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Gaza pummelled as Sarkozy prepares for peace mission (+ video SKYNEWS)

by : La Louve
Monday January 5, 2009 - 13:46
1 comment

By Philippe Naughton

"Seven Palestinian children and six adults died today in Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip from air, land and sea, as President Sarkozy of France prepared for a unilateral diplomatic mission to the region.

Houses, mosques and tunnels were hit as the Israelis continued to fire into the densely populated Palestinian territory in the hopes of damaging the militant group Hamas.

Ehud Barak, the Israeli Defence Minister, said that "Operation Cast Lead" would continue until Israel achieved "peace and tranquility" for residents of southern Israel.

“Gaza City is partially surrounded,” Mr Barak told parliament’s foreign affairs and defence committee. “We have hit Hamas hard, but we have not yet reached all the goals that we have set for ourselves and the operation continues. We are doing everything that a state must do to protect its citizens."

An army spokesman said that the Israeli air force had hit more than 30 targets in Gaza overnight, including a mosque in Jabaliya where arms were being stored, and houses and vehicles used by armed groups. “Ground forces continued their advance, aided by bombardment from naval ships," he said.

Dr Moaiya Hassanain, a Gaza health official, said that 13 civilians died in attacks across the Gaza Strip this morning. Four young brothers and sisters were killed in a missile strike on a house east of Gaza City. Three more children died in naval shelling of a Gaza City beach camp. Three adult civilians died when a missile struck near a house of mourning in the northern town of Beit Lahiya.

At least 524 Palestinians have been reported killed and nearly 2,000 wounded since December 27, when Israel began air raids on Gaza in retaliation for Hamas’s failure to stop militants launching rocket attacks on southern Israel.

There has been no unified international response to the violence.

A stream of diplomats and world leaders are heading for the region to meet Israeli leaders as global outrage grows over the Palestinian casualties, but Europe has failed to agree a concerted line.

The United States has blocked any action or censure by the United Nations Security Council, saying Israel has the right to "defend itself" - prompting a rare split with Britain, which has been pushing for an immediate ceasefire.

President Sarkozy, who unsuccessfully proposed a two-day truce before the invasion began and has led calls for humanitarian aid to be allowed in, was today due to meet Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, and Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President, who lost control of Gaza to Hamas in June 2007.

Mr Sarkozy has been outspoken in condemning Israel’s use of ground troops, but in interviews published in three Lebanese newspapers this morning he said that Hamas was also to blame for Palestinian suffering because its rocket attacks on southern Israel had prompted the offensive.

The French President’s mission is a freelance one, however, given the European Union’s failure to agree a co-ordinated response to the crisis. A separate EU delegation including Javier Solana, the bloc’s foreign policy chief, was due to meet with Tzipi Livni, the Israeli Foreign Minister.

The Czech Republic, which took over the EU presidency last week, urged Israel to allow humanitarian relief aid into Gaza. Meanwhile, Chancellor Merkel spoke on the phone with Mr Olmert yesterday to advocate a quick ceasefire, the German government said in a statement.

Israeli forces invaded on Saturday, after a week of air strikes, and seized sparsely populated areas in northern Gaza over the weekend.

By this morning soldiers were dug in on the edges of Gaza City. Further movement into built-up areas would mean deadly urban warfare - with house-to-house fighting, sniper fire and booby traps - in crowded streets and alleyways familiar to Hamas’ 20,000 fighters.

Israeli troops took over three six-floor buildings on the outskirts of Gaza City, taking up rooftop positions after locking residents in their rooms and taking away their mobile phones, according to one resident. “The army is there, firing in all directions,” said Mohammed Salmai, a 29-year-old truck driver. “All we can do is take clothes to each other to keep ourselves warm and pray to God that if we die, someone will find our bodies under the rubble.”

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/ne...



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Gaza pummelled as Sarkozy prepares for peace mission (+ video SKYNEWS)
Monday January 5 - 19:36 - Posted by Gigelli - 76bd6659b258e331...

Hear, hear, hear,

We the people of Europe, are being taken for a ride by our governments, who are plebisciting Israel in its war crimes, and crimes against humanity, crimes against humanity, because we, unlike our governments and their Protégés in Tell Aviv, consider Palestinians as human beings, and we are enraged by the guilty silence of our representatives.

Last summer saw the Western media and politician’s outrage orchestrated against, the so called Russian attack on Georgia, calling for all democrats in Europe to rise against Russia, only to embarrass themselves after the findings of their own as well as International observers, who confirmed that Georgia was responsible for starting the war, and perpetrating war crimes.

The same process of misinformation took place to put pressure on China just before the Peking Olympics, blaming China for repressing the so called uprising of the Tibetan people, only to find out later that Tibetan Monks started the violence against Chinese businesses, another embarrassment, for our democrats.

Today, the quasi totality of our governments, and their allies in the corporate media, are accomplices to the massacres of hundreds of Palestinians, and the total destruction of what is left of that shanty town called Gaza.
Gaza has been under siege for the last 2 years with the blessing of our governments. They have frozen all financial aid to the Palestinian territories for the past 3 years, a collective punishment of the Palestinian people for having democratically elected the Hamas to represent them, instead of the Fattah that collaborates with the occupiers.

The corporate media, with the blessing of our rulers, misinform, and dis-inform, confusing the European citizens, leading them to believe that the Palestinians deserve what they are getting, and that Israel’s action is a legitimate retaliation to the Hamas rockets.
Putting at the same level in this way, air and now ground attacks on thousands civilians, and the home made Hamas rocket, which killed 4 Israelis.

The cowered attitude of our leaders is well known now, apart from the timid and non publicised condemnation of the Spanish government, the tenors of the EU, are all in approval with the Israeli extermination in Gaza, Merkel, and Sarkosy have never hidden their unconditional support for the terrorist state of Israel, Brown let his foreign minister, who is a notorious Zionist and staunch supporter of Israel, to deal with the matter, and the rest of the other countries, including the new arrivals, such as the Czechs_ who just took over the EU presidency_ are only eager to follow suite, I let you discover yourselves what their president has said a couple of days ago about these massacres; (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/N...)

It seems that the double standards are still the norm in the EU, and that our hypocritical attitude will only make the stability of the planet more and more an illusion, making us, the European citizens, the accomplices of genocide in the eyes of future generations when they’ll look back on our time.

So the hypocritical, and ineffective gesticulations to appease Israel by Mr Sarkozy, are just part of his usual media tricks, to which every observer is now accustomed. Not earlier than last October he promised us punishment for the people responsible for the international crisis, he also called on the abolition of tax havens that are responsible for money laundering by the big and powerful. But we all know what came out of those promises.

M. Gigelli







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