Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sayyed Nasrallah: Palestinian Resistance Will Triumph


"31/12/2008 Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah reiterated on Wednesday that the Israeli deadliest offensive against Gaza launched since Saturday was identical to what had taken place in Lebanon during the July 2006 war and expected that the Palestinian Resistance would achieve victory and Zionist entity would be defeated once again. His eminence stressed that the Palestinian Resistance was still tenacious and solid, pointing out that its base wasn't affected by the massacres committed until now.

Sayyed Nasrallah was speaking through a large screen as he marked the fourth night of Ashoura at the Sayyed Shouhadaa complex in Beirut's southern suburb (Dahiyeh).

His eminence pointed that there was more than one aspect in the offensive against Gaza, noting that the air raids against Palestinians, the martyrs who have fallen, the destruction which is taking place were not the whole picture. Sayyed Nasrallah praised the Palestinian Resistance for its steadfastness and firmness, the Gaza people for their sense of responsibility and support for the Resistance.

The Resistance leader noted that the Palestinian Resistance was benefiting from the July 2006 war better than the Israelis, noting that the lessons are making Israelis appear even weaker. His eminence remarked that the Israelis didn't have any "declared goal" for the war they are launching on Gaza. "In Lebanon, they announced very high goals since the first day but they failed to achieve anyone of them," Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out, noting that for these reasons, they seem really perplexed in Gaza. "They didn't even say that they seek to tumble the Hamas government or put an end to the Resistance status," his eminence said. "They don't even dare to say that they aim at preventing resistance factions of launching rockets," his eminence noted, mocking at the "rubber title" of "changing the situation in the ground."

"Israelis doubt their own ability to achieve the goals and this is complete failure," Sayyed Nasrallah stressed, noting that the Palestinian Resistance seems, in contrast, committed to victory. His eminence expected that the Resistance would triumph at the end given that time was not in Israel's interest, recalling that air raids could not settle the battle.

Sayyed Nasrallah uncovered an international plot to impose a humiliating settlement on Palestinians, saying that Hamas was the only obstacle for such a conspiracy. "They are preparing for an international conference to be attended by Americans, Israelis, Europeans and the so-called moderate Arabs in order to end the conflict and impose a humiliating settlement on Palestinians," his eminence asserted.

However, Sayyed Nasrallah expressed belief that the Palestinian Resistance was strong and would achieve victory just like Resistance in Lebanon did in August 2006 "when the Israeli PM announced victory only four days after launching war." His eminence said that the Palestinian Resistance actually absorbed the first blow and its base wasn't affected by it. "This Gaza, although deemed weak, is putting today 208 settlements and 635 thousands Israelis in the danger zone," his eminence said.

"Because of resistance and steadfastness, because of rejecting compromises or surrender, the Gaza strip is already triumphing and Israel witnessing defeat," Sayyed Nasrallah declared, calling on everyone to believe in the Palestinian Resistance and back it through all possible means. His eminence renewed his calls to the Arab regimes to support Gaza and the Egyptian government to open crossings for Palestinians........"

The Arab Eunuchs Met.....
Laid An Egg.....
And Then Went Home......

Die Quietly Gaza, The Eunuchs Don't Want to be Disturbed

By Emad Hajjaj (Abu Mahjoob)

Where's the Academic Outrage Over the Bombing of a University in Gaza?

Targeting Islamic University


"Not one of the nearly 450 presidents of American colleges and universities who prominently denounced an effort by British academics to boycott Israeli universities in September 2007 have raised their voice in opposition to Israel’s bombardment of the Islamic University of Gaza earlier this week....."

Bush thanks Mubarak for the "positive role" of Egypt during the war on Gaza

"WASHINGTON, (PIC)-- The white house announced on Wednesday that the US president George Bush called the Egyptian president Husni Mubarak and thanked him for Egypt's "positive role" during the past few days of the war on the Gaza Strip......"

Israeli shelling badly damages human rights offices

Press release, Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, 30 December 2008

"At about 1:50am Tuesday, 30 December 2008, Israeli F-16 fighter jets shelled a Palestinian police site in Gaza, which is 70 meters (200 feet) away from the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme's (GCMHP) main building in Sheikh Ejleen on Gaza Beach. The shelling was part of the vicious military attacks that the Israeli army launched on Gaza starting 27 December 2008.

This harsh shelling caused massive destruction in the GCMHP's main building, where walls and four ceilings cracked completely and partially. Extreme damage done to the furniture, equipment, electrical and electronic devices as well as the files and documents that were in the four-floor building, which contains offices, training halls, the main library and financial and administrative departments......"

New birth pangs for the Middle East

Hasan Abu Nimah, The Electronic Intifada, 31 December 2008

"US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice famously celebrated Israel's 2006 aggression against Lebanon as "the birth pangs of a new Middle East." She could say the same thing about Gaza today, but it will not be the birth of the Middle East she wanted.

Israel's savage attacks on Gaza come after months and weeks of repeated threats and secret planning. The shockwaves are rumbling all over the Arab world, as much because of the official Arab silence and international cowardice and complicity as because of Israel's barbarity.

Israel has never behaved otherwise. Right from the beginning, and even before Israel was founded, Zionist gangs led by future prime ministers were the first to introduce terrorism to the Middle East.....

Israel's butchery in Gaza is therefore nothing new, even if its brazenness and cruelty set shameful new records. The pain penetrates deep into every soul as ordinary people in Arab capitals voice their anger at Israel, at their own indifferent governments, and the duplicity of an "international community" that automatically supports the aggressor and blames the victim.....

....When Israel attacked Lebanon in 2006, it also had a green light from international and regional powers. Then, as now, the United States and United Kingdom refused to call for a ceasefire, to give Israel time to continue the killing and to try to achieve its goals. But in 2006, Israel failed to achieve anything but defeat, despite massive political and military support.....

With its latest massacres, Israel has ensured once and for all that it will never be accepted as a normal, permanent state in this region. That is a decision that can only be taken by the people of this region -- not by declarations from their leaders -- and the people have made their views clear every time they were given a chance to express themselves.....

No one can say with certainty what Israel's new aggression will unleash, but one can point to some likely outcomes. The attack on Gaza will not destroy Hamas, and even if Israel kills every person who ever supported Hamas, the attack will not end resistance. On the contrary, resistance will be strengthened throughout the region, undermining the notion that resistance is outdated or impossible and that the only remaining "strategic choice" for the Arabs is negotiation from a position of weakness.

The Gaza attack will weaken and discredit even further the so-called "moderates" who did their best to extinguish any form of resistance and bet heavily on the failed peace process and its sponsors.

We may also see an awakening of the role of the Arab public, which has been extremely patient with the sterile negotiations and summitry conducted by its leaders. It will be impossible to counteract the now firmly rooted idea that there was official Arab complicity in the Gaza attack. No one will forget that Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni issued her threats against Gaza from Cairo on 25 December, while Egypt's foreign minister stood smiling next to her without saying a word of protest. Neither will it be easy for Egypt to further justify its role in tightening the siege on the Gaza population by keeping the Rafah crossing closed.

