• Fuck Israel!
    Fuck Zio-Arab Traitors!
    Fuck Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi!
    Fuck Zayed!
    Fuck Mossad Bin Shalom!
    Fuck Jordan King!
    Fuck Bahrain Emir!

    https://t.me/westernhypocrisy/3495
    Fuck Israel! Fuck Zio-Arab Traitors! Fuck Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi! Fuck Zayed! Fuck Mossad Bin Shalom! Fuck Jordan King! Fuck Bahrain Emir! https://t.me/westernhypocrisy/3495
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  • Israel Has Killed Nearly 900 Palestinians Since ICJ Order to Prevent Acts of Genocide
    Buoyed by the staying support of American officials, Israeli forces have continued to commit atrocities in Gaza.

    Prem Thakker February 2 2024, 11:45 a.m.
    30 January 2024, Palestinian Territories, Rafah: Palestinians bury the bodies of 80 Palestinians, who were handed over by the Israeli army through the Kerem Shalom border crossing, in a mass grave. Photo by: Mohammed Talatene/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
    In the week since the International Court of Justice ruled that the Israeli government is plausibly committing genocide and ordered it to prevent potential further acts of genocide, Israeli forces have only continued committing atrocities against Palestinians.

    Buoyed by the staying support of American officials, Israeli forces have killed at least 874 Palestinians and injured at least 1,490 in Gaza since last week’s ICJ ruling, according to Palestinian Health Ministry figures from Saturday, January 27, to Friday, February 2. That’s not to mention other acts of Israeli violence in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem. The loss of life should not be dismissed as “collateral damage,” contrary to what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said.

    Video clips and news reports from the past week underscore the ongoing horror. A mass grave with 30 handcuffed, blindfolded, and executed bodies was found in a school in northern Gaza. A 6-year-old girl in Gaza reportedly watched as Israeli forces shot and killed her family inside the very car she was in; she apparently survived, but her whereabouts are now unknown. An Israeli soldier filmed himself in the city of Khan Younis echoing Netanyahu’s rhetoric about the biblical tale of Amalek, where God orders the killing of an entire society — comments that helped South Africa’s lawyers demonstrate Israel’s genocidal intent. “We killed tens of thousands of Amalekites,” the soldier pronounced. “The moral thing is to understand that every Arab is a suspect.”

    During a raid on a refugee camp in occupied Jerusalem, Israeli forces locked a Palestinian person up in chains, forced him into military garb, and used him as a human shield, Al Jazeera reported.

    On Tuesday, Israeli soldiers dressed as medical staff invaded a hospital in the West Bank and executed three Palestinians by shooting them “in the head at point-blank range.” One of them had been in the hospital for nearly four months after being paralyzed by missile fragments from an Israeli drone. Palestinians who were released from an Israeli prison on Thursday shared disturbing testimony of being humiliated inside, their bodies bearing evidence of torture. And in one clip that surfaced this week, an Israeli soldier is seen forcing a busload of kidnapped Palestinians to praise his family and say they will be his family’s slaves.

    Backgrounding the atrocities in Gaza is the broader misery the entire population faces. The BBC noted that UNICEF’s biggest concern is the “estimated 19,000 children who are orphaned or have ended up alone with no adult to look after them.” CNN reported that Palestinians are eating grass and drinking polluted water amid famine conditions. The Guardian reported that 50-62 percent of all buildings in Gaza have likely been damaged or destroyed.

    Earlier this week, a federal court affirmed the ICJ’s finding that Israel may be carrying out a genocide and warned the Biden administration to reconsider its unconditional support for Israel’s war effort. Yet U.S. officials and lawmakers have apparently not gotten the memo.

    The Intercept asked Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., to comment on the court rulings that the accusations of genocide by Israel are credible. “I don’t accept that. I reject that. I don’t believe that is Israel’s intention: to commit genocide,” said Fetterman, who has emerged as one of Israel’s most staunch Democratic defenders, on Thursday. “I do believe that their goal is to neutralize or dislodge Hamas from that. And I believe that they certainly do not want to take the lives of any innocent Palestinians and I certainly don’t assign higher value to my children versus a Palestinian child. I mean, I wouldn’t want anybody to die throughout all this tragedy, and it’s just an awful situation.”

    Most Read

    Within hours of the ICJ issuing its ruling last Friday, Israel alleged that 12 of 30,000 — 0.04 percent — employees of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East were involved in Hamas’s attack on October 7. The United States immediately suspended its funding of UNRWA, the largest provider of humanitarian aid in Gaza, spurring a cascade of other nations to follow suit.

    Sky News later obtained an Israeli document that actually downgrades the allegation to 0.02 percent of UNRWA staff (six people) being involved in Hamas’s attack. Sky News reported that the documents, which allege further ties between UNRWA and Hamas “make several claims that Sky News has not seen proof of and many of the claims, even if true, do not directly implicate UNRWA.”

    The contrast between the U.S. decision to pause funding based on unverified allegations and its unwillingness to reconsider its military funding of Israel, despite serious allegations of genocide, is stark.

    Fetterman also said that he supports the suspension of funding to UNRWA. When asked why the standard of suspending funding while investigating serious allegations doesn’t apply to the Israeli government, Fetterman dodged the question.

    Fetterman: Well, again, it — well, it’s not. We need a full investigation and find out just how much a part of it was about that and how much, you know, the old question: how much they knew and when they knew that.

    The Intercept: So you’re saying that for Israel as well?

    Fetterman: Yeah, OK, so good, all right, well good.

    Reporter Said Arikat confronted State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller on the tension Wednesday. “I’ll say with respect to the charges of genocide, we believe that they’re unfounded,” Miller said. “We continue to support Israel’s right to take action to ensure that the terrorist attacks of October 7th cannot be repeated, but we want them to do so in a way that complies with — fully with international humanitarian law.”

    Miller was then asked about Israel receiving aid even as Israeli government officials call for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and maintain good standing in government.

    “When the secretary traveled to Israel on his most recent visit,” Miller said, “he made clear that he thought it was important that the Israeli government speak out against those matters and those comments publicly and reiterate that it is not the policy of the Israeli government to force Palestinians from Gaza.”

    But, as has continued to be the case, Israeli officials have stepped on the assurances of the U.S. Two days after the ICJ ordered the Israeli government to prevent and punish incitements of genocide from public officials, National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich were among 11 cabinet ministers and 15 coalition members of the Knesset who rallied at conference hosted by hundreds of settlers calling for the settlement of Gaza.

    On Tuesday, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant reportedly told members of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that afte​​r their military campaign ends, Israel will maintain military control of Gaza, so it can operate similarly to the way it does in the West Bank.

    On Thursday, Smotrich said that allowing aid into Gaza contradicts the goals of Israel’s campaign, and that he spoke with Netanyahu, who supposedly assured him that things will change soon. Israeli ministers Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot reportedly called to limit humanitarian aid as well. Meanwhile, at aid crossings, people in Israel have taken cue from their leaders, attempting to block aid trucks from entering Gaza, where hundreds of thousands of people — including the hostages held by Hamas — are at risk of starvation and malnutrition, every day since the ICJ ruling.

    One clip even shows a right-wing activist telling an aid truck driver, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, that “I am the owner here, you are a slave here.”

    https://theintercept.com/2024/02/02/israel-gaza-icj-palestinian-deaths/

    https://donshafi911.blogspot.com/2024/02/israel-has-killed-nearly-900.html
    Israel Has Killed Nearly 900 Palestinians Since ICJ Order to Prevent Acts of Genocide Buoyed by the staying support of American officials, Israeli forces have continued to commit atrocities in Gaza. Prem Thakker February 2 2024, 11:45 a.m. 30 January 2024, Palestinian Territories, Rafah: Palestinians bury the bodies of 80 Palestinians, who were handed over by the Israeli army through the Kerem Shalom border crossing, in a mass grave. Photo by: Mohammed Talatene/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images In the week since the International Court of Justice ruled that the Israeli government is plausibly committing genocide and ordered it to prevent potential further acts of genocide, Israeli forces have only continued committing atrocities against Palestinians. Buoyed by the staying support of American officials, Israeli forces have killed at least 874 Palestinians and injured at least 1,490 in Gaza since last week’s ICJ ruling, according to Palestinian Health Ministry figures from Saturday, January 27, to Friday, February 2. That’s not to mention other acts of Israeli violence in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem. The loss of life should not be dismissed as “collateral damage,” contrary to what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said. Video clips and news reports from the past week underscore the ongoing horror. A mass grave with 30 handcuffed, blindfolded, and executed bodies was found in a school in northern Gaza. A 6-year-old girl in Gaza reportedly watched as Israeli forces shot and killed her family inside the very car she was in; she apparently survived, but her whereabouts are now unknown. An Israeli soldier filmed himself in the city of Khan Younis echoing Netanyahu’s rhetoric about the biblical tale of Amalek, where God orders the killing of an entire society — comments that helped South Africa’s lawyers demonstrate Israel’s genocidal intent. “We killed tens of thousands of Amalekites,” the soldier pronounced. “The moral thing is to understand that every Arab is a suspect.” During a raid on a refugee camp in occupied Jerusalem, Israeli forces locked a Palestinian person up in chains, forced him into military garb, and used him as a human shield, Al Jazeera reported. On Tuesday, Israeli soldiers dressed as medical staff invaded a hospital in the West Bank and executed three Palestinians by shooting them “in the head at point-blank range.” One of them had been in the hospital for nearly four months after being paralyzed by missile fragments from an Israeli drone. Palestinians who were released from an Israeli prison on Thursday shared disturbing testimony of being humiliated inside, their bodies bearing evidence of torture. And in one clip that surfaced this week, an Israeli soldier is seen forcing a busload of kidnapped Palestinians to praise his family and say they will be his family’s slaves. Backgrounding the atrocities in Gaza is the broader misery the entire population faces. The BBC noted that UNICEF’s biggest concern is the “estimated 19,000 children who are orphaned or have ended up alone with no adult to look after them.” CNN reported that Palestinians are eating grass and drinking polluted water amid famine conditions. The Guardian reported that 50-62 percent of all buildings in Gaza have likely been damaged or destroyed. Earlier this week, a federal court affirmed the ICJ’s finding that Israel may be carrying out a genocide and warned the Biden administration to reconsider its unconditional support for Israel’s war effort. Yet U.S. officials and lawmakers have apparently not gotten the memo. The Intercept asked Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., to comment on the court rulings that the accusations of genocide by Israel are credible. “I don’t accept that. I reject that. I don’t believe that is Israel’s intention: to commit genocide,” said Fetterman, who has emerged as one of Israel’s most staunch Democratic defenders, on Thursday. “I do believe that their goal is to neutralize or dislodge Hamas from that. And I believe that they certainly do not want to take the lives of any innocent Palestinians and I certainly don’t assign higher value to my children versus a Palestinian child. I mean, I wouldn’t want anybody to die throughout all this tragedy, and it’s just an awful situation.” Most Read Within hours of the ICJ issuing its ruling last Friday, Israel alleged that 12 of 30,000 — 0.04 percent — employees of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East were involved in Hamas’s attack on October 7. The United States immediately suspended its funding of UNRWA, the largest provider of humanitarian aid in Gaza, spurring a cascade of other nations to follow suit. Sky News later obtained an Israeli document that actually downgrades the allegation to 0.02 percent of UNRWA staff (six people) being involved in Hamas’s attack. Sky News reported that the documents, which allege further ties between UNRWA and Hamas “make several claims that Sky News has not seen proof of and many of the claims, even if true, do not directly implicate UNRWA.” The contrast between the U.S. decision to pause funding based on unverified allegations and its unwillingness to reconsider its military funding of Israel, despite serious allegations of genocide, is stark. Fetterman also said that he supports the suspension of funding to UNRWA. When asked why the standard of suspending funding while investigating serious allegations doesn’t apply to the Israeli government, Fetterman dodged the question. Fetterman: Well, again, it — well, it’s not. We need a full investigation and find out just how much a part of it was about that and how much, you know, the old question: how much they knew and when they knew that. The Intercept: So you’re saying that for Israel as well? Fetterman: Yeah, OK, so good, all right, well good. Reporter Said Arikat confronted State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller on the tension Wednesday. “I’ll say with respect to the charges of genocide, we believe that they’re unfounded,” Miller said. “We continue to support Israel’s right to take action to ensure that the terrorist attacks of October 7th cannot be repeated, but we want them to do so in a way that complies with — fully with international humanitarian law.” Miller was then asked about Israel receiving aid even as Israeli government officials call for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and maintain good standing in government. “When the secretary traveled to Israel on his most recent visit,” Miller said, “he made clear that he thought it was important that the Israeli government speak out against those matters and those comments publicly and reiterate that it is not the policy of the Israeli government to force Palestinians from Gaza.” But, as has continued to be the case, Israeli officials have stepped on the assurances of the U.S. Two days after the ICJ ordered the Israeli government to prevent and punish incitements of genocide from public officials, National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich were among 11 cabinet ministers and 15 coalition members of the Knesset who rallied at conference hosted by hundreds of settlers calling for the settlement of Gaza. On Tuesday, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant reportedly told members of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that afte​​r their military campaign ends, Israel will maintain military control of Gaza, so it can operate similarly to the way it does in the West Bank. On Thursday, Smotrich said that allowing aid into Gaza contradicts the goals of Israel’s campaign, and that he spoke with Netanyahu, who supposedly assured him that things will change soon. Israeli ministers Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot reportedly called to limit humanitarian aid as well. Meanwhile, at aid crossings, people in Israel have taken cue from their leaders, attempting to block aid trucks from entering Gaza, where hundreds of thousands of people — including the hostages held by Hamas — are at risk of starvation and malnutrition, every day since the ICJ ruling. One clip even shows a right-wing activist telling an aid truck driver, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, that “I am the owner here, you are a slave here.” https://theintercept.com/2024/02/02/israel-gaza-icj-palestinian-deaths/ https://donshafi911.blogspot.com/2024/02/israel-has-killed-nearly-900.html
    THEINTERCEPT.COM
    Israel Has Killed Nearly 900 Palestinians Since ICJ Order to Prevent Acts of Genocide
    Buoyed by the staying support of American officials, Israeli forces have continued to commit atrocities in Gaza.
    0 Comments 0 Shares 18423 Views
  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 111: Hospitals under siege, UNRWA shelter bombed in southern Gaza
    Leila WarahJanuary 25, 2024
    A view of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) school in Nuseirat, used as a shelter for displaced Palestinians, November 25, 2023. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    A view of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) school in Nuseirat, used as a shelter for displaced Palestinians, November 25, 2023. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Casualties

    25,700+ killed* and at least 63,740 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    387+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem
    Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147.
    556 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.**
    *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 33,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.

    ** This figure is released by the Israeli military.

    Key Developments

    Israeli forces are bombing Gaza’s perimeter in order to facilitate future land grab, buffer zone.
    ICJ: Verdict on South Africa genocide case against Israel to be announced Friday.
    Palestinian man shot dead at point blank-range south of Jenin in occupied West Bank.
    Israeli forces re-arrest 17-year-old Youssef al-Khatib, whom Israel freed in November swap deal with Hamas.
    Nasser Hospital and al-Amal hospitals in Khan Younis subjected to siege by Israeli military, hundreds of lives at risk.
    UN: Israel bombs UNRWA Shelter, killing at least 12, injuring 75
    Egypt’s President accuses Israel of delaying Gaza aid deliveries as a pressure tactic.
    5,000 Israeli protestors call for immediate deal to return all Israeli captives.
    Netanyahu allegedly criticizes Qatar mediating role as “problematic,” despite facilitating return of over 100 Israeli captives.
    Gaza Hospitals have a target on their back.

    In Khan Younis, Palestinians continue to face constant Israeli attacks, including those on medical centers, further crippling Gaza’s healthcare infrastructure and institutions.

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    Help Mondoweiss reach 100,000 subscribers on YouTube!
    The Israeli military has put several medical complexes under siege in Khan Younis, the second-largest city in Gaza, located in the southern district.

    At Nasser Hospital, The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) reports that “no one can enter or exit” because of the nearby bombardment .

    In addition to about 400 dialysis patients at Nasser Hospital who cannot access treatment, hundreds of wounded people, sick patients, and maternity cases are facing serious complications as a result of the lack of access to the hospital.

    “Health staff is reported to be digging graves on hospital grounds due to the large numbers of fatalities anticipated and the need to manage burials,” the UNOCHA report continued.

    The Israeli army has also surrounded the al-Amal Hospital and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) headquarters in Khan Younis. Israeli troops are “enforcing restrictions on movement around both the building and the hospital,” PRCS said in a post on X.

    “The intense shelling around the hospital, gunfire, and the military vehicles approaching from all directions are ongoing violations of international laws and the Geneva Conventions,” PRCS added.

    “The occupation prohibits the movement of humanitarian teams, including ambulances, in blatant disregard for established norms.”

    In al-Amal Hospital, medical staff are running out of blood due to the inability to access the blood bank as a result of the ongoing siege. To combat the shortage, groups of displaced people sheltering at the hospital are donating blood.

    William Schomburg, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), warns that immediate action is required to prevent a complete shutdown of medical services in Gaza.

    “Every functioning hospital in the Gaza Strip is overcrowded and short on medical supplies, fuel, food and water. Many are housing thousands of displaced families. And now two more facilities risk being lost due to the fighting,” Schomburg said in a statement.

