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Kosovo Liberation Army harvested Serb organs – EU inquiry

RT | July 29, 2014

An inquiry by the EU has found “compelling indications” that ten Serb captives had their body organs harvested for illegal trafficking during the 1998-99 Kosovo war. However, it wasn’t widespread and there will be no trial, the lead investigator said.

The chief prosecutor Clint Williamson, who led the investigation, said there was no evidence of widespread organ harvesting, but that the crime had occurred a number of times.

“There are compelling indications that this practice did occur on a very limited scale and that a small number of individuals were killed for the purpose of extracting and trafficking their organs,” he told journalists. However, he added that there would not be enough evidence at the moment to prosecute the alleged crimes.

The revelation was part of a presentation on a 2 1/2 year investigation into atrocities that also largely confirmed human right reports that there was a campaign of persecution against Serb, Roma and other minorities by some people in the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).

The investigation was prompted by a 2011 report by Council of Europe member Dick Marty that accused senior KLA commanders of involvement in the smuggling of Serb prisoners into northern Albania and the removal of their organs for sale.

Kosovo’s Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, himself a former KLA leader who was named in Marty’s report, has dismissed the accusations as an attempt to tarnish the Kosovo Albanian fight for independence.

“The government of the Republic of Kosovo appreciates the completion of the ambassador Williamson’s work, which is an important step to determine potential individual responsibility and gives an end to the claims of the unfounded charges,” Tachi said.

However, Williamson bitterly complained that the investigation had been made far more difficult because of “a climate of intimidation that seeks to undermine any investigations of individuals associated with the former Kosovo Liberation Army.”

Williamson did say the Special Investigative Task Force would in future be “in a position to file an indictment against certain senior officials of the former Kosovo Liberation Army” for a series of crimes, including killings, disappearances, camp detentions and sexual violence.

Without naming any individuals, Williamson said that “there are compelling indications that this practice did occur. He went to lengths to make clear the alleged harvesting was not a wholesale practice, rejecting claims of hundreds of victims. Some 400 people, mostly Kosovo Serbs, disappeared near the end of the war, AP reports.

Just over 2,000 Serbs are believed to have been killed during and immediately after the war.

Serbia has vowed never to recognize the independence of its former province, which many Serbians consider their nation’s heartland, after it declared independence in 2008. It is also not recognized by dozens of country’s worldwide, including Russia.

In Belgrade, Serbia’s war crimes prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic told The Associated Press that Tuesday’s announcement “crowns a big effort on our part and shows that we were right when we said that war crimes had been committed and that organ trafficking took place.”

July 30, 2014 Posted by | Corruption, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

How sanctions will affect the West’s $35bn invested in Russian oil

RT | July 30, 2014

The US and EU have banned the export to Russia of hi-tech oil equipment needed in Arctic, deep sea, and shale extraction projects. This will leave Western companies, which have an estimated $35 billion invested in Russian oil, in a bind.

New stage three sanctions won’t immediately slash Russian oil production, which at 10.55 million barrels per day is the world’s largest, but could derail future foreign investment in Russia’s oil industry. Russia is home to the largest combined oil and gas reserves in the world.

The US and the 28 EU countries hope to influence Moscow’s foreign policy in eastern Ukraine.

New restrictions “will make it more difficult for Russia to develop its oil resources over the long term,” President Barack Obama said as he unveiled the new tough regime.

The sanctions will hit the heart of Russia’s economy- oil, but not touch the gas sector. Together, the two make up more than 50 percent of revenues for the Russian state. Russia has an estimated $7.5 trillion in oil and gas resources, many of which require Western oil technology to extract.

Obama said he wanted the sanctions “to bite.”

The sanctions won’t only bite at Russia, but Western oil companies like BP and ExxonMobil, and equipment suppliers may fall victim to the oil technology ban.

Introduction of EU sanctions against the Russian energy sector will drive up European energy prices, the Russian Foreign Ministry warned on Wednesday.

BP

BP is one of the most exposed to the Russian market, after the UK-based company bought a 19.75 percent stake in the state oil company Rosneft, a company already on Obama’s sanctions list.

Previously, BP insisted it was “business as usual” with Russia, but the sectoral sanctions could derail the company’s strategy in Russia, where it sources nearly one-third of its global oil production.

“Any future erosion of our relationship with Rosneft, or the impact of further economic sanctions, could adversely impact our business and strategic objectives in Russia, the level of our income, production and reserves, our investment in Rosneft and our reputation,” BP said on Wednesday, before the heavy-handed sanctions were announced.

