Archive | January 18, 2016

Watch Israeli Occupation Forces Shooting Palestinian Demonstrators*

Watch Israeli Occupation Forces Shooting Palestinian Demonstrators*

As this video demonstrates, live fire amounts to an enjoyable blood sport for the Israelis charged with enforcing the occupation.

Israeli Forces Duck Shooting Palestinian Demonstrators, Using Live 0.22 Caliber Ammo

Israeli Forces Duck Shooting Palestinian Demonstrators, Using Live 0.22 Caliber Ammo

Israeli soldiers praise each other for shooting Palestinians

Ali Abunimah

This video is filmed from the perspective of Israeli soldiers shooting at Palestinian youths protesting the occupation.

Soldiers can be heard making lighthearted comments and congratulating each other as they shoot to maim young Palestinians.

At first, the camera focuses on a young Palestinian, apparently holding a sling used to launch rocks towards occupation soldiers (though not apparently in the direction of the camera).

“What about him, doesn’t he want to stand?” a soldier says in Hebrew.

“Standing … standing,” the soldier says, then the crack of a gun is heard and the youth falls to the ground.

“He took it!” a soldier says triumphantly, and adds “He took it in the ass!”

“Well done,” another voice is heard saying. As the soldiers praise each other, Palestinians rush to evacuate the injured youth to safety.

Moments later, the soldiers can be heard discussing targeting another Palestinian youth. “Be ready, on him,” a soldier, apparently in command, says.

He then gives the order to shoot. “He fell. Well done!” he exclaims after the gunshot rings out.

“What a hit!” “Beautiful!” soldiers say.

The video shows at least half a dozen Palestinians being methodically targeted in this manner before the camera briefly pans and captures the faces of two of the Israeli assailants.

One of the Israelis whose face is captured stretches out his hand to cover the camera lens.

The video reveals that the Israeli gunmen are in an armored vehicle or jeep and are in no conceivable danger from the Palestinians they are shooting.

According to the Ma’an News Agency, the footage was released on Facebook last week by Palestinian activists who say it was recovered from a camera dropped by one of the soldiers.

The copy of the video above was subtitled by Ronnie Barkan.

Lethal weapons

Similar videos published by Israeli soldiers themselves have shown soldiers expressing sadistic joy as they shoot Palestinians.

Last year, Israel expanded its permission to occupation soldiers to use lethal .22-caliber sniper guns against Palestinian demonstrators.

Israeli human rights group B’Tselem noted in September that from the start of 2015 three Palestinians had been killed by .22-caliber bullets “during stone-throwing incidents in which members of the security forces were not in mortal danger.”

Israel’s policy of shooting Palestinians with live ammunition in order to suppress anti-occupation protests frequently causes devastating and lifelong injuries even when it does not kill.

Restrictions on the use of live fire to “mortal danger” situations exist only on paper.

“Experience gained through monitoring [.22] use in the West Bank shows that the restrictions placed on using this type of ammunition get eroded over time, and the result is a constant expansion of the [.22] use,” B’Tselem says.

As this video demonstrates, live fire amounts to an enjoyable blood sport for the Israelis charged with enforcing the occupation.


Related Topics:

Israel Harvesting Slain Palestinians’ Organs*

Palestinian Child Beaten to Death after Being Shot by Military*

Jewish NY High School Student Facing Legal Action for Supporting Palestine*

U.S. Silent on U.S. Citizens Engage in Violence against Palestinians*

Israel to Coordinate With Google, YouTube, to Censor Palestinian Videos of Conflict*

Holiday Season Holy Land Atrocities for Palestinians*

Obama Administration is Cutting Aid to the Palestinians by $80mn*

Israeli Soldier Strangle-holds Palestinian Boy*

Israel Imposes Lockdown on Palestine*

Israeli Media Fabricating Palestinian Attacks Of Jews*

Israeli Settlers’ Seize Palestinian Hospital*

Israeli Forces Invade Palestinian Hospitals*

Palestinians Now Forced to Live in Caves*

Woman Who Led Palestinian Bid for ICC Membership Arrested 24hrs of Succeeding*

Threats from the U.S. as Palestine Submits Formal Complaint to ICC*

Palestine from Sovereignty to an Israeli Enclave*

He Survived Hiroshima and Nagasaki*

He Survived Hiroshima and Nagasaki*

In an excerpt from When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain, Giles Milton profiles a man who survived two nuclear blasts.

