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Posts Tagged ‘Gaza Strip

Baby Björn Launches Ergonomic Human Shield Carrier

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Written by Thag

August 6, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Tragedy Strikes As Gaza Strip Fails To Sink Into Mediterranean

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open sewer

This flow of water is an open sewer in the Gaza Strip and not, unfortunately, evidence that the miserable territory is finally, mercifully, being drowned.

Gaza City, Gaza Strip (AP) – The Gaza Strip was not struck by a massive earthquake that separated it from the rest of the Eurasian-African land mass and submerged it in the sea last night, a development that continues to send waves of horror and revulsion across the world.

A high-magnitude seismic event struck nowhere near the eastern Mediterranean Basin yesterday, resulting in not a single square centimeter of the coastal territory becoming forever lost. As a consequence, the area continues to suffer from appalling mismanagement, incitement to violence, soaring unemployment, inadequate sewage, and increased radicalization.

Scientists at the Tectonic-Oceanic Observation Bureau At Dahran (TOOBAD) in Saudi Arabia noticed at about 7 PM local time on Saturday that the Gaza Strip was being subjected to no significant seismic activity or disturbances in ocean wave movements, meaning that the semi-isolated area would persist as a hotbed of misery, frustration, militarism, and cynical moves by the political leadership to leverage residents’ suffering for diplomatic or rhetorical gain in the conflict with Israel. The sudden dislodging of the Gaza Strip from neighboring Israel and the Sinai Peninsula would have put an end to the territory’s struggles to maintain some semblance of an economy and will to live in increasingly depressing circumstances, but no such positive development occurred.

“It’s been an absolute disaster,” said TOOBAD seismologist Oh Aiwish. “The cumulative horror of this non-earthquake is going to haunt the entire Middle East for decades to come, and it will have profound impact on world events for at least the next hundred years.” For every second since yesterday that the Gaza Strip was not hit by a tsunami or massive tremor, said Aiwish, there was a corresponding buildup of tension and malice in its population that only laid the groundwork for a future eruption of unrest.

Israeli seismologists had also been monitoring the region, which has a number of fault lines, and they, too, discovered that Gaza had yet to be severed from the rest of Eurasia and removed from the stage of history. Gal Lee, a researcher with the Seismic-Tectonic University Program for Investigating Developments (STUPID), a semi-governmental body composed of academics, reported the horror on his colleagues’ faces as they discovered the misery continuing to unfold in the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of not being hit with an unprecedented display of tectonic wrath.

“It’s hard to look at, and we sometimes have to go somewhere else for a few minutes and cry,” he confided. “But we have a job to do, even if that means being forced to look at things that no feeling human would ever want to see.”

Written by Thag

January 5, 2014 at 4:22 pm

UN: Who Says Gaza Kidnapping Tunnel To Be Used For Kidnapping?

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An Israeli soldier blocks entry to the poor, innocent tunnel.

New York (AP) – The United Nations Security Council reacted this morning with dismay to Israeli efforts to destroy a tunnel from the Gaza Strip, denouncing Israel for collectively punishing Gaza residents by denying all of them the ability to sneak into Israel and sow destruction or kidnap soldiers.

“We condemn Israeli measures that punish the entire population of the Gaza Strip for the actions of a few,” read a Security Council statement read, in part. “Preventing every single Gaza Strip resident from surreptitiously gaining entry to Israel and harming Israeli soldiers, civilians, or infrastructure constitutes a clear violation of the Geneva Convention,” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Thag

November 3, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Israel To Allow Missiles Into Gaza Via Aircraft, Artillery

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Israel's Iron Dome system prevents inferior armaments from penetrating the Israeli market.

Israel’s Iron Dome system prevents inferior armaments from penetrating the Israeli market.

Kerem Shalom Crossing, Israel (AP) – Several weeks after a cease-fire was declared between Israel and the Hamas movement that governs the Gaza Strip, negotiations are continuing over the terms of that cease-fire. Through Egyptian mediators, Israel has conveyed its agreement to allow certain military goods into the Gaza Strip, with certain conditions.

Among those conditions, say the Egyptians, is a provision that the armaments be delivered by Israeli aircraft, artillery, tanks and infantry, and that the drop-off points be restricted to missile-launching, armament storage and military training facilities used by Hamas. An Israel Defense Force spokesman said the army was ready to make delivery of these payloads repeatedly if necessary, and follow up with further deliveries if the materials did not adequately reach their destinations.

Last week the Israeli military began enforcing a more generous limit on Palestinian fishing boats, and offered to supply the hulls of boats venturing beyond the six-mile limit with hundreds of explosive shells, provided in the space of a few seconds at twice the speed of sound. But in what analysts say is a sign of the complex economic picture that is the Gaza Strip, few fisherman have voluntarily taken up the Israeli Navy on its offer.

