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30 Jul

Israel Bombs Gaza back to Stone Age: Razes only Power Plant & Plunges Strip into Darkness

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The O’Leary:Israel has lost all sense of decency. It is now a criminal state.

By Juan Cole

Israel launched a 7-hour campaign of intensive bombing of Gaza on Tuesday, destroying its only power plant. Gaza can no longer generate its own electricity. Without electricity, the water purification plants cannot operate and the drinking water ends up being mixed with sewage or salt water. Without electricity, patients on life support in the hospitals just die, even if Israel does not bomb the hospital, as it has in some instances. The power plant will take the good part of a year to rebuild even after the war ends. Gaza gets some electricity from Israel and Egypt, but many of those lines have been damaged in the fighting.

AJ+ explains: “90% Of People In Gaza Now Have No Electricity

Many Palestinians in Gaza have been reduced to living by candlelight after sunset. This dearth of electricity also has implications for what the outside world can know about the condition of Palestinian families there:

Israel has completely reduced to rubble some 5,000 homes and damaged 26,000. If you figure that Palestinians in Gaza live on average 5 in a dwelling, there would be roughly 340,000 domiciles in Gaza. Israel has therefore destroyed or damaged about ten percent of the housing stock. This is on top of past campaigns of indiscriminate and wanton bombing campaigns. Since Israel keeps Gaza under blockade, it won’t receive the necessary materials to rebuild. The Israelis, having bald-facedly stolen the homes and farms of the people of Gaza, won’t be satisfied until they are forced to sleep in open fields.

Israel has forced some 200,000 Palestinians to flew their homes. But since the Gaza Strip is so small, they have no place to go. Israel won’t let them leave the Strip, but is intensively bombarding it. Some of the places they have taken shelter, including schools and UN refugee shelters, have themselves been bombed by the Israelis.

Channel 4 reports from inside Gaza on “shock and awe”

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While one can argue about whether this mortar fire or or that aerial bombing was justified, the destruction of the power plant and therefore of civilian water-purification is certainly a war crime. Babies in particular are vulnerable to dirty water, and often take revenge on their parents for the inability to give them clean water by dying. Israel is, as Rashid Khalidi argues, collectively punishing the entire Palestinian population of Gaza to punish it for being insufficiently cowed and for refusing to accept being ethnically cleansed from what is now Israel.

More:

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Bring Back our Children: Palestine-Israel Children’s Crusade by the Numbers

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Pope Francis to call for Sovereign, Independent Palestinian State from Bethlehem

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30 Jul

Israel Kills 15 During Assault On UN School

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The O’Leary: Bastards

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Israel Kills 15 During Assault On UN School As Military Intensifies Attack On Refugee Camp

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By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Jeffrey Heller

GAZA/JERUSALEM, July 30 (Reuters) – Israeli shelling killed at least 15 Palestinians sheltering in aschool in Gaza’s biggest refugee camp on Wednesday, the Health Ministry said, as Egyptian mediators prepared a revised proposal to try to halt more than three weeks of fighting.

Some 3,300 Palestinians, including many women and children, were taking refuge in the building inJabalya refugee camp when it came under fire around dawn, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said.

“Our initial assessment is that it was Israeli artillery that hit our school,” UNRWA chief Pierre Krahenbuhl said in a statement after representatives of the agency visited the scene and examined fragments, craters and other damage.

Blood splattered floors and mattresses inside classrooms at the Jabalya Girls Elementary School and survivors picked through shattered glass and debris for flesh and body parts to bury.

“I call on the international community to take deliberate international political action to put an immediate end to the continuing carnage,” Krahenbuhl said.

gaza attack
A Palestinian girl cries while receiving treatment for her injuries following an Israeli strike at a U.N. school in Jebaliya refugee camp in Beit Lahiya on July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

The Gaza Health Ministry put the number of dead in the attack at 15 after a local UNRWA official said 19 had been killed. Krahenbujl, however, said it was premature to give an official death toll.

