a week of israeli terrorism in gaza

one week of carnage. one week of bloodshed. 434 martyrs. 2,300 injured. 55 bombs landed across gaza last night, while i slept for a bit. a few trucks were allowed in with aid yesterday, but people who work with these relief organizations say that they need 10 times that amount to fulfill the needs of the people.

there are new martyrs whose names we know, more children targeted by israeli terrorists:

Local witnesses told Ma’an on Friday that the following three children were killed in Israeli airstrikes on 2 January.

Mohamad Iyad Al-Astal, 10
Abed Rabu Al-Astal, 11
Abed As-Satar Walid Al-Astal, 11

Brothers Mohamad and Abed Rabu were killed while playing at the Ad-Dababeesh family’s home, witnesses said, along with their cousin, Abad As-Satar.

An ambulance driver and another child were also injured during the attack that killed the three young relatives, witnesses added.

this is what happened bringing us from the 6th to the 7th day of this war. one week. yesterday mohammad on kababfest pondered the marker of passing the 6th day of this war because 6 days, of course, makes all of us think about june 1967:

In the 1967 war, the armies of Syria, Jordan and Egypt were destroyed by Israel in 6 days. Gaza, having endured 5 days of total Israel war, is no closer to caving in now than it was before this war started, and this is a territory of refugees that has endured 60 years of displacement, 40 years of occupation, 16 years of closure, two years of embargoes and one and a half years of siege.

here is what a day in the life of the people of gaza looks like hour-to-hour as we moved into the 7th day of non-stop israeli terrorism:

On the seventh day of a week long assault on Gaza, new Israeli attacks killed and maimed about 60 people by Friday evening. Nine died, including five children.

Meanwhile, Israeli sources reported that about 20 rockets were fired targeting sites in the western Negev. One injury was reported there.

Two Palestinians, a man and a woman, were killed and 20 others injured in a strike by Israeli forces on Friday evening in central Gaza. Twenty others were injured.

Local witnesses said that 22-year-old Tahani A’yesh was killed, while five of her family members suffered injuries in the Israeli shelling attack on her home near the area of Juhr Ad-Deek, east of Al-Bureij Refugee Camp in central Gaza.

Another Palestinian was killed when Israel’s air force targeted a civilian car, passing over a bridge in the Gaza Valley, which is in the south. Three others were injured in that attack and were transferred to Shuhada Al-Aqsa Hospital.

Ten others were injured after a number of airstrikes targeted the home of I’mad A’gel, a senior leader within the Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas.

Several other places of business were struck, as well, particularly in An-Nuseirat Refugee Camp in the central Gaza Strip.

Sixteen out of the 30 killed in Israeli airstrikes since New Year’s Eve were children; nine were from the same family and nine of the adults killed were women.

Fifty-seven percent of Palestinians killed so far in 2009 have been children.

On Friday the bodies of the Rayan family children were buried, and Palestinian medical sources confirmed the deaths of three more Palestinians under 17 years old.

Seven Palestinians have been killed since midnight Thursday, bringing the death toll to 430 and the injured to 2,220 on day seven of the Israeli operation.

The day’s strikes were reported as follows:

2:45pm One of the children killed Friday was from the Al-Astal family. He was playing outside his home in the Al-Qararra neighborhood when a shell hit the area.

2:30pm At An-Nuseirat Refugee Camp, the Israeli army targeted the home of Imad A’qel, a prominent leader of the Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas. His home was destroyed but no injuries were reported.

2:15pm Three Palestinians were killed in an airstrike on Al-Qarara village in southern Gaza.

2:00pm Shells landed on the home of Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigades leader in the central Gaza Strip.

1:15pm 20 year-old Fadi Shebat was killed in Israeli shelling at Beit Hanoun.

1:00pm 15-year-old Hammad Mesbeh was killed by Israeli shells in Gaza City. Medical sources in the Palestinian Red Crescent confirmed that Hammad was killed by shrapnel from an Israeli missile strike fired from a pilotless drone. His body was difficult to identify because it arrived to the hospital in pieces.

12:10pm Gazans crowded Jabaliya streets in a public outcry against the Israeli killing of Hamas leader Nizar Rayan and 15 family members on Thursday.

