Gaza, Zionism & the Destabilization Doctrine: An Interview with Jonathan Azaziah by Joshua Blakeney

By admin

July 28, 201

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdOdydQRBN4&list=UUp6AZnSXblJgezDHpPu2ZGg

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[Editor’s Note: Some further information on Blakeney and Azaziah, two leading figures in the resistance against the Zionist Empire of Evil.]

Published on Jul 26, 2014

Journalist Joshua Blakeney interviewed broadcaster and geopolitical analyst Jonathan Azaziah on July 24, 2014. The show focused upon the Israeli regime’s aggression toward the inhabitants of Gaza. At the time of recording Israel’s so called “Operation Protective Edge” had slain 800 Palestinians and maimed thousands more. Azaziah and Blakeney situated the murderous scenes emanating from Gaza in both a regional and global context in the show. Relevant links include:

Mask of Zion Report:

Jonathan Azaziah on The Middle East Show:

Jonathan Azaziah’s blog:

Joshua Blakeney’s website:

Joshua Blakeney’s YouTube channel:

The Real Deal blog:

Jonathan Azaziah’s Music:

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!

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RESISTANCE GROWING IN MILITARY STATURE

A Palestinian fighter of Hamas’ armed wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, trains in Gaza in 2007 (AFP)
An expert in Hamas affairs says its use of tunnels to launch incursions, ability to repulse commando raids and use of powerful Gaza manufactured rockets are signs of a growing military maturity

By Mohammed Omer
GAZA CITY – The strength projected by Hamas is based on its military potential of the movement – its capacity to employ force against the enemy. Both engineers and fighters from Hamas’s military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, have died over the years so the group could achieve what this military capacity is today.It has been a painful process of trial and error, analysts say. When Hamas was established in 1987, it simply planned to copy Israel’s iconic sub-machine gun, the Uzi. Now it has M-75 missiles which with a range of about 80 kilometers that can reach further than Tel Aviv.Hamas’ ability to repulse two Israeli special-forces beach landings with air cover in the last week has not gone unnoticed internationally. Hamas also immobilized Israeli tanks and launched tunnel incursions, raising questions as to what capacity the military wing has developed since its defeat in the 2008-2009 Operation Cast Lead.“The wars of 2008-9 and 2012 matured Hamas. Now we see the introduction of newer rockets”, said Ibrahim Al-Madhoun, an expert in Hamas affairs. “Its military capacity has improved in both quality and quantity,” he told MEE.

Madhoun says the progress draws from painful experiences in Operation Cast Lead. For instance, Qassam has introduced new anti-tank missiles able to hit tanks from a further distance, such as the Russian Tandem warhead, which can penetrate up to 900mm of armour. This is unlike 2008 where P7 and RPG-7 missiles failed from a shorter distance.

Although there is no information on how many Tandem warheads Hamas has, Madhoun says there are yet further weapons Hamas is keeping as a “surprise” for ground invasions on Gaza.

“Inter-city tunnels are another factor providing Hamas with defensive tactics and ability to surprise Israel”, he adds.  Israel’s military said on Thursday that it had fought back an incursion by Hamas under a heavily fortified border near Sufa kibbutz – but Qassam Brigades said it had successfully completed a “mission” during the underground raid.

Military mastermind

Ahmed Jabari, a chief commander of the Qassam Brigades who was assassinated in an Israeli air strike in November 2012, is widely seen as responsible for planning a domestic missile manufacturing capability that has developed in defiance of an Israeli-Egyptian blockade on the strip. In Jabari’s honour, Hamas introduced two new missiles, the J80 and J160.

The group also saw improvements in training and specialisation into different divisions, including explosive, engineering, rocket launching, snipers, naval, air defense and manufacturing units, according to analysts.

Since 1987, when Hamas first emerged, the group’s rocket variety and range – both closely guarded secrets – have steadily improved.

Manufacturing by the Hamas military is an evolving process which, according to Al-Madhoun, has developed as a result of with time spent and determination within the military wing.

In comparison with 2008 and 2012, when experts in Gaza say that Israel took Hamas by surprise, Hamas’ response in the current conflict suggests it is more aware of its strengths and weaknesses.

The patterns of rocket fire from Gaza seem consistent over the last 10 days of war, and there are estimates that Hamas’ military is still only using less than 20% of its military weapon capacity, Madhoun said.

Indeed, Madhoun says other divisions have also not used their full military capacity yet, predicting months more of rocket fire-power.

“There are also more human resources not yet used or exhausted” he says, indicating that the response so far has concentrated on rocket attacks and the number of rockets is “neither increasing, nor decreasing”.

“I believe that – in general – the Gaza resistance is not yet moving at full speed,” he told MEE

During the past 10 days, Israel strikes have killed 230 Palestinians and injured 1,700 Palestinians, the vast majority of them being civilians, mainly children and women according to the United Nations.

One Qassam navy commander Mohammed Shaban was killed— but Madhoun says Shaban was not a leader but a field-operative and that a few hundred more remain in the navy unit. In the past, Qassam Brigades members were killed either on the way to launch rockets, or on the way back.

Potential Israeli plans for a ground invasion in the coming days have been met with defiant statements from the the Qassam Brigade, which have said they favor this as the “only option to liberate our Palestinian prisoners”.

In 2003, Hamas leaders estimated the number of troops in the Qassam Brigade’s ranks at around 20,000. However, some observers believe it is closer to 40,000.

One reason for this is because after Hamas won elections in Gaza in 2006, the limit on military recruitment was extended by the Hamas-led government. The group is also aligned with other factions that each have a few thousand fighters.

Despite its monitoring technologies, Israel has little idea of the exact size of Qassam’s arsenal. “This [arsenal] is mostly manufactured locally – but yes, Hamas has also benefited from the chaos in Libya, which has seen missiles brought in”.

