Jan 15, 2009

More than 1095 Palestinians dead, over 320 children,

99 women, and more than 5,000 wounded

What would this mean in Britain with its population of 60 million, in comparative terms?

It would mean 40,000 dead, 12,500 of them children, and 200,000 wounded.

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Steve Bell in The Guardian

Injured Gaza children in Belgium: BBC

ix seriously injured Palestinian children have been flown to Belgium from the war-torn Gaza Strip for treatment in Brussels hospitals. The children were airlifted on a Belgian military plane, which brought them from El-Arish, an Egyptian town about 60km (37 miles) from Gaza. Belgian media say the children’s ages range from two and a half to 18 years. Each child is accompanied by a parent. More than 200 Belgians have offered to accommodate the parents, reports say.

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Day 20: Israeli tanks bombard hospital, UNRWA centre and Media offices, death toll climbs to 1095: Ramattan

Gaza, January 15, 2009, (Ramattan)- Scores of Palestinians were killed and wounded as the Israeli Occupation Forces randomly bombarded a hospital and food stores belong to the UNRWA in Gaza City, witnesses said. They told Ramattan that the Israeli tanks rumbled into the neighborhood of Tal Al-Hawa, south of Gaza City, and randomly shelled houses. Witnesses affirmed that an Israeli warplane bombarded the HQ of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) in Gaza which hosts Al-Quds Hospital and a theatre. Medical sources said that all patients at the hospital were evacuated from their beds and moved to the underground reception section. Witnesses said that the PCRS administrative building and the Arts Theatre were critically damaged.

Israelis ‘shot at fleeing Gazans': BBC

Claims have been received by the BBC and an Israeli human rights group that Israeli troops have fired on Gaza residents trying to escape the conflict area. Israel has strongly denied the allegations. BBC journalists in Gaza and Israel have compiled detailed accounts of the claims. Some Palestinian civilians in Gaza say Israeli forces shot at them as they tried to leave their homes – in some cases bearing white flags.

I can hear a denial coming!

Israel Strike Hits U.N. Complex in Gaza Strip: ATFP online from NY Times

Israeli forces shelled areas deep inside Gaza City on Thursday, hitting the headquarters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency and injuring at least three people in the compound, according to witnesses and United Nations officials. A spokesman for the agency, Christopher Gunness, said that hundreds of Palestinians were sheltering in the compound at the time of the shelling and that there were five fully laden fuel vehicles at the site. He said two buildings were ablaze. The United Nations compound was struck as Israeli ground forces pushed further into Gaza City and intensified its shelling of both outlying neighborhoods and central districts, sending thousands of panicked residents fleeing from their homes, witnesses said. Among other buildings hit in the center of Gaza City, the witnesses said, was one occupied by several media organizations, and at least two television cameramen were hospitalized.

Another denial is due any minute, I reckon! To get both the UN AND cameramen, what a good idea… Below you can learn that it was indeed ‘another mistake’, and that it was also white phosphrous shells which were used. Well, you have to try the styuff sometime, don’t you? Why not on the UN , after they voted for a ceasefire? You have to admit, it all makes great sense.

UN headquarters in Gaza hit by Israeli ‘white phosphorus’ shells: The Times

The main UN compound in Gaza was in flames today after being struck by Israeli artillery fire, and a spokesman said that the building had been hit by shells containing the incendiary agent white phosphorus. The attack on the headquarters of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) came as Ban Ki Moon, the UN Secretary-General, arrived in Israel on a peace mission and plunged Israel’s relations with the world body to a new low. Mr Ban told reporters in Tel Aviv that he had expressed “strong protest and outrage” to the Israeli Government over the shelling of the compound and was demanding an investigation. He said that Ehud Barak, the Israeli Defence Minister, had told him that it was “a grave mistake”. UNWRA, which looks after around four million Palestinian refugees in the region, suspended its operations in Gaza after the attack, in which it said that three of its employees had been injured.