The reality is that the starvation siege Israel has imposed on Gaza could not continue so long without Arab complicity. These facts leave indelible marks of shame on Arab history......"

Latest From Dr. Mona El-Farra: IN Jabalia refujee camp -usual Isreali Army practise

"Dear Friends
Today in the early morning hours , and while the health emergency teams on duty in Jabalia were trying to evacuate the injured and dead , they were targeted by the Israeli army. One of the paramedics was killed, and another injured. (I will provide more details when I have the names and time of the incident )

I warned in a previous entry in my blog , and several times in my writing while reporting from Gaza since 2000, of the targeting of health teams while on duty and in clear uniform .
Who is violating human rights? And, talking of terrorism - what about state terrorism!
In Gaza we have much evidence of daily human rights violations. We do not need the world to say they did not know, when this genocide is such a prominent fact........"


A Great Piece

Yvonne Ridley Date : 12-31-2008
The Free Gaza Movement

"NOT content with committing war crimes and human rights atrocities in full view of the world, Israel has now confirmed itself as a rogue state by launching into international piracy.
Dawn had not yet broken over the Mediterranean waters in which the SS Dignity was sailing when an Israeli naval gunboat appeared from the inky black and rammed the aid-bearing ship. The act of aggression on a peace mission was launched in international waters 90 miles off Gaza, without any warning to the captain of the Dignity or the crew.

Israel claimed the incident was an accident and that its naval officers had made numerous attempts to communicate with the Dignity. It was an accident that was to repeat itself three times.

Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told one press agency that the naval vessel tried to contact the aid boat by radio for identification and to inform it that it could not enter Gaza. "After the boat did not answer the radio, it sharply veered and the two vessels collided, causing only light damage," Palmor said. I wonder how many traffic cops around the world have heard that line from a drunken or reckless driver in the wake of a crash.

The Israeli spokesman then went on to accuse the international activists of "seeking provocation more than ever." Isn't it amazing how Yigal and Co suddenly go belly up and adopt a victim mentality? I wonder how he will react to the news that onboard the ship, among the cargo of much-needed medical supplies and humanitarian aid were TV crews from CNN and Al Jazeera as well as other media. For goodness sake, the Dignity was on a peace mission, armed with nothing more than humanitarian aid - hardly a match for the tooled up, hi-tech Israeli Navy and its deadly arsenal.

Sorry to be so direct, but Palmor is a purveyor of deceit, a liar - and a very unconvincing one at that. You see all sea-faring people know that there is a certain radio channel and frequency which remains open 24 hours a day. I know myself, because the Israeli Navy used that exact same frequency on one of the two Free Gaza boats as they set sail back in August 2008 to break the siege of Gaza by sea. That emergency frequency carried messages of threats and intimidation as clear as a bell......

I understand fresh writs are being prepared for the next generation of Israeli war criminals and that includes all those involved in the Gaza massacres ... which could be anyone from a lowly reservist who has just been called up right through to the top ranks and beyond.

Like the Nazi and war crime hunters of the past, we must never forgive, never forget and never submit to the demands of morally bankrupt states and politicians."

Al-Jazeera Video: Damaged Gaza aid boat docks in southern Lebanon - 30 Dec 08

Cynthia McKinney SLAMS Israeli Navy

Audio (7:30 minutes): Gaza Interview Ewa Jasiewicz

Fairouz: We will return

Saudi police nabs Gaza supporters

Press TV

"Saudi security forces have launched a house-to-house search for the participants of a peaceful demonstration in support of Gaza.

Some 300 people wearing masks reportedly took to the streets of Qatif region's Safwa city in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia on Monday.

The demonstrators chanted slogans condemning the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip and called on Arab governments to takes a firm stand against the US and Israel. The peaceful rally, however, turned violent once the riot police intervened to disperse the demonstrators.

Security forces raided the houses of those who were believed to have participated in the peaceful demonstration and arrested several activists including Al-Ahmad Al-Safavi and Munir Al-Assad, the al-Moltaqqa news website reported on Tuesday.

Mohammed Saleh al-Gharib, another resident of the region, was arrested for possessing a picture of Hezbollah Leader Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah. Similar search operations were also underway in Awamiya, Sanabis and Tarut.

According to eye witnesses, the Saudi Interior Ministry has set up checkpoints on the roads to and from Qatif to prevent and confront further Pro-Gaza demonstrations.

The opposition, however, has announced that it would hold another demonstration on Thursday 'with or without' the permission of the Saudi government......."

Thousands of protestors in DC demand end to Gaza massacre

A police officer told AFP he estimated the later crowd at around 2,500 protesters, while organizers said the number was closer to 5,000 people. Police said the demonstration passed off peacefully.

Protestors carrying red-white-green-and-black Palestinian flags and wearing black-and-white checkered head scarves chanted slogans like "Stop the Killing, Stop the War, Stop the Genocide of Palestinians."

US 'not to stomach defeat in Gaza'

Press TV
(Cartoon by Carlos Latuff)

"Washington is reportedly "worried" that Hamas may gain in popularity if US-backed Israeli attacks on Gaza amount to a war of attrition.

A new report has revealed that the 5-day-old Israeli military campaign against Gaza has made the Bush administration increasingly nervous as the number of Palestinian casualties continues to rise. Washington is extremely concerned that if the massive offensive against one of the most populated areas on earth does not lead to the fall of Hamas, support for the Palestinian group may increase, the Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday.

The daily cited sources close to discussions between Washington and Tel Aviv as saying that the White House wants Israel to settle on a timetable and an exit strategy so that their bitter experience in the 2006 war on Hezbollah is not repeated.......

"You're not hearing that same confidence you did in 2006 that the Israeli military can impose a new strategic reality and should go full force," the daily quoted an unnamed Arab diplomat close to the discussions as saying.

"There's a real contrast between their words then and now," he added....."

How Hypocrisy on 'Terrorism' Kills

By Robert Parry
December 30, 2008

"Israel, a nation that was born out of Zionist terrorism, has launched massive airstrikes against targets in Gaza using high-tech weapons produced by the United States, a country that often has aided and abetted terrorism by its client military forces, such as Chile’s Operation Condor and the Nicaraguan contras, and even today harbors right-wing Cuban terrorists implicated in blowing up a civilian airliner.

Yet, with that moral ambiguity excluded from the debate, the justification for the Israeli attacks, which have killed at least 364 people, is the righteous fight against “terrorism,” since Gaza is ruled by the militant Palestinian group, Hamas.....

Yet it is now clear that acquiescence to a double standard on terrorism is not just a violation of journalistic ethics or an act of political cowardice; it is complicity in mass murder. Without the double standard, it is hard to envision how the bloodbaths – in Iraq (since 2003), in Lebanon (in 2006) and in Gaza (today) – would be possible.

Hypocrisy over the word “terrorism” is not an innocent dispute over semantics; it kills."

