Archive for the ‘Palestine-Israel’ Category

Will Israel go unpunished if it is proven that Netanyahu authorized a team of Mossad assassins to murder Mahmoud al-Mabhouh?

March 1, 2010

  

MAHMOUD ABDEL RAUF AL-MABHOUH  

(FEBRUARY 14, 1960 – JANUARY 19, 2010) 

“It is 99 percent, if not 100 percent, that Mossad is standing behind the murder,” said Lt. Gen. Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Duabi’s police chief. 

Tamim was discussing the assassination of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh on January 19, 2010 at the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel in Dubai.  

It was reported by Uzi Mahnaimi of The Sunday Times that in early January the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, authorized the assassination at a meeting with Meir Dagan, the head of Mossad, at a briefing room in Tel Aviv.  

Netanyahu . . . was greeted by Meir Dagan, the 64-year-old head of [Mossad]. . . . According to sources with knowledge of Mossad, inside the briefing room were some members of a hit squad.  As the man who gives final authorisation for such operations, Netanyahu was briefed on plans to kill Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a member of Hamas, the militant Islamic group that controls Gaza. . . The mission was not regarded as unduly complicated or risky, and Netanyahu gave his authorisation, in effect, signing Mabhouh’s death warrant.  

“Like Tzipi Livni, Ehud Barak, Ehud Olmert, and Shaul Mofaz, Netanyahu should expect to face an arrest warrant for condoning identity theft and ordering murder once he lands in Europe,” wrote Gilad Atzman, a former member of the Israeli military now living in London. 

The assassination is accomplished 

Al-Mabhouh took a flight about 9 a.m. January 19 from Damascus to Dubai.  He arrived about 2:30 p.m. and checked into his hotel room about 3 p.m. on January 19.  He left his room about one hour after he checked in.  He returned to his room about 8:25 p.m.  The next morning, he was found dead in his room. 

“After Mabhouh’s body was discovered the next morning, January 20, it was taken for examination,” reported Avi Issacharoff in Haaretz.  “Burns from a stun gun were found under his ear, in his groin and on his chest.  Pathologists discovered his nose bled before death; blood was found on a pillow they believe was placed over his nose and mouth to suffocate him.” 

“Dubai police now say up to 18 suspects used altered British, Irish, French and German passports before the killing,” it was reported by Ian Black, Middle East editor of Guardian. 

The execution and escape was summarized by Sumayyah Meehan, Middle East correspondent for Muslim Media Network: 

[A]uthorities believe that the team [of assassins] entered the country around the same time that Al-Mabhuh did and followed him straight to his hotel room.  Once there, hotel video cameras corroborate the intricate plot of the assassins, which included several hotel rooms, disguises and the tools necessary to deprive Al-Mabhuh of his life.  According to Tamim, at least 4 of the assassins broke into Al-Mabhuh’s hotel room while he was out.  They waited for him to come back and then took less than 10 minutes to kill him.  Once the deed was done, the assassins executed an almost perfect escape plan, exiting Dubai on separate commercial airplanes in under 20 hours. 

Drugged before being suffocated 

On February 28, Dubai police issued a statement that Al-Mabhouh was sedated with the drug succinycholine before he was suffocated. 

“The assassins used this method so that it would seem that his death was natural,” according to the statement by Major Gen. Khamis Mattar al-Mazeina, the deputy commander of Dubai police.  “There were no signs of resistance shown by the victim.” 

Dubai police released security video which showed Mr. al-Mabhouh arriving at the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel and members of the assassination team before and after the murder. See video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzzzTtpo8AY&NR=1

Dubai police chief calls for Mossad to confess  

“Dagan, the boss [of Mossad], should admit the crime . . or present a categorical denial,” said Lt. Gen. Tamim, according to a report in Emarat Al-Youm.  “But [Dagan’s] current attitude shows he is afraid.  Let him be a man, and tell the truth.” 

“Israel never responds, never  confirms and never denies,” Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said.  “I don’t know why we are assuming that Israel, or the Mossad, used those passports.” 

