"The so-called 'Palestinian autonomous areas' are bantustans...restricted entities within the power of the Israeli apartheid system."
   Nelson Mandela
   
   
Events: July 14: VTJP Meeting
  Articles
AP: UN shelter shelled; more than 140,000 displaced
Samer Badawi, +972 Magazine 7/24/2014
     The United Nations today confirmed “multiple dead and injured” at its shelter in Beit Hanoun, where Gazan families had sought refuge from non-stop Israeli shelling that has killed more than 700 Palestinians, most of them civilians.
     Chris Gunness, a spokesperson for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine refugees, said via Twitter that the agency had earlier today passed the shelter’s “precise coordinates” to the Israeli military. Fearing an attack, UNRWA had “tried to coordinate with the Israeli army a window for civilians to leave,” but “it was never granted,” said Gunness.
     As reported by AP, the attack comes just hours after UNRWA announced more than 140,000 Palestinians had sought shelter at its facilities from the ongoing Israeli bombardment. That number, based on headcounts at 83 UNRWA facilities, does not include Palestinians forced to seek shelter elsewhere, including on the grounds of Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital. UNRWA also reports that one Palestinian child has been killed in Gaza every hour for the past two days.
     With the percentage of displaced likely approaching 10 percent of Gaza’s population – this in a territory where refugees are already the majority – humanitarian workers are calling the impact of “Operation Protective Edge” unprecedented. Raji Sourani, director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, told +972 that Israel’s “Operation Cast Lead,” which was launched in December 2008 and caused the deaths of more than 1,400 Palestinians, was “a joke compared to this,” referring to the now 18-day Israeli assault by air, sea, and land.
     As news of the Beit Hanoun attack broke, Israel showed no sign of scaling back its ground invasion or airstrikes. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said yesterday that Israeli troops are “preparing for the next stages of battle once the tunnels have been taken care of.”
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’The largest West Bank protest in decades’
972 blog, +972 Magazine 7/25/2014
     Thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem march against the war in Gaza, in the largest such protest in years. At least three were killed.
     At least three Palestinians were killed and more than 100 wounded in clashes with Israeli security forces in the West Bank and East Jerusalem late Thursday night, as thousands of Palestinians marched from Ramallah to the Qalandia checkpoint, which separates Jerusalem and the West Bank.
     The protest was the largest in the West Bank in years – according to some Palestinian activists, the largest in decades – and quickly spread to East Jerusalem, where police were said to be clashing with protesters in the Old City, Silwan, and other neighborhoods. Protests were also reported in Nablus and Bethlehem.
     According to Haaretz reporter Amira Hass, Palestinian ambulances, blaring their horns, were streaming in the opposite direction of the march, evacuating protesters wounded by Israeli fire at the checkpoint.
     The protest came during Laylat al-Qadr, the 27th night of Ramadan and the holiest night of the year for Muslims. According to the Jerusalem Post, Israel Police Micky Rosenfeld said that hundreds of officers would be stationed around the Old City during Friday prayers, and that no Arabs under 50 would be permitted to enter Damascus Gate.
     Earlier Thursday, Hamas political bureau head Khaled Meshaal said Hamas was prepared to sign a ceasefire agreement with Israel, as long as Israel’s siege of Gaza is lifted. In comments made from Qatar, Meshaal underlined that he also wants Gaza’s border with Egypt to be opened.
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The bread of adversity and the water of affliction
Niv Hachlili / Ha-Makom, +972 Magazine 7/24/2014
     At the end of a day of fasting, SodaStream factory workers were provided with meager and unsuitable food. When they dared to complain, they were fired immediately.
     Wednesday, July 2, was especially tense. The funerals for the three murdered Israeli teenagers, Gilad Shaar, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrach had taken place the day before. Gangs of rioters were already roaming the streets of Jerusalem, and Ramadan was entering its third day. It was 8 p.m. and the night shift workers at the SodaStream factory in Mishor Adumim (the industrial zone of the Israeli settlement of Ma’ale Adumim) headed to the dining room for their first meal after 16 hours of fasting.
     Ahmed Nasar Al-Adin, a worker in the metal quality assurance department at the factory recounts that “on the first and second day of Ramadan the food was entirely fine,” but that on that night, when the approximately 40 shift workers arrived tired and hungry, they discovered that instead of the five trays of food that were supposed to be in the cafeteria, there were only “two trays, one with a little bit of schnitzel and the other with chicken that was both appalling and insufficient for all the workers.”
