Secretary of State Kerry has earned an unenviable reputation for bombastic exaggeration at times when diplomatic caution is needed, a pattern that he has demonstrated again in rushing to judgment over the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.
By Ray McGovern | Consortium News | July 22, 2014
The last time a major war loomed on the near horizon, Secretary of State John Kerry played fast and loose with the facts. In a speech on Aug. 30, 2013, he solemnly claimed, no fewer than 35 times, “we know” that the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad was responsible for chemical attacks outside Damascus on Aug. 21.
Just a few days later it became abundantly clear that Kerry did not know. … continue
RT | July 21, 2014
Russia has released military monitoring data, which shows Kiev military jets tracking the MH17 plane shortly before the crash – and posed yet another set of questions to Ukraine and the US over the circumstances of the tragedy.
Military officials – chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Andrey Kartopolov and chief of the Air Force Main Staff Lt. Gen. Igor Makushev – posed a number of questions to Kiev and Washington concerning the possible causes of the catastrophe in Eastern Ukraine that killed almost 300 people last Thursday. … continue
By Shamus Cooke | Workers Action | July 21, 2014
To assist in a crime makes one a criminal by any legal standard. And the biggest crimes of all are war crimes, since they kill en masse and showcase the cruelest form of human behavior.
The fact that Israel is actively committing war crimes in the Gaza Strip is not open to debate, since a cursory glance at the conflict obviously exposes them in practice.
The two most glaring war crimes Israel is committing – as defined by the Geneva Convention – are the concepts of “collective punishment” and “necessity and proportionality.” … continue
It’s the new “self defence”
By Stuart Littlewood | Dissident Voice | July 21, 2014
Britain’s newly-minted foreign secretary Philip Hammond has lost his shine already. A few days ago he warmly welcomed Egypt’s bogus ceasefire proposal which hadn’t even been shown to Hamas.
Yesterday he was asked three times on the the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show whether Israel’s military operations in Gaza were a proportionate response and he ducked the question every time.
However he did say: “We will be looking very carefully at what is happening on the ground to make sure that it is proportionate, that civilian lives are being protected in a proper way.”
The continuing carnage suggests otherwise. Would Mr Hammond care to tell the world what action he has actually taken to “make sure”? Perhaps blood-letting doesn’t bother him. After all, he voted with the warmongers for the Iraq war. … continue
The Israeli media have finally been allowed to partially confirm Hamas’ claim from Sunday that it has captured an Israeli soldier. They are reporting he is missing, presumed dead.
Here are three comments on the coverage.
First, Oron Shaul’s capture was treated as a non-story by the western media as long as it was only Hamas saying it. Now Israel says it is true, it will be much analysed and commented on. When will we see our media treating Hamas claims with the same seriousness – let alone, credulousness – we do with Israeli claims?
Second, the western media are echoing the Israeli media line – meaning the Israeli government line – that Shaul is “missing”. What can that possibly mean in Gaza at the moment apart from that he or his body is in Hamas’ possession? Given that Hamas had already both announced his capture and named him, the western media ought to stop slavishly following Israeli propaganda.
Third, if it becomes clear Shaul is alive, see how many western media outlets refuse to adopt Israel’s view that he has been “kidnapped”.
Al-Akhbar | July 22, 2014
Israeli forces on Tuesday fired “warning shots” at a building housing the offices of Al Jazeera and the Associated Press, one day after Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman vowed to shut down the Qatari-based channel.
“Two warning shots straight into al jazeera office in #gaza.. We are evacuating,” Al Jazeera journalist Stefanie Dekker tweeted Tuesday.
She said the Gaza City building also houses several residential apartments and an AP office.
Al Jazeera Arabic correspondent Wael Dahdouh also reported on the attack. He said some of the staff were asleep during the attack when two explosions went off inside the bureau, causing panic.
He said the shots may have come from a tank or helicopters. Their office is located on the 11th floor of the Jalaa building.
He said the attack appeared deliberate, and noted that only their office was hit. … continue
GAZA – Israeli warplanes blasted three mosques in different areas of the Gaza Strip at dawn Tuesday with no casualties reported.
