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URUK Net 20 January, 2009

Last updated: Wednesday, January 21, 2009 14:49

Bombs Meant to “Send Gaza Back Decades” Israel’s Doctrine of Destruction
JONATHAN COOK
In the last days before Israel imposed a unilateral ceasefire in Gaza to avoid embarrassing the incoming Obama administration, it upped its assault, driving troops deeper into Gaza City, intensifying its artillery bombardment and creating thousands more displaced people. Israel’s military strategy in Gaza, even in what its officials were calling the “final act”, followed a blueprint laid down during the Lebanon war more than two years ago. Then, Israel destroyed much of Lebanon’s infrastructure in a month of intensive air strikes. Even in the war’s last few hours, as a ceasefire was being finalised, Israel fired more than a million cluster bombs over south Lebanon, apparently in the hope that the area could be made as uninhabitable as possible. Similarly, Israel’s destruction of Gaza continued with unrelenting vigour to the very last moment, even though according to reports in the Israeli media the air force exhausted what it called its “bank of Hamas targets” in the first few days of fighting…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51044

Doctors see evidence of DIME weapon use, in addition to white phosphorus
Arablinks
Egyptian doctors returned from the Gaza Strip said at a conference held yesterday by the Arab Doctors Union in Cairo that the bodies of the dead and wounded they have seen indicate the use by Israel of a variety of weapons banned internationally, including white phosphorus and so-called DIME (Dense Inert Metal Explosives), and they referred to other cases of distortions and disfigurations that they could not explain, calling the overall conditions of the bodies the ugliest they had seen in their medical careers. They called on the Union of Arab Journalists and international journalist associations to prepare a thorough report gathering together all evidence of the use of banned weapons…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51045

VIDEO: Gaza’s destruction revealed – 20 Jan 09
AlJazeeraEnglish
The cessation of fighting in Gaza has allowed the true scale of destruction there to be revealed. Sherine Tadros reports from the north of the strip on the despair of one father who says Israeli forces shot and killed two of his daughters at close range…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51040

More civilian casualties in Afghanistan
James Cogan
The first week of 2009 saw at least three incidents in which occupation forces stand accused of killing or injuring Afghan civilians during operations against the Taliban-led insurgency. Officials representing the provincial government of Helmand alleged that on January 5, British troops killed five members of the same family in the Baghni district. For weeks, the British force in Helmand has been waging an offensive in areas that have long been outside occupation control. Seventeen British troops have been killed and scores wounded in fierce fighting, according the Independent. No figures have been released on civilian and insurgent casualties. US troops are accused of slaughtering, on January 6, at least 17 civilians, including women and children, during an assault on the home of an alleged Taliban commander in the village of Masamoot in the eastern province of Laghman…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51042

Israel Exploiting Palestinians Injured in Attacks on Gaza for Public Relations
Connie Hackbarth, Alternative Information Center (AIC)
The Israeli government is cynically and grotesquely exploiting the Palestinians it injured during recent military attacks on the Gaza Strip for the country’s ongoing public relations campaign. Amid great fanfare, Magen David Adom, the Israeli equivalent of the Red Cross/Red Crescent, opened a “field clinic” near the Erez border crossing on Sunday 18 January. The field clinic, staffed by volunteer medical professionals, is intended “to give medical aid to the inhabitants of Gaza who were injured during the days of warfare in the Strip.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51043

‘I felt it was my duty to protest’
The Israeli historian, Ilan Pappe, tells Chris Arnot that speaking out for the Palestinians turned him into a pariah
Chris Arnot, The Guardian
For an academic to describe himself as “feeling for a while like public enemy No 1" suggests either an inflated ego or an incurable case of paranoia. Professor Ilan Pappe gives every appearance of suffering from neither. He is an amiable character with an engaging grin. By his own admission, he “likes to be liked”. Not a natural rebel then? “Certainly not,” he says. Yet in 2005 and 2006, this Israeli son of German-Jewish emigrants found himself in the eye of a storm that would lead him to leave the country of his birth and seek sanctuary in the English west country. He has been chair in the history department at Exeter University for the last 18 months. By the time he left the University of Haifa, he had been condemned in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset; the minister of education had publicly called for him to be sacked; and his pictures had appeared in the country’s biggest-selling newspaper at the centre of a target. Next to it, a popular columnist addressed his readers thus: “I’m not telling you to kill this person, but I shouldn’t be surprised if someone did.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51039

