Saturday, 16 April 2011

Assad Announces Emergency Law to Be Abolished Within a Week

Assad Announces Emergency Law to Be Abolished Within a Week

As the new Syrian government was sworn in on Saturday, President Bashar Assad declared that the emergency law in force since 1963 will be abolished within a week.

While noting that Syria is passing through a delicate phase and conspiracy is always there, Assad highlighted that his country was facing big challenge. “The government can’t make any progress without the public support,” he emphasized.

Assad expressed sorrow over the deaths in Syria since violence erupted. "We are sad for all the people we have lost and all the people injured, and consider them all martyrs," he said.

The Syrian President pointed out that the commission investigating the latest clashes is continuing its work to determine what happened and to hold accountable those responsible.
Prime Minister Adel Safar unveiled Thursday his new cabinet, which is expected to carry out broad reforms including the lifting of the emergency law imposed since the Baath party seized power.

Meanwhile, the official news agency SANA reported that Sergeant Major Issam Mohammad Hassan of Homs police force was martyred on Friday after he was assaulted by protestors in Homs.

Commander of Homs police Gen. Hamid Assad al-Murrai stated that after the Friday prayer, a protest marched from in front of Khaled Ibn al-Walid Mosque, heading towards the city center. Rioting and assaulting of security personnel took place during the protest, leading to the martyring of Sgt. Maj. Hassan after he was hit on the chest and head with sticks and rocks by protestors.

Sgt. Maj. Hassan was born in 1979 in Dweir Raslan, Tartous. He left behind a wife and two children. He will be laid to rest on Saturday at the Martyrs Cemetery, accompanied by a fitting official procession.

In other developments, a number of groups of citizens took to the streets after Friday prayer in different Syrian cities, chanting slogans advocating Syria, freedom and the martyrs without security force intervention. SANA said that most of these gatherings broke up after a short time and normal life prevailed in the residential areas.

In Daraa governorate, thousands of people gathered at the Justice Palace Square in the city after Friday prayer chanting slogans calling for freedom, without the presence of security or armed forces.

In the rest of the governorates, the cities of Derbassiyeh, Qamishli, Deir Ez-Zour, Homs,Banias, Jableh, Haffeh, Hama and some areas of Damascus countryside witnessed limited gatherings which broke up without friction with security forces, with life returning to normal afterwards.

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Bardawil: Abbas's decision to halt smear campaign against Hamas is useless

[ 16/04/2011 - 02:02 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- Senior Hamas official Salah Al-Bardawil belittled the importance of Mahmoud Abbas's declared intention to stop the media smear campaign against Hamas Movement so as to create a climate for national reconciliation.

Bardawil said that Abbas' orders to stop the smear campaign is a media stunt because his focus of interest is not to end the inter-Palestinian division but to keep the security cooperation and the peace talks with Israel.

He underlined that Abbas was not honest about his intentions towards Hamas and his talk about halting media incitement against it is useless because his political arrest campaign in the West Bank never stopped against its cadres for a moment.

A spokesman for Fatah faction had said that Abbas issued orders to stop all media campaigns against Hamas.

In a related context, director of the Palestinian center of studies in Cairo Ibraheem Adderawi disclosed that Abbas's recent visit to Cairo was intended to curtail any Egyptian response with Hamas's demands regarding the Palestinian reconciliation and to read Egypt's new political landscape after the revolution.

Derawi added that Abbas stressed during his meeting with Egyptian officials the need for continuing to close Rafah border crossing (in order to help Israel tighten the blockade on Gaza) and not to recognize Hamas until it accepts the Palestinian reconciliation according to Fatah's vision.

He expressed his belief that this position explains why head of Fatah's parliamentary bloc Azzam Al-Ahmed avoided meeting with Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahhar while in Cairo and Abbas with political leader Khaled Mishaal.

"I have information that Mahmoud Abbas has issued a circular to his authority's embassies all over the world in which he confirmed that Egypt's stance towards the Palestinian issue had not changed and that Cairo would not deal with Hamas or recognize it, so Abbas's visit to Cairo was not for a reconciliation with Hamas, but it was to curb Egypt's sympathy with it and to read the Egyptian political scene following the downfall of president Hosni Mubarak," the center director emphasized.

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Hero of Gaza: Vittorio Arrigoni, Kidnapped and Murdered

Tim King and Bonnie King Salem-News.com
"I have seen my brother Vik's body and his death certificate, but Vik is not dead." -Ken O'Keefe

All photos of Vittorio Arrigoni provided by Ken O'Keefe


(SALEM / GAZA) - Italian Journalist Vittorio Arrigoni's body has reportedly been found in Gaza. He was killed by a small faction of religious radicals according to reports.


Gaza Youth Breaks Out (GYBO) wrote: "While Hamas forces were intensely searching Doghmosh area to find them, abductors tried to leave, when two of them were caught by Hamas. A third, who was with Vittorio, was given a signal to kill him. We lost a brother."
Al Jazeera reports that Hamas police stormed an apartment in Gaza City belonging to a member of the group that released a video of the activist. A police officer said four people were arrested in another location, in connection with the abduction.

Those on the ground in this embattled region of Palestine had held out hope along with the rest of us, that he would be returned alive.

The Hamas government had earlier made statements that led supporters to believe that Vik Arrigoni would be returned alive.

People in Gaza have a voice because of hard working dedicated peace activists like Vik Arrigoni. Beyond the overly religious fanatical Salafist radicals, the only detractors this man had were Israeli Zionists who wished for his death for years.
This a statement issued by the Ministry of Interior and National Security with the Palestinian National Authority:
Explanatory statement issued by the Ministry of Interior on the circumstances of the "kidnapping and killing of Italian Solidarity Activist"
(Roughly translated from Arabic)
The Ministry of Interior said that since the arrival of the news of the abduction of Italian Solidarity Activist Vittorio, the security agency Balastnfar launched a full search and investigation.

This resulted in contact with one member of the group who disclosed the location where Vittorio was being held. She led the security services toward the place where he was being held where they found that the victim, Vittorio, had "been killed hours ago in an ugly way" (according to the forensic report).

Faced with this situation, we affirmed the following:
First: the Palestinian government condemns the heinous crime that does not reflect our values, our religion and our customs and traditions, and confirms that it will hunt down the rest of the members of the group and will implement the law against them.
Secondly: We emphasize that this crime does not reflect the true state of the atmosphere of security and order in the Gaza Strip, does not imply a retreat, and will remain the Government is keen to promote stability, security and safety as this incident is the first of its kind in years.
Third: The initial data indicate the intention of the kidnappers was Murder. As he was murdered shortly after he was kidnapped.
Four: The motives behind this crime, though it seems intellectually certain, but it demonstrates the hands are still plotting against the Palestinian people in Gaza, and want to undermine the security and steadfastness, and achieve a state of terror for the movement of people of the world's solidarity with the Gaza Strip, especially the enemy Zionist looking at ways to prevent the fleet of freedom that was after the second campaign of international solidarity and the impact of a role in loosening the embargo imposed five years ago.
Fifth: The Ministry emphasizes the brothers in the media must pay attention to any rumor or news that is not accurate with respect to this crime, and to rely on official information from the Ministry.

Ken O'Keefe and Vittorio Arrigoni in Gaza
You will note in the video below that Ken O'Keefe, our writer and diehard activist friend in Gaza, does not believe or at least did not, that any Palestinian could be responsible for Vik's death.

Indeed, it is hard to imagine anyone doing this to a man who was so well loved and respected. It is exceedingly clear that everything is out of sync.

Juliano Mer-Khamis
The perpetrators of this crime Ken suggests, were Zionist agents of Israel. This is the obvious relentless enemy of the Palestinian people, with frequent strikes on civilian targets in Gaza from U.S. made fighter jets and drones.


Just a few days ago, on 4 April 2011, Filmmaker Juliano Mer-Khamis was Murdered in Jenin, the scene of severe fighting during the Second Intifada.
Juilano's mother Arna had famously provided a haven for the Palestinian youth in Jenin. She was Jewish, her husband, Juliano's father, was a Palestinian Christian.
Juliano was murdered in front of his wife by masked men who were immediately assumed to be Palestinian.
In the bigger picture, nothing was gained for Palestinians in any way by either man's death.

Legacy for Palestine

VIDEO BY KEN O'KEEFE, IN RESPONSE:

His life's work is his legacy. It surpassed all boundaries. Vittorio Arrigoni has helped an endless list of Palestinian people over the years and his work has led to a great deal of exposure of the treatment of Palestinians under the Israeli occupation.
As the world moves toward a real understanding of the reality of Gaza; Israeli snipers, constant fear and attacks on civilians from the Israeli military, Vittorio Arrigoni was a bright light. He was close to our friend and fellow writer Ken O'Keefe, and loved by thousands, perhaps millions. The idea that he was taken by a radical faction and killed in Gaza, if this is true, is simply horrifying. Never has a more grave mistake been made.

He was there when the first Freedom Flotilla boat reached Gaza. He has been an ally and key friend of the most successful humanitarian activists and his beliefs and words in action inspired many to become involved with the International Solidarity Movement which he started.

