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As one of our good Kossack's signature states, "I'm already against the next war."

I've time on my hands today and having thought that change would mean a new foreign policy of reducing our MIC and bringing an end to wars, it deeply disturbs me that our country supplies the weapons of destruction in Gaza and our congress resolutely supports the annihilation of innocent civilians; especially children.

Everyone loves their children, and Gaza is no different. But there is a special public affection here, a pride untempered by sensibilities of privacy or modesty. Everyone wants to show you pictures of their children. The men whip out their cellphones even more readily than the women. I have seen photos of most of the children of the staff at my hotel. My favourite receptionist Ayman has two daughters, one of whom has his fair skin and light eyes; the smiling bearded guard/housekeeper Mahmud has three sons, including the youngest, who he tells me with a mixture of pride and slight embarrassment is as 'pretty as a girl.'

Children are everywhere in Gaza. They gather around you in refugee camps and at the schools run by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA, where more than 160,000 people have sought shelter after fleeing their homes. Some of them are bold and inquisitive, reaching out a hand to shake yours, asking your name, about your family, your home country. Two sisters at a school in Gaza City rifled through my handbag looking for something to play with, and then played a clapping game with me.

U.S. House Passes Resolution Condemning Hamas

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution on Wednesday condemning Hamas for using civilians as "human shields" and refusing to agree with Israel on ceasefire terms, The Hill reports.

Passed by a voice vote, the resolution also sought to express support for Israel and and non-combative Palestinians. Congress is attempting to pass a 5 million missile defense package for Israel before leaving on a month-long vacation.

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate unanimously approved a non-binding resolution in support of Israel’s right to defend itself against rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

The resolution, which had 78 bipartisan sponsors, passed late Thursday by unanimous consent, a week after it was introduced by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.).

A similar resolution, introduced by Reps. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) and Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and with over 140 cosponsors, passed unanimously in the U.S. House of Representatives on July 11.

The US has agreed to supply Israel with various types of

    ammunition in a “non-emergency” sale, CNN cites an unnamed US defense official as saying:

        Among the items being bought are 120mm mortar rounds and 40mm ammunition for grenade launchers, officials said. Those will come from a stockpile the United States keeps in Israel, which is worth more than $1 billion. (Revised apparently, it's tank shells in short supply).

The Guardian: "More quotes are emerging from the briefing given by, Navi Pillay, the UN high commissioner for human rights, to reporters. As well as criticising Israel, she said Hamas too were committing war crimes.

Pillay said that by placing and firing rockets within heavily populated areas both sides are committing “a violation of international humanitarian law, therefore a war crime.”

She also criticised the US, Israel’s main ally, for failing to use its influence with the Israel to halt the carnage:

    Many of my remarks have been directed to the United States since they are a party with influence over Israel to do much more to stop the killing, to bring the parties to the negotiating table. I’ve called also for an end to the blockade and an end to the occupation.”

She said that she was appalled at Washington consistently voting against resolutions on Israel in the human rights council, general assembly and security council:

    They have not only provided the heavy weaponry which is now being used by Israel in Gaza but they’ve also provided almost $1 billion in providing the ‘Iron Domes’ to protect the Israels from rocket attacks. But no such protection has been provided to Gazans against the shelling."

Almost a quarter of the 1.8 million population 440,000 in the Gaza Strip are now refugees in their own land.

Creating a no-man's wasteland of 44 percent of the Gaza Strip, 9,000 homes and  24 medical facilities have been damaged since the Israeli invasion started, according to the UN.

UNRWA now has 225,178 displaced in 86 shelters. But Gaza is being destroyed. So when the war is over, where will these people go?"

Eight UN employees have been killed since Israel launched its offensive on July 8 after rocket fire from Gaza intensified.

UN shelters have been bombed by Israel on six separate occasions, including in another shelling of a UN shelter last week that killed 15 people. [Reuters]

Reports from those on the ground today are of intense shelling in Gaza and rockets falling in Israel; today's war tally, more than 1400 killed and 8,000 wounded.

We have many good diaries concerning Gaza. But as the MSN coverage is minimal and bias imho, hopefully some DC eyes will witness our concerns.

We must turn our warship around.

Please be civil.

9:55 AM PT: US secretary of state John Kerry, in India, said there is “no promise” of a ceasefire.

10:10 AM PT:


Long lines for bread being reported

Why do you bomb a bread factory?

10:23 AM PT: White House reverses position on the shelling of UN school.

White House: not 'a lot of doubt about' who fired on UN school

 Guardian Washington correspondent Paul Lewis (@paullewis) reports:

    But today, after Israeli conceded it was operating the area and said it was possible that “stray Israeli fire” hit the school, the White House has amended its stance.

    “It does not appear there is a lot of doubt about whose artillery was involved in this incident,” said the press secretary, Josh Earnest.

10:45 AM PT: Gaza Health Ministry: said 173 people had been killed within the past 24 hours.

Some 58 Israelis have been killed in total, 56 soldiers and two civilians. A Thai worker in Israel has also died.

12:05 PM PT: Figures as of this morning: 1432 dead, 1219 civilian (85%). 345 of the dead are children. h/t Lady Libertine

12:46 PM PT: American media's new pro-Israel bias: the same party line at the wrong time

Evolving conversations on the ground demand probing questions on-air. So why does TV news look like a Netanyahu ad?

1:00 PM PT:

1:25 PM PT: AP: State Dept. says no inconsistency in ammo resupply & call for Israel to do more to prevent civilian casualties.

Well.... damn.  "Who are those guys?," Butch Cassidy

1:38 PM PT: Amnesty International has called on the United States to “immediately end its ongoing deliveries of large quantities of arms to Israel.”

“It is deeply cynical for the White House to condemn the deaths and injuries of Palestinians, including children, and humanitarian workers, when it knows full well that the Israeli military responsible for such attacks are armed to the teeth with weapons and equipment bankrolled by US taxpayers,” said Brian Wood, head of arms control at AI. The group said in a statement:

2:57 PM PT:
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