Blind and burnt: Mahmoud, 14, young victim of banned white phosphorus shelling
Sheera Frenkel, Times
Israel’s three-week offensive in the Gaza Strip may be over but Mahmoud Mattar, 14, will not be able to sense the quiet that has descended on his home town of Jabalya. Blinded in both eyes, with third-degree burns over much of his torso, Mahmoud lies unconscious in the Sheikh Zayid Hospital on the outskirts of Cairo. He has said little since January 6, when an Israeli attack on his village in northern Gaza left him nearly dead on the street outside his mosque. Doctors say that he will never see again — and that the burns on his body were caused by white phosphorus, a controversial incendiary weapon that Israel originally denied using…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51029

Returning to Baghdad, 30 years later
Nesreen Melek*, Iraqi Poet. Axis of Logic
Dear Friends at Axis of Logic, I left Baghdad the day before yesterday. I stayed there for sixteen days; it was my first visit since I left in 1978. Baghdad was like a beautiful woman who aged in an ugly way, a woman who had an Alzheimer disease and lost connection with the outside world. Baghdad was raped by serial killers. They have so much hatred to anything that is Iraqi.
Neighborhoods in Baghdad are separated by walls and checkpoints are everywhere, although the soldiers are trying to make the checkpoints look as good as possible, so they decorated it with plastic roses and plants. Americans are still pointing their guns on the Iraqis thinking that Baghdad is now an American city. Streets in Baghdad are not paved, and dust covers the whole city. Dijlah is no longer the river which poetry was recited praising it’s beauty, the sky is no longer the clear sky, the air is not longer the clean air, people are sad, they don’t have hopes or dreams. There are no smiles on children’ faces. What a loss.. What a loss..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51048

PM Gordon Brown, Here Is My Shopping List
Gilad Atzmon, Palestine Think Tank
Gordon Brown the British PM has managed to come up yesterday with one of his most immoral and irresponsible announcements so far. In his desperate attempt to appease notorious Israeli war criminal leadership, Brown pleaded to redeploy the British Navy in the region. “We’ll send Royal Navy to help fight (weapon) smuggling,” said the British PM. Mr PM, can’t you see for yourself the total carnage inflicted on the innocent Palestinian civilians by the IDF? Didn’t you follow, like the rest of us, the horrendous indiscriminate killing of Palestinian civilians perpetrated by the Israel army while being fully supported by the Israeli Jewish population? Did you also manage to miss the repeated Israeli usage of unconventional weapons against innocent civilians? Did you fail to learn about the repeating reports of Israeli bombardments of UN refugee centres? …

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51047

Resistance is called ‘terrorism’
Linda S. Heard, Special to Gulf News
Enshrined in the Israeli narrative is the “terrorist” designation of its enemies. For most ordinary people “terrorist” is a highly emotive label and when it’s prefixed with “Islamist”, it evokes images of hooded, anti-Western extremists lopping off heads or planting bombs in five-star hotels to fulfil the demands of a warped ideology masquerading as religion. For Israel, the ‘war on terror’ has been a gift to its propaganda merchants. After all, what reasonable person can blame a country under ‘terrorist attack’ for extending its power to protect its citizens from crazed evil-doers? Sadly, public perception isn’t generally nuanced enough to take account of a crucial fundamental: Israel is the occupier and the Palestinians its victims. Conversely, genuine resistance groups struggling against the yoke of occupation have been hobbled by George W. Bush’s black-and-white rhetoric, as they have been tarred with the same brush as Al Qaida and its franchises. Britain’s Foreign Secretary David Miliband slammed the ‘war on terror’ during a recent visit to Mumbai, calling it a “misleading and mistaken” doctrine inviting “invidious comparisons” between diverse organisations.It just so happens that all resistance groups in the Arab world have been grouped under the umbrella of terrorism, which devalues their just causes. As far as the US and Britain were concerned, Iraqis who objected to their country being bombed, invaded and occupied and who took up arms were all “terrorists”…

