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URUK Net 22 January, 2009

Last updated: Friday, January 23, 2009 9:23

In Pictures: Gaza in ruins
AlJazeera.net
As Israeli forces and Palestinian fighters hold fire in Gaza, civilians are trying to return home. But what many Palestinians find are rubble and devastation… About 100,000 Gazans lost their homes in the three-week war …

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51115

Thus Sprach Barack: Pouring Acid on Gaza’s Wounds
Chris Floyd
Yesterday, we wrote of our eager anticipation of Barack Obama’s long-suppressed opinion on the mass slaughter in Gaza. As we all know, the most eloquent, forthright and morally concerned orator of the age kept a demure silence on this subject for weeks, because, he said, “we have only one president at a time,” who alone should speak about foreign policy. Of course, that didn’t keep the morally concerned orator from speaking freely on almost every other aspect of foreign policy — Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, etc. But consistency, as they say, is the hobgoblin of small minds, and the brain of the new president — who has set the world aflame with rhetoric that has never been heard in Washington before, soaring phrases of penetrating uniqueness about freedom, hope, peace, and the enduring greatness of the American people — is famously large. Anyway, we have waited, and at last Obama has spoken. Here’s what he had to say today, while welcoming Hillary Clinton to the State Department and appointing Establishment grandee George Mitchell as his special envoy to the Middle East: Let me be clear: America is committed to Israel’s security…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51098

Out of the rubble
Mouin Rabbani
…There is no longer anything Abbas can say or do to remain in power. The only relevant question is if he will jump before he is pushed – with the coup de grace almost certain to come from within the Fatah movement or the ranks of the public rather than Islamist circles. No less importantly, there is now also nothing his sponsors and allies can do to save his skin. Utterly cynical initiatives like that by the Europeans promising aid to a national unity government – which, when formed in 2007, served as a pretext for them to continue to boycott the PA – will achieve nothing. Bribes, threats, even wars or peace conferences can no longer prevent the emergence of a new Palestinian national movement. We do not yet know its shape, nor how it will emerge. At this point the only certainty is that unless it can more authentically represent the will and aspirations of its people – by challenging rather than accommodating the status quo – and thereby make more effective progress toward basic objectives, it will not last long…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51116

Court denies residency to Palestinian Child paralyzed by Israeli shell
Saed Bannoura – IMEM
Nearly two weeks ago, the Israeli High Court of Justice denied a petition to grant residency to a Palestinian child paralyzed from the neck down when the Israeli Army shelled her father’s vehicle in 2006, killing her mother, her brother and her grandmother. Maria Aman, age eight, became quadriplegic after a shell fired by the Israeli Army struck her dad’s vehicle in the Gaza Strip, while the whole family was in it. She is receiving treatment at an Israeli hospital in Jerusalem, and is accompanied by her father and her youngest brother. The Israeli high court is refusing to allow her and her family to remain in Jerusalem. Human rights Groups filed an appeal to grant her permanent residency in Jerusalem as she needs to remain close to the hospital due to the severity of her condition…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51101

Gaza: Alarm spreads over use of lethal new weapons
Erin Cunningham
Eighteen-year-old Mona al-Ashkar says she did not immediately know the first explosion at the United Nations school in Beit Lahiya had blown her left leg off. There was smoke, then chaos, then the pain and disbelief set in once she realized it was gone — completely severed by the weapon that hit her. Mona is one of the many patients among the 5,500 injured that have international and Palestinian doctors baffled by the type of weaponry used in the Israeli operation. High-profile human rights organizations like Amnesty International are accusing Israel of war crimes. Mona’s doctors at Gaza City’s al-Shifa hospital found no shrapnel in her leg, and it looked as though it had been “sliced right off with a knife.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51105

Ignoring the roots of conflict
Dalila Mahdawi, The Electronic Intifada
My uncle, aunt and cousins in Gaza have not showered for more than two weeks now. I make a point of this because Samuel Wurzelbacher, otherwise known as “Joe the Plumber” who was propelled into the limelight for questioning then US President-elect Barack Obama, has become a so-called “war correspondent” in the southern Israeli town of Sderot. Talking to The Guardian from his new beat, he spoke with sympathy about how difficult life must be for Sderot’s residents. “The people of Sderot can’t do normal things day to day, like get soap in their eyes in the shower, for fear a rocket might come in. I’m sure they’re taking quick showers. I know I would.” I wonder what Wurzelbacher would make, then, of the “day to day” lives of the people in Gaza, whose water tanks have run dry, who have no electricity, and where many are struggling to pay for flour, the price of which has jumped to around 160 shekels (around $40) a sack due to the recent onslaught…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51107

