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HeadlinesApril 05, 2024

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Israel Says It Will Allow Aid in Gaza After U.S. Warns of Possible “Policy Change”

Apr 05, 2024

Israel says it will open Gaza aid routes, including the northern Erez border crossing, after President Biden called for an “immediate ceasefire” in Gaza in a phone call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Thursday. Biden also reportedly told Netanyahu future U.S. policy will be determined based on Israel’s actions to address the spiraling humanitarian disaster. Secretary of State Antony Blinken echoed the remarks as he spoke from the NATO headquarters in Brussels.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken: “And with regard to our policy in Gaza, look, I’ll just say this: If we don’t see the changes that we need to see, there will be changes in our own policy.”

It’s the most direct public warnings issued by the U.S. against Israel but were not accompanied by any concrete action to prevent Israel from carrying out more killings. The confirmed death toll in Gaza has topped 33,000 — over 14,000 of those children. Thousands of others are unaccounted for.

Biden Continues to Funnel Arms to Israel Despite Killing of Aid Workers, Warning to Netanyahu

Apr 05, 2024

The Washington Post reports the Biden administration on Monday approved the transfer of thousands more bombs to Israel — the same day Israeli airstrikes in Gaza killed seven aid workers with the World Central Kitchen, including a U.S. citizen. Earlier today, Israel released its report on the killing, saying the attack was a “serious violation” of military procedures, and blamed it on “mistaken identification” of the vehicles. The World Central Kitchen had coordinated with Israeli military officials and received clearance to travel on the route where it was attacked in its clearly marked ”WCK” vehicles. It’s demanding an independent investigation.

New Video Shows Israeli Military Killing Innocent Gazan Walking with Airdropped Aid Package

Apr 05, 2024

Another video has emerged appearing to show Israeli forces shooting an unarmed Palestinian as he attempted to collect aid. The footage, aired on Al Jazeera, shows people retrieving airdropped aid packages in northern Gaza. One man is then singled out and shot as he was walking with an aid package. His lifeless body is then left to a pair of dogs.


Euro-Med Says Israel Killed 563 People Around Aid Sites; Palestine Red Crescent Says 15 Staff Killed

Apr 05, 2024

The human rights monitor Euro-Med released a report this week that found Israel killed 563 Palestinians and injured over 1,500 as the IDF targeted distribution centers, workers, and civilians waiting for aid. The Palestine Red Crescent Society called for immediate action to halt the bloodshed.

Nebal Farsakh: “Fifteen members of our teams were killed since the beginning of the war, those dedicated heroes who lost their lives in service to others. We mourn the loss of our colleagues, our friends and our loved ones. We cannot wait any longer. Civilians, humanitarians and medical personnel must be protected and respected. The international community must take action now to end the suffering in Gaza.”

“Kill Them, But Nicely”: Gazans Condemn U.S. Hypocrisy as Israeli Bombs and Missiles Rain Down

Apr 05, 2024

Israeli airstrikes continue in Rafah, killing at least two children yesterday. Following the attack, survivors searched the rubble for signs of life.

Nahedh Abu al-Rous: “If the world believes that what is happening in the Gaza Strip is because of what happened on October 7th, then this is a delusion, a great delusion. What happened indicates that there are significant plans that were put in place for the Gaza Strip. And the proof is that it is not possible that plans for displacement and starvation can occur overnight. America is providing some aid to us and giving to Israel military aid. They provide humanitarian aid to us and then provide military aid to them. It is like they are saying, 'Kill them, but nicely.'”

HRW Says Israel’s Oct. 31 Attack on 6-Story Apartment Building a Likely War Crime

Apr 05, 2024

A new Human Rights Watch report finds an October 31 Israeli airstrike on a six-story apartment building in central Gaza is an apparent war crime. HRW released this video accompanying their findings.

Narrator: “Without warning, four munitions struck the building in the space of 10 seconds. The airstrike demolished the building and killed at least 106 people, including 54 children. Human Rights Watch’s research found no apparent military target in or near the building. The airstrike violated the laws of war and is an apparent war crime.”