“But we know that there were multiple civilian deaths and injuries, including of women and children and the UNRWA guard, who was trying to protect the site,” Krahenbujl said.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said militants had fired mortar bombs from the vicinity of the schooland troops shot back in response. The incident was still being reviewed.

The army said it would hold fire unilaterally in limited areas of the Gaza Strip where soldiers were not operating for four hours from 3 p.m. (1200 GMT) as a “temporary humanitarian window”. It was not clear whether that included Jabalya.

Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for the Hamas Islamist movement which controls Gaza, dismissed the partial, temporary ceasefire as a “media stunt”, saying it would not allow rescue workers to retrieve casualties in combat zones Israel had excluded.

gaza school attack

A Palestinian man grieves the death of his relative following an Israeli strike at a U.N. school in Jebaliya refugee camp in Beit Lahiya on July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

Israel has been shelling in Jebalya, where some 120,000 people live, since Tuesday, in what the chiefIsraeli military spokesman, Brigadier-General Motti Almoz, described as a slight broadening of its campaign against militants in the Hamas Islamist-dominated Gaza Strip.

UNRWA said on Tuesday it had found a cache of rockets concealed at another Gaza school – the third such discovery since the conflict began. It condemned unnamed groups for putting civilians at risk.

Krahenbuhl said the Jabalya school’s precise location and the fact that it was housing thousands of displaced people had been communicated to the Israeli military 17 times, with the last notification just hours before the fatal shelling.

BLOCKADE

Israeli tank fire also struck the main market in Jabalya on Wednesday, killing at least three people and wounding 40 others, the health ministry said. Seven members of one family died in an Israeli attack in Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip.

The ministry said 1,287 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed since Israel began its offensive on July 8 with the declared aim of halting cross-border rocket fire.

In ground operations launched 10 days later, the army has said its main mission is to locate and destroy tunnels that militants have built under the frontier and have used to launch attacks inside Israel.

On the Israeli side, 53 soldiers and three civilians have been killed. Public support remains strong for continuing the military operation in the hope of preventing future flareups.

Mohammed Deif, the shadowy leader of Hamas’s armed wing, said in a broadcast message on Tuesday that Palestinians would continue confronting Israel until its blockade on Gaza – which is supported by neighboring Egypt – was lifted.

Five rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel on Wednesday, landing harmlessly in open areas, police said.

Israel has balked at freeing up Gaza’s borders under any de-escalation deal unless Hamas’s disarmament is also guaranteed.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was due to review progress with his security cabinet later on Wednesday, and a Palestinian delegation was expected in Cairo for discussions on an elusive truce.

In previous bouts of fighting between Israel and its neighbors, the United States has often leaned on the Israelis to stop after incidents that caused high civilian casualties. Washington appears to have less sway with either side this time.

Egypt said on Tuesday it was revising an unconditional ceasefire proposal that Israel had originally accepted but Hamas rejected, and that a new offer would be presented to the Palestinian representatives.

UNRWA, the main U.N. relief agency in Gaza, said it was at “breaking point” with more than 200,000 Palestinians having taken shelter in its schools and buildings following calls by Israel for civilians to evacuate whole neighborhoods before military operations.

Both U.S. President Barack Obama and the U.N. Security Council have called for an immediate ceasefire to allow relief to reach Gaza’s 1.8 million Palestinians, followed by negotiations on a more durable end to hostilities.

Efforts led by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry last week failed to achieve a breakthrough, and the explosion of violence appeared to dash international hopes of turning a brief lull for the Muslim Eid al-Fitr festival into a longer-term ceasefire.

In a statement on Wednesday, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he was “extremely concerned about the escalating fighting in and around Gaza” in which civilian infrastructure and U.N. facilities have come under fire.

“Everything must be done to prevent civilian victims and to uphold humanitarian law,” he said. “I urge both sides to agree to an immediate ceasefire and to resume negotiations about a long-term ceasefire on the basis of the Egyptian suggestions.”

