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Wikimedia v. NSA: Another Court Blinds Itself to Mass NSA Surveillance - Fri, 30/10/2015 - 08:24

We all know justice is blind. But that is supposed to mean that everyone before it is treated equally, not that the justice system must close its eyes and refuse to look at important legal issues facing Americans.  Yet the government continues to convince courts that they cannot consider the constitutionality of its behavior in national security cases and, last week, in an important case for anyone who has ever used Wikipedia, another judge agreed with that position. 

A federal district judge in Maryland dismissed Wikimedia v. NSA, a case challenging the legality of the NSA’s “upstream” surveillance—mass surveillance of Internet communications as they flow through the Internet backbone. The case was brought by our friends at the ACLU on behalf of nine plaintiffs, including human rights organizations, members of the media, and the Wikimedia Foundation.1 We filed a brief in the case, too, in support of Wikimedia and the other plaintiffs.

The judge dismissed the case based on a legal principle called standing. Standing is supposed to ensure, among other things, that the party bringing the lawsuit has suffered a concrete harm, caused by the party being sued, and that the court can resolve the harm with a favorable ruling.

But the U.S. government has taken this doctrine, which was intended to limit the cases federal courts hear to actual live controversies, and turned it into a perverse shell game in surveillance cases—essentially arguing that because aspects of the surveillance program are secret, plaintiffs cannot prove that their communications were actually, in fact, intercepted and surveilled. And without that proof, the government argues, there’s no standing, because plaintiffs can’t show that they’ve suffered harm. Sadly, like several other courts before it, the judge agreed to this shell game and decided that it couldn’t decide whether the constitutional rights of Wikimedia and the other plaintiffs were violated. 

This game is mighty familiar to us at EFF, but that doesn’t make it any less troubling. In our system, the courts have a fundamental obligation to conclusively determine the legality of government action that affects individuals’ constitutional rights. For years now, plaintiffs have tried to get the courts to simply issue a ruling on the merits of NSA surveillance programs. And for years, the government has successfully persuaded the courts to rely on standing and related doctrines to avoid doing so.

That is essentially what happened here. The court labeled as “speculative” Wikimedia’s claim that, at a minimum, even one of its approximately one trillion Internet communications had been swept up in the NSA’s upstream surveillance program. Remember, this is a program that, by the government’s own admission, involves the searching and scanning of vast amounts of Internet traffic at key Internet junctures on the Internet’s backbone. Yet in court’s view, Wikimedia’s allegations describing upstream—based on concrete facts, taken from government documents— coupled with a plaintiff that engages in a large volume of internet communications were not enough to state a “plausible” claim that Wikimedia had been surveilled.

On the way to reaching that conclusion, and putting on its blindfold, the court made a number of mistakes.

The Government’s Automated Eyes Are Still Government Eyes

First, it appears the court fundamentally misunderstood Wikimedia’s claim about upstream surveillance and, in particular, “about surveillance.” As Wikimedia alleged, “about surveillance” (a specific aspect of upstream surveillance that searches the content of communications for references to particular email addresses or other identifiers) amounts to “the digital analogue of having a government agent open every piece of mail that comes through the post to determine whether it mentions a particular word or phrase.” The court held, however, that this type of “about” surveillance was “targeted insofar as it makes use of only those communications that contain information matching the tasked selectors,” like email addresses. But what the government "makes use of" is entirely beside the point—it is the scanning of the communications for the tasked selectors in the first place that is the problem.  To put it into a different context, the government conducts a search when it enters into your house and starts rifling through your files—not just when it finds something it wants to keep. The government's ultimate decision to “make use of” the communications it finds interesting is irrelevant. It is the search of the communications that matters.