Eyewitnesses said that Israeli warplanes fired a number of missiles at Shuhada al-Aqsa mosque in downtown Gaza City reducing it to rubble. All houses surrounding the mosque were damaged due to the raid.
Another raid targeted al-Farouk mosque in Rafah city, south of the Strip, locals reported.
Al-Abrar mosque in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza Strip was completely destroyed in a third raid after two missiles slammed into it, local sources said.
The Israeli military campaign on Gaza that started 15 days ago has so far destroyed 40 mosques, 15 of them were leveled to the ground while 25 were partially destroyed, the Palestinian ministry of housing and public works said in a statistical report.
Four Palestinians were killed on Monday when Israel shelled the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in the central Gaza Strip, a Palestinian Health Ministry spokesman has said.
“Four people were killed and nearly 20 others injured when Israel shelled the hospital,” spokesman Ashraf al-Qodra told Anadolu Agency.
He described the shelling of the hospital, located in the town of Der al-Balah, as a “war crime.” … Full article
By Jonathon Cook | The Blog from Nazareth | July 21, 2014
As we watch the horrifying slaughter unfold in Gaza, bear in mind the Israeli psychosis that fuels and justifies it. Here are comments from three rightwing Israelis – two leading politicians and a professor – who very much reflect a strain of mainstream thinking in Israel, one that the international media largely avoids noting.
Each, in their different ways, is advocating a genocide of the Palestinians. … continue
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has called on the Government to expel Israeli ambassador Boaz Modai from Ireland in protest at the ongoing crisis in Gaza.
Mr Adams’ call follows a meeting yesterday between Mr Bodai and Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan, during which Minister Flanagan reiterated the Government’s deep concerns regarding the current situation in Gaza and Israel.
“The decision of the Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan to meet the Israeli Ambassador, following the escalation of the Israeli Government’s military onslaught against the besieged population of the Gaza Strip, is welcome,” Mr Adams said today.
However, he added, the time was “long past” for “merely expressing concern to a Government that is clearly oblivious to the outrage of the international community”. … Full article
RAMALLAH – Six Palestinian lawmakers were transferred Monday to administrative detention by an Israeli court.
The director of the Ahrar human rights center condemned the sentencing of the parliamentarians.
Omar Abdulraziq, ex-minister of finance of Salfit, Riyad Ali al-Amla from Nablus, Ibrahim al-Dahbur, Khalid Iseed from Jenin, Fadel Hamdan from Ramallah and Muhammad al-Tall from Hebron were imprisoned.
Another two prisoners from Ramallah were sentenced to administrative detention. They were Yahiya Hassan Ladawdah and Fawwaz Muhammad Ladawdah.
By VLADISLAV GULEVICH | CounterPunch | July 21, 2014
Amnesty International recently released a report on “stomach-turning” violence in Eastern Ukraine (“Abduction and Tortures in Eastern Ukraine,” – see for example BBC coverage here). According to the report, the acts of violence are perpetrated chiefly by pro-Russian separatist groups.
The Amnesty International report and its conclusion about rebel responsibility for the majority of violence does’t hold water and has little in common with reality. The violence in Ukraine in general is not properly analyzed, and the report is quite biased. Rather than the rebels, it is the Ukrainian army and the pro-EuroMaidan forces that are responsible for the abductions and abuses. … continue
By Dave Lindorff | This Can’t Be Happening! | July 20, 2014
If the best the US can do to pin the blame for the Malaysia Flight 17 downing on Russia is to have Secretary of State John Kerry say that “circumstantial evidence” points to Moscow being behind it, we can be pretty certain it was not Russia at all.
Kerry’s credibility on such matters has been in the toilet since last August when he claimed during last year’s furor and push for war against Syria’s Basher al Assad that he had seen “clear and compelling evidence” that the Syrian government had used poison gas against its own people. That “evidence” turned out (clearly with Kerry’s knowledge) to have been ginned up, falsified and staged, and in the end it was evident that Syria had not been the guilty party. Had Kerry and the White House succeeded in duping the world and the American people the way President George W. Bush and VP Dick Cheney succeeded in duping them about Iraq’s “WMDs,” an armada of US planes and ships already in position around Syria would have begun a massive aerial bombardment of Syria sparking a whole new war in the Middle East, even as Iraq was already in the throes of a civil war.
