• Pre-emptive Nuclear War: The Role of Israel in Triggering an Attack on Iran
    Chapter III of "The Globalization of War" by Michel Chossudovsky


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    Author’s Introduction and Update

    In a recent article entitled “A Planned US-Israeli Attack on Iran is Contemplated” I focussed on how Israel’s criminal attack on the People of Palestine could evolve towards an extended Middle East War.

    At the time of writing, US-NATO war ships –including two aircraft carriers, combat planes, not to mention a nuclear submarine– are deployed in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Red Sea, all of which are intended to confront what both Western politicians and the media casually describe as “Palestine’s Aggression against the Jewish State”.

    “Israel ranks” as “the 4th strongest military” after Russia, the U.S and China. Ask yourself: Why on earth would Israel need the support of U.S. aircraft carriers to lead a genocide against the Palestinians who are fighting for their lives with limited military capabilities.

    Is the U.S. intent upon triggering a broader war?

    “U.S. Warns Hezbollah, Iran. It Will intervene if they Escalate”

    Who is “Escalating”? The Pentagon has already intimated that it will attack Iran and Lebanon, “If they Escalate”. Is the Pentagon Seeking to Trigger one or more “False Flags”?



    Times of Israel, November 9, 2023

    Also of significance (less than 4 months prior to October 7, 2023) is the adoption on June 27, 2023 of the US Congress Resolution (H. RES. 559) which Accuses Iran of Possessing Nuclear Weapons. H.RES 559 allows the use of force against Iran, intimating that Iran has Nuclear Weapons.

    Whereas Iran is tagged (without a shred of evidence) as a Nuclear Power by the U.S. Congress, Washington fails to acknowledge that Israel is an undeclared nuclear power.





    The article below was first published in my book entitled “The Globalization of War. America’s Long War against Humanity” (2015).

    I remain indebted to the former Prime Minister of Malaysia Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad who took the initiative of launching my book in Kuala Lumpur. (image right).

    Firmly committed to “the criminalization of war”, Tun Mahathir is a powerful voice in support of Palestine.

    The article below (Chapter III of “Globalization of War”) provides analysis in a historical perspective of U.S. war plans directed against Iran.

    Numerous “war theater scenarios” for an all-out attack on Iran have been contemplated.

    Dangerous Crossroads in our History

    The current and ongoing US-NATO military deployment in The Middle East — casually presented by the media as a means to coming to the rescue of Israel– is the pinnacle of U.S. war preparations extending over a period of more than 20 years.

    Contemplated by the Pentagon in 2005 was a scenario whereby an attack by Israel would be conducted on behalf of Washington:

    “An attack by Israel could, however, be used as “the trigger mechanism” which would unleash an all-out war against Iran, as well as retaliation by Iran directed against Israel.” (quoted from text below)

    At the outset of Bush’s second term

    “Vice President Dick Cheney had hinted, in no uncertain terms, that Iran was “right at the top of the list” of the “rogue enemies” of America, and that Israel would, so to speak, “be doing the bombing for us” (Ibid)

    The article also focusses on the dangers of a US-Israel nuclear attack against Iran which has been contemplated by the Pentagon since 2004.

    The US Israel “Partnership”: “Signed” Military Agreement

    Amply documented, the U.S. Military and Intelligence apparatus is firmly behind Israel’s genocide. In the words of Lt General Richard Clark:

    Americans Troops are “prepared to die for the Jewish State”.

    What should be understood by this statement is that the US and Israel have a longstanding Military “Partnership” as well as (Jerusalem Post) a “Signed” Military Agreement (classified) regarding Israel’s attack on Gaza.

    Lt. General Richard Clark is U.S. Third Air Force Commander, among the highest-ranking military officers in the U.S. Armed Forces. While he refers to Juniper Cobra, “a joint military exercise that has been conducted for almost a decade”, his statement points to a much broader “signed” military-intelligence agreement (classified) with Israel which no doubt includes the extension of the Israeli-US bombing of Gaza to the broader Middle East.

    While this so-called “signed” military agreement remains classified (not in the public domain), it would appear that Biden is obeying the orders of the perpetrators of this diabolical military agenda.

    Does President Biden have the authority (under this “Signed” Agreement with Israel) to save the lives of innocent civilians including the children of Palestine:

    Q (Inaudible) Gaza ceasefire, Mr. President?

    THE PRESIDENT: Pardon me?

    Q What are the chances of a Gaza ceasefire?

    THE PRESIDENT: None. No possibility.

    White House Press Conference, November 9, 2023

    Lt. General Clark confirms that:

    “U.S. troops could be put under Israeli commanders in the battlefield”, which suggests that the genocide is implemented by Netanyahu on behalf of the United States.

    Everything indicates that the US military and intelligence apparatus are behind Israel’s criminal bombing and invasion of Gaza.

    We stand firmly in Solidarity with Palestine and the People of the Middle East.

    It is my intent and sincere hope that my writings (including the text below) will contribute to “Revealing the Truth” as well “Reversing the Tide of Global Warfare”.

    Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, November 17, 2023, March 10, 2024

    Pre-emptive Nuclear War:

    The Role of Israel in Triggering an Attack on Iran

    by

    Michel Chossudovsky



    Introduction

    While one can conceptualize the loss of life and destruction resulting from present-day wars including Iraq and Afghanistan, it is impossible to fully comprehend the devastation which might result from a Third World War, using “new technologies” and advanced weapons, until it occurs and becomes a reality.

    The international community has endorsed nuclear war in the name of world peace. “Making the world safer” is the justification for launching a military operation which could potentially result in a nuclear holocaust.”

    The stockpiling and deployment of advanced weapons systems directed against Iran started in the immediate wake of the 2003 bombing and invasion of Iraq. From the outset, these war plans were led by the U.S. in liaison with NATO and Israel.

    Following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration identified Iran and Syria as the next stage of “the road map to war”. U.S. military sources intimated at the time that an aerial attack on Iran could involve a large scale deployment comparable to the U.S. “shock and awe” bombing raids on Iraq in March 2003:

    American air strikes on Iran would vastly exceed the scope of the 1981 Israeli attack on the Osiraq nuclear center in Iraq, and would more resemble the opening days of the 2003 air campaign against Iraq.1

    “Theater Iran Near Term” (TIRANNT)

    Code named by U.S. military planners as TIRANNT, “Theater Iran Near Term”, simulations of an attack on Iran were initiated in May 2003 “when modelers and intelligence specialists pulled together the data needed for theater-level (meaning large-scale) scenario analysis for Iran.”2

    The scenarios identified several thousand targets inside Iran as part of a “Shock and Awe” Blitzkrieg:

    The analysis, called TIRANNT, for “Theater Iran Near Term,” was coupled with a mock scenario for a Marine Corps invasion and a simulation of the Iranian missile force. U.S. and British planners conducted a Caspian Sea war game around the same time. And Bush directed the U.S. Strategic Command to draw up a global strike war plan for an attack against Iranian weapons of mass destruction. All of this will ultimately feed into a new war plan for “major combat operations” against Iran that military sources confirm now [April 2006] exists in draft form.

    … Under TIRANNT, Army and U.S. Central Command planners have been examining both near-term and out-year scenarios for war with Iran, including all aspects of a major combat operation, from mobilization and deployment of forces through postwar stability operations after regime change.3

    Different “theater scenarios” for an all-out attack on Iran had been contemplated:

    The U.S. army, navy, air force and marines have all prepared battle plans and spent four years building bases and training for “Operation Iranian Freedom”. Admiral Fallon, the new head of U.S. Central Command, has inherited computerized plans under the name TIRANNT (Theatre Iran Near Term).4

    In 2004, drawing upon the initial war scenarios under TIRANNT, Vice President Dick Cheney instructed U.S. Strategic Command (U.S.STRATCOM) to draw up a “contingency plan” of a large scale military operation directed against Iran “to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States” on the presumption that the government in Tehran would be behind the terrorist plot. The plan included the pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear state:

    The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons. Within Iran there are more than four hundred fifty major strategic targets, including numerous suspected nuclear-weapons-program develop- ment sites. Many of the targets are hardened or are deep underground and could not be taken out by conventional weapons, hence the nuclear option. As in the case of Iraq, the response is not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of ter- rorism directed against the United States. Several senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly appalled at the implications of what they are doing –that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack– but no one is prepared to dam- age his career by posing any objections.5

    The Military Road Map: “First Iraq, then Iran”

    The decision to target Iran under TIRANNT was part of the broader process of military planning and sequencing of military operations. Already under the Clinton administration (1995), U.S. Central Command (U.S.CENTCOM) had formulated “in war theater plans” to invade first Iraq and then Iran. Access to Middle East oil was the stated strategic objective:

    The broad national security interests and objectives expressed in the President’s National Security Strategy (NSS) and the Chairman’s National Military Strategy (NMS) form the foundation of the United States Central Command’s theater strategy. The NSS directs implementation of a strategy of dual containment of the rogue states of Iraq and Iran as long as those states pose a threat to U.S. interests, to other states in the region, and to their own citizens. Dual containment is designed to maintain the balance of power in the region without depending on either Iraq or Iran. U.S.CENTCOM’s theater strategy is interest-based and threat-focused. The purpose of U.S. engagement, as espoused in the NSS, is to protect the United States’ vital interest in the region – uninterrupted, secure U.S./Allied access to Gulf oil.6

    The war on Iran was viewed as part of a succession of military operations. According to (former) NATO Commander General Wesley Clark, the Pentagon’s military road-map consisted of a sequence of countries:

    [The] Five-year campaign plan [includes]… a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.6 (For further details, see Chapter I)

    The Role of Israel

    There has been much debate regarding the role of Israel in initiating an attack against Iran.

    Israel is part of a military alliance. Tel Aviv is not a prime mover. It does not have a separate and distinct military agenda.

    Israel is integrated into the “war plan for major combat operations” against Iran formulated in 2006 by U.S. Strategic Command (U.S.STRATCOM). In the context of large scale military operations, an uncoordinated unilateral military action by one coalition partner, namely Israel, is from a military and strategic point almost an impossibility. Israel is a de facto member of NATO. Any action by Israel would require a “green light” from Washington.

    An attack by Israel could, however, be used as “the trigger mechanism” which would unleash an all-out war against Iran, as well as retaliation by Iran directed against Israel.

    In this regard, there are indications going back to the Bush administration that Washington had indeed contemplated the option of an initial (U.S. backed) attack by Israel rather than an outright U.S.-led military operation directed against Iran.

    The Israeli attack –although led in close liaison with the Pentagon and NATO– would have been presented to public opinion as a unilateral decision by Tel Aviv. It would then have been used by Washington to justify, in the eyes of World opinion, a military intervention of the U.S. and NATO with a view to “defending Israel”, rather than attacking Iran. Under existing military cooperation agreements, both the U.S. and NATO would be “obligated” to “defend Israel” against Iran and Syria.

    It is worth noting, in this regard, that at the outset of Bush’s second term, (former) Vice President Dick Cheney had hinted, in no uncertain terms, that Iran was “right at the top of the list” of the “rogue enemies” of America, and that Israel would, so to speak, “be doing the bombing for us”, without U.S. military involvement and without us putting pressure on them “to do it.”8

    According to Cheney:

    One of the concerns people have is that Israel might do it without being asked. …Given the fact that Iran has a stated policy that their objective is the destruction of Israel, the Israelis might well decide to act first, and let the rest of the world worry about cleaning up the diplomatic mess afterwards.9

    Commenting the Vice President’s assertion, former National Security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski in an interview on PBS, confirmed with some apprehension, yes: Cheney wants Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to act on America’s behalf and “do it” for us:

    Iran I think is more ambiguous. And there the issue is certainly not tyranny; it’s nuclear weapons. And the vice president today in a kind of a strange parallel statement to this declaration of freedom hinted that the Israelis may do it and in fact used language which sounds like a justification or even an encouragement for the Israelis to do it.10

    What we are dealing with is a process of joint U.S.-NATO-Israel military planning. An operation to bomb Iran has been in the active planning stage since 2004. Officials in the Defense Department, under Bush and Obama, have been working assiduously with their Israeli military and intelligence counterparts, carefully identifying targets inside Iran. In practical military terms, any action by Israel would have to be planned and coordinated at the highest levels of the U.S. led coalition.

    Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Vice President Dick Cheney discuss a vision of peace for Israel and Palestine as they conduct a press briefing in Jerusalem, Israel, March 19, 2002.

    Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Vice President Dick Cheney discuss a vision of peace for Israel and Palestine as they conduct a press briefing in Jerusalem, Israel, March 19, 2002. “It is our hope that the current violence and terrorism will be replaced by reconciliation and the rebuilding of mutual trust,” said the Vice President. (Source)

    An attack by Israel against Iran would also require coordinated U.S.-NATO logistical support, particularly with regard to Israel’s air defense system, which since January 2009 is fully integrated into that of the U.S. and NATO.11

    Israel’s X band radar system established in early 2009 with U.S. technical support has “integrate[d] Israel’s missile defenses with the U.S. global missile [Space-based] detection network, which includes satellites, Aegis ships on the Mediterranean, Persian Gulf and Red Sea, and land-based Patriot radars and interceptors.”12

    What this means is that Washington ultimately calls the shots. The U.S. rather than Israel controls the air defense system:

    This is and will remain a U.S. radar system,’ Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said.

    ‘So this is not something we are giving or selling to the Israelis and it is something that will likely require U.S. personnel on-site to operate.13

    The U.S. military oversees Israel’s Air Defense system, which is integrated into the Pentagon’s global system. In other words, Israel cannot launch a war against Iran without Washington’s consent. Hence the importance of the so-called “Green Light” legislation in the U.S. Congress sponsored by the Republican party under House Resolution 1553, which explicitly supported an Israeli attack on Iran:

    The measure, introduced by Texas Republican Louie Gohmert and 46 of his colleagues, endorses Israel’s use of “all means necessary” against Iran “including the use of military force.” … “We’ve got to get this done. We need to show our support for Israel. We need to quit playing games with this critical ally in such a difficult area”.14

    In practice, the proposed legislation serves as a “Green Light” to the White House and the Pentagon rather than to Israel. It constitutes a rubber stamp to a U.S. sponsored war on Iran which uses Israel as a convenient military launch pad. It also serves as a justification to wage war with a view to defending Israel.

    In this context, Israel could indeed provide the pretext to wage war, in response to alleged Hamas or Hezbollah attacks and/or the triggering of hostilities on the border of Israel with Lebanon. What is crucial to understand is that a minor “incident” could be used as a pretext to spark off a major military operation against Iran.

    Known to U.S. military planners, Israel (rather than the U.S.A) would be the first target of military retaliation by Iran. Broadly speaking, Israelis would be the victims of the machinations of both Washington and their own government. It is, in this regard, absolutely crucial that Israelis forcefully oppose any action by the Netanyahu government to attack Iran.

    Global Warfare: The Role of U.S. Strategic Command (U.S.STRATCOM)

    In January 2005, at the outset of the military deployment and build-up directed against Iran, U.S.STRATCOM was identified as “the lead Combatant Command for integration and synchronization of DoD-wide efforts in combating weapons of mass destruction.”15 What this means is that the coordination of a large scale attack on Iran, including the various scenarios of escalation in and beyond the broader Middle East Central Asian region would be coordinated by U.S.STRATCOM. (See Chapter I).

    Confirmed by military documents as well as official statements, both the U.S. and Israel contemplate the use of nuclear weapons directed against Iran. In 2006, U.S. Strategic Command (U.S.STRATCOM) announced it had achieved an operational capability for rapidly striking targets around the globe using nuclear or conventional weapons. This announcement was made after the conduct of military simulations pertaining to a U.S. led nuclear attack against a fictional country.16

    Continuity in Relation to the Bush-Cheney Era

    President Obama has largely endorsed the doctrine of pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons formulated by the previous administration. Under the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, the Obama administration confirmed “that it is reserving the right to use nuclear weapons against Iran” for its non-compliance with U.S. demands regarding its alleged (nonexistent) nuclear weapons program.17 The Obama administration has also intimated that it would use nukes in the case of an Iranian response to an Israeli attack on Iran. Israel has also drawn up its own “secret plans” to bomb Iran with tactical nuclear weapons:

    Israeli military commanders believe conventional strikes may no longer be enough to annihilate increasingly well-defended enrichment facilities. Several have been built beneath at least 70ft of concrete and rock. However, the nuclear-tipped bunker-busters would be used only if a conventional attack was ruled out and if the United States declined to intervene, senior sources said.18

    Obama’s statements on the use of nuclear weapons against Iran and North Korea are consistent with post-9/11 U.S. nuclear weapons doctrine, which allows for the use of tactical nuclear weapons in the conventional war theater.

    Through a propaganda campaign which has enlisted the support of “authoritative” nuclear scientists, mini-nukes are upheld as an instrument of peace, namely a means to combating “Islamic terrorism” and instating Western style “democracy” in Iran. The low-yield nukes have been cleared for “battlefield use”. They are slated to be used against Iran and Syria in the next stage of America’s “War on Terrorism” alongside conventional weapons:

    Administration officials argue that low-yield nuclear weapons are needed as a credible deterrent against rogue states. [Iran, Syria, North Korea] Their logic is that existing nuclear weapons are too destructive to be used except in a full-scale nuclear war. Potential enemies realize this, thus they do not consider the threat of nuclear retaliation to be credible. However, low-yield nuclear weapons are less destructive, thus might conceivably be used. That would make them more effective as a deterrent.19

    The preferred nuclear weapon to be used against Iran are tactical nuclear weapons (Made in America), namely bunker buster bombs with nuclear warheads (for example, B61-11), with an explosive capacity between one third to six times a Hiroshima bomb.

    The B61-11 is the “nuclear version” of the “conventional” BLU 113. or Guided Bomb Unit GBU-28. It can be delivered in much same way as the conventional bunker buster bomb.20 While the U.S. does not contemplate the use of strategic thermonuclear weapons against Iran, Israel’s nuclear arsenal is largely composed of thermonuclear bombs which are deployed and could be used in a war with Iran. Under Israel’s Jericho III missile system with a range between 4,800 km to 6,500 km, all Iran would be within reach.

    Radioactive Fallout

    The issue of radioactive fallout and contamination, while casually dismissed by U.S.-NATO military analysts, would be devastating, potentially affecting a large area of the broader Middle East (including Israel) and Central Asian region.

    In an utterly twisted logic, nuclear weapons are presented as a means to building peace and preventing “collateral damage”. Iran’s nonexistent nuclear weapons are a threat to global security, whereas those of the U.S. and Israel are instruments of peace “harmless to the surrounding civilian population.”

    “The Mother of All Bombs” (MOAB) Slated to be Used against Iran?

    Of military significance within the U.S. conventional weapons arsenal is the 21,500-pound “monster weapon” nicknamed the “mother of all bombs” The GBU-43/B or Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb (MOAB) was categorized “as the most powerful non-nuclear weapon ever designed” with the the largest yield in the U.S. conventional arsenal. The MOAB was tested in early March 2003 before being deployed to the Iraq war theater. According to U.S. military sources, the Joint Chiefs of Staff had advised the government of Saddam Hussein prior to launching the 2003 that the “mother of all bombs” was to be used against Iraq. (There were unconfirmed reports that it had been used in Iraq).

    The U.S. Department of Defense already confirmed in 2009 that it intends to use the “Mother of All Bombs” (MOAB) against Iran. The MOAB is said to be ”ideally suited to hit deeply buried nuclear facilities such as Natanz or Qom in Iran”21. The truth of the matter is that the MOAB, given its explosive capacity, would result in significant civilian casualties. It is a conventional “killing machine” with a nuclear type mushroom cloud.



    The procurement of four MOABs was commissioned in October 2009 at the hefty cost of $58.4 million, ($14.6 million for each bomb). This amount includes the costs of development and testing as well as integration of the MOAB bombs onto B-2 stealth bombers. This procurement is directly linked to war preparations in relation to Iran. The notification was contained in a ninety-three-page “reprograming memo” which included the following instructions:

    “The Department has an Urgent Operational Need (UON) for the capability to strike hard and deeply buried targets in high threat environments. The MOAB [Mother of All Bombs] is the weapon of choice to meet the requirements of the UON [Urgent Operational Need].” It further states that the request is endorsed by Pacific Command (which has responsibility over North Korea) and Central Command (which has responsibility over Iran).23

    The Pentagon is planning on a process of extensive destruction of Iran’s infrastructure and mass civilian casualties through the combined use of tactical nukes and monster conventional mushroom cloud bombs, including the MOAB and the larger GBU-57A/B or Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), which surpasses the MOAB in terms of explosive capacity.

    The MOP is described as “a powerful new bomb aimed squarely at the underground nuclear facilities of Iran and North Korea. The gargantuan bomb–longer than eleven persons standing shoulder-to-shoulder or more than twenty feet base to nose”.24

    These are WMDs in the true sense of the word. The not so hidden objective of the MOAB and MOP, including the American nickname used to casually describe the MOAB (“Mother of all Bombs”), is “mass destruction” and mass civilian casualties with a view to instilling fear and despair.

    State of the Art Weaponry: “War Made Possible Through New Technologies”

    The process of U.S. military decision making in relation to Iran is supported by Star Wars, the militarization of outer space and the revolution in communications and information systems. Given the advances in military technology and the development of new weapons systems, an attack on Iran could be significantly different in terms of the mix of weapons systems, when compared to the March 2003 Blitzkrieg launched against Iraq. The Iran operation is slated to use the most advanced weapons systems in support of its aerial attacks. In all likelihood, new weapons systems will be tested.

    The 2000 Project for the New American Century (PNAC) document entitled Rebuilding American Defenses, outlined the mandate of the U.S. military in terms of large scale theater wars, to be waged simultaneously in different regions of the World: “Fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars”. (See Chapter I)



    This formulation is tantamount to a global war of conquest by a single imperial superpower.

    The PNAC document also called for the transformation of U.S. forces to exploit the “revolution in military affairs”, namely the implementation of “war made possible through new technologies”.25 The latter consists in developing and perfecting a state of the art global killing machine based on an arsenal of sophisticated new weaponry, which would eventually replace the existing paradigms.

    Thus, it can be foreseen that the process of transformation will in fact be a two-stage process: first of transition, then of more thoroughgoing transformation. The breakpoint will come when a preponderance of new weapons systems begins to enter service, perhaps when, for example, unmanned aerial vehicles begin to be as numerous as manned aircraft. In this regard, the Pentagon should be very wary of making large investments in new programs –tanks, planes, aircraft carriers, for example– that would commit U.S. forces to current paradigms of warfare for many decades to come.26

    The war on Iran could indeed mark this crucial break-point, with new space-based weapons systems being applied with a view to disabling an enemy which has significant conventional military capabilities including more than half a million ground forces.

    Electromagnetic Weapons

    Electromagnetic weapons could be used to destabilize Iran’s communications systems, disable electric power generation, undermine and destabilize command and control, government infrastructure, transportation, energy, etc. Within the same family of weapons, environmental modifications techniques (ENMOD) (weather warfare) developed under the HAARP program could also be applied.27 These weapons systems are fully operational. In this context, the U.S. Air Force document AF 2025 explicitly acknowledged the military applications of weather modification technologies:

    Weather modification will become a part of domestic and international security and could be done unilaterally. … It could have offensive and defensive applications and even be used for deterrence purposes. The ability to generate precipitation, fog, and storms on earth or to modify space weather, improve communications through ionospheric modification (the use of ionospheric mirrors), and the production of artificial weather all are a part of an integrated set of technologies which can provide substantial increase in U.S., or degraded capability in an adversary, to achieve global awareness, reach, and power.28

    Electromagnetic radiation enabling “remote health impairment” might also be envisaged in the war theater.29 In turn, new uses of biological weapons by the U.S. military might also be envisaged as suggested by the PNAC: “[A]dvanced forms of biological warfare that can ‘target’ specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.”30

    Iran’s Military Capabilities: Medium and Long-range Missiles

    Iran has advanced military capabilities, including medium and long-range missiles capable of reaching targets in Israel and the Gulf States. Hence the emphasis by the U.S.-NATO Israel alliance on the use of nuclear weapons, which are slated to be used either pre-emptively or in response to an Iranian retaliatory missile attack.

    In November 2006, Iran tests of surface missiles two were marked by precise planning in a carefully staged operation. According to a senior American missile expert, “the Iranians demonstrated up-to-date missile-launching technology which the West had not known them to possess.”31 Israel acknowledged that “the Shehab-3, whose 2,000-km range brings Israel, the Middle East and Europe within reach”.32

    According to Uzi Rubin, former head of Israel’s anti-ballistic missile program, “the intensity of the military exercise was unprecedented… It was meant to make an impression – and it made an impression.”33

    The 2006 exercises, while creating a political stir in the U.S. and Israel, did not in any way modify U.S.-NATO-Israeli resolve to wage war on Iran.

    Tehran has confirmed in several statements that it will respond if it is attacked. Israel would be the immediate object of Iranian missile attacks as confirmed by the Iranian government. The issue of Israel’s air defense system is therefore crucial. U.S. and allied military facilities in the Gulf states, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Iraq could also be targeted by Iran.

    Iran’s Ground Forces

    While Iran is encircled by U.S. and allied military bases, the Islamic Republic has significant military capabilities. What is important to acknowledge is the sheer size of Iranian forces in terms of personnel (army, navy, air force) when compared to U.S. and NATO forces serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Confronted with a well-organized insurgency, coalition forces are already overstretched in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Would these forces be able to cope if Iranian ground forces were to enter the existing battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan? The potential of the Resistance movement to U.S. and allied occupation would inevitably be affected.

    Iranian ground forces are of the order of 700,000 of which 130,000 are professional soldiers, 220,000 are conscripts and 350,000 are reservists.34 There are 18,000 personnel in Iran’s Navy and 52,000 in the Air Force. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, “the Revolutionary Guards has an estimated 125,000 personnel in five branches: Its own Navy, Air Force, and Ground Forces; and the Quds Force (Special Forces).”

    According to the CISS, Iran’s Basij paramilitary volunteer force controlled by the Revolu- tionary Guards “has an estimated 90,000 active-duty full-time uniformed members, 300,000 reservists, and a total of 11 million men that can be mobilized if need be”35, In other words, Iran can mobilize up to half a million regular troops and several million militia. Its Quds special forces are already operating inside Iraq.

    U.S. Military and Allied Facilities Surrounding Iran

    For several years now, Iran has been conducting its own war drills and exercises. While its Air Force has weaknesses, its intermediate and long-range missiles are fully operational. Iran’s military is in a state of readiness. Iranian troop concentrations are currently within a few kilometers of the Iraqi and Afghan borders, and within proximity of Kuwait. The Iranian Navy is deployed in the Persian Gulf within proximity of U.S. and allied military facilities in the United Arab Emirates.

    It is worth noting that in response to Iran’s military build-up, the U.S. has been transferring large amounts of weapons to its non-NATO allies in the Persian Gulf including Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

    While Iran’s advanced weapons do not measure up to those of the U.S. and NATO, Iranian forces would be in a position to inflict substantial losses to coalition forces in a conventional war theater, on the ground in Iraq or Afghanistan. Iranian ground troops and tanks in December 2009 crossed the border into Iraq without being confronted or challenged by allied forces and occupied a disputed territory in the East Maysan oil field.

    Even in the event of an effective Blitzkrieg, which targets Iran’s military facilities, its communications systems etc., through massive aerial bombing, using cruise missiles, conventional bunker buster bombs and tactical nuclear weapons, a war with Iran, once initiated, could eventually lead into a ground war. This is something which U.S. military planners have no doubt contemplated in their simulated war scenarios.

    An operation of this nature would result in significant military and civilian casualties, particularly if nuclear weapons are used.

    Within a scenario of escalation, Iranian troops could cross the border into Iraq and Afghanistan.

    In turn, military escalation using nuclear weapons could lead us into a World War III scenario, extending beyond the Middle-East – Central Asian region.

    In a very real sense, this military project, which has been on the Pentagon’s drawing board for more than ten years, threatens the future of humanity.

    Our focus in this chapter has been on war preparations. The fact that war preparations are in an advanced state of readiness does not imply that these war plans will be carried out.

    The U.S.-NATO-Israel alliance realizes that the enemy has significant capabilities to respond and retaliate. This factor in itself has been crucial in the decision by the U.S. and its allies to postpone an attack on Iran.

    Another crucial factor is the structure of military alliances. Whereas NATO has become a formidable force, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which constitutes an alliance between Russia and China and a number of former Soviet Republics has been significantly weakened.

    The ongoing U.S. military threats directed against China and Russia are intended to weaken the SCO and discourage any form of military action on the part of Iran’s allies in the case of a U.S. NATO Israeli attack.

    Video Interview: Michel Chossudovsky and Caroline Mailloux

    November 2023 Interview

    Notes

    1. See Target Iran – Air Strikes, Globalsecurity.org, undated.

    2. William Arkin, Washington Post, April 16, 2006.

    3. Ibid.

    4. New Statesman, February 19, 2007.

    5. Philip Giraldi, Deep Background,The American Conservative August 2005.

    6. U.S.CENTCOM, http://www.milnet.com/milnet/pentagon/centcom/chap1/stratgic.htm#U.S.Policy, link no longer active,

    archived at http://tinyurl.com/37gafu9.

    7. General Wesley Clark, for further details see Chapter I.

    8. See Michel Chossudovsky, Planned U.S.-Israeli Attack on Iran, Global Research, May 1, 2005.

    9. Dick Cheney, quoted from an MSNBC Interview, January 2005.

    10. According to Zbigniew Brzezinski.

    11. Michel Chossudovsky, Unusually Large U.S. Weapons Shipment to Israel: Are the U.S. and Israel Planning a Broader Middle East War? Global Research, January 11, 2009.

    12. Defense Talk.com, January 6, 2009.

    13. Quoted in Israel National News, January 9, 2009.

    14. Webster Tarpley, Fidel Castro Warns of Imminent Nuclear War; Admiral Mullen Threatens Iran; U.S.-Israel versus Iran-Hezbollah Confrontation Builds On, Global Research, August 10, 2010.

    15. Michel Chossudovsky, Nuclear War against Iran, Global Research, January 3, 2006.

    16. David Ruppe, Pre-emptive Nuclear War in a State of Readiness: U.S. Command Declares Global Strike Ca- pability, Global Security Newswire, December 2, 2005.

    17. U.S. Nuclear Option on Iran Linked to Israeli Attack Threat – IPS ipsnews.net, April 23, 2010.

    18. Revealed: Israel plans nuclear strike on Iran – Times Online, January 7, 2007.

    19. Opponents Surprised By Elimination of Nuke Research Funds, Defense News, November 29, 2004.

    20. See Michel Chossudovsky, “Tactical Nuclear Weapons” against Afghanistan?, Global Research, December 5, 2001. See also http://www.thebulletin.org/article_nn.php?art_ofn=jf03norris.

    21. Jonathan Karl, Is the U.S. Preparing to Bomb Iran? ABC News, October 9, 2009.

    22. Ibid.

    23. ABC News, op cit, emphasis added. To consult the reprogramming request (pdf) click here.

    24. See Edwin Black, “Super Bunker-Buster Bombs Fast-Tracked for Possible Use Against Iran and North Korea Nuclear Programs”, Cutting Edge, September 21, 2009.

    25. See Project for a New American Century, Rebuilding America’s Defenses Washington DC, September 2000, pdf.

    26. Ibid, emphasis added.

    27. See Michel Chossudovsky, “Owning the Weather” for Military Use, Global Research, September 27, 2004. 28. Air
    Force 2025 Final Report, See also U.S. Air Force: Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025, AF2025
    v3c15-1.

    29. See Mojmir Babacek, Electromagnetic and Informational Weapons:, Global Research, August 6, 2004.

    30. Project for a New American Century, op cit., p. 60.

    31. See Michel Chossudovsky, Iran’s “Power of Deterrence” Global Research, November 5, 2006.

    32. Debka, November 5, 2006.

    33. www.cnsnews.com November 3, 2006.

    34. See Islamic Republic of Iran Army – Wikipedia.

    Featured image is from The Libertarian Institute

    The Globalization of War: America’s “Long War” against Humanity

    Michel Chossudovsky

    The “globalization of war” is a hegemonic project. Major military and covert intelligence operations are being undertaken simultaneously in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Far East. The U.S. military agenda combines both major theater operations as well as covert actions geared towards destabilizing sovereign states.

    ISBN Number: 978-0-9879389-0-9

    Year: 2015
    Pages: 240 Pages
    Price: $9.40

    Click here to order.
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    https://www.globalresearch.ca/pre-emptive-nuclear-war-the-role-of-israel-in-triggering-an-attack-on-iran/5840256


