• ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 179: Israel kills 7 international aid workers in central Gaza, passes law banning Al Jazeera
    The World Central Kitchen called the attack that killed seven of its aid workers “unforgivable” as Israeli forces killed 71 people across the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, the Israeli government voted to approve a bill banning Al Jazeera.

    Qassam MuaddiApril 2, 2024
    Palestinians inspect the heavily damaged vehicle after the Israeli attack targeting the international and local officials with the World Central Kitchen, Deir al-Balah, central Gaza, April 2, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Palestinians inspect the heavily damaged vehicle after the Israeli attack targeting the international and local officials with the World Central Kitchen, Deir al-Balah, central Gaza, April 2, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Casualties

    32,916+ killed* and at least 75,494 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    451+ 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 3,302 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 kills 71 Palestinians and wounds 102 in the Gaza Strip in 7 different massacres, according to the Palestinian health ministry.
    Israeli army kills seven aid workers of British, Polish, and Australian nationalities belonging to the World Central Kitchen (WCK) in Deir al-Balah. WCK announces halt of operations in light of attack.
    Israeli government votes on a bill to ban Al Jazeera and other media outlets, Netanyahu accuses Al Jazeera of incitement against Israel.
    Gaza’s health ministry calls upon Palestinians to evacuate hospitals unless they are patients or wounded.
    In the West Bank, one Palestinian dies of wounds sustained during Israeli army raid in Jenin.
    Israeli army raids Qalandia refugee camp north of Jerusalem, arresting seven people.
    Israeli forces kill 71 Palestinians, wound 102 across Gaza

    The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza said in a statement Tuesday that Israeli forces committed seven massacres against families in the Gaza Strip since Monday, killing 71 Palestinians and wounding 102, bringing the death toll of Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip since October 7 to 32,916.

    The ministry pointed out that medical teams haven’t been able to recover many more bodies buried under the rubble.

    In Gaza City, Israel’s withdrawal from al-Shifa Hospital revealed the total destruction of the medical complex and its facilities. Accounts from residents in the area describe dead bodies with tied hands, indicating potential cases of execution.

    In a statement, Gaza’s Government Media Office said that at least 400 Palestinians were killed and 900 were wounded during the two-week-long Israeli raid on Gaza’s largest hospital.

    In the central Gaza Strip, Israeli forces bombed the al-Bashir mosque, killing one child and wounding 20 more people. Israeli artillery also bombed the village of al-Mighraqa north of the Nuseirat refugee camp.

    In the southern Gaza Strip, two separate Israeli bombings killed 12 Palestinians in Rafah, including six people, in a bombing of the Zuurub family home. Meanwhile, Israeli artillery continued bombing the western neighborhoods of Khan Younis.

    Israeli strike kills seven international aid workers in Deir al-Balah

    Seven international aid workers were killed by an Israeli strike in Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip on Monday. The aid workers belonged to the U.S.-based international humanitarian organization, the World Central Kitchen.

    The victims were of British, Canadian, Polish, and Australian, nationalities, and some had dual U.S. and Palestinian citizenship.

    Passports of the international volunteers with the World Central Kitchen killed in a targeted Israeli airstrike, Deir al-Balah, central Gaza. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Passports of the international volunteers with the World Central Kitchen killed in a targeted Israeli airstrike, Deir al-Balah, central Gaza. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    The World Central Kitchen said in a statement that its workers were leaving the organization’s warehouse in Deir al-Balah, moving through a “deconflicted zone” in three vehicles when the Israeli strike occurred, “despite coordinating movements” with the Israeli army.

    “This is an attack on humanitarian organizations showing up in the most dire of situations where food is being used as a weapon of war, this is unforgivable,” said the WCK statement. The organization also announced the suspension of its operations in the Gaza Strip.

    The World Central Kitchen had been engaged in delivering meals to Palestinians in the besieged Gaza strip, where the UN has warned of famine induced by Israel’s blocking of humanitarian aid from entering the Strip. At least 31 people have died of starvation.

    Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese confirmed the death of a 44-year-old Australian citizen among the team, calling the killing “completely unacceptable.” Albanese also said that his cabinet will call in Israel’s ambassador.

    Israeli media quoted the Israeli army as saying that it will open an investigation into the incident.

    Since October 7, Israeli strikes killed at least 170 international humanitarian workers in the Gaza Strip, according to Human Rights Watch.

    Israeli government votes bill into law banning Al Jazeera

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Monday to shut down the Qatari media network Al Jazeera’s operations in Palestine soon.

    The law, dubbed the “Al Jazeera law,” was introduced after the Israeli army claimed it found one Al Jazeera worker to be a member of Hamas, without providing more details.

    The law sets the ground for the Israeli war cabinet to put a ban on the Qatari media network into effect. However, according to the Israeli daily newspaper Israel Hayom, Netanyahu and his cabinet “are not in a rush” to ban Al Jazeera from broadcasting, given Qatar’s role in mediating negotiations with Hamas.

    On Monday, Netanyahu accused Al Jazeera of incitement against Israel and “actively taking part in the October 7 attack.”

    Since October 7, Israeli strikes have killed 139 journalists in the Gaza Strip, including Al Jazeera cameraman Samer Abu Daqa. Back in December, only two months into Israel’s assault on Gaza, the Committee for the Protection of Journalists said that the Strip was the most dangerous place for journalists in the world.

    One Palestinian killed in Jenin as Israel continues raids across the West Bank

    A Palestinian was pronounced dead in Jenin on Tuesday after succumbing to his wounds caused earlier by Israeli forces during a military raid on the town of Qabatiya, south of Jenin.

    The martyr was identified as 20-year-old Rabea Faisal Zakarna, who was wounded on Saturday by Israeli forces that raided his town.

    Meanwhile, Israeli forces raided the Qalandia refugee camp north of Jerusalem late on Monday, where they were confronted by local youth throwing stones as well as armed clashes with Palestinian fighters. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society reported several injuries in Qalandia by Israeli fire.

    Across the West Bank, Israeli forces raided several towns in the Nablus, Hebron, and Jericho governorates, arresting at least 40 Palestinians, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club.

    Since October 7, Israel has arrested more than 7,600 Palestinians. Currently, Israel continues to hold 9,100 Palestinians in its jails, including 50 women, 200 children, and at least 3,500 detainees without charge or trial as part of its policy of administrative detention.

    With the death of Rabea Zakarneh, the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank rose to 456 since October 7 and 139 since the beginning of the year.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/04/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-179-israel-kills-7-international-aid-workers-in-central-gaza-passes-law-banning-al-jazeera/
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 179: Israel kills 7 international aid workers in central Gaza, passes law banning Al Jazeera The World Central Kitchen called the attack that killed seven of its aid workers “unforgivable” as Israeli forces killed 71 people across the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, the Israeli government voted to approve a bill banning Al Jazeera. Qassam MuaddiApril 2, 2024 Palestinians inspect the heavily damaged vehicle after the Israeli attack targeting the international and local officials with the World Central Kitchen, Deir al-Balah, central Gaza, April 2, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Palestinians inspect the heavily damaged vehicle after the Israeli attack targeting the international and local officials with the World Central Kitchen, Deir al-Balah, central Gaza, April 2, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Casualties 32,916+ killed* and at least 75,494 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 451+ 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 3,302 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 kills 71 Palestinians and wounds 102 in the Gaza Strip in 7 different massacres, according to the Palestinian health ministry. Israeli army kills seven aid workers of British, Polish, and Australian nationalities belonging to the World Central Kitchen (WCK) in Deir al-Balah. WCK announces halt of operations in light of attack. Israeli government votes on a bill to ban Al Jazeera and other media outlets, Netanyahu accuses Al Jazeera of incitement against Israel. Gaza’s health ministry calls upon Palestinians to evacuate hospitals unless they are patients or wounded. In the West Bank, one Palestinian dies of wounds sustained during Israeli army raid in Jenin. Israeli army raids Qalandia refugee camp north of Jerusalem, arresting seven people. Israeli forces kill 71 Palestinians, wound 102 across Gaza The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza said in a statement Tuesday that Israeli forces committed seven massacres against families in the Gaza Strip since Monday, killing 71 Palestinians and wounding 102, bringing the death toll of Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip since October 7 to 32,916. The ministry pointed out that medical teams haven’t been able to recover many more bodies buried under the rubble. In Gaza City, Israel’s withdrawal from al-Shifa Hospital revealed the total destruction of the medical complex and its facilities. Accounts from residents in the area describe dead bodies with tied hands, indicating potential cases of execution. In a statement, Gaza’s Government Media Office said that at least 400 Palestinians were killed and 900 were wounded during the two-week-long Israeli raid on Gaza’s largest hospital. In the central Gaza Strip, Israeli forces bombed the al-Bashir mosque, killing one child and wounding 20 more people. Israeli artillery also bombed the village of al-Mighraqa north of the Nuseirat refugee camp. In the southern Gaza Strip, two separate Israeli bombings killed 12 Palestinians in Rafah, including six people, in a bombing of the Zuurub family home. Meanwhile, Israeli artillery continued bombing the western neighborhoods of Khan Younis. Israeli strike kills seven international aid workers in Deir al-Balah Seven international aid workers were killed by an Israeli strike in Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip on Monday. The aid workers belonged to the U.S.-based international humanitarian organization, the World Central Kitchen. The victims were of British, Canadian, Polish, and Australian, nationalities, and some had dual U.S. and Palestinian citizenship. Passports of the international volunteers with the World Central Kitchen killed in a targeted Israeli airstrike, Deir al-Balah, central Gaza. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Passports of the international volunteers with the World Central Kitchen killed in a targeted Israeli airstrike, Deir al-Balah, central Gaza. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) The World Central Kitchen said in a statement that its workers were leaving the organization’s warehouse in Deir al-Balah, moving through a “deconflicted zone” in three vehicles when the Israeli strike occurred, “despite coordinating movements” with the Israeli army. “This is an attack on humanitarian organizations showing up in the most dire of situations where food is being used as a weapon of war, this is unforgivable,” said the WCK statement. The organization also announced the suspension of its operations in the Gaza Strip. The World Central Kitchen had been engaged in delivering meals to Palestinians in the besieged Gaza strip, where the UN has warned of famine induced by Israel’s blocking of humanitarian aid from entering the Strip. At least 31 people have died of starvation. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese confirmed the death of a 44-year-old Australian citizen among the team, calling the killing “completely unacceptable.” Albanese also said that his cabinet will call in Israel’s ambassador. Israeli media quoted the Israeli army as saying that it will open an investigation into the incident. Since October 7, Israeli strikes killed at least 170 international humanitarian workers in the Gaza Strip, according to Human Rights Watch. Israeli government votes bill into law banning Al Jazeera Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Monday to shut down the Qatari media network Al Jazeera’s operations in Palestine soon. The law, dubbed the “Al Jazeera law,” was introduced after the Israeli army claimed it found one Al Jazeera worker to be a member of Hamas, without providing more details. The law sets the ground for the Israeli war cabinet to put a ban on the Qatari media network into effect. However, according to the Israeli daily newspaper Israel Hayom, Netanyahu and his cabinet “are not in a rush” to ban Al Jazeera from broadcasting, given Qatar’s role in mediating negotiations with Hamas. On Monday, Netanyahu accused Al Jazeera of incitement against Israel and “actively taking part in the October 7 attack.” Since October 7, Israeli strikes have killed 139 journalists in the Gaza Strip, including Al Jazeera cameraman Samer Abu Daqa. Back in December, only two months into Israel’s assault on Gaza, the Committee for the Protection of Journalists said that the Strip was the most dangerous place for journalists in the world. One Palestinian killed in Jenin as Israel continues raids across the West Bank A Palestinian was pronounced dead in Jenin on Tuesday after succumbing to his wounds caused earlier by Israeli forces during a military raid on the town of Qabatiya, south of Jenin. The martyr was identified as 20-year-old Rabea Faisal Zakarna, who was wounded on Saturday by Israeli forces that raided his town. Meanwhile, Israeli forces raided the Qalandia refugee camp north of Jerusalem late on Monday, where they were confronted by local youth throwing stones as well as armed clashes with Palestinian fighters. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society reported several injuries in Qalandia by Israeli fire. Across the West Bank, Israeli forces raided several towns in the Nablus, Hebron, and Jericho governorates, arresting at least 40 Palestinians, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club. Since October 7, Israel has arrested more than 7,600 Palestinians. Currently, Israel continues to hold 9,100 Palestinians in its jails, including 50 women, 200 children, and at least 3,500 detainees without charge or trial as part of its policy of administrative detention. With the death of Rabea Zakarneh, the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank rose to 456 since October 7 and 139 since the beginning of the year. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/04/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-179-israel-kills-7-international-aid-workers-in-central-gaza-passes-law-banning-al-jazeera/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 179: Israel kills 7 international aid workers in central Gaza, passes law banning Al Jazeera
    The World Central Kitchen called the attack that killed seven of its aid workers “unforgivable” as Israeli forces killed 71 people across the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, the Israeli government voted to approve a bill banning Al Jazeera.
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  • 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.

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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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    Pre-emptive Nuclear War: The Role of Israel in Triggering an Attack on Iran
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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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  • US congressman Walberg says Gaza should be destroyed 'like Nagasaki and Hiroshima', also suggests nuking Russia
    walberg
    The coments were made during a town hall meeting in Dundee, Michigan on March 25
    A Michigan Congressman has suggested a nuclear bomb should be dropped on Gaza to 'support Israel's swift elimination of Hamas.'

    Speaking during a town hall earlier this week, U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg, a Republican from Lenawee County, appeared entirely comfortable advocating for the use of nuclear weapons against the Palestinians.

    'It should be like Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Get it over quick,' Walberg could be heard stating in a video posted to X in which he mentioned the Japanese cities in which America detonated atomic bombs at the end of World War II.


    Walberg, an eight-term Republican congressman from Lenawee County, can also be heard speaking against providing humanitarian aid for those in the Palestinian territory.


    'We shouldn't be spending a dime on humanitarian aid,' Walberg stated in response to a question about American troops being deployed into Gaza to build a port that would help aid be delivered to the Palestinians.

    Walberg had been responding to a question about an initiative put forward by President Joe Biden to use American tax dollars to construct a port off the Gaza coast that would allow humanitarian aid to be delivered more quickly.

    Walberg's office has now attempted to explain the GOP congressman's seemingly straightforward answer as a metaphor.

    'During his community gathering, he clearly uses a metaphor to support Israel's swift elimination of Hamas, which is the best chance to save lives long-term and the only hope at achieving a permanent peace in the region,' Walberg spokesman Mike Rorke said on Saturday.

    'Congressman Walberg vehemently disagrees with putting our troops in harm's way. He has great empathy for the innocent people in Gaza who have been thrust into this situation due to the attack carried out by Hamas leaving 1,163 innocent civilians dead,' Rorke continued.


    'To this day, Hamas still is holding hostages, including Americans. Hamas should surrender and return the hostages.'

    Walberg's comments have been described as 'clear call to genocide by a member of Congress'.

    The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said his remarks should be 'condemned by all Americans who value human life and international law.'

    'To so casually call for what would result in the killing of every human being in Gaza sends the chilling message that Palestinian lives have no value,' CAIR Executive Director Dawud Walid said to Detroit News.

    'It is this dehumanization of the Palestinian people that has resulted in the ongoing slaughter and suffering we see every day in Gaza and the West Bank.'

    The U.N. food agency has said famine is 'imminent' in northern Gaza, with two-thirds of population experiencing catastrophic hunger.

    Later in the town hall, held on March 25 in Dundee, Michigan, Walberg went on to suggest that a nuclear bomb should also be used in Russia's war with Ukraine in order to 'defeat Putin quick.'


    He said instead of American money being used to provide aid to Ukraine for humanitarian purposes, it should instead be used 'to wipe out Russia, if that's what we want to do.'

    Walberg has been taken to task over his comments by his Democratic colleagues with some calling for his immediate resignation.

    Michigan state Democratic Senator Darrin Camilleri tweeted how Walberg had been caught on video 'endorsing and calling for a complete genocide in Gaza.'

    'He's an absolute disgrace and needs to resign,' Camilleri stated.

    'Threatening to use, suggesting the use of, or, God forbid actually using nuclear weapons, are unacceptable tactics of war in the 21st Century,' wrote Democratic Michigan Rep. Haley Stevens.

    'As W.J. Hennigan recently & accurately described for the NYT, the use of nuclear weapons creates hell on earth.'

    Fellow Michiagn Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin also condemned his remarks.

    'This is a reprehensible thing for anyone to suggest, especially an elected official and someone who considers himself a man of faith. Rep. Walberg should take back his comments, and try to put himself in the shoes of the many Michiganders who see themselves in the casualties in Gaza,' Slotkin said in a statement.

    Democratic U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee said Walberg's comments were horrific and shocking.

    'It is an indefensible position to argue against humanitarian relief for the people of Gaza while also calling for the wholesale massacre of the Palestinian people. I could not disagree more with these extreme and dangerous comments,' Kildee said in a statement.


    https://www.sott.net/article/490259-US-congressman-Walberg-says-Gaza-should-be-destroyed-like-Nagasaki-and-Hiroshima-also-suggests-nuking-Russia
    US congressman Walberg says Gaza should be destroyed 'like Nagasaki and Hiroshima', also suggests nuking Russia walberg The coments were made during a town hall meeting in Dundee, Michigan on March 25 A Michigan Congressman has suggested a nuclear bomb should be dropped on Gaza to 'support Israel's swift elimination of Hamas.' Speaking during a town hall earlier this week, U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg, a Republican from Lenawee County, appeared entirely comfortable advocating for the use of nuclear weapons against the Palestinians. 'It should be like Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Get it over quick,' Walberg could be heard stating in a video posted to X in which he mentioned the Japanese cities in which America detonated atomic bombs at the end of World War II. Walberg, an eight-term Republican congressman from Lenawee County, can also be heard speaking against providing humanitarian aid for those in the Palestinian territory. 'We shouldn't be spending a dime on humanitarian aid,' Walberg stated in response to a question about American troops being deployed into Gaza to build a port that would help aid be delivered to the Palestinians. Walberg had been responding to a question about an initiative put forward by President Joe Biden to use American tax dollars to construct a port off the Gaza coast that would allow humanitarian aid to be delivered more quickly. Walberg's office has now attempted to explain the GOP congressman's seemingly straightforward answer as a metaphor. 'During his community gathering, he clearly uses a metaphor to support Israel's swift elimination of Hamas, which is the best chance to save lives long-term and the only hope at achieving a permanent peace in the region,' Walberg spokesman Mike Rorke said on Saturday. 'Congressman Walberg vehemently disagrees with putting our troops in harm's way. He has great empathy for the innocent people in Gaza who have been thrust into this situation due to the attack carried out by Hamas leaving 1,163 innocent civilians dead,' Rorke continued. 'To this day, Hamas still is holding hostages, including Americans. Hamas should surrender and return the hostages.' Walberg's comments have been described as 'clear call to genocide by a member of Congress'. The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said his remarks should be 'condemned by all Americans who value human life and international law.' 'To so casually call for what would result in the killing of every human being in Gaza sends the chilling message that Palestinian lives have no value,' CAIR Executive Director Dawud Walid said to Detroit News. 'It is this dehumanization of the Palestinian people that has resulted in the ongoing slaughter and suffering we see every day in Gaza and the West Bank.' The U.N. food agency has said famine is 'imminent' in northern Gaza, with two-thirds of population experiencing catastrophic hunger. Later in the town hall, held on March 25 in Dundee, Michigan, Walberg went on to suggest that a nuclear bomb should also be used in Russia's war with Ukraine in order to 'defeat Putin quick.' He said instead of American money being used to provide aid to Ukraine for humanitarian purposes, it should instead be used 'to wipe out Russia, if that's what we want to do.' Walberg has been taken to task over his comments by his Democratic colleagues with some calling for his immediate resignation. Michigan state Democratic Senator Darrin Camilleri tweeted how Walberg had been caught on video 'endorsing and calling for a complete genocide in Gaza.' 'He's an absolute disgrace and needs to resign,' Camilleri stated. 'Threatening to use, suggesting the use of, or, God forbid actually using nuclear weapons, are unacceptable tactics of war in the 21st Century,' wrote Democratic Michigan Rep. Haley Stevens. 'As W.J. Hennigan recently & accurately described for the NYT, the use of nuclear weapons creates hell on earth.' Fellow Michiagn Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin also condemned his remarks. 'This is a reprehensible thing for anyone to suggest, especially an elected official and someone who considers himself a man of faith. Rep. Walberg should take back his comments, and try to put himself in the shoes of the many Michiganders who see themselves in the casualties in Gaza,' Slotkin said in a statement. Democratic U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee said Walberg's comments were horrific and shocking. 'It is an indefensible position to argue against humanitarian relief for the people of Gaza while also calling for the wholesale massacre of the Palestinian people. I could not disagree more with these extreme and dangerous comments,' Kildee said in a statement. https://www.sott.net/article/490259-US-congressman-Walberg-says-Gaza-should-be-destroyed-like-Nagasaki-and-Hiroshima-also-suggests-nuking-Russia
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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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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 175: ICJ orders Israel to stop famine in Gaza as Israel continues to raid hospitals
    The International Court of Justice imposed new provisional measures in South Africa’s case against Israel for its genocide in Gaza, ordering Israel to ensure the entry of food and other supplies in order to stop the spreading famine.

    Qassam MuaddiMarch 29, 2024
    Two injured Palestinian children are being treated by doctors on the floor of a hospital in southern Gaza, following Israeli airstrikes.
    Injured Palestinian children are brought to Abu Youssef Al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah for treatment following Israeli attacks on the southern Gaza Strip,on March 29, 2024. (Ahmed Ibrahim/APA Images)
    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.
    597 Israeli soldiers have been 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 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.”

    Advertisement

    Watch now: NOURA ERAKAT on Witnessing Palestine with Frank Barat
    Key Developments

    Israeli forces killed 71 Palestinians and wounded 112 in air and artillery strikes across the Gaza Strip.
    Israel’s raid into al-Shifa hospital enters its 12th day, destroying more buildings in the vicinity of the hospital.
    Israel releases 102 Palestinians detained from Gaza in recent weeks.
    Israel admits eight soldiers wounded in 24 hour period as fighting between Israeli army and Palestinian resistance intensifies in Gaza City and in Khan Younis.
    ICJ orders new provisional measures in South Africa’s genocide case against Srael, including provisions to prevent famine.
    North Gaza-based journalist Bayan Abu Sultan, who was feared missing since March 19 after reporting that Israeli forces killed her brother in front of her, reappears on Twitter and confirms that she is alive.
    At least 40 Syrian soldiers and Hezbollah fighters killed in Israeli strikes on Aleppo, Syria.
    UN special rapporteur for Palestine says, “there is enough grounds to believe that Israel is committing genocide.”
    West Bank: One Palestinian teenager was wounded in al-Fawwar refugee camp south of Hebron, in an Israeli raid.
    West Bank: Israel raids Nablus and the refugee camps of Shu’fat and Qalandia north of Jerusalem.
    71 Palestinians killed, death toll rises to 32,623

    The Palestinian health ministry announced in a statement on Thursday that 71 Palestinians were killed in Israeli strikes across the Gaza Strip, while 112 others were wounded in the past day.

    In Gaza City, the Israeli army continued its raid on al-Shifa Hospital for the 12th day. Local sources reported that Israeli forces burned and demolished several buildings in the surroundings of al-Shifa.

    Medical sources said that Israeli forces continue to hold 160 Palestinians, including medical staff, in the Human Development building in the al-Shifa complex.

    In Deir al-Balah, in the center Gaza Strip, Israeli warships opened fire at Palestinian homes on the beachfront. In Al-Maghazi refugee camp, east of Deir al-Balah, an Israeli strike on the Mousa family home killed six people, including both parents and four children, wounding several of their neighbors.

    In Khan Younis, Israeli strikes killed 12 Palestinians, while a nurse was reported killed by Israeli troops at the Nasser hospital.

    In Rafah, in southern Gaza, Israeli strikes on the east and center of the city killed at least 12 Palestinians, including children.

    Viral journalist reported missing reappears, Israel releases 102 Gaza detainees

    The Israeli army released 102 Palestinians who were detained from the Gaza Strip and held in Israeli custody for several days and weeks, according to local media reports.

    According to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, nine of the released are paramedics who work for the society and who were detained for 46 days. Three of the released were taken to some of the few remaining operating hospitals in Gaza to be treated from the effects of torture, the group said.

    Meanwhile, Palestinian journalist Bayan Abu Sultan, who was reported missing in the surroundings of al-Shifa since March 19, posted on social media Thursday for the first time in 12 days.

