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« Today's Obamameter: The Latest in US Foreign Policy (31 January) | Main | The Turkey-Israel Clash on Gaza: The American Jewish Committee Joins In »

The Latest from Israel-Gaza-Palestine (31 January)

Latest Post:The Turkey-Israel Clash on Gaza -The American Jewish Committee Joins In

11:20 p.m. Intriguing manoeuvres in Cairo. Earlier it was reported that Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas would be in Egypt on Sunday, at the same time that a Hamas delegation was in Egypt. Abbas' staff are now saying he will make an "unscheduled" stop in Cairo on Monday.

9:45 p.m. A potentially key development in the Middle East. I had heard, while in Dublin, of the high hopes of Obama officials for a breakthrough in relations with Syria. (You may recall that Damascus was an associate member of the Axis of Evil during the Dubya years, and the US pulled its ambassador after the 2005 killing of Lebanese leader Rafik Hariri by a car bomb.)

Well, today Syrian President Bashir al-Assad met a US Congressional delegation and called for a "positive" dialogue with Washington based on, echoing President Obama's Inaugural phrase, "common interests and mutual respect".

However, before getting too effusive about the "excellent beginning", as one Congressman called the meeting, US officials may want to note that part of Assad's manoeuvring is to get (and to take credit for) recognition of Hamas. So holding out the prospect of warmer relations with Washington, while it has many uses for Syria, is also being used as a lever in the Israel-Palestine process.

9:30 p.m. Egypt says it has installed cameras and motion sensors along the border with Gaza to stop smuggling through tunnels.

6:30 p.m. Palestinian Authorian leader Mahmoud Abbas, predictably, has rejected Hamas' calls for a dissolution of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and its replacement by a new umbrella Palestinian group: "[Hamas political director Khaled Meshaal's statements regarding the establishment of a new authority to replace the Palestine Liberation Organisation is an exercise in time-wasting. While he talks about establishing an organisation, he really wants to destroy what has been the voice (of the Palestinian people) for 44 years."

The PLO, founded in 1964, including Abbas' Fatah Party and other Palestinian political movements but not Hamas. Both Abbas and Hamas representatives are due in Cairo on Sunday for talks.

3:20 p.m. According to a Sydney reporter, the Israeli Ambassador to Australia has said,"The country's recent military offensives [in Gaza] were a preintroduction to the challenge Israel expects from a nuclear-equipped Iran within a year." Israel expects Tehran to "be at the point of no return" within 14 months.

3 p.m. Propaganda Story of the Day 2 (see 9:30 a.m.): Israeli military and officers are putting about the story that "an Iranian aid ship is now serving as a communications headquarters for Hamas".

The DEBKAfile, closely linked to Israeli services, added, "Iran has sent intelligence and Revolutionary Guards officers to Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, to help create a support system for the Iran Shahed's new communications purpose."

1:30 p.m. CNN's website has an update on the ongoing student demonstrations in Britain protesting the situation in Gaza. It's an article heavily tilted against the demos, focusing on the request of the National Union of Students call for an end to occupations and a supposed increase in hostility towards Jewish students.

10:25 a.m. Some good news. Despite the refusal of the BBC to air the Disaster Emergencies Committee appeal for aid to Gaza, the campaign has raised £3 million (more than $4 million) in its first week.

Morning Update (9:30 a.m.): Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is continuing his high-profile attack, which we've covered extensively, on Israel's policies in Gaza with an interview in The Washington Post: "Palestine today is an open-air prison."

Propaganda Story of the Day: The winner is in Israel's YNet News, "Thousands of al-Qaeda supporters active in Gaza". The sensationalist tale is based on information from two unnamed Palestinian sources.

A rocket from Gaza has landed near Ashkelon. There were no casualties.

Reader Comments (27)

Sorry. Why anybody no publish all news from Israel ??????????????
Sample : 07:30 Hamas Rockets lands in Ashkelon.

January 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSergey Vinokursky


Thank you. Please do send news. We posted on the rocket near Ashkelon when news came through via Reuters.


