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Written by Julián Ortega Martínez

Last week, the Office of the Inspector General, through Ilva Myriam Hoyos, Delegate Inspector for the Defence of the Rights of Children, Adolescents, and Family, announced [es] it had requested the Attorney General's Office and the Colombian Institute for Family Welfare (ICBF, for its initials in Spanish) to open an investigation into one of the articles published in the latest edition of the adult magazine SoHo. Ms Hoyos based her request citing the Code of Childhood and Adolescence [es], and the Penal Code [es]. Both Ms Hoyos and Inspector General Alejandro Ordóñez are known for their conservative positions, and SoHo had been involved in a similar controversy in 2005.

The article, titled “Dejad que los niños vengan a mí” [es] (”Let the children come to me,” referencing Mark 10:14. WARNING: explicit images), includes photos from an exhibition [es] by photographer Mauricio Vélez (a regular contributor to the magazine), opened until mid-April at a hotel in Medellín. The controversial pictures depict staged scenes of nude underage boys (or models pretending to be minors) being watched by actors dressed as Catholic priests.

According [es] to the magazine's editor-in-chief, Daniel Samper Ospina, Vélez “clarified the minors [depicted] are 16 and 17″ and were photographed ‘with their parents' permission.” Samper told [es] Semana magazine (which owns SoHo) that “in Colombia we love to keep up appearances; therefore the State ends up persecuting the photographer who denounces pedophilia through his work, and not those who commit these abuses.”

The controversy erupted over the social networks. @cynosargo tweets:

Pfff, Daniel Samper Ospina se cree el Larry Flynt colombiano o qué? A otro perro con ése hueso.

Pfff, Daniel Samper Ospina thinks he's the Colombian Larry Flynt or what? I'm not biting on that one.

Jose L. Peñarredonda (@noalsilencio) argues that,

Lo que va a ser interesante entre la pelea entre Soho y el Procurador es que van a llevar a los tribunales el concepto de ‘arte'

The interesting thing about the fight between SoHo and the Inspector General will be the concept of ‘art' being carried to court.

Photographer Manuel Noguera Salas (@manuelnogueraS) supports the work by Vélez:

@DanielSamperO Un aplauso para Mauric[i]o Velez, La gente se escandaliza por la representación de la realidad? La verdad les duele!

@DanielSamperO Applause for Mauric[i]o Velez, do people get shocked with the representation of reality? Truth hurts!

But Lina Artunduaga (@LinaArtunduaga) disagrees:

Pues a mi las fotos de Vélez no me gustan! Son niños desnudos con un adulto y punto. Parecen más apología que denuncia…

Well, I don't like Vélez's photos! They're naked children with an adult, period. They seem more endorsement than denunciation…

With a similar point of view, María Prieto (@LaRola) tweets:

La publicación de las fotos de #soho no aportan nada al debate de la protección a los menores. Soho social e irreverente ya me sabe mierda.

The publication of the photos by #Soho makes no contribution to the debate about protecting minors. [The] social and irreverent Soho already tastes like shit to me.

Chilean cartoonist Alberto Montt (@albertomontt) tells SoHo's editor-in-chief:

Señor @DanielSamperO, si la gente reaccionase la mitad de indignada x los casos de abusos y pdflia q x las fotos, otro gallo cantaría.

Mr @DanielSamperO, if people reacted with half the outrage with cases of sexual abuse and pedophilia than they have with the photos, things would be quite different.

While Daniel Arango (@stultaviro) criticizes the magazine:

SoHo, revista erótica con prurito intelectual y aire sofisticado, que termina reducida a material masturbatorio de taller de mecánica.

SoHo, erotic magazine with intellectual obsession and sophisticated look, which ends up being reduced to masturbatory material for automobile repair shops.

Dan Gamboa Bohorquez (@larepuvlica) writes:

El contexto es tan importante como el contenido. El trabajo “Dejad que los niños vengan a mí” es muy bueno, pero SoHo no debió patrocinarlo

Context is as important as content. The work “Let the children come to me” is very good, but SoHo shouldn't have endorsed it.

