Saturday, 23 August 2014

Israel strikes kill 10 in Gaza, apartment block collapses


GAZA CITY (AFP) -- Israel pounded Gaza on Saturday with scores of airstrikes, killing 10 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and bringing down a 12-story apartment building as Egypt called for new truce talks.

Since a previous round of frantic Egyptian diplomacy collapsed last Tuesday, shattering nine days of calm, 86 Palestinians and a four-year-old Israeli boy have been killed in the violence.

Israel on Saturday sent text messages, voicemails and leaflets warning Palestinians that "every house from which militant activity is carried out, will be targeted" and to stay away from "terrorists."

Israel has vowed no let-up until it can guarantee the safety of its civilians, while Hamas insists that Israel must end its eight-year blockade of the territory as part of any truce.

At least 2,103 Palestinians and 68 people on the Israeli side, all but four of them soldiers, have been killed since July 8. more

Hamas signs Palestinian application for ICC membership


GAZA CITY (AFP) -- Hamas has signed a proposal for the Palestinians to apply to join the International Criminal Court at which legal action could be taken against Israel, a senior official of the movement said Saturday.

"Hamas signed the document which (Palestinian) president (Mahmoud Abbas) put forth as a condition that all factions approve, before he goes to sign the Rome Statute, which paves the way for Palestine's membership in the International Criminal Court (ICC)," Hamas deputy leader Mussa Abu Marzouq wrote on his Facebook page.

The Palestinian declaration came after two days of talks in Qatar between Abbas and Hamas supremo Khaled Meshaal, whose movement is the de facto ruler of the Gaza Strip.

Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat told AFP that the Islamic Jihad, the second most powerful force in Gaza, "is currently the only Palestinian faction that has not signed" the document.

"They are studying the possibility of signing," he added. more

Maduro offers to bring Gazan children to live in Venezuela


CARACAS, (PIC)-- Venezuela's president Nicolas Maduro has described Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu as "the Herod of modern times," and offered to take care of Palestinian children orphaned by Israel's wanton war on the Gaza Strip.

Maduro said that about 500 boys and girls were killed and more than 3000 suffered disabilities during the Israeli offensive.

"Netanyahu is a modern Herod. He wants to eliminate all children of Palestine," he said in a speech on Friday.

Herod is said to have been a king of ancient West Bank who allegedly ordered the killing of infant boys in Bethlehem to prevent the rise of a messiah to challenge his reign, according to one story in the New Testament. more

Holocaust survivors condemn Israel for Gaza massacre, call for boycott


Hundreds of Holocaust survivors and descendants of survivors have signed a letter, published as an advertisement in Saturday's New York Times, condemning "the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza" and calling for a complete boycott of Israel.

According to the letter, the condemnation was prompted by an advertisement written by Elie Wiesel and published in major news outlets worldwide, accusing Hamas of "child sacrifice" and comparing the group to the Nazis.

The letter, signed by 327 Jewish Holocaust survivors and descendants of survivors and sponsored by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, accuses Wiesel of "abuse of history" in order to justify Israel's actions in the Gaza Strip:

"…we are disgusted and outraged by Elie Wiesel’s abuse of our history in these pages to justify the unjustifiable: Israel’s wholesale effort to destroy Gaza and the murder of more than 2,000 Palestinians, including many hundreds of children. Nothing can justify bombing UN shelters, homes, hospitals and universities. Nothing can justify depriving people of electricity and water."

The letter also blames the United States of aiding Israel in its Gaza operation, and the West in general of protecting Israel from condemnation.

"Genocide begins with the silence of the world," the letter reads.

The letter ends with a call to bring the blockade of Gaza to an immediate end, and for a full boycott of Israel. "Never again” must mean NEVER AGAIN FOR ANYONE!," the letter concludes. more

Bomb disposals experts: Israel dropped 'equivalent of 6 nuclear bombs' on Gaza


Bomb disposal experts in Gaza say that Israel has dropped the equivalent of six nuclear bombs on the tiny coastal enclave over the course of its six-week assault, including many that the police say are internationally banned.

The explosives' engineering police of the Gaza Ministry of Interior said in a statement that Israel had dropped 20,000 tons of explosives on the 139 square mile (360 sq km) territory.

"Flechette shells, fuel-air bombs (which explode twice, including after impact), dime shells, and flechette shells saturated with uranium were fired at Gaza Strip," the statement added, stressing that the weapons "affect the environment, soil, and water and will affect the next generations by spreading diseases especially cancer."

The statement said that areas near the border like Khuzaa, eastern Rafah, Shujaiyya, eastern al-Mughazi, al-Bureij and Juhr al-Dik were hit with "the lion's share of Israeli shells and missiles."

The statement said that of the total number of explosive, 8,000 were dropped from warplanes, "killing entire families and crossing them out of the Palestinian civil register."

Drones, Apache, F15, F16 and "vertical" warplanes were used during the offensive, firing MK82, MK83 and MK84 shells.

The statement added that the Israeli artillery deployed in eastern Gaza City had fired high-explosive shells at homes and civilian property causing massive damage, especially in Rafah, Khan Younis, Shujaiyya and Beit Hanoun.

More than 60,000 artillery shells of different sizes were fired at Gaza. more

Police in Manchester restrict right to protest for Gaza


Police are set to ban Gaza protesters from King Street and move them elsewhere after limiting numbers to 10 at a time.

