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Monday, August 4, 2014

  • "Everything That Moves in Rafah is a Target": Israel Continues Shelling of Gaza During Short "Pause"

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    The Palestinian death toll in Gaza has topped 1,800 as the Israeli offensive enters its 28th day. On Sunday, at least 10 people died when Israel shelled another United Nations school sheltering Palestinian civilians. The United States has called the attack "disgraceful," while U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned it as a "moral outrage and a criminal act." It was the seventh U.N. school hit since Israel’s offensive began. The United Nations, meanwhile, is warning of a "rapidly unfolding" health crisis in Gaza as large parts of the territory remain without power or running water, and around 400,000 are displaced. More than 200 Palestinians have been killed since a 72-hour ceasefire collapsed on Friday. Over the weekend, the Israeli government admitted that a soldier it had reported as captured was actually killed in battle. Earlier today, Israel announced a unilateral seven-hour truce in most of the Gaza Strip, except for Rafah. Palestinians have already accused Israel of breaking its own ceasefire by launching deadly attack on the Shati refugee camp. We go to Gaza City to speak with Mohammed Omer, an award-winning Palestinian journalist who has family in Rafah.

  • "Disgraceful," "Criminal Act": Israel Condemned as 10 Die in Another Strike on U.N. Shelter in Gaza

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    The United States and the United Nations have condemned Israel after an airstrike killed 10 people near the entrance of a United Nations school sheltering Palestinian civilians. The school was reportedly being used as a shelter for about 3,000 people. It was the second attack on a U.N. school in less than a week, and the seventh over the course of Israel’s offensive in Gaza. The coordinates of the school were reportedly communicated to the Israel Defense Force no fewer than 33 times, the last time just an hour before the shelling. Shortly after Sunday’s attack, the State Department issued a statement saying: "The United States is appalled by today’s disgraceful shelling outside an UNRWA school." U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon characterized the attack as "a moral outrage and a criminal act." We get an update from Christopher Gunness, spokesperson for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

  • Likely Solution for a Lasting Ceasefire was on the Table Before Israeli Assault & Over 1,800 Dead

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    Is a lasting ceasefire in Gaza possible —- and on what terms? Our guest Nathan Thrall has laid out a possible plan for a ceasefire in his new article in the London Review of Books, "Hamas’s Chances." Thrall writes: "The obvious solution is to let the new Palestinian government return to Gaza and reconstruct it. Israel can claim it is weakening Hamas by strengthening its enemies. Hamas can claim it won the recognition of the new government and a significant lifting of the blockade. This solution would of course have been available to Israel, the U.S., Egypt and the Palestinian Authority in the weeks and months before the war began, before so many lives were shattered." Speaking to us from Jerusalem, Thrall is a senior analyst at the International Crisis Group, covering Gaza, Israel, Jordan and the West Bank. He also addresses Hamas’ accusation that Israel misled the world about the alleged capture of an Israeli soldier. On Friday, Israel said one of its soldiers, Lt. Hadar Goldin, had been captured near Rafah. His suspected abduction led to an Israeli offensive in Rafah that killed more than 100 people and the collapse of a U.S.— and U.N.-brokered ceasefire.

  • As Gaza Death Toll Tops 1,800, Dr. Mona El-Farra Mourns Loss of 9 Relatives in Israeli Strike

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    Early Friday morning, an Israeli airstrike on Khan Younis in southern Gaza killed nine members of the El-Farra family, including five children. The house was apparently hit by a rocket, causing the family and their neighbors to run onto the streets. Another rocket or missile reportedly struck the household’s members as they were fleeing. The El-Farra family are relatives of the prominent Palestinian physician Dr. Mona El-Farra, the health chair of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society of the Gaza Strip. She is also the director of Gaza projects for the Middle East Children’s Alliance. We speak to El-Farra and her niece, Laila El-Haddad, who testified about the massacre during a congressional briefing on Friday.