children in Gaza

Caught in a lie, US & allies bomb Syria the night before international inspectors arrive

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In January 2009, Israel repeatedly fired White Phosphorous on densely-populated areas of Gaza, targeting civilians. This was widely-documented, yet Israel has never been held accountable. America and allies recently bombed Syria on unproven, zero-evidence, allegations that Syria used chemical weapons. https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/01/17/white-phosphorous-mutilated-and-murdered-family-members/

Apr 15, 2018, RT.com, (republished on The Ron Paul Institute)

-by Eva Bartlett

The US, Britain and France trampled international law to launch missiles against Syria, claiming to have “evidence” of the government’s use of chemical weapons. That evidence is based on terrorist lies.
 
After a week of outrageous tweets and proclamations by POTUS Trump, which included continued accusations that Syria’s president ordered a chemical weapons attack on civilians in Douma, east of Damascus, with Trump using grotesque and juvenile terminology, such as “animal Assad,” the very evening before chemical weapons inspectors of the OPCW were to visit Douma, America and allies launched illegal bombings against Syria. The illegal bombings included 103 missiles, 71 of which Russia states were intercepted.
 

For the past week, we were told that the US had ‘evidence’ and the UK had ‘evidence’ that Syria had used chemicals. The ‘evidence’ largely relied on video clips and photos shared on social media, provided by the Western-funded White Helmets (that ‘rescuer’ group that somehow only operates in Al-Qaeda and co-terrorist occupied areas and participates in torture and executions), as well as by Yaser al-Doumani, a man whose allegiance to Jaysh al-Islam is clear from his own Facebook posts, for example of former Jaysh al-Islam leader, Zahran Alloush.

This, we were told, was ‘evidence.’ This and the words of the highly partial, USAID-funded, US State Department allied Syrian American Medical Society, which, like Al-Qaeda’s rescuers, only supports doctors in terrorist-occupied areas.

On April 12, even US Secretary of Defense James Mattis told the House Armed Services Committee that the US government does not have any evidence that sarin or chlorine was used, that he was still looking for evidence.

Syria, finding the claims to be lies and the sources tainted, requested that the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) immediately come to Syria to investigate the claims. Accordingly, the OPCW agreed to send a team—the visas for which Syria granted immediately—which arrived in Damascus on April 14.

President Trump, instead of waiting for an investigation to confirm his ‘evidence,’ chose the very night before this investigative team would arrive in Syria to inspect the allegations, to bomb Syria. The timing of the attacks is more than just a little timely. And the bombings were illegal.

General Mattis tried to dance around the legality, stating, “the president has the authority under Article II of the Constitution to use military force overseas to defend important United States national interests.”

But he is wrong, this does not permit the US to illegally bomb a sovereign nation, and he knows it. So does Russia. In a statement on April 14, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared the attacks as illegal, noting:

“Without the sanction of the Security Council of the United Nations, in violation of the UN Charter, norms and principles of international law, an act of aggression against a sovereign state that is at the forefront of the fight against terrorism has been committed.”

What if chemicals had been at targeted locations?

In the same Pentagon briefing, General Joseph Dunford specified the US and allies’ targets in Syria, alleging they were “specifically associated with the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons program.” One target, at which 76 missiles were fired, was the Barzeh scientific research centre in heavily-populated Damascus itself, which Dunford claimed was involved in the “development, production and testing of chemical and biological warfare technology.”

This ‘target’ is in the middle of a densely-inhabited area of Damascus. According to Damascus resident Dr. (of business and economy) Mudar Barakat, who knows the area in question, “the establishment consists of a number of buildings. One of them is a teaching institute. They are very close to the homes of the people around.”

Of the strikes, Dunford claimed they “inflicted maximum damage, without unnecessary risk to innocent civilians.”

If one believed the claims to be accurate, would bombing them really save Syrian lives, or to the contrary cause mass deaths? Where is the logic in bombing facilities believed to contain hazardous, toxic chemicals in or near densely populated areas?

Regarding the actual nature of the buildings bombed, Syrian media, SANA, describes the Pharmaceutical and Chemical Industries Research Institute as “centered on preparing the chemical compositions for cancer drugs.” The destruction of this institute is particularly bitter, as, under the criminal western sanctions, cancer medicines sales to Syria are prohibited.

Interviews with one of its employees, Said Said, corroborate SANA’s description of the facility making cancer treatment and other medicinal components. One article includes Said’s logical point: “If there were chemical weapons, we would not be able to stand here. I’ve been here since 5:30 am in full health – I’m not coughing.”

