Palestinians mourn the death of Vittorio Arrigoni – Gaza City

Palestinians and foreigners mourn the death of International Solidarity Movement member Vittorio Arrigoni, during a protest in Gaza City. Italian citizen Vittorio Arrigoni was kidnapped on April 14 by a Salafist group of radical Islamists.

Palestinians and foreigners mourn the death of International Solidarity Movement member Vittorio Arrigoni, 36, who was kidnapped and killed by a Salafist group of radical Islamist, during a protest in Gaza City, on April 15, 2011. Italian citizen Vittorio Arrigoni was kidnapped on April 14 by a previously-unknown Salafist group who posted video outlining their demands online. But hours before the 30-hour deadline expired, he was found hanged in an abandoned house in northern Gaza.

(www.demotix.com / 15.04.2011)

Libische stad Misurata weer zwaar onder vuur

Beschietingen door troepen die trouw zijn kolonel Muammar Kaddafi hebben vrijdag in de Libische stad Misurata minstens 22 mensenlevens geëist. Zeker vijftig mensen zijn gewond geraakt. Dat meldde de Arabische televisiezender al-Jazeera.

Kaddafi’s troepen bestookten de stad met tanks, zware artillerie en raketten. Misurata, de enige stad van betekenis in het westen van Libië die in handen is van de opstandelingen die Kaddafi ten val willen brengen, is al weken het toneel van hevige gevechten. Er zouden al vele honderden slachtoffers te betreuren zijn.

(www.parool.nl / 15.04.2011)

NOW ISRAEL IS FREE TO DECLARE ITS INNOCENCE BEFORE THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE

Palestinian doctors carry the bodies of children killed by an Israeli tank shell, to the morgue at Shifa hospital in Gaza (images: documents.blogspot.com)

Thank God Judge Goldstone recanted his judgment on Israel and its IDF forces in the slaughter inflicted on Gaza during its Christmas invasion in 2008-2009; both are now innocent of wrongful intent to kill Palestinian civilians since the Israeli military courts investigated Goldstone’s allegations and determined he was wrong. Now the good Judge has found, with the military court, that the Israeli government, that refused to cooperate with the United Nations investigation, did not intentionally send its forces to kill and destroy but only to kill and destroy Gaza; that the civilians were killed is simply a sad consequence of war. How astute, how learned, how compassionate; how absurd, how facetious, how despicable.

Yet, good may come of this decision. Now Israel is free to declare its innocence before the International Court of Justice since it is Israel’s investigation that can be presented as its case, with the good Judge as co-defendant. After all, isn’t this exactly what the Israeli government has wanted from the start, a way to demonstrate to the world that its Army is the most moral on the planet, its government the most democratic, acting only to defend its people, its weaponry the most sophisticated state of the art precision ordinance available, and its actions always proportionate to the crimes it seeks to address? Knowing now what they did not know before Judge Goldstone recanted his report, the government of Israel has nothing to fear from the ICJ but the justice it so rightfully deserves. Certainly it makes no sense for Israel or the UN to do nothing now that the report has been brought into question. The world has castigated Israel because of the report, now it’s Israel’s turn to seek revenge and put before the world how righteous and how legal its actions have been. How fortunate this turn of events.

Photo: ANP/EPA – Devastation in Gaza City

And how opportune a moment since our United States Congress has once again jumped to the fore as defender of the beleaguered state of Israel by writing a letter to the UNHRC that it should expunge the report from history since it is biased against the Jewish state and this would help make amends. (“Congressional initiatives targeting Goldstone report” April 11, 2011 JTA)But why expunge it? Israel, after all, knows it did no wrong; it has done its own investigation and declared its innocence. What an opportunity to show the world that it has been maligned, that it has obeyed all international laws relative to individual rights, that as an occupying force under Geneva Conventions and the Charter of the UN it has observed all requisite responsibilities toward the people of Gaza, and finally that it had rights to invade that the international community must recognize since it was only defending itself.

Let us present this case as objectively as we can by using the words in the Israeli Gaza Operation Investigations: the means used to investigate, the difficulties that impeded the investigation, their presentation of the investigation concerning white phosphorus, and the conclusions drawn by the Military Advocate General, oh, and the convictions leveled on those found guilty. We’ll follow that presentation with some eye witness accounts of the Gaza operation, the affect of white phosphorus and its legality, and the impact of DIME explosives on humans and the environment. A few photos of Israeli use of white phosphorus will accompany this article if possible.

