“She came in through the front door and it wasn’t clear she was injured. Suddenly a lot of blood came from her nose and she vomited, all of the family saw this — her little brothers were very scared. She had just been playing in the front of the house.”
That is how Nihed al-Massry describes what happened to her daughter, nine-year-old Samah Eid al-Massry, after the Israeli army reportedly shelled and fired four bombs into and around a residential area in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, on 21 July. Samah is now being hospitalized in serious condition, suffering from extensive blood loss and very low haemoglobin. She was hit by shrapnel and flechettes from a nail bomb that landed 100 meters away, causing internal bleeding to the chest and severe head trauma. Nails are now embedded throughout her body.
Shells containing flechettes are illegal under international law if fired into densely-populated civilian areas. Three other children were wounded in the attack.
Two young men were killed; Muhammad al-Kafarneh, 23, suffered severe shrapnel injuries to the back and chest and Kasim al-Shinbary, 19, was wounded by nails embedded in his skull and shrapnel his back. It was unclear earlier whether they were resistance fighters or if they were civilians.
Haitham Thaer Qasem, a four-year-old boy and an only child, was asleep on a hospital bed, occasionally gasping for breath through the apparatus around his nose. He had suffered deep nasal trauma, and flechette darts from the bomb were still embedded in his tiny body, through his back, right elbow and right leg. He was 200 meters from the impact of the bomb.
Haitham’s mother was standing off to the side, quietly crying while one of his aunts at his bedside explained what happened.
“We had asked Haitham to get shopping for [his mother] from the market, then we heard the bombings and somebody came to our home and told our family that he was in the hospital and was injured in the bombing. We came quickly to the hospital.”
Meanwhile, Samah’s doctor explained that the girl’s blood loss was a major concern. Her injuries are exacerbated by the fact that she, like three of her brothers, already suffers from the blood condition thalassemia and the drug to treat the condition, Exjade, is scarce because of the Israeli blockade. She was clearly in pain and confused, trying to remove the nasal tubes. Her mother showed us the bandages on her chest.
Her doctor, Muhammad Abu Hassan, described her situation as “semi-critical.”
“She was in very bad condition when she arrived — it’s difficult for children and very traumatic to insert a chest tube for small children — very painful. Blood was mainly coming from the chest. We will have to perform surgery and we will further explore her abdominal pain,” he explained.
The al-Massry family has been affected by Israeli attacks before. Samah’s four-year-old brother Ryad was injured during Israel’s three weeks of attacks on the Gaza Strip during winter 2008-09 when more than 400 Palestinian children were killed.
“Our house was hit during the war, a neighbor was killed inside and our son suffered severe head injuries. He wasn’t cared for and because of this his sight is now permanently damaged.”
As we left Samah, she had begun to cry, moaning in serious discomfort and confusion. There were two more injured children in the hospital from the attack, also from the al-Massry family in Beit Hanoun: Azzam Muhammad al-Massry, 11, who suffered a severely fractured left elbow and Ibrahim Wasseem al-Massry, 4, with light injuries to his abdomen.
The previous week in Gaza, Nema Abu Said, a 33-year-old mother of five, was killed by Israeli shelling as she went outside frantically looking for her youngest son after a previous round of shelling. Three more family members were injured by the flechette shells, many of the darts remaining permanently embedded in their bodies.
Adie Mormech is a human rights advocate based in the Gaza Strip who was previously abducted by the Israeli navy from the eighth Free Gaza Movement boat, the Spirit of Humanity. He volunteers with the International Solidarity Movement.
In this interview, Belfast Telegraph reporter Matthew Bell asks Wikileaks founder Julian Assange about “conspiracy theories”. Assange subsequently explains his position.
Belfast Telegraph, July 19, 2010
His obsession with secrecy, both in others and maintaining his own, lends him the air of a conspiracy theorist. Is he one? “I believe in facts about conspiracies,” he says, choosing his words slowly. “Any time people with power plan in secret, they are conducting a conspiracy. So there are conspiracies everywhere. There are also crazed conspiracy theories. It’s important not to confuse these two. Generally, when there’s enough facts about a conspiracy we simply call this news.” What about 9/11? “I’m constantly annoyed that people are distracted by false conspiracies such as 9/11, when all around we provide evidence of real conspiracies, for war or mass financial fraud.” What about the Bilderberg conference? “That is vaguely conspiratorial, in a networking sense. We have published their meeting notes.”
Mr. Assange seems to have conveniently forgotten that 9/11 may be, in a very concrete sense, a ‘conspiracy for war’, leading directly to the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and the permanent “War on Terror”.
In November 2009, Wikileaks released “half a million US national text pager intercepts” covering a “24 hour period surrounding the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington.” This is all commendable. However, given Mr. Assange’s rather curious disposition towards 9/11 truth, how much effort can we really expect from Wikileaks in the future?
Perhaps it should be pointed out to Mr. Assange that former senator Bob Graham, who chaired the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence when it performed its Joint Inquiry into 9/11, gave an interview to the BBC in which Graham said the following:
Bob Graham: “I can just state that within 9/11 there are too many secrets, that is information that has not been made available to the public for which there are specific tangible credible answers and that that withholding of those secrets has eroded public confidence in their government as it relates to their own security.”
Narrator: “Senator Graham found that the cover-up led to the heart of the administration.”
Bob Graham: “I called the White House and talked with Ms. Rice and said: “Look, we’ve been told we’re gonna get cooperation in this inquiry and she said she’d look into it and nothing happened.”
Interviewer: “Was there any sort of sense of embarrassment or apology or…?”
Bob Graham: “No. Embarrassment, apology, regret, those are not characteristics associated with the current White House.”
Narrator: “So it was a conspiracy to cover-up the fact that blunders had been made in the lead up to 9/11?”
Bob Graham: “If by conspiracy you mean, more than one person involved, yes, there was more than one person and there was some … collaboration of efforts among agencies and the administration to keep information out of the public’s hands.“
The BBC then concludes their documentary with a reassuring, paternalistic commentary explaining why this isn’t something we should all be furious about. Furthermore, in 2009, 9/11 commissioner Bob Kerrey said, in a candid dialogue with We Are Change LA:
Bob Kerrey: “It’s a problem… it’s a 30-year-old conspiracy”
Jeremy Rothe-Kushel: “No.. I’m talking about 9/11”
Bob Kerrey: “That’s what I’m talking about”
Many interpretations could be given as to what sort of conspiracy these two former senators are referring to. The BBC documentary “Conspiracy Files: 9-11” was an obvious hit piece against 9/11 truth, in which the BBC went out of their way to handwave all abnormalities as ‘blunders’, ‘failures’, ‘mistakes’ and ‘cock ups’. This angle is not new, in fact, it’s part of a long BBC tradition of ‘limited hangouts’. Nor is it any less outrageous if it were true that these ‘blunders’ and ‘gaffes’ were deliberately covered up, as the BBC and Bob Graham allege. A criminal cover-up alone warrants criminal prosecution of the conspirators involved, and most 9/11 researchers know this is merely the tip of the iceberg. Bob Kerrey’s remark could be taken to mean the covert funding and training of the Mujahideen, initiated in 1979.
Nobody is asking Mr. Assange to depart from his objective role, but now that he has spoken out, he deserves a reply. In both cases, clearly the terminology used is “conspiracy” or “cover-up”. Bob Graham doesn’t hold back and mentions “withholding of (..) secrets”, chastising the Bush administration for being unapologetic, self-serving and obstructive. So it seems that Julian Assange, as the founder and director of an organization supposedly dedicated to supporting whistleblowers who expose government wrongdoing, has his work cut out for him, unless he is determined to be part of the problem. The perception management and misguided credibility building Mr. Assange seems so concerned with conflict with the stated mission of Wikleaks:
“WikiLeaks is a multi-jurisdictional public service designed to protect whistleblowers, journalists and activists who have sensitive materials to communicate to the public.”
