Israel Intercepts Gaza-Bound Aid Flotilla, Dozens Detained Including Democracy Now! Correspondent
...Israeli forces intercepted two Gaza-bound boats in international waters on Friday to prevent the boats from breaking the blockade on Gaza. The boats made up the Freedom Waves to Gaza flotilla. Israel detained the 27 activists on board as well as all of the journalists, including Democracy Now! correspondent Jihan Hafiz. Many of the journalists and passengers have been released, but Jihan remains in detention. Israel defended its decision to intercept the boats in international waters.
Ari Shalikar, Israeli Army spokesman: "A short while ago, the Israeli navy boarded the two vessels which were on their way to break the maritime security blockade which was imposed by Israel on the Gaza Strip. We are talking about a very clear case of provocation, and we maintain our right to defend our borders."
Report: Israel Behind Deadly Explosion at Iran Arms Depot
Seventeen members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard died on Saturday in a massive explosion at an ammunition depot west of Tehran. The dead included General Hasan Moghaddam, a key figure in Iran’s missile program. The explosion destroyed the base which housed Iran’s stockpile of Shahab missiles, a missile capable of reaching Israel. Iran said the explosion occurred while military personnel were transporting munitions, but Time Magazine quotes an unnamed Western intelligence source saying the Israeli spy agency, Mossad, carried out the attack.
Egypt: At Least 35 Protesters Killed, 1,700 Injured as Security Forces Crack Down in Cairo
Security forces in Egypt have killed at least 35 protesters in Cairo and other Egyptian cities over the past three days during protests against military rule. More than 1,700 have been injured. The violence began on Saturday when police moved to break up a sit-in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
Egyptian protester: "We need civilian rule. We need a president that we are all agreed on. We need a constitution before the elections that will get rid of the remnants of the previous regime and spectrum of political Islam which is implementing certain agendas."
The attack on the protesters comes just a week before Egypt’s first free parliamentary elections in decades.
Nothing was accomplished because the secret governments (Global Illuminati) were not acknowledged and removed/fought. The same dictatorial people who have always been in charge still are, because we didn't acknowledge their power and take them down! Down with the entire Illuminati!
Egypt: Military, Police Continue Violent Crackdown on Tahrir Square Protesters
For the fifth consecutive day, police and soldiers in Egypt have used tear gas and batons in an attempt to clear pro-democracy demonstrators from Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Video from the weekend showing soldiers dragging a woman through the street by her hair, with traditional clothing ripped from her body and her underwear exposed, has caused shock and outrage around the world. On Monday, General Adel Emara, a member of Egypt’s ruling military council that took over after President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in February, called the assault an isolated incident and said it was under investigation. Emara suggested the youth of Egypt were not responsible for the nation’s unrest.
General Adel Emara, Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces: "It is not possible that those who are destroying the nation are demonstrators or that they are amongst the January 25th youth, who are pure. It is not possible that the young people that sacrificed their souls are the same people that I will show you now, or those that raise their hands to burn Egypt’s heritage or burn the Parliament. It is not possible that they are the pure, young people, the hope of Egypt and the wealth of the nation."
Medical officials say at least 13 people have been killed since the clashes began Friday. Hundreds more have been wounded. The group Reporters Without Borders claims the military has used systematic violence to block journalists from covering the events. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has joined Amnesty International in demanding that arms suppliers stop sending small arms and weapons to the Egyptian army. The United States alone provides Egypt’s military with $1.3 billion in annual aid. Former Egyptian presidential candidate and longtime dissident Ayman Nour called on Egypt’s military council to cease its campaign of violence at once.
Ayman Nour, Al-Ghad Party chairman: "We are demanding the military council to stop this violence, and it should withdraw the forces and oblige to certain actions, such as stop shooting, respecting human rights, the right to express opinions and the right of protesting. But all of these rights have been violated. In fact, we are demanding the military council to tell us the truth, because all of its statements were not true. We have been shocked, and this situation is leading us into a dead-end tunnel."
Nour was beaten and detained by the Egyptian military when the clashes began late last week.
So what did they change? It seems like they have military rule just as oppressive... It sounds like the Illuminati might run things... eh...?
U.N. Security Council Members Criticize U.S. on Israeli Settlements
Members of the U.N. Security Council have issued rare public criticism directed at the United States over the Obama administration’s refusal to allow a resolution criticizing Israel’s settlement building in the Occupied Territories. After a closed-door session on Tuesday, diplomats from all the regional blocs represented on the Council expressed frustration with the Obama administration’s stance. The Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, said the United States is alone in blocking action against illegal settlement building.
