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35% of the wounded in Gaza suffer disabilities (Middle East Monitor) - 20-aug-2014

August 3, 2014 -Over 35 percent of the wounded as a result of the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip suffer from visual, hearing, or mobility impairments, the spokesman of the Palestinian health ministry said Sunday.He added that 55 percent of the wounded are women and children who were home at the time they were attacked.The lack of medical supplies will likely raise these figures, he said. "The shortage in medical teams and the lack of safe exits for the wounded in Gaza will increase the number of disabilities, because most injuries are in the chest or head," he said...

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'Protective Edge' and the re-evaluation of humanitarian concerns (Ramona Wadi) - 20-aug-2014

August 3, 2014 -Within a day following the commencement of Operation Protective Edge, Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a statement replete with rhetoric embraced by Israeli allies. The statement's title, "Indiscriminate Palestinian rocket attacks", is followed by a brief speculation in the form of an inconspicuous subtitle, about the possibility of considering Israeli airstrikes on Gaza as collective punishment. While the statements may sound incongruous, they are perfectly in line with HRW's "core values" as stipulated on their website: "We do not embrace political causes, are non-partisan, and maintain neutrality in armed conflict." Taken within the context of Palestine, the so-called human rights organisation remains shackled to the convenient "humanitarian" approach, while spokespersons of organisations affiliated to the imperialist United Nations, such as UNRWA, have recently started expanding their rhetoric to include political references as recognition against divestment from the political implications...

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Syria News - August 2, 2014 (Local Coordination Committees of Syria) - 19-aug-2014

August 2, 2014 - By the end of Saturday, LCC were able to document 73 martyrs thus far including 15 children,6 women and 1 martyr under torture: 25 martyrs were reported in Aleppo; 18 in Daraa; 13 in Idlib; 10 in Damascus and its suburbs; 4 in Hama; 4 in Homs and 1 in Swaida...

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Heinous Crimes against Humanity, On the 26th Day of the Israeli Offensive: Massacre in Rafah, Most Violent Since the Beginning of the Offensive; Rafah Isolated and Unprecedented War Crimes Committed (The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)) - 19-aug-2014

August 2, 2014 - Israeli occupation forces have continued their brutal and immoral offensive on the Gaza Strip for the 26th 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. Israeli forces escalated their attacks throughout the Gaza Strip. On Friday morning, 01 August 2014, following the collapse of the humanitarian truce declared at midnight, and as Israel claimed that an Israeli soldier was kidnapped in Rafah, Israeli forces in an unprecedented and hysterical manner bombarded all areas throughout Rafah from the air, the ground and the sea. No civilian was immune...

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Why Being Human Matters, for the People of Gaza and the World (Stephanie Van Hook) - 18-aug-2014

August 2, 2014 - Dr. Mona El-Farra, medical doctor and associate of the Middle East Children’s Alliance recently made headlines on Democracy Now! with her plea to end the military assault on Gaza with one powerful statement: "We are human beings." She is, of course, absolutely right. Human beings live in Gaza, and it seems like nothing could be more obvious — if not human beings, then who or what does? And why are we paying attention? Of course, what she is really saying is something much deeper. She’s saying, that to the people in Gaza, it seems like we have somehow forgotten that human beings are there — and that raises more questions. For example: How could one forget the humanity of another and what does it tell us about who we really are?...

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Iraq and Syria: The struggle against the multi-sided counterrevolution (by Michael Karadjis) - 18-aug-2014

August 2, 2014 - .... While the media focus has been about "regime(s) versus ISIS," in reality, in both countries, there are three main forces in contention:

1. The Bashar al-Assad and Nuri al-Maliki regimes. Both are sectarian-based regimes: the Assad regime is a "secular" totalitarian regime heavily based among the elite of the Alawite religious minority; the Maliki regime is a sectarian, semi-theocratic, Shiite regime closely aligned with both the former US occupier, that facilitated its rise to power, and with the Shiite theocracy in neighbouring Iran.2. The Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS), the most extreme Sunni sectarian and theocratic movement in the region, which has set up its own semi-state over parts of Syria and Iraq. A descendant of al-Qaida in Iraq, ISIS was disowned by al-Qaida last year for being unnecessarily and embarrassingly barbaric (though in fact the disagreement went back as far as 2005). It represents an "opposing counterrevolution," formed partially from within the ranks of the uprisings.3. In between, a vast opposition to the regimes which is also distinct from ISIS, in open war with it in Syria, and on and off at war with it in Iraq:In Iraq, this consists of a range of "Sunni tribes" and other Sunni militias which have, over the last year or so, alternatively been fighting the regime alongside ISIS, or fighting against ISIS....

