Dorothy Online NewsLetter

NOVANEWS

Dear dear Friends,

I don’t know what happened to me yesterday—maybe mental and emotional exhaustion.  I can’t bear to read and hear about what is happening in Gaza.  But I have to to keep you informed.

Nevertheless I will not do again what I did yesterday—send you a ton of articles with no comments or means of knowing what each is about.  There is too much on the internet.  Hard to keep up with. This will end sometime after the conflict ends—which has not happened yet.

From now on, so long as the conflict lasts, I will send not more than 4 or 5 items at a time, but probably will send more than one collection.  This should make it easier for you to find what interests you most.  I very likely will also forward to you some of the materials that I receive in emails.

As for today, below are 4 items, the first and last are by Amira Hass.

In item 1 she depicts the means the IAF uses to supposedly ‘save’ innocents when pilots intend to demolish homes.

Item 2 furnishes updates from this morning, so that you can get an idea of what Israelis (or more correctly, some Israelis) face daily, including deaths of soldiers.

Item 3 is Nahum Barnea’s commentary on events—primarily on the 10 soldiers killed yesterday, within 24 hours, bringing the number to over 50.  5 or 6 of them were kids, 18 and 19 years old.  The other 5 were 20 and 21 year olds.

All 50 of the soldiers and all the 1000 + Palestinian dead could have been alive today had Israel’s PM accepted Hamas’s 3 very legitimate demands: end the blockade, open the border crossings, and release the prisoners whom you released in the Shalit deal and then used the killing of the 3 Jewish boys as excuse to throw them in jail again—not because they had done anything wrong, but because you wanted to, just because!!!!  Actually, because you wanted Hamas to start shooting!  So you kill your own as well as massacring Palestinians!

It’s time for Jewish Israeli mothers to rise, as they did against the Lebanese war, and to shout that their uteruses are not mechanisms for producing soldiers!  It is time for mothers to shout that they are not willing to raise kids to kill others and to be killed.  IT IS TIME!

In the final item Amira Hass warns that Israel’s moral defeat will haunt us for years.  I think it will do more.  I think that it will bring many more Jews the world over to see what kind of place this Israel really is.

That’s it for now.

Dorothy

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1 Haaretz Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Gazan tries to answer his son’s question: Who broke the house?

The 4-year-old son of a Gazan artist who happens to be related to a Hamas commander wants to know why he doesn’t have a home anymore.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.607717

By Amira Hass

At 1:30 A.M. on Wednesday, July 16, the Azara family’s cell phone rang. The mother answered, and quickly hung up in fright. Then Samer Azara’s phone rang, and the 26-year-old police officer answered.

The caller, Azara related, introduced himself as David from the Israel Defense Forces and told him in good Arabic: “You have three minutes to leave your house. I intend to launch a missile at the Issa house, your neighbors. What’s most important is that you remove the children; I don’t care about the adults.”

“I told him there are many children, about 50. How will we manage to get them all out in three minutes?” Azara recalled. “And he told me, ‘You have a lot of children; what do you do with them all?’ and slammed down the phone.”

The Azaras quickly informed the Issas and all their other neighbors in Gaza’s Bureij refugee camp. An announcement was also made over the mosque loudspeaker. About 20 families went out into the dark with their children, their elderly and a few documents they’d prepared in advance.

David from the IDF called Azara four more times to ensure that everyone had left, and a warning missile was fired. Then warplanes dropped seven missiles and two bombs on the Issas’ five-story house. The explosions destroyed two other houses as well, those of the Azara and Sarraj families.

The Issa house was undoubtedly an IDF target: Marwan Issa is a senior commander in Hamas’ military wing, apparently the heir of Ahmed Jabari, whom Israel assassinated in 2012. But Marwan didn’t live there with his parents and brothers — eight families in all, totaling 55 people. He was hiding out somewhere in Gaza, as the Israeli security services knew very well.

One of his brothers, a Fatah member, is an officer in the Palestinian security service who is paid by the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. Another, Raid, is an artist who has exhibited abroad and won artist-in-residence fellowships in France and Switzerland.

