• Israel’s strategy is “cold and calculated, and lacks any sense of decency” – Day 60
    [email protected] December 5, 2023 ethnic cleansing, Gaza, hamas, humanitarian aid, Israel, tunnel
    Israel’s strategy is “cold and calculated, and lacks any sense of decency” – Day 60
    UNICEF spokesperson says alleged Gaza safe zones are ‘zones of death’ In a Sky News interview, UNICEF spokesperson James Elder says Israel’s proclaimed ‘safe zones’ in Gaza are ‘zones of death’ with increased risk for disease. Elder says Israeli authorities are fully aware of the dire consequences in the alleged safe zones, and that the decision to push 80% of the population into a zone that is 4% the size of Gaza is ‘cold’ and ‘calculated’ and lacks ‘any sense of decency’.

    Khan Younis and Rafah: Monday night was terrifying for residents of Khan Younis and Rafah, and 1.5 million evacuees. Since early yesterday evening, there has been non-stop heavy artillery shelling, relentless air strikes and mass bombardment.

    The vast majority of residential homes and public facilities – schools, hospitals, medical centers and shops – in the eastern side of Khan Younis, have been completely destroyed. At the same time, people were ordered to evacuate in the middle of the night and early hours of this morning under heavy bombardment.

    As ambulances tried to get to the eastern side of Khan Younis to Abasan al-Kabira and Bani Suheila, where people were stranded and caught under the heavy bombardment, they were shot at and could not evacuate any of the injured or bring out any of those who were killed overnight.

    The Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Younis has called for blood donations due to the high number of severely injured patients arriving every hour. Twenty-six out of 35 hospitals in Gaza are currently out of service, and 52 out of 72 primary healthcare clinics have been shut down.

    Palestinian officials in Gaza say Israeli jets dropped phosphorus bombs north and east of Khan Younis. (Use of white phosphorus in civilian areas is considered a war crime due to its extremely dangerous effects on the human body. White phosphorus ignites instantly when in contact with oxygen. It can burn through the human body, including through bone, causing severe, excruciating damage. It can also cause extreme harm when inhaled, with risks of suffocation, cardiovascular failure, coma, death, and other lifelong effects. The substance burns at temperatures of up to 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit.)


    Nasser hospital staff are stretched to their limits as casualties mount in southern Gaza, says UNICEF. Fifty-two of 72 primary healthcare clinics have shut down in Gaza. [Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters] (photo)
    Central Gaza: Israeli jets targeted the Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza this morning. Bombing began around 6:05am (04:05 GMT) while most residents were asleep, leading to a total “state of panic”. At least 15 houses were “completely destroyed” more than 15 people were killed, including children. Many wounded are still trapped under the rubble.
    The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) has shared footage of the moment an Israeli artillery tank targeted the vicinity of two ambulances in Gaza. PRCS said the two ambulances were attending to casualties in Deir el-Balah, southern Gaza.

    Northern Gaza: Gaza’s health ministry is warning of a “massacre” at Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza, where Israeli tanks and snipers are reportedly surrounding the facility and “shooting at anyone who moves”; Israeli forces have already killed 108 civilians and injured dozens in the hospital’s vicinity. Munir al-Bursh, director-general of the Health Ministry in Gaza, said,

    The Israeli occupation forces have laid siege to the facility from all sides. Patients and those who took shelter here are gripped with fear and overwhelmed by horror.

    The Israeli forces are attacking with the aim of forcibly removing all those inside the hospital. These are patients, victims and displaced civilians.

    We, the medical staff, are holding our ground. We are standing by our patients. We will continue to serve our people by all means left here at Kamal Adwan Hospital.

    UN says no place is safe: The United Nations warns that creating “so-called safe zones” for civilians to flee to within the Gaza Strip is impossible amid Israel’s bombing campaign. The Israeli army, which initially focused much of its offensive on the north of the enclave, has now dropped leaflets on parts of the south, telling Palestinian civilians there to flee to other areas. “The so-called safe zones … are not scientific, they are not rational, they are not possible, and I think the authorities are aware of this,” said UNICEF spokesperson James Elder.

    Journalists face grave threats: The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reports that 63 journalists and media workers have been killed since October 7. The overall death toll includes 56 Palestinians, four Israelis and three Lebanese nationals. Sherif Mansour, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator, said,

    CPJ emphasizes that journalists are civilians doing important work during times of crisis and must not be targeted by warring parties. Journalists across the region are making great sacrifices to cover this heart-breaking conflict. Those in Gaza, in particular, have paid, and continue to pay, an unprecedented toll and face exponential threats.

    Humanitarian update

    UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said the resumption of the Israeli military operation and its expansion further in southern Gaza is repeating horrors from past weeks. He added,

    The latest developments are further strangling the humanitarian operation, with limited supplies going in and complex logistical and coordination arrangements that slow down and at times obstruct the flow. The Israeli Authorities continue to restrict the flow of humanitarian supplies, including fuel, forcing the UN to only use the ill-equipped crossing point with Egypt.

    We call on the State of Israel to reopen Kerem Shalom and other crossings and facilitate the unconditional, uninterrupted and meaningful delivery of lifesaving humanitarian assistance. The failure to do so violates international humanitarian law.

    On 4 December, 100 aid trucks carrying humanitarian supplies and 69,000 litres of fuel entered from Egypt into Gaza, about the same as the previous day. This is well below the daily average of 170 trucks and 110,000 litres of fuel that had entered during the humanitarian pause implemented between 24 and 30 November.

    On 4 December, for the second consecutive day, Rafah was the only governorate in Gaza where limited aid distributions, primarily of flour and water, took place.

    On 4 December at about 20:30, the main telecommunication provider in Gaza announced that all telecom services had shut down due to cuts in the main fibre routes. This followed a partial shutdown in Gaza city and northern Gaza a few hours earlier due to ongoing hostilities. Humanitarian agencies and first responders have warned that blackouts jeopardize the already constrained provision of life-saving assistance.

    Al-Azhar University of Gaza before and after Israel bombed the institution
    Al-Azhar University of Gaza before and after Israel bombed the institution. The university was built in 1991 (photo)
    Other Gaza updates

    Agriculture destroyed: Human Rights Watch (HRW) has found that orchards, greenhouses and farmland have been razed due to Israel’s ground invasion in the north of Gaza. In Beit Hanoun in northeast Gaza, what was once green agricultural land has now become “brown and desolate”, increasing concerns about food insecurity and the loss of livelihoods.

    The razing continued during the seven-day truce and satellite imagery showed the destruction of farmland by Israel’s use of bulldozers to carve new roads for its armored vehicles.

    Israel set to possibly flood Gaza’s tunnel system: the Wall Street Journal reports:

    Israel has assembled a system of large pumps it could use to flood Hamas’s vast network of tunnels under the Gaza Strip with seawater, a tactic that could destroy the tunnels and drive the fighters from their underground refuge but also threaten Gaza’s water supply, U.S. officials said.

    The Israel Defense Forces finished assembling large seawater pumps roughly one mile north of the Al-Shati refugee camp around the middle of last month. Each of at least five pumps can draw water from the Mediterranean Sea and move thousands of cubic meters of water per hour into the tunnels, flooding them within weeks.

    Sentiment inside the U.S. was mixed. Some U.S. officials privately expressed concern about the plan, while other officials said the U.S. supports the disabling of the tunnels and said there wasn’t necessarily any U.S. opposition to the plan. The Israelis have identified about 800 tunnels so far, though they acknowledge the network is bigger than that.

    Because it isn’t clear how permeable the tunnels are or how much seawater would seep into the soil and to what effect, it is hard to fully assess the impact of pumping seawater into the tunnels, said Jon Alterman, senior vice president at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.

    “It’s hard to tell what pumping seawater will do to the existing water and sewage infrastructure. It is hard to tell what it will do to groundwater reserves. And it’s hard to tell the impact on the stability of nearby buildings,” Alterman said.

    RECOMMENDED READING: ICRC president describes human suffering in Gaza as ‘intolerable’

    Attacks on southern Gaza promise to be “worse” than north: Yoav Gallant, the Israeli defense minister, has been saying that what will come to the southern part of the Gaza Strip will not only be equal to what we saw in the north but, actually, even worse. He says the army is going to continue its ground operation inside of the northern part of the Gaza Strip. He also said that Israeli troops are going to remain stationed there until every single Hamas target – infrastructure and fighters – is eliminated.

    Palestinians mourn the death of loved ones who were killed by Israeli bombardment in the southern Gaza Strip
    Palestinians mourn the death of loved ones who were killed by Israeli bombardment in the southern Gaza Strip (photo)
    RECOMMENDED READING: Is Israel’s Gaza bombing also a war on the climate?

    West Bank, Jerusalem, and Israel news

    Israeli settlers break into Jerusalem’s Aqsa mosque: Dozens of fanatic Israeli settlers Tuesday morning broke into the compounds of al-Aqsa Mosque under heavy protection from the Israeli police. The extremist settlers divided into groups, raided the holy Islamic Mosque from al-Maghariba gate and took provocative tours in its compounds. The settlers performed Talmudic rituals in the eastern part of the Mosque.

    Jerusalem Palestinian killed: A Palestinian was Tuesday morning killed, while his brother was detained, by Israeli forces during a raid in Qalandia camp, north of occupied Jerusalem. Witnesses said that the occupation forces violently stormed Manasra’s and blew up the door of the house just as he was about to open it, with a bomb that disintegrated his body. The occupation forces later detained his brother before they withdrew.

    Israel says Jerusalemite children released in recent prisoner swap can’t go back to school: Families of the child prisoners released in the recent exchange deal said that the schools’ administrations affiliated with the so-called Israeli Ministry of Education and the occupation municipality in Jerusalem refused the return of their children to school.

    2 Palestinians killed Monday night: Two Palestinian youths was Monday evening killed after they were shot by Israeli occupation forces in the town of Sa’ir, northeast of Hebron. The Ministry of Health said that Anas Ismail al-Froukh, 23, and Mohammad Saa’di al-Frouk, 22, died due to their severe injuries by Israeli forces.

    Major new settlement plan approved for occupied East Jerusalem: Ir Amim, an organization that focuses on the Israel-Palestine conflict in Jerusalem, says that amid the ongoing war in Gaza, Israel is seeking to expand the settler presence in occupied East Jerusalem. “Today, officials shockingly announced the approval of the Lower Aqueduct plan – the first major new settlement plan to be fully approved in East Jerusalem since [the settlement of] Givat Hamatos in 2012,” the group said.

    This plan has disastrous ramifications, the group said, predicting “It will extend the Israeli settlement wedge along East Jerusalem’s southern boundary, further sealing [it] off from the southern West Bank, while fracturing the Palestinian space and depleting more vacant land for Palestinian development.”

    Israel says three more soldiers were killed during fighting on Tuesday and four others were seriously injured in various battles in northern Gaza. More than 80 Israeli soldiers have been killed in Gaza since the start of the ground invasion of the Palestinian enclave, the UN said on Tuesday, citing official Israeli sources. It was not known if the latest deaths announced by Israel were part of that total.

    RECOMMENDED VIEWING: Watch: Debunking Israel’s “mass rape” propaganda

    The firing of rockets by Palestinian armed groups towards Israeli population centers has continued over the past 24 hours, with no reported fatalities. (Information on rocket attacks is here.) It appears that the last time a rocket killed an Israeli was October 7-8, as reported by Ha’aretz and the Times of Israel. 15 Israelis were killed – 10 of them Palestinian Israelis who reportedly had no access to bomb shelters. Rockets have killed a total of 35 Israelis over the 22 years they’ve been fired,.

    Elsewhere

    Resigned US State Department official reveals details of child rape case in Israeli prison, calls for accountability: In a CNN interview, former US State Department official Josh Paul discloses a troubling incident involving the alleged rape of a 13-year-old Palestinian boy in an Israeli prison. The State Department’s inquiry into the case resulted in Israeli officials shutting down the charity involved in bringing the case to light.

    Paul condemned ongoing atrocities in Gaza and the West Bank and called for accountability. He questioned the US foreign policy’s impact on global perceptions and whether the US is using its ‘leverage’ to end the Israeli onslaught on Gaza.

    Josh Paul resigned from the US State Department in October over the Biden administration’s decision to continue sending weapons and ammunition to Israel following the Israeli war on Gaza.

    More pro-Israel legislation: A week after US lawmakers expressed frustration in having to vote for yet another pro-Israel resolution, the House is expected to vote again this week to declare anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism, in a new bill which critics say will further undermine free speech protected by the US constitution.

    House Resolution 894 — introduced by Jewish Republicans, Representative David Kustoff (Tenn.) and Max Miller (Ohio) – “clearly and firmly states that anti-Zionism is antisemitism.” The bill embraces the highly controversial International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) so called working definition of anti-Semitism, which, while not explicitly mentioning anti-Zionism, includes “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination” and “claiming that the existence of a state of Israel is a racist endeavor,” as anti-Semitic.

    Some Democratic senators say that Israel’s military must adopt substantive measures to lessen civilian deaths in Gaza as part of receiving the supplemental $14.3 billion in US aid for Israel’s war, but only a few call for a ceasefire (Bernie Sanders is not among them). House Resolution 786 calling for a ceasefire has 17 cosponsors. (Bernie Sanders is not among them.)

    Poll shows split support in US for Israel’s war on Gaza: A survey by US polling agency Gallup shows among members of US President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party, only 36 percent support the war as opposed to 71 percent among opposition Republican Party members.

    Biden received a 32 percent approval rating for his handling of the Gaza conflict. Also, four in 10 Americans surveyed say the US is sending too little aid to the Palestinians in Gaza.



    Statistics as of Dec. 4:

    Palestinian death toll: OCHA reports at least 15,688* (~15,428 in Gaza** (4,257 women and 6,387 children), and at least 260 in the West Bank). This does not include an estimated 7,000 more still buried under rubble. Euro-Med Monitor reports 20,360 Palestinian deaths.

    *IAK does not yet include 471 Gazans killed in the Al Ahli hospital blast since the source of the projectile is being disputed; although much evidence points to Israel as the culprit, experts are still looking into the incident. Israel is blocking an international investigation. Israel killed more Palestinians in a little over a month after Oct. 7 than in all the previous 22 years combined.

    Palestinian injuries: 44,595** (including at least 42,000 in Gaza** and 3,365 in the West Bank). **NOTE: it is impossible to offer an accurate number of injuries in Gaza due to the ongoing bombardment and communication disruption.

    It remains unknown how many Americans are among the casualties. in Gaza**. About 1.8 million people have been displaced (nearly 80% of the population).

    Reported Israeli death toll ~1,200 (7 killed in West Bank, 80 in Gaza), including 32 Americans, and 5,431 injured, approximately 30 children).

    NOTE: It is unknown at this time how many of the deaths and injuries in Israel may have been caused by Israeli soldiers; additionally, since Israel has a policy of universal conscription, it is unknown how many of those attending the outdoor rave a few miles from Gaza on stolen Palestinian land were Israeli soldiers.

    Find previous daily casualty figures and daily news updates here. For more news, go here and here.**** Live broadcast news from the region is here.

    RELATED READING:

    US poised to give Israel $18 billion in aid this year
    Gaza Civilians, Under Israeli Barrage, Are Being Killed at Historic Pace
    Israel has lost control of the narrative – October 7 truths coming out
    Essential facts and stats about the Hamas-Gaza-Israel war
    What media reports fail to tell you about October 7
    More Palestinians killed in past 34 days than in the past 22 years combined

    https://israelpalestinenews.org/israel-strategy-cold-calculated-lacks-decency-day-60/
    Israel’s strategy is “cold and calculated, and lacks any sense of decency” – Day 60 [email protected] December 5, 2023 ethnic cleansing, Gaza, hamas, humanitarian aid, Israel, tunnel Israel’s strategy is “cold and calculated, and lacks any sense of decency” – Day 60 UNICEF spokesperson says alleged Gaza safe zones are ‘zones of death’ In a Sky News interview, UNICEF spokesperson James Elder says Israel’s proclaimed ‘safe zones’ in Gaza are ‘zones of death’ with increased risk for disease. Elder says Israeli authorities are fully aware of the dire consequences in the alleged safe zones, and that the decision to push 80% of the population into a zone that is 4% the size of Gaza is ‘cold’ and ‘calculated’ and lacks ‘any sense of decency’. Khan Younis and Rafah: Monday night was terrifying for residents of Khan Younis and Rafah, and 1.5 million evacuees. Since early yesterday evening, there has been non-stop heavy artillery shelling, relentless air strikes and mass bombardment. The vast majority of residential homes and public facilities – schools, hospitals, medical centers and shops – in the eastern side of Khan Younis, have been completely destroyed. At the same time, people were ordered to evacuate in the middle of the night and early hours of this morning under heavy bombardment. As ambulances tried to get to the eastern side of Khan Younis to Abasan al-Kabira and Bani Suheila, where people were stranded and caught under the heavy bombardment, they were shot at and could not evacuate any of the injured or bring out any of those who were killed overnight. The Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Younis has called for blood donations due to the high number of severely injured patients arriving every hour. Twenty-six out of 35 hospitals in Gaza are currently out of service, and 52 out of 72 primary healthcare clinics have been shut down. Palestinian officials in Gaza say Israeli jets dropped phosphorus bombs north and east of Khan Younis. (Use of white phosphorus in civilian areas is considered a war crime due to its extremely dangerous effects on the human body. White phosphorus ignites instantly when in contact with oxygen. It can burn through the human body, including through bone, causing severe, excruciating damage. It can also cause extreme harm when inhaled, with risks of suffocation, cardiovascular failure, coma, death, and other lifelong effects. The substance burns at temperatures of up to 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit.) Nasser hospital staff are stretched to their limits as casualties mount in southern Gaza, says UNICEF. Fifty-two of 72 primary healthcare clinics have shut down in Gaza. [Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters] (photo) Central Gaza: Israeli jets targeted the Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza this morning. Bombing began around 6:05am (04:05 GMT) while most residents were asleep, leading to a total “state of panic”. At least 15 houses were “completely destroyed” more than 15 people were killed, including children. Many wounded are still trapped under the rubble. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) has shared footage of the moment an Israeli artillery tank targeted the vicinity of two ambulances in Gaza. PRCS said the two ambulances were attending to casualties in Deir el-Balah, southern Gaza. Northern Gaza: Gaza’s health ministry is warning of a “massacre” at Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza, where Israeli tanks and snipers are reportedly surrounding the facility and “shooting at anyone who moves”; Israeli forces have already killed 108 civilians and injured dozens in the hospital’s vicinity. Munir al-Bursh, director-general of the Health Ministry in Gaza, said, The Israeli occupation forces have laid siege to the facility from all sides. Patients and those who took shelter here are gripped with fear and overwhelmed by horror. The Israeli forces are attacking with the aim of forcibly removing all those inside the hospital. These are patients, victims and displaced civilians. We, the medical staff, are holding our ground. We are standing by our patients. We will continue to serve our people by all means left here at Kamal Adwan Hospital. UN says no place is safe: The United Nations warns that creating “so-called safe zones” for civilians to flee to within the Gaza Strip is impossible amid Israel’s bombing campaign. The Israeli army, which initially focused much of its offensive on the north of the enclave, has now dropped leaflets on parts of the south, telling Palestinian civilians there to flee to other areas. “The so-called safe zones … are not scientific, they are not rational, they are not possible, and I think the authorities are aware of this,” said UNICEF spokesperson James Elder. Journalists face grave threats: The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reports that 63 journalists and media workers have been killed since October 7. The overall death toll includes 56 Palestinians, four Israelis and three Lebanese nationals. Sherif Mansour, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator, said, CPJ emphasizes that journalists are civilians doing important work during times of crisis and must not be targeted by warring parties. Journalists across the region are making great sacrifices to cover this heart-breaking conflict. Those in Gaza, in particular, have paid, and continue to pay, an unprecedented toll and face exponential threats. Humanitarian update UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said the resumption of the Israeli military operation and its expansion further in southern Gaza is repeating horrors from past weeks. He added, The latest developments are further strangling the humanitarian operation, with limited supplies going in and complex logistical and coordination arrangements that slow down and at times obstruct the flow. The Israeli Authorities continue to restrict the flow of humanitarian supplies, including fuel, forcing the UN to only use the ill-equipped crossing point with Egypt. We call on the State of Israel to reopen Kerem Shalom and other crossings and facilitate the unconditional, uninterrupted and meaningful delivery of lifesaving humanitarian assistance. The failure to do so violates international humanitarian law. On 4 December, 100 aid trucks carrying humanitarian supplies and 69,000 litres of fuel entered from Egypt into Gaza, about the same as the previous day. This is well below the daily average of 170 trucks and 110,000 litres of fuel that had entered during the humanitarian pause implemented between 24 and 30 November. On 4 December, for the second consecutive day, Rafah was the only governorate in Gaza where limited aid distributions, primarily of flour and water, took place. On 4 December at about 20:30, the main telecommunication provider in Gaza announced that all telecom services had shut down due to cuts in the main fibre routes. This followed a partial shutdown in Gaza city and northern Gaza a few hours earlier due to ongoing hostilities. Humanitarian agencies and first responders have warned that blackouts jeopardize the already constrained provision of life-saving assistance. Al-Azhar University of Gaza before and after Israel bombed the institution Al-Azhar University of Gaza before and after Israel bombed the institution. The university was built in 1991 (photo) Other Gaza updates Agriculture destroyed: Human Rights Watch (HRW) has found that orchards, greenhouses and farmland have been razed due to Israel’s ground invasion in the north of Gaza. In Beit Hanoun in northeast Gaza, what was once green agricultural land has now become “brown and desolate”, increasing concerns about food insecurity and the loss of livelihoods. The razing continued during the seven-day truce and satellite imagery showed the destruction of farmland by Israel’s use of bulldozers to carve new roads for its armored vehicles. Israel set to possibly flood Gaza’s tunnel system: the Wall Street Journal reports: Israel has assembled a system of large pumps it could use to flood Hamas’s vast network of tunnels under the Gaza Strip with seawater, a tactic that could destroy the tunnels and drive the fighters from their underground refuge but also threaten Gaza’s water supply, U.S. officials said. The Israel Defense Forces finished assembling large seawater pumps roughly one mile north of the Al-Shati refugee camp around the middle of last month. Each of at least five pumps can draw water from the Mediterranean Sea and move thousands of cubic meters of water per hour into the tunnels, flooding them within weeks. Sentiment inside the U.S. was mixed. Some U.S. officials privately expressed concern about the plan, while other officials said the U.S. supports the disabling of the tunnels and said there wasn’t necessarily any U.S. opposition to the plan. The Israelis have identified about 800 tunnels so far, though they acknowledge the network is bigger than that. Because it isn’t clear how permeable the tunnels are or how much seawater would seep into the soil and to what effect, it is hard to fully assess the impact of pumping seawater into the tunnels, said Jon Alterman, senior vice president at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies. “It’s hard to tell what pumping seawater will do to the existing water and sewage infrastructure. It is hard to tell what it will do to groundwater reserves. And it’s hard to tell the impact on the stability of nearby buildings,” Alterman said. RECOMMENDED READING: ICRC president describes human suffering in Gaza as ‘intolerable’ Attacks on southern Gaza promise to be “worse” than north: Yoav Gallant, the Israeli defense minister, has been saying that what will come to the southern part of the Gaza Strip will not only be equal to what we saw in the north but, actually, even worse. He says the army is going to continue its ground operation inside of the northern part of the Gaza Strip. He also said that Israeli troops are going to remain stationed there until every single Hamas target – infrastructure and fighters – is eliminated. Palestinians mourn the death of loved ones who were killed by Israeli bombardment in the southern Gaza Strip Palestinians mourn the death of loved ones who were killed by Israeli bombardment in the southern Gaza Strip (photo) RECOMMENDED READING: Is Israel’s Gaza bombing also a war on the climate? West Bank, Jerusalem, and Israel news Israeli settlers break into Jerusalem’s Aqsa mosque: Dozens of fanatic Israeli settlers Tuesday morning broke into the compounds of al-Aqsa Mosque under heavy protection from the Israeli police. The extremist settlers divided into groups, raided the holy Islamic Mosque from al-Maghariba gate and took provocative tours in its compounds. The settlers performed Talmudic rituals in the eastern part of the Mosque. Jerusalem Palestinian killed: A Palestinian was Tuesday morning killed, while his brother was detained, by Israeli forces during a raid in Qalandia camp, north of occupied Jerusalem. Witnesses said that the occupation forces violently stormed Manasra’s and blew up the door of the house just as he was about to open it, with a bomb that disintegrated his body. The occupation forces later detained his brother before they withdrew. Israel says Jerusalemite children released in recent prisoner swap can’t go back to school: Families of the child prisoners released in the recent exchange deal said that the schools’ administrations affiliated with the so-called Israeli Ministry of Education and the occupation municipality in Jerusalem refused the return of their children to school. 2 Palestinians killed Monday night: Two Palestinian youths was Monday evening killed after they were shot by Israeli occupation forces in the town of Sa’ir, northeast of Hebron. The Ministry of Health said that Anas Ismail al-Froukh, 23, and Mohammad Saa’di al-Frouk, 22, died due to their severe injuries by Israeli forces. Major new settlement plan approved for occupied East Jerusalem: Ir Amim, an organization that focuses on the Israel-Palestine conflict in Jerusalem, says that amid the ongoing war in Gaza, Israel is seeking to expand the settler presence in occupied East Jerusalem. “Today, officials shockingly announced the approval of the Lower Aqueduct plan – the first major new settlement plan to be fully approved in East Jerusalem since [the settlement of] Givat Hamatos in 2012,” the group said. This plan has disastrous ramifications, the group said, predicting “It will extend the Israeli settlement wedge along East Jerusalem’s southern boundary, further sealing [it] off from the southern West Bank, while fracturing the Palestinian space and depleting more vacant land for Palestinian development.” Israel says three more soldiers were killed during fighting on Tuesday and four others were seriously injured in various battles in northern Gaza. More than 80 Israeli soldiers have been killed in Gaza since the start of the ground invasion of the Palestinian enclave, the UN said on Tuesday, citing official Israeli sources. It was not known if the latest deaths announced by Israel were part of that total. RECOMMENDED VIEWING: Watch: Debunking Israel’s “mass rape” propaganda The firing of rockets by Palestinian armed groups towards Israeli population centers has continued over the past 24 hours, with no reported fatalities. (Information on rocket attacks is here.) It appears that the last time a rocket killed an Israeli was October 7-8, as reported by Ha’aretz and the Times of Israel. 15 Israelis were killed – 10 of them Palestinian Israelis who reportedly had no access to bomb shelters. Rockets have killed a total of 35 Israelis over the 22 years they’ve been fired,. Elsewhere Resigned US State Department official reveals details of child rape case in Israeli prison, calls for accountability: In a CNN interview, former US State Department official Josh Paul discloses a troubling incident involving the alleged rape of a 13-year-old Palestinian boy in an Israeli prison. The State Department’s inquiry into the case resulted in Israeli officials shutting down the charity involved in bringing the case to light. Paul condemned ongoing atrocities in Gaza and the West Bank and called for accountability. He questioned the US foreign policy’s impact on global perceptions and whether the US is using its ‘leverage’ to end the Israeli onslaught on Gaza. Josh Paul resigned from the US State Department in October over the Biden administration’s decision to continue sending weapons and ammunition to Israel following the Israeli war on Gaza. More pro-Israel legislation: A week after US lawmakers expressed frustration in having to vote for yet another pro-Israel resolution, the House is expected to vote again this week to declare anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism, in a new bill which critics say will further undermine free speech protected by the US constitution. House Resolution 894 — introduced by Jewish Republicans, Representative David Kustoff (Tenn.) and Max Miller (Ohio) – “clearly and firmly states that anti-Zionism is antisemitism.” The bill embraces the highly controversial International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) so called working definition of anti-Semitism, which, while not explicitly mentioning anti-Zionism, includes “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination” and “claiming that the existence of a state of Israel is a racist endeavor,” as anti-Semitic. Some Democratic senators say that Israel’s military must adopt substantive measures to lessen civilian deaths in Gaza as part of receiving the supplemental $14.3 billion in US aid for Israel’s war, but only a few call for a ceasefire (Bernie Sanders is not among them). House Resolution 786 calling for a ceasefire has 17 cosponsors. (Bernie Sanders is not among them.) Poll shows split support in US for Israel’s war on Gaza: A survey by US polling agency Gallup shows among members of US President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party, only 36 percent support the war as opposed to 71 percent among opposition Republican Party members. Biden received a 32 percent approval rating for his handling of the Gaza conflict. Also, four in 10 Americans surveyed say the US is sending too little aid to the Palestinians in Gaza. Statistics as of Dec. 4: Palestinian death toll: OCHA reports at least 15,688* (~15,428 in Gaza** (4,257 women and 6,387 children), and at least 260 in the West Bank). This does not include an estimated 7,000 more still buried under rubble. Euro-Med Monitor reports 20,360 Palestinian deaths. *IAK does not yet include 471 Gazans killed in the Al Ahli hospital blast since the source of the projectile is being disputed; although much evidence points to Israel as the culprit, experts are still looking into the incident. Israel is blocking an international investigation. Israel killed more Palestinians in a little over a month after Oct. 7 than in all the previous 22 years combined. Palestinian injuries: 44,595** (including at least 42,000 in Gaza** and 3,365 in the West Bank). **NOTE: it is impossible to offer an accurate number of injuries in Gaza due to the ongoing bombardment and communication disruption. It remains unknown how many Americans are among the casualties. in Gaza**. About 1.8 million people have been displaced (nearly 80% of the population). Reported Israeli death toll ~1,200 (7 killed in West Bank, 80 in Gaza), including 32 Americans, and 5,431 injured, approximately 30 children). NOTE: It is unknown at this time how many of the deaths and injuries in Israel may have been caused by Israeli soldiers; additionally, since Israel has a policy of universal conscription, it is unknown how many of those attending the outdoor rave a few miles from Gaza on stolen Palestinian land were Israeli soldiers. Find previous daily casualty figures and daily news updates here. For more news, go here and here.**** Live broadcast news from the region is here. RELATED READING: US poised to give Israel $18 billion in aid this year Gaza Civilians, Under Israeli Barrage, Are Being Killed at Historic Pace Israel has lost control of the narrative – October 7 truths coming out Essential facts and stats about the Hamas-Gaza-Israel war What media reports fail to tell you about October 7 More Palestinians killed in past 34 days than in the past 22 years combined https://israelpalestinenews.org/israel-strategy-cold-calculated-lacks-decency-day-60/
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  • The Kratom (Ketum) industry in southern Thailand
    The Malaysian connection

