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5 January 2009 Part 2

Last updated: Tuesday, January 6, 2009 11:47

In Pictures: the slaughter of Gazan children
Victims of the Israeli occupation forces in the tenth day of their attacks on Gaza Strip - January 5, 2009

On January 5, 2009 three families were massacred: Samuni, Abu Eisha, and Al-Hilou . Seven members of the Abu Eisha family were torn to pieces by shelling, said medical officials at Ash-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. According to the medics the parents and their five children were killed when Israeli warships shelled their home in the Al-Mashtal area in the north of Ash-Shati Refugee Camp, on the shore west of Gaza City. Medical officials at Ash-Shifa hospital also confirmed on Monday morning the deaths of seven people, including four children all members of the Samuni family in the Zaytoun neighborhood of Gaza City. Family members who managed escape the shelling claimed more than seven people may have been killed. Jalal Samuni said told Ma'an's reporters at Ash-Shifa Hospital that more than 20 people were left inside the house which was bombarded, and he fears that many of them were killed. He explained that the neighbors gathered in the house of Arafat Samuni who came to the area yesterday. He said that advancing Israeli troops told residents to stay in their homes. Then Israeli forces shelled the house, he said. Earlier also in the Zaytoun area killed a five-year-old girl and her grandfather, members of the Al-Hilou family. The girl’s mother was critically injured. All the victims were evacuated to Ash-Shifa Hospital...

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Fallujah by the Sea: Aping America, Israel Unleashes Chemical Weapons in Gaza
Chris Floyd
The Israeli military is reportedly using napalm-like white phosphorus shells in its all-out attack on Gaza, according to the conservative Times of London. The phosphorus in the smoke-emitting shells causes agonizing, unquenchable burns, sometimes searing flesh right down to the bone. These savage tools of terror are “legal” when used as smokescreens to mask military operations, although their use as an offensive weapon is war crime. This is a rather ludicrous distinction when the shells are fired into heavily populated civilian areas, exploding and spraying phosphorus in all directions. Anyone who orders their use on cities and refugee camps knows with iron certainty that civilians will be burned, maimed and killed by this chemical weapon. That is to say, they know they will be murdering and mutilating innocent people in the most gruesome manner — and they give the order anyway. America’s leaders also ordered the murder and mutilation of innocent civilians with chemical weapons in the brutal razing of Fallujah in late 2004 (among many other places). There, in addition to the wide use of “Willy Pete” in the city — where tens of thousands of people had been sealed off after more than 300,000 had been driven from their homes — American forces also poured in massive amounts of depleted uranium munitions, thermobaric explosives and jellied gasoline. The Pentagon also declared the entire city a free-fire zone, giving soldiers carte blanche to shoot and kill! anyone they saw.
Fallujah was a new Guernica for the 21st century, an abominable crime that should have shamed the country for generations — yet it passed virtually unnoticed by the American press and public…

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War Crime du Jour: Israel Deploys White Phosphorus Shells.
Chris Cook
When regarding the Christmas massacre conducted against the captive population of Palestine by the Israeli army in the name of the people of Israel’s security, one is left to wonder: How deeply into Israel’s vast arsenal must the IDF dig before the world’s leaders act? Do we wait until the nuclear option is put on the table? “Bunker busters” are already deployed; cluster bombs and the usual array of missiles, bombs, and bullets rained down on civilians and the civilian infrastructure. Hospitals, universities, police stations, mosques, and apartment blocks. Have we missed anything? Today, picture proof of Israel’s further degradation…

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Haaretz confirms that Israel is using cluster bombs
Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz
The forces that entered the Gaza Strip last night represented the largest ground operation in the coastal territory since Israel withdrew in the summer of 2005. Palestinian sources reported massive artillery shelling and air force strikes accompanying the advance of the infantry, armored and combat engineering corps. The ground invasion was preceded by large-scale artillery shelling from around 4 P.M., intended to “soften” the targets as artillery batteries deployed along the Strip in recent days began bombarding Hamas targets and open areas near the border. Hundreds of shells were fired, including cluster bombs aimed at open areas…