January 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterScott Lucas

I have read books,films etc on the holocaust.Day in day out I cant believe what I hear and read about what is going on in Gaza!

To me,Gaza is just like another Austwitz.The Germans did exactly what the Israelites are dooing to Gaza today.The Jews were rounded up into ghettos,refused proper nutrition,jailed or exterminated on the flimsiest of reasons,- the similarities go on and on.

Who says the jews did not fight back even with the everwhelming military superiority of the German?They certainly did and I have remained proud of them.

The world looked on then.Today,the world is looking on again.
Israel should mark my words:
The world will one day turn against them just like it did to the Germans and this will be soone than later.

The offspring of an abused parent should never be seen to abuse another!


January 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTouche

Quoting -- "The Germans did exactly what the Israelites are dooing to Gaza today."

This is beyond exaggeration.


Quoting -- "The world will one day turn against them just like it did to the Germans and this will be soone than later."

The world turned against the Jews then and it turns against them now. Very few places took Jews. My great uncle escaped to China and was later arrested by the Japanese.

January 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDave

History will ask these hypocratic leaders of the world including Mr. bush and all others who actually allowed this genocide. Evem Jews did not approve this genocide. Shame on one sided media who didnot tell the real stories of horififc Israeli actins. I ask the journalist of this world that where is your concious. This is not justification to their job. History will sure ask you and they will be ashamed on themselves.

January 31, 2009 | Unregistered Commentervase

Why on earth should Hammas acquiese to an erstwhile Fatah movement with arrant corruption.
Better to be the tail of the tiger ; than the head of the Jackass

January 31, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdon mac namara

Touche , How can you compare Gaza to Austwitz..?
It is amazing to me, that there is so much confusion over who the terrorists are. Hamas is a terrorist organization that condones and facilitates suicide bombings and will kill every Jew on the planet if they have the chance.
Israel is an energetic democracy with a vibrant press. Israel is a free country that abides by the rule of law. By contrast, if a writer were to go to Gaza or Iran, for instance, and start writing bad words, he might wind up on the news, dead.
Israel allows Christians and Arab Muslims to worship freely, while Hamas wants to see us all at the bottom of the sea. Hamas, supported by Iran, is clear about their goals: they want to wipe out Israel completely, utterly, with finality. But it's not just Israel that Hamas wants to kill; they want to kill all Jews everywhere.

January 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJames

Not another Hasbara lecture... You really have to try harder - all this stuff about wonderful democratic Israel just doesn't cut it anymore.

Try telling your handlers that Israeli politicians should stop talking of teaching the Gazans a lesson and blaming their horrific deaths on themselves, then I might believe it.

The press is so free in Israel, Gaza was literally swarming with foreign journalists during Israel's offensive, wasn't it?

Abide by the rule of the law? You have got to be kidding me, the army openly ignores the orders of your own Supreme Court, for goodness sake. Also over 10,000 political prisoners (including children as young as 12) in Israel's prisons, many refusniks arrested who are outspoken critics of the way Israel treats the Palestinians, building illegal settlements on land that is finally, openly admitted to still belong to the Palestinians it was stolen from... the list goes on and on...

There would be no need for Israel's formiddable propaganda machine if the truth wasn't so ugly. No need to worry though, there is little chance of anybody in the world seriously attempting to force Israel to uphold international or domestic law. Give it a rest, eh?

January 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMae

1. The reason journalists were kept out og Gaza during the IDF offensive is to protect their life and the life of the soldiers.
2.“”Today, Hamas gangs are unleashed like packs of animals on the streets of Gaza against Fatah members. Because the military bases and the prisons have been destroyed, they have turned Gaza schools, Al-Nasser Hospital, the radiology department at Shifa’ Hospital, Al-Aqsa University, and other places, including mosques, into centers for the detention, interrogation, and torture of Fatah members and members of other national Palestinian factions. ”
source :
3.You claim Israel "stole" the land....You need to read history books, not listen to Al Jazeera.
FYI ,Israel became a nation about 1300 BCE, two thousand years before the rise of Islam.