     They decided to contact the supervisor of the cafeteria, who was absent that night, contrary to the previous days. “We spoke to him and he said that this is what there is. Whoever wants to, will eat; whoever doesn’t, won’t eat. This is what there is.” The workers also turned to the shift supervisor in the factory, who gave them the same answer.
     SodaStream is a successful company that is working toward obtaining a significant portion of the global drink market and is trying to brand itself as an ethical and “green” company. At the beginning of the year SodaStream became embroiled in a public scandal when it hired the actress Scarlett Johansson to advertise its brand worldwide....
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How US policies sealed Iraq’s fate
Dahr Jamail, Asia Times 7/22/2014
     For Americans, it was like the news from nowhere. Years had passed since reporters bothered to head for the country we invaded and blew a hole through back in 2003, the country once known as Iraq that our occupation drove into a never-ending sectarian nightmare. In 2011, the last US combat troops slipped out of the country, their heads "held high", as President Barack Obama proclaimed at the time, and Iraq ceased to be news for Americans.
     So the headlines of recent weeks - Iraq Army collapses! Iraq's second-largest city falls to insurgents! Terrorist Caliphate established in Middle East! - couldn't have seemed more shockingly out of the blue. Suddenly, reporters flooded back in, the Bush-era neocons who had planned and supported the invasion and occupation were writing op-eds as if it were yesterday, and Iraq was again the story of the moment as the post-post-mortems began to appear and commentators began asking: How in the world could this be happening?
     Iraqis, of course, lacked the luxury of ignoring what had been going on in their land since 2011. For them, whether Sunnis or Shiites, the recent unraveling of the army, the spread of a series of revolts across the Sunni parts of Iraq, the advance of an extremist insurgency on the country's capital, Baghdad, and the embattled nature of the autocratic government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki were, if not predictable, at least expectable. And as the killings ratcheted up, caught in the middle were the vast majority of Iraqis, people who were neither fighters nor directly involved in the corrupt politics of their country, but found themselves, as always, caught in the vice grip of the violence again engulfing it.
     An Iraqi friend I've known since 2003, living in a predominantly Sunni neighborhood in Baghdad, emailed me recently. He had made it through the sectarian bloodletting of 2006-2007 in which many of his Sunni compatriots were killed or driven from the capital, and this is the picture he painted of what life is now like for him, his wife, and their small children....
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Why is US holding Palestinian charity workers in "little Gitmos"?
Electronic Intifada: 24 Jul 2014 - Lawyers argue that the “Communication Management Unit” regime flouts US ban on cruel punishment.
In photos: Palestinians in West Bank and Israel protest Gaza slaughter
Electronic Intifada: 23 Jul 2014 - Three Palestinians slain in West Bank since beginning of Gaza assault and more than one thousand arrested by occupation forces.
Ending Zionism is a feminist issue
Electronic Intifada: 24 Jul 2014 - We shouldn’t be surprised that Israeli “analysts” have urged the rape and murder of Palestinian women.
Haj Sami Sadeq and the struggle for Al Aqaba
Palestine Monitor: 28 Jan 2013 -   Al Aqaba is a small Palestinian village located in the northern Jordan Valley, home to around 300 residents. Since 1999 Haj Sami Sadeq has been the mayor of this town, facing a constant struggle...
Nearly ten years after store closures, old city of Hebron still suffering
Palestine Monitor: 28 Jan 2013 -   This report is the second in a new Palestine Monitor series on life in the Old City of Hebron (known in Arabic as Khalil). The Palestine Monitor will publish one report a week on...
Israel’s Genocide in Gaza will Achieve No Goal
Palestine Chronicle: 24 Jul 2014 - By Ahmed Meiloud For over two weeks, the Gaza strip (already besieged for the past 7 years) has been subjected to continuous bombardment from air and sea. This is the third war to be waged on the strip in the span of 5 years and it is more than likely going to be the deadliest. Approximately 800 Gazans, mostly children and women, have already been murdered. In the past 10 days, the Israelis have added their ground force to the fire power, using heavy caliber artillery and tanks to shell the densely populated strip, compounding the suffering of the population and increasing the scope and space of its ongoing massacre. For those living in Gaza, language cannot depict the scale of the tragedy. Many families have lost all or most of their members. As one health official in Gaza said, “Entire families have been wiped out of the civil record.”...
