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Qatar Emir Al Thani lambasts backers of IsraelThe Gulf monarchy has acted as a communications channel with Hamas and is playing a key role in negotiations to release the hostages, with four freed so far.

The Qatari ruler has hit out at Israel's backers, charging they had given it a "free licence to kill" in its war on Gaza and questioning what the conflict would achieve.

"We are saying enough is enough," Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani told on Tuesday in a meeting of the Shura Council, Qatar's legislative body, according to a translation released by the royal court.

"It is untenable for Israel to be given an unconditional green light and free licence to kill, nor is it tenable to continue ignoring the reality of occupation, siege and settlement."

Qatar, a US ally which hosts a large US military base, also hosts an office of Hamas which doubles as the main residence of its leader Ismail Haniyeh.The Gulf monarchy has acted as a communications channel with Hamas and is playing a key role in negotiations to release the hostages, with four freed so far.

Gaza siege
"It should not be allowed in our time to use cutting off water and preventing medicine and food as weapons against an entire population," the emir said, referring to Israel's siege of Gaza.
"We call for an earnest regional and international stance vis-a-vis this dangerous escalation that we are witnessing, and which threatens the security of the region and the world."

He added: "We would like to ask those who have aligned with the war, and those acting to gag any dissenting opinion: what would come in the aftermath of this war?
"Would it bring security and stability to Israelis and Palestinians? Where would the Palestinians head for afterwards?"

The leaders of Britain, France, Germany, Italy and the United States have all visited Israel since the October 7 attack.

More than 5,000 Palestinians, mainly civilians, have been killed across Gaza in relentless Israeli bombardments in retaliation for the attack, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry in the besieged enclave.

Turkish Comms Director Altun   Türkiye's communications director urges Islamic nations to unite in combatting disinformation and supporting Palestine, stressing the vital role Türkiye plays in preventing information wars in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In a call for unity and solidarity, Türkiye's Communications Director Fahrettin Altun called for joint efforts to address the escalating crisis in Palestine.

Altun, the Chairman of the 12th OIC Information Ministers Conference, sent a letter to the organisation's member countries' Information Ministers addressing attacks and disinformation campaigns targeting Palestine.

In his letter, Altun stated that collective effort will be crucial in drawing the international community's attention to Palestine, adding that Türkiye's combatting disinformation needs to be accompanied by other Muslim countries.

Altun took a firm stance against international media organisations that, at times, have seemingly downplayed human rights violations in the region. He maintained that it is essential to combat the distortion of facts and accurately portray the events in Palestine.

"In this period where facts have become blurred, and widespread disinformation misleads the public, we call on Information Ministers of Islamic Cooperation Organization (OIC) member countries to enhance our joint efforts in combating disinformation related to the attacks on Palestinians without discrimination," he said.

Expressing Türkiye's unyielding support for the rights of the Palestinian people, Altun condemned Israel's ongoing military attacks and, in a bid to prevent further loss of life, called for an unconditional ceasefire. "Türkiye welcomes the efforts to support the Palestinian cause and end the barbaric oppression against civilians in the Islamic world," he said. He also underscored the collective punishment imposed on the Palestinian population, deprived of basic necessities like food, water, and electricity.

Altun highlighted the urgent need for the international community to take action against these violations of international law, acknowledging the severity of the situation in which thousands of children have lost their lives. "Türkiye finds it concerning that the United Nations Security Council is unable to fulfil its responsibilities," he said.  "The world must not forget that human rights are valid for everyone."

'Disinformation fuels Islamophobia'
The director emphasised the importance of combating Islamophobia, which often thrives on disinformation. In the context of the conflict between Palestine and Israel, he pointed out that racist attacks and hate speech against Muslims can become widespread.

He argued that this scenario, exacerbated by disinformation, necessitated innovative and globally coordinated efforts to combat Islamophobia and called on the entire world to recognise Islamophobia as a hate crime and to work against it actively.  

