Running Out of Time: Israel/Palestine/Gaza
July 7, 2024 9:36 AM   Subscribe

Brother of hostage Itzik Elgarat says Hamas claims he is no longer alive. US Intelligence warns that the Gaza war is a recruiting boon for terrorists, as widespread anger at the US support for Israel has galvanized organizations globally. Hamas has accepted the US proposal on the release of Israeli hostages, according to a Hamas source. Two thirds of Israelis back hostage deal over continuing war in Gaza. Era of Miracles: Israeli Far-Right celebrates West Bank settlement expansion.

Haaretz exclusive IDF ordered Hannibal directive on Oct 7 to prevent soldiers from being taken captive by Hamas -One of these decisions was made at 7:18 A.M., when an observation post at the Yiftah outpost reported that someone had been kidnapped at the Erez border crossing, adjacent to the IDF's liaison office. "Hannibal at Erez" came the command from divisional headquarters, "dispatch a Zik." The Zik is an unmanned assault drone, and the meaning of this command was clear.

This wasn't the last time that such an order was heard over the communications network. Over the next half hour, the division realized that Hamas terrorists had managed to kill and abduct soldiers serving at the crossing and at the adjacent base. Then, at 7:41 A.M., it happened again: Hannibal at Erez, an assault on the crossing and the base, just so that no more soldiers be taken. Such commands were given later as well.

Labour Party loses votes in Muslim areas over its Gaza policy - In the Leicester south constituency, Shockat Adam Patel, an independent candidate, declared, “This is for Gaza,” during his speech as he beat Labour’s Jonathan Ashworth — who had been expected to hold a cabinet role in Keir Starmer’s new government.

Many British Muslims, as well as other voters, had demanded that party leaders more vocally condemn the rising death toll and deepening humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and want the new government to press Israel harder to reach an immediate cease-fire with Hamas.

A Holocaust Scholar Meets with Israeli Reservists:

Another told a story that, when he was there, he was approached by a girl, obviously a Palestinian girl, whose leg had been severely injured. He didn’t say how, he didn’t give the context, but one can imagine. He said, “And we immediately gave her all the medical help we could. Everything that we needed for our unit was used to take care of her.” So they were trying to say, “We really care about the children and we are not beasts.” But there were these contradictions.

I began talking about the I.D.F.’s use of these giant bombs, and that if you drop a bomb like this to kill some people in a tunnel beneath a school where there are many people sheltered because they were told that they should shelter there, you’re going to kill many of them. And one of them said, “Oh, no, no, no, that’s not at all true. That’s not true. We came to these schools. These schools are full of Hamas people.” And the interesting thing was that there was another fellow sitting there, and he said, “Well, we were also there. We didn’t see so many Hamas people.”

They got angry at me and were saying, “Well, what do you know? You just sit in your air-conditioned room in the United States.” At some point, I said to them, “Actually, I was also a soldier. I was a company commander. I was wounded. It was a different war and a different time, but it’s not like I don’t know anything about this.” That slightly calmed them down.

But then I told them that, for my dissertation, I investigated the crimes of the German Army and that, in subsequent years, I used to go to Germany and lecture about it. And usually the first two or three rows would be filled with Wehrmacht veterans. As I was talking, they would also become very excited. And one of them would get up and say, “Nothing like this happened in my unit.” And another guy would get up and say, “Maybe not in yours. But in mine it did.” So there was some parallel to what I was seeing there.

There was a young woman at Ben-Gurion—she jumped on the stage and started shouting. She was very angry, and said that they were fighting for the people who were murdered on October 7th, that comrades of theirs had been killed and friends of theirs had been killed. And, as she was talking and shouting, she started crying. I, at least, had a distinct feeling—not to excuse what they were doing, but I had a distinct feeling that many of them maybe had P.T.S.D.

The Rise of Oct 7 Tourism: Thus, though tour groups come within miles of the Gaza fence, the trips pointedly don’t engage with Israel’s ongoing devastation of the enclave, which has killed more than 37,900 Palestinians to date. I spent two days observing several different groups in the Gaza Envelope area and conducted dozens of interviews with tour guides, participants, local residents, and military personnel stationed there. I found that while the trips span a political spectrum—some meet with liberal groups in Israeli civil society or have a Palestinian speaker on their itineraries, while others hear from far-right speakers and visit extremist settlements—this silence was a common thread. An Israeli American who joined multiple mission trips as a staff member in November and February, and who asked that his name not be used to avoid professional consequences, observed that tour participants are “deep within their own trauma, and that trauma is crowding out the suffering the war is causing.” By pausing time on October 7th and excluding its aftermath, the tours reinforce that myopia, consolidating a focus on Jewish victimhood and a refusal to see Israel as the perpetrator of Palestinian suffering. In the process, they succeed in bolstering American Jews’ sense of identification with Israel. As one rabbi who participated in a Federation mission from San Diego wrote upon her return home: “I saw the result of evil. I feel more committed to Israel and its future than I have felt in a long time.”

The view from Palestinian America: As I carry out my life in New York—teaching writing classes, taking my eldest to her first haircut and her first dentist appointment—I am frighteningly aware that where we are born determines the contours of our lives. In Palestine, some fourteen thousand children have died, and countless more are maimed or starving. I’ve tried to make Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Eid special while the air of mourning has laid thick over us; I’ve watched, stunned, as cops have zip-tied the hands of student protesters and dragged them away. I’ve longed to stand in solidarity with those students, to join their protest Seders and dabke circles. But with two little ones at home I feel that the cost of doing so is too high.

Palestinians want liberation, not recognition: Liberation, Palestinians assert, demands the dismantling of Israeli settler colonialism and the Israeli apartheid regime, which is premised on Jewish supremacy, from the river to the sea, and ensuring equality to all. To end Israel’s colonial apartheid regime, they further demand that the international community stop treating Israel with exceptionalism, impose an arms embargo, sanction Israel, boycott the state and its institutions, and divest from Israeli companies. They want no Western interference as Palestinians rebuild their own political institutions and leadership; dismantling the Palestinian Authority is part of their demands. As general principles, they want Palestinian self-determination in all areas of life and politics, without outsider-imposed “solutions”; the right of return for Palestinian refugees; Palestinian right to land and control over natural resources; and finally, the right of Palestinians to live in dignity and equality in their homeland.

posted by toastyk (44 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
I forgot to add this interview with Rashid Khalidi, author of the Hundred Years War on Palestine: But the problems of the Palestinian leadership go deeper. In the 1930s, it was in part a product of the Palestinian class structure—an out-of-touch landed elite, with blinkered or naïve views on how to deal with the British. Since the 1960s, the lack of a global outlook on the part of successive generations of Palestinian leaders has been a major problem. If you look at other anti-colonial movements—the Irish, the Algerians, the Vietnamese or the Indians—they were led by people with a sophisticated understanding of the global balance of power, of the way imperial powers operate, and how to reach public opinion in the metropole. Nehru, Michael Collins, de Valera understood this. The Algerian leadership understood France. What they called the seventh wilaya or province of the fln was in France. The Irish won in 1921 because they understood British and American politics, and had extensive political and intelligence operations there. The Palestinian leadership has never had the same knowledge or skills. I hate to say this, it sounds self-denigrating, but it’s true.
posted by toastyk at 9:44 AM on July 7 [8 favorites]

With a title like "running out of time", the absence of links about the mass starvation of Palestinians being willfully perpetrated by Netanyahu, Galant and the IDF doesn't look good.

I don't understand how any other topic can be discussed.
posted by constraint at 10:07 AM on July 7 [10 favorites]

Oh man, I'm so sorry I also just made a fresh post. Shall I ask to delete? Let me do that.
posted by cendawanita at 10:08 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]

Al Jazeera, July 10th: US Gaza aid pier not used in Israel’s captives rescue mission: Pentagon

“It was near, but I think it’s incidental. Again, the pier, the equipment, the personnel all supporting that humanitarian effort had nothing to do with the [Israeli military] rescue operation,” Pentagon spokesperson Patrick Ryder told reporters.


The Israeli military intensively bombed the Nuseirat area during the operation, killing at least 274 people, including dozens of women and children, according to Palestinian authorities in Gaza.


While the US military has denied involvement in the attack, several international media outlets, including The New York Times, have reported that American officials provided intelligence that helped with the operation.
posted by jy4m at 10:38 AM on July 7 [3 favorites]

I'll just rework my FPP as a comment here, which kicked off with the same Haaretz article from up top (which just got posted) -- now I have the luxury of ~spacing~

Haaretz: IDF Ordered Hannibal Directive on October 7 to Prevent Hamas Taking Soldiers Captive (ungated)

+ The Times: Israel says Hamas weaponised rape. Does the evidence add up? (ungated) - [Premila] Patten made it clear there was sufficient evidence of acts of sexual violence to merit full and proper investigation and expressed her shock at the brutality of the violence. The report also confirmed Israeli authorities were unable to provide much of the evidence that political leaders had insisted existed. In all the Hamas video footage Patten’s team had watched and all the photographs they had seen, there were no depictions of rape. We hired a leading Israeli dark-web researcher to look for evidence of those images, including footage deleted from public sources. None could be found.

+ Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor: The Israeli army’s use of Palestinian civilians as human shields has been documented on a large scale

+ BBC: More wounded Palestinians tell BBC the Israeli army forced them on to jeep

+ 972: ‘More horrific than Abu Ghraib’: Lawyer recounts visit to Israeli detention center - At Sde Teiman, [Israeli lawyer] Khaled Mahajneh found a detained journalist unrecognizable as he described the facility’s violent and inhumane conditions. - “I have been visiting political and security detainees and prisoners in Israeli jails for years, including since October 7,” Mahajneh noted. “I know that the conditions of detention have become much harsher, and that the prisoners are abused on a daily basis. But Sde Teiman was unlike anything I’ve seen or heard before.”

(...) Since his visit to Sde Teiman, Mahajneh has felt deep frustration and anger — but above all, horror. “I have been in this profession for 15 years … I never expected to hear about rape of prisoners or humiliations like that. And all this is not for the purpose of interrogation — since most prisoners are only interrogated after many days of detention — but as an act of revenge. To take revenge on whom? They are all citizens, young people, adults, and children. There are no Hamas members in Sde Teiman because they are in the hands of the Shabas [Israeli Prison Service].”

+ Guardian: Dutch foreign ministry calls in Israeli ambassador over ICC spying claims

+ Jewish Currents: How “Pro-Israel” Orthodoxy Keeps US Foreign Policymaking White - Not all Black politicians run afoul of “pro-Israel” orthodoxy. But they do so more frequently than their white counterparts. For nearly half a century, Black politicians who draw on their own experiences to support nationalist and anti-imperialist movements in the developing world have been accused of anti-Americanism. And in a political culture where Israel is seen as embodying the same values as the United States, Black support for the Palestinian cause has often been deemed anti-American too. Year after year, decade after decade, these attacks have forced Black politicians to either mute their sympathy for Palestinians or risk losing a seat at the table. In this way, the Israel debate has helped keep American foreign policymaking disproportionately white.
(Bonus: to be read with this Politico piece on Jamaal Bowman, A Trip to Israel Changed Jamaal Bowman’s World View — And Could Cost Him His Reelection . Boy, did it.)

+ 972: How Israeli drone strikes are killing journalists in Gaza

+ Zeteo: EXCLUSIVE: Inside Israel’s Insta-Genocide - Part One: Weaponizing the humiliation of Gaza’s Palestinians & Part Two: "May Gaza burn": The flood of genocidal rhetoric from Israel's soldiers

+ 972: ‘How is it reasonable to kill over 200 for the sake of four?’

+ AP: The Israeli army says it investigates itself. Where do those investigations stand? - In one of the highest-profile cases, an attack on a World Central Kitchen convoy that killed six foreign aid workers and their Palestinian driver, the Israeli army promptly published its findings, acknowledged misconduct by its forces and dismissed two soldiers. But other investigations remain open, and admissions of guilt are rare.

Israel’s military advocate general, Maj. Gen. Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi, said this past week that the military is investigating about 70 cases of alleged wrongdoing. She gave few details. The military refused to disclose the full list of investigations and told The Associated Press it could only respond to queries about specific probes

= Guardian: Fears of long war in Gaza as new chapter opens and ‘intense fighting’ eases off

I have to go sleep now but I have contacted the mods. Not sure how things will shake out between our two threads but I hope we can just carry on here unless we can do some kind of two-hander between the angles of each FPP. (Personally I find there's too much inclination to keep Palestine discussions very neat and tidy - so I'm fine either way)
posted by cendawanita at 10:40 AM on July 7 [35 favorites]

Wikipedia on Hannibal Directive (since I had to look it up myself)
The Hannibal Directive is the name of a controversial procedure that was used by IIDF until 2016 to prevent the capture of Israeli soldiers by enemy forces. According to one version, it says that "the kidnapping must be stopped by all means, even at the price of striking and harming our own forces." It was introduced in 1986, after a number of abductions of IDF soldiers in Lebanon and subsequent controversial prisoner exchanges. The full text of the directive was never published, and until 2003, Israeli military censorship forbade any discussion of the subject in the press. The directive has been changed several times, until it was officially revoked in 2016 by IDF chief of staff Gadi Eizenkot. The Directive's replacement has not been published.
posted by stevil at 11:19 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]

All this slaughter because one fucking coward knows as soon as it's over he'll have to face justice.

I'm so tired.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 11:38 AM on July 7 [14 favorites]

All this slaughter because one fucking coward knows as soon as it's over he'll have to face justice.

that is not the sole reason but the idea that it’s a single person and not 75 years of colonial violence deeply embedded not only in Israel but in the global political order is probably comforting, sure
posted by knock my sock and i'll clean your clock at 12:14 PM on July 7 [15 favorites]

Era of Miracles: Israeli Far-Right celebrates West Bank settlement expansion.

Way to pour fuel on an already raging fire. I don't why this particular aspect of Israeli colonialism gets me so angry. Maybe too close to my own cultural experience. And I'd bet they feel emboldened to because this sort of thing will be overshadowed by all the murdering. Do it now before a) a ceasefire comes that makes it difficult and b) while the action will be a foot note at worst in the recordings of the conflict.
posted by Mitheral at 1:27 PM on July 7 [8 favorites]

The Lancet estimates that the Gazan death toll could be as high as 186,000.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 2:07 PM on July 7 [9 favorites]

Around the settlements..

Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention mostly discusses forced migration, with only one sentence about willing migration into occupied territories. In fact, population transfer brings diverse serious ethical problems, so really this "voluntary" side should be expanded dramatically.
posted by jeffburdges at 3:46 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]

And I'd bet they feel emboldened to because this sort of thing will be overshadowed by all the murdering. Do it now before a) a ceasefire comes that makes it difficult and b) while the action will be a foot note at worst in the recordings of the conflict.

Once you realise that no one will step in to prevent your open genocide, mere violent dispossession probably seems like a cakewalk.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:35 PM on July 7 [5 favorites]

- Al-Jazeera: How Israel destroyed Gaza's ability to feed itself

The satellite photos just leaves me angry. I'm not even sad. Not just angry at the state of the land, but the fact they'll just keep creeping in with impunity because technically the only firm internationally recognized borders Israel does have is with Egypt and Syria. Over at the Lebanon side things have continued to deteriorate, eg: (FT) Israel’s push to create a ‘dead zone’ in Lebanon: Most of the destruction has taken place within a 5km corridor just north of the Blue Line, the UN-drawn border between the two countries, according to analysis of satellite imagery, radar data and government statistics, along with interviews with local and state officials, researchers, civil defence workers and residents.

Data gathered by the Financial Times suggests that as diplomatic negotiations sputter, the Israeli military has used force to create a new reality on the ground. Near-daily aerial bombardment, artillery shelling and the incendiary chemical white phosphorus have made much of the 5km north of the Blue Line uninhabitable.

Structural damage, environmental degradation and economic harm have left a strip of land resembling the “buffer zone” that Israel wants to establish in Lebanon. Just handfuls of civilians remain. Most buildings are empty; many have been destroyed.

Attempts to negotiate a deal that would include Hizbollah pulling back from the border have not succeeded. But the area has become a de facto military zone, patrolled by Hizbollah fighters, Lebanese armed forces and UN peacekeepers.

Which provides them somehow criminal levels of diplomatic cover - something I genuinely can't get over especially as Russia is still raging against Ukraine and somehow the West esp US can find moral and political clarity when commenting about that.


- Euro-Med: A compound crime: Israeli army hits Gaza family, uses them as human shields, and runs over their mother

Guardian: About 90% of people in Gaza displaced since war began, says UN agency - Andrea De Domenico, head of the UN’s OCHA agency in the Palestinian territories, said on Wednesday that about 1.9 million people are thought to be displaced in Gaza.

“We estimate that nine in every 10 people in the Gaza Strip have been internally displaced at least once, if not up to 10 times, unfortunately, since October,” he told reporters.

“Before we were estimating 1.7 (million) but since that number, we had the operation in Rafah, and we had additional displacement from Rafah,” he said, explaining the increase.

“Then we had also operations in the north that [have] also moved people,” he added.

He said such military operations had forced people to reset their lives, over and over again.

NYT: An Israeli air base is a source of GPS ‘spoofing’ attacks, researchers say. -
Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have identified an Israeli air base as a key source of GPS attacks that have disrupted civilian airline navigation in the Middle East.

The attacks, known as spoofing, send out manipulated GPS signals that make airplane instruments misread their location.

The researchers, Todd Humphreys and Zach Clements, said they are “highly confident” that the spoofing attacks originated from Ein Shemer Airfield in northern Israel. The Israeli military declined to comment on Tuesday.

The researchers used data that was emitted by the spoofer and picked up by satellites in low-Earth orbit to determine its location. They then confirmed their calculations using data they collected on the ground in Israel.

Spoofing, along with GPS jamming, has sharply risen over the past three years, particularly near war zones in Ukraine and Gaza, where militaries interfere with navigation signals to thwart missile and drone attacks.

