Conflict between Palestine and Israel escalates

Seanchaidh

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You know as well as I do that some people here pick sides in international conflicts based significantly more (or entirely) on which countries support whom rather than what the actual nature of the conflict is.
Yourself, for example.
 

Seanchaidh

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i shouldn't have to say this, but Matt Lieb is not actually a Zionist. He is in fact making fun of them. It's kind of his whole thing lately.

 
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Seanchaidh

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A UK-based research group published the findings of a forensic investigation on Friday, revealing that Hind Rajab, the six-year-old Palestinian girl found dead along with members of her family in northern Gaza earlier this year, was most likely killed by Israeli tank fire.


The investigation found that the car in which Rajab was killed had been hit with 355 bullets, with most of the entries coming from the right side of the vehicle. The investigation was conducted by Forensic Architecture, Al Jazeera's Fault Lines and the NGO Earshot.


Forensic Architecture said that the gun used for this attack was "firing at a range of 750–900 rounds per minute", and that this range exceeds that of the AK-type assault rifle that is commonly attributed to Palestinian fighters operating in Gaza.


"This range of rounds per minute is consistent with Israeli army-issued weaponry such as the M4 assault rifle or the FN MAG machine gun on a Merkava tank," the investigation said.


The probe - using a mix of kinetic analysis, satellite imagery and footage sourced from the site of the incident - also found that the Israeli tank that fired upon the vehicle Rajab was sitting inside must have been positioned within 13 to 23 metres when it killed Layan, Rajab's 15-year-old cousin.
 

crimson5pheonix

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Since I assumed the position of Minister of National Security, one of the highest goals I have set for myself is to worsen the conditions of the terrorists in the prisons, and to reduce their rights to the minimum required by law. This is what I committed to my voters and the people of Israel back in the elections, when I announced that I would claim the position.
In the last year, before the war broke out, I waged a war of attrition to carry out the long-awaited reform of their conditions, and to fulfill the mandate I received from the public. The main organization that fought my attempts to lead this important reform, and even managed to prevent it, is the Shin Bet, under the command of Ronan Bar. It stood on its hind legs, and convinced the prime minister time and time again that worsening the conditions of the terrorists would lead to escalation, an explosion, and the burning of the Middle East . What not.
"Yeah, I'm not just a Nazi now, I was a Nazi before October! I've always been a Nazi! If I had my way, we'd have had death camps the day I took over!"
 

XsjadoBlayde

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https://apnews.com/article/israel-p...s-07-03-2024-033deab379a16efdf9989de8d6eaf0f8

Who could've predicted

Israel turbocharges West Bank settlement expansion with largest land grab in decades

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Mourners carry the bodies of four Palestinians, killed by an Israeli airstrike late Tuesday, during their funeral in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, near Tulkarem, Wednesday, July 3, 2024. Palestinian health officials say four Palestinians were killed by an Israeli airstrike in a refugee camp in the northern West Bank late Tuesday. Israel’s military said an aircraft struck a group of militants who were planting explosives in Nur Shams refugee camp near Tulkarem. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)
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Mourners take the last look at the body of Yazeed Shafea, 22, wrapped with an Islamic Jihad flag, who was one of four Palestinians killed by an Israeli airstrike late Tuesday, during their funeral in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, near Tulkarem, Wednesday, July 3, 2024. Palestinian health officials say four Palestinians were killed by an Israeli airstrike in a refugee camp in the northern West Bank late Tuesday. Israel’s military said an aircraft struck a group of militants who were planting explosives in Nur Shams refugee camp near Tulkarem. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

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Mourners take the last look at the bodies, wrapped with Islamic Jihad flags of four Palestinians, who were killed by an Israeli airstrike late Tuesday, during their funeral in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, near Tulkarem, Wednesday, July 3, 2024. Palestinian health officials say four Palestinians were killed by an Israeli airstrike in a refugee camp in the northern West Bank late Tuesday. Israel’s military said an aircraft struck a group of militants who were planting explosives in Nur Shams refugee camp near Tulkarem. (AP Photo/Nasser

