Glenn Greenwald: More Israel Disclosures In Snowden’s Trove Of ‘Significant Stories’

More Israel disclosures in Snowden’s trove of ‘significant stories’ – Greenwald (RT, Jan 7, 2013):

Glenn Greenwald, the investigative journalist who first published Edward Snowden leaks, said that the NSA whistleblower still has “a huge number of very significant stories to reveal,” including those relating to Israel.

“There definitely are stories left that involve the Middle East, that involve Israel. The reporting is going to continue at roughly the same pace that has been happening,” the former Guardian journalist said in an interview with Channel 10 television station that aired Monday night.

Read moreGlenn Greenwald: More Israel Disclosures In Snowden’s Trove Of ‘Significant Stories’

Former PM Olmert: Netanyahu Wasted Billions On Iran ‘Hallucinations’

Olmert raps Netanyahu for wasting billions on Iran hallucinations (PressTV, Jan 12, 2013):

Former Israeli premier has criticized hawkish Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for wasting billions of shekels for preparing futile war plans against Iran.

“In the past two years we have spent more than 11 billion shekels on security hallucinations that were not performed and will not be performed,” Ehud Olmert said in a Friday interview with Israeli television network Channel 2 News.

“They scared the world for a year and in the end didn’t do anything,” charged Olmert, referring to Netanyahu’s war rhetoric against Iran’s civilian nuclear program during the past months.

Read moreFormer PM Olmert: Netanyahu Wasted Billions On Iran ‘Hallucinations’

Protestors shut down ‘war criminal’ Ehud Olmert speech at University of Chicago

U.N. Human Rights Council endorses Gaza war crimes report



Added: 16. Oktober 2009

On 15 October 2009, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert came to give the annual King Abdullah II Leadership Lecture at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy.

Outraged that a man responsible for war crimes in Palestine and Lebanon that killed more than three thousand people during his term of office, community members confronted Olmert inside the lecture hall effectively preventing him from delivering his speech.

Read moreProtestors shut down ‘war criminal’ Ehud Olmert speech at University of Chicago

Amnesty International: Gaza white phosphorus shells were US made


Palestinian civilians and medics run to safety during an Israeli strike over a UN school in Beit Lahia, Gaza (Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)

White phosphorus bombs used by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip were produced and supplied by American arms manufacturers, according to an Amnesty International report that called for a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel.

The report documented dozens of weapons used by Israel and Hamas during the three-week offensive, concluding that both groups had carried out attacks on civilians constituting war crimes punishable by international law. The UN Security Council should impose an embargo until a mechanism was established to ensure that military equipment was not used to carry out such violations, said Amnesty.

Donatella Rovera, who headed the Amnesty fact-finding mission, said that the group had systematically collected and catalogued shells across Gaza, and traced serial numbers back to factory production lines in the US.

“All of the evidence points to the failure of America to exercise due oversight of what they sell to Israel, which is in breach of their own laws… which require that weapons will not be sold to a country where they will be misused. And the manner in which these weapons were used in Gaza is a war crime.”

The human rights group said that weapons experts in Gaza found white phosphorus artillery shells marked M825 A1 – a US-made munition – throughout the coastal strip. The Times published photographic evidence that Israel was using the M825 A1 shells on January 8. At that time, Israeli military spokesmen denied that the weapon was being used, saying: “This is what we call a quiet shell – it has no explosives and no white phosphorus”.

Read moreAmnesty International: Gaza white phosphorus shells were US made

Israeli ‘phosphorous shells’ incinerate 1,000s of tons of UN food as Gaza starves


A UN foreign worker runs outside the UN warehouse in Gaza City after it was hit by Israeli strikes

ISRAELI shells set ablaze a food warehouse at UN headquarters in Gaza yesterday, destroying tons of emergency rations intended for needy Gaza civilians, a senior UN official said. A pall of black smoke rose from the UN compound, visible across Gaza City. Flour spilled on the ground and mixed with soot as Palestinian firefighters tried to douse the flames.

“The main warehouse was badly damaged by what appeared to be white phosphorus shells,” UN humanitarian affairs chief John Holmes said at a news briefing in New York.

“Those on the ground don’t have any doubt that’s what they were. If you were looking for confirmation, that looks like it to me.” The compound belongs to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (Unwra).

The rights group Human Rights Watch has accused Israel of using white phosphorus, which can create smoke screens or mark targets but also makes a devastating incendiary weapon.

Israel’s prime minister, Ehud Olmert, said the military fired artillery shells at the UN compound after Hamas militants opened fire from the location, a version of events John Ging, director of Unwra in Gaza, rejected as “nonsense”

Mr Ging said Israeli shells first hit a courtyard filled with refugees, then struck garages and the UN’s main warehouse, sending thousands of tons of food aid up in flames. Later, fuel supplies ignited, sending a thick plume of smoke into the air.

“It’s a total disaster for us,” said Mr Ging, adding that the UN had warned the Israeli its shelling put the compound in danger.

Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, who is in the region to encourage a ceasefire, demanded a “full explanation” and said the Israeli defence minister, Ehud Barak, had told him there had been a “grave mistake”.

Read moreIsraeli ‘phosphorous shells’ incinerate 1,000s of tons of UN food as Gaza starves

Olmert says called Bush to force change in U.N. vote

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said a telephone call he made to U.S. President George W. Bush last week forced Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to abstain in a U.N. vote on the Gaza war, leaving her “shamed.”