“Israel’s spy service has been  suspected of carrying out assassinations for decades,” reported Steven Gutkin of Associated Press.  “Recent ones include Imad Mughniyeh, a top Hezbollah commander who was killed in 2008 by a bomb . . . in Damascus, Syria.” 

Evidence linking Mossad said to be “overwhelming” 

James Petras, Ph.D., a retired professor from Binghamton University, summarized Israel’s probable involvement in the murder: 

The evidence is overwhelming: The Dubai police presentation of detailed security videos of the assassins was corroborated by the testimony of Israeli security experts and applauded by Israel’s leading newspapers and columnists.  The Mossad openly stated that Mabhouh was a high priority target who had survived three previous assassination attempts.  Israel did not even bother to deny the murder.  Furthermore, the sophisticated communication system used by the killers, the logistics and planning surrounding their entry and exit form Dubai and the scope and scale of the operation have all the characteristics of a high-level state operation.  Furthermore, only Mossad would have access to the European passports of its dual citizens!  Only Mossad would have the capacity, motivation, stated intent and willingness to provoke a diplomatic row with its European allies, knowing full well that Western European governments’ anger would blow over because of their deep links to Israel.  After meticulous investigation and the interrogation of 2 captured Palestinian Mossad collaborators, the Dubai police chief has stated he is sure the Mossad was behind the killing. 

Professor Petras commented on the lawlessness of the assassination: 

Israel’s practice of extra-judicial, extra-territorial assassinations, exemplified by the recent murder of Mahmoud al Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel room, violates all the fundamental precepts of the rule of law.  Extra-judicial killings ordered by a state, mean its own secret police are judge, jury, prosecutor and executioner, unrestrained by sovereignty, law and the duty of nations to protect their citizens and visitors.  . . . Liquidation of opponents abroad is the logical next step after Israel’s domestic show trials, based on the application of its racial laws and administrative detention decrees, which have dispossessed the Palestinian people and violated international law. 

Israel called “a monster beyond control”  

It is probable that Israel will not be punished even if it is proven that it was responsible for the murder of al-Mabhouh. 

“But even if there’s to be no punishment, what happened has been deeply damaging to Israel’s already badly tarnished imagine in the world . . . ,” wrote Alan Hart, a Middle East commentator.  “It adds to the correct impression that the Zionist state’s leaders have complete contempt for international law and what the world thinks, and that the state is becoming, if it is not already, a monster beyond control.” 

In an essay that appeared in The Jordan Times, Hasan Abu Nimah, former representative of Jordan to the United Nations, wrote that Israel should be held accountable for al Mabhouh’s murder: 

The truth is that as it becomes desperate, Israel is turning ever more wild and dangerous, not only for its neighbors but for world peace, security and prosperity.  Without constant pressure from the Israel lobby, there may have been no invasion of Iraq.  today, it is Israel and its apologists who are constantly inciting confrontation and war against Iran when most of this region wants peace and good relations. 

Even if the countries harmed by Israel’s latest brazen act do not hold it properly and adequately accountable — as they must and should — it appears that it is on a path of self-destruction.  The great fear is how much more harm it will do to others on the way.  

At the time of his death, al-Mabhouh was one month short of his 50th birthday.   His family came from the village of Bayt Tima, which was occupied by Israeli military and paramilitary forces in 1948.  He was born at the Jabalia Camp, the largest of the Gaza Strip’s eight refugee camps.  His family fled to Gaza after having been forced to flee Bayt Tima.  More than 2,000 Palestinians attended his funeral on January 29 at al-Yarmouk, a Palestinian refugee camp near Damascus.  Al-Mabhouh is survived by his wife and four children.

AL BUSTAN ROTANA HOTEL IN DUBAI: THE SITE OF MR. AL-MABHOUH'S MURDER

PALESTINIAN MOURNERS CARRY THE FLAG-DRAPPED COFFIN OF MAHMOUD AL-MABHOUH

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Avigdor Lieberman and Yisrael Beiteinu: obstacles to peace

March 1, 2009
AVIGDOR LIEBERMAN, WHOSE PARTY CAPTURED 15 SEATS IN THE KNESSET, FOUR MORE THAN IN THE PREVIOUS KNESSET

AVIGDOR LIEBERMAN, WHOSE PARTY CAPTURED 15 SEATS IN THE KNESSET, FOUR MORE THAN IN THE PREVIOUS KNESSET

The recent elections in Israel, which resulted in a strong showing by the political party of Avigdor Lieberman, suggest that Israel will continue its inhumane treatment of Palestinians.