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Mourners take a last look at the body of Yazeed Shafea, 22, wrapped with an Islamic Jihad flag, who was one of four Palestinians killed by an Israeli airstrike late Tuesday, during their funeral in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, near Tulkarem, Wednesday, July 3, 2024. Palestinian health officials say four Palestinians were killed by an Israeli airstrike in a refugee camp in the northern West Bank late Tuesday. Israel’s military said an aircraft struck a group of militants who were planting explosives in Nur Shams refugee camp near Tulkarem. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)


JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel has approved the largest seizure of land in the occupied West Bank in over three decades, a settlement tracking group said Wednesday, a move that is likely to worsen already soaring tensions linked to the war in Gaza.

Israel’s aggressive expansion in the West Bank reflects the settler community’s strong influence in the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the most religious and nationalist in the country’s history. Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, a settler himself, has turbocharged the policy of expansion, seizing new authorities over settlement development and saying he aims to solidify Israel’s hold on the territory and prevent the creation of a Palestinian state.

Authorities recently approved the appropriation of 12.7 square kilometers (nearly 5 square miles) of land in the Jordan Valley, according to a copy of the order obtained by The Associated Press. Data from Peace Now, the tracking group, indicate it was the largest single appropriation approved since the 1993 Oslo accords at the start of the peace process.

Settlement monitors said the land grab connects Israeli settlements along a key corridor bordering Jordan, a move they said undermines the prospect of a contiguous Palestinian state.

U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric called it “a step in the wrong direction,” adding that “the direction we want to be heading is to find a negotiated two-state solution.”

The newly seized land is in an area of the West Bank where, even before the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war, settler violence was displacing communities of Palestinians. That violence has only surged since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack ignited the war in Gaza. Settlers have carried out more than 1,000 attacks on Palestinians since October in the West Bank, causing deaths and damaging property, according to the U.N.

The land seizure, which was approved late last month but only publicized on Wednesday, comes after the seizure of 8 square kilometers (roughly 3 square miles) of land in the West Bank in March and 2.6 square kilometers (1 square mile) in February.

That makes 2024 by far the peak year for Israeli land seizure in the West Bank, Peace Now said.

By declaring them state lands, the government opens them up to being leased to Israelis and prohibits private Palestinian ownership. This year’s land seizures are contiguous, linking two already existing settlements to create a solid block near the border with Jordan. The lands were declared to be closed Israeli military zones before they were declared state land.

The Palestinians view the expansion of settlements in the occupied West Bank as the main barrier to any lasting peace agreement, preventing any possibility of a cohesive state. Most of the international community considers settlements illegal or illegitimate.

Israel captured the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war, territories the Palestinians want for a future state. Israel’s current government considers the West Bank to be the historical and religious heartland of the Jewish people and opposes Palestinian statehood.

Israel has built well over 100 settlements across the West Bank, some of which resemble fully developed suburbs or small towns. They are home to over 500,000 Jewish settlers who have Israeli citizenship.

The 3 million Palestinians in the West Bank live under seemingly open-ended Israeli military rule. The Palestinian Authority administers enclaves scattered across the territory, but is barred from operating in 60% of the West Bank, which includes the settlements as well as areas with a population of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.

Yoni Mizrachi, the head of settlement tracking at Peace Now, described the land grab announced Wednesday as part of a strategy to establish a buffer zone between Jordan and Palestinian lands and choke off the practical possibility of a Palestinian state. The aim, he believes, is to push Palestinians into isolated islands surrounded by Israeli land.

“They definitely see this area as a strategic area, as the first and one of the easiest ways to begin annexation,” he said.

Prominent human rights organizations have pointed to Israel’s rule over the West Bank in accusing it of the international crime of apartheid, allegations Israel rejects as an attack on its legitimacy.

