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2 Palestinians killed, 4 injured in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza Strip

Press TV – October 13, 2012

At least two Palestinians have been killed and four others, including a child, injured in the latest wave of Israeli airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip, Press TV reports.

A remote-controlled Israeli assassination drone fired a missile at an unidentified man riding a motorcycle in the northern town of Jabaliya on Saturday, killing him on the spot.

Another man was mortally wounded in the attack. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

Following the deadly strike, another Israeli military aircraft struck a target in the Zeitoun district of southern Gaza City.

Four people, including a child, were injured in the attack, and scores of women and children went into a state of shock.

Early on Saturday morning, Israeli fighter jets targeted three sites in northern and central areas of the Gaza Strip. However, there were no reports of casualties.

On Thursday, Israel carried out an airstrike on a neighborhood in the northern Gaza Strip.

The target was a security facility of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.

The Israeli military frequently bombs the Gaza Strip, saying the actions are being conducted for defensive purposes. However, disproportionate force is always used, in violation of international law, and civilians are often killed or injured.

Gaza has been blockaded since 2007, a situation that has caused a decline in the standard of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty.

The apartheid regime of Israel denies about 1.7 million people in Gaza their basic rights, such as freedom of movement, jobs that pay proper wages, and adequate healthcare and education.

October 13, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , , | 1 Comment

The EU accelerates trade with Israel, despite human rights abuses

By Amelia Smith | MEMO | October 13, 2012

The EU accelerates trade with Israel, despite human rights abusesThe EU’s 500 million citizens account for about 60% of Israel’s total trade. Europe is Israel’s largest source of imports and its second biggest export market, second only to the United States.

That’s a lot of bargaining potential when it comes to addressing Israel’s bullish behaviour in the Middle East. A boycott of Israeli goods for example, could finally push Israel to stop its breaches of international law.

But instead of exercising this negotiating clout, the EU is actually planning to boost trade between them through the Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products (ACAA). They would rather maintain, or make worse, the status quo than address human rights violations.

If it is permitted, the agreement will reduce practical barriers, which currently stand in the way of trade, and make the flow of goods between Israel and the EU easier. Whether the deal in question will materialise depends on an imminent European Parliamentary vote, and could be approved by the end of the month.

ACAA’s supporters argue that it is simply a “technical” measure. That the benefits of such a system could offer greater health related goods, considering the agreement is limited to pharmaceutical produce.

But does anyone actually believe that it will continue to apply only to medicine? It won’t stop here. It will be a stepping-stone, and could pave the way for many other types of merchandise.

Whilst the agreement will improve Israel’s economic integration into the EU’s single market and enhance co-operation between the countries, it will do so at the expense of Palestinians’ well-being.

Reverence for human rights is the EU’s motto, it is supposed to run through the core of everything it does, especially foreign policy. Take Turkey for example, whose human rights record has long prevented its entry into the EU.

It is strange then that Israel should be treated so differently. Which part of the separation wall and the torrent of human rights abuses that occur from its presence, have those who are poised to sign the agreement missed about Israel? Their expansion policies in the West Bank and the demolition of Palestinian homes are not civil liberties. Sadly, it seems Israel will continue to be a member of the elite club regardless.

If the economic interest of big powers wins over local interests it will be nothing new; think Germany and its contract to sell nuclear-tipped submarines to Israel. Angela Merkel may have asked Benjamin Netanyahu to halt settlement activity and build a sewage treatment plant in the Gaza Strip in exchange, but none of these conditions have been met.

Ironically, today the European Union won the Nobel Peace Prize for encouraging peace in Europe. As he pronounced the award, committee president Thorbjoern Jagland commended the EU for encouraging “peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights.”

But the prize’s recipients are often steeped in controversy; Obama once balanced the trophy in one hand and two wars in the other.

Follow Amelia on Twitter: @amyinthedesert

October 13, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | Leave a comment

Montana SWAT raid leaves 12-year-old girl with second-degree burns

RT | October 13, 2012

The parents of a 12-year-old girl are asking for answers from the Billings, Montana SWAT team after a flash-bang grenade was tossed into their daughter’s bedroom, sending the preteen to a local emergency room with second-degree burns.

