Category Archives: Israel

A War on Gaza’s Future? Israeli Assault Leaves 500 Kids Dead, 3,000 Injured, 373,000 Traumatized

‘As the Israeli offensive in Gaza resumes, we look at the impact the military campaign has had on the children of Gaza. More than 467 Palestinian children have died since July. That is more than the combined number of child fatalities in the two previous conflicts in Gaza. According to the World Health Organization, more than 3,000 children have been injured, of which an estimated 1,000 will suffer from a life-long disability. The United Nations estimates at least 373,000 children require direct and specialized psychosocial support. And, based on the total number of adults killed, there may be up to 1,500 children orphaned. Gazan children’s right to an education has also been severely compromised with at least 25 schools reportedly damaged so severely that they can no longer be used. We speak to Pernille Ironside, chief of UNICEF’s Gaza field office. “There isn’t a single family in Gaza who hasn’t experienced personally death, injury, the loss of their home, extensive damage, displacement,” Ironside says. “The psychological toll that has on a people, it just cannot be overestimated, and especially on children.”’ (Democracy Now!)

Gaza counts cost of war as more than 360 factories destroyed or damaged

Harriet Sherwood reports for The Guardian:

Gaza‘s economy will take years to recover from the devastating impact of the war, in which more than 360 factories have been destroyed or badly damaged and thousands of acres of farmland ruined by tanks, shelling and air strikes, according to analysts. Israeli air strikes on Gaza have resumed since a temporary ceasefire brokedown on Tuesday after rockets were fired from Gaza. The Israeli Defence Force said it launched air stikes on 20 sites on Friday morning and Gaza health officials said two Palestinians were killed in an attack on a farm.

Almost 10% of Gaza’s factories have been put out of action, said the Palestinian Federation of Industries. Most other industrial plants have halted production during the conflict, causing losses estimated at more than $70m (£42m), said the union of Palestinian industries. The UN’s food and agriculture organisation (FAO) said about 42,000 acres of croplands had sustained substantial direct damage and half of Gaza’s poultry stock has been lost due to direct hits or lack of care as access to farmlands along the border with Israel became impossible. More than 9% of the annual fishing catch was lost between 9 July and 10 August, it added.’

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Israel Mobilizes 10,000 More Reservists for Gaza War

Jason Ditz reports for Antiwar:

‘With signs the ongoing Israeli war on the Gaza Strip is again escalating, the Israeli government has ordered the mobilization of another 10,000 reservists, bringing the number called up so far during the war to 96,000.

Israeli military officials say that the 10,000 will replace other reservists who are being temporarily sent home for rest, which also suggests that they are planning the war to be long enough they have to do troop rotations.’

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Holocaust survivors and their descendants accuse Israel of ‘genocide’

The Independent reports:

‘Dozens of Holocaust survivors, together with hundreds of descendants of Holocaust survivors and victims, have accused Israel of “genocide” for the deaths of more than 2,000 Palestinians in Gaza since the conflict erupted in July. In an open letter released by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network and published as an advert in The New York Times, the group calls for a full economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel over its “wholesale effort to destroy Gaza”.

“Genocide begins with the silence of the world,” the statement reads, “We must raise our collective voices and use our collective power to bring about an end to all forms of racism, including the ongoing genocide of Palestinian people.” The statement also condemns the United States for its financial and diplomatic support of Israel. The signatories express alarm at “the extreme, racist dehumanization of Palestinians in Israeli society, which has reached a fever pitch.”’

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Netanyahu warns Gaza civilians after Israel destroys apartment block

Reuters reports:

Image AP Photo/Adel Hana‘Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Palestinian civilians on Sunday to leave immediately any site where militants are operating, one day after Israel flattened a 13-storey apartment block in Gaza. Israeli aircraft fired a non-explosive rocket at the building as a signal to residents to get out before attacking it on Saturday. Seventeen people were wounded in the strike on the structure, which Israel said had housed a Hamas command centre.

“I call on the inhabitants of Gaza to evacuate immediately from every site from which Hamas is carrying out terrorist activity. Every one of these places is a target for us,” Netanyahu said in public remarks at a cabinet meeting. With no end in sight to fighting in its seventh week, Netanyahu’s tough talk seemed to indicate a move towards bolder strikes against Hamas targets in densely populated neighbourhoods, even at the risk of raising more international alarm.’

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Iran displays Israeli drone allegedly shot down near nuclear facility

The Jerusalem Post/Reuters reports:

‘The Iranian media released footage Monday of the Israeli spy drone it claimed to have shot down Sunday as it was heading for its Natanz nuclear enrichment site. The Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) claimed Monday that it was working to extract intelligence and data from the drone’s remains. According to an Iranian military official, the drone was a Hermes model with a combat radius of 800 kilometers.

