More than 140 Palestinians have died since Israel began its latest assault on Gaza. The campaign triggered by the capture of an Israeli soldier by Hamas-linked militants in a cross-border raid late last month.
The deaths of nine Israeli soldiers in the battle for the village of Bint Jbeil plus the continued ability of Hezbollah to rain rockets onto northern Israel have prompted questions in Israel about its military strategy in Lebanon.
Overall, there is clarity about Israeli intentions - the release of the two captured soldiers and the removal of Hezbollah from southern Lebanon, but lack of clarity about how to achieve them.
Ze'ev Schiff, the most respected military analyst in Israel commented: "Israel is far from a decisive victory and its main objectives have not been achieved."
The 12-strong "security cabinet" nevertheless decided on Thursday to continue with the current tactics of air bombardment (perhaps stepping this up) coupled with a limited ground operation near the border. However, 30,000 reserves are being called up, thereby keeping open the option of a major expansion of the ground campaign.
The decision appears to have been a compromise between those who want to be more aggressive and those who fear the consequences in terms of increasing both Lebanese civilian and Israeli military casualties. Defence Minister Amir Peretz is thought to be among the more cautious.
The UN in Lebanon says the Israeli air force destroyed the post, in which four military observers were sheltering.
It said the four, from Austria, Canada, China and Finland, had taken shelter in a bunker under the post after it was earlier shelled 14 times by Israeli artillery.
A rescue team was also shelled as it tried to clear the rubble.
"I am shocked and deeply distressed by the apparently deliberate targeting by Israeli Defence Forces of a UN Observer post in southern Lebanon," Mr Annan said in a statement from Rome.
Unifil has been operational in the border area since 1978 and is currently 2,000 strong.Kofi Annan declares the shelling "deliberate."Bolton the USA's UN man blusters:"We're obviously very sorry," Boltin[sic] said. "We're attempting to get information where we can to confirm the nature of the incident." and Israel has demanded Kofi Annan apologise for his accusation...
But the US and Britain will not push for a ceasefire unless root causes of the conflict are addressed, she adds.
The summit will take place without a
delegation from Israel.
July 20, 2006 -- WMR reported that the Israeli
military was using poison gas on villages in south
Lebanon. According to a former U.S. weapons expert who
served in Iraq, the artillery shell in a photo taken in
Lebanon (below) is a chemical weapon delivery device. It
is being handled by an Israeli Defense Force soldier and
Hebrew lettering can be clearly seen on the armored
vehicle. Another chemical weapons shell of the same type
can be seen lying on the ground to the right. It is not
known what type of chemical is in the chemical canister,
however, gas dropped by the Israelis in villages in
southern Lebanon has resulted in severe vomiting among
the civilian population.
Media commentators have scoffed that Israel, with its relatively unique history, would ever use chemical weapons or poison gas in any war. It is precisely because of that perception that they are using such weapons. The deniability factor prevents the media from taking seriously the credible reports of banned weapons being used by the Israelis.
Israel using chemical delivery weapons in Lebanon. Fuse and chemical canister can be clearly seen in photo of Israel Defense Force personnel in Lebanon. Drawing of chemical weapon is from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
"You Wave the Flag, Now Show the Veterans the Services"
THE FLUORIDE ACTION NETWORK
I will be providing a COUNTDOWN on how
many letters we get sent in, so please sign the online
letter and send it off today - and please get as many
other people to do it as well - Go to: http://actionstudio.org/?go=2367
All of these help to undermine the case
for water fluoridation.
NAJAF, Iraq, Dec 5 (AFP) - The man in charge of drawing up an electoral list backed by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the spiritual leader of Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority, has been arrested by the US military, an aide said Sunday.
"American forces on Saturday arrested Mohammed Hashem al-Yehya, coordinator of the six-person committee set up by the Marjaiya (Iraq's highest Shiite authority) to supervise the drawing up of an electoral list with the backing of the ayatollah," said a Sistani representative in the holy city of Najaf.
"If he is not released, there will be serious consequences," said the source, giving no reason for Yehya's arrest in Baghdad.
The US military said it had heard reports of the arrest but was unable to give any further information.
On Tuesday, Shiite political leaders said that they were in the final stages of drawing up an electoral list that had Sistani's blessing, ahead of the landmark elections scheduled for January 30.
Sistani is one of the most powerful and popular figures in Iraq and commentators argue that any list endorsed by him would stand a good chance in the polls.
