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URUK Net 26 January, 2009

Last updated: Saturday, January 31, 2009 18:33

West Bank: New weapons used against demonstrators
International Solidarity Movement
Since the start of the massacre on Gaza (27 December 2009), the Israeli army has been testing new types of weapons in several villages around West Bank. There are two new types of bullets and one new type of teargas canister. One small bullet, known by its caliber size as “0.22?, does not make a sound when fired. The bullet can only be heard by a low sweeping noise in the air as it passes. The low caliber allows the bullet to easily enter the body and cause internal bleeding. The bullet can enter a body from approximately 50 meters. Until now, 7 people have been shot with the “0.22? in Bi’lin, Ni’lin, and Budrus. Several from Bi’lin and Ni’lin have this bullet lodged in their knees, one bullet went through a demonstrator’s leg and another demonstrator was shot in the stomach (causing internal bleeding).

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51252

Gaza family recounts day of horror
Ashraf Khalil
There were 14 of them huddled under the stairs. Israeli shells and airstrikes had long since shattered every window of the Helw family’s three-story home. But underneath the concrete staircase, they said, they felt relatively safe — until the soldiers came early in the morning on Jan. 4. There was pounding on the courtyard door, they recalled last week, and voices in accented Arabic shouted, “Who’s in there?” As the troops burst inside, family members said Fuad Helw, 55, jumped up with his arms in the air. “We all put our hands up and yelled, ‘We’re women and children. We’re not the resistance,’ “ recalled Sherine Helw, Fuad’s daughter-in-law. The soldiers opened fire on Fuad, said Sherine, and he died in front of his family…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51257

Obama’s Torture Loopholes
Prof. James Hill
…The loopholes in President Obama’s executive order on torture may permit cruel abuses of prisoners to continue, using a legal parlor trick. Labeling detainees the product of counterterrorism operations rather than of armed conflict, or holding detainees in detention facilities operated by entities other than the CIA, may allow government agents and private contractors conforming to the letter of the president’s order to continue practices most would consider torture…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51253

US moves to consolidate new supply routes to Afghanistan
James Cogan
…Petraeus spoke last year of the “common interest” shared by the US and the Shiite fundamentalist regime in Tehran in regards to Afghanistan—preventing the return to power of Sunni extremists; stemming drug trafficking; and opening up new trade markets. The think tank Stratfor, which is close to the US intelligence agencies, commented on January 23: “If an arrangement can be worked out between the United States and Iran, western forces could thus reduce their dependence on the main routes through Pakistan and perhaps avoid the logistical and geopolitical costs of having to transport supplies through Central Asia. The United States could clearly benefit from Iranian cooperation in Afghanistan…” At present, such “cooperation” does not exist. The Obama administration therefore has little choice but to bargain with Russia if it is going to advance its plans for the subjugation of Afghanistan. Russian President Medvedev has indicated that Moscow will be asking for significant concessions on issues such as the expansion of the NATO alliance and the US missile defence system. If such negotiations become difficult, the Iranian option may become more attractive…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51254

Going back to work
Najwa Sheikh Ahmed, Nusierat Camp, Gaza Strip – thepeoplesvoice.org
…I was shocked, though I saw many reports on the news about the destruction on Gaza after the war, but on reality by your own eyes, it is different, more painful, and more frustrating to witness this destruction. All the way to the office I was trying to recognize what exactly was on this place, a house, a farm, a school, maybe, nothing for sure, every thing is upside down as if the earth took out its anger, and erased every thing, however this time it is not the earth to blame, but the human controlled by the power of hatred, and a big appetite to kill…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51255

Iraq: Vote buying indicates political bankruptcy – observers
Aswat al-Iraq
People claim that cards for family meals at restaurants in Baghdad, presents, canned food, leather-made agendas and other things are being allegedly given out by political entities and figures for citizens in exchange of their votes. Some sources have even included refrigerators and cash to get citizens’ votes. Some political entities and candidates are pursuing these ways to get votes after failing to come up with ambitious electoral platforms that should attract voters…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51256