    https://telegra.ph/Nuclear-war-03-10
    Pre-emptive Nuclear War: The Role of Israel in Triggering an Attack on Iran Chapter III of "The Globalization of War" by Michel Chossudovsky Firmly All Global Research articles can be read in 51 languages by activating the Translate Website button below the author’s name. To receive Global Research’s Daily Newsletter (selected articles), click here. Click the share button above to email/forward this article to your friends and colleagues. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter and subscribe to our Telegram Channel. Feel free to repost and share widely Global Research articles. Author’s Introduction and Update In a recent article entitled “A Planned US-Israeli Attack on Iran is Contemplated” I focussed on how Israel’s criminal attack on the People of Palestine could evolve towards an extended Middle East War. At the time of writing, US-NATO war ships –including two aircraft carriers, combat planes, not to mention a nuclear submarine– are deployed in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Red Sea, all of which are intended to confront what both Western politicians and the media casually describe as “Palestine’s Aggression against the Jewish State”. “Israel ranks” as “the 4th strongest military” after Russia, the U.S and China. Ask yourself: Why on earth would Israel need the support of U.S. aircraft carriers to lead a genocide against the Palestinians who are fighting for their lives with limited military capabilities. Is the U.S. intent upon triggering a broader war? “U.S. Warns Hezbollah, Iran. It Will intervene if they Escalate” Who is “Escalating”? The Pentagon has already intimated that it will attack Iran and Lebanon, “If they Escalate”. Is the Pentagon Seeking to Trigger one or more “False Flags”? Times of Israel, November 9, 2023 Also of significance (less than 4 months prior to October 7, 2023) is the adoption on June 27, 2023 of the US Congress Resolution (H. RES. 559) which Accuses Iran of Possessing Nuclear Weapons. H.RES 559 allows the use of force against Iran, intimating that Iran has Nuclear Weapons. Whereas Iran is tagged (without a shred of evidence) as a Nuclear Power by the U.S. Congress, Washington fails to acknowledge that Israel is an undeclared nuclear power. The article below was first published in my book entitled “The Globalization of War. America’s Long War against Humanity” (2015). I remain indebted to the former Prime Minister of Malaysia Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad who took the initiative of launching my book in Kuala Lumpur. (image right). Firmly committed to “the criminalization of war”, Tun Mahathir is a powerful voice in support of Palestine. The article below (Chapter III of “Globalization of War”) provides analysis in a historical perspective of U.S. war plans directed against Iran. Numerous “war theater scenarios” for an all-out attack on Iran have been contemplated. Dangerous Crossroads in our History The current and ongoing US-NATO military deployment in The Middle East — casually presented by the media as a means to coming to the rescue of Israel– is the pinnacle of U.S. war preparations extending over a period of more than 20 years. Contemplated by the Pentagon in 2005 was a scenario whereby an attack by Israel would be conducted on behalf of Washington: “An attack by Israel could, however, be used as “the trigger mechanism” which would unleash an all-out war against Iran, as well as retaliation by Iran directed against Israel.” (quoted from text below) At the outset of Bush’s second term “Vice President Dick Cheney had hinted, in no uncertain terms, that Iran was “right at the top of the list” of the “rogue enemies” of America, and that Israel would, so to speak, “be doing the bombing for us” (Ibid) The article also focusses on the dangers of a US-Israel nuclear attack against Iran which has been contemplated by the Pentagon since 2004. The US Israel “Partnership”: “Signed” Military Agreement Amply documented, the U.S. Military and Intelligence apparatus is firmly behind Israel’s genocide. In the words of Lt General Richard Clark: Americans Troops are “prepared to die for the Jewish State”. What should be understood by this statement is that the US and Israel have a longstanding Military “Partnership” as well as (Jerusalem Post) a “Signed” Military Agreement (classified) regarding Israel’s attack on Gaza. Lt. General Richard Clark is U.S. Third Air Force Commander, among the highest-ranking military officers in the U.S. Armed Forces. While he refers to Juniper Cobra, “a joint military exercise that has been conducted for almost a decade”, his statement points to a much broader “signed” military-intelligence agreement (classified) with Israel which no doubt includes the extension of the Israeli-US bombing of Gaza to the broader Middle East. While this so-called “signed” military agreement remains classified (not in the public domain), it would appear that Biden is obeying the orders of the perpetrators of this diabolical military agenda. Does President Biden have the authority (under this “Signed” Agreement with Israel) to save the lives of innocent civilians including the children of Palestine: Q (Inaudible) Gaza ceasefire, Mr. President? THE PRESIDENT: Pardon me? Q What are the chances of a Gaza ceasefire? THE PRESIDENT: None. No possibility. White House Press Conference, November 9, 2023 Lt. General Clark confirms that: “U.S. troops could be put under Israeli commanders in the battlefield”, which suggests that the genocide is implemented by Netanyahu on behalf of the United States. Everything indicates that the US military and intelligence apparatus are behind Israel’s criminal bombing and invasion of Gaza. We stand firmly in Solidarity with Palestine and the People of the Middle East. It is my intent and sincere hope that my writings (including the text below) will contribute to “Revealing the Truth” as well “Reversing the Tide of Global Warfare”. Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, November 17, 2023, March 10, 2024 Pre-emptive Nuclear War: The Role of Israel in Triggering an Attack on Iran by Michel Chossudovsky Introduction While one can conceptualize the loss of life and destruction resulting from present-day wars including Iraq and Afghanistan, it is impossible to fully comprehend the devastation which might result from a Third World War, using “new technologies” and advanced weapons, until it occurs and becomes a reality. The international community has endorsed nuclear war in the name of world peace. “Making the world safer” is the justification for launching a military operation which could potentially result in a nuclear holocaust.” The stockpiling and deployment of advanced weapons systems directed against Iran started in the immediate wake of the 2003 bombing and invasion of Iraq. From the outset, these war plans were led by the U.S. in liaison with NATO and Israel. Following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration identified Iran and Syria as the next stage of “the road map to war”. U.S. military sources intimated at the time that an aerial attack on Iran could involve a large scale deployment comparable to the U.S. “shock and awe” bombing raids on Iraq in March 2003: American air strikes on Iran would vastly exceed the scope of the 1981 Israeli attack on the Osiraq nuclear center in Iraq, and would more resemble the opening days of the 2003 air campaign against Iraq.1 “Theater Iran Near Term” (TIRANNT) Code named by U.S. military planners as TIRANNT, “Theater Iran Near Term”, simulations of an attack on Iran were initiated in May 2003 “when modelers and intelligence specialists pulled together the data needed for theater-level (meaning large-scale) scenario analysis for Iran.”2 The scenarios identified several thousand targets inside Iran as part of a “Shock and Awe” Blitzkrieg: The analysis, called TIRANNT, for “Theater Iran Near Term,” was coupled with a mock scenario for a Marine Corps invasion and a simulation of the Iranian missile force. U.S. and British planners conducted a Caspian Sea war game around the same time. And Bush directed the U.S. Strategic Command to draw up a global strike war plan for an attack against Iranian weapons of mass destruction. All of this will ultimately feed into a new war plan for “major combat operations” against Iran that military sources confirm now [April 2006] exists in draft form. … Under TIRANNT, Army and U.S. Central Command planners have been examining both near-term and out-year scenarios for war with Iran, including all aspects of a major combat operation, from mobilization and deployment of forces through postwar stability operations after regime change.3 Different “theater scenarios” for an all-out attack on Iran had been contemplated: The U.S. army, navy, air force and marines have all prepared battle plans and spent four years building bases and training for “Operation Iranian Freedom”. Admiral Fallon, the new head of U.S. Central Command, has inherited computerized plans under the name TIRANNT (Theatre Iran Near Term).4 In 2004, drawing upon the initial war scenarios under TIRANNT, Vice President Dick Cheney instructed U.S. Strategic Command (U.S.STRATCOM) to draw up a “contingency plan” of a large scale military operation directed against Iran “to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States” on the presumption that the government in Tehran would be behind the terrorist plot. The plan included the pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear state: The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons. Within Iran there are more than four hundred fifty major strategic targets, including numerous suspected nuclear-weapons-program develop- ment sites. Many of the targets are hardened or are deep underground and could not be taken out by conventional weapons, hence the nuclear option. As in the case of Iraq, the response is not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of ter- rorism directed against the United States. Several senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly appalled at the implications of what they are doing –that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack– but no one is prepared to dam- age his career by posing any objections.5 The Military Road Map: “First Iraq, then Iran” The decision to target Iran under TIRANNT was part of the broader process of military planning and sequencing of military operations. Already under the Clinton administration (1995), U.S. Central Command (U.S.CENTCOM) had formulated “in war theater plans” to invade first Iraq and then Iran. Access to Middle East oil was the stated strategic objective: The broad national security interests and objectives expressed in the President’s National Security Strategy (NSS) and the Chairman’s National Military Strategy (NMS) form the foundation of the United States Central Command’s theater strategy. The NSS directs implementation of a strategy of dual containment of the rogue states of Iraq and Iran as long as those states pose a threat to U.S. interests, to other states in the region, and to their own citizens. Dual containment is designed to maintain the balance of power in the region without depending on either Iraq or Iran. U.S.CENTCOM’s theater strategy is interest-based and threat-focused. The purpose of U.S. engagement, as espoused in the NSS, is to protect the United States’ vital interest in the region – uninterrupted, secure U.S./Allied access to Gulf oil.6 The war on Iran was viewed as part of a succession of military operations. According to (former) NATO Commander General Wesley Clark, the Pentagon’s military road-map consisted of a sequence of countries: [The] Five-year campaign plan [includes]… a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.6 (For further details, see Chapter I) The Role of Israel There has been much debate regarding the role of Israel in initiating an attack against Iran. Israel is part of a military alliance. Tel Aviv is not a prime mover. It does not have a separate and distinct military agenda. Israel is integrated into the “war plan for major combat operations” against Iran formulated in 2006 by U.S. Strategic Command (U.S.STRATCOM). In the context of large scale military operations, an uncoordinated unilateral military action by one coalition partner, namely Israel, is from a military and strategic point almost an impossibility. Israel is a de facto member of NATO. Any action by Israel would require a “green light” from Washington. An attack by Israel could, however, be used as “the trigger mechanism” which would unleash an all-out war against Iran, as well as retaliation by Iran directed against Israel. In this regard, there are indications going back to the Bush administration that Washington had indeed contemplated the option of an initial (U.S. backed) attack by Israel rather than an outright U.S.-led military operation directed against Iran. The Israeli attack –although led in close liaison with the Pentagon and NATO– would have been presented to public opinion as a unilateral decision by Tel Aviv. It would then have been used by Washington to justify, in the eyes of World opinion, a military intervention of the U.S. and NATO with a view to “defending Israel”, rather than attacking Iran. Under existing military cooperation agreements, both the U.S. and NATO would be “obligated” to “defend Israel” against Iran and Syria. It is worth noting, in this regard, that at the outset of Bush’s second term, (former) Vice President Dick Cheney had hinted, in no uncertain terms, that Iran was “right at the top of the list” of the “rogue enemies” of America, and that Israel would, so to speak, “be doing the bombing for us”, without U.S. military involvement and without us putting pressure on them “to do it.”8 According to Cheney: One of the concerns people have is that Israel might do it without being asked. …Given the fact that Iran has a stated policy that their objective is the destruction of Israel, the Israelis might well decide to act first, and let the rest of the world worry about cleaning up the diplomatic mess afterwards.9 Commenting the Vice President’s assertion, former National Security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski in an interview on PBS, confirmed with some apprehension, yes: Cheney wants Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to act on America’s behalf and “do it” for us: Iran I think is more ambiguous. And there the issue is certainly not tyranny; it’s nuclear weapons. And the vice president today in a kind of a strange parallel statement to this declaration of freedom hinted that the Israelis may do it and in fact used language which sounds like a justification or even an encouragement for the Israelis to do it.10 What we are dealing with is a process of joint U.S.-NATO-Israel military planning. An operation to bomb Iran has been in the active planning stage since 2004. Officials in the Defense Department, under Bush and Obama, have been working assiduously with their Israeli military and intelligence counterparts, carefully identifying targets inside Iran. In practical military terms, any action by Israel would have to be planned and coordinated at the highest levels of the U.S. led coalition. Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Vice President Dick Cheney discuss a vision of peace for Israel and Palestine as they conduct a press briefing in Jerusalem, Israel, March 19, 2002. Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Vice President Dick Cheney discuss a vision of peace for Israel and Palestine as they conduct a press briefing in Jerusalem, Israel, March 19, 2002. “It is our hope that the current violence and terrorism will be replaced by reconciliation and the rebuilding of mutual trust,” said the Vice President. (Source) An attack by Israel against Iran would also require coordinated U.S.-NATO logistical support, particularly with regard to Israel’s air defense system, which since January 2009 is fully integrated into that of the U.S. and NATO.11 Israel’s X band radar system established in early 2009 with U.S. technical support has “integrate[d] Israel’s missile defenses with the U.S. global missile [Space-based] detection network, which includes satellites, Aegis ships on the Mediterranean, Persian Gulf and Red Sea, and land-based Patriot radars and interceptors.”12 What this means is that Washington ultimately calls the shots. The U.S. rather than Israel controls the air defense system: This is and will remain a U.S. radar system,’ Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said. ‘So this is not something we are giving or selling to the Israelis and it is something that will likely require U.S. personnel on-site to operate.13 The U.S. military oversees Israel’s Air Defense system, which is integrated into the Pentagon’s global system. In other words, Israel cannot launch a war against Iran without Washington’s consent. Hence the importance of the so-called “Green Light” legislation in the U.S. Congress sponsored by the Republican party under House Resolution 1553, which explicitly supported an Israeli attack on Iran: The measure, introduced by Texas Republican Louie Gohmert and 46 of his colleagues, endorses Israel’s use of “all means necessary” against Iran “including the use of military force.” … “We’ve got to get this done. We need to show our support for Israel. We need to quit playing games with this critical ally in such a difficult area”.14 In practice, the proposed legislation serves as a “Green Light” to the White House and the Pentagon rather than to Israel. It constitutes a rubber stamp to a U.S. sponsored war on Iran which uses Israel as a convenient military launch pad. It also serves as a justification to wage war with a view to defending Israel. In this context, Israel could indeed provide the pretext to wage war, in response to alleged Hamas or Hezbollah attacks and/or the triggering of hostilities on the border of Israel with Lebanon. What is crucial to understand is that a minor “incident” could be used as a pretext to spark off a major military operation against Iran. Known to U.S. military planners, Israel (rather than the U.S.A) would be the first target of military retaliation by Iran. Broadly speaking, Israelis would be the victims of the machinations of both Washington and their own government. It is, in this regard, absolutely crucial that Israelis forcefully oppose any action by the Netanyahu government to attack Iran. Global Warfare: The Role of U.S. Strategic Command (U.S.STRATCOM) In January 2005, at the outset of the military deployment and build-up directed against Iran, U.S.STRATCOM was identified as “the lead Combatant Command for integration and synchronization of DoD-wide efforts in combating weapons of mass destruction.”15 What this means is that the coordination of a large scale attack on Iran, including the various scenarios of escalation in and beyond the broader Middle East Central Asian region would be coordinated by U.S.STRATCOM. (See Chapter I). Confirmed by military documents as well as official statements, both the U.S. and Israel contemplate the use of nuclear weapons directed against Iran. In 2006, U.S. Strategic Command (U.S.STRATCOM) announced it had achieved an operational capability for rapidly striking targets around the globe using nuclear or conventional weapons. This announcement was made after the conduct of military simulations pertaining to a U.S. led nuclear attack against a fictional country.16 Continuity in Relation to the Bush-Cheney Era President Obama has largely endorsed the doctrine of pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons formulated by the previous administration. Under the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, the Obama administration confirmed “that it is reserving the right to use nuclear weapons against Iran” for its non-compliance with U.S. demands regarding its alleged (nonexistent) nuclear weapons program.17 The Obama administration has also intimated that it would use nukes in the case of an Iranian response to an Israeli attack on Iran. Israel has also drawn up its own “secret plans” to bomb Iran with tactical nuclear weapons: Israeli military commanders believe conventional strikes may no longer be enough to annihilate increasingly well-defended enrichment facilities. Several have been built beneath at least 70ft of concrete and rock. However, the nuclear-tipped bunker-busters would be used only if a conventional attack was ruled out and if the United States declined to intervene, senior sources said.18 Obama’s statements on the use of nuclear weapons against Iran and North Korea are consistent with post-9/11 U.S. nuclear weapons doctrine, which allows for the use of tactical nuclear weapons in the conventional war theater. Through a propaganda campaign which has enlisted the support of “authoritative” nuclear scientists, mini-nukes are upheld as an instrument of peace, namely a means to combating “Islamic terrorism” and instating Western style “democracy” in Iran. The low-yield nukes have been cleared for “battlefield use”. They are slated to be used against Iran and Syria in the next stage of America’s “War on Terrorism” alongside conventional weapons: Administration officials argue that low-yield nuclear weapons are needed as a credible deterrent against rogue states. [Iran, Syria, North Korea] Their logic is that existing nuclear weapons are too destructive to be used except in a full-scale nuclear war. Potential enemies realize this, thus they do not consider the threat of nuclear retaliation to be credible. However, low-yield nuclear weapons are less destructive, thus might conceivably be used. That would make them more effective as a deterrent.19 The preferred nuclear weapon to be used against Iran are tactical nuclear weapons (Made in America), namely bunker buster bombs with nuclear warheads (for example, B61-11), with an explosive capacity between one third to six times a Hiroshima bomb. The B61-11 is the “nuclear version” of the “conventional” BLU 113. or Guided Bomb Unit GBU-28. It can be delivered in much same way as the conventional bunker buster bomb.20 While the U.S. does not contemplate the use of strategic thermonuclear weapons against Iran, Israel’s nuclear arsenal is largely composed of thermonuclear bombs which are deployed and could be used in a war with Iran. Under Israel’s Jericho III missile system with a range between 4,800 km to 6,500 km, all Iran would be within reach. Radioactive Fallout The issue of radioactive fallout and contamination, while casually dismissed by U.S.-NATO military analysts, would be devastating, potentially affecting a large area of the broader Middle East (including Israel) and Central Asian region. In an utterly twisted logic, nuclear weapons are presented as a means to building peace and preventing “collateral damage”. Iran’s nonexistent nuclear weapons are a threat to global security, whereas those of the U.S. and Israel are instruments of peace “harmless to the surrounding civilian population.” “The Mother of All Bombs” (MOAB) Slated to be Used against Iran? Of military significance within the U.S. conventional weapons arsenal is the 21,500-pound “monster weapon” nicknamed the “mother of all bombs” The GBU-43/B or Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb (MOAB) was categorized “as the most powerful non-nuclear weapon ever designed” with the the largest yield in the U.S. conventional arsenal. The MOAB was tested in early March 2003 before being deployed to the Iraq war theater. According to U.S. military sources, the Joint Chiefs of Staff had advised the government of Saddam Hussein prior to launching the 2003 that the “mother of all bombs” was to be used against Iraq. (There were unconfirmed reports that it had been used in Iraq). The U.S. Department of Defense already confirmed in 2009 that it intends to use the “Mother of All Bombs” (MOAB) against Iran. The MOAB is said to be ”ideally suited to hit deeply buried nuclear facilities such as Natanz or Qom in Iran”21. The truth of the matter is that the MOAB, given its explosive capacity, would result in significant civilian casualties. It is a conventional “killing machine” with a nuclear type mushroom cloud. The procurement of four MOABs was commissioned in October 2009 at the hefty cost of $58.4 million, ($14.6 million for each bomb). This amount includes the costs of development and testing as well as integration of the MOAB bombs onto B-2 stealth bombers. This procurement is directly linked to war preparations in relation to Iran. The notification was contained in a ninety-three-page “reprograming memo” which included the following instructions: “The Department has an Urgent Operational Need (UON) for the capability to strike hard and deeply buried targets in high threat environments. The MOAB [Mother of All Bombs] is the weapon of choice to meet the requirements of the UON [Urgent Operational Need].” It further states that the request is endorsed by Pacific Command (which has responsibility over North Korea) and Central Command (which has responsibility over Iran).23 The Pentagon is planning on a process of extensive destruction of Iran’s infrastructure and mass civilian casualties through the combined use of tactical nukes and monster conventional mushroom cloud bombs, including the MOAB and the larger GBU-57A/B or Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), which surpasses the MOAB in terms of explosive capacity. The MOP is described as “a powerful new bomb aimed squarely at the underground nuclear facilities of Iran and North Korea. The gargantuan bomb–longer than eleven persons standing shoulder-to-shoulder or more than twenty feet base to nose”.24 These are WMDs in the true sense of the word. The not so hidden objective of the MOAB and MOP, including the American nickname used to casually describe the MOAB (“Mother of all Bombs”), is “mass destruction” and mass civilian casualties with a view to instilling fear and despair. State of the Art Weaponry: “War Made Possible Through New Technologies” The process of U.S. military decision making in relation to Iran is supported by Star Wars, the militarization of outer space and the revolution in communications and information systems. Given the advances in military technology and the development of new weapons systems, an attack on Iran could be significantly different in terms of the mix of weapons systems, when compared to the March 2003 Blitzkrieg launched against Iraq. The Iran operation is slated to use the most advanced weapons systems in support of its aerial attacks. In all likelihood, new weapons systems will be tested. The 2000 Project for the New American Century (PNAC) document entitled Rebuilding American Defenses, outlined the mandate of the U.S. military in terms of large scale theater wars, to be waged simultaneously in different regions of the World: “Fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars”. (See Chapter I) This formulation is tantamount to a global war of conquest by a single imperial superpower. The PNAC document also called for the transformation of U.S. forces to exploit the “revolution in military affairs”, namely the implementation of “war made possible through new technologies”.25 The latter consists in developing and perfecting a state of the art global killing machine based on an arsenal of sophisticated new weaponry, which would eventually replace the existing paradigms. Thus, it can be foreseen that the process of transformation will in fact be a two-stage process: first of transition, then of more thoroughgoing transformation. The breakpoint will come when a preponderance of new weapons systems begins to enter service, perhaps when, for example, unmanned aerial vehicles begin to be as numerous as manned aircraft. In this regard, the Pentagon should be very wary of making large investments in new programs –tanks, planes, aircraft carriers, for example– that would commit U.S. forces to current paradigms of warfare for many decades to come.26 The war on Iran could indeed mark this crucial break-point, with new space-based weapons systems being applied with a view to disabling an enemy which has significant conventional military capabilities including more than half a million ground forces. Electromagnetic Weapons Electromagnetic weapons could be used to destabilize Iran’s communications systems, disable electric power generation, undermine and destabilize command and control, government infrastructure, transportation, energy, etc. Within the same family of weapons, environmental modifications techniques (ENMOD) (weather warfare) developed under the HAARP program could also be applied.27 These weapons systems are fully operational. In this context, the U.S. Air Force document AF 2025 explicitly acknowledged the military applications of weather modification technologies: Weather modification will become a part of domestic and international security and could be done unilaterally. … It could have offensive and defensive applications and even be used for deterrence purposes. The ability to generate precipitation, fog, and storms on earth or to modify space weather, improve communications through ionospheric modification (the use of ionospheric mirrors), and the production of artificial weather all are a part of an integrated set of technologies which can provide substantial increase in U.S., or degraded capability in an adversary, to achieve global awareness, reach, and power.28 Electromagnetic radiation enabling “remote health impairment” might also be envisaged in the war theater.29 In turn, new uses of biological weapons by the U.S. military might also be envisaged as suggested by the PNAC: “[A]dvanced forms of biological warfare that can ‘target’ specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.”30 Iran’s Military Capabilities: Medium and Long-range Missiles Iran has advanced military capabilities, including medium and long-range missiles capable of reaching targets in Israel and the Gulf States. Hence the emphasis by the U.S.-NATO Israel alliance on the use of nuclear weapons, which are slated to be used either pre-emptively or in response to an Iranian retaliatory missile attack. In November 2006, Iran tests of surface missiles two were marked by precise planning in a carefully staged operation. According to a senior American missile expert, “the Iranians demonstrated up-to-date missile-launching technology which the West had not known them to possess.”31 Israel acknowledged that “the Shehab-3, whose 2,000-km range brings Israel, the Middle East and Europe within reach”.32 According to Uzi Rubin, former head of Israel’s anti-ballistic missile program, “the intensity of the military exercise was unprecedented… It was meant to make an impression – and it made an impression.”33 The 2006 exercises, while creating a political stir in the U.S. and Israel, did not in any way modify U.S.-NATO-Israeli resolve to wage war on Iran. Tehran has confirmed in several statements that it will respond if it is attacked. Israel would be the immediate object of Iranian missile attacks as confirmed by the Iranian government. The issue of Israel’s air defense system is therefore crucial. U.S. and allied military facilities in the Gulf states, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Iraq could also be targeted by Iran. Iran’s Ground Forces While Iran is encircled by U.S. and allied military bases, the Islamic Republic has significant military capabilities. What is important to acknowledge is the sheer size of Iranian forces in terms of personnel (army, navy, air force) when compared to U.S. and NATO forces serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. Confronted with a well-organized insurgency, coalition forces are already overstretched in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Would these forces be able to cope if Iranian ground forces were to enter the existing battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan? The potential of the Resistance movement to U.S. and allied occupation would inevitably be affected. Iranian ground forces are of the order of 700,000 of which 130,000 are professional soldiers, 220,000 are conscripts and 350,000 are reservists.34 There are 18,000 personnel in Iran’s Navy and 52,000 in the Air Force. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, “the Revolutionary Guards has an estimated 125,000 personnel in five branches: Its own Navy, Air Force, and Ground Forces; and the Quds Force (Special Forces).” According to the CISS, Iran’s Basij paramilitary volunteer force controlled by the Revolu- tionary Guards “has an estimated 90,000 active-duty full-time uniformed members, 300,000 reservists, and a total of 11 million men that can be mobilized if need be”35, In other words, Iran can mobilize up to half a million regular troops and several million militia. Its Quds special forces are already operating inside Iraq. U.S. Military and Allied Facilities Surrounding Iran For several years now, Iran has been conducting its own war drills and exercises. While its Air Force has weaknesses, its intermediate and long-range missiles are fully operational. Iran’s military is in a state of readiness. Iranian troop concentrations are currently within a few kilometers of the Iraqi and Afghan borders, and within proximity of Kuwait. The Iranian Navy is deployed in the Persian Gulf within proximity of U.S. and allied military facilities in the United Arab Emirates. It is worth noting that in response to Iran’s military build-up, the U.S. has been transferring large amounts of weapons to its non-NATO allies in the Persian Gulf including Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. While Iran’s advanced weapons do not measure up to those of the U.S. and NATO, Iranian forces would be in a position to inflict substantial losses to coalition forces in a conventional war theater, on the ground in Iraq or Afghanistan. Iranian ground troops and tanks in December 2009 crossed the border into Iraq without being confronted or challenged by allied forces and occupied a disputed territory in the East Maysan oil field. Even in the event of an effective Blitzkrieg, which targets Iran’s military facilities, its communications systems etc., through massive aerial bombing, using cruise missiles, conventional bunker buster bombs and tactical nuclear weapons, a war with Iran, once initiated, could eventually lead into a ground war. This is something which U.S. military planners have no doubt contemplated in their simulated war scenarios. An operation of this nature would result in significant military and civilian casualties, particularly if nuclear weapons are used. Within a scenario of escalation, Iranian troops could cross the border into Iraq and Afghanistan. In turn, military escalation using nuclear weapons could lead us into a World War III scenario, extending beyond the Middle-East – Central Asian region. In a very real sense, this military project, which has been on the Pentagon’s drawing board for more than ten years, threatens the future of humanity. Our focus in this chapter has been on war preparations. The fact that war preparations are in an advanced state of readiness does not imply that these war plans will be carried out. The U.S.-NATO-Israel alliance realizes that the enemy has significant capabilities to respond and retaliate. This factor in itself has been crucial in the decision by the U.S. and its allies to postpone an attack on Iran. Another crucial factor is the structure of military alliances. Whereas NATO has become a formidable force, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which constitutes an alliance between Russia and China and a number of former Soviet Republics has been significantly weakened. The ongoing U.S. military threats directed against China and Russia are intended to weaken the SCO and discourage any form of military action on the part of Iran’s allies in the case of a U.S. NATO Israeli attack. Video Interview: Michel Chossudovsky and Caroline Mailloux November 2023 Interview Notes 1. See Target Iran – Air Strikes, Globalsecurity.org, undated. 2. William Arkin, Washington Post, April 16, 2006. 3. Ibid. 4. New Statesman, February 19, 2007. 5. Philip Giraldi, Deep Background,The American Conservative August 2005. 6. U.S.CENTCOM, http://www.milnet.com/milnet/pentagon/centcom/chap1/stratgic.htm#U.S.Policy, link no longer active, archived at http://tinyurl.com/37gafu9. 7. General Wesley Clark, for further details see Chapter I. 8. See Michel Chossudovsky, Planned U.S.-Israeli Attack on Iran, Global Research, May 1, 2005. 9. Dick Cheney, quoted from an MSNBC Interview, January 2005. 10. According to Zbigniew Brzezinski. 11. Michel Chossudovsky, Unusually Large U.S. Weapons Shipment to Israel: Are the U.S. and Israel Planning a Broader Middle East War? Global Research, January 11, 2009. 12. Defense Talk.com, January 6, 2009. 13. Quoted in Israel National News, January 9, 2009. 14. Webster Tarpley, Fidel Castro Warns of Imminent Nuclear War; Admiral Mullen Threatens Iran; U.S.-Israel versus Iran-Hezbollah Confrontation Builds On, Global Research, August 10, 2010. 15. Michel Chossudovsky, Nuclear War against Iran, Global Research, January 3, 2006. 16. David Ruppe, Pre-emptive Nuclear War in a State of Readiness: U.S. Command Declares Global Strike Ca- pability, Global Security Newswire, December 2, 2005. 17. U.S. Nuclear Option on Iran Linked to Israeli Attack Threat – IPS ipsnews.net, April 23, 2010. 18. Revealed: Israel plans nuclear strike on Iran – Times Online, January 7, 2007. 19. Opponents Surprised By Elimination of Nuke Research Funds, Defense News, November 29, 2004. 20. See Michel Chossudovsky, “Tactical Nuclear Weapons” against Afghanistan?, Global Research, December 5, 2001. See also http://www.thebulletin.org/article_nn.php?art_ofn=jf03norris. 21. Jonathan Karl, Is the U.S. Preparing to Bomb Iran? ABC News, October 9, 2009. 22. Ibid. 23. ABC News, op cit, emphasis added. To consult the reprogramming request (pdf) click here. 24. See Edwin Black, “Super Bunker-Buster Bombs Fast-Tracked for Possible Use Against Iran and North Korea Nuclear Programs”, Cutting Edge, September 21, 2009. 25. See Project for a New American Century, Rebuilding America’s Defenses Washington DC, September 2000, pdf. 26. Ibid, emphasis added. 27. See Michel Chossudovsky, “Owning the Weather” for Military Use, Global Research, September 27, 2004. 28. Air Force 2025 Final Report, See also U.S. Air Force: Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025, AF2025 v3c15-1. 29. See Mojmir Babacek, Electromagnetic and Informational Weapons:, Global Research, August 6, 2004. 30. Project for a New American Century, op cit., p. 60. 31. See Michel Chossudovsky, Iran’s “Power of Deterrence” Global Research, November 5, 2006. 32. Debka, November 5, 2006. 33. www.cnsnews.com November 3, 2006. 34. See Islamic Republic of Iran Army – Wikipedia. Featured image is from The Libertarian Institute The Globalization of War: America’s “Long War” against Humanity Michel Chossudovsky The “globalization of war” is a hegemonic project. Major military and covert intelligence operations are being undertaken simultaneously in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Far East. The U.S. military agenda combines both major theater operations as well as covert actions geared towards destabilizing sovereign states. ISBN Number: 978-0-9879389-0-9 Year: 2015 Pages: 240 Pages Price: $9.40 Click here to order. Related Articles from our Archives https://www.globalresearch.ca/pre-emptive-nuclear-war-the-role-of-israel-in-triggering-an-attack-on-iran/5840256 https://telegra.ph/Nuclear-war-03-10
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 178: Israel withdraws from al-Shifa Hospital, leaving evidence of a massacre in its wake
    Dozens of bodies are still being recovered from the rubble of a destroyed and burnt al-Shifa Hospital, following a two-week Israeli raid and siege on the hospital.

    Qassam MuaddiApril 1, 2024
    A destroyed and bombed out hospital room in the al-Shifa Hospital in the foreground; a burned edifice of the al-Shifa Hospital complex in the background.
    Palestinians assess the damage and search the rubble in the area of the destroyed al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on April 1, 2024. The Israeli army said Monday that it wrapped up its military operation at the al-Shifa Hospital complex following a 14-day siege and attack that resulted in scores of casualties and hundreds of arrests. (Khaled Daoud /apaimages)
    Casualties

    32,623 + killed* and at least 75,092 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    450+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.**
    Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,139.
    600 Israeli soldiers have been killed since October 7, and at least 6,800 injured.***
    *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its Telegram channel. Some rights groups estimate the death toll to be much higher when accounting for those presumed dead.

    ** The death toll in the West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to the PA’s Ministry of Health on March 17, this is the latest figure.

    *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.”

    Key Developments

    Israel has killed 140 Palestinians and wounded 202 in the Gaza Strip since Saturday morning, according to the Palestinian health ministry.
    Israeli army withdraws from al-Shifa Hospital complex after two-week siege, leaving total destruction in its wake and dozens of dead. Israeli military sources say al-Shifa “will not come back to operation” after withdrawal.
    Gaza’s interior ministry announces the arrest of 10 intelligence officers from the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority, claiming that they entered Gaza in coordination with Israel to “destabilize the internal front.” Ramallah officially denies the claims.
    Gaza’s health ministry calls upon the international community to intervene to reopen Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, which was put out of service by Israeli forces after sustained attacks in recent weeks.
    Israel announces killing of Hezbollah military commander in strike on southern Lebanon. Israeli strikes hit the Lebanese towns of al-Khyam and Markaba, while Hezbollah fires rockets on Israeli settlements and military bases in the Galilee.
    Israeli forces raid Jenin in the occupied West Bank amid arrest wave.
    Palestinians in Israel and West Bank march in commemoration of Palestinian Land Day protesting Gaza genocide.
    Israeli Channel 12: Over 6,800 Israeli soldiers wounded since October 7th.
    Israel kills 140 Palestinians in Gaza, including 10 journalists in targeted strike

    The Palestinian health ministry reported that Israeli forces committed 14 massacres across the Gaza Strip since Saturday, killing 140 Palestinians and wounding 202, raising the death toll of Israel’s assault since October 7 to 32,782 with more than 75,392 wounded.

    In Gaza City, medical sources reported finding at least 50 dead bodies in the surroundings of al-Shifa hospital after the Israeli army withdrew from the medical complex following two weeks of raids. The health ministry said in a statement on Sunday that medical staff are unable to recover the bodies and the wounded under the rubble.

    Palestinians search the rubble of destroyed and burned buildings of the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City following a two-week Israeli raid.
    Palestinians search the rubble of destroyed and burned buildings of the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City following a two-week Israeli raid that claimed hundreds of casualties. The Israeli military said that the hospital will be inoperable following the withdrawal of its forces. (APA Images)
    On Sunday, Israeli airstrikes hit a residential building in the al-Daraj neighborhood in Gaza City, killing an unspecified number of Palestinians. In western Gaza City, Israeli strikes killed at least two Palestinians and wounded 10 in al-Shati refugee camp.

    In the central Gaza Strip, Israeli forces killed six Palestinians in a strike on a family house in al-Maghazi refugee camp. Israeli strikes also killed four Palestinians and wounded 15, including 10 journalists in a strike on a tent in the courtyard of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah.

    In the southern Gaza Strip, Israeli strikes continued over the weekend on Khan Younis and its surrounding villages. In Bani Suhaila, west of Khan Younis, Palestinian medical teams recovered five more bodies. Local media sources also reported that Israeli armored vehicles opened fire at Palestinian houses in Khuza’a, east of Khan Younis.

    Israeli army withdraws from al-Shifa Hospital after two-week attack, leaving ‘total destruction’

    The Israeli army withdrew from al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City early on Monday, following 14 days of raids on Gaza’s largest medical complex. Testimonies from the ground reported finding at least 50 dead bodies in the complex, while medical sources said that “hundreds of bodies” continue to be found in the hospital’s vicinity.

    Israeli media quoted the Israeli army spokesperson saying that Israeli forces have “ended their operation” at al-Shifa, killing 200 Palestinians whom it claims to be members of Palestinian resistance groups, including a senior commander of Hamas’s military wing.

    The Israeli army repeated throughout the two-week-long raid that it took “precautions” to avoid harming civilians and civilian infrastructure. However, testimonies from journalists and civilians of executions and torture inside the hospital and photos of a completely burnt hospital indicate otherwise.

    Palestinians look on at the damaged and burned remaining edifice of al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza's largest hospital, which was destroyed by the Israeli military in a deadly two-week raid.
    Palestinians look on at the damaged and burned remaining edifice of al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest hospital, which was destroyed by the Israeli military in a deadly two-week raid. April 1, 2024 (APA Images)
    Palestinians rushed into al-Shifa following the withdrawal of Israeli forces, with reports from local media sources describing the “total destruction” of the hospital’s facilities.

    According to medical sources at al-Shifa, Israeli troops completely destroyed the specialized surgeries building and set fire to the rest of the building. Sources also indicated that Israeli soldiers also torched the reception and emergency buildings, destroying dozens of rooms and all of its equipment.

    Local sources added that Israeli forces destroyed or torched several residential buildings surrounding al-Shifa and that residents have recovered dozens of dead bodies in the streets surrounding the complex.

    On Monday, the Haboush family told news outlet Arab 48 as they evacuated the area that they had spent nine days with very little water at their home in al-Shifa’s vicinity. The family said that their eldest son was killed by an Israeli quadcopter drone and was left to bleed to death and then decompose before their eyes, as they couldn’t risk recovering his body under Israeli fire.

    On the second day of the Israeli raid, Palestinian Gaza-based journalist Bayan Abu Sultan reported through her X account that Israeli forces killed her brother in the surroundings of al-Shifa.

    Palestinian medical sources said in the aftermath of Israel’s withdrawal from al-Shifa that the medical complex was completely inoperational and that it will be “very difficult to resume work in al-Shifa in the current stage.”

    Hours prior to Israeli forces’ withdrawal, the Director General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhom Ghebreyesus, called upon opening a humanitarian corridor to al-Shifa.

    Ghebreyesus added that 21 Palestinian patients have died inside al-Shifa during the Israeli raid since March 19 and that 107 more patients are still inside the hospital in inappropriate medical conditions, including four children and 28 in critical condition. Ghebreyesus indicated that the patients include some with wound inflammation, due to the lack of clean water.

    Israeli army sources also said through the Israeli army radio that al-Shifa Hospital “will not come back to work” after the destruction it suffered during the Israeli military raid.

    Israeli forces had raided al-Shifa in November and forced Palestinians, including patients and medical staff, to exit, leaving behind several newborn babies without functioning incubators.

    Palestinians returned to al-Shifa following the first Israeli withdrawal from the hospital in December, where journalists reported finding the left-behind-babies decomposing.

    Gaza interior ministry accuses PA intelligence of ‘infiltrating Gaza in coordination with Israel


    The Gaza-based Palestinian interior ministry, which is administered by Hamas, said on Monday that an intelligence force belonging to the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority, led by Hamas’ political rival Fatah, entered the Gaza Strip on Saturday.

    The ministry announced arresting the force’s members, whom it claimed were on a mission to “sabotage the internal front” in Gaza. A Palestinian Authority senior official denied accusations on Monday in statements to the PA-affiliated Wafa agency.

    According to Gaza authorities, the intelligence force entered on Saturday in Egyptian Red Crescent trucks that were allegedly allowed into the Strip by Israel. Gaza officials added that Egyptian authorities denied having any knowledge of the alleged infiltration.

    An official in the Gaza interior ministry said that the force entered by direct orders of the Ramallah-based Palestinian general intelligence apparatus chief, Majed Faraj, with the mission of “spreading chaos,” and in coordination with the Israeli army and the Israeli internal security intelligence – the Shin Bet, or as it’s known locally, the Shabak.

    The official noted that the Gaza security forces received instructions from the ‘Palestinian resistance factions joint operation group,’ the coordinating body of a dozen Palestinian armed factions in the Strip. The instructions, according to the official, were to intercept the alleged force “and any security force that enters Gaza other than through the resistance.”

    On Monday, the Palestinian Authority’s official Wafa news agency quoted a senior PA official calling the Gaza interior ministry statement “an enraged media campaign to cover up the suffering of our people in Gaza.”

    The Israeli Kan channel had reported earlier that Israel’s war minister Yoav Gallant had proposed Majed Faraj take charge of running the Strip after the war in cooperation with local figures who wouldn’t include members of Hamas.

    Last week, The White House spokesperson Mathew Miller said that one of the U.S. administration’s orders for a post-war Gaza is that the PA must run both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Miller added that the U.S. is discussing with the PA and other countries in the region all the issues concerning the administration of the Strip after the war, without giving further details.

    600 Israeli soldiers killed, 6,800 wounded as fighting with Palestinian resistance continues

    The Israeli army announced on Monday that a soldier from its 77th brigade was killed in combat with the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip, as Israeli media outlets reported that 600 Israeli soldiers and officers have been killed since October 7, and 6,800 have been wounded.

    The Israeli army, which delays the announcement of its losses under strict military censorship, has so far admitted the loss of 264 soldiers and officers since the beginning of its ground invasion of the Gaza Strip in November.

    Meanwhile, the al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, announced that its fighters targeted an Israeli tank in Khan Younis with an armor-piercing explosive device and that Israeli military helicopters rushed to evacuate casualties.

    Al-Qassam also announced that its fighters engaged Israeli soldiers with an anti-fortification projectile inside a house near the Nasser Hospital, west of Khan Younis. Al-Qassam added that it targeted Israeli troops in the vicinity of al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City with mortar rounds.

    Simultaneously, the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad -PIJ announced that its fighters engaged Israeli forces in the al-Qarara neighborhood in Khan Younis.

    For its part, the Israeli army announced that it continues to fight Palestinian factions in al-Qarara and that 81 soldiers were wounded in the southern Gaza Strip in the past week.

    Qassam Muaddi
    Qassam Muaddi is the Palestine Staff Writer for Mondoweiss.



    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/04/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-178-israel-withdraws-from-al-shifa-hospital-leaving-evidence-of-a-massacre-in-its-wake/
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 178: Israel withdraws from al-Shifa Hospital, leaving evidence of a massacre in its wake Dozens of bodies are still being recovered from the rubble of a destroyed and burnt al-Shifa Hospital, following a two-week Israeli raid and siege on the hospital. Qassam MuaddiApril 1, 2024 A destroyed and bombed out hospital room in the al-Shifa Hospital in the foreground; a burned edifice of the al-Shifa Hospital complex in the background. Palestinians assess the damage and search the rubble in the area of the destroyed al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on April 1, 2024. The Israeli army said Monday that it wrapped up its military operation at the al-Shifa Hospital complex following a 14-day siege and attack that resulted in scores of casualties and hundreds of arrests. (Khaled Daoud /apaimages) Casualties 32,623 + killed* and at least 75,092 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 450+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.** Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,139. 600 Israeli soldiers have been killed since October 7, and at least 6,800 injured.*** *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its Telegram channel. Some rights groups estimate the death toll to be much higher when accounting for those presumed dead. ** The death toll in the West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to the PA’s Ministry of Health on March 17, this is the latest figure. *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” Key Developments Israel has killed 140 Palestinians and wounded 202 in the Gaza Strip since Saturday morning, according to the Palestinian health ministry. Israeli army withdraws from al-Shifa Hospital complex after two-week siege, leaving total destruction in its wake and dozens of dead. Israeli military sources say al-Shifa “will not come back to operation” after withdrawal. Gaza’s interior ministry announces the arrest of 10 intelligence officers from the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority, claiming that they entered Gaza in coordination with Israel to “destabilize the internal front.” Ramallah officially denies the claims. Gaza’s health ministry calls upon the international community to intervene to reopen Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, which was put out of service by Israeli forces after sustained attacks in recent weeks. Israel announces killing of Hezbollah military commander in strike on southern Lebanon. Israeli strikes hit the Lebanese towns of al-Khyam and Markaba, while Hezbollah fires rockets on Israeli settlements and military bases in the Galilee. Israeli forces raid Jenin in the occupied West Bank amid arrest wave. Palestinians in Israel and West Bank march in commemoration of Palestinian Land Day protesting Gaza genocide. Israeli Channel 12: Over 6,800 Israeli soldiers wounded since October 7th. Israel kills 140 Palestinians in Gaza, including 10 journalists in targeted strike The Palestinian health ministry reported that Israeli forces committed 14 massacres across the Gaza Strip since Saturday, killing 140 Palestinians and wounding 202, raising the death toll of Israel’s assault since October 7 to 32,782 with more than 75,392 wounded. In Gaza City, medical sources reported finding at least 50 dead bodies in the surroundings of al-Shifa hospital after the Israeli army withdrew from the medical complex following two weeks of raids. The health ministry said in a statement on Sunday that medical staff are unable to recover the bodies and the wounded under the rubble. Palestinians search the rubble of destroyed and burned buildings of the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City following a two-week Israeli raid. Palestinians search the rubble of destroyed and burned buildings of the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City following a two-week Israeli raid that claimed hundreds of casualties. The Israeli military said that the hospital will be inoperable following the withdrawal of its forces. (APA Images) On Sunday, Israeli airstrikes hit a residential building in the al-Daraj neighborhood in Gaza City, killing an unspecified number of Palestinians. In western Gaza City, Israeli strikes killed at least two Palestinians and wounded 10 in al-Shati refugee camp. In the central Gaza Strip, Israeli forces killed six Palestinians in a strike on a family house in al-Maghazi refugee camp. Israeli strikes also killed four Palestinians and wounded 15, including 10 journalists in a strike on a tent in the courtyard of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah. In the southern Gaza Strip, Israeli strikes continued over the weekend on Khan Younis and its surrounding villages. In Bani Suhaila, west of Khan Younis, Palestinian medical teams recovered five more bodies. Local media sources also reported that Israeli armored vehicles opened fire at Palestinian houses in Khuza’a, east of Khan Younis. Israeli army withdraws from al-Shifa Hospital after two-week attack, leaving ‘total destruction’ The Israeli army withdrew from al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City early on Monday, following 14 days of raids on Gaza’s largest medical complex. Testimonies from the ground reported finding at least 50 dead bodies in the complex, while medical sources said that “hundreds of bodies” continue to be found in the hospital’s vicinity. Israeli media quoted the Israeli army spokesperson saying that Israeli forces have “ended their operation” at al-Shifa, killing 200 Palestinians whom it claims to be members of Palestinian resistance groups, including a senior commander of Hamas’s military wing. The Israeli army repeated throughout the two-week-long raid that it took “precautions” to avoid harming civilians and civilian infrastructure. However, testimonies from journalists and civilians of executions and torture inside the hospital and photos of a completely burnt hospital indicate otherwise. Palestinians look on at the damaged and burned remaining edifice of al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza's largest hospital, which was destroyed by the Israeli military in a deadly two-week raid. Palestinians look on at the damaged and burned remaining edifice of al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest hospital, which was destroyed by the Israeli military in a deadly two-week raid. April 1, 2024 (APA Images) Palestinians rushed into al-Shifa following the withdrawal of Israeli forces, with reports from local media sources describing the “total destruction” of the hospital’s facilities. According to medical sources at al-Shifa, Israeli troops completely destroyed the specialized surgeries building and set fire to the rest of the building. Sources also indicated that Israeli soldiers also torched the reception and emergency buildings, destroying dozens of rooms and all of its equipment. Local sources added that Israeli forces destroyed or torched several residential buildings surrounding al-Shifa and that residents have recovered dozens of dead bodies in the streets surrounding the complex. On Monday, the Haboush family told news outlet Arab 48 as they evacuated the area that they had spent nine days with very little water at their home in al-Shifa’s vicinity. The family said that their eldest son was killed by an Israeli quadcopter drone and was left to bleed to death and then decompose before their eyes, as they couldn’t risk recovering his body under Israeli fire. On the second day of the Israeli raid, Palestinian Gaza-based journalist Bayan Abu Sultan reported through her X account that Israeli forces killed her brother in the surroundings of al-Shifa. Palestinian medical sources said in the aftermath of Israel’s withdrawal from al-Shifa that the medical complex was completely inoperational and that it will be “very difficult to resume work in al-Shifa in the current stage.” Hours prior to Israeli forces’ withdrawal, the Director General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhom Ghebreyesus, called upon opening a humanitarian corridor to al-Shifa. Ghebreyesus added that 21 Palestinian patients have died inside al-Shifa during the Israeli raid since March 19 and that 107 more patients are still inside the hospital in inappropriate medical conditions, including four children and 28 in critical condition. Ghebreyesus indicated that the patients include some with wound inflammation, due to the lack of clean water. Israeli army sources also said through the Israeli army radio that al-Shifa Hospital “will not come back to work” after the destruction it suffered during the Israeli military raid. Israeli forces had raided al-Shifa in November and forced Palestinians, including patients and medical staff, to exit, leaving behind several newborn babies without functioning incubators. Palestinians returned to al-Shifa following the first Israeli withdrawal from the hospital in December, where journalists reported finding the left-behind-babies decomposing. Gaza interior ministry accuses PA intelligence of ‘infiltrating Gaza in coordination with Israel The Gaza-based Palestinian interior ministry, which is administered by Hamas, said on Monday that an intelligence force belonging to the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority, led by Hamas’ political rival Fatah, entered the Gaza Strip on Saturday. The ministry announced arresting the force’s members, whom it claimed were on a mission to “sabotage the internal front” in Gaza. A Palestinian Authority senior official denied accusations on Monday in statements to the PA-affiliated Wafa agency. According to Gaza authorities, the intelligence force entered on Saturday in Egyptian Red Crescent trucks that were allegedly allowed into the Strip by Israel. Gaza officials added that Egyptian authorities denied having any knowledge of the alleged infiltration. An official in the Gaza interior ministry said that the force entered by direct orders of the Ramallah-based Palestinian general intelligence apparatus chief, Majed Faraj, with the mission of “spreading chaos,” and in coordination with the Israeli army and the Israeli internal security intelligence – the Shin Bet, or as it’s known locally, the Shabak. The official noted that the Gaza security forces received instructions from the ‘Palestinian resistance factions joint operation group,’ the coordinating body of a dozen Palestinian armed factions in the Strip. The instructions, according to the official, were to intercept the alleged force “and any security force that enters Gaza other than through the resistance.” On Monday, the Palestinian Authority’s official Wafa news agency quoted a senior PA official calling the Gaza interior ministry statement “an enraged media campaign to cover up the suffering of our people in Gaza.” The Israeli Kan channel had reported earlier that Israel’s war minister Yoav Gallant had proposed Majed Faraj take charge of running the Strip after the war in cooperation with local figures who wouldn’t include members of Hamas. Last week, The White House spokesperson Mathew Miller said that one of the U.S. administration’s orders for a post-war Gaza is that the PA must run both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Miller added that the U.S. is discussing with the PA and other countries in the region all the issues concerning the administration of the Strip after the war, without giving further details. 600 Israeli soldiers killed, 6,800 wounded as fighting with Palestinian resistance continues The Israeli army announced on Monday that a soldier from its 77th brigade was killed in combat with the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip, as Israeli media outlets reported that 600 Israeli soldiers and officers have been killed since October 7, and 6,800 have been wounded. The Israeli army, which delays the announcement of its losses under strict military censorship, has so far admitted the loss of 264 soldiers and officers since the beginning of its ground invasion of the Gaza Strip in November. Meanwhile, the al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, announced that its fighters targeted an Israeli tank in Khan Younis with an armor-piercing explosive device and that Israeli military helicopters rushed to evacuate casualties. Al-Qassam also announced that its fighters engaged Israeli soldiers with an anti-fortification projectile inside a house near the Nasser Hospital, west of Khan Younis. Al-Qassam added that it targeted Israeli troops in the vicinity of al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City with mortar rounds. Simultaneously, the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad -PIJ announced that its fighters engaged Israeli forces in the al-Qarara neighborhood in Khan Younis. For its part, the Israeli army announced that it continues to fight Palestinian factions in al-Qarara and that 81 soldiers were wounded in the southern Gaza Strip in the past week. Qassam Muaddi Qassam Muaddi is the Palestine Staff Writer for Mondoweiss. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/04/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-178-israel-withdraws-from-al-shifa-hospital-leaving-evidence-of-a-massacre-in-its-wake/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 178: Israel withdraws from al-Shifa Hospital, leaving evidence of a massacre in its wake
    Dozens of bodies are still being recovered from the rubble of a destroyed and burnt al-Shifa Hospital, following a two-week Israeli raid and siege on the hospital.
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  • The IDF’s war crimes are a perfect reflection of Israeli society
    Miko Peled, author and former member of IDF Special Forces, explains how Israel indoctrinates its citizens in anti-Palestinian racism from the cradle to the grave.


    Three months into Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, the atrocities the IDF has committed against Palestinians are too numerous to name. Israel is staging a prolonged assault on the Palestinian people’s very means of existence—destroying homes, hospitals, sanitation infrastructure, food and water sources, schools, and more. To understand the genocidal campaign unfolding before our eyes, we must examine the roots of Israeli society. Israel is a settler colonial state whose existence depends on the elimination of Palestinians. Accordingly, Israel is a deeply militarized society whose citizens are raised in an environment of historical revisionism and indoctrination that whitewashes Israel’s crimes while cultivating a deep-seated racism against Palestinians. Miko Peled, former IDF Special Forces and author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine, joins The Chris Hedges Report for a frank conversation on the distortions of history and reality at the foundations of Israeli identity.

    Studio Production: David Hebden, Adam Coley, Cameron Granadino
    Post-Production: Adam Coley

    Transcript

    Chris Hedges: The Israeli army, known as the Israel Defense Force or IDF, is integral to understanding Israeli society. Nearly all Israelis do three years of military service, most continue to serve in the reserves until middle age. Its generals often retire to occupy senior positions in government and industry. The dominance of the military in Israeli society helps explain why war, militaristic nationalism, and violence are so deeply embedded in Zionist ideology.

    Israel is the outgrowth of a militarized settler colonial movement that seeks its legitimacy in biblical myth. It has always sought to solve nearly every conflict; The ethnic cleansing and massacres against Palestinians known as the Nakba or catastrophe in the years between 1947 and 1949, the Suez War of 1956, the 1967 and 1973 wars with Arab neighbors, the two invasions of Lebanon, the Palestinian intifadas, and the series of military strikes on Gaza, including the most recent, with violence. The long campaign to occupy Palestinian land and ethnically cleanse Palestinians is rooted in the Zionist paramilitaries that formed the Israeli state and continue within the IDF.

    The overriding goal of settler colonialism is the total conquest of Palestinian land. The few Israeli leaders who have sought to reign in the military, such as Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, have been pushed aside by the generals. The military setbacks suffered by Israel in the 1973 war with Egypt and Syria, and during Israel’s invasions of Lebanon only fuel the extreme nationalists who have abandoned all pretense of a liberal democracy. They speak in the open language of apartheid and genocide. These extremists were behind the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Israel’s failure to live up to the Oslo Accords.