The results of the  elections of February 10, 2009, for 120 seats in Israel’s Knesset, were as follows:

Kadima  — 28 seats; Likud — 27 seats; Yisrael Beiteinu — 15 seat; Labor — 13 seats; Shas — 11 seats; United Torah Judaism — five seats; The National Union, Hadash (Democratic Front for Peace and Equality), the United Arab List-Ta’al  — each four seats, and Habayit Hayehudi,  New Movement Meretz and  National Democratic Assembly (Tajamu or Balad) — each three  seats.

“The results of the  elections . . . clearly bolstered the far Right, which won 65 of the parliament’s 120 seats,” wrote Roni Ben Efrat, an editor of Challenge.  “Israelis turned their backs on the notion that the conflict with the Palestinians must be solved by diplomacy.”

“This indicates that the Zionist community has chosen those who are the most radical and the most terrorist,” said Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for the Palestinian Resistance Movement (Hamas).  “We are now facing three heads of radicalism and terror.”

Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel Our Home), led by Avigdor Lieberman, increased its presence by four  seats and became the third strongest political party in Israel.  Mr. Lieberman’s party caused the Labor Party to drop to fourth place.

Mr. Lieberman’s campaign was based upon a hatred for Arabs.  His campaign slogan was: “No loyalty, no citizenship.”  He proposes a requirement that Israel’s Arab citizens pledge their loyalty to Israel or be refused citizenship.

In Mr. Lieberman’s book, My Truth, the argument is made that the Arab minority is the biggest threat to Israel’s future.  He contended that because Arabs are disloyal to Israel, they should be expelled.

“In a proper state, Lieberman’s program would be declared illegal,” said Haneen  Zoubi, who became the first Arab woman to enter the Knesset.  “But the real concern is not his platform but that it has been legitimized by the main Zionist parties.”  She was referring to Tzipi Livni’s Kadima and Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud parties.

“The Knesset is always hostile to Arab Knesset members and we are well  used to their racist language,” Ms. Zoubi said in an article for The National by Jonathan Cook.  “Even the building shows us we are not  welcome.  Everywhere there are Jewish symbols — from the Star of David on the flag to the menorahs — that we as Palestinians cannot identify with.”

Lieberman, who immigrated to Israel 30 years ago from the former Soviet Union, formed Yisrael Beiteinu in 1999.  The party is made up largely of other Russian immigrants who support ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

On Israeli radio in November 2006, Mr. Lieberman called for the assassination of “militant” Palestinian leaders, meaning leaders of Hamas and other resistance groups.  “They have to disappear, go to Paradise, all of them and there can’t be any compromise.”

Haaretz called Mr. Lieberman an “unrestrained and irresponsible man” and “a threat [to Israel for] for his lack of restraint and unbridled tongue [that may] bring disaster [to] the whole region.”

“Lieberman’s party believes what all Israelis believes what all Israelis believe: that Israel is a Jewish state,” wrote Saree Makdisi, a professor of English at UCLA, in Counterpunch.  “Unlike the more respectable Israeli parties, however, Lieberman’s party is willing to add that since Israel is a Jewish state, non-Jews are not welcome.  Even if they were born there.”

Mr. Makdisi added: “Israel’s Palestinian minority faces forms of discrimination not faced by Jewish citizens of the state.  This hardly surprising.  As the state of the Jewish people, Israel is, after all, the only country in the world that expressly claims not to be the state of its actual citizens (one fifth of whom are non-Jews), let alone that of the people whom it governs (half of whom are Palestinians).”

“Despite some of his ultranationalist views, Lieberman does not oppose a two-state solution with the Palestinians,” wrote Ilene R. Prusher of The Christian Science Monitor.  “Most controversially, however, he says that any permanent peace settlement should include a ‘swap’ in which the Palestinian Authority would gain control of populated towns in Israel near the Green Line,  Israel’s pre-1967 borders.”

