[IMPORTANT] Hamas launches foot assault against settlements.

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ASPartOfMe
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10 May 2024, 5:33 pm

Biden admin doesn't have 'complete information' to verify whether Israel used US arms to violate international law in Gaza

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The Departments of State and Defense on Friday said they could not compile enough evidence to prove that Israel used American arms in violation of international humanitarian law, according to a new report ordered by President Joe Biden.

The report was mandated by National Security Memorandum 20 to examine the use of U.S.-supplied arms in active conflict zones.

"We do not have complete information to verify whether US defense articles covered under NSM-20 were specifically used in actions that have been alleged as violations of [international humanitarian law] or international human rights law during the period of the report," the report said. "The nature of the conflict in Gaza makes it difficult to address or reach conclusive findings on individual incidents."

However, the assessment continues to say that given "Israel's significant reliance on U.S.-made defense articles" that it is "reasonable to assess" that some have been used in instances "inconsistent" with Israel's obligation under international law.

While the report says the Israeli government has "the knowledge, experience and tools" to implement "best practices for mitigating civilian harm," the high number of civilian casualties "raise substantial questions about whether the [Israel Defense Forces] is using them effectively in all cases."

Additionally, the report notes that Israel did not cooperate with U.S. efforts to ramp up humanitarian aid and distribution in Gaza during the initial months of the conflict, but that officials have observed improvements.

Though it says the level of assistance reaching Palestinians is still not sufficient, the report says the administration "does not currently assess that the Israeli government is prohibiting or otherwise restricting the transport or delivery of U.S. humanitarian assistance" as defined by U.S. law under the Foreign Assistance Act.

A document summarizing the critical findings of the report also noted that the NSM-20 was a useful tool toward inducing Israel to take steps to increase aid for Gaza.

As it pertains to Israel, the report covers the period from Oct. 7 to late April. It also examines other U.S. security partners involved in armed conflicts, such as Ukraine.

The State Department noted that the administration relied heavily on information from Israel to compile its findings, but that the nature of the conflict in Gaza also made uncovering information difficult.


Humanitarian workers, doctors describe 'horrific' situation in Rafah as Israel intensifies strikes
Quote:
As the latest Israeli military incursion into Rafah continues amid the war with Hamas, humanitarian workers and doctors are warning that the emergency situation in the southern Gaza border city is worsening and having a "horrific" impact on civilians.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) dropped leaflets in Rafah on Monday and sent text messages in Arabic calling for about 100,000 people to evacuate the eastern part of the city and to head north to the Al-Mawasi humanitarian corridor ahead of a long-promised major ground invasion into Rafah.

No trucks with food, water, fuel, medicine or other supplies entered Gaza between Monday and Wednesday, according to the latest information from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Additionally, just two hospitals are functional in Rafah, as are two in nearby Khan Younis, to the north, the office said.

Additionally, during a media briefing Wednesday by the nonprofit relief coordination organization Crisis Action, aid workers and medical staff – including some who are currently in or have recently evacuated from Rafah – said there's a lack of food and water and very little health care available for the more than one million people sheltering in Rafah.

Dr. Mohamed Hamooda, a nutritionist and head kitchen chef in Rafah for the nongovernmental organization (NGO) Rebuilding Alliance, had been providing hot meals to thousands of displaced people there since February. However, he was recently forced to evacuate amid orders from the IDF and went to Khan Younis.

This site, we don't have electricity, clean water," Hamooda said of the move to Khan Younis. "We don't have clean food for my children and my team. Some of [the displaced people], I don't know where [they] will go."

Recently, World Food Programme Executive Director Cindy McCain said that "full-blown famine" is occurring in northern Gaza. Additionally, if Israel's promised ground invasion in Rafah happens, a projected 1.1 million people across Gaza are projected to experience "catastrophic" levels of food insecurity, according to a report from the U.N.-backed Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) initiative.

Israeli forces took control of the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt early Tuesday and closed it, cutting off one of the most vital entry points for aid into Gaza. Humanitarian workers said there are hundreds of trucks at the border waiting to enter to provide assistance to people inside Gaza who are without sufficient food or water.


Hamas says Gaza ceasefire efforts are back at square one
Quote:
The Palestinian militant group Hamas said on Friday that efforts to find a Gaza Strip truce deal were back at square one after Israel effectively spurned a plan from international mediators, and the White House said it was trying to keep the sides engaged "if only virtually."
Hamas said in a statement it would consult with other Palestinian factions on its strategy for talks to halt seven months of war triggered by its deadly Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

Ceasefire talks in Cairo broke up on Thursday with no agreement.

Hamas had said it agreed at the start of the week to a proposal by Qatari and Egyptian mediators that had previously been accepted by Israel. Israel said the Hamas proposal contained elements it cannot accept.

"Israel’s rejection of the mediators’ proposal through the amendments it made returned things to the first square," Hamas said in Friday's statement.

"In the light of (Israel Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu’s behaviour and rejection of the mediators’ document and the attack on Rafah and the occupation of the crossing, the leadership of the movement will hold consultations with the brotherly leaders of the Palestinian factions to review our negotiation strategy."

"Hamas did not suspend nor withdraw from the negotiations; the occupation (Israelis) turned against the mediators’ proposal," a senior Hamas official, Khalil Al-Hayya, said in comments to Al Araby TV published by Hamas.

Kirby said the end of the talks - which CIA Director William Burns was helping mediate - was "deeply regrettable," but the U.S. believed the differences were surmountable.

"We are working hard to keep both sides engaged in continuing the discussion, if only virtually," he said.

EXPLOSIONS AND GUNFIRE
Residents described almost constant explosions and gunfire east and northeast of Rafah on Friday, with intense fighting between Israeli forces and militants from Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Hamas said it ambushed Israeli tanks near a mosque in the east of the city, a sign the Israelis had penetrated several kilometres from the east to the outskirts of the built-up area.

Israel has ordered civilians out of the eastern part of Rafah, forcing tens of thousands of people to seek shelter outside the city, previously the last refuge of more than a million who fled other parts of the enclave during the war.

Israel says it cannot win the war without assaulting Rafah to root out thousands of Hamas fighters it believes are sheltering there. Hamas says it will fight to defend it.

It is not safe, all of Rafah isn't safe, as tank shells landed everywhere since yesterday," Abu Hassan, 50, a resident of Tel al-Sultan west of Rafah told Reuters via a chat app.

"I am trying to leave but I can't afford 2,000 shekels ($540) to buy a tent for my family," he said. "There is an increased movement of people out of Rafah even from the western areas, though they were not designated as red zones by the occupation."