12/05/2004 17:39 GMT - AFP Turkish Press
THE INCREDIBLE UGLY NATURE OF THE
JEWISH MILITARY - CHILDREN WRITE:Israeli
girls write messages on shells at a heavy artillery
position near Kiryat Shmona, in northern Israel, next to
the Lebanese border, Monday, July 17, 2006.(AP
Photo/Sebastian Scheiner) Dear
Lebanese/Palestinian/Arab/Muslim/Christians - Kids,
12 Egyptian Sailors Rescued to al-Bassel Hospital in Tartous, Syria Saturday, July 15, 2006 - 09:20 PM
Tartous, Syrian coast, July 15 (SANA)
Twelve Egyptian sailors have been rescued and taken to al-Bassel Hospital in the Syrian coastal city of Tartous on Saturday after their ship which was in offshore Beirut in the Lebanese international waters was fired at, set ablaze by an Israeli barge that was firing at random in all directions. The Egyptian survivors said they sent a distress call via the satellites Friday night. They were rescued by two Syrian and Egyptian ships who were sailing in the area towards the Syrian coast, definitely to Tartous seaport.
TEL AVIV PROTESTS
Eitan Lerner, who took part in the rally, said: "Israel is entering another cycle of fighting and continues the foolishness of exaggerated aggression. I came here to protest because there's a link between starving and oppressing the Palestinians and the bombings in Lebanon." "It's true that what Hizbullah did was unacceptable, but Israel is overreacting. Since when is the entire population to blame for all this?" he asked.
Rela Mazali from the New Profile organization explained: "This is a stupid, unnecessary and evil war. Our leaders could have prevented it. eventually the hostages will be released through negotiations, but hundreds will be killed along the way in Lebanon, and I don't know how many will die here. I think that we must make our voice heard." Manal Amuri from Jerusalem called on the Israeli government to hold talks with Hamas and Hizbullah. "The Israeli aggression leads to an overall war no one wants. I think that Israel should negotiate with Hizbullah and Hamas and release Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the hostages. This way this story will come to an end." "What Israel is doing now resulted in the death of civilians, innocent children, and it serves no purpose except for the government's vindictiveness. I think it's good we're showing that there are Arab and Jewish citizens in Israel who oppose the war."
We could not believe this would happen to us. It was very scary. We are frightened and intend to escape with our children," Ayala Aloni told Israel's Ynet news Web site after the first rocket hit.
In Karmiel, another Israeli town struck by rockets, the mayor urged residents to stay with relatives in the south of the country until the violence subsides. Several people were injured in an Israeli Arab town across the road from Karmiel on Friday.
Defence Minister Amir Peretz issued an order giving authorities the power to shut schools, factories and public institutions in the north, in a bid to limit rocket casualties. The "Special Situation" declaration falls short of a full state of emergency. Israeli generals urged the public to remain calm in the region where about 750,000 Israelis were under rocket threat, but cautioned it may be weeks until they subside. "We have to be ready for some more days, perhaps more than that, perhaps weeks, to face this reality," the Israeli army's operations chief, General Gadi Eizenkot, told reporters in Tel Aviv. "We have to prepare for a continued campaign, not to panic." The army said people living north of Haifa and Tiberias should stay inside buildings below the fourth floor. Radio announcements urged Israelis to avoid travel to northern Israel, and public events have been cancelled. The Israeli army believes Hizbollah has 10,000 to 12,000 rockets in its arsenal with ranges of 30 to 70 km (18 to 45 miles), suggesting they could reach beyond Haifa or Tiberias.Reuters
The disaster that overtook one of the Israeli Navys state of the art warships, Ahi-Hanit, was "thoroughly planned" in advance by an enemy which managed to take Israels military commanders by surprise. It has shocked Israels military to a degree comparable to the profound effect on US forces of al Qaedas 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Aden. The Saar-5 class corvette, with a crew of 61 seamen and a 10-man helicopter crew, was hit Friday, July 17 at 20:15 hours, while shelling Beirut international airport. Four crewmen were reported missing. One was found dead Saturday aboard the crippled ship......Shortly before 20:00 hours Friday, Hizballah launched a pair of land-to-sea C-802 missiles against the Israeli ship from the coast of Beirut. The trajectory of the first was adjusted to a landing amidships from above. It missed and exploded in the water. The second was rigged to skim the water like a cruise missile. It achieved a direct hit of the Ahi Hanits helicopter deck, starting a fire. The ship began to sink, as Nasrallah said, and would have been lost were it not for the speed and bravery of crewmen who jumped into the flames and doused them before the ship exploded and sank. ...DEBKA
The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on Friday and called for an end to the Israeli operation, saying it was causing the death of innocent civilians.
A three-man UN crisis team has arrived in Cairo and will hold talks with the Arab League on Saturday. The situation is also sure to be discussed at the G8 forum in St Petersburg, Russia.
Syria said it would support Hezbollah and
Lebanon against Israel's attacks.