Consider the facts as articulated by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs as it labeled Cast Lead as Hamas war against Israel. [My apologies; I’m interjecting a subjective comment on Israel’s calling Operation Cast Lead “Hamas’ war against Israel.” In the 8 years preceding Cast Lead, Hamas or other resistance groups in Gaza, fired 6000 home made rockets at Israel, roughly 750 a year, or 62.5 per month or 2 per day. Twenty three people were killed. In that same period Israel killed more than 1000 Palestinian children and in Cast Lead killed an additional 352. A total of 1084 Israelis were killed between 2000 and 2008, but 6430 Palestinians were killed. Yet it was Hamas’ war against Israel. One final observation: Israel’s launch of one of its American supplied missiles that cost $300,000, a fraction of the 8.2 million per day we supply to Israel’s military, a precision state of the art weapon that hit a home where the IDF ordered people to go, in less than one minute killed 21 members of the Samouni family, nine of them children.] (figures from ifamericansknew.org and see this author’s article “Consider the Realities of Gaza,” Counterpunch, Jan. 5, 2009). Back to our sources and let the reader be judge.

Gaza Operation Investigations: An Update Jan 2010.

1. Israel’s investigative system has multiple layers of review to ensure impartiality and independence. These include the Military Advocate General’s Corps (MAG), which determines whether to initiate criminal investigations and file charges against IDF soldiers. The Military Advocate General is legally independent from the military chain of command. Israel’s Attorney General provides civilian oversight, as any decision of the Military Advocate General on whether or not to investigate or indict may be subject to his review.

2. The Operation in Gaza: Factual and Legal Aspects, which addressed a range of factual and legal issues related to the Gaza Operation. The Operation in Gaza also set out the legal framework governing the use of force and the principles – including the principles of distinction and proportionality – that apply in such a conflict. It also described the IDF’s efforts to ensure compliance with these principles during the Gaza Operation and the modus operandi of Hamas, in particular its abuses of civilian protections that created such acute operational dilemmas.

3. Describing the application of these mechanisms to the Gaza Operation, the Paper notes that the IDF to date has launched investigations of 150 separate incidents arising from the Gaza Operation. A number of these were opened at the IDF’s own initiative. Others were opened in response to complaints and reports from Palestinian civilians, local and international non-governmental organisations, and U.N. and media reports.

Conclusions:

183. The Gaza Operation presented complex challenges to Israel and the IDF. While the need and obligation to respond effectively to the thousands of Hamas rockets and mortars that had terrorized Israeli civilians for years was clear and acute, the strategies adopted by Hamas, and in particular its systematic entrenchment in the heart of civilian areas, created profound operational dilemmas. [A second interruption if I may: consider the reality of the Palestinians’ plight; they can go nowhere, they cannot escape through the Israeli gates, they can not flee by car, rail, air, boat or on foot, and they are caged in a steel enclosed land area blocked on the west by Israeli gunboats. They have no army, no air force, no navy; but they were training police to help provide order inside this cage of chaos, and Israel began its operation by killing 50 of the graduating class on December 27, 2008.]

184. These challenges did not end with the close of operations. A key element of respecting the Law of Armed Conflict is a commitment genuinely to review military operations after the fact, and thoroughly investigate allegations of unlawful activity. Fulfilling this commitment in the context of Gaza is demanding, and requires serious efforts to obtain evidence from battleground situations and to make arrangements to enable residents of Gaza to give their accounts. It also requires an awareness that, in complex combat situations, errors of judgment, even with tragic results, do not necessarily mean that violations of the Law of Armed Conflict have occurred. [Note that Israel refused to cooperate with the UNHRC investigation that became the Goldstone Report.]

187. Israel recognizes the importance of engaging in dialogue and sharing best practices on theconduct of investigative proceedings with other democratic states facingsimilar challenges and committed to upholding the rule of law.

Obviously this article cannot provide a complete rendering of the Israeli investigation and its conclusions regarding proper conduct under international law. However, one of the more telling concerns raised about the IDF was its use of white phosphorus. Here is the comment from the Israeli operation cast lead investigation on that subject. Section IV contains others.

IV. COMPLAINTS ALLEGING VIOLATIONS OF THE LAW

OF ARMED CONFLICT DURING THE GAZA OPERATION

89. Israel is aware of concerns raised regarding the Gaza Operation. As discussed in detail in The Operation in Gaza, and as outlined above, the deliberate strategy of Hamas to blend in with the civilian population made it difficult for the IDF to achieve the objective of the Gaza Operation – reducing the threat of deliberate attacks against Israeli civilians – while also avoiding harm to Palestinian civilians. To be sure, the IDF undertook strenuous efforts to minimise such harm. It intensively trained its personnel on the requirements of the Law of Armed Conflict. It delayed, diverted, or refrained from attacks to spare civilian life. It provided numerous and varied types of concrete warnings before launching attacks.

88 Nevertheless, Israel’s efforts to comply with the Law of Armed Conflict do not lessen its regret for the loss of innocent lives and damage to civilian property.

