[bauaw] Bay Area United Against War Newsletter, February 17, 2024

  • From: bonnieweinstein <giobon@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: BAUAW <bauaw@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 17 Feb 2024 10:35:44 -0800

  


JPEG image

Saturday, February 24, 2024, 12:00 Noon

ILWU Local 10

400 North Point St., San Francisco

                                          *..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*

  *..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


JPEG image


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*

  *..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


JPEG image


Gaza Strip Access Restrictions.pdf since 2007

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gaza_Strip_Access_Restrictions.pdf
Palestinians killed and wounded by Israel:As of February 17, 2024, the total number of Palestinians killed by Israel is now over 30,000,* (at least 12,000 are children), 68,667+ wounded, and more than 492 Palestinians have been killed by Israel in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.  The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) and the Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs Commission released a new tally of Palestinians detained by "Israel", revealing that the number of Palestinian prisoners in the West Bank has risen to more than 6,115.


*This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health and other sources including the New YorkTimes. Some rights groups put the death toll number closer to 36,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.


FROM THE RIVER TO THE SEA  PALESTINE WILL BE FREE!END ALL U.S. AID TO ISRAEL!FOR A DEMOCRATIC, SECULAR PALESTINE!

  *..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*

  *..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*

 

Free Speech Teach-In: Drop the Charges Against the Uhuru 3! Free Leonard Peltier!

Fight for Free Speech: Anti-Colonial Teach-In

Saturday, February 17th, 2024, 2 to 4pm

Tamarack, 1501 Harrison Street, Oakland, 94612

Uhuru Solidarity Movement

(510) 603-6150, oakland@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

“Fight for Free Speech,” teach-in features Mwezi Odom, chair of the Hands-Off Uhuru Fight-Back Coalition, Penny Hess, Chairwoman of the African People’s Solidarity Committee and Dawn Lawson of the Leonard Peltier Ad Hoc Defense Committee.

·      Hess is one of the “Uhuru 3” facing 10 years in prison under a bogus DOJ indictment attacking her free speech rights to support black liberation.

·      Lawson will speak on the campaign to free Leonard Peltier, an Indigenous leader unjustly imprisoned for 46 years.

·      Odom leads the Hands Off Uhuru Fight-back Coalition to fight the US government’s attempt to silence the anti-colonial freedom struggles. 

 

“No More Genocide in Our Name” Uhuru Solidarity National Conference

March 9-10, 2024,  9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Akwaaba Hall, 4101 W. Florissant Ave., St. Louis, MO. 63115 and online

NoMoreGenocide.eventbee.com

 

White people: go beyond protest and build the movement of anti-colonial solidarity with the African Revolution, under the leadership of the African People’s Socialist Party.  

Oppose U.S.-backed genocidal wars in Occupied Palestine, Africa, Haiti, Latin America and within the colonial borders of the U.S. 

Take action to demand the U.S. government drop the bogus charges against the Uhuru 3 - Uhuru Movement founder/leader Chairman Omali Yeshitela and Uhuru Solidarity leaders Penny Hess and Jesse Nevel - who face 15 years in prison for fighting for reparations to African people. 

Defend anti-colonial free speech!  

 *..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*

  *..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*

We are all Palestinian

Listen and view this beautiful, powerful, song by Mistahi Corkill on YouTube at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQwuhbLczgI

Greetings,

Here is my new song and music video, We are all Palestinian, linked below. If you find it inspiring, please feel free to share with others. All the best!

Mistahi

PNG image

Thousands at stadium sing, "You'll Never Walk Alone," and wave Palestinian flags in Scotland.


We are all Palestinian

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQwuhbLczgI


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*

 *..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*

JPEG image


Labor for Palestine

Thousands of labor representatives marched Saturday, December 16, in Oakland, California. —Photo by Leon Kunstenaar

Video of December 16th Labor rally for Palestine.

 

Bay Area Unions and Workers Rally and March For Palestine In Oaklandhttps://youtu.be/L9k79honqIA


For More Information:bayarealabor4palestine@xxxxxxxxxProduction of Labor Video Project

www.labormedia.net

 *..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*

           *..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*    

JPEG image

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0ad3mEylwY

Just Like The Nazis Did

By David Rovics

 

After so many decades of patronage

By the world’s greatest empire

So many potential agreements

Were rejected by opening fire

After crushing so many uprisings

Now they’re making their ultimate bid

Pursuing their Final Solution

Just like the Nazis did

 

They forced refugees into ghettos

Then set the ghettos aflame

Murdering writers and poets

And so no one remember their names

Killing their entire families

The grandparents, women and kids

The uncles and cousins and babies

Just like the Nazis did

 

They’re bombing all means of sustaining

Human life at all

See the few shelters remaining

Watch as the tower blocks fall

They’re bombing museums and libraries

In order to get rid

Of any memory of the people who lived here

Just like the Nazis did

 

They’re saying these people are animals

And they should all end up dead

They’re sending soldiers into schools

And shooting children in the head

The rhetoric is identical

And with Gaza off the grid

They’ve already said what happens next

Just like the Nazis did

 

Words of war for domestic consumption

And lies for all the rest

To try to distract our attention

Among their enablers in the West

Because Israel needs their imports

To keep those pallets on the skids

They need fuel and they need missiles

Just like the Nazis did

 

They’re using food as a weapon

They’re using water that way, too

They’re trying to kill everyone in Gaza

Or make them flee, it’s true

As the pundits talk of “after the war”

Like with the Fall of Madrid

The victors are preparing for more

Just like the Nazis did

 

But it’s after the conquest’s complete

If history is any guide

When the occupying army

Is positioned to decide

When disease and famine kills

Whoever may have hid

Behind the ghetto walls

Just like the Nazis did

 

All around the world

People are trying to tell

There's a genocide unfolding

Ringing alarm bells

But with such a powerful axis

And so many lucrative bids

They know who wants their money

Just like the Nazis did

 

There's so many decades of patronage

For the world's greatest empire

So many potential agreements

Were rejected by opening fire

They're crushing so many uprisings

Now they're making their ultimate bid

Pursuing their final solution

Just like the Nazis did

  Just like the Nazis did

    Just like the Nazis did


 *..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*

           *..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*    


Free Julian Assange


PNG image



Immediate Repeated Action Needed to Free Assange

 

Please call your Congressional Representatives, the White House, and the DOJ. Calls are tallied—they do count.  We are to believe we are represented in this country.  This is a political case, so our efforts can change things politically as well.  Please take this action as often as you can:

 

Find your representatives:

https://www.congress.gov/members/find-your-member

 

Leave each of your representatives a message individually to: 

·      Drop the charges against Julian Assange

·      Speak out publicly against the indictment and

·      Sign on to Rashida Tlaib's letter to the DOJ to drop the charges: 

           202-224-3121—Capitol Main Switchboard 

 

Leave a message on the White House comment line to Demand Julian Assange be pardoned: 

             202-456-1111

             Tuesday–Thursday, 11:00 A.M.–3:00 P.M. EST

 

Call the DOJ and demand they drop the charges against Julian Assange:

             202-353-1555—DOJ Comment Line

             202-514-2000 Main Switchboard 



*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*



JPEG image


Mumia Abu-Jamal is Innocent!

FREE HIM NOW!

Write to Mumia at:

Smart Communications/PADOC

Mumia Abu-Jamal #AM-8335

SCI Mahanoy

P.O. Box 33028

St. Petersburg, FL 33733


Join the Fight for Mumia's Life

Since September, Mumia Abu-Jamal's health has been declining at a concerning rate. He has lost weight, is anemic, has high blood pressure and an extreme flair up of his psoriasis, and his hair has fallen out. In April 2021 Mumia underwent open heart surgery. Since then, he has been denied cardiac rehabilitation care including a healthy diet and exercise.

Donate to Mumia Abu-Jamal's Emergency Legal and Medical Defense Fund, Official 2024

Mumia has instructed PrisonRadio to set up this fund. Gifts donated here are designated for the Mumia Abu-Jamal Medical and Legal Defense Fund. If you are writing a check or making a donation in another way, note this in the memo line.

Send to:

 Mumia Medical and Legal Fund c/o Prison Radio

P.O. Box 411074, San Francisco, CA 94103

Prison Radio is a project of the Redwood Justice Fund (RJF), which is a California 501c3 (Tax ID no. 680334309) not-for-profit foundation dedicated to the defense of the environment and of civil and human rights secured by law.  Prison Radio/Redwood Justice Fund PO Box 411074, San Francisco, CA 94141

*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*



JPEG image


We are saddened to announce the passing of Leonard Peltier’s sister, Linda.

