Arab member of the Israeli Knesset, Haneen Zoabi, stated that she was hit by two rubber-coated bullets fired by the Israeli police during Wednesday’s clashes in Umm al-Fahm, after the police violently attacked protesters who took to the streets to counter a march by fundamentalist settlers.
The Arabs48 news website reported that Zoabi was deliberately targeted by the police.
The police fired dozens of gas bombs and rubber-coated bullets at the protesters and also chased and clubbed several residents before arresting them.
Dozens of residents were wounded by rubber-coated bullets, while others were treated after inhaling gas fired by the police. The wounded residents were moved to local hospitals.
A local reporter, identified as Mohammad Watad, was hit by a gas bomb in his neck, and member of the National Democratic Assembly, Murad Haddad, was shot by a rubber-coated bullet in his foot leading to a fracture.
The Arabs48 news website reported that the police deliberately attacked political leaders including Mohammad Zeidan, head of the Higher Follow-up Committee; MK Dr. Jamal Zahalka; Awad Abdul-Fattah, secretary-general of the National Democratic Assembly; Umm al-Fahm mayor, Khaled Hamdan; MK Afou Agbaria and several other political and social figures.
MK Zoabi told the Arabs48 news that “the real threat against the protesters did not actually come from the extremist settlers, but in fact came from the police who deliberately attacked the protesters with the intent to hurt them”. She added that the police started firing rubber-coated bullets well before any clashes took place, and that the police apparently intended to send a message stating that “Arabs who defend themselves and stand for their rights, will be punished”.
Zoabi further stated that the police apparently agree with the mentality and stances of the extreme fundamentalist right-wingers in Israel, “therefore, the police are more dangerous that the extremists, as policemen can justify the use violence without being punished”. She added that the Arabs will continue to defend themselves and their lands, and will always demand their legitimate rights in their own historical country.
The Ordeal of Murat Kurnaz
Although U.S. officials have attributed the torture of Muslim prisoners in their custody to a handful of maverick guards, in fact such criminal acts were widely perpetrated and systemic, likely involving large numbers of military personnel, a book by a survivor suggests. Additionally, guards were responsible for countless acts of murder, including death by crucifixion, lynching, poisoning, snakebite, withholding of medicines, starvation, and bludgeoning of innocent victims. And the murders committed by U.S. troops numbered at least in the hundreds, according to reliable sources.
As well, Pentagon architects designed prisons that were sadistic torture chambers in themselves, barely six feet high and seven feet wide, in which human beings were kept for months or years at a time—spaces which, one prisoner noted, are smaller than the legal requirements in Germany for doghouses. Architects who knowingly designed these hellholes may have also committed crimes against humanity.
After the photographs of sadism at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib in May, 2004, shocked the world, President Bush called the revelations “a stain on our country’s honor and our country’s reputation.” He told visiting King Abdullah of Jordan in the Oval Office that “I was sorry for the humiliation suffered by the Iraqi prisoners, and the humiliation suffered by their families.” Bush told The Washington Post, “I told him (Abdullah) I was equally sorry that people who have been seeing those pictures didn’t understand the true nature and heart of America.” A year later, Lynddie England and 10 others from the 372nd Military Police Company were convicted of torture at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, Iraq, yet the events of that prison were likely duplicated everywhere across the spectrum of Pentagon and CIA detention camps acting on orders from the Bush White House.
Although President Bush made the Abu Ghraib revelations sound like nothing worse than “humiliation” in fact, the Abu Ghraib photos gave the world a glimpse into far greater crimes of every sordid type—and reports compiled from other sources indicated that to be captured by the Americans was a veritable descent into hell.
While the President’s words sounded as if they came from an innocent bystander, this was the same man who claimed two years earlier the Geneva Conventions did not apply in the countries the U.S. had invaded; they were uttered by the man who, with his Vice PresIdent Dick Cheney, is primarily responsible for the entire venomous persecution of thousands of innocent men, women, and even children. While a handful of guards such as Ms. England—notorious for her “thumbs up” photo observing a human pyramid of naked prisoners, were convicted and jailed—the many other hundreds or thousands of military guards, interrogators, and doctors and dentists also involved in the widespread tortures have never been prosecuted for their crimes.