The Middle East has emerged as a spoofing hot spot. The University of Texas researchers did not say how many spoofing attacks they had linked to the military base, but a separate analysis estimated that more than 50,000 flights have been spoofed in the region this year.

The attacks have made pilots think that they were above airports in Beirut or Cairo when they were not, according to researchers at SkAI Data Services and the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, who analyzed data from the OpenSky Network.

Swiss International Air Lines say their flights are spoofed almost every day over the Middle East.

ToI: Prof. who called ICJ ‘unworthy of any trust’ tapped as Israel’s judge in genocide case - Ron Shapira, who will replace Aharon Barak as Israel’s ad hoc judge, has said The Hague-based court ’embodies and takes to the extreme all the flaws of legal discourse’

In the meantime, these fucks are busy:

MEE: War on Gaza: The far-right activists advocating for Palestinians - Pro-Palestinian activists have been 'alarmed' by the white supremacists and antisemites joining the advocacy against Israel's war on Gaza

Huff Post: Evangelical Christians Are Throwing Their Support Behind Israel. They’re Partly Driven By Antisemitism.

New Humanitarian: Escaping Gaza’s war, Palestinians find little solace in Egypt


If only we can just blame Bibi for this - FP: Who’s in Charge of the IDF? - Evidence is growing of a command and control problem. - Israel’s command and control issues are clearest in its alleged war crimes. The purpose of this piece is not to litigate which allegations are true but rather to examine the implications of those war crimes for the Israeli chain of command. Though these categories overlap, Israeli violations of international humanitarian law and the law of armed conflict in the war may be broadly grouped as follows: starvation, torture, mass executions, and the indiscriminate use of bombs, drones, and missiles.

(...) Israeli military personnel have been and remain engaged in activities that suggest a serious chain of command problem for the IDF. Three factors explain this phenomenon: the existence of a permissive politico-military environment, Israeli military doctrine, and the fact that the IDF is a conscript army.

(...) The Israeli military seems eager to maintain the posture that it is a professional fighting force; in his video statement after the World Central Kitchen attack, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari prefaced his comments by describing the IDF as “a professional military committed to international law.”

In March, Halevi expressed concerns over incidents that, in his view, threatened the chain of command, saying that “we cannot fight when discipline and our principles are not clear and are not followed,” emphasizing the need to “balance between” commanders’ tactical discretion and maintaining the IDF’s hierarchy.

All of this leads to the inevitable question: Is Israel responsible for its military personnel’s atrocities?

Some will argue that it is not and that the atrocities outlined above are the result of a few bad actors and/or mistakes. But states are legally responsible for their soldiers’ action. This stance also suggests that the Israeli government is ineffective at managing troops and by extension the war. It therefore cannot be trusted with U.S. weapons, both because of the risk of Israel’s commission of war crimes and its reckless actions that could further expand the conflict throughout the region, as seen in the April escalation with Iran and the ongoing escalation with Hezbollah.

But if the Israeli government is in complete control of what’s happening—that is, directing or allowing for these atrocities—it is, to an even greater degree, in violation of international humanitarian law and the law of armed conflict.

Either way, this presents a problem for U.S. policymakers, who have continued to supply the Israeli military with materiel, making the United States complicit in whatever human rights violations are committed with such weapons and supplies.

If the IDF cannot control its own personnel, how can the American people be expected to continue to fund and arm it?

The fact that the US - whose military I can have many issues with strategically and politically with but it is principally a professional one - have decided to throw its support to what is essentially clown car in uniform akin to their regional neighbours eg the janjaweed... Well.
posted by cendawanita at 7:23 PM on July 7 [14 favorites]

how can the American people be expected to continue to fund and arm it?

Vote suppression's a big part.
posted by stet at 7:59 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]

technically the only firm internationally recognized borders Israel does have is with Egypt and Syria.

Self fact check: Egypt and Jordan.
posted by cendawanita at 8:01 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]

Thank you to cendawanita for the additional links and updates, and apologies for the confusion over the double-posting.

Israeli protesters block highways amid renewed calls for ceasefire with Hamas to return hostages.

Security officials, mediators accuse Netanyahu of intentionally sabotaging ceasefire ahead of delegation's departure to Cairo and Doha.

Gaza soccer stadium is now a shelter for thousands of displaced Palestinians.

Amid the French elections, Mathilde Panot, a LFI MEP elected in Val-de-Marne, announced that “In the next two weeks, we will recognize the State of Palestine,” - I have no idea about the politics in France and how realistic that would actually be.

Zeteo: Mehdi Unfiltered - this episode is worth viewing in its entirety as Mehdi Hasan covers the possibility of a war between Israel and Lebanon/Hezbollah and the repercussions of that, an interview with Rep Greg Casar, on the asylum ban, and also on Rep Jamaal Bowman's primary defeat, and an interview with Dr. Lee Mordechai, a professor at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who has become the latest Israeli academic to accuse their own country of genocide.

Also a reminder that it's not just vote suppression is not the only reason for the US foreign policy on Israel: 62 House Democrats voted with Republicans to prohibit the State Department from citing statistics from the Gaza Health Ministry. Anti-Palestinianism is baked into US legislation, and new discriminatory laws are being proposed daily - there are currently 38 states with Anti-BDS laws on the books, anti-terrorism laws were driven by anti-Palestinian agendas, and both parties are working on proposing speech-limiting legislation to tamp down pro-Palestinian activism by calling them "terror-supporting".

Anyway, I also wanted to add a couple of suggestions on ways to help Palestinians in need: Operation Olive Branch, PCRF, Doctors Without Borders, UNRWA, GazaFunds.

If anyone has any suggestions for how to successfully pressure their legislators on Gaza, I'm all ears.
posted by toastyk at 9:58 PM on July 7 [8 favorites]

If anyone wants to boycott Israeli products, you can use the No Thanks app.
posted by toastyk at 10:01 PM on July 7 [10 favorites]

criminal levels of diplomatic cover - something I genuinely can't get over especially as Russia is still raging against Ukraine and somehow the West esp US can find moral and political clarity when commenting about that

The truly infuriating part of that commentary is the way every prick who does it in their official capacity insists on making an equivalence between Ukraine and Israel rather than Ukraine and Palestine. The Establishment is totally living in Opposite World, just like it did through the whole "Saddam has thrown the inspectors out of Iraq" Big Lie.

I grew up in the shadow of the Vietnam War so it's not like I haven't seen them do this over and over and over again, but it never ceases to enrage. Mealy-mouthed self-congratulatory self-serving morally vacuous Blairite pricks.
posted by flabdablet at 10:18 PM on July 7 [12 favorites]

Just cycling through my memories of the last nine months in relation to the Hannibal Directive revelation/confirmation (one that's reported in outlets considered fringe because of their reporting focus, eg writing off Electronic Intifada because they chose the word intifada etc), reminded me of the good-faith (I hope!) explanations as to why the field of burned out cars had to be immediately buried without proper rites because for one country you should always provide as much rope of understanding as you can, while the other nation is almost certainly terrorists and rapists, whose sole desire in life is annihilation.


Guardian live updates:

- Israeli media is reporting that security officials were left “shocked” by Benjamin Netanyahu’s public intervention yesterday into ceasefire negotiations.
Two unnamed officials told Kan “Negotiations should be conducted inside the room, not in announcements to the media. And certainly not just before the start of a meeting that determines the continuation of the negotiations”

Hebrew outlet Ynet reported that a security source described Netanyahu’s actions as “Inappropriate conduct that will harm the chance of returning the abductees home.”

Late on Sunday Netanyahu’s office issued a document entitled Principles for a Hostage Release Deal demanding that “any deal enable Israel to resume its offensive operations until it achieves its war goals”, to “prevent Hamas from smuggling arms from Egypt”, and to prevent “thousands of terrorists from returning to northern Gaza”.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid was deeply critical of Netanyahu’s statement, posting to social media to say “I have one response to the announcement from the prime minister’s Office: what is it good for? We are at a critical moment in the negotiations, the lives of the abductees depend on it, why issue such provocative messages? How does it contribute to the process?”

A senior Israeli delegation has travelled to Egypt to continue talks.

- AFP reports that a senior Hamas official on Monday accused Benjamin Netanyahu of stepping up combat and bombardment in Gaza in order to derail the latest truce effort.
“Whenever a round of negotiations begins and a breakthrough is within reach, he disrupts it all and escalates the aggression and massacres against civilians,” the Hamas official said, speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity.

Israeli media has reported that security sources have told it that the Israeli prime minister’s release of a statement on Sunday was “inappropriate conduct that will harm the chance of returning the abductees home”.

- Opposition leader Lapid offers Netanyahu 'political safety net' to make hostage release deal

Israel’s operation leader Yair Lapid has said that he will offer Benjamin Netanyahu a political safety net if he reaches a hostage release deal with Hamas.

Far-right elements in the Netanyahu government have spoken out against such a deal –finance minister Bezalel Smotrich earlier called it a “senseless folly” – leading to fears that the government could collapse if a ceasefire were to be announced.