Thank god for digital video cameras… on this link, you can see the attack and it is terrifying. There shall be much evidence in real time for the International Criminal Court, and the International Court of Human Rights, and some other also.

gaza-burning-5Brown condemns Israeli attack as “indefensible”: The Independent

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has condemned the Israeli shelling of the United Nations HQ in Gaza as “indefensible”. The UN building was set alight by the bombardment as its secretary general Ban Ki-moon visited the area on a mission to secure a ceasefire. Mr Brown, speaking on his return from Berlin and Paris, where he had discussed the crisis, said: “Today’s attack on the UN headquarters in Gaza is indefensible. “The UN’s mission in Gaza is purely humanitarian, bringing relief to civilians suffering in appalling conditions as a result of the ongoing military action and restrictions on food and medical supplies entering Gaza. “UN staff are working on behalf of the international community – any attack on them is unacceptable, as Israel has acknowledged. “The intensification of Israeli military action, and continued Hamas rocket attacks, reinforce the urgency of our call for an immediate ceasefire. “I will speak this afternoon to the UN’s secretary general and to regional leaders, to underline the UK’s unwavering support for the UN’s efforts to secure a ceasefire.”

Ismail Haniyeh: My message to the West – Israel must stop the slaughter: The Independent

I write this article to Western readers across the social and political spectrum as the Israeli war machine continues to massacre my people in Gaza. To date, almost 1,000 have been killed, nearly half of whom are women and children. Last week’s bombing of the UNRWA (UN Relief Works Agency) school in the Jabalya refugee camp was one of the most despicable crimes imaginable, as hundreds of civilians had abandoned their homes and sought refuge with the international agency only to be mercilessly shelled and bombed by Israel. Forty-six children and women were killed in that heinous attack while scores were injured. Evidently, Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005 did not end its occupation nor, as a result, its international obligations as an occupying power. It continued to control and dominate our borders by land, sea and air. Indeed the UN has confirmed that between 2005 and 2008, the Israeli army killed nearly 1,250 Palestinians in Gaza, including 222 children. For most of that period the border crossings have remained effectively closed, with only limited quantities of food, industrial fuel, animal feed and a few other essential items, allowed in.

The IDF has no mercy for the children in Gaza nursery schools: ATFP

The fighting in Gaza is “war deluxe.” Compared with previous wars, it is child’s play – pilots bombing unimpeded as if on practice runs, tank and artillery soldiers shelling houses and civilians from their armored vehicles, combat engineering troops destroying entire streets in their ominous protected vehicles without facing serious opposition. A large, broad army is fighting against a helpless population and a weak, ragged organization that has fled the conflict zones and is barely putting up a fight. All this must be said openly, before we begin exulting in our heroism and victory. This war is also child’s play because of its victims. About a third of those killed in Gaza have been children – 311, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry, 270 according to the B’Tselem human rights group – out of the 1,000 total killed as of Wednesday. Around 1,550 of the 4,500 wounded have also been children according to figures from the UN, which says the number of children killed has tripled since the ground operation began.

Gideon Levy, as usual, is the lone voice of humanity in a nation brutalised and beastly beyond recognition. Boycott them on all fronts, friends, under the pips shall squeak. Only then may we stand a chance to stop this evil regime and its war crimes.

George Galloway on the radio, sorting outa confused Zionist!

Israel denies banned weapons use: BBC

Medics in Gaza say latest casualties include at least 60 people affected by suspected phosphorus shells fired illegally near civilian areas. An Israeli army spokeswoman strongly denied the report, saying all its munitions complied with the law. An Israeli spokesman also denied Human Rights Watch allegations of multiple use of white phosphorus in the bombing. Phosphorus shells are allowed to make smoke in battlefields. Their use where civilians may be harmed is prohibited.

They always deny, and it is always discovered as a lie on their part!

See Former Israeli Foreign Minister lying on C4TV

This is quite an amazing feat of mad lying in the face of facts, and also in the face of contrary information put out by the Israeli government. In Israel, Reality is stranger than fiction. While he just a bumbling idiot, he has 96% of the Israeli population behind him on this fiction, so how intelligent are they?

