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by Stephen Lendman
Monday, Aug. 11, 2014 at 10:00 AM
Mass Murder in Gaza and Ukraine
by Stephen Lendman
Washington bears responsibility for supporting Israel's genocidal war in Gaza and backing Kiev fascist forces against Southeastern Ukrainian freedom fighters.
Committing high crimes against peace is official US policy. So is partnering with rogue state allies doing the same thing.
Israel is a lawless, racist, apartheid terror state. Its Operation Protective Edge Gaza war is one of history's great crimes.
Another 72-hour ceasefire sham changes nothing. It bears repeating what previous articles stressed.
Israel is all take and no give. It demands unconditional acceptance of terms favoring its interests. It offers virtually nothing in return.
When concessions are made, they're not worth the paper they're written on. Multiple violations occur straightaway. Hellish status quo conditions remain.
Gaza is still besieged. Palestine remains occupied. Land theft continues. So do the worst of overall nightmarish conditions.
No relief is in sight. Long denied justice prevails. Last week, Israeli negotiators walked out of Cairo talks. On Monday they returned.
A sham process certain to fail resumed. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said new talks are "the last chance" for a deal.
Egypt's Foreign Ministry issued a statement Sunday. It urged "both sides to exploit this truce to resume indirect negotiations immediately and work towards a comprehensive and lasting ceasefire agreement."
Palestinian delegation head, Azzam Ahmed, said unless Israel participated in good faith without preconditions, his delegation would leave Cairo.
Hamas and other Palestinian resistance groups want Israel's siege unconditionally ended. They want political prisoners released. They include PA legislators incarcerated for not being subservient to Israeli interests.
Palestinians want unrestricted movement of people and goods, a seaport to facilitate imports and exports, fishing zones extended, and control over their borders, coastline, air space and resources.
They want long denied fundamental freedoms. Israel categorically refuses to provide them.
It wants Gaza demilitarized, control over people and goods entering and exiting Gaza, international oversight over construction materials, and PA security forces controlling Gaza and international donor money.
Both sides are locked in impasse. Nothing suggests current talks will change things.
Washington and other Western countries support Israel. The international community is unresponsive to fundamental Palestinian demands. Expect no substantive change ahead.
Yaakov Perry formerly headed Israel's Shin Bet security service. He's a Knesset member science, technology and space minister.
He recommends regional talks involving Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. His goal is ending the longstanding "Israeli - Arab dispute."
"Inside this framework, (he believes) it will be easier to deal with (the) Palestinians on bilateral negotiations, which have failed."
He suggests an "Arab Peace Initiative" will fare better. At the same time, Israel won't accept fundamental concessions.
They include unconditionally lifting Gaza's siege, withdrawing from occupied territories, permitting diaspora Palestinians to return, accepting East Jerusalem as Palestine's exclusive capital, and letting Palestinians control their resources, borders, air space and coastal waters within 22% of historic Palestine.
Despite little chance for success, Perry believes "the time has come for Israel to recognize the importance of (change), declare its readiness to begin a discussion on the initiative and take steps to leverage it for local and regional strategic advantages."
For now, both sides remain at impasse. Nothing suggests substantive change. Expect Cairo talks to fail regardless of rhetoric following their conclusion.
Palestinians remain isolated on their own. They have little hope for long denied justice any time in the foreseeable future. Believing otherwise is foolhardy fantasy.
The only good news is a temporary halt in Israeli mass murder and destruction. For how long remains to be seen.
Terrorizing West Bank Palestinians continues unabated. The latest incident occurred overnight Sunday. Israeli forces murdered 24-year old Zakariyya Mousa Dawood al-Aqra in cold blood.
They attacked his three-story building with heavy gunfire and grenades. At least eight other residents were injured. They included women and children.
Bulldozers destroyed part of the structure before Israeli forces entered. They murdered al-Aqra inside. He never had a chance.
He was a prominent activist. He faced uncorroborated charges of injuring an Israeli soldier. Official Israeli policy is shoot first, ask questions later.
Deaths and injuries result. Longstanding injustice remains unchanged.
Israel repeatedly accuses Hamas and other resistance groups of using Gazan civilians as human shields. The accusation is ludicrous on its face.