Armed police officers busted down the door of the Fasching family’s West End Billings home on Tuesday to execute a search warrant filed by the City-County Special Investigations Unit as part of an ongoing narcotics investigation. Before they could do as much, though, an agent with the SWAT team on the scene prematurely detonated a stun grenade that is reported to have caused not just substantial damage to the home but its occupants as well, including a 12-year-old girl only inches away from where the device was deployed.

“She has first- and second-degree burns down the left side of her body and on her arms,” mother Jackie Fasching tells The Missoulian newspaper. “She’s got severe pain. Every time I think about it, it brings tears to my eyes.”

The girl, whose name is being withheld, was in her sister’s room when the SWAT team stormed the house early Tuesday. And while she has since been treated and released twice from a local hospital, pictures from the aftermath provided to the Missoulian by her parents show that the family didn’t suffer from just a minor mishap.

“I’m going to have to take them to counseling,” Mrs. Fasching says. “They’re never going to get over that.”

The early-morning raid occurred at around 6 a.m. when the entire family was home, and while the Billings Police Department says they took all precautions to minimize injury, they’re now apologizing for the injury their misconduct has caused.

“It was totally unforeseen, totally unplanned and extremely regrettable,” Police Chief Rich St. John tells the paper. “We certainly did not want a juvenile, or anyone else for that matter, to get injured.”

According to the story the department has provided to the paper, a member of the SWAT team accidently dropped a standard “flash-bang” grenade from a metal pole placed up to a bedroom window of the house without realizing that the device operated off a slight delay. The weapons are regularly used to disorient people in the immediate vicinity with a bright flash, loud bang and concussive blast, the paper writes. When it detonated inside the Fasching home, though, it was on the floor next the child.

Jackie Fasching says all of this could have been avoided if the police would have just used their manners.

“A simple knock on the door and I would’ve let them in,” she tells the paper. “They said their intel told them there was a meth lab at our house. If they would’ve checked, they would’ve known there’s not.”

Chief St. John says that the amount and significance of intelligence made available to the department was enough to warrant a raid either way, and said that the department weighed their investigation carefully before determining that a surprise visit was the best way to search the house.

“Every bit of information and intelligence that we have comes together and we determine what kind of risk is there,” he tells the Missoulian. “The warrant was based on some hard evidence and everything we knew at the time.”

“If we’re wrong or made a mistake, then we’re going to take care of it,” he adds. “But if it determines we’re not, then we’ll go with that. When we do this, we want to ensure the safety of not only the officers, but the residents inside.”

