Gaza .. Eid Shahid.. You are not alone

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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!

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