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10th day under attack: death toll in Gaza reaches 534
Ghassan Bannoura – IMEMC News
The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza reported that Israeli Army shelling on the Gaza Strip this morning has left 17 Palestinians dead. The Ministry has said that among the 17 killed this morning were five children and a family of seven, who were killed when Israeli jet fighters shelled their home. Medics reported that the family members where left to bleed to death because the ambulances could not reach them due to Israeli shelling in the area. On Monday, Israeli tanks invading Gaza shelled the home of Arafa Abed Al Dayim, killing four people and injuring at least 40 others. Local sources said that Abed Al Dayim was killed on Sunday when the ambulance he works in was attacked by the Israeli Army. Palestinians gathered today in his home to pay their respects following his funeral…

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HANDS…
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
…The most formidable and the ugliest of all creations – “human” hands. Hands down, hands up, hands off ! Hands off this Arabic body, and the hands crawl on it, relentlessly…one day in Baghdad, one day in Beirut, one day in Ramallah, one day in Gaza, one day in …following the contours of a territory, like hands stroking a body…first lusting after it, then caressing it, then striking it and finally strangulating it… It kicks and moves, and lies there motionless, with eyes rolled up, blank, totally blank…staring at some horizon, a hidden horizon, somewhere up there…somewhere in Death… Hands off ! Hands that slap back. Hands that take revenge. Hands that resist… Resisting hands…painted on red walls, or hanging there by hooks, grabbing the metal door of some prison cell, reaching out for life, or maybe lying in some street, divorced from the rest of the body, growing a life of its own, like a sprouting plant…drawing new maps, a new geography… Resisting hands, typing hands…that will never cease…

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FPA Statement 9 on the Massacre in Gaza
The Geo-Politics of the Assault on Gaza
The Free Palestine Alliance
…The US-Israeli long term strategy is to transform that area of the world into a “New Middle East” that would be needed for the functionality of imperial control. Any resistance, regardless of its ideological inclination that may be seen as an obstacle, will be and has been targeted for obliteration (…) Other examples of perceived obstacles are many. They include the the 1953 CIA coup in Iran under Mossadegh; the destabilization of Egypt under Nasser, including the 1956 and 1967 attacks; the 1958 US marines in Lebanon; the propping of despots and monarchs throughout Arab countries and the dismemberment of the Arab nation; the 1970 Black September massacre in Jordan at the hands of the Jordanian monarch; the many Zionist assaults on Lebanon in 1978, 1982 and several times then after, including July 2006; the systematic attacks on the Palestinian national liberation movement since its inception, including systematic assassinations and numerous massacres; the occupation and destruction of Iraq by the US and the creation of client states in Afghanistan and Pakistan; the systematic destabilization of Sudan and Yemen; and now the vicious attacks on the Gaza Strip, only to name a few. Of course, the wholesale expulsion of the Palestinians in 1948 and the establishment of Israel as a materialization of colonial Zionism was the critical transformative watershed of all…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=50396

Gaza: Hundreds leave their homes and take refuge in UN schools
Ghassan Bannoura – IMEMC
Hundreds of Palestinian families has left their homes and taken a refuge in UN run schools in Gaza on Monday. Local sources have reported that at least 500 families from the towns of Beit Hannon and Beit Lahyia, as well nearby villages, have left their homes in search of shelter at various UN schools. IMEMC corresponded in Gaza Rami Al Meghari talked to those families. Ihmedan Abu Ayiasha, aged 48, left his home. “What can we do?” he asked. “We left our homes because Israeli tanks were shelling it. I came to run from the fire of the Israeli army.” “I left everything, [even] my clothes,” he added. “We have no food. The UN told us they have nothing to give us because Israel did not allow aid into Gaza.” …

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Silence is Complicity
We’re All War Criminals Now
Joe Mowrey
In response to the current brutal assault on Gaza by Israel a well-known long distance service provider has sponsored a petition for their customers to sign urging a cease fire. On the face of it, this seems like a noble endeavor. The company in question caters to the progressive community and donates a portion of its fees to a wide array of progressive organizations. One could take issue with the fact that this company aligns itself with a notorious international banking cartel to provide credit card services to its customers. But what is interesting to note is how the language in the email which introduces the petition, whether intentionally or not, promotes the usual pro-Zionist narrative about the situation…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=50406

