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Day 16 of the Zionist Israeli Terrorist War on Gaza, Phosphoric Bombs Burn Women & Children, Death Toll 883, Injuries 4075, January 11, 2009, 11:19 am ET

Summary and commentary by Hassan El-Najjar


The Zionist Israeli terrorist war on the Gaza Strip has continued for the sixteenth day, with US-made F-16 war planes and Apache helicopters, and the European-made naval vessels and equipment.

Arabic TV stations reported that more than sixty-two Palestinians have been killed since yesterday, increasing the death toll to 883 and the injuries to 4075, the vast majority of them are civilians particularly women and children.

The Israeli terrorist forces used phosphoric bombs against the Palestinian people. This resulted in burning the three layers of victims' skin to reach internal organs. Most of yesterday's victims were children.

The 1.5 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are still suffering shortages of food, running water, medicine, and electricity.

The Israeli terrorist attacks have covered all areas of Gaza Strip, with focus on Gaza City, which has been bombarded from the air, land and see.

The Palestinian resistance fighters continued defending their positions and confronting the invading Israeli terrorist forces, costing them heavy losses.

Since the beginning of the Israeli war of aggression on the Palestinian people in Gaza, Al-Qassam Brigades fighters killed 32 Israeli soldiers, sniped 41 of them, and injured 315. The Israeli attempts to occupy the two hills of Jabal Al-Kashef and Jabal Al-Rayes were consistently repelled, where most Israeli casualties happened.

Al-Qassam Brigades fighters also damaged four Israeli helicopters using light and anti-aircraft weapons, and downed several surveillance un-manned aircraft.

Al-Qassam Brigades fighters were also capable to launch their Qassam rockets and Grad missiles at Israeli targets, reaching as far as 50 kilometers away from Gaza, including Palmakhim military base.

People around the world have been protesting the continuous Israeli terrorist war on Gaza, and the disgraceful inaction of the world governments to stop it. Notable in these protests was associating the US with Israeli terrorists, as the US government is the major enabler of Israeli aggression through its continuous military, financial, and economic aid to the racist Zionist regime.

The US Congress lived to what was expected from its Zionist-controlled members, by passing two resolutions in the House and the Senate blaming the Palestinian victims and defending the right of the Zionist Israeli aggressors to kill Palestinian children.




IOTF shelling on Gaza continues unabated in 3rd week of aggression

[ 11/01/2009 - 10:46 AM ]


The Israeli occupation terrorist forces (IOTF) late Saturday and at dawn Sunday intensified its land, air and sea shelling of the Gaza Strip inflicting yet more casualties in the lines of the Palestinian civilian population and destroying more civilian homes.

Witnesses said that the most ferocious raid was on Khuza'a town, east of Khan Younis to the south of the Gaza Strip that witnessed violent IOF shelling killing one and wounding others at dawn Sunday.

Other air raids were reported on the central area in Gaza Strip leaving a number of wounded citizens while around 20 aerial raids were also reported on Rafah to the southernmost tip of the Strip.

IOTF choppers and artillery targeted a number of targets and houses in Gaza city and north of it inflicting vast destruction and civilian casualties.

IOTF troops then tried to advance into the city but were repulsed by violent resistance; similar confrontations were reported at a late hour on Saturday night east of Gaza city.

IOTF warplanes bombed the Palestinian Jarih (wounded) Institution for the second time and a group of citizens east of Gaza city wounding a number of them while a Palestinian woman was killed in the shelling on a home in Nussairat refugee camp in central Gaza.

Medical sources told PIC reporter that 16 Palestinians were killed Saturday night in different areas of the Strip as a result of the IOF raids including five members of one family, a woman and four men, in Beit Lahia northern Gaza Strip.

Four children were among the victims including two brothers, whose father was also wounded in the raid.

Medical and local sources indicated that Amir Al-Mansi, the son of Palestinian minister of communications Yousuf Mansi, was killed in an IOF missile fired by a drone west of Gaza city Saturday night. Mansi was a member of the Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas.

