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  • How the IDF turned a Palestinian house into a military post

    Shattered televisions, clothes and food scattered everywhere, clogged toilets, walls covered in drawings, stolen jewelry. These are the scenes that awaited Palestinians in Gaza upon returning to their homes that were used as IDF military posts. By Alexandr Nabokov The devastation is total. Furniture is overturned, clothes are torn out of the closets and scattered around. Though I try to avoid it, I trample on them as I walk over broken glass, food scraps and cartridge cases. The walls are scribbled with Hebrew writing; large maps of the surrounding houses, along with guard schedules. I am inside a house that…

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  • Israeli child killed by mortar; Hamas executes 18 suspected collaborators

    Update: The IDF has confirmed that the mortar shell that killed a 4-year-old Israeli child Friday evening was not fired from a UN-run shelter for Gazan refugees, as earlier reported by Haaretz. On the 46th day of Israel's Operation Protective Edge at least 113 projectiles were fired into Israel from Gaza. A mortar attack early Friday evening  killed four-year-old Israeli child Daniel Tregerman – the first child fatality on the Israel side since the start of hostilities more than six weeks ago. This was also the first Israeli fatality since a temporary ceasefire between Hamas and Israel broke down last Friday…

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  • What would Israelis say to families of civilian casualties in Gaza?

    The personal losses of Al Mezan’s team are a microcosm of what Israel’s military operation is doing to Gaza’s population. If Israelis met them face-to-face, would they tell them the same excuses for those civilian deaths as they tell themselves and the world?  By Amjad Iraqi On August 21, the father, step-mother and niece of Issam Younis, director-general of the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza, were killed as a result of an Israeli air strike on a nearby house; five other family members, including a three-year old and two-month old, were wounded. The home of another Al…

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  • Palestinian teen: I was used as a human shield in Gaza

    An affidavit obtained exclusively by +972 reveals what appears to be the first documented case of a 'human shield' used by the Israeli military during its invasion of the eastern Gaza town of Khuza'a. Ahmad Abu Raida, now 17, was separated from his family by Israeli soldiers on July 23 as he and his family were trying to flee to safety. During Abu Raida's five-day captivity, an Israeli soldier, who insisted he be called "captain," repeatedly asked the boy about alleged Hamas tunnels and rocket launching sites in his neighborhood. "I told him I did not know," Abu Raida, who…

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  • Israelis in the U.S. urge the Jewish community to take a closer look at Gaza

    'We are reaching out to you because we want to re-examine what it means to be pro-Israel or pro-Palestine,' says a public letter published by Israelis for a Sustainable Future. 'We argue that these terms might be one and the same.' A group of Israelis living in the U.S. has published an open letter the the American Jewish community, calling on it to join them in opposition to the war in Gaza and the years-long blockade Israel has imposed on the Strip. While condemning Hamas' targeting of civilians, the group states that "maintaining the occupation is what this war is…

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  • Why Palestinian citizens of Israel are no longer safe

    Despite institutionalized discrimination, in recent years Palestinian citizens of Israel have increasingly integrated into the economy, political life, academia and general society. The nature of the current assault on Israeli-Arabs launched from both the Knesset and the street is, in fact, a reaction to this integration. By Ron Gerlitz About a month ago I wrote here that the fabric of relations between Palestinian and Jewish citizens of Israel was worsening, and that this was not just an escalation but a frightening new era of Jewish-Arab relations in Israel. In retrospect, we were just at the start of the deterioration and…

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  • The battle over numbers: Gaza conflict is about quality not quantity

    While it may be tempting for those of us who are against Operation Protective Edge to stress the lopsided casualty statistics as a way to promote our criticism, this war should not focus on the numbers. One of the most painfully obvious aspects of the current warfare between Israel and Gaza (and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on a whole) is the stark disparity in the number of casualties: 1,928 Palestinians killed compared with 67 Israelis, based on the latest figures recorded by each side. Both the Hamas-run Ministry of Health in Gaza and the UN claim the majority are civilians, whereas…

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  • IDF reservist sentenced to military prison for refusing draft

    Update: The reservist has since decided to expose his identity. He is Gilad Halpern; the name has been updated here. An IDF reservist was arrested at Ben Gurion Airport Wednesday upon returning to Israel after fleeing call-up orders to serve in Operation Protective Edge. He was later sentenced to 21 days in military prison. Gilad Halpern, one of three reservists who spoke to +972 Magazine recently for an article about refusal (before he left the country), spent 15 days abroad following a military order to appear for active duty. When he received the order, just as the ground operation was…

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  • Debunking Gaza war lies

    The lies generated by the IDF spokesperson and the media on the Gaza war are still being endlessly quoted for the purposes of propaganda. By John Brown (translated from Hebrew by Sol Salbe) 1. "Hamas is forcing residents to stand on rooftops, leading to their deaths." The claim originated with the killing of six members of the Kware'a family and two others at 2:30 p.m. on July 8. According to the investigation, the family evacuated the house after receiving a phone call from the army, but returned after the "knock on the roof" missile was erroneously assumed to have been the missile…

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  • Gaza dispatch: 'Death will come and life will go on'

    In the tragedy that is the Middle East, we Palestinians have played two roles – the victim or the vilified. But Gaza is changing all that. Gaza is fighting back. “You want to go where?” My colleague and I have just boarded a taxi and named our destination– Rafah. Two days after the Israeli military had sealed Gaza’s southernmost town, claiming Hamas fighters had kidnapped one of its own, few images had emerged of the ensuing destruction. We wanted to see for ourselves. We were not alone, of course. Thousands of families displaced from points north, east and south along…

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  • IDF soldier: Artillery fire in Gaza is like Russian roulette

    During Operation Protective Edge the IDF has shot thousands of artillery shells into Gaza, the impact location of which are uncontrollable. As an ex-combat soldier in the artillery corps, I feel obligated to explain how artillery fire on a civilian population can be both dangerous and lethal. By Idan Barir (translated by Hadas Leonov) Amid the stream of terrible reports from Operation Protective Edge, two especially painful events captured my attention: The bombardment of an UNRWA school in Jabaliya that served as a shelter for families that had fled their homes due to the fighting, which resulted in the deaths…

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  • COMIC: Gaza exit interview

    By Eli Valley Eli Valley is a writer and artist whose work has been published in The Nation, The Daily Beast, The Forward, Gawker, Saveur, Haaretz and elsewhere. He is currently finishing his first novel. Eli’s website is www.EVComics.com and he tweets at @elivalley. Previous work by Eli Valley on +972 Magazine: Consensus in the conference Dershowitz preps for Goldstone II Google Glass for the Gaza gaze What if Mahmoud was named Jonah?

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  • Who are the Israelis refusing the call of Protective Edge?

    On Saturday evening, another anti-war demonstration was held in Tel Aviv. A few hundred people marched and chanted and hoped that rumors of a drawdown were true. With minimal numbers and attention, the demonstrations have had little impact. But there doesn’t seem much else that those opposed to the war can do. Soldiers and reservists have another option: civil disobedience, refusal to participate. It is a huge taboo. The idea of avoiding IDF service in a society whose mythical founding narrative is about protection from existential destruction is anathema even in normal times. To refuse a draft order in wartime…

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