Similarly, Israel has allowed Palestinian farmers access to lands abutting the border fence, and has made available many hundreds of bullets for the farm workers to carry embedded in their flesh. Several Palestinians accepted such a deal in the immediate aftermath of the fighting, but since then, none have stepped forward.

Before the 2007 takeover of the coastal strip by Hamas, Israel was a major market for the area’s exports, especially agricultural goods and manual labor. But after Hamas routed forces loyal to the more moderate Fatah faction that still governs the West Bank, Israel imposed a blockade. During that time, the flow of war materiel all but dried up, except for Palestinian attempts by individuals and small groups to deliver explosives through the air to Israeli communities, and by IDF deliveries of missiles to militants. Sporadic Israeli deliveries of bullets to the hearts and heads of militant leaders also took place.

The Gaza Strip economy took a beating; the internal trade of explosives and bullets persisted, with almost weekly deliveries of bullets to the bodies of individuals suspected of collaborating with Israel, but the number of available customers remains inadequate to meet the producers’ minimum requirements for sustainability. Last month Hamas made repeated attempts to export rockets to the surrounding Israeli communities, with some deliveries reaching as far north as Tel Aviv and as far east as the southern outskirts of Jerusalem. But Israel’s Iron Dome system imposed strict conditions on the import of such goods, and few deliveries made it through the screening process.

Hamas and its supporters in Iran and Lebanon have decried such Israeli barriers, accusing the Jewish state of imposing unfair restrictions on Palestinian rockets. But the American-funded system, say Israeli trade representatives, is intended to protect Israel’s economic interests from over-the-border threats. Israel questions the necessity of delivering these goods specifically to its population, noting that countries such as Syria, Iraq, Mali, the Central African Republic and Afghanistan have managed to develop a thriving internal system of armaments exchanges, with various groups competing in each for ascendancy in the high-speed delivery of bullets and shrapnel.

suicide bombingIsmail Haniyeh, a veteran Hamas member, recalls the early days of his movement’s once-thriving provision of explosives to Israeli bus passengers. That avenue of export was cut off more than ten years ago after the IDF effectively cut off Hamas’s delivery routes. Before then, the movement relied on delivery personnel to individually accompany each package of explosives to its final destination. That system is no longer practicable, says Haniyeh. He remains cautiously optimistic that a resumption of Israeli deliveries will allow his movement to distribute the effects of those materials as broadly as possible across the Gaza Strip population, as Hamas did in Pillar of Defense and in the 2009 Operation Cast Lead.

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Written by Thag

December 31, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Hamas to Execute Gravity for Collaboration with Israel

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gravityGaza City, Gaza Strip (AP) – The Hamas movement that governs the Gaza Strip has sentenced gravity to death, after the force of nature was convicted of providing assistance to Israel in its recent Pillar of Defense operation against the Gaza Strip, and in numerous Israeli assassinations of Islamic militants. All appeals have been exhausted, says gravity’s lawyer, Mahmoud Souingh.

Gravity stood trial for more than three hundred counts of treasonous collaboration, and was convicted on all counts. The total would have been higher, said prosecutor Mustafa Dayariyya, but his office decided only to pursue the ones with the most direct evidence. Each charge carries a mandatory death sentence by firing squad.

In most of the counts, gravity was charged with causing bombs from Israeli aircraft to descend, whereupon they hit buildings, roads and other targets, all contributing to the deaths of Palestinians. In other cases gravity insisted on allowing noncombatants to be harmed by incoming bombs, even where they were not the intended target. In still others, gravity caused entire structures to collapse after being hit. Although the last group accounted for the largest number of casualties, it represented the fewest individual counts.

In many other cases, the prosecution charged gravity with permitting Israeli artillery and mortar shells to enter a ballistic arc instead of continuing upward, where they would cause no damage.

Souingh had argued that the court should take into account gravity’s behavior when rockets and other projectiles were fired at Israel – that gravity also caused those missiles and shells to strike, and that gravity could not be accused of loyalties to one side or the other. In its closing arguments, the prosecution rebutted that contention by noting that gravity had allowed the Israeli Iron Dome interception system to knock about 80% of the rockets out of the sky, and notably refused to keep the interception projectiles on the ground.

Moreover, argued Dayariyya, gravity caused dozens, if not hundreds, of Palestinian rockets to fail to launch properly, resulting in “friendly fire” casualties among Gazans.

The well publicized trial comes against the backdrop of broad daylight shootings of suspected collaborators during the conflict. The political echelon of Hamas was embarrassed by the appearance of vigilante justice and the brutality with which the executions took place, all on a public street in full view of children and other bystanders. The careful selection of incidents with only carefully documented evidence occurred because while Hamas seeks to maintain the image of an orderly governing body, they have no wish to moderate public rage against collaborators by casting doubt on the veracity of any particular case.