    Murray Hunter
    No description available.
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    Over the last 12 months, stalls have been opening up across southern Thailand to sell ketum leaves, syrups, and mixed drinks. In Thailand ketum is called kratom.

    Kratom is now sold on every street corner, and in between, across all southern Thai towns. These stalls are very cheap to open, usually in front of homes, or shops to sell to passers-by.

    In 2021 Thailand updated the Narcotics Act (No.8) 201, which removed kratom from the list of prohibited substances, where all offences for cultivating, processing, and selling were eliminated. This was published in the Government Gazette, making it law in August 2022.

    Kratom, or its scientific name Mitragyna speciosa (Korth.) is a large forest tree found in northern Malaysia and southern Thailand. The tree is adaptable to cultivation, and takes around two to three years to produce marketable leaves. The leaves have been used by locals in both southern Thailand and northern Malaysia for pain relief for hundreds of years. The leaves either chewed of boiled into a tea or syrup also provides some euphoric effects. Other claim kratom makes them energetic. Ethnobotanic data records that kratom was used as a substitute for opium, supressing withdrawal symptoms. Observation and research data indicates the use of kratom is additive.

    Kratom is sort after in southern Thailand by farmers and rubber tappers, food delivery motorcyclists, lori and bus drivers, small market traders, and manual workers. Kratom syrup is usually mixed with coffee, or Coca Cola.

    No description available.
    Kratom retailing is now a choice start-up retailing business, due to the low set up costs, ability to sell from home, or set up a stall along the side of the road. The setting up of kratom stalls now out paces coffee stalls and kueh stalls selling breakfast items.

    Its very difficult to estimate the number of kratom stalls that now exist. More are being set up every-day. Within the Hat Yai area and access roads alone, there are probably in excess of 500 stalls. This would run into many thousands across southern Thailand. This is amazing, considering just over six months ago there was no one selling kratom leaves of syrups openly.

    There is probably an oversupply of stalls as kratom stalls are still being opened up. The ones that succeed are those which are open at night and placed in high traffic locations, with easy parking.

    Kratom, unlike marijuana is thriving ion southern Thailand. Marijuana gained much more publicity than kratom. People rushed out to buy marijuana plants, restaurants utilizing marijuana opened for business, as did coffee shops. However, this popularity only lasted a few months, and has been taken over by kratom as the drug of choice in the south.

    No description available.
    Marijuana not making waves in southern Thailand

    The Malaysian connection

    As from last year, kratom leaves could be imported into Thailand legally, without any license requirements from the Narcotics Control Board (NCB). Most of the kratom leaves sold and used to make syrups in Thailand come from Malaysia, cultivated in Kelantan, northern Perak, Kedah, and Perlis. Even a very well known politician in Perlis cultivates nearly 100 acres of kratom. This practice continues unabated, evenwhen Ketum is considered a narcotic in Malaysia. The alkaloid mitragynine contained in ketum leaves is categorized as a psychotropic substance under the Poisons Act 1952. Police have long being cutting down ketum trees found growing in FELDA reserves in Perlis. However, under the current laws, exporting ketum is illegal but planting ketum is perfectly fine. This makes it almost impossible for the police to stop the flow of ketum to our neighbouring countries.

    Ketum Raid
    However, due to the growing demand from Thailand, Malaysian farmers keep cultivating ketum and exporting their leaves to Thailand. Ketum is a bonanza crop for Malaysian farmers. One ketum tree can produce 10kg of leaves with revenue of RM200 every two weeks. Hence, the smuggling of ketum leaves is on an upward trend. Some estimate the value of exporting ketum leaves to be as high as RM 180m million per annum.

    Malaysian kratom leaves are considered the best quality in southern Thailand, where the alkaloid content is higher than local varieties.

    The kratom market will keep growing in Thailand, as central, northern, and eastern Thailand are yet to catch on to this opportunity.

    So far there are few signs the government will walk back on the decriminalization of kratom, as they are trying to do with marijuana. Kratom syrup is now a commodity item, particularly among those undertaking manual jobs. The attraction to this product is its addictiveness. The attraction to starting up a kratom retail stall is the extremely low capital requirements.

    In Malaysia, there has been growing support for the idea of legalising the cultivation of ketum for medical purposes. In April 2022, former Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin said that the Cabinet had given the “green light” on this matter. On 18 May 2022, Kedah’s State Economic Planning Division has officially completed its proposal to seek federal approval to legalise the export of ketum. However, the government changed in November 2022 and there has been silence on the matter.

    Subscribe Below:


    https://murrayhunter.substack.com/p/the-kratom-ketum-industry-in-southern
    The Kratom (Ketum) industry in southern Thailand The Malaysian connection Murray Hunter No description available. Share Over the last 12 months, stalls have been opening up across southern Thailand to sell ketum leaves, syrups, and mixed drinks. In Thailand ketum is called kratom. Kratom is now sold on every street corner, and in between, across all southern Thai towns. These stalls are very cheap to open, usually in front of homes, or shops to sell to passers-by. In 2021 Thailand updated the Narcotics Act (No.8) 201, which removed kratom from the list of prohibited substances, where all offences for cultivating, processing, and selling were eliminated. This was published in the Government Gazette, making it law in August 2022. Kratom, or its scientific name Mitragyna speciosa (Korth.) is a large forest tree found in northern Malaysia and southern Thailand. The tree is adaptable to cultivation, and takes around two to three years to produce marketable leaves. The leaves have been used by locals in both southern Thailand and northern Malaysia for pain relief for hundreds of years. The leaves either chewed of boiled into a tea or syrup also provides some euphoric effects. Other claim kratom makes them energetic. Ethnobotanic data records that kratom was used as a substitute for opium, supressing withdrawal symptoms. Observation and research data indicates the use of kratom is additive. Kratom is sort after in southern Thailand by farmers and rubber tappers, food delivery motorcyclists, lori and bus drivers, small market traders, and manual workers. Kratom syrup is usually mixed with coffee, or Coca Cola. No description available. Kratom retailing is now a choice start-up retailing business, due to the low set up costs, ability to sell from home, or set up a stall along the side of the road. The setting up of kratom stalls now out paces coffee stalls and kueh stalls selling breakfast items. Its very difficult to estimate the number of kratom stalls that now exist. More are being set up every-day. Within the Hat Yai area and access roads alone, there are probably in excess of 500 stalls. This would run into many thousands across southern Thailand. This is amazing, considering just over six months ago there was no one selling kratom leaves of syrups openly. There is probably an oversupply of stalls as kratom stalls are still being opened up. The ones that succeed are those which are open at night and placed in high traffic locations, with easy parking. Kratom, unlike marijuana is thriving ion southern Thailand. Marijuana gained much more publicity than kratom. People rushed out to buy marijuana plants, restaurants utilizing marijuana opened for business, as did coffee shops. However, this popularity only lasted a few months, and has been taken over by kratom as the drug of choice in the south. No description available. Marijuana not making waves in southern Thailand The Malaysian connection As from last year, kratom leaves could be imported into Thailand legally, without any license requirements from the Narcotics Control Board (NCB). Most of the kratom leaves sold and used to make syrups in Thailand come from Malaysia, cultivated in Kelantan, northern Perak, Kedah, and Perlis. Even a very well known politician in Perlis cultivates nearly 100 acres of kratom. This practice continues unabated, evenwhen Ketum is considered a narcotic in Malaysia. The alkaloid mitragynine contained in ketum leaves is categorized as a psychotropic substance under the Poisons Act 1952. Police have long being cutting down ketum trees found growing in FELDA reserves in Perlis. However, under the current laws, exporting ketum is illegal but planting ketum is perfectly fine. This makes it almost impossible for the police to stop the flow of ketum to our neighbouring countries. Ketum Raid However, due to the growing demand from Thailand, Malaysian farmers keep cultivating ketum and exporting their leaves to Thailand. Ketum is a bonanza crop for Malaysian farmers. One ketum tree can produce 10kg of leaves with revenue of RM200 every two weeks. Hence, the smuggling of ketum leaves is on an upward trend. Some estimate the value of exporting ketum leaves to be as high as RM 180m million per annum. Malaysian kratom leaves are considered the best quality in southern Thailand, where the alkaloid content is higher than local varieties. The kratom market will keep growing in Thailand, as central, northern, and eastern Thailand are yet to catch on to this opportunity. So far there are few signs the government will walk back on the decriminalization of kratom, as they are trying to do with marijuana. Kratom syrup is now a commodity item, particularly among those undertaking manual jobs. The attraction to this product is its addictiveness. The attraction to starting up a kratom retail stall is the extremely low capital requirements. In Malaysia, there has been growing support for the idea of legalising the cultivation of ketum for medical purposes. In April 2022, former Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin said that the Cabinet had given the “green light” on this matter. On 18 May 2022, Kedah’s State Economic Planning Division has officially completed its proposal to seek federal approval to legalise the export of ketum. However, the government changed in November 2022 and there has been silence on the matter. Subscribe Below: https://murrayhunter.substack.com/p/the-kratom-ketum-industry-in-southern
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  • Start Training From Day 1
    It's easy to laugh at the cute things puppies do. The problem? When your dog is fully grown, those same antics—Make Bedtime Extra Cozy
    Those first few nights in a new place can be anxious ones for your puppy. Put a stuffed animal designed to give comfort in your puppy's crate. Some even have a heartbeat and can be warmed up to make your pup feel like he's still sleeping with company.Keep the Crate Close to Your Bed
    To help ease first-night jitters, keep your puppy right next to you overnight. Put your puppy's crate on top of a sturdy table or chair so it's at the same level as your bed (but not in your bed). You can poke your fingers through the crate door to feel even closer. If your puppy cries at night, take him to go potty and then immediately place him back in the crate. Over time, slowly move the crate further away from the bed, down on the floor, and then into whatever room your dog will sleep in.

    Promolink discount UpTo 50%


    https://www.digistore24.com/redir/434590/Abrar769/
    Start Training From Day 1 It's easy to laugh at the cute things puppies do. The problem? When your dog is fully grown, those same antics—Make Bedtime Extra Cozy Those first few nights in a new place can be anxious ones for your puppy. Put a stuffed animal designed to give comfort in your puppy's crate. Some even have a heartbeat and can be warmed up to make your pup feel like he's still sleeping with company.Keep the Crate Close to Your Bed To help ease first-night jitters, keep your puppy right next to you overnight. Put your puppy's crate on top of a sturdy table or chair so it's at the same level as your bed (but not in your bed). You can poke your fingers through the crate door to feel even closer. If your puppy cries at night, take him to go potty and then immediately place him back in the crate. Over time, slowly move the crate further away from the bed, down on the floor, and then into whatever room your dog will sleep in. Promolink discount UpTo 50% https://www.digistore24.com/redir/434590/Abrar769/
    How To Train Your Puppy
    Do you have a new puppy in your house? Does your cute little friend need an outlet for their energy? Is it time to train your puppy to behave properly? What this audiobook offers
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  • Walking with a Light
    SCRIPTURE READING — PSALM 119:105-112
    Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. — Psalm 119:105

    My headlamp is a useful piece of gear for hiking and camping. I’ve used it for walking at night and for finding things in the dark. But during a snowstorm one day, when temperatures dropped well below freezing on the Appalachian Trail, my headlamp battery died, rendering it completely useless.

    https://ispringmedia.blogspot.com/2023/12/walking-with-light.html
    Read complete massage via above link
    Thanks and God bless.

    #meditantespodcast #meditantes #podcast #meditação #meditation
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    Walking with a Light SCRIPTURE READING — PSALM 119:105-112 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. — Psalm 119:105 My headlamp is a useful piece of gear for hiking and camping. I’ve used it for walking at night and for finding things in the dark. But during a snowstorm one day, when temperatures dropped well below freezing on the Appalachian Trail, my headlamp battery died, rendering it completely useless. https://ispringmedia.blogspot.com/2023/12/walking-with-light.html Read complete massage via above link Thanks and God bless. #meditantespodcast #meditantes #podcast #meditação #meditation [stephan.daub] [nicodemus.morfaw] [peter.gregory] [neil.miles.1] [nestoras.kiosoglou] [ionel.cernatescu] [lesley.badcock] [lewis.wade] [stephen.blubaugh] [yira.gonzalez] [Mackemacchiato] [accountsvalorantigv] [Achilihu6823] [andy88890] [nikolairusev] [Hunt.Renno] [sandra.renda] [provenriskfree.business]
    ISPRINGMEDIA.BLOGSPOT.COM
    Walking with a Light
    Start your day with a biblical perspective you can carry with you no matter what lies ahead. Receive practical application for life.
    0 Comments 0 Shares 587 Views
  • Walking with a Light
    SCRIPTURE READING — PSALM 119:105-112
    Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. — Psalm 119:105

    My headlamp is a useful piece of gear for hiking and camping. I’ve used it for walking at night and for finding things in the dark. But during a snowstorm one day, when temperatures dropped well below freezing on the Appalachian Trail, my headlamp battery died, rendering it completely useless.

    https://ispringmedia.blogspot.com/2023/12/walking-with-light.html
    Read complete massage via above link
    Thanks and God bless.

    #prayerofthanks #thankgod #goodnessofgod #loveofgod #godislove #god #church #bible #christian #belief #faith #jesus #faithworksfriday #christianlife #christianliving #christianfaith #christianinspiration
    #christianmotivation #christianity #christianquotes #keepthefaith #jesusheals #christianhealing #christianblogger #beliefingod #faithinaction #beliefinjesus #faithinjesus #godlovesyou #thewordofgod #christianprayer
    Walking with a Light SCRIPTURE READING — PSALM 119:105-112 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. — Psalm 119:105 My headlamp is a useful piece of gear for hiking and camping. I’ve used it for walking at night and for finding things in the dark. But during a snowstorm one day, when temperatures dropped well below freezing on the Appalachian Trail, my headlamp battery died, rendering it completely useless. https://ispringmedia.blogspot.com/2023/12/walking-with-light.html Read complete massage via above link Thanks and God bless. #prayerofthanks #thankgod #goodnessofgod #loveofgod #godislove #god #church #bible #christian #belief #faith #jesus #faithworksfriday #christianlife #christianliving #christianfaith #christianinspiration #christianmotivation #christianity #christianquotes #keepthefaith #jesusheals #christianhealing #christianblogger #beliefingod #faithinaction #beliefinjesus #faithinjesus #godlovesyou #thewordofgod #christianprayer
    ISPRINGMEDIA.BLOGSPOT.COM
    Walking with a Light
    Start your day with a biblical perspective you can carry with you no matter what lies ahead. Receive practical application for life.
    0 Comments 0 Shares 739 Views
  • Israel's Savagery Is So Shocking It's Sometimes Hard To Take In
    Caitlin Johnstone

    Listen to a reading of this article (reading by Tim Foley):



    Sometimes Israel’s crimes are so horrific that at first you don’t even understand what you’re looking at. You just stare at it trying to make sense of what you’re seeing for a bit, like you would if you suddenly saw a space alien or a leprechaun or something.

    It happened to me yesterday when I was watching a Sky News report about a teenage boy who was shot by Israeli forces in Jerusalem for celebrating the release of Palestinian prisoners in the hostage negotiations with Hamas. I was watching it thinking to myself, I must be misunderstanding what I’m looking at. I know that Israel does gross things, but surely the story here isn’t that they shot a kid for being happy about something.


    https://twitter.com/kthalps/status/1729685286722888059
    Then, as has happened so many times over the last two months, I kept watching and learned that yes, that is indeed what happened. The deputy mayor of Jerusalem Fleur Hassan-Nahoum is seen defending the shooting by saying “part of the deal is that there would be no celebrations for the release of attempted murderers” (this was actually not a part of the deal, it was just a decree issued by Israel’s national security minister) and claiming dishonestly that “we’re talking about the release of attempted murderers” (the vast majority have not been convicted of any crime and have been denied any due process for the accusations against them).

    The band Eve6 nicely summed up what it felt like watching the clip of the deputy mayor’s comments, tweeting, “The remarkable thing about this clip is her self assurance. Like she’s supremely confident that ‘we shot the teenager because he was celebrating’ is a thing that people will find reasonable.”


    https://twitter.com/intifada/status/1729946899782721835
    I had the same experience reading about the five premature babies who were left to die after the IDF raided al-Nasr Pediatric Hospital in Gaza earlier this month, their decomposing bodies only discovered when the temporary ceasefire allowed access to the hospital. It's just too insane to believe — they attacked a pediatric hospital? And then they left the babies there to die? What??

    The only reason we’re learning about this now is because the pause in fighting allowed journalists to get cameras into the building and show the dead infants to the world. This calls to mind the Politico report immediately prior to the ceasefire which said that the White House was worried “an unintended consequence of the pause” would be “that it would allow journalists broader access to Gaza and the opportunity to further illuminate the devastation there and turn public opinion on Israel.”

    Indeed, since the pause in fighting began the world has been receiving drone footage from mainstream platforms like Reuters and The Washington Post revealing vast expanses of urban terrain completely destroyed by a blanket of Israeli military explosives spanning from city block to city block. Looking at the blatantly indiscriminate devastation that’s been caused by Israel’s assault on Gaza since October 7 makes it clear that the IDF are not targeting Hamas but Gaza itself.


    https://twitter.com/washingtonpost/status/1729323222632415666?s=20
    I’ve been amazed at how much I’ve been sleeping since the ceasefire started; that’s why I haven’t been writing as much. I guess spending weeks staring at unbelievable horrors unfolding on your screen can be pretty hard on your system if you’re sensitive to that sort of thing, so my body’s been resting up as much as it can while there’s an opportunity.

    And I’m just here watching this all unfold safely from my home in Melbourne. I cannot imagine what it’s like to be living in the midst of this horror for the last two months, trying to figure out the best way to survive while also grieving the family, friends and neighbors you’re losing along the way. These people have all been deeply traumatized in ways that will haunt them for the rest of their lives, if they survive the violence, disease and deprivation that’s to come.

    This thing is so astonishingly ugly, and it could get a whole lot uglier after the ceasefire ends. If there’s anything positive to be found in this living nightmare, it’s that it’s so earth-shakingly ugly that it just might shake the world awake.

    ______________

    My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece here are some options where you can toss some money into my tip jar if you want to. Go here to buy paperback editions of my writings from month to month. All my work is free to bootleg and use in any way, shape or form; republish it, translate it, use it on merchandise; whatever you want. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. All works co-authored with my husband Tim Foley.


    Bitcoin donations: 1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

    Featured image via Adobe Stock.

    https://open.substack.com/pub/caitlinjohnstone/p/israels-savagery-is-so-shocking-its?r=29hg4d&utm_medium=ios&utm_campaign=post
    Israel's Savagery Is So Shocking It's Sometimes Hard To Take In Caitlin Johnstone Listen to a reading of this article (reading by Tim Foley): Sometimes Israel’s crimes are so horrific that at first you don’t even understand what you’re looking at. You just stare at it trying to make sense of what you’re seeing for a bit, like you would if you suddenly saw a space alien or a leprechaun or something. It happened to me yesterday when I was watching a Sky News report about a teenage boy who was shot by Israeli forces in Jerusalem for celebrating the release of Palestinian prisoners in the hostage negotiations with Hamas. I was watching it thinking to myself, I must be misunderstanding what I’m looking at. I know that Israel does gross things, but surely the story here isn’t that they shot a kid for being happy about something. https://twitter.com/kthalps/status/1729685286722888059 Then, as has happened so many times over the last two months, I kept watching and learned that yes, that is indeed what happened. The deputy mayor of Jerusalem Fleur Hassan-Nahoum is seen defending the shooting by saying “part of the deal is that there would be no celebrations for the release of attempted murderers” (this was actually not a part of the deal, it was just a decree issued by Israel’s national security minister) and claiming dishonestly that “we’re talking about the release of attempted murderers” (the vast majority have not been convicted of any crime and have been denied any due process for the accusations against them). The band Eve6 nicely summed up what it felt like watching the clip of the deputy mayor’s comments, tweeting, “The remarkable thing about this clip is her self assurance. Like she’s supremely confident that ‘we shot the teenager because he was celebrating’ is a thing that people will find reasonable.” https://twitter.com/intifada/status/1729946899782721835 I had the same experience reading about the five premature babies who were left to die after the IDF raided al-Nasr Pediatric Hospital in Gaza earlier this month, their decomposing bodies only discovered when the temporary ceasefire allowed access to the hospital. It's just too insane to believe — they attacked a pediatric hospital? And then they left the babies there to die? What?? The only reason we’re learning about this now is because the pause in fighting allowed journalists to get cameras into the building and show the dead infants to the world. This calls to mind the Politico report immediately prior to the ceasefire which said that the White House was worried “an unintended consequence of the pause” would be “that it would allow journalists broader access to Gaza and the opportunity to further illuminate the devastation there and turn public opinion on Israel.” Indeed, since the pause in fighting began the world has been receiving drone footage from mainstream platforms like Reuters and The Washington Post revealing vast expanses of urban terrain completely destroyed by a blanket of Israeli military explosives spanning from city block to city block. Looking at the blatantly indiscriminate devastation that’s been caused by Israel’s assault on Gaza since October 7 makes it clear that the IDF are not targeting Hamas but Gaza itself. https://twitter.com/washingtonpost/status/1729323222632415666?s=20 I’ve been amazed at how much I’ve been sleeping since the ceasefire started; that’s why I haven’t been writing as much. I guess spending weeks staring at unbelievable horrors unfolding on your screen can be pretty hard on your system if you’re sensitive to that sort of thing, so my body’s been resting up as much as it can while there’s an opportunity. And I’m just here watching this all unfold safely from my home in Melbourne. I cannot imagine what it’s like to be living in the midst of this horror for the last two months, trying to figure out the best way to survive while also grieving the family, friends and neighbors you’re losing along the way. These people have all been deeply traumatized in ways that will haunt them for the rest of their lives, if they survive the violence, disease and deprivation that’s to come. This thing is so astonishingly ugly, and it could get a whole lot uglier after the ceasefire ends. If there’s anything positive to be found in this living nightmare, it’s that it’s so earth-shakingly ugly that it just might shake the world awake. ______________ My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece here are some options where you can toss some money into my tip jar if you want to. Go here to buy paperback editions of my writings from month to month. All my work is free to bootleg and use in any way, shape or form; republish it, translate it, use it on merchandise; whatever you want. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. All works co-authored with my husband Tim Foley. Bitcoin donations: 1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2 Featured image via Adobe Stock. https://open.substack.com/pub/caitlinjohnstone/p/israels-savagery-is-so-shocking-its?r=29hg4d&utm_medium=ios&utm_campaign=post
    OPEN.SUBSTACK.COM
    Israel's Savagery Is So Shocking It's Sometimes Hard To Take In
    Listen to a reading of this article (reading by Tim Foley): Sometimes Israel’s crimes are so horrific that at first you don’t even understand what you’re looking at. You just stare at it trying to make sense of what you’re seeing for a bit, like you would if you suddenly saw a space alien or a leprechaun or something.
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  • Biden became ‘Genocide Joe’ thanks to the Israel lobby
    Philip WeissNovember 29, 2023
    Netanyahu and Biden meet, July 14, 2022. Photo by Israeli government press office.
    Netanyahu and Biden meet, July 14, 2022. Photo by Israeli government press office.
    At Thanksgiving, a friend took me aside and said, “How does Israel get away with this? They are wiping these people out, you can see it before your eyes. But people here are losing their jobs if they say anything against it on social media. Health care workers have lost their jobs at hospitals.”

