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2014 Gaza Conflict

2014 Gaza Conflict183 posts
28 Apr, 2015

Defends Israel


Cameron defends Israel over the 2014 Gaza conflict issue in an interview with the Jewish Chronicle.

What I’ve seen is the attacks that take place on Israel and the indiscriminate nature of them. As PM, putting yourself in the shoes of the Israeli people, who want peace but have to put up with these indiscriminate attacks – that reinforces to me the importance of standing by Israel and Israel’s right to defend itself.

13 Sep, 2014

‘Third world war’

Makes Statement

Pope Francis says that conflicts around the globe represent a third World War. During a Mass held at Italy’s largest war memorial, a Fascist-era monument where 100,000 soldiers who died in World War One are buried, the pontiff appears to be referring to the recent conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Gaza, Ukraine and Africa. The homily:

Humanity needs to weep and this is the time to weep … War is madness. Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction … War is irrational; its only plan is to bring destruction: it seeks to grow by destroying. Greed, intolerance, the lust for power. These motives underlie the decision to go to war and they are too often justified by an ideology.

9 Sep, 2014

Video shows tunnel operations

A video translated by the MEMRI monitoring service shows an Al-Jazeera Arabic reporter’s visit to the site of tunnel-digging operations by the armed wing of Islamic Jihad under the Israeli border. A tunnel worker:

We are now in one of the tunnels of the Al-Quds Brigades, on which work began as soon as the war on Gaza ended and the ceasefire was declared. We have begun work and we are continuing it regardless of the threats by the Zionist enemy. We will not be hindered by the threats of the enemy, or by the ban on importing cement and other building materials.

30 Aug, 2014

Report: 20 years to rebuild

A housing assessment by Shelter Cluster, chaired by the Norwegian Refugee Council with the participation of the U.N. refugee agency and the Red Cross, says Gaza will take 20 years to rebuild. Most rebuilding is due to the housing deficit of 75,000 units. Cost estimates for the restructuring are more than $6 billion. The housing assessment derives from the present level of goods transferable from Israel to Gaza. The present blockade hinders rebuilding efforts, as construction materials have restrictions to limit tunnel production. The 20 year timeframe takes into consideration 100 truckloads of building materials on a daily basis. Currently there is no mention of plans to ease blockade restrictions.

29 Aug, 2014

Accuses Hamas

Abbas blames Hamas for protracting the war in Gaza, doubting the continuation of the Unity government. After 50 days of fighting when a truce came about, Hamas still declares victory. Abbas:

It was possible for us to avoid all of that, 2,000 martyrs, 10,000 injured, 50,000 houses (destroyed). They (Hamas) have a shadow government, if this continues it means no unity. The test is coming soon. The government needs to do its job and handle everything. I’m not saying everything needs to come to an end in one moment, this is a seven-year split that needs months or years.

Israeli government:

The Egyptian formula was on the table on July 15th, it was backed by the Arab League, it was accepted by Israel but rejected by Hamas then and now more than a month later has belatedly been accepted by Hamas. As the dust clears from the conflict I’m sure many people in Gaza will be asking why did Hamas reject a month ago what it accepted today, and if it had accepted then what it accepted now, how much bloodshed could have been avoided.

27 Aug, 2014

Hamas: ‘We defeated them’

Hamas remains defiant as the ceasefire takes effect, claiming victory in the 2014 Gaza conflict. Spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri:

Hamas is grateful to the people of Gaza who sacrificed their homes, children and money. We announce the victory today after achieving our goals … Netanyahu has failed to force Gaza to surrender. Yes, we defeated them by our standing and our resistance. We will stand by our people and we won’t leave them.

Over 2,100 deaths

More than 2,100 people are reported to have been killed in Gaza, most of them civilians, including about 500 children. At least 11,000 people have been injured and more than 17,000 homes destroyed or badly damaged, while around a third of the territory’s 1.8 million residents have been displaced.

On the Israeli side, 64 soldiers have died along with six civilians, including a four-year-old boy, and hundreds of families have relocated from homes near the Gaza border.