Of the facility, the same SANA article noted that its labs had been visited by the OPCW, which issued two reports negating claims of any chemical weapons activities. This is a point Syria’s Ambassador al-Ja’afari raised in the April 14 UN Security Council meeting, noting that the OPCW “handed to Syria an official document which confirmed that the Barzeh centre was not used for any type of chemical activity” that would be in contravention to Syria’s obligations regarding the OPCW.

Bombings based on Al-Qaeda and Jaysh al-Islam Claims

The entire pretext of the US and allies’ illegal bombings of Syria is immoral and flawed. There is no evidence to the claims that Syria used chemicals in Douma. Numerous analysts have pointed out the obvious: that Syria would not benefit from having used chemical weapons. But America, Israel and allies would benefit from staged attacks.

The website Moon of Alabama noted discrepancies in the videos passed around on social media as “evidence” of Syria’s culpability, including the following:

“The ‘treatment’ by the ‘rebels’, dousing with water and administering some asthma spray, is unprofessional and many of the ‘patients’ seem to have no real problem. It is theater. The real medical personnel are seen in the background working on a real patient.”

Russia’s Defense Ministry has released interviews with two men who were included in the footage alleging a chemical attack has occurred. One of the men, Halil Ajij, said he worked in the hospital in question, they had treated people for smoke poisoning, saying: “We treated them, based on their suffocation,” also noting: “We didn’t see any patient with symptoms of a chemical weapons poisoning,” he said.

In an April 14 interview on Sky News, the former British Ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford, argued that the most elementary stage in the accusations game is to allow the actual inspection to occur.

“The evidence that chemical weapons were dropped is non-existent. Let the inspectors go in and possibly within days we will have a verdict but the jury is still out. …I’m totally confident that the inspectors will not produce one shred of evidence to back up the assertions of the Americans. If the Americans had proof, they’d have brought it forward. What they’re saying and what Mrs. May is saying, is just ‘take our word for it, trust us’. There’s not even a dodgy dossier this time.”

Israel and America benefit from the attacks… and are guilty of chemical weapons use

While the world’s eyes have been glazed over by chemical weapons script-reading journalists of corporate media, little notice is given to the ongoing Israeli slaughter and maiming of Palestinian unarmed demonstrators, targeted assassinations that last re-began with the March 30 murders of at least 17 unarmed Palestinians protesting in Gaza’s eastern regions. Israel’s murder of these unarmed youths, women and men got only mild tut-tuts from the UN, and was relegated to “clashes” by slavish corporate media. Israel is literally getting away with murder, as eyes are turned elsewhere.

ReadIsraeli violence against Palestinians will never end as a result of UN & US hypocrisy

According to Secretary Mattis, the US-led illegal attack on Syria “demonstrates international resolve to prevent chemical weapons from being used on anyone under any circumstances in contravention of international law.”

The irony? Both America and its close ally Israel have used chemical weapons on civilians. The US has attacked civilians in Vietnam and Iraq, to name but two countries, with chemical weapons.

In 2009, I was living in Gaza and documenting Israel’s war crimes when Israel bombed civilians all over Gaza with white phosphorous. These were civilians with nowhere to run or hide, including civilians who had fled their homes and taken shelter in a UN-recognized school. I myself documented numerous instances of Israel’s use of white phosphorous.

If this doesn’t outrage American citizens, the billions of US taxpayers’ dollars sent to Israel and spent on the bombing of sovereign nations — and not on America’s impoverished, nor on affordable health care — should outrage.

However, as author Jonathan Cook noted, the issue is not merely Trump’s threats to Syria:

“There is bipartisan support for this madness. Hillary Clinton and the Democratic leadership in the US, and much of the parliamentary Labour party in the UK, are fully on board with these actions. In fact, they have been goading Trump into launching attacks.”

By not attacking Russian forces in Syria this time, the US narrowly avoided a direct military confrontation with Russia, one which would have had global ramifications, to say the least.

The question now is: will the regime-change alliance be stupid and cruel enough to support yet another false flag chemical attack in their unending efforts to depose the Syrian president, or will they give up the game and allow Syria’s full return to peace? The US and allies claim their concern for Syrian civilians, but do everything in their power to ensure civilians suffer from terrorism and sanctions.

 

Israeli violence against Palestinians will never end as a result of UN & US hypocrisy

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*internet photo of huge amounts of suffocating tear gas on Gaza protest. More sordidly, photos abound of maimed and slaughtered unarmed Palestinian protesters.

Apr 4, 2018, RT.com

-Eva K. Bartlett

The US is fine with “rebels” like Al-Qaeda “protesting” in Syria, but when genuinely unarmed Palestinians protest the occupiers who violently expelled them from their homes and land, they are “inciting violence.”
 