The armed wing, meanwhile, revealed that it fired a Grad missile at an Israeli air base 50 kilometers north of Gaza while other missiles were fired at Ashdod and Ashkelon in retaliation to the IOF bloody crimes.

Day 16: Phosphoric bombs bring burn victims pouring into hospital - 25 dead since midnight - 881 operation total

Date: 11 / 01 / 2009  Time:  10:42
Gaza – Ma’an –

Twenty five Gazans have been killed since midnight Sunday morning and at least 80 injured by new weapons used by the Israeli occupation terrorist forces (IOTF) that set fire to the buildings and people they hit.

The Israeli Phosphoric bombs have not yet been used in the Gaza offensive. They have been fired intensively on the Ghuza’a and Abasan villages east of Khan Younis.

Medical sources at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis said most of the morning’s casualties were women and children. Medical staff appealed to international agencies for new medical supplies to deal with the burn victims pouring into the hospital

Sunday dawned with six more Palestinians confirmed dead in Gaza, mainly from Khuza’a village east of Khan Younis.

Overnight Israeli terrorist forces warplanes shifted their sights to civilian homes in southern Gaza, then after dawn strikes began in the north. Ground troops advanced towards Gaza City during the night. One contingent withdrew northward at dawn, while a second front southwest of Gaza City continued to advance to an abandoned illegal Israeli settlement south of the city.

Those dead in the southern Strip include 41-year-old Hanan Al-Najjar and another unidentified man. At least 50 were injured as Israeli strikes hit a dozen homes in Khuza’a village, many of which continue to burn after the near-dawn airstrikes.

The body of the 17-year-old Usama Abu Rajileh was identified among the dead in Khan Younis.
Attacks in the north began by killing four members of the Bashir family when Israeli airstrikes struck the family home in the Al-Karama neighborhood northwest of Gaza City shortly after sunrise on Sunday. The family was in the home at the time and an unknown number were injured.

Witnesses said Ala Bashir “Abu Shaib,” his wife, mother-in-law and son were killed in the strike. Several other homes in the area were hit.

Strikes then shifted to the northern border-town of Beit Lahiya where locals reported the use of Phosphoric bombs, which set hit homes ablaze. The strikes killed at least three from the Ma'arouf and Ghaban families and injured dozens.

Ground offensive retreats north after night of attacks

Witnesses said Israeli troops withdrew from Al-Sudaniyah area in the north of Gaza City after a night of shooting. Locals said several homes were raided and their residents massacred after which homes were burned. Medical sources have been unable to confirm the number of dead.

Some of the known raids include the home of Ahmad Al-Ja’abari of an Al-Qassam Brigades member in the eastern areas of Gaza City. His home was set on fire as troops withdrew.

In the southwest quarter of Gaza City clashes were heard in the Al-Shaikh Ajlein neighborhood as Israeli troops approached the evacuated illegal Netsarim settlement south of the city.

***Updated 15:00 Bethlehem time

As night falls on the 15th day of Israeli terrorist offensive; 854, including 230 children, 90 women killed

Saturday January 10, 2009 21:25 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

As night fell on Gaza on Saturday, the Israeli terrorist rmy continued its illegal offensive for the fifteenth day, killing 854 Palestinians, including 230 children, 93 women, 92 elderly, 14 medics and three journalists. At least 3,681 Palestinians, 50% of them children and women, have been wounded, 500 seriously, Dr. Mu'awiya Hassanain of the Palestinian Ministry of Health reported.

On Saturday, Israeli shells killed eleven Palestinians, including several children, after the soldiers continued to pound several areas in the Gaza Strip. The latest three casualties were killed when the Israeli Army shelled a house in Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip; ten residents were wounded.

Medical sources reported that among the slain residents were the following children; Salman Salman, and his brothers Rami and Abdul-Mo’ty.

Two more children, identified as Ali and Amer Al-Nadher, were killed, and their father was wounded along with ten other residents when the Israelis fired shells at a group of civilians near al-Sultan residential tower, east of Jablia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

Medical sources reported that two children of the Al Hilo family were killed when the Israeli Army shelled their home in Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

A fighter of the al-Qassam brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, was killed in Shaikh Radhwan neighborhood in Gaza city, and a fighter of the al-Quds brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad, was killed in Beit Lahia.

In Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, one fighter, identified as Ahmad Al-Sha’er, was killed and another fighter was wounded when the Israeli air force fired a missile at them.

Six civilians of Abed-Rabbo family, including two children, two brothers and a member of Hussein family, were killed, and at least one resident was injured when the Israeli Army fired artillery shells at them.

The slain residents were identified as Hamed Mahfoudh Abed-Rabbo, age 17, Yosry Mahmoud Abed-Rabbo, age 16, Ramiz Jamal Abed-Rabbo, age 38, Mustafa Ribhy Hussein, age 18, Sami Mohammad Abed-Rabbo, age 25, Randa Jamal Abed-Rabbo, age 45 and Sufian Abdul-Hai Abed Rabbo, age 47.

Also, the Israeli Army pounded with artillery shells the al-Sikka area, in the Jabalia refugee camp, and killed Dawood Ghanim Asliyya, age 37, his brother Ibrahim, age 40 and Ibrahim Mohammad Abu Hmeidan, age 60. The body of Mohammad Jaber Olayan, age 16, was found under the rubble of his parents’ home which was shelled on Friday at dawn.

Two more residents, identified as Shams Omar, age 22 and Jawad Mahmoud Al-Hassy, age 35, were killed in the al-Sudaniya area, north of Gaza City.

On Saturday morning, the Israelis shelled a factory in Khan Younus, killing two of its guards. Both guards are from Al Astal family. Also, resident Jihad Al-Sameery was killed, and three residents were wounded when the Israeli Army fired artillery shells at a home in al-Qarara town.

In an interview with Al-Jazeera TV, Dr. Hassanain said that the number of Palestinians killed in the offensive could be higher since there are dozens of missing residents who might be buried under the rubble of shelled buildings and homes, especially since ambulances cannot reach certain areas due to the Israeli shelling, considering that the Israeli Army has thus far pounded 14 ambulances with heavy artillery.

Israel terrorist forces push further into Gaza

Sunday January 11, 2009 14:15 by Justin Theriault - 1 of International Middle East Media Center - IMEMC Editorial Group

On Sunday, with the ground cover of Israeli terrorist forces tanks, and the air support of Israeli war planes, Israeli terrorist ground forces advanced deep into the Gaza Strip, but are facing strong resistance on the part of resistance fighters as they near Gaza City.  24 More Palestinians have so far been killed in Sunday’s clashes, increasing the death toll amongst Palestinians to 879 on the 16th day of Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip, Al-Jazeera TV reports.

The Israeli terrorist air forces carried out several more air raids across Gaza, hitting several targets in southern, and southeastern areas of the coastal region, as well as in the northern Beit Lahia and northwestern Jabalya.

There are rumors that the Israeli Security Council has been discussing the possibility of extending “Operation Cast Lead” into “Phase III” of its implementation, a move that would see Israeli ground troops attempt a further push into the Gaza Strip.

Al-Jazeera TV reports that Israeli leaders have stated that the leadership in Israel does not want to go to “Phase III”, stating that the military leadership was hoping to complete their military goals after “Phase II”.

"They were hoping to meet their military aims after phase one and two, achieving the mechanism they want in Gaza and stopping weapons smuggling from Egypt.”  An Al-Jazeera TV reporter stated on the outskirts of the Gaza Israel border. “But [Israel] feels their objectives have not been met yet. Phase three could be very dangerous for the Israeli soldiers. Hamas knows the territories very well and are preparing for the urban battle.”

Israeli terrorist leaders are apparently under a lot of internal pressure from their constituent as there is widespread support for furthering the offensive amongst most Israeli citizens.  With elections on the horizon, this factor may play a big role on Israel’s decision to move on to “Phase II”, or to roll out the so-called “end game” of the military offensive which has thus far claimed the lives of at least 879 Palestinians, including more than 200 children.

