it’s official: nakba is removed from the curriculum in occupied palestine

here is the latest news from the zionist terrorist colonist regime:

Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar briefed the cabinet on plans for the start of the school year, and announced that the word “nakba” will be taken out of lesson plans.

“It can be said with certainty that Arab Israelis experienced a tragedy in the war, but there will be no use of the word ‘nakba,’ whose meaning is similar to holocaust in this context,” said Sa’ar. “The education system in the Arab sector will revise its studies about the homeland, geography, and society in elementary schools.”

interestingly, palestinian refugees are asking unrwa to remove material about the nazi holocaust from the palestinian curriculum in their schools:

A group of refugee camp committees in the Gaza Strip wants the United Nations to remove history of the Jewish Holocaust from its classroom curriculum.

According to a letter sent to UNRWA director John Ging, the committees urged the refugee agency to scrap its program because mention of the genocide “confirms the Holocaust and raises sympathy for Jews.”

UNRWA did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

mr. carter goes to gaza

there are a lot of people who are very pleased with jimmy carter’s trip to gaza this week. certainly, his trip to gaza helped put gaza back in the news, which is important. but carter’s insistence that there should be a two-state solution with no right of return for palestinian refugees makes me extremely frustrated and unwilling to get behind carter’s political campaigning. he’s right on many issues, such as hamas is a legitimate political party as well as resistance organization, which should be included in any discussion about the future of palestine. and he surprised me by meeting with palestinian families in gaza who have relatives in zionist prisons (11,000+ palestinian political prisoners compared to the 1 zionist pow who gets far too much media attention). still, his refusal to admit that apartheid exists in the entirety of palestine and his refusal to promote the right of return and the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement shows that he is not altogether different from most american political leaders. here are his remarks that he made in gaza as posted on the palestine chronicle website:

Director of UNRWA operations John Ging, thank you for inviting me to Gaza. Distinguished guests, children of Gaza, I am grateful for your warm reception.

I first visited Gaza 36 years ago and returned during the 1980s and later for the very successful Palestinian elections. Although under occupation, this community was relatively peaceful and prosperous. Now, the aftermath of bombs, missiles, tanks, bulldozers and the continuing economic siege have brought death, destruction, pain, and suffering to the people here. Tragically, the international community largely ignores the cries for help, while the citizens of Gaza are being treated more like animals than human beings.

Last week, a group of Israelis and Americans tried to cross into Gaza through Erez, bringing toys and children’s playground equipment – slides, swings, kites, and magic castles for your children. They were stopped at the gate and prevented from coming. I understand even paper and crayons are treated as “security hazards” and not permitted to enter Gaza. I sought an explanation for this policy in Israel, but did not receive a satisfactory answer – because there is none.

The responsibility for this terrible human rights crime lies in Jerusalem, Cairo, Washington, and throughout the international community. This abuse must cease; the crimes must be investigated; the walls must be brought down, and the basic right of freedom must come to you.

Almost one-half of Gaza’s 1.5 million people are children, whose lives are being shaped by poverty, hunger, violence, and despair. More than 50,000 families had their homes destroyed or damaged in January, and parents are in mourning for the 313 innocent children who were killed.

The situation in Gaza is grim, but all hope is not lost. Amidst adversity, you continue to possess both dignity and determination to work towards a brighter tomorrow. That is why educating children is so important.

I have come to Gaza to help the world know what important work you are doing. UNRWA is here to ensure that the 200,000 children in its schools can develop their talent, express their dynamism, and help create the path to a better future.

The human rights curriculum is teaching children about their rights and also about their responsibilities. UNRWA is teaching about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the struggle for these rights all over the world, Gaza’s children are learning that as you seek justice for yourselves, you must be sure that your behavior provides justice for others.

They are learning that it is wrong to fire rockets that may kill Israeli children. They are learning that arbitrary detention and the summary execution of political opponents is not acceptable. They are learning that the rule of law must be honored here in Gaza.

I would like to congratulate both UNRWA and the children who have completed the human rights curriculum with distinction. They are tomorrow’s leaders.

In addition to the tragedy of occupation, the lack of unity among Palestinians is causing a deteriorating atmosphere here in Gaza, in Ramallah, and throughout the West Bank.

Palestinians want more than just to survive. They hope to lead the Arab world, to be a bridge between modern political life and traditions that date back to the Biblical era. The nation you will create must be pluralistic and democratic – the new Palestine that your intellectuals have dreamt about. Palestine must combine the best of the East and the West. The Palestinian state, like the land, must be blessed for all people. Jerusalem must be shared with everyone who loves it – Christians, Jews, and Muslims.

With our new leaders in Washington, my country will move into the forefront of this birth of a new Palestine. We were all reminded of this renewed hope and commitment by President Obama’s recent speech in Cairo.

President Obama’s resolve to resume the Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic process based on the principle of two states for two peoples must be welcomed. This vision of two sovereign nations living as neighbors is not a mere convenient phrase. It is the basis for a lasting peace for this entire region, including Syria and Lebanon.

We all know that a necessary step is the ending of the siege of Gaza – the starving of 1 ½ million people of the necessities of life. Never before in history has a large community been savaged by bombs and missiles and then deprived of the means to repair itself. The issue of who controls Gaza is not an obstacle. As the World Bank has pointed out, funds can be channeled through a number of independent mechanisms and effective implementing agencies.

Although funds are available, not a sack of cement nor a piece of lumber has been permitted to enter the closed gates from Israel and Egypt. I have seen with my own eyes that progress is negligible.

My country and our friends in Europe must do all that is necessary to persuade Israel and Egypt to allow basic materials into Gaza. At the same time, there must be no more rockets and mortar shells falling on Israeli citizens.

I met this week with the parents of Corporal Gilad Shalit, and have with me a letter that I hope can be delivered to their son. I have also met with many Palestinians who plead for the freedom of their 11,700 loved ones imprisoned by the Israelis, including 400 women and children. Many of them have been imprisoned for many years, held without trial, with no access to their families or to legal counsel. Rational negotiations and a comprehensive peace can end this suffering on both sides.

I know it is difficult now, surrounded by terrible destruction, to see a future of independence and dignity in a Palestinian state, but this goal can and must be achieved. I know too that it is hard for you to accept Israel and live in peace with those who have caused your suffering. However, Palestinian statehood cannot come at the expense of Israel’s security, just as Israel’s security can not come at the expense of Palestinian statehood.

In his speech in Cairo, President Obama said that Hamas has support among Palestinians, but they also have responsibilities. To play a full role in fulfilling Palestinian aspirations, to unify the Palestinian people, Hamas must put an end to violence, accept existing peace agreements, and recognize Israel’s right to exist.

I have urged Hamas leaders to accept these conditions, and they have made statements and taken actions that suggest they are ready to join the peace process and move toward the creation of an independent and just Palestinian state.

Khaled Mashaal has assured me that Hamas will accept a final status agreement negotiated by the Palestinian Authority and Israel if the Palestinian people approve it in a referendum. Hamas has offered a reciprocal ceasefire with Israel throughout the West Bank and Gaza. Unfortunately, neither the Israeli leaders nor Hamas accept the terms of the Oslo Agreement of 1993, but the Arab Peace Initiative is being considered now by all sides.

I have personally witnessed free and fair elections in Palestine when Yasir Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas were elected president and when legislative members were chosen for your parliament. I hope to return next January for a similar event that will unite all Palestinians as you seek a proud and peaceful future.

Ladies and gentlemen, children of Gaza, thank you for inviting me and for sharing this happy occasion with me. Congratulations for your achievements.

for now these are just words. it remains to be seen if carter’s words can translate into action even on a small scale. for his part ismail haniyya, who spoke with carter the other day, vowed to work towards a two-state solution:

Ismail Haniyya, Prime Minister of the dissolved government of Hamas in Gaza, stated Tuesday that Hamas supports ant real effort to establish a sovereign Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital.

The statements of Haniyya came in a press conference with the former US President, Jimmy Carter, who is visiting the region.

“I will push for this aim, I will cooperate with all factions to achieve a parallel and extended ceasefire with Israel”, Haniyya said, “But this ceasefire requires Israel to lift the siege on Gaza and to open the border terminals”.

but seriously: what does that mean exactly? let’s say that all palestinian refugees had the right of return and there were those who returned to their villages in 1948 palestine to live under a regime that only allows jews to have full citizenship and rights and the rest returned to gaza and the west bank. how is it that palestinians are supposed to live a life as a people when the zionist entity has laws forbidding palestinians in 1948 palestine to marry palestinians in gaza and the west bank? how are the supposed to travel around their land with zionists controlling all the borders? and how is it that a so-called state can exist when gaza and the west bank are separated by at best an hour’s drive from one “border” to the other? here is a typical issue facing palestinians that i suspect would not change even if a so-called two-state solution were imposed on palestinians:

Israel has imposed new restrictions barring Palestinians living in Gaza from moving to the West Bank, two Israeli human rights groups said on Tuesday.

According to the new regulation, which was presented by the Israeli state to the High Court of Justice in response to several petitions, no Palestinian living in Gaza is allowed to apply for residency in the West Bank except under exceptional circumstances, according to the Jerusalem Post newspaper.

Only Gazans who have close family registered as living in the West Bank will even be considered for a permit to move there, the paper said.

“Israel is systematically taking action to further isolate the Gaza Strip, while increasing the geographic and political separation between Gaza and the West Bank,” said rights groups Gisha and Hamoked.

“The new procedure contradicts a long list of Israeli undertakings to conduct negotiations for the establishment of an independent, viable Palestinian state, including an explicit commitment in the Oslo Accords to preserve the status of the West Bank and Gaza Strip as ‘a single territorial unit,'” the groups said.

According to the regulation, there are three criteria for allowing movement from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank, but only if the applicant does not have a “security impediment.”

In order to be considered, a Palestinian living in Gaza must fulfill one of the following criteria, as quoted by the Jerusalem Post:

• Someone who suffers from a chronic medical condition and who has no other family member (not necessarily of the first degree) in Gaza to provide care.

• A minor under the age of 16 living with one parent in Gaza who dies and another living in the West Bank, on condition that there is no relative in Gaza to look after the minor. Even if she does have such relatives, Israel may allow her or her to move, depending on the nature of her relationship with the living parent.

• A person over the age of 65 who is in a “needy situation” and has a “first-degree relative” in the West Bank who can help him, conditional, in part, on not having relatives in the West Bank.

According to the regulation, anyone who meets one of these criteria and is allowed to move, will receive a temporary permit, renewable each year, for seven years. After seven years, if he or she has proven he is not deemed a “security threat,” he or she may be entered in the West Bank population registry.

khalil bendib
khalil bendib

this week al mezan published a statistical report on the savaging of gaza which reveals the following data:

On Sunday 14 June 2009, Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights published a statistical report entitled, ‘Cast Lead Offensive in Numbers.’ This report presents figures on the persons killed and property destroyed by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) during its recent invasion of the Gaza Strip codenamed ‘Operation Cast Lead’. The report is currently available in Arabic and will be circulated in English soon.

The introduction to the report provides an overview of the Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip which was conducted by the IOF during the period 27 January 2008 – 18 January 2009. The report demonstrates that during this invasion, the IOF perpetrated grave and systematic violations of the rules of international law. The report further emphasizes that field investigations clearly indicate that the IOF perpetrated war crimes and crimes against humanity, deliberately targeting civilians, forcibly displacing hundreds of thousands and attacking displaced persons who had fled to temporary shelters flying the United Nations flag.

The report highlights the timing of first attacks launched and their surprise nature which indicates an intention on the part of the IOF to cause the highest possible number of civilian casualties and injuries. In particular, the first wave of attacks coincided with school arrival and departure times placing school children at great risk. (Gazan schools operate a ‘shift’ system with some children attending morning sessions and others afternoon sessions). The report also presents the field investigation methodology.

The report provides the numbers of persons killed and extent of property destroyed by the IOF. During the offensive, the IOF killed or fatally wounded a total of 1410 persons of which 355 were under the age of 18, 110 were women and 240 were resistance fighters. The IOF also partially or fully destroyed 11,135 homes, 209 industrial premises, 724 commercial establishments, 650 vehicles and 6271 (1000 meters) of agricultural land.

The report presents 16 tables addressing the details of persons killed, including socio-economic information, in addition to information related to the incident. Details of damage caused to property are also presented. The numbers of persons killed by unmanned surveillance aircraft (drones) hints that the State of Israel was trying to market its surveillance aircraft, with which hundreds were killed during the Offensive.

The report concludes that Al Mezan investigations, in addition to investigations by other national (Palestinian) and international organizations, present compelling evidence of the perpetration of a large number of grave and systematic violations of international humanitarian law which amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity according to the Statute of the International Criminal Court and the Fourth Geneva Convention. These crimes include: willful killing, including the targeting of houses while the residents were inside without apparent military necessity; shooting civilians waving white flags; indiscriminate use of excessive forces in civilian areas; targeting civilians and civilian objects without distinction, proportionality or military necessity; using civilians as human shields; targeting medical teams; preventing medical access to the injured; refraining from taking any steps to assist and save the lives of the injured; and targeting United Nations premises and teams. These practices resulted in the killing of large number of civilians.

The report also address the consequences of IOF practices against Gaza residents such as the destruction of water and electricity networks and the blocking and destruction of roads connecting the Gaza Strip, the demolition of large areas of cultivated land and a high number of industrial facilities. These policies caused immense suffering by heavily restricting access to food and medicines, especially after years of siege and closure, which represents collective punishment of the entire population. The report also points at the psychological impact of intensive attacks on residential areas, killing and destruction, as well as the indiscriminate use of warnings to civilians across the Gaza Strip in a context where there was no safe place for civilians to go. The warning announcements were dropped in the centres of towns as well as in the shelters set up by the UN to house the displaced.

The report also addresses the internal Israeli investigation into allegations of war crimes during Operation Cast Lead. This investigation was declared closed on Wednesday 22 April 2009 by the Israeli military Attorney General 11 days after it commenced. It concluded that the IOF had operated in accordance with international law and did not perpetrate war crimes during Operation Cast Lead. The nature of this investigation is a continuation of Israeli practices which offer immunity to its soldiers and leaders. This requires the doubling of efforts to hold the perpetrators of war crimes, or those who ordered them, accountable through channels afforded by international law.

Al Mezan asserts that this practice of offering immunity confirms the firm conviction of observers of the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territories that the State of Israel does not have the will to investigate crimes perpetrated by its forces. Instead, through statements made by its continued leadership, it deliberately encourages them to perpetrate these crimes and assures them that the political leadership will provide full protection to its forces.

Al Mezan further asserts that the State of Israel’s refusal to conduct an investigation in accordance with relevant international standards, and its provision of protection and immunity to members of its armed forces and government who have perpetrated or ordered war crimes, places the moral responsibility on the shoulders of the international community. Al Mezan stresses that the international community holds both moral and legal responsibility to prosecute the perpetrators of war crimes in accordance with international legal obligations relevant to the prosecution of war criminals.

Al Mezan condemns in the strongest possible terms the perpetration by the IOF of war crimes in the Gaza Strip. These crimes continue today through collective punishment, and the siege imposed by Israel against the Gaza Strip. Further, Al Mezan condemns the State of Israel’s encouragement of the further perpetration of these crimes by offering protection and immunity to their perpetrators.

Al Mezan calls on the international community to:

· Assume its moral and legal responsibility to end the siege on the Gaza Strip in order to pave the way for reconstruction

· Investigate violations of international humanitarian law and human rights perpetrated by the IOF in the Gaza Strip in preparation for perpetrators to be prosecuted and held to account

carlos latuff
carlos latuff

a group of activists and artists recently got together to produce something called “gaza over and over.” it is a 70-page glossy document that catalogues the war crimes committed by the zionist entity in gaza as well as various political and artisitc responses to it such as the khalil bendib and carlos latuff images i posted here. there is also some nice documentation of protests around the world, including the successful boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement. you can download their document by going to their website or by clicking this link for the pdf file.

and for someone with much stronger, more factual, historical language who doesn’t only give speeches, but who actually puts his body where his mouth is by doing things like actively supporting boycott, divestment, and sanctions compare this recent piece, posted by pulse media, by ilan pappe to carter. quite a different sort of politics and a point of view that i find it much easier to get behind:

If there is anything new in the never ending sad story of Palestine it is the clear shift in public opinion in this country. I remember coming to these isles in 1980 when supporting the Palestinian cause was confined to the left and in it to a very particular section and ideological stream. The post-holocaust trauma and guilt complex, military and economic interests and the charade of Israel as the only democracy in the Middle East all played a role in providing immunity for the state of Israel. Very few were moved, so it seems, by a state that had dispossessed half of Palestine’s native population, demolished half of their villages and towns, discriminated against the minority among them who lived within its borders through an apartheid system and enclaved two million and a half of them in a harsh and oppressive military occupation.

Almost thirty years later and it seems that all these filters and cataracts have been removed. The magnitude of the ethnic cleansing of 1948 is well known, the suffering of the people in the occupied territories recorded and described even by the American president as unbearable and inhuman. In a similar way, the destruction and depopulation of the greater Jerusalem area is noted daily and the racist nature of the policies towards the Palestinians in Israel are frequently rebuked and condemned.

The reality today in 2009 is described by the UN as ‘a human catastrophe’. The conscious and conscientious sections of the British society know very well who caused and who produced this catastrophe. This is not related any more to elusive circumstances, or to the ‘conflict’ – it is seen clearly as the outcome of Israeli policies throughout the years. When Desmond Tutu was asked for his reaction to what he saw in the occupied territories he noted sadly that it was worse than Apartheid. He should know.

As in the case of South Africa these decent people, either as individuals or as members of organizations, voice their outrage against the continued oppression, colonization, ethnic cleansing and starvation in Palestine. They are looking for ways of showing their protest and some even hope to impact their government into changing its old policy of indifference and inaction in the face of the continued destruction of Palestine and the Palestinians. Many among them are Jews, as these atrocities are done in their name according to the logic of the Zionist ideology, and quite a few among them are veterans of previous civil struggles in this country for similar causes all over the world. They are not confined any more to one political party and they come from all walks of life.

So far the British government is not moved. It was also passive when the anti-Apartheid movement in this country demanded of it to impose sanctions on South Africa. It took several decades for that activism from below to reach the political top. It takes longer in the case of Palestine: guilt about the Holocaust, distorted historical narratives and contemporary misrepresentation of Israel as a democracy seeking peace and the Palestinians as eternal Islamic terrorists blocked the flow of the popular impulse. But it is beginning to find its way and presence, despite the continued accusation of any such demand as being anti-Semitic and the demonization of Islam and Arabs. The third sector, that important link between civilians and government agencies, has shown us the way. One trade union after the other, one professional group after the other, have all sent recently a clear message: enough is enough. It is done in the name of decency, human morality and basic civil commitment not to remain idle in the face of atrocities of the kind Israel has and still is committing against the Palestinian people.

In the last eight years the Israeli criminal policy escalated, and the Palestinian activists were seeking new means to confront it. They have tried it all, armed struggle, guerrilla warfare, terrorism and diplomacy: nothing worked. And yet they are not giving up and now they are proposing a non violent strategy that of boycott, sanctions and divestment. With these means they wish to persuade the Western government to save not only them, but ironically also the Jews in Israel from an imminent catastrophe and bloodshed. This strategy bred the call for cultural boycott on Israel. This demand is voiced by every part of the Palestinian existence: by the civil society under occupation and by Palestinians in Israel. It is supported by the Palestinian refugees and is led by members of the Palestinian exile communities. It came in the right moment and gave individuals and organizations in this country a way to express their disgust at the Israeli policies and at the same time an avenue for participating in the overall pressure on the government to change its policy of providing immunity for the impunity on the ground.

It is bewildering that this shift of public opinion has no impact so far on policy; but again we are reminded of the tortuous way the campaign against apartheid had to go before it became a policy. It is also worth remembering that two brave women in Dublin, toiling on the cashiers in a local supermarket were the ones who began a huge movement of change by refusing to sell South African goods. Twenty nine years later, Britain joined others in imposing sanctions on Apartheid. So while governments hesitate for cynical reasons, out of fear of being accused of anti-Semitism or maybe due to Islamophobic inhibitions, citizens and activists do their utmost, symbolically and physically, to inform, protest and demand. They have a more organised campaign, that of the cultural boycott, or they can join their unions in the coordinated policy of pressure. They can also use their name or fame for indicating to us all that decent people in this world cannot support what Israel does and what it stands for. They do not know whether their action will make an immediate change or they would be so lucky as to see change in their life time. But in their own personal book of who they are and what they did in life and in the more general harsh eye of historical assessment they would be counted in with all those who did not remain indifferent when inhumanity raged under the guise of democracy in their own countries or elsewhere.

On the other hand, citizens in this country, especially famous ones, who continue to broadcast, quite often out of ignorance or out of more sinister reasons, the fable of Israel as a cultured Western society or as the ‘only democracy in the Middle East’ are not only wrong factually. They provide immunity for one of the greatest atrocities in our time. Some of them demand we should leave culture out of our political actions. This approach to Israeli culture and academia as separate entities from the army, the occupation and the destruction is morally corrupt and logically defunct. Eventually, one day the outrage from below, including in Israel itself, will produce a new policy – the present American administration is already showing early signs of it. History did not look kindly at those film makers who collaborated with McCarthy or endorsed Apartheid. It would adopt a similar attitude to those who are silent about Palestine now.

