US Forces started to launch air strike against ISIL militant artillery batteries in North Iraq, which recently shelled into Kurdish and Yazidi positions.
8 August 2014 Last updated at 13:13
US launches Iraq militant air strike
The US says it has launched an air strike against militants from the Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq.
The Pentagon said American aircraft attacked artillery that was being used against Kurdish forces defending the northern city of Irbil.
President Barack Obama authorised air strikes on Thursday, but said he would not send US troops back to Iraq.
The Sunni Muslim group IS, formerly known as Isis, now has control of large swathes of Iraq and Syria.
In June, IS took control of the city of Mosul. Its fighters seized Qaraqosh, Iraq’s biggest Christian town, earlier this week.
‘Carefully and responsibly’
According to the Pentagon statement, two F/A-18 aircraft dropped 500-pound laser-guided bombs on mobile artillery near Irbil.
Pentagon press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said IS had been using the artillery to shell Kurdish forces defending Irbil, where US personnel are based.
Speaking on Thursday, Mr Obama said the Iraqi government had requested assistance and the US would act “carefully and responsibly, to prevent a potential act of genocide” against the Yazidi and Christian communities – both minority groups in Iraq.
Dr Marzio Babille, Unicef’s representative in Iraq, said the Yazidis were in an extremely precarious situation because of the “very aggressive and brutal” IS militants.
He said there were many “logistical and strategic difficulties”, but added that a humanitarian corridor needed to be established.
The Sunni hardliners militant group recently threatened with ready force onto many minority groups and the Shiite majority and gave them ultimatum to follow them, as these ISIL fighters began to occupy towns in North Iraq.
Multinational volunteers of their interpretation of Jihad, ISIL intended to install a hardline Sunni government in Iraq.
However, there was no consistency when Israeli Forces started shelling into civilian population in the second half of Ramadhan. Even when Israeli Forces committed infantry and heavy armoured units deep into Gaza, in the Zionist excuse of destroying Hamas militant units.
United States did very little when the Israeli Forces were brutally conducting massacre of 1,800 Gazans within three weeks and almost completely destroyed several villages. What is more shocking as infrastructure and essential services supply include water and electricity were completely obliterated to the 1.5 million Palestinians who have been living as refugees since 66 years ago, the Americans just lip service.
The Guardian UK story:
US ‘appalled’ by ‘disgraceful’ Israeli shelling of Gaza UN school
Agencies in Washington
theguardian.com, Sunday 3 August 2014 19.51 BST
Rafah UN school strike
Men inspect dead and wounded Palestinians outside a UN-run school in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on Sunday. Photograph: APAimages/REX
The United States said on Sunday it was “appalled” by the “disgraceful” shelling by Israel of a United Nations school sheltering some 3,000 displaced people in southern Gaza.
In language that was rare in its directness and severity, the US denounced the attack which occurred earlier in the day and killed 10 people, noting that the school had been designated a protected location and the Israel Defense Forces had been informed numerous times of the school’s coordinates.
The State Department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, called on Israel to do “more to meet its own standards and avoid civilian casualties”.
“The United States is appalled by today’s disgraceful shelling outside an UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency] school in Rafah sheltering some 3,000 displaced persons, in which at least 10 more Palestinian civilians were tragically killed,” Psaki said in a statement.
On Wednesday, at least 15 Palestinians who sought refuge in a UN-run school in Jabalya refugee camp were killed, and the UN said Israeli artillery had apparently hit the building. The Israeli military said gunmen had fired mortar bombs from near the school and it shot back in response.
The US called that attack “totally unacceptable and totally indefensible”.
Psaki said UN facilities should not be used as bases from which to launch attacks.
“The suspicion that militants are operating nearby does not justify strikes that put at risk the lives of so many innocent civilians,” she said.
The US condemnation followed similar words one by the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, who said the shelling near the Rafah school was “a moral outrage and a criminal act”.
On Friday, answering questions in a White House briefing, President Barack Obama condemned Hamas’s then-reported abduction of an Israeli soldier – since reported by the Israeli army to have been killed, not abducted – but also said: “We must be clear that innocent civilians in Gaza caught in the crossfire have to weigh on our conscience and we have to do more to protect them.”