According to the Free Gaza Movement,

"He was aboard the siege-breaking voyage in 2008 with the Free Gaza Movement and was incarcerated in Israeli prisons several times. He was in Gaza throughout Israel’s brutal assault (Operation Cast Lead), assisting medics and reporting to the world what Israel was doing to the Palestinian people. He has been arrested numerous times by Israeli forces for his participation in Palestinian non-violent resistance in the West Bank and Gaza. His last arrest and deportation from the area was a result of the Israeli confiscation of Palestinian fishing vessels in Gazan territorial waters."


An earlier report from al-Arabiya stated that Vittorio's body was found in the al-Saftwai area.
Around 4:30 p.m. west coast time, it was tweeted that Vittorio in the al-Dughmoush family block in Gaza, and the Hamas police were surrounding the area. Several members of the al-Dughmoush family are said to be associated with Salafist.

This is a group that reportedly looks down on Hamas for not being sufficiently religious and they are known for a rejection of western influence. What they have done if this is true, is robbed the life of one of the greatest people dedicating his life to seeing Gaza become free.

I was in contact with a person who worked closely with Vittorio today and she told me the only word is 'anguish'. The only hope now is that people become all the more familiar with this great man who did so much for so many.

The world lost a great spokesman and activist today, but his message is not lost.
Vittorio Arrigoni - Humanitarian - Palestinian - Hero - Martyr - 1975-2011 RIP

Produced by Ken O'Keefe 14/4/11

Articles by Vittorio on Salem-News.com:

Mar-23-2011: Israel's Attack on Civilians: Two Children Killed - Vittorio Arrigoni Special to Salem-News.com
Mar-18-2011: Gaza's Youth: Hopes Broken at 15 March End Of Division Demonstration - By Vittorio Arrigoni for Salem-News.com
Mar-04-2011: 15 March Palestine: End of Division - Vittorio Arrigoni for Salem-News.com
Nov-10-2010: The First Targeted US Killing in Gaza - Vittorio Arrigoni for Salem-News.com

Also:

Nov-30-2010: Israeli Soldiers Fire at Road to Hope Convoy Members - Tim King Salem-News.com

_________________________________

Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. You can send Tim an email at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com


_________________________________
Publisher Bonnie King has been with Salem-News.com since August '04. Bonnie has a wide ranging media background and in her career she has served in a number of positions in the broadcast industry; TV Production Manager at KVWB (Las Vegas WB) and Producer/Director for the TV series "Hot Wheels in Las Vegas", TV Promotion Director for KYMA (NBC), and KFBT (Ind.), Asst. Marketing Director (SUPERSHOPPER MAGAZINE), Director/Co-Host (Coast Entertainment Show), Radio Promotion Director (KBCH/KCRF), and NIE/Circulation Sales Manager (STATESMAN JOURNAL NEWSPAPER). Bonnie has a depth of understanding that reaches further than just behind the scenes, and that thoroughness is demonstrated in the perseverance to correctly present each story with the wit and wisdom necessary to compel and captivate viewers. View articles written by Bonnie King

For more Cannabis-related stories and factual information, go to: Cannabis De-Classified

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Jerusalem aid committee announced in Washington

[ 16/04/2011 - 01:57 PM ]

WASHINGTON, (PIC)-- The establishment of an international campaign designed to curb the Israeli Judaization of Jerusalem was announced in United States capital Washington, DC on Friday. The campaign will include a group of international figures as well as political and media events from across the world.

The campaign said it would take Jerusalem as its main contact center, and that the center would be linked to Ramallah, Nazareth, and Gaza to provide information.

The Jerusalem protection campaign is aimed at protecting Jerusalem families who are threatened by Israeli plans to displace major portions of the Arab population in the city and replace them with Jewish settlers.

The nature of the group's work is concentrated in transmitting news and reports to media by using reporters stationed across the globe. It has a keen interest to be fully independent and non-alligned with any political party.

The announcement comes as Washington has passed a decision to heavily increase support for the Israeli army.

The US has allocated $205m of its national budget to enhance and develop the Israeli army's anti missile systems, as the Iron Dome system is being deployed in Israel to intercept rocket-propelled short projectile missiles.

According to Israeli media sources, the US House of Representatives has approved the move in the largest yet grant to enhance an anti-missile defense system. Sources from the army had admitted beforehand that the Iron Dome system failed to intercept rockets launched by resistance forces in Gaza.

The US aid will also cover more Israel-US anti-missile projects.

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WikiLeaks: Murr Says Sleiman Will Fight Hezbollah!

Another WikiLeaks cable revealed on Saturday that Defense Minister in the caretaker government in Lebanon Elias Murr has told the Americans that President Michel Sleiman was set to fight Hezbollah till the end.

SLEIMAN WILL FIGHT HEZBOLLAH

According to the cable, Murr told then US ambassador to Beirut Michele Sisson that the president was disappointed that the independent Christians were choosing not to run in the election, citing prominent industrialist Nemat Frem inparticular.

Sleiman reportedly conveyed to Murr his “frustration” with Hezbollah, and said he would fight Hezbollah to the end. Murr said he sensed a change in Sleiman's attitude toward Hezbollah from when he was LAF Commander and believes that Sleiman is feeling increasingly hindered by Hezbollah, hence the hardening of his attitude.

Murr posited that Sleiman had expected Hezbollah would not compete strongly against the President's former aide, Nazem Khoury, for a seat in Jbeil district. Sleiman realized now, however, that Hezbollah would not make such an agreement and would strongly support its political ally Michel Aoun against Christian candidates, including Khoury, the cable quoted him as saying. Sleiman saw that Hezbollah’s only “gift” to Sleiman was the presidency, Murr said.

Murr claimed that his colleague in the cabinet, Interior Minister Ziad Baroud, had been making frequent visits to Michel Aoun's residence, which is near Murr's. When he passed thisinformation on to Sleiman, Murr said, the president threatened Baroud with making him resign.

MURR FEARS HEZBOLLAH, FPM ATTACK

During the same meeting, which took place on the eve of Murr’s visit to Washinton, the Defense Minister discussed the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) many successes and credited US military assistance. He made a plea for an additional close-air support deliverable to demonstrate to so-called moderate Lebanese Christians (whose votes key swing districts are expected to determine the outcome of the June 7 parliamentary elections) and continued US support for the moderates in Lebanon.

Murr noted that he would be the first Christian political figure from the Middle East to go to Washington since Obama's election. Appreciative of the anticipated May shipment of military equipment from the US (Ref C) and the impending arrival of the Caravan, Murr made a plea for the announcement of an additional close-air support deliverable from the US during his trip.

Murr requested "some sort of aviation to sell to Christian voters during the elections." He clarified that he knew it was unreasonable to expect an actual deliverable before the June 7 parliamentary elections, but argued that an announcement of something to come from the US would be ideal in demonstrating continued US support for the moderates in Lebanon. He also suggested that a US push for UAE provision of 10 Hawks (from the UAE's inventory of 30 Hawks to be retired) would be welcome.

Murr feared Hezbollah and Free Patriotic Movement opposition Christian leader Michel Aoun would attack him in the headlines if he returned from the US "empty-handed."

LEBANON WILL NOT ACCEPT MIG-29S BEFORE 2040

According to the cable, dated April 4, 2006, Murr relayed that the Russian Defense Minister wants to visit Lebanon. He added that the Russians have been asking when the LAF officers would go to Russia for training on the MiG-29s it offered to the LAF in December (Ref D).

Murr said he had already begun hinting to the Russians that he did not want the fighter aircraft. He reiterated to the Ambassador that Lebanon would not be accepting the MiG-29s for a long time. "Not before 2040!" he stressed.

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Egypt Court Dissolves Former Ruling Party

The Higher Administrative Court in Cairo ordered on Saturday the dissolution of the political party of former President Hosni Mubarak, one of the demands of the protesters who ended his 30-year rule. It also ordered the liquidation of the assets of the National Democratic Party (NDP), with the funds to be returned to the state.

The NDP was fighting for its survival after protests forced the strongman to resign on February 11 and much of its senior leadership is now behind bars on suspicion of corruption. Others such as Hossam Badrawi, who briefly led the party before resigning in protest when Mubarak tarried in stepping down, either defected or are planning to form a new party.

The NDP dominated Egyptian politics since it was set up by Mubarak's predecessor, Anwar el-Sadat, in 1978.

Talaat Sadat, the late president's nephew, was appointed as the new head of the party after the revolt. Sources said he was at Saturday's hearing, after which opponents of the party began chanting "The NDP is illegitimate."
Some NDP properties were inherited from the previous incarnation of the ruling party in Sadat's time, while others are leased from private owners, its members claim. There are also separate, private lawsuits demanding the return of some of the buildings to their owners.

The party's headquarters were torched during the protests that led Mubarak to step down in February, and are now being fought over by the Cairo governorate, which wants to turn it into a park and the Egyptian Museum across the street.