Fernanda Contreras gives her opinion (@PardeGatos) in two tweets (1, 2):

Si alguien, a favor o en contra de Soho, abre diciendo 'sin moralismos', empezó mal. De eso se trata, de debatir sobre morales. En ese sentido, estar a favor de Soho no es ‘no ser moralista', sino argumentar en pro de una moral opuesta a la del Balbuceador.

If someone, for or against Soho, starts by saying ‘no intention to be a moralist', they are beginning the wrong way. That's all it is about: debating about morals. In that sense, to support or oppose Soho is not ‘being moralistic,' but arguing for a morality opposed to the Stammerer General's

Ana Maria Villamil C (@Mme_Bavarde) tells Samper:

@DanielSamperO Así es este país! Se indignan por unas fotos y por la muerte de una lechuza… pero les da igual si matan a una juez!

@DanielSamperO This is how this country is! They are outraged because of some pictures and the death of an owl… but they don't care if a judge is murdered!

Tiffany Aching (@AgnesCheshire) says that,

A los curas les queda fácil comerse niños porque la iglesia tiene muchas organizaciones y colegios. Y También trabajan con niños vulnerables

For Catholic priests, it's easy to have sex with children because the church has many organizations and schools. And they also work with vulnerable kids.

SoHo's editor-in-chief Daniel Samper Ospira (@DanielSamperO) tweeted (1, 2):

Los esfuerzos de las autoridades deberían ser contra la pedofilia, no contra el fotógrafo que la tomó como temática de trabajo y de denuncia[.] Las fotos no inducen a malos pensamientos con los niños, sino a sentir indignación ante el cura que les coquetea.

The authorities' efforts should [focus] against pedophilia, not against the photographer which used it as a subject for work and denunciation[.] The photos don't incite to [have] impure thoughts with the children, but to feeling outrage at the priest flirting with them.

On the local blogosphere, Jonathan from A la diestra [es] defends Ms Hoyos' request, while Carlos Forero harshly criticizes Samper and Vélez on Segunda Plana [es]:

Lo hecho por Vélez y Samper es asqueroso, usar a menores de edad desnudos en una exposición artística o en una revista para adultos es depravado, su supuesta iniciativa de denuncia se queda corta ante el hecho de la exhibición de los cuerpos de los niños.

What Vélez and Samper did is disgusting, using naked minors for an artistic exposition or an adult magazine is perverted, their alleged initiative of denunciation runs short before the fact of the exhibition of the children's bodies.

But David Osorio at De avanzada supports [es] Samper by republishing the controversial photos and attacking the Inspector General:

[E]n estos días el fanático, fundamentalista e intolerante Ordóñez ha vuelto a poner todas las armas que tiene a su alcance, lanza en ristre contra la revista SoHo, una vez más, por unas fotos que no son de su retorcido católico gusto y agrado.

In the last few days the fanatic, fundamentalist, and intolerant [Inspector General] Ordóñez has set up again all the weapons in his reach, attacking SoHo magazine, again, because of some photos which aren't of his twisted, catholic liking.

Global Voices in English

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Written by Julián Ortega Martínez

Last week, the Office of the Inspector General, through Ilva Myriam Hoyos, Delegate Inspector for the Defence of the Rights of Children, Adolescents, and Family, announced [es] it had requested the Attorney General's Office and the Colombian Institute for Family Welfare (ICBF, for its initials in Spanish) to open an investigation into one of the articles published in the latest edition of the adult magazine SoHo. Ms Hoyos based her request citing the Code of Childhood and Adolescence [es], and the Penal Code [es]. Both Ms Hoyos and Inspector General Alejandro Ordóñez are known for their conservative positions, and SoHo had been involved in a similar controversy in 2005.

The article, titled “Dejad que los niños vengan a mí” [es] (”Let the children come to me,” referencing Mark 10:14. WARNING: explicit images), includes photos from an exhibition [es] by photographer Mauricio Vélez (a regular contributor to the magazine), opened until mid-April at a hotel in Medellín. The controversial pictures depict staged scenes of nude underage boys (or models pretending to be minors) being watched by actors dressed as Catholic priests.

According [es] to the magazine's editor-in-chief, Daniel Samper Ospina, Vélez “clarified the minors [depicted] are 16 and 17″ and were photographed ‘with their parents' permission.” Samper told [es] Semana magazine (which owns SoHo) that “in Colombia we love to keep up appearances; therefore the State ends up persecuting the photographer who denounces pedophilia through his work, and not those who commit these abuses.”

