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Chile, Peru recall envoys from Israel

Press TV – July 29, 2014

Israel’s international isolation grows as Chile and Peru join other Latin American countries and recall their envoys from Tel Aviv.

“In the face of intensifying Israeli military action in the Gaza Strip, the government of Chile — in coordination with other administrations in the region — has resolved to recall the Chilean ambassador in Tel Aviv, Jorge Montero, to Santiago for consultations,” the Chilean Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

It also said that Israeli operations “breach fundamental norms in international humanitarian law,” referring to the civilian victims and strikes on hospitals and schools.

A similar statement was also published by the Peruvian Foreign Ministry, condemning Israel’s operation in Gaza.

Santiago and Lima’s move came nearly two weeks after Brazil and Ecuador recalled their ambassadors in protest against Israel’s atrocities in the coastal sliver.

Venezuela and Bolivia that cut their ties with Tel Aviv over Israel’s 2009 war on Gaza have also strongly condemned Israel’s actions. … Full article

Israelis overwhelmingly support Gaza assault: poll

Al-Akhbar | July 29, 2014

The mounting death toll among Israeli occupation forces in and around Gaza has taken the Israeli public by surprise but without dampening its overwhelming support for the relentless terror campaign against Palestinians, a poll showed.

Funerals were held across Israeli-occupied territory on Tuesday for 10 soldiers killed the day before, five of them in a firefight with Palestinian commandos who sneaked under the Gaza border fence through a tunnel and attacked an Israeli outpost.

Four others were killed after a mortar shell exploded in the Negev, and another in fighting in the Gaza Strip.

But despite the rising body count, a vast majority of Israelis think the US-backed assault on Gaza should press forward, according to a poll published in the Maariv newspaper.

An overwhelming “86.5 percent believes that Israel cannot agree to a ceasefire as long as Hamas continues to fire rockets on Israel, as long as all the tunnels have not been discovered and as long as Hamas refuses to surrender,” it said. … Full article

Dutch PM tells Ukraine to stop fighting near MH17 crash site

RT | July 29, 2014

The Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, has called Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to ask government forces to stop fighting around the Malaysia Airlines crash site after experts were unable to get there for a third day running.

“The prime minister this morning called the Ukrainian president with a request to halt hostilities around the crash site,” Jean Fransman, a spokesman for the Dutch PM, told AFP. “Rutte expressed his concern about the fact it appeared the investigators may today yet again not reach the site.”

The Dutch Ministry for Security and Justice confirmed that the team of forensic experts and police officers from the Netherlands and Australia had not even attempted to try and reach the place where the Boeing 777 was downed due to heavy fighting in the vicinity. This is the third day they have been prevented from reaching the site due to the conflict. [...]

Poroshenko ordered a ceasefire within a radius of 40 kilometers of the crash; however, this was broken a week ago, when the Ukrainian Air Force carried out a missile strike 30 kilometers from the MH17 crash site. … Full article

MH17 Verdict: Real Evidence Points to US-Kiev Cover-up of Failed False Flag

21st Century Wire | July 25, 2014

In this report, we will lay out the facts based on a wide breadth of available information and data surrounding MH17. We will also present and give critique to Washington and Kiev’s “mountain of evidence” that has saturated US and European-based media coverage since the incident took place. 21WIRE has compiled this report with the help of many contributors and references from English-speaking media, as well as material translated from Russian and Ukrainian media sources, along with other historical references to provide context. Our objective is to get as close to the truth as possible. Although many revelations will appear to be self-evident, we still encourage the public to draw their own conclusions regarding this pivotal event.

There are other well-known anomalies surrounding this event which have been covered at 21WIRE, as well as connections to MH370, but for the purposes of this investigation we will focus on both factual and speculative evidence brought forth by the US, Ukraine and Russia.

As we will clearly demonstrate, the only wild conspiracy theories being pushed right now, are those coming out of the US State Department, and the government in Kiev, Ukraine, which are being repeated by CNN, BBC, FOX-NewsCorp, ABC, CBS and NBC… continue

Media frenzy after US releases ‘evidence’ that Russia shelled Ukraine

European Union agrees on Russian sectoral sanctions – top EU officials

RT | July 29, 2014

The EU has agreed on a new package of sanctions against Russia targeting the military, oil and finance sectors, according to a joint statement by the presidents of the EU Commission and Council.

All 28 member states agreed on the broader economic sanctions, which “will limit access to EU capital markets for Russian State-owned financial institutions, impose an embargo on trade in arms, establish an export ban for dual use goods for military end users, and curtail Russian access to sensitive technologies particularly in the field of the oil sector,” the statement says. … continue

President of the Canadian Green Party channels Mark Regev

Interventions Watch | July 28, 2014

Paul Estrin is the President of the Green Party of Canada. He recently shared his thoughts on the current fighting in Israel and Gaza.

