Posts Tagged ‘Tehran’

U.S. military out of Iraqi cities by Tuesday; “The Scramble for Iraq’s ‘Sweet Oil'”; More violent protests in Iran; Israel intends to annex over 34,000 acres in the West Bank; Atheist youth camp in the U.K.; and more… (more…)

Press TV throws my mentor, libertarian socialist Palestine-Israel scholar Dr. Norman Finkelstein, with a self-proclaimed “realist” (utilitarian Newspeak regurgitator) Timothy Lynch to discuss the U.S. relationship with Israel. The next day, Dr. Finkelstein was on a panel with Phyllis Bennis and Allon Ben Meir on the ‘peace process’. (more…)

The Center for Strategic and International Studies advises Israel to use ballistic missles in pre-emptive strike on Iran. (more…)



Xinhua: Palestinian and Egyptian ambassadors to the UN have asked the UN Security Council (UNSC) to bring Israel into compliance with the world call to put an immediate end to the violence and military actions in Gaza.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is demanding an immediate cease-fire in Gaza and urging Mideast and world leaders to do more to help end the Israeli-Hamas conflict and promote political dialogue. Britain’s Foreign Secretary David Miliband has echoed this sentiment. The White House is still talking gibberish condemning Hamas, being ignorant of Israel’s atrocities, and actually thinks people can believe that the US wants to negotiate a “durable cease-fire.”

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) has spoken out against Israel’s attacks:

“The perpetrators of attacks against Israel must also be brought to justice, but Israel cannot create a war against an entire people in order to attempt to bring to justice the few who are responsible. The Israeli leaders know better,” Kucinich said in a news release on Monday.

The Democratic lawmaker also urged an independent investigation to be led by the United Nations into Israel’s acts of violence.

Kucinich said that he wrote to UN General Secretary Ban ki-Moon, urging an ‘independent inquiry of Israel’s war against Gaza’.

“It is time for the UN to not just call for a cease-fire, but for an inquiry as to Israel’s actions,” said Kucinich.

AFP:

Muslim nations on Monday condemned Israel over the deadly air attacks on the Gaza Strip, as European diplomats called for an urgent meeting on the crisis which sparked anti-Israeli protests around Europe.

EU foreign ministers will meet in Paris Tuesday to “look into how the European Union can help ease the current crisis, along with the efforts of the international community, especially the secretary general of the United Nations,” a French foreign ministry statement said.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II urged US President George W. Bush to help end Israel’s air blitz, the palace said.

“Effective international efforts must be launched to stop the Israeli aggression on Gaza and end the suffering of the Palestinians,” the king told Bush over the telephone, according to a palace statement.

Other Muslim countries including Indonesia, Afghanistan, Malaysia and Pakistan joined in condemning Israel.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said it was ironic that the raids occurred as people entered the Islamic new year and days before the new year of 2009.

“We should pray that the earth will be more peaceful, but we’ve been torn by the situation in Palestine and Gaza,” Yudhoyono told reporters.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown urged Israel and Palestinian leaders to let urgent medical aid into Gaza, to provide a “humanitarian breathing space” amid the fighting, his spokesman said.

“We are appalled by the continuing violence in Gaza and reiterate our call to Israel and Hamas for an immediate ceasefire to prevent further loss of innocent life,” said a spokesman for Brown.

The special UN envoy to the Middle East, Robert Serry, and the head of the UN Relief and Works Agency, Karen Abu Zayd, meanwhile protested strongly to Israel after air strikes hit two UN buildings and killed eight of its people.

Gazans have endured oppression that violates International Humanitarian Law for at least 18 months now at the hands of Israel. Recent attacks have been a catalyst for global protests:

Israeli attacks on suspected Hamas strongholds in Gaza have triggered protests in more than a dozen countries.

In London, England, dozens of protesters gathered outside the Israeli Embassy, waving flags and trying to push their way closer to the building, as police tried to hold them back and erect a barricade.

Police in Germany said about 2,000 protesters marched peacefully down Berlin’s Kurfuerstendamm Boulevard and dispersed after about three hours.

Protesters also have taken to the streets in Denmark, France, Italy and Spain, according to news reports. There also were reports of demonstrations in Caracas, Venezuela.

Iranian media reported that thousands took part in anti-Israel demonstrations in Tehran on Monday, which the government declared a day of mourning for the Palestinians in Gaza.

Greek riot police clashed with protesters in Athens during a demonstration outside the Israeli Embassy, according to police and images broadcast on state television.

