What You’d Know About Israel If You Watched Al Jazeera TV

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Israel’s siege of Gaza, largely unseen by the outside world because of Jerusalem’s refusal to allow humanitarian aid workers, reporters and photographers access to Gaza, rivals the most egregious crimes carried out at the height of apartheid by the South African regime. It comes close to the horrors visited on Sarajevo by the Bosnian Serbs.

Throughout the previous days of Israel’s pummeling of Gaza, live coverage of the war hasn’t made it into most American living rooms. That’s because Israel, America’s staunch ally, isn’t allowing journalists to enter Gaza while Al Jazeera, called anti-American and pro-terrorist by many in Washington, is the only network broadcasting live images from Gaza to the world.

Al Jazeera, the Qatari network that has previously undergone attacks and had its reporters arrested by the U.S. military, remains typically defiant. While other networks are increasingly severed from Gaza as phone lines are cut and 75 percent of the territory is without electricity, Al Jazeera is bringing its approximately 140 million English- and Arabic-speaking viewers live images of bombings, tanks rolling through Gaza’s farmland, and interviews with civilians and aid workers inside Gaza city.

Take Israel’s claim that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. After showing an Israeli politician writing off the assertion of the existence of a humanitarian disaster, Al Jazeera cut to the Al Shifa hospital, the largest in all of Gaza. There, we saw that there were not enough medical supplies and civilians lying on bloody hospital beds told us that their lives were not only being crippled by bombs falling on their houses, but by the extreme lack of water and food for the people cowering inside them.

The problem isn’t only that supplies can’t get in. People still can’t get out. Most are left searching hopelessly for safety while their stories remain trapped within Gaza’s walls.

“There is nowhere safe in Gaza,” an enraged John Ging, head of the UN Relief and Works Agency in Gaza, told Al Jazeera’s Sherine Tadros in front of the Al Shifa hospital today. Those words came after the Israeli Defense Forces bombed a UN school that was being used as a refuge. Later in the day, a second UN school was struck by the Israelis, killing at least 40. “Everyone here is terrorized and traumatized and they have the right to be because there is no safe haven…This violence needs to stop now. Neither side can wait for the other to stop first,” he said.

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Reading what the Palestinians themselves are telling us, we feel ashamed. What our “democratic” world has been able to do to protect the Palestinian people and to stop Israeli crimes? We are without words to express our deep concern and deep sadness about was is going on in Gaza with the complicity of our governments.

“Jews are effecting a holocaust in Gaza”

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Israeli raids change everything

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a message addressed to world nations on Tuesday condemned the atrocities of the Zionist regime and its supporters in Gaza Strip.

In the message, the Iranian president underlined that the real Holocaust is now taking place in Gaza Strip and Palestine, calling on world nations not to hesitate even for a moment to back the oppressed Palestinians in Gaza.

The president lauded the heroic resistance of the noble Palestinian people in Gaza who are being massacred by the savage Zionist occupiers.

Innocent women, children, youths and pious people in Gaza have fallen victims to the Zionist criminals just because of their attempts to vindicate their legitimate rights, he said.

Under such circumstances the global arrogance along with all bullying powers do not hesitate to confirm such inhuman atrocities through their silence, he said.

Peoples of the world must understand that the real Holocaust is now underway in Gaza and Palestine, he underlined, adding that the message of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in fact reflected the historical outcry of all oppressed nations against injustice.

Ahmadinejad said, “It is very important for us to fulfill our humanitarian duties towards defenseless people in Gaza and Palestine.”
“The crimes of the Zionists have roots in their weakness and desperation and killing of defenseless civilians will not bring them any advantage. Capitalism and Zionism along with their supporters are at the end of the road and have no option but to face their annihilation,” the president said.

“The US administration and certain European governments should understand that their complicity to all these crimes will be recorded in the history,” he said, adding “The Zionists whose real face has been unveiled for all nations have no option but to respect the legitimate rights of nations.”
President Ahmadinejad said that the Zionist criminals will be brought to justice in the near future.

The outcry of the oppressed people in Gaza as well as people in the region should be regarded as a warning to the mercenaries and if they refuse to halt their crimes, they will confronted the whole peoples of the world, he said.

Ahmadinejad said the behavior of the Zionist regime is an insult to dignity of humanity and a disgrace for so-called advocates of human rights.

“The Gazans are in the frontline of the struggle with all atrocities and savagery of Zionist criminals. World nations should not lose any chance to render any support for people in Gaza,” he said.

The president also called on scientists and intellectuals mainly the youth in Islamic regions to voice their protest and also try to maintain their vigilance and readiness to help restore peace, security based justice and spirituality in order to liberate Palestinians.

These people should urge Egypt to consignments of relief supplies to reach women and children in Gaza, he said, adding that lawyers should lodge their complaints with International Criminal Court to prepare grounds for bringing those criminals to justice.

Ahmadinejad also proposed that all governments and their businessmen boycott products and commodities of the Zionist regime.

Current developments in Gaza once again proved incapability of international bodies such as the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) which only serve the interests of global arrogance, Ahmadinejad said.