“The Lieberman surge is largely a result of the Gaza War,” wrote Mr. Efrat in Challenge.  “His rival parties, Kadima and Labor, timed the offensive prior to elections largely in order to gain popularity, but Lieberman reaped the fruits.  The intoxication of force, the abandonment of all restraint — sheer murder — well suited the party of Strong Man Lieberman, who means to teach the Arabs a lesson they won’t forget.”

Perhaps criminal activity by Mr. Lieberman will lead to his downfall.  The Jerusalem Post reported on February 15, 2009 that police had evidence that Mr. Lieberman was involved in money laundering by using  Cypriot bank accounts under his daughter’s name.

However, on February 19, 2009, the Associated Press reported that Lieberman endorsed Netanyahu, “all but guaranteeing that [Netanyahu] will be the country’s next leader.”   

In Gaza, Mr. Barhoum of Hamas said that the election results are immaterial to making a difference in the lives of Palestinians because Israel “is still working to eliminate the Palestinian existence.  Anyone who thinks that new faces might bring change is mistaken.”

Photo Credit:

xxx

A BILLBOARD FOR AVIGDOR LIEBERMAN AND HIS PARTY, YISRAEL BEITEINU (ISRAEL OUR HOME) BEFORE THE RECENT ELECTIONS IN ISRAEL

A BILLBOARD FOR AVIGDOR LIEBERMAN AND HIS PARTY, YISRAEL BEITEINU (ISRAEL OUR HOME) BEFORE THE RECENT ELECTIONS IN ISRAEL

The United States refused to support a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza while entire Palestinian families are being massacred by Israeli war criminals

January 12, 2009

 

A RELATIVE CARRIES THE BODY OF EIGHT-YEAR-OLD DINA BALOUSHA DURING HER FUNERAL

A RELATIVE CARRIES THE BODY OF EIGHT-YEAR-OLD DINA BALOUSHA DURING HER FUNERAL

 

 

The Israeli war machine, using jets, bombs, missiles and tanks supplied by the United States, has now killed more than 850 Palestinians and injured more than 3,650 others.  The Israeli war on Gaza, which began two days after Christmas, has entered its third week.  About one quarter of the Palestinians killed have been women and children.  Nearly half of the Palestinians wounded have been women and children.

Five children of the Balousha family were killed during the early days of the violence.  An article by Hazem Balousha and Rory McCarthy in the December 30, 2008 edition of The Guardian reported:

An Israeli bomb struck the [Jabalia] refugee camp’s Imad Aqil mosque around midnight, destroying the building and collapsing several shops and a pharmacy nearby.  The force of the blast was so massive it also brought down the Balousha family’s house, which yesterday lay in ruins.  The seven eldest girls were asleep together on mattresses in one bedroom and they bore the brunt of the exposion.  Five were killed where they lay: Tahir, 17, Ikram, 15, Samer, 13, Dina, eight and Jawahar, four.

United States refuses to support ceasefire resolution

On January 8, 2009, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.  Fourteen of the council’s 15 members voted in favor of the resolution.  The United States abstained.

Despite what most of the world considers to be criminal acts on the part of Israel, the United States continued in its nearly unconditional support of Israel.  The United States House of Representatives voted 390-5, with 22 representatives not voting, for a resolution blaming Hamas for Israel’s military action in Gaza.  (The resolution stated that it was resolved that the House of Representatives “[e]xpresses vigorous support and unwavering commitment to the welfare, security, and survival of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure borders, and recognizes its right to act in self-defense to protect its citizens against Hamas’s unceasing aggression . . . .”)  The United States Senate unanimously passed a similar resolution by a voice vote. The Senate resolution also pledged “unwavering commitment” to Israel.

Voting against the resolution were representatives Ron Paul (R-Texas), Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) and Nick Rahall (D-WV).

Violations of the Geneva Convention

Israeli missiles and bombs have been fired deliberately at civilian targets including homes, schools, civilian shelters and ambulances.  The civilian killings violate the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Times of War.

