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Cartoon: Defensible Borders

The quest for defensible borders has been an axiom of Israeli governments since 1948. Defensible borders for Israel has been explicitly backed by Washington since the Reagan administration. The complete demilitarization of all countries around Israel and around those countries as well will not be enough. Defensible borders in the end would require Israel to extend its borders around the continents. 

Najdeh closes Lebanon nursery after Israeli attack on Ein Hilweh camp

A Christian Aid partner in Lebanon has suspended work in a nursery it runs for Palestinian refugees after an Israeli missile attack last night. According to media reports, Lebanese and Palestinian officials said an Israeli gunship shelled the Ein el-Hilweh camp on the outskirts of the town of Sidon, south of the capital Beirut, killing at least one person. The Israeli military said the attack was an air strike that targeted a house in the camp used by Hezbollah guerrillas. Ein el-Hilweh is the largest of Lebanon’s 12 Palestinian refugee camps and is home to about 75,000 Palestinian refugees and their descendants who were displaced by the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. 

OCHA: 1,020 Lebanese dead; 3,508 injured; 960,000 displaced

The Government of Lebanese’s (GoL) Government Higher Relief Committee (HRC) have reported that 1,020 people, 192 deaths more than at the same time last week, have been killed and 3,508 injured in the conflict to date. Information on the general displaced population from the HRC essentially remains static (960,000 displaced overall with some 700,000 still located in Lebanon). In the South, local authorities have estimated that 130,000 remain, including residents and IDPs in the Tyre area; 40,000 Palestinians in the Tyre refugee camp; and another 25,000 people along the border/Blue Line. 

'Refuseniks' say they won't attack civilians

Called up to serve in the conflict against Hezbollah, reserve soldier Israeli Tom Mehagel decided he couldn’t fight. “I don’t believe that Hezbollah has any goal but destroying Israel,” the artillery staff sergeant told IRIN. “But we shouldn’t use our force against civilians.” Mehagel is one of a small group of Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) reservists who have refused to fight against Hezbollah in Lebanon because they don’t think it is right. Soldiers in Israel who refuse to fight are known as ‘refuseniks’. Using disproportionate force, including attacks against civilians, is a violation of international humanitarian law. 

Families return to Tyre amid ongoing bombardments

As explosions from an Israeli bombardment blew open the doors of her apartment and sent her two terrified daughters scrambling into her arms, Fatima Abbas explained why she had moved back home to Tyre in south Lebanon from the relative safety of the mountains near Sidon. “I wanted to come back from the first day we arrived in Ketermaya,” said the young mother, explaining her decision to leave the mountain town 20km northeast of Sidon, to which she had fled on the first day of the war between Israel and the armed wing of Lebanese political party Hezbollah. 

Shelters at maximum capacity in Sidon, charity says

Relief workers are struggling to cater to the needs of increasing numbers of displaced people arriving in Sidon, a port city 40km south of Beirut. “People arrive here with only the clothes on their backs,” said Sheikh Khalil al-Solh, a member of local charity group The Islamic Gathering. “They have no money, no jobs and when they arrive they do not even have mats to sleep on. We’ve been able to absorb the displaced since the beginning of the calamity, but the moment Sidon is hit, there will be a catastrophe.” According to the Lebanese Higher Relief Council, a government body set up specifically to manage relief efforts during this conflict, some 50,000 displaced people have fled to Sidon. 

It was the rescuer who separated them

When I went home last night, I rushed to Kinda’s bed as usual. I pulled her arm and kissed her hand. For a second, I thought that her arm remained in my hand. Her small white arm left her shoulder and was in my hand. Suddenly she became parts and bits. Her foot was at one end of the bed, her leg was at the other. Parts and bits. My baby is nothing but parts and bits. Now, today, she is still in one piece. What is it that will prevent them from tearing her apart? What is it I can do to prevent them from tearing her apart? Baby Waad has in her mother’s arms. She stayed there when the building fell on them. It was the rescuer who separated them. 

Electronic Lebanon Public Service Announcement (Broadband Video)

In the weeks after Israel launched its attack on Lebanon, a team of New York-based artists, designers, and multimedia producers converged on a warehouse location in Brooklyn to create a Public Service Announcement for Electronic Lebanon. The two minute PSA is intended for wide distribution and public viewing. A laptop version of the PSA, for projection, is also available for immediate download. Project it at events, street actions, in schools and other places in your community. Activists and others seeking broadcast-quality versions of the PSA are asked to contact EI

The situation in the Gaza Strip remains "extremely volatile" - Red Cross

The situation in the Gaza Strip remains extremely volatile, with the ongoing closure of the territory (including Rafah terminal), continued military operations and violent confrontations keeping the level of tension high. In this bleak and unpredictable environment, the ICRC is still widely viewed as a neutral humanitarian agency by beneficiaries and contacts and, often, as the only glimmer of hope. In the early hours of 3 August, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched a new incursion into the Shoka area (south-east of Rafah), which lasted for three days. Heavy shooting and shelling reportedly led to 17 deaths and injured 43 persons in this period. 

Decrying civilian deaths in Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Annan urges parties to talk

Cautioning that the media’s focus on Lebanon should not detract attention from the need to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today spoke out against the killing of civilians on both sides, noting that Israeli attacks have caused hundreds of deaths, and called for the parties to resume dialogue. “The Secretary-General is greatly concerned that the tragic events in Lebanon and northern Israel should not distract from the urgent need to work towards a solution to the current crisis in the occupied Palestinian territory,” a spokesman for Mr. Annan said in a statement.