He was travelling across Hiroshima on a public tram when he heard the droning sound of an aircraft engine in the skies above.

Tsutomu Yamaguchi thought nothing of it. After all, it was wartime and planes were forever passing above the city. He was unaware that the engines belonged to the U.S. bomber Enola Gay, and that it was just seconds away from dropping a 13 kiloton uranium atomic bomb on the city.

As the plane approached its target at 8:15 a.m. on Aug. 6, 1945, Yamaguchi had just stepped off the tram. He glanced at the sky and noticed a bomber passing overheard. He also saw two small parachutes. And then, quite without warning, all hell broke loose.

“[There was] a great flash in the sky and I was blown over.” The massive nuclear warhead had exploded less than three kilometers from the spot where he was standing.

The bomb was detonated at 600 meters above Hiroshima. As Yamaguchi swung his gaze upwards, he saw a vast mushroom-shaped pillar of fire rising high into the sky. Seconds later, he passed out. The blast caused his eardrums to rupture and the flash of light left him temporarily blinded.

The heat of the explosion was such that it left him with serious burns over the left side of his body. When he eventually regained consciousness, he crawled to a shelter and tried to make sense of what had happened. Fortunately, he stumbled across three colleagues who had also survived. All were young engineers working for the shipbuilder Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. They had been unlucky enough to be sent to Hiroshima on the very day of the bombing.

They spent the night together in an air-raid shelter, nursing their burns and wounds. Then, on the following morning, they ventured out of their shelter and picked their way through the charred and molten ruins. As they went to the nearest functioning railway station they passed piles of burnt and dying bodies. Their aim was to catch one of the few working trains back to their hometown of Nagasaki, some 200 miles away.

Yamaguchi was in a poor state and went to have his wounds bandaged as soon as he reached Nagasaki. But by Aug. 9, after just two days of convalescence, he felt well enough to struggle into work.

His boss and his co-workers listened in horrified amazement as he described the unbelievable destruction that a single bomb had managed to cause. He told them how the explosion had melted metal and evaporated entire parts of the city. His boss, Sam, simply didn’t believe him.

“You’re an engineer,” he barked.

“Calculate it. How could one bomb destroy a whole city?”

At the exact moment he said these words—11:02 a.m.—there was a blinding white flash that penetrated to the heart of the room. Yamaguchi’s tender skin was once again pricked with heat and he crashed to the ground. “I thought that the mushroom cloud followed me from Hiroshima,” he said later.

The U.S. Air Force had dropped their second nuclear warhead—Fat Man—named after Winston Churchill. It was much larger than the Hiroshima device, a 25 kiloton plutonium bomb that exploded in the bowl of the valley where Nagasaki is situated.

He told them how the explosion had melted metal and evaporated entire parts of the city. His boss simply didn’t believe him.

The destruction was more confined but even more intense than at Hiroshima. Some 74,000 were killed and a similar number injured.

Yamaguchi, his wife, and his baby son managed to survive and spent much of the following week in an air-raid shelter near what was left of their home. Five days later, they heard the news that Emperor Hirohito had announced Japan’s surrender.

Yamaguchi’s survival of both nuclear explosions was little short of miraculous. Yet it was later discovered that he was one of 160 people known to have lived through both bombings.

In 1957, he was recognized as a hibakusha or “explosion-affected person.” But it was not until 2009 that he was officially allowed to describe himself as an eniijuu hibakusha or double bomb survivor.

The effects of the double bombings left its scars, both mental and physical. Yamaguchi lost the hearing in his left ear as a result of the Hiroshima explosion. He also lost his hair temporarily. His daughter would later recall that he was swathed in bandages until she reached the age of 12.

