WHAT’S GOOD FOR THE GOOSE IS GOOD FOR THE GANDER AS FAR AS ISRAELI SPYS GO

Two convicted spys …. one released, the other soon to be … but both will remain in virtual prison.

Pollard and Vanunu

Pollard and Vanunu

Obama Won’t Let Pollard Out of US

White House says Jonathan Pollard will not be allowed to move to Israel upon his release.
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A senior Israeli diplomatic source revealed on Monday that if Jonathan Pollard is released in November as has been reported, he won’t be allowed to come to Israel for fear he will receive a hero’s welcome.
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Full report HERE
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And following is the double standard
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This is OK with the Israeli government …..
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Israel renews restrictions on nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu

Despite serving 18 years in prison, including 11 in solitary confinement, Vanunu is forbidden from traveling and speaking to the media. Recently, he was denied a permit to speak before the British Parliament, following an invitation by 54 MPs. 

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Since his release from prison in 2004, Vanunu hasn’t been allowed to leave Israel, enter a foreign consulate or embassy, come within 500 meters of an international border, port or airport or enter the West Bank. He is forbidden from speaking to journalists, and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) monitors all foreign nationals with whom he meets. The Shin Bet must also approve Vanunu’s meetings with a foreign national who the Israeli media says is his partner.

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Full report HERE
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Whats-Good-for-the-Goose-Featured-Image-2-672x372

GOP MADNESS EXTRAORDINAIRE

I CAN HARDLY WAIT TO SEE JON STEWART’S RESPONSE TO THIS ONE …

huckabee

Huckabee: Obama Leading Israelis to ‘Door of the Oven’

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, talking about the Iran nuclear deal, said President Barack Obama will march Israelis “to the door of the oven.”

Huckabee, in an interview Saturday with Breitbart News, evoked Holocaust images of the ovens used to dispose of the bodies of Jews gassed in Nazi concentration camps.

“This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history,” the former Arkansas governor said. “It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.”

Calling the deal signed earlier this month by Iran and world powers the “most idiotic thing,” Huckabee said the agreement should be rejected by Democrats and Republicans in Congress, “and by the American people.”

“I read the whole deal,” he said. “We gave away the whole store. It’s got to be stopped.”

In May, when Huckabee announced he was running for the 2016 presidency, he cast Obama’s foreign policy as not sufficiently protective of Israel’s interests.

“Hell will freeze over before they get a nuclear weapon,” Huckabee said of Iran.

A pastor, Huckabee visits Israel three to four times a year and leads tours there for evangelical Christians.

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Meanwhile, some sane voices ….

Former US ambassadors to Israel back Iran deal

7 past State Department officials claim ‘risks will be much higher for US and Israel’ without nuclear accord

Full report HERE

WHY BDS IS JUST AND IS A MUST

The Palestinians are poor. They are powerless. They have no voice or influence in the halls of power. They are demonized. They do not have well-heeled lobbyists doling out campaign contributions and pushing through pro-Palestinian legislation. No presidential candidate is appealing to donors—as Hillary Clinton did when she sent a letter to media mogul Haim Saban denouncing critics of Israel—by promising to advance the interests of the Palestinian people. Palestinians, like poor people of color in the United States, are expendable.

 Smoke and fire from an Israeli strike rise over Gaza City in July 2014. (Hatem Moussa / AP )

Smoke and fire from an Israeli strike rise over Gaza City in July 2014. (Hatem Moussa / AP )

Why I Support the BDS Movement Against Israel

By Chris Hedges

The Palestinians are poor. They are powerless. They have no voice or influence in the halls of power. They are demonized. They do not have well-heeled lobbyists doling out campaign contributions and pushing through pro-Palestinian legislation. No presidential candidate is appealing to donors—as Hillary Clinton did when she sent a letter to media mogul Haim Saban denouncing critics of Israel—by promising to advance the interests of the Palestinian people. Palestinians, like poor people of color in the United States, are expendable.

Justice for Palestine will never come from the traditional governmental institutions or political parties that administer power. These institutions have surrendered to moneyed interests. Justice will come only from us. And the sole mechanism left to ensure justice for Palestine is the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. Sanctions brought down the apartheid regime of South Africa. And they are what will bring down the apartheid regime of Israel. BDS is nonviolent. It appeals to conscience. And it works.

All Israeli products including Jaffa citrus fruits, Ahava cosmetics, SodaStream drink machines, Eden Springs bottled water and Israeli wine must be boycotted. We must refuse to do business with Israeli service companies. And we must boycott corporations that do business with Israel, including Caterpillar, HP and Hyundai. We must put pressure on institutions, from churches to universities, to divest from Israeli companies and corporations that have contracts with Israel. The struggle against apartheid in South Africa was long and hard. This struggle will be too.

Gaza, a year after Israel carried out a devastating bombing campaign that lasted almost two months, is in ruins. Most of the water is unsafe to drink. There are power outages for up to 12 hours a day. Forty percent of the 1.8 million inhabitants are unemployed, including 67 percent of the youths—the highest youth unemployment rate in the world. Of the 17,000 homes destroyed by Israel in the siege, not one has been rebuilt. Sixty thousand people remain homeless. Only a quarter of the promised $3.5 billion in aid from international donors has been delivered—much of it diverted to the Palestinian Authority, the Israeli puppet regime that governs the West Bank. And no one in Washington—Republican or Democrat—will defy the Israel lobby. No one will call for justice or stay the Israeli killing machine. U.S. senators, including Bernie Sanders, at the height of the Israeli bombardment last summer voted unanimously to defend the Israeli slaughter of a people with no army, navy, air force, mechanized units, artillery or command and control. It was a vote worthy of the old Soviet Union. Every senator held out his or her tin cup to the Israel lobby and chose naked self-interest over justice.

Israel, like the United States, is poisoned by the psychosis of permanent war. It too is governed by a corrupt oligarchic elite for whom war has become a lucrative business. It too has deluded itself into carrying out war crimes and then playing the role of the victim. Israeli systems of education and the press—again mirrored in the United States—have indoctrinated Israelis into believing that they have a right to kill anyone whom the state condemns as a terrorist. And Israel’s most courageous human rights campaigners, intellectuals and journalists are slandered and censored in their own country, just as American critics such as Norman Finkelstein, Max Blumenthal and Noam Chomskyare in the United States.