A good case in point unfolded last month in Edinburgh. Ken Loach led a campaign against the official and financial connections the city’s film festival had with the Israeli embassy. Such a stance was meant to send a message that this embassy represents not only the film makers of Israel but also its generals who massacred the people of Gaza, its tormentors who torture Palestinians in jails, its judges who sent 10,000 Palestinians – half of them children – without trial to prison, its racist mayors who want to expel Arabs from their cities, its architects who built walls and fences to enclave people and prevent them from reaching their fields, schools, cinemas and offices and its politicians who strategise yet again how to complete the ethnic cleansing of Palestine they began in 1948. Ken Loach felt that only a call for boycotting the festival as whole would bring its directors into a moral sense and perspective. He was right; it did, because the case is so clear cut and the action so simple and pure.

It is not surprising that a counter voice was heard. This is an ongoing struggle and would not be won easily. As I write these words, we commemorate the 42nd year of the Israeli occupation, the longest, and one of the cruellest in modern time. But time has also produced the lucidity needed for such decisions. This is why Ken’s action was immediately effective; next time even this would not be necessary. One of his critics tried to point to the fact that people in Israel like Ken’s films, so this was a kind of ingratitude. I can assure this critic that those of us in Israel who watch Ken’s movies are also those who salute him for his bravery and unlike this critic we do not think of this an act similar to a call for Israel’s destruction, but rather the only way of saving Jews and Arabs living there. But it is difficult anyway to take such criticism seriously when it is accompanied by description of the Palestinians as a terrorist entity and Israel as a democracy like Britain. Most of us in this country have moved far away from this propagandist silliness and are ready for change. We are now waiting for the government of these isles to follow suit.

gaza in ruins. still.

democracy now! showed a film yesterday produced by anjali kamat on the economy of gaza called “land in ruins: a special report on gaza’s economy.” it is an amazing film as so many produced by big noise films are and i encourage you to watch the whole thing, but here are some highlights of their words–voices from palestinians and people who work in gaza who are on the ground to give you an inkling about what people there face and what they want–but the film footage gives you the powerful images to go with it:

NAHEELA SAMMOUNI: [translated] All of this is farmland. We used to grow chard, lettuce, turnips, radish, all from here. We’d sell it in the market and get some money to feed our children. Now our land is spoiled. Everything is destroyed. What can we do? We used to have sweet, tart pomegranates behind our home, so many plums, apricots, all right behind our house. Now, the olives, figs, everything is gone. We tended to our plants like our own children, so they would grow and we could eat from them. Now see what they did to us. What did we do wrong?

JOHN GING: There’s going to be no reconstruction in Gaza until the crossing points open. There isn’t a bag of cement coming into Gaza at the moment. We have had to, you know, reopen our schools without conducting the repairs, because there is nothing—there’s no glass to fix the windows or do the basic repairs that are needed. We just have to make safe the area that is damaged and get on.

TUNNEL WORKER: [translated] This work is very difficult. But we have no choice. We have to work in order to eat. If the crossings were open and the goods and cement were coming in, there’s no way I would be doing this. If we work, we eat; if not, we go hungry. This is our only means, our only livelihood. As long as the crossings are closed, there’s no alternative to the tunnels.

ABU OMAR: [translated] We don’t want to beg the world for money. We just want to take those who destroyed our houses to court. If we are really criminals and our houses are terrorist houses, then OK, this is what you get. But if our houses are innocent and our factories are innocent, then the Israelis need to account for what they destroyed. They are the ones who should give us the reparations. Why do we need to rely on the sympathy of the world? We don’t want that. We want the world to stand by our rights. We don’t want their charity, little bits of money and food. We’re full, thank God. We are just asking for our rights, nothing else.

my friend sameh habeeb has a new photo exhibit in vancouver, canada right now called “victims’ victims” with images of gaza that he took during the savagery brought on gaza by israeli terrorists and their american allies. you can see the images by clicking this link. the shots are really powerful: close up, crisp. you should also visit his new newspaper based in gaza, the palestine telegraph. here is one of his moving photographs:

sameh habeeb photo of chickens bombed in gaza
sameh habeeb photo of chickens bombed in gaza

sameh has a blog post on the chickens being bombed entitled “were the chickens firing rockets?” that he wrote during the massacres in gaza that explains the above image.

in the democracy now! report above they did not specifically address the issue of water, but it is a problem in gaza and people do not have access to this either just as they do not have access to food, books, cement, glass, or any basic necessities. irin news has a report on this today:

Over 150,000 Palestinians in Gaza (around 10 percent of the population) are struggling without tap water as a result of the damage caused to wells, pipes and waste water facilities during the recent 23-day Israeli offensive which ended on 18 January.

“Our requests via the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to the Israeli military during the conflict to allow shipments of construction materials and spare parts to repair wells and facilities damaged during the war were denied,” Coastal Municipalities Water Utility (CMWU) director-general Monther Shoblak told IRIN.

Shoblak estimates that 50,000 people lack tap water after losing their homes, while a further 100,000 have dry taps because of damage to the water supply network.

Eleven of Gaza’s 150 wells, the only source of drinking water for Gaza’s 1.4 million people (apart from expensive bottled water and water trucked in by aid agencies), are not functioning. Six were completely destroyed, according to CMWU.

and imran garda’s “focus on gaza” for al jazeera’s first half was finally posted today. i posted the second half the other day, but here we can see sherine tadros reporting on the situation in beit lahiya as well as the education sector more generally.

on a side note: i saw a tweet from sherine tadros today announcing gerry adams arrival in gaza tomorrow. a couple of hours later this was posted on the zionist entity’s jerusalem post website:

Northern Ireland political leader Gerry Adams will not be allowed to enter Gaza this week because he plans to meet Hamas officials, Israel said Tuesday.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Israel “would not help Adams meet with Hamas terror leaders.”

A spokesman for Adams, Ted Howell, said Adams and his delegation planned to visit Gaza on Wednesday. He said, “we will meet with whoever wants to meet us.”

the bantustan as prison

i often think about what the word normal means here. the way that people accept, on some level, the facts of colonialism around them. it is not like people have a choice, but that mental process of barriers and occupation armies keeps people who live here in a particular mode of thinking: that we all live in bantustan prisons and cannot get out. cannot live a normal life in which people just go to work, school, visit friends and family. a dear friend of mine in al quds decided to take the day off to visit me in nablus yesterday. he drove all the way here in his brother’s car (meaning he had yellow license plates) and he tried two different checkpoints (each about 30 minutes apart, each separated by a number of israeli colonies with excessively violent terrorists living inside). he was told he could not come inside. as a result he had to go home. all the way home a 4 hour journey (each way including checkpoints) for nothing. money wasted on gas. time wasted. why? just because the israeli terrorists who wish to keep nabulsis imprisoned and everyone else imprisoned in their own particular bantustans apart from each other. this is precisely what makes friends of mine not want to visit me: they know that it is too difficult to enter this imprisoned city where i live.

i was thinking of this when i read on lina al sharif’s blog, a young university student at the islamic university of gaza, about the films she made this week about a little trip she took around her prison of gaza. here is what she said about it followed by her films:

A good friend of mine and her other friend organized a trip around Gaza. I think they were inspired by the idea that we need amusement, we need some adventure! Her suggestion was met by an overwhelming acceptance by me and my friends. On Thursday, a bus was waiting for us outside the university, yet it was an independent trip. We were almost 50 girls including 3 mothers. We visited many places as you’ll see in the following videos.

lina’s prison is by far worse than the one i live in, in spite of her efforts to make the best of it and enjoy what small pleasures she has around her. though i find it a bit disturbing to see this pristine british military cemetery in the film given the destruction everywhere else. nothing else can be rebuilt or made to at least appear pristine (until the next time israeli terrorists bomb it) because the borders continue to be closed as john ging stated this week and as quoted in louis charbonneau’s article in common dreams:

The top U.N. aid official in the Gaza Strip urged Israel on Friday to ease restrictions on the flow of goods into the conflict-torn territory, saying they were “devastating” for the people.

“It’s wholly and totally inadequate,” John Ging, head of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency in Gaza, said about the amount of goods Israel permits into the territory, where some 1.5 million Palestinians live.

“It’s having a very devastating impact on the physical circumstances and also the mindset of people on the ground,” he said.

Israel says it has opened Gaza’s border to larger amounts of food and medicine since its December-January offensive against Hamas militants who control the Palestinian enclave and were firing rockets against Israeli towns.

The war destroyed some 5,000 homes and, according to figures from a Palestinian rights group, killed over 1,400 people. Around 80 percent of Palestinians are reliant on aid.

Ging said access to goods was still a severe problem.

“We need access,” he said. “It’s the number one issue. It’s the number two issue. It’s the number three issue, and so on. Until we get it, there’s nothing as important as solving the access issue.”

Israel fears opening the borders would allow Hamas to smuggle more weapons and ammunition into the territory.

Ging said that all the crossing points from Israel into the Gaza Strip should be opened, and those that were currently opened in a limited way to only selected people or goods should be fully opened.

In addition to restrictions on what it deems luxury goods, such as cigarettes and chocolates, Israel has blocked entry of materials such as cement and steel for rebuilding because it says they could be used for bunkers and rearming.

those borders have also kept out soap, though apparently this is about to change:

Israel will allow all kinds of soaps and detergents into Gaza as of Tuesday, Deputy of the minister of economy Nasser As-Saraj said on Friday.

Gazan officials were informed of the decision following a near year-long ban on the materials.

of course it is not just about borders being closed and goods restricted. as sherine tadros reports on al jazeera this week, the unexploded ordinances still remain in the land and palestinians are having to remove them by themselves:

other palestinians live with the physical scars of the war, particularly those suffering from the after effects of white phosphorus burns as yusef al helou reports in electronic intifada:

Nearly three months have passed since Israel ended its war and while life has returned to normal for some for many others has left legacies of suffering and sad memories. Sabah Abu Halima who was burnt from head to toe and lost her husband and four children is still in pain and has weekly physiotherapy sessions at Shifa hospital. We visited her at her home in the northern Gaza Strip town of Seyafa about one km from the northern border with Israel. Sabah showed us around her house, which was also burnt as a result of white phosphorus shells that struck the roof of her family’s 16 member home.

She explained that “We had a happy home, I lived in this house in security with my husband and children. I was the happiest person in the world, but all of that changed when on 4 January the Israeli army entered our village and fired two phosphorus shells [that] penetrated our roof and burnt us while we were having our lunch. The fire was like lava, my family was burnt and their bodies turned to crisps.”

The mournful mother who is still unable to walk or talk properly, lost her house when it was completely engulfed in flames from the bombs. Luckily she found a photo of her youngest daughter, Shahad, who was only 15 months old when she was killed. I asked her to comment on this writing, which was left on the wall of her bedroom: “From the Israeli Defense Forces, we are sorry!” She answered that “I demand the whole world and international human rights organizations to sue the killers of my family, they killed so many innocent people who tried to rescue us, what was the guilt of my children and my baby Shahad? Their sorry will not bring back my family, I’m still physiologically and mentally in pain, I can’t even pick up a cup of tea now, my life will never be the same,” Sabah answered with tears in her eyes.

in spite of all of this suffering imran garda’s “focus on gaza” on al jazeera this week shows us how some palestinians in gaza, who are newly refugees, are trying to get back to normal. the focus this week is on education and the incredible obstacles to education here, including in the west bank:

and it is not over. palestinians in gaza remain under attack, particularly fisherman and farmers:

Palestinian medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported on Friday morning that a Palestinian fisherman was mildly injured when the Israel Navy shelled several fishing boats in the Palestinian territorial waters in Gaza.

The sources added that at least three boats were hit by navy fire in the Rafah area, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, and in Al Mawasi, in northern Gaza. Palestinian fishermen have become a frequent target as Israel is barring them from fishing in spite the fact that they are in Palestinian territorial waters.

On Wednesday morning, the Israeli navy attacked a Palestinian fishing boat, kidnapping the four fishermen on board, and taking over the boat. The fishermen, three brothers and a relative were taken to an unknown destination. They were fishing in Palestinian territorial waters near Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

On Monday a young Palestinian fisherman was shot and seriously wounded when the Israeli navy shelled an area in al-Sudaniyya, north-east of Gaza City.

On Tuesday, March 17, one Palestinian civilian was injured when Israeli naval boats opened fire on residents and fishermen who gathered at the beach near the Beit Lahia town.

and from a new blog “farming under fire” discusses what palestinian farmers are up against when trying to farm their land:

A thankfully relatively calm day of farming on Tuesday in the border region near southeastern Khoza’a village, east of Khan Younis. The last time we’d been in Khoza’a, the Israeli soldiers patrolling the border area had opened fire on us within minutes of our arrival, shooting closer than previous times, although it was obvious we were a mixture of elderly farmers and internationals, all unarmed. Hours later, Israeli soldiers shot a young woman, Wafa, from Khoza’a in the kneecap as she surveyed the land where her the ruins of her house –destroyed in Israel’s war on Gaza –lay.

With those memories in mind, we’d returned to Khoza’a warily, aware of the Israeli soldiers fondness for shooting at civilians, but more aware that the Palestinian farmers were determined to harvest their crops: lentils and squash.
It was too late for the squash, which were meant to be small and green but which had over-grown and over-ripened because farmers had been afraid to harvest them weeks earlier.

“Kuulo kharbaan,” one of the women said when I asked whether they could be saved: they’re all ruined.

Tariq, a young man studying at university who was also serving as a coordinator for the area’s farmers and us, explained the financial loss. There were about 4 dunams of land, on which about 15 cases of squash had grown. Each case was roughly 11 kilos in weight. The squash should have sold for 8 shekels/kilo (roughly $2). Had the harvest been done, the plot of land would have yielded over $300. But it was all ruined, kharbaan. The farmers, mostly elderly women, with a few of their younger male relatives helping, picked lentils swiftly, still wary of potential shooting.

After nearly an hour of picking, two jeeps patrolling the region stopped for about 20 minutes, watching. Some shots were fired a few hundred metres further south from our group, but thankfully that day the soldiers didn’t go further.
The rest of the morning went quickly and successfully [allowing, even, for some practise of Dabke steps during the calm harvesting], a small miracle in a Strip of siege and war manufactured tragedies.

this week there was also a report released about palestinian farmers not allowed to access their farm land because it is in the so-called “buffer zone”:

Gaza’s battered agricultural sector has the capacity to recover but only if there is access to the buffer zone, and only if Gaza’s commercial crossings are fully opened, according to a recent UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report on Gaza.

FAO says the area inside the buffer zone along the northern and eastern borders with Israel contains nearly a third of Gaza’s arable land, but it has been inaccessible to farmers, residents and UN agencies since 27 December 2008 (when Israel launched a 23-day assault on Gaza in retaliation for continued Hamas rocket-fire from Gaza into Israel).

and then, of course, there are just the targeted murders that palestinians suffer from on a daily basis such as today in jabaliya:

Palestinian medical sources confirmed the death of two Palestinians from Khan Younis Refugee Camp in the southern Gaza Strip. Medical crews evacuated the two from the northern Strip to Kamal Udwan Hospital.

Israeli forces reported killing the two earlier Saturday, saying they were “attempting to infiltrate” the Kfar Azza Kibbutz near the electronic fence border area in the northern Gaza Strip Saturday morning.

The men were identified as 23-year-old Muhammad Al-Hamayda and 26-year-old Jamil Quffa.

all of these attacks continue unabated. no one says anything. none of those big powers at nato. no one. any wonder why people are protesting? if you read my post yesterday you know about the amnesty international report about americans and germans working together to make sure israeli terrorists have more weapons. and yet these nato imperial regimes wish to make sure palestinians cannot “smuggle” any weapons with which to resist and defend themselves. adam morrow and khaled moussa al-omrani reported on this scheme for ips:

Nine NATO member states agreed last month to utilise naval, intelligence and diplomatic resources to combat the alleged flow of arms into the Gaza Strip. Some Egyptian commentators see the move as a surreptitious means of cementing foreign control over the region.

“These new protocols aren’t really about halting arms smuggling,” Tarek Fahmi, political science professor at Cairo University and head of the Israel desk at the Cairo-based National Centre for Middle East Studies, told IPS. “Rather, they aim to establish foreign control over the region’s strategic border crossings and maritime ports.”

On Mar. 13, a major conference was held in London aimed at “coordinating efforts” to stop alleged arms smuggling – by land or sea – into the Gaza Strip, governed by Palestinian resistance faction Hamas. Participants at the conference included high-level representatives from nine member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), including the U.S., Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Italy and Norway.

At the close of the event, participants signed an agreement “to develop an effective framework for international cooperation, supplementary to measures taken by regional states, to prevent and interdict the illicit flow of arms, ammunition and weapons components to Gaza.”

According to a final statement, participant governments hope to accomplish these objectives with the use of a series of measures, including “maritime interception, information sharing and diplomatic pressure.” The international community “has a responsibility to support prevention and interdiction efforts,” the statement reads, noting that such efforts may involve “diplomatic, military, intelligence and law enforcement components.”

on racism and prisons

i just finished composing a letter for a friend in gaza who is applying for a visa to speak in the united kingdom about besieged gaza. he had been invited last month, too, but the british consulate in al quds denied him a visa because they didn’t believe he’d return home after his lecture tour. it struck me as i was writing the letter that i felt like i was writing on behalf of a friend who was in prison. (okay, yes, gaza is a prison and that is the point.) as i wrote words and phrases kept popping into my mind like “flight risk,” phrases one uses to describe someone who is undeserving of bail. someone who deserves to be locked up. and as i wrote the other night about his online visa application, the questions about one’s criminality on the british visa application are certainly geared more towards excluding israeli terrorist war criminals who fall into the categories of having committed “war crimes” or who practice state terrorism. but the racism of the british system makes it such that it is palestinians whose travel gets excluded, who remain in the gaza jail.

nathalie abou shakra posted videos today of the damage done by israeli terrorists to palestinian fishermen in gaza waters. this is another element of the prison: fisherman can’t fish. or if they do they risk their lives or their boats which are necessary for their livelihood:

These are some footage comrades George from Greece, Andrew from Scotland and I took of the shootings yesterday and today of the fishermen’s boats. One of the fishermen, Alaa el Habil, from the Shati’ camp, was wounded in the leg before yesterday, and a boat arrived to the port of Gaza yesterday as we were there, of which was targeted by the Israelis…

The fishermen were given a limit of 20miles before the Oslo accords, then it diminished to 12, then 6 miles during the siege, then 3 miles now… it is impossible to catch good fish, a variety, and a good quantity within such a limit.This is especially devastating for the fishermen whose lives depend on fishing… whose families cannot survive without an income from this.

unlike other prisons, the gaza prison keeps people out and locks people up inside. this is one of the many reasons why it is so difficult for aid to get inside gaza:

Israel says 453 trucks entered Gaza 18-23 January, but only about half of them carried humanitarian aid – not nearly enough for 1.5 million Gazans, say UN agencies and international aid groups.

“The donors and the general public have mobilised from all over the world but the aid is stuck outside Gaza,” said John Ging, head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza.

Of the 100-120 trucks permitted to enter per day, some 37-40 are for UNRWA, about half are for commercial goods such as meat and nappies, and the remainder are for other aid agencies, said Ging, who pointed out that before June 2007 Israel permitted 500-600 trucks to enter daily.

and this is why aid workers are even protesting because they are kept from getting inside gaza:

Aid agencies have been protesting about their restricted access to Gaza since the 18 January ceasefire, stressing that the full opening of crossing points is crucial for the delivery of humanitarian aid.

“It is unacceptable that staff of international aid agencies with expertise in emergency response are still not given full access into Gaza, and that the crossings are not fully operational for humanitarian and commercial goods,” said Charles Clayton, chair of the Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA), which includes 75 agencies.

here is an al jazeera report on the aid situation and the challenges posed to those sending it to gaza:

and this is why the tunnels are so vital for palestinians in gaza, why they must remain open and why it is so devastating when israeli terrorists bomb them as they did last night (see fayyad’s post on kabobfest for the racist response among israeli terrorists egging on renewed bombing in ha’aretz):

Israel says the attacks on the Rafah tunnels are aimed at stopping alleged weapons smuggling into the Gaza Strip by Hamas fighters.

The tunnels are also used to smuggle food, fuel and consumer goods from Egypt and are considered a life-line for thousands of ordinary Gazans.

there are other ways this gaza prison functions to keep people locked up, including those needing life-saving medical treatment outside gaza as jonathan cook reports:

For four days running, an ambulance has driven 15-year-old Amira Ghirim from Shifa Hospital in Gaza to the Rafah border in the hope that she will be allowed to cross into Egypt and then on to France, where she has been promised emergency surgery.

Amira’s left arm and thigh were crushed and her internal organs damaged by falling rubble when a shell hit her home in the Tel al Hawa neighbourhood of Gaza City in the final days of Israel’s offensive. The attack killed her father, brother and sister, leaving her an orphan.

But, despite her urgent need for surgery, Amira has been turned away at the border each time, said her aunt, Mona Ghirim. “Each morning we arrived at the crossing and the Egyptian soldiers cursed us and told us to go away.”

Ms Ghirim said Amira’s condition has been deteriorating because of the long periods out of hospital. Yesterday, after hearing news that the border would remain shut, they decided to abandon the journey. “She is very ill and these futile trips are not helping.”

