An American investigative journalist says Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is ready to put American lives at risk in order to retrieve lost tourism revenue.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) banned all American planes from flying to Israel after a rocket struck near Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, but the agency lifted the ban on Wednesday night after a great hue and cry was raised in the United States by pro-Israeli groups and politicians.
“So my take on this is that Netanyahu obviously wants to put American lives in jeopardy, American airplanes in jeopardy because he is worried about the lost tourist revenue,” Wayne Madsen, author and columnist specializing in intelligence and international affairs, said in a phone interview with press TV on Thursday.
US Senator Ted Cruz, an influential Republican from Texas, accused President Barack Obama of using the FAA to implement an “economic boycott of Israel.”
Madsen said Sen. Cruz is one of Netanyahu’s many “puppets” in US Congress speaking in favor of Israel’s interests.
“Ted Cruz is a puppet of Netanyahu and a Christian Zionist who have many of their operations in Texas. People like John Hagee, for example, who is basically a paid shell for the Zionists in Jerusalem,” he said.
The analyst explained that, “Netanyahu wants to have it both ways. He wants to say Hamas is a threat and when the FAA responds to that ‘threat’ he complains about lost tourist revenue.”
The hawkish premier, Madsen noted, has shown “where Israel is the weakest.”
“If there is a tourism boycott of Israel, we know that that is what hurts them because they contacted their paid shells in the Senate and House, people like Ted Cruz, to start complaining about Obama and economic sanctions on Israel which is in fact ridiculous,” he noted.
“So people like Ted Cruz and John Hagee [the evangelical pastor who founded Christians United for Israel] should be taken for what they are: They are carnival barkers. They are snake oil salesmen,” Madsen said.
Pro-Gaza demonstrators clash with Israelis in West Bank
▶ Pro-Gaza demonstrators clash with Israelis in West Bank - YouTube
Israeli soldiers during a demonstration in solidarity with Gaza. A
protestor was shot dead in the West Bank town of Qalandia
Thousands of security forces deployed around Jerusalem al-Quds
The Israeli police said they would prevent Palestinian men under the age of 50 from entering the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem al-Quds. This, after a day of rage was declared by Palestinians in response to the killing of four Palestinians by Israeli security forces in the Qalandiya area Thursday night. Some 10-thousand Palestinians held a protest rally in the village of Qalandiya near Ramallah to support Gaza. Some 200 Palestinians were also injured by Israeli live fire while nearly 40 others were arrested.
Israeli security cabinet to meet on expanding Gaza war
Officials, who have spoken on condition of anonymity, have told the media that the meeting will be held behind closed doors. They say Israeli authorities may also discuss international efforts to broker a ceasefire in Gaza. The office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is yet to confirm the reports over the cabinet meeting. Israel traditionally does not comment on security cabinet sessions or even acknowledge that they take place.
Israel continues to pound the besieged Palestinian enclave from the air and ground
Israeli forces have been bombing everywhere in the Gaza Strip including hospitals and UN-run schools, where the Palestinians sought refuge. Nearly a dozen people, including women and children, have been killed in separate Israeli strikes on Rafah, Khan Yunis and Deir al-Balah. Also, Israeli tanks keep shelling the Nuseirat refugee camp north-east of Deir al-Balah. At least 820 Palestinians have been killed so far and over 52-hundred others injured in the Israeli onslaught since July the 8th. According to UN estimates, the majority of victims are civilians. More than 190 children are among the casualties. A humanitarian crisis is looming large, as Gaza hospitals are running low on basic medical supplies. The impoverished Palestinian territory has been without water and electricity for nearly 24 hours now.
After Deadly Attack on Gaza School, UN Warns 150,000 Seeking Shelter are at Risk
At least 16 people were killed and more than 200 injured Thursday when a school used as a United Nations shelter came under fire in Gaza. Palestinian families displaced by the assault had reportedly gathered to move to a safer area when the school was hit. Palestinian officials have blamed Israeli tank shelling, while Israel has suggested militant rockets were at fault. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has declined to directly accuse Israel, but says it gave the school’s coordinates to the Israeli army numerous times. "Within Gaza, there is no safe place," says Christopher Gunness, UNRWA spokesperson. "If the parties to this conflict have shown themselves callous enough to be able to hit a clearly designated, clearly marked U.N. compound where hundreds of people have come to take sanctuary, we cannot guarantee anymore the safety of our installations." Gunness says the number of people now seeking shelter amidst the violence has swelled to 150,000.