Israel has leveled a 12-story apartment building and a seven-story office building as it continues its bombardment of Gaza. According to Agence France-Presse, more than 100 Palestinians have been killed since Israel resumed airstrikes last week. On Saturday and Sunday, Palestinian medics said at least 22 people were killed, including a one-year-old girl and a mother and three children from the same family. Several Palestinians have been killed today, including a three-year-old boy. On Friday, a four-year-old Israeli boy was killed by a mortar near the Gaza border, becoming the first Israeli child killed in the nearly seven-week conflict. About 500 Palestinian children have been killed over the same period. In the occupied West Bank, a 14-year-old boy who was shot Friday during a protest against the Gaza assault has died from his wounds. On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to continue the airstrikes.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “Hamas will pay and pay heavily for its crimes. I call on the inhabitants of Gaza to evacuate immediately every site from which Hamas is carrying out terrorist activity. Every one of these places is a target for us.”
There has been talk today of a possible breakthrough that could lead to the resumption of talks between Israel and Hamas over another ceasefire, but nothing has been formally announced. Over the weekend, Hamas said it supports the push to bring the conflict before the International Criminal Court, a move that could expose both Hamas and Israel to probes into possible war crimes. Hamas official Mushir al-Masri said Israel has more to fear than Hamas does.
Mushir al-Masri: “There is nothing to fear. The Palestinian factions are leading a legitimate resistance in keeping with all international laws and standards. All the nations resisted occupation. We are in a state of self-defense.”
More than 300 people affected by the Nazi Holocaust have published a letter condemning “the ongoing genocide of Palestinian people.” The signatories include 40 Jewish Holocaust survivors, as well as descendants of both survivors and victims. In their letter published in Saturday’s New York Times, they condemned the United States for its financial support of Israel, writing, “Genocide begins with the silence of the world.”
In Washington state, protesters converged on the Port of Tacoma Saturday in a bid to block the unloading of an Israeli cargo ship in protest of the Israeli assault on Gaza. One person was arrested. The “Block the Boat” action in Tacoma followed a similar campaign at the Port of Oakland in California. Among those attending the protest in Tacoma was Cindy Corrie, whose daughter, Rachel Corrie, was crushed to death in Gaza by an Israeli army bulldozer March 16, 2003, while trying to protect a Palestinian home from demolition.
Cindy Corrie: “We feel like this is a really important step to raise our voices to challenge occupation, to challenge the siege of Gaza, and to challenge all the violence that’s happening in the Middle East.”
Iran claims to have shot down an Israeli spy drone near the Natanz nuclear enrichment site. In the past, Israel has threatened to attack Iranian nuclear sites, accusing Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Iran is in ongoing talks with six countries, including the United States, over its nuclear program, which it insists is peaceful.
Michael Brown will be remembered today at a funeral in St. Louis, Missouri. His father, Michael Brown Sr., has requested a day of silence and peace after two weeks of nightly protests in Ferguson over the police killing of his 18-year-old son. The death of the unarmed black teenager by a white police officer has sparked a national conversation about race.
In New York City on Saturday, thousands marched in Staten Island to protest the police chokehold death of Eric Garner. The African-American father of six died after police wrestled him to the ground and pinned him down. He was accused of selling loose cigarettes. His death has fueled the national debate about police use of excessive force and the New York City Police Department policy of cracking down on low-level offenses. We’ll have more from the march and from Ferguson later in the broadcast.
A U.S. journalist held for nearly two years by an al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria has been released. The release of Peter Theo Curtis came less than a week after the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley by the Islamic State in Syria. The Obama administration has denied paying any ransom for Curtis’s release, which was reportedly brokered by Qatar.
In northeast Syria, militants from the Islamic State have stormed an air base and captured it from government forces. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 346 Islamic State fighters and more than 170 members of government forces have died since Tuesday in the fight over Tabqa base. The Obama administration meanwhile is considering expanding its airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq to include targets inside Syria. We’ll have more on Syria and Iraq with Vijay Prashad after headlines.
Islamist militants in Libya say they have solidified control of the capital Tripoli after taking over the main airport and ousting rival militias. Libya is facing its worst violence since the U.S.-backed ouster of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The airport had already been closed for more than a month due to the fighting.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo has confirmed an outbreak of Ebola, which has killed at least 13 people. The country’s health minister said the outbreak was not linked to the one impacting four countries in West Africa. That outbreak has killed more than 1,400 people, which the World Health Organization acknowledges is an underestimate. An epidemiology expert sent by the WHO to Sierra Leone has contracted Ebola there, as has a British nurse who has been transported back to London. Sierra Leone has made harboring Ebola victims a crime punishable by up to two years in prison.
In California, the San Francisco Bay Area has been rocked by its strongest earthquake in 25 years. The 6.0-magnitude quake hit just south of Napa in wine country early Sunday, destroying homes, bursting water mains and gas lines and sending wine bottles hurtling to the ground. More than 120 people were injured. Economic losses could total $1 billion.
Kentucky senator, and possible Republican presidential candidate, Rand Paul has criticized Hillary Clinton for her stance on war. Clinton voted for the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq and more recently criticized President Obama for not acting more quickly to arm rebels in Syria. Speaking on NBC’s Meet the Press, Paul said voters might reject Clinton if she is chosen as the next Democratic nominee for president.
Senator Rand Paul: “I think that’s what scares the Democrats the most, is that in a general election, were I to run, there’s going to be a lot of independents and even some Democrats who say, 'You know what? We are tired of war. We're worried that Hillary Clinton will get us involved in another Middle Eastern war, because she’s so gung-ho.’ If you want to see a transformational election in our country, let the Democrats put forward a war hawk like Hillary Clinton, and you’ll see a transformation like you’ve never seen.”