Those who become addicted to the wielding of the instruments of war, blinded by hubris and a lust for power, eventually become war’s victims. This is as true for Israel as for the United States.

Israel’s goal is to make life a living hell for all Palestinians, ethnically cleansing as many as it can and subduing those who remain. The peace process is a sham. It has led to Israel’s seizure of more than half the land on the West Bank, including the aquifers, and the herding of Palestinians into squalid, ringed ghettos or Bantustans while turning Palestinian land and homes over to Jewish settlers. Israel is expanding settlements, especially in East Jerusalem. Racial laws, once championed by the right-wing demagogue Meir Kahane, openly discriminate against Israeli Arabs and Palestinians. Ilan Pappecalls the decades-long assault against the Palestinian people “incremental genocide.”

In Gaza, Israel practices an even more extreme form of cruelty. It employs a mathematical formula to limit outside food deliveries to Gaza to keep the caloric levels of the 1.8 million Palestinians just above starvation. This has left 80 percent of the Palestinians in Gaza dependent on Islamic charities and outside aid to survive. And the periodic military assaults on Gaza, euphemistically called “mowing the lawn,” are carried out every few years to ensure that the Palestinians remain broken, terrified and destitute. There have been three Israeli attacks on Gaza since 2008. Each is more violent and indiscriminate than the last. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has said that a fourth attack on Gaza is “inevitable.”

During its 51-day siege of Gaza last summer Israel dropped $370 million in ordinance on concrete hovels and refugee camps that hold the most densely packed population on the planet. Two thousand one hundred four Palestinians were killed. Sixty-nine percent—1,462—were civilians. Four hundred ninety-five were children. Ten thousand were injured. (During the attack six Israeli civilians and 66 soldiers were killed.) Four hundred Palestinian businesses were wiped out. Seventy mosques were destroyed and 130 were damaged. Twenty-four medical facilities were bombed, and 16 ambulances were struck, as was Gaza’s only electrical power plant. Israel tallied it up: 390,000 tank shells, 34,000 artillery shells, 4.8 million bullets. Most of the civilians who died were killed in their homes, many of the victims torn to shreds by flechette darts sprayed from tanks. Children were burned with white phosphorous or buried with their families under rubble caused by 2,000-pound iron fragmentation bombs. Others died from dense inert metal explosive, or DIME, bombs—experimental weapons that send out extremely small, carcinogenic particles that cut through both soft tissue and bone. The Israel Defense Forces, as Amira Hass has reported, consider any Palestinian over the age of 12 to be a legitimate military target. Max Blumenthal’s new book, “The 51 Day War,” is a chilling chronicle of savage atrocities carried out by Israel in Gaza last summer. As horrible as the apartheid state in South Africa was, that nation never used its air force and heavy artillery to bomb and shell black townships.

A report by Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) found Israel killed and injured more civilians with explosive weapons in 2014 than any other country in the world. Hamas’ indiscriminate firing of wildly inaccurate missiles—Finkelstein correctly called them “enhanced fireworks”—into Israel was, as a U.N. report recently charged, a war crime, although the report failed to note that under international law Hamas had a right to use force to defend itself from attack.

The disparity of firepower in the 2014 conflict was vast: Israel dropped 20,000 tons of explosives on Gaza while Hamas used 20 to 40 tons of explosives to retaliate. Israel’s wholesale slaughter of civilians is on a scale equaled only by Islamic State and Boko Haram. Yet Israel, in our world of double standards, is exempted from condemnation in Washington and provided with weapons and billions in U.S. foreign aid to perpetuate the killing. This is not surprising. The United States uses indiscriminate deadly force in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia that outdoes even Israel, leaving behind civilian victims, refugees and destroyed cities and villages in huge numbers.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who during his last election campaign received 90 percent of his money from U.S. oligarchs such as Sheldon Adelson, has internally mounted a campaign of state repression against human rights advocates, journalists and dissidents. He has stoked overt racism toward Palestinians and Arabs and the African migrant workers who live in the slums of Tel Aviv. “Death to Arabs” is a popular chant at Israeli soccer matches. Thugs from right-wing youth groups such as Im Tirtzu routinely beat up dissidents, Palestinians, Israeli Arabs and African immigrants in the streets of Tel Aviv. It is a species of Jewish fascism.

Israel is not an anomaly. It is a window into the dystopian, militarized world that is being prepared for all of us, a world with vast disparities of income and draconian systems of internal security. There will be no freedom for Palestine, or for those locked in our own internal colonies and terrorized by indiscriminate police violence, until we destroy corporate capitalism and the neoliberal ideology that sustains it. There will be no justice for Michael Brown until there is justice for Mohammed Abu Khdeir. The fight for the Palestinians is our fight. If the Palestinians are not liberated none of us will be liberated. We cannot pick and choose which of the oppressed are convenient or inconvenient to defend. We will stand with all of the oppressed or none of the oppressed. And when we stand with the oppressed we will be treated like the oppressed.

Written FOR

POLLARD TO CONTINUE ROTTING IN PRISON ~~ WHERE HE BELONGS!


Despite Israeli reports stating Pollard will be released shortly, the US Government confirmed that he will stay right where he is, in prison!

The Justice Department said it “has always and continues to maintain that Jonathan Pollard should serve his full sentence for the serious crimes he committed.”

Banner calling for Pollard's release during a visit by US President Barack Obama in Israel (Photo: AP)

Banner calling for Pollard’s release during a visit by US President Barack Obama in Israel (Photo: AP)

U.S. Denies Report Jonathan Pollard May Be Freed Soon

U.S. officials on Friday denied a Wall Street Journal report that the Obama administration was considering early release for Jonathan Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence officer convicted of spying for Israel.

The Justice Department said Pollard must serve his full 30-year sentence. It stressed that he has long been eligible for consideration for parole in November but insisted that the administration has no say in how that process unfolds.

One U.S. official rejected the notion that Pollard’s release would have anything to do with trying to smooth tense relations with Israel over President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fiercely opposes.

The Journal reported that some U.S. officials are pushing for Pollard’s release in a matter of weeks, while others expect it could take months, possibly at his parole consideration date in November.

Successive Israeli governments have appealed for Pollard’s release, which would be hugely popular in Israel, but U.S. presidents have always resisted. Pollard, 60, was convicted in 1987 of spying for Israel and sentenced to a life term.

The Justice Department said it “has always and continues to maintain that Jonathan Pollard should serve his full sentence for the serious crimes he committed.”

“Mr. Pollard’s status will be determined by the United States Parole Commission according to standard procedures,” said Alistair Baskey, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council. “There is absolutely zero linkage between Mr. Pollard’s status and foreign policy considerations.”

Pollard’s supporters say he is being punished too harshly since Israel is a U.S. ally and much of the classified information he passed on caused no damage to the United States and was intelligence that Israel previously had access to.

His supporters also say he should be released because of his poor health, with his attorney saying he suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure.

Netanyahu has personally pressed for years to get the United States to release Pollard, who is currently serving time in a federal prison in Butner, North Carolina.

The Obama administration considered early release in the spring of 2014 as a sweetener to encourage Israel in an Israeli-Palestinian peace effort, but the idea caused an uproar in the U.S. intelligence community and was quickly dropped.

IS FACEBOOK ABOUT TO RECOGNISE PALESTINE?

Strange happenings at the zionist controlled social media …..

New map shows West Bank and East Jerusalem as outside of Israel

You have to like this ....

You have to like this ….

Facebook Redraws Israel’s Borders

New advertising settings place Judea-Samaria, parts of Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights as ‘outside Israel,’ according to Israeli media.

Facebook not only considers Jewish areas of Judea and Samaria (Shomron), but also parts of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, as outside of Israel, according to exposé published Sunday.

The social network updated its advertising system recently allowing editors of popular pages the chance to gear their posts toward a specific geographical location.

However, a great deal of the State of Israel is not considered within Israel’s borders, according to Channel 2. 

Areas within the desired country are usually shown ‘highlighted’, whereas areas outside that country’s borders are greyed out, they explained.

Channel 2 tested the new system to aim posts in eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem, for example, and saw that the rest of the State of Israel became automatically “greyed out.” The same happened during any attempt to aim posts toward areas over 1949 Armistice lines or in the Golan Heights.

The news site notes that, as of right now, the posting system merely becomes burdensome; whereas choosing “Israel” should aim the posts to all of the State of Israel automatically, separate settings are required to specify areas Facebook apparently deems as outside its borders.

Facebook did not respond to the channel’s requests for comment.

From

ISRAEL ~~ THE MOUSE THAT ROARED

With Israel’s failure to convince the world not to sign the Iran deal, they had to find something new to kvetch about ….

Deputy Foreign Minister Hotovely meets European officials to demand governments stop providing cash to allegedly anti-Israel organizations.

Israel to EU: Halt funding of NGOs working against us

Israel is demanding that European Union member states halt funding to non-governmental organizations allegedly working to delegitimize the Jewish state. The Foreign Ministry claims that European governments provide 100-200 million euros annually to said groups.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely has begun a series of consultations with European foreign ministers, their deputies, and ambassadors of several European countries, in which she is presenting evidence that their governments provide financial assistance to organizations that support boycotts against Israel, “blacken its face around the world, accuse it of ethnic cleansing, apartheid, and war crimes; deprive the Jewish people of their right to self-determination, call to prosecute Israel in the International Criminal Court at The Hague, and support the right of return”.

Hotovely claimed that some of these organizations are associated with and actively support terror groups.

Hotovely has met withthe Dutch foreign minister, the Spanish deputy foreign minister, and the ambassadors of Sweden, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Switzerland.

According to Hotovely, the diplomats were presented with detailed documents collected by the Foreign Ministry and the NGO Monitor organization that prove the “problematic” funding. She emphasized that Israel sees support for organizations opposing its right to exist as crossing a red line.

Hotovely has instructed Israeli ambassadors in Europe to demand that ministries increase thier overview of funds given to such groups, warning that if her premptive diplomatic move fails, Israel will be forced to adopt legislation forbidding foreign countries from backing organizations with a clear anti-Israel bent.

According to Deputy Minister Hotovely, these are some of the European investments in such organizations in recent years:

The Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat, managed by the Institute of Law at Birzeit University in the West Bank, which received $10.5 million from the governments of Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. The funds were to go to 24 political organizations over three years.

In 2014, the governments of Germany, Sweden, Norway, and the EU provided NIS 415,741 to the Coalition of Women for Peace, an organization that supports aspects of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.

The Netherlands provided NIS 13 million in the last three years to numerous NGOs, including Who Profits, Al-Haq, the Coalition of Women for Peace, and Al-Mezan.

Denmark provided NIS 23 million in the last three years to several NGOs, including Breaking the Silence, BADIL, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, and other Palestinian organizations.

Switzerland provided NIS 5 million over the last three years to organizations like the Alternative Information Center, Zochrot, the Applied Research Institute, and Terrestrial Jerusalem.

Spain gave NIS 3.8 million in the last three years to groups including Breaking the Silence, the Coalition of Women for Peace, the Alternative Information Center, and NOVA, a Spanish BDS organization.

The United Kingdom provided NIS 12 million in 2008-2011 to Breaking the Silence, Yesh Din, Gisha, Bimkom, Terrestrial Jerusalem, and No Legal Frontiers.

 

From

 

Book Review ~~ THE IDEA OF ISRAEL: A HISTORY OF POWER AND KNOWLEDGE

If you are an Israeli and are a product of the Israeli education system, especially under the age of 40, read this book.

If you are a Jewish-American and have been blindly consuming your institutional, mainstream “idea of Israel,” read this book.

If you are a U.S. lawmaker, writing the annual checks to Israel and playing jack-in-the-box every time the Israeli prime minister speaks in the Congress, read this book.