Israeli tanks have sealed off eastern Rafah from the south, capturing and shutting the only crossing between the enclave and Egypt. An advance on Friday to the Salahuddin road that bisects the Gaza Strip completed the encirclement of the "red zone" where they have ordered residents out.

The Israeli military said its forces in eastern Rafah had located several tunnel shafts, and troops backed by an air strike fought at close quarters with groups of Hamas fighters, killing several.
It said Israeli jets had hit several sites from which rockets and mortar bombs had been fired towards Israel.


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10 May 2024, 11:42 pm

in the above posting about Israeli Military not using US weapons...??? 8O ...Be serious...is this a joke...How many years has the US interacted with the Israeli. This is like a bully saying, " oh..You did not see me do it ..So I couldnt have done it , whole the same bully is holding a Gun made in the USA ,loaded gun, at the head of the entire Country of Palestine.
IMHO .. :skull:


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11 May 2024, 4:56 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
Editors Note:
Even with everything spoiler blocked, I must urge extreme caution before using the "show" option. I need to emphasize this not only for people who have been victimized by SV but everybody. In my 66 years on this earth I have never seen any descriptions of this subject remotely as detailed and graphic.

I still have my doubts if I should have linked to this article. This thread despite all its differing directions has taken over these last few months is ultimately about what happened that day. Any descriptions without this detail is incomplete.
How Hamas Weaponized Sexual Violence on Oct. 7 - New York Times
At first, she was known simply as “the woman in the black dress.”

In a grainy video, you can see her, lying on her back, dress torn, legs spread, vagina exposed. Her face is burned beyond recognition and her right hand covers her eyes.

The video was shot in the early hours of Oct. 8 by a woman searching for a missing friend at the site of the rave in southern Israel where, the day before, Hamas terrorists massacred hundreds of young Israelis.

The video went viral, with thousands of people responding, desperate to know if the woman in the black dress was their missing friend, sister or daughter.

One family knew exactly who she was — Gal Abdush, mother of two from a working-class town in central Israel, who disappeared from the rave that night with her husband.

As the terrorists closed in on her, trapped on a highway in a line of cars of people trying to flee the party, she sent one final WhatsApp message to her family: “You don’t understand.”

Based largely on the video evidence — which was verified by The New York Times — Israeli police officials said they believed that Ms. Abdush was raped, and she has become a symbol of the horrors visited upon Israeli women and girls during the Oct. 7 attacks.

Israeli officials say that everywhere Hamas terrorists struck — the rave, the military bases along the Gaza border and the kibbutzim — they brutalized women.

A two-month investigation by The Times uncovered painful new details, establishing that the attacks against women were not isolated events but part of a broader pattern of gender-based violence on Oct. 7.

Relying on video footage, photographs, GPS data from mobile phones and interviews with more than 150 people, including witnesses, medical personnel, soldiers and rape counselors, The Times identified at least seven locations where Israeli women and girls appear to have been sexually assaulted or mutilated.

Four witnesses described in graphic detail seeing women raped and killed at two different places along Route 232, the same highway where Ms. Abdush’s half-naked body was found sprawled on the road at a third location.

And The Times interviewed several soldiers and volunteer medics who together described finding more than 30 bodies of women and girls in and around the rave site and in two kibbutzim in a similar state as Ms. Abdush’s — legs spread, clothes torn off, signs of abuse in their genital areas.

The Times viewed photographs of one woman’s corpse that emergency responders discovered in the rubble of a besieged kibbutz with dozens of nails driven into her thighs and groin.

The Times also viewed a video, provided by the Israeli military, showing two dead Israeli soldiers at a base near Gaza who appeared to have been shot directly in their vaginas.

Hamas has denied Israel’s accusations of sexual violence. Israeli activists have been outraged that the United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres, and the agency U.N. Women did not acknowledge the many accusations until weeks after the attacks.

Investigators with Israel’s top national police unit, Lahav 433, have been steadily gathering evidence but they have not put a number on how many women were raped, saying that most are dead — and buried — and that they will never know. No survivors have spoken publicly.

The Israeli police have acknowledged that, during the shock and confusion of Oct. 7, the deadliest day in Israeli history, they were not focused on collecting semen samples from women’s bodies, requesting autopsies or closely examining crime scenes. At that moment, the authorities said, they were intent on repelling Hamas and identifying the dead.

A combination of chaos, enormous grief and Jewish religious duties meant that many bodies were buried as quickly as possible. Most were never examined, and in some cases, like at the rave scene, where more than 360 people were slaughtered in a few hours, the bodies were hauled away by the truckload.

That has left the Israeli authorities at a loss to fully explain to families what happened to their loved ones in their final moments. Ms. Abdush’s relatives, for instance, never received a death certificate. They are still searching for answers.

In cases of widespread sexual violence during a war, it is not unusual to have limited forensic evidence, experts said.

Very often, he said, sex crime cases will be prosecuted years later on the basis of testimony from victims and witnesses.

“The eyewitness might not even know the name of the victim,” he added. “But if they can testify as, ‘I saw a woman being raped by this armed group,’ that can be enough.”

‘Screams without words’
Sapir, a 24-year-old accountant, has become one of the Israeli police’s key witnesses. She does not want to be fully identified, saying she would be hounded for the rest of her life if her last name were revealed.

She attended the rave with several friends and provided investigators with graphic testimony. She also spoke to The Times. In a two-hour interview outside a cafe in southern Israel, she recounted seeing groups of heavily armed gunmen rape and kill at least five women.

She said that at 8 a.m. on Oct. 7, she was hiding under the low branches of a bushy tamarisk tree, just off Route 232, about four miles southwest of the party. She had been shot in the back. She felt faint. She covered herself in dry grass and lay as still as she could.

The first victim she said she saw was a young woman with copper-color hair, blood running down her back, pants pushed down to her knees. One man pulled her by the hair and made her bend over. Another penetrated her, Sapir said, and every time she flinched, he plunged a knife into her back.

She said she then watched another woman “shredded into pieces.” While one terrorist raped her, she said, another pulled out a box cutter and sliced off her breast.

“One continues to rape her, and the other throws her breast to someone else, and they play with it, throw it, and it falls on the road,” Sapir said.

She said the men sliced her face and then the woman fell out of view. Around the same time, she said, she saw three other women raped and terrorists carrying the severed heads of three more women.

Sapir provided photographs of her hiding place and her wounds, and police officials have stood by her testimony and released a video of her, with her face blurred, recounting some of what she saw.

