Posts Tagged ‘israel-palestine wars’

UN building in Gaza shelled

The ITN has reported that witnesses and UN officials said the United Nations Relief and Work Agency building was being used as a shelter for civilians fleeing the bombardment of the Palestinian enclave when it was struck.

UN spokesman Chris Gunness said: ‘Our compound in Gaza has now received three hits, reportedly of white phosphorus.

‘Buildings in the compound are on fire, there are loaded fuel tankers nearby. Three people have been injured.

‘It is not clear at this stage if they are UNWRA staff or some of the 700 or so civilians who have taken refuge in our compound.’

The use of white phosphorous, which causes horrific burns on contact with skin, was banned as a weapon of war in civilian areas under the 1980 Geneva protocol.

An explosion in a Gaza City tower block housing the offices of the Reuters news agency and other media organisations was also blamed on an Israeli shell.

Witnesses said the southern side of the 13th floor of the Al-Shurouq Tower in the city centre had been struck by an Israeli missile or shell and a journalist for the Abu Dhabi television channel was injured.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon said the number of deaths in the Gaza Strip after 20 days of fighting had become ‘unbearable’.

The Palestinian death toll has risen to at least 1,024, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza. A Palestinian rights group said 670 were civilians. Thirteen Israelis -ten soldiers and three civilians- have been killed.

An Israeli envoy is meeting Egyptian mediators in Cairo as efforts to arrange a ceasefire with Islamist militants Hamas intensify.

Spain’s Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, a former EU Middle East envoy, said: ‘My perception is we are very close to reaching a ceasefire. They are very close but still there is some work to be done.’

P/S: Not close enough. . .just another ‘comforting’ statement I’d say.

Strange Brew

'Are you sure we're allowed to have those here?'

P/S: I bet the Israelis think there’re air-conds in hell when they’re dead. They wish, stop the brutality killings already!

Israeli missiles launched into Gaza Strip aimed at the death and destruction of the Palestinian people. Nearly 500 people have been massacred in the latest fighting.

Israeli missiles launched into Gaza Strip aimed at the death and destruction of the Palestinian people.

Reuters reported that Israel rejected a U.N. resolution calling for a cease-fire in Gaza on Friday and, as jets and tanks again pounded the Palestinian enclave, ministers debated whether to step up their two-week-old campaign against Hamas guerrillas.

With the civilian death toll in the hundreds and rising amid outraged denunciations of Israel from the Red Cross, United Nations agencies and Arab and European governments, diplomats also sounded an alarm that Egyptian-brokered truce talks launched this week might also be foundering.

Israel’s air force said it hit over 50 targets. Palestinian medics counted at least 18 dead, including civilians.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert rejected the Security Council resolution calling for an “‘immediate and durable’ cease-fire as ‘unworkable.’ He issued his statement while a meeting with his security cabinet continued, looking at whether to send in reservists for a push into the main urban centres.

Israeli warplanes dropped bombs on the outskirts of the city of Gaza, residents said. Elsewhere, Palestinian medics said tanks shelled a house in Beit Lahiya in the north of the Gaza Strip, killing six Palestinians from the same family.

A U.N. agency said in a report that 30 Palestinians were killed earlier this week when the Israeli army sheltered dozens of civilians in a house which was later hit by shells.

Noting Palestinians fired more rockets at Israel on Friday, Olmert said the army would go on with its mission.

‘The firing of rockets this morning only goes to show that the U.N. decision is unworkable and will not be adhered to by the murderous Palestinian organisations,’ he said.

‘The IDF will continue to act in order to protect the citizens of Israel and will achieve the goals that were set for the operation.’

Israel says it wants to stop rockets landing on its towns. At least 14 were fired on Friday, fewer than the dozens Hamas was able to launch in the early days of the war. Hamas officials said they were looking at the U.N. resolution.

Israel’s key ally the United States abstained in the U.N. vote, easing the pressure on the Jewish state, while noting talks on a truce were still under way under Egyptian mediation.

TALKS IN TROUBLE

That Egyptian initiative, brokered by French President Nicolas Sarkozy earlier in the week, may be in trouble, however.

‘The truce talks are going nowhere at the moment,’ a senior European diplomat told Reuters. ‘There is a growing sense that the Egyptian-French plan is not going to work.’

European and Israeli diplomats told Reuters that Egypt was objecting to proposals that foreign troops and technicians be stationed on its 15-km border with the Gaza Strip as part of a deal to meet Israeli demands that Hamas be denied the opportunity to rearm after a truce through smuggling tunnels.

Instead, diplomats said, Egypt was ready to accept technical assistance for its own forces on the border, which Israel argues have hitherto failed to prevent Hamas building up an arsenal of hundreds of smuggled, Soviet-designed Katyusha missiles as well as, possibly, sophisticated anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons.

