West Bank / Jerusalem / Historic Palestine
Clashes across West Bank and East Jerusalem overnight
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 29 July — Intense clashes erupted across East Jerusalem and the West Bank on Tuesday, as thousands of Palestinians took to the streets in renewed demonstrations in solidarity with the besieged Gaza Strip. Israeli forces violently suppressed protests across the region, injuring and arresting demonstrators in the neighborhoods of Jabal al-Mukabber and al-Issawiya in East Jerusalem as well as in the villages of Beit Rima, al-Janiyeh, Safa, and Ras Karkar around Ramallah.
East Jerusalem: Intense clashes erupted late Monday between Palestinians and Israeli police forces in the Jabal al-Mukabber neighborhood of East Jerusalem, locals said. Locals told Ma‘an that local youths were protesting the Israeli “massacres” in the Gaza Strip when police arrived to disperse the demonstration, injuring eight youths with rubber-coated steel bullets … In the course of the clashes, locals reported that an Israeli settler from Nof Tsiyon shot live fire at youths, who responded with rocks and fireworks. No injuries were reported. A march set off through al-‘Issawiya streets in solidarity with the people of Gaza Strip and protesting against the Israeli offensive, but Israeli police forces rapidly arrived to suppress it. Member of a local activist committee Muhammad Abu al-Hummus said that dozens were suffocated by tear-gas canisters while soldiers haphazardly sprayed “Skunk water” throughout the streets and alleyways of the neighborhood. Many youths were injured with rubber-coated steel bullets, including some injured in the head. The majority of injuries were reported to be between light and moderate … Israeli forces detained Muhammad Ali Nasser, 49, and his brother Ahmad Ali Nasser, 47, after assaulting them for “wearing Gaza solidarity shirts,” Abu al-Hummus added.
West Bank: Israeli forces early Tuesday detained two Palestinians from Beit Rima north of Ramallah after clashes erupted in the village. Ex-prisoner Mahmoud Aziz al-Rimawi was detained after Israeli soldiers raided his house. Al-Rimawi’s father was injured and taken to a hospital after a police dog attacked him. Ghassan Kamal al-Rimawi was also detained after being shot in the foot with live fire by Israeli soldiers. In al-Janiyeh village west of Ramallah, meanwhile, three Palestinians were injured with live fire and others were suffocated from tear gas during clashes … Youths threw rocks and empty bottles at soldiers who shot live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets and tear-gas grenades at them. Israeli soldiers shot live fire “randomly” at youths and residents’ houses while chasing youths through the alleyways of the village in an attempt to detain some. Clashes also erupted following a protest against the Israeli offensive against Gaza Strip in the village of Safa west of Ramallah between Palestinians and Israeli forces. Many Palestinian youths were injured with rubber-coated steel bullets, while others were suffocated with tear-gas bombs during clashes that erupted late Monday in Ras Karkar village west of Ramallah.
Hebron youth succumbs to wounds from Israeli gunfire
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 29 July — Doctors at Al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron on Tuesday morning pronounced Ahmad Alaa Jihad Zoughair [Wafa: Ala’a Izghayyar] dead from wounds received in clashes with Israeli forces nine days before. The death brings to 12 [???] the total number of Palestinians who have been killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank in protests in solidarity with Gaza since the Israeli assault that has killed more than 1,100 began three weeks ago. Jibreen al-Tameezi from the Palestinian Red Crescent told Ma‘an that Zoughair was wounded during clashes with Israeli forces at the entrance to the town of Idhna west of Hebron. Zoughair was struck in the abdomen by an exploding bullet, al-Tameezi said. A funeral will be held at noon for Zoughair at al-Omari Mosque.
Palestinians suffocate by tear gas in clashes near Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (WAFA) 29 July – Several Palestinians Tuesday suffered from tear gas suffocation, while a youth was arrested during confrontations with Israeli forces in the town of al-Khader, south of Bethlehem, according to a local activist. Coordinator of the anti-wall and settlement committee Ahmad Salah told WAFA that forces fired rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas and acoustic canisters towards residents in the town, causing several suffocation cases against them. Forces also chased Palestinian youths and arrested one whose identity is still unknown.
VIDEO: West Bank Palestinians politically divided, but united in anger
BBC 29 July — The conflict in Gaza has caused a rise in tensions in the West Bank and thousands have protested against Israel’s actions in Gaza, with at least ten Palestinians killed in clashes with the Israeli army [short interview in a cemetery with the widow of Hashem Abu Maria, killed in Beit Ummar 25 July]. However, the anger of many Palestinians is not focused solely at Israel, but also at their own political leaders.Jon Donnison reports.
US urges Israel to expedite case of US-Palestinian teen held in Israel custody
WASHINGTON (WAFA) 29 July – The US urged Tuesday Israel to expedite the case of a US-Palestinian teen who has been held in Israeli custody for three weeks on charges of participating in a protest in East Jerusalem amid concerns that he has been mistreated. According to the AFP, Mohammad Abu Nia, 15, was arrested on July 3 and was charged with stone-throwing, carrying a knife and participating in organizing a protest in East Jerusalem. State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said: “Considering his age, we are calling for a speedy resolution to this case. This 15-year-old has now been held for three weeks in Israeli custody and has seen his parents only once briefly during that night. She expressed the department’s grave concerns about holding Abu Nia in custody. She stated: “We are certainly gravely concerned about the detention of an American citizen child.” She noted that US consular officials visited Abu Nia on July 17 while he was detained in an Israeli jail and attended a hearing session on July 22. Responding to media reports that Abu Nia was physically assaulted before being arrested, Psaki said: “We are concerned about allegations that he has been mistreated while in custody. We obviously take all such allegations seriously and raise them with authorities as appropriate.”