    My friend is not alone. The upside of our government’s greenlight to Israel’s unending massacre and destruction in Gaza, with disease and famine looming, is that many are asking the same questions. Why is Joe Biden incapable of doing what any decent person would do, and any leader—of saying, Stop this madness now!

    An overwhelming majority of countries in the region and world have condemned the brutal military offensive– what BBC describes as “apocalyptic,” and one high UN official says is “the worst” destruction he’s ever seen. (“They stopped counting the number of women and children killed.. . It’s complete and utter carnage.”)

    And the progressive Democratic base is appalled. And there have been resignations at the State Department and at mainstream media. Even as Israelis regularly appear on our broadcasts, thanking Biden for his unwavering support.

    The answer to this puzzle is that Biden fears the domestic political cost: the loss of the Israel lobby inside the Democratic Party. Biden fears the disaffection of the Jewish establishment that has for over 50 years dedicated itself to the principle that there must be no daylight between the U.S. and Israeli governments, even as war crimes are blasted over the airwaves.

    This dynamic is rarely discussed in our media because it is thought to foster antisemitic theories of Jewish control. Even addressing the Israel lobby is labeled a conspiracy theory with lawless consequences — such as the reported vandalism of the Los Angeles home of the head of the Israel lobby group AIPAC, with red paint flung on his property as protesters shouted, Baby killer.

    There is plenty of evidence for the idea that the lobby’s support is what weighs on Biden’s mind.

    Jews are an important part of Biden’s Democratic base. 70 percent of Jews say they are Democrats. And the Jewish community appears to be overwhelmingly supportive of Israel, just as it was during other historical crises– with notable and honorable exceptions. We are “working around the clock to bring urgent relief to the people of Israel,” the Jewish Federations announces in its regular ad on WNYC, the NPR station I listen to.

    The dissent of liberal Zionists is over – J Street is back with the rightwing pro-Israel groups in backing Israel’s “right to defend itself” and in opposing a ceasefire.

    Zionists are flexing their political muscle in plain sight. AIPAC is said to be planning a multi-million-dollar offensive to pick off Squad members in Congress who have been critical of Israel. A progressive senatorial candidate in Michigan has reportedly been offered $20 million in campaign contributions from a former AIPAC donor to drop his bid and take on Rep. Rashida Tlaib instead. Big donors have withdrawn gifts from universities or threatened to do so in anger over anti-Zionist demonstrations and faculty statements. One Forbes headline said a “Jewish billionaire” was pulling his money from Columbia; and craven remarks equating anti-Zionism with antisemitism from Harvard’s president and Columbia’s too appear to be responses to donor pressure. Columbia’s banning of pro-Palestinian groups has the backing of the president and former president and has sent chills through the academic community.

    The media are under similar top-down pressure from Israel supporters. “We are horrified and deeply saddened by the brutal attack on Israel,” the chairman of Comcast/MSNBC (who once participated in the Israeli Maccabee games) said last month, even as Israel was already pounding the Gaza Strip.

    The CEO of Warner/CNN, David Zaslav, also issued a statement of support for Israel after it experienced “one of the deadliest [days] in Jewish history since the Holocaust.” Later Zaslav was reported to be considering taking part in a $50 million publicity campaign to “define Hamas to the American people as a terrorist organization.”

    CNN’s coverage has been distinctly pro-Israel, as has MSNBC’s. While both networks have aired reports that portray the Palestinian nightmare of the last seven weeks, generally the coverage has been from the Israeli point of view, often with a propaganda-like tone. Israeli government spokespeople are frequent guests, and the Zionist ideology is happily ensconced throughout liberal media. Wolf Blitzer once worked for AIPAC; the Atlantic’s editor once was an Israeli prison guard; and Tom Friedman told a Jewish audience in 2021 that “Israel had me at hello,” and “Don’t worry. In times of crisis, I know where I will be. When the Jewish state is under threat.” Joe Scarborough regularly equates anti-Zionism with antisemitism.

    Our official political culture is Zionist. Joe Biden calls himself a Zionist. Last summer House minority leader Hakeem Jeffries took 22 first-year Democratic congresspeople on a tour of Israel and stood at Netanyahu’s side, alongside the head of AIPAC (whose house is the target of demonstrations).

    Biden and Jeffries are surely concerned about Democratic fundraising. Israel supporters use campaign contributions to make sure that the policy debate in the U.S. “remains extremely narrow,” as Nathan Thrall wrote in the New York Times in 2019.

    “Despite pointed critiques of American support for Israel by representatives like Betty McCollum of Minnesota, [Rashida] Tlaib and [Ilhan] Omar, there is little willingness among Democrats to argue publicly for substantially changing longstanding policy toward Israel,” Thrall said. “In part, some Hill staff members and former White House officials say, this is because of the influence of megadonors: Of the dozens of personal checks greater than $500,000 made out to the largest PAC for Democrats in 2018, the Senate Majority PAC, around three-fourths were written by Jewish donors. This provides fodder for anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, and for some, it is the elephant in the room. Though the number of Jewish donors known to prioritize pro-Israel policies above all other issues is small, there are few if any pushing in the opposite direction.”

    Yes, it’s about “Jewish donors.” At J Street in 2016 political experts described the “gigantic” and “shocking” magnitude of Jewish donors in Democratic Party campaigns– who are perceived to be pro-Israel. A former finance director for many Democratic congressional campaigns said she had always gone to AIPAC for a position paper on Israel before undertaking to raise money from the Jewish community.

    To understand what Joe Biden is thinking, it is worth reviewing presidential history, to remind ourselves how significant the Israel lobby is as a force. A few key moments:

    –Truman overrode his own State Department and his own opposition to the idea of a religious state to back Israel’s establishment and then turn a blind eye to its expansions. John Judis wrote in his history, “Genesis,” that Truman did so because he needed $100,000 from political donors Abe Feinberg and Ed Kaufmann – a huge sum in 1948–for a whistlestop campaign trip through the midwest when his campaign was broke and Thomas Dewey was threatening to make him a one-termer.

    –Both Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush lost their bids for a second term in the White House, and it is said that both politicians saw the Israel lobby as a factor in those losses.

    Carter repeatedly challenged Israel over its settlements and believed that taking on Israel and its American lobby cost him his job. “From the New York primary [in March 1980] onward, I believe Carter was left with the view that New York Jews had not only defeated him in the primary but were also a factor in his loss in November,” Carter aide Stuart Eizenstat writes.

    Bush also hammered Israel over settlements, “because I think this is what the American people want,” he said. But Bill Clinton ran to Bush’s right in 1992 with the support of the Israel lobby and defeated him. Tom Friedman summarized the lesson: “President Bush the first stood outside the White House one day and said I’m one lonely man standing up against the Israel lobby. What happened as a result of that… is that Republicans post Bush I, and manifested most in his son Bush 2, took a strategic decision, they will never be out pro-Israel’d again. That they believe cost them electorally a lot.”

    –Obama made the same calculation. His need for the endorsement of Haim Saban and other “major Jewish donors” caused him to give in on Israel’s unending landgrabs, Judis writes. And Obama aide Ben Rhodes confirms that view. When Obama and Netanyahu clashed the year before Obama’s reelection campaign, Rhodes had to call “a list of leading Jewish donors . . . to reassure them of Obama’s pro-Israel bona fides.”

    Obama waited for his second term to take Israel on over the Iran deal in 2015. In a major speech, he said that Israel was the only country in the world that opposed the deal. And while Benjamin Netanyahu is completely “sincere” in his opposition, Obama said, “As president of the United States, it would be an abrogation of my constitutional duty” to defer to Israel’s wishes on this matter.

    –Trump of course abrogated his duty. He did whatever Israel wanted including trashing the Iran deal and moving the embassy and seeking to legalize illegal settlements – all to maintain the support of his largest donor Sheldon Adelson, who gave 100s of millions to Republicans.

    This is the history that counts for Joe Biden. He is going to go by the playbook that has evolved over his lifetime — regardless of the growing sympathy for Palestinians in the Democratic base that is evident in poll after poll.

    The good thing about today’s crisis is that the lobby’s influence is naked. “Sleepy Joe has a new nickname– Genocide Joe,” cracked another friend at Thanksgiving. It is impossible to imagine Biden ignoring the world’s calls for ceasefire or his own base’s outrage over the images of slaughtered Palestinian families and children – impossible to imagine that without the influence of the organized Jewish community, which patently does not care about these victims, or when it does mention them says that Hamas is to blame.

    Another good effect of this crisis is that it has provided a different picture of the Jewish community from blind support for Israel: the vigorous opposition to Israel’s militarism among young and progressive Jews. Witness the incredible cease-fire demonstrations organized by IfNotNow and Jewish Voice for Peace. The growth of anti-Zionism will transform (and redeem) the Jewish community. And be a major factor in transforming U.S. policy, as well.

    Before you go – we need your support

    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/2023/11/biden-became-genocide-joe-thanks-to-the-israel-lobby/
    Biden became ‘Genocide Joe’ thanks to the Israel lobby Philip WeissNovember 29, 2023 Netanyahu and Biden meet, July 14, 2022. Photo by Israeli government press office. Netanyahu and Biden meet, July 14, 2022. Photo by Israeli government press office. At Thanksgiving, a friend took me aside and said, “How does Israel get away with this? They are wiping these people out, you can see it before your eyes. But people here are losing their jobs if they say anything against it on social media. Health care workers have lost their jobs at hospitals.” My friend is not alone. The upside of our government’s greenlight to Israel’s unending massacre and destruction in Gaza, with disease and famine looming, is that many are asking the same questions. Why is Joe Biden incapable of doing what any decent person would do, and any leader—of saying, Stop this madness now! An overwhelming majority of countries in the region and world have condemned the brutal military offensive– what BBC describes as “apocalyptic,” and one high UN official says is “the worst” destruction he’s ever seen. (“They stopped counting the number of women and children killed.. . It’s complete and utter carnage.”) And the progressive Democratic base is appalled. And there have been resignations at the State Department and at mainstream media. Even as Israelis regularly appear on our broadcasts, thanking Biden for his unwavering support. The answer to this puzzle is that Biden fears the domestic political cost: the loss of the Israel lobby inside the Democratic Party. Biden fears the disaffection of the Jewish establishment that has for over 50 years dedicated itself to the principle that there must be no daylight between the U.S. and Israeli governments, even as war crimes are blasted over the airwaves. This dynamic is rarely discussed in our media because it is thought to foster antisemitic theories of Jewish control. Even addressing the Israel lobby is labeled a conspiracy theory with lawless consequences — such as the reported vandalism of the Los Angeles home of the head of the Israel lobby group AIPAC, with red paint flung on his property as protesters shouted, Baby killer. There is plenty of evidence for the idea that the lobby’s support is what weighs on Biden’s mind. Jews are an important part of Biden’s Democratic base. 70 percent of Jews say they are Democrats. And the Jewish community appears to be overwhelmingly supportive of Israel, just as it was during other historical crises– with notable and honorable exceptions. We are “working around the clock to bring urgent relief to the people of Israel,” the Jewish Federations announces in its regular ad on WNYC, the NPR station I listen to. The dissent of liberal Zionists is over – J Street is back with the rightwing pro-Israel groups in backing Israel’s “right to defend itself” and in opposing a ceasefire. Zionists are flexing their political muscle in plain sight. AIPAC is said to be planning a multi-million-dollar offensive to pick off Squad members in Congress who have been critical of Israel. A progressive senatorial candidate in Michigan has reportedly been offered $20 million in campaign contributions from a former AIPAC donor to drop his bid and take on Rep. Rashida Tlaib instead. Big donors have withdrawn gifts from universities or threatened to do so in anger over anti-Zionist demonstrations and faculty statements. One Forbes headline said a “Jewish billionaire” was pulling his money from Columbia; and craven remarks equating anti-Zionism with antisemitism from Harvard’s president and Columbia’s too appear to be responses to donor pressure. Columbia’s banning of pro-Palestinian groups has the backing of the president and former president and has sent chills through the academic community. The media are under similar top-down pressure from Israel supporters. “We are horrified and deeply saddened by the brutal attack on Israel,” the chairman of Comcast/MSNBC (who once participated in the Israeli Maccabee games) said last month, even as Israel was already pounding the Gaza Strip. The CEO of Warner/CNN, David Zaslav, also issued a statement of support for Israel after it experienced “one of the deadliest [days] in Jewish history since the Holocaust.” Later Zaslav was reported to be considering taking part in a $50 million publicity campaign to “define Hamas to the American people as a terrorist organization.” CNN’s coverage has been distinctly pro-Israel, as has MSNBC’s. While both networks have aired reports that portray the Palestinian nightmare of the last seven weeks, generally the coverage has been from the Israeli point of view, often with a propaganda-like tone. Israeli government spokespeople are frequent guests, and the Zionist ideology is happily ensconced throughout liberal media. Wolf Blitzer once worked for AIPAC; the Atlantic’s editor once was an Israeli prison guard; and Tom Friedman told a Jewish audience in 2021 that “Israel had me at hello,” and “Don’t worry. In times of crisis, I know where I will be. When the Jewish state is under threat.” Joe Scarborough regularly equates anti-Zionism with antisemitism. Our official political culture is Zionist. Joe Biden calls himself a Zionist. Last summer House minority leader Hakeem Jeffries took 22 first-year Democratic congresspeople on a tour of Israel and stood at Netanyahu’s side, alongside the head of AIPAC (whose house is the target of demonstrations). Biden and Jeffries are surely concerned about Democratic fundraising. Israel supporters use campaign contributions to make sure that the policy debate in the U.S. “remains extremely narrow,” as Nathan Thrall wrote in the New York Times in 2019. “Despite pointed critiques of American support for Israel by representatives like Betty McCollum of Minnesota, [Rashida] Tlaib and [Ilhan] Omar, there is little willingness among Democrats to argue publicly for substantially changing longstanding policy toward Israel,” Thrall said. “In part, some Hill staff members and former White House officials say, this is because of the influence of megadonors: Of the dozens of personal checks greater than $500,000 made out to the largest PAC for Democrats in 2018, the Senate Majority PAC, around three-fourths were written by Jewish donors. This provides fodder for anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, and for some, it is the elephant in the room. Though the number of Jewish donors known to prioritize pro-Israel policies above all other issues is small, there are few if any pushing in the opposite direction.” Yes, it’s about “Jewish donors.” At J Street in 2016 political experts described the “gigantic” and “shocking” magnitude of Jewish donors in Democratic Party campaigns– who are perceived to be pro-Israel. A former finance director for many Democratic congressional campaigns said she had always gone to AIPAC for a position paper on Israel before undertaking to raise money from the Jewish community. To understand what Joe Biden is thinking, it is worth reviewing presidential history, to remind ourselves how significant the Israel lobby is as a force. A few key moments: –Truman overrode his own State Department and his own opposition to the idea of a religious state to back Israel’s establishment and then turn a blind eye to its expansions. John Judis wrote in his history, “Genesis,” that Truman did so because he needed $100,000 from political donors Abe Feinberg and Ed Kaufmann – a huge sum in 1948–for a whistlestop campaign trip through the midwest when his campaign was broke and Thomas Dewey was threatening to make him a one-termer. –Both Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush lost their bids for a second term in the White House, and it is said that both politicians saw the Israel lobby as a factor in those losses. Carter repeatedly challenged Israel over its settlements and believed that taking on Israel and its American lobby cost him his job. “From the New York primary [in March 1980] onward, I believe Carter was left with the view that New York Jews had not only defeated him in the primary but were also a factor in his loss in November,” Carter aide Stuart Eizenstat writes. Bush also hammered Israel over settlements, “because I think this is what the American people want,” he said. But Bill Clinton ran to Bush’s right in 1992 with the support of the Israel lobby and defeated him. Tom Friedman summarized the lesson: “President Bush the first stood outside the White House one day and said I’m one lonely man standing up against the Israel lobby. What happened as a result of that… is that Republicans post Bush I, and manifested most in his son Bush 2, took a strategic decision, they will never be out pro-Israel’d again. That they believe cost them electorally a lot.” –Obama made the same calculation. His need for the endorsement of Haim Saban and other “major Jewish donors” caused him to give in on Israel’s unending landgrabs, Judis writes. And Obama aide Ben Rhodes confirms that view. When Obama and Netanyahu clashed the year before Obama’s reelection campaign, Rhodes had to call “a list of leading Jewish donors . . . to reassure them of Obama’s pro-Israel bona fides.” Obama waited for his second term to take Israel on over the Iran deal in 2015. In a major speech, he said that Israel was the only country in the world that opposed the deal. And while Benjamin Netanyahu is completely “sincere” in his opposition, Obama said, “As president of the United States, it would be an abrogation of my constitutional duty” to defer to Israel’s wishes on this matter. –Trump of course abrogated his duty. He did whatever Israel wanted including trashing the Iran deal and moving the embassy and seeking to legalize illegal settlements – all to maintain the support of his largest donor Sheldon Adelson, who gave 100s of millions to Republicans. This is the history that counts for Joe Biden. He is going to go by the playbook that has evolved over his lifetime — regardless of the growing sympathy for Palestinians in the Democratic base that is evident in poll after poll. The good thing about today’s crisis is that the lobby’s influence is naked. “Sleepy Joe has a new nickname– Genocide Joe,” cracked another friend at Thanksgiving. It is impossible to imagine Biden ignoring the world’s calls for ceasefire or his own base’s outrage over the images of slaughtered Palestinian families and children – impossible to imagine that without the influence of the organized Jewish community, which patently does not care about these victims, or when it does mention them says that Hamas is to blame. Another good effect of this crisis is that it has provided a different picture of the Jewish community from blind support for Israel: the vigorous opposition to Israel’s militarism among young and progressive Jews. Witness the incredible cease-fire demonstrations organized by IfNotNow and Jewish Voice for Peace. The growth of anti-Zionism will transform (and redeem) the Jewish community. And be a major factor in transforming U.S. policy, as well. Before you go – we need your support 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/2023/11/biden-became-genocide-joe-thanks-to-the-israel-lobby/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    Biden became ‘Genocide Joe’ thanks to the Israel lobby
    Why is Biden helpless to do what any decent person would do and oppose Israel’s apocalyptic destruction and massacres in Gaza? Because he worries about losing the organized Jewish community’s support.
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  • Casualties
    Leila WarahNovember 29, 2023
    A tearful Palestinian boy hugs his friends and family after being released from Israeli prison in the Israel-Hamas hostage exchange agreement.
    A Palestinian child prisoner is welcomed by friends and family after being released from an Israeli jail, as part of a hostage swap deal between Hamas and Israel. 150 Palestinians women and children were released as part of the exchange, while 60 Israelis were released from Hamas captivity in Gaza. (APA Images)
    15,000+ killed*, including 6,150 children, and 33,000 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    240 Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem
    Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,200
    *This figure has been confirmed by the government media office in Gaza. However, due to breakdowns in communication networks within the Gaza Strip (particularly in northern Gaza), the Gaza Ministry of Health has not been able to regularly update its tolls. Some rights groups put the death toll number closer to 20,000.

    Key developments

    8-year-old Adam Samer Al-Ghoul and 15-year-old Basil Suleiman Abu Al-Wafa were shot dead by Israeli forces during a large-scale raid in Jenin, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in the West Bank.
    Israel is looking into another extension on the truce, which was expected to end on Wednesday, reported the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation.
    A source close to Hamas said the group is willing to extend the truce by an additional four days, reported AFP news agency.
    OCHA: The amount of aid entering Gaza is still “insufficient to meet the extensive needs.”
    Israel’s former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak is calling for the removal of Netanyahu, calling him “unfit to lead” as he “can’t manage” the complexity of the current situation in the country, and he “must go before the consequences of his flaws become irreversible.”
    Israel is still denying Palestinians from returning to their homes in the north of Gaza or from visiting the sea in certain parts of the Strip.
    Following the release of 12 captives, including 10 Israelis from Gaza, thirty Palestinian prisoners were freed and returned to their homes in occupied East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank on Tuesday as part of the fifth prisoner swap.
    On Tuesday, the US said they airlifted 54,000 pounds of humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza.
    Following Elon Musk’s visit to Israel on Monday, Hamas spokesperson Osama Hamdan invited him to Gaza so he could “see the scale of the massacres.”
    Every day in Gaza, where 55% of the besieged enclave’s exports are agricultural products, they lose $1.6m in farm production as a result of Israeli bombardment, says the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.
    Jordan cancels Christmas festivities in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, says the Jordan Council of Church Leaders. The Palestinian city of Bethlehem and the birthplace of Jesus Christ has also announced its plans to cancel Christmas celebrations in the city.
    Israel mulls over potential extension of truce

    While many of the people in Gaza are spending Wednesday, the last day of the temporary truce, trying to collect basic necessities like food and cooking oil in preparation for the Israeli bombardment to resume, political leaders are discussing yet another extension.

    Under the four-day truce deal, which began on Friday and has already been extended by two more days, Hamas has released 60 of about 240 captives from the Gaza Strip, and Israel has released 180 Palestinian political prisoners, all women and children.

    Another round of hostage exchanges is expected to take place on Wednesday evening.

    Ghazi Hamad, a member of Hamas’s political bureau, says the group has been working “very hard” with the mediating countries to “reach a compromise” and “extend the ceasefire.”

    Hamas’s leadership was ready to enter deep negotiations about “a comprehensive deal” that would see the release of all the Palestinian prisoners for all the captives in Gaza, Hamad told Al Jazeera.

    On Wednesday, US lawmaker Rashida Tlaib similarly called for the release of all Palestinian political prisoners and captives held inside Gaza.

    “Every innocent civilian should be released and reunited with their family, no matter their faith or ethnicity,” she said, “Failure to do so demonstrates their refusal to view Palestinians as equal human beings who deserve the same rights, freedom and human dignity.”

    Within Israel, families of Israeli hostages have been for weeks protesting for their government to do more to secure the release of their relatives in Gaza, including a permanent ceasefire and an “all for all exchange”, which would see the release of all Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, who now number over 8,000, in exchange for the release of all Israeli captives, both soldiers and civilians.

    However, far-right Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir has called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to allow Israeli forces to resume fighting in Gaza to “crush Hamas” in a post on x.

    ‘Everywhere you look, there is a child in need’

    The humanitarian crisis in Gaza continues to worsen as people die from a lack of medical care, risks of infection skyrocket, and nearly 80% of the population has been left homeless.

    Despite the increase of supplies entering Gaza since the ‘humanitarian pause’ began, the volume of incoming commodities is insufficient to meet the extensive needs, says the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

    Aid groups are calling for the immediate re-opening of more crossing points, including for the entry of commercial goods.

    “Everywhere you turn is a child incredibly in need,” UNICEF spokesperson James Elder told Al Jazeera while standing outside the Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Younis in southern Gaza.

    “Multiple children with amputations, little boys and little girls who six, seven weeks ago were playing football with their friends.”

    Elder praised the “incredible, brave, tireless health workers who are working around the clock” to tend “to every child they can.”

    However, “doctors are having to make decisions they shouldn’t have to make,” he said.

    “It will only be enough if these nail-biting pauses are extended into a ceasefire, into a lasting peace. We cannot possibly think that the destruction of Gaza and the killing of children is going to create peace in the region. That’s utterly nonsensical,” Elder concluded.

    In a video shared by Doctors Without Borders (MSF), plastic and reconstructive surgeon Hafez Abukhussa, based in Khan Younis, says he has been working “non-stop” since October 7.

    “Can you imagine receiving 100 to 200 patients a day, sometimes 500 patients a day?” he asked, adding that most of his patients are women and children.

    Despite the pressure and shortage of supplies at the hospital in Khan Yunis, Abukhussa said: “We know we are in danger at any time, but we will keep doing the same.”

    “We are calling for the increase of fuel supplies to the strip,” EU Commissioner Janez Lenarcic told journalists in Brussels. “The humanitarian access should be based on the needs and not on some restrictions.”

    “The ceasefire must be extended indefinitely,” Lenarcic said.

    Calls for ceasefire swell

    In light of the deteriorating circumstances in Gaza and continued disapproval from the American public about the role the US is playing in Israel’s war on Gaza, the US government narrative is ever so slightly shifting.

    Many social media users speculated that US President Joe Biden had indirectly called for an end to the war in a carefully crafted social media post on X on Wednesday.

    “Hamas unleashed a terrorist attack because they fear nothing more than Israelis and Palestinians living side by side in peace. To continue down the path of terror, violence, killing, and war is to give Hamas what they seek,” said Biden.

    “We can’t do that,” continued Biden, who has previously refused to call for a lasting ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

    On Tuesday, US Senator Peter Welch was the second senator to call for a ceasefire and an end to the war, adding to the mounting pressure on Biden to call for a permanent ceasefire.

    “I fully support Israel’s right to pursue those who ordered and carried out the attacks of October 7. But Israel must not do so in a way that leads to massive civilian casualties and the large-scale destruction of civilian infrastructure in Gaza. This will only incite more enemies against Israel and the US,” Welch said in a statement calling for indefinite ceasefire.

    Similarly, Sheikha Alya Ahmed Saif Al Thani, the Qatari ambassador said she hopes “that this humanitarian truce will lead to a sustained and durable ceasefire that will put a stop to the war machine and the bloodshed,” while addressing the UN General Assembly.

    ‘For the Israeli government, the priority is not security’

    Political analyst Mohammed Cherkaoui told Al Jazeera the Netanyahu government has not been able to achieve any of its military objectives but is still looking for a “zero-sum victory” against Hamas.

    “This is the debate in Israel now. After two months, nothing has materialized except massive Palestinian deaths. But there is zero gain in terms of a victory for Israel,” Cherkaoui, a professor of conflict resolution and diplomacy at George Mason University, continued.

    Similarly, Hamas spokesperson Osama Hamdan stated that Israel has “failed miserably” both militarily and politically in Gaza and that none of the state’s objectives have been reached, reported Al Jazeera.

    He also claimed that the number of Israeli soldiers killed and wounded during the ground invasion was higher than the Israeli military claims. When the fighting resumes, “enemy’s losses” will increase in the coming days, warned Hamdan.

    Addressing the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Palestinian ambassador Riyad Mansour called on the UN to reaffirm its “permanent responsibility towards the question of Palestine” and for the end of the “grave and historic injustice [Palestinians] have borne for over 75 years, since the start of the Nakba”.

    “For the Israeli government, the priority is not security; it is the destruction of the Palestinian nation,” Mansour added.