About six weeks ago, he had an exhibit in Ramallah, but Israel wouldn’t let him travel from Gaza to the West Bank for it.

Raid Issa, 38, told Haaretz he does nothing but draw. “I earn a living from my drawings, and now they’re all buried beneath the ruins,” he said.

“Now my oldest son, aged 4, asks me, ‘When are we going home?’” Raid said. “I took him to the ruined house, and he asked me, ‘Who broke the house?’ I told him the planes of the Israelis. He asked me why, and I told him they ‘broke’ ours like they broke others. He’s always asking how this could be. And then he told me, ‘I’ll break the Israelis’ house like they broke my house.’”

Since the bombing, the 11 families who lived in the three ruined houses have been wandering among relatives, friends and schools. Some left Bureij altogether, since many families have received recorded messages (but not personal phone calls) telling them to leave.

The Issas’ house is one of about 560 throughout Gaza that Israeli air strikes have intentionally destroyed, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. In some cases, as with the Issas, it’s clear the house was targeted because a single family member was a senior Hamas or Islamic Jihad operative.

But in other cases, the reason isn’t clear. Why was the house of someone who just joined Hamas’ military wing a month ago treated like the houses of its senior leaders? Was another house bombed because one brother works for a Turkish company? The family says it can’t think of any other “incriminating” factor.

Some houses have been bombed with no prior warning, with all their inhabitants still inside, for reasons incomprehensible to those relatives who survived. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, 53 entire families have been killed in this way.

But the 560 houses that were deliberately bombed constitute a tiny fraction of the total number of buildings damaged or destroyed over the past three weeks.

Hundreds of thousands of people from eastern and northern Gaza have fled their homes in that time. During Saturday’s humanitarian cease-fire, many discovered that their homes no longer existed.

The Palestine Liberation Organization’s negotiations affairs department has tried to estimate the damage to date. According to preliminary data gathered by the Gazan health and housing ministries, 2,330 buildings have been totally destroyed. Another 2,080 have been partially destroyed to such a degree that it’s uncertain they can be repaired; 18 of the buildings that were completely or partially destroyed are mosques. And 23,160 buildings have been damaged, including 65 mosques, 20 schools, two churches and a Christian cemetery.

But these are merely preliminary estimates. As these lines were being written Monday night, those people still remaining in Gaza City’s Zeitoun and Shujaiyeh neighborhoods were being asked to leave as well. Many will find their houses gone if and when they return.

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2 Haaretz Tuesday, July 29, 2014

LIVE UPDATES: Gaza power plant in flames after reported IDF shelling

Rockets fired at Israel’s south; 23 Palestinians killed in Gaza, 150 targets attacked in Gaza overnight; 10 IDF soldiers killed over past 24 hours – including 5 in militant infiltration.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.607757

By Haaretz  |  Jul. 29, 2014

Operation Protective Edge entered its 22nd day on Tuesday, as Israeli ground forces continued their incursion into Gaza after the government rejected a cease-fire draft proposed by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry over the weekend.

Ten Israeli soldiers have died in the past 24 hours: five of the soldiers were killed in a militant border infiltration, four in mortar shell fire near the border and one during clashes in Gaza’s south. The Israel Air Force struck Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh’s home in Gaza, according to reports. No injuries were reported.

Rocket sirens sounded throughout Israel, including the Tel Aviv metropolitan area, in the middle of the night.

According to statements by the Palestinian Health Ministry, since the operation began 1,100 Palestinians have been killed and more than 6,500 have been wounded. Since the start of the operation, three Israeli civilians and 53 IDF soldiers have been killed.

11:40 A.M. Gaza’s power plant is on fire after reportedly being hit in an Israeli strike. A spokesman for Gaza’s electric company says Israeli tank shells hit a fuel container, shutting down the station. (Jack Khoury)

11:23 A.M. Two rockets intercepted over Ashkelon.

11: 16 A.M. Rocket alerts sound in Ashkelon and towns near the Gaza border.