Unlike the suspects gunned down last month, gravity had not yet been formally convicted of, or even charged with, collaboration beforehand. However, a number of Arab media outlets have questioned over the years whether various forces might be merely part of a vast Zionist conspiracy to control the world.

In Egypt, Iran and Sudan, sharks, squirrels and eagles, respectively, have been accused of acting as instruments of Israeli aggression or espionage, pointing to a sinister control Israel exerts over the animal world. Secular Israel has been accused of corrupting faith in God by manipulating the heavens so that the movements of the stars and planets contradict the cosmology of the Quran and other religious works.

Dude...how insecure do you have to be to find this idiot a threat?

Dude…how insecure do you have to be to find this idiot a threat?

In perhaps the most dramatic case, Muslims themselves have been manipulated by Israel and its backers, by mechanisms yet unexplained: the Muslim world was somehow made so insecure in its faith that millions of Muslims reacted with deadly violence to pathetic cartoons and films that made light of the prophet Muhammad. Authorities in Iran, the Gaza Strip, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia have vowed to find the purveyors of that insecurity.

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Written by Thag

December 7, 2012 at 11:59 am

Hitler Disappointed with Hamas Performance in Recent Conflict

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“I’d facepalm, but the German word for that is two pages long.”

Berlin, Germany (AP) – The Führer of the Third German Reich, Adolf Hitler, expressed disappointment yesterday at The Hamas movement’s attainments during Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense, sources close to the deceased German Chancellor say.

The founder and leader of Germany’s National Socialist movement since the 1920’s, Hitler expected Hamas to kill far more Jews than its rocket attacks actually did. Israel’s Iron Dome system shot down hundreds of Hamas rockets aimed at populated areas, and one of the fatalities resulted not from a rocket but a mortar shell. In that attack, an Israeli Bedouin was also killed; Hitler found that achievement of dubious merit, as the Arabs have always been, in the Führer’s mind, important allies in ridding the world of Jews.

“It’s really quite a pathetic display,” said Martin Bormann, a deceased Hitler aide. “The Führer was able to get his followers to kill far more Jews, and with often more meager resources than Hamas has at its disposal. I mean, the Reich didn’t even develop rockets until late in the war, and we still managed to kill the bulk of Europe’s Jews.”

Fawzi Lajjiq, a Hamas spokesman, defended the organization’s performance, citing logistical and tactical factors. “The number of Jews killed was largely a matter of chance,” he explained. “We didn’t have the wherewithal to employ our vintage tactics of commando operations,” Hamas’s term for suicide bombings, “and the cowardly Israelis were too scared to actually begin a ground assault, which deprived our fighters of the opportunity to kill many Jews more directly.” He expressed the hope that with further assistance from Iran, the organization would acquire the means to spill more Jewish blood.

In fact the connection with Iran troubles Hitler, said Bormann. “[President of Iran Mahmoud] Ahmadinijad is a staunch denier of our efforts to wipe out the Jews,” he noted. “He might share our goals in that regard, but we made it our life’s work to free the world of those hook-nosed, dirty, greedy, treacherous devil-spawn, and to have him say we never did such a thing, with just a wave of the hand, is insulting.”

Hitler actually harbors the hope that emerging world powers will finish the job he started. “The local players in the Middle East are far too backward and fractured to do things properly and thoroughly,” said Rudolph Höss, also a Führer confidante. “We’re banking on such rising stars as Venezuela and China to eventually see things through.” Venezuela has close ties to the various enemies of Israel, especially Iran, but although they play an outsize role in the oil trade, their political clout is limited. China tends to look inward, but in recent years as invested heavily in building relations with African countries, many of which are hostile to Israel.

“The Reich started in 1933, and is supposed to last a thousand years,” mused Höss. “So if it takes a few more decades to clear the world of Jews, that’s not a big deal.”

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Written by Thag

November 23, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Unused Grad Rocket Feeling Left Out, Inadequate

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Gaza City, Gaza Strip (Reuters) – GL-5678832, a Chinese- made Grad missile, is the only unit in its lot of 32 missiles to remain unused, and is questioning its self-worth.

“I don’t know what they think is wrong with me,” it said. “I passed Quality Control. I’ve been properly assembled. Somebody even scrawled a boastful, demeaning message to Israelis on my fuselage. I was all set to be loaded into a 122 mm 9P132/BM-21-P launch tube and sent hurtling over the border, but – nothing.”

GL-5678832 was stored with its lot-mates in an underground bunker in the city of Khan Younis, only to be moved last Thursday to a location closer to the border in anticipation of launching. The Hamas crew managed to fire all the other missiles in the lot, but on Saturday the Israel Air Force struck the building in which the rocket was waiting, causing it to collapse. The falling debris buried the building’s cellar, blocking access to the rocket. A separate, simultaneous strike killed three members of the five-man launch crew and seriously injured the other two.