Human Rights Watch also urged Israel’s allies, including the U.S. and European nations, to suspend arms transfers to Israel and back the International Criminal Court’s investigation into likely war crimes. This comes as, earlier today, the U.N. Human Rights Council adopted a resolution calling for Israel to be held accountable for possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in Gaza.

“We Are All Complicit”: Israeli Doctor Details Amputations, Inhumane Treatment of Gazan Detainees

Apr 05, 2024

A doctor at an Israeli field hospital for detained Gazans said in a letter to government officials, “We are all complicit in breaking the law,” as they described the horrific conditions for Palestinian patients. The doctor said, “Just this week, two prisoners had their legs amputated due to handcuff injuries, which unfortunately is a routine event.” The doctor also said patients at the Negev desert facility are fed through straws, forced to defecate in diapers and held in constant restraints.

Israeli Forces Fire Tear Gas on Worshipers at Al-Aqsa on Muslim Holy Day

Apr 05, 2024

In occupied East Jerusalem, Israeli police fired tear gas to disperse worshipers after dawn prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound earlier today, the last Friday of Ramadan. Israeli authorities have been restricting access to the holy site for Palestinians throughout Ramadan. Today also marks “Al-Quds Day,” an annual event to express solidarity with Palestinians and opposition to Israeli occupation. Peaceful protests and other actions are taking place around the world, including in Pakistan, Yemen, Jordan and the occupied West Bank.

Israel Escalates Threats Against Iran After Deadly Attack on Iranian Consulate in Syria

Apr 05, 2024

The Israeli military has halted all leave for its combat soldiers and drafted reservists amid a possible escalation with Iran. Tehran has vowed to retaliate after Israel bombed the Iranian Consulate in Damascus, Syria, on Monday, killing at least seven Iranian officers, including three generals. Israel is also blocking GPS across parts of the country to disrupt missiles and drones. On Thursday, Netanyahu further escalated threats against Iran.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “We will know how to defend ourselves, and we will act according to the simple principle that whoever hurts us or plans to hurt us, we will hurt them.”

On Wednesday, the U.S., along with the U.K. and France, opposed a Russian-drafted U.N. Security Council statement condemning the attack in Syria.

Meanwhile, the leader of the Houthi movement said 37 people have been killed in U.S. and U.K. strikes on Yemen since the start of the war. The two countries have launched over 400 attacks on Yemen, despite President Biden admitting they would not resolve the issue of Houthi forces targeting ships in the Red Sea to disrupt Israeli-linked trade.

“No Business as Usual While Gaza Is Destroyed”: Activists Blockade Lockheed Martin Facility in NorCal

Apr 05, 2024

In California, activists blocked all entrances to Lockheed Martin’s research campus in Sunnyvale, laying down in the rain to prevent employees from entering. Lockheed Martin is the largest arms manufacturer and supplies Israel with F-35s, F-16s, Hellfire missiles and other weapons used against Palestinians. At one point, a Lockheed Martin employee was filmed driving his car through a line of activists, nearly running them over, before lashing out and yelling, “Somebody’s gonna die,” while waving a knife. This is Christina Liu, an activist from the group Bay Area Palestine Solidarity.

Christina Liu: “We must stop arming Israel. There is no business as usual while Gaza is destroyed. Lockheed Martin enables another massacre every day in pursuit of endless military expansion.”

Columbia Suspends 6 Students Amid Crackdown on Palestinian Solidarity Activism

Apr 05, 2024

Here in New York, the Columbia chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine says Columbia suspended six students with no due process, giving them just 24 hours to leave university housing before evicting them. The suspensions are part of an investigation into a Palestine solidarity event and come as part of a wider crackdown on student activism for Palestinian rights.