    “I survived,” Bayan wrote on Thursday on X. Her last tweet before she disappeared read “Israeli forces killed my only brother in front of my eyes.”

    Bayan is one of the few Palestinian journalists still reporting from Gaza City and the north. She and her family were staying in the vicinity of al-Shifa Hospital, where her family returned after being displaced in the early weeks of the Israeli assault when her brother was killed.

    After activists and journalists began sounding the alarm over Bayan’s feared disappearance, Reporters Without Borders demanded in a statement that Israeli forces provide information about Bayan’s whereabouts, assuming that she was detained.

    Palestinians remaining in Gaza City continue to face severe shortages of supplies, especially of food. “Hunger, the shortage of goods and skyrocketing prices have made people [in Gaza City] lose taste for life,” Huda Amer, another Gaza-city-based journalist, told Mondoweiss. “We hear bombings and shootings in the street”, she added.

    UN rapporteur says ‘enough grounds’ for genocide in Gaza

    The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Francesca Albanese, said that there are “enough grounds” to believe that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.

    Albanese made her remarks on Thursday during the presentation of her report entitled “Anatomy of a Genocide” to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

    The report, which was released earlier this week, indicated that Israel was violating three of the five acts described in the Genocide Convention.

    Albanese said that she has received threats because of her report, and that she has been pressured and “attacked” since the beginning of her mandate.

    Commenting on Albanese’s report, the White House’s spokesperson Mathew Miller accused Albanese of “making antisemitic comments,” and that the entire post of human rights rapporteur for the occupied Palestinian Territories was “unproductive.” In February, Israel denied Albanese entry to the country.

    On Thursday, the International Court of Justice ordered a new set of provisional measures to prevent genocide, including provisions to prevent famine.

    The measures were requested by South Africa as part of its ongoing case against Israel at the international court.

    The ICJ judges noted that “Palestinians are no longer facing the risk of famine … but famine is setting in”. The court ordered Israel to ensure the “unhindered provision at scale by all concerned of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance,” including food, water, fuel, and medical supplies. The order is legally binding, though, like the initial provisional measures granted by the court back in January, and since ignored by Israel, the court does not have an enforcement mechanism.

    Already, 31 Palestinians, mostly children, have died of food shortage in the Gaza Strip since Israel imposed a total blockade of food, water, electricity, and fuel on the 2 million people living there in the immediate aftermath of October 7.

    Israeli army wounds on Palestinian, raids West Bank towns

    A Palestinian man was wounded in the stomach by Israeli forces on Thursday night during an Israeli military raid on the al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron in the occupied West Bank.

    Local media sources reported that Israeli forces fired light flares before entering the camp, and that they were confronted by local youth throwing stones. Israeli troops responded with live fire, wounding one man.

    Israeli forces also raided Shu’fat and Qalandia, north of Jerusalem, and Nablus in the northern West Bank.

    Meanwhile, Israeli forces continue to impose tight control on checkpoints in the Jordan Valley as they continue to search for the gunman behind yesterday’s shooting at an Israeli settlers’ bus north of Jericho, which wounded three Israelis.

    Israel has arrested more than 7,800 Palestinians since October 7. Currently, at least 9,100 Palestinians are held in Israeli prisons, including 50 women, 200 children, and more than 3500 detainees without charges.

    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/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-175-icj-orders-israel-to-stop-famine-in-gaza-as-israel-continues-to-raid-hospitals/
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 175: ICJ orders Israel to stop famine in Gaza as Israel continues to raid hospitals The International Court of Justice imposed new provisional measures in South Africa’s case against Israel for its genocide in Gaza, ordering Israel to ensure the entry of food and other supplies in order to stop the spreading famine. Qassam MuaddiMarch 29, 2024 Two injured Palestinian children are being treated by doctors on the floor of a hospital in southern Gaza, following Israeli airstrikes. Injured Palestinian children are brought to Abu Youssef Al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah for treatment following Israeli attacks on the southern Gaza Strip,on March 29, 2024. (Ahmed Ibrahim/APA Images) 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. 597 Israeli soldiers have been 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 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.” Advertisement Watch now: NOURA ERAKAT on Witnessing Palestine with Frank Barat Key Developments Israeli forces killed 71 Palestinians and wounded 112 in air and artillery strikes across the Gaza Strip. Israel’s raid into al-Shifa hospital enters its 12th day, destroying more buildings in the vicinity of the hospital. Israel releases 102 Palestinians detained from Gaza in recent weeks. Israel admits eight soldiers wounded in 24 hour period as fighting between Israeli army and Palestinian resistance intensifies in Gaza City and in Khan Younis. ICJ orders new provisional measures in South Africa’s genocide case against Srael, including provisions to prevent famine. North Gaza-based journalist Bayan Abu Sultan, who was feared missing since March 19 after reporting that Israeli forces killed her brother in front of her, reappears on Twitter and confirms that she is alive. At least 40 Syrian soldiers and Hezbollah fighters killed in Israeli strikes on Aleppo, Syria. UN special rapporteur for Palestine says, “there is enough grounds to believe that Israel is committing genocide.” West Bank: One Palestinian teenager was wounded in al-Fawwar refugee camp south of Hebron, in an Israeli raid. West Bank: Israel raids Nablus and the refugee camps of Shu’fat and Qalandia north of Jerusalem. 71 Palestinians killed, death toll rises to 32,623 The Palestinian health ministry announced in a statement on Thursday that 71 Palestinians were killed in Israeli strikes across the Gaza Strip, while 112 others were wounded in the past day. In Gaza City, the Israeli army continued its raid on al-Shifa Hospital for the 12th day. Local sources reported that Israeli forces burned and demolished several buildings in the surroundings of al-Shifa. Medical sources said that Israeli forces continue to hold 160 Palestinians, including medical staff, in the Human Development building in the al-Shifa complex. In Deir al-Balah, in the center Gaza Strip, Israeli warships opened fire at Palestinian homes on the beachfront. In Al-Maghazi refugee camp, east of Deir al-Balah, an Israeli strike on the Mousa family home killed six people, including both parents and four children, wounding several of their neighbors. In Khan Younis, Israeli strikes killed 12 Palestinians, while a nurse was reported killed by Israeli troops at the Nasser hospital. In Rafah, in southern Gaza, Israeli strikes on the east and center of the city killed at least 12 Palestinians, including children. Viral journalist reported missing reappears, Israel releases 102 Gaza detainees The Israeli army released 102 Palestinians who were detained from the Gaza Strip and held in Israeli custody for several days and weeks, according to local media reports. According to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, nine of the released are paramedics who work for the society and who were detained for 46 days. Three of the released were taken to some of the few remaining operating hospitals in Gaza to be treated from the effects of torture, the group said. Meanwhile, Palestinian journalist Bayan Abu Sultan, who was reported missing in the surroundings of al-Shifa since March 19, posted on social media Thursday for the first time in 12 days. “I survived,” Bayan wrote on Thursday on X. Her last tweet before she disappeared read “Israeli forces killed my only brother in front of my eyes.” Bayan is one of the few Palestinian journalists still reporting from Gaza City and the north. She and her family were staying in the vicinity of al-Shifa Hospital, where her family returned after being displaced in the early weeks of the Israeli assault when her brother was killed. After activists and journalists began sounding the alarm over Bayan’s feared disappearance, Reporters Without Borders demanded in a statement that Israeli forces provide information about Bayan’s whereabouts, assuming that she was detained. Palestinians remaining in Gaza City continue to face severe shortages of supplies, especially of food. “Hunger, the shortage of goods and skyrocketing prices have made people [in Gaza City] lose taste for life,” Huda Amer, another Gaza-city-based journalist, told Mondoweiss. “We hear bombings and shootings in the street”, she added. UN rapporteur says ‘enough grounds’ for genocide in Gaza The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Francesca Albanese, said that there are “enough grounds” to believe that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. Albanese made her remarks on Thursday during the presentation of her report entitled “Anatomy of a Genocide” to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The report, which was released earlier this week, indicated that Israel was violating three of the five acts described in the Genocide Convention. Albanese said that she has received threats because of her report, and that she has been pressured and “attacked” since the beginning of her mandate. Commenting on Albanese’s report, the White House’s spokesperson Mathew Miller accused Albanese of “making antisemitic comments,” and that the entire post of human rights rapporteur for the occupied Palestinian Territories was “unproductive.” In February, Israel denied Albanese entry to the country. On Thursday, the International Court of Justice ordered a new set of provisional measures to prevent genocide, including provisions to prevent famine. The measures were requested by South Africa as part of its ongoing case against Israel at the international court. The ICJ judges noted that “Palestinians are no longer facing the risk of famine … but famine is setting in”. The court ordered Israel to ensure the “unhindered provision at scale by all concerned of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance,” including food, water, fuel, and medical supplies. The order is legally binding, though, like the initial provisional measures granted by the court back in January, and since ignored by Israel, the court does not have an enforcement mechanism. Already, 31 Palestinians, mostly children, have died of food shortage in the Gaza Strip since Israel imposed a total blockade of food, water, electricity, and fuel on the 2 million people living there in the immediate aftermath of October 7. Israeli army wounds on Palestinian, raids West Bank towns A Palestinian man was wounded in the stomach by Israeli forces on Thursday night during an Israeli military raid on the al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron in the occupied West Bank. Local media sources reported that Israeli forces fired light flares before entering the camp, and that they were confronted by local youth throwing stones. Israeli troops responded with live fire, wounding one man. Israeli forces also raided Shu’fat and Qalandia, north of Jerusalem, and Nablus in the northern West Bank. Meanwhile, Israeli forces continue to impose tight control on checkpoints in the Jordan Valley as they continue to search for the gunman behind yesterday’s shooting at an Israeli settlers’ bus north of Jericho, which wounded three Israelis. Israel has arrested more than 7,800 Palestinians since October 7. Currently, at least 9,100 Palestinians are held in Israeli prisons, including 50 women, 200 children, and more than 3500 detainees without charges. 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/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-175-icj-orders-israel-to-stop-famine-in-gaza-as-israel-continues-to-raid-hospitals/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 175: ICJ orders Israel to stop famine in Gaza as Israel continues to raid hospitals
    The International Court of Justice imposed new provisional measures in South Africa’s case against Israel for its genocide in Gaza, ordering Israel to ensure the entry of food and other supplies in order to stop the spreading famine.
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 175: ICJ orders Israel to stop famine in Gaza as Israel continues to raid hospitals
    The International Court of Justice imposed new provisional measures in South Africa’s case against Israel for its genocide in Gaza, ordering Israel to ensure the entry of food and other supplies in order to stop the spreading famine.

    Qassam MuaddiMarch 29, 2024
    Two injured Palestinian children are being treated by doctors on the floor of a hospital in southern Gaza, following Israeli airstrikes.
    Injured Palestinian children are brought to Abu Youssef Al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah for treatment following Israeli attacks on the southern Gaza Strip,on March 29, 2024. (Ahmed Ibrahim/APA Images)
    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.
    597 Israeli soldiers have been 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 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

    Israeli forces killed 71 Palestinians and wounded 112 in air and artillery strikes across the Gaza Strip.
    Israel’s raid into al-Shifa hospital enters its 12th day, destroying more buildings in the vicinity of the hospital.
    Israel releases 102 Palestinians detained from Gaza in recent weeks.
    Israel admits eight soldiers wounded in 24 hour period as fighting between Israeli army and Palestinian resistance intensifies in Gaza City and in Khan Younis.
    ICJ orders new provisional measures in South Africa’s genocide case against Srael, including provisions to prevent famine.
    North Gaza-based journalist Bayan Abu Sultan, who was feared missing since March 19 after reporting that Israeli forces killed her brother in front of her, reappears on Twitter and confirms that she is alive.
    At least 40 Syrian soldiers and Hezbollah fighters killed in Israeli strikes on Aleppo, Syria.
    UN special rapporteur for Palestine says, “there is enough grounds to believe that Israel is committing genocide.”
    West Bank: One Palestinian teenager was wounded in al-Fawwar refugee camp south of Hebron, in an Israeli raid.
    West Bank: Israel raids Nablus and the refugee camps of Shu’fat and Qalandia north of Jerusalem.
    71 Palestinians killed, death toll rises to 32,623

    The Palestinian health ministry announced in a statement on Thursday that 71 Palestinians were killed in Israeli strikes across the Gaza Strip, while 112 others were wounded in the past day.

    In Gaza City, the Israeli army continued its raid on al-Shifa Hospital for the 12th day. Local sources reported that Israeli forces burned and demolished several buildings in the surroundings of al-Shifa.

    Medical sources said that Israeli forces continue to hold 160 Palestinians, including medical staff, in the Human Development building in the al-Shifa complex.

    In Deir al-Balah, in the center Gaza Strip, Israeli warships opened fire at Palestinian homes on the beachfront. In Al-Maghazi refugee camp, east of Deir al-Balah, an Israeli strike on the Mousa family home killed six people, including both parents and four children, wounding several of their neighbors.

    In Khan Younis, Israeli strikes killed 12 Palestinians, while a nurse was reported killed by Israeli troops at the Nasser hospital.

    In Rafah, in southern Gaza, Israeli strikes on the east and center of the city killed at least 12 Palestinians, including children.

    Viral journalist reported missing reappears, Israel releases 102 Gaza detainees

    The Israeli army released 102 Palestinians who were detained from the Gaza Strip and held in Israeli custody for several days and weeks, according to local media reports.

    According to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, nine of the released are paramedics who work for the society and who were detained for 46 days. Three of the released were taken to some of the few remaining operating hospitals in Gaza to be treated from the effects of torture, the group said.

    Meanwhile, Palestinian journalist Bayan Abu Sultan, who was reported missing in the surroundings of al-Shifa since March 19, posted on social media Thursday for the first time in 12 days.

    “I survived,” Bayan wrote on Thursday on X. Her last tweet before she disappeared read “Israeli forces killed my only brother in front of my eyes.”

    Bayan is one of the few Palestinian journalists still reporting from Gaza City and the north. She and her family were staying in the vicinity of al-Shifa Hospital, where her family returned after being displaced in the early weeks of the Israeli assault when her brother was killed.

    After activists and journalists began sounding the alarm over Bayan’s feared disappearance, Reporters Without Borders demanded in a statement that Israeli forces provide information about Bayan’s whereabouts, assuming that she was detained.

    Palestinians remaining in Gaza City continue to face severe shortages of supplies, especially of food. “Hunger, the shortage of goods and skyrocketing prices have made people [in Gaza City] lose taste for life,” Huda Amer, another Gaza-city-based journalist, told Mondoweiss. “We hear bombings and shootings in the street”, she added.

    UN rapporteur says ‘enough grounds’ for genocide in Gaza

    The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Francesca Albanese, said that there are “enough grounds” to believe that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.

    Albanese made her remarks on Thursday during the presentation of her report entitled “Anatomy of a Genocide” to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

    The report, which was released earlier this week, indicated that Israel was violating three of the five acts described in the Genocide Convention.

    Albanese said that she has received threats because of her report, and that she has been pressured and “attacked” since the beginning of her mandate.

    Commenting on Albanese’s report, the White House’s spokesperson Mathew Miller accused Albanese of “making antisemitic comments,” and that the entire post of human rights rapporteur for the occupied Palestinian Territories was “unproductive.” In February, Israel denied Albanese entry to the country.

    On Thursday, the International Court of Justice ordered a new set of provisional measures to prevent genocide, including provisions to prevent famine.

    The measures were requested by South Africa as part of its ongoing case against Israel at the international court.

    The ICJ judges noted that “Palestinians are no longer facing the risk of famine … but famine is setting in”. The court ordered Israel to ensure the “unhindered provision at scale by all concerned of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance,” including food, water, fuel, and medical supplies. The order is legally binding, though, like the initial provisional measures granted by the court back in January, and since ignored by Israel, the court does not have an enforcement mechanism.

    Already, 31 Palestinians, mostly children, have died of food shortage in the Gaza Strip since Israel imposed a total blockade of food, water, electricity, and fuel on the 2 million people living there in the immediate aftermath of October 7.

    Israeli army wounds on Palestinian, raids West Bank towns

    A Palestinian man was wounded in the stomach by Israeli forces on Thursday night during an Israeli military raid on the al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron in the occupied West Bank.

    Local media sources reported that Israeli forces fired light flares before entering the camp, and that they were confronted by local youth throwing stones. Israeli troops responded with live fire, wounding one man.

    Israeli forces also raided Shu’fat and Qalandia, north of Jerusalem, and Nablus in the northern West Bank.

    Meanwhile, Israeli forces continue to impose tight control on checkpoints in the Jordan Valley as they continue to search for the gunman behind yesterday’s shooting at an Israeli settlers’ bus north of Jericho, which wounded three Israelis.

    Israel has arrested more than 7,800 Palestinians since October 7. Currently, at least 9,100 Palestinians are held in Israeli prisons, including 50 women, 200 children, and more than 3500 detainees without charges.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-175-icj-orders-israel-to-stop-famine-in-gaza-as-israel-continues-to-raid-hospitals/
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 175: ICJ orders Israel to stop famine in Gaza as Israel continues to raid hospitals The International Court of Justice imposed new provisional measures in South Africa’s case against Israel for its genocide in Gaza, ordering Israel to ensure the entry of food and other supplies in order to stop the spreading famine. Qassam MuaddiMarch 29, 2024 Two injured Palestinian children are being treated by doctors on the floor of a hospital in southern Gaza, following Israeli airstrikes. Injured Palestinian children are brought to Abu Youssef Al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah for treatment following Israeli attacks on the southern Gaza Strip,on March 29, 2024. (Ahmed Ibrahim/APA Images) 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. 597 Israeli soldiers have been 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 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 Israeli forces killed 71 Palestinians and wounded 112 in air and artillery strikes across the Gaza Strip. Israel’s raid into al-Shifa hospital enters its 12th day, destroying more buildings in the vicinity of the hospital. Israel releases 102 Palestinians detained from Gaza in recent weeks. Israel admits eight soldiers wounded in 24 hour period as fighting between Israeli army and Palestinian resistance intensifies in Gaza City and in Khan Younis. ICJ orders new provisional measures in South Africa’s genocide case against Srael, including provisions to prevent famine. North Gaza-based journalist Bayan Abu Sultan, who was feared missing since March 19 after reporting that Israeli forces killed her brother in front of her, reappears on Twitter and confirms that she is alive. At least 40 Syrian soldiers and Hezbollah fighters killed in Israeli strikes on Aleppo, Syria. UN special rapporteur for Palestine says, “there is enough grounds to believe that Israel is committing genocide.” West Bank: One Palestinian teenager was wounded in al-Fawwar refugee camp south of Hebron, in an Israeli raid. West Bank: Israel raids Nablus and the refugee camps of Shu’fat and Qalandia north of Jerusalem. 71 Palestinians killed, death toll rises to 32,623 The Palestinian health ministry announced in a statement on Thursday that 71 Palestinians were killed in Israeli strikes across the Gaza Strip, while 112 others were wounded in the past day. In Gaza City, the Israeli army continued its raid on al-Shifa Hospital for the 12th day. Local sources reported that Israeli forces burned and demolished several buildings in the surroundings of al-Shifa. Medical sources said that Israeli forces continue to hold 160 Palestinians, including medical staff, in the Human Development building in the al-Shifa complex. In Deir al-Balah, in the center Gaza Strip, Israeli warships opened fire at Palestinian homes on the beachfront. In Al-Maghazi refugee camp, east of Deir al-Balah, an Israeli strike on the Mousa family home killed six people, including both parents and four children, wounding several of their neighbors. In Khan Younis, Israeli strikes killed 12 Palestinians, while a nurse was reported killed by Israeli troops at the Nasser hospital. In Rafah, in southern Gaza, Israeli strikes on the east and center of the city killed at least 12 Palestinians, including children. Viral journalist reported missing reappears, Israel releases 102 Gaza detainees The Israeli army released 102 Palestinians who were detained from the Gaza Strip and held in Israeli custody for several days and weeks, according to local media reports. According to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, nine of the released are paramedics who work for the society and who were detained for 46 days. Three of the released were taken to some of the few remaining operating hospitals in Gaza to be treated from the effects of torture, the group said. Meanwhile, Palestinian journalist Bayan Abu Sultan, who was reported missing in the surroundings of al-Shifa since March 19, posted on social media Thursday for the first time in 12 days. “I survived,” Bayan wrote on Thursday on X. Her last tweet before she disappeared read “Israeli forces killed my only brother in front of my eyes.” Bayan is one of the few Palestinian journalists still reporting from Gaza City and the north. She and her family were staying in the vicinity of al-Shifa Hospital, where her family returned after being displaced in the early weeks of the Israeli assault when her brother was killed. After activists and journalists began sounding the alarm over Bayan’s feared disappearance, Reporters Without Borders demanded in a statement that Israeli forces provide information about Bayan’s whereabouts, assuming that she was detained. Palestinians remaining in Gaza City continue to face severe shortages of supplies, especially of food. “Hunger, the shortage of goods and skyrocketing prices have made people [in Gaza City] lose taste for life,” Huda Amer, another Gaza-city-based journalist, told Mondoweiss. “We hear bombings and shootings in the street”, she added. UN rapporteur says ‘enough grounds’ for genocide in Gaza The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Francesca Albanese, said that there are “enough grounds” to believe that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. Albanese made her remarks on Thursday during the presentation of her report entitled “Anatomy of a Genocide” to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The report, which was released earlier this week, indicated that Israel was violating three of the five acts described in the Genocide Convention. Albanese said that she has received threats because of her report, and that she has been pressured and “attacked” since the beginning of her mandate. Commenting on Albanese’s report, the White House’s spokesperson Mathew Miller accused Albanese of “making antisemitic comments,” and that the entire post of human rights rapporteur for the occupied Palestinian Territories was “unproductive.” In February, Israel denied Albanese entry to the country. On Thursday, the International Court of Justice ordered a new set of provisional measures to prevent genocide, including provisions to prevent famine. The measures were requested by South Africa as part of its ongoing case against Israel at the international court. The ICJ judges noted that “Palestinians are no longer facing the risk of famine … but famine is setting in”. The court ordered Israel to ensure the “unhindered provision at scale by all concerned of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance,” including food, water, fuel, and medical supplies. The order is legally binding, though, like the initial provisional measures granted by the court back in January, and since ignored by Israel, the court does not have an enforcement mechanism. Already, 31 Palestinians, mostly children, have died of food shortage in the Gaza Strip since Israel imposed a total blockade of food, water, electricity, and fuel on the 2 million people living there in the immediate aftermath of October 7. Israeli army wounds on Palestinian, raids West Bank towns A Palestinian man was wounded in the stomach by Israeli forces on Thursday night during an Israeli military raid on the al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron in the occupied West Bank. Local media sources reported that Israeli forces fired light flares before entering the camp, and that they were confronted by local youth throwing stones. Israeli troops responded with live fire, wounding one man. Israeli forces also raided Shu’fat and Qalandia, north of Jerusalem, and Nablus in the northern West Bank. Meanwhile, Israeli forces continue to impose tight control on checkpoints in the Jordan Valley as they continue to search for the gunman behind yesterday’s shooting at an Israeli settlers’ bus north of Jericho, which wounded three Israelis. Israel has arrested more than 7,800 Palestinians since October 7. Currently, at least 9,100 Palestinians are held in Israeli prisons, including 50 women, 200 children, and more than 3500 detainees without charges. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-175-icj-orders-israel-to-stop-famine-in-gaza-as-israel-continues-to-raid-hospitals/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 175: ICJ orders Israel to stop famine in Gaza as Israel continues to raid hospitals
    The International Court of Justice imposed new provisional measures in South Africa’s case against Israel for its genocide in Gaza, ordering Israel to ensure the entry of food and other supplies in order to stop the spreading famine.
    0 Comments 0 Shares 3271 Views
  • The WHO Wants to Rule the World
    Ramesh Thakur
    The World Health Organisation (WHO) will present two new texts for adoption by its governing body, the World Health Assembly comprising delegates from 194 member states, in Geneva on 27 May–1 June. The new pandemic treaty needs a two-thirds majority for approval and, if and once adopted, will come into effect after 40 ratifications.

    The amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR) can be adopted by a simple majority and will be binding on all states unless they recorded reservations by the end of last year. Because they will be changes to an existing agreement that states have already signed, the amendments do not require any follow-up ratification. The WHO describes the IHR as ‘an instrument of international law that is legally-binding’ on its 196 states parties, including the 194 WHO member states, even if they voted against it. Therein lies its promise and its threat.

