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  • ‘No, dear. I will never leave Gaza.’
    I tried to convince my parents to leave Gaza, but my father’s resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly. The weight of our conversation lingered long after we said our goodbyes.

    Ghada HaniaMarch 30, 2024
    A Palestinian man sits near the damage to a building after an overnight Israeli air raid in Rafah, southern Gaza, March 29, 2024. (Photo: Ahmed Ibrahim/APA Images)
    A Palestinian man sits near the damage to a building after an overnight Israeli air raid in Rafah, southern Gaza, March 29, 2024. (Photo: Ahmed Ibrahim/APA Images)
    I sip my coffee, pondering whether my mother has enough coffee stocked at home. Recognizing the importance of this question, especially during the sacred month of Ramadan when she typically begins her fast with a sip of coffee, a ritual I have mirrored, I resolve to call her via WhatsApp.

    Dialing her number, I encounter the frustration of a phone call that fails to connect, indicating a lack of internet service. Undeterred, I make my way to the nearby supermarket, where I top up my phone with 60 RM, the maximum allowed per charge. With experience guiding me, I opt for three charges, estimating that 180 units should afford me about a 35-minute conversation.

    Each call to my mother serves as a conduit for updates on her well-being, my father’s health, and the overall status of our extended family, all residing together in one apartment.

    During Ramadan, these conversations delve into her preparations for breaking the fast. Perhaps this time, she’s managed to procure budget-friendly alternatives from the market, steering away from the monotony of canned meals like beans, hummus, or tuna, and perhaps opting for cherished dishes like chicken maqloubeh or mloukhiyyeh, beloved by both herself and our family.

    As the phone finally rings after multiple attempts, I eagerly await my mother’s answer. When she finally picks up on the fifth try, I greet her affectionately, “Hello, my love. How are you?”

    “I am fine, my dear Ghadoosh,” she responds, using her term of endearment for me.

    I ask about her third-day iftar meal, to which she replies, “Today, we’re preparing beans with lemon and tomato, served alongside saj bread.”

    “You know we’ve finished building a clay oven on the roof of the house, and we use it to bake bread.”

    “Oh, that sounds good, Mom. Bon appétit,” I replied, understanding how monotonous it can be to eat the same meal for more than 100 days.

    Concerned about her health, especially given her diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), I ask about her condition. She acknowledges her discomfort, expressing gratitude for the doctor’s recommendations to avoid certain foods. Unfortunately, everything the doctor recommended is either unavailable or too expensive to afford.

    As our conversation progresses, the familiar sound of her voice brings comfort, even amidst the backdrop of challenges we face. Every time we talk, there’s a quiet sadness that hangs in the air, partly because of the miles between us and the heavy load of worries we both carry.

    “All praises to Allah,” my mother began, her voice tinged with discomfort. “I have persistent abdominal pain, but it’s bearable. It will pass,” she reassured me.

    Responding like a concerned physician, I rushed to advise her, “Mom, please pay careful attention to your diet and hydration during Ramadan. Make sure you drink plenty of water and consume nourishing foods like dates, while avoiding anything that exacerbates your discomfort. Choose light, healthy meals like thyme and cheese with bread, and incorporate olive oil. If canned foods like hummus, beans, or chickpeas make you feel tired or worsen your symptoms, refrain from eating them. Your well-being is paramount, so take care of yourself, my love. Remember to say bismillah before each meal, and trust in Allah for strength and healing.”

    “Okay, my love. Don’t worry,” she responded, her tone conveying gratitude for my concern.

    “How is your husband and his family?” she inquired. “How is your mother-in-law? Please convey my regards to them, and I hope we can meet soon once the war ends, Allah willing, if we are still alive on that day.”

    “Oh, mom, please don’t say that. May all negativity fade away. May Allah safeguard you and bring us all together again.”

    My husband’s family and I are unable to communicate with each other within Gaza due to poor connectivity. Therefore, when I speak to my husband’s relatives, I extend greetings from my family, and when I converse with my own family, I convey greetings from my husband’s family.

    “How are my sisters, mom? Have you been in touch with Sara? Did you manage to visit Mona?” I asked anxiously.

    “Sara is still in Gaza with her kids, husband, and his family. They’re facing immense struggles to find food and water. I’ve only managed to contact her once during these difficult months. Sadly, the call was abruptly cut off, and I couldn’t even say goodbye,” my mom explained with a heavy heart.

    “Mona and her family are living in a tent in Khan Younis. The conditions are harsh — when it rains, the tent floods, and when it stops, the sand’s smell makes them sick,” she continued.

    “We’ve had limited contact with your sisters, Ghada. Last week, we were able to confirm Sara’s well-being through one of your father’s cousins in Gaza. However, you know there’s a famine in the north. May Allah ease their hardships,” my mom said tearfully.

    After composing herself, she added, “Mona visited us briefly yesterday. Thankfully, she and her kids are doing okay. Don’t worry, dear.”

    “Don’t cry, mom. Let’s pray. It’s our most powerful tool. May Allah alleviate their suffering, guide us all, and bring an end to this war. May the situation improve,” I reassured her.