    “The cumulative impact on the health system is devastating and urgent action must be taken.”

    Israel attacks UN shelter, kills 12

    Israeli forces attacked a UN shelter housing thousands of displaced people in the city of Khan Younis on Wednesday during the intensified fighting at and around the center.

    According to UNOCHA, at least 12 people were killed and 75 wounded, including 15 people who are in critical condition.

    “It seems that three shells have been landed inside the…training centre of Khan Younis that belongs to UNRWA,” UNRWA spokesman Adnan Abu Hasna, who is based in Rafah, told Al Jazeera on Wednesday.

    “The building has been set on fire,” he said, adding that “there are many casualties.”

    Asked if there had been any warning, he replied: “No.”

    “We have not been able to get in and from the compound in the last 48 hours because the Israeli tanks actually [were] very close to the compound,” he said, describing the situation as “very dangerous.”

    Abu Hasna said this was far from the first time that an UNRWA facility in Gaza had been hit, but noted that it was “maybe the first time that we see such a huge fire.”

    “People are screaming, crying, asking for help. We hope that we will not find so many people to have been killed and injured.”

    “Another horrific day in Gaza. The number of those killed is likely higher. Khan Younis vocational training centre is one of the largest UNRWA facilities sheltering nearly 30,000 displaced people,” UNRWA leader Philippe Lazzarini said in a social media post.

    “The compound is a clearly marked UN facility and its coordinates were shared with Israeli Authorities as we do for all our facilities. Once again a blatant disregard of basic rules of war.”

    “Persistent attacks on civilian sites in Khan Younis are utterly unacceptable and must stop immediately,” Thomas White, the Director of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, said in a statement on behalf of UNOCHA.

    “The situation in Khan Younis underscores a consistent failure to uphold the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law: distinction, proportionality, and precautions in carrying out attacks. This is unacceptable and abhorrent and must stop,” stated White.

    About 800 displaced people were sheltering in the center, White added. Teams from UNRWA and the WHO are trying to reach the building via a route agreed upon with the Israeli army, but they have been blocked, he continued.

    Food used as a ‘weapon of war’

    As the situation in Gaza continued to deteriorate amid Israel’s ongoing attacks on civilians, residents of the enclave are still facing extreme shortages of basic necessities due to the Israeli ongoing blockade.

    Although the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza is open 24/7, Israeli procedures hamper the entrance of lifesaving humanitarian aid.

    Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has accused Israel of delaying aid deliveries into Gaza as a pressure tactic.

    “This is a form of pressure on the Gaza Strip and its people over the conflict and the release of hostages. They are using this as a pressure tool on the people of the Strip,” Sisi said, as cited by Reuters.

    Meanwhile, at the Israel-controlled Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) between Gaza and Israel, Israeli protests, including family members of captives in Gaza, gathered on Wednesday to prevent aid trucks from entering Gaza.

    The protestors, who are part of a group known as Order Nine Movement, are calling for an end to all aid from entering Gaza, including medical supplies, until all Israeli captives are released, reported Al Jazeera.

    Over the last two weeks, only 80 trucks a day have been allowed to enter the Gaza Strip due to Israel’s lengthy process of clearance and security checks, Al Jazeera added.

    UN agencies and humanitarian organizations working on the ground say that the aid that gets through is “a drop in the ocean” of what is needed amid the unfolding crisis in Gaza, which is said to be on the brink of famine.

    For context, before October 7, about 500 delivery trucks would enter Gaza every day.

    Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian physician and humanitarian activist, told Al Jazeera that Israel is weaponizing aid restrictions against Gaza.

    “It is a deliberate governmental plan to eradicate the people of Gaza — through disease, through bombing and through non-availability of medical supplies and medical services, and famine and the lack of water,” Gilbert said.

    “This is one of the most gruesome, concerted attacks on public health that I have ever seen.”

    He added that the humanitarian catastrophe is man-made. “This is a war crime. This is a weapon of mass destruction used deliberately by Israel.”

    British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said he told Netanyahu that more aid trucks must be able to enter Gaza and that an immediate “humanitarian pause” is needed to help those trapped in a “desperate situation.”

    “The scale of suffering in Gaza is unimaginable. More must be done faster to help people trapped in this desperate situation,” Cameron continued.

    “We have trebled our assistance for Gaza…But our efforts will only make a difference if aid gets to those who need it most.

    “As I said to Netanyahu … far more trucks need to be able to enter Gaza and more crossings need to open. We need an immediate humanitarian pause to get aid in and hostages out, followed by a sustainable ceasefire.”

    UN chief Guterres has once again called for “rapid, safe, unhindered, expanded & sustained humanitarian access throughout Gaza” in a post on X.

    Netanyahu disparages Qatari mediating role in prisoner exchange negotiations

    As Israel’s attacks on Gaza continue, Israeli society is growing increasingly frustrated with the Netanyahu administration’s lack of regard for the Israeli captives held in Gaza.

    On Wednesday night in Tel Aviv, 5,000 Israeli anti-government protestors gathered to call for an immediate deal to return all the hostages and chanting, “Stop the world, our brothers are there.”

    “We came to say to the government, ‘It’s enough. We want all the hostages back home, we want a ceasefire now,'” said protester Sapir Sluzker Amran, Al Jazeera reported.

    “There is no military solution, only a diplomatic solution — only agreements will bring the hostages back,” Amran continued.

    However, Netanyahu is adamant the war will continue.

    The Israeli Prime Minister said on Tuesday that Israel “will not stop fighting until absolute victory,” advocating for an additional six months of Israel’s aggression on Gaza.

    In response, the Palestinian Authority (PA) Foreign Ministry has said Israel is demonstrating a disregard for the UN and international calls for an immediate ceasefire.

    In a statement on Wednesday, the PA Foreign Ministry said Netanyahu’s comments mean “the continuation of genocide and forced displacement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.”

    “Netanyahu derives his courage from the failure of the international institutions to bear their legal and moral responsibilities to end the occupation,” the statement added.

    The Israeli Prime Minister has also allegedly criticized Qatar’s role as a mediator between Israel and Hamas as “problematic,” despite the Gulf country’s facilitation of the return of over 100 Israeli captives.

    In response, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Majed al-Ansari, said, “We are appalled by the alleged remarks attributed to the Israeli Prime Minister in various media reports about Qatar’s mediation role. These remarks, if validated, are irresponsible and destructive to the efforts to save innocent lives, but are not surprising.”

    “If the reported remarks are found to be true, the Israeli PM would only be obstructing and undermining the mediation process, for reasons that appear to serve his political career instead of prioritizing saving innocent lives, including Israeli hostages,” al-Ansari added.

    On Wednesday, Israeli forces rearrested 17-year-old Youssef al-Khatib, whom Israel freed in a swap deal with Hamas in November, sparking outrage by Palestinian groups.

    The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society called the arrest a “blatant violation” of the terms of the swap agreement and a “dangerous” indicator that Israel is willing to re-arrest freed prisoners, according to Al Jazeera.

    Hamas has warned of the “ramifications” of the teen’s rearrest while also calling on the mediators of the November deal to interfere and pressure Israel to “live up to what was agreed upon.”

    Preparing for land grabs

    As the death toll in Gaza rises, the Israeli military is making space for its occupation of Gaza.

    The army demolished hundreds of buildings in Gaza within 1km of the fence, seeking to create a buffer zone, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing a new Hebrew University study.

    According to the study, about 40 percent of the 2,824 buildings in Gaza located within 1km of the border have been razed since October 7.

    “Everything has been flattened. It was mostly agriculture. Now it’s a military zone, a complete no man’s land,” one soldier is quoted as saying.

    Around Khan Younis city in southern Gaza, which has been under constant Israeli attacks for weeks, 67 percent of buildings within 1km of the border have been destroyed.

    Al Jazeera’s Stefanie Dekker says Israel claims the plan is needed to “establish security” and prevent attacks. But this risks “diminishing an already tiny strip of Gaza, whose population has been stuck between walls and the sea” for years.

    The United States has opposed the creation of a buffer zone, saying there should be no permanent change to Palestinian territory.

    “However, it’s happening, Israel is executing it, and this of course is something the Palestinians and the wider international community does see as a land grab,” said Dekker.

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

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    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/01/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-111-hospitals-under-siege-unrwa-shelter-bombed-in-southern-gaza/
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 111: Hospitals under siege, UNRWA shelter bombed in southern Gaza Leila WarahJanuary 25, 2024 A view of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) school in Nuseirat, used as a shelter for displaced Palestinians, November 25, 2023. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) A view of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) school in Nuseirat, used as a shelter for displaced Palestinians, November 25, 2023. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Casualties 25,700+ killed* and at least 63,740 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 387+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147. 556 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.** *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 33,000 when accounting for those presumed dead. ** This figure is released by the Israeli military. Key Developments Israeli forces are bombing Gaza’s perimeter in order to facilitate future land grab, buffer zone. ICJ: Verdict on South Africa genocide case against Israel to be announced Friday. Palestinian man shot dead at point blank-range south of Jenin in occupied West Bank. Israeli forces re-arrest 17-year-old Youssef al-Khatib, whom Israel freed in November swap deal with Hamas. Nasser Hospital and al-Amal hospitals in Khan Younis subjected to siege by Israeli military, hundreds of lives at risk. UN: Israel bombs UNRWA Shelter, killing at least 12, injuring 75 Egypt’s President accuses Israel of delaying Gaza aid deliveries as a pressure tactic. 5,000 Israeli protestors call for immediate deal to return all Israeli captives. Netanyahu allegedly criticizes Qatar mediating role as “problematic,” despite facilitating return of over 100 Israeli captives. Gaza Hospitals have a target on their back. In Khan Younis, Palestinians continue to face constant Israeli attacks, including those on medical centers, further crippling Gaza’s healthcare infrastructure and institutions. Advertisement Help Mondoweiss reach 100,000 subscribers on YouTube! The Israeli military has put several medical complexes under siege in Khan Younis, the second-largest city in Gaza, located in the southern district. At Nasser Hospital, The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) reports that “no one can enter or exit” because of the nearby bombardment . In addition to about 400 dialysis patients at Nasser Hospital who cannot access treatment, hundreds of wounded people, sick patients, and maternity cases are facing serious complications as a result of the lack of access to the hospital. “Health staff is reported to be digging graves on hospital grounds due to the large numbers of fatalities anticipated and the need to manage burials,” the UNOCHA report continued. The Israeli army has also surrounded the al-Amal Hospital and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) headquarters in Khan Younis. Israeli troops are “enforcing restrictions on movement around both the building and the hospital,” PRCS said in a post on X. “The intense shelling around the hospital, gunfire, and the military vehicles approaching from all directions are ongoing violations of international laws and the Geneva Conventions,” PRCS added. “The occupation prohibits the movement of humanitarian teams, including ambulances, in blatant disregard for established norms.” In al-Amal Hospital, medical staff are running out of blood due to the inability to access the blood bank as a result of the ongoing siege. To combat the shortage, groups of displaced people sheltering at the hospital are donating blood. William Schomburg, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), warns that immediate action is required to prevent a complete shutdown of medical services in Gaza. “Every functioning hospital in the Gaza Strip is overcrowded and short on medical supplies, fuel, food and water. Many are housing thousands of displaced families. And now two more facilities risk being lost due to the fighting,” Schomburg said in a statement. “The cumulative impact on the health system is devastating and urgent action must be taken.” Israel attacks UN shelter, kills 12 Israeli forces attacked a UN shelter housing thousands of displaced people in the city of Khan Younis on Wednesday during the intensified fighting at and around the center. According to UNOCHA, at least 12 people were killed and 75 wounded, including 15 people who are in critical condition. “It seems that three shells have been landed inside the…training centre of Khan Younis that belongs to UNRWA,” UNRWA spokesman Adnan Abu Hasna, who is based in Rafah, told Al Jazeera on Wednesday. “The building has been set on fire,” he said, adding that “there are many casualties.” Asked if there had been any warning, he replied: “No.” “We have not been able to get in and from the compound in the last 48 hours because the Israeli tanks actually [were] very close to the compound,” he said, describing the situation as “very dangerous.” Abu Hasna said this was far from the first time that an UNRWA facility in Gaza had been hit, but noted that it was “maybe the first time that we see such a huge fire.” “People are screaming, crying, asking for help. We hope that we will not find so many people to have been killed and injured.” “Another horrific day in Gaza. The number of those killed is likely higher. Khan Younis vocational training centre is one of the largest UNRWA facilities sheltering nearly 30,000 displaced people,” UNRWA leader Philippe Lazzarini said in a social media post. “The compound is a clearly marked UN facility and its coordinates were shared with Israeli Authorities as we do for all our facilities. Once again a blatant disregard of basic rules of war.” “Persistent attacks on civilian sites in Khan Younis are utterly unacceptable and must stop immediately,” Thomas White, the Director of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, said in a statement on behalf of UNOCHA. “The situation in Khan Younis underscores a consistent failure to uphold the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law: distinction, proportionality, and precautions in carrying out attacks. This is unacceptable and abhorrent and must stop,” stated White. About 800 displaced people were sheltering in the center, White added. Teams from UNRWA and the WHO are trying to reach the building via a route agreed upon with the Israeli army, but they have been blocked, he continued. Food used as a ‘weapon of war’ As the situation in Gaza continued to deteriorate amid Israel’s ongoing attacks on civilians, residents of the enclave are still facing extreme shortages of basic necessities due to the Israeli ongoing blockade. Although the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza is open 24/7, Israeli procedures hamper the entrance of lifesaving humanitarian aid. Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has accused Israel of delaying aid deliveries into Gaza as a pressure tactic. “This is a form of pressure on the Gaza Strip and its people over the conflict and the release of hostages. They are using this as a pressure tool on the people of the Strip,” Sisi said, as cited by Reuters. Meanwhile, at the Israel-controlled Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) between Gaza and Israel, Israeli protests, including family members of captives in Gaza, gathered on Wednesday to prevent aid trucks from entering Gaza. The protestors, who are part of a group known as Order Nine Movement, are calling for an end to all aid from entering Gaza, including medical supplies, until all Israeli captives are released, reported Al Jazeera. Over the last two weeks, only 80 trucks a day have been allowed to enter the Gaza Strip due to Israel’s lengthy process of clearance and security checks, Al Jazeera added. UN agencies and humanitarian organizations working on the ground say that the aid that gets through is “a drop in the ocean” of what is needed amid the unfolding crisis in Gaza, which is said to be on the brink of famine. For context, before October 7, about 500 delivery trucks would enter Gaza every day. Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian physician and humanitarian activist, told Al Jazeera that Israel is weaponizing aid restrictions against Gaza. “It is a deliberate governmental plan to eradicate the people of Gaza — through disease, through bombing and through non-availability of medical supplies and medical services, and famine and the lack of water,” Gilbert said. “This is one of the most gruesome, concerted attacks on public health that I have ever seen.” He added that the humanitarian catastrophe is man-made. “This is a war crime. This is a weapon of mass destruction used deliberately by Israel.” British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said he told Netanyahu that more aid trucks must be able to enter Gaza and that an immediate “humanitarian pause” is needed to help those trapped in a “desperate situation.” “The scale of suffering in Gaza is unimaginable. More must be done faster to help people trapped in this desperate situation,” Cameron continued. “We have trebled our assistance for Gaza…But our efforts will only make a difference if aid gets to those who need it most. “As I said to Netanyahu … far more trucks need to be able to enter Gaza and more crossings need to open. We need an immediate humanitarian pause to get aid in and hostages out, followed by a sustainable ceasefire.” UN chief Guterres has once again called for “rapid, safe, unhindered, expanded & sustained humanitarian access throughout Gaza” in a post on X. Netanyahu disparages Qatari mediating role in prisoner exchange negotiations As Israel’s attacks on Gaza continue, Israeli society is growing increasingly frustrated with the Netanyahu administration’s lack of regard for the Israeli captives held in Gaza. On Wednesday night in Tel Aviv, 5,000 Israeli anti-government protestors gathered to call for an immediate deal to return all the hostages and chanting, “Stop the world, our brothers are there.” “We came to say to the government, ‘It’s enough. We want all the hostages back home, we want a ceasefire now,'” said protester Sapir Sluzker Amran, Al Jazeera reported. “There is no military solution, only a diplomatic solution — only agreements will bring the hostages back,” Amran continued. However, Netanyahu is adamant the war will continue. The Israeli Prime Minister said on Tuesday that Israel “will not stop fighting until absolute victory,” advocating for an additional six months of Israel’s aggression on Gaza. In response, the Palestinian Authority (PA) Foreign Ministry has said Israel is demonstrating a disregard for the UN and international calls for an immediate ceasefire. In a statement on Wednesday, the PA Foreign Ministry said Netanyahu’s comments mean “the continuation of genocide and forced displacement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.” “Netanyahu derives his courage from the failure of the international institutions to bear their legal and moral responsibilities to end the occupation,” the statement added. The Israeli Prime Minister has also allegedly criticized Qatar’s role as a mediator between Israel and Hamas as “problematic,” despite the Gulf country’s facilitation of the return of over 100 Israeli captives. In response, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Majed al-Ansari, said, “We are appalled by the alleged remarks attributed to the Israeli Prime Minister in various media reports about Qatar’s mediation role. These remarks, if validated, are irresponsible and destructive to the efforts to save innocent lives, but are not surprising.” “If the reported remarks are found to be true, the Israeli PM would only be obstructing and undermining the mediation process, for reasons that appear to serve his political career instead of prioritizing saving innocent lives, including Israeli hostages,” al-Ansari added. On Wednesday, Israeli forces rearrested 17-year-old Youssef al-Khatib, whom Israel freed in a swap deal with Hamas in November, sparking outrage by Palestinian groups. The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society called the arrest a “blatant violation” of the terms of the swap agreement and a “dangerous” indicator that Israel is willing to re-arrest freed prisoners, according to Al Jazeera. Hamas has warned of the “ramifications” of the teen’s rearrest while also calling on the mediators of the November deal to interfere and pressure Israel to “live up to what was agreed upon.” Preparing for land grabs As the death toll in Gaza rises, the Israeli military is making space for its occupation of Gaza. The army demolished hundreds of buildings in Gaza within 1km of the fence, seeking to create a buffer zone, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing a new Hebrew University study. According to the study, about 40 percent of the 2,824 buildings in Gaza located within 1km of the border have been razed since October 7. “Everything has been flattened. It was mostly agriculture. Now it’s a military zone, a complete no man’s land,” one soldier is quoted as saying. Around Khan Younis city in southern Gaza, which has been under constant Israeli attacks for weeks, 67 percent of buildings within 1km of the border have been destroyed. Al Jazeera’s Stefanie Dekker says Israel claims the plan is needed to “establish security” and prevent attacks. But this risks “diminishing an already tiny strip of Gaza, whose population has been stuck between walls and the sea” for years. The United States has opposed the creation of a buffer zone, saying there should be no permanent change to Palestinian territory. “However, it’s happening, Israel is executing it, and this of course is something the Palestinians and the wider international community does see as a land grab,” said Dekker. BEFORE YOU GO – At Mondoweiss, we understand the power of telling Palestinian stories. For 17 years, we have pushed back when the mainstream media published lies or echoed politicians’ hateful rhetoric. Now, Palestinian voices are more important than ever. Our traffic has increased ten times since October 7, and we need your help to cover our increased expenses. Support our journalists with a donation today. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/01/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-111-hospitals-under-siege-unrwa-shelter-bombed-in-southern-gaza/
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    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 111: Hospitals under siege, UNRWA shelter bombed in southern Gaza
    Israeli forces bomb Gaza’s perimeter to prepare for a “buffer zone” as medical staff in Nasser Hospital dig graves in anticipation of a large number of fatalities due to Israel’s ongoing siege on the hospital.
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  • 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:

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    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/
    ISRAELPALESTINENEWS.ORG
    Israel's strategy is "cold and calculated, and lacks any sense of decency" – Day 60
    Gaza humanitarian updates; Israel considers flooding tunnels; West Bank, Jerusalem, and Israel news; US government continues to support Israel
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  • November 21: Today’s news on Palestine & Israel – Day 46
    [email protected] November 21, 2023 evacuation, friendly fire, Gaza, genocide, hamas, hostage, humanitarian aid, Israel, israeli bombardment, journalist
    November 21: Today’s news on Palestine & Israel – Day 46
    Under Israel's bombardment, over 43,000 housing units in Gaza have been destroyed, according to OCHA (photo)
    Humanitarian, hospital, & evacuation updates, journalists targeted, hostage news, Israel wants apology from BBC, struggles with friendly fire, finances

    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.

    Some people are led to be skeptical of the Al Jazeera news network. However, the network has won several Emmys, a Peabody and the Overseas Press Association’s Edward R. Murrow award, among many other honors. The New York Times reports that “its reporting hews to international journalistic standards and provides a unique view on events in the Middle East.” it’s important to remember that all news sources may potentially have bias. For example, CNN uses anchors who used to work for the Israel Lobby, who have lifelong attachment to Israel, and who often exhibit pro-Israel spin and omission in their broadcasts. Similarly, Fox News is strongly influenced by Rupert Murdoch, who has a similarly strong attachment to Israel, and who may have fired Tucker Carlson, the network’s most popular host, in part due to the host’s opposition to war and his pattern of failing to exhibit sufficient devotion to Israel).

    Latest statistics:

    Palestinian death toll: 13,044* (~12,829 in Gaza** (including at least 5,000 children and 3,300 women), and at least 215 in the West Bank). *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.

    Palestinian injuries: 35,111** (including at least 32,300 in Gaza** and 2,811 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 (State Department has said there are a more than 1,200 Americans, legal permanent residents and family members still in Gaza) . About 1.7 million people have been displaced; 6,500 are missing (4,400 children) and presumed to be under rubble.

    Israel has now killed more Palestinians in a little over a month than in all the previous 22 years combined.

    Reported Israeli death toll has been reduced to ~1,200*** (The Israeli spokesman said the original figure of deaths on March 7 was an “initial estimate” – 4 killed in West Bank, 71 in Gaza), including 32 Americans, and ~5,400 injured). The names of the 1,213 identified (about 33 of them children) are here.

    RECOMMENDED READING: Israel has lost control of the narrative – October 7 truths coming out

    ***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.

    Hover over each bar for exact numbers.
    Source: IsraelPalestineTimeline.org

    Humanitarian update: In recent days, UNRWA, in cooperation with the ‘Humanity and Inclusion’ NGO, has provided 3,830 persons with disabilities, injured people, children and the elderly with hygiene kits, assistive devices, eyeglasses, first aid kits and baby kits.

    On 20 November, about 40 trucks carrying the medical equipment, alongside 180 doctors and nurses, have entered Gaza from Egypt. This equipment and medical personnel are intended for the establishment of a second Jordanian field hospital in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, with a capacity of 150 beds.

    On 20 November, two trucks carrying about 67,000 liters of fuel entered Gaza from Egypt, as part of an Israeli decision on 18 November to allow the daily entry of small amounts of fuel for essential humanitarian operations. Fuel is set to be distributed by UNRWA to support food distribution, and the operation of generators at hospitals, water and sanitation facilities, shelters, and other critical services.

    Additionally, 51 trucks carrying humanitarian supplies entered on 20 November. Overall, since October 21, 1,320 trucks of humanitarian supplies have entered Gaza (excluding fuel). Prior to the start of hostilities, an average of 500 truckloads entered Gaza every working day.

    Another crossing to Gaza needed: The UN agency for Palestinian refugees says the Rafah crossing from Egypt into Gaza cannot accommodate a large number of aid trucks and calls for the opening of other border crossings. Karem Abu Salem aka Kerem Shalom crossing with Israel is the only crossing equipped to take enough trucks, UNRWA said, but it has been closed since October 7. (16:35 GMT)

    Indonesian Hospital update: Health ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qudra stated that the Israeli military was firing nonstop at the Indonesian Hospital in northern Gaza, and that drones were shooting at anyone who moved in the hospital courtyard. He added that, since Monday morning, no one had been allowed to leave or enter the hospital.

    What the Israeli occupation are doing to the Indonesian Hospital is exactly what they did to al-Shifa Hospital. We are concerned and worried that they commit a massacre there like they did at al-Shifa.[The Israeli military] are ending the last hope that anyone in northern Gaza has for treatment.

    That means that 800,000 to 900,000 people will end up without any hospital. This will lead to the death of many people who are suffering from long-term diseases or are injured. (21:40 GMT)

    200 patients were evacuated from the Indonesian Hospital with the help of the Red Cross just hours after it was hit by a deadly Israeli strike. (00:02 GMT)

    The Health ministry says all hospitals in northern Gaza are now out of service.

    Evacuation update: An estimated 25,000 people evacuated northern Gaza yesterday, headed south. The movement of unaccompanied children and separated families, including women who were ordered to leave their children, and wounded people, has been increasingly observed. Intensive bombing was heard multiple times in the vicinity of the corridor.

    Americans in Gaza: State Department spokesman Matthew Miller has said there are a little more than 1,200 Americans, legal permanent residents and family members still in Gaza. He added that about 800 Americans, legal permanent residents and family members had left Gaza via the Rafah crossing to Egypt since October 7.

    Sites of recent Israeli bombardment and casualties include:

    Nuseirat refugee camp – 17 killed
    Jabaliya – at least 3 killed
    Heavy airstrikes and shelling on Indonesian Hospital – at least 12 killed
    Western Khan Younis – at least 5 killed
    UN school in Bureij camp – at least 10 killed
    Al-Falujah school – dozens killed
    The houses of a nurse, a doctor and a civil defense staff in Nuseirat refugee camp – at least 20 killed
    Near An Najjar hospital, in southern Gaza – 17 killed
    Among today’s deaths was journalist Ayat Khadura. She was the second Palestinian journalist killed in 24 hours
    The home of a Health Ministry official – at least 17 killed
    83 mosques have been destroyed by Israeli air raids across Gaza,and an additional 170 have sustained damage
    RECOMMENDED READING: ‘No end in sight’: Gaza’s traumatized children need psychological aid

    Journalists at risk: The death toll of media workers has risen to 50 since the Israel-Hamas war began on October 7, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Of those killed, 45 were Palestinians, four were Israelis and one was Lebanese. It was already the deadliest month for journalists since CPJ began gathering data in 1992. (00:02 GMT)

    Journalists in Lebanon attacked: Another attack has targeted journalists in southern Lebanon, killing a reporter and a cameraman who worked for the pan-Arabic channel Al Mayadeen. Their management issued a statement saying it was a deliberate targeting of their crew. They are believed to have been hit by an Israeli armed drone. A third person, who was with them, was also killed. This was the third attack against journalists in southern Lebanon since October 13. (11:10 GMT)

    Hostage update: A Qatari official has confirmed that negotiations to free captives taken by Hamas are at their “closest point” and have reached the “final stage.” “We are at the closest point we ever had been in reaching an agreement,” Qatar’s foreign ministry spokesperson Majed al-Ansari said. (11:15 GMT)

    The Hamas resistance group is currently holding about 240 prisoners, captured on October 7th for the purpose of a prisoner swap. Israel currently holds 7,000 Palestinians as political prisoners, and has agreed to such a swap in the past.

    RECOMMENDED READING: What Israel’s video of ‘Hamas tunnel’ under al-Shifa tells us

    Palestinian prisoners: At least 8,000 Palestinians in Israeli custody. More than 3,000 Palestinians, including dozens of children, have been arrested in the occupied West Bank since the war broke out on October 7. Prisoners include at least 95 women and 37 journalists. There are currently more than 200 children held in Israeli prisons, including 26 held without charge or trial. (07:40 GMT)

    Israel expected to follow the law: US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has said that Washington expects Israel to follow the law of armed conflict and take account of civilians during its war in Gaza. 01:45 GMT) He said,

    We have said every step of the way that our expectation is that the Israelis conduct their operations in accordance with the law of armed conflict.

    And we have made sure that we continue to emphasize to the Israelis that they must account for civilians in the battle space. And not only that, but they must do everything – or should do everything that they can to get humanitarian assistance in to the people in Gaza.

    Congressional calls for ceasefire: US Senator Jeff Merkley has joined his fellow Democrat Richard Durbin in calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, becoming only the second legislator in the 100-member US Senate to do so. (00:02 GMT)

    Aid from France: France has sent helicopter carrier Dixmude, which will arrive in Egypt in the coming days, video from the French armed forces shows. It also dispatched a military Airbus A400 with more than 10 tonnes of medical supplies and will contribute to European Union medical aid flights on November 23 and 30.

    RECOMMENDED READING: Tel Aviv police ban World Children’s Day event supporting “children living in the shadow of the war”

    Israeli deaths: The Israeli military has identified two more soldiers killed in the fighting in the Gaza Strip. At least 68 Israeli soldiers have now been killed since ground operations began in Gaza.

    Israeli friendly fire: The Israeli army today revealed that since the beginning of the ground attack, there have been several cases in which soldiers were killed by friendly fire. Most of these “friendly fire” incidents occurred during joint combat between armored and infantry forces. The military said it is learning lessons, including that every force entering the building must specify its position inside the building, and that tanks must take more caution when firing at buildings.

    Israel wants an apology: An Israeli army spokesman has asked the BBC to apologize for questioning the army’s “evidence” of a Hamas presence at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza. Jeremy Bowen questioned the evidence presented that Al-Shifa Hospital had been used as Hamas’ “headquarters”. He also criticized the army’s restrictions on foreign journalists, saying that “there is no independent scrutiny inside the hospital; journalists cannot move freely into Gaza, and any who are reporting from the site are working under the aegis of the Israeli military.” The BBC has reported that Israeli occupation forces have tampered with alleged “evidence” at Al-Shifa before allowing reporters to enter.

    How will Israel pay for war? In order to reallocate funds to support Israel’s aggression on Gaza, Israeli Finance Ministry employees have recommended shutting several ministries, including the Diaspora Affairs Ministry, as well as the Ministries of Jerusalem Affairs, Heritage, Settlement and National Missions, Regional Cooperation, and Social Equality. Since 7 October, Jewish Federations of North America have raised $638 million. The Israeli army also held a ‘fundraiser’ in the US and raised nearly $10 million. Earlier this month, the Calcalist financial newspaper reported that the cost of Israel’s attack on Gaza will cost $51 billion.

    The firing of rockets by Palestinian armed groups towards Israeli population centres 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 45 people over the 22 years they’ve been fired.




    https://israelpalestinenews.org/november-21-todays-news-on-palestine-israel-day-46/
    November 21: Today’s news on Palestine & Israel – Day 46 [email protected] November 21, 2023 evacuation, friendly fire, Gaza, genocide, hamas, hostage, humanitarian aid, Israel, israeli bombardment, journalist November 21: Today’s news on Palestine & Israel – Day 46 Under Israel's bombardment, over 43,000 housing units in Gaza have been destroyed, according to OCHA (photo) Humanitarian, hospital, & evacuation updates, journalists targeted, hostage news, Israel wants apology from BBC, struggles with friendly fire, finances 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. Some people are led to be skeptical of the Al Jazeera news network. However, the network has won several Emmys, a Peabody and the Overseas Press Association’s Edward R. Murrow award, among many other honors. The New York Times reports that “its reporting hews to international journalistic standards and provides a unique view on events in the Middle East.” it’s important to remember that all news sources may potentially have bias. For example, CNN uses anchors who used to work for the Israel Lobby, who have lifelong attachment to Israel, and who often exhibit pro-Israel spin and omission in their broadcasts. Similarly, Fox News is strongly influenced by Rupert Murdoch, who has a similarly strong attachment to Israel, and who may have fired Tucker Carlson, the network’s most popular host, in part due to the host’s opposition to war and his pattern of failing to exhibit sufficient devotion to Israel). Latest statistics: Palestinian death toll: 13,044* (~12,829 in Gaza** (including at least 5,000 children and 3,300 women), and at least 215 in the West Bank). *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. Palestinian injuries: 35,111** (including at least 32,300 in Gaza** and 2,811 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 (State Department has said there are a more than 1,200 Americans, legal permanent residents and family members still in Gaza) . About 1.7 million people have been displaced; 6,500 are missing (4,400 children) and presumed to be under rubble. Israel has now killed more Palestinians in a little over a month than in all the previous 22 years combined. Reported Israeli death toll has been reduced to ~1,200*** (The Israeli spokesman said the original figure of deaths on March 7 was an “initial estimate” – 4 killed in West Bank, 71 in Gaza), including 32 Americans, and ~5,400 injured). The names of the 1,213 identified (about 33 of them children) are here. RECOMMENDED READING: Israel has lost control of the narrative – October 7 truths coming out ***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. Hover over each bar for exact numbers. Source: IsraelPalestineTimeline.org Humanitarian update: In recent days, UNRWA, in cooperation with the ‘Humanity and Inclusion’ NGO, has provided 3,830 persons with disabilities, injured people, children and the elderly with hygiene kits, assistive devices, eyeglasses, first aid kits and baby kits. On 20 November, about 40 trucks carrying the medical equipment, alongside 180 doctors and nurses, have entered Gaza from Egypt. This equipment and medical personnel are intended for the establishment of a second Jordanian field hospital in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, with a capacity of 150 beds. On 20 November, two trucks carrying about 67,000 liters of fuel entered Gaza from Egypt, as part of an Israeli decision on 18 November to allow the daily entry of small amounts of fuel for essential humanitarian operations. Fuel is set to be distributed by UNRWA to support food distribution, and the operation of generators at hospitals, water and sanitation facilities, shelters, and other critical services. Additionally, 51 trucks carrying humanitarian supplies entered on 20 November. Overall, since October 21, 1,320 trucks of humanitarian supplies have entered Gaza (excluding fuel). Prior to the start of hostilities, an average of 500 truckloads entered Gaza every working day. Another crossing to Gaza needed: The UN agency for Palestinian refugees says the Rafah crossing from Egypt into Gaza cannot accommodate a large number of aid trucks and calls for the opening of other border crossings. Karem Abu Salem aka Kerem Shalom crossing with Israel is the only crossing equipped to take enough trucks, UNRWA said, but it has been closed since October 7. (16:35 GMT) Indonesian Hospital update: Health ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qudra stated that the Israeli military was firing nonstop at the Indonesian Hospital in northern Gaza, and that drones were shooting at anyone who moved in the hospital courtyard. He added that, since Monday morning, no one had been allowed to leave or enter the hospital. What the Israeli occupation are doing to the Indonesian Hospital is exactly what they did to al-Shifa Hospital. We are concerned and worried that they commit a massacre there like they did at al-Shifa.[The Israeli military] are ending the last hope that anyone in northern Gaza has for treatment. That means that 800,000 to 900,000 people will end up without any hospital. This will lead to the death of many people who are suffering from long-term diseases or are injured. (21:40 GMT) 200 patients were evacuated from the Indonesian Hospital with the help of the Red Cross just hours after it was hit by a deadly Israeli strike. (00:02 GMT) The Health ministry says all hospitals in northern Gaza are now out of service. Evacuation update: An estimated 25,000 people evacuated northern Gaza yesterday, headed south. The movement of unaccompanied children and separated families, including women who were ordered to leave their children, and wounded people, has been increasingly observed. Intensive bombing was heard multiple times in the vicinity of the corridor. Americans in Gaza: State Department spokesman Matthew Miller has said there are a little more than 1,200 Americans, legal permanent residents and family members still in Gaza. He added that about 800 Americans, legal permanent residents and family members had left Gaza via the Rafah crossing to Egypt since October 7. Sites of recent Israeli bombardment and casualties include: Nuseirat refugee camp – 17 killed Jabaliya – at least 3 killed Heavy airstrikes and shelling on Indonesian Hospital – at least 12 killed Western Khan Younis – at least 5 killed UN school in Bureij camp – at least 10 killed Al-Falujah school – dozens killed The houses of a nurse, a doctor and a civil defense staff in Nuseirat refugee camp – at least 20 killed Near An Najjar hospital, in southern Gaza – 17 killed Among today’s deaths was journalist Ayat Khadura. She was the second Palestinian journalist killed in 24 hours The home of a Health Ministry official – at least 17 killed 83 mosques have been destroyed by Israeli air raids across Gaza,and an additional 170 have sustained damage RECOMMENDED READING: ‘No end in sight’: Gaza’s traumatized children need psychological aid Journalists at risk: The death toll of media workers has risen to 50 since the Israel-Hamas war began on October 7, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Of those killed, 45 were Palestinians, four were Israelis and one was Lebanese. It was already the deadliest month for journalists since CPJ began gathering data in 1992. (00:02 GMT) Journalists in Lebanon attacked: Another attack has targeted journalists in southern Lebanon, killing a reporter and a cameraman who worked for the pan-Arabic channel Al Mayadeen. Their management issued a statement saying it was a deliberate targeting of their crew. They are believed to have been hit by an Israeli armed drone. A third person, who was with them, was also killed. This was the third attack against journalists in southern Lebanon since October 13. (11:10 GMT) Hostage update: A Qatari official has confirmed that negotiations to free captives taken by Hamas are at their “closest point” and have reached the “final stage.” “We are at the closest point we ever had been in reaching an agreement,” Qatar’s foreign ministry spokesperson Majed al-Ansari said. (11:15 GMT) The Hamas resistance group is currently holding about 240 prisoners, captured on October 7th for the purpose of a prisoner swap. Israel currently holds 7,000 Palestinians as political prisoners, and has agreed to such a swap in the past. RECOMMENDED READING: What Israel’s video of ‘Hamas tunnel’ under al-Shifa tells us Palestinian prisoners: At least 8,000 Palestinians in Israeli custody. More than 3,000 Palestinians, including dozens of children, have been arrested in the occupied West Bank since the war broke out on October 7. Prisoners include at least 95 women and 37 journalists. There are currently more than 200 children held in Israeli prisons, including 26 held without charge or trial. (07:40 GMT) Israel expected to follow the law: US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has said that Washington expects Israel to follow the law of armed conflict and take account of civilians during its war in Gaza. 01:45 GMT) He said, We have said every step of the way that our expectation is that the Israelis conduct their operations in accordance with the law of armed conflict. And we have made sure that we continue to emphasize to the Israelis that they must account for civilians in the battle space. And not only that, but they must do everything – or should do everything that they can to get humanitarian assistance in to the people in Gaza. Congressional calls for ceasefire: US Senator Jeff Merkley has joined his fellow Democrat Richard Durbin in calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, becoming only the second legislator in the 100-member US Senate to do so. (00:02 GMT) Aid from France: France has sent helicopter carrier Dixmude, which will arrive in Egypt in the coming days, video from the French armed forces shows. It also dispatched a military Airbus A400 with more than 10 tonnes of medical supplies and will contribute to European Union medical aid flights on November 23 and 30. RECOMMENDED READING: Tel Aviv police ban World Children’s Day event supporting “children living in the shadow of the war” Israeli deaths: The Israeli military has identified two more soldiers killed in the fighting in the Gaza Strip. At least 68 Israeli soldiers have now been killed since ground operations began in Gaza. Israeli friendly fire: The Israeli army today revealed that since the beginning of the ground attack, there have been several cases in which soldiers were killed by friendly fire. Most of these “friendly fire” incidents occurred during joint combat between armored and infantry forces. The military said it is learning lessons, including that every force entering the building must specify its position inside the building, and that tanks must take more caution when firing at buildings. Israel wants an apology: An Israeli army spokesman has asked the BBC to apologize for questioning the army’s “evidence” of a Hamas presence at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza. Jeremy Bowen questioned the evidence presented that Al-Shifa Hospital had been used as Hamas’ “headquarters”. He also criticized the army’s restrictions on foreign journalists, saying that “there is no independent scrutiny inside the hospital; journalists cannot move freely into Gaza, and any who are reporting from the site are working under the aegis of the Israeli military.” The BBC has reported that Israeli occupation forces have tampered with alleged “evidence” at Al-Shifa before allowing reporters to enter. How will Israel pay for war? In order to reallocate funds to support Israel’s aggression on Gaza, Israeli Finance Ministry employees have recommended shutting several ministries, including the Diaspora Affairs Ministry, as well as the Ministries of Jerusalem Affairs, Heritage, Settlement and National Missions, Regional Cooperation, and Social Equality. Since 7 October, Jewish Federations of North America have raised $638 million. The Israeli army also held a ‘fundraiser’ in the US and raised nearly $10 million. Earlier this month, the Calcalist financial newspaper reported that the cost of Israel’s attack on Gaza will cost $51 billion. The firing of rockets by Palestinian armed groups towards Israeli population centres 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 45 people over the 22 years they’ve been fired. https://israelpalestinenews.org/november-21-todays-news-on-palestine-israel-day-46/
    ISRAELPALESTINENEWS.ORG
    November 21: Today’s news on Palestine & Israel – Day 46
    Humanitarian, hospital, evacuation, hostage updates, journalists targeted, Israel wants apology from BBC, struggles w/ friendly fire, finances
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  • A Planned US-Israeli Attack on Iran is Contemplated
    The U.S. led War on the People of Palestine and the Middle East is a Criminal Undertaking


    Introduction

    We stand in Solidarity with Palestine. But we must recognize that the United States Military and Intelligence apparatus is firmly behind Israel’s genocide directed against the People of Palestine.

    .

    And this must be part of the solidarity campaign, namely to Reveal the Truth regarding Washington’s insidious role, which is part of a carefully planned military agenda directed against Palestine and the broader Middle East. Netanyahu is a proxy, with a criminal record. He has the unbending support of Western Europe’s “Classe politique”.

    .

    The U.S. led War on the People of Palestine and the Middle East is a Criminal Undertaking

    Israel and the Zionist lobby in the U.S. are NOT exerting undue influence AGAINST U.S. Foreign Policy as outlined by numerous analysts.

    Quite the opposite. The Zionist lobby is firmly aligned with U.S. foreign policy, and Vice Versa. It targets those who are opposed to war, who call for a cease fire. It exerts influence in favour of the conduct of the U.S. military agenda in support of Israel.



    The US military-intelligence establishment in coordination with powerful financial interests is calling the shots in regards to Israel’s genocidal intent to “Wipe Palestine off the Map”.

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    America’s Military Doctrine: Deliberately Targeting and Killing Civilians

    The targeting of civilians and the killing of children in Gaza is modelled on numerous US sponsored massacres of civilians (1945-2023) including the 2004 attack on Fallujah. (More than 30 Million mainly civilian deaths in US-led wars in what is euphemistically called the “post War Era”).
    .

    Veteran War correspondent Felicity Arbuthnot reflected on the indescribable barbarity of the 2004 Fallujah massacre, which resulted in countless deaths and destruction. It was a genocide conducted by the U.S military:
    .

    “The Americans invaded, chillingly: “house to house, room to room”, raining death and destruction on the proud, ancient “City of Mosques.”

    Marines killed so many civilians that the municipal soccer stadium had to be turned into a graveyard …

    One correspondent wrote: “There has been nothing like the attack on Fallujah since the Nazi invasion and occupation of much of the European continent – the shelling and bombing of Warsaw in September 1939, the terror bombing of Rotterdam in May 1940.”



    Fallujah, 2004

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    The U.S. is supportive of the Israeli genocide directed against the people of Palestine. Prime Minister Netanyahu is a criminal. He is Washington’s proxy, unreservedly endorsed and supported by the Biden Administration as well as the U.S. Congress.

    .

    Zionism constitutes the ideological underpinnings of contemporary U.S. imperialism and its unending war against the people of the Middle East.

    .

    The Zionist “Greater Israel” dogma –as in all wars of religion since the dawn of mankind– is there to mislead people Worldwide as to “who is really pulling the strings”.

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    Zionism has become a useful instrument which is embodied in U.S. military doctrine. The “Promised Land” broadly coincides with America’s hegemonic agenda in the Middle East, namely what the U.S. military has designated as the “New Middle East”.

    .

    Cui Bono: “To Whom Does it Benefit”

    There are strategic, geopolitical and economic objectives behind Israel’s genocide directed against the people of Palestine. “Crimes are often committed to benefit their perpetrators”: Israel’s War against the People of Palestine serves the interests of Big Money, the Military Industrial Complex, Corrupt Politicians…

    The Genocide is implemented by Netanyahu on behalf of the United States.

    The US military and intelligence apparatus are behind Israel’s criminal bombing and invasion of Gaza. The unfolding Middle East War is largely directed against Iran.

    .

    .

    Iran and the Nuclear Issue

    Historical Antecedents. Using Israel As a Means to Attacking Iran

    In 2003, the war on Iran project (Operation Theatre Iran Near Term, TIRANNT)) was already Déjà Vu. It had been on the drawing board of the Pentagon for more than 15 years.

    Let us recall that at the outset of Bush’s Second Term, Vice President Dick Cheney dropped a bombshell, hinting, in no uncertain terms, that Iran was “right at the top of the list” of the rogue enemies of America. And that Israel would, so to speak,

    “be doing the bombing for us” [paraphrase] , without US military involvement and without us putting pressure on them “to do it”. For further details see my article below was first published by Global Research in May 2005, as well as PBS Interview with Z. Brzezinski

    This Dick Cheney-style option is currently (November 2023) once more on the drawing board of the Pentagon, namely the possibility that Israel which is already bombing Lebanon and Syria, would be incited to wage an attack on Iran (acting on behalf of the United States).

    US Congress Resolution (H. RES. 559) Accuses Iran of Possessing Nuclear Weapons

    Careful timing: In June 2023, the US House of Representatives adopted Resolution (H. RES. 559) which provides a “Green Light” to wage war on Iran.

    The US House passed a resolution that allows the use of force against Iran, intimating without a shred of evidence that Iran has Nuclear Weapons:

    Resolved, That the House of Representatives declares it is the policy of the United States—

    (1) that a nuclear Islamic Republic of Iran is not acceptable;

    (2) that Iran must not be able to obtain a nuclear weapon under any circumstances or conditions;

    (3) to use all means necessary to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon; and

    (4) to recognize and support the freedom of action of partners and allies, including Israel, to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

    Click below to access the complete text of H. RES 559



    Israel’s Undeclared Nuclear Weapons Arsenal

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

    In recent developments, Israeli Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu, “admitted to the world that Israel has nuclear weapons ready to be used against Palestinians”

    The Times of Israel reported that: “Amichai Eliyahu said Sunday [November 5, 2023] that one of Israel’s options in the war against Hamas was to drop a nuclear bomb on the Gaza Strip”

    Video on Israel’s Nuclear Weapons Facility

    English subtitles



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    The War on Energy

    Unspoken Objective of a US-NATO-Israel War against Iran: Natural Gas

    Reserves of Natural Gas: Iran ranks Second after Russia. Russia, Iran and Qatar possess 54.1 percent of the World’s reserves of natural gas.

    -Russia 24.3%,

    -Iran 17.3%,

    -Qatar, 12.5 % (in partnership with Iran)

    versus

    -5.3 % for the US

    President Joe Biden ordered to “blow up” (September 2022) the Nordstream Pipeline, which constitutes a U.S. Act of War against the European Union.

    In the words of Joe Biden:

    “There will be no longer a Nord Stream 2”. Statement at White House Press Conference (February 7, 2022)

    America’s strategic objective was, despite its meagre reserves of natural gas:

    To Force the European Union to buy LNG “Made in America”.

    What this implies is that America’s military agenda against Russia and Iran constitutes a means to hike up EU energy prices, which is an act economic warfare against the People of Europe.






    The Iran-Qatar Natural Gas Partnership

    The maritime gas reserves of the Persian Gulf are under a (joint ownership) partnership between Qatar and Iran (See diagram below).





    The Biden Administration is Intent upon Destabilizing the Iran-Qatar Partnership

    This partnership is supportive of the People of Palestine.

    In March 2022, “President Joe Biden following a meeting with Qatar’s Emir Sheik Tamim “designated Qatar as a major non-NATO ally of the United States, fulfilling the promise that he had made to Qatar earlier this year [2022], the White House said” Reuters



    “The designation is granted by the United States to close, non-NATO allies that have strategic working relationships with the U.S. military.

    Biden promised Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, in January [2022] during a meeting at the White House that he would grant Qatar the special status.” Reuters See also followup Reuters article.

    What is at stake are cross-cutting coalitions. Qatar is a “Partner” of Iran in relation to the strategic reserves of maritime gas in the Persian Gulf. There is no formaI military cooperation between the two countries.

    Washington’s unspoken agenda is to break and/or destabilize Qatar’s Partnership with Iran, by integrating Qatar into the US-NATO military orbit.

    It is worth noting that a few days prior to the October 7, 2023 Hamas operation, the Emir of Qatar Sheik Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani “laid the foundation stone for the Northern Dome expansion project” in Iran’s Pars South Field (See map above).

    “the Emir of Qatar said the groundbreaking for the Northern Dome expansion project was laid today, which is in line with Qatar’s strategy to strengthen its position as a global LNG producer …

    This joint gas field, known as “South Pars” in Iran, is the largest natural gas field in the world and contains 50.97 trillion cubic meters of gas and about 7.9 billion cubic meters of natural gas condensate.

    At the time of writing, the implications of Qatar’s “Special Status” Military Alliance with the U.S. remain unclear.

    America’s Al-Udeid military base in Qatar (left) is the largest US base in the Middle East.

    Have the status and functions of Al Udeid changed since the signing of the March 2022 agreement designating Qatar as a “Major Non NATO Ally of the US”

    Qatar is both A Partner of Iran as well as a Major Non NATO Ally of the U.S. Reports confirm the development of a close relationship between the commanders of the US Air Force and the Qatari Emiri Air Force.

    Qatar is a “Powder Keg”?

    The U.S. foreign policy objective is to ultimately destroy and undermine that “friendship” with Iran which is highly valued and supported by Qatari citizens.

    The export of gas from South Pars North Dome transits through Iran, Turkey and Russia.

    Qatar, Russia and Iran (the 3 largest holders Worldwide of natural gas reserves) reached an agreement in 2009 to create a ‘Gas Troika’, a trilateral gas cooperation entity including the development of joint projects.

    A large number of countries including South Korea, India, Japan, China are importing LNG from Qatar.

    Last year (November 2022), “QatarEnergy signed a 27-year deal to supply China’s Sinopec with liquefied natural gas”. Qatar has also a strategic alliance with China.

    Washington’s objective under the disguise of America’s “Major Non-NATO Alliance” with Qatar is to:

    Break the Qatar-Iran Partnership
    Exclude Iran from the Joint Maritime Gas Field
    Exert US Control over the Maritime Gas Field in the Persian Gulf
    Weaken and Disable the “Gas Troika” (Russia, Iran, Qatar)
    Create Chaos in the Global Energy Market,
    Undermine the Trade in Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) to Numerous Countries
    .

    Iran. Third Largest Reserves of Oil Worldwide

    Iran is not only second in terms of its gas reserves after Russia, it ranks third Worldwide in relation to its oil reserves (12% of Worldwide oil reserves) versus a meagre 4% for the U.S.








    The Ben Gurion Canal Project

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    U.S. Seeks Dominance over Strategic International Waterways

    The Ben Gurion Canal Project was initially a “secret” (classified) U.S. project formulated in 1963 by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory LLNG, a strategic think tank (focussing on nuclear radiation) on contract with the U.S Department of Energy. The LLNG project was formulated in response to the nationalization of the Suez Canal in July 1956 by President Gamal Abdel Nasser (1956-1970). Its intent was to bypass the Suez Canal.

    The Ben Gurion Canal project is currently contemplated as means control the channels of international maritime trade to the detriment of the people of the Middle East. It also seeks to destabilize China’s maritime commodity trade.



    In the context of the broader US-led Middle East War, the Ben Gurion Canal Project is part of America’s hegemonic military agenda. It is consistent with Netanyahu’s “Plan to Wipe Palestine Off the Map”.

    According to Yvonne Ridley:

    “The only thing stopping the newly-revised [Ben Gurion Canal] project from being revived and rubber-stamped is the presence of the Palestinians in Gaza. As far as Netanyahu is concerned they are standing in the way of the project” (Yvonne Ridley, November 10, 2023, emphasis added)

    The U.S led war is intent upon confiscating all Palestinian territories, which would be appropriated by the State of Israel, acting as a strategic “Anglo-American Hub” in the Middle East:

    The Ben Gurion Canal will give Israel in particular and other friendly nations the freedom from blackmail arising out of access to the Suez Canal.

    Arab states have been leveraging the Red Sea to pressure Israel and in response, Israel has decided to gain more control of the Red Sea. These African countries have cultural and economic affinities with the Arab states. One of the main military benefits for Israel is that it gives Israel the strategic options as the Ben Gurion Canal will totally take away the importance of Suez for the US military if needed in the aid for Israel.

    Israel aims to push Egypt further into a corner by eliminating Suez in the global trade and energy corridor and becoming a global trade and energy logistics center.

    Experts are of the opinion that this situation will shake the strategic-energy balance of China’s Belt and Road Project initiative in the Mediterranean, along with the Strait of Hormuz, which is the transfer point of 30 percent of the world’s energy. The Ben Gurion Canal would have the solid backing of the West. (Eurasia Review, November 7, 2023, emphasis added)

    .

    “Greater Israel”.

    Strategic “Anglo-American Hub”

    The Promised Land of Greater Israel coincides with America’s Colonial Design in the Middle East

    The Greater Israel design is not strictly a Zionist Project for the Middle East, it is an integral part of US foreign policy, its strategic objective is to extend US hegemony as well as fracture and balkanize the Middle East.

    In this regard, Washington’s strategy consists in destabilizing and weakening regional economic powers in the Middle East including Turkey and Iran. This policy –which is consistent with the Greater Israel– is accompanied by a process of political fragmentation.



    Since the Gulf war (1991), the Pentagon has contemplated the creation of a “Free Kurdistan” which would include the annexation of parts of Iraq, Syria and Iran as well as Turkey



    “The New Middle East”: Unofficial US Military Academy Map by Lt. Col. Ralph Peters

    .

    “America’s Promised Land”. Global Warfare

    When viewed in the current context, including the siege on Gaza, the Zionist Plan for the Middle East coincides with America’s long war against the Middle East. As we mentioned earlier the Zionist agenda provides an ideological and religious justification of America’s long war against the Middle East.

    The 1979-80. the so-called Soviet Afghan War, engineered by the CIA
    The 1980-88 Iraq-Iran War engineered by the U.S.
    The 1991 Gulf War against Iraq,
    The 2001 The US-NATO Invasion of Afghanistan,
    The 2003 Invasion of Iraq
    The 2006 War on Lebanon,
    The Arab Spring,
    The 2011 war on Libya,
    The 2015 war on Yemen
    Obama’s 2014-2017 “Counter-Terrorism” Operation against Iraq and Syria
    The ongoing wars against Syria, Iraq and Yemen
    The “Greater Israel” project consists in weakening and eventually fracturing neighboring Arab states as part of a US-Israeli expansionist project, with the support of NATO.

    Needless to day, the ideological and religious underpinnings of the “Greater Israel” project are consistent with America’s imperial design.

    While the Zionist agenda is not the driving force, it serves the useful purpose of misleading public opinion concerning America’s long war against the people of the Middle East.

    The Historical Context: A Sequence of Military Plans and Scenarios to Wage War on Iran

    Since the launching of the Theater Iran Near Term (TIRANNT) war games scenario in May 2003 (leaked classified doc), an escalation scenario involving military action directed against Iran and Syria had been envisaged, of which Syria was the first stage.

    TIRANNT was followed by a series of military plans pertaining to Iran. Numerous post 9/11 official statements and US military documents had pointed to an expanded Middle East war, involving the active participation of Israel.

    Israel is America’s ally. Military operations are closely coordinated. Israel does not act without Washington’s approval.

    U.S.-Israeli Air Defense

    Barely acknowledged by the media, the US and Israel have an integrated air defense system, which was set up in early 2009, shortly after the Israel invasion of Gaza under “Operation Cast Led”.

    The X-band radar air defense system set up by the US in Israel in 2009 would

    “integrate Israel’s missile defenses with the U.S. global missile detection network, which includes satellites, Aegis ships on the Mediterranean, Persian Gulf and Red Sea, and land-based Patriot radars and interceptors.” (Sen. Joseph Azzolina, Protecting Israel from Iran’s missiles, Bayshore News, December 26, 2008). )

    What this means is that Washington calls the shots. Confirmed by the Pentagon, the US military controls Israel’s Air Defense:

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

    ‘So this is not something we are giving or selling to the Israelis and it is something that will likely require U.S. personnel on-site to operate.’” (Quoted in Israel National News, January 9, 2009, emphasis added).

    At the outset of Obama’s Second Term, the US and Israel initiated discussions pertaining to a “US personnel on site” presence in Israel, namely the establishment of a “permanent” and “official” military base inside Israel.

    And on September 17, 2017, a US Air Defense base located in the Negev desert was inaugurated.

    According to the Israeli IDF spokesperson, the objective is to send a “message to the region, ” including Iran, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine.

    Of utmost relevance:

    Israel would not be able to act unilaterally against Iran, without a green light from the Pentagon which controls key components of Israel’s air defense system.

    In practice, a war on Iran, would be a joint US-NATO-Israeli endeavor, coordinated by US Strategic Command (STRATCOM) with America’s allies playing a key (subordinate) role.

    Michel Chossudovsky, October 31, 2017, November 11, 2023

    Planned US-Israeli Attack on Iran

    by

    Michel Chossudovsky

    May 2005

    At the outset of Bush’s second term, Vice President Dick Cheney dropped a bombshell. He hinted, in no uncertain terms, that Iran was “right at the top of the list” of the rogue enemies of America, and that Israel would, so to speak, “be doing the bombing for us”, without US military involvement and without us putting pressure on them “to do it”:

    “One of the concerns people have is that Israel might do it without being asked… Given the fact that Iran has a stated policy that their objective is the destruction of Israel, the Israelis might well decide to act first, and let the rest of the world worry about cleaning up the diplomatic mess afterwards,” (quoted from an MSNBC Interview Jan 2005)

    Israel is a Rottweiler on a leash: The US wants to “set Israel loose” to attack Iran. Commenting the Vice President’s assertion, former National Security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski in an interview on PBS, confirmed with some apprehension, yes: Cheney wants Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to act on America’s behalf and “do it” for us:

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

    The foregoing statements are misleading. The US is not “encouraging Israel”. What we are dealing with is a joint US-Israeli military operation to bomb Iran, which has been in the active planning stage for more than a year. The Neocons in the Defense Department, under Douglas Feith, have been working assiduously with their Israeli military and intelligence counterparts, carefully identifying targets inside Iran (see Seymour Hersh)

    Under this working arrangement, Israel will not act unilaterally, without a green light from Washington. In other words, Israel will not implement an attack without the participation of the US.

    Covert Intelligence Operations: Stirring Ethnic Tensions in Iran

    Meanwhile, for the last two years, Washington has been involved in covert intelligence operations inside Iran. American and British intelligence and special forces (working with their Israeli counterparts) are involved in this operation.

    “A British intelligence official said that any campaign against Iran would not be a ground war like the one in Iraq. The Americans will use different tactics, said the intelligence officer. ‘It is getting quite scary.'” (Evening Standard, 17 June 2003)

    The expectation is that a US-Israeli bombing raid of Iran’s nuclear facilities will stir up ethnic tensions and trigger “regime change” in favor of the US. (See Arab Monitor).

    Bush advisers believe that the “Iranian opposition movement” will unseat the Mullahs. This assessment constitutes a gross misjudgment of social forces inside Iran. What is more likely to occur is that Iranians will consistently rally behind a wartime government against foreign aggression. In fact, the entire Middle East and beyond would rise up against US interventionism.

    Retaliation in the Case of a US-Israeli Aerial Attack

    Tehran has confirmed that it will retaliate if attacked, in the form of ballistic missile strikes directed against Israel (CNN, 8 Feb 2005). These attacks, could also target US military facilities in the Persian Gulf, which would immediately lead us into a scenario of military escalation and all out war.

    In other words, the air strikes against Iran could contribute to unleashing a war in the broader Middle East Central Asian region.

    Moreover, the planned attack on Iran should also be understood in relation to the timely withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon, which has opened up a new space, for the deployment of Israeli forces. The participation of Turkey in the US-Israeli military operation is also a factor, following an agreement reached between Ankara and Tel Aviv.

    In other words, US and Israeli military planners must carefully weigh the far-reaching implications of their actions.

    Israel Builds up its Stockpile of Deadly Military Hardware

    A massive buildup in military hardware has occurred in preparation for a possible attack on Iran.

    Israel has recently taken delivery from the US of some 5,000 “smart air launched weapons” including some 500 BLU 109 ‘bunker-buster bombs. The (uranium coated) munitions are said to be more than “adequate to address the full range of Iranian targets, with the possible exception of the buried facility at Natanz, which may require the [more powerful] BLU-113 bunker buster“:

    “Given Israel’s already substantial holdings of such weapons, this increase in its inventory would allow a sustained assault with or without further US involvement.” (See Richard Bennett)

    Gbu 28 Guided Bomb Unit-28 (GBU-28)

    The Israeli Air Force would attack Iran’s nuclear facility at Bushehr using US as well Israeli produced bunker buster bombs. The attack would be carried out in three separate waves “with the radar and communications jamming protection being provided by U.S. Air Force AWACS and other U.S. aircraft in the area”. (See W Madsen)

    Bear in mind that the bunker buster bombs can also be used to deliver tactical nuclear bombs. The B61-11 is the “nuclear version” of the “conventional” BLU 113. It can be delivered in much same way as the conventional bunker buster bomb. (See Michel Chossudovsky, see also this)

    According to the Pentagon, tactical nuclear weapons are “safe for civilians”. Their use has been authorized by the US Senate. (See Michel Chossudovsky)

    Moreover, reported in late 2003, Israeli Dolphin-class submarines equipped with US Harpoon missiles armed with nuclear warheads are now aimed at Iran. (See Gordon Thomas)

    Even if tactical nuclear weapons are not used by Israel, an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities not only raises the specter of a broader war, but also of nuclear radiation over a wide area:

    “To attack Iran’s nuclear facilities will not only provoke war, but it could also unleash clouds of radiation far beyond the targets and the borders of Iran.” (Statement of Prof Elias Tuma, Arab Internet Network, Federal News Service, 1 March 2005)

    Moreover, while most reports have centered on the issue of punitive air strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities, the strikes would most probably extend to other targets.

    While a ground war is contemplated as a possible “scenario” at the level of military planning, the US military would not be able to wage a an effective ground war, given the situation in Iraq. In the words of former National Security Adviser Lawrence Eagelberger:

    “We are not going to get in a ground war in Iran, I hope. If we get into that, we are in serious trouble. I don’t think anyone in Washington is seriously considering that.” ( quoted in the National Journal, 4 December 2004).

    Iran’s Military Capabilities

    Despite its overall weaknesses in relation to Israel and the US, Iran has an advanced air defense system, deployed to protect its nuclear sites; “they are dispersed and underground making potential air strikes difficult and without any guarantees of success.” (Jerusalem Post, 20 April 2005).

    It has upgraded its Shahab-3 missile, which can reach targets in Israel. Iran’s armed forces have recently conducted high-profile military exercises in anticipation of a US led attack. Iran also possesses some 12 X-55 strategic cruise missiles, produced by Ukraine. Iran’s air defense systems is said to feature Russian SA-2, SA-5, SA-6 as well as shoulder-launched SA-7 missiles (Jaffa Center for Strategic Studies).

    The US “Military Road Map”

    The Bush administration has officially identified Iran and Syria as the next stage of “the road map to war”.

    Targeting Iran is a bipartisan project, which broadly serves the interests of the Anglo-American oil conglomerates, the Wall Street financial establishment and the military-industrial complex.

    The broader Middle East-Central Asian region encompasses more than 70% of the World’s reserves of oil and natural gas. Iran possesses 10% of the world’s oil and ranks third after Saudi Arabia (25 %) and Iraq (11 %) in the size of its reserves. In comparison, the US possesses less than 2.8 % of global oil reserves. (See Eric Waddell, The Battle for Oil)

    The announcement to target Iran should come as no surprise. It is part of the battle for oil. Already during the Clinton administration, US Central Command (USCENTCOM) had formulated “in war theater plans” to invade both Iraq and Iran:

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

    Main Military Actors

    While the US, Israel, as well as Turkey (with borders with both Iran and Syria) are the main actors in this process, a number of other countries, in the region, allies of the US, including several Central Asian former Soviet republics have been enlisted. Britain is closely involved despite its official denials at the diplomatic level. Turkey occupies a central role in the Iran operation. It has an extensive military cooperation agreement with Israel. There are indications that NATO is also formally involved in the context of an Israel-NATO agreement reached in November 2004.

    Planning The Aerial Attack on Iran

    According to former weapons inspector Scott Ritter, George W. Bush has already signed off on orders for an aerial attack on Iran, scheduled for June.(See this)

    The June cut-off date should be understood. It does not signify that the attack will occur in June. What it suggests is that the US and Israel are “in a state of readiness” and are prepared to launch an attack by June or at a later date. In other words, the decision to launch the attack has not been made.

    Ritter’s observation concerning an impending military operation should nonetheless be taken seriously. In recent months, there is ample evidence that a major military operation is in preparation:

    1) several high profile military exercises have been conducted in recent months, involving military deployment and the testing of weapons systems.

    2) military planning meetings have been held between the various parties involved. There has been a shuttle of military and government officials between Washington, Tel Aviv and Ankara.

    3) A significant change in the military command structure in Israel has occurred, with the appointment of a new Chief of Staff.

    4) Intense diplomatic exchanges have been carried out at the international level with a view to securing areas of military cooperation and/or support for a US-Israeli led military operation directed against Iran.

    5) Ongoing intelligence operations inside Iran have been stepped up.

    6) Consensus Building: Media propaganda on the need to intervene in Iran has been stepped up, with daily reports on how Iran constitutes a threat to peace and global security.

    Timeline of Key Initiatives

    In the last few months, various key initiatives have been taken, which are broadly indicative that an aerial bombing of Iran is in the military pipeline:

    November 2004 in Brussels: NATO-Israel protocol: Israel’s IDF delegation to the NATO conference to met with military brass of six members of the Mediterranean basin nations, including Egypt, Jordan, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Mauritania. NATO seeks to revive the framework, known as the Mediterranean Dialogue program, which would include Israel. The Israeli delegation accepted to participate in military exercises and “anti-terror maneuvers” together with several Arab countries.

    January 2005: the US, Israel and Turkey held military exercises in the Eastern Mediterranean, off the coast of Syria. These exercises, which have been held in previous years were described as routine.

    February 2005. Following the decision reached in Brussels in November 2004, Israel was involved for the first time in military exercises with NATO, which also included several Arab countries.

    February 2005: Assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The assassination, which was blamed on Syria, serves Israeli and US interests and was used as a pretext to demand the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon.

    February 2005: Sharon fires his Chief-of-Staff, Moshe Ya’alon and appoints Air Force General Dan Halutz. This is the first time in Israeli history that an Air Force General is appointed Chief of Staff (See Uri Avnery)

    The appointment of Major General Dan Halutz as IDF Chief of Staff is considered in Israeli political circles as “the appointment of the right man at the right time.” The central issue is that a major aerial operation against Iran is in the planning stage, and Maj General Halutz is slated to coordinate the aerial bombing raids on Iran. Halutz’s appointment was specifically linked to Israel’s Iran agenda: “As chief of staff, he will in the best position to prepare the military for such a scenario.”

    March 2005: NATO’s Secretary General was in Jerusalem for follow-up talks with Ariel Sharon and Israel’s military brass, following the joint NATO-Israel military exercise in February. These military cooperation ties are viewed by the Israeli military as a means to “enhance Israel’s deterrence capability regarding potential enemies threatening it, mainly Iran and Syria.” The premise underlying NATO-Israel military cooperation is that Israel is under attack:

    “The more Israel’s image is strengthened as a country facing enemies who attempt to attack it for no justified reason, the greater will be the possibility that aid will be extended to Israel by NATO. Furthermore, Iran and Syria will have to take into account the possibility that the increasing cooperation between Israel and NATO will strengthen Israel’s links with Turkey, also a member of NATO. Given Turkey’s impressive military potential and its geographic proximity to both Iran and Syria, Israel’s operational options against them, if and when it sees the need, could gain considerable strength. ” (Jaffa Center for Strategic Studies, http://www.tau.ac.il/jcss/sa/v7n4p4Shalom.html )

    The Israel-NATO protocol is all the more important because it obligates NATO to align itself with the US-Israeli plan to bomb Iran, as an act of self defense on the part of Israel. It also means that NATO is also involved in the process of military consultations relating to the planned aerial bombing of Iran. It is of course related to the bilateral military cooperation agreement between Israel and Turkey and the likelihood that part of the military operation will be launched from Turkey, which is a member of NATO.

    Late March 2005: News leaks in Israel indicated an “initial authorization” by Prime Minster Ariel Sharon of an Israeli attack on Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment plant “if diplomacy failed to stop Iran’s nuclear program”. (The Hindu, 28 March 2005)

    March-April 2005: The Holding in Israel of Joint US-Israeli military exercises specifically pertaining to the launching of Patriot missiles.

    US Patriot missile crews stationed in Germany were sent to Israel to participate in the joint Juniper Cobra exercise with the Israeli military. The exercise was described as routine and “unconnected to events in the Middle East”: “As always, we are interested in implementing lessons learned from training exercises.” (UPI, 9 March 2005).

    April 2005: Donald Rumsfeld (right) was on an official visits to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan. His diplomatic endeavors were described by the Russian media as “literally circling Iran in an attempt to find the best bridgehead for a possible military operation against that country.”

    In Baku, Azerbaijan Rumsfeld was busy discussing the date for deployment of US troops in Azerbaijan on Iran’s North-Western border. US military bases described as “mobile groups” in Azerbaijan are slated to play a role in a military operation directed against Iran.

    Azerbaijan is a member of GUUAM, a military cooperation agreement with the US and NATO, which allows for the stationing of US troops in several of the member countries, including Georgia, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan. The stated short term objective is to “neutralize Iran”. The longer term objective under the Pentagon’s “Caspian Plan” is to exert military and economic control over the entire Caspian sea basin, with a view to ensuring US authority over oil reserves and pipeline corridors.

    During his visit in April, Rumsfeld was pushing the US initiative of establishing “American special task forces and military bases to secure US influence in the Caspian region:

    “Called Caspian Watch, the project stipulates a network of special task forces and police units in the countries of the regions to be used in emergencies including threats to objects of the oil complex and pipelines. Project Caspian Watch will be financed by the United States ($100 million). It will become an advance guard of the US European Command whose zone of responsibility includes the Caspian region. Command center of the project with a powerful radar is to be located in Baku.” ( Defense and Security Russia, April 27, 2005)

    Rumsfeld’s visit followed shortly after that of Iranian President Mohammad Khatami’s to Baku.

    April 2005: Iran signs a military cooperation with Tajikistan, which occupies a strategic position bordering Afghanistan’s Northern frontier. Tajikistan is a member of “The Shanghai Five” military cooperation group, which also includes Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia. Iran also has economic cooperation agreements with Turkmenistan.

    Mid April 2005: Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon meets George W Bush at his Texas Ranch. Iran is on the agenda of bilateral talks. More significantly, the visit of Ariel Sharon was used to carry out high level talks between US and Israeli military planners pertaining to Iran.

    Late April 2005. President Vladmir Putin is in Israel on an official visit. He announces Russia’s decision to sell short-range anti-aircraft missiles to Syria and to continue supporting Iran’s nuclear industry. Beneath the gilded surface of international diplomacy, Putin’s timely visit to Israel must be interpreted as “a signal to Israel” regarding its planned aerial attack on Iran.

    Late April 2005: US pressure in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been exerted with a view to blocking the re-appointment of Mohammed Al Baradei, who according to US officials “is not being tough enough on Iran…” Following US pressures, the vote on the appointment of a new IAEA chief was put off until June. These developments suggest that Washington wants to put forth their own hand-picked nominee prior to launching US-Israeli aerial attacks on Iran’s nuclear facilities. (See VOA). (In February 2003, Al Baradei along with UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix challenged the (phony) intelligence on WMD presented by the US to the UN Security Council, with a view to justifying the war on Iraq.)

    Late April 2005. Sale of deadly military hardware to Israel. GBU-28 Buster Bunker Bombs: Coinciding with Putin’s visit to Israel, the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (Department of Defense) announced the sale of an additional 100 bunker-buster bombs produced by Lockheed Martin to Israel. This decision was viewed by the US media as “a warning to Iran about its nuclear ambitions.”

    The sale pertains to the larger and more sophisticated “Guided Bomb Unit-28 (GBU-28) BLU-113 Penetrator” (including the WGU-36A/B guidance control unit and support equipment). The GBU-28 is described as “a special weapon for penetrating hardened command centers located deep underground. The fact of the matter is that the GBU-28 is among the World’s most deadly “conventional” weapons used in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, capable of causing thousands of civilian deaths through massive explosions.

    The Israeli Air Force are slated to use the GBU-28s on their F-15 aircraft. (See text of DSCA news release)

    Late April 2005- early May: Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) in Israel for follow-up talks with Ariel Sharon. He was accompanied by his Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, who met with senior Israeli military officials. On the official agenda of these talks: joint defense projects, including the joint production of Arrow II Theater Missile Defense and Popeye II missiles. The latter also known as the Have Lite, are advanced small missiles, designed for deployment on fighter planes. Tel Aviv and Ankara decide to establish a hotline to share intelligence.

    May 2005: Syrian troops scheduled to withdraw from Lebanon, leading to a major shift in the Middle East security situation, in favor of Israel and the US.

    Iran Surrounded

    The US has troops and military bases in Turkey, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, and of course Iraq.

    In other words, Iran is virtually surrounded by US military bases. (see Map below). These countries as well as Turkmenistan, are members of NATO`s partnership for Peace Program and have military cooperation agreements with NATO.



    Copyright Eric Waddell, Global Research, 2003

    In other words, we are dealing with a potentially explosive scenario in which a number of countries, including several former Soviet republics, could be brought into a US led war with Iran. IranAtom.ru, a Russian based news and military analysis group has suggested, in this regard:

    “since Iranian nuclear objects are scattered all over the country, Israel will need a mass strike with different fly-in and fly-out approaches – Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and other countries… Azerbaijan seriously fears Tehran’s reaction should Baku issue a permit to Israeli aircraft to overfly its territory.” (Defense and Security Russia, 12 April 2005).

    Concluding remarks

    The World is at an important crossroads.

    The Bush Administration has embarked upon a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity.

    Iran is the next military target. The planned military operation, which is by no means limited to punitive strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities, is part of a project of World domination, a military roadmap, launched at the end of the Cold War.

    Military action against Iran would directly involve Israel’s participation, which in turn is likely to trigger a broader war throughout the Middle East, not to mention an implosion in the Palestinian occupied territories. Turkey is closely associated with the proposed aerial attacks.

    Israel is a nuclear power with a sophisticated nuclear arsenal. (See text box below). The use of nuclear weapons by Israel or the US cannot be excluded, particularly in view of the fact that tactical nuclear weapons have now been reclassified as a variant of the conventional bunker buster bombs and are authorized by the US Senate for use in conventional war theaters. (“they are harmless to civilians because the explosion is underground”)

    In this regard, Israel and the US rather than Iran constitute a nuclear threat.

    The planned attack on Iran must be understood in relation to the existing active war theaters in the Middle East, namely Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine.

    The conflict could easily spread from the Middle East to the Caspian sea basin. It could also involve the participation of Azerbaijan and Georgia, where US troops are stationed.

    An attack on Iran would have a direct impact on the resistance movement inside Iraq. It would also put pressure on America’s overstretched military capabilities and resources in both the Iraqi and Afghan war theaters. (The 150,000 US troops in Iraq are already fully engaged and could not be redeployed in the case of a war with Iran.)

    In other words, the shaky geopolitics of the Central Asia- Middle East region, the three existing war theaters in which America is currently, involved, the direct participation of Israel and Turkey, the structure of US sponsored military alliances, etc. raises the specter of a broader conflict.

    Moreover, US military action on Iran not only threatens Russian and Chinese interests, which have geopolitical interests in the Caspian sea basin and which have bilateral agreements with Iran. It also backlashes on European oil interests in Iran and is likely to produce major divisions between Western allies, between the US and its European partners as well as within the European Union.

    Through its participation in NATO, Europe, despite its reluctance, would be brought into the Iran operation. The participation of NATO largely hinges on a military cooperation agreement reached between NATO and Israel. This agreement would bind NATO to defend Israel against Syria and Iran. NATO would therefore support a preemptive attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, and could take on a more active role if Iran were to retaliate following US-Israeli air strikes.

    Needless to say, the war against Iran is part of a longer term US military agenda which seeks to militarize the entire Caspian sea basin, eventually leading to the destabilization and conquest of the Russian Federation.

    The Antiwar Movement

    The antiwar movement must act, consistently, to prevent the next phase of this war from happening.

    This is no easy matter. The holding of large antiwar rallies will not in itself reverse the tide of war.

    High ranking officials of the Bush administration, members of the military and the US Congress have been granted the authority to uphold an illegal war agenda.

    What is required is a grass roots network, a mass movement at national and international levels, which challenges the legitimacy of the military and political actors, and which is ultimately instrumental in unseating those who rule in our name.

    War criminals occupy positions of authority. The citizenry is galvanized into supporting the rulers, who are “committed to their safety and well-being”. Through media disinformation, war is given a humanitarian mandate.

    To reverse the tide of war, military bases must be closed down, the war machine (namely the production of advanced weapons systems) must be stopped and the burgeoning police state must be dismantled.

    The corporate backers and sponsors of war and war crimes must also be targeted including the oil companies, the defense contractors, the financial institutions and the corporate media, which has become an integral part of the war propaganda machine.

    Antiwar sentiment does not dismantle a war agenda. The war criminals in the US, Israel and Britain must be removed from high office.

    What is needed is to reveal the true face of the American Empire and the underlying criminalization of US foreign policy, which uses the “war on terrorism” and the threat of Al Qaeda to galvanize public opinion in support of a global war agenda.

    Israel’s Nuclear Capabilities

    With between 200 and 500 thermonuclear weapons and a sophisticated delivery system, Israel has quietly supplanted Britain as the World’s 5th Largest nuclear power, and may currently rival France and China in the size and sophistication of its nuclear arsenal. Although dwarfed by the nuclear arsenals of the U.S. and Russia, each possessing over 10,000 nuclear weapons, Israel nonetheless is a major nuclear power, and should be publicly recognized as such.

    Today, estimates of the Israeli nuclear arsenal range from a minimum of 200 to a maximum of about 500. Whatever the number, there is little doubt that Israeli nukes are among the world’s most sophisticated, largely designed for “war fighting” in the Middle East. A staple of the Israeli nuclear arsenal are “neutron bombs,” miniaturized thermonuclear bombs designed to maximize deadly gamma radiation while minimizing blast effects and long term radiation- in essence designed to kill people while leaving property intact.(16) Weapons include ballistic missiles and bombers capable of reaching Moscow…

    The bombs themselves range in size from “city busters” larger than the Hiroshima Bomb to tactical mini nukes. The Israeli arsenal of weapons of mass destruction clearly dwarfs the actual or potential arsenals of all other Middle Eastern states combined, and is vastly greater than any conceivable need for “deterrence.”

    Many Middle East Peace activists have been reluctant to discuss, let alone challenge, the Israeli monopoly on nuclear weapons in the region, often leading to incomplete and uninformed analyses and flawed action strategies. Placing the issue of Israeli weapons of mass destruction directly and honestly on the table and action agenda would have several salutary effects. First, it would expose a primary destabilizing dynamic driving the Middle East arms race and compelling the region’s states to each seek their own “deterrent.”

    Second, it would expose the grotesque double standard which sees the U.S. and Europe on the one hand condemning Iraq, Iran and Syria for developing weapons of mass destruction, while simultaneously protecting and enabling the principal culprit. Third, exposing Israel’s nuclear strategy would focus international public attention, resulting in increased pressure to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction and negotiate a just peace in good faith. Finally, a nuclear free Israel would make a Nuclear Free Middle East and a comprehensive regional peace agreement much more likely. Unless and until the world community confronts Israel over its covert nuclear program it is unlikely that there will be any meaningful resolution of the Israeli/Arab conflict, a fact that Israel may be counting on as the Sharon era dawns.

    From John Steinbach, Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal, Global Research



    https://www.globalresearch.ca/planned-us-israeli-attack-on-iran-2/5615443
    A Planned US-Israeli Attack on Iran is Contemplated The U.S. led War on the People of Palestine and the Middle East is a Criminal Undertaking Introduction We stand in Solidarity with Palestine. But we must recognize that the United States Military and Intelligence apparatus is firmly behind Israel’s genocide directed against the People of Palestine. . And this must be part of the solidarity campaign, namely to Reveal the Truth regarding Washington’s insidious role, which is part of a carefully planned military agenda directed against Palestine and the broader Middle East. Netanyahu is a proxy, with a criminal record. He has the unbending support of Western Europe’s “Classe politique”. . The U.S. led War on the People of Palestine and the Middle East is a Criminal Undertaking Israel and the Zionist lobby in the U.S. are NOT exerting undue influence AGAINST U.S. Foreign Policy as outlined by numerous analysts. Quite the opposite. The Zionist lobby is firmly aligned with U.S. foreign policy, and Vice Versa. It targets those who are opposed to war, who call for a cease fire. It exerts influence in favour of the conduct of the U.S. military agenda in support of Israel. The US military-intelligence establishment in coordination with powerful financial interests is calling the shots in regards to Israel’s genocidal intent to “Wipe Palestine off the Map”. . America’s Military Doctrine: Deliberately Targeting and Killing Civilians The targeting of civilians and the killing of children in Gaza is modelled on numerous US sponsored massacres of civilians (1945-2023) including the 2004 attack on Fallujah. (More than 30 Million mainly civilian deaths in US-led wars in what is euphemistically called the “post War Era”). . Veteran War correspondent Felicity Arbuthnot reflected on the indescribable barbarity of the 2004 Fallujah massacre, which resulted in countless deaths and destruction. It was a genocide conducted by the U.S military: . “The Americans invaded, chillingly: “house to house, room to room”, raining death and destruction on the proud, ancient “City of Mosques.” Marines killed so many civilians that the municipal soccer stadium had to be turned into a graveyard … One correspondent wrote: “There has been nothing like the attack on Fallujah since the Nazi invasion and occupation of much of the European continent – the shelling and bombing of Warsaw in September 1939, the terror bombing of Rotterdam in May 1940.” Fallujah, 2004 . The U.S. is supportive of the Israeli genocide directed against the people of Palestine. Prime Minister Netanyahu is a criminal. He is Washington’s proxy, unreservedly endorsed and supported by the Biden Administration as well as the U.S. Congress. . Zionism constitutes the ideological underpinnings of contemporary U.S. imperialism and its unending war against the people of the Middle East. . The Zionist “Greater Israel” dogma –as in all wars of religion since the dawn of mankind– is there to mislead people Worldwide as to “who is really pulling the strings”. . Zionism has become a useful instrument which is embodied in U.S. military doctrine. The “Promised Land” broadly coincides with America’s hegemonic agenda in the Middle East, namely what the U.S. military has designated as the “New Middle East”. . Cui Bono: “To Whom Does it Benefit” There are strategic, geopolitical and economic objectives behind Israel’s genocide directed against the people of Palestine. “Crimes are often committed to benefit their perpetrators”: Israel’s War against the People of Palestine serves the interests of Big Money, the Military Industrial Complex, Corrupt Politicians… The Genocide is implemented by Netanyahu on behalf of the United States. The US military and intelligence apparatus are behind Israel’s criminal bombing and invasion of Gaza. The unfolding Middle East War is largely directed against Iran. . . Iran and the Nuclear Issue Historical Antecedents. Using Israel As a Means to Attacking Iran In 2003, the war on Iran project (Operation Theatre Iran Near Term, TIRANNT)) was already Déjà Vu. It had been on the drawing board of the Pentagon for more than 15 years. Let us recall that at the outset of Bush’s Second Term, Vice President Dick Cheney dropped a bombshell, hinting, in no uncertain terms, that Iran was “right at the top of the list” of the rogue enemies of America. And that Israel would, so to speak, “be doing the bombing for us” [paraphrase] , without US military involvement and without us putting pressure on them “to do it”. For further details see my article below was first published by Global Research in May 2005, as well as PBS Interview with Z. Brzezinski This Dick Cheney-style option is currently (November 2023) once more on the drawing board of the Pentagon, namely the possibility that Israel which is already bombing Lebanon and Syria, would be incited to wage an attack on Iran (acting on behalf of the United States). US Congress Resolution (H. RES. 559) Accuses Iran of Possessing Nuclear Weapons Careful timing: In June 2023, the US House of Representatives adopted Resolution (H. RES. 559) which provides a “Green Light” to wage war on Iran. The US House passed a resolution that allows the use of force against Iran, intimating without a shred of evidence that Iran has Nuclear Weapons: Resolved, That the House of Representatives declares it is the policy of the United States— (1) that a nuclear Islamic Republic of Iran is not acceptable; (2) that Iran must not be able to obtain a nuclear weapon under any circumstances or conditions; (3) to use all means necessary to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon; and (4) to recognize and support the freedom of action of partners and allies, including Israel, to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Click below to access the complete text of H. RES 559 Israel’s Undeclared Nuclear Weapons Arsenal Whereas Iran is tagged (without evidence) as a Nuclear Power by the U.S. House of Representatives, Washington fails to acknowledge that Israel is an undeclared nuclear power. In recent developments, Israeli Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu, “admitted to the world that Israel has nuclear weapons ready to be used against Palestinians” The Times of Israel reported that: “Amichai Eliyahu said Sunday [November 5, 2023] that one of Israel’s options in the war against Hamas was to drop a nuclear bomb on the Gaza Strip” Video on Israel’s Nuclear Weapons Facility English subtitles . . The War on Energy Unspoken Objective of a US-NATO-Israel War against Iran: Natural Gas Reserves of Natural Gas: Iran ranks Second after Russia. Russia, Iran and Qatar possess 54.1 percent of the World’s reserves of natural gas. -Russia 24.3%, -Iran 17.3%, -Qatar, 12.5 % (in partnership with Iran) versus -5.3 % for the US President Joe Biden ordered to “blow up” (September 2022) the Nordstream Pipeline, which constitutes a U.S. Act of War against the European Union. In the words of Joe Biden: “There will be no longer a Nord Stream 2”. Statement at White House Press Conference (February 7, 2022) America’s strategic objective was, despite its meagre reserves of natural gas: To Force the European Union to buy LNG “Made in America”. What this implies is that America’s military agenda against Russia and Iran constitutes a means to hike up EU energy prices, which is an act economic warfare against the People of Europe. The Iran-Qatar Natural Gas Partnership The maritime gas reserves of the Persian Gulf are under a (joint ownership) partnership between Qatar and Iran (See diagram below). The Biden Administration is Intent upon Destabilizing the Iran-Qatar Partnership This partnership is supportive of the People of Palestine. In March 2022, “President Joe Biden following a meeting with Qatar’s Emir Sheik Tamim “designated Qatar as a major non-NATO ally of the United States, fulfilling the promise that he had made to Qatar earlier this year [2022], the White House said” Reuters “The designation is granted by the United States to close, non-NATO allies that have strategic working relationships with the U.S. military. Biden promised Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, in January [2022] during a meeting at the White House that he would grant Qatar the special status.” Reuters See also followup Reuters article. What is at stake are cross-cutting coalitions. Qatar is a “Partner” of Iran in relation to the strategic reserves of maritime gas in the Persian Gulf. There is no formaI military cooperation between the two countries. Washington’s unspoken agenda is to break and/or destabilize Qatar’s Partnership with Iran, by integrating Qatar into the US-NATO military orbit. It is worth noting that a few days prior to the October 7, 2023 Hamas operation, the Emir of Qatar Sheik Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani “laid the foundation stone for the Northern Dome expansion project” in Iran’s Pars South Field (See map above). “the Emir of Qatar said the groundbreaking for the Northern Dome expansion project was laid today, which is in line with Qatar’s strategy to strengthen its position as a global LNG producer … This joint gas field, known as “South Pars” in Iran, is the largest natural gas field in the world and contains 50.97 trillion cubic meters of gas and about 7.9 billion cubic meters of natural gas condensate. At the time of writing, the implications of Qatar’s “Special Status” Military Alliance with the U.S. remain unclear. America’s Al-Udeid military base in Qatar (left) is the largest US base in the Middle East. Have the status and functions of Al Udeid changed since the signing of the March 2022 agreement designating Qatar as a “Major Non NATO Ally of the US” Qatar is both A Partner of Iran as well as a Major Non NATO Ally of the U.S. Reports confirm the development of a close relationship between the commanders of the US Air Force and the Qatari Emiri Air Force. Qatar is a “Powder Keg”? The U.S. foreign policy objective is to ultimately destroy and undermine that “friendship” with Iran which is highly valued and supported by Qatari citizens. The export of gas from South Pars North Dome transits through Iran, Turkey and Russia. Qatar, Russia and Iran (the 3 largest holders Worldwide of natural gas reserves) reached an agreement in 2009 to create a ‘Gas Troika’, a trilateral gas cooperation entity including the development of joint projects. A large number of countries including South Korea, India, Japan, China are importing LNG from Qatar. Last year (November 2022), “QatarEnergy signed a 27-year deal to supply China’s Sinopec with liquefied natural gas”. Qatar has also a strategic alliance with China. Washington’s objective under the disguise of America’s “Major Non-NATO Alliance” with Qatar is to: Break the Qatar-Iran Partnership Exclude Iran from the Joint Maritime Gas Field Exert US Control over the Maritime Gas Field in the Persian Gulf Weaken and Disable the “Gas Troika” (Russia, Iran, Qatar) Create Chaos in the Global Energy Market, Undermine the Trade in Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) to Numerous Countries . Iran. Third Largest Reserves of Oil Worldwide Iran is not only second in terms of its gas reserves after Russia, it ranks third Worldwide in relation to its oil reserves (12% of Worldwide oil reserves) versus a meagre 4% for the U.S. The Ben Gurion Canal Project . U.S. Seeks Dominance over Strategic International Waterways The Ben Gurion Canal Project was initially a “secret” (classified) U.S. project formulated in 1963 by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory LLNG, a strategic think tank (focussing on nuclear radiation) on contract with the U.S Department of Energy. The LLNG project was formulated in response to the nationalization of the Suez Canal in July 1956 by President Gamal Abdel Nasser (1956-1970). Its intent was to bypass the Suez Canal. The Ben Gurion Canal project is currently contemplated as means control the channels of international maritime trade to the detriment of the people of the Middle East. It also seeks to destabilize China’s maritime commodity trade. In the context of the broader US-led Middle East War, the Ben Gurion Canal Project is part of America’s hegemonic military agenda. It is consistent with Netanyahu’s “Plan to Wipe Palestine Off the Map”. According to Yvonne Ridley: “The only thing stopping the newly-revised [Ben Gurion Canal] project from being revived and rubber-stamped is the presence of the Palestinians in Gaza. As far as Netanyahu is concerned they are standing in the way of the project” (Yvonne Ridley, November 10, 2023, emphasis added) The U.S led war is intent upon confiscating all Palestinian territories, which would be appropriated by the State of Israel, acting as a strategic “Anglo-American Hub” in the Middle East: The Ben Gurion Canal will give Israel in particular and other friendly nations the freedom from blackmail arising out of access to the Suez Canal. Arab states have been leveraging the Red Sea to pressure Israel and in response, Israel has decided to gain more control of the Red Sea. These African countries have cultural and economic affinities with the Arab states. One of the main military benefits for Israel is that it gives Israel the strategic options as the Ben Gurion Canal will totally take away the importance of Suez for the US military if needed in the aid for Israel. Israel aims to push Egypt further into a corner by eliminating Suez in the global trade and energy corridor and becoming a global trade and energy logistics center. Experts are of the opinion that this situation will shake the strategic-energy balance of China’s Belt and Road Project initiative in the Mediterranean, along with the Strait of Hormuz, which is the transfer point of 30 percent of the world’s energy. The Ben Gurion Canal would have the solid backing of the West. (Eurasia Review, November 7, 2023, emphasis added) . “Greater Israel”. Strategic “Anglo-American Hub” The Promised Land of Greater Israel coincides with America’s Colonial Design in the Middle East The Greater Israel design is not strictly a Zionist Project for the Middle East, it is an integral part of US foreign policy, its strategic objective is to extend US hegemony as well as fracture and balkanize the Middle East. In this regard, Washington’s strategy consists in destabilizing and weakening regional economic powers in the Middle East including Turkey and Iran. This policy –which is consistent with the Greater Israel– is accompanied by a process of political fragmentation. Since the Gulf war (1991), the Pentagon has contemplated the creation of a “Free Kurdistan” which would include the annexation of parts of Iraq, Syria and Iran as well as Turkey “The New Middle East”: Unofficial US Military Academy Map by Lt. Col. Ralph Peters . “America’s Promised Land”. Global Warfare When viewed in the current context, including the siege on Gaza, the Zionist Plan for the Middle East coincides with America’s long war against the Middle East. As we mentioned earlier the Zionist agenda provides an ideological and religious justification of America’s long war against the Middle East. The 1979-80. the so-called Soviet Afghan War, engineered by the CIA The 1980-88 Iraq-Iran War engineered by the U.S. The 1991 Gulf War against Iraq, The 2001 The US-NATO Invasion of Afghanistan, The 2003 Invasion of Iraq The 2006 War on Lebanon, The Arab Spring, The 2011 war on Libya, The 2015 war on Yemen Obama’s 2014-2017 “Counter-Terrorism” Operation against Iraq and Syria The ongoing wars against Syria, Iraq and Yemen The “Greater Israel” project consists in weakening and eventually fracturing neighboring Arab states as part of a US-Israeli expansionist project, with the support of NATO. Needless to day, the ideological and religious underpinnings of the “Greater Israel” project are consistent with America’s imperial design. While the Zionist agenda is not the driving force, it serves the useful purpose of misleading public opinion concerning America’s long war against the people of the Middle East. The Historical Context: A Sequence of Military Plans and Scenarios to Wage War on Iran Since the launching of the Theater Iran Near Term (TIRANNT) war games scenario in May 2003 (leaked classified doc), an escalation scenario involving military action directed against Iran and Syria had been envisaged, of which Syria was the first stage. TIRANNT was followed by a series of military plans pertaining to Iran. Numerous post 9/11 official statements and US military documents had pointed to an expanded Middle East war, involving the active participation of Israel. Israel is America’s ally. Military operations are closely coordinated. Israel does not act without Washington’s approval. U.S.-Israeli Air Defense Barely acknowledged by the media, the US and Israel have an integrated air defense system, which was set up in early 2009, shortly after the Israel invasion of Gaza under “Operation Cast Led”. The X-band radar air defense system set up by the US in Israel in 2009 would “integrate Israel’s missile defenses with the U.S. global missile detection network, which includes satellites, Aegis ships on the Mediterranean, Persian Gulf and Red Sea, and land-based Patriot radars and interceptors.” (Sen. Joseph Azzolina, Protecting Israel from Iran’s missiles, Bayshore News, December 26, 2008). ) What this means is that Washington calls the shots. Confirmed by the Pentagon, the US military controls Israel’s Air Defense: ”This is and will remain a U.S. radar system,’ Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said. ‘So this is not something we are giving or selling to the Israelis and it is something that will likely require U.S. personnel on-site to operate.’” (Quoted in Israel National News, January 9, 2009, emphasis added). At the outset of Obama’s Second Term, the US and Israel initiated discussions pertaining to a “US personnel on site” presence in Israel, namely the establishment of a “permanent” and “official” military base inside Israel. And on September 17, 2017, a US Air Defense base located in the Negev desert was inaugurated. According to the Israeli IDF spokesperson, the objective is to send a “message to the region, ” including Iran, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine. Of utmost relevance: Israel would not be able to act unilaterally against Iran, without a green light from the Pentagon which controls key components of Israel’s air defense system. In practice, a war on Iran, would be a joint US-NATO-Israeli endeavor, coordinated by US Strategic Command (STRATCOM) with America’s allies playing a key (subordinate) role. Michel Chossudovsky, October 31, 2017, November 11, 2023 Planned US-Israeli Attack on Iran by Michel Chossudovsky May 2005 At the outset of Bush’s second term, Vice President Dick Cheney dropped a bombshell. He hinted, in no uncertain terms, that Iran was “right at the top of the list” of the rogue enemies of America, and that Israel would, so to speak, “be doing the bombing for us”, without US military involvement and without us putting pressure on them “to do it”: “One of the concerns people have is that Israel might do it without being asked… Given the fact that Iran has a stated policy that their objective is the destruction of Israel, the Israelis might well decide to act first, and let the rest of the world worry about cleaning up the diplomatic mess afterwards,” (quoted from an MSNBC Interview Jan 2005) Israel is a Rottweiler on a leash: The US wants to “set Israel loose” to attack Iran. Commenting the Vice President’s assertion, former National Security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski in an interview on PBS, confirmed with some apprehension, yes: Cheney wants Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to act on America’s behalf and “do it” for us: “Iran I think is more ambiguous. And there the issue is certainly not tyranny; it’s nuclear weapons. And the vice president today in a kind of a strange parallel statement to this declaration of freedom hinted that the Israelis may do it and in fact used language which sounds like a justification or even an encouragement for the Israelis to do it.” The foregoing statements are misleading. The US is not “encouraging Israel”. What we are dealing with is a joint US-Israeli military operation to bomb Iran, which has been in the active planning stage for more than a year. The Neocons in the Defense Department, under Douglas Feith, have been working assiduously with their Israeli military and intelligence counterparts, carefully identifying targets inside Iran (see Seymour Hersh) Under this working arrangement, Israel will not act unilaterally, without a green light from Washington. In other words, Israel will not implement an attack without the participation of the US. Covert Intelligence Operations: Stirring Ethnic Tensions in Iran Meanwhile, for the last two years, Washington has been involved in covert intelligence operations inside Iran. American and British intelligence and special forces (working with their Israeli counterparts) are involved in this operation. “A British intelligence official said that any campaign against Iran would not be a ground war like the one in Iraq. The Americans will use different tactics, said the intelligence officer. ‘It is getting quite scary.'” (Evening Standard, 17 June 2003) The expectation is that a US-Israeli bombing raid of Iran’s nuclear facilities will stir up ethnic tensions and trigger “regime change” in favor of the US. (See Arab Monitor). Bush advisers believe that the “Iranian opposition movement” will unseat the Mullahs. This assessment constitutes a gross misjudgment of social forces inside Iran. What is more likely to occur is that Iranians will consistently rally behind a wartime government against foreign aggression. In fact, the entire Middle East and beyond would rise up against US interventionism. Retaliation in the Case of a US-Israeli Aerial Attack Tehran has confirmed that it will retaliate if attacked, in the form of ballistic missile strikes directed against Israel (CNN, 8 Feb 2005). These attacks, could also target US military facilities in the Persian Gulf, which would immediately lead us into a scenario of military escalation and all out war. In other words, the air strikes against Iran could contribute to unleashing a war in the broader Middle East Central Asian region. Moreover, the planned attack on Iran should also be understood in relation to the timely withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon, which has opened up a new space, for the deployment of Israeli forces. The participation of Turkey in the US-Israeli military operation is also a factor, following an agreement reached between Ankara and Tel Aviv. In other words, US and Israeli military planners must carefully weigh the far-reaching implications of their actions. Israel Builds up its Stockpile of Deadly Military Hardware A massive buildup in military hardware has occurred in preparation for a possible attack on Iran. Israel has recently taken delivery from the US of some 5,000 “smart air launched weapons” including some 500 BLU 109 ‘bunker-buster bombs. The (uranium coated) munitions are said to be more than “adequate to address the full range of Iranian targets, with the possible exception of the buried facility at Natanz, which may require the [more powerful] BLU-113 bunker buster“: “Given Israel’s already substantial holdings of such weapons, this increase in its inventory would allow a sustained assault with or without further US involvement.” (See Richard Bennett) Gbu 28 Guided Bomb Unit-28 (GBU-28) The Israeli Air Force would attack Iran’s nuclear facility at Bushehr using US as well Israeli produced bunker buster bombs. The attack would be carried out in three separate waves “with the radar and communications jamming protection being provided by U.S. Air Force AWACS and other U.S. aircraft in the area”. (See W Madsen) Bear in mind that the bunker buster bombs can also be used to deliver tactical nuclear bombs. The B61-11 is the “nuclear version” of the “conventional” BLU 113. It can be delivered in much same way as the conventional bunker buster bomb. (See Michel Chossudovsky, see also this) According to the Pentagon, tactical nuclear weapons are “safe for civilians”. Their use has been authorized by the US Senate. (See Michel Chossudovsky) Moreover, reported in late 2003, Israeli Dolphin-class submarines equipped with US Harpoon missiles armed with nuclear warheads are now aimed at Iran. (See Gordon Thomas) Even if tactical nuclear weapons are not used by Israel, an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities not only raises the specter of a broader war, but also of nuclear radiation over a wide area: “To attack Iran’s nuclear facilities will not only provoke war, but it could also unleash clouds of radiation far beyond