All eyes on Rafah: Al Ahram Weekly

Egypt is under pressure to open the only exit from Gaza not under Israeli control. Amira Howeidy examines the legalities and symbolism of the Rafah border crossing

More than a challenge: Al Ahram Weekly

As the aggression on Gaza intensifies, Cairo — for right or wrong — has come under fire for its crisis management. But can the recent Egyptian-French initiative limit the damage, asks Dina Ezzat

Demonstrating support: Al Ahram Weeklyprotest

Reem Leila reports on the wave of protests in solidarity with Gaza

The blame game: Al Ahram Weekly

When Arab parliamentarians met in Cairo on Sunday to discuss Israel’s attacks on Cairo the result, writes Gamal Essam El-Din, was a predictable hurling of abuse

Amazing sung poem by Lowkey, Long Live Palestine, at Hyde Park on Jan 10, 2009

use this link to hear it, and forward to your lists!

Creative Commons Repository: Al Jazeera

Video Footage from War on Gaza We have made available our exclusive Arabic and English video footage from the Gaza Strip produced by our correspondents and crews. The ongoing war and crisis in Gaza, together with the scarcity of news footage available, make this repository a key resource for anyone producing content on the current situation.

An amazing video resource of the conflict! forward to all, especially to Israelis and Americans!

Gaza: UN compound, hospital hit: Ynet news

Witnesses, UNRWA officials said Israeli shells struck world body’s headquarters in Strip, wounding at least three people. Ban ‘outraged'; IDF yet to confirm report Witnesses and UN officials said Israeli shells have struck the United Nations headquarters in the Gaza Strip Thursday. The compound has been serving as a shelter for hundreds of people fleeing Israel’s offensive in Gaza. UN spokesman Chris Gunness says at least three people were wounded.

Another Surgical strike by the IOF! More below.

Creative Commons Repository: Al Jazeera

Video Footage from War on Gaza We have made available our exclusive Arabic and English video footage from the Gaza Strip produced by our correspondents and crews. The ongoing war and crisis in Gaza, together with the scarcity of news footage available, make this repository a key resource for anyone producing content on the current situation.

An amazing video resource of the conflict! forward to all, especially to Israelis and Americans!

Israeli snipers are shooting at families who are attempting to seek refuge in Al-Quds hospital, Gaza City. Palestinian and international volunteers are now on the streets outside the hospital to try and get the families inside the hospital. Australian Human Rights Activist Sharon Lock is assisting medical teams at the hospital, Israeli snipers are shooting at families attempting to get to the hospital. They are frightened and have no where to go. At least two families have been shot at now, children have been wounded.

UNRWA emergency shelters and bombed schools: ISM online

Across Gaza, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is setting up emergency shelters in its schools. Despite two such shelters being cynically targeted by Israeli shelling in northern Gaza last week, many families still seek refuge in UNRWA schools simply because they have nowhere else to go. The massacre on 6th January at the Al Fakhoura School and a second school in the Jabaliya refugee camp north-east of Gaza City killed nearly 50 and injured dozens more. Two UNRWA schools in Rafah, the ‘A’ and ‘B’ Boys Preparatory Schools close to Rafah city centre, have become temporary homes for nearly 2,000 people. These emergency shelters were set up as thousands of people in Rafah fled their homes following threats by the Israeli Occupation Forces to target entire neighbourhoods lying close to border strip with Egypt. The families in one of the schools were evacuated from communities near the defunct airport on the edge of Rafah city where Israeli ground forces have been basing themselves since invading Gaza on 3rd January. Members of ISM Gaza visited the schools today and met UN staff and some of the families seeking refuge there, such as the Amsi family who have about 15 members of their extended family living together in one classroom.

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Destroyed mosque and orphans school

The Demolition of Rafah: ISM online

Jenny Linnel a British ISM volunteer in Rafah said following escalated Israeli attacks in Rafah: Shortly before midnight on the 6th of January, missiles began raining down on Rafah in one of the heaviest Israeli air strikes since the current atrocities began. Continuous sorties pounded the southern Gaza city for over 12 hours. Many homes were destroyed or severely damaged, especially in the neighbourhoods along the border with Egypt.