If you are a Palestinian who thinks Israelis are not worth engaging because they all know the history, read this book.

unnamed (6)

On THE IDEA OF ISRAEL

By Sam Bahour

This book will go down in history as a monumental recording of the Israeli History Industry for generations to come. At its core, the book is a snapshot into a decade of inner Israeli dynamics, from 1990 to 2000, when the basic assumptions that Israel propagated for decades about how the ‘miracle’ of Israel came into being started to be challenged. The history of how this decade was reached is as fascinating as how horrific has been its aftermath.

Except for its last chapter, this book is not for everyone. Israeli historian, Ilan Pappe, takes the reader through the maze of knowledge creation in Israel and how that journey has interacted with power. The invaluable intellectual contribution and framing that Professor Pappe provides cannot be overstated. He documents for all serious researchers who follow how the dust (or more like blood) of Israel’s foundational moment has yet to settle. The events in and around 1948 that led to the creation of Israel and the colossal loss of Palestine were such a historic tragedy that even the well-oiled Israeli and Zionist public relations machines have been unable get traction to settle the historic account.

In today’s messy and distracted world, those who write (or for that matter, make films and movies, produce theater and art, compose music, write poetry, and the like) frequently have a moment when they question the value of their creative works. Well, Professor Pappe makes it abundantly clear where all these creative works fall in the bigger picture and why it is of utmost importance that we never lose sight that every progressive act of creativity which speaks truth to power is a data point towards rectifying the injustices of the world. When the injustice is the source of a nation’s creation, the process of correction is excruciatingly slow, but inevitable if strategically addressed.

The last chapter of The Idea of Israel is titled, “Brand Israel 2013”. This is a brief but shockingly telling account of how much money and brain power Israel is willing to dump into a bottomless bucket while trying to force feed a fabrication into mainstream knowledge. The notion of actually correcting the historic mistakes, any of them, is not even considered.

As I noted above, the book is not for everyone;

If you are an Israeli and are a product of the Israeli education system, especially under the age of 40, read this book.

If you are a Jewish-American and have been blindly consuming your institutional, mainstream “idea of Israel,” read this book.

If you are a U.S. lawmaker, writing the annual checks to Israel and playing jack-in-the-box every time the Israeli prime minister speaks in the Congress, read this book.

If you are a Palestinian who thinks Israelis are not worth engaging because they all know the history, read this book.

My hat is off, again, to Professor and friend, Ilan Pappe, for an invaluable contribution to peace with justice.

Happy purposeful reading.

The Idea of Israel: A History of Power and Knowledge

By Ilan Pappe

Publisher: Verso (January 2014)

http://www.versobooks.com/books/1117-the-idea-of-israel

ONE MOTHER LOOKS BACK AT LAST YEAR’S EID IN GAZA

Um Bilal al-Ghoul found it difficult to celebrate the Eid holiday this year, after she lost most of her family to Israeli air strikes a year ago during last summer’s devastating Gaza war.

Last summer’s war was the third in Gaza in six years, and by far the deadliest and most destructive of the three.

Palestinian youth write the names of children killed during last summer's war in the Gaza Strip. (AFP/ Musa Al Shaer, File)

Palestinian youth write the names of children killed during last summer’s war in the Gaza Strip. (AFP/ Musa Al Shaer, File)

Gaza mother mourns family killed in airstrike after last year’s Eid

Um Bilal al-Ghoul found it difficult to celebrate the Eid holiday this year, after she lost most of her family to Israeli air strikes a year ago during last summer’s devastating Gaza war.

A single attack on her home in Rafah’s densely populated Yibna refugee camp on Aug. 3, 2014 left 10 of her family members dead and 20 more injured.

Um Bilal lost her husband Wael and three of their children.

Wael’s mother, father, brother, and two sisters were also killed in the attack.

Um Bilal’s youngest child, Ibrahim, lost his twin brother, Mustafa, just days after the two were born toward the beginning of the Israeli offensive.

Asmaa al-Ghoul, a journalist based in Gaza City and a relative of Um Bilal, wrote in a post on Facebook after their birth: “In Gaza, there is always hope and new life. A door of light and happiness in the middle of this war.”

This year, however, the grieving mother refused to celebrate Ibrahim’s first birthday without his twin.

Her older son Bilal attempted to persuade her otherwise, telling her that “her wound would still be bleeding even if the children’s wounds had healed.”

Um Bilal told Ma’an: “Ibrahim does not feel the suffering we feel, but Eid this year has still come heavy and difficult, as his twin Mustafa, his father, his brother Ismail, and his sister Malak are gone.”

Um Bilal’d last memory of her husband was him coming home with “Ringa” fish, upon their children’s request.

She said the children had stood waiting anxiously for him at the front door.

“They won’t be with us this year,” she said.

Um Bilal told Ma’an that she knows she will spend much of her future time introducing one-year-old Ibrahim to his father and siblings through photographs.

Following the attack last year, Asmaa wrote an article for Al-Monitor lamenting the death of her relatives, none of whom had anything “to do with Hamas,” she wrote.

She said that the house “was one story with a roof made of thin asbestos that did not require two F-16 missiles to destroy.”

“Would someone please inform Israel that refugee camp houses can be destroyed, and their occupants killed, with only a small bomb, and that it needn’t spend billions to blow them into oblivion?”Asmaa wrote that throughout the war bodies lay everywhere, with the appearance of having left their personal lives behind.

“Most importantly, they left the fear of war behind.”

Last summer’s war was the third in Gaza in six years, and by far the deadliest and most destructive of the three.

The commissioner general of UN relief agency UNRWA, Pierre Krahenbuhl, warned earlier this month that the root causes of the conflict remain unaddressed.

“The despair, destitution and denial of dignity resulting from last year’s war and from the blockade are a fact of life for ordinary people in Gaza,” he said.

Large swathes of Gaza remain in ruin and work has not yet begun on the reconstruction of some 18,000 homes that were totally destroyed during the war.