An analyst from Jane’s Intelligence- a London-based consultancy- told Reuters this week that in this offensive the brigade has unveiled new rockets and launchers that they made themselves – so the fighters are less dependent on smuggled weapons.

While Iran has traditionally been seen as the main patron for Qassam’s military capacity, Madhoun says that the relationship has suffered lately after Hamas did not follow Tehran and back President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

Another sign of Hamas’ improving military capacity is in its drone technology. On Monday, the Israeli military announced it had shot down a done which Hamas has named the Ababeel, describing it as its first bomb-carrying unmanned aerial vehicle.

Wary of invasion

Madhoun says that the use of Russian anti-tank guided missile the Kornet four times by Hamas and Islamic Jihad has made Israel think twice before launching a ground invasion that would lead to multiple casualties among Israeli troops.

He adds that it would be wrong to underestimate Hamas’ capacity to face Israel’s troops.

“One useful tactic for Hamas is capturing Israeli soldiers and it has proved itself more than capable of doing this”, he adds.

If it launches a ground invasion, Israel is likely to face not only Hamas’ renewed military strength and camouflage capabilities, but also the potential for mass troop casualties and international criticism of its “scorched-earth” tactics, said Madhoun

Source: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/hamas-gains-credibility-fighting-force-analysts-say-371780262#sthash.Mqc948Aw.dpuf

FAQ ON FAILED EFFORT TO ARRANGE CEASEFIRE BETWEEN ISRAEL AND HAMAS

Experts

Rashid KhalidiRashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University, former advisor to Palestinian negotiators, and author of Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East (2013) and The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood (2006).
Mouin RabbaniMouin Rabbani, Senior Fellow with the Institute for Palestine Studies, Policy Advisor to Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network, Contributing Editor with Middle East Report and Co-Editor of the ezine Jadaliyya. Former Senior Middle East Analyst with the International Crisis Group.

Noura ErakatNoura Erakat, Human rights attorney, Assistant Professor at George Mason University, and member of the Legal Support Network for the Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Refugee and Residency Rights, and co-editor of the ezine Jadaliyya.

FAQ

Q – Why do you think Hamas didn’t accept the terms of the ceasefire?

RK – “Hamas has insisted that there be a lasting resolution of the basic problem of Israel’s siege of Gaza, as was promised as part of the 2012 cease-fire, but never implemented in spite of Israel’s recognition that Hamas scrupulously maintained the cease-fire until quite recently. The Egyptian proposal makes lifting of the siege conditional on Israel’s approval, which means never.”

MR – “Hamas, and with it other Palestinian organizations such as Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, have indicated that they were not consulted on the Egyptian cease-fire proposal, and that it has not been formally presented to them but rather released to the media after its terms were agreed with Israel.

“In terms of the proposal’s contents, what these organizations and many Palestinians object to is that it simply restores a 2012 ceasefire agreement that Israel has systematically violated and does not provide any guarantees such violations would cease. These violations consist not only of periodic armed Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, but also Israel’s refusal to respect clauses on the rights of fishermen in Gaza’s territorial waters and farmers in land close to the Gaza/Israel boundary.

“Hamas has additionally stated that it would not accept an agreement that does not provide for the immediate re-release of Palestinian prisoners who were released by Israel in 2011 as part of a prisoner exchange with Israel, but re-arrested by Israel in the last month.

“More broadly, Hamas and other Palestinian organizations are averse to returning to an untenable status quo, which lasts only until Israel once again decides to launch a major assault on the Gaza Strip, and which does not include concrete steps towards lifting the ongoing and prolonged blockade of the Gaza Strip.

“There is widespread Palestinian suspicion that Egypt, which has shown nothing but unremitting hostility towards Hamas since the current regime seized power in July 2013, released a proposal it ensured would be acceptable to Israel but rejected by the Palestinians, in order to help Israel legitimize an escalation of attacks against the Gaza Strip. It is likely to have done so in close cooperation with its new best friend, Tony Blair, and other advocates of Israeli power in the Arab world and internationally.”

NE – “Within two days of Israel’s aerial assault on the population of the Gaza Strip, Hamas announced five conditions for a ceasefire:

1) stop the airstrikes;

2) observe terms of 2012 ceasefire;

3) release the Palestinians released during the Shalit prisoner exchange who were recently re-arrested;

4) lift the siege; and

5) don’t interfere with Palestinian unity government.

What little is known about the proposed ceasefire agreement is that it demands a cessation of violence with no conditions thus reverting to conditions that are even worse than the status quo ante.

“This clearly weakens Hamas politically, exacerbates the humanitarian conditions under which Palestinians struggle, and emboldens Israel to strike again with zero accountability. That said, it is not in the Palestinians’ best interest for Hamas to continue launching rockets regardless of the circumstances, as it provides a justification for Israel to continue its brutal attacks on a defenseless and besieged population.”

 

Q – What will be required for a ceasefire to be accepted by both sides?

RK – “Either serious external pressure on the parties, especially Israel, or the exhaustion of both sides, which is not yet apparent.”

MR – “It’s difficult at this point to imagine a proposal that both Israel and Hamas would accept. Hamas insists on an end to Israeli impunity in its dealings with the Gaza Strip and an end to the blockade and isolation of that territory, while for Israel these are core policies. This means that a solution that meets basic standards of international law and human decency would have to be imposed on Israel by the international community, or that either party is sufficiently exhausted by the current conflict that it lowers its expectations. Neither of these scenarios appears likely in the immediate future.”

