Gaza Offensive as seen from the Cradle of Arab Resistance

 

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

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The consent of Germany to economic sanctions against Russia will change Putin’s position and will accelerate Novorossiya’s victory

The Saker

by Pyotr AKOPOV

translated by ‘A’

In the global conflict of Russia and the USA which consequence war in Ukraine turned out to be also, there is an important change which will affect all fronts where Russia resists to atlantist. Germany, some months resisting to pressure of the USA, conceded and agreed to enter economic sanctions. This step seriously will influence Putin’s tactics in the Ukrainian events.

It is quite probable that sectoral sanctions against Russia will be agreed on Tuesday at a meeting of constant representatives of EU countries and will mention finance, power, arms, production of a dual purpose. If offers of European Commission are accepted, already in the next few days they will be approved at meeting of Council of EU. About introduction of new sanctions against Russia it was spoken and during Obama’s conversation with leaders of England, France, Germany and Italy.

Last week there were doubts that Anglo-Saxons will manage to press through Germany, but statements of the German ministers and industrialists practically don’t leave in recent days doubts that Berlin “ripened”. Germany approves introduction of sectoral sanctions against Russia, the representative of the government of Germany declared on Monday to Christiana Virtts: “The government supports a concrete sectoral package of measures”. And the president of Federal association of the German industry Ulrich Grillo told that it supports sanctions: “Policy time came”.

Considering that Germany was the main obstacle for introduction of sectoral sanctions, now they become almost inevitable. It is clear that their first portion can be rather limited both on scale, and on time, but that the USA after all could force Europeans is important to join their policy not only political, but also the economic pressure and isolation of Russia, following which, Washington expects to force Moscow to give up on Ukraine. The rupture of Europe with Russia becomes even more important in the light of transatlantic partnership actively advanced by the USA, that is attempt to create the common Atlantic market, having connected two largest economic zones of the world and having put them under the Anglo-Saxon management. Thus, the decision of Germany and EU becomes truly historical – from the category such which define the direction and a history course.

Vladimir Putin also proceeded from such understanding of a role of Berlin, defining tactics of actions of Russia everything the last months when the Ukrainian crisis took already the form of real war. Putin threw down a challenge of the USA and to the Anglo-Saxon global project – without having attached the Crimea, and much earlier, having returned to the Kremlin in 2012. Attempt to take away Ukraine from the Russian world was the main answer of the West to return of Russia in big game. But from the very beginning of a sharp phase of the Ukrainian crisis Russia tried not only to prevent “stealing of Ukraine”, but also to play on contradictions in the West – considering that interests of the USA and Europe, first of all Germany, don’t coincide at all. Certainly, Putin didn’t create illusions on independence of Germany – Germany represents the state with the limited sovereignty (and not only because of entry into the military block of NATO, and owing to a number of the obvious and secret mechanisms allowing Anglo-Saxons to control elite of this largest country of Europe). But he staked on acceleration of process of gradual release of Germans from dense Atlantic guardianship – the process, going already many years and gaining strength even before the Ukrainian crisis.

National conceiving part of the German elite perfectly understands that our two countries are objective partners the normal relations between which do a situation in Europe steady practically to any manipulations of Anglo-Saxon geopoliticians. Also remembers what exactly the wrong assessment of Russia from Germany (and in many respects thanks to suggestions of island strategists) twice for the last century led the country to national accident. There are no doubts that Anglo-Saxons are ready and to push off our two countries for the third time, having set Germany on Russia – this time economically. But in process of collecting of big Europe going now interests of Germany which in every possible way insists on deepening of political integration, in a root contradict interests of Anglo-Saxon globalizator which want to see in the European Union not independent, especially kontinentalno, German – the focused force, and obedient east wing of global “West”, own world project.

Independence of Germany, as well as construction on this base of the building of the independent European Union, it is possible only when forming not hostile, partnership with Russia. With big Russia which will inevitably restore the borders and influence, let and in the form of the Euroasian union. And the global Berlin axis – Moscow – Beijing is at all capable to move the center of gravity in world geopolitics to the Euroasian continent, having buried present hegemonic claims of atlantist.

Crisis round Ukraine became manifestation of all these contradictions – it aggravated them and raised an edge many questions which in a peace time could be solved more slowly. Moscow staked on that the American game in isolation of Russia becomes the catalyst of process of emancipation of Germany. Certainly, nobody counts on a prompt gap – Putin’s purpose was to achieve a conditional neutrality of Germany (so and Europe) in the conflict of Russia and the USA. For the sake of it Russia was ready to go to a lot of things – except, of course, delivery of national interests and refusal of fight for Ukraine. But peace, neutral Ukraine quite could would like to become for the next years a form of the Russian-European cooperation – if Europe was ready to define itself the policy concerning Kiev and would refuse support of plans of the USA on pull-in of Ukraine under the Atlantic umbrella. Alas, both in Brussels, and in Berlin weren’t ready to admit that simple fact that Russia won’t allow secession of part of the Russian world under the guise of eurointegration. The German dreams of fertile Ukrainian soil (“Chernozem”), desire to create one more buffer state under control of Germans and separating them from Russia , – all this together with urgings and manuals from Washington moved original national interests and cool calculation. It won’t be possible for USA to tear off Ukraine from Russia – neither with help of Germany, nor without it. But to quarrel Germany with Russia is quite possible for Americans. That, as a matter of fact, they want to achieve. Really, after all, even in case of loss of Ukraine by them (that American realistic strategists are ready for long ago) Washington will have pleasant and very big prize – the possibility of the German-Russian rapprochement broken for many years. From the very beginning of the Crimean events Putin understood that chances of split of Germany and the USA are minimal – but they were, and he absolutely prudently tried to play on it. The intrigue with the German approval of sanctions and connection to blockade lasted some months and became one of the most intense secret fights in world history. Russia initially didn’t do the main rate on disintegration of the united western front – we at once declared that in case the USA and EU will really try to organize isolation and blockade, we are ready to develop to the East and the South. Especially as Russia will build new, world architecture alternative to Anglo-Saxons – together with the absolute majority of the world community which long ago was already waiting the one who will throw down a challenge to owners of the Globalist Project.

Attack of the USA on Russia is not caused by Ukraine – on the contrary, the Ukrainian crisis turned out to be only consequence of America’s desire to hold on the escaping world hegemony, to prevent restoration of historical Russia, the only force in the world, capable openly resist to the Anglo-Saxon project. Liberation of Germany from guardianship of atlantist is postponed, but not cancelled – if, of course, to recognize that the German people has the right for own future and wants to save itself from dissolution in a melting copper of globalization. But at this stage Germans (their elite is more exact) made the choice – and Russia is ready to resist to a uniform position of the West, continuing both to defend the national interests, and to increase approach on the world scene, building the front from civilizations and the states interested in new rules of global game. One of the most important consequences of policy of Putin on the German front was that with Novorossiya Moskva officially took a non-interference position in a situation – not to facilitate the USA their work on arm-twisting of Germany. Now the situation changes – Europe, that is Berlin, declares Russia war, let and economic, let and with reservations. In the war other laws work already, and Germans shouldn’t be surprised when it will become clear that their decision to join the American blockade of Russia will lead to that Moscow recognizes Novorossiya soon.

And toughening of economic sanctions will lead not to a collapse of the Russian economy, but to fall of the Kiev’s regime. In this world everything is connected, after all Vladimir Putin wasn’t tired to remind it all the time to Berlin.

original Russian article: http://rusvesna.su/recent_opinions/1406607869

1989, The year when the West did everything wrong, by Filo

The Saker

We are pleased to publish this first testimony of a francophone reader of vineyardsaker. Filo is of Yugoslavian origin. He emigrated to the West in the 70s, and tells us of his disillusionment on the Western model as well as that of an entire people.

The French Saker Editors 

1989, The year when the West did everything wrong, by Filo 
I was born, a long time ago, in a country that was said to be situated between two blocks: that of the East and that of the West. A non aligned country. Above all, an untroubled and peaceful country. I was born and lived there the first twenty years of my life. Enough for me to be able to perceive and understand the life of my country, engage in my studies and in my first experiences.

Monastery of Gornjak, in Serbia (14th century)

As early as 1960, socialist Yugoslavia was been forced by the West and the IMF to open itself to market economy, and to start making economic reforms. Poorly prepared and ill protected, State companies rapidly went into an economic crisis. Mass unemployment appeared. In short we became an easy prey, exploitable at will. The country was invaded by entrepreneurs and businessmen from Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Switzerland, all attracted by low cost manpower.

Many Yugoslavians became « gastarbeiters », immigrant workers. When this situation reached its apex, there were in the West up to 2.5 million Yugoslavian workers according to estimates.

In 1970, I was among those who followed the course of it. I landed in the middle of an economic boom. I remember, my eyes wide open, being astonished by all of these ostentatious signs of wealth, by the presence of banks everywhere.

Although I was not born within capitalism, a question worried me: how can all of these banks be profitable? I finally understood, much later. I will not say more about it now because I would like to keep this topic for another article.

Inevitably, I compared this new world I was discovering to the world I had just left. I was first struck by the amount of falsehood and manipulation in the written or broadcast media. These media were full of glorification of the Western society, undoubtedly presented as being superior in every aspect. The others, Eastern countries, were systematically criticized and slandered. Yugoslavia often was simply lumped together with the other countries of the Eastern block. I had just discovered that the media of my country were much more objective, more moderate, less lying, and overall more democratic.

The period of illusions 
The year 1989, right after the Berlin wall had fallen, was meant to be the year « 0 » for the whole of mankind. At least, that was what we thought at that time. A new start for a world without wars, without poverty. A world of happiness for all, in which we were finally going to live together. No more divisions or hostility, no longer this imminent fear of a forthcoming war.

In the East, they had believed in it so much that, led by illusions, they began to dream with their eyes wide-opened of a new world of coexistence and sharing.

They imagined and persuaded themselves that the Western world was a world suspended between earth and sky. A myth that had suddenly become touchable, within hand’s reach.

They were probably in a state of mind similar to that of the Amerindians at the beginning of the conquest of the far West; very naive. Truly ingenuous.

Then, history did nothing else but repeat itself. Because history always repeats itself. Only the context changes.

Too bad the West did not understand, did not want to seize such historical opportunity to open itself and welcome, in full frankness and mutual respect, this world from the East that came peacefully seeking a reciprocal coexistence.

Lies and mental aberrations 

Since the end of World War II, Western propaganda, particularly the American one, has never ceased to aim at the East a quasi-obsessional hammering of idyllic messages and images of a Western world bathing into perfect happiness.

Applied equally in the west, this propaganda was mixed with images and stories of the world behind the « iron curtain », the reality of which was utterly distorted and darkened.

The goal was to create (and they succeeded) what was later called the « American leadership ». To define it, I offer to define « leadership » as a whole set of illusions and mental aberrations about the existence of a world to which everyone would like to belong. In reality, it is a world that does not exist and never existed. This world is also called « the American dream ».

In short, a game of fools. A fabric of lies in which we believed. Still today, it has become clear that the reality of yesterday and that of today are a permanent fabric of lies.

Americans, in particular live in a permanent lie and that, since their creation. It started with the myth of the Far West put into images by Hollywood in an idyllic manner. The reality is entirely different and has been occulted. Twenty million American Indians at the arrival of European settlers at the beginning of the conquest; at the end, less than a century later, only 60 000 were left. It is the largest genocide in human history. To date, no condemnation. The truth barely transpires today.

Check Point Charlie, in Berlin, at the time of the wall

Still now, the Western world is entirely acquired to the sleep-inducing image of « the American friend » wrapped into the aura of the savior the free world.

A friend who, according to the legend, first came to save Europe and the world during the first World War. What a blessing!

And who returned again, during the second World War. The American savior succeeded in stopping the evil Soviet at «Checkpoint Charlie». The whole Western world barely dodged a disaster. Pfew!

At this checkpoint the Americans and their European lackeys tried to create a myth to the Hollywood sauce. Big kitsch, yes!

At the beginning of this month of June 2014, during the commemoration of the Normandy landings, I was amazed to see how Americans continue to falsify history and to blatantly lie. With the help of European cowards of course.

To maintain a permanent psychosis, the Americans were threatening and provocative, as much towards their opponents as towards their own people and the population of the Allies. Such a behavior caused similar reactions among the opponent and so on, until the introduction on both sides of a true paranoia.

