Ha’aretz:

The United Nations on Thursday said it was halting aid deliveries to the Gaza Strip, citing the danger its staff was under from the Israel Defense Forces offensive in the coastal territory.

The announcement came shortly after the driver of a UN truck was shot and killed by tank fire as he was headed to an Israeli border crossing to pick up an aid shipment, according to the UN.

“The UN is suspending its aid operations in Gaza until we can get safety and security guarantees for our staff,” spokesman Chris Gunness said. “We’ve been coordinating with them (Israeli forces) and yet our staff continue to be hit and killed.”

UN spokesman Adnan Abu Hasna said the UN coordinated the delivery with Israel, and the vehicle was marked with a UN flag and insignia when it was shot in northern Gaza. The Israeli army said it was investigating.

The UN provides food aid to around 750,000 Gaza residents, and runs dozens of schools and clinics throughout the territory. They have some 9,000 locally-employed staffers inside Gaza, and a small team of international staffers who work there.

The Red Cross is infuriated with Israel’s blockades of humanitarian aid:

The international Red Cross accused Israel on Thursday of “unacceptable” delays in letting rescue workers reach three Gaza City homes hit by shelling where they eventually found 15 dead and 18 wounded, including young children too weak to stand.

“This is a shocking incident,” Pierre Wettach, head of the ICRC for the region, said.

The rescue team “found four small children next to their dead mothers in one of the houses. They were too weak to stand up on their own. One man was also found alive, too weak to stand up,” the statement said. “In all, there were at least 12 corpses lying on mattresses” in one of the houses, it added.

“The Israeli military must have been aware of the situation but did not assist the wounded,” the international Red Cross said. “Neither did they make it possible for us or the Palestine Red Crescent to assist the wounded.”

The organization said it believes “in this instance, the Israeli military failed to meet its obligation under international humanitarian law to care for and evacuate the wounded.”

“It considers the delay in allowing rescue services access unacceptable,” the Red Cross statement said.

The New York Times redeems itself a bit through Alan Cowell who allowed his article to touch the third rail of Palestine-Israel — international humanitarian law — in the last paragraph:

The International Committee of the Red Cross said Thursday it had discovered “shocking” scenes — including small children next to their mothers’ corpses — when its representatives gained access for the first time to parts of Gaza battered by Israeli shelling. It accused Israel of failing to meet obligations to care for the wounded in areas of combat.

In an unusually blunt criticism, the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross said it had been seeking access to shell-damaged areas in Zeitoun in the east of Gaza City since Saturday but the Israeli authorities granted permission only on Wednesday — the first day that Israel allowed a three-hour lull in the attacks on Gaza on humanitarian grounds….

The statement said the international Red Cross “believes that in this instance the Israeli military failed to meet its obligation under international humanitarian law to care for and evacuate the wounded. It considers the delay in allowing rescue services access unacceptable.”

al Jazeera’s Ayman Mohyeldin, one of the handful of journalists reporting from Gaza City reports at least 763 Palestinian deaths, including more than 200 children, and more than 3,121 wounded since Israel began air strikes on the 27th of December.

In that time, eight Israeli soldiers and three Israeli civilians have died on top of the less than twenty Israeli civilians who’ve died from Hamas rocket fire from 2005 through 27 Dec 08.

Israel PM Ehud Olmert says “the Israel Defense Forces [IDF] has still not been asked to carry out everything that is necessary to achieve” Israel’s goals.

16 hour a day blackouts for the last 18 months. No food. No gas. Falling temperatures. No medical supplies. No UN aid. Inhibited Red Cross aid. No electricity. Over 200 children dead. The wounded lay bloody for hours.

Seriously, Mr. Olmert? Seriously?!

No wonder your country’s daily publication, Ha’aretz, says your on your way to “reoccupying all of the Gaza Strip” in its analysis and a former member of the Israeli Parliament has called Israel’s tactics “colonial”.

Colonization is the goal of Israel. Put the Newspeak aside. Its actions say so and nothing less.

US President-elect Barack Obama (left) will take office as president 20 Jan 09 and has finally broken his silence saying he will “engage immediately,” calling the conflict a “source of deep concern” for him. Mr. Obama says that his team is “doing everything that we have to do to make sure that the day that [he takes] office we are prepared to engage immediately in trying to deal with the situation there.”

After reiterating his ‘one president at a time’ rhetoric that doesn’t apply to India-Pakistan, Afghanistan, auto industry bailouts, the crumble of an inherently flawed monetary system, creating $1 trillion out of thin air to inflate the money supply and hand out the most regressive tax in the monetary system to the people through inflation, Mr. Obama said, “I can’t control how people interpret what I’m saying, other than to repeat what I said. Hopefully, they hear my message.

“This silence is not as a consequence of a lack of concern. In fact, it’s not silence. I’ve explained very clearly exactly what institutional constraints I’m under when it comes to this issue.”

It’s important for Americans to know that Israel doesn’t make tanks or F-16’s or Apache’s. Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories are illegal.

Israel cannot continue their colonization of Palestine with the US filibustering resolutions against them in the UN Security [sic] Council.

Speak of inheriting a mess or whatever, yes, it’s not fair that Mr. Obama has a Middle East crisis in his lap along with two wars and a crumbling economy, but his options are being made more clear on a daily basis.

Your president will never be your leader. You, the reader, are a sovereign being granted liberty, not by the State, but by your creator at birth. We see the statistics and in only 40 days of this blog, already thousands of you are reading this every day. Sayyid and I hope and pray that you act like it.

From our YouTube playlist, “Israel Attacks Gaza” – Rep. Not-The President-Either Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), “WAKE UP AMERICA!” (1:38):

To quote Dr. Murray Rothbard, “If tyranny really rests on mass consent, then the obvious means for its overthrow is simply by mass withdrawal of that consent.”

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