Protesters hurled stones in an attempt to break through the police cordon around the heavily secured embassy. Police responded with tear gas.

In Iraq, hundreds of supporters of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr demonstrated in al-Mustansiriya Square in eastern Baghdad. The demonstrators carried Iraqi and Palestinian flags, banners and pictures of al-Sadr and his father.

The demonstrators threw an Israeli flag on the ground, put President Bush’s picture on top of it and set both on fire.

In the Muslim world, demonstrations also were held in Jordan, Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia, Libya and Bahrain, the BBC and other news outlets reported.

Also, thousands of Lebanese demonstrators packed the streets of Beirut as part of a rally called by the militant group Hezbollah. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah addressed the crowd via satellite from an undisclosed location.

Protests were also held in Israel, where students at universities in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem demonstrated against the Israeli military operation, ynetnews.com reported.



Israel bombs university in Gaza as hospitals run low on supplies due to pre-existing blockade:

Amira Hass reports for Haaretz:

At 3:19 P.M. Sunday, the sound of an incoming missile could be heard over the telephone. And then another, along with the children’s cries of fear. In Gaza City’s Tel al-Hawa neighborhood, high-rise apartment buildings are crowded close together, with dozens of children in every building, hundreds in every block….

“Seventy policemen were killed there, not all Hamas members,” said S., who opposes Hamas. “And even those who supported Hamas were young men looking for a job, a salary. They wanted to live. And therefore, they died. Seventy in one blow. This assault is not against Hamas. It’s against all of us, the entire nation. And no Palestinian will consent to having his people and his homeland destroyed in this way.”

Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights has condemned Israel’s attacks on Gaza:

Reference: 113/2008
Date: 28 Dec 2008

In a Criminal Escalation, IOF Strikes on Gaza Kill and Injure over 900 People as the Siege Continues to Debilitate Health and Other Vital Services

In one of the bloodiest escalations of Israeli military operations, the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) initiated a wide-scaled air strike operation against the Gaza Strip. Dozens of targets were attacked from the air simultaneously using heavy missiles and bombs. Mostly, the strikes targeted police and security installations across the densely populated Gaza Strip, which indicative of IOF’s disregard of civilians’ life and wellbeing. Over 900 people have been killed an injured, most of whom are non-combatants. The number of casualties was exacerbated by the timing of the strike, which coincided with the change in schools’ shifts when tens of thousands of schoolchildren were on their way from or to school. Seven of UNRWA’s Gaza Vocational Training Center students were also killed in one of the airstrikes in Gaza City.

According to Al Mezan’s monitoring, at approximately 11:30am on Saturday 27 December 2008, Israeli military aircrafts launched a coordinated series of airstrikes targeting dozens of police, security and other premises across the Gaza Strip. The first wave of attacks lasted for less than five minutes, during which over 100 missiles and bombs were dropped on Gaza. One of the largest strikes targeted the Arafat Police Town, which is located near several UNRWA schools. Dozens of people were killed in this attack, including tens of young men who were undergoing training to join the police. Moreover, Colonel General Tawfik Jabir, who is the Police General Director in the Gaza Strip, and Captain Ahmed Al-Ja’bari, the Director of the Security and Protection Apparatus, were killed in the same attack.

The IOF’s air strikes have been characterized by their unprecedented fierceness. Police stations located in densely populated neighborhoods were attacked, destroying them and causing severe damage to tens of schools and homes and killing dozens of civilians, including children and old people.

Air strikes have continued through the night, targeting houses and other civilian premises, including water-wells, workshops, CBO offices, mosques and communications facilities. A guard of a water-well and three employees of the Palestinian Telecommunications Company were killed in North Gaza. Another two men were killed in a strike that targeted the Al-Borno Mosque near the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. The Hospital’s building was damaged in this same strike. Moreover, IOF targeted prisons, including Gaza’s main prison facility of As-Saraya at noon today. Initial reports indicate that many policemen and prisoners were killed and injured in this attack.

Additionally, dozens of homes were destroyed, along with tens of UNRWA and government schools and clinics. Local government offices and private vehicles were also destroyed. Al Mezan’s initial monitoring indicates that at least 257 people have been killed in the IOF’s strikes in the last 24 hours. Of those, the vast majority are non-combatants and civilians; including 20 children, 9 women and 60 civilians. The majority of the rest of the casualties are members of the civilian police who were inside their stations or undertaking training. At least 597 people were also injured, including 35 children whose wounds were reportedly critical. Al Mezan’s believes that the number of casualties is expected to increase as many cases have been buried by their families without being registered at hospitals. Besides, a high number of people lie at hospitals between death and life. Moreover, dozens of people who were lightly wounded and; therefore, not admitted at hospitals were not counted. As the airstrikes continue, more people fall victims of them. This makes this operation one of Israel’s bloodiest, most criminal military actions in Gaza in the past few decades.

