• What do these all have in
    common ❓❓❓



    Be a shame if you researched these….

    Project Bluebird
    Project Bluebeam
    Project Evergreen
    Project Artichoke
    MK-Ultra
    MK-Naomi
    Project Monarch
    Operation Chaos
    Operation Gladio
    Operation Mockingbird
    Operation Paperclip
    Operation Northwoods
    Operation Ranch Hand
    Operation Popeye
    (Doomsday Project)
    Cointelpro
    Operation Project Seal
    Operation Stargate
    Operation Highjump
    Operation Delirium
    Project Rainbow
    Operation Midnight Climax
    Project Woodpecker
    Project Stagate - Grill Flame, Sun Streak
    Operation Cloverleaf
    Operation Fishbowl
    Project Bluebook
    Project Coast
    Musical Control ( Rockefeller )
    Project Groom Lake
    Jekyll Island
    The creation of the Federal Reserve
    Fiat currency
    Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd
    Agartha
    Flouridation effects
    Agenda 21
    Agenda 30
    Monsanto
    Aspartame
    The Getty Research Institute
    B G H (Bovine growth hormone)
    Rothschild’s family history
    Albert Pike
    Adam Weishaupt
    P.N.A.C
    Council of Foreign Relations (CFR)
    Committee of 300
    13 families
    Skull and Bones Society
    The Bush family’s business dealings
    General Wesley Clark
    Bill Cooper
    William Guy Carr
    MILABS
    Annunaki
    Nephalim
    Nibiru (Planet X)
    Ninth Circle Cult
    Nazi eugenics
    Council of 13
    Council of Nicea
    Library of Alexandria
    Vatican Catacombs
    Emperor Constantine
    Bloodlines of the Illuminati
    Freemasonry
    Knights of Malta
    Jesuits
    Sabbatean Frankists
    D.U.M.B.S
    Phil Schneider
    Protocols of the learned Elders of Zion
    Tavistock Institute
    Frankfurt subversion techniques
    Fabian society
    Satanic ritual abuse
    Elm St Guest house
    788 - 790 Finchley Road, Hampstead
    Christchurch Primary School, Hampstead
    The Samson Option

    Subscribe for more:
    https://t.me/BenjaminFulfordJ ✅️
    What do these all have in common ❓❓❓ Be a shame if you researched these…. Project Bluebird Project Bluebeam Project Evergreen Project Artichoke MK-Ultra MK-Naomi Project Monarch Operation Chaos Operation Gladio Operation Mockingbird Operation Paperclip Operation Northwoods Operation Ranch Hand Operation Popeye (Doomsday Project) Cointelpro Operation Project Seal Operation Stargate Operation Highjump Operation Delirium Project Rainbow Operation Midnight Climax Project Woodpecker Project Stagate - Grill Flame, Sun Streak Operation Cloverleaf Operation Fishbowl Project Bluebook Project Coast Musical Control ( Rockefeller ) Project Groom Lake Jekyll Island The creation of the Federal Reserve Fiat currency Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd Agartha Flouridation effects Agenda 21 Agenda 30 Monsanto Aspartame The Getty Research Institute B G H (Bovine growth hormone) Rothschild’s family history Albert Pike Adam Weishaupt P.N.A.C Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) Committee of 300 13 families Skull and Bones Society The Bush family’s business dealings General Wesley Clark Bill Cooper William Guy Carr MILABS Annunaki Nephalim Nibiru (Planet X) Ninth Circle Cult Nazi eugenics Council of 13 Council of Nicea Library of Alexandria Vatican Catacombs Emperor Constantine Bloodlines of the Illuminati Freemasonry Knights of Malta Jesuits Sabbatean Frankists D.U.M.B.S Phil Schneider Protocols of the learned Elders of Zion Tavistock Institute Frankfurt subversion techniques Fabian society Satanic ritual abuse Elm St Guest house 788 - 790 Finchley Road, Hampstead Christchurch Primary School, Hampstead The Samson Option Subscribe for more: https://t.me/BenjaminFulfordJ ✅️
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    Benjamin FuIford
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 115: Israel pushes Gazans further south; U.S threatens further regional violence
    The U.S. government threatens further regional violence on the heels of drone attack that killed three American troops in Jordan. Human rights groups slam countries for pulling funding for UNRWA as Palestinians in Gaza face famine and starvation.

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

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

    ** This figure is released by the Israeli military.

    Key Developments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Palestinians pushed farther south in Gaza

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Gazans starve as world powers cut off funding to UNRWA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Israeli politicians discuss plans to ‘re-settle’ Gaza

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

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

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

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

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

    U.S. threatens to escalate regional violence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Support our journalists with a donation today.

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

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


    All Global Research articles can be read in 51 languages by activating the Translate Website button below the author’s name (only available in desktop version).

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    ***

    Joe Biden’s inner circle of strategists for the Middle East — Antony Blinken, Jake Sullivan and Brett McGurk — have little understanding of the Muslim world and a deep animus towards Islamic resistance movements. They see Europe, the United States and Israel as involved in a clash of civilizations between the enlightened West and a barbaric Middle East. They believe that violence can bend Palestinians and other Arabs to their will. They champion the overwhelming firepower of the U.S. and Israeli military as the key to regional stability — an illusion that fuels the flames of regional war and perpetuates the genocide in Gaza.

    In short, these four men are grossly incompetent. They join the club of other clueless leaders, such as those who waltzed into the suicidal slaughter of World War One, waded into the quagmire of Vietnam or who orchestrated the series of recent military debacles in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Ukraine. They are endowed with the presumptive power vested in the Executive Branch to bypass Congress, to provide weapons to Israel and carry out military strikes in Yemen and Iraq. This inner circle of true believers dismiss the more nuanced and informed counsels in the State Department and the intelligence communities, who view the refusal of the Biden administration to pressure Israel to halt the ongoing genocide as ill-advised and dangerous.

    Biden has always been an ardent militarist — he was calling for war with Iraq five years before the U.S. invaded. He built his political career by catering to the distaste of the white middle class for the popular movements, including the anti-war and civil rights movements, that convulsed the country in the 1960s and 1970s. He is a Republican masquerading as a Democrat. He joined Southern segregationists to oppose bringing Black students into Whites-only schools. He opposed federal funding for abortions and supported a constitutional amendment allowing states to restrict abortions. He attacked President George H. W. Bush in 1989 for being too soft in the “war on drugs.” He was one of the architects of the 1994 crime bill and a raft of other draconian laws that more than doubled the U.S. prison population, militarized the police and pushed through drug laws that saw people incarcerated for life without parole. He supported the North American Free Trade Agreement, the greatest betrayal of the working class since the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act. He has always been a strident defender of Israel, bragging that he did more fundraisers for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) than any other Senator.

    “As many of you heard me say before, were there no Israel, America would have to invent one. We’d have to invent one because… you protect our interests like we protect yours,” Biden said in 2015, to an audience that included the Israeli ambassador, at the 67th Annual Israeli Independence Day Celebration in Washington D.C. During the same speech he said, “The truth of the matter is we need you. The world needs you. Imagine what it would say about humanity and the future of the 21st century if Israel were not sustained, vibrant and free.”

    The year before Biden gave a gushing eulogy for Ariel Sharon, the former Israeli prime minister and general who was implicated in massacres of Palestinians, Lebanese and others in Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon — as well as Egyptian prisoners of war — going back to the 1950s. He described Sharon as “part of one of the most remarkable founding generations in the history not of this nation, but of any nation.”

    While repudiating Donald Trump and his administration, Biden has not reversed Trump’s abrogation of the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by Barack Obama, or Trump’s sanctions against Iran. He has embraced Trump’s close ties with Saudi Arabia, including the rehabilitation of Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman, following the assassination of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2017 in the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul. He has not intervened to curb Israeli attacks on Palestinians and settlement expansion in the West Bank. He did not reverse Trump’s moving of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, although the embassy includes land Israel illegally colonized after invading the West Bank and Gaza in 1967.

    As a seven-term senator of Delaware, Biden received more financial support from pro-Israel donors than any other senator, since 1990. Biden retains this record despite the fact that his senatorial career ended in 2009, when he became Obama’s vice president. Biden explains his commitment to Israel as “personal” and “political.”

    He has parroted back Israeli propaganda — including fabrications about beheaded babies and widespread rape of Israeli women by Hamas fighters — and asked Congress to provide $14 billion in additional aid to Israel since the Oct. 7 attack. He has twice bypassed Congress to supply Israel with thousands of bombs and munitions, including at least 100 2,000-pound bombs, used in the scorched earth campaign in Gaza.

    Israel has killed or seriously wounded close to 90,000 Palestinians in Gaza, almost one in every 20 inhabitants. It has destroyed or damaged over 60 percent of the housing. The “safe areas,” to which some 2 million Gazans were instructed to flee in southern Gaza, have been bombed, with thousands of casualties. Palestinians in Gaza now make up 80 percent of all the people facing famine or catastrophic hunger worldwide, according to the U.N. Every person in Gaza is hungry. A quarter of the population are starving and struggling to find food and drinkable water. Famine is imminent. The 335,000 children under the age of five are at high risk of malnutrition. Some 50,000 pregnant women lack healthcare and adequate nutrition.

    And it could all end if the U.S. chose to intervene.

    “All of our missiles, the ammunition, the precision-guided bombs, all the airplanes and bombs, it’s all from the U.S.,” retired Israeli Major General Yitzhak Brick told the Jewish News Syndicate. “The minute they turn off the tap, you can’t keep fighting. You have no capability… Everyone understands that we can’t fight this war without the United States. Period.”

    Blinken was Biden’s principal foreign policy adviser when Biden was the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee. He, along with Biden, lobbied for the invasion of Iraq. When he was Obama’s deputy national security advisor, he advocated the 2011 overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. He opposed withdrawing U.S. forces from Syria. He worked on the disastrous Biden Plan to partition Iraq along ethnic lines.

    “Within the Obama White House, Blinken played an influential role in the imposition of sanctions against Russia over the 2014 invasion of Crimea and eastern Ukraine, and subsequently led ultimately unsuccessful calls for the U.S. to arm Ukraine,” according to the Atlantic Council, NATO’s unofficial think tank.

    Image: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, Oct. 12, 2023. – Secretary Antony Blinken on X



    When Blinken landed in Israel following the attacks by Hamas and other resistance groups on Oct. 7, he announced at a press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

    “I come before you not only as the United States Secretary of State, but also as a Jew.”

    He attempted, on Israel’s behalf, to lobby Arab leaders to accept the 2.3 million Palestinian refugees Israel intends to ethnically cleanse from Gaza, a request that evoked outrage among Arab leaders.

    Sullivan, Biden’s national security advisor, and McGurk, are consummate opportunists, Machiavellian bureaucrats who cater to the reigning centers of power, including the Israel lobby.

    Sullivan was the chief architect of Hillary Clinton’s Asia pivot. He backed the corporate and investor rights Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, which was sold as helping the U.S. contain China. Trump ultimately killed the trade agreement in the face of mass opposition from the U.S. public. His focus is thwarting a rising China, including through the expansion of the U.S. military.

    While not focused on the Middle East, Sullivan is a foreign policy hawk who has a knee jerk embrace of force to shape the world to U.S. demands. He embraces military Keynesianism, arguing that massive government spending on the weapons industry benefits the domestic economy.

    In a 7,000-word essay for Foreign Affairs magazine published five days before the Oct. 7 attacks, which left some 1,200 Israelis dead, Sullivan exposed his lack of understanding of the dynamics of the Middle East.



    Screenshot from The New York Times

    “Although the Middle East remains beset with perennial challenges,” he writes in the original version of the essay, “the region is quieter than it has been for decades,” adding that in the face of “serious” frictions, “we have de-escalated crises in Gaza.”

    Sullivan ignores Palestinian aspirations and Washington’s rhetorical backing for a two-state solution in the article, hastily rewritten in the online version after the Oct. 7 attacks. He writes in his original piece:

    At a meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, last year, the president set forth his policy for the Middle East in an address to the leaders of members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan. His approach returns discipline to US policy. It emphasizes deterring aggression, de-escalating conflicts, and integrating the region through joint infrastructure projects and new partnerships, including between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

    McGurk, the deputy assistant to President Biden and the coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa at the White House National Security Council, was a chief architect of Bush’s “surge” in Iraq, which accelerated the bloodletting. He worked as a legal advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority and the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad. He then became Trump’s anti-ISIS czar.

    He does not speak Arabic — none of the four men does — and came to Iraq with no knowledge of its history, peoples or culture. Nevertheless, he helped draft Iraq’s interim constitution and oversaw the legal transition from the Coalition Provisional Authority to an Interim Iraqi Government led by Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. McGurk was an early backer of Nouri al-Maliki, who was Iraq’s prime minister between 2006 and 2014. Al-Maliki built a Shi’ite-controlled sectarian state that deeply alienated Sunni Arabs and Kurds. In 2005, McGurk transferred to the National Security Council (NSC), where he served as director for Iraq, and later as special assistant to the president and senior director for Iraq and Afghanistan. He served on the NSC staff from 2005 to 2009. In 2015, he was appointed as Obama’s Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL. He was retained by Trump until his resignation in Dec. 2018.