NE – “Hamas has made its five demands clear and its observance of the November 2012 ceasefire demonstrates its good faith. In contrast, it is not clear what Israel’s endgame is. It seems willing to accept a ceasefire on condition of Hamas’s unconditional capitulation, but what will ensure that it does not indiscriminately attack the 1.8 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip again? Israel has said it is bombarding Gaza in retribution for the death of three Israeli teens though it has failed to produce a single shred of evidence incriminating the Hamas leadership. Israel also claims it wants to decimate Hamas’s capability to launch rocket and mortar fire but this makes little logical sense since in the past diplomatic efforts have done much more to yield a cessation in rocket attacks than have military ones.”

Q – What do you think Israel’s actual goals for bombing Gaza are?

RK – “Israel’s main goals are to weaken Hamas and to prevent an inter-Palestinian reconciliation, which would strengthen the Palestinians and make them more capable of resisting inexorable Israeli pressure.”

MR – “Israel has been on high alert since Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation agreement in late April, and particularly since a new PA government was formed with the endorsement of both Fatah and Hamas thereafter. Its primary goal is to ensure that the Palestinians remain divided and its current campaign should be seen above all as an attempt to sabotage the reconciliation agreement and initiatives to move it further forward.”

NE – “Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu is attacking Gaza in response to domestic and international political considerations that have nothing to do with any threat posed by Hamas. Right before the start of this latest assault on Gaza, Netanyahu suffered several blows politically: he failed to thwart the start of a US-Iran rapprochement; was unable to stop the establishment of a Palestinian unity government; and was widely blamed for the collapse of the peace talks renewed by US Secretary of State John Kerry last summer. His political standing a well as that of Israel’s had been seriously weakened and by launching an attack on the Gaza Strip, he appears strong to the Israeli public, shifts international attention away from Israel’s responsibility for the failure of negotiations, and puts enormous pressure on the recently formed Palestinian Authority national unity government, which Israel wishes to undermine.”

Q – How do you think the United States and international community should respond to the current situation?

RK – “The international community should stop placing an occupied people and their oppressor on the same level, and should stop equating small inaccurate rockets that have so far killed no Israelis and wounded 13 with the world’s most advanced weaponry, that has so far killed 200 Palestinians, 80% of them civilians according to the UN, and wounded nearly 1200. This is not a war between equals: it is akin to shooting fish in a barrel.”

MR – “In an ideal world, the international community would act to arrest and reverse Israel’s systematic impunity in its dealings with the Palestinian people and ensure Israeli accountability for its actions.

“It would also need to address the underlying causes of the current crisis, at least the key shorter-term ones formed by the ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip and seek to ensure steps towards normalcy in the Gaza Strip.

“That is very unlikely to happen and for the time being I think we should expect continued complicity in Israeli actions.”

NE –  “The current situation is a recurrence of Israel’s bloody attacks on Gaza in the winter of 2008-2009 as well as November 2012. Absent efforts to address the root causes of this conflict, it will be repeated yet again in the near future. The primary issue is that of Israel’s military and colonial rule over the Palestinian population of the occupied territories, including Gaza, which is characterized by a discriminatory apartheid legal regime and brutal repression. When the rockets stop flying and the aerial strikes cease, Palestinians will continue to die a slow and protracted death under the boot of Israel’s occupation. In particular, the population in the Gaza Strip faces a horrific future. By 2020, it is predicated that Gaza’s one source of clean water will be unusable and the World Health Organization says the 150-square mile Strip will be unlivable. Strong measures are required to hold Israel to account, aimed at ending the occupation and Israel’s apartheid regime through international legal institutions like the International Criminal Court, arms embargoes, and continued grassroots efforts by the Palestinian-led global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.”

Q – How do you think Palestinian leaders should respond to the current situation?

RK – “They should re-establish the unity of the Palestinian national movement on the basis of an agreed new strategy for confronting Israel’s control over the entirety of Palestine, they should pronounce that the Oslo accords, which in 21 years have failed to bring about an end to Israeli occupation and colonization, are null and void, and they should insist on a truly honest broker as a mediator rather than the United States, which is totally biased in favor of the aggressor and occupier, Israel.”

MR – “At the very least one would have expected Mahmoud Abbas to urgently travel to the Gaza Strip and engage in efforts to lead the response to end this assault. Instead he has been sitting in Ramallah with his main concern that Hamas emerges weakened rather than strengthened from this crisis. It’s an abject failure of leadership.

“More broadly Palestinians need to undertake concrete steps to ensure national unity, first and foremost through overcoming the schism that has been with us since 2007 and agreement on a common strategy and national program.”

NE – “Palestinian leaders need to launch a full court political offensive against Israel’s violations of international law, systematic human rights abuses, and structural violence, employing all available legal, diplomatic and grassroots means. Multilateral institutions such the International Criminal Court should be engaged to hold Israel to account for war crimes such as the disproportionate use of force and settlement construction, and Palestinian leaders should fully embrace the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.”

What if Hamas Dumped all their Rockets in the Sea Tomorrow?

West Bank Palestinians DO NOT fire rockets, yet there is no sign of an end to their misery and oppression.

The slaughter of civilians is necessary to stop Gaza rocket-fire. That’s what Israel says. “This isn’t about rockets from Gaza,” says Unite.

The union Unite is to be congratulated on its no-nonsense analysis and statement expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people. Especially at this horrific time. Unite is the biggest union in the UK and Ireland, with nearly 1.5 million members. Its mission is to strive for a society that places equality, dignity and respect above all else.

The statement on Palestine is an easy-to-digest description of the Holy Land situation in blunt language. Here is a key passage:

There will be no peace and no justice unless the root causes of the conflict are addressed. The roots of the conflict lie in Israel’s decades-long illegal occupation of the West Bank, the building of illegal settlements in the occupied territories, the forced take-over of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem, and the effective establishment of an apartheid system that systematically removes the most basic human rights of Palestinians.

