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URUK Net 8 February, 2009

Last updated: Monday, February 9, 2009 18:13

Behind Walls of Silence…
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
… That profound cry, that deep injustice was and remains Iraq. I am sure you are expecting me to comment on the new democracy, the sham democracy, the fraudulent democracy… I have a lot to say, essential things to say, that your democracy will not uncover, because your democracy is based on a lie, on a deceptive lie that has cost over a million souls…the democracy of the dead. They spoke to me…they said they will file a complaint to the supervising electoral bodies because they did not get to cast their votes. They did not get to dip their fingers in a purple ink and plaster a fake smile to the cameras…They said the only thing purple they remember is their purple black corpses murdered by Democracy (…) So here I am again, the faithful daughter of this land, of this earth…that screams to me at night when all is dead silent… Who silenced the outrage ? Was there an outrage to start with ? I am glad that the outrage against the holocaust in Gaza has not ceased. Tons of articles, tons of songs, tons of poems, tons of theatrical plays, tons of speeches, tons and tons…That is very good, very promising. It should continue. But where is your outrage at over 1 million Iraqis killed by Democracy ? Where is your outrage at the 5 million refugees who refuse to return to the state of Democracy ? Where is your outrage at the use of phosphorus bombs, napalm, DU, for well over 15 years against an innocent people ?

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51628

What We Found in Gaza
Strong Indications of Violations of the Laws of War, U.S. Law, and War Crimes Found in the Gaza Strip
NLG Delegation
We are a delegation of 8 American lawyers, members of the National Lawyers Guild in the United States, who have come here to the Gaza Strip to assess the effects of the recent attacks on the people, and to determine what, if any, violations of international law occurred and whether U.S. domestic law has been violated as a consequence. We have spent the last five days interviewing communities particularly impacted by the recent Israeli offensive, including medical personnel, humanitarian aid workers and United Nations representatives. In particular, the delegation examined three issues: 1) targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure; 2) illegal use of weapons and 3) blocking of medical and humanitarian assistance to civilians…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51624

DIGGING FOR THE TRUTH
By Sameh A. Habeeb and Janet Zimmerman
Lucky we were to have fled imminent death as more than fifteen F-16 rockets bombarded the tunnels area where we had lit a fire the previous night to drink tea and talk story about life in the tunnels. Many houses were partially destroyed due to the heavy bombardments, but no casualties were reported. South of the Gaza Strip, a very strange phenomena is taking place. People are racing time, using primitive ways to get food and achieve a good life. The people in the Gaza Strip, the most densely populated area in the world, are forced to face death in order to attain life’s basic necessities. This is against all humanitarian laws, and the rights of these laws were stripped from the Gazans by Israel. Border crossings were closed as a tightened siege was imposed two years ago…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51631

Iraqis Say U.S. Patrol Killed Girl, 8, in Crowd
MARC SANTORA, NYTimes
An 8-year-old Iraqi girl was killed Saturday and several other civilians were wounded when gunfire from an American military convoy struck a crowd of Shiite pilgrims traveling to the holy city of Karbala, witnesses and Iraqi officials said. In a statement on Saturday, the American military said that there had been an accidental discharge of a weapon and that it had reports of two people wounded in Diwaniya, the area in central Iraq where the shooting took place. It said it was starting an investigation, but declined to give any details…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51630

Gaza children traumatized after Israeli offensive
By Nidal al-Mughrabi Nidal Al-mughrabi , Reuters
Five-year-old Mohammed al-Najjar lets his mind wander as he puts crayon to paper in an effort to depict an Israeli air strike inside a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. “This is the plane and those are two missiles it fired. They hit a house and the house was damaged but was fine. The fridge caught fire,” he says in matter-of-fact detail, sitting at a table with other children in Gaza’s Jabalya camp. He draws a girl who has survived the attack and places her outside the house, but there is also a boy. “Khaled was killed,” he says…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51625

Financing and plans ready for Gaza Strip reconstruction, but crossings remain closed to materials
PNN
The first draft of one of hundreds of reconstruction projects for the Gaza Strip is being presented by the Al Aqsa Fund. Eight water wells in the northern Strip’s Beit Lahiya and the city’s Tel Al Hawa neighborhood are included for rehabilitation. Co-financed by the Qatari Red Crescent with the Islamic Development Bank, the implementation of Part I of the draft reform is specifically addressing damage suffered by the sanitation sector in the Gaza Strip…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51620

