Jan 20, 2009

More than 1400 Palestinians dead, over 436 children,

100 women, and more than 5,300 wounded

(Numbers taken from the Hebrew press today, those numbers are already inaccurate, as more and more bodies are found under the rubble))

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

It would mean more than 52,000 dead, 17,000 of them children, and 212,000 wounded.

Gaza doctors struggle to treat deadly burns consistent with white phosphorus: The Guardain

Dozens dying after Israeli attacks from injuries ‘unlike any seen before’ that medics say should not be fatal Doctors in Gaza described today how they had struggled to treat dozens of patients with terrible and unusually deadly burns consistent with white phosphorus weapons, during Israel’s three-week war in Gaza. Nafiz Abu Shabaan, head of the burns unit at Shifa hospital and the most senior burns surgeon in Gaza, said 60 to 70 patients had died in his unit during the war from severe burns that were unlike any injury he had previously seen. Patients with only relatively small burn injuries, which ought to be survivable, were dying unexpectedly. His account, along with evidence from survivors, corroborates mounting evidence from groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International that the Israeli military fired phosphorus shells into populated areas of Gaza in direct violation of international humanitarian law. Amnesty said it believes Israel is guilty of a war crime. White phosphorus is allowed to be used as a smokescreen on the battlefield in certain situations, but its use in civilian areas is prohibited under United Nations conventions. Now that IS strange! I heard Major Avital Leibowitz, the commander of the IOF Blond Brigade of BlahBlah (otherwise known as the Brunhildas) say many times that Israel does NOT use such weapons! Surely, she could not be lying? Unimaginable. If you feel like not sleeping tonight, see film on link below:

Video evidence: White phosphorus in Gaza: The Guardian

the victims: Ayman al Najar, 13, tells how he lost his sister, grandfather and cousin in a bomb attack on 14 January in Khoza’a, southern Gaza. Five days later his wounds still will not heal

Amid dust and death, a family’s story speaks for the terror of war: The Guardian

48 members of the Samouni family were killed in one day when Israel’s battle with Hamas suddenly centred on their homes Rory McCarthy in Zeitoun Helmi Samouni knelt yesterday on the floor of the bedroom he once shared with his wife and their five-month old son, scraping his fingers through a thick layer of ash and broken glass looking for mementoes of their life together. “I found a ring. I might find more,” he said. His wife Maha and their child Muhammad were killed in the second week of Israel’s 22-day war in Gaza when they were shelled by Israeli forces as they took shelter nearby along with dozens of relatives. In total 48 people from one family are now known to have died that Monday morning, 5 January, in Zeitoun, on the southern outskirts of Gaza City. Of all the horrors visited on the civilians of Gaza in this war the fate of the Samounis, a family of farmers who lived close together in simple breeze-block homes, was perhaps the gravest. Read about their heroic and humane IOF sodiers, now that freign journalist are allowed in, and stories start coming out.

Israel Hits UNRWA School in Beit Lahiya C4 report by Jonathan Miller

ISRAEL/OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES: ISRAEL’S USE OF WHITE PHOSPHORUS AGAINST GAZA CIVILIANS “CLEAR AND UNDENIABLE”, 19 January 2009

Amnesty International delegates visiting the Gaza Strip found indisputable evidence of widespread use of white phosphorus in densely populated residential areas in Gaza City and in the north. “Yesterday, we saw streets and alleyways littered with evidence of the use of white phosphorus, including still burning wedges and the remnants of the shells and canisters fired by the Israeli army,” said Christopher Cobb-Smith, a weapons expert who is in Gaza as part of a four-person Amnesty International fact-finding team. “White phosphorus is a weapon intended to provide a smokescreen for troop movements on the battlefield,” said Cobb-Smith. “It is highly incendiary, air burst and its spread effect is such that it that should never be used on civilian areas”. “Such extensive use of this weapon in Gaza’s densely populated residential neighbourhoods is inherently indiscriminate. Its repeated use in this manner, despite evidence of its indiscriminate effects and its toll on civilians, is a war crime,” said Donatella Rovera, Amnesty’s researcher on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. So what now? IOF is still carrying out its investigation…. wait for results any moment in 2015.