Unite “calls on the UK government to demand the Israeli government halt its military action and to make it clear that should it fail to do so then a move for international sanctions will be launched within the United Nations Security Council and the European Union.”

Unite believes the Israelis’ attack on the Palestinian people is merely cover for their intransigence during the peace talks and an expression of their future intent. “Israel is clearly concerned that the Palestinian people are finding a new unity and that the justness of their cause is gaining increasing international recognition and support.”

And it neatly de-bunks the Israeli propaganda myth about rockets.

This isn’t about rockets from Gaza. It’s about Israel fighting to maintain its control over Palestinian lives, and Palestinian land.

It’s about Israel feeling able to commit war crimes with complete impunity. It’s about the world media indicating that Palestinian lives are worth less than Israeli lives. It’s about the fact that Palestinian children are being killed at the rate of one every three days. It’s about millions of Palestinians living under illegal occupation.

It’s about the brutal siege on Gaza, and the third military assault on a trapped population in less than 6 years. It’s about more than sixty laws that discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel.

It’s about Israeli-state racism and apartheid. It’s about ethnic cleansing. It’s about colonisation, and over 500,000 settlers. It’s about Israel’s systematic violations of international law and Palestinian human rights.

Besides approving boycott and divestment, Unite goes the whole hog and calls also for sanctions against Israel for its continued illegal occupation, flouting of international law, and construction of an apartheid regime.

You can read the statement in full here . One can only hope it reaches the widest possible public. Hopefully too it will encourage other major unions to take a more active role in securing Holy Land justice, if they are not already involved. Nothing would concentrate out politicians’ minds more.

The only thing I would add to Unite’s excellent briefing is sharp condemnation of US and UK policy that seeks to deny Palestinians the right to go to international law and insists that the only route to peace is through lopsided talks. This position is morally indefensible, and those who advocate it may face the wrath of the growing BDS movement.

On the point about Israel’s repeated military assaults on Gaza’s trapped population, a PLO report reminds us that since 2006 (when Hamas was democratically elected) Israel has launched no fewer that six major onslaughts – “Summer Rain”, “Autumn Clouds”, “Warm Winter”, “Cast Lead”, “Pillar of Defense” and currently “Protective Edge”. These have caused 2,423 Palestinian deaths and 7000 injured, not to mention the massive wrecking of homes and vital infrastructure – essential context for any conversation.

I entirely agree about the rockets. During Israel’s infamous “Cast Lead” operation five years ago, in a piece entitled “The carnage in Gaza is not about Hamas rockets” I posed the following questions…

What if Hamas dumped all their rockets in the sea tomorrow? Would Gazans enjoy the same freedoms as other nations? Would they be able to open their sea port to foreign ships and rebuild and operate their airport? Would they be able to import and export and carry on trade and develop their economy and prosper like other countries?

Would they be allowed to exploit and develop their offshore gas field? Would their fishermen be allowed to fish in unpolluted waters? Would their young people be able to come and go and take up places at foreign universities?

Would Israel clear out of Gazan airspace permanently? Would the Israeli navy cease its piracy and stay out of Palestinian territorial waters? Would you and I be able to visit Gaza direct?

Fat chance. None of this would suit Israel. So Gazans would be no better off. Their tormented half-existence would continue.

There are no rockets coming out of the West Bank. Yet the illegal Israeli occupation there continues and so does the ethnic cleansing, the land theft, the illegal settlements, the colonization, the demolition of Palestinian homes, the throttling of the economy, the abduction and ‘administrative detention’ of civilians and the massive interference with freedom of movement. Nothing has changed for West Bank Palestinians who DO NOT fire rockets. There is no sign of an end to their misery.

The bloody assault on Gaza therefore has much more to do with Israel’s ambition to expand racial dominance in the Holy Land and make their occupation permanent than crude and erratic rocket-fire from the resistance. Hamas and the Palestinians holed up in Gaza are simply in the way of the Grand Plan and have to be removed or totally subdued.

Nothing has changed – certainly not the aggression of the blood-soaked delinquents in Tel Aviv.

These words are printed on a tee-shirt I sometimes wear. They cut through the propaganda crap straight to the true cause of the recurring unpleasantness in Gaza (and the West Bank).

They stole my land,
burnt my olive trees,
destroyed my house,
took my water,
bombed my country,
imprisoned my father,
killed my mother,
took my job,
starved us all,
humiliated us all,

But I am to blame: I shot a rocket back.

So they stole more of my land,
burnt my olive trees,
destroyed my house,
took my water,
bombed my country….

Stuart Littlewood’s book Radio Free Palestine, with Foreword by Jeff Halper, can now be read on the internet by visitingradiofreepalestine.org.ukRead other articles by Stuart.

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!

“Ode” by Professor Francis Boyle

Saher Abu Namous, 4, after the targeting of their house next to the Kamal Adwan hospital in the north.”

 by Nahida Exiled Palestinian

A poignant, heart-wrenching and profoundly truthful poem by Professor Francis A. Boyle

Ode to My Colleague and Friend Frank Newman

I.
Way to go Berkeley Law!
Deeming Yourselves above The Law
Your Dean Frank Newman now crying in Heaven
Berkeley Law can go to Hell!

Accessories After The Fact to torture, murder and war crimes
Law Prof Carl Schmitt would be proud of You All
The Nazis had Their Law Schools too
Replete with John Yoo

RIP Berkeley Law
Into the Ashcan of History You All go
Good Riddance to Cal’s Neo-Nazi Rubbish!.

II.