The Israeli war machine has massacred entire families.  Some of the Palestinians most recently massacred:

During the early morning hours of January 8, 2009, Israeli naval vessels fired missiles at the village of al-Zawayda.  Four members of a family were killed: Mohammed Hussein al-Quran, 21; Dawoud Mohammed al-Quran, 25; Ryiad Mohammed al-Quran, 26; and Mohammed Ibrahim al-Quran, 60.  Two members of another family were also killed: Basil Ibrahim Nassar, 22; and Iyad Saber Nassar, 27. 

On the afternoon of January 8, 2009, a medical team recovered the bodies of four civilians killed in the al-Atatra neighborhood southwest of Beit Lahia.  Three of dead were the children of one family: Shahd Abu Halemeh, 1-1/2; Mohammed Hekmat Abu Halemah, 17; and Matar Sadallah Abu Halemeh, 17.

During the evening of January 8, 2009, Israeli aircraft destroyed the home of the al-Astal family in Khan Younis.  Family members killed were Ahmad Mohammed al-Astal, 27; and Salman Fahmi al-Astal, 28.

On the afternoon of January 9, 2009, a missile demolished the house of Fayiz Salha in north Gaza.  Killed were five members of the family including four children: Rola Fayiz Salha, 1; Baha Fayiz Salha, 4; Rana Fayiz Salha, 12; Dyia Fayiz Salha, 14; and Randa Fayiz Salha, 33.  (A sixth person, 22-year-old Fatima al-Haw, a relative, who had gone to the house for safety, was also killed.)

Just before noon on January 10, 2009, artillery shells demolished the house of Judeh Abed-Rabu in Jabaliya.  Seven members of the family were killed: Yusri Mahmoud Abed-Rabu, 16; Hamid Mahfouz Abed-Rabu, 17; Mohammed Ribhi Abed-Rabu, 18; Sami Mohammed Abed-Rabu, 25; Ramiz Jamal Abed-Rabu, 38; Randa Jamal Abed-Rabu, 45; and Sufyan Abdul-Hay Abed-Rabu, 47.

Norwegian doctor pleads for the bombing to stop

“We urge the world to stop the bombing of Gaza.  Please stop it,” pleaded Dr. Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian physician working at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

“The civilian population has no way to hide,” Dr. Gilbert said.  “The population density is so high you can not do attacks like this without knowing that you are attacking civilians.”

Dr. Gilbert discussed his first hand knowledge of the killing and wounding of civilians in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWXyb2YxiVI.   

The names and ages of persons killed were obtained from a press release from Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, which is found at:  http://www.mezan.org/site_en/press_room/press_detail.php?id=947.

Photo Credits:

Relative carrying the body of Dina Balousha (Mohammed Salem of Reuters)

Bodies of five members of the Balousha family are carried (Ashraf Amra for AP)

MOURNERS CARRY THE BODIES OF THE FIVE MEMBERS OF THE BALOUSHA FAMILY KILLED IN AN ISRAELI AIR STRIKE AT THE JABALIA REFUGEE CAMP IN NORTHERN GAZA

MOURNERS CARRY THE BODIES OF THE FIVE MEMBERS OF THE BALOUSHA FAMILY KILLED IN AN ISRAELI AIR STRIKE AT THE JABALIA REFUGEE CAMP IN NORTHERN GAZA

Israel should be condemned by the rest of the world for its unjustified killings in Gaza

December 28, 2008
THIS HAMAS POLICE STATION IN GAZA WAS DESTROYED BY THE ISRAELI MILITARY

THIS HAMAS POLICE STATION IN GAZA WAS DESTROYED BY THE ISRAELI MILITARY

“Iran strongly condemns the Zionist [Israel’s] wide-ranging attacks against the civilians in Gaza,” said Iranian foreign minister spokesman Hasan Qashqavi.  “The raids against innocent people are unforgivable and unacceptable.”

The United States and the rest of the world should join Iran and also condemn Israel’s unjustified killings in Gaza.

There was no immediate comment from President-Elect Barack Obama, who is vacationing in Hawaii with his family.

