Israeli troops should have been able to tell slain Gaza children not Hamas members, colonel says
An Israeli military spokesman says the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) should have been able to tell that four boys it killed on a Gaza beach last week were not Hamas operatives.
The four boys from the one extended family – Zacaria, Aahed Bakr Jr, Mohammed and Ismail – were killed by a rocket strike while they played.
“The IDF had a target, a Hamas terrorist target,” Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner told the ABC’s 7.30 program.
“We had intelligence pointing specifically to that location and we had the indication that the perpetrators were on the beach. We had a specific target indicating that they were supposed to be there.
“We had visual surveillance, clearly, to an extent that we should have been able to determine who was on the beach.”
Lt Col Lerner did not provide detail about how long the boys were being observed or by what method.
“We need to determine what happened between the gathering of the intelligence and what happened that caused this unfortunate human tragedy,” he said.
While the Israeli military continues its official investigation, the extended family of the four boys is devastated.
Father shares heartbreak of loss
Aahed Bakr, the father of Zacaria, still cannot comprehend what happened.
“I found my kids dismembered. Innocent kids dismembered – it was carnage,” he told 7.30.
“I fainted. I couldn’t understand. It looked like a lie or a movie scene. Even now I can’t understand or believe they died.”
Mr Bakr’s wife, Um Ataf, is inconsolable and he admits that privately he, too, is struggling.
“I cry when I am on my own, but I don’t like my wife and daughters to see me. Overnight I just think and remember what happened to them, my kids and the rest.”
Mr Bakr is a fisherman and his family has a long and strong connection with the sea.
“Every day [the children] were going [to the beach] to play, to check the boats, to relax a bit, to see other fishermen, to play with other kids, to swim,” he said.
“This is the only place where you can relax. Every day they went to the sea from morning until late afternoon.”
Boys were playing hide and seek
His son, Muntaser, Zacaria’s brother, was at the beach that day with his four relatives.
They were among a line of small buildings and sheds on a break wall. It forms part of Gaza’s harbour which on previous days had been hit by Israeli fire. The boys were playing hide and seek.
Muntaser remembers a round of the game had begun and one of the boys was among the sheds when they came under attack.
“We started calling him until the rocket hit him,” Muntaser said.
“We ran away. I was running with them when they sent the second rocket.”
A photographer captured images of the boys running for their lives.
“I lost my friends,” Muntaser said. “I won’t be able to play with anybody and I can’t go to the port anymore.”
He is powerless, but is desperate to be powerful.
“I say to the resistance, ‘Don’t be afraid, don’t give up, don’t do anything before taking revenge for my brother and my nephew and my two other cousins and take the revenge for the whole country … and take revenge for the world and all the sad people with no home’.”
In Gaza, Israel and Hamas are doing battle in a territory where half the population are children. Officials say at least 145 children have now been killed in the current conflict.
“It’s a human tragedy,” Lt Col Lerner said. “Children are not our targets. We do not target civilians. It defeats the object of our mission.
“Our mission is against the bad people who are striking Israel, who are launching rockets indiscriminately at our population, at Tel Aviv, at Jerusalem, at Haifa, at Be’er Sheva.”
But that is cold comfort to Mr Bakr.
The Bakr boys were buried by the entrance to a simple cemetery near their home. Mr Bakr says the mourners were too afraid to dig the graves further into the cemetery, on a hill, in case they were seen by Israeli gunboats out at sea.
“No more,” he said. “We can’t understand what’s happening around us. Every day there’s a new massacre.
“It’s really something my brain can’t take anymore.”
Claims of war crimes
Meanwhile, an emergency session of the United Nations Human Rights Council has been told Israel may have committed war crimes in Gaza.
The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, says there is a strong possibility the killing of civilians including children is a breach of the law.
Ms Pillay says 147 children have been killed in Gaza over the past 16 days.
“Their killing raises concerns about respect for the principles of distinction, proportionality and precautions in attack,” she said.
“Israeli children and their parents and other civilians also have a right to live without the constant fear that a rocket fired from Gaza may land on their homes or their schools, killing and injuring them.