What is the role of the academia in Israel in supporting the military? TAU special brochure will let you know!

In the debate which must now follow, about the role and nature of the cooperation between academia and the Israel ‘defence’ forces, it will be valuable if members could update themselves. To assist you in doing so, I am attaching here a link to one of the documents you may well wish to study carefully. You can read it all on the link above! The document gloats over the great achievements of Tel Aviv University ‘scientists’ in the service of the army, air force, and the rest of state repressive apparatus in Israel. The document is beautifully and expensively produced and after all. Comes from the horse’s mouth, so please trust what the university says about itself, even if you wish not trust those of us who speak against war, for some obscure reason… I have no wish to give away the plot and spoil your read of this succulent document, so please go ahead and read it in your own time. I thought I may just provide a taster. All entries are off course much longer than I could provide here, and all are cut and paste jobs, so please do not blame me for the occasional typos – they are not mine. Do remember that this is asmall selection from a huge portfolio. The really serious stuff is on webpages which will NOT allow you in. Try and check if you don’t believe me: Intelligence Remember Q, who provides James Bond with laser beam watches and other futuristic gadgets that keep 007’s enemies at bay? In real life there’s no such glamor in what today is called national security research and development. In the rough and tumble reality of the Middle East, Tel Aviv University is at the front line of the critical work to maintain Israel’s military and technological edge. Molecular explosives detection While military R&D often results in civilian spin-offs, Prof. Doron Shabat’s civilian research has shown converse potential for military applications. Shabat, of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler School of Chemistry, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences, has been working on novel drug-delivery biomolecules that ferry cancer-killing doses of medication directly to tumor tissue. Using the same technology, Shabat has made a breakthrough in explosives detection. By installing a sensor unit at the head of his carefully engineered molecules, he can use his system to identify explosives such as triacetone triperoxide (TATP). Anti-missile decoys Prof. Ady Arie remembers well what nearly happened on November 28, 2002, in Mombassa, Kenya. As three suicide bombers crashed a SUV into a seaside resort killing 13 and injuring 18, almost simultaneously two surface-to-air missiles were fired at an Israeli charter plane as it took off from Moi International Airport. Animals Four-legged surveillance At the Center for Applied Animal Behavior for Security Purposes at TAU, headed by Prof. Joseph Terkel of the Zoology Department, scientists are testing the suitability of various animals to carry out security-related tasks. Some of their findings are now being successfully applied in the field by security forces. Most defense and security research today exploits sophisticated modern technology. Terkel and his team, in contrast, utilize what millions of years of evolution have led to: survival of the fittest in the animal world, with different species having evolved unique senses specific to their survival needs. Each four-legged animal’s abilities and constraints can be used for the benefit of two-legged security personnel. Indeed, there are some tasks that animals are much better equipped to carry out. It is widely accepted today that no artificial nose can compete with a dog’s super-sensitive nose, which is able to sniff and detect one in a million parts of a substance it has been trained to recognize, such as explosives. A dog, cannot, however, both sniff and pant at the same time. When overheated from the effort involved in working, it will pant to cool itself down, which impairs its ability to sniff out an explosive. The dog’s handler must be able to determine that the dog is really sniffing when it moves ahead of a patrol. This problem is being addressed through the doctoral research of Terkel’s student Irit Gazit, in collaboration with the IDF’s Canine Unit, where Terkel heads R&D. Gazit has developed a device that, when attached to a dog’s muzzle, transmits sounds back to its handler via a portable receiver, enabling the handler to know – even at a distance – whether the dog is actively sniffing and searching, or just panting. If the dog is panting, the handler can redirect it back to that specific area to sniff again, thereby ensuring that a hidden explosive is not missed. Surveillance Treading carefully While Prof. Katzir is concerned about monitoring water quality, for the last four years Prof. Yoram Shapira, incumbent of the Henry and Dina Krongold Chair in Microelectronics, has been obsessed with the covert surveillance of just about everything. Sweat Studies Sweating out the truth Research by Dr. Michael Gozin is also likely to be widely adopted in the coming years, if not commercially then certainly by police and intelligence agencies. The Belarus-born Gozin is researching enhanced identification techniques based on perspiration. “A lot of organizations, including the FBI, are looking at sweat residue as an alternative to fingerprint identification. Sweat contains a very complex mixture of small, organic molecules and larger bio-molecules – proteins and peptides. It is possible that these proteins and peptides are specific to every individual,” Gozin explains. “An advanced biochemical analysis could create a sweat pattern unique to an individual,” he theorizes. Well, just reading the stuff makes me sweat…

