Sunday, April 15, 2018

Those Crazy Palestinians!

"One killed as violence erupts anew at Israel-Gaza border; Demonstrations at barrier enter a third week" by David M. Halbfinger New York Times   April 13, 2018

GAZA CITY — Thousands of Palestinians flocked to the fence separating Gaza from Israel on Friday, as demonstrations entered a third week. Israeli soldiers used tear gas and live fire to repulse repeated attempts to cross the barrier, killing at least one protester.

Israeli gunfire killed a 28-year-old Palestinian man and wounded at least 223, the Associated Press reported, citing Gaza health officials.

The death brought to 28 the number of protesters killed in two weeks, with more than 1,500 wounded by Israeli fire since March 30, the officials said.

That is very interesting because 15 were killed on the first day before the fire died down

What pisses me off is I was told last Monday that at least 31 people have been killed. 

Pointing out such inconsistencies is becoming a theater of the absurd under the circumstances.

At the Shejaiya protest site east of Gaza City, demonstrators again used thick smoke from burning tires as cover, successfully pulling apart an Israeli barrier of coiled barbed wire before being shot at and turning back.

Israeli soldiers fired tired gas canisters into a large crowd as far as 350 yards from the fence, sending men, women, and children running, as ambulances ferried away the injured.

The theme of the day for the protests was “Flag Friday” — burning the Israeli blue and white, and raising giant standards with the Palestinian red, white, green, and black. Gaza printers had been busy all week with an unusual assignment: Preparing thousands of Israeli flags to set on fire.

Less than a week before Israel will celebrate its Independence Day, Palestinian children held posters showing Israel’s flag crossed out in red, with a slogan calling for the country’s demise.

At least they weren't signing bombs like Israeli kids.

Protesters arriving at one encampment, in Khan Younis, trod on or rode motorcycles and even a camel over an elongated Israeli flag, with its Star of David, before heading toward the fence separating Gaza from Israel.

The demonstrations were part of a mass protest against Israel’s decadelong blockade of Gaza, an impoverished coastal strip along the Mediterranean.

The Israeli military said there had been repeated attempts to damage and cross the barrier, as well as several attempted attacks in which Palestinians hurled explosives at Israeli soldiers, drawing live fire in return.

Once again, the protests showed something of a split personality, with some participants vowing to be peaceful, while a few feet away, others prepared gasoline bombs to hurl at the Israeli side.


The demonstrations began March 30, as organizers called for tens of thousands of people to gather near the border fence each Friday through May 15.

Defying Israeli warnings, some protesters have approached the fence, throwing things and setting fires; Israeli soldiers have fired on the demonstrators, many of them unarmed.

Earlier, an imam leading prayers at the Shejaiya protest site called on several hundred worshipers to rise up against “the occupier,” and urged them to continue to “be creative” in their modes of protest.

While Hamas, the Islamic militant group that runs Gaza and is managing the demonstrations, has insisted that the marchers are being strictly peaceful, the cleric’s message was homicidal.

“There will be a day that Muslims are going to witness,” the imam said, quoting holy verses. “This day, Jews will be behind stones, and the stones will speak, saying, ‘Come Muslims, and kill this Jew who is behind me.’ ”

Several hundred yards to the east, Israeli soldiers could be glimpsed atop newly heightened berms affording a commanding view of the protest field.

To the south, in Khan Younis, Palestinian journalists memorialized Yasser Murtaja, a journalist who was killed during the protests a week ago.

The Israeli military has accused him of being an officer in the military wing of Hamas. But his image was plastered across posters and banners all over the tent village that declared him a national hero who died for the truth.

Inside a tent a few hundred yards from the barrier fence, a group of young men rested before donning skeleton masks, heading out to set tires ablaze to create a smoke screen — and then attempting to cross the fence into Israel.

At one end of the tent was a trophy: a coil of barbed wire they had cut from a barrier the Israelis have set up as a deterrent. It lies a few yards from the main fence, a much taller barrier with an array of electronic sensors.

Amjad Abu Jamous, 26, said that, should he manage to get past the main fence, he hoped only to face down an Israeli soldier with his arms outstretched and his fingers in the “victory” sign. He said he would be armed with wire cutters and rope.