The same day, the British energy company reported a big bump in second quarter profits, which rose 25.3 percent to $3.23 billion.

In June, Rosneft agreed to supply BP with up to 12 million tons of oil and oil products over 5 years. The deal assumes a prepayment of at least $1.5 billion.

ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil has been present in the Russian market for over 20 years. In partnership with Rosneft, the Texas-based oil major has many projects in Russia underway- including the $500 billion exploration of the Bazhenov oil field in Western Siberia, and a $15 billion liquefied natural gas terminal in Russia’s Far East.

If forced to quit Russia, Exxon could pull out as much as $1 billion in funds intended to go to offshore Arctic and fracking projects in Siberia, Bloomberg News reported.

After the sanctions were announced, Rosneft Chairman Alexander Nekipelov said ExxonMobil may suspend cooperation with Rosneft, but only in an extreme situation.

“As far as we know, Exxon does not have plans to stop cooperation with Rosneft, and we hope the situation will not go that far,” Nekipelov said.

“We are assessing the impact of the sanctions,” Alan Jeffers, an Exxon spokesman, told Bloomberg News via email.

Nekipelov said the American company doesn’t want to give up its joint projects with Rosneft- it has already invested too much.

In May, the two companies agreed on four Arctic exploration projects. Additionally, ExxonMobil and Rosneft will operate a new joint offshore drilling rig in the Kara Sea, where the two companies have rights to over 11.3 million acres of Russia’s Pacific Ocean waters. The company also has a substantial stake in the Far East Sakhalin oil project, which covers 85,000 acres.

Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson hasn’t made any official comment on the new sanctions.

Total

France’ oil major and largest company, Total, has huge operations in Russia, its fourth largest market. The morning after the sanctions, the group’s stock dipped 2.66 percent in Paris. On Wednesday, the company reported an estimated second quarter net profit drop of 12 percent

Total owns about 18 percent of Novatek, Russia’s second largest gas producer, which was affected in the previous round of US sanctions.

“We stopped buying shares in Novatek the day of the airplane accident after considering all the uncertainty that it created,” the French company’s CEO said in the earnings call on Wednesday.

Novatek leads the $27 billion Yamal LNG project with Total, along with China’s CNPC. The South-Tambeyskoye field has an estimated 492 billion cubic meters of proven gas reserves.

Russia is “a great oil and gas country and we’ll have to wait and see the nature of these new sanctions first,” the CEO said on Wednesday, adding it was a “crucial” market.

The project is highly dependent on US technology and will experience serious difficulties if sanctions are imposed.

Total expects its hydrocarbon production in Russia to rise to 400,000 barrels a day from 207,000 barrels in 2013.

Halliburton and Schlumberger

Blocking the exports of specific goods and technology to Russia is going to squeeze the world’s largest oil service and equipment companies- both US-based- which depend on Russia for sales.

Halliburton relies on Russia for 4-5 percent of global sales, and Schlumberger generates 5-6 percent, according to an estimate by RBC Capital Markets.

Both oilfield service groups, which provide Russia with horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technology, could lose sales because of sanctions, but they won’t be driven out all together.

The stock price has dropped for both companies after the sanctions were announced- Halliburton is down 1.95 percent, and Schlumberger dipped 0.70 percent.

Dick Cheney, former US Vice President, and avid Russia critic, served as Halliburton’s CEO through 2000.

READ MORE: EU and US impose new round of sanctions on Russia over Ukraine

July 30, 2014 Posted by | Economics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mystery Surrounds U.S. Justice Department Move to Wrap Anti-Iran Group in Shroud of Secrecy

By Noel Brinkerhoff and Steve Straehley | AllGov | July 30, 2014

The U.S. Department of Justice has drawn attention to itself for helping an organization opposed to Iran maintain secrecy of its records, which are caught up in a defamation lawsuit filed against the group.

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) was founded six years ago and is operated by and gets advice from a who’s who list of American and foreign politicos, including former U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman; Frances Townsend, the former homeland security adviser to President George W. Bush; Dennis Ross, a former Middle East adviser to both Republican and Democratic presidents; plus former intelligence chiefs from Israel, Germany and Britain.

Victor Restis, a Greek shipping magnate accused by UANI of violating sanctions by doing business with Iran, filed a defamation suit against the group. Restis’ lawyers have sought to compel UANI to release information about its donors and other details.