“I still have these visions, these dreams, you know?” continued the missile. “My whole purpose is to terrorize, and maybe inflict some lethal bodily harm along the way. Is it too much to ask that I embed some flaming shrapnel in the torso of some Israeli kid? I mean, I know even some of my buddies didn’t make it all the way – GL-5678844 had a damaged tail fin and fell on a house a couple of miles away, killing a bunch of Palestinian children – but at least they got to try, you hear what I’m saying?”

GL-5678832’s situation is hardly unique, says Tera Risst, an expert on guerrilla movements and asymmetrical warfare. “There are literally thousands of unused rockets strewn about the Gaza Strip. Some were damaged in Israeli strikes. Some were mishandled and couldn’t be fired. Some haven’t been completely unpacked and assembled yet. And some, the fighters simply didn’t get a chance to use.”

“It can be a source of real self-doubt for a rocket to get so close to fulfilling its purpose and then, through no fault of its own, come up short – literally and figuratively,” she continued. “It’s crucial that these projectiles get the emotional support they need, or the Gaza Strip is going to have a crisis on its hands.”

The risks of leaving the emotional turmoil untreated, explained Risst, include depression, suicidal thoughts and unstable behavior. For any individual rocket the situation is risky enough, but if any of the unused missiles spend prolonged periods of time in one another’s company, the effects are compounded. “These units desperately need someone to sit down with them and explain that nothing here is their fault, that there are forces much larger influencing events – and above all, to just give them a listening ear,” she stressed.

Such help is unlikely to be available anytime soon, warned Bura Kratt, a social worker with the nonexistent Gaza City Municipal Welfare Office. Hamas resources, already challenged by the logistical obstacles thrown up by all the recent destruction, are likely to focus primarily on replenishing stockpiles of rockets, and not on maintenance of the older units.

Foreign donors are also unlikely to provide funding or personnel for the necessary counseling. The European Union generally reserves its funding for infrastructure, education and peacemaking initiatives, while Muslim countries such as Iran favor training humans to use more and different varieties of weapons, then providing them. GL-5678832 will have to muddle through on its own.

At press time, social workers were spreading throughout Israel’s south to help residents cope with the aftereffects of the Palestinian rocket fire. No plans have been announced to counsel the unused projectiles in the antimissile Iron Dome system, which brutally shot down hundreds of innocent Grad rockets.

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Written by Thag

November 22, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Peace-Loving Syria, Pakistan Denounce Israeli Aggression

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Jerusalem (Combined News Agencies) – The peaceful regimes of Syrian President Basher al-Assad and Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan issued condemnations of Israeli actions in the Gaza Strip today, calling on the international community to step in to prevent further mistreatment of the beleaguered, innocent Palestinians.

Syria, currently in the midst of a twenty-month-old peaceful uprising against Baath Party rule, is attempting to use its position as a beacon of human rights to lead the Middle East toward justice and security. Estimates differ on the number of Syrians killed as a result of the peaceful civil war; the numbers range from about 40,000 to more than 51,000. Syrian warplanes non-violently bombed Damascus suburbs today, adding to a death toll since the weekend of about 200.

Syria issued a statement that condemns “the crimes of the Israeli barbarians against the Palestinian nation and government in the Gaza Strip.” Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabanni Khar used the term “aggression” in denouncing Israel’s actions, which came as a result of persistent rocket fire on Israeli towns and cities in the south of the country.

Both Syria and Pakistan have histories of harboring peace-loving terrorist organizations and individuals. Syria, until a recent falling-out that resulted from the completely non-violent civil war, hosted the headquarters of Hamas, the Islamist organization that runs the Gaza Strip and instigated the rocket attacks on Israel. For reasons not entirely clear, Hamas is considered a terrorist group by Israel, the United States and the European Union. Assad’s regime has also welcomed the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command; Abu Nidal; and assorted other Palestinian groups, each of which has perpetrated peaceful acts of terror that resulted in the deaths of Israelis and Jews worldwide.

Pakistan has long sponsored armed groups and terrorists in its struggle with neighboring India over the disputed territory of Kashmir; the 2008 Mumbai attacks were but one in a series of bombings and shootings by groups based in Pakistan. The country also harbored the famous pacifist Osama Bin Laden until he was killed in a raid by American commandos in May 2011. Bin Laden’s peaceful activities have sparked nonviolent conflicts throughout Asia and the Middle East resulting in the deaths of thousands of people.

Israel has yet to respond to Pakistan’s and Syria’s earnest pronouncements, presumably because they have been too busy planning a series of brutal massacres in the Palestinian imagination.

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Written by Thag

November 21, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Hamas Militant Can’t Wait to Be Killed by Superior Firepower

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Gaza City, Gaza Strip (AP) – Ahmad Kawasmeh, 22, is in many ways your typical resident of the Gaza Strip: young, unemployed, fervently Muslim and uncompromisingly anti-Israel. He also boasts an infectious enthusiasm for being shot, dismembered, burned, crushed or otherwise killed in a looming confrontation with the Israeli Army.