Germany, Britain call for Gaza ceasefire: Ynet News

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown are pledging their countries’ support to help stop the flow of weapons to Hamas. Speaking at a joint news conference, the two leaders said Thursday that a top priority was an immediate ceasefire. They say their countries can help Egypt and others police Gaza’s borders to prevent weapons being smuggled into the territory. Israel says it will press forward until it receives guarantees that Hamas will stop smuggling weapons into Gaza. (AP)

So, after three wekes of carnage, the great leaders of the free world are showing how little they really care, by mealy-mouthed words.

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Welcome to Israhell By Carlos Latuff

Terrorism on the New York Times Op-Ed Page: Friedman supports civilian suffering as “education”

New York Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman endorsed terrorism in a January 14 column defending Israel’s attacks on the Gaza Strip. To answer his own question about Israel’s plan–“What is the goal?”–Friedman referred back to the 2006 attacks on Lebanon, which killed about 1,000 Lebanese civilians. To Friedman, this was the “education” of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah: “Israel’s counterstrategy was to use its air force to pummel Hezbollah and, while not directly targeting the Lebanese civilians with whom Hezbollah was intertwined, to inflict substantial property damage and collateral casualties on Lebanon at large. It was not pretty, but it was logical. Israel basically said that when dealing with a nonstate actor, Hezbollah, nested among civilians, the only long-term source of deterrence was to exact enough pain on the civilians–the families and employers of the militants–to restrain Hezbollah in the future.” The “logical” plan, as Friedman explained it, is to punish civilians in the hopes that this will force the political change you prefer. This is precisely the “logic” of terrorists.

Robert Fisk: Tin-pot rockets won’t open a second front: The Independent

The “Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine–General Command” – the quotation marks are necessary since this outfit controls at most 500 cadres – is responsible for all the tin-pot rockets fired into Israel from Lebanon this past week. It is not the next “front”. It is not the beginning of the “northern front”. No one was injured when three rockets fired from southern Lebanon fell in open areas near the Israeli town of Kiryat Shemona yesterday. A blaze of outdated rockets on northern Israel – “about 1944, I date them”, as one Palestinian put it in Beirut – is not going to ignite another conflict for Hamas in Gaza. In Lebanon, the guns are silent – and when they are not, the world will know about it.

Push for ceasefire intensifies: The Independent

Israeli Defence Minister in talks with Prime Minister over halt to Gaza conflict as Palestinian death toll hits 1,000

A potential ceasefire package to end Israel’s 19 day offensive in Gaza began to take shape last night as the country’s top Defence Ministry official prepared to fly to Cairo for intensive talks with Egyptian mediators. The chances of Egypt’s peace initiative depend heavily on Cairo’s ability to overcome the residual reservations of the Hamas leadership and a clear division between Israel’s premier and his defence minister over when to end a war whose Palestinian death toll rose above the 1000 mark yesterday. A security source confirmed before a crucial meeting of the two leaders with the Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, that the Defence Minister now believed that the operation had “achieved its goals” and was in favour of calling at least a temporary halt to hostilities to allow diplomatic moves to progress.

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By Carlos Latuff

KUHN: When Israel expelled Palestinians: What if it was San Diego and Tijuana instead? The Washigton Times

In the wake of Israel’s invasion of Gaza, Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak made this analogy: “Think about what would happen if for seven years rockets had been fired at San Diego, California from Tijuana, Mexico.” Within hours scores of American pundits and politicians had mimicked Barak’s comparisons almost verbatim. In fact, in this very paper on January 9 House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor ended an opinion piece by saying “America would never sit still if terrorists were lobbing missiles across our border into Texas or Montana.” But let’s see if our political and pundit class can parrot this analogy. Think about what would happen if San Diego expelled most of its Hispanic, African American, Asian American, and Native American population, about 48 percent of the total, and forcibly relocated them to Tijuana? Not just immigrants, but even those who have lived in this country for many generations. Not just the unemployed or the criminals or the America haters, but the school teachers, the small business owners, the soldiers, even the baseball players.

A striking example of the sea-change, when sucha conservative, pro-Zionist paper publishes this article.