The controversy erupted over the social networks. @cynosargo tweets:

Pfff, Daniel Samper Ospina se cree el Larry Flynt colombiano o qué? A otro perro con ése hueso.

Pfff, Daniel Samper Ospina thinks he's the Colombian Larry Flynt or what? I'm not biting on that one.

Jose L. Peñarredonda (@noalsilencio) argues that,

Lo que va a ser interesante entre la pelea entre Soho y el Procurador es que van a llevar a los tribunales el concepto de ‘arte'

The interesting thing about the fight between SoHo and the Inspector General will be the concept of ‘art' being carried to court.

Photographer Manuel Noguera Salas (@manuelnogueraS) supports the work by Vélez:

@DanielSamperO Un aplauso para Mauric[i]o Velez, La gente se escandaliza por la representación de la realidad? La verdad les duele!

@DanielSamperO Applause for Mauric[i]o Velez, do people get shocked with the representation of reality? Truth hurts!

But Lina Artunduaga (@LinaArtunduaga) disagrees:

Pues a mi las fotos de Vélez no me gustan! Son niños desnudos con un adulto y punto. Parecen más apología que denuncia…

Well, I don't like Vélez's photos! They're naked children with an adult, period. They seem more endorsement than denunciation…

With a similar point of view, María Prieto (@LaRola) tweets:

La publicación de las fotos de #soho no aportan nada al debate de la protección a los menores. Soho social e irreverente ya me sabe mierda.

The publication of the photos by #Soho makes no contribution to the debate about protecting minors. [The] social and irreverent Soho already tastes like shit to me.

Chilean cartoonist Alberto Montt (@albertomontt) tells SoHo's editor-in-chief:

Señor @DanielSamperO, si la gente reaccionase la mitad de indignada x los casos de abusos y pdflia q x las fotos, otro gallo cantaría.

Mr @DanielSamperO, if people reacted with half the outrage with cases of sexual abuse and pedophilia than they have with the photos, things would be quite different.

While Daniel Arango (@stultaviro) criticizes the magazine:

SoHo, revista erótica con prurito intelectual y aire sofisticado, que termina reducida a material masturbatorio de taller de mecánica.

SoHo, erotic magazine with intellectual obsession and sophisticated look, which ends up being reduced to masturbatory material for automobile repair shops.

Dan Gamboa Bohorquez (@larepuvlica) writes:

El contexto es tan importante como el contenido. El trabajo “Dejad que los niños vengan a mí” es muy bueno, pero SoHo no debió patrocinarlo

Context is as important as content. The work “Let the children come to me” is very good, but SoHo shouldn't have endorsed it.

Fernanda Contreras gives her opinion (@PardeGatos) in two tweets (1, 2):

Si alguien, a favor o en contra de Soho, abre diciendo 'sin moralismos', empezó mal. De eso se trata, de debatir sobre morales. En ese sentido, estar a favor de Soho no es ‘no ser moralista', sino argumentar en pro de una moral opuesta a la del Balbuceador.

If someone, for or against Soho, starts by saying ‘no intention to be a moralist', they are beginning the wrong way. That's all it is about: debating about morals. In that sense, to support or oppose Soho is not ‘being moralistic,' but arguing for a morality opposed to the Stammerer General's

Ana Maria Villamil C (@Mme_Bavarde) tells Samper:

@DanielSamperO Así es este país! Se indignan por unas fotos y por la muerte de una lechuza… pero les da igual si matan a una juez!

@DanielSamperO This is how this country is! They are outraged because of some pictures and the death of an owl… but they don't care if a judge is murdered!

Tiffany Aching (@AgnesCheshire) says that,

A los curas les queda fácil comerse niños porque la iglesia tiene muchas organizaciones y colegios. Y También trabajan con niños vulnerables

For Catholic priests, it's easy to have sex with children because the church has many organizations and schools. And they also work with vulnerable kids.