Yamaguchi became an outspoken opponent of nuclear weapons until he was well advanced in years, at which point he began to suffer from the long-term effects of the exposure to radiation. His wife developed liver and kidney cancer in 2008 and died soon after. Yamaguchi himself developed acute leukaemia and died in 2010 at the age of 93. His longevity was extraordinary, as he knew only too well. He viewed his long life as a “path planted by God.”

“It was my destiny that I experienced this twice and I am still alive to convey what happened,” he said towards the end of his life.


Related Topics:

Japan Doctor: “Tokyo Should No Longer Be Inhabited”

The Mob Secretly Dumping Nuclear Waste across Italy and Africa*

Yeah.. Dumping nuclear waste on Indigenous Australian Land Would Increase their Living Standards*

Nuclear Tests: South Pacific Islands to Sue France for $1billion*

Nuclear Sarcophagus in Marshall Islands is Leaking*

Brazilians Panic as Mosquito-Borne Virus Is Linked to Brain Damage In Thousands of Babies*

Brazilians Panic as Mosquito-Borne Virus Is Linked to Brain Damage In Thousands of Babies*

By Dom Phillips, Lena H. Sun

Jusikelly da Silva was full of expectations for her baby. This was to be her fourth with her spouse, Josenildo, and the couple had three other children from previous relationships.

“All perfect, all normal,” her husband said of their family.

Then, at the six-month mark of her pregnancy, Jusikelly, 32, learned from a scan that her baby had microcephaly, a rare defect that causes infants to have unusually small heads and can lead to learning and motor difficulties.

Parents such as the da Silvas are struggling as South America’s largest country faces an unprecedented outbreak of microcephaly cases. Brazilian officials say the disease is being triggered by Zika — a little-known virus borne by mosquitoes. The government has spent more than $300 million to battle the mosquito, mobilizing hundreds of soldiers in the effort.

Concern about Zika has grown so strong that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention late Friday issued a travel alert urging pregnant women not to visit Brazil or about a dozen other countries in the region where mosquitoes have spread the virus.

In the northeastern city of Recife, Jusikelly wiped away tears as she cuddled and kissed her baby Luhandra, now two months old.

“She will have some mental difficulties,” she said.

“She does not react like other children. She does not laugh.”

The da Silvas’ lives are on hold, the mother said.

“We stopped everything,” said Jusikelly. After the diagnosis, the couple dropped plans to open a small bakery.

“I couldn’t work,” she said.

The rise in microcephaly cases in Brazil has been startling: there were just 147 in 2014. But since October, 3,530 possible cases of Zika-related microcephaly have been reported to the Ministry of Health. Authorities say the real number of cases is almost certainly lower, with some of those misdiagnosed as microcephaly. Still, officials have also reported 46 deaths of babies who had microcephaly that may have been related to Zika.

A new link

The Zika virus was first identified in a rhesus monkey in Uganda in 1947, but its initial outbreak in humans was in 2007, on the South Pacific island of Yap. It is typically transmitted to people by infected mosquitoes and can cause flulike symptoms.

But the virus had never been linked to microcephaly before. Instead, microcephaly was thought to be genetic or caused by diseases such as rubella. Researchers say they are now in unchartered territory on the issue.

“The disease in Brazil is behaving in a different way,” said Camila Ventura, an ophthalmologist at Recife’s Altino Ventura Foundation who has found eye damage in babies with microcephaly — another first. “We are running against time.”

Nadja Bezerra, 42, with her two-month old baby, Alice Vitoria, who was born with suspected Zika-related microcephaly, visits her neighbor in Recife, Brazil, on Jan. 10. (Lianne Milton/Panos Pictures for The Washington Post)

Brazilian authorities first confirmed the presence of the Zika virus in May. Some researchers speculate it may have been introduced into the country by a tourist attending the 2014 World Cup. It has now spread to other countries in Latin America, and Puerto Rico recorded its first case in December. A Texas woman who travelled to El Salvador has also been diagnosed with the virus.