Amira is one of four children who have been offered potentially life-saving surgery by a team of doctors in France. But she and the other children appear to be victims of a bureaucratic wrangle involving the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and Egypt.

but of course the biggest culprit, at the root of this conflict, is always the israeli terrorists. to be sure, they have far too many partners in their war crimes, but their crimes are at the center, which are fueled by their racism. just check out this graffiti from the inside of palestinian homes in zeitoun, gaza:

israeli terrorist graffiti
israeli terrorist graffiti
israeli terrorist graffiti
israeli terrorist graffiti

this is not isolated racism (also see eva bartlett’s newest post for more photographs, films, and descriptions of racist graffiti and destruction in gaza). anyone who saw inside lebanese homes in south lebanon after the israeli terrorist invasion in 2006 saw the same kind of graffiti (though we also found many homes where they also shat on the living room floor, on beds, in pots and pans). rampant, just look at how yigal bronner and neve gordon describe what israeli terrorists chant at futball games:

Israeli soccer matches were suspended during the assault on Gaza. When the games resumed last week, the fans had come up with a new chant: “Why have the schools in Gaza been shut down?” sang the crowd. “Because all the children were gunned down!” came the answer.

Aside from its sheer barbarism, this chant reflects the widespread belief among Israeli Jews that Israel scored an impressive victory in Gaza – a victory measured, not least, by the death toll.

for the record, i’m told that the old chant is “death to arabs.”

likewise the racism of the israeli terrorist army’s chief rabbi, avichay rontzki, has magnified this racism by producing a booklet from the army’s “jewish awareness department” as jacky rowland reports on al jazeera:

supposedly rontzki was “severely reprimanded” today (in israeli terrorist terms, this means he was treated to a bottle of champagne).

but there are other ways racism works internally here in palestine and in the region. sometimes it is also militarized as when the lebanese army besieged the palestinian nahr el bared refugee camp in the summer of 2007. until now only a small fraction of the palestinians from this camp have been allowed to return to it. those who live there now and who are working to rebuild their lives with little help from the outside world, including the lebanese government, live in a prison, too. one cannot get inside without permission from the army–this applies to those who live there and those who wish to visit their friends and loved ones who live there. now the rumors of a lebanese naval base which have circulated for over a year now appear to be valid and in response the people of the camp wrote an open letter to prime minister fouad siniora, which reads in part:

Mr. Prime Minister and Ministers,

You, who are opposed to the siege of Gaza and the crazy war launched on it, why don’t you support this same people [the Palestinian] in Lebanon by granting it a dignified existence without military constraints and laws prohibiting the right to work or own or even bequeath property to one’s descendants.

We thought we were partners and refused to believe in a conspiracy theory that claimed the destruction of the camp was intended to allow for the building of naval and land military bases. However, we have no choice but offer a negative reading of the situation of inhumanity and humiliation we live in.

Having expressed our opinion and spoken of our reality and the unbearable conditions being forced upon us, we shall assume that you are now aware of it. And so we kindly urge you to review the condition of this camp and to remove all military manifestations on its ground. We also urge you to remove the barbed wire and barriers and to facilitate the movement of people and the return of normal civilian life to its former state.

We also hope that you revisit the decisions issued in relation to Nahr al-Bared camp after its destruction in light of the difficult times that all Palestinians are going through, and we beseech you to place military and naval bases far from Palestinian and Lebanese schools and neighborhoods.

there is also the kind of racism here in palestine of a more personal level. i ate lunch yesterday with an african palestinian colleague who is originally from yaffa. he lived in the u.s. for a while and was comparing the racism there to the racism here. he was telling me that here he has been unable to find a wife because he is darker in complexion than other palestinians and as a result no family, as of yet, has allowed him to marry their daughter. racism, unfortunately, is universal. for those who are unaware, there is a community of african palestinians who live all over palestine, including al quds:

Currently some forty African Palestinian families live inside the old city, many of whom reside within 50 feet of the center. Upon talking with Adam, the center’s young director, one gets a sense of how proud the community is of its identity. “Many of our ancestors were pious Muslims who came from across Africa to defend Al-Aqsa from military conquest,” I was told by Adam and others in the center. “They stayed and married and their children grew up here. “We are as Palestinian as anyone else but we also remember and our proud of where are great grandfathers came from and sometimes visit or stay in touch with our other family members in Africa.” Aside from the various wars which brought Muslims from Africa to safeguard the sanctity of its Muslim Holy Sites, other Africans settled in Palestine after spiritual pilgrimages to the land’s various holy sites, including of course the Al Aqsa Mosque.

Many Palestinian Africans have heroically managed to retain their presence in this incredibly important and highly symbolic space even while the oppressive closure policies of the Israelis makes life increasingly difficult in all kinds of ways. “They don’t want us to live,” said one of the community leaders. “They go around telling the world that we are savages and want to kill them all. This is ridiculous. Here I am telling you that I am Muslim, Palestinian and African and I have no problem living peacefully with the Jewish community and I condemn suicide bombings. But these people don’t even give us a chance. They make life impossible because they want us to leave Jerusalem but we will never leave. We will die here before we leave.” The sprawling growth of Israeli settler housing outside and within Jerusalem’s Old City seems to be in line with a policy that the city’s old Israeli mayor ten years ago dubbed as the “Judaization of Jerusalem.” The harsh realities of a population under military occupation punctuate the daily lives of these Palestinians who are often cut off from being visited or supported by Palestinians elsewhere in the West Bank or Gaza. Many of the first and second generation leaders of this community like most Palestinians have spent considerable time languishing in Israeli jails for offenses as minor as being rumored to have been at a protest.

my colleague and i continued our discussion about racism in the united states and the way it works on the state level, too. this is seen most clearly in the discourse about the closure of guantánamo as mickey z reports on dissident voice:

Waiting a year to close a single prison is nothing to celebrate. Transferring those illegally detained humans is not change anyone can believe in. Public promises about not torturing have been heard before and even if we could trust such dubious assurances, why are we so goddamned appreciative when a US president merely declares his theoretical intention to think about adhering to fundamental international law?

The Chairman of Change has made no secret of how he wholeheartedly adores the bogus war on terror. Closing Gitmo (an act which still falls squarely into the believe-it-when-you-see-it category) is at best a strategic sidestep by a cautious and calculating new president.

A related New York Times piece began oh-so-cleverly: “Is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed coming to a prison near you?” In the Jan. 24, 2009 article—“Guantánamo Detainees? Not in My State,”—journalists (sic) Mark Mazzetti and Scott Shane wrung their hands over the 245 remaining inmates being “released into quiet neighborhoods across the United States.” It’s illustrative of the utter depravity we tolerate as normal in the home of the brave that war criminals like Henry Kissinger, Madeleine Albright, Dick Cheney, Wesley Clark, Colin Powell, Bill Clinton, etc. etc. walk freely among us while the newspaper of record preys on gullible readers with sensationalism and xenophobic fear mongering.

In that same Times article, Mazzetti and Shane inadvertently offered another manifestation of America’s cultural rot when they mentioned a discussion of reopening San Francisco’s Alcatraz Prison specifically for the assumed terrorists detained (illegally) at Gitmo. But a spokesman for California Senator Diane Feinstein was quick to clarify that Alcatraz was a “national park and tourist attraction, not a functioning prison,” and that the senator “does not consider it a suitable place to house detainees.”

americans seem to be oblivious to the racist/xenophobic discourse surrounding the closure of guantánamo: where are the reparations? why is it that these men who have been illegally detained for years now are not being offered u.s. citizenship? why are they being forced to seek refuge elsewhere when the united states is responsible for their detention and torture over the last several years?

but this is how the u.s. treats its own prisoners, too. american indian movement leader and political prisoner leonard peltier, who should have been pardoned decades ago was recently beaten up in canaan federal penitentiary:

I am so OUTRAGED! My brother Leonard was severely beaten upon his arrival at the Canaan Federal Penitentiary. When he went into population after his transfer, some inmates assaulted him. The severity of his injuries is that he suffered numerous blows to his head and body, receiving a large bump on his head, possibly a concussion, and numerous bruises. Also, one of his fingers is swollen and discolored, and he has pain in his chest and ribcage. There was blood everywhere from his injuries.

Write to your congressional representatives, and write or e-mail President Obama to call on them to insure that Leonard is receiving medical attention for his injuries.

We feel that prison authorities at the prompting of the FBI orchestrated this attack and thus, we are greatly concerned about his safety. It may be that the attackers, whom Leonard did not even know, were offered reduced sentences for carrying out this heinous assault. Since Leonard is up for parole soon, this could be a conspiracy to discredit a model prisoner.

He was placed in solitary confinement and only given one meal. This is generally done when you won’t name your attackers; incidentally, being only given one meal seriously jeopardizes his health because of his diabetes. Prison officials refuse to release any info to the family, but they need to hear from his supporters to protect his safety, as does President Obama. His attorneys are trying to get calls into him now.

if you want to help peltier here is what you can do:

Call Canaan Federal Prison at 570-488-8000 to register your concern that Leonard was severely beaten and to ask what steps are being taken to insure his safety and take care of his medical needs. You must give Leonard’s prison identification number–89637-132–to have your call recorded.

and this is not an isolated case either. racism and the prison industrial complex go hand in hand in the u.s. jordan flaherty recently reported on torture used in angola prison in louisiana:

The torture of prisoners in U.S. custody is not only found in military prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo. If President Obama is serious about ending U.S. support for torture, he can start here in Louisiana.

The Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola is already notorious for a range of offenses, including keeping former Black Panthers Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox in solitary for over 36 years. Now a death penalty trial in St. Francisville, Louisiana, has exposed widespread and systemic abuse at the prison. Even in the context of eight years of the Bush administration, the behavior documented at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola stands out both for its brutality and for the significant evidence that it was condoned and encouraged from the very top of the chain of command.

In a remarkable hearing that explored torture practices at Angola, 25 inmates testified last summer to facing overwhelming violence in the aftermath of an escape attempt at the prison nearly a decade ago. These 25 inmates – who were not involved in the escape attempt – testified to being kicked, punched, beaten with batons and with fists, stepped on, left naked in a freezing cell and threatened that they would be killed. They were threatened by guards that they would be sexually assaulted with batons. They were forced to urinate and defecate on themselves. They were bloodied, had teeth knocked out, were beaten until they lost control of bodily functions and beaten until they signed statements or confessions presented to them by prison officials. One inmate had a broken jaw, and another was placed in solitary confinement for eight years.

all of this racism of the u.s. mixed with israeli terrorism and their war crimes, prison and torture systems make for great partners in crime it would seem. michael hureaux perez draws out some of these connections in the black agenda report:

There is the reality of the working class world, which is the reality of the Gaza Strip, and the urban black working class reality of Sean Bell, murdered on his wedding day by New York City cops, and Oscar Grant, who was murdered by the Oakland Transit cops on New Year’s Day. The Gaza Strip is the reality of the inner city in the United States, writ large.

Then there is the pseudo-reality of race and class justice that the corporate sponsors of Barack Obama – and his programmatic petty boojwah supporters of whatever racial and class background – want us all to absorb. Well, I been there, and I done that. Only back in my starry-eyed youth, Barack Obama was named David Dinkins, or Norm Rice, or Coleman Young (reservation cops all), or some other sad clown who was arrogant enough to run interference for a ruling class so venal and crazy it doesn’t even care that its ass is on fire. And it doesn’t take a stellar political economist to realize that if the problems of race and class or workplace and cultural empowerment can’t get solved at the regional level using the political schematics of the capitalist system, those problems sure as hell aren’t going to get solved at the national level by a charming rogue who uses the same schematic. Trust me on this, even as the trumpet and rose petal spectacle of the inaugural continues to ring in our ears: Obama’s United States is still the Western Imperium, which means it’s the tyranny of race, class and commodity, but now it’s parading at the national level in blackface. (Talk about stale ideas!)

again and again (as opposed to the zionist mantra “never again”)

Palestinian children attend their first day of class in over a month inside a tent erected beside the ruins of their destroyed school in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah. (Wissam Nassar, Maan Images)
Palestinian children attend their first day of class in over a month inside a tent erected beside the ruins of their destroyed school in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah. (Wissam Nassar, Maan Images)

i spent the better part of the last couple of days copy editing a new report for badil entitled “ending forced displacement in the occupied palestinian territory: response assessment to situations of internal displacement in the opt; towards the implementation of a comprehensive, predicable and accountable response to situations of internal displacement.” the issue of internally displaced people (idps) in palestine is a really important subject and one that does not get enough attention. this is also a really complicated subject because many times those who are displaced are already refugees, registered with unrwa. there are so many layers of multiple displacements in palestine–and also in 1948 palestine, in gaza, in the west bank, in lebanon, in iraq, in jordan, in syria. there are so many layers of ethnic cleansing and forced displacement that the words we normally use to describe these forced migrations are no longer adequate. the word refugee/idp applied to palestinians who were ethnically cleansed from palestine, who then lived in tel al-za’atar refugee camp in lebanon and those who survived the massacre there by the lebanese forces in 1976 moved to nahr el bared refugee camp in lebanon, who were then assaulted by the lebanese army in 2007 and most of whom, until now are still displaced. likewise most of the palestinians in gaza are refugees who are now idps as well because of the recent israeli terrorist massacre in gaza; some of these people were also idps more than once before. we need a new word for this perpetual state of seeking refuge, this perpetual state of fleeing massacres. again and again and again.

two of the areas discussed in the report i edited are in gaza. the first is um al nasser and the second is al shoka. i haven’t really read many reports about these areas during the recent siege. many of the palestinians living in these two areas were refugees in 1948 and many of them are bedouin. in um al nasser 2,500 people come from yibna and rubin in 1948 palestine. they were displaced within the gaza strip in the 1990s by the palestinian authority so they could build a housing project called sheikh zayed for needy families. they were removed to a dangerous and unsanitary area near jabaliya refugee camp where they live in the line of fire of israeli terrorists on a regular basis as well as sewage run off from the beit lahiya treatment plant. they live through regular, nightly incursions by israeli terrorists. in 2007 due to the flooding of an emergency basin 1,450 people were displaced yet again.

al shoka is an area in gaza in which many bedouins from bir saba’ were forcibly removed during an nakba. 12,00 palestinians live in al shoka and 79% of them are refugees. during the july war in 2006 israeli terrorists invaded al shoka and ordered the eviction of the people who live there. yet again. the israeli terrorists told them that they had to leave or they would be shot. 3,433 people were forced to seek refuge in unrwa schools in rafah. al shoka was invaded 3 times that month. 17 people, including 5 children, were murdered. many of these families included farmers and 1,500 dunums of their farmland was demolished by israeli terrorists. olive groves, grapes, and almond trees were uprooted. 50 greenhouses were destroyed and 15 were damaged. and, during the invasion, 280 of their homes were destroyed. all but 21 of those houses belonged to refugees. yet again.

in response to the war in 2006 there was familiar rhetoric from john ging and the then-head of the united nations kofi annan:

“The [UN] Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said there is a need for accountability for the IDF’s actions, particularly those against civilians. We on the ground are saying that the cost to civilians, the death, the destruction of livelihoods, is massive. The question is there – is this proportionate?” asked Ging.

in the current context this was all i could find about al shoka:

UNRWA reopened two PHC centres. Three out of 18 remain closed: the Elshouka and Zaitoun centres were closed after IDF instructed people living in an adjacent building to evacuate prior to bombardment, while a centre in Beit Hanoun was closed due to being in a high risk area.

and this is all i could find on um al nasser, from save the children:

The agency delivered food parcels containing two-week supplies for households of up to ten people in Khan Younis, Middle Camp and Rafah in the south. In the north, 100 families in the Bedouin camp of Um Al Nasser received 100 food parcels.

Donkey carts were used to deliver food parcels in Um Al Nasser because truck drivers were afraid to venture to the area in their vehicles.

i’m sure as testimonies are collected stories about the families’ multiple displacements from al shoka and um al nasser will emerge. stories are always surfacing about palestinian forced exile and multiple displacements, like this one by sumia ibrahim in electronic intifada:

“We wanted the Arab troops to fight so we could return to our home in Jaffa and return to our lives. We saw Arab troops around and we would ask them, ‘Why are you here? Why aren’t you fighting?’ They responded, ‘We don’t have the orders to fight.’ We would see Arab troops spending their whole days at the public baths, so we used to have a rhyme that went ‘There aren’t orders for the battlefield, but there are orders for the bath.'” Tata smiles briefly then adds soberly, “We realized this wouldn’t be over quickly.”

“We stayed for two months in Nablus. We decided for our family’s safety, for our daughters, we had to leave the country until we got it back. Your grandfather was working for an English pharmaceutical company called Evans, in the advertising department. They had a branch in Baghdad too. He arranged to transfer his position to Baghdad. He had a friend in Iraq in the Foreign Ministry, a man who sent him translated articles for free gave us Iraqi passports. So we tied all of our things up on the top of a taxi and drove to Amman. It was very expensive, it cost us 40 dinars. From Amman we went to Baghdad.”

“On our way to Baghdad we saw many pick up trucks with Palestinian refugees in the back. They were coming from villages that had been massacred or destroyed, taken by Iraqi troops to Baghdad. They traveled all that way under the hot sun, with nothing above them to provide shade. I would see them throwing up out of the back of the trucks, getting sick from the heat. They were taken to ‘Tobchee,’ a neighborhood with government housing, and received assistance from the Iraqi government.” Tata explained that these refugees, the ones that were able to resettle in Iraq, were the lucky ones.

Many Palestinians ended up in refugee camps in squalid circumstances, both “internally” in what came to be known as the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and externally in Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. Many Palestinian refugees faced hostility from their government hosts, but in some countries such as Lebanon, they held and still hold practically no rights amid systematic policies of discrimination towards refugees.

Tata begins to describe the hardships her family faced as refugees in a foreign country. “At first, when we got to Baghdad, we stayed in the best hotel. It was paid for by Evans. But after that, things didn’t work out with their branch in Baghdad. They paid your grandfather two months salary then let him go. We were very worried. But he heard from other Palestinians that Arab Bank was opening a branch in Baghdad. He got a job there as a teller for a very low wage. His manager loaned him money to support his family. Eventually he was promoted to be a manager.”

“Your grandfather started working as a translator as well, translating books and articles from English to Arabic. He was always working. He worked two or three jobs to support us all. He got very sick. He was tired all the time and complained of pain, but he still had to work.” Tata explained that he grew up as a farmer in a small Palestinian village, Budrus, and spent his entire life engaged in relentless hard work in an attempt to advance his family’s circumstances.

Upon visiting Budrus in 2006, I was told stories of my grandfather’s determination for advancement. He used to place his feet in a pot of icy water, I was told, to keep himself alert as he studied. He used to stand on a chair with his head in a noose that hung from the ceiling while he studied through the night, motivating himself not fall asleep. “He was a great man,” people exclaimed to me. With his father, he built the first girls’ school in the village and went door to door convincing parents to allow their daughters to go to school. He also walked miles daily to a nearby town in order to attend high school, and taught himself to be proficient in English. I understood his desire for upward mobility upon seeing the house that he spent his early childhood in. He lived in a small, cobbled stone structure, the first floor of which was a stable that housed animals and the second floor of which was used for residence. It was entirely empty except for a hole in the wall where blankets were stored.

Tata recalls how my grandfather dreamed of building a large home in Baghdad for all of his children and their families, dreamed of meals together filled with enthusiastic conversation and laughter. Yet this dream died with the rise of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship, and the beginning of what would be an eight year war with Iran, sending many in the family to live elsewhere. This double displacement weighed on him and Tata.

“We had to leave Palestine,” Tata said, “then our family began leaving Iraq. We were spread across the world. Your grandfather was tired. He used to come home and say ‘I just want to go back to Palestine and die there.’ He would say, ‘maybe one day my children will be able to go back.’ He died wishing to return.”

it is difficult to get such stories out to the mainstream media in the west. israeli terrorist propaganda wields too much power as avi shlaim points out:

Over the last four weeks the powerful Israeli propaganda machine has been churning out lie after lie about Hamas in order to excuse its own inexcusable onslaught. Israel stopped journalists going into Gaza, preventing any independent reporting on the war crimes its forces were committing. Truth is usually the first casualty in war. Gaza was not even a war in the conventional sense of the word; it was one-sided carnage.

and it works, unfortunately, in the united kingdom where the bbc is proving itself to be so completely tied to zionists that it refuses, still, to air a charity advertisement for the disasters emergency committee (dec):

The BBC came under renewed pressure yesterday to broadcast an emergency appeal for Gaza on behalf of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) after it received more than 10,000 complaints about its refusal to show the film.

today sky news joined the zionist media ranks with the bbc in refusing to air the commercial:

Sky News today joined the BBC in refusing to broadcast an emergency appeal for Gaza as the corporation faced renewed pressure from the public and MPs to show the film.