From tomorrow (Saturday), GMP will be imposing conditions on demonstrators, including limiting the maximum number at any one time to 10 and moving them to a designated area outside an empty business on Police Street.

Police say the action has been taken because the ‘legal threshold’ required under the Public Order Act has been passed. Those who fail to comply could be arrested.

A statement in conjunction with Manchester council states: “We have shown great patience in facilitating the protests, but it is the cumulative impact of the daily protests - which is causing significant disruption to the business community on and around King Street and has led to members of our communities experiencing concern, fear and intimidation.” more

Israel unleashes death ray on Gaza - defunct Boeing laser project sold to IDF?


From Veterans Today - Reports, including photographic evidence reveal that Israel is using an energy weapon to attack targets in Gaza. The destructive beam, thought to be a high energy laser, is emitted from a plane identified as a Boeing KC707 “Re’em,” originally configured for Electronic Warfare.

Those observing the attacks cite a beam from a 4 engine jet hitting a target which immediately turns “white hot.” After these attacks, the target area is then hit with either bombs or artillery to destroy evidence of the use of an American designed and built energy weapon illegally given to Israel.


The weapon used is identified as part of the YAL 1 system, a COIL laser (chemical, oxygen/iodine laser), originally intended as an aircraft mounted system to shoot down ICBMs. Boeing approached the Department of Defense in 2002 and by 2004 had mounted its first system on a 747/400 previously flown by Air India.

Boeing had convinced Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld that this system, mounted on as many as 7 aircraft, could fly 24 hours a day around Iran and defend “the free world” against nuclear tipped ICBMs that Rumsfeld believed Iran was planning to use. Please note that it was Rumsfeld that told television audiences that Afghanistan was “peppered” with underground cities serviced by rail links that supported division sized Al Qaeda units that, after ten years, no one was able to locate. more

UNRWA: Israel retracts false claim regarding alleged Hamas rocket base


UN PRESS RELEASE, 23 August 2014, East Jerusalem - Israeli officials retracted this morning their earlier claim on Friday that the rocket that killed a four-year-old child in Southern Israel was launched from an UNRWA school in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli news reports that the rocket was launched from an UNRWA school were false. The same media outlets that rushed to report the incident without seeking confirmation from UNRWA are required and called upon to also report the Israeli army retraction. We also call on Israeli military spokespersons and other official sources to ensure the accuracy of their facts before going public.

UNRWA deplores the killing of all children during this conflict, including the killing of the four-year-old Israeli child yesterday and the hundreds of Palestinian children killed since the start of the current fighting. We call on all parties to ensure protection and care of children affected by armed conflict, in accordance with their obligations under international law.

UNRWA is working under incredible pressure right now in Gaza providing assistance to hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the fighting. Even during this extraordinarily difficult situation, we do our utmost to maintain the highest standards of neutrality for our staff, our property and in our installations.

– Ends –

On the record quote from Chris Gunness, UNRWA Spokesperson:

“I hope those news outlets that were so quick to publish the false and damaging claim -- that the rocket which killed an Israeli child came from an UNRWA school -- are equally swift in publishing the fact that the claim is totally baseless. Within hours of briefing journalists incorrectly, Israeli officials retracted their false claim. I call on Israeli spokespeople to check first, before making false allegations and I urge all journalists to check with me first before publishing inaccuracies and falsehoods. UNRWA condemns the killing of this first Israeli child in the latest conflict. We have also condemned the killing of nearly five hundred children in Gaza.” more

Israel calls up 10,000 reservists, threatens new ground invasion of Gaza


Following the decision by the Israeli government to pull out of negotiations for a long-term truce and renew airstrikes on Gaza, beginning Tuesday, August 19th, the Israeli military announced, Saturday, that it is prepared for another ground invasion of Gaza, and has called up 10,000 reservists to that end.

In the ground invasion which began two weeks into the Israeli assault ‘Operation Protective Edge’ in July, 60 Israeli soldiers were killed by Palestinian resistance fighters. Several hundred Palestinian resistance fighters are estimated to be among the more than 2,000 men, women and children who have been killed since July 8th. The vast majority of the Palestinians killed are civilians who were hit by Israeli airstrikes either in their homes, on the street, or in designated United Nations shelters. Whole neighborhoods in Gaza were reduced to rubble by the Israeli airstrikes. more

5 Palestinians including 3 children killed in airstrike on Gaza home


Five members of a Palestinian family were killed in an Israeli airstrike on a home in central Gaza on Saturday morning, as Israel continued to bombard the besieged coastal enclave on the 47th day of the assault while Palestinian leaders urged international intervention.

The strikes brought the total death toll in Gaza to 2,098 with more than 10,550 injured according to Gaza medical authorities, of whom the United Nations has identified 70 percent as civilians.

The strike on Saturday morning hit the home of the Dahrouj family al-Zawayda neighborhood in the central Gaza Strip, killing a couple and their three children, medical sources said.

Spokesman for the Palestinian Ministry of Health Ashraf al-Qidra said that medical sources managed to recover five bodies after an Israeli airstrike leveled the home of the Dahrouj family.

One of the victims was a woman who was identified as Hayat Abed Rabbo Dahrouj, 47, while the bodies of the four others killed in the strike were yet to be identified. more