 

Leonard is humbly requesting help with funeral expenses.

 

Even a dollar or two would be greatly appreciated.

 

https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-leonard-peltier-family-bury-his-sister-linda?utm_campaign=p_cp+fundraiser-sidebar&utm_medium=copy_link_all&utm_source=customer

 

Respect,

Dawn Lawson

Personal Assistant Leonard Peltier

Executive Assistant Jenipher Jones, Esq.

Secretary Leonard Peltier Ad Hoc Committee

800-901-4413

dawn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

www.freeleonardpeltiernow.org




JPEG image


Leonard Peltier Update - Not One More Year

 

Coleman 1 has gone on permanent lockdown.

The inmates are supposed to be allowed out two hours a day. I have not heard from Leonard since the 18th. 

The last time I talked to Leonard, he asked where his supporters were. He asked me if anyone cared about these lockdowns.

Leonard lives in a filthy, cold cell 22 to 24 hours a day. He has not seen a dentist in ten years. I asked him, “On a scale of 1 to 10, is your pain level at 13?” He said, “Something like that.” Leonard is a relentless truth-teller. He does not like it when I say things that do not make sense mathematically. 

That is why Leonard remains imprisoned. He will not lie. He will not beg, grovel, or denounce his beliefs. 

Please raise your voice. Ask your representatives why they have abdicated their responsibility to oversee the Bureau of Prisons and ensure they adhere to Constitutional law.

Uhuru, The African People’s Socialist Party, has stepped up for Leonard. NOT ONE MORE YEAR.

 

Fight for Free Speech – YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FM8GDeGv90E

 

Leonard should not have spent a day in prison. Click “LEARN” on our website to find out what really happened on that reservation: 

www.freeleonardpeltiernow.org


A Plea for the Compassionate Release of Leonard Peltier

JPEG image

Self Portrait by Leonard Peltier


Write to:

Leonard Peltier 89637-132

USP Coleman 1

P.O. Box 1033

Coleman, FL 33521

Note: Letters, address and return address must be in writing—no stickers—and on plain white paper.

Video at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWdJdODKO6M&feature=youtu.be
Sign our petition urging President Biden to grant clemency to Leonard Peltier.

 

https://www.freeleonardpeltier.com/petition

 

Email: contact@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Address: 116 W. Osborne Ave. Tampa, Florida 33603


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


JPEG image

Updates From Kevin Cooper 

A Never-ending Constitutional Violation

A summary of the current status of Kevin Cooper’s case by the Kevin Cooper Defense Committee

 

      On October 26, 2023, the law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP wrote a rebuttal in response to the Special Counsel's January 13, 2023 report upholding the conviction of their client Kevin Cooper. A focus of the rebuttal was that all law enforcement files were not turned over to the Special Counsel during their investigation, despite a request for them to the San Bernardino County District Attorney's office.

      On October 29, 2023, Law Professors Lara Bazelon and Charlie Nelson Keever, who run the six member panel that reviews wrongful convictions for the San Francisco County District Attorney's office, published an OpEd in the San Francisco Chronicle calling the "Innocence Investigation” done by the Special Counsel in the Cooper case a “Sham Investigation” largely because Cooper has unsuccessfully fought for years to obtain the police and prosecutor files in his case. This is a Brady claim, named for the U.S. Supreme court’s 1963 case establishing the Constitutional rule that defendants are entitled to any information in police and prosecutor's possession that could weaken the state's case or point to innocence. Brady violations are a leading cause of wrongful convictions. The Special Counsel's report faults Cooper for not offering up evidence of his own despite the fact that the best evidence to prove or disprove Brady violations or other misconduct claims are in those files that the San Bernardino County District Attorney's office will not turn over to the Special Counsel or to Cooper's attorneys.

      On December 14, 2023, the president of the American Bar Association (ABA), Mary Smith, sent Governor Gavin Newsom a three page letter on behalf of the ABA stating in part that Mr.Cooper's counsel objected to the state's failure to provide Special Counsel all documents in their possession relating to Mr.Cooper's conviction, and that concerns about missing information are not new. For nearly 40 years Mr.Cooper's attorneys have sought this same information from the state.

      On December 19, 2023, Bob Egelko, a journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle wrote an article about the ABA letter to the Governor that the prosecutors apparently withheld evidence from the Governor's legal team in the Cooper case.

      These are just a few recent examples concerning the ongoing failure of the San Bernardino County District Attorney to turn over to Cooper's attorney's the files that have been requested, even though under the law and especially the U.S. Constitution, the District Attorney of San Bernardino county is required to turn over to the defendant any and all material and or exculpatory evidence that they have in their files. Apparently, they must have something in their files because they refuse to turn them over to anyone.

      The last time Cooper's attorney's received files from the state, in 2004, it wasn't from the D.A. but a Deputy Attorney General named Holly Wilkens in Judge Huff's courtroom. Cooper's attorneys discovered a never before revealed police report showing that a shirt was discovered that had blood on it and was connected to the murders for which Cooper was convicted, and that the shirt had disappeared. It had never been tested for blood. It was never turned over to Cooper's trial attorney, and no one knows where it is or what happened to it. Cooper's attorneys located the woman who found that shirt on the side of the road and reported it to the Sheriff's Department. She was called to Judge Huff's court to testify about finding and reporting that shirt to law enforcement. That shirt was the second shirt found that had blood on it that was not the victims’ blood. This was in 2004, 19 years after Cooper's conviction.

      It appears that this ongoing constitutional violation that everyone—from the Special Counsel to the Governor's legal team to the Governor himself—seems to know about, but won't do anything about, is acceptable in order to uphold Cooper's conviction.

But this type of thing is supposed to be unacceptable in the United States of America where the Constitution is supposed to stand for something other than a piece of paper with writing on it. How can a Governor, his legal team, people who support and believe in him ignore a United States citizen’s Constitutional Rights being violated for 40 years in order to uphold a conviction?

      This silence is betrayal of the Constitution. This permission and complicity by the Governor and his team is against everything that he and they claim to stand for as progressive politicians. They have accepted the Special Counsel's report even though the Special Counsel did not receive the files from the district attorney that may not only prove that Cooper is innocent, but that he was indeed framed by the Sheriff’s Department; and that evidence was purposely destroyed and tampered with, that certain witnesses were tampered with, or ignored if they had information that would have helped Cooper at trial, that evidence that the missing shirt was withheld from Cooper's trial attorney, and so much more.

      Is the Governor going to get away with turning a blind eye to this injustice under his watch?

      Are progressive people going to stay silent and turn their eyes blind in order to hopefully get him to end the death penalty for some while using Cooper as a sacrificial lamb?


An immediate act of solidarity we can all do right now is to write to Kevin and assure him of our continuing support in his fight for justice. Here’s his address:

Mr. Kevin Cooper

C-65304. 4-EB-82

San Quentin State Prison

San Quentin, CA 94974

 

Call California Governor Newsom:

1-(916) 445-2841

Press 1 for English or 2 for Spanish, 

press 6 to speak with a representative and

wait for someone to answer 

(Monday-Friday, 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. PST—12:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. EST)


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*

                   

JPEG image


The writers' organization PEN America is circulating this petition on behalf of Jason Renard Walker, a Texas prisoner whose life is being threatened because of his exposés of the Texas prison system. 


See his book, Reports from within the Belly of the Beast; available on Amazon at:

https://www.amazon.com/Reports-Within-Belly-Beast-Department-ebook/dp/B084656JDZ/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

Petition: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/protect-whistleblowers-in-carceral-settings


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*

JPEG image

Sign the petition:

https://dontextraditeassange.com/petition/


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*

*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


JPEG image


Tell Congress to Help #FreeDanielHale

 

I’m pleased to announce that last week our client, Daniel Hale, was awarded the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence. The “Corner-Brightener Candlestick” was presented to Daniel’s friend Noor Mir. You can watch the online ceremony here.

As it happens, this week is also the 20th anniversary of the first drone assassination in Yemen. From the beginning, the drone assassination program has been deeply shrouded in secrecy, allowing U.S. officials to hide significant violations of international law, and the American Constitution. In addition to the lives directly impacted by these strikes, the program has significantly eroded respect for international law and thereby puts civilians around the world in danger.

Daniel Hale’s revelations threw a beam of light into a very dark corner, allowing journalists to definitively show that the government's official narrative was a lie. It is thanks to the great personal sacrifice of drone whistleblowers like Hale that public understanding has finally begun to catch up to reality.