    This extremism has now been exacerbated by the attack of October 7, which killed about 1,200 Israelis. The few Israelis who oppose this militaristic nationalism, especially after October 7, have been silenced and persecuted in Israel. Genocidal violence is almost exclusively the language Israeli leaders, and now Israeli citizens, use to speak to the Palestinians and the Arab world.

    Joining me to discuss the role of the military in Israeli society is Miko Peled. Miko’s father was a general in the Israeli army. Miko was a member of Israel’s special forces and, although disillusioned with the military, moved from his role as a combatant to that of a medic. After the 1982 war in Lebanon, he buried his service pin. He is the author of, The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine and Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.

    You grew up, you were a child when your father was a general in the IDF. This inculcation of that military ethos has begun very young and begun in the schools. Can you talk about that?

    Miko Peled: Sure, thanks for having me, Chris. It’s good to be with you again and talk to you. So it begins before the military. It begins in preschool. It begins as soon as kids are able to talk and walk. I always say I knew the order of the ranks in the military before I knew my alphabet and this is true for many Israeli kids. The Israeli education system is such that it leads young Israelis to become soldiers, to serve the apartheid state, and to serve in this genocidal state, which is the state of Israel. It’s an enormous part of that. And with me, it came with mega-doses of that because when your father’s a general, and particularly of that generation of the 1967 generals, they were like gods of Olympus. Everybody knew their names.

    On Independence Day, I remember in the schools you would have little flags, not just flags of Israel, but flags of the IDF with pictures of IDF generals, pictures of the military, all kinds of military symbols, and so on. It’s everywhere. When I was a kid they still had a military parade. It’s everywhere and it’s inescapable. And you hear it when you walk down the street, you hear it in the news, you hear it in conversations, you hear it in schools, you read it in the textbooks, and there’s no place to develop dissent. There’s no place to develop a sense that dissent is okay, that dissent is possible. And the few cases where people do become dissenters, it’s either because their families have a tradition of being communist or more progressive and somehow it’s part of their tradition but this is a minority of a minority. By and large, Israel stands with the army, and Israel is the army. You can’t separate Israel from its army, from its military.

    Chris Hedges: Let’s juxtapose the myth that you were taught in school about the IDF with the reality.

    Miko Peled: The myth that I was… Again, this was given to me in larger doses at home because my father and his comrades were all part of the 1948 mythology. We were small and we were resourceful, and we were clever, and therefore, in 1948, we were able to defeat these Arab armies and these Arab killers who came to try to kill us and so on and destroy our fledgling little Jewish state. And because of our heroism – And you talked about the biblical connection – Because we are the descendants of King David, and we are the descendants of the Maccabees, and we have this resourcefulness and strength in our genes, we were able to create a state and then every time they attacked, we were there. We were able to defend ourselves and prevail and so on. It’s everywhere. Then again, in my case, it’s every time the larger, more extended family got together or my parents got together with their friends. And in many cases, the fathers were also comrades in arms.

    The stories of the battles, the stories of the conquests; Every city in Israel has an IDF plaza. Street names after different units of different generals are all over the country, street names of battles, so it’s everywhere. It wasn’t until I was probably 40 or a little less than 40, that it was the first time that I encountered the other narrative, the Palestinian story, and it was unbelievable. Somebody was telling me the day is night and night is day, or the world is flat, or whatever the comparison you want to make, it was incredible. They are telling me that what I know to be true – ‘Cause I heard it in school and I read it in books and I heard it from my father and my mother and friends – That all of this is not true. And what you find out if you go along the path that I chose to take, this journey of an Israeli to Palestine, is that it was one horrifying crime against humanity.

    That’s what this so-called heroism was, it was no heroism at all. It was a well-trained, highly motivated, well-indoctrinated, well-armed militia that then became the IDF. But when it started, it was still a militia or today they would be called a terrorist organization, that went up against the people who had never had a military force, who never had a tank, who never had a warplane, who never prepared, even remotely, for battle or an assault. Then you have to make a choice: How do you bridge this? The differences are not nuanced, the differences are enormous. The choice that I made is to investigate for myself and find out who’s telling the truth and who isn’t. And my side was not telling the truth.

    Chris Hedges: How did they explain incidents such as the Nakba, the massacres that took place in ’48 and ’56, and the massive ethnic cleansing that took place in ’67? How was that explained to you within that mythic narrative? Many of the activities that the IDF has had to carry out are quite brutal, quite savage. The indiscriminate killing of civilians – We can talk about Gaza in a minute – What did that do to society? The people who carried out those killings, and eventually huge prisons, torture, and everything else? But let’s begin with how the myth coped with those incidents and then talk about the trauma that is carried within Israeli society for carrying out those war crimes.

    Miko Peled: My generation, we knew that there were several instances of bad apples that committed terrible crimes. And we admitted, so there was Deir Yassin, which was a village on the outskirts of Jerusalem, a peaceful village where a horrible massacre took place. Then we knew that Ariel Sharon was a bit of a lunatic and he took the commandos that he commanded in the ’50s and went to the West Bank and went into Gaza and committed acts of terrible massacres. He was still a hero, held in high regard by everyone, but we knew that there were certain instances… And every military, every nation makes its mistakes and then these things happen But there was never any sense that this somehow discounted or hurt the image of us being a moral army.

    There are lots of stories of how soldiers went and they decided to, out of the kindness of their hearts, they didn’t harm civilians. And those same civilians went and then warned the enemy that they were coming. And these same good Israeli soldiers would then pay the price and were killed. So it’s presented as limited cases. Nakba was not something that was ever discussed. I’m sure it’s not discussed today, certainly not in schools. In Israeli schools today, you’re not allowed to mention the Nakba. There’s a directive by the Ministry of Education that even Palestinians are not allowed to mention the Nakba. But nobody ever talked about that. And the Arabs left, what are you going to do? There was a war and all these people left and this is the way it is.

    So none of that ever hurt, in any way, the image of us being this glorious heroic army, descendants of King David, and other great traditions of Jewish heroism. None of that ever hurt itself. So there’s no trauma because we did nothing wrong. If somebody did something wrong, well, it was a case of bad apples, it was limited to a particular circumstance, a particular person, a particular unit, and you get crazy people everywhere. What are you going to do? It’s never been presented as systemic. Today, we have a history so we can look back and if we do pay attention, and if we do read the literature, and if we do listen to Palestinians – And today there’s this great NGO called Zochrot, whose mission is to maintain the memory of the towns and cities that were destroyed in 1948 and to revive the stories of what took place in 1948 – They are uncovering new massacres all the time. Because as that generation is dying off, both the Israelis who committed the crimes and the Palestinians who were still alive at the time and survived, are opening up and telling more and more stories.

    So we know of churches that were filled with civilians and were burned down. We know of a mosque in Lydd that was filled with people and a young man went and shot a Fiat missile into it. All of these horrific stories are still coming out but Israelis are not paying attention, Israelis are not listening. Whenever there’s an attack on Gaza – And as you know very well, these attacks began in the fifties with Ariel Sharon, by the way – There is always a reason. Because at first they were infiltrators, and then they were terrorists, and now they’re called Hamas, and whatever the devil’s name may be there’s always a very good reason to go in there because these are people who are raised to hate and kill and so on. So it’s a tightly-knit and tightly-orchestrated narrative that is being perpetuated and Israelis don’t seem to have a problem with that.

    Chris Hedges: And yet carrying out acts of brutality. The occupation – Huge numbers, a million Israelis are in the states. Large numbers of Israelis have left the country. I’m wondering how many of those are people who have a conscience and are repulsed by what they have seen in the West Bank and Gaza. Perhaps I’m incorrect about that.

    Miko Peled: I don’t know. In the few encounters that I’ve had with Israelis in the US over the years, the vast majority support Israel, support Israel’s actions. It’s interesting that you mentioned that because I got an email from someone representing a group of alumni of Jewish Day Schools. These are Zionist schools all over countries where they indoctrinate the worst Zionism: secular Zionism. And they are now appalled by the indoctrination to serve in the IDF. A very high percentage of these students grew up, went to Israel, joined the IDF, took part in APEC events, and so on. And now they’re looking back and they’re reflecting and they’re feeling a sense of anger that they were put through this and lied through their entire lives about this.

    So that’s an interesting development. And if that grows, then that might be a game changer because these are the most loyal American Jews. The most loyal to Israel. But by and large, Israelis that I meet, with few exceptions, support Israel and they’re here for whatever reasons people come to America: They’re not unique, they’re not necessarily here because they were fed up or they were angry, or they were dissenters in any way, shape, or form. Around DC and Maryland, there are many Israelis. Sometimes you’ll sit in a coffee shop or go somewhere, you hear the conversations, and there’s no lack of support for Israel among these Israelis as far as I can see.

    Chris Hedges: Let’s talk about the armies. You were in the Special Forces elite unit. Talk about that indoctrination. I remember visiting Auschwitz a few years ago, and there were Israeli groups and people flying Israeli flags. But speak about that form of indoctrination and its link, in particular, to the Holocaust.

    Miko Peled: The myth is that Israel is a response to the Holocaust. And that the IDF is a response to the Holocaust; We must be strong, we must be willing to fight, and we must always have a gun in one hand or a weapon in one hand so that this will never happen again. And what’s interesting is, when you talk to Holocaust survivors who are not indoctrinated, who did not get pulled into Zionism – Which there are very, very many – They’ll say the notion that a militarized state is somehow the answer to the Holocaust is absurd because the answer to the Holocaust is tolerance and education and humanity, not violence and racism. But nobody wants to ruin a good myth with the facts. So that’s the story.

    The story is because of Auschwitz, we represent all those that were killed, perished by the Nazis, and so on, and therefore we need to be strong. And the Israeli flag represents them, and the Israeli military represents them. It’s absurd, it’s absolute madness. I went to serve in the army willingly, as most young Israelis do. In my environment, refusing or not going was not heard of, although there were some voices in the wilderness that were refusing and questioning morality. But I never did. Nobody around me ever did until I began the training and you began patrolling. I remember – You and I may have talked about this once – We were an infantry unit, a commando infantry unit. And suddenly we were given batons and these plastic handcuffs and were told to patrol in Ramallah.

    And I’m going, what the hell’s going on? What are we doing here? And then we’re told if anybody looks at you funny, you break every bone in their body. And I thought, everybody’s going to look at us, we’re commandos while marching through a city. Who’s not going to look at us? I was behind. I didn’t realize that everybody already understood that this is how it is, this is how it’s supposed to be. I thought, wait, this is wrong. Why are we doing this? We’re supposed to be the good guys here.

    And then there was the Lebanon invasion of ’82 and so on. So that broke that in my mind, that was a serious crack in the wall of belief and the wall of patriotism that was in me. But this whole notion that somehow being violent and militaristic and racist and being conquerors is somehow a response to the horrors of the Holocaust is absolute madness. But when you’re in it nobody around you is asking questions. You don’t ask questions either unless you’re willing to stand out and be smacked on the head.

    Chris Hedges: Within the military, within the IDF, how did they speak about Palestinians and Arabs?

    Miko Peled: The discourse, the hatred, the racism, is horrifying. First of all, they’re the animals. They’re nothing. It’s a joke, you see, it’s horrifying. They think it’s funny to stop people and ask them for their ID and to chase them and to chase kids and to shoot. It all seems like entertainment, you know? I never heard that discourse until I was in it. Then afterward, when I would meet Israelis who served, even here in the US, the way they joked around about what they did in the West Bank, the way they joked around about killing or stopping people or making them take their clothes off and dance naked, it’s entertainment.

    They think it’s funny. They don’t see that there’s a problem here because racism is so ingrained from such a young age that it’s almost organic. And I don’t think it’s surprising. When you have a racist society, and you have a racist education system that is so methodical, that’s what you get. And the racism doesn’t stop with Palestinians or with Arabs; It goes on to the Black people, it goes on to people of color, it goes to Jews or Israelis who come from other countries who are dark-skinned, for some reason. The racism crosses all these boundaries and it’s completely part of the culture.

    Chris Hedges: You have very little criticism of the IDF, almost none within the Israeli press, although there is quite a bit of criticism right now, of Netanyahu and his mismanagement and his corruption. Talk a little bit about the deification of the IDF within the public discourse and mainstream media and what that means for what’s happening in Gaza.

    Miko Peled: Well, the military is above the law. It’s above reproach, except from time to time. So after the ’73 war, there was an investigation. Earlier this week, there was, in the cabinet meeting… The cabinet meets every Sunday. And the army chief of staff was there and he was… This was leaked from the cabinet meeting. It was leaked that some of the more right-wing partners – It’s funny to say right-wing partners because they’re all this right-wing lunacy in the Israeli cabinet – But the more right-wing settlers that are in the cabinet were attacking the army, were attacking the chief of staff because he decided to start an inquiry because it was catastrophic when the Palestinian fighters came in from Gaza, there was nobody home. They took over half of their country back. They took 22 Israeli settlements and cities.

    They took over the army base of the Gaza brigade, which is supposed to defend the country from exactly this happening. And there was nobody in the… They took over the base. So he initiated an internal inquiry within the army, and they’re criticizing him and what you see in the Israeli press is two very interesting things: One is something went horribly wrong and we need to find out why, but we should wait because we shouldn’t do it during wartime. We shouldn’t criticize the army during wartime. We shouldn’t make the soldiers feel like they have to hold back because if they need to shoot, they should be allowed to shoot. And the other thing we see is that politically, everybody is eating each other up. They’re killing each other politically in the press. So everybody that’s against Netanyahu and wants to see it is attacking him.

    His people are attacking the others for attacking the government. It seems like there’s this paralysis as a result of this infighting that is affecting the functionality of the state as a state. Israelis are not living in the country, Israel is not the state that it was prior to October 7, it was paralyzed for several weeks, and now it’s still paralyzed in many ways. You’ve got missiles coming from the north, you’ve got missiles coming from the south. You’ve got very large numbers of Israeli soldiers being killed and thousands being injured and the war’s not ending. They’re not able to defeat the Palestinians in Gaza, the armed resistance, and so on.

    So all of this is taking place and you read the Israeli press and it’s like this cesspool that’s bubbling and bubbling and bubbling, and everybody’s attacking everybody else. And the army, it’s true, they are above reproach mostly, but this particular time the settlers are very angry. Another reason is because the the military decided to pull back some of the ground troops, understandably, since they’re being hit so hard. And I remember that happening before when the army pulled back out of Gaza, they were being attacked for stopping the killing, for not continuing these mass killings of Palestinians.

    Chris Hedges: Well, you had what? 70 fatalities in the Golani Brigade? And they were pulled back. This is a very elite unit.

    Miko Peled: Yeah, it’s very interesting because many of the casualties are high-ranking officers. You have colonels, lieutenant colonels, and very high-ranking commanders within Israeli special forces who are being killed. And they’re usually killed in big bunches because they’ll be in an armored personnel carrier or they’ll be marching together. And in Jenin a few days ago, they blew up a military vehicle and killed a bunch of soldiers. So Israelis are scratching their heads, not knowing what the hell is going on and what to do, because number one, they were not protected as they thought they were.

    And I’m sure you know this, the Israeli settlements, the kibbutzim, the cities in the south that border Gaza, [inaudible 00:25:59], they enjoy some of the highest standards of living among Israelis. It’s a beautiful lifestyle. It’s warm, it’s lovely. Agriculture is… And I don’t think it ever occurred to them that Palestinians would dare to come out of Gaza fighting and succeeding the way they did. The army was bankrupt. It was gone, the intelligence apparatus was bankrupt, and nothing worked. And it is reminiscent of what happened in 1973. This is far worse but it is reminiscent. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the October 7 attacks were exactly 50 years and one day after the 1973 October war began and the whole system collapsed. So that’s what we’re seeing right now.

    Chris Hedges: How do you read what’s happening in Gaza, militarily?

    Miko Peled: The Palestinians are able to hold on and kill many Israelis. And even though the Israelis have the firepower and they’ve got the logistics, supply chains are not a problem. Whereas Palestinians, I don’t know where they’re getting supplies. I don’t know where they’re getting food to continue fighting. They’re putting up a fierce resistance. I don’t think that militarily there’s a strategy here. This is revenge; Israel was humiliated, the army was humiliated, and they needed to take it out on somebody.

    So they found the weakest victims they could lay their hands on, and these are the Palestinian civilians in Gaza. And so they’re killing them by the tens of thousands. I don’t think anybody believes in such a thing as getting rid of Hamas. I don’t think anybody believes that that’s possible. I don’t believe anybody takes seriously or believes that you can take too many people out of Gaza and spread them around the world and into other places, even though that’s what they’re saying. But as long as Israel is allowed to kill, and as long as the supply chain isn’t interrupted, they’re going to continue to kill.

    Chris Hedges: And they’re also creating a humanitarian crisis. So it’s not just the bombs and the shells, but it’s now starvation. Diarrhea is an epidemic, sanitation is broken. I’m wondering at what point this humanitarian crisis becomes so pronounced that the choice is you leave or you die.

    Miko Peled: That’s always the big question for Palestinians. And the sad thing is that Palestinians are always being placed in these situations where they have to make that choice. It’s the worst form of injustice. And you know this, you’ve been in war zones. We don’t know how many bodies are buried under the rubble and what that’s going to bring up. And there are hundreds of thousands now who are suffering from all kinds of diseases as a result of this environmental catastrophe. And you remember, what was it? 2016 or something, 2017? The UN came out with a report that by 2020, Gaza would be uninhabitable. I don’t think the Gaza Strip has ever been inhabitable. It’s been a humanitarian disaster since it was created in the late forties and early fifties because they suddenly threw all these refugees there with no infrastructure and that was it, and then began killing them.

    I was talking to some people the other day, as Americans, as taxpayers, wouldn’t we want the Sixth Fleet, which is in the Mediterranean, the US Navy Sixth Fleet, to aid the Palestinians? To provide them support? To create a no-fly zone over these innocent people that are being massacred? As Americans, shouldn’t that be the natural ask, the natural desire to demand our politicians to use? Because American naval vessels have been used for humanitarian causes before. Why aren’t they supporting the Palestinians? Why aren’t they providing them aid? Why aren’t they helping them rebuild? Why are American tax dollars going to continue this genocide rather than stop it and aid the victims?

    These are questions Americans need to ask themselves because it makes absolutely no sense. It is absolute madness that people are allowing their government to support a genocide that’s not even done in secret. It’s not even done in hiding it. It’s on prime time. Everybody sees it. Everybody knows what’s going on. And again, for some strange reason, Americans are allowing their military and their government to aid the genocide. And there’s no question that it’s genocide. The definition of the crime of genocide is so absolutely clear, that anybody can look it up and compare it to what’s been going on in Palestine. So that to me is the greatest question: Why aren’t Americans demanding that the US support the Palestinians?

    Chris Hedges: Well, according to opinion polls, most Americans want a ceasefire. But the Congress is bought and paid for by the Israel lobby. Biden is one of the largest recipients of aid or campaign financing from the Israel lobby. This is true for both parties. Chuck Schumer was at the rally saying no ceasefire.

    Miko Peled: Which is odd. A ceasefire is a very small ask and I don’t know why we always ask for the bare minimum for Palestinians. But let’s talk about ceasefire. Israeli soldiers are being killed as well in very large numbers. How has ceasefire suddenly become an anti-Israeli demand? But it’s a very small ask. I don’t know how it was or where it was that this idea of demanding a ceasefire came up because that is not a serious demand. Ceasefire gets violated by Israel anyway, within 24-48 hours. You know that historically Israel always violated ceasefires. What is required here are severe sanctions, a no-fly zone, immediate aid to the Palestinians, and stopping this and providing guarantees for the safety and security of Palestinians forever moving forward so this can never happen again.

    That’s what needs to be asked. At this point, after having sacrificed so much, after having shown much of what I believe is immense courage, Palestinians deserve everything. We as people of conscience need to demand not to ceasefire, we need to demand a dismantling of the apartheid state and a full stop and absolute end to the genocide and guarantees put in place that Palestinian kids will be safe. I was talking to Issa Amro earlier in Hebron. It’s ridiculous when nobody even talks about what happens in the West Bank. Friends of mine who are Palestinian citizens of Israel, nobody dares to leave the house, nobody dares to text. They’re afraid to walk down the streets. Their safety is not guaranteed by anyone.

    Palestinian safety and security are left to the whims of any Israeli, and that should be the conversation right now, after such horrendous violence. That needs to be the demand. That needs to be the ask when we go to protests when we make these demands like a ceasefire. And even that, Israel is not willing. And these bouts of political supporters of Israel here in America are not willing to entertain a ceasefire. I believe it’s a crazy part of history that we’re experiencing right now and it’s a watershed moment. October 7 created an opportunity to end this for good, to end the suffering of Palestinians, the oppression, and the genocide for good. And if we being people of conscience don’t take advantage of this now and bring it to an end, we will regret this for generations.

    Chris Hedges: The Netanyahu government is talking about this assault on Gaza, this genocide continuing for months. There are strikes, and have been strikes against, now Hezbollah leaders. What concerns you? How could this all go terribly wrong?

    Miko Peled: It’s already gone terribly wrong because of the death and destruction of so many innocent lives is… I don’t even know that there’s a word for it. It’s beyond horrifying. Netanyahu is relying on the restraint of Hezbollah and the restraint of Iran and the restraint of the Arab governments has all been neutralized either through destruct, being destroyed, or through normalization. So he’s relying on that and he knows that he can keep triggering, he can keep bombing Lebanon, bombing Syria, instigating all of these things and it won’t turn into an all-out war. Because at the end of the day, even though Lebanese, Hezbollah, and Palestinian fighters have shown that they’re superior as fighters, they don’t have the supply chains, they don’t have the warplanes, they don’t have the tanks. So more and more civilians are going to be hurt.

    So I don’t think it’s going to turn into a regional war by any stretch of the imagination. And so Netanyahu is betting on that, and that’s why he’s allowing this to go on. And for him, this is a win-win. There’s no way that he can be unseated by anybody that’s around him. There’s no opposition. And as long as this goes on, as long as everybody’s in a state of crisis, he can continue to sit in the Prime Minister’s seat, which for him is the end all and be all of everything. And the world is supporting. The world, as governments of the world, I should say.

    I do interviews with African TV stations, Indian TV stations, and Europeans; Everybody is supporting Israel. Everybody listens to what I have to say, and they think I am a lunatic for supporting terrorism or whatever it is they, however, it is that they frame it. But I don’t see this ending unless there is massive pressure by people of conscience on their governments to force change, to force sanctions, to force the end of the genocide, and the end of the apartheid state.

    Chris Hedges: I want to talk about the shift within Zionism itself from the dominance of a secular leadership to – We see it in the government of Netanyahu – The rise of a religious Zionism, which is also true now within the IDF. And I wondered if you could talk about the consequences of that.

    Miko Peled: Sure. So originally, traditionally, and historically, Zionism and Judaism were at odds. And even to this day ultra-orthodox Jews reject Zionism and reject Israel by and large. But after 1967, there was this new creation of the Zionist religious movement. And these are the settlers who went to the West Bank and they became the new pioneers. And they are today, they make up a large portion of the officers and those who joined the special forces and so on. In the past, in the army, the unofficial policy was that these guys, should not be allowed to advance. The current chief of staff comes from that world, which is a huge change. There are several generals and high-ranking commanders and so on who come from that world. The reason that it was the unofficial policy that these guys should not be promoted was that it’s an incredibly toxic combination, this messianic form of Judaism, which is an aberration.

    It’s not Judaism at all, with this nationalist fanaticism. This combination is toxic and look what it created. It created some of the worst racists, some of the most violent thugs that we’ve seen, certainly in the short history of the state of Israel, although I don’t know that they’re any less violent than the generation of Zionists of my father who are secular. This was a big concern in the past but now they’re everywhere and look at its current government. They hold the finance ministry, they hold the national security ministry, certainly in the military they’re everywhere, they hold many sub-cabinets, and they’re heads of committees in the Knesset, and so on. And they’ve done their work. They worked very hard to get to where they are today, which is where they call the shots. And Netanyahu’s guaranteed to remain in power.

    They’re his support group. That’s why you could have had, as we had earlier this year, hundreds of thousands of Israelis protesting in the streets and it didn’t affect him because he has his block in the Knesset that will never leave him as long as he allows them to play their game. And this is what’s happening. So in terms of violence and the facts on the ground, I don’t think these guys are any worse again than my parents’ generation who were young Zionists and zealots at the time and committed the 1948 Nakba and ran the country and operated the apartheid state for the first few decades. But it’s a new form of fanaticism being that it is religious as well as fascist. So it’s very toxic. And they have more of a stomach for killing civilians than we’ve ever seen before, even for Israelis. These numbers are beyond belief, even for Israel.

    Chris Hedges: I’m wondering if this religious Zionism probably has its profoundest effect within Israel, in terms of shutting down dissidents, civil liberties, this kind of stuff.

    Miko Peled: Well, Israelis love them. Israelis love these guys because they’re religious but they dress like us. They don’t look like the old Jews with the big beards and everything; They’re cool. They wear jeans. And the reason I say this is because one of their objectives is to take over Al-Aqsa and build a Jewish temple. They’re destroying Al-Aqsa and they conduct these tours. In the old city of Jerusalem, there’s a particular path that you take from where the western wall is up to Al-Aqsa, which is open for non-Muslims. And so they hold tours and there’s several odd times throughout the day. I’ve taken some of these tours to see what it’s about, what these guys do, you know?

    These are prayer tours and hundreds of thousands of Israelis go on these tours. And these are Israelis who are not religious at all, these are secular people. I see the people that go on the tours. To give you an idea of what this is about, you go up on that bridge and then you wait until the tour starts because you have to go in a group. And there’s a massive model of the new temple, of the Jewish temple that is going to be built there. And then you have a huge group of armed police –They’re not soldiers, they’re police but dressed completely militarized. And Muslim Palestinians are not allowed – That accompany the tour all around and they stop and they pray and they stop and they pray and they stop and pray at various places. The whole thing takes maybe an hour. But the interesting thing is that the people who go on these tours are secular Israelis. And then as I was doing this, I was remembering, even as a kid growing up completely secular, we would sing songs about the day that we build a temple.

    Why did we sing songs about building a temple? Because it went beyond our religious significance and became a national significance. And there’s no question in my mind that Netanyahu and secular Israelis would love to see this idea of destroying Al-Aqsa and having a Jewish temple there. It’s a sign that we’re back, King David is back. Even though it has nothing to do with history and there’s no truth in it, the connection that we are descendants of King David is something Israelis love. That’s what this is about, the relationship between the so-called settlers. That’s what they’re called in Israeli jargon. They’re called the settlers. Regular secular Israelis are an interesting one because on the one hand, they’re looked down upon because they’re religious, but on the other hand, they’re a cool religious. So there is an affinity.

    Chris Hedges: Great. That was Miko Peled, author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine and Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five. I want to thank the Real News Network and its production team: Cameron Granandino, Adam Coley, David Hebden, and Kayla Rivara. You can find me at chrishedges.substack.com.

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    https://telegra.ph/The-IDFs-war-crimes-are-a-perfect-reflection-of-Israeli-society-04-02
    The IDF’s war crimes are a perfect reflection of Israeli society Miko Peled, author and former member of IDF Special Forces, explains how Israel indoctrinates its citizens in anti-Palestinian racism from the cradle to the grave. Three months into Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, the atrocities the IDF has committed against Palestinians are too numerous to name. Israel is staging a prolonged assault on the Palestinian people’s very means of existence—destroying homes, hospitals, sanitation infrastructure, food and water sources, schools, and more. To understand the genocidal campaign unfolding before our eyes, we must examine the roots of Israeli society. Israel is a settler colonial state whose existence depends on the elimination of Palestinians. Accordingly, Israel is a deeply militarized society whose citizens are raised in an environment of historical revisionism and indoctrination that whitewashes Israel’s crimes while cultivating a deep-seated racism against Palestinians. Miko Peled, former IDF Special Forces and author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine, joins The Chris Hedges Report for a frank conversation on the distortions of history and reality at the foundations of Israeli identity. Studio Production: David Hebden, Adam Coley, Cameron Granadino Post-Production: Adam Coley Transcript Chris Hedges: The Israeli army, known as the Israel Defense Force or IDF, is integral to understanding Israeli society. Nearly all Israelis do three years of military service, most continue to serve in the reserves until middle age. Its generals often retire to occupy senior positions in government and industry. The dominance of the military in Israeli society helps explain why war, militaristic nationalism, and violence are so deeply embedded in Zionist ideology. Israel is the outgrowth of a militarized settler colonial movement that seeks its legitimacy in biblical myth. It has always sought to solve nearly every conflict; The ethnic cleansing and massacres against Palestinians known as the Nakba or catastrophe in the years between 1947 and 1949, the Suez War of 1956, the 1967 and 1973 wars with Arab neighbors, the two invasions of Lebanon, the Palestinian intifadas, and the series of military strikes on Gaza, including the most recent, with violence. The long campaign to occupy Palestinian land and ethnically cleanse Palestinians is rooted in the Zionist paramilitaries that formed the Israeli state and continue within the IDF. The overriding goal of settler colonialism is the total conquest of Palestinian land. The few Israeli leaders who have sought to reign in the military, such as Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, have been pushed aside by the generals. The military setbacks suffered by Israel in the 1973 war with Egypt and Syria, and during Israel’s invasions of Lebanon only fuel the extreme nationalists who have abandoned all pretense of a liberal democracy. They speak in the open language of apartheid and genocide. These extremists were behind the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Israel’s failure to live up to the Oslo Accords. This extremism has now been exacerbated by the attack of October 7, which killed about 1,200 Israelis. The few Israelis who oppose this militaristic nationalism, especially after October 7, have been silenced and persecuted in Israel. Genocidal violence is almost exclusively the language Israeli leaders, and now Israeli citizens, use to speak to the Palestinians and the Arab world. Joining me to discuss the role of the military in Israeli society is Miko Peled. Miko’s father was a general in the Israeli army. Miko was a member of Israel’s special forces and, although disillusioned with the military, moved from his role as a combatant to that of a medic. After the 1982 war in Lebanon, he buried his service pin. He is the author of, The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine and Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five. You grew up, you were a child when your father was a general in the IDF. This inculcation of that military ethos has begun very young and begun in the schools. Can you talk about that? Miko Peled: Sure, thanks for having me, Chris. It’s good to be with you again and talk to you. So it begins before the military. It begins in preschool. It begins as soon as kids are able to talk and walk. I always say I knew the order of the ranks in the military before I knew my alphabet and this is true for many Israeli kids. The Israeli education system is such that it leads young Israelis to become soldiers, to serve the apartheid state, and to serve in this genocidal state, which is the state of Israel. It’s an enormous part of that. And with me, it came with mega-doses of that because when your father’s a general, and particularly of that generation of the 1967 generals, they were like gods of Olympus. Everybody knew their names. On Independence Day, I remember in the schools you would have little flags, not just flags of Israel, but flags of the IDF with pictures of IDF generals, pictures of the military, all kinds of military symbols, and so on. It’s everywhere. When I was a kid they still had a military parade. It’s everywhere and it’s inescapable. And you hear it when you walk down the street, you hear it in the news, you hear it in conversations, you hear it in schools, you read it in the textbooks, and there’s no place to develop dissent. There’s no place to develop a sense that dissent is okay, that dissent is possible. And the few cases where people do become dissenters, it’s either because their families have a tradition of being communist or more progressive and somehow it’s part of their tradition but this is a minority of a minority. By and large, Israel stands with the army, and Israel is the army. You can’t separate Israel from its army, from its military. Chris Hedges: Let’s juxtapose the myth that you were taught in school about the IDF with the reality. Miko Peled: The myth that I was… Again, this was given to me in larger doses at home because my father and his comrades were all part of the 1948 mythology. We were small and we were resourceful, and we were clever, and therefore, in 1948, we were able to defeat these Arab armies and these Arab killers who came to try to kill us and so on and destroy our fledgling little Jewish state. And because of our heroism – And you talked about the biblical connection – Because we are the descendants of King David, and we are the descendants of the Maccabees, and we have this resourcefulness and strength in our genes, we were able to create a state and then every time they attacked, we were there. We were able to defend ourselves and prevail and so on. It’s everywhere. Then again, in my case, it’s every time the larger, more extended family got together or my parents got together with their friends. And in many cases, the fathers were also comrades in arms. The stories of the battles, the stories of the conquests; Every city in Israel has an IDF plaza. Street names after different units of different generals are all over the country, street names of battles, so it’s everywhere. It wasn’t until I was probably 40 or a little less than 40, that it was the first time that I encountered the other narrative, the Palestinian story, and it was unbelievable. Somebody was telling me the day is night and night is day, or the world is flat, or whatever the comparison you want to make, it was incredible. They are telling me that what I know to be true – ‘Cause I heard it in school and I read it in books and I heard it from my father and my mother and friends – That all of this is not true. And what you find out if you go along the path that I chose to take, this journey of an Israeli to Palestine, is that it was one horrifying crime against humanity. That’s what this so-called heroism was, it was no heroism at all. It was a well-trained, highly motivated, well-indoctrinated, well-armed militia that then became the IDF. But when it started, it was still a militia or today they would be called a terrorist organization, that went up against the people who had never had a military force, who never had a tank, who never had a warplane, who never prepared, even remotely, for battle or an assault. Then you have to make a choice: How do you bridge this? The differences are not nuanced, the differences are enormous. The choice that I made is to investigate for myself and find out who’s telling the truth and who isn’t. And my side was not telling the truth. Chris Hedges: How did they explain incidents such as the Nakba, the massacres that took place in ’48 and ’56, and the massive ethnic cleansing that took place in ’67? How was that explained to you within that mythic narrative? Many of the activities that the IDF has had to carry out are quite brutal, quite savage. The indiscriminate killing of civilians – We can talk about Gaza in a minute – What did that do to society? The people who carried out those killings, and eventually huge prisons, torture, and everything else? But let’s begin with how the myth coped with those incidents and then talk about the trauma that is carried within Israeli society for carrying out those war crimes. Miko Peled: My generation, we knew that there were several instances of bad apples that committed terrible crimes. And we admitted, so there was Deir Yassin, which was a village on the outskirts of Jerusalem, a peaceful village where a horrible massacre took place. Then we knew that Ariel Sharon was a bit of a lunatic and he took the commandos that he commanded in the ’50s and went to the West Bank and went into Gaza and committed acts of terrible massacres. He was still a hero, held in high regard by everyone, but we knew that there were certain instances… And every military, every nation makes its mistakes and then these things happen But there was never any sense that this somehow discounted or hurt the image of us being a moral army. There are lots of stories of how soldiers went and they decided to, out of the kindness of their hearts, they didn’t harm civilians. And those same civilians went and then warned the enemy that they were coming. And these same good Israeli soldiers would then pay the price and were killed. So it’s presented as limited cases. Nakba was not something that was ever discussed. I’m sure it’s not discussed today, certainly not in schools. In Israeli schools today, you’re not allowed to mention the Nakba. There’s a directive by the Ministry of Education that even Palestinians are not allowed to mention the Nakba. But nobody ever talked about that. And the Arabs left, what are you going to do? There was a war and all these people left and this is the way it is. So none of that ever hurt, in any way, the image of us being this glorious heroic army, descendants of King David, and other great traditions of Jewish heroism. None of that ever hurt itself. So there’s no trauma because we did nothing wrong. If somebody did something wrong, well, it was a case of bad apples, it was limited to a particular circumstance, a particular person, a particular unit, and you get crazy people everywhere. What are you going to do? It’s never been presented as systemic. Today, we have a history so we can look back and if we do pay attention, and if we do read the literature, and if we do listen to Palestinians – And today there’s this great NGO called Zochrot, whose mission is to maintain the memory of the towns and cities that were destroyed in 1948 and to revive the stories of what took place in 1948 – They are uncovering new massacres all the time. Because as that generation is dying off, both the Israelis who committed the crimes and the Palestinians who were still alive at the time and survived, are opening up and telling more and more stories. So we know of churches that were filled with civilians and were burned down. We know of a mosque in Lydd that was filled with people and a young man went and shot a Fiat missile into it. All of these horrific stories are still coming out but Israelis are not paying attention, Israelis are not listening. Whenever there’s an attack on Gaza – And as you know very well, these attacks began in the fifties with Ariel Sharon, by the way – There is always a reason. Because at first they were infiltrators, and then they were terrorists, and now they’re called Hamas, and whatever the devil’s name may be there’s always a very good reason to go in there because these are people who are raised to hate and kill and so on. So it’s a tightly-knit and tightly-orchestrated narrative that is being perpetuated and Israelis don’t seem to have a problem with that. Chris Hedges: And yet carrying out acts of brutality. The occupation – Huge numbers, a million Israelis are in the states. Large numbers of Israelis have left the country. I’m wondering how many of those are people who have a conscience and are repulsed by what they have seen in the West Bank and Gaza. Perhaps I’m incorrect about that. Miko Peled: I don’t know. In the few encounters that I’ve had with Israelis in the US over the years, the vast majority support Israel, support Israel’s actions. It’s interesting that you mentioned that because I got an email from someone representing a group of alumni of Jewish Day Schools. These are Zionist schools all over countries where they indoctrinate the worst Zionism: secular Zionism. And they are now appalled by the indoctrination to serve in the IDF. A very high percentage of these students grew up, went to Israel, joined the IDF, took part in APEC events, and so on. And now they’re looking back and they’re reflecting and they’re feeling a sense of anger that they were put through this and lied through their entire lives about this. So that’s an interesting development. And if that grows, then that might be a game changer because these are the most loyal American Jews. The most loyal to Israel. But by and large, Israelis that I meet, with few exceptions, support Israel and they’re here for whatever reasons people come to America: They’re not unique, they’re not necessarily here because they were fed up or they were angry, or they were dissenters in any way, shape, or form. Around DC and Maryland, there are many Israelis. Sometimes you’ll sit in a coffee shop or go somewhere, you hear the conversations, and there’s no lack of support for Israel among these Israelis as far as I can see. Chris Hedges: Let’s talk about the armies. You were in the Special Forces elite unit. Talk about that indoctrination. I remember visiting Auschwitz a few years ago, and there were Israeli groups and people flying Israeli flags. But speak about that form of indoctrination and its link, in particular, to the Holocaust. Miko Peled: The myth is that Israel is a response to the Holocaust. And that the IDF is a response to the Holocaust; We must be strong, we must be willing to fight, and we must always have a gun in one hand or a weapon in one hand so that this will never happen again. And what’s interesting is, when you talk to Holocaust survivors who are not indoctrinated, who did not get pulled into Zionism – Which there are very, very many – They’ll say the notion that a militarized state is somehow the answer to the Holocaust is absurd because the answer to the Holocaust is tolerance and education and humanity, not violence and racism. But nobody wants to ruin a good myth with the facts. So that’s the story. The story is because of Auschwitz, we represent all those that were killed, perished by the Nazis, and so on, and therefore we need to be strong. And the Israeli flag represents them, and the Israeli military represents them. It’s absurd, it’s absolute madness. I went to serve in the army willingly, as most young Israelis do. In my environment, refusing or not going was not heard of, although there were some voices in the wilderness that were refusing and questioning morality. But I never did. Nobody around me ever did until I began the training and you began patrolling. I remember – You and I may have talked about this once – We were an infantry unit, a commando infantry unit. And suddenly we were given batons and these plastic handcuffs and were told to patrol in Ramallah. And I’m going, what the hell’s going on? What are we doing here? And then we’re told if anybody looks at you funny, you break every bone in their body. And I thought, everybody’s going to look at us, we’re commandos while marching through a city. Who’s not going to look at us? I was behind. I didn’t realize that everybody already understood that this is how it is, this is how it’s supposed to be. I thought, wait, this is wrong. Why are we doing this? We’re supposed to be the good guys here. And then there was the Lebanon invasion of ’82 and so on. So that broke that in my mind, that was a serious crack in the wall of belief and the wall of patriotism that was in me. But this whole notion that somehow being violent and militaristic and racist and being conquerors is somehow a response to the horrors of the Holocaust is absolute madness. But when you’re in it nobody around you is asking questions. You don’t ask questions either unless you’re willing to stand out and be smacked on the head. Chris Hedges: Within the military, within the IDF, how did they speak about Palestinians and Arabs? Miko Peled: The discourse, the hatred, the racism, is horrifying. First of all, they’re the animals. They’re nothing. It’s a joke, you see, it’s horrifying. They think it’s funny to stop people and ask them for their ID and to chase them and to chase kids and to shoot. It all seems like entertainment, you know? I never heard that discourse until I was in it. Then afterward, when I would meet Israelis who served, even here in the US, the way they joked around about what they did in the West Bank, the way they joked around about killing or stopping people or making them take their clothes off and dance naked, it’s entertainment. They think it’s funny. They don’t see that there’s a problem here because racism is so ingrained from such a young age that it’s almost organic. And I don’t think it’s surprising. When you have a racist society, and you have a racist education system that is so methodical, that’s what you get. And the racism doesn’t stop with Palestinians or with Arabs; It goes on to the Black people, it goes on to people of color, it goes to Jews or Israelis who come from other countries who are dark-skinned, for some reason. The racism crosses all these boundaries and it’s completely part of the culture. Chris Hedges: You have very little criticism of the IDF, almost none within the Israeli press, although there is quite a bit of criticism right now, of Netanyahu and his mismanagement and his corruption. Talk a little bit about the deification of the IDF within the public discourse and mainstream media and what that means for what’s happening in Gaza. Miko Peled: Well, the military is above the law. It’s above reproach, except from time to time. So after the ’73 war, there was an investigation. Earlier this week, there was, in the cabinet meeting… The cabinet meets every Sunday. And the army chief of staff was there and he was… This was leaked from the cabinet meeting. It was leaked that some of the more right-wing partners – It’s funny to say right-wing partners because they’re all this right-wing lunacy in the Israeli cabinet – But the more right-wing settlers that are in the cabinet were attacking the army, were attacking the chief of staff because he decided to start an inquiry because it was catastrophic when the Palestinian fighters came in from Gaza, there was nobody home. They took over half of their country back. They took 22 Israeli settlements and cities. They took over the army base of the Gaza brigade, which is supposed to defend the country from exactly this happening. And there was nobody in the… They took over the base. So he initiated an internal inquiry within the army, and they’re criticizing him and what you see in the Israeli press is two very interesting things: One is something went horribly wrong and we need to find out why, but we should wait because we shouldn’t do it during wartime. We shouldn’t criticize the army during wartime. We shouldn’t make the soldiers feel like they have to hold back because if they need to shoot, they should be allowed to shoot. And the other thing we see is that politically, everybody is eating each other up. They’re killing each other politically in the press. So everybody that’s against Netanyahu and wants to see it is attacking him. His people are attacking the others for attacking the government. It seems like there’s this paralysis as a result of this infighting that is affecting the functionality of the state as a state. Israelis are not living in the country, Israel is not the state that it was prior to October 7, it was paralyzed for several weeks, and now it’s still paralyzed in many ways. You’ve got missiles coming from the north, you’ve got missiles coming from the south. You’ve got very large numbers of Israeli soldiers being killed and thousands being injured and the war’s not ending. They’re not able to defeat the Palestinians in Gaza, the armed resistance, and so on. So all of this is taking place and you read the Israeli press and it’s like this cesspool that’s bubbling and bubbling and bubbling, and everybody’s attacking everybody else. And the army, it’s true, they are above reproach mostly, but this particular time the settlers are very angry. Another reason is because the the military decided to pull back some of the ground troops, understandably, since they’re being hit so hard. And I remember that happening before when the army pulled back out of Gaza, they were being attacked for stopping the killing, for not continuing these mass killings of Palestinians. Chris Hedges: Well, you had what? 70 fatalities in the Golani Brigade? And they were pulled back. This is a very elite unit. Miko Peled: Yeah, it’s very interesting because many of the casualties are high-ranking officers. You have colonels, lieutenant colonels, and very high-ranking commanders within Israeli special forces who are being killed. And they’re usually killed in big bunches because they’ll be in an armored personnel carrier or they’ll be marching together. And in Jenin a few days ago, they blew up a military vehicle and killed a bunch of soldiers. So Israelis are scratching their heads, not knowing what the hell is going on and what to do, because number one, they were not protected as they thought they were. And I’m sure you know this, the Israeli settlements, the kibbutzim, the cities in the south that border Gaza, [inaudible 00:25:59], they enjoy some of the highest standards of living among Israelis. It’s a beautiful lifestyle. It’s warm, it’s lovely. Agriculture is… And I don’t think it ever occurred to them that Palestinians would dare to come out of Gaza fighting and succeeding the way they did. The army was bankrupt. It was gone, the intelligence apparatus was bankrupt, and nothing worked. And it is reminiscent of what happened in 1973. This is far worse but it is reminiscent. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the October 7 attacks were exactly 50 years and one day after the 1973 October war began and the whole system collapsed. So that’s what we’re seeing right now. Chris Hedges: How do you read what’s happening in Gaza, militarily? Miko Peled: The Palestinians are able to hold on and kill many Israelis. And even though the Israelis have the firepower and they’ve got the logistics, supply chains are not a problem. Whereas Palestinians, I don’t know where they’re getting supplies. I don’t know where they’re getting food to continue fighting. They’re putting up a fierce resistance. I don’t think that militarily there’s a strategy here. This is revenge; Israel was humiliated, the army was humiliated, and they needed to take it out on somebody. So they found the weakest victims they could lay their hands on, and these are the Palestinian civilians in Gaza. And so they’re killing them by the tens of thousands. I don’t think anybody believes in such a thing as getting rid of Hamas. I don’t think anybody believes that that’s possible. I don’t believe anybody takes seriously or believes that you can take too many people out of Gaza and spread them around the world and into other places, even though that’s what they’re saying. But as long as Israel is allowed to kill, and as long as the supply chain isn’t interrupted, they’re going to continue to kill. Chris Hedges: And they’re also creating a humanitarian crisis. So it’s not just the bombs and the shells, but it’s now starvation. Diarrhea is an epidemic, sanitation is broken. I’m wondering at what point this humanitarian crisis becomes so pronounced that the choice is you leave or you die. Miko Peled: That’s always the big question for Palestinians. And the sad thing is that Palestinians are always being placed in these situations where they have to make that choice. It’s the worst form of injustice. And you know this, you’ve been in war zones. We don’t know how many bodies are buried under the rubble and what that’s going to bring up. And there are hundreds of thousands now who are suffering from all kinds of diseases as a result of this environmental catastrophe. And you remember, what was it? 2016 or something, 2017? The UN came out with a report that by 2020, Gaza would be uninhabitable. I don’t think the Gaza Strip has ever been inhabitable. It’s been a humanitarian disaster since it was created in the late forties and early fifties because they suddenly threw all these refugees there with no infrastructure and that was it, and then began killing them. I was talking to some people the other day, as Americans, as taxpayers, wouldn’t we want the Sixth Fleet, which is in the Mediterranean, the US Navy Sixth Fleet, to aid the Palestinians? To provide them support? To create a no-fly zone over these innocent people that are being massacred? As Americans, shouldn’t that be the natural ask, the natural desire to demand our politicians to use? Because American naval vessels have been used for humanitarian causes before. Why aren’t they supporting the Palestinians? Why aren’t they providing them aid? Why aren’t they helping them rebuild? Why are American tax dollars going to continue this genocide rather than stop it and aid the victims? These are questions Americans need to ask themselves because it makes absolutely no sense. It is absolute madness that people are allowing their government to support a genocide that’s not even done in secret. It’s not even done in hiding it. It’s on prime time. Everybody sees it. Everybody knows what’s going on. And again, for some strange reason, Americans are allowing their military and their government to aid the genocide. And there’s no question that it’s genocide. The definition of the crime of genocide is so absolutely clear, that anybody can look it up and compare it to what’s been going on in Palestine. So that to me is the greatest question: Why aren’t Americans demanding that the US support the Palestinians? Chris Hedges: Well, according to opinion polls, most Americans want a ceasefire. But the Congress is bought and paid for by the Israel lobby. Biden is one of the largest recipients of aid or campaign financing from the Israel lobby. This is true for both parties. Chuck Schumer was at the rally saying no ceasefire. Miko Peled: Which is odd. A ceasefire is a very small ask and I don’t know why we always ask for the bare minimum for Palestinians. But let’s talk about ceasefire. Israeli soldiers are being killed as well in very large numbers. How has ceasefire suddenly become an anti-Israeli demand? But it’s a very small ask. I don’t know how it was or where it was that this idea of demanding a ceasefire came up because that is not a serious demand. Ceasefire gets violated by Israel anyway, within 24-48 hours. You know that historically Israel always violated ceasefires. What is required here are severe sanctions, a no-fly zone, immediate aid to the Palestinians, and stopping this and providing guarantees for the safety and security of Palestinians forever moving forward so this can never happen again. That’s what needs to be asked. At this point, after having sacrificed so much, after having shown much of what I believe is immense courage, Palestinians deserve everything. We as people of conscience need to demand not to ceasefire, we need to demand a dismantling of the apartheid state and a full stop and absolute end to the genocide and guarantees put in place that Palestinian kids will be safe. I was talking to Issa Amro earlier in Hebron. It’s ridiculous when nobody even talks about what happens in the West Bank. Friends of mine who are Palestinian citizens of Israel, nobody dares to leave the house, nobody dares to text. They’re afraid to walk down the streets. Their safety is not guaranteed by anyone. Palestinian safety and security are left to the whims of any Israeli, and that should be the conversation right now, after such horrendous violence. That needs to be the demand. That needs to be the ask when we go to protests when we make these demands like a ceasefire. And even that, Israel is not willing. And these bouts of political supporters of Israel here in America are not willing to entertain a ceasefire. I believe it’s a crazy part of history that we’re experiencing right now and it’s a watershed moment. October 7 created an opportunity to end this for good, to end the suffering of Palestinians, the oppression, and the genocide for good. And if we being people of conscience don’t take advantage of this now and bring it to an end, we will regret this for generations. Chris Hedges: The Netanyahu government is talking about this assault on Gaza, this genocide continuing for months. There are strikes, and have been strikes against, now Hezbollah leaders. What concerns you? How could this all go terribly wrong? Miko Peled: It’s already gone terribly wrong because of the death and destruction of so many innocent lives is… I don’t even know that there’s a word for it. It’s beyond horrifying. Netanyahu is relying on the restraint of Hezbollah and the restraint of Iran and the restraint of the Arab governments has all been neutralized either through destruct, being destroyed, or through normalization. So he’s relying on that and he knows that he can keep triggering, he can keep bombing Lebanon, bombing Syria, instigating all of these things and it won’t turn into an all-out war. Because at the end of the day, even though Lebanese, Hezbollah, and Palestinian fighters have shown that they’re superior as fighters, they don’t have the supply chains, they don’t have the warplanes, they don’t have the tanks. So more and more civilians are going to be hurt. So I don’t think it’s going to turn into a regional war by any stretch of the imagination. And so Netanyahu is betting on that, and that’s why he’s allowing this to go on. And for him, this is a win-win. There’s no way that he can be unseated by anybody that’s around him. There’s no opposition. And as long as this goes on, as long as everybody’s in a state of crisis, he can continue to sit in the Prime Minister’s seat, which for him is the end all and be all of everything. And the world is supporting. The world, as governments of the world, I should say. I do interviews with African TV stations, Indian TV stations, and Europeans; Everybody is supporting Israel. Everybody listens to what I have to say, and they think I am a lunatic for supporting terrorism or whatever it is they, however, it is that they frame it. But I don’t see this ending unless there is massive pressure by people of conscience on their governments to force change, to force sanctions, to force the end of the genocide, and the end of the apartheid state. Chris Hedges: I want to talk about the shift within Zionism itself from the dominance of a secular leadership to – We see it in the government of Netanyahu – The rise of a religious Zionism, which is also true now within the IDF. And I wondered if you could talk about the consequences of that. Miko Peled: Sure. So originally, traditionally, and historically, Zionism and Judaism were at odds. And even to this day ultra-orthodox Jews reject Zionism and reject Israel by and large. But after 1967, there was this new creation of the Zionist religious movement. And these are the settlers who went to the West Bank and they became the new pioneers. And they are today, they make up a large portion of the officers and those who joined the special forces and so on. In the past, in the army, the unofficial policy was that these guys, should not be allowed to advance. The current chief of staff comes from that world, which is a huge change. There are several generals and high-ranking commanders and so on who come from that world. The reason that it was the unofficial policy that these guys should not be promoted was that it’s an incredibly toxic combination, this messianic form of Judaism, which is an aberration. It’s not Judaism at all, with this nationalist fanaticism. This combination is toxic and look what it created. It created some of the worst racists, some of the most violent thugs that we’ve seen, certainly in the short history of the state of Israel, although I don’t know that they’re any less violent than the generation of Zionists of my father who are secular. This was a big concern in the past but now they’re everywhere and look at its current government. They hold the finance ministry, they hold the national security ministry, certainly in the military they’re everywhere, they hold many sub-cabinets, and they’re heads of committees in the Knesset, and so on. And they’ve done their work. They worked very hard to get to where they are today, which is where they call the shots. And Netanyahu’s guaranteed to remain in power. They’re his support group. That’s why you could have had, as we had earlier this year, hundreds of thousands of Israelis protesting in the streets and it didn’t affect him because he has his block in the Knesset that will never leave him as long as he allows them to play their game. And this is what’s happening. So in terms of violence and the facts on the ground, I don’t think these guys are any worse again than my parents’ generation who were young Zionists and zealots at the time and committed the 1948 Nakba and ran the country and operated the apartheid state for the first few decades. But it’s a new form of fanaticism being that it is religious as well as fascist. So it’s very toxic. And they have more of a stomach for killing civilians than we’ve ever seen before, even for Israelis. These numbers are beyond belief, even for Israel. Chris Hedges: I’m wondering if this religious Zionism probably has its profoundest effect within Israel, in terms of shutting down dissidents, civil liberties, this kind of stuff. Miko Peled: Well, Israelis love them. Israelis love these guys because they’re religious but they dress like us. They don’t look like the old Jews with the big beards and everything; They’re cool. They wear jeans. And the reason I say this is because one of their objectives is to take over Al-Aqsa and build a Jewish temple. They’re destroying Al-Aqsa and they conduct these tours. In the old city of Jerusalem, there’s a particular path that you take from where the western wall is up to Al-Aqsa, which is open for non-Muslims. And so they hold tours and there’s several odd times throughout the day. I’ve taken some of these tours to see what it’s about, what these guys do, you know? These are prayer tours and hundreds of thousands of Israelis go on these tours. And these are Israelis who are not religious at all, these are secular people. I see the people that go on the tours. To give you an idea of what this is about, you go up on that bridge and then you wait until the tour starts because you have to go in a group. And there’s a massive model of the new temple, of the Jewish temple that is going to be built there. And then you have a huge group of armed police –They’re not soldiers, they’re police but dressed completely militarized. And Muslim Palestinians are not allowed – That accompany the tour all around and they stop and they pray and they stop and they pray and they stop and pray at various places. The whole thing takes maybe an hour. But the interesting thing is that the people who go on these tours are secular Israelis. And then as I was doing this, I was remembering, even as a kid growing up completely secular, we would sing songs about the day that we build a temple. Why did we sing songs about building a temple? Because it went beyond our religious significance and became a national significance. And there’s no question in my mind that Netanyahu and secular Israelis would love to see this idea of destroying Al-Aqsa and having a Jewish temple there. It’s a sign that we’re back, King David is back. Even though it has nothing to do with history and there’s no truth in it, the connection that we are descendants of King David is something Israelis love. That’s what this is about, the relationship between the so-called settlers. That’s what they’re called in Israeli jargon. They’re called the settlers. Regular secular Israelis are an interesting one because on the one hand, they’re looked down upon because they’re religious, but on the other hand, they’re a cool religious. So there is an affinity. Chris Hedges: Great. That was Miko Peled, author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine and Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five. I want to thank the Real News Network and its production team: Cameron Granandino, Adam Coley, David Hebden, and Kayla Rivara. You can find me at chrishedges.substack.com. Creative Commons License Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license. https://therealnews.com/the-idfs-war-crimes-are-a-perfect-reflection-of-israeli-society https://telegra.ph/The-IDFs-war-crimes-are-a-perfect-reflection-of-Israeli-society-04-02
    THEREALNEWS.COM
    The IDF's war crimes are a perfect reflection of Israeli society
    Miko Peled, author and former member of IDF Special Forces, explains how Israel indoctrinates its citizens in anti-Palestinian racism from the cradle to the grave.
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  • Opinion: Why I’m resigning from the State Department
    Editor’s Note: Annelle Sheline, PhD, served for a year as a foreign affairs officer at the Office of Near Eastern Affairs in the Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. The views expressed here are her own. Read more opinion on CNN.