26 Aug, 2014

Long term truce agreed

A long term truce is agreed between Israel and the Palestinian Militants. It has ended seven weeks of fighting and came through as both sides continued to trade fire. The truce, brokered by Egypt begins at 19:00 local time or 16:00 (GMT). Moussa Abu Marzouk the Hamas deputy political leader said the deal represents a victory for the resistance. Indirect talks in which Israel calls for militant groups in Gaza to disarm will begin in Cairo within a months time. Palestinian officials say Egypt’s ceasefire proposal called for an indefinite end to all hostilities, the immediate opening of Gaza’s crossings with Israel and Egypt, and an extension of the territory’s Mediterranean fishing zone.

23 Aug, 2014

Fresh talks urged

Abbas calls on Hamas and Israel to attend fresh talks in Egypt. The previous brokered truce collapsed on Tuesday. Over 2,090 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed in recent weeks. Israel says that over 525 rockets have been fired into Israel from Gaza since the latest ceasefire ended, with 69 of them being intercepted by its Iron Dome anti-missile defence system. 60 air strikes have been carried out over Gaza on Saturday said the Israeli Defence Force and more than 70 rockets and mortar rounds that were fired from Gaza struck Israel.

22 Aug, 2014

4-year-old Israeli boy killed

DeathDeath Count

daniel-tragermanFour-year-old Israeli boy Daniel Tragerman is reported killed by mortar fire while at home with his parents at Kibbutz Nahal Oz in the Sha’ar Hanegev region close to the border with Gaza. Sirens sound prior to the impact but his parents — Doron and Gila — are unable to get Daniel into a protected room in time, and he is killed by shrapnel from the explosion that strikes the house.

20 Aug, 2014

Netanyahu: We arrest our extremists

Netanyahu tells Blitzer that the difference between Israel and Hamas is that Israel doesn’t glorify extremists, but puts them in jail. On the suspected killers of Palestinian teenager Mohammad Abu Khdeir in an apparent nationalist attack:

We don’t glorify these killers.  We put – we apprehended him in three – three days after the – that tragic killing, immediately put them in custody.  We’re putting them on trial.  They will serve a good chunk of their lives in jail.  That’s what we do with the killers.  We don’t name public squares after them.  We don’t glorify them.

He says that Hamas begins indoctrinating people with extremism from a young age:

We don’t educate our people, our children in suicide kindergarten camps, as happens in the Palestinian side. And you should see what Hamas is educating them to, no peace, no two-state solution, nothing, just jihad, more and more violence, more and more murder, and more and more bloodshed.  This is not our way.  We have – I think a society is tested not by the extreme fringes of that society, but how it takes care of them.  We take care of those extreme fringes.  We basically isolate them and ostracize them and punish them.

10 Aug, 2014

1.903 Palestinian deaths

al-qassam-mosque-bodiesThe number of Palestinian deaths rises to 1,903 as five people are killed in fresh airstrikes after the 72-hour truce window ends. Israel says 65 rockets have been launched from the Gaza strip by Palestinian factions, and it has responded with 63 strikes. Three people were killed in an attack on a mosque in the Nusseirat refugee camp and two when a motorcycle was hit in the Maghazi refugee camp, Gaza’s Health Ministry says.

9 Aug, 2014

20% of rockets fall inside Gaza

The Israeli government says that of a total of 61 rockets fired on the day of the ceasefire expiration, 13 of them fell inside the Gaza Strip.

Approximately 20% of the rockets yesterday, fell on the civilians of Gaza. Hamas’ addiction to terror is endangering civilians on both sides.

Palestinians ‘seeking reoccupation’

Palestinian officials involved in the negotiating process are seeking either further concessions or a reoccupation of the Gaza Strip, an Israeli official says:

These people are trying to do two things: convince us to give them more, or if it fails, convince us that we should come in [to Gaza]. We don’t want to do it, because we don’t want to be responsible for Gaza

Israeli officials leave Cairo after negotiations to extend the ceasefire break down, while the Palestinian delegates remain and say they are willing to commit to new talks on a truce.

Threatens escalation

Hamas threatens a ‘major escalation’ in the 2014 Gaza conflict after both sides resume fire after the 72-hour ceasefire expires, raising concern that violence could re-escalate to its levels prior to the ceasefire. Hamas deputy information minister Ihab al-Ghussein:

If on [Sunday] we have no response to our demands, our defensive measures will be intensified.