During peaceful protests on March 30 in eastern Gaza, an unarmed Palestinian man walked on farmland towards the fence built by his occupiers. Within minutes, he was shot by one of the 100 Israeli special forces snipers deployed along the fence precisely to quash dissent—by any means necessary—under the old pretext of “self-defense.”

On the same day, a Palestinian woman, armed solely with a flag, walked towards the fence which has imprisoned her for so many years. She, too, was targeted by one of the snipers.

Among the 17 killed that day was a 16-year-old girl and a 27-year-old farmer, the latter killed by Israeli tank fire.

Even the BBC, which is not generally known to report fairly on Palestine, noted: “The first to die was Omar Samour, 27 – a Palestinian farmer killed in Israeli shelling as he worked his land near Khan Younis early on Friday, before the protests began.

Yet, according to Israel, this farmer was a “terrorist infiltrator,” the lexicon which Israel uses to whitewash its extrajudicial assassinations.  CONTINUE READING

Israel a criminal offender at large, UN listing or not

Farah Abu Halima, 3, severely burned by Israeli-fired White Phosphorus, January 4, 2009 (Photo by Eva Bartlett)

*Farah Abu Halima, 3, severely burned by Israeli-fired White Phosphorus, January 4, 2009 (Photo by Eva Bartlett)

Jun 5, 2015, RT.com

republished at: Global Research, Information Clearinghouse, OpEdNews

-by Eva Bartlett

Reports have come out that the UN was considering adding Israel to the list of “grave violations against children in armed conflict.” As detailed below, Israeli army and Israel’s state policies are systematically violent against Palestinian children.

A recent Independent article noted that [Special Envoy for Children and Armed Conflict Leila] “Zerrougui’s draft report cited IDF attacks on schools and hospitals during the 2014 war in the Gaza Strip…”

Even though the UN has historically not taken strong action against any of Israel’s war crimes over the decades, let alone those specifically against Palestinian children, Israel has reportedly exerted pressure to be de-listed from the draft list, with seeming success.

The Independent wrote, “UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, however, is said to be leaning towards not including Israel in the list, amid what several diplomatic sources anonymously said was intense lobbying from Israel.”

Apparently, Israel thinks such call for its joining the list is “a heinous and hypocritical attempt to besmirch the image of Israel and it is doomed to fail,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon reportedly said.

In fact, the UN should have listed Israel from at least 2009 when, as the UN website notes, “the Security Council decided to also list armed forces and groups who kill and maim children, commit sexual violence against children, and attack schools and hospitals.”

Does Israel violate the six areas detailed? Five out of six, most definitely:

– Killing or maiming of children; [See below]
CONTINUE READING

The Broken Sparrows of Palestine

IMG_20141104_083919Abdul Rahman Abu Oida, pastels, by Ahmad Barqawi

 

 

By Eva Bartlett, Nov 4, 2014, Crescent International

A teen who loved strawberries, adored children far more…A paraplegic young man with soulful eyes, deaf ears and unfulfilled dreams of being a father…A martyr.

This is the story of Broken Sparrow, one of tens of thousands of Palestinians killed by Zionist colonizers; one of 9,100 Palestinians killed since 2000; one of at least 2,053 Palestinian children killed since 2000 (including at least 527 Palestinian children killed in the July/August Zionist genocide of Gaza); one of many Palestinians I’ve known and mourned.

Broken Sparrow wasn’t always broken, wasn’t born that way. To the contrary, he was once a thriving teen who, like a great majority of his Palestinian brothers and sisters, played football, also lifted weights, and lived as normal a life as one could under the brutal, continually-expanding rule of foreign occupiers. His family were just slightly better off than the 80 percent of nearly 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza who depend on paltry food aid for their malnourished existence. They are not wealthy, but had a proper, rain-proof home and simple but nourishing meals.

Before he was broken, he was Abdul Rahman. Abed.

In the February/March 2008 Zionist massacre of Gaza, in which 16 year old Abed Abu Oida was targeted with a Zionist sniper’s bullet to the spine, at least 114 Palestinians were killed (including 27 children, among whom were 2 infants), and another 154 Palestinian civilians were injured (including 56 children). The majority of those injured, murdered, were in Abed’s northeastern Gaza region, eastern Jabaliya, in a 24 hour period.

Some of the murdered children included four boys (ages 9 to 12) playing football, killed instantly by a targeted Zionist missile strike. Six years later, another four boys (ages 9 to 11) from the Bakr family would be murdered in the exact same fashion, the missiles which hunted them down on Gaza City’s small beach fired by a Zionist gunboat.

