“The Gaza health ministry has confirmed the deaths of 234 Palestinians so far in the besieged strip since Israel began its relentless assault on July 8. Among those killed, 52 were aged 16 or younger and 30 were women.
The two youngest victims were both 18 months old. Mohammed Malakiyeh was killed along with his 27-year-old mother, and Ranim Jawde Abdel Ghafour was killed along with a member of her family in Khan Younis. The three oldest victims were all 80 years old.”
“Thousands of Palestinians in Gaza live under the threat of water scarcity due to the fact that Israeli fighter jets bombed wells that provide water to several residential areas in the Gaza Strip. Municipalities in charge of these wells believe that the Israeli targeting of wells is motivated by a decision to destroy the infrastructure in Gaza and to undermine the people’s ability to remain steadfast.
Israeli planes targeted a well located in al-Nasr neighborhood, west of the city of Gaza, which provides water to about 20,000 people and the Ali well in al-Zaitoun area, south of the city, which provides water to about 7,000 people. In addition, three main water lines that feed al-Shujaiya and al-Sabra neighborhoods and provide about 21,000 people with water were also hit.
This targeting appears to be systematic and its obvious objective is to deprive people of water, the single most important element of daily life, especially during the month of Ramadan….”
“For the third time in five years, the world’s fourth largest military power has launched a full-scale armed onslaught on one of its most deprived and overcrowded territories. Since Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip began, just over a week ago, more than 200 Palestinians have been killed. Nearly 80% of the dead are civilians, over 20% of them children.
Around 1,400 have been wounded and 1,255 Palestinian homes destroyed. So far, Palestinian fire has killed one Israeli on the other side of the barrier that makes blockaded Gaza the world’s largest open-air prison.
But instead of demanding a halt to Israel’s campaign of collective punishment against what is still illegally occupied territory, the western powers have blamed the victims for fighting back. If it weren’t for Hamas’s rockets fired out of Gaza’s giant holding pen, they insist, all of this bloodletting would end.
“No country on earth would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders,” Barack Obama declared, echoed by a mostly pliant media. Perhaps it’s scarcely surprising that states which have themselves invaded and occupied a string of Arab and Muslim countries in the past decade should take the side of another occupier they fund and arm to the hilt.
But the idea that Israel is responding to a hail of rockets out of a clear blue sky takes “narrative framing” beyond the realm of fantasy. In fact, after the deal that ended Israel’s last assault on Gaza in 2012, rocketing from Gaza fell to its lowest level for 12 years.
The latest violence is supposed to have been triggered by the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers in the occupied West Bank in June, for which Hamas denied responsibility. But its origin clearly lies in the collapse of US-sponsored negotiations for a final settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the spring.
That was followed by the formation of a “national reconciliation” government by the Fatah and Hamas movements, whose division has been a mainstay of Israeli and US policy. Israeli incursions and killings were then stepped up, including attacks on Palestinian civilians by armed West Bank settlers. In May, two Palestinian teenagers were shot dead by the Israeli army with barely a flicker of interest outside the country.
It’s now clear the Israeli government knew from the start that its own kidnapped teenagers had been killed within hours. But the news was suppressed while a #BringBackOurBoys campaign was drummed up and a sweeping crackdown launched against Hamas throughout the West Bank.
Over 500 activists were arrested and more than half a dozen killed – along with a Palestinian teenager burned to death by settlers. Binyamin Netanyahu’s aim was evidently to signal that whatever deal Hamas had signed with Mahmoud Abbas would never be accepted by Israel.
Gaza had nothing to do with the kidnapping, but Israeli attacks were also launched on the strip and Hamas activists killed. It was those killings and the West Bank campaign that led to Hamas resuming its rocket attacks – and in turn to Israel’s devastating bombardment.
Hamas is now blamed for refusing to accept a ceasefire plan cooked up by Netanyahu and his ally, the Egyptian President Sisi, who overthrew Hamas’s sister organisation the Muslim Brotherhood last year and has since tightened the eight-year siege of Gaza.
But having already suffered so much, many Gazans believe no further truce should be agreed without the lifting of the illegal blockade which has reduced the strip to hunger and beggary and effectively imprisoned its population.
