfare, replete with house-to-house fighting, sniper fire and booby traps, in crowded streets and alleyways familiar to Hamas’ 20,000 fighters.

A total of 13 civilians died in the various attacks across Gaza on Monday morning, said Gaza health official Dr. Moaiya Hassanain.

Four young siblings were killed in a missile strike on a house east of Gaza City. Three other children died in a naval shelling of a Gaza City beach camp, and three adult civilians died when a missile struck near a house of mourning in the northern town of Beit Lahiya, he said. Three other adult civilians died in attacks elsewhere.

Israeli troops took over three six-floor buildings on the outskirts of Gaza City, taking up rooftop positions after locking residents in rooms and taking away their cell phones, a neighbor said, quoting a relative in one of the buildings before his phone was confiscated.

“The army is there, firing in all directions,” said Mohammed Salmai, a 29-year-old truck driver. “All we can do is take clothes to each other to keep ourselves warm and pray to God that if we die, someone will find our bodies under the rubble.”

Civilian casualties have spiked since Israel launched a ground offensive Saturday, following a week of punishing air strikes. Of about 80 Palestinians killed during the ground operation, at least 70 were civilians, Hassanain said.

Black smoke from tank shells and windswept dust billowed in the air over Gaza City, while white smoke from mortar shells rose in plumes above a main road leading to northern Gaza that the Israeli military seized on Sunday, cutting off Gaza’s north from its south. Explosions could be heard in Gaza City as aircraft attacked buildings.

The streets of Gaza City, home to 400,000 people, were almost empty. Two children crossing a street near a Hamas security compound didn’t look right and left for cars, but gazed up at the sky, apparently looking for attack aircraft. The only vehicles on the road were fire engines, ambulances and press cars.

Unmanned Israeli planes and Apache helicopters circled overhead.

“Hamas has sustained a very harsh blow,” Barak told parliament’s foreign affairs and defense committee.”But we still haven’t reached our objectives, so the offensive continues.”

Israel has three main demands: an end to Palestinian attacks, international supervision of any truce and a halt to Hamas rearming.

“If we withdraw today, without reaching some kind of comprehensive agreement, we haven’t done anything,” Israeli Cabinet Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer told Army Radio. “The military has to carry on with its work.”

Hamas demands a cessation of Israeli attacks and the opening of vital Gaza-Israel cargo crossings, Gaza’s main lifeline.

The violence has deepened the suffering in impoverished Gaza, home to 1.4 million people. The military said Monday that 80 truckloads of humanitarian aid and critical fuel supplies would be let in.

Mohammed Almbaid, a Canadian resident working with aid organization CARE International, says the Israeli offensive has made it increasingly difficult to deliver food and medical supplies to Gaza.

“By the hour, it’s becoming more difficult to reach needy people,” Almbaid said in a telephone interview from his office in Ramalah, West Bank. “As of yesterday we’re having extreme difficulty to move any of the stuff in our stockpiles.”

Almbaid said a rising number of Palestinians are forced to go without crucial aide as Israeli battle tactics restrict the movements of those hoping to deliver humanitarian relief.

“It’s extremely tragic, extremely heart-breaking to see this happening,” he said.

Militants, defying the attacks, fired more than a dozen rockets at Israel early Monday, police said. No injuries were reported, but the rockets continued to fire deep inside Israel, some 32 kilometres from the Gaza border. One reason Israel launched the Gaza campaign was because militants have acquired weapons able to reach closer to Israel’s Tel Aviv heartland.

Israel’s ground operation is the second phase in an offensive that began as a weeklong aerial onslaught aimed at halting Hamas rocket fire that now threatens major cities and one-eighth of Israel’s population of 7 million people.

The spiraling civilian casualties have fueled an intensifying international outcry.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who unsuccessfully proposed a two-day truce before the land invasion began, was due to meet with Israei Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who lost control of Gaza to Hamas in June 2007.

While blaming Hamas for causing Palestinian suffering with rocket fire that led to the Israeli offensive, Sarkozy has condemned Israel’s use of ground troops, reflecting general world opinion. Sarkozy and other diplomats making their way to the region are expected to press hard for a cease-fire.