    The new regime will change the WHO from a technical advisory organisation into a supra-national public health authority exercising quasi-legislative and executive powers over states; change the nature of the relationship between citizens, business enterprises, and governments domestically, and also between governments and other governments and the WHO internationally; and shift the locus of medical practice from the doctor-patient consultation in the clinic to public health bureaucrats in capital cities and WHO headquarters in Geneva and its six regional offices.

    From net zero to mass immigration and identity politics, the ‘expertocracy’ elite is in alliance with the global technocratic elite against majority national sentiment. The Covid years gave the elites a valuable lesson in how to exercise effective social control and they mean to apply it across all contentious issues.

    The changes to global health governance architecture must be understood in this light. It represents the transformation of the national security, administrative, and surveillance state into a globalised biosecurity state. But they are encountering pushback in Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, and most recently Ireland. We can but hope that the resistance will spread to rejecting the WHO power grab.

    Addressing the World Governments Summit in Dubai on 12 February, WHO Director-General (DG) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attacked ‘the litany of lies and conspiracy theories’ about the agreement that ‘are utterly, completely, categorically false. The pandemic agreement will not give WHO any power over any state or any individual, for that matter.’ He insisted that critics are ‘either uninformed or lying.’ Could it be instead that, relying on aides, he himself has either not read or not understood the draft? The alternative explanation for his spray at the critics is that he is gaslighting us all.

    The Gostin, Klock, and Finch Paper

    In the Hastings Center Report “Making the World Safer and Fairer in Pandemics,” published on 23 December, Lawrence Gostin, Kevin Klock, and Alexandra Finch attempt to provide the justification to underpin the proposed new IHR and treaty instruments as ‘transformative normative and financial reforms that could reimagine pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response.’

    The three authors decry the voluntary compliance under the existing ‘amorphous and unenforceable’ IHR regulations as ‘a critical shortcoming.’ And they concede that ‘While advocates have pressed for health-related human rights to be included in the pandemic agreement, the current draft does not do so.’ Directly contradicting the DG’s denial as quoted above, they describe the new treaty as ‘legally binding’. This is repeated several pages later:

    …the best way to contain transnational outbreaks is through international cooperation, led multilaterally through the WHO. That may require all states to forgo some level of sovereignty in exchange for enhanced safety and fairness.

    What gives their analysis significance is that, as explained in the paper itself, Gostin is ‘actively involved in WHO processes for a pandemic agreement and IHR reform’ as the director of the WHO Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law and a member of the WHO Review Committee on IHR amendments.

    The WHO as the World’s Guidance and Coordinating Authority

    The IHR amendments will expand the situations that constitute a public health emergency, grant the WHO additional emergency powers, and extend state duties to build ‘core capacities’ of surveillance to detect, assess, notify, and report events that could constitute an emergency.

    Under the new accords, the WHO would function as the guidance and coordinating authority for the world. The DG will become more powerful than the UN Secretary-General. The existing language of ‘should’ is replaced in many places by the imperative ‘shall,’ of non-binding recommendations with countries will ‘undertake to follow’ the guidance. And ‘full respect for the dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons’ will be changed to principles of ‘equity’ and ‘inclusivity’ with different requirements for rich and poor countries, bleeding financial resources and pharmaceutical products from industrialised to developing countries.

    The WHO is first of all an international bureaucracy and only secondly a collective body of medical and health experts. Its Covid performance was not among its finest. Its credibility was badly damaged by tardiness in raising the alarm; by its acceptance and then rejection of China’s claim that there was no risk of human-human transmission; by the failure to hold China accountable for destroying evidence of the pandemic’s origins; by the initial investigation that whitewashed the origins of the virus; by flip-flops on masks and lockdowns; by ignoring the counterexample of Sweden that rejected lockdowns with no worse health outcomes and far better economic, social, and educational outcomes; and by the failure to stand up for children’s developmental, educational, social, and mental health rights and welfare.

    With a funding model where 87 percent of the budget comes from voluntary contributions from the rich countries and private donors like the Gates Foundation, and 77 percent is for activities specified by them, the WHO has effectively ‘become a system of global public health patronage’, write Ben and Molly Kingsley of the UK children’s rights campaign group UsForThem. Human Rights Watch says the process has been ‘disproportionately guided by corporate demands and the policy positions of high-income governments seeking to protect the power of private actors in health including the pharmaceutical industry.’ The victims of this Catch-22 lack of accountability will be the peoples of the world.

    Much of the new surveillance network in a model divided into pre-, in, and post-pandemic periods will be provided by private and corporate interests that will profit from the mass testing and pharmaceutical interventions. According to Forbes, the net worth of Bill Gates jumped by one-third from $96.5 billion in 2019 to $129 billion in 2022: philanthropy can be profitable. Article 15.2 of the draft pandemic treaty requires states to set up ‘no fault vaccine-injury compensation schemes,’ conferring immunity on Big Pharma against liability, thereby codifying the privatisation of profits and the socialisation of risks.

    The changes would confer extraordinary new powers on the WHO’s DG and regional directors and mandate governments to implement their recommendations. This will result in a major expansion of the international health bureaucracy under the WHO, for example new implementation and compliance committees; shift the centre of gravity from the common deadliest diseases (discussed below) to relatively rare pandemic outbreaks (five including Covid in the last 120 years); and give the WHO authority to direct resources (money, pharmaceutical products, intellectual property rights) to itself and to other governments in breach of sovereign and copyright rights.

    Considering the impact of the amendments on national decision-making and mortgaging future generations to internationally determined spending obligations, this calls for an indefinite pause in the process until parliaments have done due diligence and debated the potentially far-reaching obligations.

    Yet disappointingly, relatively few countries have expressed reservations and few parliamentarians seem at all interested. We may pay a high price for the rise of careerist politicians whose primary interest is self-advancement, ministers who ask bureaucrats to draft replies to constituents expressing concern that they often sign without reading either the original letter or the reply in their name, and officials who disdain the constraints of democratic decision-making and accountability. Ministers relying on technical advice from staffers when officials are engaged in a silent coup against elected representatives give power without responsibility to bureaucrats while relegating ministers to being in office but not in power, with political accountability sans authority.

    US President Donald Trump and Australian and UK Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson were representative of national leaders who had lacked the science literacy, intellectual heft, moral clarity, and courage of conviction to stand up to their technocrats. It was a period of Yes, Prime Minister on steroids, with Sir Humphrey Appleby winning most of the guerrilla campaign waged by the permanent civil service against the transient and clueless Prime Minister Jim Hacker.

    At least some Australian, American, British, and European politicians have recently expressed concern at the WHO-centred ‘command and control’ model of a public health system, and the public spending and redistributive implications of the two proposed international instruments. US Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) warned on 5 February that ‘far too little scrutiny has been given, far too few questions asked as to what this legally binding agreement or treaty means to health policy in the United States and elsewhere.’

    Like Smith and Wenstrup, the most common criticism levelled has been that this represents a power grab at the cost of national sovereignty. Speaking in parliament in November, Australia’s Liberal Senator Alex Antic dubbed the effort a ‘WHO d’etat’.

    A more accurate reading may be that it represents collusion between the WHO and the richest countries, home to the biggest pharmaceutical companies, to dilute accountability for decisions, taken in the name of public health, that profit a narrow elite. The changes will lock in the seamless rule of the technocratic-managerial elite at both the national and the international levels. Yet the WHO edicts, although legally binding in theory, will be unenforceable against the most powerful countries in practice.

    Moreover, the new regime aims to eliminate transparency and critical scrutiny by criminalising any opinion that questions the official narrative from the WHO and governments, thereby elevating them to the status of dogma. The pandemic treaty calls for governments to tackle the ‘infodemics’ of false information, misinformation, disinformation, and even ‘too much information’ (Article 1c). This is censorship. Authorities have no right to be shielded from critical questioning of official information. Freedom of information is a cornerstone of an open and resilient society and a key means to hold authorities to public scrutiny and accountability.

    The changes are an effort to entrench and institutionalise the model of political, social, and messaging control trialled with great success during Covid. The foundational document of the international human rights regime is the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Pandemic management during Covid and in future emergencies threaten some of its core provisions regarding privacy, freedom of opinion and expression, and rights to work, education, peaceful assembly, and association.

    Worst of all, they will create a perverse incentive: the rise of an international bureaucracy whose defining purpose, existence, powers, and budgets will depend on more frequent declarations of actual or anticipated pandemic outbreaks.

    It is a basic axiom of politics that power that can be abused, will be abused – some day, somewhere, by someone. The corollary holds that power once seized is seldom surrendered back voluntarily to the people. Lockdowns, mask and vaccine mandates, travel restrictions, and all the other shenanigans and theatre of the Covid era will likely be repeated on whim. Professor Angus Dalgliesh of London’s St George’s Medical School warns that the WHO ‘wants to inflict this incompetence on us all over again but this time be in total control.’

    Covid in the Context of Africa’s Disease Burden

    In the Hastings Center report referred to earlier, Gostin, Klock, and Finch claim that ‘lower-income countries experienced larger losses and longer-lasting economic setbacks.’ This is a casual elision that shifts the blame for harmful downstream effects away from lockdowns in the futile quest to eradicate the virus, to the virus itself. The chief damage to developing countries was caused by the worldwide shutdown of social life and economic activities and the drastic reduction in international trade.

    The discreet elision aroused my curiosity on the authors’ affiliations. It came as no surprise to read that they lead the O’Neill Institute–Foundation for the National Institutes of Health project on an international instrument for pandemic prevention and preparedness.

    Gostin et al. grounded the urgency for the new accords in the claim that ‘Zoonotic pathogens…are occurring with increasing frequency, enhancing the risk of new pandemics’ and cite research to suggest a threefold increase in ‘extreme pandemics’ over the next decade. In a report entitled “Rational Policy Over Panic,” published by Leeds University in February, a team that included our own David Bell subjected claims of increasing pandemic frequency and disease burden behind the drive to adopt the new treaty and amend the existing IHR to critical scrutiny.

    Specifically, they examined and found wanting a number of assumptions and several references in eight G20, World Bank, and WHO policy documents. On the one hand, the reported increase in natural outbreaks is best explained by technologically more sophisticated diagnostic testing equipment, while the disease burden has been effectively reduced with improved surveillance, response mechanisms, and other public health interventions. Consequently there is no real urgency to rush into the new accords. Instead, governments should take all the time they need to situate pandemic risk in the wider healthcare context and formulate policy tailored to the more accurate risk and interventions matrix.


    The lockdowns were responsible for reversals of decades worth of gains in critical childhood immunisations. UNICEF and WHO estimate that 7.6 million African children under 5 missed out on vaccination in 2021 and another 11 million were under-immunised, ‘making up over 40 percent of the under-immunised and missed children globally.’ How many quality adjusted life years does that add up to, I wonder? But don’t hold your breath that anyone will be held accountable for crimes against African children.

    Earlier this month the Pan-African Epidemic and Pandemic Working Group argued that lockdowns were a ‘class-based and unscientific instrument.’ It accused the WHO of trying to reintroduce ‘classical Western colonialism through the backdoor’ in the form of the new pandemic treaty and the IHR amendments. Medical knowledge and innovations do not come solely from Western capitals and Geneva, but from people and groups who have captured the WHO agenda.

    Lockdowns had caused significant harm to low-income countries, the group said, yet the WHO wanted legal authority to compel member states to comply with its advice in future pandemics, including with respect to vaccine passports and border closures. Instead of bowing to ‘health imperialism,’ it would be preferable for African countries to set their own priorities in alleviating the disease burden of their major killer diseases like cholera, malaria, and yellow fever.

    Europe and the US, comprising a little under ten and over four percent of world population, account for nearly 18 and 17 percent, respectively, of all Covid-related deaths in the world. By contrast Asia, with nearly 60 percent of the world’s people, accounts for 23 percent of all Covid-related deaths. Meantime Africa, with more than 17 percent of global population, has recorded less than four percent of global Covid deaths (Table 1).

    According to a report on the continent’s disease burden published last year by the WHO Regional Office for Africa, Africa’s leading causes of death in 2021 were malaria (593,000 deaths), tuberculosis (501,000), and HIV/AIDS (420,000). The report does not provide the numbers for diarrhoeal deaths for Africa. There are 1.6 million such deaths globally per year, including 440,000 children under 5. And we know that most diarrhoeal deaths occur in Africa and South Asia.

    If we perform a linear extrapolation of 2021 deaths to estimate ballpark figures for the three years 2020–22 inclusive for numbers of Africans killed by these big three, approximately 1.78 million died from malaria, 1.5 million from TB, and 1.26 million from HIV/AIDS. (I exclude 2023 as Covid had faded by then, as can be seen in Table 1). By comparison, the total number of Covid-related deaths across Africa in the three years was 259,000.

    Whether or not the WHO is pursuing a policy of health colonialism, therefore, the Pan-African Epidemic and Pandemic Working Group has a point regarding the grossly exaggerated threat of Covid in the total picture of Africa’s disease burden.

    A shorter version of this was published in The Australian on 11 March

    Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
    For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author.

    Author

    Ramesh Thakur, a Brownstone Institute Senior Scholar, is a former United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, and emeritus professor in the Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.

    View all posts
    Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work.

    https://brownstone.org/articles/the-who-wants-to-rule-the-world/
    The WHO Wants to Rule the World Ramesh Thakur The World Health Organisation (WHO) will present two new texts for adoption by its governing body, the World Health Assembly comprising delegates from 194 member states, in Geneva on 27 May–1 June. The new pandemic treaty needs a two-thirds majority for approval and, if and once adopted, will come into effect after 40 ratifications. The amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR) can be adopted by a simple majority and will be binding on all states unless they recorded reservations by the end of last year. Because they will be changes to an existing agreement that states have already signed, the amendments do not require any follow-up ratification. The WHO describes the IHR as ‘an instrument of international law that is legally-binding’ on its 196 states parties, including the 194 WHO member states, even if they voted against it. Therein lies its promise and its threat. The new regime will change the WHO from a technical advisory organisation into a supra-national public health authority exercising quasi-legislative and executive powers over states; change the nature of the relationship between citizens, business enterprises, and governments domestically, and also between governments and other governments and the WHO internationally; and shift the locus of medical practice from the doctor-patient consultation in the clinic to public health bureaucrats in capital cities and WHO headquarters in Geneva and its six regional offices. From net zero to mass immigration and identity politics, the ‘expertocracy’ elite is in alliance with the global technocratic elite against majority national sentiment. The Covid years gave the elites a valuable lesson in how to exercise effective social control and they mean to apply it across all contentious issues. The changes to global health governance architecture must be understood in this light. It represents the transformation of the national security, administrative, and surveillance state into a globalised biosecurity state. But they are encountering pushback in Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, and most recently Ireland. We can but hope that the resistance will spread to rejecting the WHO power grab. Addressing the World Governments Summit in Dubai on 12 February, WHO Director-General (DG) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attacked ‘the litany of lies and conspiracy theories’ about the agreement that ‘are utterly, completely, categorically false. The pandemic agreement will not give WHO any power over any state or any individual, for that matter.’ He insisted that critics are ‘either uninformed or lying.’ Could it be instead that, relying on aides, he himself has either not read or not understood the draft? The alternative explanation for his spray at the critics is that he is gaslighting us all. The Gostin, Klock, and Finch Paper In the Hastings Center Report “Making the World Safer and Fairer in Pandemics,” published on 23 December, Lawrence Gostin, Kevin Klock, and Alexandra Finch attempt to provide the justification to underpin the proposed new IHR and treaty instruments as ‘transformative normative and financial reforms that could reimagine pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response.’ The three authors decry the voluntary compliance under the existing ‘amorphous and unenforceable’ IHR regulations as ‘a critical shortcoming.’ And they concede that ‘While advocates have pressed for health-related human rights to be included in the pandemic agreement, the current draft does not do so.’ Directly contradicting the DG’s denial as quoted above, they describe the new treaty as ‘legally binding’. This is repeated several pages later: …the best way to contain transnational outbreaks is through international cooperation, led multilaterally through the WHO. That may require all states to forgo some level of sovereignty in exchange for enhanced safety and fairness. What gives their analysis significance is that, as explained in the paper itself, Gostin is ‘actively involved in WHO processes for a pandemic agreement and IHR reform’ as the director of the WHO Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law and a member of the WHO Review Committee on IHR amendments. The WHO as the World’s Guidance and Coordinating Authority The IHR amendments will expand the situations that constitute a public health emergency, grant the WHO additional emergency powers, and extend state duties to build ‘core capacities’ of surveillance to detect, assess, notify, and report events that could constitute an emergency. Under the new accords, the WHO would function as the guidance and coordinating authority for the world. The DG will become more powerful than the UN Secretary-General. The existing language of ‘should’ is replaced in many places by the imperative ‘shall,’ of non-binding recommendations with countries will ‘undertake to follow’ the guidance. And ‘full respect for the dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons’ will be changed to principles of ‘equity’ and ‘inclusivity’ with different requirements for rich and poor countries, bleeding financial resources and pharmaceutical products from industrialised to developing countries. The WHO is first of all an international bureaucracy and only secondly a collective body of medical and health experts. Its Covid performance was not among its finest. Its credibility was badly damaged by tardiness in raising the alarm; by its acceptance and then rejection of China’s claim that there was no risk of human-human transmission; by the failure to hold China accountable for destroying evidence of the pandemic’s origins; by the initial investigation that whitewashed the origins of the virus; by flip-flops on masks and lockdowns; by ignoring the counterexample of Sweden that rejected lockdowns with no worse health outcomes and far better economic, social, and educational outcomes; and by the failure to stand up for children’s developmental, educational, social, and mental health rights and welfare. With a funding model where 87 percent of the budget comes from voluntary contributions from the rich countries and private donors like the Gates Foundation, and 77 percent is for activities specified by them, the WHO has effectively ‘become a system of global public health patronage’, write Ben and Molly Kingsley of the UK children’s rights campaign group UsForThem. Human Rights Watch says the process has been ‘disproportionately guided by corporate demands and the policy positions of high-income governments seeking to protect the power of private actors in health including the pharmaceutical industry.’ The victims of this Catch-22 lack of accountability will be the peoples of the world. Much of the new surveillance network in a model divided into pre-, in, and post-pandemic periods will be provided by private and corporate interests that will profit from the mass testing and pharmaceutical interventions. According to Forbes, the net worth of Bill Gates jumped by one-third from $96.5 billion in 2019 to $129 billion in 2022: philanthropy can be profitable. Article 15.2 of the draft pandemic treaty requires states to set up ‘no fault vaccine-injury compensation schemes,’ conferring immunity on Big Pharma against liability, thereby codifying the privatisation of profits and the socialisation of risks. The changes would confer extraordinary new powers on the WHO’s DG and regional directors and mandate governments to implement their recommendations. This will result in a major expansion of the international health bureaucracy under the WHO, for example new implementation and compliance committees; shift the centre of gravity from the common deadliest diseases (discussed below) to relatively rare pandemic outbreaks (five including Covid in the last 120 years); and give the WHO authority to direct resources (money, pharmaceutical products, intellectual property rights) to itself and to other governments in breach of sovereign and copyright rights. Considering the impact of the amendments on national decision-making and mortgaging future generations to internationally determined spending obligations, this calls for an indefinite pause in the process until parliaments have done due diligence and debated the potentially far-reaching obligations. Yet disappointingly, relatively few countries have expressed reservations and few parliamentarians seem at all interested. We may pay a high price for the rise of careerist politicians whose primary interest is self-advancement, ministers who ask bureaucrats to draft replies to constituents expressing concern that they often sign without reading either the original letter or the reply in their name, and officials who disdain the constraints of democratic decision-making and accountability. Ministers relying on technical advice from staffers when officials are engaged in a silent coup against elected representatives give power without responsibility to bureaucrats while relegating ministers to being in office but not in power, with political accountability sans authority. US President Donald Trump and Australian and UK Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson were representative of national leaders who had lacked the science literacy, intellectual heft, moral clarity, and courage of conviction to stand up to their technocrats. It was a period of Yes, Prime Minister on steroids, with Sir Humphrey Appleby winning most of the guerrilla campaign waged by the permanent civil service against the transient and clueless Prime Minister Jim Hacker. At least some Australian, American, British, and European politicians have recently expressed concern at the WHO-centred ‘command and control’ model of a public health system, and the public spending and redistributive implications of the two proposed international instruments. US Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) warned on 5 February that ‘far too little scrutiny has been given, far too few questions asked as to what this legally binding agreement or treaty means to health policy in the United States and elsewhere.’ Like Smith and Wenstrup, the most common criticism levelled has been that this represents a power grab at the cost of national sovereignty. Speaking in parliament in November, Australia’s Liberal Senator Alex Antic dubbed the effort a ‘WHO d’etat’. A more accurate reading may be that it represents collusion between the WHO and the richest countries, home to the biggest pharmaceutical companies, to dilute accountability for decisions, taken in the name of public health, that profit a narrow elite. The changes will lock in the seamless rule of the technocratic-managerial elite at both the national and the international levels. Yet the WHO edicts, although legally binding in theory, will be unenforceable against the most powerful countries in practice. Moreover, the new regime aims to eliminate transparency and critical scrutiny by criminalising any opinion that questions the official narrative from the WHO and governments, thereby elevating them to the status of dogma. The pandemic treaty calls for governments to tackle the ‘infodemics’ of false information, misinformation, disinformation, and even ‘too much information’ (Article 1c). This is censorship. Authorities have no right to be shielded from critical questioning of official information. Freedom of information is a cornerstone of an open and resilient society and a key means to hold authorities to public scrutiny and accountability. The changes are an effort to entrench and institutionalise the model of political, social, and messaging control trialled with great success during Covid. The foundational document of the international human rights regime is the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Pandemic management during Covid and in future emergencies threaten some of its core provisions regarding privacy, freedom of opinion and expression, and rights to work, education, peaceful assembly, and association. Worst of all, they will create a perverse incentive: the rise of an international bureaucracy whose defining purpose, existence, powers, and budgets will depend on more frequent declarations of actual or anticipated pandemic outbreaks. It is a basic axiom of politics that power that can be abused, will be abused – some day, somewhere, by someone. The corollary holds that power once seized is seldom surrendered back voluntarily to the people. Lockdowns, mask and vaccine mandates, travel restrictions, and all the other shenanigans and theatre of the Covid era will likely be repeated on whim. Professor Angus Dalgliesh of London’s St George’s Medical School warns that the WHO ‘wants to inflict this incompetence on us all over again but this time be in total control.’ Covid in the Context of Africa’s Disease Burden In the Hastings Center report referred to earlier, Gostin, Klock, and Finch claim that ‘lower-income countries experienced larger losses and longer-lasting economic setbacks.’ This is a casual elision that shifts the blame for harmful downstream effects away from lockdowns in the futile quest to eradicate the virus, to the virus itself. The chief damage to developing countries was caused by the worldwide shutdown of social life and economic activities and the drastic reduction in international trade. The discreet elision aroused my curiosity on the authors’ affiliations. It came as no surprise to read that they lead the O’Neill Institute–Foundation for the National Institutes of Health project on an international instrument for pandemic prevention and preparedness. Gostin et al. grounded the urgency for the new accords in the claim that ‘Zoonotic pathogens…are occurring with increasing frequency, enhancing the risk of new pandemics’ and cite research to suggest a threefold increase in ‘extreme pandemics’ over the next decade. In a report entitled “Rational Policy Over Panic,” published by Leeds University in February, a team that included our own David Bell subjected claims of increasing pandemic frequency and disease burden behind the drive to adopt the new treaty and amend the existing IHR to critical scrutiny. Specifically, they examined and found wanting a number of assumptions and several references in eight G20, World Bank, and WHO policy documents. On the one hand, the reported increase in natural outbreaks is best explained by technologically more sophisticated diagnostic testing equipment, while the disease burden has been effectively reduced with improved surveillance, response mechanisms, and other public health interventions. Consequently there is no real urgency to rush into the new accords. Instead, governments should take all the time they need to situate pandemic risk in the wider healthcare context and formulate policy tailored to the more accurate risk and interventions matrix. The lockdowns were responsible for reversals of decades worth of gains in critical childhood immunisations. UNICEF and WHO estimate that 7.6 million African children under 5 missed out on vaccination in 2021 and another 11 million were under-immunised, ‘making up over 40 percent of the under-immunised and missed children globally.’ How many quality adjusted life years does that add up to, I wonder? But don’t hold your breath that anyone will be held accountable for crimes against African children. Earlier this month the Pan-African Epidemic and Pandemic Working Group argued that lockdowns were a ‘class-based and unscientific instrument.’ It accused the WHO of trying to reintroduce ‘classical Western colonialism through the backdoor’ in the form of the new pandemic treaty and the IHR amendments. Medical knowledge and innovations do not come solely from Western capitals and Geneva, but from people and groups who have captured the WHO agenda. Lockdowns had caused significant harm to low-income countries, the group said, yet the WHO wanted legal authority to compel member states to comply with its advice in future pandemics, including with respect to vaccine passports and border closures. Instead of bowing to ‘health imperialism,’ it would be preferable for African countries to set their own priorities in alleviating the disease burden of their major killer diseases like cholera, malaria, and yellow fever. Europe and the US, comprising a little under ten and over four percent of world population, account for nearly 18 and 17 percent, respectively, of all Covid-related deaths in the world. By contrast Asia, with nearly 60 percent of the world’s people, accounts for 23 percent of all Covid-related deaths. Meantime Africa, with more than 17 percent of global population, has recorded less than four percent of global Covid deaths (Table 1). According to a report on the continent’s disease burden published last year by the WHO Regional Office for Africa, Africa’s leading causes of death in 2021 were malaria (593,000 deaths), tuberculosis (501,000), and HIV/AIDS (420,000). The report does not provide the numbers for diarrhoeal deaths for Africa. There are 1.6 million such deaths globally per year, including 440,000 children under 5. And we know that most diarrhoeal deaths occur in Africa and South Asia. If we perform a linear extrapolation of 2021 deaths to estimate ballpark figures for the three years 2020–22 inclusive for numbers of Africans killed by these big three, approximately 1.78 million died from malaria, 1.5 million from TB, and 1.26 million from HIV/AIDS. (I exclude 2023 as Covid had faded by then, as can be seen in Table 1). By comparison, the total number of Covid-related deaths across Africa in the three years was 259,000. Whether or not the WHO is pursuing a policy of health colonialism, therefore, the Pan-African Epidemic and Pandemic Working Group has a point regarding the grossly exaggerated threat of Covid in the total picture of Africa’s disease burden. A shorter version of this was published in The Australian on 11 March Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author. Author Ramesh Thakur, a Brownstone Institute Senior Scholar, is a former United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, and emeritus professor in the Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University. View all posts Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work. https://brownstone.org/articles/the-who-wants-to-rule-the-world/
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    The WHO Wants to Rule the World ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    The World Health Organisation (WHO) will present two new texts for adoption by its governing body, the World Health Assembly comprising delegates from 194 member states, in Geneva on 27 May–1 June.
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 171: ‘Horrific’ eyewitness accounts continue to emerge from Israel’s siege on Gaza’s hospitals
    Leila WarahMarch 25, 2024
    Injured Palestinians, including children, are brought to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir El-Balah for treatment following the Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip, on March 23, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Injured Palestinians, including children, are brought to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir El-Balah for treatment following the Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip, on March 23, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Casualties

