Monday, January 12, 2009

Israel Using US Weapons Illegally to Kill 1000 Palestinians - Pics

New York Gov. David Paterson speaks at a rally in support of ...
Pro-Palestinians demonstrate against Israel's offensive ...

PHOTOS: Jiro Mochizuki (Agence shot) Thank you Jim for sending them. I will post more as soon as I get to a machine that can handle me.





UPDATE: IDF kills senior Hamas operative Amir Mansi in northern Gaza




Today, Nidra Poller covered the Jew hating death march in Paris and Jiro Mochizuki sent us the pictures. Punk jihad. Oh and Nidra just checked the Indigènes video. Yes, they said, Obama deserved the shoe. But of course, it’s America they hate. It’s always been America - the POTUS is merely the most visible icon of the US.



U.S. Weaponry Facilitates Killings In Gaza

UNITED NATIONS, Jan 8 (IPS) - The devastating Israeli firepower, unleashed largely on Palestinian civilians in Gaza during two weeks of fighting, is the product of advanced U.S. military technology.

The U.S. weapons systems used by the Israelis — including F-16 fighter planes, Apache helicopters, tactical missiles and a wide array of munitions — have been provided by Washington mostly as outright military grants.

The administration of President George W. Bush alone has provided over 21 billion dollars in U.S. security assistance over the last eight years, including 19 billion dollars in direct military aid as freebies.

“Israel’s intervention in the Gaza Strip has been fueled largely by U.S. supplied weapons paid for with U.S. tax dollars,” says a background briefing released Thursday by the Arms and Security Initiative of the New York-based New America Foundation.

“The Bush administration has been unwilling to use its considerable influence — as Israel’s major military and political backer — to dissuade the government in Tel Aviv from its pattern of claiming self-defence while perpetrating collective punishment, human rights violations and undertaking massively disproportionate attacks that harm and kill civilians,” Frida Berrigan, senior programme associate at the New America Foundation, told IPS.

Besides military aid, the United States has contracted more than 22 billion dollars in arms sales to Israel in 2008 alone, including a proposed deal for 75 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, nine C-130J-30 military transport aircraft and four combat ships.

“So, when Israeli forces engage in combat in Gaza or the West Bank, they are more often than not using U.S.-designed systems that were either made in the United States or produced under licence in Israel,” says the New America Foundation.

The two-week military onslaught has resulted in the deaths of over 700 Palestinians, including more than 300 civilians, mostly victims of U.S. weaponry.

In comparison, the Israeli death toll is about seven soldiers and four civilians, primarily due to “friendly fire”, or victims of rocket attacks by Hamas.

Mouin Rabbani, contributing editor at the Washington-based Middle East Report, says the intimacy of the U.S.-Israeli military relationship, and the frequency with which Israel launches wars, means that the Israeli military also performs the function of testing newly-developed weapons systems in actual warfare, which is of value to both Israel and the United States.

“Twice over, in fact, because less effective versions of these same weapons systems are subsequently sold at hugely inflated prices to Arab states, which effectively subsidises the U.S. weapons industry and U.S. military grants to Israel,” he told IPS.

Tracing historical links, Rabbani said Israel replaced South Vietnam as the primary recipient of U.S. foreign military aid in the 1970s and has maintained that status ever since.

With consistently fewer exceptions over the years, he pointed out, Israel has the run of the U.S. arsenal, particularly with regard to obtaining new and advanced weapons that are not sold (or, as in the present case, given) to non-NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) allies.

He said that Israel is also permitted to participate in various U.S. weapons development programmes, meaning that in addition to weapons deliveries it benefits enormously from the transfer of military technologies.

“Israel also has access to various U.S. intelligence programmes and data, and the list goes on for quite some length,” Rabbani added.

Last week, U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich (Democrat of Ohio) wrote a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pointing out that Israel’s use of U.S. weapons in Gaza may constitute a violation of the requirements of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) of 1976.

The AECA outlines the conditions under which countries may use U.S. weapons systems, primarily for “internal security” or “legitimate self defence”.