I believe that the Soviet intervention in Hungary in 1956, the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961, and the crash of the “Prague Spring” in 1968 are direct consequences of this escalation of paranoia between the two blocks. The Americans can be credited for the direct initiative of this escalation.

One day we will know the truth about this period known as the “Cold War.” We even have a duty to know the truth and the whole truth.

It is important to be reminded that the “walls” are foremost within our minds. But, regarding the other wall, fallen in 1989, it is clear that it is still there in the minds of today’s Western policymakers. It is not yet destroyed. This is especially the case with regard to the Americans, subject to a total mental aberration.

Back to reason: four examples 

Unfortunately, we were bound to quickly become disillusioned and understand that we would not enter into a new era of peace and prosperity. It was all lies and promises from the West. Their intentions were far from sincere and honest, and they never intended to deal with us as equals. Their only endgame was as Western conqueror, triumphant and vengeful. Wishing to enslave us in order to better exploit us. For them, we were only consumers of their capitalist products; a potential market, and nothing more.

To support and confirm my statements, I will take four examples, among many others:

  • In our “liberated” countries, Western manufacturers implemented a dairy and food industry, supplanting what was already there, regardless of the existing agricultural environment. The domino effect was instantaneous and the farmers of these countries were ruined.
  • We were discredited and treated as “sheep to shear” in favor of the capitalist banking and usurious system. Putting their hands onto the banks of the conquered countries, the “banksters” have imposed their methods and systems: Western type mortgages, but with interest rates sometimes up to five times higher than those of West. Self-authorized robbery, yes! Especially because they were loans in euros, Swiss francs or dollars, modeled on the fluctuation of exchange rates. The destructive effect was guaranteed within a year after such loans were made. Result: a lot of ruined people and exorbitant suicide rates.
  • The Westerners also robbed us of all of the wealth and raw materials contained in our soils. They systematically bought at a more than derisory price, often bribing local potentates, both the mines and the factories that reprocessed these raw materials. In return, they gave us vague promises of investments and employment for the local population.
  • More directly, they sent an army of occupation. Example of such a deceit: Kosovo and “Bondsteel”, 40,000 m2, the largest U.S. base ever built in Europe. In 1999, the U.S. imposed on a puppet government in Pristina, a 99 years lease, where the subsoil is rich in mercury, silver and lead. I am convinced that Americans began looting it immediately. The day they leave, there will be nothing left in the sub-soil but gaping holes. The American army also uses this base as one of their secret prisons.

After blowing in like a hurricane, Westerners triggered a tsunami effect.

Western arrogance 
These Western acts of triumphal conquerors were particularly stupid. We were open to them, we wanted to learn from them, but also to pass on our knowledge. In the field of culture we could have had a very rich exchange: for us culture has always been very important, and we take great care of it. Contrary to this, we were treated with a wave of violence, spite and humiliation.

Curiously, I find some similarities between those events and those that occurred at the time of the Mayan and Aztec civilizations, when savage conquistadors looted and destroyed civilizations that were far more advanced than their own.

I am deeply convinced that the West, in this year 1989, did not understand what had just happened. Together we could have built a new world, instead of just destroying what already existed. The confidence that was then lost will never be regained.

In that year of 1989, Westerners blew it! 
For example the Germans believed in the coming of a 4th Reich. Genscher, at the time Minister of Foreign Affairs and former SS officer, began to secretly visit the former Axis countries. And he was forcibly expelled from the Baltic countries by the Soviet.

Mitterrand’s France was first opposed to German reunification. Backed as usual by the U. S., England was waiting for a signal from the Americans. The U.S. acted as if they had understood everything; they mainly pretended. They immediately applied (once more) their “shock doctrine”—immediate gains for sure, but very stupid on mid- to longer terms.

Those who saw through it all 

I think the only ones who got it all, in the year 1989, were the Russians. Not the Russia of Mikhail Gorbachev and his entourage, but the Russians in the background, the strategists who acted immediately and started to create today’s Russia. They understood that German unification would be, at least for the next twenty years, like slamming an economic brake for the new reunified Germany and by extension a brake for the Western economy, and that this length of time would enable the modern and forthcoming Russia to recover economically and militarily.

Today one must admit that they were visionaries who were absolutely right. 

The stupidity and the greed of Westerners in general, Americans in particular, have led to where we are now, a dead-end without alternative.

Today the West has lost its hegemony over the world. The failure of its policy since 1989 is complete!

Recent events, such as those in Syria, demonstrate it.

The effects of this global deception 

“At the time, I was young, very naive and very stupid, and I sincerely believed that the Soviet Union was a deadly threat to Western Europe and that the only thing that stood between them, the evil communists, and we, the free world, was the military power of NATO, “the Saker stressed in a text published in March 2014 [1].

How true is this sentence of the Saker. Unfortunately we were young and naive, our naivety bordering on stupidity. Especially since the American style has always been the same, simple, too simple, downright simplistic.

The end of the USSR 

Mikhail Gorbatchev, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1985 – 1991)

The Russians are a nation of spontaneous and naturally nice people; they voluntarily dropped “the wall” thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev’s naivety. Although … regarding the naivety of Gorbachev, head of the USSR from 1985 to 1991, there are some doubts today. According to the latest news, an inquest has just started in Moscow to determine whether it is simple naivety or a case of high treason.

The only result produced by his “perestroika” (reconstruction) was an economic, military and political weakening of the USSR, and its disintegration. The ruble was becoming worthless and people were throwing it out of the windows. In spite of all this, even today, he says he is satisfied with what he did.

In 1990, he received the Nobel Peace Prize. Later, with the collapse of the USSR, it was rumored that it was the reward of the Americans for “letting the fox enter the henhouse.”

Boris Yeltsin, first President of the Russian Federation

Then, another strike of bad luck for the Russians. Either a real string of bad luck, or the result of a large-scale corruption: the arrival of Boris Yeltsin. Notorious drunkard, yes. For eight years, it was an open door to all possible abuses and looting. Russia saw the appearance of vultures nicknamed “oligarchs.” Enriched overnight, they became billionaires. Some of the best known among them: Khodorovski, Abramovich, Berezowsky, Navalny, etc. A real scourge for Russia.

Boris Yeltsin himself considerably benefited from the situation. In Switzerland, he has been investigated for corruption. He presumably received bribes from a civil engineering company in Tessin, led by an Albanian who was mysteriously contracted to renovate the Kremlin. During his reign, privatizations prevailed. All that could be privatized and sold cheaply went to either oligarchs or foreigners, in particular Americans. Hence, Americans treated themselves to buying a military industrial complex in the north of Russia. Immediately after this purchase, they froze all of the activities with the company, so as to harm the Russians. With Boris Yeltsin, a chronic alcoholic, Russia became the laughingstock of the West. Bill Clinton, at that time the U.S. president, was accustomed, at each meeting with Yeltsin, to laugh to tears. Forced but triumphant laugh of course!

The most famous giggle in history. Bill Clinton laughing to tears after Boris Yeltsin called the journalists a disaster. (From the collections of the workshop archives, http://www.atelierdesarchives.com)

Russia, a great heroic nation, saw its dignity trampled. Westerners, Americans in particular, stupid and vengeful, behaved like bulls in a china shop: looting, humiliation, harassment of all kinds, both towards Russia and towards other so-called communist countries.

The Ceausescu trial in Romania 
Coup in Romania. Sloppy and expeditious trial of the Ceausescu couple. Death sentence and immediate execution of the couple. Judgment by two judges who were taken by force to an improvised courtroom site that looked like a grade school classroom.

Shortly after the trial, the two judges committed suicide.

The destruction of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 
Now, here is the height of Western stupidity: the destruction of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, under the false pretext that the people who composed it no longer wanted to live together. A pretext as cowardly as it is deceitful. Witness of it is the fact that it took Westerners almost twenty years to destroy it (from 1991 to 2006). A great and beautiful country, a Europe in miniature. A country of 24 million inhabitants and a territory of nearly 260,000 square kilometers (half of France). A sweet mixing of populations, cultures, religions. An incredible diversity of cultures, arts and foods. During the Cold War, the country has perfectly fulfilled its buffer role between East and West. Unfortunately the West had ideas of conquest and domination. I’m sure that the West had always and only ever wanted to take advantage of the Yugoslav position between the two blocks, and that’s all. As disposable as a Kleenex, discarded once it has served.

Thrown out to the dogs of Western wars, and that for the dough gained by their arm dealers.

Dough, the only real Western value! 
At the end of the Cold War, the old demons awoke. First, among the Germans and the Austrians (memories of 1st and 2nd world wars). But also at the Vatican, who saw an opportunity to settle disputes with the Orthodox Church. Westerners played on the antagonisms that were unique to this land in order to destroy it.

Such an act is cowardly, criminal and stupid, and it caused a lot of suffering, hundreds of thousands of deaths and as much destruction.

Remember that in a house there are walls that are said to be load-bearing. One should never touch them, because of the risk of seeing the house collapse. Yugoslavia, for Europe in any case, was one of those bearing walls. And our stupid Western leaders destroyed it.

Since then, the house has kept cracking and threatening to collapse.

I feel that the destruction of this country will be fatal to the destructors and that the Yugoslavian national anthem might as well be the Western funeral song. In the case of Yugoslavia, the West has shown a staggering political illiteracy and a stunning cultural ignorance.

And what about Russia in all this? 
The Russians have said, “Never again! “. And they kept their word.

Once Yeltsin was thrown to the dumpster of history, they chose the best among them.

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, the man that was needed

A president and a very talented and intelligent politician. Someone who holds life principles, which he applies. In less than 15 years, he managed to return its glory and power to Russia. Today, not only is his country no longer the laughingstock of the West, but on the contrary, Russia has become the main geopolitical actor on the world stage. On the military level, its role is just as important. The Russians have caught up and even surpassed the Americans in this area. NATO has found a Russian opponent, who managed to halt its progression towards the east. The lying behavior of Westerners in the face of Russia is now being turned against them.

« The day the sun will rise above Russia, NATO will melt » Slobodan Milosevic (former President of Serbia)said, who “committed” suicide in 2006 at the hand of his jailers in the prison of the ICC in The Hague. According to British media, his trial was moving inexorably towards a nonsuit, that is a dismissal of charges.

And finally, what about the West in all this? 
In 1989 a Russian visionary declared: “Communism and capitalism are the heads and tails of the same coin. Now we let down our communism. How long after that, do you think your capitalism will hold? ”

Today, results agree entirely with him.

Conclusion 
Forty-four years have passed since my arrival in the West. I am a full citizen of my adopted country (Switzerland). From the beginning, I had the desire, and made the effort, to integrate into this country. But I always refused to assimilate.

Since the beginning, I was aware of the benefits of having been born and raised in another country, another political system, before arriving here. I have always taken advantage of this asset, and used it in every opportunity that presented itself. I especially used it to understand and analyze some features and paradoxes of the west.

For example, very quickly, I had to admit the evidence that Westerners were viscerally anti-communists, including towards such rather tempered form as that of Yugoslavian communism, which was quite diluted from its original form.

For years I asked myself the question why.

A paradox that I wanted to elucidate at all costs. And I finally understood.

It’s huge, because in reality it is the keystone of the West itself. The cause is capitalism itself. Since its beginning, by its very definition, it is an economic concept that is not viable. Therefore, it was doomed to fail from the beginning.

The reasons and causes of its inevitable failure, I will address in my next article.

Filo, for vineyardsaker.fr

June 2014

[1] http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.fr/2014/03/today-every-free-person-in-world-has-won.html

Source: http://www.vineyardsaker.fr/2014/07/15/1989-lannee-ou-loccident-a-tout-rate-par-filo/

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Self-defense or provocation: Israel’s history of breaking ceasefires

http://imeu.org/article/self-defense-or-provocation-israels-history-of-breaking-ceasefires

Self-defense or provocation: Israel’s history of breaking ceasefires

Since Israel’s creation in 1948, Israeli political and military leaders have demonstrated a pattern of repeatedly violating ceasefires with their enemies in order to gain military advantage, for territorial aggrandizement, or to provoke their opponents into carrying out acts of violence that Israel can then exploit politically and/or use to justify military operations already planned.