However Lapid has said that he places the release of the hostages as his highest prioirty, and would offer political support to Netanyahu if that happened.

The Times of Israel quotes Lapid saying:

There’s a hostage deal on the table. It is not true that Netanyahu has to choose between the hostage deal and his continued tenure as prime minister. I promised him a safety net, and I will keep that promise.

This is not an easy statement, and it is not an easy decision. Netanyahu is a bad, failed prime minister, and he is to blame for the 7 October disaster, but the most important thing is to bring the kidnapped people back home.

The announcement that Netanyahu issued yesterday was destructive and harmful … [but the hostage deal] as a large majority here in the Knesset, it has to happen. We are coming back and offering Netanyahu a political safety net to make the deal – now.

Smotrich said earlier today that “This is the time to squeeze the neck until we crush and break the enemy. To stop now, just before the end, and let them recover to fight us again is a senseless folly that will take the achievements of the war bought with much blood down the drain. We must continue until victory.”

Israeli security sources have expressed “shock” that Netanyahu intervened in negotiations by issuing a public statement on Sunday night setting out Israeli pre-conditions, which has been described as hindering talks. A senior Israeli delegation is in Egypt to continue talks.


UK moves (Guardian links):
- From this Lammy profile/article: One area he is likely to face immediate pressure for action is on Israel’s war in Gaza. The party’s position cost it several seats, and although the manifesto committed to recognising Palestinian statehood as part of a peace process, it did not include a timeline.

Lammy said he “wanted to go back to a balanced position”, saying he would use all diplomatic efforts to push for a ceasefire. “it is very clear that we want to see a ceasefire and we have been calling for that since the end of last year,” he said. “The fighting has got to stop and the aid has got to get in.”

- Labour expected to drop challenge to ICC over Netanyahu arrest warrant - Exclusive: UK government appears unlikely to go ahead with legal bid, while Keir Starmer has spoken with Israeli PM over Gaza ceasefire


+972 (Orly Noy opinion): Only an anti-fascist front can save us from the abyss - Israeli society will emerge from this war more violent, nationalist, and militaristic than ever. The work of curbing its worst impulses must start now.

I have to think it's possible. I mean, even the US officially stopped putting up bounties on Native Americans right? Hmm well, maybe looking at the political histories of various colonial countries might not lend much hope, except maybe throttling the rate of killing (surely liberals can agree to that).

From TFA's opening: “What’s happening to you?” That was the question Yoana Gonen posed, in her recent column for Haaretz, to the so-called “leftists” vowing to vote for Israel’s right-wing former prime minister, Naftali Bennett. The fact that such a trend exists is bewildering, but the answer to Gonen’s question is clear. What is happening to these “leftists” is the same thing that’s happening to all of Israeli society: a profound and accelerating slide toward fascism.

Maybe I should've instead casted my historical eye to 2001.
posted by cendawanita at 6:00 AM on July 8 [12 favorites]

I honestly don’t know why anyone would be “shocked” by Netanyahu’s actions, any more than people are “shocked” by Trump’s words and actions, or Biden’s intransigence. Feels like a never ending version of that Office meme with Pam saying “It’s the same picture”.

Thousands of Palestinians flee amid heavy Israeli attack in Gaza City.
posted by toastyk at 7:40 AM on July 8 [3 favorites]

In more optimistic news 6000 Palestinians and Israelis participated in a “Peace Conference” on July 1st in Tel Aviv with hopes of inspiring a new peace process and a turn towards nonviolence. The conference was organized by Abu Aziz Sarah, a Palestinian and Maoz Inon and Israeli.
A Reddit post has collected a number of links to Instragram posts from the event.
posted by interogative mood at 4:56 PM on July 8 [4 favorites]

Late on Sunday Netanyahu’s office issued a document entitled Principles for a Hostage Release Deal demanding that “any deal enable Israel to resume its offensive operations until it achieves its war goals”, to “prevent Hamas from smuggling arms from Egypt”, and to prevent “thousands of terrorists from returning to northern Gaza”.

So as those of us with a fucking clue have been saying since October, what Israel actually wants is to redefine "ceasefire" to mean "you cease firing but we keep firing".
posted by adrienneleigh at 8:32 PM on July 8 [7 favorites]

Apparently Biden had very strong words after Russia struck a Ukrainian children's hospital - calling it a "horrific reminder of Russia's brutality". Makes for quite a contrast with the silence he has on Israel's brutality, as illustrated by this 972 article, where every paragraph is worse than the preceding one: Israeli soldiers describe the near-total absence of firing regulations in the Gaza war, with troops shooting as they please, setting homes ablaze, and leaving corpses on the streets — all with their commanders’ permission.
posted by toastyk at 9:31 PM on July 8 [8 favorites]

So as those of us with a fucking clue have been saying since October, what Israel actually wants is to redefine "ceasefire" to mean "you cease firing but we keep firing".

If Israel stops firing Netanyahu loses the premiership and he'll be prosecuted. That's basically this conflict in a nutshell. The far right of the war cabinet are happily putting the pedal to the metal, a lot of the IDF are happy to be complicit, but Netanyahu is the lynchpin keeping it all together.

My pragmatic side is with Lapin. At this point it just wants someone to offer the fucker one of those old school deals where a disgraced statesman receives immunity and a modest pension in exchange for exile and silence so he'll just fuck off somewhere and never be seen or heard from in politics or the world stage ever again.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 5:51 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]

How Israel's War Against Hamas Turned Into a Springboard for Jewish Settlement in Gaza

Interactive Ha'aretz visualization of changes to the Gaza strip made by Israel, including the Netzarim corridor, which now cuts Gaza in half and from which Palestinians are banned.
posted by mediareport at 7:10 AM on July 9 [4 favorites]

On the speech angle, Meta has updated their policy on the use of the word "Zionist": Going forward, we will remove content attacking “Zionists” when it is not explicitly about the political movement, but instead uses antisemitic stereotypes, or threatens other types of harm through intimidation, or violence directed against Jews or Israelis under the guise of attacking Zionists, including:

Claims about running the world or controlling the media;

Dehumanizing comparisons, such as comparisons to pigs, filth, or vermin;

Calls for physical harm;

Denials of existence;

Mocking for having a disease.

Internal memo reveals that the ADL has been surveilling a black organizer who opposed links between US police and Israeli military: The memo shows the ADL collected information on a Black Indianapolis activist, Tatjana Rebelle, who worked on Deadly Exchange, a national campaign against an ADL-backed program to send US police officials for training with the Israeli military.

There is a campaign for progressives to #droptheADL.

NYT gift: Now, a prominent Wall Street law firm is taking a more direct approach with protesters. Sullivan & Cromwell, a 145-year-old firm that has counted Goldman Sachs and Amazon among its clients, says that, for job applicants, participation in a protest — on campus or off — could be a disqualifying factor.

The firm is scrutinizing students’ behavior with the help of a background check company, looking at their involvement with pro-Palestinian student groups, scouring social media and reviewing news reports and footage from protests. It is looking for explicit instances of antisemitism as well as statements and slogans it has deemed to be “triggering” to Jews, said Joseph C. Shenker, a leader of Sullivan & Cromwell.

posted by toastyk at 10:52 AM on July 9 [4 favorites]

In 2017 Belazel Smotrich, currently Finance Minister in the Israeli Government, published Israel's Decisive Plan, which has many similarities with the current actions of the Israeli government. The idea is to intensify the programme of making Palestinians' lives as awful as possible, because the genocide was taking too long under the usual relentless brutality and oppression. It's sociopaths all the way down.

As jeffburges notes, this stuff is out in the open.

All of the scholarship on genocide seems to have been treated as a manual, rather than a warning.

In his introduction, Ben Kiernan states the four major themes of his book, the prominence in genocidal ideology of:

cults of antiquity
a fetish for agriculture
ethnic enmity
imperial and territorial conquests

When scholars point out what they are seeing (under oath in court), they are accused of anti Semitism, which serves to make the world less safe for Jewish people in the mis-use of the term.

Secular Israeli Jews were leaving, or considering leaving Israel, with 28% of those polled saying they were thinking about leaving in July 2023, and potentially hundreds of thousands having left in the past 8 months, reports vary. Former PM Naftali Bennett has been urging people not to leave the country.

Attempting to destroy the Palestinians does not seem like a long term plan for success for Israel.
posted by asok at 4:10 PM on July 9 [8 favorites]

Israel military tells Gaza City residents to leave

I've got nothing helpful to say except flashbacks... Flashbacks to being told to leave the only f**king home I had (i.e. become homeless) because in this country exists such EuroTrash who *need* caste-based practices because they *need* a comfortable place to drink while they drink-to-black-out-drunk in order to cope with their memories of growing up molested by elders who thrived under religiously-enshrined sexually abuse. Or in other words, flashbacks to the domestic situation as it parallels the (wyt-)man-made artificially-generated situations abroad. I'll still make these comments though, for the benefit of those who also live/survive/maybe-even-thrive in awareness of the West's domestic, er, shortcomings, if you will. The more we can begin to connect the dots, the better off we'll be as a species, and who knows -- maybe we'll even live to see our children thank us for putting in the work to do it and get it done. You know, instead of just... drinking while pretending the behavior has nothing to do with enhancing our species' capacity for raping and abusing its offspring.

