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One-third of Gaza's mosques destroyed by Israeli strikes (Middle East Monitor) - 21-sep-2014

August 29, 2014 - The Israeli onslaught on Gaza demolished 73 mosques in 51 days, while 205 others were partially destroyed, a government report said. According to a committee formed by the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Construction, the damages caused by Israeli aggression on houses of worship, tombs, and charity offices amount to $40.4 million. The only two churches in Gaza were also hit and partially damaged, while the gates of 10 tombs were destroyed. The affected mosques represent one-third of Gaza's mosques, the committee said. Among the destroyed mosques were historical ones, particularly Al-Omari Mosque in Jabalya which dates back to 649 AD...


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Defense Argues Palestinian Organizer’s Indictment Was Product of Illegal FBI Investigation (By: Kevin Gosztola) - 21-sep-2014

August 28, 2014 - A motion to dismiss an indictment against Palestinian American Rasmea Odeh for allegedly committing immigration fraud argues Odeh’s indictment was the "product of an illegal investigation into the First Amendment activities of the Arab-American Action Network (AAAN)," a community group based in Chicago. Rasmea Odeh is an organizer in Chicago. She has been a naturalized citizen in the US since 1995. But, on October 22, 2013, the Department of Homeland Security suddenly had her arrested. The federal government accused Odeh of neglecting to disclose on naturalization forms that she had been imprisoned by Israelis in Palestine for decades for terrorism-related offenses. She now faces up to ten years in prison if convicted and immediate deportation after her release....

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Syria News - August 28, 2014 (Local Coordination Committees of Syria) - 21-sep-2014

August 28, 2014 - By the end of Thurseday, LCC has documented the fall of 77 martyrs including 9 women, 17 children and 2 martyrs under torture. 22 martyrs were reported in Aleppo, 15 in Idlib, 12 in Damascus and its suburbs, 9 in Daraa, 7 in Homs, 6 in Hama and 6 in Deir Ezzor....

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Update on the continued military detention of the Palestinian human rights defender, Murad Shtaiwi, under Israel‘s repressive protest law (Palestinian Human Rights (LPHR) and Addameer) - 21-sep-2014

August 28, 2014 - Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights (LPHR) and Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association (Addameer) remain extremely concerned by the continued military detention since 29 April 2014 of the Palestinian human rights defender, Murad Shtaiwi, under Israel's repressive protest law. In our first joint public statement on Murad Shtaiwi's case, dated 3 July 2014, we outlined that this prominent Palestinian human rights defender was to stand trial on Sunday 6 July 2014 at Salem Military Court on three charges: participating in and organising unauthorised demonstrations (Israel's Military Order No. 101); causing a public disturbance; and throwing stones at Israeli military authorities...


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Judge: Government’s Justification for Keeping Detainee Abuse Photos Secret is ‘Not Sufficient’ (By: Kevin Gosztola) - 21-sep-2014

August 28, 2014 - A federal district court judge has ruled that the government’s certification to prevent the disclosure of thousands of photos of detainee abuse and torture in Afghanistan and Iraq—including inhumane treatment at Abu Ghraib prison—is "not sufficient to prevent publication." The federal judge ordered [PDF] the government to appear in court on September 8 and produce the photographs or submit additional evidence to support keeping the photos secret. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) staff attorney Marcellene Hearn reacted, "Americans have a right to know what was done in our names in military detention centers. We have a right to know what resulted from senior officials’ decisions to authorize and tolerate the abuse and torture of prisoners."...

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Navy Nurse Who Refused Order to Force-Feed Hunger Striking Guantanamo Prisoners May Face Discipline (By: Kevin Gosztola) - 21-sep-2014

August 28, 2014 - The first and only officer on the medical staff at Guantanamo Bay to conscientiously object to force-feeding prisoners on hunger strike has reportedly had his assignment ended. He has been sent back to Naval Health Clinic New England, his "parent command," while an investigation is completed, which may result in discipline or a court-martial. The Associated Press reported on August 26 that Navy Captain Maureen Pennington, who is "his commander at the network clinics, indicated, "An investigation has been conducted into his conduct while stationed at Guantanamo but it has not yet been determined if he will face any discipline." He is "now on leave and military officials declined to provide details about him or any allegations he may face."

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Protestors block and delay Israeli ships up and down US West Coast (Charlotte Silver) - 21-sep-2014

August 28, 2014 - Over the past two weeks, activists in port cities along the West Coast of the United States staged picket lines to prevent or delay vessels operated by Israel’s Zim shipping line from offloading cargo. The actions had been planned at the height of Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip that began on 7 July and ended with a ceasefire yesterday. Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. is Israel’s biggest cargo shipping company and the tenth largest in the world. Its 2013 revenue was $3.7 billion.The action originated in Oakland, California, which set a high bar for others to follow. Protestors there successfully prevented the unloading of the Zim Piraeus container ship for nearly four full days...