Cynthia McKinney relief boat hit by Israeli ship

"A boat carrying international activists, including former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, and medical supplies to the embattled Gaza Strip sailed back into a Lebanese port on Tuesday after being turned back and damaged by the Israeli navy, organizers of the trip said.

The crowds on the docks in the Lebanese port city of Tyre were jubilant and cheering as they welcomed the vessel.

The boat, which set off from Cyprus Monday wanted to make a statement and deliver medical supplies to embattled Gaza. The trip's organizers said the boat was clearly in international waters, 90 miles off the coast of Gaza, at the time of its close encounter with the Israeli navy.

"Our boat was rammed three times, twice in the front and one on the side," McKinney told CNN Tuesday morning. "Our mission was a peaceful mission. Our mission was thwarted by the aggressiveness of the Israeli military."......"

Israel's Constant Crisis

It's a survival mechanism

By Justin Raimondo

".......Yet, from the Israeli perspective, this is entirely legitimate, given their peculiar national survival strategy. An epiphyte, after all, depends on its host. The host, however, may have other ideas – and that's where the extensive Israeli penetration of U.S. governmental and opinion-making institutions comes in. John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt have done us all a service is providing a comprehensive survey of this effort and its astounding success, and we are seeing this play out in the political responses to the Gaza massacre, with both major political parties, as well as the incoming president and the bulk of the media, playing right along with the Israeli propaganda machine.

Until and unless the peculiarities of the "special relationship" are untangled and the cord cut, Israel will continue to rampage throughout the Middle East. The most recent Gaza massacre is only the beginning."

Al-Jazeera Video: Inside Story- Post-attack options for Gaza - Dec 30

Part 1:

Part 2:

Al-Jazeera Video: Nowhere to run for those trapped in Gaza - 30 Dec 08

"Palestinian families are wondering whether they will become the next target after four days of Israeli air raids on the Gaza Strip.

As Sherine Tadros reports, there are few places to hide, and civilian casualties continue to rise. "

The self delusion that plagues both sides in this bloody conflict

Israel has never won a war in a built-up city, that's why threats of 'war to the bitter end' are nonsense

A So-So Piece By Robert Fisk

"....Israel, however – always swift to announce its imminent destruction of "terrorism" – has never won a war in a built-up city, be it Beirut or Gaza, since its capture of Jerusalem in 1967. And it's important to remember that the Israeli army, famous in song and legend for its supposed "purity of arms" and "elite" units, has proved itself to be a pretty third-rate army over recent years. Not since the 1973 Middle East conflict – 35 years ago – has it won a war. Its 1978 invasion of Lebanon was a failure, its 1982 invasion ended in disaster, propelling Arafat from Beirut but allowing its vicious Phalangist allies into the Sabra and Chatila camps where they committed mass murder. In neither the 1993 bombardment of Lebanon nor the 1996 bombardment of Lebanon – which fizzled out after the massacre of refugees at Qana – nor the 2006 war was its performance anything more than amateur. Indeed, if it wasn't for the fact Arab armies are even more of a rabble than the Israelis, the Israeli state would be genuinely under threat from its neighbours.

One common feature of Middle East wars is the ability of all the antagonists to suffer from massive self-delusion. Israel's promise to "root out terror" – be it of the PLO, Hizbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Iranian or any other kind – has always turned out to be false. "War to the bitter end," the Israeli defence minister, Ehud Barak, has promised in Gaza. Nonsense. Just like the PLO's boast – and Hamas' boast and Hizbollah's boast – to "liberate" Jerusalem. Eyewash. But the Israelis have usually shown a dangerous propensity to believe their own propaganda. Calling up more than 6,000 reservists and sitting them round the Gaza fence is one thing; sending them into the hovels of Gaza will be quite another. In 2006, Israel claimed it was sending 30,000 troops into Lebanon. In reality, it sent about 3,000 – and the moment they crossed the border, they were faced down by the Hizbollah. In some cases, Israeli soldiers actually ran back to their own frontier......"

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)
By Dave Brown, The Independent
NOW, GAZA.......


HAMAS, Let the People Storm the Ghetto Walls Now! What Are You Waiting For? Enough Pleading and Empty Speeches.

A Repost of a Comment, First Published on November 23, 2008

By Tony Sayegh

Hamas, after a brilliant move last January when it demolished the ghetto wall in Rafah and allowed hundreds of thousands of Gaza Palestinians to breathe freely just for a few days and to get badly needed supplies from the Egyptian side, fell in the trap and allowed itself to be fooled by the treacherous Pharaoh. At the time I warned precisely against this trap. I said that the Pharaoh needed time to absorb the popular anger and to tighten the siege even more. He would make empty promises to Hamas, which he never intended to keep.

Alas, the naivete of Hamas and the lack of its revolutionary vision even surprised me. In a few days, Hamas fighters were working together with the Pharaoh's troops to seal the Gaza ghetto all over again! They even herded the Palestinians still on the Egyptian side back into the ghetto; all for an empty promise!

Hamas was fooled again when Egypt supposedly "mediated" a "calm" agreement with Israel. The Pharaoh told Hamas to go along since the crossings would be open if Hamas accepted. Hamas foolishly accepted, when in reality Israel never accepted to open the crossings; it was a Pharaoh lie to get Hamas to go along.

Here we are, six months after Hamas accepted the "calm," and Palestinians in Gaza are dying "calmly" in record numbers due to starvation, non-existent medical care, no fuel, no electricity, etc.

The Pharaoh has tightened the siege even more to prove to his masters in Washington, that he is more Israeli than the Israelis. His goons in the Sinai have been working directly with officers from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to use the latest technologies to locate the few tunnels the Palestinians managed to dig under the ghetto wall to get a drop of fuel or a loaf of bread, and to blow them up on top of those inside, or to kill them with poison gas, like rats.

And what is Hamas doing? More promises, more pleading with the likes of the Pharaoh and that rotten king of Saudi Arabia, who has more pressing concerns such as arranging conferences with his Israeli new allies, about "religious tolerance!"

A few internationals have shown more boldness, courage and imagination, than Hamas and all the Arabs and Muslims combined. They bravely, in their little vulnerable boats, broke the naval siege on Gaza, and showed the way! Compare that with the pathetic attempt of some Egyptian sympathisers a couple of months ago who attempted to organize a convoy with some supplies to enter Gaza through Rafah. After a lot of fanfare and publicity, the Pharaoh's "security" put a stop to that attempt. Many of the cars and buses were not even allowed to leave Cairo! The organizers meekly complied and acquiesced!

As to the rest of the Arabs, they appear not to give a damn. For them 1.5 million starving Palestinians do not live in Gaza, they are on another planet. Their primary concern is how the bourses in Riyadh, Dubai, Kuwait, etc are doing.

