Gazans mark anniversary of war

28/12/09; (3 Items)

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are marking one year since the start of Israel’s 22-day offensive on the territory, which left hundreds dead and damaged millions of dollars worth of infrastructure. Hamas officials held a ceremony on Sunday outside the destroyed Palestinian Legislative Council building in Gaza City – one of the first targets of the assault. Air raid sirens were turned on at 11:20am (9:20 GMT), the exact time that the aerial bombardment began.

See:; Palestinians vow raid retaliation; 28//12/09;; Galloway in fresh Gaza convoy plea; 28/12/09;

Punish, humiliate, terrorise’

Ben White; 28/12/09

As the one year anniversary of Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip is marked, it is vital to re-examine Operation Cast Lead within the wider context of Israel’s approach to both Gaza and the Palestinians.There is a danger that the scale of the devastation and the international protests which followed the war can deflect attention from the broader Israeli policies of collective punishment and deliberately-engineered socio-economic collapse. The first important part of this context for both before – and since – Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip is the crippling blockade. The isolation of the Gaza Strip actually goes back to the early 1990s, when Israel first implemented the system of ‘closure’ and fenced off the territory.

See :

Israel’s military avatar: Robots on the battlefield

Ora Coren; 28//12/09

With self-detonating grenades, thinking bullets and robot warriors, humans on the frontline could soon be a thing of the past. When armies clash in the not-too-distant future, remotely-operated robotic weapons will fight the enemy on land, in the air and at sea, without a human soldier anywhere on the battlefield. The first robotic systems are already being used by the Israel Defense Forces and other armies across the world, and only budgetary constraints seem to be keeping science fiction from becoming reality. In places where there is no choice but to send in troops, constantly improving broadband technologies, developed from the civilian communications industry, will serve as an essential part of the infrastructure for all modern military forces.