The president said the UNSC kept silence during the 33-day war in Lebanon and let the Zionists attack people in Lebanon but when the Zionist regime’s dreams did not come true the council issued a resolution calling for ceasefire between the belligerent sides.

There is no doubt that world nations are disappointed at the performance of these organizations and seek to find other options to resolve global issues, he said.

President Ahmadinejad reminded that the UN secretary-general shoulders a very grave responsibility. “If the UN belongs to all nations then why does it not take any action to prevent atrocities of the Zionists?”
World nations call on the UN secretary-general to rise up and reflect the outcry and protest of people in Gaza to the global arrogance, he said.

The president said, “I seriously urge the Arab League, Arab and Islamic states mainly Egypt to carry out their duties and support people in Gaza and prove that they have no affinity with the Zionist regime.”
Rafah crossing point and other sea routes to Gaza should be opened in order to let other governments and nations fulfill their humanitarian commitment as soon as possible, he said.

“If Arab League refuses to carry out its grave responsibility, its existence will come under question,” he said.

The president said that resistant and revolutionary people in Gaza and Palestine along with their vigilant leaders should understand that the key to their victory is martyrdom.

The brave and pious Iranian nation along with all other nations in the region and world will support the Palestinian people, Ahmadinejad said, adding that the victory of the oppressed as promised by God is near.

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Hamas calls for third Intifada

Hamas has called for a ‘third Intifada’ against Israel after the regime committed the ‘awful massacre’ in the impoverished coastal area.
Damascus-based Hamas’ political bureau chief Khaled Mashaal called on Saturday for a new Intifada (uprising) against Israel in the aftermath of an unprecedented and intensive Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.
“I call on the Palestinian people to go for a third Intifada,” Mashaal told the Qatari al-Jazeera Satellite Channel.
Hamas, which has accused certain Arab states of collaborating with Israel, urged Arab countries to sever their ties with Tel Aviv.
“I call for a military Intifada against the Zionist enemy as well as a peaceful Intifada internally,” he said referring to the Palestinian Authority controlling the West Bank.
In Gaza, Hamas leader Ismail Haniya accused Israel of committing “awful massacres against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip”.
Haniya declared his movement would not be overawed. “We are stronger, and more determined, and have more will, and we will hold onto our rights even more than before.”
Hamas spokesman, Fawzi Barhoum, also said in a statement that the Islamic movement “will not surrender,” adding that “the Palestinian people and Hamas movement “would keep their resistance against the Zionist enemy.”
On Saturday, Israeli warplanes killed at least 230 Palestinians in the Gaza strip, leaving 800 others wounded.
Following the attacks, Israel said that the intensive airstrikes were the first stage of a large-scale military operation against the besieged Gaza strip.
Early Sunday, Israeli forces carried out fresh air raids on the targets in the Gaza strip, including a mosque and a TV station, leaving many wounded.
The attacks come in the wake of an Israeli-imposed blockade on the region which was aimed at weakening Hamas government in the coastal area.
The blockade however failed to reduce Hamas popularity among Palestinians in general and Gazans in particular as a recent Israeli National Security Council assessment urged Tel Aviv to hinder “elections in the Palestinian Authority, even at the cost of a confrontation with the US and the international community” because the upcoming elections in the Palestinian Authority might lead to Hamas victory.


Israel kills women and children, too

Women and children have reportedly been the main victims of the large-scale Israeli air strikes on the Gaza strip in the past two days.
Since the Saturday Israeli attacks on Gaza, the impoverished region has seen a gradual increase in women and children casualties, suggesting that Israel had made no distinction between civilian and military targets when it launched its closely timed missiles into heavily populated areas.
Schools, a television station as well as a mosque have been targeted as part of the Israeli military campaign against the Palestinians.
Emergency medical officials have asserted, according to Sky News, that a large number of the 800 victims consist of children, who were leaving school when the missiles were fired late Saturday and early Sunday.
4-year-old Ahmad Sinwar was killed while playing in the courtyard of his southern Gaza City home when the adjacent civil defense headquarters was bombed.
“I never expected that the civil defense headquarters would be considered a military target …What was the sin of my 4-year-old son?” said Ahmad’s grief-stricken father, Reyad Sinwar.
The attacks come at a time when hospitals in Gaza had already had critically low supplies because of the Israeli-imposed siege on the coastal strip.
“We are treating people on the floor, in the corridors. We have no more space. We don’t know who is here and what the priority is to treat,” said a doctor at Shifa hospital, Gaza’s main treatment center.
While beleaguered Gazans cowered under the shower of multiple strikes, Israeli citizens on the other side of the border championed and cheered what they believed to be an act of justice and revenge against the Hamas.
“I’m proud to be an Israeli today. I lend my full support to the commanders of the Israeli Defense Force in their campaign …I hope that their actions today help return peace to my town and the neighboring communities,” said the Israeli mayor of Sderot, David Buskliah.
Israel attacked the impoverished strip on Saturday, leaving 230 people dead and more than 800 others in a critical state. The number of the Palestinian dead rose to at least 280 on Sunday.