In the February/March 2008 bombardment of Gaza, another youth was sniped—to death—while in her family home. PCHR reported:

Twelve year old Safaa Ra’ed Ali Abu-Saif …bled to death after being hit by a single bullet on 1 March, 2008. ‘There was a hole in her chest’ said Ali Abu-Saif. ‘The bullet had entered her left side and exited through her back.’ Safaa had gone upstairs to ask her uncle and aunt to come downstairs with their children for their own safety. Ra’ed and Ali Abu-Saif carried Safaa downstairs, and their neighbours called an ambulance. The neighbours then rang the Abu-Saif family, and told them the ambulance could not come to their house because Palestinian ambulances were being attacked by Israeli tanks.”

Abed’s injury also occurred at his home, the day after Safaa was targeted and murdered.

On the family’s roof, checking the water tank to see why the family suddenly had no water, Abed was shot in the spine by a sniper in the “world’s most moral army” hiding on another rooftop. The bullet destroyed three vertebrae; the shot left Abed paralyzed in a puddle of his own blood until his 13 year old brother 15 minutes later found him and dragged him downstairs. As with Safaa’s case, as with most cases, ambulances were prevented from accessing the area. Abed lay untreated for three hours before he reached a hospital in Gaza City.

At first it seemed that Abed had been lucky: he survived the Zionist sniper’s bullet to his spine; he was sent for care in Egypt while the attacks continued on Gaza.

But when months later I met Abed in a Cairo hospital, he was near-deathly emaciated, with appallingly large bedsores on his backside and feet. These festering bedsores—a result of the poor care he was given in the various Cairo hospitals he was shifted to—would be the cause of other ailments which plagued him and eventually caused his death. Isolated from his family who could not get Egypt’s permission to exit Gaza to be with their paralyzed son, Abed began to succumb to his injury.
CONTINUE READING

Remembering Abdul Rahman Abu Oida, “broken bird”, a beautiful soul,


*Abdul Rahman Abu Oida, at the Wafa Rehabilitation hospital (Eva Bartlett)

 

I am very, very sorry to learn of the death of a stoic young Palestinian man, Abed Abu Oida, a result of years of suffering after being shot in the spine by a zionist mercenary sniper in eastern Jabaliya, March 2008.

I met Abed in a Cairo hospital in mid 2008, where he was wasting away (severely emaciated and had festering bedsores on his backside and heels—which would later be the cause of infection). Steve Sosebee, from the Palestinian Children’s Relief Foundation, was fundamental in getting Abed back to Gaza where–in spite of the severity of life under lockdown-siege, Abed was able to get excellent care at the recently-destroyed al-Wafa Rehabilitation hospital (this hospital came under genocidal zionist attacks in 2009, including w White Phosphorous (see links below), and again during the latest zionist genociding of Gaza this year.

Abed’s story was this:

“Bedridden but painfully conscious, nearly paralyzed with no feeling from the waist down, 16-year-old Abdul Rahman (Abed) is one of the hundreds who were injured by intense Israeli shelling and firing on Gaza between 27 February – 3 March 2008, during an operation dubbed “Hot Winter” by Israel. According to a World Health Organization report, during this period the Israeli army killed at least 116 Palestinians, nearly half of them civilians and more than a quarter children, including a six-month-old and a 20-day-old baby, and injured 350. Later counts put the number killed as high as 150, with more than 55 killed in one day alone. Over half of the week’s fatalities and injuries occurred in and around Jabaliya, the northern Gaza region where Abed was born.

At 11:00am on 2 March, Abed stood on the roof of his family’s home, observing as Israeli tanks overran the area. No curfew had been announced, and he was unaware of the presence of soldiers on a neighboring rooftop. The youth was struck from behind by an Israeli sniper’s bullet that dug into his spine, destroying three of his vertebrae and leaving him paralyzed and bleeding on the roof where he lay for 15 minutes before his younger brother found him. The 13-year-old dragged Abed to the stairs and down into the family’s home, dodging further sniper fire as he went. The invasion outside continued, preventing ambulances from coming for Abed. Three hours after his injury, the teen finally reached a hospital in Gaza City where doctors, after seeing his injury, were surprised to see the youth was still alive. Unable to provide adequate emergency care in Gaza, they immediately loaded him into an emergency transfer ambulance bound for the Rafah border crossing to Egypt.”
CONTINUE READING

A Good Friend’s Project: Midwife to Gaza

    

This is the fundraising campaign of a good friend of mine, Sharyn Lock, who I worked with in Gaza in 2008/9 [her blog from Gaza].