Yura Karol, a 22-year-old security consultant, said he was hiding in the same spot, and he can be seen in one of Sapir’s photos. He and Sapir were part of a group of friends who had met up at the party. In an interview, Mr. Karol said he barely lifted his head to look at the road but he also described seeing a woman raped and killed.

Since that day, Sapir said, she has struggled with a painful rash that spread across her torso, and she can barely sleep, waking up at night, heart pounding, covered in sweat.

“That day, I became an animal,” she said. “I was emotionally detached, sharp, just the adrenaline of survival. I looked at all this as if I was photographing them with my eyes, not forgetting any detail. I told myself: I should remember everything.”

That same morning, along Route 232 but in a different location about a mile southwest of the party area, Raz Cohen — a young Israeli who had also attended the rave and had worked recently in the Democratic Republic of Congo training Congolese soldiers — said that he was hiding in a dried-up streambed. It provided some cover from the assailants combing the area and shooting anyone they found, he said in an hour-and-a-half interview in a Tel Aviv restaurant.

Maybe 40 yards in front of him, he recalled, a white van pulled up and its doors flew open.

He said he then saw five men, wearing civilian clothes, all carrying knives and one carrying a hammer, dragging a woman across the ground. She was young, naked and screaming.

“They all gather around her,” Mr. Cohen said. “She’s standing up. They start raping her. I saw the men standing in a half circle around her. One penetrates her. She screams. I still remember her voice, screams without words.”

“Then one of them raises a knife,” he said, “and they just slaughtered her.”

Shoam Gueta, one of Mr. Cohen’s friends and a fashion designer, said the two were hiding together in the streambed. He said he saw at least four men step out of the van and attack the woman, who ended up “between their legs.” He said that they were “talking, giggling and shouting,” and that one of them stabbed her with a knife repeatedly, “literally butchering her.”

Hours later, the first wave of volunteer emergency medical technicians arrived at the rave site. In interviews, four of them said that they discovered bodies of dead women with their legs spread and underwear missing — some with their hands tied by rope and zipties — in the party area, along the road, in the parking area and in the open fields around the rave site.

Jamal Waraki, a volunteer medic with the nonprofit ZAKA emergency response team, said he could not get out of his head a young woman in a rawhide vest found between the main stage and the bar.

“Her hands were tied behind her back,” he said. “She was bent over, half naked, her underwear rolled down below her knees.”

Yinon Rivlin, a member of the rave’s production team who lost two brothers in the attacks, said that after hiding from the killers, he emerged from a ditch and made his way to the parking area, east of the party, along Route 232, looking for survivors.

Near the highway, he said, he found the body of a young woman, on her stomach, no pants or underwear, legs spread apart. He said her vagina area appeared to have been sliced open, “as if someone tore her apart.”

Similar discoveries were made in two kibbutzim, Be’eri and Kfar Aza. Eight volunteer medics and two Israeli soldiers told The Times that in at least six different houses, they had come across a total of at least 24 bodies of women and girls naked or half naked, some mutilated, others tied up, and often alone.

A paramedic in an Israeli commando unit said that he had found the bodies of two teenage girls in a room in Be’eri.

One was lying on her side, he said, boxer shorts ripped, bruises by her groin. The other was sprawled on the floor face down, he said, pajama pants pulled to her knees, bottom exposed, semen smeared on her back.

Many of the dead were brought to the Shura military base, in central Israel, for identification. Here, too, witnesses said they saw signs of sexual violence.

Shari Mendes, an architect called up as a reserve soldier to help prepare the bodies of female soldiers for burial, said she had seen four with signs of sexual violence, including some with “a lot of blood in their pelvic areas.”

Captain Maayan asked to be identified only by her rank and surname because of the sensitivity of the subject. She said she had seen several bodies with cuts in their vaginas and underwear soaked in blood and one whose fingernails had been pulled out.

The investigation
The Israeli authorities have no shortage of video evidence from the Oct. 7 attacks. They have gathered hours of footage from Hamas body cameras, dashcams, security cameras and mobile phones showing Hamas terrorists killing civilians and many images of mutilated bodies.

But Moshe Fintzy, a deputy superintendent and senior spokesman of Israel’s national police, said, “We have zero autopsies, zero,” making an O with his right hand.

The examiners worked quickly to give the agonized families of the missing a sense of closure and to determine, by a process of elimination, who was dead and who was being held hostage in Gaza.

According to Jewish tradition, funerals are held promptly. The result was that many bodies with signs of sexual abuse were put to rest without medical examinations, meaning that potential evidence now lies buried in the ground. International forensic experts said that it would be possible to recover some evidence from the corpses, but that it would be difficult.

Mr. Fintzy said Israeli security forces were still finding imagery that shows women were brutalized. Sitting at his desk at an imposing police building in Jerusalem, he swiped open his phone, tapped and produced the video of the two soldiers shot in the vagina, which he said was recorded by Hamas gunmen and recently recovered by Israeli soldiers.

A colleague sitting next to him, Mirit Ben Mayor, a police chief superintendent, said she believed that the brutality against women was a combination of two ferocious forces, “the hatred for Jews and the hatred for women.”

Some emergency medical workers now wish they had documented more of what they saw. In interviews, they said they had moved bodies, cut off zip ties and cleaned up scenes of carnage. Trying to be respectful to the dead, they inadvertently destroyed evidence.

Many volunteers working for ZAKA, the emergency response team, are religious Jews and operate under strict rules that command deep respect for the dead.

“I did not take pictures because we are not allowed to take pictures,” said Yossi Landau, a ZAKA volunteer. “In retrospect, I regret it.”

There are at least three women and one man who were sexually assaulted and survived, according to Gil Horev, a spokesman for Israel’s Ministry of Welfare and Social Affairs. “None of them has been willing to come physically for treatment,” he said. Two therapists said they were working with a woman who was gang raped at the rave and was in no condition to talk to investigators or reporters.

“Many people are looking for the golden evidence, of a woman who will testify about what happened to her. But don’t look for that, don’t put this pressure on this woman,” said Orit Sulitzeanu, executive director of the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel. “The corpses tell the story.”


What I can summarize is that the investigations have been greatly hampered by of course shame the victims feel, the confusion surrounding an ongoing mass surprise event, religious beliefs mandating quick burial, in some cases the prohibition against taking of pictures. As a result according to the spokesperson for Israel's national police they have no autopsies.


Editor's Notes: 59 American Journalism and Communications Professors have called for an investigation into the story above according to The Washington Post whose story is behind a paywall.