John Ryley, head of Sky News, said screening the appeal, by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), would compromise the network’s impartiality.

for those of you who buy into the argument that they are trying to be “neutral” here is just one example of their hypocrisy as jinan bastaki explains:

Unfortunately, the BBC’s claims do not hold in the least. In 2006, the BBC broadcast an appeal for Darfur and Chad, stating at the beginning that the UN had deemed it the worst humanitarian crisis and concluding that “The crisis is by no means over, the violence in Darfur showing no sign of reaching an end, many people remain uprooted and reliant on international aid.” In 2008, the BBC’s Congo Appeal introduction stated that “Imagine being in such fear of your life that you have no choice but to leave home, uproot your family and flee.” Strange that no one thought that this would risk the BBC’s impartiality. Like Darfur and Chad, Gaza is a man-made catastrophe in which civilians are bearing the brunt of the hostilities. Making their situation even more precarious, Palestinians in Gaza are living under a strangling blockade and are not allowed to leave even for medical treatment.


you can watch the commercial on the guardian’s website.
clearly all british media doesn’t serve the zionist master.

but of course in spite of all this you can still donate to dec via their website and show the bbc and sky news that they cannot keep us from supporting palestinians and delivering humanitarian aid to palestinians in gaza.

viva-palestine

there are protests around the u.k. targeting the bbc in any case. i suspect sky news will be next. and cambridge university is the next british institution to launch a blog to chronicle their occupation of their university in solidarity with the palestinians in gaza.

in the u.s. the cbs news program 60 minutes aired a segment with correspondent bob simon on palestine, and although it focuses on the west bank, it gives you a glimpse into some of the overall context, though it does not discuss palestinian refugees at all. it shows the current problem of forced displacement and ethnic cleansing through house demolition and it shows you the rhetoric of israeli terrorists boasting about their desire to continue their ethnic cleansing project:

the above film also gives you some idea of the sort of siege that people in nablus experience, especially those families whose homes are commandeered by israeli terrorists. meanwhile in nablus ma’an news posted an article today about the suspected culprit in the bombing of my colleague abdel sattar qasim’s car the other day:

A previously unknown Palestinian group calling itself the “Gaza Martyrs Brigades” claimed on Monday to have vandalized and destroyed the car of An-Najah professor of political science Abed As-Sattar Qasim….

The group released a statement describing Dr Qasim as a “mouthpiece for the Iranian and the Syrian regimes.”

The statement accused the professor of “urging students to stage a coup against the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah and against members of the Palestine Liberation Organization.” The statement further alleged that Qasim “calls on Hamas affiliates to assault Fatah loyalists in the Gaza Strip.”

The unknown group then threatened “Hamas figures in Nablus,” saying that if they remain silent towards the attacks on Fatah affiliates in the Gaza Strip, they will be considered partners in the attacks.

this article makes no sense, really, if you know the context. as i mentioned yesterday, abdel sattar identifies as someone who is independent of political parties. this is what makes him so amazing: he supports things that even hamas doesn’t support given their rhetoric about the two-state khara solution. he is anti-normalization and refuses to recognize the israeli terrorist state, something that at times hamas has seemed wiling to do, though thankfully they haven’t yet. but the other thing is that the journalist, samer huwairah, who put abdel sattar on camera the other night, which may have triggered the car bombing, is now in a palestinian authority jail:

Members of the preventive security apparatus in the West Bank, loyal to former PA chief Mahmoud Abbas, on Sunday detained Samer Khuwaira, the correspondent of the Quds TV channel in Nablus.

Relatives of the reporter said that that the preventive security elements arrived at the channel’s office in Nablus on Thursday and questioned Khuwaira on his work and his channel and left.

However, on Saturday the preventive security summoned Khuwaira to its headquarters and he did not return since then.

but there is good news today that i must report as always with rania in mind. first, the economic downturn in the u.s. is affecting caterpillar as 20,000 jobs will be cut. the reason why this is good news is that there has been a boycott campaign against caterpillar for several years now as they are the company producing the bulldozers that destroy palestinian homes and farmlands again and again and again.

in other boycott news a group of canadian professors have joined the boycott campaign and issued a statement:

We are a group of teachers and employees at Quebec colleges and universities who stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people, and with the people of Gaza who have suffered through the Israeli siege as targets of Israel’s brutal military attack. It will take more than ceasefires to bring a just and lasting peace in Palestine and Israel. We are acting in response to an appeal for support issued January 2, 2009 by the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees. In the wake of the Israeli bombing of the Islamic University of Gaza, the Federation of Unions has urged academics around the world to support a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

and some israeli professors are doing a micro-protest to keep a leading israeli terrorist from teaching on their campus:

Professors at Tel Aviv University are protesting a decision to appoint Col. Pnina Sharvit-Baruch as a lecturer for the Faculty of Law.

The objections come in the wake of a recent story published in Haaretz about Sharvit-Baruch, who heads the Israel Defense Forces international law division.

The report said that under Sharvit-Baruch’s command, IDF legal experts legitimized strikes involving Gaza civilians, including the bombardment of the Gaza police course closing ceremony.

Sharvit-Baruch is planning on retiring from the army in the coming months and is scheduled to teach at the university’s law department next semester.

also adalah new york is spearheading an economic boycott of israel campaign and they’ve got a lovely flyer you can dowload and a list of companies to boycott.

and today inside higher education finally published something about the boycott campaign, though of course, they had to waste space with zionists whining about academic freedom for israeli terrorists:

The movement to boycott Israeli academic institutions has largely been centered in Britain (where in 2007 the University and College Union dropped the call). In response to the conflict in Gaza, calls for academic boycotts have crossed the Atlantic, surfacing first in Ontario, and now in the United States.

okay enough for today. i must sleep for a few hours before i get up to teach again…

blaming the victims in gaza

carlos latuff
carlos latuff

i am not one to blame the victims in any situation. this is, of course, what israeli terrorists’ propaganda does. the story that has been playing over and over and over again in my head all day long is that of ahmed samouni. i cannot get this boy’s face, his words, his story out of my head, nor do i want to. i have seen him interviewed by sherene tadros on al jazeera in an excellent report (posted below), but here is the story in its textual version as well:

Ahmed Samouni witnessed what many are calling a massacre, after being left for days amidst the dead bodies of his mother and four brothers.

The horror that the 16-year-old has seen is hard for him to put into words, but the effects are written all over his face.

“It was the third missile I remember. The other ones had killed my elder brother and injured people, they kept bleeding. But the third missile, that killed them all,” he said.

“My brother was bleeding so much and right in front of my eyes he died. My other brother Ismail, he also bled to death,” he narrated in between sobs.

“My mum and my youngest brother, they are gone. Four brothers and my mother, dead. May God give them peace.”

On January 7, paramedics brought back the dead and injured from the Samouni and other houses nearby, after they had spent four days trapped in their home.

According to the survivors’ accounts, partly corroborated by the International Red Cross and the United Nations, Israeli soldiers raided their homes and then huddled the extended family together into one house.

The following day they shelled and dropped missiles around the house.

Witnesses say at least 30 members of the Samouni family were killed.

“We were put in an ambulance, but there were still people inside the house, dead and injured,” Ahmed told Al Jazeera. “For days we all bled. We were so hungry; I remember giving my brother Isaac a tomato to eat before he died.”

Al Jazeera tracked down the ambulance driver who rescued Ahmed. The Red Cross were denied access by the Israeli army to the area for four days after the house was shelled.

“On the day we got permission, the army told us to leave the ambulances around two kilometres from the house,” said Mohamed el-Halby, a paramedic. “So we walked and all around us we could see they had bulldozered the area. The houses we passed had Israeli soldiers standing on the roofs.”

“We went inside and heard screams coming from one room. There were about 15 people inside, two were dead, the rest sitting around them. That was just one room.”

Six year-old Abdullah was trapped inside the same house as Ahmed, surrounded by his dead cousins and uncles. Terrified and distraught he struggled to speak.

He said they only had tomatoes to eat, and when asked what happened to his family, he said they were there, in front of him, dead. All he could do was just look at them.

Wael, Abdullah’s father, escaped on the first day of the Israeli raid. For four days he thought his son was dead.

“I didn’t know what to do, I still don’t…look at him he is so ill, they are all terrified,” Wael said.

“He cries all the time. His shoulder is hurt and it has infection but he cant stand the smell, he cries when he looks and smells his wounds. And his leg, look. I want to take him out of Gaza for treatment and I want to be able to go back to the house and get the rest of my family so that I can bury them.”

Al Jazeera tried to get to the family’s house, in an area called Zeitoun, but it wasn’t safe.

The closest one could get was about one kilometre away, and journalists, paramedics and aid workers need Israeli army permission to get to the area.

what is the israeli terrorist response to this massacre? it is to blame the victim:

Israel has accused Hamas of using civilians as human shields and has said militants have fired rockets from rooftops of homes and mosques.

Mark Regev, an Israeli government spokesman, said: “Israel wants to see no harm to the children of Gaza. On the contrary, we would like to see their children and our children grow up without the fear of violence. Until now, Hamas has deliberately prevented that from becoming reality.”

the problem with israeli terrorist mark regev is that he lies; he is incapable of telling the truth. mind you he is not in gaza and has not seen the truth and will not allow human rights workers and journalists inside to see the truth, but nevertheless claims to have an answer that he promotes as “the truth.” the reality is not only precisely the opposite–it is 100% the fault of israeli terrorists–but also his fabrication of the truth blames the victims–not just hamas but families like the samouni family who are suffering beyond our imagination as a result of israeli terrorism.

of course this is something i have been thinking a lot about because israeli terrorists ALWAYS blame the victim. every f^%$#(&* day. but i started wondering today about this practice of blaming the victim. because it really seems to me like israeli terrorists have another fringe benefit from their massacre of palestinians in gaza: it enables them to play the role of victim yet again. you see, zionism is dependent upon jews being the only victims, the ur-victims, the victims who have suffered in a way that no one else can compare–not rwandans, not sudanese, not bosnians, not the congolese, and certainly not palestinians. this is how they articulate their colonial project in palestine. they are victims who have nowhere else to go (meanwhile 70% of israeli colonist terrorists hold 2 passports, a clear sign that they have plenty of other places to go). but of course jews would say that they are not safe elsewhere and they would cite examples like this one:

In response to a rise in anti-Semitic attacks since the beginning of Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Monday called on world leaders to condemn all forms of incitement and hatred and to hold to account those responsible.

“We have received with great concern and revulsion many reports of physical, moral, verbal and other manifestations of anti-Semitic attacks towards Jews and Israeli citizens in many parts of the world,” Livni said in a written statement.

there have been a few stories here and there, mostly in europe from what i have seen, of some anti-semitic attacks on jewish spaces or jewish people. while, of course, i do not support such attacks on jews, i feel that livni and her cohorts in the terrorist zionist entity enjoy such attacks. i’m quite serious about this. i think that they want this system to keep working for them. in other words, israeli terrorists–and jewish terrorists before they stole palestine from palestinians–fled anti-semitism in europe and made arabs pay the price for that. the world has been forced to watch movies, read books, study in school world war ii from the vantage point of jewish suffering as the most important suffering in the world (even in the u.s. when the genocide of native americans and the trans-atlantic slave trade should be given far more prominence). americans find themselves subjected to israeli terrorist propaganda through agents of the israel lobby like the anti-defamation league, which serves to brainwash and silence. this further serves to keep any information that is the slightest bit truthful about palestine in the deep recesses of the closet. but these stories of anti-semitism, big and small, are constantly paraded about in the media and they are used to garner support for the terrorist state of israel. because this is always out of context, because palestine is never mentioned, the cycle works. so now people in europe are angry–as they are all around the world–and they some are mistakenly targeting jews rather than zionism and israeli terrorists. but this works to israeli terrorists advantage. i think they enjoy seeing these stories in the news because it continues to obscure palestine’s history and present and it perpetuates the myth that anti-semitism is the biggest threat. when israeli terrorism and colonialism is a far greater threat not only in palestine, but regionally and perhaps globally.

the-body-of-a-child-is-re-001

when people around the world don’t regurgitate israeli terrorist propaganda, israeli terrorists whine about it:

PM Ehud Olmert referred to the international condemnations of Israel’s military action in the Gaza Strip, saying: “About the Palestinian’s unending murderousness towards us, about the exploitation of civilians in Gaza as human shields against the IDF, no one is speaking for some reason.”

yet if you want to see what it is that olmert is trying to hide by such statements all you need to do is watch ayman mohyeldin’s reporting on what has been happening in rafah:

such statements by olmert are also emerging, no doubt, because such statements about palestinians and about anti-semitism always come out when the united nations seeks to highlight israeli terrorist atrocities:

Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told Al Jazeera: “In the end they [the UN] passed the resolution, it was not unanimous. I would not say it was that heated, at the end of the day there were still differences of opinion.

“Many states praised the Palestinian delegation for the flexibility they had shown in the negotiations, but they could not quite reach a consensus.”

Speaking in the Gaza Strip, John Ging, head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) operations in Gaza, repeated his call for an immediate end to the fighting.

“I say now, to all politicians, here in Israel and internationally, you have an obligation to the ordinary people in the name of humanity and all that is civilised, we need to stop this now. Those who help will never be forgotten.

“Israel is responsible for its own actions and it is very clear to us that there are a lot of actions in this conflict that will need to be fully investigated independently and internationally.

“Those who have been killed and injured, those who are innocent, deserve accountability.”

Peter Splinter, Amnesty International’s representative at the United Nations in Geneva, backed the call for an investigation, saying “there must be a full accountability for war crimes”.

“Evidence of war crimes is presenting itself each day,” he told Al Jazeera.

war crimes. will we ever see a nuremberg for palestinians? 18 days of a murderous rampage against palestinians in gaza:

919 martyrs. 4,500 injured. 80,000 internally displaced palestinians in gaza. who have nowhere to flee to.

as a point of comparison consider what such figures would mean in the united states:

With more than 5,000 dead or wounded in a community of 1.4 million people, reminded Erekat, there are few whose lives have not been directly hit by the Israeli aggression. If the same scale of tragedy was visited on the United States, he said, more than one million people would be dead.

al mezan has its new martyrs names and its toll of the events on electronic intifada. here is the latest, though the figures are not as current as those i quoted above from al jazeera a few moments ago:

1. North Gaza District:

At approximately 2pm Saturday, 10 January Israeli aircrafts fired a missile at a group of young men in the al-Salatin area, west of Beit Lahia, killing Ahmad Ibrahim Juma, 25, and Umar Juma, 19.

At approximately 2:30pm also Saturday, IOF troops stationed in the town of Beit Hanoun opened fire at the al-Bora neighborhood, killing an 18-year-old girl, Nariman Abdul-Karim Abu Odeh from a live bullet to her chest.

At approximately 4:20pm Saturday, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a small crowd near Barrawi gas station in Beit Lahia, injuring a 40-year-old pregnant women; Wafa al-Masri, and another 24-year-old woman, Ghada al-Masri. The pregnant woman had to abort her fetus and had her leg amputated. The other woman had both her legs amputated.

At approximately 4:45pm Saturday, an Israeli aircraft fired a missile at the al-Sultan apartment compound in Jabaliya town. The compound’s residents started to evacuate it. However, IOF fired artillery shells at the entrance of the compound as people were evacuating, killing three of them, two of whom were children. They were identified as:

* Ali Kamal al-Nuthor, 12;
* Amer Kamal al-Nuthor, 15; and
* Shadi Fatho Ijneed, 27.

Another 11 people were injured, including one child.

At approximately 5:25pm Saturday, IOF troops stationed in Jabaliya fired eight artillery shells towards the eastern parts of the town. Al Mezan’s field worker reported that the shells were used for the first time. After hitting the ground, a light bounced from each shell, not very high from the ground. As they landed, they caused fires around it.

About 30 minutes later, an Israeli aircraft fired a missile into a crowd in Beit Lahia. One man was critically injured as a result. At 6:45pm, an aircraft fired a missile at the house of Nafiz al-Helu in northern Beit Lahia, killing two of its residents and injuring three, including a woman and a child. Those who were killed were identified as:

* Mohammed Nafiz al-Helu, 22; and (his sister)
* Amina Nafiz al-Helu, 18.

Two minutes after, aircraft fired missile at the Beit Lahia Park, destroying it.

At approximately 7:20pm Saturday, an Israeli aircraft fired a missile into a crowd of people who were sitting in front of a house in their neighborhood, killing three and injuring six, including a 2-month-old baby. Those who were killed were:

* Rami Jamal Salman, 21;
* Abdul-Muti Ratib Sulaiman, 20; and
* Sami Umar, 35.

At approximately 8:25pm Saturday, Israeli aircraft raided a house owned by the Rayyan family in Jabaliya, destroying it and damaging three neighboring houses. No casualties or injuries were reported in this raid.

At approximately 10:10pm Saturday, Israeli aircrafts raided the house of Waheed Ahmad in Jabaliya refugee camp. The house was destroyed and three neighboring houses damaged, however, no casualties or injuries were reported in this raid.
At approximately 2am on Sunday, 11 January 2009, an Israeli aircraft fired a missile into a crowd of residents of the al-Karama apartment complex, killing Ibrahim Ayish Salman, 25. When neighbors tried to help the victim, a second missile was fired at them, killing Ala Fathi Bashir, 40, and his 18-year-old son, Suhaib. Yet, when neighbors tried to help them, aircrafts fired a third missile, killing a 40-year-old woman, Lamias Hasan Bashir, and 75-year-old woman, Jamila Hassan Zyadeh. Four other people were injured in this attack.

At approximately 3:35am on Sunday, Israeli troops fired an artillery shell at the al-Karama area. The shell hit the house of Mohammed Khalaf and killed his cousins, Ibrahim Mohammed Khalaf, 35, and Bilal Yihia Khalaf. Twenty-five minutes later, an Israeli aircraft raided the house of Tawfiq Saqir, which is located near the Beit Lahia market. The house was destroyed completely and five neighboring houses were damaged.

At approximately 9:30 am on Sunday, 11 January 2009, an Israeli aircraft fired a missile into a crowd of children who were near the Olo al-Azm Mosque in the north of Beit Lahia, killing the four of them, three girls and a boy. They were identified as:

* Haitham Yasser Marouf, 12;
* Fatima Mohammed Marouf, 16;
* Khawla Ramadan Ghabin, 16; and (her sister)
* Samar Ramadan Ghabin, 14.

On the next day, the body 14-year-old Abdul-Rahma Ghabin was found, raising the casualties of this attack to five children. According to Al Mezan Center’s investigations, these children belong to families who had evacuated their homes and took shelter in the al-Fakhoura School, which was shelled by the IOF. They went back home with their parents to pick some clothing and other necessities and return to the shelter.

At 10am on the same day, medical sources at al-Shifa Hospital announced the death of 51-year-old Abdul-Hakim al-Sultan, who was injured inside his house in the al-Salatin areas western Beit Lahia.

At approximately 11:45am on Sunday, Israeli troops fired artillery shells at the al-Jurun neighborhood in Jabaliya. One shell hit the house of Khalid Abid, killing his 25-year-old son Khalid, and injuring 20-year-old daughter Shahira.

Later, at approximately 1:10pm Sunday, IOF troops fired artillery shells that hit houses in eastern Jabaliya, killing Hueesin Nazmi Abu Sultan, 40, inside his house.

At approximately 3:05pm on Sunday, Israeli troops fired artillery shells at the al-Bora neighborhood in Beit Hanoun, injuring a child inside her house. She was identified as Dalia Fareed Abu Odeh, 12. Another woman, Iman Sami Nusair, was injured.

At approximately 3:35pm on Sunday, Israeli troops fired artillery shells at eastern Jabaliya, killing a 12-year-old boy, Musab Abdul-Muhsin Khadir, and a 15-year-old girl, Amal Najeeb Alloush. Another five people were also injured.

At 4pm on the same day, the Emergency Administration at Kamal Udwan Hospital announced that four of its ambulances stopped as a result of the shortage in fuel.

At approximately 7:00pm on Sunday, Israeli troops fired artillery shells at the Masoud Street in Jabaliya town, killing a one-and-a-half-year-old girl, Tasnim Yasser al-Rafat, inside her house. Another young man, 19-year-old Mohammed Khadir, was also killed inside his house in the area.

Between 7:50pm Sunday and 4pm Monday, Israeli aircrafts raided three houses in Jabaliya and Beit Lahia, destroying them completely and damaging 12 houses. The targeted houses were owned by Ibrahim Lubad and Zyad al-Masri, from Beit Lahia, and Yousef Ghbeet from Jabalia.

At approximately 5am today, Monday 12 January 2009, medical sources announced the death of 33-year-old Said Mahmoud al-Amawi, who was injured in the IOF shelling of the al-Fakhora School [on 6 January].

At approximately 5:30am Monday, Israeli aircrafts raided the house of Ali al-Dhai in Jabaliya, destroying it completely. Six minutes later, aircrafts raided the house of Mahmoud Abu Matar in Beit Lahia, destroying it and damaging five houses near it. One hour later, they raided Sheikh Zayid town park, damaging it and many houses in its vicinity.

At approximately 7:35am Monday, Israeli troops fired artillery shells at houses in eastern Jabaliya and Beit Lahia, killing a 34-year-old woman, Afaf Hasan Juma, inside her house.

At approximately 7:40am Monday, Israeli aircrafts raided a farm in the al-Nuzha Street in Jabaliya town, injuring three girl children.

At approximately 7:35am Monday, Israeli aircrafts raided the house of Sadi al-Jamal in Jabaliya, destroying the house and damaging three houses and a kindergarten near it. At 8am, medical sources announced the death of a woman, 22-year-old Amal al-Madhoun, who was injured on 9 January 2009 by IOF snipers.

At approximately 12:05pm Monday, Israeli aircraft raided a vegetable stand owned by Yasser Shbair in Sheikh Zayid town, injuring him critically. Later, the corpse of Khalid al-Abid, 21, was found in the al-Salatin neighborhood in western Beit Lahia.

2. Gaza City District:

At approximately 12:30am Sunday 11 January 2009, about 20 Israel tanks and armored vehicles invaded the southern suburbs of Gaza City. The force, covered by helicopter gunships and aircraft, reached the southern Gaza City neighborhood of Tel al-Hawa. Tanks and aircrafts opened heavy fire at the area.