I thought his comments were worth going over in some detail, if only because they’re so incongruous with what I believe to be some fundamental ‘Green’ principles: namely equality, social justice, human rights and self-determination.

So without further ado… continue

Shooting and crying over lost moral army

By Jonathon Cook | The Blog from Nazareth | July 29, 2014

I really wonder what it says about the Guardian or its readers that it publishes an article like this one by Yuli Novak, a former Israeli air force officer. The discourse, even on the left, is still so degraded on the issue of Israel-Palestine that this seems to pass for progressive thought.

I am also appalled that I almost find myself pleased that this former soldier, an insider, is telling us that Israel is acting immorally in its current attack on Gaza. But in doing so she bolsters a patently ridiculous mythology that, for most of its history, Israel had a moral army – the most moral in the world, no less – and that only a decade ago the army agonised over every Palestinian death.

As someone who lived and reported through those years, at the start of the second intifada, I can say with certainty that that is utter nonsense. This was a time when the Israeli chief of staff, Moshe Yaalon, the current defence minister, spoke of “searing” defeat into the Palestinian consciousness.

Let’s not forget that the Israeli army, far from once being driven by moral ideals, began life with an act of mass ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, in 1948. It has been maintaining and expanding the cleansed zone ever since. … continue

Brazilian president calls Israeli attack on Gaza a massacre

MEMO | July 29, 2014

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has described the ongoing Israeli offensive against the population of the Gaza Strip as a “massacre”. The bombardment and invasion has so far killed 1,085 Palestinians, the majority of whom were civilians.

dilma-rousseffRousseff was speaking during a forum organised by Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper. “What is happening in Gaza is dangerous,” she said. “I do not think it is genocide, but I think it’s a massacre.”

Last week, the Brazilian foreign ministry condemned the “disproportionate” use of force by Israel and recalled its ambassador from Tel Aviv for consultations.

A spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry responded with now-customary Israeli arrogance. “This is an unfortunate demonstration of why Brazil, an economic and cultural giant, remains a diplomatic dwarf,” said Yigal Palmor.

President Rousseff expressed her “regret” for the offensive term used by Israel to describe her country.

Leaked memo says major fundraising, catering to elite needed for Senate candidate to win

RT | July 29, 2014

A campaign strategy memo developed for Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn was leaked online Monday, illustrating the dominant roles that fundraising and pandering to the affluent play in American politics.

The December 2013 memo, obtained by National Review, outlines a potential campaign finance plan for Nunn, calling for the Democrat to spend 70 to 80 percent of her time raising cash from January through September. In October, the candidate’s time raising funds falls to 50 percent.

“Hitting our targets will require us to prioritize fundraising above all else and to focus the candidate’s time on it with relentless intensity,” the memo suggests, going on to add that Nunn should spend 2,201 hours raising money during the 2,500 campaign hours in 2014.

Overall, the memo says Nunn needs to raise $15 million to $20 million during the entire race. Nunn, who was uncontested in her party’s primary, is pitted against Republican David Perdue to fill the seat of outgoing senator Saxby Chambliss.

The memo outlines eight different groups Nunn should target as potential sources of the kind of big money needed to win the seat. Those groups include Georgia CEOs and business leaders; a cadre of major Democratic donors; trial lawyers and law firms; the tech industry; the National Finance Committee; the Jewish community; young professionals; women; and the larger lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. [...]

Outside of business objectives, the memo says Nunn must use targeted messaging to emphasize policy preferences of her other prioritized communities. For instance, she should voice her support for marriage equality with LGBT donors, the memo suggests. With the tech community, she should push her support for the “the entrepreneurial spirit of Georgians” For the Jewish community, the memo says, “Michelle’s position on Israel will largely determine the level of support here.” … Full article

Israeli settlers attempt to kidnap Palestinian child in Jerusalem

Ma’an – 29/07/2014

291167_345x230JERUSALEM – Two Israeli settlers attempted to “kidnap” a two-year old Palestinian from Jerusalem while he was walking with his father and two sisters in Shufat 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 Shufat 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. … Full article

Israel rejects Eid ‘humanitarian truce’ in Gaza: Hamas

MEMO | July 28 2014

Palestinian resistance faction Hamas has accused Israel of rejecting proposals for a humanitarian truce during Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

“[Israeli] occupation still rejects any humanitarian truce during Eid,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a press release on Monday.

Hamas and other Palestinian factions said Sunday that they were ready for observing a 24-hour humanitarian truce in the Gaza Strip during Eid al-Fitr, which started on Monday, at the request of the United Nations.

Israel has not yet responded to the proposal. … Full article

Gaza’s only power plant “finished” in Israeli shelling

Al-Akhbar | July 29, 2014

Israeli tank fire hit the fuel depot of the Gaza Strip’s only power plant on Tuesday, witnesses said, cutting electricity to Gaza City and many other parts of the Palestinian enclave of 1.8 million people.