Fortunately, John Kerry’s and the accommodating US corporate media’s lies that time were exposed, and that bloody catastrophe was averted.
Now, undeterred by that first attempt at a full-blown campaign of lies, Kerry and the Obama White House are at it again, trying to falsify a casus belli against Russia by blaming Moscow for the downing of a civilian airliner that killed 298 people.
The problem for Kerry and Washington’s warmongers is that the story they’re selling is ludicrous. … continue
RT | July 20, 2014
The tragic Malaysian MH17 flight crash must not be politicised and the international experts on the scene should be able to carry out their work in complete safety, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
“There are already representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk working there, as well as representatives of the emergencies ministry of Ukraine and others. But this is not enough,” Putin said officially commenting on the tragic event on Sunday.
“This task force is not enough,” Putin emphasized. “We need more, we need a fully representative group of experts to be working at the site under the guidance of ICAO, the relevant international commission.”
“We must do everything to provide security for the international experts on the site of the tragedy,” Putin stressed, adding that Russia will also do everything in its power to help shift the Ukrainian conflict from a military phase into a political discussion. … continue
By Noah Cohen | CounterPunch | July 21, 2014
A man is taken from his home by 20 armed, militarized police in fascist black uniforms. They break in through the doors and windows, rappel from the roof with ropes, storm the home where he lives with his wife and four children, in the dead of night.
They take him away, and no one hears from him for days, and then weeks, and then months. He isn’t charged with anything; for a long time he is simply disappeared. There is no official charge, but he is a known political activist, a writer, a lecturer.
This isn’t news, because the country is Jordan, the orders come from the US or from Israel, and the man is an Arab, a Palestinian. … continue
GAZA – Israeli Occupation Forces committed a new massacre on Monday targeting a civilian home belonging to Siam family in Rafah southern Gaza Strip.
At least 11 people were killed including 7 children and more than 20 others were injured mostly in critical situation.
Eyewitnesses told Quds Press that Israeli artillery bombed this morning Sayamat neighborhood east of Rafah. Dozens of casualties were reported during the shelling.
11 members of Siam family were killed during the attack, while civil defense is still working to find survivors as a number of casualties are still under the rubble.
Meanwhile, Shujaia massacre’s death toll rose to reach 72 martyrs after recovering 12 new bodies in the neighborhood.
Medical sources said that Shujaia death toll is also predicted to rise as many victims are still not found.
Israeli artillery had bombed at dawn Sunday Shujaia neighborhood east of Gaza, killing 72 people so far and injuring hundreds others.
Shujaia neighborhood is considered the world’s most densely populated area with 150,000 inhabitants.
Along the same line, 28 members of Abu Jami family were killed after bombing a three-story house in Khan Younis southern Gaza on Sunday night.
The medics managed to pull 28 bodies of Abu Jami family that includes 30 members. The victims were mostly children and women.
The new victims raise Gaza death toll to 510 martyrs in addition to hundreds of injuries. Israel declared an air offensive against Gaza Strip two weeks ago that culminated in a ground invasion three days ago.
Two US citizens have been confirmed dead after the deadly Sunday in Gaza, when at least 87 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers killed. The Americans were enlisted with the [terrorist] Golani Brigade and fell in the battle of Shejaia.
Max Steinberg, 24, a native of San Fernando Valley in California, and Nissim Sean Carmeli, 21, from South Padre Island, Texas, both had American citizenship.
The US State Department confirmed the deaths of American citizens of Steinberg and Carmeli on Sunday night.
“We can confirm the deaths of US citizens Max Steinberg and Sean Carmeli in Gaza. Out of respect for those affected by this, we have nothing further at this time,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
The Facebook page of Max Steinberg maintains that he became a soldier of Israel on December 11, 2012. Starting from July 19, 2013 he was assigned as a sharpshooter.
According to the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, Max Steinberg first visited Israel through the ‘Birthright’ program… Full article
Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement, announced on Sunday they had abducted an Israeli soldier in Gaza.
“The Israeli soldier Shaul Aaron is in the hands of the Qassam Brigades,” a spokesman using the nom-de-guerre Abu Obeida said in a televised address, as he announced that the soldier’s military number was 6092065.
The Brigades’ spokesman said that the Zionist enemy was not honest while talking about the number of the killed soldiers during the Israeli ground assault in Gaza.
“The shock of the operation had forced the enemy to announce some of its losses. However, the fact which the enemy has not announced yet, is the abduction of one of its soldiers,” Abu Obeida stated.
“If the enemy leadership could lie about the number of the killed and injured soldiers, it should now tell its people the fate of this Israeli soldier now,” al-Qassam Brigades’ spokesman added.
The announcement comes after the Israeli enemy announced the death of 13 occupation soldiers during the ground assault against Gaza.
It also comes hours after the Israeli enemy committed brutal massacre against the Palestinian civilians in the Shejaiya neighborhood, killing at least 80 people in the day 14 of the Israeli offensive against the besieged enclave.
AMMAN – Egyptian authorities have denied on Sunday the entry of a Jordanian medical delegation into Gaza Strip via Rafah crossing.
The delegation includes five Jordanian doctors who reached Cairo on Friday en route to Gaza to participate in the treatment of the growing number of injuries as a result of the ongoing Israeli aggression on the besieged enclave.
The delegation was carrying medical equipment and devices offered by the Jordanian Committee to support the health sector in the Gaza Strip.
The delegates said that the Egyptian authorities barred their entry along with other Arab and foreign doctors.
Gaza, Occupied Palestine – There was a ceasefire today for 3 hours – so some of us internationals went to the area which I refer to as the ‘Death Zone’ – Shajiya, we went to see if we could help with the masses of injured amongst the rubble.
The Death Zone is unlike any destruction I have seen in my life – there is no place left without bombing, shelling or sniper shots. Total devastation.
We reached [Shajiya] and there was a beautiful brother who was looking for his family. … continue
Ma’an – 20/07/2014
GAZA CITY – Israeli forces killed at least 100 Palestinians on Sunday including 66 in a single neighborhood of Gaza City, bringing the 13-day death toll to 437.
The assault on Gaza — which has also left 18 Israels dead — is the largest and deadliest attack on the besieged coastal enclave since 2008. More than 200 Palestinians have died since the ground invasion began on Thursday.
On Sunday, 66 bodies were recovered from the Shujaiyya neighborhood in eastern Gaza City, in what medical authorities called a “massacre” and a level of violence not seen before in the ongoing conflict.
At least 500 Palestinians were injured in Israeli attacks on Wednesday, with the total surpassing 3,000 as Gazan hospitals struggled to cope with the surge and facing shortages of medical supplies, doctors, and hospital beds.
Hospitals were also facing continuous power cuts… continue
By Seth Sandronsky | CounterPunch | July 18, 2014
California lawmakers passed Assembly Bill 2389 that Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown signed on July 10. AB 2389, which Assemblyman Steve Fox, D-Palmdale, introduced, provides a tax break of $142 million over 15 years to Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing Corp., to develop “new advanced strategic aircraft for the United States Air Force” from which to drop nuclear bombs.
In the Gaza Strip, 1.7 million Palestinians are the targets of Israeli Lockheed Martin F-16C/Ds aircraft. Officially, the aim of Israel’s non-nuclear airstrikes on the Gaza Strip is to stop Hamas, the elected Palestinian political group, from firing rockets at Israeli cities and towns.
Back in California, bipartisan support for Lockheed and Boeing will also subtract tax revenue from the state treasury. For instance, there will be less tax money to fund government services for the health care of residents who live below the official poverty rate, 15.3 percent of 38.3 million people, in 2008-12. … continue
By Ewan Robertson | Venezuelanalysis | July 20, 2014
… In the meeting with UNASUR countries it was discussed how BRICS and UNASUR could create more ties. After the meeting, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro reported that it had been proposed that the new BRICS Development Bank and UNASUR’s Bank of the South adopt a common strategy in the regional and global economies.
“The [new] financial institutions have the same objectives: the construction of a new financial architecture that benefits economic development in conditions of equity for our countries; where speculative financial capital is ended, where the looting of our economies is ended, and productive investment which creates employment and wealth is promoted,” he said to Telesur on Wednesday.