The Facts About Hamas and the War on Gaza: Counterpunch, NORMAN FINKELSTEIN

The record is fairly clear. You can find it on the Israeli website, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. Israel broke the ceasefire by going into the Gaza and killing six or seven Palestinian militants. At that point—and now I’m quoting the official Israeli website—Hamas retaliated or, in retaliation for the Israeli attack, then launched the missiles. Now, as to the reason why, the record is fairly clear as well. According to Ha’aretz, Defense Minister Barak began plans for this invasion before the ceasefire even began. In fact, according to yesterday’s Ha’aretz, the plans for the invasion began in March. And the main reasons for the invasion, I think, are twofold. Number one; to enhance what Israel calls its deterrence capacity, which in layman’s language basically means Israel’s capacity to terrorize the region into submission. After their defeat in July 2006 in Lebanon, they felt it important to transmit the message that Israel is still a fighting force, still capable of terrorizing those who dare defy its word.

Israel’s Onslaught on Gaza: Criminal, for Sure; But Also Stupid: Counterpunch, ALEXANDER COCKBURN

In contrast to the grim forecasts of many fine contributors to this site over the past days, your CounterPunch editors have been inclined to take the view that Israel’s onslaught on Gaza, appalling though the carnage has been, is not only a crime but a blunder, like the attack on Lebanon in 2006, which demonstrated Israel’s military weakness, and the corruption of its armed forces after long years of bravely tormenting unarmed Palestinian peasants at check points, sawing down their olive groves and crushing their homes with bulldozers and high explosive.

Gaza: History Matters: Counterpunch, ELAINE C. HAGOPIAN

Mohammed, age six, marched with determination to his bedroom, put on a record of the Fatah marching song, picked up a wooden toy rifle and marched out to the balcony. He pointed the rifle to the sky where minutes ago, Israeli planes flew over dropping bombs on Palestinian refugee sites. Mohammed told me he wanted to be a pilot so he could fight Israeli warplanes. “But Mohammed, the Palestinians do not have planes.” “I don’t care, I will fight them whatever way I can.” Was a resistance fighter born this minute or was he a “future terrorist”? (Beirut 1973) How does one explain the horrific fate that has befallen caged Gaza – a land saturated with rubble and body parts – carpet-bombed by air, invaded by ground, attacked by sea? Put to the test of history, Israeli “explanations” fail the credibility test.

The Difficulty of Being an Informed American: Counterpunch, PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

The American print and TV media have never been very good. These days they are horrible. If people intend to be informed, they must turn to foreign news broadcasts, to Internet sites, to foreign newspapers available on the Internet, or to alternative newspapers that are springing up in various cities. A person who sits in front of Murdoch’s Fox “News” or CNN or who reads the New York Times is simply being brainwashed with propaganda. Before conservatives nod their heads in agreement, I’m not referring to “the liberal media.” I mean the propaganda that issues from the US government and the Israel Lobby.

By Carlos Latuff

By Carlos Latuff

The Trauma Vortex: Counterpunch, BELÉN FERNÁNDEZ

Based on the tallies currently being produced by Israeli towns located in the haphazard line of Qassam rocket fire, it appears that the bulk of Israel’s civilian casualties in its war on Gaza will once again be shock related. This was the case in the July 2006 war on Lebanon, during which the Israeli Health Ministry reported that 4,262 wounded Israeli civilians were treated in hospitals; this total was broken down into 33 seriously wounded patients, 68 moderately wounded, and 1,388 lightly wounded, with the remaining 2,773 treated for “shock and anxiety.” The UN Commission of Inquiry on Lebanon, meanwhile, cited the Lebanese authorities’ claim of 4,409 wounded Lebanese civilians—the only attempt at classification of casualties being a chart listing 56 different “collective massacres” conducted by Israeli forces during the war, with identifying labels such as: “Air raids struck heavily on the funeral procession of the victims of the previous day[‘s] air raids.”

BREAKING NEWS: Cambridge City Council Adopts Gaza Resolution

The Cambridge City Council today convened a public hearing on a bold and timely resolution regarding the situation in Gaza, with eloquent comments by many residents of Cambridge and heartfelt deliberations by City Council Members.

Summary of original resolution: “That the Cambridge City Council go on record recognizing the grievous impact of the loss of lives in the conflict on families and communities, mourning those lives on both sides of the conflict, condemning the attacks and invasion of Gaza by the Israeli military and the rocket attacks upon the people of Israel, and call for an immediate end to all attacks on civilians on both sides.”