January 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJames

History 101
There has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians. Palestinians are Arabs indistinguishable from Arabs throughout the Middle East.
The Arabs in the area began identifying themselves as part of a "Palestinian "people in 1967, 19 years after the establishment of the modern State of Israel. Virtually all the Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza in the West Bank of Jordan River have complete autonomy under the rule of the Palestinian Authority.

January 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJames

What the Jews think about Gentiles (Non-Jews).

This article appeared in the magazine “Free At Last” under the title
American Law, Fact, Fraud,
and Insidious Insiders

“Galatians, 4:16: Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?”–

“We…continue to be amazed with the ease by which Christian Americans have fallen into our hands…naïve Americans…we have TAUGHT them to SUBMIT to our every demand…Americans have not had a presidential choice since 1932. Roosevelt was our man; every president since Roosevelt has been our man. We…have put issue upon issue to the American people. Then we PROMOTE BOTH SIDES of the issue as confusion reigns.
“With their eyes fixed on the issues, they fail to see who is BEHIND EVERY scene. We…toy with the American public as a cat toys with a mouse. The blood of the masses will flow as we wait for our day of WORLD victory…The naïve politicians in WASHINGTON are gullible. Most of them are not too bright…the powerful…lobbyists influenced…years ago (federal funds to aid Israel) and there is no one strong enough to stop it…some of that money is returned to the United States and spent on Zionist propaganda…through B’nai Brith…Conference of Jewish Organizations… World Jewish Congress…tax free so long as we are smart enough to get away with it…
“ANTI-SEMITISM does NOT signify opposition to Semitism. THERE IS NO SUCH THING. It is an expression we…use effectively as a SMEARWORD …used to brand…anyone who brings criticism against (us)…We use it against HATE-mongers… (we) do so. That’s all there is to it.
“…I’d say more than 90% (of us) know what is really happening to our people. We have COMMUNICATION unequalled…It is an established rule to destroy all members of pre-existing government…the Police, State Police, Army officers and their families and relatives…In Russia, there are TWO distinct GOVERNMENTS – one visible and the other invisible…The INVISIBLE rulers in the communist countries have a world CONTROL over the propaganda and the governments in free countries. The cultural and intellectual influence of Judaism is felt throughout the entire world…MONEY is more important than morality.
“We can accomplish anything with money…Israel can now win in any encounter…It will also be the base for World Government Headquarters. We CONTROL EVERY MEDIA of expression…newspaper , magazines, radio, television…even your music! We CENSOR…before long we will have COMPLETE CONTROL of your thinking…
“The richest plum…(we) took over the publication of ALL SCHOOL MATERIALS…could MOLD public opinion to suit OUR PURPOSES. The people are only stupid pigs that grunt and squeal the chants we give them…truth or lies. There is no silent majority…only thing that exists is an UNTHINKING majority and unthinking they will remain…their ESCAPE from our rigorous service is the opiate of our ENTERTAINMENT industry. We have castrated society through FEAR and INTIMIDATION. Its manhood exists only in combination with a feminine…appearance… being so neutered, the populace has become DOCILE and EASILY RULED…their thoughts…only with the present toil and the next meal…You have become addicted to our MEDICINE through which we have become your absolute masters.
“We pretty much CONTROL the U.N…There will be a forced class warfare here in the United States and many will be liquidated…I’m not boasting…I’m giving you the facts! It is TOO LATE for your Christian followers to put up a DEFENCE …Long, long ago we HAD to become the AGGRESSORS…that is undoubtedly one of our great PURPOSES in life…
“Religion…our CONTROL of the textbook industry…news media…able to hold ourselves up as AUTHORITIES…our rabbis now hold professorships in supposed Christian theological seminaries. We are amazed by the Christian’s stupidity …Judaism is not only the teaching of the synagogue, but also the doctrine of every Christian Church in America. Through our propaganda the church has become our most avid supporter…their believing in the lie that we are the ‘chosen people’ and they, the gentiles.” “These deluded children of the church defend us to the point of DESTROYING their own culture…The ignorant Christians…attack the crusaders even if they are members of their own families…Through our influence of religion we were able to involve the ignorant white Christians in WARS against themselves, which always impoverished both sides while we reaped a financial and political harvest…
“Through religion we have gained CONTROL of society, government and economics. The gullible clergy…instruct their parishioners that we are a special, chosen people…These PULPIT PARROTS extol our goodness for loaning them the MONEY to build their temples, never realizing that their own holy book condemns all USURY… pay our exorbitant INTEREST…they have led society into our CONTROL through the same practice.
“Politically, they hail the blessings of DEMOCRACY and never understand that through DEMOCRACY we have gained CONTROL…DEMOCRACY is mob-rule which we CONTROL through their churches, our news media and economic institutions…These RELIGIOUS PUPPET’S stupidity is only exceeded by their cowardice, for they are ruled easily…”
************ ********* ********* ********* ********* *
On Control, you may remember the 8/12/1976 sky-jacking of an Israeli jetliner in Istanbul, Turkey, in which four people were killed and some thirty injured. Aboard was the administrative assistant for then-U.S. Senator Jacob K. Javits (a Jew) of New York, 29 year-old Harold W. Rosenthal (a Jew), whose unfortunate murder that day was not from random bullets that killed the others. Evidence indicates that his was pre-planned, making me wonder if it was due to his lengthy, boastful interview with American Christian editor Walter White.
Please read the full interview at the following link. It is titled ”The Hidden Tyranny” and I hope from the brazen words above you will see why.
http://www.rense. com/general66/ rosen.htm