But the Justice Department stepped in and asked a federal judge to block the request, claiming the records contain sensitive information that the government considers important. Federal attorneys insisted “that certain information” would jeopardize law enforcement investigations, expose investigative techniques or identify confidential sources if released, according to The New York Times.

U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos in New York City granted the government’s request, while also describing the U.S. government’s involvement as “very curious.” The Justice Department has until July 31 to claim law enforcement privilege and keep the information from being disclosed permanently. In the meantime, each side has hurled charges and countercharges at the other.

“I am particularly concerned,” Ramos said in April, “that the defendants are able to utilize certain information in its public statements, and then not have to answer to their actions on the basis of a privilege.”

The claim of privilege puts the Justice Department in a conundrum. Federal intelligence agencies are not supposed to work with outside agencies to influence U.S. public opinion. But if UANI hasn’t been working with the government, what information could it have that would be so sensitive? We might find out on Thursday.

July 30, 2014 Posted by | Corruption, Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Progressive Hypocrite, Wars for Israel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Gaza Ministry of Health: Israeli attack on crowded market during ceasefire is ‘barbarity personified’

Gaza Ministry of Health | July 30, 2014

Gaza, Occupied Palestine – Ministry of Health Gaza is outraged at the Israeli massacre perpetrated during the so-called humanitarian ceasefire, when F-16s fired missiles into the crowded Shujeiyah market as hundreds took advantage of the lull to buy food and supplies.

At least 17 people have been killed and 200 injured.

“This atrocity is barbarity personified,” said Director General, Ministry of Health Dr Medhat Abbas.

Not satisfied with exterminating entire families in their own homes, not satisfied with killing people praying in mosques, not satisfied with killing patients, staff and visitors in hospitals, not satisfied with killing ambulance drivers as they retrieve the dead and injured, not satisfied with killing women and children sheltering in UNRWA school, the Israeli death machine now blatantly attacks a crowded public market DURING a humanitarian ceasefire, in an unrivaled cruel and cynical exercise of savagery and barbarism.

The Ministry of Health Gaza condemns this latest atrocity in the strongest possible terms, and considers that any further prevarication by the international community can only be seen as complicity in the increasingly barbaric and clearly genocidal war crimes being visited on the citizenry of Gaza.

The Ministry demands immediate international intervention to bring the rogue ‘state’ of Israel under control, and an immediate end to its carnage in Gaza.

July 30, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

Is killing civilians part of Israel’s plan?

By Jonathon Cook | The Blog from Nazareth | July 30, 2014

Another day, another UN school hit by Israeli shelling in Gaza. Israel’s attack this morning killed at least 16 civilians sheltering at the school and wounded dozens. The casualties figures are expected to rise.

Israel and even most of its critics tell us that the civilian casualties are accidental, caused by Israel’s need to wage its war against Hamas in heavily built-up areas of Gaza. Israel is accused of “disproportionality”, or of recklessness, or of inflicting unfortunate collateral damage.

But here’s another possibility: that the people of Gaza, not just Hamas, are the target. That Israel’s generals don’t see much difference between the two.

Israel’s army is “degrading” – or “mowing the lawn”, in even worse military parlance – Gaza’s ability to resist. Not Hamas’ abilities, but Gaza’s. Because the problem lies not with Hamas. Hamas is simply a symptom, of the people of Gaza’s determination to liberate themselves from Israel’s siege.

That is why the power plant was destroyed yesterday. That is why Israel has been starving Gaza for years through its siege, limiting the entry of basic foods and counting the minimum calories people need for bare survival – putting them on a diet, as one senior adviser jokingly termed it. That is why Gaza’s infrastructure is being trashed – the notorious Dahiya doctrine, devised by Israeli generals in 2006 as way to force hostile populations back into the Stone Age, keeping them preoccupied with the essentials of life rather than demanding, or fighting, for their rights.

Israel knows it cannot destroy Hamas’ will to resist without destroying Gaza’s will to resist too. And that is what it looks like we are seeing played out here day-in, day-out. Civilians, it seems, must die to teach Gaza a lesson: you will submit.

http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=716936

July 30, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Blood of Palestine is on the Hands of the Bribe-Takers

By Anthony Lawson | July 30, 2014

July 30, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , , | 2 Comments

Zionism’s Prior Condition: Propaganda

By Nima Shirazi | Wide Asleep in America | July 29, 2014

“Propaganda by its very nature is an enterprise for perverting the significance of events and of insinuating false intentions…The propagandist will not accuse the enemy of just any misdeed; he will accuse him of the very intention that he himself has and of trying to commit the very crime that he himself is about to commit. He who wants to provoke a war not only proclaims his own peaceful intentions but also accuses the other party of provocation.” – Jacques Ellul, Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes, 1965

As Israeli war crimes continue unabated – at the time of this writing, nearly 1100 human beings in the besieged Gaza Strip, the vast majority of whom are civilians, have already been slaughtered by their occupiers; over 6,200 have been wounded – Israeli lies too keep piling up.