I will say this in regular font though: Of course it has to go this way because Hamas appears to have recently demonstrated reasonability in its negotiating for a permanent ceasefire, and because that has proven enough for the mask to slip, Palestinians must absolutely be collectively punished for this. Which is what it sure appears to have been about, all along... having a scapegoat population on which to continuously outsource and satiate the attachment angst... while also claiming to be *so* sacred that one is also in need of absolute protection and immunity from any consequences from one's said Divine Actions here on Earth, but I digress...

Israeli military orders the evacuation of Gaza City, an early target of its war with Hamas

Right on, Canada is keeping up! Even though...

Downtown McGill University closed as pro-Palestinian encampment is dismantled

"The encampment is the site of profound health and safety risks that continue to grow in scope and severity," the university writes in a statement.

Yes, yes... the profound health and safety risks to the insulated* sense of comfort and security required to sustain one's propped-up ego, that is. If we acknowledge that what we do to children in this species is wrong, then we -- here in the West, the most spoiled of the spoiled Nations riding the crest of some 500 years of capitalist gain -- might have to feel bad/"bad" 🎻
*insulated as in these Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Gaza conflicts are a potent excuse to justify intensified self-rewarding indulgence by the upper-caste living in our species' most privileged Nations. For instance, why?! --why do we need to pay this kind of rent!?!? Are these people ending World Hunger? Implementing World Peace? How's about them Curing Cancers? Nope because that would mean changing the way we relate to each other within this species, and that's no way to keep the West's pedophile and sex offender populationS amply fed.

All of the scholarship on genocide seems to have been treated as a manual, rather than a warning

Fwiw I think Harry Harlow would strongly agree, whose work appears to have been the de facto manual for the construction of child welfare systems throughout North America, rather than the sound post-WWII warning on the state of the domestic home as it was intended to be.
posted by human ecologist at 10:43 AM on July 10 [5 favorites]

War crimes that've pushed the newsy richter scale needle in the last 36 hours:

- PBS: Israeli strikes kill 20 in central Gaza, flatten large parts of Gaza City
Israeli airstrikes early Wednesday killed 20 Palestinians in central Gaza, including six children and three women, some of them inside a purported “safe zone” declared by the Israeli military, hospital authorities said.

This second straight night of deadly strikes in the central town of Deir al-Balah and nearby refugee camps came as U.S., Egyptian and Qatari mediators as well as Israeli officials came together in the Qatari capital, Doha, for talks trying to push through a long-elusive deal for a cease-fire and hostage release.

(...) The overnight bombardment came hours after Israeli warplanes struck the entrance of a school sheltering displaced families outside the southern city of Khan Younis. The toll from the strike rose to 31 people killed, including eight children, and more than 50 wounded, officials at the nearby Nasser Hospital said Wednesday.

Footage aired by Al-Jazeera television showed kids playing soccer in the school’s yard when a sudden boom shook the area, prompting shouts of “a strike, a strike!”

The Israeli army said the airstrike near the school and reports of civilian casualties were under review, and claimed it was targeting a Hamas militant who took part in the Oct. 7 attack on Israel, though it provided no immediate evidence. The military blames civilian deaths on Hamas because the militants fight in dense, urban areas. But the army rarely comments on what it is targeting in individual strikes, which often kill women and children.

Per Guardian: A game of football, a boom, then scattered bodies: video shows moment of Israeli strike on Gaza school

Per Juan Cole: The Great Soccer Massacre: Israeli Air Force Kills 29 Refugees as it tries to get at one Militant

+972: Israel ordered thousands to ‘safe’ areas in Gaza City — then bombed them - After fleeing west at the Israeli army’s instruction, Palestinians quickly found themselves encircled and under fire from tanks, drones, and snipers.


In 'slow dedicated journalism takes time which we are having very little of' stuff:

- Guardian reports on the Haaretz reporting about the Hannibal Directive and adds:
The Haaretz investigation is the latest reporting by Israeli media shedding light on failures in military intelligence and operational responses around the Hamas offensive, the deadliest single attack on Israeli soil since the founding of the state in 1948.

Israel’s ensuing campaign in Gaza has still to achieve several of its stated objectives, leading to fears the conflict is on the brink of morphing into sustained insurgency-style warfare. More than 38,000 people have been killed by Israeli operations in the Palestinian territory, according to the local health ministry, and almost all of the 2.3 million population have been displaced from their homes in a catastrophic humanitarian crisis.

Allegations first surfaced in January that the IDF may have used the Hannibal protocol to prevent Hamas fighters from returning to Gaza with hostages. While the directive has only ever been used in relation to soldiers, a high-profile incident at the Be’eri kibbutz, in which a brigadier general ordered a tank to fire shells at a house with Hamas militants and 14 Israelis inside, killing 13 of the hostages, has raised questions about operational procedures causing civilian casualties.

The Israeli military probably killed more than a dozen of its own citizens during the 7 October attack, a UN investigation found last month.

Also on Sunday, Israel’s Channel 12 reported that a sophisticated early-warning system on the Gaza border developed by Unit 8200, part of the IDF’s military intelligence directorate, had not been properly maintained and was known to frequently malfunction. A dossier presented by Unit 8200 officers before 7 October detailed Hamas’s elaborate invasion plans, including raids on Israeli towns and military posts, hostage scenarios and potential outcomes, the report said.

- Splinter's reporting of the Lancet numbers and contextualizing it with that +972 report of IDF soldiers just shooting people with no repercussions: Israel Has Killed 186,000 Gazans According to a “Conservative Estimate”

- speaking of the report (that's been shared upthread anyway), I want to surface a couple of sections:
The testimonies paint a picture of a landscape littered with civilian corpses, which are left to rot or be eaten by stray animals; the army only hides them from view ahead of the arrival of international aid convoys, so that “images of people in advanced stages of decay don’t come out.” Two of the soldiers also testified to a systematic policy of setting Palestinian homes on fire after occupying them.

(...) Only one of the soldiers interviewed for this investigation was willing to be identified by name: Yuval Green, a 26-year-old reservist from Jerusalem who served in the 55th Paratroopers Brigade in November and December last year (Green recently signed a letter by 41 reservists declaring their refusal to continue serving in Gaza, following the army’s invasion of Rafah). “There were no restrictions on ammunition,” Green told +972 and Local Call. “People were shooting just to relieve the boredom.”

Green described an incident that occurred one night during the Jewish festival of Hanukkah in December, when “the whole battalion opened fire together like fireworks, including tracer ammunition [which generates a bright light]. It made a crazy color, illuminating the sky, and because [Hannukah] is the ‘festival of lights,’ it became symbolic.”

(...)For Green, the rules of engagement also demonstrated a deep indifference to the fate of the hostages. “They told me about a practice of blowing up tunnels, and I thought to myself that if there were hostages [in them], it would kill them.” After Israeli soldiers in Shuja’iyya killed three hostages waving white flags in December, thinking they were Palestinians, Green said he was angry, but was told “there’s nothing we can do.” “[The commanders] sharpened procedures, saying ‘You have to pay attention and be sensitive, but we are in a combat zone, and we have to be alert.’”

B. confirmed that even after the mishap in Shuja’iyya, which was said to be “contrary to the orders” of the military, the open-fire regulations did not change. “As for the hostages, we didn’t have a specific directive,” he recalled. “[The army’s top brass] said that after the shooting of the hostages, they briefed [soldiers in the field]. [But] they didn’t talk to us.” He and the soldiers who were with him heard about the shooting of the hostages only two and a half weeks after the incident, after they left Gaza.

“I’ve heard statements [from other soldiers] that the hostages are dead, they don’t stand a chance, they have to be abandoned,” Green noted. “[This] bothered me the most … that they kept saying, ‘We’re here for the hostages,’ but it is clear that the war harms the hostages. That was my thought then; today it turned out to be true.”

Why these quotes? Well:

- couple of days back, Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Grim announced they've started Drop Site News (having left The Intercept). One of the first pieces: On the Record with Hamas - In a Drop Site News exclusive, Hamas officials discuss their motivations, political objectives, and the human costs of their armed uprising against Israel
A more recent poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, whose findings were released in mid-June, found that two-thirds of the Gaza population continued to express support for the October 7 attack on Israel, with more than 80 percent asserting that it put Palestine at the center of global attention. More than half of Gaza residents polled indicated that they hoped Hamas would return to power after the war. “They lost confidence in peace with Israel. People believe that the only way is now to fight against Israel, to struggle against Israel,” said Ghazi Hamad, the former Hamas deputy foreign minister and a longstanding member of its political bureau, in an interview. “We put the Palestinian cause on the table. I think that we have a new page of history.”