As the independent Palestinian MP Mustafa Barghouti puts it, the Egyptian proposal was a “game” Israel will now use to escalate the war. Some sense of what can now be expected was given by the Israeli reserve major general Oren Shachor, who explained: “If we kill their families, that will frighten them.”
The idea that Israel is defending itself against unprovoked attacks from outside its borders is an absurdity. Despite Israel’s withdrawal of settlements and bases in 2005, Gaza remains occupied both in reality and international law, its border, coastal waters, resources, airspace and power supply controlled by Israel.
So the Palestinians of Gaza are an occupied people, like those in the West Bank, who have the right to resist, by force if they choose – though not deliberately to target civilians. But Israel does not have a right of self-defence over territories it illegally occupies – it has an obligation to withdraw. That occupation, underpinned by the US and its allies, is now entering its 48th year. Most of the 1.8 million Palestinians enduring continuous bombardment in Gaza are themselves refugees or their descendants, who were driven out or fled from cities such as Jaffa 66 years ago when Israel was established….”
“Rallies in support of the Palestinian victims of Israel’s military onslaught were held across the world’s major cities this week. Thousands marched in France, Germany, Argentina, the US, the UK and other countries.
The British capital saw one of the largest turnouts with thousands of protesters rallying outside the Israeli Embassy on Friday. Demonstrators flooded the streets around the building waving placards that read “Gaza: End the Siege” and “Freedom for Palestine.”
A group of 17 protesters brought traffic grinding to a halt on Kensington High Street when they scaled one of the city’s iconic double-decker buses. The activists suspended a banner from the vehicle, emblazoned with the slogan “Judaism rejects the Zionist state and condemns its criminal siege and occupation.”
The same took place in the Norwegian capital, Oslo.
In the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires, the Federation of Palestine Entities, the Committee of Solidarity with Palestine and other human rights groups gathered at the Israeli embassy to voice their protest at the rising death toll of Palestinians at the hands of the Jewish state.
…In France, things got very real in several cities, including Lyon, Toulouse and the capital, Paris, where last Sunday saw more than 10,000 take to the streets – an event that started out peacefully, but ended in stone-throwing between pro-Palestinian supporters and Jewish protesters. Some Jews were holed up in two synagogues guarded by the police against a furious crowd.
…In the United States’ capital, Washington, DC, demonstrators gathered to re-enact Gazan deaths, putting on a performance pretending to be dead as they lay on the pavement outside the White House. Dozens of activists, wearing keffiyeh scarves and shirts blotted with fake blood attended the spectacle.
“Authentic Rabbis always opposed Zionism,” one Jewish banner read, as a segment of the faith gathered in solidarity. Yisroel Dovid Weiss of the organization Jews United against Zionism told RT that “this ideology Zionism is transformation purely from religion to nationalism… it has no basis in the Torah. The Torah in fact clearly states that we are forbidden since the destruction of the temple 2,000 years ago to create our own sovereignty.”
“Of all the partners in international crime in existence right now, the United States and Israel are the worst. Along with their less powerful cohorts like Saudi Arabia they have instigated occupations and carnage on a mass scale. Yet while one hand washes the other, it isn’t always clear who controls whom. Israel uses the political and economic muscle of its supporters to keep American politicians in line, but it also doesn’t have to work very hard to find a receptive ear in Washington.
A Department of Justice memorandum written by David Barron, now an Obama-appointed federal judge, legitimizes extra judicial killings on the grounds that Israel does the same thing. A 2006 Israeli Supreme Court decision ruled that targeted assassination of hundreds of Palestinians were legal and did not violate international law.
Israel becomes the convenient excuse for American criminality but it also acts like this country’s worst enemy. Israel has been caught spying on the United States numerous times. It killed 34 sailors when it attacked the USS Liberty in 1967, murdered United States citizens Rachel Corrie and Furkan Dolgan and uses the threat of electoral defeat to keep American politicians in line. None of these outrages ever damage Israel’s ability to get its way in Washington. Even local and state legislators around the country are loath to stray from the Zionist party line.
Yet Israel is also the tool for American imperialism. Its purported need for security is used as an excuse to destroy the Iranian economy with sanctions, or anything else which also serves U.S. imperial interests. The two countries are true “frenemies,” dependent upon one another while also engaging in high level dysfunction.