    CNN — normal
    Since Hamas’ attack on October 7, Israel has used American bombs in its war in Gaza, which has killed more than 32,000 people — 13,000 of them children — with countless others buried under the rubble, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health. Israel is credibly accused of starving the 2 million people who remain, according to the UN special rapporteur on the right to food; a group of charity leaders warns that without adequate aid, hundreds of thousands more will soon likely join the dead.

    Yet Israel is still planning to invade Rafah, where the majority of people in Gaza have fled; UN officials have described the carnage that is expected to ensue as “beyond imagination.” In the West Bank, armed settlers and Israeli soldiers have killed Palestinians, including US citizens. These actions, which experts on genocide have testified meet the crime of genocide, are conducted with the diplomatic and military support of the US government.

    For the past year, I worked for the office devoted to promoting human rights in the Middle East. I believe strongly in the mission and in the important work of that office. However, as a representative of a government that is directly enabling what the International Court of Justice has said could plausibly be a genocide in Gaza, such work has become almost impossible. Unable to serve an administration that enables such atrocities, I have decided to resign from my position at the Department of State.

    Whatever credibility the United States had as an advocate for human rights has almost entirely vanished since the war began. Members of civil society have refused to respond to my efforts to contact them. Our office seeks to support journalists in the Middle East; yet when asked by NGOs if the US can help when Palestinian journalists are detained or killed in Gaza, I was disappointed that my government didn’t do more to protect them. Ninety Palestinian journalists in Gaza have been killed in the last five months, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. That is the most recorded in any single conflict since the CPJ started collecting data in 1992.

    By resigning publicly, I am saddened by the knowledge that I likely foreclose a future at the State Department. I had not initially planned a public resignation. Because my time at State had been so short — I was hired on a two-year contract — I did not think I mattered enough to announce my resignation publicly. However, when I started to tell colleagues of my decision to resign, the response I heard repeatedly was, “Please speak for us.”

    Related article Opinion: What Biden needs to know about Rafah

    Across the federal government, employees like me have tried for months to influence policy, both internally and, when that failed, publicly. My colleagues and I watched in horror as this administration delivered thousands of precision-guided munitions, bombs, small arms and other lethal aid to Israel and authorized thousands more, even bypassing Congress to do so. We are appalled by the administration’s flagrant disregard for American laws that prohibit the US from providing assistance to foreign militaries that engage in gross human rights violations or that restrict the delivery of humanitarian aid.

    The Biden administration’s own policy states, “The legitimacy of and public support for arms transfers among the populations of both the United States and recipient nations depends on the protection of civilians from harm, and the United States distinguishes itself from other potential sources of arms transfers by elevating the importance of protecting civilians.” Yet this noble statement of policy has been directly in contradiction with the actions of the president who promulgated it.

    President Joe Biden himself indirectly admits that Israel is not protecting Palestinian civilians from harm. Under pressure from some congressional Democrats, the administration issued a new policy to ensure that foreign military transfers don’t violate relevant domestic and international laws.

    Yet just recently, the State Department ascertained that Israel is in compliance with international law in the conduct of the war and in providing humanitarian assistance. To say this when Israel is preventing the adequate entrance of humanitarian aid and the US is being forced to air drop food to starving Gazans, this finding makes a mockery of the administration’s claims to care about the law or about the fate of innocent Palestinians.

    Related article Opinion: The crux of Israel’s challenge

    Some have argued that the US lacks influence over Israel. Yet Retired Israeli Maj. Gen. Yitzhak Brick noted in November that Israel’s missiles, bombs and airplanes all come from the US. “The minute they turn off the tap, you can’t keep fighting,” he said. “Everyone understands that we can’t fight this war without the United States. Period.”

    Even now, Israel is considering invading Lebanon, which brings a heightened risk of regional conflict that would be catastrophic. The US has sought to prevent this outcome but shows no appetite for withholding offensive weapons from Israel in order to compel greater restraint there or in Gaza. Biden’s support for Israel’s far-right government thus risks sparking a wider conflagration in the region, which could well put US troops in harm’s way.

    So many of my colleagues feel betrayed. I write for myself but speak for many others, including Feds United for Peace, a group mobilizing for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza that represents federal workers in their personal capacities across the country, and across 30 federal agencies and departments. After four years of then-President Donald Trump’s efforts to cripple the department, State employees embraced Biden’s pledge to rebuild American diplomacy. For some, US support for Ukraine against Russia’s illegal occupation and bombardment seemed to reestablish America’s moral leadership. Yet the administration continues to enable Israel’s illegal occupation and destruction of Gaza.

    I am haunted by the final social media post of Aaron Bushnell, the 25-year-old US Air Force serviceman who self-immolated in front of the Israeli Embassy in Washington on February 25: “Many of us like to ask ourselves, ‘What would I do if I was alive during slavery? Or the Jim Crow South? Or apartheid? What would I do if my country was committing genocide?’ The answer is, you’re doing it. Right now.”

    I can no longer continue what I was doing. I hope that my resignation can contribute to the many efforts to push the administration to withdraw support for Israel’s war, for the sake of the 2 million Palestinians whose lives are at risk and for the sake of America’s moral standing in the world.


    https://www.cnn.com/2024/03/27/opinions/gaza-israel-resigning-state-department-sheline/index.html
    Opinion: Why I’m resigning from the State Department Editor’s Note: Annelle Sheline, PhD, served for a year as a foreign affairs officer at the Office of Near Eastern Affairs in the Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. The views expressed here are her own. Read more opinion on CNN. CNN — normal Since Hamas’ attack on October 7, Israel has used American bombs in its war in Gaza, which has killed more than 32,000 people — 13,000 of them children — with countless others buried under the rubble, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health. Israel is credibly accused of starving the 2 million people who remain, according to the UN special rapporteur on the right to food; a group of charity leaders warns that without adequate aid, hundreds of thousands more will soon likely join the dead. Yet Israel is still planning to invade Rafah, where the majority of people in Gaza have fled; UN officials have described the carnage that is expected to ensue as “beyond imagination.” In the West Bank, armed settlers and Israeli soldiers have killed Palestinians, including US citizens. These actions, which experts on genocide have testified meet the crime of genocide, are conducted with the diplomatic and military support of the US government. For the past year, I worked for the office devoted to promoting human rights in the Middle East. I believe strongly in the mission and in the important work of that office. However, as a representative of a government that is directly enabling what the International Court of Justice has said could plausibly be a genocide in Gaza, such work has become almost impossible. Unable to serve an administration that enables such atrocities, I have decided to resign from my position at the Department of State. Whatever credibility the United States had as an advocate for human rights has almost entirely vanished since the war began. Members of civil society have refused to respond to my efforts to contact them. Our office seeks to support journalists in the Middle East; yet when asked by NGOs if the US can help when Palestinian journalists are detained or killed in Gaza, I was disappointed that my government didn’t do more to protect them. Ninety Palestinian journalists in Gaza have been killed in the last five months, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. That is the most recorded in any single conflict since the CPJ started collecting data in 1992. By resigning publicly, I am saddened by the knowledge that I likely foreclose a future at the State Department. I had not initially planned a public resignation. Because my time at State had been so short — I was hired on a two-year contract — I did not think I mattered enough to announce my resignation publicly. However, when I started to tell colleagues of my decision to resign, the response I heard repeatedly was, “Please speak for us.” Related article Opinion: What Biden needs to know about Rafah Across the federal government, employees like me have tried for months to influence policy, both internally and, when that failed, publicly. My colleagues and I watched in horror as this administration delivered thousands of precision-guided munitions, bombs, small arms and other lethal aid to Israel and authorized thousands more, even bypassing Congress to do so. We are appalled by the administration’s flagrant disregard for American laws that prohibit the US from providing assistance to foreign militaries that engage in gross human rights violations or that restrict the delivery of humanitarian aid. The Biden administration’s own policy states, “The legitimacy of and public support for arms transfers among the populations of both the United States and recipient nations depends on the protection of civilians from harm, and the United States distinguishes itself from other potential sources of arms transfers by elevating the importance of protecting civilians.” Yet this noble statement of policy has been directly in contradiction with the actions of the president who promulgated it. President Joe Biden himself indirectly admits that Israel is not protecting Palestinian civilians from harm. Under pressure from some congressional Democrats, the administration issued a new policy to ensure that foreign military transfers don’t violate relevant domestic and international laws. Yet just recently, the State Department ascertained that Israel is in compliance with international law in the conduct of the war and in providing humanitarian assistance. To say this when Israel is preventing the adequate entrance of humanitarian aid and the US is being forced to air drop food to starving Gazans, this finding makes a mockery of the administration’s claims to care about the law or about the fate of innocent Palestinians. Related article Opinion: The crux of Israel’s challenge Some have argued that the US lacks influence over Israel. Yet Retired Israeli Maj. Gen. Yitzhak Brick noted in November that Israel’s missiles, bombs and airplanes all come from the US. “The minute they turn off the tap, you can’t keep fighting,” he said. “Everyone understands that we can’t fight this war without the United States. Period.” Even now, Israel is considering invading Lebanon, which brings a heightened risk of regional conflict that would be catastrophic. The US has sought to prevent this outcome but shows no appetite for withholding offensive weapons from Israel in order to compel greater restraint there or in Gaza. Biden’s support for Israel’s far-right government thus risks sparking a wider conflagration in the region, which could well put US troops in harm’s way. So many of my colleagues feel betrayed. I write for myself but speak for many others, including Feds United for Peace, a group mobilizing for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza that represents federal workers in their personal capacities across the country, and across 30 federal agencies and departments. After four years of then-President Donald Trump’s efforts to cripple the department, State employees embraced Biden’s pledge to rebuild American diplomacy. For some, US support for Ukraine against Russia’s illegal occupation and bombardment seemed to reestablish America’s moral leadership. Yet the administration continues to enable Israel’s illegal occupation and destruction of Gaza. I am haunted by the final social media post of Aaron Bushnell, the 25-year-old US Air Force serviceman who self-immolated in front of the Israeli Embassy in Washington on February 25: “Many of us like to ask ourselves, ‘What would I do if I was alive during slavery? Or the Jim Crow South? Or apartheid? What would I do if my country was committing genocide?’ The answer is, you’re doing it. Right now.” I can no longer continue what I was doing. I hope that my resignation can contribute to the many efforts to push the administration to withdraw support for Israel’s war, for the sake of the 2 million Palestinians whose lives are at risk and for the sake of America’s moral standing in the world. https://www.cnn.com/2024/03/27/opinions/gaza-israel-resigning-state-department-sheline/index.html
    WWW.CNN.COM
    Opinion: Why I’m resigning from the State Department | CNN
    I’m unable to serve an administration that enables the atrocities in Gaza, so I have decided to resign from my position at the Department of State, writes Annelle Sheline.
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 165: Israeli attacks escalate on Rafah, al-Shifa Hospital invasion enters second day
    Mustafa Abu SneinehMarch 19, 2024
    A Palestinian man inspects a destroyed building following an Israeli air attack on Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, March 19 2024. (Photo: © Abed Rahim Khatib/dpa via ZUMA Press APA Images)
    A Palestinian man inspects a destroyed building following an Israeli air attack on Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, March 19 2024. (Photo: © Abed Rahim Khatib/dpa via ZUMA Press APA Images)
    Casualties

    31,819 + killed* and at least 73,934 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    435+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.**
    Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147.
    594 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.***
    *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 40,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.

    ** The death toll in West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to PA’s Ministry of Health on March 17, this is the latest figure.

    *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.”

    Key Developments

    Palestinian Authority warns that Israel started offensive on Rafah without official announcement to avoid international pressure.
    Majed Al-Ansari, spokesperson for Qatar’s Foreign Ministry, says Israeli attack on Rafah will negatively affect the ceasefire talks in Doha.
    Ansari says “it is still too early to talk about any breakthrough in the negotiations” between Israel and Hamas, but mediators remain “optimistic.”
    All communication with Palestinian medical staff trapped inside al-Shifa Hospital went silent on Monday evening
    Israel arrests Al-Jazeera correspondent Ismail Al-Ghoul in al-Shifa Hospital. He says Israeli forces detained them for 12 hours, destroyed media tent, and seized smartphones, cameras, and laptops from journalists.
    WHO chief says, “hospitals should never be battlegrounds. We are terribly worried about the situation at al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza, which is endangering health workers, patients, and civilians.”
    Israel bombs several houses on Al-Jalaa Street in north Gaza, close to al-Shifa Hospital, killing and injuring several Palestinians and causing immense damage.
    Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA chief, was barred entry by Israel to Rafah, while Tel Aviv says he did not follow “proper procedure.”
    Lazzarini says his visit “was supposed to coordinate and improve the humanitarian response. This man-made starvation under our watch is a stain on our collective humanity.”
    Israeli settlers vandalize UNRWA’s headquarters in occupied Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and affix posters on main gate calling for its closure.
    In Jerusalem, only 25,000 Palestinians were allowed by Israeli forces to enter Al-Aqsa Mosque to perform Ramadan’s prayer on the ninth night.
    Ahmed Al-Tibi, Palestinian Knesset member, warns that the life of national figure and Fatah leader Marwan Al-Barghouti is at risk inside Israeli prison.
    PA warns that “Israel began to destroy Rafah”

    The Palestinian Authority (PA) warned that Israel has started an offensive on Rafah without an official announcement to avoid international pressure.

    Overnight, Israel heavily bombed Rafah, killing at least 14 Palestinians in the area where more than one million people are displaced, the majority of them living in tents.

    “Israel began to destroy Rafah on a daily basis and in a systematic manner through repeated attacks on homes, bombing them, and killing and wounding dozens of civilians,” the PA’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday.

    It added that to avoid condemnation and international pressure to halt such attacks, “Israel… did not wait for permission from anyone, and did not announce” the operation publicly.

    The escalation of Israeli airstrikes and artillery shelling in Rafah comes as the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is visiting the region where talks between Israel and Hamas continue in Qatar, but has not seen any breakthrough to reach a ceasefire and hostages’ exchange deal.

    Israel has bombed several areas in Rafah overnight, targeting mainly Palestinian homes and residential blocks, according to Wafa, including the neighborhoods of Musabah, Khirbet Al-Adas, and Al-Jeneina.

    On Tuesday, Majed Al-Ansari, the spokesperson for Qatar’s Foreign Ministry, said that an attack on Rafah would negatively affect the ceasefire talks in Doha.

    “Any attack on Rafah will lead to a humanitarian catastrophe and will negatively affect the progress of the talks,” he said. Ansari added that mediators are working on a temporary ceasefire deal to allow humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.

    “It is still too early to talk about any breakthrough in the negotiations, but we are optimistic about that,” he said, according to Al-Jazeera Arabic.

    Displaced Palestinians fleeing from the vicinity of Gaza City's al-Shifa hospital arrive at the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on March 18, 2024. (Photo: Naaman Omar/APA Images)
    Displaced Palestinians fleeing from the vicinity of Gaza City’s al-Shifa hospital arrive at the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on March 18, 2024. (Photo: Naaman Omar/APA Images)
    Al-Shifa Hospital under Israeli control for second day

    In north Gaza, Israel forces storming of the al-Shifa Hospital has been ongoing since late on Sunday.

    All communication with medical staff trapped inside the hospital went silent on Monday evening. This is the second time Israeli forces stormed the al-Shifa Hospital since October, this time claiming that there were Hamas figures inside it, but has yet to provide evidence.

    A fire broke out in the al-Shifa’s specialized surgery building after the Israeli assault began. Around 25,000 Palestinians were sheltering in the medical complex, and Israel arrested 90 Palestinians, including journalists from inside al-Shifa. Among them was Al-Jazeera’s correspondent in north Gaza, Ismail al-Ghoul, who was released after 12 hours of detention.

    Al-Ghoul later said that Israeli forces destroyed the media tent inside the al-Shifa Hospital and seized smartphones, cameras, and laptops from journalists who were arrested and stripped of their clothes.

    “The [Israeli] occupation forces handcuffed and blindfolded us and interrogated all the journalists present in the place,” he told Al-Jazeera Arabic in a phone call on Monday.

    Al-Ghoul is one of the few journalists who report from north Gaza to a mainstream TV channel. He recently reported Israeli forces killing hundreds of Palestinians who gathered to get flour, aid and food near the Al-Nabulsi roundabout and Al-Rashid Street in Gaza City.

    “Hospitals should never be battlegrounds”

    Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the chief of World Health Organization (WHO), said that “hospitals should never be battlegrounds. We are terribly worried about the situation at al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza, which is endangering health workers, patients, and civilians.”

    Ghebreyesus added that the al-Shifa Hospital is partially operating. In November, Israeli forces stormed the complex following days of siege, claiming that Hamas hosted a “command center” underneath the facility and has yet to present a proof.

    Israel also bombed several houses on Al-Jalaa Street in north Gaza, which is close to the al-Shifa Hospital, killing and injuring several Palestinians and causing immense damage to the area.

    Some Palestinians were walking on Al-Jalaa Street at the time of the air raids, others came back from getting flour to find their apartments bombed while their families were inside.

    In the past 24 hours, Israeli forces committed several massacres in various areas of the Gaza Strip, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health on Telegram, killing at least 93 people and injuring 142. Thousands remain under the rubble of bombed buildings.

    Israeli bombing killed 16 Palestinians in north Gaza overnight. At least 15 people were killed in an Israeli air raid on a house of the Muqbel family in central Gaza City. The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said that 14 members have been killed since the Israeli aggression started on Gaza in October.

    In north Gaza, Israel bombed the house of the Al-Banna family in Jabalia, killing at least eight people, Wafa reported. Hundreds of Palestinians saw their tents sink or blown away as a result of strong wind and torrential rain in Deir al-Balah, Rafah, and the Al-Mawasi area in Khan Younis overnight, Wafa reported.

    Israel denies entry for UNRWA chief to Rafah

    Philippe Lazzarini, the chief of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), was barred entry to Rafah by Israel, as Tel Aviv claimed he did not follow “proper procedure.”

    Last month, Lazzarini accused Israel of aiming to destroy UNRWA and defended the organization’s relentless work in offering humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

    “I intended to go to Rafah today, but I have been informed an hour ago that my entry into Rafah is declined,” Lazzarini said during a press conference in Cairo on Monday alongside the Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry.

    Shoukry said that Lazzarini was barred by Israel. “You were declined by the Israeli government, refused the entry, which is an unprecedented move for a representative at this high position,” he said.

    Although the Rafah crossing is an entry point between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, Israel is in charge of who can enter or leave the enclave, according to the Israeli-Egyptian agreement.

    Lazzarini also accused Israel of creating a man-made famine in Gaza and said that UNRWA was “engaged in a race against the clock to try to reverse the impact of the spreading hunger and the looming famine in the Gaza Strip.”

    He added that his visit “was supposed to coordinate and improve the humanitarian response. This man-made starvation under our watch is a stain on our collective humanity.”

    “Too much time was wasted, all land crossings must open now. Famine can be averted with political will,” Lazzarini said.

    Francesca Albanese, the UN Special Rapporteur for Palestine, wrote on X platform that “Israel wants no witnesses, no truth-tellers”, in a comment on Lazzarini’s entry denial.

    On Monday, Israeli settlers vandalized the headquarters of UNRWA in occupied Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. They have affixed posters on the main gate calling for the shutdown of UNRWA agency, which also provides humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Jerusalem’s refugee camps, and operate in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan.

    Muslims who managed to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque are seen performing tarawih and night prayers during holy month of Ramadan in Jerusalem on March 17, 2024. (Photo: Department of Islamic Awqaf in Jerusalem/APA Images)
    Muslims who managed to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque are seen performing tarawih and night prayers during holy month of Ramadan in Jerusalem on March 17, 2024. (Photo: Department of Islamic Waqf in Jerusalem/APA Images)
    Israeli settlers attack Deir Istiya village

    Overnight, Israeli forces arrested several Palestinians from the occupied West Bank towns of Hebron, Jenin, Qalqilya, Nablus, and the Balata refugee camp.

    In Jerusalem, only 25,000 Palestinians were allowed by Israeli forces to enter Al-Aqsa Mosque to perform Ramadan’s Al-Tarawih prayer on the ninth night. This is a sharp drop from the 60,000 Palestinians who performed Al-Tarawih on Saturday night.

    Israeli authorities are still limiting the number of Palestinians from the West Bank to enter Jerusalem. Last week, Israeli forces set up at least 30 makeshift checkpoints on the outskirts of the Old City, at the city’s gates and the entrances of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

    Since October, Israel has issued 100 deportation orders against Palestinian residents of Jerusalem and Palestinian citizens of Israel, barring 55 of them from entry to Jerusalem and 45 to Al-Aqsa Mosque, according to Wadi Hilweh Human Rights Information Center.

    Wadi Hilweh added that this has become a routine policy “to deprive Palestinians of their right to worship and visit Al-Aqsa,” especially around religious occasions such as Ramadan.

    In the north of the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked Deir Istiya village near Salfit, stole contents from an agricultural room owned by Youssef Salman, and destroyed the solar panels, Wafa reported.

    Marwan Al-Barghouti’s life is in danger inside Israeli prison

    Ahmed Al-Tibi, the Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset, warned that the life of Marwan Al-Barghouti is at risk inside Israeli prison.

    Barghouti, a popular national figure and Fatah leader was put in solitary confinement in Megiddo prison. Since October, he has moved between several detention centers, including Ofer, Ramla, and Rimonim.

    “Marwan Al-Barghouti’s life is in danger inside the prison due to the assault on him and other detainees. I hold Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responsible for any harm caused to him, his life, or the lives of the prisoners,” Al-Tibi said in a video post on the X platform.

    He added that Barghouti was assaulted and bled as a result, and warned that since October, 13 Palestinians died inside Israeli jail, “some of them were found murdered, according to families and judges, due to violence and torture.”

    Barghouti is seen by Palestinians as a national figure who could bridge the schism between Fatah and Hamas and lead a future Palestinian state. Hamas insisted that Barghouti will be among the prisoners that will be released in any exchange deal with Israel.

    Last month, Itamar Ben-Gvir, the National Security Minister, said that he ordered the transfer of Barghouti to solitary confinement in prison “following information about a planned uprising” in the occupied West Bank.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-165-israeli-attacks-escalate-on-rafah-al-shifa-hospital-invasion-enters-second-day/

    https://telegra.ph/Operation-Al-Aqsa-Flood-Day-165-Israeli-attacks-escalate-on-Rafah-al-Shifa-Hospital-invasion-enters-second-day-03-20
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 165: Israeli attacks escalate on Rafah, al-Shifa Hospital invasion enters second day Mustafa Abu SneinehMarch 19, 2024 A Palestinian man inspects a destroyed building following an Israeli air attack on Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, March 19 2024. (Photo: © Abed Rahim Khatib/dpa via ZUMA Press APA Images) A Palestinian man inspects a destroyed building following an Israeli air attack on Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, March 19 2024. (Photo: © Abed Rahim Khatib/dpa via ZUMA Press APA Images) Casualties 31,819 + killed* and at least 73,934 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 435+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.** Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147. 594 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.*** *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 40,000 when accounting for those presumed dead. ** The death toll in West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to PA’s Ministry of Health on March 17, this is the latest figure. *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” Key Developments Palestinian Authority warns that Israel started offensive on Rafah without official announcement to avoid international pressure. Majed Al-Ansari, spokesperson for Qatar’s Foreign Ministry, says Israeli attack on Rafah will negatively affect the ceasefire talks in Doha. Ansari says “it is still too early to talk about any breakthrough in the negotiations” between Israel and Hamas, but mediators remain “optimistic.” All communication with Palestinian medical staff trapped inside al-Shifa Hospital went silent on Monday evening Israel arrests Al-Jazeera correspondent Ismail Al-Ghoul in al-Shifa Hospital. He says Israeli forces detained them for 12 hours, destroyed media tent, and seized smartphones, cameras, and laptops from journalists. WHO chief says, “hospitals should never be battlegrounds. We are terribly worried about the situation at al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza, which is endangering health workers, patients, and civilians.” Israel bombs several houses on Al-Jalaa Street in north Gaza, close to al-Shifa Hospital, killing and injuring several Palestinians and causing immense damage. Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA chief, was barred entry by Israel to Rafah, while Tel Aviv says he did not follow “proper procedure.” Lazzarini says his visit “was supposed to coordinate and improve the humanitarian response. This man-made starvation under our watch is a stain on our collective humanity.” Israeli settlers vandalize UNRWA’s headquarters in occupied Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and affix posters on main gate calling for its closure. In Jerusalem, only 25,000 Palestinians were allowed by Israeli forces to enter Al-Aqsa Mosque to perform Ramadan’s prayer on the ninth night. Ahmed Al-Tibi, Palestinian Knesset member, warns that the life of national figure and Fatah leader Marwan Al-Barghouti is at risk inside Israeli prison. PA warns that “Israel began to destroy Rafah” The Palestinian Authority (PA) warned that Israel has started an offensive on Rafah without an official announcement to avoid international pressure. Overnight, Israel heavily bombed Rafah, killing at least 14 Palestinians in the area where more than one million people are displaced, the majority of them living in tents. “Israel began to destroy Rafah on a daily basis and in a systematic manner through repeated attacks on homes, bombing them, and killing and wounding dozens of civilians,” the PA’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday. It added that to avoid condemnation and international pressure to halt such attacks, “Israel… did not wait for permission from anyone, and did not announce” the operation publicly. The escalation of Israeli airstrikes and artillery shelling in Rafah comes as the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is visiting the region where talks between Israel and Hamas continue in Qatar, but has not seen any breakthrough to reach a ceasefire and hostages’ exchange deal. Israel has bombed several areas in Rafah overnight, targeting mainly Palestinian homes and residential blocks, according to Wafa, including the neighborhoods of Musabah, Khirbet Al-Adas, and Al-Jeneina. On Tuesday, Majed Al-Ansari, the spokesperson for Qatar’s Foreign Ministry, said that an attack on Rafah would negatively affect the ceasefire talks in Doha. “Any attack on Rafah will lead to a humanitarian catastrophe and will negatively affect the progress of the talks,” he said. Ansari added that mediators are working on a temporary ceasefire deal to allow humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip. “It is still too early to talk about any breakthrough in the negotiations, but we are optimistic about that,” he said, according to Al-Jazeera Arabic. Displaced Palestinians fleeing from the vicinity of Gaza City's al-Shifa hospital arrive at the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on March 18, 2024. (Photo: Naaman Omar/APA Images) Displaced Palestinians fleeing from the vicinity of Gaza City’s al-Shifa hospital arrive at the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on March 18, 2024. (Photo: Naaman Omar/APA Images) Al-Shifa Hospital under Israeli control for second day In north Gaza, Israel forces storming of the al-Shifa Hospital has been ongoing since late on Sunday. All communication with medical staff trapped inside the hospital went silent on Monday evening. This is the second time Israeli forces stormed the al-Shifa Hospital since October, this time claiming that there were Hamas figures inside it, but has yet to provide evidence. A fire broke out in the al-Shifa’s specialized surgery building after the Israeli assault began. Around 25,000 Palestinians were sheltering in the medical complex, and Israel arrested 90 Palestinians, including journalists from inside al-Shifa. Among them was Al-Jazeera’s correspondent in north Gaza, Ismail al-Ghoul, who was released after 12 hours of detention. Al-Ghoul later said that Israeli forces destroyed the media tent inside the al-Shifa Hospital and seized smartphones, cameras, and laptops from journalists who were arrested and stripped of their clothes. “The [Israeli] occupation forces handcuffed and blindfolded us and interrogated all the journalists present in the place,” he told Al-Jazeera Arabic in a phone call on Monday. Al-Ghoul is one of the few journalists who report from north Gaza to a mainstream TV channel. He recently reported Israeli forces killing hundreds of Palestinians who gathered to get flour, aid and food near the Al-Nabulsi roundabout and Al-Rashid Street in Gaza City. “Hospitals should never be battlegrounds” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the chief of World Health Organization (WHO), said that “hospitals should never be battlegrounds. We are terribly worried about the situation at al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza, which is endangering health workers, patients, and civilians.” Ghebreyesus added that the al-Shifa Hospital is partially operating. In November, Israeli forces stormed the complex following days of siege, claiming that Hamas hosted a “command center” underneath the facility and has yet to present a proof. Israel also bombed several houses on Al-Jalaa Street in north Gaza, which is close to the al-Shifa Hospital, killing and injuring several Palestinians and causing immense damage to the area. Some Palestinians were walking on Al-Jalaa Street at the time of the air raids, others came back from getting flour to find their apartments bombed while their families were inside. In the past 24 hours, Israeli forces committed several massacres in various areas of the Gaza Strip, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health on Telegram, killing at least 93 people and injuring 142. Thousands remain under the rubble of bombed buildings. Israeli bombing killed 16 Palestinians in north Gaza overnight. At least 15 people were killed in an Israeli air raid on a house of the Muqbel family in central Gaza City. The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said that 14 members have been killed since the Israeli aggression started on Gaza in October. In north Gaza, Israel bombed the house of the Al-Banna family in Jabalia, killing at least eight people, Wafa reported. Hundreds of Palestinians saw their tents sink or blown away as a result of strong wind and torrential rain in Deir al-Balah, Rafah, and the Al-Mawasi area in Khan Younis overnight, Wafa reported. Israel denies entry for UNRWA chief to Rafah Philippe Lazzarini, the chief of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), was barred entry to Rafah by Israel, as Tel Aviv claimed he did not follow “proper procedure.” Last month, Lazzarini accused Israel of aiming to destroy UNRWA and defended the organization’s relentless work in offering humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. “I intended to go to Rafah today, but I have been informed an hour ago that my entry into Rafah is declined,” Lazzarini said during a press conference in Cairo on Monday alongside the Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry. Shoukry said that Lazzarini was barred by Israel. “You were declined by the Israeli government, refused the entry, which is an unprecedented move for a representative at this high position,” he said. Although the Rafah crossing is an entry point between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, Israel is in charge of who can enter or leave the enclave, according to the Israeli-Egyptian agreement. Lazzarini also accused Israel of creating a man-made famine in Gaza and said that UNRWA was “engaged in a race against the clock to try to reverse the impact of the spreading hunger and the looming famine in the Gaza Strip.” He added that his visit “was supposed to coordinate and improve the humanitarian response. This man-made starvation under our watch is a stain on our collective humanity.” “Too much time was wasted, all land crossings must open now. Famine can be averted with political will,” Lazzarini said. Francesca Albanese, the UN Special Rapporteur for Palestine, wrote on X platform that “Israel wants no witnesses, no truth-tellers”, in a comment on Lazzarini’s entry denial. On Monday, Israeli settlers vandalized the headquarters of UNRWA in occupied Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. They have affixed posters on the main gate calling for the shutdown of UNRWA agency, which also provides humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Jerusalem’s refugee camps, and operate in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. Muslims who managed to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque are seen performing tarawih and night prayers during holy month of Ramadan in Jerusalem on March 17, 2024. (Photo: Department of Islamic Awqaf in Jerusalem/APA Images) Muslims who managed to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque are seen performing tarawih and night prayers during holy month of Ramadan in Jerusalem on March 17, 2024. (Photo: Department of Islamic Waqf in Jerusalem/APA Images) Israeli settlers attack Deir Istiya village Overnight, Israeli forces arrested several Palestinians from the occupied West Bank towns of Hebron, Jenin, Qalqilya, Nablus, and the Balata refugee camp. In Jerusalem, only 25,000 Palestinians were allowed by Israeli forces to enter Al-Aqsa Mosque to perform Ramadan’s Al-Tarawih prayer on the ninth night. This is a sharp drop from the 60,000 Palestinians who performed Al-Tarawih on Saturday night. Israeli authorities are still limiting the number of Palestinians from the West Bank to enter Jerusalem. Last week, Israeli forces set up at least 30 makeshift checkpoints on the outskirts of the Old City, at the city’s gates and the entrances of Al-Aqsa Mosque. Since October, Israel has issued 100 deportation orders against Palestinian residents of Jerusalem and Palestinian citizens of Israel, barring 55 of them from entry to Jerusalem and 45 to Al-Aqsa Mosque, according to Wadi Hilweh Human Rights Information Center. Wadi Hilweh added that this has become a routine policy “to deprive Palestinians of their right to worship and visit Al-Aqsa,” especially around religious occasions such as Ramadan. In the north of the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked Deir Istiya village near Salfit, stole contents from an agricultural room owned by Youssef Salman, and destroyed the solar panels, Wafa reported. Marwan Al-Barghouti’s life is in danger inside Israeli prison Ahmed Al-Tibi, the Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset, warned that the life of Marwan Al-Barghouti is at risk inside Israeli prison. Barghouti, a popular national figure and Fatah leader was put in solitary confinement in Megiddo prison. Since October, he has moved between several detention centers, including Ofer, Ramla, and Rimonim. “Marwan Al-Barghouti’s life is in danger inside the prison due to the assault on him and other detainees. I hold Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responsible for any harm caused to him, his life, or the lives of the prisoners,” Al-Tibi said in a video post on the X platform. He added that Barghouti was assaulted and bled as a result, and warned that since October, 13 Palestinians died inside Israeli jail, “some of them were found murdered, according to families and judges, due to violence and torture.” Barghouti is seen by Palestinians as a national figure who could bridge the schism between Fatah and Hamas and lead a future Palestinian state. Hamas insisted that Barghouti will be among the prisoners that will be released in any exchange deal with Israel. Last month, Itamar Ben-Gvir, the National Security Minister, said that he ordered the transfer of Barghouti to solitary confinement in prison “following information about a planned uprising” in the occupied West Bank. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-165-israeli-attacks-escalate-on-rafah-al-shifa-hospital-invasion-enters-second-day/ https://telegra.ph/Operation-Al-Aqsa-Flood-Day-165-Israeli-attacks-escalate-on-Rafah-al-Shifa-Hospital-invasion-enters-second-day-03-20
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 165: Israeli attacks escalate on Rafah, al-Shifa Hospital invasion enters second day
    After a night of heavy bombardment the PA warns Israel’s Rafah offensive has begun. Meanwhile, the invasion of al-Shifa hospital continues; all communication with medical staff trapped inside the hospital has been silent since Monday evening.
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 164: Israeli army storms al-Shifa again, aid reaches Jabalia for first time in months
    Leila WarahMarch 19, 2024
    Palestinians gather in front of UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) building to receive flour in Jabalia, Gaza City, March 17, 2024. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)
    Palestinians gather in front of UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) building to receive flour in Jabalia, Gaza City, March 17, 2024. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)
    Casualties

    31,726 + killed* and at least 73,792 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    435+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.**
    Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147.
    591 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.***
    *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number closer to 40,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.