IRGC’s Public Relations Department General Ramezan Sharif was quoted by Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency as saying that some of the parts of the downed aircraft are working, “and our experts are studying the information and intelligence of these parts. We are now analyzing the information of this plane. The downed aircraft was of the stealth, radar-evasive type and it intended to penetrate the off-limits nuclear area in Natanz … but was targeted by a ground-to-air missile before it managed to enter the area,” state news agency ISNA said, citing a statement by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.’

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What links Gaza, Iraq and Ukraine? US and NATO foreign policy

Chris Nineham writes for Stop The War:

NatoUN agencies and leading charities confirmed over the weekend what many people are thinking and feeling about the state of the world – we are witnessing  an unprecendented  level of global  turmoil and violence. The UN added a series of countries to its extreme crisis list and a senior foreign policy advisor at Oxfam briefed “I haven’t seen anything of this scale before…across the board, the humanitarian community sees this as one of the worst moments we’ve ever had to confront in terms of simultaneous, mostly man-made crises.” This follows a UN announcement a few weeks ago that for the first time since World War II, the number displaced people worldwide exceeded 50 million.

This is the disturbing context in which the leaders of the Western world will be coming to Newport in South Wales for a high-profile NATO summit. The crises in Gaza, Iraq, Eastern Europe and beyond tend to be reported as entirely separate cases with little or no investigation of either wider context or history.  Palestinian representatives – on the few occiasions have been given air time – have argued that the long history of Israeli expansionism backed by Britain and the US is key to comprehending current events. Invariably they have been brusquely brought up to date, told that ‘we are where we are’ and that they should concentrate on finding  solutions. But there is no prospect of solutions to any of these terrible crises without understanding what is driving them.’

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Syrian rebel commander says he collaborated with Israel in confession video

Elhanan Miller reports for The Times of Israel:

Syrian opposition commander Sharif As-Safouri confesses to collaborating with Israel (photo credit: Youtube screen capture)‘A Free Syrian Army commander, arrested last month by the Islamist militia Al-Nusra Front, told his captors he collaborated with Israel in return for medical and military support, in a video released this week

In a video uploaded to YouTube Monday by the Executive Sharia Council in the eastern Daraa Region, an Islamic court established by Al-Nusra in southern Syria, Sharif As-Safouri, the commander of the Free Syrian Army’s Al-Haramein Battalion, admitted to having entered Israel five times to meet with Israeli officers who later provided him with Soviet anti-tank weapons and light arms. Safouri was abducted by the al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front in the Quneitra area, near the Israeli border, on July 22.’

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UN Announces Members For Gaza Probe Panel, Angers Israel

Avaneesh Pandey reports for The International Business Times:

‘The United Nations Human Rights Council, or UNHRC, in a statement released Monday, announced the appointment of three experts to an international commission of inquiry that will investigate allegations of war crimes and violations of “international humanitarian and human rights laws” during the Israeli military’s assault on the Gaza Strip.

[...] The international commission of inquiry, which was launched on July 23 after 29 countries voted in its favor, is slated to submit its report by March 2015. Israel, responding to Monday’s announcement, reiterated its earlier stance and denounced the UNHRC panel as a “kangaroo court,” Al Jazeera reported… Hamas, on the other hand, said that the formation of the commission was an important step forward… The UNHRC announcement came on the second day of a 72-hour cease-fire between Hamas and Israel during which the two sides have resumed indirect talks in Cairo, mediated by Egypt.’

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If the Nobel Peace Prize can be handed to Obama, why not hand it to the Israeli Defence Force?

Robert Fisk writes for The Independent:

‘But seriously. Is Dermer, one of Benjamin Netanyahu’s most trusted advisers, simply delusional? At one point in his extraordinary address, he even referred to the RAF’s carpet-bombing of German cities in the Second World War – as if this was the template for Israel’s “restraint”. It was like the old Blair refrain that whatever mistakes we made in Iraq, we weren’t as bad as Saddam. Well, I should hope not. But then Dermer went on: “I especially will not tolerate criticism of my country at a time when Israeli soldiers are dying so that innocent Palestinians can live.” These soldiers, according to Dermer, were being sent “into the hornet’s nest of Palestinian terror” – but WERE TRYING TO SAVE “INNOCENT” PALESTINIAN LIVES!’

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John Pilger talks Gaza, Ukraine & Western media bias

Are we creating personalized propaganda bubbles?

