Friday, July 14, 2006

Israel/Lebanon War Updates

This post will be updated with news and views throughout the day.

- Democracy Now! interviews Noam Chomsky who puts the situation in context:

Gaza, itself, the latest phase, began on June 24. It was when Israel abducted two Gaza civilians, a doctor and his brother. We don't know their names. You don’t know the names of victims. They were taken to Israel, presumably, and nobody knows their fate. The next day, something happened, which we do know about, a lot. Militants in Gaza, probably Islamic Jihad, abducted an Israeli soldier across the border. That’s Corporal Gilad Shalit. And that's well known; first abduction is not. Then followed the escalation of Israeli attacks on Gaza, which I don’t have to repeat. It’s reported on adequately.

The next stage was Hezbollah's abduction of two Israeli soldiers, they say on the border. Their official reason for this is that they are aiming for prisoner release. There are a few, nobody knows how many. Officially, there are three Lebanese prisoners in Israel. There's allegedly a couple hundred people missing. Who knows where they are?

- CNN reported earlier today that an Israeli 'grandmother and her grandson' were killed by Hezbollah missiles. When Arabs die, they are labeled 'civilians', 'casualties' or the ever-popular White House phrase: 'collateral damage'. Draw your own conclusion.

- Isarel attacked Hezbollah's Beirut headquarters today. Following that news CNN showed a video statement by the group's leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, in which he declared that Hezbollah is 'ready for war'.

- 'How the hell are we going to get out of here?' asks an Australian tourist stranded with many others in Lebanon.

- 'Thousands of Iraqis demonstrate in support of Lebanon'. Is it too late to say 'I told you so'? (see my previous post)

Al-Sadr, a Shiite who launched two uprisings against the Americans in 2004, said in a statement that “our hearts are aching because of what is happening in Lebanon, the attacks by the terrorist Zionist enemy under cover from America which is the enemy of people.”

I guess he didn't get the 'freedom is on the march' memo.

- Views from Lebanon's Daily Star newspaper.

- While most world leaders are calling Israel's reaction 'disproportionate', Canada's Prime Minister says it's 'measured self-defence'. Wanker.

- Lebanon pushed for a ceasefire at an emergency UN Security Council meeting on Friday, but Israel refused.

- Reuters video report of Muslim protests held in Jordan and Iraq.

- Benjamin Netanyahu on CNN: 'Lebanon is not a sovereign country'. Really? Your Prime Minister doesn't agree with you, Netanyahu: 'We were attacked by a sovereign country'.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Wednesday that "the events this morning are not terror attacks but actions of a sovereign state that attacked Israel for no reason. The Lebanese government, of which Hizbullah is a member, is trying to destabilize regional stability. Lebanon is responsible and it will bear responsibility."

- 'Jordan's King meets Egyptian president'.

They issued a joint statement demanding “an immediate halt on attacking civilians and vital infrastructure,” saying such attacks breach international humanitarian conventions, and called for restraint on all sides.

The Saudis are condemning Hezbollah, while Sudan's government ' stands with the 'Palestinian mujahideen' and 'backs the steadfastness of the Lebanese resistance'.

- CNN is reporting via Reuters that a Hezbollah missile has hit an Egyptian ship by mistake. Here's the link to that story.

- Israel has bombed the Palestinian Ministry of National Economy

The attacks came hours after Hamas militants, armed with rocket-propelled grenades, blew open a gate Friday on the border between Gaza and Egypt, allowing hundreds of people to cross into Gaza.

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