Carnage at U.N. school as Israel pounds Gaza Strip

Israeli shelling killed at least 15 Palestinians sheltering in a U.N.-run school and another 17 near a street market on Wednesday, Gaza’s Health Ministry said, with no ceasefire in sight after more than three weeks of fighting.

Israel’s security cabinet decided to continue its offensive in the enclave and there was no sign of a halt to a 23-day conflict in which 1,346 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have died. On the Israeli side, 56 soldiers and three civilians have been killed. …

That Reuters figure for Palestinian casualties has since been updated at Aljazeera to 1,361, with 6,780 injured. Among the dead are 315 children. I’ve added the ten Palestinians killed in the West Bank Gaza-solidarity protests.

The latest post at the Aljazeera live blog will leave you speechless:

BREAKING UPDATE: Al Jazeera’s @PattyCulhane reports the #Pentagon confirms delivery of two types of munitions to #Israel in the last week: 120mm mortar rounds and 40mm grenades, while calling for a ceasefire in #Gaza

A must read corrective to Israeli and U.S. mainstream propaganda is From Gaza: I Would Rather Die in Dignity Than Agree to Living in an Open-Air Prison (July 28). Mohammed Suliman, Palestinian human rights worker in Gaza, opens by contrasting a bustling, lively but impoverished Gaza to what it’s like now, and closes with an eloquent explanation of ‘why we fight’:

… A ceasefire might be negotiated and agreed upon. Hamas might soon stop firing rockets, but then will Israel cease to exercise its violence against Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank on a daily basis? The reality is that if Palestinians stop resisting, Israel won’t stop occupying, as its leaders repeatedly affirm. The besieged Jews of the Warsaw ghetto had a motto ‘to live and die in dignity.’ As I sit in my own besieged ghetto, I think how Palestinians have honored this universal value. We live in dignity and we die in dignity, refusing to accept subjugation.

We’re tired of war. I, for one, have had enough of bloodshed, death and destruction. But I also can no longer tolerate the return to a deeply unjust status quo. I can no longer agree to live in this open-air prison. We can no longer tolerate to be treated as sub-humans, deprived of our most basic human rights. We are trapped here, trapped between two deaths: death by Israeli bombs and missiles, and death by Israel’s blockade of Gaza.

We want to be able to get in and out of Gaza freely, whenever we choose. Why should our students not be granted their right to study at universities of their own choice? Why should our patients be left for their own death as Israel deprives them of receiving medical treatment in hospitals outside of Gaza? Our fishermen want to fish in our sea waters without the prospect of being shot at and killed. We deserve the right to access clean water, electricity and our most basic needs. And yet we can’t because Israel occupies. It occupies not only our land but our bodies and our destinies. No people can tolerate this injustice. We, too, are humans.

I apologize, by the way, for not updating sooner (huge computer problems). Below is something from yesterday (another reminder of the huge “don’t you wish U.S. artists had cojones” file (Selena Gomez is an honorable exception), a statement by a hundred Spanish artists — the media has focused on Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz — protesting the carnage and genocide (warning: translated by me and Google Translate):

Statement by the world of culture on the Palestinian genocide
July 28, 2014

The signers of this statement, from the world of arts and culture, declare their outrage over the genocide perpetrated against Palestinian civilians in Gaza by the Israeli occupation army. The images of Palestinian children – dead, mutilated, burned, seriously wounded, orphaned – and of the destruction of homes, hospitals, ambulances, places of worship, and schools (one school run by the UNRWA was bombed, resulting in 16 deaths and 200 injured among the children and women taking refuge there from the bombing) reveal a terrifying result: by 9 p.m. Sunday, July 27, more than 1,040 dead and 6,000 wounded from the Israeli assault.

The trigger for violence is the Israeli occupation

Israel continues to move into and invade the Palestinian territories rather than withdraw to its 1967 borders. It humiliates, arrests, and everyday tramples on the rights of the Palestinian population of the West Bank, also causing many deaths. For many years there have been blockades of cities like Nablus and Hebron, with frequent nighttime army raids.

Gaza lives in horror these days, besieged and attacked by land, sea and air. The Palestinians’ homes are demolished and they are denied water, electricity, and access to hospitals, schools, and farms … while the international community looks the other way.

Israel is the country that most often fails to comply with UN resolutions and least respects human rights; it is an occupying country that practices state terrorism.

*         We urge the Government of Spain and the EU to condemn the bombing by land, sea and air of the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip.

*         We demand an immediate cease-fire.

*         Lift the blockade suffered by the Gaza Strip for more than a decade.

*         Open border crossings to allow the mobility of the population and the entry of medical equipment, medicines, foods …

*         Repair the physical, moral, and psychological damage caused by Israeli attacks and suffered by Gaza’s civilians, especially its children.

*         Open up dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis to reach a peaceful, just and lasting solution to the conflict.

The signatories are against the use of violence by all parties. We urge our government to call in Spain’s ambassador to Israel for consultations until the criminal offensive against Palestine is stopped, as convincing evidence of Spain’s rejection of the unspeakable Israeli army’s actions. We also ask that the work of international reporters currently displaced in the region be facilitated.

Madrid, July 28, 2014

In other good news (but only if we all join in (here’s a list of products)), Boycott Israel advances in Britain:

Britain: Tesco boycotts products from occupied West Bank

July 29, 2014

Britain’s biggest supermarket chain, Tesco, will will no longer sell products originating from the Israeli-occupied West Bank starting September 2014, the Jewish Chronicle reports.

Meanwhile two health and beauty product suppliers told the Jewish Chronicle that Tesco had asked them to list all their products and ingredients originating in the occupied territories.

A Tesco spokesman indirectly confirmed that the move was testimony to the success of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) …