Despite what Israeli spokespeople and their dutiful, compliant, and prostrate puppets in the media continue to claim, Hamas was not responsible for the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers last month. Hamas did not break the 2012 ceasefire, Israel did. Hamas is not forcing Palestinians to act as “human shields.” Israel is not acting in self-defense when it bombs hospitals, schools, ambulances, mosques, homes, refugee camps, parks, or a zoo. The “terror tunnels” which Israel apparently needs to murder hundreds and hundreds of men, women, and children in order to destroy pose essentially no threat whatsoever to Israeli civilians. The list goes on and on.

Israel’s ongoing massacre cannot continue without a steady barrage of hasbara – what Zionists, in their Orwellian glory, refer to as “public diplomacy,” but which is merely propaganda to justify the indefensible, inexcusable, and unspeakable. That is, the promotion of a 19th century, colonial European ideology of ethnic, religious, and racial superiority, imposed upon an indigenous population through military conquest and a campaign of ethnic cleansing, displacement, dispossession, disenfranchisement, and discrimination.

And yet, though mainstream media outlets are suffused with pro-Israel bias and Israel has legions of willing propagandists trolling the internet to spread Netanyahu’s latest talking points, we have heard – especially as the Palestinian death toll keeps rising – that Israel and its advocates are “losing the media war.” Politico, Mashable, New York Magazine, analyst Juan Cole, and Britain’s Channel 4 have all noted this.

Even the Telegraph‘s detestable, neoconservative “Defence Editor” Con Coughlin is worried for Israel’s image, writing that, “with so much focus on the Palestinian victims of this dreadful conflict, it is hard to see how Israel can turn the propaganda war around in its favour.” Coughlin laments, “I fear the answer is that it cannot.”

Similarly, in a conversation via Twitter with a spokesman at the Israeli Embassy, Washington Post White House correspondent Scott Wilson was fretful that the Israeli slaughter in Gaza might not be “good for Israel – strategically.” For Wilson, as for so many others, Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity are simply image problems, a matter of PR.

Without its propaganda, Israel cannot sustain the support of its benefactors, whether in the war chests of Congress or the war cries of brainwashed and bloodthirsty communities. Without its lies, Israel can’t survive. This fact is known not only to professional hasbarists like Michael Oren, Dore Gold, and Mark Regev, but – more importantly – is a vital feature of Zionism, inseparable from the ideology itself.

Theodor Herzl in Basel, Switzerland, 1897.

In a little known and rarely-referenced letter written in early 1897, Theodor Herzl, the ostensible founder of political Zionism, made this perfectly clear. During the planning stages of the First Zionist Congress – initially to take place in Munich but eventually held in Basel, Switzerland in late August 1897 – Herzl contacted Willy Bambus, leader of the Berlin Hovevei Zion society (an early Zionist organization committed to Jewish immigration and agricultural settlement in Palestine), for support.

“I want to reach an understanding with the Berlin Zionists,” Herzl wrote from Vienna on January 26, 1897. “[I]n the general Zionist conference that I am planning for next summer, we will grow closer to each other.” The letter is written in German, Herzl’s first language.

Herzl’s dream was big and he knew what he needed to achieve it:

But a project of this sort… has one prior condition: propaganda. First we must have propaganda and afterward establish economic projects… [T]ry to win influence at a Berlin daily newspaper… There is no necessity to immediately give the newspaper a Zionist imprint. On the contrary, because of the cowardly suspicions (to my sorrow, of most of the Jews) of Zionism, it would be wiser to keep things innocent… Perhaps you can… purchase a Zionist paper in Berlin, that will not be outwardly noticed as such.

Friendly media coverage? Feigned innocence and impartiality? Sounds familiar.

“Until now Zionism has been silent,” Herzl wrote Bambus. “We must free its tongue. This is the first order of business.”

Those tongues of Zionism have since wrought over a century of pain and suffering, in name the entitlement and privilege, to the people of Palestine. It is time to drown out the propaganda with truth.