White Phosphorous and Dense Inert Metal Explosives: Is Israel Using Banned and Experimental Munitions in Gaza?

Israel is coming under increasing criticism for its possible use of banned and experimental munitions. Human Rights Watch has accused Israel of illegally firing white phosphorous, which causes horrific burns if it comes in contact with the skin, over crowded refugee camps in Gaza. Medics and human rights groups are also reporting that they are seeing injuries distinctive of another controversial weapon, Dense Inert Metal Explosive, known as DIME, that was designed by the US Air Force in 2006. Those struck by the weapon who survive suffer severe mutilations and internal injuries. We go to the Gaza border to speak with Marc Garlasco of Human Rights Watch and to Norway to speak with Dr. Mads Gilbert, who just returned from the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. He says Gaza is “truly a scene from Dante’s Inferno.”

“Catastrophically Misguided and Incomprehensible Policy”–Renowned Jewish Playwright Tony Kushner Speaks Out Against Israel’s Assault on Gaza: Democracy Now

On Monday, a group called Jews Against the Occupation staged a protest against Israel’s invasion of Gaza blocks away outside the Israeli consulate in New York. Among those protesting was renowned playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner. Kushner won a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award for his play Angels in America, which was later made into an award-winning television mini-series. “The policy, on the part of the Israeli government, of reoccupation of Gaza seems to me catastrophically misguided,” Kushner says. “I can’t imagine this is not going to continue to be bloody and a violation of human rights.”

Gaza Suffers Most Intense Bombardment of 18-Day Israeli Assault: Democracy Now

Residents of Gaza suffered the most intense bombardment of the eighteen-day war last night as Israeli warplanes carried out strikes throughout the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian death toll is now at least 930. More than 4,000 Palestinians have been injured. Thirteen Israelis have died over the past eighteen days. We speak with journalist Zaki Chehab, author of Inside Hamas: The Untold Story of the Militant Islamic Movement.

Pro-Israel Supporters Praise Gaza Assault as Justified Despite Mounting Civilian Death Toll: Democracy Now

On Sunday, thousands turned out in New York for a rally to support the attack on Gaza. Speakers included New York Senator Chuck Schumer and Governor David Paterson. The journalist Max Blumenthal, also a Jewish American, spoke to some of the demonstrators. We play highlights.

Leading Israeli Scholar Avi Shlaim: Israel Committing “State Terror” in Gaza Attack, Preventing Peace: Democracy Now

The assault on Gaza is entering its nineteenth day, with no end in sight. Israel continues its intense bombardment of the territory as Israeli troops edge closer to the heart of Gaza City. Nearly 1,000 Palestinians have been killed, more than 4,400 injured, many of them women and children. Thirteen Israelis have died over the same period, ten of them soldiers. We speak with Oxford professor Avi Shlaim. He served in the Israeli army in the mid-1960s and is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading authorities on the Israeli-Arab conflict.

The Guardian: Silence today on Gaza, which was relegated to the back pages!

Dead Palestinians is no news story!

Gaza pounded amid push for truce: BBC

Israel’s chief negotiator is to travel to Cairo to discuss an Egyptian ceasefire plan that could end the 20-day-old conflict in the Gaza Strip. As an Israeli spokesman talked of diplomatic “momentum”, the Palestinian militant group Hamas said the talks had made progress, but did not elaborate. However, intense fighting has continued in Gaza, with Israeli troops pushing deeper into Gaza City. The UN’s relief agency, Unrwa, says its headquarters in Gaza City are on fire. Spokesman Christopher Gunness said three of its employees were hurt after the compound was hit by five projectiles. He said the agency would not be able to distribute aid on Thursday as its trucks have been unable to leave the compound.

I wondered yesterday what the next move can be, now that they have even bombed the cemetery. Well, this is an interesting innovation. What is planned for tomorrow?

