Posted on Jan 21, 2008
|AP photo / Khalil Hamra
|Palestinians mourn over the body of Hussam Zahar, 24, son of Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar, during his funeral in Gaza City. Hussam Zahar was killed Jan. 15 in an Israeli strike on Gaza.
By Chris Hedges
The Gaza Strip is rapidly becoming one of the worst humanitarian disasters in the world. Israel has cordoned off the entire area, home to some 1.4 million Palestinians, blocking commercial goods, food, fuel and even humanitarian aid. At least 36 people have been killed in Israeli strikes since Tuesday and many more wounded. Hamas, which took control of Gaza in June, has launched about 200 rockets into southern Israel in the same period in retaliation, injuring more than 10 people. Israel announced the draconian closure and collective punishment Thursday in order to halt the rocket attacks, begun on Tuesday, when 18 Palestinians, including the son of a Hamas leader, were killed by Israeli forces.
This is not another typical spat between Israelis and Palestinians. This is the final, collective strangulation of the Palestinians in Gaza. The decision to block shipments of food by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency means that two-thirds of the Palestinians who rely on relief aid will no longer be able to eat when U.N. stockpiles in Gaza run out. Reports from inside Gaza speak of gasoline stations out of fuel, hospitals that lack basic medicine and a shortage of clean water. Whole neighborhoods were plunged into darkness when Israel cut off its supply of fuel to Gaza’s only power plant. The level of malnutrition in Gaza is now equal to that in the poorest sub-Saharan nations.
Hm, I wonder why this doesn’t make it in the mainstream news.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Monday afternoon met with a group of Jewish rabbis who gave him a silver grail as a sign of friendship.
The president is currently in New York to address the United Nations General Assembly.
The rabbis carried a placard which read, “I am Jewish not a Zionist.”
A senior rabbi of the group said that they considered the visit to New York of President Ahmadinejad as an exceptional opportunity and would never forget it.
Natorei Karta spokesman Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss on Tuesday called Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “an advocate of peace,” prior to the group’s meeting with the controversial leader in New York.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, left, shakes hands with anti-Zionism Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss, at the start of his meeting with participants of a conference on the Holocaust.
Photo: AP [file]
Weiss said in a statement that “this will be the third time we’re meeting with [Ahmadinejad]. … Every time, we stressed to the Iranian leadership that despite … the declarations by Jews who don’t understand the essence of the matter, we have found the Iranian people and their leaders friendly and respectful.”
He added that Natorei Karta members believed Ahmadinejad was a very religious man who was dedicated to world peace based on mutual respect and dialogue.