As the Sam Adams Associates note:

 “Mr. Hale was well aware of the cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment to which other courageous officials have been subjected — and that he would likely suffer the same. And yet — in the manner of his famous ancestor Nathan Hale — he put his country first, knowing what awaited him at the hands of those who serve what has become a repressive Perpetual War State wreaking havoc upon much of the world.”


We hope you’ll join the growing call to pardon or commute Hale’s sentence. U.S. citizens can contact your representatives here.

Happy new year, and thank you for your support!

Jesselyn Radack
Director
Whistleblower & Source Protection Program (WHISPeR)
ExposeFacts

Twitter: @JesselynRadack

*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


Resources for Resisting Federal Repressionhttps://www.nlg.org/federalrepressionresources/

 

Since June of 2020, activists have been subjected to an increasingly aggressive crackdown on protests by federal law enforcement. The federal response to the movement for Black Lives has included federal criminal charges for activists, door knocks by federal law enforcement agents, and increased use of federal troops to violently police protests. 

 

The NLG National Office is releasing this resource page for activists who are resisting federal repression. It includes a link to our emergency hotline numbers, as well as our library of Know-Your-Rights materials, our recent federal repression webinar, and a list of some of our recommended resources for activists. We will continue to update this page. 

 

Please visit the NLG Mass Defense Program page for general protest-related legal support hotlines run by NLG chapters.

 

Emergency Hotlines

If you are contacted by federal law enforcement, you should exercise all of your rights. It is always advisable to speak to an attorney before responding to federal authorities. 

 

State and Local Hotlines

If you have been contacted by the FBI or other federal law enforcement, in one of the following areas, you may be able to get help or information from one of these local NLG hotlines for: 

 

Portland, Oregon: (833) 680-1312

San Francisco, California: (415) 285-1041 or fbi_hotline@xxxxxxxxx

Seattle, Washington: (206) 658-7963

National Hotline

If you are located in an area with no hotline, you can call the following number:

 

National NLG Federal Defense Hotline: (212) 679-2811


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


Articles

*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


1) Israel’s military is in control of Nasser hospital, Gazan officials say.

By Victoria Kim and Adam Rasgon, Feb. 16, 2024

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2024/02/16/world/israel-hamas-war-gaza-news

image/webp

Video obtained by Reuters showing people inside the Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Younis on Thursday. Credit...via Reuters


Israeli special forces were combing the grounds of southern Gaza’s largest hospital on Friday and questioning suspects, the military said, as Gazan officials announced that five patients had died there after all power was lost amid an Israeli raid on the facility.

 

Gaza’s Health Ministry said that electric generators had cut out and that all power was lost at the hospital, the Nasser Medical Complex, but did not specify the reason. The ministry said on Facebook that the Israeli military was in control of the complex, which it raided early Thursday.

 

The Israeli military said in a statement on Friday that its forces had arrested 20 people who it said had participated in the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attack, and that it had detained dozens of others for questioning. It also said its troops had found mortar shells and grenades belonging to Hamas in the area of the hospital.

 

In announcing its raid, the Israeli military said that its action was based partly on intelligence that hostages had been held at the complex and that their bodies could have been there. Late Thursday, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the Israeli military’s chief spokesman, said that its forces had not found any hostages taken in the Oct. 7 attack, but that their search was continuing.

 

On Friday, the Israeli military said medication bearing the names of Israeli hostages had been discovered during the search of Nasser hospital. The source of the drugs and how they were used was “being looked into,” the military said in a statement.

 

While Israel and Hamas reached a deal last month that would allow medications to be delivered to Israeli hostages, it was unclear if any had reached the captives.

 

Neither the Israeli claims nor those of the Gazan authorities could be independently verified. Communications with people inside the Nasser complex, in the city of Khan Younis, have been extremely spotty since Israel’s military pushed into its grounds before dawn on Thursday, smashing through the perimeter and entering the compound as explosions and gunfire rang out.

 

Videos showed chaotic scenes inside the hospital’s smoke-filled corridors, with parts of the ceiling collapsing and wire and beams protruding as gurneys were rushed past.

 

The medical charity Doctors Without Borders said on Thursday that its staff had had to evacuate but that the weakest patients had stayed behind. The Israeli military ordered all remaining workers and patients into one building, according to a voice memo from a doctor provided by the group.

 

Israel has accused Hamas of using hospitals for military purposes, and its raid on the Al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza in November revealed a stone-and-concrete tunnel shaft below.

 

The army said in January that it had detected the launch of mortar fire from the Nasser complex toward Israeli soldiers.

 

Early Friday, the health ministry in Gaza said that the hospital’s power supply had cut out, endangering the lives of six adult patients in critical care and three infants in incubators who were dependent on oxygen. About 40 minutes later, the ministry said that three of the patients had died. The deaths of two others who had been dependent on oxygen were announced later.

 

Oxygen is pumped from a central station to patients’ beds and the pumping process requires power, Ashraf al-Qidra, a spokesman for the ministry, said in an interview.

 

He noted that 186 patients, 95 health professionals and 176 other people were still inside the hospital. Among the remaining patients, Mr. al-Qidra said that 18 were in particularly concerning condition.

 

Nasser had been the largest functioning hospital left in Gaza. Two days before the raid, the Israeli military began ordering the evacuation of the thousands of civilians who were sheltering at the complex, setting off alarm from international observers.

 

“Nasser is the backbone of the health system in southern Gaza,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of the World Health Organization, wrote on the social platform X earlier in the week. “It must be protected.”

 

Several people were also killed or wounded in Thursday morning’s incursion, including at least one doctor and one patient, according to Doctors Without Borders, Gazan health officials and a doctor at the hospital.

 

Aaron Boxerman contributed reporting.


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


2) The W.H.O. requests access to Nasser hospital amid ‘deeply alarming’ reports from inside.

By Nick Cumming-Bruce reporting from Geneva, Feb. 16, 2024

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2024/02/16/world/israel-hamas-war-gaza-news

image/webp

An Israeli helicopter flying over Khan Younis on Thursday. Credit...Mohammed Dahman/Associated Press


The World Health Organization said on Friday that it was urgently requesting access to the Nasser Medical Complex amid a raid by Israeli forces that Gazan health officials said had resulted in deaths and injuries among Palestinians and damage to the hospital facilities.

 

Tarik Jasarevic, a spokesman for the World Health Organization, called the reports emerging from the hospital “deeply alarming” and said the agency “fears for the safety” of the people still inside.

 

“There are still critically injured and sick patients inside the hospital,” Mr. Jasarevic told reporters in Geneva. “We are asking urgently for access.”

 

Before the raid began on Thursday, the W.H.O. had reported that the hospital had 402 patients, including around 80 in intensive care.

 

Mr. Jasarevic could not confirm reports that some patients had died after electric generators at the hospital had cut out and that all power was lost. But he said there was an urgent need for fuel to operate the hospital’s generators and ensure the continuation of lifesaving services.

 

“Additionally, medical assessments are required to identify the most critical patients and facilitate their safe referral,” he said.

 

Reports that Israeli forces had forcibly transferred many patients to other buildings within the complex were “gravely concerning,” Mr. Jasarevic said, pointing out that such movement could lead to deterioration in their condition or even death.

 

The W.H.O. has described Nasser hospital, in the city of Khan Younis, as the “backbone of health care in southern Gaza.” But it was barely functional before the raid, according to the W.H.O., because weeks of intense fighting in the surrounding area hindered the delivery of supplies.


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


   3) As Israel pushes Gazans into Rafah, Egypt is building a new wall near the border.

By Nada Rashwan and Christiaan Triebert reporting from Cairo and New York, Feb. 16, 2024

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2024/02/16/world/israel-hamas-war-gaza-news

JPEG image

Construction of a wall along the Egyptian border with Rafah is seen in this satellite imagery. Credit...Maxar Technologies


A wall is going up in the desert of Egypt near the border of the war-torn Gaza Strip, but no one is talking much about it.

 

Satellite imagery, photographs and video analyzed by The New York Times show a large patch of land being bulldozed and the wall being built in the buffer zone between Egypt and Rafah, the southern Gaza city overflowing with over a million displaced Palestinians that Israeli forces are poised to invade.

 

The satellite imagery clearly shows newly graded land south of the Rafah border crossing. An analysis of the satellite images indicated that the work began around Feb. 5.

 

But the Egyptian government, which has looked on with concern as Gazans displaced by the war between Israel and Hamas mass in Rafah, has declined to discuss the new construction. A spokesman for the government would only refer to statements by the government in recent weeks highlighting its fortification of the border.

 

It was not clear whether the structure might be intended to hold Gazans who crossed the border, but if it were to be used that way, it would be a major reversal of Egypt’s stance.

