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Old 19-07-2009, 06:17 AM   #1
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Default Israel, Palestine - Gaza : news articles.

Free Gaza--and Palestine

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090803/arraf
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Old 19-07-2009, 06:25 AM   #2
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HAPPY 91st BIRTHDAY NELSON MANDELA

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Many more…. in good health! We Love You!!




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One day Palestine will be free as well…. thanks to your brave example.
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Old 19-07-2009, 06:28 AM   #3
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Old 19-07-2009, 06:32 AM   #4
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COMMEMORATING FIVE YEARS OF APARTHEID

Apartheid five years on
Khalid Amayreh





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The World Court ruled Israel’s annexation wall in the West Bank illegal in 2004, but with no pressure coming from the international community it has not been dismantled, writes Khaled Amayreh in the occupied Palestinian territories

This week marked the passage of five years since the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague issued its landmark ruling deeming the gigantic apartheid wall Israel has been building in the West Bank illegal under international law.


Though not complete, the bulk of the barrier has already been constructed. In addition to the massive eight-metre high concrete wall now meandering like a snake through the West Bank, the barrier also consists of a vast network of multi-layered fences with vehicle-stopping trenches.


The barrier is mostly located inside the West Bank, partly along the former 1949 Armistice line, and is largely built on confiscated Palestinian land. As of April 2006, the length of the barrier as approved by the Israeli government was 703 kilometres (436 miles).


On 9 July 2004, the ICJ ruled that the barrier violated international law. While acknowledging Israel’s right to protect its citizens, the World Court said the Jewish state ought to do so within the law and should compensate Palestinians for property lost or damaged by the building of the wall.


The ICJ urged the UN Security Council and UN General Assembly to consider further action to end the illegal Israeli activity.


Israel completely ignored the ICJ ruling, claiming the international court had no jurisdiction over the occupied Palestinian territories. Some Israeli officials tacitly accused ICJ judges of harbouring “anti-Semitism”.


Since then, the Israeli military occupation authorities continued to seize large swathes of mostly private Palestinian land for building the wall and creating “safe zones” around it, especially on the Palestinian side of the barrier.


It is widely believed that tens of thousands of acres of fertile Palestinian land have been formally or effectively confiscated as the barrier has been built. Some experts estimate that up to 10- 15 per cent of the West Bank area has been effectively annexed to Israel under the pretext of building the wall.


And when Palestinian farmers and peasants protest, even peacefully and non-violently, as in Nilin and Bilin in the central West Bank, the Israeli army routinely resorts to harsh tactics, including opening fire on protesters. Several Palestinians have been killed while demonstrating against the seizure of their lands and olive groves by the Israeli army. A number of foreign peace activists protesting have also been injured by Israeli fire.


Facing mounting international criticism over the construction of the barrier, Israeli officials often resorted to prevarication and outright lies, claiming that the barrier was merely a security measure designed to prevent potential Palestinian guerrillas from infiltrating into Israel and that it in no way constituted a political border. However, whenever Palestinian landowners petitioned Israeli courts challenging the legality of the land seizure, the Israeli government representative shamelessly argued that the wall was indeed a de facto border.


This deceptive tactic continues to be widely adopted in Israeli courts dealing with the wall and its ramifications, especially relating to Palestinians demanding access to their land on the “Israeli” side of the barrier.


More to the point, it has been clear during recent “peace” talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority that Israeli leaders treat the barrier as constituting the ultimate western borders of a future Palestinian state. For example, Israel refuses to discuss the removal of any Jewish settlements located west of the annexation wall on the grounds that these colonies would eventually be annexed to the Jewish state.


Today, more than 60,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements located east of the apartheid wall and who demand the construction of periphery barriers around their colonies. However, under pressure from the US, Israel has effectively halted work on the so-called “finger enclaves” which extend deep into the Palestinian hinterland in the northern West Bank, especially in the Salfit region where some of the biggest settlements are located.


Last week, the UN urged Israel to “dismantle” the barrier and “make reparations for all damage suffered by all persons affected by the wall’s construction”. The call was made by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay and came on the fifth anniversary of the ICJ ruling.


Both UN agencies and non-governmental organisations dealing with the Palestinian issue have used the anniversary to bring attention to the massive losses Palestinians have suffered as a result of the barrier. Earlier this month, another UN official reiterated the international organisation’s “non-objection to the wall per se when it sticks to the Green Line,” the erstwhile 1967 armistice line between Israel and the West Bank.


The official spoke of the barrier’s “devastating humanitarian impact” on the Palestinian community, saying that up to 85 per cent of the structure was built inside the West Bank. As many as 40,000 Palestinians have found themselves living in “closed areas” that require Israeli permission to travel out of or to have friends or family enter. Another 200,000 Palestinians are surrounded on either three or four sides by the barrier; resulting in what Palestinian spokesman Mustafa Al-Barghouti called “nightmarish claustrophobia”.


According to one UN official, the wall constitutes an “interruption of Palestinian life in all aspects”, impacting both economic and social wellbeing. For many Palestinians affected by the barrier it has meant the imposition of a complex permit system to allow them to travel, restricting access to education, medical care and employment opportunities. The wall, they complain, cuts off neighbour from neighbour, children from their schools and kindergartens, patients from hospitals and farmers from their farms and fields.


For its part, Israel has been generally nonchalant with regards to the immense suffering and harm inflicted on the Palestinians as a result of the barrier. The Israeli propaganda machine often caricatures the gigantic structure as a mere “fence” between neighbours, ignoring the huge theft of Palestinian land carried out under the rubric of building the barrier. The Palestinians argue forthrightly that the “apartheid wall” is first and foremost an annexation barrier that is meant to steal Palestinian land under the pretext of security considerations.