So what is to be done now? Admittedly, it is harder to topple the ghetto wall now than the first time; the element of surprise is gone. This point was of strategic significance and the ineptness and naivete of Hamas squandered the opportunity. Since surprise can't be accomplished this time around, the opposite strategy should be followed. Have a massive effort to organize hundreds of thousands, on a pre-announced date, to storm the wall at Rafah and topple it by force. Yes, there will be deaths, but hundreds have already died and more will die "calmly". Why not die in a dignified way and also force the the entire world, not just to take note, but to accept the reality that the Palestinians are not going to take it any longer! This world has no conscience left, so all the pleading and begging will be to no avail.

A part of this massive campaign should be a grassroots effort on the Egyptian side to mobilize massive support for the breakout and to neutralize the anticipated repression by the Pharaoh's troops. Massive media effort is needed to focus the attention on this breakout.

Hamas, in the past, threatened to storm the crossings into Israel. That is not the right strategy; the focus should be Rafah to highlight the role of the Pharaoh and to simultaneously mobilize Egyptian popular support. Last January, the Pharaoh was facing a wave of discontent in Egypt, which could have been used to mobilize support for the breakout, but that did not happen. There is still huge amount of discontent with the regime in Egypt, which should be built upon. Alas, the strongest opposition to the Pharaoh comes from the Muslim Brotherhood which is not a revolutionary movement, but relies on "elections" to reach power; precisely the same route Hamas took.

Do it soon; there is no other way. The lives of hundreds of thousands are in the balance.

Bloodied in Gaza

(Cartoon by Simon Farr)
Silently, the world watches. And silently, governments plotted: how shall we make the clouds rain death on to Gaza?

Laila El-Haddad, Tuesday 30 December 2008

""There is a complete blackout in Gaza now. The streets are as still as death."

I am speaking to my father, Moussa el-Haddad, a retired physician who lives in Gaza City, on Skype, from Durham, North Carolina in the United States, where I have been since mid 2006 – the month Gaza's borders were hermetically sealed by Israel, and the blockade of the occupied territory further enforced......

My father takes a deep restorative sigh, before continuing. "Ehud Barak has gone crazy. He's gone crazy. He is bombing everywhere and everything … no one is safe.".....

The rains of death continue to fall in Gaza. And silently, the world watches. And silently, governments plotted: how shall we make the thunder and clouds rain death on to Gaza?.....

My friend Safah Joudeh is also in Gaza city. She is a 27-year-old freelance journalist.

"At this point we don't feel that it is Hamas being targeted, it's the entire population of Gaza," she says. "The strikes have been and I need to stress this, indiscriminate. They claim that the targets have been buildings and people that are Hamas-affiliated, but the employees in these buildings are public sector employees, not political activists … other targets include homes, mosques, the university, port, fishing boats, the fish market."

No one has left their home since Saturday, she says.

"The streets were full of people the first day of the attacks, naturally. They were unexpected and came at a time when people were going about their daily business. The streets have been completely empty the past two days. People have closed up shop and trying to stay close to their families and loved ones. Many homes are without bread, the bakeries stopped working two days before the attack because of lack of fuel and flour."......"

Shortages put hospitals on the brink of collapse

Three operations-a-time in overstretched theatres
• Call for Israel to let in most serious cases for treatment

Rory McCarthy in Jerusalem, Hazem Balousha in Gaza City
The Guardian, Wednesday 31 December 2008

"Emergency medical supplies were being flown to the Middle East yesterday to help Gaza's overstretched hospitals, where doctors say they are still struggling to cope with hundreds of injured patients.

Doctors at the Shifa hospital, a 585-bed complex which is the largest in Gaza, said they had treated patients on the floor and conducted operations with as many as three different patients and a dozen doctors crowded into each operating theatre.

All 25 intensive care beds were full, said Dr Hussain Ashaur, the hospital director, and there were still another 87 patients in a critical condition waiting to enter intensive care.

He said there were severe shortages of medical supplies, including gauze, sterilisation fluids and anaesthetics. In total 135 types of medical supplies were needed and 94 separate medicines. Sheets and cloth for intensive care beds were in such short supply that they were being washed three times a day.....

Oxfam called for an immediate ceasefire to allow in sufficient humanitarian supplies. "What is needed is an immediate ceasefire to end the terrible levels of human suffering in Gaza," said Jeremy Hobbs, director of Oxfam International."

Mr. Mubarak, Tear Down That Wall!

(Cartoon by Carlos Latuff)

By Franklin Lamb in Beirut

".......To his great credit, Professor Richard Falk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories and professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University, has joined HOKOK's call for the International Criminal Court to investigate Israeli violations and determine whether the Israeli leaders responsible for the Gaza siege should be indicted and prosecuted for violations of international criminal law.

The Case against Mohammad Hosni Mubarak

Mubarak knew that Gazans would need a safety valve, an escape route from the coming carnage, which according to the Washington-based Council for the National Interest (CNI), appears to be another Sharpeville Massacre. CNI points out that "Nearly fifty years ago, the South African regime attacked a crowd protesting the conditions in the Bantustan of Sharpeville and in a matter of minutes killed some 69 black South Africans. Eventually, after world reaction to this "incident," sanctions were imposed and they led to the end of apartheid in South Africa. Using American weapons, Israel has just indiscriminately killed more than four times that number in Gaza. In 1960 there were 20 million black South Africans and today there are only one and a half million Palestinians in Gaza. So the first two days of the American-supported Israeli attempt to wipe out Hamas is sixty times as criminal as the Sharpeville massacre.

Mubarak's actions make him complicit in International Crimes outlawed by Article 2 of the Convention on Genocide by assisting in the killing members of a specific ethnic group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.

By sealing its border with Gaza and forcing back many Palestinians at gunpoint who were trying to escape the slaughter, Mubarak violates basic Islamic, Christian and Judaic morality that requires that he open the cork of the bottle and let these men, women and children live. So does international law. Otherwise he is actively responsible and complicit in Israel's project of creating a situation where Palestinians, in Rafael Eitan's infamous phrase, "will only be able to scurry around like drugged roaches in a bottle."

By denying the possibility of a broad range of necessities – food, cooking or heating oil, water, electricity, shelter, medicines, for a population unable to be self-sufficient at the end of decades of occupation, and locking them inside Gaza in a blazing holocaust, amidst millions of gallons of untreated sewage is criminal conduct: Moubarak is complicit.

Oh mightiest Pharaoh, Let my People go!
By forcing Palestinians from Gaza back into killing fields and subjecting them to massive collective punishment, Mubarak is in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law as laid down in Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention........."

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

The question is:

Do you support the idea that Hamas should go back to the previous agreement for "calm" in Gaza?

With almost 25,000 responding so far, 83% said no.

Arab Foreign Ministers Finally Meet.....
They Need to Give the IOF More Time.....
To Kill More Palestinians!
Way to Go Arab Puppets; Every Single One of You!

Hamas: Abbas plans to relay information on Hamas's leaders location to IOF

"GAZA, (PIC)-- Hamas has charged that PA chief Mahmoud Abbas was forming an emergency cell with the purpose of finding out the location of Hamas leaders in Gaza and relaying the information to the Israeli occupation forces.