Those Iraqi patriots who fought against the illegal invasion in the same way that the French resistance fought against the Nazis and their Vichy regime during the Second World War, should never have been called “terrorists”.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51030

Arab blogs: Tents in desert reveal Israeli plan to transfer Gazans to Egypt
Saed Bannoura – IMEMC News
After flattening many parts of Gaza with aerial bombardment and ground artillery, Israel may be planning to transfer the now homeless refugees to Egypt, where hundreds of tents have been set up near Rafah. One local blogger said that a soldier told him there are many more tents being prepared, as well. According to Professor As’ad AbuKhalil, author of the ‘Angry Arab’ blog, fellow blogger Ahdaf Souif in (Egyptian) Rafah told him, “Outside the general Hospital in Egyptian Rafah a city of tents has sprung up. I counted 200. But the soldiers there told me they have many more and can set them up immediately. They said the beds and furnishings for all the camps are ready. I was also told that other camps are being set up, in el-Arish and other locations. I was told these camps were being set up for ‘the Palestinian refugees.’”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51038

Who’s who in the Obama cabinet
Internal security
Tom Eley
President-elect Obama has assembled a cabinet drawn from the upper echelons of American society and the right wing of the Democratic Party. The right-wing character of the Obama nominees is described by the media under the approving labels of “centrist,” “moderate,” and—most of all—”pragmatic.” This terminology signifies that the incoming Obama team consists entirely of individuals who pass muster with the corporate financial aristocracy. The New York Times reported Monday that Obama has repeatedly discussed his cabinet selections with his defeated Republican opponent, Senator John McCain, and that McCain has told colleagues “that many of these appointments he would have made himself,” according to Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and arch-conservative who has also had input into the formation of the new administration…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51037

Day three of ceasefire: Two children killed by Israeli ordinance, farmer shot dead
Ma’an news
Two Palestinian children were killed by explosives left behind by Israeli forces in Gaza and a farmer was shot dead by Israeli gunfire, hospital officials reported. The director of Emergency and Ambulance Services in the Palestinian Health Ministry, Muawiya Hassanain, told Ma’an that the farmer came under Israeli fire east of Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip. His corpse taken to Kamal Udwan hospital. Earlier on Tuesday, Palestinian medical sources announced that a young boy and his sister were killed when they were playing with an unexploded bomb left behind by Israeli troops in the Ash-Sha’f area of eastern Gaza city. They were identified as 10-year-old Abdullah Hassanain, and 11-year-old Shurouq Hassanain…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51035

Reports reveal devastation wreaked by Israeli military in Gaza
Patrick O’Connor
With the ceasefire in Gaza now in effect, for the time being at least, many international journalists are now able to enter the Palestinian territory for the first time since the Israeli military offensive began last month. Initial reports have highlighted the utter destruction inflicted upon the population by Israel’s armed forces. At least 5,000 homes have been destroyed and more than 20,000 damaged, with many urban centers reduced to nothing more than rubble. Gaza’s limited social infrastructure has been largely obliterated, as have numerous factories and agricultural centers…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51041

WHO chief says Gaza vulnerable to disease outbreak
Reuters
Israel’s offensive in Gaza has left Palestinians vulnerable to disease outbreaks, the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Monday, warning that severe health risks will persist beyond any ceasefire. WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said in a speech she was “deeply concerned” about an interruption of immunisations and other life-saving care in the densely populated territory. There are now only 2,000 hospital beds for 1.5 million people in Gaza, and many hospitals and primary care clinics serving civilians are badly damaged or destroyed, she said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51046