93. The unique difficulties involved in the investigation of alleged violations of the Law of Armed Conflict in the battlefield should not be ignored. They include: the inability to

secure the scene for forensic and physical evidence, either during a battle or after, when

the territory is under enemy control; the possible destruction of evidence during fighting

and the possible manipulation of the scene by the enemy; the need to recall reserve

soldiers back for questioning; the difficulty of accurately identifying the location of an

incident, when it is described in local and unofficial terms and slang; and the need to

locate the adversary’s civilians as witnesses and overcome their natural suspicion and fear of reprisals by their authorities.90

(v) The use of weaponry containing phosphorous

117. This investigation dealt with the use of weapons containing phosphorous by IDF forces during the Gaza Operation. The investigation focused on the different types and number of weapons containing phosphorous used during the Operation, the purposes for which they were used, the applicable professional instructions and rules of engagement, and the extent of compliance with those instructions and rules. Some of the findings of the special command investigation are detailed in The Operation in Gaza.107

118. The Military Advocate General reviewed the entire record of the special command

investigation. With respect to exploding munitions containing white phosphorous, the

Military Advocate General concluded that the use of this weapon in the operation was consistent with Israel’s obligations under international law.

119. With respect to smoke projectiles, the Military Advocate General found that international law does not prohibit use of smoke projectiles containing phosphorous. Specifically, such projectiles are not “incendiary weapons,” within the meaning of the Protocol on 106 Id. ¶¶ 436-45. Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Incendiary Weapons,108 because they are not primarily designed to set fire or to burn. The Military Advocate General further determined that during the Gaza Operation, the IDF used such smoke projectiles for military purposes only, for instance to camouflage IDF armor forces from Hamas’s antitank units by creating smoke screens.

120. The Military Advocate General found no grounds to take disciplinary or other measures for the IDF’s use of weapons containing phosphorous, which involved no violation of the Law of Armed Conflict. Nevertheless, the Military Advocate General’s opinion did not address a number of specific complaints that were received after the investigation concluded and which are being investigated separately.(vi)

Based on information from B’Tselem and Euromedrights.org, the determinations by the Israeli investigation resulted in the following charges: In the over two years since Operation Cast Lead, Israel and the Palestinian side have failed to conduct genuine investigations, and where appropriate, prosecutions. To-date one Israeli soldier has served 7.5 months in jail for the theft of a credit card and two others have received three month suspended sentences for using a Palestinian child as a human shield. These three convictions, and the ongoing trial of a fourth soldier, have been the only concrete judicial outcomes of Israeli Operation Cast Lead investigations. It is noted that neither these indictments nor the sentences handed down for the human shield conviction reflect the gravity of the actual crimes committed. It appears that the majority of other investigative procedures have been closed without charge. All alleged international crimes must be subject to genuine investigation, and, if appropriate, those responsible must be prosecuted in accordance with the requirements of international law. In light of the domestic authorities’ failure to conduct such investigation, the International Criminal Court now constitutes the most appropriate forum, as recommended by the Human Rights Council on 25 March.(Euromedrights.org)

To date, no independent investigation apparatus, empowered also to investigate the responsibility of the political and military decision-makers, has been established. According to the report that the Foreign Ministry provided to the UN in July 2010, the Judge Advocate General’s office ordered 47 Military Police investigations with respect to Operation Cast Lead. B’Tselem is aware of 20 Military Police investigations of incidents in which a suspicion arose that soldiers in the field violated army regulations. Four soldiers have been prosecuted for three incidents that occurred during the operation. In the first case, a soldier was convicted of stealing a credit card and sentenced to seven and a half months’ imprisonment, a conditional sentence of seven and a half months, and demotion from sergeant to private. In the second case, indictments were filed against two soldiers alleging they used a nine-year-old child as a human shield, ordering him to open suspected booby-trapped bags. The two soldiers were convicted and sentenced to a three-month suspended jail sentence and demotion in rank from staff sergeant to private. In the third case, an indictment was filed against a soldier for killing an anonymous person and conduct unbecoming a soldier. In three other cases, disciplinary proceedings were instituted against six officers. B’Tselem is aware of at least six cases in which the Attorney General decided not to indict the soldiers. (B’Tselem).

Now let us return to the arguments for a UN investigation that can provide the people of the world with deliberations that place the Israeli Operation Cast Lead before an International Court of Justice.

Phosphorous Bomb Rain Over Northern Gaza


Hiyam Noir, in Palestine Free Voice, January 13, 2009, reporting from Gaza observed

“Blankets of white clouds covered the skies over Gaza, including the refuge camps in Khan Younis, Beit Lahia and Gaza City. On Saturday Israeli F16 warplanes launched attacks using phosphorus bombs on the Block 2 section inside the densely populated Jabalya Refuge Camp. Many residents of Jabalya escaped the area covering their faces, searching for a safe shelter in the home of relatives and friends in the neighboring Beit Lahia from the Israelis “Cast Lead Operation”. Gaza has always been the Israelis “testing ground” – from nerve agents used in Khan Younis in 2003, to Sonic Boom “phantom air raids”, and the use of DIME in the Israelis massacre called ” Operation Summer Rain” over Gaza year 2006.”

In that same article, Noir notes, The Human Rights Watch senior analyst Marc Garlasco said in an interview on France Chanel 4 TV that ..”Israeli artillery bursted fire of white phosphorous shells over Gaza City.”Garlasco said ..”I have been standing at the border for the last few days ,watching Israeli artillery firing white phosphorus shells into refugee camps”.