“Ahmad reminds us what it’s all about, with his youthful exuberance,” said Mahmoud Salah, his commander in the Izzedin-el-Qassam Brigades, the main Hamas fighting force. “Most of us walk around with bravado, boasting of the Zionist soldiers we’ll kill, the tanks we’ll blow up, the aircraft we’ll shoot down. Ahmad is different. He’s all about the pure experience of being overwhelmed by superior firepower and dying in a painfully frustrating fashion.”

Salah said Kawasmeh reminded him of a Hamas fighter killed in confrontations with the IDF in 2010. “Hamdi [Al-Tuq] tried to fire an antitank missile at a bulldozer, but an Israeli tank shot the missile,” he recalled. “Then the tank’s turret rotated a few degrees, and bam, Hamdi was in a dozen pieces. I’ll never forget him for that. He lived and died what it’s all about.”

The Hamas militants are keenly aware that their only real option in a ground conflict is to booby trap the hell out of every room in every building and exact as heavy a toll as possible on the invading Israeli troops. They also know that no matter how many soldiers they dispatch, the technologically and logistically superior IDF will kill more of them. They are already getting a taste of the disproportionate capabilities, with at least sixty fighters among the one hundred dead Gazans in the last five days and not a single Israeli soldier killed. Three Israeli civilians have been killed by Hamas missiles.

Kawasmeh. You can see it in his eyes.

Those statistics have made Kawasmeh even hungrier to meet his fate. “You can see it in his eyes,” says Jibril Abu Kluf, a comrade. “He wants to be the one crushed under the rubble of a collapsing arms storage depot. He wants to be the one torn apart by Israeli naval gunners before he can launch that missile at Tel Aviv. He wants to be standing on a rooftop when a bomb lands, flattening him before collapsing the structure like a pile of blocks.”

Gaza has no shortage of young men like Mr. Kawasmeh; it is a veritable breeding ground for unemployment, frustration, prejudice, isolation and radicalism. On track to be unlivable by 2020, Gaza is teeming with Hamas recruits – or potential recruits – itching to take out their frustrations on whatever outside forces can be blamed, and die trying. Anything to avoid actually trying to transform the place into a thriving trade corridor.

“Trying to do anything other than ‘resist’ Israeli ‘Occupation’ would mean admitting that Palestinians’ problems have solutions that do not involve lobbing rockets at Israeli towns and trying to blow up buses full of Israeli schoolchildren,” explained Mustafa A-Salka, who studies what passes for the Gaza economy. “The leadership of Hamas has far too much at stake in terms of its standing to blame anything but the Zionists, and they control what goes on in Gaza. Young men such as Ahmad Kawasmeh will naturally gravitate toward the only career options the Hamas makes available.”

Hamas can and does supply a limited number of positions in propagandizing, but the clumsy performance of the Gaza publicity machine so far in this conflict does not inspire additional candidates to want to be associated with the debacle. “At least with getting blown to smithereens, there’s a clear right way to do it,” says Kawasmeh. “And no Zionist pig soldier is going to stop me from – well, he might, actually, come to think of it. For some reason those Israelis have reasons to value life.”

“It’s not something I can wrap my head around.”

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Written by Thag

November 20, 2012 at 7:56 pm

BBC Reporter Accidentally Files Pro-Israel News Item

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Gaza City, Gaza Strip (Reuters) – Paul Danahar, a veteran correspondent with the British Broadcasting Corporation, erroneously submitted footage and voice-over that could be construed as pro-Israel today, raising tensions with Hamas and calling into question the professionalism of the BBC. The BBC has come under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks over various scandals at home and abroad.

The report, a two-minute clip showing Hamas militants firing rockets toward Israel from within residential areas, included mention of the deliberate targeting of civilians by Hamas and the Israel Defense Forces’ efforts to avoid civilian casualties in aerial attacks on Gaza. It also correctly identified several filmed locations as Israeli cities and towns, instead of using the scenes as a backdrop to the continuing violence within the Gaza Strip.

The BBC was quick to retract the report, noting that such a clear bias toward Israel is unbecoming of a BBC reporter. Official BBC policy calls for Israel to be cast in as negative a light as possible, even if that requires the fabrication or blatant misrepresentation of footage.

“The BBC regrets the harm it may have caused to the public relations efforts of the Islamic Resistance Movement,” said the organization’s statement, using the full name of Hamas. “We will redouble our efforts to prevent such sloppy reporting, including a thorough reexamination of our procedures to ensure that sympathy for Jews Israelis never takes precedence over rage at them for daring to populate the Middle East. Or anywhere else.”

