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HeadlinesDecember 29, 2023

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Israel Attacks Refugee Camps in Gaza as Palestinian Death Toll Tops 21,500

Dec 29, 2023

Another 187 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza over the past 24 hours as Israel continues to attack refugee camps and other areas across the Gaza Strip. Gaza health officials say the Israeli assault has killed more than 21,500 Palestinians over the past 12 weeks.

In central Gaza, Israeli attacks killed at least 35 Palestinians in the Nuseirat and Maghazi refugee camps. At least 20 more Palestinians died when Israel attacked a residential building near the Kuwaiti Hospital in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, which is overflowing with displaced Palestinians.

“Where Am I Supposed to Go?” Displaced Palestinian Girl Speaks Out After Israel Bombs Shelter in Rafah

Dec 29, 2023

One 13-year-old Palestinian girl named Nadin Abdullatif said Israel bombed the shelter in Rafah where she and her family were staying after their home in Gaza City was blown up and one of her brothers was killed.

Nadin Abdullatif: “Where am I supposed to go? Children were killed here. Twenty-six people were killed here. I’m terrified. I’m scared. And the thought of me being killed or my other brother being killed is just crossing my mind repeatedly. I already lost my older brother. I can’t lose my younger brother. I have no one left, no one to look up to. … You can clearly see that the houses are sticked together. So when they target one house, they’re targeting a whole block by this point. And it’s unfair. Why can’t we live normally? Why can’t we live a normal life? I mean, we’re children, and we’re people. Children were killed here. Imagine: children, babies.”

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Israel Says High Death Toll in Maghazi Camp Massacre Due to Wrong Bomb Being Dropped

Dec 29, 2023

In more news from Gaza, Israeli military officials have admitted it carried out a deadly strike on the Maghazi refugee camp on Christmas Eve that killed at least 70 Palestinians. The IDF said it “regrets the harm” caused to civilians and claimed that Israeli troops had used the wrong type of bomb. An Israeli official said, “The type of munition did not match the nature of the attack, causing extensive collateral damage which could have been avoided.”

Despite the admission, Israel continues to attack the Maghazi refugee camp. On Thursday, at least five people were killed when Israel bombed a U.N.-run girls’ school at the camp that was housing displaced Palestinians. According to UNRWA, the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, at least 308 people at U.N. shelters in Gaza have been killed so far. Another 1,100 have been injured.

U.N. Decries Israeli Military and Settler Attacks in Occupied West Bank

Dec 29, 2023

The United Nations is warning about increasing Israeli military and settler attacks in the occupied West Bank. According to the U.N., at least 300 Palestinians, including 79 children, have been killed in the West Bank since October 7. On Thursday, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk decried settler violence targeting Palestinians.

Volker Türk: “The dehumanization of Palestinians that characterizes many of the settlers’ actions is very disturbing and must cease immediately. … I call on Israel to take immediate, clear and effective steps to put an end to settler violence against the Palestinian population, to investigate all incidents of violence by settlers and Israeli security forces.”

Hundreds Rally in Tel Aviv in Largest Peace Rally Since October 7

Dec 29, 2023

In Tel Aviv, hundreds of people took part in Israel’s largest peace rally since Israel began attacking Gaza after the October 7 Hamas attack. Protesters called for an immediate ceasefire and the release of hostages still held in Gaza. This is Alon-Lee Green of the Jewish-Arab peace coalition Standing Together.

Alon-Lee Green: “We are here to say that the war and the way of wars has achieved nothing. The way of the right wing in Israel, of one war after the other, of only using military power to try and achieve some change in reality, have achieved only destruction and death and killing of innocent people. So we are here sounding a voice of a different path, a path of independence, of equality, of freedom for all, a path of Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.”

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Judith Weinstein Haggai, Israeli Grandmother with U.S. Citizenship, Confirmed Killed in Oct. 7 Attack

Dec 29, 2023

In other news from Israel, authorities have determined that an Israeli woman who was thought to have been taken hostage on October 7 was actually killed during the Hamas attack. The 70-year-old Judith Weinstein Haggai was a mother of four and grandmother of seven. She held Canadian and U.S. citizenship. She lived in Kibbutz Nir Oz with her husband Gadi Haggai, whose death was confirmed last week. He was a dual U.S.-Israeli national. Their bodies are believed to have been taken to Gaza.

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Netanyahu Cancels War Cabinet Meeting as Disagreements Remain on Future of Gaza

Dec 29, 2023

On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled a scheduled war cabinet meeting to discuss Israel’s plan for Gaza after the war ends over disagreements with Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who opposes proposals for the Palestinian Authority to help run Gaza.

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Maine Joins Colorado in Barring Trump from Ballot over Jan. 6 Insurrection

Dec 29, 2023

The state of Maine has joined Colorado in barring Donald Trump from the Republican primary ballot over his role in the January 6 insurrection. On Thursday, Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows issued a written decision saying the insurrection clause in the 14th Amendment makes the former president ineligible to run for public office again.

In her ruling, Bellows wrote, “I am mindful that no secretary of state has ever deprived a presidential candidate of ballot access based on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. I am also mindful, however, that no presidential candidate has ever before engaged in insurrection.”

Trump’s campaign has vowed to appeal the ruling. A campaign spokesperson described Bellows’s decision as “partisan election interference efforts” that were “a hostile assault on American democracy.”

The U.S. Supreme Court will likely have the final say on Trump’s ballot eligibility.

Last week, Colorado’s Supreme Court barred Trump from Colorado’s primary ballot, but Michigan’s Supreme Court has ruled he can stay on the Michigan ballot.

16 Killed in Ukraine as Russia Launches Wave of Missile & Drone Strikes on Cities

Dec 29, 2023

At least 16 people have been killed in Ukraine after Russia launched a massive wave of missile and drone attacks targeting the capital Kyiv and other cities, including Lviv in the west, Odesa and Zaporizhzhia in the south, and Dnipro and Kharkiv in the east. The Ukrainian military said it has “never seen so many locations targeted simultaneously.” The attacks come days after Ukraine struck a Russian warship in occupied Crimea.

Meanwhile, The New York Times is reporting that Russian President Vladimir Putin has been signaling for months through intermediaries that he is open to a ceasefire deal that would allow Russia to keep Ukrainian land it has seized during the war.

Justice Department Threatens to Sue Texas over New Immigration Law

Dec 29, 2023

The Justice Department is threatening to sue the state of Texas if it begins enforcing a new law empowering police to arrest anyone they suspect of entering the United States without authorization. The law was signed last week by Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott.

Meanwhile, CBS is reporting Border Patrol this month has taken into custody more than 225,000 migrants who attempted to cross the southern border outside of an official crossing — that’s the highest monthly total in the agency’s history.

Earlier this week, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in Mexico City as the Biden administration looks to further limit the number of asylum seekers arriving at the southern border.

Major Labor Union in Argentina Calls for National Strike to Protest Milei’s Shock Therapy Economic Plans

Dec 29, 2023

One of Argentina’s most powerful labor unions has called for a national strike next month to protest the shock therapy economic policies of Argentina’s new president, Javier Milei. The General Confederation of Labor called for the strike to take place on January 24.

Héctor Daer: “On January 24th, we are going to hold a strike, and we’ll mobilize to Congress to support those congressmembers who agree that this cannot happen in Argentina, because if they give all of the public power to a president for two years and he can renew it for another two years, we’ll be facing a situation where a president is going to have, during his entire mandate, the sum of public power, and the institutions will not be respected, and nothing will be respected.”

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