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High Commissioner for Human Rights condemns killings of civilians in Qana

Noting that Israel had warned the population of likely military action, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, underlined that while effective advance warning of attacks which may affect the civilian population must be given, this legal obligation does not absolve the parties to the conflict of their other obligations under international law regarding the protection of civilians. Arbour today said: “I strongly condemn the killing of dozens of civilians, among whom a very high proportion were children, resulting from the shelling by the Israeli Forces of a residential building in which civilians were sheltering in Qana, South Lebanon, on 30 July. 

Two Israeli tank rounds hit UNIFIL position in Hula

According to UNIFIL reports, there were no incidents of rocket firing or aerial bombardment in the UNIFIL area of operations since 4am this morning, except in the area of At Tayyabah in the eastern sector, where two air strikes were reported around 10am. It seems that IDF forces maintain their presence in two locations inside Lebanese territory, in the general area of Marun Al Ras in the central sector, and the general area of Kafr Kila in the eastern sector. It was reported that some of the IDF forces withdrew from the area of Marun Al Ras yesterday evening. The situation in these areas is relatively quiet this morning, and there are no reports of serious fighting. 

Addressing Security Council, Lebanese minister urges steps to end violence

Addressing a meeting of the United Nations Security Council today, Lebanon’s acting Foreign Minister urged an immediate series of steps aimed at quelling the violence there, while Israel’s representative said his country was acting in self-defence and called for the authorities in Beirut to take control of their entire nation. Tarek Mitri decried the recent unabated attacks by Israel and asked for an international investigation into the “crime of Qana” where over 50 civilians were killed this weekend. “The spilled blood of the children in Qana deserves more, much more, than expressions of regret.” Israel should withdraw its troops behind the Blue Line and the displaced should return to their villages. 

Israel's war crimes continue unhindered in Lebanon and Gaza

Israel’s latest assault on Lebanon was Sunday morning’s massacre in Qana which killed more than 60 civilians, the majority of whom were children. With this massacre, Israel’s war on Lebanon has entered a new phase. This war crime is also testament to the UN Security Council’s failure to impose an immediate ceasefire to ensure the protection of civilians and to halt war actions. Furthermore, if following the massacre all that is made is a verbal condemnation, then Israel can only interpret that as being a green light to assault more civilians and civilian infrastructure. 

Bay Area Queers: World Pride Should be Cancelled

QUIT! (Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism) condemns the decision by Jerusalem Open House and other promoters of World Pride Jerusalem to go ahead with the planned week of international pride events scheduled for August 6-12, despite Israel’s ongoing assault on civilian communities in Lebanon and Gaza. Israel, which killed 4 UN workers in Lebanon on July 26, has been accused by Human Rights Watch of using cluster bombs in civilian areas, in violation of international law. QUIT!, which is part of the newly formed “Break the Siege Coalition” which organized last Thursday’s large demonstration in San Francisco, calls for all LGBT people in the United States to protest our government’s complicity in the Israeli siege. 

Mother and Two Children Killed in Israeli Attack on Gaza

15-year-old Somaia Okal ignored her sister Maria as she asked her to leave the swing for her, while their mother Asma, 30, played with her 8-month-old infant Shahd, in Jabalia, north of Gaza. This Wednesday, an Israeli shell hit their house and put an end to the laughing and chatter of the innocent Maria and Shahd. The mother was also killed, and Somaia critically wounded in the head; the 5-year-old, Amani, was wounded in the foot. Samir Okal, 35, a father of seven, did not expect that the Israeli tanks will hit his house as he lives in the “serene” neighbourhood of Abd Rabbu, which enjoys a reputation for “safety.” 

Shot Ma'an photographer Mohammad Az Zanoun leaves hospital after three weeks of treatment

Ma’an news agency photographer Mohammad Az Zanoun was discharged on Sunday from the the Soroka Israeli hospital where he had been undergoing treatment for the last three weeks. Mohammad was injured by Israeli shrapnel and shot in the stomach while covering the Israeli aggression and incursion of the Ash Sheja’iyya neighborhood in Gaza three weeks ago. He was first taken to the Ash Shifa’a hospital in Gaza and then to the Israeli hospital at Ma’an’s expense. He was met at Erez crossing into Gaza by a number of his colleagues from Ma’an, friends and family. 

Statement of Concern for the Public Health Situation in Gaza

A statement by over eighty Canadian health professionals, including a number of prominent medical advocates for human rights and peace, expresses deep concern over the silence of the Canadian Government and the Canadian media about the humanitarian disaster in Gaza. The group is calling on the Canadian government and the media to truthfully recognize and report the humanitarian situation and to respond with compassion and effective help. The statement calls on the Canadian government to immediately restore aid to the Palestinian government to ensure that water, food, medicine and the necessities of life are immediately available and accessible in Gaza. 

"We suffer together, we leave together"

After two weeks of waiting with my parents and brother at the Egyptian border crossing, I returned home to Rafah, Gaza from a trip. We waited because the Israelis didn’t allow us to cross the border. We spent two days outside the border terminal in Egypt and 12 days inside the border terminal. 4,000 Palestinians waited like this, some for three weeks. Sometimes we got food and water, sometimes not. I don’t remember if I really slept or not during twelve days inside the terminal. I didn’t eat a lot because really I didn’t want to go to the bathroom. It wasn’t a bathroom actually - four walls and a piece of plastic for the door. Nine Palestinians died there. 

Katyusha rockets don't discriminate, but Israel does

In response to Israeli attacks in Lebanon, Hezbollah has launched daily rocket strikes at Israel. On Wednesday, July 19, a Katyusha rocket struck the Arab city of Nazareth, killing two brothers, Mahmoud and Rabie Talussi, ages 4 and 7. This was not the first time a Palestinian Arab town had been hit by a Katyusha rocket. Immediately following the deaths, the Israeli daily Ha’aretz initially reported that two ‘Israeli’s’ had been killed, as opposed to two ‘Israeli Arabs’. Referring to Palestinians living within Israel as ‘Israelis’ may not seem out of the ordinary to most people; however, the mainstream has rarely ever done so. The media, state officials, and the average Israeli citizen only refer to Palestinians within Israel as ‘Israeli Arabs’.