10:45 A.M. Israel’s security cabinet is set to convene at 7 P.M. to discuss the Gaza war. (Barak Ravid)

10:00 A.M. Gunmen opened fire on a Paratroopers Brigade unit in the center of the Gaza Strip early on Tuesday. The soldiers returned fire; a direct hit was identified. No Israeli soldiers were wounded. A few hours later, Israeli forces destroyed a tunnel, also located in the Strip’s center.

The IDF has struck four mosques that were used for weapons storage. One of the mosques also contained a tunnel opening. Another served as a Hamas command center. An underground rocket launcher located near a mosque was bombed as well. (Gili Cohen)

9:47 A.M. Some 106 IDF soldiers are currently hospitalized across the country; one is in very serious condition and eight are in serious condition. (Ido Efrati)

9:42 A.M. Rocket fired toward Israel explodes within Gaza; earlier, rocket alerts sounded in the Hof Ashkelon and Eshkol regional councils. (Shirley Seidler)

9:18 A.M. Rocket alerts sound in Israeli towns on Gaza border.

8:40 A.M. IDF resumes wide attacks on the Gaza Strip, using mainly artillery and shells. (Gili Cohen)

8:00 A.M. According to reports in Gaza, 23 people were killed in Israel strikes overnight, including seven members of the Abu Zied family, whose home in the al-Jnina neighborhood in Rafah was bombed. According to the reports, no advance warning of the attack was given.

An explosion was reported at the home Islamic Jihad commander Ahmed Najm in Rafah, apparently killing him. A separate strike killed three in city’s north.

In the al-Bureij refugee camp, in the Gaza Strip’s center, 12 people were killed in a massive shelling. (Jack Khoury)

7:47 A.M. Mortar shell explodes in open area near a town in the Eshkol Regional Council; no damage reported. (Shirley Seidler)

7:46 A.M. The IDF releases the name of the fifth soldier killed in the tunnel attack on Monday: Sgt. Nadav Raimond, 19, from Shadmot Dvora. Raimond was an infantry soldier training to be an IDF squad commander.

7:14 A.M. The gunmen who crossed into Israel through a tunnel on Monday and killed five soldiers left behind four Kalashnikov rifles and two rocket-propelled grenades before returning to Gaza. (Gili Cohen)

6:54 A.M. The IDF attacked 150 targets in Gaza during the night, including Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh’s home, the Shujaiyeh batallion commander’s home, Gaza’s Ministry of Finance, Al-Aqsa Radio and Al-Aqsa Television.

The night passed quietly for IDF forces; no casualties were reported. (Gili Cohen)

5:59 A.M. Cleared for publication: Five IDF soldiers were killed in action on Monday near the border community of Nahal Oz, after militants used a tunnel to enter Israeli territory. One of the militants was killed.

The military released the names of four of the soldiers: Sgt. Daniel Kedmi, 18, of Tsofim; Sgt. Barkey Ishai Shor, 21, of Jerusalem; Sgt. Sagi Erez, 19, of Kiryat Ata; Sgt. Dor Dery, 18, of Jerusalem.

The name of the fifth IDF soldier is yet to be released. (Gili Cohen)

5:07 A.M. Rocket alarms sound in Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council.

5:03 A.M. Hamas said that its broadcast outlets, Al-Aqsa TV and Al-Aqsa Radio, were targeted by Israeli air strikes. The television station continued to broadcast, but the radio station went silent. (Reuters)

4:50 A.M. Air strikes on central and southern areas of the Gaza Strip killed 16 Palestinians and wounded more than 50 others early on Tuesday, medics and witnesses said.

Nine Palestinians were killed in a predawn air strike on a house in the refugee camp of al-Bureij, Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qedra said.

Another seven Palestinians belonging to one family were killed when their house was hit in the southern town of Rafah, he said. (DPA)

4:34 A.M. Rocket alert sirens sound in Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council.

4:10 A.M. Rocket alarm sirens sound in Hof Ashkelon Regional Council.

