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URUK Net 17 January, 2009

Last updated: Monday, January 19, 2009 9:48

White Phosphorous in Gaza
In Gaza
Last week, I saw the white phosphorus clouds doctors have written about, condemned. From a tall Gaza city building, the panoramic view showed a spreading stream of poison, on eastern Gaza. The chemical burns deeply, to the bone, experts say. It is considered illegal warfare, not to be used in civilian areas. Yet the accounts grow of its use: heavy use in the Khosar region, east of Khan Younis, and in the northwest of Gaza, and in eastern Jabaliya, Sheik Zayid, Sheik Rajleen, Zaitoun… Everywhere. The UN headquarters housing hundres of fleeing Palestinians which was bombed on January 15 was hit with white phosphorus. “Five days ago, in Jabaliya, I saw an abnormal material: white dust, spread out in spinning circles which spread the dust further. From inside there was something falling down which looked like snow. It covered a large area, over many houses,” Maher el Madhouan, head of Physiotherapy department in Sheik Radwan had told me last week. At Shifa hospital, Dr. Nafez Abu Shabaan, Head of the Burn Department, told me they’ve received some burn cases unlike anything they’ve seen. “We’re not familiar with phosphorous burns, but some patients have very deep burns, very strange burns.” He cites the case of a patient sent for a brain scan who three hours later, still alive, “came back smoking”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=50949

Report direct from Gaza

Day 22 of Israeli War On Gaza
Informative Report on Gaza War: Death toll 1220, wounded 5350
By Sameh A. Habeeb: A Photojournalist, Humanitarian & Peace Activist in Gaza Strip.
1-Israeli air strike hit the eastern part of Gaza City. Many houses were harmed partially. 2-Israeli air forces raided on a United Nations’ school northern Gaza, town of Bait Lahia. A woman and two children were killed and many wounded. Tens of people came to take the school as a shelter but it was hit! 3- Two Palestinians killed in east of Rafah City. Invading tanks destroyed sevetal houses and arrested some residents. 4-Three Palestinians killed by Phosphorous bombs fall down in many places in north of Gaza. 5- Two Palestinians killed after being injured in Khan yonis and their father was wounded…

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Children of a lesser Allah
Vittorio Arrigoni
The children of a lesser Allah, the ones for whom the shelter of their mother and father’s embrace has been forever shattered by a thunderbolt from the sky, continue to atone for the hatred passed on from one generation to the next, through no fault of their own. The soldiers with the Star of David are perfectly at ease in their roles as so many contemporary Herods, with 253 massacred Palestinian children so far. An endless horror, for which no soldier, no Israeli army officer, and the Israeli government have never been forced to face their responsibilities for these war crimes. If these innocent victims are spared for a few hours, it’s not the case for the places that host their games, dreams and ambitions of growing up, the places filling the void left by the fathers and mothers that were torn away from them. Orphanages have become the favourite nesting place of Israeli mechanical birds – it’s there that the fighter planes go and lay their bombs…

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Time for Israel to be put on trial
Elna Sondergaard, The Electronic Intifada

The brutal and indiscriminate Israeli attacks on the Palestinian population in Gaza during the last weeks have entailed numerous violations of basic norms of international law, such as the principles of proportionality and distinction (between civilians and combatants; and between civilian and military targets). Military acts such as intentionally targeting schools and other civilian facilities are considered violations of international humanitarian law in relation to which the state of Israel bears responsibility — but they also constitute serious crimes under international law (e.g., war crimes and eventually crimes against humanity) in relation to which individuals should stand trial. The international community agreed to this principle of individual responsibility for international crimes in the wake of the Second World War; genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes were considered totally unacceptable and individuals committing such crimes should be held accountable…

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Olmert ‘to announce Gaza ceasefire’
AlJazeera.net
Israel is set to announce a unilateral truce in the Gaza Strip, according to Israeli sources. Israel’s security council began meeting on Saturday at 7.30pm (1730GMT) and is widely expected to decide to halt the 22-day offensive which has left more than 1200 Palestinians dead, more than 400 of them children. Alan Fisher, Al Jazeera’s correspondent on the Gaza-Israel border, said: “We know that Ehud Olmet has asked the national TV station if he can address the nation at 10pm local time [2000GMT]. “All the indications we are getting is that Israel is still going to announce a unilateral declaration halting its operations in Gaza…

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1000 tons of explosives and white phosphorus dropped on Gaza in 22 days
Palestinian Information Center
The Israeli 10th TV channel has disclosed that the Israeli occupation forces had used half of the air force and launched at least 2500 air raids over the past three weeks of attacks on Gaza Strip. The TV military correspondent said on Saturday that the Israeli warplanes had dropped more than a thousand tons of explosives in that period. He reported that the shells fired by artillery, tanks, infantry and gunboats were not included in those fired by the air force…