Its remaining members had hoped to contest the upcoming parliamentary election in September and argued that they had cut ties with corrupt party officials and apologized to Egyptians for "party mistakes."

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Obama, take away the pain in my stomach



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Popular committee planning march to occupied Palestine borders

[ 16/04/2011 - 09:59 AM ]

AMMAN, (PIC)-- The Jordanian popular committee to commemorate the Nakba (catastrophe) announced it was planning a march to the Jordanian borders with occupied Palestine on the 64th anniversary of the Nabka on 15th May.

Tawfik Abu Ershaid, the committee's spokesman, said on Friday that the march would pose as a symbolic return of Palestinian refugees to their occupied homeland.

He added that a massive sit-in and rally would be organized in front of the UN offices in Amman among other events that would be organized over a week to remember the Nakba back in 1948 when Zionist gangs usurped the land of Palestine and declared the state of Israel.

 The committee urged Jordanians in general and Palestinian refugees in Jordan in particular to participate in the events.

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Now Israel Is Free to Declare Its Innocence before the International Court of Justice

April 15, 2011 posted by Prof. William A. Cook

WHITE PHOSPHOROUS RAINS DOWN ON GAZA CITY
United States Congress has once again jumped to the fore as defender of the beleaguered state of Israel by writing a letter to the UNHRC

Let us present this case as objectively as we can… A few photos of Israeli use of white phosphorus will accompany this article if possible.

William A. Cook / STAFF WRITER

Thank God Judge Goldstone recanted his judgment on Israel and its IDF forces in the slaughter inflicted on Gaza during its Christmas invasion in 2008-2009; both are now innocent of wrongful intent to kill Palestinian civilians since the Israeli military courts investigated Goldstone’s allegations and determined he was wrong. Now the good Judge has found, with the military court, that the Israeli government, that refused to cooperate with the United Nations investigation, did not intentionally send its forces to kill and destroy but only to kill and destroy Gaza; that the civilians were killed is simply a sad consequence of war. How astute, how learned, how compassionate; how absurd, how facetious, how despicable.

Yet, good may come of this decision. Now Israel is free to declare its innocence before the International Court of Justice since it is Israel’s investigation that can be presented as its case, with the good Judge as co-defendant. After all, isn’t this exactly what the Israeli government has wanted from the start, a way to demonstrate to the world that its Army is the most moral on the planet, its government the most democratic, acting only to defend its people, its weaponry the most sophisticated state of the art precision ordinance available, and its actions always proportionate to the crimes it seeks to address? Knowing now what they did not know before Judge Goldstone recanted his report, the government of Israel has nothing to fear from the ICJ but the justice it so rightfully deserves. Certainly it makes no sense for Israel or the UN to do nothing now that the report has been brought into question. The world has castigated Israel because of the report, now it’s Israel’s turn to seek revenge and put before the world how righteous and how legal its actions have been. How fortunate this turn of events.
And how opportune a moment since our United States Congress has once again jumped to the fore as defender of the beleaguered state of Israel by writing a letter to the UNHRC that it should expunge the report from history since it is biased against the Jewish state and this would help make amends. (“Congressional initiatives targeting Goldstone report” April 11, 2011 JTA) But why expunge it? Israel, after all, knows it did no wrong; it has done its own investigation and declared its innocence. What an opportunity to show the world that it has been maligned, that it has obeyed all international laws relative to individual rights, that as an occupying force under Geneva Conventions and the Charter of the UN it has observed all requisite responsibilities toward the people of Gaza, and finally that it had rights to invade that the international community must recognize since it was only defending itself.

Let us present this case as objectively as we can by using the words in the Israeli Gaza Operation Investigations: the means used to investigate, the difficulties that impeded the investigation, their presentation of the investigation concerning white phosphorus, and the conclusions drawn by the Military Advocate General, oh, and the convictions leveled on those found guilty. We’ll follow that presentation with some eye witness accounts of the Gaza operation, the effect of white phosphorus and its legality, and the impact of DIME explosives on humans and the environment. A few photos of Israeli use of white phosphorus will accompany this article if possible.
Consider the facts as articulated by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs as it labeled Cast Lead as Hamas war against Israel.
Israeli soldier looks impatient as he watches over a load of bombs destined to be fired at Gaza[My apologies; I’m interjecting a subjective comment on Israel’s calling Operation Cast Lead “Hamas’ war against Israel.” In the 8 years preceding Cast Lead, Hamas or other resistance groups in Gaza, fired 6000 home made rockets at Israel, roughly 750 a year, or 62.5 per month or 2 per day. Twenty three people were killed. In that same period Israel killed more than 1000 Palestinian children and in Cast Lead killed an additional 352. A total of 1084 Israelis were killed between 2000 and 2008, but 6430 Palestinians were killed. Yet it was Hamas’ war against Israel. One final observation: Israel’s launch of one of its American supplied missiles that cost $300,000, a fraction of the 8.2 million per day we supply to Israel’s military, a precision state of the art weapon that hit a home where the IDF ordered people to go, in less than one minute killed 21 members of the Samouni family, nine of them children.] (figures from ifamericansknew.org and see this author’s article “Consider the Realities of Gaza,” Counterpunch, Jan. 5, 2009). Back to our sources and let the reader be judge.

Gaza Operation Investigations: An Update Jan 2010.


Israeli Defence Forces fire massive weapons of destruction toward the population of Gaza

1. Israel’s investigative system has multiple layers of review to ensure impartiality and independence. These include the Military Advocate General’s Corps (MAG), which determines whether to initiate criminal investigations and file charges against IDF soldiers. The Military Advocate General is legally independent from the military chain of command. Israel’s Attorney General provides civilian oversight, as any decision of the Military Advocate General on whether or not to investigate or indict may be subject to his review.

2. The Operation in Gaza: Factual and Legal Aspects, which addressed a range of factual and legal issues related to the Gaza Operation. The Operation in Gaza also set out the legal framework governing the use of force and the principles – including the principles of distinction and proportionality – that apply in such a conflict. It also described the IDF’s efforts to ensure compliance with these principles during the Gaza Operation and the modus operandi of Hamas, in particular its abuses of civilian protections that created such acute operational dilemmas.

3. Describing the application of these mechanisms to the Gaza Operation, the Paper notes that the IDF to date has launched investigations of 150 separate incidents arising from the Gaza Operation. A number of these were opened at the IDF’s own initiative. Others were opened in response to complaints and reports from Palestinian civilians, local and international non-governmental organisations, and U.N. and media reports.


Conclusions:

183. The Gaza Operation presented complex challenges to Israel and the IDF. While the need and obligation to respond effectively to the thousands of Hamas rockets and mortars that had terrorized Israeli civilians for years was clear and acute, the strategies adopted by Hamas, and in particular its systematic entrenchment in the heart of civilian areas, created profound operational dilemmas. [A second interruption if I may: consider the reality of the Palestinians’ plight; they can go nowhere, they cannot escape through the Israeli gates, they can not flee by car, rail, air, boat or on foot, and they are caged in a steel enclosed land area blocked on the west by Israeli gunboats. They have no army, no air force, no navy; but they were training police to help provide order inside this cage of chaos, and Israel began its operation by killing 50 of the graduating class on December 27, 2008.]

Palestinian doctors carry the bodies of children killed by an Israeli tank shell, to the morgue at Shifa hospital in Gaza (images: documents.blogspot.com)
184. These challenges did not end with the close of operations. A key element of respecting the Law of Armed Conflict is a commitment genuinely to review military operations after the fact, and thoroughly investigate allegations of unlawful activity. Fulfilling this commitment in the context of Gaza is demanding, and requires serious efforts to obtain evidence from battleground situations and to make arrangements to enable residents of Gaza to give their accounts. It also requires an awareness that, in complex combat situations, errors of judgment, even with tragic results, do not necessarily mean that violations of the Law of Armed Conflict have occurred. [Note that Israel refused to cooperate with the UNHRC investigation that became the Goldstone Report.]

187. Israel recognizes the importance of engaging in dialogue and sharing best practices on theconduct of investigative proceedings with other democratic states facingsimilar challenges and committed to upholding the rule of law.

Obviously this article cannot provide a complete rendering of the Israeli investigation and its conclusions regarding proper conduct under international law. However, one of the more telling concerns raised about the IDF was its use of white phosphorus. Here is the comment from the Israeli operation cast lead investigation on that subject. Section IV contains others.

IV. COMPLAINTS ALLEGING VIOLATIONS OF THE LAW
OF ARMED CONFLICT DURING THE GAZA OPERATION


89. Israel is aware of concerns raised regarding the Gaza Operation. As discussed in detail in The Operation in Gaza, and as outlined above, the deliberate strategy of Hamas to blend in with the civilian population made it difficult for the IDF to achieve the objective of the Gaza Operation – reducing the threat of deliberate attacks against Israeli civilians – while also avoiding harm to Palestinian civilians. To be sure, the IDF undertook strenuous efforts to minimise such harm. It intensively trained its personnel on the requirements of the Law of Armed Conflict. It delayed, diverted, or refrained from attacks to spare civilian life. It provided numerous and varied types of concrete warnings before launching attacks.