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Security Council resolutions and compromised ceasefires (Ramona Wadi) - 21-sep-2014

August 28, 2014 - ...So far, Abbas is simply expressing gratitude through the usual simplifications of the coloniser and the colonised as "sides," and imperialist interference as "roles" - convenient terminology that undermines the correlation between humanitarian aid and human rights abuses. Gaza, on the other hand, becomes an appended abstract mired in humanitarian rhetoric disassociated from the ramifications of Israel’s intended colonial expansion.Taking into consideration the aspect of perpetual impunity granted to Israel not only by the international community, but also by Abbas and his reluctance, or inability, to pursue the ICC option departing from the Palestinian narrative, the ceasefire’s implementation upon such compromised terms will temporarily alleviate suffering, but render Palestinians further subjugated to imperialist dictates...

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The Children of Gaza: A Generation Scarred & Under Siege (IMEU) - 21-sep-2014

August 28, 2014 - On August 24, nearly half a million Palestinian children in Gaza who were scheduled to start a new school year were unable to do so because of Israel's latest military assault on the occupied and besieged coastal strip, "Operation Protective Edge," which began on July 8 and killed more than 2100 people, including at least 1462 civilians.With a fledgling ceasefire agreed to on August 26 taking hold, the children of Gaza are struggling to cope with the horrors they experienced during Israel's brutal attack, and to return to some semblance of normalcy. The following fact sheet provides an overview of the impact that Israel's latest assault and its siege and blockade have had on the children of Gaza.

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Watch: Israel raids "return" camp in destroyed Palestinian village (Patrick O. Strickland) - 21-sep-2014

August 28, 2014 - Israeli occupation authorities on Wednesday raided and looted Kufr Birim, a destroyed Palestinian village near the border with Lebanon, where a group of activists have been camping for more than a year. Accompanied by police, five carfuls of officers from the Israel Lands Administration arrived at approximately 8am. Without announcing their presence or the purpose of the visit, they began tearing apart the activist encampment and looting the campers’ belongings....

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Iraq snapshot - August 28 , 2014. (The Common Ills) - 21-sep-2014

August 28, 2014 - ...National Iraqi News Agency reports: Spokesman for the hospital in Fallujah Dr. Ahmed Al-Shami said on Thursday that the number of the martyrs in Fallujah since the beginning of military operations by more than 8 months amounted to 812 people, while the total number of wounded to 2488 people.
He told the National Iraqi News Agency / NINA / that this is not the final statistics due to the continued bombardment of the city in addition to that a number of the martyrs were buried without arriving to the hospital and the wounded were treated in homes and health centers. He added that 16 percent of the martyrs are children and 19 percent of them women, while the injured proportion of children reached 11 percent and women 17 percent
. What is the number that will prompt disgust and lead to vocal rejection of Nouri's assault on Sunni civilians?The embarrassing UNHCR wanted to whine about 'terrorism' in Iraq. What is terrorism but not being safe in your own home?.....


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Inside Fallujah: Crowded Cemeteries, Flattened Buildings And Potential Revolution (Mustafa Habib) - 21-sep-2014

August 28, 2014 - ...Many of the buildings are damaged or completely destroyed. Anyone who manages to get into Fallujah will see a city that looks as though it’s out of a picture taken just after World War II. "Some areas – such as al-Hay al-Sinaie and Nazzal – have been completely levelled," one of the city’s tribal leaders, Ahmed al-Halbusi, told NIQASH. "It would be almost impossible for people to go back and live in those areas again because they are so damaged. Additionally the Iraqi air force is still shelling those areas even though we have no idea why." Al-Halbusi was now looking after a five-year-old boy named Othman. "His whole family was killed in the Nazzal area," al-Halbusi explains. "He was playing in his garden and his family were in the house when the house was hit. He was the only survivor." There are dozens of similar stories. The Iraqi army has been attacking Fallujah since the beginning of the year. Every day the army shells the city two different ways – with ground artillery from their camps near the city. One of the major camps is the nearby Mazra camp....