A thick column of black smoke rose from the facility, which supplies the territory with two-thirds of its energy needs, and the fuel containers were in flames. “The power plant is finished,” its director, Mohammed al-Sharif, told Reuters. [...]

The plant had already been hit last week and was working at a reduced capacity of about 20 percent, allowing only a few hours of electricity a day for Gaza’s residents. … Full article

Journalist, His Family, Killed By Israeli Missile In Rafah

By Saed Bannoura | IMEMC & Agencies | July 29, 2014

372715_Israel-attack-GazaThe Israeli army continued its illegitimate bombardment of Palestinian homes, and civilian property, and killed five family members of a Palestinian journalist, including two children in Gaza City.

Media sources said the Israeli strikes also targeted government facilities and ministries, media outlets, mosques and even homes of senior political leaders of Hamas, including the deputy head of the Hamas Political Bureau, Ismael Haniyya.

Medical sources said resident Ezzat Dheir, a 23-year-old journalist, working for a local radio, was killed along with four members of his family, after an Israeli missile striking his home. … continue

Al-Aqsa TV Channel building hit by Israeli warplanes

Palestine Information Center – 29/07/2014

GAZA – 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. … Full article

More than 122 killed in Gaza since midnight

Ma’an – 29/07/2014

GAZA CITY – The Palestinian Ministry of Health on Tuesday afternoon said that more than 100 Palestinians had been killed in the Israeli bombardment on Tuesday morning alone, bringing the total past 1,200 as hundreds of thousands fled their homes across the Strip.

Earlier statements from the ministry had given the number of dead at around 57 for the morning, but after consultation with hospitals across the Strip the total was revised to more than 106 dead and hundreds more injured over the course of 14 hours.

Since then, at least 16 more have died in Israeli attacks.

In the most recent attack, at least 14 Palestinians were killed and dozens as Israeli forces shelled Jabaliya camp Tuesday, a Ma’an reporter said.

Witnesses said homes in Jabaliya refugee camp were shelled heavily, and that many bodies remain under the rubble of buildings.

The Ministry of Health also said that as of Monday night nearly 5,000 homes had been completely destroyed, while tens of thousands more had been partially destroyed.

The United Nations, meanwhile, estimated that more than 215,000 Gazans had fled their home, or more than 10 percent of the besieged coastal enclave’s total population.

Late Monday, Israeli authorities had given 400,000 Gazans evacuation orders, but with all the borders closed and the Israeli bombardment and ground invasion continuing in the northern, central, and southern Gaza Strip, the vast majority had nowhere to go except UN shelters.

Last week, however, Israeli shelling hit at least four UN-designated shelters, killing more than 20 and injuring hundreds. … Full article

Iran ready to build makeshift hospital in Gaza

Press TV – July 29, 2014

The Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) says it is ready to set up a fully equipped makeshift hospital in the Gaza Strip amid deadly Israeli attacks on the impoverished coastal enclave.

Seyyed Reza Raeis Karami, the IRCS under-secretary general for health, treatment and rehabilitation, said the humanitarian body is ready to dispatch a medical team to Gaza and build a field hospital there to treat those wounded in Israeli attacks.

The hospital could be built up in a six-month period, while a group of 23 Iranian surgeons will also operate in the medical center to treat the injured Gazans, according to the IRCS official. … continue

The Consistency of Official Iranian Commentary, Part III: On Khamenei’s Referendum Rhetoric, Reuters is Wrong

By Nima Shirazi | Wide Asleep in America | July 27, 2014

Last week, Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed a meeting of Iranian university students and, in his first public comments on the ongoing assault on Gaza, spoke of his belief in the necessity of continued Palestinian resistance to Israel aggression, oppression, and occupation.

“Don’t the Palestinians have the right to defend their lives and security?” he asked rhetorically, and condemned Western nations like the United States and Great Britain for openly supporting Israel’s assault and justifying “crimes that no ordinary person would.”

In the right-wing Daily Caller, notorious neocon darling Reza Kahlili noted that Khamenei reiterated the call by his predecessor, Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini, that “Israel must be destroyed,” adding that “until that time with the help of God for this cruel and murderous regime to be destroyed, strong confrontation with steadfast armed resistance is the only solution against this destructive regime.”

Yet the Caller omitted a crucial aspect of Khamenei’s speech – deliberately replaced by an ellipsis linking the the paraphrased Khomeini quote with Khamenei’s endorsement of Palestinian armed struggle – in which the Iranian leader stated that the ideal solution to the current impasse was a democratic vote. … continue

Detained Diplomat Hugo Carvajal Arrives in Venezuela

TeleSUR | July 28, 2014

General Hugo Carvajal arrived Sunday evening in Venezuela after being released from a jail in Aruba, where he had been arbitrarily detained since July 24, and immediately headed to Caracas to be received by President Nicolas Maduro at the Third Congress of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).