12:00pm Shells fell on Der Al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip.

10:30am One dead, several injured as Israeli missiles land on a home in Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip. 6-year-old Christine At-Turk died from wounds sustained during the strike on Friday afternoon.

10:00am Foad Al-Matuq was killed and four were injured after Israeli shells hit an empty home in Jabalia Refugee Camp in the northern Gaza Strip. Shelling targeted the home of Nabil Matuq, Fouad’s brother. The home was also demolished.

9:00am Missile strikes in residential areas across the Gaza Strip were reported.

7:00am Israeli missiles targeted the homes of two Hamas members at Al-Bureij Refugee Camp near Gaza City. The strikes left homes totally demolished, as well as several buildings in the area. One of the damaged homes belonged to Jamal Ad-Durrah, the father of Muhammad Ad-Durrah, whose death at the hands of Israeli gunfire was caught on film in the now iconic image of the young boy cowering behind his father as they hide behind an oil drum in the face of Israeli fire.

6:45am Two homes in Rafah were bombed, injuring six people.

6:30am Israeli shelling targeted a house in the Tel Al-Hawa neighborhood, west of Gaza City.

6:00am Israeli shelling hit the Caliphates’ Mosque in Jabalia Refugee Camp, injuring four Palestinians.

5:45am Thousands of birds were killed when Israeli fire targeted a farm in Gaza City.

sherene tadros did this brilliant reporting for al jazeera where she stayed with a family who is living in fear to show us what that looks like. if you really want to understand the effect this has on families, on children, on the real people who are affected by this you must watch this clip:

and here is a video documenting the funerals (though there is a struggle find enough space to bury the bodies right now), the bloody carnage as a result of the american-israeli terrorism in gaza on al jazeera:

some people are speak out now. why must it take so much death and destruction before people speak out? ralph nader has an open letter to george bush, which begins like by reminding him that this israeli terrorism is made possible by american weapons:

Dear George W. Bush,

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

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

apparently, even cnn is questioning the use of american-made weapons sold in order to collaborate in israeli war crimes and terrorism:

CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr believes that Israel’s use of American weapons against civilians “is becoming very problematic.” She notes, for example, that the 2000 pound bomb which killed a Hamas leader and members of his family on Thursday “is part of the billions of dollars that Israel has spent buying weapons from the United States.”

Israel’s use of American-made weapons in attacking Gaza has been a matter of official concern for years. In 2002, the State Department announced it was monitoring possible violations of the Arms Export Control Act after the Israeli military used an American-made jet to drop a laser-guided bomb that killed a Hamas leader and 14 civilians in a crowded Gaza City neighborhood.

Just last September, Congress approved a $77 billion dollar deal to sell a thousand Boeing GBU-39 bunker-buster “smart bombs” to Israel. The Jerusalem Post reported on Monday that these small, GPS-guided missiles have now been used on underground tunnels and launchers in Gaza.

in england key celebrities and legislators are beginning to speak out too, though again, why must it take a week and 434 martyrs and 2,300 wounded?

In an emotional speech, Annie Lennox said there had to be a different way forward.

“A few days after Christmas I came downstairs, put the television on and saw smoke pyres emanating from buildings and it shook me to the core,” she said.

“I was thinking, as a mother and as a human being, how was this going to be a solution to peace?

“It’s a question of human rights, human values that goes beyond Jewish, Muslim, nothing to do with any of that. There has to be a place ultimately where people come to the table.”

In a strongly-worded condemnation of Israeli bombing, Jewish comedian Alexei Sayle said Israel has an idea it was being noble but was using the “psychology of the murderer” to explain the attacks.

Former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone called for the European Union and the UK to withdraw their ambassadors from Israel to signal disapproval with the “slaughter and systematic murder of innocent Arabs”.

united kingdom parliamentarians are also calling for an end to this siege, though, of course no motherf*&$%)# american congressmen and women are doing the same:

More than 60 parliamentarians from different United Kingdom parties signed a memorandum demanding an immediate end to Israeli rocket attacks on Gaza.

The memo called for the international community to exert pressure on Israel, aiming to stop the airstrikes and initiate sanctions on military supplies to Israel.

