Kim Sengupta, The Independent 7/11/2014
70 per cent of the 700 injured are women or children, say Palestinian medical authorities
“She was the centre of our life, she was the most precious thing in the world to us, we had waited so long for her. Now we don’t know whether she will wake up again; we don’t know what has happened to her.” Alla al-Masri buried his head in his hands – no longer could he bear to watch his nine-year-old daughter lying on the hospital bed, suffering.
He and his wife, Hanan, had craved a baby and Mariam came after years of IVF treatment. An only child, she was the apple of her grandparents’ eyes and they had been constantly cautioning her that she should not stray far from home in these dangerous times.
“Our little girl was playing in our garden when it happened. The Israelis bombed a house across the street: the blast came straight through our house – then I saw my daughter lying in blood,” said Mr Masri. “She was injured badly in the head, so we fear very much.”
Mariam is one among the extraordinarily large number of children who have been victims since Benjamin Netanyahu’s government launched Operation Protective Edge: 22 are among the 103 dead, and no less than 70 per cent of the 700 injured comprise boys and girls, or women, according to Palestinian medical authorities.
Ashraf al-Qadri, information director at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City warned of a “catastrophic effect” on young lives if the spiral of violence continues. There is no obvious explanation for this trend in child casualties.
Many residents, however, maintain that missiles and bombs aimed at the homes of militants considered legitimate targets by the Israelis have also hit neighbouring family homes.... more.. e-mail In Gaza, war clouds teen’s dream of peace
AFP, Ma’an News Agency 7/13/2014
GAZA CITY (AFP) -- In 2012, Mohamed Abu Aisha took part in a US peace camp with Israelis, but now he wonders if some of them are flying the warplanes overhead in Gaza.
Standing in the Tuffah neighborhood in eastern Gaza City, the 17-year-old stares at the devastation left by an Israeli strike in which 18 people were killed on Saturday night.
The target appears to have been a Hamas police chief, but the missile killed a significant number of his extended family, with two rockets slamming into the home of a cousin he was visiting shortly after Ramadan prayers.
"It is a disaster," says Abu Aisha, who lives two streets away.
"The blast was so big that our house shook. All the dust and debris came in through our windows -- we can't close them because otherwise they shatter when there are air strikes."
Abu Aisha just graduated from Gaza's American International School and is eager to show off his fluent English.
He honed his language skills during two months in the United States in 2012, when he took part in a peacemaker's program with Israelis and others living in conflict zones, called Seeds of Peace.
"It's a program that brings people living in conflict together and allows them to talk to each other," he says.
It was the first time he had talked at length to Israelis, and he formed cautious acquaintances with some, as he tried to explain things from the Palestinian point of view. more.. e-mail Given US/UK/Israel wars and lust for more, what do two ‘supreme Law’ treaties say about lawful and unlawful war?
Carl Herman, Washington’s Blog 7/13/2014
The short answer is war is lawful only in self-defense from armed attack by another nation’s government, and lawful response is to arrest US/UK/Israel leaderships for unlawful Wars of Aggression.
Background history: It’s easy to document the US as a neocolonial empire; offspring of Europe’s lust for material wealth that spawned two world wars in the century within which all current adults were born.
All of our families sacrificed through those wars. Please take a moment to feel what they went through. Please take a moment to experience the cumulative costs inflicted by “developed” nations’ imperialism and wars, including Israel’s escalating unlawful War of Aggression on Palestine that make Gaza the world’s largest concentration camp.
The two world wars begat two treaties to end nations’ armed attacks. They are crystal-clear in content and context: the Kellogg-Briand Pact (General treaty for renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy as official title), and the United Nations Charter.
Article Six of the US Constitution defines a treaty as US “supreme Law of the Land;” meaning that US policy may only complement an active treaty, and never violate it.
This is important because all of us with Oaths to the US Constitution are sworn to honorably refuse all unlawful war orders; military officers are also sworn to arrest those who issue them. Indeed, we suffer criminal dishonor if we obey orders for armed attack when they are not “self-defense” as clearly limited by treaty from dear experience of our families’ engagement in world war.... more.. e-mail Reflections at Qalandiya
Tamar Fleishman, Al-Ahram Weekly 7/10/2014
The brutal indifference of the Israeli checkpoints on the West Bank is an image of the wider occupation.
Twenty people who had been released from hospitals all around the West Bank gathered at the Qalandiya checkpoint recently in order to receive permits to head home to the Gaza Strip. Since the morning hours they had been standing and waiting, sitting and waiting, pacing and waiting, but not getting their passage permits.
They were 20 exhausted people who were in need of rest and recuperation: an elderly woman after heart surgery, a baby being carried by her mother, a five-year-old child that kept crying and pulling the plastic cover that protected its eye that had undergone surgery, a woman who still had blood on her arm from an intravenous drip, a woman that was blind in both her eyes, as well as many others. They were all waiting.
The people had arrived on their own or in pairs, and they teamed up as the hours passed. They sat next to each other, the bundles of one person getting mixed up with the ones placed just beside them, and on the filthy concrete floor were suitcases that had known better days and had taken on the eternal dust of the wretched place.
It looked like a refugee transit camp, and it was a refugee transit camp. But the refugees were not allowed to transit.After seven hours of nerve-wrecking waiting it was time for excuses to be made.
At first the computers were blamed, but since no one found this convincing the people at Gaza were the next to take the blame. It was as if the ones over there, the soldiers at the Gaza checkpoint, were from the foreign legion or were mercenaries, and not soldiers in the same army and the same unit as the soldiers who manned the Qalandiya checkpoint, whose duty it is to act as a coordination unit and respond to the needs of the occupied population. more.. e-mail
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