"This fight is not only the duty of Muslims but also one of the essential responsibilities of the international community," Altun said.

Racist attacks, hate speech against Muslims
"We must acknowledge that the information environment is filled with false narratives that hide violations of international law. In parallel with the recent conflicts between Palestine and Israel, we are going through a period where racist attacks and hate speech against Muslims can become widespread.

Saying that Islamophobic sentiments intentionally fueled by disinformation can become more pronounced in such conflict environments, Altun stressed that as members of the OIC, they have a pivotal role in leading this effort.He concluded his appeal by inviting the entire international community to take action against the brutality unfolding in Gaza.He expressed confidence in the OIC's Information Ministers' valuable support for initiatives aimed at combating Islamophobia on the international stage and their ability to contribute to the cessation of the ongoing massacre in Gaza.










The cynicism and duplicity of Western governments in the face of an appalling, daily massacre of Palestinian civilians is monstrous.
Finian Cunningham

The cynicism and duplicity of Western governments in the face of an appalling, daily massacre of Palestinian civilians is monstrous. Hundreds of men, women and children are being murdered every day by non-stop Israeli aerial bombardment of the Gaza Strip. Hospitals, mosques, churches and family homes are being deliberately targeted with no warnings. This is premeditated state terrorism, all with full Western support.

Hospitals are so overwhelmed by casualties that bodies can’t even be identified nor afforded the final dignity of a shroud. Mangled, bloody corpses are left strewn on hospital grounds. Petrified children have their names written on their hands in case they are killed so as to allow them to be identified, as reported by Matt Kennard. The situation is heartrending and utterly profane.
The Gaza population of 2.3 million is at the mercy of bombs raining down. The Israeli authorities last week warned people to move to the southern end of the 40-kilometer coastal enclave purportedly out of harm’s way, only for the air strikes to hit supposedly designated safe zones.
Palestinians are also being hunted down and shot in the other enclave of the Occupied West Bank. As journalist Lubna Masarwa reports from East Jerusalem: “It feels as though the whole state is now baying for genocide… The situation is terrifying. We are entering a new era that feels even worse than military rule… The worst horror is the silence and complicity of the West in Israel’s unspeakable massacres.”

This is a genocide being conducted in real time which Western media are showing glimpses of on their screens, yet the Western governments refuse to call for a ceasefire by the Israeli regime. Tel Aviv knows it has a license for mass murder from the Western states and their morally repugnant leaders.

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As the slaughter of Palestinian civilians intensifies, Western political leaders are wholly complicit in war crimes. But their complicity has the added contempt of trying to appear benign.
This week US President Joe Biden and five other Western leaders released a joint statement reiterating their support for Israel’s “right to defend itself against terrorism” with the added and completely bogus proviso for Israel’s “adherence to international law, including the protection of civilians.”

Adherence to international law? By a regime blatantly murdering children every day in full view of the world?
Along with Biden, the other signatories were Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

These political leaders have already declared their unwavering support for Israel’s “self-defence” in previous separate statements. But now they have felt the need to issue a joint statement with the added seeming concern about the mounting civilian death toll. That concern has no doubt been prompted by public protests around the world, including in Western capitals, against the barbaric Israeli military violence.

The seeming concern from Western leaders is an abject deception. If they were genuinely motivated to stop the killing, Washington and the others could unreservedly demand Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to immediately halt the murderous assault. Far from it. The United States has vetoed a resolution at the United Nations Security Council calling for a ceasefire while the US is airlifting emergency supplies of military weapons to Tel Aviv. The reason for the US veto? Because the wording did not mention Israel’s “right to self-defence”.

On top of the violence, Palestinians in Gaza are being starved of food and water under an Israeli blockade. Hospitals are running out of fuel for generators and life-saving equipment. A few trucks with humanitarian aid have been permitted to enter Gaza from the Egyptian border.
Yet Western leaders double down in their cynicism by stating in their joint statement: “The leaders welcomed the announcement of the first humanitarian convoys to reach Palestinians in need in Gaza and committed to continue coordinating with partners in the region to ensure sustained and safe access to food, water, medical care, and other assistance required to meet humanitarian needs.”