2 settlers attempt to kidnap Palestinian child in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 29 July — Two Israeli settlers attempted to “kidnap” a two-year old Palestinian from Jerusalem while he was walking with his father and two sisters in Shu‘fat neighborhood in northern Jerusalem on Monday, the family said. Taha Riyad Tufahha‘s father told Ma‘an that he was taking a walk with his two daughters and two-year-old son in Shu‘fat when suddenly a Jewish settler approached and attempted to grab the child who was walking a few meters away from his father. The father said that a group of people who were in the street intervened and prevented the kidnapping attempt, however. The father added that the settler fled the place in a car with another woman towards the Ramot settlement. Palestinians have reported numerous attempts at kidnapping children as well as mob attacks since early July, when three Israeli youths were found to have been killed after hitchhiking near a settlement in the West Bank. In the most brutal attack, Muhammad Abu Khdeir, 16, was beaten and then burned alive by Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem on July 2.
Israeli forces arrest 10 Palestinians in West Bank, assault others in Hebron town
HEBRON (WAFA) 28 July – Israeli forces arrested Monday 10 Palestinians from the West Bank areas and assaulted Palestinians visiting the graves of their relatives in Yatta and Beit Ummar to the south and north of Hebron respectively, said two local activists. Israeli forces raided Yatta, where they arrested three Palestinians, including two brothers, aged 28 and 35 years, after breaking into and ransacking their homes, according to Coordinator of the Popular Anti-wall and Settlement Committee Rateb Jabour. In Bethlehem, forces arrested seven Palestinians from the village of Nahlin [or Nahhalin], including six between the ages of 16 and 19.
Meanwhile, Israeli forces assaulted Palestinians while they were visiting the graves of their relatives in a cemetery adjacent to Jerusalem Hebron Road, prompting scuffles with them said Coordinator of the Popular Anti-wall and Settlement Committee in Beit Ummar Mohammad ‘Awad. Muslims in many parts of the world, including Palestinian Muslims, celebrated Monday Eid Al-Fitr, marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. They visit the cemeteries to pay their respect to their dead relatives. Children buy new clothes, shoes and toys and relatives visit each other. Palestinian Muslims, have announced, however, that they are not celebrating the Eid but will only observe the religious rituals in solidarity with the Gaza population who have been under heavy Israeli bombardment for 21 days.
Video: Free the bubbles
HEBRON, Occupied Palestine (ISM, Khalil Team) 30 July — At approximately 1 pm on [Monday] July 28th, international volunteers made giant bubbles with Palestinian children to celebrate Eid, in Tel Rumeida, al-Khalil (Hebron). Several settlers passed by in their cars and were visibly annoyed, and two stopped to complain to the Israeli soldiers present. At 1:30 pm, a group of settler youth started pushing Palestinian children who were playing on Tel Rumeida hill. Several Palestinian women stepped in to prevent the violence. Shortly after this, more settler children and a settler woman, who identified herself as Tzippi, came down from the illegal settlement of Tel Rumeida and began aggressively photographing Palestinians. Tzippi claimed that her children had been assaulted. She pushed several Palestinians and put her camera extremely close to several of their faces. One Palestinian girl tried to run away and Tzippi chased her up the street. Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers pushed Palestinians an attempted to force some of them into their houses. Eventually, Tzippi chased the Palestinian girl into her own garden. She was then joined by more settlers. An international volunteer blocked her path, by standing with his back to her with his arms outstretched. Soldiers then rushed into the garden and started shouting at Tzippi. After a short time the Israeli police arrived. The settlers wrongly accused several Palestinians and the international activist of pushing them. These lies were contradicted by several videos that showed what happened and were shown to the police. Nevertheless, five Palestinians and the international volunteer were arrested by the Israeli police. They were held for around seven hours, and interrogated. One of the Palestinians remained in handcuffs and leg chains throughout his detention. Meanwhile, the settlers wandered around the police station pointing out Palestinians who they claimed had assaulted them. These Palestinians were all together in a room with no other Palestinians, and were either in chains or behind an interrogation desk in connection with this case. The “identification” process was therefore of no evidential value.During his interrogation, the police told the international activist that the settlers were very angry and had filed a complaint about the bubbles. The police officer said that he was not taking that particular complaint further because, “it is not illegal for Palestinian children to play.” The police also accepted his account of the incident. However, they police nevertheless took the fingerprints and DNA of those who had been arrested and only released them subject to strict conditions.
Three shot and injured, several suffocation cases during clashes in Hebron town
HEBRON (WAFA) 28 July – Three Palestinians were injured Monday morning with live ammunition and several others suffocated during clashes that erupted with Israeli forces at the northern entrance of Yatta to the south of Hebron, said a local activist. The town residents rallied in solidarity with besieged Gaza population who have been under heavy bombardment for the past twenty one days.
Israeli forces arrest Palestinian police officer in Yatta
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 28 July — Israeli forces on early Monday arrested a Palestinian police officer from Yatta on Monday. Police officials in Hebron told Ma‘an that Thaer Abd Harb al-Hureini was arrested on his way to morning prayers.
Dozens injured in Jerusalem-area clashes with Israeli forces
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) 28 July — Dozens of Palestinians were injured late Sunday during clashes with Israeli forces in East Jerusalem and Abu Dis, local spokespeople said. Some 14 Palestinians were injured by live bullets during clashes with Israeli forces in Abu Dis east of Jerusalem, a local popular committee spokesman said. Hani Halabiya told Ma‘an that some Palestinians had been hit by live bullets in the legs, while others had been hit in their arms and stomachs. Israeli forces shot a paramedic, Daoud Affana, with live fire in the foot, Halabiya said. Two other volunteers for the Red Crescent were injured, he added.
In Shu‘fat refugee camp in East Jerusalem, seven youths were injured by rubber-coated bullets and dozens suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation, said Thair al-Fasfus, a local Fatah spokesperson. An elderly man was taken to hospital by Red Crescent medics after inhaling tear gas, the spokesman said. During the clashes, youths threw a Molotov cocktail at the military checkpoint of Shu‘fat refugee camp, briefly setting fire to watchtower.