 

A contractor and an engineer who were interviewed by The Times and provided photos said they had been commissioned by the Egyptian Army to build a five-meter-high concrete wall — about 16 feet — to close off a five-square-kilometer plot of land at the site. They said they had begun work on Feb. 5 and started on the wall two days ago.

 

The contractor and the engineer spoke on the condition of anonymity, saying that they feared reprisals. The Egyptian authorities heavily restrict information coming from the border area.

 

Since October, when a Hamas-led attack on Israel led to immense Israeli military retaliation in Gaza, Egypt has repeatedly rebuffed any suggestion that it take in some of the Gazans who have fled air and ground assaults to areas near the border in Rafah. Egyptian officials fear that an influx of refugees would pose a security risk, and many Palestinians suspect that Israel might not allow people who leave Gaza to come back when the war is over.

 

In recent weeks, uprooted Gazans have crammed into Rafah, on the border of Egypt, struggling to survive in tents and makeshift shelters with scarce access to food and other critically needed supplies, aid workers say. One Gazan official in Rafah, Ahmed al-Soufi, estimated that there were over 100,000 displaced Palestinians in encampments pressed against the border.

 

At a meeting convened by Egypt on Thursday, Martin Griffiths, the United Nation’s top aid chief, said that “the possibility of spillover, a sort of Egyptian nightmare, is one that is right before our eyes.”

 

Like Israel, Egypt has sealed its borders with Gaza, and in recent months it has been adding fortifications to its border area.

 

A day after the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attack on Israel, the governorate of North Sinai — where the work captured in the satellite images is taking place — said in a statement that the governor had held an emergency meeting with senior local officials to “study the capacities of schools, housing units and empty land that can be used as shelter sites if necessary.”

 

But on Thursday, the deputy governor of North Sinai, Maj. Gen Hisham el-Khouly, said he was not aware of any new construction. And the governor of North Sinai, Maj. Gen Mohamed Shousha, did not respond to phone calls seeking comment.

 

Ahmed Ezzat, the head of emergency operations at the Egyptian Red Crescent, which coordinates Gaza-related humanitarian assistance work at the border, said he had not heard of the project.

 

Nick Cumming-Bruce contributed reporting from Geneva, and Adam Rasgon from Jerusalem.


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


4) Medical workers describe chaos as Israeli forces raided Nasser.

By Vivian Yee, Feb. 16, 2024

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2024/02/16/world/israel-hamas-war-gaza-news

PNG image





















Screenshot of hospital in chaos.


Confusion and fear spread through and beyond the Nasser Medical Complex in southern Gaza on Thursday as an Israeli military raid on one of the region’s few functioning hospitals sent panicked workers and sheltering civilians fleeing.

 

A doctor at the hospital, Islam Sawaly, said she fled on foot around 3 a.m. after a rocket struck the orthopedic department.

 

“Only a few doctors remained,” she said after what she described as a walk of more than four hours along a dark and damaged road to the area of Miraj, about halfway between the hospital in Khan Younis and Rafah. That city along the border with Egypt has become the destination of many fleeing Gazans.

 

Video verified by The New York Times showed the aftermath of a strike, with injured people being rushed through a smoke-filled corridor amid debris and the sounds of gunfire. It is unclear what time the video was filmed.

 

The number of casualties from the raid was unclear.

 

Doctors Without Borders said that shelling had left “an undetermined number of people killed and injured.” In voice notes released by the group, a doctor at the hospital said a rocket attack around 2 a.m. had killed a patient in his bed and injured six others.

 

Dr. Sawaly told The Times that a rocket attack had left two people with burns and killed a doctor, although health officials in Gaza said the doctor had been injured.

 

Doctors Without Borders also said that one of its workers was unaccounted for after being detained at a checkpoint and called for the “protection of his dignity.”

 

An Israeli military spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, said late Thursday that “dozens” of people had been arrested, and the military released photos of three individuals it said were suspected of terrorism.

 

Conditions at Nasser — where health officials said about 8,000 displaced Palestinians were staying before an evacuation order — deteriorated rapidly in recent days, and then grew still worse overnight when Israeli forces entered the complex.

 

The Doctors Without Borders physician, whose name the group withheld for his protection, said that Israeli troops had ordered the medical staff to move all the patients into the oldest building of the hospital. The doctor said only about 40 health care workers and administrative staff members were left. Some 300 medical workers were there before the evacuation order, Gazan health officials have said.

 

Tanya Haj-Hassan, a pediatric intensive care doctor for the group,  described the situation there as “catastrophic and utterly unbearable.” The hasty evacuations set off in recent days by Israeli warnings, she said, meant that those left behind at Nasser were the sickest patients, who could not be moved, and an unknown number of evacuees who turned back after coming under fire while trying to get out.

 

Rik Peeperkorn, the World Health Organization’s representative for the West Bank and Gaza, said Nasser had been treating about 400 patients on Wednesday, including about 80 in intensive care, with 35 on dialysis.

 

Rawan Sheikh Ahmad and Ameera Harouda contributed reporting.


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


5) Prominent Black Church Leaders Call for End of U.S. Aid to Israel

The African Methodist Episcopal Church Bishops Council says American financial assistance to help Israel fight its war in Gaza supports “mass genocide.”

By Audra D. S. Burch and Maya King, Published Feb. 16, 2024, Updated Feb. 17, 2024

https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/16/us/ame-church-us-israel-aid.html

President Biden delivered remarks at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C., last month. He was interrupted by protesters calling for a cease-fire in Gaza. Black churches and other faith groups have pushed for an end to Israel’s bombardment as the number of dead soars. Credit...Pete Marovich for The New York Times


Leaders of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, one of the country’s oldest and most prominent Black Christian denominations, called this week for the United States to end its financial aid to Israel, saying the monthslong military campaign in Gaza amounted to “mass genocide.”

 

The statement was issued by the church’s Council of Bishops, its executive branch, and signed by four senior bishops, including the council president, Bishop Stafford J. N. Wicker.

 

Black churches and other faith groups have pushed for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war for months in advertisements, open letters and social media campaigns. Black faith leaders across denominations have amplified their calls as the number of dead rises. More than 28,000 people have been killed in Gaza, according to health officials there, many of them women and children.

 

But the A.M.E. council’s statement goes further than a cease-fire demand, insisting that the United States immediately stop its financial support of Israel. It came as Israeli forces pushed into southern Gaza and prepared for a ground assault on Rafah, where more than a million displaced Palestinians are trapped.

 

The latest war between Israel and Hamas erupted on Oct. 7, after a Hamas attack on Israel killed 1,200 people, according to Israeli officials. The conflict has been a point of tension between President Biden, who has stood by Israel during the war, and African Americans, many of whom have taken up the Palestinian cause.

 

Several Black clergy members said the war could weaken an already fraught relationship between Mr. Biden and Black voters, Democrats’ most loyal voting bloc. The Black church is viewed as crucial to helping marshal support for Mr. Biden.

 

The A.M.E. church, which claims nearly three million members worldwide, holds a special place in that effort. Last month, Mr. Biden became the first sitting president to speak at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., the oldest A.M.E. church in the South, and the site of a 2015 racist massacre. Mr. Biden’s appearance was intended to invigorate African American support for his campaign, though his speech was interrupted by protesters calling for a cease-fire in Gaza.

 

In its statement, the A.M.E. council said Israel’s military had cornered Palestinians in Rafah and “denied them access to food water, shelter and health care.”

 

It continues: “After this torture, they plan to murder them. The United States of America will have likely paid for the weapons they use. This must not be allowed to happen.”

 

Senior Bishop Adam J. Richardson Jr., one of the four bishops who signed the statement, said it represented the voices of bishops who are the chief officers of the A.M.E. church. It grew out of many conversations among leaders and members of congregations, he said. Support for Israel’s right to defend itself after the Hamas-led assault in October eventually became more conflicted as the war continued because the “deaths were not proportional,” he said.

 

“What we are saying is enough is enough — we felt we needed to take it a step further because the money issue must be addressed,” said Bishop Richardson, who presides over 200 congregations in Texas. “Israel has a right to defend itself, but why are we paying? Why are we paying for the destruction of people?”

 

Still, Bishop Richardson said it had been a difficult decision because the church considers itself a Jewish ally. He wanted to make it clear that the statement was not directed toward Israel, rather at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.

 

“We are hoping that Biden will address the money, but we are not saying we don’t support him or Israel — this is about funding a war,” he said, adding that the denomination would continue to host and support voter registration drives.

