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.”)
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…
PHOTOS: In Gaza, rebuilding is still over the horizon
With the humanitarian crisis more dire than ever before, the extreme need in Gaza continues to far outstrip the trickle of resources allowed to enter. Photos: Anne Paq/Activestills.org Text: Ryan Rodrick Beiler Click here for +972's full coverage of the Gaza war Following Israel's seven-week offensive last summer, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been forced to cope with living conditions much harsher than the aftermath of previous wars. As winter approaches, UN estimates that some 18,000 housing units remain either destroyed or severely damaged, rendering more than 108,000 people homeless. Eyewitnesses report that many of those without adequate shelter are…
For the Israeli media, Gazan lives are little more than expendable
Nearly two months after the end of Operation Protective Edge, the Israeli media refuses to ask the difficult questions. Who decided that killing entire families is now allowed? What is the justification for doing so? And why won't the army explain why it killed five members of the Joudah family? Why doesn't anyone care about the Joudah family? Nearly two months have passed since Israeli Air Force pilots bombed their yard in Gaza, killing the mother of the family and four of her children. Until today, the IDF has not published an explanation of the incident. Actually, almost no one…
How the Israeli media covers massacres: Lessons from 1953
The killing was justified, the terrorists hid among the civilian population, the West is anti-Semitic, and on second thought, perhaps the whole thing never actually happened. From the 1953 Qibya massacre to Operation Protective Edge, the Israeli media is the same media, and the lies the same lies. By John Brown At 9:30 p.m. on the night of October 14, 1953, soldiers from Israel's Paratroopers Unit as well as Commando Unit 101 fired mortars at the West Bank villages (then under Jordanian control) of Qibya and Ni'lin. Following the barrage, over 130 soldiers swarmed Qibya, laying down land mines on the…
A siege of inertia: Israel's non-policy on Gaza
One government inherits the siege from another, the prime minister admits it’s more harmful than helpful, the cabinet never formulates or even discusses a policy, and one minister goes as far as admitting that the only driving force behind Israel’s Gaza policy is inertia. By Itamar Sha’altiel There is something tempting about trying to connect all the dots, which show that every decision made by successive Israeli governments have just been part of one giant, logical process. It doesn't matter whether the final outcome is cold and cruel — at least we can find solace knowing that all the pain and…
Seven years later, Israel decides Gaza blockade is ineffective
After seven years of siege, the defense establishment has suddenly discovered that the blockade on Gaza is not helpful. It's no coincidence, of course, that this realization comes after a war that devastated the Strip and has the Palestinians focused on reconstruction. "Israel now admits that the almost-airtight blockade of Gaza has done more harm than good." I am always amazed at the ease with which these sentences are written by this or that analyst. Written so nonchalantly to the point that it feels like the writer might as well just shrug and say, "Well that didn't work, let's try…
Why the IDF cannot be trusted to investigate itself
The occupation is violence: costly to the occupied, cheap for the occupiers. Only a credible, independent and effective inquiry into IDF actions can begin to make that violence costly to its perpetrators. By Hagai El-Ad (translated by Keren T Rubinstein) Recently it was announced that the IDF had already begun looking into 99 incidents that took place during Operation Defensive Shield. Of these, a criminal inquiry was initiated in five cases, while seven other cases have already been closed. Seemingly, this is commendable news. Alas, experience proves otherwise. Time after time, official and quite ceremonious promises to establish the truth after…
PHOTOS: Gaza's children face an uncertain future
Israel's latest offensive on the Gaza Strip killed more than 500 children. Those who survive must endure ongoing trauma and displacement. Photos by Anne Paq and Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org Text by Anne Paq I visited Al Nada towers in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip after they were destroyed by Israeli strikes. The towers had 90 apartments, home to many families. Mohammed, an 11-year-old child, was sitting on top of rubble, waiting to go to school. As I was working on a series of images of destroyed bedrooms, I asked him to bring me to his home to show me…
Truth is the first casualty when war is declared
The recurring elements in the manipulation of public opinion and discourse in wartime also appeared during ‘Protective Edge.’ Shaked Spier brings you the Ten Truths, Ten Commandments and Ten Lies of war. By Shaked Spier The truth Several truths dominated the hegemonic discourse in Israel during and since “Protective Edge”: 1. Israel doesn't want war, we only defend ourselves 2. Hamas was solely responsible for this war 3. The Hamas leadership is evil and looks evil 4. Israel is defending a noble cause, not special interests 5. Hamas carries out intentional atrocities; we only make mistakes (“collateral damage”) 6. Hamas…
Space for perpetuating the conflict: Tunnels, deterrence and profits
Israeli leaders cannot escape the idea that Palestinians must be controlled, all the time and in all areas of life. Indeed, if controlling the Palestinians is everything we want, then the separation wall and the ‘Iron Dome’ are excellent solutions. The longer this snowball rolls, however, any non-military option is ruled out more aggressively, and even relatively moderate military options become irrelevant. By Idan Landau It became official this summer: tunnels are the new centrifuges. For years, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been waving the Iranian threat in front of us, and one morning we woke up and… poof!…
The U.S. is also guilty in Palestine
When an indigenous, stateless population is blocked access to opportunities for justice by superpowers like the U.S., something is wrong – deadly wrong. By Sam Bahour The U.S. is not a neutral mediator in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; it is an active participant and is guilty of the crimes being committed by Israel against Palestinians, most recently, the mass killings and destruction Israel wrought on the Gaza Strip during the summer. The reality that the U.S. is an active supporter of unimaginable suffering may very well be the motivating force behind the U.S.’s adamant attempts to block the Palestinians from using…
PHOTOS: Amid rubble and trauma, Gaza goes back to school
With displaced families still living in some schools, and despite severe damage to classrooms, Gaza's children return to school after a summer of Israeli bombardment. Photos by: Anne Paq and Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org Text by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler Despite damaged classrooms and destroyed schools, Gaza’s school year began this week after delays due to the recent Israeli offensive known as Operation Protective Edge. According to Gaza Education Ministry official Ziad Thabet, the first weeks of classes will focus on recreational activities and psychological counseling to help children recover from the trauma sustained during this summer’s attacks. During the seven weeks of…
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