“This is how our incoming president is reacting to the worst attack on the Palestinian people in 20 years — by not reacting at all,” wrote Justin Raimondo in Anti-War.com.

“The Bush White House, of course, has responded as we all know they would: Israel-has-the-right-to-defend itself, let the killing begin, ad nauseum,” Mr. Raimondo added.

Kurt Nimmo wrote in Alex Jones’ Infowars:

Obama no longer has to placate pro-Israel voters, including no shortage of Christian Zionists, so his lack of comment on the premeditated slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza should send us a message — an Obama administration will continue the long-standing U.S. policy of allowing Israel to wantonly kill Palestinians and pay the Israeli government handsomely to do so. In 2008, the U.S. gave $20.27 billion to Israel, more than a 12 percent increase in foreign aid from 2007.

(Emphasis in original.)

The response by the Bush administration

“Hamas’ continued rocket attacks into Israel must cease if the violence is to stop,” said Gordon Johndroe, deputy assistant to Mr. Bush.

“These people [Hamas] are nothing but thugs, and so Israel is going to defend its people against terrorists like Hamas,” Johndroe said.

“Israel’s hammer blow against Hamas in the Gaza Strip bears all the hallmarks of its doctrine of overwhelming force,” wrote Ian Black in London’s Guardian.

The attacks by Israel on Gaza

During the morning of Saturday, December 27, F-16s supplied by the United States fired missles on the Gaza Strip.  More than 225 persons were killed and more  than 750 persons were seriously injured.  On Sunday, December 28, the Israelis resumed the attacks.   More than 20 air strikes were counted during the first hours. 

One Israeli was killed by Palestinian rocket fire.

BODIES FROM THE SITES OF ISRAELI AIR STRIKES ARE LINED UP AT A HOSPITAL IN GAZA

BODIES FROM THE SITES OF ISRAELI AIR STRIKES ARE LINED UP AT A HOSPITAL IN GAZA

“The air strikes began about 11:30 a.m. and continued for about two hours,” reported Arab News.  “The first wave of air strikes was launched by about 60 warplanes, which hit a total of 50 targets.  In a second wave of attacks, 20 warplanes struck another 50 targets.”

“Gaza witnesses reported heavy damage after more than 30 missiles were fired from helicopter gunships and fighter jets on about 40 different locations in the strip,” reported Al Jazeera.  “Many of the dead in the series of attacks were police officers, including Tawfig Jabber, the Gaza chief of police.”

“The deadliest Israeli strike was at the Hamas police headquarters, where a graduation ceremony for cadets was taking place at the time,” reported Hisham Abu Taha in Arab News.  “After the strike, the courtyard of the headquarters was littered with disfigured bodies of policemen, while survivors were rushed to the  city’s overwhelmed Al-Shifa Hospital.”

The attacks could fuel a humanitarian crisis

“Aid groups said they feared the Israeli operation could fuel a humanitarian  crisis in the coastal enclave, home to 1.5  million Palestinians, half of them dependent on food aid,” reported Nidal al-Mughrabi of Reuters.

After meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia contacted President George W. Bush.  King Abdullah told Mr. Bush that the United States and other major powers have a responsibility to stop the Israeli attack.

SPA, the Saudi state news agency, said that King Abdullah and Mr. Bush discussed “the Israeli aggression against Gaza” and the “implications of continuing Israel’s policies of blockage, occupation and torture against the Palestinian people all over the Occupied Territories.”  SPA also said that King Abdullah called for “the major countries to shoulder their responsibilities to stop this Israeli attack and save the lives of the innocent and remaining infrastructure in the Palestinian territories.”

The Bush administration called on Hamas to stop cross-border rocket attacks and urged Israel to avoid civilian casualties.  It did not demand that Israel stop the Israeli attacks.

Israel’s intention is to “obliterate Hamas”

Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak said the attacks to “obliterate Hamas will take place as  long as it takes.”

Barak said in a televised statement: “There is a time for calm and a time for fighting, and now the time has come to fight.”