Gaza, Israel and ‘Human Shields’
Palestine Chronicle: 24 Jul 2014 - By Sarah Gillespie What does it mean to use human shields? Employed by the Germans and Japanese in the second word war, the tactic is premised on an underlying trust in your enemy’s humanity. It appeals to the compassion and mercy of the combatant that they not slaughter the innocent in order to avenge their target. The ‘shield’ is not the human bodies surrounding the ‘guilty’ party, the shield is the clemency that mankind instinctively affords the innocent. The shield evaporates only when confronted by an enemy who is not merely a fellow soldier locked in a power battle, but a psychopath unconcerned with the pain of others. Such is the case with the Hamas. They are faced with an enemy who is willing to obliterate pregnant women, babies, kids, handicapped people, schools and crowded hospitals in order to smash their target. The Israelis repeatedly demonstrate a pathological disregard for...
US Plays Decisive Role in Israel’s Attack on Gaza
Palestine Chronicle: 23 Jul 2014 - By Jonathan Cook Two reporters for major US TV channels were summarily “removed” last week from covering Israel’s attack on Gaza, moments before Israel launched a ground invasion. NBC pulled out Ayman Mohyeldin, who has been widely praised for the even-handedness of his reporting from Gaza, just as he landed a harrowing scoop. He had kicked a football with four boys who were killed moments later by an Israeli missile. Mohyeldin managed a few tweets before being removed, allegedly on “security” grounds. But why then did NBC immediately send in a replacement? After a public outcry, Mohyeldin was reinstated, but no proper explanation of the decision has been provided. Shortly afterwards, CNN “reassigned” its reporter in Israel, Diana Magnay, after a tweet in which she labelled as “scum” an Israeli mob that threatened her with violence as she filmed them celebrating missile explosions in Gaza. The tweet was deleted within...
Complicity in Ethnic Cleansing
Palestine Chronicle: 22 Jul 2014 - By Ron Forthofer Israel’s current attack on a basically defenseless population in Gaza is a repeat of its massacres of Palestinians in November 2012, December 2008-January 2009 and June-July 2006. This time Israeli forces have already slaughtered over 500 Palestinians, overwhelmingly civilians, while about 20 Israelis, almost all soldiers, have been killed. The imbalance of these death tolls is staggering but not surprising. I say not surprising because Israel has one of the strongest militaries in the world, supplied with the latest US weapons and technology, whereas Palestinians have no real army nor any defense against Israeli plane or missile attacks. In each of these massacres, the scenario was similar. Palestinians react to some Israeli provocation and Israel uses the Palestinian reaction as an excuse to launch its attack. The use of provocations is a long standing Israeli tactic. For example, Moshe Dayan discussed the use of this tactic against...
Video: A Wounded Man Killed by a Sniper while Looking for His Family
Palestine Chronicle: 22 Jul 2014 - ISM volunteers and local residents went looking for survivors and the bodies of family members in the Shujaiyya neighborhood, where hundreds of Palestinians were killed and wounded in what Palestinians already see as one of the greatest massacres to be carried out by Israel throughout its wars, when they were met by the gunfire of Israeli army snipers. A man in green shirt was shot and killed, as he walked through the wreckage.
Gaza’s Resistance Will Not be Crushed
Palestine Chronicle: 22 Jul 2014 - By Ramzy Baroud On the 13th day of Israel’s so-called Operation Protective Edge, stories of entire families collectively pulverized, women and children keenly targeted by Israeli soldiers saturate the media. Until now, 430 Palestinians have been killed, mostly women and children, and 18 Israel soldiers been killed at the hands of the Resistance. In Shejaiya, elders, mothers and children scrambled for cover as shells mercilessly rained down, stealing the souls of countless innocents. The destruction is overwhelming, and everywhere, Palestinians lament there is nowhere that is safe. Regardless, resolve is strong and the people of Gaza will not resign themselves to surrender. The resistance movement in Gaza is often misrepresented intentionally at times, and at other times innocuously. In the heat of the information battle that has ensued since Israel unleashed its latest war many facts and essential context have gone missing. Historically, Gaza has been a hub for uninterrupted...

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