EI’s blogger Rana Baker (@RanaGaza on Twitter) continues to record the harrowing sounds of Israel’s bombings of the Gaza Strip. In the past several days, Rana has held her microphone outside of her window as Israel’s assaults continue unabated. Approximately 140 Palestinians have been killed since last Wednesday, and more than 900 injured, according to the latest report by Ma’an News Agency. Even as a supposed ceasefire is reported to start in a few hours, Israel’s army is intent on continuing its barrage of deadly attacks from land, sea and air, while Palestinians continue to have no safe place to hide.
Three Palestinian journalists were killed in Israeli airstrikes on central and northern Gaza Tuesday evening, after media buildings were hit by Israeli warplanes two days in a row. Mahmoud al-Koumi and Husam Salameh, both cameramen for al-Aqsa TV, were killed in an airstrike on a car near al-Wihda towers in the Gaza City. Both men were 30-years-old and the father of four children. Another airstrike killed Muhammad Abu Aisha, the director of Al-Quds Educational Radio, in his car in Deir al-Balah.
While political leaders struggled to conclude a truce deal in Cairo, medics said four Palestinians were killed in Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday night, bringing the day’s death toll to 27. Two brothers — Abed Abu Mour, 24, and Khalid Abu Mour, 19, — were killed in an Israeli airstrike on the al-Juneina district of Rafah. An earlier airstrike killed another two brothers in Deir al-Balah, medics said. They were identified as Salim Ayish Abu Sitta and his brother Muhammad.
A Palestinian man was killed and two wounded in an Israeli airstrike on central Gaza on Tuesday evening, medics said. Hasan Yousif al-Ustath, 23, died when Baraka street in Deir al-Balah was bombed, a medical official said.
A Palestinian man was killed on Tuesday in an airstrike on central Gaza, which wounded six others. Muhammad Badr was killed when the Abu Tamma family home was hit in Deir al-Balah, wounding three others in the home, and three passers by.
Ten members of the same family, including four children, were among the people killed when an Israeli missile struck the al-Dallu family home in Gaza City on Sunday. Al Jazeera’s Jacky Rowland has more from Gaza.
After airstrikes both Saturday and Sunday that killed entire families including parents, grandparents and small children, another airstrike on a home in northern Gaza Monday evening killed a mother, father and their two children.
An Israeli strike destroyed houses on the Egyptian side of the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip Monday. A security source said that Israeli F-16 fired missiles at tunnels and houses adjacent to the border. “The armed forces stopped filling the tunnels due to the missile attack on the tunnels area,” the source added. Security officials suggested that local residents in the area leave their homes; however the residents refused, fearing their houses would be broken into. In related news, a Palestinian who was being treated in Arish Public Hospital died from injuries he sustained during the Israeli attack on Gaza. The body was transferred to Gaza via the Rafah border crossing. Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli warplanes and naval forces heavily shelled the Gaza Strip early Wednesday morning, destroying several government buildings. The Israeli army said it hit “dozens of terror infrastructure sites throughout the Gaza Strip” including the Ministry of Internal Security, a police compound and tunnels used to transport fuel. ”Israeli Navy soldiers targeted a rocket launching site, a Hamas post and a structure used for Hamas’ terror activity,” the army said in a statement.
Live Report from Gaza Hospital: As Civilian Toll Mounts, Israel Again Bombs Palestinian Journalists
We get a live report from independent journalist Mohammed Omer from a hospital in Gaza City, where injured journalists, medical workers and civilians — including children — are arriving for treatment. An award-winning journalist based in Gaza, Omer has been covering the latest Israeli assault since it began six days ago. We’re also joined by Richard Falk, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories.
I live in central Gaza City with my wife and my daughter and her two small children, ages six and three. Her husband lives abroad. Since the start of the attack on Gaza on 14 November 2012, the firing of missiles has not stopped, night or day. At night it actually increases and they fall everywhere, even in areas near our house. They shake the foundations of the house and we feel as if it’s about to fall down on our heads. The children are not going to school because everything is cancelled. They run around the house all the time and feel suffocated and ask to go outside. Of course we cannot let them go out because the situation is very dangerous. They sleep with their mother because they don’t want to sleep at night in their own beds because of the sound of the missiles. If one of them wants to go to the bathroom, he insists that his mother or grandmother go with him.