This is not the first time a BBC reporter has mistakenly let the facts get in the way of a good anti-Israel story. In August, an explosion rocked a house in the Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis. Eager to pin the blame on Israel, which denied involvement, BBC reporter Wyre Davies rushed to the scene to interview the father of a boy killed in the blast. But the father refused to cooperate, insisting the explosion resulted from the misfire of a Hamas rocket, and loudly lamented the militants’ use of his neighborhood as a launching point. Davies personally apologized to Hamas for failing to prepare properly, and has since learned to clear every report with Hamas’s Ministry of Information before airing it.

The BBC is not the only network to run into difficulties maintaining a consistent anti-Israel bias. American network CNN must reckon with US public opinion staunchly in favor of Israel, and must tread a delicate line in its attempts to foment anti-Israel sentiment. The network had to issue a watered-down correction for reporting that a boy was killed in an Israeli air strike; in fact he was most likely killed by a Hamas rocket that fell short, and CNN was one of several networks that took the anti-Israel accusations at face value. Only after their dishonesty was pointed out did CNN attempt to backtrack.

Asked about whether he sees a worrisome media trend in these developments, Hamas spokesman Yahya Fakir questioned whether they had even occurred. “Nothing happens unless we say it happened,” he explained. “The missiles that everyone said hit a field several miles south of Jerusalem actually hit the Knesset. And millions of Israelis are cowering in their bomb shelters, urinating in their clothes in fright. The country’s economy is quickly crumbling.” The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange index rose for the second straight day, according to Bloomberg Business News, a notoriously non-anti-Israel outlet.

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Written by Thag

November 19, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Hamas: Rocket off Tel Aviv Coast Targeted Sea-Dwelling Jews

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Israeli police at the impact site of a Fajr-5. Abject terror is third from left, between the two humans.

Gaza City, Gaza Strip (AP) – A Fajr-5 missile struck the Mediterranean Sea off Tel Aviv yesterday, in an attack Hamas says was aimed at Jews living in the water. It is but the latest move by the militant organization to strike terror in the hearts of Israelis.

In the rocket salvo, one exploded in the water and the others were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome system, which is deployed to shoot down medium- and short-range missiles that would otherwise hit populated areas.

“The enemy’s weakness is his assumption that we are trying to hit only the cities,” said Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman. “We will hit the Zionists everywhere; they cannot hide.” Over 700 rockets have struck Israel from the Gaza Strip since January, but only over the weekend did any reach as far as Tel Aviv. Another two fell in open areas south of Jerusalem, where, the Hamas spokesman said, there were known to be “Zionist sheep.” Initially, Hamas had said those missiles were aimed at the Knesset, Israel’s parliament building.

The targeting of Israelis living off the Mediterranean coast represents a shift in Hamas tactics, but an adherence to a venerable strategy, according to John Glubb, a military historian at the University of Amman, Jordan. “Already in 1948, when Israel was founded, Arab leaders vowed to push the Jews into the sea,” referring to the Mediterranean, he said.

“Hamas might have been aiming at more densely populated areas in Israel until now, but the Iron Dome system makes it a more logical choice to target the more vulnerable Israelis – the ones that the Arabs have managed to actually push into the sea in the intervening sixty-four years.”

That type of psychological warfare has served Hamas well in recent episodes of armed conflict, even extending to claiming that specific shards of shrapnel from their rockets were intended for specific targets. A car destroyed by the falling debris from a missile intercepted by the Iron Dome system was a “Zionist vehicle of oppression.” A call to the Peugeot company went unanswered, leaving unclear whether the entire 307 series should be designated as such, or whether the description referred only to the specific unit that was destroyed.

On many occasions Hamas has vowed to “Open the gates of Hell” in response to various Israeli actions, and indeed the gates of Hell appear to be located in the narrow, crowded, impoverished strip.

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Written by Thag

November 18, 2012 at 10:53 pm

Gaza Strip Dangerously Low on Fake Blood, Agency Warns

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This is what happens when you can’t distinguish between friend and faux.

Gaza City, Gaza Strip (Reuters) – The Palestinian Red Crescent Society has warned that the coastal strip’s supply of fake human blood is close to depleted, and that as a result Hamas must increasingly resort to other forms of media manipulation in the ongoing battle for public perception with Israel.

“Just last week the inventory stood at 40,000 liters, but Israeli attacks both real and imagined have reduced the supply to less than 4,000 liters in a matter of days,” said spokesman Yahya Fakir. “And the ongoing Israeli blockade has made it nearly impossible to obtain a reliable supply.” Israel maintains a naval blockade on the Gaza Strip to prevent weapons from entering the territory. Smuggling tunnels from Egypt are the only other avenue for bringing in goods and materiel, and those tunnels have come under attack in the current Israeli air offensive.