Venezuelan Foreign Relations Minister Elias Jaua received Carvajal and the deputy Minister of Foreign Relations to Europe, Calixto Ortega, at the Maiquetia International Airport, some 18 miles from the capital’s city of Caracas.

Ortega told teleSUR that, “The government of the Netherlands — which recognized that the arrest of the official had been illegal and in violation of international treaties on diplomats — accepted the criteria of the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry in regards to the fact that the Major General is a diplomatic official.”

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said he was satisfied with the release of the general consul Hugo Carvajal, who he said was falsely accused of drug trafficking by the United States. … continue

Hague court had no authority in Yukos case, ruling politicized – Moscow

RT | July 28, 2014

The Hague’s arbitration court was not legally empowered to view the case of Yukos Oil Company v. Russia, and the court’s “one-sided” ruling disregards previous Strasbourg court decisions on the issue, the Russian Finance Ministry said in a statement.

Viewing the case, filed by shareholders of former Russian oil giant Yukos against the Russian government, was not in the jurisdiction of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in the Hague, as Russia has not ratified the Energy Charter Treaty, the ministry said on Monday.

The statement, following the court’s sensational Monday ruling that ordered Russia to pay $50 billion in damages, also provided a detailed list of issues, which, according to the ministry, make the decision “opportunistic” and “politically biased.” … continue

The US’ H17 End Game: Shadow NATO in Ukraine and Russia as a ‘State Sponsor of Terrorism’

By Andrew KORYBKO | Oriental Review | July 28, 2014

The Ukrainian Civil War took a violent and headline-grabbing international turn for the worst on 17 July following the downing of Flight MH17. Although it appears more and more likely that it was the Ukrainian Army that shot it down and not the anti-Kiev Resistance, pro-Western media has been aggressively pushing the narrative that Russia, specifically President Putin, was involved and has been suppressing evidence to the contrary. It has even gone as far as to infer that “Russian-backed separatists” carried out a “terrorist attack”, further upping the propaganda ante. The reason behind this massive information war is that the US wants to “isolate Russia” and expand NATO into Ukraine, something which it has largely been unable to successfully do up until this point. In fact, it appears as though the US is now readying to play its trump card – granting Ukraine major non-NATO ally status and declaring Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism”, both of which would in turn advance NATO interests and threateningly force the EU to choose whether its destiny lies with the Atlantic or the Continent. … continue

Former CIA Boss George Tenet Leading Plans To Attack Upcoming Senate Report On CIA’s Torture Program

By Mike Masnick | Techdirt | July 28, 2014

As we continue to wait for the White House to finally release the heavily redacted version of the executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s CIA torture report (the full report is over 6,300 pages and cost $40 million to produce), it appears that those who are likely to take the blame are already preparing their response. As has already leaked out over the past few months, the report will show how the program went further than people expected, that it basically uncovered no terrorist plots and that the CIA regularly lied to Congress about the nature of the program and its impact. The CIA, led by current boss John Brennan, has hit back against these conclusions, but it appears that those who were actually in power during the torture program are even more worried. Former CIA boss George Tenet, who was already considered something of a disgrace for the CIA’s intelligence failures prior to invading Iraq, is apparently working hard behind the scenes to coordinate an attack on the credibility of the report — because it pretty clearly is going to attack his credibility. … continue

In memory of Israel’s latest victims

hossamHumanize Palestine

Hossam Abdul Ghani Yassin, 15 years old, was killed Saturday morning, July 26, 2014, in an Israeli strike on his home, in Gaza City.

Hossam Yassin is the grandson of the founder and political leader of Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. Hossam’s father Abdel Ghani Yassin reports on his facebook page, that Hossam was buried next to his grandfather.