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Amid talk of cease-fire, eyewitness accounts describe Israel’s destruction of Gaza
Julie Hyland
“Armageddon” is the word used by Times of London correspondent Martin Fletcher, the first eyewitness from the British news media to see the devastation wrought by Israel in Gaza. Twenty days after the Israeli military unleashed its firepower on the narrow strip of land containing 1.5 million people—more than half of them children—there is “no one left in the ruins to hear the thunder of Israel’s guns,” Fletcher wrote. The Times correspondent was one of only a handful of journalists allowed into Gaza under tight Israeli supervision on Thursday, and even then only to the outskirts—the edge of the town of al-Atara…

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Resistance Rejects International Gaza Force
Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa al-Omrani
Since the outset of Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip, calls have been renewed for an “international force” to protect the civilian population. But Palestinian resistance factions, chief among them Hamas, reject the idea outright. “The resistance will not accept international forces (in the Gaza Strip),” Khaled Meshaal, head of Hamas’s Damascus-based political bureau said recently on Syrian state television. “We know that such forces would only serve Israel and its occupation.”…

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The Civilizing Power of Slaughter
Steven Salaita
…The glorification of Israeli modernity in opposition to Palestinian pre-modernity has pervaded corporate media coverage. Two features of this media coverage stand out: 1) the Palestinians, no matter who is dying, whether it’s a bearded gunman or a baby, are always called militants, terrorists, or some other term that suggests they are never civilians; and 2) the Israeli invasion is almost uniformly deemed retaliatory, even among progressives like Robert Sheer and Akiva Eldar, who takes a moment to assert “her national right, as a Jew, to live in [Israel].” This national right, it should be mentioned, has no basis in any legal system anywhere in the world beyond Israel’s insidious Law of Return. Both corporate media coverage and Eldar’s obduracy suggest that the Palestinians are unworthy of the freedom that Jews naturally deserve. Palestinian deaths therefore become unremarkable. Most commentators can only view Palestinians in the context of Israel’s whims and desires…

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Fatah leader denounces his movement’s “silence” on Gaza
Ma’an news
A Fatah senior leader, Hatem Abdul Qader, criticized on Saturday what he described as the silence of the Fatah leadership on the Israeli attack on Gaza and the Palestinian national project as a whole. “The leadership of the was supposed movement to play a greater and influential role in dealing with the massacres and conspiracies against the Palestinians,” he said, decrying attacks “aiming at ending Palestinians’ material and moral existence.” Abdul Qader is a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) from Jerusalem. In a statement, he held the Fatah’s leadership responsible for “this setback and the inability to play an influential role in the dangerous events that are taking place in Palestine.”..

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Hamas vows to fight on, ignoring Israeli declaration of ceasefire
Ma’an news
Hamas said on Satruday that it will ignore any unilateral announcement of a ceasefire by Israel. Usama Hamdan, the Hamas representative in Lebanon said that the movement will fight on until its demands are met. Speaking during a televised interview in Beirut, Hamdan said Hamas has “nothing new” to say regarding a possible ceasefire. “Today the movement’s delegation arrives in Cairo. And clearly, we have nothing new to offer… Either we hear what we have demanded or the result will be the continuation of confrontation on the ground,” Hamdan said…

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Palestinian civilians and medics run to safety during an Israeli strike over a UN school in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip, on Saturday 17 January.
Independent
A United Nations official has condemned an Israeli shelling attack that struck a UN school in the northern Gaza Strip and killed two people. Spokesman Chris Gunness said the school was crowded with 1,600 people who had sought shelter from Israel’s three-week offensive in Gaza. It was latest incident in which Israeli fire aimed at militants has struck a UN facility during the offensive…

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Ma’an Exclusive: PFLP in Gaza on peace, resistance and unity
Ma’an news
…The relationship between Hamas and the PFLP is defined by resistance now. Both Hamas and the PFLP are in the camp of resistance, the camp of defending our people, our cause and our fundamental rights. Both the PFLP and Hamas reject so-called “negotiations,” reject cooperation with the occupier, and reject any so-called political solutions based on the denial and abrogation of the rights of our people. The parties both stand united in resistance to the massacres and genocide being committed against the Palestinian people. This is the unity, and the relationship, that matters now: unity, in struggle, for our people, our cause, and our rights…