88 Nevertheless, Israel’s efforts to comply with the Law of Armed Conflict do not lessen its regret for the loss of innocent lives and damage to civilian property.

93. The unique difficulties involved in the investigation of alleged violations of the Law of Armed Conflict in the battlefield should not be ignored. They include: the inability to secure the scene for forensic and physical evidence, either during a battle or after, when the territory is under enemy control; the possible destruction of evidence during fighting and the possible  manipulation of the scene by the enemy; the need to recall reserve soldiers back for questioning; the difficulty of accurately identifying the location of an incident, when it is described in local and unofficial terms and slang; and the need to locate the adversary’s civilians as witnesses and overcome their natural suspicion and fear of reprisals by their authorities.

90(v) The use of weaponry containing phosphorous

117. This investigation dealt with the use of weapons containing phosphorous by IDF forces during the Gaza Operation. The investigation focused on the different types and number of weapons containing phosphorous used during the Operation, the purposes for which they were used, the applicable professional instructions and rules of engagement, and the extent of compliance with those instructions and rules. Some of the findings of the special command investigation are detailed in The Operation in Gaza.107

118. The Military Advocate General reviewed the entire record of the special command investigation. With respect to exploding munitions containing white phosphorous, the Military Advocate General concluded that the use of this weapon in the operation was consistent with Israel’s obligations under international law.


119. With respect to smoke projectiles, the Military Advocate General found that international law does not prohibit use of smoke projectiles containing phosphorous. Specifically, such projectiles are not “incendiary weapons,” within the meaning of the Protocol on 106 Id. ¶¶ 436-45. Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Incendiary Weapons,108 because they are not primarily designed to set fire or to burn. The Military Advocate General further determined that during the Gaza Operation, the IDF used such smoke projectiles for military purposes only, for instance to camouflage IDF armor forces from Hamas’s antitank units by creating smoke screens.

120. The Military Advocate General found no grounds to take disciplinary or other measures for the IDF’s use of weapons containing phosphorous, which involved no violation of the Law of Armed Conflict. Nevertheless, the Military Advocate General’s opinion did not address a number of specific complaints that were received after the investigation concluded and which are being investigated separately.(vi)

Palestinians were burned alive with illegal weapons during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead.
Based on information from B’Tselem and Euromedrights.org, the determinations by the Israeli investigation resulted in the following charges: “In the over two years since Operation Cast Lead, Israel and the Palestinian side have failed to conduct genuine investigations, and where appropriate, prosecutions. To-date one Israeli soldier has served 7.5 months in jail for the theft of a credit card and two others have received three month suspended sentences for using a Palestinian child as a human shield. These three convictions, and the ongoing trial of a fourth soldier, have been the only concrete judicial outcomes of Israeli Operation Cast Lead investigations. It is noted that neither these indictments nor the sentences handed down for the human shield conviction reflect the gravity of the actual crimes committed. It appears that the majority of other investigative procedures have been closed without charge. All alleged international crimes must be subject to genuine investigation, and, if appropriate, those responsible must be prosecuted in accordance with the requirements of international law. In light of the domestic authorities’ failure to conduct such investigation, the International Criminal Court now constitutes the most appropriate forum, as recommended by the Human Rights Council on 25 March.(Euromedrights.org)

To date, no independent investigation apparatus, empowered also to investigate the responsibility of the political and military decision-makers, has been established. According to the report that the Foreign Ministry provided to the UN in July 2010, the Judge Advocate General’s office ordered 47 Military Police investigations with respect to Operation Cast Lead. B’Tselem is aware of 20 Military Police investigations of incidents in which a suspicion arose that soldiers in the field violated army regulations. Four soldiers have been prosecuted for three incidents that occurred during the operation. In the first case, a soldier was convicted of stealing a credit card and sentenced to seven and a half months’ imprisonment, a conditional sentence of seven and a half months, and demotion from sergeant to private. In the second case, indictments were filed against two soldiers alleging they used a nine-year-old child as a human shield, ordering him to open suspected booby-trapped bags. The two soldiers were convicted and sentenced to a three-month suspended jail sentence and demotion in rank from staff sergeant to private. In the third case, an indictment was filed against a soldier for killing an anonymous person and conduct unbecoming a soldier. In three other cases, disciplinary proceedings were instituted against six officers. B’Tselem is aware of at least six cases in which the Attorney General decided not to indict the soldiers. (B’Tselem).

Now let us return to the arguments for a UN investigation that can provide the people of the world with deliberations that place the Israeli Operation Cast Lead before an International Court of Justice.

Hiyam Noir, in Palestine Free Voice, January 13, 2009, reporting from Gaza observed “Blankets of white clouds covered the skies over Gaza, including the refuge camps in Khan Younis, Beit Lahia and Gaza City.  On Saturday Israeli F16 warplanes launched attacks using phosphorus bombs on the Block 2 section inside the densely populated Jabalya Refuge Camp. Many residents of Jabalya escaped the area covering their faces, searching for a safe shelter in the home of relatives and friends in the neighboring Beit Lahia from the Israelis “Cast Lead Operation”. Gaza has always been the Israelis “testing ground” – from nerve agents used in Khan Younis in 2003, to Sonic Boom “phantom air raids”, and the use of DIME in the Israelis massacre called ” Operation Summer Rain” over Gaza year 2006.”

In that same article, Noir notes, The Human Rights Watch senior analyst Marc Garlasco said in an interview on France Chanel 4 TV that ..”Israeli artillery bursted fire of white phosphorous shells over Gaza City.”Garlasco said ..”I have been standing at the border for the last few days ,watching Israeli artillery firing white phosphorus shells into refugee camps”.

Press TV on 4 March 2011 reported that cancer cases in Gaza had increased by 30 per cent, and that there was a link between the occurrence of the disease and residence in areas that had been badly hit by Israeli bombing. Zekra Ajour from the Al-Dameer Association for Human Rights told the channel that Gaza had been a testing ground for illegal weapons.

In a separate article, Richard Lightbown argues that Israel’s use of white phosphorus and other toxic metals, and its suspected use of depleted uranium, in the war against the people of the Gaza Strip has put the whole of the Strip’s population and its environment – air, soil, groundwater and possibly seawater – at risk of serious long-term injury and contamination. He also observes that The goldstone report mentions phosphorus in paragraph 896: Medical staff reported to the mission how even working in the areas where the phosphorus had been used made them feel sick, their lips would swell and they would become extremely thirsty and nauseous.

The toxicity of phosphorus is also recorded in a report by New York medical staff:4

‘Oral ingestion of white phosphorus in humans has been demonstrated to result in pathologic changes to the liver and kidneys. The ingestion of a small quantity of white phosphorus can cause gastrointestinal complaints such as nausea, abdominal cramps, and vomiting. Individuals with a history of oral ingestion have been noted to pass phosphorus-laden stool (“smoking stool syndrome”). The accepted lethal dose is 1 mg/kg, although the ingestion of as little as 15 mg has resulted in death.’

Although an Israeli army spokesman told CNN on 7 January 2009, “I can tell you with certainty that white phosphorus is absolutely not being used.” the chemical had been used by Israeli forces since the beginning of the war.12 The Goldstone Report stated that Israeli sources later claimed their forces had stopped using white phosphorous on 7 January 2009 because of international concerns. This was also untrue as there is evidence that it had been used after that date. Goldstone declared the Israeli armed forces to have been “systematically reckless” in using white phosphorous in built-up areas (paragraphs 884, 886 and 890).
Lightbown also discusses DIME: “Evidence of the use of depleted uranium against Gaza is tenuous and Goldstone merely recorded in paragraph 907 that it had received allegations which it had not further investigated. Much of this evidence came from Action des citoyens pour le désarmement nucléaire (ACDN: Citizens Action for Nuclear Disarmament). Their report of July 2009 hypothesizes that the GBU-39 bunker-buster bomb is packed with 75 kilogram of depleted uranium. (A UNEP report also ambiguously refers to bunker-buster bombs containing depleted uranium.) The US delivery of 1,000 of these bombs to Israel arrived in early December 2008 shortly before the start of the war. The GBU-39 is considered one of the world’s most precise bombs and Boeing, the manufacturer, claims that the bomb will penetrate three feet of steel-reinforced concrete. (UNEP suggests that it can penetrate reinforced concrete to depths ranging from 1.8 to over 6 metres.) Boeing’s patent on the weapon mentions depleted uranium.6

It is not known how many bunker-buster bombs were used against Gaza but it seems reasonable to assume that the number could run into hundreds. It is thought that they were used mostly in the Philadelphia corridor against the tunnels. Desmond Travers, the former Irish army officer who was a member of the Goldstone Commission, would only say that depleted uranium may have been used during the war, although he did agree that it would have been well suited for attacking the tunnels where maximum penetration would have been desired.7 He was also in agreement with ACDN that the use of below-ground targets would have considerably reduced the levels of aerosol uranium that was dispersed into the air.