    An article in April 2021 titled “Brett McGurk: A Hero of Our Times,” in New Lines Magazine by former BBC foreign correspondent Paul Wood, paints a scathing portrait of McGurk. Wood writes:

    A senior Western diplomat who served in Baghdad told me that McGurk had been an absolute disaster for Iraq. “He is a consummate operator in Washington, but I saw no sign that he was interested in Iraqis or Iraq as a place full of real people. It was simply a bureaucratic and political challenge for him.” One critic who was in Baghdad with McGurk called him Machiavelli reincarnated. “It’s intellect plus ambition plus the utter ruthlessness to rise no matter the cost.”

    [….]

    A U.S. diplomat who was in the embassy when McGurk arrived found his steady advance astonishing. “Brett only meets people who speak English. … There are like four people in the government who speak English. And somehow he’s now the person who should decide the fate of Iraq? How did this happen?”

    Even those who didn’t like McGurk had to admit that he had a formidable intellect — and was a hard worker. He was also a gifted writer, no surprise as he had clerked for Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist. His rise mirrored that of an Iraqi politician named Nouri al-Maliki, one careerist helping the other. That is McGurk’s tragedy — and Iraq’s.

    [….]

    McGurk’s critics say his lack of Arabic meant he missed the vicious, sectarian undertones of what al-Maliki was saying in meetings right from the start. Translators censored or failed to keep up. Like many Americans in Iraq, McGurk was deaf to what was happening around him.

    Al-Maliki was the consequence of two mistakes by the U.S. How much McGurk had to do with them remains in dispute. The first mistake was the “80 Percent Solution” for ruling Iraq. The Sunni Arabs were mounting a bloody insurgency, but they were just 20% of the population. The theory was that you could run Iraq with the Kurds and the Shiites. The second error was to identify the Shiites with hardline, religious parties backed by Iran. Al-Maliki, a member of the religious Da’wa Party, was the beneficiary of this.

    In a piece in HuffPost in May 2022 by Akbar Shahid Ahmed, titled “Biden’s Top Middle East Advisor ‘Torched the House and Showed Up With a Firehose,’” McGurk is described by a colleague, who asked not to be named, as “the most talented bureaucrat they’ve ever seen, with the worst foreign policy judgment they’ve ever seen.”

    McGurk, like others in the Biden administration, is bizarrely focused on what comes after Israel’s genocidal campaign, rather than trying to halt it. McGurk proposed denying humanitarian aid and refusing to implement a pause in the fighting in Gaza until all the Israeli hostages were freed. Biden and his three closest policy advisors have called for the Palestinian Authority — an Israeli puppet regime that is reviled by most Palestinians — to take control of Gaza once Israel finishes leveling it. They have called on Israel — since Oct. 7 — to take steps towards a two-state solution, a plan rejected in an humiliating public rebuke to the the Biden White House by Netanyahu.

    The Biden White House spends more time talking to the Israelis and Saudis, who are being lobbied to normalize relations with Israel and help rebuild Gaza, than the Palestinians, who are at best, an afterthought. It believes the key to ending Palestinian resistance is found in Riyadh, summed up in a top-secret document peddled by McGurk called the “Jerusalem-Jeddah Pact,” the HuffPost reported. It is unable or unwilling to curb Israel’s bloodlust, which included missile strikes in a residential neighborhood in Damascus, Syria, on Saturday that killed five military advisors from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and a drone attack in South Lebanon on Sunday, which killed two senior members of Hezbollah. These Israeli provocations will not go unanswered, evidenced by the ballistic missiles and rockets launched on Sunday by militants in western Iraq that targeted U.S. personnel stationed at the al-Assad Airbase.

    The Alice-in-Wonderland idea that once the slaughter in Gaza ends a diplomatic pact between Israel and Saudi Arabia will be the key to regional stability is stupefying. Israel’s genocide, and Washington’s complicity, is shredding U.S. credibility and influence, especially in the Global South and the Muslim world. It ensures another generation of enraged Palestinians — whose families have been obliterated and whose homes have been destroyed — seeking vengeance.

    The policies embraced by the Biden administration not only blithely ignore the realities in the Arab world, but the realities of an extremist Israeli state that, with Congress bought and paid for by the Israel lobby, couldn’t care less what the Biden White House dreams up. Israel has no intention of creating a viable Palestinian state. Its goal is the ethnic cleansing of the 2.3 million Palestinians from Gaza and the annexation of Gaza by Israel. And when Israel is done with Gaza, it will turn on the West Bank, where Israeli raids now occur on an almost nightly basis and where thousands have been arrested and detained without charge since Oct. 7.

    Those running the show in the Biden White House are chasing after rainbows. The march of folly led by these four blind mice perpetuates the cataclysmic suffering of the Palestinians, stokes a regional war and presages another tragic and self-defeating chapter in the two decades of U.S. military fiascos in the Middle East.

    *

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    Featured image: Blood Brothers – by Mr. Fish via Chris Hedges

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/four-horsemen-gaza-apocalypse/5847199
    The Four Horsemen of Gaza’s Apocalypse. Chris Hedges Joe Biden relies on advisors who view the world through the prism of the West’s civilizing mission to the “lesser breeds” of the earth to formulate his policies towards Israel and the Middle East. All Global Research articles can be read in 51 languages by activating the Translate Website button below the author’s name (only available in desktop version). To receive Global Research’s Daily Newsletter (selected articles), click here. Click the share button above to email/forward this article to your friends and colleagues. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter and subscribe to our Telegram Channel. Feel free to repost and share widely Global Research articles. New Year Donation Drive: Global Research Is Committed to the “Unspoken Truth” *** Joe Biden’s inner circle of strategists for the Middle East — Antony Blinken, Jake Sullivan and Brett McGurk — have little understanding of the Muslim world and a deep animus towards Islamic resistance movements. They see Europe, the United States and Israel as involved in a clash of civilizations between the enlightened West and a barbaric Middle East. They believe that violence can bend Palestinians and other Arabs to their will. They champion the overwhelming firepower of the U.S. and Israeli military as the key to regional stability — an illusion that fuels the flames of regional war and perpetuates the genocide in Gaza. In short, these four men are grossly incompetent. They join the club of other clueless leaders, such as those who waltzed into the suicidal slaughter of World War One, waded into the quagmire of Vietnam or who orchestrated the series of recent military debacles in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Ukraine. They are endowed with the presumptive power vested in the Executive Branch to bypass Congress, to provide weapons to Israel and carry out military strikes in Yemen and Iraq. This inner circle of true believers dismiss the more nuanced and informed counsels in the State Department and the intelligence communities, who view the refusal of the Biden administration to pressure Israel to halt the ongoing genocide as ill-advised and dangerous. Biden has always been an ardent militarist — he was calling for war with Iraq five years before the U.S. invaded. He built his political career by catering to the distaste of the white middle class for the popular movements, including the anti-war and civil rights movements, that convulsed the country in the 1960s and 1970s. He is a Republican masquerading as a Democrat. He joined Southern segregationists to oppose bringing Black students into Whites-only schools. He opposed federal funding for abortions and supported a constitutional amendment allowing states to restrict abortions. He attacked President George H. W. Bush in 1989 for being too soft in the “war on drugs.” He was one of the architects of the 1994 crime bill and a raft of other draconian laws that more than doubled the U.S. prison population, militarized the police and pushed through drug laws that saw people incarcerated for life without parole. He supported the North American Free Trade Agreement, the greatest betrayal of the working class since the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act. He has always been a strident defender of Israel, bragging that he did more fundraisers for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) than any other Senator. “As many of you heard me say before, were there no Israel, America would have to invent one. We’d have to invent one because… you protect our interests like we protect yours,” Biden said in 2015, to an audience that included the Israeli ambassador, at the 67th Annual Israeli Independence Day Celebration in Washington D.C. During the same speech he said, “The truth of the matter is we need you. The world needs you. Imagine what it would say about humanity and the future of the 21st century if Israel were not sustained, vibrant and free.” The year before Biden gave a gushing eulogy for Ariel Sharon, the former Israeli prime minister and general who was implicated in massacres of Palestinians, Lebanese and others in Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon — as well as Egyptian prisoners of war — going back to the 1950s. He described Sharon as “part of one of the most remarkable founding generations in the history not of this nation, but of any nation.” While repudiating Donald Trump and his administration, Biden has not reversed Trump’s abrogation of the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by Barack Obama, or Trump’s sanctions against Iran. He has embraced Trump’s close ties with Saudi Arabia, including the rehabilitation of Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman, following the assassination of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2017 in the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul. He has not intervened to curb Israeli attacks on Palestinians and settlement expansion in the West Bank. He did not reverse Trump’s moving of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, although the embassy includes land Israel illegally colonized after invading the West Bank and Gaza in 1967. As a seven-term senator of Delaware, Biden received more financial support from pro-Israel donors than any other senator, since 1990. Biden retains this record despite the fact that his senatorial career ended in 2009, when he became Obama’s vice president. Biden explains his commitment to Israel as “personal” and “political.” He has parroted back Israeli propaganda — including fabrications about beheaded babies and widespread rape of Israeli women by Hamas fighters — and asked Congress to provide $14 billion in additional aid to Israel since the Oct. 7 attack. He has twice bypassed Congress to supply Israel with thousands of bombs and munitions, including at least 100 2,000-pound bombs, used in the scorched earth campaign in Gaza. Israel has killed or seriously wounded close to 90,000 Palestinians in Gaza, almost one in every 20 inhabitants. It has destroyed or damaged over 60 percent of the housing. The “safe areas,” to which some 2 million Gazans were instructed to flee in southern Gaza, have been bombed, with thousands of casualties. Palestinians in Gaza now make up 80 percent of all the people facing famine or catastrophic hunger worldwide, according to the U.N. Every person in Gaza is hungry. A quarter of the population are starving and struggling to find food and drinkable water. Famine is imminent. The 335,000 children under the age of five are at high risk of malnutrition. Some 50,000 pregnant women lack healthcare and adequate nutrition. And it could all end if the U.S. chose to intervene. “All of our missiles, the ammunition, the precision-guided bombs, all the airplanes and bombs, it’s all from the U.S.,” retired Israeli Major General Yitzhak Brick told the Jewish News Syndicate. “The minute they turn off the tap, you can’t keep fighting. You have no capability… Everyone understands that we can’t fight this war without the United States. Period.” Blinken was Biden’s principal foreign policy adviser when Biden was the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee. He, along with Biden, lobbied for the invasion of Iraq. When he was Obama’s deputy national security advisor, he advocated the 2011 overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. He opposed withdrawing U.S. forces from Syria. He worked on the disastrous Biden Plan to partition Iraq along ethnic lines. “Within the Obama White House, Blinken played an influential role in the imposition of sanctions against Russia over the 2014 invasion of Crimea and eastern Ukraine, and subsequently led ultimately unsuccessful calls for the U.S. to arm Ukraine,” according to the Atlantic Council, NATO’s unofficial think tank. Image: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, Oct. 12, 2023. – Secretary Antony Blinken on X When Blinken landed in Israel following the attacks by Hamas and other resistance groups on Oct. 7, he announced at a press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “I come before you not only as the United States Secretary of State, but also as a Jew.” He attempted, on Israel’s behalf, to lobby Arab leaders to accept the 2.3 million Palestinian refugees Israel intends to ethnically cleanse from Gaza, a request that evoked outrage among Arab leaders. Sullivan, Biden’s national security advisor, and McGurk, are consummate opportunists, Machiavellian bureaucrats who cater to the reigning centers of power, including the Israel lobby. Sullivan was the chief architect of Hillary Clinton’s Asia pivot. He backed the corporate and investor rights Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, which was sold as helping the U.S. contain China. Trump ultimately killed the trade agreement in the face of mass opposition from the U.S. public. His focus is thwarting a rising China, including through the expansion of the U.S. military. While not focused on the Middle East, Sullivan is a foreign policy hawk who has a knee jerk embrace of force to shape the world to U.S. demands. He embraces military Keynesianism, arguing that massive government spending on the weapons industry benefits the domestic economy. In a 7,000-word essay for Foreign Affairs magazine published five days before the Oct. 7 attacks, which left some 1,200 Israelis dead, Sullivan exposed his lack of understanding of the dynamics of the Middle East. Screenshot from The New York Times “Although the Middle East remains beset with perennial challenges,” he writes in the original version of the essay, “the region is quieter than it has been for decades,” adding that in the face of “serious” frictions, “we have de-escalated crises in Gaza.” Sullivan ignores Palestinian aspirations and Washington’s rhetorical backing for a two-state solution in the article, hastily rewritten in the online version after the Oct. 7 attacks. He writes in his original piece: At a meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, last year, the president set forth his policy for the Middle East in an address to the leaders of members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan. His approach returns discipline to US policy. It emphasizes deterring aggression, de-escalating conflicts, and integrating the region through joint infrastructure projects and new partnerships, including between Israel and its Arab neighbors. McGurk, the deputy assistant to President Biden and the coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa at the White House National Security Council, was a chief architect of Bush’s “surge” in Iraq, which accelerated the bloodletting. He worked as a legal advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority and the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad. He then became Trump’s anti-ISIS czar. He does not speak Arabic — none of the four men does — and came to Iraq with no knowledge of its history, peoples or culture. Nevertheless, he helped draft Iraq’s interim constitution and oversaw the legal transition from the Coalition Provisional Authority to an Interim Iraqi Government led by Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. McGurk was an early backer of Nouri al-Maliki, who was Iraq’s prime minister between 2006 and 2014. Al-Maliki built a Shi’ite-controlled sectarian state that deeply alienated Sunni Arabs and Kurds. In 2005, McGurk transferred to the National Security Council (NSC), where he served as director for Iraq, and later as special assistant to the president and senior director for Iraq and Afghanistan. He served on the NSC staff from 2005 to 2009. In 2015, he was appointed as Obama’s Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL. He was retained by Trump until his resignation in Dec. 2018. An article in April 2021 titled “Brett McGurk: A Hero of Our Times,” in New Lines Magazine by former BBC foreign correspondent Paul Wood, paints a scathing portrait of McGurk. Wood writes: A senior Western diplomat who served in Baghdad told me that McGurk had been an absolute disaster for Iraq. “He is a consummate operator in Washington, but I saw no sign that he was interested in Iraqis or Iraq as a place full of real people. It was simply a bureaucratic and political challenge for him.” One critic who was in Baghdad with McGurk called him Machiavelli reincarnated. “It’s intellect plus ambition plus the utter ruthlessness to rise no matter the cost.” [….] A U.S. diplomat who was in the embassy when McGurk arrived found his steady advance astonishing. “Brett only meets people who speak English. … There are like four people in the government who speak English. And somehow he’s now the person who should decide the fate of Iraq? How did this happen?” Even those who didn’t like McGurk had to admit that he had a formidable intellect — and was a hard worker. He was also a gifted writer, no surprise as he had clerked for Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist. His rise mirrored that of an Iraqi politician named Nouri al-Maliki, one careerist helping the other. That is McGurk’s tragedy — and Iraq’s. [….] McGurk’s critics say his lack of Arabic meant he missed the vicious, sectarian undertones of what al-Maliki was saying in meetings right from the start. Translators censored or failed to keep up. Like many Americans in Iraq, McGurk was deaf to what was happening around him. Al-Maliki was the consequence of two mistakes by the U.S. How much McGurk had to do with them remains in dispute. The first mistake was the “80 Percent Solution” for ruling Iraq. The Sunni Arabs were mounting a bloody insurgency, but they were just 20% of the population. The theory was that you could run Iraq with the Kurds and the Shiites. The second error was to identify the Shiites with hardline, religious parties backed by Iran. Al-Maliki, a member of the religious Da’wa Party, was the beneficiary of this. In a piece in HuffPost in May 2022 by Akbar Shahid Ahmed, titled “Biden’s Top Middle East Advisor ‘Torched the House and Showed Up With a Firehose,’” McGurk is described by a colleague, who asked not to be named, as “the most talented bureaucrat they’ve ever seen, with the worst foreign policy judgment they’ve ever seen.” McGurk, like others in the Biden administration, is bizarrely focused on what comes after Israel’s genocidal campaign, rather than trying to halt it. McGurk proposed denying humanitarian aid and refusing to implement a pause in the fighting in Gaza until all the Israeli hostages were freed. Biden and his three closest policy advisors have called for the Palestinian Authority — an Israeli puppet regime that is reviled by most Palestinians — to take control of Gaza once Israel finishes leveling it. They have called on Israel — since Oct. 7 — to take steps towards a two-state solution, a plan rejected in an humiliating public rebuke to the the Biden White House by Netanyahu. The Biden White House spends more time talking to the Israelis and Saudis, who are being lobbied to normalize relations with Israel and help rebuild Gaza, than the Palestinians, who are at best, an afterthought. It believes the key to ending Palestinian resistance is found in Riyadh, summed up in a top-secret document peddled by McGurk called the “Jerusalem-Jeddah Pact,” the HuffPost reported. It is unable or unwilling to curb Israel’s bloodlust, which included missile strikes in a residential neighborhood in Damascus, Syria, on Saturday that killed five military advisors from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and a drone attack in South Lebanon on Sunday, which killed two senior members of Hezbollah. These Israeli provocations will not go unanswered, evidenced by the ballistic missiles and rockets launched on Sunday by militants in western Iraq that targeted U.S. personnel stationed at the al-Assad Airbase. The Alice-in-Wonderland idea that once the slaughter in Gaza ends a diplomatic pact between Israel and Saudi Arabia will be the key to regional stability is stupefying. Israel’s genocide, and Washington’s complicity, is shredding U.S. credibility and influence, especially in the Global South and the Muslim world. It ensures another generation of enraged Palestinians — whose families have been obliterated and whose homes have been destroyed — seeking vengeance. The policies embraced by the Biden administration not only blithely ignore the realities in the Arab world, but the realities of an extremist Israeli state that, with Congress bought and paid for by the Israel lobby, couldn’t care less what the Biden White House dreams up. Israel has no intention of creating a viable Palestinian state. Its goal is the ethnic cleansing of the 2.3 million Palestinians from Gaza and the annexation of Gaza by Israel. And when Israel is done with Gaza, it will turn on the West Bank, where Israeli raids now occur on an almost nightly basis and where thousands have been arrested and detained without charge since Oct. 7. Those running the show in the Biden White House are chasing after rainbows. The march of folly led by these four blind mice perpetuates the cataclysmic suffering of the Palestinians, stokes a regional war and presages another tragic and self-defeating chapter in the two decades of U.S. military fiascos in the Middle East. * Note to readers: Please click the share button above. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter and subscribe to our Telegram Channel. Feel free to repost and share widely Global Research articles. Featured image: Blood Brothers – by Mr. Fish via Chris Hedges https://www.globalresearch.ca/four-horsemen-gaza-apocalypse/5847199
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    The Four Horsemen of Gaza’s Apocalypse. Chris Hedges
    All Global Research articles can be read in 51 languages by activating the Translate Website button below the author’s name (only available in desktop version). To receive Global Research’s Daily Newsletter (selected articles), click here. Click the share button above to email/forward this article to your friends and colleagues. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter and subscribe to our Telegram Channel. Feel …
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  • 🇵🇸🇮🇱 A History Lesson | How Israel Was Formed, According To The Men That Helped Form it.