    The wail of an ambulance interrupted our conversation. My mother’s voice, usually composed, now shook with emotion as she recounted the struggles since being forcibly displaced from Gaza City to Rafah. Reflecting on our decision to settle in Rafah in my uncle’s home due to the lack of available housing, she expressed her sorrow, “If we had a home in Gaza, we would never have left, Ghada. They’ve destroyed everything in Gaza: the trees, the stones, the streets. There’s nothing left, my dear. The city has transformed; you wouldn’t recognize it.”

    “Inshallah everything will improve, mom. We’ll rebuild the city again,” I said optimistically.

    She replied softly, “Inshallah, dear.”

    I broached the topic of leaving Gaza for Malaysia, but his resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly, revealing a depth of sentiment I hadn’t fully grasped before.
    I seized the opportunity to speak to my father, eagerly greeting him, “Hello, Dad. How are you?”

    His warm voice comforted me, assuring me, “Everything is good, dear. Don’t worry. We’re in good spirits, and as long as we have each other, we’ll be fine.”

    “How much is the fish per kilo?” I asked. My father has always had a deep love for fish, enjoying it day after day before the war.

    He replied with sadness, “The price for a kilo of sardines is around 130 shekels. That’s the cheapest rate in the market. Prices have increased tenfold.”

    Despite his assurances, I couldn’t shake the heavy burden weighing on my heart. “May Allah protect you, dear Baba,” I said, my voice trembling with emotion. “I know it’s not easy, but please stay steadfast. Your strength gives me hope.”

    I broached the topic of leaving Gaza for Malaysia, but his resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly, revealing a depth of sentiment I hadn’t fully grasped before.

    “We’ve purchased tents in case the situation deteriorates further. We’ll relocate to Nuseirat refugee camp or Deir al-Balah,” he added.

