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Showing posts from January 15, 2009

Reports: Israeli airstrike kills Palestinian interior minister - On Deadline -

Reports: Israeli airstrike kills Palestinian interior minister - On Deadline - "Hamas says Interior Minister Said Siam was killed in an Israeli airstrike on the Gaza Strip, according to Reuters and the Associated Press.

The 50-year-old was a top member of the Hamas-led government. The Jerusalem Post says he was in charge of 'various security apparatuses' in the territory.

'Siam's brother Ayad and the head of Hamas' security organization in Gaza, Salah Abu Sharah, were also killed in the strike. Palestinian sources reported that 20 other people were injured in the attack,' Ynetnews reports on its website."

    Obama Nation Upholds US Terror          : Information Clearing House - ICH

     The sources of Arabs’ Shame         : Information Clearing House - ICH

     The sources of Arabs’ Shame         : Information Clearing House - ICH: "The often asked question, when it comes to the Palestinians, is about the role of Arab countries in the Palestinian struggle for freedom. The people not familiar with the political landscape of the area often see the Middle East as two camps, Arab countries on one side and Israel on the other. The reality is totally different. Israel has seldom been alone. Beside its usual American, French, British and other staunch allies, she has had the hidden backing of several Arab countries.

For close to 30 years now, many Arab countries have been collaborating with Israel; some like Egypt (gained independence: 1922) and Jordan (gained independence: 1946) openly while others like Saudi Arabia (founded: 1932), UAE (founded: 1972) and Kuwait (founded: 1961) from behind the scenes.

The reasons for this collaboration vary from country to country but they all have one thing in common: the rulers of these countries are al…

       Ismail Haniyeh: My message to the West –        : Information Clearing House - ICH

       Ismail Haniyeh: My message to the West –        : Information Clearing House - ICH: "Palestinians are appalled that the members of the European Union do not view this obscene siege as a form of aggression. Despite the overwhelming evidence, they shamelessly assert that Hamas brought this catastrophe upon the Palestinian people because it did not renew the truce. Yet we ask, did Israel honour the terms of the ceasefire mediated by Egypt in June? It did not. The agreement stipulated a lifting of the siege and an end to attacks in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Despite our full compliance, the Israelis persisted in murdering Palestinians in Gaza as well as the West Bank during what became known as the year of the Annapolis peace.

None of the atrocities committed against our schools, universities, mosques, ministries and civil infra-structure would deter us in the pursuit of our national rights. Undoubtedly, Israel could demolish every building in the Gaza Strip but it would…

   Gaza Witness Reports           : Information Clearing House - ICH

    Israelis shell hospitals and UN HQ           : Information Clearing House - ICH

Israelis shell hospitals and UN HQ: Information Clearing House - ICH
January 15, 2009 "Al Jazeera" -- -Three hospitals and a UN compound have been bombed by Israel as troops continue to advance into the densely-populated Gaza City.

Around 500 people were sheltering in the Al-Quds hospital in the city's southwestern Tal Al-Hawa district when it was bombed by Israeli jets and set ablaze on Thursday morning.

Hospital officials said the fire was sparked by a "phosphorus shell".

"We have been able to control the fire in the hospital but not in the administrative building," one hospital official said.

"We hope that the flames don't spread again to the wings of the hospital."

Two hospitals east of Gaza City were also hit by Israeli shells as Gazans fled tanks advancing into the city.

It was no immediately clear if any casualties following the raids.

UN fire 'still raging'

The Israelis also bombed a UN compound in Gaza City, setting fire to wareh…

        What You Need To Know About Israel's "Colonies"       : Information Clearing House - ICH

        What You Need To Know About Israel's "Colonies"       : Information Clearing House - ICH: "What You Need To Know About Israel's 'Colonies'


Anna Baltzer, a young Jewish American, went to the West Bank to discover the realities of daily life for Palestinians under the occupation. What she found would change her outlook on the conflict forever. She wrote this book to give voice to the stories of the people who welcomed her with open arms as their lives crumbled around them. For five months, Baltzer lived and worked with farmers, Palestinian and Israeli activists, and the families of political prisoners, traveling with them across endless checkpoints and roadblocks to reach hospitals, universities, and olive groves.

