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HeadlinesOctober 26, 2023

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Israeli Tanks Enter Northern Gaza Strip as Palestinian Death Toll Passes 7,000 

Oct 26, 2023

Israeli tanks invaded the northern Gaza Strip overnight in what military leaders are calling a “targeted” raid ahead of a much larger ground invasion. The incursion comes as Israel continues to bombard the whole of the Gaza Strip for a 20th consecutive day by air, land and sea. The Palestinian death toll has soared to more than 7,000, including over 2,900 children.

The U.N.’s refugee agency for Palestinians, UNRWA, says it has been sharing its own dwindling supplies of fuel to keep life-saving hospital equipment running and aid deliveries moving. An UNRWA spokesperson asked the Associated Press, “Do we give for the incubators or the bakeries? It is an excruciating decision.”

On Wednesday, Oxfam accused Israel of intentionally starving Gaza’s 2.3 million people. Oxfam’s regional Middle East director said, “The situation is nothing short of horrific — where is humanity? Millions of civilians are being collectively punished in full view of the world, there can be no justification for using starvation as a weapon of war.”

Al Jazeera Gaza Bureau Chief Loses Wife, Daughter, Son and Grandson to Israeli Airstrike 

Oct 26, 2023

In a live broadcast on Al Jazeera Arabic Wednesday, Gaza bureau chief Wael Dahdouh learned that his wife, daughter and son had been killed in an Israeli airstrike. Dahdouh’s grandson, a toddler, was pronounced dead just hours later. All of them were killed by a missile that flattened a home where the family had been sheltering from Israel’s around-the-clock bombardment. Another of Dahdouh’s sons was seriously injured with a head wound. The family had fled Israel’s bombardment of their neighborhood in the north to seek shelter in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza — heeding Israel’s order to 1.1 million Palestinians to evacuate southward. Dahdouh was interviewed live on Al Jazeera shortly after learning the news.

Reporter: “Do you think that your coverage has irked and angered the army of the occupation so that they could target your family?”

Wael Dahdouh: “Unfortunately, everything is possible these days. All red lines have been crossed by the occupation army. And this is very probable.”

The attack came as Axios reported Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently asked Qatar’s prime minister to “tone down” Al Jazeera’s coverage of Israel’s war on Gaza. Al Jazeera is funded by Qatar and based in Doha.

Hamas Rocket Fire Wounds Six in Israel

Oct 26, 2023

Hamas intensified a barrage of rocket attacks on central and southern Israel overnight. Israeli officials say most of the rockets fired from Gaza were intercepted by Israel’s “Iron Dome” missile defense system, though at least six people were wounded.

U.N. Security Council Fails to Pass Resolution to End Deadly Israeli Assault on Gaza

Oct 26, 2023

Two more attempts at the U.N. Security Council to halt Israel’s assault on Gaza both failed Wednesday. A U.S. resolution called for a “pause” in violence to allow for aid to be delivered; Russia and China vetoed the proposal. A competing Russian resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire also failed to pass, with the U.S. and U.K. vetoing it. Members of the Security Council are drafting a new resolution, while the 193-member U.N. General Assembly will vote Friday on a draft ceasefire resolution. There are no vetoes in the General Assembly, though resolutions are nonbinding.

Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., White House spokesperson John Kirby acknowledged more innocent people will be killed.

John Kirby: “This is war. It is combat. It is bloody, it is ugly, and it’s going to be messy. And innocent civilians are going to be hurt, going forward.”

House Elects GOP Hard-Liner Mike Johnson as Speaker, Ending Weekslong Legislative Standstill

Oct 26, 2023

After more than three weeks without a leader, the House of Representatives voted 220 to 209 Wednesday to elect hard-right conservative Mike Johnson as speaker. All House Republicans voted for Johnson. The Louisiana congressmember was closely involved in Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, including voting against the certification of election results and leading the amicus brief in support of a Texas lawsuit that attempted to toss out results in four swing states. Johnson is a Christian fundamentalist who opposes abortion and LGBTQ+ rights. He has proposed trillions of dollars in cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. He spoke Tuesday after being sworn in.

Speaker Mike Johnson: “I believe that Scripture, the Bible is very clear that God is the one that raises up those in authority. He raised up each of you, all of us. And I believe that God has ordained and allowed each one of us to be brought here for this specific moment in this time.”

