Wednesday 24th of April 2024

landing in hell to escape death......

Jamila Eleywa, 66, gathered what little belongings remained to herself and her two surviving granddaughters and packed them into several bags. The elderly woman had decided to return to Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip after she heard that the impending Israeli invasion of Rafah was all but guaranteed, resolving to leave her current refuge to avoid the slaughter she knew would follow.


By Tareq S. Hajjaj / Mondoweiss


Jamila has lost 90 family members since the start of the war, all of them first and second-degree relatives. Most of them died when their homes were targeted by Israeli airstrikes in Nusierat and the village of Zuwayda, well before the areas had been evacuated to Rafah in early December of last year.

Like so many others, Jamila was displaced from one place to another. Many stops along the way included uninhabitable shelters, such as storage units and commercial stores, enduring hunger, thirst, and lack of access to medical care.

Jamila’s primary concern the entire time was for Yara and Lara, her two young granddaughters who lost their mother and baby sister after their house in Nuseirat was targeted.

When their grandmother told them to prepare to leave Rafah, the two girls thought that the war was over, oblivious to the fact that they were moving from one hell to another.

When Jamila finished packing, she attempted to call a car to transport them back to Nuseirat. After numerous attempts, she was able to secure the number of a truck driver on account of her large amount of belongings. When they had first fled Nusierat, they left already anticipating a long period of displacement, bringing with them portable solar panels, batteries, clothes, mattresses, and pillows.

Jamila agreed with the truck driver that he would pick them up the next day and take them to Nusierat. He asked for $500 for the trip. Normally, that same journey would have cost only $70, but wartime has changed everything.

The night before leaving was difficult for Jamila, as Israeli forces targeted numerous homes in Rafah and killed 150 Palestinians, making it one of the most horrific nights for the girls since the start of the war.

Accompanied by the perpetual Israeli statements promising that the army would invade Rafah soon, the past few weeks served to terrorize the civilian population in Rafah. Thousands began to flee back up north, heading towards the cities and refugee camps of central Gaza. The campaign of forced displacement has been caught on camera for all to see, repeated again and again throughout the war. But the difference during this most recent campaign is that there is nowhere to flee. Wide swathes of central Gaza have been leveled and converted into an open field for the Israeli army’s operations.

“We spent a terrifying night in Rafah before deciding to return to central Gaza,” Jamila told Mondoweiss. “My granddaughters were screaming when the bombs dropped near us. My two girls spent an entire day trapped under the rubble last October when their sister and mother were killed while they were all asleep.”

“When we heard that same familiar sound that they had heard on the day their mother was killed, none of us could bear it anymore,” Jamila continued. “They kept crying, saying ‘this time we’re going to die like mama and our sister Judy.’”

In a previous Mondoweiss article, we told the story of Wa’d Abu Shouq, the mother of Lara, Yara, and Judy, who died alongside Judy in the airstrike. When their bodies were recovered, they could not remove Judy from Wa’d’s arms, so they wrapped them up in the same shroud and buried them together.

Jamila said that the decision to return to central Gaza was mainly informed by the need to calm Lara and Yara, who were gripped with terror at reliving the day their mother was taken from them. This did not make the refugee camps of central Gaza any safer, however, since the army’s threats of invasion also encompassed those areas.

“The coastal road from Rafah to Nusierat was terrifying, even though thousands were walking that road,” Jamila recounted to Mondoweiss. “We walked under the gaze of the Israeli warships, which were not far away. And the Israeli surveillance drones were above us.”

“We passed by Khan Younis on our way there,” she continued. “And we could hear the sound of the bullets and the artillery shells. We thought we wouldn’t be able to get through to the other side.”

‘No homes remained’

Jamila likened the moment she entered her neighborhood in Nuseirat to entering a ghost town.

“The housing blocks weren’t just struck — they were bulldozed and cleared away,” she explained. “The neighborhood I lived in had been turned into an empty field with nothing left but sand. No homes remained. All of our neighbors’ and family members’ houses were cleared away.”

“And as far as the eye can see, there were bombed-out buildings,” she continued. “Some were still standing with only a few stories targeted, some had completely collapsed, and some were only partially destroyed. It was like a ghost town, and at night, it felt like there were no signs of human life.”

“No supermarkets, no bakeries, no indication that any people can exist in this place,” she emphasized.

After reaching Nuseirat, they made their way to Jamila’s sister’s house, which had escaped the bombardment. Yet access to food and water was far worse than it had been in Rafah, where basic necessities were somewhat more available.

Jamila said that her son spent most of his days wandering the area with an empty gallon, searching for water for their family of thirteen people. Yet Jamila viewed the daily struggle to secure their needs as preferable to waiting for death in Rafah and hearing the terror in her granddaughters’ voices.

Jamila admitted that the decision to leave Rafah was not necessarily a rational one, but the price of staying for her granddaughters was one that Jamila could not bear to pay. She believes her granddaughters need psychological treatment, but instead, they’ve continued to be displaced and exposed to these conditions.

“In the end, we escaped death to walk into a different kind of death,” Jamila observed.

‘I can’t bear life without them’

Na’ima al-Hurk, 55, another displaced person who lived in a tent in al-Mawasi, the western part of Rafah near the coast, picked up her belongings along with her family and headed to Nuseirat after hearing about the impending operation.

Na’ima said that she wanted to escape any place where the army was nearby, having heard countless stories of soldiers executing young men in cold blood in front of their families.

“I saw with my own eyes on social media a father speaking to a journalist about how the soldier told him, ‘I want to kill your son,’ without giving any reason,” Na’ima told Mondoweiss. “He was crying and saying that they killed his son in cold blood.”

Na’ima is a mother to five young men aged between 17 and 25. “I don’t want to lose my sons. Who would I live for if they are gone?”

“I can’t bear life without them,” Na’ima said.

After they reached Nuseirat and set up a new tent, they received a warning from the Israeli army to clear the area.

“An entire housing block of over fifty homes was ordered to evacuate,” Na’ima said. “And then they kept pummeling the area all night and into the next day.”

She explained that this pattern has become familiar in Nuseirat refugee camp. The army orders a housing block to clear the area, then it bombs the area until it is completely leveled. It then moves on to the next housing block and does the same all over again.

“They want to destroy the entire camp,” Na’ima explained.

“I’m sick of this life, of attempting to escape death at every turn,” she sighed. “My entire life, I’ve lived through continuous wars, one war after another. But I have never experienced anything like this in my entire life.”


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Clare Daly and Yanis Varoufakis: Reclaim Europe for the people out of the hands of the lobbyists!









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worse and worse.....

Matthew Hoh: Free Julian Assange TODAY




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lying joe.....

At the White House last week, President Biden claimed to have concerns about Israeli plans for a ground invasion of Rafah, the southern Gaza area where more than one million Palestinians have fled. In the process, he committed a gaffe that revealed his actual stance.

“Our military operation in Rafah,” Biden began, before correcting himself.  “Their — the major military operation in Rafah should not proceed without a credible plan... for ensuring the safety and support of more than one million people sheltering there. They need to be protected.”

Although unintentional, Biden was accurate to refer to an Israeli military operation in Gaza in the possessive form. Every Israeli atrocity in Gaza is committed with US support. Accordingly, within 24 hours, the White House made clear that despite Biden’s words of caution, only Israel’s mass murder campaign will remain protected.

According to three US officials, the Biden administration “is not planning to punish Israel if it launches a military campaign in Rafah without ensuring civilian safety,”Politico reports. Therefore, “no reprimand plans are in the works, meaning Israeli forces could enter the city and harm civilians without facing American consequences.” In another likely sign that Biden supports an Israeli assault, its allied regime in Egypt – a US client state -- is now building an 8-square-mile walled enclosure that would cage fleeing refugees on its side of the Rafah border.

Biden’s spokespeople have also relayed that Israel has his green light to harm Rafah’s civilians.