Israeli planes Saturday 15th destroyed a bridge in the central Gaza Strip, wounding a civilian, Palestinian security sources said. It was the fourth bridge destroyed by Israel since the offensive in Gaza began two weeks ago.
Offices belonging to Hamas politicians and alleged militant training camps in northern Gaza were also hit.
At least 40 Palestinians and an Israeli have died in raids launched after militants seized an Israeli soldier.
Israeli aircraft hit fresh targets in Gaza on Sunday evening, including a suspected weapons depot in Gaza city.
Five Palestinians were wounded in an air strike on a van transporting weapons, while Palestinian militants fired two Qassam rockets at the Israeli border town of Sderot.
"I think that once the Qassam shooting will be stopped and the terrorist actions against innocent civilians will be halted altogether, there will be no need for any Israeli action in Gaza," Mr Olmert told foreign journalists in Jerusalem.
On Sunday, he told ministers the offensive was not a re-occupation of Gaza, but would continue for as long as it took to secure the release of 19-year-old Cpl Gilad Shalit, captured two weeks ago, and stop cross-border rocket attacks.
On Friday the European Union condemned "the loss of lives caused by disproportionate use of force by the Israeli Defence Forces and the humanitarian crisis it has aggravated".
Mr Olmert responded on Monday: "Can one measure the anxiety, the fear, the shocks, the lack of security of tens of thousands of people living day in and day out for almost a year under the constant threat of missiles shot at them?
"When was the last time that the European Union condemned this shooting and suggested effective measures to stop it? We were waiting and waiting and waiting."
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has demanded an immediate halt to Israel's "disproportionate use of force in densely populated areas" which he said was against international humanitarian law.
Israeli forces have withdrawn from parts of northern Gaza they seized last week, but they remain east of Gaza City and in the south of the Gaza Strip.
Hamas says Cpl Shalit is alive and being well-treated, and it is demanding Israel release women and children among the 9,000 Palestinians held in Israeli jails.
Mr Olmert ruled out any negotiations with the Hamas led-Palestinian government, calling the militant group a "terrorist bloody organization".
But he also denied trying to topple the democratically elected Palestinian government.
"We have no particular desire to topple the Hamas government as a policy. We have a desire to stop terrorists from inflicting terror on the Israeli people," he said.
Since Cpl Shalit's capture, Israeli forces have
re-entered Gaza, bombed its infrastructure and arrested
Hamas Cabinet ministers and threatened to assassinate
Bloody life in Gaza, scary days and dark nights all the time, The attack is still ongoing, This laptop computer is running out of battery at the momentI will get back to update the website as soon as possible.
All the residents of Gaza, including myself, are having rolling power outages after the power plant was completely damaged in a missile attack launched as Israel began an incursion with Israeli F-16s and helicopters. There is no electricity and this is affecting the entire Gaza Strip and is making it impossible for hospitals, among other things, to work.
The power outages have also affected the water supplies running with electrical pumps.
Israel also destroyed
three bridges in the territory, rendering the structures
impassable to vehicles. These bridges are the only ones
connecting the North of Gaza with its south. If this
siege continues, our life will become more hellish!
"The badly damaged power plant provided about half of the territory's electricity," says Mohammed Abu Shamaleh, Executive director of the Palestinian Generating Company in Gaza. He estimates that the damage to the structure is $16m and it could take up to six months to repair. So now, all Gaza Strip, will stay with no electricity.
hovering of F-16s are still over,Rafah. The Gaza
International Airport was attacked and Israeli soldiers
transformed it into a military zone full of snipers. Umm
Yousef Abu Jazar, a mother of 7 children escaped the
shelling of her house as it was blasted by the soldiers.
"I dont know where to go with my daughters, we
dont want to die under the Israeli tanks and
bulldozers, we want to live as everyone else lives"
she said, crying and running to seek shelter.
The Israelis say they are at war with the Palestinians but they cannot accept the status of "prisoner of war" for Gilad Shalit(JB.Editor):
BBC: Israel's operations in Gaza and the West Bank appear to have as their aim not just an increase in pressure to get the release of its captured soldier but the weakening of the Hamas government.
The Israeli Defence Minister, the Labour leader Amir Peretz, far from being a hawk himself, said: "The masquerade ball is over."
In a reference to the detention of eight Hamas cabinet ministers and about 20 other members of the Palestinian parliament, Mr Peretz said: "The suits and ties will not serve as cover to the involvement and support of kidnappings and terror." BUT there are signs of disagreement within Israel about tactics
Some of those measures, such as the bombing of a power station in Gaza, have brought international criticism and questions as to whether this attack violated Article 48 of the addition to the Geneva Conventions in 1949:
"In order to ensure respect for and protection of
the civilian population and civilian objects, the Parties
to the conflict shall at all times distinguish between
the civilian population and combatants and between
civilian objects and military objectives and accordingly
shall direct their operations only against military
Al-Jazeerah conflict terminology comment: In previous reports, civilians were killed but were describes as "militants, "extremists," and "insurgents," the derogatory words for resistance fighters. As a result, readers are cautioned to suspect that these alleged Taliban deaths could be for Afghani civilians).
