Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fantasyland Media:

News fashioned by the people in charge, the corporations and your government. Each week, we cover the stories that are just left out of the US propaganda machine.


"After weeks of denying that it used white phosphorus in the heavily populated Gaza Strip, Israel finally admitted yesterday that the weapon was deployed in its offensive.

The army’s use of white phosphorus – which makes a distinctive shellburst of dozens of smoke trails – was reported first by The Times (UK publication) on January 5, when it was strenuously denied by the army. Now, in the face of mounting evidence and international outcry, Israel has been forced to backtrack on that initial denial...

The incident in question is thought to be the firing of phosphorus shells at a UN school in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip on January 17. The weapon is legal if used as a smokescreen in battle but it is banned from deployment in civilian areas. Pictures of the attack show Palestinian medics fleeing as blobs of burning phosphorus rain down on the compound."

--->The NY Times has been slow in reporting the obvious use of white phosphorus in Gaza (YouTube is full of fist hand accounts). As late as January 14, its chief Israeli apologist in the region, Ethan Bronner, was writing that observers had "seen no evidence of the use of white phosphorus, an obscurant used in military conflicts that can be dangerous for civilians under certain circumstances." Such a delicate description of Israeli war crimes.


"Amnesty International Thursday urged the Israeli authorities to disclose the weapons and munitions their forces used against Palestinians in Gaza.

Donatella Rovera, who is leading an AI investigation team in Gaza, said: 'We now know that white phosphorous munitions were used in built-up civilian areas, although the Israeli authorities previously denied this.'

In a statement issued Thursday, AI said that other victims of the conflict have wounds which doctors say they are finding hard to treat because of uncertainty about the nature of the munitions which caused them.

'Doctors tell us they are encountering new and unexplained patterns of injury among some of the Palestinians injured in Israeli military attacks,' said Rovera. 'Some victims of Israeli air strikes were brought in with charred and sharply severed limbs and doctors treating them need to know what weapons were used.'" (, India Edition)

--->While the NY Times did get around to covering some of Donatella Rovera's statements, there was no mention of further unexplained injuries, and the possibility of other new weapons being used by Israel against the Palestinians.


"GAZA CITY - Eighteen-year-old Mona Al-Ashkar says she did not immediately know the first explosion at the United Nations (UN) school in Beit Lahiya had blown her left leg off. There was smoke, then chaos, then the pain and disbelief set in once she realized it was gone - completely severed by the weapon that hit her.

Mona is one of the many patients among the 5,500 injured that have international and Palestinian doctors baffled by the type of weaponry used in the Israeli operation. High-profile human rights organizations like Amnesty International are accusing Israel of war crimes.

Mona's doctors at Gaza City's Al-Shifa hospital found no shrapnel in her leg, and it looked as though it had been 'sliced right off with a knife.'

'We are not sure exactly what type of weapon can manage to do that immediately and so cleanly,' said Dr. Sobhi Skaik, consultant surgeon general at Al-Shifa hospital. 'What is happening is frightening. It's possible the Israeli army was using Gaza to experiment militarily.'"

--->No comment on such wounds by our newspaper of record.

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