    ** The death toll in the West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to the PA’s Ministry of Health on March 17, this is the latest figure.

    *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.”

    Key Developments

    Gaza Health Ministry: Israeli military storms al-Shifa Hospital for the fourth time, killing and wounding a number of people.
    30,000 people in al-Shifa Hospital ordered to evacuate to Khan Younis.
    Palestinian Prisoners Society: Thirteenth Palestinian prisoner dies in Israeli custody since October 7.
    UK charity Oxfam accuses Israel of “actively hindering” aid operations in Gaza.
    PRCS provides mental support groups for traumatized Palestinian children, medics.
    IPC: 1.1 million people, about half of Gaza, face “imminent” famine.
    Nineteen aid trucks arrive in Jabalia without being blocked or fired on by Israeli forces in months.
    UNICEF chief Catherine Russell: Airdrops and maritime deliveries are “a drop in a bucket” compared to the scale of humanitarian need.
    UNICEF: one in three babies under the age of two in northern Gaza suffers from acute malnutrition.
    Gaza Health Ministry: Israeli attacks killed 81 Palestinians and wounded 116 in Gaza during the last 24 hours.
    Biden reportedly shouts and swears upon learning Michigan and Georgia poll numbers dropped over handling of Gaza war, according to NBC News.
    Israeli army storms al-Shifa’ hospital…again

    In the early hours of Monday morning, Israeli forces stormed al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza with tanks and heavy gunfire. There have already been a “number of martyrs and wounded” in the ongoing Israeli onslaught, which began around 2:00 a.m.

    Gaza’s Ministry of Health said about 30,000 people, including displaced civilians, wounded patients, and medical staff, are trapped inside the complex. Sniper bullets and quadcopters target anyone who tries to move.

    A fire also broke out at the entrance to the hospital, and cases of suffocation occurred among the displaced women and children inside.

    Less than two hours after the attack began, the Israeli military announced that it was conducting a “precise operation” in the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, claiming that Hamas was using the medical facility to “conduct and promote terrorist activity.”

    “We know that senior Hamas terrorists have regrouped inside the [al-Shifa] Hospital and are using it to command attacks against Israel,” Israeli military spokesperson Daniel Hagari said in a video posted on X.

    The Israeli military used similar unverified claims to justify three prior attacks on the medical complex, killing dozens of Palestinians.

    Hagari added in his English video statement that the Israeli military would be conducting a “humanitarian effort” during the planned assault, providing food and water. At the same time, he emphasized that there is “no obligation” for patients and medical staff to evacuate the hospital.

    However, in Arabic, Israeli military’s spokesman Avichay Adraee called on Palestinians to evacuate the hospital and its surrounding area on X: “In order to maintain your security, you must immediately evacuate the area to the west and then cross Al-Rashid (Al-Bahr) Street to the south to the humanitarian area in Al-Mawasi.”

    Al-Mawasi, a “humanitarian zone” in western Khan Younis, is a severely overcrowded strip of land in the west of the Gaza Strip, serving as one of Gaza’s few designated safe areas despite being subjected to Israeli fire.

    According to Gaza-based Al Jazeera correspondent Hani Mahmoud, “leaflets dropped by the Israeli military told people inside al-Shifa Hospital, its vicinity and the entire residential blocks surrounding the medical complex to evacuate immediately.”

    “People are caught up between whether to leave and trust the statement or stay where they are. We are talking about thousands of Palestinians who have been sheltering inside the complex since the start of the war,” Mahmoud continued.

    “In early December, the Israeli military made a list of allegations and stormed al-Shifa Hospital, destroyed the vast majority of its property, and severely damaged major buildings and medical equipment inside the hospital. About 250 people were arrested from inside the hospital,” Mahmoud said.

    The Times of Israel, citing the Israeli military, reports that the army has taken control of al-Shifa Hospital and detained 80 people since the most recent attack began.

    “The crimes of the [Israeli] occupation will not create any image of victory for Netanyahu and his Nazi army,” Hamas said, as cited by Al Jazeera. “The crimes of the occupation express confusion and loss of hope of achieving a military achievement.”

    In a joint statement, Palestinian factions said targeting hospitals “is a continuation of the war of extermination waged by the occupation against the Palestinian people and a flagrant violation of all international conventions and laws,” reported Al Jazeera.

    Gaza’s Health Ministry has described the assault as a “massacre against the sick, the wounded, the displaced,” and has called on all international institutions to immediately stop the invasion.

    “What the occupation forces are doing is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law,” the Ministry continued. “The Israeli occupation is still using its fabricated narratives to deceive the world and justify the storming of the al-Shifa Medical Complex.”

    ‘Babies don’t even have the energy to cry’

    Meanwhile, Palestinians in the besieged enclave are still being starved by Israel’s ongoing blockade, especially those living in the north, where Israeli forces have repeatedly blocked the entry of aid.

    In a new report, UK charity Oxfam has accused Israel of “actively hindering” aid operations in Gaza, defying orders by the International Court of Justice to prevent genocide in the besieged Palestinian enclave.

    Oxfam outlined seven ways Israel prevents the delivery of aid, including by only opening two crossings into Gaza, imposing a dysfunctional inspection system that keeps supplies help up, and cracking down on humanitarian missions.

    “The ICJ order should have shocked Israeli leaders to change course, but since then, conditions in Gaza have actually worsened,” said Sally Abi Khalil, Oxfam’s Middle East and North Africa Director.

    One in three babies under the age of two in northern Gaza is suffering from acute malnutrition, according to UNICEF.

    Catherine Russell, the executive director of the UN’s children’s agency, says acute malnutrition is when “the body starts to consume itself as it has nothing else, and it’s a painful, painful death for children. I have been in wards where babies are suffering from malnutrition. The whole ward is absolutely quiet because the babies don’t even have the energy to cry.”

    “If we can get therapeutic feeding to them, they can survive, but often, they are stunted for life, and stunted means your cognitive ability is impacted as well, so it is a lifelong challenge for these children — if they survive,” she continued in an interview with CBS News.

    While some aid is being airdropped or delivered by sea, experts, NGOs, and residents say it is nowhere near enough to meet the needs of millions of Palestinians. Russell says that the aid coming in through airdrops and a maritime route is “a drop in a bucket in both cases.”

    “We have so little access right now and it’s very challenging. We are also facing very great bureaucratic challenges moving trucks in by land, which is by far the most efficient and effective way to get aid in,” she added.

    “If things are dual use, sometimes they get rejected. So, we can’t get plastic pipes in, we can’t get some medical kits in if they have little scissors. It’s almost Kafkaesque, sometimes trying to figure out how to get things into this bureaucratic mess.”

    Similarly, displaced Palestinian Zahr Saqr, told Al Jazeera, “The situation is so bad that no one can imagine it, and the ship, even if it helps, will be a drop in the ocean, because the entire region is in need of aid, and people are competing to take aid from the shore.”

    Airdrops have caused chaos and killed several people by falling pallets when parachutes failed to open.

    “We keep waiting for aid. This is not a solution, whether by ship or by plane. We saw planes dropping aid and people fighting over it. There are some children who drowned in the sea for aid,” Wael Miqdad, a Khan Younis resident, said.

    The UN warns that nearly 600,000 people are on the brink of famine.

    “The living situation is very bad. We cannot eat, or drink, and aid is very scarce. They told us there is aid in the south, but it is very scarce,” Iman Wadi, another displaced Palestinian, told Al Jazeera.

    “Israeli authorities are not only failing to facilitate the international aid effort but are actively hindering it. We believe that Israel is failing to take all measures within its power to prevent genocide,” Abi Khalil continued.

    Israel has created “the perfect storm for humanitarian collapse and only the state of Israel can fix it,” she added.

    Over a million Gazans face “imminent famine” as aid reaches Jabalia

    On Sunday evening, Al Jazeera cameras captured a convoy of 19 aid trucks entering the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza. The trucks were carrying flour, rice, and other foodstuffs on their way to a UNRWA distribution center.

    The delivery marks the first convoys to travel from the south to the north of the Gaza Strip without incident in four months.

    The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), the body responsible for assessing and monitoring famine, said that about half of Gaza is facing “imminent” famine.

    “Between mid-March and mid-July, in the most likely scenario and under the assumption of an escalation of the conflict including a ground offensive in Rafah, half of the population of the Gaza Strip (1.11 million people) is expected to face catastrophic conditions (IPC Phase 5), the most severe level in the IPC Acute Food Insecurity scale,” the IPC said in a statement. “This is an increase of 530,000 people (92 percent) compared to the previous analysis.”

    The IPC also said that the rest of Gaza will likely face “a risk of famine” in July 2024 in the event of a “worst-case scenario.”

    “The southern governorates of Deir al-Balah and Khan Younis, and the Governorate of Rafah, are classified in IPC Phase 4 (Emergency),” the IPC said.

    Long way to go until Israeli military goals are achieved

    The Netanyahu administration shows no intention of ending its war on Gaza anytime soon, despite a growing choir of voices, including Israeli allies, calling for the end of the ongoing assault.

    Israeli military Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi said in a press statement that much has been achieved during a “multi-front and complex war,” but that it will take time to achieve more, according to Al Jazeera.

    “We still have a long way to go until the war goals are achieved,” he said.

    Halevi also said the army continues to plan operations in “areas where we have not yet operated,” in reference to Rafah in southern Gaza, where more than 1.5 million Palestinians are sheltering.

    “The military is preparing for offenses in the additional areas and together with the political echelon we will decide on the timing and the appropriate conditions,” he said.

    “We are determined to act wherever Hamas is building its strength. It is wrong to leave Hamas brigades and Hamas battalions functioning.”

    However, former military commander Yitzhak Brick says Israel has already lost its war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

    “You can’t lie to many people for a long time,” Yitzhak Brick said in an article in Israel’s Maariv newspaper, as reported by Al Jazeera. “What is happening in the Gaza Strip and against Hezbollah in Lebanon will blow up in our faces sooner or later.”

    Brick said the Israeli home front “is not prepared for a regional war, which will be thousands of times more difficult and serious than the war in the Gaza Strip.”

    Biden fears upcoming elections

    U.S. President Joe Biden’s endless support for Israel’s genocide in Gaza has jeopardized his chances of winning elections in 2024, reportedly sending him into a frenzy.

    Biden began to shout and swear after learning that his poll numbers in the battleground states of Michigan and Georgia had dropped over his handling of the Gaza war, according to NBC News.

    The report cited a lawmaker familiar with the private meeting in January at the White House, where the scene played out.

    He believed he had been doing what was right despite the political fallout, Biden told the group, according to the lawmaker.

    When asked about the episode, White House spokesman Andrew Bates said: “President Biden makes national security decisions based on the country’s national security needs alone — no other factor.”

    In a post on X, Amnesty International reminded President Biden that Israel used U.S.-made munitions to kill more than 30,000 people in Gaza and called on the President to demand a ceasefire and stop the transfers of arms to Israel.

    On Sunday, during a shamrock ceremony at the White House, the U.S. President said he agreed with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on the need for a truce deal in Gaza, still offering no plans to put material pressure on Israel.

    “The Taoiseach [Irish leader] and I agree about the urgent need to increase humanitarian aid in Gaza and reach a ceasefire deal that brings hostages home and moves toward a two-state solution, which is the only path for lasting peace and security,” Biden said, according to CNN.

    Varadkar says the Irish have such empathy for the Palestinian people because: “We see our history in their eyes, a story of displacement, of dispossession, a national identity questioned and denied, forced emigration, discrimination, and now hunger,” he said.

    The Irish leader, who has previously criticized U.S. arms transfers to Israel, said he “was not shocked” that Washington has decided to continue arming Israel.


    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-164-israeli-army-storms-al-shifa-again-aid-reaches-jabalia/
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 164: Israeli army storms al-Shifa again, aid reaches Jabalia for first time in months Leila WarahMarch 19, 2024 Palestinians gather in front of UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) building to receive flour in Jabalia, Gaza City, March 17, 2024. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images) Palestinians gather in front of UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) building to receive flour in Jabalia, Gaza City, March 17, 2024. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images) Casualties 31,726 + killed* and at least 73,792 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 435+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.** Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147. 591 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.*** *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number closer to 40,000 when accounting for those presumed dead. ** The death toll in the West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to the PA’s Ministry of Health on March 17, this is the latest figure. *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” Key Developments Gaza Health Ministry: Israeli military storms al-Shifa Hospital for the fourth time, killing and wounding a number of people. 30,000 people in al-Shifa Hospital ordered to evacuate to Khan Younis. Palestinian Prisoners Society: Thirteenth Palestinian prisoner dies in Israeli custody since October 7. UK charity Oxfam accuses Israel of “actively hindering” aid operations in Gaza. PRCS provides mental support groups for traumatized Palestinian children, medics. IPC: 1.1 million people, about half of Gaza, face “imminent” famine. Nineteen aid trucks arrive in Jabalia without being blocked or fired on by Israeli forces in months. UNICEF chief Catherine Russell: Airdrops and maritime deliveries are “a drop in a bucket” compared to the scale of humanitarian need. UNICEF: one in three babies under the age of two in northern Gaza suffers from acute malnutrition. Gaza Health Ministry: Israeli attacks killed 81 Palestinians and wounded 116 in Gaza during the last 24 hours. Biden reportedly shouts and swears upon learning Michigan and Georgia poll numbers dropped over handling of Gaza war, according to NBC News. Israeli army storms al-Shifa’ hospital…again In the early hours of Monday morning, Israeli forces stormed al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza with tanks and heavy gunfire. There have already been a “number of martyrs and wounded” in the ongoing Israeli onslaught, which began around 2:00 a.m. Gaza’s Ministry of Health said about 30,000 people, including displaced civilians, wounded patients, and medical staff, are trapped inside the complex. Sniper bullets and quadcopters target anyone who tries to move. A fire also broke out at the entrance to the hospital, and cases of suffocation occurred among the displaced women and children inside. Less than two hours after the attack began, the Israeli military announced that it was conducting a “precise operation” in the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, claiming that Hamas was using the medical facility to “conduct and promote terrorist activity.” “We know that senior Hamas terrorists have regrouped inside the [al-Shifa] Hospital and are using it to command attacks against Israel,” Israeli military spokesperson Daniel Hagari said in a video posted on X. The Israeli military used similar unverified claims to justify three prior attacks on the medical complex, killing dozens of Palestinians. Hagari added in his English video statement that the Israeli military would be conducting a “humanitarian effort” during the planned assault, providing food and water. At the same time, he emphasized that there is “no obligation” for patients and medical staff to evacuate the hospital. However, in Arabic, Israeli military’s spokesman Avichay Adraee called on Palestinians to evacuate the hospital and its surrounding area on X: “In order to maintain your security, you must immediately evacuate the area to the west and then cross Al-Rashid (Al-Bahr) Street to the south to the humanitarian area in Al-Mawasi.” Al-Mawasi, a “humanitarian zone” in western Khan Younis, is a severely overcrowded strip of land in the west of the Gaza Strip, serving as one of Gaza’s few designated safe areas despite being subjected to Israeli fire. According to Gaza-based Al Jazeera correspondent Hani Mahmoud, “leaflets dropped by the Israeli military told people inside al-Shifa Hospital, its vicinity and the entire residential blocks surrounding the medical complex to evacuate immediately.” “People are caught up between whether to leave and trust the statement or stay where they are. We are talking about thousands of Palestinians who have been sheltering inside the complex since the start of the war,” Mahmoud continued. “In early December, the Israeli military made a list of allegations and stormed al-Shifa Hospital, destroyed the vast majority of its property, and severely damaged major buildings and medical equipment inside the hospital. About 250 people were arrested from inside the hospital,” Mahmoud said. The Times of Israel, citing the Israeli military, reports that the army has taken control of al-Shifa Hospital and detained 80 people since the most recent attack began. “The crimes of the [Israeli] occupation will not create any image of victory for Netanyahu and his Nazi army,” Hamas said, as cited by Al Jazeera. “The crimes of the occupation express confusion and loss of hope of achieving a military achievement.” In a joint statement, Palestinian factions said targeting hospitals “is a continuation of the war of extermination waged by the occupation against the Palestinian people and a flagrant violation of all international conventions and laws,” reported Al Jazeera. Gaza’s Health Ministry has described the assault as a “massacre against the sick, the wounded, the displaced,” and has called on all international institutions to immediately stop the invasion. “What the occupation forces are doing is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law,” the Ministry continued. “The Israeli occupation is still using its fabricated narratives to deceive the world and justify the storming of the al-Shifa Medical Complex.” ‘Babies don’t even have the energy to cry’ Meanwhile, Palestinians in the besieged enclave are still being starved by Israel’s ongoing blockade, especially those living in the north, where Israeli forces have repeatedly blocked the entry of aid. In a new report, UK charity Oxfam has accused Israel of “actively hindering” aid operations in Gaza, defying orders by the International Court of Justice to prevent genocide in the besieged Palestinian enclave. Oxfam outlined seven ways Israel prevents the delivery of aid, including by only opening two crossings into Gaza, imposing a dysfunctional inspection system that keeps supplies help up, and cracking down on humanitarian missions. “The ICJ order should have shocked Israeli leaders to change course, but since then, conditions in Gaza have actually worsened,” said Sally Abi Khalil, Oxfam’s Middle East and North Africa Director. One in three babies under the age of two in northern Gaza is suffering from acute malnutrition, according to UNICEF. Catherine Russell, the executive director of the UN’s children’s agency, says acute malnutrition is when “the body starts to consume itself as it has nothing else, and it’s a painful, painful death for children. I have been in wards where babies are suffering from malnutrition. The whole ward is absolutely quiet because the babies don’t even have the energy to cry.” “If we can get therapeutic feeding to them, they can survive, but often, they are stunted for life, and stunted means your cognitive ability is impacted as well, so it is a lifelong challenge for these children — if they survive,” she continued in an interview with CBS News. While some aid is being airdropped or delivered by sea, experts, NGOs, and residents say it is nowhere near enough to meet the needs of millions of Palestinians. Russell says that the aid coming in through airdrops and a maritime route is “a drop in a bucket in both cases.” “We have so little access right now and it’s very challenging. We are also facing very great bureaucratic challenges moving trucks in by land, which is by far the most efficient and effective way to get aid in,” she added. “If things are dual use, sometimes they get rejected. So, we can’t get plastic pipes in, we can’t get some medical kits in if they have little scissors. It’s almost Kafkaesque, sometimes trying to figure out how to get things into this bureaucratic mess.” Similarly, displaced Palestinian Zahr Saqr, told Al Jazeera, “The situation is so bad that no one can imagine it, and the ship, even if it helps, will be a drop in the ocean, because the entire region is in need of aid, and people are competing to take aid from the shore.” Airdrops have caused chaos and killed several people by falling pallets when parachutes failed to open. “We keep waiting for aid. This is not a solution, whether by ship or by plane. We saw planes dropping aid and people fighting over it. There are some children who drowned in the sea for aid,” Wael Miqdad, a Khan Younis resident, said. The UN warns that nearly 600,000 people are on the brink of famine. “The living situation is very bad. We cannot eat, or drink, and aid is very scarce. They told us there is aid in the south, but it is very scarce,” Iman Wadi, another displaced Palestinian, told Al Jazeera. “Israeli authorities are not only failing to facilitate the international aid effort but are actively hindering it. We believe that Israel is failing to take all measures within its power to prevent genocide,” Abi Khalil continued. Israel has created “the perfect storm for humanitarian collapse and only the state of Israel can fix it,” she added. Over a million Gazans face “imminent famine” as aid reaches Jabalia On Sunday evening, Al Jazeera cameras captured a convoy of 19 aid trucks entering the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza. The trucks were carrying flour, rice, and other foodstuffs on their way to a UNRWA distribution center. The delivery marks the first convoys to travel from the south to the north of the Gaza Strip without incident in four months. The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), the body responsible for assessing and monitoring famine, said that about half of Gaza is facing “imminent” famine. “Between mid-March and mid-July, in the most likely scenario and under the assumption of an escalation of the conflict including a ground offensive in Rafah, half of the population of the Gaza Strip (1.11 million people) is expected to face catastrophic conditions (IPC Phase 5), the most severe level in the IPC Acute Food Insecurity scale,” the IPC said in a statement. “This is an increase of 530,000 people (92 percent) compared to the previous analysis.” The IPC also said that the rest of Gaza will likely face “a risk of famine” in July 2024 in the event of a “worst-case scenario.” “The southern governorates of Deir al-Balah and Khan Younis, and the Governorate of Rafah, are classified in IPC Phase 4 (Emergency),” the IPC said. Long way to go until Israeli military goals are achieved The Netanyahu administration shows no intention of ending its war on Gaza anytime soon, despite a growing choir of voices, including Israeli allies, calling for the end of the ongoing assault. Israeli military Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi said in a press statement that much has been achieved during a “multi-front and complex war,” but that it will take time to achieve more, according to Al Jazeera. “We still have a long way to go until the war goals are achieved,” he said. Halevi also said the army continues to plan operations in “areas where we have not yet operated,” in reference to Rafah in southern Gaza, where more than 1.5 million Palestinians are sheltering. “The military is preparing for offenses in the additional areas and together with the political echelon we will decide on the timing and the appropriate conditions,” he said. “We are determined to act wherever Hamas is building its strength. It is wrong to leave Hamas brigades and Hamas battalions functioning.” However, former military commander Yitzhak Brick says Israel has already lost its war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. “You can’t lie to many people for a long time,” Yitzhak Brick said in an article in Israel’s Maariv newspaper, as reported by Al Jazeera. “What is happening in the Gaza Strip and against Hezbollah in Lebanon will blow up in our faces sooner or later.” Brick said the Israeli home front “is not prepared for a regional war, which will be thousands of times more difficult and serious than the war in the Gaza Strip.” Biden fears upcoming elections U.S. President Joe Biden’s endless support for Israel’s genocide in Gaza has jeopardized his chances of winning elections in 2024, reportedly sending him into a frenzy. Biden began to shout and swear after learning that his poll numbers in the battleground states of Michigan and Georgia had dropped over his handling of the Gaza war, according to NBC News. The report cited a lawmaker familiar with the private meeting in January at the White House, where the scene played out. He believed he had been doing what was right despite the political fallout, Biden told the group, according to the lawmaker. When asked about the episode, White House spokesman Andrew Bates said: “President Biden makes national security decisions based on the country’s national security needs alone — no other factor.” In a post on X, Amnesty International reminded President Biden that Israel used U.S.-made munitions to kill more than 30,000 people in Gaza and called on the President to demand a ceasefire and stop the transfers of arms to Israel. On Sunday, during a shamrock ceremony at the White House, the U.S. President said he agreed with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on the need for a truce deal in Gaza, still offering no plans to put material pressure on Israel. “The Taoiseach [Irish leader] and I agree about the urgent need to increase humanitarian aid in Gaza and reach a ceasefire deal that brings hostages home and moves toward a two-state solution, which is the only path for lasting peace and security,” Biden said, according to CNN. Varadkar says the Irish have such empathy for the Palestinian people because: “We see our history in their eyes, a story of displacement, of dispossession, a national identity questioned and denied, forced emigration, discrimination, and now hunger,” he said. The Irish leader, who has previously criticized U.S. arms transfers to Israel, said he “was not shocked” that Washington has decided to continue arming Israel. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-164-israeli-army-storms-al-shifa-again-aid-reaches-jabalia/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 164: Israeli army storms al-Shifa again, aid reaches Jabalia for first time in months
    Over a million people in Gaza face “imminent” famine as UNRWA aid trucks arrive in northern Gaza for the first time in months. Meanwhile, the Israeli army’s Chief of Staff says “a long way to go” until Israel’s military objectives are achieved.
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  • Why Are Arab Regimes So Impotent in the Face of Zionist Barbarism?
    Kevin Barrett, Senior EditorMarch 9, 2024
    VT Condemns the ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINIANS by USA/Israel

    $ 280 BILLION US TAXPAYER DOLLARS INVESTED since 1948 in US/Israeli Ethnic Cleansing and Occupation Operation; $ 150B direct "aid" and $ 130B in "Offense" contracts
    Source: Embassy of Israel, Washington, D.C. and US Department of State.

    By Kevin Barrett, for Crescent international

    As I write this in late February 2024 CE (mid-Sha‘ban 1445 Hijri) the official number of Palestinians murdered by zionist aggression in the al-Aqsa Storm war has risen to nearly 30,000. The real number is considerably higher, since many victims are still buried beneath layers of rubble. Nearly 70,000 have been injured. Most of those killed and maimed have been women and children.

    The martyrs dispatched quickly to paradise are luckier than the survivors, who are forced to endure almost unimaginable horrors. The zionists have blockaded food in a deliberate attempt to slowly starve Gazans to death. Social media videos abound showing crying mothers unable to find so much as a crumb for their famished children. Surviving families, many of whom have lost loved ones, lack housing, heat, and warm clothing in the midst of the cold, rainy winter.

    The demonic zionists have deliberately bombed water, sewage, electrical, fuel, and health care infrastructure. They have destroyed the majority of Gaza’s housing, in an effort to mass-murder Gazans and expel the survivors. The destruction of Palestinian homes and life support has forced 1.4 million people to take shelter in Rafah on the Egyptian border. Now the zionists are intensifying their bombing of Rafah in the latest episode of their “final solution to the Palestinian problem.”

    On January 26, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) agreed with South Africa’s contention that there is probable cause to believe that Israel is committing genocide (see also here). Any nation on earth could invoke the made-in-USA “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) doctrine and use military force in an effort to stop the #GazaHolocaust. The very first nations that might be expected to act are those that share Palestine’s Arabic language and culture. And yet only two relatively small and weak Arab nations have tried: Lebanon and Yemen. The larger, richer, and more powerful states, beginning with Saudi Arabia and Egypt, have been missing in action.

    What explains this bizarre situation, in which the weak show courage while the strong reek of abject cowardice? Let’s begin with the cowardice. Egypt has basically been a zionist colony ever since the traitor Anwar Sadat “abnormalized” with Israel in 1979. Since then, the Egyptian military has been awash in American funding, with nearly $100 billion in bribes convincing junta leaders to continue betraying their Palestinian brothers and sisters.

    Today, Egyptian dictator Abdel Fattah el-Sisi finds himself in a tight spot, as Israel pushes him to endorse genocide and open the border to Palestinian refugees, which would enable the complete erasure of the people of Gaza. To his credit, el-Sisi has thus far refused, saying that any expulsion of Palestinians to Egypt would cause Cairo to break off relations and return to an anti-Israel war footing. But ominously, Egypt is building a gigantic human cattle pen on the Gaza border, “just in case” or so el-Sisi says.

    Saudi Arabia, historically a source of both lip service and a degree of real support for Palestine, has gradually followed Egypt’s path of abject surrender. The current de facto ruler, Mohammad Bin Salman, implicitly endorsed zionist claims to al-Quds (Jerusalem) by acquiescing to Donald Trump’s “Abraham Accords” fiasco, setting the stage for the current catastrophe. Today, the Saudis are trying to make amends for that mistake by insisting on “no normalization without a Palestinian state with pre-1967 borders” and strengthening the Kingdom’s peace deal with Yemen’s Ansarullah movement, even in the face of US pressure to join Washington’s anti-Yemen “Operation Prosperity Guardian,” better known as “Operation Genocide Guardian.”

    It is ironic that Saudi Arabia is tacitly (though not actively) supporting Ansarullah’s blockade of Israeli-bound shipping. After all, it was the Saudis themselves who originally dragged the US into their war on Ansarullah in 2015. Now the tables are turned, and the Americans are trying to drag the Saudis into an anti-Yemen war, so far without success.

    Saudi Arabia has a nearly two-trillion-dollar adjusted GDP, while Yemen’s is a mere $0.2 trillion. By that measure, Yemen’s economy is one-hundredth the size of the Saudi economy. But despite its apparent weakness, Yemen was not only able to defeat the Saudis and their western backers in a nine-year war, but is now taking military action to try to stop the genocide of Gaza.

    Lebanon, too, boasts a mere $0.2 trillion GDP, one percent of Saudi Arabia’s and one-twentieth the size of Egypt’s. But like Yemen, Lebanon has distinguished itself by taking military action in support of Palestine. Throughout Israel’s genocide of Gaza, the Lebanese resistance group Hizbullah, the de facto main branch of the Lebanese military, has been pounding the zionists nonstop, puncturing Israel’s “Iron dome,” forcing 200,000 zionist settlers to flee the northern strip of Occupied Palestine, and diverting Israel’s forces from the Gaza genocide campaign.

    So why are mice like Yemen and Lebanon roaring, while lions like Saudi Arabia and Egypt whimper? There are two categorically different kinds of answers: political (dunyawi) and theological-spiritual (rouhani).

    Politically, most leaders feel constrained by circumstance; their choices are dictated by the limits of the possible. Caught between a proverbial rock (zionist power) and a hard place (their own people’s support for Palestine) they try to walk a fine line, careful not to anger the zionists too much lest they become targets, while offering sufficient lip service to the Palestinian cause to at least minimally placate their subjects.

    That balancing act has become more difficult since October 7. Any Arab leader who takes active steps to support Palestine will be painting a target on his back—and the stronger the steps, the bigger the target. Yet any Arab leader who is seen as complicit in the genocide risks being overthrown by his own people.

    The leaders of Hizbullah and Ansarullah already have zio-American targets painted on their backs. They have less to lose, are principled rather than merely pragmatic, and therefore are free to seek Allah’s good pleasure doing the right thing: actively resisting the zionist genocide of Gaza. Whereas leaders like Bin Salman and el-Sisi, presiding over states whose economies and militaries are intertwined with American and hence zionist money and power, would have to take huge risks in order to return their countries to forthrightly anti-zionist positions. And even if they did, and survived, there is no guarantee that, given the current balance of power, they would have much of a chance of succeeding in saving Gazans, much less fully defeating the zionist genocidaires.

    So, from a worldly political viewpoint, the situation is bleak. Arab leaders are simply acting within constraints imposed by the power of circumstance.

    But how did they, and their regimes, arrive in such circumstances? By way of a long process of cultural decline. Whole peoples, led by their elites, have repeatedly chosen expediency over ethics, laziness over diligence, egotism over islam (submission of the self to God).

    According to well-known ahadith, one of the signs of Yawm al-Qiyyama is that “the lowest and the worst man in the nation will become its leader.” The world may not quite have reached that point yet, but it isn’t far off. Today, leaders who represent the best of their nation, like those of Hizbullah and Ansarullah, are the exceptions. Most leaders are neither pious nor courageous nor brilliant. When an uncommonly good leader arises, like Imran Khan in Pakistan, he risks being assassinated or imprisoned.

    So, the deeper reason the Arab nation is so helpless today is that it, like much of the rest of the world, has declined in spiritual quality, allowing itself to be divided and conquered by the forces of evil. The mediocre-at-best leaders that predominate in today’s Arab lands, like the shattered and corrupted societies they preside over, are simply not a match for demonic energy of the zionist shayateen.

    But the seeds of better leadership, planted in places like Yemen and Lebanon and Iran and (insha’Allah) Pakistan, are beginning to sprout. As the secular-materialist west declines, and Zio-American power with it, the circumstances constraining Arab leadership will change, and the possibility of good leadership reviving united Arab and Islamic lands (rather like Putin’s leadership reviving Russia) will become manifest.

    Whatever worldly conquests the zionist dajjal acquires will be only temporary, and will bring the Occupation demons no real happiness nor any respite from their self-inflicted torment of hatred, greed, and cruelty. In the end, it will be seen that they were only digging their own graves—all the way to hell. For as the Qur’an tells us, “They plot and Allah plans; and Allah is the best of planners.” (Surat al-Anfal, 30).



    Dr. Kevin Barrett, a Ph.D. Arabist-Islamologist is one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror.

    He is the host of TRUTH JIHAD RADIO; a hard-driving weekly radio show funded by listener subscriptions at Substack and the weekly news roundup FALSE FLAG WEEKLY NEWS (FFWN).

    He also has appeared many times on Fox, CNN, PBS, and other broadcast outlets, and has inspired feature stories and op-eds in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Tribune, and other leading publications.

    Dr. Barrett has taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin; where he ran for Congress in 2008. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, author, and talk radio host.

    Archived Articles (2004-2016)

    www.truthjihad.com

    ATTENTION READERS

    We See The World From All Sides and Want YOU To Be Fully Informed
    In fact, intentional disinformation is a disgraceful scourge in media today. So to assuage any possible errant incorrect information posted herein, we strongly encourage you to seek corroboration from other non-VT sources before forming an educated opinion.

    About VT - Policies & Disclosures - Comment Policy
    Due to the nature of uncensored content posted by VT's fully independent international writers, VT cannot guarantee absolute validity. All content is owned by the author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images are the full responsibility of the article author and NOT VT.

    https://www.vtforeignpolicy.com/2024/03/why-are-arab-regimes-so-impotent-in-the-face-of-zionist-barbarism/


    https://telegra.ph/Why-Are-Arab-Regimes-So-Impotent-in-the-Face-of-Zionist-Barbarism-03-09
    Why Are Arab Regimes So Impotent in the Face of Zionist Barbarism? Kevin Barrett, Senior EditorMarch 9, 2024 VT Condemns the ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINIANS by USA/Israel $ 280 BILLION US TAXPAYER DOLLARS INVESTED since 1948 in US/Israeli Ethnic Cleansing and Occupation Operation; $ 150B direct "aid" and $ 130B in "Offense" contracts Source: Embassy of Israel, Washington, D.C. and US Department of State. By Kevin Barrett, for Crescent international As I write this in late February 2024 CE (mid-Sha‘ban 1445 Hijri) the official number of Palestinians murdered by zionist aggression in the al-Aqsa Storm war has risen to nearly 30,000. The real number is considerably higher, since many victims are still buried beneath layers of rubble. Nearly 70,000 have been injured. Most of those killed and maimed have been women and children. The martyrs dispatched quickly to paradise are luckier than the survivors, who are forced to endure almost unimaginable horrors. The zionists have blockaded food in a deliberate attempt to slowly starve Gazans to death. Social media videos abound showing crying mothers unable to find so much as a crumb for their famished children. Surviving families, many of whom have lost loved ones, lack housing, heat, and warm clothing in the midst of the cold, rainy winter. The demonic zionists have deliberately bombed water, sewage, electrical, fuel, and health care infrastructure. They have destroyed the majority of Gaza’s housing, in an effort to mass-murder Gazans and expel the survivors. The destruction of Palestinian homes and life support has forced 1.4 million people to take shelter in Rafah on the Egyptian border. Now the zionists are intensifying their bombing of Rafah in the latest episode of their “final solution to the Palestinian problem.” On January 26, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) agreed with South Africa’s contention that there is probable cause to believe that Israel is committing genocide (see also here). Any nation on earth could invoke the made-in-USA “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) doctrine and use military force in an effort to stop the #GazaHolocaust. The very first nations that might be expected to act are those that share Palestine’s Arabic language and culture. And yet only two relatively small and weak Arab nations have tried: Lebanon and Yemen. The larger, richer, and more powerful states, beginning with Saudi Arabia and Egypt, have been missing in action. What explains this bizarre situation, in which the weak show courage while the strong reek of abject cowardice? Let’s begin with the cowardice. Egypt has basically been a zionist colony ever since the traitor Anwar Sadat “abnormalized” with Israel in 1979. Since then, the Egyptian military has been awash in American funding, with nearly $100 billion in bribes convincing junta leaders to continue betraying their Palestinian brothers and sisters. Today, Egyptian dictator Abdel Fattah el-Sisi finds himself in a tight spot, as Israel pushes him to endorse genocide and open the border to Palestinian refugees, which would enable the complete erasure of the people of Gaza. To his credit, el-Sisi has thus far refused, saying that any expulsion of Palestinians to Egypt would cause Cairo to break off relations and return to an anti-Israel war footing. But ominously, Egypt is building a gigantic human cattle pen on the Gaza border, “just in case” or so el-Sisi says. Saudi Arabia, historically a source of both lip service and a degree of real support for Palestine, has gradually followed Egypt’s path of abject surrender. The current de facto ruler, Mohammad Bin Salman, implicitly endorsed zionist claims to al-Quds (Jerusalem) by acquiescing to Donald Trump’s “Abraham Accords” fiasco, setting the stage for the current catastrophe. Today, the Saudis are trying to make amends for that mistake by insisting on “no normalization without a Palestinian state with pre-1967 borders” and strengthening the Kingdom’s peace deal with Yemen’s Ansarullah movement, even in the face of US pressure to join Washington’s anti-Yemen “Operation Prosperity Guardian,” better known as “Operation Genocide Guardian.” It is ironic that Saudi Arabia is tacitly (though not actively) supporting Ansarullah’s blockade of Israeli-bound shipping. After all, it was the Saudis themselves who originally dragged the US into their war on Ansarullah in 2015. Now the tables are turned, and the Americans are trying to drag the Saudis into an anti-Yemen war, so far without success. Saudi Arabia has a nearly two-trillion-dollar adjusted GDP, while Yemen’s is a mere $0.2 trillion. By that measure, Yemen’s economy is one-hundredth the size of the Saudi economy. But despite its apparent weakness, Yemen was not only able to defeat the Saudis and their western backers in a nine-year war, but is now taking military action to try to stop the genocide of Gaza. Lebanon, too, boasts a mere $0.2 trillion GDP, one percent of Saudi Arabia’s and one-twentieth the size of Egypt’s. But like Yemen, Lebanon has distinguished itself by taking military action in support of Palestine. Throughout Israel’s genocide of Gaza, the Lebanese resistance group Hizbullah, the de facto main branch of the Lebanese military, has been pounding the zionists nonstop, puncturing Israel’s “Iron dome,” forcing 200,000 zionist settlers to flee the northern strip of Occupied Palestine, and diverting Israel’s forces from the Gaza genocide campaign. So why are mice like Yemen and Lebanon roaring, while lions like Saudi Arabia and Egypt whimper? There are two categorically different kinds of answers: political (dunyawi) and theological-spiritual (rouhani). Politically, most leaders feel constrained by circumstance; their choices are dictated by the limits of the possible. Caught between a proverbial rock (zionist power) and a hard place (their own people’s support for Palestine) they try to walk a fine line, careful not to anger the zionists too much lest they become targets, while offering sufficient lip service to the Palestinian cause to at least minimally placate their subjects. That balancing act has become more difficult since October 7. Any Arab leader who takes active steps to support Palestine will be painting a target on his back—and the stronger the steps, the bigger the target. Yet any Arab leader who is seen as complicit in the genocide risks being overthrown by his own people. The leaders of Hizbullah and Ansarullah already have zio-American targets painted on their backs. They have less to lose, are principled rather than merely pragmatic, and therefore are free to seek Allah’s good pleasure doing the right thing: actively resisting the zionist genocide of Gaza. Whereas leaders like Bin Salman and el-Sisi, presiding over states whose economies and militaries are intertwined with American and hence zionist money and power, would have to take huge risks in order to return their countries to forthrightly anti-zionist positions. And even if they did, and survived, there is no guarantee that, given the current balance of power, they would have much of a chance of succeeding in saving Gazans, much less fully defeating the zionist genocidaires. So, from a worldly political viewpoint, the situation is bleak. Arab leaders are simply acting within constraints imposed by the power of circumstance. But how did they, and their regimes, arrive in such circumstances? By way of a long process of cultural decline. Whole peoples, led by their elites, have repeatedly chosen expediency over ethics, laziness over diligence, egotism over islam (submission of the self to God). According to well-known ahadith, one of the signs of Yawm al-Qiyyama is that “the lowest and the worst man in the nation will become its leader.” The world may not quite have reached that point yet, but it isn’t far off. Today, leaders who represent the best of their nation, like those of Hizbullah and Ansarullah, are the exceptions. Most leaders are neither pious nor courageous nor brilliant. When an uncommonly good leader arises, like Imran Khan in Pakistan, he risks being assassinated or imprisoned. So, the deeper reason the Arab nation is so helpless today is that it, like much of the rest of the world, has declined in spiritual quality, allowing itself to be divided and conquered by the forces of evil. The mediocre-at-best leaders that predominate in today’s Arab lands, like the shattered and corrupted societies they preside over, are simply not a match for demonic energy of the zionist shayateen. But the seeds of better leadership, planted in places like Yemen and Lebanon and Iran and (insha’Allah) Pakistan, are beginning to sprout. As the secular-materialist west declines, and Zio-American power with it, the circumstances constraining Arab leadership will change, and the possibility of good leadership reviving united Arab and Islamic lands (rather like Putin’s leadership reviving Russia) will become manifest. Whatever worldly conquests the zionist dajjal acquires will be only temporary, and will bring the Occupation demons no real happiness nor any respite from their self-inflicted torment of hatred, greed, and cruelty. In the end, it will be seen that they were only digging their own graves—all the way to hell. For as the Qur’an tells us, “They plot and Allah plans; and Allah is the best of planners.” (Surat al-Anfal, 30). Dr. Kevin Barrett, a Ph.D. Arabist-Islamologist is one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror. He is the host of TRUTH JIHAD RADIO; a hard-driving weekly radio show funded by listener subscriptions at Substack and the weekly news roundup FALSE FLAG WEEKLY NEWS (FFWN). He also has appeared many times on Fox, CNN, PBS, and other broadcast outlets, and has inspired feature stories and op-eds in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Tribune, and other leading publications. Dr. Barrett has taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin; where he ran for Congress in 2008. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, author, and talk radio host. Archived Articles (2004-2016) www.truthjihad.com ATTENTION READERS We See The World From All Sides and Want YOU To Be Fully Informed In fact, intentional disinformation is a disgraceful scourge in media today. So to assuage any possible errant incorrect information posted herein, we strongly encourage you to seek corroboration from other non-VT sources before forming an educated opinion. About VT - Policies & Disclosures - Comment Policy Due to the nature of uncensored content posted by VT's fully independent international writers, VT cannot guarantee absolute validity. All content is owned by the author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images are the full responsibility of the article author and NOT VT. https://www.vtforeignpolicy.com/2024/03/why-are-arab-regimes-so-impotent-in-the-face-of-zionist-barbarism/ https://telegra.ph/Why-Are-Arab-Regimes-So-Impotent-in-the-Face-of-Zionist-Barbarism-03-09
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    Why Are Arab Regimes So Impotent in the Face of Zionist Barbarism?
    So why are mice like Yemen and Lebanon roaring, while lions like Saudi Arabia and Egypt whimper?
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 133: Israel cuts electricity to critical Nasser Hospital patients, forces staff to evacuate
    Anna Lekas MillerFebruary 15, 2024
    Relatives of Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks, mourn as they receive their bodies from the morgue of Al-Aqsa Hospital for burial in Deir El-Balah, Gaza on February 15, 2023. (Photo: Ali Hamad/APA Images)
    Relatives of Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks, mourn as they receive their bodies from the morgue of Al-Aqsa Hospital for burial in Deir El-Balah, Gaza on February 15, 2023. (Photo: Ali Hamad/APA Images)
    Casualties:

    28,775+ Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, including at least 12,000 children, and 68,552+ Palestinians have been injured.
    394+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem
    Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147.
    569 Israeli soldiers have been killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.**
    *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health on Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 36,500 when accounting for those presumed dead.

    ** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.”

    Key Developments:

    A dire situation at the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis is unfolding, as Israel’s raid continues, forcing displaced people and medical staff to evacuate the building.
    World Health Organization (WHO) is trying to access Nasser Hospital to deliver humanitarian aid
    UNWRA: 84 percent of healthcare facilities in Gaza affected by Israeli aggression
    Satellite imagery shows the construction of a wall along the border between Gaza and Egypt, raising suspicion that Palestinians might be forced to evacuate into the Sinai Desert
    Gaza Media Office: 130 journalists killed in Gaza since October 7, 2023
    West Bank: Israeli military raids 15 homes in the town of Silat ad-Dhahr
    At least two dead in “suspected terror” shooting attack in southern Israel
    Lebanon submits a formal complaint to the UN Security Council, following Israel’s attacks in Nabatiyeh
    Russia invites Hamas and other Palestinian factions to Moscow for “inter-Palestinian” talks on Gaza, and other Middle East issues
    Germany approves the deployment of armed forces in an EU mission to thwart Houthi attacks in the Red Sea
    Biden administration meets with Jewish and Muslim community leaders to discuss rising antisemitism and Islamophobia
    Dire situation unfolds at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis

    A dire situation at the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis is unfolding as Israel continues its raid on the largest functioning medical facility remaining in the Gaza Strip.

    “We are forced to transfer all the patients and the wounded to the hospital’s old building,” Dr. Nahed Abu Taima, the Director of the Nasser Medical Complex told Al Jazeera.

    “Electric power was cut off from the entire medical complex,” he continued, describing how the raid is impacting the 450 patients at the hospital, many of whom are in critical condition. “Many patients in ICUs and those on oxygen supply, and also those on dialysis are left fighting for their lives.”

    Meanwhile, most medical staff has been forced to evacuate—including the Medicins Sans Frontiers (MSF) staff, leaving behind patients in critical condition. Israel’s incursion on the Nasser Hospital is part of a string of attacks targeting medical facilities and healthcare workers that have brought Gaza’s healthcare infrastructure to its knees, making it increasingly difficult to treat life-threatening injuries and carry out essential medical procedures.

    “After the bombing yesterday morning, our cadres reported an atmosphere of chaos, with an unknown number of dead and wounded,” Medicins Sans Frontiers wrote in a report on X, after their staff was forced to flee. According to UNRWA, 84 percent of health facilities in Gaza have now been impacted by Israeli aggression, and 70 percent of civilian infrastructure has been destroyed or severely damaged.

    “The Israeli forces set up a checkpoint for people as they left the compound, and one of our colleagues was arrested at the checkpoint,” MSF added.

    While the Israeli Army has claimed that their raid on the Nasser Hospital has lead to the arrest of “dozens of terrorists,” and could reveal hiding places of Israeli hostages, Hamas denies any presence at the hospital, emphasizing that they are not engaging in military activity near public or civilian institutions. There has been no evidence found of Israeli hostages.

    “We have repeatedly said the policy of our Palestinian resistance is and remains to distance public and civilian institutions and the health sector from any military activity.” Hamas said, in a statement.

    “We have asked the United Nations and relevant organizations on several occasions to bring an international committee to examine the hospitals and prove that Israel’s narrative is a lie. But our demands have not been heard.”

    Up until recently, there were around 10,000 displaced Palestinians sheltering in the Nasser Hospital, hoping that it would keep them safe from Israel’s bombardment. However, when the Israeli forces began their incursion a few days ago, people were forced to leave.

    Now, Israeli forces are storming the maternity unit of the besieged hospital—and so far, two women have given birth in these conditions, as dozens evacuate.

    Satellite imagery shows a border wall being constructed between Gaza and Egypt

    Those who are evacuating have almost nowhere left to turn. While Rafah, the southernmost district of the Gaza Strip is now home to more than one million displaced Palestinians, those who are sheltering there are preparing for a ground invasion—which several global leaders, including most recently those in Australia, Canada and New Zealand have all said would be “catastrophic.”

    “With the humanitarian situation in Gaza already dire, the impact on Palestinian civilians from an expanded military operation would be devastating,” Anthony Albanese, Justin Trudeau and Christopher Luxon said, in a joint statement.

    “We urge the Israeli government to go down this path,” it continues, echoing calls from countries like Spain and Ireland who have both recently applied pressure to the European Commission to review whether or not Israel is complying with human rights obligations in Gaza.

    New evidence of a border wall being constructed between Egypt and Gaza suggests that the Israeli army might be preparing to force Palestinians sheltering in Rafah to evacuate to the Sinai Desert, officially pushing them out of Gaza. It is already straining Israel’s relationship with Egypt; Egyptian officials are afraid that a massive exodus of refugees would strain the Egyptian economy in the short term, and that in the long term, Israel would not allow Palestinian refugees to return to Gaza, cementing another Nakba and obfuscating the Palestinian right of return.

    Families of hostages pressure government for a truce, Netanyahu rejects a Palestinian state

    Over in the West Bank, the Israeli military has raided more than fifteen homes in the town of Silat ad-Dhahr, arresting dozens of young men. Now, there have been at least 7,040 Palestinians detained in raids across the West Bank since October 7th, and at least 394 Palestinians killed and 4,400 injured in Israeli army fire.

    Meanwhile in Tel Aviv, families of Israeli captives are increasing pressure on the Israeli government to reach a ceasefire agreement with Hamas, accusing Netanyahu’s government of squandering an opportunity to release the remaining hostages. Dozens have started staging rallies outside of the Israeli Defense Ministry, echoing the international community’s calls for an urgent ceasefire, at least until the hostages have been released.

    However, the Israeli government is trying to avoid any possibility of a Palestinian state—and Netanyahu is quoted as saying that this would be a “huge reward” for Hamas.

    “We will in no way agree to this plan, which says Palestinians deserve a prize for the terrible massacre they carried out against us: a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital,” Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich told Reuters, following the news that the United States is working with Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar on a post-war timeline that would involve establishing a Palestinian state.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/02/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-133-israel-cuts-electricity-to-critical-nasser-hospital-patients-forces-staff-to-evacuate/

    https://donshafi911.blogspot.com/2024/02/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-133-israel.html
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 133: Israel cuts electricity to critical Nasser Hospital patients, forces staff to evacuate Anna Lekas MillerFebruary 15, 2024 Relatives of Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks, mourn as they receive their bodies from the morgue of Al-Aqsa Hospital for burial in Deir El-Balah, Gaza on February 15, 2023. (Photo: Ali Hamad/APA Images) Relatives of Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks, mourn as they receive their bodies from the morgue of Al-Aqsa Hospital for burial in Deir El-Balah, Gaza on February 15, 2023. (Photo: Ali Hamad/APA Images) Casualties: 28,775+ Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, including at least 12,000 children, and 68,552+ Palestinians have been injured. 394+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147. 569 Israeli soldiers have been killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.** *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health on Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 36,500 when accounting for those presumed dead. ** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” Key Developments: A dire situation at the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis is unfolding, as Israel’s raid continues, forcing displaced people and medical staff to evacuate the building. World Health Organization (WHO) is trying to access Nasser Hospital to deliver humanitarian aid UNWRA: 84 percent of healthcare facilities in Gaza affected by Israeli aggression Satellite imagery shows the construction of a wall along the border between Gaza and Egypt, raising suspicion that Palestinians might be forced to evacuate into the Sinai Desert Gaza Media Office: 130 journalists killed in Gaza since October 7, 2023 West Bank: Israeli military raids 15 homes in the town of Silat ad-Dhahr At least two dead in “suspected terror” shooting attack in southern Israel Lebanon submits a formal complaint to the UN Security Council, following Israel’s attacks in Nabatiyeh Russia invites Hamas and other Palestinian factions to Moscow for “inter-Palestinian” talks on Gaza, and other Middle East issues Germany approves the deployment of armed forces in an EU mission to thwart Houthi attacks in the Red Sea Biden administration meets with Jewish and Muslim community leaders to discuss rising antisemitism and Islamophobia Dire situation unfolds at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis A dire situation at the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis is unfolding as Israel continues its raid on the largest functioning medical facility remaining in the Gaza Strip. “We are forced to transfer all the patients and the wounded to the hospital’s old building,” Dr. Nahed Abu Taima, the Director of the Nasser Medical Complex told Al Jazeera. “Electric power was cut off from the entire medical complex,” he continued, describing how the raid is impacting the 450 patients at the hospital, many of whom are in critical condition. “Many patients in ICUs and those on oxygen supply, and also those on dialysis are left fighting for their lives.” Meanwhile, most medical staff has been forced to evacuate—including the Medicins Sans Frontiers (MSF) staff, leaving behind patients in critical condition. Israel’s incursion on the Nasser Hospital is part of a string of attacks targeting medical facilities and healthcare workers that have brought Gaza’s healthcare infrastructure to its knees, making it increasingly difficult to treat life-threatening injuries and carry out essential medical procedures. “After the bombing yesterday morning, our cadres reported an atmosphere of chaos, with an unknown number of dead and wounded,” Medicins Sans Frontiers wrote in a report on X, after their staff was forced to flee. According to UNRWA, 84 percent of health facilities in Gaza have now been impacted by Israeli aggression, and 70 percent of civilian infrastructure has been destroyed or severely damaged. “The Israeli forces set up a checkpoint for people as they left the compound, and one of our colleagues was arrested at the checkpoint,” MSF added. While the Israeli Army has claimed that their raid on the Nasser Hospital has lead to the arrest of “dozens of terrorists,” and could reveal hiding places of Israeli hostages, Hamas denies any presence at the hospital, emphasizing that they are not engaging in military activity near public or civilian institutions. There has been no evidence found of Israeli hostages. “We have repeatedly said the policy of our Palestinian resistance is and remains to distance public and civilian institutions and the health sector from any military activity.” Hamas said, in a statement. “We have asked the United Nations and relevant organizations on several occasions to bring an international committee to examine the hospitals and prove that Israel’s narrative is a lie. But our demands have not been heard.” Up until recently, there were around 10,000 displaced Palestinians sheltering in the Nasser Hospital, hoping that it would keep them safe from Israel’s bombardment. However, when the Israeli forces began their incursion a few days ago, people were forced to leave. Now, Israeli forces are storming the maternity unit of the besieged hospital—and so far, two women have given birth in these conditions, as dozens evacuate. Satellite imagery shows a border wall being constructed between Gaza and Egypt Those who are evacuating have almost nowhere left to turn. While Rafah, the southernmost district of the Gaza Strip is now home to more than one million displaced Palestinians, those who are sheltering there are preparing for a ground invasion—which several global leaders, including most recently those in Australia, Canada and New Zealand have all said would be “catastrophic.” “With the humanitarian situation in Gaza already dire, the impact on Palestinian civilians from an expanded military operation would be devastating,” Anthony Albanese, Justin Trudeau and Christopher Luxon said, in a joint statement. “We urge the Israeli government to go down this path,” it continues, echoing calls from countries like Spain and Ireland who have both recently applied pressure to the European Commission to review whether or not Israel is complying with human rights obligations in Gaza. New evidence of a border wall being constructed between Egypt and Gaza suggests that the Israeli army might be preparing to force Palestinians sheltering in Rafah to evacuate to the Sinai Desert, officially pushing them out of Gaza. It is already straining Israel’s relationship with Egypt; Egyptian officials are afraid that a massive exodus of refugees would strain the Egyptian economy in the short term, and that in the long term, Israel would not allow Palestinian refugees to return to Gaza, cementing another Nakba and obfuscating the Palestinian right of return. Families of hostages pressure government for a truce, Netanyahu rejects a Palestinian state Over in the West Bank, the Israeli military has raided more than fifteen homes in the town of Silat ad-Dhahr, arresting dozens of young men. Now, there have been at least 7,040 Palestinians detained in raids across the West Bank since October 7th, and at least 394 Palestinians killed and 4,400 injured in Israeli army fire. Meanwhile in Tel Aviv, families of Israeli captives are increasing pressure on the Israeli government to reach a ceasefire agreement with Hamas, accusing Netanyahu’s government of squandering an opportunity to release the remaining hostages. Dozens have started staging rallies outside of the Israeli Defense Ministry, echoing the international community’s calls for an urgent ceasefire, at least until the hostages have been released. However, the Israeli government is trying to avoid any possibility of a Palestinian state—and Netanyahu is quoted as saying that this would be a “huge reward” for Hamas. “We will in no way agree to this plan, which says Palestinians deserve a prize for the terrible massacre they carried out against us: a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital,” Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich told Reuters, following the news that the United States is working with Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar on a post-war timeline that would involve establishing a Palestinian state. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/02/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-133-israel-cuts-electricity-to-critical-nasser-hospital-patients-forces-staff-to-evacuate/ https://donshafi911.blogspot.com/2024/02/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-133-israel.html
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 133: Israel cuts electricity to critical Nasser Hospital patients, forces staff to evacuate
    Medicins Sans Frontiers reports “an unknown number of dead and wounded” following Israel’s attack on Nasser Hospital. UNRWA says 84% of Gaza health facilities have been impacted by Israeli attacks, and 70% of civilian infrastructure has been damaged.
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 132: Israel bombards Nasser hospital, reports of Egypt preparing ‘buffer zone’ ahead of Gaza expulsion
    Israel bombarded Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Younis, killing and injuring patients and those sheltering inside. Egyptian human rights group reports construction underway on detention zone ahead of a possible mass expulsion from Gaza into Sinai.

    Leila WarahFebruary 15, 2024
    Tents of displaced Palestinians across sand dunes on the outskirts of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip
    Palestinians who migrated to Rafah city from different parts of Gaza due to Israeli attacks, struggle to live under difficult conditions in makeshift tents they set up around a cemetery in Rafah, Gaza on February 14, 2024. (Saeed Jaras/ APA Images)
    Casualties

    28,576+ Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, including at least 12,000 children, and 68,291+ Palestinians have been injured.
    380+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem
    Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147.
    569 Israeli soldiers have been killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.**
    *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health on Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 36,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.

    ** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.”

    Key Developments

    Israeli forces shell Nasser hospital in Khan Younis, killing at least one person and injuring several others.
    Top US official confirm Israel not allowing flour into Gaza, reports Axios. Millions of Palestinians in Gaza are facing a famine due to Israel’s siege and refusal to allow adequate aid into Gaza.
    Defense for Children International Palestine: 16-year-old Palestinian boy shot by Israeli forces while leaving school is the 100th child to be killed in the West Bank since October 7th.
    PRCS: Intense shelling in vicinity of al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis.
    Canada, Australia, New Zealand say they are ‘gravely concerned’ about Israel’s planned ground operation into Rafah.
    At least ten civilians killed by Israeli strikes in southern Lebanon.
    Rights group: Egypt seems to be speedily constructing a ‘buffer zone’ in the Sinai Peninsula, directly south of the Rafah border crossing, to receive influx of Palestinian refugees from Gaza.
    Preparations reportedly underway for mass expulsion from Gaza into Egyptian Sinai

    Over four months of ruthless Israeli attacks on Gaza have left the besieged enclave, which is home to over 2 million people, decimated. More than half of its population has been crammed into Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah after Israel deemed the area a “safe zone.”

    However, Israel has since announced plans to conduct a ground invasion of the city, which will put hundreds of thousands of families’ lives at risk.

    “We will fight until complete victory and this includes a powerful action also in Rafah after we allow the civilian population to leave the battle zones,” the Israeli prime minister said on X.

    In light of the looming operation, Egypt is allegedly preparing for the Rafah’s population to be expelled.

    The rights group Sinai Foundation for Human Rights (SFUR) has reported that construction is currently underway to create a security zone with Gaza, which would act as a buffer area that could receive Palestinian refugees if they are forced out of the besieged enclave.

    Citing local contractors, SFUR says the aim is to create an area in the Sinai peninsula that is surrounded by seven-meter-high walls in an area that will be paved over the destroyed homes of indigenous groups in the area.

    The report, which Mondowiess has not independently verified, states that the construction will not take more than ten days.

    Since October, Israel has proposed various plans to push Gaza’s Palestinian residents into Egypt, which Cairo has rejected.

    “It [Rafah] sits right at the border with Egypt. It’s seen by the Egyptians as a major breach of their national security, and ultimately it brings the question of where will these 1.3 to 1.4 million people go?” Middle East specialist Hafsa Halawa told Al Jazeera.

    “The rest of Gaza is effectively uninhabitable, there are no services, we’ve heard the talk of famine for months now, and now we’re at a stage where this is really the Israeli government enacting what they promised on the first week after the attacks of October 7, which is to flatten the Strip.”

    People are fleeing Rafah because of Israel’s increased air raids, a threatened Israeli ground invasion, and also because they are struggling to survive in the overcrowded city in southern Gaza, according to the latest update from the U.N. humanitarian agency (OCHA).

    Fabrizio Carboni, the International Committee of the Red Cross’s (ICRC) director for the Middle East, said in a statement: “In view of a military operation in densely populated Rafah, we renew our call on the parties to the conflict, and all who have influence on them, to spare and protect civilian lives and infrastructure,”

    “Under international humanitarian law, parties to the conflict must ensure the basic necessities of life are provided and the necessary safeguards to preserve life are undertaken for the civilian population. It is urgent to do more now. Countless lives are hanging in the balance,” Carboni continued.

    Similarly, the Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention has said that the U.S. “must take immediate steps to prevent further destruction, loss of life, and displacement in Gaza and the West Bank.”

    “None of the Biden Administration’s tactics to deny genocide and avoid accountability will withstand the test of time. President Biden and key administration officials are on a path to be remembered as the principal enablers of one of the worst genocides in the 21st century,” the group said in a statement.

    Rik Peeperkorn, WHO representative for Gaza and the occupied West Bank, says a total Israeli military offensive against Rafah would not only “further expand the humanitarian disaster beyond imagination” but “push the health system closer to the brink of collapse.”


    Israel bombards Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Younis, killing patients and detaining medical staff

    Since October 7, Israel has crippled Gaza’s healthcare system, effectively picking off one medical facility at a time as the army moved its way from the north to the south of Gaza . Recently, the army has had their targets set on the Nasser Medical Complex and the Al-Amal hospital in Khan Younis, which have been under military siege for weeks.

    On Wednesday night, Israeli forces shelled the Nasser Hospital’s orthopedic department, killing at least one person and seriously injuring several others, reported Wafa.

    Israeli troops reportedly stormed the hospital compound and opened fire, forcing doctors, nurses, and displaced Palestinians to evacuate the hospital and head to Rafah, but Israeli forces arrested dozens of people when they attempted to do so.

    Gaza’s Health Ministry also reported the Israeli army demolishing its southern wall before storming the complex.

    Before the attack, the military had ordered all those in the hospital to evacuate, including over 1,500 displaced persons, 190 staff and 299 of their family members, 273 patients who cannot move, and 327 companions, reported Gaza Health Ministry spokesperson Dr. Ashraf al-Qudra.

    “There are still people, alongside medical workers, trapped inside the facility and the medical complex as they continue caring for patients,” said Al Jazeera correspondent Tareq Abu Azzoum before the attack.

    Witnesses have reported Israeli sniper fire killing several people, making it dangerous to comply with the evacuation order, continued Abu Azzoum.

    The Israeli army is claiming, without providing evidence, that the Palestinian hospital in Gaza is being used for operations by Hamas as an excuse to commit more massacres. The military says it has “credible intelligence” that Hamas is holding captives at Nasser Hospital. This is not the first time Israel has made such claims which have been proved to be false after the attacks take place.

    “We operate against Hamas terrorists wherever they are hiding. And, as we proved with the successful rescue missions of our hostages, we are committed to our mission of bringing our hostages home,” said Army spokesperson Daniel Hagar, citing one of two times the army has managed to rescue Israeli captives via military operations in over four months.

    On Wednesday, World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was “alarmed” by reports from Nasser Hospital, which he described as the “backbone of the health system in southern Gaza.”

    He added that the U.N.’s health agency has been denied access to the hospital in recent days and has lost contact with its staff there.

    World Health Organization spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic told Al Jazeera that the U.N. agency has been denied access to Nasser Hospital since January 29 as Israeli forces have placed the facility under siege.

    “We tried several times to go there, but our requests have been denied. We heard reports about some 400 patients still being there, that 10 people have been killed, that a warehouse has been destroyed,” Jasarevic said.

    “Every time we move, we need to get security clearances to make sure we can get safely to places we want to go. And for example, only 40 percent of our requests to go north have been facilitated by Israeli authorities. But even when we are given permission to go, there are often delays at checkpoints,” Jasarevic said.

    Meanwhile, inside the European Hospital in Khan Younis, Dr. Ahmed Mokhalati says that “the whole system has collapsed” and that the situation is “horrible.”

    “We are losing a lot of patients, most of the time because of the lack of equipment and medical staff. The operating theater has very minimal supplies and we’re keeping them for the critical cases,” Mokhalati told Al Jazeera.

    “Anesthesia is very little and we have to do major surgeries without [it], which means the patient can be screaming many times in the middle of surgery.”

    The hospital is crowded with displaced people who lack essential services, including clean water. “The basic hygiene of the patients is very low, which is reflected in the widespread infection of the wounds,” Mokhalati said.

    He said the facility is still operating an intensive care unit, but one doctor must care for all 40 patients. Dozens of patients were rushed in after attacks in Rafah intensified in recent days but did not receive timely medical attention.

    “There was no space; there were people in the corridors waiting to get into the critical room,” the doctor said. “We are losing many patients all the time.”

    The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) has reported paramedics on the job being targeted by Israeli forces as well.

    The group shared a video on X, which clearly showed bullet holes in the front windscreen of the ambulance.

    The PRCS says that the ambulance was shot at and its crew assaulted by Israeli soldiers “while they were attempting to transfer oxygen cylinders from Nasser Hospital to Al-Amal Hospital about a week ago.”

    10 civilians killed in deadliest Israeli attack on Lebanon since October

    Israel conducted the deadliest attack on Lebanon since October 7, killing at least 10 civilians, including four children, reported Al Jazeera.

    Tensions have been high between the Lebanese group Hezbollah and Israel since October 7, as regular fire over their borders has been steadily increasing over the past four months.

    Amal Atwi, whose son was killed in Souaneh, said martyrdom has become a way of life in southern Lebanon. “He’s my only son and I have no one else,” she said, reported AP News.

    “Let Israel take as much as they want, and we have more to give. Let’s see who will get tired first. It will be them, not us.”

    Four Hezbollah fighters were killed in separate attacks, according to the armed group. Senior Hezbollah official and lawmaker Hassan Fadlallah added that Israel will face reprisals after strikes.

    “The enemy will pay the price for these crimes,” Hezbollah politician Hassan Fadlallah told Reuters, saying Hezbollah had a “legitimate right to defend its people.”

    Israel said that Wednesday’s escalation of attacks came in response to Hezbollah rockets fired on Wednesday morning that killed one Israeli soldier and injured eight more.

    “As we have made clear time and time again, Israel is not interested in a war on two fronts. But if provoked, we will respond forcefully,” said Israeli military spokesperson Ilana Stein.

    On Tuesday, Nasrallah said his group would only stop its exchanges of fire with Israel if a full ceasefire was reached in Gaza.

    “On that day, when the shooting stops in Gaza, we will stop the shooting in the south,” he said in a televised address, as cited by Al Jazeera.

    U.S. struggles to get Israel to allow flour into Gaza, Israel doubles down on UNRWA

    Amid Israel’s relentless attacks, Gaza’s population is starving due to Israel’s ongoing siege on the area, restricting the entry of humanitarian aid.

    White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan says the Israeli government has not allowed the aid into Gaza despite promises to the U.S. government,

    “That flour has not moved the way that we had expected it would move, and we expect that Israel will follow through on its commitment to get that flour into Gaza,” said Sullivan, according to Al Jazeera.

    As Israel continues to block vital shipments of humanitarian assistance for Gaza, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz told his German counterpart, Annalena Baerbock, that UNRWA cannot be part of humanitarian assistance in Gaza “under any circumstances.”

    Following Israel’s claims that UNRWA collaborates with Hamas – a claim which Israel has largely been unable to provide evidence of – several nations, including Germany, suspended their funding to the agency.

    “We discussed ways to ensure that the humanitarian aid does not reach the hands of the Hamas murderers – and I told her that UNRWA cannot under any circumstances be part of the aid and that other alternatives must be found. UNRWA is the problem, not the solution,” Katz said on X after the meeting.

    “This is the highest proportion of any population in a food security crisis. Virtually all households are skipping meals each day. Some families go days and nights without eating,” according to a joint statement by various organizations, including Action Against Hunger and Save the Children.

    Currently, the entire population is living with crisis-level hunger, and one in four households, more than 500,000 people, face catastrophic conditions.

    “The risk of famine is increasing each day in Gaza due to the continuation of hostilities, and the continued blockade of the Strip,” the groups said, citing U.N. Security Council Resolution 2417, which condemns the use of starvation of civilians as a method of warfare.

    The statement concluded that an immediate and permanent ceasefire, along with a massive increase in humanitarian assistance, is the only way to avoid famine in the besieged coastal enclave.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/02/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-132-israel-bombards-nasser-hospital-reports-of-egypt-preparing-buffer-zone-ahead-of-gaza-expulsion/

    https://donshafi911.blogspot.com/2024/02/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-132-israel.html
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 132: Israel bombards Nasser hospital, reports of Egypt preparing ‘buffer zone’ ahead of Gaza expulsion Israel bombarded Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Younis, killing and injuring patients and those sheltering inside. Egyptian human rights group reports construction underway on detention zone ahead of a possible mass expulsion from Gaza into Sinai. Leila WarahFebruary 15, 2024 Tents of displaced Palestinians across sand dunes on the outskirts of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip Palestinians who migrated to Rafah city from different parts of Gaza due to Israeli attacks, struggle to live under difficult conditions in makeshift tents they set up around a cemetery in Rafah, Gaza on February 14, 2024. (Saeed Jaras/ APA Images) Casualties 28,576+ Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, including at least 12,000 children, and 68,291+ Palestinians have been injured. 380+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147. 569 Israeli soldiers have been killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.** *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health on Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 36,000 when accounting for those presumed dead. ** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” Key Developments Israeli forces shell Nasser hospital in Khan Younis, killing at least one person and injuring several others. Top US official confirm Israel not allowing flour into Gaza, reports Axios. Millions of Palestinians in Gaza are facing a famine due to Israel’s siege and refusal to allow adequate aid into Gaza. Defense for Children International Palestine: 16-year-old Palestinian boy shot by Israeli forces while leaving school is the 100th child to be killed in the West Bank since October 7th. PRCS: Intense shelling in vicinity of al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis. Canada, Australia, New Zealand say they are ‘gravely concerned’ about Israel’s planned ground operation into Rafah. At least ten civilians killed by Israeli strikes in southern Lebanon. Rights group: Egypt seems to be speedily constructing a ‘buffer zone’ in the Sinai Peninsula, directly south of the Rafah border crossing, to receive influx of Palestinian refugees from Gaza. Preparations reportedly underway for mass expulsion from Gaza into Egyptian Sinai Over four months of ruthless Israeli attacks on Gaza have left the besieged enclave, which is home to over 2 million people, decimated. More than half of its population has been crammed into Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah after Israel deemed the area a “safe zone.” However, Israel has since announced plans to conduct a ground invasion of the city, which will put hundreds of thousands of families’ lives at risk. “We will fight until complete victory and this includes a powerful action also in Rafah after we allow the civilian population to leave the battle zones,” the Israeli prime minister said on X. In light of the looming operation, Egypt is allegedly preparing for the Rafah’s population to be expelled. The rights group Sinai Foundation for Human Rights (SFUR) has reported that construction is currently underway to create a security zone with Gaza, which would act as a buffer area that could receive Palestinian refugees if they are forced out of the besieged enclave. Citing local contractors, SFUR says the aim is to create an area in the Sinai peninsula that is surrounded by seven-meter-high walls in an area that will be paved over the destroyed homes of indigenous groups in the area. The report, which Mondowiess has not independently verified, states that the construction will not take more than ten days. Since October, Israel has proposed various plans to push Gaza’s Palestinian residents into Egypt, which Cairo has rejected. “It [Rafah] sits right at the border with Egypt. It’s seen by the Egyptians as a major breach of their national security, and ultimately it brings the question of where will these 1.3 to 1.4 million people go?” Middle East specialist Hafsa Halawa told Al Jazeera. “The rest of Gaza is effectively uninhabitable, there are no services, we’ve heard the talk of famine for months now, and now we’re at a stage where this is really the Israeli government enacting what they promised on the first week after the attacks of October 7, which is to flatten the Strip.” People are fleeing Rafah because of Israel’s increased air raids, a threatened Israeli ground invasion, and also because they are struggling to survive in the overcrowded city in southern Gaza, according to the latest update from the U.N. humanitarian agency (OCHA). Fabrizio Carboni, the International Committee of the Red Cross’s (ICRC) director for the Middle East, said in a statement: “In view of a military operation in densely populated Rafah, we renew our call on the parties to the conflict, and all who have influence on them, to spare and protect civilian lives and infrastructure,” “Under international humanitarian law, parties to the conflict must ensure the basic necessities of life are provided and the necessary safeguards to preserve life are undertaken for the civilian population. It is urgent to do more now. Countless lives are hanging in the balance,” Carboni continued. Similarly, the Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention has said that the U.S. “must take immediate steps to prevent further destruction, loss of life, and displacement in Gaza and the West Bank.” “None of the Biden Administration’s tactics to deny genocide and avoid accountability will withstand the test of time. President Biden and key administration officials are on a path to be remembered as the principal enablers of one of the worst genocides in the 21st century,” the group said in a statement. Rik Peeperkorn, WHO representative for Gaza and the occupied West Bank, says a total Israeli military offensive against Rafah would not only “further expand the humanitarian disaster beyond imagination” but “push the health system closer to the brink of collapse.” Israel bombards Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Younis, killing patients and detaining medical staff Since October 7, Israel has crippled Gaza’s healthcare system, effectively picking off one medical facility at a time as the army moved its way from the north to the south of Gaza . Recently, the army has had their targets set on the Nasser Medical Complex and the Al-Amal hospital in Khan Younis, which have been under military siege for weeks. On Wednesday night, Israeli forces shelled the Nasser Hospital’s orthopedic department, killing at least one person and seriously injuring several others, reported Wafa. Israeli troops reportedly stormed the hospital compound and opened fire, forcing doctors, nurses, and displaced Palestinians to evacuate the hospital and head to Rafah, but Israeli forces arrested dozens of people when they attempted to do so. Gaza’s Health Ministry also reported the Israeli army demolishing its southern wall before storming the complex. Before the attack, the military had ordered all those in the hospital to evacuate, including over 1,500 displaced persons, 190 staff and 299 of their family members, 273 patients who cannot move, and 327 companions, reported Gaza Health Ministry spokesperson Dr. Ashraf al-Qudra. “There are still people, alongside medical workers, trapped inside the facility and the medical complex as they continue caring for patients,” said Al Jazeera correspondent Tareq Abu Azzoum before the attack. Witnesses have reported Israeli sniper fire killing several people, making it dangerous to comply with the evacuation order, continued Abu Azzoum. The Israeli army is claiming, without providing evidence, that the Palestinian hospital in Gaza is being used for operations by Hamas as an excuse to commit more massacres. The military says it has “credible intelligence” that Hamas is holding captives at Nasser Hospital. This is not the first time Israel has made such claims which have been proved to be false after the attacks take place. “We operate against Hamas terrorists wherever they are hiding. And, as we proved with the successful rescue missions of our hostages, we are committed to our mission of bringing our hostages home,” said Army spokesperson Daniel Hagar, citing one of two times the army has managed to rescue Israeli captives via military operations in over four months. On Wednesday, World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was “alarmed” by reports from Nasser Hospital, which he described as the “backbone of the health system in southern Gaza.” He added that the U.N.’s health agency has been denied access to the hospital in recent days and has lost contact with its staff there. World Health Organization spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic told Al Jazeera that the U.N. agency has been denied access to Nasser Hospital since January 29 as Israeli forces have placed the facility under siege. “We tried several times to go there, but our requests have been denied. We heard reports about some 400 patients still being there, that 10 people have been killed, that a warehouse has been destroyed,” Jasarevic said. “Every time we move, we need to get security clearances to make sure we can get safely to places we want to go. And for example, only 40 percent of our requests to go north have been facilitated by Israeli authorities. But even when we are given permission to go, there are often delays at checkpoints,” Jasarevic said. Meanwhile, inside the European Hospital in Khan Younis, Dr. Ahmed Mokhalati says that “the whole system has collapsed” and that the situation is “horrible.” “We are losing a lot of patients, most of the time because of the lack of equipment and medical staff. The operating theater has very minimal supplies and we’re keeping them for the critical cases,” Mokhalati told Al Jazeera. “Anesthesia is very little and we have to do major surgeries without [it], which means the patient can be screaming many times in the middle of surgery.” The hospital is crowded with displaced people who lack essential services, including clean water. “The basic hygiene of the patients is very low, which is reflected in the widespread infection of the wounds,” Mokhalati said. He said the facility is still operating an intensive care unit, but one doctor must care for all 40 patients. Dozens of patients were rushed in after attacks in Rafah intensified in recent days but did not receive timely medical attention. “There was no space; there were people in the corridors waiting to get into the critical room,” the doctor said. “We are losing many patients all the time.” The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) has reported paramedics on the job being targeted by Israeli forces as well. The group shared a video on X, which clearly showed bullet holes in the front windscreen of the ambulance. The PRCS says that the ambulance was shot at and its crew assaulted by Israeli soldiers “while they were attempting to transfer oxygen cylinders from Nasser Hospital to Al-Amal Hospital about a week ago.” 10 civilians killed in deadliest Israeli attack on Lebanon since October Israel conducted the deadliest attack on Lebanon since October 7, killing at least 10 civilians, including four children, reported Al Jazeera. Tensions have been high between the Lebanese group Hezbollah and Israel since October 7, as regular fire over their borders has been steadily increasing over the past four months. Amal Atwi, whose son was killed in Souaneh, said martyrdom has become a way of life in southern Lebanon. “He’s my only son and I have no one else,” she said, reported AP News. “Let Israel take as much as they want, and we have more to give. Let’s see who will get tired first. It will be them, not us.” Four Hezbollah fighters were killed in separate attacks, according to the armed group. Senior Hezbollah official and lawmaker Hassan Fadlallah added that Israel will face reprisals after strikes. “The enemy will pay the price for these crimes,” Hezbollah politician Hassan Fadlallah told Reuters, saying Hezbollah had a “legitimate right to defend its people.” Israel said that Wednesday’s escalation of attacks came in response to Hezbollah rockets fired on Wednesday morning that killed one Israeli soldier and injured eight more. “As we have made clear time and time again, Israel is not interested in a war on two fronts. But if provoked, we will respond forcefully,” said Israeli military spokesperson Ilana Stein. On Tuesday, Nasrallah said his group would only stop its exchanges of fire with Israel if a full ceasefire was reached in Gaza. “On that day, when the shooting stops in Gaza, we will stop the shooting in the south,” he said in a televised address, as cited by Al Jazeera. U.S. struggles to get Israel to allow flour into Gaza, Israel doubles down on UNRWA Amid Israel’s relentless attacks, Gaza’s population is starving due to Israel’s ongoing siege on the area, restricting the entry of humanitarian aid. White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan says the Israeli government has not allowed the aid into Gaza despite promises to the U.S. government, “That flour has not moved the way that we had expected it would move, and we expect that Israel will follow through on its commitment to get that flour into Gaza,” said Sullivan, according to Al Jazeera. As Israel continues to block vital shipments of humanitarian assistance for Gaza, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz told his German counterpart, Annalena Baerbock, that UNRWA cannot be part of humanitarian assistance in Gaza “under any circumstances.” Following Israel’s claims that UNRWA collaborates with Hamas – a claim which Israel has largely been unable to provide evidence of – several nations, including Germany, suspended their funding to the agency. “We discussed ways to ensure that the humanitarian aid does not reach the hands of the Hamas murderers – and I told her that UNRWA cannot under any circumstances be part of the aid and that other alternatives must be found. UNRWA is the problem, not the solution,” Katz said on X after the meeting. “This is the highest proportion of any population in a food security crisis. Virtually all households are skipping meals each day. Some families go days and nights without eating,” according to a joint statement by various organizations, including Action Against Hunger and Save the Children. Currently, the entire population is living with crisis-level hunger, and one in four households, more than 500,000 people, face catastrophic conditions. “The risk of famine is increasing each day in Gaza due to the continuation of hostilities, and the continued blockade of the Strip,” the groups said, citing U.N. Security Council Resolution 2417, which condemns the use of starvation of civilians as a method of warfare. The statement concluded that an immediate and permanent ceasefire, along with a massive increase in humanitarian assistance, is the only way to avoid famine in the besieged coastal enclave. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/02/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-132-israel-bombards-nasser-hospital-reports-of-egypt-preparing-buffer-zone-ahead-of-gaza-expulsion/ ☝️https://donshafi911.blogspot.com/2024/02/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-132-israel.html
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 132: Israel bombards Nasser hospital, reports of Egypt preparing ‘buffer zone’ ahead of Gaza expulsion
    Israel bombarded Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Younis, killing and injuring patients and those sheltering inside. Egyptian human rights group reports construction underway on detention zone ahead of a possible mass expulsion from Gaza into Sinai.
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  • https://mondoweiss.net/2024/02/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-131-israeli-snipers-force-dozens-to-evacuate-nasser-hospital-in-khan-younis-israel-steps-up-bombing-in-lebanon/
    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/02/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-131-israeli-snipers-force-dozens-to-evacuate-nasser-hospital-in-khan-younis-israel-steps-up-bombing-in-lebanon/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 131: Israeli snipers force dozens to evacuate Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, Israel steps up bombing in Lebanon
    As ceasefire negotiations enter their second day in Cairo, fighting around Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis is intensifying—with dozens of Palestinians who have been sheltering inside forced to evacuate by Israeli sniper attacks.
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  • UN official warns of “inevitable” famine with countries pausing UNRWA funding
    An official at the United Nations has warned of "inevitable" famine after several countries paused funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
    Michael Fakri, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food, issued this warning in a Jan. 28 post on X. He wrote: "Some states decided to defund UNRWA for the alleged actions of a small number of employees. This collectively punishes [more than] 2.2 million Palestinians. Famine was imminent; famine is now inevitable."

    The decision by the U.S. and several other countries to stop funding the UNRWA followed accusations by Israel that 12 of the group's employees took part in Hamas' Oct. 7 attack on Israel. These same employees also reportedly aided Hamas in the days following the incident.

    The U.S. announced that it would suspend funding to the agency until the allegations were addressed. The United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Italy and Finland followed suit. Norway, Spain and Ireland refused to join them, announcing that they would continue funding the UNRWA.

    Meanwhile, the agency said on Jan. 26 that it had severed ties with the employees reportedly involved and launched an investigation over the matter. (Related: United Nations agency in charge of Gaza relief to investigate claims that some of its employees took part in Oct. 7 attack.)

    UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini remarked: "The Israeli authorities have provided [us] with information about the alleged involvement of several UNRWA employees in the horrific attacks on Israel on Oct. 7. To protect the agency's ability to deliver humanitarian assistance, I have taken the decision to immediately terminate the contracts of these staff members and launch an investigation in order to establish the truth without delay."

    In a statement the following day, Lazzarini lamented the "shocking" actions of the U.S. and other benefactors in response to Tel Aviv's allegations. "These decisions threaten our ongoing humanitarian work across the region, including and especially in the Gaza Strip," he stated. "Many are hungry as the clock is ticking towards a looming famine."

    Palestinian officials condemned the UNRWA defunding

    Established in 1949, the UNRWA provides healthcare, education and humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. It is the second-largest employer in Gaza after Hamas with 30,000 employees in all, and 13,000 of its employees are in the strip.

    One senior Palestinian official denounced the decision by the U.S. and others to suspend the UNRWA funding.

    "At this particular time and in light of the continuing aggression against the Palestinian people, we need the maximum support for this international organization – not stopping support and assistance to it," remarked Palestinian National Authority Civilian Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh in a post on X.

    "We call on the countries that announced the cessation of their support for UNRWA to immediately reverse their decision, which entails great political and humanitarian relief risks."

    Even Hamas, whose violence led to the current conflict in Gaza, accused Israel of a "campaign of incitement" against UN agencies delivering vital supplies to Palestinians. The group, formally the Islamic Resistance Movement, posted on Telegram: "We ask the UN and the international organizations to not cave into the threats and blackmail [by Israel]."

    Tel Aviv is unconvinced, however. The Israeli government has attacked the UNRWA for some time, accusing it of fueling anti-Israel incitement – something the agency denies.

    Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said on Jan. 27 that the government would seek to stop the UNRWA from operating in Gaza when the war ends.

    "We have been warning for years: UNRWA perpetuates the refugee issue, obstructs peace and serves as a civilian arm of Hamas in Gaza," he wrote on X. "We will work to garner bipartisan support in the U.S., the European Union and other nations globally for this policy aimed at halting UNRWA's activities in Gaza."

    Head over to IsraelCollapse.com for similar stories.

    Watch this video about children being taught antisemitism in schools run by the UNRWA.

    This video is from the American Patriots God Country channel on Brighteon.com.

    More related stories:

    Israel has already killed 88 United Nations officials in Gaza.

    9 UN workers killed as Gaza Strip suffers from unrelenting Israeli airstrikes.

    UN official accuses Israel of plotting MASS EXPULSION of Gazans into Egypt.

    UNRWA warns of growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza amid continued Israeli bombings.

    NO SAFE PLACE: Israel attacks UNRWA school in Gaza refugee camp, leaving 6 dead and dozens injured.

