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URUK Net 28 January, 2009

Last updated: Sunday, February 1, 2009 8:23

Get Some: Obama’s New Hard Line on Afghanistan
Chris Floyd
The Obama administration has decided that blood and iron, not hearts and minds, will be the new focus of the American military adventure in Afghanistan. Top Obama officials – anonymous, natch — used the front page of the New York Times as a conduit for conveying the imperial will to the rabble this week. The basic strategy, it seems, will be the same one that professional nudnik Glenn Reynolds once proposed for the recalcitrant tribes of the Middle East: “more rubble, less trouble.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51313

Israel accused of using farmers as human shields
Jason Koutoukis in Gaza City
METHODS used by the Israel Defence Forces in their assault on the Gaza Strip have raised questions about whether Israeli military commanders authorised the use of Palestinians as human shields – a charge Israel has repeatedly made against Hamas. Palestinian farmers from the neighbourhood of al-Atatra, about 10 kilometres north of the centre of Gaza City, said Israeli ground troops arrived in the area on January 7. Samir Abu Dayer, 59, a farmer, said soldiers occupied several hectares of farmland behind his house. The fields that before the war produced olives, oranges and lemons are now a large stretch of pale yellow sand and broken irrigation pipes…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51314

Gazan children denied treatment abroad
Jonathan Cook
For four days running, an ambulance has driven 15-year-old Amira Ghirim from Shifa Hospital in Gaza to the Rafah border in the hope that she will be allowed to cross into Egypt and then on to France, where she has been promised emergency surgery. Amira’s left arm and thigh were crushed and her internal organs damaged by falling rubble when a shell hit her home in the Tel al Hawa neighbourhood of Gaza City in the final days of Israel’s offensive. The attack killed her father, brother and sister, leaving her an orphan. But, despite her urgent need for surgery, Amira has been turned away at the border each time, said her aunt, Mona Ghirim. “Each morning we arrived at the crossing and the Egyptian soldiers cursed us and told us to go away.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51315

The Obama Spectacle
History, Hypocrisy, and Empire
Larry Pinkney, BlackCommentator
The so-called democracy of the powerful U.S. elite continues to live up to its legacy of hypocrisy and deceit. Now that the spectacle of the Barack Obama coronation as the “American” Empire’s first African-American emperor has run its course, and many, many millions of dollars have been spent on self-adulation by the power elite of this nation, the huddled masses will necessarily be compelled to return to a system of no universal, single-payer health care, increasing joblessness, insatiable corporate / military greed, homelessness, de facto racial disparity & discord, police brutality, a burgeoning U.S. prison population, and endless U.S. wars abroad. For yet again, this nation will have done what it all too often does: perverted its promise, including the dream of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., into a hypocritical nightmare of gigantic and historic proportions…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51316

Afghan Resistance Statement
Closing the cages of Guantanamo is not enough
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
…Now if Barack Obama, according to his speech, really wants to open a new page of peaceful relations with the Islamic world based on mutual respect, then before anything else he should stop and declare null and void everything that has taken place under the criminal polices of Bush. He should completely withdraw his forces from the two occupied countries of Afghanistan and Iraq and he should end support for Israel which is against Islamic interests in the Middle East and in the entire world…He should pay attention to the fact that the righteous resistance of the Mujahideen against the American hooligans in Iraq, Somalia, Palestine and Afghanistan has damaged the arrogance of the American empire to the extent that that arrogant superpower has now become the laughing stock of the oppressed nations throughout the world and has lost its former grandeur. Today the American superpower is grappling with difficult economic and financial problems in addition to numerous security, political and military problems because of its arrogant and expansionist policies…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51320

Report: Gaza detainees held bound for days
Aviad Glickman, Ynet
Seven Israeli human rights organizations urged Chief Military Advocate General Brig.-Gen. Avichai Mendelblit and Attorney General Menachem Mazuz on Wednesday to launch an investigation into reports that Gaza detainees were held in “horrid conditions” and treated “inhumanely” during the IDF’s operation in the Strip. In a letter to Mazuz and Mendelblit, the groups, which include the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, B’Tselem and Physicians for Human Rights said that detainees arrested by IDF forces in Gaza suffered from appalling treatment while in the army’s custody…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51299