Back of the Envelope Gymnastics

Another troubling aspect of the court’s decision was its attack on the probabilities Wikimedia assigned to the likelihood of its communications being intercepted. Given that Wikimedia engages in a large volume of Internet communications, Wikimedia alleged that—even assuming a .00000001% chance that any one particular communication is intercepted—it would still have a 99.9999999999% of having one of its communications intercepted. The statistic was used to illustrate that, even assuming very low probabilities for interception, there was still a near-certainty that Wikipedia’s traffic was collected. But the court attacked Wikimedia’s simple statistical analysis (and the attack tracked, to a great degree, arguments made in the government’s declarations that the court purportedly did not consider). The court seemed to believe it had seized upon a great flaw in Wikimedia’s case by observing that, if the probability of any given communication being intercepted were decreased 100% or 1000%, the probability of one of Wikimedia’s communications being intercepted would similarly drop. The “mathematical gymnastics” the court believed it had unearthed were nothing more than Wikimedia using an intentionally small (and admittedly arbitrary) probability to illustrate the high likelihood that its communications had been swept up. But even if the court disagreed with the probabilities Wikimedia relied on, it’s not at all clear why that would justify dismissing the case at the outset. If it turned out, after development of the record, that the probabilities were off, then dismissal might be appropriate. But the court cut the case off before Wikimedia had the opportunity to introduce evidence or other facts that might support the probability they assigned.

Someone Else Probably Has Standing, Right?

Perhaps most troubling was the court’s mistaken belief that the legality of upstream surveillance could be challenged in other ways, beyond civil cases like Wikimedia or our ongoing case, Jewel v. NSA. The court asserted its decision would not insulate upstream from judicial review, which—according to the court—could still receive judicial scrutiny through (1) review from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), (2) a challenge by a criminal defendant, or (3) a challenge from an electronic service provider. None of these options is truly a viable alternative, however. First, the FISC (until very recently) did not have adversarial proceedings—it only heard from the government, and its proceedings remain both far more limited and more secretive than a regular court’s. Second, a challenge from a criminal defendant won’t work either, because, to date, the government has explicitly refused to disclose—even where defendants are notified of the use of FISA surveillance—whether their communications were obtained using upstream surveillance. And, finally, in the nearly 15 years (or more) the government has conducted upstream surveillance, we’re not aware of any service provider that has challenged the legality of the practice. Indeed, given that upstream is done with the cooperation of telecoms like AT&T and Verizon—the same telcos that did not challenge the NSA’s bulk collection of Americans’ call records for over a decade—we're not holding our breath for a challenge anytime soon.

Instead, we need the courts to tackle these cases. Upstream surveillance presents unique constitutional issues that no federal court has seriously addressed. It's time the federal courts stepped up to the challenge.

On Wednesday, we asked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to hear Jewel v. NSA—our long-running case challenging the NSA’s upstream surveillance. Our clients are a class of AT&T customers, and we have direct evidence of a facility at AT&T’s offices in San Francisco (and some evidence of several others elsewhere) where the government seizes and searches traffic at the Internet backbone. Nevertheless, 7 years into the case, we still have not received a decision on the merits from a court. The arguments the government has made in our case are similar to those in Wikimedia, although the specific issue before the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday was a different government attack – one urging even more delay.

The NSA has been engaging in wholesale surveillance of the Internet backbone in the US for nearly 15 years now, surveillance that has admittedly affected millions of Americans.  It’s long past time for the courts to take off the blindfold and consider whether that surveillance violates our constitutional rights.

  • 1. The plaintiffs in the case are: Wikimedia Foundation, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, PEN American Center, Global Fund for Women, The Nation Magazine, the Rutherford Institute, and the Washington Office on Latin America. For simplicity’s sake, we’re just going to refer to the group of plaintiffs as Wikimedia.
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It’s Time for the Federal Circuit to Shut Down The Eastern District of Texas - Fri, 30/10/2015 - 08:03

One of the biggest reasons the Eastern District of Texas hears so many patent cases (at last check, almost half of all cases filed this year were filed in the Eastern District) is because of a Federal Circuit case from 1990—VE Holding—that radically expanded the places patent owners could sue for infringement.

Today, EFF, Public Knowledge, and Engine Advocacy asked the Federal Circuit to consider our amicus brief in a case called In re TC Heartland that seeks to see VE Holding relegated to a footnote in history. As we explain in our proposed amicus brief, VE Holding has allowed patent owners to sue in practically any district in the country, no matter how tenuous the connection to the alleged infringement. In turn, this has given rise to “forum selling,” a phenomenon described in a recent paper [PDF] by the same name.

“Forum selling” is what we see in the Eastern District of Texas. Namely, judges there have adopted rules that tend to favor patent owners. As we’ve noted on several occasions, the Eastern District rules allow patent owners with dubious claims and weak patents to more easily leverage the cost of litigation in order to get settlements they don’t deserve. 