American Law Professors
What have we become?
American Law Professors for torture!
American Law Professors for Gitmo Kangaroo Courts!
American Law Professors for indefinite detention!
American Law Professors for spying!
American Law Professors for drone strikes!
American Law Professors for murder!
American Law Professors for assassinations!
American Law Professors for war crimes!
American Law Professors for crimes against humanity!
American Law Professors for genocide!
American Law Professors for wars of aggression!
American Law Professors for murdering US citizens!
American Law Professors for murder courts!
American Law Professors for trashing the US Constitution!
American Law Professors for trashing the Bill of Rights!
American Law Professors for trashing International Law!
American Law Professors for trashing Human Rights!

How much lower can American Law Professors sink
Into this criminal shit
Of Neo-Nazi Legal Nihilism?

The Nazis had their Law Professors too
The worst of the bunch was Carl Schmitt
And now we have: American Law Professors
For Carl Schmitt too!

Arabs and Muslims
Have become
American Law Professors’
New Jews
And now at Berkeley Law too
With Chaired John Yoo

Francis A. Boyle is an attorney and a professor  at the University of Illinois College of Law. His books include Foundations of World Order (Duke University Press: 1999) and Tackling America’s Toughest Questions (2009).   His most recent book is United Ireland, Human Rights and International Law.   This is his poem “Ode to My Colleague and Friend Frank Newman.”

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!

“WORSE THAN YESTERDAY DETERIORATION MORE TARGET KILLING OF CIVILIANS WITH THREAT OF THE GROUND OPERATION”

Eva Bartlett

 

A ball of fire is seen following an early morning Israeli air strike in Rafah in the southern of Gaza strip. Photograph: Said Khatib/AFP/Getty Images

Watch this video for a sense of the terror of having houses around you bombed. The usual tactic is a first strike followed immediately, sometimes within a minute, by the massive bomb which obliterates the house. This is what Palestinians are enduring.

 

The UN has weakly expressed concern whether “the Israeli strikes have been in accordance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law.”…To borrow a friend’s expression, Tfooooo!!!, on you UN. Useless institution that only weakly utters condemnation on the Zionists and on the Takfiris in Syria and which enabled the Zionists to occupy Palestine, enabled NATO to bomb Libya to shreds and is in general complicit wherever a nation is being torn apart.

“…in a televised statement on Thursday, Netanyahu seemed to indicate that Israeli’s military action in Gaza – named Operation Protective Edge – was far from over.

“So far the battle is progressing as planned, but we can expect further stages in future. Up to now, we have hit Hamas and the terror organisations hard and as the battle continues we will increase strikes at them,” he said.

Israel has called up about 20,000 reserve troops, and while there is still no indication of whether it will launch a ground offensive, shelling and air strikes continued on Friday.”

Press TV gave up to date numbers: Death toll from Israeli attacks on Gaza hits 107

Medical sources reported several casualties from an Israeli missile attack on a house in southern Gaza on Friday while Israeli warplanes pounded Deir al-Balah, leaving a number of people dead in the central city.

Earlier, three Palestinians, including a child, were killed in the northern towns of Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahiya in the coastal enclave.

Israeli warplanes and drones have reportedly pounded more than 600 targets across the blockaded sliver since Tuesday, with Palestinian sources saying one third of the casualties are women and children.

Israel has also mobilized 20,000 soldiers for a possible ground invasion of the Gaza Strip.

Relatives and friends carry the body of Nour al-Najdi, 10-years-old, during her funeral in Rafah after being killed by an Israeli strike in the southern Gaza Strip, on July 11, 2014. (Photo: AFP - Said Khatib)

Al Akhbar has updated the list of the names of the martyred, and their ages and venues when murdered.

The medical sector is in even more of a state of crisis than the normal siege-inflicted crisis.  Al Akhbar reported:

“…hospitals in the Strip are going through a major crisis that began even before the war, when the Health Ministry had announced that it is running out of 25 percent of essential drugs. Now they are facing what could be called a disaster as the martyrs and the injured keep arriving at hospital reception rooms and ERs by the minute. The Israeli aggression, accompanied by an environmental crisis and high pollution rates in Gaza, in addition to increased power outages and the lack of alternatives, prompted medical personnel to declare a state of emergency from the very beginning of the current aggression.

the available drugs and medical supplies are barely enough for the coming two days. He cautioned that hospitals have depleted more than 55 percent of their supplies on all levels because of the serious injuries coming in. He called on Arab countries and international organizations to save Gaza from a major health disaster and to stop the Israeli assault.

Inside hospitals, it is clear that injuries range between critical to moderate. Based on Al-Akhbar’s observations and pictures provided by news agencies, it appears that a large number of martyrs are arriving in pieces and loss of limbs are the dominant form of injury in addition to severe burns.

Dr. Marwan Rashid told Al-Akhbar that 40 percent of the injuries are among children, adding: “most of the children’s injuries are serious given that their bodies cannot withstand the injury. In addition, shortages in children’s drugs exacerbate the effects of injuries because it is not possible to use adult drugs that might cause them serious complications.”

…Because targeting Palestinians in their homes is not enough for Israel, it drops bombs near Palestinian hospitals, especially those located in close proximity to the border, which are the most vulnerable, including hospitals in northern Gaza in Beit Hanoun and in southern Gaza in Rafah and Khan Younis.

The day before yesterday, Israeli planes bombed in the vicinity of the European Gaza Hospital in Khan Younis. According to a Health Ministry statement, one of the buildings of the hospital was targeted which caused cracks in the building and wounded a paramedic and a nurse

…Another factor that makes the situation more complicated for these hospitals is that the shortage in supplies is worse than in hospitals in the center of the city. Medical supplies – no matter how limited – do not reach them fast enough due to the difficulty of the movement of ambulances in those areas. After all, Israel has a history of targeting ambulances and their medical staff as they did in the previous two wars on Gaza in 2008 and 2012.