8 Aug, 2014

Egypt calls for return to negotiations

Egypt calls on Israel and Hamas to extend the ceasefire and return to negotiations after the original 72-hour window expires at midnight Eastern Standard Time and Israel reports rocket fire by Palestinian factions and resumes airstrikes.  Foreign ministry:

Return immediately to the ceasefire and exploit the opportunity available to resume negotiations on the very limited sticking points that remain in the fastest possible time

An official:

There had been an agreement on the vast majority of matters that are important to the Palestinian people, but some limited points remained undecided, a matter that should have led to an acceptance to renew the ceasefire

Hamas is calling for a variety of conditions including an airport and sea port in the Gaza Strip but is primarily concerned with opening border crossings. Israel wants demilitarization of the Strip and disarmament of Hamas.

Airstrikes resume

Gaza air strikeIsrael resumes air strikes as the 72-hour ceasefire ends with rockets fired across the border by Palestinian factions. Hamas has said that it will not seek to renew the ceasefire. Tens of thousands of people in Gaza who had returned to their homes during the ceasefire rush back to the UNRWA-run shelters. Nidal Sultan, 21, of Beit Lahiya:

We were in the school on the first day of the ceasefire and came back this morning. There were strikes and shelling in the last hour or so. It’s not safe, so we have to come to the school however bad it is. We will stay now until the war stops.

Dutch hotelier cancels reservation

A Dutch hotelier cancels the reservation of an Israeli family:

Every day I get angrier and angrier when I see and read how much suffering and death and loss Israel is causing in Gaza. As long as this disproportionate violence of Israel continues, I will not accept guests from Israel.

However, he later apologizes and says he had a ‘moment of insanity’:

It is absolutely irrational. I am deeply ashamed that I ruined their vacation.

Ceasefire ends

The 72-hour ceasefire ends at midnight Eastern Standard Time or 8 a.m. local time as Israel reports that Hamas, which has said it will not extend the truce, has fired at least 35 rockets, with at least one falling short and landing in Gaza. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum:

All the Palestinian factions, including Hamas, have agreed not to renew the ceasefire because [Israel] is refusing to accommodate our demands.

Newsweek cover

Magazine Cover

newsweek-coverNewsweek devotes its cover story to Jewish emigration from Europe, which it says is being driven by anti-Semitism. Author Adam LeBor:

The mob howled for vengeance, the missiles raining down on the synagogue walls as the worshippers huddled inside. It was a scene from Europe in the 1930s – except this was eastern Paris on the evening of July 13th, 2014. LeBor says the 2014 Gaza conflict is partly to blame, but the rise in ‘the world’s oldest hatred’ predates the war:

One weekend in May seemed to epitomise the darkness. On May 24th a gunman pulled out a Kalashnikov assault rifle at the Jewish Museum in Brussels and opened fire, killing four people. The next day the results of the elections to the European parliament showed a surge in support for extreme-right ­parties in France, Greece, Hungary and Germany.

American Jewish journalist Jeffrey Goldberg:

At what point do the Jews of America and the Jews of Israel tell the Jews of Europe that it might be time to get out?

7 Aug, 2014

Israel: Hamas broke ceasefire

we-cease-hamas-firesThe Israeli government says that Hamas broke the truce agreement by firing rockets before the ceasefire window expired at midnight Eastern Standard Time:

Israel agreed to Egypt’s call to extend the 72-hour ceasefire. Shortly after 4 a.m., with the ceasefire still in effect, rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza by terrorists, followed by dozens of more rockets that were fired from Gaza, causing injuries and damage in Israel.

It adds that two rockets were fired during the window:

22 rockets were fired at #Israel today, two of them were fired at 4 am (four hours before the ceasefire ended).

This prompts the Israeli response:

After hours of renewed rocket fire from Gaza, PM Netanyahu and DM Yaalon ordered the IDF to respond with force…Israel will continue defending itself against Hamas’ terror.

Will resume attacks after ceasefire

Hamas sources say the group will not extend the 72-hour ceasefire beyond its original deadline, and plan to resume attacking Israeli targets at midnight Eastern Standard Time on Friday (August 8). The statement comes as Palestinian and Israeli delegations are in mediated, indirect peace talks in Cairo. Sources:

The Al-Qassam Brigades and Jerusalem battalions will renew its attacks immediately with the end of the ceasefire period on Friday at 8 a.m.

