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International activists risk lives to protect Gaza’s ambulances under fire (Allison Deger) - 28-jul-2014

July 19, 2014 -- A team of international activists in Gaza acted as "human shields" this afternoon to secure medications for injured and disabled Palestinians by accompanying Red Crescent ambulances into a firing zone in Gaza City. The activists are all foreign nationals, hailing from the United Kingdom, United States and Sweden. To reach el-Wafa Rehabilitation Hospital the internationals crossed heavy Israeli military shelling from the air and border area. The medical facility was destroyed beyond use by Israeli missiles Thursday evening. The Israeli military had said weapons were being launched from nearby the hospital and said Hamas had used the facility as a "human shield."...

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The heart of the problem with Israel: The mass expulsion of the Palestinian people (Donna Nevel) - 28-jul-2014

July 19, 2014 - As Israeli government violence against the Palestinians in Gaza intensifies (the latest news being an aggressive ground invasion), I saw a discussion on-line about whether Israel has become more brutal or the brutality has simply become more visible to the public. I remembered listening to Benjamin Netanyahu when he was at MIT in the 1970’s. He called himself Bibi Nitai and said he was in self-exile until the Labor Party, which he despised, was out of power. He spoke contemptuously about Arabs, and predicted he would be the leader of Israel someday and would protect the Jewish state in the way it deserved. The immediate response many of us had was: "Heaven help us all if he ever gets into power in Israel."...

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Malnutrition Hits Syrians Hard as UN Authorises Cross-Border Access (By Shelly Kittleson) - 27-jul-2014

July 19, 2014 - Gaunt, haggard Syrian children begging and selling gum have become a fixture in streets of the Lebanese capital; having fled the ongoing conflict, they continue to be stalked by its effects. Most who make it across the Syria-Lebanon border live in informal settlements in extremely poor hygienic conditions, which for many means diarrhoeal diseases, malnutrition, and – for the most vulnerable – sometimes death. By the end of January, almost 40,000 Syrian children had been born as refugees, while the total number of minors who had fled abroad quadrupled to over 1.2 million between March 2013 and March 2014....

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A Moment to Be Seized? (by Stuart Littlewood) - 27-jul-2014

July 19, 2014-There was never a better moment for the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement to mass-mobilise for a mega-campaign to not only impact more heavily on the lawless Israeli state but also unmask those in business and public life who shamelessly support the criminal programme that was embedded in its DNA while on the Zionists’ drawing board.This could include politicians, businesspeople, entertainers, sports stars, churchmen and the many organisations and fan clubs that nourish the thuggish vanity and horrendous cruelty of the Zionist regime. Zero tolerance is needed. Those who fund or support the inhuman behaviour we have witnessed, not just this week but ever since 1947 (and some would say, long before then), are not fit to be admitted into decent society let alone allowed to run our country and major institutions...

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Studies continually show strong pro-Israel bias in western media (Mohamad Elmasry) - 27-jul-2014

July 19, 2014 - CNN journalist Jake Tapper opened a recent interview with Human Rights Attorney Diana Buttu with the following two-part question: "Why is Hamas launching rockets into Israeli population centers and are any other Palestinians trying to stop them from doing so?" Tapper’s question - which lays onus on Hamas and other Palestinians and ignores the enveloping context of Israel’s siege on Gaza - is both telling and predictable. Mainstream western media outlets are, by and large, infused with a pro-Israeli ideological bias that colors nearly all mainstream Western reporting on Israel-Palestine...

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Gaza City resident Amal Sarsour: ‘There is no place to go, death is around us all the time’ (Alex Kane) - 27-jul-2014

July 19, 2014 - There is no where for Amal Sarsour to go–not when Israeli bombs, missiles, and artillery fire are blanketing Gaza. The 38-year-old Gaza City resident is cooped up in her home with her brothers and their families, who left their homes after the Israeli air force targeted their neighborhood. She doesn’t step outside. "It’s not safe at all," Sarsour, an academic and lecturer at Al Quds and Al Azhar universities in Gaza, tells me. "We can’t get out of our house…We are targeted by bombing, missiles around us." In a follow-up e-mail, she wrote: "There is no place to go, we feel that death [is] around us all the time."...

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Expel Palestinians, populate Gaza with Jews, says Knesset deputy speaker (Ali Abunimah) - 27-jul-2014

July 19, 2014 - Israel must attack Gaza even more mercilessly, expel the population and resettle the territory with Jews, the deputy speaker of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, has said. Moshe Feiglin, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party, makes the call in an article for the Israeli news website Arutz Sheva. Feiglin demands that Israel launch attacks "throughout Gaza with the IDF’s [Israeli army’s] maximum force (and not a tiny fraction of it) with all the conventional means at its disposal."...