UN officials in Gaza say the paltry aid being allowed is far too little and too late to meet the needs of more than two million people. They describe it as “a drop in the ocean” of desperate needs. To put in perspective the latest convoy of 17 trucks permitted into Gaza, before the latest siege on the enclave that began more than two weeks ago the number of aid-supply trucks crossing into the territory from Egypt would normally be 500 per day.

The Hamas gun and rocket attacks on October 7 which killed at least 1,400 Israelis were a shocking atrocity. But those crimes are no justification for the subsequent mass killing of Palestinian civilians in Gaza. This week the death toll in Gaza is rising towards 5,000 with more than half of those casualties being children and women. More than 12,000 have been injured. There is a bigger ulterior agenda here — the complete eradication of Palestinians and Palestine as a future state.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who previously called Palestinians “human animals”, this week said that the military assault on Gaza will likely go on for several more weeks. A ground invasion by Western-backed Israeli troops is imminent. The civilian death toll can be expected to escalate.

The incitement of a regional war by this Western-sponsored genocide is reaching a flashpoint. Arab nations, as well as Iran and Turkey, will inevitably be pushed by the anger of their populations to intervene.

Despite fueling the danger of a wider war from their complicity in the genocide against Palestinians, the gutless Western politicians added this contemptuous statement: “The leaders committed to continue close diplomatic coordination, including with key partners in the region, to prevent the conflict from spreading, preserve stability in the Middle East, and work toward a political solution and durable peace.”

The cynicism and duplicity of the Western powers is redolent of the infamous Balfour Declaration published by the British government more than a century ago.In November 1917, the then British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour wrote to Zionist supporter and wealthy banker Lord Walter Rothschild stating, “His Majesty’s Government view[s] with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”

That fateful policy by the British government led to the creation of the Israeli state in 1948 from London’s colonial holding of Palestine. For 75 years, the colonialist extermination of Palestinians has been facilitated relentlessly and remorselessly by Western governments, first by the British, and subsequently by the Americans. Of course, the genocide has been interspersed with platitudes about peace and human rights.

The Balfour document went on to state with faux magnanimity, “it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.”

The treachery of Britain was the carving out of a Zionist state in a land populated by a majority 
of Arabs. Yet, this flagrant violation was presented by London with a cynical and disingenuous concern for Palestinian rights. From Britain’s betrayal over a century ago to the present complicity in Israel’s genocide against Palestinians, there is a heinous continuity in Western deception and culpability.


Evidence is now emerging that up to half the Israelis killed were combatants; that Israeli forces were responsible for some of their own civilian deaths; and that Tel Aviv disseminated false ‘Hamas atrocities’ stories to justify its devastating air assault on Palestinian civilians in Gaza.
Robert Inlakesh Via The Cradle

Two weeks after the Hamas breakout assault on Israel on 7 October, a clearer picture of what happened – who died, and who killed – is now beginning to emerge. Instead of the wholescale massacre of civilians claimed by Israel, incomplete figures published by the Hebrew newspaper Haaretz show that almost half the Israelis killed that day were in fact combatants – soldiers or police.

In the interim, two weeks of blanket western media reporting that Hamas allegedly killed around 1,400 Israeli civilians during its 7 October military attack has served to inflame emotions and create the climate for Israel’s unconstrained destruction of the Gaza Strip and its civilian population.

Accounts of the Israeli death toll have been filtered and shaped to suggest that a wholesale civilian massacre occurred that day, with babies, children, and women the main targets of a terror attack.

Now, detailed statistics on the casualties released by the Israeli daily Haaretz paint a starkly different picture. As of 23 October, the news outlet has released information on 683 Israelis killed during the Hamas-led offensive, including their names and locations of their deaths on 7 October. 
Of these, 331 casualties – or 48.4 percent – have been confirmed to be soldiers and police officers, many of them female. Another 13 are described as rescue service members, and the remaining 339 are ostensibly considered to be civilians.