    All these men took part in the 1948 Nakba.

    Some quotes from these fine gentleman:

    "He grabbed a woman, young and good looking, went into a house, prepared a bedroom and wanted to fu** her."

    "The girl came back half dead, like a rag."

    "One guy raped there a sixteen year old girl or something of the sort." *he says while smiling.*

    "Some guys took flamethrowers and ran after people and incinerated them."

    Israel was formed through the mass rape of women and minors.

    The mass slaughter of innocent civilians.

    The mass displacement of innocent civilians.

    This is the history of Israel.

    https://x.com/censoredmen/status/1743705320449348077?s=46
    🇵🇸🇮🇱 A History Lesson | How Israel Was Formed, According To The Men That Helped Form it. All these men took part in the 1948 Nakba. Some quotes from these fine gentleman: "He grabbed a woman, young and good looking, went into a house, prepared a bedroom and wanted to fu** her." "The girl came back half dead, like a rag." "One guy raped there a sixteen year old girl or something of the sort." *he says while smiling.* "Some guys took flamethrowers and ran after people and incinerated them." Israel was formed through the mass rape of women and minors. The mass slaughter of innocent civilians. The mass displacement of innocent civilians. This is the history of Israel. https://x.com/censoredmen/status/1743705320449348077?s=46
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 79: Bethlehem cancels Christmas celebrations as Israel continues to bomb Gaza
    Mustafa Abu SneinehDecember 24, 2023
    Palestinians survey the rubble of destroyed buildings following an Israeli bombardment in Deir El-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, on December 24, 2023. (Photo: Naaman Omar/APA Images)
    Palestinians survey the rubble of destroyed buildings following an Israeli bombardment in Deir El-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, on December 24, 2023. (Photo: Naaman Omar/APA Images)
    Casualties

    20,258+ killed* and at least 53,688 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    303 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.
    485 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 1,831 injured.
    *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health on December 23. Due to breakdowns in communication networks within the Gaza Strip, the Ministry of Health in Gaza has been unable to regularly and accurately update its tolls since mid-November. Some rights groups put the death toll number closer to 28,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.

    Key Developments

    U.S. President Joe Biden does not ask Israeli government for ceasefire in Gaza Strip in phone call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
    Israeli forces withdraw from Palestine roundabout in Gaza City after completely flattening and destroying premises surrounding it.
    Palestinian rescue teams recover bodies of 40 people in central Gaza killed in Israeli bombings on Friday.
    Israeli military announces 14 soldiers killed in armed battles with Palestinian fighters in Gaza Strip over weekend.
    An Israeli minister says war will continue in Gaza Strip even if Hamas releases all captives.
    Israeli forces systemically destroys residential neighborhoods to create buffer zone in north and east of Gaza Strip after Palestinian fighters kill several Israeli soldiers.
    Israel plans to create buffer zone by occupying 14 km-long border area with Egypt to separate Gaza from Sinai Peninsula, and take direct control of Rafah Crossing.
    Hamas’ Izz El-Din Al-Qassam Brigades fear five captives were killed in Israeli bombardment after it lost contact with group in charge of them.
    Israeli miliary announces arrest of 700 Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants in Gaza Strip since late October.
    Euro-Med says “evidence mounts of widespread violations of mass arrests, forced disappearances, torture, ill-treatment and even killings” of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
    Joe Biden does not ask Israel for ceasefire in Gaza Strip

    The U.S. President Joe Biden confirmed that he did not ask the Israeli government for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip in a phone call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday.

    “I had a long talk with Netanyahu today [Saturday] and it was a private conversation,” Biden told reporters, answering a question that he “did not ask for a ceasefire”.

    Biden’s statement follows a vote in the UN Security Council on a resolution calling for allowing humanitarian aid into Gaza but stopped short of pushing a halt to Israel’s hostilities.

    To avoid a U.S. veto, UNSC members postponed the vote several times to tone down the language. Although the U.S. abstained, the resolution was described as “toothless” and “meaningless” as it allowed Israel’s to continue bombing the Gaza Strip.

    “The president emphasized the critical need to protect the civilian population including those supporting the humanitarian aid operation, and the importance of allowing civilians to move safely away from areas of ongoing fighting,” a White House statement said on Saturday.

    Displaced Palestinians are taking shelter in a UNRWA-affiliated Deir al-Balah school after fleeing their homes due to Israeli strikes, on December 23, 2023. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Displaced Palestinians are taking shelter in a UNRWA-affiliated Deir al-Balah school after fleeing their homes due to Israeli strikes, on December 23, 2023. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Israel pulls out forces from Gaza leaving immense damage

    On Sunday morning, Israeli forces stormed Al-Rafi’i school in Jabalia in north Gaza and arrested several people who were sheltering in the building while warplanes bombed the Jabalia refugee camp, Wafa news agency reported.

    Israeli forces withdrew from some areas in north Gaza on Friday leaving immense damage to roads and buildings. Al-Jazeera reported that Palestine roundabout was completely flattened after Israeli forces bombed and bulldozed the premises surrounding it.

    The roundabout in the middle of Gaza City was a site where Hamas fighters handed over some Israeli captives as part of the hostage exchange with Israel in November. Palestinian families coming back to visit their houses in the nearby Al-Rimal neighborhood in Gaza City after a month of Israeli control, were horrified by the destruction.

    Israeli forces also heavily bombed the Al-Jarn area in Jabalia on Saturday, destroying a number of houses and killing dozens of Palestinians while they were asleep in their flats. Wafa reported that ambulances could not reach the injured due to air strikes and debris scattered in the area.

    As of Saturday evening, dozens of Palestinians remained under the rubble in Jabalia. Israeli forces also withdrew from Tel Al-Zaatar in north Gaza, leaving mayhem and destruction of dozens of buildings in the neighborhood.

    On Saturday, Palestinian rescue teams recovered the bodies of 40 people in central Gaza who were killed in Israeli bombings on Friday. Israeli air strikes bombed several areas in Deir Al-Balah in the past 24 hours.

    In Rafah’s Canada refugee camp, Israeli air strikes bombed the home of Abu Al-Awf family. One Palestinian was killed and four injured in an Israeli bombing of the Al-Nabris family house in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip. The Palestine Red Crescent Society said that Amir Rami Odeh, 13, and another Palestinian were killed by an Israeli drone while they were at the Al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis.