Israeli leadership is holding a meeting today to decide on their course of action.

Attacks continued throughout Saturday night as Israeli tanks and infantry units moved deeper into southwest Gaza City, exchanging fire with Palestinian resistance fighters.

Israel claimed that their military resources shelled about 60 targets throughout Gaza over night, hitting weapons depots, tunnels and a mosque.

Palestinian medics reported that at least four Palestinians were killed, and dozens of others wounded.

Three Palestinian rockets were fired into Israel, two hitting the southern city of Beer'sheva.  No injuries have been reported.

More than 3,700 Palestinians have been wounded since the beginning of the Israeli offensive. A total of 13 Israelis have been killed during the same 16-day period, including three civilians hit by rockets fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

As innocent civilians are killed from Israeli “precision targeting”, many Gazans are left with no safe place to flee from Israeli rockets and heavy artillery.  Recent reports from humanitarian organizations inside Gaza report that Israel has been using white phosphorus artillery shells, which the use of in densely populated areas, such as the Gaza Strip, are illegal according to international humanitarian law.

Yesterday, 40 Palestinians were killed and many more injured after hiding from the Israeli offensive in a UN school, designated by Israel as a safe house.  Israel claims that two Palestinians were firing rockets form the building, alleging that resistance fighters were using their fellow Palestinians as human shields.  Israel has made the same claim for every civilian target it has hit, yet has thus far offered no evidence to prove these claims to the international community.  Perhaps they are saving such evidence for a war crime tribunal that may be held at a future date, when the hostilities finally come to an end.

It’s important to note that Israel had made the same claims throughout its 2006 bombardment and destruction of Lebanon when it was engaged in a war with Hezbollah.  Despite Israel’s claim that Hezbollah was using Lebanese civilians as human shields, every human rights organization that made inquiries into the issue, concluded that Israel’s assertions in this regard were patently false; they were lies, clearly intended to boost Israel’s public relations campaign.

Israel uses many forms of psychological warfare in order to instill fear into the innocent population of Gaza.  Israeli Apache helicopters frequently drop fliers into civilian areas, warning the Gazans of an impending and imminent air strike or ground force invasion.  The Israeli command structure know full well that these citizens, quite literally, have nowhere to run as nearly every type of civilian infrastructure has been hit in the last 16 days, including police stations, mosques, university campuses, ambulances, television stations, and just recently, a UN school that was designated, by Israel, as a safe house for Gazans fleeing the horror and inhumanity of the war.

Of course, when Israel kills innocent civilians, it blames it on Hamas, citing the human shield lie, which has been proven in independent human rights inquiries to be false.  Western media sources have decided to leave certain pertinent facts, such as this one, out of their news coverage of the dire predicament in Gaza.

Another commonly omitted fact is the Israeli annulment of the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire on November 4th when the Israeli terrorist air forces hit many targets inside Gaza.  Western media sources are parroting a lie, claiming that Hamas broke the ceasefire.

Also, many Western media outlets feel that it’s necessary to keep a narrow focus of the conflict by failing to mention the 18-month-long siege on Gaza, leading up to the Israeli offensive, that had left Gaza in a literal humanitarian crisis, before the Israeli terrorist forces started their war of aggression on Gaza, on December 27, 2008.  These news outlets want the Western world to think of Gazans as animals and/or "terrorists", rather than dignified people who have been fighting for their freedom amidst a brutal military occupation that has gotten more and more brutal over the past 42 years, reaching its climax in brutality in recent weeks with the current military offensive that is brutalizing a civilian population, already broken from decades of Israeli aggression and international ignorance.   

Human Rights Watch: Israelis Are using white-phosphorus against Gaza?

Saturday January 10, 2009 23:07 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

Human Rights Watch (HRW) stated that the Israeli terrorist army is using White Phosphorus in its artillery shells against the Gaza Strip. Researchers of HRW said that they observed on January 9th and January 10th, several artillery shells fired by the Israelis near Gaza and Jabalia, and that these shells apparently included white-phosphorus.

Using this type of shells, in this manner, is banned by international humanitarian law, the group added.