“We’re going to continue to support Israel,” John Kirby said at the White House. “And we’re going to continue to make sure they have the tools and the capabilities to do that.” Asked directly if the US would punish Israel if it attacked Rafah without the Biden-demanded “credible plan” for civilian safety, Kirby responded: “I’m not going to get into a hypothetical game.”

To supply Israel with the proper “tools,” the US is rushing a new shipment of at least 1,000 bombs and related munitions. According to US intelligence officials, Israel has used about half the 21,000 bombs supplied by the US since the Oct. 7th attack. Israel's remaining stockpile would be enough for 19 more weeks -- but just days if war breaks out with Hezbollah on the northern border.

Israel’s dependence on US weaponry gives the White House instrumental leverage to impose conditions on its conduct – including demanding an end to the Gaza assault. But instead of using that influence, this latest transfer is part of “a broader effort by the Biden administration to speed the flow of weapons to Israel,” the Wall Street Journal observes.

To protect that speedy effort, the White House is pledging to veto yet another United Nations Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire. The Algerian-proposed measure, UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield declared on Sunday, “will not be adopted.”

The US is instead proposing a six-week ceasefire, which, Thomas-Greenfield said, could then be used to take “the steps to build a more enduring peace.” But in pretending that Hamas would ever release all of its captives in exchange for a “pause,” the US is only signaling its commitment to enduring genocide. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made this clear earlier this month when he claimed that Hamas’ latest proposal – which centers on a permanent ceasefire – contained what are “clearly nonstarters.” 

Blinken did not bother to specify what those “clear” nonstarters are. By contrast, when it comes to Israel’s military conduct, the Biden administration maintains a policy of having no “red lines”, as the murderous attack on one of Gaza’s largest and last functional hospitals, Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, newly demonstrates.

The Biden administration’s commitment to Israeli savagery is so extreme that it cannot even secure the token amounts of aid that it regularly invokes to profess its commitment to Palestinian well-being.

As Gaza’s civilians face mass starvation, the Israeli government is holding up a shipment of one month’s supply of flour, rice, chickpeas and cooking oil sent from Turkey at the port of Ashdod. Israel’s stated pretext is that the intended recipient, UNRWA -- the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees – employs a handful of staffers whom Israel claims participated in the Oct. 7th attack. This cynical campaign, endorsed by the Biden administration, has led the US and its allies to suspend funding and an Israeli bank to freeze UNRWA’s account, making the agency’s work far more difficult. The Senate’s recently approved, White House-endorsed “foreign aid” bill, which contains more than $14 billion for Israel, explicitly bars any further US funding for UNRWA.

Israel also claims that Hamas has been diverting UN aid, a claim that even the Biden administration’s envoy for humanitarian issues in Gaza, David Satterfield, has rejected. “No Israeli official has come to me, come to the administration with specific evidence of diversion or theft of assistance delivered by the UN in the center of the south of Gaza,” Satterfield says. Israel has meanwhile attacked Gazan police escorts of UN aid deliveries, leaving them without the proper security to continue.

After helping Israel block vital aid as part of its longtime goal of destroying UNRWA, the White House now claims to be a helpless bystander as Palestinian civilians face increased deprivation as a result. “I wish I could tell you that that flour is moving in, but I can’t do that right now,” Kirby, the White House spokesperson, told reporters last week. “As a general principle, we support the work that UNRWA does,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller added. But as evidenced by its actions, a higher US principle is to support Israeli sadism.

Staunchly committed to Israel’s mass murder campaign, the White House can only continue to offer face-saving leaks that whitewash its role.

Citing sources familiar with “private conversations,” NBC News reports that Biden “has been venting his frustration... over his inability to persuade Israel to change its military tactics in the Gaza Strip.” Biden is said to be particularly unnerved by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is described as the “primary obstacle.” The US president is reportedly so upset with his Israeli counterpart that he even refers to him as “this guy,” and, worse, an “asshole.”

