Preparations to strike Iran, Syria, North Korea also escalating...

Preparations to strike Iran, Syria, North Korea also escalating
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Preparations to strike Iran, Syria, North Korea also escalating
"The Palestinian Authority [is] on the verge of an 'explosion'
that could lead to 'the worst ever humanitarian
crisis' in the occupied territories."

MID-EAST REALITIES - MER - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 19 November 2003:   Americans are busy at the moment with JFK Remembering and now with Michael Jackson's pedophilia.    We can be quite sure that fourty years from now there will be no such remembrances for George W. Bush, nor for that matter for Bill Clinton or George the first.   Washington has changed terribly becoming more and more a cesspool for big money, special interests, manipulated deception, and mediocrity.

     Meanwhile, when the subject turns to an American President on the first 'State Visit' to London, with George W. staying at the Queen's Palace for the first time since Woodrow Wilson, most of the unprecedented protests and hatred are masked for Americans.   

     But actually the real scary and important stories are taking place elsewhere and on the back pages.    
     Bush's Pentagon chief has been in Asia and re-dropped the bombshell that the US would "use nuclear weapons" to "defend" South Korea.   For the first time since the Korean War the Americans are 'repositioning' their troops far away from the DMZ preparing the way for an American strike on North Korea. Secretly behind-the-scenes more Americans ships, nuclear subs, and special troops are on the way across the Pacific.
     In the Middle East all that American 'intelligence' in and about Iraq has deteriorated into chaos and CIA reports that the U.S. could find itself fighting for another five years and even lose.  The billion-dollar search for all those 'weapons of mass destruction' that caused such an 'imminent threat' has come up with hardly anything.  U.S. credibility is at its lowest ever both abroad and at home -- and that has many ramifications as well.
     And Israeli -- the country which did so much to get the US to invade and occupy Iraq -- is preparing to strike Iran.  Israelis submarines are now armed with the latest U.S.-provided precision missiles tipped with minaturized  tactical nuclear warheads.   The most advanced U.S. specially-made-and-paid-for-Israel long-range fighter planes are being rushed to  the 'Jewish State' from Texas.  The head of Mossad went public just the other day proclaiming that Iran presents the greatest threat to the existence of Israeli since 1948.  General Sharon has publicly said more than once that right after Iraq must come Iran.
     In this overall context the 'explosion' building in the occupied territories because of what the Israelis have done to the Palestinians could still become one of the sparks to set everything off.    Indeed, the Israelis have essentially been collectively terrorizing and torturing the Palestinian people for decades now...and never worse than at present.  And that is why a large majority of the Palestinian people today, even after all the suffering they have been subjected to, continue to both support the Intifada and accept the 'suicide' tactics that so many Palestinians are now so willing to turn to....and not only in occupied Palestine.


Blame Israel, says Red Cross as it ends food aid for West Bank

By Justin Huggler in Jerusalem

[The Independent, UK, 16 November 2003]:    The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is ending its emergency food programme in the West Bank, saying the economic collapse there is the direct result of Israeli military closures and that Israel must live up to its responsibility as the occupying power for the economic needs of the Palestinians.

The move comes as the Israeli media reported that François Bellon, the Red Cross representative, told senior Israeli generals that the Palestinian Authority was on the verge of an "explosion" that could lead to "the worst ever humanitarian crisis" in the occupied territories.

(The Jewish State in) Israel is concerned that other international organisations may follow the Red Cross, which would leave (the Jewish State in) Israel to face the cost of providing the services they currently provide - a cost that some estimates put as high as $1.1bn (£650m) a year.

The Palestinian economy has collapsed under the weight of military closures of Palestinian cities, making it impossible for Palestinians to move their produce or travel to jobs in other cities or in Israel. Last year and early this year, curfews imposed for all but a few hours a week by the Israeli army made it impossible for Palestinians to work at all.

The Israeli government says the tight closure is needed to prevent Palestinian militants crossing into Israel to carry out suicide bombings and other attacks, but it has been accused of inflicting collective punishment on the Palestinians. Moshe Ya'alon, the Israeli army's chief of staff, recently spoke out against the closure, saying it was increasing Palestinian resentment of (the Jewish State in) Israel.

As a result of economic collapse, a fifth of Palestinian children are malnourished, according to a report last year by an American government aid agency. International aid organisations have stepped in to provide assistance. In the wake of the invasion and reoccupation of West Bank cities last April, the Red Cross launched an emergency food and essentials programme for Palestinians.

The organisation has spent $46m over the past year and a half providing food and such necessities as cooking oil and matches to around 300,000 of the most needy Palestinians in the West Bank. But now the ICRC says that must stop, and that Israel must live up to its responsibility as an occupying power under the Fourth Geneva Convention to meet the economic needs of the civilian population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Vincent Bernard, an ICRC spokesman, said: "This was humanitarian relief designed to assist in a humanitarian emergency, not to address the longer-term problems caused by curfews, closures and the collapse of the economy that has occurred. It is not our responsibility to take care of the economic needs of the Palestinians. We have repeatedly said it is the responsibility of the occupying power."

Mr Bernard denied Israeli press reports that the food programme had been cancelled for budgetary reasons. "As the occupying power, Israel has the responsibility to minimise the humanitarian consequences of its actions," he said. "You cannot go on for ever with the curfews and closures which are destroying the Palestinian economy. They have to find a different way to guarantee their security. If they lifted these security measures, the Palestinian economy, though damaged, would start again."

Mr Bernard refused to comment on a report in Ha'aretz newspaper that Mr Bellon had told senior Israeli generals at a recent meeting that the Palestinians were on the verge of a humanitarian crisis. But it is an assessment with which senior officers in the Israeli army are believed to agree.

For the time being, the UN's World Food Organisation has stepped into the breach, setting up an alternative food programme until next summer.

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