Haaretz is an Israeli Progressive Zionist Outlet you need to register via email to see the opinion piece below

Laurel Leff is a professor in the School of Journalism and Associate Director of Jewish Studies at Northeastern University in Boston. She is the author of "Buried by The Times: The Holocaust and America's Most Important Newspaper" and "Well Worth Saving: American Universities' Life-and-Death Decisions on Hiring Scholars from Nazi Europe".

Why Did a Group of U.S. Journalism Professors Attack the New York Times' Story on Hamas Sexual Violence?
Quote:
Journalism and communication professors at several major U.S. universities took an unusual step recently, challenging the reporting in a single news story—The New York Times front-page investigative piece describing the sexual violence committed on October 7.

Fifty-nine professors (though they were not all tenured or journalism professors as The Washington Post incorrectly stated) wrote a letter to the Times publisher objecting to the article, "`Screams Without Words': How Hamas Weaponized Sexual Violence on Oct. 7."

In almost 30 years as a journalism professor, I can't recall another time my colleagues found an article so flawed that they needed to band together to demand action. Sahan Mufti, a University of Richmond journalism professor who helped draft the letter, told me that he and his colleagues understood their response was "not typical" but felt the circumstances demanded it. They asked The Times to commission outside experts to "conduct a thorough and full independent review."

Of the thousands of stories that have been published about the Gaza War—let alone the universe of all recent news stories—what made "`Screams Without Words'" worthy of the professoriate's equivalent of the nuclear option? It's hard to say, even after reading the professors' letter and the supporting critique in The Intercept, a left-leaning U.S. news site.

The Intercept's meandering February article, which the professors allude to but don't assess, dwells upon an interview that one of the Times' three authors, Anat Schwartz, gave to Israel's channel 12. Schwartz stresses there how hard the story was to get.

Too hard is The Intercept's conclusion; Schwartz and The Times started with "a predetermined narrative"—presumably that systematic sexual violence had occurred—and then kept searching for proof even when it wasn't forthcoming. The Intercept skates past an obvious alternative—that reporting on sexual assaults, particularly those that took place in the midst of murder and mayhem, is exceedingly difficult, and that Schwartz's exhaustive approach reflected persistence rather than preconceptions.

At one point, The Intercept states that Schwartz contacted hospitals, rape crisis centers, trauma recovery facilities and sexual assault hotlines. She wasn't "able to get a single confirmation from any of them," The Intercept writes, implying that rape, at least on a large scale, might not have occurred. But another explanation, and the more likely one, is that no one went to a hospital, walked into a rape crisis center, or called a hotline because almost everyone who had been sexually assaulted was dead.

Those who witnessed sexual violence also had reasons to initially stay quiet or to provide hazy accounts. The Times, which just won the Pulitzer Prize in international reporting for its coverage of October 7 and the war in Gaza, quoted ten named sources (one with only a first, and another with only a last, name) who said they had witnessed sexual assaults, often while hiding in fear for their own lives, or had seen the aftermath in the form of mutilated bodies. The Intercept questions the credibility of many of these sources when it finally, 27 paragraphs in, gets to what should have been the centerpiece of its investigation.

The Times made at least one serious mistake. In a March update, The Times said it had related an unnamed source's statement that he had seen the partially clothed bodies of two murdered girls in Kibbutz Be'eri. Video showed those victims were clothed. The Times said it updated, rather than corrected, the story, because the source may have seen naked bodies elsewhere.

The ten named sources didn't back down, however, even when The Times reinterviewed some of them. Questions about some sources remain just that, questions. Given the story's subject and the circumstances, The Intercept's expectation of completely consistent stories and its demand for solid forensic evidence seem unrealistic. Israeli police admittedly and unfortunately did not use rape kits at the scene but that's largely because fighting was ongoing and there was pressure to retrieve, identify and bury bodies quickly.

Tellingly, the journalism and communication professors' letter didn't mention any of this, except the March update—a sign their concern is not primarily problematic sources. "The most troubling questions," the letter states, relate to The Times' use of Schwartz and another freelancer, Adam Sella. Aside from ill-advised "likes" on three tweets, however, there is no apparent evidence that the freelancers were biased.

Moreover, this is an odd context in which to raise concerns over freelancers. To cover the war in Gaza, The Times and other major news organizations understandably rely on Palestinian freelancers, many of whom acknowledge they aren't neutral, a fact neither the letter nor The Intercept article mentions.

The letter signers also are "alarmed" that Times investigative reporter Jeffrey Gettleman, a Pulitzer Prize winner, said during a panel discussion at Columbia University that he preferred not using the word "evidence" to describe details in the sexual violence story because it was too legalistic My colleagues apparently conclude that Gettleman was copping to writing a story unsupported by "evidence," when he seems merely to be saying he doesn't like the word.

What truly seems to bother the letter signers is not the story's reporting, as much as its impact, the difference they believe its publication made in the ongoing war. "In the minds of many people," they write (a dodge I would not let my students get away with), the story's appearance in December "fueled the fire at a pivotal moment when there might have been an opportunity to contain it before … the situation devolved into the `plausible' realm of genocide." The language is murky but the letter seems to be saying that but for The Times story the Israelis would have reversed course or the International Court of Justice would have come down harder on them.

In addition, the letter contends that The Times' continuing failure to run a correction "endangers journalists, including American reporters working in conflict zones as well as Palestinian journalists."

Along with raw speculation, missing logic, and over-the-top belief in a single New York Times story's ability to inflame the Israelis or dissuade the international community from taking tougher action, another issue hovers: Just what do these professors think The Times published that was so wrong and so potent that it helped precipitate "genocide"?

The letter writers never actually say. They cite two previous examples of Times investigations of its own reporting. Both times it was clear the newspaper had misled its readers.

So what did The Times get wrong in "`Screams Without Words'?" That it said sexual violence took place when it didn't? The letter signers can't possibly mean that especially after the United Nations reported "reasonable grounds to believe" that it had.

That the sexual violence that took place wasn't as significant or as systematic as The Times claimed?

I'm all for criticizing news organizations, including The Times (in fact I wrote an entire book doing just that), and I would encourage professors and news outlets to continue examining "`Screams Without Words'.'' As the letter points out, the absence of public editors to respond to complaints at The Times (and elsewhere) has left a serious accountability gap.

But not every consequential story deserves an independent investigation. In this case, the gist of the story has held up; no clear evidence of journalistic wrongdoing has emerged, and The Times has exhibited some willingness to respond to criticisms. The professors calling for an investigation therefore seem more interested in joining an ongoing propaganda war, than in righting a journalistic wrong. That's no place for a journalism professor to be.