Update: 6 Days to Go—No Dancing on Gaza’s Graves
Protest the Batsheva Dance Co. 2009 North American Tour
Middle East Task Force of Ann Arbor (METF)
Israel’s apartheid Batsheva Dance Company comes to Ann Arbor next Saturday. This recital is part of an ongoing campaign to polish the image of Israel in the American consciousness and, thus, to help secure continued American financial, diplomatic, and military support of the Jewish state even in the aftermath of the recent Israeli massacre in Gaza. Please plan to come and nonviolently protest the Batsheva Dance Company on Saturday and Sunday. Let us answer the call of the Palestinian people for broad boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51634

Gaza tent camps stir memories of past exile
Joseph Krauss Joseph Krauss, AFP
The homes of some 30,000 Palestinians were destroyed during last month’s devastating 22-day Israeli onslaught, which killed more than 1,330 people and carved a vast swath of destruction across the besieged territory. In recent days Gaza’s Hamas-run government has partnered with international aid groups and local charities to erect hundreds of tents in the most devastated areas, a sight that stirs deep memories for Gaza’s 1948 refugees. Majid Asamna lived in a refugee tent in Gaza after fleeing what became Israel in 1948 — now a new war has left him homeless again, along with tens of thousands of other Palestinians…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51621

I must be on crazy pills
Reza Fiyouzat, Revolutionary Flowerpot Society
Sometimes it feels like I’m in a small minority group of freakish people who’ve been given crazy pills in their water, non-stop. I mean … I MUST be crazy. Take for example the headlines and the news reports about ‘over-paying’ the banks while distributing TARP money (read, looted taxes), during the dying months of the former Bush administration, worth a whopping $78 billion. The way this theft is reported, it is made out as if nothing can be done about it. As if some fly-by operation run by aliens from another planet had sucked the money right out of our earthly banking system, and disappeared into the outer galaxy. As if these banks were not huge institutions with registered headquarters located on our very planet, to which the U.S. government can deliver a ‘You Owe Us’ notice, and ask for the money back! Or, just simply, banks whose assets the U.S. Congress has the authority to freeze. I am sure that I am not the only one whose immediate question is: Well, why haven’t the banks just returned the money?…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51615

Gaza: what could be…
Eva Bartlett | In Gaza
Yesterday, after accompanying farmers trying to work on their own land (but daily being shot at by the Israeli army. On Tuesday 27th January 2009, in Al Faraheen, Israeli forces shot at several farmers, killing one. ISM Gaza reports: 27 year old Arwan was working picking parsley and spinach in the village agricultural lands, approximately 700 m from the Green Line, when Israeli jeeps opened fire with machine guns from behind the Green Line – shooting more than 30 bullets in quick succession, eyewitnesses reported. Many of the seven farmers working in the area scattered, taking shelter from the shower of bullets. Arwan, however, was shot in the neck, dying instantly.) in the southeast of Gaza, I returned to the city and worked in one of the coffee-shop restaurants which has free wireless. There, I saw my favourite employee, the whistler with his incredible vibrato-whistle that always startles me out of my thoughts. I hadn’t seen him before Israel’s attacks on Gaza, so was thrilled to know he was alive. He doesn’t work there anymore, I was told. Apparently not able to keep so many employees now, the shop having been shut during the attacks and having already lost much revenue due to the siege…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51617

Video: Hamas accused of attacks on Palestinian rivals
AlJazeera.net
The war on Gaza may have been launched by Israel and brought death on a huge scale but it has also turned Palestinians against Palestinians. Al Jazeera has been told that Hamas security staff and supporters have singled out many people they deem to be collaborators with rival Fatah during the 22 days of war. From inside Gaza, Mike Kirsch filed this report. ..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51635

Disappeared Free Gaza Activist Theresa McDermott Found in Israel’s Ramleh Prison
Free Gaza Movement
Scottish activist Theresa McDermott has been found in Ramleh prison four days after she was “disappeared” by the Israel government after being forcibly removed from a seaborne Lebanese aid mission to Gaza. In early February Theresa responded to a call for support from internationals from the organizers of a Lebanese humanitarian aid voyage to Gaza aboard the Togo flagged ship, Tali. Theresa was one of only 9 passengers aboard the cargo ship on February 4, 2009 when Israeli gunboats intercepted it, boarded and forced the ship to Ashdod port in Israel…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51636

Israel: Gaza strike an alternative to ceasefire
Ma’an news
Israel threatened on Sunday to hit a “major target” in the Gaza Strip if projectiles continue to be launched into Israel, despite ongoing indirect talks between Israel and Hamas aiming to achieve a long-term ceasefire. According to Israel’s Channel 10 television, the announcement came Sunday as a Gaza projectile hit a kibbutz in the western Negev. No casualties were reported and no factions have yet claimed the attack. ‘Israel will not remain handcuffed,’ was the sentiment from analysts who had little to offer on the nature of the target…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51619