The fighting on Sunday pushed the Gaza death toll given by Palestinian officials to 1,775, most of them civilians. Israel has confirmed that 64 of its soldiers have died in combat, while three civilians have been killed in Israel.
US Secretary of State John Kerry described the ISIL Forces against the Shiites, Yazidis and Christians as “Its grotesque targeted acts of violence show all the warning signs of genocide”.
John Kerry: IS campaign in Iraq is a ‘wake-up call’
2 hours ago
The US has launched an air strike against militants from the Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq.
The strike comes after IS, formerly known as Isis, took control of large areas of Iraq and Syria, driving minority groups from their homes.
US Secretary of State John Kerry described the IS “campaign of terror” as a wake-up call: “Its grotesque targeted acts of violence show all the warning signs of genocide”.
The Israeli Forces were the ones which committed brutal deadly force against civilian Gazans, which tantamount nothing but genocide. The tragedy is heart wrenching when children were amongst those brutally murdered in these incessant shelling and bombing.
The New York Times story:
Israel’s Supporters Try to Come to Terms With the Killing of Children in Gaza
AUG. 7, 2014
Four children, three boys and a girl, all under the age of 8, were killed by an Israeli attack in Gaza City on July 17.
Credit Tyler Hicks/The
By ROBERT MACKEY
While the precise number of civilians killed in Israel’s monthlong bombardment of Gaza is once again the subject of a debate, outrage over the hundreds of Palestinian children killed has been expressed by partisans on both sides of the conflict.
The two sides differ sharply, however, over the question of who is ultimately to blame for the Israeli strikes that killed, according to a count from Unicef, 400 children and wounded over 2,500 more.
An interview with an 8-year-old Palestinian boy who was injured in an Israeli missile attack on Gaza last month. Unicef, via YouTube
For supporters of the Palestinian cause — as well as senior United Nations officials and some foreign correspondents who observed the carnage at close range — Israel’s military bears responsibility for firing shells and missiles that took so many young lives.
Palestinians evacuating a survivor after an Israeli airstrike hit a family building in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on Sunday.Israeli Procedure Reignites Old DebateAUG. 7, 2014
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said most deaths could have been avoided had Hamas accepted an earlier cease-fire.Israeli Premier Voices Regret for Civilian Casualties, but Blames HamasAUG. 6, 2014
Palestinian business leaders said Israeli artillery damaged many of Gaza’s most successful industrial plants, including this biscuit factory in Deir al-Balah.Conflict Leaves Industry in Ashes and Gaza Reeling From Economic TollAUG. 6, 2014
The body of a child in the morgue at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, six infants under age 1 were killed during Israeli military operations.Civilian or Not? New Fight in Tallying the Dead From the Gaza ConflictAUG. 5, 2014
But many Israelis and their supporters abroad, forced to grapple with the moral implications of backing a military campaign against guerrilla fighters embedded in a densely populated area, have embraced the rationale offered by Israel’s government that Islamist militants are guilty of provoking the carnage by launching missiles from residential neighborhoods.
“Every civilian casualty is a tragedy, a tragedy of Hamas’s own making,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters on Wednesday. He did not address the objection, raised by some of his critics, that Israel’s own military command center is close to a Tel Aviv hospital.
Not all Israel’s supporters agree. “A provocation does not relieve one of accountability for how one responds to it,” Leon Wieseltier, the literary editor of The New Republic, wrote on Wednesday, echoing an argument made last month by the Palestinian-American legal scholar George Bisharat. “For this reason,” Mr. Wieseltier added, “the war has filled me with disquiet, which my sympathetic understanding of Israel’s position has failed to stifle.”
Mr. Wieseltier then reminded his readers that “On the Slaughter,” a poetic meditation on a bloody pogrom in czarist Russia cited by Israel’s prime minister last month after the killing of three Jewish teenagers by Islamist militants, argued explicitly that the the killing of children was an unfathomable outrage. “After all, even Satan has not yet devised the proper vengeance for the death of a child,” he wrote, paraphrasing the Hebrew poet Hayim Nahman Bialik.
“I have been surprised by the magnitude of the indifference in the Jewish world to the human costs of Israel’s defense against the missiles and the tunnels,” Mr. Wieseltier wrote. “Some of the emails I have received have been lunatic in their lack of compassion. According to a poll by the Israel Democracy Institute, 95 percent of Jewish Israelis believe the war in Gaza is just. It is easy to see why: Self-defense is also a moral duty. But only 4 percent believe that the Israeli military has used excessive force. This makes me queasy.”
