Today’s Top Stories
1. The UNRWA found 20 rockets in one of its Gaza schools. And they weren’t from the school’s science club either. Meanwhile, Patrick Martin of the Globe & Mail had a schoolyard lesson of his own in Human Shields 101:
Heading toward the exit, we were overwhelmed by the jet-like sound of two rockets being launched from somewhere near the school. Hamas, or some or militant group, clearly is hoping the Israelis won’t strike at the launchers, which are kept underground until the moment of firing, because they’re close to the school and so many refugees.
As the Hamas-made missiles screamed off into the sky, leaving a white vapour trail, the kids all cheered.
3. The IDF foiled a Hamas tunnel attack. A group of13 terrorists emerged from a tunnel 250 meters inside Israel, near Kibbutz Sufa, where they were quickly spotted and attacked. The IDF posted footage online.
He said the military believed at least one militant was killed in the strike and that the remaining fighters appeared to have returned to Gaza through the tunnel.
Later in the day, there were reports of another Palestinian infiltration near Ein HaShlosha. The security alert was later lifted.
4. Daily Mirror: It’s Not the Popcorn That’s Rotten: Hours after the publication of our critique, the contentious photo was removed.
5. New York Times Graphic Turns Conflict Into Game of Numbers: Numbers leave readers feeling crunched.
6. Minimizing Terror and Ridiculing Rockets: Columnist ridicules terror against Israelis during her distorted childhood.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Yesterday, four Palestinian kids playing on the Gaza beach were killed by an Israeli shell. The incident happened near the Al Deira Hotel, where a lot of foreign reporters are staying. Correspondents like Ayman Mohyeldin of NBC News and The Guardian‘s Peter Beaumont jumped into action. Two snippets of coverage made my antennae twitch. The first is by Washington Post reporter William Booth:
It is not unusual for militants to launch rockets from sites near my hotel.
And AP reports:
A witness who identified himself only as Abu Ahmed said the boys were scavenging for scrap metal when a first shell hit a nearby shipping container used in the past by Hamas security forces.
• CNN‘s Wolf Blitzer got special access to Israel’s drone operations center. He talked to the officer in charge of making sure targets are clear of civilians ahead of airstrikes.
In a letter to Pierre Krähenbühl, UNRWA’s Commissioner-General, Prosor said, “Gunness, yet again abused his position by calling on reporters to interview Dr. Mads Gilbert, an outspoken proponent of terrorist attacks against civilians. In September 2001, Dr. Gilbert explicitly supported the ‘moral right’ of Al-Qaeda to perpetrate the 9/11 terrorist attacks against thousands of American civilians.”
In the letter, seen by The Algemeiner, Prosor included the text of a recent Twitter post from Gunness encouraging reporters to speak to Gilbert: “Great interviewee @ Shifa Hosp Gaza right now Prof Mads Gilbert +4790878740 call him 4 fatality & cas figs and atoms RT.” The message has since been deleted.
“Rather than denouncing Hamas’s targeting of innocent civilians, Mr. Gunness is shamelessly promoting an individual who shares Hamas’s morally reprehensible convictions,” Prosor said in his letter.
• While visiting Ashkelon, Norway’s foreign minister, Borg Brende, was forced to take shelter during a rocket attack. Brende was having lunch with counterpart Avigdor Lieberman. Nobody was hurt. More at The Local.
• South African-Israeli writer Benjamin Pogrund’s worth reading today:
• It’s insulting for Nicholas Kristof to say that responding to Palestinian rockets is only within the purview of Israeli “hardliners.” Every Zionist party in the Knesset would have done the same thing.
• Israeli diplomats continued their media blitz. Consul general Ido Aharoni weighed in at Newsmax and Bloomberg News. Ambassador Arthur Lenk discussed the crisis with the Johannesburg Star. Ambassador Ron Dermer took questions on Twitter at #AskDermer. And Mark Regev handled himself quite well on Channel 4 against Jon Snow’s aggressive questions.
• For more commentary/analysis, see Khaled Abu Toameh (Why Hamas said no to Sisi), Alan Dershowitz (Hamas is real enemy of Palestinians), Maj. Gen. (ret.) Ed Fitch (Asymmetric war evolves in tragic directions), Lazar Berman (Who’s afraid of boots on the ground?), Brendan O’Neill (The line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism gets thinner), Jonathan D. Halevy (Similarities between Hamas and ISIS), Ihsan Yilmaz (Erdogan abuses Palestinian problem), and Pat Johnson (Pro-Palestinian activists make things worse for people they claim to support).
Rest O’ the Roundup
• According to Kurdish media, ISIS is now using chemical weapons against Syrian Kurdish forces. You can do that during Ramadan?
Featured image: CC BY-SA flickr/Garry Knight, gorilla CC flickr/Eric Kilby