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The latest round of violence in Gaza and Israel

 

Following 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 reached Tel Aviv and as far as Haifa. In Gaza, the Israeli Air Force targeted the family homes of suspected Palestinian militants, leading to massive civilian casualties. By the end of the war over 2,100 Palestinians were killed and tens of thousands wounded, with 70 deaths on the Israeli side, 66 of them soldiers.

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

Reportage, commentary and vital analysis in this latest round of violence from +972.

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

 

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  • Redefining civilians and legitimate targets: Israeli soldiers testify on Gaza war

    Two themes are present in almost all of the 60-plus testimonies collected by Breaking the Silence from Israeli soldiers who fought in the last Gaza war: loose rules of engagement and systematic, wanton destruction. But can the new documentation serve as a catalyst for change inside Israel? Internationally? By Mairav Zonszein and Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man Breaking the Silence, an Israeli organization of military veterans, released on Monday a collection of testimonies from nearly 70 soldiers and officers who participated in Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip last summer. It has been 10 months since the 50-day assault, which killed…

  • A Week in Photos: Survivors, art and destruction in Gaza

    Ten photos from Gaza — of survivors and the devastated urban landscape seven months after the last Israeli offensive. Photos by Anne Paq/Activestills.org This week marks seven months since Israel’s war in Gaza last summer, “Operation Defensive Edge.” During the course of the war, over 2,200 Palestinians were killed. Tens of thousands are still homeless due to Israeli strikes. Almost no reconstruction has taken place because of Israeli and Egyptian restrictions on the import of raw materials into the Strip. The following are images from the Gaza Strip in the past week, March 17-25, 2015, showing the destruction, the lives…

  • IDF: Nothing illegal in Gaza strike that killed three journalists

    The chief military prosecutor investigates the IDF’s killing of three journalists and finds that ‘the [mortar] fire was carried out in accordance with Israeli and international law,’ in response to intensive fire toward IDF troops. By Oren Persico IDF Military Advocate General Danny Efroni decided not to open a criminal investigation into the killing of three journalists, among others, during Operation Protective Edge last summer, according the IDF prosecutor. On July 30, 2014, IDF forces shelled the market area of the Shejaiya neighborhood in Gaza. Rami Rayan, 26, who reportedly worked as a cameraman for Gaza-based news agency PNJM, was…

  • WATCH: Short doc looks for the Palestinians in Israeli elections

    Why is Gaza not an issue in Israel’s elections? Filmmakers Tamar Glezerman and Arianna LaPenne speak with +972 bloggers to examine the mainstream media landscape, and its marginalization of the Palestinians, the occupation and the war in Gaza. Shot during Operation Protective Edge, this short documentary follows independent writers and photojournalists as they cover one of the most intense periods the conflict has seen in years. Click here for +972's full coverage of Israeli elections.

  • WATCH: Bringing Gaza’s voices to Israeli voters

    Elections are often imagined as a celebration of democracy. But what about those who have no vote to give? WATCH: Wake-up Call: 47 years of disenfranchisement

  • Bombing homes in Gaza: 'It was supposed to be their shelter'

    Human rights group B'Tselem exposes — and protests to the Israeli government — home demolitions, Gaza style. They fled when the flyers fell from the sky, Israeli military orders dropped like confetti on the masses. Evacuate, they said, or else. Seek shelter now. One week of sorties, and Ibrahim made the call: We leave now — my wife and I, our seven children, our children's children. But the Abu Shuqah family never found shelter. The closest they came was a cardboard factory -- somewhere between Bureij and Nusseirat, two refugee camps along Gaza's coastal flats. "We stayed in the storeroom…

  • UN aid agency to Gazans: Sorry, but there's no money

    Only $135 million of pledged donor money has been delivered to Gaza, hundreds of millions short of what's needed, the UN agency says. As a result, it is suspending its aid programs for those most affected by the war. By Yael Marom UNRWA, the UN relief agency charged with providing aid to Palestinian refugees, announced Tuesday that it is suspending its financial aid program to the thousands of Gazans whose homes were destroyed during Operation Protective Edge last summer. The program was intended to assist them in repairing houses, as well as renting apartments for those who have remained homeless…

  • Report details IDF 'double tap' bombings that hit first responders in Gaza

    Using human shields, attacking medical teams and hospitals, shooting at civilians waving white flags. A new report by Physicians for Human Rights authored by a team of international medical experts documents shocking testimonies of victims and presents new evidence from Operation Protective Edge in Gaza. The thing that shocked me most in a new report on Gaza by international experts was the IDF’s “double tap” attacks. Other findings in the report have already been written about, some of them during the war, “Operation Protective Edge,” here on +972. We reported about the shooting at civilians in the Khuza’a neighborhood, the…

  • Resource: Fact-finding mission investigates 'Protective Edge'

    A new report by Physicians for Human Rights, authored by a team of international medical experts, documents shocking testimonies of victims and presents new evidence from Operation Protective Edge in Gaza. In the course of the armed conflict during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza during the summer of 2014, allegations were made regarding the use of disproportionate force by the Israeli army, indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets, and a lack or failure of precautionary measures. Up until now, external independent experts were not allowed to enter Gaza for purposes of fact-finding and documentation of evidence, either during the fighting or…

  • War on Gaza: A promise Israeli politicians can keep

    As they head into elections, Netanyahu, Livni, Herzog, Lapid and Yishai can agree on one thing: even after nine military operations in 14 years, the only solution to the conflict with Gaza is another war with Hamas. By Yonatan Mendel Election season is upon us, which means that the country's best copywriters and campaigners are likely gathering with elected officials in meeting rooms in order to come up with a concise and clear message for the citizens of Israel - one that will inspire them to vote for those very same elected officials, and the brighter future they promise. Politicians and…

  • +972's Story of the Year: Gaza

    Most of us have become so accustomed to Gaza’s suffering that we can hardly imagine a world without it. But imagine we must. During the fighting this summer, and in its aftermath, many believed the war would be a game-changer, that something would have to give — it hasn't. Activists, intellectuals and diplomats continue to advocate, but what about the Gazans themselves? Beyond violence, what is their role in ending the siege and attaining freedom? Samer Badawi tackles the questions — and the answers — left buried in the rubble. By Samer Badawi This is the first time that +972 is highlighting a…

  • Gaza quiet shows Hamas' pragmatism

    Despite violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank, for the past three months Hamas has maintained calm on the Gaza border — curbing rocket-fire against Israel. By Aaron Magid Opponents of Hamas often accuse the Islamist organization of acting irrationally. In a National Review article titled, “Hamas’ Suicidal Tendencies,” the author writes, “[w]hy is Hamas pursuing such a self-destructive strategy? Ideology.” Yet, in the months since the Gaza war, Hamas’ leadership in Gaza has repeated its pragmatic approach by not launching rockets into Israel, instead choosing to downgrade its ideology so that it may fight Israel more effectively in the…

  • Israel's top news channel: Gov't asked us to show more Gaza devastation

    Israeli consumers don't want to know what's happening on the other side, the station's foreign editor explains. 'We don't serve the regime, we serve the consumerist regime.' By Oren Persico / ‘The 7th Eye‘ During this summer’s Gaza war officials in the Prime Minister's Office and Defense Ministry contacted Israel’s Channel 2 News, asking why they were not broadcasting more images of destruction caused by the army's bombing in Gaza. Speaking at a panel discussion at Netanya College last week, Arad Nir, the company's foreign news editor, said the news channel did not comply with the government's request, instead decided to show what…

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+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

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Illustrations: Eran Mendel