    Two children killed in large-scale military raid in Jenin

    As the temporary truce between Hamas and Israel in Gaza continues, Israeli forces have continued their violent attacks on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

    Overnight on Tuesday and well into Wednesday, Israeli forces conducted a “massive arrest campaign” on Jenin Refugee camp, forcing citizens in the Damj neighborhood from their homes amid violent confrontations, reported Wafa news agency.

    So far, at least two children have been killed during the violent military incursion, 8-year-old Adam Samer Al-Ghoul and 15-year-old Basil Suleiman Abu Al-Wafa. CCTV footage released of the moment 8-year-old Adam was killed show the young boy turning and running away along with some other boys, when he is shot down with his back turned, before being dragged out of the street by another boy. Adam was reportedly shot in the head.

    Israeli forces also prevented an ambulance from evacuating an injured man in Jenin who was shot by Israeli forces for over 40 minutes before arresting him.

    Christos Christou, the international president of Doctors Without Borders, was at Khalil Suleiman Hospital in Jenin when Israeli forces launched a large-scale raid on the city.

    “It has already been two-and-a-half hours that we are trapped in our hospital here in Jenin,” Christou said in a video posted on x.

    “There is no way for any of the injured patients to reach the hospital and there is no way for us to reach these people,” he added that Israeli military vehicles blocked the entrances to the hospital and have prevented ambulances from leaving.

    “Two Palestinians died of wounds while ambulances could not reach them,” he said; it is unclear if he was referring to the two young boys reported killed by the Ministry of Health.

    The Palestinian Red Crescent (PRCS) emergency services said that the Israeli army arrested an injured Palestinian from inside a PRCS ambulance at the entrance of Jenin Governmental Hospital.

    A message from Hisham Awartani

    Hisham Awartani, one of the three Palestinian university students who were shot and injured in Vermont in an apparent hate crime, released a statement saying that the “hideous crime” did not happen in a vacuum, calling attention to the worsening situation in the West Bank.

    “I am but one casualty in a much wider conflict,” he said in his statement, which was read at a vigil at Brown University, where he studies.

    “Had I been shot in the West Bank, where I grew up, the medical services which saved my life here would have likely been withheld by the Israeli army. The soldier who would have shot me would go home and never be convicted,” said Awartani, who is still in hospital,

    “Any attempt like this is horrific, be it here or in Palestine.”

    Before you go – we need your support

    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/2023/11/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-54-two-children-killed-by-israeli-forces-in-jenin-amid-discussions-of-truce-extension/
    Casualties Leila WarahNovember 29, 2023 A tearful Palestinian boy hugs his friends and family after being released from Israeli prison in the Israel-Hamas hostage exchange agreement. A Palestinian child prisoner is welcomed by friends and family after being released from an Israeli jail, as part of a hostage swap deal between Hamas and Israel. 150 Palestinians women and children were released as part of the exchange, while 60 Israelis were released from Hamas captivity in Gaza. (APA Images) 15,000+ killed*, including 6,150 children, and 33,000 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 240 Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,200 *This figure has been confirmed by the government media office in Gaza. However, due to breakdowns in communication networks within the Gaza Strip (particularly in northern Gaza), the Gaza Ministry of Health has not been able to regularly update its tolls. Some rights groups put the death toll number closer to 20,000. Key developments 8-year-old Adam Samer Al-Ghoul and 15-year-old Basil Suleiman Abu Al-Wafa were shot dead by Israeli forces during a large-scale raid in Jenin, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in the West Bank. Israel is looking into another extension on the truce, which was expected to end on Wednesday, reported the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation. A source close to Hamas said the group is willing to extend the truce by an additional four days, reported AFP news agency. OCHA: The amount of aid entering Gaza is still “insufficient to meet the extensive needs.” Israel’s former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak is calling for the removal of Netanyahu, calling him “unfit to lead” as he “can’t manage” the complexity of the current situation in the country, and he “must go before the consequences of his flaws become irreversible.” Israel is still denying Palestinians from returning to their homes in the north of Gaza or from visiting the sea in certain parts of the Strip. Following the release of 12 captives, including 10 Israelis from Gaza, thirty Palestinian prisoners were freed and returned to their homes in occupied East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank on Tuesday as part of the fifth prisoner swap. On Tuesday, the US said they airlifted 54,000 pounds of humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza. Following Elon Musk’s visit to Israel on Monday, Hamas spokesperson Osama Hamdan invited him to Gaza so he could “see the scale of the massacres.” Every day in Gaza, where 55% of the besieged enclave’s exports are agricultural products, they lose $1.6m in farm production as a result of Israeli bombardment, says the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. Jordan cancels Christmas festivities in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, says the Jordan Council of Church Leaders. The Palestinian city of Bethlehem and the birthplace of Jesus Christ has also announced its plans to cancel Christmas celebrations in the city. Israel mulls over potential extension of truce While many of the people in Gaza are spending Wednesday, the last day of the temporary truce, trying to collect basic necessities like food and cooking oil in preparation for the Israeli bombardment to resume, political leaders are discussing yet another extension. Under the four-day truce deal, which began on Friday and has already been extended by two more days, Hamas has released 60 of about 240 captives from the Gaza Strip, and Israel has released 180 Palestinian political prisoners, all women and children. Another round of hostage exchanges is expected to take place on Wednesday evening. Ghazi Hamad, a member of Hamas’s political bureau, says the group has been working “very hard” with the mediating countries to “reach a compromise” and “extend the ceasefire.” Hamas’s leadership was ready to enter deep negotiations about “a comprehensive deal” that would see the release of all the Palestinian prisoners for all the captives in Gaza, Hamad told Al Jazeera. On Wednesday, US lawmaker Rashida Tlaib similarly called for the release of all Palestinian political prisoners and captives held inside Gaza. “Every innocent civilian should be released and reunited with their family, no matter their faith or ethnicity,” she said, “Failure to do so demonstrates their refusal to view Palestinians as equal human beings who deserve the same rights, freedom and human dignity.” Within Israel, families of Israeli hostages have been for weeks protesting for their government to do more to secure the release of their relatives in Gaza, including a permanent ceasefire and an “all for all exchange”, which would see the release of all Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, who now number over 8,000, in exchange for the release of all Israeli captives, both soldiers and civilians. However, far-right Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir has called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to allow Israeli forces to resume fighting in Gaza to “crush Hamas” in a post on x. ‘Everywhere you look, there is a child in need’ The humanitarian crisis in Gaza continues to worsen as people die from a lack of medical care, risks of infection skyrocket, and nearly 80% of the population has been left homeless. Despite the increase of supplies entering Gaza since the ‘humanitarian pause’ began, the volume of incoming commodities is insufficient to meet the extensive needs, says the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Aid groups are calling for the immediate re-opening of more crossing points, including for the entry of commercial goods. “Everywhere you turn is a child incredibly in need,” UNICEF spokesperson James Elder told Al Jazeera while standing outside the Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Younis in southern Gaza. “Multiple children with amputations, little boys and little girls who six, seven weeks ago were playing football with their friends.” Elder praised the “incredible, brave, tireless health workers who are working around the clock” to tend “to every child they can.” However, “doctors are having to make decisions they shouldn’t have to make,” he said. “It will only be enough if these nail-biting pauses are extended into a ceasefire, into a lasting peace. We cannot possibly think that the destruction of Gaza and the killing of children is going to create peace in the region. That’s utterly nonsensical,” Elder concluded. In a video shared by Doctors Without Borders (MSF), plastic and reconstructive surgeon Hafez Abukhussa, based in Khan Younis, says he has been working “non-stop” since October 7. “Can you imagine receiving 100 to 200 patients a day, sometimes 500 patients a day?” he asked, adding that most of his patients are women and children. Despite the pressure and shortage of supplies at the hospital in Khan Yunis, Abukhussa said: “We know we are in danger at any time, but we will keep doing the same.” “We are calling for the increase of fuel supplies to the strip,” EU Commissioner Janez Lenarcic told journalists in Brussels. “The humanitarian access should be based on the needs and not on some restrictions.” “The ceasefire must be extended indefinitely,” Lenarcic said. Calls for ceasefire swell In light of the deteriorating circumstances in Gaza and continued disapproval from the American public about the role the US is playing in Israel’s war on Gaza, the US government narrative is ever so slightly shifting. Many social media users speculated that US President Joe Biden had indirectly called for an end to the war in a carefully crafted social media post on X on Wednesday. “Hamas unleashed a terrorist attack because they fear nothing more than Israelis and Palestinians living side by side in peace. To continue down the path of terror, violence, killing, and war is to give Hamas what they seek,” said Biden. “We can’t do that,” continued Biden, who has previously refused to call for a lasting ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. On Tuesday, US Senator Peter Welch was the second senator to call for a ceasefire and an end to the war, adding to the mounting pressure on Biden to call for a permanent ceasefire. “I fully support Israel’s right to pursue those who ordered and carried out the attacks of October 7. But Israel must not do so in a way that leads to massive civilian casualties and the large-scale destruction of civilian infrastructure in Gaza. This will only incite more enemies against Israel and the US,” Welch said in a statement calling for indefinite ceasefire. Similarly, Sheikha Alya Ahmed Saif Al Thani, the Qatari ambassador said she hopes “that this humanitarian truce will lead to a sustained and durable ceasefire that will put a stop to the war machine and the bloodshed,” while addressing the UN General Assembly. ‘For the Israeli government, the priority is not security’ Political analyst Mohammed Cherkaoui told Al Jazeera the Netanyahu government has not been able to achieve any of its military objectives but is still looking for a “zero-sum victory” against Hamas. “This is the debate in Israel now. After two months, nothing has materialized except massive Palestinian deaths. But there is zero gain in terms of a victory for Israel,” Cherkaoui, a professor of conflict resolution and diplomacy at George Mason University, continued. Similarly, Hamas spokesperson Osama Hamdan stated that Israel has “failed miserably” both militarily and politically in Gaza and that none of the state’s objectives have been reached, reported Al Jazeera. He also claimed that the number of Israeli soldiers killed and wounded during the ground invasion was higher than the Israeli military claims. When the fighting resumes, “enemy’s losses” will increase in the coming days, warned Hamdan. Addressing the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Palestinian ambassador Riyad Mansour called on the UN to reaffirm its “permanent responsibility towards the question of Palestine” and for the end of the “grave and historic injustice [Palestinians] have borne for over 75 years, since the start of the Nakba”. “For the Israeli government, the priority is not security; it is the destruction of the Palestinian nation,” Mansour added. Two children killed in large-scale military raid in Jenin As the temporary truce between Hamas and Israel in Gaza continues, Israeli forces have continued their violent attacks on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. Overnight on Tuesday and well into Wednesday, Israeli forces conducted a “massive arrest campaign” on Jenin Refugee camp, forcing citizens in the Damj neighborhood from their homes amid violent confrontations, reported Wafa news agency. So far, at least two children have been killed during the violent military incursion, 8-year-old Adam Samer Al-Ghoul and 15-year-old Basil Suleiman Abu Al-Wafa. CCTV footage released of the moment 8-year-old Adam was killed show the young boy turning and running away along with some other boys, when he is shot down with his back turned, before being dragged out of the street by another boy. Adam was reportedly shot in the head. Israeli forces also prevented an ambulance from evacuating an injured man in Jenin who was shot by Israeli forces for over 40 minutes before arresting him. Christos Christou, the international president of Doctors Without Borders, was at Khalil Suleiman Hospital in Jenin when Israeli forces launched a large-scale raid on the city. “It has already been two-and-a-half hours that we are trapped in our hospital here in Jenin,” Christou said in a video posted on x. “There is no way for any of the injured patients to reach the hospital and there is no way for us to reach these people,” he added that Israeli military vehicles blocked the entrances to the hospital and have prevented ambulances from leaving. “Two Palestinians died of wounds while ambulances could not reach them,” he said; it is unclear if he was referring to the two young boys reported killed by the Ministry of Health. The Palestinian Red Crescent (PRCS) emergency services said that the Israeli army arrested an injured Palestinian from inside a PRCS ambulance at the entrance of Jenin Governmental Hospital. A message from Hisham Awartani Hisham Awartani, one of the three Palestinian university students who were shot and injured in Vermont in an apparent hate crime, released a statement saying that the “hideous crime” did not happen in a vacuum, calling attention to the worsening situation in the West Bank. “I am but one casualty in a much wider conflict,” he said in his statement, which was read at a vigil at Brown University, where he studies. “Had I been shot in the West Bank, where I grew up, the medical services which saved my life here would have likely been withheld by the Israeli army. The soldier who would have shot me would go home and never be convicted,” said Awartani, who is still in hospital, “Any attempt like this is horrific, be it here or in Palestine.” Before you go – we need your support 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/2023/11/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-54-two-children-killed-by-israeli-forces-in-jenin-amid-discussions-of-truce-extension/
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    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 54: Two children killed by Israeli forces in Jenin amid discussions of truce extension
    As leaders discuss extending the temporary truce, Israeli forces kill two children, including an 8-year-old boy, in the occupied West Bank. Meanwhile, Gaza is still facing a grave humanitarian crisis, with children on the front line.
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 52: Palestinians in Gaza brace for resumption of Israeli attacks as truce reaches final day
    International leaders call for extending the truce as the fourth and final round of captive exchanges is set to take place. Palestinians in Gaza are still not able to count their dead as the majority of hospitals remain out of service.

    Mustafa Abu SneinehNovember 27, 2023
    Palestinian prisoner Khalil Zama' hugs a relative after being released from an Israeli jail in exchange for Israeli captives released by Hamas from the Gaza Strip, at his home in Halhul village near Hebron in the occupied West Bank on November 27, 2023. (Photo: Mamoun Wazwaz/APA Images)
    Palestinian prisoner Khalil Zama’ hugs a relative after being released from an Israeli jail in exchange for Israeli captives released by Hamas from the Gaza Strip, at his home in Halhul village near Hebron in the occupied West Bank on November 27, 2023. (Photo: Mamoun Wazwaz/APA Images)
    Casualties

    15,000+ killed*, including 6,150 children, and 33,000 wounded in Gaza Strip.
    235 Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem
    Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,200
    *This figure is based on an estimate as reported by the official Palestinian news agency Wafa on October 27. Due to breakdowns in communication networks within the Gaza Strip (particularly in northern Gaza), the Gaza Ministry of Health has not been able to regularly update its tolls.

    Key Developments

    Between Friday and Sunday evening, 117 Palestinians were released from Israeli jails, all of them women and children. Hamas released 58 captives, 39 Israelis, 17 Thai citizens, an Israeli-Russian, and a Filipino national.
    Netanyahu said that the truce would be extended a day for every ten additional captives released by Hamas.
    Qatari Prime Minister said that an extension of the truce would allow Hamas fighters to locate more Israeli captives to be released.
    Hamas said in a statement that it released Roni Krivo, a Russian-Israeli citizen, in appreciation of Moscow’s support for the Palestinian cause.
    On Sunday evening, 39 Palestinians were released from Israeli jails, all of them under the age of 18 years old.
    Mohammed Zaqout, the general manager of hospitals in Gaza, told Al-Jazeera that hospitals in northern Gaza are short of fuel and have not received any during the truce.
    The Israeli army spokesperson said that 80 out of the 184 remaining captives being held by Hamas have dual citizenship.
    Palestinians, holding jerry cans, wait in front of a gas station to get gasoline and diesel on the third day of the Gaza truce in Rafah. (Photo: © Abed Rahim Khatib/dpa via ZUMA Press APAimages)
    Palestinians, holding jerry cans, wait in front of a gas station to get gasoline and diesel on the third day of the Gaza truce in Rafah. (Photo: © Abed Rahim Khatib/dpa via ZUMA Press APAimages)
    Israeli Prime Minister vows to continue the war on Gaza

    The temporary truce in the Gaza Strip between Israeli forces and Palestinian resistance fighters is approaching its end on Monday night.

    Israel is expected to carry on its airstrikes and ground incursion once the truce ends. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Sunday evening to continue the war until achieving the three goals of releasing all captives, destroying Hamas, and ensuring Gaza does not impose a “threat” to Israel.

    Netanyahu said that the truce would be extended a day for every ten additional captives released by Hamas.

    Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, whose country hosts a Hamas office, told the Financial Times that an extension of the truce would allow Hamas to locate more captives to release.

    “We don’t yet have any clear information how many they can find because… one of the purposes [of the pause] is they [Hamas] will have time to search for the rest of the missing people,” al-Thani said.

    Between Friday and Sunday evening, 117 Palestinians were released from Israeli jails, all of them women and children. Hamas released 58 captives, 39 Israelis, 17 Thai citizens, an Israeli-Russian, and a Filipino national.

    U.S. President Joe Biden said early on that he was “hopeful” the truce would continue.

    “My expectation and hope is that as we move forward, the rest of the Arab world and the region is also putting pressure on all sides to slow this down, to bring this to an end as quickly as we can,” Biden said on Friday.

    A four-year-old dual Israeli-American citizen whose father was killed in the October 7 attack is expected to be released in the fourth patch of captives held by Hamas on Monday.

    39 Palestinians and 13 Israeli nationals released

    On Sunday evening, Hamas released the third round of captives, which included 13 Israeli nationals, two Thais, and one Russian-Israeli citizen.

    The handing over of the captives to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) took place in the center of Gaza City, which saw immense fighting between Israeli forces and resistance fighters.

    Al-Jazeera reported that Hamas aimed to show its force in front of cameras during the captives’ release in the northern Gaza Strip, an area the Israeli army believed to be controlling vast parts of it.

    Some of the fighters were mounting the infamous white pickup trucks used during the October 7 surprise attack on settlements and army bases.

    Hamas said in a statement that it released Roni Krivo, a Russian-Israeli citizen, in appreciation of Moscow’s support for the Palestinian cause.

    “In response to the efforts of Russian President Vladimir Putin and in appreciation of the Russian position in support of the Palestinian cause, the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, released one of the detainees of the Russian citizenship,” it said in a statement on Sunday.

    On Sunday evening, 39 Palestinians were released from Israeli jails, all of them under the age of 18 years old. Twenty-one were from occupied Jerusalem, and the rest from Ramallah, Bethlehem, Jericho, Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarm, Qalqilya, and one from Rahah town south of Gaza Strip.

    Wafa news agency reported that the underage prisoners were transported from Ofer military prisons to the towns of Ramallah and Beitunia, where they were welcomed by thousands of Palestinians.

    However, prisoners from Jerusalem were handed to one member of their families at Al-Moskobiya detention and interrogation center. Any scenes of celebration were banned and subject to fine and potential arrest.

    Wadi Hilweh Information Center, which documents Israeli violations in Jerusalem, posted footage of the release of a Palestinian child prisoner transported by an Israeli security team in a civilian vehicle and handed to his father in the middle of the night, ensuring no celebration or gathering took place.

    Wafa reported that Israeli forces fired tear gas, live and rubber-coated metal bullets at journalists and families who gathered near Ofer to accompany the prisoners’ bus. Several people, including a journalist, were wounded. A full list of the names of prisoners released on Sunday were published by Wafa.

    According to the temporary truce terms, 33 Palestinian prisoners and 11 Israelis are expected to be released on Monday, bringing the total to 50 Israelis and 150 Palestinians, one captive for every three prisoners.

    Majority of hospitals in Gaza are out of service as Palestinians struggle to count their dead

    Health officials in the Gaza Strip warned that hospitals are struggling to cope as Israeli bombardment inflicted severe damages to Al-Shifa’ and the Indonesian hospitals in the northern Gaza Strip.

    Four days of relative calm were not enough to recover nor to count the killed and injured in the Gaza genocide during which Israel has dropped the equivalent of two nuclear bombs since October 7.

    On Monday, the death toll in the Gaza Strip was not updated by the Ministry of Health. An estimate published by Wafa said at least 15,000 people were killed and 32,000 wounded.

    Al-Jazeera reported on Monday morning that piles of bodies have accumulated in Al-Quds and Al-Rantisi hospitals.

    Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, of whom 1.7 million were internally displaced, are still grasping the sheer destruction caused by the Israeli bombardment of their properties.

    On Sunday, Israel announced that it has “seized” a total sum of $1.3 million from “Hamas homes” in Gaza and deposited it in the state coffers. Palestinians described the action as theft and shared stories of Israeli soldiers seizing musical instruments and jewelry and showing them off on social media.

    On Monday, Israeli forces shot at people near Al-Maghazi refugee camp, who went back to inspect their houses. Mohammed Zaqout, the general manager of hospitals in Gaza, told Al-Jazeera that hospitals in northern Gaza are short of fuel and have not received any during the truce.

    Zaqout said that three hospitals remain working in northern and central Gaza – Ahli Arab Hospital, Kamal Adwan Hospital, and al-Awdah Hospital. He added that “Israel destroyed 21 private and 13 governmental hospitals.”

    The Israeli army spokesperson said on Monday that 1,200 Israelis have been killed, including 392 soldiers, since October 7, and 9,000 have been injured. He added that 80 out of the 184 remaining captives being held by Hamas have dual citizenship.

    On Sunday, Hamas announced the names of some of its senior leaders who were killed fighting the Israeli occupation forces in Gaza, including Ahmed al-Ghandour, a member of the Military Council and commander of the Northern Gaza Strip Brigade .

    Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, called for an extension to the truce which “would allow for much-needed relief to the people of Gaza and the release of more hostages.”

    Dozens of Palestinians arrested in the West Bank

    While Israeli jailers were finishing the papers to release 39 Palestinian children on Sunday evening, Israeli forces were at work arresting 60 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

    Twenty-nine people were arrested in Hebron, and the others were detained from Ramallah, Jenin, Nablus, Bethlehem, and the village of Jaba.

    The Commission for Ex-Prisoners’ Affairs said that since October 7, Israel has arrested 3,260 Palestinians, most of them sentenced to various lengths of administrative detention, a policy used to indefinitely detain Palestinians without charge or trial.

    Currently, there are 7,000 Palestinian prisoners, 200 of whom are children. Since October 7, six prisoners have died inside Israeli jails, and 41 journalists remain in detention. Israeli forces and settlers have killed 235 Palestinians during assaults or night raids of towns and villages in the occupied West Bank.

    In a new report, Human Rights Watch (HRW) says more Palestinians in the West Bank have been killed by Israeli forces in the last six weeks, since October 7, than in any entire year since 2005.

    Israeli far-right Finance Minister dedicates millions of dollars to expanding settlements and arming settlers

    Josep Borrell, the EU’s High Representative for foreign affairs and security policy, lambasted the Israeli far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich following his announcement of plans of settlement expansion and arming settlers.

    “I’m appalled to learn that in the middle of a war, the Israeli [government] is poised to commit new funds to build more illegal settlements. This is not self-defence and will not make Israel safer. The settlements are grave [International Human Law] breach, and they are Israel’s greatest security liability,” Borrell wrote on the X platform.

    Smotrich presented the 2023 budget this week, in which he dedicated a big chunk of it to the war on Gaza Strip, including $4.5 billion to defense and $3.6 billion to civilian war needs.

    He also dedicated over $190 million to further the West Bank settlement project, and $530 million to the National Security Ministry, headed by Itamar Ben-Gvir, to arm settlers in the occupied West Bank and set up teams of armed militias and police.


    Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich’s supplementary budget request to be spent in the final month of 2023.
    Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that Smotrich’s budget was “a disregard for international and American positions in support of the two-state solution.”

    “Approving this proposal indicates Israeli persistence in accelerating the pace of the annexation of the occupied West Bank… exploiting the genocidal war against the Gaza Strip to create new facts on the ground in the occupied West Bank,” the ministry said.

    Borrel wrote in a column in the Financial Times that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should end.

    “Our political myopia, to think this conflict was manageable by paying lip service to the two-state solution and then leaving it to fester, must end, he wrote.

    He added that leaving the conflict to simmer without fixing it “may trigger displacement of people, including towards Europe, and exacerbate the risk of terrorism and intercommunity tensions.”

    He concluded that “Israel’s own security requires the creation of a Palestinian state in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.”