    Wafa reported that Israeli warplanes bombed Ma’an area in Khan Younis, killing two people, and targeted several Palestinians near the Abu Hamid roundabout in the center of Khan Younis, killing at least three.

    On Saturday evening, Gaza’s Ministry of Health said that at least 20,258 martyrs were killed and 53,688 were injured in Israeli bombardment since October 7.

    Israeli minister vows continue war even if all captives released

    The Israeli military announced that 14 soldiers were killed in armed battles with Palestinian fighters in the Gaza Strip over the weekend.

    Avi Dichter, the Israeli Minister of Agriculture, said that Israeli forces should keep bombing Gaza from land, air, and sea as there was no “fair play” in this war.

    He said that Israel has two main goals: the return of almost 130 hostages in the Gaza Strip and destroying Hamas. However, he added that even in the case of releasing all captives, the Israeli military would continue the war.

    “The main goal is the return of the abductees, without the return of the abductees this war will not end,” Dichter said in an interview on Channel 14.

    “But if tomorrow the abductees return, the war will not end till achieving the goals,” he added.

    Israeli forces have been systemically destroying residential neighborhoods in north Gaza in Al-Shujaiya, Al-Rimal, and Beit Hanoun to create a buffer zone in the north and east of the Gaza Strip after Palestinian fighters killed several Israeli soldiers in urban battles in these areas.

    On Saturday evening, Israeli forces also attempted to invade the border area between the Gaza Strip and Egypt from Karm Abu Salem Crossing. Israel is planning to create a buffer zone by occupying a 14 km-long stretch, a move which could inflame ties with Egypt, in order to separate Gaza from the Sinai Peninsula and take direct control of the Rafah Crossing.

    On Saturday, Hamas’ Izz El-Din Al-Qassam Brigades fired rockets on the Israeli town of Ashkelon and said it feared that five Israeli captives were killed in Israeli bombardment after it lost contact with the group in charge of them.

    Hamas military spokesperson Abu Ubaida said that among them are the three hostages who pleaded last week with the Israeli government to release them and not let them “grow old” in captivity.

    “You have to release us from here. It does not matter at what cost. We don’t want to be casualties as a direct result of the IDF’s military airstrikes. Release us with no conditions,” one of the captives said in a video message released by Hamas last week.

    The resistance movement also announced on Saturday that it recycled two Israeli missiles that did not explode and used them to blow up five Israeli tanks in Jabalia, north of Gaza.

    In 2020, Hamas’ divers retrieved ammunition from the British warship HMS M15, which was sunk in 1917 by Germany near the Gaza coast, in hopes of using its munitions to arm rockets and produce explosives, though reports said the century-old ammunitions were unusable.

    Hamas also said that it targeted four Israeli jeeps in an ambush in Juhr Al-Diek, east of Gaza City, one of the first areas Israeli forces invaded in late October.

    The Israeli military announced that it arrested 700 Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants in the Gaza Strip since late October. Yoav Gallant issued a warning to Hamas’ leader, Yahya Al-Sinwar, over the weekend, saying that he could hear Israeli vehicles approaching.

    “One thing is clear, Yahya Sinwar now hears the IDF tractors above him, the air force bombs and the IDF’s actions. He will soon meet the barrels of our guns,” Gallant said.

    In total, 485 Israeli soldiers and officers were killed since the October 7 attack launched by Palestinian fighters on settlements and military bases near the Gaza Strip. According to official military figures, 152 Israeli soldiers have been killed since the land invasion began in late October.

    Palestinians light a candle near a statue showing a figure symbolizing the child Jesus lying amid the rubble in a cave, before Christmas at the Evangelical Lutheran Church, in Bethlehem, on December 08, 2023. (Photo: Mamoun Wazwaz/APA Images)
    Palestinians light a candle near a statue showing a figure symbolizing the child Jesus lying amid the rubble in a cave, before Christmas at the Evangelical Lutheran Church, in Bethlehem, on December 08, 2023. (Photo: Mamoun Wazwaz/APA Images)
    “The whole world is celebrating Christmas, but not Bethlehem”

    Since October 7, Israeli forces arrested 4,695 Palestinians from towns and villages of the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club.

    The club said that Aziz Dweik, the former Palestinian Legislative Council Speaker, is suffering from severe health conditions in the notorious Negev desert prison.

    Dweik 75, from occupied Jerusalem, was arrested on October 17. The Club added that Dweik suffers from “anemia and a lack of hemoglobin due to diabetes” and that he previously “underwent two catheterization operations and fragmentation of kidney stones.”

    His family has not been able to visit him since he was arrested and sentenced to six months of arbitrary administrative detention without charge or trial.

    On Saturday, the Geneva-based Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor urged UN bodies to immediately form “an international delegation to visit Israeli prisons and detention camps, where more than 8,000 Palestinian detainees are currently held.”

    Euro-Med added that “evidence mounts of widespread violations of mass arrests, forced disappearances, torture, ill-treatment and even killings” of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jail.

    It said that it estimates that Israeli authorities are currently detaining 1,200 to 1,400 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip.

    “After their arrest, detainees have been subjected to systematic abuse such as being stripped of their clothes, handcuffed, blindfolded, severely beaten, harassed, sexually assaulted, deprived of sleep food, water, and basic hygiene, and degraded in front of cameras,” it said in a letter.

    Several horrific videos of hundreds of Palestinian civilians detained in the Gaza Strip have emerged in the past week, most of them filmed by Israeli forces as part of “psychological war” effort.

    Euro-Med added that “the number of Palestinians detained in administrative detention… has reached an unprecedented level, while the fate and whereabouts of many of them remain unknown.”

    Meanwhile, Israeli forces stormed several cities in the occupied West Bank, including Nur Shams refugee camp in Tulkarm, as well as the cities of Nablus and Hebron.

    In the birthplace of Jesus, lights were not lit as celebrations of Christmas were effectively cancelled in Bethlehem in solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

    Instead of a decorated tree in Manger Square opposite the Church of Nativity, the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Tourism organized an artwork piece called “Nativity under the Rubble” to symbolize the agony and destruction in Gaza.

    “This is a message to the whole world that the whole world is celebrating Christmas, but not Bethlehem. Bethlehem this year is celebrating Christmas in a different way with a message to the whole world that Palestine is suffering,” Rula Maaya, the Palestinian Minister of Tourism, said.

    Munther Isaac, the pastor of the Lutheran church, said: “This is the reality of Christmas for Palestinian children. If Jesus was born today, he’d be born under the rubble of Gaza.”

    Before you go - We need your help. Mainstream media’s wilful complicity in the genocide of Palestinian people is a reminder of just how vital our work at Mondoweiss is. This article and our extensive coverage since October 7 have been made possible by readers like you who donate to keep our reporting free and independent.

    With your support, we will continue covering the ongoing events in Gaza and across Palestine, as well as amplifying the Palestine movement worldwide. Together, we will make sure to keep reporting Palestinian stories, even when the rest of the world looks away.