Fawzi Barhoum, the Movement's spokesman, said in a statement on Tuesday that Abbas's call on all Palestinian factions for talks at this particular time was "too late" and was only distracting the attention away from IOF crimes in the Strip.

He said that in view of such a call, which attempts to prove Abbas's patriotism, Hamas is forced to reveal a number of issues topped by the formation of this emergency cell.

He explained that members of the cell are asked to contact Fatah elements in Gaza to collect whatever information is available on Hamas's secret locations and places of leaders then sending the information to the IOF through security coordination.

Barhoum further disclosed that a number of retired Fatah officers sent a message to Abbas asking permission to share in defending Gaza but Abbas ignored the faxed message and did not respond to it.

The spokesman stressed that the Palestinian people that paid a lot for its steadfastness would never think of capitulation because it would liquidate its cause and surrender rights and constants.

"War was imposed on us and we did not choose it, thus we have a right to defend our people," he elaborated."

اسرائيل تعترف بفشلها

اسرائيل تعترف بفشلها
عبد الباري عطوان

"ان تجتمع الحكومة الاسرائيلية لمناقشة المبادرة الاوروبية بوقف لاطلاق النار لمدة اربع وعشرين ساعة، ناهيك عن القبول بها، فهذا يعني اقرارا بعدم القدرة على تحقيق الاهداف المعلنة من العدوان الحالي على قطاع غزة، مثلما جاء على ألسنة كل من ايهود باراك وزير الدفاع وتسيبي ليفني وزيرة الخارجية، وابرزها القضاء على المقاومة، وتغيير الاوضاع بشكل نهائي في قطاع غزة، وهو نفس ما حدث في حرب تموز ضد لبنان.
الاتحاد الاوروبي لم يتحرك لانقاذ الفلسطينيين، وانما لانقاذ نفسه، وأمنه، ومصالحه، ثم بعد ذلك انقاذ اسرائيل نفسها من نفسها، بعد ان ادرك قادته ان نتائج كارثية ستترتب على هذا العدوان على المديين القريب والبعيد،
الغارات الجوية الاسرائيلية لم ترعب فصائل المقاومة، ولم تدفعها لرفع الرايات البيضاء استسلاما، بل زادتها قوة وصلابة، فاطلاق الصواريخ لم يتوقف مطلقا، وزاد خطره عندما وصلت هذه الصواريخ الى بئر السبع وأسدود، وبدأت توقع ضحايا من القتلى والجرحى في صفوف الاسرائيليين.
جميع هذه الاطراف، من اوروبية وامريكية وعربية لا تقيم اي اتصالات مع حركة 'حماس' باعتبارها حركة ' ارهابية'، الآن اصبحوا يطلبون وسطاء للتفاوض معها على وقف اطلاق النار، الا تدل هذه الحقيقة على تغير المعادلات السياسية بفضل الصمود على الأرض، والاصرار على المقاومة؟
الهدنة في حال اقرارها، يجب ان تعني فتح المعابر بما فيها رفح وتدفق المساعدات الانسانية، ورفع الحصار الظالم، ودفن الشهداء، وعلاج الجرحى، ولذلك تبدو مطلوبة، لالتقاط الأنفاس، والانطلاق نحو التفاوض من أجل تحسين شروط أي تهدئة جديدة، تجبّ كل ما قبلها من وسطاء وبنود ظالمة مجحفة جاءت نتيجة تواطؤ ذوي القربى، وخداعهم الواضح والمتعمد للطرف الفلسطيني ولمصلحة الطرف الاسرائيلي.
أولا: استمرار حكومة 'حماس' وفصائل المقاومة الأخرى في قطاع غزة هو هزيمة للمشروع الاسرائيلي العربي الرامي إلى انهاء ظاهرة المقاومة.
ثانيا: سلطة رام الله هي الخاسر الأكبر بكل المقاييس، فقد ظهرت بمظهر المتواطئ مع العدوان، وتعاملت مع أهل الضفة الغربية كسلطة قمعية، عندما التقت مع الحكومة الاسرائيلية على هدف منع المظاهرات تضامناً مع اشقائهم في قطاع غزة. والأهم من ذلك ان هذه السلطة كانت مهمشة عربياً ودولياً، لا أحد يتصل بها، ودون أن يكون لها أي دور فاعل في الحرب أو التهدئة.
ثالثاً: تعرضت الحكومة المصرية إلى أكبر صفعتين في تاريخها الأولى من شعب مصر الوطني الشريف الذي تعاطف بملايينه مع اشقائه في قطاع غزة وخرج بالآلاف في مظاهرات غضب عارمة، والثانية من الشعوب العربية التي فضحت التواطؤ الرسمي المصري مع العدوان الاسرائيلي، عندما تدفقت في مسيرات احتجاج إلى سفارات النظام المصري في عواصمها.
رابعا: خسر 'عرب الاعتدال' ما تبقى لديهم من مصداقية، عندما تلكأوا في عقد قمة طارئة لبحث الأوضاع في قطاع غزة، لاعطاء القوات الاسرائيلية المزيد من الوقت على أمل ان تنجز مهمتها، وتحقق آمالهم في 'سحق' ظاهرة المقاومة الشريفة، تماماً مثلما فعلوا أثناء الاجتياح الاسرائيلي لجنوب لبنان.
ما نريد قوله هنا، انه سواء نجحت جهود الوساطة في وقف اطلاق النار أو تعثرت، فان الأيام الأربعة الماضية أكدت ان المنطقة العربية تغيرت، وشهدت 'صحوة' غير مسبوقة، حيث تحدت الشعوب سجانيها، ورفعت صوتها عالياً ضد مشاريعهم الاستسلامية، وخطواتهم المتسارعة نحو تحويل اسرائيل إلى صديق يمكن التعويل عليه للعب دور الشرطي، أو 'الفتوة' في مواجهة العدو الجديد ايران.

Hamas Gains Its 1st Diplomatic Victory in Gaza Op.


"31/12/2008 -Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip enters its fifth day. The announced goal is to stop Hamas’ rockets and change its regime in the Strip.

-Over 390 Palestinian Martyrs, including 45 Children and more than 1900 injured.

-Over 400 rockets were fired by the resistance factions into the occupied territories.

- Egypt is under Arab pressure for refusing to open Rafah crossing that links Gaza with the outside world.

Hamas resistance movement was supposed to stop launching rockets on the occupied territories, however, over 150 rockets was fired into the Israeli settlements only on Tuesday, which means that the Israeli military operation has failed to achieve its announced goal till now. Yet Cairo was under criticism for its closure of the Rafah crossing in which, people accuse of collaborating with the Zionist entity against Gaza.

Israeli daily Haaretz said Wednesday that the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak could not keep silent any longer about the attack on Egypt in the press. His decision to explicitly state Egypt's position that the West Bank and Gaza are part of the same country, and that the Rafah crossing will open only under the conditions of the 2005 agreement (to which Egypt is not a signatory), is part of the public diplomacy Mubarak has been dragged into against his will.