    The weight of our conversation lingered long after we said our goodbyes. Despite my efforts to offer comfort, I couldn’t shake the sense of helplessness that settled over me, leaving me feeling powerless to ease their suffering.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/no-dear-i-will-never-leave-gaza/
    ‘No, dear. I will never leave Gaza.’ I tried to convince my parents to leave Gaza, but my father’s resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly. The weight of our conversation lingered long after we said our goodbyes. Ghada HaniaMarch 30, 2024 A Palestinian man sits near the damage to a building after an overnight Israeli air raid in Rafah, southern Gaza, March 29, 2024. (Photo: Ahmed Ibrahim/APA Images) A Palestinian man sits near the damage to a building after an overnight Israeli air raid in Rafah, southern Gaza, March 29, 2024. (Photo: Ahmed Ibrahim/APA Images) I sip my coffee, pondering whether my mother has enough coffee stocked at home. Recognizing the importance of this question, especially during the sacred month of Ramadan when she typically begins her fast with a sip of coffee, a ritual I have mirrored, I resolve to call her via WhatsApp. Dialing her number, I encounter the frustration of a phone call that fails to connect, indicating a lack of internet service. Undeterred, I make my way to the nearby supermarket, where I top up my phone with 60 RM, the maximum allowed per charge. With experience guiding me, I opt for three charges, estimating that 180 units should afford me about a 35-minute conversation. Each call to my mother serves as a conduit for updates on her well-being, my father’s health, and the overall status of our extended family, all residing together in one apartment. During Ramadan, these conversations delve into her preparations for breaking the fast. Perhaps this time, she’s managed to procure budget-friendly alternatives from the market, steering away from the monotony of canned meals like beans, hummus, or tuna, and perhaps opting for cherished dishes like chicken maqloubeh or mloukhiyyeh, beloved by both herself and our family. As the phone finally rings after multiple attempts, I eagerly await my mother’s answer. When she finally picks up on the fifth try, I greet her affectionately, “Hello, my love. How are you?” “I am fine, my dear Ghadoosh,” she responds, using her term of endearment for me. I ask about her third-day iftar meal, to which she replies, “Today, we’re preparing beans with lemon and tomato, served alongside saj bread.” “You know we’ve finished building a clay oven on the roof of the house, and we use it to bake bread.” “Oh, that sounds good, Mom. Bon appétit,” I replied, understanding how monotonous it can be to eat the same meal for more than 100 days. Concerned about her health, especially given her diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), I ask about her condition. She acknowledges her discomfort, expressing gratitude for the doctor’s recommendations to avoid certain foods. Unfortunately, everything the doctor recommended is either unavailable or too expensive to afford. As our conversation progresses, the familiar sound of her voice brings comfort, even amidst the backdrop of challenges we face. Every time we talk, there’s a quiet sadness that hangs in the air, partly because of the miles between us and the heavy load of worries we both carry. “All praises to Allah,” my mother began, her voice tinged with discomfort. “I have persistent abdominal pain, but it’s bearable. It will pass,” she reassured me. Responding like a concerned physician, I rushed to advise her, “Mom, please pay careful attention to your diet and hydration during Ramadan. Make sure you drink plenty of water and consume nourishing foods like dates, while avoiding anything that exacerbates your discomfort. Choose light, healthy meals like thyme and cheese with bread, and incorporate olive oil. If canned foods like hummus, beans, or chickpeas make you feel tired or worsen your symptoms, refrain from eating them. Your well-being is paramount, so take care of yourself, my love. Remember to say bismillah before each meal, and trust in Allah for strength and healing.” “Okay, my love. Don’t worry,” she responded, her tone conveying gratitude for my concern. “How is your husband and his family?” she inquired. “How is your mother-in-law? Please convey my regards to them, and I hope we can meet soon once the war ends, Allah willing, if we are still alive on that day.” “Oh, mom, please don’t say that. May all negativity fade away. May Allah safeguard you and bring us all together again.” My husband’s family and I are unable to communicate with each other within Gaza due to poor connectivity. Therefore, when I speak to my husband’s relatives, I extend greetings from my family, and when I converse with my own family, I convey greetings from my husband’s family. “How are my sisters, mom? Have you been in touch with Sara? Did you manage to visit Mona?” I asked anxiously. “Sara is still in Gaza with her kids, husband, and his family. They’re facing immense struggles to find food and water. I’ve only managed to contact her once during these difficult months. Sadly, the call was abruptly cut off, and I couldn’t even say goodbye,” my mom explained with a heavy heart. “Mona and her family are living in a tent in Khan Younis. The conditions are harsh — when it rains, the tent floods, and when it stops, the sand’s smell makes them sick,” she continued. “We’ve had limited contact with your sisters, Ghada. Last week, we were able to confirm Sara’s well-being through one of your father’s cousins in Gaza. However, you know there’s a famine in the north. May Allah ease their hardships,” my mom said tearfully. After composing herself, she added, “Mona visited us briefly yesterday. Thankfully, she and her kids are doing okay. Don’t worry, dear.” “Don’t cry, mom. Let’s pray. It’s our most powerful tool. May Allah alleviate their suffering, guide us all, and bring an end to this war. May the situation improve,” I reassured her. The wail of an ambulance interrupted our conversation. My mother’s voice, usually composed, now shook with emotion as she recounted the struggles since being forcibly displaced from Gaza City to Rafah. Reflecting on our decision to settle in Rafah in my uncle’s home due to the lack of available housing, she expressed her sorrow, “If we had a home in Gaza, we would never have left, Ghada. They’ve destroyed everything in Gaza: the trees, the stones, the streets. There’s nothing left, my dear. The city has transformed; you wouldn’t recognize it.” “Inshallah everything will improve, mom. We’ll rebuild the city again,” I said optimistically. She replied softly, “Inshallah, dear.” I broached the topic of leaving Gaza for Malaysia, but his resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly, revealing a depth of sentiment I hadn’t fully grasped before. I seized the opportunity to speak to my father, eagerly greeting him, “Hello, Dad. How are you?” His warm voice comforted me, assuring me, “Everything is good, dear. Don’t worry. We’re in good spirits, and as long as we have each other, we’ll be fine.” “How much is the fish per kilo?” I asked. My father has always had a deep love for fish, enjoying it day after day before the war. He replied with sadness, “The price for a kilo of sardines is around 130 shekels. That’s the cheapest rate in the market. Prices have increased tenfold.” Despite his assurances, I couldn’t shake the heavy burden weighing on my heart. “May Allah protect you, dear Baba,” I said, my voice trembling with emotion. “I know it’s not easy, but please stay steadfast. Your strength gives me hope.” I broached the topic of leaving Gaza for Malaysia, but his resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly, revealing a depth of sentiment I hadn’t fully grasped before. “We’ve purchased tents in case the situation deteriorates further. We’ll relocate to Nuseirat refugee camp or Deir al-Balah,” he added. The weight of our conversation lingered long after we said our goodbyes. Despite my efforts to offer comfort, I couldn’t shake the sense of helplessness that settled over me, leaving me feeling powerless to ease their suffering. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/no-dear-i-will-never-leave-gaza/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘No, dear. I will never leave Gaza.’
    I tried to convince my parents to leave Gaza, but my father’s resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly. The weight of our conversation lingered long after we said our goodbyes.
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  • Australia challenged on ‘moral failure’ of weapons trade with Israel
    Regular protests have been taking place outside Australian firms making crucial components for the F-35 fighter jet.

    Ali MC
    Protesters sitting outside the HTA factory in the Melbourne suburbs,. There is a large placard reading 'Stop arming Israel"
    Weekly protests have been taking place for months [Ali MC/Al Jazeera]
    Melbourne, Australia – Israel’s continued assault on Gaza has highlighted a hidden yet crucial component of the world’s weapons manufacturing industry – suburban Australia.

    Tucked away in Melbourne’s industrial north, Heat Treatment Australia (HTA) is an Australian company that plays a vital role in the production of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters; the same model that Israel is using to bomb Gaza.

    Weekly protests of about 200 people have been taking place for months outside the nondescript factory, where heat treatment is applied to strengthen components for the fighter jet a product of US military giant Lockheed Martin.

    While protesters have sometimes brought production to a halt with their pickets, they remain concerned about what’s going on inside factories like HTA.

