Under Cover of Flight MH17, Israel Begins Ground Assault

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he has instructed the country’s military to begin a ground offensive in Gaza, Reuters reports.

More from the Associated Press:

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Thousands of Israeli soldiers backed by tanks invaded the Gaza Strip on Thursday, a military spokesman said, escalating a 10-day military operation to try to destroy Hamas’ weapons arsenal, rocket firing abilities and tunnels used to send militants from the Palestinian territory into Israel.

The high-stakes move was compelled by Israel’s growing exasperation over unrelenting rocket fire and followed the collapse of Egyptian-led efforts to broker a cease-fire. It also came after a failed attempt by 13 militants to infiltrate Israel earlier Thursday through a tunnel under the Gaza-Israel border, only to be stopped by an Israeli strike at the mouth of the tunnel.

The military said the first major Israeli ground offensive in Gaza in just over five years was open-ended and would be carried out on several fronts in the coastal strip.

“Our forces, large ground forces accompanied by massive air force support, naval forces and intelligence, are taking over targets in Gaza, operating against tunnels and terror activists and infrastructure,” Israel’s chief military spokesman Brig. Gen. Motti Almoz said.

He called on Gaza residents to evacuate areas where the military is operating, warning the “military is operating there with very great force.”

 

 

 

Amb. Dermer’s Twitter Focus Group Study Goes Straight to Hell in a Hand-basket

by Scott Creighton

(Here is some more of that “rhetoric” you were talking about Lilaleo)

Everything is marketing in the eyes of today’s glorious corporatist/fascist leaders. They are constantly holding focus groups and running polls in order to get a feel of how the public perceives their machinations. It’s not so they can plot policy around public opinion… oh no. That would be democracy and that isn’t allowed. It’s so they can gauge the effectiveness of their propaganda and spin; so they can better understand how effectively they have controlled the message.

To that end the Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer held a live “AskDermer” Twitter feed this morning and something tells me it didn’t go so well for him.

Surely they made sure to have all their paid college age shills standing by at the ready on their keyboards with all their talking points on a cheat sheet ready for the copy and paste war that was to follow.

Didn’t do ‘em any good. Civil society showed up. People with a conscience showed up. People not on the Israeli payroll showed up and in the end, the fiasco did more harm than good to the Israeli PR machine knows as the Megaphonies (H/T Mike Rivero)

Get a load of some of these tweets.

Price of the average college shill – $2,000. Price of PR in the EU – 2 million. Watching Dermer get raked over the coals by real human beings – priceless.

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Operation Protective Edge: Gaza and LNG Reserves

by Scott Creighton

Just for reference, here are articles detailing the massive LNG reserves (Marine – 1 and Marine – 2) sitting off the coast of Gaza in Palestinian waters and how the Israeli government covets them.

War and Natural Gas: The Israeli Invasion and Gaza’s Offshore Gas Fields Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, Jan. 2009 

33 Israeli Civlians or 100 Billion Cubic Meters of LNG? What Do You Think the Gaza Invasion Is About?  Scott Creighton, Jan. 4 2009

Israel’s rape of Gaza’s Natural Resources – The truth behind the conflicts Peter Eyre – Middle East Consultant – 17/11/2012

IDF’s Gaza assault is to control Palestinian gas, avert Israeli energy crisis  Nafeez Ahmed, the Guardian, July 8 2014

Operation Protective Edge: IMEMC Lists 208 Palestinians Killed So Far by IDF (39 Children)

“Among those killed, 39 were aged 16 or younger and 24 were women.”

The IMEMC (International Middle East Media Center) has compiled a list of the names of the Palestinians killed so far by Israel’s IDF during Operation Protective Edge. You will recall I linked to a U.N. report from Friday which showed that 77% of the fatalities in Gaza were civilians. That number was based on a death toll at the time which stood at 114. It would appear, looking at the names of the fallen since then that the 77% number, though exceedingly high for collateral damage in a war-zone, is low.

It is also important to remember that according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, prior to Israel launching Operation Protective Edge, in 2014 the conflict between Israel and Palestine had produced 4 Israeli victims compared to 50 Palestinians and that the 4 Israel victims include the 3 young university students who were probably killed by someone other than Hamas.

18 members of the al-Batsh family were killed in Khan Younis. The entire al-Hajj family was exterminated in the same city on Thursday.

Listed below are the names of the fallen as compiled by the IMEMC.

Previously I have been reporting the lists of names as compiled by Victims of Gaza. They list 205 victims thus far (39 children).

IDENTIFIED: (33) are 16 or younger in red ; (27) are 50 or older in blue

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Egyptian Ceasefire Agreement is Just Geopolitical Theater to Give Israel “international legitimacy”

by Scott Creighton

UPDATE: Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman calls for Israeli occupation of Gaza

——

When is a ceasefire deal not really a ceasefire deal?