On the second day of this war, an Israeli plane targeted an ambulance belonging to the Palestinian Red Crescent which was transferring victims from the city of Gaza, injuring an ambulance worker in his shoulder and abdomen. Yesterday night, the Red Crescent headquarters in the town of Jabalia was bombed and three paramedics were injured. An ambulance worker, Maamoun Atallah, says the north area where he works is targeted the most. He told Al-Akhbar: “Most of the time, the planes do not fire warning rockets as they do with houses, that is why they target paramedics directly and deliberately injure them.”

On the note of medical services and supplies, MAP-UK does excellent work in Gaza and has a fund-raising campaign, one way to support Palestinians if you are looking to do so.

Another sad incident which might move people who don’t necessarily care about Palestinians but do about football: World Cup fans killed in Gaza as bomb hits cafe:

“Palestinian football fans gathered in a café in Gaza last night to watch the World Cup semi-final between Argentina and Holland, in a bid to seek respite from the barrage of airstrikes that have killed scores of people since Operation Protective Edge began early on Monday morning.

There was to be no let-up in Israel’s bombing campaign, however, as horror struck and missiles rained down on the Fun Time Beach café killing nine people and wounding 15.

All that remains of the popular beach front café, where people were breaking their Ramadan fast and watching the football, is a large crater and several mounds of sand.

The Israeli airstrike scattered the dead and wounded fans across the beach, making a hole so large seawater filled it after impact.

“It was a normal social occasion,” Wael Soboh, a local policeman employed by the Palestinian Authority, told AFP.

“The boys ate their Ramadan iftar meal there, and then began watching the match. It is not a military area,” he said.

Eight people were immediately killed by the blast, medical sources said, all of them residents of Khan Younis in southern Gaza.

Bulldozers were seen earlier on Thursday looking for a ninth man believed buried in the rubble, while locals looked on in the searing midday heat.”

Chatted with Amjad Shawa, who my own corporate CBC deigned to interview, an appallingly bad interview full of loaded questions implying Palestinians deserve to be murdered…Anyway, Amjad re-iterated things are worse than ever in Gaza.

  • what’s the situation now?

  • Amjad Shawa

    worse than yesterday deterioration more target killing of civilians with threat of the ground operation

  • Eva Bartlett

    do you know how many have been martyred?

  • Amjad Shawa

    103 killed 700 injuries

  • Eva Bartlett

    which areas of Gaza are being most targeted (I know that everywhere is being targeted, but are some areas being hit more than others?)

  • Amjad Shawa

    Zaiton, Shijaia and the sea port

  • no safe place in Gaza

  • Eva Bartlett

    what hospitals have been hit?

  • Amjad Shawa
  • el Wafa rehabiltation hospital, red crescent center in Jabalia, el Bureij Ministry of Health center

    The ISM in Gaza posted this notice re the al Wafa Rehabilitation Hospital:

    “Israeli forces have contacted El-wafa hospital in Gaza and told them to evacuate. Four ‘Warning’ rockets have been fired. Three ISM activists and six other internationals are heading to the hospital now to offer protective presence.”

    I’d like to point out that Wafa is a hospital with mostly invalid patients, unable to walk (let alone flee) of their own accord who are need the specialized care Wafa provides and which is not found elsewhere in Gaza. This is what the Zionists are targeting.

    This is what they did to Wafa in Jan 2009, when there were roughly 70 invalid patients in the hospital:

    I wrote the following on Jan 20, 2009:

    “The hospital, attacked on January 12th with a chemical bomb that may well be white phosphorus and which set fire to the roof, and whose 4 different buildings were shelled intensely on January 15th, is trying to re-build and re-open, as is the shelled, burned, seriously-damaged al Quds hospital in Tel el Hawa, Gaza city.

    Even today, after mentioning to the Canadian TV crew accompanying me that fire blobs had burned up to yesterday, we found still more blobs spread out, smoldering and willingly breaking into white smoking fires anew.”

    More photos from the attack in 2009:

     

READING/LINKS:

“Canada’s recent diplomatic, corporate and military oriented mission to Israel, one of the largest such foreign delegations in Canadian foreign affairs history, including over 200 people, certainly set in motion a deepening of Canadian complicity with Israeli apartheid, driven strongly from the halls of political power in Ottawa.

Specific examples of military equipment and devices produced in Canada, now being deployed by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and Israeli Air Forces (IAF) are numerous and damming.

Engines for the Bell “cobra” helicopter, nicknamed the “viper” on the Israeli Airforce website, are produced in the Montréal region by Pratt & Whitney Canada. Also the the Israeli military uses helicopters produced in Mirabel, Quebec by Bell Helicopter Textron Canada, a company also represented on the recent Conservative governmental delegation to Israel.

Also CAE, a corporation in Montreal that specializes in flight simulator and “real-time operation systems”, has secured major contracts to develop technology for the Israeli army, aiming to train military personnel to operate “next-generation combat aircraft.”

As bombs fall from the skies over Gaza, let us think about the aircraft training technologies for Israeli military pilots manufactured here in Montreal by CAE.

Beyond military companies the Canadian government continues to deepen links with Israel, a process dating back to one of Canada’s first international “free trade” agreements, signed with Israel in 1997. Also seen in the more recent and wide-ranging “public security agreement”, under which Israel named a defence attaché to Ottawa for the first time, through which Israeli agencies aim to “enhance cooperation” between Israeli state institutions with the RCMP, CSIS and CBSA.

Certainly a major amount of Canadian produced military technologies are right now an important part of the military machinery, involved in the killing over 100 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip over recent days. On a diplomatic level, total Canadian support for Israel’s horrifying state violence equals more political operating room for Israel on the international stage, more political room for Israel to assert a violent, colonial narrative that dehumanizes and attempts to erase the legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people.”