1st views of Attattra, northwestern Gaza
In Gaza
On January 18, the first day that Israel stopped most of the bombing all over Gaza (navy shelling continues to this moment), after learning that my friend’s father was alive in eastern Jabaliya, I went on to Attatra, the northwest region, which had been cut off since Israeli troops invaded. As expected, the destruction was great, the death toll high and still unknown. People streamed in both directions: going to see how their homes had fared or leaving from the wreckage and bringing as many surviving possessions as possible. “This is our main road,” Yusef said dryly, gesturing at the undulating pavement and sand that served the towns in this region. “There should be houses here. Now there is nothing,” he added, seemingly more to himself than to me…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51110

New evidence of Gaza child deaths
Christian Fraser , BBC
…One of the most alarming features of the conflict in Gaza is the number of child casualties. More than 400 were killed. Many had shrapnel or blast injuries sustained as the Israeli army battled Hamas militants in Gaza’s densely populated civilian areas. But the head of neurosurgery at the El-Arish hospital, Dr Ahmed Yahia, told me that brain scans made it clear that a number of the child victims had been shot at close range. Samar’s uncle said the soldier who had shot his niece was just 15m (49ft) away. ‘’How could they not see they were shooting at children?’’ he asked…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51118

Israel at work on war-crimes damage-control
Arablinks
There are a number of Israeli media reports and comments on the war-crimes issue. Here are the main ones available in English: (1) Haaretz says in an editorial Israel should launch its own investigation in order to preempt international war-crimes proceedings (2) YNet publishes an article quoting Israeli lawyers who warn that anyone involved in the operation could be prosecuted anywhere in the world…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51114

UN releases Gaza attack photos
AlJazeera.net
The United Nations has released images of what it believes are white phosphorus munitions raining down on one of its compounds during Israel’s war on Gaza. The pictures, broadcast by Al Jazeera on Thursday, show what appears to be flame-generating munitons, thought to be white phosphorus “wedges”, falling into a UN compound in Gaza where hundreds of people were sheltering. Two Palestinian boys, aged five and seven, were killed in the attack on January 17. Israel has said it will investigate the issue, but has not publicly acknowledged using the controversial chemical…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51112

Gaza: With crossings still closed, limited capacity to repair hospitals
Fadi Yacoub, PNN
Al Quds Hospital is waiting for its wounds to heal after being heavily attacked by Israeli forces in the last days of the Israeli operation. Hit by shells, the damage is massive. Windows were shattered, the surgical ward gone, the administration and pharmaceutical buildings destroyed. When Israeli forces opened fire on the hospital it caught fire and 500 patients, refugees and staff were evacuated. Dr. Walid Abu Ramadan, Medical Director of Al Quds Hospital for the Palestinian Red Crescent, said that missiles rained on patients during the worst night of shelling. “We were beyond capacity with people seeking shelter and the sick and wounded. The humanitarian situation was so difficult and still is by any standards.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51111

Maliki, Sadr Bloc in reconciliation meeting
Alsumaria
Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki and Al Sadr Front delegation convened in a reconciliation meeting that resulted of a joint committee to investigate in Sayyed Moqatada Al Sadr’s accusations to official forces of arresting his followers. Al Sadr Front senior official Bahaa Al Araji affirmed that Prime Minister Al Maliki praises the stand of Al Sadr who rejects any alliance aiming to topple the government…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51109

Israeli ministers approve Hamas’s conditions for releasing Shalit
Palestinian Information Center
The Israeli 2nd TV channel has revealed that a number of Israeli cabinet ministers had revoked their earlier objection to Hamas’s conditions for releasing captured soldier Gilad Shalit. It said that following the Israeli army’s failure to secure Shalit’s release in the war on Gaza the ministers turned from opponents to supporters of the prisoners’ swap deal…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51106