Olmert’s security cabinet on Wednesday put off a decision on whether to launch a massive escalation of the offensive on Hamas guerrillas by moving troops in a third phase deep into urban areas, a move that would mean calling in reservists. Officials said ministers were discussing the proposal again on Friday.

The onslaught in Gaza, where many civilians including children have been killed, has solid support among Israeli voters who go to the polls in a month. A poll on Friday showed over 90 percent support among Israel’s Jewish majority.

A poll showed that Defence Minister Ehud Barak’s Labour party has held on to sharp gains it has made since war began, though it still trails Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni’s Kadima, which is running close behind the right-wing Likud opposition. Benjamin Netanyahu, Likud’s leader, has also thrown strong support behind the war.

Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, governed by Hamas’s rival Fatah movement under President Mahmoud Abbas, have been enraged by the Israeli offensive, and Israeli forces and Abbas’s police were on high alert on Friday, although there were only minor clashes around weekly prayers at mosques.

Several thousand people demonstrated and burnt Israeli flags in Hebron, a Hamas stronghold in the West Bank.

CASUALTIES

The Israeli air force hit at least 50 targets across the enclave, including launching pads for rockets and facilities used to manufacture rockets, an army spokesman said.

Israel’s military commanders appeared keen to pursue what was termed a third stage of the operation with additional ground troops being sent into the heart of Gaza’s built-up areas to flush out more gunmen and to try to secure more gains.

The Israeli army said it was, for the third day running, holding fire for three hours from 1 p.m. to let people stock up on food and other supplies.

Gaza’s Hamas rulers sent mixed signals about the resolution. Hamas spokesman Ayman Taha said the group did not recognise the resolution as it had not been consulted. Another spokesman said Hamas was ‘studying’ the resolution.

The resolution called for arrangements to prevent arms smuggling into Gaza and for its borders to be opened. It said there should be ‘unimpeded provision’ and distribution of aid to the territory, home to 1.5 million people.

The U.N. Relief and Works Agency, which distributes much of the aid in Gaza, kept its operations suspended on Friday after the death of one of its drivers in Israel’s offensive.

Hamas officials said the Palestinian death toll had risen to 783. Ten soldiers have been killed in the campaign launched by Israel to crush Hamas forces and halt the firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel. Israel says it is doing what it can to avoid civilian casualties but accuses Hamas of deliberately placing its fighters close to homes and mosques.

Rockets have killed three Israeli civilians since the offensive began. Israel has said it accepts the ‘principles’ of the cease-fire proposal by Egypt and the European Union, and Washington has urged the Jewish state to study the details.

Boycott U.S goodsMore than 2,000 Muslim restaurants in Malaysia will remove Coca-Cola from their menus as part of a boycott of American products in protest against Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, officials said today to a local newspaper,  The Star.

American companies are being targeted because of the U.S. government’s support of Israel, which is carrying out a military offensive on Gaza that is says is aimed at stopping rocket attacks from the Hamas-controlled territory.

The nationwide boycott will be launched Friday by several Muslim groups after they seek God’s blessings at Friday prayers, said Ma’mor Osman, secretary-general of the Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association which is leading the campaign.

In addition to Coca-Cola, he said they have identified some 100 other products ranging from food to beauty and clothing such as Starbucks, Colgate, McDonald’s and Maybelline.

Since the Israeli offensive began, nearly 600 Palestinians, about half of them civilians, have been killed and at least 2,500 people injured, according to U.N. and Palestinian officials. Eleven Israelis have also been killed.

Muslims in Malaysia and worldwide have held demonstrations against the Israeli action but Ma’mor said such protests are futile.

‘A boycott is the best way for us to protest Zionist cruelty against the Palestinian people as consumers can weaken the economy of countries like Israel and its ally, the U.S.,’ he said.

‘We urge everybody who loves peace and is against war to support our campaign. We must send a clear signal to Israel to stop the assaults in Gaza,’ he said.

Some 2,600 restaurants under the Association of Muslim Restaurant Operators will stop selling Coca-Cola from Friday, he added.

The move came after former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, a strident critic of Israel, last week urged consumers and governments to boycott American products and the U.S. dollar.

Israel sent troops and tanks into Hamas-controlled Gaza on Saturday after a weeklong aerial bombardment, sparking outrage among Muslims worldwide.

Malaysia’s government, which has no diplomatic ties with Israel, has denounced Israel’s ground offensive as ‘an act of total war’ which cannot be tolerated.

The United States has also been criticized for blocking approval of a U.N. Security Council statement calling for an immediate cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

P/S: I never much favor coca-cola in the first place so I think this boycott can be done for me. Now I just have to change all my cosmetic products to local’s. That’s right, gosh.

ALL IN THE NAME OF PEACE!