This week, the PA marked the fifth anniversary of the ICJ ruling by calling on the international community, particularly the US and EU, to pressure Israel to dismantle the barrier. “This ugly barrier is devouring our land, disrupting the daily life of our people and making the attainment of the goal of creating a viable Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital impossible,” read a PA statement.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Old 19-07-2009, 06:38 AM   #5
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GALLOWAY SPEAKS LIVE FROM GAZA


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Old 19-07-2009, 06:41 AM   #6
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Old 19-07-2009, 06:46 AM   #7
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IS ISRAEL HEADING TOWARDS FASCISM?



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Take a close look at the first three ‘warning signs’… look carefully at number 3.


Now read the following report and ask yourself if Israel is heading towards fascism or not….. YOU be the judge.


IDF soldier: Gazans were used as human shields to check militants’ homes
By Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent



The Israel Defense Forces used Palestinians as human shields during Operation Cast Lead last January despite a 2005 High Court ruling outlawing the practice, a Golani brigade soldier says. He says he did not see Palestinians being used as human shields but was told by his commanders that this occurred.

The soldier says his unit employed a variation of the practice, the so-called “neighbor procedure,” when it checked homes for Palestinian militants.

The soldier’s testimony appears in a collection of accounts being published this week by Breaking the Silence, an organization that collects IDF soldiers’ testimony on human rights abuses by the military. The Golani soldier gave similar testimony in a meeting with a Haaretz reporter.


The IDF Spokesman’s Office, for its part, says that “the IDF regrets the fact that a human rights organization would again present to the country and the world a report containing anonymous, generalized testimony without checking the details or their reliability, and without giving the IDF, as a matter of minimal fairness, the opportunity to check the matters and respond to them before publication.”

The soldier’s allegations relate to IDF conduct during fighting in the eastern part of Gaza City. The soldier, a staff sergeant, says that in his unit and others, Palestinians were often sent into houses to determine if there was anyone inside.

“The practice was not to call it ‘the neighbor procedure.’ Instead it was called ‘Johnny,’” the soldier said, using IDF slang for Palestinian civilians. The IDF employed this practice extensively during the second intifada, before it was outlawed by the High Court of Justice in 2005.

At every home, the soldier said, if there were armed occupants, the house was besieged, with the goal of getting the militants out of the building alive. The soldier said he was present at several such operations.

In an incident his commanders told him about, three armed militants were in a house. Attack helicopters were brought in. “They … again sent the [Palestinian] neighbor in. At first he said that nothing had happened [to the armed men],” the soldier said.

“Again they brought in attack helicopters and fired. They again sent in the neighbor. He said there were two dead and one still alive. They then brought in a bulldozer and began to knock the house down on him until [the neighbor] entered.” The soldier said he had been told that the only militant remaining alive was captured and turned over to the Shin Bet security service.

The Golani soldier also testified that his commanders reported incidents in which Palestinians were given sledgehammers to break through walls to let the army enter through the side of houses. The army feared that the doors were booby-trapped.

The soldier added, however, that although the unit commander justified the use of the so-called Johnny procedure, the commander said he was not aware that sledgehammers had been given to civilians or that weapons were pointed at civilians. The commander said the allegations would be looked into.

The soldier said he had heard of other instances in which Palestinian civilians were used as human shields. One time, for example, a Palestinian was put at the front of an IDF force with a gun pointed at him from behind. But the soldier said he had not seen this himself.

The IDF Spokesman’s Office said in a statement that on initial consideration, a few of the allegations appear to be similar to allegations published several months ago after a lecture by officers to cadets at a pre-military academy.

“Now, too,” the spokesman said, “a considerable portion of the testimony is based on rumors and secondhand accounts. Most of the incidents relate to anonymous testimony lacking in identifying details, and accordingly it is not possible to check the allegations on an individual basis in a way that would enable an investigation, confirmation or refutation.”

The spokesman said the Breaking the Silence report suggests that the organization might not be interested in a reliable comprehensive examination of the allegations, “and to our regret this is not the first time the organization has taken this course of action. The IDF is obligated to examine every well-founded complaint it receives.”

The spokesman also noted that allegations by Breaking the Silence containing specifics would be investigated.

“The IDF expects that every soldier and commander who suspects there was a witness to a violation of orders or procedures, and especially with respect to violations causing injury to noncombatants, will bring all of the details to the attention of authorized parties,” the spokesman said.

Source http://desertpeace.wordpress.com/
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Old 19-07-2009, 06:51 AM   #8
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Old 19-07-2009, 06:55 AM   #9
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Default Feeling the hate from israel….. Part 2

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America…. the following is what you support when you support Israel….
Watch the video below and feel the love hate.
FROM ISRAEL, WITH LOVE~OBAMA CALLED A NAZI, “N”, MUSLIM



Israeli racists strike again, this time calling Obama a “Nazi” the “N” word and a “Muslim” They appear to hate everyone except themselves….SURPRISE!! They talk of Palestinians like “pets” saying the Israel gives them a better life. REALLY?? 2nd class citizens, house evictions, home demolitions, land burning, settler attacks, yeah, great life. I don’t need to say anything more, the video says it all.
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Old 19-07-2009, 07:18 AM   #10
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Default Israel Prevents Medical Mission to Gaza

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Old 19-07-2009, 07:31 AM   #11
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Could Israel be making these DU Weapons and what are the implications?

US manufactured weapons



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Palestine, June 27, (Pal Telegraph) Most DU weapons manufactured in the United States show a distinct difference between conventional weapons and those that contain DU and other toxic elements such as Tungsten etc. The warhead clearly shows the Rod with a Sabot sitting just below the point. It must be clearly understood that despite any re classification that may have taken place by the US Government these truly are nuclear related weapons.

You can clearly see that the Israel's IMI is manufacturing weapons that are almost identical to the US weapons that are displayed in the left hand picture above

Children of Gaza play amidst the ruins of their city but is it safe to do so?
Please read on.................................

http://www.paltelegraph.com/hot-topi...e-implications
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Old 19-07-2009, 07:36 AM   #12
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jewifying palestinians

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falsifying history to hebraize palestinians

by khalid amayreh







“the claim that there are jewish genes is ridiculous and unscientific,” asserts professor katalo.

Ramallah — experts are refuting an israeli researcher’s claim that palestinians are “ethnically jewish” as a fundamentally flawed theory that contradicts both science and history, while palestinians slammed it as part of a larger scheme to erase their identity.
“the claim that there are jewish genes is ridiculous and unscientific,” kamel katalo, professor of sociology at al-khalil university, told islamonline.net.


Tsvi misinai, an associate with israel’s ariel center for policy research (acpr), has come up with a thesis claiming that many palestinians are “genetically jewish”.


He alleges that the ancestors of today’s palestinians are decedents of the hebrews who did not leave after the romans sent the people into exile and were converted to islam during the ottoman era.



“after reading his booklet, i got the impression that the man makes strident generalizations and reaches spurious and completely erroneous conclusions based on questionable premises,” insists katalo.
He said one central flaw in misinai’s theory is that it has never been established that there are what he called “jewish genes.”


“indeed, if there was something like that, there would have been a unified definition of being jewish.


“if there were indeed unique jewish geneses, then what would explain the fact that there are jews of all races?”


ismail el-shindi, professor of islamic jurisprudence at al-quds open university, dismisses misinai’s claims as far-fetched.


“it is historically established that the jewish population in palestine under the ottoman rule, especially in the early period, was very small.”


he also refuted the claim that the ottomans compelled people to embrace islam.


“this is a totally mendacious claim. There is no compulsion in islam, and jews and christians as well as others were granted complete religious freedom under past islamic states.”





falsifying history



“they want to give an impression that jews had always maintained a sizeable presence in palestine, which is not true,” shindi insists.

Professor shindi describes misinai’s “totally concocted” theory as the latest chapter in an israeli scheme to rewrite palestinian history.
“they want to give an impression that jews had always maintained a sizeable presence in palestine, which is not true,” he insists.


“these people are the greatest falsifiers of history.”


muhammed masalmeh, a resident of the southern west bank town of dura, bushes off the israeli author’s theory as non-issue.


“this entire issue about people having jewish roots makes no sense to me,” masalmeh, who hails from a large palestinian clan which misinai says has jewish roots, told iol.


The 60-year-old palestinian stressed that even if he had jewish roots as misinai claimed, it would mean nothing to him.


“islam shapes a person’s entire identity. A muslim can’t have conflicting identities.”


muhammed yousef makhamra, an arabic teacher, hails from the makhamara clan living in southern al-khalil, another community misinai claims has jewish roots.


“i don’t think that my clan ever had any other identity besides the palestinian-arab-muslim identity.”


the clan has roots in both palestine and jordan and was always an integral part of the palestinian arab muslim community.


“we never maintained an esoteric, cultic or insular presence as jews do.”


makhamra believes misinai’s theory is nothing but a new plot to fabricate history to justifying the creation of israel in 1948 on the rubble of palestine.


“those standing behind him are trying to falsify history and give legitimacy to the israeli jewish occupation of our homeland.”


on april 18, 1948, palestinian tiberius was captured by menachem begin’s irgun militant group, putting its 5,500 palestinian residents in flight. On april 22, haifa fell to the zionist militants and 70,000 palestinians fled.


On april 25, irgun began bombarding civilian sectors of jaffa, terrifying the 750,000 inhabitants into panicky flight.


On may 14, jaffa completely surrendered to the much better-equipped zionist militants and only about 4,500 of its population remained, and israel was created on the rubble of palestine.


“having failed to liquidate the palestinian cause and dislodge us from our ancestral homeland, they are now trying to invent stories and narratives to achieve their old goals,” contends makhamra.
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Old 19-07-2009, 07:54 AM   #13
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Default Zionist Israel Agents Flood Internet Blogs

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Straight out of Avigdor Lieberman’s Foreign Ministry: a new Internet Fighting Team! Israeli students and demobilized soldiers get paid to pretend they are just regular folks and leave pro-Israel comments on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other sites. The effort is meant to fight the “well-oiled machine” of “pro-Palestinian websites, with huge budgets… with content from the Hamas news agency.” The approach was test-marketed during Israel’s assault on Gaza, and by groups like Give Israel Your United Support, a controversial effort to use instant-access technology to crowd-source Israel advocates to fill in flash polls or vote up key articles on social networking sites.
Read on....................

http://www.muzzlewatch.com/2009/07/1...li-government/
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Old 19-07-2009, 08:02 AM   #14
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Default Israel Traps Palestinians In Deprivation And Despa

Israel Traps Palestinians In Deprivation And Despair

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By Stephen Lendman
7-16-9

Founded in Geneva, Switzerland in 1863, the International Committee of the Red Cross is an "impartial, neutral and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence and to provide them with assistance." It also tries "to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles."