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Palestinian Palestinian citizen of Israel have been vocal in their opposition to the Gaza conflict

Israeli Arabs torn by Gaza violence: BBC

“We are in a very difficult position,” the woman told me. And then she burst into tears. We are at a political rally held in this northern city to oppose the war in Gaza. Around us protesters held banners and chanted slogans. Nearly all of them were Israeli Arabs, including my sobbing interviewee. “We are citizens of Israel,” she said, “but we are Palestinian. Emotionally, we are part of the people in Gaza.” She started crying again, and then explained why she had found the past two weeks so difficult. “At the street, or at the supermarket, people are supporting the killing of children. And we are living among these people.”

You will have noticed the gradual killing of the gaza news on the BBC, as well as on The Guardian. You may have also noticed that throughout, they use the Zionist terminoly, like calling the Palestinians citizens of Israel “Israeli Arabs”, as if that is what they call themselves. Thank you, BBC, for being so servile.

Olmert’s claims revive spectre of “Israel Lobby” : Daniel Luban, The Electronic Intifada

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WASHINGTON (IPS) – The US State Department fiercely denied claims made by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert about his influence over President George W. Bush, in an incident that has stirred up old debates about the role of the Israeli government and the so-called “Israel lobby” in formulating Middle East policy in Washington. On Monday, Olmert claimed that he demanded and received an immediate conversation with President Bush, during which he convinced the president to overrule the wishes of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and abstain from a United Nations resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

Gaza burning without water to put out the flames

Gaza burning without water to put out the flames

Eyewitness: Tanks surround us: BBC

The Israeli army has stepped up its military offensive in Gaza. The BBC’s Rushdi Abou Alouf is in Gaza City, and he gave us this account while his house was temporarily surrounded by Israeli tanks. Last night at about 10 o’clock Gaza time, tanks and Israeli armoured personnel started to move into a very high populated neighbourhood called Tel al-Hawa, south-west of Gaza City. The tanks are surrounding the place right now and there is heavy fighting ongoing between fighters and Israeli army.

Anger begins to knock at Israel’s borders : Mel Frykberg, The Electronic Intifada

RAMALLAH, occupied West Bank (IPS) – A number of armed attacks have taken place on Israel’s borders with Palestinian territories in the last six days as Arab public anger over the death and destruction wrought on Gaza spills over from massive street demonstrations. Israeli security officials have voiced concern that the Gaza violence could affect Israel’s borders and that Israeli settlers and soldiers in the Palestinian West Bank could be targeted by armed Palestinians.

Ceasefire moves fading away : Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa al-Omrani, The Electronic Intifada

CAIRO (IPS) – A week after the unveiling of a Franco-Egyptian ceasefire proposal aimed at stopping the bloodshed in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian resistance faction Hamas and on the face of it Israel, are still discussing the fine print of an agreement. “Details of the proposal remain unclear,” Abdelaziz Shadi, coordinator of Cairo University’s Israeli studies program told IPS. “Both sides are still in the process of studying its terms to determine whose interests it serves.”

Thousands flee Gaza City homes as IDF enters neighborhoods: Ha’aretz

Thousands of Gaza City residents fled their homes on Thursday morning as Israel Defense Forces ground troops made their deepest foray yet into a crowded residential area, on Day 20 of its offensive on the Hamas-ruled coastal territory. Israeli troops backed by helicopter gunships, tanks and heavy guns thrustfurther into the city than ever before to seek out Hamas fighters, executing the army’s most relentless shelling of the Gaza Strip in nearly three weeks of fighting. Live video footage from a Reuters camera in central Gaza showed sustained artillery fire from the edge of the city for several hours. Shells exploded in downtown areas and long machinegun bursts echoed off Gaza’s cramped housing blocks.

ANALYSIS / Key to Israeli exit from Gaza rests with Egypt, U.S: Ha’aretz

A meeting of the “troika” on Wednesday dealt with preparations for a visit to Cairo by senior Defense Ministry official Amos Gilad, as well as formulating a position that he will present to his Egyptian interlocutors. Upon his return from Cairo, the troika will reconvene to hear his report and to decide whether Israel will accept the Egyptian initiative for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, thus concluding Operation Cast Lead. Israel refrained from issuing a direct response to Hamas’ announcement on Wednesday that it is accepting the initiative. However, implicit in the decision to dispatch Gilad to Cairo is Israel’s approval of the Egyptian proposal, even if that approval is conditional.