The World Health Organization and the CDC have yet to definitively establish a connection between Zika and microcephaly, which has been reported only in Brazil. But the CDC, which is helping to investigate the Brazilian outbreak, has just provided the strongest sign yet of such a link — confirming the presence of Zika in the bodies of two newborns who died and in the placentas of two women who miscarried. All four cases also involved microcephaly.

The Brazilian Health Ministry says 80% of those who catch Zika show no symptoms. The rest may suffer fever, muscle pain and rashes for a few days. Most people who come down with it recovery quickly.

“We never paid too much attention to this virus,” said Paulo Zanotto, a microbiology professor at the University of Sao Paulo who is coordinating a network of 42 laboratories studying Zika.

“I’m really worried because we have no idea of the amount of spread.”

The government estimates that there are between 400,000 and 1.4 million Zika cases in the country.

Brazilian authorities have launched a national plan in response to the outbreak, sending over 100 tons of a biological agent that kills mosquito larvae to affected areas. It has set up headquarters in affected states, staffing them with military, health and education officials.

Love, care and patience’

In Recife, mothers impacted by the outbreak are struggling to come to terms with their babies’ conditions.

On a recent morning, Mariana Carvalho, 16, cuddled her six-week-old daughter, Agatha, after a consultation at the local Oswaldo Cruz hospital. Agatha was diagnosed with microcephaly a day before she was born.

“At the time I didn’t believe it. I wanted my daughter to be normal,” she said. But Carvalho said she loves her daughter nonetheless.

“It doesn’t change anything,” she said.

Maria Rodrigues, 29, suffered Zika-like symptoms while she was pregnant with Maria Eduarda, her ninth child. When the baby was born on Nov. 22, she was diagnosed with microcephaly.

Rodrigues and the infant’s father, Romero Perreira, 39, scratch out a living recycling garbage they collect on the streets. Romero’s sister Miriam, 40, plans to adopt Maria Eduarda.

Doctors told Miriam the infant could face problems walking, talking and hearing — she already struggles to swallow and see properly.

“The only thing we can give her is love, care and patience,” the aunt said, cradling the child in her house in a Recife suburb, next door to the tiny dwelling where the baby’s parents live.

The microcephaly cases have occurred around the country, but the most significant concentrations are in northeastern states such as Pernambuco. The Zika virus may have spread especially quickly there because residents have stored water in tanks during a long-running drought, creating breeding grounds for mosquitoes, said José Iran, health secretary for Pernambuco.

Some doctors in northeastern Brazil have gone so far as to advise women to hold off getting pregnant.

The Brazilian army has provided 750 soldiers to fight the mosquito in Pernambuco. On a recent Saturday morning in Recife, the state’s capital, troops joined health workers going door to door in the Brasilia Teimosa neighbourhood to warn residents against leaving water receptacles uncovered. They also spooned a powdered biological agent into tanks and drains in an attempt to kill any mosquito larvae.

Many residents said that either they or relatives had caught Zika or other mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue or chikungunya.

“I would describe this as one of the biggest challenges in public health in Brazil’s recent history,” said Jailson Correa, Recife’s health secretary, referring to the outbreak of those diseases and the microcephaly cases.

In Recife, the rate of new microcephaly cases has diminished in recent weeks, but there are fears of another outbreak if Zika spreads during the summer.

Parents affected by the outbreak are preparing themselves for a difficult future with children who may need constant care.

Nadja Bezerra already had a 15-year-old son when she found herself pregnant last year. Then a scan at seven months revealed that her baby’s head and brain had not grown as they should have.

“The bomb dropped,” she said.

“The worst day of my life.”

The 42-year-old cried as she recalled how, after her daughter, Alice, was born two months ago, she lay in the maternity ward and watched other mothers pass by with healthy babies.

Bezerra has decided to give up her job at a call centre to care for Alice. The family will depend on the $173 monthly salary that her husband, João, 54, earns cleaning planes at the nearby airport.

“I am very scared,” she said.


Related Topics:

Washington Targets Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina*

GM Mosquitos Causing Dengue Fever*

Scientists Warn “Supercharged” GMOs Could be Used as Bio-weapons*

This Sri Lankan Newspaper REPELS Mosquitoes