In April 2009 Jean-François Fechino from ACDN was part of a four-person team which went to Gaza for the Arab Commission for Human Rights. Samples that the team brought back were analysed by a specialist laboratory which identified carcinogens: depleted uranium, caesium, asbestos dust, tungsten and aluminium oxide. Thorium oxide was also found, which is radioactive, as are depleted uranium and caesium. The analysis also identified phosphates and copper, along with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are a health hazard, especially to children, asthmatics and elders.9

Depleted uranium burns at almost 1200 degrees Celsius. (TNT by comparison burns at 576 degrees Celsius.) 10 At this temperature the fire vaporizes any metals in the target which in combination with uranium are released into the air in aerosol form. After deposition the aerosols have the potential to contaminate groundwater. (The Gaza aquifer, which is the Strip’s only water source, is also connected to ground water supplies in Egypt, although water only flows into Gaza from Israel.11)


The Goldstone Commission was unable to confirm that DIME munitions were used by Israeli forces during Operation Cast Lead. Col Lane had told the commission in testimony that there was no actual proof. He then went on to testify that he had been given samples in Gaza which analysis in Dublin had shown to contain DIME materials consisting mostly of tungsten with traces of iron and sulphur. He was of the opinion that ordnance had been used that had some sort of DIME component. He also mentioned that he had read of unusual amputations, and that tungsten and cobalt would have this effect. Weaponry had been found with DIME components which was capable of amputation and there are Palestinian amputees, yet neither Col Lane nor the commission was prepared to say that DIME weapons had been used by Israeli forces.

DIME bombs cause a high proportion of amputations particularly of legs, while patients often suffered internal burns as well. The bombs consist of powdered tungsten alloy mixed with an explosive material inside a casing which disintegrates on explosion. The tungsten powder tears apart anything it hits including soft tissue and bone, causing very severe injuries. Tungsten alloy particles, described as “finely powdered micro-shrapnel”, are too small to be extracted from the victim’s body and are highly carcinogenic. (Goldstone, paragraphs 902-4)
The whole Gaza population and their environment, including generations yet to be conceived, have been put at risk of serious long-term injury from heavy metal pollution of the air, soil and groundwater (and possibly the seawater too), while the causal pollution is likely to cross state borders into Egypt and even into Israel. Reassurances of the legitimate and responsible use and the reduced lethality of weapons (an opinion in part shared by Col Lane) are callous and inadequate in the context of the dangerous reality that has resulted. Meanwhile, the impacts of Israel’s illegal assaults on Gaza remain ignored and its deeds uncensored by the wider international community.”
Certainly it makes good sense to have the Israeli investigation brought before the ICJ. What possible reason exists not to do this, from either the Israeli perspective or the UNHRC. The perspectives presented above demonstrate the necessity; truth requires it, justice demands it, and the dead cry out for it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Prof. William A. Cook is a professor of English at the University of La Verne in southern California and author of The Rape Of Palestine: Hope Destroyed, Justice Denied, Read Full Bio

Related Video

PROFOUND INTERVIEW IDF ‘OPERATION CAST LEAD’



NOTE: The footnotes below are from Lightbown’s article which can be accessed at
www.redress.cc/palestine/lightbown200110314.

I would also note that the pictures that accompany or may accompany this article are from Dr. Arthur Billy’s Memorial to the People of Gaza available at You tube or as contained in an article titled “What does it profit a congressman to retain his office but suffer the loss of his soul?” A google search will give you access.

Notes

1. Kawther Salam, 29 December 2009; Abortions, Cancer, Diseases and… in Gaza; Intifada-Palestine. www.intifada-palestine.com/2009/12/abortions-cancer-diseases-and-in-gaza/
2. BBCNews, 4 March 2010; Falluja Doctors Report Rise in Birth Defects. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8548707.stm
3. Rita Hindin, Doug Brugge and Bindu Panikkar; Teratogenicity of depleted uranium aerosols: A review from an epidemiological perspective; Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source 2005, 4:17 doi:10.1186/1476-069X-4-17. www.ehjournal.net/content/4/1/17
4. Lisandro Irizarry, Mollie V Williams, Geri M Williams and José Eric Díaz-Alcalá, 21 October 2009; CBRNE – Incendiary Agents, White Phosphorus. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/833585-overview
5. UNEP, 2007; Lebanon Post-Conflict Environmental Assessment, p 149.
6. ACDN, 4 July 2009; Report on the Use of Radioactive Weapons in the Gaza Strip during Operation Cast Lead.  www.newweapons.org/files/ACDN%20Gaza%20report%20updated%204Jul2009%201.pdf
7. Dr Hana Chehata, 9 March 2010; Disturbing Findings of Toxic Uranium Levels in Gaza; Middle East Monitor. http://preview.tinyurl.com/6cdf55k
8. Video accessed from http://blog.unwatch.org/?p=413
9. Palestinian Telegraph, 24 May 2009; Israel Used Depleted Uranium in Offensive on Gaza. www.paltelegraph.com/opinions/editorials/935-israel-used-depleted-uranium-in-offensive-on-gaza.html
10. Sister Rosalie Bertell; Depleted Uranium in the Human Body: Sr Rosalie Bertell, PhD.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgQ79-oDX2o
11.  www.standwithus.com/FLYERS/WaterFlyer.pdf
12. Human Rights Watch, 10 January 2009; Q & A on Israel’s Use of White Phosphorus in Gaza. www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/01/10/q-israel-s-use-white-phosphorus-gaza
13. http://tinyurl.com/287wxo9
14. Sobhi Skaik, Nafiz Abu-Shaban, Nasser Abu-Shaban, Mario Barbieri, Maurizio Barbieri, Umberto Giani, Paola Manduca, 31 July 2010; Metals Detected by ICP/MS in Wound Tissue of War Injuries Without Fragments in Gaza.  www.newweapons.org/files/1860524319368107_article.pdf
15. NWRC, 17 December 2009; Gaza Strip, soil has been contaminated due to bombings: population in danger.  www.newweapons.org/files/pressrelease_nwrc_20091216_eng.pdf
16. NWRC, 17 March 2010; Metals Detected in Palestinian Children’s Hair Suggest Environmental Contamination. http://www.newweapons.org/?q=node/112
17. James Brooks, 6 December 2006; US and Israel Targeting DNA in Gaza? The DIME Bomb: Yet Another Genotoxic Weapon, Part II. Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding. http://tinyurl.com/6kq6sd9
18. John F. Kalinich, et al, 15 February 2005; Embedded Weapons-Grade Tungsten Alloy Shrapnel Rapidly Induces Metastatic High-Grade Rhabdomysoarcomas in F344 Rats; ehponline.org  www.afrri.usuhs.mil/www/outreach/pdf/tungsten_cancer.pdf
19. James Brooks, 5 December 2006; The DIME Bomb: Yet Another Genotoxic weapon, Part 1; Al-Jazeera. www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/27a/308.html
20. David Halpin, 14 August 2006; Are New weapons Being Used in Gaza and Lebanon; Electronic Intifada. http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article5528.shtml
21. James Brooks, 5 December 2006; The DIME Bomb: Yet Another Genotoxic weapon, Part III; Al-Jazeera. www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/oldsite/article.asp?ID=5648


River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Israeli website called for the assassination of Vittorio Arrigoni back in January 2009

Those who want to bump off the witnesses of the slaughter
Lee Kaplan


Jam 14, 2009


A Criminal website incites the killing of volunteers in Gaza. Vittorio Arrigoni is also in their sights. There should be investigation against Lee Kaplan. The criminal website http://stoptheism.com/ invites people to kill the few volunteers who are providing health treatment in Gaza under Israeli bombs. They are Americans, Spaniards, Australians, Italians and other volunteers who report us what news they can about the real impact of the Israeli aggression in Gaza. Amongst them there is Vittorio Arrigoni, human rights activist. What we have here is pure incitement to killing, furnished also with the photos of those "wanted". It’s really unconceivable that the site is still online. We demand that the Italian Government and Foreign Office take steps right now to call for it to be immediately closed and to bring those responsible to court. http://www.megachip.info/modules.php?name=Sections&op=viewarticle&artid=8532 by Pino Cabras – Megachip The call is clear: to kill a group of people, with their first and last name, habits and ideas, political affiliations and pictures easily identifiable. They also demand informers’ cooperation so as to complete the list with addresses. The dossiers are openly addressed to the Israeli military so as to help them eliminate "dangerous" targets physically, unless others see to it first: the foes to be hit are western activists—health assistants and other volunteers—who work and are witnesses to what is unfolding in the Occupied Territories. You may read all this on a website, run by a group of extremists, a sort of American-Jewish Ku Klux Klan: Stop the ISM. It may be worth noting that an Italian, Vittorio Arrigoni, whose touching reports from Gaza we have read, is amongst those targeted.


The person who runs the site is Lee Kaplan. He’s one of the many quasi-fascist instigators of the American far right underbelly, a medley that has recently taken root both amongst the Christian movements and the fringes of Jewish fundamentalism, now joined by an unusual anti-Islamic extremism. In the US, this linking between these two milieus has strengthened to the extent that Kaplan often hangs around the wannabe high society circles of the TV talk shows famous for their foaming at the mouth, on Fox News channel.


