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URUK Net 22 February, 2009

Last updated: Monday, February 23, 2009 9:25

Child Sacrifice and Gitmo Torture, Progressive Style
Chris Floyd
We reported here last week about another in the barrage of stories detailing civilian deaths at the hands of American-led forces in the “good war” in Afghanistan, now being escalated by Barack Obama. (And not only in Afghanistan; Obama is also rapidly expanding American attacks inside Pakistan to include forces there with little or no involvement with the war in Afghanistan — along with the usual blood-fruit harvest of civilians, of course.) In last week’s post, we took note of Washington’s claim that U.S. missiles had killed “15 militants” in a raid that Afghan officials said actually killed 13 civilians, including six women and two children. Today, the New York Times reports that Pentagon has now admitted that they did indeed kill 13 civilians in the raid, and only 3 militants — precisely as the Afghan authorities had claimed…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52049

Muslim-Christian group: Israel demolishing entire neighborhoods
Ma’an news
A panel of prominent Muslim and Christian leaders accused Israeli authorities on Sunday of “escalating their war against Jerusalem.” The group, Jerusalem’s Islamic-Christian Panel, called for Arab and international actors to “stand firm” against Israel and “rescue the holy city.” Panel Secretary-General Hassan Khater said Israel is “expanding its persecution against Jerusalemites by targeting entire neighborhoods” with land confiscation and home demolitions. He added that residents of the Al-Bustan neighborhood, south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, “are now in real danger,” especially after the city’s Regional Committee for Planning and Construction cancelled a plan suggested by its residents…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52034

Caught in a Bubble…
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
…Did I not say the following : – In November 2008, regarding the Iraqi provincial elections, I said “It is very possible that we might witness another inter Shiite front developing between Maliki’s DAWA party and the Sadrists of Muqtada – yet again…This possible alliance between the Dawa and the Sadrists remains to be seen and I do not exclude it. Call it the race for power.” Well, well, what do you know – Maliki’s party won the majority of the provincial electoral seats, and not less than 4 articles have pointed to the alliance between Sadr and Maliki —again with the drillers calling themselves “The Free Independent Thinkers” party of Iraq… Before I forget, one last piece of news, the Iraqis in Nejaf and Kerbala are complaining that the Iranians control everything there. The hotels, the restaurants, the travel agencies…and all the inscription and sign posts are in Farsee. Jawad Bolani (minister of interior) in response to the many complaints received from residents of these two cities, ordered that from now on the signposts, inscriptions and other posters be written in Arabic only…to which one Iraqi resident commented — that still does not solve the fact that Iran controls Nejaf and Kerbala…and I add — also controls the South, Basra and Baghdad…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52046

Video: Tony Benn’s interview with Saddam Hussein 4th February 2003
setfree68
Historic Interview by British Politician Tony Benn with Saddam Hussein. In an attempt to avert the upcomming War Tony Benn asks the questions raised by the UK and the USA. Saddams answers to the questions are VERY intriguing and it is no surpise that this interview was all but buried as the rush to war gathered Momentum. Tony Benn’s attempt to avert the War ultimately failed as was to become clear that the desire for War was inevitable. The day after this interview Colin Powell went to the UN and lied through his teeth but convinced the World of the need for War. Powell now says his speech was a BLOT on his reputation!…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52040

Palestinians taken from Gaza held in torturous conditions
PNN
The fate of Palestinians arrested from the Gaza Strip during the recent major attacks is being slowly uncovered. Several were found after being taken out of Al Naqab Prison under false pretences. The Palestinians were being held, according to the Israelis, as “illegal combatants” and therefore, they said, did not require the attention of the Red Cross or attorneys. The Palestinian Prisoner Society has followed the case closely while issuing reports when new information becomes available…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52032

100 year-old man attacked by Israeli army dog
International Solidarity Movement
In the early morning of February 20th at 2am, Israeli Forces invaded the town of Tamoun, located in the Tubas region of the northern occupied West Bank. Around 50 soldiers in seven jeeps surrounded two houses in the town, firing sound bombs and live ammunition before breaking into the residences. During the course of the invasion, an army attack dog mauled the face of Salem Fadel Bani Odeh, aged 100 while he lay helpless in his bed. Two men, Na’el Odeh Bani Odeh, aged 23, Muhamad Mustafa Bani Odeh, aged 25, were also arrested by Israeli Occupation Forces