Israel Killed Everything but the Will to Resist
Stephen Lendman
“ ‘Freedom or death’, is the popular Palestinian mantra,” wrote Palestine Chronicle Editor-in-Chief Ramzy Baroud in his January 22 article titled “Breaking Gaza’s Will: Israel’s Enduring Fantasy.” Three weeks of Israeli terror caused about 1400 deaths, over 5500 injured (many seriously), vast destruction throughout Gaza, and Physicians for Human Rights warning that large numbers of wounded may die because hospitals are overloaded and lack basic supplies. Yet Palestinians endure. Their spirit is unbowed and unbroken…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51231

For Palestinians, Obama’s Message is Crystal Clear
Ramzy Baroud
…”Obama won’t bring my husband back to life,” Leila Khalil, a Gazan woman, whose husband was killed during Israel’s bloody offensive, told AFP. “He was martyred and left me with six children to feed on my own.” Obama’s also made himself “clear” regarding the fate of Leila’s husband, and thousands like him: “For years, Hamas has launched thousands of rockets at innocent Israeli citizens. No democracy can tolerate such danger to its people, nor should the international community, and neither should the Palestinian people themselves, whose interests are only set back by acts of terror.” Luckily, Leila no longer has a TV set to listen to Obama’s remarks. It was, along with her home pulverized by Israeli missiles, courtesy of the United States. For Gazans, and most Palestinians, things cannot be any clearer…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51250

New way of organized killing sweeps Iraq
Fatih Abdulsalam, Azzaman
In a few hours last week three families were liquidated inside their homes. This is no coincidence. Things rarely happen in Iraq by chance. The first family was exterminated in Suwaira south of Baghdad, the second in Mosul and the third in Baladroz in Diyala. The three families had nothing to do with politics or factionalism. Murderous acts like these are nothing but a new form of terror that is sweeping the country once again. It is being perpetrated by sides for which horrible actions like these are not unusual. They practiced such acts in the past. They are making a comeback and the reasons are clear…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51249

As Vice President Biden warns of an “uptick” in casualties
Afghanistan civilians killed in US military raid
Patrick O’Connor
…US Vice President Joe Biden yesterday appeared on CBS’s “Meet the Press” and warned that the war in Afghanistan would soon intensify. Asked if things were going to get “tougher” there before they got better, Biden replied, “That’s true”. Then asked if more American casualties should be expected, he responded: “I hate to say it, but yes, I think, there will be. There will be an uptick, because as the commander in Afghanistan said [to me], ‘Joe, we will get this done but we’re going to be engaging the enemy that much more’.” Biden’s remarks again demonstrate the chasm between the new administration’s intentions and the sentiments of the millions of ordinary people who voted for the Democrats in the hope that ousting the Republicans would put an end to Bush’s agenda of war and militarism. Having promised “change”, President Obama is now pursuing the same central strategic goal of US imperialism which underpinned the former Bush administration’s so-called war on terror—the control of the vast energy resources in the Middle East and Central Asia and the shutting out of rival powers from the region…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51248

Photos: Homeless Palestinians
Al-Masakin News Agency
Children from the Palestinian Hammuda family sit around the fire under the rubble of their destroyed house at Jabalia’s Ezbet Abed Rabbo district in the northern Gaza Strip…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51247

Gaza: Ceasefire Broken From Day One
Eva Bartlett
At 7.30 am Jan. 22, five days after Israeli authorities declared a ‘ceasefire’ following their 22-day air, land and sea bombardment of the Gaza Strip, Israeli gunboats renewed shelling off the Gaza city coast, injuring at least six, including four children. Mu’awiyah Hassanain, director of Ambulance and Emergency Services, reported more shelling in the north-western coastal area As Sudaniya the same morning. Five fishermen were injured in the attacks, he said. About 9.45 am that morning in Sheyjaiee district to the east of Gaza city, seven-year-old Ahmed Hassanian was outside his house with friends when Israeli soldiers fired from the eastern border. A bullet lodged in his brain, causing brain haemorrhage. Dr. Fawzi Nablusi, director of the ICU at Shifa hospital, says the boy is not expected to survive…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51245