PCHR: Temporary ceasefire reveals mass destruction in Beit Hanoun, Sheja‘eyya
PCHR-Gaza 27 July — very detailed PCHR report on developments in Gaza since the last press release issued on Friday at noon
Gaza bombardment kills at least 100
BBC 30 July — More than 100 Palestinians are said to have been killed in the last 24 hours after Israel intensified its bombardment of Gaza. An Israeli military spokesman said the strikes signalled a “gradual increase in the pressure” on Hamas. Palestinian officials now say 1,156 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed in the fighting since 8 July. Some 6,700 have been injured. Israel has lost 53 soldiers and three civilians. Ian Pannell reports from Gaza.
List of Palestinians killed: 7/8 to 7/30
IMEMC — This list is constantly updated due to the ongoing Israeli assault on Gaza since July 8th. The following 1056 names have been confirmed – the actual number is over 1267. We realize the number of slain Palestinians is higher than this. The Ministry of Health has stated that a total of at least 1100 Palestinians have been killed, but we are still awaiting confirmation of some names. This site, ‘Beyond Numbers’, has pictures of many of these victims. [One of those killed on Wednesday, 30 July, in a strike on an apartment building known as the Italian Residential Tower in Gaza City, was ‘Aed Zaqqout, coach of the Palestine National Football Team]
Deadly Israeli shelling hits UN school as Hamas mulls truce
GAZA CITY (AFP) 30 July — An Israeli shelling on a UN school in Gaza killed 20 people early Wednesday, medics said, as Palestinian factions were to head to Cairo to discuss a temporary humanitarian ceasefire … On Wednesday morning, the Israeli shell slammed into the UN school being used as a shelter for those displaced by fighting, killing 20 people, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said. A UN official put the death toll at 16. The shell hit the Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) girls’ school in Jabalia refugee camp. The incident occurred after 5:30 am (0230 GMT), and a couple of hours after Israeli tanks had begun heavy shelling in the area. An AFP correspondent said that at least one shell had hit the school — the outer wall of the complex was damaged by shellfire, and in a bombed-out classroom, people were picking body parts off a blood-soaked floor. A number of donkeys killed by the shelling lay outside. Displaced Palestinians who had already had to leave their homes quickly gathered belongings and fled the building. It came as a Palestinian delegation prepared for a trip to Cairo to discuss a temporary humanitarian ceasefire…
Heavy Israeli bombardment of Gaza overnight Monday to Tuesday killed scores of Palestinians after they marked the beginning of the Muslim Eid festival, medics said. Israel’s aerial, naval and artillery shellings have killed some 1,262 Palestinians in the bloodiest conflict in six years, and the vast majority of Palestinian dead are civilians, according to the UN. Hamas fire, including thousands of rockets launched at Israel, has killed 53 soldiers and three civilians.
Fresh Israeli strikes kill two children ahead of truce talks
GAZA CITY (AFP) 30 July By Sakher Abou El Oun & John Davison — Fresh Israeli bombardments rocked Gaza in the early hours of Wednesday, killing two children, as Palestinian factions were to head to Cairo to discuss a temporary humanitarian ceasefire — … And the fighting continued Wednesday morning, when the first Israeli bombardments of the day killed two girls and a middle-aged man. A shelling in the northern Gaza Strip killed an 11-year-old handicapped girl [probably Sojoud Abdul-Hakim Oleyyan], emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said, with a subsequent shelling in the centre of the small coastal territory killing a 16-year-old girl [probably Asma’ Abu al-Kaas] … Rights groups expressed growing alarm Tuesday at the number of child victims of the conflict. The more than 240 children who have died represent at least 29 percent of civilian casualties, the United Nations children’s fund, UNICEF, said in a statement, adding that another six children in Israel had been wounded from Gaza rocket fire. “We see children killed, injured, mutilated and burnt, in addition to being terrified to their core. The consequences run much deeper than previous flare-ups” in Gaza, UNICEF’s Gaza field office chief Pernille Ironside said.
Seriously wounded Gaza child dies at a Jerusalem hospital
IMEMC/Agencies 29 July by Saed Bannoura — A Palestinian child who was seriously injured several days ago when the army fired a missile into a street in Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, died on Tuesday at the St. Joseph (French) Hospital in occupied Jerusalem. The Ma‘an News Agency has reported that Zaher Ahmad Najjar, 6, suffered a serious injury a few days ago, after the army fired fired a missile targeting a motorcycle rider, in Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. The targeted Palestinian was killed, and as several residents gathered in the area, the Israeli Air Force fired a second missile, leading to several casualties, and Najjar suffered a serious injury. The child was moved to Khan Younis Hospital, before he was moved to the Gaza European Hospital and then to St. Joseph Hospital due to the seriousness of his condition. He was declared clinically dead, and passed away Tuesday. His body will be moved back to the Gaza Strip Wednesday, Ma‘an stated.
Head of the St. Joseph Hospital, Jamil Kousa, stated that 21 wounded Palestinians are currently receiving treatment at the hospital, and that the hospital is ready and willing to provide all needed treatment for patients and wounded Palestinians who suffered very serious injuries, such as head injuries, and severe burns. Kousa stated the hospital urgently needs respiratory machines, and equipment. Families of a few wounded Palestinians managed to transfer their wounded loved ones to the Al-Maqassed Hospital in Jerusalem, Augusta Victoria and St. Joseph hospital in occupied Jerusalem.
