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Resources updated between Monday, July 21, 2014 and Thursday, July 24, 2014
July 24, 2014
UN Human Rights Council Resolution "Ensuring respect for international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem"
July 23, 2014
"Nearly 140,000 women in Britain are believed to be living with the consequences of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a practice that involves cutting, or in some cases total removal of, a woman's genitalia. According to a report by City University London and Equality Now, up to 137,000 women in England and Wales could be living with the after-effects of the practice, despite it being illegal in Britain. Of those, about 10,000 are under 15 years of age and 50,000 are over 50. Although most are believed to have emigrated to Britain from countries where the practice is more widespread, around 20,000 young girls are still thought to be at risk of having FGM performed on them within the UK. The figure in the report is slightly lower than the number estimated by the Home Affairs Select Committee earlier this month, who said up to 170,000 women in Britain could have suffered FGM, although it is still very high for a country which has outlawed the practice."
July 22, 2014
Ban Ki-Moon's Shameful Message In Israel's Hour Of Need
It is hard to imagine two more unwelcome, uninvited visitors to Israel in the middle of a war against Palestinian terrorists than UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and US Secretary of State John Kerry. But even more unwelcome is that they are working together.
Their common cause is that although Israel has a right of self-defense in theory, Israel ought to be prevented from exercising this right in practice.
Events over the past week have provided an extraordinary demonstration of this reprehensible nexus.
On July 16, 2014, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) issued a report stating: "the Israeli military delivered text messages to virtually all the residents of Ash Shuja'iyya and Az Zaitun neighborhoods in eastern Gaza city, approximately 100,000 people, warning them to leave their homes by 8 am today (16 July), ahead of attacks to be launched in the area." The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) also made phone calls and distributed leaflets.
OCHA then describes what came next: "Subsequently, the Palestinian Ministry of Interior in Gaza reportedly instructed the residents to...not flee the area." As a result, OCHA admits: "the vast majority decided to stay."
This story tells us both that Israel adhered to the Geneva Convention demand of providing "effective advance warning" to civilians and that Hamas violated the rule forbidding parties to "direct the movement of ...civilians in order to shield military objectives from attack."
What was Hamas trying to protect when it used Palestinians as human shields in Shuja'iyya?
The IDF refers to Shuja'iyya as the Hamas' "terror fortress" in the Gaza Strip. The IDF has found more than ten openings to tunnels in Shuja'iyya and since July 8, Hamas has fired over 140 rockets at Israel from this neighborhood alone. As IDF Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz put it: "Hamas has built a war machine in residential areas."
This is another violation of the laws of armed conflict. By deliberately locating its terrorist infrastructure in the midst of Shuja'iyya's civilian population, Hamas violates the prohibition on "locating legitimate military targets within or near densely populated areas."
Following the warnings, the IDF went into the Shuja'iyya neighborhood – and is still there – for the purpose of destroying the tunnels that have been designed and used to attack Israeli civilians. This is Hamas' most basic war crime of all. In the words of the Geneva Conventions, civilians "shall not be the object of attack."
On the night of July 19, 2014 in separate incidents in the Shuja'iyya area, Israel lost 13 soldiers, more soldiers in a single night than Israel lost in the whole of the three week 2008-2009 ground offensive Operation Cast Lead. These soldiers died in an ambush. An anti-tank mine. Trapped in a burning building.
The IDF affords us the context. They "encountered fierce Hamas fighting in the dense urban environment" as Hamas tried "to defend their tunnel infrastructure."
In these circumstances, Palestinian civilians who remained in Shuja'iyya – despite the warnings – died. Data on fatalities, in OCHA's own words, are "preliminary and subject to change based on further verification," so the number of civilian casualties is unclear.
What is clear is the outrageous reaction of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. On July 20, 2014 he said: "dozens more civilians, including children, have been killed in Israeli military strikes in the Shuja'iyya neighborhood in Gaza. I condemn this atrocious action. Israel must exercise maximum restraint and do far more to protect civilians."
Ban Ki-moon said nothing about Hamas having failed to protect Palestinian civilians. He said nothing about Hamas having put Palestinian civilians directly in harm's way. In fact he said nothing about any "atrocious action" by Hamas. He also made no demand that Hamas "restrain" itself from fulfilling its stated goal, namely, that "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it."
For the UN, no move that Israel makes short of surrender to the Palestinian mob, will ever be sufficient.
When Palestinian civilians did heed Israel's warnings and did not die, on July 16, 2014 OCHA complained "the relocation experience has been...traumatic...Women have reported stress due to their inability to maintain...modesty norms...[in] overcrowded spaces..."
Five million Israelis have just seconds to run for a bomb shelter and save their lives. Older people have died from heart failure when the sirens go off. Small children flee rockets raining down on their kindergartens and spend hours trapped between four walls day after day. Let alone the parents and brothers and sisters of the 50,000 plus heroic young men and women on the front lines who spend every waking minute dreading a phone call, haunted by the prospect of kidnapping by very real monsters.
The truth is the UN doesn't give a damn about the suffering of Israelis...
July 21, 2014
"A local court in Iran's northern Mazandaran province has sentenced a defendant to death by stoning. The head of Qaem Shahr city judiciary, Javad Borhani said that the 32-year old defendant has been sentenced to death by stoning, hanging and 15 years imprisonment, Iran's Mehr News Agency reported. The person is charged with such crimes as adultery, rape, possessing of weapons, alcohol and satellite receiver equipments, the official said. Borhani called the case one of the most important tasks of his office in recent months..."