While this list is not comprehensive and only accounts for roughly half of Israel’s stated death toll, almost half of those killed in the melee are clearly identified as Israeli combatants.

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There are also so far no recorded deaths of children under the age of three, which throws into question the Israeli narrative that babies were targeted by Palestinian resistance fighters. Of the 683 total casualties reported thus far, seven were between the ages of 4 and 7, and nine between the ages of 10 and 17. The remaining 667 casualties appear to be adults.

Age distribution of the Israelis killed during Hamas’ October 7 operation (as of 23 October).
The numbers and proportion of Palestinian civilians and children among those killed by Israeli bombardment over the past two weeks – over 5,791 killed, including 2,360 children and 1,292 women, and more than 18,000 injured – are far higher than any of these Israeli figures from the events of 7 October.

Revisiting the scene
The daring Hamas-led military operation, codenamed Al-Aqsa Flood, unfolded with a dramatic dawn raid at approximately 6:30 AM (Palestine time) on 7 October. This was accompanied by a cacophony of sirens breaking the silence of occupied Jerusalem, signaling the start of what became an extraordinary event in the occupation state’s 75-year history.

As per the spokesperson of Hamas’ armed wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, around 1,500 Palestinian fighters crossed the formidable Gaza-Israel separation barrier.  However, this breakout was not limited to Hamas forces alone; numerous armed fighters belonging to other factions such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) later breached the armistice line, along with some Palestinians unaffiliated with any organized militia.

As it became apparent this was no ordinary resistance operation, hundreds of videos quickly flooded social media, most of which have been viewed by The Cradle, depicting dead Israeli troops and settlers, fierce gunfire battles between various parties, and Israelis being taken captive into Gaza.

These videos were either taken on the phones of Israelis, or were released by Palestinian fighters filming their own operation. It wasn’t until hours later that more gruesome and downright dubious allegations began to surface.

Unsubstantiated allegations of ‘Hamas atrocities’
Aviva Klompas, a former speechwriter for the Israeli mission to the UN, was the first Israeli of note to spread the claim that there were reports of “Israeli girls being raped and their bodies dragged through the street.”   She posted this on X at 9:18 PM (Palestine time), on 7 October, although an op-ed Klompa published with Newsweek at 12:28 AM (Palestine time), on 8 October, made no mention of any sexual violence.

Klompas is also the co-founder of Boundless Israel, a “think-action tank” that works “to revitalize Israel education and take bold collective action to combat Jew-hatred.” An “unapologetically Zionist” charitable group that works to promote Israeli narratives on social media. 
The one case touted as proof of rape was that of a young German-Israeli woman named Shani Louk, who was filmed face down in the back of a pickup truck and was widely assumed dead. 
It was unclear whether the fighters filmed with Louk in the Gaza-bound vehicle were members of Hamas, as they do not sport the uniforms or insignia of the Al-Qassam troops identifiable in other Hamas videos – some even wore casual civilian clothing and sandals.

Later, her mother claimed to have evidence that her daughter was still alive, but had suffered a severe head wound. This rings true with information released by Hamas that indicated Louk was being treated for her injuries at an unspecified Gaza hospital. Complicating matters further, on the day these rape allegations arose, Israelis would not have had access to this information. Their armed forces had not yet entered many, if not most, of the areas liberated by the resistance and were still engaged in armed clashes with them on multiple fronts.

Nevertheless, these rape claims took on a life of their own, with even US President Joe Biden alleging, during a speech days later, that Israeli women were “raped, assaulted, paraded as trophies” by Hamas fighters. It is important to note that The Forward’s article on 11 October reported that the Israeli military acknowledged they had no evidence of such allegations at that point.

When the army later made its own allegations of decapitations, foot amputations, and rape, Reuters pointed out that “the military personnel overseeing the identification process didn’t present any forensic evidence in the form of pictures or medical records.” To date, there is no credible evidence of these atrocities that has been presented.