On a tactical level, the October 7 operations exceeded Hamas’s projections. “It was very surprising for us how speedy one of the strongest brigades in the Israel Army—the Gaza brigade is one of the strongest, most sophisticated groups of their army—to collapse within hours without any serious resistance, and that even the state as a whole, for hours and maybe days, continued to be paralyzed, were not able to respond in the proper professional way,” said Naim, the Hamas political bureau member.

(...) Rabbani said that it is undeniable that Hamas killed civilians during the October 7 attacks and expressed serious doubts about the group’s official position that Al Aqsa Flood was focused solely on targeting the Israeli military. “Hamas has a history of this—its suicide bombings against civilian buses and restaurants and so on during the Second Intifada,” he said. Rabbani recalls reading accounts of the October 7 attacks and watching videos from that day of Israeli civilians being killed or captured. “My initial view was that these were probably people who had been suffering in Gaza their whole lives, didn't expect to go back alive, and wanted to go out with a bang. I'm sure that's the explanation for some of these cases,” he said.

“But I also wonder to what extent it was premeditated. I'd be very interested to learn to what extent Hamas intended to inflict a terribly traumatic blow on Israeli society, and not only the Israeli military,” he added. “There is evidence to support it. There is also evidence to contradict it. But I think it's a question worth examining in more detail.”

The discourse surrounding the killing of Israeli civilians on October 7 has been a central element in shaping public opinion on the war. “So much of the rage in Israel is a function of this very high toll of civilian death,” said Khalidi. “War leads to civilian deaths, but this was far beyond what could or should have been acceptable under any circumstances, and that is also on the planners of this operation. I think that's a hard thing to say, but I think it's something that should be said.”

Eventually, under both domestic and international pressure, Netanyahu agreed to a limited exchange deal. During a brief truce last November, Hamas released 105 civilian hostages to Israel in return for 240 Palestinians—mostly women and children—held captive by Israel. “[Hamas] made a quick deal with the Israelis,” said Baskin. “It was three prisoners for every hostage. I think that was an amazingly low price.”

Ghazi Hamad, the Hamas official who worked with Sinwar, was emphatic that Hamas did not intend to take Israeli civilians hostage. “What we planned was just for military purposes, just to destroy this part of the Israeli army who controls the situation in Gaza and to take some hostages from the military—soldiers—in order to make a kind of exchange,” he said. “I don't deny that there were some mistakes done by some people, but I am talking about the decision of Hamas, the policy of Hamas.”

Baskin told me it was immediately clear that Hamas did not prepare for holding so many civilians and was caught off guard when other Palestinian groups and individuals who flooded into Israel that day took large numbers of hostages, including senior citizens and children. “They ended up simply taking people back into Gaza without thinking about the logistics, about what price they wanted for them,” Baskin said. “From day four of the war, I was talking to Hamas already about a deal for the women, the children, the elderly, and the wounded, which I thought was the low hanging fruit, because Hamas would not have been set up to deal with them. They wanted to get rid of them.”

Israel has used the civilian hostages as the primary justification for their continued siege. Hamad confirmed that negotiations began almost immediately after the October 7 attacks. He told me that “from the first week, we talked to some people, some mediators, that we want to return the civilians, but Israel refused.”

Bold claim. I'm sure we'll find out soon enough--

--Oh wait. Today's Haaretz: How Netanyahu Has Systematically Foiled Talks to Release Hostages From Hamas Captivity
The past six months, during which Israel negotiated a framework for the release of Israeli hostages being held captive by Hamas in the Gaza Strip – were riddled with hopeful moments that shattered one after the other. While Hamas impeded the talks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeatedly torpedoed their progress – particularly when it came to decisive moments.

Netanyahu believes that an agreement on a hostage deal will most likely lead to his government's collapse – which he seeks to avoid at all costs. Defense officials who spoke with Haaretz said that in his attempt to derail negotiations, Netanyahu relied on classified intelligence and manipulated the sensitive information. This is how Netanyahu systematically foiled the negotiations to free the hostages.

January: On January 28, Israel's Mossad head met the mediators in Paris for the first time, and the progress achieved was described as significant. Yet upon Barnea's return to Israel, Netanyahu published a series of five press releases, in which he emphasized the gaps that remain between the sides. Defense officials who spoke to Haaretz claimed that Netanyahu used information that was brought up in private security talks and left the door open to derail the deal.

Netanyahu said, among other statements, that "the reports about the deal are untrue and include conditions that Israel finds unacceptable. We press on until the total victory." In a speech at the pre-army Bnei David preparatory program in the West Bank settlement of Eli, Netanyahu also said: "I hear talks about all kinds of deals, so I want to clarify: We won't withdraw the Israel Defense Forces from the Gaza Strip and won't release thousands of terrorists. None of that will happen."

February: On February 6, Hamas releases a written statement in which it wrote it "treated the framework positively." Netanyahu responds immediately, releasing a statement by "a senior Israeli official" saying that "Hamas' answer to the hostage deal is actually negative" and adding that Israel has no intention in stopping the war. On that same week, according to Israel's Channel 13, Netanyahu instructed Likud ministers to attack the deal that was taking shape.

April: In an interview to investigative TV program 'Uvda,' a senior member of the Israeli negotiating team says Netanyahu bypasses the war cabinet after it approves the mandate to the teams, and prevents them from carrying out their assignments.

"I can't say that without Netanyahu there would be no deal," said the official, presented as D. "I can say that the probability of a deal would be higher." D. continued: "Since December, definitely since January, it's clear to everyone that we're not conducting negotiations. It happens again and again: You get a mandate during the day, then the prime minister makes phone calls at night, instructs 'don't say that' and 'I'm not approving this,' thus bypassing both the team leaders and the war cabinet."

April: A sensitive decision is made at a war cabinet meeting – what would be the minimal number of hostages that Israel would find acceptable as part of an interim deal. The number is classified as top secret, as Hamas would cling to the smallest number of hostages rather than a larger group. Given that the cabinet is united in its position to agree to the deal, Netanyahu is forced to allow the negotiating team to press on. That same day, Netanyahu meets with Minister Bezalel Smotrich and shares the sensitive number with him. Smotrich, who was not a member of the limited war cabinet, leaks it inaccurately to ministers and to the media.

May: In early May, Israeli intelligence estimated that Hamas' response to the deal that's on the table will be positive. During a war cabinet meeting on May 2, Netanyahu surprises attendees by suggesting the IDF be ordered immediately to enter Rafah. All participants of the meeting oppose the idea, arguing that it would immediately derail the deal. The proposition does not pass.

On Saturday, May 4, Netanyahu releases a statement claiming – on behalf of a "senior diplomatic official" – that "Israel will under no circumstances agree to end the war as part of a deal involving the release of hostages." The statement added: "The IDF will enter Rafah and destroy the Hamas battalions remaining there, whether there is a temporary truce for releasing the hostages or not."

War cabinet members believe this statement was one of the reasons for the failure of the talks. Meanwhile, Netanyahu forbids the Israeli delegation from traveling to Cairo for another round of talks, without updating the war cabinet. The following day, at the weekly government meeting, Netanyahu brings to a vote the law shutting down the operations of Qatari television station Al Jazeera in Israel, despite the sensitive moment in the Qatari-led negotiations.

June: Netanyahu arrives at a classified discussion at the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, after which he leaks his own comments at the meeting: That he does not agree to end the war as part of the framework presented by President Biden. War cabinet members are furious with Netanyahu for foiling the talks that just renewed after a long impasse.

July: Israel sees positive developments towards a deal with Hamas, but given the sensitivity, only Netanyahu and the negotiating team are made aware of this. Though cabinet members were not briefed, Minister Smotrich says in a speech that he "wouldn't be surprised if Sinwar suddenly replies positively to the offer he received, because he is panicking and understands that we are close to victory."

Senior defense officials subsequently accused Netanyahu of sharing classified information with Smotrich. The Finance Minister, on his part, denied he was briefed, saying that he simply "read a simple map which combines reports in foreign media and the progress in military pressure." Contrary to his statements, the foreign media carried no reports on the deal in those days.

July: Israel receives Hamas' comments to the framework presented by Biden, and the negotiating teams describes them as "the best answer received" since negotiations began. But even before Hamas' response is made public, Netanyahu's office releases a statement attributed to a "senior security official" saying that "Hamas is still insisting on a fundamental clause in the framework. There are more gaps that haven't been closed. Israel will continue the negotiations while continuing the military pressure." This message contradicts the position held by Israel's negotiating team – the professional authority on the matter.

Bibi's role here is clear. Here's my only question, which has been my only question/commentary of the last nine months: what possessed the rest of the country especially its military then? Or those outside the country, carrying water for this pack of liars and murderers? Actual relatives and friends in our lives died for their lies.


In 'aiding and abetting' news:

- Adam Johnson: The Biden Administration’s Fake “Ceasefire” Gambit Seems To Have Mostly Worked
No longer are the daily horrors coming out of Gaza seen as the fault of the President. Instead, they are something more abstract—and authorless.