SoHo's editor-in-chief Daniel Samper Ospira (@DanielSamperO) tweeted (1, 2):

Los esfuerzos de las autoridades deberían ser contra la pedofilia, no contra el fotógrafo que la tomó como temática de trabajo y de denuncia[.] Las fotos no inducen a malos pensamientos con los niños, sino a sentir indignación ante el cura que les coquetea.

The authorities' efforts should [focus] against pedophilia, not against the photographer which used it as a subject for work and denunciation[.] The photos don't incite to [have] impure thoughts with the children, but to feeling outrage at the priest flirting with them.

On the local blogosphere, Jonathan from A la diestra [es] defends Ms Hoyos' request, while Carlos Forero harshly criticizes Samper and Vélez on Segunda Plana [es]:

Lo hecho por Vélez y Samper es asqueroso, usar a menores de edad desnudos en una exposición artística o en una revista para adultos es depravado, su supuesta iniciativa de denuncia se queda corta ante el hecho de la exhibición de los cuerpos de los niños.

What Vélez and Samper did is disgusting, using naked minors for an artistic exposition or an adult magazine is perverted, their alleged initiative of denunciation runs short before the fact of the exhibition of the children's bodies.

But David Osorio at De avanzada supports [es] Samper by republishing the controversial photos and attacking the Inspector General:

[E]n estos días el fanático, fundamentalista e intolerante Ordóñez ha vuelto a poner todas las armas que tiene a su alcance, lanza en ristre contra la revista SoHo, una vez más, por unas fotos que no son de su retorcido católico gusto y agrado.

In the last few days the fanatic, fundamentalist, and intolerant [Inspector General] Ordóñez has set up again all the weapons in his reach, attacking SoHo magazine, again, because of some photos which aren't of his twisted, catholic liking.

Global Voices in English

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TheSmokingSection’s SXSW In Photos
What’s Going On At Uproxx

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Broward congressman and Plantation resident U.S. Rep. Allen West hopped on his motorcycle for a charity event this weekend. These pretty interesting photos were shot by local resident, alert reader and photographer Cal Deal. Hundreds and hundreds participated in Sunday’s event, the Celebration of Smiles Charity Ride 4 Kids, benefiting the Chris Evert Children’s Hospital.
allenwestflag2.jpg

(More photos on the jump page.)




Broward Politics

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The horrific photos of US soldiers posing with dead Afghan civilians should be rightfully condemned.  That is not the sort of battlefield conduct we should condone by America’s finest.  But what about the larger questions?  What are the larger questions?

#1: During the Bush years when the Abu Ghraib scandal erupted with photos of American soldiers posing with humiliated prisoners,  we were told that this was a reflection of George W. Bush.  Harry Smith on CBS claimed that Abu Ghraib was a logical consequence of Bush’s policies.  His interrogation techniques caused the problem. In other words,  Bush was the root cause.

So with these new horrific photos now coming out,  is Obama the root cause?  Somehow I doubt that we will not be hearing the argument by the MSM.

#2: The timing of this leak is troubling.  It will cause an uproar in the Middle East precisely at a time when the United States is engaged in three wars.  The larger question is:  Is this information warfare against the US.  The enemies of the United States regularly time their release of information to coincide with important military operations.  The timing here is just too similar.  Note too that the photos were released to a left-leaning German magazine and Germany is not actively participating in operations in Libya.

Big Peace

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The German newsmagazine Der Spiegel has published two photographs of U.S. Army soldiers posing with the corpse of an Afghan civilian, The Washington Post reports. The photographs are included in the print issue of Der Spiegel being distributed today, but advance copies of the images were sent to subscribers in an email over the weekend.

The Washington Post reports that the photographs depict a moment shortly after the civilian was killed in an incident the Army has classified as a murder.

The photos are among several hundred the Army has sought to keep under wraps as it prosecutes five members of the 5th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, for the alleged murders of three unarmed Afghan civilians last year. The photographs published by Der Spiegel were among those covered by a judicial protective order issued by a military judge, prohibiting their public release.

The Post, which reviewed the photographs, says one depicts Spec. Jeremy N. Morlock of Wasilla, Alaska, smiling and crouching next to the corpse of Gul Mudin, who was killed Jan. 15, 2010. The other photograph shows Pfc. Andrew H. Holmes of Boise, Idaho next to Mudin’s body. Morlock and Holmes have both been charged with murder in Mudin’s case, and Morlock, who has pleaded guilty to a total of three charges of murder, is scheduled to be sentenced at a court-martial on Wednesday.