The final page of Theodor Herzl’s handwritten letter to Willy Bambus, January 26, 1897

July 30, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Israeli bombing of Shujaiyya market kills 17 despite ceasefire

Ma’an – 30/07/2014

BETHLEHEM – Despite a four-hour humanitarian ceasefire that began at 3:00 p.m., Israeli forces on Wednesday afternoon shelled a market in Shujaiyya as well as number of homes across the Gaza Strip, killing at least 33.

Gaza Ministry of Health spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said around 6 p.m. that an Israeli airstrike had hit Shujaiyya market, killing at least 17, including a journalist, and injuring 200, including many seriously.

A Ma’an reporter on the scene said that Israeli artillery had fired several shells at civilians in the market, adding that ambulances and civilian vehicles were still transporting the wounded and the killed to al-Shifa Hospital.

The Ministry of Health in Gaza said that the dead include a journalist and two paramedics, as well as a member of the civil defense crews.

Sources named the journalist as Rami Ryan, a photographer for the Palestinian Network for Journalism and Media.

Bodies were still being pulled from the rubble, with medics estimating that dozens had been killed and injured.

That attack brought the toll since the ceasefire to at least 29, with 12 killed earlier including Muhammad Wissam Dardona, Hussam al-Najjas, Hussam Muhammad al-Najjar, Shaaban Abdulaziz al-Jamal and Alaa Judi Khader.

Four were killed in shelling on a home in al-Qarara in Khan Younis.

Strikes were reported in Juhr al-Dik, al-Bureij, Deir al-Balah, and many other districts across Gaza.

One airstrike hit the al-Basha building in Gaza, which houses a number of press offices.

The Israeli military said, meanwhile, that during the unilaterally-declared ceasefire Hamas had fired 26 rockets into Israel. No damage or injuries were reported.

The violations of the ceasefire brought the day’s total Palestinian deaths to 103, as the total Palestinian death toll in the 23-day offensive hit 1,325 with more than 7,000 injured.

Yoav Mordechai, Israel’s coordinator of government activities in the Palestinian Territories, said earlier that Israeli forces would stop attacks for four hours starting at 3 p.m.

Mordechai said Israeli forces would only target areas where rockets were being fired at Israel.

An Israeli army statement added that the “humanitarian window will not apply to the areas in which (army) soldiers are currently operating.”

“Residents must not return to areas that have previously been asked to evacuate,” the statement said, adding the the army would respond to all fire from Palestinian militants throughout the limited ceasefire.

It was not immediately clear whether Palestinian factions would respect the limited, brief truce.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that Israel imposed the ceasefire only for “media consumption.”

Abu Zohri said the truce was “worthless” given that it excluded parts of the Gaza Strip where Israeli forces were operating.

Earlier in the day, Israeli forces killed over 70 Palestinians, bringing the total number of Gazans killed since the beginning of the offensive up past 1,300.

The deadliest Israeli attack on Wednesday was a shelling on a UN-designated shelter in Jabaliya refugee camp which left at least 16 dead.

Chris Gunness, the spokesman for the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency, condemned the attack in a statement made on Twitter.

“UNRWA condemns in the strongest possible terms this serious violation of international law by Israeli forces,” Gunness said.

“Precise location of Jabalia Elementary Girls School #Gaza & that it housed 3,000 displaced was communicated to Israeli army 17 times,” he said in another tweet.

July 30, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli forces abduct shepherd, goats from southern Lebanon

Al-Akhbar | July 30, 2014

Israeli occupation forces snuck into Lebanon and abducted a shepherd from the southeastern town of Shebaa at dawn Wednesday, one day after they stole a herd of goats from the same area, state media reported.

Ismail Khalil Nabaa was kidnapped in Shebaa and taken to the nearby occupied Shebaa Farms area.

UNIFIL is working to secure his release, Lebanon’s National News Agency (NNA ) said.

The owners of the kidnapped herd, Mohammed Khalil Nabaa and Khodour Hamdan, said they had escaped an Israeli ambush on Lebanese territory on Tuesday.

The report did not speculate over why Israeli forces kidnapped the goats and shepherd.

MP Qassem Hashem called Nabaa’s kidnapping a violation of national sovereignty and international charters, NNA reported.

“The Zionist enemy continues its aggression, abducts Lebanese shepherds and seizes their flocks. The UNIFIL must fully perform its duty,” the NNA quoted him as saying.

July 30, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , | Leave a comment

Gaza: Black sky turns orange

By Charlie Andreasson | International Solidarity Movement | July 30, 2014

Since July 25th, international volunteers, including activists from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) and other groups have begun a constant protective presence in various locations at the al-Shifa Hospital. Below is a journal extract from an ISM volunteer during his shift at the hospital on July 28th.