Press TV on 4 March 2011 reported that cancer cases in Gaza had increased by 30 per cent, and that there was a link between the occurrence of the disease and residence in areas that had been badly hit by Israeli bombing. Zekra Ajour from the Al-Dameer Association for Human Rights told the channel that Gaza had been a testing ground for illegal weapons.

In a separate article, Richard Lightbown argues that Israel’s use of white phosphorus and other toxic metals, and its suspected use of depleted uranium, in the war against the people of the Gaza Strip has put the whole of the Strip’s population and its environment – air, soil, groundwater and possibly seawater – at risk of serious long-term injury and contamination. He also observes that The goldstone report mentions phosphorus in paragraph 896: Medical staff reported to the mission how even working in the areas where the phosphorus had been used made them feel sick, their lips would swell and they would become extremely thirsty and nauseous.

The toxicity of phosphorus is also recorded in a report by New York medical staff:4

‘Oral ingestion of white phosphorus in humans has been demonstrated to result in pathologic changes to the liver and kidneys. The ingestion of a small quantity of white phosphorus can cause gastrointestinal complaints such as nausea, abdominal cramps, and vomiting. Individuals with a history of oral ingestion have been noted to pass phosphorus-laden stool (“smoking stool syndrome”). The accepted lethal dose is 1 mg/kg, although the ingestion of as little as 15 mg has resulted in death.’

Although an Israeli army spokesman told CNN on 7 January 2009, “I can tell you with certainty that white phosphorus is absolutely not being used.” the chemical had been used by Israeli forces since the beginning of the war.12 The Goldstone Report stated that Israeli sources later claimed their forces had stopped using white phosphorous on 7 January 2009 because of international concerns. This was also untrue as there is evidence that it had been used after that date. Goldstone declared the Israeli armed forces to have been “systematically reckless” in using white phosphorous in built-up areas (paragraphs 884, 886 and 890).

Lightbown also discusses DIME: “Evidence of the use of depleted uranium against Gaza is tenuous and Goldstone merely recorded in paragraph 907 that it had received allegations which it had not further investigated. Much of this evidence came from Action des citoyens pour le désarmement nucléaire (ACDN: Citizens Action for Nuclear Disarmament). Their report of July 2009 hypothesizes that the GBU-39 bunker-buster bomb is packed with 75 kilogram of depleted uranium. (A UNEP report also ambiguously refers to bunker-buster bombs containing depleted uranium.) The US delivery of 1,000 of these bombs to Israel arrived in early December 2008 shortly before the start of the war. The GBU-39 is considered one of the world’s most precise bombs and Boeing, the manufacturer, claims that the bomb will penetrate three feet of steel-reinforced concrete. (UNEP suggests that it can penetrate reinforced concrete to depths ranging from 1.8 to over 6 metres.) Boeing’s patent on the weapon mentions depleted uranium.6

It is not known how many bunker-buster bombs were used against Gaza but it seems reasonable to assume that the number could run into hundreds. It is thought that they were used mostly in the Philadelphia corridor against the tunnels. Desmond Travers, the former Irish army officer who was a member of the Goldstone Commission, would only say that depleted uranium may have been used during the war, although he did agree that it would have been well suited for attacking the tunnels where maximum penetration would have been desired.7 He was also in agreement with ACDN that the use of below-ground targets would have considerably reduced the levels of aerosol uranium that was dispersed into the air.

In April 2009 Jean-François Fechino from ACDN was part of a four-person team which went to Gaza for the Arab Commission for Human Rights. Samples that the team brought back were analysed by a specialist laboratory which identified carcinogens: depleted uranium, caesium, asbestos dust, tungsten and aluminium oxide. Thorium oxide was also found, which is radioactive, as are depleted uranium and caesium. The analysis also identified phosphates and copper, along with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are a health hazard, especially to children, asthmatics and elders.9

Depleted uranium burns at almost 1200 degrees Celsius. (TNT by comparison burns at 576 degrees Celsius.)10 At this temperature the fire vaporizes any metals in the target which in combination with uranium are released into the air in aerosol form. After deposition the aerosols have the potential to contaminate groundwater. (The Gaza aquifer, which is the Strip’s only water source, is also connected to ground water supplies in Egypt, although water only flows into Gaza from Israel.11)

The Goldstone Commission was unable to confirm that DIME munitions were used by Israeli forces during Operation Cast Lead. Col Lane had told the commission in testimony that there was no actual proof. He then went on to testify that he had been given samples in Gaza which analysis in Dublin had shown to contain DIME materials consisting mostly of tungsten with traces of iron and sulphur. He was of the opinion that ordnance had been used that had some sort of DIME component. He also mentioned that he had read of unusual amputations, and that tungsten and cobalt would have this effect. Weaponry had been found with DIME components which was capable of amputation and there are Palestinian amputees, yet neither Col Lane nor the commission was prepared to say that DIME weapons had been used by Israeli forces.