    32,333 + killed* and at least 74,694 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 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

    UNRWA: Israel says no more UNRWA food convoys to north Gaza.
    UNRWA chief: Israeli decision to deny all UNRWA food convoys to northern Gaza is “obstruct[ing] lifesaving assistance during a man-made famine.”
    Doctors Without Borders “deeply concerned” after medical staff arrested at al-Shifa Hospital amid “heavy air strikes by Israeli forces and fierce fighting” nearby.
    Tanks crushed bodies, ambulances at al-Shifa Hospital, reports AP News, citing witnesses.
    Footage emerges of Israeli soldiers assaulting Palestinian boy
    Casualties in Israeli attack on aid distributors at Kuwaiti roundabout in Gaza City, reports Al Jazeera.
    Israeli forces raid Al Aqsa mosque during nightly prayers, assault and expel worshipers, reports Al Jazeera journalist.
    WHO Chief: Israel must reverse decision on blocking north Gaza aid.
    Israeli war cabinet minister threatens to quit if bill exempting ultra-Orthodox Jews from conscription passes
    UNRWA: U.S. funding cut will ‘compromise access to food’ in Gaza.
    UN special rapporteurs decry underreporting of sexual violence against Palestinians.
    Israel blocks access to Jerusalem for West Bank Christians on Palm Sunday, reports Wafa.
    PRCS says it has lost radio contact with staff at al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis.
    Euro-Med: Israel’s attacks on academics in line with Gaza ‘genocide’
    WAFA correspondent killed along with son Israeli airstrike on Gaza
    MAP report: Doctor says conditions inside European Gaza Hospital ‘unimaginable’
    Gaza: Three Hospitals under military siege

    The Israeli military has imposed ongoing sieges on at least three medical facilities in the besieged enclave, terrorizing, injuring, and killing thousands of civilians in the process.

    Al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza has entered its seventh day under siege, and the civilians able to flee are reporting ruthless massacres in and around the medical complex.

    A teenage Palestinian boy, Farouk Mohammed Hamd, told Al Jazeera he witnessed Israeli soldiers executing a group of eight people, including his father and brother, inside al-Shifa Hospital.

    He said he and the others were stripped of their clothing and moved several times inside the al-Shifa Hospital building in central Gaza over the course of hours before being taken to the top floor of the facility.

    “They left us for about three hours, then said, ‘You are safe. You can go south.”

    “We stood up, but then they opened fire. We all laid down on the floor again. Then, the snipers entertained themselves by shooting us one after the other.”

    Hamad said his father told him before being killed to run away if he could, and he managed to run, but not before seeing the unresponsive bodies of the executed group.

    On Sunday, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said its staff have reported “heavy air strikes by Israeli forces and fierce fighting” in the vicinity of al-Shifa hospital, “endangering patients, medical staff and people trapped inside with very few supplies.”

    Jameel al-Ayoubi, one of the thousands of Palestinians sheltering at the hospital, saw Israeli tanks and armored bulldozers drive over at least four bodies in the hospital courtyard, AP News reports. Ambulances were also crushed, he says.

    Kareem Ayman Hathat, who lived in a five-story building about 100 meters (328 feet) from the hospital, told AP he hid in his kitchen for days waiting as explosions shook the building.

    “From time to time, the tank would fire a shell,” he said. “It was to terrorise us.”

    MSF added that Israeli forces have carried out a mass-arrest campaign of medical staff and other people and that the organization is “deeply concerned” for the safety of those detained.

    Meanwhile, another two hospitals in Khan Younis have been under Israeli military siege for the last 24 hours: al-Amal and Nasser hospitals, reports Al Jazeera correspondent Hani Mahmoud from Gaza.

    “Military vehicles, tanks and attack drones are encircling these two facilities. They’re also blocking the entrance with piles of sand, preventing medical staff, patients and injured people inside from leaving safely and constantly failing to provide a safe corridor for people and evacuees trapped inside the hospital,” Mahmoud said.

    Palestinian Red Crescent (PRCS) gave their latest update on the situation in al Amal hospital on Sunday afternoon, saying Israeli tanks and armored vehicles have completely surrounded all entrances to the hospital and control any movement in and out.

    Israeli forces attacked the hospital earlier on Sunday, surrounding it with tanks and forcing nearly everyone inside, from patients to displaced Palestinians sheltering there, to evacuate.

    “What we’re getting confirmed from al-Amal Hospital is that not only has it been under constant bombing and tank shells, but loudspeakers are ordering people inside the hospital to come out only with their underwear on. And that has been confirmed by multiple sources and witnesses on the ground, those who managed to flee the harrowing situation,” Mahmoud added.

    On Sunday evening, the PRCS announced that they lost radio contact with their staff at the hospital.

    While all displaced Palestinians and patients who could move independently were evacuated towards the al-Mawasi area west of Khan Younis, hospital staff remain, along with nine patients and their ten companions and a displaced family with children who have disabilities. PCRS says all of them need to be safely evacuated.

    PRCS added that staff member Amir Abu Aisha and a wounded individual who was being treated at the hospital after being shot in the head by the Israeli military were both killed, and their bodies need to be removed.

    In a statement, Hamas said the Israeli military is systematically targeting hospitals across Gaza with the goal of displacing all Palestinians from their lands, showing Israel wants to continue its “war of extermination” against Palestinians and forcibly displace them from their land “by destroying all means of life in the Gaza Strip, especially hospitals,” reported Al Jazeera.

    Underreporting of sexual violence against Palestinians

    Witnesses at al-Shifa hospital have reported that “Palestinian women have been subjected to rape, torture, and execution by Israeli forces.”

    Reem Alsalem, the UN special rapporteur on violence against women and girls, said in a post on X that it is “abhorrent” that reports of rape by Israeli forces keep coming out without any consequences.

    “Rape and other forms of sexual violence can constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity or a constitutive act with respect to genocide! It must stop!”

    Francesca Albanese, the UN special rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territory, similarly said, “I lost count of how many renowned journalists interviewed me on the alleged mistreatment of/sexual abuse against Palestinian women by Israeli forces, and never published any article on this.”

    “What we can see on the ground is a systematic creation of a corrosive environment in which Israel, with its destruction of neighborhoods and hospitals, is making Gaza unliveable for the majority of Palestinians,” said Al Jazeera co-respondent, Tareq Abu Azzoum from Gaza while reporting on the besieged hospitals.

    “Horrific scenes” at European Hospital

    Meanwhile, at Gaza’s European Hospital near Khan Younis, one of the last functioning medical facilities, medical staff report “horrific scenes” at the hospital with patients “dying from infections with evidence of serious malnutrition,” reported Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP).

    Husam Basheer, an orthopedic surgeon working at the hospital, says he and his staff are “managing with the bare minimum of resources” at the medical facility due to Israeli restrictions on medical aid entering the besieged enclave.

    “One day we wanted to do a plate and screw, which is a standard procedure for bone fixation, but we didn’t have the right equipment. Sometimes we’ve also lacked gauze which is a basic supply for surgery. We worked around the challenges we faced and managed in a different way, but the staff here are overwhelmed,” he said.

    Similarly, Konstantina Ilia Karydi, an anesthetist, described the situation inside the medical facility as “unimaginable.”

    “This hospital had an original capacity of just 200 beds. Now, it has expanded to 1,000 beds,” she said.

    “There are around 22,000 displaced people sheltering in the corridors and in tents inside the hospital because people feel that it’s safer to be here than anywhere else.”

    Israel bars UNRWA from northern Gaza

    The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) announced on Sunday that Israel has officially barred it from making aid deliveries in northern Gaza, where the threat of famine is highest.

    “This is outrageous [and] makes it intentional to obstruct lifesaving assistance during a man-made famine. These restrictions must be lifted,” the head of the UNRWA, Philippe Lazzarini, wrote in an X post.

    Famine is likely to occur by May in northern Gaza and could spread across the enclave by July, according to the world’s hunger watchdog, Integrated Food-Security Phase Classification (IPC), said last week.

    Lazzarini warned that Israel’s decision would speed up the coming of famine in the north of the Strip and said that “many more will die of hunger, dehydration.”

    Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO), says Israel must “urgently reverse” its decision to block the entry of food convoys organized by UNRWA into northern Gaza, where humanitarian needs are most urgent.

    “The levels of hunger are acute. All efforts to deliver food should not only be permitted but there should be an immediate acceleration of food deliveries,” Ghebreyesus said in a post on X.

    Martin Griffiths, the undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator at the UN, says he repeatedly urged Israel to lift all its restrictions on aid to Gaza. Still, it has now done the exact opposite.

    “UNRWA is the beating heart of the humanitarian response in Gaza,” Griffiths said on X , “The decision to block its food convoys to the north only pushes thousands closer to famine. It must be revoked.”

    No other agency is able to provide lifesaving assistance in Gaza in the same way as UNRWA, Natalie Boucly, the deputy commissioner-general of the UN agency, has said on X.

    Boucly added that attempts to “isolate” UNRWA will result in more people dying, “UNRWA is part of the UN and it was given a specific mandate by the General Assembly.”

    In January, several countries cut funding to UNRWA following unverified Israeli allegations that less than a dozen employees participated in Hamas’s operation on October 7.

    While some countries, including Canada and Sweden, have since reinstated their funding, several countries, including the US, have yet to follow suit, which will have severe implications for Palestinians in Gaza and the region.

    Israel is using famine as a “weapon of war” in Gaza to put pressure on the Palestinian people to leave the besieged enclave, Adel Abdel Ghafar, an analyst at the Middle East Council on Global Affairs, told Al Jazeera.
    “In Gaza, the humanitarian community is racing against the clock to avert famine. As the backbone of the humanitarian response, any gap in funding to UNRWA will compromise access to food, shelter, primary health care & education at a time of deep trauma,” the organization’s chief, Lazzarini, wrote on X.

    “Palestine Refugees are counting on the international community to step up support to meet their basic needs.”

    Israel is using famine as a “weapon of war” in Gaza to put pressure on the Palestinian people to leave the besieged enclave, Adel Abdel Ghafar, an analyst at the Middle East Council on Global Affairs, told Al Jazeera.

    The “dream” of many far-right politicians in Israel is to make Gaza “uninhabitable” for Palestinians, with the goal of re-establishing settlements for the Israelis, Ghafar continued.

    “The destruction of schools, hospitals, infrastructure [is making Gaza] almost unlivable and it will force the international community to take further refugees and thin out the population of Gaza,” he said.

    “I think Israel wants to have a big chunk of the population leave and become refugees elsewhere.”

    UN Resolution for ceasefire

    On Monday, the UN Security Council is expected to vote on yet another resolution regarding Israel’s war on Gaza. Since October seven, only two of eight resolutions have been accepted, with both mainly dealing with humanitarian aid to the besieged enclave.

    Guterres says the most recent UN Security Council resolution does not link a ceasefire in Gaza to the release of Israeli captives, reported Al Jazeera.

    In the resolution, “a ceasefire is required together with, but not in a linkage with, the unconditional release of all hostages,” he said. “And we have also claimed the need for that release.”

    Diplomats told the AFP news agency that the resolution had been worked on with the U.S. to avoid a veto, reported France 24. The U.S. has vetoed three resolutions calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

    “We expect, barring a last-minute twist, that the resolution will be adopted and that the US will not vote against it,” one diplomat told AFP.

    Last Friday, the Security Council voted on a draft submitted by the U.S. that called for an “immediate” ceasefire linked to the release of captives. China and Russia vetoed the resolution, criticizing it for stopping short of explicitly demanding Israel halt its campaign.

    No progress on negotiations.

    Meanwhile, Israel and Hamas have continued negotiations mediated by Qatar with little progress.

    Hamas’s political bureau official Basem Naim says a lot of “misinformation” has recently been circulated through the media regarding the ongoing truce talks in Doha, reported Al Jazeera.

    Naim said the Israelis are focusing on only one aspect of the negotiations, the release of captives, and are unwilling to discuss Hamas’s three demands – a permanent end to the war, “total withdrawal” from Gaza, and the return of displaced people to their homes.

    Hamas had proposed the release of some 100 Israeli captives in phases in exchange for a permanent end to the war, total withdrawal of Israeli troops, and the return of displaced people to their homes; however, according to Al Jazeera, Israel rejected the demand to end the war and withdraw troops from Gaza.

    Al Jazeera added that Israeli negotiators said they would allow only 2,000 Palestinians to return to their homes each day, meaning it would take more than two years for all displaced Palestinians to leave Rafah.

    Meanwhile, Israel wants all Israeli captives released immediately. Hamas has indicated it will only release women and children in the first phase.

    As negotiations continue, Yossi Amrosi, an ex-senior official of Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic security service, was quoted by The Jerusalem Post as admitting that the Israeli army does not have the means to return all captives currently held in Gaza by Hamas and other Palestinian groups.

    Hamas’s armed wing, the Qassam Brigades, said at the start of the war that it had taken 250 captives during its October 7 incursion into Israel.

    According to the Qassam Brigades, 50 captives have been killed in Israeli air raids. Israeli intelligence officers say 30 captives have died in Gaza so far since they were taken to the enclave.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-171-horrific-eyewitness-accounts-continue-to-emerge-from-israels-siege-on-gazas-hospitals/
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 171: ‘Horrific’ eyewitness accounts continue to emerge from Israel’s siege on Gaza’s hospitals Leila WarahMarch 25, 2024 Injured Palestinians, including children, are brought to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir El-Balah for treatment following the Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip, on March 23, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Injured Palestinians, including children, are brought to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir El-Balah for treatment following the Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip, on March 23, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Casualties 32,333 + killed* and at least 74,694 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 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 UNRWA: Israel says no more UNRWA food convoys to north Gaza. UNRWA chief: Israeli decision to deny all UNRWA food convoys to northern Gaza is “obstruct[ing] lifesaving assistance during a man-made famine.” Doctors Without Borders “deeply concerned” after medical staff arrested at al-Shifa Hospital amid “heavy air strikes by Israeli forces and fierce fighting” nearby. Tanks crushed bodies, ambulances at al-Shifa Hospital, reports AP News, citing witnesses. Footage emerges of Israeli soldiers assaulting Palestinian boy Casualties in Israeli attack on aid distributors at Kuwaiti roundabout in Gaza City, reports Al Jazeera. Israeli forces raid Al Aqsa mosque during nightly prayers, assault and expel worshipers, reports Al Jazeera journalist. WHO Chief: Israel must reverse decision on blocking north Gaza aid. Israeli war cabinet minister threatens to quit if bill exempting ultra-Orthodox Jews from conscription passes UNRWA: U.S. funding cut will ‘compromise access to food’ in Gaza. UN special rapporteurs decry underreporting of sexual violence against Palestinians. Israel blocks access to Jerusalem for West Bank Christians on Palm Sunday, reports Wafa. PRCS says it has lost radio contact with staff at al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis. Euro-Med: Israel’s attacks on academics in line with Gaza ‘genocide’ WAFA correspondent killed along with son Israeli airstrike on Gaza MAP report: Doctor says conditions inside European Gaza Hospital ‘unimaginable’ Gaza: Three Hospitals under military siege The Israeli military has imposed ongoing sieges on at least three medical facilities in the besieged enclave, terrorizing, injuring, and killing thousands of civilians in the process. Al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza has entered its seventh day under siege, and the civilians able to flee are reporting ruthless massacres in and around the medical complex. A teenage Palestinian boy, Farouk Mohammed Hamd, told Al Jazeera he witnessed Israeli soldiers executing a group of eight people, including his father and brother, inside al-Shifa Hospital. He said he and the others were stripped of their clothing and moved several times inside the al-Shifa Hospital building in central Gaza over the course of hours before being taken to the top floor of the facility. “They left us for about three hours, then said, ‘You are safe. You can go south.” “We stood up, but then they opened fire. We all laid down on the floor again. Then, the snipers entertained themselves by shooting us one after the other.” Hamad said his father told him before being killed to run away if he could, and he managed to run, but not before seeing the unresponsive bodies of the executed group. On Sunday, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said its staff have reported “heavy air strikes by Israeli forces and fierce fighting” in the vicinity of al-Shifa hospital, “endangering patients, medical staff and people trapped inside with very few supplies.” Jameel al-Ayoubi, one of the thousands of Palestinians sheltering at the hospital, saw Israeli tanks and armored bulldozers drive over at least four bodies in the hospital courtyard, AP News reports. Ambulances were also crushed, he says. Kareem Ayman Hathat, who lived in a five-story building about 100 meters (328 feet) from the hospital, told AP he hid in his kitchen for days waiting as explosions shook the building. “From time to time, the tank would fire a shell,” he said. “It was to terrorise us.” MSF added that Israeli forces have carried out a mass-arrest campaign of medical staff and other people and that the organization is “deeply concerned” for the safety of those detained. Meanwhile, another two hospitals in Khan Younis have been under Israeli military siege for the last 24 hours: al-Amal and Nasser hospitals, reports Al Jazeera correspondent Hani Mahmoud from Gaza. “Military vehicles, tanks and attack drones are encircling these two facilities. They’re also blocking the entrance with piles of sand, preventing medical staff, patients and injured people inside from leaving safely and constantly failing to provide a safe corridor for people and evacuees trapped inside the hospital,” Mahmoud said. Palestinian Red Crescent (PRCS) gave their latest update on the situation in al Amal hospital on Sunday afternoon, saying Israeli tanks and armored vehicles have completely surrounded all entrances to the hospital and control any movement in and out. Israeli forces attacked the hospital earlier on Sunday, surrounding it with tanks and forcing nearly everyone inside, from patients to displaced Palestinians sheltering there, to evacuate. “What we’re getting confirmed from al-Amal Hospital is that not only has it been under constant bombing and tank shells, but loudspeakers are ordering people inside the hospital to come out only with their underwear on. And that has been confirmed by multiple sources and witnesses on the ground, those who managed to flee the harrowing situation,” Mahmoud added. On Sunday evening, the PRCS announced that they lost radio contact with their staff at the hospital. While all displaced Palestinians and patients who could move independently were evacuated towards the al-Mawasi area west of Khan Younis, hospital staff remain, along with nine patients and their ten companions and a displaced family with children who have disabilities. PCRS says all of them need to be safely evacuated. PRCS added that staff member Amir Abu Aisha and a wounded individual who was being treated at the hospital after being shot in the head by the Israeli military were both killed, and their bodies need to be removed. In a statement, Hamas said the Israeli military is systematically targeting hospitals across Gaza with the goal of displacing all Palestinians from their lands, showing Israel wants to continue its “war of extermination” against Palestinians and forcibly displace them from their land “by destroying all means of life in the Gaza Strip, especially hospitals,” reported Al Jazeera. Underreporting of sexual violence against Palestinians Witnesses at al-Shifa hospital have reported that “Palestinian women have been subjected to rape, torture, and execution by Israeli forces.” Reem Alsalem, the UN special rapporteur on violence against women and girls, said in a post on X that it is “abhorrent” that reports of rape by Israeli forces keep coming out without any consequences. “Rape and other forms of sexual violence can constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity or a constitutive act with respect to genocide! It must stop!” Francesca Albanese, the UN special rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territory, similarly said, “I lost count of how many renowned journalists interviewed me on the alleged mistreatment of/sexual abuse against Palestinian women by Israeli forces, and never published any article on this.” “What we can see on the ground is a systematic creation of a corrosive environment in which Israel, with its destruction of neighborhoods and hospitals, is making Gaza unliveable for the majority of Palestinians,” said Al Jazeera co-respondent, Tareq Abu Azzoum from Gaza while reporting on the besieged hospitals. “Horrific scenes” at European Hospital Meanwhile, at Gaza’s European Hospital near Khan Younis, one of the last functioning medical facilities, medical staff report “horrific scenes” at the hospital with patients “dying from infections with evidence of serious malnutrition,” reported Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP). Husam Basheer, an orthopedic surgeon working at the hospital, says he and his staff are “managing with the bare minimum of resources” at the medical facility due to Israeli restrictions on medical aid entering the besieged enclave. “One day we wanted to do a plate and screw, which is a standard procedure for bone fixation, but we didn’t have the right equipment. Sometimes we’ve also lacked gauze which is a basic supply for surgery. We worked around the challenges we faced and managed in a different way, but the staff here are overwhelmed,” he said. Similarly, Konstantina Ilia Karydi, an anesthetist, described the situation inside the medical facility as “unimaginable.” “This hospital had an original capacity of just 200 beds. Now, it has expanded to 1,000 beds,” she said. “There are around 22,000 displaced people sheltering in the corridors and in tents inside the hospital because people feel that it’s safer to be here than anywhere else.” Israel bars UNRWA from northern Gaza The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) announced on Sunday that Israel has officially barred it from making aid deliveries in northern Gaza, where the threat of famine is highest. “This is outrageous [and] makes it intentional to obstruct lifesaving assistance during a man-made famine. These restrictions must be lifted,” the head of the UNRWA, Philippe Lazzarini, wrote in an X post. Famine is likely to occur by May in northern Gaza and could spread across the enclave by July, according to the world’s hunger watchdog, Integrated Food-Security Phase Classification (IPC), said last week. Lazzarini warned that Israel’s decision would speed up the coming of famine in the north of the Strip and said that “many more will die of hunger, dehydration.” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO), says Israel must “urgently reverse” its decision to block the entry of food convoys organized by UNRWA into northern Gaza, where humanitarian needs are most urgent. “The levels of hunger are acute. All efforts to deliver food should not only be permitted but there should be an immediate acceleration of food deliveries,” Ghebreyesus said in a post on X. Martin Griffiths, the undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator at the UN, says he repeatedly urged Israel to lift all its restrictions on aid to Gaza. Still, it has now done the exact opposite. “UNRWA is the beating heart of the humanitarian response in Gaza,” Griffiths said on X , “The decision to block its food convoys to the north only pushes thousands closer to famine. It must be revoked.” No other agency is able to provide lifesaving assistance in Gaza in the same way as UNRWA, Natalie Boucly, the deputy commissioner-general of the UN agency, has said on X. Boucly added that attempts to “isolate” UNRWA will result in more people dying, “UNRWA is part of the UN and it was given a specific mandate by the General Assembly.” In January, several countries cut funding to UNRWA following unverified Israeli allegations that less than a dozen employees participated in Hamas’s operation on October 7. While some countries, including Canada and Sweden, have since reinstated their funding, several countries, including the US, have yet to follow suit, which will have severe implications for Palestinians in Gaza and the region. Israel is using famine as a “weapon of war” in Gaza to put pressure on the Palestinian people to leave the besieged enclave, Adel Abdel Ghafar, an analyst at the Middle East Council on Global Affairs, told Al Jazeera. “In Gaza, the humanitarian community is racing against the clock to avert famine. As the backbone of the humanitarian response, any gap in funding to UNRWA will compromise access to food, shelter, primary health care & education at a time of deep trauma,” the organization’s chief, Lazzarini, wrote on X. “Palestine Refugees are counting on the international community to step up support to meet their basic needs.” Israel is using famine as a “weapon of war” in Gaza to put pressure on the Palestinian people to leave the besieged enclave, Adel Abdel Ghafar, an analyst at the Middle East Council on Global Affairs, told Al Jazeera. The “dream” of many far-right politicians in Israel is to make Gaza “uninhabitable” for Palestinians, with the goal of re-establishing settlements for the Israelis, Ghafar continued. “The destruction of schools, hospitals, infrastructure [is making Gaza] almost unlivable and it will force the international community to take further refugees and thin out the population of Gaza,” he said. “I think Israel wants to have a big chunk of the population leave and become refugees elsewhere.” UN Resolution for ceasefire On Monday, the UN Security Council is expected to vote on yet another resolution regarding Israel’s war on Gaza. Since October seven, only two of eight resolutions have been accepted, with both mainly dealing with humanitarian aid to the besieged enclave. Guterres says the most recent UN Security Council resolution does not link a ceasefire in Gaza to the release of Israeli captives, reported Al Jazeera. In the resolution, “a ceasefire is required together with, but not in a linkage with, the unconditional release of all hostages,” he said. “And we have also claimed the need for that release.” Diplomats told the AFP news agency that the resolution had been worked on with the U.S. to avoid a veto, reported France 24. The U.S. has vetoed three resolutions calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. “We expect, barring a last-minute twist, that the resolution will be adopted and that the US will not vote against it,” one diplomat told AFP. Last Friday, the Security Council voted on a draft submitted by the U.S. that called for an “immediate” ceasefire linked to the release of captives. China and Russia vetoed the resolution, criticizing it for stopping short of explicitly demanding Israel halt its campaign. No progress on negotiations. Meanwhile, Israel and Hamas have continued negotiations mediated by Qatar with little progress. Hamas’s political bureau official Basem Naim says a lot of “misinformation” has recently been circulated through the media regarding the ongoing truce talks in Doha, reported Al Jazeera. Naim said the Israelis are focusing on only one aspect of the negotiations, the release of captives, and are unwilling to discuss Hamas’s three demands – a permanent end to the war, “total withdrawal” from Gaza, and the return of displaced people to their homes. Hamas had proposed the release of some 100 Israeli captives in phases in exchange for a permanent end to the war, total withdrawal of Israeli troops, and the return of displaced people to their homes; however, according to Al Jazeera, Israel rejected the demand to end the war and withdraw troops from Gaza. Al Jazeera added that Israeli negotiators said they would allow only 2,000 Palestinians to return to their homes each day, meaning it would take more than two years for all displaced Palestinians to leave Rafah. Meanwhile, Israel wants all Israeli captives released immediately. Hamas has indicated it will only release women and children in the first phase. As negotiations continue, Yossi Amrosi, an ex-senior official of Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic security service, was quoted by The Jerusalem Post as admitting that the Israeli army does not have the means to return all captives currently held in Gaza by Hamas and other Palestinian groups. Hamas’s armed wing, the Qassam Brigades, said at the start of the war that it had taken 250 captives during its October 7 incursion into Israel. According to the Qassam Brigades, 50 captives have been killed in Israeli air raids. Israeli intelligence officers say 30 captives have died in Gaza so far since they were taken to the enclave. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-171-horrific-eyewitness-accounts-continue-to-emerge-from-israels-siege-on-gazas-hospitals/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 171: ‘Horrific’ eyewitness accounts continue to emerge from Israel’s siege on Gaza’s hospitals
    Eyewitness accounts continue to emerge from Gaza’s hospitals, including rape, torture, mass executions, and soldiers crushing Palestinian bodies with tanks. Hamas says Israel’s systematic attack on hospitals is central to its “war of extermination.”
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  • Anti-War Veterans Groups Echo Aaron Bushnell’s Demand for a Ceasefire in Gaza
    Anger over the civilian carnage in Gaza has galvanized some veterans who experienced disastrous U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan up close.