‘My brother died to stop terror’

sean-carmeli-profile-picThe sister of South Padre Island, Tx., native and Israel Defense Forces lone soldier Nissin Sean Carmeli says he died in order to stop terror as well as anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance, while the international focus on Israel is ‘hypocritical’ when there are many genocides and conflicts worldwide:

The only thing that has been on my mind for the past two weeks is why my brother really died. It seems a little hypocritical. Aborigines in Australia, Indians in America, Armenians in Turkey, Tutsis in Rwanda, Iraqis by ISIS, Syrians by their own kind, Russia, Europe, Africa, and the list goes on. But the media emphasizes the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The political focus is on the Jews, the Jews, yes, the Jews. Perhaps this is all I see.

She says that terrorism begins in Israel, but…

…like the Islamic State recently said, ‘The Islamic caliphate has been established, God willing it will not stop until we raise the flag of Prophet Muhammad in the White House.’ My brother fought terrorism, not only for my family and me, but for all of you as well, with the hope that someday, Jews, Christians, Muslims and all religious and seculars people will find serenity in their homes, in their hearts, and in their minds.

Davis Cup match moved from Tel Aviv

The International Tennis Foundation announces that it is moving Israel’s Sept. 12-14 Davis Cup match against Argentina out of Tel Aviv and that the playoff will not be held in any other Israeli city. Israel, as the team with home-court advantage, must choose among four venues for the new location: New York; Delray Beach, Fl; Krakow, Poland; or Tallinn, Estonia. Argentine Tennis Association president Arturo Grimaldi regarding the 204 Gaza conflict:

We are concerned. We have communicated with the ITF, which promises to make a decision about Davis Cup very soon.

Haaretz most cited

Editors at Haaretz find that the newspaper’s Hebrew edition has several thousand readers in Egypt, presumably Egyptian intelligence operatives trained in Hebrew, while the newspaper is found to be the most cited and most trusted media source by both Palestinian and Israeli supporters.

‘More profound’ than opposition to Gaza conflict

Leaders of Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France say heightened anti-Jewish threats, hate speech and violent attacks in Europe are less attributable to reaction against specific Israeli government policies or issues than previous rises in anti-Jewish sentiment such as during Israel’s three-week Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in 2008 and 2009, when 66 anti-Semitic incidents were recorded in France. Crif president Roger Cukierman:

They are not screaming ‘Death to the Israelis’ on the streets of Paris. They are screaming ‘Death to Jews’

Crif vice president Yonathan Arfi on whether the anti-Jewish sentiment is caused by the 2014 Gaza conflict:

They have laid bare something far more profound.


‘Worst times since the Nazi era’

The president of Germany’s Central Council of Jews says anti-Semitic incidents such as hate speech, threats and violent attacks are at their highest level in decades. Central Council of Jews president Dieter Graumann:

On the streets, you hear things like ‘the Jews should be gassed’, ‘the Jews should be burned’ – we haven’t had that in Germany for decades. Anyone saying those slogans isn’t criticising Israeli politics, it’s just pure hatred against Jews: nothing else. And it’s not just a German phenomenon. It’s an outbreak of hatred against Jews so intense that it’s very clear indeed.

He says that by comparison:

These are the worst times since the Nazi era

Suspect says kidnapping funded by Hamas

marwan-quasma-abu-ayshaThe alleged ringleader of the 2014 Israel kidnappings has told police that he received money for the attack from Hamas operatives in the Gaza Strip, state prosecution says after a gag order on his arrest and investigation is lifted. Hebron resident Hussam Kawasme states that alleged killers Marwan Kawasme – his brother, who was released in 2011 in an prisoner exchange for Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit – and Amer Abu Aysha drove to his house after abducting and killing Yeshiva students Gil-ad Shaar and Naftali Fraenkel, both 16 years old, and Eyal Yifrach, 19. The three then drove to a plot of land in Halhoul purchased by Hussam Kawasme ahead of time, where they buried the bodies of the teenagers.

6 Aug, 2014

Agrees to extend ceasefire

Israel agrees to extend the 72-hour Egypt-brokered ceasefire deal beyond its Friday deadline, although it doesn’t specify how long the truce might be extended. There is no immediate comment from Hamas. Israeli official:

Israel has expressed its readiness to extend the truce under its current terms.