One of Morlock’s attorneys said the photographs do not have a time or date stamp, and called the setting and identity of the corpse “mere speculation.” But one of Holmes’ attorneys confirmed the authenticity of the photo showing his client, while adding that Holmes had been ordered to be in the picture by his superiors.

A third photograph published by Der Spiegel today allegedly depicts two dead, handcuffed Afghan civilians.

In response to the release of the photographs, the U.S. Army issued a statement, calling the photographs “repugnant to us as human beings and contrary to the standards and values of the United States Army.”

“We apologize for the distress these photos cause,” the Army statement said, according to the Post. “The actions portrayed in these photographs remain under investigation and are now the subject of ongoing U.S. court-martial proceedings, in which the accused are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

The UK paper The Guardian reports that military commanders in Afghanistan “are bracing themselves for possible riots and public fury triggered” by the release of the photographs. On Sunday night, The Guardian says, organizations employing foreign staff in Afghanistan, including the U.N., ordered their staff into “lockdown.”

The U.S. Army did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment.







TPMMuckraker

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Deja vu all over again? First there was the scandal of Abu Ghraib in Iraq, which involved photos of U.S. military abusing prisoners and posing next to a dead man — a shocking public relations fiasco for the United States all over the world. Now a controversy is breaking in Europe where the German magazine Der Spiegel has published three photos involving prosecuted “kill team” members posing with a dead Afghan, only days before accused member start their trial for murder.

How bad is it? The fact that the photos are behind a paywall may limit (a bit) their public emergence — for now. But one site has run a copy of a photo of one of the accused members posing and grinning next to a dead Afghan. And the rumblings suggesting a major story and controversy are bad enough that the U.S. Army has apologized.

The US Army has apologised for graphic photographs of US soldiers grinning over the corpses of Afghan civilians they had allegedly killed.

The photos published by Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine were said to be among many seized by US Army investigators.

An army statement said the photographs were “repugnant” but were already being used as evidence in a court martial.

Afghan civilian deaths at the hands of foreign forces is a highly sensitive issue in Afghanistan.

These photographs are purported to have been taken by a “rogue” US Army unit in Afghanistan in 2010.

Such images are only going to exacerbate tensions between the Afghan government and the people on the one hand and the US-led coalition on the other, says the BBC’s Paul Wood in Kabul.

Fox News adds this background:

According to reports, Mudin was walking toward the soldiers when Morlock threw a grenade to create the impression soldiers were under attack. Pfc. Andrew H. Holmes of Boise, Idaho, who is also in the photo squatting next to Mudin’s body, reportedly shot at Mudin after the grenade went off. Others also began shooting and two other Afghan civilians were killed.

Der Spiegel noted that Holmes’ attorney claims the private was operating under orders, unaware of the alleged set-up, which supposedly involved other soldiers as well.

The Army said it can not comment on the photos and the men are presumed innocent until proven guilty. But it reasserted its commitment to “adherence to the law of war and the humane and respectful treatment of combatants, noncombatants and the dead.”
“Soldiers who commit offenses will be held accountable as appropriate,” the statement said.

The Army also said:

The army said actions shown in the photographs were now the subject of the court-martial.

“The photos appear in stark contrast to the discipline, professionalism and respect that have characterized our soldiers’ performance during nearly 10 years of sustained operations (in Afghanistan).”

Photos such as these — even one photo out of three — are a fiasco for the U.S. government and the military. A photo creates a kind of mental imagery tattoo that is generalized by some who assume it’s standard behavior. It’s also used by opponents whose concern is not always the photo but promoting another political agenda. The Army was wise to act swiftly.

But, as always, the immediate question becomes: if one photo has trickled out into publication doesn’t this mean more will come out as publications see it’s a great way to attract audience? It also suggests that the soldiers on trial may have not just the book but the computer thrown at them.


The Moderate Voice

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Written by Alexey Sidorenko

Photoblogger Dervishv publishes [ru] extravagant photos of Saint Patrick's Day celebration: all kinds of green, Moscow hipsters, Irish flags… and police (the parade was officially banned). At least, some parts of the police forces were in green uniform.

Global Voices in English

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ABC News’ Luis Martinez reports: The US Army is apologizing for photographs published in the German magazine Der Spiegel this weekend that show American soldiers posing beside the corpse of an Afghan civilian they are accused of having killed for…



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Political Punch

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An Asgard-load of New Thor Photos
What’s Going On At Uproxx

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Thought I’d share some pics from the rally today in Lansing. It’s a decent sized crown-6,000 around noon; they expect to get a whole bunch of teachers out for the last set of speakers at 4:30.

Here’s the crowd just outside of the Capitol in Lansing. Lots of signs about the Constitution protesting the Emergency Financial Manager law.

Look who showed up to Lansing to control Rick Snyder?

The mitten they’re afraid of.

Obviously, this one isn’t from the rally. I took it while I was walking McCaffrey the MilleniaLab this morning. But I thought I’d share it because it seemed like such a hopeful omen and because it gives you a sense of what a magical spring day it is today. You could literally hear the sap dripping into the buckets.

Related posts:

  1. A Lovely Day at the Beach
  2. A New Year
  3. Noted “Nut on China,” Jeff Immelt, Uses $ 16B Bailout to Share Technology with China


Emptywheel

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The Muqata has a summary of a Special IDF press conference for bloggers just half an hour ago that the IDF intercepted the Victoria bound from Gaza to Syria and found weapons originating from Iran.

According to Muqata’s summary:

Early this morning IDF Naval Commandos from boarded a cargo ship, “Victoria” — a German owned ship, operating by a French Company, flying under a Liberian flag. We had advance intelligence information that this vessel was carrying weapons.

We boarded the ship and the crew complied without any violence. A preliminary search revealed weapons in shipping containers. The Israeli navy is now escorting the boat to Israel where a further, detailed examination of the cargo and the ship will take place.

The ship originated from the Syrian port of Latkia, and also docked in Turkey’s Mersin Port on its way to Alexandria in Egypt. The IDF believes the weapons found on board were destined for Hamas in Gaza.

The ship’s crew apparently had no idea there were weapons in the shipping containers, and the IDF doesn’t believe that Egypt or Turkey were connected.

The current operating analysis is that Syria and Iran are the major actors, cooperating to send weapons to Hamas.

It has not yet been revealed what kinds of weapons were found on the ship.

Israel Matzav was at the conference also, and suggests a possible connection between the weapons and the Iranian ships that recently passed through the Suez Canal:

Lt. Col. Leibovich did not know whether the weapons were connected to the Iranian warships that passed through the Suez Canal three weeks ago. But given that those ships sailed to Latakia - and then went right back through the Canal - this is a distinct possibility.

More details will be forthcoming.

Anyone who recalls the incident of the Karin A, knows that this is not the first attempt to smuggle weapons to terrorists. In addition to the Karine A, there have been a number of previous instances-including incidents involving the Santorini, Abu Hassan, the Hansa India, the Monchegorsk, the Francop and Everest cargo vessels. These were involved in what were otherwise innocent transnational commercial shipping which was abused by States that sponsor terrorism, including Iran, Syria and Lebanon, all done in order to facilitate the illegal trafficking of arms to terrorist organizations in the region. Check out: Israel’s interception of arms ships - Background

If nothing else, today’s incident demonstrates the necessity for Israel’s legal blockade of Gaza, to prevent weapons being delivered to the Hamas terrorist group.

UPDATE: Here are some photos of what the IDF found aboard the Victoria:

Technorati Tag: and and and and .


Daled Amos

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From Ma’an:

Estimates said between 200,000 and 300,000 Palestinians in Gaza gathered in Al-Khatib Square after Hamas protesters drove those calling for unity out of the Square of the Unknown Soldier.

Ma’an doesn’t tell us who said there were so many people, but it does provide us with photos. Here’s the photo that shows the most people:

Based on this and other photos at the site, it looks like an estimate of 10,000 would be an exaggeration.

Meanwhile, Reuters has noticed Hamas attacking the protesters.



Elder of Ziyon

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From the IDF Spokesperson’s office:



Elder of Ziyon

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