No evidence whatever corroborates it. None exists. Major media scoundrels regurgitate Israeli lies irresponsibly.
In contrast, Israel has a long history of using Palestinians as human shields. Documented evidence proves it even though Israel's High Court banned the practice on October 5, 2005.
In July 2008, the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights released a report titled "Hiding behind civilians: The continued use of Palestinian civilians as human shields by the Israeli Occupation Forces."
The practice is considered a crime or war and against humanity. It's longstanding Israeli practice. MSM scoundrels report nothing on it despite its widespread use.
One Palestinian woman described her experience. It reflects what many other Palestinian men, women and children endured.
"They handcuffed and blindfolded me," she said. Then, they forced us to move out of the room, pushing me with their hands and guns to move although I was blindfolded and pregnant."
"I heard them pushing others to hurry up as well. I got exhausted and fell down many times."
"I told them that I was four months pregnant and couldn't continue but a soldier threatened to shoot me."
Other Palestinians related similar incidents. Tragedy sometimes followed. Israel and America are the world's greatest human rights abusers.
They violate the fundamental right to life, liberty and security of person. They're mindless of rule of law principles. Their entire history reflects lawlessness.
Fourth Geneva protects civilians in times of war. Hostage taking is strictly prohibited. Israel does it unaccountably. It puts Palestinian civilians willfully in harm's way.
It did so during Operation Protective Edge. Clear testimonial evidence proves it.
Ramadan Muhammad Qdeih is one of many Israeli victims. Soldiers stormed his home.
Sixty family members took refuge in the basement for safety. Israel forced them to act as human shields.
First, they murdered Qdeih's aging father in cold blood. Then they forcibly positioned family members (including children) at windows.
They used them as human shields. They fired from behind them at targets.
"They ordered us to take off our clothes and tied our hands up," said Qdeih. "They took us to one of the rooms and used us as shields, making us stand at the windows as if we were looking outside."
"I was at one window and three children from my family at another. The soldiers then began firing around us."
For around eight hours, they were denied food and water. Their hands were bound behind their backs. They were moved from one room to another. Incoming fire could have killed or wounded them.
Seventeen-year old Ahmad Jamal Abu Reeda recounted his experience. Israeli soldiers restrained him.
They interrogated and beat him. They threatened to kill him. They ordered him to walk ahead of them at gunpoint.
Police dogs accompanied them. They searched houses and other buildings. Israel used him as a human shield for five days. He was lucky to survive the ordeal.
During Operation Cast Lead (2008-09), using Palestinians as human shields was standard Israeli practice. It repeated throughout Operation Protective Edge.
Media scoundrels report nothing. Failure to hold Israel accountable permits this practice, torture, mass murder and destruction.
Rogue states operate this way. America and Israel commit the worst of high crimes against peace and then some. The pattern repeats with disturbing regularity.
Conditions in Southeastern Ukraine remain dire. Fierce fighting around Donetsk and Lugansk rages. Non-combatant men, women and children are targeted.
Donetsk's main hospital was shelled for the second time in recent days. Last week, dental and pediatric wings were struck. At least one death resulted.
On Sunday, explosions rocked a maternity ward. Tragedy was averted because expectant mothers were moved to basement locations the night before.
Thousands of residents are fleeing. They seek shelter in temporary Russian settlements. Hundreds of centers were set up to accommodate them.
Since January, tens of thousands were internally displaced. Around 730,000 Ukrainians sought refuge in Russia. Numbers fleeing conflict conditions increase daily.
Fascist Kiev forces vow to control Southeastern Ukrainian conflict areas building by building. In the meantime, heavy shelling continues. Civilians are affected most.
A potential environmental disaster looms. Heavy shelling in Donetsk region nearly hit its largest chemical plant, Stirol. It produces lethal agents.
On Sunday, plant spokesman Pavel Brykov said "(d)ue to the irresponsible actions of the Ukrainian army, citizens of Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus are exposed to a deadly threat from an ecological disaster on a daily basis, the size of which cannot be predicted."
A shelling incident could cause a toxic nitrochlorobenzene leak. If ingested, it harms the liver, heart and bone marrow causing death.
