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Signs of the Times for Wed, 13 Dec 2006

Joe Quinn
Signs of the Times
13/12/2006
Men grieve over the three boys' bodies. The sons of a senior Fatah official were murdered when their car was riddled with 60 bullets

Two days ago in the Gaza strip, unknown gunmen deliberately targeted and murdered 3 Palestinian children as they were being driven to school. The Guardian reports:

'They were targeting the children': Gaza factions hit new level of horror

December 12, 2006

In their bedroom the boys' clothes were still hanging from hooks by the door and matching pink blankets lay over their beds. From the windows of the 12th floor family apartment, grieving relatives peered down at the point just a few hundred yards away where the three young sons of a senior Fatah security official were gunned down as they were driven to school yesterday morning in an act of apparent factional Palestinian violence that was extraordinary in its brutality even by Gaza's standards.

Sitting on one of the beds was Lydia Abu-Eid, six, the boys' cousin and the only person to emerge from the car virtually untouched, aside from a handful of small scratches on her face.

She explained how yesterday, as every morning, the bodyguards for the Balousha family came first to her house before 7am to begin the school run. She sat in the back seat, to the left just behind the driver. A second armed bodyguard sat in the front passenger seat of the white Skoda saloon.

From the Abu-Eid family house, the Skoda drove up to the flat belonging to Baha Balousha in Rimal district of Gaza City and his three boys got in. Osama, nine, sat in the middle of the back seat, his brother Ahmad, six, sat on the right. The youngest, Salam, three, sat on the lap of the bodyguard in the front passenger seat.

They drove up the road to the first junction from where they would turn right and head across town to the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate school, a respected private school catering for Christian and Muslim pupils. Lydia, Osama and Ahmad all studied there and were all wearing the school's simple uniform: white shirts and blue cardigans.

But the car never got past the junction. "Masked men fired one bullet and then we stopped," said Lydia. The car was then sprayed with dozens of bullets that flattened the tyres, shattered the windows and tore through the doorframes. [...]

In the back seat of the car, Lydia was barely touched but Osama and Ahmad were dead. In the front, Mahmoud Habeel, the bodyguard, and the youngest boy Salam were dead in the passenger seat and Ayman Ghoul, the driver, was seriously injured, with bullets to the neck and shoulder. Yesterday he was in intensive care in Gaza's al-Quds hospital, where doctors tried to make arrangements for him to be sent to Israel for more advanced medical care.

"Their father started to scream: 'the children, the children,' and I saw from the window the white car was stopped, its windows were broken."

There seemed little doubt among the family yesterday that the gunmen had purposely sought to kill the children, not the father. "It wasn't a mistake," said Mrs Balousha. "They were targeting the children. They tried before to kill my husband and they couldn't."

Many Fatah officials blamed Hamas, which denied any involvement.

That three innocent Palestinian children were deliberately and mercilessly shot to death is an act of inhumanity almost beyond comprehension, and it would be very easy to simply blame "man's inhumanity to man" or the long-term and allegedly complex problems of the "Middle East crisis". Indeed, this appears to be what official sources have done, as they accept the "logical" explanation that the children were the victims of an factional conflict between Fatah against Hamas, an explanation that also happens to fit well with Israeli and Western government propaganda that has long sought to demonise all Arabs as bloodthirsty animals. If about 700,000 dead Iraqi civilians can be explained away with two words, then the same two words will also suffice for Palestine.

The Guardian continues:

Fears of civil war

It is still not clear how determined the rival factions are to avoid all-out war. A gradual descent into factional violence has been obvious in Gaza and the West Bank for months, but senior Palestinian figures repeatedly insist no one wants a civil war and all acknowledge there would be huge casualties and no clear victor.

Hundreds of men marched in a funeral procession through Gaza yesterday, carrying the bodies of the three small boys wrapped in white sheets. Mr Balousha greeted mourners under the green awnings of a tent set up in the street a short distance from the scene of the killings, but he stopped short of assigning blame.

"I have no words," he said. "I am a father who has lost his children."

The Guardian reporter would have us believe that the "logical" and "obvious" response to the 40 year-long occupation of Palestine and the continuous indiscriminate murder of Palestinians by Zionists is for Palestinians to turn on, and kill each other. It is the very same "logic" that we find being used to explain the massive murder of civilians taking place in Iraq - a US military force of occupation arrives, and within a few years Iraqi fighters decide that the best way to expel the invader is to kill each other and Iraqi civilians. Makes sense to me, how about you?

The official claim therefore is that it is "logical" that both Iraq and Palestine should be on the brink of "civil war" because both situations are so complex. We are meant to believe that in any modern pluralist society there is a complex web of underlying religious, ethnic, political and social differences between the members of that scoeity and that these differences are a time bomb waiting to go off. Complexity begets chaos at least in potential. The reality however, is much more simple, and the "complexity" lies in the conscious efforts by Israeli and Western governments and the mainstream media to place the otherwise simple truth of both situations beyond the understanding of the ordinary Western civilian.

So what is the simple explanation?

As a result of direct experience in several foreign campaigns waged by Western militaries over the past 60 years, Western governments well understand that the occupation of one sovereign state by another inevitably gives rise to an armed insurgency among the occupied population that is dedicated to resisting and expelling the occupying power.

In such a situation, the insurgents enjoy widespread support from the local population and, short of the complete annihilation or ethnic cleansing of the indigenous population, such a 'war' cannot be won by the invading force, and an alternative strategy is called for.

Basically, the tried and tested counter-insurgency strategy followed by invading forces of occupation is to first divide as a means to conquering rather than conquering directly.

Counter-insurgency strategy is the strategy used to neutralise the expected grass roots resistance that invariably springs forth in response to an invading army. In Northern Ireland, for example, British army intelligence and MI5 dedicated significant resources to what was called the "Ulsterisation" of the conflict. The goal was to subvert the core reason for the conflict - the occupation of a sovereign nation by an aggressor state - and make it appear that the conflict was in fact the result of long-standing ethnic or religious divisions within the Ulster community, hence "Ulsterisation".

In Northern Ireland this was relatively easy given that there was indeed already a very clear religious divide between the Protestant and Catholic communities. But the fact remained that the IRA was not fighting a religious war against the Protestant community, but a war against the British government, its military and the biased state institutions that it had set up in the gerrymandered and then occupied 'statelet' of Northern Ireland.

The standard operating procedure of British civilian and military intelligence in Northern Ireland during 'the troubles' then was to provoke the existing divisions in Northern Irish society in order to turn the IRA's war against the occupying British forces into a 'sectarian' conflict and, in doing so, diminish criticism of the British government as the source of the conflict and afford it the opportunity to present itself as a peacekeeping force in an 'sectarian war' scenario. The ultimate aim was to deny the grass roots insurgency - the IRA - a chance to present its fight against British occupation and discrimination as a fundamental right as defined by the Geneva Convention, and therefore a just resistance.

Of course, the details of just how such a sectarian conflict is actively created are far from honorable and, in the case of Northern Ireland, included the murder of innocent Protestant civilians by undercover British SAS agents by way of gun or bomb attacks with the blame "logically" falling on IRA insurgents. These "false flag" attacks then provoked reprisal attacks against the Catholic community by Protestant paramilitary groups. In some cases, the "reprisal attacks" were also carried out by agents of the British government.

In any occupying forces versus resistance scenario, all such counter-insurgency tactics are employed with the aim of:

a) manufacturing "evidence" that the conflict is internal and 'sectarian' in nature rather than the result of the occupation of one state and people by the military of another.

b) to divert the attention and firepower of the legitimate insurgency away from the forces of occupation.

c) to demoralise the local population and terrify them to the extent that they withdraw their support for the insurgency and call for peace at any price. The exact nature of the "peace" being decided by the benevolent "peace-keeping" force(s) of occupation and the government(s) to which it is attached.

It should be obvious that the current state of the conflicts in Iraq and Palestine is the result of the use of a counter-insurgency strategy very similar to the one I have described, albeit on a significantly larger scale than in Northern Ireland in respect of Iraq.

Few readers will be un-aware of the thousands of murders of Iraqi civilians and the many shrine bombings and alleged 'suicide bombings' that have occurred in Iraq more or less since the beginning of the U.S. invasion of that country, but which reached new heights in the 2nd and 3rd years of the occupation. Equally so, most of the Western world is aware of the concept of "Palestinian suicide bombers" and the many reports over the past 6 years of such attacks occurring in Israel against Israeli civilians. Most people are not aware however of the substantial evidence suggesting that, in the case of Iraq, the vast majority of these attacks are actually the work of U.S. and Israeli-funded and directed 'death squads' working out of the Iraqi interior ministry, and in the case of Palestine and Israel, most are the work of agents of the state of Israel

Not-surprisingly, the US government and mainstream media has claimed that evidence of Iraqi death squads is in fact evidence of "terrorist" infiltration of the Iraqi government. Such a claim, however, does not stand up to even the most basic scrutiny or logic, particularly in light of the evidence that the Iraqi interior ministry continues to be totally controlled by representatives of the US government (as are other arms of the Iraqi government).

The Bush government and the mainstream media have also utilised the fact of daily mass murder of civilian in Iraq to spread the lie that the entirely fictitious 'Islamic terror group' 'al-Qaeda in Iraq', is alive and well and trying to spread their extremist doctrine around the world. At the same time, we are told that Iraq is "on the brink of civil war".

In Israel, "Palestinian suicide bombings" exhibit the uncanny ability to present themselves at the most opportune times for the Israeli government and the most inopportune times for the Palestinian leadership and people. The bombings themselves are used as evidence that Palestinians cannot be negotiated with, that they are inveterate "terrorists" and hate the Jewish people rather than the Israeli government and it's brutal policies.

Missing from all such reports, however, is any explanation of the abiding question of why Iraqi Shia and Sunni groups, who have lived together and intermarried in relative peace and harmony for centuries, would suddenly, in response to a U.S. military invasion of their country, decide to attack and kill each other. Likewise in Palestine, no one seems to question the sanity of the idea that Palestinans would willingly fight and kill each other under the noses of an invading force of occupation.

The truly logical deduction is that Iraqi and Palestinian armed groups are not attacking and killing each other, and if "civil war" breaks out in Lebanon and Palestine, it will be the result of a deliberate and protracted campaign by British, American and Israeli covert agencies to destroy those two societies from within. The ultimate goal of the extremists in Tel Aviv and Washington is to exacerbate the Iraqi conflict to the point where the international community is forced to call for the physical break up of Iraq along religious lines into three separate and easily manageable statelets - the Kurds in the north, the Sunnis in the center and the Shia in the south. Indeed, in 2003, long before any talk of a "civil war", the Council on Foreign Relations detailed such a break up of Iraq.

As for Palestine; we can only conclude that the Zionists in Israel and America have simply been enjoying their vicious persecution of a defenceless people over the past 60 years, yet it seems that they begin now to tire of the game and are maneuvering towards the final solution. Of course, while logic can go a long way to explaining that Israeli deception is real source of the "Middle East crisis" and the factional infighting in Palestine and Lebanon, there also exists objective evidence to back up this thesis:

Lebanon's Army captures Israeli Mossad 'Terrorist Ring'

Wednesday, 14 June, 2006

Beirut - The Lebanese army has said it had captured members of a terrorist network allegedly working for the Israeli Mossad and that a suspect confessed to his role in assassinating Hezbollah and Palestinian officials.

Last Saturday, the army said it had arrested Mahmoud Rafeh, a 59-year-old Lebanese citizen and retired police officer, for a May 26 car bombing that killed Mahmoud Majzoub, a senior Islamic Jihad official, and his brother in front of their home in the southern city of Sidon. Rafeh "had links to Israeli intelligence," a statement said.

On Tuesday, the army said that Rafeh ( left) had confessed to his role in killing the Majzoub brothers, and to other operations ... including bombings that killed two Hezbollah officials; Ali Hassan Dib in 1999 and Ali Saleh in 2003 and the 2002 killing of Jihad Jibril, the son of Ahmed Jibril, leader of the radical Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), which based in Syria with bases in Lebanon.

Rafeh was part of a "terror network working for the Israeli Mossad," and its members took "training courses in and outside Israel," the statement said.

Investigators found Israeli computers, cameras, ammunition, military uniforms and forged identity cards in ring members' hideouts ( shown below), it added.

The ring smuggled the booby-trapped door of the Mercedes car that killed the Majzoub brothers from Israel, the army said.

An investigation was underway to arrest remaining collaborators, it concluded.

As Safir newspaper said a manhunt is currently underway to catch another suspect whom it identified as Hussein Khattab, a Palestinian official in the PFLP-GC. Lebanese police and the security apparatus of the PFLP-GC had believed he was involved in Jibril's murder but he was later cleared of the crime, the paper said.

An Nahar newspaper reported that Rafeh had been working for the Mossad since 1994. It said the army found in his house forged Lebanese papers that female Mossad agents used to enter the country as the alleged wives of the ring members.

Israeli intelligence agents stayed at the flat Rafeh had rented in Sidon near the residence of the Majzoub brothers to monitor their movements, the paper said.

Six ring members have already been arrested and another two are believed to have fled to Israel, An Nahar added.

President Emile Lahoud praised Lebanese forces for breaking up the terrorist network, saying "solidarity is the real power that can stand in the face of Israel and prevent sectarian conflicts," according to a statement released by his office.

Hezbollah's deputy leader, Sheikh Naim Qassem, called the arrest and confession "a message" to all Lebanese that their country was not immune from "direct Israeli influence" -- despite Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000.

"Israel still sees Lebanon as a field to achieve political and future gains," Kassem told Hezbollah's Al Manar television late Tuesday.

Many people have previously been arrested in Lebanon on suspicion of spying for Israel. In 2004, a Tunisian woman of Palestinian origin and four accomplices were indicted on charges of plotting with Israel to assassinate Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.

Lebanese Army praised

Ahmad Yasseen a local political observer told Ya Libnan, "the fact that the Lebanese army captured the Mossad terrorist ring is a prove that it should be the only authority that should be responsible for Lebanon's security "

Yasseen added: "It is time all Lebanese and Palestinian armed militia put their faith in the Lebanese army, instead of acting as ' state inside a state', which is destabilizing the country".

Commenting on the statements of Lahoud and Hezbollah Yasseen told Ya Libnan" they both should have praised the army instead of trying to justify the existence of the resistance groups".


Lebanese army shows a picture of the Mossad documents and equipment captured

Arafat: Israel Behind Suicide Bombings

August 25, 1995
Jerusalem Post

THE complex Israeli-Palestinian relationship has given birth to a nasty new myth which began, like many such myths, with a lie so egregious that it could only be considered laughable. Now it threatens to become conventional wisdom.

Soon after the Beit Lid massacre, in which 21 Israeli soldiers were killed by two Islamic Jihad suicide bombers, Palestinian Authority chief Yasser Arafat told a group of visiting dignitaries that right-wing Israelis had collaborated with the killers. Otherwise, he said, the killers could not have passed through several army checkposts without being stopped.

The implications were mind-boggling: not only was Arafat implying that Israelis would participate in the mass murder of Israeli soldiers. He was saying that the Israeli conspirators were so powerful that they could exercise control over the army units all along the route the killers took from Gaza to Beit Lid.

The visitors who heard the story, knowing that it could only be interpreted as the ravings of a lunatic, kept it mostly to themselves.

Being supporters of the peace process, they thought reporting it would embarrass Arafat and harm his credibility. But at least one listener divulged its contents privately, and it became known. To the amazement of many, Arafat kept repeating it both before visitors from abroad and to visiting Israelis.

On Tuesday, the day after the bus bombing in Jerusalem, Arafat decided to come out publicly with these "revelations." He not only announced in Gaza that there was collaboration between what he called "Israeli and Palestinian extremists," but that he had documents proving it.

One of his lieutenants, Secretary-General of the Palestinian Authority Tayeb Raheem, went into details. He said that the Israeli army and other security services contained secret organizations like the French OAS during Algeria's war of independence. They and the Islamic fanatics have a common interest to defeat the Oslo agreement, he said, repeating that the PLO has documents to prove the allegation.