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Suffocating indoors under the rain of Israel’s bombs (Ayah Bashir) - 27-jul-2014

July 19, 2014 - Three weeks before this attack, I had the long-awaited chance to spend a week in the occupied West Bank and the 1948 territories (present-day Israel). I wanted to write about this marvelous experience of life and laughter, but now I am writing about death and sorrow. Two days before the attack, I was supposed to travel to Geneva to participate in a summer school training program for which I have been preparing for seven months and which concludes today. I booked two flights both from Egypt and Jordan, but missed both. The Israelis never approved my permit to travel through Erez checkpoint in the north of Gaza, even though I applied three times, and Rafah crossing, the southern land border with Egypt, has been consistently sealed off. I am not attending the course, though I still receive emails related to it. Instead, I am living this war...

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Israeli military destroyed el-Wafa hospital even though it knew there were no weapons inside (Allison Deger) - 27-jul-2014

July 19, 2014 - The Israeli army targeted and destroyed the Gaza strip’s only rehabilitation hospital even though Israeli authorities said they did not believe weapons were inside of the facility. El-Wafa Rehabilitation Hospital, which treats long-term injuries and physical disabilities, was heavily shelled Thursday evening causing an emergency evacuation of all staff and patients. El-Wafa Rehabilitation Hospital treats long-term injuries and physical disabilities. All of the patients have some degree of paralysis, require around the clock care and many are on oxygen support and feeding tubes. "We’ve seen a lot of launches of rockets that came from exactly near the hospital, 100 meters near," said a spokesperson for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), continuing, "Obviously the target was not the hospital."...

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Why won’t the US investigate Israeli violence against US citizens? (Josh Ruebner) - 27-jul-2014

Earlier this month, fifteen-year-old Tariq Abukhdeir, a US citizen from Tampa, Florida, was savagely beaten by undercover Israeli police in the Shuafat neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem. The attack was caught on video, showing Israeli police repeatedly kicking and punching Abukhdeir in the face and head as he lay handcuffed on the ground. According to the Palestinian human rights organization Addameer, Abukhdeir was arrested without charge and denied urgently needed medical attention and access to his family for five hours. He was released on bail after three days in Israeli jail and placed under house arrest before returning to Florida on 16 July.

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Devastated family remembers cheerful boy cut down by Israeli fire on Gaza beach (Rami Almeghari) - 27-jul-2014

July 19, 2014 - The day before he was killed, "Ismail came home carrying fresh fish and began joking with his brothers and sisters. He seemed unusually cheerful and happy," his mother Sahar Baker told The Electronic Intifada at her home in Gaza’s Beach Camp just twenty-four hours after her son’s brutal slaying
"I asked him, my son, why did you go to the beach while the situation is dangerous? He answered, we were playing as we wanted to play, why should we be afraid?" Sahar said.Ismail Muhammad Baker, nine years old, was killed along with his cousins Ahed Atif Baker and Zakaria Ahed Baker, both ten years old, and eleven-year-old Muhammad Ramiz Baker when Israeli fire targeted them on a beach near Gaza City’s seaport on 16 July....

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Syria News - July 18 , 2014 (Warning: Graphic Videos) (Local Coordinating Committees of Syria) - 27-jul-2014

July 18 , 2014- By the end of Friday, the coordination committees were able to document 66 martyrs, including 6 women, 10 child and 3 martyrs under torture: 24 martyrs were reported in Aleppo; 17 in Idlib; 11 in Hama; 7 in Daraa; 6 in Damascus and its suburbs; and 1 in Deir Ezzor....

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On the 11th Day of the Israeli Offensive: Israeli Forces Launch Ground Operation in the Gaza Strip Covered by Unprecedented Shelling; Dozens of Palestinian Civilians Killed or Wounded (The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)) - 27-jul-2014

July 18, 2014 -Israeli occupation forces have continued their brutal and immoral offensive on the Gaza Strip for the 8th consecutive day, and have continued the policy of collective punishment in disregard for the international law and humanitarian law, which ensure protection for civilians in times of war, and in violation of the principles of necessity, proportionality and distinction. Israeli forces have continued their aerial, ground and sea attacks throughout the Gaza Strip, causing more civilian casualties and damaging civilian facilities, including houses and mosques. Last night, the Israeli government declared launching a ground operation in the Gaza Strip. In effect, Israeli forces moved hundreds of meters into Palestinian areas located along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, amidst unprecedented shelling....

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Edward Snowden: 'If I end up in chains in Guantánamo I can live with that' - video interview (Alan Rusbridger and Ewen MacAskill) - 27-jul-2014

July 18, 2014 -....The intelligence community knows that I’m not working for any foreign government at all. They anonymously stated to the Washington Post that I’m not an agent of any foreign power, they don’t have a warrant out on that basis. And that’s because if I were providing information that I know, that’s in my head, to some foreign government, the US intelligence community would be able to detect that. They would see changes in the type of information that’s going through it. They would see sources go dark that were previously productive. They would see new sources of disinformation appearing in these channels and that hasn’t happened....

