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Pentagon rushes ammunition to Israel to supply the slaughter in Gaza July 31, 2014

Posted by rogerhollander in Israel, Gaza & Middle East, War.
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Roger’s note: if you are a United States tax payer, you are in part financing the massacre in Gaza.  Also, your most likely information about what is happening there comes from the mainstream media, which parrots the Big Lie that Israel is defending itself.  Only the graphic images of Palestinian wounded and killed to some degree mitigate the Big Lie.  It is surreal and Orwellian, and a tragic blood bath.

 

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What an outrage! All out Aug. 2 in D.C.!

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Just minutes after the White House made a tepid criticism of the deadly shelling of a United Nations-run girls’ school and refugee center in Gaza, the U.S. military announced that it was resupplying the Israeli army with several types of ammunition. At least 15 people were killed and more than 90 wounded in the attack on the school. An Israeli air attack the same day on a crowded market in the Jabaliya refugee camp killed at least 17 people and injured more than 100.

While the U.S. statement criticism of the shelling of the school was obviously a reference to an Israeli military action, the statement pointedly failed to name Israel in keeping with U.S. support for Israel in its murderous assault.

Now, the Pentagon announced, it will provide 120mm mortar rounds and 40mm ammunition for grenade launchers among other munitions from a $1 billion stock of ammunition pre-positioned in Israel for use in other U.S. wars in the region.

The Israeli occupation forces have expended so much firepower in their devastating assault on Gaza, a tiny and densely populated strip of land, they needed an emergency resupply in order to keep up the killing and destroying.

More than 1,200 Palestinians have been killed and nearly 7,000 wounded since July 8. On the Israeli side, 53 soldiers and 3 civilians are reported killed and hundreds wounded.

The emergency resupply operation illuminates the real relationship between the U.S. and Israel. The differences between the leaders in Washington and Tel Aviv are secondary to the military alliance. Bottom line, Israel is an extension of Pentagon power and has been for many decades. That is why Israel has received hundreds of billions in military and economic aid.

What’s more, this latest episode demonstrates once again that Israel could not do what it does without the support—economic, military, diplomatic and political—of the United States.

The people of the United States will be marching together on Saturday, August 2 to demand an end to all U.S. aid to Israel. This will be the biggest march yet in support of the besieged Palestinian people in Gaza.

People are coming from all over the United States.

Please make an urgently-needed donation. We can do this with you, but not without you.

GAZA CEASEFIRE: PALESTINE HOLDS STRONG IN THE FACE OF U.S.-BACKED ISRAELI TERROR CAMPAIGN November 21, 2012

Posted by rogerhollander in Foreign Policy, Genocide, Israel, Gaza & Middle East.
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An Egyptian boy leads protesters in chanting slogans against the Israeli invasion of Gaza. Washington feared uprisings in Egypt, Jordan and other countries in the region.
http://www2.answercoalition.org/site/R?i=Bnc-7QdrNP1UEEByLLfp_whttp://www2.answercoalition.org/site/R?i=OOp0WURIE0bnGdTxWzNliAhttp://www2.answercoalition.org/site/R?i=bSafGjjiOuReegdwuC7How

By Richard Becker

A ceasefire agreement between the Hamas-led Palestinian government in Gaza and Israel was announced today, Nov. 21, in Cairo by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr.

Clinton made an emergency trip to the Middle East with the aim of brokering a truce, a clear sign of the Obama administration’s fears that the continuation of the brutal Israeli assault on Gaza was endangering U.S. imperialist interests in the region.

http://www2.answercoalition.org/site/R?i=Lhgm0Wc4niMEZsO8tk97pg
Read Richard Becker’s important book ‘Palestine, Israel and the U.S. Empire.’ http://www2.answercoalition.org/site/R?i=BVGBKV1sHLNY5NaGiwoocw

Since Israel’s latest intense bombing campaign began last week, Clinton, President Obama, and Republican and Democratic congressional leaders have repeatedly expressed all-out support for the Israeli side, while pointedly ignoring far higher Palestinian casualties.

The House of Representatives “passed” a resolution expressing its “unwavering commitment” to Israel. House Resolution 813 was introduced at 12:04 p.m. on Nov. 16, and declared adopted at 12:05 p.m. the same day!

Since Nov. 14, at least 146 Palestinians have been killed, more than 1,000 wounded, and much of Gaza’s infrastructure and public facilities destroyed by a coordinated air, sea and land-based bombardment. On the Israeli side, there have been five killed and more than 100 wounded.