The shells are capable of burning human flesh right down to the bone and are capable of setting structures, fields and other civilian facilities on fire. The group added that using this kind of shells against the most populated area in the world, Gaza, causes magnified harm, and called on Israel to stop firing these shells.

Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported that Israeli Army Spokesperson did not comment on the report.

According to HRW, the Israeli terrorist army appeared to be using shells that cause smoke screens, capable of hiding its military offensive in Gaza, and that this practice, although permissible in principle under the international law, should not be used in a densely populated area like the Gaza Strip.

 “The use of white Phosphorous can burn houses, causes severe burns to the skin when it touches it”, Marc Garlasco senior military analyst of HRW stated.

Meanwhile, the Israeli terrorist army claimed that it is only using munitions permitted by international law, but added that the Israeli terrorist army would not provide specific information regarding the munitions used in Gaza.

It is worth mentioning that during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war, the Israeli terrorist army admitted to using phosphorous munitions against Hezbollah fighters in southern Lebanon.

The United States also used white phosphorus munitions in 2004 during the invasion of Fallujah in Iraq, and also defended its act.

The 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons clearly states that armies are not allowed to use inflammatory weapons, even against military targets that are amongst civilian populations.

On Saturday, Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbbas, held Israel responsible for what he described as the bloodshed in Gaza, and added that all parties of this conflict would also be responsible for the ongoing attacks if they reject the Egyptian-brokered truce.

Abbas met on Saturday with the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, and discussed with him the efforts to end the ongoing offensive.  

He called for the deployment of international troops to supervise a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. Hamas rejects the presence of the international troops while Israel wants them to be in charge of stopping arms smuggling into Gaza. Egypt also rejects the presence of the international forces on its side of the border.

Hamas did not fully reject the offer, and said that it has some constructive sections, yet needs time to discuss it among its leadership.

Some political Hamas leaders in Syria said that the group rejects the deployment of international forces since this step interferes with the right to resist the Israeli occupation.

PNGO: Israel using internationally prohibited weapons against Gazan citizens

Date: 11 / 01 / 2009  Time:  15:36
Gaza – Ma’an –

The Health department of the Palestinian Network of Non Governmental Organizations (PNGO) demanded urgent international action in investigating Israel’s used of internationally prohibited weapons against Palestinians in Gaza.

Based on the reports of doctors working in Gaza hospitals, PNGO has concluded that new Israeli weapons cause burns that can reach to the bones of those the explosives hit. A second new variety of weapon, said the group, fires smoke and noxious gases that cause breathing difficulties particularly in children.

“Evidence from Gaza is clear” said a statement, that civilians are being deliberately killed as are paramedics and health facilities.

The statement called for a halt to the atrocities and an opening of all border crossings to medicines and injured Gazans can receive proper treatment.

Armed resistance fighters clash with Israeli ground troops in northern Gaza; projectile launches continue

Date: 11 / 01 / 2009  Time:  10:48
Gaza/Bethlehem - Ma’an -

As Israeli terrorist ground forces edge closer to Gaza City militant Brigades have reported clashes in the north of the city, as well as in the southern Strip.

The Ayman Juda Brigades, an offshoot of Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Brigades, announced their attack on a house in Beit Lahiya where Israeli terrorist troops were taking cover Sunday near dawn.

The Brigades’ sniper fire also hit an Israeli soldier in the neck at his station near the American school north of Gaza city.

The Abu Ali Mustafa brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) reported detonating three large explosive devices near Israeli armored vehicles Saturday night.

The Brigades statement said Israeli armored vehicles were travelling through a mountain pass near Al-Rayes east of Gaza City, when the explosives were detonated. The statement did not indicate whether any Israeli soldiers were injured. The statement did say the vehicle was set afire by the explosion.

In their statement the Brigades reiterated their readiness to face Israeli troops in a full-scale ground invasion.

Al-Nasser Brigades opened fire at an Israeli warship in the Gaza Sea and witnesses reported that they saw the warship withdrawing.