The document also called for sending urgent humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip and to end the humanitarian crisis, which the United Nations says is escalating.

The dozens of parliamentarians sent the memo to Mustafa Al-Barhouthi, secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative (PNI) and a former candidate for the Palestinian presidency.

Al-Barhouthi called the move “the beginning of a positive international movement, heading in the right direction, to stop the barbaric Israeli assault on Gaza.”

but there is always the lone voice of cynthia mckinney who wrote this up after being terrorized by israeli naval ships while trying to deliver aid to the people of gaza:

My personal, and I know the group’s, thanks must go to Al Jazeera, that allowed three of their reporters to be on board with us on our voyage. As a result, Al Jazeera carried the story of the Dignity live, from castoff in Cyprus when our spirits were high, right up through the menacing maneuvers of the huge, super fast Israeli ships before they rammed us, the Israeli calls on the ship phone after the ramming calling us terrorists and subversives and telling us to return to Cyprus (even though the Israelis later claimed that they didn’t know who we were, they knew enough about us to tell us where we had come from), and the fact that we didn’t have enough fuel to follow their instructions, right up to their threat to fire at us if we didn’t turn around, ending with our beaten-up boat limping into Sour harbor in Lebanon. Al Jazeera carried our story as “breaking news” and performed a real service to its audience and to us. Al Jazeera called the Israelis to inquire about the incident right as it was happening and I am sure the Israelis were prepared to leave none to tell the story. Al Jazeera told the story and documented it as it was happening.

One of those Al Jazeera reporters with us was Sami El-Haj, who was detained in Guantanamo by the United States for six incredibly long years. What an honor to even exchange glances with such a humble man who had endured so much pain at the hands of the U.S. government. I apologized to him that my tax dollars were being used in such a despicable way. And Sami’s crime according to the U.S.? Born in Sudan, and reporting for Al Jazeera in Afghanistan, Sami was the wrong color, the wrong nationality, the wrong religion, reporting for the wrong news outfit, telling us the truth about a wrong war. And for that he survived incarceration for six long years. Sami El-Haj, Guantanamo prisoner number 345.

Another incredibly committed journalist who was with us was CNN’s Karl Penhaul. Karl reported the truth even when his own station was repeating Israeli disinformation. The fact that we were traveling with these alert journalists added to the flat-footedness and obvious crudeness of the Israeli response. Sadly, Israel has changed its story too many times to count, and that’s because they are not telling the truth.

We lived to tell the story.

I’m told that CNN only played my full statement once–and that’s the time that it aired live. Of course, they cut the reference to the U.S.S. Liberty. What are they afraid of?

Last night I was on PressTV.com, along with others who were on the Dignity, and we debated a representative from WINEP, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. I reminded the audience that the Palestinians don’t have nuclear weapons, depleted uranium munitions, white phosphorous, or F-16s, but the Israelis do. The facts, however, tend to get garbled after being processed by the “Grand Wurlitzer” organ of state-sponsored disinformation utilizing the world’s press.

With the truth clearly on our side, Israel has been reduced to releasing the ridiculous bombast below, given to me by a reporter who came to our hotel in Beirut for a visit. With their multiple, conflicting stories, it is clear that the Israelis did not expect us to live to tell the truth.

On the drive from Sour through Saida to Beirut, we were welcomed like heroes because our ordeal had been seen by everyone on Al Jazeera. The mayor of Sour came to welcome us. The mayor of Saida insisted that we stop there, on our way to Beirut, for a special ceremony. But there was something else that was visible along our drive, and that is the devastation that Lebanon, itself, has received as a result of the Israeli war machine. The scars of the war are still evident everywhere. I will write more on that tomorrow.

And one final note, President-elect Obama roared like a mighty lion onto the political scene, but now he is as silent as a lamb in the face of the death and destruction that is happening in Gaza. As we approach the birthday celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. let us remember what Dr. King said:

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

And after five days of aerial bombardment by Israel, the carnage in Gaza continues.

and now i must go proctor exams… amidst all of this students still must take exams. and all i can think about are the students in gaza who cannot study now. who cannot take exams now. and as much as students are not fans of exams, i suspect they long for the day when they can walk to their campuses and sit for exams…

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