    “We decided to hold the community picket to disrupt workers, and we were successful in stopping work for the day,” Nathalie Farah, protest organiser with local group Hume for Palestine, told Al Jazeera. “We consider this to be a win.”

    “Australia is absolutely complicit in the genocide that is happening,” said 26-year-old Farah, who is of Syrian and Palestinian origin. “Which is contrary to what the government might have us believe.”

    More than 32,000 Palestinians have been killed since Israel launched its war in Gaza six months ago after Hamas killed more than 1,000 people in a surprise attack on Israel. The war, being investigated as a genocide by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), has left hundreds of thousands on the brink of starvation, according to the United Nations.

    HTA – which did not respond to Al Jazeera for comment – is just one of an increasing number of companies in Australia engaged in the weapons manufacturing industry.

    Community organiser Nathalie Farah. She's wearing a Palestinian scarf and a black T-shirt saying Australia.
    Nathalie Farah has been organising regular protests outside HTA’s factory [Ali MC/Al Jazeera]
    According to Lockheed Martin, “Every F-35 built contains some Australian parts and components,” with more than 70 Australian companies having export contracts valued at a total 4.13 billion Australian dollars ($2.69bn).

    Protesters have also picketed Rosebank Engineering, in Melbourne’s southeast, the world’s only producer of the F-35’s “uplock actuator system”, a crucial component of the aircraft’s bomb bay doors.

    Sign up for Al Jazeera

    Weekly Newsletter


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    Defence industry push

    In recent years, the Australian government has sought to increase defence exports to boost the country’s flagging manufacturing industry.

    In 2018, former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced Australia aimed to become one of the world’s top 10 defence exporters within a decade. It is currently 30th in global arms production, according to the Stockholm International Peace Institute.

    It is an aspiration that appears set to continue under the government of Anthony Albanese after it concluded a more than one-billion-Australian-dollar deal with Germany to supply more than 100 Boxer Heavy Weapon Carrier vehicles in 2023 – Australia’s single biggest defence industry deal.

    Since the Gaza war began, the industry and its business relationship with Israel have come increasingly under the spotlight.

    Last month, Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles insisted that there were “no exports of weapons from Australia to Israel and there haven’t been for many, many years”.

    However, between 2016 and 2023 the Australian government approved some 322 export permits for military and dual-use equipment to Israel.

    The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s own data – available to the public online – shows that Australian exports of “arms and ammunition” to Israel totalled $15.5 million Australian dollars ($10.1m) over the same period of time.

    Officials now appear to be slowing the export of military equipment to Israel.

    In a recent interview with Australia’s national broadcaster ABC, the Minister for International Development and the Pacific Pat Conroy insisted the country was “not exporting military equipment to Israel” and clarified this meant “military weapons, things like bombs”.

    However, defence exports from Australia fall into two categories, items specifically for military use – such as Boxer Heavy Weapons vehicles for Germany – and so-called ‘dual use’ products, such as radar or communications systems, that can have both civilian and military uses.

    Australia’s Department of Defence did not respond to Al Jazeera’s requests about whether the halt to defence exports to Israel also included dual-use items.

    What is certain is that companies such as HTA and Rosebank Engineering are continuing to manufacture components for the F-35, despite the risk of deployment in what South Africa told the International Court of Justice in December amounted to “genocidal acts“.

    In the Netherlands – where parts for the jet are also manufactured – an appeal court last month ordered the Dutch government to block such exports to Israel citing the risk of breaching international law.

    The Australian government has also come under scrutiny for its lax “end-use controls” on the weapons and components it exports.

    As such, while the F-35 components are exported to US parent company Lockheed Martin, their ultimate use is largely outside Australia’s legal purview.

    Lauren Sanders, senior research fellow on law and the future of war at the University of Queensland, told Al Jazeera that the “on-selling of components and military equipment through third party states is a challenge to global export controls.

    “Once something is out of a state’s control, it becomes more difficult to trace, and to prevent it being passed on to another country,” she said.

    Sanders said Australia’s “end use controls” were deficient in comparison with other exporters such as the United States.

    “The US has hundreds of dedicated staff – with appropriate legal authority to investigate – to chase down potential end-use breaches,” she said.

    “Australia does not have the same kind of end-use controls in place in its legislation, nor does it have the same enforcement resources that the US does.”

    A protester carrying a Palestinian flag at a picket outside an Australian arms company. They have wrapped a Palesinian scarf around their face so only their eyes are visible, Other protesters are behind them. They have placards. Some are sitting on the ground.
    The protesters say they will continue their action until manufacturing of F-35 components is stopped [Ali MC/Al Jazeera]
    In fact, under legislation passed in November 2023, permits for defence goods are no longer required for exports to the United Kingdom and the US under the AUKUS security agreement.

    In a statement, the government argued the exemption would “deliver 614 million [Australian dollars; $401m] in value to the Australian economy over 10 years, by reducing costs to local businesses and unlocking investment opportunities with our AUKUS partners”.

    International law

    This new legislation may provide more opportunities for Australian weapons manufacturers, such as NIOA, a privately owned munitions company that makes bullets at a factory in Benalla, a small rural town in Australia’s southeast.