Mubarak would have preferred for Hamas to appeal to him directly for a cease-fire, which Egypt would negotiate with the Zionist entity. But according to Haaretz, Hamas, like Hezbollah, chose a different and probably more effective path. Hamas, by enlisting public opinion through the Arab media, holding street demonstrations and creating public pressure, may very well achieve a cease-fire without being forced to ask for it.

The Israeli daily continued, “Hamas has experience in winning public support, as it learned last January when it broke through the border fence with Egypt. Egypt was forced to give in to public pressure and let the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians cross the border and buy goods on the Egyptian side.”

The knowledge that Arab public opinion, as opposed to the Arab regimes that speak with several different voices, may influence policy is new.

Hamas can rack up its first victory for its methods as several European countries are already talking about a "humanitarian" cease-fire, and Egypt has been fixed in the public eye as a collaborator with Israel. This will make it hard for Egypt to act as a mediator between Hamas and Israel, and the war in Gaza will require international involvement and certainly active Syrian involvement to end the hostilities.

The Israeli daily added, “In that way Gaza goes from being a local dispute between Israel and Hamas to the status of half a state with the same status as Israel, so hopes Hamas. Such a step could never have come off through regular diplomatic channels, where Hamas would have appealed to Egypt or some other mediator, but only by enlisting the masses in the region and by bypassing the Palestinian Authority, which is not functioning during this crisis.”......."

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Kucinich criticizes Israel; wants U.N. probe

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) is calling for a United Nations investigation into Israel’s attacks on Gaza, criticizing Israel for a disproportionate response to Hamas rocket attacks.

The criticism stands in stark contrast to the statements of other Democrats, who have offered near-unanimous support for Israel amid the latest violence in the Middle East.

Kucinich likened the Israeli attacks on Gaza to its war with Hezbollah in southern Lebanon in 2006. In both cases, he said, civilian populations were attacked and “countless innocents” were killed or injured.

“All this was, and is, disproportionate, indiscriminate mass violence in violation of international law,” Kucinich said in a statement. “Israel is not exempt from international law and must be held accountable.”

Gaza Massacre, by Carlos Latuff

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)

A Representative in the Kuwaiti Parliament is Saluting Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen)

خطبة الامين العام السيد حسن نصر الله تضامنا مع غزة 29-12-2008

Highly recommended, 36-minute video; worth every minute of your time!

Israel's War Crimes

by Richard Falk
(Richard Falk is professor of international law at Princeton University and the UN's special rapporteur on the Palestinian territories)

Those violations include:

Collective punishment: The entire 1.5 million people who live in the crowded Gaza Strip are being punished for the actions of a few militants.

Targeting civilians: The airstrikes were aimed at civilian areas in one of the most crowded stretches of land in the world, certainly the most densely populated area of the Middle East.

Disproportionate military response: The airstrikes have not only destroyed every police and security office of Gaza's elected government, but have killed and injured hundreds of civilians; at least one strike reportedly hit groups of students attempting to find transportation home from the university.

Earlier Israeli actions, specifically the complete sealing off of entry and exit to and from the Gaza Strip, have led to severe shortages of medicine and fuel (as well as food), resulting in the inability of ambulances to respond to the injured, the inability of hospitals to adequately provide medicine or necessary equipment for the injured, and the inability of Gaza's besieged doctors and other medical workers to sufficiently treat the victims......."

Foreign journalists demand Gaza access

Israeli supreme court to hear petition protesting against block on reporters seeking to cover conflict

Rory McCarthy in Jerusalem, Tuesday 30 December 2008

"Israel's supreme court will hear a petition tomorrow brought by the Foreign Press Association, which represents around 400 foreign journalists, demanding that Israel allow reporters into Gaza to cover the latest conflict.

The sole pedestrian crossing from Israel into Gaza, at Erez, has remained closed to journalists since Israel's bombing campaign began on Saturday.

Two years ago, after Hamas won the Palestinian elections, Israeli authorities stopped all Israeli journalists and Palestinian journalists with Israeli identity cards crossing into Gaza, saying it was too dangerous.....

Egypt has largely kept its one crossing into Gaza, at Rafah, closed except for in rare medical emergencies, and it too does not allow journalists to cross. The only reporters in Gaza now are Palestinians who live there and work for news agencies or for Palestinian and Arab satellite channels, including al-Jazeera......"

May We No Longer Be Silent

America's Crimes "Never Happened"


"The title of my article comes from the sermon of the Episcopal Bishop of Washington DC, John Bryson Chane, delivered on October 5, 2008, at St. Columba Church. The bishop’s eyes were opened to Israel’s persecution of Palestinians by his recent trip to Palestine. In his sermon he called on “politicians seeking the highest office in [our] land” to find the courage to “speak out and condemn violations of human rights and religious freedom denied to Palestinian Christians and Muslims” by the state of Israel.

Bishop Chane’s courage was to no avail. When America’s new leader of “change” was informed of Israel’s massive air attack on the Gaza Ghetto, an area of 139 square miles where Israel confines 1.4 million Arabs and tightly controls the inflow of all resources--food, medicine, water, energy--America’s president-elect Obama had “no comment.”......."

Israel's Wanton Aggression On Gaza

Stephen Lendman

"It's not the first time and won't be the last. On December 27, AP reported that:

"Israeli aircraft struck Hamas security compounds across Gaza on Saturday in unprecedented waves of simultaneous attacks, and Hamas and medics reported dozens of people were killed."......."
From Palestine Think Tank

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From Dachau to Gaza

by Prof. Francis A. Boyle
Global Research, December 30, 2008

"During the summer of 1982 I had the opportunity to visit the Nazi concentration camp just outside Dachau , Germany and then the little town itself. Given the proximity of the town to the camp, my immediate reaction was: “This town is so close to the camp that the citizens of Dachau must have known what was going on out there. Why did they not do anything about it?” I had the exact same reaction during the last two weeks of May 1986 as I traveled up and down the West Bank and Gaza Strip in order to investigate Israel ’s atrocities and war crimes against the Palestinians.....

After forty years of an incredibly brutal and inhumane military occupation, the only really effective manner for all states party to the Geneva Conventions to ensure respect for the terms of the Fourth Convention in these occupied Palestinian territories would be to compel all Israeli military forces and colonial settlers to withdraw immediately and by all means possible from the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. In 1999 President Clinton ordered Indonesia out of East Timor that it had illegally invaded and annexed as far back as 1975 with the approval of the Ford/Kissinger administration. Some future American President must likewise order Israel out of Palestine .

It was toward obtaining that end that I had originally called for the establishment of an Israeli divestment/disinvestment campaign in November of 2000. Free Palestine!"

Israeli electioneering with bombs

Livni and Barak pin their hopes on Gaza rampage

by Jonathan Cook
Global Research, December 30, 2008

"Of the three politicians who announced the military assault on Gaza to the world on Saturday, perhaps only the outgoing prime minister Ehud Olmert has little to lose -- or gain -- from its outcome.