A European Union delegation including foreign policy chief Javier Solana was due to meet with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

The Czech Republic, which took over the 27-nation EU’s presidency on Thursday, urged Israel to allow humanitarian relief aid into Gaza. German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke on the phone Sunday with Olmert and advocated a quick cease-fire in Gaza, her government said in a statement. Merkel also called for an end to the smuggling of weapons into the Gaza Strip.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said in a statement “Canada is deeply concerned about the increase in hostilities between Israel and Hamas.”

“We urge renewed international diplomatic efforts to achieve a sustainable and durable ceasefire, starting with the halting of all rocket attacks on Israel. Canada maintains that the rocket attacks are the cause of this crisis,” said Cannon.

Cannon also urged the international community to come together to address the humanitarian situation, including ensuring access to food, fuel and medical supplies.

Source

Israeli invaders have killed and wounded many Palestinian children
By Hiyam Noir

January 5 2009 03.24am





Gaza City January 4 2008

Photographer “name withheld”

GAZA

Some 20 minutes before the ground invasion Israeli launched air strikes at more than 45 targets throughout the Gaza Strip, their ground forces trespassed Gaza borders at 10 pm on Saturday evening, pushing deeper into Gaza.

At the eastern parts of Gaza, Israeli tanks entered through the Erez and Karni crossing points, the artillery advanced towards the southern parts of Gaza City.

The Israeli intruders are stationed at the abandoned Israeli settlement of Netzarim outside Jabaliya.  Tank fire killed earlier three residents in the Shujayya neighborhood. Palestinian fighters clashed with heavy armed Israeli ground forces in Gaza City, one Israeli is reported dead and 30 where injured.

In Beit Hanoun in the north eastern Gaza Strip, Israeli tanks penetrated hundreds of meters then they closed the main road between Beit Hanoun and Gaza City. From the northwest Israeli forces reached the American school in the north of Beit Lahiya. The American school was leveled to the ground on Saturday targeted in an Israeli air strike.

Nearby the destroyed Yasser Arafat Airport, east of Rafah amid heavy artillery fire, Israeli tanks killed one and injured several other Palestinian fighters. Before noon on Sunday an airstrike killed the DFLP senior leader, Muhammed Abed Barbakh, his father Abed and his two brothers Mahdi and Yousef, also his nephew Musa Yousef was killed when missiles struck the home in the An-Nahdah neighborhoodof. Barbakh was a commander in the military branch of the National Resistance Brigades (DFLP).

On Saturday before noon three children where killed in the southern town of Rafah.

Since the start of the Zionist Israeli ground invasion on Saturday night, 70 people, including 21 children and 11 women have been killed, more than 370 are reported injured. Gaza governmental Health Ministry on Sunday confirmed that since the 27 of December, 507 Gaza residents have been killed including 107 children,  over 2450 are injured, hundreds are seriously injured.

Four children together with their mother became some of the victims today in the Zionist air and ground offensive their bodies where cut to pieces when missiles hit the house of the Baker family in the At-Toufah neighborhood in Gaza City.

In Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, 4 children were killed during a series of air strikes in which 13 people have been killed, 34 have been injured.Tank missiles have killed at least 23 Gaza residents including 14 residents in Biet Lahia, and another 4 in Beit Hanoun.

In the Zionist Israeli escalated onslaught across Gaza Strip, from north to south the Palestinian resistance continue to confront Israeli tanks and ground troops invading Gaza Strip from four points. Hamas have prepared for an all out ground invasion of Gaza Strip for more than a year, building up a military force of almost 20.000 fighters, well trained in urban warfare.

Sounds of heavy mashinegunfire can be heard throughout Beit Lahia, in northern Gaza Strip, the Palestinian resistance are involved in fierce fighting with the Israeli intruder also in Jabaliya refuge camp, in nearby Netzarim, and in parts of Gaza City, including As Shuhayya and the At Toufah neightboorhod.

At 6pm last night 3 Gaza paramedics where killed and one was wounded in Tal Al- Haw a in the southern part of Gaza City and two residents have been killed in the Zayton area also in Gaza City.

At least 514 Palestinians have been killed since Israel began intense air strikes on 27 December.  Gaza medical officials put the number of wounded at 2,250 over nine days.

Sources report that some 20 Israelis have been killed, and many others are wounded.

Source

I wonder how much Depleted Uranium the Israelis are using?

If they are using weapons from the US, I can be relatively sure there is a large amount of DU being used.

Israeli tanks, soldiers invade Gaza Strip

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

I can only hope they live long enough to make it a court room. If in fact it ever does make it to a court room and it should. Of course like the US they will get away with it, most likely. There is no real justice in this world. It is just a pretend justice.

If Hamas Did Not Exist

Ontario man’s Gaza trip an extended nightmare, he is trapped in Gaza

Israel ‘rammed’ medical aid boat headed to Gaza

Leaders Lie, Civilians Die, Israelis-Palestinians

US Veto Blocks UN Anti-Israel Resolution

Global protests against Israel

Israel Used Internationally Banned Weaponry in Massive Airstrikes Across Gaza Strip

Iran preps humanitarian aid ship to Gaza Strip

Israel’s ‘Crimes Against Humanity’

Gaza Families Eat Grass as Israel Blocks Food Aid

Israel Responsible for Genocide by Starvation in Gaza

Israel blocks foreign media from Gaza

U.N.: Israel won’t allow food aid to enter Gaza

Israeli violations of Lebanese sovereignty

People are Saying No to the Israeli Attacks.

US protests against Israels attacks on Gaza

Reports on: Demonstrations Against Israels attacks on Gaza, January 3, 2009 London Paris etc

Muslims around the world protest Gaza assault

Canadian Protesters march in support of Palestinians

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.

Live Video Coverage Of Israel’s Attack On Gaza.

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.

Source

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

Could it be that the US is using Israel to get a war going with Iran yet again as they did with Saddam in 1980. Are they really telling  Israel they can secure all of what was known as Palestine? Yes to both I would guess.

Never underestimate the nasty deeds of the US.  Gaza is being used to anger everyone and it is to date working very well.

The US wants Iran to help those in Gaza just so Israel will be able to attack them as well.  How much you want to bet I am right?

When Israel rammed the boat going into Gaza with medical supplies, I am guessing they thought it was the one from Iran.  Israel has been itching for a war with Iran as much as the US is and has been for some time.

Gaza is part of a bigger picture I think.

Would I trust either the US or the Israeli Government at this point.

NO absolutely not.

The US has vetoed every resolution brought forth by the UN to resolve the the Israel- Gaza situation.  They have vetoed over 40 anti-Israeli resolutions sought by the council since 1972. Anything the US says at this point is  pure propaganda, lies and BS.

If Hamas Did Not Exist

Ontario man’s Gaza trip an extended nightmare, he is trapped in Gaza

Israel ‘rammed’ medical aid boat headed to Gaza

Leaders Lie, Civilians Die, Israelis-Palestinians

US Veto Blocks UN Anti-Israel Resolution

Global protests against Israel

Israel Used Internationally Banned Weaponry in Massive Airstrikes Across Gaza Strip

Iran preps humanitarian aid ship to Gaza Strip

Israel’s ‘Crimes Against Humanity’

Gaza Families Eat Grass as Israel Blocks Food Aid

Israel Responsible for Genocide by Starvation in Gaza

Israel blocks foreign media from Gaza

U.N.: Israel won’t allow food aid to enter Gaza

Israeli violations of Lebanese sovereignty

Actions we can take to help Palestinians in Gaza


Israeli jets bombed targets across Gaza for the third consecutive day. Five girls from the same family, including a 14 month-old toddler, were slain overnight when Israeli warplanes pounded a mosque near their home in the northern town of Jabaliya. Three boys were also killed in a separate Israeli strike on the southern city of Rafah. The fatalities took to 27 the number of children killed in the Israeli onslaught, unleashed Saturday. More than 345 people have been killed and 1,650 wounded in the Israeli offensive. (References for text: IslamOnline.net and agencies. Photo: Ashraf Amra/AP) Source

AVAAZ.ORG

GAZA: STOP THE BLOODSHED, TIME FOR PEACE
With already 380 dead and continued shelling of civilians in southern Israel, now is the time to issue a demand to world leaders that the spiralling violence that has characterized the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must come to an end.

Petition to the UN Security Council, the European Union, the Arab League and the USA:
We urge you to act immediately to ensure a comprehensive ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, to protect civilians on all sides, and to address the growing humanitarian crisis. Only through robust international action and oversight can the bloodshed be stopped, the Gaza crossings safely re-opened and real progress made toward a wider peace in 2009.

Sign the petition calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza – and for peace to be achieved between Israel and Palestine in 2009.


From International Action Center

Sign the Appeal to Stop the Attack on Gaza!
Urgent Appeal for Israel to Immediately Cease Its Murderous Bombing, Siege and Threatened Invasion of Palestinian Gaza

Initiated by 2008 U.N. Human Rights Award winner Ramsey Clark

Let President George W. Bush, President-Elect Barack Obama, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, Secretary of State Designate Hillary Clinton, Vice President Richard Cheney, Vice President-elect Joe Biden, Congressional leaders, U.N. Secretary General Ban, U.N. General Assembly President d’Escoto-Brockmann, members of the U.N. Security Council, U.N. member states, the President, Prime Minister, Cabinet and Opposition leader of Israel, and Major media representatives know you support this urgent appeal initiated by 2008 U.N. Human Rights Award recipient Ramsey Clark for Israel to Immediately Cease Its Murderous Bombing, Siege and Threatened Invasion of Palestinian Gaza!

To sign this Petition

Take Action to Protest Israeli Attack on Gaza

Mid-morning Saturday, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) launched a series of deadly air strikes on the occupied Gaza Strip. As we write this, an estimated  380 Palestinians have been killed and 1,650 innocent people have been wounded. According to news reports today, Israel plans to keep these attacks going and has brought scores of tanks to the border with Gaza.

These Israeli attacks come on top of a brutal siege of the Gaza Strip which has been going on for years and has created a humanitarian catastrophe of dire proportions for Gaza’s 1.5 million Palestinian residents by restricting the provision of food, fuel, medicine, electricity, and other necessities of life. All of this is happening in the most densely populated and one of the poorest areas of the world.

Israel is carrying out these attacks with F-16 fighter jets and missiles provided by U.S. taxpayers. From 2001-2006, the United States transferred to Israel more than $200 million worth of spare parts to fly its fleet of F-16’s. In July 2008, the United States gave Israel 186 million gallons of JP-8 aviation jet fuel. Last year, the United States signed a $1.3 billion contract with Raytheon to transfer to Israel thousands of TOW, Hellfire, and ‘bunker buster’ missiles.

Israel’s lethal attack on the Gaza Strip could not have happened without the active military and political support of the United States. We need to take action now to protest this attack and demand an immediate cease-fire.
The U.S. Campaign to End the Israel Occupation (a member group pf UFPJ) has issued an action alert with these suggestions — we urge you to take action today!

    Contact the White House to protest the attacks and demand an immediate cease-fire. Call 202-456-1111 or send an email to comments@whitehouse.gov.Contact the State Department at 202-647-6575 or send an email by clicking here.

    Contact your Representative and Senators in Congress at 202-224-3121 or find contact info for your Members of Congress by clicking here.

    Contact your local media by phoning into a talk show or writing a letter to the editor. To find contact info for your local media, click here.

    Organize a local protest or vigil and tell us about it by clicking here.

    Sign our open letter to President-Elect Obama calling for a new U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine and find out other steps you can take to influence the incoming Administration by clicking here.

Contacting Israels Embassies and all Government officials around the world wouldn’t hurt either.

Ontario man’s Gaza trip an extended nightmare, he is trapped in Gaza

Israel ‘rammed’ medical aid boat headed to Gaza

Leaders Lie, Civilians Die, Israelis-Palestinians

US Veto Blocks UN Anti-Israel Resolution

Global protests against Israel

Israel Used Internationally Banned Weaponry in Massive Airstrikes Across Gaza Strip

Iran preps humanitarian aid ship to Gaza Strip

Israel blocks foreign media from Gaza

Iran preps humanitarian aid ship to Gaza Strip

December 27 2008

An Iranian freighter carrying tons of humanitarian equipment destined for the Gaza Strip will set sail from the Islamic Republic on Saturday, Iranian media reported on Friday.

The Iranian Red Crescent Society organized the shipment which it says will reach the Gaza shoreline in defiance of the Israeli military blockade imposed on the territory since Hamas’ ascendancy to power.

“The ship will carry medicine and foodstuffs including rice, flour, sugar as well as six tons of medicine for the impoverished population of Gaza,” said Hamed Taheri Jebelli, a spokesman for Iran’s Red Crescent Society on Thursday.

“Despite the Zionist regime’s opposition … this consignment will leave Bandar Abbas for Palestine on Saturday and will arrive in 12 days,” a provincial Red Crescent director, Ahmad Navvab, was quoted as telling the French news agency AFP.

“The cargo contains over 2,000 tons of food, medicine and appliances and it will be accompanied by 12 Iranian doctors and relief workers,” he told AFP.

Earlier this month, the Red Crescent said it aimed to send a 1,000-ton shipment of grain, sugar, oil and medicine to the aid-dependent land.

Source

Israel’s ‘Crimes Against Humanity’

Gaza Families Eat Grass as Israel Blocks Food Aid

Israeli teenagers jailed for refusing to serve in army

Published in: on December 27, 2008 at 6:05 am  Comments Off on Iran preps humanitarian aid ship to Gaza Strip  
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Israeli teenagers jailed for refusing to serve in army

Israeli teenagers jailed for refusing to serve in army
December 18 2008

Peace activists in Israel and around the world are participating on Wednesday in a day of action to call on Israeli authorities to release teenagers imprisoned for refusing to serve in the army for reasons of conscience.

Tamar Katz, Raz Bar-David Varon and Yuval Oron-Ofir are three conscientious objectors who are all serving their third prison sentences. At least six other teenagers – male and female – have been jailed in recent months for refusing to enlist and at least two more, both young women, are at risk of imminent imprisonment.

Their refusal stems from their opposition to the Israeli military occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) and to the practices of the Israeli army there. They believe that by enlisting they would participate in committing human rights abuses in which they want no part.

Amnesty International has added its voice to the campaign. The organization considers these teenagers to be prisoners of conscience and calls for their immediate and unconditional release.

Tamar Katz, aged 19, has already spent 50 days in jail and is serving her third prison sentence. In her declaration of refusal she stated:

“I am not willing to become part of an occupying army… I am not willing to become one of those holding the gun pointed indiscriminately at Palestinian civilians, and I do not believe that such actions could bring any change except ever more antagonism and violence in our region.”

She has been held in isolation and deprived of family visits as punishment for refusing to wear a military uniform in prison.

Eighteen-year-old Raz Bar-David Varon, also serving her third prison term, said on the day of her arrest:

“I have witnessed this army demolishing, shooting and humiliating people whom I did not know… It hurts me when people, Palestinians, are being so brutally assaulted, and it hurts me when they later turn their hatred towards me because of it. I wasn’t born to serve as a soldier who occupies another… My responsibility is to refuse.”

Yuval Oron-Ofir was jailed for the third time on 14 December. The 19-year-old explained his reasons for refusing to enlist:

“There is another way, which is not the way of war. This is the path of dialogue, of understanding… of peace. This is why I shall not join an army behind whose actions I cannot stand and whose behavior I cannot justify.”

Teenagers who refuse to enlist because they do not want to find themselves in a situation where they may contribute to or participate in committing human rights abuses are generally sent to jail for months.

There is no civilian service alternative to military draft in Israel and, although a “conscience committee” exists within the Israeli army, exemption is only usually granted to those who refuse to serve on religious grounds. Those who make it known that they are unwilling to enlist on grounds of conscience – because they are pacifist or oppose the army’s practices in the OPT – are routinely imprisoned.