Three days after the raid, the department has yet to file any charges against members of the Fasching household and no one in the family has been taken into custody.

~~~

See also image of the indention produced by the grenade on the bedroom wall.

October 13, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

Obama Executive Order allows seizure of Americans’ bank accounts

Press TV – October 13, 2012

The latest executive order (EO) emanating from the White House October 9 now claims the power to freeze all bank accounts and stop any related financial transactions that a “sanctioned person” may own or try to perform – all in the name of “Iran Sanctions.”

Titled an “Executive Order from the President regarding Authorizing the Implementation of Certain Sanctions…” the order says that if an individual is declared by the president, the secretary of state, or the secretary of the treasury to be a “sanctioned person,” he (or she) will be unable to obtain access to his accounts, will be unable to process any loans (or make them), or move them to any other financial institution inside or outside the United States. In other words, his financial resources will have successfully been completely frozen.

The EO expands its authority by making him unable to use any third party such as “a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, subgroup or other organization” that might wish to help him or allow him to obtain access to his funds.

And if the individual so “sanctioned” decides that the ruling is unfair, he isn’t allowed to sue. In two words, the individual has successfully been robbed blind. – The New American

HIGHLIGHTS

Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) called EOs patently unconstitutional. When asked about them by Fox News’ Megan Kelly, Paul said:

“The Constitution says that only Congress passes laws. The executive branch is not allowed to pass laws, nor should the judicial system pass laws. So it is clearly unconstitutional to issue these executive orders,” Paul said.

“They’ve been done for a long time, both parties have done it, but the Congress is careless. They allow and encourage and do these deals … to get the president to circumvent the Congress. If something’s unpopular and he can’t get it passed, well, let’s just sign an executive order. So I think that is blatantly wrong. I think this defies everything the founders intended. I think it’s a shame that Congress does it, and I think it’s a shame that the American people put up with it,” he added.

The most outrageous executive order of all time was that issued by President Roosevelt that allowed the enforced internment of 120,000 Japanese-Americans. – Prison Planet

FACTS & FIGURES

The United States has long barred U.S. firms from doing business with Iran, but last December adopted measures that forced international buyers of Iranian oil to cut their purchases. – Economic Times

In August, a second package of sanctions added further restrictions for international banks, insurance companies and oil traders.

The U.S., Israel and their allies say Tehran may intend to use its nuclear capability to produce nuclear weapons, a claim Iran rejects. Tehran insists its program is completely peaceful.

October 13, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 5 Comments

An Immodest Proposal for the Nobel Peace Prize Committee

NATO in 2013!

By DIANA JOHNSTONE and JEAN BRICMONT | CounterPunch | October 12, 2012

The Norwegian parliamentarians have just awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union.  Now, Norway is one of the few Western European countries that does not belong to the EU.  So we suspect that the Norwegians’ modesty held them back from nominating the organization which deep down they believe truly merits the prize, NATO, because they belong to it.  The self-effacing Norwegians may have feared that such a choice would seem to be awarding the Prize to themselves. So they gave the prize to the EU as a sort of substitute.

That is laudable, and shows how much the Norwegians adhere to our common Western values.

However, we maintain that false modesty should not stand in the way of rewarding genuine merit.  Therefore, we propose that all those who cherish our common values should unite behind this immodest proposal: award the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize to NATO!

The wise Norwegians justify their choice by pointing out that the European Union has promoted European integration.  But if one looks at the facts, it is clear that NATO has integrated even more countries than the EU, and continues to do so, well beyond the provincial limits of Western Europe.  The EU has integrated Europe by economic means, which even the Nobel committee admits are collapsing.  NATO, on the other hand, has used bombs and missiles, to win former Yugoslavia over to our values, whereas the EU lags behind.  NATO has used its naval and air forces to democratize Libya, whereas the European Union leaders only justified the operation with mere words.  And today, thanks to Turkey, NATO is actively involved in combating the Syrian dictator who murders his own people, while the EU still merely talks and sends money which it doesn’t have.

The Norwegians praise the EU for combating the evil of nationalism, which they fear is on the rise.  However, in all honesty, the EU contribution to this noble cause is paltry, involving only a few declining nations on the tip of the Eurasian continent.  How much more inspiring is NATO’s mission of combating nationalism by bringing its benevolent rule of democracy and human rights to the whole world!  It is only when all nations and nationalisms have been brought under the governance of Western values that true peace will finally reign over our planet.

On the eve of the hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of World War I, what could be more fitting than to award this prestigious Peace Prize to the organization that is truly ready and willing to END ALL WARS!

NATO in 2013!!!

Diana Johnstone can be reached at diana.josto@yahoo.fr

Jean Bricmont can be reached at jean.bricmont@uclouvain.be

October 13, 2012 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism | , , , , | Leave a comment

EU set to impose new anti-Iran bans despite UN warning

Press TV – October 13, 2012

The European Union has provisionally approved new embargoes against Iran over its nuclear energy program, despite a UN warning against the humanitarian repercussions of the sanctions already in place.

The Friday motion will have to be formally ratified on Monday at an EU foreign ministers’ session in Luxembourg before coming to effect.

According to EU diplomats, the new measures target Tehran’s banking sector, industry and shipping.

The new embargoes will oblige European traders to obtain the authorizations of their respective governments prior to financing any permitted business transaction with Iran.

The bloc will also ban its member states from selling metals and graphites, a steel component, to Iran and providing the country with ship manufacturing know-how, oil-storage technology as well as flagging and classification services to Iranian tankers.

Based on the new motion, the EU will also freeze the assets of 34 Iranian companies.

The bloc’s new move comes in defiance of the UN chief’s recent remarks about the humanitarian ramifications of the previously-imposed embargoes. Ban Ki-moon warned on October 5 that the West’s sanctions have mainly targeted the livelihood of the ordinary Iranian population.

On Wednesday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei described the West’s embargoes as “illogical” and “barbaric.”

This is while the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee awarded its 2012 Peace Prize to the EU on Friday.

Following the West’s embargoes on Iran’s banking, the imports of more than fifty kinds of badly needed medicine for people who suffer from certain diseases such as children’s cancer, thalassemia, multiple sclerosis (MS), and respiratory and heart diseases, have declined drastically.

October 13, 2012 Posted by | Aletho News | Leave a comment