By TINI TRAN Associated Press Writer
Jul 2, 2006, KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) --
A Taliban attack on a British base killed
two soldiers and an Afghan interpreter, military
officials said Sunday, while at least 20 alleged
Taliban fighters were killed during clashes and
coalition airstrikes. Four other British soldiers were
wounded but are in stable condition. Two British
soldiers were killed last week in an attack in the same
district of Helmand province. A total of five British
troops have been killed since the start of Operation
Bulldozers start work on Wall to
annex Bethlehemıs Cremisan Monastery
Israel has revoked the East Jerusalem residency rights of a Hamas cabinet minister and three MPs detained with dozens of Hamas officials on Thursday.
The US Supreme Court has ruled that the Bush administration does not have the authority to try terrorism suspects by military tribunal.
Justices upheld the challenge by Osama Bin Laden's ex-driver to his trial at Guantanamo, saying the proceedings violated Geneva Conventions.
The ruling is seen as a major blow to President George W Bush - but it does not order the closure of Guantanamo.
A Connecticut based Palestinian activist, Mazin Qumsiyeh, attended a meeting in Detroit out of which came a document entitled the Detroit Declaration. He sent it to PNN and the statement is printed below.
The Detroit meeting comes at a critical time when Palestinians are facing a political impasse and a political and economic siege. It also comes in response to a call issued by participants of the Palestinian Shataat (Exile) Conference in Geneva held in December 2005. At the Shataat conference, Palestinians gathered from Europe, North and South America, Australia and the Arab World to discuss the need to re-invigorate grass-roots organizing and rebuild community-based institutions within the framework of a reformed, democratic, inclusive and genuinely representative Palestinian National Council.
The Detroit meeting sought to gather Palestinians, irrespective of political affiliations or community and organizational membership, with a focus on developing ways to mobilize the Palestinian community in the US to affirm our Palestinian narrative and assert our rights to:
Self-determination and equality, return of the refugees to their original homes, lands, properties and villages (a natural right supported by international law and UN Resolution 194); and End of Zionist occupation and colonization of Palestine, including Jerusalem.
The participants who hailed from California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Virginia and Washington D.C., represented the entire Palestinian political spectrum, several generations of Palestinians in the US, and a rich pool of organizing experience.
After a weekend of intense deliberation, brainstorming, and strategizing, the participants have committed to:
1) Empower the Palestinian community and its existing grassroots organizations across the U.S. We believe that empowerment of our community hinges on its ability to live in relative security and safety. For this reason, we seek to address the community’s interest as members of the Palestinian national body as well as its particular concerns as activists, organizers, recent immigrants, youth, women, and workers who face particular challenges in the US. We seek to accomplish this by establishing a loose network of Palestinian activists and organizations at a national level and focusing on three campaigns in the US—BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions), breaking the siege, and media advocacy.
2) Build for the US Popular Palestinian National Conference to take place no later than 2008— the 60th Anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba.
We seek to make the Conference as inclusive as possible --shaped by input generated amongst local Palestinian communities across the U.S. as well as a preparatory meeting set for November 2006.
Many similar initiatives have already started in Europe, with incredibly successful results, including a conference held in Sweden in May 2006, attracting 5,000 Palestinians. We believe we have the ability to convene a similar conference in the US and that it is our duty to help shape our national ambitions as Palestinians, given our unique posture as US citizens and residents who are part of the social fabric of the immigrant community in the U.S. In addition to our national struggle, which seeks to triumph in an existential battle against Israeli colonialism and occupation, Palestinians in the U.S. are also struggling against racism, discrimination, political repression, and anti-immigrant policies. This community must rise up once again as it did in the heyday of the Palestinian American activism and organizing of the late 70s and 80s. Although we have faced serious blows and attacks, we should note the victory of Aiad Barakat as a turning point in our activism. After a lengthy 19 year court battle in the landmark case of the L.A. 8, which sought to persecute Palestinian activism, Barakat can finally live his life in relative normalcy after being granted U.S. citizenship against all odds.
We are calling upon our community to celebrate this landmark victory by revitalizing our grassroots activism, speaking confidently for ourselves, and maximizing our potential as the agents of change in our collective struggle for justice, return, and liberation.
Join us in rebuilding Palestinian activism in the US and building for the US popular Palestinian National Conference in 2008."