But, above all, this phenomenon is getting stronger in the Holy Land. The Jewish fundamentalists control the most extremist settlements in the territories (as it was already possible to learn by reading Israel Shahak’s and Norton Mezvinsky’s Jewish fundamentalism in Israel, London, Pluto Press 1999). The Christian fundamentalists help them hasten the coming of Armageddon, the final battle between Good and Evil, that is supposed to take place precisely there. Maybe in order to get ahead with his work, Mr Kaplan gives free rein to the site in order to call for Arrigoni and others to be eliminated. Moreover, without expecting any concern from the Italian government, in case someone should see to our fellow countryman’s wished-for "permanent removal". We shall repeat: these criminal hopes haven’t turned up on a semi-underground web forum, but on a site open to everyone and run by a public figure.


Now, since also the Israeli armed forces don’t want witnesses to Gaza’s havoc, and our mainstream media has immediately and sycophantically complied with this ban, and since the only voice from there comes from Arrigoni, then "two and two makes four" and we get wind of a huge danger. We have seen that a heavy hand is being used there, if even hospitals, ambulances, schools are bombed and any aid is targeted.


While the body count in Gaza is now reaching one thousand, an oddity is taking place.


Neither can the heap of corpses be swept any longer under the rug of a leading article by Bernard Henry Levy, nor the use of horrible weapons—that in future you will see prohibited. Our papers are shyly starting to talk about it. Yes, not in the front page, like we did some days ago here, but at page ten, with low profile articles.


Concealing is no longer possible. Yet, it’s possible to water things down. And our great media knows well how to do it. Awaiting who knows what, a political military success, a chimera, the end of Hamas. At what price? The most subtle censorship is ongoing, but this subtlety doesn’t save it from being associated to more violent and threatening censorship, the kind that intends to hit those who want to rescue the Palestinian people from their own destruction. You know, when the finger points to the moon, the fool looks at the finger. Similarly, many Italian intellectuals are horrified while pointing out to us the blood-stained finger of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) but they fail to look at the gloomy moon where the other fundamentalisms are increasingly holding sway over the Israeli leadership The idea according to which the IAF are defending the Enlightenment against the uncivilized is an ideology heralding tragedies, and we had better get rid of it by operating an honest historical and political review of the Middle-eastern record. The account of what is happening is now at a crucial point, with all the witnesses to be respected.


From Stop the ISM website


ISMer Ewa Jasiewicz in house of former DFLP commander killed by IDF claims she is just picking up "civilian" casualties. Jaseiwicz, in Abu Rabo's house, works with the terrorists. Rabo's house no doubt held weapons cache with children inside as human shields. Abu Rabo was the deputy of Naif Hawatma, the head of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Ewa Jasiewicz needs to be a target of IDF forces as well as she has shown she is in Gaza to work for Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups like DFLP. A picture of Ewa is below. If you know of her exact location, please email us at info@StoptheISM.com so we can target and take her out once and for all.


As with any good subversive, Ewa changes her haircolor frequently:


Want to bring a permanent peace to the Middle East? Help the IDF find and target her to be eliminated permanently like her Hamas buddies. Ewa was previously a human shield for Iraqi insurgents. She is no peace activist, she is a Hamas enabler. She claims to be helping civilians, but all her "civilians" are in the homes of Hamas and other terrorist group operatives such as Abu-Rabo of the DFLP. She is aiding terrorists with homes that have weapons caches, not innocent Palestinians. It is people like her who will roil this conflict forever and once they are eliminated, only then can there potentially be a just peace for Arabs and Israelis alike.


ALERT THE IDF MILITARY TO TARGET ISM


Number to call if you can pinpoint the locations of Hamas with their ISM members with them. From the US call 011-972-2-5839749. From other countries drop the 011. Help us neutralize the ISM that is now definitely a part of Hamas since the war began.


#1 ISM TARGET FOR THE ISRAELI AIR FORCE AND IDF GROUND TROOPS:


VITTORIO ARRIGONI (PICTURED BELOW) IS CURRENTLY IN GAZA ASSISTING HAMAS ARRIGONI HAS BEEN DEPORTED REPEATEDLY BY ISRAEL AND WAS DEPORTED NOT ONLY IN 2005 BUT JUST LAST MONTH AFTER ENTERING GAZA ILEGALLY WITH THE GAZA FLOTILLA.


HE WAS CAPTURED BY THE IDF NAVY AND DEPORTED ONLY TO SHOW UP AGAIN IN GAZA WITH THE ISM HAVING REENTERED JUST DAYS LATER WITH THE GAZA FLOTILLA. ARRIGONI WAS AWARDED A MEDAL FROM HAMAS AND IS CURRENTLY DOING HUMAN SHIELD WORK FOR HAMAS IN GAZA. WE PROVIDE THIS PHOTO SO THE IDF CAN HOPEFULLY FIND HIM AND GET RID OF HIM PERMANENTLY.


THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT BEHAVFED DISGRACEFULLY DURING THE ACHILLE LAURO AFFAIR AND ENABLED MACHMOUD ABBAS TO ESCAPE AFTER HIS CAPTURE BY THE US MILITARY. WE DOUBT THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT WOULD BE OVERLY CONCERNED BY THIS RECIDIVIST ANARCHIST FOR HAMAS AND THE ISM AND HOPE HE BECOMES A TARGET FOR PERMANENT REMOVAL:


(A more cleaned up Arrigoni, left, during a deportation hearing in Tel Aviv in 2005). Arrigoni has his left eyebrow pierced and sports at least one tattoo, a design on his left shoulder. The IDF should regard him as an operative of Hamas and treat him no differently.


TARGET #2 JENNY LINNELL


Jenny Linnel also received a medal from Hamas and has attempted to encourage the opening the sea lanes for the smuggling of weapons from Iran. She claims she's a human rights activist but is in fact another anarchist from the UK.
Jenny has appeared on Iranian TV in the English language to promote Hamas. See here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyokcGD9U9E Of course, we all know the Iranians only have the best of motives. Hamas is an Iranian proxy and she is appearing on Iranian TV. She is not a human rights activist, she is an anarchist supporting Hamas and ultimately Iran.


Target #3 Ewa Jasiewicz


Ewa has also been awarded a medal from Hamas and works to support the Hamas terrorist groups while claiming she is a human rights worker. Also from the UK via Poland, she has been active in assisting Hamas during the Israeli incursion. She is skilled at promoting propaganda for Hamas and retelling incidents to hide her activity in support of Hamas. Currently she fabricates tales about houses of Hamas operatives destroyed because they were weapons caches by spinning the events as attacks on innocent civilians. All three of these people should be regarded as enemy combattants who help with logisitcs, propaganda and God only knows what else. They were all deported and came immediately back in and should be targeted by the IDF with the rest of Hamas to remove them for good.


Target #4 Alberto Arce is from Spain, he fancies himself a film director Arce creates propaganda scenes for Hamas. He is accompanying Hamas operatives as a human shield while enhancing his filmmaker prospects for the future.
Target #5 Eva Bartlett from Australia Eva Bartlett is aiding the Hamas during the war campaign.


Target #6 Sharon Lock of Australia


(no photo but a poor picture on Russian TV at: http://www.youtube.com/v/uzxRGvVH8qQ&hl=en&fs=1) .


A note about Lock's comments on the video:


She doesn't know anything about international law because the term "collective punishment" refers to taking hostages in a war zone and executing innocent people to force collaboration. It does not refer to civilian casualties that occur because the goddamned Hamas shoot their missiles from population centers and schoolyards.


The fact is Sharon doesn't care when Hamas shoots missiles at Israeli schoolkids, she wants to distract when Israel fights back by calling collateral casualties (small, given Israel's attempt to avoid such) "collective punishment." She is now serving in ambulances used by Hamas to transport terrorists and weapons.
All of these Marxist anarchists above are responsible for proliferation of weapons smuggling tunnels in Rafah through the publicity campaign using the death of Rachel Corrie as an excuse to put pressure on Israel to stop destroying those tunnels. Today, the IDF has to go back in and destroy them. Up until now, with ISM help, those tunnels have provided weapons that killed even children in Sderot. The above people are on record as having gone into the tunnels and knowing where they are. Time to treat them as enemy combattants. In coming days, we'll tell you how to STOP THEM for good. Right now, these people are riding in ambulances used by Hamas to transport weapons and terrorists to provide human shield work for the killers.


By the way, here's a photo of Paul LaRudee of Norcal ISM, one their leaders meeting with his Hamas allies:
We're wondering if LaRudee (left) is asking Haniyeh if he has a suicide bomber's bed he can sleep in as he did in the past. LaRudee is earning big bucks now as an organizer for Hamas and also received a medal from the terrorist group. He also has been working with Hizballah.


NEW!!! CAIOHME BUTTERFLY IS TARGET #7 OF ISM IN GAZA


CAIOHME HAS BEEN REPEATEDLY DEPORTED FROM ISRAEL AND IS NOW IN GAZA DOING HER HUMAN SHIELD WORK FOR HAMAS. AN IRISH NATIONAL. HER PASSION IS TO DESTROY ISRAEL AND AID ALL TERRORIST GROPS THAT SEEK TO DO SO.