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11 May 2024, 9:24 pm

Israel orders new evacuations in Rafah as it prepares to expand operations in Gaza's southernmost city

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The Israeli military issued an “urgent warning” to evacuate parts of Rafah on Saturday, signaling an expansion of its military campaign despite warnings from the United States about attacking Gaza’s southernmost city where more than 1 million Palestinians are sheltering.

The Israel Defense Forces published a map showing that sectors of the city were now considered a “dangerous combat zone” and warned civilians that it would “act with extreme force against terrorist organizations in your area of ​​residence.”

“Everyone in these areas is risking their lives and the lives of their family members,” it said. “For your safety — we ask you to evacuate immediately to the humanitarian zone.”

Israel has already sent some tanks into Rafah, and has said for months that it will launch a full-scale ground assault on the city. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other members of his government have insisted it is necessary to ensure the destruction of Hamas following the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel that saw some 1,200 people killed and around 240 taken hostage, according to Israel.

That would defy pressure from the U.S and others who have warned that such an attack threatened devastating consequences for the Palestinians who have fled there from the rest of the enclave.

Israel’s evacuation warning came amid heavy clashes on the outskirts of the city between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants leaving the crucial nearby aid crossings inaccessible. More than 110,000 people have already fled north from the city.


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12 May 2024, 9:21 am

US said offering intel on Hamas leaders’ whereabouts if Israel drops major Rafah op

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The Biden administration has reportedly offered to give Israel “sensitive intelligence” on the whereabouts of senior Hamas leaders if it agrees to hold off on a long-promised major military operation in Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah.

The Washington Post quoted four unnamed sources as saying that the United States “is offering Israel valuable assistance if it holds back, including sensitive intelligence to help the Israeli military pinpoint the location of Hamas leaders and find the group’s hidden tunnels.”

The report said that the administration has also offered to help put up large tent encampments for Palestinians evacuated from Rafah, and to assist in building infrastructure to provide humanitarian aid.

A senior administration official familiar with the discussions, also unnamed, was quoted as saying that Israel had provided assurances that Israel Defense Forces troops would not enter Rafah before evacuating about 800,000 of an estimated 1 million Palestinians sheltering there amid the ongoing war in Gaza.

Comments from White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby at a Thursday briefing appeared to be in line with the report, though he noted that such intelligence was already being given to Israel.

The Washington Post report came after two officials familiar with the matter told The Times of Israel on Friday that Sinwar is not hiding in Rafah, citing recent intelligence assessments that placed the Hamas leader in underground tunnels in the Khan Younis area.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to launch a major offensive in Rafah for months, arguing that the operation is essential for defeating Hamas, which has four of its remaining six active battalions located in the city.


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14 May 2024, 4:41 pm

U.N.’s new breakdown of Gaza death toll sparks confusion and anger

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Top global health officials have said the number of women and children killed in Gaza has not been revised down after new details published by the United Nations last week sparked outcry and confusion.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) told NBC News it had changed its regular updates on the death toll in Gaza to reflect breakdown by gender and age of the number of people who have been identified among those killed, rather than providing a breakdown of the total number of people killed.

As a result, the number of women and children listed on the site appeared lower than previously reported, because OCHA was listing only the breakdown of those who have been identified, while still noting the larger overall death toll above it.

But some Israeli officials incorrectly suggested that the data showed a significant drop in death toll numbers — and that this bolstered their claims that health authorities in the Hamas-run enclave inflate the number of children and women among the dead to disguise the large number of militant fighters killed.

The furor comes as Israeli forces push deeper into Rafah, forcing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to flee the city once declared a “safe zone.” Video captured by NBC News' crew on the ground in recent days has shown homes reduced to rubble, while families at a city hospital mourn the dead, including children.

Previously, OCHA had reported the total number of people killed in Gaza (which reached 35,000 this month), along with a breakdown of the number of women and children among the dead, citing the government media office in Gaza. As of May 6, Day 213 of the war, OCHA reported that at least 14,500 children had been killed in Gaza, along with 9,500 women.

But starting two days later, May 8, OCHA appeared to change the source of its data, citing information from the ministry of health in Gaza, rather than the government media office, on how many women, children and men were among 24,686 people killed who had been fully identified as of April 30. It is not clear why the presentation of the data was changed.

The numbers appeared significantly lower, with 7,797 children among those who have been fully identified, along with 4,959 women and 10,006 men. A separate category was also included for the elderly, representing 1,924 people. It was not clear how many included in that category are women.

“The numbers have not dramatically shifted. The overall tally remains unchanged — 35,000,” OCHA spokesperson Jens Laerke said in emailed comments to NBC News on Monday. “What is new is the level of verification ('full details have been documented') for a subset of 24,686 of those fatalities."

It was not clear why OCHA did not appear to publicly announce or explain the shift in the representation of death toll data on its website.

The government media office in Gaza has continued to publish the death toll in the enclave, which it said Monday had reached 35,091, including 15,103 children and 9,961 women. NBC News could not independently verify the numbers.

When he first saw the new data published by OCHA, World Health Organization spokesman Christian Lindmeier told NBC News that he too found the information “striking.” But upon a closer look, he said it was clear that the way the data was being represented had changed.

Lindmeier said the confusion around the death toll data highlighted the “huge challenge” of trying to identify and quantify the dead in times of war.

He noted that Israeli officials had similar difficulties following Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks, with Israeli officials revising the death toll from 1,400 to around 1,200 in November.

“This is absolutely normal and to be expected that figures shift in one way or another,” Lindmeier said.

He added that the WHO remains confident that health officials in Gaza are acting in good faith.

Health officials there are the only official source with the ability to provide cohesive data on deaths amid the war, while local journalists and humanitarian groups have worked to document as much of the death and destruction as possible. Foreign journalists have largely been barred by Israel from entering Gaza.

The changes in OCHA's representation of the data were quickly seized upon to support claims that death tolls coming out of Gaza couldn't be trusted.

Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Israel Katz took aim at what he called "the miraculous resurrection of the dead" in a post on X on Monday, accusing the U.N. of antisemitism and supporting terrorism for relying on data from health officials in Gaza.

On a podcast published Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the ratio of Hamas militants to civilians in Gaza killed in the ongoing war was almost "1 to 1," without providing evidence.


Israeli protesters block aid trucks destined for Gaza
Quote:
Israeli protesters blocked aid trucks destined for Gaza on Monday, throwing food packages onto the road and ripping bags of grain open in the occupied West Bank.

The lorries, which were set upon at the Tarqumiya checkpoint west of Hebron, came from Jordan and were headed to the Gaza Strip, where people are in desperate need of humanitarian aid.

The White House has condemned the attack, describing the "looting" of aid convoys as "a total outrage".