The following fact sheet provides a brief overview of some of the most high profile and consequential ceasefire violations committed by the Israeli military over the past six decades.

2012 – On November 14, two days after Palestinian factions in Gaza agree to a truce following several days of violence, Israel assassinates the leader of Hamas’ military wing, Ahmed Jabari, threatening to escalate the violence once again after a week in which at least six Palestinian civilians are killed and dozens more wounded in Israeli attacks.

2012 – On March 9, Israel violates an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire and assassinates the head of the Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees, sparking another round of violence in which at least two dozen Palestinians are killed, including at least four civilians, and scores more wounded. As usual, Israel claims it is acting in self-defense, against an imminent attack being planned by the PRC, while providing no evidence to substantiate the allegation. Following the assassination, Israeli journalist Zvi Bar’el writes in the Haaretz newspaper:

“It is hard to understand what basis there is for the assertion that Israel is not striving to escalate the situation. One could assume that an armed response by the Popular Resistance Committees or Islamic Jihad to Israel’s targeted assassination was taken into account. But did anyone weigh the possibility that the violent reaction could lead to a greater number of Israeli casualties than any terrorist attack that Zuhair al-Qaisi, the secretary-general of the Popular Resistance Committees, could have carried out? “In the absence of a clear answer to that question, one may assume that those who decided to assassinate al-Qaisi once again relied on the ‘measured response’ strategy, in which an Israeli strike draws a reaction, which draws an Israeli counter-reaction.”

Just over two months prior, on the third anniversary of Operation Cast Lead, Israeli army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz tells Israel’s Army Radio that Israel will need to attack Gaza again soon to restore its power of “deterrence,” and that the assault must be “swift and painful,” concluding, “We will act when the conditions are right.”

2011 – On October 29, Israel breaks a truce that has maintained calm for two months, killing five Islamic Jihad members in Gaza, including a senior commander. The following day, Egypt brokers another truce that Israel proceeds to immediately violate, killing another four IJ members. In the violence, a total of nine Palestinians and one Israeli are killed.

2008 – In November, Israel violates a ceasefire with Hamas and other Gaza-based militant groups that has been in place since June, launching an operation that kills six Hamas members. Militant groups respond by launching rockets into southern Israel, which Israel shortly thereafter uses to justify Operation Cast Lead, its devastating military assault on Gaza beginning on December 27. Over the next three weeks, the Israeli military kills approximately 1400 Palestinians, most of them civilians, including more than 300 children. A UN Human Rights Council Fact Finding Mission led by South African jurist Richard Goldstone subsequently concludes that both Israel and Hamas had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during the fighting, a judgment shared by human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

2002 – On July 23, hours before a widely reported ceasefire declared by Hamas and other Palestinian groups is scheduled to come into effect, Israel bombs an apartment building in the middle of the night in the densely populated Gaza Strip in order to assassinate Hamas leader Salah Shehada. Fourteen civilians, including nine children, are also killed in the attack, and 50 others wounded, leading to a scuttling of the ceasefire and a continuation of violence.

2002 – On January 14, Israel assassinates Raed Karmi, a militant leader in the Fatah party, following a ceasefire agreed to by all Palestinian militant groups the previous month, leading to its cancellation. Later in January, the first suicide bombing by the Fatah linked Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade takes place.

2001 – On November 23, Israel assassinates senior Hamas militant, Mahmoud Abu Hanoud. At the time, Hamas was adhering to an agreement made with PLO head Yasser Arafat not to attack targets inside of Israel. Following the killing, respected Israeli military correspondent of the right-leaning Yediot Ahronot newspaper, Alex Fishman, writes in a front-page story: “We again find ourselves preparing with dread for a new mass terrorist attack within the Green Line [Israel’s pre-1967 border]… Whoever gave a green light to this act of liquidation knew full well that he is thereby shattering in one blow the gentleman’s agreement between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority; under that agreement, Hamas was to avoid in the near future suicide bombings inside the Green Line…” A week later, Hamas responds with bombings in Jerusalem and Haifa.

2001 – On July 25, as Israeli and Palestinian Authority security officials meet to shore up a six-week-old ceasefire, Israel assassinates a senior Hamas member in Nablus. Nine days later, Hamas responds with a suicide bombing in a Jerusalem pizzeria.

1988 – In April, Israel assassinates senior PLO leader Khalil al-Wazir in Tunisia, even as the Reagan administration is trying to organize an international conference to broker peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The US State Department condemns the murder as an “act of political assassination.” In ensuing protests in the occupied territories, a further seven Palestinians are gunned down by Israeli forces.

1982 – Following Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in June, and after PLO fighters depart Beirut under the terms of a US-brokered ceasefire, Israel violates the terms of the agreement and moves its armed forces into the western part of the city, where the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila are located. Shortly thereafter, Israeli soldiers surround the camps and send in their local Christian Phalangist allies – even though the long and bloody history between Palestinians and Phalangists in Lebanon is well known to the Israelis, and despite the fact that the Phalangists’ leader, Bashir Gemayel, has just been assassinated and Palestinians are rumored (incorrectly) to be responsible. Over the next three days, between 800 and 3500 Palestinian refugees, mostly women and children left behind by the PLO fighters, are butchered by the Phalangists as Israeli soldiers look on. In the wake of the massacre, an Israeli commission of inquiry, the Kahan Commission, deems that Israeli Defense Minister (and future Prime Minister) Ariel Sharon bears “personal responsibility” for the slaughter.

1981-2 – Under Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, Israel repeatedly violates a nine-month-old UN-brokered ceasefire with the PLO in Lebanon in an effort to provoke a response that will justify a large-scale invasion of the country that Sharon has been long planning. When PLO restraint fails to provide Sharon with an adequate pretext, he uses the attempted assassination of Israel’s ambassador to England to justify a massive invasion aimed at destroying the PLO – despite the fact that Israeli intelligence officials believe the PLO has nothing to do with the assassination attempt. In the ensuing invasion, more than 17,000 Lebanese are killed.

1973 – Following a ceasefire agreement arranged by the US and the Soviet Union to end the Yom Kippur War, Israel violates the agreement with a “green light” from US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. According to declassified US documents, Kissinger tells the Israelis they can take a “slightly longer” time to adhere to the truce. As a result, Israel launches an attack and surrounds the Egyptian Third Army, causing a major diplomatic crisis between the US and Soviets that pushes the two superpowers to the brink of nuclear war, with the Soviets threatening to intervene to save their Egyptian allies and the US issuing a Defcon III nuclear alert.

1967 – Israel violates the 1949 Armistice Agreement, launching a surprise attack against Egypt and Syria. Despite claims Israel is acting in self-defense against an impending attack from Egypt, Israeli leaders are well aware that Egypt poses no serious threat. Yitzhak Rabin, Chief of the General Staff of the Israeli army during the war, says in a 1968 interview that “I do not believe that Nasser wanted war. The two divisions he sent into Sinai on May 14 would not have been enough to unleash an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it.” And former Prime Minister Menachem Begin later admits that “Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”

1956 – Colluding with Britain and France, Israel violates the 1949 Armistice Agreement by invading Egypt and occupying the Sinai Peninsula. Israel only agrees to withdraw following pressure from US President Dwight Eisenhower.

1949 – Immediately after the UN-brokered Armistice Agreement between Israel and its neighbors goes into effect, the armed forces of the newly-created Israeli state begin violating the truce with encroachments into designated demilitarized zones and military attacks that claim numerous civilian casualties.

UNRWA breaks its silence: Abu Hussein school massacre exposes Israel

United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl inspects the damage at an UNRWA school following an Israeli strike. (Photo: AFP-Mohammed Abed)
Published Thursday, July 31, 2014
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) says it had sent 17 communiqués that included the coordinates of the Abu Hussein UN-run school in the Jabalia refugee camp to the Israelis to avoid bombing it. The last of these warnings was communicated a few hours before the massacre, according to UNRWA. The deadly Israeli air strike on the school prompted the UN agency to break its silence and challenge the Israeli account of what had happened.
Gaza – This the third time that UNRWA schools have been bombed during this war. The first attack did not lead to casualties, as the Israeli occupation army had sent warnings to the Maghazi School in the central Gaza Strip before shelling it.

“The strikes were sudden and random. People did not realize what was happening and they could not escape.” – Mohammed Awad, journalist

 

The second attack turned into a massacre in Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, killing around 15 refugees. At the time, UNRWA was equivocal about the cause of the attack, and relied on the Israeli account that claimed there had been military activity there. But Wednesday’s massacre took place in a refugee camp that does not have enough room for even a single bullet to be fired. The shelling claimed the lives of 17 people and injured dozens, many critically.
When the worshippers had finished their prayers at dawn in the mosques of the northern part of the Jabalia refugee camp, and made their way to the shelters at the elementary Abu Hussein School, they did not know they were about to become the victims of a horrific massacre.
In the beginning, the shells were not directed toward the school, but were random and hit houses in the surrounding area. Suddenly, the Israeli artillery decided to target the school directly, destroying the outer gate, two classrooms at the front and center of the school and adjacent toilets, in addition to three homes near the school. It was a bloodbath with body parts everywhere. Injured people, whose arms or legs were blown off, were paralyzed from shock and could not even scream. Even some animals that were near the gate were killed, and their corpses mingled with those of people.
Mohammed Awad, a journalist who lives in the area, rushed to document the incident. He said what he had seen was probably the “worst massacre” he encountered since the start of the war. He told Al-Akhbar that he counted up to 15 shells that landed on the school and the street that separates it from surrounding homes, adding, “The strikes were sudden and random. People did not realize what was happening and they could not escape.”
Awad said that members from both the Najjar and Amoudi families were killed in the attack, in addition to the school’s janitor who was on UNRWA’s payroll, adding, “Eight people died in a single classroom.” The journalist also pointed out that fires broke out at the school as a result, and spread to a fuel tank and an electricity generator.
According to Awad, the majority of families that sought shelter in the school came from the farmlands in the north, “fleeing with their carts, horses, and donkeys, the source of their livelihoods.” Awad also stressed that there had been no prior warning issued to the school.
Mohammed Muhanna also witnessed the massacre. He said, “Those who know the area know that it is crowded, and that there is no room to fire rockets from it. The entire area is civilian and the occupation knows it.” Muhanna was among the first to arrive at the scene, and helped transport the injured. He also told Al-Akhbar that there were officials from UNRWA who were checking the schools and surrounding areas to verify whether there was any threat to people’s lives.
Fuad Abu Qleiq, who was sheltering in the school, said that he stayed behind to collect the body parts at the scene, and expressed his sorrow for the fate of the families that came seeking shelter under UNRWA’s roof. He said angrily, “UNRWA should have protected us, but it couldn’t, and Israel did not show any respect for it.”
Medical sources put the death toll at 17 and said 65 people were injured as a result of the massacre. The sources said that most injuries were critical, some requiring urgent surgery, including cases that cannot be treated in Gaza’s hospitals.
Faced with the third attack of its kind on its schools, UNRWA blamed Israel for killing women and children at the Abu Hussein School and called for holding Israel accountable, as an UNRWA delegation examined the scene and collected evidence. According to an UNRWA statement, the delegation analyzed shrapnel samples and examined craters from the shelling and other damage.
The UNRWA statement said, “Last night, children were killed as they slept next to their parents on the floor of a classroom in a UN designated shelter in Gaza. Children killed in their sleep; this is an affront to all of us, a source of universal shame. Today the world stands disgraced.”
The statement continued, “We have visited the site and gathered evidence…Our initial assessment is that it was Israeli artillery that hit our school, in which 3,300 people had sought refuge…These are people who were instructed to leave their homes by the Israeli army.”