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A father opens a plastic bag: 'This is my son,' he says, killed by an Israeli shell (Peter Beaumont) - 27-jul-2014

July 18, 2014 -The house of the Antez family in Sha'af looks undamaged from the outside. But the men milling around it have the dazed faces of grief that tell a different story.Inside, the hole punched by the tank shell that hit the house, after clearing the retaining wall, is visible about 3m (10ft) off the ground.It seems a small thing – a hole the size of a toaster. But the shell travelled through four walls, scattering pieces of shrapnel that have been gathered and placed to one side. There were 60 people from three families sheltering inside, some under the stairs, some in a corridor leading to a half-finished room...

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Israeli police ransack Tariq Abu Khdeir family home and arrest relatives in apparent revenge raid (Max Blumenthal) - 27-jul-2014

July 18, 2014- Just hours after 15-year-old Tariq Abu Khdeir left for Ben Gurion International Airport to return home to Tampa, Florida, Israeli police raided and ransacked the home of his family in the Shufat neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem. The police arrested Abu Khdeir’s uncle and cousins without charges. The Israeli motive appears to have been revenge for the family’s role in publicizing CCTV footage of Abu Khdeir’s brutal beating at the hands of Israeli police, and their public campaign to secure his return to the US...

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When Reporting Becomes a Weapon of Mass Deception (By Dr. Mosheer Amer – Gaza) - 27-jul-2014

July 18, 2014 - ...What is problematic about these reports is the utter lack of background information that puts Israeli and Palestinian actions in context. Reading the BBC and CNN reports, one can only see that the context of Israel’s crippling siege on Gaza, where 80% of its 1.8 million population are Palestinian refugees who were displaced from their homes in historic Palestine in 1948 and since then have been facing the harsh reality of Israel’s military occupation, siege and humiliation in the world’s largest open-air prison. Disguising the reality of occupation as war between two equals is a stark case of problematic news framing. A BBC headline on 11 July which read, "Gaza-Israel conflict: What can Israel and Hamas gain?", and the lead paragraphs, falsely frame the situation as nothing more than a conflict between two equals trying to maximise their political benefits...

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The Resistance Will Not Surrender: We Will Be Victorious or Die (By Dr. Ahmed Yousef – Gaza) - 27-jul-2014

July 18, 2014 - The blatant aggression against the Gaza Strip we are witnessing affects anyone who has a heart, as Israel’s destruction and barbarism are unprecedented and worse than any I have seen in my life. The horror of today’s attacks is incomparable with any of the raids and wars against the Gaza Strip over the past 50 years. The bombing raids being carried out by Israeli warplanes on the Gaza Strip, as well as the missiles being launched on the homes and farms of innocent civilians, are the latest by the "death industry" of the rogue state. With the war crimes it has committed, as well as its international law and human rights law violations, Israel has gone beyond any international condemnations, reactions and denouncements issued against its non-stop aggression. The latest of such condemnations by the UN were stated in the Goldstone Report after Operation Cast Lead in 2008/2009...

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The terrible price the children of Gaza are paying (By Charlotte Armstrong) - 27-jul-2014

July 18, 2014 - ...This is not the first time that Israeli forces have struck civilians on the Gazan coastline. On July 11, an Israeli attack on the Fun Time Beach café near the city of Khan Yunis killed nine civilians, including two 15-year-old children, and wounded three, including a 13-year-old boy. An Israeli military spokesman said the attack was "targeting a terrorist" but presented no evidence that any of those at the café, who had gathered to watch a World Cup match, were participating in military operations, or that the killing of one alleged "terrorist" in a crowded café would justify the expected civilian casualties...

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When Strength is Weakness
Israel’s Heart of Darkness
(by WILLIAM A. COOK) - 27-jul-2014

July 18, 2014 - ....A noticeable change has occurred in Israel since its bombardment of Gaza in 2008/9, what I have termed the Christmas bombing of imprisoned civilians caught in a steel net surrounding their sliver of land, a change that offers perspective on the altering mindset that guides this benumbed state. Then Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Saturday the 27th "…instructed the Foreign ministry to take emergency measures to adapt Israel’s international public relations to the ongoing escalation in the Gaza strip" (Haaretz, 12/28/08). Her intent as she ordered the military to continue its devastation of the Gazan people resulting in over 1400 dead, many children, was "to explain the rationale for the expanded IDF operations in the Gaza strip." An all out call to PR personnel to mobilize was issued, including those with language proficiency in Arabic, Italian, Spanish and German, the better to muffle the voices of those finding fault with the invasion. She noted at the time that Israel expects foreign media and diplomatic figures to support Israel....