Tammer and Jomanah Sa’ifan, ages four and two years, were killed by a missile that landed next to their home in the Tel a-Za’tar neighborhood near Beit Lahiya
Testimonies taken by B’Tselem indicate that in the early morning hours of Sunday, 18 November 2012, an Israeli aircraft fired at the ground next to the Sa’ifan family home in the Tall a-Za’tar neighborhood. At the time, Salameh Sa’ifan, his wife and children, four-year-old Tammer and two-year-old Jomanah, were sleeping in their room, which had a tin roof, located on the roof of the house. The house is at the edge of Tel a-Za’tar on the outskirts of Beit Lahiya, and about 300 meters away there is an olive orchard. The explosion created a huge, gaping hole near the house, and the room where Salameh and his family were sleeping collapsed completely.
I live in the center of Beit Lahiya with my three children, a son who is 5 years old, a daughter, 6 years old, and a son who is 9 years old, and my husband Saber Z’anin. Like everyone in the Gaza Strip, we suffer the consequences of the Israeli attack that began three days ago. The attack took us by surprise because there was talk of a let-up. My husband works as a government clerk, and the money is barely enough for our daily needs. This month, because his salary wasn’t paid on time, we could not buy the required supplies. We were not prepared for the attack and did not stock up, and we are missing a lot of basic necessities at home. Yesterday evening, when there was a lull, one of the small shops opened briefly, and I went out to buy a few things and now we have enough for a few days.
A message for the world: On UN Children’s day, it is also the 7th day of the Israeli aggression on Gaza. I admit I’m not strong enough to bear all of these awful things. It’s so hard to see innocence being killed in such atrocious way, civilians being killed, elderly being killed, women being killed and moreover children being killed. What crime have they committed to deserve what is happening to them?!! How ironic it is that while the world celebrates Children’s day, Zionist aggression has killed more than 26 children of Gaza. If Israel is the most democratic country in the middle east, then fuck such a democracy ! For all the world: we don’t need your tears. We can cry all the day ourselves. We need you to act, to act against your governments which support Israel, act now against your silence.
It’s incredible to watch this war being covered on the inside, as it should have been during the previous war, by hundreds of foreign as well as local journalists. In 2008 Israel and Egypt sealed their borders confining the journalists to the outskirts of the war inside the Strip. Myself and Ayman Mohyeldin (now NBC Foreign Affairs Correspondent) were left to describe what was happening to the outside world. We couldn’t cover every strike, every tragedy, we couldn’t be everywhere and we weren’t awake 24 hours a day. Now, Gaza is under the microscope, whether via social media, print, radio, TV — there is no ignoring what is raging within. I have my own theories as to why Israel decided not to lock out the journalists this time around, but that is for another post.
My mom is the matriarch of our family, she is the family’s central bank, a great mother, and a grandmother you would want for your own kids. While Gaza was waging its war on the civilians in Gaza, my mother, Fatima, kept busy keeping her 30 grandchildren entertained. Power was often cut–more often than usual due to the constant shelling by Israel.
Immediate confirmation of all the names of the casualties is unlikely and the figures provided by various sources do not always match up, making the question of precisely how many Palestinians were killed and who exactly they were a tough one to answer with precision.
GAZA CITY — I left Cairo on Friday morning, trying to get into Gaza by all means possible. Other journalists and I went first to the border, but we were rejected by Egyptian intelligence. So we had to lay low in Rafah and get smuggled in through a tunnel. We were told at the time that Israel was targeting the tunnels — I mean, they always target them, but during a war you can imagine they do that more frequently. We had a long wait on the Egyptian side of Rafah. Many of the tunnel owners were trying to make us pay crazy amounts of money, and we would just say, “you know, we can’t afford that.” Meanwhile, we started talking to some friends inside Gaza, who were able to get us permission from Hamas to enter. Even if you make it through a tunnel, you still have to do what they call “coordination” with what Hamas calls its “tunnel authority.” We had almost given up hope when one of the tunnel owners in Rafah obliged us. We got in near the end of the day on Saturday, Nov. 17, and we went directly to Rafah hospital — earlier that day, five people had been killed in Gaza, including three children and a militant on a motorcycle. We went to see the dead bodies. Drones overhead were buzzing in the background, completely non-stop. They are very annoying at first, but then you sort of get used to it and it becomes a bit unusual when they’re not there.
The Israeli mayor of Upper Nazareth, a town in the Galilee, has demanded that the adjacent city of Nazareth be declared “hostile” to the state of Israel, and its predominantly Palestinian population, who are citizens of Israel, be expelled to Gaza. “If it was in my hands, I would evacuate from this city its residents the haters of Israel whose rightful place is in Gaza and not here,” Mayor Shimon Gaspo wrote in a letter to Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai. Gaspo was angered by protests in Nazareth against Israel’s bombardment of Gaza that has claimed more than 130 Palestinian lives since 15 November. Calling Nazareth a “fifth column,” Gaspo wrote that the city is “a danger in times of peace and a real danger in times of war.” He demanded that Yishai declare it a “hostile” city and cut off all state funding.