    Before you go – we need your support

    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/2023/11/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-52-palestinians-in-gaza-brace-for-resumption-of-israeli-attacks-as-truce-reaches-final-day/
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 52: Palestinians in Gaza brace for resumption of Israeli attacks as truce reaches final day International leaders call for extending the truce as the fourth and final round of captive exchanges is set to take place. Palestinians in Gaza are still not able to count their dead as the majority of hospitals remain out of service. Mustafa Abu SneinehNovember 27, 2023 Palestinian prisoner Khalil Zama' hugs a relative after being released from an Israeli jail in exchange for Israeli captives released by Hamas from the Gaza Strip, at his home in Halhul village near Hebron in the occupied West Bank on November 27, 2023. (Photo: Mamoun Wazwaz/APA Images) Palestinian prisoner Khalil Zama’ hugs a relative after being released from an Israeli jail in exchange for Israeli captives released by Hamas from the Gaza Strip, at his home in Halhul village near Hebron in the occupied West Bank on November 27, 2023. (Photo: Mamoun Wazwaz/APA Images) Casualties 15,000+ killed*, including 6,150 children, and 33,000 wounded in Gaza Strip. 235 Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,200 *This figure is based on an estimate as reported by the official Palestinian news agency Wafa on October 27. Due to breakdowns in communication networks within the Gaza Strip (particularly in northern Gaza), the Gaza Ministry of Health has not been able to regularly update its tolls. Key Developments Between Friday and Sunday evening, 117 Palestinians were released from Israeli jails, all of them women and children. Hamas released 58 captives, 39 Israelis, 17 Thai citizens, an Israeli-Russian, and a Filipino national. Netanyahu said that the truce would be extended a day for every ten additional captives released by Hamas. Qatari Prime Minister said that an extension of the truce would allow Hamas fighters to locate more Israeli captives to be released. Hamas said in a statement that it released Roni Krivo, a Russian-Israeli citizen, in appreciation of Moscow’s support for the Palestinian cause. On Sunday evening, 39 Palestinians were released from Israeli jails, all of them under the age of 18 years old. Mohammed Zaqout, the general manager of hospitals in Gaza, told Al-Jazeera that hospitals in northern Gaza are short of fuel and have not received any during the truce. The Israeli army spokesperson said that 80 out of the 184 remaining captives being held by Hamas have dual citizenship. Palestinians, holding jerry cans, wait in front of a gas station to get gasoline and diesel on the third day of the Gaza truce in Rafah. (Photo: © Abed Rahim Khatib/dpa via ZUMA Press APAimages) Palestinians, holding jerry cans, wait in front of a gas station to get gasoline and diesel on the third day of the Gaza truce in Rafah. (Photo: © Abed Rahim Khatib/dpa via ZUMA Press APAimages) Israeli Prime Minister vows to continue the war on Gaza The temporary truce in the Gaza Strip between Israeli forces and Palestinian resistance fighters is approaching its end on Monday night. Israel is expected to carry on its airstrikes and ground incursion once the truce ends. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Sunday evening to continue the war until achieving the three goals of releasing all captives, destroying Hamas, and ensuring Gaza does not impose a “threat” to Israel. Netanyahu said that the truce would be extended a day for every ten additional captives released by Hamas. Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, whose country hosts a Hamas office, told the Financial Times that an extension of the truce would allow Hamas to locate more captives to release. “We don’t yet have any clear information how many they can find because… one of the purposes [of the pause] is they [Hamas] will have time to search for the rest of the missing people,” al-Thani said. Between Friday and Sunday evening, 117 Palestinians were released from Israeli jails, all of them women and children. Hamas released 58 captives, 39 Israelis, 17 Thai citizens, an Israeli-Russian, and a Filipino national. U.S. President Joe Biden said early on that he was “hopeful” the truce would continue. “My expectation and hope is that as we move forward, the rest of the Arab world and the region is also putting pressure on all sides to slow this down, to bring this to an end as quickly as we can,” Biden said on Friday. A four-year-old dual Israeli-American citizen whose father was killed in the October 7 attack is expected to be released in the fourth patch of captives held by Hamas on Monday. 39 Palestinians and 13 Israeli nationals released On Sunday evening, Hamas released the third round of captives, which included 13 Israeli nationals, two Thais, and one Russian-Israeli citizen. The handing over of the captives to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) took place in the center of Gaza City, which saw immense fighting between Israeli forces and resistance fighters. Al-Jazeera reported that Hamas aimed to show its force in front of cameras during the captives’ release in the northern Gaza Strip, an area the Israeli army believed to be controlling vast parts of it. Some of the fighters were mounting the infamous white pickup trucks used during the October 7 surprise attack on settlements and army bases. Hamas said in a statement that it released Roni Krivo, a Russian-Israeli citizen, in appreciation of Moscow’s support for the Palestinian cause. “In response to the efforts of Russian President Vladimir Putin and in appreciation of the Russian position in support of the Palestinian cause, the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, released one of the detainees of the Russian citizenship,” it said in a statement on Sunday. On Sunday evening, 39 Palestinians were released from Israeli jails, all of them under the age of 18 years old. Twenty-one were from occupied Jerusalem, and the rest from Ramallah, Bethlehem, Jericho, Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarm, Qalqilya, and one from Rahah town south of Gaza Strip. Wafa news agency reported that the underage prisoners were transported from Ofer military prisons to the towns of Ramallah and Beitunia, where they were welcomed by thousands of Palestinians. However, prisoners from Jerusalem were handed to one member of their families at Al-Moskobiya detention and interrogation center. Any scenes of celebration were banned and subject to fine and potential arrest. Wadi Hilweh Information Center, which documents Israeli violations in Jerusalem, posted footage of the release of a Palestinian child prisoner transported by an Israeli security team in a civilian vehicle and handed to his father in the middle of the night, ensuring no celebration or gathering took place. Wafa reported that Israeli forces fired tear gas, live and rubber-coated metal bullets at journalists and families who gathered near Ofer to accompany the prisoners’ bus. Several people, including a journalist, were wounded. A full list of the names of prisoners released on Sunday were published by Wafa. According to the temporary truce terms, 33 Palestinian prisoners and 11 Israelis are expected to be released on Monday, bringing the total to 50 Israelis and 150 Palestinians, one captive for every three prisoners. Majority of hospitals in Gaza are out of service as Palestinians struggle to count their dead Health officials in the Gaza Strip warned that hospitals are struggling to cope as Israeli bombardment inflicted severe damages to Al-Shifa’ and the Indonesian hospitals in the northern Gaza Strip. Four days of relative calm were not enough to recover nor to count the killed and injured in the Gaza genocide during which Israel has dropped the equivalent of two nuclear bombs since October 7. On Monday, the death toll in the Gaza Strip was not updated by the Ministry of Health. An estimate published by Wafa said at least 15,000 people were killed and 32,000 wounded. Al-Jazeera reported on Monday morning that piles of bodies have accumulated in Al-Quds and Al-Rantisi hospitals. Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, of whom 1.7 million were internally displaced, are still grasping the sheer destruction caused by the Israeli bombardment of their properties. On Sunday, Israel announced that it has “seized” a total sum of $1.3 million from “Hamas homes” in Gaza and deposited it in the state coffers. Palestinians described the action as theft and shared stories of Israeli soldiers seizing musical instruments and jewelry and showing them off on social media. On Monday, Israeli forces shot at people near Al-Maghazi refugee camp, who went back to inspect their houses. Mohammed Zaqout, the general manager of hospitals in Gaza, told Al-Jazeera that hospitals in northern Gaza are short of fuel and have not received any during the truce. Zaqout said that three hospitals remain working in northern and central Gaza – Ahli Arab Hospital, Kamal Adwan Hospital, and al-Awdah Hospital. He added that “Israel destroyed 21 private and 13 governmental hospitals.” The Israeli army spokesperson said on Monday that 1,200 Israelis have been killed, including 392 soldiers, since October 7, and 9,000 have been injured. He added that 80 out of the 184 remaining captives being held by Hamas have dual citizenship. On Sunday, Hamas announced the names of some of its senior leaders who were killed fighting the Israeli occupation forces in Gaza, including Ahmed al-Ghandour, a member of the Military Council and commander of the Northern Gaza Strip Brigade . Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, called for an extension to the truce which “would allow for much-needed relief to the people of Gaza and the release of more hostages.” Dozens of Palestinians arrested in the West Bank While Israeli jailers were finishing the papers to release 39 Palestinian children on Sunday evening, Israeli forces were at work arresting 60 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. Twenty-nine people were arrested in Hebron, and the others were detained from Ramallah, Jenin, Nablus, Bethlehem, and the village of Jaba. The Commission for Ex-Prisoners’ Affairs said that since October 7, Israel has arrested 3,260 Palestinians, most of them sentenced to various lengths of administrative detention, a policy used to indefinitely detain Palestinians without charge or trial. Currently, there are 7,000 Palestinian prisoners, 200 of whom are children. Since October 7, six prisoners have died inside Israeli jails, and 41 journalists remain in detention. Israeli forces and settlers have killed 235 Palestinians during assaults or night raids of towns and villages in the occupied West Bank. In a new report, Human Rights Watch (HRW) says more Palestinians in the West Bank have been killed by Israeli forces in the last six weeks, since October 7, than in any entire year since 2005. Israeli far-right Finance Minister dedicates millions of dollars to expanding settlements and arming settlers Josep Borrell, the EU’s High Representative for foreign affairs and security policy, lambasted the Israeli far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich following his announcement of plans of settlement expansion and arming settlers. “I’m appalled to learn that in the middle of a war, the Israeli [government] is poised to commit new funds to build more illegal settlements. This is not self-defence and will not make Israel safer. The settlements are grave [International Human Law] breach, and they are Israel’s greatest security liability,” Borrell wrote on the X platform. Smotrich presented the 2023 budget this week, in which he dedicated a big chunk of it to the war on Gaza Strip, including $4.5 billion to defense and $3.6 billion to civilian war needs. He also dedicated over $190 million to further the West Bank settlement project, and $530 million to the National Security Ministry, headed by Itamar Ben-Gvir, to arm settlers in the occupied West Bank and set up teams of armed militias and police. Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich’s supplementary budget request to be spent in the final month of 2023. Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that Smotrich’s budget was “a disregard for international and American positions in support of the two-state solution.” “Approving this proposal indicates Israeli persistence in accelerating the pace of the annexation of the occupied West Bank… exploiting the genocidal war against the Gaza Strip to create new facts on the ground in the occupied West Bank,” the ministry said. Borrel wrote in a column in the Financial Times that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should end. “Our political myopia, to think this conflict was manageable by paying lip service to the two-state solution and then leaving it to fester, must end, he wrote. He added that leaving the conflict to simmer without fixing it “may trigger displacement of people, including towards Europe, and exacerbate the risk of terrorism and intercommunity tensions.” He concluded that “Israel’s own security requires the creation of a Palestinian state in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.” Before you go – we need your support 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/2023/11/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-52-palestinians-in-gaza-brace-for-resumption-of-israeli-attacks-as-truce-reaches-final-day/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 52: Palestinians in Gaza brace for resumption of Israeli attacks as truce reaches final day
    International leaders call for extending the truce as the fourth and final round of captive exchanges is set to take place. Palestinians in Gaza are still not able to count their dead as the majority of hospitals remain out of service.
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  • IDF Confirm Tanks Fired On Israeli Civilians & The Insidious Narrative About Palestinian Prisoners
    November 26, 2023 Ryan Cristián
    IDF
    Ryan Cristián
    "Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see." - John Lennon Driven by a desire for accuracy, chef and independent news stalwart Ryan Cristián has a passion for the Truth. As a recent recipient of the Serena Shim Award For Uncompromising Integrity In Journalism, he understands that Americans want their news to be transparent, devoid of the opulence frothed out by today's corporate media. A cultured and insightful man with a worldly sense, Ryan's unjaded approach offers common sense to the individual racked by the ambiguous news cycle - a vicious and manipulative merry-go-round that keeps trenchant minds at a manageable distance from the truth. Avid writer & editor by day, Truth seeker by night, Ryan's reality defines what it means to be current.

    https://www.thelastamericanvagabond.com/category/ryan-cristian/

    https://www.thelastamericanvagabond.com/idf-tanks-palestinian-prisoners/
    IDF Confirm Tanks Fired On Israeli Civilians & The Insidious Narrative About Palestinian Prisoners November 26, 2023 Ryan Cristián IDF Ryan Cristián "Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see." - John Lennon Driven by a desire for accuracy, chef and independent news stalwart Ryan Cristián has a passion for the Truth. As a recent recipient of the Serena Shim Award For Uncompromising Integrity In Journalism, he understands that Americans want their news to be transparent, devoid of the opulence frothed out by today's corporate media. A cultured and insightful man with a worldly sense, Ryan's unjaded approach offers common sense to the individual racked by the ambiguous news cycle - a vicious and manipulative merry-go-round that keeps trenchant minds at a manageable distance from the truth. Avid writer & editor by day, Truth seeker by night, Ryan's reality defines what it means to be current. https://www.thelastamericanvagabond.com/category/ryan-cristian/ https://www.thelastamericanvagabond.com/idf-tanks-palestinian-prisoners/
    WWW.THELASTAMERICANVAGABOND.COM
    IDF Confirm Tanks Fired On Israeli Civilians & The Insidious Narrative About Palestinian Prisoners
    Welcome to The Daily Wrap Up, a concise show dedicated to bringing you the most relevant independent news, as we see it, from the last 24 hours (11/26/23). As always, take the information discussed in the video below and research it for yourself, and come to your own conclusions. Anyone telling you what the truth Read More...
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 51: Israel fires at Palestinians attempting to return to northern Gaza amid shaky truce
    Israeli forces killed a Palestinian in Al-Maghazi refugee camp and shot at people attempting to inspect their homes amid the shaky temporary truce. Israel also killed five Palestinians during a 14-hour raid in the West Bank city of Jenin.

    Mustafa Abu SneinehNovember 26, 2023
    Palestinians amid the complete destruction from Israeli attacks in Nusairat during the 4-day truce in Gaza, November 25, 2023. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Palestinians amid the complete destruction from Israeli attacks in Nusairat during the 4-day truce in Gaza, November 25, 2023. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Casualties

    15,000 killed*, including 6,150 children, and 33,000 wounded in Gaza Strip.
    235 Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem
    Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,200
    *This figure is based on an estimate as reported by the official Palestinian news agency Wafa on October 26. Due to breakdowns in communication networks within the Gaza Strip (particularly in northern Gaza), the Gaza Ministry of Health has not been able to regularly update its tolls.

    Key Developments

    The prisoners and captives exchange on Saturday was delayed several hours due to a dispute over aid trucks not reaching the northern Gaza Strip and the release of two Israeli captives, who could not be located.
    39 Palestinians were released from Israeli prisons, 33 are or were children at the time of their arrest. Hamas released 13 Israelis and four Thai citizens.
    Hamas offered to release two women instead of the captives’ relatives, who could not be tracked, but Israeli officials did not approve it, and 13 captives instead of 15 were released, Kan News reported.
    Four of the Thai citizens were foreign workers in the agricultural farms, and they were not a core part of the exchange deal.
    Prior to the prisoners’ release, four Palestinians were injured with live bullets near Ofer prison in a confrontation with Israeli forces, who also shot tear gas at journalists covering the story.
    Israeli forces warned Palestinians against returning to the north of the Gaza Strip and to remain 1 kilometer away from the checkpoint on Salah El-Deen Street; those who attempted to return to Gaza City were shot at, according to Al-Jazeera.
    The Indonesian Hospital in Beit Lahia which was under siege by Israeli tanks for the past week, was emptied on Sunday from its remaining patients and medical staff.
    Five Palestinians were killed in Jenin refugee camp, and Israel launched ten drone strikes in the city during a 14-hour raid operation.
    Palestinian prisoners and Israeli captives exchanged at the eleventh hour as truce appeared in danger

    The temporary truce in the Gaza Strip appeared in danger on Saturday evening as the release of captives and prisoners kept being delayed till the eleventh hour.

    Eventually, Hamas released 13 Israelis and four Thai citizens less than an hour before midnight, and later, Israel freed 39 Palestinian women and children from prisons.

    Qatar’s foreign ministry spokesperson told CNN on Saturday afternoon that they were working to overcome the obstacles through mediation.

    The dispute involved aid trucks not reaching the northern Gaza Strip and the release of two Israeli captives.

    Hamas said in a statement that it was delaying the release of captives until Israel allowed aid convoys to enter Gaza City and its environs, which were carpet-bombed for 49 days, flattening entire neighborhoods and killing thousands of people.

    The resistance group also said that the short pause of fighting would be in danger if Israel did not adhere to the agreement of freeing Palestinian prisoners, starting with those who were detained for the longest number of years.

    On Sunday morning, Kan News reported that Hamas’s inability to locate two Israeli captives was another cause of the delay.

    As part of the truce deal, Hamas agreed to release entire Israeli families who had been taken captive together rather than separating family members. However, Kan reported that Hamas could not locate the mother and brother of two of the captives who were released on Saturday night. Israeli officials insisted that those captives’ relatives be found, adding hours of waiting. Hamas said early in October that due to the indiscriminate Israeli bombardments of Gaza Strip, the group could not locate all the captives, and that at least 50 of them died, and some are under the rubble. Kan reported that Hamas offered to release two women instead of the relatives, who could not be tracked, but Israeli officials did not approve it, and 13 captives instead of 15 were released.

    Four of the Thai citizens were foreign workers in the agricultural farms, and they were not a core part of the exchange deal.

    Among the released captives on Saturday was a nine-year-old Irish-Israeli girl, whose father told the CNN in early November that he received the news that she was “killed by Hamas.”

    On Sunday, she was the subject of a diplomatic row between Israel and Ireland, the only EU country whose politicians are outspokenly supportive of Palestinians.

    Ireland’s Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, tweeted: “This is a day of enormous joy and relief for Emily Hand and her family. An innocent child who was lost has now been found and returned, and we breathe a massive sigh of relief. Our prayers have been answered.”

    Varadkar’s tweet prompted a response from Eli Cohen, Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, who said “Mr. Prime Minister, It seems you have lost your moral compass and need a reality check! Emily Hand was not ‘lost’, she was kidnapped by a terror organization… shame on you!”.

    The captives and prisoners exchange has not toned down Israeli officials rhetoric, who continue to threaten war on the Gaza Strip.

    According to Kan News, Israel’s army chief of staff, Herzi Halevi wrote to soldiers that upon the end of the temporary truce on Monday, “we will return to fight with full determination, for the continued release of the abductees until the dissolution of Hamas.”

    The third day of the truce is expected to see immense efforts from Qatar and Egypt mediators to ensure its success.

    Palestinians traveling south from the Zeitoun district on the southern outskirts of Gaza City on November 26, 2023, on the third day of a truce between Israel and Hamas. (Photo: Ahmed Ibrahim / APA Images)
    Palestinians traveling south from the Zeitoun district on the southern outskirts of Gaza City on November 26, 2023, on the third day of a truce between Israel and Hamas. (Photo: Ahmed Ibrahim / APA Images)
    Israeli forces shoot at Palestinians returning to inspect houses in northern Gaza Strip

    Despite the temporary truce, a Palestinian was killed and another injured on Sunday, east of Al-Maghazi refugee camp, according to Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS).

    Israeli forces warned Palestinians against returning to the northern Gaza Strip and to remain 1 kilometer away from the checkpoint on Salah El-Deen Street. Those who aimed to cross the checkpoint to Gaza City were shot at, according to Al-Jazeera.

    Several Palestinians were injured by Israeli bullets, three of them near the Indonesian Hospital in Beit Lahia. For the past week, the hospital was under siege from Israeli tanks, and on Sunday it was emptied of the remaining patients and medical staff, Ashar Al-Qidra, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Health, told Al-Jazeera.

    Four other Palestinians were injured near Al-Quds Hosptial, Wafa reported. They were also checking their houses in Tel Al-Hawa.

    Israeli bombardments of the Gaza Strip displaced almost 1.7 million Palestinians. Some have attempted to return to inspect what happened to their neighborhoods and properties during the temporary truce and record the devastation with phone cameras to share with their families.

    The figure of those killed in Gaza Strip since October 7 was not updated on Sunday, but Wafa reports estimated that it reached 15,000 people, 6,150 children, and more than 4,000 women. At least 36,000 have been wounded.

    Released Palestinian prisoners are seen on a bus in the town of Beitunia close to the West Bank city of Ramallah, on Nov. 24, 2023. (Photo: © Ayman Nobani/Xinhua via ZUMA Press APAimages)
    Released Palestinian prisoners are seen on a bus in the town of Beitunia close to the West Bank city of Ramallah, on Nov. 24, 2023. (Photo: © Ayman Nobani/Xinhua via ZUMA Press APAimages)
    Israeli forces prevent any scenes of celebration of the released prisoners in Jerusalem

    Palestinian prisoners’ families waited till the early hours of Sunday in occupied Jerusalem and the towns of Al-Bireh and Beitunia in the occupied West Bank, to meet their freed relatives.

    Among them were 33 are or were children at the time of their arrest. Wafa news agency published a list of their names and imprisonment sentences.

    Wafa reported that five women and one child from Jerusalem were handed to their families at Al-Moskobiya detention and interrogation center.

    The rest were taken from Ofer military prison, near the City of Ramallah, to Al-Bireh and Al-Beitunia towns, where hundreds of Palestinians met them with joy, celebration, and calls for the resistance movements in Gaza to release all Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails, where at least 7,000 people are currently detained.

    However, prior to the prisoners’ release, four Palestinians were injured with live bullets near Ofer prison in a confrontation with Israeli forces, who also shot tear gas at journalists covering the story.

    In occupied Jerusalem, Israeli forces blocked relatives and well-wishers of freed prisoners from gathering at their houses and warned them of any scenes of joy. Al-Jazeera Arabic reported that on Thursday, Israeli forces confiscated candies and sweets from Palestinian prisoners’ houses to prevent celebration.

    Israa Al-Jaabis, who was detained since 2015 and suffers from severe burns to her hands and face, was one of the Jerusalemite prisoners whose family could not hang any decorations to welcome her.

    She told Al-Jazeera Arabic that her release was delayed for several hours and spoke of the horrible conditions and treatment the female prisoners were subjected to in Israeli jails.

    Shorouk Dwayyat from Jerusalem, who served nine years of a 16-year sentence before being released in the exchange, told Al-Jazeera that in the past several weeks, they saw an escalation of “repression, starvation, thirst, and the imposition of great overcrowding” by Israeli jailers.

    She added that she fears for the well-being of those female prisoners left behind, some of them under the age of 18, and the youngest was 12 years old.

    Omar Shweiki, who was 15 years old when he was arrested in November 2021 by Israeli forces, said that for the past 50 days, Israeli jailers prevented prisoners from exercising and that there are 13 and 15-year-old children currently detained.

    Since October 7, the Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners’ Affairs Commission warned that the Israel Prison Service is imposing punitive measures against Palestinian prisoners, including insufficient and low-quality food, denial of access to the exercise yard, daily power cuts, medical neglect, and restrictions on family visitation.

    Last week, Al-Jazeera reported that Israel is subjecting Palestinian prisoners and detainees to “psychological torture,” and forcing them to to kiss the Israeli flag, listen to the Israeli national anthem, and say “the State of Israel is Strong” during their detention. Israeli jailers will beat those who refuse to obey their orders.

    Six Palestinians have died inside Israeli jails since October 7.

    A view of damaged buildings and streets following an attack by Israeli forces using airstrikes with armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) on Jenin refugee camp in Jenin, West Bank on November 26, 2023. (Photo: Mohammed Nasser/APA Images)
    A view of damaged buildings and streets following an attack by Israeli forces using airstrikes with armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) on Jenin refugee camp in Jenin, West Bank on November 26, 2023. (Photo: Mohammed Nasser/APA Images)
    Five Palestinians killed in Jenin, and Israeli forces arrested dozens in the West Bank

    Nine of the Palestinian prisoners released late on Saturday were from the town of Jenin, in the northern West Bank, which witnessed a violent Israeli raid that killed five and injured 14 people.

    Wafa reported that Israeli forces also arrested 11 others, among them two of the wounded, during a 14-hour raid operation on Jenin refugee camp that ended in the early hours of Sunday.

    Asaad Ali Al-Damj, 33, was killed by an Israeli drone attack on a house in the Al-Damj neighborhood in the Jenin camp. Ammar Muhammad Abu Al-Wafa, 21, Ahmed Abu Al-Haija, 20, Muhammad Mahmoud Freihat, 27, and Mahmoud Khaled Abu Al-Haija, 17, were killed in different locations in Jenin during the confrontation with Israeli forces.

    Wafa said that 10 Israeli drone attacks were launched on Palestinian homes and a charity in Jenin camp. The city announced a strike on Sunday to mourn its martyrs.

    In Nablus, Oday Misbah Snobar, 30, was killed during an Israeli raid of Yatma village. The Palestine Red Crescent said that Snobar was shot with a live bullet in the face was taken to the hospital, and later died.

    Since October 7, Israeli forces and settlers have killed 235 Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem, injured almost 3,000, and arrested 3,160 people.