A bit of background: Sharyn was on the first Free Gaza boat to Gaza in August 2008, and was a core component of organizing the boats, five trips of which (six boats) successfully arrived at Gaza’s port (I was on the third).  Along with others in Gaza at the time, we did farmer and fisher accompaniment, trying to be in solidarity with these vulnerable sectors who are bullied (read: killed, maimed, abducted) on a daily basis by the world’s most immoral army, and to document these crimes.  Similarly, during the 2008/9 Gaza massacre, we accompanied medics in their ambulances, documenting the worst of the war crimes. Sharyn was in the Quds hospital when it was bombed repeatedly [see her blog entry on that], including with white phosphorous.  And was among the first rescuers to reach the Samouni district in al-Zeitoun, where horrific crimes and massacres were committed against the extended family.

But beyond some of those key moments, Sharyn interacted with Palestinians in Gaza respectfully, whole-heartedly, with dedication and professionalism, and continued her activism after leaving Gaza.

Since then, she’s thrown herself into studying and practising to become a mid-wife, which she just has.

 

Please look at and consider supporting and sharing her fundraising appeal, to get back to Gaza. From Sharyn’s appeal:

I am aiming to raise £3000 after site fees. Rounding up, £5=$9, £10=$17, £20 =$34, £50=$84, £100=$167. I will be blogging here, so you can go click “follow” to be all ready if you like 🙂
CONTINUE READING

forced to walk through sewage

Mohammed Salem, Reuters

Mohammed Salem, Reuters

The Palestinians of Gaza continue to suffer silently. Not only:

-12-18 hour power outages (depending on where in the Strip they live)

-critical shortages of medicines (40% of essential drugs): “We’re not talking here about luxury medications — and by luxury I mean medications that will treat conditions that will kill you in five years or ten years. We’re talking about essential medication.

We’re using medications that my colleagues in Canada have only used if they’ve been in practice since the ’60s. So yes, we have a deep and desperate shortage there. The shortages of medications, the shortages of supplies — especially what we would call “consumables.”

I rarely have the sutures that I want available for the patients when I need them. I rarely have the correct-sized chest tubes. Sutures are how you sew people up together, chest tubes are the things that you put into peoples’ chests when they’ve been shot in the chest or when they’re bleeding in the chest or when there’s water, air in the chest for other reasons.

-“88 Kidney dialysis devices will stop working [endangering 500 dialysis patients], 45 rooms equipped for urgent cases will close, the ICU in the main hospital of Gaza will close, and five blood banks and tens of medical labs will also close. In addition, three mass refrigerators for keeping children’s vaccines and 113 nurseries will close, as will refrigerators for sensitive drugs and x-ray centres. In fact, all service departments are under the threat of closure.”[Nov 7, 2013]

-a shortage of cooking gas (the main means of cooking) and fuel (which combined with power outages render hospitals extremely vulnerable, as fuel is necessary for the back-up generators, which themselves are not meant to run for 8, 10, 12 hour stretches… think life support machinery and prenatal wards, and even simple hygienic laundry work).

-soaring unemployment and manufactured poverty

-the Zionist army shooting at Palestinian farmers and fishers

-random Zionist army bombings

-constant drone presence, constant presence of Zionist warplanes, tanks, and warships

-a ban on construction materials, (meaning the 10,000 … and the 70,000 dependent on the construction sector for their livelihoods, as well as 18 UN projects on education, health, water, and electricity now at risk.

-95% of water in Gaza is not drinkable

…Any one of these factors, prolonged, would make life in, say, Canada unbearable.  But all of these factors… and more?

But the latest insult and danger is the overflowing sewage flooding the streets.  Completely and utterly preventable, were Palestinians allowed to maintain their sewage holding pools, expand them, maintain the lines, treat the sewage. Instead, its pumped into the sea at a rate of 90 million litres a day, and in this case is overflowing into the streets of Gaza.  In 2007, Umm Nasr, a village in northern Gaza was flooded by sewage overflow, killing 5 people.

**notice the LOVE so evident between friends and siblings, the laughter and pride, despite despicable circumstances.

see also: Gaza power outages cause environmental crisis

Frustratingly, these are not new circumstances:

Israeli Siege on Gaza Causes Waste Crisis

notes on Palestine’s preventable water and food crises

Gaza out of the spotlight…and out of power, gasoline, and cooking gas for that matter

fish hiya: no life

Israel’s threat to cut Gaza water supply would be “complete catastrophe”

Attack on Water Brings Sanitation Crisis

lucky to have water