    The largest supplier of munitions to the Australian Defence Force, NIOA – which did not respond to Al Jazeera for comment – also has aspirations to break into the US weapons market.

    At a recent business conference, CEO Robert Nioa said that “the goal is to establish greater production capabilities in both countries so that Australia can be an alternative source of supply of weapons in times of conflict for the Australian and US militaries”.

    Greens Senator David Shoebridge told Al Jazeera that the government needed to “publicly and immediately refute the plan to become a top 10 global arms dealer and then to provide full transparency on all Australian arms exports including end users.

    “While governments in the Netherlands and the UK are facing legal challenges because of their role in the global supply chain, the Australian Labor government just keeps handing over weapons parts as though no genocide was happening,” he said. “It’s an appalling moral failure, and it is almost certainly a gross breach of international law.”

    The Australian government also recently announced a 917 million Australian dollar ($598m) deal with controversial Israeli company Elbit Systems.

    A court in the Netherlands hearing a case brought in relation to military exports. The room is wood panelled and there is a portrait on the wall.
    The Dutch government has faced legal action over the export of F-35 fighter jet parts to Israel [File: Piroschka van de Wouw/Reuters]
    Elbit has come under fire for its sale of defence equipment to the Myanmar military regime, continuing sales even after the military, which seized power in a 2021 coup, was accused of gross human rights violations – including attacks on civilians – by the United Nations and others.

    Despite a recent joint announcement between the Australian and UK governments for an “immediate cessation of fighting” in Gaza, some say Australia needs to go further and cut defence ties with Israel altogether.

    “The Australian government must listen to the growing public calls for peace and end Australia’s two-way arms trade with Israel,” Shoebridge said. “The Albanese government is rewarding and financing the Israeli arms industry just at the moment they are arming a genocide.”