Water, sewage system “collapsing” in Gaza, says official
IRIN News
The UN has warned that power networks were down in large parts of the Gaza Strip on 4 January, with hospitals relying on generators. Without power for pumps, 70 percent of Gazans are estimated to be without tap water… The Israeli Gisha organisation, an NGO, said seven of the 12 electricity lines in the enclave (the 12 lines normally supply about 70 percent of Gaza’s electricity) were down, and warned that the lack of power was causing sewage to flood into populated areas and farmland. There continued to be a risk of sustained flooding. “The water and sewage system in Gaza is collapsing, cutting people off from the water supply and causing sewage to flood the streets,” said Maher al-Najjar, deputy director of Gaza’s water utility (CMWU). He also said 48 of Gaza’s 130 wells were not working at all due to lack of electricity and damage to pipes. “At least 45 other wells are operating only partially and will shut down within days without additional supplies of fuel and electricity,” al-Najjar said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=50404

Affidavit from Gaza
Ghassan Bannoura – IMEMC
…Since the beginning of the military operation on December 27, 2008, and especially since the electricity and water systems were badly damaged during the start of the ground operation on January 3, 2008, we have been unable to provide water to well over 530,000 of Gaza’s residents (approximately 400,000 people in Gaza City and the North, 100,000 people in Rafah, and 30,000 people in the Middle Area). Also, because of the lack of fuel and electricity to sewage pumping stations, sewage is piling up in the streets and harming the health and safety of Gaza residents. There is an additional danger that the sewage lake in Beit Lahiya will overflow within a week, endangering the lives of 10,000 people living nearby…

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Video: WP White Phosphorus over Gaza ?
wotdoesitmatter
Footage of Israeli helicopter firing what appears to be WP on the streets of Gaza.

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VIDEO: Gaza hospital struggles to cope with casualties
AlJazeeraEnglish
According to the United Nations, at least 507 Palestinians have been killed, and more than 2,400 injured since Israel began its offensive in Gaza. A quarter of those killed are civilians. Hospitals are at breaking point, families devastated, people are being forced from their homes. Al Jazeera is the only international broadcaster with a presence in Gaza. Sherine Tadros reports from the epicentre of Gaza’s struggle to survive – its main hospital.

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Israel collaborator recruiter punked
Transcript, The Electronic Intifada,
In addition to bombs and missiles that have killed an ever increasing number of Palestinian civilians, Israel has dropped millions of flyers on the occupied, besieged Gaza Strip. One such flyer, an image of which was sent to The Electronic Intifada, seeks to recruit Palestinian collaborators. Signed by the “Israel Defense Forces command,” and addressed to the “the residents of the Gaza Strip,” the flyer states: “You hold the responsibility for your own fate!” It invites Palestinians to call or email the Israeli army “to inform us about the location of rocket launching sites and the terrorist gangs that made you hostages of their actions.” Because collaboration with an occupier is universally viewed as one of the worst forms of betrayal, the flyer warns “For your own safety, please maintain secrecy when you call us.” EI decided to call the number provided. What follows is a translation of the Arabic conversation between an EI editor and an Israeli officer who identifed himself using the Arabic name “Abu Ibrahim.”…

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Day Ten: Israeli fire kills 14 members of two families
531 killed – 2500 injured – Gaza City encircled
Ma’an news
Israeli shelling in the Gaza Strip on Sunday morning killed 14 members of two families whose homes came under fire. Israeli ground troops, backed by tanks, bulldozers, and helicopters have now encircled Gaza City and cut the Gaza Strip in two. On Monday the Israeli defense minister declared the City “partially besieged.” Palestinian fighters continue to exchange fire with Israeli troops, primarily in northern towns and the outskirts of densely-populated Gaza City. A total of 531 people have been killed in ten days of Israeli air, sea, and ground attakcs. Over 2500 have been injured. Since ground forces moved in on Saturday night, 82 have been killed…

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Scared but steadfast in Gaza
Rami Almeghari writing from the occupied Gaza Strip, Live from Palestine
…In eastern Gaza there were clashes in Shajaiyeh, east of Gaza City. The Israeli army has effectively divided Gaza into two sections, as witnesses in the area confirm. Israeli tanks rolled deeper into the Gaza Strip today and according to witnesses, tanks are present at the former Israeli settlement of Netzarim to the south of Gaza City. Night falls on Gaza as the Israeli shelling on different parts of the Gaza Strip continues… It is being reported that the Israelis are using weapons with depleted uranium. Many medics at hospitals report bruises, burns and fractures in the bodies of the wounded and dead — consistent with these kinds of illegal weapons which are prohibited under international law…