“South Africa’s ruling party on Thursday denounced Israel’s ongoing onslaught on the Gaza Strip, urging South Africans to protest the Israeli attacks and show solidarity with the Palestinian people.

“The African National Congress (ANC) condemns in the strongest terms the barbaric attacks on the defenseless Palestinian people of Gaza,” ANC Deputy Secretary-General Jessie Duarte said in a statement.

“The state of Israel has turned the occupied territories of Palestine into permanent death camps,” said the ANC.

“As we move towards the month of August and are reminded of the atrocities of Nazi Germany, surely we must ask the people of Israel has the term ‘lest we forget’ lost it meaning?”

“We are unequivocal in our support for the Palestinian people in their struggle for self-determination and unapologetic in our view that the Palestinians are the victims and the oppressed in the conflict with Israel.”

“… I heard a loud explosion. I grabbed Kinan and went out into the street with him. It was full of smoke and dust. I walked on bits of glass. I left Kinan with people in the street and went back into the yard to check on the rest of the family. I found bodies lying on the ground covered in blood, with their clothes torn. Everything was full of shrapnel and blood. Some neighbors came with flashlights. When they lit up the yard, I was shocked – I saw the bodies of my three sons, ‘Abd al-Hafez, Mahdi and Ibrahim, my wife, my granddaughter Dina, and my daughter-in-law Suha. The two other little ones, Rakan and Nur, were lightly injured.

I went into shock. The neighbors held me because I couldn’t stand. I felt like I was going to faint from the horror of it. The missile fell on my family with no warning. I assume they wanted to hit ‘Abd al-Hafez, but what did the rest of the family do wrong? Why did they kill an entire family?”

“A simple search of Twitter for the string ARAVIM, which means “Arabs” in Hebrew, produces a long list of messages by young Jewish Israelis calling to ethnically cleanse the country.”

“Sderot cinema. Israelis bringing chairs 2 hilltop in sderot 2 watch latest from Gaza. Clapping when blasts are heard. ‘

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!

How Israel Gets Away with Murder

by Stephen Lendman

Israel is above the law. It’s exempt for observing rule of law principles. It’s free to rampage extrajudicially. 
 
It kills and kills again. It does so with impunity. It justifies lawlessness the old-fashioned way. It lies. It’s standard Israeli practice.
 