Other outrageous allegations, such as the story of Hamas “beheading 40 babies‘ made headlines and the front pages of countless western news outlets. Even Biden claimed to have seen “confirmed photos of terrorists beheading babies.” The claims trace back to Israeli reserve settler and soldier David Ben Zion, who has previously incited violent riots against Palestinians and called for the West Bank town of Huwara to be wiped out. No evidence was ever produced to support these claims and the White House itself confirmed later that Joe Biden had never seen such photos.

The Hamas plan
There is little to no credible evidence that Palestinian fighters had a plan to – or deliberately sought to – kill or harm unarmed Israeli civilians on 7 October. From the available footage, we witness them engaging primarily with armed Israeli forces, accounting for the deaths of hundreds of occupation soldiers. As Qassam Brigades’ Spokesman Abu Obeida made clear on 12 October:
“Al-Aqsa Flood operation aimed to destroy the Gaza Division (an Israeli army unit on Gaza’s borders) which was attacked at 15 points, followed by attacking 10 further military intervention points. We attacked the Zikim site and several other settlements outside the Gaza Division headquarters.”

Abu Obeida and other resistance officials claims that the other key objective of their operation was to take Israeli prisoners that they could exchange for the approximately 5,300 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli detention centers, many of whom are women and children.

Hamas Deputy Head of the Political Bureau of Saleh Al-Arouri, in an interview after the operation, stressed: “We have a large and qualitative number and senior officers. All we can say now is that the freedom of our prisoners is at the doorstep.”

Both sides play this game: Since the start of its military assault on Gaza, Israel has rounded up and imprisoned more than 1,200 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. To date there have been 38 prisoner exchange deals between the resistance factions and Tel Aviv – deals that Israelis often resist to the very last minute.

While these kinds of testimonies trickle out, reports are emerging that Israeli authorities have dialed up the mistreatment, torture, and even killing of Palestinian prisoners in their custody – a violation of the Geneva Conventions, which ironically, a non-state actor like Hamas appears to have followed to the letter.

In relation to the events of 7 October, there are certainly some videos depicting possibly unarmed Israelis, killed in their vehicles or at entrances to facilities, so that Palestinian troops could gain access.

There are also videos which show the fighters engaging in shootouts with armed Israeli forces, where there were unarmed Israelis taking cover in between, in addition to videos of fighters shooting toward houses and throwing grenades into fortified areas. Eyewitness testimony also suggests grenades were thrown into bomb shelters, though by whom is unclear.
Even at the Israeli “peace rave”, which has been cited as the single deadliest attack committed by Palestinian fighters during their operation, videos emerged that appeared to show Israeli forces opening fire through a crowd of unarmed civilians, toward targets they believed to be Hamas members. ABC News also reported that an Israeli tank had headed to the site of the festival.

An Israeli massacre in Kibbutz Be’eri?
In its report on the events at Be’eri Kibbutz, ABC News photographed artillery pieces resembling Israeli munitions outside a bombed-out home. The reporter, David Muir, mentioned that Hamas fighters, covered in plastic bags, were found in the aftermath.

Additionally, videos of the scene show homes that appear to have been struck by munitions that Hamas fighters did not possess. Muir reported that about 14 people were held hostage in a building by Palestinian fighters. A Hebrew-language Haaretz article published on 20 October, which only appears in English in a must-read Mondoweiss article, paints a very different story of what went down in Be’eri that day. A Kibbutz resident who had been away from his home – whose partner was killed in the melee – reveals stunning new details:

“His voice trembles when his partner, who was besieged in her home shelter at the time, comes to mind. According to him, only on Monday night (9 October) and only after the commanders in the field made difficult decisions — including shelling houses with all their occupants inside in order to eliminate the terrorists along with the hostages — did the IDF complete the takeover of the kibbutz. The price was terrible: at least 112 Be’eri people were killed. Others were kidnapped. Yesterday, 11 days after the massacre, the bodies of a mother and her son were discovered in one of the destroyed houses. It is believed that more bodies are still lying in the rubble.”