This is causing significant harm to those who are on the receiving end of a frivolous lawsuit. Oftentimes it is cheaper to settle even a frivolous case than to fight in hopes you may be able to recover some of your attorneys’ fees at the end. This is unfortunately especially true in the Eastern District. It was recently reported that in the four years that Judge Gilstrap has been on the bench, he has never granted a fees motion (as the article points out, he’s currently considering at least one now, but it hasn’t been ruled on yet).  Given that Judge Gilstrap currently has over 1000 patent cases in front of him (per a recent search of data from Docket Navigator), that statistic is remarkable.

We hope the Federal Circuit takes the opportunity In re TC Heartland presents to reexamine its law. The judicial system should strive to see patent cases decided on their merits, not based on the costs imposed by procedural rules in distant and inconvenient forums.

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Comcast Agrees to Pay $33 Million in Data Breach Settlement for Leaking Thousands of Unlisted Numbers - Fri, 30/10/2015 - 05:58

On September 17, 2015, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved a $33 million settlement between Comcast, CPUC staff, and the California Attorney General’s office (along with public interest groups TURN and the Greenlining Institute), related to a Comcast data breach that resulted in the personal information (name, address and telephone number) of nearly 75,000 Comcast “non-published” XFINITY Voice customers in California being posted on the Internet.   

As the CPUC’s briefing explains, Comcast disseminated these customers’ personal information when it sent information about all of its telephone subscribers, including unpublished numbers, to Targus/Neustar, the company Comcast chose to license and sell Comcast subscriber listings. The apparent problem was that Comcast failed to put a “privacy flag” on the unpublished numbers, which led to Targus/Neustar using those subscriber listings in their own database, distributing them to at least one national directory assistance operator, and publishing them online where they became available to other data brokers. Why Comcast disseminated these numbers in the first place is unclear.  

These were residential subscribers who specifically paid Comcast a monthly fee to keep their phone numbers and other personal information non-published or non-listed. These customers ranged from domestic violence victims to law enforcement personnel to people who simply wanted to head off telemarketing calls. They all requested the non-published service in order to protect their privacy. The ramifications of this breach were potentially catastrophic for such vulnerable customers, who relied on this service in order to protect their safety.

One customer on Comcast Help Support Forum wrote:

 “I also have not had my address listed for a number of years for a reason. Yet when signing up with Comcast, my address is all over the internet and in the printed phone book. Due to an abusive relationship and restraining order, my address needs to be unpublished.”

Despite receiving numerous complaints from customers that their personal information had been published despite paying for the non-publish service, Comcast somehow failed to detect the “process error” for about 27 months and took an additional 2 months to correct the error (from July 2010 to December 2012). Furthermore, after discovering the error, Comcast failed to take immediate data removal measures to protect customers whose phone numbers were implicated in the breach. 

Comcast has agreed to pay $25 million in penalties to the California Department of Justice and the California Public Utilities Commission. Comcast will pay an additional $8.3 million in restitution to affected customers. Each of the 74,774 implicated customers will receive a $100 credit (former customers will receive a check instead). Comcast will refund $517,714 it collected in monthly fees for the non-publish service during the breach period. Lastly, Comcast will pay $432,000 in home security and safety-related services for 216 customers who had identified safety concerns to Comcast in connection with the breach.

Going forward, as part of the injunction Comcast will have to: 1) commission an annual third party audit of its directory list distributor Neustar to ensure this kind of breach does not happen again; 2) more fully inform its XFINITY Voice California residential customers through an easy-to-read disclosure how Comcast uses non-published numbers and other personal information; and 3) revise its procedures for handling customers inquiries and complaints regarding the publication of non-published numbers so that it is able to detect patterns and prevent future breaches from going unnoticed.

EFF Senior Staff Attorney Lee Tien submitted testimony [pdf] as an expert witness for the California PUC in this case.