Gaza, Occupied Palestine – There had been shelling during my shift in al-Shifa. My shift began at 7PM, and in the distance I registered the sounds as everybody else does here in Gaza, I heard the drones without trying to see them. I left Joe [another ISM activist] alone in the hospital; I went in a car for an interview and came back again. The shelling from the sea grew closer. But I couldn’t stay awake for 24 hours just to listen to the noise, nobody can, and I tried to sleep for a few hours.

Photo by Charlie Andreasson

Then the thunder started, and the black sky turned bright orange, the hospital shook a little, and some windows shattered. I send a short text to the media coordinator for the Ship to Gaza-Sweden saying that this is following me, thinking about el-Wafa hospital, Beit Hanoun hospital, and now al-Shifa. But we weren’t hit. Not this time.

Photo by Charlie Andreasson

Photo by Charlie Andreasson

The morning came, we were released by the next shift, and I passed some of the nights targets on my way home. I took a few photos and carried on. There’s so much destruction now that I hesitate to take any more pictures of it. In some areas it is now rare to see an undestroyed building. But of course they claim all of this is to create silence and ‘security’ for Israel, seeing the destruction left behind, I don’t think so.

Photo by Charlie Andreasson

Photo by Charlie Andreasson

Photos by Charlie Andreasson

July 30, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

UNRWA condemns school shelling in ‘strongest possible terms’

Ma’an – July 30, 2014

GAZA CITY – The UN agency for Palestinian refugees on Wednesday condemned an Israeli attack on one of its schools used to house thousands of internally displaced Gazans earlier the same day.

“Last night, children were killed as they slept next to their parents on the floor of a classroom in a UN designated shelter in Gaza,” UNRWA’s Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl said in a statement.

“Our initial assessment is that it was Israeli artillery that hit our school, in which 3,300 people had sought refuge. We believe there were at least three impacts,” the statement said.

“The precise location of the Jabalia Elementary Girls School and the fact that it was housing thousands of internally displaced people was communicated to the Israeli army seventeen times … to ensure its protection.”

The statement went on to say that the incident was the sixth time an UNRWA shelter had been struck during Israel’s offensive on Gaza.

“UNRWA condemns in the strongest possible terms this serious violation of international law by Israeli forces,” spokesman Chris Gunness tweeted.

Gaza’s health ministry said earlier that at least 16 people were killed in an Israeli shelling on a UN school in Jabaliya camp. The ministry called on UNRWA to immediately condemn the attack.

An Israeli army spokeswoman told Ma’an later that initial reports suggested Palestinian militants had fired mortar shells at Israeli soldiers from the vicinity of the school.

The Israeli army responded by firing back at the “origins of fire,” the spokeswoman said.

“The incident is still being reviewed,” she added.

Over 70 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces so far on the 23rd day of the Israeli offensive, bringing the three-week total above 1,300.

More than 200,000 people, or about one in eight Gazans, have been forced to leave their homes as a result of the assault.

July 30, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

62% of British public says Israel committing war crimes, as polls show sympathy for Palestinians

MEMO | July 30, 2014

Almost two thirds of the British public (62%) believe that the Israeli government is committing war crimes, a new YouGov poll has revealed.

The survey, conducted 27-28 July, comes days after a separate poll carried out on behalf of The Sunday Times showed that 52% of the British public sees Israel’s bombing of the Gaza Strip as “unjustified”. Questioned about their attitude to the conflict more generally, 27% said their sympathies lie more with the Palestinians, while 14% said their sympathies lay more with the Israelis.

Polling data from the U.S. indicates Israel’s growing image problem, even amongst the citizens of its closest ally. A new Pew Research Center poll shows that among 18 to 29-year old Americans, 29% blame Israel more for the current violence, while 21% blame Hamas. Meanwhile, a Gallup poll last week showed that a majority of nonwhite Americans under-50 view Israel’s assault as “unjustified”.

In a CNN poll conducted July 18-20, only 57% of respondents said Israel’s actions in ‘Operation Protective Edge’ are justified.

Meanwhile, a survey of UK Christians commissioned by charity Embrace the Middle East has revealed that 35.4% sympathise more with the Palestinians, while 16.9% sympathise more with Israel. The research was conducted before Israel’s attack on Gaza, which charity head Jeremy Moodey said would likely only increase support for the Palestinians in UK churches.

July 30, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment