05/11/24

Permalink Strapped down, blindfolded, held in diapers: Israeli whistleblowers detail abuse of Palestinians in shadowy detention center

At a military base that now doubles as a detention center in Israel’s Negev desert, an Israeli working at the facility snapped two photographs of a scene that he says continues to haunt him. | Rows of men in gray tracksuits are seen sitting on paper-thin mattresses, ringfenced by barbed wire. All appear blindfolded, their heads hanging heavy under the glare of floodlights. A putrid stench filled the air and the room hummed with the men’s murmurs, the Israeli who was at the facility told CNN. Forbidden from speaking to each other, the detainees mumbled to themselves. “We were told they were not allowed to move. They should sit upright. They’re not allowed to talk. Not allowed to peek under their blindfold.” Guards were instructed “to scream uskot” – shut up in Arabic – and told to “pick people out that were problematic and punish them,” the source added.

Gaza civilians voice out their chilling encounters with Israeli torture (TRT World)
Tied, diapered, beaten: Israeli insiders reveal severe Palestinian torture (TRT World)
Gaza Al-Shifa doctor tortured to death by Israeli forces (Al Mayadeen)
3,000+ Palestinians from Gaza detained, tortured in Israeli prisons (04/16/24)
Horrifying cases of torture and degrading treatment of Palestinian detainees, spike in arbitrary arrests (04/13/24)
Released Detainees From Israeli Prisons Showed Signs of Torture (03/18/24)
Torture, Executions, Babies Left to Die, Sexual Abuse… These Are Israel’s Crimes (03/18/24)
Iron bars, electric shocks, dogs and cigarette burns: How Palestinians are tortured in Israeli detention (03/12/24)
Horrifying cases of torture and degrading treatment of Palestinian detainees amid spike in arbitrary arrests


Permalink 80,000 forced to flee Rafah as Israel expands attacks

Aid operations set to go into 'standstill' as Cairo ceasefire talks end with no breakthrough | Around 80,000 Palestinians have been forced to flee again in recent days as Israel intensified attacks in Rafah and across the Gaza Strip, according to Unrwa. The UN agency for Palestinian refugees said Thursday that people were “facing yet another forced displacement in the Gaza Strip”, leaving an “unbearable” toll on families.  People were forced to flee from eastern Rafah and parts of Gaza City as Israeli troops launched another ground assault on the Zeitoun neighbourhood overnight. At least 60 people were killed in Israeli attacks in the past days, bringing the total death toll to 34,904 since 7 October when the war broke out, according to the Palestinian health ministry.  The armed wing of Hamas, the al-Qassam Brigades, released several battlefield updates on Thursday, indicating fierce street fighting in eastern Rafah and the Zeitoun neighbourhood.


Permalink South American country seeks ICC arrest warrant for Netanyahu

Colombia’s president has slammed the Gaza war as a “genocide” | Colombian President Gustavo Petro has urged the International Criminal Court and the UN Security Council to take action to prevent a “genocide” of the Palestinian people in the Gazan city of Rafah.  Israel’s war cabinet approved a “measured expansion” of the military operation in Rafah on Friday, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledging to push ahead with the offensive despite the US threats to curtail military aid.

💬 “Netanyahu will not stop the genocide,” Petro wrote on X (formerly Twitter) on Friday, reacting to the Israeli leader’s declaration. “That implies an international arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court.”

The Colombian leader went on to suggest that the UN Security Council should “consider the establishment of a peacekeeping force in the territory of Gaza.” In a Labor Day speech in Bogota earlier this month, Petro vowed to cut diplomatic relations with Israel’s “genocidal” leadership, expressing solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza whose “children have died, dismembered by bombs.”  Rafah in southern Gaza is the territory's last major population center still not under Israeli control. Hundreds of thousands of internally displaced Palestinians have taken shelter there in recent months. Earlier this week, Israel bombarded the city and sent troops and dozens of tanks into the eastern districts in what it described as a “limited” operation.


Permalink Awe and alarm as ‘extreme’ solar storm hits Earth

Weather experts warn of potential disruptions to power grids, communications as sun’s outburst continues in coming days. | The most powerful solar storm in more than 20 years has struck Earth’s atmosphere, triggering warnings over the potential disruption to power grids and satellite communications while also producing spectacular celestial light shows in some parts of the world.  The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which issued a rare solar storm warning, said the solar outburst reached Earth at about 16:00 GMT on Friday, hours sooner than anticipated.  The first of several coronal mass ejections (CMEs), described as the expulsions of plasma and magnetic fields from the sun, was later upgraded by the NOAA to an “extreme” geomagnetic storm. It was the first solar storm occurrence since the Halloween storms of October 2003, which caused blackouts in Sweden and damaged power infrastructure in South Africa. More solar expulsions are expected in the coming days, and possibly into next week, according to the NOAA.  The United States agency alerted operators of power plants and spacecraft in orbit to take precautions. Fluctuating magnetic fields associated with geomagnetic storms induce currents in long wires, including power lines, which can potentially cause blackouts. Long pipelines can also become electrified, leading to engineering problems. Spacecraft are at risk from high doses of radiation, although the atmosphere prevents this from reaching Earth.


Permalink Ukraine using British weapons for terror attacks – Moscow

London is supporting Kiev in an attempt to boost its role in NATO, a high-ranking Russian diplomat has said | Ukrainian forces are actively using weapons supplied by Britain to carry out terrorist attacks against Russian regions, Foreign Ministry official Sergey Belyaev has said.  London remains one of the largest donors of weaponry to Kiev, providing £7.1 billion ($8.9 billion) in assistance since the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict in February 2022, Belyaev, who heads the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Second European Department, said in an interview with TASS news agency, published on Saturday.

💬 "UK-supplied weapons are being actively used by the Ukrainian military in terrorist attacks on civilian infrastructure and the civilian population of Donbass, as well as other Russian regions.”  "The British acted in a similar manner when they began deliveries of Storm Shadow cruise missiles and Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine,” becoming one of the first countries to provide Kiev with such types of hardware, he explained.

The strained relationship between Russia and Britain deteriorated further last week after Foreign Secretary David Cameron said Ukraine has the “right” to use UK-provided weaponry to strike targets deep inside Russia, if it decides to do so.

Russia issues military ultimatum to UK (RT.com)


Permalink War on Gaza: Why is David Cameron silent on Israel's invasion of Rafah?

Chris Doyle | The British foreign secretary may have to stick to a pro-forma script that maintain Britain’s complicity in the ongoing Israeli crimes | For three months, the British government has repeatedly voiced concerns regarding the Israeli intention to launch a ground invasion of Rafah. Yet, when the actual Israeli invasion kicked off this week, the British government was deathly silent. No ministerial statement, no government press release and no social media posts. David Cameron, the UK foreign secretary, has embarked on an impressive disappearing act.  When he did finally pop up to make a major foreign affairs speech on Thursday, he made three standard references to Gaza and not one about any invasion of Rafah. He dodged the chance to stand tall on the world stage. Government ministers would score a set of perfect 10s for the verbal gymnastics in order to skip past the understandable parliamentary and media questions fired off at them.


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