    Before you go – we need your support

    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/2023/11/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-51-israel-fires-at-palestinians-attempting-to-return-to-northern-gaza-amid-shaky-truce/
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 51: Israel fires at Palestinians attempting to return to northern Gaza amid shaky truce Israeli forces killed a Palestinian in Al-Maghazi refugee camp and shot at people attempting to inspect their homes amid the shaky temporary truce. Israel also killed five Palestinians during a 14-hour raid in the West Bank city of Jenin. Mustafa Abu SneinehNovember 26, 2023 Palestinians amid the complete destruction from Israeli attacks in Nusairat during the 4-day truce in Gaza, November 25, 2023. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Palestinians amid the complete destruction from Israeli attacks in Nusairat during the 4-day truce in Gaza, November 25, 2023. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Casualties 15,000 killed*, including 6,150 children, and 33,000 wounded in Gaza Strip. 235 Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,200 *This figure is based on an estimate as reported by the official Palestinian news agency Wafa on October 26. Due to breakdowns in communication networks within the Gaza Strip (particularly in northern Gaza), the Gaza Ministry of Health has not been able to regularly update its tolls. Key Developments The prisoners and captives exchange on Saturday was delayed several hours due to a dispute over aid trucks not reaching the northern Gaza Strip and the release of two Israeli captives, who could not be located. 39 Palestinians were released from Israeli prisons, 33 are or were children at the time of their arrest. Hamas released 13 Israelis and four Thai citizens. Hamas offered to release two women instead of the captives’ relatives, who could not be tracked, but Israeli officials did not approve it, and 13 captives instead of 15 were released, Kan News reported. Four of the Thai citizens were foreign workers in the agricultural farms, and they were not a core part of the exchange deal. Prior to the prisoners’ release, four Palestinians were injured with live bullets near Ofer prison in a confrontation with Israeli forces, who also shot tear gas at journalists covering the story. Israeli forces warned Palestinians against returning to the north of the Gaza Strip and to remain 1 kilometer away from the checkpoint on Salah El-Deen Street; those who attempted to return to Gaza City were shot at, according to Al-Jazeera. The Indonesian Hospital in Beit Lahia which was under siege by Israeli tanks for the past week, was emptied on Sunday from its remaining patients and medical staff. Five Palestinians were killed in Jenin refugee camp, and Israel launched ten drone strikes in the city during a 14-hour raid operation. Palestinian prisoners and Israeli captives exchanged at the eleventh hour as truce appeared in danger The temporary truce in the Gaza Strip appeared in danger on Saturday evening as the release of captives and prisoners kept being delayed till the eleventh hour. Eventually, Hamas released 13 Israelis and four Thai citizens less than an hour before midnight, and later, Israel freed 39 Palestinian women and children from prisons. Qatar’s foreign ministry spokesperson told CNN on Saturday afternoon that they were working to overcome the obstacles through mediation. The dispute involved aid trucks not reaching the northern Gaza Strip and the release of two Israeli captives. Hamas said in a statement that it was delaying the release of captives until Israel allowed aid convoys to enter Gaza City and its environs, which were carpet-bombed for 49 days, flattening entire neighborhoods and killing thousands of people. The resistance group also said that the short pause of fighting would be in danger if Israel did not adhere to the agreement of freeing Palestinian prisoners, starting with those who were detained for the longest number of years. On Sunday morning, Kan News reported that Hamas’s inability to locate two Israeli captives was another cause of the delay. As part of the truce deal, Hamas agreed to release entire Israeli families who had been taken captive together rather than separating family members. However, Kan reported that Hamas could not locate the mother and brother of two of the captives who were released on Saturday night. Israeli officials insisted that those captives’ relatives be found, adding hours of waiting. Hamas said early in October that due to the indiscriminate Israeli bombardments of Gaza Strip, the group could not locate all the captives, and that at least 50 of them died, and some are under the rubble. Kan reported that Hamas offered to release two women instead of the relatives, who could not be tracked, but Israeli officials did not approve it, and 13 captives instead of 15 were released. Four of the Thai citizens were foreign workers in the agricultural farms, and they were not a core part of the exchange deal. Among the released captives on Saturday was a nine-year-old Irish-Israeli girl, whose father told the CNN in early November that he received the news that she was “killed by Hamas.” On Sunday, she was the subject of a diplomatic row between Israel and Ireland, the only EU country whose politicians are outspokenly supportive of Palestinians. Ireland’s Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, tweeted: “This is a day of enormous joy and relief for Emily Hand and her family. An innocent child who was lost has now been found and returned, and we breathe a massive sigh of relief. Our prayers have been answered.” Varadkar’s tweet prompted a response from Eli Cohen, Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, who said “Mr. Prime Minister, It seems you have lost your moral compass and need a reality check! Emily Hand was not ‘lost’, she was kidnapped by a terror organization… shame on you!”. The captives and prisoners exchange has not toned down Israeli officials rhetoric, who continue to threaten war on the Gaza Strip. According to Kan News, Israel’s army chief of staff, Herzi Halevi wrote to soldiers that upon the end of the temporary truce on Monday, “we will return to fight with full determination, for the continued release of the abductees until the dissolution of Hamas.” The third day of the truce is expected to see immense efforts from Qatar and Egypt mediators to ensure its success. Palestinians traveling south from the Zeitoun district on the southern outskirts of Gaza City on November 26, 2023, on the third day of a truce between Israel and Hamas. (Photo: Ahmed Ibrahim / APA Images) Palestinians traveling south from the Zeitoun district on the southern outskirts of Gaza City on November 26, 2023, on the third day of a truce between Israel and Hamas. (Photo: Ahmed Ibrahim / APA Images) Israeli forces shoot at Palestinians returning to inspect houses in northern Gaza Strip Despite the temporary truce, a Palestinian was killed and another injured on Sunday, east of Al-Maghazi refugee camp, according to Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS). Israeli forces warned Palestinians against returning to the northern Gaza Strip and to remain 1 kilometer away from the checkpoint on Salah El-Deen Street. Those who aimed to cross the checkpoint to Gaza City were shot at, according to Al-Jazeera. Several Palestinians were injured by Israeli bullets, three of them near the Indonesian Hospital in Beit Lahia. For the past week, the hospital was under siege from Israeli tanks, and on Sunday it was emptied of the remaining patients and medical staff, Ashar Al-Qidra, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Health, told Al-Jazeera. Four other Palestinians were injured near Al-Quds Hosptial, Wafa reported. They were also checking their houses in Tel Al-Hawa. Israeli bombardments of the Gaza Strip displaced almost 1.7 million Palestinians. Some have attempted to return to inspect what happened to their neighborhoods and properties during the temporary truce and record the devastation with phone cameras to share with their families. The figure of those killed in Gaza Strip since October 7 was not updated on Sunday, but Wafa reports estimated that it reached 15,000 people, 6,150 children, and more than 4,000 women. At least 36,000 have been wounded. Released Palestinian prisoners are seen on a bus in the town of Beitunia close to the West Bank city of Ramallah, on Nov. 24, 2023. (Photo: © Ayman Nobani/Xinhua via ZUMA Press APAimages) Released Palestinian prisoners are seen on a bus in the town of Beitunia close to the West Bank city of Ramallah, on Nov. 24, 2023. (Photo: © Ayman Nobani/Xinhua via ZUMA Press APAimages) Israeli forces prevent any scenes of celebration of the released prisoners in Jerusalem Palestinian prisoners’ families waited till the early hours of Sunday in occupied Jerusalem and the towns of Al-Bireh and Beitunia in the occupied West Bank, to meet their freed relatives. Among them were 33 are or were children at the time of their arrest. Wafa news agency published a list of their names and imprisonment sentences. Wafa reported that five women and one child from Jerusalem were handed to their families at Al-Moskobiya detention and interrogation center. The rest were taken from Ofer military prison, near the City of Ramallah, to Al-Bireh and Al-Beitunia towns, where hundreds of Palestinians met them with joy, celebration, and calls for the resistance movements in Gaza to release all Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails, where at least 7,000 people are currently detained. However, prior to the prisoners’ release, four Palestinians were injured with live bullets near Ofer prison in a confrontation with Israeli forces, who also shot tear gas at journalists covering the story. In occupied Jerusalem, Israeli forces blocked relatives and well-wishers of freed prisoners from gathering at their houses and warned them of any scenes of joy. Al-Jazeera Arabic reported that on Thursday, Israeli forces confiscated candies and sweets from Palestinian prisoners’ houses to prevent celebration. Israa Al-Jaabis, who was detained since 2015 and suffers from severe burns to her hands and face, was one of the Jerusalemite prisoners whose family could not hang any decorations to welcome her. She told Al-Jazeera Arabic that her release was delayed for several hours and spoke of the horrible conditions and treatment the female prisoners were subjected to in Israeli jails. Shorouk Dwayyat from Jerusalem, who served nine years of a 16-year sentence before being released in the exchange, told Al-Jazeera that in the past several weeks, they saw an escalation of “repression, starvation, thirst, and the imposition of great overcrowding” by Israeli jailers. She added that she fears for the well-being of those female prisoners left behind, some of them under the age of 18, and the youngest was 12 years old. Omar Shweiki, who was 15 years old when he was arrested in November 2021 by Israeli forces, said that for the past 50 days, Israeli jailers prevented prisoners from exercising and that there are 13 and 15-year-old children currently detained. Since October 7, the Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners’ Affairs Commission warned that the Israel Prison Service is imposing punitive measures against Palestinian prisoners, including insufficient and low-quality food, denial of access to the exercise yard, daily power cuts, medical neglect, and restrictions on family visitation. Last week, Al-Jazeera reported that Israel is subjecting Palestinian prisoners and detainees to “psychological torture,” and forcing them to to kiss the Israeli flag, listen to the Israeli national anthem, and say “the State of Israel is Strong” during their detention. Israeli jailers will beat those who refuse to obey their orders. Six Palestinians have died inside Israeli jails since October 7. A view of damaged buildings and streets following an attack by Israeli forces using airstrikes with armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) on Jenin refugee camp in Jenin, West Bank on November 26, 2023. (Photo: Mohammed Nasser/APA Images) A view of damaged buildings and streets following an attack by Israeli forces using airstrikes with armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) on Jenin refugee camp in Jenin, West Bank on November 26, 2023. (Photo: Mohammed Nasser/APA Images) Five Palestinians killed in Jenin, and Israeli forces arrested dozens in the West Bank Nine of the Palestinian prisoners released late on Saturday were from the town of Jenin, in the northern West Bank, which witnessed a violent Israeli raid that killed five and injured 14 people. Wafa reported that Israeli forces also arrested 11 others, among them two of the wounded, during a 14-hour raid operation on Jenin refugee camp that ended in the early hours of Sunday. Asaad Ali Al-Damj, 33, was killed by an Israeli drone attack on a house in the Al-Damj neighborhood in the Jenin camp. Ammar Muhammad Abu Al-Wafa, 21, Ahmed Abu Al-Haija, 20, Muhammad Mahmoud Freihat, 27, and Mahmoud Khaled Abu Al-Haija, 17, were killed in different locations in Jenin during the confrontation with Israeli forces. Wafa said that 10 Israeli drone attacks were launched on Palestinian homes and a charity in Jenin camp. The city announced a strike on Sunday to mourn its martyrs. In Nablus, Oday Misbah Snobar, 30, was killed during an Israeli raid of Yatma village. The Palestine Red Crescent said that Snobar was shot with a live bullet in the face was taken to the hospital, and later died. Since October 7, Israeli forces and settlers have killed 235 Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem, injured almost 3,000, and arrested 3,160 people. Before you go – we need your support 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/2023/11/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-51-israel-fires-at-palestinians-attempting-to-return-to-northern-gaza-amid-shaky-truce/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 51: Israel fires at Palestinians attempting to return to northern Gaza amid shaky truce
    Israeli forces killed a Palestinian in Al-Maghazi refugee camp and shot at people attempting to inspect their homes amid the shaky temporary truce. Israel also killed five Palestinians during a 14-hour raid in the West Bank city of Jenin.
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  • We have had Enough! Stop Murdering Children NOW!
    Aed Abu Amro palestinian with flag
    © Mustafa Hassona
    When Mustafa Hassona took this picture on October 22 2018, then 20 year-old Aeb Abu Amro was participating in the Great March of Return protest in Gaza against the Israeli blockade of the Strip.
    Enough!

    I need to say this, because I don't know what else to do. The only thing I have is my voice, my words, and I don't want to live through this time in history feeling I did nothing, even though I know it's so little.

    When I watch image after image, video after video of the complete and utter destruction in the tiny strip of Gaza, when I see the injured, the maimed, the dead bodies of men, women and children, when I watch the wordless and screaming pain of these humans who have to dig through rubble to find their loved ones or what remains of them, who take their little belongings and their children on their backs to move (for a second, a third time?) somewhere safer... I feel caught in an unbearable nightmare with no end. Yet I am only a far-away witness, safe in the comfort of my home.

    For them, it's all real.

    The homes of so many people, who actually experience daily what I merely watch, are now acres upon acres of leveled rubble. Those houses that they probably worked hard to afford, so many of them family homes, full of memories of first steps, first words, meals around the table, celebrations of everyday life, even arguments and maybe even abusive unhealthy relationships. But isn't that what life is about? What hubris and deranged, god-complex gives Israel the right to annihilate so many lives and livelihoods?

    Enough!

    Every day I see men unable to provide the most basic means of safety or normal living to their children and wives, men who plough through the rubble hoping that the ones they love might still be alive, men who carry the dead bodies of their family members, or their injured children to hospitals that are barely safe or operational anymore. These men, who grew up with the label of "terrorist" on their backs, just because they were born in a land that was mythically promised to another group of people thousands of years ago. We should always talk about the women and the children, but let's not forget about the men, as they keep everything moving as much as possible amidst a terrible war waged against their bodies and minds.

    Enough!

    Every day I see mothers watching their children die, holding them injured, maimed, dead in their arms, Madonnas over the body of their offspring so unjustly murdered for the sins of others. While they mourn the loss of their own parents, brothers, sisters, husbands, friends, relatives... Women covered in sod and dust, with no water for their basic needs, and the bare minimum of medical assistance when they are about to bring new life into the world. Women who probably learned early to tend to all different types of war, captivity, and deprivation wounds, as soon as they were able to, wounds of the body and wounds of the soul alike.

    Enough!

    Every day I see children. I see so many children every day! But instead of them playing happily on the playground or at the beach, they are lying cut up, broken up, injured, maimed, lifeless among the rubble, on hospital beds, in their parents' or siblings' arms. I've never seen so many dead children before in such a short time, or probably ever, and I have been watching dead Palestinians at the hands of the IDF all of my life.

    I ask you, all of you: what could possibly be a reason to ever murder children?

    Haven't we had enough?

    I won't even try to bring up historical facts or inaccuracies, or the reality that this captivity and slaughter has been going on for 48 days and 75 years (thus Muhammad Smiry, a teacher who lives in Gaza, counts the days). You can hear all that first hand from actual Jewish Israelis like Norman Finkelstein, Gilad Atzmon, Ilan Pappé, Miko Peled, and Gideon Levy among others. I won't even argue against the official Israeli stance on how and why it all started on October 7. I am not going to mention dull and dusty United Nations charters about the rights and responsibilities of every human being during times of peace and times of war, or the world-wide agreed upon roles of occupiers and those under their occupation. All of the above is information that, in our day and age, is just a mouse click (or a phone touch) away. Ignorance is inexcusable. Lastly, I won't even engage in any socioeconomic, political, religious, philosophical or scientific discussions, I will even put aside West Bank or the murder of innocent men and women (God help me!) and simply ask again:

    What could ever be a reason to murder children?

    What would ever be a reason to support the murder of children?

    What would ever be a reason to justify or excuse the murder of thousands of children?

    Can there ever be one?

    Enough already!

    How could any thinking, feeling, sensing human being in possession of a conscience answer yes to any of the above? And those who can and do, what does it say about them?

    How come no one is doing anything to stop this holocaust? In the year 2023, the most hideous genocide is taking place in front of our eyes and most of our governmental "representatives" are silent, if not promoting and financing it. The cries of desperation of the Palestinian people don't move them, nor do the written or actual protests of millions of people across the globe, who are just as horrified and overcome by grief, some even putting their careers and livelihoods on the line to support the people of Gaza.

    It's not the first time that political and financial power interests come before the lives of human beings, but the evil that is perpetrated right now is so extremely transparent, so unjustifiable EVEN IF one believes the official stories, that consciously or unconsciously as humanity we feel the chill of certainty that our "representatives" don't give a damn about our own lives either, just as much as they don't give a damn about the lives of the Palestinians. They would sacrifice us on a whim as we become mere disposable objects once we get in their way.

    Therefore, never stop supporting the Palestinians, never stop talking about their plight, never suppress your conscience for any reason, because you are not only standing up for truth, justice and humanity, you are fighting for your family's life and your very own! Witnessing the suffering and sacrifice of the people in Gaza has taught us as much. And we've all had enough!

    Dear Palestinians,

    The price you are paying every day is high; you pay with your lives, and worst in some cases, the lives of your beloved. I hope that our collective prayers and support reach your hearts, I hope that the hellish conditions that you endure in this lifetime guarantees you a place in heaven for the next one. I wish I could bring you Yarrow to stop your bleeding and make you a tea of Jasmin and Rose blooms to sooth your heart. I hope you know freedom and peace in your own cherished land before long, inshallah.

    I wish I could write beautiful words to honor your martyrdom, but Palestinian poet Fadwa Tuqan was representing all of you when she penned the following, probably as an answer to the unsympathetic question, "Why don't they just up and leave?":

    Enough for Me
    Enough for me to die on her earth
    be buried in her
    to melt and vanish into her soil
    then sprout forth as a flower
    played with by a child from my country.
    Enough for me to remain
    in my country's embrace
    to be in her close as a handful of dust
    a sprig of grass
    a flower.



    https://www.sott.net/article/486261-We-have-had-Enough-Stop-Murdering-Children-NOW
    We have had Enough! Stop Murdering Children NOW! Aed Abu Amro palestinian with flag © Mustafa Hassona When Mustafa Hassona took this picture on October 22 2018, then 20 year-old Aeb Abu Amro was participating in the Great March of Return protest in Gaza against the Israeli blockade of the Strip. Enough! I need to say this, because I don't know what else to do. The only thing I have is my voice, my words, and I don't want to live through this time in history feeling I did nothing, even though I know it's so little. When I watch image after image, video after video of the complete and utter destruction in the tiny strip of Gaza, when I see the injured, the maimed, the dead bodies of men, women and children, when I watch the wordless and screaming pain of these humans who have to dig through rubble to find their loved ones or what remains of them, who take their little belongings and their children on their backs to move (for a second, a third time?) somewhere safer... I feel caught in an unbearable nightmare with no end. Yet I am only a far-away witness, safe in the comfort of my home. For them, it's all real. The homes of so many people, who actually experience daily what I merely watch, are now acres upon acres of leveled rubble. Those houses that they probably worked hard to afford, so many of them family homes, full of memories of first steps, first words, meals around the table, celebrations of everyday life, even arguments and maybe even abusive unhealthy relationships. But isn't that what life is about? What hubris and deranged, god-complex gives Israel the right to annihilate so many lives and livelihoods? Enough! Every day I see men unable to provide the most basic means of safety or normal living to their children and wives, men who plough through the rubble hoping that the ones they love might still be alive, men who carry the dead bodies of their family members, or their injured children to hospitals that are barely safe or operational anymore. These men, who grew up with the label of "terrorist" on their backs, just because they were born in a land that was mythically promised to another group of people thousands of years ago. We should always talk about the women and the children, but let's not forget about the men, as they keep everything moving as much as possible amidst a terrible war waged against their bodies and minds. Enough! Every day I see mothers watching their children die, holding them injured, maimed, dead in their arms, Madonnas over the body of their offspring so unjustly murdered for the sins of others. While they mourn the loss of their own parents, brothers, sisters, husbands, friends, relatives... Women covered in sod and dust, with no water for their basic needs, and the bare minimum of medical assistance when they are about to bring new life into the world. Women who probably learned early to tend to all different types of war, captivity, and deprivation wounds, as soon as they were able to, wounds of the body and wounds of the soul alike. Enough! Every day I see children. I see so many children every day! But instead of them playing happily on the playground or at the beach, they are lying cut up, broken up, injured, maimed, lifeless among the rubble, on hospital beds, in their parents' or siblings' arms. I've never seen so many dead children before in such a short time, or probably ever, and I have been watching dead Palestinians at the hands of the IDF all of my life. I ask you, all of you: what could possibly be a reason to ever murder children? Haven't we had enough? I won't even try to bring up historical facts or inaccuracies, or the reality that this captivity and slaughter has been going on for 48 days and 75 years (thus Muhammad Smiry, a teacher who lives in Gaza, counts the days). You can hear all that first hand from actual Jewish Israelis like Norman Finkelstein, Gilad Atzmon, Ilan Pappé, Miko Peled, and Gideon Levy among others. I won't even argue against the official Israeli stance on how and why it all started on October 7. I am not going to mention dull and dusty United Nations charters about the rights and responsibilities of every human being during times of peace and times of war, or the world-wide agreed upon roles of occupiers and those under their occupation. All of the above is information that, in our day and age, is just a mouse click (or a phone touch) away. Ignorance is inexcusable. Lastly, I won't even engage in any socioeconomic, political, religious, philosophical or scientific discussions, I will even put aside West Bank or the murder of innocent men and women (God help me!) and simply ask again: What could ever be a reason to murder children? What would ever be a reason to support the murder of children? What would ever be a reason to justify or excuse the murder of thousands of children? Can there ever be one? Enough already! How could any thinking, feeling, sensing human being in possession of a conscience answer yes to any of the above? And those who can and do, what does it say about them? How come no one is doing anything to stop this holocaust? In the year 2023, the most hideous genocide is taking place in front of our eyes and most of our governmental "representatives" are silent, if not promoting and financing it. The cries of desperation of the Palestinian people don't move them, nor do the written or actual protests of millions of people across the globe, who are just as horrified and overcome by grief, some even putting their careers and livelihoods on the line to support the people of Gaza. It's not the first time that political and financial power interests come before the lives of human beings, but the evil that is perpetrated right now is so extremely transparent, so unjustifiable EVEN IF one believes the official stories, that consciously or unconsciously as humanity we feel the chill of certainty that our "representatives" don't give a damn about our own lives either, just as much as they don't give a damn about the lives of the Palestinians. They would sacrifice us on a whim as we become mere disposable objects once we get in their way. Therefore, never stop supporting the Palestinians, never stop talking about their plight, never suppress your conscience for any reason, because you are not only standing up for truth, justice and humanity, you are fighting for your family's life and your very own! Witnessing the suffering and sacrifice of the people in Gaza has taught us as much. And we've all had enough! Dear Palestinians, The price you are paying every day is high; you pay with your lives, and worst in some cases, the lives of your beloved. I hope that our collective prayers and support reach your hearts, I hope that the hellish conditions that you endure in this lifetime guarantees you a place in heaven for the next one. I wish I could bring you Yarrow to stop your bleeding and make you a tea of Jasmin and Rose blooms to sooth your heart. I hope you know freedom and peace in your own cherished land before long, inshallah. I wish I could write beautiful words to honor your martyrdom, but Palestinian poet Fadwa Tuqan was representing all of you when she penned the following, probably as an answer to the unsympathetic question, "Why don't they just up and leave?": Enough for Me Enough for me to die on her earth be buried in her to melt and vanish into her soil then sprout forth as a flower played with by a child from my country. Enough for me to remain in my country's embrace to be in her close as a handful of dust a sprig of grass a flower. https://www.sott.net/article/486261-We-have-had-Enough-Stop-Murdering-Children-NOW
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  • Syria is playing the long game - developing strategy for the potential of all-out war.
    An in-depth analysis of Syrian military developments since October 7th

    vanessa beeley

    Map showing the recent events on military front in Syria since October 7th Al Aqsa Flood operation.

    "While red lines in politics are mostly colorless to provide more room for maneuver, red lines in the field are drawn with iron and fire and colored with blood, making these lines unbreakable."

    Ibrahim Wahdi - SAA soldier and journalist

    October 7th has sent shock waves throughout the world. The invincible Israel with, allegedly, the most powerful military and intelligence capability was proven to be a paper tiger by a weaker and less well equipped Palestinian Resistance coalition.

    The effect has been dramatic on regional Resistance factions - triggering a regional wide engagement with Israel or with the illegal US military bases in Syria and Iraq. As a result, there has been an unprecedented military escalation in the region that has largely gone unreported with all eyes on Gaza and the ongoing Zionist ethnic cleansing in both Gaza and West Bank.

    Israel is in disarray with internal divisions threatening the Netanyahu extremist coalition government. Netanyahu is unable to acknowledge the military and intelligence failings despite pressure to do so, even from within his own military.

    Instead Israel has resorted to the familiar sadistic war against women, children and innocent civilians for almost two months. The ongoing brutal massacre on an hourly basis, the targeting of hospitals, UNRWA refugee centers and schools, humanitarian convoys, ambulances, paramedics, civil defence headquarters are a litany of war crimes.

    Of course any admission by Netanyahu would signal the end of his political career and bring him to trial for corruption. Despite the knowledge that his military would suffer horrendous losses in a ground operation in the sprawling urban landscape of the Gaza enclave, Netanyahu gave the green light to invade. He relied on the daily horrific civilian death toll to break the Resistance resolve.

    The message was “to resist is futile” but just as the entire globalist axis led by the US and UK failed to factor in the determination of the Syrian people to prevent regime change in Syria - the world has underestimated the strength of the Palestinian Resistance against decades of apartheid, oppression and trickle expansionist ethnic cleansing by the Zionist entity.

    Hezbollah in northern Palestine has skillfully and tactically occupied the Zionist forces in the north preventing their involvement in the Gaza operations and ongoing stealth ethnic cleansing of the West Bank.

    Yemen has directly engaged by targeting sites in southern occupied Palestine. Iraqi Resistance factions have increased their attacks against US illegal military bases in Iraq and Syria resulting in the death of at least forty US military personnel. Most recently Yemeni forces have seized an Israeli owned vessel in the Red Sea holding the crew hostage.

    Palestinian factions inside Syria have launched several missile attacks on Israeli occupation sites in the illegally annexed Golan territories and even attacked Eilat from Syrian territory.

    In response, the US and Israel have mobilised their ISIS agents in Syria to attack Syrian Arab Army positions in the central desert areas.

    Hayat Tahrir Al Sham (HTS), an Al Qaeda offshoot, have escalated attacks on the northern Lattakia countryside axis and intensified drone attacks in Western Aleppo, northern Lattakia and northern Hama.

    Israel aggression particularly south of Damascus has increased with the latest attack on the Sayeda Zainab district of south-east Damascus yesterday afternoon (22/11). Aleppo and Damascus civilian airports are still closed, not because of the previous damage from Israeli aggression, due to the high risk of Israeli bombardment.

    The US has directly engaged with the Syrian Arab Army in Deir Ezzor in north-east Syria. Syria has responded by directly engaging with the US occupation forces, targeting US military bases and shooting down US drones. Syria has expanded the operational area in Syria for all Resistance factions to enable the targeting of Israel from multiple and mobile fronts.

    In this article the focus will be on the military situation in Syria. Syria has endured a 12 year Western-orchestrated regime change war that has decimated Syrian infrastructure, depleted the military capability, imposed unprecedented sanctions unilaterally on the Syrian people. The US occupies oil and agricultural resources in the north-east, their assets occupy the agricultural resources in the north-west. Their Kurdish proxies and Al Qaeda assets benefit from the trade of Syrian resources under the protection of US political and military endorsement and collaboration.

    Syria’s refusal to abandon Palestine and willingness to expand the ability of Resistance factions to target Israeli facilities and installations has triggered serious recriminations from the US/Israeli axis.

    ISIS aggression on behalf of Israel and US

    On the 8th of November ISIS groups attacked Syrian Arab Army positions in the vicinity of the Homs, Hama and Raqqa triangle. The attack led to the deaths of 21 SAA soldiers and several injured. Military reinforcements were dispatched to comb the area and to eliminate the ISIS fighters.

    Since the double earthquake tragedy that struck Syria and Turkey on the 6th February there have been a number of ISIS attacks on Syrian military and civilians. This attack of the 8th November and the one that preceded it are the most intense.

    On 18th October, ISIS launched a wide-scale assault on the SAA and allies in the Al Sukhnah area of the eastern Homs desert. ISIS took control of SAA positions along the main road and the Dubayyat gas field. This from a Carnegie Middle East Center report in 2015 when ISIS was gaining ground in Syria (before Russian intervention in September 2015):

    Faced with dense regime defenses around Shaer, the Islamic State shifted its focus to Palmyra, which has been the site of the most development in Syria’s gas sector since the mid-1990s. Fields in the area were expected to eventually produce 9 million cubic meters of crude gas per day. These included the Arak, Dubayat, Hail, Hayan, Jihar, al-Mahr, Najib, Sukhneh, and Abi Rabah fields, which according to a former industry insider have collectively been producing half of Syria’s output of natural raw and liquid petroleum gas. Palmyra is also the transit point for pipelines carrying gas from important fields in Hasakah and Deir Ezzor provinces in northeastern and eastern Syria respectively.

    The US appears to be recycling their strategy of pre-Russian intervention to control the ‘hub between the extraction or transfer of virtually all of Syrian gas production and the processing and power plants further west that supply electricity and gas for domestic and industrial use’ to the most populated areas of Syria that are under the control of the Syrian government and military.

    The SAA was forced to withdraw and to await reinforcements from the 18th Division and allied forces.

    The ISIS terrorists were counter-attacked and the Syrian positions were recaptured in the southern outskirts of Al Sukhna. ISIS forces were routed with a high casualty rate.

    Units of the SAA pursued the remnants of ISIS terrorists targeting them heavily with artillery to force their retreat to the 55 km exclusion zone established by the US occupation forces around the US allied Al Tanf military base on the borders of Iraq and Jordan.

    ISIS terrorists were also besieged in small pockets around Al Dubayyat gas field. Russian and Syrian warplanes concurrently bombed ISIS groups emanating from the area of Al Tanf that were trying to reach Al Dubbayat to break the SAA siege on their militants.

    On November 16th, Deputy Head of the Russian Reconciliation Center, Vadim Collet, gave a statement that:

    “Armed groups trained at Al-Tanf base are planning to carry out sabotage acts in southern Syria against Syrian forces on main roads and fuel and energy facilities” adding that “the leadership of both Russian and Syrian forces will take preemptive measures to prevent armed provocations”

    On the 13th November, at night, the SAA again repelled an ISIS attack on Point 10 in the Ja'ideen area in the eastern desert of Raqqa, on the administrative border with Homs province.

    The joint Russian-Syrian warplanes targeted ISIS terrorists, forcing them to withdraw again to the open desert within the US controlled Al Tanf 55 km exclusion zone.

    The Syrian Arab Army secured the area between the Al-Rasafa Castle and Al-Zamla village less than an hour after the failed infiltration operation, which demonstrates a significant improvement in the Syrian Arab Army's ability to respond and deal with these attacks.

    Later on November 14, an ISIS cell attacked a Russian patrol with an RPG on Al-Shaer gas field road in the desert. Three Russian soldiers were injured in the attack.

    The level of attacks being carried out by the ISIS terrorists is indicative of both their presence in the areas occupied by US allied forces and of the control that the US alliance has over this terrorist faction operating in Syria and Iraq.

    The ISIS attacks must be seen in conjunction with the US and Israeli direct attacks on SAA and allied military positions.

    Israeli aggression against Syria since October 7th

    After five Israeli attacks in October, four of which targeted civilian airports in Damascus and Aleppo, putting them out of service, Israel has attacked more than three times in November.

    On November 8th at 22.50 Israel launched an attack on the positions of allied forces in the farmland extending from Sayeda Zainab and Aqraba, south-west of Damascus. They also targeted radar systems and air defence positions in Tal Qalib and Tal Al Massih in the Sweida district, southern Syria - scene of the most recent separatist protests backed and instigated by the US and Israel. Three civilians were injured in the Sweida attack.

    In the early dawn hours of November 10th, Israel bombed two positions of the Syrian allies in the vicinity of Shanshar, south-west of Homs. This led to the deaths of seven Hezbollah soldiers and significant material damage.


    Hezbollah fighters killed by Israeli aggression on November 10th

    Israel justified this aggression as a response to an attack on Eilat in southern occupied Palestine two days prior. The attack utilised a Shahed 101 suicide drone with a 600 km range. The drone was launched from central Syria, crossed Jordanian airspace undetected to Eilat where it hit and caused damage.

    However Israel is not able to identify who launched the drone. Sayed Hassan Nasrallah referred to the loss of Hezbollah fighters in Syria based on Israeli false claims. If indeed Hezbollah had launched the drone they would have claimed responsibility. Therefore this attack indicates the entry of new players in the Resistance axis.

    The following day, a faction calling themselves SWAT Jazeera Al Arabiya (Arabian Island) claimed responsibility for the Eilat attack. The faction is still mysterious but appears to be an ideological ‘jihadist’ group following the Islamic Resistance Iraq operational blueprint. While the SWAT zone of operation remains secret their arrival on the scene will send the message to the US and Israel that they will face more enemies the longer the genocidal campaign against Palestinians continues.

    Again on November 18, at 2:25 am, Israeli warplanes bombed two Hezbollah positions in the Bahdalia area close to Sayyida Zeinab city, southeast of Damascus, causing material losses.

    Perhaps more importantly than standard Israeli aggression against Syria - on the 18th October unidentified gunmen assassinated Lieutenant Colonel Qais Ismail and First Assistant Muhammad Hussein of the 112th Brigade, 5th Armoured Division. The attack was carried out to west of Daraa, south of Damascus.

    On October 24th Israel had dropped leaflets by drone on the ceasefire line threatening the 112th Brigade and their commander - effectively threatening officers of the SAA in the Daraa district. Was the 18th October assassination a precursor to further attacks by Israeli proxies on the ground south of Damascus?



    The two 112th Brigade officers gunned down and the leaflet dropped by Israeli drones.

    Yesterday, the 22nd November at 15.10, Israel again targeted the southern districts of Damascus including Sayeda Zainab (an important Iranian/Shia muslim pilgrimage site). I was actually in the area when this attack took place close to Sayeda Zainab. At this time of the afternoon the area is heaving with civilians and children who are leaving school. Video:

    Attacks on illegal US occupation bases in Syria and Iraq

    The following is an indication only of the number of attacks, the bases and US personnel casualties (it will need updating as attacks are almost daily):


    US illegal bases in Syria and Iraq have been targeted daily by the Resistance factions since the start of the Al Aqsa Flood operation. The US air defences have been unable to successfully counter drone and missile attacks. There are have been an estimated 50-60 attacks on US occupation forces between October 17th and November 22nd. This has resulted in 59 casualties, according to a press briefing by Dep. Pentagon Press Sec. Sabrina Singh:

    “The Pentagon is seeing an increase in attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria, with a total of 55 attacks injuring dozens of service members since October 17, an official said Tuesday. The attacks, 27 in Iraq and 28 in Syria, have resulted in 59 service members being injured”, then corrected it, "Sorry, I can give you that rundown. So as of today, there have been approximately 58 attacks. So that's 27 in Iraq and 31 attacks in Syria."

    The US has routinely responded with airstrikes targeting SAA and allied sites in eastern Deir Ezzor countryside. The recent US aggression has adopted a different strategy.

    In the early hours of 9th November, US warplanes fired four rockets targeting a bakery and aid distribution warehouse belonging to the SAA allied forces on the outskirts of Deir Ezzor city.

    The attack developed into intense and direct clashes for over two hours between the US occupation forces with its Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, and the Syrian Arab Army with its allies on the western bank near the towns of Abu Hardoub, Al-Quriyah, and Al-Miyadin.

    Various types of medium and heavy weapons, as well as rockets, were used during the clashes. Additionally, eight Fajr-1 rockets were fired, targeting the Green Village inside the US occupation base in the Al-Omar oil field.

    Three US armored Humvees were destroyed, and a number of US soldiers and SDF fighters were injured. However, shooting down a US counter-drone Coyote Block 2 UAV by Syrian air defenses in Al-Mayadeen vicinity two days later was an extraordinary development.



    On November 13th, again early morning, US warplanes carried out six airstrikes on the Sayyal area in Al Bukamal (on border with Iraq) and sites near a bridge in Al Mayadin City, east of Deir Ezzor. One death and one injury from these attacks.

    This time the US targeted empty buildings and a PMU (Iraqi Popular resistance faction) missile launch site. The Resistance immediately responded and targeted US bases occupying the Al Omar oil field and the Conoco gas field, Shaddadi, Khrab Al Jir and other US occupation locations.

    The Conoco attack was notable. Remnants of the missiles found near the Conoco base indicate the use of 220 mm Caliber missiles launched from an Uragan launcher. A Syrian Arab Army artillery and rocket system. Field sources reported that 15 rockets targeted the US base killing 6 US soldiers in the command headquarters.

    The US Central Command statement indicates a weakness in the US military occupation of Syria. For the second time, following an unprecedented series of attacks on their bases the US retaliation has been muted and largely ineffectual.

    “in response to continued provocations by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and their affiliated groups in Iraq and Syria, U.S. Central Command (USCENTOM) conducted air strikes against facilities near the cities of Abu Kamal and Mayadin”

    This would suggest that Washington is reticent to escalate in the region where all US forces are sitting ducks. The default position is to trigger proxy forces including ISIS.

    The increasing number of attacks on US bases in Syria alone are an indication that the West Asia region has had enough of US illegal warfare and occupation.

    Despite having air superiority in the region the US knows that open war would be a military quagmire and would end in defeat. The success of the Resistance in targeting US bases and bypassing US air defence has sent a strong message to the US - that the Resistance capability is a force to be reckoned with.

    These groups excel in maneuvering, concealment, rapid and accurate targeting, and have the ability to significantly alter the course of events. They pose huge risk to US forces illegally on the ground in Syria.

    The balance of power between US forces, direct and proxy, has shifted and the SAA is taking the fight to the US with a vengeance. A two hour direct engagement between SAA and US forces, the shooting down of a US drone, the targeting of the Conoco base all suggest that the SAA is contemplating military escalation in coordination with Iraqi Resistance and other allies. The US military hegemony in Syria is at a tipping point.

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    In north-west Syria - Al Qaeda supports Israel against Palestine

    Al-Qaeda's Hayaat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) failed to achieve any military victory on any front in northwest Syria following several failed attacks on Syrian Arab Army positions.

    Since the beginning of October, HTS has been increasing drone attacks to compensate for military failures on the ground. The most devastating drone attack was on the 5th October (2 days before Al Aqsa Flood) when they targeted the Homs Military Academy, during a graduation ceremony packed with celebrating families. More than 89 people, mostly civilians were killed and 227 injured, many critically.

    Deputy Head of the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria, Vadim Collet, said that:

    “the raids resulted in the destruction of shelters and training camps belonging to the Al-Nusra Front group.” adding that “34 militants were killed and more than 60 others were injured.”

    The SAA and Russian air forces responded decisively. Russian and Syrian warplanes combined with artillery and missile launchers have carried out multiple attacks against terrorist positions since October 5th. Dozens of terrorist headquarters, ammunition stores, drone manufacturing facilities have been destroyed in Idlib province (north-west Syria).

    Multiple terrorists from HTS, Omar Ibn Al Khattab Brigade, Ansar Al Tawhid, Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) and other Al Qaeda derivatives have been killed or injured in the attacks.

    The strikes targeted terrorist controlled villages and towns such as Kefraya, Bara, Bilon, Ayn Larouz, Bazabour, Jisr Al Shughour, Afes and others on the axis of the northern Lattakia countryside, Western Aleppo countryside and the axes of Al Ghab plain in northern Hama, and Idlib itself.

    Video:



    Syrian Arab Army initiated a new phase of military operations over a month ago. These operations have been escalating intensively and progressively, achieving significant results. The terrorists have been deprived of their ability to launch wide-scale attacks, and their military capabilities, infrastructure, ammunition depots, and drones have been gradually destroyed. This strategy has developed in lock-step with events since October 7th.

    Video:



    The Syrian Ministry of Defense has reported the downing of dozens of drones on the fronts of Aleppo, Idlib, Hama, and Homs. Some of these drones are large-sized, GPS-guided, long range and can carry 100 kg of explosives.

    This increase in drone warfare, aided and abetted in development by NATO member states including Turkey, is an indication that the Al Qaeda asset are collaborating with the US and Israel to keep the SAA and allies occupied on the northern front.

    Syrian Ministry of Defense:

    “Units of our armed forces operating in the axes of Idlib, Hama and Aleppo countryside confronted attempts by terrorist organizations to attack safe villages and some military points with suicide drones, and destroyed four of them.

    A drone equipped with a liquid fuel rocket engine, four meters long, six meters wingspan, and loaded with one hundred kilograms of explosives was also shot down in the Jorin area in Hama northern countryside”

    The SAA is tactically depleting the terrorist offensive capability in the north-west to enable the SAA to engage in the south should a direct confrontation with Israel or the US arise in the Golan territories. As former SAA soldier and researcher Ibrahim Wahdi has pointed out:

    The intense airstrikes, artillery shelling, and missile attacks carried out by the army in the past month will greatly pave the way for any future military operation if a decision is made to advance towards the M4 highway.

    For example, a few days ago the Syrian Arab Army's anti-tank units had successfully cut off the supply routes of armed groups near Tafasnaz, isolating them from the Turkish base at Tafasnaz Airport, destroying their vehicles, killing and injuring many of them within less than an hour, without the need for any ground advancement. This demonstrates the army's capability to carry out similar, broader operations in the future if a decision is made for a large-scale ground operation.

    We are witnessing a micro-glimpse of what might happen were the SAA to engage in a comprehensive war against the US/Israel-led axis of terror.

    The Syrian leadership is taking a cautious approach for obvious reasons while opening up new fronts for Resistance factions operating on Syrian territory.

    Even if the Israeli war on Gaza were to escalate, leading to regional and international engagement, Syria would not need to enter the war directly. Opening the Golan front for anyone who wishes to fight against Israel would potentially be sufficient.

    As President Assad strongly stated in his speech at the Emergency Arab League Summit on Gaza:

    By our will only, by the overwhelming popular public opinion in our countries, with the new reality imposed by the Palestinian resistance in our region, we possessed those tools. Let us use them, and let us take advantage of the global transformation that has opened for us political doors that have been closed for decades, so that we can enter through them and change the equations, and let the precious souls who rose in Palestine be a rewarding price for achieving what we were unable to do in the past and what we must accomplish in the present and in the future.

    All countries in the region, specifically Syria, should take advantage of the new reality and build upon the victories of the resistance in Gaza. With every military confrontation, the popular resistance proves its ability to adapt, utilize the terrain of the battlefield, choose the timing, and employ sophisticated techniques in simple ways, relying on the most important factor in winning wars, which is determination.

    The military tactics employed by the Palestinian resistance were simple yet highly effective, and the most significant outcome was the clear military weakness of colonial forces in the region when facing the unified alliance of resistance forces.

    The war against Israel no longer requires the intervention of the Egyptian army, just as expelling the United States from Iraq and Syria would not require a comprehensive war.

    It is clear that Israel has failed to achieve any military victory in Gaza. Even with resorting to genocide and destruction, it has not succeeded in even swaying the popular Palestinian support for the Resistance Coalition in Gaza and the West Bank.

    Not even a few thousand out of more than two million residents in Gaza have emerged demanding surrender or cessation from the resistance. On the contrary, with every new massacre, we see Palestinians more determined to remain steadfast and to resist ethnic cleansing for the third time.

    Time is Israel’s greatest enemy. The longer the Israeli military incurs losses on the ground in Gaza, the longer Western public outrage increases at the massacres of thousands of children, the longer Netanyahu loses public confidence in Israel and abroad - the greater the defeat for Israel long term.

    Confronted with the psychopathy of the Israeli leadership and military the Resistance Axis is conducting itself with dignity and professionalism. It is hard to determine the balance of power in the region due to the hysterical and irrational rhetoric emanating from Washington, London and Tel Aviv. However it is shifting fast and there will be no going back.

    Ibrahim Wahdi:

    Regionally, there are important players with differing tactics, strategies, capabilities, and, most importantly, their understanding of the terrain, which makes it nearly impossible to predict the outcome of the current confrontation.

    However, the Middle East will certainly witness radical transformations after the Al-Aqsa Flood operation. With the rise of China and Russia, the East as a whole is asserting itself, which means that countries like Iran and Syria will also enter new historical stages on the geopolitical level. The so-called Global South is rising from the ashes of decades or centuries of colonialist terrorism.

    ****

    This article was co-written with Ibrahim Wahdi - please subscribe to his blog here. His Telegram channel and Twitter/X account.

    Please do consider subscribing to my Substack account and I hope you find this article useful. Thank you.



    https://beeley.substack.com/p/syria-is-playing-the-long-game-developing?r=29hg4d&utm_medium=ios&utm_campaign=post
    Syria is playing the long game - developing strategy for the potential of all-out war. An in-depth analysis of Syrian military developments since October 7th vanessa beeley Map showing the recent events on military front in Syria since October 7th Al Aqsa Flood operation. "While red lines in politics are mostly colorless to provide more room for maneuver, red lines in the field are drawn with iron and fire and colored with blood, making these lines unbreakable." Ibrahim Wahdi - SAA soldier and journalist October 7th has sent shock waves throughout the world. The invincible Israel with, allegedly, the most powerful military and intelligence capability was proven to be a paper tiger by a weaker and less well equipped Palestinian Resistance coalition. The effect has been dramatic on regional Resistance factions - triggering a regional wide engagement with Israel or with the illegal US military bases in Syria and Iraq. As a result, there has been an unprecedented military escalation in the region that has largely gone unreported with all eyes on Gaza and the ongoing Zionist ethnic cleansing in both Gaza and West Bank. Israel is in disarray with internal divisions threatening the Netanyahu extremist coalition government. Netanyahu is unable to acknowledge the military and intelligence failings despite pressure to do so, even from within his own military. Instead Israel has resorted to the familiar sadistic war against women, children and innocent civilians for almost two months. The ongoing brutal massacre on an hourly basis, the targeting of hospitals, UNRWA refugee centers and schools, humanitarian convoys, ambulances, paramedics, civil defence headquarters are a litany of war crimes. Of course any admission by Netanyahu would signal the end of his political career and bring him to trial for corruption. Despite the knowledge that his military would suffer horrendous losses in a ground operation in the sprawling urban landscape of the Gaza enclave, Netanyahu gave the green light to invade. He relied on the daily horrific civilian death toll to break the Resistance resolve. The message was “to resist is futile” but just as the entire globalist axis led by the US and UK failed to factor in the determination of the Syrian people to prevent regime change in Syria - the world has underestimated the strength of the Palestinian Resistance against decades of apartheid, oppression and trickle expansionist ethnic cleansing by the Zionist entity. Hezbollah in northern Palestine has skillfully and tactically occupied the Zionist forces in the north preventing their involvement in the Gaza operations and ongoing stealth ethnic cleansing of the West Bank. Yemen has directly engaged by targeting sites in southern occupied Palestine. Iraqi Resistance factions have increased their attacks against US illegal military bases in Iraq and Syria resulting in the death of at least forty US military personnel. Most recently Yemeni forces have seized an Israeli owned vessel in the Red Sea holding the crew hostage. Palestinian factions inside Syria have launched several missile attacks on Israeli occupation sites in the illegally annexed Golan territories and even attacked Eilat from Syrian territory. In response, the US and Israel have mobilised their ISIS agents in Syria to attack Syrian Arab Army positions in the central desert areas. Hayat Tahrir Al Sham (HTS), an Al Qaeda offshoot, have escalated attacks on the northern Lattakia countryside axis and intensified drone attacks in Western Aleppo, northern Lattakia and northern Hama. Israel aggression particularly south of Damascus has increased with the latest attack on the Sayeda Zainab district of south-east Damascus yesterday afternoon (22/11). Aleppo and Damascus civilian airports are still closed, not because of the previous damage from Israeli aggression, due to the high risk of Israeli bombardment. The US has directly engaged with the Syrian Arab Army in Deir Ezzor in north-east Syria. Syria has responded by directly engaging with the US occupation forces, targeting US military bases and shooting down US drones. Syria has expanded the operational area in Syria for all Resistance factions to enable the targeting of Israel from multiple and mobile fronts. In this article the focus will be on the military situation in Syria. Syria has endured a 12 year Western-orchestrated regime change war that has decimated Syrian infrastructure, depleted the military capability, imposed unprecedented sanctions unilaterally on the Syrian people. The US occupies oil and agricultural resources in the north-east, their assets occupy the agricultural resources in the north-west. Their Kurdish proxies and Al Qaeda assets benefit from the trade of Syrian resources under the protection of US political and military endorsement and collaboration. Syria’s refusal to abandon Palestine and willingness to expand the ability of Resistance factions to target Israeli facilities and installations has triggered serious recriminations from the US/Israeli axis. ISIS aggression on behalf of Israel and US On the 8th of November ISIS groups attacked Syrian Arab Army positions in the vicinity of the Homs, Hama and Raqqa triangle. The attack led to the deaths of 21 SAA soldiers and several injured. Military reinforcements were dispatched to comb the area and to eliminate the ISIS fighters. Since the double earthquake tragedy that struck Syria and Turkey on the 6th February there have been a number of ISIS attacks on Syrian military and civilians. This attack of the 8th November and the one that preceded it are the most intense. On 18th October, ISIS launched a wide-scale assault on the SAA and allies in the Al Sukhnah area of the eastern Homs desert. ISIS took control of SAA positions along the main road and the Dubayyat gas field. This from a Carnegie Middle East Center report in 2015 when ISIS was gaining ground in Syria (before Russian intervention in September 2015): Faced with dense regime defenses around Shaer, the Islamic State shifted its focus to Palmyra, which has been the site of the most development in Syria’s gas sector since the mid-1990s. Fields in the area were expected to eventually produce 9 million cubic meters of crude gas per day. These included the Arak, Dubayat, Hail, Hayan, Jihar, al-Mahr, Najib, Sukhneh, and Abi Rabah fields, which according to a former industry insider have collectively been producing half of Syria’s output of natural raw and liquid petroleum gas. Palmyra is also the transit point for pipelines carrying gas from important fields in Hasakah and Deir Ezzor provinces in northeastern and eastern Syria respectively. The US appears to be recycling their strategy of pre-Russian intervention to control the ‘hub between the extraction or transfer of virtually all of Syrian gas production and the processing and power plants further west that supply electricity and gas for domestic and industrial use’ to the most populated areas of Syria that are under the control of the Syrian government and military. The SAA was forced to withdraw and to await reinforcements from the 18th Division and allied forces. The ISIS terrorists were counter-attacked and the Syrian positions were recaptured in the southern outskirts of Al Sukhna. ISIS forces were routed with a high casualty rate. Units of the SAA pursued the remnants of ISIS terrorists targeting them heavily with artillery to force their retreat to the 55 km exclusion zone established by the US occupation forces around the US allied Al Tanf military base on the borders of Iraq and Jordan. ISIS terrorists were also besieged in small pockets around Al Dubayyat gas field. Russian and Syrian warplanes concurrently bombed ISIS groups emanating from the area of Al Tanf that were trying to reach Al Dubbayat to break the SAA siege on their militants. On November 16th, Deputy Head of the Russian Reconciliation Center, Vadim Collet, gave a statement that: “Armed groups trained at Al-Tanf base are planning to carry out sabotage acts in southern Syria against Syrian forces on main roads and fuel and energy facilities” adding that “the leadership of both Russian and Syrian forces will take preemptive measures to prevent armed provocations” On the 13th November, at night, the SAA again repelled an ISIS attack on Point 10 in the Ja'ideen area in the eastern desert of Raqqa, on the administrative border with Homs province. The joint Russian-Syrian warplanes targeted ISIS terrorists, forcing them to withdraw again to the open desert within the US controlled Al Tanf 55 km exclusion zone. The Syrian Arab Army secured the area between the Al-Rasafa Castle and Al-Zamla village less than an hour after the failed infiltration operation, which demonstrates a significant improvement in the Syrian Arab Army's ability to respond and deal with these attacks. Later on November 14, an ISIS cell attacked a Russian patrol with an RPG on Al-Shaer gas field road in the desert. Three Russian soldiers were injured in the attack. The level of attacks being carried out by the ISIS terrorists is indicative of both their presence in the areas occupied by US allied forces and of the control that the US alliance has over this terrorist faction operating in Syria and Iraq. The ISIS attacks must be seen in conjunction with the US and Israeli direct attacks on SAA and allied military positions. Israeli aggression against Syria since October 7th After five Israeli attacks in October, four of which targeted civilian airports in Damascus and Aleppo, putting them out of service, Israel has attacked more than three times in November. On November 8th at 22.50 Israel launched an attack on the positions of allied forces in the farmland extending from Sayeda Zainab and Aqraba, south-west of Damascus. They also targeted radar systems and air defence positions in Tal Qalib and Tal Al Massih in the Sweida district, southern Syria - scene of the most recent separatist protests backed and instigated by the US and Israel. Three civilians were injured in the Sweida attack. In the early dawn hours of November 10th, Israel bombed two positions of the Syrian allies in the vicinity of Shanshar, south-west of Homs. This led to the deaths of seven Hezbollah soldiers and significant material damage. Hezbollah fighters killed by Israeli aggression on November 10th Israel justified this aggression as a response to an attack on Eilat in southern occupied Palestine two days prior. The attack utilised a Shahed 101 suicide drone with a 600 km range. The drone was launched from central Syria, crossed Jordanian airspace undetected to Eilat where it hit and caused damage. However Israel is not able to identify who launched the drone. Sayed Hassan Nasrallah referred to the loss of Hezbollah fighters in Syria based on Israeli false claims. If indeed Hezbollah had launched the drone they would have claimed responsibility. Therefore this attack indicates the entry of new players in the Resistance axis. The following day, a faction calling themselves SWAT Jazeera Al Arabiya (Arabian Island) claimed responsibility for the Eilat attack. The faction is still mysterious but appears to be an ideological ‘jihadist’ group following the Islamic Resistance Iraq operational blueprint. While the SWAT zone of operation remains secret their arrival on the scene will send the message to the US and Israel that they will face more enemies the longer the genocidal campaign against Palestinians continues. Again on November 18, at 2:25 am, Israeli warplanes bombed two Hezbollah positions in the Bahdalia area close to Sayyida Zeinab city, southeast of Damascus, causing material losses. Perhaps more importantly than standard Israeli aggression against Syria - on the 18th October unidentified gunmen assassinated Lieutenant Colonel Qais Ismail and First Assistant Muhammad Hussein of the 112th Brigade, 5th Armoured Division. The attack was carried out to west of Daraa, south of Damascus. On October 24th Israel had dropped leaflets by drone on the ceasefire line threatening the 112th Brigade and their commander - effectively threatening officers of the SAA in the Daraa district. Was the 18th October assassination a precursor to further attacks by Israeli proxies on the ground south of Damascus? The two 112th Brigade officers gunned down and the leaflet dropped by Israeli drones. Yesterday, the 22nd November at 15.10, Israel again targeted the southern districts of Damascus including Sayeda Zainab (an important Iranian/Shia muslim pilgrimage site). I was actually in the area when this attack took place close to Sayeda Zainab. At this time of the afternoon the area is heaving with civilians and children who are leaving school. Video: Attacks on illegal US occupation bases in Syria and Iraq The following is an indication only of the number of attacks, the bases and US personnel casualties (it will need updating as attacks are almost daily): US illegal bases in Syria and Iraq have been targeted daily by the Resistance factions since the start of the Al Aqsa Flood operation. The US air defences have been unable to successfully counter drone and missile attacks. There are have been an estimated 50-60 attacks on US occupation forces between October 17th and November 22nd. This has resulted in 59 casualties, according to a press briefing by Dep. Pentagon Press Sec. Sabrina Singh: “The Pentagon is seeing an increase in attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria, with a total of 55 attacks injuring dozens of service members since October 17, an official said Tuesday. The attacks, 27 in Iraq and 28 in Syria, have resulted in 59 service members being injured”, then corrected it, "Sorry, I can give you that rundown. So as of today, there have been approximately 58 attacks. So that's 27 in Iraq and 31 attacks in Syria." The US has routinely responded with airstrikes targeting SAA and allied sites in eastern Deir Ezzor countryside. The recent US aggression has adopted a different strategy. In the early hours of 9th November, US warplanes fired four rockets targeting a bakery and aid distribution warehouse belonging to the SAA allied forces on the outskirts of Deir Ezzor city. The attack developed into intense and direct clashes for over two hours between the US occupation forces with its Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, and the Syrian Arab Army with its allies on the western bank near the towns of Abu Hardoub, Al-Quriyah, and Al-Miyadin. Various types of medium and heavy weapons, as well as rockets, were used during the clashes. Additionally, eight Fajr-1 rockets were fired, targeting the Green Village inside the US occupation base in the Al-Omar oil field. Three US armored Humvees were destroyed, and a number of US soldiers and SDF fighters were injured. However, shooting down a US counter-drone Coyote Block 2 UAV by Syrian air defenses in Al-Mayadeen vicinity two days later was an extraordinary development. On November 13th, again early morning, US warplanes carried out six airstrikes on the Sayyal area in Al Bukamal (on border with Iraq) and sites near a bridge in Al Mayadin City, east of Deir Ezzor. One death and one injury from these attacks. This time the US targeted empty buildings and a PMU (Iraqi Popular resistance faction) missile launch site. The Resistance immediately responded and targeted US bases occupying the Al Omar oil field and the Conoco gas field, Shaddadi, Khrab Al Jir and other US occupation locations. The Conoco attack was notable. Remnants of the missiles found near the Conoco base indicate the use of 220 mm Caliber missiles launched from an Uragan launcher. A Syrian Arab Army artillery and rocket system. Field sources reported that 15 rockets targeted the US base killing 6 US soldiers in the command headquarters. The US Central Command statement indicates a weakness in the US military occupation of Syria. For the second time, following an unprecedented series of attacks on their bases the US retaliation has been muted and largely ineffectual. “in response to continued provocations by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and their affiliated groups in Iraq and Syria, U.S. Central Command (USCENTOM) conducted air strikes against facilities near the cities of Abu Kamal and Mayadin” This would suggest that Washington is reticent to escalate in the region where all US forces are sitting ducks. The default position is to trigger proxy forces including ISIS. The increasing number of attacks on US bases in Syria alone are an indication that the West Asia region has had enough of US illegal warfare and occupation. Despite having air superiority in the region the US knows that open war would be a military quagmire and would end in defeat. The success of the Resistance in targeting US bases and bypassing US air defence has sent a strong message to the US - that the Resistance capability is a force to be reckoned with. These groups excel in maneuvering, concealment, rapid and accurate targeting, and have the ability to significantly alter the course of events. They pose huge risk to US forces illegally on the ground in Syria. The balance of power between US forces, direct and proxy, has shifted and the SAA is taking the fight to the US with a vengeance. A two hour direct engagement between SAA and US forces, the shooting down of a US drone, the targeting of the Conoco base all suggest that the SAA is contemplating military escalation in coordination with Iraqi Resistance and other allies. The US military hegemony in Syria is at a tipping point. Share In north-west Syria - Al Qaeda supports Israel against Palestine Al-Qaeda's Hayaat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) failed to achieve any military victory on any front in northwest Syria following several failed attacks on Syrian Arab Army positions. Since the beginning of October, HTS has been increasing drone attacks to compensate for military failures on the ground. The most devastating drone attack was on the 5th October (2 days before Al Aqsa Flood) when they targeted the Homs Military Academy, during a graduation ceremony packed with celebrating families. More than 89 people, mostly civilians were killed and 227 injured, many critically. Deputy Head of the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria, Vadim Collet, said that: “the raids resulted in the destruction of shelters and training camps belonging to the Al-Nusra Front group.” adding that “34 militants were killed and more than 60 others were injured.” The SAA and Russian air forces responded decisively. Russian and Syrian warplanes combined with artillery and missile launchers have carried out multiple attacks against terrorist positions since October 5th. Dozens of terrorist headquarters, ammunition stores, drone manufacturing facilities have been destroyed in Idlib province (north-west Syria). Multiple terrorists from HTS, Omar Ibn Al Khattab Brigade, Ansar Al Tawhid, Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) and other Al Qaeda derivatives have been killed or injured in the attacks. The strikes targeted terrorist controlled villages and towns such as Kefraya, Bara, Bilon, Ayn Larouz, Bazabour, Jisr Al Shughour, Afes and others on the axis of the northern Lattakia countryside, Western Aleppo countryside and the axes of Al Ghab plain in northern Hama, and Idlib itself. Video: Syrian Arab Army initiated a new phase of military operations over a month ago. These operations have been escalating intensively and progressively, achieving significant results. The terrorists have been deprived of their ability to launch wide-scale attacks, and their military capabilities, infrastructure, ammunition depots, and drones have been gradually destroyed. This strategy has developed in lock-step with events since October 7th. Video: The Syrian Ministry of Defense has reported the downing of dozens of drones on the fronts of Aleppo, Idlib, Hama, and Homs. Some of these drones are large-sized, GPS-guided, long range and can carry 100 kg of explosives. This increase in drone warfare, aided and abetted in development by NATO member states including Turkey, is an indication that the Al Qaeda asset are collaborating with the US and Israel to keep the SAA and allies occupied on the northern front. Syrian Ministry of Defense: “Units of our armed forces operating in the axes of Idlib, Hama and Aleppo countryside confronted attempts by terrorist organizations to attack safe villages and some military points with suicide drones, and destroyed four of them. A drone equipped with a liquid fuel rocket engine, four meters long, six meters wingspan, and loaded with one hundred kilograms of explosives was also shot down in the Jorin area in Hama northern countryside” The SAA is tactically depleting the terrorist offensive capability in the north-west to enable the SAA to engage in the south should a direct confrontation with Israel or the US arise in the Golan territories. As former SAA soldier and researcher Ibrahim Wahdi has pointed out: The intense airstrikes, artillery shelling, and missile attacks carried out by the army in the past month will greatly pave the way for any future military operation if a decision is made to advance towards the M4 highway. For example, a few days ago the Syrian Arab Army's anti-tank units had successfully cut off the supply routes of armed groups near Tafasnaz, isolating them from the Turkish base at Tafasnaz Airport, destroying their vehicles, killing and injuring many of them within less than an hour, without the need for any ground advancement. This demonstrates the army's capability to carry out similar, broader operations in the future if a decision is made for a large-scale ground operation. We are witnessing a micro-glimpse of what might happen were the SAA to engage in a comprehensive war against the US/Israel-led axis of terror. The Syrian leadership is taking a cautious approach for obvious reasons while opening up new fronts for Resistance factions operating on Syrian territory. Even if the Israeli war on Gaza were to escalate, leading to regional and international engagement, Syria would not need to enter the war directly. Opening the Golan front for anyone who wishes to fight against Israel would potentially be sufficient. As President Assad strongly stated in his speech at the Emergency Arab League Summit on Gaza: By our will only, by the overwhelming popular public opinion in our countries, with the new reality imposed by the Palestinian resistance in our region, we possessed those tools. Let us use them, and let us take advantage of the global transformation that has opened for us political doors that have been closed for decades, so that we can enter through them and change the equations, and let the precious souls who rose in Palestine be a rewarding price for achieving what we were unable to do in the past and what we must accomplish in the present and in the future. All countries in the region, specifically Syria, should take advantage of the new reality and build upon the victories of the resistance in Gaza. With every military confrontation, the popular resistance proves its ability to adapt, utilize the terrain of the battlefield, choose the timing, and employ sophisticated techniques in simple ways, relying on the most important factor in winning wars, which is determination. The military tactics employed by the Palestinian resistance were simple yet highly effective, and the most significant outcome was the clear military weakness of colonial forces in the region when facing the unified alliance of resistance forces. The war against Israel no longer requires the intervention of the Egyptian army, just as expelling the United States from Iraq and Syria would not require a comprehensive war. It is clear that Israel has failed to achieve any military victory in Gaza. Even with resorting to genocide and destruction, it has not succeeded in even swaying the popular Palestinian support for the Resistance Coalition in Gaza and the West Bank. Not even a few thousand out of more than two million residents in Gaza have emerged demanding surrender or cessation from the resistance. On the contrary, with every new massacre, we see Palestinians more determined to remain steadfast and to resist ethnic cleansing for the third time. Time is Israel’s greatest enemy. The longer the Israeli military incurs losses on the ground in Gaza, the longer Western public outrage increases at the massacres of thousands of children, the longer Netanyahu loses public confidence in Israel and abroad - the greater the defeat for Israel long term. Confronted with the psychopathy of the Israeli leadership and military the Resistance Axis is conducting itself with dignity and professionalism. It is hard to determine the balance of power in the region due to the hysterical and irrational rhetoric emanating from Washington, London and Tel Aviv. However it is shifting fast and there will be no going back. Ibrahim Wahdi: Regionally, there are important players with differing tactics, strategies, capabilities, and, most importantly, their understanding of the terrain, which makes it nearly impossible to predict the outcome of the current confrontation. However, the Middle East will certainly witness radical transformations after the Al-Aqsa Flood operation. With the rise of China and Russia, the East as a whole is asserting itself, which means that countries like Iran and Syria will also enter new historical stages on the geopolitical level. The so-called Global South is rising from the ashes of decades or centuries of colonialist terrorism. **** This article was co-written with Ibrahim Wahdi - please subscribe to his blog here. His Telegram channel and Twitter/X account. Please do consider subscribing to my Substack account and I hope you find this article useful. Thank you. https://beeley.substack.com/p/syria-is-playing-the-long-game-developing?r=29hg4d&utm_medium=ios&utm_campaign=post
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  • Will Russia-China Strategic Patience Extinguish the Fire in West Asia?, by Pepe Escobar - The Unz Review
    Once upon a time, by the Don river, in the southern steppes of what today is still known as “Ukraine”, the Great King of Persia, the mighty Darius, leading the most powerful army ever assembled on earth, received a puzzling message from a foe he was pursuing: the nomad ruler Idanthyrsus, King of the Scythians.