February 1, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterqazi

More than 5000 years ago the Celts, now thought to have come from Iberia, settled in the British Isles, the Romans conquered Britannia more than 2000 years ago, the Vikings made Scotland and large areas of England part of their domain and in the 6th century the Germanic tribes called the Angles, Jutes and Saxons settled everywhere, too. The Norsemen from Normandy conquered England in 1066. According to your logic, the Spanish, Italians, Germans, the Danes, Swedes, and the French can all lay a superior claim to the British Isles, and thus supersede the rights of the modern day population.

Furthermore, the United States admitted quite some time ago that it wronged the indigenous population when it expanded over its present territory - it was the land of the Native Americans. No-one sane in recent times has had the audacity to claim that because they had no nation state they had no right to the land. Statements denying the rights of indigenous peoples are today considered to belong to the oppressive, discriminatory practices of colonial powers.

Whatever the reasons behind keeping journalists out, one can not proclaim to have a free press and at the same time justify denying them access. Those two are mutually exclusive statements.

James, I have studied history, warts and all, however painful it might be to read about transgressions and crimes committed by humans in general and my own ancestors in particular without closing my eyes to facts I sincerely wished to be different. Might I respectfully suggest you approach a study of history in the same way.

Finally, the Middle East Media Research Institute is not a respectable source of news for me. I have read the human rights reports on human rights violations committed by both Fatah and Hamas in the past and will continue to read independently verified reports by reputable sources. They are well documented and do indeed show crimes committed by both sides. However, this is not relevant when talking about human rights violations committed by Israel. A democratic country must honour international law and human rights lest it be judged as harshly as the terrorists it seeks to destroy. What else is there but a dedication to the law and human rights to distinguish one from the other?

February 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMae

Thanks for taking your time to answer me, I do not agree with you,but I do respect your opinion. I served in the IDF years ago, and I can tell you they have very strict rulls of conduct regarding civilians. It it very hard to fight an enemy that does not wear uniforms and hides behind civilians.The Middle East is a different kind of neighbourhood. You have to be tough in order to survive.
Thank you

To Gazi, are some kind of Nazi?

February 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJames


do not know if the comment below was intended for me , someone else or a nore generic automated response.

I served as a doctor with UNIFIL on 6 tours of duty between 1981 -1999
I am Irish . Our battalion was located in Tibnine S. Lebanon.