It should be kept in mind that no impartial legal system was in place to defend the rights of the accused, so that their torturers could break laws without fear of reprisal. As Jane Mayer wrote in “The Dark Side”(Anchor), “Seven years after the attacks of September 11, not a single terror suspect held outside of the U.S. criminal court system has been tried. Of the 759 detainees acknowledged to have been held in Guantanamo, approximately 340 remained there, only a handful of whom had been charged. Among these, not a single ‘enemy combatant’ had yet had the opportunity to cross-examine the government or see the evidence on which he was being held. Thus, since none had been brought to trial, all the tortures inflicted were on captives who must be presumed innocent. One book, by a man who survived the nightmare of captivity where so many others perished, gives the lie to the notion that abuses were carried out by a few vicious guards. Everywhere he went he was beaten and he saw other prisoners also beaten by many different teams of sadistic guards. The conviction of Ms. England and her companions, therefore, does not begin to serve the cause of justice.
According to Murat Kurnaz, a 19-year-old Turkish citizen raised in Germany and falsely defamed as “the German Taliban,” torture at the several prisons in which he was held was frequent, commonplace, and committed by many guards. In his book, “Five Years of My Life: An Innocent Man in Guantanamo”(Palgrave Macmillan), beatings began in 2001 on the flight from Pakistan (where he was pulled off a public bus and sold by Pakistani police for $3,000) to his first imprisonment in Afghanistan.
“I couldn’t see how many soldiers there were, but to judge from the confusion of voices it must have been a lot. They went from one prisoner to the next, hitting us with their fists, their billy clubs, and the butts of their rifles.” This was done to men that were manacled to the floor of the plane. “It was as cold as a refrigerator; I was sitting on bare metal and icy air was coming from a vent or a fan. I tried to go to sleep, but they kept hitting me and waking me…they never tired of beating us, laughing all the while.”
On another occasion, Kurnaz counted seven guards who were beating a prisoner with the butts of their rifles and kicking him with their boots until he died. At one point, Kurnaz was hung by chains with his arms behind his back for five days. “Today I know that a lot of inmates died from treatment like this.” When he was finally taken down and needed water “they’d just pour the water over my head and laugh.” The guards even tortured a blind man who was older than 90 “the same way the rest of us were,” Kurnaz wrote.
At Camp X-Ray, Guantanamo, Cuba, Kurnaz said, “During the day, we had to remain seated and at night we had to lie down. If you lay down during the day you were punished…We weren’t allowed to talk. We weren’t to speak to or look at the guards. We weren’t allowed to draw in the sand or whistle or sing or smile. Every time I unknowingly broke a rule, or because they had just invented a new one…an IRF (Immediate Reaction Force) team would come and beat me.” Once when he was weak from a hunger strike, Kurnaz wrote, “I was beaten on a stretcher.” During his earlier imprisonment at Kandahar, Pakistan, Kurnaz writes, “There were weaker, older men in the pen. Men with broken feet, men whose legs and arms were fractured or had turned blue, red, or yellow from pus. There were prisoners with broken jaws, fingers and noses, and with terribly swollen faces like mine.” Not only were the wounds of such men ignored by guards but complicit doctors would examine him and other prisoners during tortures and advise guards as to how much more they could stand before they died. On one occasion, he saw guards beating a prisoner with no legs.
Still worse, Kurnaz said doctors participated in the tortures. A dentist asked to pull out a prisoner’s rotten tooth pulled out all his healthy ones as well. Another prisoner who went to the doctor to treat one finger with severe frostbite had all his other fingers amputated. “I saw open wounds that weren’t treated. A lot of people had been beaten so often they had broken legs, arms and feet. The fractures, too, remained untreated,” Kurnaz wrote. “I never saw anyone in a cast.” Prisoners were deliberately weakened by starvation diets. Meals at Guantanamo consisted of “three spoonfuls of rice, a slice of dry bread, and a plastic spoon. That was it.” Sometimes a loaf of bread was tossed over a fence into their compound.
Prisoners who should have been in hospital beds instead were confined to cells purposefully designed to torture them. Kurnaz described his experience this way: “Those cells were like ovens. The sun beat down on the metal roof at noon and directly on the sides of the cage in the mornings and afternoons. All told, I think I spent roughly a year alone in absolute darkness, either in a cooler or an oven, with little food, and once I spent three months straight in solitary confinement.” Prisoners could be put in solitary confinement for the tiniest infractions of the most ridiculous rules, such as not folding a blanket properly. “I was always being punished and humiliated, regardless of what I did,” Kurnaz said. Once, he was put in solitary for ten days for feeding breadcrumbs to an iguana that had crawled into his cage.
Besides regular beatings from IRF, who commonly entered cells with clubs swinging, Kurnaz received excruciating electroshocks to his feet and was waterboarded in a 20-inch diameter plastic bucket filled with water. He describes the experience as follows: “Someone grabbed me by the hair. The soldiers seized my arms and pushed my head underwater. …Drowning is a horrible way to die. They pulled my head back up. “Do you like it? You want more?” When my head was back underwater, I felt a blow to my stomach…. “Where is Osama? “Who are you?” I tried to speak but I couldn’t. I swallowed some water….It became harder and harder to breath, the more they hit me in the stomach and pushed my head underwater. I felt my heart racing. They didn’t let up…I imagined myself screaming underwater…I would have told them everything. But what was I supposed to tell them?”It should be noted that U.S. and German authorities had decided as early as 2002 that Kurnaz was innocent—that he really was a student of the Koran in Pakistan when he had been seized by bounty hunters and sold to the Americans as a “terrorist.” Yet they continued the tortures for years knowing all along of his innocence.
On yet other occasions, Kurnaz, like so many other prisoners, was hung from chains backwards so that “it felt as though my shoulders were going to break. “I was hoisted up until my feet no longer touched the ground….After a while, the cuffs seemed like they were cutting my wrists down to the bone. My shoulders felt like someone was trying to pull my arms out of their sockets…When they hung me up backwards, it felt as though my shoulders were going to break…I was strung up for five days…Three times a day soldiers came in and let me down (and)a doctor examined me and took my pulse. ‘Okay,’ he said. The soldiers hoisted me back up. I lost all feeling in my arms and hands. I still felt pain in other parts of my body, like in my chest around my heart…” A short distance away Kurnaz could see another man hanging from chains–dead.
To compound the inmates’ misery, Guantanamo guards would trample an imate’s Koran, the sacred book of the Muslims. While U.S. authorities denied that Korans had been thrown in toilets, those denials are worth little considering that when the evening call to prayer was sounded, Kurnez said, the caller’s voice “was drowned out by loud music. It was the American national anthem.” One boorish guard specialized in kicking at prisoners’ cell doors when they attempted to pray.
When Kurnaz was transferred within the Guantanamo prison system to “Camp 1” he was put in a maximum security cage inside a giant container with metal walls. “Although the cage was no smaller than the one in CampX-Ray, the bunk reduced the amount of free space to around three-and-a-half feet by three-and-a-half feet. At the far end of the cage, an aluminum toilet and a sink took up even more room. How was I going to stand this? …I hardly saw the sun at all. They had perfected their prison..It felt like being sealed alive in a ship container.”