Portraits of Palestinian Resistance

Electronic Intifada
Rima Merriman
8 June 2006

Palestinian resistance to the occupation comes in many shapes and forms, some of which involves armed resistance undertaken by organized groups with various ideologies. These groups are composed of barely trained young men who pit their meager and crude resources against one of the best trained and best equipped military body in the world, the Israeli Occupation Forces. Of the 76 Israeli soldiers who died in 2005, only six were killed as a result of Palestinian attacks. The rest died of illness or accidents. Thirty of them committed suicide.

The imbalance in the resources between the two sides of the conflict predictably yields a steady mowing down on the part of the Israelis of one young Palestinian martyr after another. Most Palestinian deaths, however, are of civilians (and children) simply going about their daily lives, getting caught up in Israeli ground and air attacks, Israeli indiscriminate fire and Israeli raids.

Israel's control of and entrenchment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, its continual attempts to stamp out Palestinian resistance to the occupation at any cost, relies heavily on intelligence gathered by Shabak, the 5,000-strong Internal General Security Service of Israel, whose motto is "Defender who shall not be seen".

With a cadre of well-trained, Arabic-speaking Israeli informants who are indistinguishable physically from the Palestinian population, Shabak has little problem gathering intelligence on a people whose every movement is regulated by hundreds of check points and by total Israeli control on their borders. These infiltrators prey on Arab innate hospitality and friendliness. The Palestinians call them "musta'ribeen", i.e., "those who appear to be Arabs". Palestinians are not surprised when someone, somewhere comes up to them and says: Got you!

PA police fire on undercover IDF unit in Bethlehem

Ha'aretz 11/30/2005

Palestinian policemen opened fire at undercover Israel Defense Forces soldiers during an operation in Bethlehem yesterday. No soldiers were hurt during the incident, and the IDF said its inquiry revealed that no policemen were hurt. However, the Palestinians said one policeman was wounded.

According to the army's initial inquiry, the Palestinian police had not been informed about the army operation. Thus, when the soldiers, who were disguised to look like Arabs, came to arrest a wanted man not far from City Hall, the policemen took them for members of an armed Palestinian gang.

Confusion in PA: Who launched Qassam?

Ynet 27/11/2006

There has been general confusion in the Palestinian Authority after a Qassam rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip into the western Negev. One of the cells of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, Fatah's military arm, has taken responsibility for the firing.

However, Abu Ahmad, one of the group's senior officials in the northern Gaza Strip, said to Ynet that he had no knowledge that his people carried out the shooting.


"As of now, we continue to be committed to the truce, but are reserving our right to respond to Israeli infractions," said Abu Ahmad.

Israeli agents accused of creating fake al-Qaeda cell

Sophie Claudet in Gaza City AFP December 9 2002

A senior Palestinian security official says his services have uncovered an Israeli plot to create a fake al-Qaeda cell in the Gaza Strip, a charge Israel has dismissed as absurd.

The head of preventive security in Gaza, Rashid Abu Shbak, said Israeli agents posing as operatives of al-Qaeda recruited Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

"Over the past nine months we've been investigating eight [such] cases," Mr Abu Shbak said.

His claims came after the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, said al-Qaeda militants were operating in the Gaza Strip and in Lebanon, raising fears of an intensification of Israeli military occupations.

Furnished with an understanding of the long-standing tactics used by American, British and Israeli government agencies in Iraq, Northern Ireland, Kenya, the Philippines, Palestine, Lebanon and several other campaigns during the course of the last century, we are in a position to make sense and logic out of the current situation in Palestine and to answer some of the questions members of the mainstream media dare not:

Question: Who employs undercover "Arab lookalike" assassination and abduction teams in the occupied Palestinian territories and Lebanon?

Answer: The Israeli government

Question: Who in the past has deliberately murdered Palestinian and Lebanese politicians and civilians, including children, as a way to collectively punish the Palestinian people for resisting Israeli occupation and brutality and to destablise Palestinian and Lebanese society?

Answer: The Israeli government

Question: Who has the most to benefit from "civil war" between Palestinian and Lebanese factions?

Answer: The Israeli government

Question: Who is responsible for the horrific murder of three Palestinian children yesterday?

Answer: The Israeli government.


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