 

A $95 billion foreign aid package, which includes $14 billion Mr. Biden requested for Israel, was passed by the Senate this week. Israel already receives more than $3 billion a year from the United States for weapons and defense.

 

The Biden campaign and White House did not comment on the A.M.E. church’s statement. A spokeswoman for the White House referred to recent meetings that White House officials and Mr. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris had held with Black faith leaders in key primary and early battleground states. A spokeswoman for Mr. Biden’s campaign pointed to the president’s heightened criticism of Israel’s tactics in Gaza. Last Thursday, he called them “over the top.”

 

Still, Black faith leaders say that their congregations have grown increasingly dismayed by the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

 

Rabbi Peter S. Berg, a senior rabbi of the Temple in Atlanta, has said that the growing push for a cease-fire led by some Black faith leaders has at times felt insensitive to the plight of Jews with relatives and friends in Israel.

 

“While we all want peace and for this war to end, I was disappointed to see that some faith leaders call for a cease-fire without focusing on bringing the hostages home and holding Hamas accountable for the atrocities they have committed,” Rabbi Berg said in a January interview, adding, “This is the time to double down on our strong relationships and to be open and honest with each other.”

 

The Rev. Michael McBride, lead pastor of The Way Church in Berkeley, Calif., and a co-founder of the Black Church PAC, which helps progressive faith leaders organize, said that he saw the A.M.E. statement as part of ongoing efforts from faith leaders to call for an end to the war.

 

“It is very clear to us that the approach of Netanyahu and the Israeli forces is to not be concerned about the civilian loss of life, but to at any cost render collective punishment to all the Gazans, and some would even say Palestinians living throughout the West Bank,” said Mr. McBride, whose organization has called for a cease-fire.

 

During prior cycles, Mr. McBride said he and other faith leaders would spend months working with community organizers planning get-out-the-vote strategies for November — efforts, he said, that would be “fully ramped up by now.” Instead, much of their time is now being used to organize protests and marches against the violence in the Middle East.


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


6) South Africa said Israel’s advance would bring ‘further large-scale killing’ and destruction.

By Victoria Kim and Marlise Simons, Feb. 17, 2024

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2024/02/17/world/israel-hamas-war-gaza-news?name=styln-israel-gaza&region=hub&block=storyline_live_updates_block_hub_recirc&action=click&pgtype=LegacyCollection

A destroyed residential building in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday. Credit...Hatem Ali/Associated Press


The International Court of Justice has declined to issue new constraints on Israel’s military to prevent it from pushing into the final stretch of Gaza where most civilians are sheltering, reiterating instead its ruling last month directing Israel to take action to prevent any potential acts of genocide by its forces.

 

It said that a new order was not required, and demanded Israel’s “immediate and effective” compliance with the court’s earlier orders, which include protecting civilians, allowing more humanitarian aid and ensuring that it military’s actions would not lead to genocide.

 

South Africa asked the court this week to intervene to stop Israel’s planned advance into Rafah, saying that such military action would result in “further large-scale killing, harm and destruction.” The court, the United Nations’ top judicial body, is weighing charges of genocide against Israel brought by South Africa.

 

Israel’s signaling of its intention to enter Rafah has been nearly universally criticized by allies, international organizations and aid groups, alarmed at the catastrophic humanitarian toll that could arise from active battles in a 25-square-mile area where hundreds of thousands of new arrivals are living in makeshift tent cities.

 

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has said that a ground invasion is necessary because Hamas battalions remain in Rafah. Israel has already pummeled the area with recent airstrikes that have killed dozens.

 

In the court’s latest ruling, issued on Friday, it said it recognized the “perilous situation” in Gaza, citing the U.N. secretary general’s remarks that an advance into Rafah “would exponentially increase what is already a humanitarian nightmare with untold regional consequences.”

 

The court does not have means of forcing states to act in accordance with its decisions. The trial on the main case concerning whether Israel is committing genocide could take months or years to unfold.

 

South Africa welcomed the court’s ruling, and President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office said in a statement that “South Africa will continue to use existing channels such as the United Nations Security Council to ensure full and effective implementation” of the court’s January ruling in the case accusing Israel of committing genocide in the war. In that decision, the court said that Israel must take actions to prevent acts by its forces in Gaza that are banned under the 1948 Genocide Convention.

 

Despite the international warnings, Mr. Netanyahu as recently as Wednesday reaffirmed his intensions for a ground assault. He said it would come after his military has allowed civilians to leave battle zones.

 

“We will fight until complete victory and this includes a powerful action also in Rafah,” he wrote on the social platform X.

 

Some of the civilians sheltering in Rafah, many of whom have moved multiple times as Israeli military actions have pushed farther south, have moved back north toward Deir al Balah, according to the United Nations’ humanitarian coordinator.

 

They are having to relocate while also suffering through acute shortages of food and water. People in Rafah have grown so desperate that they are stopping aid trucks and eating what food they manage to get on the spot, according to the U.N. report.

 

Lynsey Chutel contributed reporting.


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


7) Gazans squeezed into a southern city dread a possible Israeli invasion.

By Aaron Boxerman, Feb. 17, 2024

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2024/02/17/world/israel-hamas-war-gaza-news?name=styln-israel-gaza&region=hub&block=storyline_live_updates_block_hub_recirc&action=click&pgtype=LegacyCollection

Displaced Gazans in the southern city of Rafah speaking to Egyptian soldiers at the border fence between Gaza and Egypt on Friday. Credit...Mohammed Abed/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images


The swelling numbers of Gazans in the southern city of Rafah are awaiting a possible ground incursion by the Israeli military amid increasingly dire conditions as Israeli leaders say they are drawing up plans to send in ground forces and evacuate the civilians seeking refuge there.

 

About 1.4 million Palestinians — more than half of Gaza’s total population — have been sheltering in Rafah since the Israeli military ordered residents of the territory’s northern and central regions to move there. Many of them have been displaced multiple times over the past four months of war and say that finding enough food, water and medicine just to survive has become a daily struggle.

 

“If they want to come here — amid all these people — there will be massacres,” Khalil al-Halabi, 70, one of the many Palestinians from northern Gaza seeking shelter in Rafah, said on Saturday.

 

Mr. al-Halabi, who said he had fled northern Gaza in October with dozens of members of his extended family, has been living in a makeshift tent built out of wood and nylon in Rafah. In many places, the crowding there is so intense that vehicles can barely move in the streets, he said.

 

Thousands of displaced Gazans have joined the expanding tent cities along the Egyptian border with southern Gaza, raising fears that they might try to cross in the event of an Israeli ground operation in Rafah.

 

Josep Borrell, the European Union’s top diplomat, reiterated his appeal to Israel on Saturday to refrain from launching a military operation in Rafah “that would worsen an already catastrophic humanitarian situation.”

 

Leaders in Israel have insisted that Gazan civilians will be evacuated if its forces enter Rafah to try to root out Palestinian militants there.

 

But Israel’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant, said on Friday that the Israeli authorities had “no intention of evacuating Palestinian civilians to Egypt.” Egypt has warned of “dire consequences” should Israeli forces embark on a ground operation in Rafah. Israel and Egypt have had a decades-long peace treaty that is a cornerstone of stability in the Middle East.

 

In recent weeks, Egypt has reinforced its border with Gaza, in what some analysts see as a response to fears that an influx of Palestinians will pour in. A contractor and an engineer told The New York Times recently that they had received a government commission to build a five-meter-high concrete wall — about 16 feet — to close off a five-square-kilometer plot of land on the Egyptian side of the Gaza border in Rafah.

 

On Saturday, Diaa Rashwan, an Egyptian government spokesman, called the construction similar to “measures taken by any country in the world to maintain the security of its borders.”

 

He dismissed the idea that Egypt was preparing to take in any Palestinian refugees in the buffer zone between the two countries.

 

Another displaced Palestinian in Rafah, Ahmad al-Ghazaly, 26, was sheltering in a tent with his parents, both of whom he said had chronic illnesses. He said that he hoped to get permits for both of them to leave for Egypt via the Rafah border crossing, but that the process had become even more difficult and costly in recent weeks.

 

“It’s been four months in which we’ve barely slept, eaten, showered, and there’s constant bombardment,” Mr. al-Ghazaly said. “We’re living in conditions, I’m sorry to say, that are barely better than those of animals.”

 

Patrick Kingsley, Rawan Sheikh Ahmad and Nada Rashwan contributed reporting.


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


8) The U.S. designates the Houthis a terrorist group.

