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Showing posts from January 3, 2009

Letter to President George W. Bush on the Gaza Crisis

Letter to President George W. Bush on the Gaza Crisis: "Congressman Barney Frank said recently that Barack Obama's declaration that 'there is only one president at a time' over-estimated the number. He was referring to the economic crisis. But where are you on the Gaza crisis where the civilian population of Gaza, its civil servants and public facilities are being massacred and destroyed respectively by U.S built F-16s and U.S. built helicopter gunships.

The deliberate suspension of your power to stop this terrorizing of 1.5 million people, mostly refugees, blockaded for months by air, sea and land in their tiny slice of land, is in cowardly contrast to the position taken by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956. That year he single handedly stopped the British, French and Israeli aircraft attack against Egypt during the Suez Canal dispute.

Fatalities in Gaza are already over 400 and injuries close to 2000 so far as is known. Total Palestinian civilian casualties are 400 …

An Israeli War Crimes Tribunal (ICTI) May be the Only Deterrent to a Global War

The United Nations General Assembly must immediately establish an International Criminal Tribunal for Israel (ICTI) as a "subsidiary organ" under U.N. Charter Article 22. The ICTI would be organized along the lines of the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY), which was established by the Security Council.

The purpose of the ICTI would be to investigate and prosecute Israeli war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against the Peoples of Lebanon and Palestine.

The establishment of ICTI would provide some small degree of justice to the victims of Israeli war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against the Peoples of Lebanon and Palestine--just as the ICTY has done in the Balkans. Furthermore, the establishment of ICTI by the U.N. General Assembly would serve as a deterrent effect upon Israeli leaders such as Prime Minister Olmert, Foreign Minister Livni, Defense Minister Barak, Chief of Staff Ashkenazi and Israel's other top generals that th…

Al Jazeera English - Middle East - Israel begins Gaza ground offensive

Al Jazeera English - Middle East - Israel begins Gaza ground offensive: "The Israeli army has confirmed its troops have entered the Gaza Strip as it escalates its offensive on the eighth day of operations.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, a spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry said: 'They [Israeli ground forces] will be completing the mission of the air force, going for Hamas headquarters and weapons caches and giving a blow to their capability to launch attacks into Israel.'

Alan Fisher, Al Jazeera's correspondent on the Israeli-Gaza border, said that the Israeli army had confirmed it had entered Gaza and that he had witnessed the movement of tanks and armoured vehicles in the area.

Hamas has vowed to defeat the Israeli army following the invasion."

Al Jazeera English - Africa - Ghana elects new president

Al Jazeera English - Africa - Ghana elects new president: "John Atta Mills, Ghana's opposition leader, has won the country's presidential election, the country's electoral commission said.

During the last leg of a tight race, the 64-year-old pulled ahead of ruling party rival Nana Akufo-Addo with several thousand votes from the remote rural district of Tain.

Running under the National Democratic Congress, Atta Mills took 50.23 per cent of the vote, against 49.77 per cent for Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

This is Atta-Mills third bid for the presidency; he lost the previous two elections to outgoing leader John Kufuor, who is stepping down after serving the maximum two terms in office."

Al Jazeera English - Middle East - Deaths as Israel hits Gaza mosque

Al Jazeera English - Middle East - Deaths as Israel hits Gaza mosque: "At least 11 Palestinians, including one child, have been killed after Israeli forces struck a mosque during prayers in the town of Beit Lahiya, north of Jabaliya in the Gaza Strip.

More than 200 people were inside the the Ibrahim al-Maqadna mosque praying when it was struck.

It is not clear yet whether the mosque was hit as part of the Israeli army's shelling, which started on Saturday afternoon.

At least 50 people were wounded, Hamas and medical officials said.

The Israeli military has destroyed several mosques during its week-long offensive in Gaza, saying Hamas uses the houses of worship to store weapons.

Ayman Mohyeldin, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Gaza, said: 'As much as Israel wants to be surgical in its strikes at the end of the day it is civilians that are being hit. This is proof that civilians are caught up in these attacks.'

Mohyeldin said doctors in the Gaza Strip were being overwhelmed…

Al Jazeera English - Middle East - Profile: Hamas

Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, who founded Hamas, was assassinated by Israel in 2004 [AP]

Al Jazeera English - Middle East - Profile: Hamas:

"Hamas, the Palestinian political movement that controls Gaza, rose to international prominence following its armed campaign against Israel during the second intifada, or uprising, which began in 2000.

The organisation, founded in 1987 as an offshoot of the pan-Arab Muslim Brotherhood movement, had already achieved widespread popularity in the Palestinian territories for its resistance to the Israeli military occupation and for its social programmes.

The pinnacle of that popularity came in January 2006, when the movement won a stunning victory in the Palestinian parliamentary elections."

Al Jazeera English - Middle East - Israeli artillery shells Gaza Strip

Al Jazeera English - Middle East - Israeli artillery shells Gaza Strip: "Israeli artillery has started firing shells into the Gaza Strip as Israel continues its eighth day of attacks on the territory.

The death toll of Palestinians climbed past 450 on Saturday as a strike on a northern Gaza town of killed at least 11 people, including one child, who were praying in a mosque.

