The names of Palestinians killed by the IDF in Operation Protective Edge, revised and updated . The number of dead Palestinians stood at 1,359 on July 30. A growing number of the dead have not been identified. 43 Israeli soldiers have been killed in the ground incursion into Gaza.
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No attack by the IDF has caused more outrage than the IDF airstrike on the UN’s Abu Hussein school in Jabaliya refugee camp. Hundreds of refugees, fleeing there for safety from their Gaza homes, were sheltering there. 17 were killed in a precise attack. As one survivor said – there is nowhere safe for us anywhere.
Ignore the blather about tunnels and human shields. Netanyahu is pursuing the life-long aim of total subjugation of Palestinians and total control of their land. Palestinians will fight back. And the rest is history. If the US et al want to interrupt this course says Rashid Khalidi, they must recognise Hamas and start talking with (not liking) them.
A letter signed by 56 Israeli reservists stating why they refuse to serve their country in its current military operation is published this week in the Washington Post. Their fundamental objection, the two initiators tell Democracy Now, is the power the hierarchical IDF exercises over Palestinians and Israelis. We learn on the way that most Americans have never heard of the siege of Gaza but think Israel is under siege by Hamas.
The handbook for Israel’s famed hasbara machine (terrified Israelis having to live in bomb shelters as they are bombarded with rockets) was a ‘secret’ report by an American Republican pollster – his advice, to tailor all output to the hopes and fears of Americans. But, says Patrick Cockburn, images of strikes by Israel’s war machine reducing Gaza to rubble, facts about its inhabitants killed, injured, displaced in huge numbers, have gone all round the world before Bibi can say ‘telegenically’.
Although Israel presents itself as alone amidst hostile and belligerent neighbours, the truth is very different. Arab countries are divided politically and economically, with poor governance; none wants to alienate the powerful US and the wealthy oil kingdoms will not risk disturbing the complacency of their subjects. Only Qatar and non-Arab Turkey could be found to speak for Hamas at John Kerry’s Paris meeting.
This is a gut-wrenching account of life amidst the death, the destruction, the rubble , the dismembered bodies, the stench and the roars and booms of life in Gaza. The writer is Palestinian author Atef Abu Saif who is sheltering, with 13 members of his family, in two rooms in Jabalia.
Let’s stop arguing about who started it and look at the context writes John Judis. That is one of colonial power and expanding Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories. Both the PLO and Hamas have been willing to negotiate a truce on condition of Israel ending its siege and occupation. But Israel is becoming more and more intransigent about its right to rule all Palestinians.
The creation of the Palestinian Unity Government meant Hamas was willing to cede power in Gaza. Nathan Thrall of the International Crisis Group sets out the steps the US and Israel could have taken to further this movement. Instead, they blocked it. What else could Hamas then do when Israel attacked?
Hamas does not have an army (or navy or airforce). The militants in Gaza who have the skill to make or fire rockets live amongst the people of Gaza. Israeli propagandists call this ‘using Palestinians as human shields’. So that explains why the IDF has to destroy all those ‘shields’ as well as the militants ‘hidden’ behind them. Jeremy Bowen on the military action that deepens conflict.
Between 5, and 6,000 Israelis turned out in Tel Aviv on Saturday for the biggest protest yet against the Gaza war. While the invitation to the demo spoke of the need for a political solution and for Jews and Arabs to work together this stand was met with obscene insults and violence from a small counter-demonstration by the right.
The experienced and respected Channel 4 journalist Jon Snow sees for himself Palestinians reduced to foraging for food in shattered buildings, walks out through the eerie crossing where disembodied voices command his every move, arrives in Israel where few seem concerned about what is being done in the name of their safety, then weeps all the way home. For everyone else, life just carries on.
So Israelis and Palestinians can’t talk to each other? So bring on the mediators – and what a hopeless crew says Uri Avnery, despairingly. What can Ban Ki-moon or Tony Blair or Fattah al-Sisi do but say emollient words to the watching media? They have no power, or will, to bring a permanent end to the fighting.
David Morrison, a very scientific polemicist against the delusions and deceptions that lead to war, on why Israel’s military offensives have been pointless and unnecessary and Noam Sheizaf, more succinctly, on the alternatives Israel did have to this war. Both arguments depend on Israel recognizing Hamas, compromising with it, and honouring its side of the bargain – which so far it has never done.
Israel’s rhetorical justification for the bombardment of Gaza is that it has the same right to self-defence as anyone else. That means, says Jerry Haber, the same right as Palestinians. So Palestinians too have the right to use the weaponry that the IDF uses against them – the tanks, the F16 bombers, the army, the power to expel…
An anonymous blog, written in 2011 or 2012, titled This is not Jewish has been trending – often retweeted – on Twitter this week reports a BBC department. It is not known whether that indicates anxiety or confidence about criticising Israeli policies. One of Germany’s best-known experts on antisemitism says panic about antisemitism should not be confused with any actual increase in its incidence.
Thanks to a couple of new volunteers joining our social media “peace room” we are launching a Twitter feed today to please follow, retweet, talk about it loudly at social events, and whatever trendy new social media verbs currently apply! https://twitter.com/J_F_J_F_P
The IDF has bombed 4 UNRWA schools – opened as shelters for displaced Palestinians – this week saying they shelter Hamas munitions – which sometimes they do. They also shelter thousands of people. On Thursday, the airstrike on a school in Beit Hanoun killed at least 17 people. The IDF is ‘investigating’.
Daniel Levy, policy adviser and diplomat, answers Israel’s belligerent question – what would you – by saying self-defence does not include the right to kill civilians and upbraids Israelis for pushing Palestinians into a corner, for offering nothing but more occupation in return for their own demands for ‘security’.
A new report from the Institute for Jewish Policy Research examines how safe and how fearful of antisemitism British Jews feel. It identifies the conundrum of Jewish organisations/funders paying a lot of attention to antisemitism when British Jews have never felt as confident as they do today. Fears and antisemitic incidents rise when Israel exercises military power, especially now Palestinians are a ’cause celebre’. It dates the importance of Israel to Jews, and British people, to its perceived role in 1967.