By Michael Crowley Reporting from Washington, Fwb. 17, 2024

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2024/02/17/world/israel-hamas-war-gaza-news?name=styln-israel-gaza&region=hub&block=storyline_live_updates_block_hub_recirc&action=click&pgtype=LegacyCollection

Houthi supporters during a protest against the U.S. terrorist designation of Houthis, in Sana, Yemen, on Friday. Credit...Yahya Arhab/EPA, via Shutterstock


The State Department on Friday designated the Houthis as a terrorist organization, following through on a mid-January warning to crack down on the Yemen-based militant group.

 

The action officially labels the Houthis as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist group, a step that gives the United States new powers to crack down on the Iran-backed Houthis’ access to the global financial system.

 

It restores a designation given to the group late in the Trump administration, which Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken reversed soon after taking office in 2021, partly to facilitate peace talks for Yemen’s civil war.

 

Last month, Mr. Blinken announced the State Department’s intent to return the Houthis to its terrorism list, but delayed the action for 30 days. The pause was intended in part to give humanitarian aid groups working in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen time to ensure that their work does not run afoul of new sanctions from the United States that will punish anyone who provides support to the militant group. Some aid groups have warned that their work will inevitably be constrained in a country with dire humanitarian needs.

 

Mr. Blinken said in January that the implementation delay was also meant to give the Houthis — who are the de facto government in northern Yemen and are backed by Iran — a chance to cease their attacks on international shipping in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, which have disrupted global trade causing delays and higher prices. Those attacks have recently prompted dozens of U.S. airstrikes in response. But neither American military action nor the threat of a terrorist designation have deterred the Houthis.

 

A State Department spokesman noted that just this morning, a missile launched from Yemen struck an India-bound, Panamanian-flagged ship carrying crude oil. The official said the ship is continuing south under its own power.

 

Some Republicans hawks have criticized President Biden for not placing the Houthis in a different official category, known as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, which they say would allow for harsher U.S. penalties and greater ability to prosecute the group’s financial supporters. The Trump administration designated the Houthis as a foreign terrorist organization as well a Specially Designated Global Terrorist; Mr. Blinken reversed both designations.

 

The newly restored designation of Specially Designated Global Terrorist group can be removed again if the Houthis stop their aggressive behavior, Mr. Blinken said last month.


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


9) Israel Was Behind Attacks on Major Gas Pipelines in Iran, Officials Say

The sabotage, which analysts said marked an escalation in the shadow war between Israel and Iran, caused sweeping disruption in several provinces.

By Farnaz Fassihi, Eric Schmitt, Ronen Bergman and Julian E. Barnes, Feb. 16, 2024

https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/16/world/middleeast/iran-israel-attacks-gas-pipelines.html

The sabotage targeted several points along two of Iran’s main natural gas pipelines. At the site of one attack, in Chahar Mahal Bakhtiari, two people stared at flames from the explosion. Credit...Reza Kamali Dehkordi/Fars News Agency, via Associated Press


Israel carried out covert attacks on two major natural gas pipelines inside Iran this week, disrupting the flow of heat and cooking gas to provinces with millions of people, according to two Western officials and a military strategist affiliated with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps.

 

The strikes represent a notable shift in the shadow war that Israel and Iran have been waging by air, land, sea and cyberattack for years.

 

Israel has long targeted military and nuclear sites inside Iran — and assassinated Iranian nuclear scientists and commanders, both inside and outside of the country. Israel has also waged cyberattacks to disable servers belonging to the oil ministry, causing turmoil at gas stations nationwide.

 

But blowing up part of the country’s energy infrastructure, relied on by industries, factories and millions of civilians, marked an escalation in the covert war and appeared to open a new frontier, officials and analysts said.

 

“The enemy’s plan was to completely disrupt the flow of gas in winter to several main cities and provinces in our country,” Iran’s oil minister, Javad Owji, told Iranian media on Friday.

 

Mr. Owji, who had previously referred to the blasts as “sabotage and terrorist attacks,” stopped short of publicly blaming Israel or any other culprit. But he said that the goal of the attack was to damage Iran’s energy infrastructure and stir domestic discontent.

 

The office of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined to comment.

 

The Western officials and the Iranian military strategist said the gas pipeline attacks by Israel required deep knowledge of Iran’s infrastructure and careful coordination, especially since two pipelines were hit in multiple locations at the same time.

 

One Western official called it a major symbolic strike that was fairly easy for Iran to repair and caused relatively little harm to civilians. But, the official said, it sent a stark warning of the damage that Israel could inflict, as conflict spreads across the Middle East and tensions rise between Iran and its adversaries, notably Israel and the United States.

 

The Western officials said Israel also caused a separate blast on Thursday inside a chemical factory on the outskirts of Tehran that rattled a neighborhood and sent plumes of smoke and fire into the air. But local officials said the factory explosion, which took place on Thursday, stemmed from an accident in the factory’s fuel tank.

 

Iran has said that it does not want a direct war with the United States, and it has denied being involved in either the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks against Israel or the various attacks against American and Israeli targets in the region since then.

 

But Iran supports and arms a network of proxy militia that have been actively fighting with Israel and United States, including the Houthis in Yemen, Hezbollah in Lebanon and militants in Iraq and Syria. Iran has also armed and trained Hamas and other Palestinian fighters.  

 

The strikes and counter-strikes across the region have escalated in recent months. Israel has killed two senior Iranian commanders in Syria, while the United States has struck military bases connected to the Revolutionary Guards and its proxies in Iraq and Syria after three American soldiers were killed in a drone attack.

 

Iran also suffered one of the largest terrorist attacks in its history in January, when suicide bombers killed about 100 people in Kerman during a ceremony for a top general, Qassim Suleimani, killed by the United States four years ago. ISIS claimed responsibility for the suicide attack.

 

Now, the Western officials say, Israel has attacked inside Iran’s borders with back-to-back explosions that have unnerved Iranians.

 

“This shows that the covert networks operating in Iran have expanded their target list and advanced beyond just military and nuclear sites,” said Shahin Modarres, a Rome-based security analyst focused on the Middle East. “It’s a major challenge and reputation blow for Iran’s intelligence and security agencies.”

 

The sabotage targeted several points along two main gas pipelines in the provinces of Fars and Chahar Mahal Bakhtiari on Wednesday. But the disruption in service stretched to residential homes, government buildings and major factories in at least five provinces across Iran, according to Iranian officials and local media reports.

 

The pipelines carry gas from the south to major cities like Tehran and Isfahan. One of the pipelines runs all the way to Astara, a city near Iran’s northern border with Azerbaijan.

 

Energy experts estimated that the attacks on the pipelines, which each run for about 1,200 kilometers or 800 miles and carry 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, knocked out about 15 percent of Iran’s daily natural gas production, making them particularly sweeping assaults on the country’s critical infrastructure.

 

“The level of impact was very high because these are two significant pipelines going south to north,” said Homayoun Falakshahi, a senior energy analyst at Kpler. “We have never seen anything like this in scale and scope.”

 

On Friday, Mr. Owji, the oil minister, said that technical teams from the ministry had worked around the clock to repair the damage, and that the disruption had been minimal and service restored.

 

But his assessment was at odds with the comments of local governors and officials from Iran’s national gas company, who had described widespread outages of service in five provinces, forcing the closure of government buildings. On social media, Iranian energy experts advised people in the affected areas, where in some places temperatures dropped below freezing, to dress warmly.

 

The blasts happened at around 1 a.m. local time, terrifying residents, who fled their homes and poured into the streets, according to Iranian media reports. On social media, people described blasts so loud that they woke up thinking a bomb had been dropped. No casualties were reported.

 

Saeid Aghli, an official with the national gas company, told Iranian media that officials immediately called an emergency meeting attended by the oil minister, officials from the foreign ministry and representatives from all of Iran’s intelligence and security services. Mr. Aghli said the sabotage was intended to take out about 40 percent of the country’s gas transmission capacity.

 

How the pipelines were struck — with drones, explosives attached to pipes or some other means — remains unclear. Iran’s energy infrastructure has been targeted in the past, but those incidents were much smaller in scope and scale, analysts said.

 

The military strategist affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards Corps — who, like the other officials, was not authorized to speak publicly — said the Iranian government believed Israel was behind the attack because of the complexity and scope of the operation. The attack, he said, almost certainly required the help of collaborators inside Iran to figure out where and how to strike.

 

He noted that major pipelines in Iran, which carry gas across vast distances that include mountains, deserts and rural fields, are patrolled by guards in outposts along the length of the pipes. The guards check their areas every few hours, he said, so the attackers may have had knowledge of their breaks, when the area would remain unmanned.