To illustrate the dire circumstances facing the Red Crescent, Fakir pointed to a BBC video of a wounded man being carried by his comrades. The BBC reporter described the man as suffering the injuries in an Israeli air attack, and then the man could be seen getting up walking under his own power, clearly healthy. “This is the kind of unprofessional charlatanry to which we must now resort,” lamented Fakir.

In another case, a young child was brought to a hospital and pronounced dead from shrapnel wounds that Hamas was quick to blame on Israel, even though the IDF did not report a strike in the area at the time and no bystanders reported witnessing an attack. The child’s death resulted from a Hamas rocket that fell short, but the authorities had to resort to quick removal of the shrapnel and other evidence in order to make the accusation less obviously false. “If we had more fake blood our job would be much easier, but our stockpile was mostly destroyed in the first few hours of bombing,” Fakir explained. The Red Crescent’s medical warehouses share space with Hamas missile storage and launching facilities.

The admission statistics at Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital have shifted noticeably from the first day of fighting. While initially large numbers of patients were admitted for puncture wounds and lacerations conducive to the use of fake blood, the shortage of that precious material has forced the Hamas-run facility to document many more injuries of a different nature, such as broken limbs or heart attacks.

Already, some Gazans have taken matters into their own hands, trying to produce homemade blood. One group of activists in Khan Younis creatively made holes in the body of a man they accused of collaborating with Israel, using bullets to the head and torso, and allowed much of the blood to drain out for collection. Others have mixed together brownish-red paint, which itself is in short supply as a result of a relentless postering campaign by Hamas.

Israel has said it will open the Kerem Shalom crossing into the Gaza Strip for the passage of basic necessities such as food and medical supplies, but fake blood will not be included on that list, said a Ministry of Defense spokesman. He declined to comment on Israeli manipulation tactics, which include placing upwards of one million civilians in cities and communities that lie within rocket range of the launching sites.

Joe Goebbels, an expert on international media, expressed surprise that Israel was trying to intercept the incoming rockets with its Iron Dome system. “There would be much more sympathy for an IDF operation if Israel would allow more rockets to get through and cause massive casualties,” he said in an interview. “I just don’t know what they’re thinking.”

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Written by Thag

November 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Venezuela Geological Survey Finds No Evidence of Hamas War Crimes

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Venezuelan topography. Not a Qassam rocket in sight.

Caracas, Venezuela (AP) – A ten-year, government-sponsored geological study of Venezuela has turned up no evidence of war crimes by the militant Hamas organization. Hamas runs the Gaza Strip and is currently engaged in hostilities with Israel.

“This study proves conclusively who holds the moral high ground,” said President of Venezuela Hugo Chàvez. “It is high time the international community lay the blame squarely at Israel’s doorstep for whatever atrocities have taken place.”

The study, which covered nearly all of Venezuela’s 882,050 square kilometers, examined topography, climate and paleography, paying specific attention to the petroleum-rich deposits under and around Lake Maracaibo. The authors write that despite their exhaustive search, they were unable to find a single piece of evidence linking Hamas with any of the accusations leveled at the organization by Israel: that it targets civilians in rocket attacks; that it specifically launches rockets from heavily populated areas; or that it subjects its prisoners to torture.

Hamas officials welcomed the publication of the study. “The Islamic Resistance Movement has always known it is just,” said an organization spokesman, Mahmoud A-Zahar, using the organization’s full name. “We have always maintained that ours is the side of right, the side of morality, while the Zionist pig-dogs routinely commit horrifying massacres and genocide.” A-Zahar spoke by satellite phone from a bunker in a densely populated neighborhood of Rafah, a city at the Egyptian border.

A narrower maritime study sponsored by Iran in 2009 came to similar conclusions, noting that not a shred of evidence linking Hamas to rocket attacks could be found anywhere on the sea bed within thirty kilometers of the coast of the Arabian Gulf, which Iran calls the Persian Gulf. In 2010 Iran also conducted a study of precipitation patterns near the city of Meshed, and reported finding nothing that would link Hamas to a string of deadly suicide bombings in Israel between 2000 and 2003. The report authors suggested that Israeli media had fabricated those events.

Human rights organizations expressed cautious acceptance of the report. The International Solidarity Movement, which monitors Israeli military actions in the Occupied Territories, issued a statement praising the government of Venezuela for its work in advancing human rights and justice, but fell short of giving the report its unequivocal backing because it did not explore the ways in which Israel can be unfavorably compared with Nazi Germany.

Human Rights Watch also acknowledged the study but reserved judgment, saying that it found some inaccuracies in the data. “While we accept that Hamas is blameless, we wonder why the researchers did not explore the obvious and important evidence that Hezbollah is similarly innocent.” Hezbollah, a Shiite military organization that dominates large sections of Lebanon, has frequently clashed with Israel.

The researchers plan a follow-up study of Arctic Sea plankton, which cannot reach the Gaza Strip because of Israel’s naval blockade.