The children of Shatila: no future and no past
Curtis Bell writing from the United States, Live from Lebanon
My wife Linda and I went back to Beirut, Lebanon recently to visit the American Community School that I graduated from in the 1950s. One of the counselors at the school, an American named David Bakis, has started a project to bring some cheer into the lives of children in the Palestinian refugee camps near Beirut. No easy task. Every Sunday afternoon David takes 20 or so children from one of the Palestinian refugee camps on an outing, traveling by school bus. We accompanied David to Shatila refugee camp one Sunday. Shatila is the camp where a right-wing Christian militia massacred Palestinian men, women, and children in 1982, during Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in the midst of the country’s ongoing civil war. Estimates of the number killed in Shatila and the neighboring Sabra camp vary widely between 500 and 3,000. The Israeli army occupied Beirut at the time and had the camps surrounded. They allowed the militia into the camps and did not stop the massacre when they knew it was going on…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51622

Iraq shoe-thrower trial on Feb 19
AFP
The Iraqi journalist who famously threw his shoes at former US President George W. Bush is to go on trial on February 19 accused of assaulting a foreign leader, a judicial official said on Sunday. Muntazer al-Zaidi won global attention when he threw his shoes at Bush during the president’s farewell visit to Iraq on December 14. “The trial will start on February 19 in the central criminal court,” judicial spokesman Abdel Sattar Beyraqdar said. “He is accused of assaulting a foreign president.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51623

Anti-war lawmakers worry over plan for Afghanistan
ANNE FLAHERTY, AP
After campaigning on the promise to end one war, President Barack Obama is preparing to escalate another. Obama’s dual stance on the two wars is not lost on congressional Democrats, many of whom also ran on anti-war platforms. In coming weeks, they expect to have to consider tens of billions of dollars needed for combat, including a major buildup of troops in Afghanistan. While increasing the military’s focus in Afghanistan was anticipated — it was a cornerstone of Obama’s campaign — many Democrats acknowledged in recent interviews that they are skittish about sending more troops, even in small numbers…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51627

2 US soldiers defusing bomb killed in Afghanistan
JASON STRAZIUSO, AP
Two American soldiers died in Afghanistan on Sunday when a roadside bomb they were trying to defuse exploded, a U.S. spokeswoman said. An Afghan interpreter and a policeman also died in the blast. A group of American soldiers and Afghan officials had been traveling through the world’s largest opium poppy producing region — the southern province of Helmand — when they discovered the roadside bomb and tried to defuse it, said Kamal Uddin, Helmand’s deputy provincial police chief…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51626

News reports: two NATO supply trucks destroyed in NW Pakistan
Two trucks to carry luggage for NATO forces in Afghanistan were destroyed Saturday in northwestern Pakistan, the NNI news agency reported. The private NNI news agency said that unidentified gunmen attacked a truck terminal at the Ring Road in Peshawar, the capital of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP). Police officer Muhammad Afaq said that dozens of armed men attacked the Bilal terminal with rockets which caused the destruction of two trucks…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51616

PCHR Calls for Investigation into the Death of Palestinian Tortured by Security Services in Khan Yunis
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)
PCHR calls for an immediate and rigorous investigation into the circumstances of the death of Jameel Shafiq Shaqqura, 51, from Khan Yunis refugee camp, who was tortured by the Internal Security Services and subsequently died of his injuries. PCHR calls also for the results of the investigation to be made public, and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice according to the law. According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 10:40 on Friday, 6 February, medical sources at Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis, confirmed that Jameel Shafiq Shaqqura had died from a brain clot caused by torture and severe beating to his head…

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Sources : Israel agrees to release 1000 Palestinian prisoners in swap of Shalit
Rami Almeghari – IMEMC&Agencies
The London-based Alhayat Arabic newspaper reported on Sunday that Israel agreed to releasing 1000 Palestinian prisoners, in swap of captured Israeli soldier Gil’ad Shalit, who was captured by the ruling Hamas party in Gaza in June 2006. The paper quoted unnamed Palestinian sources as saying that a prisoner swap deal is likely shortly and that among those of would-be released are prisoners with long-term sentences…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51608

Israeli warplanes attack Gaza-Egypt border line
Rami Almeghari – IMEMC
On Sunday, Israeli warplanes attacked Gaza-Egypt border line in southern Gaza, Palestinian sources reported. The sources stated that Israeli warplanes carried out a series of air strikes on the area that separates Gaza from Egypt, where Palestinians use underground tunnels to bring in essential goods and commodities from nearby Egypt, as Israel has kept border crossings closed for more than 19 months now, only allowing a tiny fraction of need aid and goods into Gaza…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51629

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