Israel tortures Gaza prisoners
Palestinian Information Center
The ministry of prisoners’ affairs in Gaza has charged that the Israeli occupation authority was using cruel and internationally banned interrogation methods with detainees captured in Gaza during the Israeli onslaught. The ministry, in a press release on Wednesday, said that the Israeli occupation forces took with them more than 200 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip after their withdrawal and subjected them to torture rounds in order to extract any information on resistance elements and places from where the homemade rockets are being fired at Israeli targets…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51317

Gaza: Houses in a shocking state
Amnesty International
This morning, Thursday, as each morning, Israeli gunboats began firing towards Gaza’s coastline at around 7am. Although there is supposed to be a ceasefire in force, we’ve heard an assortment of weapons being fired on each of the five days since it began. Yesterday, we were informed that nine people had been injured by shelling from an Israeli gunboat. Today, we visited several families whose homes were taken over and used as military positions by Israeli soldiers during the three-week military campaign. In most cases, the families had fled or were expelled by the soldiers. In some cases, however, the soldiers prevented the families from leaving, using them as “human shields.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51312

The shortcut to peace
Hasan Abu Nimah
Because it is generally accepted by the so-called “international community” that Hamas is a major threat to Israel, and therefore to world peace and security, France has dispatched a frigate to participate in a new blockade of the Gaza Strip. The Sunday Times reported that United States naval ships hunting pirates in the Gulf of Aden have been instructed to track down Iranian arms shipments (25 January). Many other European states offered their navies to assist. Indeed, United Nations Security Council resolution 1860 emphasized the need to prevent illicit trafficking in arms and ammunition. Unfortunately not one European country offered to send its navy to render humanitarian assistance to the thousands of injured, hungry, cold and homeless people in Gaza as a result of Israel’s attack. Perhaps helping children dying from white phosphorus burns, or just lack of clean water, would be seen as supporting “terrorism.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51311

Not Quite a Political Ceasefire Between Hamas and Fatah
Mel Frykberg
Reconciliation between rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah is looking increasingly problematic as the two groups exchange serious accusations of treason, torture and extra-judicial killings. Tension between the two groups has escalated in the wake of Israel’s 22-day military assault on Gaza, codenamed Operation Cast Lead, which left over 1,300 Palestinians dead, nearly 5,000 wounded, and the coastal territory’s infrastructure decimated. Fatah, affiliated with the ruling Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank, accuses Hamas of killing, torturing and beating up a number of Fatah activists in Gaza. Hamas, which controls Gaza, in turn accuses Fatah members of guiding and helping the Israeli military to strike Hamas targets in the Gaza strip during the war. The Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) in Gaza called Monday for an end to extra-judicial attacks against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, saying it had documented evidence of such assaults. The documentation includes cases of close-range firing at many people’s legs, severe beatings and house arrests. The organisation did not say who the individuals were or which party they were affiliated with…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51310

Aides Say Obama’s Afghan Aims Elevate War
HELENE COOPER and THOM SHANKER
President Obama intends to adopt a tougher line toward Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, as part of a new American approach to Afghanistan that will put more emphasis on waging war than on development, senior administration officials said Tuesday. Mr. Karzai is now seen as a potential impediment to American goals in Afghanistan, the officials said, because corruption has become rampant in his government, contributing to a flourishing drug trade and the resurgence of the Taliban…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51309

Haaretz: ‘New EU president is a true friend of Israel, a Zionist prince’
Gaza; Peace n’ Freedom
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz carries an article today on the Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic Karel Schwarzenberg (photo: Old?ich ?kácha). According to Haaretz; “Going by his most recent statements and the descriptions in Jerusalem of his activities, one might have formed the impression that here we have a “Zionist prince:”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51308

Report: Peace Now annual settlement report shows an increase of constructions
Ghassan Bannoura – IMEMC News
The Israeli left wing organization Peace Now released on Wednesday its annual report about the Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank. The report show that the number of settlers in the West Bank as of 2008: 285,800, while the number of new structures built there during 2008: 1,518 (including 261 in outposts). At least 1,257 new structures were built in settlements, including 748 permanent buildings and 509 caravans, compared to 800 structures in 2007 (including 442 permanent structures and 368 caravans), a 60% rise…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51318