 

Mr. Falakshahi, the energy analyst, said the blasts exposed the vulnerability of the country’s critical infrastructure to attacks and sabotage. He said that Iran, the third largest producer of natural gas in the world, has about 40,000 kilometers of natural gas pipelines, mostly underground. He added that the pipelines are primarily for domestic consumption and that, because of sanctions, Iran’s export of gas was minimal and limited to Turkey and Iraq.

 

“It’s very difficult to protect this very extensive network of pipelines unless you invest billions in new technology,” Mr. Falakshahi said. He added that repairing the damaged pipelines would require shutting off the gas and then replacing the pipes, which could take days.


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


10) As Gaza Death Toll Mounts, the Peace Lobby Fights for Influence in Washington

The Friends Committee, a Quaker lobbying group, has been pushing in Washington for a cease-fire, going up against more powerful and better-funded groups backing Israel.

By Kate Kelly, Reporting from Washington, Feb. 16, 2024

“A New York Times / Siena poll in December showed that 44 percent of respondents believed that Israel should stop its military campaign in Gaza, with 39 percent believing that Israel should continue (18 percent of respondents didn’t know or declined to answer). A January poll from the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research showed that 50 percent of adults surveyed believed that the war had “gone too far,” with 46 percent saying it had either been “about right” or “not gone far enough.” As the Gazan health ministry reports that more than 28,000 Palestinians have been killed, Mr. El-Tayyab and his fellow peace lobbyists are pushing for a cease-fire not only on moral grounds, but also on practical ones.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/16/us/politics/gaza-peace-lobby-washington.html

The Friends Committee’s office in Washington has a banner reading “Ceasefire Now!” in several languages. Credit...Anna Rose Layden for The New York Times


When the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the most influential pro-Israel group in the United States, wants to use its muscle, it can call on its considerable resources to run negative ads against lawmakers who oppose its agenda and pour money into funding a challenger.

 

When the Friends Committee on National Legislation, a Quaker group that is pushing for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, wants to push its message, its Middle East lobbyist turns to tactics like playing guitar with schoolchildren in the occupied West Bank and sharing video messages about their fears with members of Congress on Capitol Hill.

 

Going up against the many forces backing Israel is a challenge for any group. But the clash is especially striking when it comes to the Friends Committee, whose antiwar positions are in sync with much of the left of the Democratic Party but run counter to Biden administration policy in the wake of the Hamas terror attack and face intense opposition on the right.

 

AIPAC, founded about 70 years ago to promote Israel’s interests in the U.S., is a juggernaut. Last year, its nonprofit arm reported more than $73 million in revenue. Last month, its political action committee, which supports candidates who embrace its policy priorities, reported record fund-raising — bolstering a $40 million war chest that could be spent trying to defeat political opponents in Washington. It has the ear of congressional leaders in both parties.

 

The Friends Committee, which was founded during World War II, is part of what amounts to Washington’s peace lobby. It does not run a political action committee. It reports about $3 million in annual revenue. Its lobbying approach involves looking for “the divine in the people that we’re meeting with,” Sarah Freeman-Woolpert, the Quaker group’s deputy director of strategic advocacy, says in a video.

 

The group has draped a banner stating “Ceasefire Now!” in English, Arabic and Hebrew on the facade of its Second Street office, which faces the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill.

 

“We’re clearly being outspent, but I think the saving grace is that our ideas are just more popular,” said Hassan El-Tayyab, the Friends Committee’s Middle East legislative director.

 

“So our currency is people power, and getting constituents to lobby their members of Congress,” he said. “And that has a major impact. And you can’t necessarily buy that public support.”

 

But while polling suggests that American support for Israel’s tactics in Gaza is weakening as the civilian death toll there grows, groups like the Friends Committee and its coalition of more than 80 like-minded groups, including American Muslims for Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace and the Episcopal Church, are struggling to get traction for their message in Washington.

 

As Congress grapples with providing more aid to Israel, the Friends Committee and its political allies are pushing for an immediate cease-fire, more humanitarian aid for Gazans, continued funding for the U.N. aid group UNRWA and a cleareyed assessment of Israel’s human rights record.

 

AIPAC, which is supporting scores of Democrats and Republicans for re-election this cycle, is well known — and feared — in Washington. “Members of both parties worried about crossing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee,” former President Barack Obama wrote in his 2020 memoir, echoing a refrain heard from lawmakers today.

 

AIPAC has recently run harsh ads spotlighting some lawmakers’ refusal to condemn the Oct. 7 terror attacks carried out by Hamas. It plans to challenge incumbents like Representatives Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota, and Jamaal Bowman, Democrat of New York, whose stances on Israel and the Palestinians it disagrees with.

 

The peace groups are largely focused on amplifying their influence with left-leaning Democrats — but hoping to win over more moderates along the way.

 

In late October, Mr. El-Tayyab pitched Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York, on signing a letter arguing for a cease-fire. Weeks later, she was among two dozen members of Congress to send a letter to the White House and the State Department pushing for rapid de-escalation of Israel’s offensive in Gaza and a cease-fire. Since then, the number of members calling for a cease-fire has grown to 68, according to a tracker managed by the Working Families party and Congressional announcements — including one from Representative Chrissy Houlahan, Democrat of Pennsylvania, released on Thursday.

 

More recently, the Friends Committee and other peace and faith groups urged support for a resolution introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent, to examine Israel’s human rights record before providing the additional defense funding now under discussion. The measure was rejected by the Senate last month when it drew just 11 backers, almost entirely Democrats. (The sole Republican on board was Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.)

 

“They’re all, I think, very mobilized voices and have had an impact,” said Representative Ro Khanna, Democrat of California, who called for a cease-fire in November after initially hesitating. “They’ve had constituents reach out to different members of Congress, they’ve organized a lot of demonstrations in districts, they’ve done a lot on social media, they’ve raised a lot of awareness.”

 

Mr. Khanna said he and his staff meet with groups like the Friends Committee “all the time.”

 

The Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, has been lobbying since its founding in the 1600s in England, said Jordan Landes, a Quaker historian at Swarthmore College. Quaker lobbying centers on a handful of themes, referred to as “testimonies,” including peace, equality and stewardship, Ms. Landes said.

 

The Friends Committee was founded in 1943, in the throes of World War II. It focuses on policy objectives like alleviating child poverty and ensuring funding to help fight the impact of climate change. It also promotes peace around the world, not only in Gaza.

 

Mr. El-Tayyab is a self-described agnostic who grew up in Plymouth, Mass., and was a musician in a roots rock band called American Nomad before becoming a lobbyist (he still plays frequent gigs). His work on Middle East policy recently took him to Jerusalem and the West Bank city Ramallah, where he and other peace advocates met with faith and political leaders.

 

In Ramallah, he played his guitar and sang “I want a cease-fire now” to students at a local Quaker school assembly. He comforted some who were troubled by the war and its impact on them and their family members, promising “to relay those conversations to Congress when I get back.”

 

He also met with Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, while in the West Bank. Over cigarettes and tea, Mr. Abbas thanked Mr. El-Tayyab and his other visitors for their work lobbying for a cease-fire, according to two people who were there.

 

A New York Times / Siena poll in December showed that 44 percent of respondents believed that Israel should stop its military campaign in Gaza, with 39 percent believing that Israel should continue (18 percent of respondents didn’t know or declined to answer). A January poll from the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research showed that 50 percent of adults surveyed believed that the war had “gone too far,” with 46 percent saying it had either been “about right” or “not gone far enough.” As the Gazan health ministry reports that more than 28,000 Palestinians have been killed, Mr. El-Tayyab and his fellow peace lobbyists are pushing for a cease-fire not only on moral grounds, but also on practical ones.

 

“This is not sustainable,” said the Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, executive director of Churches for Middle East Peace, the group that convened the recent meeting with Mr. Abbas. “It’s not sustainable for Palestine, for the Israelis. Even if Gaza is rebuilt, this can’t continue, and so I think that’s a huge concern.”


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


11) Aleksei Navalny’s Allies Confirm His Death as Russia Detains Mourners

A spokeswoman for the team that has continued Mr. Navalny’s work said his mother had received the official notification. Hundreds of his mourners have been detained after his death.

By Ivan Nechepurenko, Feb. 17, 2024

"Ivan Zhdanov, the head of Mr. Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, said in a post on X that they were told in the penal colony that he died because of the 'sudden death syndrome.'”https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/17/world/europe/aleksei-navalny-dead.html

Police officers detaining a man on Saturday during a gathering in Moscow in memory of Mr. Navalny near a monument to the victims of political repression. Credit...Reuters


Aleksei A. Navalny’s political allies on Saturday confirmed his death, saying that his mother, Lyudmila Navalnaya, had received an official notification that her son died on Friday afternoon. The confirmation came as Russian officials detained hundreds of people mourning his death.

