i’m not sleeping much these days. it’s too difficult. and whenever i turn on chatting software at odd hours–like now when it is 4:35 am–who else is online? friends in gaza–when they have electricity, which is sporadic at best. one blogger friend asked me to go into his blog and updated it for him tonight while we were on the phone because he had no electricity. so much has happened in the last few hours:
13,000 gazan refugees–though really, internally displaced people since there is nowhere they can seek refuge
514 martyrs: 20% of whom are women and children (i emphasize this because americans and many other english language readers don’t think that arab men count as civilians or as humans)
i received an email a while ago about medics being targeted by israeli terrorists with american-made weapons, but i can’t find a link right now; they have also reported it on al jazeera–they say there are 5 different cases of medics being targeted and killed. here is the latest in an email i received from ism:
4th January 2008, northern Gaza: International Human Rights Activists working with Palestinian medical crews today reported that another five Palestinian medics were killed today by Israeli forces.
International Solidarity Movement activists spent the night accompanying ambulances in Gaza. They were, and will continue, working with medical personnel during the Israeli occupation forces ground invasion into northern Gaza.
“In addition to the doctor and medic that the Israeli military murdered on the 31st of December, they have killed five more medics today. One was shot in Jabaliya, one in Al Sheikh Ejleen. Three have just been killed when a missile directly hit their ambulance in the Tal Hawye neighborhood in Gaza City. The medics are constantly in contact with the Red Cross for them to negotiate passage with the Israelis. The Israelis constantly refuse.” Sharon Lock (Australia) – International Solidarity Movement
The Israelis dropped a bomb in front of our ambulance to prevent us accessing wounded people. However a donkey cart emerged carrying a wounded family; a mother and father and three teenage brothers. One of the teenagers was attempting to shield the other two with a blanket. They were both horrifically injured, I could see the lungs of one of them. As I assisted the medics to move him off the cart I found my hand inside his body.” Alberto Arce (Spain) – International Solidarity
yes, as with lebanon, israeli terrorists target ambulances and medics. here is an updated report from sherene tadros at al jazeera talking about the crisis in the medical sector in gaza:
also worth watching is john ging from unrwa talking about the “catastrophic” situation in gaza. this, of course, runs contrary to israeli terrorist propaganda parading throughout american media:
one of the latest developments in relation to this catastrophe are increasing reports–though no actual studies have been done yet–of the sort of american weapons being used to terrorize palestinians. laila el haddad reported:
Residents in Gaza have been talking about an unprecedented amount of force being unleashed against them by the Israeli army- but they have also spoken about new kinds of weaponry. It comes as no surprise-Gaza has always been Israel’s “testing ground” – from nerve agents used in Khan Younis in 2003 to Sonic Boom “phantom air raids”. Now, there is talk of cluster bombs, depleted uranium, and white phosphorus. And these are only the ones people can identify. CNN corespondents stationed near the borders have also been talking about new kinds of explosions.
Norwegian medics say that some of the victims who have been wounded since Israel began its attacks on the Gaza Strip on December 27 have traces of depleted uranium in their bodies, according to Press TV.
There are also reports that the Israeli Army is using both cluster bombs in the northern part of the Strip, as well as White Phosphorus, an incendiary weapon used by the United States in Iraq (which would explain the large flare-like explosions unseen before in Gaza).
although i cannot load this next video fully, i’m posting it here with the hope that people whose internet connections are better than mine will be able to watch it. it is from al jazeera (someone obviously filed the tv so it’s not directly from al jazeera like most of the footage i post here) but it shows mads gilbert, the norweigian doctor who was making some disturbing and important claims about the sorts of american weapons being used on the people of gaza:
everything has gotten worse since this ground invasion began. it intensifies the feeling that nowhere is safe. and for those who have loved ones there who are unable to be in touch with them this compounds the suffering and extends it outside of gaza. laila al-arian has a beautiful piece in the nation that explains her grandfather’s displacement from gaza and explains why he was only able to move back a few years ago because of his american passport, not because he is palestinian. you should definitely read the entire thing, but here is a particularly poignant excerpt of it:
As missiles rain over Gaza, I can only imagine what my grandfather is thinking. Much of the territory’s civilian infrastructure, including police stations, universities, mosques and homes, has been decimated. In the Jabalya refugee camp, five sisters, the eldest aged seventeen and the youngest only four, were killed on Monday as they slept in their beds when an Israeli air strike hit a mosque by their home. Their parents told reporters they assumed they were safe, since houses of worship typically are not military targets. The cemetery where the girls were buried was filled to capacity, so they were placed in three graves. A United Nations spokesperson said the killing is a “tragic illustration that this bombardment is exacting a terrible price on innocent civilians.” The bereaved father expressed the sentiments of so many in Gaza in an interview with the Washington Post. “I don’t have anything to do with any Palestinian faction. I have nothing to do with Hamas or anyone. I am just an ordinary person.” A few days after the attack, I found out that the girls were relatives of our family friends in Florida.