About 650 Palestinians and 29 Israeli soldiers have been killed in the past 16 days.
India MPs demand probe into ‘force-fed’ Muslim worker
Opposition MPs in India have demanded an investigation into reports that some Hindu MPs tried to forcibly feed a Muslim man fasting for Ramadan.
The MPs from the right-wing Shiv Sena party reportedly took their anger out on a government canteen worker because of the “poor quality of food”.
Opposition MPs said the incident was a violation of religious belief.
Muslims around the world abstain from food and drink from before dawn until dusk during the Islamic holy month.
On Monday, the opposition parties, led by the Congress, protested in parliament against the incident and demanded an apology from the Shiv Sena.
In a letter to the speaker of parliament, a group of opposition MPs urged her to direct the government to carry out an “immediate inquiry and appropriate action so that such wanton behaviour is no longer repeated,” the Press Trust of India news agency reported.
The MPs described the incident as “controversial and inhuman as the victim of this barbaric act is a Muslim who is fasting during Ramadan”.
Shiv Sena, a powerful regional party based in western Maharashtra state, has denied the incident took place.
A video was aired on several news channels apparently showing one of its MPs trying to force bread into the mouth of the restaurant worker.
The MP involved, Rajan Baburao Vichare, said he was only trying to protest against the quality of the food.
“The canteen management here is in a bad state. The chapatis (bread) they made didn’t even break, the quality of vegetables and pulses is bad. Making this a religious issue doesn’t make sense,” Mr Vichare told a news channel.
Shiv Sena has a history of inciting religious violence. It was blamed for inciting tensions between Hindu and Muslim communities during the 1993 Mumbai riots, in which about 900 people died.
The party was founded to keep south Indian migrants out of Maharashtra state and to halt the spread of Islam.
It is currently the sixth-largest in parliament, with 18 seats, and is an ally of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
Shocking scenes as 150 Jewish men go on rampage in Paris streets and clash with pro-Palestinian demonstrators
- About 150 men took to the streets armed with metal bars and sticks
- None were arrested despite going on the rampage in front of police
- Six pro-Palestinian demonstrators arrested over synagogue break in
A group of 150 Jewish men were seen brandishing iron bars and cans of pepper spray as they clashed with Pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Paris.
Video footage of the clashes show the group chanting racist slogans as they roamed the streets.
It came as President Francois Hollande warned that he did not want to see ‘the Israeli-Palestinian conflict imported into France’.
Scroll down for video
A still taken from the video shows dozens of men in Paris walking down the streets armed with chairs and other weapons, before clashing with pro-Palestinian demonstrators
Around 150 mainly young men were seen carrying weapons, like chairs, and chanting racist slogans as they went on the rampage
French Jewish groups have complained about an increase in anti-Semitism in recent months, with many accusing Muslim youths of targeting them.
But a video shot close to the Place de la Bastille on Sunday, and verified by police before being posted on YouTube, appears to show pro-Israel groups are also actively involved in clashes.
In Paris, CRS riot police did not arrest any of the group, thought to be linked to the Jewish Defence League, despite them openly fighting in broad daylight.
In the video, those amongst the group can be heard chanting ‘**** you Palestine’ as they smash up chairs and metal tables to be used as missiles.
CRS riot police did not arrest any members of the rampaging group, thought to be linked to the extremist Jewish Defence League, despite them openly fighting in broad daylight
The group were carrying gas canisters, pepper spray, metal bars and wooden sticks, and some wore crash helmets while others simply covered their faces
The men are armed with gas canisters, pepper spray, metal bars and wooden sticks and some wear crash helmets.
The video shows the men running towards pro-Palestinian demonstrators, before skirmishes break out.
Six pro-Palestinian demonstrators were arrested on Sunday, accused of trying to break into two Paris synagogues. Two Jewish men were reportedly injured.
A protester wearing a gas mask holds a fake rocket during protests in Paris over the weekend
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators were said to have tried to break into two Paris synagogues on Sunday which resulted in six arrests and two Jewish men being injured
In the wake of the clashes Mr Hollande said the country will ‘redouble vigilance’.