 

Source

TOON ~~ ISRAEL HAS NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT

The Billion$ will continue to flow in …..
Spoof by Latuff

Spoof by Latuff

AIPAC Vs THE WORLD

Congratulations to AIPAC for finally dividing the American Jewish community!

billboard

J Street Battles AIPAC Over Iran Deal

JTA

AIPAC called on Congress to reject the Iran nuclear deal, saying it does not meet critical markers that the influential pro-Israel lobby outlined in recent weeks. But the liberal Jewish Middle East lobby J Street announced a multimillion-dollar campaign to support the agreement.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee made its case against in a statement Wednesday delivered after President Barack Obama conducted a news conference of more than an hour defending the deal achieved a day earlier.

“We strongly believe that the alternative to this bad deal is a better deal,” AIPAC said in its statement. “Congress should reject this agreement, and urge the administration to work with our allies to maintain economic pressure on Iran while offering to negotiate a better deal that will truly close off all Iranian paths to a nuclear weapon.”

Under the law, Congress may disapprove the deal. AIPAC’s call to reject the agreement achieved between six world powers and Iran will make it likelier that Congress will send Obama a “no,” although it is unlikely that opponents will have the numbers to override the veto that Obama has pledged to deliver. Disapproval requires a simple majority in the House of Representatives and the Senate; overriding a veto requires two-thirds majorities in both chambers.

On Tuesday, AIPAC had expressed skepticism about the deal, but held back from calling for its rejection until its details became clearer. A number of other major Jewish groups have expressed reservations about the pact, but only a handful have come out absolutely on either side.

Israel rejected the deal immediately and plans to lobby the Congress to reject it. In a show of national unity, Yitzhak Herzog, the leader of the opposition Zionist Union party, is coming to Washington next week to lobby against the deal.

AIPAC said the deal did not meet key markers that it has circulated since June. Among other complaints, AIPAC noted that the agreement does not grant inspectors immediate access to sites, lifts restrictions as early as eight years, does not require the dismantling of centrifuges and allows sanctions relief before compliance, although Obama administration officials have said that sanctions will not be lifted until Iran meets certain markers.

The lobby appeared to challenge claims by Obama – made as recently as his Wednesday news conference – that the likeliest alternative to the deal was war.

“Proponents of the proposed agreement will argue that the only alternative to this agreement is military conflict,” AIPAC said. “In fact, the reverse is true. A bad agreement such as this will invite instability and nuclear proliferation. It will embolden Iran and may encourage regional conflict.”

J Street, announcing its campaign on Wednesday, said it will make the case to lawmakers that the agreement “advances both U.S. and Israeli security interests.” The lobby has raised $2 million thus far for the drive, a source said.

“J Street wants Congress to know that, despite some loud opposition to the deal coming from Jewish organizational leaders, our polling suggests that a clear majority of Jewish Americans agrees with us and backs the deal,” the group said in a statement.

The campaign will launch this week with a 30-second TV advertisement highlighting the unprecedented inspections and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear and military sites under the agreement, along with more broadcast and print ads over the next 60 days.

Obama in his news conference asked lawmakers not to heed lobbyists in considering the deal. Earlier Wednesday, his vice president, Joe Biden, had met Democratic lawmakers in a closed session to persuade them to back a deal. Republicans overwhelmingly oppose the deal.

The president seemed eager to counter criticism of the deal.

“With this deal we cut off every one of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear program, a nuclear weapons program,” he said.

LINEAR VIEWS OF THE WAR IN GAZA

The artist drew delicate lines over 50 photographs selected from the deluge of horrific news images of Gaza that flooded social media during Israel’s war last summer. With Scholnick’s intervention, the images are slightly abstracted, but also given further depth.

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gaza30

Full report and more images HERE

TIMELY TOON ~~ NETANYAHU’S REACTION TO IRAN DEAL

Image by Carlos Latuff

Image by Carlos Latuff

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CJ4cFL-WIAAxOaV

ISRAEL THREATENED BY A POSSIBLE PEACE WITH IRAN

PEACE NOW ~~~ OR ~~~ PEACE NO!

In addition to the five year UN weapons embargo, missile sanctions will stay in place for eight years.

Netanyahu, not happy with the Iran deal. (Photo: Alex Kolomisky)

Netanyahu, not happy with the Iran deal. (Photo: Alex Kolomisky)

Negotiators reach historic Iran deal amid anger in Israel

Agreement to maintain missile embargo for eight years; Israeli politicians predict nuclear Iran; PM: Mistake of historic proportions.

Iran’s support for international terrorist groups remained undiminished last year and even expanded in some respects, the Obama administration said Friday, less than two weeks before the deadline for completing a nuclear deal that could provide Tehran with billions of dollars in relief from economic sanctions.

The assessment offered a worrying sign of even worse terror-related violence to come after a year in which extremists in the Middle East, Africa and Asia committed 35 percent more terrorist acts, killed nearly twice as many people and almost tripled the number of kidnappings worldwide. Statistics released by the State Department on Friday also pointed to a tenfold surge in the most lethal kinds of attacks.

Yet even as the Islamic State group and the Taliban were blamed for most of the death and destruction in 2014, the department’s annual terrorism report underscored the ongoing threat posed by Iran and its proxies across the Islamic world and beyond.

Tehran increased its assistance to Shiite militias fighting in Iraq and continued its long-standing military, intelligence and financial aid to Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Syrian President Bashar Assad’s embattled government and Palestinian groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad. While the study said Iran has lived up to interim nuclear deals with world powers thus far, it gave no prediction about how an Iran flush with cash from a final agreement would behave.

World powers and Iran are trying to conclude an accord by the end of the month, setting 15 years of restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for significant relief from the international sanctions that have crippled the Iranian economy.

The negotiations don’t involve Iran’s support for militant groups beyond its border. But Israel and the Sunni monarchies of the Persian Gulf, Iran’s regional rivals, fear a fresh wave of terrorism as a result of any pact. President Barack Obama, hoping to ease their fears, has said most of the money would go to Iran’s economic development.

America’s “grave concern about Iran’s support for terrorism remains unabated,” White House spokesman Eric Shultz said. “That is all the more reason that we need to make sure they don’t obtain a nuclear weapon.”

