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Fear and loathing in Beirut

I live in a neighborhood that is largely supportive of the 14 March 2006 coalition, i.e., my neighbors tend to be critical of Hezbollah and its relation to Syria. The first reaction here, however, was very supportive of the Hezbollah operation two days ago. I first knew of the Hezb operation from screams of joy arising all around the neighborhood. The pharmacist with whom I have argued many times about Syria and the resistance was happy “The IDF deserves it! Is it right what they are doing to the Palestinians in Gaza? Let them take it! Now three soldiers — what are they going to do?”. Then he said: “God bless us though, what will Israel do now? They won’t allow for such an operation; they will go crazy!” 

"But it's Israel!" Fox News crew shot at by Israeli troops

FOX News reporter David Lee Miller was shot at by Israeli troops while reporting from Gaza. The exchange, shown in this clip, between the anchors and the correspondents on the ground is very telling of the ostrich mentality at FOX News. Two of the three anchors, thousands of miles away from the incident, attempt to excuse Israel: “If you’re somebody and you’re a long ways away and you just see something and you don’t know who it is, sometimes you just start shooting”. One is utterly incredulous: “Really?” After exiting the scene with his crew, the journalist, David Lee Miller, had time to put together that the shots originated from the Israeli position several hundred yards away. 

Joint statement on humanitarian situation in Palestinian territory

Since the Hamas victory in the Palestinian parliamentary elections in January, funding from a number of western donors has been suspended, pending the new Palestinian Authority (PA) acceding to Quartet principles related to non-violence, recognition of Israel and acceptance of previous agreements. Heavy damage to the Palestinian civilian infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, including the destruction of the Gaza power station on 28 June, has greatly reduced the supply of electricity and water to Gazan households. Humanitarian organisations are concerned of potential outbreaks of communicable diseases in Gaza, one of the most densely-populated areas in the world. 

Israel and Lebanon: ICRC gravely concerned about the plight of civilians caught up in hostilities

The ICRC is following the military developments in Lebanon and northern Israel with great concern, as these events are having a serious impact on civilians. According to the latest reports, almost 50 civilians have been killed inside Lebanon as a result of bombing and rocket attacks. Military action in the south of the country has caused extensive damage to infrastructure, including roads and major bridges. The civilian airport in Beirut was bombed by the Israeli Air Force on the morning of 13 July. The ICRC is also alarmed by reports that several civilians were killed and dozens of people were injured when Hezbollah fired rockets into cities in northern Israel. 

What are they fighting for?

Whatever may be the fate of the captive soldier Gilad Shalit, the Israeli army’s war in Gaza is not about him. As senior security analyst Alex Fishman widely reported, the army was preparing for an attack months earlier and was constantly pushing for it, with the goal of destroying the Hamas infrastructure and its government. The army initiated an escalation on 8 June when it assassinated Abu Samhadana, a senior appointee of the Hamas government, and intensified its shelling of civilians in the Gaza Strip. The capture of the soldier released the safety-catch, and the operation began on 28 June. 

Seven journalists and media workers injured in Lebanon

Voicing concern about attacks on journalists in Lebanon in the past 48 hours and the lack of resources being deployed to protect them, Reporters Without Borders has called on the Israeli authorities to investigate the circumstances in which three journalists with the Lebanese television station New TV were injured on 12 July 2006. Reporter Bassel Al-Aridi, cameraman Abd Khayyat and assistant cameraman Ziad Sarwan were injured when their vehicle was hit by shots fired from an Israeli helicopter as they crossed a bridge in the south of the country, where they had gone to cover the fighting. This took place during an Israeli air raid aimed at cutting lines of communication and destroying bridges. 

Human Rights Watch: "Do Not Attack Civilians"

Hizballah and Israel must not under any circumstances attack civilians in Israel and Lebanon, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch called on all sides to scrupulously respect the absolute prohibition against targeting civilians or carrying out attacks that indiscriminately harm civilians. “Hizballah and Israel must make protecting civilians the priority, and direct attacks only at military targets,” said Joe Stork, deputy director of the Middle East and North Africa division at Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch said that attacks on civilians, or acts to intimidate civilians, clearly violate international humanitarian law, and may constitute war crimes, even if carried out in reprisal for attacks by an adversary on one’s own civilians. 

ICRC gravely concerned about humanitarian situation in Gaza

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is alarmed about the deteriorating situation in the Gaza Strip. The continuing escalation of violence, with military operations taking place in highly populated areas, has serious consequences for the civilian population. Over the past two weeks, Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip have led to the deaths of dozens of people and the wounding of many more, among them a large number of civilians. In one single incident on 12 July, nine family members – including children – were killed in their home by an air strike in Gaza City. In some cases, people living near operations have been unable to leave their homes for several days. 

EI on KPFK to discuss Israel's invasion of Lebanon

EI’s Ali Abunimah appeared on “Beneath the Surface with Jerry Quickley” on Los Angeles Pacifica outlet KPFK on Thursday, July 13th, to discuss the Israeli attack on Lebanon. On July 13th, Israeli attacks on Lebanon caused massive destruction at the Beirut International Airport, attacked key Lebanese infrastructure points, and killed 50 Lebanese civilians. “Beneath the Surface with Jerry Quickley” airs Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 5 PM - 6 PM on KPFK, hosted by performance poet Quickley. 

EI's Ali Abunimah speaks about the Israeli attacks on Lebanon

On July 13th, Flashpoints Radio hosted Electronic Intifada cofounder, Ali Abunimah, for a discussion of the Israeli attacks on Lebanon. Today, Israeli fighter jets stuck deep inside Lebanon, killing over 50 including 15 children and a family of ten. “Israel is complaining now that its sovereign territory was violated by Hizballah… When did Israel ever respect the sovereign territory of any of its neighbors? Israel occupied Southwest Syria. There are 30,000 Israeli settlers cultivating wine and enjoying the Golan Heights and claiming God gave it to them.” Flashpoints News Radio broadcasts every weekday at 5:00PM Pacific Time on 94.1 FM, from Berkeley, California. Interviewer: Dennis Bernstein.