Mark Strauss writes for i09:

The Biggest Source of Disinformation On The Gaza Conflict Is Ourselves‘New data visualizations give a startling picture of online activity during the latest conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. And they reveal just how much online media and social networks help us to create our own information bubbles, customized to reinforce our political beliefs.

Gilad Lotan is the chief data scientist at betaworks, which has launched high-profile companies that include SocialFlow and bitly. Looking at Lotan’s network graph of Twitter traffic from his blog i love data, I can’t help but feel that we really are living in a version of The Matrix. The media constructs our reality and we’re plugged into it 24/7. Except here, in theory, we have the freedom to make our own decisions.

In Lotan’s view, however, that’s a big part of the problem…’

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ICG’s Nathan Thrall: Likely solution for a lasting ceasefire was on the table before Israeli assault and over 1,800 dead

‘Is a lasting ceasefire in Gaza possible — and on what terms? Our guest Nathan Thrall has laid out a possible plan for a ceasefire in his new article in the London Review of Books, “Hamas’s Chances.” Thrall writes: “The obvious solution is to let the new Palestinian government return to Gaza and reconstruct it. Israel can claim it is weakening Hamas by strengthening its enemies. Hamas can claim it won the recognition of the new government and a significant lifting of the blockade. This solution would of course have been available to Israel, the U.S., Egypt and the Palestinian Authority in the weeks and months before the war began, before so many lives were shattered.” Speaking to us from Jerusalem, Thrall is a senior analyst at the International Crisis Group, covering Gaza, Israel, Jordan and the West Bank. He also addresses Hamas’ accusation that Israel misled the world about the alleged capture of an Israeli soldier. On Friday, Israel said one of soldiers, Lt. Hadar Goldin, had been captured near Rafah. His suspected abduction led to an Israeli offensive in Rafah that killed more than 100 people and the collapse of a U.S.- and U.N.-brokered ceasefire.’ (Democracy Now!)

Israeli Spy Agency Mossad ‘Wiretapped John Kerry’s Phone During Peace Talks’

Aaron Akinyemi reports for the International Business Times:

‘Israel wiretapped US Foreign Secretary John Kerry’s phone while he was brokering peace talks between the Palestinian Authority and the Jewish state, intelligence sources have claimed.

Israeli intelligence agencies intercepted Kerry’s phone calls and listened to his conversations via satellite while he was attempting to reach a peace deal between Israel and Palestine earlier this year, German news magazine Der Spiegel reported.

The Israeli government then used the information obtained from Kerry’s conversations in its negotiations. The US-led peace talks fell apart at the end of April.’

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Netanyahu Vows ‘Prolonged’ Gaza Campaign

Jason Ditz writes for Antiwar:

‘Despite a 72-hour ceasefire starting early Tuesday morning, supposedly to give way to negotiations in Cairo on a settlement of the conflict, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to rule out ending the Gaza War.

Dismissing the negotiations, Netanyahu insisted the military operation would continue until the entire Gaza Strip became “calm,” and that there would be no cessation of fire before that. Even during Monday’s humanitarian “ceasefire,” Israel never really ceased fire, and continued to pound refugee camps around Rafah, killing more civilians, including an eight-year-old girl.’

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Snowden Documents Detail Spying Partnership Between US, Israel That Enables Occupation of Palestine

Kevin Gosztola reports for Firedoglake:

‘Documents provided by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden to journalist Glenn Greenwald reveal specific details on the close relationship between the NSA and Israeli spy agencies and how cooperation enables military operations, such as the assault that has been ongoing in Gaza and has now killed over 1,800 Palestinians.

Previously, Greenwald reported in September 2013 on a “memorandum of understanding” between the NSA and Israeli intelligence from Snowden, which showed the NSA shared “raw intelligence” including the data of Americans with Israel. It also noted a document that stated, ”The survival of the state of Israel is a paramount goal of US Middle East policy.”

In his most recent report for The Intercept, Greenwald describes an information paper dated April 19, 2013, which was marked “top secret.” It indicates, “NSA maintains a far-reaching technical and analytic relationship with the Israeli SIGINT [signals intelligence] National Unit (ISNU) sharing information on access, intercept, targeting, language, analysis and reporting.” This relationship has brought about a stronger intelligence relationship between the United States and Israel and “prompted an expansion to include other Israeli and US intelligence organizations such as CIA, Mossad and the Special Operation Division (SOD),” which is a division of Israeli Defense Intelligence.’