The group reportedly behind the protest said they were demonstrating against the continued detention of Israeli hostages in Gaza.

Unverified footage shared on social media showed protesters toppling boxes from lorries onto the ground, and stomping on them once they had fallen.

Some videos appeared to show vehicles being set on fire later in the evening. The BBC has not been able to independently verify these.

According to reports in Israeli media, the Tzav 9 activist group were responsible for organising the protest.

Israeli media reports describe it as a right-wing group which is seeking to halt humanitarian aid transfers into Gaza while Israeli hostages are held there.

One protester told AFP news agency she was at the checkpoint on Monday because she heard aid trucks were on "their way to the hands of the Hamas, who are trying to kill other soldiers and other Israeli citizens".

Hana Giat, 33, said "no food should go into Gaza" until Israeli hostages are returned "healthy and alive".

In a statement cited by the Jerusalem Post, Tzav 9 rejected some of the protesters' actions, saying that "acts were committed today that are not in line with the values of our movement".

It added, however, that "blocking the trucks is an effective and practical step in which we shout that 'no aid passes until the last of the hostages returns'".

Four protesters, including a minor, were arrested at the demonstration, according to a statement from their lawyers.

US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said the protesters' behaviour was "completely and utterly unacceptable" and the White House was raising its concerns with "the highest level of the Israeli government".


Ben Gvir calls to ‘encourage emigration,’ resettle Gaza at ultra-nationalist rally
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Cabinet ministers and MKs called for the rebuilding of Jewish settlements in Gaza at an ultra-nationalist march and rally attended by thousands in the town of Sderot, close to the Gaza border on Tuesday.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir declared that the “voluntary emigration” of Palestinians from Gaza should be promoted, Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi insisted that the resettling of Gaza was the only way to ensure Israeli security, and Religious Zionism MK Zvi Sukkot blamed the October 7 massacres on the 2005 Disengagement Plan.

Organizers claimed that some 50,000 people turned up for the Independence Day march promoted under the banner of building Jewish settlements in Gaza from where some 15 settlements and around 8,500 settlers were evacuated in 2005.

The Nachala Settler Movement, an organization with a radical history of illegal settlement activity, organized the event along with other hardline religious-Zionist and ultranationalist groups, including Hotam, Sovereignty and The Jewish Truth, among others.

Some 11,750 people had registered for the event as of Tuesday morning, but Nachala claimed that fully 50,000 turned out for the event.

During the march, Palestinian terror groups in Gaza fired three rockets at Sderot, forcing the participants to lie flat during the event due to the lack of cover. The rockets were intercepted by air defense systems, the Sderot Municipal Authority said.

At the rally, a presentation was made of the six cadres formed by Nachala for the establishment of six new settlements in Gaza that were first unveiled at a resettle Gaza conference held in Jerusalem in January, which was also organized by Nachala and drew international condemnation.

“To end the problem, in order that the problem won’t come back, we need to do two things: one return to Gaza now! Return home! Return to our holy land! said Ben Gvir from the stage of the rally set up at the end of the march.

“And second, encourage emigration. Encourage the voluntary departure of Gaza’s residents…It is ethical! It is rational! It is right! It is the truth! It is the Torah and it is the only way! And yes, it is humane,” he continued.

This is the second time the ultra-nationalist minister has publicly promoted Palestinian emigration from Gaza as a means of resolving the conflict, having done so at a January resettle Gaza conference.

Karhi, a hard-right member of the Likud party, made similar comments.


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14 May 2024, 5:46 pm

quoted from above:
Cabinet ministers and MKs called for the rebuilding of Jewish settlements in Gaza at an ultra-nationalist march and rally attended by thousands in the town of Sderot, close to the Gaza border on Tuesday.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir declared that the “voluntary emigration” of Palestinians from Gaza should be promoted, Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi insisted that the resettling of Gaza was the only way to ensure Israeli security, and Religious Zionism MK Zvi Sukkot blamed the October 7 massacres on the 2005 Disengagement Plan.

Organizers claimed that some 50,000 people turned up for the Independence Day march promoted under the banner of building Jewish settlements in Gaza from where some 15 settlements and around 8,500 settlers were evacuated in 2005.

The Nachala Settler Movement, an organization with a radical history of illegal settlement activity, organized the event along with other hardline religious-Zionist and ultranationalist groups, including Hotam, Sovereignty and The Jewish Truth, among others.

Some 11,750 people had registered for the event as of Tuesday morning, but Nachala claimed that fully 50,000 turned out for the event.

During the march, Palestinian terror groups in Gaza fired three rockets at Sderot, forcing the participants to lie flat during the event due to the lack of cover. The rockets were intercepted by air defense systems, the Sderot Municipal Authority said.
______________________________________________________________
So some hamas are trying to stop the Israelis involved from stealing their land? Hope I understand this correctly ?

but Israel is giving away land in a foriegn Country.? And has committed a genocide..So these Israeli citizens ( Not Palestinians) are getting free land .. And it would seem that It is something , I might have expected from Old time
Na z i..s from WW2 .. pretty upsetting , and still eondering why the International community has not responded?


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14 May 2024, 10:40 pm

^
So...the fanatical Jihadist element of the Gazan Palestinian population was ...lobbing rockets at...the fanatical, ultranationalist element of the Israeli population when the later staged a demonstration demanding the "humane solution" (they shied away from calling it "the final solution")of total ethnic cleansing of the Gazan Arab population (though they shied away from calling it that, and called it "encouraged emigration").

Maybe the REAL solution is to force both groups...HAMAS (and Palestine Jihad and the like) to go to the Negev desert, and face off against ...the ultra nationalist fanatical segment of Israelies. And both groups should just duke it out. And wipe each other out. That way the moderate elements of both the Palestinian population and the Israeli population can then continue to strive for peace through a two state solution.



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15 May 2024, 9:03 am

Biden administration is sending $1 billion more in weapons, ammo to Israel, congressional aides say

Quote:
The Biden administration has told key lawmakers it would send more than $1 billion in additional arms and ammunition to Israel, three congressional aides said Tuesday. But it was not immediately known how soon the weapons would be delivered.

It's the first arms shipment to Israel to be revealed since the administration put another arms transfer, consisting of 3,500 bombs of up to 2,000 pounds each, on hold this month. The Biden administration, citing concern for civilian casualties in Gaza, has said it paused that bomb transfer to keep Israel from using those particular munitions in its offensive in the crowded southern Gaza city of Rafah.

The package disclosed Tuesday includes about $700 million for tank ammunition, $500 million in tactical vehicles and $60 million in mortar rounds, the congressional aides said. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an arms transfer that has not yet been made public.