He was due to meet the head of Jewish umbrella group CRIF today.
Alexis Bachelay, a Paris MP for the ruling Socialist party, said: ‘There has evidently been a media manipulation about who really got assaulted.
‘These are extremely serious facts that need to be investigated thoroughly by the police. It is not the first time that young French people of Muslim origin are stigmatised by the media.
‘French people of Muslim origin should be protected by the law when demonstrating. They should not be attacked by radical groups like the LDJ’.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2693423/Jewish-vigilantes-rampage-Paris-attack-pro-Palestinian-demonstrators.html#ixzz37r94syfV
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A number of ancient health practices are proving to be effective in multiple ways. We recently posted an article about meditation,
and how neuroscience can now explain what happens to the brain when we meditate. Now, scientists have discovered the first
evidence of a natural intervention triggering stem cell-based regeneration of an organ or system. The study was published in the
June 5 issue of Cell Stem Cell by researchers from the University of Southern California. The research shows that cycles of
prolonged fasting protect against immune system damage and induce immune system regeneration. They concluded that fasting
shifts stem cells from a dormant state to a state of self-renewal. (1)
Human clinical trials were conducted using patients who were receiving chemotherapy. For long periods of time,
patients did not eat which significantly lowered their white blood cell counts. In mice, fasting cycles “flipped a regenerative switch,
changing the signalling pathways for hematopoietic stem cells, which are responsible for the generation of blood and immune systems.” (1)
“We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration
of the heatopoietic system. When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to
recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged. What we started noticing in both our
human work and animal work is that the white blood cell count goes down with prolonged fasting. Then when you re-feed, the
blood cells come back. ” - Valter Longo, corresponding author. (1)
Again, because fasting significantly lowers white blood cell counts, this triggers stem cell-based regeneration of new
immune system cells. More importantly, it reduces the PKA enzyme, which has been linked to aging, tumour progression and cancer.(1)
It’s also noteworthy to mention that fasting protected against toxicity in a pilot clinical trial where patients fasted for 72 hours prior to chemotherapy.
“Chemotherapy causes significant collateral damage to the immune system. The results of this study suggest that fasting may
mitigate some of the harmful effects of chemotherapy.” Co-Author Tanya Dorff (1)
Fasting is a tradition that’s been incorporated into many ancient cultures, from Vedic to Buddhist and more, fasting should not be confused
with starvation. It’s the process of restrain and control from the sensorial experience of eating and at the same time making sure you are
doing it correctly. When I fast, I usually do water fasts and I have been doing them for almost eight years now and I always feel great and
full of energy after doing so.
1. Fasting helps protect against brain disease:
Researchers at the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore have found evidence that fasting for one or two days a week can prevent
the effects of Alzheimer and Parkinson’s disease. Research also found that cutting the daily intake to 500 calories a day for two days
out of the seven can show clear beneficial effects for the brain.
2. Fasting cuts your risk of heart disease and diabetes:
Regularly going a day without food reduces your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Studies show that fasting releases a significant
surge in human growth hormone, which is associated with speeding up metabolism and burning off fat. Shedding fat is known to
cut the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Doctors are even starting to consider fasting as a treatment.
3. Fasting effectively treats cancer in human cells:
A study from the scientific journal of aging found that cancer patients who included fasting into their therapy perceived fewer side effects
from chemotherapy. All tests conducted so far show that fasting improves survival, slow tumor growth and limit the spread of tumors.
The National Institute on Aging has also studied one type of breast cancer in detail to further understand the effects of fasting on cancer.
As a result of fasting, the cancer cells tried to make new proteins and took other steps to keep growing and dividing. As a result of these steps,
which in turn led to a number of other steps, damaging free radical molecules were created which broke down the cancer cells own DNA
and caused their destruction! It’s cellular suicide, the cancer cell is trying to replace all of the stuff missing in the bloodstream that it needs
to survive after a period of fasting, but can’t. In turn, it tries to create them and this leads to its own destruction
Again, make sure you do your research before trying this out. Hopefully this can kickstart you further into looking into it if you are truly interested.