Let me paw through the rubble a bit:

"As Gaza toll rises to 18, Israel rejects excessive force claims" by Fares Akram Associated Press  April 02, 2018

GAZA CITY — Israel’s military rejected new allegations Monday of unlawful use of force against unarmed Palestinians during mass protests in Gaza last week, as the Palestinian death toll rose to 18.

Israeli troops prevented a mass breach of the border fence and an attempt by Gaza’s militant group Hamas to ‘‘drag us into a catastrophe,’’ said Brigadier General Ronen Manelis, an army spokesman. He denied soldiers acted unlawfully, but said mistakes might have been made and will be investigated.

Israel’s defense minister had previously rejected international calls for an independent investigation.

Hamas, which organized Friday’s mass march, has not said if the final aim of future protests — to be staged off and on for the next six weeks — is a mass breach of the border fence. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on Sunday hinted at an escalation, saying last Friday’s protests had a ‘‘limit,’’ but that it’s not clear where that limit would be next time.

From everything I have seen, there has been no attempt to do anything of the sort.

In Friday’s march, thousands of Palestinians — Israel estimated the turnout at 35,000 — headed toward the border area along several points from the north to the south of Gaza. Smaller groups moved closer to the border fence, throwing stones, hurling firebombs, or burning tires.

Manelis alleged Monday that Hamas staged the mass march as a cover for attacks. He said there were five attempts to cross the fence, including with cutters, and that three explosives were planted.

He said at least 11 of those killed were members of militant groups, including two who opened fire on soldiers near the border, but would not say how the others were killed. He defined actions near the fence as terrorism, including throwing stones and burning tires.

In a separate development Monday, Israel suspended a deal with the United Nations to resettle tens of thousands of African migrants in Western nations and allow the rest to remain in the country.

Isn't Israeli racism grand?

The deal was intended to resolve an issue that has divided Israel for the past decade. It would have scrapped a plan to send the migrants back to their home countries, an approach that had been widely maligned at home and abroad.

Why is every issue always turned into Israel's image in my jew$paper?

‘‘It’s a good agreement,’’ Netanyahu said hours before suspending the deal. ‘‘It enables us to solve this problem in a way that serves, protects the interests of the state of Israel and gives a solution to the residents of southern Tel Aviv and other neighborhoods, and also for the people who came into Israel.’’

But later in the day Netanyahu said he was suspending implementation so he can discuss the plan further with Israeli residents of south Tel Aviv on Tuesday. Israel is home to roughly 35,000 African migrants, most of them from Eritrea and Sudan.

Now THAT'S chutzpah!

The Israeli military’s open-fire policies came under more scrutiny as amateur videos emerged purportedly showing two Palestinians being shot in Gaza — one killed and one wounded — while not posing any apparent threat to soldiers.

In one video posted on social media, a young man later identified as Abdelfatah Abdelnabi is seen being fatally shot from behind while carrying a tire as he ran away from the border.

So the evidence proves Israel a liar, huh? 

Noted for later.

Manelis said the man in the video ‘‘had carried out acts of terror along the fence for several hours,’’ an apparent reference to the burning of tires.

And as we all know, tires can be deadly.


"Rights group urges soldiers to refuse orders to fire on protesters at Israel-Gaza border" by Josef Federman Associated Press  April 05, 2018

JERUSALEM — In a rare step, a leading Israel human rights group on Wednesday urged Israeli forces to disobey open-fire orders unless Gaza protesters pose an imminent threat to soldiers’ lives.

B’Tselem said the appeal is a last-ditch attempt to prevent more bloodshed on the volatile Gaza-Israel border.

Thank God Jews are leading the fight for Palestinians, huh?

Nineteen Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in Gaza since last Friday, including 14 in border protests. More large demonstrations are expected along the border this Friday.

B’Tselem has never before called on soldiers to refuse orders, but believes firing on Palestinians who pose no imminent threat to the lives of Israeli forces is ‘‘manifestly illegal,’’ said spokesman Amit Gilutz.

‘‘As long as soldiers in the field continue to receive orders to use live fire against unarmed civilians, they are duty-bound to refuse to comply,’’ the group said.