    Murtaza Hussain March 21 2024, 11:47 a.m.
    WASHINGTON DC, UNITED STATES - MARCH 06: Ann Wright, a retired US army colonel speaks during a press conference held by retired US army veterans and activists before US President Biden's State of the Union address to the country to demand that he calls for an immediate remnant Gaza ceasefire in Washington DC, United States on March 06, 2024. (Photo by Mostafa Bassim/Anadolu via Getty Images)
    When 25-year-old U.S. Air Force service member Aaron Bushnell took his life in front of the Israeli Embassy in D.C. this February, the phone lines at the anti-war organization Veterans for Peace started lighting up. Current and recently retired members of the military were calling to say they were disturbed by Bushnell’s act of self-immolation. Many of them had been privately nursing their own angst and misgivings about U.S. support for the war in Gaza.

    “We have been receiving many calls from concerned active duty and recently discharged veterans talking about their personal disgust with our foreign policy in light of recent events, and also talking about how these are effecting them psychologically,” said Mike Ferner, the director of Veterans for Peace.


    Related

    Aaron Bushnell, Who Self-Immolated for Palestine, Had Grown Deeply Disillusioned With the Military

    Members of Veterans for Peace, like other anti-war veterans groups, have mobilized around the Israeli war in Gaza, organizing protests across the country and calling for an immediate ceasefire. Following Bushnell’s death by self-immolation, veterans at a protest in Oregon burned their uniforms in tribute to the deceased airman and to register their opposition to the war. Anger over the civilian carnage from the war, coming on the heels of two decades of disastrous U.S. military involvement in the region, has galvanized some veterans who experienced these conflicts up close.

    “It’s fair to say that people’s psychological trauma is being activated again by what they are seeing in the news,” Ferner said, “especially people who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and have been through the meat grinder once already with the U.S. military.”

    Most Read

    The U.S. has indeed been intimately involved in Israel’s war in Gaza, which has killed at least 30,000 Palestinians since last October, providing its Middle East ally with extensive military aid and diplomatic cover, despite widespread public opposition. For years, Israel has received billions of dollars in military aid from the United States annually. The Biden administration has maintained that support and also asked Congress to approve another $14 billion in the wake of the war, while bypassing Congress to approve emergency weapons sales to Israel.

    The U.S. has also provided intelligence support for Israel during the offensive, much of it focused on efforts to deter Iranian-backed militants across the region. As The Intercept previously reported, the U.S. had begun quietly expanding a military base it operates in Israel’s Negev desert, just 20 miles from Gaza, in the months prior to the war. That base, known as “Site 512,” is believed to help Israel track missile strikes, including from Iranian-backed groups in the region.

    Despite the desire of most Americans to stay out of the Middle East, blowback from the Israeli war in Gaza is directly dragging U.S. troops back in — with military casualties as the consequence. Earlier this year, Iraqi militias attacked a base in Jordan that was being used to help deter Iranian-backed groups seeking to build up their forces near Israel’s borders, killing three service members.

    Many military veterans who have sacrificed their physical and mental health over two decades of disastrous U.S. wars in the Middle East have been enraged by the continued waste of U.S. lives, resources, and moral credibility in the region. Following Bushnell’s death, Dennis Fritz, who served as an U.S. Air Force officer for 28 years, traveled to D.C. to attend a vigil at the site of Bushnell’s self-immolation. Fritz, who worked for years with wounded veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan following his resignation from active duty, said that he felt an obligation to pay tribute to Bushnell’s sacrifice.

    “As a former senior enlisted leader in the air force, Aaron would have been my responsibility,” Fritz said. “As an officer I would have been the one who would have checked on him to make sure he was OK. So the news of his death struck me very hard.”

    Since leaving the military Fritz has worked in anti-war activism as part of the Eisenhower Media Network, a group of former military officers critical of U.S. foreign policy. He is also the author of the forthcoming book, “Deadly Betrayal: The Truth About Why the United States Invaded Iraq.” Fritz said that he and other former U.S. military officers who had already been critical of U.S. policy in the region are angered by what they are seeing unfold in Gaza. They now believe that the U.S. government is assisting in the perpetration of war crimes in Gaza.

    “They have the capacity to do precision bombing, but they are conducting indiscriminate bombing.”
    “When we are in the military we are taught the Geneva Convention and the law of armed conflict. This teaches us not just that we must do everything we can to protect civilian life, but even the property of innocent people,” Fritz said. “The IDF” — Israel Defense Forces — “is definitely not doing that. They have the capacity to do precision bombing, but they are conducting indiscriminate bombing.”

    Bushnell himself has become well-known for his sacrifice, both in the U.S. and abroad where his image has often appeared at protests denouncing U.S. complicity in the Gaza war. After attending Bushnell’s vigil, Fritz himself said that he holds the U.S. government responsible for Bushnell’s sacrifice, given its lockstep support for Israel in its assault on Gaza.

    Fritz said, “Aaron died for the sins of our Congress and the Biden administration.”

    https://theintercept.com/2024/03/21/anti-war-veterans-aaron-bushnell-gaza/
    Anti-War Veterans Groups Echo Aaron Bushnell’s Demand for a Ceasefire in Gaza Anger over the civilian carnage in Gaza has galvanized some veterans who experienced disastrous U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan up close. Murtaza Hussain March 21 2024, 11:47 a.m. WASHINGTON DC, UNITED STATES - MARCH 06: Ann Wright, a retired US army colonel speaks during a press conference held by retired US army veterans and activists before US President Biden's State of the Union address to the country to demand that he calls for an immediate remnant Gaza ceasefire in Washington DC, United States on March 06, 2024. (Photo by Mostafa Bassim/Anadolu via Getty Images) When 25-year-old U.S. Air Force service member Aaron Bushnell took his life in front of the Israeli Embassy in D.C. this February, the phone lines at the anti-war organization Veterans for Peace started lighting up. Current and recently retired members of the military were calling to say they were disturbed by Bushnell’s act of self-immolation. Many of them had been privately nursing their own angst and misgivings about U.S. support for the war in Gaza. “We have been receiving many calls from concerned active duty and recently discharged veterans talking about their personal disgust with our foreign policy in light of recent events, and also talking about how these are effecting them psychologically,” said Mike Ferner, the director of Veterans for Peace. Related Aaron Bushnell, Who Self-Immolated for Palestine, Had Grown Deeply Disillusioned With the Military Members of Veterans for Peace, like other anti-war veterans groups, have mobilized around the Israeli war in Gaza, organizing protests across the country and calling for an immediate ceasefire. Following Bushnell’s death by self-immolation, veterans at a protest in Oregon burned their uniforms in tribute to the deceased airman and to register their opposition to the war. Anger over the civilian carnage from the war, coming on the heels of two decades of disastrous U.S. military involvement in the region, has galvanized some veterans who experienced these conflicts up close. “It’s fair to say that people’s psychological trauma is being activated again by what they are seeing in the news,” Ferner said, “especially people who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and have been through the meat grinder once already with the U.S. military.” Most Read The U.S. has indeed been intimately involved in Israel’s war in Gaza, which has killed at least 30,000 Palestinians since last October, providing its Middle East ally with extensive military aid and diplomatic cover, despite widespread public opposition. For years, Israel has received billions of dollars in military aid from the United States annually. The Biden administration has maintained that support and also asked Congress to approve another $14 billion in the wake of the war, while bypassing Congress to approve emergency weapons sales to Israel. The U.S. has also provided intelligence support for Israel during the offensive, much of it focused on efforts to deter Iranian-backed militants across the region. As The Intercept previously reported, the U.S. had begun quietly expanding a military base it operates in Israel’s Negev desert, just 20 miles from Gaza, in the months prior to the war. That base, known as “Site 512,” is believed to help Israel track missile strikes, including from Iranian-backed groups in the region. Despite the desire of most Americans to stay out of the Middle East, blowback from the Israeli war in Gaza is directly dragging U.S. troops back in — with military casualties as the consequence. Earlier this year, Iraqi militias attacked a base in Jordan that was being used to help deter Iranian-backed groups seeking to build up their forces near Israel’s borders, killing three service members. Many military veterans who have sacrificed their physical and mental health over two decades of disastrous U.S. wars in the Middle East have been enraged by the continued waste of U.S. lives, resources, and moral credibility in the region. Following Bushnell’s death, Dennis Fritz, who served as an U.S. Air Force officer for 28 years, traveled to D.C. to attend a vigil at the site of Bushnell’s self-immolation. Fritz, who worked for years with wounded veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan following his resignation from active duty, said that he felt an obligation to pay tribute to Bushnell’s sacrifice. “As a former senior enlisted leader in the air force, Aaron would have been my responsibility,” Fritz said. “As an officer I would have been the one who would have checked on him to make sure he was OK. So the news of his death struck me very hard.” Since leaving the military Fritz has worked in anti-war activism as part of the Eisenhower Media Network, a group of former military officers critical of U.S. foreign policy. He is also the author of the forthcoming book, “Deadly Betrayal: The Truth About Why the United States Invaded Iraq.” Fritz said that he and other former U.S. military officers who had already been critical of U.S. policy in the region are angered by what they are seeing unfold in Gaza. They now believe that the U.S. government is assisting in the perpetration of war crimes in Gaza. “They have the capacity to do precision bombing, but they are conducting indiscriminate bombing.” “When we are in the military we are taught the Geneva Convention and the law of armed conflict. This teaches us not just that we must do everything we can to protect civilian life, but even the property of innocent people,” Fritz said. “The IDF” — Israel Defense Forces — “is definitely not doing that. They have the capacity to do precision bombing, but they are conducting indiscriminate bombing.” Bushnell himself has become well-known for his sacrifice, both in the U.S. and abroad where his image has often appeared at protests denouncing U.S. complicity in the Gaza war. After attending Bushnell’s vigil, Fritz himself said that he holds the U.S. government responsible for Bushnell’s sacrifice, given its lockstep support for Israel in its assault on Gaza. Fritz said, “Aaron died for the sins of our Congress and the Biden administration.” https://theintercept.com/2024/03/21/anti-war-veterans-aaron-bushnell-gaza/
    THEINTERCEPT.COM
    Anti-War Veterans Groups Echo Aaron Bushnell’s Demand for a Ceasefire in Gaza
    Anger over the civilian carnage in Gaza has galvanized some veterans who experienced disastrous U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan up close.
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 170: Israel assaults al-Shifa, Nasser, and al-Amal hospitals in one day
    Mustafa Abu SneinehMarch 23, 2024
    Injured Palestinians, including children, are brought to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah for treatment following Israeli airstrikes, March 23, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Injured Palestinians, including children, are brought to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah for treatment following Israeli airstrikes, March 23, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Casualties

    32,223 + killed* and at least 74,518 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 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

    Israeli forces commit eight massacres in Gaza, kill at least 84 people and injure 106.
    Israeli forces shell and bomb vicinity of al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis, killing one volunteer with PRCS.
    PRCS says Israeli tanks and forces are “besieging both al-Amal Hospital and al-Naser Hospital amidst very intense shelling and heavy gunfire.”
    Wafa reports infected wounds of injured Palestinians inside al-Shifa due to lack of essential medical supplies.
    Al-Jazeera Arabic reports Israeli tanks ran over evacuating people from al-Shifa Hospital, shows blurred footage of Palestinian with marks of tank wheel on lower body.
    Jamila al-Hissi, survivor of storming of al-Shifa, tells Al-Jazeera Arabic that “Palestinian women have been subjected to rape, torture, and execution by Israeli forces.”
    UN chief Antonio Guterres says “horror and starvation stalk the people of Gaza” in visit to Rafah crossing.
    U.S. Secretary of State warns Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Rafah offensive would “further isolate” Israel in the region.
    Netanyahu hopes to invade Rafah with “the support of the U.S., but if we have to – we will do it alone.”
    Hamas says 34-year-old Israeli captive died in Gaza as “he did not escape the lack of food and medicine.”
    Dozens of settlers storm al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem to mark Jewish holiday of Purim.
    Israeli forces block Palestinian Christians in occupied West Bank from entering Jerusalem to participate in Palm Sunday.
    Al-Amal Hospital in ‘extreme danger’ as Israel attacks

    Gaza’s two major hospitals were under attack on Sunday morning as thousands of Palestinians in the coastal enclave have been living under bombardment for the past 170 days.

    Overnight, Israeli forces committed eight massacres in various areas of the Gaza Strip, according to the Ministry of Health on Telegram, killing at least 84 people and injuring 106. Thousands remain under the rubble of bombed buildings.

    Israeli forces shelled and bombed the vicinity of al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS). Amir Abu Aisha, a volunteer with the PRCS, was killed by Israeli gunfire inside al-Amal.

    His last post on Instagram was a video of Israeli airstrikes near al-Amal.

    PRCS said the medical team inside the facility are “in extreme danger…and are completely immobilized.”

    “They are unable to bury the body of our colleague Amir Abu Aisha within the hospital’s backyard,” PRCS continued as Israeli forces razed and excavated the area.

    Since October, Israeli bombardment killed at least 364 medical workers in the Gaza Strip, including doctors, nurses, and paramedics, and damaged dozens of clinics and ambulances.

    On Sunday morning, PRCS also said that Israeli tanks and forces are “besieging both Al-Amal Hospital and Al-Naser Hospital amidst very intense shelling and heavy gunfire.”

    PRCS said that one of the displaced Palestinians at al-Amal was “injured in the head,” while Israeli drones are ordering that all people inside the hospital “leave it naked.”

    “Smoke bombs are being launched at the hospital to force the staff, wounded, and displaced individuals to leave it,” the PRCS wrote on in a post on X.

    “Israeli vehicles [are] surrounding Al-Amal Hospital and are now bulldozing the area in front and around it and closing the hospital gates with barriers,” the post added.

    Israeli atrocities in al-Shifa, say eyewitnesses

    In northern Gaza, al-Shifa Hospital has been under Israeli assault for a week.

    Israeli forces continued to besiege, shell, and bomb al-Shifa Hospital and its vicinity for the seventh day in a row, saying that Hamas senior leaders had used the facility, a claim which the movement denies.

    Israeli forces killed Palestinian civilians and officials while storming al-Shifa, including Faiq al-Mabhouh, an officer in the Gaza Police force who was responsible for the successful deliveries of food, rice, and flour to thousands of inhabitants of northern Gaza.

    Hamas accused Israel of attempting to spread chaos and civilian disorder by killing officials who coordinate with clans, the UN, and international groups to prevent a famine in the north Gaza.

    On Saturday afternoon, at least five people were killed by Israel and several injured in the al-Shifa medical complex, while Palestinians and medical staff have been living with little food and water. Wafa news agency reported that the wounds of some injured Palestinians inside Al-Shifa got infected and inflamed amid the lack of essential medical supplies.

    Al-Jazeera Arabic reported that Israeli tanks ran over Palestinians who were ordered to evacuate the hospital. Al-Jazeera released blurred footage of a person’s dead body with marks of a tank wheel on his lower body.

    Jamila al-Hissi, a Palestinian woman who survived the Israeli storming of al-Shifa, told Al-Jazeera Arabic that “Palestinian women have been subjected to rape, torture, and execution by Israeli forces.”

    “This is what we witnessed. They raped women. They kidnapped women. they executed women, pulled bodies from under the rubble, and unleashed their dogs to eat them. Is there anything worse?” Al-Hissi told Al-Jazeera in a phone call.

    She left with her daughter, who was bleeding, and evacuated a building belonging to the UN Development Program (UNDP), which was set on fire by Israeli forces, who also burned and destroyed several buildings surrounding al-Shifa in the past days.

    It is unclear how many people remain inside al-Shifa, but prior to Israel’s second storming of the hospital since November, there were 7,000 patients and injured people receiving treatment administered by hundreds of medical staff.

    Al-Shifa is one of Gaza’s oldest medical facilities, built on top of a British barracks in 1946.

    The complex includes several buildings for surgery, internal disease, obstetrics and gynecology, a nursery for premature babies, an emergency department, intensive care units, a radiology department, and a blood bank. Some of these buildings have been damaged, burned by Israel, or have ceased operating fully due to the lack of fuel to generate electricity.

    The complex is built on 45,000 square meters of land west of Gaza City. Prior to October of last year, al-Shifa employed 1,500 medical staff, including 500 doctors and 760 nurses.

    Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General, said on Sunday that “Horror & starvation stalk the people of Gaza.”

    “Any further onslaught will make everything worse. Worse for Palestinian civilians, for the hostages, for all people of the region,” he added.

    Guterres visited Egypt on Saturday to inspect the Rafah land crossing, and al-Arish General Hospital in northern Sinai to check on injured Palestinians receiving treatment.

    Israeli forces bomb Rafah, Khan Younis, and Deir al-Balah

    Wafa reported that Israeli forces bombed a house in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip overnight, killing at least eight people in the al-Hakar area. Meanwhile, in Rafah, Palestinian rescue teams recovered the bodies of eight Palestinians under the rubble of a bombed house belonging to the Farwana family in the Jneina neighborhood.

    In Khan Younis, Israeli forces heavily bombed areas in the southeastern part of the city, besieging the Nasser and al-Amal hospitals. In Rafah, they bombed a house near the Rabaa School, killing at least two people, Wafa reported.

    The Israeli government has vowed to invade Rafah, where 1.4 million Palestinians are currently displaced and live in shelters. During his visit to Israel on Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken warned that an offensive on Rafah would “further isolate” Israel in the region, according to Reuters.

    Blinken, who met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said that “a major military ground operation in Rafah is not the way to do it,” although the U.S. shares Israel’s goal to “defeat Hamas.”

    “It risks further isolating Israel around the world and jeopardizing its long-term security and standing,” Blinken said during a press briefing after the meeting.

    Netanyahu, however, appeared to be undeterred in invading Rafah, stating in a video statement that he told Blinken, “I hope we will do it with the support of the U.S., but if we have to — we will do it alone.”

    Meanwhile, fighting is still ongoing between Israeli forces and Palestinian resistance fighters in the Gaza Strip. On Saturday, Hamas said that a 34-year-old Israeli captive died in Gaza.

    “Although he survived the army’s attack, he did not escape the lack of food and medicine,” the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades wrote in a video message.

    In another video, Hamas fighters fired al-Yaseen 105mm anti-tank shells on Israeli military vehicles in the vicinity of al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza.

    Israel had been blocking sufficient food and medical supplies from entering Gaza, although some of them were funded or sponsored by ally countries such as the UK.

    The Foreign Secretary, Lord David Cameron, accused Israel last week of delaying U.K. aid to Gaza, which was stopped at the crossing point for three weeks.

    Israeli settlers storm al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Pruim

    Dozens of Israeli settlers stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied Jerusalem on Sunday morning to mark the Jewish holiday of Purim, which ends on Monday.

    Israeli forces emptied the al-Aqsa compound of Palestinian worshippers on Saturday evening in preparation for the settlers’ tour, Wafa reported. Israeli forces barred Palestinians from staying overnight in al-Aqsa’s al-Qibli mosque after Ramadan’s tarawih prayers ended, which were attended by 45,000 people.

    During Ramadan, it is worshippers often stay in mosques overnight to pray after tarawih. In 2021, Israeli forces raided the al-Qibli mosque, firing bullets, stun grenades, and tear gas canisters at worshipers who were performing night prayers and reciting the Quran.

    Israeli settlers’ storming of al-Aqsa further escalated tensions in the city, according to Wafa, as Israeli forces prevented Palestinians from entering the site on Sunday morning.

    Wafa said that two settlers were dressed up as Jewish temple priests. Settlers have long stated their wish to rebuild the third Jewish temple in the middle of the al-Aqsa compound atop the Dome of the Rock.

    Meanwhile, Israeli forces blocked Palestinian Christians in the occupied West Bank from entering Jerusalem to take part in the commemoration of Palm Sunday, the anniversary of Jesus’s entry into the city. Those who participated in the ceremony in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher were Palestinians from Jerusalem or from inside Israel.