There was no immediate indication when the arms would be sent. Two congressional aides said the shipment is not part of the long-delayed foreign aid package that Congress passed and President Joe Biden signed last month. It wasn’t known if the shipment was the latest tranche from an existing arms sale or something new.

Despite the onetime suspension of a bomb shipment, Biden and administration officials have made clear they will continue other weapons deliveries and overall military support to Israel, which is the largest recipient of U.S. military aid.

Biden will see to it that “Israel has all of the military means it needs to defend itself against all of its enemies, including Hamas,” national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters Monday. “For him, this is very straightforward: He’s going to continue to provide Israel with all of capabilities it needs, but he does not want certain categories of American weapons used in a particular type of operation in a particular place. And again, he has been clear and consistent with that.”

The Wall Street Journal first reported the plans for the $1 billion weapons package to Israel.

In response to House Republicans' plan to move forward with a bill to mandate the delivery of offensive weapons for Israel, the White House said Tuesday that Biden would veto the bill if it were to pass Congress.

The bill has practically no chance in the Democratic-controlled Senate. But House Democrats are somewhat divided on the issue, and roughly two dozen have signed onto a letter to the Biden administration saying they were “deeply concerned about the message” sent by pausing the bomb shipment.

One of the letter’s signers, New York Rep. Ritchie Torres, said he would likely vote for the bill, despite the White House’s opposition.

“I have a general rule of supporting pro-Israel legislation unless it includes a poison pill — like cuts to domestic policy,” he said.

In addition to the written veto threat, the White House has been in touch with various lawmakers and congressional aides about the legislation, according to an administration official.


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15 May 2024, 11:43 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:
Israeli protesters block aid trucks destined for Gaza
Quote:
Israeli protesters blocked aid trucks destined for Gaza on Monday, throwing food packages onto the road and ripping bags of grain open in the occupied West Bank.

The lorries, which were set upon at the Tarqumiya checkpoint west of Hebron, came from Jordan and were headed to the Gaza Strip, where people are in desperate need of humanitarian aid.

The White House has condemned the attack, describing the "looting" of aid convoys as "a total outrage".

The group reportedly behind the protest said they were demonstrating against the continued detention of Israeli hostages in Gaza.

Unverified footage shared on social media showed protesters toppling boxes from lorries onto the ground, and stomping on them once they had fallen.

Some videos appeared to show vehicles being set on fire later in the evening. The BBC has not been able to independently verify these.

According to reports in Israeli media, the Tzav 9 activist group were responsible for organising the protest.

Israeli media reports describe it as a right-wing group which is seeking to halt humanitarian aid transfers into Gaza while Israeli hostages are held there.

One protester told AFP news agency she was at the checkpoint on Monday because she heard aid trucks were on "their way to the hands of the Hamas, who are trying to kill other soldiers and other Israeli citizens".

Hana Giat, 33, said "no food should go into Gaza" until Israeli hostages are returned "healthy and alive".

In a statement cited by the Jerusalem Post, Tzav 9 rejected some of the protesters' actions, saying that "acts were committed today that are not in line with the values of our movement".

It added, however, that "blocking the trucks is an effective and practical step in which we shout that 'no aid passes until the last of the hostages returns'".

Four protesters, including a minor, were arrested at the demonstration, according to a statement from their lawyers.

US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said the protesters' behaviour was "completely and utterly unacceptable" and the White House was raising its concerns with "the highest level of the Israeli government".


If they were Palestinian they'd have no qualms about shooting them, which is exactly how they need to handle these people.


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16 May 2024, 10:46 am

The_Face_of_Boo wrote:
TwilightPrincess wrote:
I don’t think there’s ever a good excuse to engage in the type of extreme brutality that’s occurring, especially with civilians.


From Hama's POV, there's no Israeli civilians, in their perspective, every Israeli adult is either a settler or a reserve unit for their army.


as I have read in the Past about Israeli citizens , is that in order for you to progress as a citizen, All Israeli men and women go through military training . if I understand correctly training takes place earlier in life . And are available for recall as reservists whenever the need arises . :skull:


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16 May 2024, 2:44 pm

Jakki wrote:
The_Face_of_Boo wrote:
TwilightPrincess wrote:
I don’t think there’s ever a good excuse to engage in the type of extreme brutality that’s occurring, especially with civilians.


From Hama's POV, there's no Israeli civilians, in their perspective, every Israeli adult is either a settler or a reserve unit for their army.


as I have read in the Past about Israeli citizens , is that in order for you to progress as a citizen, All Israeli men and women go through military training . if I understand correctly training takes place earlier in life . And are available for recall as reservists whenever the need arises . :skull:

Controversially certain religious sects are exempt. Otherwise military service is mandatory. Being a reservist is mandatory until age 40. Pretty much every Israeli knows multiple people both family and friends serving. Many businesses have a number of key personal serving.

From Hamas POV every person no matter what age is a settler-colonist, thus a legitimate target.


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Last edited by ASPartOfMe on 16 May 2024, 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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16 May 2024, 2:49 pm

Israeli military says 5 soldiers killed by friendly fire in northern Gaza, more troops to join Rafah operation

Quote:
The Israeli military said Thursday that five soldiers were killed and seven injured in a friendly fire incident in northern Gaza, amid renewed battles in the area against regrouped Hamas militants.

The Israel Defense Forces said it had opened an investigation into the deadly incident, which it said happened when the soldiers were hit by tank cross-fire in Jabalia.

While battles raged in the north, Israel's defense minister said that more troops would join the country's ground operation in Rafah, where an intensifying assault has sent hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fleeing the southern Gaza city where they had sought refuge.

"An initial investigation into the deaths of five IDF soldiers reveals that IDF tanks, located dozens of meters away, identified a weapon and fired shells at an IDF force nearby," the IDF said in a statement.

"This force had entered the northern part of Gaza and occupied buildings along a logistic route. The tanks fired two shells for unclear reasons, resulting in seven more soldiers being injured, three severely."

The statement added that the IDF "is probing why the shells were fired and if the soldiers were mistaken for armed militants." The troops were members of the 202nd Battalion of the Paratroopers Brigade.

Seven months into its war aimed at eliminating Hamas, Israeli forces are again engaged in intense fighting in areas of northern Gaza the IDF said earlier had been cleared, renewing doubts over the government's strategy in the war.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has come under growing pressure from the U.S. to lay out a plan for post-war Gaza, and on Wednesday he faced rare public criticism on the issue from within his own War Cabinet.

