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  • 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…

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  • 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…

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  • IDF spokesperson expresses regret over killing of single Palestinian child

    You really have to give credit where credit is due. Even if it is to the IDF. Soldiers killed 12-year-old Muhammad al-Anati during clashes with local youth in the Hebron area on Sunday. According to reports, al-Anati was killed after being struck by a bullet in the back, and was not involved in the clashes. However, it seems that the IDF is willing to learn from past mistakes. This time, unlike recent similar events, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit immediately released a message [Hebrew] saying an inquiry had been launched and that the army expressed its regret over al-Anati's death. One can hope…

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  • What happens when the IDF embeds Israeli reporters

    The Israeli army recently began allowing reporters to join night raids in the West Bank. The result is exactly what you might expect. By Oren Persico / 'The 7th Eye' One week after the start of "Operation Brother's Keeper," the IDF Spokesperson's Unit arranged an opportunity for the Israeli press just in time for the newspapers’ weekend editions: an opportunity to report from the front lines. Journalists were invited to join military units operating in the Palestinian Authority and to cover the operation to eliminate Hamas infrastructure and the search for the three kidnapped Israelis from up close. This system, embedded journalism,…

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  • 'Parts of West Bank operation were planned ahead of time'

    IDF officer admits Operation Brother's Keeper has little to do with returning the kidnapped teenagers.   By Yael Marom Parts of Operation Brother's Keeper were planned in advance and are being implemented with no connection to their stated purpose - the return of the three kidnapped Israelis teenagers - according to an IDF officer in Jenin. The officer, who spoke to the ultra-Orthodox news outlet "Hadrei Haredim," (Hebrew) said that the army has been preparing for an operation in the city due to the arming of residents there. According to Hadrei Hadarim, the officer stated that the army is intentionally trying to…

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  • Beitunia killings: Autopsy reveals Palestinian teen shot by live fire

    An autopsy of Nadim Syam Nuwara, one of the two teenagers killed last month during the Nakba Day protests in Beitunia, reveals that that the teen was killed by live fire, according to a report by Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem. According to B'Tselem, Nuwara’s body has been well-preserved, making the point of entry and exit, as well as the route of the bullet, easily identifiable. Although the report is slated to be released in the next several days, doctors have rejected the possibility that the cause of death was rubber bullets, and are fairly confident that the bullet entered…

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  • In IDF fantasy video, Palestinians are allowed to protest

    Just when you thought it couldn't get any more embarrassing or distorted, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit has managed to top itself. On Sunday, the unit published a new video on its YouTube channel, showing scenes of Palestinian demonstrators throwing rocks and Israeli soldiers firing rounds of tear gas "in self-defense" in the West Bank village of Qaddum. Every Friday for the past two years, the villagers of Qaddum (along with Israeli and international activists) have marched toward the nearby settlement of Kedumim to protest the continuing expropriation of their land. As in every un-armed protest across the West Bank, the IDF…

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  • Why did the IDF assassinate two Palestinian journalists?

    The Israeli army still refuses to comment on several incidents in which journalists affiliated with Hamas, but with no connection to military activities, were targeted. In response to an inquiry by an Israeli journalist, an IDF Spokesperson representative wondered why he cares about a couple of Palestinians that died 'a million years ago.' On November 20, during the Israeli army’s last operation in Gaza ("Pillar of Defense"), the IDF targeted a car on a Gaza City street with two cameramen from al-Aqsa TV - Mahmoud al-Kumi and Hussam Salama - killing them both. Al-Aqsa is the official television station of…

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  • ‘Settlements ignite a chain reaction of human rights violations’

    +972 speaks with Jessica Montell, of B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, about the settlements and occupation staring the Israeli public in the face, and communicating the human rights message effectively, at home and abroad. From her fourth floor office window in Jerusalem, Jessica Montell can see the red-tiled roofs of Israeli homes inside the settlement of Gilo, east of the Green Line, in annexed East Jerusalem. She can also see Givat HaMatos, another West Bank community, where Israel is planning a new settlement. “It’s not an ivory tower,” she says of her office…

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  • IDF releases video clip from violent arrest of Budrus teen

    Earlier this week I reported here on the violent arrest of 19-year-old of Abed al-Rahem Awad from the Palestinian village of Budrus. Soldiers broke open the Awad family’s house doors before dawn on Sunday and dragged Abed al-Rahem down the stairs as his family members tried to release him from their hands. Several family members were beaten, including two females who ended up hospitalized; grenades were thrown into the house and considerable damage was done to their property. Several months ago, soldiers shot to death at close range Abed’s younger brother, Samir, as he was trying to cross the separation…

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  • Why does the IDF hold Gazan fishermen responsible for rocket launching?

    The IDF will allow Gaza fishermen to go beyond three-mile zone previously imposed on them and up to six miles into the Mediterranean Sea, it announced on Tuesday. Under the Oslo Accords, Gaza's maritime boundaries stretch 20 nautical miles from shore. However, as a part of its blockade policy, Israel does not allow fishermen to travel beyond a narrow strip of three to six miles - an area which changes at the discretion of the government and defense minister. The Gaza strip is one of the most densely populated areas in the world (see map below) and fishing constitutes an important source of food…

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  • IDF: 'Forbidden zone' in Gaza three times larger than previously stated

    The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories has clarified that the "forbidden" buffer zone in Gaza strip stretches 300 meters from the fence (the Israeli border), and not 100 meters as it previously announced. Civilians who enter the area risk being shot by the army. In the past, the killing of Palestinians who wandered into the forbidden zone has led to retaliatory rocket launching from the Strip into Israeli territory. The clarification was made following a request by the human rights organization Gisha. Gisha had noticed that the IDF Spokesperson’s messages stated a different distance than did the Coordinator of Government…

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  • WATCH: Security camera captures shooting of Palestinian teenager in Hebron

    Last Wedensday, 17-year-old Muhammad Ziad Awad Salaymah was killed at an IDF checkpoint in Hebron. The army claimed that the young Palestinian drew a fake gun on one of the soldiers, leaving a border policewoman who was near the scene no choice but to shoot him. The Salaymah family said that Muhammad was on his way to a candy store to by a cake for his birthday. Until now, the army refused to release the footage captured by a security camera which monitors the checkpoint. Today, this clip was posted on the IDF's Arabic channel. It is hard to tell what's going on…

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