Although U.S. politicians and ultra-right radio talk show hosts ridiculed the use of sleep deprivation against prisoners, this was, in fact, an insidious practice used earlier in Bolshevik Russia to torture known as “the conveyor belt.” In 2002, Kurnaz writes, when General Geoffrey Miller took over command of Guantanamo, “The interrogations got more brutal, more frequent, and longer.” Miller commenced “Operation Sandman,” in which prisoners were moved to new cells every hour or two “to completely deprive us of sleep, and he achieved it.” Kurnaz says, “I had to stand and kneel twenty-four hours a day,” often in chains, and “I had barely arrived in a new cell and lay down on the bunk, before they came again to move me. …As soon as the guards saw me close my eyes…they’d kick at the door or punch me in the face.” In between transfers, “I was interrogated… I estimated the sessions lasted up to fifteen hours” during which the interrogator might disappear for hours at a time. “I sat chained to my chair or kneeling on the floor, and as soon as my eyelids drooped, soldiers would wake me with a couple of blows…Days and nights without sleep. Blows and new cages. Again, the stabbing sensation of thousands of needles throughout my entire body. I would have loved to step outside my body, but I couldn’t…I went three weeks without sleep… the soldiers came at night and made us stand for hours on end at gunpoint. At this point, I weighed less than 130 pounds.” Kurnaz was released to Germany in August, 2006, and testified by videolink in 2008 to the U.S. Congress. During his five years of confinement, he was never charged with a crime.
And so it happened that, during the presidency of George W. Bush, tens of thousands of innocent human beings, Kurnaz among them, were swept up in dragnet arrests by the invading American forces or their allies and imprisoned without legal recourse—the very opposite of what America’s Founders gifted to humanity in their Constitution. None of the prisoners ever saw a real judge or jury. Torture among them was widespread. As for President Barack Obama, sworn to uphold a Constitution that does not permit torture, his failure to act forthrightly and, in particular, to ignore crimes by the CIA, an agency for which he once worked, would appear to make him guilty of subversion of that founding charter which he is legally obliged to honor. As for not taking action against the countless Pentagon operatives who tortured—including doctors and dentists and surgeons, etc.—Obama’s inaction will permit these sadists to be returned one day to practice among the general civilian population. Think about that. Think, too, about the stain on the American flag that may never be washed clean.
Sherwood Ross is a Florida-based media consultant and director of the Anti-War News Service. To comment or contribute to his work contact him at email@example.com
Helen Keller’s pithy observation about American democracy being little more than a choice “between Tweedledum and Tweedledee” was never more true than in the upcoming midterm elections in the ninth congressional district of Illinois.
In a district which includes the affluent northern suburbs of Chicago along the shore of Lake Michigan, the central issue is not the two wars—or is it now three?—the country is fighting, nor is it the tanking economy, in great part caused by those debt-inducing wars. No, the burning issue here is… who cares more about Israel?
“A Jewish candidate has been trying to convince the mostly Jewish voters that his Jewish opponent has not done enough to protect the Jewish interest,” reports Ynetnews, the English language website of Israel’s most-read newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth. Although less than 25 percent of the ninth district’s constituents are Jewish, and there is little agreement about what constitutes “the Jewish interest,” it’s not a bad summary of Republican challenger Joel Pollak’s campaign to oust the Democratic incumbent, Rep. Jan Schakowsky.
Pollak, an Orthodox Jew born in South Africa, charges Rep. Schakowsky with being “soft on Israel’s security.”
Let’s take a brief look at Congresswoman Schakowsky’s record on Capitol Hill to see if there’s any truth to Pollak’s allegations.
Since she was first elected to Congress in 1998, Schakowsky has consistently backed policies sought by Tel Aviv and its unregistered foreign agents in Washington, ensuring the continuation of the U.S. military, diplomatic, and financial support on which Israel crucially depends. As might be expected, her “100 percent” pro-Israel record has included a reflexive defense of Israeli aggression and demands for crippling sanctions against Iran.
In the wake of Operation Cast Lead, which killed over 300 Palestinian children, Schakowsky voted for a House resolution supporting Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza. Later, she co-sponsored what Rep. Dennis Kucinich dubbed the “wrong is right” resolution condemning the Goldstone report, which Kucinich said his colleagues had not even read. And after Furkan Dogan, a 19-year-old U.S. citizen armed with nothing more than a small video camera, was murdered execution-style by Israeli commandos on the Gaza flotilla, she signed the Poe/Peters letter to President Obama again touting Israel’s right to self-defense.