It's legally mandatd to do it under the 1949 Geneva Conventions and has had a permanent presence in Gaza since 1968. Currently 109 ICRC staff work there, including 19 expatriates. They remained throughout Operation Cast Lead and witnessed firsthand the carnage and destruction that took place.

Cooperatively with the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), they evacuated hundreds of people, some severely wounded in the conflict. As able, they also repaired power and water supply lines and provided hospitals with vital medicines and supplies. In addition, ICRC surgeons performed operations in Gaza's Shifa Hospital working alongside Palestinian doctors.

Post-conflict, ICRC and PRCS collected information on Israeli violations of international humanitarian laws. They also distributed vital items, including plastic sheeting, cooking sets, mattresses, blankets, hygiene kits, and more to over 72,000 Gazans whose homes were partially or totally destroyed.

ICRC is currently providing eight hospitals with medicines, other medical supplies, equipment, spare parts, and is helping with needed repairs. It's also fitting amputees with artificial limbs and offering needed physiotherapy.

It's helping to upgrade water and sanitation services to keep Gaza's water network running as best it can. It's aiding farmers and others with land rehabilitation, compost production, and "cash-for-work." It promotes international humanitarian law and calls on all sides to observe it.

In June 2009, it issued a report titled, "Gaza: 1.5 million people trapped in despair" that described the Territory as "look(ing) like the epicentre of a massive earthquake" in the wake of Operation Cast Lead and went on to detail how severely.

No Reconstruction Allowed - Public Health at Risk

Despite billions pledged for reconstruction, practically none of it has come because of Israel's tight embargo on virtually everything needed. As a result, thousands of displaced and destitute families live in cramped quarters with relatives or in tents as their only other alternative.

Some emergency repairs were carried out, but "only to the already unsatisfactory level prevailing before December 2008." Overall, the infrastructure is inadequate, overloaded, and subject to breakdown. Although chlorine is available to disinfect water, sewage and other waste matter seepage remains a major threat to public health. Each day, 69 million liters of partially or untreated effluent are pumped into the Mediterranean for lack of an ability to handle it.

Poor Access to Health Care

Gaza's health care system is in disrepair and can't adequately treat patients with serious illnesses. In addition, with the Territory under siege and a strict embargo imposed, most people can't leave to seek care elsewhere. Those allowed out endure a bureaucratic nightmare and wait months before permission is granted. For some, it's too late and for others their condition has worsened.

Twenty-six year old Do'aa is typical. She has pancreatic cancer, needs surgery, yet explains her despair. "At first, there was hope that I would be given an operation, but as time went by I stopped hoping. I am in pain and I know all too well that my disease is life threatening." She's waited six months for permission, so far not granted.

Reaching Jordan is no easy task. It requires passing through Erez crossing into Israel and doing it is arduous. ICRC describes the process:

"Patients on life-support machines have to be removed from ambulances and placed on stretchers, then carried 60 - 80 metres through the crossing to ambulances waiting on the other side. Patients who can walk unassisted may face extensive questioning before they are allowed through the crossing for medical treatment - or, as sometimes happens, before they are refused entry into Israel and turned back."

As for treatment in Gaza, everything needed falls short. What's available comes from the Palestinian Authority's (PA) Ministry of Health in the West Bank, but the supply chain is unreliable given obstacles that Israel imposes and tensions between Fatah and Hamas.

Getting imports is more complicated still because of embargo restrictions of even the most basic items like painkillers and X-ray film developers. Patients go wanting as a result, a serious problem for the most ill.

For those needing prosthetic appliances as well because getting them is a lengthy, arduous process. Fourteen-year old Gassan lost his older brother and both his legs. He loves football, but doctors told him he'd walk again. Six months later, he's still waiting for both of his limbs to be fitted.

A Strangled Economy

The combination of siege and Operation Cast Lead devastated Gaza's already fragile economy. On May 1, the Palestinian Chamber of Commerce reported that unemployment reached 65%, poverty hit 80%, and the longer isolation continues the higher these figures will go. Currently, about 96% of Gaza's industrial operations are shuttered, and over 80% of its residents depend on humanitarian aid and supplies from the World Food Program, UNRWA, and what comes in through tunnels from Egypt to survive.

A May 2008 ICRC household survey showed that over 70% of Gazans had personal incomes of $1 dollar a day excluding whatever humanitarian assistance they received. On average, Territory workers have to support six to seven other immediate family members and several others in their extended family. Cutting household expenses is essential, even at the cost of a healthy balanced diet, no longer affordable for most.

So cheap alternatives substitute for fruits, vegetables, meat and fish. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies result. Children, the elderly and sick are especially impacted. For youths it means stunted bone growth, improper teeth development, and a reduced capacity to learn. It makes everyone infection and illness-prone by lowering their resistance and destroying their overall state of well-being.

Most of the poor "have exhausted their coping mechanisms." Their savings are gone, and they've sold personal belongings, including jewelry, furniture, farm animals, land, fishing boats, cars and other possessions - anything to raise cash. They've cut back on food and other essentials as much as possible. Still their situation is grave. Israel is slowly sucking life out of 1.5 million people with no opposition stepping up to stop it.

Farming in the Danger Zone

Farm families comprise over one-fourth of Gaza's population, and they, too, been badly hit. "Exports of strawberries, cherry tomatoes and cut flowers used to be" important cash crops. No longer as they've been virtually halted. Farmers lost half their income and struggle to sell what they can internally at far lower prices than obtainable from exports to Israel or Europe.