Banned from the BBC – The full version of the DEC aid appeal for Gaza.
DEC
Full version of the DEC aid appeal for Gaza which the BBC and Sky broadcasting channels have both refused to air. Many people including former MP Tony Benn have accused the BBC of “capitulating” to the Israelis.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51242

The Taliban Warns Obama: Get out of Afghanistan
David Montero, Christian Science Monitor
As President Barack Obama steps into the White House and into history, the Taliban have a message for him: Leave Afghanistan. “The insurgent Taliban said Wednesday that US President Barack Obama should learn from the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan and pull his troops out of the country to allow Afghans to decide their own fate,” reports The News, a popular English-language daily in Pakistan…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51241

Taliban turning to more ‘complex’ attacks
Analysis shows insurgents are increasingly confronting NATO troops in open warfare, rather than relying on bombings, suicide strikes
GRAEME SMITH
Taliban fighters are increasingly hitting their targets directly instead of relying on bombs, according to a year-end statistical review that contradicts a key NATO message about the war in Afghanistan. Public statements from Canadian and other foreign troops have repeatedly emphasized the idea that the insurgents are losing momentum because they can only detonate explosives, failing to confront their opponents in combat. But an analysis of almost 13,000 violent incidents in Afghanistan in 2007 and 2008, prepared by security consultant Sami Kovanen and provided to The Globe and Mail, shows a clear trend toward open warfare. By far the most common type of incident, in Mr. Kovanen’s analysis, is the so-called “complex attack,” meaning ambushes or other kinds of battle using more than one type of weapon. The analyst counted 2,555 such attacks in 2008, up 117 per cent from the previous year…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51240

Taliban Took Over a Border Area Between Two Provinces in the East
Quqnoos.com
A group of 700 insurgents captured the area and declared Islamic Emirates . The Nuristan province officials confirmed that the Taliban insurgents captured the Gosalk area which is located between Waigal district of Nuristan and Chapadara district of Kuner province…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51239

Fear and trauma in Gaza’s schools
Alex Dziadosz, Aljazeera.net
As students filed into the courtyard of Asma elementary school in Gaza City for the first time since the Israeli offensive began, they were greeted by a bleak reminder of the violence that left more than 1,300 Palestinians dead and thousands injured. A hole punched by an Israeli rocket scarred the courtyard latrine and blood soiled the wall beside it. Asma is one of over 600 schools in Gaza – most of which reopened on January 24 – that is today facing a large number of post-war operational challenges. Educators across the Gaza Strip are now considering whether to reschedule exams which were abandoned when Israel began bombing the territory on December 27. Teachers are also faced with the task of teaching in rooms which had served as shelters for dozens of refugees…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51243

Factional violence continues in Iraq
Karim Abedzair, Azzaman
Sectarian killings have not ended in Iraq despite the relative calm most of the country currently enjoys. The violence is due mostly to powerful political factions with heavily armed militias. On Saturday militia men stormed a house in the restive Province of Diyala killing nine members of the same family among them six women. Some militias – such the Kurdish militias known as Peshmerga and the Shiite militias of Mahdi Army – can even stand or probably beat onslaughts by the Iraqi army…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51251

NATO chief sees role for Iran in Afghanistan
Xinhua
NATO Secretary-general Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said on Monday that all Afghanistan’s neighbors, including Iran, must be engaged if the West wants to succeed in Afghanistan. “To my mind, we need a discussion that brings in all the relevant regional players: Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, China, Russia, and yes, Iran. We need a pragmatic approach to solve this very real challenge,” he told a seminar of the Security and Defense Agenda, a Brussels-based think-tank…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51238

Legal expert concerned over lives of Gaza prisoners
Palestinian Information Center
Abdul Nasser Farwana, an expert on prisoners’ affairs and an ex-prisoner in Israeli jails, has expressed concern over the lives of Palestinians kidnapped during the Gaza invasion at the hands of Israeli occupation forces. He said in a statement on Sunday that those who are thought to have direct or indirect links to resistance were particularly prone to field execution as well as the wounded…