HER HAIR COLOR MAY BE DIFFERENT AS IN THIS PHOTO:




SUPPORTING HAMAS TERRORISTS IN THE EMERALD ISLE IN THE PHOTO AT LEFT, CAIOHME IS NOW IN GAZA WORKING FOR HAMAS.


Listen to Stop the ISM's Lee Kaplan about the ISM on the Tovia Singer Show, Israel National Radio by clicking this link: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Radio/News.aspx/455


IDF NAVY STOPS ISM BOAT!!!
The IDF Navy finally stopped the IDF Flotilla boat Dignity today. As usual the ISM claims their boat was in international waters (like they never lie). The Israeli Defense Ministry needs to do three things: 1) Sink the boat. 2) Sink the boat. 3) Sink the boat. Arrest Huwaida Arraf and Neta Golan if on board and this time prosecute them. Golan, a former mental patient is a co-founder of the ISM with Huwaida Arraf. Intercepted ISM email: From: "Ramzi Kysia"


URGENT! Israeli Navy Attacking Civilian Mercy Ship!


TAKE ACTIONIMMEDIATELY! The Dignity, a Free Gaza boat on a mission of mercy to besieged Gaza, is being attacked by the Israeli Navy in international waters. The Dignity has been surrounded by at least half-a-dozen Israeli warships. They are firing live ammunition around the Dignity, and one of the warships has rammed the civilian craft causing an unknown amount of damage.


Contrary to international maritime law, the Israelis are actively preventing the Dignity from approaching Gaza or finding safe haven in either Egypt or Lebanon. Instead, the Israeli navy is demanding that the Dignity return to Cyprus - despite the fact that the ship does not carry enough fuel to do so.


Fortunately, no one aboard the ship has yet been seriously injured. There are 15 civilian passengers representing 11 different countries (see below for a complete list). At approximately 5am (UST), well out in international waters, Israeli warships began surrounding the Dignity, threatening the ship. At 6:45am (UST) we were able to establish brief contact with the crew and were told that the ship had been rammed by the Israeli Navy in international waters, and that the Israelis were preventing the ship from finding safe harbor. We heard heavy gunfire in the background before all contact was lost with the Dignity. It is urgent that you


It is urgent that you TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION!


CALL the Israeli Government and demand that it immediately STOP attacking the Dignity and endangering the lives of its passengers! (DO CALL BUT TELL TEHM TO SINK THE SHIP!!!)


CALL Mark Regev in the Prime Minister's office at: +972 2670 5354 or +972 5062 3264 mark.regev@it.pmo.gov.il


CALL Shlomo Dror in the Ministry of Defence at: +972 33697 5339 or +972 50629 8148 mediasar@mod.gov.il


BACKGROUND INFORMATION


The Dignity departed from Larnaca Port in Cyprus at 7pm (UST) on Monday 29 December, bound for war-devastated Gaza with a cargo of over 3 tons of desperately needed medical supplies donated by the people of Cyprus. At our request, the ship was searched by Cypriot Port authorities prior to departure, to certify that there was nothing "threatening" aboard - only emergency medical supplies.


TAKE ACTION IMMEDIATELY TO STOP THE ISRAELI NAVY FROM ENDANGERING THE DIGNITY AND ITS PASSENGERS!

Civilians aboard the Dignity being threatened by the Israeli military:

(UK) Denis Healey, Captain

Captain of the Dignity, Denis has been involved with boats for 45 years, beginning with small fishing boats in Portsmouth. He learned to sail while ats chool and has been part of the sea ever since. He's a certified yachtmaster and has also worked on heavy marine equipment from yachts to large dredgers. This is his fourth trip to Gaza. (He needs to be prosecuted by Israel and the US for violating US Neutrality Act).

(Greece) Nikolas Bolos, First Mate Nikolas is a chemical engineer and human rights activist (bullshit artist). He has served as a crewmember on several Free Gaza voyages, including the first one in August.

This guy needs to be prosecuted by Israel for repeat offenses.

(Jordan) Othman Abu Falah Othman is a senior producer with Al-Jazeera Television. He will remain in Gaza to report on the ongoing military onslaught. (Objective? Al Jazeera calls Hamas terrorist martyrs)

(Australia) Renee Bowyer Renee is a schoolteacher and human rights activist (bullshit artist). She will remain in Gaza to do human rights monitoring and reporting.

(Ireland) Caoimhe Butterly–ISM MANIAC FROM WAY BACK Caoimhe is a reknowned human rights activist and Gaza Coordinator for the Free Gaza Movement. She will be remaining in Gaza to do human rights monitoring, assist with relief efforts, and work on project development with Free Gaza.

(Cyprus) Ekaterini Christodulou Ekaterini is a well-known and respected (by whom?) freelance journalist in Cyprus. She is traveling to Gaza to report on the conflict.

(Sudan) Sami El-Haj - AN Al QAEDA MAN! Sami is a former detainee at Guantanamo Bay, and head of the human rights section at Al-Jazeera Television. He will remain in Gaza to report on the ongoing military onslaught.

(UK) Dr. David Halpin-WOULD NEVER VOLUNTEER FOR JEWISH VICTIMS IN SDEROT Dr. Halpin is an experienced orthopaedic surgeon, medical professor, and ship's captain. He has organized humanitarian relief efforts in Gaza on several occasions with the Dove and Dolphin. He is traveling to Gaza to volunteer in hospitals and clinics.

(Germany) Dr. Mohamed Issa Dr. Issa is a pediatric surgeon from Germany. He is traveling to Gaza to volunteer in hospitals and clinics.

(UK/Tunisia) Fathi Jaouadi Fathi is a television producer and human rights activist. He will remain in Gaza to do human rights monitoring and reporting.

(USA) Cynthia McKinney-KNOWN VIRULENT ANTI-SEMITE WANTED TO ACCEPT SAUDI MONEY AFTER 9/11. Cynthia is a former U.S. Congresswoman from Georgia, and the 2008 Green Party presidential candidate. She is traveling to Gaza to assess the ongoing conflict.

(Cyprus) Martha Paisi Martha is a senior research fellow and experienced human rights activist (bulshit artist). She is traveling to Gaza to do human rights work and to assist with humanitarian relief efforts.

(UK) Karl Penhaul Karl Penhaul is a video correspondent for CNN, based out of Bogot?, Colombia. Appointed to this position in February 2004, he covers breaking news around the world utilizing CNN's new laptop-based 'Digital Newsgathering' system. He is traveling to Gaza to report on the ongoing conflict.

(Iraq) Thaer Shaker Thaer is a cameraman with Al-Jazeera television. He will remain in Gaza to report on the ongoing military onslaught.


(Cyprus) Dr. Elena Theoharous, MP Dr. Theoharous is a surgeon and a Member of the Cypriot Parliament. She is traveling to Gaza to assess the ongoing conflict, assist with humanitarian relief efforts, and volunteer in hospitals. ### To: <gazafriends@lists.riseup.net> Sent: Tuesday, December 30, 2008 7:26 AM Subject: [GazaFriends] URGENT! Israeli Navy Attacking Civilian Mercy Ship! TAKE ACTION IMMEDIATELY!


ISRAEL IS ON THE MARCH IN GAZA. WE CAN ONLY HOPE THE ISM ACTS AS REAL HUMAN SHIELDS THIS TIME SO THEY CAN GET SHOT.An old Arab ditty but with new lyrics:

In Blood and Spirit We will Redeem Thee Oh Sderot!!! In Blood and Spirit We will Redeem Thee Oh Sderot!!! In Blood and Spirit We will Redeem Thee Oh Sderot!!! Bomb the shit out the the Gaza savages! Let's have some smell of napalm in the morning over Rafiach. Avenge Sderot! In Blood and Spirit We will Redeem Thee Oh Sderot!!! In Blood and Spirit We will Redeem Thee Oh Sderot!!! In Blood and Spirit We will Redeem Thee Oh Sderot!!! Die die die Hamas dogs! In Blood and Spirit We will Redeem Thee Oh Sderot!!! In Blood and Spirit We will Redeem Thee Oh Sderot!!! In Blood and Spirit We will Redeem Thee Oh Sderot!!! Zion gonna win! In Blood and Spirit We will Redeem Thee Oh Sderot!!! In Blood and Spirit We will Redeem Thee Oh Sderot!!! In Blood and Spirit We will Redeem Thee Oh Sderot!!! Killing the Jihad bastards is the answer! In Blood and Spirit We will Redeem Thee Oh Sderot!!! In Blood and Spirit We will Redeem Thee Oh Sderot!!! In Blood and Spirit We will Redeem Thee Oh Sderot!!! End the illegal Hamas occupation of Jewish land in Gaza! In Blood and Spirit We will Redeem Thee Oh Sderot!!! In Blood and Spirit We will Redeem Thee Oh Sderot!!! In Blood and Spirit We will Redeem Thee Oh Sderot!!!