Smotrich was granted expanded powers over Israel’s administration of the occupied territory under Netanyahu’s governing coalition. Smotrich laid out his plans for the West Bank at a conference for his ultranationalist Religious Zionism Party last month, a recording of which was obtained by Peace Now. He said he intended to appropriate up to 15 square kilometers (nearly 6 square miles) of land in the West Bank this year.

“We came to settle the land, to build it, and to prevent its division and the establishment of a Palestinian state, God forbid,” he said during the conference. He vowed to “change the map dramatically” by claiming more West Bank land than ever before as state land.

He also promised to expand the establishment of farming outposts, which hard-line settlers have used to extend their control of rural areas, and to crack down on Palestinian construction.

The proliferation of outposts has driven up settler violence in the West Bank since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, rights groups say, leading several Palestinian villages to pick up and leave their land.

Palestinians say the violence is geared toward putting wide swaths of land under Israeli control and pushing the prospect of a Palestinian state further from reach.

The U.S., E.U., UK and Canada have imposed high-level sanctions against violent settlers and settler organizations, but some of those targeted have told The AP that the measures have had little effect.

The declaration published Wednesday was signed under the authority of Hillel Roth, a deputy Smotrich appointed earlier this year to boost settlement expansion and state land declarations in the West Bank, Peace Now said.

The declaration came a day after Peace Now said Israeli authorities were scheduled to approve or advance construction of over 6,000 new settlement homes in the occupied West Bank in the coming days.

COGAT, the Israeli military body in charge of civilian affairs in the West Bank, was not immediately available for comment.

Hamas cited the expansion of West Bank settlements as one of its justifications for the Oct. 7 attack into southern Israel, in which Palestinian militants killed some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took around 250 hostage. Israel has launched a massive offensive in response that has killed over 37,900 Palestinians, according to local health officials, who do not say how many were fighters.

The war has caused massive devastation across Gaza and displaced most of its 2.3 million people, often multiple times. Israeli restrictions, the ongoing fighting and the breakdown of law and order have curtailed humanitarian aid efforts, causing widespread hunger and sparking fears of famine.
 
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XsjadoBlayde

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Fucking hell, this cannot be ignored any further


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Counting the dead in Gaza: difficult but essential
Published:July 05, 2024DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(24)01169-3


By June 19, 2024, 37 396 people had been killed in the Gaza Strip since the attack by Hamas and the Israeli invasion in October, 2023, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, as reported by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.1

The Ministry's figures have been contested by the Israeli authorities, although they have been accepted as accurate by Israeli intelligence services, 2 the UN, and WHO. These data are supported by independent analyses, comparing changes in the number of deaths of UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) staff with those reported by the Ministry, 3 which found claims of data fabrication implausible. 4

Collecting data is becoming increasingly difficult for the Gaza Health Ministry due to the destruction of much of the infrastructure. 5

The Ministry has had to augment its usual reporting, based on people dying in its hospitals or brought in dead, with information from reliable media sources and first responders. This change has inevitably degraded the detailed data recorded previously. Consequently, the Gaza Health Ministry now reports separately the number of unidentified bodies among the total death toll. As of May 10, 2024, 30% of the 35 091 deaths were unidentified. 1

Some officials and news agencies have used this development, designed to improve data quality, to undermine the veracity of the data. However, the number of reported deaths is likely an underestimate. The non-governmental organisation Airwars undertakes detailed assessments of incidents in the Gaza Strip and often finds that not all names of identifiable victims are included in the Ministry's list. 6

Furthermore, the UN estimates that, by Feb 29, 2024, 35% of buildings in the Gaza Strip had been destroyed, 5 so the number of bodies still buried in the rubble is likely substantial, with estimates of more than 10 000. 7

Armed conflicts have indirect health implications beyond the direct harm from violence. Even if the conflict ends immediately, there will continue to be many indirect deaths in the coming months and years from causes such as reproductive, communicable, and non-communicable diseases. The total death toll is expected to be large given the intensity of this conflict; destroyed health-care infrastructure; severe shortages of food, water, and shelter; the population's inability to flee to safe places; and the loss of funding to UNRWA, one of the very few humanitarian organisations still active in the Gaza Strip. 8