Based on this reported acrimony, NBC News concludes that “the dynamic between the two leaders could be nearing an inflection point.” Yet the same article includes a caveat that is standard for all accounts of US-Israeli relations since Oct. 7th: nothing will change. As NBC puts it, “even as Biden has escalated his rhetoric, he is not yet prepared to make significant policy changes, officials said. He and his aides continue to believe his approach of unequivocally supporting Israel is the right one.”

With Biden’s unequivocal support, Netanyahu has vowed to proceed with the Rafah assault in the face of global pressure. “Those who want to prevent us from operating in Rafah are basically telling us: Lose the war,” Netanyahu said on Saturday. “It’s true that there’s a lot of opposition abroad, but this is exactly the moment that we need to say that we won’t be doing a half or a third of the job.”

As he moves closer to fulfilling the job of ethnic cleansing southern Gaza, Netanyahu can credit the only global constituency that matters to him: the Biden administration and its bipartisan allies in Congress. Across party lines, Washington is affirming that for the world’s most powerful state, even the most minimal gestures to protect starving, displaced, and defenseless Palestinians is a clear non-starter.


Aaron Mate is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.




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joe: "more to be killed".....

The United States has vetoed a UN Security Council measure calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, casting the lone ‘no’ vote on a draft that garnered support from most other members. Washington had used its veto power to block two prior attempts, arguing the move would not produce a “durable peace.”

The call for an immediate humanitarian truce was shot down by the US delegation on Tuesday. While 13 nations in the 15-member Security Council favored the Algerian-drafted resolution, Washington was the sole country to vote no, while Britain abstained.

”Demanding an immediate, unconditional ceasefire without an agreement requiring Hamas to release the hostages will not bring about a durable peace. Instead, it could extend the fighting between Hamas and Israel,” US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the council before the vote.

Last weekend, Thomas-Greenfield signaled that the US would oppose the new ceasefire effort, arguing that it could undermine negotiations between the warring parties, aimed at achieving a temporary pause in the fighting and the release of the remaining hostages held by Hamas.

While the latest draft resolution did not directly tie a ceasefire to the fate of the hostages, it separately called for the unconditional release of those captured by Palestinian militants during Hamas’ October 7 terrorist attack on Israel.

Algeria’s UN envoy Amar Bendjama said backing the measure amounted to “support to the Palestinians right to life,” while opposing it would imply “an endorsement of the brutal violence and collective punishment inflicted upon them.”

The Palestinian UN ambassador, Riyad Mansour, slammed the US over its vote, saying “The message given today to Israel with this veto is that it can continue to get away with murder.”

Though Washington has barred three separate ceasefire attempts at the Security Council, it has floated its own draft resolution proposing a shorter “pause” to the conflict to allow time for negotiations, and for aid to reach the besieged Palestinian enclave. The rival resolution also urges Israel to refrain from a ground attack on Rafah, where hundreds of thousands of refugees have gathered amid Israel’s months-long assault.

The US-sponsored draft would “underscore its support for a temporary ceasefire in Gaza as soon as practicable, based on the formula of all hostages being released, and calls for lifting all barriers to the provision of humanitarian assistance at scale,” the text of the measure says.

READ MORE: US changes position on Gaza ceasefire – Reuters

According to local health officials, nearly 29,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s military operation, which was launched in response to Hamas’ terrorist attack late last year. Around 1,200 people were killed in the surprise assault, while Palestinian militants took more than 250 hostages back to Gaza. Dozens of hostages have since been freed, mostly through prisoner exchanges during a weeklong ceasefire in November 2023.




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the empire's foghorns.....


Misrepresenting the ICJ and muzzling our press – the Empire strikes back   By Paul Heywood-Smith


On 26 January, the World spoke to Israel and its supporters – on the issue of Gaza. The World spoke through the International Court of Justice (ICJ). There can be no doubt about that. A number of provisional orders were made. Israel, and its primary accomplice, the United States – hereinafter “the Empire” – did not like what the World said. The Empire has struck back. Let us consider what it has done.

The first thing that it has done is to make absolutely clear that its minions must toe the line. That includes Australia. How should it toe the line? The first thing to do was to limit publicity of the ICJ’s judgement. That has definitely happened here in Australia. Such public announcements as there were from the Empire, and the Australian government, were to present the ICJ’s ruling effectively as a defeat for South Africa. No ceasefire was ordered. Such presentation was grossly misleading.