Western and Ukrainian media suppress information about a potential disaster this grave.
Kiev forces are going all-out to crush Southeastern Ukrainian freedom fighting resistance. Heavy ground and air weapons target residential areas.
They're fired indiscriminately. Numerous civilian deaths and injuries follow. A potential chemical catastrophe heightens the overall risk to many thousands of residents.
MSM reports turn truth on its head. They portray fascist Kiev killers as liberators. Freedom fighting Ukrainians are falsely called pro-Russian separatists.
New York Times misreporting is typical. On August 10, it headlined "Ukraine Steps Up Assault of Rebel City," saying:
"Ukraine pressed ahead on Sunday with its military assault to stamp out pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country with its most intensive artillery bombardment of this rebel capital yet."
"The attack with artillery and ground-to-ground rockets defied Russian threats to intervene."
Fact: It bears repeating. Ukrainian freedom fighters aren't separatists or terrorists.
Fact: They reject Kiev fascists.
Fact: They want real democracy.
Fact: They're risking life and limb for it.
Fact: No evidence whatever suggests Russian intervention.
Fact: The Times lied claiming otherwise.
Fact: So do all other MSM scoundrels.
Fact: Speaking truth to power isn't their mandate.
Fact: Supporting wealth, power and privilege comes first.
Humanitarian aid is vitally needed. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov calls delivering it "a pressing issue that admits of no delay."
"This issue is under control of the Russian president," he said. "We hope we will be able to agree (on) relief aid deliveries to those who need them as soon as possible."
"Now, our top priority task is to agree on urgent humanitarian aid to the Lugansk and Donetsk regions with the Ukrainian side, with the International Committee of the Red Cross and with international humanitarian organizations within the United Nations system."
So far, aid has not been forthcoming. According to Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov:
"As soon as we agree and if we agree on all conditions and nuances, then, naturally, the aid will follow immediately, because the tragic humanitarian situation in the region requires an immediate response."
Last week, Russia offered to send an international humanitarian mission with Moscow-supplied aid.
The International Committee of the Red Cross welcomed Russia's proposal.
Washington and rogue Western allies rejected it. They want aid delivered only with Kiev's consent. Otherwise they call doing so "unjustified and illegal."
A humanitarian catastrophe looms. Vital aid is needed. So far, Kiev wants it denied.
Washington wants unnecessary pain and suffering to continue. It's longstanding US policy in its war against peace, equity and justice.
In collusion with Kiev, it wants Southeastern Ukrainian freedom fighters ending their liberating struggle unconditionally.
In the meantime, horrific conditions worsen. Lugansk has no running water or electricity. Hospitals are short of supplies.
Donetsk lacks enough vital to life supplies. A major assault on the city looms. A population of nearly one million is affected.
Last week, Alexander Zakharchenko replaced Alexander Borodai as Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) head.
He warned of a potential catastrophe if Kiev forces stormed the city. He urged both sides observe a ceasefire to avoid one.
Kiev fascists rejected his request. They demand unconditional surrender. It bears repeating. They want freedom fighting resistance crushed.
Uberhawk UN envoy Samantha Power disgraces the office she holds. Her principles are reprehensible and then some.
She blamed Russia irresponsibly for US and Kiev crimes.
She lied saying "any further unilateral intervention by Russia into Ukrainian territory, including one under the guise of providing humanitarian aid, would be completely unacceptable and deeply alarming, and it would be viewed as an invasion of Ukraine.”
Fact: Russia didn't invade Ukraine.
Fact: No evidence suggests any intention to do so.
Fact: Power and other US administration officials know it.
Fact: They lie claiming otherwise.
Fact: Russia wants Ukrainian conflict conditions settled equitably.
Fact: Washington, its rogue European allies and Kiev fascists want conflict continued until all freedom fighting resistance is crushed.
Fact: Deplorable humanitarian conditions threaten to worsen.
Fact: Hundreds of thousands of civilian men, women and children are affected.
Fact: So far, no relief is in sight.
Fact: Denying it is official US policy.
It bears repeating. Rogue states operate this way. America and Israel commit the worst of high crimes against peace and then some. The pattern repeats with disturbing regularity.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.
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