Children killed in their sleep; this is an affront to all of us, a source of universal shame. Today the world stands disgraced.” – UNRWA statement

 

UNRWA stressed that the Israeli army had been notified of the exact location of the school and its coordinates, saying, “The precise location of the Jabalia Elementary Girls School and the fact that it was housing thousands of internally displaced people was communicated to the Israeli army seventeen times, to ensure its protection; the last being at ten to nine last night, just hours before the fatal shelling.”
In the same vein, UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre Krähenbühl said, “I condemn in the strongest possible terms this serious violation of international law by Israeli forces.” Krähenbühl added, “This is the sixth time that one of our schools has been struck. Our staff, the very people leading the humanitarian response are being killed. Our shelters are overflowing. Tens of thousands may soon be stranded in the streets of Gaza, without food, water and shelter if attacks on these areas continue.”
Krähenbühl concluded, “We have moved beyond the realm of humanitarian action alone. We are in the realm of accountability. I call on the international community to take deliberate international political action to put an immediate end to the continuing carnage.”
Meanwhile, UNRWA spokesperson Adnan Abu Hasna said that the agency held an emergency meeting, and came out with several decisions including measures to assist the family of the slain janitor, who he said “was the responsibility of the agency.” Abu Hasna said that UNRWA would need to provide for his nine children and offer them support and compensation.
It should be noted that UNRWA had claimed during the current conflict that it had found weapons in one of its schools. UNRWA rushed to announce this in a statement without investigating the incident following protocol, which helped the Israeli side justify its attacks in front of public opinion. However, the massacre at Abu Hussein was clearly unprovoked and unjustified even by UNRWA and Israeli standards.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Thus, the aggression plan was detected and confronted by the resistance axis هكذا كشف محور المقاومة خطة العدوان وتصدّى لها

وكالة أوقات الشام الإخبارية

أمين حطيط

 قد يكون السيد حسن نصرالله في خطاب “يوم القدس العالمي” فاجأ البعض ممن لم يصلوا الى معرفة طبيعة المقاومة التي يقودها حزب الله و طبيعة محور المقاومة الذي  ينتمي اليه الحزب ، مفاجأة تمثلت  في  الاعلان الواضح عن حجم المخاطر المتشكلة في الافق ، و عن  مشاركة الحزب خاصة و محور المقاومة عامة في المواجهة الدائرة في غزة و استعداده  لتوسيع دائرة المواجهة ،  مشاركة  اعلن السيد عنها بعد ان رسم  صورة  المشهد الاقليمي  بواقعية و علمية شفافة لم يهمل فيها اي جزئية مؤثرة  على مساحة المنطقة من العراق الى فلسطين عبر سورية . لكن هل للمفاجأة ما يبررها ؟

من يعرف المقاومة و طبيعتها و يتابع ما يحصا في الاقليم  ، لا يشكل الاعلان له اي مفاجأة لا بل يراه  واقعا في السياق الطبيعي للامور  لان المقاومة و محورها  اختارت منذ نشأتها و و التزامها  بمواجهة  المشروع الصهيو اميركي ،  اختارت العمل  باسلوب علمي و منهجية تراعي الواقع و قواعد العمل الاستراتيجي من اجل توفير افضل  فرص النجاح في المواجهة ، و لانها كذلك و بعد ان تبينت الخطة الاميركية الجديدة و حجم المخاطر  التي تشكلها اتخذت من المواقف الدفاعية ما يرى الان بعضه في الميدان و ما يحتفظ ببعضه لاطلاقه في حينه بوجه خطة  العدوان  الجديدة التي تطلقها  اميركا  بعد فشلها في اكثر من خطة عملت عليها خلال السنوات الاربع المنصرمة من “الحريق العربي “.

فاميركا اليوم و ردا على  نجاح محور المقاومة في افشال العدوان على  سورية اطلقت خطة شيطانية مركبة  عهد في تنفيذها ميدانيا الى “داعش” و “اسرائيل ”  فاوكل للاولى   العمل  في العراق كميدان رئيسي  مع الاحتفاظ بما في اليد في سورية و بما يحتمل من التمدد غربا الى لبنان ، و تولت  اسرائيل  مهمة “الاجهاز على المقاومة ” في غزة  لفتح الطريق امام تصفية القضية الفلسطينية من دون ان يكون هناك عائق ميداني  يحول دون توقيع صك الاستسلام  .

هذه الخطة المتعددة الجبهات فرضت  نفسها على الواقع  فكشفها السيد نصرالله في خطابه الاخير بهذا القدر من الوضوح معلنا و بشكل حاسم قرار التصدي لها على صعيد محور المقاومة كله ، مكملا في ذلك ما كان الرئيس الاسد قد بدأه داعيا المعنيين بالشأن  الى تحمل المسؤوليات في المواجهة  لصيانة الانجازات التي تحققت حتى  الان ، و هو الامر نفسه الذي اكد عليه و  بوضوح كلي  الامام الخامنئي  في خطبة العيد الاخير  . اذن الخطة كشفت و احاط محور المقاومة بتفاصيلها الموزعة على عنصرين تنفيذين كالتالي :

بالنسبة ل  “داعش ” بات اكيدا  ان هذه المنظومة    ليست في الاصل الا جماعات  مسلحة انشأتها و نظمتها و ترعاها  المخابرات الاميركية C.I.A  بالتعاون و التنسيق مع الموساد و مهمتها هدم الاسلام الصحيح و افساد الانجازات التي حققها محور المقاومة في سورية و توسيع ميدان المواجهة ليشمل الحدود الايرانية العراقية لاشغال ايران دفاعيا على حدودها، مع السعي الى وضع اليد على منطقة شاسعة من العراق و سورية مع امكانية تمددها الى  الغرب في لبنان حيث تتخذ طرابلس منفذا بحريا لها  ، و لم تخف “داعش”  على اي حال هذا الامر بل اعلنت و بكل وضوح خريطة دولتها تلك و ضمنتها  اضافة لمن ذكر كل من الكويت و الاردن و فلسطين (اضافة تمويهية) .

أما الوظيفة العميقة لداعش فهي نشر ثقافة  سلوكية تبرر لاسرائيل  سعيها   لاعلان نفسها  دولة دينية  للشعب اليهودي في كل العالم و هنا نجد كيف ان داعش اعلنت “دولة الخلافة الاسلامية”  اي الدولة الدينية ، لتبرر لاسرائيل قيامها على اساس ديني ، و كيف انها طردت المسيحيين من الموصل ، لتبرر لاحقا طرد اسرائيل لمليون و نصف مليون عربي مسلم و مسيحي  من الارض المحتلة في العام 1948 ، و كيف ان داعش دعت المسلمين  في العالم الى الهجرة الى دولتها المزعومة لتبرر لاسرائيل دعوة يهود العالم للهجرة الى فلسطين باعتبارها وطن للشعب اليهودي ،

 و اخيرا و كان هاما ان يلفت السيد حسن نصرالله النظر اليه ، كيف ان داعش تقوم بهدم الكنائس و المقامات الدينية و اضرحة  الانبياء ، لترسي سابقة اسلامية في هذا الشأن تبرر لاسرائيل لاحقا هدم المسجد الاقصى و قبة الصخرة و كنيسة القيامة و كنيسة المهد و  وضع اليد على الاماكن  الاسلامية و المسيحية في فلسطين و تحويلها الى كنس و اماكن عبادة لليهود و استئصال كل ما له علاقة بالاسلام و المسيحية على ارض فلسطين . ( هنا تبدو ضرورة تشكل  موقف اسلامي و مسيحي موحد يرفض ويدين تصرف داعش ليكون بمثابة العمل الاستباقي الدفاعي عن المسجد الاقصى و كنيسة القيامة و سواهما ).


لقد بات واضحا ان  وظيفة “داعش”  في الخطة الاميركية ذات فروع ثلاثة الاول يتعلق بالاسلام لهدمه او على الاقل حرفه و تشويهه و الثاني  اشغال محور المقاومة في الميدان لمنعه عن مواجهة اسرائيل و الثالث  التمهيد للسلوكيات الاسرائيلية  عبر  سوابق   ترسي عليها اسرائيل قرارتها الهدامة  ، لذا تقوم  داعش الان   بكل ما تريد اسرائيل القيام به حاضرا و مستقبلا و ترسي ثقافة مرفوضة اصلا و  تسعى  لجعلها مألوفة معتادة   يتقبلها الرأي العام اذا اعتمدتها  اسرائيل ، (
و قد بدأت اسرائيل باستثمار ذلك  فظهرت دعوات للجنود الاسرائيليين  لاغتصاب نساء المقاومين   حيث  دعا الى ذلك  احد الاساتذة الجامعيين الصهاينة مبررا الدعوة   بتفشي هذه الثقافة في المنطقة على يد الاسلاميين ) و هنا يستوقفنا الصمت المريب  عن سلوكيات “داعش”  الوحشية و اغفال  الاعلام الذي تحكم الصهيونية السيطرة عليه  لما  تقوم به داعش من جرائم و الافظع من ذلك هو ما يبديه عرب و مسلمون من عدم اكتراث بالامر  .

     اما بالنسبة للعنصر التنفيذي الثاني– اسرائيل- فقد اتضح بان  حربها على غزة جاءت  في سياق الخطة ذاتها ، و انها انطلقت فيها متذرعة كذبا بقتل الصهاينة الثلاثة و هي الذريعة التي بدأ يتكشف زيفها على لسان  الاعلام الغربي الذي يظهر بشكل او بآخر  بان المخابرات الاسرائيلية ال “شين بيت”  هي التي كانت و راءها تنفيذا او على الاقل تسهيلا و تفعيلا . و ان اهداف اسرائيل من الحرب  – و رغم انها لم تعلن عنها شيئا تجنبا لاتخاذها لاحقا قرينة على الهزيمة و الفشل فيما لو اخفقت في الوصول اليها – ، ان اهداف العدوان  هي  تجريد المقاومة في غزة من سلاحها كما يرغب “محور اجتثاث المقاومة” (السعودية و دول في الخليج )   او تعطيل سلاحها و شله كليا كما يرغب “محور تدجين المقاومة ” (تركيا وقطر )  .

ان خطة العدوان الجديدة التي تقوم داعش و اسرائيل بتنفيذها الان  و التي انطلقت فعليا ب”مسرحية الموصل الداعشية ” في الشهر الماضي و استكملت بالعدوان  على غزة يبدو انها تعثرت  رغم ما  حققت من نجاحات في بعض العناوين  ، و بات  نجاح الخطة كما  يبدو الان صعبا  بسبب  المقاومة و محورها  و هنا يسجل ما قامت به سورية من احتواء ثم اجهاض لما  قامت به داعش في الميدان السوري خاصة ما تم في جبل الشاعر و حلب و ريفها و القلمون ،

 كما اننا  نتوقف عند مشهد الميدان في غزة  و هو  يظهر  بان   حرب اسرائيل فشلت حتى الان في تحقيق اهدافها  بسبب الدفاع الصلب
الذي مارسته المقاومة الفلسطينية  محتضنة بمحور المقاومة ، و ان محاولات  اسرائيل لتعويض الاخفاق بحيل  سياسية للتعويض  فشلت ايضا بعد ان خرج القائد العسكري للقسام – محمد الضيف – معلنا صلابة موقف المقاومين و مناعتهم المضادة للضغوط ، و مؤكدا بلباقة ان القيادة الحقيقة هي لمقاتلي الخنادق و ليست لنزلاء الفنادق الذين اوكلوا الى تركيا وقطر امر التفاوض باسمهم .

ان مشهد المسرح الذي اختارته  اميركا  لتنفيذ خطتها الشيطانية الاخيرة ينبئ حتى الان بان الخطة هذه ستكون فاشلة كسابقاتها و لاجل ذلك نسجل التخبط في معسكر العدوان  تخبط و خشية حملت الغرب على الالقاء  بكل ثقله من اجل وقف اطلاق النار في غزة للحد من تداعيات الفشل  الاسرائيلي و لاعطاء اسرائيل فرصة لالتقاط الانفاس  و البحث عن  مخرج من المأزق يمكنها  من استئناف العدوان . و ان لقاء  باريس المنعقد على عجل لبحث ما آلت اليه حرب اسرائيل على غزة او ما سبقه من اجتماع  وزراء خارجية اميركا و فرنسا و مصر و معهم الامين العام للامم المتحدة في القاهرة ، او قول شمعون بيرس “بان الحرب على غزة استنفدت نفسها و يجب ان تتوقف ” كلها مواقف ما كانت  لتكون  لو لم تكن اسرائيل في مأزق، فرض على  هؤلاء  البحث  عن حبل نجاة يلقونه لها  لمنع غرقها اكثر في الرمال المتحركة.