The video above is said by the person who posted it to have been shot on Nov. 15 by Omer Manor in Tel Aviv, at a counter-demonstration to a demonstration against the Gaza assault. It features Michael Ben-Ari, a rightwing member of the Knesset, saying that Israel ought to “erase” Gaza. And on the fascistic front, the demonstrators call for leftists in the other demo to get cancer, or to be sent to Gaza.
BEIRUT — Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah pledged the Lebanese Shiite group’s support for the Hamas rulers of Gaza in the face of Israel’s air war Monday, insisting it was unaffected by differences over the conflict in Syria. “Some are saying that Israel is punishing Hamas for they think it abandoned Iran, Syria and Hezbollah,” Nasrallah said in a speech beamed to supporters on a big screen in the Shiite southern suburbs of Beirut. “Iran, Syria and Hezbollah will not give up on the people of Gaza and its resistance, and this is our religious and moral and humanitarian obligation,” he said. The 20-month uprising in Syria against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has sparked a growing rift between it and Hamas.
Rockets fired from the Gaza Strip at a kibbutz in the Eshkol region on Tuesday killed 18-year-old IDF soldier Yosef Fartuk and Alian Salem Alanbari, a married man with children from the Bedouin village of Rejwan in the Negev. Five other soldiers stationed on the kibbutz on the Israel-Gaza border were injured in the attack. Fartuk was the fourth Israeli and Alanbari the fifth to be killed in rocket attacks since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense last Wednesday. Three residents of the southern town of Kiryat Malachi died in a rocket strike on their home on Thursday. The fallen soldier grew up in a Haredi family in the West Bank settlement of Emmanuel, the ultra-Orthodox news site Kikar Shabbat reported.
A Hamas official said on Tuesday that Egyptian efforts to broker a truce with Israel had been held up because the Israeli government had yet to respond to proposals, indicating there would be no ceasefire until Wednesday at the earliest.
Five Israeli soldiers were wounded by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, Israel’s army said. An Israeli army spokesman said the the soldiers were lightly to moderately injured in the incident.
The military wings of Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for firing rockets at southern Israeli city Beersheba on Tuesday morning. Hamas’ al-Qassam Brigades said they fired 15 rockets and a Fajr-5 projectile at the city, “in response to the massacres in the Gaza Strip.”
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Hamas’ al-Qassam Brigades hijacked Israeli TV channels on Tuesday evening and broadcast messages warning against a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, the group said. The Israeli news site Ynet said viewers reported that broadcasts were interrupted by short films with Hamas insignia showing an Israeli army tank being hit by a missile. ”This is a message to the armored corps,” the text read. A video uploaded to YouTube claims to show the interruption on Channel 10. The text reads in Hebrew and Arabic: “A message for the Zionist tanks forces,” then “Do you remember.”
A leading Palestinian military and strategic analyst has described the range of the rockets coming out of Gaza as a “remarkable development”. Major General Wasif Erekat said that the rockets’ capability of reaching Jerusalem and illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank is also a setback for Israel’s military deterrence factor. ”Following the aggression against Gaza, the occupation government, its leaders and its military establishment have shown their inability to protect Jerusalem and the settlements in the West Bank,” said General Erekat. “They planned the attack on Gaza from safe, fortified rooms and are now languishing in shelters unable to even protect themselves from the reaction of the Palestinian resistance; clearly, they are now floundering.”
Hassan Illeik, “How Hamas Gets Its Weapons”
Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard units specialized in smuggling weapons from Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Sudan, and other countries into the Gaza Strip are on high alert. These weapons usually begin their journey in Iranian or Syrian ports. From there, they head to Sudan, where they are transported to the Sinai in Egypt and end up in Gaza. But such units have other routes they can use to reach Gaza.
That was the Emir of Qatar’s catchphrase during his recent visit to the Gaza Strip. He used it to urge the Palestinians to reconcile. It was as though he was telling them: Your resistance camp isn’t resisting, and your peace camp isn’t negotiating, so why don’t you make up? The Emir of Qatar didn’t explain why there should be a reconciliation, or over what. Nor did he see why the peace camp isn’t negotiating – because Israel is the party that doesn’t want negotiations or peace. And, who told him that the resistance camp has stopped resisting? Is it because Hamas belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood, and the parent organization’s current priorities do not include resistance? Is that what he meant?
JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Israel’s assault on Gaza’s rocket arsenals is aimed at countering what it sees as a growing strategic threat posed by Iranian-supplied missiles smuggled in through Egypt. Though by the far the superior military power, Israel had been unable to stop the Palestinian rockets needling its southern towns over the past decade. Since the latest flare-up of hostilities, rockets fired from Gaza have killed three Israelis, on top of a death toll of about 30 people since 2001.
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Mourners clashed with Israeli troops at two funerals on Tuesday as Palestinians across the West Bank continued to protest Israeli attacks on Gaza. In Hebron, hundreds attended the funeral for Hamdi Mohammad Jawwad al-Falah, who was shot by Israeli soldiers at a demonstration in Hebron’s Bir al-Mahjar neighborhood on Tuesday. Medics said al-Fatah, 22, had been shot with four live bullets in the chest, face and knee. An Israeli military spokeswoman said he he had assaulted forces who shot him.
Lawyers rally near Hebron met with tear gas
Several lawyers suffered tear gas inhalation on Monday when they marched near Hebron to protest Israel’s assault on Gaza. Lawyers union leader Hatem Shaheen said legal officials suspended work to hold a peace rally at Halhul bridge.
Confrontations in Silwan and Bethlehem against the attack on Gaza
On Saturday afternoon a few young men were injured by rubber bullets and suffered from suffocation during confrontations between the local young men and Israeli forces near the site of “Rachel’s grave” in Bethlehem. The locals threw molotov cocktails and stones at the forces who were stationed at the Bethlehem border. They burned tires and burnt the military watch tower near Rachel’s tomb.
Approximately 100 of the popular resistance activists and foreigners showing their solidarity cut open 30 meters of the fence belonging to the apartheid wall in Rafat, in the Ramallah and al-Bireh region, and raised the Palestinian flag. The coordinator for Stop the Wall, Ahad Khawaja, said that the activist afterwards tried to close the settler road of Ofra, and that the Israeli army responded by shooting live rounds at the demonstrators. Additionally, he says that this occurrence expresses the anger of the Palestinian people and its protests against the continuing attack of Gaza at this moment. The attack that started six days ago has now led to over 90 martyrs, where the majority is children, women, elderlies. He stresses the importance of continuing these activities for the support of Gaza, and to reject the crimes committed by the Israeli occupation.
Palestinian lawyers will boycott Israeli military courts on Wednesday in a show of solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, a prisoners group said. The Palestinian Prisoners Society said that lawyers will go on strike to protest Israeli attacks against Gaza. Qaddura Fares, head of PPS, said that all Palestinians are united against Israel’s assault.
Palestinian lawmaker Mustafa Barghouthi visited the Gaza Strip on Tuesday with a delegation from his political party the Palestinian National Initiative. Barghouthi visited Shifa Hospital in Gaza City to visit Palestinians injured in the ongoing Israeli military offensive. He told reporters that what he saw was enough proof of “the scale of Israeli crime and genocidal war against our people in Gaza.”
Jamal Juma’ Speaks Out about the Attacks on Gaza
Israel turns once again its criminal military machine with all its might against the population in the Gaza Strip. Four years after the terrible crimes committed by Israel in the brutal attack on Gaza, which during only three weeks in 2008/9 has costs the lives of over 1400 Palestinians, the besieged Strip is again under full attack of Israeli airstrikes. Already almost 100 people have been killed and over 500 injured. The blood of the last war on Gaza hasn’t dried yet, and still thousands of homes are in rubbles. Now, after three days, the children, women, elders and youth of Gaza live under constant shelling by tanks and F-16 aircrafts, with explosions all over the area, and everyone is expecting their house to be attacked next. Just as the last time, the worst is yet to come.
U.N. Special Rapporteur Calls for Global Protection of Gaza Civilians from U.S.-Backed Israeli Assault
Richard Falk, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, calls on the international community to help defend the people of Gaza from the ongoing U.S.-backed Israeli assault. “It’s time, it seems to me, for the international community to take some responsibility for protecting the people of Gaza,” Falk says. “The responsibility to protect norm was very self-righteously invoked in relation to Gaddafi’s Libya, but there’s utter silence when it comes to the people of Gaza.” Falk is a professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University and the author of more than 50 books on war, human rights and international law. We also speak with Raji Sourani, an award-winning human rights lawyer and director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights in Gaza.