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The Demonization of Gaza: Israel’s Reversion to Old Colonial Tactics

James Abourezk, a former US senator from South Dakota, writes for CounterPunch:

‘It is amazing how quickly Israel has learned the elements of colonial staying power.  It is even more amazing how the American media has taken up the cause of racism against the Palestinians.

We can start with how the Israelis, and their lobby headquartered in Washington, have managed to demonize Palestinians, with the result that Israel can undertake a massive slaughter and be barely criticized for it both by our media.   We can begin with Israel’s request to the US government a couple of decades ago to label Hamas as a “Terrorist Group,” which our government happily agreed to do.   Other people in other parts of the world have tried this tactic, with some success, but for the most part such rebels are labeled “insurgents.”

Demonization of those you occupy is an essential first step to allow a colonial power to do what it wishes with the people being occupied.  How else can one explain the lack of meaningful protests by Americans, who have furnished the money and the weapons to the maiming and the slaughter by Israel of thousands of Palestinians in the many wars its Army has conducted against the Palestinians.

It is useful to look back at our own colonial experience to understand what our government is doing to abet this slaughter of innocents.’

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What Gaza looks like 28 days after Operation Protective Edge

Gaza

View more photographs @ The Independent

Netanyahu emphasizes “all options open” but signs point to drawdown

Jason Ditz reports for Antiwar:

Map of Gaza with deaths per region and location of shelters‘Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered troops to redeploy and continue the invasion of the Gaza Strip, though reports of some of the troops being moved out of the strip are a sign Israel is winding down the war.

Netanyahu denied that the war was coming to an end, but said it would continue “only on the basis of security considerations,” and that “all options are open” for further escalation.

…The apparent Israeli strategy at this point is to draw down the Gaza War to an eventual halt without any negotiated settlement, to avoid having to make any concessions on the blockade of the Gaza economy in a ceasefire.’

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Israeli Spies Once Poisoned Hamas Leader Khaled Mashal

Israeli scholar Illan Pappe on the history behind the Israel-Palestine conflict

Palestine in 1896

Israel’s Vision for a Palestinian State

Cluster Bombs: The Savage Legacy Of Israel’s 2006 Lebanon Bombardment

Why Corporate Media Treats Americans Like Children: Interview with Project Censored

Abby Martin sits down with Mikey Huff and Andy Roth of Project Censored, discussing the backlash faced by whistleblowers in the US as well as providing a perspective on the way media outlets are reporting on the conflict in Gaza.’ (Breaking the Set)

The Times of Israel Removes “When Genocide is Permissible” Blog Post

Editor’s Note: This article was quickly removed from the Times of Israel website but if you click on the screen shot you can read a copy of it posted at Vox

Genocide post

Israel-Palestine: Geraldo Rivera derails Sean Hannity’s attempt to ‘educate’ Russell Brand

Former FBI director says Israel’s Gaza war aiding ISIS recruitment

Evan Perez and Elise Labott report for CNN:

‘Former FBI director Robert Mueller said Friday, “what’s happening in Gaza today will feed and fuel the desire for many more to join radical groups.”

Mueller was participating in a panel at the Aspen Security Forum discussing the growing flow of foreign fighter, particularly those with western passports, to countries like Syria with the intention of joining the global jihad.

Mueller added that those inspired to join radical groups will not necessarily go to the Gaza strip, but could feel prompted to look join the larger extremist movement elsewhere (for example, in Iraq and Syria).’

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Will robots fight Israel’s future wars?

Inbal Orpaz reports for Haaretz:

‘Just as advanced technology is changing the household, it’s also changing the battlefield. Some envision a day when robots will take over from all-too-vulnerable flesh and blood soldiers. While that day hasn’t arrived, and the army is silent about what it’s using now, the robots are out there: Israel, outmanned on the ground, is becoming a global expert on unmanned vehicles for land, sea and air.

…The Israeli army has long used robots in routine security missions. They can stay in the field. They don’t need lunch breaks. In short, the army’s goal is to replace grunts with gears as much as possible. Not only will soldiers’ lives be spared, points out robotics expert Isabelle Okashi, of the Israel Aerospace Industries robotics division: Machines don’t get bored and don’t cavil at messy missions. She believes that within five years, robots will be a routine part of the ground forces. She does not, however, buy “Terminator”-esque apocalyptic visions of wars being relegated to machine versus machine.’

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Israel and the US Have Dropped Bombs on 8 Muslim Countries This Year

Chris Ernesto writes for Antiwar:

‘There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world today, with 49 countries having a predominantly Muslim population. Of these countries, 4 have been bombed by Israel, and 4 have been bombed by the US this year alone.’

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