​​In its first legislative business after a three-week standstill, the House overwhelmingly approved a resolution backing Israel and condemning Hamas. The vote was 412 to 10.

“Not in Our Name”: Jewish American Protesters Occupy Lawmakers’ Offices Demanding Gaza Ceasefire

Oct 26, 2023

As the U.S. refuses to call for a Gaza ceasefire, protests continue on Capitol Hill to put pressure on lawmakers. Dozens of American Jewish activists with the group IfNotNow were arrested as they held sit-ins at the offices of House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Democratic Whip Katherine Clark and Vermont independent Senator Bernie Sanders.

Protester: “How many more Palestinians have to be killed until we call for a ceasefire? How many more?”

Protesters: [singing] “Ceasefire now. Ceasefire now. Ceasefire now.” 

Activists sang “Ceasefire now!” “Not in our name!” and “No genocide!” as U.S. Capitol police placed them in plastic handcuffs. Senator Sanders said Wednesday he supports a “humanitarian pause” in Gaza, but did not say he supports a ceasefire, as activists are demanding.

Gunman Kills 18 in Maine; Suspect Is Army Reservist and Weapons Trainer

Oct 26, 2023

In Maine, a manhunt is underway for a man wielding a high-powered military-style assault rifle who opened fire on a bowling alley and a bar in the city of Lewiston Wednesday, killing 18 people and wounding 13 others. Maine’s public safety commissioner has ordered residents to shelter in place with their doors locked.

Mike Sauschuck: “And police are currently searching for a Robert R. Card, 4/4 of 1983, of Bowdoin. Card is considered armed and dangerous. He is a person of interest, however, and that’s what we’ll label him at, moving forward, until that changes. If people see him, they should not approach Card or make contact with him in any way.”

Card is an officer in the Army Reserves and a trained firearms instructor. Police say he recently reported hearing voices and threatened to “shoot up” a National Guard base. He was committed to a mental health facility for two weeks over the summer. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 565 mass shootings across the United States this year. 

Judge Reinstates Charges Against Ex-Officer Who Killed Eddie Irizarry 

Oct 26, 2023

In Philadelphia, a judge reinstated all charges, including murder, against former police officer Mark Dial, who shot and killed Eddie Irizarry inside his car during a traffic stop in August. Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner reissued the criminal complaint against Dial after another judge dismissed the case last month. Bodycam footage shows the officer shooting Irizarry six times at close range even though he did not appear to pose any threat.

UAW Reaches Tentative Deal with Ford After 6 Weeks on Strike

Oct 26, 2023

The United Auto Workers has reached a tentative deal with Ford, six weeks into its historic strike against the Big Three automakers. UAW President Shawn Fain announced the breakthrough Wednesday evening.

Shawn Fain: “For months we’ve said that record profits mean record contracts. And, UAW family, our stand-up strike has delivered.”

The agreement, which still needs to be approved by rank-and-file union members, includes pay hikes totaling over 33%, when cost-of-living adjustments are factored in. It also includes wins on pensions and job security, and could serve as a blueprint for the ongoing strikes at GM and Stellantis.

White Nationalist Arrested and Charged in Hit-and-Run Killing of Mika Westwolf

Oct 26, 2023

In Montana, a white nationalist has been charged with vehicular homicide in the March hit-and-run killing of Mika Westwolf, a 22-year-old woman and member of the Blackfeet Tribe. Twenty-eight-year-old Sunny White, whose children are named Aryan and Nation, also faces drug possession and child endangerment charges. Her children were reportedly in the car at the time of the crash. White was released from jail on Sunday after she posted bond. Speaking to Democracy Now!, Mika Westwolf’s mother, Carissa Heavy Runner, called the arrest a “bittersweet moment” for the family and for the campaign for missing and murdered Indigenous women — after prosecutors took months to bring charges.

Carissa Heavy Runner: “We just want the system to administer justice impartially, without favor or bias, and that race is not a factor in following the rule of law. People who commit crimes need to be punished in accordance with the laws they have broken. In this case, this person killed my daughter. She was only 22 years old, and she was taken away too soon.”

Click here to see our coverage of Mika Westwolf’s killing.

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