Physicians for Human Rights-Israel warns that a continued military assault, particularly against civil infrastructure, will likely cause a rapid deterioration of humanitarian conditions in Gaza. Yesterday evening (19.11.12), Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHR-Israel) called on Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, to immediately cease attacks on civil infrastructure in Gaza, whether direct or indirect, and to ensure the safety of medical centers and personnel. PHR-Israel also called on Israeli authorities to enable safe access for infrastructure repair.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation has called on the representatives of its member states at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to convene an emergency meeting to discuss Israel’s military offensive against civilians in the Gaza Strip. A statement released by the OIC earlier today confirmed that the development is a response to calls made by the Secretary General of the Organisation, Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu. They aim to expedite an application for a fact-finding mission to the area in order to investigate Israeli actions against innocent civilians. A report similar to the UN’s Goldstone Report, which looked at Israel’s Operation Cast Lead against Gaza in 2008/9, is envisaged. That report came out of recommendations made by an emergency meeting of OIC Foreign Ministers.
Israeli air strikes for the past 6 days have killed over 100 Palestinians in Gaza, many of them women and children; one strike deliberately targeted a media building that Israeli government knew to house journalists. Medics announced Monday that they are running out of key medicines (Gaza is under Israeli blockade). Military strikes are also interfering in the delivery of medical and other aid by international organizations in the Strip. This Arabic-language report says that Israeli warplanes targeted the Jordanian field hospital late on Monday. I have not been able to find confirmation for this report, but if it is true, and deliberate, it would be a war crime.
Palestinian gunmen shot dead six alleged collaborators in the Gaza Strip who “were caught red-handed”, according to a security source quoted by the Hamas Aqsa radio on Tuesday. The Hamas radio said the men, who were suspected of working for Israel, were shot. It did not elaborate.
Gaza ground war poses risks for Netanyahu
The recent escalation of violence in Israel and Gaza comes just two months before general elections in Israel. A topic of debate inside the country is just how much the military operations are being driven by political motivations. Al Jazeera’s Tom Ackerman reports from Jerusalem.
The Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth has published the conditions set out by negotiators for a ceasefire to end the current Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip. The newspaper said that a senior security official arrived in Cairo from Israel on Sunday to discuss the Israeli government’s conditions with Egyptian officials.
U.S. blocks UN Council statement on Gaza
UNITED NATIONS — The United States on Tuesday blocked a UN Security Council statement on the Gaza conflict, arguing that it would have been “counter-productive” amid efforts to reach a ceasefire. Russia had threatened to press for a full council resolution on the conflict if the Arab-proposed statement was blocked. That could have led to a veto clash with the United States. But, with Egyptian-led truce efforts gathering pace, diplomats said Moscow’s initiative would be dropped, though the Russian mission made no immediate announcement. The United States sent a letter to the 14 other council missions just before a Tuesday deadline for the statement to take effect, diplomats told AFP.
DUBAI (Reuters) — Palestinians should be “equipped” to defend themselves against Israel as it carries out airstrikes on Gaza, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday, adding that Tehran’s alliances with Palestinian Islamist groups remained strong. Israel began air strikes on Gaza on Wednesday, with the declared goal of deterring Hamas from launching rockets into southern Israel. Iran says the Israeli strikes are “organized terrorism”.
The Secretary-General of the Arab League Nabil al-Arabi arrived in the Gaza Strip with a delegation of foreign ministers from Arab countries on Tuesday afternoon. Israeli forces carried out several airstrikes while the Arab delegation entered the coastal enclave, to show solidarity with the people of Gaza.
Israeli propaganda is predictable, as are Western media which parrot Israeli propaganda. What Israel does regularly is to treat every little or big incident in the course of the Arab-Israeli conflict as an event in itself, divorced from its background and from the century-old conflict. Thus, if a useless Hamas rocket is fired on a target in Israel, the rocket becomes the story and no background is permitted to explain the political development. Worse, Zionists treat any attempt at contextualization as further evidence of “services to terrorism.”
Gazans aspire to martyrdom and lead such limited lives they have less to lose than Israelis — NYT’s Rudoren, Philip Weiss
Jodi Rudoren, the New York Times correspondent who has been in Gaza for several days now, has an active Facebook page on which she has lately posted some critical observations about Palestinian culture that are reminiscent of Mitt Romney’s comments last July that got the former Republican presidential candidate in such hot water. Rudoren’s comments include the statement that Israelis are more “traumatized” by projectile fire than Palestinians because Palestinians, having a culture of martyrdom, “have such limited lives than [sic] in many ways they have less to lose.”
