Monday, January 26, 2009
Bob Simon reports...
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Wednesday, January 14, 2009
From the BBC:
"The Israeli army was saying: 'This is the Israeli Defence Forces, we are asking all the people to leave their homes and go to the school. Ladies first, then men.'
"We decided to send the women first, two by two," he said.
"The army was about 15 metres (50 feet) away from the house or less. They shot her in the head," he said.
"They told us you all have to go to the centre of the town, where the school is.
"We put the women first, and we put our children on our shoulders, with white bandanas on their heads.
"When we were walking, with the women first, they saw soldiers and they started to shout to them, to tell them 'we have children, we have children'. They started to shoot us. My aunt was killed with a bullet in her head."
"We have tried to leave the house during the three-hour humanitarian ceasefire, but we got shot at," he said.
Monday, January 12, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
(excerpts from article)
The United Nations says it has received reports that about 30 Palestinians were killed when Israeli forces shelled a house after they had moved about 110 civilians inside it.
"According to several testimonies, on 4 January Israeli foot soldiers evacuated approximately 110 Palestinians into a single-residence house in Zeitun, warning them to stay indoors," the UN report said on Friday.
"Twenty-four hours later, Israeli forces shelled the home repeatedly, killing approximately 30."
The incident took place on Monday in the Zeitun neighbourhood of Gaza City on Monday, the report said.
The UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) called it "one of the gravest incidents since the beginning of operations" by Israeli forces in Gaza on December 27.
"Those who survived and were able walked two kilometres to Salah Ed Din road before being transported to hospital in civilian vehicles," OCHA said.
"Three children, the youngest of whom was five months old, died upon arrival at the hospital."
The Israeli military said on Friday that it had no knowledge of the incident.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
The logic of those who demand that we stop our resistance is absurd. They absolve the aggressor and occupier - armed with the deadliest weapons of death and destruction - of responsibility, while blaming the victim, prisoner and occupied. Our modest, home-made rockets are our cry of protest to the world. Israel and its American and European sponsors want us to be killed in silence. But die in silence we will not.
From Deir Yassin in 1948 to Gaza today, the list of Israel's crimes is long. The justifications change, but the reality is the same: colonial occupation, oppression, and never-ending injustice. If this is the "free world" whose "values" Israel is defending, as its foreign minister Tzipi Livni alleges, then we want nothing to do with it.
Gaza's people are more united than ever, determined not to be terrorised into submission. Our fighters, armed with the justice of their cause, have already caused many casualties among the occupation army and will fight on to defend their land and people. Nothing can defeat our will to be free.
Israel will no doubt wreak untold destruction, death and suffering in Gaza. But it will meet the same fate in Gaza as it did in Lebanon. We will not be broken by siege and bombardment, and will never surrender to occupation.
The survivors of the Nazi concentration camps have created their own in Gaza.
ROME (Reuters) - Pope Benedict's point man for justice and peace issues on Wednesday issued the Vatican's toughest criticism of Israel since the latest Mideast crisis began, calling Gaza a "big concentration camp."
Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Vatican's Council for Justice and Peace, made his comments in an interview in the Italian online newspaper Il Sussidiario.net.
"Defenceless populations are always the ones who pay. Look at the conditions in Gaza: more and more, it resembles a big concentration camp," Martino, whose informal title is Vatican "justice minister," was quoted as saying.
Pope Benedict has made several general appeals for an end to the violence in Gaza but has not openly criticised Israel.
The pope is due to visit Holy Land sites in Jordan, Israel and the Israeli-occupied West Bank in May.
From Damascus -- While Americans may believe that the current violence in Gaza began Dec. 27, in fact Palestinians have been dying from bombardments for many weeks. On Nov. 4, when the Israeli-Palestinian truce was still in effect but global attention was turned to the U.S. elections, Israel launched a "preemptive" airstrike on Gaza, alleging intelligence about an imminent operation to capture Israeli soldiers; more assaults took place throughout the month.