    Israeli forces arrested 16 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank overnight, from the towns of Hebron, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Tulkarem, and also Jerusalem. Since October, 7,755 Palestinians have been detained by Israel. This figure, released by the Ministry of Detainees’ and Ex-Destainees’ Affairs, does not include Palestinians who were released later or those arrested from the Gaza Strip.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-170-israel-assaults-al-shifa-nasser-and-al-amal-hospitals-in-one-day/
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 170: Israel assaults al-Shifa, Nasser, and al-Amal hospitals in one day Mustafa Abu SneinehMarch 23, 2024 Injured Palestinians, including children, are brought to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah for treatment following Israeli airstrikes, March 23, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Injured Palestinians, including children, are brought to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah for treatment following Israeli airstrikes, March 23, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Casualties 32,223 + killed* and at least 74,518 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 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 Israeli forces commit eight massacres in Gaza, kill at least 84 people and injure 106. Israeli forces shell and bomb vicinity of al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis, killing one volunteer with PRCS. PRCS says Israeli tanks and forces are “besieging both al-Amal Hospital and al-Naser Hospital amidst very intense shelling and heavy gunfire.” Wafa reports infected wounds of injured Palestinians inside al-Shifa due to lack of essential medical supplies. Al-Jazeera Arabic reports Israeli tanks ran over evacuating people from al-Shifa Hospital, shows blurred footage of Palestinian with marks of tank wheel on lower body. Jamila al-Hissi, survivor of storming of al-Shifa, tells Al-Jazeera Arabic that “Palestinian women have been subjected to rape, torture, and execution by Israeli forces.” UN chief Antonio Guterres says “horror and starvation stalk the people of Gaza” in visit to Rafah crossing. U.S. Secretary of State warns Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Rafah offensive would “further isolate” Israel in the region. Netanyahu hopes to invade Rafah with “the support of the U.S., but if we have to – we will do it alone.” Hamas says 34-year-old Israeli captive died in Gaza as “he did not escape the lack of food and medicine.” Dozens of settlers storm al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem to mark Jewish holiday of Purim. Israeli forces block Palestinian Christians in occupied West Bank from entering Jerusalem to participate in Palm Sunday. Al-Amal Hospital in ‘extreme danger’ as Israel attacks Gaza’s two major hospitals were under attack on Sunday morning as thousands of Palestinians in the coastal enclave have been living under bombardment for the past 170 days. Overnight, Israeli forces committed eight massacres in various areas of the Gaza Strip, according to the Ministry of Health on Telegram, killing at least 84 people and injuring 106. Thousands remain under the rubble of bombed buildings. Israeli forces shelled and bombed the vicinity of al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS). Amir Abu Aisha, a volunteer with the PRCS, was killed by Israeli gunfire inside al-Amal. His last post on Instagram was a video of Israeli airstrikes near al-Amal. PRCS said the medical team inside the facility are “in extreme danger…and are completely immobilized.” “They are unable to bury the body of our colleague Amir Abu Aisha within the hospital’s backyard,” PRCS continued as Israeli forces razed and excavated the area. Since October, Israeli bombardment killed at least 364 medical workers in the Gaza Strip, including doctors, nurses, and paramedics, and damaged dozens of clinics and ambulances. On Sunday morning, PRCS also said that Israeli tanks and forces are “besieging both Al-Amal Hospital and Al-Naser Hospital amidst very intense shelling and heavy gunfire.” PRCS said that one of the displaced Palestinians at al-Amal was “injured in the head,” while Israeli drones are ordering that all people inside the hospital “leave it naked.” “Smoke bombs are being launched at the hospital to force the staff, wounded, and displaced individuals to leave it,” the PRCS wrote on in a post on X. “Israeli vehicles [are] surrounding Al-Amal Hospital and are now bulldozing the area in front and around it and closing the hospital gates with barriers,” the post added. Israeli atrocities in al-Shifa, say eyewitnesses In northern Gaza, al-Shifa Hospital has been under Israeli assault for a week. Israeli forces continued to besiege, shell, and bomb al-Shifa Hospital and its vicinity for the seventh day in a row, saying that Hamas senior leaders had used the facility, a claim which the movement denies. Israeli forces killed Palestinian civilians and officials while storming al-Shifa, including Faiq al-Mabhouh, an officer in the Gaza Police force who was responsible for the successful deliveries of food, rice, and flour to thousands of inhabitants of northern Gaza. Hamas accused Israel of attempting to spread chaos and civilian disorder by killing officials who coordinate with clans, the UN, and international groups to prevent a famine in the north Gaza. On Saturday afternoon, at least five people were killed by Israel and several injured in the al-Shifa medical complex, while Palestinians and medical staff have been living with little food and water. Wafa news agency reported that the wounds of some injured Palestinians inside Al-Shifa got infected and inflamed amid the lack of essential medical supplies. Al-Jazeera Arabic reported that Israeli tanks ran over Palestinians who were ordered to evacuate the hospital. Al-Jazeera released blurred footage of a person’s dead body with marks of a tank wheel on his lower body. Jamila al-Hissi, a Palestinian woman who survived the Israeli storming of al-Shifa, told Al-Jazeera Arabic that “Palestinian women have been subjected to rape, torture, and execution by Israeli forces.” “This is what we witnessed. They raped women. They kidnapped women. they executed women, pulled bodies from under the rubble, and unleashed their dogs to eat them. Is there anything worse?” Al-Hissi told Al-Jazeera in a phone call. She left with her daughter, who was bleeding, and evacuated a building belonging to the UN Development Program (UNDP), which was set on fire by Israeli forces, who also burned and destroyed several buildings surrounding al-Shifa in the past days. It is unclear how many people remain inside al-Shifa, but prior to Israel’s second storming of the hospital since November, there were 7,000 patients and injured people receiving treatment administered by hundreds of medical staff. Al-Shifa is one of Gaza’s oldest medical facilities, built on top of a British barracks in 1946. The complex includes several buildings for surgery, internal disease, obstetrics and gynecology, a nursery for premature babies, an emergency department, intensive care units, a radiology department, and a blood bank. Some of these buildings have been damaged, burned by Israel, or have ceased operating fully due to the lack of fuel to generate electricity. The complex is built on 45,000 square meters of land west of Gaza City. Prior to October of last year, al-Shifa employed 1,500 medical staff, including 500 doctors and 760 nurses. Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General, said on Sunday that “Horror & starvation stalk the people of Gaza.” “Any further onslaught will make everything worse. Worse for Palestinian civilians, for the hostages, for all people of the region,” he added. Guterres visited Egypt on Saturday to inspect the Rafah land crossing, and al-Arish General Hospital in northern Sinai to check on injured Palestinians receiving treatment. Israeli forces bomb Rafah, Khan Younis, and Deir al-Balah Wafa reported that Israeli forces bombed a house in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip overnight, killing at least eight people in the al-Hakar area. Meanwhile, in Rafah, Palestinian rescue teams recovered the bodies of eight Palestinians under the rubble of a bombed house belonging to the Farwana family in the Jneina neighborhood. In Khan Younis, Israeli forces heavily bombed areas in the southeastern part of the city, besieging the Nasser and al-Amal hospitals. In Rafah, they bombed a house near the Rabaa School, killing at least two people, Wafa reported. The Israeli government has vowed to invade Rafah, where 1.4 million Palestinians are currently displaced and live in shelters. During his visit to Israel on Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken warned that an offensive on Rafah would “further isolate” Israel in the region, according to Reuters. Blinken, who met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said that “a major military ground operation in Rafah is not the way to do it,” although the U.S. shares Israel’s goal to “defeat Hamas.” “It risks further isolating Israel around the world and jeopardizing its long-term security and standing,” Blinken said during a press briefing after the meeting. Netanyahu, however, appeared to be undeterred in invading Rafah, stating in a video statement that he told Blinken, “I hope we will do it with the support of the U.S., but if we have to — we will do it alone.” Meanwhile, fighting is still ongoing between Israeli forces and Palestinian resistance fighters in the Gaza Strip. On Saturday, Hamas said that a 34-year-old Israeli captive died in Gaza. “Although he survived the army’s attack, he did not escape the lack of food and medicine,” the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades wrote in a video message. In another video, Hamas fighters fired al-Yaseen 105mm anti-tank shells on Israeli military vehicles in the vicinity of al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza. Israel had been blocking sufficient food and medical supplies from entering Gaza, although some of them were funded or sponsored by ally countries such as the UK. The Foreign Secretary, Lord David Cameron, accused Israel last week of delaying U.K. aid to Gaza, which was stopped at the crossing point for three weeks. Israeli settlers storm al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Pruim Dozens of Israeli settlers stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied Jerusalem on Sunday morning to mark the Jewish holiday of Purim, which ends on Monday. Israeli forces emptied the al-Aqsa compound of Palestinian worshippers on Saturday evening in preparation for the settlers’ tour, Wafa reported. Israeli forces barred Palestinians from staying overnight in al-Aqsa’s al-Qibli mosque after Ramadan’s tarawih prayers ended, which were attended by 45,000 people. During Ramadan, it is worshippers often stay in mosques overnight to pray after tarawih. In 2021, Israeli forces raided the al-Qibli mosque, firing bullets, stun grenades, and tear gas canisters at worshipers who were performing night prayers and reciting the Quran. Israeli settlers’ storming of al-Aqsa further escalated tensions in the city, according to Wafa, as Israeli forces prevented Palestinians from entering the site on Sunday morning. Wafa said that two settlers were dressed up as Jewish temple priests. Settlers have long stated their wish to rebuild the third Jewish temple in the middle of the al-Aqsa compound atop the Dome of the Rock. Meanwhile, Israeli forces blocked Palestinian Christians in the occupied West Bank from entering Jerusalem to take part in the commemoration of Palm Sunday, the anniversary of Jesus’s entry into the city. Those who participated in the ceremony in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher were Palestinians from Jerusalem or from inside Israel. Israeli forces arrested 16 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank overnight, from the towns of Hebron, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Tulkarem, and also Jerusalem. Since October, 7,755 Palestinians have been detained by Israel. This figure, released by the Ministry of Detainees’ and Ex-Destainees’ Affairs, does not include Palestinians who were released later or those arrested from the Gaza Strip. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-170-israel-assaults-al-shifa-nasser-and-al-amal-hospitals-in-one-day/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 170: Israel assaults al-Shifa, Nasser, and al-Amal hospitals in one day
    Israeli forces ordered Palestinians inside al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis to leave “naked,” while survivors of the al-Shifa Hospital raid witnessed numerous atrocities committed by the Israeli army. In Jerusalem, Israeli settlers stormed al-Aqsa.
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  • Terrorist Attack in Moscow --- Who Did It?, by Larry Johnson - The Unz Review

    On the “Usual Suspects” list we have Ukraine and we have ISIS. A good case can be made for both. I am posting three videos — some of it is repetitive — that discusses the attack and the very odd behavior of the Biden Administration. Let’s go through the chronology of events.

    On March 7 US Embassy Moscow issued the following alert:

    The Embassy is monitoring reports that extremists have imminent plans to target large gatherings in Moscow, to include concerts, and U.S. citizens should be advised to avoid large gatherings over the next 48 hours.

    What you need to understand is that this warning was not issued at the discretion of the embassy. This was approved in Washington, DC at Main State and would have required some intelligence that was deemed somewhat specific and “credible.” When I was doing this job at State Counter Terrorism in 1990, this was in the aftermath of the bombing of Pan, 103. It was widely believed in the public that state department, and the CIA had information in advance about the terrorist bombing of that plane, and warned our person out not to get on board. That was not true but it did raise the issue of when, and how to warn the public about a potential threat. We came up with a system that required specific and credible intelligence. The more specific and credible the intelligence, the less need to warn the public. Consider, for example, that if we knew a terrorist attack was going to be carried out on Friday at a public concert hall by a particular group, we would be able to alert appropriate authorities and take precautions to intercept the attack without alarming the public.

    On the other hand, if the information was not in great detail, but did come from a credible source, then we would take the time to put together a public warning. That is what happened when the US Embassy Moscow issued the warning on 7 March. They had information they thought was credible, but not terribly specific. This raises a key question — did the United States warn Russian authorities? Normally, when I was doing the job, we would share the information with the appropriate government and law enforcement authorities, in order to try to prevent the attack. Based on public comments by Maria Zakharova and Dimitri Medvedev, following the March 7, warning, and following today’s attack, it appears that the United States did not share any of its information with Russia. I would note there is a Wall Street Journal report tonight, stating that the United States did warn, but Russian authorities insist that they were not provided with an Intel heads up.

    What makes the entire situation so bizarre and questionable in terms of what the United States knew, and when it knew it, is that the State Department issued a statement within two hours of the bombing — remember, we still did not know how many attackers, what kind of weapons, how many casualties, and whether or not, they were hostages — declaring that Ukraine was not responsible for this attack. How did State Department know that? It’s strongly suggests that the United States had intelligence, which did not share with Moscow.

    Then we have this very unusual X message (formerly Twitter) that was posted at 3:30 AM this morning, 22 March, by OSINTdefender (which I think of has a CIA front for spreading messages the CIA wants out there):

    Members of U.S. National Security Council and the White House have reportedly started to become Increasingly Frustrated by “Unauthorized Brazen Actions” taken by Ukraine against Russia, including their recent Campaign of Long-Range Drone Strikes having Targeted at least 25 Oil Refineries, Terminals, Depots and Storage Facilities across Western Russia; with some Biden Administration Officials believing these Strikes will cause a Spike in Global Oil Prices as well as Significant Escalation and Retaliation against Ukraine like was seen during tonight’s Large-Scale Missile Attack.

    Do you think that is just a happy coincidence that the Biden White House is bemoaning Ukraine taking “unauthorized brazen actions” on the same day there is a massive terrorist attack in Moscow? I don’t believe in coincidence. I think the Biden ministration was trying to get out ahead of an attack that they knew was coming.

    Some claims have emerged late in the day with ISIS, allegedly, taking credit for the attack. What makes that interesting is that we have evidence that some members of ISIS have been fighting in Ukraine against Russia, so this does not necessarily exonerate, either Ukraine or the United States.

    Anyway, I deal with these issues from different perspectives in the following videos:

    Video Link

    Here’s the Judge and Ray:



    And Nima:



    https://www.unz.com/article/terrorist-attack-in-moscow-who-did-it/
    Terrorist Attack in Moscow --- Who Did It?, by Larry Johnson - The Unz Review On the “Usual Suspects” list we have Ukraine and we have ISIS. A good case can be made for both. I am posting three videos — some of it is repetitive — that discusses the attack and the very odd behavior of the Biden Administration. Let’s go through the chronology of events. On March 7 US Embassy Moscow issued the following alert: The Embassy is monitoring reports that extremists have imminent plans to target large gatherings in Moscow, to include concerts, and U.S. citizens should be advised to avoid large gatherings over the next 48 hours. What you need to understand is that this warning was not issued at the discretion of the embassy. This was approved in Washington, DC at Main State and would have required some intelligence that was deemed somewhat specific and “credible.” When I was doing this job at State Counter Terrorism in 1990, this was in the aftermath of the bombing of Pan, 103. It was widely believed in the public that state department, and the CIA had information in advance about the terrorist bombing of that plane, and warned our person out not to get on board. That was not true but it did raise the issue of when, and how to warn the public about a potential threat. We came up with a system that required specific and credible intelligence. The more specific and credible the intelligence, the less need to warn the public. Consider, for example, that if we knew a terrorist attack was going to be carried out on Friday at a public concert hall by a particular group, we would be able to alert appropriate authorities and take precautions to intercept the attack without alarming the public. On the other hand, if the information was not in great detail, but did come from a credible source, then we would take the time to put together a public warning. That is what happened when the US Embassy Moscow issued the warning on 7 March. They had information they thought was credible, but not terribly specific. This raises a key question — did the United States warn Russian authorities? Normally, when I was doing the job, we would share the information with the appropriate government and law enforcement authorities, in order to try to prevent the attack. Based on public comments by Maria Zakharova and Dimitri Medvedev, following the March 7, warning, and following today’s attack, it appears that the United States did not share any of its information with Russia. I would note there is a Wall Street Journal report tonight, stating that the United States did warn, but Russian authorities insist that they were not provided with an Intel heads up. What makes the entire situation so bizarre and questionable in terms of what the United States knew, and when it knew it, is that the State Department issued a statement within two hours of the bombing — remember, we still did not know how many attackers, what kind of weapons, how many casualties, and whether or not, they were hostages — declaring that Ukraine was not responsible for this attack. How did State Department know that? It’s strongly suggests that the United States had intelligence, which did not share with Moscow. Then we have this very unusual X message (formerly Twitter) that was posted at 3:30 AM this morning, 22 March, by OSINTdefender (which I think of has a CIA front for spreading messages the CIA wants out there): Members of U.S. National Security Council and the White House have reportedly started to become Increasingly Frustrated by “Unauthorized Brazen Actions” taken by Ukraine against Russia, including their recent Campaign of Long-Range Drone Strikes having Targeted at least 25 Oil Refineries, Terminals, Depots and Storage Facilities across Western Russia; with some Biden Administration Officials believing these Strikes will cause a Spike in Global Oil Prices as well as Significant Escalation and Retaliation against Ukraine like was seen during tonight’s Large-Scale Missile Attack. Do you think that is just a happy coincidence that the Biden White House is bemoaning Ukraine taking “unauthorized brazen actions” on the same day there is a massive terrorist attack in Moscow? I don’t believe in coincidence. I think the Biden ministration was trying to get out ahead of an attack that they knew was coming. Some claims have emerged late in the day with ISIS, allegedly, taking credit for the attack. What makes that interesting is that we have evidence that some members of ISIS have been fighting in Ukraine against Russia, so this does not necessarily exonerate, either Ukraine or the United States. Anyway, I deal with these issues from different perspectives in the following videos: Video Link Here’s the Judge and Ray: And Nima: https://www.unz.com/article/terrorist-attack-in-moscow-who-did-it/
    WWW.UNZ.COM
    Terrorist Attack in Moscow — Who Did It?
    On the “Usual Suspects” list we have Ukraine and we have ISIS. A good case can be made for both. I am posting three videos — some of it is repetitive — that discusses the attack and the very odd behavior of the Biden Administration. Let’s go through the chronology of events. On March 7 US Embassy Moscow issued the following alert: The Embassy is monitoring reports that extremists have imminent plans to target large gatherings in Moscow, to include concerts, and U.S. citizens should be advised to avoid large gatherings over the next 48 hours. What you need to understand
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 169: Israel kills 7 aid-seekers in northern Gaza, 4 children in Rafah as siege of al-Shifa Hospital enters sixth day
    Israel continued its airstrikes on Rafah, killing four children, while in northern Gaza Israel turned back food aid for the second time in a week and killed at least 7 Palestinian aid-seekers near the Kuwaiti roundabout.

    Mondoweiss Palestine BureauMarch 23, 2024
    Injured Palestinians, including children, brought to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza following Israeli attacks on March 23, 2024. (Photo: Ali Hamad/APA Images)
    Injured Palestinians, including children, brought to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza following Israeli attacks on March 23, 2024. (Photo: Ali Hamad/APA Images)
    Casualties

    32,070+ killed* and at least 74,412 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.
    590 Israeli soldiers have been killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.***
    *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its Telegram channel on March 22, 2024. Some rights groups put the death toll number closer to 35,000 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 6, this is the latest figure.

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

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    Key Developments

    Israeli airstrikes on Rafah continue, killing four children in a residential home and injuring several others.
    UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres visits Rafah, calls blocking of aid “moral outrage.”
    Israeli siege of al-Shifa Hospital enters sixth day, army reportedly sets buildings on fire around hospital, tortures and kills civilians who attempt to evacuate.
    Israeli army kills at least 7 Palestinian aid-seekers at aid distribution point near Kuwaiti roundabout in northern Gaza.
    New UN Security Council resolution calling for immediate ceasefire postponed to Monday, March 25.
    Martyred Palestinian, who injured 7 Israeli soldiers near Kufr Ni’ma ambushed soldiers after chase, targeted soldiers with sniper fire during five-hour standoff, according to Ynet.
    136 Palestinian journalists in Gaza killed since October, says Gaza media office.
    Siege of al-Shifa enters sixth day, airstrikes on Rafah kill 4 children

    Israel’s siege on al-Shifa Hospital has entered its sixth consecutive day. The government media office in Gaza released a statement saying it holds the U.S. and the international community responsible for Israel’s “crime” perpetrated against al-Shifa’s doctors, staff, patients, and the displaced people sheltering at the medical compound. As reported by Al Jazeera, the media office said that the Israeli army was bombing buildings inside the medical complex and engaging in acts of torture and extrajudicial field executions.

    The Israeli army claims it has arrested over 170 Hamas fighters and 800 suspects at al-Shifa. Moreover, according to Al Jazeera, the Israeli army has reportedly set fire to the buildings around the hospital.

    The siege on al-Shifa comes in the context of Israel’s attempt to target civil employees and members of the police in Gaza who were based in al-Shifa, in an attempt to sow civil unrest and cause a breakdown in social order in the north. Claiming these civil employees to be “top Hamas operatives,” Israel assassinated the Director of the Operations of the Gaza Police, Faiq Mabhouh, on March 18. Mabhouh was an instrumental figure in successfully coordinating the delivery of humanitarian aid to northern Gaza in cooperation with international organizations, local tribes, and UNRWA. In light of the widespread compliance of the populace with the directives of Gaza’s civil employees, Israel has laid siege to al-Shifa, where many of them are based. Israel continues to claim that these civil and police employees are Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters, despite offering no evidence to back up its claims.

    The Gaza government media office said that the Israeli army has threatened al-Shifa’s hospital’s staff and displaced civilians that the buildings they are staying in will be bombed in the event that they do not evacuate. The media office based its statement on testimonies from people who remain stranded inside the medical compound as Israel lays siege to it, asserting that those who have evacuated the buildings are either arrested, tortured, or killed, as reported by Middle East Eye.

    MEE also reported that six wounded patients in the hospital died amid the Israeli siege due to the lack of medical care, quoting the Gaza Ministry of Health as saying that “besieged medical teams and patients are appealing to UN institutions and the international community to intervene urgently to save their lives.”

    In southern Gaza, Israel continued its airstrikes on Rafah and Khan Younis, killing several civilians. In one airstrike on the north of the city of Rafah, five civilians were killed, four of them children, following the bombing of a two-story residential building in the Mirage area, reports Wafa.

    The number of casualties from Israeli airstrikes and shelling in the last 24 hours has risen to 72 people killed and 114 injured.

    Meanwhile, on Friday, the Israeli army released a statement on X saying that it had opened an investigation into the incident of the deliberate killing of four unarmed Palestinian men in civilian clothing in Khan Younis last February by an Israeli attack drone, the footage of which recently came to light after Al Jazeera obtained from sources in Gaza. The footage of the deliberate killing of the unarmed men made shockwaves, highlighting Israel’s deliberate policy of killing civilians.

    Gaza drone video shows killing of Palestinians in Israeli air attack | Al Jazeera Newsfeed
    ‘The unbearable cannot become the new normal’

    In a statement on X, Philippe Lazzarini, head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), said that food aid had been denied to northern Gaza for the second time in a week.

    “Today, the Israeli Authorities denied another UNRWA convoy with much needed food supplies from going to the north where people are on the verge of famine,” the UNRWA chief said. “The last time UNRWA was able to send food aid to the north was nearly 2 month [sic] ago.”

    Lazzarini went on to say that Israel the “man made hunger & looming famine” in Gaza could still be averted if Israel allowed “delivering food aid at scale to the north including via UNRWA, the largest humanitarian organisation in Gaza.”

    “Meanwhile, children will continue to die of malnutrition & dehydration under our watch,” he added. “The unbearable cannot become the new normal.”

    By late afternoon, Al Jazeera correspondents reported that Israeli shelling on Palestinian aid-seekers at the Kuwaiti roundabout had killed at least seven people. This latest attack on civilians at aid distribution points comes after the assassination of Faiq Mabhouh and Gaza’s civil employees, who were instrumental in organizing orderly deliveries of aid to Gaza without resulting in these Israeli attacks on starving Palestinians. The most infamous of such attacks was the “Flour Massacre” on March 3, which killed over 100 people.

    Meanwhile, 7,000 trucks carrying humanitarian aid and food aid are currently stationed outside the Rafah crossing, waiting to enter the besieged Gaza Strip. As reported by Al Jazeera, the governor of North Sinai, Muhammad Shousha, said that the Israeli inspection procedures are holding up the flow of trucks into Gaza.

    Shousha received UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres at al-Arish Airport in the Egyptian Sinai for the UN chief’s planned visit to the Rafah border crossing later today. During his press conference at the Rafah crossing, Guterres lambasted the blocking of aid to Gaza as a “moral outrage” and said that he had made his trip to the border to shed light on the pain of Palestinians in Gaza.