Baltzer witnessed firsthand the environmental devastation brought on by expanding settlements and outposts and the destruction wrought by Israels Security Fence, which separates many families from each other, their communities, their l…

McClatchy Washington Bureau | 01/13/2009 | Poll: American public backs Israel firmly in war with Hamas

McClatchy Washington Bureau | 01/13/2009 | Poll: American public backs Israel firmly in war with Hamas: "WASHINGTON — As Palestinian casualties mount in the Gaza Strip, the American people are squarely behind Israel and overwhelmingly think that using force against Hamas is appropriate, according to a new McClatchy/Ipsos poll.

Forty-four percent of Americans support Israel's use of force, while only 18 percent considered Hamas' use of force appropriate. Fifty-seven percent think that Hamas is using excessive force, while only 36 percent said Israel was.

Nearly 1,000 Palestinians have been killed in the violence — soldiers and civilians — and at least nine Israeli soldiers and four civilians have died.

When it comes to who's to blame for the latest Middle East crisis, Americans blame Hamas hands down: Forty-four percent said Hamas, 14 percent said Israel and 29 percent said they weren't sure. Nine percent said both, and 4 percent said neither."

Palestinian official: 800,000 Gazans without water_English_Xinhua

Palestinian official: 800,000 Gazans without water_English_Xinhua: "GAZA, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- A Palestinian official said on Wednesday that 800,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip lack water due to the Israeli air and ground offensive on the enclave.

Monzer Shublaq, chief of the Gaza Strip water authorities, told reporters that 800,000 Palestinians out of the total Gaza Strip population, which stands at about 1.5 million, 'are without water now.'

'There are two reasons that led to the water crisis. One is that the Israeli army tanks destroyed the major water pipes that supply large areas in the Gaza Strip,' said Shublaq.

The other reason is that Israel has been closing down all its border crossings with the Gaza Strip and it has not allowed fuels into the enclave for about three weeks, leaving the strip no fuel to operate most of its water pumps, he added."

Al Jazeera to share its exclusive footage of Gaza conflict - Editors Weblog

Al Jazeera to share its exclusive footage of Gaza conflict - Editors Weblog: "Al Jazeera has announced that it will share broadcast quality footage of the Gaza conflict online via Creative Commons, a non-profit sharing system. Footage is in English and Arabic and will be available to download free, for both commercial and non-commercial use, as long as users acknowledge Al Jazeera as the source.

The broadcaster has already been making extensive use of YouTube during the Gaza conflict, as well as other information sharing sites such as Twitter. As the only international news organisation with a significant presence in Gaza following an Israeli ban on foreign journalists, Al Jazeera's footage is particularly relevant at the moment. However, the channel is largely unavailable in the US, only carried by cable providers in Burlington, Vermont; Toledo, Ohio; and Washington, D.C." / UK - Al-Jazeera journalists become faces of the frontline / UK - Al-Jazeera journalists become faces of the frontline: "Ayman Mohyeldin was in a coffee shop joking with colleagues in Gaza City when the first Israeli bomb struck, smashing into a police station just a short distance from where they were sitting. The tremors from the explosion shook the café, but it took a few minutes for the reality to sink in - Gaza was under attack.

Since that moment 18 days ago, Mr Mohyeldin and his colleagues at al-Jazeera English, the satellite channel, have worked day and night, providing 24-hour coverage of the Israeli offensive in Gaza and the humanitarian crisis it has triggered.

Donning a helmet and a flak jacket, Mr Mohyeldin has become one of the faces of the war, delivering calm and balanced analysis of the chaos and destruction going on around him in a soft American accent."

Over 1,000 Killed in Gaza Strip | News From

19 days in, the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip passed another major milestone, with over 1,000 Palestinians killed in the attack. The Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights, which has been tracking the toll, said 673 of those killed were civilians, with 225 children and 69 women. 13 Israelis have also been killed, three of them civilians, though at least four of those soldiers were killed by the Israeli military.Red Cross President Jakob Kellenberger described the situation in the Gaza Strip as “shocking” and called for the Israeli military to make more provisions to ensure that ambulances could rescue wounded civilians from the attacks.Surveyors say that the attack has done at least $1.4 billion in damage to the infrastructure of the tiny strip. Securing the funds will likely be difficult, particularly in the global economic downturn. So far the United Nations has allocated $7 million (less than $5 per Gazan) to provide for them during this time of emergency.