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Rabbi told Israeli troops ‘to show no mercy’ in Gaza
AFP
An Israeli human rights group on Monday called for the immediate dismissal of the chief military rabbi, claiming he gave soldiers fighting in Gaza pamphlets urging them to show no mercy. Yesh Din said it had written to both Defence Minister Ehud Barak and Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, urging them to “take this incitement seriously and fire Chief Military Rabbi” Brigadier General Avi Ronzki. It said a pamphlet distributed to soldiers taking part in Operation Cast Lead stressed that the troops should show no mercy to their enemies, and that the pamphlet borders “on incitement and racism against the Palestinian people.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51236

From Hospital, Afghans Rebut U.S. Account
CARLOTTA GALL, NYTimes
The American military declared the nighttime raid this month a success, saying it killed 32 people, all Taliban insurgents — the fruit of an emphasis on intelligence-driven use of Special Operations forces. But the two young men who lay wincing in a hospital ward here told a different story a few days later, one backed up by the pro-American provincial governor and a central government delegation. They agreed that 13 civilians had been killed and 9 wounded when American commandos broke down doors and unleashed dogs without warning on Jan. 7 in the hunt for a known insurgent in Masamut, in Laghman Province in eastern Afghanistan. The residents were so enraged that they threatened to march on the American military base here…

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Israeli soldiers: “We shelled a house that had a wounded soldier in it”
Saed Bannoura – IMEM
Israeli newspaper, Maariv, reported that soldiers who participated in invading Gaza said that one soldier was captured by the resistance in a home that was apparently wired, and that the army shelled the home while the wounded soldier was in it. The soldiers said that they broke into a home to search it and that a fighter who was apparently hiding there opened fire at them wounding one soldier. The unit commander then noticed a device that looked like an explosive charge and ordered the soldiers to evacuate the building immediately. All soldiers, expected the injured one, left the building..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51244

“May God take revenge on those who did this!”
Rami Almeghari writing from the occupied Gaza Strip, Live from Palestine
Samira Qishta, a mother of 12, rushed to her house in the al-Brazil housing project of Rafah City, right after the Israeli army declared a halt to its attacks on the coastal region on 18 January. “My God, what has happened? was it an earthquake? I cant believe my eyes!” This was Samira’s reaction when she saw her devastated house. The three-week-long Israeli war on Gaza has ceased, yet the repercussions may be felt for years to come. There are thousands of grieving families, thousands of homes have been reduced to rubble and much of the infrastructure has been destroyed. The scale of the destruction caused by round-the-clock bombardment can be seen in Rafah City, on the Gaza-Egypt border…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51234

How Obama’s New Rules Keep Intact
The Torture Ban That Doesn’t Ban Torture
ALLAN NAIRN
If you’re lying on the slab still breathing, with your torturer hanging over you, you don’t much care if he is an American or a mere United States – sponsored trainee. When President Obama declared flatly this week that “the United States will not torture” many people wrongly believed that he’d shut the practice down, when in fact he’d merely repositioned it. Obama’s Executive Order bans some — not all — US officials from torturing but it does not ban any of them, himself included, from sponsoring torture overseas. Indeed, his policy change affects only a slight percentage of US-culpable tortures and could be completely consistent with an increase in US-backed torture worldwide…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51233

Popular resistance leader and PLC deputy: Gaza cannot be rebuilt if it remains under siege
The process of reconstructing the destruction caused during 23 days of attacks remains at a standstill says Chairman of the Popular Committee against the Siege, Jamal Al Khudari. Also an independent member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, the Gaza City resident said that the year and a half embargo on trade must be lifted. “The crossings are still closed and raw materials are still banned. Rebuilding cannot even begin under these conditions.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51232

Four U.S. soldiers killed in aircraft crash in Iraq
By Ned Parker and Caesar Ahmed
Four U.S. soldiers were killed early today when at least one U.S. military aircraft crashed near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, according to the U.S. military and Iraqi officials. The crash was believed to have been an accident, according to a U.S. military press statement. Initial reports from the U.S. military said two aircraft were involved, but later reports said it was only one aircaft that went down in the incident, which occured around 2:15 a.m…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51230

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