Hoax alert: video of ‘child firing an RPG on Gaza Beach’ actually from Libya
Electronic Intifada 29 July by Asa Winstanley — Earlier this month The Electronic Intifada rumbled a hoax video claiming to show “Hamas using children as human shields” – in fact the video was from Syria. Two days ago another hoax video, this one titled “Palestinian child firing an RPG on Gaza Beach July 2014,” was uploaded to YouTube. But in fact the video is not from from Palestine at all. The original appears to have been uploaded to LiveLeak three days ago. The description of the video says it may have been from Libya. The New York Daily News yesterday said the video was from Libya … Update: Maha Rezeq, a Palestinian journalist based in London, grew up in Libya and tells me: “It’s Libya. The Arabic dialect is clearly Libyan. Plus, the shore and houses are 100 percent Libyan.” … Propaganda YouTube user “cockneydoll” clearly intended to deceive by altering the LiveLeak description to invent the idea that the video is from Gaza, in order to justify wanton Israeli murder of children in Gaza. In the video’s description, the user claims the video “calls into question the entire validity of the Palestinian claims that four innocent Palestinian children were killed by Israel on a beach in Gaza.”
Israel has completely destroyed 5,000 Gaza homes, damaged 26,000
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 29 July — The Palestinian Ministry of Health said on Tuesday that nearly 5,000 homes had been destroyed in Gaza as of late Monday, a number expected to rise amid renewed bombardment. Ministry spokesman in Gaza Ashraf al-Qidra said that a total of 4,987 homes have been completely destroyed by Israeli shelling and airstrikes in the last 22 days. 26,270 homes, meanwhile, have been partially destroyed, of which 4,136 are no longer suitable for habitation. The statements come after Israeli authorities gave evacuation orders to more than 400,000 residents of northern Gaza on Monday, including two major neighborhoods in Gaza City. The United Nations said on Tuesday that 215,000 Gazans had fled their homes amid the bloodiest Israeli assault on the besieged coastal enclave since 2009.
Gazan tries to answer his son’s question: Who broke the house?
Haaretz 29 July by Amira Hass — The 4-year-old son of a Gazan artist who happens to be related to a Hamas commander wants to know why he doesn’t have a home anymore — At 1:30 A.M. on Wednesday, July 16, the Azara family’s cell phone rang. The mother answered, and quickly hung up in fright. Then Samer Azara’s phone rang, and the 26-year-old police officer answered. The caller, Azara related, introduced himself as David from the Israel Defense Forces and told him in good Arabic: “You have three minutes to leave your house. I intend to launch a missile at the Issa house, your neighbors. What’s most important is that you remove the children; I don’t care about the adults.” “I told him there are many children, about 50. How will we manage to get them all out in three minutes?” Azara recalled. “And he told me, ‘You have a lot of children; what do you do with them all?’ and slammed down the phone.”
13 members of extended family killed in Gaza strikes
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 29 July — Over a dozen members of a single family were killed in Israel strikes on Tuesday, as three homes belonging to the extended family in southern Gaza were leveled. Thirteen family members of the al-Agha family were killed early in the day in Israeli airstrikes targeting three houses in Khan Younis belonging to the al-Agha family….
DFLP leader killed with his family in Israeli airstrike
KHAN YOUNIS (PIC) 29 July — The leader in Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), Wadah Abu Amer, was killed on Tuesday evening along with his wife and his five sons in an Israeli airstrike on his home in Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip. The DFLP strongly condemned Abu Amer’s assassination, stressing the importance of armed resistance option as the sole option to defeat and remove the occupation. The DFLP said that Israel’s continued crimes against the Palestinian people require holding an urgent PLO meeting, and accelerating efforts to sign the Rome Statute in order to join the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israeli officials for committing war crimes.
link to www.palestine-info.co.
List of families targeted by Israeli shellings, airstrikes
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 28 July — Israeli forces have repeatedly struck family homes throughout its assault on Gaza, and the Ministry of Health calculates that over 50 families have been targeted. Airstrikes and shellings have targeted 52 families and killed 285 members of those families since the beginning of the offensive, according to the ministry … Human Rights Watch said in a July 20 report that various Israeli attacks on civilian targets throughout the conflict were “apparent violations of the laws of war.” HRW found during an investigation that Israel had targeted one family who had relatives active in the Islamic Jihad movement, even though no one living in the house was a part of the movement. The rights group found no evidence the home was being used for military purposes. The Israeli strike killed five members of the family, the HRW report said…
Below is a list of family’s the Ministry of Health says were targeted by Israeli shellings or airstrikes:
1. Hamad family in Beit Hanoun, 6 killed.
2. Kaware family in Khan Younis, 8 killed.
3. Al-Manasrah family in central Gaza Strip, 4 killed.
4. Al-Hajj family in Khan Younis, 8 killed.
5. Abu Jame family in Khan Younis, 2 killed.
6. Abdulghafour family in Khan Younis, 2 killed.
7. Ghannam family in Rafah, 4 killed.
8. Al-Arja family in Rafah, 2 killed.
9. Al-Astal family in Khan Younis, 15 killed.
10. Al-Sawali family in Khan Younis, 2 killed.
11. Al-Batsh family in Gaza City, 17 killed.
Authority: Gaza power plant damage needs at least a year to repair
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 29 July — The only power plant supplying electricity to the Gaza Strip was knocked out of commission by Israeli shelling and will need at least a year to repair, deputy director of the energy authority in the Palestinian territory said Tuesday. “Gaza’s sole power plant has stopped working due to Israeli shelling last night, which damaged the steam generator and later hit the fuel tanks which set them on fire,” Fathi al-Sheikh Khalil told AFP. The power authority also said that the damage could take up to a year to fix, meaning that already severe power outages in the besieged coastal enclave could be worsened even further. As a result of an eight-year Israeli siege on Gaza that limits the supply of fuel into the Strip, power is only allotted in eight-hour stretches, with frequent cuts. An AFP reporter saw huge fires raging near the plant Tuesday morning, noting that fire department vehicles were still unable to reach the area. The damage of the power plant exacerbated the heavy damage to civilian infrastructure in Gaza already inflicted during the 22 days of the Israeli offensive aimed at stamping out militant rocket fire and destroying attack tunnels. Besides the power plant, Gaza also purchases electricity from Israel, but many of the supply lines have been badly damaged by the recent fighting, Sheikh Khalil said … Gaza has been forced into dependence on Israeli electricity as a result of the siege, which has crippled domestic production and repair capabilities.
