Original image: CC BY-SA flickr/gerlos
Today’s Top Stories
*** Breaking news *** As today’s Israel Daily News Stream went to press, four Palestinian children were killed in an Israeli airstrike witnessed by foreign journalists, including The Guardian‘s Peter Beaumont and UK Channel 4’s Jonathan Miller, who tried to save the kids. More details at YNet. 1. Dror Chanin became the first Israeli to die during Operation Protective Edge. Haaretz reports that the 37-year-old father of three from Bet Aryeh was distributing food to soldiers as a civilian volunteer at the Erez border crossing when he was killed by shrapnel from a Palestinian mortar shell. He was laid to rest this afternoon. 2. Hamas now seeks a 10-year truce. 3. Why isn’t the IDF publishing details of Gaza casualties like it did for previous military operations? The question matters because not-necessarily reliable Palestinian sources are filling the information vacuum. The Times of Israel explains:
For Operation Protective Edge, the only data published so far comes from the health ministry in Gaza. This ministry is run by Hamas, therefore rendering the number of casualties and injuries it reports more than unreliable, said Maj. Arye Shalicar of the Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson’s unit. “Hamas has no shame about lying. We know they’re a terrorist organization that makes cynical use of casualty numbers for propaganda purposes. You can’t trust a single number they publish.” And yet, the figures from the Gazan ministry are routinely adopted, unquestioned, by the United Nations. “According to preliminary information, over 77 per cent of the fatalities since 7 July have been civilians, raising concerns about respect for international humanitarian law,” states a situation report published Tuesday by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Once given the stamp of approval of such an important body, these numbers are quoted everywhere else . . . . We simply cannot know what we hit, several officials said. In the West Bank, IDF forces are able to ascertain who dies as a result of IDF actions, but since Israel has no military or civilian presence in Gaza, no information is available during or right after a strike. To be sure, the IDF does investigate claims about casualties, but results are usually only released weeks after the hostilities have ended. By then, the world, gauging Israel’s conduct in part on the basis of available information on civilian casualties, has turned its attention elsewhere.
Meanwhile, the JTA‘s Uriel Helman did his own number crunching.Israel Under Fire: More Burning Questions: As Operation Protective Edge continues, HonestReporting provides you with more articles, videos, and resources to answer the burning questions. 5. Crude Anti-Israel Animation in the Washington Post: Cartoonist Ann Telnaes makes Israel her punching bag.
Israel and the Palestinians
• For details on what happened today, see liveblogging at the Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, Times of Israel, and i24 News. Among today’s notable developments: • Mahmoud Abbas seeks PA forces along Gaza-Egypt border as part of ceasefire, according to the Times of Israel. • US blocks Qatari fund transfer intended for Hamas employees • Haaretz: Following complaints, Facebook removed Hamas’ Hebrew language page. • Tony Blair and a secret call between Bibi and Sisi nearly jump-started yesterday’s woulda coulda shoulda cease-fire, reports Haaretz. • Experts told The Media Line, the crisis has so far cost Gaza’s economy an estimated $100 to $150 million. • Jerusalem Post: The PA’s Minister of Health got a rude welcome when he arrived in Gaza to inspect hospitals and clinics: he was pelted with stones and eggs. The incident was caught on video. • For the second time in two days, Gazan rocket hits electricity line to Gaza: Strip has lost 20 percent of its power. • Shlomo Avineri, one of the architects of the Oslo accords 21 years ago, makes a remarkable confession in a Haaretz op-ed.
Oslo’s sponsors saw the conflict as one between two national movements and believed – as did I – that direct negotiations between Israel and the PLO could find a solution to the territorial and strategic issues that were the cornerstones of the dispute. It wasn’t easy to convince Israelis, even those in the Labor Party, that the other side was a national movement – one that admittedly had terrorist facets but was fundamentally entitled, just like the Zionist movement, to exercise national self-determination. We were wrong. The Palestinians don’t think this is a conflict between two national movements. From their perspective, this is a conflict between a single national movement – the Palestinian one – and a colonialist, imperialist entity that is destined to vanish from the world . . . . Those of us who supported Oslo – and who still think it was the right step – must recognize that salvation won’t come from the Palestinians. They’re genuinely uninterested in a solution of two states for two peoples because they’re unwilling to grant legitimacy to the Jewish right of self-determination. We can rely only on ourselves – not in the sense of our military power, but of our wisdom, our desire to maintain a Jewish nation-state here, and our ability to realize this desire, even under difficult conditions of deep-seated rejection by the other side.
- Syria condemns “Israel’s massacres.”
- Calls to slaughter the Jews in Antwerp.
- Loads of can’t-miss commentary.