Echoing Tel Aviv’s rhetoric about the “existential threat” posed by Iran’s non-existent nuclear weapons programme, Congresswoman Schakowsky has long been lending her name to a raft of legislation targeting Tehran. In 1999, Schakowsky co-sponsored the Iran Nonproliferation Act. In 2001, she co-sponsored the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act Extension Act. She has also co-sponsored the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act, the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act, the Iran Counter-Proliferation Act, and the Iran Freedom Support Act. More recently, Schakowsky co-sponsored the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010, which a former CIA officer and political analyst described as “basically an act of war.”
“There’s more, much more, but you get the idea,” as Steve Sheffey, a pro-Israel political activist, put it in his Huffington Post defense of Schakowsky.
Her opponent, however, does not get the idea.
But the GOP nominee is most concerned about Obama’s feeble efforts to coax Netanyahu to comply with international law by ceasing the building of Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian territory. In a statement, Pollak called on Schakowsky to join him in “condemning the Obama administration’s ongoing attack on Israel.”
Among pro-Israelis there are concerns, however, that “efforts to transform support for Israel from a long-standing bipartisan national consensus into a divisive partisan wedge issue” could be counterproductive. “Ironically, by using Israel as a political football for partisan gain,” writes Sheffey, “Pollak’s supporters ignore the cardinal principle of pro-Israel advocacy: Support for Israel is and must remain bi-partisan.” According to Sheffey, Pollak has broken the Republican Party’s “friendly incumbent rule,” whereby pro-Israel opponents are expected to “disregard all other issues and vote solely based on Israel.”
Deeply concerned about the increasing use of support for Israel as a partisan issue in American domestic politics, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, reminded everyone that “bipartisan support for Israel is a strategic national interest for the State of Israel.”
One rule that Pollak didn’t break, however, is the tacit agreement among both major parties to never expose how profoundly corrupt the political system really is.
In 2000, the FBI began wiretapping Congresswoman Schakowsky as part of a wider investigation into foreign espionage and the corruption of American public officials. “The epicenter of a lot of the foreign espionage activity was Chicago,” according to former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, in an interview with The American Conservative magazine. “They needed Schakowsky and her husband Robert Creamer to perform certain illegal operational facilitations for them in Illinois.”
One would think that Joel Pollak would relish exposing Schakowsky’s entrapment by a female Turkish agent, revealed in Edmonds’ testimony under oath in a court case filed in Ohio. The problem for the aspiring pro-Israel legislator, however, is that the FBI investigation “started with the Israeli Embassy.”
And what choice does that leave American voters? As one frustrated commentator put it, there’s “not a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties.” Nowhere is that more true than when it comes to their corrupt bipartisan support for Israel.
Maidhc Ó Cathail is a widely published writer based in Japan. To read more of his writing, go to Maidhc Ó Cathail: Writing and Analysis.
Learning About Wall Street From the Fall of Eliot Spitzer
I attended a screening this week of Alex Gibney’s new documentary, Client 9. It’s the story of the rise and fall of New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer, brought down by imperial hubris and a reckless penchant for ladies of the evening.
Gibney, an Oscar-winning filmmaker, creates a fascinating narrative. Both he and Spitzer readily concede that it was the former governor who did himself in; he haplessly provided the guns and ammo that polished him off. But there is a compelling case made suggesting that there were plenty of enemies, both in politics and business, with a motive to see him destroyed, plus the wherewithal and contacts to help grease the skids.
After all, it was Spitzer who, as state attorney general and self-appointed “Sheriff of Wall Street,” went after corruption and greed in the finance industry, exposing investment bank stock inflation, securities fraud, predatory lending practices, exorbitant executive compensation and illegal late trading and market timing perpetrated by hedge funds and mutual fund companies. Some of these practices were, of course, major factors in the calamitous financial follies of 2008.
One of Spitzer’s targets was Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, former chair and chief executive officer of the gigantic insurance company AIG. He was forced to resign by the AIG board in March 2005 after Spitzer charged Greenberg and the company with manipulative behaviors in violation of insurance and securities laws. Ultimately, criminal charges were dropped but when AIG collapsed during the ’08 meltdown, ultimately receiving the largest of the Federal bailouts — 182 billion taxpayer dollars – Greenberg said he was “bewildered” that things could have gone so wrong.