The truce thus shattered, any incentive by Palestinian leaders to enforce the moratorium on rocket fire was gone. Any extension of the agreement or improvement of its implementation at that point would have required Israel to engage Hamas, to agree to additional trust-building measures and negotiation with our movement -- a political impossibility for Israel, with its own elections only weeks away.
Not that the truce had been easy on Palestinians. In the six-month period preceding this week's bombardment, one Israeli was killed, while dozens of Palestinians lost their lives to Israeli military and police actions, and numerous others died for want of medical care.
The war on Gaza should not be mistaken for an Israeli triumph. Rather, Israel's failure to make the truce work, and its inevitable resort to bloodshed, demonstrate again that it cannot permit a future built on Palestinian political self-determination. The truce failed because Israel will not open Gaza's borders, because Israel would rather be a jailer than a neighbor, and because its intransigent leadership forestalls Palestinian destiny and will not make peace with history.
Monday, January 5, 2009
Report from the BBC from one of Gaza's biggest hospitals, Al-Shifa Hospital.
Pray for Gaza and all the oppressed peoples of this world.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
But an Israeli human rights group says civilians were killed as they tried to protect their goods.
Al Jazeera's Hoda Abdel-Hamid talks to a Palestinian who says the vehicle was his and that it was being loaded with gas canisters by his family.
On December 30, 2008 the New York Times published its first editorial on the recent bombings of Gaza. The editors open their text with the following claim: “Hamas must bear responsibility for ending a six-month cease-fire this month with a barrage of rocket attacks into Israeli territory.”
While the editors assign the blame conveniently and squarely on Hamas, this nevertheless remains a factually erroneous statement contradicting reporting by Israeli newspapers (in both Hebrew and English), the British press, Amnesty International and – perhaps curiously enough – November 2008 reporting by the NYT itself.
On November 12, the paper’s Jerusalem reporter, Isabel Kershner, wrote: “At least six Palestinian militants were killed in a clash and an Israeli airstrike on Nov. 4 after an Israeli force entered Gaza for the first time in five months.”
Therefore, the rockets into Israeli territory after nearly six months of cease-fire followed – rather than preceded – the Israeli invasion into, and the killings of Palestinians inside, the occupied Gaza Strip. On November 14, the paper’s Jerusalem Bureau Chief, Ethan Bronner, re-stated the same facts reported by Kershner; he additionally voiced them in his accompanying interview on NYT radio – both can be read/heard here.
More crucially, Israeli and international sources from the first week of November 2008 – sources that are scholarly (and otherwise) more reliable than the NYT – shed further light on the misleading claim by the NYT editors. They include, but are by no means limited to:
The Israeli Haaretz, November 5, 2008: “Israel Defense Forces troops yesterday killed a Hamas gunman and wounded two others in the first armed clash in the Gaza Strip since a cease-fire was declared there in June. […] An Israeli army spokeswoman said troops had entered the territory.”
The Israeli Yediot Ahronot, November 5, 2008: “For the first time since the ceasefire took effect in June, IDF forces operated deep in the Gaza Strip Tuesday night.”
(Note: had the NYT editors bothered to consult Hebrew sources they would have easily found that the Hebrew version of the news item cited above is even clearer.)
The Times (UK), November 5, 2008: “A five-month truce between Israel and the Islamist rulers of the Gaza Strip was foundering yesterday after Israeli special forces entered the besieged territory and fought.”
Amnesty International, November 10, 2008: “A spate of Israeli and Palestinian attacks and counter-attacks in the past 24 hours could spell the end of a five-and-a-half-month ceasefire. […] The killing of six Palestinian militants in Gaza by Israeli forces in a ground incursion and air strikes on 4 November was followed by a barrage of dozens of Palestinian rockets.”
The Guardian, November 5, 2008: “Hamas militants fired more than 35 rockets into Israel today, hours after the Israeli army killed six people inside the Gaza Strip in the first major exchange of fire since a truce took effect in June.”
The Independent, November 5, 2008: “Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip fired more than 35 rockets towards Israel today, the army and the Islamist group said, hours after the Israeli army killed six militants in the coastal territory.”