Operation Cast Lead destroyed thousands of citrus, olive and palm groves as well as irrigation systems, wells and greenhouses. In addition, many farmers lack fertilizers and many seedling types. They also lost access to around 30% of their land, the portion inside a "no-go" buffer zone straddling Israel and Gaza. It extends up to a kilometer inside an Israeli-erected fence on which farmers risk being shot if they work there. Under these conditions, productive agriculture is severely curtailed and in some places not possible.

Fishermen has been just as hard hit by Israel's coastal restrictions extending up to six nautical miles offshore. Reduced catches have resulted as bigger fish and sardines, comprising 70% of earlier harvests, are found in deeper waters.

Trapped

ICRC states:

"People in Gaza are trapped. Because Israel has shut the crossing points, Gazans have scant opportunity for contact with relatives abroad or for further education or professional training." Palestinian staff members of international organizations, including ICRC, are also impacted.

The emotional fallout especially affects families whose relatives are imprisoned inside Israel. In June 2007, Israel stopped ICRC-supported visits of about 900 families and prevented spouses and children from staying close to their loved ones.

Students, professors, teachers, and health professionals also get no exit permission for education, training, seminars, and other skills and expertise-building methods. Ibrahim Abu Sobeih is a 24-year-old Gaza student. Pennsylvania's Clarion University awarded him a scholarship, but he can't attend. In frustration, he said:

"Being stuck here gives me a sombre view of the future. I would like to be educated and to make something of myself. I want to be able to help my family financially. But it is very difficult when I am trapped. I feel very angry and hopeless."

So do 1.5 million other Gazans - trapped in the world's largest open-air prison, under siege for over two years, getting way inadequate outside help, and none whatever from Western powers that support Israel's slow-motion genocide against a civilian population unable to stop it.

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at [email protected]

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to The Global Research News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Monday - Friday at 10AM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests of world and national issues. All programs are archived for easy listening.





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Old 20-07-2009, 09:25 AM   #15
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MUZZLING PRESS FREEDOM IN PALESTINE


http://desertpeace.wordpress.com/200...-in-palestine/
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Old 20-07-2009, 10:29 AM   #16
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Default In pictures: Gaza six months on 1 from 7



Also see the captions.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8154275.stm
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Old 20-07-2009, 10:32 AM   #17
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Default Israel should answer for Gaza war crimes

http://www.gulfnews.com/opinion/edit.../10332083.html

Quote:
Gulf News
Published: July 16, 2009, 22:53


The Israeli assault on Gaza in January was an outrage against humanity. Israeli frustration and fury with Hamas led to the government allowing the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) to break its own rules and commit a wide variety of war crimes in an effort to punish the entire population and reduce Gaza to rubble.

The Israeli army deliberately caused huge damage from continually using excessive firepower, and it killed over 1,400 people in the 22-day conflict. The IDF used illegal weapons like white phosphorus shells which are banned in civilian areas by the Geneva Convention. Israeli soldiers used Palestinian residents as human shields, resting their rifles on the civilians' shoulders as the soldiers hid behind them and entered buildings which may have contained Palestinian military personnel.

This fetid moral atmosphere of revenge encouraged the Israeli troops to perform petty acts such as defecating in the wardrobes and chest of drawers of Palestinian homes, and drawing disgusting cartoons on the walls of children's bedrooms, all as part of their effort to destroy as much as possible during their 22 days in Gaza.

Breaking the Silence is an Israeli organisation dedicated to improving Israeli civil society, and it has just published a report based on testimony from 54 Israeli combat soldiers who participated in the Gaza War, and their damning statements reveal a clear shoot-first policy which was part of the overall strategy to seek revenge on all the inhabitants of Gaza for the continued rocket attacks on Israel by Hamas. One indication of the seriousness of the report is that the Israeli lobby has already leapt to deny it, but the report is part of a much wider body of evidence that shows how Israel deliberately broke international law and its own military rules to deliberately traumatise the entire population of Gaza. It should answer for its crimes.

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Old 20-07-2009, 10:42 AM   #18
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Vatican teaching Hezbollah how to kill Jews, says pamphlet for IDF troops

Last update - 11:02 19/07/2009

The Pope and the cardinals of the Vatican help organize tours of Auschwitz for Hezbollah members to teach them how to wipe out Jews, according to a booklet being distributed to Israel Defense Forces soldiers.

Officials encouraging the booklet's distribution include senior officers, such as Lt. Col. Tamir Shalom, the commander of the Nahshon Battalion of the Kfir Brigade.

The booklet was published by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, in cooperation with the chief rabbi of Safed, Rabbi Shmuel Eliahu, and has been distributed for the past few months.

The booklet, titled "On Either Side of the Border," purports to be the testimony of "a Hezbollah officer who spied for Israel."

"The book is distributed regularly and everyone reads it and believes it," said one soldier. "It's filled with made-up details but is presented as a true story. A whole company of soldiers, adults, told me: 'Read this and you'll understand who the Arabs are.'"

The copy obtained by Haaretz included a Pesach greeting from Shalom, "in the name of the Nahshon Brigade."

The story is narrated by a man named Avi, who says he changed his name from Ibrahim after he left Hezbollah and converted to Judaism. Avi says he was once close to Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, and describes Hezbollah's purported close relationships with the Vatican and European leaders.

The IDF Spokesman's Office said in a statement: "The book was received as a donation and distributed in good faith to the soldiers. After we were alerted to the sensitivity of its content, distribution was immediately halted."