A most racist piece by Jodi Rudoren, who is proving that she can be as zealous in propaganda for Israel as her other colleagues, As’ad AbuKhalil
So Palestinians don’t cry and they don’t mourn their children. This is the kind of trash that colonialists used to write about the natives back in another century. “There were few if any visible tears at the intense, chaotic, lengthy funeral on Monday of Jamal and seven relatives…But the tone, far more fundamentalist than funereal, was also a potent sign of the culture of martyrdom that pervades this place, and the numbness that many here have developed to death and destruction…the mourners, except for a few close relatives inside the mosque, were neither overcome with emotion nor fed up…“ Ms. Rudoren came close to maintaining that the Palestinians expressed gratitude to the Israeli army for killing their children.
JODI RUDOREN: the new chief Israeli propagandist for the time, As’ad AbuKhalil
This is how Ms. Rudoren identifies the goals of Palestinian groups: “Yet Qassam remains a fundamentalist jihadi enterprise whose culture and goals — terrorizing and obliterating Israel”. 1) So the organization has no goals whatsoever other than terrorizing and obliterating? 2) Can you imagine the uproar if Ms. Rudoren were to say: “Israel whose culture and goals–terrorizing and obliterating Palestine….” Can you imaginie? 3) Israel has actually accomplished that goal of terrorizing and obliterating. 4) Not to excuse Ms. Rudoren in any way but do you notice how the most offensive parts of articles in the Middle East in the Times are often qualifying sentences and phrases that read as if they were inserted by the foreign editors and their bosses? 5) Does Al-Qassam have any goal at all about self-determination and liberation of occupied land or are they just interested in terrorizing and obliterating. And where does the two words come from? From official statements by the group?
PS: and notice how many “experts” on the Palestinians in one article are Israelis and/or Zionists.
Wolf Blitzer, As’ad AbuKhalil
Wolf Blitzer of CNN has been dispatched to Israel to cover the conflict. But why does not CNN tell viewer that this guy started his journalism career by writing for the publication of the Israeli lobby? Can you imagine if a CNN correspondent is covering Gaza but had previously worked for Hamas mouthpiece? Can you imagine the uproar? So Blitzer was on the air and he reported that he saw “trauma” on the face of a child in Israel who heard sirens.
Palestinian Civilians Bear the Brunt of Unrelenting Bombings in U.S.-Backed Attack on Gaza
President Obama has announced his full support for Israel’s ongoing assault on the Gaza Strip even as dozens of Palestinians, including many civilians, continue to be killed by U.S.-supplied weaponry. At least 95 Palestinians have been killed in air strikes by warplanes and drones. More than 700 have been wounded, including 200 children. On Sunday, a massive air strike leveled a home in Gaza City killing 12 people, including 10 members of the same family. Over the past week, rockets fired from Gaza have killed three Israelis. We go to Gaza to speak with Raji Sourani, an award-winning human rights lawyer and director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights in Gaza.
“Mohammed al-Khoudry was staring at the rubble of a house where two young children and their father died on Tuesday. ”I’ve really tried to understand the Israelis. I used to work on a farm in Israel. I speak Hebrew. I watch their news. All the time they talk about fear. How they have to run to their bunkers to hide from the rockets. How their children can’t sleep because of the sirens. This is not a good way for them to live,” said Khoudry, who now scrapes a living growing his own produce. ”We Palestinians don’t talk about fear, we talk about death. Our rockets scare them; their rockets kill us. We have no bomb shelters, we have no sirens, we have nowhere we can take our children and keep them safe. They are scared. We are dying.”
Palestinian Authority sidelined in Hamas-Israel conflict
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has had no role in efforts to broker a cease-fire between Israel and the militant group Hamas, leading to questions about his relevance. RAMALLAH, West Bank — The hostilities in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas have raised sympathy among many Palestinians for the Islamist militant group and elevated its status at the expense of the rival Palestinian Authority and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, observers say.
Egypt’s president Muhammad Morsi is under pressure both at home and abroad to help end the crisis in Gaza. Unlike his predecessor Hosni Mubarak who had cordial relations with Israel, Morsi has to tread carefully over obligating his country’s Camp David Treaty with Israel and showing support to Hamas, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. Al Jazeera’s Peter Greste reports from Cairo.
Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi walks tightrope in Gaza conflict
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has stood firm on defending Palestinian interests in the Gaza Strip while not jeopardizing a peace treaty with Israel. CAIRO — The Gaza conflict has pressured Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on many fronts: Each rocket Hamas fired into Israel has been a test of Morsi’s loyalty. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also been gauging how much damage he can inflict on Hamas before Morsi responds with more than public statements and diplomacy.
As Israel’s latest attack on the Gaza Strip continues, both Hamas and Israel appear to support the idea of a ceasefire, but they differ on the conditions. Since neither side wants to carry on fighting, and neither have very radical goals, a settlement must be close.