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It’s About the Lying: On John Brennan, the CIA, and Torture (Dan Froomkin) - 18-aug-2014

August 2, 2014 - I don’t want to understate how seriously wrong it is that the CIA searched Senate computers. Our constitutional order is seriously out of whack when the executive branch acts with that kind of impunity — to its overseers, no less.But given everything else that’s been going on lately, the single biggest — and arguably most constructive — thing to focus on is how outrageously CIA Director John Brennan lied to everyone about it. "As far as the allegations of the CIA hacking into Senate computers, nothing could be further from the truth," Brennan told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell in March. "We wouldn’t do that. I mean, that’s just beyond the, you know, the scope of reason in terms of what we do."...

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Is there an 'anti-imperialist camp'? A debate (part 2) (By Felipe Stuart & Michael Karadjis) - 18-aug-2014

August 2, 2014 - ....But no need – because you, Felipe, ensure you fall into the "anti-imperialist camp" trap by spreading falsehoods and total delusions about Syria. To compare the US invasion of Iraq, with hundreds of thousands of troops, with US policy on Syria – i.e., to refuse to send even a bullet to the Free Syrian Army (FSA) for three years while the Assad regime destroyed the entire country with every conceivable "conventional" weapon of mass destruction – is too absurd to even begin to take apart; basically, for you to even make such an impossible comparison is in itself a classic example of bogus "anti-imperialist" analysis furiously attempting to push square poles into round holes. It is fascinating to read a writer like Felipe, who in other ways is very lucid and logical, refer to NATO having "nearly destroyed Syria". So apparently, the MiG fighter planes, helicopter gunships, ballistic missiles, barrel bombs, cluster bombs, incendiary bombs, tanks, artillery, starvation sieges of whole towns (and for that matter, of Palestinian refugee camps), and chemical weapons, have all been supplied to Assad by NATO! Oh, but no, you don’t mean that, do you. You simply think that the duty of "anti-imperialism" is to look the other way while a regime of mega-capitalists destroys every city of its country, including the working-class sections of Damascus and Aleppo, because condemning a capitalist regime for waging unlimited war on its working people is apparently too difficult for modern-day "anti-imperialist" analysis unless you can somehow show that imperialism is responsible.,,,

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Hamas’s return to the resistance axis () - 18-aug-2014

August 2, 2014 - In analyzing the conflict in Gaza, many observers have focused on the role of Hamas’s backers, Qatar and Turkey. But this analysis misses a key player. To understand Hamas’ strategy, the place to look is Iran. After the war broke out, senior Iranian officials, including Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, expressed strong support for the leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah also phoned the head of Hamas’s politburo, Khaled Mashaal, and Islamic Jihad chief Ramadan Shallah. Iran's relationship with Hamas has been strained for the past couple of years, so these statements mark a reinvigoration of the "Resistance Alliance."...


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Massacre Justification (Craig Murray) - 18-aug-2014

August 2, 2014 -There is a concerted media ploy to change the narrative on the massacre of hundreds of women and children in Gaza, on the grounds that it is Hamas’ fault for breaking the ceasefire. The Israeli account of the ceasefire breakdown is parroted relentlessly.I have put some effort into discovering why the ceasefire broke down, including contacting sources in Gaza itself. What is plain is that there were multiple incidents shortly after the ceasefire deadline, of violations by both sides. This is actually normal – such ceasefires usually take a few hours to take hold as fighting in hot progress and operations under way get stopped. At leasy eleven Palestinians were killed by shellfire in the first hour after the ceasefire...

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What we talk about when we talk about genocide (Belen Fernandez) - 18-aug-2014

August 2, 2014 - On 1 August, a Times of Israel blog entry titled "When Genocide is Permissible" suddenly disappeared from the website. The Jerusalem Post explains that the entry had "provoked an avalanche of criticism and outrage on social media, prompting the news outlet to dismiss its author," Yochanan Gordon, son of the founder of the New York-based 5 Towns Jewish Times, where the problematic dispatch also ran. The elder Gordon recently objected to the notion that there are "innocent civilians" in Gaza. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, it seems. In his own post, Gordon junior suggests that all Palestinians maintain terror tunnels and store rocket launchers in their homes, and deftly converts the call for genocide into a he-started-it kind of a thing: "We are at war with an enemy whose charter calls for the annihilation of our people."...