In total last year, nearly 33,000 people were killed in almost 13,500 terrorist attacks around the world, according to the State Department report. That’s up from just over 18,000 deaths in nearly 10,000 attacks in 2013.

Twenty-four Americans were killed by extremists in 2014, the report said. And abductions soared to 9,428 in the calendar year from 3,137 in 2013.

The report attributes the rise in attacks to increased terror activity in Iraq, Afghanistan and Nigeria and the sharp spike in deaths to a growth in exceptionally lethal attacks in those countries and elsewhere.

There were 20 attacks that killed more than 100 people each in 2014, compared to just two a year earlier, the report said. Among those were December’s attack by the Pakistani Taliban on a school in Peshawar that killed at least 150 people and the June attack by Islamic State militants on a prison in Mosul, Iraq, in which 670 Shiite prisoners died.

At the end of 2014, the prison attack was the deadliest terrorist operation in the world since Sept. 11, 2001, according to the report.

Despite all indications pointing toward increased violence, the State Department’s counterterrorism coordinator said the numbers didn’t reflect improvements by the US and its partners in stamping out terrorism financing, improving information sharing, impeding foreign fighters and forming a coalition to fight the Islamic State group. “We have made progress,” Ambassador Tina Kaidanow said.

Attacks occurred in 95 countries last year but were concentrated in the Mideast, South Asia and West Africa. Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and Nigeria accounted for more than 60 percent of the attacks. Adding Syria, they comprised roughly 80 percent of the fatalities, the report found.

The rise in kidnappings is mainly attributable to the mass abductions by terrorist groups in Syria, notably Islamic State militants and the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front.

In Nigeria, Boko Haram was responsible for most, if not all, of the nearly 1,300 abductions, including several hundred girls from a school in Chibok. By contrast, the report cited fewer than 100 terror-related kidnappings reported in Nigeria in 2013.

Friday’s report noted the “unprecedented seizure” of territory in Iraq and Syria by the Islamic State group, its ability to recruit foreign fighters to join its cause and the emergence of self-proclaimed affiliates, notably in Libya, Egypt and Nigeria. It cited a rise in so-called lone wolf attacks in the West and terrorists employing more extreme methods of violence to repress and frighten communities under their control.

Source

GAZA ~~ A WINDOW TO HELL

A destroyed home in Khuzaa, September 2014. (Anne Paq /ActiveStills)

A destroyed home in Khuzaa, September 2014. (Anne Paq /ActiveStills)

A window to hell in Gaza

Spending the day of 17 August in Khuzaa was like peering through a window to hell. But what we witnessed in the landscape of apocalyptic oblivion paled in comparison to the experience described to me by two Palestine Red Crescent volunteers who had attempted to break through the Israeli military cordon during the siege of the town.

Twenty-five-year-old Ahmed Awad and 24-year-old Ala’a Alkusofi arrived at the edge of Khuzaa at a time when Red Cross ambulance crews refused to travel anywhere near the town. They said they had come to collect the body of a man whom soldiers had lashed to a tree by both arms and shot in the leg. When they arrived at the site, the soldiers ordered the driver of their ambulance, Muhammed Abadla, to exit the vehicle. When he obliged, they told him to walk five meters forward and switch on a flashlight. As soon as he flicked the light on, the soldiers shot him in the chest and killed him.

“It was something I’ll never forget,” Awad recalled, “seeing a colleague killed like that in front of me. I couldn’t believe what I witnessed.”

The two Red Crescent volunteers told me they later found a man in Khuzaa with rigor mortis, holding both hands over his head in surrender, his body filled with bullets. Deeper in the town, they discovered an entire family so badly decomposed they had to be shoveled with a bulldozer into a mass grave. In a field on the other side of town, Awad and Alkusofi found a shell-shocked woman at least 80 years of age hiding in a chicken coop. She had taken shelter there for nine days during the siege, living off of nothing but chicken feed and rain water. “She couldn’t believe it when we found her,” said Alkusofi. “She was sure she would die with the chickens.”

Horror stories

In nearly every shattered home I entered in Khuzaa, on every bomb-cratered street, in destroyed mosques and vandalized schools, I heard horror stories like this. Every resident I met in this town was touched by the violence in one way or another. While visiting the town, I wandered into the courtyard of a rehabilitation clinic for women and children afflicted with Continuous Traumatic Stress Disorder — a condition that affects a solid majority of youth in Gaza.

Located on a street lined with four-story apartments pockmarked with bullets and tank shells, the school was completely empty, but the signs of an Israeli presence were everywhere. As we entered, we found Stars of David spray painted by soldiers across the walls, right below colorful heart-shaped paper cut-outs bearing the names of students. In the closet of an administrative office that was neatly kept except for a few scattered papers, I found a spent M72 Light Anti-Tank Weapon. It was one of the shoulder-mounted launching tubes manufactured in Mesa, Arizona, by the Norwegian-owned Nammo arms corporation. The weapon had been used by the Israelis to rocket civilian homes across Gaza’s boundary regions.

In a classroom across the courtyard, sunrays burst through a gaping hole in the wall about the size of a 120mm tank shell. They shone light on a series of colorful posters decorated with matching ribbons that contained motivational messages. They read:

It always seems impossible until it’s done

Stay alive

Look to the future

No negative thoughts allowed

We wandered around the corner, past a group of children filling a jug of water from a truck that replaced the water tower Israeli forces detonated, past the giant dome of the Ebad al-Rahman mosque, which now sat on a pile of rubble next to the toppled water tower like the ancient ruins of some bygone empire. Nearby, we entered a small courtyard surrounded by a warren of shattered homes. At the edge of the yard, a small boy lay impassively in his bed in a room with no walls. A ceiling fan that looked as though it had been melted dangled above his head. In the center of the yard sat a gigantic olive green barrel. It was a spent Giant Viper round — one of the C4-packed mine clearing devices the Israelis fired into the center of Khuzaa during the assault on the town. A hen flapped its wings next to the barrel and chased after baby chicks bouncing through the rubble.

“Where are you from?” an old man called out to me from the road. He wore large spectacles and a morning robe, his front pocket stuffed with paper notepads, various cards and a glasses holder. He reminded me of my older Jewish relatives who came of age before the digital era and grew accustomed to carrying stacks of business cards, coupons and handwritten reminders in their shirt and coat pockets along with assorted mints and pens.