It calls legitimate self-defense “terrorism.” It calls acts of aggression “self-defense.” It calls nonviolent Palestinian men, women, children, infants, the elderly and infirm existential threats. 
Israel’s only ones are those it invents. World leaders able to act responsibly do nothing. They support Israel’s worst crimes. Doing so makes them complicit.
Washington is worst of all. Both countries partner in crime. America supplies billions of dollars in annual aid, the latest weapons and technology, and unconditional support.
Media scoundrels turn a blind eye to Israel’s worst crimes. Occupation harshness is ignored. Besieged Gazans don’t matter.
NAKBA mass slaughter and displacement never happened. Lawless settlements are OK. Israel is more victim than aggressor.
Palestinians choose conflict over peace. They’re responsible for their own misery. Daily Israeli security force violence goes unreported. So do settler crimes.
Peace process pretense is legitimate. Police state Israel is the region’s only democracy. It’s an oasis in a sea of despotism.
It’s rap sheet includes horrendous crimes of war, against humanity and genocide. It’s a malignancy in a troubled region. It’s a threat to humanity.
Zionism is “a machine for the manufacture of human rights abuses,” says Joel Kovel. State-terror is official Israeli policy. So is torture. Numerous other abuses are standard practice.
Homemade rockets, small arms and rocks are Palestinians’ only defense. Imagine them against the most sophisticated/powerful weapons.
Imagine never knowing when they’ll be used. Imagine Israel manufacturing reasons to do so. Imagine the terrible toll it takes. Imagine horrific crimes. Imagine them without accountability.
In its 2013 State of Israel report, Amnesty International (AI) said:
“Israeli forces responsible for the killing and injuring of Palestinian civilians (as well as) torture and other ill-treatment of detainees continued to evade accountability.”
“Periodically throughout the year, Israeli military forces carried out air strikes on Gaza…” More on the latest one below.
The IDF “continued to (use) live ammunition to enforce the land and sea ‘exclusion zones’ inside Gaza’s perimeter and territorial waters, killing at least six civilians and injuring others.”
“Israeli leaders publicly advocated bombing Iranian nuclear sites.”
“The myriad restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities on the movement of Palestinians amounted to collective punishment of the population of Gaza and the West Bank, in violation of international law.”
AI condemned Gaza’s suffocating siege. It discussed:
  • forced West Bank/East Jerusalem evictions and demolitions;
  • impunity Israel enjoys;
  • acts of aggression like Operation Pillar of Cloud;
  • detentions without charges or trials;
  • horrific prison conditions;
  • torture and other ill-treatment;
  • compromised freedoms of expression and assembly;
  • oppressing conscientious objectors; and
  • denying refugees and asylum-seekers safe havens.
B’Tselem publishes numerous reports on Israeli human rights abuses. A December 31 one discussed a five-year high in Palestinian West Bank fatalities.
B’tselem Director Jessica Montell said:
“The sharp rise in fatalities in the West Bank only serves to intensify concern about the lack of accountability.”
Investigations when conducted are whitewashed. Practically no one is ever held accountable. Failure to do so “indicates a disregard for human life,” said Montell. Palestinian ones don’t matter.
In 2007, B’Tselem published a report titled “Ghost Town: Israel’s Separation Policy and Forced Eviction of Palestinians from the Center of Hebron.”
It discussed “protracted and severe harm to Palestinians (from) some of the gravest human rights violations.”
An unnamed Israeli official acknowledged “a permanent process of dispossessing Arabs to increase Jewish territory.”
  • Hebron is the West Bank’s second largest city. Its central area once thrived. On January 16, B’Tselem headlined “Ghost town: A tour of downtown Hebron.”
Photos showed the result of Israel’s “strict segregationist policy…(E)ntire neighborhoods have been deserted.”
Once viable areas are abandoned. It’s happening throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Palestinians are forced out. Jewish development replaces them. Crimes against humanity repeat. They do multiple times daily.
Conditions are intolerable. Human suffering is extreme. Palestine is an open-air prison. Israel’s Separation Wall isolates them.
It entraps them. It steals their land. It has nothing to do with national security. It’s ethnic cleansing. Other daily crimes against humanity persist. Western media ignore them.
On Sunday morning, multiple Israeli air strikes targeted Gaza. A Palestinian man and child were injured.
Gaza health ministry spokesman Ahraf al-Qidra said a 22-year old man was taken to Al-Shifa Hospital. He sustained serious injuries.
A 12-year old boy suffered moderate wounds. An Israeli military spokesman lied. He said the IDF attack followed a homemade shell fired into the Western Negev.
Palestinians respond after multiple Israeli acts of aggression. It bears repeating. Israel calls legitimate self-defense “terrorism.”
It calls preemptive high crimes “self-defense.” Days earlier, Israeli missiles injured four Palestinian children. One woman was hurt.
On Sunday, Israeli soldiers kidnapped 12 Bethlehem, Hebron and Nablus residents. Mahmoud Da’ajna is a recently released Israeli prisoner. He lives in East Jerusalem.
He didn’t remain free long. Israeli police rearrested him. They lied citing a “tax related” issue. Israeli authorities didn’t want him released in the first place.
Expect other former Palestinian prisoners treated the same way. It’s commonplace Israeli practice. Its deals aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.
On December 31, Da’ajna was freed. On January 19, he was rearrested. Bethlehem area witnesses said Israeli forces invaded violently. They broke into Palestinian homes.
They ransacked them. They damaged property. They kidnapped nonviolent residents. It happens throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem. It persists daily.
On Saturday, eight Palestinian Jenin, Bethlehem and Hebron residents were arrested. Israeli soldiers stormed the Aida refugee camp.
They did so violently. They used live fire, rubber bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades. They did so indiscriminately.
They broke into multiple homes. They forced residents outside in the cold. Detainees were abducted on the pretense of being wanted by Israel’s intelligence service.
State terror is official Israeli policy. Multiple community incursions occur daily. In the week ending January 15, Israeli forces conducted 75 – nearly 11 a day on average.
At least 66 Palestinians were arrested. They included seven children. They’re treated like adults. Israel makes no distinction.
Human rights abuses are horrific. At least 10 Palestinian civilians were wounded. So was an international activist.
Gaza was attacked. Israel conducted five airstrikes. Civilians suffer most. Property is indiscriminately damaged or destroyed. Homes are targeted. So are schools and mosques.
Israeli naval forces targeted Palestinian fishermen. They confronted them violently. They opened fire. No casualties were reported. Occasional deaths occur.
Border area shooting incidents are commonplace. Israel confronts peaceful protesters violently. On Sunday, hundreds of Gazans demonstrated against Israel’s buffer zone.
They did so peacefully. Israeli forces attacked them violently. They used live fire and tear gas. At least two Palestinians were wounded.
An IDF spokeswoman lied saying the army “was unaware of the incident.” Demonstrators marched peacefully. They did so near Israel’s border fence.
They supported Palestinian farmers. Israel destroyed their citrus trees. A Gaza Youth Coalition statement said:
“Israel destroyed most of our citrus trees. (It) prevents us from importing or exporting any products.”
Near daily attacks occur. Farmers risk injury or death on their own land. Israel’s so-called buffer zone (on stolen Palestinian land) is a free-fire zone.
Soldiers target Palestinians walking within or near it. Young children are targeted like adults.
On Sunday, dozens of Israeli settlers began farming on stolen al-Hathaleen village land. Soldiers accompanied them.
Palestinian farmers wanting their stolen land back are attacked. These type incidents and similar ones happen multiple times daily.
Palestine resembles a war zone. Imagine the worst of human rights abuses. Imagine living under these conditions. Imagine world leaders able to help turning a blind eye.
Imagine horrific human suffering. Imagine it persisting for decades. Imagine a ruthless occupier. Imagine harshness it imposes unaccountably.
Israel gets away with murder and much more. Palestinian torment continues. Relief is nowhere in sight. Conflict resolution is a convenient illusion. Maybe someday. No time soon.
Mustafa Barghouti is a Palestinian physician. He’s a leading political/human rights activist. Ongoing peace talks aren’t about conflict resolution, he said.
They’re more sham than solution. They’re “about deceiving the Palestinians and the international community,” said Barghouti. Israel wants apartheid conditions “legitimi(zed).”
It wants the worst of occupation harshness continued. It wants Palestinian rights ruthlessly denied. It wants pain and suffering inflicted.
It wants what Palestinians won’t accept. The film “When I Saw You” is must viewing. It’s been out for months. It’s being shown in New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
European cinemas showed it. So did Middle East ones. It’s coming to other US cities. It won the Berlin International Film Festival Best Asian Film award. Palestinians produced it.
It’s disturbingly realistic. It’s about Israel’s 1967 Six Day War. It’s about displaced Palestinians wanting to go home.
It’s about refugees denied their fundamental rights. It’s about resistance and hope. It’s a child’s eye-view of what happened.
It reflects life in Occupied Palestine today. Resistance and hope persist. Palestine’s liberating struggle continues.
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