    A Scythian envoy arrived at the Persian camp carrying a bird; a mouse; a frog; and five arrows.

    And then he left, in a rush.

    Wily Darius interpreted the message as the Scythians ready to submit to the Persians.

    Not so fast. It was up to Darius’s senior foreign policy advisor, Gobryas, who also happened to be his brother-in-law, to break the code:

    “Unless you Persians turn into birds and fly up in the air or into mice and burrow in the ground or into frogs and leap into lakes, you will never get home again but stay here in this country, only to be shot by Scythian arrows.”

    Well, apparently this tale from the depths of the pre-Silk Roads proves the strategic nightmare of waging war against elusive nomadic horse archers on the Eurasian steppes.

    But that could also be a tale about waging war against invisible urban guerrillas in sandals and RPGs hidden in the rubble in Gaza; flash mini-squads emerging from tunnels to hit and burn Merkava tanks before disappearing underground.

    History also tells us that Darius failed to bring the Scythian nomads to a head-to-head battle. So, in the autumn of 512 B.C., he pulled a pre-American gambit in Afghanistan 2,500 years before the fact: he declared victory and left.

    That Landed Aircraft Carrier

    Everyone familiar with West Asia – from US generals to grocers in the Arab Street – knows that Israel is a landed aircraft carrier whose mission is to keep West Asia in check on behalf of the Hegemon.

    Of course in a dog eats dog geopolitical environment it’s easy to misunderstand all wag the dog shenanigans. What’s certain is that for hegemonic circles of the US Deep State, and certainly for the White House and the Pentagon, what matters in the current incandescent juncture is the uber-extreme/genocidal Likud-led Netanyahu government in Israel, not “Israel” per se.

    That projects Netanyahu as the exact mirror image of the beleaguered sweaty sweatshirt actor in Kiev. Quite the geopolitical gift – in terms of deflecting blame away from the Hegemon for a genocide deployed live on every smartphone on the planet.

    And all that conducted under a veneer of legality – as in the White House and the State Department “advising” Tel Aviv to act with moderation; yes, you can bomb hospitals, schools, medical workers, journalists, thousands of women, thousands of children, but please be gentle.

    Meanwhile, the Hegemon has deployed an Armada to the Eastern Mediterranean, complete with two very expensive iron bathtubs, sorry aircraft carrier groups plus a nuclear submarine close to the Persian Gulf. That’s not exactly to survey guerrillas in underground tunnels and to “protect” Israel.

    The ultimate – neocon and Zio-con – targets are of course Hezbollah, Syria, Hashd al-Shaabi in Iraq and Iran: the whole Axis of Resistance.

    Iran-Russia-China, the new neocon-defined “axis of evil”, which happen to be the Top Three Actors of Eurasia integration, for all practical purposes have interpreted the genocide in Gaza as an Israeli-American operation. And they have clearly identified the key vector: energy.

    The inestimable Michael Hudson has noted how “we’re really seeing something very much like the Crusades here. It’s a real fight for who is going to control energy, because, again, the key, if you can control the world’s flow of energy, you can do to the whole world what the United States did to Germany last year by blowing up the Nord Stream pipelines.”

    BRICS 10 on the Move

    And that brings us to the fascinating case of the OIC/Arab World delegation of Foreign Ministers now on tour of selected capitals promoting their plan for a complete ceasefire in Gaza plus negotiations for an independent Palestinian state. The delegation, called the Gaza Contact Group, includes Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Indonesia, Nigeria and Palestine.

    Their first stop was Beijing, meeting Wang Yi, and the second stop Moscow, meeting Sergei Lavrov. That tells us all we need to know about BRICS 11 in action – even before the fact.

    Well, that’s actually BRICS 10, because after the election of pro-Hegemon Zionist Javier “Chainsaw Massacre” Milei for President, Argentina is now out of the picture, and possibly discarded by January 1st, 2024, when BRICS previously 11 starts under the Russian presidency.

    The OIC/Arab League special conference on Palestine in Saudi Arabia had yielded a meek final declaration that disappointed virtually the whole Global South/Global Majority. But then something started to move.

    Foreign Ministers started to coordinate closely. At first Egypt with China, after previous coordination with Iran and Turkey. That may sound counter-intuitive – but it’s all due to the gravity of the situation. That explains why the Iranian Foreign Minister is not part of the current traveling delegation – which is led, in practice, by Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

    The meeting with Lavrov coincided with an extraordinary online BRICS meeting on Palestine, called by the current South African presidency. Crucial point: the flags of new members Iran, Egypt and Ethiopia could be identified behind the speakers.

    Iran’s President Raisi went no holds barred, calling for BRICS member states to use every political and economic tool available to pressure Israel. Xi Jinping called once again for a two-state solution and positioned China as the mediator of choice.

    For the first time Xi in his own words laid it all out: “There can be no security in the Middle East without a just solution to the question of Palestine. I have emphasized on many occasions that the only viable way to break the cycle of Palestinian-Israeli conflict lies in a two-state solution, in the restoration of the legitimate national rights of Palestine, and in the establishment of an independent state of Palestine.”

    And it should all start via an international conference.

    All of the above implies a concerted BRICS 10 unified position, in the next few days, applying maximum pressure on Tel Aviv/Washington for a ceasefire, fully supported by virtually the whole Global Majority. Of course there are no guarantees the Hegemon will allow it to succeed.

    Secret negotiations involving Turkey, for instance, have floundered. The idea was to have Ankara cutting off the supply of oil to Israel coming from the BTC pipeline from Baku to Ceyhan: the oil is then loaded on tankers to Ashkelon in Israel. That’s at least 40% of the oil fueling Israel’s military machine.

    Ankara, still a NATO member, balked – spooked by the inevitably hardcore American response.

    Riyadh, in the long run, could be even more daring: no more oil exports until there’s a definitive solution to Palestine according to the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative. Yet MbS won’t do it – because Saudi wealth is all invested in New York and London. It’s still a long, winding, bumpy road to the petroyuan.

    Meanwhile, realpolitik practitioners such as John Mearsheimer correctly point out that a negotiated solution for Israel-Palestine is impossible. A quick glance at the current map shows how the two-state solution – advocated by everyone from China and Russia to the Arab world – is dead; a Palestinian state, as Mearsheimer noted, “is going to be like an Indian reservation” in the US, “cut apart and isolated, not really a state.”

    No Hedging When it Comes to Genocide

    So what is Russia to do? Here is a very good informed hint.

    “Putin in the Labyrinth” means Moscow actively involved, in a BRICS 10 manner, to bring about a peaceful West Asia while maintaining internal stability in Russia under the ever-evolving Hegemon Hybrid War: it’s all interconnected.

    The Russia-China strategic partnership’s approach to West Asia set on fire by the usual suspects is all about strategic timing and patience – which the Kremlin and the Zhongnanhai exhibit in droves.

    No one really knows what goes on in the background – the deep shadow play behind the fog of intertwined wars. Especially when it comes to West Asia, always enveloped in serial mirages arising from the desert sands.

    At least we may try to discern mirages around the Persian Gulf monarchies, the GCC – and especially what MbS and his mentor MbZ are really playing at. This is the absolutely crucial fact: both the Arab League and the OIC are controlled by the GCC.

    And yet, as both Riyadh and Abu Dhabi become members of BRICS 10, they certainly see that the Hegemon’s new gambit is to set back the advances of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in West Asia by setting the region on fire.

    Yes, this is the War against China morphing from Hybrid to Hot, side by side with the Final Solution for the “Palestinian problem”.

    And as a bonus, from the Hegemon’s perspective, that should bring this bunch of desert bedouins firmly on board the new D.O.A. gambit, the IMEC (India-Middle East Corridor), which is in fact the Europe-Israel-Emirates-Saudi Arabia-India trade corridor, in theory a competitor to BRI.

    A major running theme across all nooks and crannies of the Arab street is how killing off the Palestinian resistance is an even more passionate issue for the sold out GCC elites than confronting Zionism.

    That explains, at least in part, the non-reaction reaction of the GCC to the ongoing genocide (they are now trying to make amends). And that is parallel to their non-reaction reaction to the Hegemon’s methodical, slow motion genocide, rape and pillaging over time of Iraqis, Syrians, Afghans, Libyans, Yemenis, Sudanese and Somalis.

    It’s absolutely impossible – and inhuman – to hedge when it comes to genocide. The verdict is still pending on whether the GCC has chosen a side, thus turning completely apart, spiritually and geopolitically, from the wider Arab street.

    This genocide may be the defining moment of the young 21st century – realigning the entire Global South/Global Majority and clarifying who’s on the right side of History. Whatever it does next, the Hegemon seems destined to totally lose the entire West Asia, the Heartland, wider Eurasia and the Global South/Global Majority.

    Blowback works in mysterious ways: as the “aircraft carrier” in West Asia went utterly insane, it only turbo-charged the Russia-China strategic partnership to mold History further on down the road to the Eurasia Century.


    https://www.unz.com/pescobar/will-russia-china-strategic-patience-extinguish-the-fire-in-west-asia/
    Will Russia-China Strategic Patience Extinguish the Fire in West Asia?, by Pepe Escobar - The Unz Review Once upon a time, by the Don river, in the southern steppes of what today is still known as “Ukraine”, the Great King of Persia, the mighty Darius, leading the most powerful army ever assembled on earth, received a puzzling message from a foe he was pursuing: the nomad ruler Idanthyrsus, King of the Scythians. A Scythian envoy arrived at the Persian camp carrying a bird; a mouse; a frog; and five arrows. And then he left, in a rush. Wily Darius interpreted the message as the Scythians ready to submit to the Persians. Not so fast. It was up to Darius’s senior foreign policy advisor, Gobryas, who also happened to be his brother-in-law, to break the code: “Unless you Persians turn into birds and fly up in the air or into mice and burrow in the ground or into frogs and leap into lakes, you will never get home again but stay here in this country, only to be shot by Scythian arrows.” Well, apparently this tale from the depths of the pre-Silk Roads proves the strategic nightmare of waging war against elusive nomadic horse archers on the Eurasian steppes. But that could also be a tale about waging war against invisible urban guerrillas in sandals and RPGs hidden in the rubble in Gaza; flash mini-squads emerging from tunnels to hit and burn Merkava tanks before disappearing underground. History also tells us that Darius failed to bring the Scythian nomads to a head-to-head battle. So, in the autumn of 512 B.C., he pulled a pre-American gambit in Afghanistan 2,500 years before the fact: he declared victory and left. That Landed Aircraft Carrier Everyone familiar with West Asia – from US generals to grocers in the Arab Street – knows that Israel is a landed aircraft carrier whose mission is to keep West Asia in check on behalf of the Hegemon. Of course in a dog eats dog geopolitical environment it’s easy to misunderstand all wag the dog shenanigans. What’s certain is that for hegemonic circles of the US Deep State, and certainly for the White House and the Pentagon, what matters in the current incandescent juncture is the uber-extreme/genocidal Likud-led Netanyahu government in Israel, not “Israel” per se. That projects Netanyahu as the exact mirror image of the beleaguered sweaty sweatshirt actor in Kiev. Quite the geopolitical gift – in terms of deflecting blame away from the Hegemon for a genocide deployed live on every smartphone on the planet. And all that conducted under a veneer of legality – as in the White House and the State Department “advising” Tel Aviv to act with moderation; yes, you can bomb hospitals, schools, medical workers, journalists, thousands of women, thousands of children, but please be gentle. Meanwhile, the Hegemon has deployed an Armada to the Eastern Mediterranean, complete with two very expensive iron bathtubs, sorry aircraft carrier groups plus a nuclear submarine close to the Persian Gulf. That’s not exactly to survey guerrillas in underground tunnels and to “protect” Israel. The ultimate – neocon and Zio-con – targets are of course Hezbollah, Syria, Hashd al-Shaabi in Iraq and Iran: the whole Axis of Resistance. Iran-Russia-China, the new neocon-defined “axis of evil”, which happen to be the Top Three Actors of Eurasia integration, for all practical purposes have interpreted the genocide in Gaza as an Israeli-American operation. And they have clearly identified the key vector: energy. The inestimable Michael Hudson has noted how “we’re really seeing something very much like the Crusades here. It’s a real fight for who is going to control energy, because, again, the key, if you can control the world’s flow of energy, you can do to the whole world what the United States did to Germany last year by blowing up the Nord Stream pipelines.” BRICS 10 on the Move And that brings us to the fascinating case of the OIC/Arab World delegation of Foreign Ministers now on tour of selected capitals promoting their plan for a complete ceasefire in Gaza plus negotiations for an independent Palestinian state. The delegation, called the Gaza Contact Group, includes Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Indonesia, Nigeria and Palestine. Their first stop was Beijing, meeting Wang Yi, and the second stop Moscow, meeting Sergei Lavrov. That tells us all we need to know about BRICS 11 in action – even before the fact. Well, that’s actually BRICS 10, because after the election of pro-Hegemon Zionist Javier “Chainsaw Massacre” Milei for President, Argentina is now out of the picture, and possibly discarded by January 1st, 2024, when BRICS previously 11 starts under the Russian presidency. The OIC/Arab League special conference on Palestine in Saudi Arabia had yielded a meek final declaration that disappointed virtually the whole Global South/Global Majority. But then something started to move. Foreign Ministers started to coordinate closely. At first Egypt with China, after previous coordination with Iran and Turkey. That may sound counter-intuitive – but it’s all due to the gravity of the situation. That explains why the Iranian Foreign Minister is not part of the current traveling delegation – which is led, in practice, by Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The meeting with Lavrov coincided with an extraordinary online BRICS meeting on Palestine, called by the current South African presidency. Crucial point: the flags of new members Iran, Egypt and Ethiopia could be identified behind the speakers. Iran’s President Raisi went no holds barred, calling for BRICS member states to use every political and economic tool available to pressure Israel. Xi Jinping called once again for a two-state solution and positioned China as the mediator of choice. For the first time Xi in his own words laid it all out: “There can be no security in the Middle East without a just solution to the question of Palestine. I have emphasized on many occasions that the only viable way to break the cycle of Palestinian-Israeli conflict lies in a two-state solution, in the restoration of the legitimate national rights of Palestine, and in the establishment of an independent state of Palestine.” And it should all start via an international conference. All of the above implies a concerted BRICS 10 unified position, in the next few days, applying maximum pressure on Tel Aviv/Washington for a ceasefire, fully supported by virtually the whole Global Majority. Of course there are no guarantees the Hegemon will allow it to succeed. Secret negotiations involving Turkey, for instance, have floundered. The idea was to have Ankara cutting off the supply of oil to Israel coming from the BTC pipeline from Baku to Ceyhan: the oil is then loaded on tankers to Ashkelon in Israel. That’s at least 40% of the oil fueling Israel’s military machine. Ankara, still a NATO member, balked – spooked by the inevitably hardcore American response. Riyadh, in the long run, could be even more daring: no more oil exports until there’s a definitive solution to Palestine according to the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative. Yet MbS won’t do it – because Saudi wealth is all invested in New York and London. It’s still a long, winding, bumpy road to the petroyuan. Meanwhile, realpolitik practitioners such as John Mearsheimer correctly point out that a negotiated solution for Israel-Palestine is impossible. A quick glance at the current map shows how the two-state solution – advocated by everyone from China and Russia to the Arab world – is dead; a Palestinian state, as Mearsheimer noted, “is going to be like an Indian reservation” in the US, “cut apart and isolated, not really a state.” No Hedging When it Comes to Genocide So what is Russia to do? Here is a very good informed hint. “Putin in the Labyrinth” means Moscow actively involved, in a BRICS 10 manner, to bring about a peaceful West Asia while maintaining internal stability in Russia under the ever-evolving Hegemon Hybrid War: it’s all interconnected. The Russia-China strategic partnership’s approach to West Asia set on fire by the usual suspects is all about strategic timing and patience – which the Kremlin and the Zhongnanhai exhibit in droves. No one really knows what goes on in the background – the deep shadow play behind the fog of intertwined wars. Especially when it comes to West Asia, always enveloped in serial mirages arising from the desert sands. At least we may try to discern mirages around the Persian Gulf monarchies, the GCC – and especially what MbS and his mentor MbZ are really playing at. This is the absolutely crucial fact: both the Arab League and the OIC are controlled by the GCC. And yet, as both Riyadh and Abu Dhabi become members of BRICS 10, they certainly see that the Hegemon’s new gambit is to set back the advances of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in West Asia by setting the region on fire. Yes, this is the War against China morphing from Hybrid to Hot, side by side with the Final Solution for the “Palestinian problem”. And as a bonus, from the Hegemon’s perspective, that should bring this bunch of desert bedouins firmly on board the new D.O.A. gambit, the IMEC (India-Middle East Corridor), which is in fact the Europe-Israel-Emirates-Saudi Arabia-India trade corridor, in theory a competitor to BRI. A major running theme across all nooks and crannies of the Arab street is how killing off the Palestinian resistance is an even more passionate issue for the sold out GCC elites than confronting Zionism. That explains, at least in part, the non-reaction reaction of the GCC to the ongoing genocide (they are now trying to make amends). And that is parallel to their non-reaction reaction to the Hegemon’s methodical, slow motion genocide, rape and pillaging over time of Iraqis, Syrians, Afghans, Libyans, Yemenis, Sudanese and Somalis. It’s absolutely impossible – and inhuman – to hedge when it comes to genocide. The verdict is still pending on whether the GCC has chosen a side, thus turning completely apart, spiritually and geopolitically, from the wider Arab street. This genocide may be the defining moment of the young 21st century – realigning the entire Global South/Global Majority and clarifying who’s on the right side of History. Whatever it does next, the Hegemon seems destined to totally lose the entire West Asia, the Heartland, wider Eurasia and the Global South/Global Majority. Blowback works in mysterious ways: as the “aircraft carrier” in West Asia went utterly insane, it only turbo-charged the Russia-China strategic partnership to mold History further on down the road to the Eurasia Century. https://www.unz.com/pescobar/will-russia-china-strategic-patience-extinguish-the-fire-in-west-asia/
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    Will Russia-China Strategic Patience Extinguish the Fire in West Asia?
    Once upon a time, by the Don river, in the southern steppes of what today is still known as “Ukraine”, the Great King of Persia, the mighty Darius, leading the most powerful army ever assembled on earth, received a puzzling message from a foe he was pursuing: the nomad ruler Idanthyrsus, King of the Scythians. A Scythian envoy arrived at the Persian camp carrying a bird; a mouse; a frog; and five arrows. And then he left, in a rush. Wily Darius interpreted the message as the Scythians ready to submit to the Persians. Not so fast. It was up
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