Video: Israeli army chief rabbi under fire over booklet
AlJazeeraEnglish
The Israeli army’s chief rabbi has been critcised over a controversial booklet distributed to soldiers before the war on Gaza suggesting that they can ignore the rules of war concerning civilians…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51305

‘Five Minutes’ With the PA Interrogators
Khaled Amayreh
When the Beirut-based Al-Quds satellite television interviewed me last week on the recent genocidal Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip, it never occurred to me that the few sound bites I uttered would land me in a slimy prison cell at the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority (PA) Preventive Security Apparatus (PSA) in Hebron. During that interview, I was asked why the American-backed regime in Ramallah was not allowing large protests in solidarity with the Gaza Strip. I answered that the PA didn’t want things to get out of control and that it didn’t wish to antagonize Israel…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51319

Video: Palestinian father mourns son killed in Gaza
AlJazeeraEnglish
The children of Gaza suffered heavily during Israel’s 22-day assault on the territory. More than 400 were killed and many suffered severe shrapnel or blast injuries when the Israeli military bombarded Gaza with air and mortar strikes. One father who lost his son is Suleima Baraka. He was in the US and unable to return when an Israeli fighter jet bombed his home. This is his story in his own words.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51304

Israel reopens Gaza commercial crossings
Rami Almeghari – IMEMC
The Israeli military reopened on Wednesday morning all Gaza’s commercial crossings after it closed them yesterday following renewed violence in the region, Palestinian sources said. The sources added that the Israeli side has informed the Palestinian side that the crossings would be reopened to allow entry of dozens of trucks , loaded with assistance to the Gaza Strip…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51303

Letters from Gaza (20)
…Children No More
UNRWA
Finally the war has ended and the children of Gaza can go back to school. What was supposed to be their mid-year vacation became their mid-year nightmare, the worst thing that could have happened: a nightmare that packed them with unforgettable images of dead faces, beloved dead faces, destroyed houses, scary moments and horrible experiences that a child cannot handle and should not in any way experience. The stories that each child will tell about his or her experience during the war, about a certain situation – a destroyed house or a loss in the family – will bring back the same feelings of anguish each time the story is repeated. Their stories will be full of horror scenes and a pain that will accompanied them for life. The war destroyed not only the infrastructure of Gaza but also the mentality and psychology of the people in Gaza, especially that of its children. After two intifadas, a suffocating closure and the war, these children have lost their childhood. It has affected their lives, their personalities, their minds and their tender hearts…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51307

Israeli warplanes bombard the Gaza-Egypt border line
Rami Almeghari – IMEMC
Israeli warplanes bombarded early on Wednesday dawn the Gaza-Egypt border line in southern Gaza, destroying a number of underground tunnels, used by Palestinians to bring in essential goods and commodities from Egypt as Israel continues to close all border crossings for 20 months now. Witnesses said that the warplanes fired three missiles toward the border area and that some damages were inflicted to some nearby Palestinian-owned houses…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51301

Investigate US torture and prosecute those responsible
David Walsh
Considerable efforts are being made in various quarters to cover up the record of US torture and prevent the prosecution of military and Central Intelligence Agency torturers and those higher up who ordered them to carry out their crimes. Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are reportedly holding up approval of Barack Obama’s nominee for attorney general, Eric Holder, until he promises not to prosecute any former Bush administration officials for their part in approving torture…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51300

Factional meetings in Cairo near agreement on year and a half ceasefire if crossings open
PNN
The Palestinian factional meetings in Cairo are near agreement on the proposal for year and a half ceasefire with the Israeli administration if the crossings to the Gaza Strip are opened. This is the same condition put forth by the Palestinians during earlier negotiations brokered by the Egyptians. An informed Palestinian source confirmed Wednesday that Hamas delegation will return to Cairo within a day. It is expected that Hamas will bring its response to the draft elaborating ceasefire terms with the Israelis and advocating internal Palestinian national reconciliation…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51298

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