Then the press was to all intents and purposes muzzled. Four weeks have passed and the ICJ ruling is all but forgotten. Moreover, when Israel threatened to take the war to Rafah, and South Africa saw the need to seek a further provisional order to prohibit same, which it did on 12 February, our press did not even report on the application.

But the Empire saw the need to do more than simply go on the defensive, i.e. in respect of the original ruling; it had to go on the offensive. It was necessary to do so by ignoring the provisional orders and blatantly breaching them. Alternatively, it might be said that they simply redefined the orders so that the killings could continue.

In this respect the first provisional order to be set at naught was the fourth, that there had to be humanitarian assistance pending the full determination of the case. What is the best way to deny humanitarian assistance? Clearly, to inhibit the entity best placed to give it, viz. UNWRA. Israel claimed that a dozen UNWRA employees (out of 13,000) aided Hamas on October 7. The US immediately ceased funding UNWRA. Australia immediately fell into line and suspended its aid, as did some 14 other nations.

The next provisional order to be set at naught was the first. Readers may recall that it was set out in an earlier article: The decision of the International Court of Justice, Feb.2 2024. I restate it:

The State of Israel shall, in accordance with its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, in relation to Palestinians in Gaza, take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts within the scope of Article II of this Convention, in particular:

(a) Killing members of the group;

(b)Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; and

(d) Imposing measure intended to prevent births within the group.

Have no doubt; ‘the group’ means ‘Palestinians in Gaza’ – refer the preamble. Anyone who has followed the slaughter since 26 January knows that this order has been totally disregarded. The death toll of Palestinians has increased from approximately 24,000 on 26 January to something approaching 30,000 today. And there is no need to consider sub-clauses (b) to (d). They can be assumed to have been breached as well.

So, what else has the Empire and its minions been up to?

Well, first up, one part of the Empire, the US, has maintained its massive support of tribute, cash and arms to Israel. It has ramped up military attacks on what it maintains are Iran-backed militias in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. And it has blocked moves for a permanent ceasefire at the United Nations.

Israel and its supporters throughout the Empire have screamed “antisemite!” whenever someone has had the temerity to be supportive of Palestine.

Israel is apparently creating a ‘buffer zone’ in areas of Gaza adjoining the Israeli border, resulting in forcible displacement of Palestinians from their homes. Such reduction of the territory of Gaza clearly impacts on the sovereignty of a Palestinian state, and raises the possibility of Israel’s Jewish resettlement of the Strip.

The only other matter that I shall mention is the continued misrepresentation of the ICJ. I return to the 12 February application by South Africa seeking an additional provisional measure to prevent genocide occurring, in the context of an anticipated imminent attack on Rafah.

The Court noted, by a ruling on 16 February, that such a development

“…would exponentially increase what is already a humanitarian nightmare…This perilous situation demands immediate and effective implementation of the provisional measures indicated by the Court in its Order of 26 January 2024, which are applicable throughout the Gaza Strip, including in Rafah, and does not demand the indication of additional provisional measures. The Court emphasises that the State of Israel remains bound to fully comply with its obligations under the Genocide Convention and with the said Order, including by ensuring the safety and security of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.”

In other words – read the Court’s earlier orders – they make any additional order unnecessary. South Africa welcomed the affirmation. Again, the Empire and its minions are misleading the world by suggesting that the Court “rejected” South Africa’s application. The only rejection that there was, was of the assertion by Israel that the initial provisional measures had no application to its conduct, either prospectively, in Rafah, or hitherto, in the rest of Gaza. This was a substantial victory for South Africa, and the World.

Nevertheless, the Empire continues to strike back. Israel has made it absolutely clear that it does not consider itself restrained in any way by the ICJ’s rulings. The rest of the Empire seems to be content to accept Israel’s position.