Riyad Mansour: "It is very unfortunate that when you have this kind of support in the Security Council, that the Security Council cannot legislate that in a resolution on parameters, in a resolution of condemnation of settlement activities, and a demand from Israel to stop this illegal behavior immediately in all the occupied territory, including in East Jerusalem. And the reason why the Security Council was unable to act on this very important issue, simply because of a position of one powerful country in the Security Council."
The U.S.-led NATO coalition in Afghanistan is being accused of killing eight children in an air strike earlier this week. In a statement, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said the attack took place in the eastern Kapisa province and that he has assigned officials to investigate.
Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Ali Soltanieh, called for Israel to be sanctioned at the United Nations for making threats against Iran.
Ali Soltanieh: "Israel is continuously violating this resolution [Resolution 533], therefore violating [the] United Nations Charter. And according to that resolution, in fact, the United Nations Security Council has to immediately act upon condemning Israel and work on this matter [Israel’s threat of attack] to prevent escalation, threatening and threat of attack."
Pakistan’s parliament has unanimously demanded an end to U.S. drone strikes on Pakistani soil. In a resolution adopted by all 440 members, the parliament called for an end to the drone attacks as well as a ban on all private military contractors and intelligence operatives working inside Pakistan. Pakistan has continued to tacitly allow drone strikes despite previous votes along similar lines. But on Thursday, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Gilani vowed to implement the new measure "both in letter and spirit."
An Egyptian demonstrator was killed on Saturday in a protest calling for the departure of Egypt’s ruling military council. Clashes erupted outside Egypt’s defense ministry after unidentified military supporters rushed the crowd. A demonstrator said the protest had been peaceful until it was attacked.
Protester: "We are here staging a peaceful sit-in, continuing our revolution, conveying our demands. Unfortunately, we saw the thugs that the military let loose on us, who attacked people and gave people very grave injuries. There has been news of deaths, but we will continue, and they will not terrorize us. This is a new battle, which we will continue, and if they don’t respond, we will escalate our efforts."
Palestinian prisoners have voted to end a mass hunger strike that challenged Israel’s policy of indefinite detention without charge. On Monday, around 2,000 jailed Palestinians approved an Egypt-brokered deal that will see Israel end solitary confinement for 19 prisoners, drop a ban on visits from relatives living in the Gaza Strip, and no longer hold prisoners without charge once they complete their terms. The Palestinian minister for prisoner affairs, Issa Qaraqe, confirmed that a deal had been reached.
Issa Qaraqe: "We announce that the leadership of the prisoners, the higher committee leading the hunger strike, has signed an agreement this evening in Ashkelon jail, based on Cairo’s understandings yesterday."
As the prisoner hunger strike comes to an apparent end, Palestinians across the Occupied Territories are holding protests today to mark what they call the Nakba, or "catastrophe," when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were displaced from their homes during the period Israel declared statehood in 1948. A mass rally is expected in the Gaza Strip, along with a number of smaller protests across the West Bank. Clashes have already been reported, with Israeli troops firing tear gas and rubber bullets at stone-throwing Palestinian youth.
Israel has launched new attacks on the occupied Gaza Strip. On Thursday, seven Palestinians were wounded after Israeli forces opened fire near the Israel-Gaza border. At least three of the victims were said to be farmers. Another Palestinian farmer said he fled the shooting.
Nafez Jindiyah: "We are farmers, we were planting and we left our tools behind us. We also left our donkeys and cars to the east from here. Suddenly the Israelis started to shoot on us so we ran away."
Two top lawmakers have warned Pakistan over the sentencing of a doctor who ran a fake vaccination campaign to help the CIA locate Osama bin Laden. The doctor, Shakil Afridi, was sentenced to 30 years in prison this week for setting up the vaccination effort in an attempt to get DNA from the bin Laden family. In a statement, Senators John McCain of Arizona and Carl Levin of Michigan, the ranking members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Afridi’s imprisonment could "diminish Congress’s willingness to provide financial assistance to Pakistan." State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland was questioned on the Obama administration’s handling of Afridi’s case.
Reporter: "Since he was helping the U.S. on various matters in the CIA, how come you left him to die or to be in prisons to sentenced by the Pakistanis on treason and other charges? How come you didn’t give him some kind of protection or — just like the Chinese Chen, Mr. Chen, just like him, to bring him somewhere, give him some safe haven, rather than leaving him behind?"
Victoria Nuland: "I think we’ve said that we don’t see any basis for what’s happened here. And so, you know, we will continue to make those representations to the government of Pakistan."