Gaza doctors save baby from her dead mother’s womb
KHAN YUNIS (AFP) 28 July by Mai Yaghi — When the doctors gently pulled the tiny newborn from her mother’s womb in an emergency Caesarian section, the woman had already been dead for an hour. Twenty-three-year-old Shayma al-Sheikh Qanan was eight months pregnant when an Israeli tank shell hit her home in the central Gaza Strip town of Deir al-Balah, reducing it to rubble. She was left in critical condition and her husband, a local radio journalist, was also badly wounded. “Her body was brought in after an Israeli shelling at 3:00 am on Friday [25 July],” said Doctor Fadi al-Kharti, who was at Deir al-Balah hospital when she was rushed in. “We tried to revive her but she had died on the way to hospital.” Before paramedics managed to dig her out, she had been stuck under the rubble of her home for an hour. “Then we noticed movement in her stomach, and estimated she was about 36 weeks pregnant,” he says. Doctors performed an immediate Caesarian section and saved the baby, who was named after her late mother. For 43-year-old Mirfat Qanan, it was a tragedy to lose her daughter, but she was delighted at becoming a grandmother for the first time … Abdel Karim al-Bawab, head doctor at the maternity ward, said staff were keeping a close eye on the baby to monitor her condition. “The child is in serious condition, and needs to be constantly hooked up to a breathing machine since she was oxygen-deprived between her mother’s death and her birth,” he told AFP. “Her vital signs are stable, but she must stay here in this state for at least three more weeks,” he said. Qanan’s eyes filled with tears. “She had really been looking forward to being a mother,” she said, her voice cracking. “What did Shayma do to deserve to die and lie under rubble for an hour without being recovered? “What did she do to Israel to make it destroy her house on top of her without any warning?” she asked. “She was just a young wife who had only been married a year.” Relatives said F-16 warplanes had fired two missiles at the house which was located in a densely-populated neighbourhood.
10 Palestinians killed as Israel bombs Gaza playground
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 28 July — Israeli forces on Monday bombed a park near the beach in Gaza City killing at least 10 Palestinians including eight children on the first day of the Eid al-Fitr holiday, medics said. The strike on the park in al-Shati refugee camp — which reports suggested was a drone strike — hit the playground, killing 10 people, mostly children as they played with their families while wearing holiday clothes they had been given to celebrate the end of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan. Eyewitnesses said that 40 were also injured in the strike, which some were calling an “Eid massacre.” Spokesman for the Interior Ministry in Gaza Iyad al-Buzm said that explosives experts from the Gaza police had examined “the targeted places and the remnants of shells there” as well as the wounds on the bodies, determining them to be inflicted by an Israeli strike … Another strike around the same time hit the outpatient clinic of al-Shifa Hospital, which is the main hospital in the besieged coastal enclave, but no casualties were reported…
Some 400,000 Gazans seek shelter in schools, parks
Haaretz 30 July by Amira Hass — Many of the displaced, especially children, have developed intestinal, skin or eye diseases due to poor sanitary conditions and spoiled food — …The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says that since the Israel Defense Forces began its ground operation in Gaza, it has been gradually creating no-go zones three kilometers wide all along the Gaza-Israel border. These zones currently encompass some 44 percent of the Strip’s total territory. Initially, the IDF urged residents of this band to evacuate, via fliers dropped from airplanes, announcements in the media and recorded phone calls. It then began shelling the houses. Between Monday night and Tuesday evening, IDF fire killed 118 Palestinians, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. Based on the scale of the destruction in the evacuated areas, it looks like the army’s goal wasn’t a temporary evacuation, but the creation of a permanent buffer zone devoid of buildings. The displaced people have sought refuge everywhere: in schools, public parks, several churches, shop warehouses, garages, houses of relatives or friends, and empty houses whose owners have opened them to the refugees free of charge. As the IDF advances west and south, it is bombing and shelling more towns and neighborhoods, displacing even more people.
OCHA Gaza Emergency Situation Report (as of 29 July 1500 hrs)
[larger map of buffer zone here — when zooming in you need to wait for a while for it to come into focus] … The Israeli army warned all Palestinian civilians living within the Israeli-imposed three kilometer wide ‘buffer zone’ [44% of Gaza] to evacuate the area, except for three localities, ahead of further attacks. The number of IDPs [internally displaced persons] exceeds 240,000; UNRWA has exhausted its absorption capacity in Gaza City and northern Gaza, while overcrowding at its shelters raises concerns about the outbreak of epidemics
Israel shelling kills 2 Palestinians
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 28 July — The death toll in Gaza increased by ten on Monday as two Palestinians were killed by Israeli shelling in the north, seven bodies were pulled from rubble in the south, and another succumbed to his wounds, a Ma‘an reporter said. Israeli forces early afternoon shelled the al-Salam neighborhood in eastern Jabaliya, killing two Palestinians, one of them a child.
The shelling targeted houses the neighborhood, killing Muhammad Abu Luz, 22, and four-year-old Samih Jibril Junaid. Hamas’ al-Qassam Brigades clashed with Israeli forces in the area, firing six mortars at soldiers. The militants also fired at soldiers with small arms weaponry.
7 bodies pulled from Khuzaa near Khan Younis
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 28 July — [Monday] Palestinian search teams were able to enter the village of Khuza‘a near Khan Younis, and collected seven dead bodies from rubble. The village has been hit hard by Israeli shelling and airstrikes, leaving dozens dead on July 22 alone. Israeli forces have since besieged the area and severely limited access to ambulances and medical teams searching for dead and survivors. Some 15 ambulances were waiting near the village earlier Monday, waiting for permission from the army to enter.
