Operation Cast Lead (winter 2008-9) is emblematic of everything that is wrong with Israel’s approach to Gaza. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a political conflict to which there is no military solution. Yet Israel persists in shunning diplomacy and relying on brute military force – and not as a last resort but as a first resort.
Operation Cast Lead, the first of several incursions by Israel, killed 1,417 Palestinians and just 13 Israelis. Chillingly, the generals call their repeated bombardments ‘mowing the lawn’
For 3 years, Israel has been spraying dangerous herbicides into Gaza to destroy foliage and enable clear viewing of land near the border. (Think Agent Orange.) The destruction of crops and the health risks to farmers infringe on human rights and violate international law. Human rights groups are trying to end this practice.
Razan Al-Najjar’s death by sniper last June was briefly newsworthy; she was briefly demonized by Israel, then the world forgot about her.
But the NYT chose to investigate, examining 1,000 photos and videos, interviewing experts and over 30 eyewitnesses, and piecing the event together using Israeli 3-D software.
The conclusion: the shooting should never have taken place – no one was endangering Israeli soldiers or the border, and medics were in plain view – and Israel has done little to decrease the frequency of these incidents.
Her death is at best reckless, at worst a war crime.
The International Middle East Media Center reports on the ongoing acts of Israeli injustice and violence that most other media don’t bother with. Not a day goes by – including holidays – without abductions, settler brutality, shootings, and often even deaths.
Two right-wing ministers criticize Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for not “acting like a real right-wing government” by being too soft on Gaza, Hamas, and Khan al-Ahmar; but they vow to stay in power rather than resigning as Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman did last week.
In an aggressive campaign against a billboard company and its staff, Israel supporters threatened boycott and used the label “anti-Semitism” as a weapon to shut down a positive ad celebrating first responders in Gaza. The ad did not mention Israel. No dialogue, no explanation, just suppression of free speech.
The past week has seen the promise of peace shattered, first by an Israeli incursion into Gaza (7 Palestinian, 1 Israeli dead), then Gaza’s rocket retaliation (1 Israeli Palestinian dead), then Israel’s retaliation (7 Palestinians dead). Israel’s defense minister has resigned, and a new, fragile ceasefire is in effect.
NBC indicates that the recent conflict between Hamas and Israel was sparked by Gazans’ violent protests and launching of Incendiary kites and balloons.
Last weekend saw an escalation of violence that started when Israeli military infiltrated Gaza, initiated a firefight, and retreated under cover of shelling. One Israeli and 7 Palestinians were killed, and Hamas responded with rockets. Today, factions in the besieged Gaza Strip say they have agreed to an Egypt-brokered ceasefire. “The resistance will respect this declaration as long as the Zionist enemy respects it.”
After Israel has demonstrated for months that borders are sacred, its military has once again crossed into Gaza. In what it characterizes as an intelligence gathering operation that “encountered a very complex reality,” 1 Israeli soldier and 7 Palestinians were killed.
3 Israelis and at least 210 Palestinians have been killed in the latest asymmetrical confrontations.
At the November 1st “Friends of the IDF” Hollywood gala, $60 million was raised in one night for Israel’s army. This is on top of $10 million a day in US military aid to Israel. Palestinians are outraged that American artists are supporting a regime that kills innocents and colonizes land.
Israeli soldiers and settlers terrorize Palestinians every day. Stories from November 4-5 (that won’t appear in mainstream media) include 2 Palestinian deaths, at least 14 abductions – some of them children, a settler free-for-all in Hebron, and an injured infant.
Gaza is running out of medicine. The US, which has for decades supported the United Nations agency tasked to help Palestinian refugees, has cut off all funding. We need to step in and pressure our leaders to reverse this decision.
WAFA reports that three Palestinian children were killed in an Israeli airstrike bombing that targeted an area to the northeast of Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip. Israeli soldiers reportedly opened fire toward the ambulances and prevented their access to the scene….
Electronic Intifada reports that every Friday 11-year-old Nasir insisted that he accompany his two older sisters to the Great March of Return. Both women are medics; Nasir would carry their first aid bags. An Israeli sniper shot him in the head. Israeli forces have killed 1,600 Gazan children since 2000… “An Israeli soldier deliberately killed Faris,” Zaqoul said. “The Israeli soldier said on a loudspeaker ‘you, with the white T-shirt, I’ll shoot you’ – pointing at Faris…”
PNN reports that Israeli forces shot dead four more Palestinian fathers, sons, and brothers during unarmed protests at the Gaza-Israel border, and killed a Palestinian father of two in the West Bank. Israeli soldiers attacked journalists with teargas and banned them from covering events…