    New UN Security Council resolution postponed to Monday

    Following China and Russia’s vetoing of the U.S.-led draft resolution for a Gaza ceasefire at the UN Security Council, a new resolution demanding an “immediate ceasefire” during Ramadan in advance of a more “permanent sustainable ceasefire” has been postponed to Monday, March 25, according to diplomatic sources that spoke to AFP, as reported on Al Mayadeen.

    In the earlier U.S.-led draft, China and Russia used their veto against the resolution, with Russia citing it as a “hypocritical spectacle” that contained an “effective green light” for Israel to continue its invasion of Rafah, while China believed that the resolution “dodged the most central issue, that of a ceasefire” through the use of nebulous language.”

    The ambiguous language to which Russia and China referred was the resolution’s emphasis on the “imperative of an immediate and sustained ceasefire,” instead of demanding its implementation in the short term. The U.S. resolution also condemned the Hamas-led attacks on October 7.

    West Bank: resistance operation and record settlement expansion

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlement building has reached a record high. As reported by Middle East Eye, the United Nations and Israeli rights group Peace Now have asserted that in 2023, Israel expanded its settlements at a record pace in the occupied West Bank. According to Peace Now, ten out of the 26 illegal outposts established in the West Bank were built after October 7, resulting in the forcible displacement of 21 Palestinian communities (16 of which were uprooted since the outbreak of the war). Meanwhile, UN human rights chief Volker Turk asserted that the record expansion of settlements risks eliminating the chances for a Palestinian state, and that 24,300 new settlement housing units were built in 2023, a record high since the UN began monitoring in 2017.

    Yesterday, a Palestinian man from the village of Kufr Ni’ma, west of Ramallah, launched a shooting operation against Israeli soldiers, injuring seven soldiers before an Israeli attack helicopter fired missiles on his position in the hills, killing him. New details have emerged since the incident that shed light on the nature of the resistance operation and detail the expertise of the shooter, identified as Mujahid Mansour.

    According to reports by Ynet and Quds News Network, Mansour had opened fire on a settler bus, resulting in no fatalities, before retreating and being chased by Israeli army vehicles. It would seem that Mansour was leading the soldiers into an ambush, perching himself on top of a hill and hiding behind trees and bushes. Mansour then proceeded to intermittently engage the forces with a sniper rifle from a distance, resulting in a standoff that lasted for five hours due to the inability of Israeli drones and helicopters to identify him as a result of poor weather. Mansour was able to down an Israeli drone with his rifle during the standoff, while at other times, he fell silent and maintained his cover, while the Israeli troops were reluctant to advance. An Israeli helicopter eventually launched a missile where he was hiding when the weather cleared. Reports have since emerged that Mansour was a member of the Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces.

    In preparation for the punitive demolition of Mansour’s family home, the Israeli army took measurements for the house on Saturday, Wafa reported. This is part of Israel’s larger policy of punitive home demolitions, in which the Israeli army destroys the homes of the families of Palestinians who launched attacks against Israel, which has been described as a policy of collective punishment.

    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/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-169-israel-kills-7-aid-seekers-in-northern-gaza-4-children-in-rafah-as-siege-of-al-shifa-hospital-enters-sixth-day/
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 169: Israel kills 7 aid-seekers in northern Gaza, 4 children in Rafah as siege of al-Shifa Hospital enters sixth day Israel continued its airstrikes on Rafah, killing four children, while in northern Gaza Israel turned back food aid for the second time in a week and killed at least 7 Palestinian aid-seekers near the Kuwaiti roundabout. Mondoweiss Palestine BureauMarch 23, 2024 Injured Palestinians, including children, brought to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza following Israeli attacks on March 23, 2024. (Photo: Ali Hamad/APA Images) Injured Palestinians, including children, brought to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza following Israeli attacks on March 23, 2024. (Photo: Ali Hamad/APA Images) Casualties 32,070+ killed* and at least 74,412 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. 590 Israeli soldiers have been killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.*** *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its Telegram channel on March 22, 2024. Some rights groups put the death toll number closer to 35,000 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 6, this is the latest figure. *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” Advertisement Subscribe to the Mondoweiss YouTube Channel! Key Developments Israeli airstrikes on Rafah continue, killing four children in a residential home and injuring several others. UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres visits Rafah, calls blocking of aid “moral outrage.” Israeli siege of al-Shifa Hospital enters sixth day, army reportedly sets buildings on fire around hospital, tortures and kills civilians who attempt to evacuate. Israeli army kills at least 7 Palestinian aid-seekers at aid distribution point near Kuwaiti roundabout in northern Gaza. New UN Security Council resolution calling for immediate ceasefire postponed to Monday, March 25. Martyred Palestinian, who injured 7 Israeli soldiers near Kufr Ni’ma ambushed soldiers after chase, targeted soldiers with sniper fire during five-hour standoff, according to Ynet. 136 Palestinian journalists in Gaza killed since October, says Gaza media office. Siege of al-Shifa enters sixth day, airstrikes on Rafah kill 4 children Israel’s siege on al-Shifa Hospital has entered its sixth consecutive day. The government media office in Gaza released a statement saying it holds the U.S. and the international community responsible for Israel’s “crime” perpetrated against al-Shifa’s doctors, staff, patients, and the displaced people sheltering at the medical compound. As reported by Al Jazeera, the media office said that the Israeli army was bombing buildings inside the medical complex and engaging in acts of torture and extrajudicial field executions. The Israeli army claims it has arrested over 170 Hamas fighters and 800 suspects at al-Shifa. Moreover, according to Al Jazeera, the Israeli army has reportedly set fire to the buildings around the hospital. The siege on al-Shifa comes in the context of Israel’s attempt to target civil employees and members of the police in Gaza who were based in al-Shifa, in an attempt to sow civil unrest and cause a breakdown in social order in the north. Claiming these civil employees to be “top Hamas operatives,” Israel assassinated the Director of the Operations of the Gaza Police, Faiq Mabhouh, on March 18. Mabhouh was an instrumental figure in successfully coordinating the delivery of humanitarian aid to northern Gaza in cooperation with international organizations, local tribes, and UNRWA. In light of the widespread compliance of the populace with the directives of Gaza’s civil employees, Israel has laid siege to al-Shifa, where many of them are based. Israel continues to claim that these civil and police employees are Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters, despite offering no evidence to back up its claims. The Gaza government media office said that the Israeli army has threatened al-Shifa’s hospital’s staff and displaced civilians that the buildings they are staying in will be bombed in the event that they do not evacuate. The media office based its statement on testimonies from people who remain stranded inside the medical compound as Israel lays siege to it, asserting that those who have evacuated the buildings are either arrested, tortured, or killed, as reported by Middle East Eye. MEE also reported that six wounded patients in the hospital died amid the Israeli siege due to the lack of medical care, quoting the Gaza Ministry of Health as saying that “besieged medical teams and patients are appealing to UN institutions and the international community to intervene urgently to save their lives.” In southern Gaza, Israel continued its airstrikes on Rafah and Khan Younis, killing several civilians. In one airstrike on the north of the city of Rafah, five civilians were killed, four of them children, following the bombing of a two-story residential building in the Mirage area, reports Wafa. The number of casualties from Israeli airstrikes and shelling in the last 24 hours has risen to 72 people killed and 114 injured. Meanwhile, on Friday, the Israeli army released a statement on X saying that it had opened an investigation into the incident of the deliberate killing of four unarmed Palestinian men in civilian clothing in Khan Younis last February by an Israeli attack drone, the footage of which recently came to light after Al Jazeera obtained from sources in Gaza. The footage of the deliberate killing of the unarmed men made shockwaves, highlighting Israel’s deliberate policy of killing civilians. Gaza drone video shows killing of Palestinians in Israeli air attack | Al Jazeera Newsfeed ‘The unbearable cannot become the new normal’ In a statement on X, Philippe Lazzarini, head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), said that food aid had been denied to northern Gaza for the second time in a week. “Today, the Israeli Authorities denied another UNRWA convoy with much needed food supplies from going to the north where people are on the verge of famine,” the UNRWA chief said. “The last time UNRWA was able to send food aid to the north was nearly 2 month [sic] ago.” Lazzarini went on to say that Israel the “man made hunger & looming famine” in Gaza could still be averted if Israel allowed “delivering food aid at scale to the north including via UNRWA, the largest humanitarian organisation in Gaza.” “Meanwhile, children will continue to die of malnutrition & dehydration under our watch,” he added. “The unbearable cannot become the new normal.” By late afternoon, Al Jazeera correspondents reported that Israeli shelling on Palestinian aid-seekers at the Kuwaiti roundabout had killed at least seven people. This latest attack on civilians at aid distribution points comes after the assassination of Faiq Mabhouh and Gaza’s civil employees, who were instrumental in organizing orderly deliveries of aid to Gaza without resulting in these Israeli attacks on starving Palestinians. The most infamous of such attacks was the “Flour Massacre” on March 3, which killed over 100 people. Meanwhile, 7,000 trucks carrying humanitarian aid and food aid are currently stationed outside the Rafah crossing, waiting to enter the besieged Gaza Strip. As reported by Al Jazeera, the governor of North Sinai, Muhammad Shousha, said that the Israeli inspection procedures are holding up the flow of trucks into Gaza. Shousha received UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres at al-Arish Airport in the Egyptian Sinai for the UN chief’s planned visit to the Rafah border crossing later today. During his press conference at the Rafah crossing, Guterres lambasted the blocking of aid to Gaza as a “moral outrage” and said that he had made his trip to the border to shed light on the pain of Palestinians in Gaza. New UN Security Council resolution postponed to Monday Following China and Russia’s vetoing of the U.S.-led draft resolution for a Gaza ceasefire at the UN Security Council, a new resolution demanding an “immediate ceasefire” during Ramadan in advance of a more “permanent sustainable ceasefire” has been postponed to Monday, March 25, according to diplomatic sources that spoke to AFP, as reported on Al Mayadeen. In the earlier U.S.-led draft, China and Russia used their veto against the resolution, with Russia citing it as a “hypocritical spectacle” that contained an “effective green light” for Israel to continue its invasion of Rafah, while China believed that the resolution “dodged the most central issue, that of a ceasefire” through the use of nebulous language.” The ambiguous language to which Russia and China referred was the resolution’s emphasis on the “imperative of an immediate and sustained ceasefire,” instead of demanding its implementation in the short term. The U.S. resolution also condemned the Hamas-led attacks on October 7. West Bank: resistance operation and record settlement expansion In the West Bank, Israeli settlement building has reached a record high. As reported by Middle East Eye, the United Nations and Israeli rights group Peace Now have asserted that in 2023, Israel expanded its settlements at a record pace in the occupied West Bank. According to Peace Now, ten out of the 26 illegal outposts established in the West Bank were built after October 7, resulting in the forcible displacement of 21 Palestinian communities (16 of which were uprooted since the outbreak of the war). Meanwhile, UN human rights chief Volker Turk asserted that the record expansion of settlements risks eliminating the chances for a Palestinian state, and that 24,300 new settlement housing units were built in 2023, a record high since the UN began monitoring in 2017. Yesterday, a Palestinian man from the village of Kufr Ni’ma, west of Ramallah, launched a shooting operation against Israeli soldiers, injuring seven soldiers before an Israeli attack helicopter fired missiles on his position in the hills, killing him. New details have emerged since the incident that shed light on the nature of the resistance operation and detail the expertise of the shooter, identified as Mujahid Mansour. According to reports by Ynet and Quds News Network, Mansour had opened fire on a settler bus, resulting in no fatalities, before retreating and being chased by Israeli army vehicles. It would seem that Mansour was leading the soldiers into an ambush, perching himself on top of a hill and hiding behind trees and bushes. Mansour then proceeded to intermittently engage the forces with a sniper rifle from a distance, resulting in a standoff that lasted for five hours due to the inability of Israeli drones and helicopters to identify him as a result of poor weather. Mansour was able to down an Israeli drone with his rifle during the standoff, while at other times, he fell silent and maintained his cover, while the Israeli troops were reluctant to advance. An Israeli helicopter eventually launched a missile where he was hiding when the weather cleared. Reports have since emerged that Mansour was a member of the Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces. In preparation for the punitive demolition of Mansour’s family home, the Israeli army took measurements for the house on Saturday, Wafa reported. This is part of Israel’s larger policy of punitive home demolitions, in which the Israeli army destroys the homes of the families of Palestinians who launched attacks against Israel, which has been described as a policy of collective punishment. 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/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-169-israel-kills-7-aid-seekers-in-northern-gaza-4-children-in-rafah-as-siege-of-al-shifa-hospital-enters-sixth-day/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 169: Israel kills 7 aid-seekers in northern Gaza, 4 children in Rafah as siege of al-Shifa Hospital enters sixth day
    Israel continued its airstrikes on Rafah, killing four children, while in northern Gaza Israel turned back food aid for the second time in a week and killed at least 7 Palestinian aid-seekers near the Kuwaiti roundabout.
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  • ISIS claims responsibility for attack at Moscow-area concert venue that left at least 60 dead
    CNN — normal
    ISIS has claimed responsibility for an attack at a popular concert hall complex near Moscow Friday after assailants stormed the venue with guns and incendiary devices, killing at least 60 people and injuring 145.

    The terror group took responsibility for the attack in a short statement published by ISIS-affiliated news agency Amaq on Telegram on Friday. It did not provide evidence to support the claim.

    Video footage from the Crocus City Hall shows the vast complex, which is home to both the music hall and a shopping center, on fire with smoke billowing into the air. State-run RIA Novosti reported the armed individuals “opened fire with automatic weapons” and “threw a grenade or an incendiary bomb, which started a fire.” They then “allegedly fled in a white Renault car,” the news agency said.

    State media Russia 24 reported the roof of the venue has partially collapsed.

    The fire had been brought largely under control more than six hours later. “There are still some pockets of fire, but the fire has been mostly eliminated,” Moscow governor Andrey Vorobyov said on Telegram.

    The deadliest terror attack on Moscow in decades, Friday’s assault came less than a week after President Vladimir Putin won a stage-managed election by an overwhelming majority to secure another term in office, tightening his grip on the country he has ruled since the turn of the century.

    With attention focused on the country’s war with neighboring Ukraine, Putin had trumpeted a message of national security before Russians went to the polls.

    The carnage broke out before a concert by the band Picnic, according to Russia 24.

    “Unidentified people in camouflage broke into Crocus City Hall and started shooting before the start of the concert,” the Prosecutor General’s Office said, cited by TASS.

    This screen grab from video shows armed men inside the Crocus City Hall concert venue in Moscow region, Russia. CNN can not verify whether these are the armed attackers or Russian authorities moving in.
    Video footage showed panic as the attack unfolded, with crowds of people huddling together, screaming and ducking behind cushioned seats as gunshots started echoing in the vast hall. One group sheltering next to a large wall of windows outside the concert venue were forced to break them to escape the gunfire, video obtained by CNN shows.

    Footage geolocated by CNN shows an armed individual starting at least one fire inside the venue. The individual is seen carrying something in their hand and, as they walk off-screen, a bright flash of light from a large flame is seen in the video.

    A SWAT team was called to the area and more than 70 ambulance teams and doctors assisted victims.

    One hundred and forty-five people have been hospitalized, TASS reported. Sixty people are in a “serious condition.”

    According to the Kremlin, Putin was informed about the attack and is being kept updated on measures on the ground.

    The president on Saturday wished those injured in the attack a speedy recovery, the state-run RIA-Novosti news agency said. He also “conveyed his gratitude to the doctors,” RIA added.

    Around 100 people were evacuated from the building by firefighters, TASS reported.

    Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin called the attack a “terrible tragedy.”

    “My condolences to the loved ones of the victims. I gave orders to provide all necessary assistance to everyone who suffered during the incident,” Sobyanin said in a statement.

    Sobyanin said on Telegram that he was canceling all sports, cultural and other public events in Moscow this weekend.

    Picnic’s manager told state media that the performers were unharmed.

    Shaman, the band’s singer, said he would pay for the funerals of the victims and treatment for those injured.

    “We are all one big family. And in a family there is no such thing as somebody else’s grief,” the singer, known for his nationalistic views, said in a video posted on the Russian social media network Vkontakte to his more than 600,000 followers.

    “My people, any troubles and misfortunes have always united our country. They have made Russia tougher and stronger. It will not be possible to frighten and break us this time either.”

    ISIS claims responsibility for Moscow attack that killed 40

    02:51 - Source: CNN
    US had warned of potential attack

    Earlier this month, the US embassy in Russia said it was “monitoring reports that extremists have imminent plans to target large gatherings in Moscow,” including concerts. The embassy warned US citizens to avoid large gatherings. On Friday, following reports of the Crocus City Hall attack, it advised US citizens not to travel to Russia.

    Starting in November, there has been a steady stream of intelligence that ISIS-K was determined to attack in Russia, according to two sources familiar with the information.

    ISIS-K stands for ISIS-Khorasan, the terror organization’s affiliate that is active in Afghanistan and the surrounding region.

    US National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said the US government had had information about a planned terrorist attack in Moscow – potentially targeting large gatherings, to include concerts – and that this is what prompted the State Department to issue the public advisory.

    “The US government also shared this information with Russian authorities in accordance with its longstanding ‘duty to warn’ policy,” Watson said.

    In a speech Tuesday, Putin had blasted the American warnings as “provocative,” saying “these actions resemble outright blackmail and the intention to intimidate and destabilize our society.”

    In March alone, Russian authorities had thwarted several ISIS-related incidents, according to RIA. On March 3, RIA reported that six ISIS members were killed in a counter-terrorist operation in the Ingush Karabulak; on March 7, it said security services had uncovered and “neutralized” a cell of the banned organization Vilayat Khorasan in the Kaluga region, whose members were planning an attack on a synagogue in Moscow; and on March 20, it said the commander of an ISIS combat group had been detained.

    A US official said Friday that Washington had no reason to doubt ISIS’ claim that it was responsible for the latest attack.

    International response

    Ukraine, which has been embroiled in a war with Russia for more than two years, denied any involvement in the attack.

    “Ukraine has never resorted to the use of terrorist methods,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak wrote, in part, in a post on X. He said he believed Russia would use the attack to justify the ongoing conflict and scale up operations as part of “military propaganda” in Ukraine.

    United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres late Friday condemned “in the strongest possible terms today’s terrorist attack” according to a statement released by his deputy spokesperson, Farhan Haq.

    “The secretary-general conveys his deep condolences to the bereaved families and the people and the government of the Russian Federation. He wishes those injured a speedy recovery,” the statement said.

    In a separate statement, the UN Security Council called the attack “heinous and cowardly.”

    Chinese leader Xi Jinping offered his condolences to Putin on Saturday “over the serious terrorist attack that caused heavy casualties,” according to a report from Chinese state media.

    French President Emmanuel Macron also condemned the attack. “France expresses its solidarity with the victims, their loved ones and all the Russian people,” the Elysee Palace said, AFP and Reuters reported.

    India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman both also denounced the attack.

    CNN’s Eva Rothenberg, Paul Murphy and Hannah Strange contributed to this reporting.

    https://www.cnn.com/2024/03/22/europe/crocus-moscow-shooting/index.html
    ISIS claims responsibility for attack at Moscow-area concert venue that left at least 60 dead CNN — normal ISIS has claimed responsibility for an attack at a popular concert hall complex near Moscow Friday after assailants stormed the venue with guns and incendiary devices, killing at least 60 people and injuring 145. The terror group took responsibility for the attack in a short statement published by ISIS-affiliated news agency Amaq on Telegram on Friday. It did not provide evidence to support the claim. Video footage from the Crocus City Hall shows the vast complex, which is home to both the music hall and a shopping center, on fire with smoke billowing into the air. State-run RIA Novosti reported the armed individuals “opened fire with automatic weapons” and “threw a grenade or an incendiary bomb, which started a fire.” They then “allegedly fled in a white Renault car,” the news agency said. State media Russia 24 reported the roof of the venue has partially collapsed. The fire had been brought largely under control more than six hours later. “There are still some pockets of fire, but the fire has been mostly eliminated,” Moscow governor Andrey Vorobyov said on Telegram. The deadliest terror attack on Moscow in decades, Friday’s assault came less than a week after President Vladimir Putin won a stage-managed election by an overwhelming majority to secure another term in office, tightening his grip on the country he has ruled since the turn of the century. With attention focused on the country’s war with neighboring Ukraine, Putin had trumpeted a message of national security before Russians went to the polls. The carnage broke out before a concert by the band Picnic, according to Russia 24. “Unidentified people in camouflage broke into Crocus City Hall and started shooting before the start of the concert,” the Prosecutor General’s Office said, cited by TASS. This screen grab from video shows armed men inside the Crocus City Hall concert venue in Moscow region, Russia. CNN can not verify whether these are the armed attackers or Russian authorities moving in. Video footage showed panic as the attack unfolded, with crowds of people huddling together, screaming and ducking behind cushioned seats as gunshots started echoing in the vast hall. One group sheltering next to a large wall of windows outside the concert venue were forced to break them to escape the gunfire, video obtained by CNN shows. Footage geolocated by CNN shows an armed individual starting at least one fire inside the venue. The individual is seen carrying something in their hand and, as they walk off-screen, a bright flash of light from a large flame is seen in the video. A SWAT team was called to the area and more than 70 ambulance teams and doctors assisted victims. One hundred and forty-five people have been hospitalized, TASS reported. Sixty people are in a “serious condition.” According to the Kremlin, Putin was informed about the attack and is being kept updated on measures on the ground. The president on Saturday wished those injured in the attack a speedy recovery, the state-run RIA-Novosti news agency said. He also “conveyed his gratitude to the doctors,” RIA added. Around 100 people were evacuated from the building by firefighters, TASS reported. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin called the attack a “terrible tragedy.” “My condolences to the loved ones of the victims. I gave orders to provide all necessary assistance to everyone who suffered during the incident,” Sobyanin said in a statement. Sobyanin said on Telegram that he was canceling all sports, cultural and other public events in Moscow this weekend. Picnic’s manager told state media that the performers were unharmed. Shaman, the band’s singer, said he would pay for the funerals of the victims and treatment for those injured. “We are all one big family. And in a family there is no such thing as somebody else’s grief,” the singer, known for his nationalistic views, said in a video posted on the Russian social media network Vkontakte to his more than 600,000 followers. “My people, any troubles and misfortunes have always united our country. They have made Russia tougher and stronger. It will not be possible to frighten and break us this time either.” ISIS claims responsibility for Moscow attack that killed 40 02:51 - Source: CNN US had warned of potential attack Earlier this month, the US embassy in Russia said it was “monitoring reports that extremists have imminent plans to target large gatherings in Moscow,” including concerts. The embassy warned US citizens to avoid large gatherings. On Friday, following reports of the Crocus City Hall attack, it advised US citizens not to travel to Russia. Starting in November, there has been a steady stream of intelligence that ISIS-K was determined to attack in Russia, according to two sources familiar with the information. ISIS-K stands for ISIS-Khorasan, the terror organization’s affiliate that is active in Afghanistan and the surrounding region. US National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said the US government had had information about a planned terrorist attack in Moscow – potentially targeting large gatherings, to include concerts – and that this is what prompted the State Department to issue the public advisory. “The US government also shared this information with Russian authorities in accordance with its longstanding ‘duty to warn’ policy,” Watson said. In a speech Tuesday, Putin had blasted the American warnings as “provocative,” saying “these actions resemble outright blackmail and the intention to intimidate and destabilize our society.” In March alone, Russian authorities had thwarted several ISIS-related incidents, according to RIA. On March 3, RIA reported that six ISIS members were killed in a counter-terrorist operation in the Ingush Karabulak; on March 7, it said security services had uncovered and “neutralized” a cell of the banned organization Vilayat Khorasan in the Kaluga region, whose members were planning an attack on a synagogue in Moscow; and on March 20, it said the commander of an ISIS combat group had been detained. A US official said Friday that Washington had no reason to doubt ISIS’ claim that it was responsible for the latest attack. International response Ukraine, which has been embroiled in a war with Russia for more than two years, denied any involvement in the attack. “Ukraine has never resorted to the use of terrorist methods,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak wrote, in part, in a post on X. He said he believed Russia would use the attack to justify the ongoing conflict and scale up operations as part of “military propaganda” in Ukraine. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres late Friday condemned “in the strongest possible terms today’s terrorist attack” according to a statement released by his deputy spokesperson, Farhan Haq. “The secretary-general conveys his deep condolences to the bereaved families and the people and the government of the Russian Federation. He wishes those injured a speedy recovery,” the statement said. In a separate statement, the UN Security Council called the attack “heinous and cowardly.” Chinese leader Xi Jinping offered his condolences to Putin on Saturday “over the serious terrorist attack that caused heavy casualties,” according to a report from Chinese state media. French President Emmanuel Macron also condemned the attack. “France expresses its solidarity with the victims, their loved ones and all the Russian people,” the Elysee Palace said, AFP and Reuters reported. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman both also denounced the attack. CNN’s Eva Rothenberg, Paul Murphy and Hannah Strange contributed to this reporting. https://www.cnn.com/2024/03/22/europe/crocus-moscow-shooting/index.html
    WWW.CNN.COM
    ISIS claims responsibility for attack in busy Moscow-area concert venue that left at least 40 dead | CNN
    At least 40 people were killed and more than 100 were injured after armed attackers stormed a popular concert venue complex near Moscow and opened fire, according to preliminary information from the Federal Security Service in Russia, state media TASS reported.
    2 Comments 0 Shares 4309 Views
  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 166: Israel kills Gaza officials handling food delivery to the north; Canada votes to halt arms sales to Israel
    Mustafa Abu SneinehMarch 20, 2024
    Palestinians embrace in a bombed out building that was attacked by Israeli airstrikes in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, killing 27 members of the same family (Photo: APA Images)
    A view from the damaged buildings after Israeli airstrikes on Nuseirat in central Gaza killed 27 members of the same family on March 20, 2024. As a result of the attack, many buildings were destroyed and surrounding buildings were damaged. Palestinians in the area carried out search and rescue operations in the rubble of buildings destroyed in the attack. (Omar Ashtawy/apaimages)
    Casualties

    31,923 + killed* and at least 74,096 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.”