WATCH: Qassam fighters ‘infiltrate Israel, kill soldier’
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 29 July — A video aired on the Hamas-affiliated al-Aqsa TV station late Tuesday purports to show fighters from its military wing infiltrating Israel and killing a soldier. The video, which has not been verified by Ma‘an, shows several al-Qassam Brigades fighters climb out through a tunnel and enter an Israeli military base before engaging in a firefight with soldiers.
The footage then shows the militants killing a soldier, and later shows a masked fighter holding an Israeli assault rifle presumably taken during the raid. The group said 10 soldiers were killed in the attack on the Nahal Oz military base on Monday, while the Israeli military had confirmed at least five of its soldiers were killed … Before the video was aired, al-Qassam Brigades’ commander Muhammad Deif made a televised statement on al-Aqsa TV. “We have deliberately targeted Israeli military targets while our enemy targets civilians and children,” Deif said. “We will not accept any middle-ground solution,” Deif said. “There will not be a ceasefire without the stopping of the offensive and a lifting of the siege.”
Al-Aqsa TV channel building hit by Israeli warplanes
GAZA (PIC) 29 July — Al-Aqsa TV Channel building in Gaza City has been totally destroyed after being directly hit at dawn Tuesday with two missiles. Significant damage was reported. Al-Aqsa TV Channel continued to broadcast despite the Israeli bombing of its headquarters. Al-Aqsa Channel building has been targeted more than once during the two previous Israeli aggressions on Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, al-Aqsa radio went silent after Israeli warplanes bombed a media building housing al-Aqsa TV channel and radio station in the center of Gaza City early on Tuesday morning … Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, said that Israel targeted al-Aqsa Channel because it was exposing its crimes in Gaza. [see The Guardian’s VIDEO of the attack here]
link to www.palestine-info.co.
#GazaUnderAttack destruction revealed in UN satellite image
Sabbah.biz 29 July by Haitham Sabbah — A United Nations agency releases satellite imagery showing the level of destruction of buildings and infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. The images, released by Unosat/Unitar, shows different areas from Gaza Strip, including areas of Gaza City – Beit Hanoun, Shajaiyah, Toffah, Shaaf, Nuseirat, Al Burayj, Al Ruwaydah, Nahal Qatif and Al Musadar … Using a satellite image collected 25 July 2014 by the Pleiades satellite, and compared with a pre-crisis Pleiades image collected 6 July 2014, UNOSAT analysis has identified 214 destroyed structures, 122 severely damaged structures, and 103 moderately damaged structures. In addition, 32 craters on roads and in agricultural and non-urbanized areas are also visible as of 25 July 2014.
Germany remains silent on massacre of its citizens in Gaza
Kabul (Electronic Intifada) 29 July by Ali M. Latifi — Days after his father, stepmother and their five children were killed in an Israeli airstrike on 21 July, Ramsis Kilani still cannot grieve their deaths. As it has for nearly two decades of his life, occupation and distance continue to cut Kilani off from his family, even in death. Israel’s ongoing onslaught in Gaza, which has killed more than 1,200 Palestinians since 7 July, means the 23-year-old cannot travel from Germany to his family’s native Gaza to preside over the funerary processions as the eldest son. Unable to pay them the proper rites, Ramsis decided to honor his family the only way he knew how, by speaking up. Like Ramsis himself, all seven of his slain family members were German citizens. But the Berlin government has yet to issue a condemnation or send its condolences. Instead, it has merely asked Israel to clarify the circumstances surrounding the killing … According to Ramsis, his family was preparing to break the day’s fast at their Gaza City residence when an Israeli airstrike leveled their apartment building. There was no warning before they were buried under the Salam building … Despite their German passports, the Kilanis had few hopes of escaping the bombings. Yasser Arafat International Airport has not been operational since an Israeli attack in 2001 and Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport had been rendered inaccessible due to years of closure. In fact, Reem, his twelve-year-old step-sister, had already seen three massive Israeli bombing campaigns before this latest one cut her own life short. The family was left with little option other than to move three times from the suburbs to the city in hopes of fleeing the air raids. Though his father, Ibrahim, an architect who graduated from university in Cologne, managed to live a relatively comfortable life after returning to Gaza fourteen years ago, a lack of building materials and economic uncertainty in the Gaza Strip greatly reduced the elder Kilani’s work prospects. Targeted for no reason Ramsis told me his father had no connection to Hamas, the ruling party in Gaza since 2006 and which the United States, Israel and the European Union classify as a terrorist organization. “My father and his family were not targeted for any reason … He was not political at all,” Ramsis told me. Ramsis had hoped that his family’s German citizenship could have helped bring global attention to the more than 600 people killed at the time of their deaths (the number has doubled to more than 1,200 fatalities). “It could have been a cause for justified criticism of the Israeli army’s actions,” he said. However, Ramsis said he, his mother and his 22-year-old sister Laila have all yet to hear from the German government. “Not even condolences,” he added … “The German government under [Angela] Merkel always underlines its unquestioned support to Israel,” he said. Because announcing German citizens as victims would lead to criticism of the current situation in Gaza, Ramsis has little hope for further action from Berlin.