(Additional reporting by Ari Rabinovitch in Jerusalem and Alexandra Hudson in Berlin; Writing byJeffrey Heller; Editing by Paul Taylor)

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30 Jul

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

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Israel attack strikes another U.N. school in Gaza

July 30, 2014

The school housed hundreds of Palestinians seeking shelter from the fighting

Israeli missiles slammed into a second United Nations school packed with sheltering Gazan refugees Wednesday, killing at least 16 people and wounding more than 90 others during a period of heavy bombardment of the besieged enclave. The attack preceded a temporary, limited and unilateral cease-fire imposed by Israel.

A U.N. aid spokesman confirmed that tank shells hit the U.N. school in the Jabalia refugee camp at around 4:30 a.m., tearing through two classroom walls.

“Last night, children were killed as they slept next to their parents on the floor of a classroom in a U.N. designated shelter in Gaza,” Pierre Krahenbuhl, United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) commissioner-general, said in a statement. “Children killed in their sleep; this is an affront to all of us, a source of universal shame. Today the world stands disgraced,” he added.

Gaza Conflict
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Gaza civilian deaths may amount to war crimes, UN human rights chief says

Gaza civilian deaths may amount to war crimes, UN human rights chief says

Navi Pillay condemns Israel, Hamas for attacks; Kerry says some progress in cease-fire talks; FAA lifts flight ban

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30 Jul

Afghanistan & Iraq Occupation Casualties & News

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Results of Our Insane Foreign Policy

The McGlynn: And for what?!

Afghan girl

Photographer Muhammed Muheisen took an impressive series of portraits of Afghan refugee children in Islamabad. Here is six-year-old Laiba Hazrat in a slum on the outskirts of the city.

Other Occupation News

ISIS video wages psychological war on Iraqi soldiers – Al …

Al Arabiya News17 hours ago

Jul 30, 2014 · The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the al-Qaeda spin-off that seized wide swathes of Iraq almost unopposed last month, has released a video

Reported security incidents #1: Pakistani officials say the country’s military forces have thwarted an attack on a checkpoint near the Afghan border, killing at least six militants and injuring nine others. Military officials said some 70 militants attacked the border post in the Dir tribal district in Pakistan’s restive northwest, late on July 29.

#2: a military officer was mysterious assassinated in one of military bases in Badghis province yesterday. The officer was targeted while his security duty in Badghis-Herat highway and lost his life. A police commander of Badghis-Herat highway said BNA, the officer may be killed by his colleagues who were affiliated with the Taliban group.

#3: the national army forces started extensive operation in Sangeen district, Helmand province. Spokesman of Helmand governor said that the operation started yesterday in Sangeen district of the province. He confirmed dead of 20 armed Taliban in the operation which Mullah Nasir so-called former district of Sangeen is among the dead. In the operation, a police officer was also martyred and four others wounded.

#4: At least 13 people including policemen were injured following an explosion in central Uruzgan province of Afghanistan. Local government officials said the incident took place in Tarinkot city, leaving two policemen and eleven civilians injured.

#5: Nearly 60 Taliban militants and 6 members of the Afghan security forces were killed during clashes in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan. Provincial governor spokesman, Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, said clashes continued until Tuesday afternoon in Hesarak district. Abdulzai further added that Taliban militants launched attacks on security check posts early Tuesday morning.

Afghanistan Occupation Casualties, Exclusive of Civilians

Fatalities By Country

 73014

U. S. Casualties Total To Date:Killed: 2338

Recently Identified Color denotes today’s confirmation:

.Boatswain’s Mate Seaman Yeshabel Villotcarrasco, 23, of Parma, Ohio, died as a result of a non-hostile incident June 19 aboard USS James E. Williams (DDG-95) while the ship was underway in the Red Sea

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. They died July 24, in Mirugol Kalay, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when the enemy attacked their vehicle with an improvised explosive device. These soldiers were assigned 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo. Killed were: Staff Sgt. Benjamin G. Prange, 30, of Hickman, Neb.; and Pfc. Keith M. Williams, 19, of Visalia, Calif.