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Boycott Israel: Resistance Works - Fri, 30/10/2015 - 03:24
Boycott Israel: Resistance Works
by Stephen Lendman
BDS activism has had remarkable successes since its July 2005 founding - coincidentally around the same time I began writing in retirement at age 70. 
I’m a proud cultural BDS member. I urge everyone to get involved for justice. Its global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign is the most effective form of civil resistance against longstanding Israeli occupation harshness, colonialism, and apartheid - continuing without letup until Palestinian liberation is finally achieved.
Dramatically declining Israeli military exports represent one of many BDS success stories - down 53% from their 2012 level (from $7.5 to $5.5 billion in 2014 - and an estimated $4 - 4.5 billion in 2015).
Last week, heads of Israel’s four leading defense companies requested an urgent meeting with Netanyahu to discuss their “significant crisis.”
“It has been several years since the IDF and the Ministry of Defense had a multiyear plan,” they said. “Meanwhile, there have been major changes in the defense sector smaller budgets, more competition, less desire for Israeli-made products, and the growing demands to transfer know-how and work abroad.”
“The defense industry in Israel is in the midst of a major crisis,” they stressed. Exports are plunging. Budget priorities are hurting them, they added.
“The current budget and recent events will not enable the Ministry of Defense and the IDF to be the wind in our sails…Countries are buying fewer weapons.” Increasingly, Israel’s are less desirable. Their purchase supports apartheid.
BDS activism campaigns hard against military trade with Israel. Growing numbers of foreign political parties and trade unions called for ending military ties with a nation persecuting Arabs for not being Jews.
According to BDS National Committee general coordinator Mahmoud Nawajaa, “Israeli military companies market their products on the basis of their successful use in Israel’s massacres of Palestinian and Lebanese civilians, yet it now seems that growing public awareness of and opposition to Israel’s war crimes are starting to hit Israel’s military exports.”
“Governments must meet their legal obligation not to provide aid or assistance and, on the contrary, to act to put an end to Israel’s violations of international law by implementing a military embargo on Israel as was done against apartheid South Africa.”
“Israel is currently operating a shoot to kill policy and brutally repressing Palestinian protests against its regime of occupation and apartheid.” 
“Israel’s ability to oppress Palestinians depends on the willingness of governments and companies around the world to cooperate with Israel’s military, weapons industry and military research institutions.”
Six Nobel laureates urged support for a military embargo, affecting exports and imports. US policy is disturbingly polar opposite, providing Israel with billions of dollars annually and much more, intending to increase military aid by hundreds of millions of dollars more.
Two nations support each other’s killing machines, in lockstep against peace, stability, equity and justice - run by fascist lunatics, waging war on humanity, profiting from racist hate and human misery, monsters vital to stop.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Neocon House Speaker Paul Ryan - Fri, 30/10/2015 - 01:59
Neocon House Speaker Paul Ryan
by Stephen Lendman
Ryan awakened Thursday morning one step away from succeeding John Boehner as House speaker - ousted by a palace coup. He wasn’t conservative enough for hardline Republicans.
As expected, House members elected Ryan as his successor, receiving 236 votes, a comfortable margin of victory - winning in the Republican dominated body after Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy withdrew his candidacy and Ryan bested Rep. Daniel Webster (unrelated to the 19th century statesman/politician by the same name) decisively - by a 200 - 43 margin among Republican members alone.
The position is second in line to the presidency if its incumbent dies, is incapacitated, resigns or gets removed by impeachment.
Ryan’s ascendency lurches Washington further to the right. His neocon credentials are scary. He wants more spending for wars and militarism, less for social programs. More on the latter below.
He rants about ‘keeping America strong,” supports its heavy intervention hand anywhere it wishes, serving US interests at the expense of all others.
In 2012, he was Mitt Romney’s running mate. His “Path to Prosperity: A Blueprint for American Renewal” at the time prioritized gutting vital social programs millions of Americans rely on. 
He wants Medicare and Social Security privatized en route to ending them altogether - Medicaid, food stamps, and other social programs gutted.
He supports Americans having anything they want as long as they pay for it, mindless of unaffordability issues for half of US households, living in poverty or bordering it.
Social Security and Medicare are bedrock social programs - funded by worker/employer payroll tax deductions, federal insurance programs, not entitlements, contractually obligating Washington to pay benefits to eligible recipients.
Ryan and likeminded Republican and Democrat neocons infesting Congress want these vital programs ended - to assure unrestricted military spending as well as sustained handouts to Wall Street and other corporate favorites.
In 2011, he proposed eliminating Medicare altogether. It passed the House but not the Senate. He wants America’s wealth handed exclusively to monied interests already with too much - ordinary people left on their own out of luck, accelerating the thirdworldization process, a deplorable race to the bottom.
His ideal society is no fit place to live in, his “Path to Prosperity” returning America to 19th century harshness if implemented.
He believes everything government does, business does better, so let it operate unrestrained by regulatory controls. He represents America’s 1% at the expense of its great majority.
He’s one of them, his estimated net worth at between $4.5 and $7.4 million. He supports socialism for the rich, law of the jungle for ordinary folks.
As House speaker, he has enormous power, especially with strong neocon support. Expect him to take full advantage at the expense of millions of disadvantaged households deserving better, no matter who succeeds Obama in 2017.
America is a fascist police state, a belligerent nation waging endless wars of aggression. Every Republican and Democrat presidential aspirant supports an ideologically over-the-top agenda - risking global war for power and profit. Don’t let their rhetoric on the stump fool you.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