The Venezuelan president also argued that closer relations between BRICS and Latin America represented a “win win alliance” and “the birth of the multi-polar world”.
“In the past we were dominated powers, and now we are emerging countries and blocs,” he said.
The BRICS bloc has become a key trading partner for Venezuela. Commerce with the bloc increased by 72% from 2006 – 2013. … Read full article
Consortium News | July 19, 2014
President Obama and the State Department’s “anti-diplomats” are fanning flames of anger against Russia after the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine. But some U.S. intelligence analysts doubt the popular “blame-the-Russians” scenario, reports Robert Parry. – Read article
Hebron, Occupied Palestine – At midnight this evening in al-Khalil (Hebron), a large group of settlers from nearby illegal settlements, attacked the home of the Al-Sharabati family.
Some of the settlers were intoxicated as they forcefully attempted to enter the Palestinian home; Israeli soldiers nearby watched the incident and made no attempt at intervention. Other Palestinians arrived as the settlers succeeded in entering into the house.
The settlers threw stones inside their house and attacked the family. Eventually the Israeli military arrived, and their response to the settler violence was to throw tear gas grenades and spray pepper spray at the Palestinians.
A 12-year-old boy was hit by a stone and knocked unconscious; he was rushed to hospital in H1 [supposedly under full Palestinian Authority civil and security control].
Four more people from the ages of 15 to 55-years-old were injured. Four of the people, including the 12-year-old child, had to be carried through a checkpoint as the Palestinian ambulance was not allowed to enter the H2 [under full Israeli military civil and security control] area of al-Khalil.
After 30 minutes the Israeli military finally allowed one ambulance to pass through and drive away with one injured person.
The Israeli military detained one youth for two hours. For an hour and 30 minutes the soldiers prevented Palestinians and internationals from walking near the Al-Sharabati family home.
U.N. Palestinian refugees agency (UNRWA) warned Sunday it was running out of food and medicine for a growing number of displaced people in the Gaza Strip fleeing an ongoing Israeli shelling of residential areas in the Palestinian enclave.
According to UNRWA Gaza Director Robert Turner, all UNRWA supplies have run out and the agency is seeking help from the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) in Syria and Jordan.
Turner said that the UNRWA had turned six of its schools in the enclave into shelter centers to provide refuge for thousands of Palestinians who fled the Israeli incursion into their areas. He noted that UNRWA schools received 65,000 Palestinians until Saturday, expecting the figure to hit 85,000 on Sunday.
Dozens of Israeli tanks and military vehicles have forced their way into the eastern parts of Gaza City amid heavy artillery fire from the Israeli tanks in the area, prompting thousands of Palestinians to flee their homes towards the center of the city.
Eyewitnesses told Anadolu Agency that the Israeli troops advanced into Zaitoun, Toffah and al-Shujaya areas in eastern Gaza City where they pounded several homes.
The incursion was coupled with heavy fighting between the Israeli troops and Palestinian resistance fighters, the witnesses added. … Full article
GAZA CITY – Israel on Sunday rejected a 3-hour humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza proposed by the International Committee of the Red Cross, a Hamas spokesman said Sunday.
Sami Abu Zuhri said officials of the Red Cross contacted Hamas and suggested to broker a 3-hour ceasefire to enable ambulances to evacuate injured people and dead bodies.
Hamas agreed to the proposal, but the Israelis refused it, said Abu Zuhri. He highlighted that Israeli forces prevented ambulance services from doing their work.
“The Israeli occupation is committing a war crime in the full sense of the word in Gaza City and trying to conceal the crime from the world,” he charged.
Updated at 3:02 pm: Thousands were fleeing northern Gaza Sunday after a night of fierce bombardment as Israel expanded a ground assault on day 13 of the deadliest violence in the enclave in five years, breaking a temporary ceasefire agreement on Sunday afternoon.
As UN chief Ban Ki-moon was to arrive in the region to add his weight to truce efforts, the Palestinian death toll surpassed 400 after a night of intense attacks to the north and east of Gaza City.
“410 people have been killed since the war started and more than 3,020 people have been injured, most of them civilians,” deputy health minister Yussef Abu Rish told reporters at Shifa hospital in Gaza City.