DIME bombs cause a high proportion of amputations particularly of legs, while patients often suffered internal burns as well. The bombs consist of powdered tungsten alloy mixed with an explosive material inside a casing which disintegrates on explosion. The tungsten powder tears apart anything it hits including soft tissue and bone, causing very severe injuries. Tungsten alloy particles, described as “finely powdered micro-shrapnel”, are too small to be extracted from the victim’s body and are highly carcinogenic. (Goldstone, paragraphs 902-4)

The whole Gaza population and their environment, including generations yet to be conceived, have been put at risk of serious long-term injury from heavy metal pollution of the air, soil and groundwater (and possibly the seawater too), while the causal pollution is likely to cross state borders into Egypt and even into Israel. Reassurances of the legitimate and responsible use and the reduced lethality of weapons (an opinion in part shared by Col Lane) are callous and inadequate in the context of the dangerous reality that has resulted. Meanwhile, the impacts of Israel’s illegal assaults on Gaza remain ignored and its deeds uncensored by the wider international community.”

Certainly it makes good sense to have the Israeli investigation brought before the ICJ. What possible reason exists not to do this, from either the Israeli perspective or the UNHRC. The perspectives presented above demonstrate the necessity; truth requires it, justice demands it, and the dead cry out for it.

NOTE: The footnotes below are from Lightbown’s article which can be accessed at www.redress.cc/palestine/lightbown200110314. I would also note that the pictures that accompany or may accompany this article are from Dr. Arthur Billy’s Memorial to the People of Gaza available at You tube or as contained in an article titled “What does it profit a congressman to retain his office but suffer the loss of his soul?” A google search will give you access.

Notes

1. Kawther Salam, 29 December 2009; Abortions, Cancer, Diseases and… in Gaza; Intifada-Palestine. www.intifada-palestine.com/2009/12/abortions-cancer-diseases-and-in-gaza/

2. BBCNews, 4 March 2010; Falluja Doctors Report Rise in Birth Defects. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8548707.stm

3. Rita Hindin, Doug Brugge and Bindu Panikkar; Teratogenicity of depleted uranium aerosols: A review from an epidemiological perspective; Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source 2005, 4:17 doi:10.1186/1476-069X-4-17. www.ehjournal.net/content/4/1/17

4. Lisandro Irizarry, Mollie V Williams, Geri M Williams and José Eric Díaz-Alcalá, 21 October 2009; CBRNE – Incendiary Agents, White Phosphorus. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/833585-overview

5. UNEP, 2007; Lebanon Post-Conflict Environmental Assessment, p 149.

6. ACDN, 4 July 2009; Report on the Use of Radioactive Weapons in the Gaza Strip during Operation Cast Lead. www.newweapons.org/files/ACDN%20Gaza%20report%20updated%204Jul2009%201.pdf

7. Dr Hana Chehata, 9 March 2010; Disturbing Findings of Toxic Uranium Levels in Gaza; Middle East Monitor. http://preview.tinyurl.com/6cdf55k

8. Video accessed from http://blog.unwatch.org/?p=413

9. Palestinian Telegraph, 24 May 2009; Israel Used Depleted Uranium in Offensive on Gaza. www.paltelegraph.com/opinions/editorials/935-israel-used-depleted-uranium-in-offensive-on-gaza.html

10. Sister Rosalie Bertell; Depleted Uranium in the Human Body: Sr Rosalie Bertell, PhD. www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgQ79-oDX2o

11. www.standwithus.com/FLYERS/WaterFlyer.pdf

12. Human Rights Watch, 10 January 2009; Q & A on Israel’s Use of White Phosphorus in Gaza. www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/01/10/q-israel-s-use-white-phosphorus-gaza

13. http://tinyurl.com/287wxo9

14. Sobhi Skaik, Nafiz Abu-Shaban, Nasser Abu-Shaban, Mario Barbieri, Maurizio Barbieri, Umberto Giani, Paola Manduca, 31 July 2010; Metals Detected by ICP/MS in Wound Tissue of War Injuries Without Fragments in Gaza. www.newweapons.org/files/1860524319368107_article.pdf

15. NWRC, 17 December 2009; Gaza Strip, soil has been contaminated due to bombings: population in danger. www.newweapons.org/files/pressrelease_nwrc_20091216_eng.pdf

16. NWRC, 17 March 2010; Metals Detected in Palestinian Children’s Hair Suggest Environmental Contamination. http://www.newweapons.org/?q=node/112

17. James Brooks, 6 December 2006; US and Israel Targeting DNA in Gaza? The DIME Bomb: Yet Another Genotoxic Weapon, Part II. Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding. http://tinyurl.com/6kq6sd9

18. John F. Kalinich, et al, 15 February 2005; Embedded Weapons-Grade Tungsten Alloy Shrapnel Rapidly Induces Metastatic High-Grade Rhabdomysoarcomas in F344 Rats; ehponline.org www.afrri.usuhs.mil/www/outreach/pdf/tungsten_cancer.pdf