Perhaps you are familiar with " Operation Grapes of Wrath " ?1996 Qana . S. Lebanon
We were called in to help pick up the pieces .Bits of children. Piling them into body bags while frantic parents tried to identify their mangled little bodies. Then zipping them up in adult body bags to be burried before dawn.

My father served as a dentist throughout WW2 .. Normandy - D Day - Italy , finally the Battle of el alemhein ( ?spell )

When I spoke to him some years after grapes of wrath - he who had attended the Neurenberg trials said - Is this what so many died for ??

When you can justify operation Grapes of Wrath with your God ,- not till then you can expect clemency from a suspicious world .
Until then your army , your officers , your politicians are the lowest form of being in modern democracies .
Your army does not deserve to be called such - a killing machine is more the appropriate term , and one I feel sure you are immensely proud of.

Finally, during the UNIFIL years , I treated without favour patients on both sides of the conflict ; some survived . Many died.

If you saw or had to deal with the consequences of your bullets , and unless you are a barbarian , you would never take up a gun again.

Sharon , who lies in a coma , had no such compunctions .
The Israeli refusnicks , however do.
And some of them languish in jails, or at least did so until they became an embarrassment to the State.
Why do you suppose that might be ?



February 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdon mac namara

The UN is one of the most Corrupt organization in the world.
Any organization that can condemn Israel for defending her people while turning a blind eye to suicide bombers, indiscriminate rockets, and threats of annihilation has to be corrupt.
Are talking about the same UNIFIL that was accused of complicity in the fatal abduction of IDF soldiers in October 2000?

February 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJames


The UNIFIL I belonged to was the one which was awarded the Nobel Peace 1989

I am happy to have received the medal one - among the some few thousand soldiers who did . It has not , I notice , been awarded to the IDF, which you seem so proud of.

I do not feel the need to wear any medals however.

But I suppose the Nobel Selectors are corrupt too. As is I presume the International Criminal Courts ,Amnesty International; International Court of Human Rights .-all corrupt ?

It kind of leaves Israel out on a perch does it not.?

But you have made no attempt to explain Operation Grapes of Wrath .
Is this something you rather not attempt to explain.?
Is it the IDF's defining moment ?

No Comment of the little bodies in the adult body bags.
Is it something you do approve of but rather not say ?

Stick to the point .
I will.
I assure you I will. I will never let your country forget what I saw up front .
So please confine your remarks to addressing my points .
You could easily do so in one comment .
Deal with the Operation Grapes of Wrath , Qana , Lebanon 1996.
And maybe offer us an explanation as to why the IDF has not been awarded the Nobel Peace prize.

February 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdon mac namara

Amnesty International was largely silent on some of the members of the UN HRC a few years back. Saudi Arabia, Libya, Cuba, DRC, Russia. Some of these countries perpretrate the worst abuses. From what I remember, Amnesty Int. didn't seem to have any reaction to their presence on the commission. That speaks volumes... It is not impartial. It's got an obvious bias against the United States. So why not Israel?

February 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDave

Operation Grapes of Wrath ? Your comments . Please !
Dave ,
Try to avoid further evasion .

February 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdon mac namara

Relax, you may get a heart attack..
You are asking me to comment on somthing that happened in 1996, I was'nt there.
I do regret for the loss of innocent lives. From what I read about it, Hezbollah positions were next to the UN compound . War is an ugly thing, and mistakes happen.
The IDF does not target civilians. On the other hand, Hamas and Hizbollah do target civilians.
I did not hear you condemn the Arab terror group that send suicide bombers into school buses, shopping malls, and restaurants.
I did not hear you condemn Hamas for shooting rockets into Israeli towns and for using women and children as shields when Israel finally retaliates.