    Support our critical work with a donation today.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2023/12/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-79-bethlehem-cancels-christmas-celebrations-as-israel-continues-to-bomb-gaza/
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 79: Bethlehem cancels Christmas celebrations as Israel continues to bomb Gaza Mustafa Abu SneinehDecember 24, 2023 Palestinians survey the rubble of destroyed buildings following an Israeli bombardment in Deir El-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, on December 24, 2023. (Photo: Naaman Omar/APA Images) Palestinians survey the rubble of destroyed buildings following an Israeli bombardment in Deir El-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, on December 24, 2023. (Photo: Naaman Omar/APA Images) Casualties 20,258+ killed* and at least 53,688 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 303 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. 485 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 1,831 injured. *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health on December 23. Due to breakdowns in communication networks within the Gaza Strip, the Ministry of Health in Gaza has been unable to regularly and accurately update its tolls since mid-November. Some rights groups put the death toll number closer to 28,000 when accounting for those presumed dead. Key Developments U.S. President Joe Biden does not ask Israeli government for ceasefire in Gaza Strip in phone call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Israeli forces withdraw from Palestine roundabout in Gaza City after completely flattening and destroying premises surrounding it. Palestinian rescue teams recover bodies of 40 people in central Gaza killed in Israeli bombings on Friday. Israeli military announces 14 soldiers killed in armed battles with Palestinian fighters in Gaza Strip over weekend. An Israeli minister says war will continue in Gaza Strip even if Hamas releases all captives. Israeli forces systemically destroys residential neighborhoods to create buffer zone in north and east of Gaza Strip after Palestinian fighters kill several Israeli soldiers. Israel plans to create buffer zone by occupying 14 km-long border area with Egypt to separate Gaza from Sinai Peninsula, and take direct control of Rafah Crossing. Hamas’ Izz El-Din Al-Qassam Brigades fear five captives were killed in Israeli bombardment after it lost contact with group in charge of them. Israeli miliary announces arrest of 700 Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants in Gaza Strip since late October. Euro-Med says “evidence mounts of widespread violations of mass arrests, forced disappearances, torture, ill-treatment and even killings” of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Joe Biden does not ask Israel for ceasefire in Gaza Strip The U.S. President Joe Biden confirmed that he did not ask the Israeli government for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip in a phone call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday. “I had a long talk with Netanyahu today [Saturday] and it was a private conversation,” Biden told reporters, answering a question that he “did not ask for a ceasefire”. Biden’s statement follows a vote in the UN Security Council on a resolution calling for allowing humanitarian aid into Gaza but stopped short of pushing a halt to Israel’s hostilities. To avoid a U.S. veto, UNSC members postponed the vote several times to tone down the language. Although the U.S. abstained, the resolution was described as “toothless” and “meaningless” as it allowed Israel’s to continue bombing the Gaza Strip. “The president emphasized the critical need to protect the civilian population including those supporting the humanitarian aid operation, and the importance of allowing civilians to move safely away from areas of ongoing fighting,” a White House statement said on Saturday. Displaced Palestinians are taking shelter in a UNRWA-affiliated Deir al-Balah school after fleeing their homes due to Israeli strikes, on December 23, 2023. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Displaced Palestinians are taking shelter in a UNRWA-affiliated Deir al-Balah school after fleeing their homes due to Israeli strikes, on December 23, 2023. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Israel pulls out forces from Gaza leaving immense damage On Sunday morning, Israeli forces stormed Al-Rafi’i school in Jabalia in north Gaza and arrested several people who were sheltering in the building while warplanes bombed the Jabalia refugee camp, Wafa news agency reported. Israeli forces withdrew from some areas in north Gaza on Friday leaving immense damage to roads and buildings. Al-Jazeera reported that Palestine roundabout was completely flattened after Israeli forces bombed and bulldozed the premises surrounding it. The roundabout in the middle of Gaza City was a site where Hamas fighters handed over some Israeli captives as part of the hostage exchange with Israel in November. Palestinian families coming back to visit their houses in the nearby Al-Rimal neighborhood in Gaza City after a month of Israeli control, were horrified by the destruction. Israeli forces also heavily bombed the Al-Jarn area in Jabalia on Saturday, destroying a number of houses and killing dozens of Palestinians while they were asleep in their flats. Wafa reported that ambulances could not reach the injured due to air strikes and debris scattered in the area. As of Saturday evening, dozens of Palestinians remained under the rubble in Jabalia. Israeli forces also withdrew from Tel Al-Zaatar in north Gaza, leaving mayhem and destruction of dozens of buildings in the neighborhood. On Saturday, Palestinian rescue teams recovered the bodies of 40 people in central Gaza who were killed in Israeli bombings on Friday. Israeli air strikes bombed several areas in Deir Al-Balah in the past 24 hours. In Rafah’s Canada refugee camp, Israeli air strikes bombed the home of Abu Al-Awf family. One Palestinian was killed and four injured in an Israeli bombing of the Al-Nabris family house in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip. The Palestine Red Crescent Society said that Amir Rami Odeh, 13, and another Palestinian were killed by an Israeli drone while they were at the Al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis. Wafa reported that Israeli warplanes bombed Ma’an area in Khan Younis, killing two people, and targeted several Palestinians near the Abu Hamid roundabout in the center of Khan Younis, killing at least three. On Saturday evening, Gaza’s Ministry of Health said that at least 20,258 martyrs were killed and 53,688 were injured in Israeli bombardment since October 7. Israeli minister vows continue war even if all captives released The Israeli military announced that 14 soldiers were killed in armed battles with Palestinian fighters in the Gaza Strip over the weekend. Avi Dichter, the Israeli Minister of Agriculture, said that Israeli forces should keep bombing Gaza from land, air, and sea as there was no “fair play” in this war. He said that Israel has two main goals: the return of almost 130 hostages in the Gaza Strip and destroying Hamas. However, he added that even in the case of releasing all captives, the Israeli military would continue the war. “The main goal is the return of the abductees, without the return of the abductees this war will not end,” Dichter said in an interview on Channel 14. “But if tomorrow the abductees return, the war will not end till achieving the goals,” he added. Israeli forces have been systemically destroying residential neighborhoods in north Gaza in Al-Shujaiya, Al-Rimal, and Beit Hanoun to create a buffer zone in the north and east of the Gaza Strip after Palestinian fighters killed several Israeli soldiers in urban battles in these areas. On Saturday evening, Israeli forces also attempted to invade the border area between the Gaza Strip and Egypt from Karm Abu Salem Crossing. Israel is planning to create a buffer zone by occupying a 14 km-long stretch, a move which could inflame ties with Egypt, in order to separate Gaza from the Sinai Peninsula and take direct control of the Rafah Crossing. On Saturday, Hamas’ Izz El-Din Al-Qassam Brigades fired rockets on the Israeli town of Ashkelon and said it feared that five Israeli captives were killed in Israeli bombardment after it lost contact with the group in charge of them. Hamas military spokesperson Abu Ubaida said that among them are the three hostages who pleaded last week with the Israeli government to release them and not let them “grow old” in captivity. “You have to release us from here. It does not matter at what cost. We don’t want to be casualties as a direct result of the IDF’s military airstrikes. Release us with no conditions,” one of the captives said in a video message released by Hamas last week. The resistance movement also announced on Saturday that it recycled two Israeli missiles that did not explode and used them to blow up five Israeli tanks in Jabalia, north of Gaza. In 2020, Hamas’ divers retrieved ammunition from the British warship HMS M15, which was sunk in 1917 by Germany near the Gaza coast, in hopes of using its munitions to arm rockets and produce explosives, though reports said the century-old ammunitions were unusable. Hamas also said that it targeted four Israeli jeeps in an ambush in Juhr Al-Diek, east of Gaza City, one of the first areas Israeli forces invaded in late October. The Israeli military announced that it arrested 700 Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants in the Gaza Strip since late October. Yoav Gallant issued a warning to Hamas’ leader, Yahya Al-Sinwar, over the weekend, saying that he could hear Israeli vehicles approaching. “One thing is clear, Yahya Sinwar now hears the IDF tractors above him, the air force bombs and the IDF’s actions. He will soon meet the barrels of our guns,” Gallant said. In total, 485 Israeli soldiers and officers were killed since the October 7 attack launched by Palestinian fighters on settlements and military bases near the Gaza Strip. According to official military figures, 152 Israeli soldiers have been killed since the land invasion began in late October. Palestinians light a candle near a statue showing a figure symbolizing the child Jesus lying amid the rubble in a cave, before Christmas at the Evangelical Lutheran Church, in Bethlehem, on December 08, 2023. (Photo: Mamoun Wazwaz/APA Images) Palestinians light a candle near a statue showing a figure symbolizing the child Jesus lying amid the rubble in a cave, before Christmas at the Evangelical Lutheran Church, in Bethlehem, on December 08, 2023. (Photo: Mamoun Wazwaz/APA Images) “The whole world is celebrating Christmas, but not Bethlehem” Since October 7, Israeli forces arrested 4,695 Palestinians from towns and villages of the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club. The club said that Aziz Dweik, the former Palestinian Legislative Council Speaker, is suffering from severe health conditions in the notorious Negev desert prison. Dweik 75, from occupied Jerusalem, was arrested on October 17. The Club added that Dweik suffers from “anemia and a lack of hemoglobin due to diabetes” and that he previously “underwent two catheterization operations and fragmentation of kidney stones.” His family has not been able to visit him since he was arrested and sentenced to six months of arbitrary administrative detention without charge or trial. On Saturday, the Geneva-based Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor urged UN bodies to immediately form “an international delegation to visit Israeli prisons and detention camps, where more than 8,000 Palestinian detainees are currently held.” Euro-Med added that “evidence mounts of widespread violations of mass arrests, forced disappearances, torture, ill-treatment and even killings” of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jail. It said that it estimates that Israeli authorities are currently detaining 1,200 to 1,400 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip. “After their arrest, detainees have been subjected to systematic abuse such as being stripped of their clothes, handcuffed, blindfolded, severely beaten, harassed, sexually assaulted, deprived of sleep food, water, and basic hygiene, and degraded in front of cameras,” it said in a letter. Several horrific videos of hundreds of Palestinian civilians detained in the Gaza Strip have emerged in the past week, most of them filmed by Israeli forces as part of “psychological war” effort. Euro-Med added that “the number of Palestinians detained in administrative detention… has reached an unprecedented level, while the fate and whereabouts of many of them remain unknown.” Meanwhile, Israeli forces stormed several cities in the occupied West Bank, including Nur Shams refugee camp in Tulkarm, as well as the cities of Nablus and Hebron. In the birthplace of Jesus, lights were not lit as celebrations of Christmas were effectively cancelled in Bethlehem in solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Instead of a decorated tree in Manger Square opposite the Church of Nativity, the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Tourism organized an artwork piece called “Nativity under the Rubble” to symbolize the agony and destruction in Gaza. “This is a message to the whole world that the whole world is celebrating Christmas, but not Bethlehem. Bethlehem this year is celebrating Christmas in a different way with a message to the whole world that Palestine is suffering,” Rula Maaya, the Palestinian Minister of Tourism, said. Munther Isaac, the pastor of the Lutheran church, said: “This is the reality of Christmas for Palestinian children. If Jesus was born today, he’d be born under the rubble of Gaza.” Before you go - We need your help. Mainstream media’s wilful complicity in the genocide of Palestinian people is a reminder of just how vital our work at Mondoweiss is. This article and our extensive coverage since October 7 have been made possible by readers like you who donate to keep our reporting free and independent. With your support, we will continue covering the ongoing events in Gaza and across Palestine, as well as amplifying the Palestine movement worldwide. Together, we will make sure to keep reporting Palestinian stories, even when the rest of the world looks away. Support our critical work with a donation today. https://mondoweiss.net/2023/12/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-79-bethlehem-cancels-christmas-celebrations-as-israel-continues-to-bomb-gaza/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 79: Bethlehem cancels Christmas celebrations as Israel continues to bomb Gaza
    Palestinian pastor Munther Issac says “If Jesus was born today, he’d be born under the rubble of Gaza” as Israeli forces flattens entire neighborhoods to create buffer zones in north, east, and south of the Gaza Strip.
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  • Flame comes alive NFT.

    https://bit.ly/40UMUIq

    #flame #fire #sol #solana #solananft #nft #nfts #art #artwork #painting #drawing #nftart #nftartwork #nftartist #animation #animatednft
    Flame comes alive NFT. https://bit.ly/40UMUIq #flame #fire #sol #solana #solananft #nft #nfts #art #artwork #painting #drawing #nftart #nftartwork #nftartist #animation #animatednft
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  • House fires are many people’s worst nightmare. But chemicals created decades ago to protect people’s homes from out of control flames opened our front doors to a new menace: toxic chemicals. #health
    House fires are many people’s worst nightmare. But chemicals created decades ago to protect people’s homes from out of control flames opened our front doors to a new menace: toxic chemicals. #health
    WWW.NATURALBLAZE.COM
    Flame Retardant Chemicals Can Cause Serious Health Risks – And They Only Slow Fire by a Few Seconds
    Around the mid to late 20th century, chemicals known as flame retardants were developed to reduce the fire risks of plastic materials.
    Like
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  • Watch video click this link

    https://www.toprevenuegate.com/beq1jdxa?key=b5b537e9d42647b722938dfd6bb52289

    CHICKEN SHASHLIK
    INGREDIENTS OF CHICKEN SHASHLIK
    4 Servings-+
    500 gm chicken boneless
    1 medium onion
    2 medium tomato
    1 medium capsicum (green pepper)
    2 tablespoon yoghurt (curd)
    6 cloves garlic
    2 inch ginger
    1 teaspoon black pepper
    1 teaspoon coriander powder
    5 teaspoon pureed tomato
    2 teaspoon powdered red chilli
    4 tablespoon butter
    HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN SHASHLIK
    Step 1 / 2 Marinate The Chicken
    Chop the onion, tomato and capsicum and keep aside. Make a paste of ginger and garlic. Take a bowl, mix together the yogurt, garlic, ginger, black pepper, coriander, chilli powder, salt and tomato puree. Add the boneless chicken pieces and mix well, coating all the pieces in the marinade properly. Add the vegetables. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
    Step 2 / 2 Grill The Chicken Skewers
    Thread the chicken onto the skewers, alternating it with chunks of onion, tomato and capsicum. Brush with butter, then grill until chicken is cooked through and is golden brown. You can also pan grill the chicken. In this case, just ensure that you keep the flame low and keep turning the chicken pieces. You may have to alternately cover and uncover the pan and keep adding butter. Then, place the chicken skewers on a heated iron plate for sizzling effect and splash a few drops of water and oil on it. Serve immediately with mint chutney. You can also serve it on a bed of rice or noodles and it would become a complete meal. 🤤
    Watch video click this link https://www.toprevenuegate.com/beq1jdxa?key=b5b537e9d42647b722938dfd6bb52289 CHICKEN SHASHLIK INGREDIENTS OF CHICKEN SHASHLIK 4 Servings-+ 500 gm chicken boneless 1 medium onion 2 medium tomato 1 medium capsicum (green pepper) 2 tablespoon yoghurt (curd) 6 cloves garlic 2 inch ginger 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon coriander powder 5 teaspoon pureed tomato 2 teaspoon powdered red chilli 4 tablespoon butter HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN SHASHLIK Step 1 / 2 Marinate The Chicken Chop the onion, tomato and capsicum and keep aside. Make a paste of ginger and garlic. Take a bowl, mix together the yogurt, garlic, ginger, black pepper, coriander, chilli powder, salt and tomato puree. Add the boneless chicken pieces and mix well, coating all the pieces in the marinade properly. Add the vegetables. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Step 2 / 2 Grill The Chicken Skewers Thread the chicken onto the skewers, alternating it with chunks of onion, tomato and capsicum. Brush with butter, then grill until chicken is cooked through and is golden brown. You can also pan grill the chicken. In this case, just ensure that you keep the flame low and keep turning the chicken pieces. You may have to alternately cover and uncover the pan and keep adding butter. Then, place the chicken skewers on a heated iron plate for sizzling effect and splash a few drops of water and oil on it. Serve immediately with mint chutney. You can also serve it on a bed of rice or noodles and it would become a complete meal. 🤤
    0 Comments 0 Shares 3016 Views
  • What media reports fail to tell you about October 7
    Alison Weir November 13, 2023 bbc, Gaza, hamas
    What media reports fail to tell you about October 7
    BBC's Lucy Williamson is taken by the Israeli military to view kibbutz damage.regurgitating Israeli claims. (photo)
    It is journalistic malpractice for the media to still be repeating so credulously the Israeli military’s account of that day, including alleged Hamas atrocities that turned out to be fiction

    Media neglected to report much key information, e.g. Israeli military commanders had ordered the shelling of kibbutz houses in order to eliminate the “terrorists along with the hostages”… once Israeli special forces arrived: “They eliminated everyone, including the hostages”

    Are the images of charred bodies evidence that Israeli civilians and Hamas fighters burned alongside each other, after they were engulfed in flames caused by Israeli shelling of the houses?

    While this article focuses on BBC coverage, it’s analysis applies equally to US media. Some news coverage, in fact, has been considerably worse

    By Jonathan Cook, reposted from Jonathan Cook Substack, Nov 2, 2023.

    The BBC’s Lucy Williamson was taken once again this week to view the terrible destruction at a kibbutz community just outside Gaza attacked on October 7. As we have been shown so many times before, the Israeli homes were riddled with automatic fire, both inside and out. Sections of concrete wall had holes in them, or had collapsed entirely. And parts of the buildings that were still standing were deeply charred. It looked like a small snapshot of the current horrors in Gaza.

    There is a possible reason for those similarities – one that the BBC is studiously failing to report, despite mounting evidence from a variety of sources, including the Israeli media. Instead the BBC is sticking resolutely to a narrative crafted for them, and the rest of the western media, by the Israeli military: that Hamas alone caused all this destruction.

    Simply repeating that narrative without any caveats has by now reached the level of journalistic malpractice. And yet that is precisely what the BBC does night after night.

    Just a cursory look at the wreckage in the various kibbutz communities that were attacked that day should raise questions in the mind of any good reporter. Were Palestinian militants in a position to actually inflict physical damage to that degree and extent with the kind of light weapons they carried?

    And if not, who else was in a position to wreak such havoc other than Israel?

    A separate question that good journalists ought to be asking is this: What was the purpose of such damage? What did the Palestinian militants hope to achieve by it?

    The implicit answer the media is supplying is also the answer the Israeli military wants western publics to hear: that Hamas engaged in an orgy of gratuitious killing and savagery because … well, let’s say the quiet part out loud: because Palestinians are inherently savage.