This escalation comes amidst unprecedented deterioration of the humanitarian conditions Gaza’s 1.5 million people face owing to Israel’s tight siege which prevents their access to food, medicine and power. Ordinary Gazans have particularly been suffering from shortages in water supplies, cooking gas and foodstuffs. The siege has also impacted on hospitals’ capacity to function under severe shortages in medicines and equipment. Hospitals’ ability to handle very high numbers of casualties in a short time since yesterday has been particularly problematic; and particularly during the first hour after the first wave of attacks yesterday. With the strongest possible terms, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights condemns the IOF’s criminal military escalation in the Gaza Strip, which indiscriminately harms civilians and civilian property, and blatantly breaches the rules of International Humanitarian Law (IHL), qualifying as war crimes. Al Mezan particularly condemns the IOF attacks against civilian objects in which children and uninvolved civilians have been killed and maimed; despite the high technological capabilities that the IOF employs in their surveillance of the Gaza Strip.

Al Mezan stresses that police members who do not take part in any hostilities do not qualify as legitimate military targets under IHL and must not be deliberately targeted. It further stresses that, regardless of the soundness of the Israeli justifications of this operation, Israel must respect the rules of international law at all times, particularly when the use of force is involved. A reaction to rocket attacks cannot justify the perpetration of grave breaches of IHL, i.e. war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Al Mezan warns about the continued silence of the international community in the face of Israel’s escalation, which only encourages Israel to further escalate its attacks. Al Mezan calls on the international community to intervene urgently to protect the civilian population in harmony with its legal and ethical obligations under international law. International intervention is required urgently as the IOF’s attacks on Gaza continue, and news about the falling of more casualties mounts while drafting this press release.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, “called on Arab states to stop what he called Zionist (Israeli) wolves from committing ‘further crimes’ against Palestinians in Gaza” on Sunday:

He called on the Organization of the Islamic Conference to ‘punish the Zionist regime (Israel) and its leaders (in a war crime tribunal).’

The ayatollah also condemned the United States and President George W Bush who, he said, ‘has just lengthened his war crimes record.’

‘The Europeans also assisted in this tragedy and showed once again their animosity towards Islam and Moslems and proved that their claims on human rights are just lies,’ said Khamenei.

Earlier Sunday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad rebuked Israel and urged immediate action to end the crisis in the Gaza Strip.

Khabar reported that Ahmadinejad called his Syrian counterpart and the Emir of Qatar, and urged Muslim states to cooperate to end the killing in Gaza.

The Iranian president harshly criticized Israel’s massive weekend airstrikes in the salient, and once more predicted ‘the collapse of the Zionist regime.’

Iran’s foreign ministry earlier condemned the raids as ‘savage, inhuman and contrary to all human rights’ norms,’ and reiterated Iran’s firm support for the Palestinian nation.

The Iranian parliament interrupted its normal session on Sunday and shouted for several minutes ‘death to Israel,’ while Speaker Ali Larijani warned that Israel would soon face a third wave of intifada or Palestinian uprising.

A demonstration was held Sunday against Israel in front of the United Nations headquarters in northern Tehran, and a solidarity protest in front of the Palestinian embassy in the capital.

Khaleej Times“History of Massacre After Massacre in Palestine” by Palestinian researcher, Nizar Sakhnini:

Massacres were part and parcel of the Zionist project in Palestine. They aimed at intimidating the Arabs and make them leave the country.

Dozens of massacres were committed against the Arabs starting with the Massacre at Baldat al-Shaikh in December 1947 and not ending with the massacres in Qana in South Lebanon in 1996 and 2006. Another brutal massacre is being committed in Gaza today. Hundreds of Palestinian Arabs have been killed and/or wounded. Given below, is a list of some of the massacres committed by the Zionists since 1947:

Massacre in Baldat al-Shaikh (31 December 1947): Haganah gang members stormed the village of Baldat al-Shaikh in pursuit of unarmed citizens. The death toll was about 600 people, most of whose corpses were found inside the houses of the village.… [read the full article]