The Israeli military has said its tough response is justified because the protests were organized by Hamas, an Islamic militant group sworn to Israel’s destruction.

It said soldiers targeted only ‘‘instigators’’ who burned tires or threw stones and firebombs toward the border fence. The military accused Hamas of using the large crowds as cover to carry out attacks.

In one instance, a pair of gunmen approached the border, and the army said protesters tried to plant explosives along the fence in several instances.

But in other incidents, some caught on video, those who were shot appeared to have been unarmed and not actively involved in violence at the time they were struck.

B’Tselem said that while Israel has the right to defend its border, it is still bound by international norms for the use of live fire. The group said that simply approaching the fence, and even damaging it, does not provide grounds for using lethal force, and that Israel had other options for dispersing the crowds.

‘‘The provisions limit its use to instances involving tangible and immediate mortal danger, and only in the absence of any other alternative,’’ the group said. ‘‘Israel cannot simply decide that it is not bound by these rules.’’

Israel’s military is the country’s most respected institution, and such criticism, even from a dovish group, is relatively rare. B’Tselem said it would be publishing newspaper ads and taking other steps to publicize its campaign. 

AmeriKa is so much like them, but I guess that comes with the ZOG.

The Israeli military did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But the country’s defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said Tuesday that the military will not change its tactics and warned that anyone who approaches the border is risking his life. The tough comments raised the possibility of more bloodshed Friday, when another mass protest is expected.

On Wednesday, the head of the Arab League called on the International Criminal Court in The Hague to investigate the deaths of Palestinians killed in Gaza since Friday. Ahmed Aboul-Gheit also said he supports a call by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for an independent investigation of the events on the border.

Hamas is organizing six weeks of on-and-off border protests in what it says is a campaign to draw attention to a crippling border blockade.

Both Israel and Egypt have maintained a blockade since Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007 in an attempt to weaken the militant group. But the measures have devastated Gaza’s economy, while failing to oust Hamas.

Yeah, except they didn't seize the place, they won election and the right to govern. 

How often you gonna leave that out?

Israel said Wednesday that it had arrested 10 Palestinians suspected of planning an attack on a navy ship off the Gaza coast.

The Shin Bet security service said the interrogation of the cell’s alleged leader revealed a plan to send a decoy boat from Gaza to distract the navy ship while another would fire a rocket at it. The plan called for militants to then try to abduct wounded sailors and keep them as bargaining chips for future prisoner swaps.

Amin Jamaa was being indicted Wednesday at a court in southern Israel.

The Shin Bet identified him and his cohorts as members of the Islamic Jihad militant group and said they were abusing the easing of Israeli restrictions on Gaza fisherman to collect intelligence on Israel’s naval operations along the coast.

Thus providing the excuse to further squeeze Gaza.

‘‘This is proof of the true intentions of the terror groups in Gaza who are trying to hide their murderous plans by staging provocations along our border whose sole purpose is to provide cover for terrorists to carry out their attacks against Israel,’’ Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

Daoud Shehab, an Islamic Jihad spokesman, said he had no information about the Israeli announcement but that his group was involved in ‘‘open confrontation’’ against it.

‘‘It’s also our right to look for suitable ways to force Israel to release Palestinian prisoners,’’ he added.

Protests are planned to continue until May 15, the 70th anniversary of Israel’s founding. The date is mourned by Palestinians as their ‘‘nakba,’’ or ‘‘catastrophe,’’ when hundreds of thousands were uprooted in the 1948 Mideast war over Israel’s creation. Most of Gaza’s 2 million people are descendants of Palestinian refugees.

The most important thing is saving Jewish kids.


"Fears of more violence rise in Gaza ahead of tire-burning protest" by Loveday Morris and Ruth Eglash The Washington Post  April 05, 2018

GAZA CITY — Young Palestinians in the Gaza Strip ferried carts of tires to the fence with Israel on Thursday, stacking them to be burned in a demonstration dubbed the ‘‘Friday of Tires’’ and sparking concerns of violence a week after the bloodiest day in Gaza since a 2014 war.

