UN: ‘world stands disgraced’ as shelter for Gaza children is shelled by Israel

A Palestinian girl cries while receiving treatment for her injuries

A Palestinian girl cries while receiving treatment for her injuries caused by an Israeli tank shelling at a UN school in Jebaliya refugee camp, 30 July 2014

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees said the shelling of the school, being operated by the UN as a refugee camp, was a “serious violation of international law”

United Nations officials described the killing of sleeping children as a disgrace to the world and accused Israel of a serious violation of international law after a school in Gaza being used to shelter Palestinian families was shelled on Wednesday.

At least 15 people, mostly children and women, died when the school in Jabaliya refugee camp was hit by five shells during a night of relentless bombardment across Gaza. More than 100 people were injured.

Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, said the attack was “outrageous and unjustifiable” and demanded “accountability and justice”. The UN said its officials had repeatedly given details of the school and its refugee population to Israel.

Fighting in Gaza continued through the day despite a four-hour humanitarian ceasefire called by Israel from 3pm. A crowded market in Shujai’iya was hit in the late afternoon, causing at least 17 deaths, including a journalist, and injuring about 200 people, according to Gaza health officials. They said people had ventured out to shop in the belief a ceasefire was in place. Witnesses said several shells struck as people were running away. Israel said rockets and mortar shells continued to be fired from Gaza.

At the UN school the first shell came just after the early morning call to prayer, when most of those taking shelter were asleep, crammed into classrooms with what few possessions they had managed to snatch as they fled their homes.

About 3,300 people have squashed into Jabaliya Elementary A&B Girls’ School since the Israeli military warned people to leave their homes and neighbourhoods or risk death under intense bombardment. Classroom number one, near the school’s entrance, had become home to about 40 people, mostly women and children.

As a shell blasted through the wall, showering occupants with shrapnel and spattering blood on walls and floors, Amna Zantit, 31, scrambled to gather up her three terrified infants in a panicked bid for the relative safety of the schoolyard. “Everyone was trying to escape,” she said, clutching her eight-month old baby tightly. Minutes later, a second shell slammed through the roof of the two-storey school. At least 15 people were killed and more than 100 injured. Most were women or children.

Pierre Krahenbuhl, commissioner-general of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, said the shelling of the school was a “serious violation of international law by Israeli forces”.

Krahenbuhl said: “Last night, children were killed as they slept next to their parents on the floor of a classroom in a UN-designated shelter in Gaza. Children killed in their sleep; this is an affront to all of us, a source of universal shame. Today the world stands disgraced.”

Khalil al-Halabi, the UN official in charge of the schools in the area, was quickly on the scene. Bodies were littered over the classroom, and the badly injured lay in pools of blood amid the debris and rubble caused by the blast. “I was shaking,” he said. “It was very, very hard for me to see the blood and hear the children crying.”

By daylight, the detritus of people’s lives was visible among ruins of the classroom: a ball, a bucket, some blankets, tins of food, a pair of flip-flops. The corpses of donkeys, used to haul the meagre possessions of refugees to what they thought was safety, lay at the school’s entrance as two lads wearing Palestinian boy scout scarves collected human body parts for burial. Five of the injured were in a critical condition in hospital.

Halabi was facing impossible requests for advice from those who escaped the carnage. “These people are very angry. They evacuated their homes and came here for protection, not to be killed inside a UN shelter. Now they are asking me whether to stay or leave. They are very frightened. They don’t know what to do.”

The attack on the school was the sixth time that UNRWA premises have been hit since the war in Gaza began more than three weeks ago, the UN said.

Palestinians fled their homes after Israel warned that failure to do so would put their lives at risk. Those at the Jabaliya school were among more than 200,000 who have sought shelter at UN premises in the belief that families would be safe.

Analysis of evidence gathered at the site by UNRWA led to an initial assessment that Israeli artillery had hit the school, causing “multiple civilian deaths and injuries including of women and children and the UNRWA guard who was trying to protect the site. These are people who were instructed to leave their homes by the Israeli army.”

Krahenbuhl added: “Our staff, the very people leading the humanitarian response, are being killed. Our shelters are overflowing. Tens of thousands may soon be stranded in the streets of Gaza, without food, water and shelter if attacks on these areas continue.”

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said it was investigating the incident at the UN school. Initial inquiries showed that “Hamas militants fired mortar shells from the vicinity of the school, and [Israeli] soldiers responded by firing towards the origins of the fire”, a spokeswoman said.

A UN source said there was no evidence of militant activity inside the school.

The US, which has been at odds with Isarael’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, over efforts to secure a ceasefire, condemned the school shelling but did not specifically blame Israel.

The incident comes after an explosion at another UN school in Beit Hanoun last week as the playground was filled with families awaiting evacuation. Israel denied responsibility for the deaths, saying a single “errant” shell fired by its forces hit the school playground, which was empty at the time.