At least 50 Palestinians were killed on Sunday by Israeli shelling of the eastern Gaza district of Shujayeh, a medical official said.
Naser Tattar, director of the Shifa hospital, told Reuter that at least 400 people were wounded in the Israeli attack.
Emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said at least 20 bodies had been retrieved from the eastern Shujayeh district, but ongoing fire was preventing the evacuation of many more.
Earlier, Qudra said at least six people had been killed in heavy shelling east of Gaza City, among them a woman, two children and the son of senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya. Another seven people were killed in the southern city of Rafah overnight by both tank fire and air strikes. And a 29-year-old man died in an air strike in central Gaza.
A Palestinian cameraman and a paramedic were also among dozens of people killed in Shujayeh on Sunday, medics said.
“Cameraman Khaled Hammad and paramedic Fuad Jaber were killed in a strike on an ambulance, while they were trying to evacuate the wounded from Shujayeh,” Qudra told AFP. … Full article
Arabi21 | July 20, 2014
As Israel continues to prosecute its criminal war against the people of the Gaza Strip, its leaders in Tel Aviv are counting more and more on the Arab regimes to confront the Palestinian resistance and reduce its effectiveness. Former Defence Minister and Chief of Staff of the Israeli army, General Shaul Mofaz, has called for a role to be “allocated” for Saudi Arabia and the UAE to disarm Hamas and other resistance groups.
Speaking on Israel’s Channel 10, Mofaz explained that it would be impossible for its army to demilitarise the Strip by force even if it were to re-occupy it completely. As such, he claimed, the matter requires a comprehensive diplomatic, political and economic plan for such an objective to be achieved.
He pointed out that there is an urgent need to convince the people of Gaza of the necessity to collaborate in implementing such a plan. This would require offering the carrot, represented by a generous financial reward, to convince them to cooperate with any international or regional effort that could contribute to achieving this goal. He noted that both Saudi Arabia and the UAE could, in the present circumstance, play an important role in providing the finances for this reward. … continue
MEMO | July 20, 2014
Forty members of the UAE “aid convoy” which entered the Gaza Strip last week have been revealed as intelligence agents. They were, it is believed, trying to collect information about Hamas and its infrastructure in the besieged territory.
According to one informed source, a local Palestinian recognised one of the agents as a soldier in the UAE armed forces. He contacted the security forces in Gaza who took the agent in for questioning.
Other members of the “aid convoy” then made contact with officials in the United Arab Emirates. In turn, they asked disgraced Fatah official Mohamed Dahlan, who now lives in and is sponsored by the UAE government, to try to secure a safe and swift exit for the agents. … continue
The presidents of Venezuela and Bolivia have decried Israel’s incursion into Gaza as genocide and called for the UN to condemn Israel. President Nicolas Maduro likened the latest operation, which has claimed over 350 lives, to an “extermination.”
Venezuela called for an emergency session of the UN’s Human Rights Council to address Israel’s ongoing military incursion in Gaza, on Saturday. The South American nation’s government reiterated its support for the Palestinian people and warned the Israel had “initiated a higher phase of its policy of genocide and extermination with the ground invasion of Palestinian territory, killing innocent men, women, girls and boys.”
“President Nicolas Maduro has instructed the Ambassador to the UN Jorge Valera to call for an emergency session of the Human Rights Council,” said an official statement on Saturday, adding the UN should address the “systematic violation of the Human Rights of the Palestinian population in Gaza by the State of Israel and adopt the necessary measures to halt those violations.”
MEMO | July 19, 2014
The Palestinian Islamic movement Hamas hailed on Friday the Ecuadorian decision to withdraw his country’s ambassador to Tel-Aviv in protest against Israeli aggression on Gaza.
Speaking to the Palestinian newspaper Al-Resalah, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said: “This is a very advanced position, to which the countries in the region have not arrived at.”
Barhoum described the withdrawal of the ambassador as a “courageous” decision.
Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said the Ecuadorian government condemned the Israeli invasion on the Gaza Strip.
“We condemn the Israeli military incursion into Palestinian territory, we require cessation of operations and indiscriminate attacks against civilians,” Patino said. … Full article
GAZA – Palestinian resistance factions have proposed a ceasefire initiative presented with Qatari and Turkish support.