According to the book, Nasrallah was invited to join a delegation to tour France, Poland and Italy, including the Vatican. Nasrallah could not refuse an invitation from the Vatican, Avi explained: "We knew [the Pope] identified with Hezbollah's struggle."

The book describes the alleged visit of Hezbollah officials to Auschwitz, led by the Vatican: "We came to the camps. We saw the trains, the platforms, the piles of eyeglasses and clothes ... We came to learn ... Our escort spoke as he was taught. We quickly explained to him: Every real Arab, deep inside, is kind of a fan of the Nazis."

The booklet also describes how European politicians and journalists ostensibly work against Israel.

"Our escort introduced us to important figures who identify with our causes. Rich people, people with authority ... They allocate big budgets to all sorts of Israeli organizations that erode the standing of the IDF ... We have a special budget for encouraging politicians and journalists who serve our purposes. Every opinion piece that conforms to our position is rewarded generously."

Rabbi Shmuel Eliahu, the son of former Sephardi chief rabbi Mordechai Eliahu, is known for his extremist views, and was once charged with incitement to racism after calling for the expulsion of all Arab students from Safed College after a terror attack in the area.

The younger Eliahu was also behind an online video in which he described the "miracle of our matriarch Rachel," whom he claims appeared before Israeli soldiers in Gaza to warn them of booby-trapped buildings during Operation Cast Lead.

"In some of the places we went in Gaza there was a woman who warned them ... 'Did they tell you who I am,' she said, 'I am the matriarch Rachel," Eliahu says in the video. He claims his father confirmed the veracity of the story, and told him that he had prayed to Rachel: "I told her: Rachel, there's a war... Go to God, Blessed Be He, pray over the soldiers who sacrifice themselves for the People of Israel, so that they will strike and not be struck."

David Menahemov, an aide to Eliahu, claims the book is not fiction. "Avi is a real person and everything in the book is absolutely true," insists Menahemov. "It's a totally true story, I know the guy personaly. He's an Arab, who even though he converted still acts like an Arab. We helped him to write and to translate it. We changed a few details to protect him and his family."
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1101158.html

Quote:
Unflipping believable.

This demonization of Arabs, wrapped around the "big lie" technique, is something you'd expect from the old USSR's playbook.

This is almost an incitement and an encouragement for every member of the IDF to go out and kill every Arab they can find, with the justification that "God wills it!"

Is this the outcome the IDF is hoping to achieve here?!?
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Old 20-07-2009, 10:46 AM   #19
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Why have two million Christians fled the Middle East in the last twenty years? One of the most important aspects of the Israeli-"Palestinian" conflict that has been overlooked is the plight of Christians in the Holy Land. Christians in the "Palestinian" territories have dropped from 15% of the Arab population to just 2% today! This Christian exodus is a result of many factors, including the fighting between Israelis and "Palestinians," the related decline in the economy, but perhaps most significantly, the religious persecution these Christians encounter from their Arab Muslim neighbors. This film is a documentary containing interviews with Christians as well as exclusive footage showing how dangerous their situation is under Islamic rule.


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Old 20-07-2009, 10:49 AM   #20
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WHY JERUSALEM? ISRAEL’S HIDDEN AGENDA

at 8:55 am (Corrupt Politics, Ethnic Cleansing, Israel, Status of Jerusalem)


By Dan Lieberman


Israel’s plan to annex the whole of Jerusalem, part of its efforts at bolstering its international legitimacy, is being carried out without regard for legal, moral or historical considerations, writes Dan Lieberman* in occupied Jerusalem



Quote:
Three huge granite stones rest comfortably on the top of Midbar Sinai Street in Givat Havatzim, Jerusalem’s northernmost district. Cut to specification, the imposing stones represent one of several preparations by the Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement to erect a Third Temple on the Haram Al-Sharif Temple Mount. Since the Islamic Waqf owns and controls all the property on the Haram Al-Sharif, by what means can these stones be transferred to the Temple Mount and how can a temple be constructed there? Not by any legal means.

The stones are a provocation, which the Israel government refuses to halt. Neglect and passivity have led to a belief that an eventual Muslim reaction to the increasing provocations will give Israel an excuse to seize total control of the Holy Basin — the properties that Israel intends to incorporate into a greater Jerusalem.

For decades, the Israeli authorities have spoken of a united Jerusalem — suggesting a spiritual quality to their message — as if Israel wanted the home of the three monotheistic faiths to be solid and stable. By being guided from one central authority, a united Jerusalem would also offer the preservation of a common and ancient heritage.

However, by stressing the word `united`, Israel disguises the lack of a supporting and verifiable historical narrative that could bolster its thrust to incorporate all of an artificially created Greater Jerusalem within its boundaries. Coupled with inconsistencies and contradictions, Israel`s eagerness to create a Greater Jerusalem under its total control becomes suspect. The intensive concentration on a `united` Jerusalem reveals a hidden agenda that debases Jerusalem`s religious ingathering and heightens division, hatred and strife.

Examine the Holy Basin. The Holy Basin contains well- marked Christian and Muslim institutions and holy places that have had historical placement for millennia. Although people of the Jewish faith had a major presence in Jerusalem during the centuries of Biblical Jerusalem, which included rule by King Hezekiah and control by the Hasmonean dynasties, their control and presence were interrupted for two millennia.