At approximately 2am, an artillery shell hit the house of Talat Hamudeh in Tel al-Hawa neighborhood, killing his two children and injuring him and his wife. The children were identified as:

* Faris Talat Hamudeh, one year; and
* Muhammad Talat Hamudeh, two years.

Three hours after its invasion, the force evacuated, leaving 13 casualties. It should be noted that the IOF had thrown leaflets on this neighborhood ordering its residents to evacuate their homes. Most of them left to UN shelters or relatives’ homes. Some stayed.

At 1:40am Sunday, Israeli aircraft raided the house of Ahmad al-Jabari, who is a leader in Hamas. The four-story house, which is located in the eastern Gaza City neighborhood of al-Shejaiya, was completely destroyed. Many homes around it were damaged.

At approximately 2am also Sunday, Israeli aircraft raided a mobile phone and stock exchange shop near the Pediatrics and Optics Hospitals in Nasser neighborhood in Gaza City. The shop was destroyed and the two hospitals and many houses in the area were damaged, especially in the neighboring al-Dana apartment Block.

At approximately 5:15am Sunday, Israeli aircrafts raided a four-story house owned by Mohammed Awadallah, 76, in the Nasser neighborhood in Gaza City. The house was completely destroyed.

At approximately 7pm Sunday, Israeli aircrafts raided the house of Fatah Palestinian Legislative Council member, Mohammed Dahlan in the Rimal neighborhood in Gaza, destroying it completely. At the same time, IOF troops fired artillery towards the house of Ahmad Mushtaha, 55, in al-Shejaiya neighborhood in the east of Gaza City, killing him and his 24-year-old son, Wajeeh. As neighbors arrived at the house to help the victims, an IOF drone fired a missile at the house, killing two: Muhammad al-Jundi, 20, and his brother Monthir.

At approximately 11pm Sunday, IOF fired an artillery shell at the house Hisham al-Katati in the al-Zeitoun neighborhood in Gaza City, killing his wife, 42-year-old Dalal al-Katati.

At approximately 2am Monday, 12 January 2009, Israeli aircraft fired a missile at two men, Muhammad Nassar, 22, and Ayman Shaldan, 35, in the east of the al-Shejaiya neighborhood east of Gaza City. They were both killed. As Jaber Hussein Habib, 52, and Mohammed Jamal Yasan, 17, tried to help them; a second missile targeted them and killed them.

3. Central Gaza District:

At approximately 12pm, on 10 January 2009, an IOF aircraft fired a missile at al-Sika Street in eastern al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza district, killing 26-year-old Mohammed Hasan Harb.

At approximately 12:55pm on the same day, IOF fired artillery shells at al-Safaa Mosque, which is located in Block One in al-Bureij refugee camp. One of the shells landed directly on the mosque, destroying it partially. Another shell hit an adjacent house owned by 28-year-old Mousa al-Askari, destroying it partially and injuring Mousa’s wife and his two sons, who were identified as:

* Six-year-old Ayman al-Askari;
* Seven-year-old Mosab.

The latter was reported to have sustained critical injuries.

At approximately 1:30pm, the IOF fired artillery shells, which was followed by aerial raid on the apartment of 39-year-old Ramzi Hasan Suliman Abu al-Deeb in al-Nouri Tower in al-Nuseirat refugee camp of the central Gaza district. The attack caused damage to the apartment, and injured 12-year-old Mojahed Ali al-Burs, and his 17-year-old brother, who later died of his wounds.

At approximately 7:45pm on the same day, IOF aircraft raided an agricultural field west of al-Nuseirat camp. The attack injured a 88-year-old woman, Fatma Muhammad Ahmed Tbeil, with shrapnel while she was in her house. Fatma later died of her wounds.

At approximately 11:30pm, on the same day, IOF aircraft raided the two-story house of 55-year-old Abdul-Rahim Shaker in al-Nuseirat camp. The house, which was inhabited by five persons, was totally destroyed as well as three nearby houses.

At approximately 12:05am, on 11 January 2009, IOF aircraft hit the two-story house of Farhoud Younis Abu Khabeeza in al-Nuseirat camp. The house was inhabited by five families, a total of 25 persons. The attack destroyed the house totally and caused damage to five neighboring houses.

At approximately 12:20am that same day, IOF aircraft bombarded the two-story house of 49-year-old Muhammad Hasan Shahin, which was inhabited by nine persons. Shahin’s house and another nearby house were destroyed as a result.

4. Khan Younis District:

At approximately 10pm, on 10 January 2009, the IOF launched tens of artillery and aerial attacks at areas along the borderline, east of Khzaa village, east of Khan Younis city. Shells hit many houses in the village. According to eyewitnesses, some of these shells released white smoke causing residents to suffer from suffocation, spasm and syncope. Tens of houses also were burnt.

At approximately 10:30pm on the same day, the IOF shelled with artillery a house owned by the Qdeih family, also in Khzaa village, killing 35-year-old Hanan Fathi Qdeih and injuring all of her kids and other family members.

At approximately 10:30pm on the same day, IOF aircraft raided the house of Ibrahim Baraka in Bani Suhaila town, east to Khan Younis. The house was damaged as a result.

Earlier, at approximately 8am that same day, IOF aircraft shelled a group of people who were close to the area of the IOF’s incursion into Khzaa village, killing 22-year-old Nour Mohammed Ameish. Other people, including a woman, were killed in another attack in the village.

At approximately 10:30am that same day, IOF aircraft fired a missile at a group of people close to al-Awda school, which is located on the main street connecting Abasan town and Khzaa village east to Khan Younis. The shelling killed 19-year-old Khaled Abu Ryiala, and injured another person.

5. Rafah District:

At approximately 2:38pm on Sunday 11 January 2009, Israeli aircrafts raided the al-Falah Charity’s building in the al-Shabora refugee camp in Rafah. No casualties or injuries were reported.

Earlier, at 1:55pm also Sunday, Israeli aircraft fired a missile at a civilian car on the Awni Dheer Street in Rafah, injuring four people; including a doctor, and destroying the car.

Between 3:10pm and 7:10pm on Sunday, Israeli aircrafts launched a series of air raids at the borderline between Rafah and Egypt. Later, at 2am Monday, they launched another series of air raids. In all, they fired 42 heavy missiles, according to Al Mezan’s field worker in Rafah.

At approximately 4:15am on Sunday, Israeli aircraft fired a missile at a motorcycle, killing Mohammed Al-Shair, 23, and critically injuring Mahmoud Abu Luli, 24.

These attacks have continued in the midst of a severe humanitarian crisis in Gaza, with approximately 200,000 people having already left their homes. Most of the population does not have access to water. Moreover, the health sector is still suffering from an enormous load of injured and killed people under severe shortages in medical supplies and personnel, and restrictions on the movement of ambulances and medical consignments.

add these names to the list of martyrs. they will not be blamed and their deaths will not be in vain. we will never forget them. and we will fight to support the resistance that is continuing to defend palestinians in gaza.

60046_wm_457x400

i’m sitting here at 3:48 am typing this. watching ramattan television via al jazeera arabic. they are saying that this is the most intense night of fire on them yet. it is hard to imagine. i feel like i hear this every day. and yet every day israeli terrorists terrorize more. not only by increasing the bombardment, but also by the way that israeli terrorists use palestinians as guinea pigs to test out new weapons they develop in the universities that we should all be boycotting:

Israel is testing a new “extremely nasty” type of weapon in Gaza, two medics charged as they returned home to Norway Monday after spending 10 days working at a hospital in the war-torn Palestinian territory.

“There’s a very strong suspicion I think that Gaza is now being used as a test laboratory for new weapons,” Mads Gilbert told reporters at Oslo’s Gardermoen airport, commenting on the kinds of injuries he and his colleague Erik Fosse had seen while working at the Shifa Hospital in Gaza.

The two medics, who were sent into the war zone by the pro-Palestinian aid organisation NORWAC on December 31, said they had seen clear signs that Dense Inert Metal Explosives (DIME), an experimental kind of explosive, were being used in Gaza.

“This is a new generation of very powerful small explosives that detonates with an extreme power and dissipates its power within a range of five to 10 metres (16-98 feet),” said Gilbert, 61.

“We have not seen the casualties affected directly by the bomb because they are normally torn to pieces and do not survive, but we have seen a number of very brutal amputations… without shrapnel injuries which we strongly suspect must have been caused by the DIME weapons,” he added.

The weapon “causes the tissue to be torn from the flesh. It looks very different (from a shrapnel injury). I have seen and treated a lot of different injuries for the last 30 years in different war zones, and this looks completely different,” said Fosse, 58.

“If you are in the immediate (vicinity of) a DIME weapon, it’s like your legs get torn off. It’s an enormous pressure wave and there is no shrapnel,” he explained.

Gilbert also accused Israel of having used the weapon in the 2006 Lebanon war and previously in Gaza, and referred to studies showing wounds from the explosive could cause lethal forms of cancer within just four to six months.

“Israel should disclose what weapons they use and the international community should make an investigation,” he said, stressing the amount of damage apparently caused by the new form of explosive.

“We are not soft-skinned when it comes to war injuries, but these amputations are really extremely nasty and for many of the patients not survivable,” he said.

to get a sense of where these massacres, war crimes are taking place here are some maps that lovely rania gave me:

gaza-map-1

gaza-map-2

so much devastation, so difficult to keep up with it all. here is some good news for the day, however, with respect to more world-wide solidarity with palestinian steadfastness and resistance in gaza. first is the london protest against ahava, the dead sea salts made on israeli terrorist colonies in the west bank. here is a photograph from their action:

417902

second is the news about the boycott campaign turkey:

Consumers Association of Turkey calls on Turkish citizens to boycott Israeli, US and British products by saying “We will not provide ammunition for siyonist Israel`s attacks”.

Consumers Association members protested Israel in front of Israeli Embassy and announced the list of products that they wanted consumers not to buy.

Honorary President of Consumer Association Lawyer Bülent Deniz said Israel killed hundreds of Palestanians since December the 27, and injured thousands.

“The ones who can survive are under the threat of dying any minute because of medicine and food scarcity”, he said.

Deniz stated, ” we will use our power as consumers and boycott Israel, US and British products”.

Turkish Consumers Association said, “on the boycott list is specific firms that openly declare their support and cooperation to Israel, as well as the ones that transfer funds to Israeli army.”

Some of them include Lay’s, Doritos, Cheetos, Hayat Su, Danone, Activa, Elite Cafe, Becel, Lipton, Calve, Knorr, Algida, Magnum, Carte D’or, Axe, Rexona, Signal, Dove, Omo, Domestos, Marlboro, Parliament, Lark, Muratti, Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, Starbucks Coffee chain, Mc Donald’s and Burger King.

third, in mauritania the boycott movement is growing:

The Association of Social Workers of Mauritius has asked the public to boycott all Israeli products on the local market.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Mauritians on Saturday marched from the Port Louis race course to the municipality of Port Louis to denounce the massacre and genocide of the Israeli army in Gaza.

Addressing the assembly, Alain Ah-Vee of the political party Lalit declared that the decision of the Mauritian government to suspend the activities of the consulate of Israel is a step in the right direction.

He added that the former prime minister, Seewoosagur Ramgoolam had also taken the same decision in 1976 and that it is now the right time to sever all relations with the Jewish state.

Ah-Vee further made an appeal to the Mauritian government to press member countries of the Southern African Development Community to take similar steps and also show their solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Imran Dhannoo, a social worker, has asked that all Israeli products such as Carmel, Jaffaden juices, Israeli foodstuffs of Yarden France, generic medicines of the firms Teva and Ivax, should be taken out of sale and boycotted.

Also at the initiative of the organisation Mauritians against War, another march took place from Square Khadafi in the capital on Saturday in which politicians from practically all parties took part.

Vice Prime Minister Rashid Beebeejaun called for the closure of the Israeli consulate in Mauritius and declared that the military incursion by Israel is aimed at destroying the Palestinian state.

Attorney General and Minister of Justice Rama Valayden cited Cardinal Renato Martino of the Vatican who had declared that the conditions of living in Gaza had become those of a concentration camp.

& what you can do–for academics–is sign a new petition for scientists opposing the siege of gaza:

To: International Community

(voir plus bas la meme petition en francais)

We, the undersigned, as scientists and members of universities, express our utmost concern and condemnation of the current Israeli attacks in Gaza strip. This is a clear violation of international law, specifically the Fourth Geneva Convention “relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War” (1949).

We cannot remain silent as we receive mails from our colleagues in Gaza, such as

– Suleiman Baraka, astrophysicist in Gaza, who got his PhD in IAP (Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris) and also spent one month in the institute in September 2008. He completed a postdoc in USA, National Institute of Aerospace, and was planning to go back to Gaza to open a research centre in physics. He wrote to us that, after a F16 strike, his house has blown up and swept away, his mother is injured and his 10 years old son is in coma;

– Ziad Medoukh, chief of the French department in Gaza Al-Aqsa university and coordinator of the university peace centre. While he obtained a grant from the French government to study in Paris 8 university, he was not allowed by the Israeli army to leave Gaza. His two cousins and three neighbours are dead in the bombing. After their funeral, he witnessed: “The Israeli army is on its way to destroy Gaza, it bombards everything: schools, mosques, universities, houses, shops, hospitals, police stations and ministries”;

– Students and members of the Islamic university, located on the centre of Gaza, and bombed throughout the night of December 28th.

We are convinced that our individual and official collaborations with researchers and universities in Palestine, and in Gaza, contribute to the peace and communication between people.

In the light of the above, we call on our governments

*to condemn the attack,
* to make pressure on the UN to take actions to « restore international peace and security », on behalf of the Chapter VII of its charter.

Furthermore, we ask for

* the end of the siege on Gaza,
* the free movement of Palestinians, including students and researchers

finally, perhaps most importantly, is the solidarity that the zapatista army of national liberation (ezln) through subcomandante marcos offers as he knows what it means when the victim is blamed, when the victim feels defeated so this offering of solidarity and support becomes all the more crucial:

We don’t know about you, but we Zapatistas from the EZLN, we know how important it is, in the middle of destruction and death, to hear some words of encouragement.

I don’t know how to explain it, but it turns out that yes, words from afar might not stop a bomb, but it’s as if a crack were opened in the black room of death and a tiny ray of light slips in.

As for everything else, what will happen will happen. The Israeli government will declare that it dealt a severe blow to terrorism, it will hide the magnitude of the massacre from its people, the large weapons manufacturers will have obtained economic support to face the crisis, and “the global public opinion,” that malleable entity that is always in fashion, will turn away.

But that’s not all. The Palestinian people will also resist and survive and continue struggling and will continue to have sympathy from below for their cause.

And perhaps a boy or girl from Gaza will survive, too. Perhaps they’ll grow, and with them, their nerve, indignation, and rage. Perhaps they’ll become soldiers or militiamen for one of the groups that struggle in Palestine. Perhaps they’ll find themselves in combat with Israel. Perhaps they’ll do it firing a gun. Perhaps sacrificing themselves with a belt of dynamite around their waists.

And then, from up there above, they will write about the Palestinians’ violent nature and they’ll make declarations condemning that violence and they’ll get back to discussing if it’s Zionism or anti-Semitism.

And no one will ask who planted that which is being harvested.

big lies of israeli terrorist propaganda about gaza

on friday the children & youth center (cyc) in shatila refugee camp had a protest against israeli terrorism in the courtyard of the cyc. here are some of the images from that protest for the people of gaza so they know that there are many people who are working to support their steadfastness, their resistance.

childre-painting-for-gaza

children-draw-isael-flag-and-burn-it

infront-of-cyc

likewise, tomorrow students at the american university of beirut are holding a protest/strike in solidarity with the people of gaza, with the students of gaza who do not have the luxury of going to classes and studying right now:

من أجل غزة

لا بد لكل من في قلبه ذرة انسانية أن يتألم لمناظر الشهداء من المدنيين والفلاحين والنساء والأطفال الذين سقطوا على أيدي العدو الصهيوني.

قد لا يكون بوسعنا نحن كأفراد ومدنيين أن نوقف العدو الصهيوني عن اقتراف جرائمه، حتى التظاهر في دولنا العربية ضد العدوان الإسرائيلي لن يكترث له الإسرائيليون وهم المعتادون على تجاهل القرارات الدولية، إلا أنه لا يزال واجبًا لأن إخوتنا في غزة يحتاجون لأن يشعروا بأن إخوتهم يقفون معهم.

هذا من ناحية، ومن ناحية أخرى، وبالنسبة إلى مشهد النظام الرسمي العربي، يمكنننا تكثيف جهودنا لنحدث تغييرًا حقيقيًا.

والتركيز الآن على النظام المصري، كونه مصممًا على إغلاق حدوده مع غزة في وجه المعونات الغذائية وفي وجه الأطباء والممرضين المتطوعين للذهاب إلى هناك، بحجة الخوف من استخدام معبر رفح لتهريب السلاح، وإن كان إمداد أهل غزة بالسلاح واجبًا قوميًا وطنيًا وإنسانيًا، والأدهى من ذلك، بحجة خوفه من تدفق النازحين إلى مصر، تاركًا أطفال غزة محاصرين تحت نيران العدو الغاشم وقصفه الهمجي لمدارسهم ومنازلهم، مخالفًا بذلك جميع القوانين الدولية واتفاقية جنيف الرابعة القائلة بوجوب فتح الحود في وجه المدنيين النازحين من الحرب.

وهنا تكمن قدرتنا الأكبر، فتظاهراتنا والتعبير عن غضبنا واستيائنا كمواطنين عرب من أفعال العدو الصهيوني و تواطؤ النظام االمصري الذي يرفضه وبشدة شعب مصر الأبي، ستشعر النظام بأن الضغط الشعبي عليه ليس داخليـًا فقط بل ويشمل جميع شعوب الددول العربية. وهذا الضغط والغضب الشعبي لا بد أن يثمر عن نتيجة.

نود أن ندعوا طلاب و أساتذة الجامعة الأمريكية في بيروت وقف الصفوف لمدة ساعة واحدة اليوم و اظهار التضامن مع غزة من خلال الاعتصام ، الذي سيعقد اليوم ، الاثنين 12 يناير على البوابة الرئيسية من الساعة 12:00 – 1:00 بعد الظهر.

النادي الثقافي الفلسطيني

الجامعة الأمريكية في بيروت

For GAZA

Anyone who has the slightest sense of humanity cannot but be moved by the images of the martyred women, men and children that have fallen victim to the onslaught of the Zionist war-machine in Gaza. Demonstrations in the Arab world may not be able to stop the Zionist aggression against our sisters and brothers. Israel does not adhere to UN Security Council resolutions; we do not expect mass demonstrations to deter their determination on exterminating the Palestinian people. However it is our duty to continue these protests in order to show our sisters and brothers in Gaza that they have our unending support.

This said, we must also take into account the role of the Arab regimes; especially that of the Egyptian government. It has insisted on closing their borders and not allowing much needed food, water, medical supplies as well volunteer doctors and nurses into Gaza. Egyptian officials have expressed their fear that weapons may enter Gaza, as if it is not our morally justified duty to supply our sisters and brothers in the Palestinian resistance with arms to defend themselves against a brutal enemy. Furthermore the Egyptian government has expressed their concerns that refugees may flee Gaza and pour into Egypt. These actions and attitudes have left an imprisoned, impoverished, and poorly armed Palestinian army to do battle with the most powerful army in the region.

Our role as active citizens of the Arab World has been laid out for us. We must show our anger towards the Zionist massacres and the Egyptian regime’s actions, which do not reflect the opinions and desires of the proud Egyptian people. The Egyptian regime will feel the popular pressure applied on it; both domestically and throughout the Arab World. This pressure and anger will inevitably result in a change.

We would like to ask AUB community to skip an hour of classes and show solidarity with the people of Gaza through a Sit-in, which will take place today, Monday January 12 at Main Gate from 12 pm – 1 pm

Palestinian Cultural Club

American University of Beirut

blogger al falasteeniya posted a women’s call for a protest in ramallah today, which had some important talking points that i meant to post earlier because it was in relation to a protest today, but their talking points are relevant in general:

أولا: استمرار التحرك في الشارع العربي لاعلاء الصوت الشعبي العربي في ادانة العدوان والضغط على العدو الاسرائيلي والداعم الامريكي لعدوانه لوقف هذا الارهاب الاسرائيلي المجنون على أهلنا في قطاع غزه الباسل.

ثانيا: توجيه الضغط على الانظمة العربية لقطع علاقاتها مع العدو الاسرائيلي ووقف كل أشكال التطبيع معه كما وتوجيه الضغط على الادارة الاميركية لوقف انحيازها المطلق للعدو الاسرائيلي ضد حق شعبنا في الحياة وتقرير المصير، وعقد قمة عربية عاجلة لتوحيد الموقف العربي الداعم لشعبنا ومقاومته المشروعة.

ثالثا: التوجه الى المحافل الدولية والى المؤسسات القانونية ومؤسسات المجتمع المدني لتنظيم الجهد القانوني لتوفير الحماية الدولية لشعبنا، ومعاقبة حكومة العدو الاسرائيلي لتنكرها للمواثيق الدولية، وارتكابها جرائم حرب وإبادة بحق شعبنا.

رابعا: تنظيم الدعم بكل أشكاله المعنويه والماديه من خلال لجان نسائية عربية.

خامسا: ندعوكن الى وقفة نسائية عربية موحدة، في يوم غضب نساء العرب تحت شعار ” أوقفوا العدوان على غزه، وفكوا الحصار عنها” وذلك يوم الأحد 11/1/2009 في الساعة الثانية عشرة بتوقيت القدس.