    Sources include:

    MiddleEastEye.net 1

    UNRWA.org

    MiddleEastEye.net 2

    Brighteon.com

    http://www.naturalnews.com/2024-02-01-un-official-warns-inevitable-famine-funding-pause.html

    https://donshafi911.blogspot.com/2024/02/un-official-warns-of-inevitable-famine.html
    UN official warns of “inevitable” famine with countries pausing UNRWA funding An official at the United Nations has warned of "inevitable" famine after several countries paused funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Michael Fakri, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food, issued this warning in a Jan. 28 post on X. He wrote: "Some states decided to defund UNRWA for the alleged actions of a small number of employees. This collectively punishes [more than] 2.2 million Palestinians. Famine was imminent; famine is now inevitable." The decision by the U.S. and several other countries to stop funding the UNRWA followed accusations by Israel that 12 of the group's employees took part in Hamas' Oct. 7 attack on Israel. These same employees also reportedly aided Hamas in the days following the incident. The U.S. announced that it would suspend funding to the agency until the allegations were addressed. The United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Italy and Finland followed suit. Norway, Spain and Ireland refused to join them, announcing that they would continue funding the UNRWA. Meanwhile, the agency said on Jan. 26 that it had severed ties with the employees reportedly involved and launched an investigation over the matter. (Related: United Nations agency in charge of Gaza relief to investigate claims that some of its employees took part in Oct. 7 attack.) UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini remarked: "The Israeli authorities have provided [us] with information about the alleged involvement of several UNRWA employees in the horrific attacks on Israel on Oct. 7. To protect the agency's ability to deliver humanitarian assistance, I have taken the decision to immediately terminate the contracts of these staff members and launch an investigation in order to establish the truth without delay." In a statement the following day, Lazzarini lamented the "shocking" actions of the U.S. and other benefactors in response to Tel Aviv's allegations. "These decisions threaten our ongoing humanitarian work across the region, including and especially in the Gaza Strip," he stated. "Many are hungry as the clock is ticking towards a looming famine." Palestinian officials condemned the UNRWA defunding Established in 1949, the UNRWA provides healthcare, education and humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. It is the second-largest employer in Gaza after Hamas with 30,000 employees in all, and 13,000 of its employees are in the strip. One senior Palestinian official denounced the decision by the U.S. and others to suspend the UNRWA funding. "At this particular time and in light of the continuing aggression against the Palestinian people, we need the maximum support for this international organization – not stopping support and assistance to it," remarked Palestinian National Authority Civilian Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh in a post on X. "We call on the countries that announced the cessation of their support for UNRWA to immediately reverse their decision, which entails great political and humanitarian relief risks." Even Hamas, whose violence led to the current conflict in Gaza, accused Israel of a "campaign of incitement" against UN agencies delivering vital supplies to Palestinians. The group, formally the Islamic Resistance Movement, posted on Telegram: "We ask the UN and the international organizations to not cave into the threats and blackmail [by Israel]." Tel Aviv is unconvinced, however. The Israeli government has attacked the UNRWA for some time, accusing it of fueling anti-Israel incitement – something the agency denies. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said on Jan. 27 that the government would seek to stop the UNRWA from operating in Gaza when the war ends. "We have been warning for years: UNRWA perpetuates the refugee issue, obstructs peace and serves as a civilian arm of Hamas in Gaza," he wrote on X. "We will work to garner bipartisan support in the U.S., the European Union and other nations globally for this policy aimed at halting UNRWA's activities in Gaza." Head over to IsraelCollapse.com for similar stories. Watch this video about children being taught antisemitism in schools run by the UNRWA. This video is from the American Patriots God Country channel on Brighteon.com. More related stories: Israel has already killed 88 United Nations officials in Gaza. 9 UN workers killed as Gaza Strip suffers from unrelenting Israeli airstrikes. UN official accuses Israel of plotting MASS EXPULSION of Gazans into Egypt. UNRWA warns of growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza amid continued Israeli bombings. NO SAFE PLACE: Israel attacks UNRWA school in Gaza refugee camp, leaving 6 dead and dozens injured. Sources include: MiddleEastEye.net 1 UNRWA.org MiddleEastEye.net 2 Brighteon.com http://www.naturalnews.com/2024-02-01-un-official-warns-inevitable-famine-funding-pause.html https://donshafi911.blogspot.com/2024/02/un-official-warns-of-inevitable-famine.html
    WWW.NATURALNEWS.COM
    UN official warns of “inevitable” famine with countries pausing UNRWA funding – NaturalNews.com
    An official at the United Nations has warned of “inevitable” famine after several countries paused funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Michael Fakri, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food, issued this warning in a Jan. 28 post on X. He wrote: “Some states decided to defund UNRWA for the […]
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 117: Israel besieges Nasser Hospital for tenth consecutive day
    Mustafa Abu SneinehJanuary 31, 2024
    Palestinians wait in line in front of bakeries for hours to buy bread that is available in limited quantities in Deir al-Balah, January 30, 2024. (Photo: Naaman Omar/APA Images)
    Palestinians wait in line in front of bakeries for hours to buy bread that is available in limited quantities in Deir al-Balah, January 30, 2024. (Photo: Naaman Omar/APA Images)
    Casualties

    26,900+ killed* and at least 65,949 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    387+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem
    Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147.
    560 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.**
    *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health on Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number closer to 32,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.

    ** This figure is released by the Israeli military.

    Key Developments

    Palestinians bury bodies of 100 people in mass grave in Rafah city following weeks of being held in Israel.
    Wafa reports Palestinian medics found organs missing from martyrs’ bodies, accuse Israeli authorities of stealing them.
    Al-Amal and Nasser Hospitals under siege by Israeli tanks in Khan Younis for tenth consecutive day.
    PRCS says Israeli forces kill security employee in Al-Amal Hospital while standing near backdoor.
    Nasser Hospital warns electrical generators will stop within two days due to fuel shortages, waste accumulates inside facility as Israeli forces refuse to allow it to be transported out.
    Israeli forces start flooding some tunnels in Gaza by pumping large amounts of sea water.
    BBC says Israeli bombardment destroyed or damaged more than half of Gaza’s buildings between October 12 last year and January 29.
    The Washington Post reports U.S. “has not independently verified Israel’s claims” about UNRWA employees’ alleged involvement in October 7 attack.
    Nine UNRWA employees could return to work if found innocent, were “pre-emptively dismissed” and have “right of recourse,” according to UNRWA spokesperson.
    Israel’s Netanyahu says truce and exchange deal with Hamas won’t happen on his watch.
    Israeli authorities in Jerusalem force Palestinian to demolish his own house in Jabal al-Mukabbir.
    100 Palestinian bodies buried in a mass grave in Rafah

    Palestinians buried the bodies of 100 people in a mass grave in Rafah city on Tuesday afternoon, following weeks of being held in Israel.

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    Mondoweiss publishes news and analysis about Palestine for people taking action. Donate today.
    Wafa news agency reported that some of the Palestinian martyrs could not be identified due to decomposition, while medics accused Israeli authorities of stealing organs from some of them.

    Israeli forces handed the bodies at Kerem Abu Salem crossing, south of the Gaza Strip, and Palestinians laid the bodies in a long grave, wrapped in dark navy sheets, and used a bulldozer to cover them with soil.

    Wafa reported that it is unclear when and where Israel killed those Palestinians since October. It added that Israeli forces rampaged through Palestinian cemeteries and took several bodies of those buried there.

    As Israeli forces advanced into Al-Shifa Hospital in November, the army exhumed graves in north Gaza and took 110 bodies to inspect whether any of them were Israeli captives.

    According to the BCC, Israeli forces have destroyed nearly half a dozen graveyards in the Gaza Strip since October, including the cemeteries of al-Faluga, Beit Lahia, al-Shuja’iyya and Beit Hanoun, among others.

    Wafa reported that Palestinian medics found missing organs from the martyrs’ bodies and accused Israeli authorities of stealing them.

    Israeli tanks besiege Al-Amal and Nasser Hospitals in Khan Younis

    Gaza’s Ministry of Health said on Wednesday that Israeli forces killed 150 Palestinians and injured 313 others in 16 massacres in the past 24 hours. The number of Palestinians killed in the Israeli aggression on Gaza now stands at 26,900 martyrs, and 65,949 were injured since October.

    For the tenth consecutive day, both the Al-Amal and Nasser Hospitals are under siege by Israeli tanks and forces in Khan Younis, south of Gaza, the second-largest city in the enclave.

    There are 36 hospitals in the Gaza Strip, but only 14 of them are partially operating — nine of them in southern Gaza, including al-Amal and Nasser Hospitals.

    Gaza’s Ministry of Health spokesperson Dr. Ashraf al-Qidra said yesterday that there were 150 medical staff, 450 injured patients, and 3,000 displaced Palestinians trapped in the Nasser Hospital, and that they are at risk of Israeli fire if they attempt to leave.

    Wafa reported that Israeli forces also fired bullets at anyone who moved in the vicinity of the al-Amal Hospital, which is run by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS).

    Israeli forces stormed the al-Amal Hospital courtyard on Tuesday and the PRCS offices.

    “Israeli tanks are currently stationed in A-Amal hospital front yard, firing live ammunition and smoke grenades at the displaced individuals and PRCS staff,” PRCS wrote on X on Tuesday afternoon.

    “We deeply worry for the safety of our teams, the wounded, the sick, and thousands of displaced people in the building. Fires have broken out in tents within the confines of the PRCS Headquarters,” it added.

    PRCS said on Wednesday that Israeli forces shot and killed a security employee in al-Amal as he was standing near a rear door.

    “Intense and ongoing targeting in the vicinity of Amal Hospital and the launch of smoke grenades,” PRCS wrote on X on Wednesday morning.

    The Nasser Hospital has warned that electrical generators will stop within two days due to fuel shortages and that waste has accumulated inside the facility as Israeli forces refuse to allow it to be transported out.

    Israel begins flooding Gaza tunnels

    Israeli forces announced on Tuesday evening that they started flooding tunnels in Gaza where “suitable,” pumping large amounts of sea water into them.

    Following a report in December about the Israeli plan to flood Gaza tunnels used by Palestinian resistance fighters, concerns were raised regarding the damage salted seawater could cause to the soil, environment, and fresh water in the Gaza Strip, which would affect the livelihoods of nearly 2.3 million Palestinians.

    The Guardian reported then that flooding under Gaza would amount to “ruining the basic conditions for life in Gaza” and cause “an ecological catastrophe,” which would constitute one element of the crime of genocide.

    Israel destroyed half of Gaza’s buildings

    In the past 24 hours, Israel continued to bombard Gaza from land and air. Wafa reported that at least six Palestinians were killed in Khan Younis by Israeli artillery and airstrikes. Israel also bombed the neighborhoods of al-Daraj, al-Zaytoun, Sina, and al-Rimal, on the outskirts of Gaza City. Palestinian medics and ambulances faced difficulties reaching these areas to retrieve the bodies of Palestinians and rescue the injured.

    In the Tal al-Zaatar neighborhood in Jabalia, Israel artillery targeted al-Awda Hospital while bombing the vicinity of al-Dawa Mosque, north of Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza.

    In Khan Younis, Israeli forces bombed the al-Namsawi (The Austrian) neighborhood and the city center. Wafa reported that Israeli bulldozers razed and swept parts of Al-Shuhada Street in Gaza City under the protection of tanks and air forces.

    An Israeli airstrike killed at least 11 Palestinians in Deir al-Balah on Tuesday evening.

    The BBC released a report saying that more than half of the Gaza Strip buildings were destroyed or damaged in the Israeli bombardment campaign. The report covers the period from October 12 last year till January 29, based on satellite imagery.

    “Across Gaza, residential areas have been left ruined, previously busy shopping streets reduced to rubble, universities destroyed and farmlands churned up, with tent cities springing up on the southern border to house many thousands of people left homeless,” BBC reported.

    Since December, Khan Younis saw immense destruction by Israeli forces. BBC analysis revealed that “between 144,000 and 175,000 buildings across the whole Gaza Strip have been damaged or destroyed. That’s between 50% and 61% of Gaza’s buildings.”

    Nearly two million Palestinians have been internally displaced, the majority having fled from northern and central Gaza to Rafah city, which borders Egypt in the south.

    Israeli bombardment chased them there, however, and in recent weeks, rain and cold weather has made daily life miserable for thousands of families amid a lack of sufficient food, fresh water, and efficient sources of heating.

    ‘Withdrawing funds from UNRWA is perilous‘

    The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) warned again of the abrupt ending of donations by the U.S. and other states, which would lead to the shutting down of humanitarian operations in the Gaza Strip.

    Last week, the U.S., the biggest donor to UNRWA, said it was suspending the money it pledged to the UN agency after Israel claimed that 12 UNRWA employees were involved in Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on October 7.

    UNRWA said that it fired nine of the employees, and a tenth is still being identified, while the remaining two were killed in the October attack.

    “Withdrawing funds from UNRWA is perilous and would result in the collapse of the humanitarian system in Gaza, with far-reaching humanitarian and human rights consequences in the occupied Palestinian territory and across the region,” UNRWA said in a statement on Tuesday.

    UNRWA employs 30,000 workers, 13,000 of them in the Gaza Strip, and the rest are in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and the West Bank.

    Israeli politicians have long aimed to weaken and bring UNRWA to an end long before October 7, as the agency highlighted the plight of millions of Palestinian refugees and their right of return to their homes and lands inside modern-day Israel.

    The Washington Post reported that the U.S. “has not independently verified Israel’s claims [about UNRWA’s employees], which are based on intercepted communications, phone location data, interrogations of Hamas fighters and documents that the Israeli military has recovered in Gaza.”

    It added that one of the reasons the U.S. rushed to end donations to UNRWA is to compel the agency to conduct a thorough investigation “or risk permanently losing funding from Western governments whose donations are critical to its survival.”

    However, U.S. officials acknowledge that there is no alternative to UNRWA to supply humanitarian aid in Gaza. The case is not sealed yet, and the nine UNRWA employees could return to work if they are found innocent, as they were “pre-emptively dismissed” and have “the right of recourse,” an UNRWA spokesperson told Al-Jazeera.

    Israel’s Netanyahu says truce and exchange deal with Hamas won’t happen

    As details of a potential truce and captive exchange deal leaked to the media, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assured Israelis that such a deal will not take place on his watch.

    According to the potential deal, a 45-day pause of fighting would be announced by Israel and Palestinian resistance movements, during which Hamas will release 35 Israeli captives in return for 4,000 Palestinian prisoners.

    Netanyahu said on Tuesday evening, “we will not remove the IDF from the Gaza Strip and we will not release thousands of terrorists.”

    “None of this will happen. What will happen? Absolute victory!” he added during a speech at the Bnei David academy in the illegal settlement of Eli in the occupied West Bank.

    The deal is yet to be confirmed, and Hamas is studying it before replying through Qatar and Egypt.

    Yair Lapid, an opposition figure who served for a stint as prime minister, said that there will be “a safety net” in the Knesset for Netanyahu’s government to help advance “any deal that brings the hostages home.”

    Lapid’s words came after several right-wing ministers threatened to collapse the government if Netanyahu pushed ahead with the deal, which if successful, will be the biggest since 1985.

    Israeli forces have arrested 1,000 Palestinians from Jenin since October

    Israeli forces arrested 16 Palestinians from the occupied West Bank, including two women, on Wednesday. During the arrest campaign, carried out during the night, military forces raided Azzun, Nablus, Bethlehem, Beit Fajjar, Qalandia refugee camp, Ramallah, and Jaba near Jenin.

    According to the Prisoner’s Club, Israel arrested 1,000 Palestinians from the Jenin area since October, making up nearly a sixth of the total 6,420 detainees.

    On Tuesday, Israeli authorities in occupied Jerusalem forced Jamil Sarri to self-demolish his house in the Jabal al-Mukabbir neighborhood, rendering his family homeless.

    The house of 100 square meters was built without an Israeli permit, and if authorities demolished it, Sarri would have to have paid the costs of the demolition.

    Israel rejects 98 percent of Palestinian applications for building permits in Jerusalem while continuing to build and plan for the construction of thousands of new settler housing units.

    BEFORE YOU GO – At Mondoweiss, we understand the power of telling Palestinian stories. For 17 years, we have pushed back when the mainstream media published lies or echoed politicians’ hateful rhetoric. Now, Palestinian voices are more important than ever.

    Our traffic has increased ten times since October 7, and we need your help to cover our increased expenses.

    Support our journalists with a donation today.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/01/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-117-israel-besieges-nasser-hospital-for-tenth-consecutive-day/

    https://donshafi911.blogspot.com/2024/01/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-117-israel.html
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 117: Israel besieges Nasser Hospital for tenth consecutive day Mustafa Abu SneinehJanuary 31, 2024 Palestinians wait in line in front of bakeries for hours to buy bread that is available in limited quantities in Deir al-Balah, January 30, 2024. (Photo: Naaman Omar/APA Images) Palestinians wait in line in front of bakeries for hours to buy bread that is available in limited quantities in Deir al-Balah, January 30, 2024. (Photo: Naaman Omar/APA Images) Casualties 26,900+ killed* and at least 65,949 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 387+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147. 560 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.** *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health on Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number closer to 32,000 when accounting for those presumed dead. ** This figure is released by the Israeli military. Key Developments Palestinians bury bodies of 100 people in mass grave in Rafah city following weeks of being held in Israel. Wafa reports Palestinian medics found organs missing from martyrs’ bodies, accuse Israeli authorities of stealing them. Al-Amal and Nasser Hospitals under siege by Israeli tanks in Khan Younis for tenth consecutive day. PRCS says Israeli forces kill security employee in Al-Amal Hospital while standing near backdoor. Nasser Hospital warns electrical generators will stop within two days due to fuel shortages, waste accumulates inside facility as Israeli forces refuse to allow it to be transported out. Israeli forces start flooding some tunnels in Gaza by pumping large amounts of sea water. BBC says Israeli bombardment destroyed or damaged more than half of Gaza’s buildings between October 12 last year and January 29. The Washington Post reports U.S. “has not independently verified Israel’s claims” about UNRWA employees’ alleged involvement in October 7 attack. Nine UNRWA employees could return to work if found innocent, were “pre-emptively dismissed” and have “right of recourse,” according to UNRWA spokesperson. Israel’s Netanyahu says truce and exchange deal with Hamas won’t happen on his watch. Israeli authorities in Jerusalem force Palestinian to demolish his own house in Jabal al-Mukabbir. 100 Palestinian bodies buried in a mass grave in Rafah Palestinians buried the bodies of 100 people in a mass grave in Rafah city on Tuesday afternoon, following weeks of being held in Israel. Advertisement Mondoweiss publishes news and analysis about Palestine for people taking action. Donate today. Wafa news agency reported that some of the Palestinian martyrs could not be identified due to decomposition, while medics accused Israeli authorities of stealing organs from some of them. Israeli forces handed the bodies at Kerem Abu Salem crossing, south of the Gaza Strip, and Palestinians laid the bodies in a long grave, wrapped in dark navy sheets, and used a bulldozer to cover them with soil. Wafa reported that it is unclear when and where Israel killed those Palestinians since October. It added that Israeli forces rampaged through Palestinian cemeteries and took several bodies of those buried there. As Israeli forces advanced into Al-Shifa Hospital in November, the army exhumed graves in north Gaza and took 110 bodies to inspect whether any of them were Israeli captives. According to the BCC, Israeli forces have destroyed nearly half a dozen graveyards in the Gaza Strip since October, including the cemeteries of al-Faluga, Beit Lahia, al-Shuja’iyya and Beit Hanoun, among others. Wafa reported that Palestinian medics found missing organs from the martyrs’ bodies and accused Israeli authorities of stealing them. Israeli tanks besiege Al-Amal and Nasser Hospitals in Khan Younis Gaza’s Ministry of Health said on Wednesday that Israeli forces killed 150 Palestinians and injured 313 others in 16 massacres in the past 24 hours. The number of Palestinians killed in the Israeli aggression on Gaza now stands at 26,900 martyrs, and 65,949 were injured since October. For the tenth consecutive day, both the Al-Amal and Nasser Hospitals are under siege by Israeli tanks and forces in Khan Younis, south of Gaza, the second-largest city in the enclave. There are 36 hospitals in the Gaza Strip, but only 14 of them are partially operating — nine of them in southern Gaza, including al-Amal and Nasser Hospitals. Gaza’s Ministry of Health spokesperson Dr. Ashraf al-Qidra said yesterday that there were 150 medical staff, 450 injured patients, and 3,000 displaced Palestinians trapped in the Nasser Hospital, and that they are at risk of Israeli fire if they attempt to leave. Wafa reported that Israeli forces also fired bullets at anyone who moved in the vicinity of the al-Amal Hospital, which is run by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS). Israeli forces stormed the al-Amal Hospital courtyard on Tuesday and the PRCS offices. “Israeli tanks are currently stationed in A-Amal hospital front yard, firing live ammunition and smoke grenades at the displaced individuals and PRCS staff,” PRCS wrote on X on Tuesday afternoon. “We deeply worry for the safety of our teams, the wounded, the sick, and thousands of displaced people in the building. Fires have broken out in tents within the confines of the PRCS Headquarters,” it added. PRCS said on Wednesday that Israeli forces shot and killed a security employee in al-Amal as he was standing near a rear door. “Intense and ongoing targeting in the vicinity of Amal Hospital and the launch of smoke grenades,” PRCS wrote on X on Wednesday morning. The Nasser Hospital has warned that electrical generators will stop within two days due to fuel shortages and that waste has accumulated inside the facility as Israeli forces refuse to allow it to be transported out. Israel begins flooding Gaza tunnels Israeli forces announced on Tuesday evening that they started flooding tunnels in Gaza where “suitable,” pumping large amounts of sea water into them. Following a report in December about the Israeli plan to flood Gaza tunnels used by Palestinian resistance fighters, concerns were raised regarding the damage salted seawater could cause to the soil, environment, and fresh water in the Gaza Strip, which would affect the livelihoods of nearly 2.3 million Palestinians. The Guardian reported then that flooding under Gaza would amount to “ruining the basic conditions for life in Gaza” and cause “an ecological catastrophe,” which would constitute one element of the crime of genocide. Israel destroyed half of Gaza’s buildings In the past 24 hours, Israel continued to bombard Gaza from land and air. Wafa reported that at least six Palestinians were killed in Khan Younis by Israeli artillery and airstrikes. Israel also bombed the neighborhoods of al-Daraj, al-Zaytoun, Sina, and al-Rimal, on the outskirts of Gaza City. Palestinian medics and ambulances faced difficulties reaching these areas to retrieve the bodies of Palestinians and rescue the injured. In the Tal al-Zaatar neighborhood in Jabalia, Israel artillery targeted al-Awda Hospital while bombing the vicinity of al-Dawa Mosque, north of Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza. In Khan Younis, Israeli forces bombed the al-Namsawi (The Austrian) neighborhood and the city center. Wafa reported that Israeli bulldozers razed and swept parts of Al-Shuhada Street in Gaza City under the protection of tanks and air forces. An Israeli airstrike killed at least 11 Palestinians in Deir al-Balah on Tuesday evening. The BBC released a report saying that more than half of the Gaza Strip buildings were destroyed or damaged in the Israeli bombardment campaign. The report covers the period from October 12 last year till January 29, based on satellite imagery. “Across Gaza, residential areas have been left ruined, previously busy shopping streets reduced to rubble, universities destroyed and farmlands churned up, with tent cities springing up on the southern border to house many thousands of people left homeless,” BBC reported. Since December, Khan Younis saw immense destruction by Israeli forces. BBC analysis revealed that “between 144,000 and 175,000 buildings across the whole Gaza Strip have been damaged or destroyed. That’s between 50% and 61% of Gaza’s buildings.” Nearly two million Palestinians have been internally displaced, the majority having fled from northern and central Gaza to Rafah city, which borders Egypt in the south. Israeli bombardment chased them there, however, and in recent weeks, rain and cold weather has made daily life miserable for thousands of families amid a lack of sufficient food, fresh water, and efficient sources of heating. ‘Withdrawing funds from UNRWA is perilous‘ The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) warned again of the abrupt ending of donations by the U.S. and other states, which would lead to the shutting down of humanitarian operations in the Gaza Strip. Last week, the U.S., the biggest donor to UNRWA, said it was suspending the money it pledged to the UN agency after Israel claimed that 12 UNRWA employees were involved in Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on October 7. UNRWA said that it fired nine of the employees, and a tenth is still being identified, while the remaining two were killed in the October attack. “Withdrawing funds from UNRWA is perilous and would result in the collapse of the humanitarian system in Gaza, with far-reaching humanitarian and human rights consequences in the occupied Palestinian territory and across the region,” UNRWA said in a statement on Tuesday. UNRWA employs 30,000 workers, 13,000 of them in the Gaza Strip, and the rest are in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and the West Bank. Israeli politicians have long aimed to weaken and bring UNRWA to an end long before October 7, as the agency highlighted the plight of millions of Palestinian refugees and their right of return to their homes and lands inside modern-day Israel. The Washington Post reported that the U.S. “has not independently verified Israel’s claims [about UNRWA’s employees], which are based on intercepted communications, phone location data, interrogations of Hamas fighters and documents that the Israeli military has recovered in Gaza.” It added that one of the reasons the U.S. rushed to end donations to UNRWA is to compel the agency to conduct a thorough investigation “or risk permanently losing funding from Western governments whose donations are critical to its survival.” However, U.S. officials acknowledge that there is no alternative to UNRWA to supply humanitarian aid in Gaza. The case is not sealed yet, and the nine UNRWA employees could return to work if they are found innocent, as they were “pre-emptively dismissed” and have “the right of recourse,” an UNRWA spokesperson told Al-Jazeera. Israel’s Netanyahu says truce and exchange deal with Hamas won’t happen As details of a potential truce and captive exchange deal leaked to the media, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assured Israelis that such a deal will not take place on his watch. According to the potential deal, a 45-day pause of fighting would be announced by Israel and Palestinian resistance movements, during which Hamas will release 35 Israeli captives in return for 4,000 Palestinian prisoners. Netanyahu said on Tuesday evening, “we will not remove the IDF from the Gaza Strip and we will not release thousands of terrorists.” “None of this will happen. What will happen? Absolute victory!” he added during a speech at the Bnei David academy in the illegal settlement of Eli in the occupied West Bank. The deal is yet to be confirmed, and Hamas is studying it before replying through Qatar and Egypt. Yair Lapid, an opposition figure who served for a stint as prime minister, said that there will be “a safety net” in the Knesset for Netanyahu’s government to help advance “any deal that brings the hostages home.” Lapid’s words came after several right-wing ministers threatened to collapse the government if Netanyahu pushed ahead with the deal, which if successful, will be the biggest since 1985. Israeli forces have arrested 1,000 Palestinians from Jenin since October Israeli forces arrested 16 Palestinians from the occupied West Bank, including two women, on Wednesday. During the arrest campaign, carried out during the night, military forces raided Azzun, Nablus, Bethlehem, Beit Fajjar, Qalandia refugee camp, Ramallah, and Jaba near Jenin. According to the Prisoner’s Club, Israel arrested 1,000 Palestinians from the Jenin area since October, making up nearly a sixth of the total 6,420 detainees. On Tuesday, Israeli authorities in occupied Jerusalem forced Jamil Sarri to self-demolish his house in the Jabal al-Mukabbir neighborhood, rendering his family homeless. The house of 100 square meters was built without an Israeli permit, and if authorities demolished it, Sarri would have to have paid the costs of the demolition. Israel rejects 98 percent of Palestinian applications for building permits in Jerusalem while continuing to build and plan for the construction of thousands of new settler housing units. BEFORE YOU GO – At Mondoweiss, we understand the power of telling Palestinian stories. For 17 years, we have pushed back when the mainstream media published lies or echoed politicians’ hateful rhetoric. Now, Palestinian voices are more important than ever. Our traffic has increased ten times since October 7, and we need your help to cover our increased expenses. Support our journalists with a donation today. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/01/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-117-israel-besieges-nasser-hospital-for-tenth-consecutive-day/ https://donshafi911.blogspot.com/2024/01/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-117-israel.html
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 117: Israel besieges Nasser Hospital for tenth consecutive day
    Palestinians buried 100 bodies held by Israel in a mass grave in Rafah. Netanyahu says a truce and exchange deal won’t happen on his watch, while Israeli forces started flooding Gaza tunnels.
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 116: Israeli forces carry out assassination raid inside Jenin hospital disguised as doctors
    Israeli forces continue to besiege Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, and carried out an assassination raid inside a Jenin hospital disguised as doctors and civilians. A truce and captive exchange deal between Israel and Hamas could be confirmed soon.

    Mustafa Abu SneinehJanuary 30, 2024
    Screenshot from CCTV footage of Israeli forces raiding Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin while disguised as doctors and civilians. (Video: Social Media)
    Screenshot from CCTV footage of Israeli forces raiding Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin while disguised as doctors and civilians. (Video: Social Media)
    Casualties

    26,751+ killed* and at least 65,636 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    387+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem
    Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147.
    557 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.**
    *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 33,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.

    ** This figure is released by the Israeli military.

    Key Developments

    Israeli force of ten soldiers storm Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin and kill three Palestinians with silenced pistols.
    Israeli forces siege Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, bar entry and exit to Palestinians.
    Dr. Asharf al-Qudra says Israeli forces are besieging Nasser Hospital for a second consecutive week, trapping 150 medical staff, 450 injured, and 3,000 displaced Palestinians.
    The Palestine Red Crescent Society loses communication with team sent to rescue 6-year-old girl in Gaza.
    Israeli forces push Palestinians sheltering in Al-Shifa’ Hospital to eastern areas as it bombs southern and western Gaza City.
    Israel bombs house of Madoukh family in the Al-Sabra neighborhood in Gaza City, killing at least 20 people. It also bombs Rafah’s El-Geneina neighborhood, Nuseirat camp, Batn al-Sameen area, and Al-Amal neighborhood in Khan Younis.
    Israeli protest attempts to block aid trucks entering into Gaza Strip from the Kerem Abu Salem crossing.
    Israeli “Order 9” movement calls on government to bar entry to humanitarian aid into Gaza as long as Hamas holds Israeli captives.
    UN warns, “If the funding is not resumed, UNRWA will not be able to continue its services and operations across the region, including in Gaza, beyond the end of February.”
    According to a potential deal between Israel and Hamas, there will be 45-day pause of fighting, during which Hamas will release 35 Israeli captives in return for 4,000 Palestinian prisoners.
    Hamas launches barrage of rockets on Tel Aviv on Monday from Khan Younis and published footage of targeting Israeli tanks with 105mm Al-Yaseen anti-tank shells.
    Israeli forces kill three Palestinians in Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin

    In the past 24 hours, Israeli forces have targeted hospitals in the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank, killing and injuring several Palestinians.

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    On Tuesday morning, an Israeli force of ten soldiers stormed the Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin town, killing three Palestinians with silenced pistols.

    The Israeli unit was disguised as doctors, nurses, and civilians. Footage of the moment they stormed Ibn Sina shows shocked medical staff and patients who were threatened at gunpoint.


    Palestinian resistance fighters clashed with the Israeli forces, which stormed Jenin and its refugee camp overnight.

    Israel has killed more than 380 Palestinians in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem since October; 62 of them since January.

    The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) Minister of Health, Dr. Mai al-Kaila, condemned the Israeli attack.

    “This crime comes after dozens of crimes committed by the [Israeli] occupation forces against health centers and staff… International law provides general and specific protection for civilian sites, including hospitals,” said al-Kaila.

    The three Palestinians killed in the Ibn Sina Hospital were identified as the brothers Muhammad and Basil Ayman Al-Ghazawi, and Muhammad Walid Jalamna, according to Wafa news agency.

    Basel has been injured during a previous Israeli raid of Jenin and has been in the Ibn Sina since October 25, Wafa reported. Israel said the Palestinians in the hospital were a “Hamas unit.”

    In the last 48 hours Israeli forces have killed at least nine Palestinians in the West Bank (more below).

    Israel puts Nasser Hospital under siege for a second week

    In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces has put the Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis under a brutal siege, barring entry and exit to the facility, which has forced Palestinian families to bury their relatives in the hospital’s yards.

    The Nasser Hospital is the biggest and most vital health facility in south Gaza and has the highest number of beds, doctors, and operation rooms. It offers medical services to Palestinians as far as Rafah, the most southern town in Gaza.

    Gaza’s Ministry of Health spokesperson Dr. Asharf al-Qudra said on Tuesday that Israeli forces are besieging the hospital for the second consecutive week.

    Currently, there are 150 medical staff, 450 injured patients, and 3,000 displaced Palestinians trapped in the facility, and they are at risk of Israeli fire if they attempt to leave.

    “Electrical generators at Nasser Medical Complex will stop within two days due to fuel shortages,” Dr. al-Qudra said in a statement on Telegram.

    “Waste accumulates in the sections and courtyards of the Nasser Medical Complex, and the occupation refuses to allow it to be transported out,” he added.

    The ministry said that Israeli forces killed 114 Palestinians and injured 249 others in 13 massacres in Gaza in the past 24 hours.

    “A number of victims are still under rubble and on the roads. The occupation prevents ambulance and civil defense crews from reaching them,” it added.

    The number of Palestinians killed in the Israeli aggression on Gaza now stands at 26,751 martyrs, and 65,636 were injured since October.

    Red Crescent loses communication with team rescuing girl in Gaza

    One of those victims is Hind, a 6-year-old girl, who found herself surrounded by Israeli tanks in Gaza City.

    The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said that it lost communication with a team dispatched to rescue Hind, who was inside a vehicle.

    “We remain unaware of their fate and whether they succeeded in evacuating her or not,” PRCS said.

    Israeli forces had targeted Hind’s family, killing her father, mother, and four brothers. The girl was trapped inside a car in a designated military zone in Gaza.

    Israeli forces placed the Al-Shifa’ Hospital under siege again in north Gaza. Al-Shifa’ dominated the headlines when Israel stormed it in November in search of a purported Hamas command center underneath it, which proved to not exist.

    On Monday, Israeli forces pushed Palestinians sheltering in the Al-Shifaa to areas east of Gaza City as it bombed southern and western Gaza.

    A Palestinian woman, who was sheltering in Al-Rimal school near the Al-Shifa, told Al-Jazeera Arabic that Israeli tanks kept approaching until it stopped at the gates of the school.

    “We fled. We were scared and terrorized. I can’t remember how we escaped. We walked all the way, pushed by fear. My daughter is injured. The tanks were at the school gates for an hour,” she said.

    “We left while it was dark, tumbling over each other. We walked over the bodies of martyrs in the dark. There were 13 of them,” she said.

    In Rafah, thousands of Palestinians have been living under heavy rain, lacking drinking water and food. Some could not find a tent, which a used one could cost around $1,000 USD on the open market.

    The desperate situation pushed some families to rent warehouses, a corridor in residential buildings, or even a barn in Rafah.

    Al-Akhbar newspaper’s correspondent, Youssef Faris, spoke to a family who rented a barn to shelter from the rain after it lost its home in an Israeli attack.

    “The owners agreed to rent [the barn] to us for $600 a month. We worked hard for a week to clean it, and now we live in it,” he reported.

    Israel had turned the Gaza Strip into a hell on earth, with nearly two million Palestinians currently displaced and thousands buried under the rubble.

    Israel also kept bombing Gaza, killing hundreds of Palestinians each day, despite its announcement early in January that it was moving to a “less intense stage” of military operations.

    On Monday evening, the Israeli military bombed the house of the Madoukh family in the Al-Sabra neighborhood in Gaza City, killing at least 20 people. It also bombed Rafah’s El-Geneina neighborhood, Nuseirat camp, Batn al-Sameen area, and the Al-Amal neighborhood in Khan Younis.

    Israeli activists attempt to block aid trucks entering Gaza

    For the seventh consecutive day, an Israeli protest organized by the Order 9 movement, attempted to block aid trucks entering into the Gaza Strip from the Kerem Abu Salem crossing.

    The Order 9 movement, whose slogan is “The Victory Depends on You!” in Hebrew, is calling for the Israeli government to bar entry to humanitarian aid into Gaza as long as Israeli captives are held by Hamas.

    Skirmishes between the activists and Israeli military police took place over the past two days.

    An Israeli reserve soldier was arrested at the Kerem Abu Salem crossing along with 13 others on Monday. Minister of Defence, Yoav Gallant, was faced with a protest by reserve soldiers who called him to block aid going into Gaza.

    Gaza is already under a severe shortage of medical, food, water, and fuel supplies. A number of states, including the U.S., had suspended its donations to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) after Israel claimed that 12 UNRWA employees were involved in the Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on October 7.

    UNRWA said that it sacked nine of the employees, and the tenth is still being identified. The remaining two were killed in the October attack. UNRWA employs 30,000 workers, 13,000 of them are in the Gaza Strip, and the rest are in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and the West Bank.

    The agency warned that “If the funding is not resumed, UNRWA will not be able to continue its services and operations across the region, including in Gaza, beyond the end of February.”

    Potential Hamas-Israel deal for 45-day truce and captive exchange

    On Tuesday, Hamas political chief, Ismail Haniyeh said the movement received a proposal following Paris talks over the weekend, mediated by Qatar, Egypt, and the CIA, to reach a truce and captive exchange deal.

    Haniyeh said that Hamas is studying the proposal, and its priority remains “to stop the brutal aggression against Gaza and the complete withdrawal of the [Israeli] occupation forces from the [Gaza] Strip.”

    According to the potential deal, a 45-day pause of fighting will be announced by Israel and Palestinian resistance movements, during which Hamas will release 35 Israeli captives in return for 4,000 Palestinian prisoners. If successful, the deal will be the biggest since 1985, when Israel released more than 1,150 Palestinian and some Arab national prisoners in exchange for three Israeli soldiers captured in Lebanon.

    Hamas launched a barrage of rockets on Tel Aviv on Monday from the area of Khan Younis, where Israeli tanks and forces are launching bombardment and military strikes.

    Hamas’s armed wing, the Izz El-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, also published footage of its forces targeting Israeli tanks with 105mm Al-Yaseen anti-tank shells.

    Israeli forces raid West Bank towns and kill nine Palestinians in 48 hours

    Israeli forces raided more than a dozen Palestinian towns and villages in the occupied West Bank, and killed at least nine people in less than 48 hours.

    The Palestinian Prisoners Club said Israel arrested 18 Palestinians overnight, bringing the number of arrest cases to 6,390 since last October 7, some of them were later released.

    Israeli forces killed five Palestinians on Monday. Obaida Hassan Abdel Rahman Hamed, 18, was shot dead in Silwad village, east of Ramallah, during an Israeli raid.

    In Nablus, an Israeli force shot at a Palestinian vehicle driving on a road between Aqraba and Osrin villages. The two brothers escaped death; however, bullets damaged their car windscreen and body, Wafa reported.

    Overnight, Israeli forces raided the Palestinian towns of Sinjil, Tulkarm, Noor Shams refugee camp, Nahalin near Bethlehem, Al-Aroub refugee camp, Oum Safa, Jenin, Bani Naim near Hebron, Nablus, Silwan in Jerusalem, Qalandia, Kisan, Qabatia, Al-Samou and Qalqilya.

    BEFORE YOU GO – At Mondoweiss, we understand the power of telling Palestinian stories. For 17 years, we have pushed back when the mainstream media published lies or echoed politicians’ hateful rhetoric. Now, Palestinian voices are more important than ever.

    Our traffic has increased ten times since October 7, and we need your help to cover our increased expenses.