Pouring on political bravado in a speech late Monday, Olmert said he demanded to talk to Bush with only 10 minutes to spare before a U.N. Security Council vote Thursday on a resolution opposed by Israel calling for an immediate cease-fire.

“When we saw that the secretary of state, for reasons we did not really understand, wanted to vote in favour of the U.N. resolution … I looked for President Bush and they told me he was in Philadelphia making a speech,” Olmert said.

“I said, ‘I don’t care. I have to talk to him now,'” Olmert said, describing Bush, who leaves office on January 20, as “an unparalleled friend” of Israel.

“They got him off the podium, brought him to another room and I spoke to him. I told him, ‘You can’t vote in favour of this resolution.’ He said, ‘Listen, I don’t know about it, I didn’t see it, I’m not familiar with the phrasing.'”

Olmert said he then told Bush: “‘I’m familiar with it. You can’t vote in favour.’

“He gave an order to the secretary of state and she did not vote in favour of it — a resolution she cooked up, phrased, organised and manoeuvred for. She was left pretty shamed and abstained on a resolution she arranged,” Olmert said.

Fourteen of the Security Council’s 15 members supported the resolution, which has failed to halt Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip and Hamas’s cross-border rocket fire.

Olmert, under police investigation over alleged corruption, resigned as prime minister in September but is serving in a caretaker capacity until a new government is formed after Israel’s February 10 parliamentary election.

Read moreOlmert says called Bush to force change in U.N. vote

Israel okays call-up of tens of thousands of IDF reservists

Israel’s government has approved the call-up of tens of thousands of reservist soldiers, it was annnounced Saturday, almost simultaneously with the launch of a Gaza ground incursion aimed at halting rocket fire on Israel’s southern communities.

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Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s office said in a statement that, in accordance with a secret cabinet discussion Friday, the government ordered the armed forces “to draft the necessary reservists, on a scale of tens of thousands of troops.”

The Gaza ground operation launched Saturday had actually been approved last week, but Olmert promised his ministers that when the time came to begin the offensive, it would first be brought for fresh approval by the security cabinet. On Thursday night, Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister Ehud Barak held a meeting that lasted until 4 A.M., during which it was decided that that time had come.

Read moreIsrael okays call-up of tens of thousands of IDF reservists

Bush clears way for Israeli ground operation, updates Obama (Day 8 of Gaza campaign)


Final preparations by Israeli troops

DEBKAfile‘s Washington source report that in a telephone conversation with prime minister Ehud Olmert, US president George W. Bush okayed Israeli air, sea and ground operations against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. He promised the US would veto a resolution condemning Israel at the UN Security Council meeting next Monday. Early Saturday morning, Jan. 3, Day 8 of Israel’s Gaza operation, US and British media described the Israeli invasion as hours away.

In his weekly radio address – brought forward by a day, the US president spoke with exceptional firmness: “Another one-way ceasefire that leads to rocket attacks on Israel is not acceptable,” he said. “This recent outburst of violence was instigated by Hamas – a Palestinian terrorist group supported by Iran and Syria that calls for Israel’s destruction.”

He noted that “Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in a coup and routinely violated an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire…” and went on to define the exit point for Israel’s military operation:

“Promises from Hamas will not suffice,” he said. There must be “monitoring mechanisms in place to help ensure that smuggling of weapons to terrorist groups in Gaza comes to an end.”

Read moreBush clears way for Israeli ground operation, updates Obama (Day 8 of Gaza campaign)

Olmert: Airstrikes, blockade merely first stage in Gaza

A column of Israeli armored vehicles is deployed in a farmer's field Tuesday near the Gaza border.
A column of Israeli armored vehicles is deployed in a farmer’s field Tuesday near the Gaza border.

GAZA CITY (CNN) — Israel’s fourth day of attacks in Gaza sent the Palestinian death toll to more than 375 as the Jewish state’s prime minister warned Tuesday that the air offensive marked only the beginning, according to officials.

“We are currently at the first stage of the operation,” Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told President Shimon Peres during a morning briefing, officials said.


Related article: World rallies around Palestinians amid Gaza offensive


A girl in Caracas, Venezuela, holds a sign reading, “No more massacre in Gaza” at Israel’s embassy Monday.


Olmert’s summation came a day after Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Israel’s parliament that the campaign launched Saturday marked an “all-out war” against Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules Gaza.

Read moreOlmert: Airstrikes, blockade merely first stage in Gaza

Israel May Call Up Army Reserves After Bombarding Hamas in Gaza

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) — Israel’s cabinet agreed to call up as many as 7,000 army reservists, signaling that two days of air raids on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip may be followed by a ground invasion to halt rocket attacks.

“This will be a long, difficult and painful operation,” Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told ministers in Jerusalem today, according to Cabinet Secretary Oved Yehezkel, before the call-up was approved by a committee of parliament.

As many as 285 Palestinians have been killed in the raids, the deadliest such attack since the 1967 Six-Day War. Israel began the bombardment yesterday after dozens of rockets were fired by Islamic militants at its southern towns following the Dec. 19 expiration of a six-month cease-fire with Hamas, which controls Gaza.

Warplanes today struck Hamas government offices in Gaza and 40 tunnels dug under the border with Egypt to bypass an Israeli blockade.

“It is clear to everyone that there is no way to end this without some sort of ground offensive,” Shmuel Bar, director of studies at the Institute for Policy and Planning at the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center in Israel, said of the call-up. “This is one of the lessons learned from the second Lebanon War, that air strikes alone cannot prevent missile or rocket attacks.”

Read moreIsrael May Call Up Army Reserves After Bombarding Hamas in Gaza