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.”)
Will the UN Gaza report finally push Europe to confront Israel?
The UN's Commission of Inquiry report on the 2014 Gaza war has been able to achieve what the Goldstone report could not in 2009: a new gateway for confronting the EU to demand accountability for the devastation of the war. Two weeks ago the UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution to adopt the report of the UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) on the 2014 Gaza Conflict, calling for the implementation of the report’s recommendations. In a move that some observers described as “unprecedented,” all eight EU member states on the Council – the U.K., France, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland,…
A year after Gaza: The only lesson we can draw from Protective Edge
Both Israel and Hamas are preparing for the next round of fighting. So how does one prevent the inevitable? Hamas is preparing for the next round of fighting. That has been the messaging the Israeli security establishment has dispatched throughout the media in recent days, part of widespread coverage marking one year since the start of last summer’s war in Gaza. [tmwinpost] “Since the end of Operation Protective Edge Hamas is rebuilding its terror infrastructure and its capabilities, which were severely damaged during the operation,” Deputy Gaza Division Commander Col. Nochi Mandel told Israel Radio on Tuesday. “The organization is…
The oddity of finding hope while investigating war crimes
+972 speaks with Mary McGowan Davis and Doudou Diène, authors of the UNHRC report on potential war crimes in Gaza. The pair discuss possible consequences of the report, and why their investigation gave them hope. By Dahlia Scheindlin and Natasha Roth The main reaction in Israel to the findings of the United Nation’s commission of inquiry into last summer’s Gaza war was rejection. That response tops a process so fraught with politics, that it seemed unlikely the commission would be able to say anything meaningful at all. Israel views the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the body that commissioned the…
Lessons from the UN Gaza report: Next stop, ICC?
The Human Rights Council's independent inquiry is full of suspicions of war crimes. More important is what it has to say about how Israel investigates those allegations, and what that means for the International Criminal Court. To the relief of Israel and the chagrin of many others, the UN report into last summer’s war in Gaza is not an indictment of Israel. It does not declare conclusively that Israel committed war crimes and it is certainly not one-sided. The Human Rights Council report released on Monday is valuable, nevertheless, when read as a preview of what might transpire in a…
How an alleged war crime goes away — and resurfaces a year later
Nobody really noticed the deliberate shelling of a Palestinian medical clinic, even when it was reported in real time during Israel's war in Gaza last summer. Now, because of reporting by an independent journalist, there is a chance that somebody will be held accountable for what a rights group says is a clear-cut war crime. How does an apparent war crime, recorded and reported in real time disappear from the public realm and the radar of military investigators for almost a year? The fog of war? Hiding in plain sight? It’s not quite clear. [tmwinpost] The story begins in the…
Chronicle of a tragedy foretold in Gaza
If there's one takeaway from the newly published Breaking the Silence report, it's that the IDF is most certainly not the most moral army in the world. By Ido Even Paz Breaking the Silence member Idan Barir published an article during last summer's Gaza war, in which he warned against the firing of artillery into densely populated areas such as the Gaza Strip. The use of a ‘’statistical’’ weapon, he wrote, would bring about disastrous consequences, due to its inherent imprecision. [tmwinpost] Now, nearly a year after the last shell of Operation Protective Edge fell silent, it has become clearly…
Gunning for destruction in Gaza: ‘You want to see people in pieces’
36,000 artillery shells, tank shells, mortars, anti-tank missiles and munitions, alongside an ubiquitous use of armored bulldozers, razed streets and districts to the ground during last summer's Gaza war. According to a newly published Breaking the Silence report, this is exactly what the Israeli army wanted. In On Photography, the essayist Susan Sontag reflects on how our reliance on the photographic image has inverted our concept of reality. So accustomed have we become to recorded images showing us things we otherwise would not witness, that what cameras show us defines the boundaries of our reality. Therefore, Sontag argues, if and…
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…
other special coverages
Reports, maps, infographics and other documents on human rights and democracy.
20 Years Since the Cave of the Patriarchs Massacre
+972 and 'Hamakom' on reality in Hebron.
Is apartheid an accurate term? Is it useful?
On the challenges facing a growing population of asylum seekers and refugees in Israel.
Full coverage of the BDS movement, international pressure on Israel to end the occupation.