War on Gaza worsens Israeli economic crisis
An economic analyst has warned that the aggression launched by Israel against the Gaza Strip will deepen the economic crisis in the near future, which may push Israelis to protest in the streets against the Netanyahu government. Avi Temeken published his concerns on a specialist economic and technical affairs website. He said that firm analyses showed that the upcoming Israeli government will face an economic situation that requires it to take difficult decisions. The Israeli expert pointed out that it is this which pushed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to call for early parliamentarian elections, so he won’t have to deal with issues that can embarrass the government during the interim period.
Gaza – Israel relies heavily on its Palestinian spies, but many collaborators driven by poverty to sell information to the enemy find themselves in danger of elimination from both sides. Ashraf Ouaida, 30, was accused of collaborating with Israel and then executed by the Izzedin al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, on 15 November 2012, the second day of the Israeli war on Gaza. His body was left on Jalaa Street in the center of Gaza City, with a sign declaring the Brigades’ responsibility for the execution and promising to go after other collaborators. Ouaida was being detained in an Internal Security Forces prison affiliated with Hamas in Gaza, where he had confessed in a videotaped statement to his part in the assassination of 15 Hamas leaders. Ouaida said that he started spying for Israel in exchange for money, because he was poor and wanted to become wealthy.
Arab and Muslim responses are below level of Israeli aggression
The General Comptroller of the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya, Bashir Al-Kabta, has called on the Arab and Islamic countries to work towards supporting the Palestinian people in Gaza “with all means”. He pointed out that the natural resources with which Allah has blessed the Arab and Muslim regions, particularly oil, could be a trump card to put pressure on the West to offer more substantive support to Palestine and its people. In his statements to Quds Press, Al-Kabta pointed out that the Arab and Muslim responses to the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip are still below the level of Israel’s aggression. “Something should be done about this in what are difficult circumstances,” he said. “Unfortunately, a lot of us still resort to statements, condemnations and denunciations; these are the methods of the impotent, as shown by experience.”
The Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube accounts of Israeli Deputy Premier Silvan Shalom have been hacked and filled with pro-Palestine status updates. ZCompanyHackingCrew claimed responsibility for this latest act of cyber war against Israel. The group also claims to have hacked Shalom’s email and extracted personal mail, contacts and documents. The hackers announced plans to release the documents shortly. In Shalom’s hijacked Twitter feed, the hacker group posted calls for protest against “unjust war and occupation,” and asked, “Who can bare to see the horror, the deaths of children and innocent people trying to protect their occupied land?” The full-scale cyber attack on the top Israeli official comes just days after prominent hacker group Anonymous leaked the personal information of 5,000 Israeli officials.
Attacks on Gaza Unite Palestinians, Jillian Kestler-D’Amours
HAIFA, NORTHERN ISRAEL — Dozens of Israeli tanks slowly made their way south on the back of flatbed trucks along Israel’s Road 6 highway Sunday. Emblazoned with Stars of David and Hebrew letters and carrying frayed Israeli flags, the movement of these tanks has left many believing that Israel will soon launch a large-scale ground [...]
JABALYA, Gaza Strip — Youssef Abdel Hamid’s ambulance crew spent the first three hours of its shift Tuesday picking up charred and broken bodies: the man struck dead in his potato patch, the 15-year-old boy who perished with his sheep herd, the father who was blown to pieces in an attack that injured his son.
On Sunday, November 25th here in Seattle, a group of community peace activists are joining together to host Crisis in Gaza: End the Violence, End the Siege (see poster graphic). It will be held at University Temple United Methodist Church (corner of 43rd and 15th Avenue across from the UW Law School) at 7PM. Speakers including Palestinian-American Naseem Taffuha, Israeli-American Assaf Oron, and myself. We are seeking to confirm Ramzy Baroud’s participation at this time. There will also be testimony from Palestinian-Americans with family in Gaza.
Israel’s Gaza Calculus, GREGORY HARMS
The recent violence between Gaza and Israel can be considered in three frames of reference. The first is the immediate context of Israel’s targeted killing of Hamas military commander Ahmed al-Jabari. This action was taken during back-channel negotiations of a truce between Hamas and Israel, which involved Jabari. The action was also in contravention of international law and constitutes murder, regardless of Jabari’s history. Even at the level of common sense, the question could be asked: How would Israel and the West respond were Hamas to assassinate a figure in Israel based on the individual’s involvement in killing innocent Palestinians?