The letter says that Israeli forces have used U.S.-supplied F-16 fighter planes and Apache helicopters “to precede and to support ongoing ground actions such as the one in which 40 Palestinians were killed while taking shelter in a U.N. facility.”

“Israel is not exempt from international law and must be held accountable,” he added.

Berrigan said that with the onslaught about to enter its third week, hundreds of Gazans killed and wounded, 10 Israelis killed and more wounded, Hamas continuing to launch rocket attacks and a grave danger that the conflict will widen to include Lebanon, President-elect Barack Obama “will step into a bed of molten hot quicksand on Jan. 20.”

“It will be difficult for the new administration to turn the tide of U.S.-Israeli relations and challenge Israeli exceptionalism, but it is urgently necessary,” she added.

Rabbani pointed out that given the level of U.S. military assistance to Israel, the deployment of these weapons in the current onslaught against the Gaza Strip, and U.S. political support for Israel during this crisis, Palestinians could be forgiven for insisting the U.S. shares direct responsibility.

“While I would by no means dismiss the issue of U.S. military transfers to Israel in their various forms and dimensions, the key issue is nevertheless the impunity with which these are used,” he added.

It is this impunity, rather than the weapons transfers in and of themselves, that accounts for Israel’s ability to sow widespread death and destruction throughout the Gaza Strip at will.

Asked if there would a change in policy under an Obama administration, Rabbani said: “I don’t see any indication that things are set to change once Obama takes office”.

He has attempted to wrap his silence in a cloak of decorum and statesmanship, “claiming he was left with no choice because he is not yet president, then — in view of his constant pronouncements since Nov. 4 regarding the financial meltdown — rather too cleverly in my view elaborated that this only applies to foreign policy.”

“So we are supposed to believe that if instead 600 Israelis had been killed by Palestinian suicide bombers in the space of 10 days, or Russia had decided to suddenly advance on Tbilisi, you could still hear a pin drop in Washington? Unlikely.”

The Israel Air Force used a new bunker-buster missile that it received recently from theUnited States in strikes against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, The Jerusalem Post learned on Sunday.

The missile, called GBU-39, was developed in recent years by the US as a small-diameter bomb for low-cost, high-precision and low collateraldamage strikes.

Israel received approval from Congress to purchase 1,000 units in September and defense officials said on Sunday that the first shipment had arrived earlier this month and was used successfully in penetrating underground Kassam launchers in the Gaza Strip during the heavy aerial bombardment of Hamas infrastructure on Saturday. It was also used in Sunday’s bombing of tunnels in Rafah.

The GPS-guided GBU-39 is said to be one of the most accurate bombs in the world. The 113-kg. bomb has the same penetration capabilities as a normal 900-kg. bomb, although it has only 22.7 kg. of explosives. At just 1.75 meters long, its small size increases the number of bombs an aircraft can carry and the number of targets it can attack in a sortie.

  •  Thursday 8 January 2009
  • Article history
Mourning relative in Gaza    

Mourning relative in Gaza. Photograph: Mohammed Saber/EPA

Ambulances were able to drive to some of the most heavily shelled areas in Gaza for the first time to collect the dead and injured yesterday, as Israel paused its military offensive for three hours to allow in aid, amid growing international pressure to call a ceasefire and ease the humanitarian crisis.

The death toll continued to mount. Last night, an Israeli air strike on a car killed a man and his three children in northern Gaza, Palestinian medical officials said.

At least 28 Palestinians were killed yesterday in attacks across the Gaza Strip, according to Palestinian medical officials. The overall Palestinian death toll was at more than 660, with nearly 3,000 injured. Journalists are still banned from entering Gaza to report on the killings. On the Israeli side, seven soldiers and three civilians have been killed in the past 12 days.

In a separate incident, the aid agency Care International said one of its staff on a food distribution project was killed on Tuesday night when his home was hit by an Israeli air strike. Muhammad Samouni died in the attack and his son was critically injured, the agency said.