Gazans ‘beat Hamas spokesman’

Gaza residents are reported to attack and beat Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri near the Shifa hospital due to anger at Hamas’ perceived role in causing the 2014 Gaza conflict. The Arabic-language report from Egypt’s Veto Edge quotes spokesperson for the Sisi Supporters Front, Mohamed Abu Hamed, as saying that Gaza is ripe for a revolution to overthrow Hamas, while Nabil Zaki, a spokesperson for the left-wing Tagamoa Party in Egypt, says that Palestinians are partly responsible for their plight as they voted Hamas into power, and that anger from civilians would bring few results without expanding into a revolution.

5 Aug, 2014

Delegations arrive in Cairo

The Israeli delegation arrives in Cairo to begin peace talks. The Israeli team includes Netanyahu aide Yitzhak Molcho, Defense Ministry official Amos Gilad and Yoram Cohen, head of the Israel Security Agency or Shin Bet. Earlier, Khalil al-Haya and Emad al-Alami of Hamas and Khaled al-Batsh of Islamic Jihad have traveled through the Rafah border crossing to Sinai after the Egyptians managed to receive assurances that Israel would not target them. Hamas is presenting a long list of demands including opening border crossings, the re-release of prisoners, and building an airport and seaport, while the two major Israeli objectives are to prevent Hamas rearming in the short term, and demilitarizing Gaza in the longer term, however Islamic Jihad senior representative Ziad al-Nakhaleh says disarming will not be discussed in the indirect negotiations:

This issue is nonnegotiable.

Israel: Struck 4,762 targets

The IDF says it has struck around 4,762 targets in the 29 days of Operation Protective Edge prior to the 72-hour ceasefire, most of them rocket-launching sites, nearly 1,000 of them command and control centers, about 240 Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades buildings, nearly 200 weapons storage and manufacturing facilities, nearly 150 terror training compounds and 1,535 additional sites.

Israel: 597 rockets fired from civilian facilities

The IDF says that of 3,365 rockets fired by Hamas in the 29 days of the 2014 Gaza conflict prior to the 72-hour ceasefire, 597 were launched from civilian facilities, approximately 260 were launched from schools, 127 from cemeteries, 160 from religious sites such as mosques, and 50 from hospitals. Just under 70% were fired from the northern Gaza Strip, 12.9% were fired from the central Gaza Strip, and 17.3% were fired from its southern region.

Israel: 3,356 rockets fired

The IDF says that in the 29 days of Operation Protective Edge prior to the 72-hour ceasefire, Hamas fired 3,356 rockets at Israel, 2,303 of which hit Israeli territory, 116 in populated areas, while 356 were intended to target IDF forces operating in the Gaza Strip. A total of 578 rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile-defense system, and 475 landed within the Gaza Strip. Military statement:

Prior to the operation, the IDF estimated the Gaza rocket arsenal at approximately 10,000, one-third of which were fired at Israel, and an additional one-third was demolished by the IDF.

Destroyed 32 tunnels worth $100 million

The Israel Defense Forces calculates it has destroyed 32 cross-border tunnels in the 29 days of Operation Protective Edge prior to the ceasefire. It says 14 of them crossed into Israel and two had shafts located 300-500 meters from Israel, while 11 of the 64 IDF soldiers who died in the conflict were killed by Hamas gunmen emerging from the tunnels into southern Israel. IDF Lt. Col. Peter Lerner:

They were part of a strategic plan of Hamas, and an investment of approximately $100 million worth of materials, and we have now removed that threat

Gallup: Americans support Israel 42-38

Gallup notes in a poll that 42% of Americans say Israel’s actions against Hamas are justified compared with 38% who say they are unjustified and 21% who are unsure, while only 14% say Hamas’ actions are justified. The results are similar to what Gallup measured for another period of heightened Israeli-Palestinian violence in 2002. It says Americans have generally disregarded the more vivid images of the conflict available via cable news and social media compared with 2002 when forming an opinion:

This suggests that Americans may have responded to both crises in ways that reflect their basic attitudes toward Israel and the Palestinians rather than the specifics of either conflict. In general, Americans rate Israel much more favorably as a country than the Palestinian Territories, and are much more likely to say they sympathize with the Israelis than the Palestinians when asked to choose between the two sides.

Americans remain ‘roughly divided’ on their support of Israeli actions against Hamas, however:

it is important to note that the pro-Israel sentiment on this measure is significantly below the percentage who routinely say that their sympathies are more broadly with the Israelis rather than the Palestinians in the Middle East.