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Netanyahu vs. Abu Ubaydah: On victory and false victory (Ramzy Baroud) - 21-sep-2014

August 28, 2014 - In the rush to analyze the outcome of Israel’s 51-day war in Gaza, dubbed Operation Protective Edge, some may have neglected an important factor: this was not a war by traditional definitions of warfare, thus the conventional analyses of victory and defeat is simply not applicable. That being the case, how can we explain Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s triumphant statement on 28 August, and the massive celebrations on the streets of Gaza regarding the resistance 'victory’ over Israel? To be truly fathomed, they must be understood in context...

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A Palestinian ultimatum to end occupation? (By Dahlia Scheindlin) - 21-sep-2014

August 28, 2014 - The PLO will demand that the UN Security Council announce a deadline for Israel to withdraw from the West Bank, to the 1967 ceasefire lines, reported Haaretz today. Ma’an News Agency writes that Nabil Shaath, a senior Fatah figure and veteran negotiator, has said the bid will be submitted on September 15, 2014. If it is not accepted, he told Ma’an that the PLO will continue with long-rumored plans to pursue accession to the International Criminal Court (Rome Statute), so that it can bring claims against Israel’s actions in Gaza. With every other attempt to shake off Israel’s military rule proving futile, the idea of a simple ultimatum for withdrawal – with or without an agreement – ought not to come as a surprise. In fact, Noam Sheizaf and I not only predicted it, we advocated it over a year ago...

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Video: Israeli soldiers fire tear gas at 6-year-old children on their way to school (Rania Khalek) - 20-sep-2014

August 28, 2014 - The new school year started four days ago in the occupied West Bank, and Israeli soldiers have fired tear gas and hurled stun grenades at Palestinian elementary school students on at least two occasions already. In the Nablus-area village of Burin, which is surrounded by illegal Jewish-only Israeli settlements, Israeli forces stormed an elementary school Wednesday, firing tear gas and stun grenades at students after a settler’s vehicle traveling nearby the school was allegedly hit with a rock thrown by a Palestinian youth...

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Bets and masks fall during Gaza's latest saga (Dr Abdullah Al-Ashaal) - 20-sep-2014

August 28, 2014 -Israel has the right to be proud of it being a demonic destructive state excelling in the annihilation of the human race. Its record in the region is proof that Israel deserves the top prize for a number of things, including its creativity and artistry in destroying all religious and historical sites, murdering innocents, depriving people of their basic needs, denying the dead coffins and cemeteries, and depriving the wounded from saving their lives. Israel should be proud that it was prepared militarily, politically and economically to corner its victim and promised its allies a swift victory and a final termination of the headache they have been trying to eradicate for some time. The Arab and Islamic countries remained silent on the killing and destruction, while the Arab League, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), and billions of Arabs and Muslims turned a blind eye to the people of Gaza and its resistance...

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Calls to prosecute foreigners who volunteered in Israeli army during war (Middle East Monitor) - 20-sep-2014

August 28, 2014 - Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki announced on Wednesday that his ministry had sent a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and to the leaders of other countries, requesting them to bear their responsibility for implementing international law regarding foreigners who volunteered in the Israeli army during the latest assault on Gaza. Citing the Palestinian foreign ministry statement, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed news website reported that in cooperation with human rights organisations, the ministry has found that foreigners volunteered in the Israeli army during the latest aggression and carried out war crimes...

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Syria News - August 27, 2014 (Local Coordination Committees of Syria) - 20-sep-2014

August 27, 2014- By the end of Wednesday, LCC has documented 34 martyrs including 2 children and 2 martyrs under torture. 9 martyrs were reported in Idlib, 8 in Damascus and its suburbs, 8 in Daraa, 4 in Aleppo, 3 in Hama, 1 in Homs and 1 in Deir Ezzor...


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Woman Killed and 95 Persons Injured by Gunfire That Followed Declaration of Truce (The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)) - 20-sep-2014

August 27, 2014 -The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the unjustified intensive shooting by gunmen throughout the Gaza Strip when the true entered into force, which killed a woman and injured 95 persons, including 33 children and 15 women. PCHR calls upon the Palestinian government to take action against the perpetrators, and to take necessary steps to stop such incidents and protect people. According to investigation conducted by PCHR, on Tuesday evening, 26 August 2014, following the declaration of an Egyptian-brokered truce in the Gaza Strip, dozens of gunmen opened fire in all areas in the Gaza Strip. As a result of these incidents, a woman was killed and 95 persons, including 33 children and 15 women, were injured...