ان فشل  الخطة الاميركية الجديدة ستكون له تداعيات تفوق كل تداعيات الاخفاقات السابقة  ، لان هذه الخطة هي الورقة الاخيرة التي اتصور ان اميركا ستلعبها لانقاذ مشروعها في الشرق الاوسط و لذلك  فهي تحشد  لها كل ما يمكن حشده   و فوق ما حشد للخطط السابقة ، و لهذا حذر  السيد نصرالله من المخاطر و اكد الاستعداد و الجهوزية الكاملة للمواجهة حيث يجد محور المقاومة نفسه ملزما بالنزول بكل مكوناته الى الميدان لمنع نجاح داعش في وظيفتها ، و منع تحقيق اسرائيل لاهدافها ، و عندها يكون  الانتصار الذي تلوح بعض عناصره رغم بعض الهنات هنا و هناك او حجم الخسائر و التضحيات .

البناء

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

America: The real Israeli Iron Dome

US Resupplies Israel with More Munitions to Commit Massacres in Gaza
Local Editor
Once again, the United States proves that it is a partner in the crimes committed against humanity by the Israeli occupation forces in Gaza.

A US defense official said on Thursday that Washington has allowed the Zionist entity to tap a local US arms stockpile in the past week to resupply it with grenades and mortar rounds.

Israeli strike on Gaza

The munitions were located inside the Zionist entity as part of a program managed by the US military and called War Reserves Stock Allies-Israel (WRSA-I), which stores munitions locally for US use that Israel can also access in emergency situations.

However, Tel Aviv not cite an emergency when it made its latest request about 10 days ago, the defense official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The United States allowed Israel to access the strategic stockpile anyway to resupply itself with 40mm grenades and 120mm mortar rounds to deplete older stocks that would eventually need to be refreshed.

“They didn’t ask for it from there but we gave it to them so we could rotate our stocks,” the official said.

Additional Israeli requests for U.S.-manufactured ammunition were also being processed in the United States, the official said, without offering further details on quantities or costs of ammunition already supplied or requested.

Israeli embassy in Washington declined comment about the resupply request, including whether it asked for the ammunition because of its offensive in Gaza.

Source: Agencies

31-07-2014 – 10:25 Last updated 31-07-2014 – 10:25

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Who is Hamas’ ‘Phantom’?

Members of the al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ armed wing. (Photo: AFP)
Published Thursday, July 31, 2014
Mohammed al-Daif was the guest of honor on Tuesday at people’s homes in Gaza and the surrounding areas. The “Phantom,” as the Israeli media calls him, appeared in his calm voice and confident tone to confirm in a less-than-four-minute audio recording that “there will be no ceasefire unless the aggression is stopped and the siege is lifted.”
His last audio recording was towards the end of al-Furqan Battle or Operation Cast Lead as it was named by Hamas and Israel respectively in 2008. At the time, Hamas’ General said the Resistance will emerge from this battle victorious and stronger.
But who is Daif?
His real name is Mohammed Diab Ibrahim al-Masri, aka Mohammed al-Daif. He was born in the city of Khan Younis in southern Gaza in 1965 to a poor family and his father was an upholsterer by trade. His rank is general commander of the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing. He is also known as Abu Khaled, or the Phantom, or Hamas’ General.

Daif is one al-Qassam Brigades’ hawks. He does not believe in negotiations and does not think peace talks will lead to a free Palestine. For him, resistance is the answer. He hates the Arab regimes as he knows that, they too, will not liberate Palestine. The man believes in forging an alliance with Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon and with everyone who wants to provide the Resistance in Palestine with arms. He does not deny Iran’s role in arming al-Qassam Brigades. He is reported to have said, this is the “duty of the Muslim nation.”

Hamas’ general has survived four assassination attempts, one of them cost him an eye and burns to his face and made him partially paralyzed. Daif was the brains behind previous wars with the Israeli occupation that al-Qassem Brigades fought. In calmer times, the Phantom worked on strengthening the Resistance by arming and training it.
Daif reappeared after an absence of six years through a short audio recording and addressed the Palestinian people, Israel and whoever is negotiating for a ceasefire, be it the Palestinian Authority, Egypt or even the political bureau of his own organization.
He emphasized the conditions of the Resistance, affirming once again that the war will go on until the siege on Gaza is lifted. He also pointed out that the Resistance chose to “confront and kill Israel’s military and elite soldiers rather than attack civilians in neighboring villages.”
With this statement, Daif outlined a new phase of operations by al-Qassam Brigades, signaling that they will not rely on suicide operations as was the case in 1996 when he himself planned suicide operations in retaliation for the assassination of Yahya Ayyash (leader of al-Qassam Brigades in the West Bank).
One of Abu Khaled’s friends is Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahhar who looked after him personally when his car was targeted. And one of the closest people to him was the martyrAhmed al-Jaabari, Daif’s deputy and right hand man.
No one knows what Daif looks like. There have been no recent pictures of him. Daif has purposefully avoided pictures because of his disfigurations and to prevent Israel from using them against supporters of the Resistance. Those who know him say he “appears among people every now and then. He is not completely paralyzed, he can stand and walk but for short distances.” As for his private life, it is a complete mystery, even for those inside Hamas. Sources within the organization say: “It is not known whether Abu Khaled is married or not.”
Israel has always sought to assassinate the Phantom who has haunted them for years. Yesterday, Israeli finance minister and chairman of the There is a Future political party, Yair Lapid, vowed to assassinate Daif. According to the Israeli news website, The Times of Israel, Lapid said: “Daif has been hiding underground in Gaza for weeks and that’s where he will stay,” adding: “that’s because he’s a dead man, sooner or later we will find him and assassinate him.”
And thus, the story of Daif will remain a secret for now. We will not know the man that has struck fear in the heart of Israel except when he is martyred. The leaders of the Resistance remain a mystery, their real faces and pictures unknown, until the moment of their martyrdom.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.
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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

With the USA veto behind them , israel doesn’t have to “do” International law

Violating International Law in Gaza

http://rinf.com/alt-news/editorials/violating-international-law-gaza/

As Israel’s assault claims the lives of hundreds of Palestinian children, there’s no doubt that it’s a form of collective punishment

As Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip rages on, ceasefires come and go. Most last just long enough for Palestinians to dig out the dead from beneath their collapsed houses, get the injured to overcrowded and under-resourced hospitals, and seek enough food and water to last through the next round of airstrikes.

“There is nothing left but stones,” Palestinian journalist Mohammed Omer quoted an old woman saying as she searched desperately through the rubble of what had been her home.

Casualties are soaring. By late July, Israel had killed more than 1,200 Palestinians, at least73 percent of them civilians including hundreds of children. Fifty-six Israelis, almost all of them soldiers, have died too.

July 28 poll shows 86.5 percent of Israelis oppose a ceasefire. Yet we continue to hear that Israelis want peace.

It’s true that at least some of them do. An Israeli protest in Tel Aviv brought 5,000 people into the street. That’s good — though a far cry from the 400,000 who poured into the streets to protest Israel’s invasion of Lebanon back in 1982.

And when a young Palestinian teenager was kidnapped and tortured to death — burned alive — in Jerusalem after the bodies of the three kidnapped young Israeli settlers were found, many Israelis tried to distance themselves from the horrific crime. “In our society, the society of Israel, there is no place for such murderers,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed.

But in fact, there is a place for those who call for murder — at the highest political and military levels of Israeli society.

Meet Ayelet Shaked, a member of the Knesset — Israel’s parliament. She belongs to Israel Home, a far-right party in Netanyahu’s governing coalition. She issued on Facebook what amounts to a call to commit genocide, by deliberately killing Palestinians, including women, children, and old people.

“The entire Palestinian people is the enemy,” Shaked posted. “In wars, the enemy is usually an entire people, including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.”

The Knesset member went on to say that the mothers of Palestinians killed should follow their dead sons to Hell: “They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.”

Her language reminds me of a chapter in our own history — the genocidal Indian Wars. U.S. military leaders had called on their troops to wipe out all the Native Americans andCol. John Chivington was asked on the eve of the Sand Creek Massacre about killing Cheyenne children. “Kill and scalp all, big and little, nits make lice,” he replied.

Shaked’s comments also echo the words of an Israeli colonel who testified under oath at the wrongful death trial of Rachel Corrie, a young U.S. peace activist killed by an Israeli soldier driving an armored bulldozer in Gaza. “In a war zone there are no civilians,” said the military officer — who was responsible for training Israeli soldiers to serve in the occupied territories.

There’s no question that Hamas’ primitive rockets violate international law. They can’t be accurately aimed at military targets. But that doesn’t justify Israel’s violation of its own obligations under international law as the occupying power in Gaza.

Israel has the region’s strongest military, the only nuclear weapons arsenal in the Middle East, and the unconditional backing of the United States. Its assault on Gaza violates the Geneva Conventions. Israel is imposing collective punishment against all Gazans, attacking hospitals, and using disproportionate force.

Israeli officials know full well that the best way to protect their citizens is to implement a real ceasefire — a breakthrough that would require opening Gaza’s borders. Some of them also know the best way to keep their citizens safe long term is by ending the occupation altogether. Problem is, not enough of them will admit it.

U.S. taxpayers also have a stake in this conflict because Washington keeps sending Israel billions of our tax dollars and refuses to push Tel Aviv to stop violating international law.

For real peace, both of those things must change.

Phyllis Bennis directs the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies. Her books include “Before & After: US Foreign Policy and the War on Terrorism.”

All of the Countries which the U.S. “Regime Changed” – Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya – Have Descended into Brutal Chaos

:http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/07/iraq-afghanistan-libya-countries-u-s-regime-changed-going-chaos.html

Quantifying the Effects of Regime Change

Since 2001, the U.S. has undertaken regime change in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

All 3 countries are now in chaos … and extremists are more in control than ever.

Iraq

In Iraq, hardcore Islamic jihadis known as ISIS have taken over much of the country – shown in red as the new “Islamic State” or self-described caliphate – using captured American weapons:

http://heavyeditorial.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/territorial_control_of_the_isis-svg.png?w=640&h=489

USA Today notes: “Iraq is already splitting into three states“.

Christians are being rounded up and killed, and Christian leaders in Iraq say the end of Christianity in Iraq is “very near”. But as we documented in 2012, Saddam Hussein – for all his faults – was a secular leader who tolerated Christians.

Libya

Libya has also descended into absolute chaos.   We reported in 2012:

Al Qaeda is now largely in control of Libya.  Indeed, Al Qaeda flags were flown over the Benghazi courthouse once Gaddafi was toppled.

(This is – again – in contrast to toleration of Christians under Gadaffi.)

The Guardian noted in March:

According to Amnesty International, the “mounting curbs on freedom of expression are threatening the rights Libyans sought to gain“. A repressive Gaddafi-era law has been amended to criminalise any insults to officials or the general national congress (the interim parliament). One journalist, Amara al-Khattabi, was put on trial for alleging corruption among judges. Satellite television stations deemed critical of the authorities have been banned, one station has been attacked with rocket-propelled grenades, and journalists have been assassinated.

***

Ever since the fall of [Gadaffi’s] dictatorship, there have been stories of black Libyans being treated en masse as Gaddafi loyalists and attacked. In a savage act of collective punishment, 35,000 people were driven out of Tawergha in retaliation for the brutal siege of the anti-Gaddafi stronghold of Misrata. The town was trashed and its inhabitants have been left in what human rights organisations are calling “deplorable conditions” in a Tripoli refugee camp. Such forced removals continue elsewhere. Thousands have been arbitrarily detained without any pretence of due process; and judges, prosecutors, lawyers and witnesses have been attacked or even killed. Libya’s first post-Gaddafi prosecutor general, Abdulaziz Al-Hassadi, was assassinated in the town of Derna last month.

***

When residents of Benghazi – the heartland of the revolution – protested against militia rule in June last year, 32 people were killed in what became known as “Black Saturday”. In another protest in Tripoli last November, 46 died and 500 were injured.

Under militia rule, Libya is beginning to disintegrate. Last summer forces under the command of the warlord Ibrahim Jadran took control of eastern oil terminals …. These forces which hijacked a oil tanker this month, prompting threats from Libya’s prime minister that it would be bombed until US forces captured it this weekend. Clashes have broken out in Jadran’s home town of Ajdabiya. In painful echoes of Iraq’s nightmare, a car bomb exploded at a Benghazi military base last week and killed at least eight soldiers, and Libya’s main airport was shut on Friday after a bomb exploded on its runway.