3:31 A.M. Two rockets fall in open areas near Ashkelon. Two rockets additionally intercepted in the area. (Shirly Seidler)

3:05 A.M. Rocket alarm sirens in Ashkelon and Hof Ashkelon Regional Council.

2:52 A.M. One rocket falls in open area near Rishon Letzion, one rocket intercepted over Ashdod. (Gili Cohen and Shirly Seidler)

2:47 A.M. Israeli Air Force strikes Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh’s house, according to the Gaza Interior Ministry. No casualties reported. (Reuters)

2:30 A.M. Rocket alarm sirens sound throughout Tel Aviv metropolitan area and central Israel.

2:15 A.M. Rocket alert sirens sound in Kerem Shalom, near the Gaza border.

1:27 A.M. Brazil’s president is calling Israel’s conflict with Hamas “a massacre.”

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff made the comment while speaking with local media outlets Monday from the presidential residence in Brasilia.

In an article posted on the website of the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo, Rousseff says that “I think what’s happening in the Gaza Strip is dangerous. I don’t think it’s genocide, but I think it’s a massacre.” (AP)

1:02 A.M. Route 232 closed to traffic due to a suspected security incident. Residents in several communities told to remain in their homes. (Shirly Seidler and Gili Cohen)

11:52 P.M. The IDF releases the names of the four soldiers killed by mortar fire on the Gaza border earlier Monday: Staff Sgt. Eliav Eliyahu Haim Kahlon, 22, of Safed; Corporal Meidan Maymon Biton, 20, of Netivot; Corporal Niran Cohen, 20, of Tiberias; and Sgt. First Class Adi Briga, 23, of Beit Shikma.

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3 Ynetnews Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Fallen Soldiers

Photo: Ido Erez Wounded soldiers evacuated after morat attack. ‘Luck and bad luck are an integral part of every war’ Photo: Ido Erez

Paying the price of a justified war  [refers to over 50 IOF soldiers killed, 10 of them within 24 hours. D]

Analysis: Israel’s decision makers never imagined that after 10 days of a ground operation in Gaza, the military death toll would cross the 50 mark.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4551558,00.html

Nahum Barnea

There are no unjustified wars, and the two serious incidents which took place Monday at the Gaza vicinity sadly illustrate just how correct this sentence is.

The price of the ground operation in soldiers’ lives, within the Strip and near the border, is extremely heavy. The decision makers never imagined that after 10 days of fighting on the ground, the military death toll would cross the 50 mark. The Israeli public, which enjoyed a protected home front in the first days of the operation, never imagined that this would be the state of things after 21 days.

A lot of it is bad luck. Like in Kibbutz Kfar Giladi in 2006, it was also in the forming-up place in the northern Eshkol region that soldiers unfortunately stood in the wrong place at the wrong time; and the tunnel near Kibbutz Nahal Oz was unearthed on time. It just wasn’t unearthed in its entirety. Luck and bad luck are an integral part of every war.

The initial reaction said: We must hit them hard, from the air, from the sea, from the ground; the IDF should pull their leaders out of the bunkers they have dug under the al-Shifa Hospital, send a tank brigade to Palestine Square, raze the Jabalya refugee camp. The belly and heart are an authentic response team. I’m not certain that they’re a wise response team.

The bad news dictated the atmosphere in the press-statement conference convened by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz. Netanyahu’s face conveyed sadness, grief. Ya’alon and Gantz had a scowling expression.

But when one looks into the content of their statements, it’s hard to find evidence of a change. It’s possible that in private they speak differently, but outside they are sticking to the outline they have been following until now.

They are pursuing an organized ceasefire, preferably with international backing and with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ seal of approval. Ideas in this direction bounced back and forth Monday in all the relevant bureaus.

The flow of ideas was halted when they realized the number of fallen soldiers in the south, but the outline pursuing a ceasefire didn’t disappear. It didn’t disappear because it has no alternative for now.