1. a continuation of protests across the arab world condemning israeli aggression and american support.

2. putting pressure on arab govs to cut ties with israel, stop all forms of normalization.

3. appeal to legal organizations and intl ngos to bring israel to justice for the war crimes it continues to commit.

4. providing various kinds of support for palestine via arab women orgs across the arab world.

5. inviting women all over the world to participate in this protest sunday the 11th of jan.

there is a song making its way across the internet that was written by a man named michael heart. the video on youtube for this song is powerful as are some of the lyrics in relation to the recent news about new layers and levels of israeli terrorist war crimes:

here are the lyrics to heart’s song:

A blinding flash of white light
Lit up the sky over Gaza tonight
People running for cover
Not knowing whether they’re dead or alive

They came with their tanks and their planes
With ravaging fiery flames
And nothing remains
Just a voice rising up in the smoky haze

We will not go down
In the night, without a fight
You can burn up our mosques and our homes and our schools
But our spirit will never die
We will not go down
In Gaza tonight

Women and children alike
Murdered and massacred night after night
While the so-called leaders of countries afar
Debated on who’s wrong or right

But their powerless words were in vain
And the bombs fell down like acid rain
But through the tears and the blood and the pain
You can still hear that voice through the smoky haze

We will not go down
In the night, without a fight
You can burn up our mosques and our homes and our schools
But our spirit will never die
We will not go down
In Gaza tonight

We will not go down
In the night, without a fight
You can burn up our mosques and our homes and our schools
But our spirit will never die

We will not go down
In the night, without a fight

We will not go down
In Gaza tonight

heart’s song speaks to the steadfastness of the spirit of the palestinians in gaza. it also alludes to the illegal weapons like white phosphorous that israeli terrorists are using on the people of gaza as seen in the photo below.

phos

human rights watch reports that white phosphorous is being used in a recent report:

Israel appeared to be using white phosphorus as an “obscurant” (a chemical used to hide military operations), a permissible use in principle under international humanitarian law (the laws of war). However, white phosphorus has a significant, incidental, incendiary effect that can severely burn people and set structures, fields, and other civilian objects in the vicinity on fire. The potential for harm to civilians is magnified by Gaza’s high population density, among the highest in the world.

“White phosphorous can burn down houses and cause horrific burns when it touches the skin,” said Marc Garlasco, senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch. “Israel should not use it in Gaza’s densely populated areas.”

Human Rights Watch believes that the use of white phosphorus in densely populated areas of Gaza violates the requirement under international humanitarian law to take all feasible precautions to avoid civilian injury and loss of life. This concern is amplified given the technique evidenced in media photographs of air-bursting white phosphorus projectiles. Air bursting of white phosphorus artillery spreads 116 burning wafers over an area between 125 and 250 meters in diameter, depending on the altitude of the burst, thereby exposing more civilians and civilian infrastructure to potential harm than a localized ground burst.

unfortunately, human rights watch, like most media outlets are banned from entering gaza so doing proper research on it is difficult. but there are those who are on the ground who have been reporting this for weeks now. here is an al jazeera report on the use of white phosphorous in gaza where you can see israeli terrorists rationalize their use of it because american terrorists use it too:

sameh habeeb also reports on casualties related to white phosphorous today:

A-25-woman killed in Khoza’a area due to Phosphorous bombs in Khan Yonis. Around 50 wounded according to medical sources.

one reason you don’t hear about things like this in the american media is because it is blocked, because israeli terrorists are using its propaganda to terrorize people into remaining silent. remaining complicit. here on al jazeera’s “the listening post” you can get a taste of what i’m talking about:

and you can see a bit of this in a more satirical version on jon stewart (who knew? i have only ever seen his comedy as a raving zionist cheerleader–if you don’t believe me go see for yourself how he discussed the israeli invasion of gaza and lebanon in the summer of 2006). but here he seems to be a little different:

there is even a jewish voice for peace campaign now calling for people to send him thank you notes from this website.

one clear example of israeli terrorist propaganda is its attempt to make the world think that hamas uses palestinian children as human shields or schools as launching pads for its rockets. ips reporter thalif deen proves otherwise:

Did the Israelis misidentify a school run by the U.N. Relief Works Agency (UNWRA), where 43 Palestinians seeking shelter were killed in an early morning air strike? Or were there Hamas gunmen shooting from the school drawing Israeli fire?

Neither assertion is accurate, says John Ging, UNRWA’s director of operations in Gaza.

All U.N. schools in Gaza are clearly marked, and they fly the Organisation’s distinctly discernible blue-and-white flags.

Moreover, he told reporters, Israel has been provided with Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates of all of UNRWA’s installations in Gaza.

So there could not have been a misidentification of the U.N. school in the Jabaliya refugee camp whose compound was hit by an artillery shell early this week.

Asked if Hamas militants could have taken shelter in the school that was attacked, Ging said that UNRWA was “hugely sensitive” to maintaining the integrity of its facilities.

“We vet all those who seek shelter in our facilities to make sure militants were not taking advantage of them,” he said.

for those who know their zionist history well, and of course be extension world war ii history with which jewish suffering was rammed down their throats so as to ensure that they would never think that anyone else’s suffering in the history of the world was more important than jewish suffering, you know that one of adolf hitler’s tactics was the “big lie.” zionists from the late 19th century when theodor herzl and his cohorts spread lies about an “empty” palestine have used such deception. and they have used it ever since as rannie amiri writes in counterpunch:

In the case of the current Gaza onslaught, Livni’s remark in Paris that there was no humanitarian crisis in Gaza and everything is “completely as it should be” is an excellent example of The Big Lie. Its propagation has no doubt been aided by the Israeli government prohibiting journalists from entering Gaza (despite a High Court ruling ordering them to lift the ban).

But facts always run contrary to The Big Lie. According to the agencies of the United Nations and multiple international relief organizations:

* Eighty percent of Gazans were dependent on humanitarian assistance during the crippling 18-month siege of Gaza but before the outbreak of hostilities.

* Nearly all food shops have closed and there is currently a severe shortage of flour, rice, milk and canned goods.

* One quarter to one half of Gaza’s 1.5 million people are without water. Seventy-five percent have been without electricity for over a week. Fuel is in short supply and with winter at hand, this has caused terrible hardship to the majority who live in unlit, unheated homes (and who are also forced to keep their windows open to prevent shattering glass from nearby explosions).

* Cooking gas is extremely scarce since the tunnels into Egypt—the lifeline that kept Gaza barely afloat during the siege—were bombed.

* Supplies of regular diesel—the only means hospitals have for running backup generators and which they now exclusively run on—are very low. According to the United Nations, these generators are “close to collapse.” Diesel is also needed to run water and sewage pumps; absolute necessities in providing adequate sanitation and preventing the outbreak of disease.

* Even before the military campaign commenced, 75 percent of Gaza’s children were malnourished, 46 percent anemic and 30 percent suffered from stunted growth.

* The United Nations Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur for the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories, Dr. Richard Falk, said that Israel was “… allowing only barely enough food and fuel to enter to stave off mass famine and disease.”

A hallmark of The Big Lie is its repetition.

“Hamas is trying to create the appearance of a humanitarian crisis, but together with the international organizations, we are preventing this from happening.”

– Colonel Moshe Levi, Commander of the Israeli army’s Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration, 1 January 2009.

The reality:

John Ging, head of the United Nations Relief and Words Agency (UNRWA), the organization responsible for feeding half of Gaza’s 1.5 million residents:

“We have a catastrophe unfolding in Gaza for the civilian population. The people of Gaza City and the north now have no water. That comes on top of having no electricity. They’re trapped, they’re traumatized, they’re terrorized by this situation … The inhumanity of this situation, the lack of action to bring this to an end, is bewildering to them” (Daily Telegraph, 5 Jan 2009).

“Gaza was already bad enough but what I saw today was utter devastation. It’s just horrible to see this, horrible to see civilians caught up in this. Gaza went through ‘crisis’ a long time ago and what I saw today was a catastrophe in the making” (The Guardian, 5 Jan 2009).

Chris Gunness, spokesman for the UNRWA:

“When you look at the Israeli assertions about the humanitarian situation it is very hard to square this with the extraordinarily dire situation on the ground in Gaza. Any claims about human need at this stage need to be grounded in reality” (Daily Telegraph, 1 Jan 2009).

Maxwell Gaylard, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Palestinian Territories:

“By any definition this is a humanitarian crisis and more” (AFP, 3 Jan 2009).

“The WFP [World Food Programme] stopped sending food in there because their warehouses are full to the top.”

– Major Avital Leibovitz, military spokesman, 4 January 2009.

Christine Van Nieuwenhuyse, WFP representative in Gaza (reported to be “furious” at the above comment):

“The current situation in Gaza is appalling, and many basic food items are no longer available on the market” (Press TV, 2 Jan 2009).

Maxwell Gaylard, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Palestinian Territories:

“Conditions for parents and children in Gaza are dangerous and frightening. It is absolutely crucial that there is an end to the fighting. Without it, more civilians will continue to be killed. Without the violence stopping, it is extremely difficult to get food to people who need it” (The Scotsman, 3 Jan 2009).

“Electricity and communications are down over much of the strip both on account of lack of fuel and damage to critical infrastructure. Over a million people are currently without power, and over a quarter million without running water, some for up to six days” (Washington Post, 6 Jan. 2009).

The Associated Press, 4 Jan 2009:

And in the central Gaza refugee camp of Nusseirat, Munir Najar said he only had another day’s worth of flour to feed his family of seven, but ventured out to find streets deserted and shops closed.

“There’s not a loaf of bread to be found,” said Najar, 43.

“There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza.”

– Israeli Cabinet Secretary Oved Yehezkel, 4 January 2009.

The New York Times, 5 Jan 2009:

Many here would dispute that [Yehezkel’s statement]. With power lines down, much of Gaza has no electricity. There is a dire shortage of cooking gas.

Dr. Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian who was allowed into Gaza last week to give emergency medical aid, and who has worked in many conflict zones, said the situation was the worst he had seen.

The hospital lacked everything, he said: monitors, anesthesia, surgical equipment, heaters and spare parts. Israeli bombing nearby blew out windows, and like the rest of Gaza, here the severely limited fuel supplies were running low.

Dominic Nutt, spokesman for Save the Children:

“We need to deliver more food and blankets to ensure that children do not die of hunger and cold” (Daily Telegraph, 5 Jan 2009).

Sadi Ali, project manager for the Palestinian Water Authority:

“There is a risk of the spread of all sorts of water borne diseases such as dysentery and cholera” (Daily Telegraph, 4 Jan 2009).

Pierre Krähenbühl, Director of Operations of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC):

“There is no doubt in my mind that we are dealing with a full blown and major crisis in humanitarian terms. The situation for the people in Gaza is extreme and traumatic as a result of ten days of uninterrupted fighting. In that sense, their situation has clearly become intolerable” (ICRC.org, 6 Jan 2009).

The truth, as always, runs in stark contrast to the utterances of those peddling the latest of Israel’s Big Lies. Just as in 1948 when the ‘people without a land for a land without a people’ myth was used as cover to expel 700,000 indigenous inhabitants from historical Palestine, The Big Lie is once again being employed to obfuscate the reality of the crimes being committed in Gaza.

Let us hope this time, they do not get away with it.

indeed this big lie is so pervasive that someone from medecins sans frontieres wrote to me and asked me to post this article and a link to it on my blog:

The military offensive in the Gaza Strip is affecting civilians indiscriminately, while medical teams continue to face serious obstacles to providing assistance, the international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today. The international community must not be content with a limited truce, which MSF said is largely inadequate for providing life-saving assistance.

As the Israeli military offensive continues, the toll, estimated at 600 deaths and 2,950 wounded in just 11 days, is reaching alarming proportions and is indicative of extreme violence indiscriminately affecting civilians.

indeed one of the big lies israeli terrorists have been pushing for the last week is that from 1-4 pm each day there is a “lull” for a humanitarian corridor so that aid can get to the palestinian people in gaza. of course, if you watch the news (i.e., not american or british propaganda news like bbc or cnn or fox) you will notice that this is far from the truth:

or here is what natalie abou shakra says about what a “ceasefire” or “lull” looks like on the ground:

Comrade Alberto Arce and comrade Eva Bartlett almost got killed yesterday as the Israeli “defence forces” were defending themselves from the ambulance’s sirens… they said the ambulance siren was bothering them while they were flying their planes in Gaza’s beautiful sky that they make ugly with their presence…they killed two paramedics in the shooting, from the snipers in the surveillance buzzing planes, Mr. and Mrs. Bee. Alberto had his camera on… later the footage was provided to AL Jazeera… at eleven, we accompanied Alberto to his live interview with Al Jazeera from the Ramattan building… he was very nervous… Eva, Mohammad and I watched him as we sat beside him, not appearing on the camera… it was the same studio I was in when Al Jazeera interviewed me the day I set foot in Gaza… I look at the chair, at the desk… at the background which is but a dark body of gloominess behind the chair… of Gaza… without lights… no lights… could death be that dark, I asked myself… we all support Alberto as he is nervous to speak in English… “In Spanish I would fight Bush… but, in English I cannot”… he is from Spain…he spoke bluntly, but as he ends, I tell him he forgot to note down that in the Israeli “defense forces'” “ceasefire” they ceased-fire three children’s souls… Amal, Souad, and Samar, 2, 4, 6 years old respectively from the Abed Rabbu family… they said they were defending themselves against pink pajamas which they mistook for pink Qassam rockets…

and while israeli terrorist reservists are now joining in the killing spree in gaza, the siege has also extended across the border and into egypt, though i don’t suspect hosni mubarak cares any more for the egyptians living on the other side of rafah than he cares for the palestinians in gaza:

Four people in Egypt were reportedly wounded by shrapnel from IAF strikes near Rafah on Sunday night, according to a security official quoted in an AFP report.

Two of the wounded were children, aged two and five, and two were Egyptian police officers.

“Tens of homes” were also damaged in the strikes, which targeted terrorist smuggling tunnels on the Philadelphi Corridor, the official was quoted as saying.

but there was some good news today:

1. hamas fired at american-made f-16s flown by israeli terrorists.

2. iran announced it would boycott those doing business with the zionist entity.

3. palestinian union of workers’ unions called for a boycott of israeli terrorist products

4. and…some group started shooting at israeli terrorists from occupied golan.

all of this on a day when we are reaching close to the 1,000 mark of counting martyrs. some new names of those martyrs were reported in ma’an’s breakdown of today’s war crimes brought to you by the israeli-american terrorist forces:

Five Palestinians were killed in separate strikes near Gaza City and in the Jabaliya Refugee Camp on Sunday evening.

Despite a so-called lull in fighting for the delivery of humanitarian aid, Israeli shelling killed two Palestinians in the Ash-Shuja’eiyah neighborhood, which is east of Gaza City.

Meanwhile, two others died in the northern Gaza Strip refugee camp of Jabaliya, local sources told Ma’an, adding that specifically the Al-Jurn area was hit in the deadly attack.

Those three victims were identified as Mus’ab Khader, Husein Abu Sulkltan and 15-year-old Amal A’lush. A number of others were injured.

Also, Israeli warplanes shelled the home of Mohammad Dahlan in the Ar-Remal neighborhood of Gaza City. Jets also hit the home of Shadi Abu Labad in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip.

Earlier Sunday

Some 30 Gazans have been killed since midnight Sunday and nearly 100 injured, apparently by newly used weaponry that set fires to both the people and buildings targeted.

Israel had not previously used white phosphorous bombs during the Gaza offensive, but by Sunday residents and experts were reporting widespread damage by the weapon, which is not illegal, in the Ghuza’a and Abasan villages east of Khan Younis.

Medical sources at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis said most of the morning’s casualties had been women and children. Medical staff appealed to international agencies for new supplies to deal with burn victims suddenly pouring into the hospital.

Earlier, Sunday dawned with six more Palestinians confirmed dead in Gaza, mainly from the Khuza’a village, which is east of Khan Younis.

Overnight

Israeli warplanes shifted their sights to civilian homes in southern Gaza shortly before dawn, after which strikes began in the north.

Israeli ground troops continued their advance toward Gaza City, as well.

One contingent withdrew northward at dawn, while a second front southwest of Gaza City continued to move toward an abandoned Israeli settlement south of the city.

The identities of two Palestinians killed in the southern Gaza Strip during the night were revealed as 41-year-old Hanan An-Najjar and another unidentified man.

At least 50 were injured as Israeli strikes hit a dozen homes in the village of Khuza’a, many of which were still ablaze through the noon on Sunday.

Also, the body of 17-year-old Usama Abu Rajileh was identified among the dead in Khan Younis.

Attacks in the north began shortly, as well, when four members of the Bashir family were killed by Israeli airstrikes on the family home, which stood in the Al-Karama neighborhood, northwest of Gaza City.

The family was in the home at the time and an unknown number were injured. Witnesses said Ala Bashir “Abu Sheib,” Bashir’s wife, his mother-in-law and son were all killed in the strike. Several other homes in the area were hit.

Strikes then shifted to the northern border town of Beit Lahiya, where locals reported the use of white phosphorous, which set homes ablaze. The strikes killed at least three from the Ma’rouf and Ghaban families and injured dozens more.

Ground troops head north after night of attacks

Witnesses said Israeli troops withdrew from the As-Sudaniyah area, north of Gaza City, after a night of shooting there.

Locals said several homes were raided and their residents “massacred,” after which their homes were burned. Medical sources have until Sunday evening been unable to confirm the number of dead there.

Some of the known raids included the home of Ahmad Aj-Ja’bari, an Al-Qassam Brigades member, in eastern Gaza City. His home was set on fire, as well, as Israeli troops withdrew.

In the southwest quarter of Gaza City clashes were heard in the Al-Sheikh Ajlein neighborhood as Israeli troops approached the evacuated Netsarim settlement, south of the city.

these are the war crimes that you, american citizens, pay for. that you don’t speak out about. you are complicit. i ask you: if these were jews, if this were world war ii, if adolf hitler were still alive, would you keep silent then too?

complicity with israeli terrorism; or, why we need to support gaza resistance

the death toll has risen in gaza yet again. there are now 786 martyrs. over 3,162 wounded. 257 of these martyrs are children. al jazeera reported that the death toll is rising, in part, because during the so-called “lull” today palestinians went out and searched for the dead. and new war crimes out of the same play book israeli terrorists have used in palestine and lebanon in the past. there are now 15,000 palestinians who have become internally displaced people (idps) (though i do not know how many of these idps were already refugees). 7 houses were demolished by israeli terrorists over night. 21 medics have been murdered. israeli terrorists systematically demolished palestinian homes along the so-called border between gaza and 1948 palestine, which is occupied by israeli terrorists. the intensity of the bombing has increased. and so have the piles of international outcry, all of which have done nothing. this is yet another reason to rethink our responses and organize to support palestinian resistance as safa joudeh offers us an important example of how palestinian resistance fighters in gaza are united, an important model and reminder of how the rest of us should be united–behind the resistance, supporting the resistance in whatever way we can:

The Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades of The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the al-Quds Brigades of the Islamic Jihad movement, The Izzedin al-Qassam brigades of Hamas, the Salah al-Din Brigades of the Popular Resistance Committees, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades of Fatah have all come together as one united front and at a high, almost affirmed risk of peril, are out protecting our streets and our homes, ready to die if that means preventing the death of one more helpless child. We are united and we have accepted our fate recurrently, but the people of Gaza — almost 80 percent of them refugees — will not be massacred and displaced yet again by people from the outside guided by tyranny and greed.

There are estimations out there as to the collective count of the united military resistance fighters from the Palestinian factions, the number is thought to be a few thousand. The Israeli troops within and around Gaza at this moment are approximately 33,000, with more reservists being called in within the next day. The disparity is not only in troop numbers, however. The Israeli forces are supported by the Israeli navy and the Israeli air force. The ground forces include artillery, tanks, engineering forces and intelligence agency support. The Israeli soldiers are equipped with the most modern weaponry and intelligence devices.

Palestinian fighters, on the other hand, have to make do with their homemade projectiles and a bare minimum of basic weaponry in order to defend themselves and their people against the Israeli military might.

At the moment, and in the midst of the aggression, it is hard to make sense of the current situation or make future predictions. It’s hard to come to grips with the numbers and the extent of our losses. It’s hard even to remember a time when basic necessities such as food, water, warmth and daylight weren’t a luxury. At this point, bare human instinct is at work — the need to protect your loved ones, the need to ensure shelter and the instinct of fight or flight. We have fled for too long, Gaza is our last refuge and our home after we were displaced from what is now called Israel. All this happened 60 years ago. What more could they want? We have nowhere left to go. They have disregarded every single international law there is. Now is the time to defend ourselves, now is the time for resistance.

and here is an update on the situation in gaza on day 13 of this israeli terrorist assault on gaza and why resistance should be more necessary than the bread we may or may not have to eat:

here are some of the many reasons over the past two days that show us why resistance is important. why we must take seize power and allow palestinians and lebanese to control their own destiny rather than always look to the white man, to the global north for their approval, acceptance, support which will never come. consider, for instance, the international committee of the red cross that has now joined its voice to the global outrage, to no avail:

Four exhausted children have been discovered cowering in a house next to the bodies of their mothers by staff of the International Committee of the Red Cross, which today accused the Israeli military of “unacceptable” delays in allowing medics safe access to injured Gazans.

The Red Cross workers found the small children, who were so weak they could not stand, sheltering next to the bodies of their mothers in a house in Zeitoun, southeast of Gaza City. Another man was found alive, but again too weak to stand. At least 12 bodies were lying on mattresses.