1,867 Palestinian, 67 Israeli deaths in 29 days

At least 1,867 Palestinians have died in the 29 days of the 2014 Gaza conflict prior to the latest ceasefire and peace talks getting underway. In Israel, 64 soldiers and three civilians are dead. The United Nations and Gaza human rights groups say that at least 75% of the Palestinians killed are civilians, however Israel Defense Forces spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner says that about 900 were militants, while the IDF separately estimates that between 750 and 1,000 of the Palestinian dead were combatants.

4 Aug, 2014

‘Just like Hitler’

Turkey’s Prime Minister says Israel deliberately kills Palestinian civilians and that its military actions are comparable with the eugenics policies of the Nazis. Erdogan at the Istanbul Arena:

Just like Hitler, who sought to establish a race free of all faults, Israel is chasing after the same target. They kill women so that they will not give birth to Palestinians; they kill babies so that they won’t grow up; they kill men so they can’t defend their country […] They will drown in the blood they shed.

Protestors ‘riot’ in old Jerusalem

border-guards-demonstratorsAt least a dozen protestors are arrested and five police injured as firecrackers, rocks and Molotov cocktails are thrown by protestors in two days of rioting at the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, in connection with the fast day of Tisha B’Av, the ninth day of the month of Av on the Jewish calendar when it is customary to mourn the destruction of the first and second Jewish temples. The Temple Mount is open to visitors after security forces push the protestors back into the Al Aqsa mosque and implement extra security measures.

Excavator attack nearly ‘much more serious’

Muhammed-Naif-el-JaabisIsraeli authorities say the excavator attack that killed Rabbi Avraham Walles and wounded six others is nationalistically motivated and connected to the 2014 Gaza conflict, and that a quick response by security officials on the scene is the only factor that prevented more casualties. Ariel Tuito of the Nachshon unit of the Israel Prison Service is among security personnel that respond at the scene, and fires the fatal shot. Jerusalem police chief Yossi  Pariente says that the response…

…averted a much more serious incident.

Excavator attack kills rabbi

israel-excavator-attack In what is officially described as a terror attack, an excavator driven by Muhammed Naif El-Ja’abis, a 23-year-old Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem, strikes and kills 29-year-old Rabbi Avraham Walles of Mea Shearim. Walles – also transliterated Walz and Wallis – is working for the Atra Kadisha organization as a mashgiach religious instructor overseeing the construction site on Shmuel Hanavi close to the Olive Tree Hotel in central Jerusalem, near the divide between the city’s east and west, to make sure that any graves found at the site are not disturbed. The excavator continues for several hundred meters before ramming into a mostly empty passenger bus and overturning it after several attempts, and then clawing at it with the excavator arm. Security forces at the scene, including police, respond and officer Ariel Tuito of the Nachshon unit of the Israel Prison Service fires a fatal shot, ending the attack with also leaves a total of six people injured, including the bus driver. The attack takes place near the Mir Yeshiva, one of the country’s biggest religious institutions, shortly after thousands of yeshiva students are dismissed from class early to prepare for the fast of Tisha Be’av, the ninth day of the month of Av when observant Jews mourn the destruction of two Jewish temples. The bus stop is normally crowded with yeshiva students. Walles is a member of the ultra-Orthodox Toldot Aharon Hassidic stream. A witness identified as Yossi, who lives near the site:

[Wallis was] working all day here as an inspector for Atra Kadisha, tending to the sites at which Arab workers were digging in places where there were graves. One of the neighbors, who witnessed the scene, saw that at a certain point the driver of the tractor turned the bucket towards him and hit him with it. I myself saw the incident from outside. I heard the shots and saw the police run into the construction site

Rockets are ‘defensive blessing’

A former chief commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards says Hamas rockets fired at Israeli targets are the ‘blessing’ of a technology transfer. Secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council, Mohsen Rezaei, quoted by state Arabic channel Al-Alam:

Palestinian resistance missiles are the blessings of Iran’s transfer of technology […] We need to transfer defensive and military technology to Palestinians so that they can build weapons under the blockade and defend themselves

Revolutionary Guards have said in the past that Hamas’ Gaza Strip arsenal includes Fajr-5 missile rockets that are produced locally from technology supplied by Iran without requiring direct shipment. He says he has asked President Hassan Rouhani to provide air defense systems to allow Hamas to shoot down Israeli aircraft, and says kidnapping soldiers is an effective technique:

Getting their soldiers captured is the weak point of Israelis. Should two or three be captured, all Zionists will surrender

3 Aug, 2014

Hamas: Didn’t agree to ceasefire

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal tells CNN’s Nic Robertson the group did not agree to conditions of the 72-hour ceasefire that allowed Israel Defense Forces to remain in Gaza and continue operations to neutralize tunnels. The truce broke down after less than two hours as Israel bombarded parts of Gaza in response to the alleged kidnapping of a soldier. In an interview from Doha:

A truce is a truce, but the presence of the Israeli forces inside Gaza and destroying the tunnels means it’s an aggression. We did not deceive Mr. John Kerry, and we did not deceive the Israelis, we fight honorably. We told everyone that this is our position. … Therefore they are the ones who should be responsible for this.

Kidnapped soldier declared dead


The Israel Defense Forces says 2nd. Lt. Hadar Goldin has died in Gaza and is listed as a fallen soldier whose resting place is unknown. The decision to declare him dead is made according to the findings of a special board headed by IDF Chief Rabbi Brigadier Gen. Rafi Peretz, which takes into account medical evidence and halachic considerations of Jewish law among other factors. The message is delivered to the family by Peretz, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, IDF Head of Personnel Major General Orna Barbibay. Goldin in an interview on completing officer training:

In life, you can choose to do things for yourself and you can choose to do great things.

Fairfax cartoon withdrawn

antisemitic-cartoon-fairfaxFairfax Media apologizes for a cartoon considered anti-Semitic by Jewish groups that the Sydney Morning Herald published in its daily and online editions, and withdraws the online version. The cartoon, which showed an old man sitting alone in an armchair wearing a kippah skullcap and controlling the 2014 Gaza conflict by remote control, drew criticism from the New South Wales Board of Jewish Deputies due to its use of Jewish symbology and the fact that the old man has an unusually large nose, a genetic trait often associated with Jews. SMH:

It was also significant that the cartoon had its genesis in news photographs of men seated in chairs and lounges, observing the shelling of Gaza from the hills of Sderot. One of those photos depicted an old man, wearing a kippah, reclining casually as part of a group – with Mr Le Lievre seeing comparisons between this and someone watching their television

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry and the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies say the editorial ‘unreservedly apologising for the publication of an antisemitic cartoon’ means the matter is now closed.

British aid worker reported killed in IDF strike

The UK government and Foreign Office are investigating reports that Rochdale man Kadir Islam has died following an Israeli airstrike in the southern city of Rafah. Friends say he was killed while delivering medical supplies to a hospital, but it isn’t known which agency he was working for. Prime Minister Cameron:

I’m extremely concerned about these reports and we are doing everything we can to get to the bottom (of them) and find out exactly what has happened. I don’t want to say anything before we’ve been able to do that but this only reinforces the need for an immediate unconditional humanitarian ceasefire observed properly by both sides. This slaughter, this killing has got to end.

Thousands attend soldier’s funeral

Goldin-funeralThousands attend the funeral of 23-year-old IDF Second Lt. Hadar Goldin at the military section of the Kfar Sava cemetery, with only those on a list created by the family admitted to the cemetery and the rest of the crowd gathering outside the gates. The fiancee, mother and twin brother of the Givati Brigade reconnaissance soldier, initially believed kidnapped by Hamas and later confirmed dead, express their regrets along with two family rabbis while his father urges the crowd to ‘live righteously.’ Simha Goldin:

You who came en masse, live righteously and don’t hate one another. Hadar wanted to be a Jewish fighter. Do the same as he did. Take the bible with you and become Jewish fighters. I thank the crowds who came from far and wide to be with my family.

US ‘appalled’ at UN school strike

UNRWA_schoolThe U.S. says it is appalled by a strike that kills at least 10, including children, at a United Nations Relief and Works Agency school where around 3,000 are sheltering, apparently in response to militant actions near the UNRWA facility. The comment is the State Department’s strongest criticism yet of Israeli actions during Operation Protective Edge. Spokesperson:

The United States is appalled. The coordinates of the school, like all UN facilities in Gaza, have been repeatedly communicated to the Israeli Defense Forces […] Israel must do more to meet its own standards and avoid civilian casualties. The suspicion that militants are operating nearby does not justify strikes that put at risk the lives of so many innocent civilians.

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