    Protests have continued both at the HTA factory in Melbourne and their premises in Brisbane, with organisers pledging to continue until the company stops manufacturing components for the F-35.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2024/3/28/australia-challenged-on-moral-failure-of-weapons-trade-with-israel
    Australia challenged on ‘moral failure’ of weapons trade with Israel Regular protests have been taking place outside Australian firms making crucial components for the F-35 fighter jet. Ali MC Protesters sitting outside the HTA factory in the Melbourne suburbs,. There is a large placard reading 'Stop arming Israel" Weekly protests have been taking place for months [Ali MC/Al Jazeera] Melbourne, Australia – Israel’s continued assault on Gaza has highlighted a hidden yet crucial component of the world’s weapons manufacturing industry – suburban Australia. Tucked away in Melbourne’s industrial north, Heat Treatment Australia (HTA) is an Australian company that plays a vital role in the production of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters; the same model that Israel is using to bomb Gaza. Weekly protests of about 200 people have been taking place for months outside the nondescript factory, where heat treatment is applied to strengthen components for the fighter jet a product of US military giant Lockheed Martin. While protesters have sometimes brought production to a halt with their pickets, they remain concerned about what’s going on inside factories like HTA. “We decided to hold the community picket to disrupt workers, and we were successful in stopping work for the day,” Nathalie Farah, protest organiser with local group Hume for Palestine, told Al Jazeera. “We consider this to be a win.” “Australia is absolutely complicit in the genocide that is happening,” said 26-year-old Farah, who is of Syrian and Palestinian origin. “Which is contrary to what the government might have us believe.” More than 32,000 Palestinians have been killed since Israel launched its war in Gaza six months ago after Hamas killed more than 1,000 people in a surprise attack on Israel. The war, being investigated as a genocide by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), has left hundreds of thousands on the brink of starvation, according to the United Nations. HTA – which did not respond to Al Jazeera for comment – is just one of an increasing number of companies in Australia engaged in the weapons manufacturing industry. Community organiser Nathalie Farah. She's wearing a Palestinian scarf and a black T-shirt saying Australia. Nathalie Farah has been organising regular protests outside HTA’s factory [Ali MC/Al Jazeera] According to Lockheed Martin, “Every F-35 built contains some Australian parts and components,” with more than 70 Australian companies having export contracts valued at a total 4.13 billion Australian dollars ($2.69bn). Protesters have also picketed Rosebank Engineering, in Melbourne’s southeast, the world’s only producer of the F-35’s “uplock actuator system”, a crucial component of the aircraft’s bomb bay doors. Sign up for Al Jazeera Weekly Newsletter protected by reCAPTCHA Defence industry push In recent years, the Australian government has sought to increase defence exports to boost the country’s flagging manufacturing industry. In 2018, former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced Australia aimed to become one of the world’s top 10 defence exporters within a decade. It is currently 30th in global arms production, according to the Stockholm International Peace Institute. It is an aspiration that appears set to continue under the government of Anthony Albanese after it concluded a more than one-billion-Australian-dollar deal with Germany to supply more than 100 Boxer Heavy Weapon Carrier vehicles in 2023 – Australia’s single biggest defence industry deal. Since the Gaza war began, the industry and its business relationship with Israel have come increasingly under the spotlight. Last month, Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles insisted that there were “no exports of weapons from Australia to Israel and there haven’t been for many, many years”. However, between 2016 and 2023 the Australian government approved some 322 export permits for military and dual-use equipment to Israel. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s own data – available to the public online – shows that Australian exports of “arms and ammunition” to Israel totalled $15.5 million Australian dollars ($10.1m) over the same period of time. Officials now appear to be slowing the export of military equipment to Israel. In a recent interview with Australia’s national broadcaster ABC, the Minister for International Development and the Pacific Pat Conroy insisted the country was “not exporting military equipment to Israel” and clarified this meant “military weapons, things like bombs”. However, defence exports from Australia fall into two categories, items specifically for military use – such as Boxer Heavy Weapons vehicles for Germany – and so-called ‘dual use’ products, such as radar or communications systems, that can have both civilian and military uses. Australia’s Department of Defence did not respond to Al Jazeera’s requests about whether the halt to defence exports to Israel also included dual-use items. What is certain is that companies such as HTA and Rosebank Engineering are continuing to manufacture components for the F-35, despite the risk of deployment in what South Africa told the International Court of Justice in December amounted to “genocidal acts“. In the Netherlands – where parts for the jet are also manufactured – an appeal court last month ordered the Dutch government to block such exports to Israel citing the risk of breaching international law. The Australian government has also come under scrutiny for its lax “end-use controls” on the weapons and components it exports. As such, while the F-35 components are exported to US parent company Lockheed Martin, their ultimate use is largely outside Australia’s legal purview. Lauren Sanders, senior research fellow on law and the future of war at the University of Queensland, told Al Jazeera that the “on-selling of components and military equipment through third party states is a challenge to global export controls. “Once something is out of a state’s control, it becomes more difficult to trace, and to prevent it being passed on to another country,” she said. Sanders said Australia’s “end use controls” were deficient in comparison with other exporters such as the United States. “The US has hundreds of dedicated staff – with appropriate legal authority to investigate – to chase down potential end-use breaches,” she said. “Australia does not have the same kind of end-use controls in place in its legislation, nor does it have the same enforcement resources that the US does.” A protester carrying a Palestinian flag at a picket outside an Australian arms company. They have wrapped a Palesinian scarf around their face so only their eyes are visible, Other protesters are behind them. They have placards. Some are sitting on the ground. The protesters say they will continue their action until manufacturing of F-35 components is stopped [Ali MC/Al Jazeera] In fact, under legislation passed in November 2023, permits for defence goods are no longer required for exports to the United Kingdom and the US under the AUKUS security agreement. In a statement, the government argued the exemption would “deliver 614 million [Australian dollars; $401m] in value to the Australian economy over 10 years, by reducing costs to local businesses and unlocking investment opportunities with our AUKUS partners”. International law This new legislation may provide more opportunities for Australian weapons manufacturers, such as NIOA, a privately owned munitions company that makes bullets at a factory in Benalla, a small rural town in Australia’s southeast. The largest supplier of munitions to the Australian Defence Force, NIOA – which did not respond to Al Jazeera for comment – also has aspirations to break into the US weapons market. At a recent business conference, CEO Robert Nioa said that “the goal is to establish greater production capabilities in both countries so that Australia can be an alternative source of supply of weapons in times of conflict for the Australian and US militaries”. Greens Senator David Shoebridge told Al Jazeera that the government needed to “publicly and immediately refute the plan to become a top 10 global arms dealer and then to provide full transparency on all Australian arms exports including end users. “While governments in the Netherlands and the UK are facing legal challenges because of their role in the global supply chain, the Australian Labor government just keeps handing over weapons parts as though no genocide was happening,” he said. “It’s an appalling moral failure, and it is almost certainly a gross breach of international law.” The Australian government also recently announced a 917 million Australian dollar ($598m) deal with controversial Israeli company Elbit Systems. A court in the Netherlands hearing a case brought in relation to military exports. The room is wood panelled and there is a portrait on the wall. The Dutch government has faced legal action over the export of F-35 fighter jet parts to Israel [File: Piroschka van de Wouw/Reuters] Elbit has come under fire for its sale of defence equipment to the Myanmar military regime, continuing sales even after the military, which seized power in a 2021 coup, was accused of gross human rights violations – including attacks on civilians – by the United Nations and others. Despite a recent joint announcement between the Australian and UK governments for an “immediate cessation of fighting” in Gaza, some say Australia needs to go further and cut defence ties with Israel altogether. “The Australian government must listen to the growing public calls for peace and end Australia’s two-way arms trade with Israel,” Shoebridge said. “The Albanese government is rewarding and financing the Israeli arms industry just at the moment they are arming a genocide.” Protests have continued both at the HTA factory in Melbourne and their premises in Brisbane, with organisers pledging to continue until the company stops manufacturing components for the F-35. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2024/3/28/australia-challenged-on-moral-failure-of-weapons-trade-with-israel
    WWW.ALJAZEERA.COM
    Australia challenged on ‘moral failure’ of weapons trade with Israel
    Regular protests have been taking place outside Australian firms making crucial components for the F-35 fighter jet.
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  • New AltSignals Tokens Could Be Launched With SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Merging

    SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol are considering merging into AltSignals tokens, targeting a $7.5 billion valuation.
    The merger, led by SingularityNET’s Ben Goertzel and Fetch.ai’s Humayun Sheikh, aims to create a decentralized AI alternative.
    Operational independence will be maintained post-merger, reflecting a trend toward democratizing AI access.
    Artificial intelligence (AI) is set to witness a landmark development as three major protocols, SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol, engage in discussions to merge their tokens into a unified AltSignals token (ASI), potentially boasting a fully diluted valuation of $7.5 billion.
    New AltSignals Tokens Could Be Launched With SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Merging
    New AltSignals Tokens Could Be Launched With SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Merging 2
    Read more: SingularityNET Review: Detailed About The Project, Will It Explode With AI Trend?

    SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol Eye Merger With AltSignals Token
    Bloomberg reported on March 27 that the merger aims to establish a decentralized alternative in the AI domain, countering the dominance of tech giants. Pending community approval, the deal could be officially announced as early as Wednesday.

    The collaborative effort seeks to form the largest open-sourced, independent player in AI research and development, affirming a commitment to capitalizing on the AI surge and fostering decentralized infrastructure at scale. SingularityNET CEO Ben Goertzel is scheduled to lead the newly formed Superintelligence Collective, with Fetch.ai CEO Humayun Sheikh serving as chairman.


    AI Trends Are Attracting Attention
    Despite the merger and the establishment of the AltSignals token, SingularityNET, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol will maintain operational autonomy, operating as distinct entities within the collective. This strategic move underscores a broader industry trend toward democratizing AI access, challenging the dominance of corporate giants like Alphabet and Microsoft.

    The convergence of these leading AI platforms mirrors a broader trend within the crypto market, where entities are increasingly exploring opportunities in AI development. Notably, Tether, a prominent stablecoin issuer, has recently announced plans to venture into open-source AI models, highlighting a growing synergy between AI and blockchain technologies in addressing real-world challenges.
    New AltSignals Tokens Could Be Launched With SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Merging SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol are considering merging into AltSignals tokens, targeting a $7.5 billion valuation. The merger, led by SingularityNET’s Ben Goertzel and Fetch.ai’s Humayun Sheikh, aims to create a decentralized AI alternative. Operational independence will be maintained post-merger, reflecting a trend toward democratizing AI access. Artificial intelligence (AI) is set to witness a landmark development as three major protocols, SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol, engage in discussions to merge their tokens into a unified AltSignals token (ASI), potentially boasting a fully diluted valuation of $7.5 billion. New AltSignals Tokens Could Be Launched With SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Merging New AltSignals Tokens Could Be Launched With SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Merging 2 Read more: SingularityNET Review: Detailed About The Project, Will It Explode With AI Trend? SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol Eye Merger With AltSignals Token Bloomberg reported on March 27 that the merger aims to establish a decentralized alternative in the AI domain, countering the dominance of tech giants. Pending community approval, the deal could be officially announced as early as Wednesday. The collaborative effort seeks to form the largest open-sourced, independent player in AI research and development, affirming a commitment to capitalizing on the AI surge and fostering decentralized infrastructure at scale. SingularityNET CEO Ben Goertzel is scheduled to lead the newly formed Superintelligence Collective, with Fetch.ai CEO Humayun Sheikh serving as chairman. AI Trends Are Attracting Attention Despite the merger and the establishment of the AltSignals token, SingularityNET, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol will maintain operational autonomy, operating as distinct entities within the collective. This strategic move underscores a broader industry trend toward democratizing AI access, challenging the dominance of corporate giants like Alphabet and Microsoft. The convergence of these leading AI platforms mirrors a broader trend within the crypto market, where entities are increasingly exploring opportunities in AI development. Notably, Tether, a prominent stablecoin issuer, has recently announced plans to venture into open-source AI models, highlighting a growing synergy between AI and blockchain technologies in addressing real-world challenges.
    Like
    1
    0 Comments 0 Shares 8950 Views
  • New AltSignals Tokens Could Be Launched With SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Merging

    SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol are considering merging into AltSignals tokens, targeting a $7.5 billion valuation.
    The merger, led by SingularityNET’s Ben Goertzel and Fetch.ai’s Humayun Sheikh, aims to create a decentralized AI alternative.
    Operational independence will be maintained post-merger, reflecting a trend toward democratizing AI access.
    Artificial intelligence (AI) is set to witness a landmark development as three major protocols, SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol, engage in discussions to merge their tokens into a unified AltSignals token (ASI), potentially boasting a fully diluted valuation of $7.5 billion.
    New AltSignals Tokens Could Be Launched With SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Merging
    New AltSignals Tokens Could Be Launched With SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Merging 2
    Read more: SingularityNET Review: Detailed About The Project, Will It Explode With AI Trend?

    SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol Eye Merger With AltSignals Token
    Bloomberg reported on March 27 that the merger aims to establish a decentralized alternative in the AI domain, countering the dominance of tech giants. Pending community approval, the deal could be officially announced as early as Wednesday.