    Support our journalists with a donation today.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/01/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-116-israeli-forces-carry-out-assassination-raid-inside-jenin-hospital-disguised-as-doctors/

    https://donshafi911.blogspot.com/2024/01/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-116-israeli.html
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 116: Israeli forces carry out assassination raid inside Jenin hospital disguised as doctors Israeli forces continue to besiege Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, and carried out an assassination raid inside a Jenin hospital disguised as doctors and civilians. A truce and captive exchange deal between Israel and Hamas could be confirmed soon. Mustafa Abu SneinehJanuary 30, 2024 Screenshot from CCTV footage of Israeli forces raiding Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin while disguised as doctors and civilians. (Video: Social Media) Screenshot from CCTV footage of Israeli forces raiding Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin while disguised as doctors and civilians. (Video: Social Media) Casualties 26,751+ killed* and at least 65,636 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 387+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147. 557 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.** *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 33,000 when accounting for those presumed dead. ** This figure is released by the Israeli military. Key Developments Israeli force of ten soldiers storm Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin and kill three Palestinians with silenced pistols. Israeli forces siege Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, bar entry and exit to Palestinians. Dr. Asharf al-Qudra says Israeli forces are besieging Nasser Hospital for a second consecutive week, trapping 150 medical staff, 450 injured, and 3,000 displaced Palestinians. The Palestine Red Crescent Society loses communication with team sent to rescue 6-year-old girl in Gaza. Israeli forces push Palestinians sheltering in Al-Shifa’ Hospital to eastern areas as it bombs southern and western Gaza City. Israel bombs house of Madoukh family in the Al-Sabra neighborhood in Gaza City, killing at least 20 people. It also bombs Rafah’s El-Geneina neighborhood, Nuseirat camp, Batn al-Sameen area, and Al-Amal neighborhood in Khan Younis. Israeli protest attempts to block aid trucks entering into Gaza Strip from the Kerem Abu Salem crossing. Israeli “Order 9” movement calls on government to bar entry to humanitarian aid into Gaza as long as Hamas holds Israeli captives. UN warns, “If the funding is not resumed, UNRWA will not be able to continue its services and operations across the region, including in Gaza, beyond the end of February.” According to a potential deal between Israel and Hamas, there will be 45-day pause of fighting, during which Hamas will release 35 Israeli captives in return for 4,000 Palestinian prisoners. Hamas launches barrage of rockets on Tel Aviv on Monday from Khan Younis and published footage of targeting Israeli tanks with 105mm Al-Yaseen anti-tank shells. Israeli forces kill three Palestinians in Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin In the past 24 hours, Israeli forces have targeted hospitals in the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank, killing and injuring several Palestinians. Advertisement Join the Mondoweiss channel on Telegram! On Tuesday morning, an Israeli force of ten soldiers stormed the Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin town, killing three Palestinians with silenced pistols. The Israeli unit was disguised as doctors, nurses, and civilians. Footage of the moment they stormed Ibn Sina shows shocked medical staff and patients who were threatened at gunpoint. Palestinian resistance fighters clashed with the Israeli forces, which stormed Jenin and its refugee camp overnight. Israel has killed more than 380 Palestinians in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem since October; 62 of them since January. The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) Minister of Health, Dr. Mai al-Kaila, condemned the Israeli attack. “This crime comes after dozens of crimes committed by the [Israeli] occupation forces against health centers and staff… International law provides general and specific protection for civilian sites, including hospitals,” said al-Kaila. The three Palestinians killed in the Ibn Sina Hospital were identified as the brothers Muhammad and Basil Ayman Al-Ghazawi, and Muhammad Walid Jalamna, according to Wafa news agency. Basel has been injured during a previous Israeli raid of Jenin and has been in the Ibn Sina since October 25, Wafa reported. Israel said the Palestinians in the hospital were a “Hamas unit.” In the last 48 hours Israeli forces have killed at least nine Palestinians in the West Bank (more below). Israel puts Nasser Hospital under siege for a second week In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces has put the Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis under a brutal siege, barring entry and exit to the facility, which has forced Palestinian families to bury their relatives in the hospital’s yards. The Nasser Hospital is the biggest and most vital health facility in south Gaza and has the highest number of beds, doctors, and operation rooms. It offers medical services to Palestinians as far as Rafah, the most southern town in Gaza. Gaza’s Ministry of Health spokesperson Dr. Asharf al-Qudra said on Tuesday that Israeli forces are besieging the hospital for the second consecutive week. Currently, there are 150 medical staff, 450 injured patients, and 3,000 displaced Palestinians trapped in the facility, and they are at risk of Israeli fire if they attempt to leave. “Electrical generators at Nasser Medical Complex will stop within two days due to fuel shortages,” Dr. al-Qudra said in a statement on Telegram. “Waste accumulates in the sections and courtyards of the Nasser Medical Complex, and the occupation refuses to allow it to be transported out,” he added. The ministry said that Israeli forces killed 114 Palestinians and injured 249 others in 13 massacres in Gaza in the past 24 hours. “A number of victims are still under rubble and on the roads. The occupation prevents ambulance and civil defense crews from reaching them,” it added. The number of Palestinians killed in the Israeli aggression on Gaza now stands at 26,751 martyrs, and 65,636 were injured since October. Red Crescent loses communication with team rescuing girl in Gaza One of those victims is Hind, a 6-year-old girl, who found herself surrounded by Israeli tanks in Gaza City. The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said that it lost communication with a team dispatched to rescue Hind, who was inside a vehicle. “We remain unaware of their fate and whether they succeeded in evacuating her or not,” PRCS said. Israeli forces had targeted Hind’s family, killing her father, mother, and four brothers. The girl was trapped inside a car in a designated military zone in Gaza. Israeli forces placed the Al-Shifa’ Hospital under siege again in north Gaza. Al-Shifa’ dominated the headlines when Israel stormed it in November in search of a purported Hamas command center underneath it, which proved to not exist. On Monday, Israeli forces pushed Palestinians sheltering in the Al-Shifaa to areas east of Gaza City as it bombed southern and western Gaza. A Palestinian woman, who was sheltering in Al-Rimal school near the Al-Shifa, told Al-Jazeera Arabic that Israeli tanks kept approaching until it stopped at the gates of the school. “We fled. We were scared and terrorized. I can’t remember how we escaped. We walked all the way, pushed by fear. My daughter is injured. The tanks were at the school gates for an hour,” she said. “We left while it was dark, tumbling over each other. We walked over the bodies of martyrs in the dark. There were 13 of them,” she said. In Rafah, thousands of Palestinians have been living under heavy rain, lacking drinking water and food. Some could not find a tent, which a used one could cost around $1,000 USD on the open market. The desperate situation pushed some families to rent warehouses, a corridor in residential buildings, or even a barn in Rafah. Al-Akhbar newspaper’s correspondent, Youssef Faris, spoke to a family who rented a barn to shelter from the rain after it lost its home in an Israeli attack. “The owners agreed to rent [the barn] to us for $600 a month. We worked hard for a week to clean it, and now we live in it,” he reported. Israel had turned the Gaza Strip into a hell on earth, with nearly two million Palestinians currently displaced and thousands buried under the rubble. Israel also kept bombing Gaza, killing hundreds of Palestinians each day, despite its announcement early in January that it was moving to a “less intense stage” of military operations. On Monday evening, the Israeli military bombed the house of the Madoukh family in the Al-Sabra neighborhood in Gaza City, killing at least 20 people. It also bombed Rafah’s El-Geneina neighborhood, Nuseirat camp, Batn al-Sameen area, and the Al-Amal neighborhood in Khan Younis. Israeli activists attempt to block aid trucks entering Gaza For the seventh consecutive day, an Israeli protest organized by the Order 9 movement, attempted to block aid trucks entering into the Gaza Strip from the Kerem Abu Salem crossing. The Order 9 movement, whose slogan is “The Victory Depends on You!” in Hebrew, is calling for the Israeli government to bar entry to humanitarian aid into Gaza as long as Israeli captives are held by Hamas. Skirmishes between the activists and Israeli military police took place over the past two days. An Israeli reserve soldier was arrested at the Kerem Abu Salem crossing along with 13 others on Monday. Minister of Defence, Yoav Gallant, was faced with a protest by reserve soldiers who called him to block aid going into Gaza. Gaza is already under a severe shortage of medical, food, water, and fuel supplies. A number of states, including the U.S., had suspended its donations to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) after Israel claimed that 12 UNRWA employees were involved in the Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on October 7. UNRWA said that it sacked nine of the employees, and the tenth is still being identified. The remaining two were killed in the October attack. UNRWA employs 30,000 workers, 13,000 of them are in the Gaza Strip, and the rest are in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and the West Bank. The agency warned that “If the funding is not resumed, UNRWA will not be able to continue its services and operations across the region, including in Gaza, beyond the end of February.” Potential Hamas-Israel deal for 45-day truce and captive exchange On Tuesday, Hamas political chief, Ismail Haniyeh said the movement received a proposal following Paris talks over the weekend, mediated by Qatar, Egypt, and the CIA, to reach a truce and captive exchange deal. Haniyeh said that Hamas is studying the proposal, and its priority remains “to stop the brutal aggression against Gaza and the complete withdrawal of the [Israeli] occupation forces from the [Gaza] Strip.” According to the potential deal, a 45-day pause of fighting will be announced by Israel and Palestinian resistance movements, during which Hamas will release 35 Israeli captives in return for 4,000 Palestinian prisoners. If successful, the deal will be the biggest since 1985, when Israel released more than 1,150 Palestinian and some Arab national prisoners in exchange for three Israeli soldiers captured in Lebanon. Hamas launched a barrage of rockets on Tel Aviv on Monday from the area of Khan Younis, where Israeli tanks and forces are launching bombardment and military strikes. Hamas’s armed wing, the Izz El-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, also published footage of its forces targeting Israeli tanks with 105mm Al-Yaseen anti-tank shells. Israeli forces raid West Bank towns and kill nine Palestinians in 48 hours Israeli forces raided more than a dozen Palestinian towns and villages in the occupied West Bank, and killed at least nine people in less than 48 hours. The Palestinian Prisoners Club said Israel arrested 18 Palestinians overnight, bringing the number of arrest cases to 6,390 since last October 7, some of them were later released. Israeli forces killed five Palestinians on Monday. Obaida Hassan Abdel Rahman Hamed, 18, was shot dead in Silwad village, east of Ramallah, during an Israeli raid. In Nablus, an Israeli force shot at a Palestinian vehicle driving on a road between Aqraba and Osrin villages. The two brothers escaped death; however, bullets damaged their car windscreen and body, Wafa reported. Overnight, Israeli forces raided the Palestinian towns of Sinjil, Tulkarm, Noor Shams refugee camp, Nahalin near Bethlehem, Al-Aroub refugee camp, Oum Safa, Jenin, Bani Naim near Hebron, Nablus, Silwan in Jerusalem, Qalandia, Kisan, Qabatia, Al-Samou and Qalqilya. BEFORE YOU GO – At Mondoweiss, we understand the power of telling Palestinian stories. For 17 years, we have pushed back when the mainstream media published lies or echoed politicians’ hateful rhetoric. Now, Palestinian voices are more important than ever. Our traffic has increased ten times since October 7, and we need your help to cover our increased expenses. Support our journalists with a donation today. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/01/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-116-israeli-forces-carry-out-assassination-raid-inside-jenin-hospital-disguised-as-doctors/ https://donshafi911.blogspot.com/2024/01/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-116-israeli.html
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 116: Israeli forces carry out assassination raid inside Jenin hospital disguised as doctors
    Israeli forces continue to besiege Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, and carried out an assassination raid inside a Jenin hospital disguised as doctors and civilians. A truce and captive exchange deal between Israel and Hamas could be confirmed soon.
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  • Gaza Versus The Hague: The ICJ Failed Again – A Case of “Political Correctness”?
    All Global Research articles can be read in 51 languages by activating the Translate Website button below the author’s name (only available in desktop version).
    To receive Global Research’s Daily Newsletter (selected articles), click here.
    Click the share button above to email/forward this article to your friends and colleagues. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter and subscribe to our Telegram Channel. Feel free to repost and share widely Global Research articles.
    New Year Donation Drive: Global Research Is Committed to the “Unspoken Truth”
    ***
    The 17-judge panel of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) today (26 January 2024) found South Africa’s assertion that Israel is committing genocide “plausible.” This would indicate that South Africa won the case.
    Unfortunately, a closer look is much less optimistic. It shows again a hesitant judgment the ICJ, despite all indications for massive and brutal genocide. The judgment is weak and close to meaningless, when it comes to safe future Palestinian lives.
    First, the ICJ accepted that South Africa had jurisdiction in this case, because “some things that South Africa has alleged are certainly taking place and fall within the definition of the UN Genocide Convention of 1948.” See this.
    Al Jazeera summarized the ICJ’s ruling as follows:
    The court says it has jurisdiction to rule in the case.
    The court orders Israel to take measures to prevent acts of genocide in the Gaza Strip, must report back in one month.
    The court says Israel must prevent and punish incitement to genocide.
    The court says Israel must allow humanitarian aid into the Strip.
    The court obliges Israel to take more measures to protect Palestinians but does not order it to end military operations in the Strip.
    The Court evidently did not go far enough. What good does it do to “allow humanitarian aid and prevent the deaths of innocent citizens”, if Israel is permitted to continue killing hundreds if not thousands of innocent and defenseless Palestinians.
    The Court did not rule an immediate ceasefire or a ceasefire at all – nor did it issue a request for Peace negotiations.
    Of course, Israel would not have obeyed such a ruling, nor would the staunch supporters of Israel have stopped encouraging Israels “self-defense” killing, but it would have sent a message to the world, namely that ICJ is not afraid to fall “politically unpopular” judgments, and that Israel and genocide would be enshrined in Israels short 75-year history.
    PM Netanyahu’s and Co’s argument of “self-defense”, justified by “We are genocide victims” are the arguments of psychopaths. The extent of the Israeli atrocious and merciless killing of Palestinians, shows the truth to the world.
    *
    Ahead of the judgment the South African Foreign Minister, Naledi Pandor, had this to say:
    “The three letters ‘ICJ’ were not known to many people in South Africa until the case was filed”. And “Our aim was and is to highlight the plight of the innocent in Palestine” and “draw attention to the lack of justice and freedom.”
    She added that regardless of success or failure, “the real analysis and judgment is going to be on the court itself.” See this from RT 26 January 2024.
    The Israeli government does not accept the ICJ ruling, ordering preventing the genocide of the Palestinian people. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that the very claim that Israeli is committing genocide is “not only false, it’s outrageous.”
    Where does this judgment leave the war?
    Unless the western support will falter rapidly, both morally and by monetary and weapon deliveries – perhaps because of some ethics that the Court’s decision may have awoken – Israel’s brutal genocide is likely going to continue.
    PM Netanyahu, practically from day one, anticipated that this would be a long war, intimidating that it was not just a war of retaliation for an [Israeli / Western planned] Hamas attack on Israel on 7 October 2023, but it was a war to conquer over the coming years much of the Middles East and its riches, by gradually establishing “The Greater Israel”, which would include 100% of Palestine, 100% Jordan, 100% of Lebanon, 70% of Syria, 50% of Iraq, 33% of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Nile. Netanyahu would, of course, not say tis, but it was implicit.
    To top it off, since about 1984, Israel has a ten Agorot coin, said to depict on its backside a map of Greater Israel.
    The sign on the coin could also resemble the ancient kingdom of Babylon in 539 BCE.
    The 10 Agorot coin is one of the New Israeli Sheqel (NIS) coin series, also known as simply the Israeli shekel (sign: ₪, code: ILS). Israeli agorot and shekel are the currency of Israel.
    undefined
    The depiction on the coin is full of controversy. Some Israeli say that the picture of this new coins was taken over form the original sheqel – and that, indeed, it represented Israel’s aspiration of expansion towards a Greater Israel. Israelis are proud of carrying “Greater Israel” in their pockets. See this.
    Without speaking much about it, most Israelis support the war against Gaza / Palestine, as it is supposed to pave the way towards Greater Israel. No time horizon is given to achieve this goal.
    However, a Greater Israel would be one of the resources richest nations in the world, especially in terms of hydrocarbons. It would also include the trillion-plus cubic feet of gas discovered in the 1990s off shore of Gaza, belonging today to Palestine.
    Back to the 26th of January 2024 weak ICJ judgment. It leaves room for Israel to pursue her course towards the Greater Israel, which is no doubt in the interest of the west. Having an almost endless supply of oil and gas from a secure source, Israel, would allow the west breaking any ties with Russia and the Arab world for energy supply.
    It also shows clearly the symbiotic relationship between Israel – an artificial western (UK) Zionist invented country, an interdependence that serves primarily those who created Israel in the first place and, on the other hand, gives Zionist Israel the grandeur of the Chosen People, plainly anchored in their bible, the Torah.
    To get there, much bloodshed would be the course of the conquest. This MUST be avoided by sensible people, and here is where an International Court of Justice – one that is neutral, not responding to any commands from globalist leaders, might and would have significant influence, by appealing to the conscience of those supporting the genocide.
    *
    Note to readers: Please click the share button above. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter and subscribe to our Telegram Channel. Feel free to repost and share widely Global Research articles.
    Peter Koenig is a geopolitical analyst and a former Senior Economist at the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO), where he worked for over 30 years around the world. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed; and co-author of Cynthia McKinney’s book “When China Sneezes: From the Coronavirus Lockdown to the Global Politico-Economic Crisis” (Clarity Press – November 1, 2020).
    Peter is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG). He is also a non-resident Senior Fellow of the Chongyang Institute of Renmin University, Beijing.
    Featured image: Judge Joan Donoghue of the U.S., president of the ICJ, reading the Court’s ruling on Friday. (U.N. TV Screenshot)
    Related Articles from our Archives
    https://www.globalresearch.ca/gaza-versus-hague-icj-failed-again-case-political-correctness/5847838


    https://telegra.ph/Gaza-Versus-The-Hague-The-ICJ-Failed-Again--A-Case-of-Political-Correctness-01-30

    https://donshafi911.blogspot.com/2024/01/gaza-versus-hague-icj-failed-again-case.html
    Gaza Versus The Hague: The ICJ Failed Again – A Case of “Political Correctness”? All Global Research articles can be read in 51 languages by activating the Translate Website button below the author’s name (only available in desktop version). To receive Global Research’s Daily Newsletter (selected articles), click here. Click the share button above to email/forward this article to your friends and colleagues. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter and subscribe to our Telegram Channel. Feel free to repost and share widely Global Research articles. New Year Donation Drive: Global Research Is Committed to the “Unspoken Truth” *** The 17-judge panel of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) today (26 January 2024) found South Africa’s assertion that Israel is committing genocide “plausible.” This would indicate that South Africa won the case. Unfortunately, a closer look is much less optimistic. It shows again a hesitant judgment the ICJ, despite all indications for massive and brutal genocide. The judgment is weak and close to meaningless, when it comes to safe future Palestinian lives. First, the ICJ accepted that South Africa had jurisdiction in this case, because “some things that South Africa has alleged are certainly taking place and fall within the definition of the UN Genocide Convention of 1948.” See this. Al Jazeera summarized the ICJ’s ruling as follows: The court says it has jurisdiction to rule in the case. The court orders Israel to take measures to prevent acts of genocide in the Gaza Strip, must report back in one month. The court says Israel must prevent and punish incitement to genocide. The court says Israel must allow humanitarian aid into the Strip. The court obliges Israel to take more measures to protect Palestinians but does not order it to end military operations in the Strip. The Court evidently did not go far enough. What good does it do to “allow humanitarian aid and prevent the deaths of innocent citizens”, if Israel is permitted to continue killing hundreds if not thousands of innocent and defenseless Palestinians. The Court did not rule an immediate ceasefire or a ceasefire at all – nor did it issue a request for Peace negotiations. Of course, Israel would not have obeyed such a ruling, nor would the staunch supporters of Israel have stopped encouraging Israels “self-defense” killing, but it would have sent a message to the world, namely that ICJ is not afraid to fall “politically unpopular” judgments, and that Israel and genocide would be enshrined in Israels short 75-year history. PM Netanyahu’s and Co’s argument of “self-defense”, justified by “We are genocide victims” are the arguments of psychopaths. The extent of the Israeli atrocious and merciless killing of Palestinians, shows the truth to the world. * Ahead of the judgment the South African Foreign Minister, Naledi Pandor, had this to say: “The three letters ‘ICJ’ were not known to many people in South Africa until the case was filed”. And “Our aim was and is to highlight the plight of the innocent in Palestine” and “draw attention to the lack of justice and freedom.” She added that regardless of success or failure, “the real analysis and judgment is going to be on the court itself.” See this from RT 26 January 2024. The Israeli government does not accept the ICJ ruling, ordering preventing the genocide of the Palestinian people. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that the very claim that Israeli is committing genocide is “not only false, it’s outrageous.” Where does this judgment leave the war? Unless the western support will falter rapidly, both morally and by monetary and weapon deliveries – perhaps because of some ethics that the Court’s decision may have awoken – Israel’s brutal genocide is likely going to continue. PM Netanyahu, practically from day one, anticipated that this would be a long war, intimidating that it was not just a war of retaliation for an [Israeli / Western planned] Hamas attack on Israel on 7 October 2023, but it was a war to conquer over the coming years much of the Middles East and its riches, by gradually establishing “The Greater Israel”, which would include 100% of Palestine, 100% Jordan, 100% of Lebanon, 70% of Syria, 50% of Iraq, 33% of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Nile. Netanyahu would, of course, not say tis, but it was implicit. To top it off, since about 1984, Israel has a ten Agorot coin, said to depict on its backside a map of Greater Israel. The sign on the coin could also resemble the ancient kingdom of Babylon in 539 BCE. The 10 Agorot coin is one of the New Israeli Sheqel (NIS) coin series, also known as simply the Israeli shekel (sign: ₪, code: ILS). Israeli agorot and shekel are the currency of Israel. undefined The depiction on the coin is full of controversy. Some Israeli say that the picture of this new coins was taken over form the original sheqel – and that, indeed, it represented Israel’s aspiration of expansion towards a Greater Israel. Israelis are proud of carrying “Greater Israel” in their pockets. See this. Without speaking much about it, most Israelis support the war against Gaza / Palestine, as it is supposed to pave the way towards Greater Israel. No time horizon is given to achieve this goal. However, a Greater Israel would be one of the resources richest nations in the world, especially in terms of hydrocarbons. It would also include the trillion-plus cubic feet of gas discovered in the 1990s off shore of Gaza, belonging today to Palestine. Back to the 26th of January 2024 weak ICJ judgment. It leaves room for Israel to pursue her course towards the Greater Israel, which is no doubt in the interest of the west. Having an almost endless supply of oil and gas from a secure source, Israel, would allow the west breaking any ties with Russia and the Arab world for energy supply. It also shows clearly the symbiotic relationship between Israel – an artificial western (UK) Zionist invented country, an interdependence that serves primarily those who created Israel in the first place and, on the other hand, gives Zionist Israel the grandeur of the Chosen People, plainly anchored in their bible, the Torah. To get there, much bloodshed would be the course of the conquest. This MUST be avoided by sensible people, and here is where an International Court of Justice – one that is neutral, not responding to any commands from globalist leaders, might and would have significant influence, by appealing to the conscience of those supporting the genocide. * Note to readers: Please click the share button above. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter and subscribe to our Telegram Channel. Feel free to repost and share widely Global Research articles. Peter Koenig is a geopolitical analyst and a former Senior Economist at the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO), where he worked for over 30 years around the world. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed; and co-author of Cynthia McKinney’s book “When China Sneezes: From the Coronavirus Lockdown to the Global Politico-Economic Crisis” (Clarity Press – November 1, 2020). Peter is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG). He is also a non-resident Senior Fellow of the Chongyang Institute of Renmin University, Beijing. Featured image: Judge Joan Donoghue of the U.S., president of the ICJ, reading the Court’s ruling on Friday. (U.N. TV Screenshot) Related Articles from our Archives https://www.globalresearch.ca/gaza-versus-hague-icj-failed-again-case-political-correctness/5847838 https://telegra.ph/Gaza-Versus-The-Hague-The-ICJ-Failed-Again--A-Case-of-Political-Correctness-01-30 https://donshafi911.blogspot.com/2024/01/gaza-versus-hague-icj-failed-again-case.html
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    Gaza Versus The Hague: The ICJ Failed Again – A Case of “Political Correctness”?
    All Global Research articles can be read in 51 languages by activating the Translate Website button below the author’s name (only available in desktop version). To receive Global Research’s Daily Newsletter (selected articles), click here. Click the share button above to email/forward this article to your friends and colleagues. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter and subscribe to our Telegram Channel. Feel …
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 115: Israel pushes Gazans further south; U.S threatens further regional violence
    The U.S. government threatens further regional violence on the heels of drone attack that killed three American troops in Jordan. Human rights groups slam countries for pulling funding for UNRWA as Palestinians in Gaza face famine and starvation.

    Leila WarahJanuary 29, 2024
    Palestinians walk through the rubble of Gaza city, carrying bags of flour delivered on an aid truck
    Palestinians try to get bags of flour after 10 trucks loaded with flour arrived in Gaza City, Gaza strip, on January 28, 2024. (APA Images)
    Casualties

    26,422+ killed* and at least 65,087 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    387+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem
    Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147.
    557 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.**
    *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 33,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.

    ** This figure is released by the Israeli military.

    Key Developments

    Occupied West Bank: Israeli forces shoot dead a Palestinian child southeast of Bethlehem and Palestinian man west of Jenin.
    High-ranking Israeli politicians attend “Return to Gaza Conference” to plan re-settlement.
    Human Rights Monitor: Israeli forces kill 373 Palestinians, including 345 civilians, 48 hours after ICJ interim ruling.
    UNICEF: Over 16,000 children at risk of missing routine vaccinations, exposing them to illnesses like measles, pneumonia and polio.
    PCRS: Israeli shellings and heavy gunfire in the vicinity of besieged Al-Amal Hospital, Khan Younis.
    CENTCOM: Three US service members killed, 25 injured in drone attack by the Islamic Resistance in Iraq in northeast Jordan.
    Gaza Health Ministry: 7,000 wounded and sick people need to leave Gaza to access life-saving medical care.
    Jordan, Turkey, Amnesty International, and WHO call on countries to reinstate funds for UNRWA.
    UNRWA: Only 4 of 22 health centers in Gaza operational due to bombardment and access restrictions
    Yemen’s Ansar Allah send message of defiance to Israel and its allies via music video.
    Japan and Austria join about a dozen countries in suspending funds to UNRWA.
    Gaza’s Health Ministry: Al Nasser Hospital, Khan Younis medical and non-medical waste is piling up “everywhere” amid military siege.
    Since ICJ ruling, hundreds have been killed, hospitals under attack

    In the 48 hours after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) interim ruling on Israel, which placed the state on trial for genocide, the military has continued attacking Gaza with full force.

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    Within the last two days, at least 373 Palestinians, including 345 civilians, have been killed and at least 643 wounded, reported Human Rights Monitor (HRM).

    The entire city of Khan Younis, located in the second-most southern district in the Gaza Strip, is being pounded by Israeli bombardment.

    The Al Amal Hospital in the city is being subjected to a military siege that has lasted several days, trapping medical staff, patients, and displaced people inside.

    “Israeli shelling and heavy gunfire continue in the vicinity of PRCS Al-Amal Hospital,” reported the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) on Monday afternoon.

    PRCS also announced the burial of three people in the courtyard of the al-Amal Hospital due to the “difficulty of transporting them to an official cemetery due to the ongoing blockade imposed on the hospital.”

    On Sunday, PRCS shared a video from inside the Hospital, documenting two members of the medical charity distracting a child amid the sounds of clashes around them. In the video, the young girl shared with them her dreams of returning to her home and school as she expressed her determination to become a dentist.

    Meanwhile, Al Nasser Hospital, also located in the city of Khan Younis, is similarly being subjected to a brutal blockade where medical and non-medical waste is piling up “everywhere,” says Gaza’s Health Ministry.

    The medical waste, which could be toxic, may contribute to the spread of the diseases amid already deteriorating public health conditions in southern Gaza.

    To make matters worse, bodies are also piling up on hospital grounds due to Israeli military vehicles blocking people in, resulting in the inability of citizens to reach the cemeteries in the city, Al Jazeera reported.

    Staff and residents of the Hospital are digging a mass grave on hospital grounds to bury the bodies. At least one other mass grave has already been dug on the property.

    Palestinians pushed farther south in Gaza

    Growing numbers of Palestinians are being forced to flee their homes and shelters in Khan Younis as the army pushes them further south into Rafah, the last remaining place for Palestinians.

    “Thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate and are going through security checkpoints with facial recognition technology. Women and children are separated from the men. A large number of people have been detained and dehumanized during the process,” reported Hani Mahoud from Rafah for Al Jazeera.

    “They are making different groups of people raise their ID cards as they pass through these military checkpoints. In many cases, Palestinian men have been abducted and arrested by the Israeli military, and others have been taken for investigations,” Al Jazeera added.

    The displaced civilians are fleeing Israeli attacks on Khan Younis only to arrive in the already overcrowded district of Rafah, where people are sleeping on the street and in tent camps flooded with sewage amid the harsh weather conditions.

    “Scenes of forcibly displaced people are a disgrace to humanity,” the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

    “Over half a million Palestinians in Khan Younis were instructed by the occupying forces to evacuate their homes, including hospitals and health centres, in a cruel expansion and deepening of forced displacement from southern regions,” the ministry continued.

    “Israel has ramped up its efforts to starve [Palestinians] as well as forcibly displace them from their homes in the Strip,” Human Rights Monitor said.

    “In defiance of the ruling of the world’s highest court and in violation of its own international obligations, including to international law and principles, Israel persists in committing egregious violations that amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, including genocide against the Palestinian people,” the humanitarian group continued.

    Gazans starve as world powers cut off funding to UNRWA

    Japan and Austria are the most recent countries to join the approximately dozen others who have announced plans to suspend funding to The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), the main agency delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza.

    The countries are awaiting the outcome of an investigation into allegations that 12 staff members participated in Hamas’s October 7 operation, collectively punishing Gaza’s population in the process.

    UNRWA, which has provided primary healthcare to Gaza’s nearly two million residents since before October 7, is already collapsing under Israel’s military attacks and struggling to provide social and primary care to the besieged enclave.

    According to the humanitarian organization, only four out of 22 of its health centers in Gaza are operational due to Israeli bombardment and access restrictions.

    “UNRWA is the lifeline for over 2 million Palestinians facing starvation in Gaza,” Ayman Safadi, Jordan’s foreign minister and deputy prime minister, said in a post on X, stressing that the potential participation of 12 staff does not justify measures to starve an entire nation.

    “It shouldn’t be collectively punished upon allegations against 12 persons out of its 13,000 staff. UNRWA acted responsibly and began an investigation. We urge countries that suspended funds to reverse the decision,” Safadi continued.

    Agnes Callamard, the secretary general of Amnesty International, has called the cuts a “heartless decision” by some of the world’s richest countries “to punish the most vulnerable population on earth because of the alleged crimes of 12 people.”

    “Right after the ICJ ruling finding risk of genocide. Sickening,” Callamard added.

    Similarly, the Director General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has said that “cutting off funding” to UNRWA at this “critical moment” will only “hurt the people of Gaza who desperately need support.”

    “We appeal to donors not to suspend their funding to UNRWA at this critical moment,” Ghebreyesus said.

    Israeli politicians discuss plans to ‘re-settle’ Gaza

    As Gaza’s population continues to be systematically wiped out by Israel, high-ranking Israeli cabinet ministers and parliament members are planning for the besieged enclaves’ re-settlement with Jewish Israelis.

    On Sunday, the politicians attended the “Return to Gaza Conference” in Jerusalem. At the conference, plans were made for the re-establishment of 15 Israeli settlements and the addition of six new ones on top of recently destroyed Palestinian communities.

    The fact that Israeli officials would “convene a high-level meeting to plan an act of aggression – the acquisition of occupied territory and its colonization – is an early indication of intent to breach the provisional measures order by the ICJ,” says Israeli humanitarian lawyer Itay Epshtain.

    Hamas has also released a statement saying the conference goes against the interim rulings of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the war on Gaza by openly calling for the “voluntary migration” of Palestinians at the conference.

    “We call on the international community and the UN to take a firm stance … and condemn it clearly as a fascist conference based on the idea of ethnic cleansing,” Hamas said.

    U.S. threatens to escalate regional violence

    The United States Central Command (CENTCOM) announced three service members were killed and and 34 were wounded on Sunday during a drone attack on US forces stationed in northeast Jordan near the Syrian border, which is likely to cause further escalation in regional violence.

    “While we are still gathering the facts of this attack, we know it was carried out by radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq,” President Joe Biden said shortly afterward but did not cite any evidence.

    Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin says he is “outraged and deeply saddened” by the killing of the three troops.

    “The president and I will not tolerate attacks on American forces, and we will take all necessary actions to defend the United States, our troops, and our interests,” he said in a statement.

    Iran later denied their involvement in the fatal drone attack. The country’s Foreign Ministry released a statement saying the “baseless accusations” connecting them to the attack are aimed at fanning the flames of war.

    “This is a conspiracy by those who see their interests in again dragging the US into a new conflict in the region,” Iranian spokesman Nasser Kanani said, as cited by Al Jazeera.

    “Resistance groups across the region do not take orders from the Islamic Republic of Iran in their decisions and actions. And even though Iran does not welcome expanding fighting in the region, it also does not interfere in the decisions of resistance groups on how they support the Palestinian nation, or defend themselves and their countries’ peoples against any violations or occupation,” Kanani continued.

    Later on Monday, the Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed responsibility for the drone attack, explaining it was “in response to the massacres of the Zionist entity against our people in Gaza.”

    Al Jazeera analyst Marwan Bishara says that the US “recognizes” that it is in a sort of “proxy conflict with Iran,” noting that this is the first time American troops have been killed since the war on Gaza started.

    “This is important because this is another landmark day where we are seeing escalation, a widening of the war. Clearly America is slowly – but surely – getting stuck in the Middle East.”

    “This is the president who famously said we have to end the “forever wars,” and now he’s making threats about punishing the perpetrators and those who are responsible. America is already involved in a number – I’m not sure if we’ve reached a dozen strikes against Yemen. It has employed its most sophisticated aircraft carriers to the eastern Mediterranean,” Bishara continued.

    Many right-wing hawkish US politicians have responded to the attacks by calling for military retaliation, including republican Tom Cotton.

    “The only answer to these attacks must be devastating military retaliation against Iran’s terrorist forces, both in Iran and across the Middle East. Anything less will confirm Joe Biden as a coward unworthy of being commander in chief,” Cotton said in a statement.

    David Des Roches, former Pentagon director of Arabian peninsula affairs, told Al Jazeera that the US reaction to the drone attack that killed three service members “will be a significant one.”

    “I don’t think it will be directed solely against proxies; I think there will be something higher up the hierarchy of Iranian interests destroyed,” he said.

    “It’s a calculus that’s very hard to get right and it’s fraught with danger. The greatest danger is that both sides might create a sort of unwanted momentum towards a confrontation that neither side truly wants,” Roches concluded.

    However, Trita Parsi, the executive vice president of the Quincy Institute, said it’s likely US interests will continue to be threatened without an end to the war in Gaza.

    “It’s important to note that there were zero attacks during the six days between November 24-30 when there was a ceasefire in Gaza,” Parsi told Al Jazeera, adding that the Biden administration appears willing to put US service members at risk to allow Israel to push on with the war.

    “In fact, the carnage in Gaza is increasingly clear now. It is posing a threat to US interests because we’re seeing how it’s threatening the US in the Red Sea,” Parsi said.

    “We’re seeing the casualties now on the Syrian border. There may be a war between Israel and Lebanon as well and, down the line, a new nuclear crisis with Iran. Biden is not pursuing US interests by allowing this to continue. If he really wants to end it and protect US troops, there needs to be de-escalation and de-escalation begins with a ceasefire in Gaza,” Parsi concluded.

    Similarly, the US National Iranian American Council (NIAC) says the US and Iran “are now closer to the brink of being pulled into a full-blown regional war by the vortex of violence” unleashed by the conflict in Gaza.

    “President Biden must show leadership and recognize that there is no military solution to this crisis that has only been expanded and prolonged by military escalation and a dearth of diplomacy,” NIAC concluded on X.

    BEFORE YOU GO – At Mondoweiss, we understand the power of telling Palestinian stories. For 17 years, we have pushed back when the mainstream media published lies or echoed politicians’ hateful rhetoric. Now, Palestinian voices are more important than ever.

    Our traffic has increased ten times since October 7, and we need your help to cover our increased expenses.

    Support our journalists with a donation today.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/01/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-115-israel-pushes-gazans-further-south-u-s-threatens-further-regional-violence/

    https://donshafi911.blogspot.com/2024/01/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-115-israel.html
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 115: Israel pushes Gazans further south; U.S threatens further regional violence The U.S. government threatens further regional violence on the heels of drone attack that killed three American troops in Jordan. Human rights groups slam countries for pulling funding for UNRWA as Palestinians in Gaza face famine and starvation. Leila WarahJanuary 29, 2024 Palestinians walk through the rubble of Gaza city, carrying bags of flour delivered on an aid truck Palestinians try to get bags of flour after 10 trucks loaded with flour arrived in Gaza City, Gaza strip, on January 28, 2024. (APA Images) Casualties 26,422+ killed* and at least 65,087 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 387+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147. 557 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.** *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 33,000 when accounting for those presumed dead. ** This figure is released by the Israeli military. Key Developments Occupied West Bank: Israeli forces shoot dead a Palestinian child southeast of Bethlehem and Palestinian man west of Jenin. High-ranking Israeli politicians attend “Return to Gaza Conference” to plan re-settlement. Human Rights Monitor: Israeli forces kill 373 Palestinians, including 345 civilians, 48 hours after ICJ interim ruling. UNICEF: Over 16,000 children at risk of missing routine vaccinations, exposing them to illnesses like measles, pneumonia and polio. PCRS: Israeli shellings and heavy gunfire in the vicinity of besieged Al-Amal Hospital, Khan Younis. CENTCOM: Three US service members killed, 25 injured in drone attack by the Islamic Resistance in Iraq in northeast Jordan. Gaza Health Ministry: 7,000 wounded and sick people need to leave Gaza to access life-saving medical care. Jordan, Turkey, Amnesty International, and WHO call on countries to reinstate funds for UNRWA. UNRWA: Only 4 of 22 health centers in Gaza operational due to bombardment and access restrictions Yemen’s Ansar Allah send message of defiance to Israel and its allies via music video. Japan and Austria join about a dozen countries in suspending funds to UNRWA. Gaza’s Health Ministry: Al Nasser Hospital, Khan Younis medical and non-medical waste is piling up “everywhere” amid military siege. Since ICJ ruling, hundreds have been killed, hospitals under attack In the 48 hours after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) interim ruling on Israel, which placed the state on trial for genocide, the military has continued attacking Gaza with full force. Advertisement Follow the Mondoweiss channel on WhatsApp! Within the last two days, at least 373 Palestinians, including 345 civilians, have been killed and at least 643 wounded, reported Human Rights Monitor (HRM). The entire city of Khan Younis, located in the second-most southern district in the Gaza Strip, is being pounded by Israeli bombardment. The Al Amal Hospital in the city is being subjected to a military siege that has lasted several days, trapping medical staff, patients, and displaced people inside. “Israeli shelling and heavy gunfire continue in the vicinity of PRCS Al-Amal Hospital,” reported the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) on Monday afternoon. PRCS also announced the burial of three people in the courtyard of the al-Amal Hospital due to the “difficulty of transporting them to an official cemetery due to the ongoing blockade imposed on the hospital.” On Sunday, PRCS shared a video from inside the Hospital, documenting two members of the medical charity distracting a child amid the sounds of clashes around them. In the video, the young girl shared with them her dreams of returning to her home and school as she expressed her determination to become a dentist. Meanwhile, Al Nasser Hospital, also located in the city of Khan Younis, is similarly being subjected to a brutal blockade where medical and non-medical waste is piling up “everywhere,” says Gaza’s Health Ministry. The medical waste, which could be toxic, may contribute to the spread of the diseases amid already deteriorating public health conditions in southern Gaza. To make matters worse, bodies are also piling up on hospital grounds due to Israeli military vehicles blocking people in, resulting in the inability of citizens to reach the cemeteries in the city, Al Jazeera reported. Staff and residents of the Hospital are digging a mass grave on hospital grounds to bury the bodies. At least one other mass grave has already been dug on the property. Palestinians pushed farther south in Gaza Growing numbers of Palestinians are being forced to flee their homes and shelters in Khan Younis as the army pushes them further south into Rafah, the last remaining place for Palestinians. “Thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate and are going through security checkpoints with facial recognition technology. Women and children are separated from the men. A large number of people have been detained and dehumanized during the process,” reported Hani Mahoud from Rafah for Al Jazeera. “They are making different groups of people raise their ID cards as they pass through these military checkpoints. In many cases, Palestinian men have been abducted and arrested by the Israeli military, and others have been taken for investigations,” Al Jazeera added. The displaced civilians are fleeing Israeli attacks on Khan Younis only to arrive in the already overcrowded district of Rafah, where people are sleeping on the street and in tent camps flooded with sewage amid the harsh weather conditions. “Scenes of forcibly displaced people are a disgrace to humanity,” the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. “Over half a million Palestinians in Khan Younis were instructed by the occupying forces to evacuate their homes, including hospitals and health centres, in a cruel expansion and deepening of forced displacement from southern regions,” the ministry continued. “Israel has ramped up its efforts to starve [Palestinians] as well as forcibly displace them from their homes in the Strip,” Human Rights Monitor said. “In defiance of the ruling of the world’s highest court and in violation of its own international obligations, including to international law and principles, Israel persists in committing egregious violations that amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, including genocide against the Palestinian people,” the humanitarian group continued. Gazans starve as world powers cut off funding to UNRWA Japan and Austria are the most recent countries to join the approximately dozen others who have announced plans to suspend funding to The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), the main agency delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza. The countries are awaiting the outcome of an investigation into allegations that 12 staff members participated in Hamas’s October 7 operation, collectively punishing Gaza’s population in the process. UNRWA, which has provided primary healthcare to Gaza’s nearly two million residents since before October 7, is already collapsing under Israel’s military attacks and struggling to provide social and primary care to the besieged enclave. According to the humanitarian organization, only four out of 22 of its health centers in Gaza are operational due to Israeli bombardment and access restrictions. “UNRWA is the lifeline for over 2 million Palestinians facing starvation in Gaza,” Ayman Safadi, Jordan’s foreign minister and deputy prime minister, said in a post on X, stressing that the potential participation of 12 staff does not justify measures to starve an entire nation. “It shouldn’t be collectively punished upon allegations against 12 persons out of its 13,000 staff. UNRWA acted responsibly and began an investigation. We urge countries that suspended funds to reverse the decision,” Safadi continued. Agnes Callamard, the secretary general of Amnesty International, has called the cuts a “heartless decision” by some of the world’s richest countries “to punish the most vulnerable population on earth because of the alleged crimes of 12 people.” “Right after the ICJ ruling finding risk of genocide. Sickening,” Callamard added. Similarly, the Director General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has said that “cutting off funding” to UNRWA at this “critical moment” will only “hurt the people of Gaza who desperately need support.” “We appeal to donors not to suspend their funding to UNRWA at this critical moment,” Ghebreyesus said. Israeli politicians discuss plans to ‘re-settle’ Gaza As Gaza’s population continues to be systematically wiped out by Israel, high-ranking Israeli cabinet ministers and parliament members are planning for the besieged enclaves’ re-settlement with Jewish Israelis. On Sunday, the politicians attended the “Return to Gaza Conference” in Jerusalem. At the conference, plans were made for the re-establishment of 15 Israeli settlements and the addition of six new ones on top of recently destroyed Palestinian communities. The fact that Israeli officials would “convene a high-level meeting to plan an act of aggression – the acquisition of occupied territory and its colonization – is an early indication of intent to breach the provisional measures order by the ICJ,” says Israeli humanitarian lawyer Itay Epshtain. Hamas has also released a statement saying the conference goes against the interim rulings of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the war on Gaza by openly calling for the “voluntary migration” of Palestinians at the conference. “We call on the international community and the UN to take a firm stance … and condemn it clearly as a fascist conference based on the idea of ethnic cleansing,” Hamas said. U.S. threatens to escalate regional violence The United States Central Command (CENTCOM) announced three service members were killed and and 34 were wounded on Sunday during a drone attack on US forces stationed in northeast Jordan near the Syrian border, which is likely to cause further escalation in regional violence. “While we are still gathering the facts of this attack, we know it was carried out by radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq,” President Joe Biden said shortly afterward but did not cite any evidence. Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin says he is “outraged and deeply saddened” by the killing of the three troops. “The president and I will not tolerate attacks on American forces, and we will take all necessary actions to defend the United States, our troops, and our interests,” he said in a statement. Iran later denied their involvement in the fatal drone attack. The country’s Foreign Ministry released a statement saying the “baseless accusations” connecting them to the attack are aimed at fanning the flames of war. “This is a conspiracy by those who see their interests in again dragging the US into a new conflict in the region,” Iranian spokesman Nasser Kanani said, as cited by Al Jazeera. “Resistance groups across the region do not take orders from the Islamic Republic of Iran in their decisions and actions. And even though Iran does not welcome expanding fighting in the region, it also does not interfere in the decisions of resistance groups on how they support the Palestinian nation, or defend themselves and their countries’ peoples against any violations or occupation,” Kanani continued. Later on Monday, the Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed responsibility for the drone attack, explaining it was “in response to the massacres of the Zionist entity against our people in Gaza.” Al Jazeera analyst Marwan Bishara says that the US “recognizes” that it is in a sort of “proxy conflict with Iran,” noting that this is the first time American troops have been killed since the war on Gaza started. “This is important because this is another landmark day where we are seeing escalation, a widening of the war. Clearly America is slowly – but surely – getting stuck in the Middle East.” “This is the president who famously said we have to end the “forever wars,” and now he’s making threats about punishing the perpetrators and those who are responsible. America is already involved in a number – I’m not sure if we’ve reached a dozen strikes against Yemen. It has employed its most sophisticated aircraft carriers to the eastern Mediterranean,” Bishara continued. Many right-wing hawkish US politicians have responded to the attacks by calling for military retaliation, including republican Tom Cotton. “The only answer to these attacks must be devastating military retaliation against Iran’s terrorist forces, both in Iran and across the Middle East. Anything less will confirm Joe Biden as a coward unworthy of being commander in chief,” Cotton said in a statement. David Des Roches, former Pentagon director of Arabian peninsula affairs, told Al Jazeera that the US reaction to the drone attack that killed three service members “will be a significant one.” “I don’t think it will be directed solely against proxies; I think there will be something higher up the hierarchy of Iranian interests destroyed,” he said. “It’s a calculus that’s very hard to get right and it’s fraught with danger. The greatest danger is that both sides might create a sort of unwanted momentum towards a confrontation that neither side truly wants,” Roches concluded. However, Trita Parsi, the executive vice president of the Quincy Institute, said it’s likely US interests will continue to be threatened without an end to the war in Gaza. “It’s important to note that there were zero attacks during the six days between November 24-30 when there was a ceasefire in Gaza,” Parsi told Al Jazeera, adding that the Biden administration appears willing to put US service members at risk to allow Israel to push on with the war. “In fact, the carnage in Gaza is increasingly clear now. It is posing a threat to US interests because we’re seeing how it’s threatening the US in the Red Sea,” Parsi said. “We’re seeing the casualties now on the Syrian border. There may be a war between Israel and Lebanon as well and, down the line, a new nuclear crisis with Iran. Biden is not pursuing US interests by allowing this to continue. If he really wants to end it and protect US troops, there needs to be de-escalation and de-escalation begins with a ceasefire in Gaza,” Parsi concluded. Similarly, the US National Iranian American Council (NIAC) says the US and Iran “are now closer to the brink of being pulled into a full-blown regional war by the vortex of violence” unleashed by the conflict in Gaza. “President Biden must show leadership and recognize that there is no military solution to this crisis that has only been expanded and prolonged by military escalation and a dearth of diplomacy,” NIAC concluded on X. BEFORE YOU GO – At Mondoweiss, we understand the power of telling Palestinian stories. For 17 years, we have pushed back when the mainstream media published lies or echoed politicians’ hateful rhetoric. Now, Palestinian voices are more important than ever. Our traffic has increased ten times since October 7, and we need your help to cover our increased expenses. Support our journalists with a donation today. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/01/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-115-israel-pushes-gazans-further-south-u-s-threatens-further-regional-violence/ https://donshafi911.blogspot.com/2024/01/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-115-israel.html
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    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 115: Israel pushes Gazans further south; U.S threatens further regional violence
    The U.S. government threatens further regional violence on the heels of drone attack that killed three American troops in Jordan. Human rights groups slam countries for pulling funding for UNRWA as Palestinians in Gaza face famine and starvation.
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