NYT Perpetuates the Myth about Obama Killing Osama - Thu, 29/10/2015 - 22:14
NYT Perpetuates the Myth about Obama Killing Osama
by Stephen Lendman
Its latest Big Lie headlined “How 4 Federal Lawyers Paved the Way to Kill Osama bin Laden” - failing to explain how killing a dead man is impossible. Resurrection wasn’t one of his skills, or anyone else’s.
It claimed “four administration lawyers developed rationales intend(ing) to overcome any legal obstacles” to killing, not capturing, him. 
The New York Times ignored its own July 11, 2002 account, headlined “The Death of bin Ladenism,” saying:
“Osama bin Laden is dead. The news first came from sources in Afghanistan and Pakistan almost six months ago: the fugitive died in December (2001 of natural causes) and was buried in the mountains of southeast Afghanistan.” 
“Pakistan's president, Pervez Musharraf, echoed the information. The remnants of Osama's gang, however, have mostly stayed silent, either to keep Osama's ghost alive or because they have no means of communication.”
Prophetically, The Times said “bin Laden’s ghost may linger on - perhaps because Washington and Islamabad will find it useful…But the truth is that Osama bin Laden is dead.”
Ignoring its own earlier reporting is longstanding Times practice. Serving imperial interests take precedence. Its May 1, 2011 report contradicted its July 2002 one, headlining “Bin Laden Is Dead, Obama Says.”
An accurate headline would have debunked his phony claim. No one dies twice. Dead men don’t return for a second time around.
Instead of truth and full disclosure, The Times reported the myth about bin Ladin “killed in a firefight with United States forces in Pakistan…” 
Its source: Obama, a notorious serial liar, Times earlier reporting on bin Laden’s death proving his Big Lie.
Instead, it called bin Laden’s “demise…a defining moment in the American-led fight against terrorism, a symbolic stroke affirming the relentlessness of the pursuit of those who attacked New York and Washington on Sept. 11, 2001.” 
It perpetuated a second myth: that ill and dying bin Laden from a cave in Afghanistan, or Pakistan hospital where he was being treated, somehow managed to outwit the entire US intelligence establishment on that fateful day - ignoring what really happened, history’s greatest ever false flag, the mother of all Big Lies concealing it.
David Ray Griffin’s book, titled “Osama Bin Laden: Dead or Alive” is the seminal work about him, presenting “objective evidence and testimonies.” 
It explained CIA monitored messages between him and his associates abruptly ceased after December 13, 2001. On December 26, 2001, a leading Pakistani newspaper reported his death, citing a prominent Taliban official attending his funeral - witnessing his dead body before it was laid to rest.
He was terminally ill with kidney disease and other ailments. On September 10, 2001 (one day before 9/11), CBS News anchor Dan Rather reported his admittance to a Rawalpindi, Pakistan hospital. He had nothing to do with 9/11.
In a late September 2001 interview with Pakistan’s Ummat newspaper, he categorically denied involvement in what happened on that fateful day. Fabricated claims otherwise persist - Big Lies suppressing hard truths.
Evidence Griffin presented showed “people in a position to know” said bin Laden died in December 2001 of natural causes - including then Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, Pakistani ISI intelligence, then US-installed Afghan president Hamid Karzai, and former FBI assistant counterterrorism head Dale Watson.
Griffin explained claims about “bin Laden’s continued existence (weren’t) backed up by evidence.” Perpetuating the myth about him remaining alive until US special forces allegedly killed him in May 2011 remains one of the many Big Lies of our time - The Times featuring it in its October 28 article, ignoring its own earlier confirmed report about his death.
It repeated a story gotten from unnamed US sources, claiming administration lawyers “worked in intense secrecy,” even keeping then Attorney General Eric Holder out of the loop.
Saying “(t)hey did their own research, wrote memos on highly secure laptops and traded drafts hand-delivered by (so-called) trusted couriers.” An unnamed US officials claimed “clear and ample authority for the use of lethal force under US and international law.”
No such authority exists to assassinate anyone extrajudicially for any reason. Doing so is murder. Bin Laden’s ghost was kept alive to pursue America’s war on terror. 
So-called Enemy Number One was used to stoke fear to justify the unjustifiable - naked aggression against one country after another, continuing today, nearly 14 years after bin Laden’s real death. Obama did not kill him!!