Report: Israel wants control of UN reconstruction effort
Ma’an news
Israel is insisting that any money allocated to Gaza’s reconstruction not go to Hamas or its affiliates, and that the United Nations sends a detailed list of required equipment for approval before it enters the Strip. According to diplomatic sources working at a Western office in Israel, the Israel is concerned that money may reach Hamas and is insisting on playing a large role and the surveillance of monetary inflow for reconstruction projects. Israel is also studying the possibility of expanding a list of main materials considered for entering Gaza, demanding that the UN and other relief organizations provide information on anything headed toward Gaza, the same diplomatic sources said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51034

Bush shoe-thrower seeks Swiss asylum
Daily Contributor
Muntadhar al-Zeidi, the Iraqi reporter who threw his shoes at President George W. Bush in Baghdad last month is reportedly seeking political asylum in Switzerland. Geneva-based lawyer Mauro Poggia said the journalist’s life is in danger in Iraq. He told Swiss newspaper Tribune de Geneve that his client will go to the Swiss Embassy in Baghdad to formally file the asylum request once he’s released from prison. But al-Zeidi’s brother Dhargham, reached by The Associated Press in Iraq, denied the claim and said he was unfamiliar with the Swiss lawyer…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51033

Gaza is our Guernica
Joseph E Fasciani
It is long past time for the world to acknowledge that the destruction of Gaza is the Guernica of our time. All our moral compasses will be set from this point, as to our attitude in this true holocaust. Not one of us is exempt; all will be weighed in the balance of our beliefs and actions.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51032

While Israeli children return to school, kids in Gaza sift through rubble to find bodies of friends
Saed Bannoura – IMEMC News
Israeli media reported Monday that Israeli children from the town of Sderot have returned to school and normalcy. Meanwhile, children in every part of the Gaza Strip are either bleeding in overcrowded hospitals or sifting through the rubble of what used to be their schools, mosques and homes. Eissa Ermallat, 12, was killed Saturday in Rafah while collecting firewood to try to heat his family’s darkened home. He was among the last of the over 1300 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the three-week long offensive. While Ermallat was among the last casualties of the offensive itself, over a hundred bodies have been uncovered on Sunday and Monday, in the rubble of what used to be homes and apartment buildings…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51036

Finland to offer sanctuary to 50 Palestinians fleeing Iraq
Refugees live in desert, depending on aid from UN, Hamas
HELSINGIN SANOMAT
Finland is planning to offer asylum to 50 Palestinian refugees living in very difficult conditions in desert camps on the border between Iraq and Syria. Conditions at the camps is a cause for concern both for the UNHCR and the European Union, as well as various non-governmental organisations. The Palestinians in question first started arriving in Iraq as refugees in 1948. Some are now second, and third-generation refugees. The Palestinians lost their relatively secure position in Iraq when Saddam Hussein was toppled. Amnesty International has said that since Saddam’s overthrow, Palestinians have faced intimidation, arrest, abduction, torture and murder. Many armed groups have taken them as targets…Arja Kekkonen, an official at the Finnish Ministry of the Interior, visited the camp in November, along with a number of other representatives of EU countries. “I have never seen such subhuman conditions in any refugee camps before. Experienced civil servants of other countries felt the same way”, Kekkonen recalls…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51031

‘Israel used ammo containing depleted uranium in Gaza’
Hisham Abu Taha, Arab News
Arab states accused Israel yesterday of using ammunition containing depleted uranium in its 22-day war on Gaza as Tel Aviv said it would withdraw all its troops from the coastal strip by the time Barack Obama is inaugurated as president of the United States today. In a letter on behalf of Arab ambassadors accredited in Austria, Prince Mansour Al-Saud, the Saudi ambassador, expressed “our deep concern regarding the information … that traces of depleted uranium have been found in Palestinian victims.” The letter requested the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohamed El-Baradei, to urgently “carry out a radiological and physical assessment in order to verify the presence of depleted uranium in the weaponry used by Israel … in the Gaza Strip.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51028

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