Sheikh Ahmed Yassin was assassinated on March 22, 2004 by Israeli Occupying Forces, as he was leaving the mosque during Fajr (dawn) prayer.

~~~

Humanize Palestine attempts to restore the humanity that is often stripped away when Palestinians are reduced to calculative deaths, forgettable names, and burned and mutilated bodies, rather than people who shared loved ones, stories, dreams and aspirations. Visit the site

The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts

By Patrick Cockburn | The Independent | July 27, 2014

Israeli spokesmen have their work cut out explaining how they have killed more than 1,000 Palestinians in Gaza, most of them civilians, compared with just three civilians killed in Israel by Hamas rocket and mortar fire. But on television and radio and in newspapers, Israeli government spokesmen such as Mark Regev appear slicker and less aggressive than their predecessors, who were often visibly indifferent to how many Palestinians were killed.

There is a reason for this enhancement of the PR skills of Israeli spokesmen. Going by what they say, the playbook they are using is a professional, well-researched and confidential study on how to influence the media and public opinion in America and Europe. … continue

Gaza electricity company crews survive Israeli artillery shelling

Ma’an – July 28, 2014

GAZA CITY – Gaza electricity repair crews on Sunday narrowly survived an Israeli artillery shelling that nearly struck two vehicles carrying crews, a company official said.

Gaza Electricity Distribution Company public relations director Jamal Dardasawi told Ma’an that Israeli artillery targeted the vehicles despite the fact that both vehicles are clearly marked as belonging to the electricity company.

Gaza fighters clash with Israeli forces in Occupied Palestine after strike kills eight children on Eid

Al-Akhbar | July 28, 2014

Updated 8:08 pm: Palestinian gunmen slipped into Occupied Palestine from the Gaza Strip on Monday and penetrated a village near the border before entering clashes with occupation forces, Israeli television said, adding that five militants had been killed.

Hamas said in a statement their fighters had killed 10 Israeli soldiers in the incident before returning home safely. But an Israeli security source told AFP that five Palestinian fighters were shot dead in the gun battle with Israel troops.

Earlier on Monday, an Israeli airstrike hit a public garden in the Beach refugee camp in northern Gaza killing 10 people, eight of them children, according to medics, ending a relative lull in fighting during the Muslim Eid holiday.

The attack brought the death toll in 21 days of attacks to 1,046. … continue

Israeli officials Mock Kerry Ceasefire Proposal; Reject any Long-Term Truce

By Chris Carlson | International Middle East Media Center | July 28, 2014

On Friday, a draft of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s ceasefire proposal was shown to Israeli officials. The draft apparently called for the opening of border crossings between Gaza and Israel and included measure to ensure “the economic livelihood” of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

According to Haaretz, the document, which was titled “Framework for Humanitarian Ceasefire in Gaza,” also said that a lasting truce would make possible the “transfer of funds to Gaza for the payment of salaries for public employees.”

The proposed ceasefire would also “address all security concerns”, stipulating that Israel would not be allowed to continue destroying tunnels during the initial ceasefire and making no explicit mention of the demilitarizing Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli officials were apparently shocked after reading the draft, according to Ma’an, saying that it ignored Israel’s security concerns.

“We succeeded in foiling that document and now we are discussing other options,” Haaretz quoted officials as saying.

One of Kerry’s associates is said to have responded:

“There is no paper and no proposal. The draft was based on the Egyptian proposal that Israel wholeheartedly supported. So if they are opposed, they are opposed their own plan.”

Israel refused to work with the ceasefire proposed on Friday, agreeing instead to a 12-hour humanitarian truce which started Saturday at 8am.

Israel resumed its assault on Gaza for the 20th day on Sunday afternoon, killing ten Palestinians in attacks on Sunday. … continue

Lieberman calls Gaza devastation a ‘good thing’

MEMO | July 27, 2014

372862_Israeli-war-on-GazaIsraeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has said that the Israeli army will continue its military operations in the Gaza Strip after the end of the ceasefire, and described the images of devastation in Gaza as a “good thing”.

Speaking to Yedioth Ahranoth newspaper, the far-right politician said that Israel must ensure the security of Israeli citizens, no matter how many hours and days it takes. “The truce will end at midnight and I have no doubt that the army will continue its operations with full force, and then we’ll see results.”

When asked about scenes of massive destruction that have been broadcast from the Gaza Strip, he said “our soldiers did a good job.” The military, he added, has “full authority” to achieve the goals set by the Israeli cabinet. … Full article

Gaza: Israel puts paramedics in its crosshairs

By Mohammed Suliman | Al-Akhbar | July 28, 2014

Reham is used to not seeing her husband Ayed for several days on end. During war times, she rarely sleeps. Watching over her little children, she sits by her bed horrified as the radio blares out the news of an air-strike that hit somewhere north of Gaza, where she lives. The restless wife would soon try calling her husband, and more often than not, he didn’t pick up. Ayed would be busy evacuating the injured or rescuing the bodies of people who were killed in the aftermath of an Israeli shelling.