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Ali Hamza Al-Bahlul, David Hicks and the Legal Collapse of the Military Commissions at Guantánamo (Andy Worthington) - 20-sep-2014

August 27, 2014 - Last week, lawyers for former Guantánamo prisoner David Hicks, an Australian who, in March 2007, was the first Guantánamo prisoner to accept a guilty plea in a military commission trial in order to get out of the prison, appealed his conviction — for the second time in the last ten months. Hicks had accepted a plea of providing material support for terrorism in exchange for being returned to Australia and being freed after just nine months. However, in October 2012 the court of appeals in Washington D.C. (the D.C. Circuit Court) threw out the conviction of another prisoner who had been convicted of providing material support for terrorism in a military commission trial, paving the way for Hicks to challenge his conviction....


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Israel's "Operation Status Quo": A Preliminary Assessment (by Mouin Rabbani) - 20-sep-2014

August 27, 2014 - Israel’s massive onslaught on the Gaza Strip in July-August 2014 has been a military and political fiasco. A regional superpower, it failed to impose its will on an isolated enemy operating in a besieged territory without advanced weaponry. Its sub-standard military performance was matched by a failure to reverse Palestinian reconciliation or deepen Palestinian fragmentation, and its overall strategic position has grown weaker. Led by a government too extreme to seize the initiative with proposals that will enjoy sufficient international support, Israel will continue to provoke challenges to a status quo it seeks to maintain amid a growing inability to confront them...

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Obese Intelligence
The NSA Search Engine
(by BINOY KAMPMARK) - 20-sep-2014

August 27, 2014-The Intercept was already getting the intelligence community excited with its revelations that the National Security Agency had decided to mimic inspector Google. Through creating a search engine in the manner of those pro-transparency pioneers, the intelligence community was turning the tables on the very idea of searchable information. Why keep it the operating preserve of the public? The search engine has, as it stands, over 850 billion records about phone calls, emails, cellphone locations, and internet chats. The revelations have a few implications, the most obvious one confirming the seamless transition between intelligence work on the one hand, and the policing function on the other.


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British resident Shaker Aamer 'beaten' in latest Guantánamo crackdown (Reprieve) - 20-sep-2014

August 27, 2014 - British resident Shaker Aamer has reportedly been beaten at Guantánamo Bay, in evidence of a new crackdown on prisoners protesting their detention without charge . In new letters received by legal charity Reprieve, detainees reveal what one calls a new "standard procedure" of abuses at the prison. Emad Hassan, a Yemeni detained without charge since 2002, wrote that "an FCE [Forcible Cell Extraction] team has been brought in to beat the detainees […] On Sunday, Shaker ISN 239 was beaten when the medical people wanted to draw blood." Mr Hassan adds that guards had beaten another detainee for nearly 2 hours....

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Iraq snapshot - August 27 , 2014. (The Common Ills) - 20-sep-2014

August 27, 2014 - ...A security source in Anbar said on Tuesday that, an unknown military plane bombed a school, which includes a number of displaced people from the city of Falluja, west of Anbar.The source told the National Iraqi News Agency / NINA/ that the school is located amid Kubaisa in Hit district, west of Anbar were bombed by unidentified aircraft, without knowing the size of the losses caused by the bombing. Kitabat reports an American aircraft crashed to the west of Baghdad International Airport -- as they describe the craft, it was a remote control drone. Kitabat also reports 27 corpses were discovered dumped to the north of Baghdad....

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Israel: the winner that didn't lose (Meron Rapoport) - 19-sep-2014

August 27, 2014 - The number 50 has a special meaning in Jewish tradition. In Biblical times, the 50th year in the calendar, is a year in which all debts are written off and all the slaves are freed. The word Jubilee derives from Yovel, the Hebrew word for this year of celebration and freedom. The ceasefire between Israel and Hamas broke exactly 50 days after the fighting began. But contrary to the popular celebrations in Gaza, no one in Israel chanted in the streets. Even Netanyahu himself refrained from appearing in public, nor did he bother asking for his ministers' consent. From the Israeli side, the war on Gaza ended not with a bang but a whimper...



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‘Never again’?: The US and the Palestinian/Israeli issue (By Ron Forthofer) - 19-sep-2014

August 27, 2014 - Many Americans may think this foreign policy issue doesn’t concern them. If they think about this issue at all, many say that it’s not our business and we should just let them fight it out. However the US has been deeply involved in this conflict since before Israel declared its existence.
For example, in 1947 before the Partition Plan for Palestine was approved by the UN General Assembly, Loy Henderson, director of the State Department’s Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs, warned: "The UNSCOP [U.N. Special Committee on Palestine] Majority Plan is not only unworkable; if adopted, it would guarantee that the Palestine problem would be permanent and still more complicated in the future." Henderson added: "The proposals contained in the UNSCOP plan … are in definite contravention to various principles laid down in the [U.N.] Charter as well as to principles on which American concepts of Government are based...

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continua / continued










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