Photo Gallery: Eid al-Fitr celebrated around the world [but not safely in Gaza]
BBC 29 July — The world’s 1.6 billion Muslims are celebrating the festival of Eid al-Fitr, one of the the biggest religious events in the Islamic calendar, which celebrates the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
In Israel, Holocaust survivor worries about her Gazan daughter
RAMLE, Israel (JTA) 30 July — 79-year-old ‘Sarah’ made aliyah from Hungary in 1950. That’s where her story departs from the conventional narrative — In her living room in the Israeli town of Ramle, Sarah says she wants a peaceful life. At 79, she deserves one. A Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor, Sarah was sent to a Nazi concentration camp in Serbia as a child, arriving in Israel at age 17. Her entire family perished in the Holocaust. Now she watches from her armchair as her family is threatened once again. Sarah — not her real name — is now a Muslim, and her daughter lives in Gaza City. “The whole city is in ruins,” Sarah says. “Everyone is just trying to find a piece of bread.” In 1962, she married an Arab Israeli and, with no surviving family of her own, converted to Islam to join his. Neither of them were particularly religious. “In my time it wasn’t Arab or Jew,” said Sarah, who speaks Hebrew with a slight European accent. “We knew there was no problem between Jews and Israeli Arabs. I’m very liberal; my husband was the same. We felt no discrimination.” Light-haired and soft-spoken, Sarah has lived for decades in the same Ramle apartment, which she now shares with her daughter, Nora … Sarah’s other daughter, also an Israeli citizen, moved to Gaza in 1984 after she married. On Sunday, Sarah and Nora waited by the phone as the Arabic news network Al Jazeera played on the television. In the first days of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, Sarah’s daughter took her six children and one grandchild and fled their home in the Zeitoun district of Gaza City for a calmer area in the southern Gaza Strip. The day they left, their four-story home was destroyed, most likely by an Israeli airstrike. Since then, the family has survived on dry goods and whatever they can scrounge up during brief ceasefires. Along with food, electricity is scarce in Gaza, so Sarah has a hard time getting in touch with her daughter.
Poll: 90% of Israeli Jews believe Gaza operation is justified
Ynet 29 July — An overwhelming number of Israeli Jews believe that the ongoing military operation in Gaza is justified and that the IDF has not used excessive firepower, according to a new series of polls by the Israel Democracy Institute. Over the course of three surveys conducted in the past two weeks, an average of 95 percent of respondents said that Operation Protective Edge was justified, while only 3-4 percent said the IDF has used excessive firepower in Gaza. According to the poll, an average of 48 percent of Israeli Jews think the IDF is using an appropriate level of firepower and an average of 45 percent think the IDF is using insufficient firepower … The respondents also indicated a reluctance to halt the operation even temporarily as long as the rocket fire on Israel from Gaza continues. An average of 80 percent were opposed to a unilateral ceasefire lasting up to 48 hours if the rockets did not stop, and an average of 65 percent disagreed with an immediate ceasefire so as to negotiate a long-term calm. Furthermore, an average of 60 percent of respondents said there should be a ceasefire only after “an agreement on the conditions for sustaining quiet is reached.” A majority of respondents also believed that the operation would not put an end to the fighting with Hamas, with an average of 64 percent predicting a further clash. Only an average of 18 percent of respondents said they believed there would be long-term quiet similar to that which came into effect after the 2006 Second Lebanon War.
IDF: Either we go further in or back out now
Ynet 30 July by Yoav Zitun — The IDF is demanding Israel’s political leadership reach a decision regarding the next steps of the ground offensive in Gaza Strip. Meanwhile a senior IDF commander told Ynet that the army had warned the government about the full extent of the threat posed by Gaza tunnels, contradicting claims made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon … A high ranking military official spoke Tuesday with journalists about the next stages of the operation and said that “the political leadership must decided now – either we push deeper (into Gaza) or we backtrack.” Indicating tensions between the IDF and Israel’s political leadership, the senior official said “our responsibility is to lead the offensive to where it needs to go, not to where the public wants. This is not reality TV and rating is not a factor.”
Soldiers criticize lack of safety measures outside battlefield
Ynet 30 July by Itay Blumenthal — After four soldiers die at a rally point outside Gaza, IDF reservists and regulars say ‘we have not received a single briefing’ about procedures for mortar attacks — Four of the IDF soldiers who were killed Monday died not in combat but because they were in the line of fire. The soldiers were staying in one of the rally points near the Gaza Strip when a mortar was fired on their location – and the soldiers could not find cover … “Up until today, almost two weeks after we were called up, we have not received a single briefing on the correct procedures to follow in the case of mortar fire,” said Ya’akov, an infantryman who had been in Gaza for a week and a half. “We have been to a number of rallying points, and were amazed to discover that the lessons of the Second Lebanon War and Pillar of Defense had not been implemented,” he added. “No official has given a clear order: Do we enter a tank or an APC or is it better to run to an open space and lay flat on the ground?”
Operative Protective Edge: The IDF’s fallen
Haaretz 28 July — Among the fallen include a lone soldier from the United States and a major who leaves a wife currently eight months pregnant. [with photos]
Analysis / Opinion
Debunking the myths about Gaza: The truth behind Israeli and Palestinian talking points / Omar Baddar
Salon 28 July — Why this fight now? Who started it? What happened with the kidnapped Israeli teens? Getting to the bottom of myths — Palestinians just endured an exceptionally brutal weekend: In Gaza, the death toll crossed the appalling benchmark of 1,000, overwhelmingly civilians. In the West Bank, Israeli soldiers and settlers also killed at least nine Palestinians amid protests against the devastation of Gaza. I recently debunked Israel’s misleading “human shields” argument attempting to deflect responsibility for the killing of hundreds of Palestinian civilians; but more important to expose is the false narrative of how we found ourselves in this crisis and who is responsible for its perpetuation. Invisible Bias For most media outlets, the current crisis began with the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens in the West Bank. This is, of course, an arbitrary starting point. Just one day before the kidnappings, a Palestinian man and a 10-year-old child were killed in Gaza by an Israeli airstrike. Why wasn’t that the starting point of the violence? Has the media internalized Israel’s narrative to such an extent that they only see Israel as “responding” to violence rather than initiating it? Israel initially blamed Hamas for the teens’ kidnapping, and “responded” by going on a violent rampage in the West Bank, invading homes, killing demonstrators, and arresting hundreds of Palestinians, including 60 Hamas members who had been freed in an earlier prisoner swap. Imagine the opposite scenario for a moment: When Israeli troops were caught on tape killing unarmed Palestinian teens just a few weeks before the kidnapping of the Israeli teens, imagine if Hamas responded by invading Israeli homes, shooting Israeli demonstrators and kidnapping hundreds of Israeli troops. Would media outlets cover such actions with the same sympathy and understanding afforded to Israel’s actions?