In Client 9, I was struck by a statement attributed to Greenberg, who in his AIG heyday supposedly was fond of joking, “All I ask for is an unfair advantage.”
Just three days before the screening, The New York Times had reported that one of the largest donors to a foundation run by the US Chamber of Commerce is a charity run by Greenberg.
According to the Times, “The charity has made loans and grants [to the chamber’s foundation] totaling $18 million since 2003. U.S. Chamber Watch, a union-backed group, filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service last month asserting that the chamber foundation violated tax laws by funneling the money into a chamber ‘tort reform’ campaign favored by AIG and Mr. Greenberg. The chamber denied any wrongdoing.
“The complaint, which the chamber calls entirely unfounded, raises the question of how the chamber picks its campaigns, and whether it accepts donations that are intended to be spent on specific issues or political races.”
Other major contributors of at least $17 million to the foundation between 2004 and 2008 include Goldman Sachs, the investment company Edward Jones, Alpha Technologies, Chevron Texaco and Aegon, a Netherlands-based, multinational insurance company “which has American subsidiaries and whose former chief executive, Donald J. Shepard, served for a time as chairman of the US Chamber of Commerce’s board.”
Almost all of these donations would have remained anonymous, as allowed by law, if not for some intensive digging by the Times into corporate foundation tax filings and other public records as part of a larger investigation into how the US Chamber of Commerce “has increasingly relied on a relatively small collection of big corporate donors to finance much of its legislative and political agenda. The chamber makes no apologies for its policy of not identifying its donors. It has vigorously opposed legislation in Congress that would require groups like it to identify their biggest contributors when they spend money on campaign ads.”
Times investigative reporters Eric Lipton, Mike McIntire and Don Van Natta Jr. write that “the chamber has had little trouble finding American companies eager to enlist it, anonymously, to fight their political battles and pay handsomely for its help.
“…While the chamber boasts of representing more than three million businesses, and having approximately 300,000 members, nearly half of its $140 million in contributions in 2008 came from just 45 donors. Many of those large donations coincided with lobbying or political campaigns that potentially affected the donors.”
All they ask for is an unfair advantage. Open any newspaper, magazine or political website and the coverage of corporate campaign largesse, much of it anonymous, bedazzles the mind. There’s $75 million from the chamber, plus another $50 million or more in undisclosed donations to major conservative organizations — as reported by the nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation — that include the American Action Network, Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS, the American Future Fund and the 60 Plus Association.
The progressive Campaign for America’s Future reports that “Americans for Prosperity brags that they’ll spend at least $45 million on the 2010 elections, while FreedomWorks plans to throw in another $10 million.” Both organizations, backed by right-wing billionaire David Koch, are major funders of “all things Tea Party.”
And get this – 23 companies that received a billion dollars or more in taxpayer bailout money donated $1.4 million to candidates in September – most of it to Republicans, although, as The Washington Post reports, “the TARP program was approved primarily with Democratic support. President Obama expanded it to cover GM and other automakers.”
Yes, organized labor is throwing millions at the elections, too, but we know where that money is coming from – union dues (and in the interest of full disclosure, I’m president of a small AFL-CIO affiliated union, but one that neither contributes to nor endorses candidates).
When all is said and done, the Post reported Tuesday, using data from the Federal Election Commission and the watchdog Public Campaign Action Fund, outside interest groups could spend $400 million or more by Election Day. What’s more, “House and Senate candidates have already shattered fundraising record for a midterm election and are on their way to surpassing $2 billion in spending for the first time… To put it another way: That’s the equivalent of about $4 million for every congressional seat up for grabs this year.”
All the big donors ask for is an unfair advantage. You may recall the story, usually attributed to George Bernard Shaw, of how he propositioned a fellow dinner guest, asking if she would sleep with him for a million pounds.
She agreed, and then Shaw asked if she would do the same for ten shillings. “What do you take me for?” she angrily replied. “A prostitute?”
“We’ve established the principle,” Shaw rejoined. “Now we’re just haggling over the price.”