In another house nearby they found 15 survivors, several of whom were wounded. There were three more bodies in a third house. On Wednesday, a Palestinian volunteer with the Red Crescent who was in the same convoy described seeing dozens of dead bodies. Among those killed when the houses were shelled on Monday were three small boys, all from the Samouni family.

The Red Cross said Israeli soldiers were posted just 80 metres away and had several positions nearby, including two tanks.

It was a “shocking incident,” said Pierre Wettach, head of the Red Cross delegation for Israel and the Palestinian territories. “The Israeli military must have been aware of the situation but did not assist the wounded. Neither did they make it possible for us or the Palestine Red Crescent to assist the wounded,” he said.

The Red Cross had been asking the Israeli military to allow them access to Zeitoun since Israel’s ground invasion began on Saturday, but only a three-hour lull in the fighting on Wednesday allowed them to make the dangerous journey.

The Red Cross said Israel had breached international humanitarian law by not allowing access to the wounded and said it “considers the delay in allowing rescue services access unacceptable”.

of the dead and injured al mezan is documenting these developments, but of course we don’t have all the names of the martyred yet. nevertheless as they come i will write their names. i refuse to allow their names to become merely numbers:

1. North Gaza District: At approximately 11:45am yesterday, Wednesday, 7 January 2009, IOF fired artillery shells at the Ezbet Abed-Rabu eastern Jabaliya, destroying the house and killing three child sisters. They were identified as:

* Three-year-old Amal Khalid Abed-Rabu;
* Four-year-old Samar Khalid Abed-Rabu; and
* Seven-year-old Suad Khalid Abed-Rabu.

At the same time, IOF troops opened fire at an ambulance in the same neighborhood when its crew was trying to collect the body of a civilian, 42-year-old Samir Rashid Mohammed. Yesterday, medical sources announced the death of six people who had been injured previously in north Gaza, including two children, an old man and two women. They were identified as:

* 15-year-old Adham Ismail Matar;
* 16-year-old Islam Abdul-Dayim;
* 20-year-old Ahmad Ijneed;
* 21-year-old Ibrahim Salman;
* 23-year-old Wafa Abu Jarad; and
* 87-year-old Mohammed Abu Rukba.

Moreover, medical teams found the dead bodies of two men and a woman:

* 31-year-old Wojoud Rajab Abu Darabee;
* 55-year-old Mohammed Ali al-Sultan; and
* Musbah Ayioub,
whose age has not yet been verified.

At approximately 4:40pm on Wednesday, Israeli aircrafts raided the house of Jasser al-Batsh in Jabaliya, destroying it and injuring one person.

At approximately 6pm yesterday, also Wednesday, Israeli aircrafts fired a missile at a civilian car, killing five people: the driver, his three children and a relative. They were identified as:

* 44-year-old Khalid Ismail al-Kahlout;
* 15-year-old Mohammed Khalid al-Kahlout;
* 12-year-old Habeeb Khalid Al-Kahlout (who was handicapped);
* 10-year-old Tawfeek Khalid al-Kahlout; and
* 20-year-old Hassan Khalil al-Kahlout.

Two other passersby were injured in this attack. Al Mezan’s investigations indicated that al-Kahlout was going to buy bread for his family.

Later, at approximately 7:40pm on Wednesday, IOF stopped an ambulance that belongs to al-Falah Charity in Ezbet Abed-Rabu and confiscated it. IOF also shelled the Sheikh Zayid apartment compound at 9:15pm, causing damage to numerous apartments and forced its residents to evacuate their homes.

At approximately 8pm yesterday, also Wednesday, Israeli aircrafts fired missiles at the house of 42-year-old Taysir Mohammed Zomlut, killing him, his 10-year-old son, Mohammed, and his mother, 88-year-old Khadeeja. The house was destroyed completely and two neighboring houses were damaged.

At approximately 12:05am today, Thursday 8 January 2009, Israeli aircraft raided the house of Mahmoud Rwishid, which is located in the middle of Jabaliya refugee camp. The house and five neighboring houses were completely destroyed. Israeli aircraft also raided six houses in Jabaliya and Beit Lahia between 12:05am and 12:50pm today. As a result, the six houses and 11 other houses were completely destroyed. Another 26 houses were severely damaged. IOF also raided the Anan Mosque in Jabalia and destroyed it. Eighteen people were injured as a result of the bombardment of these houses.

At approximately 9:30pm today, the IOF fired missiles into a crowd near the Kamal Udwan Hospital in Beit Lahia, killing three passersby and injuring two. The victims were identified as:

* 25-year-old Mohammed al-Hindi;
* 24-year-old Anwar Jaber Abu Salem; and
* 27-year-old Abdul-Nasser Odeh.

At 10:50am today, medical teams found the body of 30-year-old Bassam Shaban Kouta in the vicinity of Erez Crossing. The victim was a driver at UNRWA [the United Nations agency for Palestine refugees] and was killed from IOF fire as he was on his way to lift humanitarian aid. Two hours later, IOF artillery shelling of the Sheikh Zayid apartment compound killed a five-year-old girl, Basma Yasser al-Jilawi.

2. Gaza City District:

Al-Shifa Hospital has continued to receive the bodies of people killed as a result of the ongoing Israeli attacks. Some of those were collected a few days after they were killed. Others died of their injuries some days later.

At approximately 1:20pm, on 7 January 2009, the bodies of 12-year-old Radwan Mohammed Ashour and his 11-year-old brother Abdul-Rahman were admitted at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. The two brothers were killed while in their house at approximately 8am on the same day as a result of IOF artillery shelling close to their house in al-Zeitoun neighborhood, in eastern Gaza City. The bodies of following people were also received at the hospital on the same day:

* 21-year-old Ahmed Hasan Abu Zour;
* 20-year-old Ahmed Salah Mousa;
* 20-year-old Azmi Diab;
* 21-year-old Majed Sobhi Moshtaha; and
* 20-year-old Alaa Masoud Arafat.

At approximately 11:50pm, on the same day, medical sources at al-Quds Hospital announced the death of 16-year-old Mohammed Samir Hajji as a result of injuries he had sustained on 12 December 2008.

In the late hours of the same day, IOF aircraft raided and completely destroyed the al-Taqwa and the al-Nour al-Mohammadi mosques which are located in Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in Gaza City.

At approximately 2am, on 8 January 2008, IOF aircrafts bombarded the two-story house of 52-year-old Mohmoud Mohammed al-Huwwari, in al-Zeitoun neighborhood. The attack destroyed the targeted house and the house of Khader Rajab completely, and caused damages to four nearby houses. The attack also killed 22-year-old Omar Khader Rajab, and injured six others.

At approximately 2am, on the same day, the corpse of a 50-year-old woman, Fadwa Khalil Kheil, was admitted at al-Shifa Hospital. She was blown to pieces as a result of the IOF artillery shelling that targeted her house in al-Zeitoun neighborhood on 5 January 2009.

At approximately 3am that same day, medial sources at al-Shifa Hospital announced the death of seven-year-old Ahmed Jaber Huweij from wounds he had sustained on 27 December 2008 following IOF shelling that targeted the house of Hmeid’s family. Jaber’s father and two of his brothers were killed in the same attack.

At the same time, the body of 42-year-old Hatem Waleed Ghazal was also admitted at al-Shifa hospital. He was killed by a live bullet fired by IOF sniper in Yafa Street in al-Tuffah neighborhood, in eastern Gaza City.

At approximately 6am, on the same day, medical sources at al-Quds Hospital announced the death of a 30-year-old woman, Rawia Rajan Awad, as a result of injuries she had sustained earlier. Moreover, medical sources announced the death of 14-year-old Aed Ammar Kheira from wounds he had sustained on 4 January 2009.

3. Middle Gaza District: At approximately 7pm yesterday Wednesday, 7 January 2009, Israeli aircraft raided a blacksmith workshop owned by Mahmoud al-Taweel in the al-Bureij refugee camp. The workshop was completely destroyed.

Thirty minutes later, Israeli aircraft raided a house and a blacksmith workshop owned by Abdul-Hamid Fadil, also in al-Bureij refugee camp. The four-story house, the workshop and three neighboring houses were completely destroyed. Another 10 houses were damaged. Moreover, two men were killed in the attack. They were identified as:

* 27-year-old Hammam Mohammed Issa; and
* 22-year-old Ahmed Yousef Hussein.

At approximately 8pm on Wednesday, Israeli aircraft raided the house of Abdul-Raziq al-Nadi. Three heavy missiles destroyed the two-story house, which was inhabited by 20 people.

At approximately 8:55pm Wednesday, Israeli aircrafts raided the police station and the neighboring municipality building, destroying them and three other houses completely. Several other houses and an non-governmental organization office were also damaged.

4. Khan Younis District:

At approximately 11pm, on 7 January 2009, IOF aircrafts targeted a group of youths who were near al-Tatouri factory in al-Amal neighborhood, west of Khan Younis, killing 22-year-old Salem Hmeid Abu Mousa, 22-year-old Hassan Rateb Saman and injuring other bystanders.

At approximately 11:50pm, on the same day, IOF aircrafts bombarded the police station which is located on Salah al-Din Street in Maan area, east of Khan Younis, destroying it completely. At approximately 4:30pm that same day, IOF aircraft bombarded the police station in Bani Suhaila destroying it completely.

At approximately 1:15, on 8 January 2009, the IOF penetrated the vicinity of Abu al-Alaa al-Maary School in northeast al-Qarara town, northeast of Khan Younis, and opened gunfire and missiles at agricultural and open areas. The shelling resulted in the killing of 60-year-old Atwi Awwad Abu Nazeef.

At approximately 12pm, on the same day, IOF aircraft raided a group of women, killing 22-year-old Maather Mohammed Hmeid, and 32-year-old Faten Sneid. The death toll in Khan Younis district between 1pm yesterday and 1pm today reached has reached five, including two women.

5. Rafah District:

At approximately 9:50pm, on 7 January 2009, IOF aircraft fired two missiles at the three-story house of Ahmed Mohsen Hasan Fuju, which is located in al-Jnina neighborhood in Rafah, destroying it completely. The house was inhabited by four families, a total of 20 persons. The attack also destroyed totally the adjacent two-story house of Hmeid Mohammed Mohsen Fuju, which was inhabited by three families, a total of 11 persons.

The number of people killed in Rafah since the beginning of the Israeli operation till 7 January 2009 has reached 39, including 13 children and a woman, while the number of people injured has reached 320, including 203 men, 61 women, and 65 children.

here is al mezan’s report from yesterday naming the martyrs and giving us context for their brutal murders by israeli terrorists using their american-made weapons:

At approximately 3:15pm Monday, IOF artillery hit the house of the al-Jatali family, which is located near Erez Crossing. The father, 35-year-old Mousa Mohammed al-Jatali, was killed immediately in the house. His three sons, Islam (nine); Hamza (four); and Abdul-Rahma (two), were injured.

In the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahia, Israeli tanks opened fire at two Palestine Red Crescent Society ambulances at approximately 5:30pm, also on Monday. The two ambulances, which were on their way to collect injured and killed people in the al-Atatra area, were damaged by the shelling, despite their coordination with the IOF through the International Committee of the Red Cross.

At approximately 8pm on Monday, Israeli aircrafts raided the house of Mahmoud Yousef Lubad in Block 12 in Jabaliya refugee camp, destroying it completely and causing damage to six houses. Forty-year-old Basil Abu Ghaben was killed. His body was found under the rubble in the morning.

At approximately 11:30pm on Monday, Israeli aircrafts raided the house of Fuad Mansour in Block 12 in Jabaliya refugee camp, destroying it completely and killing an old women, Khadija Zomlut, 70. Two children and one woman were also injured: Hilmi Zomlut, one years old, his brother Mohammed (15) and Nisreen Zomlut (30).

Ten minutes later, the IOF fired about 30 artillery shells towards the al-Jama neighborhood in the east of Jabaliya, destroying ten homes, injuring one person and forcing about 100 of the residents to evacuate their homes.

At approximately 12:30am Tuesday, 6 January 2009, Israeli aircraft raided the house of Abdullah Kadoura Salih in Block Six in Jabaliya refugee camp, destroying it completely and killing four of its residents. They were identified as:

* 12-year-old girl Raneen Kadoura Salih;
* 55-year-old Abdullah Salih;
* 45-year-old Mahzyia Salih; and
* 21-year-old Samia Salih.

Ten of the house’s residents were also injured in the attack, including three children.

At approximately 12:40am on Tuesday, Israeli aircrafts raided the house of Hatim Wadi in Jabaliya camp, destroying it and damaging four houses around it. Two people were killed in this raid:

* 33-year-old Hamdi Hammad; and
* 50-year-old Ismail Abu Nasser.

Twenty others were also injured in the attack.

At approximately 4:37am Tuesday, Israeli aircrafts raided the house of Manar al-Kurdi in Block Two of Jabaliya camp, destroying it and killing two of its residents; a child and an old woman:

* Three-year-old Adam Mamoun al-Kurdi; and
* 60-year-old Hajar Ismail Insiwi.

Four others were injured, including a child. The same house was raided again, just as ambulance crews arrived at the scene, injuring 10 rescue workers.

Also on Tuesday, Israeli aircrafts raided the house of Kamal al-Kahlout in Jabaliya camp, destroying it and killing a child: 17-year-old Huzayfa al-Kahlout.

At approximately 8am, an IOF drone bombarded a car, injuring 24-year-old Emad Mohammed Shalak and 21-year-old Tariq Farajallah, and the driver 24-year-old Jalal Afana, whose leg was later amputated.

In Gaza City, IOF has launched numerous attacks on houses, destroying many of their residents. Al Mezan has not been able to verify the consequences of each attack in these areas; however, killed and injured people continue to arrive at al-Shifa Hospital. Al Mezan has received many reports about civilians who were killed under the rubble of their homes. Al Mezan has verified the following attacks and casualties in Gaza City:

At approximately 12:50pm yesterday, Monday 5 January 2009, IOF artillery targeted the house of al-Milh in the east of al-Zeitoun neighborhood, killing two women and causing several casualties. The two women were identified as:

* 80-year-old Khadra al-Milh; and
* 25-year-old Lobna al-Milh
.

About two hours later, IOF artillery hit the house of Nafez Eliwa in al-Shejaiyeh neighborhood, killing a mother and four of her children. The victims were identified as:

* The mother, 37-year-old Amal Zaki Eliwa;
* Muntaser Eliwa;
* Hazem Eliwa;
* Mumen Eliwa;

* The fourth child, a girl, has not yet been identified; however, Al Mezan knew that the children were under the age of 15.

At approximately 2:20pm, on 5 January 2009, the IOF fired artillery shells at the house of the al-Sirsawi family in eastern al-Zeitoun neighborhood, destroying it completely while its inhabitants were inside it. Five-year-old Ayia al-Sirsawi was killed in the attack. According to eyewitnesses, more family members are still under the rubble of their house.

At approximately 2:15pm, on the same day, the IOF fired artillery at the house of the Allaw family, which is located in al-Tuffah neighborhood of eastern Gaza City, killing 12-year-old Mohammed Talal Allaw, and his 11-year-old brother Momen while they were playing on the roof of their house.

At approximately 1:30pm, on the same day, the IOF shelled also the house of the al-Harazeen family in az-Zeitoun neighborhood, eastern Gaza City, with artillery, killing 20-year-old Alaa Ibrahim al-Harazeen, and 21-year-old Ahmed Fathi al-Harazeen. Eye witnesses reported to Al Mezan that there were still victims under the rubble of the house.

At approximately 5:30pm that same day, the IOF opened fire randomly at houses in al-Zeitoun neighborhood during an incursion of a special force into the neighborhood. The shooting killed 15-year-old Hanadi Basem Khalifa with a live bullet to her head.

At approximately 6:10pm, IOF aircrafts hit one of al-Saada towers (apartment-building compound) in Tel al-Hawa neighborhood, south of Gaza City, killing 50-year-old Fayiz Yousif Hasan, while he was in his house close to the tower, and injuring two others.

Further, at approximately 11pm, the IOF launched eight air raids at the al-Saraya security compound in central Gaza City. The compound includes Gaza Central Prison and security apparatuses. The attacks destroyed the compound completely and caused severe damages to neighboring houses. Several residents of the areas were injured.

At approximately 12am, on 6 January 2009, the IOF tanks shelled the house of 50-year-old Awni Abdul-Fattah Jaddou, which is located in al-Zeitoun neighborhood. The shelling killed three of Jadou’s sons, and injured four others from the same family. Those killed were:

* 18-year-old Lotfi Abdul-Fattah Jadou;
* 24-year-old Ghazi Abdul-Fattah Jadou; and
* 20-year-old Hashem Abdul-Fattah Jadou.

Furthermore, IOF aircrafts raided UNRWA’s Asma School the Beach refugee camp. This school was used by UNRWA to shelter civilians who were displaced from the areas where they live in the eastern areas of Gaza City as well as the al-Atatra and al-Salatin areas in Beit Lahia town. The attack killed three youths who were identified as: 27-year-old Rawhi Jamal al-Sultan, 23-year-old Hussein Mamoud al-Sultan, and 19-year-old Abed Samir al-Sultan.

At approximately 6am on the same day, Israeli aircrafts bombarded the four-story house of 60-year-old Fayiz al-Daya, in al-Zeitoun neighborhood in Gaza City. The attack destroyed the house completely while its residents were in inside it. Eyewitnesses and survivors reported that 30 members of the al-Daya family were killed. Four bodies had been taken out from under the rubble and sent to al-Shifa Hospital at the time this release was issued. Al Mezan has also received the names of 26 other members of this family, who are believed to be under the rubble. Those who were identified are:

* 60-year-old Fayiz Mosbah al-Daya,
* 25-year-old Sabreen al-Daya;
* 34-year-old Iyad Fayiz al-Daya;
* Five-year-old Falastin Fayiz al-Daya; and
* 55-year-old Khitam al-Daya, who is the wife of the house’s owner.

In another attack, at the same time, the IOF fired artillery shells towards houses near the Abu Jebba gas station in al-Zeitoun neighborhood. The shelling killed 52-year-old Abdul-Wahab Ahmed Hasanein, while he was in his house. Twelve others were injured.

Between 1pm on 5 January 2009 and 12pm on 6 January 2009, 40 bodies were admitted to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. Al Mezan was able to identify some of them as:

* Five-year-old Aya al-Sirsawi, from al-Zeitoun neighborhood;
* 19-year-old Mohammed Mustafa Kmeel, from al-Zeitoun neighborhood;
* 22-year-old Mohammed Al-Ghazali,
* 20-year-old Ahmed Fathi al-Nazli,
* Three-year-old Wiam Jamal al-Kafarneh, from Beit Hanoun town;
* Montasir Eleiwa, a child from al-Shejaiyia neighborhood;
* Hazem Elawa, a child from al-Shejaiyia neighborhood;
* Momen Eleiwa, a child from al-Shejaiyia neighborhood;
* Mohammed al-Khouli, from al-Tuffah neighborhood;
* 37-year-old Amal Eleiwa; from al-Shejaiyia neighborhood;
* 36-year-old Mahrous Shuheibar, from al-Zeitoun neighborhood;
* Basem Morjan, from al-Zeitoun neighborhood;
* 20-year-old Ala Ibrahim al-Harazeen, from al-Zeitoun neighborhood;
* 21-year-old Ahmed Fathi al-Harazeen, from al-Zeitoun neighborhood;
* 15-year-old Nada Mosbah Sad, from al-Tuffah neighborhood;
* Adham Moteir, from al-Tuffah neighborhood;
* Five-year-old Nada Mardi, from al-Tuffah neighborhood;
* Ramadan Fefel, from al-Tuffah neighborhood;
* 58-year-old Laila Ismail Sulaiman, from al-Tuffah neighborhood;
* Mohammed Samir Salem, from al-Tuffah neighborhood;
* 74-year-old Hassan Khalil Arafat, from al-Tuffah neighborhood;
* 80-year-old Khadra Abdul-Malek, from al-Zeitoun neighborhood;
* 15-year-old Ahmed Shaher Khteir, from Beit Lahia town;
* Nine-year-old Jihad Samir Rheim, from al-Zeitoun neighborhood;
* 12-year-old Mohammed Mahmoud Allaw, from al-Tuffah neighborhood
* 11-year-old Momen Mahoud Allaw, from al-Tuffah neighborhood;
* 80-year-old Khadra al-Milh, from al-Zeitoun neighborhood;
* 25-year-old Lubna al-Milh, from al-Zeitoun neighborhood;
* 52-year-old Abdul-Wahhab Ahmed Hasanein, from al-Zeitoun neighborhood;
* 50-year-old Fayiz Yousif Hassan, Tel al-Hawa;
* 60-year-old Fayiz Musbah al-Daya, from al-Zeitoun neighborhood;
* 55-year-old Khitam al-Daya, from al-Zeitoun neighborhood;
* 34-year-old Iyad al-Daya, from al-Zeitoun neighborhood;
* Five-year-old Filastin al-Daya, from al-Zeitoun neighborhood.

Medical sources announced the death of 47-year-old Asad Hamouda, who was injured on 4 January 2009. In addition, were a child from the Eliaw family, and another from the Sheheibar family whose names remain unknown.