Stop the ISM's Lee Kaplan can salso be heard on the Tovia Singer Show (Israel National News Radio) on Thursday, December18th at 1 PM Pacific Time US to discuss Stop the ISM's involvement in the arrest and deportation of ISM activist Darlene Wallach by the Israeli Navy. If there is time, he will also discuss the newest ISM vile tactics of If American's Knew's head, Alsion Weir who is producing a film with the ISM's newest lie claiming Israel routinely sexcually abuses Arab women at Ben Gurion airport. For more on Alison Weir, visit the Rogues Section of Stop the ISM. The Tovia Singer Show can be heard at www.israelnationalnews.com and clicking on Radio Shows. The show also will be archived.





IDF Exercises Sovereignty off Gaza, Arrests Pro-Arab Activists


by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
(IsraelNN.com) The IDF arrested 15 Arab fishermen and three International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activists Monday after their fishing boats veered into Israeli territorial waters. It was the first time the foreigners have been arrested since the pro-Arab "Free Gaza" movement began testing Israeli sovereignty in August.

They have broken Israeli sovereignty four times by landing at Gaza without authorization and without interference from Israeli authorities before Tuesday's arrests.

The Foreign Ministry originally said it did not want to create a media circus over arrests on the high seas. Further sailings were allowed by the office of the Prime Minister and the IDF, possibly out of fear of injuries to the activists, who have included European legislators.

The detained activists were identified as Andrew Muncie from Scotland, Darlene Wallach from the United States and Victor Arrigoni from Italy, all of whom were turned over to immigration authorities at Ben Gurion Airport for deportation. One of them is staging a hunger strike, and pro-Arab leaders from the Free Gaza movement charged Israel with "kidnapping them."


An IDF spokeswoman explained that the fishing boats wandered into prohibited territory and ignored orders to halt. "They interfered with security patrols," the spokeswoman explained. "The ISM activists are provocateurs, and the IDF allows fishing in permitted waters." The activists accompany the fishermen to encourage them to sail beyond the allowed limit and claim that Israel's exercised sovereignty over the Gaza Coast violates the Oslo Agreements. The government has stated in the past that it will control the air and sea so long as the Palestinian Authority, which has been replaced by Hamas in Gaza, does not control terror. The activists previously have charged the Navy with chemical warfare by spraying water cannons that drenched them with "a chemical substance." IDF spokesmen laughed off the allegations as ridiculous and said that "routine and acceptable" measures are taken when boats stray beyond legal limits.

The IDF also denied allegations that machine gunfire has been used to ward off the boats. Radio Netherlands reported that the fishing boats bear bullet holes, and it quoted an unnamed Arab's claim that fishermen come under fire on a daily basis.

Muncie, one of the activists who was arrested, accused the Navy of throwing explosives into the sea in order to destabilize the boats. Radio Netherlands also reported claims that two fishermen have been killed and at least four others wounded. The IDF denied the claims.


ISM activist prosecuted for aiding Hamas and passport fraud:


http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/022457.php


Pennsylvania Leftist useful idiot guilty of aiding Hamas


A member of the International Solidarity Movement. Left/Jihad Nexus Update: "York County native gets 31/2 years for helping Hamas," by Nichole Dobo for The Evening Sun, August 23:
A 33-year-old York County native was sentenced Thursday morning to prison for aiding a group the United States designated as a terrorist organization. Richard David Hupper, originally from York Township, was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in federal prison for aiding Hamas, a Palestinian military and political organization.


Hupper faced up to 15 years in prison. He admitted to giving about $20,000 to Hamas while working in Israel with the International Solidarity Movement, a non-governmental organization….


Hupper, a Dallastown Area High School graduate, became involved with the conflict in the Middle East after watching international newscasts. The machinist watched the TV shows while recovering from a work-related injury at his Alabama home, his lawyer has said.


Hupper traveled to the Gaza Strip, where he worked with the International Solidarity Movement to aid Palestinians, according to court documents. He was eventually deported by Israeli authorities, according to court documents.


To return to Israel, Hupper applied for a passport in Florida using false information, according to court documents. He pleaded guilty to passport fraud charges more than two years ago. He is finishing his 24-month federal prison sentence for those charges.
Where does an unemployed machinist get $20K for Hamas? Through ISM fundraising as with the Gaza Flotilla. See below and tune in to learn how to go after ISM -Hamas fundraising:

Stop the ISM's Lee Kaplan will be on the Tovia Singer Show on Israel National News Radio on Thrusday night , August 28th at 9 pm (Friday at midnight e.s.t. or 7 am Friday in Israel) to discuss the Gaza Flotilla and what you can do to have the ISM activists arrested involved in the event. Tune in to see what you can do at www.israelnationalnews.com click on radio and listen live or listen to the archived show.


Slow Boat to Gaza

By David Bedein


Nicosia, Cyprus - On Monday, a movement known as FreeGaza.org held a press conference in Nicosia, Cyprus, in which a group of 40 people from around the world announced that they would board two small boats to travel by sea to Gaza to "break the siege" that Israel has placed upon Gaza.

There was no acknowledgement that in June of 2007, the Hamas regime took over Gaza and formalized a total state of war against Israel with the aim of liberating all of Palestine and using Gaza as a stepping stone to recoup any and all land ruled by the Jewish state.

With increasing boatloads of Iranian military hardware landing on the Gaza coastline, the Israeli navy was forced to impose an embargo of goods coming into Gaza. Israel offered to oversee goods and services for humanitarian needs in Gaza, by allowing specified supervised land crossings for supply to Gaza.The press conference, held at "Journalist House" in Nicosia, was launched with an opening statement by an Israeli American Jerusalem resident, Jeff Halper, who alleged that Israel was behaving in defiance of international law by closing shipping lanes to Gaza. He also claimed that the people of Gaza faced a severe shortage of milk and medical supplies.

Mr. Monir Deeb, a native Gazan who has lived in Los Angeles since 1979, explained to the media that he was boarding these boats to reunite with his siblings in Gaza. Mr. Deeb described Gaza as a "peaceful community under Israeli military siege" and said that this small convoy was meant to deliver a message to Israel to stop the siege of Gaza.

This reporter asked Mr. Deeb about the armed Gaza militias who have fired thousands of missiles over the past eight years against Israeli civilian communities that surround Gaza. I also asked for his comment on how the Hamas government is using the current cease fire period to regroup and train for the next attack on Israel. Mr. Deeb said that he "could not relate to this question," since it was "political" and his concern was "only humanitarian" in nature.

The convener of the FreeGaza.org press conference, Ms. Greta Berlin, an American woman formerly married to a Palestinian whose family was dislocated from Safed in Northern Israel during the 1948 war, gave examples of the humanitarian mission on which they were embarking. "One of her missions," she said, "was to supply 9,000 hearing aids for Palestinian children who suffer hearing loss at a young age, due to Israeli missile attacks on Gaza."

I asked Ms. Berlin if it were not the case that the missile attacks that she had claimed had been fired at Palestinians in Gaza by Israelis were actually fired by Palestinians towards the Western Negev, as they screech over Palestinian villages en route to hit Israeli civilian targets.

Ms. Berlin would not comment, saying repeatedly that the purpose of the voyage to Gaza was not political, even though the press statement issued by FreeGaza.org touched every raw political nerve possible. FreeGaza.org also clearly stated that it strongly condemns Israel for not allowing "refugees and their descendants the right to return home" to the villages that have since been resettled by Israel after the 1948 war. Meanwhile, the "FreeGaza.org" press statement also decried "Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine," laying aside any pretensions that the group only favored Israel's full withdrawal from Gaza.

Ms. Berlin reported that the operation to bring two boats into Gaza was independent of any foreign entities. She mentioned that FreeGaza.org had already raised $210,000 of the total budget needed, more than $300,000 for the boats. However, on July 31st, the Palestine Information Center issued a press release in which it stated that a member of the Lebanese Parliament had confirmed to Hamas leader Abu Marzook in Cairo that the boats had been provided by Palestinian popular committees by the Hamas. That would mean, in effect, that FreeGaza.org received two sources of support for its work - from American Jewish groups and from the Palestinian popular committees which are run by Hamas.

Nothing like the profit motive to move things along the high seas.

The boats are timed to arrive in Gaza this coming Saturday night, which this year marks Tisha 'av, the ninth of Av on the Jewish calendar, a fast day which marks disasters which have befallen the Jewish people.

By coincidence or not, pro-Palestinian movements around the world have designated this Friday and Saturday as a time of solidarity with their cause.

Indeed, an international Palestinian solidarity conference will convene this coming weekend at Wyndam Ohare Hotel in Chicago, Illinois, where a coalition of fifty Arab groups will gather under the umbrella of the first "Palestinian Popular Conference in North America." The theme of the conference, promoted in all of their publicity, leaves no room for the imagination: "Ending Zionist occupation and colonization of Palestine. :: Article nr. 50830 sent on 15-jan-2008 05:09 ECT http://www.uruknet.info/?p=50830

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian