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UN Condemns Collective Punishment of Gaza

World's Silence Is Deafening | 19.01.2008 22:15 | Anti-racism | World

ALERT: Annapolis a Charade: Israel Plots Massive Aggression

It's interesting to note that, while the Plant Spammed the site again, pretending to be someone else reposting old articles, he glaringly eliminates certain stories.

The timing is interesting, given the upcoming "Annapolis Conference", which serves to be about PR alone, as Olmert has already ruled out any Negotiations or Compromise in the name of peace.

If you follow the events surrounding Israel's "Disengagement" from Gaza, you will quickly understand that this was the plan all along. While Israel was making a public spectacle of "forcing Jews to leave their homes", it was quietly surrounding the Strip with artillery emplacements, in an operation ominously named "First Rain".

Under this operation, Gaza basically became a "Free-Fire Zone", and several artillery and gunship strikes killed a high number of civilians. Finally, when one of these batteries fired upon and murdered a Palestinian family - picnicking on a beach that had been Segregated "Jews Only" only weeks before, Hamas finally decided to call an end to its unilateral, two-year cease-fire.

(In essence, they took Israel's bait. After all, you can't excuse your Aggression and label it "defense" if you're not being intermittently attacked. Never mind the hypocrisy underlying the entire media's framing of that whole debate ...)

When the Palestinians responded by electing Hamas to power (yes, elected), Israeli Extremists and their Ideological, bought foreign co-conspirators imposed unilateral sanctions on Gaza, a bit of Collective Punishment which increased the hardship of those stuck in the world's largest Concentration Camp.

When they felt Gaza had been substantially weakened, the US and Israel undertook a Coup attempt, using corrupt elements within the Fatah Party, provoking a violent response by Hamas, which expelled the group. Most of the world's media ignored the events leading to this "crisis", and instead only repeated the Propaganda emanating from the US and Israel, which used this to further increase sanctions against Gaza.

Most recently, Israel stepped up its Collective Punishment, except that human rights groups and legal advisors to the Government halted some of its approved measures, because they run contrary to International Humanitarian Law.

This was sold as another "response to rocket attacks" (again highlighting the hypocrisy of the debate's Framing - are the Palestinians allowed to defend themselves from strikes which actually KILL people ... ?), even though high-ranking officials said that this was NOT, in fact, a response to these attacks, but a way to "distance Israel from Gaza's infrastructure".

The real reason for this whole episode, of course, has been to "soften up" the Gaza Strip for a long-planned military attack, a way to undermine the resolve, and hopefully rid this territory of Palestinians altogether.

Collective punishment for Gaza is wrong -U.N.
Fri Jan 18, 2008 6:30pm EST

By Louis Charbonneau

UNITED NATIONS, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Israel has a right to respond to security threats but should not collectively punish the Gaza population for rocket attacks from the Palestinian territory, the U.N. humanitarian affairs chief said on Friday.

The United Nations also criticized Israel's decision to close all border crossings with Gaza, preventing delivery of a U.N. aid shipment to the territory's 1.5 million people, most of whom depend on foreign aid.

"We all understand the security problems and the need to respond to that but collective punishment of the people of Gaza is not, we believe, the appropriate way to do that," said John Holmes, undersecretary-general for Humanitarian Affairs.

The deputy head of Israel's mission to the United Nations, Daniel Carmon, told Reuters Israel's actions were "what any responsible government would do when it is confronted as we are with this surge of violence and terrorism."

He gave no indication of when the closure would end.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called "for an immediate cessation of Palestinian sniper and rocket attacks into Israel, and for maximum restraint on the part of the Israel Defence Forces," spokeswoman Michel Montas said in a statement.

Israel has killed at least 33 Palestinians in Gaza this week as part of what it describes as a stepped-up campaign to force Hamas to rein in militants who have fired more than 110 rockets into the Jewish state in the last three days alone.

It bombed the Hamas-run Interior Ministry in Gaza on Friday, killing one woman and injuring at least 30 others who were nearby, medical officials said.

Holmes said he was worried about the sealing of the border crossings because "they are the lifeline for the delivery of humanitarian assistance and other goods to Gaza."


Ban joined Holmes in urging Israel to end the closure, saying it cut off the population from fuel supplies needed to pump water and generate electricity for homes and hospitals.

"The closure will also cause further shortages of food, medical and relief items in the Gaza Strip," he said.

Holmes said the Israeli response was unwarranted.

"This kind of action against the people in Gaza cannot be justified, even by those rocket attacks," he said.

Carmon said Israel was "very much aware of the humanitarian situation in Gaza." The Israeli government has said that humanitarian goods would be allowed into the territory.

Holmes also urged the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which seized control of Gaza last June, to use its authority to put an end to the attacks against Israel.

"I'm calling on the Hamas leaders ... to do whatever they can to stop these attacks because they claim to be in control of Gaza there," Holmes said. "Therefore they have a responsibility to stop the attacks."

Israel has imposed strict curbs on non-humanitarian supplies to Gaza since Hamas's takeover.

But many essentials have been getting in, either with Israeli approval or through smuggling, though supplies are limited and prices have risen steeply.

Holmes said he worried the violence in Gaza could spin out of control, making a dire humanitarian situation even worse.

"I believe it is a (humanitarian) crisis already," he said. (Editing by Bill Trott)

As Predicted: Gaza Reoccupation Planned

As Predicted: Israel Attacks Gaza

Gaza Food Supplies 'Getting Worse by the Day'

Israel Destroys Gaza Interior Ministry, Blocks UN Aid

Probe: At Least Half of Palestinians Killed by IDF Were Civilians

Israeli Attacks on Palestinians, Killings, Doubled Since Annapolis

World's Silence Is Deafening


Hide the following 11 comments

Winnipeg spammer at it again, IMC-UK a free-fire zone

20.01.2008 03:41

As this is something like the 70th time Winnipeg has posted here:

"If you follow the events surrounding Israel's "Disengagement" from Gaza, you will quickly understand that this was the plan all along. While Israel was making a public spectacle of "forcing Jews to leave their homes", it was quietly surrounding the Strip with artillery emplacements, in an operation ominously named "First Rain".

Under this operation, Gaza basically became a "Free-Fire Zone", and several artillery and gunship strikes killed a high number of civilians. Finally, when one of these batteries fired upon and murdered a Palestinian family - picnicking on a beach that had been Segregated "Jews Only" only weeks before, Hamas finally decided to call an end to its unilateral, two-year cease-fire."

what is that if not spam?

Incidentally, the fact is that after Israel's unilateral disengagement from Gaza, it was rewarded with almost daily rocket fire on its own citizens especially in Sderot that was not previously the case. Which country would not eventually have reacted?

Israel had sought to disengage from Gaza, to leave the Palestinians be there, however Palestinians militants under various flags do not tolerate Jews living anywhere in Israel.

Oddly (or perhaps not) you keep repeating that Israel "quietly" surrounded the Strip with artillery emplacements but don't mention the Qassam fire that led to Israel firing back. Plainly in your view firing on Israel is alright but for Israel merely to install artillery on its own soil (in case it is fired upon) isn't.

You go on repeating the above version of events because you are particularly stung by the notion that Israel might actually not want a conflict with or in Gaza and withdrew their settlements there for that reason. You cannot bear to be done out of a grievance against Israel.



20.01.2008 16:30

You seem to be yet another of those clever dudes defending Israel's deeds whatever they do...

In my eyes, the situation of the Palestinians in Gazza (and even in the West Bank) is little different than the situation of the jews in the Warsaw ghetto during WWII...

Think about it...

Remember Warsaw

Remember Warsaw

20.01.2008 18:01

Evidence that I am defending Israel's actions whatever they do?

What I do see is defence of Palestinian militant actions whatever they do, for example their rocket fire on Israel which escalated as soon as soon as Israel had withdrawn all its settlements and military emplacements in Gaza that were so complained about.

Israel is not stopping Palestinians living in Gaza unlike the Nazis with the Warsaw ghetto, nor is it stopping civilian movement to and from Egypt. Israel left a greenhouse estate standing that its owners wanted left for the Palestinians, but that was smashed up after Israel vacated. Settler homes were only demolished by the Israelis because the Palestinians wanted this.


Rafah Crossing:

20.01.2008 19:05

"Israel is not stopping Palestinians living in Gaza unlike the Nazis with the Warsaw ghetto, nor is it stopping civilian movement to and from Egypt."


"The Rafah crossing was opened on 25 November 2005 and operated nearly daily until 25 June 2006[1]. Since that time it has been closed by Israeli authorities on 86% of days due to security reasons[1]. It was not opened for the export of goods[1]. In June 2007, the crossing was closed entirely after the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip."

And now the Occupier wants back direct control:

"Israel has asked the United States' approval to recapture the Rafah crossing on the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, European sources told London-based Arabic newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi.

The paper reported Saturday that Israel has sent letters to Washington and to the EU's headquarters in Brussels protesting Egypt's decision to allow hundreds of Palestinian pilgrims to return to the Gaza Strip last Wednesday, without being subjected to security checks by the Israeli army.",7340,L-3490564,00.html



20.01.2008 21:17

"In my eyes, the situation of the Palestinians in Gazza (and even in the West Bank) is little different than the situation of the jews in the Warsaw ghetto during WWII... "

I'm sorry but this is historical revisionism at its worst. Exactly the same things that European neo-nazi parties argue...


UN Official Condemns Cowardly Israeli War Crime

20.01.2008 22:10

"As this is something like the 70th time Winnipeg has posted here"

Who? This is a continuation of Israel's program of tightening the noose on Gaza's citizens, and this is a continuation of that coverage. You just don't like it because you support the indefensible, and cannot make this go away.

"Incidentally, the fact is that after Israel's unilateral disengagement from Gaza, it was rewarded with almost daily rocket fire"

There was no real "disengagement". Israel pulled the illegal settlers out, but that was a legal obligation anyway. They followed this up with increased aggression against Gaza, which provoked this pitiful response.

"Evidence that I am defending Israel's actions whatever they do?"

You Troll IMC doing just that, and attacking anyone who dares pierce the carefully-crafted media veil surrounding Zionism's war to wipe Palestine off the map.

A Warning About The Plant

"The person(s) who posted this attack (...) is responsible for the majority of spam on Indy Media sites. He/she has put some vile racist articles about Muslims all over this site and others. He/she also posts equally vile anti-Semitic articles in an attempt to discredit Indy Media sites. On other sites throughout Canada this person is known as "The Plant".

The Plant Situation

"Israel is not stopping Palestinians living in Gaza"

It has stopped well over thirty of them from living, period, just this past week alone. This is part of a long-planned program to destroy the democratically-elected representatives of the Palestinians (as Israel's ruling Extremists can't partake in talks they don't control, as any 'just peace' will require them to give back much of what they've stolen) increase Gaza's suffering, and soften up the strip for Barak's planned reoccupation.

"unlike the Nazis with the Warsaw ghetto"

It should be noted that, in creating its tactics for the illegal, 40-year occupation, Israel actually did study the Nazis' handling of the warsaw Ghetto, right down to its 'bypass roads', and the current crisis is simply them following the blueprint to a later stage.

UN rights official slams 'cowardly Israeli war crime' in Gaza
Sat Jan 19, 8:08 AM ET

GENEVA (AFP) - Israel's targeting of a Hamas government office which caused serious casualties at a nearby wedding party was a "war crime" and those responsible should be punished, a United Nations official said Saturday.

John Dugard, UN special rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Palestinian territories, also slammed the killing of Palestinians in other attacks and the closing of border crossings.

"The killing of some 40 Palestinians in Gaza in the past week, the targeting of a Government office near a wedding party venue with what must have been foreseen loss of life and injury to many civilians, and the closure of all crossings into Gaza raise very serious questions about Israel's respect for international law and its commitment to the peace process," Dugard said in a statement.

"Recent action violates the strict prohibition on collective punishment contained in the Fourth Geneva Convention," Dugard charged in the statement put out by the UN human rights commission.

"It also violates one of the basic principles of international humanitarian law that military action must distinguish between military targets and civilian targets."

He said that "Israel must have known" about the wedding party in the Gaza Strip near to the interior ministry when it launched missiles at the ministry building on Friday.

The massive air strike destroyed the former interior ministry building in Gaza City, now abandoned, sending a tide of shrapnel crashing against adjacent apartment buildings and killing a 47-year-old woman.

Around 50 people were wounded in the blast, including several children. At least 30 of the victims had been attending the wedding party near the building.

"Those responsible for such cowardly action are guilty of serious war crimes and should be prosecuted and punished for their crimes," Dugard said.

The United States and other participants in the Annapolis conference in November to relaunch the Middle East peace process "are under both a legal and a moral obligation to compel Israel to cease its actions against Gaza and to restore confidence in the peace process, ensure respect for international law and protect civilian life," he said.

(Annapolis was about attacking Iran, and gaining US support for Israel's planned reoccupation of Gaza.)

"We attacked the building and nothing else," an Israeli army spokeswoman said of Friday's raid, calling the target a "headquarters" of the radical Hamas movement which controls the Gaza Strip.

(The democratically-elected Government of the Palestinians. The building was targeted as a continuation of Israel's program of destroying this elected Government.)

On Thursday, Israel announced a complete closure of the Gaza Strip after a sharp escalation in rocket and mortar attacks by Palestinian militants on Israeli communities across the border and retaliatory raids by the Israeli army.

(Note that the escalated Israeli Aggression and killings of innocent Palestinians since Annapolis - which has more than doubled - as well as the imposition of illegal measures of Collective Punishment,are what provoked the retaliatory, but fairly harmless, rocket attacks. Israel's own defence staff warned that this would happen, but it's now obvious that this is what Israel's ruling Extremists wanted.)

Israel orders closure of Gaza crossings as Palestinian anger and casualties increase
Rory McCarthy, Guardian

Gaza City
Saturday January 19, 2008

Moin al-Wadia lay on his hospital bed beneath a window yesterday, soaking up the last of the day's winter sunshine. Around him sat his family, with boxes of sweet pastries and bouquets of flowers, as they tried to explain the growing anger and frustration of the people of Gaza.

Wadia had been working at a mechanics' market on Tuesday morning when the Israeli military launched a major ground incursion, beginning a new round of intense fighting in Gaza. When he heard the sound of gunfire, Wadia began to leave but was knocked to the ground by the force of an Israeli shell. It sliced off his left foot, shattered his right leg and shrapnel lacerated his stomach.

Doctors at the Shifa hospital have told him his best chance for any kind of recovery is to leave for treatment abroad, perhaps in Jordan. But Israel closed the crossings into Gaza yesterday and prevented even UN trucks from delivering food aid.

It was the latest stage in an intensified Israeli operation in Gaza, but one which now effectively prevents food assistance coming in and people and exports going out. The UN refugee agency said the latest closure left it unable to deliver 15 truckloads of aid yesterday and warned of growing despair in Gaza, where 80% of the population already relies on UN food.

"It is my right to live and for my wife and children to live," Wadia said. "But the ordinary people are getting lost in this dispute. Of course we have to stop these rockets. Only a peace agreement can put an end to this violence and destruction." His wife, Wassima, said: "We just don't know what is happening. People talk about peace, but we see the opposite."

Last night the Gaza death toll over the past four days stood at 34, among them at least 10 civilians.

An Israeli warplane bombed the offices of the Palestinian interior ministry yesterday, flattening one wing of the empty building, killing a woman attending a wedding party next door and wounding at least 46 other civilians, some of them children playing football in the street, hospital staff said.

Yesterday, Israel sealed all border crossings with the Gaza Strip, in an attempt to pressure Hamas to halt the rocket fire, but the attacks continued, with 16 missiles falling in southern Israel, including one that damaged a daycare centre, although it caused no casualties.

Palestinian militants have fired more than 160 makeshift rockets into southern Israel and on Tuesday shot dead an Ecuadorian kibbutz volunteer.

Israel's defence minister, Ehud Barak, said no shipment would cross into Gaza without his personal approval. A spokesman for the defence ministry said the closure was a "signal" to Hamas, the Islamist group that won Palestinian elections two years ago and last summer seized full control of Gaza. The Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, warned that his military operations in Gaza would continue "without compromise, without concessions and without mercy".

The fighting, the worst for more than a year, raises serious questions about the viability of recently renewed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

On the other side of Gaza City yesterday, Ahmad Yazagi received mourners at a funeral tent near his home. A few hundred metres away at midday on Wednesday his two brothers, Mohammad, 27, and Amr, 38, and his nephew Amir, eight, were killed when their car was struck by an Israeli missile. The Israeli military later admitted it was a mistake, but Yazagi said his family had received no explanation, apology or offer of compensation.

"What is our guilt? We ask to live in peace and we ask them to leave us alone," he said, surrounded by family and neighbours. "With one hand the Israelis talk about peace, with the other they continue fighting."

The deaths left Yazagi, 26, the sole wage earner for his extended family. He earns 1,000 shekels (£135) a month as a temporary labourer at the health ministry and inherits the £15,000 debt of his brother, who was setting up a scrap metal business.

The UN says about half the strip's 1.5 million people no longer have access to fresh water, because Israel has restricted fuel supplies, which in turn halts pumps and reduces electricity production. Although the UN has food for the next two months in its warehouses, the closure of crossings has limited supplies and forced up prices.,,2243432,00.html

Yet again in violation
Jordan Times

January 19, 2008

The killing in Gaza continues and has now been complemented by the illegally imposed collective punishment of preventing humanitarian aid and food supplies from reaching this impoverished strip of land.

Israel, yet again, stands in breach of international law governing the behaviour of occupying forces and, yet again, is allowed to get away with it.

The UN has protested. The Palestinian Authority has protested. Arab and Muslim countries have protested. But all of this is water off a duck’s back with Israel. Until the EU and, more importantly, the US protest, clearly and unambiguously, Israel will continue the murder and the mayhem.

It is a joke, an absolute joke, for an American president to come and talk about peace in a year when the American administration will not even lift a finger to prevent the most egregious obstacles to such peace, namely outrageous violence and the most flagrant violations of international law, international humanitarian law and any reasonable definition of ethical behaviour.

Let us recount for the people who want to blame Hamas and other groups in Gaza and their homemade rockets. Since Tuesday, and an Israeli military incursion into occupied territory that kicked off this latest conflagration, 34 Gazans have been killed, at least ten of them civilians, one of whom a guest at a wedding when Israeli war planes bombed a building next to where celebrations were held. The building had been empty for months, but was in the middle of a residential area, and the incident shows not only that Israel takes absolutely no account of civilian lives when it plans its military operations, but also that its much vaunted intelligence network is not as good as its reputation, but doesn’t have to be when overwhelming sheer force is used in any case.

In that same period, one Ecuadorean kibbutz worker was killed. Nearly 200 rockets were fired at Israel in response (and let’s get this right: the Palestinians suffer a belligerent occupation. Any violence, justified or not, is a reaction to that occupation. The rocket attacks cannot be aggression. Only the occupation is) and little human or material damage resulted. There is no justification for such a level of Israeli violence.

The tiny sliver of hope from the Annapolis process is being destroyed right now. Considering that this was the brainchild of the US president, one would have thought that he would be more eager to do something about it.

Hamas shuts down Gaza power plant

(That's an interesting headline ... Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that "Israel's Collective Punishment of Gaza Forces Power Plant to Go Off-line".)

Gaza City was plunged into darkness after nightfall Sunday when Hamas officials shut down the territory's only electricity plant, following a cutoff of fuel from Israel.

Israel blockaded Gaza Thursday as a pressure tactic against militants who have been firing rockets at Israel every day.

(Israeli officials have already stated that this is about "suffocating Hamas", not rockets, and when they imposed these illegal measures, their own defence staff warned that they would provoke violence.)

The stricken power plant generates about one third of Gaza's electricity. The rest, which comes from Israel, was not affected by the blockade, Israeli officials said.

(But it has already been restricted by these illegal measures.)

But Shlomo Dror, a spokesman for Israel's defense ministry, said Gaza has enough fuel to run the plant, and accused Palestinian officials of trying to create the impression of a crisis that did not exist.

(Most of Israel's defence officials are proven liars, so who cares?)

The fuel shortage was a result of Defense Minister Ehud Barak's decision on Thursday to halt all shipments to the Strip.

(Months ago, Barak planned to attack Gaza, and now, it appears that he's also planning its reoccupation. This is about increasing the Palestinians' suffering, and softening them up for that attack.)

Ban Ki-moon: End Gaza violence, blockades

Barak's decision came after Hamas renewed Kassam rocket fire last week, resulting in unusually heavy barrages on Sderot.

(That's utter BS. Barak's past actions, as predicted by his own defence staff, are what provoked this retaliation.)

The defense minister decided then to tighten the blockade on the Strip, saying that only humanitarian cases of an extreme nature would be considered.

Residents of Gaza City were buying up batteries and candles, and batteries, as well as basic foods like rice, flour and cooking oil.

There were no signs of panic, however, as Gazans have been living with fuel cutbacks, power outages and shortages of supplies since Hamas took over the seaside territory in June.

(After corrupt elements of Fatah, being used by the US and Israel's as proxies, failed in a violent coup attempt which divided the Palestinians' unity Government, just as Israel wanted.)

But the power plant's closure would mean the loss of a third of the electricity for the territory's residents, largely affecting the 400,000 people in Gaza City, the territory's main population center.

"We are going to shut down completely within hours," said Rafik Maliha, director of the power plant, around midday Sunday. The regular fuel shipment from Israel hadn't arrived Sunday because the fuel terminal was closed, and the plant had nearly no stored reserves, he said.

Hospitals can move to generators when the power goes out, but will have to cut back some activities like laundry, waste incineration and sterilization, hospital officials said. People still had enough fuel to cook Sunday and were able to power their electric heaters, but it was not clear how long that would last.

In addition to the fuel it receives from Israel to power its electrical plant, Gaza gets about two-thirds of its electricity directly from Israel. Israeli officials said that supply would not be affected.

The UN organization in charge of Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, warned the move would drastically affect hospitals, sewage treatment plants and water facilities.

"The logic of this defies basic humanitarian standards," said Christopher Gunness, spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency.

Cabinet minister Zeev Boim said that rather than condemning Israel's move, the UN should condemn Palestinian terrorists for subjecting Israeli civilians to barrages of rockets. "I don't hear the UN's voice," Boim said.

(The UN knows that Israel's measures are responsible for provoking the violence. But they have called for peace. This minister is simply Changing The Subject.)

The Nahal Oz fuel terminal in Israel that supplies Gaza remained closed Sunday because of the Palestinian rocket fire, defense ministry spokesman Dror said. But there was still fuel in Gaza, and the closure would not lead to a crisis, he said.

"If they shut it down, it's not because of a fuel shortage, but because they want to create the impression of a crisis," Dror said. The power plant shutdown, he said, would "not be comfortable, but it's not a humanitarian crisis."

Despite the damage the sanctions were causing Gaza's population, Hamas said its attacks on Israel would not cease.

"We will not raise the white flag, and we will not surrender," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.

Zionist Extremism Key Impediment to Peace

Rafah Crossing

20.01.2008 22:15

"And now the Occupier wants back direct control:

"Israel has asked the United States' approval to recapture the Rafah crossing on the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, European sources told London-based Arabic newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi.

The paper reported Saturday that Israel has sent letters to Washington and to the EU's headquarters in Brussels protesting Egypt's decision to allow hundreds of Palestinian pilgrims to return to the Gaza Strip last Wednesday, without being subjected to security checks by the Israeli army.",7340,L-3490564,00.html"

Exactly: Israel does not have that control now, nor did it close the border after Hamas gained de facto control of Gaza, that was the subject of a dispute between Egypt, Fatah and Hamas.

Israel is not stopping civilian movement at the Rafah crossing, as I said, but of course it is concerned about weapons-making material being smuggled through the crossing. If you travel between UK and France you have to go through customs.




21.01.2008 04:50

Who's "customs"?

End the Occupation, End Zionism's War


21.01.2008 08:30

Queztal: "If you travel between UK and France you have to go through customs."

Yes, that would be the customs of the country that you are returning to. As Israel has 'unilaterally disengaged' from Gaza, then why should Israel be wanting to control the Rafah border crossing, if it is claiming that it is no longer the occupier?

You earlier tried to compare your 'oppression' in the UK to the repression that Gazans encounter on a daily basis. Now you show that you are a supporter of the occupation.

Why are you posting here?


Wot, legitimate UK border controls? Heretic!

21.01.2008 22:24

There is a substantial community using Indymedia who don't believe in border controls, at one time claiming that this was the sentiment Indymedia was about. Indeed, in IMC-UK UK stands for "united kollectives", United Kingdom not being recognized and when someone commented on a post this year of a "no borders" action that it would lead to a deluge of migrants whether criminal or not, that comment was hidden as inappropriate.

So, if you are so faithful to the Indymedia sentiment, why are you making such a to-do about the possibility of Israeli border controls in Rafah which aren't currently there, compared with the border controls around UK that are currently there?


International Condemnation of Collective Punishment Swells

22.01.2008 02:06

Israeli fuel blockade may halt food handouts, UN warns

Mark Tran and agencies
Monday January 21, 2008
Guardian Unlimited

Palestinians try to buy bread from a bakery in Gaza City during Israel's fuel blockade. Photograph: Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty

Food aid to residents in Gaza could be suspended unless Israel reopens the border, a UN agency said today.
The warning came amid a resurgence of violence between Israel and Hamas Islamists, and the halting by Israel of crucial fuel supplies to the coastal strip.

(Meaning increased attacks on Gaza by Israel. The attacks, which were planned long before the Annapolis Conference, have doubled since the meetings, killing a great number of Palestinians, a report by Ha'Aretz saying at least of the victims are civilians.)

"Because of a shortage of nylon for plastic bags and fuel for vehicles and generators, on Wednesday or Thursday we are going to have to suspend our food distribution programme to 860,000 people in Gaza if the present situation continues," said Christopher Gunness, a spokesman for the UN Relief Works Agency, which distributes food aid to 860,000 Palestinians in Gaza.

Unwra distributes basic food parcels in Gaza consisting of items such as pulses, flour and packaged milk. The situation in the territory, which has been under a western economic embargo since Hamas took power last June, is already bleak.

(The embargo was imposed in an illegal move to punish the Palestinians for electing Hamas to power.)

"We are already seeing signs of malnutrition and there have been cases or rickets [a cause of weak bones through a lack of vitamin D]," Gunness said.

Israel, however, showed little signs of easing what is effectively an economic blockade of Gaza in response to a barrage of rocket fire aimed at its southern towns.

(This is not about the rockets. The rockets are a response to the imposition of these illegal measures of Collective Punishment. Israel's own defence staff warned that this would result from these measures. It appears now that this is exactly what Israel had hoped to provoke, and sadly, much of the media is allowing them to 'justify' their premeditated aggression based on the reaction to their illegal provocations.)

The Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, said Palestinians in Gaza might have to go without Israeli-supplied petrol for their cars as long as militants continue to fire rockets across the border.

(It's not about cars. It's about hospitals and aid/food. And in making such a statement, he is acknowledging that this is Collective Punishment, which is a War Crime.)

"As far as I'm concerned, all the residents of Gaza can walk and have no fuel for their cars, because they have a murderous terrorist regime that doesn't allow people in the south of Israel to live in peace," Olmert said in a broadcast.

(No doubt the Palestinians can see the irony in such a statement.)

The UN and the EU have urged Israel to restore the flow of fuel amid fears of a humanitarian disaster. Lebanon and Syria called for an emergency Arab summit to discuss the Israeli blockade.

The Syrian foreign ministry demanded "an immediate end to the collective punishment and Israeli crimes", saying Israel was violating "the simplest rules of human rights".

(The UN, EU, and aid organizations agree.)

The pro-western Lebanese prime minister, Fouad Siniora, described developments in Gaza as a serious escalation of Israel's "racial discrimination and blatant human rights violations against Palestinians, under the pretext of confronting Hamas".

Palestinian officials warned of a catastrophe in health services in Gaza because of Israel's decision to halt fuel shipments, which has forced the shutdown of Gaza's sole only power plant.

"We have the choice to either cut electricity on babies in the maternity ward or heart surgery patients or stop operating rooms," said a health ministry official, Moaiya Hassanain.

Israel last night refused to reopen crossings or allow fuel supplies in after the most intense fighting between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza for more than a year. Nearly 40 Palestinians have been killed in the past week, at least 10 of them civilians.

Electricity officials shut Gaza's only power plant just before 8pm (6pm GMT) yesterday. Gaza bakeries stopped operating because of the blockade, bakers said, because they had neither power nor flour. Fresh pitta bread is a staple food for Gazans.

Israel denied its economic measures would cause widespread suffering.

"We will do everything to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Gaza and I can guarantee to you that there will not be a humanitarian crisis in Gaza," said Shlomo Dror, an Israeli defence spokesman.

Arye Mekel, an Israeli foreign ministry spokesman, accused Hamas of creating an artificial emergency, calling the blackout a "ploy ... to attract international sympathy".

(Israeli policy is all that's needed to build international sympathy. No stunts are necessary.)

Hamas said five hospital patients had died because of the power cut. But health officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, denied this.

Israel imposed the fuel blockade in response to rocket fire that has virtually paralysed life in southern Israeli towns. The upsurge of fighting last week followed an Israeli anti-rocket operation in Gaza.

(Destroying the Interior Ministry had nothing to do with the rockets Israel's Collective Punishment have provoked.)

The Israeli deputy prime minister, Haim Ramon, said there were signs the blockade was working, as the number of rockets fired dropped sharply today. The army said five were fired yesterday, down from 53 over the previous two days.

As well as fuel from Israel to power its electricity plant, Gaza receives about 70% of its electricity direct from Israel. That energy supply had not been stopped, Israel said. The Gaza power plant supplies most of the remaining electricity. Israeli officials acknowledge its fuel supply has been stopped.

The EU criticised Israel for punishing all of Gaza's 1.5 million inhabitants and urged it to restart fuel supplies and open border crossings.

"I have made clear that I am against this collective punishment of the people of Gaza," the EU external relations commissioner, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, said in a statement.

"I urge the Israeli authorities to restart fuel supplies and open the crossings for the passage of humanitarian and commercial supplies."

Ferrero-Waldner said the decision to close border crossings and stop fuel provision "will exacerbate an already dire humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and risks escalating an already difficult situation on the ground".

Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 after 38 years of occupation but still controls the borders and shipment of supplies.

Hamas seized power in Gaza from the rival Fatah faction, which is based in the West Bank and led by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas.

(This after the US and Israel used corrupt elements of Fatah in a failed Coup attempt against Hamas.),,2244363,00.html

UN says Gaza facing food shortage

Most of Gaza's 1.4m people depend on humanitarian aid
UN food aid to about 860,000 people in the Gaza Strip will have to be suspended within days if Israel's blockade continues, the UN has warned.

Spokesman Christopher Gunness said the UN relief agency UNWRA was running short of nylon for plastic bags and fuel for vehicles and generators.

Israel closed Gaza's borders last Thursday in response to rocket attacks by Gaza-based militants.

(The rockets are a response to Israel's imposition of Collective Punishment!)

The EU says Israel is "collectively punishing" the Hamas-run territory.

Egypt has urged Israel to lift its border closure and the crisis is being discussed by the Arab League.

With fuel supplies hit by the blockade, Gaza's only power plant, which produces 27% of the territory's electricity needs according to a recent UN report, was shut down on Sunday night.

I have made clear that I am against this collective punishment of the people of Gaza

Benita Ferrero-Waldner,
EU External Relations Commissioner

Israel says it is still providing power to Gaza, putting its current contribution at nearly 70%, while Egyptian power stations account for the remainder.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says that while Israel does not want to provoke a humanitarian crisis, it does want to make people's lives "uncomfortable".

(Which is illegal ... That's all the rockets are about.)

In another development, overnight Israeli air strikes in the Gaza City area killed one Palestinian and injured several others. Israel said it had been targeting militants transporting rockets.

On Monday morning residents awoke to closed petrol stations and shuttered bakeries unable to bake bread - a staple food in Gaza.

Generators are supplying critical power to hospitals

Generators are being used to maintain critical power supplies to hospitals but there are fears that supplies of diesel could soon run out.

Mr Olmert insists the Israeli action is limited to cutting fuel supplies for vehicles.

(But that is contradicted by the facts.)

"As far as I'm concerned, all the residents of Gaza can walk and have no fuel for their cars, because they have a murderous terrorist regime that doesn't allow people in the south of Israel to live in peace," he said.

Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Ary Mekell told the BBC on Monday that the energy crisis in Gaza was a "a fabrication and a stage production by Hamas".

"There is no shortage of electricity - we provide 70% of the electricity for Gaza through electric cables and this is nothing to do with the fuel supplies," he said.

Gaza uses 187 megawatts of electricity
Israel supplies 64% of this, and Egypt 9%
The remaining 27% is produced by Gaza's power station
Israel supplies the fuel oil for the Gaza power station
Source: UN report, May 2007

A report by the UN humanitarian affairs agency Ocha in May 2007 estimated that Israel supplied 64% of Gaza electricity, the local power station - 27%, and Egypt - 9%.

After decades of occupation, Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, but it still controls the territory's borders and supplies.

Hamas - branded a terrorist organisation by the Israel, the US and the EU - has been in charge of Gaza since June, when it drove out rivals Fatah.

More than 200 rockets and mortars have hit Israel from Gaza since an Israeli operation against militants on Tuesday that left 18 Palestinians dead, the Israeli military says.

Foreign concern

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak telephoned Mr Olmert to warn him of the humanitarian effects of the blockade, and urged him to "stop the Israeli aggression".

Israel says border closures will stop if the rocket attacks end

He also raised the possibility of reopening the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt, which Israel insists should remain closed.

Arab League officials gathered in Cairo for an emergency meeting but it is unclear what action it can take other than pushing for humanitarian relief.

The most significant action would be to reopen Gaza's crossing into Egypt but this would probably prove too controversial a step for the Egyptian government, the BBC's Ian Pannell reports.

In other reaction:

The UK said it did not support the Israeli blockade and called for all parties to work for the reopening of the crossings. Reports that electricity has been cut because of fuel shortages are particularly alarming, it said

International aid agency Oxfam said Gaza's water and sanitation system was "running on empty" with most pumps due to shut down by Tuesday

EU external relations commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner spoke out against "this collective punishment of the people of Gaza" and called for an end to the blockade

Iran called on foreign ministers of Islamic states to convene on the crisis

Jordan said it was "deeply concerned" about Israeli "military violations" and Lebanese PM Fouad Siniora said Israel was escalating "racial discrimination... under the pretext of confronting Hamas"

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