In a nationally televised statement, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant challenged Netanyahu over what he said was a refusal to discuss the issue. He said this would lead to Israel being forced to rule over the Palestinian enclave again, which he said he opposed. We must make tough decisions for the future of our country, favoring national priorities above all other possible considerations, even with the possibility of personal or political costs," Gallant said.

Still, Netanyahu insists the focus must be on invading Rafah, where his troops have intensified operations since calling on residents of the city's east to evacuate last week.

After conducting an assessment Wednesday on the Gaza border near Rafah, Gallant said that “additional troops will join the ground operation in Rafah."

“This operation will continue as additional forces will enter [the area]," Gallant said, according to a transcript provided by his office a day later. "Several tunnels in the area have been destroyed by our troops and additional tunnels will be destroyed soon. This activity will intensify.”

At least 600,000 people have been forced to flee parts of Gaza's southernmost city, where more than one million Palestinians sought shelter, according to the United Nations, with another 100,000 people displaced in northern Gaza.

The U.N.’s top court opens two days of hearings on Thursday into South Africa's call to halt Israeli operations in Rafah.

The slow increase in aid flowing into the strip over recent months could also be wiped out due to Israel's assault on Rafah, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday, with one critical aid crossing shut and another restricted.

The U.S. Central Command said early Thursday it had successfully anchored a temporary humanitarian pier to a beach in Gaza to increase the flow of aid.


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16 May 2024, 3:18 pm


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17 May 2024, 3:42 am

Israel is spoofing the area's GPS systems.

https://www.instagram.com/reel/C6wl0U2iwIE



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17 May 2024, 6:37 am

Extremist settlers again attack truck and injure driver in W. Bank; wound 3 soldiers

Quote:
sraeli settler extremists attacked a truck in the central West Bank and assaulted its driver early Friday for the second night in a row, due to their mistaken belief it was delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza.

The settlers torched the vehicle and moderately injured the driver. An army force that intervened was also attacked, and three soldiers were lightly injured, including two officers.

In a statement, the Israel Defense Forces said the settlers attacked the Israeli driver of the truck at a junction outside the Kochav Hashahar settlement, northeast of Ramallh, before setting the vehicle ablaze. Troops called to the scene provided medical treatment to the driver while working to distance the dozens of assailants. The IDF said the extremists responded with violence toward the soldiers.

The IDF said it would seek legal action against the rioters.

Separately, at Tapuah Junction south of Nablus, dozens of rioting settlers protesting aid to Gaza hurled rocks at Palestinian cars. Police forces used tear gas and stun grenades against them.

Haaretz reported that one of the Israelis was lightly wounded after being hit by a Palestinian car. The military believes it was an accident as the vehicle attempted to flee the mob.

Two US officials told The Times of Israel Thursday night that the Biden administration was looking into sanctioning extremist Israelis involved in the recent spate of attacks targeting humanitarian aid convoys for Gaza.

The sanctions would be levied through the executive order signed by US President Joe Biden in February, which allowed the Treasury Department to designate Israelis involved in violent activity in the West Bank, the officials say.

The attacks in the West Bank largely started last month when Israel agreed to expand the aid route from Jordan to ensure that more assistance gets into Gaza.

The far-right group Tzav 9 has led many of the protests in both the West Bank and within Israel proper, aiming to block aid trucks from reaching Gaza. The group argues that the assistance is being co-opted by Hamas — a charge the US denies. Israel has also made a point in recent months of stressing the amount of aid it is allowing into Gaza, indicating that it, too, doesn’t believe the assistance is for Hamas.

Tzav 9 also argues that the aid should be used as leverage to secure the release of the Israeli hostages in Gaza, but rights groups say doing so would violate international law.

Since the attacks on aid convoys in the West Bank are a relatively new phenomenon, it is unclear whether the administration will be able to put together the legal cases necessary for justifying sanctions against involved individuals by the time the US issues its fourth batch of settler sanctions in the coming weeks, one of the US officials says.

Individual members of the Israeli security forces are believed to be tipping off the far-right activists regarding the location of the aid trucks once they’re en route to Gaza, enabling their interception.

Early on in the war, when protests and blockings were happening regularly near Israel’s Kerem Shalom and Nitzana crossings into Gaza, National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir signaled to police, who are under his jurisdiction, to take a lax approach to the crackdown, an Israeli official said.

While the US has thus far avoided including Ben Gvir as part of its sanctions, it began targeting individuals in his inner circle in the last batch, designating Benzi Gopstein, the head of the anti-miscegenation Lehava group.

The second US official said this strategy could well continue in subsequent rounds of sanctions.

One potential candidate is Ben Gvir’s chief of staff Chanamel Dorfman, who has a long history of involvement in extremist activity, including in the West Bank.

Wednesday saw extremists attack another commercial truck traveling in the West Bank, mistaking it for a convoy carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza.

The vigilantes lit a fire in the road at the Givat Asaf Junction on Route 60, dumped the truck’s contents onto the pavement and assaulted the Palestinian driver.

In protest of the government allowing humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip during Israel’s war against Hamas, far-right activists have blocked off roads to prevent aid convoys from entering the Strip and recently have begun attacking the trucks themselves.

On Monday, right-wing extremists spilled the contents of a truck onto the road to prevent aid from entering Gaza. Four people were arrested during the fracas.

Two trucks from the convoy were later set on fire, according to multiple media reports.

The Tzav 9 activist group, which seeks to halt transfers of humanitarian supplies into Gaza as long as Israelis are held hostage there, claimed credit for blocking the shipment as it passed through the Tarqumiyah checkpoint, in the Hebron Hills region between the southern West Bank and Israel.

Trucks have been transferring aid originating in Jordan through the West Bank en route to Gaza, where Israel is warring against the Palestinian terror group Hamas.

Demonstrators oppose the delivery of aid into Gaza as long as 132 people are still being held hostage by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza, all but four of them seized during the devastating October 7 attack on Israel led by Hamas that killed some 1,200 people and opened the war.

The activists have not affected aid deliveries in a significant way. Most aid to Gaza does not move through the West Bank.


Spain will not authorize calling of ships carrying weapons for Israel
Quote:
Spain will not authorize ships carrying weapons for Israel to call at its ports, Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said on Friday, after the country refused to let a ship call at the southeastern port of Cartagena.

The ship was the first to be denied access to a Spanish port, Albares said, adding the refusal was consistent with the government's decision not to grant weapon export licenses to Israel since Oct. 7, as Spain doesn't "want to contribute to war."

EaSpain has refused permission for an Israel-bound ship carrying arms to call at the southeastern port of Cartagena, Transport Minister Oscar Puente said on Thursday.


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