In recent conflicts, such indirect deaths range from three to 15 times the number of direct deaths. Applying a conservative estimate of four indirect deaths per one direct death 9 to the 37 396 deaths reported, it is not implausible to estimate that up to 186 000 or even more deaths could be attributable to the current conflict in Gaza. Using the 2022 Gaza Strip population estimate of 2 375 259, this would translate to 7·9% of the total population in the Gaza Strip. A report from Feb 7, 2024, at the time when the direct death toll was 28 000, estimated that without a ceasefire there would be between 58 260 deaths (without an epidemic or escalation) and 85 750 deaths (if both occurred) by Aug 6, 2024. 10

An immediate and urgent ceasefire in the Gaza Strip is essential, accompanied by measures to enable the distribution of medical supplies, food, clean water, and other resources for basic human needs. At the same time, there is a need to record the scale and nature of suffering in this conflict. Documenting the true scale is crucial for ensuring historical accountability and acknowledging the full cost of the war. It is also a legal requirement. The interim measures set out by the International Court of Justice in January, 2024, require Israel to “take effective measures to prevent the destruction and ensure the preservation of evidence related to allegations of acts within the scope of … the Genocide Convention”. 11

The Gaza Health Ministry is the only organisation counting the dead. Furthermore, these data will be crucial for post-war recovery, restoring infrastructure, and planning humanitarian aid.

MM is a member of the editorial board of the Israel Journal of Health Policy Research and of the International Advisory Committee of the Israel National Institute for Health Policy Research. MM was co-chair of the Institute's 2016 6th International Jerusalem Conference on Health Policy, but writes in a personal capacity. He also collaborates with researchers in Israel, Palestine, and Lebanon. RK and SY declare no competing interests. The authors would like to acknowledge study team members Shofiqul Islam and Safa Noreen for their contribution to collecting and managing the data for this Correspondence.

Editorial note: The Lancet Group takes a neutral position with respect to territorial claims in published text and institutional affiliations.


References
  1. 1.
    • UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
  2. Reported impact snapshot. Gaza Strip.
    https://www.ochaopt.org/content/reported-impact-snapshot-gaza-strip-19-june-2024
    Date: June 19, 2024
    Date accessed: June 21, 2024
    View in Article
  3. 2.
    • Prothero M
  4. Israeli Intelligence has deemed Hamas-run health ministry's death toll figures generally accurate.
    https://www.vice.com/en/article/y3w4w7/israeli-intelligence-health-ministry-death-toll
    Date: 2024
    Date accessed: May 2, 2024
    View in Article
  5. 3.
    • Huynh BQ
    • Chin ET
    • Spiegel PB
  6. No evidence of inflated mortality reporting from the Gaza Ministry of Health.
    Lancet.2024; 403: 23-24
    View in Article
  7. 4.
    • Jamaluddine Z
    • Checchi F
    • Campbell OMR
  8. Excess mortality in Gaza: Oct 7–26, 2023.
    Lancet.2023; 402: 2189-2190
    View in Article
  9. 5.
    • UNOSAT
  10. UNOSAT Gaza Strip comprehensive building & housing unit damage assessment, March 2024.
    https://unosat.org/products/3804
    Date: 2024
    Date accessed: May 2, 2024
    View in Article
  11. 6.
    • Airwars
  12. Israel and Gaza.
    https://airwars.org/conflict/israel-and-gaza-2023/
    Date: 2024
    Date accessed: May 3, 2024
    View in Article
  13. 7.
    • UN Office Geneva
  14. 10 000 people feared buried under the rubble in Gaza.
    https://www.ungeneva.org/en/news-me.../10000-people-feared-buried-under-rubble-gaza
    Date: 2024
    Date accessed: May 3, 2024
    View in Article
  15. 8.
    • Reuters
  16. More countries pause funds for UN Palestinian agency.
    https://www.reuters.com/world/britain-italy-finland-pause-funding-un-refugee-agency-gaza-2024-01-27/
    Date: 2024
    Date accessed: May 2, 2024
    View in Article
  17. 9.
    • UN Office on Drugs and Crime
  18. Global burden of armed conflict.
    https://www.unodc.org/documents/wdr/WDR_2008/WDR_2008_eng_web.pdf
    Date: 2008
    Date accessed: April 10, 2024
    View in Article
  19. 10.
    • Jamaluddine Z
    • Chen Z
    • Abukmail H
    • et al.
  20. Crisis in Gaza: scenario-based health impact projections.
    https://aoav.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/gaza_projections_report.pdf
    Date: 2024
    Date accessed: May 1, 2024
    View in Article
  21. 11.
    • International Court of Justice
  22. Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip.
    https://www.icj-cij.org/sites/default/files/case-related/192/192-20240126-ord-01-00-en.pdf
    Date: 2024
    Date accessed: May 3, 2024
    View in Article
 