“I’m from America,” I told the man, readying for an indignant response.

“Ahhhh, Amreeka,” he grumbled. “I want to thank the American people,” the man continued, advancing to within two feet of me. “They are nice people, they give us food and bread and they give the Israelis weapons to kill us. They have different standards. It would be nice if they treated us all as humans.”

“We love life”

He introduced himself as Ali Ahmed Qudeh, the father of Kamal Qudeh, the doctor who treated the town’s wounded under heavy bombardment and in spite of being injured himself. Like his son, Ali Ahmed was a supporter of Fatah, the rivals of Hamas. And like virtually everyone I met in Gaza, he was an ardent supporter of the armed resistance of the Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ armed wing. “Our weapons are not terrorist weapons, our weapons are [for] self-defense,” he insisted. “Our weapons are to free our land. We are dignified people, we love life. We don’t hate life like they say. But we’ll die for our land.”

As a group of small children gathered in the courtyard, Ali Ahmed detailed to me how many family members each child lost in the assault on Khuzaa. Pointing at the little boy lying in bed, he suggested that the most devastating consequence of the war was not the death toll, but the psychological impact on the youngest members of his community.

“That kid wants to make an atomic bomb and obliterate Israel!” he roared. “Why? Because he saw his family members die in front of him! How can you raise kids who want to make bombs?”

When I made my way back into the road, I heard Ali Ahmed call after me again. He was rushing forward through the rubble with a tray of sweets. “I don’t mean to say that all Americans are bad,” he said, urging me to take a freshly baked cookie. “It’s the government that’s the problem, not the people.”

Just then, an Israeli squadron of American-made F-16s roared through the sky. A small girl standing beside me ducked reflexively at the sound of the jets, bracing for another missile strike. The war was far from over.

This essay is excerpted from Max Blumenthal’s new book, The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gazapublished by Nation Books.

VIDEO ~~ GAZA WAR; ONE YEAR LATER AND WHY BDS IS A MUST

Video: BDS and the Gaza war — Ali Abunimah on France 24

This week I’m on a speaking tour in France organized by Campagne BDS France.

At events in Paris, Bordeaux, Montpellier and Lyon, we’re marking 10 years since the Palestinian call forboycott, divestment and sanctions.

This week we also mark the first anniversary of the beginning of Israel’s 51-day assault on Gaza that killed more than 2,200 people and devastated the territory. One year on there’s been almost no reconstruction, no lifting of the siege and no accountability for those who committed these crimes.

While in Paris I was interviewed by the news channel France 24 about these topics, as well as Palestinians’ right to resist and a one-state solution.

Such a broad-ranging discussion about Palestine on a mainstream news channel is rare, at least in my experience. Watch the English-language interview above.

HAMAS AND THE MISSING ISRAELIS

First read the background in THIS post ….

The reason for Israel’s silence until now …
 
The reason is clear. The two missing men are not Ashkenazi Jews. One is reportedly an Ethiopian Jew and the other one is an Arab. Both are not considered bona fide Israelis.
 
And as we all know, Arabs (even those serving in the Israeli army) and Ethiopian Jews are placed at the very bottom of Israel’s social ladder.

Hamas: No free information on missing Israelis

By Khalid Amayreh

Israel has finally officially acknowledged that two Israelis were being held in the Gaza Strip, presumably in Hamas’s custody.Israel had hoped that Hamas would disclose information on the matter, which would help Israel repatriate the two men in return for a non-costly price or at no price at all.But Hamas has acted smartly by remaining tight-lipped on the matter for the past 12 months.

Hamas should continue this wise policy as giving free information of any kind to Israel would be self-defeating and immensely harmful for the Palestinian cause, especially the cause of thousands of Palestinian political prisoners and resistance detainees languishing in Israeli jails and detention camps.

It is likely that Israel will ask third-parties to pressure Hamas to release specific information on the missing Israelis as a “humanitarian gesture.”

Israel could ask the Ramallah regime and/or the Sissi regime to exert pressure on Hamas to release the missing soldiers.

Hamas should firmly reject such deceptive tactics.

More to the point, Israel is not expected to pursue this matter with the same vigor and persistence it pursued the Shalit affair.

The reason is clear. The two missing men are not Ashkenazi Jews. One is reportedly an Ethiopian Jew and the other one is an Arab. Both are not considered bona fide Israelis.

And as we all know, Arabs (even those serving in the Israeli army) and Ethiopian Jews are placed at the very bottom of Israel’s social ladder.

But non-action by the Israeli government would embarrass the Zionist regime and expose its racist nature. In fact, we have already witnessed the Ethiopian Jewish community, which was subjected to a humiliating conversion process at the hands of the High Rabbinate in Israel, openly accuse the Israeli regime of racism vis-à-vis the black Ethiopians. (Talmudic authorities consider black Africans virtual animals).

Moreover, hundreds of Ethiopians recently took to the streets in protest against widespread racism against black Ethiopians by official Israeli institutions, prompting Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to repudiate racism.

It is imperative that Hamas exercise patience and resilience in dealing with this matter of the missing Israelis. Israel, in dealing with us, adopts Real Police in its most callous forms. It withholds medical care from Palestinian prisoners. It often flagrantly re-arrests prisoners released in the context of international agreements such as the Shalit deal.

It keeps Palestinian prisoners in prison despite the expiration of their jail terms. It keeps extending the imprisonment of “administrative detainees” for many months and years, without charge or trial.

Indeed, numerous Palestinian inmates in Israeli jails don’t actually know why they are in prison.

For these and many other reasons, Hamas must deal with Israel on the basis of reciprocity.

Finally, it should be made abundantly clear that any perceived intransigence on Hamas’s is not a goal in itself.

Hamas, indeed the entire Palestinian people, have many scores to settle with Israel. Israel is continuing to blockade Gaza, open fire on fishermen, prevent Palestinians from traveling through the Beit Hanoon border crossing, prevent the free flow of goods and services between Gaza and the West Bank, and bar Gazans from having their own seaport and airport.