I bet whistleblowers Sibel Edmonds and certainly Daniel Ellsberg, who is mentioned several times in the mission statement, approve. Surely, a 9/11 cover-up that “led to the heart of the administration” is worthy of Wikileaks’ attention. Or is it?
 “9/11 tragedy pager intercepts” — http://911.wikileaks.org/
 9/11 Joint Inquiry — http://www.gpoaccess.gov/serialset/creports/911.html
 Relevant excerpt from the 2007 BBC documentary “Conspiracy Files: 9-11” — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6QLnvvyIzg/
 We Are Change LA: “9/11 Commissioner Bob Kerrey finally confesses 9-11 Commission could not do it’s job”
 Operation Cyclone — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Cyclone
 Documentary “Sibel Edmonds: Kill The Messenger” — http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6063340745569143497
 Sibel Edmonds, Daniel Ellsberg together — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aSbmRHqKL4
The Inter-Services Intelligence agency is accused repeatedly in the leaked Afghan war logs of supporting the insurgency
Saeed Shah | The Guardian | 26 July 2010
Pakistan’s spy agency today dismissed as “unsubstantiated raw intelligence” claims in the leaked war logs that it was supporting the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan.
The Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) is accused repeatedly in the logs by coalition commanders of directing insurgent attacks or planning operations, though there is little evidence to substantiate many of the most sensational allegations.
An ISI official said:
“In the intelligence world, preliminary and final reports are two different things. Only once something is collaborated from multiple sources does it become a credible piece of information.
“The majority of these [documents] are preliminary reports, and they are mostly from Afghan intelligence, so you can imagine their credibility.”
Hamid Gul, a former ISI chief who is extensively cited in the documents as meeting and aiding the Taliban, reacted furiously, calling the material “a pack of lies, a fairly tale”.
He denied having any contact with the Taliban, though he was happy to voice his moral support for them. “They are targeting Pakistan. I’m just the whipping boy,” said Gul, who led the agency from 1987 to 1989.
“If a 74-year-old sitting in a small house in Rawalpindi is instrumental in defeating the world’s biggest power, I don’t mind if they say that. But it will put to shame American posterity.”
Gul, who lives close to the military headquarters at Rawalpindi, offered to fly to the UK to answer the allegations, as long as it was done in public (“no Guantanamo”). But he added that he had been banned from the UK since November 2000. Though Gul retired from the military back in 1991, he is frequently accused of remaining active, along with other former intelligence officers, in a “shadow ISI”.
“This is akin to Saddam Hussein having the bomb in the closet and Colin Powell telling the world about it,” Gul added, referring to the case for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq put by the former US secretary of state.
Pakistan’s foreign ministry in Islamabad called the leaks “far-fetched and skewed”. Spokesman Abdul Basitsaid: “Pakistan’s constructive and positive role in Afghanistan cannot be blighted by such self-serving and baseless reports.”
Qalqiliya – Israeli forces raided the house of the Ministry of Civil Affairs Undersecretary Ma’rouf Zahran in Qalqiliya on Monday morning, detaining his 18-year-old son, family members said.
The undersecretary was not at home during the raid and remains abroad on an official visit to Turkey. Two of his children and sister were in the home, however, with daughter Hadil telling Ma’an that 25 soldiers entered the house at 4 a.m.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said one arrest was made in Qalqiliya overnight. The individual was taken for questioning, she said.
Hadil said her brother Adam was not questioned at the home, but detained and taken along with some of the papers from the building, which she said was thoroughly searched.
During the search, Hadil said, she, her aunt, and her brother were taken into one room and were not asked any questions as soldiers searched the home. Afterwards, soldiers took her brother, she said.