One of the great perversities of the so-called war on terror is that fundamentalist Islamist forces have flourished as a direct consequence of it. Libya is no exception, even though such movements often have little popular support. The Muslim Brotherhood and other elements are better organised than many of their rivals, helping to remove the prime minister, push through legislation, and establish alliances with opportunistic militias.

Ominously, Libya’s chaos is spilling across the region. The country is awash with up to 15 million rifles and other weapons, and a report by the UN panel of experts this month found that “Libya has become a primary source of illicit weapons“. These arms are fuelling chaos in 14 countries, including Somalia, the Central African Republic, Nigeria and Niger.

***

There is a real prospect of the country collapsing into civil war or even breaking up. Unless there are negotiated settlements to its multiple problems, Libya will surely continue its descent into mayhem, and the region could be dragged into the mire with it.

No wonder western governments and journalists who hailed the success of this intervention are so silent. But here are the consequences of their war, and they must take responsibility for them.

28-year CIA veteran Paul Pillar – who rose to be one of the agency’s top analysts – wrote in May:

Just when one might have thought the mess in Libya could not have gotten worse, it has.

***

Saudi Arabia and several other Arab states have evacuated their diplomats from Libya, the United States is preparing for possible evacuation of U.S. personnel, and the country appears on the brink of a larger civil war.

***

Those in Libya closest to being called secular liberals seem to be associated with military officers of the old regime.

***

The intervention already has negatively affected U.S. interests, particularly in providing a disincentive to other regimes to do what Gaddafi did in negotiating an end to involvement in terrorism and an end to production of unconventional weapons.

And things have only gotten worse since then.

(It should be remembered that the U.S. helped sew the seeds of chaos in several ways.  Not only did we engage in direct military intervention against Gadafi, but also – as confirmed by a group of CIA officersarmed Al Qaeda so that they would help topple Gaddafi.)

Afghanistan

Opium production is at an all-time high under the American occupation of Afghanistan.

And the New York Times reports this week that the Taliban are currently making huge gains in Afghanistan … in some cases expanding even beyond their traditional areas of influence prior to 2001:

The Taliban have found success beyond their traditional strongholds in the rural south and are now dominating territory near crucial highways and cities that surround Kabul, the capital, in strategic provinces like Kapisa and Nangarhar.

U.S. troops are just now leaving, and so the worst may be still to come.  In addition – as we discuss below – the U.S. previously imposed regime change on Afghanistan … and the results were bad.

History Repeats

The U.S. carried out regime change in Iran in 1953 … which led to radicalization in the country. Specifically, the CIA admits that the U.S. overthrew the moderate, suit-and-tie-wearing, Democratically-elected prime minister of Iran in 1953. (He was overthrown because he had nationalized Iran’s oil, which had previously been controlled by BP and other Western oil companies). As part of that action, the CIA admits that it hired Iranians to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its prime minister.

If the U.S. hadn’t overthrown the moderate Iranian government, the fundamentalist Mullahs would have never taken over. Iran has been known for thousands of years for tolerating Christians and other religious minorities.

Hawks in the U.S. government been pushing for another round of regime change in Iran for decades.

Hillary Clinton and then-president Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser have both admitted on the record that the U.S. previously carried out regime change in Afghanistan in the 1970s by backing Bin Laden and the Mujahadin … the precursor to Al Qaeda.

And look how that turned out.

Syria

The U.S. has heavily backed the Islamic rebels in Syria in an attempt to implement regime change in that country.  The result?

As shown by the map above, they’ve taken a third of the country as part of their “caliphate”

And the jihadis are now busily crucifying, beheading and slitting the throats of Christians. (Yup, Syria was previously known for tolerating Christians.)

Haven’t These Wars Made It Safer at Home?

But haven’t all of these wars made it safer here at home?   Nope … a top Pentagon officials says we’re no safer – and perhaps less safe – after 13 years of war.

As we’ve pointed out for almost a decade, security experts – conservative hawks and liberal doves alike – agree that waging war in the Middle East weakens national security and increases terrorism. See this, this, this, this, this, this and this.

Regime Support

But the U.S. doesn’t always back regime change. Sometimes we work to support regimes …

… Unfortunately, they tend to be some of the most brutal tyrannies on the planet.

Postscript:  We can probably add Ukraine to the list of regime changed countries falling into chaos and murderous extremism, given that:

 

Poll: 57% of Americans support Jewish genocidal slaughter in Palestine, a reflection of zionist control of their media

http://www.shoah.org.uk/2014/07/31/poll-57-of-americans-support-jewish-genocidal-slaughter-in-palestine/

According to a recent poll conducted by CNN, 57% of Americans support the barbaric, absolutely ruthless slaughter and destruction of the largely defenseless Christian and Muslim Arab populations in Zionist-occupied Palestine. The Jewish Telegraph Agency reports:

A majority of Americans back Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip, according to a poll.

Fifty-seven percent of Americans see Israel’s actions as justified, with 12 percent among those respondents saying Israel is not using enough force, according to the CNN poll conducted from Friday to Sunday — just as Israel was starting the ground operation in its Protective Edge campaign launched July 8.

CNN noted that 57 percent also believed Israel was justified in its use of force during the previous conflict with Hamas in Gaza in 2012, and 63 percent thought it was justified during the 2008-09 Cast Lead operation. […]

I’d like to think the typical American would be against the whole-sale slaughter of entire civilian populations, including the shelling and bombing of hospitals, apartment blocks, schools, and other critical civilian infrastructure projects. I’d like to think the typical American would be against the mass murdering of innocent men, women, and children. However, in most cases I’d be wrong, at least when it comes to “Israel” and the Jews.

Given the near total Jewish control over and influence upon the U.S. federal government (White House, Congress, Supreme Court, elections, etc.), mass media, banking system, Hollywood, and educational establishment, it’s no surprise more than half of the American public supports the usurping Jewish regime occupying Palestine’s most recent genocidal campaign of destruction and murder. After all, the vast majority of Americans have been programmed since childhood to believe the Jews are a tiny, insignificant, and benevolent religious minority who can do no wrong, but are always targeted and persecuted by irrational “anti-Semites” who blame Jews for everything. Most people actually believe the Jews to be “God’s Chosen People,” and that the illegitimate Jewish terrorist state known as “Israel” is the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy which America must blindly support and favor, no matter her actions and policies.

Of course, nothing could be further from the truth, but Jewish propaganda and public relations trump cold hard facts and blatant reality every time.

Israel are clearly the terrorists, not Hamas or Palestinians

Terrorism in the Israeli Attack on Gaza

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Terrorism-in-the-Israeli-A-by-Glenn-Greenwald-Israel_Israeli-Attacks-On-Gaza_Israeli-Pressure-On-US_Israeli-palestinian-140729-124.html


Palestinian relatives mourn for victims of the Duheir family, near the rubble of their home, after it was destroyed by an Israeli air strike in Rafah on July 29, 2014, in the southern of Gaza strip.
(image by Said Khatib/AFP/Getty Images)

 

As I’ve written many times before, “terrorism” is, and from the start was designed to be, almost entirely devoid of discernible meaning. It’s a fear-mongering slogan, lacking any consistent application, intended to end rational debate and justify virtually any conduct by those who apply the term. But to the extent it means anything beyond that, it typically refers to the killing of civilians as a means of furthering political or military goals.

Below are two charts reflecting the deaths of civilians, soldiers and “militants” in both Gaza and Israel since the July 8 Israeli attack began. The statistics used are unduly generous toward Israel, since “militants” in Gaza are often nothing more than residents who take up arms to defend their homes against an invading and occupying army. Even with that generous interpretation, these numbers, standing alone, tell a powerful story:

If you landed on earth from another planet this week, knowing nothing other than the most common use of the word “terrorism,” which side do you think would most frequently be referred to as “terrorists”?

Often, the most vivid illustration of the criminality of this attack comes not from data but from isolated stories. Yesterday, for instance, “in Khan Younis, five members of the Najjar family, which lost 21 people in a previous strike, were killed.” Meanwhile, “in the Al Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza, an airstrike from an F-16 killed the mayor, Anis Abu Shamala, and four others in his home, some of whom had taken refuge there from intense artillery shelling nearby.”

At the same time, the Israeli government’s messaging machine quickly switched from hyping rocket attacks, which were causing relatively little damage, to featuring what it began calling “terror tunnels.” The U.S. media dutifully followed suit, with CNN anchor (and former AIPAC employee) Wolf Blitzer touring a “terror tunnel” led around by the IDF and his flashlight, while the New York Times’ Jodi Rudoren did the same in an article headlined “Tunnels Lead Right to the Heart of Israeli Fear,” quoting “Israeli military officials”, “an Israeli military spokesman”, and “Israeli experts”. But a separate article in the NYT highlighted how these “terror tunnels” are actually used:

The strikes during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr came after the latest humanitarian halt to hostilities was punctured by attacks on both sides, culminating in the most deadly incursion yet by Palestinian militants through an underground tunnel from Gaza into Israel.

Colonel Lerner said Tuesday that between four and eight gunmen had burst from the tunnel near a military watchtower near the border and killed five soldiers in an adjacent building with antitank missiles.

In American media discourse, when Palestinians overwhelmingly kill soldiers (95% of the Israeli death toll) who are part of an army that is blockading, occupying, invading, and indiscriminately bombing them and killing their children by the hundreds, that is “terrorism”; when Israelis use massive, brutal force against a trapped civilian population, overwhelmingly killing innocent men, women and children (at least 75% of the Palestinian death toll), with clear intentions to kill civilians (see point 3), that is noble “self-defense.” That demonstrates how skewed U.S. discourse is in favor of Israel, as well as the purely manipulative, propagandistic nature of the term “terrorists.”

 

They are totally nuts! Butcher israeli Minister Naftali Bannet: In fact we are fighting with Iran in Gaza!

http://www.islamicinvitationturkey.com/2014/07/30/butcher-israeli-minister-naftali-bannet-in-fact-we-are-fighting-with-iran/

naftalin

Butcher israeli Minister Naftali Bannet says In fact we are fighting with Iran!

“Israeli attack on crowded market during ceasefire is ‘barbarity personified’”

http://palsolidarity.org/2014/07/gaza-ministry-of-health-israeli-attack-on-crowded-market-during-ceasefire-is-barbarity-personified/

Ministry of Health Gaza is outraged at the Israeli massacre perpetrated during the so-called humanitarian ceasefire, when F-16s fired missiles into the crowded Shujeiyah market as hundreds took advantage of the lull to buy food and supplies.

At least 17 people have been killed and 200 injured.

“This atrocity is barbarity personified,” said Director General, Ministry of HealthDr Medhat Abbas.

Not satisfied with exterminating entire families in their own homes, not satisfied with killing people praying in mosques, not satisfied with killing patients, staff and visitors in hospitals, not satisfied with killing ambulance drivers as they retrieve the dead and injured, not satisfied with killing women and children sheltering in UNRWA school, the Israeli death machine now blatantly attacks a crowded public market DURING a humanitarian ceasefire, in an unrivaled cruel and cynical exercise of savagery and barbarism.

The Ministry of Health Gaza condemns this latest atrocity in the strongest possible terms,  and considers that any further prevarication by the international community can only be seen as complicity in the increasingly barbaric and clearly genocidal war crimes being visited on the citizenry of Gaza.

The Ministry demands immediate international intervention to bring the rogue ‘state’ of Israel under control, and an immediate end to its carnage in Gaza.

Photo by Ma'an News

Photo by Ma'an News

Tel Aviv’s monsters killed entire families and bombarded UNRWA schools, Press, Hospitals and ambulances

http://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/gaza-genocide-24th-day-zionist-killed-1260-arabs/

gaza-20140730-1

Palestinian child wounded by Israeli attack on Gaza

Dozens of Palestinians were martyred early on Wednesday as the Zionist monsters forces bombarded and stuck several areas across the besieged strip including a UNRWA school: after 24 day of offensive the Palestinians killed are 1260 and over 7100 injured.

At least 20 civilians were killed and dozens injured in Israeli bombardments at UNRWA school, used as a shelter for those displaced by the war.

Israel has committed a new massacre at dawn Wednesday after bombing an UNRWA school northern Gaza Strip where hundreds of families had sought refuge after fleeing their homes due to heavy Israeli missile strikes in Gaza. At least 15 people were killed and dozens were injured during the attack.