Extensive commentary has enabled these 2000 years of lack of control and presence to seem as if they never happened and that today is only a short time from the years of Hezekiah. Some remains of Jewish dwellings and ritual baths can be found, but few if any major Jewish monuments, buildings or institutions from the Biblical era exist in the `Old City` of today`s Jerusalem. The often-cited Western Wall is the supporting wall for Herod`s platform and is not directly related to the Second Temple. No remains of the Jewish Temple have been located in Jerusalem — not even a rock.

According to the religious writer Karen Armstrong, Jerusalem Jews did not pray at the Western Wall until the Mamluks allowed them to move their congregations from a dangerous Mount of Olives and pray daily at the Wall in the 15th century. At that time she estimates that there may have been no more than 70 Jewish families in Jerusalem. After the Ottomans replaced the Mamluks, Suleiman the Magnificent issued a formal edict in the 16th century that permitted Jews to have a place of prayer at the Western Wall.

The only remaining major symbol of Jewish presence in Jerusalem`s Holy City is the Jewish quarter, which Israel cleared of Arabs and rebuilt after 1967. During its clearing operations, Israel demolished the Maghribi Quarter adjacent to the Western Wall, destroyed the Al-Buraq Mosque and the Tomb of the Sheikh Al-Afdhaliyah, and displaced about 175 Arab families.

Although the Jewish population in previous centuries comprised a large segment of the Old City (estimates have 7,000 Jews during the mid-19th century), the Jews gradually left the Old City and migrated to new neighbourhoods in West Jerusalem, leaving only about 2,000 Jews in the Old City. Jordanian control after the 1948 War reduced the number to zero. By 2009, the population of the Jewish quarter in the Old City had grown to 3,000, or nine per cent of the Old City`s population. The Christian, Armenian and Muslim populations are the principal constituents and their quarters contain almost the whole of the Old City`s commerce.

In an attempt to attach ancient Israel to present day Jerusalem, the Israeli authorities continue to attach spurious labels to Holy Basin landmarks, while claiming the falsification is due to the Byzantines. King David`s Tower`s earliest remains, for example, were constructed several hundred years after the Bible dates David`s reign. It is a now an obvious Islamic minaret. King David`s Citadel`s earliest remains are from the Hasmonean period (200 BCE). The citadel was entirely rebuilt by the Ottomans between 1537 and 1541.

King David`s tomb, located in the Dormition Abbey, is a cloth-covered cenotaph (no remains) that honours King David. It is only an unverified guess that the casket is related to David. The Pools of Solomon, located in a village near Bethlehem, are considered to be part of a Roman construction during the reign of Herod the Great. The pools supplied water to an aqueduct that carried water to Bethlehem and Jerusalem. The Stables of Solomon, under the Temple Mount, are assumed to be vaults that King Herod built in order to extend the Temple Mount platform. Absalom`s Tomb is obviously a Greek sculptured edifice and therefore cannot be the tomb of David`s son.

The City of David contains artefacts that date from before and during David`s time. However, some archaeologists maintain that there is an insufficient number to conclude any Israelite presence, including that of King David, before the late ninth century. In any case any Israelite presence must have been in a small and unfortified settlement.

The Jerusalem Archaeological Park within the Old City, together with the Davidson Exhibition and Virtual Reconstruction Centre, tell the same story. Promising to reveal Hebrew civilisation, the museums in fact shed little light on their subject. The Davidson Centre highlights a coin exhibition, Jerusalem bowls and stone vessels. The Archaeological Park in the Old City contains among many artefacts, including Herodian structures, ritual baths, a floor of an Umayyad palace, a Roman road, Ottoman gates and the façade of what is termed Robinson`s Arch, an assumed Herodian entryway to the Temple Mount. However, the exhibitions do not reveal many, if any, ancient Hebrew structures or institutions of special significance.

Reliable archaeologists, after examining excavations that contain pottery shards and buildings, have also concluded that the archaeological finds do not substantiate the biblical history of Jerusalem and its importance during the eras of a united Jewish kingdom under David and Solomon.

Margaret Steiner, for example, in an article entitled `It`s Not There: Archaeology Proves a Negative` in the journal Biblical Archaeology Review for July/August 1998, states that `from the tenth century BCE there is no archaeological evidence that many people actually lived in Jerusalem, only that it was some kind of public administrative centre… We are left with nothing that indicates a city was here during their supposed reigns [of David and Solomon] …It seems unlikely, however, that this Jerusalem was the capital of a large state, the United Monarchy, as described in Biblical texts.`

West Jerusalem is another matter. With banditry prolific and the Old City gates closed before nightfall, living outside the city gates did not appeal to the population. However, the wealthy philanthropist Moses Montefiore wanted to attract the Jewish population to new surroundings, and he constructed the first Jewish community outside the Old City — Yemin Moshe`s first houses were completed in 1860. From that time onwards the Jewish presence played a role in creating a West Jerusalem.

Other institutions — Greek Orthodox, Catholic, Russian Orthodox and Muslim — soon ventured forth and began to own property in the evolving West Jerusalem.

In 1948, after the Israeli army seized control of West Jerusalem, the new Israeli government confiscated all West Jerusalem property owned by Muslim institutions. The reason given was that this was `enemy property`. Few Muslims and no mosques remain in today`s West Jerusalem.

However, there was a contradiction. By attacking and ethnically cleansing the Christian Arab communities of Deir Yassin and Ein Kerem, Israeli forces characterised Christian Palestinians as their enemy. Nevertheless, Israel did not confiscate Christian properties, many of which are apparent in West Jerusalem. The Greek Orthodox Church owns extensive property in West Jerusalem, much of which is marked by its `T…` symbol, interpreted as the word `sepulchre`.

