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Little Alex in Wonderland: UNRWA condemns Israeli air strikes kills at least 40 in strike on UN school in Gaza and ei examines "Israel's fabricated rocket crisis."

From our playlist, "Israel Attacks Gaza",  Democracy Now! - "The Latest from Gaza" - 06 Jan 09:

Part One (10:33):

Part Two (10:39):

The New York Times - "Israel and Gaza Conflict Continues" - 06 Jan 09 (2:19):

al Jazeera - "More Children Among Gaza Dead" - 06 Jan 09 (2:05):

Eleven days since Israel strikes on the Gaza Strip began and more than three days since Israel's ground invasion, more than 640 are dead and at least 2,800 have been wonded, including a strike killing at least 40 taking refuge in a UN school:

The strike on Tuesday hit a school run by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, Unrwa, in the northern town of Jabaliya.

Medical sources at two Gaza hospitals said two tank shells exploded outside the school, where hundreds of Palestinians had sought refuge from the Israeli attacks.

The toll quickly rose as rescuers struggled through the rubble.

In addition to the dead, several dozen people were wounded, the officials said.

Doctors said all the dead were either people sheltering in the school or residents of Jabalya refugee camp, in the north of the Gaza Strip.

John Ging, director of operations in Gaza for UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, said three artillery shells landed near the school where 350 people were taking shelter.

Ging said UNRWA regularly provided the Israeli army with exact geographical coordinates of its facilities and the school was in a built-up area.

"Of course it was entirely inevitable if artillery shells landed in that area there would be a high number of casualties," he said.

"The initial findings... are that there was hostile fire at one  of our units from the UN facility," Mark Regev, spokesman for the Israeli prime minister, said.

"Our unit responded. Then there were explosions out of  proportion to the ordnance we used," he said....

But Azmi Bishara, a former Arab member of the Israeli Knesst, told Al Jazeera that Hamas' rockets were a "protest shout" against a "an occupying power".

"They are weapons of the poor, used to express their will.

"Israel would say, 'what would any normal country do if they were threatened by rocket fire? They would act'".

"But Israel is not a normal country, it is an occupying country, a colonial country and the people of Gaza are under siege."

Mr. Ging , head of the UNRWA, would later condemn the attack. The NYT published Israel military reports that Israel was facing attack from the UN school. The NYT makes a dangerous omission in their report.

UN diplomats are frustrated as US Secy. of State Condoleezza Rice travels to the UN today after Israeli daily publication, Ha'aretz, reports the US would"thwart any Arab initiative" toward an immediate cease-fire.

France Pres. Nicholas Sarkozy, who met with Palestinian Pres. Mauhmoud Abbas yesterday, today urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to work with Hamas to broker a cease-fire.

Israel PM Ehud Olmert is "fed up" with UN Security [sic] Council (UNSC) meetings and talks of immediate cease-fire stating:

"This is the time for action not words.... The goal of the operation is not to destroy the Hamas leadership, even though we are able to do this, as well... We defined from the very beginning a limited goal - to change the security situation in the South and to free thousands of citizens from the threat of terror.... Sometimes the need to find a compromise in the UN comes at Israel's expense.... [Israel has] experience in this matter.... I am a man of compromise. I have conducted two negotiations in an effort to bring about compromise. However, on one thing I cannot compromise, and that is the security of Israeli citizens.... We will not be able to come to a compromise when Hamas is able to fire in another month or two on the Israeli population. Before the ceasefire, Hamas had rockets that could reach as far as 20 kilometers. After the ceasefire, the range of their rockets grew to 40 kilometers, threatening the lives of a million Israelis.... We cannot reach a compromise that would enable Hamas to fire at yet more cities and towns in Israel."

Once you pass the Newspeak, PM Olmert is fabricating their crisis with Hamas to sell their claim of 'self-defense'.

The Electronic Intifada (ei) -  "Israel's Fabricated Rocket Crisis" - 06 Jan 09:

In Israel's recent rush to invade Gaza, we witness the same predisposition to violence, the same aching aggravation with Palestinian peace offensives, and the same willingness to conflate all resistance, all frustrations, into a single enemy: "They are all Hamas!" And we see that Hamas, like the PLO, refused to oblige Israel with a single provocative act. For more than four months after 19 June 2008, Hamas refrained from any military actions that might endanger the negotiated truce or "calm" with Israel.

The evidence for this is ready to hand. For example, the Wikipedia entry on the events of the summer, "List of rocket and mortar attacks in Israel in 2008" (revised 4 January [2009]), based almost exclusively on Israeli newspapers and government sources, confirms that there were no rocket or mortar attacks claimed by or plausibly attributed to Hamas during the calm. This can also be verified by surveying archives of news reports from the period.

The few that were launched, none of them causing any casualties, were claimed by the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, by Islamic Jihad, by "the Badr Forces," or by nobody. Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh called repeatedly for a cessation of rocket fire, and denounced those factions who broke the truce. A Hamas spokesman criticized Fatah for allowing the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, which is affiliated with Fatah, to fire rockets. Meanwhile, Israeli occupation forces' murders and settler pogroms continued unabated on the West Bank. They included an attempt by a settler to fire a homemade rocket toward the Palestinian village of Burin, which nearly killed another settler. During the lull, then, Israeli settlers fired more rockets (i.e., one) than did Hamas.

In a document entitled "The Hamas terror war against Israel," The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides striking visual evidence of Hamas's good faith during the lull. It reproduces two graphs drawn up by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Israel Intelligence Heritage & Commemoration Center: ... [read the full article]

Originally posted to 6dbl5321 on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 12:43 PM PST.

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