- Guardian: US ‘pressuring UK to block ICC’s Netanyahu arrest warrant’ - Human rights barrister says US expects Labour government to continue UK challenge to proposed action against Israeli PM

-WaPo: U.S. to again ship 500-pound bombs to Israel, reversing suspension - The Biden administration will resume sending large bombs to Israel that had been held up since May amid concerns about the Rafah invasion. But 2,000-pound bombs are still under review.
posted by cendawanita at 3:14 AM on July 11 [7 favorites]

Palestinian armed groups adopt "guerrilla warfare" against Israel: Guerrilla warfare is considered one of the most important military tactics mastered by the Palestinian resistance and becoming more present in this current war. This form of warfare relies on hit-and-run tactics, setting up ambushes and using snipers, and basically avoiding face-to-face confrontation with Israeli soldiers as much as possible, while increases the number of casualties.

Military sources close to the resistance said that Hamas has relied on its tunnels, its fighters, and its weapons stockpile to compliment the strengths of guerrilla warfare.

The sources further explained that Hamas allowed other Palestinian factions to use its ammunition and tunnels for offensive purposes against Israeli soldiers. These attacks carried out by Hamas are usually carried out by a cell of only two to five people.

Military sources further noted that the Palestinian fighters are attacking more aggressively, firing more anti-tank weapons at Israeli soldiers who often take cover in destroyed homes and at Israeli army vehicles at a daily rate.

Palestinians calling home to Gaza have their digital lives destroyed: BBC News has spoken to 20 Palestinians living abroad who say Microsoft, which owns the voice and video chat app, kicked them out of their accounts. The total number affected is thought to be much higher. In some cases, these email accounts are more than 15 years old and the users have no way to retrieve emails, contacts or memories.

(Of note and for other context: Microsoft's censorship in China is even more extreme than actual Chinese companies.)

Tangentially related to pro-Palestine protests: Violet Affleck, Ben Affleck's daughter, spoke up against mask bans at an LA Board of Supervisors meeting. The mask ban was proposed by LA's mayor after a pro-Palestinian protest at a synagogue that purportedly hosted an Israeli real estate company selling property in the West Bank. Mask bans are gaining popularity in both Republican and Democratic jurisdictions after pro-Palestinian protests.
posted by toastyk at 7:12 AM on July 11 [5 favorites]

Semafor: Foreign reporters visit ‘unrecognizable’ Rafah for the first time
The city was described as a “flattened wasteland,” a “maze of rubble,” and “unrecognizable.” It was the first time international media had been allowed into Rafah since Israel began what it called a “limited” operation.

But the level of destruction called Israel’s characterization into question, the reports said

Various on the pier:
Navy Times: After last-ditch effort, the Gaza pier aid mission is coming to an end
The news comes less than two months after the mission began. The operation is estimated to have cost $270 million and left three U.S. service members injured in the process.

The announcement came after troops attempted to re-anchor the pier and failed “due to technical and weather-related issues,” Pentagon spokesman Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said in a statement.

(...) And in an incident in May that the Pentagon has not fully explained, three U.S. troops sustained non-combat injuries in connection to the mission, with one service member requiring evacuation back to the states.

Officials have not disclosed the nature of that service member’s injury.

AP: US-built pier will be put back in Gaza for several days to move aid, then permanently removed
The officials said the goal is to clear whatever aid has piled up in Cyprus and on the floating dock offshore and get it to the secure area on the beach in Gaza. Once that has been done, the Army will dismantle the pier and depart. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because final details are still being worked out.

Guardian: US Gaza aid pier to be permanently dismantled after operating for just 20 days – Pier, which has delivered the equivalent of a single day’s pre-war land aid deliveries in two months, will reportedly be removed in a few days’ time


This one came before the Haaretz piece above, but it's damned hard to get around the paywall so I sacrificed an email:
Al-Monitor (exclusive): Egypt enraged by Netanyahu's demands as talks stall, Israel-Cairo ties tumble
Netanyahu’s “non-negotiable” demands, as described by his office, include a guarantee that Israel could resume fighting Hamas in the Gaza Strip at any stage in the cease-fire deal that includes the phased release of some 120 Israelis held by the organization for nine months. Although Netanyahu acknowledged that Hamas had given up its demand for an Israeli commitment to end the war, he attributed this shift to his insistence on continued military pressure on the organization.

Netanyahu’s statement enraged the Egyptian mediators, puzzled the Qatari negotiators and frustrated the Israeli security officials working for months on the deal, Arab and Israeli diplomatic sources told Al-Monitor. The US mediators appeared the least annoyed, as they know who they are dealing with. A senior Israeli official involved in the talks told Al-Monitor that the Americans would have been actually surprised had Netanyahu not thrown a spanner in the works.

Netanyahu, evidently alarmed by the unusually positive indications of progress in the protracted hostage deal talks, rushed to try to sabotage them. While the Israeli team led by Mossad chief David Barnea convened in the prime minister’s office to formulate its strategy for the resumption of negotiations in Doha this week, Netanyahu’s aides issued the statement of demands and laid out the obstacles to a deal.

(...) According to a diplomatic source close to the negotiations, the Egyptian mediators were particularly incensed at Netanyahu’s latest stunt. Egyptian officials expressed themselves to their Israeli counterparts in harsh language not heard recently in the intimate forums between the sides, especially between Israeli and Egyptian defense officials. They argued that Netanyahu was torpedoing and thwarting all the intense efforts they and other mediators had put into the talks for months, and therefore there was no reason to keep trying.

The Egyptians told their Israeli counterparts that Netanyahu must first decide what he wants rather than driving the entire region into volatility, said the diplomatic source. He noted that the Egyptians have invested a great deal of energy in an effort to break the impasse and end the war in Gaza through a hostage deal. Indeed, Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel has devoted much of his time in recent months to the issue.

Netanyahu’s conduct also risks undermining the highly sensitive Israeli-Egyptian discussions on the future of the Philadelphi Corridor that runs along the Gaza-Egypt border and has served as the main smuggling conduit enabling Hamas’ buildup in recent years.

"This area is the axis on which the entire future agreement will rise or fall," a senior Israeli security source told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. The security source noted that massive amounts of weapons, ammunition and other material flowed into Gaza for over a decade through underground tunnels below the border and through the Rafah crossing, which is the only above-ground passage between Gaza and Egypt.

“Hamas built its deadly military machine this way. The issue was ignored. We and the Egyptians are now trying — with close American assistance — to formulate a solution that will allow us to sleep peacefully knowing that Hamas is unable to rehabilitate its military capabilities," the source added.

Egypt’s cooperation on this matter is vital. While it rejects a continued Israeli presence along its border with the Gaza Strip, which Israeli troops captured in recent months, Netanyahu has made clear that Israeli control of the border is a non-negotiable demand. The sides are discussing the construction of a costly, US-funded deep underground barrier, fitted with Israeli-made systems and sensors to detect the digging of new underground smuggling routes.

Israel is also demanding the presence of its own representatives or of an acceptable third party to monitor the passage of goods through the Rafah crossing. Ronen Bar, Shin Bet security agency director, headed an Israeli delegation to Egypt on Monday for talks on resolving this sticking point.


Like the Lancet article, I look forward to this not being covered in mainstream western press:
BMJ: Israeli doctors participated in torture, alleges released director of al-Shifa Hospital - unfortunately I can't get pass the journal paywall. Good luck to actual journalists paid in western currencies though!

Also from doctors, but should be more believable, on account that they're not Palestinians:
Guardian: Israeli weapons packed with shrapnel causing devastating injuries to children in Gaza, doctors say - Surgeons who worked in European and al-Aqsa hospitals describe extensive wounds caused by ‘fragmentation’ shrapnel experts say are designed to maximize casualties
The Guardian spoke to six foreign doctors who have worked at two hospitals in Gaza, the European and al-Aqsa, in the last three months. All of them described encountering extensive wounds caused by “fragmentation” weapons, which they said have contributed to alarming rates of amputations since the war began. They said the injuries were seen in adults and children but that the damage done was likely to be more severe to younger bodies.

It's fine. It's just Palestinian children.


This just gets a "heh" from me because the headlines didn't differ much considering the respective sources:
Haaretz: 'Unacceptable': Macron Accuses Israeli Minister of Interfering in French Election in Call With Netanyahu

MEE: Macron protests Israel’s ‘unacceptable’ interference in French elections

India 🤝 Israel
Western allies who interfere in western politics but will never be scolded as much as China and Russia.


Not Gaza:

Peace Now Israel: The Annexation Agenda of the Israeli Government
Summary of the main steps of the government:

1. The completion of the annexation moves – the completion of the process of transferring the power from the army to an administration under the minister and the appointment of a “Civilian Deputy” who received the powers of the Head of the Civil Administration regarding the settlements.

2. Illegal outposts: creating a “legalization bypass route” for financing and providing services to 63 outposts; Allocation of NIS 85 million for the construction of security components in outposts in general.

3. Expected moves by the government: the legalization of the agricultural outposts; reforming the enforcement system against Palestinian construction; declaration of approximately 15,000 dunams of state land; promotion of plans in the settlements on a regular basis.

