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URUK Net 4 February, 2009

Last updated: Saturday, February 7, 2009 7:34

Next time it will hurt more
Eva Bartlett | In Gaza
I first heard of the “Attatra baby” when Red Crescent medics and volunteers brought the burned, mutilated corpse back, weeks after its death. Nameless, it was only known that the baby was from the northwestern region that had been completely inaccessible for the duration of the Israeli land invasion. The volunteers present when the infant was brought in described their revulsion at her charred skin, her lower body which had been eaten by stray dogs. I first met the Abu Halima family in the burn unit in Gaza’s Shifa hospital. The various family members suffered serious and deep chemical burns which Dr. Nafez abu Shabaan, head of the burn department, had attributed to white phosphorous burns. “It is unlike any burns we have treated,” he had said. “The burns go to the bone, and smoke for hours after treatment.” The various members of the family had disfiguring burns, one of whom –a woman of 21 –had 43% of her total body surface area burned, her3 year old daughter with 22%…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51500

Israeli army “subcontracted” by extremist settlers
Jonathan Cook
Extremist rabbis and their followers, bent on waging holy war against the Palestinians, are taking over the Israeli army by stealth, according to critics. In a process one military historian has termed the rapid “theologization” of the Israeli army, there are now entire units of religious combat soldiers, many of them based in West Bank settlements. They answer to hardline rabbis who call for the establishment of a Greater Israel that includes the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Their influence in shaping the army’s goals and methods is starting to be felt, say observers, as more and more graduates from officer courses are also drawn from Israel’s religious extremist population…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51507

Obama’s Crusade to Save the Banksters
Glen Ford
The quickening spiral of economic decline finds Black America utterly without political or psychological defenses — damn near helpless, and pitifully so. Although it is common to hear Blacks half-joke that “white folks” waited until the system was in meltdown to hand over the White House keys to a “brother”, it is Barack Obama who has pulled off history’s biggest trick on African Americans. Obama caused Black America to drop its primary defense — a deep and abiding suspicion of the intentions of Power — at precisely the historical juncture when suspicion is most needed. As Constitutional power flowed into Obama’s person on January 20, African Americans in their forty millions willed themselves to believe they had “overcome”, when, in reality, they had been overcome by the delusion that the new president did not represent the Power that was never to be trusted, always to be resisted…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51508

Testimonies of Israeli Crimes in Gaza
Kawther Salam
On February 2nd 2009, two surgeons from the UK, Dr. Ghassan Abu Sittah and Dr. Swee Ang, who managed to get into Gaza during the Israeli invasion, released a statement describing their experiences, sharing their views, and conclusions that the people of Gaza are extremely vulnerable and defenseless in the event of another attack. Their statement was originally published in the magazine The Lancet Global Health Network . Under the title “The wounds of Gaza”, the two surgeons described the Israeli genocide and war crimes against the Palestinian civilians in Gaza as they observed it. I received the statement of the surgeons from a reader from the Sabra Shatila Foundation in Lebanon. I expect that the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, will take in consideration the testimonies of these two surgeons from the UK, and I remind him of the precedent which was set when he signed an arrest warrant against the Sudanese president on 14 July 2008, despite the fact that the ICC does not have territorial jurisdiction in Sudan…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51513

Defying logic
US arms shipments to Israel are questionable under American law. It should reconsider sending military aid
Ian Williams
As they were still reassembling dog-eaten cadavers of kids in Gaza, an envelope from Aipac dropped in my mailbox. The self-proclaimed most powerful lobby in Washington had sent me a pre-printed post card to sign and mail to my congressman, urging him to support increased military aid to the Israel over the next decade. To compound it, just before Barack Obama’s inauguration, Condoleezza Rice had signed an agreement, probably written on a fig leaf, to show that Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak had got something out of their rampage across the strip…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51514

After the war, Gazans seek answers on white phosphorus
By Ilene R. Prusher | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
When Nafiz Abu Shabam received a 5-year-old patient at the Shifa Hospital early in the war between Israel and Hamas, he dressed her burns and sent her for tests. Three hours later, when he and other medical staff redressed the wound, they saw smoke coming from it. “We found small pieces of foreign material in her body, and even when we picked it out, the wound was still smoking,” he says. “We were later told [by foreign doctors and human rights workers who arrived after the war started] that it was white phosphorus.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51512