The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب: Champion of Terrorism: Thomas Friedman

Champion of Terrorism: Thomas Friedman Here, Thomas Friedman, endorses and champions the Israeli murder of Lebanese civilians in the 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon: "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."

Israel in Gaza increasingly seen as Rogue State by EU, Red Cross, Lancet; Are Gazans Slaves?

Informed Comment: Israel in Gaza increasingly seen as Rogue State by EU, Red Cross, Lancet; <br> Are Gazans Slaves?

"It may be objected that Israelis do not make Gazans work for them for free. But forced labor is only one element of slavery. The essential characteristics of any slave system have more to do with the denial of liberty than with the precise economic form of exploitation practiced on the slave. That there has been Israeli economic exploitation of Gazans and their resources is in any case undeniable.

Unless and until the Gazans are freed by the Israeli Pharoah from their debilitating bondage, the violence will go on. And the Gazans, having been deprived of their liberty as Samson was deprived of his sight, are perfectly capable of bringing down the whole structure of Levantine security if this unhealthy and outrageous denial to them of the elements of basic human dignity does not cease once and for all."

France 24 | Lancet blasts Israeli 'atrocities' in Gaza | France 24

France 24 | Lancet blasts Israeli 'atrocities' in Gaza | France 24: "Israel is responsible for 'large and indiscriminate human atrocities' in Gaza, and the world medical establishment is a silent accomplice in the bloodshed, The Lancet charged on Wednesday.

In an editorial released ahead of publication next Saturday, the British health journal said Israel, by hitting civilians and wrecking medical infrastructure, had carried out attacks that were 'unjustified and disproportional.'

'We find it hard to believe that an otherwise internationally respected, democratic nation can sanction such large and indiscriminate human atrocities in a territory already under land and sea blockade,' The Lancet said.

'... The collective punishment of Gazans is placing horrific and immediate burdens of injury and trauma on innocent civilians. These actions contravene the fourth Geneva convention.'

The editorial also blasted 'national medical associations and pr…

Al Jazeera English - Africa - Clashes erupt in Somali capital

Al Jazeera English - Africa - Clashes erupt in Somali capital: "Clashes between Somali fighters and Ethiopian troops have killed at least 21 people and wounded 48 others in Mogadishu, witnesses say.

The fighting erupted on Wednesday after fighters attacked the presidential palace, ambushing departing Ethiopian soldiers in the Somali capital.

A heavy exchange of mortar and gunfire later ensued, witnesses said.

Al-Shabab, an armed group that has been fighting the transitional government and Ethiopian forces in Somalia, is thought to be behind the attack.

Ethiopian withdrawal

The violence underlines fears of an upsurge in bloodshed after Ethiopia's military completes its troop withdrawal from Somalia."

Al Jazeera English - Middle East - Children pay price of Gaza war

Al Jazeera English - Middle East - Children pay price of Gaza war: "The United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) says children are bearing the brunt of Israel's war on the Gaza Strip.

More than 300 children have been killed and hundreds more have been wounded in Israel's aerial and ground assault so far.

'Each day more children are being hurt, their small bodies wounded, their young lives shattered. This is tragic. This is unacceptable,' Ann Veneman, Unicef's executive director, said in a statement.

'They are bearing the brunt of a conflict which is not theirs.

'As fighting reaches the heart of heavily populated urban areas, the impact of lethal weapons will carry an even heavier toll on children.'"

Al Jazeera English - Americas - Venezuela breaks off Israel ties

Al Jazeera English - Americas - Venezuela breaks off Israel ties: "Venezuela has joined Bolivia in severing ties with Israel in protest against its war in the Gaza Strip, which has left more than 1,000 Palestinians dead.

'Venezuela ... has decided to break off diplomatic relations with the state of Israel given the inhumane persecution of the Palestinian people,' the foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president, decided to expel Israel's ambassador and embassy staff last week because of the offensive, calling the Israeli onslaught a 'holocaust'.

Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia and a close ally of Chavez, said that he would seek to get senior Israeli officials, including Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, charged with 'genocide' in the International Criminal Court.

'Insecurity Council'

The Bolivian president also dismissed the United Nations and its 'Insecurity Council' for its 'luke…

Al Jazeera English - Middle East - Israeli forces pound Gaza City