Today’s Top Stories
1. A Palestinian driving a tractor went on a rampage in Jerusalem, running over and killing a pedestrian. The driver was shot and killed by a police officer and prisons service official on the scene.
Later in the afternoon, an Israeli soldier was shot in the stomach when a Palestinian on a motorcycle opened fire on a hitchhiking spot near Hebrew University. Details at Haaretz.
2. Israel declared a limited unilateral humanitarian seven-hour ceasefire in most parts of Gaza. But Hamas continued firing rockets. As this roundup went to press, the truce expired and IDF airstrikes resumed.
3. Two big fish targets were killed in Israeli airstrikes. Danyal Mansour was the head of Islamic Jihad’s intelligence unit, while Ahmed Mabhouh was a Hamas explosives expert (and nephew of Mahmoud Mabhouh). No tennis rackets were found at the scene . . .
4. If you’re in New York City on Thursday, be sure to come to a Support Israel Rally Against Biased Media. HonestReporting CEO Joe Hyams will be among the speakers.
Where: 58th St. between 8th and 9th Avenues (Columbus Circle)
When: Thursday, August 7, 5:00-9:00 pm
Spread the word, and share this with friends. And be there to support Israel, learn how you can be better informed, and send a message to the news services that the public is holding them accountable. Details at the rally’s Facebook page.
5. Sydney Morning Herald Apologizes for Vicious Gaza Cartoon: “It was wrong to publish the cartoon in its original form.”
5. Balance in the Eye of the Editor: An editor’s dismissal of criticism says a lot about The Independent’s imbalanced journalism.
6. Gaza Hospitals as Terror Centers: Talking about the plight of patients, the New York Times leaves out crucial information.
7. Cartoon Implies Israel Targeting Civilians: Trying to build sympathy for Palestinian civilians, the Times of London turns reality on its head.
7. Where is the Hamas Offensive? Reporters need to acknowledge their limitations and be transparent about Hamas’ press restrictions. A special guest post.
Operation Protective Edge
• Temple Mount tensions as Palestinian rioters threw stones at police. YNet coverage.
• Khaled Mashaal sat down with CNN‘s Nic Robertson to explain human shields, truce demands, and the conflict. Spoiler alert:
Hamas sacrifices itself for its people and does not use its people as human shields to protect its soldiers. The fighter, just the like the soldier in the army, his job is to protect the people, and not to sacrifice the people for himself.”
• CNN: Congress approved 225 million for Israel’s Iron Dome.
• Throwaway background lines are subtle, but I’m glad to see AP doing the right thing:
In the current round of fighting, U.N. shelters have been struck by fire seven times. UNRWA, the U.N. agency that assists Palestinian refugees, says Israel has been the source of fire in all instances. But it also has said it found caches of rockets in vacant UNRWA schools three times.
Israel accuses Hamas of using civilian areas for cover and says the Islamic militant group is responsible for the heavy death toll because it has been using civilians as “human shields.”
• Washington Post reporter Ruth Eglash rode with an Israeli naval patrol.
• Melanie Phillips: You’re not getting the real truth about Gaza
• Jerusalem Post: IDF eradicates Hamas’ crown jewel
• As Israel withdraws troops from Gaza, a dilemma for Hamas. How does Hamas balance public pressure to end the fighting with the need to do something to save face?
• South African parliamentarian Kenneth Meshoe weighs in on the world’s moral obligation to support Israel.
• Memo to the Globe & Mail: You don’t have to agree with the concept of conflict management Israelis refer to as “mowing the lawn.” But if you’re implying that Israel is at fault for not trying to eliminate Hamas, then at least acknowledge that this goal A) is costlier in terms of casualties and B) means someone has to take responsibility for administering Gaza afterwards. Israel won’t, and Mahmoud Abbas, who ought to, doesn’t want to return to Gaza in a Merkava tank.
• For more commentary/analysis, see Aaron David Miller (US misread reality on the ground), Karol Markowicz (Want peace? Accept reality) David Horovitz (An unavoidable war unfinished), Leo McKinstry (We will pay a terrible price for supporting Hamas), Aaron David Miller (5 complexities), Linda Chavez (casualty figures grotesquely dishonest), Peter Himler (Israel ups its social narrative on Gaza), Rabbi Abraham Cooper (When will Europe stand up for the Jews?), Eyal Zisser (Hamas lost big), and a staff-ed in The Australian.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• This just in from Reuters. Pass the popcorn.
• While the world’s preoccupied by Gaza, at least 51 people, mostly civilians, were killed in Assad regime air strikes and rocket attacks in two Damascus suburbs. More at the Wall St. Journal via Google News.
• According to the Washington Post, the Islamic State controls one-third of Syrian territory, pockets $3 million a day by selling oil on the black market, and may have already seized control of the Mosul Dam on the Tigris River. Iraq’s largest dam, it generates millions of kilowatts of electricity.
Worse, the militants have a record of using water as a means of terrorism. It could open the flood gates and deluge major Iraqi cities or withhold water from farms. Earlier this year, after it captured the Fallujah Dam, it closed eight of the dam’s 10 gates, wreaking havoc on local communities.
Image: CC BY-SA flickr/Alexandre Dulaunoy