Photo evidence of the destruction in Be’eri corroborates his account. Only the heavy munitions of the Israeli army could have destroyed residential homes in this manner.
Aftermath or Be’eri Kibbutz after the fire power of the two sides ceased

Hamas behaviors: Evidence vs allegations
Yasmin Porat, a survivor from Kibbutz Be’eri, said in an interview for an Israeli radio-show, hosted by state-broadcaster Kan, that Israeli forces “eliminated everyone, including the hostages,” going on to state that “there was very, very heavy crossfire” and even noted tank shelling. 
Porat had attended the Nova rave and testified to the humane treatment throughout different interviews she conducted with Israeli media. She explained that when she was held prisoner, the Hamas fighters “guarded us”, telling her in Hebrew to “Look at me well, we’re not going to kill you. We want to take you to Gaza. We are not going to kill you. So be calm, you’re not going to die.” She also added the following:

“They give us something to drink here and there. When they see we are nervous they calm us down. It was very frightening but no one treated us violently. Luckily nothing happened to me like what I heard in the media.”

Increasingly, and to the horror of some Israeli officials and news outlets, Israeli eyewitnesses and survivors of the bloodshed are testifying that they were treated well by Palestinian fighters. On 24 October, Israeli state broadcaster Kan bemoaned the fact that prisoner Yocheved Lifshitz, released by Hamas the day before, was allowed to make statements live on air.

As she was handed over to Red Cross intermediaries, the elderly Israeli female captive was caught on camera turning back to squeeze the hand of her Hamas captor in her last goodbyes. Lifshitz’s live broadcast, in which she spoke about her two-week ordeal, “humanized” her Hamas captors even further as she recounted her daily life with the fighters:

“They were very friendly toward us. They took care of us. We were given medicine and were treated. One of the men with us was badly injured in a motorbike accident. Their (Hamas) paramedics looked after his wounds, he was given medicine and antibiotics. The people were friendly. They kept the place very clean. They were very concerned about us.”

More questions than answers
It is essential to recognize that in many reports by western journalists on the ground, the majority of information regarding the actions of Hamas fighters comes from the Israeli army – an active participant in the conflict.

Emerging evidence now indicates that there is a high probability, especially due to the scale of the infrastructural damage, that Israeli military forces could have deliberately killed captives, fired on incorrect targets, or mistaken Israelis for Palestinians in their firefights. If the only source of information for a serious claim made is the Israeli army, then it has to be taken into account that they have reason to conceal cases of friendly fire.

Israeli friendly fire was rampant, even in the days that followed, from an army with very little actual combat experience. In the city of Ashkelon (Askalan) on 8 October, Israeli soldiers shot dead and shouted insults at the body of a man they believed to have been a Hamas fighter, yet later realized they had executed a fellow Israeli. This is just one of three such examples of friendly fire in one day, resulting in the killing of Israelis by their own troops.

Amid the fog of war, parties to the conflict have different perspectives on what occurred during the initial raid and its aftermath. It’s not disputed that Palestinian armed groups inflicted significant losses on the Israeli military, but there will be plenty of ongoing debate regarding everything else in the weeks and months to come.

An independent, impartial, international investigation is urgently needed, one that has access to information from all sides involved in the conflict. Neither the Israelis nor the Americans will agree to this, which itself suggests that Tel Aviv has much to conceal.

In the meantime, Palestinian civilians in Gaza endure ongoing, indiscriminate attacks with the most sophisticated heavy weapons in existence, living under the persistent threat of forced and potentially irreversible displacement. This Israeli air blitz was made possible only by the flood of unsubstantiated ‘Hamas atrocities’ stories that media began to circulate on and after 7 October. 

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GLOBAL UMMAH SOLIDARITY - by moeenyaseen - 08-23-2006, 11:07 PM
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