4. Additional Budgets: An addition of one billion NIS for security needs in the settlements in 2024-2025; and NIS 7 billion for roads.

posted by cendawanita at 11:17 AM on July 11 [9 favorites]

Netanyahu’s conduct also risks undermining the highly sensitive Israeli-Egyptian discussions on the future of the Philadelphi Corridor that runs along the Gaza-Egypt border and has served as the main smuggling conduit enabling Hamas’ buildup in recent years.

Egypt’s cooperation on this matter is vital. While it rejects a continued Israeli presence along its border with the Gaza Strip, which Israeli troops captured in recent months, Netanyahu has made clear that Israeli control of the border is a non-negotiable demand. The sides are discussing the construction of a costly, US-funded deep underground barrier, fitted with Israeli-made systems and sensors to detect the digging of new underground smuggling routes.

Israel is also demanding the presence of its own representatives or of an acceptable third party to monitor the passage of goods through the Rafah crossing. Ronen Bar, Shin Bet security agency director, headed an Israeli delegation to Egypt on Monday for talks on resolving this sticking point.

...all of this, of course, points to the absolute intent by Israel to continue genocide and ethnic cleansing, even if they have to slow it back down to pre-October-7 levels.
posted by adrienneleigh at 11:31 AM on July 11 [8 favorites]

I honestly don't know how people keep on going...

Gaza officials say 90 Palestinians killed as Israel targeted Hamas military chief in a designated humanitarian zone.

Netanyahu reverses on key Israeli concession in ceasefire talks - Israel had previously agreed to allow Palestinians unrestricted access to northern Gaza during an eventual ceasefire, but the prime minister told his negotiating team this week to demand that armed men be barred from northern Gaza as part of any ceasefire and hostage deal, the source said.

The new demand could potentially upend progress in hostage negotiations and raises further questions about Netanyahu’s commitment to Israel’s own proposal for a deal that has become the basis for detailed negotiations.

CNN's investigators found that the members of Netzah Yehuda battalion, which Biden refused to sanction, despite the fact that they killed a Palestinian American citizen, are now serving in senior military positions and shaping the military conduct in Gaza.

How Hamas is fighting in Gaza - Hamas’s decision to keep fighting has proved disastrous for the Palestinians of Gaza. With Hamas refusing to surrender, Israel has forged ahead with a military campaign that has killed nearly 2 percent of Gaza’s prewar population, according to Gazan authorities; displaced roughly 80 percent of its residents, according to the United Nations; and damaged a majority of Gaza’s buildings, according to the U.N.

By contrast, fewer than 350 Israeli soldiers have died in Gaza since the start of the invasion, according to military statistics — far fewer than Israeli officials had predicted in October.

Yet despite the carnage in Gaza, Hamas’s strategy has helped the group fulfill some of its own goals.
The war has tarnished Israel’s reputation in much of the world, prompting charges of genocide at the International Court of Justice, in The Hague. It has exacerbated long-running rifts in Israeli society, prompting disagreements among Israelis about whether and how Israel should defeat Hamas. And it has restored the question of Palestinian statehood to global discourse, leading several countries to recognize Palestine as a state.

posted by toastyk at 3:39 PM on July 13 [5 favorites]

So I guess we don't even know whether Israel even succeeded in killing the military chief Mohammad Deif they were aiming for?

Renowned Jewish-Palestinian restaurant Majda closes as its owners leave Israel: "We are very tired," Michal says. "And since October, the restaurant was empty for many months. We have despaired. People are not with us, and we understand completely why they aren't coming. This country is shrouded in hatred, despair and pain at the moment. The feeling is that we have become mute from shock and there is no one to talk to. Over the last 14 years, we extended a hand to people and talked, and now we feel that we're not capable. So we want to get away from this insane country for a time, to rest a little and to live our small lives. The whole world isn't sane at the moment, but we are embarking on a new path and we are happy and excited about it."

Delta Airlines forces passenger to remove "Jews Say Ceasefire" shirt during his flight: We hear talk about fighting for the soul of the country. Right now, the Jewish community is at war over what the soul of Jewishness will look like in this century. Instrumental to this fight is a critical question: Will we, in this moment, have the courage and moral fortitude to divest our support from a nation-state that is currently committing what a former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court characterized as a genocide; what a United Nations report and Amnesty International call an apartheid state; a country that, like the United States, was built on the displacement of Indigenous people from their land? I believe we should have the courage and moral fortitude to divest our support from a failed project. That is why I wore the shirt.
posted by toastyk at 10:30 PM on July 14 [7 favorites]

If anyone's interested, there will be an event on July 24th to protest Netanyahu's visit to DC.

Ukraine sent a flour shipment to Palestinian territories.

What are Arab American women supposed to do this November? The comments are expected; don't read them if you value your sanity.

How watermelon cupcakes kicked off an internal storm at Meta - Meta deemed the planned watermelon cupcakes a violation of its ban on workplace discussions about war or statehood, though its New York cafeteria served fresh watermelon slices the day of the club fair and many times since. In the end, green cupcakes with pink frosting and black pearl topping (which didn’t look much like watermelon) were served.

“I am deeply concerned and tired of the exorbitant internal censorship at Meta, that is now hinging on absurdity,” Saima Akhter, a data scientist at Meta involved in the proposed cupcake offering, wrote on Instagram on May 29 after the company squashed the plan.

Just remembering when Ai Weiwei said censorship is worse in the US than in China, especially on Palestinian issues.

ICC warrants for Netanyahu, Gallant, expected within 2 weeks.

IDF will start drafting the ultra-Orthodox on Sunday - the news has led to the ultra-Orthodox party telling young men to resist the draft.
posted by toastyk at 7:10 AM on July 18 [6 favorites]

Jeremy Scahill:
Palestinian Islamic Jihad: "Oslo Is Over"
Dr. Mohammed Al-Hindi, a top leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, discusses October 7, the war against Israel, and whether Trump or Biden would be better for Palestine.
posted by adamvasco at 7:24 AM on July 19 [2 favorites]

The ICJ's advisory opinion is out and it's amazing and historic. The occupation and the genocide are both entirely unlawful. I'm afk but if someone else doesn't swoop in, I'll link more details in a couple hours.
posted by adrienneleigh at 8:08 AM on July 19 [7 favorites]

(NB: This is NOT the ruling on South Africa's case, which is still in progress. This is an advisory ruling in response to a request from the UNGA.)
posted by adrienneleigh at 8:11 AM on July 19 [2 favorites]

ICJ says Israel's occupation violates international law (NYT)

Here's the opinion itself.
posted by box at 8:11 AM on July 19 [6 favorites]

Against that backdrop, apparently the Houthis claim responsibility for a drone strike in Tel Aviv that killed 1, wounded 4.
posted by toastyk at 8:11 AM on July 19 [2 favorites]

The Crowdstrike snafu also affected the proceedings of the genocide - according to ground reports there was a good 2 hours plus of no airstrikes from the IDF.

ANYWAY, that would be the military of the unlawfully occupying apartheid state of Israel.
posted by cendawanita at 8:28 AM on July 19 [5 favorites]

Haaretz analysis on the ICJ decision In the last 30 years, Israel's legal line of defense changed somewhat from the "no sovereign" argument to the Oslo Accords of 1993. According to Israel, the accords proved that the occupation was indeed meant to be temporary in the absence of a diplomatic settlement. By virtue of the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, its sovereignty over Palestinian population centers in the West Bank and Gaza, and the mutual commitment to a future Palestinian state, Israel proved it had no annexationist intentions.

Good luck expecting this argument with any credibility from Israel's current extremist government, but that remains the core of Israel's legal defense.

Setting aside the nonbinding nature of Friday's ruling and the lack of political feasibility, the court essentially armed countries, institutions and corporations with reasoned justification not only to admonish Israel, but to penalize it. No one thinks that this ruling will trigger a policy overhaul or political awakening.

But the knee-jerk pontifications, condemnations and derision in Israel are equally unfeasible. The entire world may be wrong, sure, but ignoring it isn't policy or moral posture. It's the lack of them.

Dem VA Senator Tim Kaine calls for the US recognition of Palestine: In a statement posted to his webpage, Senator Kaine said that due to the Knesset's decision to deny the establishment of a Palestinian state, " the US should no longer condition recognition on Israeli assent, but instead upon Palestinian willingness to peacefully coexist with its neighbors."

BTW, if you reside in LA, did you know the City Council is considering paying former IDF to protect its religious communities, after the protests at a synagogue hosting a real estate fair that listed properties in the West Bank?

Adidas dropped Palestinian model Bella Hadid from campaign that referenced 1972 Munich Olympics after protests from Israeli officials. The rest of the campaign featuring other models/celebrities is still up.

American surgeons who volunteered in Gaza speak up: We started seeing a series of children, preteens mostly, who’d been shot in the head. They’d go on to slowly die, only to be replaced by new victims who’d also been shot in the head, and who would also go on to slowly die. Their families told us one of two stories: the children were playing inside when they were shot by Israeli forces, or they were playing in the street when they were shot by Israeli forces.
posted by toastyk at 7:24 AM on July 20

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