At a demonstration point near Gaza City, protesters began burning the tires on Thursday afternoon, with rock-throwers taking cover behind the thick billowing black smoke. Israeli forces used gunfire and tear gas to keep them away from the border fence.

Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza, and other major Palestinian factions have thrown their weight behind demonstrations in the 140-square-mile territory on the Mediterranean Sea. Eighteen Palestinians were killed when Israeli forces opened fire on a crowd that massed on the border for a demonstration called the ‘‘March of Return’’ last week on Land Day, an annual commemoration of a 1976 protest against Israeli confiscation of Arab-owned land.

Israel has said the crowd was violent and that Hamas has tried to use the demonstrations as cover to carry out attacks.

While most of the crowd was peaceful on Friday as more than 30,000 Palestinians gathered near the dividing line with Israel, groups of young men threw rocks and molotov cocktails toward the fence.

Nickolay Mladenov, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, said he was following rhetoric and preparations for Friday’s planned march ‘‘with concern.’’

‘‘Israeli forces should exercise maximum restraint, and Palestinians should avoid friction at the Gaza fence,’’ he said.


"9 killed in Gaza as Palestinian protesters face off with Israeli soldiers" by David M. Halbfinger New York Times   April 06, 2018

NAHAL OZ, Israel — Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli soldiers faced off along the Gaza border for a second week Friday. The Gaza Health Ministry said nine Palestinians were killed, two of them teenagers, and scores wounded.

Face off?

Friday’s deaths brought to 31 the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli fire over the past week, the Associated Press reported.

The death total was up to 31 last week, and yet the pre$$ is telling me 28 today.

Gaza’s Health Ministry said more than 1,000 people were wounded on Friday, including 293 by live fire. It said 25 of those wounded were in serious condition.

Though Friday’s demonstrations were smaller than those last week, when 20 Palestinians were killed, they have already achieved one crucial aim of Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza.

They can't get the death count right anywhere!

The protests have changed the international conversation about the coastal territory from one focused on Hamas’s troubles to one on the image of Gaza as a prison, with Israel as its jailer.

That is the problem!

The protests are aimed at Israel’s blockade of Gaza, which began after Hamas seized control in 2007.

Didn't seize, won election and they know it yet repeat the lie.

Billed as a six-week “March of Return,” the demonstrations are to culminate May 15 with Nakbah Day, which commemorates the flight and expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians during Israel’s 1948 war for independence.

Not even that, it was ethnic cleansing!

Protesters from Gaza flocked to the barrier fence Friday, chanting, waving flags, flying kites, and setting fire to piles of tires that had been carted to the fence.

Hamas, which has been effectively running the protests, said the smoke screen was a defensive measure to protect unarmed Palestinians from being shot, as many were last Friday, the first day of the demonstrations.

Israeli officials insisted the smoke screens were meant to provide cover for militants trying to make it across the barrier fence to attack soldiers and Israeli civilians living in farming communities along the border.

Either way, the smoke screens appeared effective: From the Israeli side, along the fortified barrier fence near the Nahal Oz kibbutz, hundreds of protesters in the Shajaiye neighborhood of Gaza City could only occasionally be glimpsed through vast clouds of acrid black smoke that enshrouded a detachment of soldiers ensconced behind earthen berms.

Yeah, EITHER WAY the Palestinians are choosing to poison themselves with noxious air than take an Israeli bullet.

The Israelis first tried dispersing the smoke with an industrial-sized fan, trucked in on trailers. When that did not immediately work, they began trying to douse the fires with water cannons, setting off cheers among the protesters when that too, did little.


It looks like a Keystone cops, and the water on the tires just created more smoke!

Hamas insisted that demonstrators, who also tried distracting Israeli snipers with mirrors reflecting the brilliant sun, would be unarmed and peaceful Friday. But it carved out an exception for rock throwing.

“Today we are sending a message that our struggle is without arms and guns, and we will wait and see if the world receives the message and pressures Israel to stop its crimes against our people,” Mahmoud al-Zahar, a senior Hamas leader, told reporters at the protests in Gaza City. “And if the world fails to do so, we then will be obliged to use our arms.”

I wouldn't hold your breath, and they do have the right to defend themselves per U.N. charter.

In the Shajaiye neighborhood of Gaza City, one of five main gathering points for the protesters, ambulances and stretchers came and went throughout the day.

At one point, as a lightly wounded man holding a slingshot was carried off, he made an obscene gesture toward the Israeli side, prompting cheers and laughter; another held up two fingers in a victory sign.

You gotta love 'em!

Of course, the NYT's implication is they can't govern themselves because they are not serious.

Bilal Abu Zaher, 26, who came to the protest on crutches, said he had been disabled since his house was damaged by an Israeli airstrike in the 2008 Israel-Gaza war. On Thursday, he said, Israeli soldiers shot at his wheelchair, damaging it. On Friday, he was back at the fence.

“I believe I’m going to cross the fence, even if they shoot me or cut me in half,” he said. “I’m here for dignity. My goal is to return to the land.”

Israeli news outlets reported that Palestinians had built an ancient war machine — a trebuchet, or slingshot-like catapult — to hurl heavy stones or even burning tires at the Israeli side. The reports included photos of the trebuchet but there was no confirmation Friday that it had been deployed.



All they provided was a photo, not its use, and that must be the "face off" we were told about. An "ancient war machine, the trebuchet," balanced against Israeli jets, tanks, artillery, drones dropping gas, etc, etc.

At least that is one way of cleaning up the rubble!

Israeli military officials insisted that their soldiers were being extremely judicious in their use of live fire, but they had said they would use live ammunition if necessary to stop Palestinians from penetrating or damaging the border barrier, which is actually at least two fences — one a crude barrier of barbed wire; the other, some yards behind, a more complicated structure equipped with a range of electronic sensors.

So they have to pass through two different fences, huh?

The Israelis released surveillance video clips late in the day that they said showed new attempts to cut openings in the barrier, and said that some demonstrators were throwing firebombs at their soldiers. 

I'll bet it is an Israeli false flag team cutting the wires!

The United Nations urged both sides to avoid violence and said there were “strong indications” that Israeli security forces may have breached international law last week. 

Good thing they are above international law.

Elizabeth Throssell, a spokeswoman for the UN human rights office in Geneva, said the high casualty toll among protesters who were unarmed or did not pose a serious threat to security forces suggested Israeli troops may have used excessive force.

Some protesters had reportedly acted dangerously, but international law permits the use of lethal force only as a last resort in the face of an imminent threat of death or serious injury, she said. “An attempt to approach or cross the green-line fence by itself certainly does not amount to a threat to life or serious injury,” she said.

So when does the trial at the Hague begin?



"Syrian troops began a ground offensive under the cover of airstrikes on rebel-held areas outside the capital Damascus on Friday after a 10-day truce collapsed over disagreement regarding evacuation of opposition fighters. The new wave of violence left at least 36 people dead, including women and children, according to state media and opposition activists."

Time to dig in

"Israeli, Hamas leaders dig in on Gaza border clashes" by Fares Akram Associated Press  April 09, 2018

GAZA CITY — Israel’s prime minister and the leader of Hamas, the militant group running Gaza, staked out tough positions Monday, making deescalation on the Israel-Gaza border in the near future unlikely.

Since late March, 26 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds wounded by Israeli fire in mass border protests led by Hamas, but also driven by widespread desperation over the territory’s decade-old border blockade by Israel and Egypt.

Some must have been resurrected.

The protests are seen, in part, as an attempt by Hamas to break the blockade.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh renewed a pledge Monday that the marches would pave the way for a return of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to what is now Israel.

‘‘We will return to Palestine, our villages, and Jerusalem,’’ Haniyeh said in a fiery speech at one of five protest camps set up along the border.

He stopped short of threatening a mass breach of the border, though another Hamas leader has done so in recent speeches.

Israel has accused Hamas of using the protests as a cover for carrying out attacks and bringing infiltrators into Israel. It has said some of those at the border tried to damage the fence, planted explosives, or hurled firebombs.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel visited Sderot, an Israeli community near Gaza, and said Israel’s top priority is its security.

‘‘We have one clear and simple rule and we seek to express it constantly: If someone tries to attack you — rise up and attack him,’’ Netanyahu said. ‘‘We will not allow, here on the Gaza border, them to hurt us. We will hurt them.’’

Israel has said it has the right to defend its sovereign border, amid mounting international expressions of concern about the escalation of the past 10 days.

Israel’s military said Monday night that it is ‘‘thoroughly’’ investigating after media broadcast video that appears to show a soldier shooting a Palestinian near the Gaza fence as audio of other soldiers are heard cheering when the individual falls.

That's your Israeli humanity on display.

The circumstances of the shooting are unclear.


Israeli media said the footage was taken during the recent border clashes. The military said the incident apparently occurred several months ago.


On Sunday, the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court said Israel’s ‘‘violence against civilians — in a situation such as one prevailing in Gaza’’ may constitute war crimes. But in an apparent reference to Hamas, she also said ‘‘the use of civilian presence for the purpose of shielding military activities’’ could also be a war crime.

They ought to call it the JU.N.

Haniyeh said protests would continue. Since March 30, there have been two mass demonstrations on Fridays, and another one is expected this Friday.

Hamas’s promise of a ‘‘Great March of Return’’ has particular resonance in Gaza, where two-thirds of 2 million residents are descendants of refugees, uprooted in the 1948 war over Israel’s creation.

Israel and Egypt have enforced a blockade since Hamas, an Islamic militant group, overran the territory in 2007. Hamas has fought three cross-border wars with Israel, and its political charter calls for Israel’s destruction.

Now they overran the territory, and they haven't called for Israel's destruction, either. They empowered the PA to negotiate and then agreed to put the agreement before the Palestinian people in a referendum.

Will the pro-Israel omissions and distortions in my pre$$ ever stop?

Earlier Monday, Israeli fighter jets struck a Hamas target in Gaza, in response to two explosive devices found near Israel’s border with the territory, the military said. No injuries were reported in the strike.

That is minimized!

Also Monday, the Health Ministry in Gaza said a 45-year-old Palestinian man has died of his wounds after being shot in the legs by Israeli troops during a protest late last month.

The man’s death brings to 32 the number of people killed by Israeli fire since March 30, including those killed during the protests at the Gaza-Israel border. Among the others killed were Palestinian gunmen who had attempted to cross into Israel and two militants killed by Israeli forces.

Need I even say it?

The Israeli military said it struck a Hamas ‘‘terror target’’ in a military compound in Gaza early on Monday. On Sunday, the military said two explosive devices were found near Israel’s border with Gaza, hours after three Palestinians from Gaza crossed briefly into Israel.

Hamas, considered a terrorist group by Israel and its Western allies, has controlled Gaza since ousting forces of internationally recognized President Mahmoud Abbas in 2007.

They didn't oust..... never mind.

Abbas said Sunday that unless he gets full control over the Gaza Strip, including Hamas’s weapons, he will ‘‘not be responsible for what goes on’’ there.

He's with Israel then.

His comments were another setback for months of US-backed Egyptian efforts to negotiate a deal that would sideline Hamas and enable Abbas’s self-rule government to return to Gaza. Recent talks between Abbas and his rivals failed, mainly because Hamas refuses to disarm.

Meaning it failed due to Abbas intransigence.

Abbas told leaders of his Fatah movement he has informed Egypt of his demands and is waiting to hear back.


"4 Islamic Jihad members killed in Gaza ‘work accident’" Associated Press  April 14, 2018

GAZA CITY — The militant Islamic Jihad group said four of its members were killed Saturday in a ‘‘work accident’’ in the southern Gaza Strip along the border with Israel.

The explosion struck a three-wheeled vehicle near one of the five protest camps Palestinians have set up along the volatile Gaza-Israel border in recent weeks.

Islamic Jihad said, without elaborating, that all four were killed ‘‘during preparations,’’ implying they were preparing an attack against Israel. The Israeli military said it was unaware of any activity in the area of the blast.

It comes a day after another mass gathering along the border area in which thousands of Palestinians, some burning Israeli flags and torching tires, staged a protest against the 10-year-old blockade.

It's more like a siege.

Israel has accused Hamas and other militant groups of using the protests as a cover for attacks and says its snipers have only targeted ‘‘main instigators.’’

One protester was killed Friday, bringing the death toll to 28 over the last two weeks, with more than 1,500 wounded by Israeli fire since March 30.

There they go again.

The marches have been organized by Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers, but large turnouts on two preceding Fridays were also driven by Gaza’s dire living conditions and desperation among the territory’s 2 million residents, who have been enduring a crippling border closure by Israel and Egypt since 2007.

Rights groups have described the Israeli military’s open-fire regulations as unlawful, saying they permit soldiers to use potentially lethal force against unarmed protesters.

Hamas leaders have sent mixed signals about whether they plan an eventual mass breach of the border fence.

The protests are to culminate in a large rally on May 15, the 70th anniversary of Israel’s creation. Palestinians mourn the event as their ‘‘nakba,’’ or catastrophe, when hundreds of thousands were uprooted in the 1948 war over Israel’s creation.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Friday that the Middle East is in such ‘‘chaos’’ that it has become a threat to international peace and security — and Syria ‘‘represents the most serious threat.’’

I give up on Gutteres.

The UN chief told an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council that the highly volatile situation in the region risks ‘‘escalation, fragmentation, and division as far as the eye can see, with profound regional and global ramifications.’’

‘‘The Cold War is back — with a vengeance but with a difference,’’ Guterres warned.

And he said the safeguards and mechanisms that managed the risk of escalation between the United States and the Soviet Union in the past ‘‘no longer seem to be present.’’

OMFG, they turned the conversation to Syria as my print copy comes to an end!

Russia called the council meeting to focus on the threat to international peace and security before the United States and its allies launched an attack early Saturday in retaliation for the Syrian chemical attack, but the secretary-general took a much broader view of the often-interlinked factors escalating the chaos and threatening peace in the Middle East.

Guterres cited the Palestinian-Israeli divide, the Sunni-Shi’ite divide ‘‘evident from the Gulf to the Mediterranean,’’ opposing attitudes on the Muslim Brotherhood, and the status of the Kurds, threats to communities that have lived in the region for millennia, and other factors.

‘‘This multiplicity of divides is reflected in a multiplicity of conflicts with different degrees of interconnection, several of them clearly linked to the threat of global terrorism,’’ he said. 

Do the words Yinon or Project For the New AmeriKan Century mean anything to you?

Guterres warned that ‘‘many forms of escalation are possible.’’

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is deepening again, he said.

And in what appears to be implicit criticism of Israel for its use of force against protesters, Guterres said, ‘‘The recent violence in Gaza has resulted in many needless deaths and injuries.’’ He also reiterated his call for ‘‘an independent and transparent’’ investigation of the incidents.

The secretary-general urged the deeply divided Security Council, which has been paralyzed over Syria, to agree on a new body to determine responsibility for chemical attacks.

Increasing tensions and the inability to reach a compromise ‘‘threaten to lead to a full-blown military escalation,’’ Guterres warned, and risk ‘‘that things spiral out of control.’’

Some are sure hoping!


May not even be an Israel anymore because of demographics:

"Arabs nearly equal Jews in Holy Land, demographics expert says" by Aron Heller Associated Press  March 27, 2018

No longer a Jewish state then.

JERUSALEM — Israel’s leading demographics expert on Tuesday defended military figures indicating the number of Arabs will soon equal that of Jews in the Holy Land — figures that had sparked outrage from nationalist lawmakers in parliament.

Sergio Della Pergola, a demographer from Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, said the numbers of Arabs and Jews are nearly equal when you factor in the population of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and east Jerusalem along with the population of Israel.

Jews make up about 80 percent of Israel proper, and advocates of a two-state solution have long warned the country risks losing its Jewish majority if a Palestinian state is not established alongside it.

They can always go the apartheid route.

Short of that, they warn, Israel will be faced with a daunting choice between becoming a binational state or one in which Arabs and other minorities do not have equal rights. 

Poow Iswael!

Della Pergola said that there are currently about 6.9 million Jews in the Holy Land — including Israel and the Palestinian territories — compared to 6.5 million Arabs. He said the gap was likely to be closed completely within 15 to 20 years.

‘‘These are the figures. You can either accept them or not,’’ he said. ‘‘For some, it may be uncomfortable so they say they are inaccurate but truthfully that is quite childish.’’

Nationalist lawmakers assailed a senior military officer, Colonel Haim Mendes, in parliament on Monday for saying there were nearly 5 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, accusing him of inflating the numbers. Mendes is a high ranking official in COGAT, the Israeli defense body for Palestinian civilian affairs.

Avi Dichter, a lawmaker from the ruling Likud Party and chairman for the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, called the figure ‘‘surprising’’ and asked for clarification.

Motti Yogev, a lawmaker from the pro-settler Jewish Home party, went a step further, accusing the official of relying on Palestinian figures and demanding that the true numbers be revealed.

The demographic issue lies at the core of the Israeli pursuit of a comprehensive peace accord with the Palestinians over the past two decades out of concern that Israel cannot fulfill its destiny as a Jewish and democratic state given these trends. Such data undermines the prevailing thought of the current government, which has largely ruled out the concept of a Palestinian state and dismisses the demographic threat.

As if they wanted one. 

The ultimate goal is to cleanse the West Bank and leave Palestinians that open-air concentration camp known as Gaza.

Della Pergola said he could respect the opposing ideologies, but that the figures themselves should not be questioned. He said COGAT had the best grasp of the situation on the ground.

He added that while Jewish birth rates were catching up with those of Arabs, mostly due to the high fertility rates among ultra-Orthodox Jews, the Arab population was much younger and therefore dying at a slower rate.

Israel's military is killing them as fast as they can.



Kashmiri protesters clashed with Indian government forces Monday in Srinagar.
Kashmiri protesters clashed with Indian government forces Monday in Srinagar (TAUSEEF MUSTAFA/AFP/Getty Images).

They sure look Palestinian.

"Kashmir shut by strike, security day after deadly fighting" by Aijaz Hussain Associated Press  April 02, 2018

SRINAGAR, India — A security clampdown and a strike sponsored by separatists fighting against Indian rule shut down most of Indian-administered Kashmir on Monday, a day after protests and fierce fighting killed 16 combatants and four civilians.

Armed police and paramilitary soldiers in riot gear fanned out across the region and patrolled streets in anticipation of anti-India protests and clashes.

Authorities also imposed a curfew in some towns in southern Kashmir and in the old parts of the disputed region’s main city of Srinagar, the urban center of protests and clashes against Indian rule.

Shops and businesses closed in other areas where no security restrictions were in place. Separatist leaders who challenge India’s sovereignty over Kashmir called for a shutdown on Monday and Tuesday to protest the killings.

Authorities shut schools and colleges and canceled university exams in an attempt to stop protests by students.

Despite the suspension of classes, anti-India protests erupted at the University of Kashmir, where many students gathered in the main campus in Srinagar and shouted slogans such as ‘‘Go India, go back’’ and demanded an end of Indian rule over the region.

In addition to halting train services in the most restive towns, officials cut cellphone Internet access in those towns and reduced connection speeds in other parts of the Kashmir Valley, a common government practice aimed at calming tensions and preventing anti-India demonstrations from being organized.

Troops laid steel barricades and razor wire on roads and intersections to cut off neighborhoods as authorities anticipated widespread protests.

They act as if they have been trained by Israelis.

At least 13 rebels and three Indian army soldiers were killed in Sunday’s fighting in three gun battles in southern Kashmir, where a new generation of rebels has revived militancy and challenged New Delhi’s rule with guns and effective use of social media.

As the fighting raged, large anti-India protests erupted in several parts of Indian-controlled Kashmir and at least four civilians were killed and dozens injured.

Residents said government troops fired into the crowds of mostly young protesters, causing injuries. They also said one of the civilians who died in southern Shopian near a gunbattle on Sunday was being used as a human shield against rebels by the Indian army.

Well, you can see which side the AmeriKan pre$$ is on.

An army officer, who declined to be named in keeping with army regulations, rejected the accusation and said the civilian was killed in the crossfire with insurgents.

Does it really matter to his relatives?

In the past, such allegations have rarely been probed, and some accused military officials have been rewarded.