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The latest round of violence in Gaza and Israel

 

At the end of a month of Israeli air strikes and Palestinian rocket launches in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army declared the start of “Operation Protective Edge.” The Israeli cabinet authorized the call-up of a total of 86,000 reserve soldiers to bolster what became a ground invasion.

For the first time since “Operation Pillar of Defense,” Hamas rockets have reached Tel Aviv and as far as Haifa. In Gaza, the Israeli Air Force has been targeting the family homes of suspected Palestinian militants, leading to massive civilian casualties. As of July 31, 1,418 Palestinians had been killed and 8,265 wounded, with 59 deaths on the Israeli side, 56 of them soldiers.

The operation comes as tensions were already high in Israel and the West Bank following the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers, and the subsequent murderous kidnapping of a Palestinian teenager in East Jerusalem.

+927 bloggers bring reportage, commentary and vital analysis in this latest round of violence.

(Scroll down for +972’s past coverage of recent escalations, including “Operation Pillar of Defense.”)

 

  • Israel kills three top Hamas commanders in Gaza

    At least 34 Palestinians were killed Thursday when the Israeli air force bombed Gaza for a second day after a temporary ceasefire broke down and negotiators failed to reach a ceasefire agreement. While the fate of Hamas military chief Mohammed Deif remains unknown after Israel attempted to assassinate him, and consequently killed his wife and two young children, the Israeli military confirmed that it had killed three top Hamas commanders, Raed Attar, Mohammed Abu Shamaleh and Mohammed Barhoum, in Rafah. Attar and Abu Shamaleh are thought to both have been involved in the 2006 Gilad Shalit kidnapping. Israel's Shin Bet also believes that…

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  • Palestinian teen: I was used as a human shield in Gaza

    An affidavit obtained exclusively by +972 reveals what appears to be the first documented case of a 'human shield' used by the Israeli military during its invasion of the eastern Gaza town of Khuza'a. Ahmad Abu Raida, now 17, was separated from his family by Israeli soldiers on July 23 as he and his family were trying to flee to safety. During Abu Raida's five-day captivity, an Israeli soldier, who insisted he be called "captain," repeatedly asked the boy about alleged Hamas tunnels and rocket launching sites in his neighborhood. "I told him I did not know," Abu Raida, who…

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  • Israelis in the U.S. urge the Jewish community to take a closer look at Gaza

    'We are reaching out to you because we want to re-examine what it means to be pro-Israel or pro-Palestine,' says a public letter published by Israelis for a Sustainable Future. 'We argue that these terms might be one and the same.' A group of Israelis living in the U.S. has published an open letter the the American Jewish community, calling on it to join them in opposition to the war in Gaza and the years-long blockade Israel has imposed on the Strip. While condemning Hamas' targeting of civilians, the group states that "maintaining the occupation is what this war is…

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  • Not even a 'bump on the wing' these days when killing Palestinians

    No one in Israel really talks about the killing of innocent Palestinians anymore. There was a time when we murdered people and it actually bothered us. On Tuesday, the IDF attempted to kill Mohammed Deif, the military leader of Hamas in Gaza, by dropping five one-tonne bombs on a home. As these lines are written it is not yet clear whether Deif was killed. What can be said with certainty, however, is that his wife and eight-month-old son definitely were. Deif has been on Israel’s wanted list for years. On Tuesday night it saw a chance, and despite the fact…

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  • Palestinians continue to create life from death

    Gaza’s injuries have provoked every Palestinian and created in us the desire for all Palestinians to live in unity in our lands occupied since 1948.  By Badia Dweik I was unable to recognize him from the photos I saw on social media sites. Neither could I recognize him from the hospital photos that showed him dead. I went to his funeral after Friday prayers, where thousands had gathered. Suddenly I saw a poster and on it the martyr's name, Nader Mohamed Idriss. I was surprised, since I had seen him only a few days before in the exact place where he…

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  • Netanyahu's zero-sum war in Gaza

    As evidence of Israeli war crimes mounts in Gaza, Netanyahu's latest escalation will only add to his country's increasing international pariah status. Just over 24 hours after reports emerged that Israel and the Palestinians – with American urging – had reached a deal to gradually end the Gaza blockade, Israel began targeting the very people with whom it had been indirectly negotiating. Following a reported assassination attempt on Hamas military wing leader Mohammed Deif, which instead killed his wife and young child, Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said she would "always support the targeted killings of terror leaders," adding unequivocally: "I do…

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  • Israeli airstrikes kill three in Gaza, rockets fired at Israel as ceasefire breaks down

    After nearly a week of intense ceasefire negotiations, the truce between Israel and Hamas broke down Tuesday afternoon. At approximately 3:45 p.m. two rockets launched from the Gaza Strip exploded near Be'er Sheva, prompting Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ya'alon to order the Israeli military to respond, while also calling on the Israeli delegation to negotiations in Cairo to return to Israel. The Israeli Air Force struck targets across Gaza Tuesday, killing a three-year-old girl and an unidentified woman after Israeli missiles hit the al-Dalou family home in Gaza City's Sheikh Radwan neighborhood. Palestinians fled their homes in Khan Younis…

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  • A letter to the Israeli government from a retired terrorist

    Ruth Reznik was only 14 when she joined a Zionist militia and took up arms against the British in Palestine. Now, she says, is the time to understand why Gazans are taking up arms against Israel. By Ruth Reznik (translated by Sinewave) I was drafted to the Irgun, a pre-state, right-wing Zionist militia, in the summer break after eighth grade, after I voiced my intention to enlist with either the Irgun or with the Lehi. As it happened, the representatives of the Irgun were the first to meet me. I wasn’t even 14 at the time, but the strong desire to join the…

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  • Gaza dispatch: Why the people support Hamas

    More than seven years of Israeli siege, a punishment for voting Hamas into power, have led Palestinians to rally around the party. After all, every time they look to Mahmoud Abbas for salvation, they are sorely disappointed. By Abeer Ayyoub GAZA CITY - With Operation Protective Edge becoming longer and more violent, questions over the attitude of the 1.8 million residents of Gaza toward Hamas are coming to the fore. Although both the international and Israeli media are concerned about Gazans, they are noticeably more critical of Hamas than they are of Israel. That concern is understood, but needs to…

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