With this election, Congress may establish once and for all that Shaw’s is the only principle left that it still embraces, as long as the price is right.
By the way, Alex Gibney’s Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer opens in New York November 5th and across the country on November 12th. Keep an eye out for it at a theater near you, as they say, or even on a TV near you – many cable systems are offering it on demand.
Michael Winship is senior writer at Public Affairs Television in New York City.
The former head of Israel’s Military Intelligence says Israel benefited from the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.
In 2005, Hariri was killed in a massive car bombing in the capital city of Beirut.
Major General Amos Yadlin said on Wednesday that Israel has been able to launch more than one operation in Lebanon following Hariri’s killing. He also admitted that Tel Aviv carried out the terror assassination of Hezbollah’s commander Imad Mughniyeh in Syria two years ago.
The former official noted that Israel restored a huge number of espionage networks inside Lebanon and managed to assassinate Mughniyeh through the very same spy rings.
Yadlin claimed Mughniyeh’s murder helped Israel enter a new stage in its conflict with Hezbollah, adding that the Israeli Military Intelligence should proceed with such plans in Lebanon. Earlier reports had revealed that chief of Israeli spy agency Mossad Meir Dagan personally planned the assassination at orders by former Israeli premier Ehud Olmert.
Mughniyeh, who was one of the most prominent Hezbollah figures, was assassinated in a car bomb explosion in the Syrian capital on February 12, 2008.
Hezbollah held the Israeli regime responsible for the assassination of Mughniyeh, but the regime’s officials at the time denied having any role in the assassination.
UMM AL-FAHM — Far-right Knesset member Baruch Marzel called for the expulsion of the head of the Islamic Movement Sheikh Ra’ed Salah from occupied Palestine during his participation in a provocative march held on the outskirts of Umm Al-Fahm city.
Palestinian residents of Umm Al-Fahm and nearby towns had stood by since early morning hours to confront the extremist Jewish settlers who staged a protest outside the house of Sheikh Salah.
The Israeli policemen deployed throughout the city started without prior notice to disperse the Palestinian crowds attacking them with batons and firing tear gas and stun grenades. Many injuries and suffocation cases were reported among the Palestinians including Arab Knesset members Hanin Zoabi and Afo Igbariya.
Deputy head of the Islamic Movement Sheikh Kamal Al-Khatib told journalists during the events that the Zionist extremist right-wing which is led by Marzel does not just represent itself but also the Israeli government which was established on hatred and racism against everything Palestinian.
The Israeli high court had allowed Marzel’s group, which is notorious for extremism, to stage a march in Umm Al-Fahm in protest at Sheikh Salah’s participation in Freedom Flotilla aid convoy.
Sheikh Salah is still in Israeli jails and serving a five-month sentence after the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) fabricated lies against him claiming he assaulted an Israeli police officer during events that erupted years ago at the Aqsa Mosque.
For his part, secretary-general of the Palestinian legislative council (PLC) Dr. Mahmoud Al-Ramhi condemned the Jewish settlers’ march as provocative and racist showing the extremism of its organizers and protectors.
“The recent Zionist practices against the Palestinians in the territories occupied in 1948 are happening in the context of the restrictions imposed on the Palestinians there to force them to leave their land and Arab-Palestinian property to the Zionist occupier who came from outside Palestine, and from the whole region in fact,” lawmaker Ramhi stated on Wednesday.
The lawmaker hailed the Palestinians in the 1948 occupied lands for courageously standing up to the Jewish extremists and police forces that protected them in Umm Al-Fahm city.
The Hamas lawmakers in the West Bank also denounced the Israeli police for brutally attacking Palestinian citizens during the settlers’ provocative march in Umm Al-Fahm, saying such acts were a clear indication of Israel’s sadistic policy.
They warned in a statement yesterday that Israel escalated its ethnic cleansing policy against the Palestinians in the 1948 occupied lands in order to end the Arab presence completely in this occupied area of Palestine.
The lawmakers noted that the Israeli occupation state has recently targeted dozens of Palestinians through its racist laws and arbitrary measures in order to force them to leave their homes and place of residence.