Twenty-eight-year-old Ayed al-Buraey was a Palestinian paramedic from northern Gaza. After he finished his shift, Ayed would normally call his wife to assure her that he was safe. This time however, he did not call.

Ayed was killed on July 25 when Israeli forces shelled the ambulance he was in while he and his crew were on their way to evacuate the injured in Beit Hanoun. The shells struck the ambulance and set it on fire. Hatem Shahin, a volunteer paramedic, was with the crew when the ambulance vehicle was shelled. He was injured in the attack but managed to get out of the ambulance and, with the help of few young men, walked to Beit Hanoun Hospital, where he was then taken to al-Awda Hospital in Jabaliya.

“We were heading to al-Masreyyeen Street to evacuate a few injured people stuck there. Once we entered the street, a shell hit our ambulance. I started shouting but couldn’t hear anything. The vehicle was ablaze. I crawled out of it and walked away,” 38-year-old Shahin told Al-Akhbar. … continue

Israeli forces fire live ammunition injuring 15 protesters in Beit Furik

International Solidarity Movement | July 27, 2014

Beit Furik, Occupied Palestine – At 22:00 in the evening of Friday, July 25th, Israeli forces injured 15 Palestinians during a protest in the village of Beit Furik, which is located fifteen km southeast of Nablus in the northern half of the West Bank.

Approximately 2000 protesters were marching towards the checkpoint near the village. Roughly 40 Israeli soldiers were waiting for them there, and when they came into view, the soldiers began to shoot tear gas canisters in their direction. Shortly after the protest began, the soldiers changed from firing tear gas, to live ammunition. … continue

The Shame of David Gregory

By Greg Mitchell | Pressing Issues | July 28, 2014

It’s been a tough week for NBC’s David Gregory.

First were reports that his “Meet the Press” was sinking under even weaker ratings and that he would soon be replaced. Then as we noted here yesterday: Gregory, after a weak interview with Prime Minister Netanyahu,  committed one of the worst journalistic ethical lapses of recent vintage. After letting Netanyahu claim, again, that Israel may be blameless in the school massacre, despite all the evidence and logic to the contrary, he brought on UNWRA spokesman Chris Gunness–and blindsided him by showing a 10-second, hazy, tape just released within the hour by Israel allegedly showing a Hamas rocket being fired from the grounds of a UN school. Yet Gregory said NBC had not “verified” that it’s accurate–and admitted that Gunness could not view  it and had never seen it before. Yet then asked Gunness to respond! Gunness naturally protested the unfairness–and then the segment quickly ended.

Gregory has now issued this statement: “An end note in a discussion about Gaza we asked a spokesman about this video which Israel claims showed rockets being fired by Hamas from a U.N. school in Gaza,” Gregory said. “This is shot by the Israeli government, and that’s their claim. The U.N. has reviewed it, tells us they have confirmed, in their view, the video does not show rockets being fired from U.N. administrative school in Gaza. So this is a back and forth we are not able to settle at this point.” No apology or recognition of his severe ethical lapse. Shameful. And leaves it at the usual “he said/she said”–rather than NBC attempting to verify tape or prove Israeli propaganda. Which it should have done before airing it. … continue

US allegations of Russia firing at Ukraine are ‘baseless’ – Russian MP

RT | July 28, 2014

Satellite images released by the US allegedly “proving” that Russia fired rockets at Ukrainian troops across the border cannot be considered evidence, according to a Russian MP.

The imagery was released via email, along with a four-page document titled ‘Evidence of Russian Shelling into Ukraine.’ Four satellite images were included, all dating between July 21 and July 25/26.

They were all posted on Twitter by the US ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, on Sunday.

The US “lies about obvious things,” said Franz Klintsevich, deputy chairman of the State Duma Defense Committee, as quoted by RIA Novosti.

He stated that the satellite images are not enough to point fingers at Russia and accuse it of shelling Ukraine. In order to confirm such claims, the data must be backed by other sources as well. [...]

Russia has repeatedly denied allegations that it is taking part in the Ukrainian conflict, and the Russian Foreign Ministry called Washington’s charges “unsubstantiated innuendos.”

Military expert Igor Korotchenko challenged the so-called evidence released by Pyatt and questioned its authenticity.

“Publishing charges on the US ambassador to Ukraine’s Twitter and using them as a basis to argue that Russia is firing at Ukrainian territory is ludicrous and unprofessional,” Korotchenko told RT.

“In serious cases like that, I would recommend for the US to look into briefings, such as the recent briefing by Russia’s Defense Ministry. In it, everything was clear: satellite images were presented, they were decoded, and the pictures were as detailed as possible; everyone could make out the details,” he said.

“In addition to satellite imagery data, the satellite control and electronic intelligence were attached. There were also maps, plans, and diagrams included. On the US ambassador’s Twitter you cannot make anything out, even with a magnifying glass.” … Full article

Blaming Russia as ‘Flat Fact’

By Robert Parry | Consortium News | July 27, 2014

As nuclear-armed America hurtles into a completely avoidable crash with nuclear-armed Russia over Ukraine, you can now see the dangers of “information warfare” when facts give way to propaganda and the press fails to act as an impartial arbiter.

In this sorry affair, one of the worst offenders of journalistic principles has been the New York Times… continue

The 97% ‘consensus’: Part II

By Judith Curry | July 27, 2013

My, the Cook et al. 97% consensus paper is a gift to the climate blogosphere that keeps on giving.

