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Assault on Gaza

After a period of escalation in violence along the Gaza border, Israel assassinated Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari on November 14. The killing kicked off Israel’s fiercest assault on Gaza since Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009, with Hamas responding with heavy rocket fire on Israel. +972 bloggers report during operation “Pillar of Defense.”

  • Human Rights Watch condemns targeting of Israeli civilians during Pillar of Defense

    Previous report from the human rights organization examined the Israeli airstrike that took the lives of 12 Palestinian civilians, ten of them from the same family. Human Rigths Watch has condemned the targeting of the Israeli civilian population by Palestinian militants during the week-long "Pillar of Defense" military operation, which took place last month. A piece posted on the HRW site states that: The rocket attacks, including the first from Gaza to strike the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem areas, killed three Israeli civilians, wounded at least 38, several seriously, and destroyed civilian property. Rockets that fell short of their intended…

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  • Helpless: Notes of a Gaza teacher

    One Gazan's war diary, November 14-21. By Ahmed G. Ferwana November 14 I wished my colleagues and students a nice weekend, and left the American International School of Gaza (AISG), where I work as a Language and Literature teacher, for my apartment on Al-Shuhada Street, which I consider to be one of the most beautiful streets in the Gaza Strip. It was a lovely Wednesday, to be followed by a three-day vacation, and I had plans to meet some friends for a barbeque. Then, time and date was all that mattered once I had that moment of silence as a…

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  • WATCH: Hamas rocket brings out best - but mostly worst - in Israelis

    I remember breathing a sigh of relief last week as I heard the news about the ceasefire. But that feeling was immediately followed by despair, knowing that nothing has changed and nothing will. I think that feeling really hit me hard after watching this item by Shai Gal, on Channel 2, last Friday. It actually brought a lump to my throat. Because the "operation" is over, the politicians are all back in election-mode, but on the streets, the hatred runs so deep. So deep, it makes you wonder how anyone, anywhere in this land, can be optimistic about the future.…

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  • The real winner of Hamas-Israel ceasefire: Justice Richard Goldstone

    By Jeremiah Haber There is now a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, thank God. The senseless military operation initiated by a blundering Israeli overreaction, and resulting in death, destruction, and fear in civilian populations, was only the latest in a series of such operations. And an examination of the ceasefire "understandings," virtually identical with those after Cast Lead, shows that Israel's over-arching strategy in assassinating Chief of Staff  Jabari was of the "We've-got-to-DO-something" variety. It is unlikely that the ceasefire will hold, but it is sufficient to worry later about future troubles, as the saying goes. Who won? Ask the Israelis, most of…

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  • WATCH: UNRWA chief says donor commitment to Gaza needs to continue

    The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, or UNRWA, provides "assistance, protection and advocacy for some 5 million registered Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the occupied Palestinian territory, pending a solution to their plight." The UN agency is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions from the global body's member states.  UNRWA's chief, Filippo Grandi, says the international community and donors must continue in their commitment to Palestinians and, in particular, to the people of Gaza. WATCH: ROEE RUTTENBERG INTERVIEW'S UNRWA CHIEF FILIPPO GRANDI

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  • WATCH: Israelis from Sderot play Palestinians under the occupation

    There has been a lot of nationalism, warmongering and even racism in the Israeli media this past week, and inflammatory militaristic statements are still heard everywhere. So I thought it would be a good opportunity to post this video by filmmaker Itamar Rose. Several months ago, Rose traveled with a Palestinian friend to Sderot, which has been hit by rockets more than any other Israeli town, and asked locals to play the role of Palestinians in front of the camera. The outcome is worth watching. (If you cannot properly see the video, click here to watch it.) Some people might wonder how…

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  • A week in photos: Gaza escalation, ahead of ceasefire

    Palestinians in Gaza celebrated the ceasefire yesterday evening, but the destruction and grief left in the wake of Israeli airstrikes are enormous. Activestills documented the Israeli operation from beginning to end, capturing its effects in Israel, the West Bank and, most acutely, the Gaza Strip.                                              

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  • Operation 'Cast Ballot': Post mortem

    As yet another military campaign ends, the IDF turns out to be, as usual, the weakest link in the chain. Operation Cast Ballot, or as it is formally known, "Pillar of Defense," has come to an end. Childish to the end, the Palestinians and Israelis managed to miss a ceasefire on Tuesday, as they quarreled over who would fire the last shell. The practice of announcing a ceasefire in advance, so as to make certain that all troops know of it in time and observe it, has been perverted into a competition of who can fire more in less time.…

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  • 'Relax, the rocket fell on an Arab village'

    On Tuesday, Hamas shot a rocket towards Jerusalem. Much to their chagrin, it only got as far the Gush Etzion area. Apparently, it also fell close to a Palestinian village. As Voice of Israel (part of the official Israel Broadcasting Authority) reported the events, their veteran correspondent in the South, Nissim Kenan, had some, how should I say, "reassuring" words for listeners and for the anchor, Esti Perez (listen in Hebrew here): Kenan: Let me calm everybody down here from Ashkelon. It fell in Gush Etzion. Not in Jerusalem. Perez: Yes, but people live in Gush Etzion, too, you know.…

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