U.S. may cut $1 billion in loan guarantees to Israel over West Bank settlements: Ha’aretz

The United States administration plans to cut about $1 billion from the balance of its loan guarantees to Israel because of its investments in the settlements. The balance currently stands at $4.6 billion. Washington has not officially informed Jerusalem of the cut. The assumption is that the announcement, and the decision over the exact extent of the cut, will come only after Barack Obama is sworn in as president next Tuesday. Israel has used about $4.4 billion of the $9 billion in loan guarantees extended by the U.S. in 2003 in the wake of the war in Iraq and to help shore up the Israeli economy. The guarantees have assumed greater importance recently in light of the global economic crisis and the Finance Ministry intention to use the guarantees to secure foreign loans to help pay for the expected government budget deficit.

This is exactly how the USA, for decades, is financing not just Israel’s military oppression and invasions, but its illegal settlements. Thank you, USA, for consistently being on the wrong side of every issue.

Gideon Levy / The IDF has no mercy for the children in Gaza nursery schools: Ha’aretz

The fighting in Gaza is “war deluxe.” Compared with previous wars, it is child’s play – pilots bombing unimpeded as if on practice runs, tank and artillery soldiers shelling houses and civilians from their armored vehicles, combat engineering troops destroying entire streets in their ominous protected vehicles without facing serious opposition. A large, broad army is fighting against a helpless population and a weak, ragged organization that has fled the conflict zones and is barely putting up a fight. All this must be said openly, before we begin exulting in our heroism and victory. This war is also child’s play because of its victims. About a third of those killed in Gaza have been children – 311, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry, 270 according to the B’Tselem human rights group – out of the 1,000 total killed as of Wednesday. Around 1,550 of the 4,500 wounded have also been children according to figures from the UN, which says the number of children killed has tripled since the ground operation began.

Israel Foreign Ministry preparing for ‘day after’ IDF leaves Gaza: Ha’aretz

The Foreign Ministry has created a special task force to prepare for the aftermath of the Israel Defense Forces’ Gaza operation. The team will submit proposals for two of the army’s main concerns – Iran and Hamas taking control of Gaza’s postwar reconstruction, and the harm the offensive might cause to Israel’s image abroad. One of the task force’s missions is to draft recommendations for the Strip’s rehabilitation. The ministry hopes to avoid a situation similar to the one in southern Lebanon after the 2006 Second Lebanon War. There, Iran sent hundreds of millions of dollars to Hezbollah to transfer to families whose homes had been destroyed, burnishing the militant group’s reputation among the population.

Operation Cast Lead taking toll on Israeli businesses overseas

By Ora Coren, Haaretz Correspondent: Ha’aretz

Although there have been no reported cancellations of existing deals, the union of Turkish cooperatives, affiliated with the Turkish Agriculture Ministry, announced on its Web site Wednesday it would place an embargo on financing purchases from Israel. Israel’s commercial attache in Turkey, Doron Abrahami, said that although it is very difficult to develop new business in Turkey, no cancellations of existing contracts had been reported. The Turkish government had also rejected pressure from MPs to cancel security-related contracts with Israel. Nevertheless, the Manufacturers’ Association here recently reported that a delegation of 30 industrialists in the furniture sector that had planned to travel to Istanbul had canceled the trip in view of anti-Israel hostility and concerns for the delegation’s safety.

Arab parties: We’ll establish an alternative Arab parliament: Ha’aretz

Israeli Arab political party Balad, recently banned from the upcoming general elections by Israel’s central elections committee, warned on Wednesday that if the court upholds the committee’s decision, the party will call for a boycott of the elections and establish an alternative Arab parliament. Balad Chairman MK Jamal Zahalka told Haaretz on Wednesday that “if the High Court of Justice upholds the ban, our call for the establishment of an Arab parliament will gain immense momentum. If we can’t be elected to parliament, we’ll establish one of our own.”

The ‘only democracy in the Middle East’ is about to turn into two… this is the preamble for the nig plan to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians from Israel, and have an Arabrein country.

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