Israeli soldiers, tanks and armoured personnel carriers have massed along Gaza's border, as there is increasing speculation that a ground offensive is approaching.

The shelling of Gaza marked a new phase in the offensive, with Israel having concentrated on using its air force and navy in previous days."

Somali Insurgents Take Over Police Stations As Ethiopian Troops Pull Out

MOGADISHU, Somalia — Islamic insurgents appeared to be scrambling for power Saturday, taking over several police stations in the capital as Ethiopian troops who have been propping up the government began to pull out, witnesses said.Many fear the Ethiopian pullout _ and last month's resignation of Somalia's president _ will cause Islamic militant groups to fight among themselves for power, bringing even more chaos to this beleaguered Horn of African nation."We have to show commitment to do our part in security, we want to help people feel secure," Abdirahim Issa Adow, a spokesman for one wing of the insurgency, told The Associated Press after deploying troops to three of Mogadishu's 14 police stations.His Union of Islamic Courts is not allied to the most powerful insurgent group, al-Shabab, which has taken over most of Somalia.

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Ethiopian Troops Disarm Government Soldiers (Page 1 of 1)

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Ethiopian Troops Disarm Government Soldiers (Page 1 of 1): "Mogadishu — The Ethiopian troops have disarmed some government soldiers in Mogadishu, witnesses said on Thursday.

The move came after some government soldiers started to defect from their bases and surrendered to the Islamist insurgents.

Residents said government soldiers handed over their weapons to the Somali, Islamist insurgents in Mogadishu."
Sources say the Ethiopian troops ordered government soldiers based in Florenza area, in Mogadishu, to hand over their weapons to the Ethiopian soldiers and now the Ethiopian troops moved to the base.Somali government soldiers have been surrendering to the Islamists since Somali president Abdulahi Yusuf resigned and the Ethiopian government announced plans to withdraw its troops from Somalia.

Al Jazeera English - Middle East - Israel continues Gaza assault

Al Jazeera English - Middle East - Israel continues Gaza assault
A field commander of the armed wing of Hamas has been killed in the continuing Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip.Abu Zakaria al-Jamal, a senior figure in the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, died of his wounds on Saturday after Israeli jets bombed his home overnight.His death came as Israel kept up its deadly assault on Gaza for the eighth straight day. Hamas vowed to defeat the Israeli army if it invaded the territory."If you commit the stupidity of launching a ground offensive, then a black destiny awaits you," Khaled Meshaal, the political leader of Hamas, said in a speech."You will soon find out that Gaza is the wrath of God," he said.The warning came as Israeli soldiers, tanks and armoured personnel carriers massed along Gaza's border, preparing for what many speculated could be a ground offensive.

Laden Ethiopian convoy seen leaving Somali capital | Antiwar Newswire

Laden Ethiopian convoy seen leaving Somali capital | Antiwar Newswire: "MOGADISHU, Jan 2 (Reuters) - A convoy of trucks loaded with Ethiopian soldiers, mattresses and other equipment left Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Friday, witnesses said.

Ethiopian soldiers have been propping up Somalia's Western-backed government for the past two years but say they will withdraw in the next few days -- potentially leaving a dangerous power vacuum in the Horn of Africa nation.

It was not immediately clear whether the troop movement was the start of a withdrawal, or a deployment of soldiers elsewhere in the country where they are fighting Islamist insurgents.

'We have seen Ethiopian troops moving to Afgoye from Mogadishu,' said resident Omar Abdi Nur, referring to a town 30 km (19 miles) southwest of the capital."

Civilians Take Brunt of 7th Day of Gaza Offensive | News From Antiwar.com

The Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip continue, but with few targets remaining the air strikes are causing fewer deaths, and more and more of them are civilians.Though earlier in the war the United Nations Relief and Works Agency reported that “a minimum of 25 percent” of those killed in the attacks were civilians, a human rights group has now put it at about 40 percent. The death toll is now reportedly 430, with and over 2,200 have been wounded.Of the 10 Palestinians reportedly killed today, seven were civilians, and five of those civilians were children. Killing 10 people in at least 30 air strikes is probably not what Israel was hoping for, and half of them being children certainly doesn’t help the military’s enormous media campaign.Getting reliable, up-to-date casualty figures from the Gaza Strip is difficult given the Israeli government’s refusal to allow foreign journalists in to report on the situation on the ground. The figures mostly come from hospitals, and don’t include any…

Informed Comment: Moderates Must Give up Moderation:
Jordanian Press on Gaza

Informed Comment: Moderates Must Give up Moderation:<br> Jordanian Press on Gaza: ". . . Yasir Abu-Hilalah writes an article in Al-Ghadd[Tomorrow] on page 26, in which the writer discusses the elements of strength that HAMAS has. He says that HAMAS has around 25,000 fighters, who need training and weapons. He says that the Israelis admit that HAMAS has grown more professional after its control of the Gaza Strip and managed to smuggle a large amount of weapons and explosives through tunnels. He adds that HAMAS has hundreds of male and female suicide bombers. Then, HAMAS has rockets, which constitute a 'real force of deterrence' despite the fact that these rockets are not sophisticated . . .
Cont'd"