    With that as the implicit narrative, western politicians have been handed a licence to cheerlead Israel as it murders a Palestinian child in Gaza every few minutes. Savages only understand the language of savagery, after all.

    Brutal tango

    For this reason alone, any journalist who wishes to avoid colluding in the genocide unfolding in Gaza ought to be increasingly wary of simply repeating the Israeli military’s claims about what happened on October 7. Certainly, they should not credulously regurgitate the latest agitprop from the IDF press office, as the BBC is so evidently doing.

    What we know from a growing body of evidence gleaned from the Israeli media and Israeli eyewitnesses – carefully laid out, for example, in this report from Max Blumenthal – is that the Israeli military was completely blindsided by that day’s events. Heavy artillery, including tanks and attack helicopters, was called in to deal with Hamas. That appears to have been a straightforward decision in regard to the military bases Hamas had overrun.

    Israel has a long-standing policy of seeking to prevent Israeli soldiers from being taken captive – chiefly, because of the high price Israeli society insists on paying to ensure soldiers are returned. For decades, the military’s so-called “Hannibal procedure” has directed Israeli troops to kill fellow soldiers rather than allow them to be taken captive. For the same reason, Hamas expends a great deal of energy in trying to find innovative ways to seize soldiers.

    The two sides are essentially engaged in a brutal tango in which each understands the other’s dance moves.

    Given Hamas’ situation, effectively managing the Israeli-controlled concentration camp of Gaza, it has limited resistance strategies available to it. Capturing Israeli soldiers maximises its leverage. They can be traded for the release of many of the thousands of Palestinian political prisoners held in jails inside Israel, in breach of international law. In addition, in the negotiations, Hamas usually hopes to win an easing of Israel’s 16-year siege of Gaza.

    To avert this scenario, Israeli commanders reportedly called in the attack helicopters on the military bases overwhelmed by Hamas on October 7. The helicopters appear to have fired indiscriminately, despite the risk posed to the Israeli soldiers in the base who were still alive. Israel’s was a scorched-earth policy to stop Hamas achieving its aims. That may, in part, explain the very large proportion of Israeli soldiers among the 1,300 killed that day.

    Charred bodies

    But what about the situation in the kibbutz communities? By the time the army arrived and was in position, Hamas was well dug in. It had taken the inhabitants as hostages inside their own homes. Israeli eyewitness testimony and media reports suggest Hamas was almost certainly trying to negotiate safe passage back into Gaza, using the Israeli civilians as human shields. The civilians were the Hamas fighters’ only ticket out, and they could be converted later into bargaining chips for the release of Palestinian prisoners.

    [YouTube and others are suppressing the video below – see this]

    The evidence – from Israeli media reports and eyewitnesses, as well as a host of visual clues from the crime scene itself – tell a far more complex story than the one presented nightly on the BBC.

    Did the Israeli military fire into the Hamas-controlled civilian homes in the same fashion as it had fired into its own military bases, and with the same disregard for the safety of Israelis inside? Was the goal in each case to prevent at all costs Hamas taking hostages whose release would require a very high price from Israel?

    Kibbutz Be’eri has been a favoured destination for BBC reporters keen to illustrate Hamas’ barbarity. It is where Lucy Williamson headed again this week. And yet none of her reporting highlighted comments made to the Israeli Haaretz newspaper by Tuval Escapa, the kibbutz’s security coordinator. He said Israeli military commanders had ordered the “shelling [of] houses on their occupants in order to eliminate the terrorists along with the hostages”.

    That echoed the testimony of Yasmin Porat, who sought shelter in Be’eri from the nearby Nova music festival. She told Israeli Radio that once Israeli special forces arrived: “They eliminated everyone, including the hostages because there was very, very heavy crossfire.”

    Are the images of charred bodies presented by Williamson, accompanied by a warning of their graphic, upsetting nature, incontrovertible proof that Hamas behaved like monsters, bent on the most twisted kind of vengeance? Or might those blackened remains be evidence that Israeli civilians and Hamas fighters burned alongside each other, after they were engulfed in flames caused by Israeli shelling of the houses?

    Israel will not agree to an independent investigation so a definitive answer will never be forthcoming. But that does not absolve the media of their professional and moral duty to be cautious.

    Consider for a moment the stark contrast in the western media’s treatment of events on October 7 and its treatment of the strike on the car park at Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in northern Gaza on October 17, in which hundreds of Palestinians were reported killed.
    In the case of Al-Ahli, the media were only too ready to cast aside all the evidence that the hospital had been hit by an Israeli strike immediately Israel contested the claim. Instead journalists hurriedly amplified Israel’s counter-allegation that a Palestinian rocket had fallen on the hospital. Most of the media moved on after concluding “The truth may never be clear”, or even less credibly, that Palestinian militants were the most likely culprits.

    In telling contrast, the western media have not been willing to raise even a single question about what happened on October 7. They have enthusiastically attributed every horror that day to Hamas. They have ignored the reality of utter chaos that reigned for many hours and the potential for poor, desperate and morally dubious decision-making by the Israeli military.

    In fact, the media have gone much further. In advancing the narrative of “Hamas as savages”, they have promoted obvious fictions, such as the story that “Hamas beheaded 40 babies”. That piece of fake news was even taken up briefly by US President Joe Biden, before it was quietly walked back by his officials.


    Similarly, it is still a popular throwaway line among the western commentariat that “Hamas carried out rapes”, though once again the allegation is evidence-free so far.

    We should be clear. If Israel had serious evidence for either of these claims, it would be aggressively promoting it. Instead, it is doing the next best thing: letting innuendo gently sink into the audience’s subconscious, settling there as a prejudice that cannot be interrogated.

    Hamas undoubtedly committed war crimes on October 7 – not least, by taking civilians as human shields. But that kind of crime is one we are familiar with, one “ordinary” enough that the Israel military has been regularly documented carrying it out too. The practice of Israeli soldiers taking Palestinians as human shields goes under various names, such as the “neighbour procedure” and the “early warning procedure”.

    Worse atrocities may have happened too, especially given the unexpected scale of Hamas’ success in breaking out of Gaza. Large numbers of Palestinians escaped the enclave, some of them doubtless armed civilians with no connection to the operation. In such circumstances, it would be surprising if there were no examples of the headline-grabbing atrocities being committed.

    The issue is whether such atrocities were planned and systematic, as Israel claims and the western media repeats, or examples of rogue actions by individuals or groups. If the latter, Israel would be in no position to judge. Israel’s own history is littered with examples of such crimes, including the documented case of an Israeli army unit taking captive a Bedouin girl in 1949 and repeatedly gang-raping her.

    Savagery would certainly not be a uniquely Hamas trait. Following the October 7 attack, videos have been emerging of systematic abuses of any Hamas fighters captured, whether alive or dead. Images show them being beaten and tortured in public for the gratification of onlookers, when there is clearly not even the pretence of information gathering. Others show the bodies of Hamas fighters being defiled and mutilated.

    No one can claim the moral high ground here.

    What the media’s uncritical promotion of Israel’s “Hamas as savages” narrative has achieved is something sinister – and all too familiar from the West’s long colonial history. It has been used to demonise a whole people, presenting them either as barbarians or as the willing protectors and enablers of barbarism.

    The “savages” narrative is being weaponised by Israel to justify its mounting campaign of atrocities in Gaza. Which is why it is so important that journalists don’t simply allow themselves to be spoonfed. Far too much is at stake.

    Hamas committed war crimes on October 7 on a scale that is unprecedented for any Palestinian group. But there is little more than Israeli narrative spin so far to suggest that there was an unparalleled depravity to Hamas’ actions. Certainly from what we know, it is hard to see that anything Hamas did that day was worse, or more savage, than what Israel has been doing daily in Gaza for weeks.

    And Israel’s actions – from bombing Palestinian families to starving them of food and water – has the blessing of every major western politician.

    Jonathan Cook is an independent British journalist who has covered the Israel-Palestine beat for 20+ years. He is a winner of the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. He was formerly with the Guardian and Observer newspapers.

    RELATED:

    More Palestinians killed in past 34 days than in the past 22 years combined
    A Synopsis of the Israel/Palestine Conflict
    Gaza-Israel: Latest news and statistics (the first 25 days)
    It’s not just Gaza – Israel is also killing scores in the West Bank
    Israeli communities near Gaza are on stolen land, former owners consigned to the Gaza ghetto
    The Israeli strike on Al Ahli Hospital days BEFORE the famous blast
    WATCH: What was happening in Gaza BEFORE the Hamas attack that the media didn’t tell you?
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    Palestinians inspect damage to their homes caused by Israeli air strikes on October 13, 2023, in Gaza City
    Palestinians inspect damage to their homes caused by Israeli air strikes on October 13, 2023, in Gaza City (photo)