Video: Gaza fishermen face daily dangers
AlJazeeraEnglish
Weeks after Israel’s war on Gaza, the suffering of people in the Strip has not ended. Israel maintains a blockade, on land, in the air and at sea. For fishermen in Gaza, making a living has become harder and more dangerous, as Al Jazeera’s Mike Kirsch reports…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51511

Israeli Army admits to killing family members of a Palestinian physician in Gaza
Saed Bannoura – IMEM
The Israeli army admitted on Wednesday that three of the daughters of Dr. Abu Ammash, and his niece, were killed by an artillery shell fired by the soldiers during the latest war on Gaza. The Doctor, Iz Ed-Deen Yaish, works at an Israeli hospital. The Israeli army had no choice but to admit to the crime since it occurred while the Doctor was in a live interview with the Israeli TV – Channel 2…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51510

Taliban Hits NATO Supply Route
SALMAN MASOOD, NYTimes
Supplies intended for NATO forces in Afghanistan were suspended Tuesday after Taliban militants blew up a highway bridge in the Khyber Pass region, a lawless northwestern tribal area straddling the border with Afghanistan. Hidayatullah Khan, a government official in the region, was quoted by Reuters as saying that the 30-yard-long iron bridge was located 15 miles northwest of Peshawar, the capital of the restive North-West Frontier Province…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51497

Irish civil society calls for boycott of Israel
Open letter, various undersigned
Israel’s bombardment of Gaza killed over 1,300 Palestinians, a third of them children. Thousands have been wounded. Many victims had been taking refuge in clearly marked UN facilities. This assault came in the wake of years of economic blockade by Israel. This blockade, which is illegal under international humanitarian law, has destroyed the Gaza economy and condemned its population to poverty. According to a World Bank report last September, “98 percent of Gaza’s industrial operations are now inactive.” The most recent attack on Gaza is only the latest phase in Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people and appropriation of their land…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51506

Rivals clash over elections in Iraq’s Anbar province
By Monte Morin and Caesar Ahmed, LATimes
Provincial elections that were meant to strengthen democratic rule in Iraq and distribute power more equally are now threatening to upend almost two years of peace in Anbar province, the vast western desert where Al Qaeda in Iraq once operated freely. With preliminary polling results scheduled for release as early as Thursday, tribes of the Anbar Awakening and other clans that helped U.S. forces crush the insurgency here have charged that last Saturday’s elections were a sham. The tribes insist that they were double-crossed by the region’s sitting government and suggest menacingly that violence will return to Anbar if their rivals continue to hold power. “An honest dictatorship is better than a fake democracy,” the Awakening’s leader, Sheik Ahmed Buzaigh abu Risha, declared today from his heavily guarded compound in Ramadi. “There will be very harsh consequences if this false election stands. We won’t let them form a government.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51505

Pentagon reports surge of violence in Afghanistan
AFP
The Pentagon has said insurgent violence is on the rise across Afghanistan and international forces lack the troops and resources to control the country’s south in a new report to Congress. The US Defense Department described a dramatic increase in insurgent attacks in the spring and summer of 2008, saying the period marked the worst violence since the Taliban’s ouster in 2001. A resurgent Taliban was challenging the Kabul government for control of the south and east of the country, “and increasingly in the west,” the report said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51504

Ashkar accuses Israel of giving poisonous medicine to Palestinian captives
Palestinian Information Center
The spokesman of the PA prisoners and ex-prisoners’ affairs ministry Riyadh Al-Ashkar on Wednesday accused the Israeli prisons authority (IPA) of deliberately injecting sick Palestinian prisoners with infected needles, and of giving them poisonous medicines. According to Ashkar, “reliable” information from Palestinian captives (a number of them are medics and aware of the kind of medicine given to them) treated in the Ramle prison hospital affirmed that the IPA was injecting Palestinian patients with needles infected with serious viruses like hepatitis…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51503