19. James Brooks, 5 December 2006; The DIME Bomb: Yet Another Genotoxic weapon, Part 1; Al-Jazeera. www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/27a/308.html

20. David Halpin, 14 August 2006; Are New weapons Being Used in Gaza and Lebanon; Electronic Intifada. http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article5528.shtml

21. James Brooks, 5 December 2006; The DIME Bomb: Yet Another Genotoxic weapon, Part III; Al-Jazeera. www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/oldsite/article.asp?ID=5648

(www.intifada-palestine.com / 15.04.2011)

Those who want to bump off the witnesses of the slaughter

A Criminal website incites the killing of volunteers in Gaza. Vittorio Arrigoni is also in their sights. There should beinvestigation against Lee Kaplan.The criminal website http://stoptheism.com/invites people to kill the few volunteerswho are providing health treatment in Gaza under Israeli bombs. They are Americans, Spaniards, Australians, Italians and other volunteers whoreport us what news they can about the real impact of the Israeli aggressionin Gaza. Amongst them there is Vittorio Arrigoni, human rights activist. What we have here is pure incitement to killing, furnished also with the photosof those “wanted”. It’s really unconceivable that the site is still online. Wedemand that the Italian Government and Foreign Office take steps right now tocall for it to be immediately closed and to bring those responsible to court.http://www.megachip.info/modules.php?name=Sections&op=viewarticle&artid=8532 by Pino Cabras
Megachip
The call is clear: to kill a group of people, with their first and last name, habits and ideas, political affiliations and pictures easily identifiable. They also  demand informers’ cooperation so as to complete the list with addresses. The dossiers are openly addressed to the Israeli military so as to help themeliminate “dangerous” targets physically, unless others see to it first: the foes to be hit are western activists—health assistants and other volunteers—who work and are witnesses to what is unfolding in the Occupied Territories. You may read all this on a website, run by a group of extremists, a sort of American-Jewish Ku Klux Klan:
Stop the ISM
. It may be worth noting that an Italian, Vittorio Arrigoni, whose touching reports from Gaza we have read, is amongst those targeted.
The person who runs the site is Lee Kaplan. He’s one of the many quasi-fascist instigators of the American far right underbelly a medley that has recently taken root both amongst the Christian movements and the fringes of Jewish fundamentalism, now joined by an unusual anti-Islamic extremism. In the US, this linking between these two milieus has strengthened to the extent that Kaplan often hangs around the wannabe highsociety circles of the TV talk shows famous for their foaming at the mouth, on Fox News channel. But, above all, this phenomenon is getting stronger in the Holy Land. The Jewish fundamentalists control the most extremist settlements in the territories(as it was already possible to learn by reading Israel Shahak’s and Norton Mezvinsky’sJewish fundamentalism in Israel, London, Pluto Press 1999). The Christian fundamentalists help them hasten the coming of Armageddon, the final battle between Good and Evil, that is supposed to take place precisely there. Maybe in order to get ahead with his work, Mr Kaplan gives free rein to the site in order to call for Arrigoni and others to be eliminated. Moreover, without expecting any concern from the Italian government, in case someone should see to our fellow countryman’s wished-for “permanent removal”. Weshall repeat: these criminal hopes haven’t turned up on a semi-undergroundweb forum, but on a site open to everyone and run by a public figure. Now, since also the Israeli armed forces don’t want witnesses to Gaza’s havoc, and our mainstream media has immediately and sycophantically complied with this ban, and since the only voice from there comes from Arrigoni, then “two and two makes four” and we get wind of a huge danger. We have seen that aheavy hand is being used there, if even hospitals, ambulances, schools arebombed and any aid is targeted. While the body count in Gaza is now reaching one thousand, an oddity is taking place. Neither can the heap of corpses be swept any longer under the rug of aleading article by Bernard Henry Levy, nor the use of horrible weapons — that infuture you will see prohibited. Our papers are shyly starting to talk about it. Yes, not in the front page, like we did some days ago here, but at page ten,with low profile articles. Concealing is no longer possible. Yet, it’s possible to water things down. Andour great media knows well how to do it. Awaiting who knows what, a politicalmilitary success, a chimera, the end of Hamas. At what price?
The most subtle censorship is ongoing, but this subtlety doesn’t save it from being associated to more violent and threatening censorship, the kind thatintends to hit those who want to rescue the Palestinian people from their owndestruction. You know, when the finger points to the moon, the fool looks at the finger. Similarly, many Italian intellectuals are horrified while pointing out to us theblood-stained finger of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) but they fail to look at the gloomy moon where the other fundamentalisms are increasinglyholding sway over the Israeli leadership The idea according to which the IAF are defending the Enlightenment against the uncivilized is an ideology heralding tragedies, and we had better get rid of it by operating an honest historical and political review of the Middle-easternrecord. The account of what is happening is now at a crucial point, with all thewitnesses to be respected.
Translated by Diego Traversa and revised by Mary Rizzo forwww.tlaxcala.es
so you don’t need to go to his trash site, see the criminal calls to assassinationthat he has right on his site. AND HIS SITE IS STILL RUNNING??

(http://www.scribd.com/doc/53046178/Israeli-HIT-LIST-Includes-Vittorio-Utopia-Arrigoni / 15.04.2011)

Een Ongewenste Omwenteling

Tijd
woensdag 27 april · 20:00 – 22:30

Locatie
De Unie

Mauritsweg 34-35

Gemaakt door:

Na Oost-Europa in de jaren negentig lijkt nu ook de Arabische wereld af te rekenen met de ‘oude politiek’. De door de revolutionaire protestbewegingen gewenste transformatie naar een democratisch bestel met vrije verkiezingen en meer burgerrechten roept in het Westerse publieke discours vaak de vraag op of de Arabische wereld wel klaar is voor een dergelijke omwenteling. Vrije verkiezingen zouden gekaapt worden door partijen met… een bedenkelijke agenda, de natiestaten in een regio zouden zonder democratisch fundament ten onder gaan aan tribale strijd, en het ontstane politieke vacuüm zou de weg vrijmaken voor gewelddadige islamitische groeperingen.

Maar duidt een dergelijke analyse niet op selectief geheugenverlies? Toont de postkoloniale geschiedenis van het Midden-Oosten niet aan dat juist het Westen nooit klaar is geweest voor democratie in de Arabische wereld?Hebben de Westerse leiders niet doelbewust meegewerkt aan het handhaven van de dictaturen en de repressieve status quo? En wat zou onze toekomstige strategie moeten zijn ten aanzien van onze Zuiderburen?

Aan de hand van fragmenten uit de VPRO Tegenlicht documentaires Onze Dierbare Dictators en Bevrijde Buren gaan Zihni Özdil (historicus en wetenschappelijk docent Erasmus Universiteit) en Sophie Roborgh (arabiste en strategisch analyst bij The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies) in debat onder leiding van presentator Farid Tabarki.

Deze avond wordt mogelijk gemaakt door Confetti, Studium Generale en De Unie in Debat in samenwerking met VPRO Tegenlicht.Lees verder

Conference of Palestinians in Europe

Tijd
zaterdag 7 mei · 13:00 – 23:00

Locatie
Wuppertal

http://www.palconference.eu/

Gemaakt door:

http://www.palconference.eu/

تستضيف مدينة فوبرتال الألمانية في السابع من مايو/أيار القادم فعاليات المؤتمر السنوي التاسع
لفلسطينيي أوروبا، الذي سيخصص محوره الرئيسي لمناقشة أوضاع الفلسطينيين بدول الشتات الأوروبي، ودورهم في تعريف الأوساط المحيطة بهم بعدالة قضية فلسطين وحق شعبها في العودة إلى أرضه المسلوبة.


ويعقد المؤتمر في ألمانيا للسنة الثانية على التوالي بعد عقده العام الماضي في برلين، وستتزامن إقامته هذا العام مع الذكري الثالثة والستين للنكبة الفلسطينية، ومن المتوقع أن يشارك فيه –حسب ما يقدر منظموه- نحو 12 ألف لاجئ مهجر فلسطيني من دول الشتات الأوروبي، سيتوافد نصفهم من خارج ألمانيا.

سبب اختيار مدينة فوبرتال الواقعة غربي ألمانيا إلى وقوعها في ولاية شمال الراين التي يعيش فيها أكثر من ثلاثين ألف فلسطيني، وتعد ثاني أكبر تجمع للفلسطينيين في ألمانيا بعد العاصمة برلين، التي يعيش فيها نحو خمسين ألف فلسطيني أغلبهم وفدوا إليها من لبنان خلال الحرب الأهلية هناك منتصف السبعينيات.

إن قضية الأسرى تمثل القاسم المشترك في مؤتمرات العودة منذ انطلاقها في بريطانيا للمرة الأولى عام 2003، مشيرا إلى أن المؤتمر يتناول قضية ثانوية تتغير كل عام وتكون من المستجدات التي تفرض نفسها على واقع النضال الفلسطيني.

الثورات العربية الراهنة فرضت نفسها على أجندة المؤتمر هذا العام من خلال استضافة شخصيات فلسطينية وعربية مرموقة، ولا سيما ممثلين للأجيال الشابة التي ساهمت في الثورات وصناعة التغيير بعدد من الدول العربية

المؤتمر سيناقش في هذا الإطار أثر الثورات العربية على القضية الفلسطينية، وعلى حقوق الفلسطينيين المتواجدين في هذه البلدان وفي غيرها.

عنوان المؤتمر هذا العام سيكون “جيل العودة يعرف دربه” وسيسلط الأضواء على دور الشباب وأهميته في عملية التغيير والحفاظ على الثوابت الفلسطينية وفي مقدمتها حق العودة والدفاع عن المقدسات.

المؤتمر سيشهد هذا العام الإعلان عن آليات جديدة لإبراز وتفعيل قضايا الأسرى والجدار العازل والمستوطنات التي تتصدر أولويات العمل الفلسطيني.