In the Central Gaza district, the IOF opened artillery fire at Block Four in the al-Bureij refugee camp. At approximately 9:40pm Monday 5 January 2009, artillery shells hit the house of Jihad Ali Abu Jbara, 53, killing him, his two sons Basil (29), and Usama (21); and two children in the neighboring houses: Naji al-Hamalawi (16), and Ibrahim Akel (17). Ten other people including four children were also injured in this attack.

At approximately 10pm on the same day, Israeli aircrafts raided the police station in the town of Deir al-Balah. Israeli navy vessels shelled a crowd and houses in the town’s refugee camp at 2:30am Tuesday, killing 10 people. They were identified as:

* 21-year-old Hashim Afana;
* 27-year-old Khalil al-Hasanat;
* 20-year-old Husam Abu al-Sibah;
* 25-year-old Zyad Nassar;
* 35-year-old Ahmad al-Hasanat;
* 33-year-old Mohammed Abu Shira;
* 22-year-old Hasan Mismeh;
* 18-year-old Ala Ismail;
* 18-year-old Mohammed Eid and
* 23-year-old Mohammed al-Banna.

Al Mezan’s field worker in the Central Gaza district reported that a 22-year-old woman, Ayyat Farajallah, was injured in her chest from Israeli fire when she was at her house’s door in the Wadi Gaza village. IOF troops, who are stationed north to the nearby al-Zahraa, opened fire at the woman. Continuous shooting from these troops has forced the residents of the village to evacuate and seek safe shelters elsewhere. This woman was about to leave the village with her family when she was shot.

At approximately 12:10am Tuesday, Israeli aircraft raided the house of Salah al-Aydi in the al-Maghazi refugee camp, destroying it and injuring three civilians in the area. A 26-year-old woman, Islam Abdul-Jawwad was critically injured in this attack.

At approximately 10:30am also today, IOF fired artillery that exploded near the house of Mahmoud Abu Shaar, 27, in the Wadi al-Salqa village in central Gaza. The man was killed with his 24-year-old wife Fidaa Abu Shaar. Their infant, Tamer, who is six months old, was injured.

At approximately 1:15am today, Israeli aircraft fired two missiles that struck a garden and an open field in the al-Nuseirat refugee camp in the Central Gaza district. Several houses in the area were damaged.

At approximately 8pm yesterday, Monday 5 January 2009, Israeli aircrafts also fired a missile that landed near al-Nour Mosque in Abassan town, east of Khan Younis City in South Gaza district. It caused severe damage to the mosque and several other houses in its vicinity. Israeli aircrafts also bombarded numerous open fields close to neighborhoods in Khan Younis, causing damages to houses in the al-Amal neighborhood and the towns of Abassan and Khuzaa. Three women were injured in these raids. Moreover, Israeli naval vessels opened fire towards the al-Mawasi area in the west of Khan Younis, injuring three civilians, including two children.

At approximately 9:10am today, Israeli aircrafts raided the house of Khaled Abu Odeh in the al-Amal neighborhood, destroying it and a neighboring house completely, and causing damage to several houses in its vicinity. Five people were injured in this raid; including a cameraman of the al-Aqsa satellite channel, two children and one woman.

IOF’s artillery shells landed in eastern Abassan town at approximately 11:20am today. One shell landed near the house of Hasan Ikdeeh, killing a five-year-old child, Marwan Hasan Ikdeeh, and injuring his 13-year-old sister, Lama.

the list above is long. but it is not complete. the morgues are full and no longer have refrigerated space for the dead. those who search for the dead, who pick up the wounded–the medics–are being killed, are being targeted as this footage from al jazeera demonstrates:

these are medics like arafa hani abed al dayem who volunteered as a medic, but who was a science teacher. he was targeted and murdered by israeli terrorists. you see, medics are dangerous: they save palestinian people’s lives. equally dangerous are those who drive cars or trucks for the united nations; they are targeted by israeli terrorists as well:

Israeli troops shot and killed a United Nations truck driver in Gaza on Thursday.

Witnesses said the UNRWA driver was shot near the Kerem Shalom border crossing at the northern end of the Strip. A bystander was injured in the shooting. The attack occured two days after Israeli artillery killed 45 civilians at a UN compound in northern Gaza.

what makes it so obvious that israeli terrorists target those who work for the united nations is that the united nations shares its coordinates and whereabouts with the israeli terrorists so when they bomb such drivers, schools, clinics, and buildings they know exactly what it is they are doing:

John Ging, the head of the UN relief agency in Gaza, said that the casualties in the convoy attack were Palestinian civilian contractors hired to bring supplies from the crossing points.

“They were co-ordinating their movements with the Israelis, as they always do, only to find themselves being fired at from the ground troops,” he told Al Jazeera.

“It has resulted tragically in the death of one and the injury of two others.”

Richard Miron, the UN spokesman, said the Israeli army had been notified in advance about the movements of the UNRWA convoy.

All convoys to Erez and the Kerem Shalom, which has been the main crossing point used for bringing humanitarian supplies into Gaza, were suspended after the incident.

“This underlines the fundamental insecurity inside Gaza at a time when we are trying to address the dire humanitarian needs of the population there,” Miron said.

of course in either scenario it is the palestinians in gaza who are being punished–either they are being bombed out or they are being starved out. either way the choice is death for palestinians: the slow kind of death of hunger or the quick kind from the american-made weapons.

meanwhile the world health organization, in concert with the united nations and the icrc, condemned israeli terrorists who are compounding the crisis by besieging not only the people but also the medical facilities, the electricity…:

According to information obtained by the WHO, the ongoing Israeli air strikes, shelling and ground offensive have limited the movement of the patients and the medics to a serious level that blocked medical services and the delivery of medical supplies.

The organization stated that 21 medical personnel were killed in the Gaza Strip and that thirty other were wounded as the army did not only shell ambulances but also shelled hospitals in medical centers. The army also shelled at least eleven ambulances.

The WHO added that the number of medial governmental facilities that are still running in the Gaza Strip is 29 out of 56 centers and medical facilities.

The WHO statements focused on the following main points;

1. Gaza Strip needs urgent supplies of life-saving equipment to treat the increasing number of wounded residents.

2. Due to the ongoing bombardment and ground offensive, the movement of the patients and medical personnel is limited; evacuation of critically injured residents to hospitals outside of the Gaza Strip is prevented by Israel.

3. Hospitals in Gaza do not have enough beds in emergency rooms and admissions. Hospitals are using make-shift trauma and intensive care units and even those beds are nearing exhaustion of capacity. “There have been reports of injured people lying on the ground in health facilities”.

4. Health workers are working around the clock since Israel started bombarding Gaza on December 27. They are very exhausted and need urgent replacements to be able to provide live-saving services to the critically injured residents.

5. Power failures are affecting the medical services, hospitals have to use generators, including some hospitals that use generators around the clock, main supplies are cut, medical supplies are running out, power failures have negative effects on infection control, blood transfusion, instruments used for sterilization, basic sanitation and hygiene in hospitals, operating theatres and intensive care units. The hospitals are also expecting a dangerous increase of life-threatening hospital-borne infections “such as gangrene, septicemia, tetanus, etc.) and complications (such as shock) can also be expected”. The statement reads.

and while the world protests and demands a cessation to the israeli terrorist bombardment of gaza, the united states continues to arm the zionist entity with weapons to murder palestinians in gaza using greece (add them to the list of who is complicit please):

As the Israeli military continues to pound the crowded, impoverished and imprisoned population of the Gaza Strip with the full force of its military might, Israel’s strongest ally, the United States, announced plans to ship large amounts of ammunition to the Israeli forces – as it did during Israel’s 2006 invasion of Lebanon, when the Israelis ran out of (internationally-banned) cluster bombs, and the US shipped them tens of thousands more.

The US Military Sealift Command on Dec. 31st published a solicitation for bids from shipping companies to ship two boats, each containing 168 TEU’s (twenty-foot equivalent container units) of ammunition, from Greece to Israel.

The description of the vessels required was brief:

“Required: Request US or foreign flag container vessel (coaster) to move approximately 168 TEU’s [standard twenty-foot containers] in each of two consecutive voyages both containing ammunition.”

Bids were requested by January 5th, but it is unclear whether bids were submitted or a contract awarded as of January 8th.

According to the US Military’s solicitation, “Funds are not currently available for this procurement. In the event funds remain unavailable, this procurement will be cancelled without an award being made.”

it is behavior like this that means that every american legislator in washington dc has blood on his/her hands. we know this because whenever israeli terrorists massacre large numbers of palestinians or lebanese we can count on the senate and the house of represenatives to join in their loud, cheering support over the death of more arabs:

The U.S. Senate voiced strong support on Thursday for Israel’s battle against Hamas militants in Gaza, while urging a ceasefire that would prevent Hamas from launching any more rockets into Israel.

The chamber agreed on a voice vote to the non-binding resolution co-sponsored by Democratic and Republican party leaders in the chamber.

“When we pass this resolution, the United States Senate will strengthen our historic bond with the state of Israel, by reaffirming Israel’s inalienable right to defend against attacks from Gaza, as well as our support for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said before the vote.

Noting that Israel was bent on halting Hamas rocket fire into its southern towns, Reid said: “I ask any of my colleagues to imagine that happening here in the United States. Rockets and mortars coming from Toronto in Canada, into Buffalo New York. How would we as a country react?”

Co-sponsor and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican said before the vote: “The Israelis … are responding exactly the same way we would.”

The House was expected to pass a similar resolution.

sure there is one lone voice, dennis kucinich who is offering a different perspective on this in a letter to condoleeza rice, but again, to what effect?:

I am writing concerning Israel’s military offensive against Gaza, which began on December 27th. I support Israel’s security and its right to exist in peace, without the fear of rocket attacks from Hamas. Moreover, I abhor the violence being visited upon the citizens of our firm ally. However, no nation is immune from the legal conditions placed on the receipt of U.S. military assistance. I believe that with the current escalation of violence in Gaza, a legal threshold has been reached, warranting a Presidential examination and report to Congress. I hereby request an examination of Israel’s compliance with the provisions of the Arms Export Control Act of 1976 (AECA).[1]

While neither the AECA nor the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (FAA) define “internal security” and “legitimate self-defense,” I believe that Israel’s most recent attacks neither further internal security nor do they constitute “legitimate” acts of self-defense. They do, however, “increase the possibility of an outbreak or escalation of conflict,” because they are a vastly disproportionate response to the provocation, and because the Palestinian population is suffering from those military attacks in numbers far exceeding Israeli losses in life and property.

Israel’s current military campaign in Gaza has inflicted a significant toll on Palestinian civilians and society. Israel’s recent aerial and ground offensive against Gaza has killed nearly 600 and injured over 2,500. The Associated Press reported: “children are paying the price. . . . The United Nations has said the death toll includes 34 children. . . . But the broad range of Israel’s targets–police compounds, fire stations, homes of militants, Hamas-run mosques and university buildings–means most shelling is occurring in residential areas.”[2] The extensive destruction of such civilian institutions violates Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the wanton destruction of property and collective punishment of a civilian population. There have also been reports of bombings of United Nations (UN) schools, despite the fact that Israeli Defense Forces were allegedly given coordinates of the facilities prior to the current escalation in violence.[3][4] The blockade that Israel has imposed on Gaza since 2006 has further exacerbated the extent of collateral damage, as hospitals and morgues have been unable to cope with the magnitude of deaths and injuries as a result of the current escalation in violence and hospitals lack proper supplies needed to treat the injured. The blockade that Israel has imposed on Gaza since 2006 has further exacerbated the extent of collateral damage, as hospitals and morgues have been unable to cope with the magnitude of deaths and injuries as a result of the current escalation in violence and hospitals lack proper supplies needed to treat the injured. The blockade that Israel has imposed on Gaza since 2006 has further exacerbated the extent of collateral damage, as hospitals and morgues have been unable to cope with the magnitude of deaths and injuries as a result of the current escalation in violence and hospitals lack proper supplies needed to treat the injured. The extensive destruction of such civilian institutions violates Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the wanton destruction of property and collective punishment of a civilian population. There have also been reports of bombings of United Nations (UN) schools, despite the fact that Israeli Defense Forces were allegedly given coordinates of the facilities prior to the current escalation in violence. The blockade that Israel has imposed on Gaza since 2006 has further exacerbated the extent of collateral damage, as hospitals and morgues have been unable to cope with the magnitude of deaths and injuries as a result of the current escalation in violence and hospitals lack proper supplies needed to treat the injured.

I believe that Israel’s use of defense articles provided by the U.S in the current Gaza military attacks may constitute a violation of the AECA. At a minimum, the conflict is sufficient to warrant an immediate report to Congress as required by 22 U.S.C. §2753. Please contact my office by close of business on January 7, 2009 with the date the report will be submitted.

you can watch dennis kucinich here on al jazeera (and some mofo zionist too) discussing this issue in congress and you can see that, while it may feel good for a minute to have some white man advocating in support of palestinians: to what effect? what is the use of this?

meanwhile americans and others who are trying to figure out what to do that can be of help: (little clue here: liberating ALL OF HISTORIC PALESTINE), palestinians in gaza continue to be beiseged, and too often forgotten. sameh habeeb has recently been under attack for the tremendous efforts he is going through to write about israeli terrorism every day. he does this at great risk to himself and his family as he reminds us on his blog:

I have got three calls from anonymous persons stop blogging or I would be killed. Yet, I would keep on this track. Some of you do wonder how I send news in such conditions. I really suffer a lot to send you this update due to lack of power. I go around 4 kilo meters a day in this cruel war where I charge my laptop battery to be able to send this work! This is very risky since shells rain down and drones hover over me! I will keep this up.

This is a new report for the 13th day of Gaza War and the outcomes of Israeli invasion. For more reporting, breaking news, interviews and accounts in Gaza, you could reach me on my contact info below. Please try both numbers below because there is a big problem in communication resulted in Israeli power cuts.

13 days. no reprieve. we need resistance, serious resistance, now.

breakdown over gaza

i’ve had an exhausting day and i don’t know if i am capable of being coherent right now, but i’ll give it a shot. i spent the day with a friend at amman ahliyya university in salt. i lectured in her class on feminist theory where i read suheir hammad poems about gaza and asked them to discuss her poems in relation to the theory they had been reading. it was so refreshing to be on this campus–to see so many students wearing kuffiyas, to see hear only music by musicians like marcel khalife or ahmed qabour in the cafeteria (and no pop music!), to see posters everywhere about not only relief work students and faculty are organizing, but also a boycott campaign of american products in jordan. mish ma’oul! but it is true and here is their beautiful boycott poster i saw all over campus:

stop

it was amazing to spend the day with people who are active or who have been re-activated by the situation and to hear all that they are doing. there is another on-going, daily sit-in in amman, though i did not know about it until today and it was too late for me to go. but here is how my friend described it:

i went to the sit-in yesterday and it was truly an inspiring and even historical event the likes of which jordan has not seen! they have been meeting there every day, all day and night since the beginning of the invasion and people flow in and out all day but one night there was about 200. they have put up a big tent (AND secured a license to do this – another first!), with smaller tents all over, flags and palestinian art on canvas everywhere, in the back there are rows of “grave stones”, there is a big “GAZA” made out of some flammable material which they light up at night so you can see if from the air, plus there are small fires everywhere since its get quite cold at night – inside the tent, there is much nationalist chanting, some poetry reading, some speeches, all peaceful, but very vocal and united.

i learned about this as i was in a taxi on my way to the airport to head to beirut. last night was another night with too little sleep. and i arrived at the airport with extremely heavy bags filled with gifts for palestinian friends in lebanon who are not allowed to go to palestine because they are refugees and their land is occupied by israeli terrorists who are busy bombing gaza. i have a variety of gifts, including a ton of nabulsi soap which in the quantity that i had made the bags ketir heavy. but i also had some olive oil from nablus. apparently, this is forbidden to bring on the plane. when the security at the airport started hassling me about it i had a breakdown. the lack of sleep and food and watching the horror of israeli terrorism and the lack of concern among the world leaders to do one f^%$#@! thing about it just unleashed a flood of rage and tears that was really uncontrollable. it was this combination of feelings about what is happening in gaza and the fact that my friends cannot go home and i was going to be forbidden from bringing them gifts from their homeland? i refused to let them take the olive oil. they wanted to check with my airline. but the problem was that i flew middle east airlines, lebanon’s national air carrier. and their counter was only a few meters away. i did not want them to see all these palestinian items in my bags as if they thought i had been there i wouldn’t be allowed to go to lebanon. it was very tense and extremely frustrating, but in the end they let me keep the oil.

but the sadness that this incident sparked stayed with me on the plane. once the lights were out i just started crying uncontrollably again. looking out the window as we took off i couldn’t help but think about what this same sky, what this same airspace meant for the people of gaza. where israeli terrorists were flying just about a hundred kilometers away, dropping bombs on palestinians in gaza. and then again when i saw rania in the crowd at the airport waiting to pick me up the tears came again.

so i’m back in beirut. saw friends tonight for a little while. i didn’t really want to go out, but two friends were here visiting family who are going back to canada in the morning so i went to see them for a couple of hours. and once again i’m overwhelmed by all the news that i missed about what is going on in gaza today. i will catch up readers tomorrow on some of the stories that i think are important and interesting, but here are a few to hold you over.

al jazeera covering the funerals of the dead palestinians who israeli terrorists murdered while they were seeking shelter in united nations schools:

here is footage of israeli terrorists attacking united nations schools in gaza:

and here is the toll of the israeli terrorist siege thus far: 700 martyrs, 30% of whom are children, and 3,100 injured.

Israeli warplanes killed three Palestinian civilians on Wednesday afternoon during what Israel had earlier declared to be a unilateral three hour halt in its attacks on Gaza.

Israel had announced that it would halt attacks between 1:00pm and 4:00pm on Wednesday afternoon to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Medics at Kamal Udwan Hospital confirmed that three sisters were killed by Israeli fire in the east of Jabaliya Refugee Camp. The sisters were identified as two-year-old Amal, four-year-old Su’ad and six-year-old Samar. Others were injured, medics said.

Meanwhile, Ma’an’s Gaza correspondent reported back that early on Wednesday evening Israeli warplanes struck a car in Beit Lahiya, killing the four Palestinians inside.

Medical officials report that 682 Gazans have been killed since the Israeli war on Gaza began 12 days ago. More than 3,000 have been injured.

Among the dead are an estimated 185 children and 41 women.

Jabaliya was the location of an Israeli artillery attack on Tuesday that killed 45 Palestinians who had taken shelter in a UN school.

Meanwhile, Red Cross teams managed to enter the Zaytoun neighborhood of southern Gaza City, which has witnessed intense fighting in the last 24 hours. Rescue workers removed two more bodies from the rubble of a house destroyed by Israeli warplanes, where more than 20 members of the same were feared dead. The removal of these bodies means 10 members of the Samuni family have been confirmed killed.

The Israeli warplanes also targeted a house related to Abu Muhadi family in An-Nuseirat, in the central Gaza Strip and four other houses at the borders in the southern city of Rafah, killing an elderly man.

a note: there was a 3 hour truce today, and supposedly this “lull” will be employed between 1-4 pm for the next few days. but what you may not know is that during this so-called brief “truce,” israeli terrorists did not stop their bombardment of palestinians in gaza. they murdered 3 sisters in beit lahiya and in the first few minutes of this they continued their airstrikes. and, israeli terrorists targeted another united nations school today:

The United Nations’ top official in the Gaza Strip said on Wednesday that there were absolutely no armed men inside the UN school in Jabaliya that was the target of an Israeli attack that left 47 dead.

“I can tell you categorically that there was no militant activity in that school at the time of that tragedy,” said John Ging, the director of operations of UNRWA in Gaza, speaking to Al-Jazeera.

Meanwhile, the death toll in the school shelling rose to 45 as wounded victims died in hospitals. Tens of thousands attended a funeral procession for the dead.

Ging also told the Australian newspaper The Age, “We have established beyond any doubt that the school was not being used by any militants.”

“They were innocent people,” said Ging, adding that around 350 Palestinians had taken shelter in the school after fleeing invading Israeli forces. The shelling of the Al-Fakhoura School was deadliest single attack on Gaza since Israel began its air bombardment 12 days ago.

Ging’s comments contradicted claims made by the Israeli military that Hamas gunmen had fired a mortar shell from the school. In a statement released on Tuesday night, the Israeli military confirmed that it had shelled the school.

The United Nations also says it provided Israel with the GPS coordinates of all its facilities in the Gaza Strip long before the current war began ten days ago.

Three other UN facilities, including schools and a health center, also came under attack by Israeli forces on Monday and Tuesday, killing at least three.

According to UN statistics, some 14,000 people have taken refuge in UNRWA installations across the Gaza Strip.

more updates bokra, but until then check the links on the sidebar under “gaza” for updates on blogs, news sites, etc.

and before i go one final thought for the day. yesterday my dear friend who i was staying with in amman, who is palestinian, has a seven-year-old son who asked me the other day about whether israelis come to amman. i said yes, but as tourists. he asked me if these are the same people he is seeing murdering so many palestinian children on television. i had to lie and say no. a year ago we had a similar conversation–after he had overheard me telling his parents stories about how israelis terrorize palestinians in the west bank. he was afraid, at the time, that they would come to jordan to kidnap and kill palestinians next. so i knew where this was going and i lied. i said, no, those israeli terrorists do not come to amman. but here is an interesting difference between there and here. another dear friend i saw tonight who has a son only a few years older than my other friend’s son wrote some sort of school assignment that was in the form of a letter to santa claus asking for some sort of christmas wish. what did this lovely young boy wish for? for sayyed hassan nasrallah to do something to those israeli terrorists. NOW!