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crimson5pheonix

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hope this is true and not vapid yapping

It would be nice, however reading the article I'm not sure who is "expecting to drop the challenge". It reads like a lot of wishful thinking mixed with vagaries of some of the Labour officials. "We're reviewing", "we're considering", "we're not sure".
 

Silvanus

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XsjadoBlayde

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Not to be outdone on kuntiness, Microsoft gotta twist the boot in too


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Shitty farcical attempts at "centrist" wording and blatant overall minimisation notwithstanding

Palestinians say Microsoft unfairly closing their accounts

By Mohamed Shalaby and Joe Tidy, BBC World Service

Getty Images man charging his phone in a charging station in gaza strip

Getty Images - The Israeli military campaign has badly affected internet and mobile connectivity in Gaza

Palestinians living abroad have accused Microsoft of closing their email accounts without warning - cutting them off from crucial online services.

They say it has left them unable to access bank accounts and job offers - and stopped them using Skype, which Microsoft owns, to contact relatives in war-torn Gaza.

Microsoft says they violated its terms of service - a claim they dispute.

"They killed my life online," said Eiad Hametto, who lives in Saudi Arabia.

"They’ve suspended my email account that I’ve had for nearly 20 years - It was connected to all my work," he told the BBC.

He also said being cut off from Skype was a huge blow for his family.

The internet is frequently disrupted or switched off there because of the Israeli military campaign - and standard international calls are very expensive.

Israel launched its offensive in Gaza in response to the Hamas attack on 7 October, which killed about 1,200 people. The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza says more than 38,000 people have been killed in the war.

With a paid Skype subscription, it is possible to call mobiles in Gaza cheaply - and while the internet is down - so it has become a lifeline to many Palestinians.

Some of the people the BBC spoke to said they suspected they were wrongly thought to have ties to Hamas, which Israel is fighting, and is designated a terrorist organisation by many countries.

But Mr Hametto denied he had any such links.

“We are civilians with no political background who just wanted to check on our families," he said.

Microsoft did not respond directly when asked if suspected ties to Hamas were the reason for the accounts being shut.

But a spokesperson said it did not block calls or ban users based on calling region or destination.

"Blocking in Skype can occur in response to suspected fraudulent activity," they said, without elaborating.

Salah Elsadi

Salah Elsadi says he has been locked out of life online

Salah Elsadi, who lives in the US, also told the BBC that in April, he was kicked out of his account - and all services linked to his Microsoft Hotmail account.

"I've had this Hotmail for 15 years," Mr Elsadi told the BBC.

"They banned me for no reason, saying I have violated their terms - what terms? Tell me.

"I've filled out about 50 forms and called them many many times."

Another Palestinian the BBC spoke to, Khalid Obaied, said he now no longer trusted Microsoft.

"I paid for a package to make phone calls - then, after 10 days, they ban me for no reason," he said.

"That means it's only because I’m a Palestinian calling Gaza.”
 

Seanchaidh

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