Some insightful new posts provide fodder for additional discussion on this. … continue

What Does the U.S. Support When It Supports Israel?

By Michael S. Rozeff | LewRockwell.com | July 26, 2014

… Although America has stood in theory as a melting pot and a country that favored the assimilation of many peoples from all over the world, and in practice was against Black Nationalism, the U.S. government has supported Jewish Nationalism in Israel. It has supported a society that could only support such a state by being exclusionary and segregated, or even ethnically cleansed. The philosophy behind that state rested on Herzl’s assumptions, which in my view were deeply flawed. He simply ignored the native population of Palestine. He simply asserted that Jews were a people one people, that assimilation was out of the question and that a Jewish State was a solution to anti-Semitism. All of these assertions are questionable. … Read full article

Another ‘Saigon’: US Evacuates From Libya

By Daniel McAdams | Ron Paul Institute | July 26, 2014

One month ago today, President Obama was congratulating Libya on a “milestone” election — even though the disintegration of the country after the 2011 US invasion was ongoing.

Said Obama in June:

I congratulate the Libyan people on the conclusion of the elections for a new Council of Representatives, a milestone in their courageous efforts to transition from four decades of dictatorship toward a full democracy.

Today, the US announced it has evacuated all US personnel from Libya. They piled into vehicles and escaped to Tunisia. … continue

Dozens, including 2 children, die as Kiev troops shell Gorlovka in E.Ukraine

RT | July 27, 2014

At least 13 civilians and likely dozens more have been killed by artillery barrages, as government troops continue to close in on militia positions around the city of Gorlovka in eastern Ukraine.

A 1-year old and a 5-year old are among the dead, according to information published by the Donetsk regional administration. Several local journalists on the ground have reported that as many as 30 have been killed, as fighting continues. … Full article

International teams find ‘no violations’ by Russia along Ukrainian border

RT | July 27, 2014

Inspectors who came to check the state of Russian troops along the Ukrainian borders have found no violations, Russia’s Ministry of Defense said. This came as a response to the US alleging 15,000 Russian troops have amassed in the area.

“It has come to our attention that new allegations by top US officials as to the alleged amassing of Russian troops along the Ukrainian border have been voiced,” the statement by the Defense Ministry read, following allegations by the US Permanent Representative to NATO, Douglas Lute, and State Department spokeswoman, Marie Harf.

“The last four months have witnessed 18 separate inspections along the Ukrainian border with the Russian Federation, all in line with the Vienna Open Skies Treaty and the Vienna agreement of 2011.”

The statement goes on to list the international makeup of those inspections, which included representatives from the US, as well as NATO and Ukraine. The inspections also included flybys and visits to any military units that might have aroused suspicion. … continue

A few questions for the New York Times

By Alison Weir | July 26, 2014

Following are a few short questions for the New York Times in regard to a recent news report:

1. When are you going to cover the killing of Palestinians the same way you cover the killing of Israelis?

Israel’s killing of at least 8 civilians in one day was relegated to the second half of the story and not mentioned in the headline.

The murder of a father of three children, a staff member for Defense for Children International, got two sentences in the 17th paragraph. Israeli forces’ killing of a 17-year-old got one sentence in the 25th paragraph. The killing of a 12-year-old and a 15-year-old got a half sentence – between them – in the 27th paragraph.

2. When are you going to stop calling Palestinians who are fighting to protect their homeland “militants” and start calling them resistance fighters?continue

Britain’s Shame

By Stuart Littlewood | Dissident Voice | July 26, 2014

Today in London crowds are gathering to vent their anger in a mass demonstration and march to Parliament to “stop the massacre in Gaza” and call for an arms embargo against Israel. This follows last weekend’s huge protest outside the Israeli embassy and campaigns against the BBC’s pro-Israel bias in reporting the assault on Gaza.

There is growing resentment among British people at being endlessly shamed by their government’s complicity in the mega-injustices and non-stop crimes inflicted on the native people of the Holy Land, exemplified by Whitehall’s attempts to whitewash Israel’s latest genocidal offensive.

And on this the 19th day of Israel’s blitzkrieg comes news of a brief humanitarian “pause”, after which the killing spree will continue while Israel attempts to eradicate Gaza’s tunnels. At this point in the orchestrated tragedy the Palestinian death-toll is approaching 900, three-quarters civilians including around 200 children, and more than 5,000 wounded. … continue

Two Palestinians Beaten by Jewish Mob in Jerusalem

By Chris Carlson | International Middle East Media Center | July 27, 2014

Two Palestinian youth were reportedly assaulted by a Jewish mob in Jerusalem, on Friday evening, according to Haaretz. Israeli forces vandalized the premises of public institutions, Saturday, in Al-Bireh.

Amir Shwiki and Samer Mahfouz, both 20 years old and from Beit Khanina, were apparently attacked with iron bars and baseball bats while walking to a Light Rail station, following the evening Ramadan meal.

“A man came from the direction of Neve Ya’akov (a Jerusalem neighborhood),” Samer told Haaretz. “He said give me a cigarette. I told him I don’t have any, and he heard I’m Arab and went away, coming back with his friends, maybe 12 people. They had sticks and iron bars and they hit us over the head.”