 

Mr. Navalny’s family was still waiting for officials to release the body. Kira Yarmysh, Mr. Navalny’s spokeswoman, said in a statement on X that Russian investigators had transferred Mr. Navalny’s body from a penal colony in the Arctic to the town of Salekhard, where it was being examined.

 

“We demand for Aleksei Navalny’s body to be released to his family immediately,” Ms. Yarmysh said in her statement.

 

The detentions of Mr. Navalny’s mourners signaled that the Kremlin wanted to prevent his death from turning into a political event. At least 340 people in 30 cities had been detained since the death was announced on Friday, according to OVD Info, a rights group that tracks such arrests.

 

In Moscow, hundreds of Russians came to the Wall of Grief monument honoring victims of political repression in Russia. They were met with a heavy police presence. Overnight, Moscow city authorities removed piles of flowers that people had left to commemorate Mr. Navalny.

 

Mr. Navalny’s mother and one of his lawyers arrived on Saturday morning at the penal colony in the Kharp settlement, Ms. Yarmysh said in a video statement. She and others had to wait for two hours before a prison official came out to say that Mr. Navalny’s body had been transferred to Salekhard.

 

Ivan Zhdanov, the head of Mr. Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, said in a post on X that they were told in the penal colony that he died because of the “sudden death syndrome.”

 

In Salekhard, a regional center close to the penal colony, Mr. Navalny’s mother and his lawyer found the local morgue closed. When they called, the officials said that Mr. Navalny’s body was not there, Ms. Yarmysh said. Another lawyer was told, she said, that an “additional histology” had been performed to determine the cause of Mr. Navalny’s death, and that its results should be ready next week.

 

“They lie and they do everything not to give out the body,” Ms. Yarmysh said.

 

In a separate video address, Ms. Yarmysh accused Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, of killing Mr. Navalny.

 

“Three and a half years ago Putin tried to kill Aleksei,” Ms. Yarmysh said, referring to Mr. Navalny’s poisoning with a nerve agent in 2020. “Yesterday, he killed him.”

 

Ms. Yarmysh is a member of a team of Mr. Navalny’s allies. Working from outside Russia, they have continued to carry out his work after his poisoning and his subsequent imprisonment, publishing his statements and organizing political events.

 

Prison authorities said Mr. Navalny fell unconscious and died after a walk at the penal colony, where he had been transferred at the end of December.

 

In their statement about his death, the prison authorities said that its causes were “being determined.” Local investigators said that they had begun a “procedural check” into Mr. Navalny’s death. They said “a set of investigative and operative measures is being carried out aimed at establishing all circumstances of the incident.”

 

Yevgeny Smirnov, a Russian lawyer, said that means a forensic medical examination is probably being conducted on Mr. Navalny’s body. Relatives can retrieve the body for burial only after the cause of death is officially determined, Mr. Smirnov said.

 

According to Public Verdict, a Russian rights group, such medical examinations usually give only very general causes of death.

 

“Such investigations absolutely cannot be trusted,” the group said in a statement.

 

Upon retrieving the body, relatives can bury it at a cemetery, the group said. Mr. Navalny’s family members have not commented on the possible burial arrangements.


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


12) UAW Arab Caucus: UAW must move from ceasefire declaration to stopping weapons for Israel

UAW Arab Caucus to union president Shawn Fain: The union must take action to translate the UAW’s ceasefire declaration to practical interruption of the weapons our UAW siblings are making, sending to Israel, and are being used to kill our families.

By UAW Arab Caucus, February 14, 2024

https://mondoweiss.net/2024/02/uaw-arab-caucus-uaw-must-move-from-ceasefire-declaration-to-stopping-weapons-for-israel/

JPEG image



























Photo dated November 28, 1973, of Arab auto workers and their supporters in Detroit protest, published in Revolution, January 1974.” (Photo via the University of Michigan Library Digital Collections)


February 12, 2024

Shawn Fain

President, United Auto Workers

 

Dear Shawn,

 

We write to you as an Arab caucus in the UAW on day 129 of the U.S.-funded Israeli genocide of Gaza’s Palestinians to ask you meet with us this week.

 

Yesterday, Americans watched the Superbowl, including vicious Israeli propaganda ads that lawyers have said violate FDC regulations. Thinking that people who have been steadfastly resisting our complicity as taxpayers in this genocide would be distracted by the Superbowl (as they did during Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Christmas), Israel aerial bombed Palestinian homes, mosques, and hospitals in the “Safe Zone” region of Rafah– the last place that Palestinian civilians can go. As you know, the weapons Israel is using are paid for by U.S. taxpayer money – 14.5 billion dollars was sent since October 2023 in addition to the 3.8 billion dollars the U.S. sends every year. On this same Super Bowl Sunday massacre, the U.S. Senate met in a secret session and advanced another 14.1 billion dollar package to Israel. On top of it all, many of the weapons being supplied are made in UAW unionized shops. It is abundantly clear how central our role as U.S. residents, laborers, and American voters is to Israel’s U.S.-supported ethnic cleansing campaign – and it’s never been more clear to us the role that the UAW can play in putting an end to it.  

 

As Arab members of the UAW, we have been asking for a meeting with you since late October. In addition to emailing you ourselves, our fellow UAW members sent hundreds of emails on our behalf, and people who see you regularly have asked directly for this meeting. We’ve been given a wide range of excuses as to why this meeting hasn’t yet happened. All the while we are grieving the loss of dozens of family members, livelihoods, witnessing direct violence and incitement to violence against Arabs in the US – including those of us who are members of Local 600 in Dearborn which a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed just called the “jihad capital of America”. We are terrified that this war is intended to expand to the entire Middle East region, and harm more and more of us here in the U.S. (Americans have already been killed in Gaza and the West Bank, and Palestinians targeted in the U.S.).

 

We need you to meet with us now – you must take action to translate the UAW’s ceasefire declaration to practical interruption of the weapons which our UAW siblings are making, sending to Israel, and which are being used to kill our families. We have lots of ideas of what that can look like, but we need the support of our reform leadership. You must show your accountability to your rank-and-file workers by sitting down with us, coming up with a plan of action for Palestine, and then following through on it.

 

We aim to realize the dream of the original UAW Arab caucus, which undertook a wildcat strike in November 1973 in Dearborn, demanding the UAW divest from Israeli bonds. Fifty years later, nearly to the date this November, we celebrated as you and our elected leadership passed a ceasefire resolution and created a committee to look into Divestment and a Just Transition– fulfilling the Arab caucus’s demands. We are grateful for your leadership on calling for an end to the genocide and as our Arab caucus before us, we urge you to do much more. 

 

The question of Palestine has moved U.S. residents in sustained resistance for months in ways unprecedented in decades. If UAWD and the reform leadership is going to stay in power and continue to push the labor agenda in this country, we will need to move beyond the supposed priorities of the traditional and often white male labor activists. We will need to work on campaigns and in ways that touch a wider range of diverse younger workers – Palestinian liberation is one such campaign, and we, as Arab unionists, know also that our liberation is interconnected. That is, we are already and will continue to work to connect with our more marginalized union siblings to bring all of our pressing issues to the forefront of the union.

 

This kind of work will bring more active members into the reform caucus and actually ensure the expansion of the UAW reform program. In fact, issues like the genocide in Palestine have already proven to be one of the most powerful activating and mobilizing forces for the labor movement. Fear, on the other hand, that taking an active stance on Palestine will alienate rank and file or leadership members of the Admin Caucus, will get us nowhere. Instead, it will just reproduce the same dynamic that UAWD is supposedly trying to shift. If our union’s power is to continue into the future in a diverse America, we must grow and become more committed to the cause of workers everywhere.

 

We need you to take action on Palestine, starting by meeting with us now. We, as Arab unionists, in turn, commit to helping to transform the UAW into a truly democratic and more powerful union that can fight the fascist turn in this country, and improve the conditions of all workers in the U.S. and everywhere. 

 

In solidarity,

 

Mary Jirmanus Saba, UAW Local 2865

Alia ElKattan, UAW Local 2110

Shahinaz Geneid, GENU-UAW & HAW-UAW

Ignacia Lolas, UAW Local 2325

Mafaz Al-Suwaidan, HGSU-UAW Local 5118

On behalf of the UAW Arab Caucus


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*


*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*..........*

  

Other related posts:

  • » [bauaw] Bay Area United Against War Newsletter, February 17, 2024 - bonnieweinstein