February 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJames

Israel alleges Hamas is using civilians as human shields, the Western media reports it as fact, but there is to date no independent evidence corroborating this claim. Instead, when asked for evidence, they point to civilians who protect buildings or people by standing in front of them. While for the rest of the world this is considered a time-honoured frequently used practice of non-violent protest, Israel brands it as terrorism. I guess Rachel Corrie was a terrorist, too, when she was run over by an Israeli bulldozer because she tried to protect a Palestinian house. Incidentally, the same claims were made by Israel regarding Hezbollah and no evidence was ever found to support it. But do you know about the Israeli Supreme Court order from 24 October 2005? The Israeli army was then banned from using civilians as human shields but they keep on doing it.

Thank you, James, for bringing up the rockets attack on Israeli civilians, which I condemn wholeheartedly. Do you condemn the attacks by the Israeli army which since 2000 have killed more than 6000 Palestinians, including more than 1000 children and maimed tens of thousands? Here, for instance, is information on Israel firing 14,600 shells into the Gaza strip between 9/05 and 5/07? Palestinian militant groups (not Hamas alone) fired 8000 rockets in 8 years. How many bombs, rockets and shells have been fired into the Gaza strip in the last eight years? In January 2009? How many 2000lb bombs have been fired by the Palestinians destroying synagogues, schools, hospitals, houses?

February 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMae

James ,
It was 1996, I was there .
It was a UN erected tent ( Rub- Hall) where the citizens of Qana had fled.
- You read about it - I was there .
Over 100 civillians were slaughtered.It had the UN flag flying from its roof .
There was a Red Cross facility within 40 meters.

You were not there ; This mutes your voice in condemning it - why ? Because you read something ? Have you read the Israeli army whitewash of this atrocity.
You can dismiss something that happened 12 years ago and yet never cease from blaming Europe for something that happened over 70 years ago.

The UNIFIL mission were awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 1989. I hold one such medal. I am presuming you do not. But , that was 1989.

An Isreali General Doron Almog had flown to the UK in September 2005 for social and charitable visits to Jewish communities in Manchester. The Metropolitan Police, acting to execute a warrant for his arrest for war crimes attempted to board the plane and arrest Gen ALMOG .
To avert endangering civilians the UK police did not enter the plane , the remaining passengers disembarked and the General was flown back to Israel, rather than face his captors and the courts.
Why did he flee back to Israel James - Could the charges have stuck ? So the brave General flees from captivity and the courts as a coward .
Why do you suppose he did that James ; It must have been a lonely journey home for a man who had come over for a charitable event !
But that was 2005.

When were you there ? What did you participate in ?
No soldier would be expected to answer these questions, but the UNCHR have your army in their cross hairs.

But they don't matter because you are the "chosen people "

Why is it that with the exception the support of the USA your state is the most reviled on the planet ?- isolated as it is between the Mediteranian and a slew of Arab states who treat you with deep distrust and no respect. With the exception of tacit arrangement with Egypt you have no friendly neighboring state.
Why do you suppose that is ?

More atrocities will be proven when Omert stands down to face charges of corruption.
It will come as some comfort to you , I expect that if the charges are proven , you will have been led to war by a criminal.


February 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdon mac namara

"Why is it that with the exception the support of the USA your state is the most reviled on the planet ?- isolated as it is between the Mediteranian and a slew of Arab states who treat you with deep distrust and no respect. With the exception of tacit arrangement with Egypt you have no friendly neighboring state.
Why do you suppose that is ?"


Look at how the Arabs treat their own minority groups -- Jews, Coptics and others. If they treat them like dirt, then how do you think they're going to treat a Jewish state that sits on their front lawn?

February 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDave

You are a bigot who condemns Israel for killing Arab children when they respond to countless missile attacks, yet you never seem to condemn the Arabs for either firing those missiles or for using women and children as shields when Israel retaliates.

February 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJames

James ,
At last you've said it . I'm a bigot .

I've been waiting for that ; I'm surprised it took you so long to show your hand.

And I'm even more surprised that you didn't make the Hitler - comparison .
That would have been next in this algorithmically deteriorating rhetoric.

Which is where I leave you now James.

"An te nach bhuil laidair , ni folair do bheith glic."
(Ancient Gaelic Proverb)

February 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdon mac namara

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