Gaza / Palestine
(FEDERALJACK) After a nearly month-long assault that left at least 1,865 Palestinians dead, Israel has pulled its ground forces from the Gaza Strip under the 72-hour ceasefire that went into effect earlier today. Israeli and Palestinian factions have agreed to attend talks in Cairo on a longer-term agreement. Gaza officials say the vast majority of Palestinian victims were civilians in the Israeli offensive that began on July 8. Israel says 64 of its soldiers and three civilians have been killed. Palestinians are returning to homes and neighborhoods that have seen a massive amount of destruction. Nearly a quarter of Gaza’s 1.8 million resident were displaced during the fighting which destroyed more than 3,000 homes. The ceasefire was reached after international outrage over Palestinian civilian deaths peaked, with even Israel’s chief backer, the United States, criticizing recent Israeli shelling of United Nations shelters that killed scores of displaced Palestinians.
(FEDERALJACK) The death toll in Gaza has risen to 64 after 14 people – including seven women and children – were killed in Israeli airstrikes as Operation Protective Edge entered its third day. At least 18 children have been killed since Tuesday.
Emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said the first strike targeted a coffee shop in the city of Khan Younis, killing six men and wounding at least 15 others, AFP reported. The second strike hit the home of Raed Shalat at Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, killing him and injuring several others, Qidra added. Seven people – three women and four children – were killed in further strikes on two houses in Khan Younis. The Palestinian Health Ministry said five of those killed were children. Another 16 people were also wounded in the attack, the ministry added.
The newest casualties bring the death toll to 64. Airstrikes on Tuesday and Wednesday killed 21 and 29 Palestinians respectively. At least 10 women and 18 children were among the dead, according to a count based on medical reports, AFP says. Meanwhile, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) says over 360 rockets have been fired at Israel since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge. Over 590 targets in the Gaza Strip were hit. The offensive is the worst escalation of violence between Israel and the Palestinians since 2012. Palestinian rockets have targeted central and southern Israel,
reaching as far as Jerusalem but causing no serious casualties.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will give a briefing at an emergency meeting of the Security Council on Thursday around the escalating Israeli-Palestinian violence. “Gaza is on a knife edge,” Ban told reporters on Wednesday. “I firmly condemn the multiple rocket attacks launched from Gaza on Israel. Such attacks are unacceptable and must stop.” “I also urged [Israeli] Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu to exercise maximum restraint and to respect international obligations to protect civilians. I condemn the rising number of civilian lives lost in Gaza,” he added.
(PRESS TV) After nearly a decade in court, a Franco-Israeli media analyst has been convicted of defamation against state TV channel France 2 in what’s known as the Al-Dura case. The court rejected his allegation that journalists had orchestrated this footage of a terrified 12-year old Palestinian boy trapped by Israeli gunfire. The analyst even alleged that Mohammed al-Dura did not die in the attack. The shocking murder occurred in the Gaza Strip in September 2000, at the start of Palestinians’ Second Intifada, or uprising.
(PRESS TV) To put more pressure on besieged Palestinians, Israel has increased its pressure on patients seeking medical treatment outside of the enclave. Patients who require medical treatment abroad are systemically interrogated and blackmailed into working as spies for Tel-Aviv in turn for them to be granted exit permits. Several Gazan patients were arrested at the Erez crossing this week for their refusal to collaborate with Israel. The Palestinian ministry of health in Gaza has condemned the blackmail of Gazan patients.
(NY TIMES) An Israeli bomb pummeled a home deep into the ground here Sunday afternoon, killing 11 people, including nine in three generations of a single family, in the deadliest single strike since the cross-border conflict between Israel and Hamas escalated on Wednesday. The airstrike, along with several others that killed civilians across this coastal territory and hit two media offices here — one of them used by Western TV networks — further indicated that Israel was striking a wider range of targets.
(FEDERALJACK) Students United for Justice in Palestine at Florida State University had the great honor of hosting Hedy Epstein for our second annual Palestine Week.
Hedy Epstein is a Kinder Transport survivor who worked in the Nuremburg trials after the war, she then immigrated to the US and became a peace activist.
She has been involved in the anti-war movement, and has taken part of the American flotilla to Gaza, challenging the Israeli blockade.
She has been to the West Bank 5 times and has participated in several non-violent demonstrations against the ongoing Israeli military occupation and settlement building.