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52042

Out in the cold
Weeks after Israel curtailed its massive offensive on Gaza, thousands remain homeless, including children, sheltering in fragile tents in the brutal winter
Saleh Al-Naami
When heavy rain poured into the tent and awakened her, 38-year-old Hanan Al-Attar rushed out in a state of hysteria with her three children. Her husband Ahmed pulled at the tent poles, trying to secure them after fierce winds had knocked them over, and her oldest son filled bags with sand, placing them along the sides of the tent in a desperate attempt to keep it from collapsing. Hanan took refuge with her shivering children in the first house she came across…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52053

Palestinian Christians join Vatican in protest
Mustafa Sabri for PNN
Palestinian Christians and the Vatican are protesting an Israeli program that is said to ridicule Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary. Palestinian Christians who live within the Israeli boundaries demonstrated last night, while the Vatican issued a statement condemning the program. Protestors are calling for the dismissal of the Israeli Channel 10 program host who refused to apologize for the offending material. A direct apology is also demanded of the Israeli President Shimon Peres…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52033

Four dead in Gaza tunnel collapse
AFP
Four Palestinians were killed on Sunday when a tunnel used for smuggling between the Gaza Strip and Egypt collapsed on top of them, medics said. The victims were between the ages of 17 and 25, they said. The tunnels were thought to have collapsed after torrential downpours that hit the region over the last several days. Smuggling tunnels have mushroomed along the Gaza-Egypt border since June 2006, when Gaza militants seized an Israeli soldier in a deadly cross-border raid…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52054

Palestinian Christians urge Pope to call off May visit to Israel
Haaretz
A group of Palestinian Christians has asked Pope Benedict XVI to call off his planned visit to Israel and the West Bank this coming May. The 40 community activists wrote to the pope that his visit would “help boost Israel’s image and inadvertently minimize Palestinian suffering under Israeli occupation.” The group urged the pope to link his visit to a series of Israeli measures, including improved access to Christian places of worship and halting taxation of church properties…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52045

BAHRAIN: Spat erupts with Iran over cleric’s boast
Raed Rafei, LATimes
A huge spat has broken out between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom of Bahrain over comments made by an Iranian cleric earlier this month claiming dominion over the island nation. Ali Akbar Natiq Nuri, an advisor to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, claimed Bahrain was an integral part of Iran that was conceded by Iran’s Shah Mohammad-Reza Pahlavi… The German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported Friday that Iranian shipping vessels had been asked to leave Bahraini territorial waters. A Bahraini official who spoke on condition of anonymity told DPA that “no Iranian vessel will be allowed in until further notice.” This comes after Bahrain decided to halt negotiations to import 1 billion cubic feet of gas per day from Iran through a new pipeline…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52044

Al-Zaidi tortured daily
Roads to Iraq
Uday Al-Zaidi [brother of the shoe thrower Muntadhir Al-Zaidi] told the Algerian newspaper Echorouk: My brother begged the judge not to bring him back to prison because they are torturing him every day…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52039

Chalabi to join the coalition
Roads to Iraq
Being a loser for many times, Al-Bayan newspaper revealed that there are negotiations to include Chalabi’s National Congress to the United Coalition as well as some Sunni tribes. Akhbar-Al-Khaleej reported that Maliki gave the orders to send four regiments contain thousands of Shiites soldiers to Kirkuk…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52038

IOA knocks down tent of displaced Palestinian widow
Palestinian Information Center
The Israeli occupation authority on Sunday knocked down the tent of Um Kamel (Fawzia Al-Kurd) in occupied Jerusalem for the fifth time. She had pitched her tent in the Sheikh Jarrah suburb after members of a Jewish fanatic group expelled her from her home in the same neighborhood. Israeli border policemen escorted the bulldozers that leveled the tent and assaulted a number of sympathizers including foreigners who tried to prevent the bulldozers from finishing the job. Um Kamel said that the IOA bulldozers, escorted by Israeli police, sealed the entire area surrounding the tent before starting to bring it down…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52047

