Palestinian health officials say 2,114 people, most of them civilians and more than 400 of them children, have been killed in the Gaza Strip since July 8, when Israel launched an offensive with the declared aim of ending Palestinian rocket fire into its territory.

Sixty-four Israeli soldiers and four civilians in Israel have been killed.

The Israeli* total includes one Thai resident of Israel. have added the twelve Palestinians killed in Gaza-related protests to reach the 2,126 figure. The Oman Tribune adds: “Nearly 500,000 people have been displaced in the territory of 1.8 million where Palestinians, citing Israeli attacks that have hit schools and mosques, say no place is safe to live.”

And then there’s the Saturday bombing of Gaza City’s 13-story Al Zafer Tower, which “marked the first time in the Gaza war that Israel had brought down so tall a structure. It had housed 44 families, some of whom returned to the rubble on Sunday to search for belongings.” Was the attack collective punishment for Gaza mortars killing an Israeli child on Friday? Yeah, sure, probably.

Block The Boat!

Meanwhile, Block the Boat, people! If Rachel Corrie’s mom can do it, so can you, whether you’re in New York City tonight (Monday) at 11, or August 30 in Dublin.

Across the U.S. west coast, people have done their part in the effort to end Israeli apartheid and stop the barbaric killing of thousands of Palestinian civilians:

Israeli ship Zim Haifa stopped from unloading

The Israeli owned ship Zim Haifa arrived in Southern California early this morning (Saturday, August 23). The ship was scheduled to be unloaded today at Pier A of the Port of Long Beach. Over 250 people from throughout Southern California took part in the Community Picket at the entrance to the Pier called by the Block The Boat – LA Coalition.

We were there to show strong community support for the recent call by the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) asking workers around the world to stand in solidarity with Palestinian workers, particularly those in Gaza who have been targeted so brutally by Israel over the last month, by refusing to handle Israeli goods.

Extra inspiration is to remember what the killing is all about, stopping Gaza from having a port and airport, from having any sovereignty:

Would Israel accept the demand for a port and an airport in Gaza? This has become a core issue in the quest for a long-term cease-fire. Would the agreement lift the embargo on Gaza? When would these issues be discussed and what guarantees would Hamas have that Israel would abide by any agreement?

Those guarantees are particularly hard to formulate, since Israel violated the 2012 ceasefire on a scale far in excess of Gaza violations, and refused to open up the Gaza as it had promised in the agreement.

Why Assassinating Hamas Leaders is Pointless Barbarism and Why Hamas Leaders Don’t Know Who Killed Those 3 Israeli Teems

I.e., don’t swallow the latest propaganda that transformed second-hand speculation into a factual statement … Anyway, The Irish Times says it best and adds some essential background:

Israel has routinely slain senior Hamas figures. Bomb maker and West Bank commander Yahya Ayyash was killed in 1996; Hamas’s co-founders Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz Rantisi in 2004; military commanders Nizar Rayan and Abu Zakaria al-Jamal in 2009; and al-Qassam’s deputy chief Ahmed Jabaari in 2012.

Hamas is resilient because it has dedicated leaders, a nationalist cause that appeals to Palestinians, and a structured organisation with political and military wings.

While its charter calls for Palestinian rule in all of Palestine, Hamas has said it is prepared to accept a Palestinian state in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. …

The al-Qassam Brigades, established in 1987, … is subordinate to the political leadership but has considerable operational independence. The relationship has been described as being similar to Sinn Féin’s connection with the IRA.

Hamas units operate as separate cells; commanders are compelled to live underground, fighters to keep their membership secret.