Israel is also deliberately impeding the reconstruction of Gaza where 100,000 homes were destroyed and damaged during the Nazi-like Israeli blitz last year.

These are indisputable rights not excessive demands made by the Palestinians.

That is why, every asset available to the Palestinians ought to be utilized to expedite these legitimate Palestinian interests.

IN PHOTOS ~~ INTERNATIONAL AL QUDS DAY IN TIMES SQUARE

Photos  © by Bud Korotzer

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IN PHOTOS ~~ GAZA REMEMBERED ON THE STREETS OF NEW YORK

Photos  © by Bud Korotzer

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Adding insult to injury

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SPOOF ~~ ISRAEL ‘CELEBRATES’ THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE WAR IN GAZA

Spoof by Latuff

Spoof by Latuff

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GAG ORDER OR RACISM?

Almost a year ago a mentally challenged young Ethiopian man allegedly crossed over from Israel to the Gaza Strip. About the same time, a young Bedouin from Israel also crossed over. Neither were heard from since and nothing appeared in the Israeli press about their disappearances.

WHY ???

Does no one give a damn or is it only the government of Israel that doesn’t?

You decide after reading the following …

israeli-gag-order2

An Israeli has been missing in the Gaza Strip for ten months, it was revealed on Thursday morning following the lifting of a gag order.

Avraham Mengistu, 29, a resident of Ashkelon, left his home in the city in the early hours on September 8, 2014 and never returned after crossing the border into Gaza.

A second citizen, a Bedouin resident of the south, is also reported missing.

Gag order lifted: Two Israelis held captive in Gaza

Possibly mentally ill Ethiopian Israeli apparently crossed border fence of his own free will, and was captured in September 2014; second citizen also reported to be in captivity.

An Israeli has been missing in the Gaza Strip for ten months, it was revealed on Thursday morning following the lifting of a gag order.

Avraham Mengistu, 29, a resident of Ashkelon, left his home in the city in the early hours on September 8, 2014 and never returned after crossing the border into Gaza.

A second citizen, a Bedouin resident of the south, is also reported missing.

A senior defense official said there was no current information on Mengistu’s fate, and that he had initially been arrested by Hamas. According to the source, Hamas claimed it had questioned Mengistu but released him because he was not a soldier. The official furthermore said there were attempts to negotiate his release.

According to Yoav Mordechai, the coordinator of government activities in the territories, current information suggests that Mengistu is being held by Hamas. However, senior defense officials said it was unclear whether this was the case.

A senior Palestinian official in the Gaza Strip who is familiar with the case told Ynet that Mengistu was held by Hamas in Gaza at one point and released him after realizing he was not a soldier. According to the source, Hamas announced that Mengistu had left Gaza through tunnels in Rafah and continued on to Egypt, and that he is no longer in Gaza.

“Now that the story of my brother has finally come out, we will no longer remain silent,” the missing man’s brother, Yalu Mengistu, told Yedioth Ashkelon. “There will be rallies and demonstrations, there will be media coverage and especially, we will be talking. They will hear us. We have lost confidence in the country and it seems like it does not care about our brother. The prime minister bothered to contact us only this week, on Wednesday. We sent him a letter at the beginning of the incident and he could not find the time to meet with us.”

Sources say that Mengistu began walking on the beach, heading south. He reached the Zikim beach area, and continued walking south until he crossed the military obstacles on the beach that divide Israel from Gaza.

Mengistu is allegedly mentally ill and is known to the Ashkelon social services.

Security forces stationed in the area noticed the man after he had crossed the border, and forces were immediately dispatched to the area, including a helicopter and ground troops. Mengistu continued on his path into Gaza and never returned.

The military wing of Hamas, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, held a mass rally in Rafah in September of 2014. On the day of the rally, a display was erected in Rafah — a tall pole with a big black square attached to it with the writing “the black box” in Hebrew and Arabic. The sign, which Hamas failed to explain, caused a stir in Gaza, and the Palestinian media in the Strip tried to no avail to figure out the nature of the vague message.

Hamas apparently hoped that the case would be reported in Israeli media, but began pushing the issue in Arab media sources when they realized that a gag order had prevented reports from emerging that would reach the Israeli public. From there, the story reached international media — specifically bloggers, as official news agencies could not verify the story through the Israeli government.

A joint investigation was launched by the Shin Bet and the Southern District Police’s terrorism unit.

It later transpired the Ethiopian immigrant had left his home and gone missing for days at a time on numerous occasions.

His family reported three different cases in the past in which he left home and failed to return.

His family was informed of the situation by social services shortly after Mengistu reportedly crossed the border.

Mengistu’s mother lives in Ashkelon, while his father lives in central Israel. He has eight siblings.

The lifting of the gag order came after Hamas leader Khaled Mashal claimed Wednesday that Israel had sent messages to the group through a European intermediary, asking the organization to return the bodies of two soldiers in their possession since Operation Protective Edge.

Gaza residents were witness on Wednesday evening to a parade by the organization’s military wing marking the anniversary of Operation Protective Edge. The procession included a mock tank and a giant fist holding “military ID tags” belonging to Staff Sergeant Oron Shaul alongside two tags bearing question marks.

Staff Sergeant Oron Shaul was killed in the “Golani Tragedy” in Saja’iyya on July 20, 2014. Six of his friends were killed in the attack and Shaul was declared as missing. Five days after the incident, then head of the IDF’s manpower directorate, and current Chief Military Rabbi notified the family of Oron’s death.

Goldin was killed in an incident which would later be dubbed the “Black Friday,” in Rafah. The commander of the Givati reconnaissance company, Major Benaya Sarel, and his radioman Sergeant Liel Gidoni where killed in the incident as well. Sec.-Lt. Hadar Goldin was declared missing, and later declared dead, as a result of brave actions by Captian Eitan Pond, which brought forward the evidence necessary to assume he had died.

 

Source

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And FROM (Click on link)

Two Israeli Citizens Kidnapped by Hamas

An Israeli Arab and an Israeli of Ethiopian descent are both being held in Gaza.

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