August 2014 Archives
Israel announced Sunday it will expropriate 400 hectares (988 acres) of Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank, angering the Palestinians and alarming Israeli peace campaigners.
The move to seize the land, in the Bethlehem area in the south of the territory, is the biggest of its kind in three decades...
Unlike the American media perception of US foreign policy goofily stumbling from one good-intentioned mishap to the next, the average person in the Middle East views the American military as a sociopathic power hell-bent on annihilation...
Billions of dollars in U.S. aid to Israel have failed to quash the sovereignty of the Palestinian state.
"U.S. complicity with Israel's action extends beyond the provision of military assistance. The U.S. has refused to take any action to halt Israel's war crimes and has blocked efforts in the UN to condemn them. The U.S. was also the sole country in the UN Human Rights Council to vote against an international investigation into Israel's actions as it is well aware that the investigation will reveal that war crimes are being perpetrated by Israel in Gaza." -- Diana Buttu, human rights attorney, Ramallah-based analyst, and former advisor to Mahmoud Abbas
Palestinians look at destroyed houses after returning to the Shejaia neighbourhood, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during the Israeli offensive, in the east of Gaza City August 5, 2014. Photo by Mohammed Salem, Reuters.
Since July 7, Israel has killed at least 1822 Palestinians in Gaza, including at least 377 children. Approximately 9400 others have been injured.
On Sunday (August 3), an Israeli missile strike outside of a United Nations school in Rafah in southern Gaza killed at least 10 civilians, including at least one child, and wounded dozens of others. Condemning the attack, UN officials said that they had informed the Israeli military of the exact GPS coordinates of the school, where approximately 3000 Palestinians were taking shelter, 33 times in an attempt to prevent it from being bombed, the final time just an hour before the attack. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the Israeli attack a "moral outrage and a criminal act," while a US State Department spokesperson declared "the United States is appalled by today's disgraceful shelling," adding, "The suspicion that militants are operating nearby does not justify strikes that put at risk the lives of so many innocent civilians." The incident was the third time an Israeli attack killed civilians taking refuge in a UN school in 10 days. Approximately 30 people were killed in the two previous incidents. It was the seventh time a UN shelter has been hit by Israeli fire during the current assault.
Also on Sunday, 10 members of the al-Ghoul family, including three children and two women, were killed, and 20 others injured by an Israeli missile attack on their home in Rafah. The dead included a baby who was less then three weeks old.
Also on Sunday, eight members of the Najim family were killed, and 30 others wounded, by an airstrike on a home in the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza. The victims had returned to Jabalia after the Israeli army announced on Saturday that residents of northern Gaza could go back to their homes. The dead included Bilal Abd al-Karim Najim, Abd al-Karim Najim, Ahmad Abd al-Karim Najim, Raghad Najim, and Suha Najim.
According to the August 3 UN daily Gaza emergency report: "Gaza's medical services and facilities are nearing collapse, with hospitals and clinics overwhelmed. Critical supplies of medicines and disposables are almost depleted and the destruction of power supplies has left hospitals dependent on unreliable back-up generators. The status of hospitals and medical facilities as protected objects under international law continues to be violated with more attacks reported since the last situation update." According to medical officials in Gaza, cases of viral meningitis have increased from five to 53 per day, while Israeli attacks are preventing the collection of decomposing bodies, posing a significant health risk.