the targets and the borders of Iran.” (Statement of Prof Elias Tuma, Arab Internet Network, Federal News Service, 1 March 2005) Moreover, while most reports have centered on the issue of punitive air strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities, the strikes would most probably extend to other targets. While a ground war is contemplated as a possible “scenario” at the level of military planning, the US military would not be able to wage a an effective ground war, given the situation in Iraq. In the words of former National Security Adviser Lawrence Eagelberger: “We are not going to get in a ground war in Iran, I hope. If we get into that, we are in serious trouble. I don’t think anyone in Washington is seriously considering that.” ( quoted in the National Journal, 4 December 2004). Iran’s Military Capabilities Despite its overall weaknesses in relation to Israel and the US, Iran has an advanced air defense system, deployed to protect its nuclear sites; “they are dispersed and underground making potential air strikes difficult and without any guarantees of success.” (Jerusalem Post, 20 April 2005). It has upgraded its Shahab-3 missile, which can reach targets in Israel. Iran’s armed forces have recently conducted high-profile military exercises in anticipation of a US led attack. Iran also possesses some 12 X-55 strategic cruise missiles, produced by Ukraine. Iran’s air defense systems is said to feature Russian SA-2, SA-5, SA-6 as well as shoulder-launched SA-7 missiles (Jaffa Center for Strategic Studies). The US “Military Road Map” The Bush administration has officially identified Iran and Syria as the next stage of “the road map to war”. Targeting Iran is a bipartisan project, which broadly serves the interests of the Anglo-American oil conglomerates, the Wall Street financial establishment and the military-industrial complex. The broader Middle East-Central Asian region encompasses more than 70% of the World’s reserves of oil and natural gas. Iran possesses 10% of the world’s oil and ranks third after Saudi Arabia (25 %) and Iraq (11 %) in the size of its reserves. In comparison, the US possesses less than 2.8 % of global oil reserves. (See Eric Waddell, The Battle for Oil) The announcement to target Iran should come as no surprise. It is part of the battle for oil. Already during the Clinton administration, US Central Command (USCENTCOM) had formulated “in war theater plans” to invade both Iraq and Iran: “The broad national security interests and objectives expressed in the President’s National Security Strategy (NSS) and the Chairman’s National Military Strategy (NMS) form the foundation of the United States Central Command’s theater strategy. The NSS directs implementation of a strategy of dual containment of the rogue states of Iraq and Iran as long as those states pose a threat to U.S. interests, to other states in the region, and to their own citizens. Dual containment is designed to maintain the balance of power in the region without depending on either Iraq or Iran. USCENTCOM’s theater strategy is interest-based and threat-focused. The purpose of U.S. engagement, as espoused in the NSS, is to protect the United States’ vital interest in the region – uninterrupted, secure U.S./Allied access to Gulf oil. (USCENTCOM, USPolicy , emphasis added) Main Military Actors While the US, Israel, as well as Turkey (with borders with both Iran and Syria) are the main actors in this process, a number of other countries, in the region, allies of the US, including several Central Asian former Soviet republics have been enlisted. Britain is closely involved despite its official denials at the diplomatic level. Turkey occupies a central role in the Iran operation. It has an extensive military cooperation agreement with Israel. There are indications that NATO is also formally involved in the context of an Israel-NATO agreement reached in November 2004. Planning The Aerial Attack on Iran According to former weapons inspector Scott Ritter, George W. Bush has already signed off on orders for an aerial attack on Iran, scheduled for June.(See this) The June cut-off date should be understood. It does not signify that the attack will occur in June. What it suggests is that the US and Israel are “in a state of readiness” and are prepared to launch an attack by June or at a later date. In other words, the decision to launch the attack has not been made. Ritter’s observation concerning an impending military operation should nonetheless be taken seriously. In recent months, there is ample evidence that a major military operation is in preparation: 1) several high profile military exercises have been conducted in recent months, involving military deployment and the testing of weapons systems. 2) military planning meetings have been held between the various parties involved. There has been a shuttle of military and government officials between Washington, Tel Aviv and Ankara. 3) A significant change in the military command structure in Israel has occurred, with the appointment of a new Chief of Staff. 4) Intense diplomatic exchanges have been carried out at the international level with a view to securing areas of military cooperation and/or support for a US-Israeli led military operation directed against Iran. 5) Ongoing intelligence operations inside Iran have been stepped up. 6) Consensus Building: Media propaganda on the need to intervene in Iran has been stepped up, with daily reports on how Iran constitutes a threat to peace and global security. Timeline of Key Initiatives In the last few months, various key initiatives have been taken, which are broadly indicative that an aerial bombing of Iran is in the military pipeline: November 2004 in Brussels: NATO-Israel protocol: Israel’s IDF delegation to the NATO conference to met with military brass of six members of the Mediterranean basin nations, including Egypt, Jordan, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Mauritania. NATO seeks to revive the framework, known as the Mediterranean Dialogue program, which would include Israel. The Israeli delegation accepted to participate in military exercises and “anti-terror maneuvers” together with several Arab countries. January 2005: the US, Israel and Turkey held military exercises in the Eastern Mediterranean, off the coast of Syria. These exercises, which have been held in previous years were described as routine. February 2005. Following the decision reached in Brussels in November 2004, Israel was involved for the first time in military exercises with NATO, which also included several Arab countries. February 2005: Assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The assassination, which was blamed on Syria, serves Israeli and US interests and was used as a pretext to demand the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon. February 2005: Sharon fires his Chief-of-Staff, Moshe Ya’alon and appoints Air Force General Dan Halutz. This is the first time in Israeli history that an Air Force General is appointed Chief of Staff (See Uri Avnery) The appointment of Major General Dan Halutz as IDF Chief of Staff is considered in Israeli political circles as “the appointment of the right man at the right time.” The central issue is that a major aerial operation against Iran is in the planning stage, and Maj General Halutz is slated to coordinate the aerial bombing raids on Iran. Halutz’s appointment was specifically linked to Israel’s Iran agenda: “As chief of staff, he will in the best position to prepare the military for such a scenario.” March 2005: NATO’s Secretary General was in Jerusalem for follow-up talks with Ariel Sharon and Israel’s military brass, following the joint NATO-Israel military exercise in February. These military cooperation ties are viewed by the Israeli military as a means to “enhance Israel’s deterrence capability regarding potential enemies threatening it, mainly Iran and Syria.” The premise underlying NATO-Israel military cooperation is that Israel is under attack: “The more Israel’s image is strengthened as a country facing enemies who attempt to attack it for no justified reason, the greater will be the possibility that aid will be extended to Israel by NATO. Furthermore, Iran and Syria will have to take into account the possibility that the increasing cooperation between Israel and NATO will strengthen Israel’s links with Turkey, also a member of NATO. Given Turkey’s impressive military potential and its geographic proximity to both Iran and Syria, Israel’s operational options against them, if and when it sees the need, could gain considerable strength. ” (Jaffa Center for Strategic Studies, http://www.tau.ac.il/jcss/sa/v7n4p4Shalom.html ) The Israel-NATO protocol is all the more important because it obligates NATO to align itself with the US-Israeli plan to bomb Iran, as an act of self defense on the part of Israel. It also means that NATO is also involved in the process of military consultations relating to the planned aerial bombing of Iran. It is of course related to the bilateral military cooperation agreement between Israel and Turkey and the likelihood that part of the military operation will be launched from Turkey, which is a member of NATO. Late March 2005: News leaks in Israel indicated an “initial authorization” by Prime Minster Ariel Sharon of an Israeli attack on Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment plant “if diplomacy failed to stop Iran’s nuclear program”. (The Hindu, 28 March 2005) March-April 2005: The Holding in Israel of Joint US-Israeli military exercises specifically pertaining to the launching of Patriot missiles. US Patriot missile crews stationed in Germany were sent to Israel to participate in the joint Juniper Cobra exercise with the Israeli military. The exercise was described as routine and “unconnected to events in the Middle East”: “As always, we are interested in implementing lessons learned from training exercises.” (UPI, 9 March 2005). April 2005: Donald Rumsfeld (right) was on an official visits to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan. His diplomatic endeavors were described by the Russian media as “literally circling Iran in an attempt to find the best bridgehead for a possible military operation against that country.” In Baku, Azerbaijan Rumsfeld was busy discussing the date for deployment of US troops in Azerbaijan on Iran’s North-Western border. US military bases described as “mobile groups” in Azerbaijan are slated to play a role in a military operation directed against Iran. Azerbaijan is a member of GUUAM, a military cooperation agreement with the US and NATO, which allows for the stationing of US troops in several of the member countries, including Georgia, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan. The stated short term objective is to “neutralize Iran”. The longer term objective under the Pentagon’s “Caspian Plan” is to exert military and economic control over the entire Caspian sea basin, with a view to ensuring US authority over oil reserves and pipeline corridors. During his visit in April, Rumsfeld was pushing the US initiative of establishing “American special task forces and military bases to secure US influence in the Caspian region: “Called Caspian Watch, the project stipulates a network of special task forces and police units in the countries of the regions to be used in emergencies including threats to objects of the oil complex and pipelines. Project Caspian Watch will be financed by the United States ($100 million). It will become an advance guard of the US European Command whose zone of responsibility includes the Caspian region. Command center of the project with a powerful radar is to be located in Baku.” ( Defense and Security Russia, April 27, 2005) Rumsfeld’s visit followed shortly after that of Iranian President Mohammad Khatami’s to Baku. April 2005: Iran signs a military cooperation with Tajikistan, which occupies a strategic position bordering Afghanistan’s Northern frontier. Tajikistan is a member of “The Shanghai Five” military cooperation group, which also includes Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia. Iran also has economic cooperation agreements with Turkmenistan. Mid April 2005: Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon meets George W Bush at his Texas Ranch. Iran is on the agenda of bilateral talks. More significantly, the visit of Ariel Sharon was used to carry out high level talks between US and Israeli military planners pertaining to Iran. Late April 2005. President Vladmir Putin is in Israel on an official visit. He announces Russia’s decision to sell short-range anti-aircraft missiles to Syria and to continue supporting Iran’s nuclear industry. Beneath the gilded surface of international diplomacy, Putin’s timely visit to Israel must be interpreted as “a signal to Israel” regarding its planned aerial attack on Iran. Late April 2005: US pressure in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been exerted with a view to blocking the re-appointment of Mohammed Al Baradei, who according to US officials “is not being tough enough on Iran…” Following US pressures, the vote on the appointment of a new IAEA chief was put off until June. These developments suggest that Washington wants to put forth their own hand-picked nominee prior to launching US-Israeli aerial attacks on Iran’s nuclear facilities. (See VOA). (In February 2003, Al Baradei along with UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix challenged the (phony) intelligence on WMD presented by the US to the UN Security Council, with a view to justifying the war on Iraq.) Late April 2005. Sale of deadly military hardware to Israel. GBU-28 Buster Bunker Bombs: Coinciding with Putin’s visit to Israel, the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (Department of Defense) announced the sale of an additional 100 bunker-buster bombs produced by Lockheed Martin to Israel. This decision was viewed by the US media as “a warning to Iran about its nuclear ambitions.” The sale pertains to the larger and more sophisticated “Guided Bomb Unit-28 (GBU-28) BLU-113 Penetrator” (including the WGU-36A/B guidance control unit and support equipment). The GBU-28 is described as “a special weapon for penetrating hardened command centers located deep underground. The fact of the matter is that the GBU-28 is among the World’s most deadly “conventional” weapons used in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, capable of causing thousands of civilian deaths through massive explosions. The Israeli Air Force are slated to use the GBU-28s on their F-15 aircraft. (See text of DSCA news release) Late April 2005- early May: Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) in Israel for follow-up talks with Ariel Sharon. He was accompanied by his Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, who met with senior Israeli military officials. On the official agenda of these talks: joint defense projects, including the joint production of Arrow II Theater Missile Defense and Popeye II missiles. The latter also known as the Have Lite, are advanced small missiles, designed for deployment on fighter planes. Tel Aviv and Ankara decide to establish a hotline to share intelligence. May 2005: Syrian troops scheduled to withdraw from Lebanon, leading to a major shift in the Middle East security situation, in favor of Israel and the US. Iran Surrounded The US has troops and military bases in Turkey, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, and of course Iraq. In other words, Iran is virtually surrounded by US military bases. (see Map below). These countries as well as Turkmenistan, are members of NATO`s partnership for Peace Program and have military cooperation agreements with NATO. Copyright Eric Waddell, Global Research, 2003 In other words, we are dealing with a potentially explosive scenario in which a number of countries, including several former Soviet republics, could be brought into a US led war with Iran. IranAtom.ru, a Russian based news and military analysis group has suggested, in this regard: “since Iranian nuclear objects are scattered all over the country, Israel will need a mass strike with different fly-in and fly-out approaches – Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and other countries… Azerbaijan seriously fears Tehran’s reaction should Baku issue a permit to Israeli aircraft to overfly its territory.” (Defense and Security Russia, 12 April 2005). Concluding remarks The World is at an important crossroads. The Bush Administration has embarked upon a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity. Iran is the next military target. The planned military operation, which is by no means limited to punitive strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities, is part of a project of World domination, a military roadmap, launched at the end of the Cold War. Military action against Iran would directly involve Israel’s participation, which in turn is likely to trigger a broader war throughout the Middle East, not to mention an implosion in the Palestinian occupied territories. Turkey is closely associated with the proposed aerial attacks. Israel is a nuclear power with a sophisticated nuclear arsenal. (See text box below). The use of nuclear weapons by Israel or the US cannot be excluded, particularly in view of the fact that tactical nuclear weapons have now been reclassified as a variant of the conventional bunker buster bombs and are authorized by the US Senate for use in conventional war theaters. (“they are harmless to civilians because the explosion is underground”) In this regard, Israel and the US rather than Iran constitute a nuclear threat. The planned attack on Iran must be understood in relation to the existing active war theaters in the Middle East, namely Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine. The conflict could easily spread from the Middle East to the Caspian sea basin. It could also involve the participation of Azerbaijan and Georgia, where US troops are stationed. An attack on Iran would have a direct impact on the resistance movement inside Iraq. It would also put pressure on America’s overstretched military capabilities and resources in both the Iraqi and Afghan war theaters. (The 150,000 US troops in Iraq are already fully engaged and could not be redeployed in the case of a war with Iran.) In other words, the shaky geopolitics of the Central Asia- Middle East region, the three existing war theaters in which America is currently, involved, the direct participation of Israel and Turkey, the structure of US sponsored military alliances, etc. raises the specter of a broader conflict. Moreover, US military action on Iran not only threatens Russian and Chinese interests, which have geopolitical interests in the Caspian sea basin and which have bilateral agreements with Iran. It also backlashes on European oil interests in Iran and is likely to produce major divisions between Western allies, between the US and its European partners as well as within the European Union. Through its participation in NATO, Europe, despite its reluctance, would be brought into the Iran operation. The participation of NATO largely hinges on a military cooperation agreement reached between NATO and Israel. This agreement would bind NATO to defend Israel against Syria and Iran. NATO would therefore support a preemptive attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, and could take on a more active role if Iran were to retaliate following US-Israeli air strikes. Needless to say, the war against Iran is part of a longer term US military agenda which seeks to militarize the entire Caspian sea basin, eventually leading to the destabilization and conquest of the Russian Federation. The Antiwar Movement The antiwar movement must act, consistently, to prevent the next phase of this war from happening. This is no easy matter. The holding of large antiwar rallies will not in itself reverse the tide of war. High ranking officials of the Bush administration, members of the military and the US Congress have been granted the authority to uphold an illegal war agenda. What is required is a grass roots network, a mass movement at national and international levels, which challenges the legitimacy of the military and political actors, and which is ultimately instrumental in unseating those who rule in our name. War criminals occupy positions of authority. The citizenry is galvanized into supporting the rulers, who are “committed to their safety and well-being”. Through media disinformation, war is given a humanitarian mandate. To reverse the tide of war, military bases must be closed down, the war machine (namely the production of advanced weapons systems) must be stopped and the burgeoning police state must be dismantled. The corporate backers and sponsors of war and war crimes must also be targeted including the oil companies, the defense contractors, the financial institutions and the corporate media, which has become an integral part of the war propaganda machine. Antiwar sentiment does not dismantle a war agenda. The war criminals in the US, Israel and Britain must be removed from high office. What is needed is to reveal the true face of the American Empire and the underlying criminalization of US foreign policy, which uses the “war on terrorism” and the threat of Al Qaeda to galvanize public opinion in support of a global war agenda. Israel’s Nuclear Capabilities With between 200 and 500 thermonuclear weapons and a sophisticated delivery system, Israel has quietly supplanted Britain as the World’s 5th Largest nuclear power, and may currently rival France and China in the size and sophistication of its nuclear arsenal. Although dwarfed by the nuclear arsenals of the U.S. and Russia, each possessing over 10,000 nuclear weapons, Israel nonetheless is a major nuclear power, and should be publicly recognized as such. Today, estimates of the Israeli nuclear arsenal range from a minimum of 200 to a maximum of about 500. Whatever the number, there is little doubt that Israeli nukes are among the world’s most sophisticated, largely designed for “war fighting” in the Middle East. A staple of the Israeli nuclear arsenal are “neutron bombs,” miniaturized thermonuclear bombs designed to maximize deadly gamma radiation while minimizing blast effects and long term radiation- in essence designed to kill people while leaving property intact.(16) Weapons include ballistic missiles and bombers capable of reaching Moscow… The bombs themselves range in size from “city busters” larger than the Hiroshima Bomb to tactical mini nukes. The Israeli arsenal of weapons of mass destruction clearly dwarfs the actual or potential arsenals of all other Middle Eastern states combined, and is vastly greater than any conceivable need for “deterrence.” Many Middle East Peace activists have been reluctant to discuss, let alone challenge, the Israeli monopoly on nuclear weapons in the region, often leading to incomplete and uninformed analyses and flawed action strategies. Placing the issue of Israeli weapons of mass destruction directly and honestly on the table and action agenda would have several salutary effects. First, it would expose a primary destabilizing dynamic driving the Middle East arms race and compelling the region’s states to each seek their own “deterrent.” Second, it would expose the grotesque double standard which sees the U.S. and Europe on the one hand condemning Iraq, Iran and Syria for developing weapons of mass destruction, while simultaneously protecting and enabling the principal culprit. Third, exposing Israel’s nuclear strategy would focus international public attention, resulting in increased pressure to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction and negotiate a just peace in good faith. Finally, a nuclear free Israel would make a Nuclear Free Middle East and a comprehensive regional peace agreement much more likely. Unless and until the world community confronts Israel over its covert nuclear program it is unlikely that there will be any meaningful resolution of the Israeli/Arab conflict, a fact that Israel may be counting on as the Sharon era dawns. From John Steinbach, Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal, Global Research https://www.globalresearch.ca/planned-us-israeli-attack-on-iran-2/5615443
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    A Planned US-Israeli Attack on Iran is Contemplated
    Introduction We stand in Solidarity with Palestine. But we must recognize that the United States Military and Intelligence apparatus is firmly behind Israel’s genocide directed against the People of Palestine. . And this must be part of the solidarity campaign, namely to Reveal the Truth regarding Washington’s insidious role, which is part of a carefully planned military agenda directed against Palestine …
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