Petition: Israel must be judged at the International Criminal Court – Universal petition

To the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC)

Sign the petition!

Sign the petition!

Law is the distinguishing mark of human civilisation. All progress made by humanity coincides with the consolidation of rights. The challenge that Israel’s aggression against Gaza poses to us consists in affirming, when confronted with such great suffering, that the response to violence is justice. War crimes? Only courts are able to bring about a sentence, but all of us can bear witness, because a human being only exists in his relationship with others. The circumstances show the breadth of their dimension in Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1949, «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.» The protection of populations, and not only of States, is the reason why the International Criminal Court exists. A population without a State is the most threatened of all, and before History, they are placed under the protection of international bodies. The most vulnerable populations must be the most protected. Killing Palestinian civilians, the Israeli armoured tanks have caused humanity as a whole to bleed. We have been insisting that the power of the Prosecutor be put at the service of all the victims, and this task must allow that the entire world receives a message of hope, that of the construction of international rights based on human rights. And together, one day, we can pay homage to the Palestinian people for the contribution that they have given to the defence of human freedom.

Lieberman to Tibi: We must treat some Arab MKs like we treated Hamas: The Guardian

Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman lashed out at Arab MK Ahmed Tibi during a Supreme Court hearing Tuesday on an appeal against a ban on Arab parties from taking part in next month’s general election. “We need to treat some Arab MKs like we treated Hamas,” Lieberman told Tibi (Ra’am-Ta’al). “The option of revoking the citizenship of the branch of terrorist organizations within the Knesset will be kept open.” Tibi retorted by calling Lieberman a fascist. “[Israeli Arabs] are salt of the earth. We did not immigrate here like you,” Tibi told Lieberman. “In America they are swearing-in a black president, and in Israel a minority is being deprived of its right to political representation,” he added. Read what the leader one of the main parties in Israel, the fascist Lieberman, is planning for Palestinian citizens of Israel. Do not ever say you were not warned!

Israel’s right to defend itself : Joseph Massad, The Electronic Intifada

Common Western political wisdom has it that when Western countries support Israeli military action against Arab countries or the Palestinian people, they do so because they support Israel’s right to defend itself against its enemies. This has always been established wisdom in Israel itself, even before the colonial settlement was established, wherein its predatory army is ironically named the Israel Defense Forces, not unlike the South African apartheid army, which was also known as the South African Defense Forces. This defensive nomenclature is hardly exclusive to Israel and South Africa, as many countries rushed after World War II to rename their Ministries of “War” as Ministries of “Defense.” Still, Israel’s allegedly defensive actions define every single war the colonial settlement has ever engaged in, even and especially when it starts these wars, which it has done in all cases except in 1973. Thus the war of 1948 which Zionist militias started against the Palestinian people on 30 November 1947, a day after a Western-controlled Untied Nations General Assembly issued the Partition Plan, is presented as “defensive,” as was its expulsion of about 400,000 Palestinians before 15 May 1948, i.e. before the day on which three Arab armies (the Egyptian, Syrian, and Iraqi armies) invaded the area that became Israel (Lebanon hardly had an army to invade with and hardly managed to retrieve two Lebanese villages that Israel had occupied, and Jordanian forces only entered the areas designated by the UN plan for the Palestinian state, and East Jerusalem which was projected to fall under UN jurisdiction). This is an outstanding piece of writing!