Religion Votes in Iraq Polls
Afif Sarhan, IOL Correspondent
Religion is expected to play a key role in the upcoming provincial elections, with candidates courting devout voters and religious leaders instructing people on whom to vote for… Experts believe that many voters support candidates of their faith groups with no apparent logical cause. “Shiite vote for Shiite and Sunnis vote for Sunnis,” Dawod Heythan, a political analyst and journalist, told IOL. “People are following their religious leaders without looking after each candidate’s proposal, how it would benefit them and what they could get from it.” The analyst fears that the trend would eventually make the ugly face of sectarianism raises its head once again…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51113

Israel’s Lies
Henry Siegman
Western governments and most of the Western media have accepted a number of Israeli claims justifying the military assault on Gaza: that Hamas consistently violated the six-month truce that Israel observed and then refused to extend it; that Israel therefore had no choice but to destroy Hamas’s capacity to launch missiles into Israeli towns; that Hamas is a terrorist organisation, part of a global jihadi network; and that Israel has acted not only in its own defence but on behalf of an international struggle by Western democracies against this network. I am not aware of a single major American newspaper, radio station or TV channel whose coverage of the assault on Gaza questions this version of events. Criticism of Israel’s actions, if any (and there has been none from the Bush administration), has focused instead on whether the IDF’s carnage is proportional to the threat it sought to counter, and whether it is taking adequate measures to prevent civilian casualties…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51117

Sharpeville 1960, Gaza 2009
Dr. Haidar Eid, The Electronic Intifada
“Where can I bring him a father from? Where can I bring him a mother from? You tell me!” These are the desperate words of Subhi Samuni to Al-Jazeera’s Gaza correspondent. Subhi lost 17 members of his immediate family, including the parents of his seven-year-old grandson. Shockingly, even as I write this article, corpses of the Samuni family are still being retrieved from under the rubble — 15 days after the Israeli occupation forces shelled the two houses. The Israeli army locked 120 members of the family in one house for 12 hours before they shelled it. Subhi’s words echo the harsh reality of all Palestinians in Gaza: alone, abandoned, hunted down, brutalized, and, like Subhi’s grandson, orphaned. Twenty-two days of savage butchery took the lives of more than 1,300 Palestinians, at least 85 percent of them civilians, including 434 children, 104 women, 16 medics, four journalists, five foreigners, and 105 elderly people…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51104

Hasbaranalysis: ‘Operation Hamas Moderation’
DetainThis
Tuesday’s media critique — “Who needs hasbara when you have AP ‘analysis’?” — exposed a few major but subtle tendencies in Associated Press Israel-Palestine coverage that should leave no doubt who is buttering AP’s bread. But just in case, the following is a point-by-point critique of another “analysis” under the same byline: Steve Gutkin, bureau chief for the W. Jerusalem bureau…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51102

Video: Gaza villages Wiped off the map
Jonathan Mille
Another excellent report by Jonathan Miller. Telling the story of destruction and killing in Gaza.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51103

Israel’s navy shells Gaza, injuring seven
Ma’an news
Israel’s navy shelled the Gaza Strip on Thursday morning, injuring seven Palestinians, including five fishermen. Mu’awiyah Hassanain, the director of Ambulance and Emergency Services in the Palestinian Health Ministry told Ma’an that Israeli gunboats shelled the As-Sudaniya area northwest of Gaza City. He said the wounded people were taken to Ash-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51100

Breaking Gaza’s Will: Israel’s Enduring Fantasy
Ramzy Baroud
My three-year-old son Sammy walked into my room uninvited as I sorted through another batch of fresh photos from Gaza. I was looking for a specific image, one that would humanise Palestinians as living, breathing human beings, neither masked nor mutilated. But to no avail. All the photos I received spoke of the reality that is Gaza today – homes, schools and civilian infrastructure bombed beyond description. All the faces were either of dead or dying people…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51097

Waqf Minister: Israel used Gaza invasion as chance to confiscate West Bank lands
Ma’an news
Land confiscations in the West Bank are continuing, said Minister of Waqf and Religious Affairs Jamal Bawatneh, and soon there will be no land to hold a Palestinian state. In a Tuesday letter the minister expressed his concern over the continued confiscations while “whole world was preoccupied with Gaza,” and accused Israel of using the attacks as a free-ticket to act in the West Bank…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51119

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