In conclusion, we, Australia, must understand the ICJ’s orders and act accordingly. We must oppose the Empire. And we must publicise the message: “Palestine has the right to exist – and therefore the right to resist”.




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the crazy god dollar.....


In God we trust    By Reb Halabi


The following words are from Canadian Dr. Yasser Khan (Eye-Facial Plastic Trauma Surgeon) who returned from a humanitarian surgical mission at the European Hospital in Khan Younis, Gaza.

He said he has been to over 40 different countries for humanitarian work. What he saw in Khan Younis were, “the most horrific scenes in my entire life”. He says the majority of patients he tended to were between the ages of 2-17 years of age.

Eyes shattered in 2 six-year-old children
Eyes with shrapnel stuck inside
Limbs cut off and dangling
Abdominal injuries
Children on the floor with head trauma
People suturing patients without anaesthesia
Children exploded and half their bodies hanging on a wall
Patients and bodies lying all over the hospital inside and out
The children were thin because they’re starving
Israel has openly called for epidemics
Israel kidnapped about 40-45 doctors specifically specialists (eg; the one nephrologist)
They’ve attacked the water and sewerage systems so the sewerage mixes with drinking water
There’s about 15,000 bodies decomposing which ultimately mixes with the drinking water

There are no antibiotics, no painkillers and on Dr. Khan’s last day they ran out of morphine, no doubt leaving people (children) to have their limbs amputated without any painkiller; not to mention the dubious likelihood of the necessary further surgeries when an amputation is conducted in the first place. Some of the children he saw had both eyes amputated out of their eye socket or had arms or legs amputated.

Dr. Khan said, “The Israeli killing machine has been vicious…really vicious.

America has printed on its money, ‘In God we Trust’. Over a quarter of the population call themselves Evangelical Christians but I wonder where their God is in all this horror. How do they reconcile their religious beliefs when their elected government has sanctioned the murder, decimation and utter inhumanity meted out to Palestinians? Although the constitution does not note the United States as a Christian nation, vast percentages of the population consider it to be so. It holds almost 200 million Christians of varying degrees of faith. I understand there are many Christians opposing the genocide, but perhaps many also see this catastrophe in Palestine as the beginning of the end as prophesised in the bible and that Christ is around the corner.

With the inclusion of prayer at the opening of the U.S. House and Senate, are they praying for the victims they have bombed and the children they have maimed and made orphan, or are they praying for themselves. Most presidents will sign off a meeting or talk with. “God Bless America”, so I guess that leaves out everybody else, especially the Palestinians.

The financing and control, the encouragement and the steadfast support for a genocidal government to legally murder and destroy human beings comes first and foremost from one of the first and foremost Christian nations on earth. America never tires of pointing the finger at theocracies and nations they deem ‘backward, brutal and oppressive’, yet America has such a malady brewing in their domestic sphere that it’s hard not to point out the obvious. They have rampant homelessness, gun crime, drug epidemics and gang wars. They have a belligerent war like tendency to all those they wish to crush or take over throughout the world. They have disillusioned youth who have been primed to believe that the only real measure of success is how much money they have; being a millionaire is so passé, it’s billionaire or nothing. And don’t forget the all important ‘likes’.

And while the maladies brew in a cocktail of dysfunction the American administration is still trying to tell other countries how they are getting it wrong and how they should treat their citizens. If we believe the U.S. propaganda machine China is a threat, Putin had absolutely no cause to invade Ukraine, Taiwan must watch its back, Africa is a “shithole” and Australia is so insignificant it’s not worth mentioning. But Israel is still held up as the only state worth saving from a sea of Arabs and has the right to defend itself over the people it has Occupied, imprisoned, decimated, ruined, starved and tried to eradicate. But don’t worry – it’s the only democracy in the Middle East. Phew!

Biden must think people are stupid if he thinks we believe his hollow words of chastisement to Israel and Netanyahu, asking him to use caution yet signing off even more multibillion-dollar funding to continue the war and genocide.

The U.S. administration could stop the war with one phone call. With one vote in the UN.

They have made the horror of Khan Younis their own to bear.

God Bless America.




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