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Video: Israeli soldiers destroy Gaza mosque, dedicate explosion to dead comrades (Ali Abunimah) - 18-aug-2014

August 2, 2014 - This video uploaded to YouTube on 31 July is titled in Hebrew "Israeli army forces detonate a mosque with 11 tons of explosives."The Israeli soldiers apparently from the Givati brigade dedicate the mosque destruction to their fallen comrades and cheer as a massive explosion obliterates it."Long live the State of Israel!" a voice exclaims. According to the narration by the videographer, the detonation took place on 30 July in Khuzaa, which is east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip...

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Who broke the ceasefire? Obama blames Hamas against the evidence (Max Blumenthal and Allison Deger) - 18-aug-2014

August 2, 2014- A beleaguered-looking President Barack Obama appeared before the Washington press corps on August 1 to lash into Hamas for supposedly violating the 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire that his Secretary of State John Kerry and the United Nations had labored so tirelessly to secure. "I have unequivocally condemned Hamas and the Palestinian factions that were responsible for killing two Israeli soldiers and abducting a third minutes after a ceasefire was announced," Obama said....

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The member of Knesset who called for genocide — against the mothers of the ‘snakes’ (William McGowan) - 18-aug-2014

August 2, 2014 - As any street smart New Yorker knows, "you can say anything about me, but when you start talking trash about my momma, you got a problem." Especially so in the context of genocide and race war. Legal scholar and pundit Jonathan Turley has a great post on inflammatory comments by Ayelet Shaked, a member of the Israeli Parliament from the ultra-nationalist and ultra-religious Jewish Home Party whose leader, Naftali Bennett has been touted as a future Israeli Prime Minister....

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The CIA’s Other Spy Scandal: Agency Monitored Emails Between Congress & Whistleblowing Officials (Demcracy Now!) - 17-aug-2014

August 2, 2014 - The Central Intelligence Agency has admitted its officials spied on a Senate panel probing the agency’s torture and rendition program. An internal probe found 10 CIA employees monitored Senate staffers’ computers. This development comes days after another revelation of CIA spying on Congress emerged. According to McClatchy Newspapers, the agency has also been spying on emails from whistleblower officials and Congress, "triggering fears the CIA has been intercepting the communications of officials who handle whistleblower cases." In part 2 of our interview, we are joined now by Jonathan Landay, senior national security and intelligence correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers...

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The Audacity of Nope: Obama’s Failure to Close Guantanamo Bay Prison (By Dennis Trainor) - 17-aug-2014

August 2, 2014 - Jason Leopold, in the clip from the full-length Acronym TV episode, How Americans Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Guantanamo Prison, discusses the Obstacles President Obama faces in keeping his campaign promise to restore habeas corpus, shut down Guantanamo Prison, and restore America’s moral stature in the world. If President Obama’s true intention s are as described above, what can he do alone, and what does need cooperation from Congress to do?"What he could do now is actually start releasing some of these prisoners," says Leopold "The vast majority of those cleared are Yemeni prisoners. Yemen is a big country. To think that these men, who were never on a battlefield, can’t be sent back to Yemen because they will end up as part of Al-Qaeda (makes no sense)."...

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Britain 'attempts to censor' US report on torture sites (Jamie Doward and Ian Cobain) - 17-aug-2014

August 2, 2014 - The government stands accused of seeking to conceal Britain's role in extraordinary rendition, ahead of the release of a declassified intelligence report that exposes the use of torture at US secret prisons around the world.The Senate report on the CIA's interrogation programme, due to be released in days, will confirm that the US tortured terrorist suspects after 9/11. In advance of the release, Barack Obama admitted on Friday: "We tortured some folks. We did some things that were contrary to our values."Now, in a letter to the human rights group Reprieve, former foreign secretary William Hague has confirmed that the UK government has held discussions with the US about what it intends to reveal in the report which, according to al-Jazeera, acknowledges that the British territory of Diego Garcia was used for extraordinary rendition...

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Obama says that after 9/11, 'we tortured some folks' (By Roberta Rampton and Steve Holland) - 17-aug-2014

August 2, 2014 - President Barack Obama said on Friday the CIA "tortured some folks" after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and that the White House had handed over to Congress a report about an investigation into "enhanced interrogation techniques." "We did a whole lot of things that were right, but we tortured some folks. We did some things that were contrary to our values," Obama told a White House news conference..."It's important for us not to feel too sanctimonious in retrospect about the tough job that those folks had," he said. "A lot of those folks were working hard under enormous pressure and are real patriots."..