Pfc. Donnell A. Hamilton, Jr., 20, of Kenosha, Wisconsin, died July 24, at Brooke Army Medical Center, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, from an illness sustained in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

Pvt. 2nd Class Aaron S. Toppen, 19, of Mokena, Illinois, assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado, died June 9, in Gaza Village, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered while engaged in a combat operation. The incident is under investigation.

Cpl. Justin R. Clouse, 22, of Sprague, Washington, assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado, died June 9, in Gaza Village, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered while engaged in a combat operation. The incident is under investigation.

Spc. Justin R. Helton, 25, of Beaver, Ohio, assigned to the 18th Ordnance Company, 192nd Ordnance Battalion, 52nd Ordnance Group, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, died June 9, in Gaza Village, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered while engaged in a combat operation. The incident is under investigation.

 Staff Sgt. Jason A. McDonald, 28, of Butler, Georgia, assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group, Fort Campbell, Kentucky, died June 9, in Gaza Village, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered while engaged in a combat operation. The incident is under investigation.

Staff Sgt. Scott R. Studenmund, 24, of Pasadena, California, assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group, Fort Campbell, Kentucky, died June 9, in Gaza Village, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered while engaged in a combat operation. The incident is under investigation.

 Spc. Terry J. Hurne, 34, of Merced, California, died June 9, in Logar province, Afghanistan, from a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to the 710th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York.

.Deaths in Afghanistan: A look at the faces of American lives lost

 

 Afghanistan Occupation Confirmed U.S Casualties – Since June 1, 2009

Iraq Occupation Casualties, Exclusive of Civilians

51714

U. S. Casualties Total To Date:Killed: 4486

Recently IdentifiedColor denotes today’s confirmation

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Deaths in Iraq: A look at the faces of American lives lost

IIraq Occupation Confirmed U.S Casualties – Since June 1, 2009

Soldiers and families in need of crisis assistance can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Trained consultants are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and can be contacted by dialing 1-800-273-TALK1-800-273-TALK (8255) or by visiting their website at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org .The Military Crisis Line offers free and confidential support to service members in crisis or anyone who knows a service member who is. The service is staffed by caring, qualified responders from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), many who have served in the military themselves. Support is offered through the crisis line, online chat, and text-messaging services for all service members (active, National Guard and reserve) and veterans 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year by visiting the Military Crisis Line website at http://www.militarycrisisline.net ; Online Chat at: http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/ChatTermsOfService.aspx ; sending a text to: 838255 or calling toll free at: 1-800-273-82551-800-273-8255, Press 1; in Europe Dial: 00800 1273 8255 or DSN 118. Services are available even if members are not registered with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or enrolled in VA health care.The Army’s comprehensive list of Suicide Prevention Program information is located at http://www.preventsuicide.army.mil . Information about the Army’s Ready and Resilient campaign is located at http://www.army.mil/readyandresilient . Army leaders can access current health promotion guidance in the revised Army Regulation 600-63 (Health Promotion) at: http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/r600_63.pdf and in Army Pamphlet 600-24 (Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention) at http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/p600_24.pdf .Suicide prevention training resources for soldiers, leaders, Department of the Army civilians and family members can be accessed at http://www.armyg1.army.mil/hr/suicide/training_sub.asp?sub_cat=20 (requires Army Knowledge Online access to download materials). Information about Military OneSource is located at www.militaryonesource.com or by dialing the toll-free number 1-800-342-96471-800-342-9647 for those residing in the continental U.S. Overseas personnel should refer to the Military OneSource web site for dialing instructions for their specific location. Information about the Army’s Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Program (CSF2) is located at http://csf2.army.mil/ .The Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) Outreach Center can be contacted at 1-866-966-10201-866-966-1020, via electronic mail at Resources@DCoEOutreach.org and at www.dcoe.health.mil . The website for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is http://www.afsp.org/ , and the Suicide Prevention Resource Council site is found at http://www.sprc.org/index

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