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Palestinian Resistance in Fierce Battle Against Israeli Invaders
Hiyam Noir, PalestineFreeVoice
…At the eastern parts of Gaza,Israeli tanks entered through the Erez and Karni crossing points, the artillery advanced towards the southern parts of Gaza City. The Israeli intruders are stationed at the abandoned Israeli settlement of Netzarim outside Jabaliya.Tankfire killed earlier three residents in the Shujayya neighborhood.Palestinian fighters clashed with heavyarmed Israeli groundforces in Gaza City, one Israeli is reported dead and 30 where injured.
In Beit Hanoun in the north eastern Gaza Strip, Israeli tanks penetrated hundreds of meters then they closed the main road between Beit Hanoun and Gaza City.From the northwest Israeli forces reached the American school in the north of Beit Lahiya. The American school was leveled to the ground on Saturday targeted in an Israeli air strike…

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US Again Stops UN Call for Gaza Truce
Jason Ditz
For the second time in four days, the United States has quashed an attempted United Nations Security Council resolution calling for an immediate end to the war in the Gaza Strip. After the latest rejection, US envoy Alejandro Wolff declared that there was “no point” in the statement, because Hamas (who has previously suggested openness to a ceasefire) would never abide by it. Wolff added that it was unacceptable for the council to equate the killing of civilians by the Israeli government with the killing of civilians by Hamas, and that “Israel’s self-defense is not negotiable.”…

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Concerns Over Transferring Prisoners To Iraqi Control
Musings On Iraq
On January 1, 2009 the new Status of Forces Agreement came into affect. Part of the deal involves turning over prisoners held by the Americans to Iraqi authorities. The U.S. has around 15,000 detainees that will begin being handed over to Baghdad’s control in February. Many human rights groups are concerned about how they will be treated in Iraqi jails. International organizations and Iraqi officials have all reported that human rights violations are common in Iraqi detention facilities. Amnesty International’s Middle East director told the Financial Times that charges of torture and abuse by Iraqi police and guards often occurred. In mid-December 2008 the Minister of Women Affairs Nawal al-Samarrai said women prisoners were routinely beaten and faced bad conditions. The United Nations December 2008 human rights report on Iraq found that mistreatment was common in Iraqi prisons. Many are tortured, stuffed into prisons beyond capacity, receive no legal aid, and wait for months to years before ever seeing a judge. In Kurdistan, it found that the Kurdish authorities moved prisoners to secret detention facilities before U.N. officials came to inspect their jails…

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Hamas ‘to attend’ Cairo truce talks
AlJazeera.net
Halestinian group Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, has announced it will send a delegation to Egypt for ceasefire negotiations as diplomatic efforts to end the fighting in Gaza intensified. Ayman Taha, a Hamas official told the Reuters news agency on Monday that a group would head to Cairo “answering an Egyptian invitation to hold discussions”. Taha did not say whether the delegation would include Hamas members from Gaza or exiled leaders. The talks are set to coincide with the arrival of Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, in the region, to push for a European-backed ceasefire…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=50392

Ground assault sparks worldwide protests
Civilian casualties mount as Israeli army slices through Gaza
Chris Marsden, WSWS
…Israel’s bombardment and ground invasion of Gaza have unleashed a global wave of protest. The most important and sizeable protest took place in Sakhnin, a Palestinian town within Israeli boundaries. The 1.4-million-strong Arab community makes up about 20 percent of Israel’s population and has organised several protests in recent days. But the protest organised by the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee was one of the largest held by Israeli Arabs since October 2000. Organisers estimated that at least 100,000 people took part in protest, which stretched throughout the Sakhnin.

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IAF missile hits two Gaza boys heating water over a fire
Amira Hass
Three hours after the Israel Defense Forces began their ground operation in the Gaza Strip, at about 10:30 P.M. Saturday night, a shell or missile hit the house owned by Hussein al-Awaidi and his brothers. Twenty-one people live in the isolated house, located in an agricultural area east of Gaza City’s Zeitoun neighborhood. Five of them were wounded in the strike: Two women in their eighties (his mother and aunt), his 14-year-old son, his 13-year-old niece and his 10-year-old nephew. Twenty hours later, the wounded were still bleeding in a shed in the courtyard of the house. There was no electricity, no heat, no water. Their relatives were with them, but every time they tried to leave the courtyard to fetch water, the army shot at them. Al-Awaidi tried to summon help on his cell phone, but Gaza’s cell phone network is collapsing…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=50401

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