Peruvian Congress Rejects Impeachment Attempt Against President Dina Boluarte

Apr 05, 2024

Peru’s Congress voted against advancing the impeachment process for President Dina Boluarte as she faces a corruption probe dubbed “Rolexgate.” Boluarte has been accused of illegally acquiring more than a dozen luxury watches and jewelry over the past three years. The deeply unpopular president came to power following the December 2022 ousting of Pedro Castillo from office. Since then, she has back-tracked on a pledge to hold early presidential elections, and oversaw a deadly crackdown on protests following Castillo’s ouster. Dozens of people were killed by security forces in what Amnesty International says may constitute extrajudicial killings.

Supporters of Death Row Prisoner Brian Dorsey Make Bid to Save His Life Ahead of Planned Execution

Apr 05, 2024

Judges, jurors and more than 70 current and former prison workers are calling for a halt to the scheduled execution next Tuesday of Missouri death row prisoner Brian Dorsey. One former prison officer who knew Dorsey wrote in The Kansas City Star, “From my perspective after decades in corrections, I do not hesitate to say that executing Brian Dorsey would be a pointless cruelty.” Dorsey was convicted of killing his cousin and her husband in 2006. His request for clemency is based on inadequate representation from court-appointed lawyers and the fact that he has turned his life around in prison while working as a barber. Missouri Governor Mike Parson could commute Dorsey’s sentence to life without parole.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma executed Michael Dewayne Smith Thursday in the first of 25 executions planned this year. This week Oklahoma Judge Gary Lumpkin told state execution schedulers to “suck it up” and “man up” after they requested more time between executions in order to reduce trauma on staff and the potential for errors.

Housing Activists Take Aim at Real Estate Board of New York for Blocking Good Cause Eviction Law

Apr 05, 2024

In New York, hundreds of housing justice advocates rallied outside the headquarters of the Real Estate Board of New York to demand it stop blocking the passage of “good cause” eviction legislation. Good cause eviction would protect tenants from huge rent hikes and retaliatory or discriminatory evictions. As protesters peacefully blocked the entrance of the Real Estate Board’s building, police started arresting activists. New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams spoke before he, too, was arrested.

Jumaane Williams: “The people of the city of New York, the people of the state deserve not to be evicted frivolously. They deserve to be able to go and say, 'Can you please repair my home?' without being evicted. They deserve rents that they can afford. The rent is too damn high. It’s been too damn high for many years.”

Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, Peace Activist & Advocate for Survivors of Church Sexual Abuse, Dies at 94

Apr 05, 2024

Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, a longtime leader in the U.S. Catholic peace and justice movement, has died at the age of 94 in Detroit. He helped found Pax Christi and Bread for the World and was a war tax resister. He was also a survivor of sexual abuse in the church who was forced to resign in 2007 after he spoke out publicly in favor of an Ohio bill to extend the statute of limitations for cases of sexual abuse by clergy. In 2013, Bishop Gumbleton spoke to Democracy Now! about his work with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP.

Bishop Thomas Gumbleton: “Well, what really opened my eyes was when a friend of mine — in fact, the person who started SNAP — came to me and asked me to intervene with the local bishop, because the priest who had abused her, and who had also abused other people that she was aware of, was still functioning. And I said, ’That’s impossible.’”

Amy Goodman: “You were the bishop of Detroit, and he was in Toledo.”

Bishop Thomas Gumbleton: “Well, I was an auxiliary bishop in Detroit. But I was a friend of Barbara Blaine, the founder of SNAP, from decades — for decades. And when she came to me and told me this, I said, 'Well, I'll go see the bishop, and I’ll talk to him, and I’m sure he’s not going to continue to keep this covered up.’ Well, I went to see him, and he assured me, ’I’ll do something about it. I’ll take care of it.’ So I took him at his word, but nothing ever happened. And so, that made me realize that some of the, well, best bishops around were not dealing with this issue the way it needed to be dealt with. I mean, it just was terribly wrong to allow a priest to continue to function in a situation where he could abuse other children. And it turned out he was still abusing other people. And so, that” —

Amy Goodman: “The priest was.”

Bishop Thomas Gumbleton: “Yes, and the bishop was allowing this to go on.”

That was Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, who passed away Thursday at the age of 94.

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