UNRWA has rejected the IDF’s account, saying an initial shell was followed by several others within minutes. Reporters who visited the school shortly afterwards said damage and debris was consistent with mortar rounds. UNRWA has found rockets at three of its schools in Gaza in the past three weeks, which it has swiftly condemned as “flagrant violation[s] of the neutrality of our premises”.

Israel says militants from Hamas and other organisations launch rockets from the vicinity of UNRWA properties.

The Israeli military said it had targeted more than 4,100 sites in Gaza since the start of the conflict on 8 July. The death toll in Gaza rose above 1,300 on Wednesday.

Three soldiers were killed in fighting around Khan Younis, bringing the total IDF death toll to 56. Three civilians have died in rocket attacks on Israel.

In an emotional statement, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said the “destructive cycle of violence has caused untold suffering”.

He said: “You can’t look at the pictures coming from Gaza and Israel without your heart breaking. We must cry to God and beat down the doors of heaven and pray for peace and justice and security. Only a costly and open-hearted seeking of peace between Israeli and Palestinian can protect innocent people, their children and grandchildren, from ever worse violence.”

He called for a renewed “commitment to political dialogue in the wider search for peace and security for both Israeli and Palestinians”.

Support for the military operation among the Israeli public remained solid. A poll published by Tel Aviv university this week found 95% of Israeli Jews felt the offensive was justified. Only 4% believed too much force had been used.

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India goes vivacious in Balochistan

QUETTA – Pakistan is undergoing the most critical phase of its history since its inception and is battling the menace of terrorism with utmost vigour. The peaceful holding of General Elections in May this year testified the resilience and resolve of 180 million people not to succumb to the demands of handful extremists who, at the behest of RAW and other hostile powers, intend to impose their own version of ideologies by making people hostage to their ruthless agenda. Pakistan is also wary of India’sincreasing role in Afghanistan under the garb of reconstruction and rehabilitation projects and usage of its soil for fuelling militancy in FATA and Balochistan which, it considers as a grave threat to the national security and solidarity.

One is extremely alarmed by opening up of a number of unjustified Diplomatic Missions by India across Afghanistan. India has also opened Consulates in Heart, Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalalabad, and Kandahar, and the global media reports and international spy agencies have proved at number of occasions that these ‘Indian Missions are actually providing cover to Indian intelligence operatives to carry out covert operations against Pakistan, as well as exacerbate separatism in Balochistan province.

Under the prevalent environs, Balochistan issue is developing into the most traumatized issue of the country. Complexity is aggravating with each passing day owing to convergence of interests of regional & global stake holders. Terrorist activities across country including suicide bombings, target killings and sectarian violence have drastically amplified in recent years due to the irrefutable involvement of foreign intelligence agencies especially India’s RAW. The deep rooted involvement of RAW and other hostile intelligence agencies in Balochistan province is obviously due to overabundance of natural resources embedded in the region. According to an estimate Pakistan has 25.1 trillion cubic feet of confirmed Gas reserves out of which nineteen trillion are to be found in Balochistan.

Research indicates that RAW in collaboration with Afghan intelligence agency NOS is actively providing covert financial and weapon support to Baloch militant groups such as the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), Baloch Republican Army (BRA), Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF) etc for conducting terrorist activities in Balochistan. The outfits are treading the separatist’s agenda and are responsible for causing mayhem in the province. Irrefutable evidences suggest that Baloch militants are being harboured at various places and training camps located at Kabul, Nimroz and Kandahar in Afghanistan by RAW in collaboration with Afghan intelligence agency NOS since 2006.

RAW is also providing sustained financing and monetary support to Baloch feudal & militants both in Afghanistan and Balochistan. Besides, RAW, with the complete support and patronage of Afghan authorities, is also involved in provision of Arms &ammunitions to Baloch militants for conducting terrorist activities inside Pakistan.

Highly credible sources, privy to confined circles also point out about the evidences held by them regarding RAW’s involvement in provision of fake identity and travel documents to Baloch militants for moving out of Afghanistan to India, UAE and Western countries. It is arranging visits of Baloch sub nationalists and militants to India for training purposes. In this regard RAW arranged visit of Riaz Gull Bugti (leading militant commander of Brahamdagh Bugti) to India in September 2009, where he was briefed and trained by RAW for terrorist activities. In order to overcome the linguistic problems in future, RAW is also involved in arranging Balochi language courses in India for Afghan Intelligence operatives through Balochi instructors, so that their expertise could be utilized for creating further unrest in the ,province through terrorist activities.

Research reveals that RAW, in collaboration with prominent Baloch sub nationalists round the globe is also persistently utilizing various international forums, NGOs and think tank organizations, such as United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) regular sessions etc for maligning Pakistan through arranging stage managed events such as pre-planned anti- Pakistan interventions, media briefings, protests & demonstrations etc.

“Their convergence, facilitation (lodgment, travel expenses etc) and subsequent media (including vibes) propagation is managed and funded by RAW and other hostile Intelligence Agencies through their operatives.