I asked my mother why my grandfather did not leave Gaza while its gates were still open. Why he didn’t leave before the siege, before life became unbearable, and before this latest bombardment. “Because that’s where he feels he belongs,” she said. “He was always homesick before. Gaza is where his parents were buried. It’s where he wants to die.”
for both laila el haddad and laila al arian whose families are in gaza there is a different sort of terrorism that they must experience being so far away from loved ones and not knowing what will happen, but knowing what israeli terrorists are capable of. still no one does anything, and if anyone tries to do anything, say at the united nations, the united states blocks it to make sure the carnage goes on. was there ever any doubt that the u.s. is complicit in this? that they have blood on their hands?
do they really not know about the torment that people in gaza are experiencing at the hands of u.s.-israeli terrorism? or do they just not care? here is a sample of what i’m talking about:
but there was some good news today. first, an unnamed source in iran is calling for a renewed oil embargo:
IRNA, giving only his last name, quoted commander Bagherzadeh as saying oil was “one of the powerful elements of pressure” on Israel’s Western backers in the “unequal war” faced by Palestinians in Gaza.
second, it seems that jordan is re-thinking its disastrous policy of normalizing with israeli terrorists, thanks, i’m sure to the protests that have been going on there for the last ten days:
“The Jordanian government reserves the right to reevaluate its ties with any element, let alone Israel, in accordance with the need to maintain our national interests,” he told the parliament.
Twenty-one of Jordan’s parliamentarians sent their chairman a letter demanding Jordan sever all ties with Israel without delay and expel the Israeli ambassador to Amman, in view of the “Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip.”
if this actually happens–and if other normalizing nations like morocco and turkey, which has enormous protests today, join in–we could actually see some change and get rid of this zionist regime once and for all. i’m leaving for jordan in a couple of hours and i’ve never been so excited to go. but just for a bit of context joseph massad’s brilliant piece on electronic intifada explains jordanian-zionist (as well as other key actors) collusion over the decades and he ends with what we always must be reminded of: how it affects palestinian people, and in this case the people of gaza specifically:
The crushing of the Gaza Ghetto Uprising and the slaughter of its defenseless population will be relatively an easy task for the giant Israeli military machine and Israel’s sadistic political leadership. It is dealing with the aftermath of a strengthened Palestinian determination to continue to resist Israel that will prove much more difficult for Israel and its Arab allies to deal with. While the thousands of dead and injured Palestinians are the main victims of this latest Israeli terrorist war, the major political loser in all this will be Abbas and his clique of collaborators. The test for Palestinian resistance now is to continue to refuse to grant Israel the right to conquer populations, to steal their land, to destroy their livelihoods, to imprison them in ghettos, and to starve them without being resisted.
The only constant in Palestinian lives for the last century of Zionist atrocities has been resistance to the Zionist project of erasing them from the face of the earth. While Zionism sought and recruited Arab and Palestinian collaborators since its inception in the hope of crushing Palestinian resistance, neither Israel nor any of its collaborators has been able to stop it. The lesson that Zionism has refused to learn, and still refuses to learn, is that the Palestinian yearning for freedom from the Zionist yoke cannot be extinguished no matter how barbaric Israel’s crimes become. The Gaza Ghetto Uprising will mark both the latest chapter in Palestinian resistance to colonialism and the latest Israeli colonial brutality in a region whose peoples will never accept the legitimacy of a racist European colonial settlement in their midst.
and indeed it is this legacy of zionist, colonialist terrorism that is the core of the problem–oftentimes with various collaborators, british, american, and arab alike. as much as i complain about how much i hate seeing these zionist terrorists on al jazeera i decided today that as long as imran garda is the one doing the interviewing, i’m okay with it. he is utterly brilliant and never lets them get away with any of their lies and exposes their propaganda:
and for the lighter side of things–and there is not much to be light about–i strongly recommend listening to/reading the transcript of electronic intifada’s “israeli collaborator recruiter punked.” this is related to the leafleting i’ve written about–the leafelts israeli terrorists always drop on people before they bomb them (and they often then bomb them anyway as they flee as they are doing in gaza where no one has any where to flee to and they did it in lebanon). it is worth a good chuckle and many of us are in need of one right now. especially brilliant is this part when the person decides to call this israeli terrorist to name names of terrorists they must go after:
Israeli officer: You mean to tell me they’re all from Hamas?
EI: All of them are people … you’ll see. The first one, his name is Ehud Barak [Israeli minister of defense].
Israeli officer: Ehud Barak? By God there’s no one like you …
EI: Second, Gabi Ashkenazi [Israeli army chief of staff]
Israeli officer: Do you know him?
EI: Of course. The third one is…
Israeli officer: Wait a minute, one at a time …
EI: No write it down, I don’t have time. The third one is called Ehud Olmert [Israeli prime minister].
Israeli officer: Look, just a minute …
EI: You think that terrorists are only men? There are also women. Terrorist organizations have women too. The fourth is Tzipi Livni [Israeli foreign minister].
Israeli officer: First, I see that you’re very clever and very experienced and you should …
EI: And then the fifth’s name is Yuval Diskin [head of Israel’s “Shin Bet” death squads]. Write it down and record it my beloved. These are the names of the biggest terrorist leaders in the whole of Palestine and in the whole of the Middle East.