Right now Israel is getting its way in Gaza as it kills men, women and children with impunity.
The corporate media in the United States and other western nations ignore, minimize or tell outright lies about the ongoing massacre. In the most egregious example, ABC news used video showing destruction in Gaza and claimed the footage came from Israel.
Barack Obama and his other partners in world gangsterism such as the prime ministers of Canada, the United Kingdom and other NATO countries blurt out the same lying rhetoric. Like robots they report the same mantra that only Israel, the country with almost no casualties, has a right to defend itself. The Palestinians only have the right to be killed.
War crimes prosecutions are never meant for the powerful countries and their friends. If that were so, Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu and Tony Blair and King Abdullah and George W. Bush and Paul Kagame would all be in the dock.”
“The US State Department absolved Israel of responsibility for the murder of four Palestinian children in Gaza on Wednesday, placing the blame squarely on Hamas.
The four children were killed and three others badly wounded by Israeli fire as they played on a beach in Gaza on Wednesday afternoon. Dozens of international journalists stationed at the nearby Al-Deira Hotel watched in horror as after an initial strike, Israeli fire chased after the terrified children as they ran for their lives screaming for help, firing at them a second time.
Forty-six children have been killed and hundreds more injured during Israel’s relentless bombing of the besieged Gaza Strip, now in its tenth day. But this latest slaughter happened in the presence of journalists from major media outlets accross the globe, garnering more attention for the killings than they would have otherwise received.
During Wednesday’s US State Department press briefing, a reporter asked, “How is an Israeli airstrike on what can only be described as a civilian target in full view of international journalists be [sic] acceptable to the US government?”
State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki replied that the loss of life in Gaza is “absolutely tragic,” but she blamed Hamas for the deaths, specifically citing Hamas’ rejection of a unilateral ceasefire proposal by Egypt and Israel, which Hamas was never consulted on.
…Asked if the State Department agrees with the report’s demand that Israel stop bombing civilians in Gaza, Psaki responded that the administration does not believe Israel is violating international law. …”
“ The ANC in South Africa condemned Israeli crimes but the NDP in Canada, a self-described ‘leftist’ party, supported them.
The African National Congress (ANC) is the ruling party in South Africa. It has condemned Zionist barbarism in Gaza in unequivocal terms.
The New Democratic Party (NDP) of Canada that claims it supports the rights of workers and downtrodden, has only condemned the abduction and killing of three Zionist settlers but not that of the Palestinians.
The NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar was quick to issue a statement condemning the killing of three Israeli squatters in the West Bank.
“The targeting of civilians for abduction and murder – most egregiously children – is a reprehensible act of terror. All youth have a right to live, learn, and grow in peace, protected by international law and human decency,” said Dewar in a statement on his website.
He urged the Canadian government to help Israel and the Palestinian Authority to “work together to find the perpetrators of this crime and hold them accountable.”
The pro-zionist regime of Stephen Harper in Canada needs no prompting from the NDP to fully support Zionist crimes. In a statement on July 13, Harper parroted the old line of “Israel’s right to defend itself.” Israel has murdered in cold blood more than 200 Palestinian civilians so far, two thirds of them civilians.
The abduction, torture and horrible murder by burning alive of 16-year-old Mohamed Abu Khdeir has elicited only a tepid response from Dewar Abu Khdeir was kidnapped in broad daylight from a street in Jerusalem.
His abductors, Zionist settlers, poured gasoline over his body and into his mouth before setting him on fire. His charred remains were discovered a few hours later.
Autopsy reports confirmed that he was burnt alive.
The ANC, also claiming to stand up for the rights of downtrodden, does not suffer from such hypocrisy. In a July 11 statement, the ANC deputy Secretary-General Jessie Duarte strongly condemned Israel’s “barbaric attacks” on Gaza likening the Zionist regime to the Nazis.
Ms Duarte said the Zionists had turned the “occupied territories of Palestine into permanent death camps.”
She went on to demand that “the recent attacks must cease as well as the ongoing and illegal Israeli occupation and collective Israeli punishment of the Palestinians.”
There has been a perceptible shift toward the right among Canadian political parties, even those that claim to represent the left. Their shift toward pro-zionist policies is most pronounced both by the conservative Harper regime as well as the official opposition, the NDP.”