Palestinian sources said that Israeli jet fighters targeted at dawn today an UNRWA school in Jabalia refugee camp sheltering hundreds of Palestinians displaced by the ongoing aggression.

At least 15 bodies reached Kamal Odwan hospital torn into pieces, while 50 others suffered injuries, most of them in serious condition.

Following the strike, Palestinian Interior Ministry called on UNRWA to bear its responsibility towards the Israeli crimes committed against its institutions and headquarters sheltering hundreds of displaced civilians.

A number of UNRWA schools were targeted by Israeli artillery shells although hundreds of displaced civilians were inside, most recently was the bombing of Abu Hussein School to the north of the Strip. However, UNRWA did not condemn any of these attacks, the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

UNRWA has previously issued a statement claiming that 20 rockets were discovered in one of its schools without prior investigation, providing a justification to Israeli war crimes against Gazan civilians, the statement added.

Israeli warplanes had bombed more than once Beit Lahia School where a large number of casualties were reported, in addition to Deir al-Balah School, UNRWA headquarters, and its main warehouse.

gaza-KIDS-20140730-2

A shelling earlier in the northern Gaza Strip killed an 11-year-old handicapped girl, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said, with a subsequent shelling in the centre of the small coastal territory killing a 16-year-old girl.

A strike shortly afterwards in the southern city of Khan Yunis killed 10 members of a single family, Qudra said, including one child who could not immediately be identified.

A middle-aged man was martyred early in the morning in the southern city of Rafah.

The deaths brought Wednesday’s Palestinian toll to at least 29, with the total count from an Israeli operation to stamp out militant rocket fire to nearly 1,260, according to Qudra’s latest figures.

622x350

The Euro-mid Observer for Human Rights, based in Geneva, published its preliminary statistics till the 22nd of the Israeli attack on the besieged Gaza Strip.

According to the Euro-mid, the number of victims on Tuesday, the 22nd day of the Israeli aggression, reached 145 people, including 30 children and 15 women.

Euro-mid Observer cited on the 22nd day of Israeli aggression on Gaza Strip an escalation in the Israeli army targeting of Palestinian civilians without prior-warning.

Approximately 56 families were targeted; all of their 250 members were killed since the beginning of the Israeli offensive on Gaza. Euro-mid considered that targeting safe families in their own homes without any prior-warning represents a complete war crime.

Euro-mid warned of the rise in targeting entire Palestinian families without prior-warning, highlighting the bombing of Abu Ziad’s family house in Rafah. 11 members of the family including an infant were killed during the attack.

Euro-mid also condemned the targeting of Balata family home by Israeli forces in Jabalia on Tuesday 22 July. 10 people were killed, five of whom were children in addition to their father.

Israeli forces had killed 14 of al-Agha family after bombing their home without prior-warning in Khan Younis southern Gaza Strip.

Another house in Rafah city was targeted by Israeli forces; six members of Duheir family were killed including a child; an elderly woman, and a journalist. In similar attacks, five members of Abu Shamala family and five members of al-Najjar family were killed.

The number of wounded on the 22nd day of the assault is 467 wounded, including 118 children and 56 women. Their injuries range from light to serious; bringing up the total number of wounded since the beginning of the attacks to 6,970 wounded including 2,210 children and 1,493 women.

On Tuesday 29 July, Euro-Mid documented 9360 missile strikes fired by Israeli forces on Tuesday; including 656 airstrikes, 2,130 naval strikes and 6,574 artillery shells. The total number of Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the Israeli military operation has increased dramatically, reaching 39,812 attacks including 5,659 airstrikes, 11,537 naval projectiles and 22,616 artillery shells.

Along the same line, 555 houses were destroyed on Tuesday, 56 were totally destroyed and 499 were partially destroyed; bringing up the total number of damaged houses since the beginning of the attacks to 8,002 houses; of which 1,375 were totally destroyed and 6,627 were partially destroyed.

Petrodollars, Petroyuan, and the Ongoing Erosion of American Hegemony

WFRJulyAug2014

http://goingtotehran.com/petrodollars-petroyuan-and-the-ongoing-erosion-of-american-hegemony

The World Financial Review has published our latest piece, “The Rise of the Petroyuan and the Slow Erosion of Dollar Hegemony.”

–In it, we explain how, for four decades, the dollar’s standing as the world’s most important currency—which has undergirded much of America’s post-World War II primacy in international affairs—has rested largely on the greenback’s dominant role in international energy markets.  In explaining this, we underscore that Washington’s ability to leverage the security concerns of Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf Arab states to influence their decision-making on how their oil exports are priced and their petrodollar surpluses recycled has been central to consolidating and maintaining the dollar’s unique role in international energy markets.

–We also explain how China’s rise, as a global economic power and as Persian Gulf energy producers’ most important incremental market, poses the biggest challenge yet to the indefinite prolongation of dollar dominance, in international energy markets and more generally.  In this regard, the emergence of the “petroyuan” alongside the petrodollar will almost certainly accelerate the ongoing erosion of America’s wider hegemony.

While we don’t explore this in great detail in the article, there is an important Iranian angle to our story:  for over four decades, ruling elites in Saudi Arabia and some of its Persian Gulf Arab neighbors have feared the rise of a modern, economically advanced Iran; this grounds a large share of the concerns felt by Gulf Arab elites that the United States has leveraged to create and perpetuate the oil-dollar nexus.

– In the 1970s, Persian Gulf Arab states watched as late imperial Iran grew richer from higher oil prices, converted much of its wealth into a large, sophisticated, and mostly U.S.-supplied military apparatus and began to assert Iranian power around the Persian Gulf.

–From the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the Saudis and some of their Gulf Arab neighbors have been even more worried about the Islamic Republic of Iran.  While Iran’s conventional military capabilities have atrophied severely since the revolution, the Islamic Republic’s model of participatory governance combined with indigenous technological advancement and foreign policy independence represents a different sort of “threat” to Gulf Arab polities.

–More recently, as we note in our article, in many ways the petroyuan got its start in Iran; for several years now, China has paid for some of its oil imports from the Islamic Republic with renminbi.

To read the article, please go to http://www.worldfinancialreview.com/ or click here for the PDF.  We’ve also appended the text (with links) below. 

The Rise of the Petroyuan and the Slow Erosion of Dollar Hegemony

by Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

 For seventy years, one of the critical foundations of American power has been the dollar’s standing as the world’s most important currency.  For the last forty years, a pillar of dollar primacy has been the greenback’s dominant role in international energy markets.  Today, China is leveraging its rise as an economic power, and as the most important incremental market for hydrocarbon exporters in the Persian Gulf and the former Soviet Union to circumscribe dollar dominance in global energy—with potentially profound ramifications for America’s strategic position.             

Since World War II, America’s geopolitical supremacy has rested not only on military might, but also on the dollar’s standing as the world’s leading transactional and reserve currency.  Economically, dollar primacy extracts “seignorage”—the difference between the cost of printing money and its value—from other countries, and minimises U.S. firms’ exchange rate risk.  Its real importance, though, is strategic:  dollar primacy lets America cover its chronic current account and fiscal deficits by issuing more of its own currency—precisely how Washington has funded its hard power projection for over half a century.    

Since the 1970s, a pillar of dollar primacy has been the greenback’s role as the dominant currency in which oil and gas are priced, and in which international hydrocarbon sales are invoiced and settled.  This helps keep worldwide dollar demand high.  It also feeds energy producers’ accumulation of dollar surpluses that reinforce the dollar’s standing as the world’s premier reserve asset, and that can be “recycled” into the U.S. economy to cover American deficits.

Many assume that the dollar’s prominence in energy markets derives from its wider status as the world’s foremost transactional and reserve currency.  But the dollar’s role in these markets is neither natural nor a function of its broader dominance.  Rather, it was engineered by U.S. policymakers after the Bretton Woods monetary order collapsed in the early 1970s, ending the initial version of dollar primacy (“dollar hegemony 1.0”).  Linking the dollar to international oil trading was key to creating a new version of dollar primacy (“dollar hegemony 2.0”)—and, by extension, in financing another forty years of American hegemony.

Gold and Dollar Hegemony 1.0 

Dollar primacy was first enshrined at the 1944 Bretton Woods conference, where America’s non-communist allies acceded to Washington’s blueprint for a postwar international monetary order.  Britain’s delegation—headed by Lord Keynes—and virtually every other participating country, save the United States, favoured creating a new multilateral currency through the fledgling International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the chief source of global liquidity.  But this would have thwarted American ambitions for a dollar-centered monetary order.  Even though almost all participants preferred the multilateral option, America’s overwhelming relative power ensured that, in the end, its preferences prevailed.  So, under the Bretton Woods gold exchange standard, the dollar was pegged to gold and other currencies were pegged to the dollar, making it the main form of international liquidity.

There was, however, a fatal contradiction in Washington’s dollar-based vision.  The only way America could diffuse enough dollars to meet worldwide liquidity needs was by running open-ended current account deficits.  As Western Europe and Japan recovered and regained competitiveness, these deficits grew.  Throw in America’s own burgeoning demand for dollars—to fund rising consumption, welfare state expansion, and global power projection—and the U.S. money supply soon exceeded U.S. gold reserves.  From the 1950s, Washington worked to persuade or coerce foreign dollar holders not to exchange greenbacks for gold.  But insolvency could be staved off for only so long:  in August 1971, President Nixon suspended dollar-gold convertibility, ending the gold exchange standard; by 1973, fixed exchange rates were gone, too.

These events raised fundamental questions about the long-term soundness of a dollar-based monetary order.  To preserve its role as chief provider of international liquidity, the U.S. would have to continue running current account deficits.  But those deficits were ballooning, for Washington’s abandonment of Bretton Woods intersected with two other watershed developments: America became a net oil importer in the early 1970s; and the assertion of market power by key members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 1973-1974 caused a 500% increase in oil prices, exacerbating the strain on the U.S. balance of payments.  With the link between the dollar and gold severed and exchange rates no longer fixed, the prospect of ever-larger U.S. deficits aggravated concerns about the dollar’s long-term value.

These concerns had special resonance for major oil producers.  Oil going to international markets has been priced in dollars, at least since the 1920s—but, for decades, sterling was used at least as frequently as dollars in order to settle transnational oil purchases, even after the dollar had replaced sterling as the world’s preeminent trade and reserve currency.  As long as sterling was pegged to the dollar and the dollar was “as good as gold,” this was economically viable.  But, after Washington abandoned dollar-gold convertibility and the world transitioned from fixed to floating exchange rates, the currency regime for oil trading was up for grabs.  With the end of dollar-gold convertibility, America’s major allies in the Persian Gulf—the Shah’s Iran, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia—came to favour shifting OPEC’s pricing system, from denominating prices in dollars to denominating them in a basket of currencies.

In this environment, several of America’s European allies revived the idea (first broached by Keynes at Bretton Woods) of providing international liquidity in the form of an IMF-issued, multilaterally-governed currency—so-called “Special Drawing Rights” (SDRs).  After rising oil prices engorged their current accounts, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab allies of the United States pushed for OPEC to begin invoicing in SDRs.  They also endorsed European proposals to recycle petrodollar surpluses through the IMF, in order to encourage its emergence as the main post-Bretton Woods provider of international liquidity.  That would have meant Washington could not continue to print as many dollars, as it wanted to support rising consumption, mushrooming welfare expenditures, and sustained global power projection.  To avert this, American policymakers had to find new ways to incentivise foreigners to continue holding ever-larger surpluses of what were now fiat dollars.

Oil and Dollar Hegemony 2.0

To this end, U.S. administrations from the mid-1970s devised two strategies.  One was to maximise demand for dollars as a transactional currency.  The other was to reverse Bretton Woods’ restrictions on transnational capital flows; with financial liberalisation, America could leverage the breadth and depth of its capital markets, and it could cover its chronic current account and fiscal deficits by attracting foreign capital at relatively low cost.  Forging strong links between hydrocarbon sales and the dollar proved critical on both fronts.