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Israeli Forces Invade Palestinian Hospitals - Thu, 29/10/2015 - 20:10
Israeli Forces Invade Palestinian Hospitals
by Stephen Lendman
Israel’s war on Palestine is a clear example of extrajudicial brutality, trampling on fundamental human rights, attacking defenseless people unaccountably, getting away with mass murder and other atrocities. 
Under international law, hospitals are safe zones, protected spaces, off limits for military and police attacks and invasions. 
The 19th century Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick (incorporated into the 1949 Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols) mandates caring for them along with medical personnel and chaplains, without any distinction as to nationality.
Israel systematically breaches all international laws with impunity, operating like America, observing its own rules alone, no matter how lawless.
Hospitals are fair game for assaults and invasions. One or more US warplanes bombing the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) Kunduz, Afghanistan medical facility weeks earlier, turning much of it to rubble, killing and injuring medical staff and patients is Exhibit A.
Heavily armed Israeli soldiers and undercover agents storm Palestinian hospitals often - endangering staff, terrorizing and arresting patients, seizing records for names of others to abduct.
Human rights workers denounce the practice. So does Palestinian Health Minister Dr. Jawad Awwad, explaining “(i)nternational law prohibits attacking hospitals and abducting patients. It also calls for enabling medical crews to act freely and safely, to perform their humanitarian mission.”
Jerusalem’s Al-Makassed Islamic Charitable Hospital is a frequent target, the latest incursion coming on Wednesday after a Tuesday assault. 
Each time, heavily armed soldiers surrounded the hospital, blocking anyone from entering or exiting, then storming the facility - where they don’t belong for any reason.
Hospital head Dr. Rafiq al-Husseini said staff were ordered to hand over patients’ records, including reasons for admittance. Israel wants information on inpatients and other released. Frequent arrests follow, including abducting the sick and wounded from hospital beds, a gross international law violation.
Husseini said “(w)e have no legal responsibility to inform the occupation army and the police about anything we do in this charitable hospital. Our medical teams are here to help the patients, the wounded, and any person who needs our services.”
"The Israeli military has invaded our hospital two days in a row. Yesterday they even interrogated one of our doctors at a police station in Jabal al-Mokabber in Jerusalem. Today they invaded the hospital again and confiscated a computer that runs our surveillance system." 
The facility is a frequent Israeli military target, Husseini explained. Repeated violations constitute a grave breach of international law, he stressed. His call for international community help won’t be answered.
He expects continued incursions, along with threats and intimidation of medical staff and patients. Names of emergency care unit doctors and nurses were collected. Expect grueling interrogations to follow.
An earlier October incident involved Israeli undercover agents invading the Nablus area Specialized Arab Hospital. Medical director Samir al-Khayyat said they were disguised as Palestinians accompanying a patient.
They kidnapped Karam al-Masri from his bed at gunpoint. They disabled most, but not all security cameras. Video footage of their assault was posted online, showing about a dozen agents intruding through various hospital areas, some holding handguns.
Masri was being treated for workplace related injuries. Israel issued a gag order, concealing information about him, preventing any leaking out from being revealed.
Atrocities committed by its security forces continue daily. Palestinian deaths, injuries and arrests keep mounting. Unaccountable brutality is longstanding Israeli practice.
On Wednesday alone, over 70 Palestinians were kidnapped, including university students and children. Since October 1, eight Israelis died so far - only two from stabbing attacks, destroying the myth about knife-wielding Arab assailants, the same phony excuse Israeli authorities give every time as justification for murdering at least 65 Palestinians in cold blood over the past four weeks, more than two daily on average.
Occasional video evidence destroys their claims, revealing willful security force assassinations of unarmed youths, children and women.
The struggle for Palestinian liberation continues, courageous youths in the vanguard, risking death for freedom.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 



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