Amira Hass / Gazans say IDF troops ignored white flags and shot at them: Ha’aretz

Gaza residents are claiming that some Palestinians killed during the three weeks of fighting were waving white flags at the time they were shot. Four of them were members of the A-Najar family of the village of Khuza’a, east of Khan Yunis. Statements attesting to the circumstances surrounding their deaths was provided to the B’Tselem human rights organization and Haaretz over the telephone. On the night between January 12-13, Israel Defense Forces soldiers entered Khuza’a, which is only a few hundred meters from the border with Israel. A few hours of shelling caused fires, which residents attempted to put out, Monir A-Najar told Haaretz on Monday.

Gaza rebuild ‘to cost billions': BBC

Rebuilding the Gaza Strip after Israel’s three-week offensive will cost billions of dollars, the UN has warned. Tens of thousands of Palestinians have been left homeless and 400,000 people still have no running water, it says. The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, is to visit Gaza and southern Israel on Tuesday to assess the situation. Ceasefires declared by Palestinian militant groups and Israel are holding, and Israeli troops are expected to complete their pull-out later. Now we will all pay for what Israel has done. The only ones who will not pay are the murderers themselves!

Destruction and frustration in Gaza: BBC

Fatima Minzaman says "it's never been this bad before"

Fatima Minzaman says "it's never been this bad before"

Fatima Minzaman sat in the dirt next to a crooked mountain of concrete – the five-story apartment building that used to be home to the 67-year-old woman. Several of her grown sons worked steadily nearby to build a one room shelter from cement blocks.”They [the Israelis] destroyed the houses on people’s heads,” she said, “it’s never been this bad before.” Mrs Minzaman stayed in her apartment even as the Israeli tanks and bulldozers came, until she and her brother-in-law were warned out by Israeli soldiers who she said placed explosives in the building and then demolished it. ‘Israeli message’ She was one of tens of thousands across Gaza who took advantage of the ceasefire to inspect the remnants of their homes. Hamas policemen returned to the streets of Gaza on Monday, looking just as tired as the rest of the population of Gaza after three weeks of intense bombardment.

Lieberman to Arab MK: We’ll deal with you like we dealt with Hamas: Ynet News

Heated confrontation breaks out at Supreme Court after Arab parties appeal decision to bar them from running in upcoming Knesset elections. MK El-Sana tells Yisrael Beiteinu chairman, ‘You’re a new immigrant and inciter.’ Lieberman replies, ‘You’re a terrorist representing terrorists’.A heated confrontation erupted Tuesday morning between an Arab and a right-wing Knesset member before the start of a Supreme Court hearing on an appeal filed by two Arab parties against the decision to bar them from running in the upcoming elections. MK Talab El-Sana (United Arab List-Ta’al) called out towards Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman, “Get the hell out of here.” Lieberman replied, “You’re a terrorist representing terrorists. We’ll deal with you like with any other terrorist, like we dealt with Hamas.”

Travel advisory issued for top IDF officers: Ynet News

State expresses concern over international human rights groups’ intention to file war crimes charges against military personnel with The Hague, local European courts; says officers planning to travel must contact Judge Advocate General’s Office first. IDF officers intending to travel to Europe, whether for business or pleasure, have been advised to contact the Judge Advocate General’s Office prior to leaving Israel; and some may be instructed not to leave the country. The advisory has been issued following Israel’s concern that international arrest warrants may be issued against officers who were involved in the Israeli offensive in Gaza, on charges of war crimes.

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