    Advertisement

    Follow the Mondoweiss channel on WhatsApp!
    Key Developments

    Israel bombs members of Palestinian clans and officers of Gaza’s emergency committee who handled aid supplies and delivery in north Gaza.
    Among people Israel killed on Tuesday evening is Amjad Hathat, director of Gaza’s emergency committee. On Monday, Israel assassinated Faiq Mabhouh, head of police operations in Gaza, who handled delivery of food in north Gaza.
    Hamas accuses Israel of spreading chaos in north Gaza in bid to create “administrative vacuum” by targeting members of emergency committee.
    In north Gaza, every 25 individuals share one kilogram of flour, or 20 loaves of bread, over one or two days. However, thousands of others cannot get a single loaf.
    Doctor who visited Gaza tells UN that “infections are getting worse and worse,” with whole families suffering from explosive injuries and burns.
    Israeli airstrikes on houses in Nuseirat refugee camp kill at least 27 Palestinians from the Habbash family.
    Israel’s Finance Minister says expanding settlements is “holistic Zionist response to [EU] declaration” of planned sanctions on Israeli settlers in the West Bank.
    Israeli forces and settlers kill two Palestinians in the West Bank in separate incidents.
    Canada to halt arms sales to Israel after non-binding vote in parliament.
    Agreement made between White House and U.S. Congress bars U.S. funds to UNRWA until March 2025, according to a Reuters report.
    Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni says, “We will reiterate our opposition to military action on the ground by Israel in Rafah that could have even more catastrophic consequences for the civilians crowded in that area.”
    Israel bombs north Gaza’s Kuwait roundabout, targeting authorities tasked with aid delivery

    Israeli forces bombed a gathering point of dozens of Palestinians near the Kuwait roundabout in Gaza City, killing at least 23 people and injuring dozens on Tuesday evening.

    Most of them were members of Palestinian clans and officers of Gaza’s emergency committee who handled aid supplies and deliveries to starving people in north Gaza.

    Since Saturday, they had successfully ensured the arrival of 35 aid trucks at the Kuwait and Nabulsi roundabouts, unloading the deliveries in shelters and centers of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza’s Al-Tuffah neighborhood and Jabalia refugee camp.

    Such a mission could not have been successful without Gaza Police directing Palestinians not to gather around aid trucks on Al-Rashid and Sala El-Din streets in north Gaza and allowing the emergency committee to do its job of unloading and distributing food.

    The missions between local police, the heads of clans in Gaza, and UNRWA were coordinated in an effort to protect civilians in the north after numerous attacks in recent weeks in which Israeli forces shot and killed hundreds of Palestinians as crowds attempted to get food and flour from trucks in Gaza since late February; a number of the dead were also reportedly killed in the crowd crush.

    In the past few days, Palestinians lined up to get their rations of flour inside the premises of the humanitarian centers in Jabalia and Gaza. Among the people Israel killed on Tuesday evening is Amjad Hathat, the director of Gaza’s emergency committee.

    Hamas says Israel is ‘spreading chaos’ in north Gaza

    In response to the targeting of the local officials in north Gaza, Hamas accused Israel of “spreading chaos” in a bid to create an “administrative vacuum” by targeting the emergency committee. Ismail Al-Thawabteh, a media government spokesperson, told Al-Jazeera Arabic that Israel allows aid trucks to enter north Gaza and then bombs people approaching it.

    On Monday evening, Israel assassinated Faiq Al-Mabhouh, the head of police operations in Gaza, who handled the entry of food trucks and managed to deliver 13 of them to north Gaza. Israel said Mabhouh was “the head of Operations Directorate of the Internal Security Service of Hamas.”

    Tel Aviv is trying to create an authority in the Gaza Strip in place of Hamas, and it views the successful coordination between local clans, Gaza Police and UN agencies to deliver aid as a sign of Hamas’s ability to administer in Gaza.

    Israel is still trying to use food and medical deliveries as a tool to strengthen and push some clan leaders to the front seat and put them in charge of handling the aid, coordinating with Israel and the international agencies.

    However, several Palestinian clans in the Gaza Strip refused to be “an alternative political regime” in the Gaza Strip and coordinate humanitarian missions with Israel.

    One kilogram of flour for every 25 people

    Although dozens of aid trucks reached north Gaza in the past days, where thousands of Palestinians are at risk of famine and starvation, the loads remain short to meet people’s needs.

    Al-Akhbar reported that a flour truck arrived at Abu Bakr al-Razi shelter center in Gaza’s Al-Tuffah neighborhood on Monday, where 8,000 people currently live, and contained 1,000 bags of flour, each weighing 25 kilograms.

    “We give each family what is sufficient for one or two days only. We have no other choice,” a member of the emergency committee told Al-Akhbar’s correspondent.

    “Every 25 individuals share one kilogram of flour. Knowing that a kilogram is enough to make 20 loaves, it means that a large number of people… won’t get even a single loaf of bread,” in Gaza, he added.

    Children in Gaza face grave injuries, malnutrition as hospitals struggle to operate

    A few trucks were also loaded with medical supplies and delivered to the UNRWA clinic in Jabalia, to Al-Awda and Kamal Adwan hospitals in north Gaza, which are depleted and partially operating. Hospitals in the Gaza Strip are still short of fuel, medicine and medical machines, while other hospitals like Al-Shifa in Gaza City have been under Israeli attack since Sunday.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) has long warned that Israel is generating a famine in north Gaza, and that “over a million people are expected to face catastrophic hunger unless significantly more food is allowed to enter Gaza.”

    Children have already started dying of malnutrition in Gaza, which has long-term effects, such as “low consumption of nutrient-rich foods, repeated infections, and [the] lack of hygiene and sanitation services slow children’s overall growth,” the WHO added.

    Israel has killed more than 13,000 children in bombing Gaza since October 7, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

    Four doctors from France, the U.S. and the U.K., who visited the Gaza Strip, said during a UN event in New York that the healthcare system in the enclave is collapsing and that they treated children severely burned by Israel’s bombs.

    Nick Maynard, a cancer surgeon with British charity Medical Aid for Palestinians, saw a Palestinian girl so badly burned in an Israeli bombardment that he could see her facial bones.

    “We knew there was no chance of her surviving that but there was no morphine to give her,” Maynard said. “So not only was she inevitably going to die but she would die in agony.”

    Maynar said that an Israeli ground invasion of Rafah “will be apocalyptic, the number of deaths we’re going to see.”

    Amber Alayyan, a pediatrician doctor, said hospitals in Gaza are operating on patients and the injured amid lack of supplies and in dire conditions.

    “The infections are getting worse and worse,” she said.

    “We have seen patients who traveled, who were victims of explosive injuries, a family of 11, for example, a whole family that arrived at our hospital in the south from the north,” Alayyan told the UN.

    “They’ve been moving for three months looking for hospital care. They were victims of explosions. Eleven members of the family were burnt,” she added.

    Israeli attack on Nuseirat refugee camp kills 27 family members

    In the past 24 hours, Israeli forces committed 10 massacres in various areas of the Gaza Strip, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health on Telegram, killing at least 104 people and injuring 162. Thousands remain under the rubble of bombed buildings, and nearly 32,000 Palestinians were killed and 74,000 injured.

    Israeli air strikes on houses in Nuseirat refugee camp, in central Gaza, killed at least 27 Palestinians from the Habbash family and injured dozens, Wafa news agency reported.

    In north Gaza, Israel bombed Al-Rimal and Al-Daraj neighborhoods. Palestinian rescue team recovered the bodies of 20 people in Gaza City following an Israeli bombardment.

    In Beit Lahia and Deir Al-Balah, Israeli artillery bombed several areas, while in Bureij refugee camp, six Palestinians were recovered from under the rubble of a bombed house.

    Italian PM opposes Rafah Invasion, Canada votes to stop arms transfers to Israel

    The Israeli government has vowed to press on with its planned invasion of the crowded city of Rafah in southern Gaza, despite warnings from international leaders and humanitarian groups. Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has joined the chorus, saying that her country opposes the planned offensive.

    “We will reiterate our opposition to military action on the ground by Israel in Rafah that could have even more catastrophic consequences for the civilians crowded in that area,” Meloni told lawmakers in the Senate.

    Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said during a meeting with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi this week, that she is “concerned about the risks a full-scale offensive in Rafah would have on the most vulnerable civilian population. This needs to be avoided at all costs.”

    An Israeli invasion of Rafah, the southernmost town in the Gaza Strip where 1.2 million Palestinians are sheltering, could spike tensions with Egypt which watches the western side of the border.

    Some Israeli officials and ministers said their wish is to evacuate Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to Egypt. However, Egypt is closing its borders firmly, and is not allowing mass flux of Palestinians to its territories.

    Meanwhile, Canada’s House of Commons voted on Tuesday to halt arms sales to Israel, with Canadian foreign affairs minister, Mélanie Joly, reaffirming the vote, saying her government would halt future arms shipments to Israel, saying “it is a real thing.”

    Smotrich calls settlements ‘holistic’ response to sanctions

    Israel’s Finance Minister and far-right settler Bezalel Smotrich, suggested that expanding settlement was the “holistic” response to an agreement by the EU on Monday to sanction Israeli settlers, who assaulted Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

    “There is one holistic Zionist response to this [EU] declaration, strengthening and entrenching settlement in all parts of the Land of Israel,” Smotrich said on Tuesday.

    He claimed that the Israeli justice system could deal with incidents of settlers’ violence on Palestinians. Israeli authorities systematically fail to investigate and prosecute ideological crimes against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, and are often documented joining the settlers in their attacks on Palestinian communities.

    The far-right minister is a vocal opponent of the establishment of Palestinian state, and is a supporter of annexing the West Bank into Israel. In January, he said Israel should “encourage the migration of Gaza residents as a solution to the humanitarian crisis”.

    The U.S. has recently sanctioned several Israeli settlers involved in attacks against Palestinians, including two entire outposts for the first time.

    Israeli forces and settlers kill two Palestinians in West Bank

    Two Palestinian were killed in separate incidents in the West Bank on Tuesday afternoon.

    Ziad Farhan Diab Hamran, 31, from the Al-Hashimiyah village in Jenin, was shot by Israeli forces near the entrance of Beit Fajjar village and the settlement of Gush Etzion, near Bethlehem. His body remains in Israel’s custody.

    Israel said that Hamran shot two intelligence officers from the Shin Bet, who were injured in the attack. Hamran succumbed to his wounds on Tuesday evening.

    In Nablus, Israeli settlers killed Fakher Bassem Bani Jaber, 43, from Aqraba village, south of Nablus.

    Wafa reported that Jaber was taken to Rafidiya Hospital where he died. Settlers attacked Khirbet al-Tawil area, near Aqraba village, which prompted Palestinians to defend their lands.In occupied Jerusalem, only 20,000 Palestinians performed Ramadan’s Al-Tarawih prayer on the tenth night as Israeli authorities kept restricting the numbers of Palestinians who could enter Jerusalem from the West Bank. It was also rainy and cold in Jerusalem on Tuesday night, Wafa reported.

    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/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-166-israel-kills-gaza-officials-handling-food-delivery-to-the-north-canada-votes-to-halt-arms-sales-to-israel/


    👉https://telegra.ph/Operation-Al-Aqsa-Flood-Day-166-Israel-kills-Gaza-officials-handling-food-delivery-to-the-north-Canada-votes-to-halt-arms-sales--03-20
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 166: Israel kills Gaza officials handling food delivery to the north; Canada votes to halt arms sales to Israel Mustafa Abu SneinehMarch 20, 2024 Palestinians embrace in a bombed out building that was attacked by Israeli airstrikes in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, killing 27 members of the same family (Photo: APA Images) A view from the damaged buildings after Israeli airstrikes on Nuseirat in central Gaza killed 27 members of the same family on March 20, 2024. As a result of the attack, many buildings were destroyed and surrounding buildings were damaged. Palestinians in the area carried out search and rescue operations in the rubble of buildings destroyed in the attack. (Omar Ashtawy/apaimages) Casualties 31,923 + killed* and at least 74,096 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.” Advertisement Follow the Mondoweiss channel on WhatsApp! Key Developments Israel bombs members of Palestinian clans and officers of Gaza’s emergency committee who handled aid supplies and delivery in north Gaza. Among people Israel killed on Tuesday evening is Amjad Hathat, director of Gaza’s emergency committee. On Monday, Israel assassinated Faiq Mabhouh, head of police operations in Gaza, who handled delivery of food in north Gaza. Hamas accuses Israel of spreading chaos in north Gaza in bid to create “administrative vacuum” by targeting members of emergency committee. In north Gaza, every 25 individuals share one kilogram of flour, or 20 loaves of bread, over one or two days. However, thousands of others cannot get a single loaf. Doctor who visited Gaza tells UN that “infections are getting worse and worse,” with whole families suffering from explosive injuries and burns. Israeli airstrikes on houses in Nuseirat refugee camp kill at least 27 Palestinians from the Habbash family. Israel’s Finance Minister says expanding settlements is “holistic Zionist response to [EU] declaration” of planned sanctions on Israeli settlers in the West Bank. Israeli forces and settlers kill two Palestinians in the West Bank in separate incidents. Canada to halt arms sales to Israel after non-binding vote in parliament. Agreement made between White House and U.S. Congress bars U.S. funds to UNRWA until March 2025, according to a Reuters report. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni says, “We will reiterate our opposition to military action on the ground by Israel in Rafah that could have even more catastrophic consequences for the civilians crowded in that area.” Israel bombs north Gaza’s Kuwait roundabout, targeting authorities tasked with aid delivery Israeli forces bombed a gathering point of dozens of Palestinians near the Kuwait roundabout in Gaza City, killing at least 23 people and injuring dozens on Tuesday evening. Most of them were members of Palestinian clans and officers of Gaza’s emergency committee who handled aid supplies and deliveries to starving people in north Gaza. Since Saturday, they had successfully ensured the arrival of 35 aid trucks at the Kuwait and Nabulsi roundabouts, unloading the deliveries in shelters and centers of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza’s Al-Tuffah neighborhood and Jabalia refugee camp. Such a mission could not have been successful without Gaza Police directing Palestinians not to gather around aid trucks on Al-Rashid and Sala El-Din streets in north Gaza and allowing the emergency committee to do its job of unloading and distributing food. The missions between local police, the heads of clans in Gaza, and UNRWA were coordinated in an effort to protect civilians in the north after numerous attacks in recent weeks in which Israeli forces shot and killed hundreds of Palestinians as crowds attempted to get food and flour from trucks in Gaza since late February; a number of the dead were also reportedly killed in the crowd crush. In the past few days, Palestinians lined up to get their rations of flour inside the premises of the humanitarian centers in Jabalia and Gaza. Among the people Israel killed on Tuesday evening is Amjad Hathat, the director of Gaza’s emergency committee. Hamas says Israel is ‘spreading chaos’ in north Gaza In response to the targeting of the local officials in north Gaza, Hamas accused Israel of “spreading chaos” in a bid to create an “administrative vacuum” by targeting the emergency committee. Ismail Al-Thawabteh, a media government spokesperson, told Al-Jazeera Arabic that Israel allows aid trucks to enter north Gaza and then bombs people approaching it. On Monday evening, Israel assassinated Faiq Al-Mabhouh, the head of police operations in Gaza, who handled the entry of food trucks and managed to deliver 13 of them to north Gaza. Israel said Mabhouh was “the head of Operations Directorate of the Internal Security Service of Hamas.” Tel Aviv is trying to create an authority in the Gaza Strip in place of Hamas, and it views the successful coordination between local clans, Gaza Police and UN agencies to deliver aid as a sign of Hamas’s ability to administer in Gaza. Israel is still trying to use food and medical deliveries as a tool to strengthen and push some clan leaders to the front seat and put them in charge of handling the aid, coordinating with Israel and the international agencies. However, several Palestinian clans in the Gaza Strip refused to be “an alternative political regime” in the Gaza Strip and coordinate humanitarian missions with Israel. One kilogram of flour for every 25 people Although dozens of aid trucks reached north Gaza in the past days, where thousands of Palestinians are at risk of famine and starvation, the loads remain short to meet people’s needs. Al-Akhbar reported that a flour truck arrived at Abu Bakr al-Razi shelter center in Gaza’s Al-Tuffah neighborhood on Monday, where 8,000 people currently live, and contained 1,000 bags of flour, each weighing 25 kilograms. “We give each family what is sufficient for one or two days only. We have no other choice,” a member of the emergency committee told Al-Akhbar’s correspondent. “Every 25 individuals share one kilogram of flour. Knowing that a kilogram is enough to make 20 loaves, it means that a large number of people… won’t get even a single loaf of bread,” in Gaza, he added. Children in Gaza face grave injuries, malnutrition as hospitals struggle to operate A few trucks were also loaded with medical supplies and delivered to the UNRWA clinic in Jabalia, to Al-Awda and Kamal Adwan hospitals in north Gaza, which are depleted and partially operating. Hospitals in the Gaza Strip are still short of fuel, medicine and medical machines, while other hospitals like Al-Shifa in Gaza City have been under Israeli attack since Sunday. The World Health Organization (WHO) has long warned that Israel is generating a famine in north Gaza, and that “over a million people are expected to face catastrophic hunger unless significantly more food is allowed to enter Gaza.” Children have already started dying of malnutrition in Gaza, which has long-term effects, such as “low consumption of nutrient-rich foods, repeated infections, and [the] lack of hygiene and sanitation services slow children’s overall growth,” the WHO added. Israel has killed more than 13,000 children in bombing Gaza since October 7, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Four doctors from France, the U.S. and the U.K., who visited the Gaza Strip, said during a UN event in New York that the healthcare system in the enclave is collapsing and that they treated children severely burned by Israel’s bombs. Nick Maynard, a cancer surgeon with British charity Medical Aid for Palestinians, saw a Palestinian girl so badly burned in an Israeli bombardment that he could see her facial bones. “We knew there was no chance of her surviving that but there was no morphine to give her,” Maynard said. “So not only was she inevitably going to die but she would die in agony.” Maynar said that an Israeli ground invasion of Rafah “will be apocalyptic, the number of deaths we’re going to see.” Amber Alayyan, a pediatrician doctor, said hospitals in Gaza are operating on patients and the injured amid lack of supplies and in dire conditions. “The infections are getting worse and worse,” she said. “We have seen patients who traveled, who were victims of explosive injuries, a family of 11, for example, a whole family that arrived at our hospital in the south from the north,” Alayyan told the UN. “They’ve been moving for three months looking for hospital care. They were victims of explosions. Eleven members of the family were burnt,” she added. Israeli attack on Nuseirat refugee camp kills 27 family members In the past 24 hours, Israeli forces committed 10 massacres in various areas of the Gaza Strip, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health on Telegram, killing at least 104 people and injuring 162. Thousands remain under the rubble of bombed buildings, and nearly 32,000 Palestinians were killed and 74,000 injured. Israeli air strikes on houses in Nuseirat refugee camp, in central Gaza, killed at least 27 Palestinians from the Habbash family and injured dozens, Wafa news agency reported. In north Gaza, Israel bombed Al-Rimal and Al-Daraj neighborhoods. Palestinian rescue team recovered the bodies of 20 people in Gaza City following an Israeli bombardment. In Beit Lahia and Deir Al-Balah, Israeli artillery bombed several areas, while in Bureij refugee camp, six Palestinians were recovered from under the rubble of a bombed house. Italian PM opposes Rafah Invasion, Canada votes to stop arms transfers to Israel The Israeli government has vowed to press on with its planned invasion of the crowded city of Rafah in southern Gaza, despite warnings from international leaders and humanitarian groups. Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has joined the chorus, saying that her country opposes the planned offensive. “We will reiterate our opposition to military action on the ground by Israel in Rafah that could have even more catastrophic consequences for the civilians crowded in that area,” Meloni told lawmakers in the Senate. Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said during a meeting with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi this week, that she is “concerned about the risks a full-scale offensive in Rafah would have on the most vulnerable civilian population. This needs to be avoided at all costs.” An Israeli invasion of Rafah, the southernmost town in the Gaza Strip where 1.2 million Palestinians are sheltering, could spike tensions with Egypt which watches the western side of the border. Some Israeli officials and ministers said their wish is to evacuate Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to Egypt. However, Egypt is closing its borders firmly, and is not allowing mass flux of Palestinians to its territories. Meanwhile, Canada’s House of Commons voted on Tuesday to halt arms sales to Israel, with Canadian foreign affairs minister, Mélanie Joly, reaffirming the vote, saying her government would halt future arms shipments to Israel, saying “it is a real thing.” Smotrich calls settlements ‘holistic’ response to sanctions Israel’s Finance Minister and far-right settler Bezalel Smotrich, suggested that expanding settlement was the “holistic” response to an agreement by the EU on Monday to sanction Israeli settlers, who assaulted Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. “There is one holistic Zionist response to this [EU] declaration, strengthening and entrenching settlement in all parts of the Land of Israel,” Smotrich said on Tuesday. He claimed that the Israeli justice system could deal with incidents of settlers’ violence on Palestinians. Israeli authorities systematically fail to investigate and prosecute ideological crimes against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, and are often documented joining the settlers in their attacks on Palestinian communities. The far-right minister is a vocal opponent of the establishment of Palestinian state, and is a supporter of annexing the West Bank into Israel. In January, he said Israel should “encourage the migration of Gaza residents as a solution to the humanitarian crisis”. The U.S. has recently sanctioned several Israeli settlers involved in attacks against Palestinians, including two entire outposts for the first time. Israeli forces and settlers kill two Palestinians in West Bank Two Palestinian were killed in separate incidents in the West Bank on Tuesday afternoon. Ziad Farhan Diab Hamran, 31, from the Al-Hashimiyah village in Jenin, was shot by Israeli forces near the entrance of Beit Fajjar village and the settlement of Gush Etzion, near Bethlehem. His body remains in Israel’s custody. Israel said that Hamran shot two intelligence officers from the Shin Bet, who were injured in the attack. Hamran succumbed to his wounds on Tuesday evening. In Nablus, Israeli settlers killed Fakher Bassem Bani Jaber, 43, from Aqraba village, south of Nablus. Wafa reported that Jaber was taken to Rafidiya Hospital where he died. Settlers attacked Khirbet al-Tawil area, near Aqraba village, which prompted Palestinians to defend their lands.In occupied Jerusalem, only 20,000 Palestinians performed Ramadan’s Al-Tarawih prayer on the tenth night as Israeli authorities kept restricting the numbers of Palestinians who could enter Jerusalem from the West Bank. It was also rainy and cold in Jerusalem on Tuesday night, Wafa reported. 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/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-166-israel-kills-gaza-officials-handling-food-delivery-to-the-north-canada-votes-to-halt-arms-sales-to-israel/ 👉https://telegra.ph/Operation-Al-Aqsa-Flood-Day-166-Israel-kills-Gaza-officials-handling-food-delivery-to-the-north-Canada-votes-to-halt-arms-sales--03-20
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    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 166: Israel kills Gaza officials handling food delivery to the north; Canada votes to halt arms sales to Israel
    Hamas slams Israel for “spreading chaos” after an Israeli airstrike killed two local police officers in charge of securing and delivering food to north Gaza. In the West Bank, Israeli forces and settlers kill two Palestinians.
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