To forge such links, Washington effectively extorted its Gulf Arab allies, quietly conditioning U.S. guarantees of their security to their willingness to financially help the United States.  Reneging on pledges to its European and Japanese partners, the Ford administration clandestinely pushed Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab producers to recycle substantial parts of their petrodollar surpluses into the U.S. economy through private (largely U.S.) intermediaries, rather than through the IMF.  The Ford administration also elicited Gulf Arab support for Washington’s strained finances, reaching secret deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for their central banks to buy large volumes of U.S. Treasury securities outside normal auction processes.  These commitments helped Washington prevent the IMF from supplanting the United States as the main provider of international liquidity; they also gave a crucial early boost to Washington’s ambitions to finance U.S. deficits by recycling foreign dollar surpluses via private capital markets and purchases of U.S. government securities.

A few years later, the Carter administration struck another secret deal with the Saudis, whereby Riyadh committed to exert its influence to ensure that OPEC continued pricing oil in dollars.  OPEC’s commitment to the dollar as the invoice currency for international oil sales was key to broader embrace of the dollar as the oil market’s reigning transactional currency.  As OPEC’s administered price system collapsed in the mid-1980s, the Reagan administration encouraged universalised dollar invoicing for cross-border oil sales on new oil exchanges in London and New York.  Nearly universal pricing of oil—and, later on, gas—in dollars has bolstered the likelihood that hydrocarbon sales will not just be denominated in dollars, but settled in them as well, generating ongoing support for worldwide dollar demand.

In short, these bargains were instrumental in creating “dollar hegemony 2.0.”  And they have largely held up, despite periodic Gulf Arab dissatisfaction with America’s Middle East policy, more fundamental U.S. estrangement from other major Gulf producers (Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and the Islamic Republic of Iran), and a flurry of interest in the “petro–Euro” in the early 2000s.  The Saudis, especially, have vigorously defended exclusive pricing of oil in dollars.  While Saudi Arabia and other major energy producers now accept payment for their oil exports in other major currencies, the larger share of the world’s hydrocarbon sales continue to be settled in dollars, perpetuating the greenback’s status as the world’s top transactional currency.  Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab producers have supplemented their support for the oil-dollar nexus with ample purchases of advanced U.S. weapons; most have also pegged their currencies to the dollar—a commitment which senior Saudi officials describe as “strategic.”  While the dollar’s share of global reserves has dropped, Gulf Arab petrodollar recycling helps keep it the world’s leading reserve currency.             

The China Challenge

Still, history and logic caution that current practices are not set in stone.  With the rise of the “petroyuan,” movement towards a less dollar-centric currency regime in international energy markets—with potentially serious implications for the dollar’s broader standing—is already underway.

As China has emerged as a major player on the global energy scene, it has also embarked on an extended campaign to internationalise its currency.  A rising share of China’s external trade is being denominated and settled in renminbi; issuance of renminbi-denominated financial instruments is growing.  China is pursuing a protracted process of capital account liberalisation essential to full renminbi internationalisation, and is allowing more exchange rate flexibility for the yuan.  The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) now has swap arrangements with over thirty other central banks—meaning that renminbi already effectively functions as a reserve currency.

Chinese policymakers appreciate the “advantages of incumbency” the dollar enjoys; their aim is not for renminbi to replace dollars, but to position the yuan alongside the greenback as a transactional and reserve currency.  Besides economic benefits (e.g., lowering Chinese businesses’ foreign exchange costs), Beijing wants—for strategic reasons—to slow further growth of its enormous dollar reserves.  China has watched America’s increasing propensity to cut off countries from the U.S. financial system as a foreign policy tool, and worries about Washington trying to leverage it this way; renminbi internationalisation can mitigate such vulnerability.  More broadly, Beijing understands the importance of dollar dominance to American power; by chipping away at it, China can contain excessive U.S. unilateralism.

China has long incorporated financial instruments into its efforts to access foreign hydrocarbons.  Now Beijing wants major energy producers to accept renminbi as a transactional currency—including to settle Chinese hydrocarbon purchases—and incorporate renminbi in their central bank reserves.  Producers have reason to be receptive.  China is, for the vastly foreseeable future, the main incremental market for hydrocarbon producers in the Persian Gulf and former Soviet Union.  Widespread expectations of long-term yuan appreciation make accumulating renminbi reserves a “no brainer” in terms of portfolio diversification.  And, as America is increasingly viewed as a hegemon in relative decline, China is seen as the preeminent rising power.  Even for Gulf Arab states long reliant on Washington as their ultimate security guarantor, this makes closer ties to Beijing an imperative strategic hedge.  For Russia, deteriorating relations with the United States impel deeper cooperation with China, against what both Moscow and Beijing consider a declining, yet still dangerously flailing and over-reactive, America.

For several years, China has paid for some of its oil imports from Iran with renminbi; in 2012, the PBOC and the UAE Central Bank set up a $5.5 billion currency swap, setting the stage for settling Chinese oil imports from Abu Dhabi in renminbi—an important expansion of petroyuan use in the Persian Gulf.  The $400 billion Sino-Russian gas deal that was concluded this year apparently provides for settling Chinese purchases of Russian gas inrenminbi; if fully realised, this would mean an appreciable role for renminbi in transnational gas transactions.

Looking ahead, use of renminbi to settle international hydrocarbon sales will surely increase, accelerating the decline of American influence in key energy-producing regions.  It will also make it marginally harder for Washington to finance what China and other rising powers consider overly interventionist foreign policies—a prospect America’s political class has hardly begun to ponder.

Even if israel’s lie over Hamas using human shields were true, what would be the point, they flatten everything anyway

What’s not a target for Israel?

http://www.dci-palestine.org/documents/whats-not-target-Israel

A Palestinian boy, wounded in northern Gaza, waits for treatment at the Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahia on July 30.

Israel is an occupying power that is attacking and destroying an occupied Palestinian civilian population. These civilian deaths are not collateral damage: they are war crimes, writes Brad Parker in Al Jazeera English.

Ramallah, July 30, 2014­—Israeli forces have killed more than 200 Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip over the past 23 days. In order to obfuscate this harsh reality, Israeli officials claim “self-defense” and contend that civilian deaths are justified because Hamas allegedly uses Palestinians in Gaza as human shields. Israel is an occupying power that is attacking and destroying an occupied Palestinian civilian population. These civilian deaths are not collateral damage. They are war crimes.

On July 20, around 2:20 am, 16-year-old Anas Mahmoud Hussein Muammar from Rafah went out onto the second-floor balcony of his home to join his older brothers for a cup of coffee. Soon after, an Israeli drone-fired missile directly targeted him and his brothers, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International Palestine. His brothers were killed instantly. Anas suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at Abu Yousef An-Najjar Hospital about 10 minutes later.

A complete disregard of international humanitarian law and the direct targeting of civilian homes, schools, hospitals, and civilians such as Anas have so far characterized Israel’s military offensive on Gaza.

For Palestinians in Gaza, where 43 percent of the population is under 14 years of age, Israeli military offensives are not new. Over the past 14 years, not including the most recent killings, Israeli forces are responsible for the death of over 1,400 children in the occupied Palestinian Territory, including over 1,000 in Gaza alone. Most recently in November 2012, 33 children were killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza. Between December 2008 and January 2009, Israeli forces killed at least 353 children.

To justify the current onslaught on the Palestinian civilian population of the Gaza Strip, Israeli officials repeatedly assert that Hamas uses civilians as human shields. Speaking by phone recently to his Canadian counterpart, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “Hamas uses innocent civilians as a human shield for terrorist activity.” Israeli military spokesperson, Lt Col Peter Lerner, alleged Palestinian armed groups were “intentionally abusing” hospitals and “other international protected symbols to indiscriminately attack Israel.”

To be clear, the use of civilians as human shields is prohibited under international law and involves forcing civilians to directly assist in military operations or using them to shield a military object or troops from attack. The rhetoric continually voiced by Israeli officials regarding “human shields” amounts to nothing more than generalizations that fall short of the precise calculation required by international humanitarian law when determining whether something is actually a military object.

Civilians, including children, must never be targeted, and civilian structures and infrastructure are presumed not to be legitimate targets, yet Israel continues to carry out direct attacks on civilian homes, schools, hospitals and mosques.

In order to qualify as a military objective, the object must be used for a military purpose and its total or partial destruction would result in a definite military advantage. Only military objectives can be lawful or legitimate objects of an attack. This standard is inflexible and does not change based on another party’s conduct.

In Khan Younis on July 20, 19 children from the Abu Jami’ family were killed when an Israeli fighter jet targeted and destroyed their home where they were sheltering. Israeli officials stated that the intended target was a Hamas member visiting the house at the time of the strike.

The mere alleged presence of a member of a Palestinian armed group is an insufficient justification for an attack on a family home. Based on a preliminary investigation, the Abu Jami’ home was not being used for any military purpose at the time of the attack and was unlawfully targeted by Israeli forces.

A civilian home, school, or hospital that is in some way deemed by Israeli forces to be “affiliated” with Hamas or another Palestinian armed group does not in itself provide legal justification under international humanitarian law to direct an attack at that object. The standard demands much more, and requires an exacting calculation. Precision is necessary because imprecision leads to war crimes.

Palestinian civilians must not be blamed for their own deaths. Even if Hamas or another Palestinian armed group may have violated the laws of war and used civilians as human shields, this does not relieve Israel from its obligations under international law nor does it justify an attack on civilians or civilian structures.

A generation of Palestinian children in Gaza have been shot, shelled and bombed since the outbreak of the second intifada in September 2000. Their homes and schools have been attacked and destroyed, sometimes repeatedly, and they have come of age witnessing death and suffocated by a life under siege. They have lost parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins, and entire families.

In addition to an immediate ceasefire, the international community, including the US, must demand an end to Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza and challenge systemic impunity by investigating allegations of war crimes and holding perpetrators accountable.

Brad Parker is an attorney and international advocacy officer at Defense for Children International-Palestine.

This article was originally published on Al-Jazeera English: http://aje.me/UKuLKl.

Can you believe this, I certainly don’t- “Strike on Gaza Power Plant an Accident”

Israeli General Insists Strike on Gaza Power Plant an Accident

http://news.antiwar.com/2014/07/30/israeli-general-insists-strike-on-gaza-power-plant-an-accident/

Israeli Air Force General Yaron Rosen today denied that yesterday’s attack on the Gaza Strip’s only power plant was intentional, saying the nation had no interest in striking the enclave’s only source of electricity.

Gen. Rosen rather suggested the strike was unintentional, and the result of munitions “skipping” when they hit the ground and bouncing toward unintended targets.

Rosen went on to claim that in the past the Palestinians have made up the stories of such attacks, though the giant fireball and the lack of electricity to 1.8 million Gazans are both likely pretty hard to fake. He promised an investigation.

Gazans expressed doubts about the Israeli story, seeing the attack as just the latest in a long line of “collective punishment” strikes against the civilian population. Operators at the power plant say the damage will take at least a year to repair to the extent that electricity can be generated there.

Bloodthirsty Jews intend to intensify their genocide against civilians

Israeli Cabinet Vows to Intensify Gaza War: Over 1,400 Killed

UN Slams Growing Attacks on Civilian Targets http://news.antiwar.com/2014/07/30/israeli-cabinet-vows-to-intensify-gaza-war-1363-killed/

The Israeli Security Cabinet once again spurned international calls to end their invasion of the Gaza Strip, today declaring that not only the war would continue, but that they will “intensify” the attacks.

It was another day of attacks overwhelmingly targeting civilians, with an overnight strike on a UN-run school in a refugee camp, packed with thousands of refugees, killing at least 20 people and wounding hundreds of others. Israel’s Foreign Ministry defended the attack.

Israel went on to declare a four hour “humanitarian lull” in the morning, supposedly giving Gaza civilians a few hours free of attack. When hundreds flocked to a marketplace in Shejaiya, Israel attacked anyhow, killing 17 and wounding 170 others.

Israel went on to defend that attack as well, insisting they made it clear in their official statements that the humanitarian lull didn’t cover that particular marketplace, though they gave no indication as to why they attacked a food market full of civilians.

All told the death toll in Gaza is over 1,400 killed, overwhelmingly civilians. The death toll on the Israeli side is 59, with 56 of them soldiers. The fighting has also displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians within Gaza.

The soaring civilian death toll in Gaza sparked more condemnation from the UN, which dubbed the attack on the school “unjustifiable” and “reprehensible.” Any UN efforts to punish the Israeli military for such attacks will undoubtedly be blocked by the US, however.

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