    The collaborative effort seeks to form the largest open-sourced, independent player in AI research and development, affirming a commitment to capitalizing on the AI surge and fostering decentralized infrastructure at scale. SingularityNET CEO Ben Goertzel is scheduled to lead the newly formed Superintelligence Collective, with Fetch.ai CEO Humayun Sheikh serving as chairman.


    AI Trends Are Attracting Attention
    Despite the merger and the establishment of the AltSignals token, SingularityNET, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol will maintain operational autonomy, operating as distinct entities within the collective. This strategic move underscores a broader industry trend toward democratizing AI access, challenging the dominance of corporate giants like Alphabet and Microsoft.

    The convergence of these leading AI platforms mirrors a broader trend within the crypto market, where entities are increasingly exploring opportunities in AI development. Notably, Tether, a prominent stablecoin issuer, has recently announced plans to venture into open-source AI models, highlighting a growing synergy between AI and blockchain technologies in addressing real-world challenges.
    New AltSignals Tokens Could Be Launched With SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Merging SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol are considering merging into AltSignals tokens, targeting a $7.5 billion valuation. The merger, led by SingularityNET’s Ben Goertzel and Fetch.ai’s Humayun Sheikh, aims to create a decentralized AI alternative. Operational independence will be maintained post-merger, reflecting a trend toward democratizing AI access. Artificial intelligence (AI) is set to witness a landmark development as three major protocols, SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol, engage in discussions to merge their tokens into a unified AltSignals token (ASI), potentially boasting a fully diluted valuation of $7.5 billion. New AltSignals Tokens Could Be Launched With SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Merging New AltSignals Tokens Could Be Launched With SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Merging 2 Read more: SingularityNET Review: Detailed About The Project, Will It Explode With AI Trend? SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol Eye Merger With AltSignals Token Bloomberg reported on March 27 that the merger aims to establish a decentralized alternative in the AI domain, countering the dominance of tech giants. Pending community approval, the deal could be officially announced as early as Wednesday. The collaborative effort seeks to form the largest open-sourced, independent player in AI research and development, affirming a commitment to capitalizing on the AI surge and fostering decentralized infrastructure at scale. SingularityNET CEO Ben Goertzel is scheduled to lead the newly formed Superintelligence Collective, with Fetch.ai CEO Humayun Sheikh serving as chairman. AI Trends Are Attracting Attention Despite the merger and the establishment of the AltSignals token, SingularityNET, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol will maintain operational autonomy, operating as distinct entities within the collective. This strategic move underscores a broader industry trend toward democratizing AI access, challenging the dominance of corporate giants like Alphabet and Microsoft. The convergence of these leading AI platforms mirrors a broader trend within the crypto market, where entities are increasingly exploring opportunities in AI development. Notably, Tether, a prominent stablecoin issuer, has recently announced plans to venture into open-source AI models, highlighting a growing synergy between AI and blockchain technologies in addressing real-world challenges.
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  • This World Rwanda's Untold Story BBC Documentary 2014

    Twenty years on from the Rwandan genocide, This World reveals evidence that challenges the accepted story of one of the most horrifying events of the late 20th century. The current president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, has long been portrayed as the man who brought an end to the killing and rescued his country from oblivion. Now there are increasing questions about the role of Kagame's Rwandan Patriotic Front forces in the dark days of 1994 and in the 20 years since.

    The film investigates evidence of Kagame's role in the shooting down of the presidential plane that sparked the killings in 1994 and questions his claims to have ended the genocide. It also examines claims of war crimes committed by Kagame's forces and their allies in the wars in the Democratic Republic of Congo and allegations of human rights abuses in today's Rwanda.

    Former close associates from within Kagame's inner circle and government speak out from hiding abroad. They present a very different portrait of a man who is often hailed as presiding over a model African state. Rwanda's economic miracle and apparent ethnic harmony has led to the country being one of the biggest recipients of aid from the UK. Former prime minister Tony Blair is an unpaid adviser to Kagame, but some now question the closeness of Mr Blair and other western leaders to Rwanda's president.

    https://vimeo.com/107867605
    This World Rwanda's Untold Story BBC Documentary 2014 Twenty years on from the Rwandan genocide, This World reveals evidence that challenges the accepted story of one of the most horrifying events of the late 20th century. The current president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, has long been portrayed as the man who brought an end to the killing and rescued his country from oblivion. Now there are increasing questions about the role of Kagame's Rwandan Patriotic Front forces in the dark days of 1994 and in the 20 years since. The film investigates evidence of Kagame's role in the shooting down of the presidential plane that sparked the killings in 1994 and questions his claims to have ended the genocide. It also examines claims of war crimes committed by Kagame's forces and their allies in the wars in the Democratic Republic of Congo and allegations of human rights abuses in today's Rwanda. Former close associates from within Kagame's inner circle and government speak out from hiding abroad. They present a very different portrait of a man who is often hailed as presiding over a model African state. Rwanda's economic miracle and apparent ethnic harmony has led to the country being one of the biggest recipients of aid from the UK. Former prime minister Tony Blair is an unpaid adviser to Kagame, but some now question the closeness of Mr Blair and other western leaders to Rwanda's president. https://vimeo.com/107867605
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