Asked to explain how an offensive that has claimed so many lives is nonetheless supported in Israel, Eva Illouz, a professor of sociology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, told the German magazine Der Spiegel: “Israelis have a strong sense of their own moral superiority. ‘We ask people to get out of their houses; we call them on the phone to make sure civilians are evacuated. We behave humanly,’ the Israeli thinks. An army with good manners.”
Continue reading the main story
Most of her fellow citizens, Ms. Illouz added, “judge by the intention, whereas the world judges by the consequences.”
Others, including the Nobel peace laureate Elie Wiesel, have attempted to draw a bright line between Israel’s conduct and that of Hamas and other militant groups who stand accused of using Gaza’s children as “human shields.” In an essay printed this week in the pages of major American newspapers, including The New York Times, as a paid advertisement, Mr. Wiesel invoked the biblical story of Abraham and Isaac to accuse the Islamist fighters of practicing a form of “child sacrifice.”
Continue reading the main story
Though that faith-based advertising campaign, paid for by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s Values Network, was endorsed by Israel’s foreign ministry, even some supporters of the military campaign remain unconvinced by the argument that Israel is free of blame for the death of Gaza’s children.
Continue reading the main story
David Landau, a former editor of the left-leaning Israeli daily Haaretz, who supported a ground invasion of Gaza, argued forcefully that the inevitable killing of civilians in aerial bombardment made that part of the operation a violation of a principle of Halakha, or Jewish religious law. Specifically, he said, there is a “ruling based on the Talmud,” which holds “that the defense of ‘something unintended’ does not apply in cases where a sinful outcome is inevitable.”
Referring to a Jewish moral tale about a farmer who chopped off the head of a chicken not to kill it but to give his child something to play with, Mr. Landau wrote: “Like the lopped chicken’s head, there is no defense of no intent when the unintended offense is inevitable. The record shows the death and wounding of noncombatants as virtually inevitable in the bombing of the crowded Gaza Strip.”
The Israeli government’s accusation that Islamist militants knowingly used Gaza’s civilians as shields has been disputed by Palestinians. Noura Erakat, a Palestinian-American legal scholar at George Mason University, insisted in a televised debate with Amos Guiora, an Israeli-American professor of law at the University of Utah, that there was simply no evidence for that contention.
Noura Erakat and Amos Guiora debated the legal and moral implications of the fighting in Gaza last month. PBS NewsHour, via YouTube
Ms. Erakat has also argued that “Israel does not have the right to self-defense in international law against occupied Palestinian territory.” (Israel’s argument that it no longer occupies the Gaza Strip has been dismissed by some scholars like Lisa Hajjar of the University of California, who has called it “a self-generated ‘license to kill.’”)
Still, the accusation that Hamas used children as shields has become so widely accepted by many supporters of Israel that it has given rise to crude speculation, like the conspiracy theory that four boys killed on a Gaza beach last month by Israeli shelling were sent to their deaths by ruthless militants hoping to tarnish Israel’s reputation. In an interview on Israeli television last week that was shared by Israel’s defenders, the American comedian Joan Rivers repeated that unsubstantiated claim.
Joan Rivers discussed the conflict in Gaza on Israeli television last week. Channel 10 Israel, via YouTube
The day after Ms. Rivers’s interview, an Australian editorial cartoon depicted a militant putting a child in danger for the benefit of public relations.
The bombing campaign and the indelible images of dead children have alienated some otherwise staunch defenders of Israel. Louise Mensch, a conservative British politician with a large Twitter following and a track record of support for Israel, was so distressed by the conduct of the Gaza campaign that she lambasted the Israeli government last weekend.
Ms. Mensch, whose husband is Jewish, even suggested that Mr. Netanyahu — who told CNN that Hamas had baited Israel into killing civilians to “use telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause” — should undertake a closer study of his faith’s ethical teachings if he felt no responsibility for children killed by Israeli shelling as they played hide-and-seek on a beach.
It is obvious the so called champions of ‘democracy and human rights’ are grossly inconsistent, hypocrites and practice morbid double standards.