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Candid video reveals NYT bureau chief Jodi Rudoren’s Zionist bubble (Max Blumenthal) - 17-aug-2014

August 2, 2014 - In early July, New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren found herself under withering scrutiny for uncritically quoting slanderous and later discredited comments by Israeli police spokesperson Mickey Rosenfeld justifying the brutal beating of fifteen-year-old Tariq Abukhdeir. Rudoren took to Facebook to lash out at critics who accused her of "practicing stenography," attacking them as "anti-Israel activists." The rhetoric she used to characterize supporters of Palestinian rights echoed that of pro-Israel lobbyists like Anti-Defamation League (ADL) National Director Abraham Foxman, who has produced annual blacklists of Palestine solidarity activists and demonized critics of Israeli human rights abuses as anti-Semites...

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Israel “wipes out” Gaza ice cream factory that stored vital medicines (Rami Almeghari) - 17-aug-2014

August 2, 2014 - Israel fired more than ten tank shells at an iconic ice cream and cookie factory in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip late on Thursday night, starting a fire that continued to blaze into the next day.The attack puts hundreds of people out of work and destroyed vital medicine stocks that had been stored in the building. Surrounded by a few workers and an administrator attempting to assess the damage to the 1.5-acre facility, Iyad al-Tilbani, whose father owns the 38-year-old Al-Awda Factory, said on Friday that much of the building was "reduced to rubble overnight." As he spoke, a bulldozer cleaned up debris in the background...

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We shall live to tell the stories of war crimes in Gaza (Hana Baalousha) - 17-aug-2014

August 2, 2014 - In all Holywood action films, when the enemy uses a civilian as a human shield, the policeman drops his gun and lets the enemy go in order to save the civilian. The innocent person’s life is always depicted as more important than the enemy’s death. Clearly these morals are only for movies. The morals on the ground in Gaza, however, are totally different. Israel shoots and bombs children and young people, leaving them to bleed to death in front of their parents while bombarding ambulances that try to reach them. In this horrendous aggression against Gaza, every Palestinian is a target and age isn’t an issue. As I hold my three-month-old Jolie close to my chest, I recall the pictures of babies her age with face injuries that hide their beauty and innocence, and others dead with amputated limbs, heads emptied from their contents, or burnt bodies....

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Israel 'deliberately' targeting Gaza's health sector (Middle East Monitor) - 17-aug-2014

August 2, 2014 -Spokesman of the Palestinian Ministry of Health Ashraf al-Qidra has accused the Israeli occupation forces of "deliberately" targeting Gaza's health sector.Counting the number of Israeli attacks on Palestinian hospitals and paramedics during the war on his Twitter page, Al-Qidra described the Israeli acts as "war crimes" and "violations of the international law and Fourth Geneva Convention" that warranted urgent prosecution."Healthcare facilities have come under Zionist's fire," he tweeted. "Abu-Yousif Al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah, which is the only one in the whole city that serves around 350,000 Gazans is an example. Its staff was forced to evacuate the dead and wounded and abandon the hospital under heavy Israeli fire on Friday."...

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Debunking Israel's narrative on Gaza – Truth Out! (Catherine Shakdam) - 17-aug-2014

August 2, 2014 - Amid the cries of outrage and the flurry of condemnations the world has thrown at Israel, the Zionist State remains adamant it owns absolute moral ground on Gaza, arguing high and low that no state should ever be made to suffer the ravage of bombs. And indeed, no people should be made to live under terror; it seems however that Israel has forgotten whose hands have been bloodied in this conflict and whose bombs have landed on schools, hospitals and designated UN shelters.Israel's argument, its only argument one might add, is that in the name of its national security there is no crime it can commit as its stands the eternal victim....

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Syria News - August 1, 2014 (Local Coordination Committees of Syria) - 17-aug-2014

August 1, 2014 - By the end of Friday, the coordination committees were able to document 54 martyrs including 2 women, 4 children and 1 martyr under torture: 26 martyrs were reported in Aleppo; 9 in Damascus and its Suburbs; 9 in Hama; 4 in Daraa; 3 in Homs and 3 in Idlib...

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On the 25th Day of the Israeli Offensive: Humanitarian Truce Collapse Less Than One Hour of Its Entry into Force; Dozens of Palestinian Civilians Killed and Hundreds Wounded by Israeli Shelling in Rafah (The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)) - 17-aug-2014

August 1, 2014 - Israeli occupation forces have continued their brutal and immoral offensive on the Gaza Strip for the 24th 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. Israeli forces escalated their attacks throughout the Gaza Strip. Electricity supplies have been off in the Gaza Strip for the 4th consecutive day. Municipalities face extreme difficulties in their work due to the lack of fuel supplies and because if Israeli attacks. These developments raise concerns regarding public health in Gaza Strip, which is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. The crisis has further aggravated as at least 400,000 civilians were forcibly displaced from their homes, and were forced to resort to shelters in the centers of towns and refugee camps...

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