At the same time, Israeli soldiers who commit grave human rights violations, including war crimes, such as unlawful killings of unarmed civilians, reckless shelling of densely populated residential areas or wanton destruction of homes, are routinely granted impunity.

“Such a policy sends the wrong message to Israeli society and to young people in particular,” said Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s researcher on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. “All conscientious objectors should be given the opportunity to present the grounds of their objection to a decision-making body which is impartial and independent.

“Amnesty International calls on the Israeli authorities to ensure that such a body is established, and in the meantime to immediately and unconditionally release the conscientious objectors currently detained and not to imprison others.”

Source

Americans support conscientious objectors to IDF military service by sending 20,000 letters to Barak

By Natasha Mozgovaya
December 21 2008

WASHINGTON
Conscientious objectors who refused to serve in the Israel Defense Forces received an unprecedented shot in the arm from North American Jewry yesterday, when demonstrators protested against their detention by presenting 20,000 letters from Diaspora Jews demanding their release.

Dozens of activists tried to deliver the letters to Defense Minister Ehud Barak at a demonstration outside his office in Tel Aviv.
Many letters came from a Web site called Jewish Voice for Peace, which features a video in which the objectors explain in English why they refused to enlist.

Although most American Jews are politically aligned with the liberal left, IDF service is generally viewed as an unassailable duty. Thus, there has never been a concentrated effort to lobby Israelis to evade conscription.

The Jewish Voice for Peace has recruited actor Ed Asner, historian and author Howard Zinn, and folk singer Ronnie Gilbert to the cause.

“The recent election of anti-war candidate Barack Obama, who by the way received some 80% of the Jewish vote, was evidence of the American people’s disenchantment with war and occupation,” said Cecilie Surasky, the communications director for Jewish Voice for Peace. “Seven years and untold lives and dollars later, there is almost total agreement in the U.S. that our venture in Iraq has been an unqualified disaster.”

Gilbert called on Israel to change its policies.

“I am an old-time peace activist,” he said. “I have marched and pleaded against the cruel occupation for years. The presence of the Shministim [the Hebrew term for Israeli youths who refuse enlistment] makes me ashamed of sometimes feeling that Israel will never change. You are the change.”

Zinn, a scholar who is no stranger to controversy, called the objectors courageous for their actions.

“I’ve been thinking a lot about courage,” Zinn wrote in his letter. “Right now, while I’m snug and fed this Thanksgiving holiday in the comfort of my home, halfway around the world a group of teenagers is sitting in a jail cell today, demonstrating the very definition of courage and sacrifice. It’s frustrating. Humbling. And I’m damn glad to have the chance to do something big about it.”

Surasky said she was not concerned that the campaign would be viewed as interference in internal Israeli affairs.

“For years, money from Jewish American organizations supported the settlements in Israel. It’s logical for dovish organizations like Jewish Voice for Peace to support the Shministim, who represent the values that we wish Jews and Israel would represent everywhere – authentic commitment to the value of human lives. Especially in the days of Hanukkah. They are a small light which shines bright in days of great darkness.”

The Jewish Voice for Peace internet site offers a ready-made text which users can send to Barak after filling out their email addresses, their names and other details.

“I support the Shministim and their right to peacefully object to military service,” the standard letter reads. “I call for the release of those teenagers who have been jailed for their principled refusal to serve in an army which occupies the Palestinian Territories. The imprisonment of these conscientious objectors is a violation of their human rights and contrary to International Law.”

The letter continues: “I am inspired by these caring students and their counterparts in Palestine, whose nonviolent resistance to the Occupation points the way to a just peace and security for all people in the region. They are our best hope for the future. I urge you to heed them, and not punish them.”

The IDF objectors also received a show of support from 25 American objectors who refused to fight in the Middle East.

“We, soldiers in the U.S. Army who refused to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq, demonstrate our solidarity with the Israeli Shministim,” they wrote. “The War on Terror, like the Israeli occupation, is fueled by racism and dehumanization.”

Source

The teenagers are right, Israel is committing crimes against humanity. Starvation is a crime.