Gaza truce held hostage
Last week Osama Salman, a teacher, signed a contract to build an extra storey to his house in the Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza. Friends and colleagues were dumbstruck — Gaza ran out of building materials more than 18 months ago — but Salman was confident that once the truce came into effect border crossings with Israel would reopen. Now he realises his signing was a precipitous action…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52051

UK agents ‘colluded with torture in Pakistan’
Mark Townsend, The Observer
A shocking new report alleges widespread complicity between British security agents and their Pakistani counterparts who have routinely engaged in the torture of suspects. In the study, which will be published next month by the civil liberties group Human Rights Watch, at least 10 Britons are identified who have been allegedly tortured in Pakistan and subsequently questioned by UK intelligence officials. It warns that more British cases may surface and that the issue of Pakistani terrorism suspects interrogated by British agents is likely to “run much deeper”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52031

New path of apartheid wall gobbles up more fertile lands in Qalqilia
Palestinian Information Center
The Israeli occupation authority has started recently to put marks across the lands of the Palestinian village of Wadi Al-Rasha, south of Qalqilia city, in preparation to modify the path of the apartheid, separation wall in the area. According to the IOA, the step comes in accordance with an order issued by the Israeli “Supreme Court” to “end the isolation of five Palestinian villages” namely: Ras Taira, Wadi Al-Rasha, Al-Dhaba’a, Arab Al-Rammadheen, and Arab Abu Fardah…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52030

Israel and Hamas holding indirect talks in Paris
Saed Bannoura – IMEMC
Israeli sources reported Thursday that the real indirect prisoner-swap talks between Hamas and Israel are being held in the French Capital, Paris, and not in Egypt. The Israeli side is represented by Ofar Dekel, Israel’s Prime Minister Envoy, who ran indirect German-mediated talks with Hezbollah, while France is running Qatari-mediated talks with Hamas. Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, reported Friday that Qatar promised the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, to put pressure on Hamas in order to lower its demands…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52035

In a letter handed to Senator Kerry, Hamas asks Obama to deal fairly with the Palestinian cause
Saed Bannoura – IMEMC
Ahmad Yousef, a senior Hamas political leader and an official of the Hamas-led government in Gaza, stated Saturday that Hamas handed U.S. Sen. John Kerry a letter to the US President, Barrack Obama, asking him to deal fairly with the Palestinian cause as the United States Foreign policy is known for being biased towards Israel…The Hamas official also said that he asked Obama to be open in dealing with Hamas as the movement enjoys a broad support among the Palestinian people. Hamas spokesperson, Fawzi Barhoum, said that the letter was endorsed by the Hamas-led government in Gaza…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52036

Iran’s Détente Gesture to Obama?
Muhammad Sahimi
…The most important aspect of the IAEA’s latest report on Iran’s nuclear program is that Iran has slowed down increasing the number of centrifuges in its enrichment facility in Natanz that are cascaded and operating to produce LEU…There are two plausible explanations for the slow down, which are in fact complimentary. One is that Iran is waiting to see how the Obama administration is going to approach the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program in particular, and U.S.-Iran relations in general. Therefore, in order to help create an atmosphere conducive to possible negotiations, Iran decided not to increase the number of centrifuges that produce LEU. This would be totally consistent with the conciliatory message that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran sent President Obama upon his election in November, and the positive signals that have been emanating from Tehran ever since… The second explanation is that there may be behind-the-scene negotiations between the United States and Iran, of which the public is unaware…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52048

A Gaza military court sentences a collaborator to death
Rami Almeghari – IMEMC
A Gaza-based military court of the ruling Hamas party, sentenced to death a Palestinian resident on Sunday, accused of collaboration with the Israeli occupation. The Gaza high military court issued a verdict, sentencing Naser Abu Fraih to death after facing him with charges of collaboration with the Israeli occupation, advocates for the suspect said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52052

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