The two were seriously wounded and lost consciousness during the beating, upon which they were hospitalized in Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem, Jerusalem. … Full article

Two Palestinian teenagers murdered by Israelis in separate West Bank incidents

International Solidarity Movement | July 27, 2014

Huwwara, Occupied Palestine – On Friday, July 25, an Israeli settler murdered a Palestinian teenager in the village of Huwwara, which lies approximately 10 km south of Nablus in the northern half of the West Bank. Two hours later, an Israeli sniper killed another Palestinian teenager in the same village.

After Friday prayers at the mosque in Huwwara, villagers began marching in solidarity with the victims of the Gaza massacre. The protest included many children, some of whom were carrying signs in support of their Gazan brothers and sisters. Two Israeli military jeeps were along the route, and some of the soldiers were taking pictures of the peaceful protest. As the procession wound its way back to the mosque, a settler suddenly raced alongside and slammed on the brakes.

“He was about a meter away from the kids and just started firing out the window of his car,” stated a witness. “It was clear he was trying to kill people.” The settler managed to shoot four people before fleeing the scene. 19-year-old Khalid Owda died from a gunshot wound to his abdomen, while Tarik Dmadi was shot in the chest and remains in critical condition. Hassan Dmadi was shot in the hip, while Jihad Owda was shot in the hand and has been released from the hospital.

“Had he had more ammunition, he would have kept on shooting and killed more people,” said a witness. “Killing Palestinians is no big deal for the settlers, because there is no punishment. And what about the soldiers? They were just standing there, doing nothing.” … continue

Egypt destroys 13 more Gaza tunnels

Press TV – July 27, 2014

Egypt has demolished 13 more tunnels between the country and the Gaza Strip, which has been under an Israeli blockade for the past seven years.

The army said on Sunday that it had destroyed the tunnels in the Sinai Peninsula, but did not say when they were demolished.

The tunnels are the only lifeline for Palestinians living under the Israeli siege and Egypt has so far laid waste to 1,639 of them. … Full article

Israel Violates Ceasefire by Shooting Palestinian; Agrees to Extend ‘Ceasefire’ Until Sunday

By Celine Hagbard | IMEMC | July 27, 2014

Naim Abdul Aziz Abu Zaher, 36, was shot to death by Israeli forces east of Deir al-Balah around 9 pm Saturday, two hours before the ‘temporary ceasefire’ was scheduled to end. Two other Palestinians died of their wounds early Sunday morning.

Soon after the shooting of Abu Zaher, Israeli authorities announced an extension of the ‘temporary ceasefire’ until Sunday morning at 7 am. … Full article

Report: Kerry ceasefire proposal called for open Israel-Gaza borders

Ma’an – July 27, 2014

BETHLEHEM – A draft of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s ceasefire proposal that was shown to Israeli officials on Friday called for the opening of Gaza-Israel border crossings and ensuring “the economic livelihood” of Palestinians in the Strip, an Israeli newspaper reported Sunday.

The document, titled “Framework for Humanitarian Ceasefire in Gaza,” also said a lasting truce would make possible the “transfer of funds to Gaza for the payment of salaries for public employees,” Haaretz reported.

According to the report, the proposed ceasefire would also “address all security concerns.”

Israel would not be allowed to continue its operation to destroy tunnels during the initial ceasefire, the draft reportedly stipulated.

It made no explicit mention of the demilitarization of Palestinian factions in Gaza.

Israeli officials were “in shock” upon reading the draft, saying it ignored Israel’s security concerns.

“We succeeded in foiling that document and now we are discussing other options,” Haaretz quoted officials as saying.

An associate of Kerry reportedly responded: “There is no paper and no proposal. The draft was based on the Egyptian proposal that Israel wholeheartedly supported. So if they are opposed, they are opposed their own plan.”

Israel voted down a ceasefire proposal Friday, instead agreeing to a 12-hour humanitarian truce starting Saturday at 8 a.m. … Full article

Hamas to respect 24-hour truce if Israeli soldiers leave Gaza

Al-Akhbar | July 27, 2014

Israel’s security cabinet approved extending the humanitarian ceasefire begun early on Saturday until midnight local time (2100 GMT) on Sunday, an Israeli government official said, while Hamas said it would respect the truce if occupation forces left Gaza.

“At the request of the United Nations, the cabinet has approved a humanitarian hiatus until tomorrow (Sunday) at 24:00. The (Israel army) will act against any breach of the ceasefire,” the official, who was not named, said in a statement.

Hamas said it would only endorse the ceasefire if Israel removes its troops from the areas into which it has invaded in the Gaza Strip.

“Any humanitarian calm that does not include the withdrawal of occupation soldiers from the Gaza Strip and enable the people to return to their houses and to evacuate the wounded is not acceptable,” said Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas spokesman.

After the ceasefire began early on Saturday, Palestinians took advantage of the lull in fighting to retrieve their dead and stock up on food, flooding into the streets to discover scenes of massive destruction in some areas.

Gaza’s health ministry said 147 bodies were pulled from the rubble on Saturday.

At least 1,033 Palestinians, including over 200 children, have been killed by Israeli forces since the launch of the US-backed terror campaign on July 8. … Full article

July – 2014


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