Israeli media reported that seven soldiers were injured in clashes in the northern Gaza Strip overnight Saturday.

Continued projectile launches

The Abu Ali Mustafa, Ayman Juda, A-Nasser and NRB Brigades claimed to have sent projectiles, mortars and Grad missiles over the Gaza border wall aiming at Israeli targets in the north and south.

Twelve bodies pulled from Gaza City rubble

Date: 11 / 01 / 2009  Time:  12:01
Gaza - Ma’an -

Twelve dead bodies were pulled from the rubble in the Shaikh 'Ejleen neighborhood after Israeli forces withdrew for the area southwest of Gaza City Sudnay morning.

The area had been the site of fierce clashes between troops and resistance fighters, who claimed to have bombed a home where Israeli terrorist forces were taking cover in the area.

None of the bodies have yet been identified.

Kamal Udwan Brigades launch projectiles at Israeli military targets

Date: 11 / 01 / 2009  Time:  11:44
Gaza – Ma’an –

The Kamal Udwan Brigades, a military group said to be affiliated with both Fatah's Al-Aqsa Brigades and the National Liberation Organization announced the firing of four mortar shells at an Israeli military site east of Gaza City on Saturday night.

The brigades said in a statement received by Ma’an that the attack comes as a response for the ongoing Israeli massacres in the Gaza Strip.

Gaza Water Authority: Services totally disabled as attacks debilitate water infrastructure

Date: 11 / 01 / 2009  Time:  11:05
Gaza – Ma’an –

Gaza’s Water Authority is unable to provide homes in the Strip with water as a result of the ongoing Israeli destruction and violence in the area.

The department said in a statement Sunday that service has been near totally disabled, meaning fresh water can no longer be pumped into Gaza homes, leaving residents to haul or pump salty water from nearby wells if available.

The department appealed all national and international Human Rights associations for urgent assistance to rehabilitate water lines and pumping equipment so services can come back online.

Professor: Israel bears legal responsibility for the civilians it shells

Date: 11 / 01 / 2009  Time:  15:55
Ramallah - Ma’an -

There are certain targets in Gaza that Israel must not shell, said Palestinian professor of international law Hana Issa on Sunday.

Among the targets prohibited by international law are: cities, residential areas, health and worship facilities, charitable societies, archeological sites, civil defense buildings and civilians.

That Israeli forces have targeted all of the above sites categorically demonstrates that the Israeli army is carrying out war crimes and genocide against the civilians in Gaza, for which they must be taken to account.

Issa noted that the military and its members will bear criminal and civil responsibility for their crimes, outlined in the 400 articles of the Geneva Convention IV 1949.

Articles 1, 29, 146 and 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention outline the protection of civilians in times of war, and hand responsibility for their safety to whatever power occupies the area.

Khaled Mesha'al: Hamas rejects permanent truce, international forces in Gaza

Date: 10 / 01 / 2009  Time:  22:15
Bethlehem - Ma’an -

Hamas’ leader in exile Khaled Mesha'al echoed the sentiments of several factional leaders Saturday, saying international forces in Gaza to enforce a ceasefire are unacceptable and will be viewed as an occupying force.

The statement followed the return of Hamas representatives from Cairo, where they met with Acting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and members of the Egyptian Initiative team, to discuss a ceasefire initiative.

Abbas’ spokesman Dr Rafiq Al-Hussaini had indicated earlier Saturday that there had been some progress on the ceasefire talks.

Mesha'al’s main objective to the presence of international troops in any ceasefire agreement, is that they will act to “subdue the Palestinian people,” and “dictate… political concessions." The fear is that Hamas power will be curtailed; changing the political landscape that Hamas maintains is the will of the people of Gaza.

"The resistance organizations are still at full strength” Mesha'al was quoted as saying, “they took a beating during the first two days [of the Israeli offensive in Gaza], but have since taken the initiative," and stepped up attacks on Israeli troops.

He accused Israel of “hiding its losses,” and of failing in their mission to topple Hamas in the Gaza Strip and asserted that the Israeli military would never “bring the Palestinian issue to an end.”

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