Flanking the Israeli prime minister were two of the main contenders for his job: Tzipi Livni, the foreign minister and the new leader of Mr Olmert’s centrist party, Kadima, and Ehud Barak, the defence minister and leader of the left-wing Labor Party.

The attack on Gaza may make or break this pair’s political fortunes as they jostle for position against Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing party, Likud, before a general election little more than a month away.

Until now Ms Livni and Mr Barak have been facing the imminent demise of their ruling coalition as Mr Netanyahu and the far Right have surged in the polls and looked set to form the next government......."

Party to Murder

By Chris Hedges

"Can anyone who is following the Israeli air attacks on Gaza—the buildings blown to rubble, the children killed on their way to school, the long rows of mutilated corpses, the wailing mothers and wives, the crowds of terrified Palestinians not knowing where to flee, and our callous indifference to this widespread human sufferingwonder why we are hated?......"

عباس يأمر بتشكيل "غرفة طوارئ" تحضر لملء "الفراغ" أملاً بانهيار سلطة "حماس" بغزة

تنسيق بين "السلطة" ومصر والاحتلال لما بعد العدوان

"رام الله - المركز الفلسطيني للإعلام

كشف تقرير سري النقاب عن تحركات يقوم بها رئيس السلطة محمود عباس، وبالتنسيق مع الاحتلال الصهيوني والسلطات المصرية، لـ "ملء الفراغ السياسي في غزة" الذي يتوقعه عباس عقب العملية الحربية والتي تهدف لإنهاء حُكم "حماس"، بحسب ما يعلنه قادة الصهاينة.

وقال التقرير، الذي وصل "المركز الفلسطيني للإعلام"، إن رئيس السلطة محمود عباس اتصل من مصر قبل سفره إلى السعودية، يوم الأحد الماضي (28/12)، بمسؤولي السلطة برام الله وطلب منهم تشكيل "غرفة طوارئ" استعداداً لما أسماه "انهيار سلطة حماس بغزة".

وبحسب ما جاء في التقرير؛ فإن "غرفة الطوارئ" لسلطة رام الله تضم "وزير" الداخلية وقادة الأجهزة الأمنية في "حكومة" فياض "لملاحقة التطورات ومواجهة احتمال انهيار سلطة حماس في قطاع غزة، وما يستدعيه ذلك من استعداد لملء الفراغ الذي سينشأ عند انهيار سلطة حماس"، وذلك بدعم من قبل الكيان الصهيوني الذي أعلنت وزيرة خارجيته أنها ستواصل دعم سلطة عباس والعمل على إعادتها إلى غزة.

Abbas orders formation of emergency room to rule Gaza after toppling Hamas

"GAZA, (PIC)-- PA chief Mahmoud Abbas has ordered his officials in Ramallah a day after the Israeli massive air strike on Gaza Strip to form an emergency room grouping the interior minister and security commanders to be ready for taking over control of Gaza affairs when Hamas is toppled, a secret report obtained by the PIC revealed.

It added that Abbas, who was in Cairo and was on his way to Saudi Arabia, said that he would coordinate his stands with the Egyptian regime to confront any changes in Gaza following the IOF military operation.

The report pointed out that Abbas is expected back in Cairo for this matter.....

Masri: Abbas knew date of the attack

Hamas MP Mushir Al-Masri charged that Abbas had prior knowledge of the Israeli military strike and its exact date. He added in a press release that the information was not a secret, and noted that Abbas left the Palestinian lands for Saudi Arabia shortly before start of the Israeli attack and he is known for leaving the Palestinian lands whenever big events take place......."

363 Martyrs, 1,700 Injured as Arab Moderates Hibernate


"30/12/2008 Israel’s genocidal war on the Palestinian people in Gaza has entered its fourth day. More martyrs, more injured, more destruction, more Arab and international silence and more Palestinian steadfastness.

The number of Palestinian martyrs has risen in the last few hours to more than 363 people while the number of injured Palestinians has reached 1,700. Being injured in Gaza, even lightly, might mean certain death so just imagining the number of critical cases especially children suggests that the death toll could rise dramatically........"

Why would Israel bomb a university?

Dr. Akram Habeeb writing from the occupied Gaza Strip, Live from Palestine, 29 December 2008

"As a Fulbright scholar and professor of American literature at the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG), I have always preferred to keep silent about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I always felt that it was my mission to preach love and peaceful coexistence. However, Israel's massive offensive against the Gaza Strip has spurred me to speak out.

Last night, during the second night of Israel's unprecedented attack on Gaza, I was awakened by the deafening sound of intensive bombardment. When I learned that Israel had bombed my university with American-made F-16s, I realized that its "target bank" had gone bankrupt. Of course Israeli politicians and generals would claim that IUG is a Hamas stronghold and that it preaches terrorism.

As an independent professor, not affiliated with any political party, I can say that IUG is an academic institution which embraces a wide spectrum of political affinities....."

Israeli Navy attacks and wounds Dignity in International Waters

The Free Gaza Movement

"FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Date : 12-30-2008

Larnaca, Cyprus, 10:00 am) On Tuesday, December 30, at 5 a.m., several Israeli gunboats intercepted the Dignity as she was heading on a mission of mercy to Gaza. One gunboat rammed into the boat on the port bow side, heavily damaging her. The reports from the passengers and journalists on board is that she is taking on water and appears to have engine problems. When attacked, the Dignity was clearly in international waters, 90 miles off the coast of Gaza.

The gunboats also fired their machine guns into the water in an attempt to stop the mercy ship from getting to Gaza.

As the boat limps toward Lebanon, passengers have been in contact with the Lebanese government who have said the captain has permission to dock and are willing lend assistance if needed. Cyprus sea rescue has also been in touch, and has offered assistance as well. The Dignity clearly flies the flag of Gibraltar, is piloted by an English captain and has a passenger manifest that includes Representative Cynthia McKinney from the U.S. The attack was filmed by the journalists, and the crew and passengers will report on Israel's crime at sea once they arrive in Lebanon........"

Security Council Mildly Rebukes Israel’s Gaza Attacks

Analysis by Thalif Deen

"UNITED NATIONS, Dec 29 (IPS) - After an emergency closed-door session Sunday night, the 15-member Security Council issued a politically bland statement expressing "serious concern" over the devastating Israeli air strikes on Gaza and calling for an "immediate halt to all violence."
The statement was predictable because the United States, a traditionally loyal Israeli ally, would never agree to anything smacking of a "censure" or "condemnation" of Israel -- even as the death toll rose to more than 300 Palestinians, mostly civilians. A single Israeli was killed during the three-day attacks.

Phyllis Bennis, director of the New Internationalism Project at the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies, points out that the Security Council "reflected the strategic goals and alliances of the most powerful veto- wielding countries, particularly that of the United States." "But other elected members of the Council, including sometimes principled non-aligned governments in South Africa, Indonesia, Libya and elsewhere, surrendered to U.S. pressure," Bennis told IPS.