UN says Hamas seized Gaza aid
AlJazeera.net
A United Nations aid agency has accused Hamas of seizing hundreds of food parcels and thousands of blankets destined for civilians in the Gaza Strip. In a statement issued on Wednesday, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency(Unrwa) said the aid supplies had been confiscated from a distribution store by policemen. “The police subsequently broke into the warehouse and seized the aid by force. The aid was due to be distributed to five hundred families in the area.” “This took place after Unrwa staff had earlier refused to hand over the aid supplies to the Hamas-run ministry of social affairs,” the statement said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51509

Iraq: Sunni tribal leader says he can prove fraud
KIM GAMEL, AP
A senior Sunni tribal leader claimed Wednesday to have hundreds of documents proving fraud in weekend elections in Anbar province, escalating a crisis that has threatened to reignite violence in the former insurgent stronghold. Iraq’s electoral commission, which is overseeing the process, promised it was taking the complaints seriously and warned the findings from an investigation could affect election results for the province…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51515

Netanyahu vows to end Hamas rule in Gaza
Ma’an news
Israel’s prime ministerial frontrunner, Benyamin Netanyahu, vowed to remove Hamas from power in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, calling the group an “Iranian proxy.” Addressing the annual Herzliya security conference, Netanyahu said, “Hamas is not a terror organization that will stop if we deal it a few blows. It’s a fanatic religious movement supported by a fanatic religious Iranian regime. So if we want to stop rockets from Gaza, there is no choice but to uproot the Iranian regime in Gaza.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51517

Poll: 57% of Palestinians see Hamas strengthened by Gaza war
Ma’an news
Fifty-seven percent of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza believe that Hamas is stronger now than it was before the Israeli offensive in December and January, a new opinion poll suggests. The poll, released on Wednesday by researchers at An-Najah National University in the West Bank city of Nablus, was conducted between 1 and 2 February with a sample size of 1361 people in the West Bank and Gaza…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51501

International court investigating war crimes in Gaza
PNN
The International Criminal Court has taken under advisement requests to try Israeli leaders for the commission of war crimes during several attacks on Gaza. ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo says that an official decision to prosecute will not come quickly. Studying “the legality will take some time,” he said last night. Moreno-Ocampo reports that some 150 communications of various charges of war crimes committed against Gaza have been received. Palestinian and international human rights groups are demanding action by the ICC and local courts. Among the major cases pending include that in the Spanish National Court of an attack in Gaza dating back to 2002…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51502

More Troops, More Worries, Less Consensus on Afghanistan
Analysis by Jim Lobe*
Even as U.S. President Barack Obama prepares to deploy more military forces to Afghanistan – what he has called “the central front” in former President George W. Bush’s “global war on terror” – a consensus on overall U.S. strategy there remains elusive. Even Washington’s precise war aims in Afghanistan more than seven years after U.S.-backed forces chased the Taliban out of the country appear subject to continuing debate, as, in the face of what virtually all analysts and officials concede is a deteriorating situation, the Pentagon is actively downgrading the Bush administration’s hopes of ushering in a thriving democracy to something far less ambitious…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51498

Shooting at farmers, what gives Israel the right?
Eva Bartlett | In Gaza
I was fairly certain that one of us would be shot today. This morning, farmers from Abassan Jadiida (New Abassan), to the east of Khan Younis , the southern region, returned to land they’d been forced off of during and following the war on Gaza. The continual shooting at them by Israeli soldiers while they work the land intensified post-war on Gaza. The Israeli soldiers’ shooting was not a new thing, but a resumption of the policy of harassment that Palestinians in the border areas have been enduring for years, a harassment extending to invasions in which agricultural land, chicken farms, and the houses in the region have been targeted, destroyed in many cases…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51496

Human Rights Watch Goes to War
Mouin Rabbani
The Middle East has always been a difficult challenge for Western human rights organizations, particularly those seeking influence or funding in the United States. The pressure to go soft on US allies is in some respects reminiscent of Washington’s special pleading for Latin American terror regimes in the 1970s and 1980s. In the case of Israel such organizations also face a powerful and influential domestic constituency, which often extends to senior echelons of such organizations, for whom forthright condemnation of Israel is anathema…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51495

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