Investigations indicate that Tarek Fateh, a Canada based political activist and sympathizer of Baloch sub nationalists, after spitting his venom against Pakistan during UNHRC 22nd session at Geneva in February 2013, visited India on RAW’s sponsorship for getting commendation and future directions. He also held one-on-one meetings with RAW’s ex senior officers VikramSood & A SDaulat, which amply highlights the evil nexus.

Investigations indicate that Pakistani security agencies have the undeniable evidences of RAW’s involvement in Karachi terrorist activities where some terrorists, after conducting the heinous crimes, went to RAW offices along Afghan border to show them the videos, collect money and get directions for further operations. Evidence of provision of millions of Dollars to these militants by RAW are held by Pakistani Intelligence agencies while some security agencies of certain friendly countries are also in possession of similar evidence.

Internationa media investigations indicate that close relatives and friends of Hakim Ullah Mehsod and Moulana Fazlullah frequently visit Afghanistan for meeting RAW officers under diplomatic cover at Indian Embassy, Consulates and collect millions of Dollars to conduct terrorist acts back in Pakistan.

These investigations reveal that the Swat’s militants are being facilitated through camps in area of Kunar and Nuristan. They are given training and weapons to conduct organized militant actions againstPakistan’s regular and civil Armed Forces in FATA areas. Molana Fazlullah and his commanders openly travel across Afghanistan and visit Indian Embassy, Consulates, RAW and NOS offices, as if Afghanistan is their home town.

Media investigations reveal further that India’s RAW and Israel’s Mossad are running joint operation against Pakistan’s nuclear assets and thus both are contributing full share in providing funds and direction to militants for conducting terrorist activities, targeted at locating and destroying Pakistan’s nuclear installations.

Exploitation of social vibes i.e. internet, Face book, Twitter, Blogs etc are also on RAW’s top agenda, as it is actively involved in unleashing massive propaganda and disinformation campaign on Balochistan issue vis-a-vis maligning Pakistan through this medium with fake identities. The Daily Mail’s investigations indicate that around 4 dozen fake blogs and websites as well hundreds of fake Face book and Twitter IDs are being run by RAW to supports its operations against Pakistan in the cyber world.

– RAW running multiple operations in Balochistan with help of Afghan, Israeli agencies 
– RAW, Mossad running operation through local pawns with ultimate aim at Pak nuke installations 
– Prominent Pakistani militants comfortably visit across Afghanistan to meet RAW bosses 
– Pak authorities having undeniable evidences of Indian involvement in Balochistan 
– Most-wanted terrorists hold frequent meetings with RAW bosses in New Delhi 
– Canadian nationals too being used by RAW to operate against Pakistan and fund militants 
– Riaz Bugti of BLA and Tarek Fateh of Canada among top frequent guests of RAW 
– Terror camps under Command of India’s sham Consulates exporting terror from Kabul, Nimroz and Kandahar

KP to mourn DI Khan suicide attack for three days

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government Thursday announced three-day mourning in the province over the Dera Ismail suicide attack in which eight people, including law minister Israrullah Gandapur, were killed.

Moreover, the national flag would fly at half-mast on all the government buildings in the province during the course of the three-day mourning. Meanwhile, all the government activities and ceremonies were suspended in KP on account of Eidul Azha.

Earlier on Wednesday, at least eight people, including Gandapur, were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside his residence in Dera Ismail Khan.

More than 30 people were wounded in the attack, including Gandapur’s elder brother.

Gandapur was a member of the ruling party in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI), a party led by former cricketer Imran Khan which favours peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban. He is the most senior member of the party to have been killed so far.

Separately, KP chief minister Pervez Khattak summoned an emergency meeting of the provincial cabinet at 4 pm today.

According to Sheraz Paracha, spokesman for the provincial chief minister, the meeting would review the overall security situation of the province.

Eid al Fitr Mubarak to All My Friends and Family

Eid al-Fitr is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting (sawm). Eid is an Arabic word meaning “festivity”, while Fiṭr means “to break fast”; and so the holiday symbolizes the breaking of the fasting period. It is celebrated after the end of the Islamic month of Ramadan, on the first day of Shawwal.

Eid al-Fitr is sometimes also known as the “Smaller Eid” as compared to the Eid al-Adha that lasts three days following theHajj (the pilgrimage to Mecca) and is casually referred to as the “Greater Eid”

At the end of Ramadan every Muslim is required to pay Zakat al-Fitr (a special fast breaking alm) as a token of thankfulness to God for having enabled him or her to observe the obligatory fast.

Typically, on the day of the al eid Muslims generally greet each other have a small breakfast before attending a special Eid prayer that is performed in congregation at mosques or open areas like fields, squares etc. Muslims are encouraged to dress in their best clothes (new if possible) for the occasion.

EID Mubarak To All.