From Gaza: I would rather die in dignity than agree to living in an open-air prison / Mohammed Suliman
Huffington Post 28 July [with VIDEO interview with Suliman] — Gaza is a tough place; it’s tiny, overcrowded and besieged. But the people are kind. The food is delicious, and the beach, though filthy, allows us to pretend that we’re free. The sunset at sea is a spectacular scene, despite the Israeli warships dotting the landscape. Take a stroll down the street, and you’ll meet vendors, mostly young children hawking their wares. Take a taxi, and by the time you get off, you’ll be exchanging phone numbers with your newest friend, the taxi driver. Our markets are complete chaos, an experience for all five senses. Rush hour is when school children, dressed in UNRWA uniforms or Barcelona and Real Madrid t-shirts, finish classes and flood the streets on their way back home. It is when I realize how young Gaza’s population is. Night is as lively a time as daytime. Smoke shisha at a beach or downtown café or chill with the family. The people in Gaza, too, are humans.
But this isn’t the scene in Gaza anymore. The streets are deserted, and so is the beach. Schools have become makeshift shelters crammed with displaced people fleeing death to a supposedly safer place. The beautiful noise of life has been replaced by a horrid one of death. Drones are humming overhead, and jet fighters are roaring … A ceasefire might be negotiated and agreed upon. Hamas might soon stop firing rockets, but then will Israel cease to exercise its violence against Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank on a daily basis? The reality is that if Palestinians stop resisting, Israel won’t stop occupying, as its leaders repeatedly affirm. The besieged Jews of the Warsaw ghetto had a motto “to live and die in dignity.” As I sit in my own besieged ghetto, I think how Palestinians have honored this universal value. We live in dignity and we die in dignity, refusing to accept subjugation. We’re tired of war. I, for one, have had enough of bloodshed, death and destruction. But I also can no longer tolerate the return to a deeply unjust status quo. I can no longer agree to live in this open-air prison. We can no longer tolerate to be treated as sub-humans, deprived of our most basic human rights. We are trapped here, trapped between two deaths: death by Israeli bombs and missiles, and death by Israel’s blockade of Gaza. We want to be able to get in and out of Gaza freely, whenever we choose. Why should our students not be granted their right to study at universities of their own choice? Why should our patients be left for their own death as Israel deprives them of receiving medical treatment in hospitals outside of Gaza? Our fishermen want to fish in our sea waters without the prospect of being shot at and killed. We deserve the right to access clean water, electricity and our most basic needs. And yet we can’t because Israel occupies. It occupies not only our land but our bodies and our destinies. No people can tolerate this injustice. We, too, are humans.
Gaza justifies Israeli control over West Bank / Zvi Bar’el
Haaretz 30 July — If before, it had been possible to fantasize about some sort of peace, now the fate of the West Bank has been sealed and the settlers can relax — …Ariel Sharon believed that the withdrawal from Gaza would free Israel from the obligation of negotiating over the West Bank. He believed that the Gaza withdrawal would be the “withdrawal from the territories” that Israel would sacrifice on the altar of the continued occupation. He was wrong. In this interconnected system, withdrawing from only one part could not bring anything but disaster. But paradoxically, if Gaza had become a perfect example of a thriving and prosperous mini-state, free of rockets and terrorism, Israel would have had a hard time claiming convincingly that withdrawal from the West Bank constituted a security threat. Fortunately for the devotees of Greater Israel, the withdrawal from Gaza and its takeover by Hamas two years later gave them the perfect excuse to hold onto the West Bank and never let it go. There will never again be any need for messianic ideology or a divine promise. Gaza provided all the “right” excuses: Look at Gaza and you will know what not to do in the West Bank. In the name of security and because of the rockets, we must hold on to the West Bank, to East Jerusalem, to settle on every inch. Anyone who hesitated, anyone who asked questions, was referred to the horrific show that took place in Gaza. The “trauma of being uprooted” provided its own cure. A defensive shield against peace.
With Zoabi’s suspension, Knesset moves toward fascism / Aeyal Gross
Haaretz 30 July — On Monday, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein decided not to open criminal proceedings against MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) for saying that the kidnappers of Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Fraenkel weren’t terrorists. Weinstein noted that in that same interview she voiced her objection to the kidnapping, creating a “real doubt” about whether her statement broke the law; moreover, he said, indictments that restrict speech should be rare. But he added that his decision dealt only with the criminal aspects, and not the administrative or ethical ones. Yesterday, the Knesset Ethics Committee used that statement to justify its decision to suspend Zoabi from plenum debates for six months, based on a law allowing MKs who violate the Knesset’s code of ethics to be suspended. Usually this panel only discusses statements made within the Knesset itself. It’s not the committee’s job to punish an MK for making political statements, however unpopular, and especially not when they were made outside the Knesset … Knesset members believe there’s only one permissible view of what constitutes the good of the state, and not only does the majority determine what it is, but it also tries to prevent anyone with a different view from expressing it. This reveals a lack of understanding of substantive democracy and effectively replaces it with a dictatorship of the majority.
VIDEO: Middle East crisis: BBC at Gaza mosque ruins
29 July — Chris Morris met defiant citizen Nasman Al-Ashi, who said that the world was failing Gaza. [He speaks outside a destroyed mosque on the uselessness of talks with Israel and the resolve of Gazans to live free or die.]