Israel starving Palestinians: UN

‘POLITICAL CRISIS’:

The UN Relief and Works Agency fears that irreversible damage is being done as the latest statistics reveal the level of deprivation in the Gaza Strip

December 22, 2008

Impoverished Palestinians on the Gaza Strip are being forced to scavenge for food on rubbish dumps to survive as Israel’s economic blockade risks causing irreversible damage, international observers said.

Figures released last week by the UN Relief and Works Agency reveal that the economic blockade imposed by Israel on Gaza in July last year has had a devastating impact on the local population. Large numbers of Palestinians are unable to afford the high prices of food being smuggled through the Hamas-controlled tunnels to the Strip from Egypt and last week were confronted with the suspension of UN food and cash distribution as a result of the siege.

The figures collected by the UN agency show that 51.8 percent — an “unprecedentedly high” number of Gaza’s 1.5 million population — are now living below the poverty line. The agency has announced that it had been forced to stop distributing food rations to the 750,000 people in need and had also suspended cash distributions to 94,000 of the most disadvantaged who were unable to afford the high prices being asked for smuggled food.

“Things have been getting worse and worse,” the agency’s Chris Gunness said yesterday. “It is the first time we have been seeing people picking through the rubbish like this looking for things to eat. Things are particularly bad in Gaza City where the population is most dense.”

“Because Gaza is now operating as a ‘tunnel economy’ and there is so little coming through via Israeli crossings, it is hitting the most disadvantaged worst,” he said.

Gunness also expressed concern about the state of Gaza’s infrastructure, including its water and sewerage systems, which have not been maintained properly since Israel began blocking shipments of concrete into Gaza, warning of the risk of the spread of communicable diseases both inside and outside of Gaza.

“This is not a humanitarian crisis,” he said. “This is a political crisis of choice with dire humanitarian consequences.”

The revelations over the escalating difficulties inside Gaza were delivered a day after the end of the six-month ceasefire between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers, which had been brokered by Egypt in June, and follow warnings from the World Bank at the beginning of December that Gaza faced “irreversible” economic collapse.

The deteriorating conditions in Gaza emerged as former British prime minister Tony Blair, Middle East envoy for the Quartet — US, Russia, the UN and the EU — warned yesterday that Israel’s economic blockade, which had been imposed a year and a half ago when Hamas took power on the Gaza Strip, was reinforcing rather than undermining the party’s hold on power. Blair said the collapse of Gaza’s legitimate economy under the impact of the blockade had allowed the emergence of an alternative system based on smuggling through the Hamas-controlled tunnels. Hamas “taxed” the goods smuggled through the tunnels.

It was because of this that Blair wrote to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert earlier this month demanding that Israel permit the transfer of cash into Gaza from the West Bank.

Calling for a change in policy over Gaza, Blair said: “I don’t think that the current situation is sustainable; I think most people who would analyze it think the same.”

Blair’s comments came as an Israeli air strike against a rocket squad killed a Palestinian militant yesterday, the first Gaza death since Hamas formally declared an end to a six-month truce with Israel.

Also on Saturday, a boat carrying a Qatari delegation, Lebanese activists and journalists from Israel and Lebanon sailed into Gaza City’s small port in defiance of a border blockade. It was the fifth such boat trip since the summer. The two Qatari citizens aboard the Dignity are from the government-funded Qatar Authority for Charitable Activities.

“We are here to represent the Qatar government and people,” delegation member Aed al-Kahtani said. “We will look into the needs of our brothers in Gaza, and find out what is the most appropriate way to bring in aid.”

The arrival of the delegation reflects the growing anger in the Arab world over the Gaza siege.

On Friday, thousands of people joined a rally in Beirut organized by Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement against Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Addressing the Beirut crowd, Hezbollah deputy leader Sheikh Naim Kassem called on Arab and Islamic governments to act to help lift the Gaza blockade, and urged Egypt to take an “historic stance” by opening its border crossing with Gaza.

“Silence on the [Gaza] blockade is disgraceful. Silence on the blockade amounts to participation in the [Israeli] occupation,” Kassem said.

Source

Israel’s ‘Crimes Against Humanity’