Good or bad, this is reality. The talk about expanding the operation beyond the tunnels and shafts is mere talk. There is not a single minister in the cabinet who is offering a consolidated alternative right now. The ministers and Knesset members calling for the operation’s expansion are outside the cabinet, and are both unfamiliar with the material and enjoying an opportunity to make headlines for no reason. They are engaging in primary elections on the fighters’ blood.

From the first day of the operation, we have been dragged and we are still being dragged. Hamas is dictating the extent and length of the conflict, and our forces have not found a move, an initiative or a patent to break this dictation.

We interpreted the humanitarian ceasefire as a permit to keep blowing up tunnels. Hamas interpreted it differently. While the IDF continued working in the tunnels, Hamas expanded and intensified the fire, and managed to surprises us with two difficult blows. As far as Hamas is concerned, with another successful day like this one it will pull us in, into the bunkers in Gaza City.

Netanyahu, naturally, is thinking about his image on the day after. Today he enjoys an 87% support rate, but these are fragile percentage points, which could pass. What will jeopardize him more on the day after, pursuing the fighting or stopping it?

If he goes on, he will have to deal with the death toll. He probably remembers what happened to former Prime Minister Menachem Begin in similar circumstances; if he stops, he will have to deal with disappointment and internal criticism. According to the blatant, degrading tone used by his colleagues when they refer to him, his life won’t be easy.

The Obama administration has no intention of making things easier for him either. The errors which led to the explosion can be divided between the two sides. The administration, which gave Israel its full support from the beginning of the crisis, felt it couldn’t stand idly by as horrific pictures of dead children in Gaza were being published in America. Obama has been accused of letting the children of Syria die; the children of Gaza will receive a better treatment.

Kerry took the mission upon himself. He likes taking missions. If he had learned something from the lesson of Philip Habib, the diplomat who ran around from Ariel Sharon to Yasser Arafat in 1982, he would have been careful. Netanyahu should have said to him: John, my friend, it’s not a good thing when the American foreign minister mediates between an ally and a terror organization; no good will come out of it.

Kerry flew to Paris from here, to embrace the foreign ministers of Qatar and Turkey, Hamas’ two patrons. With one hug, he bought the resentment of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Abbas and the Israeli government.

He then came up with points for a ceasefire agreement. A more cautious person would have discussed the points verbally. Kerry handed the points over to Netanyahu in writing, turning them into an American document. Netanyahu presented the document to the cabinet members. He prevented them from making a decision to reject the offer, but the leaks from the meeting were enough: The document got out, the general objection was recorded, and Kerry was portrayed as a traitor.

Obama took the betrayal issue to heart, and there was a reason for that: The new Egyptian regime has accused him of having a secret alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood. The radical right in America adopted the accusation and intensified it: Why it is a known fact that Barack Hussein Obama tends to betray America’s friends and conspire against it with his friends, the radical Islamists. It’s an imaginary accusation, but the sensitivity is real. From phone calls from Washington, I hear that both Obama and Kerry are furious.

The reprimanding phone call to Netanyahu did not make much of a difference. The cabinet sat down till dawn, and concluded the meeting, as usual, without making a decision. The ministers expected Netanyahu to reach a ceasefire without them, and absolve them of responsibility.

And then came the news from the Gaza vicinity.

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4 Haaretz Monday, July 28, 2014

Israel’s moral defeat will haunt us for years

We have passed 1,000 dead Palestinians. How many more?

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.607550

By Amira Hass     |  Jul. 28, 2014

Palestinian rescue officers removing a body on Saturday from the rubble of a building

Palestinian rescue officers removing a body on Saturday from the rubble of a building where at least 20 members of the Al-Najjar extended family were killed in Khan Yunis. Photo by AP

If victory is measured in the number of dead, then Israel and its army are big winners. From the time I wrote these words on Saturday, and by the time you read them on Sunday, the number will no longer be 1,000 (70-80 percent civilians) but even more.

