Obama & Dead Children in Gaza [Updated}


Child refugee at UN school in Gaza

AP, emphasis added:

Dr. Bassam Abu Warda, director of Kamal Radwan Hospital, said 34 people were killed in an Israeli strike outside a second U.N. school in the northern Gaza town of Jebaliya. The United Nations confirmed 30 were killed and 55 injured by tank shells. [This later was upped to 42.]

But an Israeli official said "hostile fire" was directed at the soldiers from within the school. He said soldiers returned fire and multiple explosions went off, presumably emanating from munitions stored there. [This is a lie, as seen in the following two paragraphs and final paragraph of this excerpt -- fairleft.] The official spoke on condition of anonymity pending a formal army announcement.

The attack occurred at midafternoon, at a time when many people in the densely populated Jebaliya refugee camp were out and about. Many of the refugees apparently had stepped outside the shelter to get some air, thinking an area around a school was safe.

Palestinian militants frequently fire from residential areas. However, Mohammed Nassar, a medic who treated the wounded, said he did not see any gunmen among the casualties.

Footage broadcast on Hamas' Al Aqsa TV showed gruesome scenes at the hospital. At first, medics carried in at least five younger boys who were laid out on the hospital floor. It was not clear whether they were still alive.

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Broken Telephone in the Hyper Media-Age.

Throughout the day today I was reminded of my junior kindergarten days.  Namely of playing broken telephone. Remember the game?  Well basically -  the first player whispers a phrase or sentence to the next player. Each player successively whispers what that player believes he or she heard to the next. The last player announces the statement to the entire group. Errors typically accumulate in the retellings, so the statement announced by the last player differs significantly, and often amusingly from the one uttered by the first.

Which brings us to today, first people around the internet, and specifically in the blogosphere were shrieking from the rafters that Israel was using Depleted Uranium in Gaza then later this became accusations of Phosphorus Gas.  So I decided to investigate this further. Here is what I found:

The source of the story of Israelis using Depleted Uranium in Gaza comes from Press TV:

Medics tell Press TV they have found traces of depleted uranium in some Gaza residents wounded in Israel's ground offensive on the strip.

Norwegian medics told Press TV correspondent Akram al-Sattari that some of the victims who have been wounded since Israel began its attacks on the Gaza Strip on December 27 have traces of depleted uranium in their bodies.

The report comes after Israeli tanks and troops swept across the border into Gaza on Saturday night, opening a ground operation after eight days of intensive attacks by Israeli air and naval forces on the impoverished region.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned on Sunday that the wide-ranging ground offensive in the Gaza Strip would be "full of surprises."

A ground offensive in the densely-populated Gaza is expected to drastically increase the death toll of the civilian population.

But who is Press TV really?

Press TV is an English language international television news channel which is funded by the Iranian government, based in Tehran and broadcasts in English on a round-the-clock schedule. With 26 international correspondents and more than 400 staff around the world, its stated mission is to offer a different view of the world events.

Then about the Phosphorus Gas...  Well this stems from a 'credible' news source, although the reporting is well - libelous at best.

Israeli artillery shells explode with a chemical agent designed to create smokescreen for ground forces.

Israel is believed to be using controversial white phosphorus shells to screen its assault on the heavily populated Gaza Strip yesterday. The weapon, used by British and US forces in Iraq, can cause horrific burns but is not illegal if used as a smokescreen.

As the Israeli army stormed to the edges of Gaza City and the Palestinian death toll topped 500, the tell-tale shells could be seen spreading tentacles of thick white smoke to cover the troops' advance. "These explosions are fantastic looking, and produce a great deal of smoke that blinds the enemy so that our forces can move in," said one Israeli security expert. Burning blobs of phosphorus would cause severe injuries to anyone caught beneath them and force would-be snipers or operators of remote-controlled booby traps to take cover. Israel admitted using white phosphorus during its 2006 war with Lebanon.

The use of the weapon in the Gaza Strip, one of the world's mostly densely population areas, is likely to ignite yet more controversy over Israel's offensive, in which more than 2,300 Palestinians have been wounded.

Which leads most logical people to ask?  Why is Israel 'believed' to be using this?  Photos of course.  I have attached one for reference.

Seems concrete to me.  Let's run with the story.

In the meantime, Israel is denying this.

Israeli military spokesmen deny that their forces have used phosphorus in Gaza, despite photographs and film of munitions showing similar characteristics to the potentially lethal shells.

The Israelis have not said what kind of munitions they have been using, other than saying that their use is permitted under international law.

Phosphorous shells are not illegal if they are used to create a smokescreen or to illuminate targets, rather than as a weapon against people, military experts and human rights campaigners said yesterday.

Mark Garlasco, senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch, said it seemed from news films that Israel had used "artillery-delivered obscurants" which were not illegal.

So now that this is all cleared up, some can run off and start quoting this as fact ;)

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Juan Cole's guide to reporting on Gaza

In this article, Have Bush and the Neocons Ruined it for the Israelis?, Juan Cole asks whether the Bush-Cheney/Neocon lies behind the invasion of Iraq (and other fiascoes) have created skepticism about the alleged basis for Israel's invasion of Gaza. It's an interesting read and certainly a guideline for anyone seeking to post truthful and unbiased stories and diaries about why Israel invaded Gaza. (Full links are in the original.)

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Is Israel Going To Wipe Out Hamas?

No matter what you think of the current conflict between the Israelis and Hamas, it is clear that neither side seems willing to give even a little. Israel's ability to outweigh Hamas in its attacks by what looks like a 15 to 1 margin may be justifiable in the face of rocket attacks from Gaza and Hamas' refusal to accept Israel's right to exist, but it will not end the conflict.

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What is really going on in Gaza

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane, Bilerico Project& My Left Wing

click to enlarge

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