We did not receive any official draft of this Egyptian proposal,” Sami Abu Zuhri, a senior Hamas official in Gaza.

Back in 2012 during Operation Pillar of Defense, the elected government of Egypt headed by Morsi, brokered a ceasefire agreement between the Palestinians and the Israelis which brought a legitimate end to Israel’s illegitimate attack.

It pissed off the Israelis and the White House but they had no options. Israel was being condemned openly by the rest of the world for their brutal attacks on civilian targets and the ceasefire deal backed them further into a corner.

Morsi did something seemingly undoable: He condemned the Israeli military action and supported the Palestinian people,” Shehata says, “and at the same time was actively involved and seen as the most likely broker for a truce.”

Although Hamas is the ruler of the Palestinian Gaza Strip, in the past it was never welcomed at the negotiating table. The United States and Israel won’t speak to Hamas, labeling it a terrorist organization.

But in this new Middle East, where many compliant Western-backed dictators are replaced with Islamist elected leaders, Morsi, Shehata says, became the only feasible mediator. He spoke to world leaders, from Iran, historic backers of Hamas, to the United States. And using his links with Hamas, an offshoot of the regional Muslim Brotherhood, he conveyed messages back and forth — all while taking a line very different from Egypt’s Western ally, the United States: blaming Israel for the aggression. NPR

Morsi used all of his leverage and his popularity among Muslims in the Middle East and was very public about the ceasefire negotiations process. A week into Israel’s attack, they had to agree to the deal and the bombs stopped raining down on Gaza.

In this image provided by Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi (right), Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal meets with Morsi at the Presidential Palace in Cairo on Sunday. Morsi has won praise for brokering the cease-fire agreement between Hamas and Israel.

In this image provided by Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi (right), Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal meets with Morsi at the Presidential Palace in Cairo on Sunday. Morsi has won praise for brokering the cease-fire agreement between Hamas and Israel.

Today’s deal is nothing like Morsi’s back in 2012. It’s geopolitical theater designed to give Israel’s brutal assault on civilians a thin veneer of credibility or “international legitimacy” as Mr. Netanyahu said. It’s theater crafted by the spin doctors and marketing gurus who think they cleverly fooling the rest of the world. They aren’t.

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Operation Protective Edge: IMEMC Lists 195 Palestinians Killed So Far by IDF (33 Children)

“Among those killed, at least 33 were aged 16 or younger.”

The IMEMC (International Middle East Media Center) has compiled a list of the names of the Palestinians killed so far by Israel’s IDF during Operation Protective Edge. You will recall I linked to a U.N. report from Friday which showed that 77% of the fatalities in Gaza were civilians. That number was based on a death toll at the time which stood at 114. It would appear, looking at the names of the fallen since then that the 77% number, though exceedingly high for collateral damage in a war-zone, is low.

It is also important to remember that according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, prior to Israel launching Operation Protective Edge, in 2014 the conflict between Israel and Palestine had produced 4 Israeli victims compared to 50 Palestinians and that the 4 Israel victims include the 3 young university students who were probably killed by someone other than Hamas.

18 members of the al-Batsh family were killed in Khan Younis. The entire al-Hajj family was exterminated in the same city on Thursday.

Listed below are the names of the fallen as compiled by the IMEMC.

Previously I have been reporting the lists of names as compiled by Victims of Gaza. They list 192 victims thus far.

IDENTIFIED: (33) are 16 or younger in red ; (26) are 50 or older in blue

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Operation Protective Edge: IMEMC Lists 182 Palestinians Killed So Far by IDF (31 Children)

by Scott Creighton

“Among those killed, at least 31 were aged 16 or younger.”

The IMEMC (International Middle East Media Center) has compiled a list of the names of the Palestinians killed so far by Israel’s IDF during Operation Protective Edge. You will recall yesterday I linked to a U.N. report from Friday which showed that 77% of the fatalities in Gaza were civilians. That number was based on a death toll at the time which stood at 114. It would appear, looking at the names of the fallen since then that the 77% number, though exceedingly high for collateral damage in a war-zone, is low.

It is also important to remember that according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, prior to Israel launching Operation Protective Edge, in 2014 the conflict between Israel and Palestine had produced 4 Israeli victims compared to 50 Palestinians and that the 4 Israel victims include the 3 young university students who were probably killed by someone other than Hamas.

18 members of the al-Batsh family were killed in Khan Younis. The entire al-Hajj family was exterminated in the same city on Thursday.

Listed below are the names of the fallen as compiled by the IMEMC.

Previously I have been reporting the lists of names as compiled by Victims of Gaza but it would appear they are no longer updating the list.

IDENTIFIED: (31) are 16 or younger in red ; (23) are 50 or older in blue

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