    https://israelpalestinenews.org/what-media-reports-fail-to-tell-you-about-october-7/
    What media reports fail to tell you about October 7 Alison Weir November 13, 2023 bbc, Gaza, hamas What media reports fail to tell you about October 7 BBC's Lucy Williamson is taken by the Israeli military to view kibbutz damage.regurgitating Israeli claims. (photo) It is journalistic malpractice for the media to still be repeating so credulously the Israeli military’s account of that day, including alleged Hamas atrocities that turned out to be fiction Media neglected to report much key information, e.g. Israeli military commanders had ordered the shelling of kibbutz houses in order to eliminate the “terrorists along with the hostages”… once Israeli special forces arrived: “They eliminated everyone, including the hostages” Are the images of charred bodies evidence that Israeli civilians and Hamas fighters burned alongside each other, after they were engulfed in flames caused by Israeli shelling of the houses? While this article focuses on BBC coverage, it’s analysis applies equally to US media. Some news coverage, in fact, has been considerably worse By Jonathan Cook, reposted from Jonathan Cook Substack, Nov 2, 2023. The BBC’s Lucy Williamson was taken once again this week to view the terrible destruction at a kibbutz community just outside Gaza attacked on October 7. As we have been shown so many times before, the Israeli homes were riddled with automatic fire, both inside and out. Sections of concrete wall had holes in them, or had collapsed entirely. And parts of the buildings that were still standing were deeply charred. It looked like a small snapshot of the current horrors in Gaza. There is a possible reason for those similarities – one that the BBC is studiously failing to report, despite mounting evidence from a variety of sources, including the Israeli media. Instead the BBC is sticking resolutely to a narrative crafted for them, and the rest of the western media, by the Israeli military: that Hamas alone caused all this destruction. Simply repeating that narrative without any caveats has by now reached the level of journalistic malpractice. And yet that is precisely what the BBC does night after night. Just a cursory look at the wreckage in the various kibbutz communities that were attacked that day should raise questions in the mind of any good reporter. Were Palestinian militants in a position to actually inflict physical damage to that degree and extent with the kind of light weapons they carried? And if not, who else was in a position to wreak such havoc other than Israel? A separate question that good journalists ought to be asking is this: What was the purpose of such damage? What did the Palestinian militants hope to achieve by it? The implicit answer the media is supplying is also the answer the Israeli military wants western publics to hear: that Hamas engaged in an orgy of gratuitious killing and savagery because … well, let’s say the quiet part out loud: because Palestinians are inherently savage. With that as the implicit narrative, western politicians have been handed a licence to cheerlead Israel as it murders a Palestinian child in Gaza every few minutes. Savages only understand the language of savagery, after all. Brutal tango For this reason alone, any journalist who wishes to avoid colluding in the genocide unfolding in Gaza ought to be increasingly wary of simply repeating the Israeli military’s claims about what happened on October 7. Certainly, they should not credulously regurgitate the latest agitprop from the IDF press office, as the BBC is so evidently doing. What we know from a growing body of evidence gleaned from the Israeli media and Israeli eyewitnesses – carefully laid out, for example, in this report from Max Blumenthal – is that the Israeli military was completely blindsided by that day’s events. Heavy artillery, including tanks and attack helicopters, was called in to deal with Hamas. That appears to have been a straightforward decision in regard to the military bases Hamas had overrun. Israel has a long-standing policy of seeking to prevent Israeli soldiers from being taken captive – chiefly, because of the high price Israeli society insists on paying to ensure soldiers are returned. For decades, the military’s so-called “Hannibal procedure” has directed Israeli troops to kill fellow soldiers rather than allow them to be taken captive. For the same reason, Hamas expends a great deal of energy in trying to find innovative ways to seize soldiers. The two sides are essentially engaged in a brutal tango in which each understands the other’s dance moves. Given Hamas’ situation, effectively managing the Israeli-controlled concentration camp of Gaza, it has limited resistance strategies available to it. Capturing Israeli soldiers maximises its leverage. They can be traded for the release of many of the thousands of Palestinian political prisoners held in jails inside Israel, in breach of international law. In addition, in the negotiations, Hamas usually hopes to win an easing of Israel’s 16-year siege of Gaza. To avert this scenario, Israeli commanders reportedly called in the attack helicopters on the military bases overwhelmed by Hamas on October 7. The helicopters appear to have fired indiscriminately, despite the risk posed to the Israeli soldiers in the base who were still alive. Israel’s was a scorched-earth policy to stop Hamas achieving its aims. That may, in part, explain the very large proportion of Israeli soldiers among the 1,300 killed that day. Charred bodies But what about the situation in the kibbutz communities? By the time the army arrived and was in position, Hamas was well dug in. It had taken the inhabitants as hostages inside their own homes. Israeli eyewitness testimony and media reports suggest Hamas was almost certainly trying to negotiate safe passage back into Gaza, using the Israeli civilians as human shields. The civilians were the Hamas fighters’ only ticket out, and they could be converted later into bargaining chips for the release of Palestinian prisoners. [YouTube and others are suppressing the video below – see this] The evidence – from Israeli media reports and eyewitnesses, as well as a host of visual clues from the crime scene itself – tell a far more complex story than the one presented nightly on the BBC. Did the Israeli military fire into the Hamas-controlled civilian homes in the same fashion as it had fired into its own military bases, and with the same disregard for the safety of Israelis inside? Was the goal in each case to prevent at all costs Hamas taking hostages whose release would require a very high price from Israel? Kibbutz Be’eri has been a favoured destination for BBC reporters keen to illustrate Hamas’ barbarity. It is where Lucy Williamson headed again this week. And yet none of her reporting highlighted comments made to the Israeli Haaretz newspaper by Tuval Escapa, the kibbutz’s security coordinator. He said Israeli military commanders had ordered the “shelling [of] houses on their occupants in order to eliminate the terrorists along with the hostages”. That echoed the testimony of Yasmin Porat, who sought shelter in Be’eri from the nearby Nova music festival. She told Israeli Radio that once Israeli special forces arrived: “They eliminated everyone, including the hostages because there was very, very heavy crossfire.” Are the images of charred bodies presented by Williamson, accompanied by a warning of their graphic, upsetting nature, incontrovertible proof that Hamas behaved like monsters, bent on the most twisted kind of vengeance? Or might those blackened remains be evidence that Israeli civilians and Hamas fighters burned alongside each other, after they were engulfed in flames caused by Israeli shelling of the houses? Israel will not agree to an independent investigation so a definitive answer will never be forthcoming. But that does not absolve the media of their professional and moral duty to be cautious. Consider for a moment the stark contrast in the western media’s treatment of events on October 7 and its treatment of the strike on the car park at Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in northern Gaza on October 17, in which hundreds of Palestinians were reported killed. In the case of Al-Ahli, the media were only too ready to cast aside all the evidence that the hospital had been hit by an Israeli strike immediately Israel contested the claim. Instead journalists hurriedly amplified Israel’s counter-allegation that a Palestinian rocket had fallen on the hospital. Most of the media moved on after concluding “The truth may never be clear”, or even less credibly, that Palestinian militants were the most likely culprits. In telling contrast, the western media have not been willing to raise even a single question about what happened on October 7. They have enthusiastically attributed every horror that day to Hamas. They have ignored the reality of utter chaos that reigned for many hours and the potential for poor, desperate and morally dubious decision-making by the Israeli military. In fact, the media have gone much further. In advancing the narrative of “Hamas as savages”, they have promoted obvious fictions, such as the story that “Hamas beheaded 40 babies”. That piece of fake news was even taken up briefly by US President Joe Biden, before it was quietly walked back by his officials. Similarly, it is still a popular throwaway line among the western commentariat that “Hamas carried out rapes”, though once again the allegation is evidence-free so far. We should be clear. If Israel had serious evidence for either of these claims, it would be aggressively promoting it. Instead, it is doing the next best thing: letting innuendo gently sink into the audience’s subconscious, settling there as a prejudice that cannot be interrogated. Hamas undoubtedly committed war crimes on October 7 – not least, by taking civilians as human shields. But that kind of crime is one we are familiar with, one “ordinary” enough that the Israel military has been regularly documented carrying it out too. The practice of Israeli soldiers taking Palestinians as human shields goes under various names, such as the “neighbour procedure” and the “early warning procedure”. Worse atrocities may have happened too, especially given the unexpected scale of Hamas’ success in breaking out of Gaza. Large numbers of Palestinians escaped the enclave, some of them doubtless armed civilians with no connection to the operation. In such circumstances, it would be surprising if there were no examples of the headline-grabbing atrocities being committed. The issue is whether such atrocities were planned and systematic, as Israel claims and the western media repeats, or examples of rogue actions by individuals or groups. If the latter, Israel would be in no position to judge. Israel’s own history is littered with examples of such crimes, including the documented case of an Israeli army unit taking captive a Bedouin girl in 1949 and repeatedly gang-raping her. Savagery would certainly not be a uniquely Hamas trait. Following the October 7 attack, videos have been emerging of systematic abuses of any Hamas fighters captured, whether alive or dead. Images show them being beaten and tortured in public for the gratification of onlookers, when there is clearly not even the pretence of information gathering. Others show the bodies of Hamas fighters being defiled and mutilated. No one can claim the moral high ground here. What the media’s uncritical promotion of Israel’s “Hamas as savages” narrative has achieved is something sinister – and all too familiar from the West’s long colonial history. It has been used to demonise a whole people, presenting them either as barbarians or as the willing protectors and enablers of barbarism. The “savages” narrative is being weaponised by Israel to justify its mounting campaign of atrocities in Gaza. Which is why it is so important that journalists don’t simply allow themselves to be spoonfed. Far too much is at stake. Hamas committed war crimes on October 7 on a scale that is unprecedented for any Palestinian group. But there is little more than Israeli narrative spin so far to suggest that there was an unparalleled depravity to Hamas’ actions. Certainly from what we know, it is hard to see that anything Hamas did that day was worse, or more savage, than what Israel has been doing daily in Gaza for weeks. And Israel’s actions – from bombing Palestinian families to starving them of food and water – has the blessing of every major western politician. Jonathan Cook is an independent British journalist who has covered the Israel-Palestine beat for 20+ years. He is a winner of the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. He was formerly with the Guardian and Observer newspapers. RELATED: More Palestinians killed in past 34 days than in the past 22 years combined A Synopsis of the Israel/Palestine Conflict Gaza-Israel: Latest news and statistics (the first 25 days) It’s not just Gaza – Israel is also killing scores in the West Bank Israeli communities near Gaza are on stolen land, former owners consigned to the Gaza ghetto The Israeli strike on Al Ahli Hospital days BEFORE the famous blast WATCH: What was happening in Gaza BEFORE the Hamas attack that the media didn’t tell you? Gideon Levy: Israel Can’t Imprison Two Million Gazans Without Paying a Cruel Price Palestinians inspect damage to their homes caused by Israeli air strikes on October 13, 2023, in Gaza City Palestinians inspect damage to their homes caused by Israeli air strikes on October 13, 2023, in Gaza City (photo) https://israelpalestinenews.org/what-media-reports-fail-to-tell-you-about-october-7/
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    What media reports fail to tell you about October 7
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  • U.S. readies plans for mass evacuations if Gaza war escalates
    Officials said that the more than 600,000 Americans living in Israel and Lebanon are of particular concern, but they stressed that an operation of such magnitude is a worst-case scenario

    Yasmeen Abutaleb

    The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower departs Norfolk with its coterie of escort ships on Oct. 14 in response to Israel-Gaza War. (Anderson W. Branch/AFP/Getty Images)
    correction

    A previous version of this article incorrectly said that Hezbollah has controlled Lebanon since 1992. It entered parliament that year. The article has been corrected.

    The Biden administration is preparing for the possibility that hundreds of thousands of American citizens will require evacuation from the Middle East if the bloodshed in Gaza cannot be contained, according to four officials familiar with the U.S. government’s contingency planning.

    The specter of such an operation comes as Israeli forces, aided by U.S. weapons and military advisers, prepare for what is widely expected to be a perilous ground offensive against Hamas militants responsible for the stunning cross-border attack that has reignited hostilities. The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to detail internal deliberations, said Americans living in Israel and neighboring Lebanon are of particular concern, though they stressed that an evacuation of that magnitude is considered a worst-case scenario and that other outcomes are seen as more likely.

    Still, one official said, it “would be irresponsible not to have a plan for everything.”

    What a ground war in Gaza could look like

    The administration, despite its forceful public support for Israel, is deeply alarmed by the prospect of escalation, and in recent days it has turned its attention in part to the complicated logistics of abruptly having to relocate a large number of people, according to three people familiar with the discussions. There were about 600,000 U.S. citizens in Israel and another 86,000 believed to be in Lebanon when Hamas attacked, according to State Department estimates.

    Story continues below advertisement

    The concern in Lebanon is chiefly over Hezbollah, a political party and militant group that, along with allies, currently controls the largest number of parliamentary seats. It entered parliament in 1992. It has long accepted training and weapons from Iran, prompting concerns that it could attack Israel from the north, creating a two-front war that would stretch Israeli forces. Already, there have been skirmishes along their shared border.

    Israeli tanks fired shells toward southern Lebanon on Oct. 15, following reports of a strike launched from within Lebanon against the Israeli town of Shtula. (Video: Reuters)
    “This has become a real issue,” one official said. “The administration is very, very, very worried that this thing is going to get out of hand.”

    The administration’s concern extends beyond those two countries, as officials watch the street protests that have spread across the Arab world, putting both U.S. personnel and citizens in the region at heightened risk. The bombardment of Gaza has inflamed regional fury at Israel and its treatment of Palestinians — an issue some officials believed no longer carried as much importance in the Arab world.

    Story continues below advertisement

    “The street to a large extent is now in charge,” said Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and former official in the Clinton administration.

    “We were told for the last 10 years that the Arab world and Muslim world didn’t care about Palestine anymore, and Abraham Accords were proof of that,” Riedel added, referring to agreements, signed by the governments of Sudan, Morocco, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, aimed at normalizing relations with Israel. “Well, Palestine has come back. I don’t think it ever went away.”

    More than 5,000 people in Gaza, mostly civilians and children, have been killed amid unrelenting Israeli airstrikes since the Oct. 7 attacks, Palestinian health officials say.

    How the Biden administration tried to slow Israel’s invasion of Gaza

    Top U.S. officials have not wanted to discuss such contingency planning in public, hoping to avoid setting off a panic among Americans in the region. But their posture has shifted in recent days to convey the anxiety about other actors entering the conflict.

    Story continues below advertisement

    Last week, the State Department issued an advisory to all U.S. citizens worldwide “to exercise increased caution” due to “increased tensions in various locations around the world, the potential for terrorist attacks, [and] demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests.”

    The warning was in response to demonstrations that have erupted in response to the Israel-Hamas conflict and broader anger in the Arab world over Washington’s full political, economic and military backing of Israel.

    Depending on the scale of a potential U.S. evacuation, it could be more difficult than any previous operations in recent memory, experts said. It could involve Air Force aircraft or Navy warships, which have surged to the region this month.

    Story continues below advertisement

    “With 600,000 Americans in Israel and threats to other Americans across the region, it’s hard to think of an evacuation that might compare to this in scale, scope and complexity,” said Suzanne Maloney, the director of foreign policy at the Brookings Institution.

    “The sort of advisories the State Department has put out lately have been fairly blunt,” she added.

    On Monday, the Pentagon signaled, too, that it is bracing for a significant increase in attacks on U.S. troops in the Middle East, and the department singled out Iran for its extensive sponsorship of militant groups with a long history of using rockets and drones to target American military positions. In response, Pentagon officials said, they are surging additional missile-defense systems to the region.

    Story continues below advertisement

    Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters that a “broader escalation” is possible “in the days ahead.” Senior military leaders, he said, are taking “all necessary measures” to safeguard U.S. personnel.

    Particularly vulnerable are the estimated 3,400 troops deployed in Iraq and Syria, where earlier in the day U.S. personnel based near the Jordan border intercepted at least two one-way attack drones, officials said. Americans operating in those countries have been targeted for years by Iranian-backed militias, including Kataib Hezbollah, an Iraq-based group that claimed responsibility for some of the previous attacks disclosed over the last week.

    U.S. intercepts missiles near Yemen as troops face drone attacks in Middle East

    “We don’t necessarily see that Iran has explicitly ordered them to take these kinds of attacks,” Ryder said. “That said, by virtue of the fact that they are supported by Iran, we will ultimately hold Iran responsible.”

    Story continues below advertisement

    It’s unclear how many times deployed personnel have come under fire since the Israel-Hamas crisis began Oct. 7. Officials said that the Pentagon was compiling a list of confirmed incidents but that the effort had been hampered by what one senior defense official called the profusion of “disinformation and misinformation.”

    No U.S. personnel are known to have been killed or seriously injured in any of the spillover violence. An American contractor in Iraq did suffer a fatal heart attack last week as troops and others at the Ain al-Asad air base raced to take cover from what proved to be a false alarm of an incoming attack.