Iron Dome propaganda, As’ad AbuKhalil
By the way, there is so much free propaganda about the Iron Dome in the Western media–not to mention the Israeli media. Just google the success rate of the system and you will find that the success rate is 80% or 70% or even 90%, depending on the liar in question. Barak, however, went further and declared the system to be “almost perfect”. What does almost perfect mean? It is either perfect or it is either almost, it can’t be both. Perfection does not take qualifications. This reminds me of a title of an old Arabic movie: ”A virgin, but…” That was the exact title starring Nelly. You fell for the lies by the US about the patriot system back in 1991–and now we know that they were lies, and you are falling for the lies again. Please enjoy the lies.
I’m not interested in providing yet another history lesson on the Palestinian-Israeli issue. I will not engage in the Möbius strip of who-started-what-when, particularly concerning the current conflict. Instead, I want to address the logic—or the fundamental lack thereof—when it comes to the current Israeli assault on Gaza.
Four critical problems of reasoning underpin much of the discourse on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and constantly reappear as rhetorical frames for the current violence: 1) the meaning of “civilian” life; 2) definitions of “legitimate violence;” 3) prioritizing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; and 4) the racism of many ethnic and religious groups in speaking about the conflict.
Israeli and U.S. forces displace villagers from homes for military training in the Jordan Valley On November 11th Palestinians from the Jordan Valley villages of AelRaesAhemer, AelMaleh, and Ael Meta, were awoken by Israeli occupation forces at 6:00 AM and forced to leave their homes and villages because the military was to use the area for military training. The villages are part of Area C in the West Bank, and therefore are under full Israeli civil and security control. Palestinians in Area C, which covers over 60% of the West Bank, are practically forbidden to build on their own property; while neighboring illegal settlements continue to expand. The villages undergo constant attacks and threats from either the army or settlers, including home demolitions, physical beatings, destruction of property, etc.
Ibrahim Abu Eisheh, a Palestinian youth was hit in the head by a tear gas canister at around six in the afternoon. He is in critical condition at a hospital and is currently undergoing surgery. For the third consecutive day in Hebron there has been a large amount of Palestinian resistance in the old city against the Israeli occupying forces. Two streets in particular were hardest hit by the conflict. One being one of the main streets in the souq where most of the fresh produce is sold in the city. The other road intersects the market street and runs north of the military gate that is used for entry during Saturday settler tours. This area is known as Bab Baladia and was the main fighting ground for the shabab; which is the name for young Palestinian males.
Today, Monday 19 of November at around 4 am, a bunch of settlers from the illegal settlement of Yitzhar set a mosque in the village of Urif on fire. The door has been damaged and the prayer mats were severely burned. After a few hours Israeli soldiers reached the area causing several clashes with the inhabitants who appeared nervous due to the attack. The soldiers shot a huge amount of tear-gas and sound bombs at the residents. The village of Urif has been attacked many times in similar ways by the illegal settlement of Yitzhar. This year, on 29th April, mask-wearing settlers invaded the village supported by Israeli soldiers who used tear-gas, sound bombs and live ammunitions. Another event happened on 26th May when armed settlers burned cultivated fields, threw stones and shot live ammunition against the Palestinian people, one of whom was injured in the abdomen. The illegal settlement of Yitzhar is responsible of countless attacks against surrounding villages: not only Urif but also Burin and Asira al-Qabaliya suffered similar attacks. Urif is a Palestinian town near Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank, located thirteen kilometres South of Nablus. The town has a population of just under 3000 inhabitants and is overlooked by the illegal Israeli settlement of Yitzhar.
Israeli seize medical kit from Dubai
Medical equipment taken from Dubai for a charity that carries out pro bono surgeries for children in Palestine has been confiscated by Israeli authorities in Ramallah, said doctors associated with the charity. Nearly 400 kg of equipment, medicine and toys worth millions of dirhams were seized on Friday despite it being the charity’s sixth surgical mission in Ramallah, said Dubai-based Dr Marc Sinclair, a paediatric orthopaedic surgeon while speaking to Khaleej Times from Ramallah, West Bank. The team had visited Gaza once. Dr Sinclair is part of UK-based Little Wings Foundation that holds surgeries in association with Palestine Children’s Relief Fund. The doctor and two nurses from the Children’s Medical Centre in Dubai met up with a surgeon, anaesthetist and nurse travelling from Germany to Jordan but were intercepted at the Allenby Bridge on the Palestinian border by Israeli customs.
Palestinian Authority security services on Tuesday refused to provide security coordination to Israeli forces entering the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem, a PA security officer said. He said the Palestinian liaison turned down the request because the troops wanted to enter at the time children were going to school in the morning.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has cut a lonely figure while his Islamist Hamas rivals in the Gaza Strip have battled Israel, gaining kudos in the West Bank and de facto Arab recognition.