The ceasefire initiative includes an end to all armed hostilities, an end to Gaza siege, and the release of all Palestinian detainees who were recently arrested in the West Bank. The initiative states that the ceasefire must be reached under US supervision.
The initiative was delivered by Qatar to US Secretary of State John Kerry who in turn conveyed it to Israel.
The ceasefire initiative includes:
1. Mutual and immediate cessation of fire.
2. Mutual cessation of military and security operations.
3. Total lifting of the siege of Gaza and opening the border crossings for goods and people and allowing in food, industrial, fuel and construction supplies, expanding the maritime fishing zone to 12 miles, in addition to removing the buffer zone and implementing reconstruction projects.
4. Full commitment to the prisoners’ swap deal reached on 1/10/2011 under Egyptian mediation, and the release of all the Palestinians detained since 12 June 2014 mainly Palestinian Legislative Council Speaker Dr. Aziz Dweik, in addition to the reopening of public institutions and improving the conditions of Palestinian prisoners.
The ceasefire implementation mechanism:
1. Determination of a zero hour for implementation of all requirements of the ceasefire.
2. Full commitment to the ceasefire under US supervision.
3. Mutual cessation within 6 hours of its announcement.
Pro-Palestinian protesters have clashed with police in Paris as thousands defy a ban on a planned demonstration against Israeli atrocities in the Gaza strip.
Protesters in France’s capital Paris launched projectiles at riot police, who responded by firing stun grenades and tear gas into the crowds on Saturday.
The demonstrators were chanting anti-Israeli slogans such as “Israel is a terror state” and also scaled a building and proceeded to burn an Israeli flag.
On Friday, French authorities banned pro-Palestinian groups from holding the rally for security reasons.
The Paris police made the announcement in a statement on Friday, saying Saturday’s planned anti-Israeli protest would be banned.
French President Francois Hollande said during a visit to Niger that he backed the protest ban.
Also, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said he welcomed the Paris police’s move and advised other cities across France to consider banning planned protests. … Full article
International Solidarity Movement| July 19, 2014
Gaza, Occupied Palestine – Hospital staff and international activists, from the U.S., Sweden, and the UK, attempted to travel to the recently bombed el-Wafa hospital, in an attempt to retrieve salvageable medical supplies.
When they arrived at the hospital it was, “still smoking from the attack this morning.” Stated U.S. International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activist, Joe Catron. The staff and activists were forced to retreat.
Charlie Andreasson, Swedish (ISM) activist, states, “We were waiting to get clearance from the Red Cross to go back to el-Wafa. This is urgent because without medicine, the patients cannot receive proper treatment, and coordination through the Red Cross has not been possible. ”
Previous attempts by the Red Crescent to enter the Shajaiya neighbourhood to retrieve wounded people from this area were met with live ammunition from the Israeli army. El-Wafa hospital is just outside of Shajaiya. … continue
Press TV – July 19, 2014
A Gaza-bound Egyptian convoy carrying humanitarian aid for the war-ravaged, besieged Palestinian enclave has been halted by the country’s security forces in Sinai.
Activists travelling with the convoy on Saturday afternoon said the vehicles carrying humanitarian supplies to the people in the Israeli-blockaded territory had been stopped at a Sinai checkpoint by Egyptian forces and not allowed to pass due to alleged “security reasons,” Ahram Online reported.
The development comes as Gaza is entering the twelfth day of an Israeli military onslaught that has left more than 312 Palestinians dead, including many women and children. … continue
Over 100 British teens have been signed up to fight “shoulder to shoulder” with Israeli forces in brutal attacks on the Gaza Strip, a human rights group warns.
The recruitment of dozens of British citizens to join the ranks of the Israeli military behind the onslaught in Gaza has sparked anger.
The Israeli military has confirmed the presence of over 100 British “lone soldiers” serving 18-month tours of duty in its ranks.
Director of Arab Organization for Human Rights (AOHR) Muhammed Jamil on Friday warned that the activities of recruiting groups preying on British youngsters had intensified over recent weeks, urging a government investigation into the issue. … Full article
July – 2014
June – 2014