Another contradiction is that Israel has cared for the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives and expanded it as a heritage site. Part of the famous Muslim Mamilla Cemetery in West Jerusalem has been classified as refugee property and is being prepared for demolition to build the new Museum of Tolerance.

East Jerusalem reveals more contradictions. The repeated warning by Israeli leaders that co-existence is not feasible and that it is necessary to separate the Jewish and Palestinian communities is contradicted by Israel`s desire to incorporate East Jerusalem into Israel. Incorporation would mean accepting somewhere between 160,000 and 225,000 Palestinians into a Jewish state.

Or would it? Whereas the older historical Jewish neighbourhoods in West Jerusalem have had their characters meticulously maintained, or have been rebuilt in their original style, the older Arab neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem have been entirely neglected (all of Arab East Jerusalem is neglected) or destroyed. How much deterioration and destruction can Palestinians absorb before they decide to leave?

Construction of Jewish homes in East Jerusalem Arab neighbourhoods proceeds, and the destruction of Arab homes, either declared to have been illegally constructed or illegally purchased, continues. On 44 dunums of land confiscated from Palestinian families, a private company has constructed the gated community of Nof Zion, and conveniently separated Palestinian Jabal Al-Mukabir from other parts of East Jerusalem. No Arabs need apply. The million-dollar condominiums are advertised for American investors.

The Israeli Ministry of Interior has approved a plan to demolish a kindergarten and wholesale market in East Jerusalem`s Wadi Joz neighbourhood in order to construct a new hotel close to the Old City and near the Rockefeller Museum. The result will be the destruction of an Arab neighbourhood and its replacement by Jewish interests, which will one day join other Jewish interests.

These are only two examples of a master plan to replace the centuries-old Arab presence in East Jerusalem with a modern Jewish presence. The ancient Arab presence is further subdivided by the Annexation Wall, which runs through the East Jerusalem landscape and detaches East Jerusalem from the West Bank, making it unlikely that a Palestinian state could have its capital in East Jerusalem.

The master plan extends the boundaries of Jerusalem to include the large Israeli settlement (city) of Maale Adumim. Between Maale Adumim and East Jerusalem, Israel proposes to construct the E1 Corridor, which would join the settlements in a ring and add to the separation of East Jerusalem from the West Bank. The E1 Corridor will divide the northern and southern West Bank and will impede direct transit between Palestinian Bethlehem, which is south of E1, and Palestinian Ramallah, which is north of E1. Construction of the E1 corridor, portions of which are owned by Palestinians, could thus prevent the formation of a viable Palestinian state.

If Israel is destroying Jerusalem`s heritage and subjugating its spiritual meaning, why does Israel want to unify Jerusalem?

Israel is a physically small and relatively new country with an eager population and big ambitions. It needs more prestige and wants to be viewed as a power broker on the world stage. To gain these things Israel needs a capital city that commands respect, contains ancient traditions and is recognised as one of the world`s leading cities. Almost all of the world`s principal nations, from Egypt to Germany to Great Britain, have capitals that are great cities. To succeed in its objectives, Israel wants an oversized Jerusalem that contains the Holy City.

However, that is not all. Jerusalem has a significant tourism market that could be expanded. It could provide new commercial opportunities as an entry to all of the Middle East. An indivisible Jerusalem under Israeli control would be worth a lot of shekels.

Israel competes with the United States as the focus of the Jewish people. It needs a unified Jerusalem to gain recognition as the home of Judaism. By controlling all the holy sites, Israel would command attention from Muslim and Christian leaders. These leaders would be forced to talk with Israel, and Israel would have a bargaining advantage in disputes.

Whatever Israel gains the Palestinians are denied. Even if Israel agrees to the establishment of a Palestinian state, it will direct its policies to limit the effectiveness of that state. Since East Jerusalem and its holy sites greatly benefit the Palestinian economy and increase Palestine legitimacy, Israel will do everything it can to prevent East Jerusalem being ceded to the new state of Palestine. An `indivisible` Jerusalem is part of that effort.

West Jerusalem only gives Israel a north/south capital. An undivided Jerusalem would give Israel a forward look towards an east/west capital, or a centralised capital for the land of previous biblical Jewish tribes.

Zionist socialist ideals and the cooperative Kibbutzim movement received support from idealistic people across the world for many years. Israel`s attachment to the tragedy of the Holocaust extended that sympathy and support. With the end of the Zionist dream, the decline of kibbutz life, and the vulgarising of the Holocaust, Israel needs a new symbol of identity that will capture world attention.

If Israel has legitimate claims to Jerusalem, then those claims should be heard and discussed in a proper forum. However, that is not the process that is underway. Instead, the Israeli government is using illegal and illegitimate procedures, as well as deceitful and hypocritical methods, to force its agenda. Israel is not so much presenting its case as exerting its powers to trample all legal, moral and historical considerations.

In the Museum of the Citadel of David there is an inscription: the land of Israel is in the centre of the world, and Jerusalem is the centre of the land of Israel.

This self praise was echoed at a West Jerusalem coffee house recently during a conversation I had with several Israelis. A youthful Israeli sitting at the table abruptly entered the conversation with the words `the world looks to Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the centre of the world, and Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Everyone needs Jerusalem, and they will need to talk with Israel.`

That is why Israel desperately wants its Greater Jerusalem.

* The writer is editor of Alternative Insight, a Web-based newsletter.
http://desertpeace.wordpress.com/200...hidden-agenda/
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