Besides the five veto-wielding permanent members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the U.S. -- the non-permanent members also include Belgium, Burkina Faso, Costa Rica, Croatia, Italy, Panama and Vietnam.

"Clearly the Security Council has abdicated its responsibility; its statement rejected any acknowledgement of Israeli violations of international law, let alone anything to hold Israel accountable for those violations," said Bennis, author of several publications, including ‘Calling the Shots: How Washington Dominates Today’s UN.’

At the time of going to press, there were no further scheduled meetings of the Security Council even though Israel continued air strikes, with a possible ground attack in the works........"

Gaza and the World: Will Things Ever Change?

By Ramzy Baroud
Palestine Chronicle

".....A doctor from a Khan Yunis clinic in Gaza told me on the phone, “scores of the wounded are clinically dead. Others are so badly disfigured; I felt that death is of greater mercy for them than living. We had no more room at the Qarara Clinic. Body parts cluttered the hallways. People screamed in endless agony and we had not enough medicine or pain killers. So we had to choose which ones to treat and which not to. In that moment I genuinely wished I was killed in the Israeli strikes myself, but I kept running trying to do something, anything.”

Until Arab countries and nations translate their chants and condemnations into a practical and meaningful political action that can bring an end to the Israeli onslaughts against Palestinians, all that is likely to change are the numbers of dead and wounded. But still, one has to wonder if Israel kills a thousand more, ten thousand, or half of Gaza, will the US still blame Palestinians? Will Egypt open its Gaza border? Will Europe express the same “deep concern”? Will the Arabs issue the same redundant statements? Will things ever change? Ever? "

Pirates of The Eastern Mediterranean at it Again: Israeli vessel hits Gaza-bound boat


"An Israeli naval vessel has hit a small boat carrying activists trying to break the blockade of the Gaza Strip. The Dignity was reportedly taking on water as it limped towards Lebanon on Tuesday.

The Free Gaza Movement, which organised the attempt to reach the territory with more than three tonnes of medical aid, said their boat was "rammed" and shots were fired. The group said the Dignity was in international waters about 115km off the coast of Gaza when the incident occurred late on Monday.......


Elize Ernshire, one of the activists onboard the boat, told Al Jazeera by telephone that the boat was rammed twice from the front and then once from the side. "It has destroyed the front of the boat and the roof ... and has left the cabin, the wheelhouse quite destroyed," she said.

"We are heading towards Lebanon as the boat is not in a fit state to return to Larnaca [Cyprus] and we were threatened directly by the Israeli navy that if we continued on our course towards Gaza they would attack us again."....."

Why bombing Ashkelon is the most tragic irony

By Robert Fisk

"How easy it is to snap off the history of the Palestinians, to delete the narrative of their tragedy, to avoid a grotesque irony about Gaza which – in any other conflict – journalists would be writing about in their first reports: that the original, legal owners of the Israeli land on which Hamas rockets are detonating live in Gaza.

That is why Gaza exists: because the Palestinians who lived in Ashkelon and the fields around it – Askalaan in Arabic – were dispossessed from their lands in 1948 when Israel was created and ended up on the beaches of Gaza. They – or their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren – are among the one and a half million Palestinian refugees crammed into the cesspool of Gaza, 80 per cent of whose families once lived in what is now Israel. This, historically, is the real story: most of the people of Gaza don't come from Gaza......"

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)
By Dave Brown, The Independent

Five sisters killed in Gaza while they slept

Israel's target was the mosque next door. But the rocket attack claimed the lives of innocent children

By Donald Macintyre and Said Ghazali
Tuesday, 30 December 2008

"The five Palestinian sisters were fast asleep when a night-time Israeli airstrike hit the next-door mosque in Gaza. One of the walls collapsed on to their small asbestos-roofed home and they were all killed in their beds. The eldest sister, Tahrir, was 17 years old, the youngest, Jawaher, just four.

"They grow up day after day and night after night. Within a second, I have lost them," the girls' father, Anwar Balousha, said yesterday. The 37-year-old, along with another three of his children, was himself injured in the attack on the densely populated Jabalya refugee camp...."

From the ashes of Gaza

In the face of Israel's latest onslaught, the only option for Palestinian nationalism is to embrace a one-state solution

Tariq Ali, Tuesday 30 December 2008

"The assault on Gaza, planned over six months and executed with perfect timing, was designed largely, as Neve Gordon has rightly observed, to help the incumbent parties triumph in the forthcoming Israeli elections. The dead Palestinians are little more than election fodder in a cynical contest between the right and the far right in Israel. Washington and its EU allies, perfectly aware that Gaza was about to be assaulted, as in the case of Lebanon in 2006, sit back and watch.......

"Nobody can reject or condemn the revolt of a people that has been suffering under military occupation for 45 years against occupation force," said General Shlomo Gazit, former chief of Israeli military intelligence, in 1993. The real grievance of the EU and US against Hamas is that it refused to accept the capitulation of the Oslo Accords, and has rejected every subsequent effort, from Taba to Geneva, to pass off their calamities on the Palestinians. The west's priority ever since was to break this resistance. Cutting off funding to the Palestinian Authority is an obvious weapon with which to bludgeon Hamas into submission. Boosting the presidential powers of Abbas – as publicly picked for his post by Washington, as was Karzai in Kabul – at the expense of the legislative council is another......"

Israel's onslaught on Gaza is a crime that cannot succeed

The US-backed attempt to bring Hamas to heel by overwhelming force is in fact more likely to boost the movement's appeal

Seumas Milne
The Guardian, Tuesday 30 December 2008

".....The truth is that Israel and its western sponsors have set their face against an accommodation with the Palestinians' democratic choice and have instead thrown their political weight, cash and arms behind a sustained attempt to overthrow it.

The complete failure of that approach has brought us to this week's horrific pass. Israeli leaders believe they can bomb Hamas into submission with a "decisive blow" that will establish a "new security environment" - and boost their electoral fortunes in the process before Barack Obama comes to office.

But as with Israel's disastrous assault on Lebanon two years ago - or its earlier siege of Yasser Arafat's PLO in Beirut in 1982 - it is a strategy that cannot succeed. Even more than Hezbollah, Hamas's appeal among Palestinians and beyond doesn't derive from its puny infrastructure, or even its Islamist ideology, but its spirit of resistance to decades of injustice. So long as it remains standing in the face of this onslaught, its influence will only be strengthened. And if it is not with rockets, its retaliation is bound to take other forms, as Hamas's leader Khalid Mish'al made clear at the weekend.

Meanwhile, the US and Israeli-backed Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has been further diminished by being seen as having colluded in the Israeli assault on his own people - as has the already rock-bottom credibility of the Egyptian regime. What is now taking place in the Palestinian territories is a futile crime in which the US and its allies are deeply complicit - and unless Obama is prepared to change course, it is likely to have bitter consequences that will touch us all."