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As war rages in Gaza and Pakistan, drone companies gather at Farnborough to market their wares (By Chris Cole) - 27-jul-2014

July 18, 2014 - Against a backdrop of horrific Israeli air strikes in Gaza as well as a US drone strike in Pakistan, the Farnborough International Air show took place this week in the UK. Although billed as an air show, the event is in reality a week-long marketing event for the world’s military (and some civil) aviation companies to show off their wares with an open-to-the-public air show tacked on at the end. Drones are increasingly important at Farnborough with a reported 78 companies displaying unmanned drones this year. In terms of British drones the key event was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the UK and France on the £120m ($205m) agreement to study the development of the Future Combat Air System. This funding was first announced earlier this year at the Anglo-French Summit at Brize Norton...

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Is Israel’s Operation Protective Edge Really About Natural Gas? (by TASCHA SHAHRIARI-PARSA) - 26-jul-2014

July 18, 2014 -While many articles have debunked the myth that Israel is acting out of "self-defense," very few have attempted to establish why Israel is continuing its assault on Palestine through Operation Protective Edge, aside from the supposition that Zionists have a fanatic penchant for drawing Palestinian blood. Behind the operation, behind the mass Israeli and U.S. propaganda attempting to justify the massacre, and behind the death of every child in Gaza is a conflict rarely discussed, an imperialist conflict and a contradiction that rests on Israel’s ambitions to appropriate and profit from Gaza’s natural gas resources.To provide some background, the natural gas issue arose in the year 2000 when British Gas (BG) discovered what they claimed to be $4 billion worth of natural gas reserves off the coast of Gaza. The Palestinian Investment Fund (PIF) and British Gas (BG) both invested in the project, with BG holding 60% of the rights. Since then, more gas has been found in the region....

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Iraq snapshot - July 18, 2014 (The Common Ills) - 26-jul-2014

July 18, 2014 -Over and over, Nouri al-Maliki's actions have been filtered by the press to remove his most extreme statements and actions so that US readers and audio and video news consumers will never grasp how out of control Nouri is, how criminal he is. Unlike Nouri al-Maliki's temple whores, we've never played that game here...The western press needs to be held accountable. That includes those who hate Sunnis and think it's alright to act on their own prejudices. Amy Goodman does a two part segment on Iraq this week and never calls out Nouri al-Maliki? Never even notes the attack on the Kurds, Zebari or anything. But she does have time to let Patrick Cockburn foam at the mouth with his Saudi Arabia conspiracy talk. Patrick's Sunni hatred is widely known and documented in the Arab world. Amy Goodman wants to talk what's wrong in Iraq but, cheap whore that she is, that talk never gets to Nouri. Two segments on how awful Sunnis -- in Iraq and in neighboring countries -- are but no accountability for Nouri? The problem is not just that Nouri is a despot and tyrant in the grand tradition of Augusto Pinochet, it's that the western press has refused to be honest about who and what he is....

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All Governance in Libya Remains Contested (By Anton Woronczuk, The Real News Network) - 26-jul-2014

July 18, 2014 - ....So what has happened since the overthrow of Gaddafi is that different parts of Libya have been fragmented under the control of different militias who are being paid by the government as a kind of security force but are not answerable to any civilian democratic authority. The Zintan militia had controlled the area around Tripoli's main airport and in fact controlled the airport. They have been attacked really ferociously over the last five, six days by a militia--not the militia, because there are a number--a militia from Misrata, which is led by a mercurial man named Mr. Salah Badi....

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Images of Gaza war shift perception of Israel (Daoud Kuttab) - 26-jul-2014

July 18, 2014 - War is often remembered by images. Who can forget the photograph of the Vietnamese girl running naked down a road after being exposed to US napalm bombs? Or the American sailor kissing an anonymous nurse in Times Square following the announcement of the end of World War II? For the current war on Gaza, two images that have gone viral and the stories behind them are reflective of the real price of war in terms of human suffering, unbridled hate and revenge...

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War crimes in Gaza must cease! (Ministry of Health Gaza) - 26-jul-2014

July 18 2014 -Air strikes. Naval bombardment. Land invasion. New generation DIME weapons. Poison Gas. Children killed in their beds, at the dinner table, playing on the beach. Doctors’ homes wantonly destroyed. Hospital after hospital attacked – European Hospital, Wafa Hospital, Beit Hanoun. Will Shifa Hospital be next? The brutal Israeli escalation worsens by the hour. We already have 274 Palestinians dead, 76 percent of whom were killed in their homes. Of our 2,196 injured, 78 percent were wounded at home. The toll continues to rise rapidly. Eighteen families have lost between two and 17 members, almost 2,000 families have been made homeless. 22,900 people are in UNRWA emergency shelters. 50 percent of sewage pumping and treatment stations are no longer operational, posing a potential public health disaster...

continua / continued

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