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Who Is Responsible for Gaza blight?
By Dr. Akram Habeeb, Writing from the Occupied Gaza Strip
As a Gazzan who is not affiliated to any political party; yet much concerned about what is taking place in my hometown, I meticulously track every piece of news related to the ongoing horrendous carnage which is perpetrated by the Israelis against the innocent civilians in Gaza. I was shocked when key staff of Bush’s outgoing Administration hold the Palestinian side in particular responsible for the recent onslaught in Gaza. I was also more devastated when some European officials and even few Arab leaders implicitly hold the same
opinion. I am not sure though whether these officials do represent the voice and the good will of their peoples…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=50962

Video shows evidence of phosphorus bombs in Gaza
Gaza doctors detail burns to entire victims’ bodies from chemical that is forbidden to be used as a weapon
Richard Norton-Taylor, The Guardian,
Contact with the shell remnants causes severe burns, sometimes burning the skin to the bone, consistent with descriptions by Ahmed Almi, an Egyptian doctor at the al-Nasser hospital in Khan Younis. Almi said the entire body of one victim was burned within an hour. It was the first time he had seen the effects of what he called a “chemical weapon”…

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Gaza doctor’s tragedy caught on Israeli TV – 17 Jan 09
AlJazeeraEnglish
From Gaza, the Hebrew-speaking Palestinian doctor Abu al-Aish has been giving Israel’s Channel 10 daily accounts from inside the war zone. In his latest report, he called for help as his house was attacked by Israel. Three of his daughters were killed in the attack. Al Jazeera’s Roza Ibragimova reports…

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Mosul, fresh anti Christian violence. Murder and torture
AsiaNews
The lifeless body of a young Christian was found yesterday by the army in Mosul (Northern Iraq). The abandoned body uncovered in a street in the east of the city was that of 36 year old Chourik Bagrad. AsiaNews sources in Mosul – a city with one and a half million inhabitants, 360 km north of Baghdad – confirmed that it was a an execution style killing: multiple gunshot wounds to the head. His body was later discarded in al-Bakr district, where it was found by police and brought to the morgue for an autopsy. Chourik Bagrad was a Christian from the Armenian Church and his brother works in Mosul University. The same sources refer that a Christian was also kidnapped New Years Eve in Mosul…

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Iraq responds to Russian oil courting
Iraq Oil Report
A Russian delegation visiting Baghdad is attempting to reboot ties with Iraq. Russia was expecting a leg-up in either resigning a Saddam-era oil deal or other energy prospects, and hoped a 2008 move erasing Iraqi debt would clinch it, to no avail. Voices of Iraq reports a Russian official telling the media Moscow wants to take advantage of an improved security and business climate in Iraq. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has apparently accepted an invitation from his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to visit Moscow. Maliki in a press conference with Russian officials said the government would protect Russian companies, “especially oil companies,” Agence France-Presse reports…

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burning al Quds: one of Gaza’s remaining functional hospitals destroyed in Israel’s war on Gaza
In Gaza
In the early hours of January 15, the Israeli army which had invaded and occupied the Tel el Hawa region, began shelling and firing heavily on the al Quds hospital and surrounding apartment buildings and shops. Residents of that newest region to be attack were sent fleeing, to join hoards of displaced, sheltering with families -if lucky-or in schools, if truly desperate. Medics and volunteers inside the hospital report at least 150 calls that were not being answered because medics’ and ambulances’ movement had been halted by the presence of tanks and snipers outside. Later in the morning, Mohammed, a volunteer medic, reported: ‘Israelis are shooting at people who are leaving their houses.’..

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Talabani: Iraq-Iran ties getting “better”
Aswat al-Iraq
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani on Friday said that Iraqi-Iranian relations are beginning to expand towards “the better”, according to a presidential press release. “Talabani received on Friday (Jan. 16) a delegation from the Iranian foreign ministry under its official spokesman, Hassan Qashqavi, accompanied by the Iranian ambassador to Iraq Hassan Kadhemi Qomi as well as a number of Iranian newspaper editors and TV station directors,” read the release as received by Aswat al-Iraq news agency…

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Israeli forces shell UN school, killing mother and son
Gaza official toll reaches 1,205
Ma’an news
Israeli forces shelled a United Nations-run school in the northern Gaza Strip on Saturday, killing a mother and her young son. According to witnesses several others were injured when Israeli rockets struck the school in Beit Lahiya. Tens of thousands of Gazans are sheltering in schools across the Strip run by the UN’s relief agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA. Israeli attacks continued across the Strip, even as the Israeli security cabinet prepared to endorse a ceasefire later on Saturday. At the Karama Towers in northern Gaza, Israeli warplanes dropped incendiary white phosphorus shells, killing three people. Palestinian medics say they found three completely burnt bodies covered in phosphorus…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=50943

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