To hear U.S. officials talk, you would think it was the other way around. But despite their obscenely pro-Israel rhetoric, it was also clear that Washington was fearful that a new Israeli ground invasion of Gaza might provoke rebellions in Egypt, Jordan and other neighboring Arab countries, and possibly lead to a wider war.

Despite the death and destruction inflicted by Israel, and despite the fact that it has no air force, navy, armored units or anti-aircraft defenses, the Palestinian forces have not been defeated. Virtually all news reports from inside Gaza reflect a strong determination to resist among the population.

The terms of the temporary agreement reportedly call for a halt to the fighting, an end to Israeli targeted assassinations of Palestinian leaders, and undefined steps to lift the Israeli blockade that has inflicted massive suffering on the 1.6 million Palestinians in Gaza.

Lifting the blockade is a critical issue for the people of Gaza. Whether there will be any real movement toward ending the blockade remains in doubt, as does the durability of the truce as a whole.

ISRAEL’S BLOCKADE: USING FOOD AS A WEAPON

While Israel withdrew its settlers and bases from Gaza in 2005, it has kept the area surrounded and blockaded ever since. As result, half of all school children are malnourished and two-thirds of infants are anemic. Eighty percent of Gaza’s population are refugees — those driven out of other parts of Palestine by the Zionist military forces in 1948 and their descendants.

After the Hamas party won the January 2006 Palestinian parliamentary election, Israel imposed a complete blockade on Gaza, with the support of the United States, European Union and the client government of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. That the aim of the blockade was to make the people of Gaza suffer was highlighted by an article in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz the following month. It reported on a meeting of top Israeli government officials where the top advisor to then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Dov Weisglass, said: “It’s like an appointment with a dietician. The Palestinians will get a lot thinner but won’t die.” According to the Haaretz report, the assembled officials “rolled with laughter,” at Weislglass’s grotesque “joke.”

THE MYTH OF ISRAEL AS VICTIM

In the 1960s, the Black Panther Party had a saying about racist cops justifying their routine killing and brutalizing of Black people by “masquerading as the victim of an unprovoked attack.” It is a description that perfectly fits Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his predecessors going back to the creation of the Israeli state in 1948.

In the U.S. corporate media, Israel is invariably depicted as the “victim.” Its brutal and cowardly military assaults are justified as “retaliation,” inferring that Israel’s actions are “self-defense.” Over and over, since the early 1950s, successive Israeli governments have staged provocations to prompt responses that could then be used to justify massive attacks while presenting Israel as the “victim of an unprovoked attack.” The aim has generally been to gain new territory and/or crush any state or movement perceived as a threat to Israeli military domination.

This familiar pattern was repeated in November 2008. The murder of five Palestinian civilians on the day after the 2008 U.S. election broke a ceasefire and set in motion a train of events that led to an all-out assault on Gaza by the Israeli military. A vast array of weaponry, including white phosphorous and depleted uranium munitions, was unleashed on a trapped population. More than 1,400 Palestinians were killed, while Israeli forces had 13 killed -– a ratio of more than 100 to 1.

This time, the fatal shooting of a mentally disabled young man on Nov. 5 and a 12-year-old boy on Nov. 9, both killed by the Israeli army inside Gaza, set off the new round of fighting. Then, on Nov. 14, Israel assassinated a top Hamas leader, Ahmed Al-Jaabari, the very same day that he had been presented with a proposal for a long-term ceasefire by a joint Israeli-Egyptian commission.

These provocations were no doubt approved at the highest level of the Israeli government. The extreme right-wing Netanyahu-Lieberman government desired a new conflict both to further devastate the Palestinian infrastructure in Gaza and to advance their political prospects in the January 2013 Israeli election. That hundreds of Palestinians and some Israelis as well would die in order to achieve these objectives was incidental to the Israeli leaders.

Whether the present ceasefire holds and for how long can’t be known at this point. The only real long-term solution to the crisis is an to end to colonial occupation and real self-determination for the Palestinian people, including the right to return to their homeland.

Gaza invasion: ‘If you’re not sure – kill’ July 15, 2009

Posted by rogerhollander in Israel, Gaza & Middle East, War.
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Israeli soldiers’ accounts of January siege betray little regard for civilians
DEADLY TACTICS

TheStar.com

AP FILE PHOTO
An Israeli gunner covers his ears as a mobile artillery piece fires at a target in the Gaza Strip on Jan. 4, 2009 during the bloody three-week offensive known as Operation Cast Lead.