    Sarah Dadouch in Beirut and Missy Ryan contributed to this report.
    U.S. readies plans for mass evacuations if Gaza war escalates Officials said that the more than 600,000 Americans living in Israel and Lebanon are of particular concern, but they stressed that an operation of such magnitude is a worst-case scenario Yasmeen Abutaleb The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower departs Norfolk with its coterie of escort ships on Oct. 14 in response to Israel-Gaza War. (Anderson W. Branch/AFP/Getty Images) correction A previous version of this article incorrectly said that Hezbollah has controlled Lebanon since 1992. It entered parliament that year. The article has been corrected. The Biden administration is preparing for the possibility that hundreds of thousands of American citizens will require evacuation from the Middle East if the bloodshed in Gaza cannot be contained, according to four officials familiar with the U.S. government’s contingency planning. The specter of such an operation comes as Israeli forces, aided by U.S. weapons and military advisers, prepare for what is widely expected to be a perilous ground offensive against Hamas militants responsible for the stunning cross-border attack that has reignited hostilities. The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to detail internal deliberations, said Americans living in Israel and neighboring Lebanon are of particular concern, though they stressed that an evacuation of that magnitude is considered a worst-case scenario and that other outcomes are seen as more likely. Still, one official said, it “would be irresponsible not to have a plan for everything.” What a ground war in Gaza could look like The administration, despite its forceful public support for Israel, is deeply alarmed by the prospect of escalation, and in recent days it has turned its attention in part to the complicated logistics of abruptly having to relocate a large number of people, according to three people familiar with the discussions. There were about 600,000 U.S. citizens in Israel and another 86,000 believed to be in Lebanon when Hamas attacked, according to State Department estimates. Story continues below advertisement The concern in Lebanon is chiefly over Hezbollah, a political party and militant group that, along with allies, currently controls the largest number of parliamentary seats. It entered parliament in 1992. It has long accepted training and weapons from Iran, prompting concerns that it could attack Israel from the north, creating a two-front war that would stretch Israeli forces. Already, there have been skirmishes along their shared border. Israeli tanks fired shells toward southern Lebanon on Oct. 15, following reports of a strike launched from within Lebanon against the Israeli town of Shtula. (Video: Reuters) “This has become a real issue,” one official said. “The administration is very, very, very worried that this thing is going to get out of hand.” The administration’s concern extends beyond those two countries, as officials watch the street protests that have spread across the Arab world, putting both U.S. personnel and citizens in the region at heightened risk. The bombardment of Gaza has inflamed regional fury at Israel and its treatment of Palestinians — an issue some officials believed no longer carried as much importance in the Arab world. Story continues below advertisement “The street to a large extent is now in charge,” said Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and former official in the Clinton administration. “We were told for the last 10 years that the Arab world and Muslim world didn’t care about Palestine anymore, and Abraham Accords were proof of that,” Riedel added, referring to agreements, signed by the governments of Sudan, Morocco, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, aimed at normalizing relations with Israel. “Well, Palestine has come back. I don’t think it ever went away.” More than 5,000 people in Gaza, mostly civilians and children, have been killed amid unrelenting Israeli airstrikes since the Oct. 7 attacks, Palestinian health officials say. How the Biden administration tried to slow Israel’s invasion of Gaza Top U.S. officials have not wanted to discuss such contingency planning in public, hoping to avoid setting off a panic among Americans in the region. But their posture has shifted in recent days to convey the anxiety about other actors entering the conflict. Story continues below advertisement Last week, the State Department issued an advisory to all U.S. citizens worldwide “to exercise increased caution” due to “increased tensions in various locations around the world, the potential for terrorist attacks, [and] demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests.” The warning was in response to demonstrations that have erupted in response to the Israel-Hamas conflict and broader anger in the Arab world over Washington’s full political, economic and military backing of Israel. Depending on the scale of a potential U.S. evacuation, it could be more difficult than any previous operations in recent memory, experts said. It could involve Air Force aircraft or Navy warships, which have surged to the region this month. Story continues below advertisement “With 600,000 Americans in Israel and threats to other Americans across the region, it’s hard to think of an evacuation that might compare to this in scale, scope and complexity,” said Suzanne Maloney, the director of foreign policy at the Brookings Institution. “The sort of advisories the State Department has put out lately have been fairly blunt,” she added. On Monday, the Pentagon signaled, too, that it is bracing for a significant increase in attacks on U.S. troops in the Middle East, and the department singled out Iran for its extensive sponsorship of militant groups with a long history of using rockets and drones to target American military positions. In response, Pentagon officials said, they are surging additional missile-defense systems to the region. Story continues below advertisement Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters that a “broader escalation” is possible “in the days ahead.” Senior military leaders, he said, are taking “all necessary measures” to safeguard U.S. personnel. Particularly vulnerable are the estimated 3,400 troops deployed in Iraq and Syria, where earlier in the day U.S. personnel based near the Jordan border intercepted at least two one-way attack drones, officials said. Americans operating in those countries have been targeted for years by Iranian-backed militias, including Kataib Hezbollah, an Iraq-based group that claimed responsibility for some of the previous attacks disclosed over the last week. U.S. intercepts missiles near Yemen as troops face drone attacks in Middle East “We don’t necessarily see that Iran has explicitly ordered them to take these kinds of attacks,” Ryder said. “That said, by virtue of the fact that they are supported by Iran, we will ultimately hold Iran responsible.” Story continues below advertisement It’s unclear how many times deployed personnel have come under fire since the Israel-Hamas crisis began Oct. 7. Officials said that the Pentagon was compiling a list of confirmed incidents but that the effort had been hampered by what one senior defense official called the profusion of “disinformation and misinformation.” No U.S. personnel are known to have been killed or seriously injured in any of the spillover violence. An American contractor in Iraq did suffer a fatal heart attack last week as troops and others at the Ain al-Asad air base raced to take cover from what proved to be a false alarm of an incoming attack. Sarah Dadouch in Beirut and Missy Ryan contributed to this report.
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  • The lava from Indonesia's Kawah Ijen volcano has an electric blue appearance.

    Large quantities of sulfuric gases emerge at high pressures, exposed to oxygen in the air and are ignited by the lava producing a blue flame.

    It is not the lava itself that is blue, but the sulfur combusting producing a neon-blue flame.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_lava
    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-does-indonesian-volcano-burn-bright-blue-180949576/
    The lava from Indonesia's Kawah Ijen volcano has an electric blue appearance. Large quantities of sulfuric gases emerge at high pressures, exposed to oxygen in the air and are ignited by the lava producing a blue flame. It is not the lava itself that is blue, but the sulfur combusting producing a neon-blue flame. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_lava https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-does-indonesian-volcano-burn-bright-blue-180949576/
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  • Throw out the current leadership. Every. Single. One.

    Throw out anyone touched by the One Ring of corruption given over freely by the Washington establishment to ensure that their hegemony is never challenged.

    Make sure they never hold power or influence ever again.

    It's high time we had real leaders again. Not boardroom snakes. Men who are willing to go out and march to war ahead of their troops, potentially being one of the first to die in the fray as a result.

    We need Leonidas of Sparta, not Nero of Rome.

    We as a species are under threat of succumbing to our own neurosis driven to insane levels by the outsized levels of comfort our modern lives made better by technology. We have convinced ourselves we are more civilized than our predecessors.

    That couldn't be further from the truth.

    Some want us to believe that words themselves are capable of violence because our species has become so deranged from having such a high quality of life that the prospect of having to stalk and kill another creature for sustenance in order to not starve to death is mostly reserved for TV and movie tropes at best.

    We mastered agriculture and learned to bend both land and animal to our will, to maximize their respective output via science in order to meet the rising demands of our species sitting comfortably at the top of the food chain with no predators and no rivals anywhere in sight.

    Where did it get us?

    It placed before us the ungrateful masses who are getting fat off the toil of their ancestors and complaining about it because those aforementioned ancestors might have held views that we today would find abhorrent.

    So let's destroy all vestiges to these great people whose feats and sacrifices made everything you see today possible. That's a great idea.

    We are inundated by iconoclasts who play on the emotions of others in order to achieve their aims. And we love and revere these iconoclasts so much that we willingly place them in the highest seats of power to ensure that they're well-placed to destroy even common sense and decency if it behooves them to do so.

    It's time to stop placing power and trust into weak people who have never struggled a day in their lives.

    It's time to stop entrusting our futures to those who have fattened themselves in their ivory towers on the toil of their constituents and sold their futures for immediate prosperity and influence.

    And, most importantly, it's time to stop allowing geriatric people who won't be around to reap the consequences of the seeds of discord that they sow today because they'll have long since expired from the disease of old age by the time the fruits of destruction they are cultivating today are ripe and ready for the picking.

    We need upper age limits for all elected office now.

    We need term limits that don't exceed 8 years in office in any capacity now.

    We need the lives of our elected officials to be so transparent we get to examine the quality of their stool in the toilet every time they take a shit if that's what it takes to root out corruption - NOW!

    From the ashes of the establishment, we can rebuild a system in the image of that one that was intended by the forefathers of our country.

    From the ashes of the establishment, this nation can be reborn.

    Don't fear the flames of retribution or the immediate pain that comes with breaking your addiction to comfort.

    No endeavor is more worth your toil and sacrifice than ensuring a future for your descendants that doesn't involve being under the totalitarian boot of a control structure threatening to ensure that your children are born inside the matrix, never to come out.

    When you're asked in the afterlife what you did to stop the descent of humanity into madness, make sure your answer isn't "Nothing".
    Throw out the current leadership. Every. Single. One. Throw out anyone touched by the One Ring of corruption given over freely by the Washington establishment to ensure that their hegemony is never challenged. Make sure they never hold power or influence ever again. It's high time we had real leaders again. Not boardroom snakes. Men who are willing to go out and march to war ahead of their troops, potentially being one of the first to die in the fray as a result. We need Leonidas of Sparta, not Nero of Rome. We as a species are under threat of succumbing to our own neurosis driven to insane levels by the outsized levels of comfort our modern lives made better by technology. We have convinced ourselves we are more civilized than our predecessors. That couldn't be further from the truth. Some want us to believe that words themselves are capable of violence because our species has become so deranged from having such a high quality of life that the prospect of having to stalk and kill another creature for sustenance in order to not starve to death is mostly reserved for TV and movie tropes at best. We mastered agriculture and learned to bend both land and animal to our will, to maximize their respective output via science in order to meet the rising demands of our species sitting comfortably at the top of the food chain with no predators and no rivals anywhere in sight. Where did it get us? It placed before us the ungrateful masses who are getting fat off the toil of their ancestors and complaining about it because those aforementioned ancestors might have held views that we today would find abhorrent. So let's destroy all vestiges to these great people whose feats and sacrifices made everything you see today possible. That's a great idea. We are inundated by iconoclasts who play on the emotions of others in order to achieve their aims. And we love and revere these iconoclasts so much that we willingly place them in the highest seats of power to ensure that they're well-placed to destroy even common sense and decency if it behooves them to do so. It's time to stop placing power and trust into weak people who have never struggled a day in their lives. It's time to stop entrusting our futures to those who have fattened themselves in their ivory towers on the toil of their constituents and sold their futures for immediate prosperity and influence. And, most importantly, it's time to stop allowing geriatric people who won't be around to reap the consequences of the seeds of discord that they sow today because they'll have long since expired from the disease of old age by the time the fruits of destruction they are cultivating today are ripe and ready for the picking. We need upper age limits for all elected office now. We need term limits that don't exceed 8 years in office in any capacity now. We need the lives of our elected officials to be so transparent we get to examine the quality of their stool in the toilet every time they take a shit if that's what it takes to root out corruption - NOW! From the ashes of the establishment, we can rebuild a system in the image of that one that was intended by the forefathers of our country. From the ashes of the establishment, this nation can be reborn. Don't fear the flames of retribution or the immediate pain that comes with breaking your addiction to comfort. No endeavor is more worth your toil and sacrifice than ensuring a future for your descendants that doesn't involve being under the totalitarian boot of a control structure threatening to ensure that your children are born inside the matrix, never to come out. When you're asked in the afterlife what you did to stop the descent of humanity into madness, make sure your answer isn't "Nothing".
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  • Footage of the incident published on social media shows flames shooting from the tankers carrying ethanol -- an eerie sight considering the East Palestine train disaster is still fresh in everyone's mind.
    Footage of the incident published on social media shows flames shooting from the tankers carrying ethanol -- an eerie sight considering the East Palestine train disaster is still fresh in everyone's mind.
    WWW.ACTIVISTPOST.COM
    Minnesota Town Evacuated After Train Carrying Ethanol Derails, Bursts Into Flames - Activist Post
    What has caught our attention is the increasing number of news stories on train derailments throughout the nation.
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  • Reviving stadium seats using flame polishing
    When the surface of the material briefly melts, surface tension smooths the surface, restoring back the original colour: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flame_polishing
    Reviving stadium seats using flame polishing When the surface of the material briefly melts, surface tension smooths the surface, restoring back the original colour: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flame_polishing
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