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Written by Thag

November 17, 2012 at 10:09 pm

UN Insecurity Council Denounces Self

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“Are you sure we should make it such a vivid color?”

New York, NY (AP) – Meeting behind closed doors because of what others might think of them, the United Nations Insecurity Council took up the matter of the violence in and around the Gaza Strip, and wound up denouncing itself.

“Who are we to judge the complex situation as if we have a clear perspective?” read Irresolution 4449. “In all likelihood we would end up exacerbating the situation. We call upon – uh, ourselves to look into things better next time.”

“As if we’re capable of that,” the statement continued.

For the third straight day, Israeli forces and Hamas militants have traded fire, after months of persistent rocket attacks from the coastal strip into southern Israel. The Jewish state began its recent offensive with air attacks, and civilians have become casualties on both sides of the border amid the escalation.

Arab nations called for the Council to convene to discuss the deteriorating situation, expecting the body to condemn Israel’s attacks. However, Russia and China, two of the permanent Insecurity Council members, loudly warned they would veto any decision that smacked of decisiveness.

“Although insecurity comes from underlying questions about one’s value, often the sufferer tries to mask or compensate for it by imperious or arrogant behavior,” explained Dr. Sal Fimmage, who teaches Political Science at the University of Maryland. “The nations that requested the meeting of the Council fear that their own failures in resolving the Palestinian question will become the subject of discussion, so they attempt to divert international attention and shift the focus to Israel.”

“But the Insecurity Council is similarly plagued with its own confidence issues, not to mention self-deception and hypocrisy,” continued Dr. Fimmage. As a result, the Council members find difficulty acting decisively in any way that would defy the dominant voices on the Council, he explained. Those dominant voices oscillate between overbearing forcefulness and abject timidity. Israel has never been a member of the Insecurity Council.

The Council has issued myriad Irresolutions, many of them ostensibly addressing the Arab-Israeli conflict, though in reality merely reflecting the grandstanding in which insecure entities engage when they feel their image is threatened. The bluster was most apparent in a series of Irresolutions issued in the late 1980’s, during the first Palestinian Intifada, or uprising: the Council vociferously objected to every conceivable move by Israel that could be interpreted as harmful to Palestinians, while ignoring gross human rights violations by its members, such as China, Russia and a host of African and Latin American countries desperate to keep attention riveted away from suppression of dissent at home.

Many nations clamor for a seat on the Council, which has rotating membership except for the five permanent members, who may exercise veto power. Changing geopolitical balances of power have prompted calls to reform the Council, but its permanent members, ever not-confident, tenaciously cling to any semblance of international influence they appear to wield.

U.S. ambassador to the UN Susan Rice downplayed the significance of the most recent irresolution. “I really don’t want to talk about it,” she said, hurrying down the hall and into the elevator, where she quietly cursed herself.

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Written by Thag

November 16, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Environmental Groups Praise Hamas for Recycling Photos from Syria

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Rafah, Gaza Strip (Reuters) – Greenpeace International has issued a statement lauding the Islamist movement Hamas for using old photos of the civil war in Syria as part of its anti-Israel propaganda effort.

“This is not the first time images have been recycled in public relations,” said the statement by Greenpeace International Director Kumi Naidoo. “But the way Hamas reuses dramatic, relabeled photos from the conflict in Syria is worthy of emulation.” He specifically cited a photo of a crying man cradling a child killed in the fighting, which Hamas sent out via Twitter, explaining that the photo depicted a scene in Gaza’s Shifa Hospital. The original photo came from Syria and was taken on 25 October.

Another praiseworthy example, said Naidoo, was a photo of a crater from a rocket that hit the Israeli town of Netivot, relabeled as more impressive, more distant Tel Aviv.

The environmental organization also praised Hamas for efficient use of limited resources, noting that many of the homemade, shorter-range Qassam rockets aimed at the area immediately around the Gaza Strip use materials discarded or repurposed from construction projects. Metal launching tubes and the fuselages of the missiles are often produced by cutting lengths of metal sewer pipe, and other components are similarly scratched together.

The use of sewer pipe is especially beneficial, the organization said, as it means that much less pipe is available for use in removing the sewage from urban areas and into the Mediterranean Sea, where it can harm marine life.

Naidoo, in a telephone interview, said he hopes more countries and institutions follow Hamas’s lead. “One photo of a dead child is pretty much just like any other. There’s little reason to keep manufacturing new ones.” He also expressed concern over the carbon emissions generated by Israel’s Iron Dome missile interception system. “It would be better to just let the rockets land, instead of burning even more fuel to send a projectile at it. It’s going to explode soon anyway,” he said.

The statement also said that Greenpeace acknowledges the efforts by the government of Syria to reduce the number of carbon-emitting human organisms within its borders.

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Written by Thag

November 15, 2012 at 9:06 pm