المؤتمر الذي ستشارك فيه هذا العام شخصيات من الداخل الفلسطيني “سيولي أهمية لقضية إنهاء الانقسام الفلسطيني وتوحيد الصف التي باتت تفرض نفسها بإلحاح على الواقع الفلسطيني الحالي”.

المؤتمر السنوي لفلسطينيي أوروبا يسعى لتكريس مفهومي الهوية الفلسطينية وحق العودة بين الأجيال الفلسطينية المختلفة في الشتات الأوروبي، وانطلق المؤتمر للمرة الأولى في العاصمة
البريطانية لندن عام 2003 بمشاركة ثلاثمائة ناشط فلسطيني ثم طورت الأمانة العامة لفلسطينيي أوروبا الفكرة لتحوله بعد ذلك إلى مؤتمر سنوي.

دمتم وأدامكم الله

http://www.palconference.eu/

http://www.alawda.eu/

9. Konferenz der Palästinenser in Europa

Hiermit geben wir bekannt, dass diesjährig die 9. Konferenz der Palästinenser in Europa, so Gott will, am 07.05.2011 von 10.00 – 21.00 Uhr in der Wuppertaler Uni-Halle unter dem Titel „Die Generation der Rückkehr kennt ihren Weg“ stattfinden wird. Die Konferenz ist eine europäische Initiative in der Diaspora lebender Palästinenser.

Auf dieser jährlichen Veranstaltung fordern stets bekannte Persönlichkeiten aus Politik, Gesellschaft und Medien das elementare Menschenrecht auf Heimat und Selbstbestimmung für das palästinensische Volk ein.

Die Konferenz ist mittlerweile zu einem populären Sprachrohr für viele Multiplikatoren der palästinensischen Thematik geworden und bildet die gesamte Bandbreite der palästinensischen Gesellschaft ab.

The annual Conference of Palestinians in Europe is scheduled for the 7th of May in the City of Wuppertal in Germany. The conference is the 9th in a series of annual Palestinian conferences in Europe.

It is organized by General Secretariat of the Palestinians in Europe Conference, Palestinian Return Centre (PRC), and Palestinian Assembly in Germany. The conference this year titled; “Return Generation knows its Track” is expected to focus on the conditions of Palestinians across Europe and their roles in raising the awareness about their just cause and stolen land. Key roles will be given to the young generations who are taking considerable part in the event.

GoodBye Vittorio Arrigoni, killed in Gaza 1542011 ( by Omar Ghraieb)

Vittorio Arrigoni,36, Italian ISM volunteer in Gaza plus a respectable journalist who always made his best to shed a light on Gaza, was kidnapped yesterday by an “unknown Group”. The group threatened to kill him if Hamas doesn’t respond to their demand: which is to release one of their prisoners in Hamas jails. They gave Hamas 30 hours starting from 11am from 1442011.

At 3 30am 1542011 Reuters News Flash on twitter reported Vittorio’s death, the source was unnamed Hamas source. Then tweets and rumors started asking about the credibility of this news, some started denying while others were confirming. At 4 am Vittorio Arrigoni’s death was confirmed by Hamas officials.

Ministry of Interior, Gaza, issued a press release saying that they immediately moved to search for him once they got the news of his abduction; they did their best until they reached 1 suspect who led them to the other suspects and the place where Vittorio was held in. They entered and found Vittorio already dead. They arrested two suspects and doubt that more accomplices may be involved. The press release also referred that the crime came to shake Gaza’s image and scare international activists away specially after the news of the preparations for a second freedom flotilla. The press release pointed out that the abductors wanted him dead because they killed him after a short while of his abduction. The Ministry of interior promised to follow all the murders, prosecute them and punish them.

The press release of the interior ministry in Gaza didn’t mention more info, no mentioning of the where and when he was abducted, why he was abducted and by whom.

On the other hand, France 24 offered more details –which I cant confirm or deny – about Vittorio’s death and abduction process without mentioning the source behind these info:

The Italian was killed by suffocation and his body was found in a street of the city of Gaza,” a spokesman for the Islamist movement which controls the Gaza Strip told AFP.

Two suspected kidnappers were arrested and security officials are looking for accomplices.

Foreign aid workers in the enclave earlier named the man as Vittorio Arrigoni and said he was an activist with a pro-Palestinian group called the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), who was also working as a journalist and writer.

Vittorio was Italian by birth but his dedication to Palestine and Gaza made him no less Palestinian than any other Palestinian, he came to Gaza many times and live here for a while. He endangered his life numerous times while working as a volunteer with the ISM (International Solidarity Movement) in Gaza when he was trying to protect farmers and fisherman, in addition to his participation in all buffer-zone protests.

Vittorio meant allot for Palestinians, Gazans and his friend everywhere. He is a huge loss for us all, may he rest in peace.

We will never forget you Vik.
Posted by Omar Ghraieb

http://gazatimes.blogspot.com/2011/04/goodbye-vittorio-arrigoni-killed-in.html

(Facebook / 15.04.2011)