ISRAELI F-16 WAR JETS, WHICH WERE SUPPLIED BY THE UNITED STATES AND BUILT BY LOCKHEED MARTIN.  THE WAR JETS WERE ORIGINALLY DEVELOPED BY GENERAL DYNAMICS FOR THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE.

ISRAELI F-16 WAR JETS, WHICH WERE SUPPLIED BY THE UNITED STATES AND BUILT BY LOCKHEED MARTIN. THE WAR JETS WERE ORIGINALLY DEVELOPED BY GENERAL DYNAMICS FOR THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE.

“The IDF [Israel Defense Forces] also begun mobilizing tanks and reinforcement  infantry troops to the Gaza region in the event a ground incursion is ordered,” wrote Hanan Greenberg in Y News Net, a website of Israel News.  “Barak said that ground forces indeed would enter the Strip if the move was deemed necessary by Jerusalem.”

Operational deception by Israel

An editorial by Barak Ravid in the  Israeli newspaper Haaretz  reported that Israel defense minister Barak “instructed the Israeli Defense Forces to prepare the operation over six months ago, even as Israel was beginning to negotiate a ceasefire agreement with Hamas.”  The editorial stated:

Long-term preparation, careful gathering of information, secret discussions, operational deception and the misleading of the public — all these stood behind the Israel Defense Forces “Cast Lead” operation against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.

 

“I believe what happened . . . is a continuity of  the Israeli collective crime against Palestinians,” said Osama  Hamdan, a Hamas representative in Lebannon. “Israel is not learning  the lesson.  They don’t know that this kind of aggressive attack against the Palestinians creates a new cycle of violence inside Palestine.  It will not defeat the Palestinian resistance.”

“This is nothing short of a massacre, an outrage,” said independent Palestinian MP Hanan Ashrawi of Ramallah to BBC News.   She added:

 This will enhance the standing of Hamas.  People are sympathizing with Hamas as the people who are being ruthlessly targeted by Israel.  They are seen as victims of ongong Israeli aggression.

 

“We are facing a continuing spectacle that has been carefully planned,” said Arab League secretary general Amr Moussa.  “So we have to expect that there will be many casualties.  We face a major human catastrophe.”

The world’s largest Muslin organization speaks out

The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the largest Muslim organization in the world, and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) denounced Israel’s attacks upon Palestinians and urged the international community to stop the unjustified killings

“The latest Israeli massacre is a war crime and shows what little regard Israel has for international law and the 4th Geneva Convention on the protection of civilians in time of war,” said OIC chief Ekmeleddin Ishanoglu said in a statement.

GCC secretary general Abdul Rahman al-Attiyah called upon the international community to stop “the heinous  massacre and barbaric acts being committed by Israeli military forces” against Palestinians.

“Despite the peace initiatives, conferences and agreements between the Palestinian Authority and Israel over the past years, scenes of killing, destruction and dispelling and starving of Palestinians continues,” the GCC chief said.

Attacks called “criminal” by Palestinian president

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas called the Israeli attacks “criminal” and called for the international community to intervene.

European Union foreign chief Javier Solana stated: “We are very concerned at the events in Gaza.  We call for an immediate ceasefire and urge everybody to exercise maximum restraint.”

Egypt asked Israeli ambassador Shalom Cohen to demand an end to the attacks.  Egypt opened its Rafah border crossing to Gaza so that persons wounded could get medical care.

Egypt president Hosni Mubarak said that “Egypt condemns the Israel attacks.”

Statement by the president of the UN Security Council

The United Nations Security Council called for an end to all violence in Gaza.

“The members of the Security Council expressed serious concern at the escalation of the situation in Gaza and called for an immediate halt to all violence,” said council president Neven Jurica, Croatia’s ambassador, in a statement that he read.

“The members called on the parties to stop immediately all military activities,” Mr. Jurica said.

A video of some of the death and destruction caused by the Israeli military was found on the website of The Real News Network: http://therealnews.com/t/index.php?option=com_seyret&Itemid=91&task=videodirectlink&id=704

Photo Credits:

Bodies lined up (Mahmud Hams for AFP/Getty Images)

Destroyed police station (Mohammed Abed for AFP/Getty Images)