How many more? Ten bodies, 18? Three more pregnant women? Five dead children, their eyes half-open, their mouths gaping, their baby teeth poking out, their shirts covered with blood and they are being carried on a single stretcher? If victory means causing the enemy to pile up a number of slaughtered children on one stretcher, since there are not enough stretchers, then you have won, Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon – you and the nation that admires you.

And the trophy also goes to the Startup Nation, this time to the startup renowned for knowing and reporting as little as possible with as many international media and available websites as possible. “Good morning, it was a quiet night,” the Army Radio host announced cheerfully on Thursday morning. In the day preceding the happy announcement, the Israel Defense Forces killed 80 Palestinians, 64 of whom were civilians, including 15 children and 5 women. At least 30 of them were killed during the same quiet night, from overwhelming shelling, bombing and firing from Israeli artillery, and this is without counting the number of injured or the number of houses blown up.)

If victory is measured in the number of families wiped out within two weeks – parents and children, one parent and a few children, a grandmother and daughters in law and grandchildren and son, brothers and their children, in all the variations you might choose – then we also have the upper hand. Here, names from memory: Al-Najjar, Karaw’a, Abu-Jam’e, Ghannem, Qannan, Hamad, A-Salim, Al Astal, Al Hallaq, Sheikh Khalil, Al Kilani. In these families, the few members who survived the Israeli bombings in the past two weeks are now jealous of their dead.

And let’s not forget the laurel wreaths for our legal experts, those without whom the IDF does not make a move. Due to them, blowing up an entire house – whether empty or filled with residents – is easily justified if Israel characterizes one of the family members as an appropriate target (be he senior or junior Hamas member, military or political, brother or family guest).

“If it is legal according to international law,” a Western diplomat told me, shocked by his own state’s position in support of Israel, “it is a sign that something stinks in international law.”

And another bouquet of flowers for our advisers, the graduates of the exclusive law schools in Israel and the United States, and maybe also in England: They are certainly the ones advising the IDF why it is permissible to fire at Palestinian rescue teams and prevent them from getting to the wounded. Seven members of medical teams on their way to rescue the injured were shot to death by the IDF during two weeks, the last two only last Friday. Another 16 have been wounded. This doesn’t include the cases is which IDF firing prevented crews from driving to the disaster scene.

You will surely recite what the army says: “Terrorists are hiding in the ambulances” – since Palestinians do not really want to save their wounded, they don’t really want to prevent them from bleeding to death under the ruins, isn’t this what you are thinking? Does our acclaimed intelligence, which did not discover during all these years the network of tunnels, know in real time that in every ambulance that was hit directly with IDF fire, or whose trip to save an injured person was blocked, there are really armed Palestinians inside? And why is it permissible to save a wounded soldier at the cost of shelling an entire neighborhood, but it is not allowed to save an elderly Palestinian buried under the rubble? Why is it forbidden to save an armed man, or more correctly a Palestinian fighter, who was wounded while repulsing a foreign army that invaded his neighborhood?

If victory is measured by the success at causing lifelong trauma to 1.8 million people (and not for the first time) waiting to be executed any moment – then the victory is yours.

These victories add up to our moral implosion, the ethical defeat of a society that now engages in no self-inspection, that wallows in self pity over postponed airline flights and burnishes itself with the pride of the enlightened.This is a society that mourns, naturally, its more than 40 soldiers who were killed, but at the same time hardens its heart and mind in the face of all the suffering and moral courage and heroism of the people we are attacking. A society that does not understand the extent to which the balance of forces is against it.

“In all the suffering and death,” wrote a friend from Gaza, “there are so many expressions of tenderness and kindness. People are taking care of one another, comforting one another. Especially children who are searching for the best way to support their parents. I saw many children no older than 10 years old who are hugging, comforting their younger siblings, trying to distract them from the horror. So young and already the caretakers of someone else. I did not meet a single child who did not lose someone – a parent, grandmother, friend, aunt or neighbor. And I thought: If Hamas grew out of the generation of the first intifada, when the young people who threw stones were met with bullets, who will grow out of the generation that experienced the repeated massacres of the last seven years?”

Our moral defeat will haunt us for many years to come.

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