Oakland Ross

Toronto Star, July 15, 2009

JERUSALEM – Israeli soldiers who invaded the Gaza Strip in January received no clear rules of engagement and operated with a shoot-first-ask-questions-later mentality that significantly increased the danger to civilians.

“If you’re not sure – kill,” confessed one of the soldiers who gave his testimony anonymously to an Israeli organization that gathers front-line reports from Israeli soldiers. “The firepower was insane. We went in, and the booms were just mad. The minute we got to our starting line, we simply began firing at suspect places. In urban warfare, everyone is your enemy. No innocents. It was simply urban warfare in every way.”

His remarks underline the central theme of the accounts from Israeli soldiers who participated in the three-week operation, code-named Cast Lead, which left more than 1,300 Palestinians dead, according to a Palestinian count, and inflicted extensive physical destruction. Thirteen Israelis were killed.

“Very few soldiers ever heard in the briefings, `Guys – be careful about innocent people,'” said Yehuda Shaul, head of Breaking the Silence, the Israeli organization that gathers and publishes the testimony. “That’s the most disturbing and disappointing thing.”

A veteran of many Israel Defense Forces’ operations, Shaul said the invasion of Gaza that began Dec. 27 marked a departure from previous Israeli military practice.

“Cast Lead was something different,” he said. “We had an opening-fire policy. `You see something you’re scared of – you shoot.’ We were shocked. This is not the IDF I know.”

Shaul was reacting to the contents of a 110-page book being released by his organization today, containing the testimony of 26 Israeli soldiers who participated in the operation, including 14 young conscripts as well as a dozen older, more experienced reservists. The Star received an advance copy of the text.

Again and again, the soldiers who were interviewed in the book insisted they were given little if any guidance about human-rights considerations before being sent into Gaza, which is ruled by the militant Islamist group Hamas.

Instead, they understood they were to do whatever seemed necessary to protect themselves, even if that meant shooting non-combatants without warning or destroying buildings without knowing who might be inside. The operation was aimed at stopping Palestinian militants from firing rockets at civilian targets in southern Israel.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have issued damning reports about the IDF’s conduct of the invasion, charging Israeli forces with possible war crimes.

The two reports also accuse Hamas of war crimes, including deliberate and sometimes deadly rocket attacks on civilian targets.

For its part, Israel insists its armed forces took heroic measures to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza, and it is not alone. Last month, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, Col. Richard Kemp, told a Jerusalem audience the IDF did more to safeguard the welfare of civilians during Operation Cast Lead “than any other army in the history of warfare.”

The IDF and its supporters point to measures the Israelis took to warn Palestinian civilians to flee areas about to come under attack. Those warnings were transmitted in Arabic by air-dropped leaflets, tens of thousands of phone calls, and loudspeakers.

The troops interviewed by Shaul’s organization mostly entered Gaza after such warnings were issued, and they appear to have operated on the assumption any Palestinian who remained behind rather than flee was an adversary, not an innocent. The ground troops consistently describe the use of massive Israeli firepower, even while acknowledging they encountered little Palestinian resistance.

The soldiers sometimes use a lurid vernacular, such as the terms “wet entry” and “dry entry” to distinguish between two different ways of securing the interior of a building.

A wet entry involves the use of considerable offensive weaponry prior to entering the building – in order to kill or disable anyone inside – while a dry entry bars the use of weapons until enemy personnel are actually encountered.

“Missiles, tank fire, machine-gun fire into the house, grenades,” said one of the soldiers, describing a typical wet entry. “Shoot as we enter a room. The idea was that, when we enter a house, no one there could fire at us.”

Shaul said it’s clear from the soldiers’ testimony that wet entries were the rule during the offensive.

Meanwhile, decisions about whether to demolish houses or other buildings seemed to follow no consistent military logic.

The book provides eyewitness accounts of three instances in which civilians were shot and killed more or less deliberately, including an elderly man who ventured near an Israeli-occupied house at night, carrying a flashlight.

No warning shots were fired in that episode, and no one shouted at the man to turn back. Instead, he was simply shot dead.

“Eventually, it turned out to be a mistake,” said one of the soldiers.

Asked to sum up his main reaction to the three-week operation, another soldier waxed philosophical.

“How people are able to watch others die or suffer,” he said. “How terribly easily you can grow indifferent to this. It’s like you can turn yourself off. The guy’s dead, let’s move on.”

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