NBC News is reporting now: “Israeli strikes hit within yards of Gaza’s main hospital as well as at a refugee camp on Monday, leaving at least 30 dead and wounded.” NBC states that over 1,000 Palestinians in Gaza have been reported killed in the last three weeks while about 43 Israeli soldiers have been killed in fighting; three civilians within Israel have been killed by Hamas rockets.
JOSH RUEBNER, congress at endtheoccupation.org, @joshruebner
Ruebner is author of Shattered Hopes: Obama’s Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace and policy director of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. He said today: “In its current attack on the occupied and besieged Palestinian Gaza Strip, Israel is misusing U.S.-supplied weaponry, in violation of U.S. laws such as the Arms Export Control and Foreign Assistance Act, to carry out massacres against Palestinian civilians and deliberate destruction of Palestinian civilian infrastructure. However, instead of holding Israel accountable for its violations of these laws, the United States is deeply complicit in Israel’s apparent war crimes by continuing to allow U.S. weapons to be employed in this manner.” See “Is U.S. Military Aid to Israel Legal?” — part of the the group’s policy paper on military aid to Israel.
The group will have a briefing on Capitol Hill on Friday, Aug, 1 that will include Tariq Abu Khdeir, the Palestinian-American teenager who was brutally beaten by Israeli police earlier this month. The group notes: “Congress has introduced H. Con. Res. 107 condemning the use of human shields by Hamas. The resolution of course fails to mention Israel’s well-documented use of Palestinians as human shields. The Israeli military has used Palestinian children to open bags it believed to be bomb-laden, held children in front of soldiers to prevent youth from throwing rocks, and forced children to enter homes believed to be rigged with explosives.”
KEN KLIPPENSTEIN, ken.klippenstein at riseup.net, @KenKlippenstein
Klippenstein recently co-wrote the piece “U.S. Provides Israel the Weapons Used on Gaza,” which states: “Even as the U.S. government claims to want to broker a ceasefire, it continues facilitating weapons exports to Israel. On July 14, the same day President Obama vowed that ‘We’re going to continue to do everything we can to facilitate a return to the 2012 ceasefire,’ the State Department approved a possible $544 million sale of AIM-9x sidewinder missiles and associated support services to Israel. These missiles can be used by F-16s to hit ground targets.
“Official U.S. military aid to Israel stands at about $3 billion per year due to a 10-year, $30 billion military aid package originally signed by former President George W. Bush and upheld under President Obama. This figure doesn’t, however, include the $504 million in funding dedicated to missile defense.
“Truthout asked Andrew Feinstein, former Member of Parliament in South Africa and currently an Open Society Institute fellow, to elaborate on the accuracy of official aid estimates. He replied:
“‘In reality, published military aid figures tend to be significant understatements. … Israel is the only country allowed to use its U.S. military aid to build its domestic military industry, a privilege that includes developing indigenous weapons systems based on U.S. designs and using U.S. grants to purchase materials, as well as research and development, from Israeli firms. Additional U.S. funds are spent on joint military research and production. Israel also enjoys ‘fast-track’ status for weapons sales, meaning it can make deals directly with manufacturers in the U.S. without having to go through the Pentagon.
“‘The billions of dollars in U.S. military aid to Israel have bought a stunning array of US weapons and military hardware for the IDF, including 226 F-16 fighter jets, more than 700 M-60 tanks, 6,000 armored personnel carriers, scores of transport planes, attack helicopters and utility and training aircraft, not to mention innumerable bombs and tactical missiles of all kinds.’”
Klippenstein also wrote the piece “U.S. Continues to Surreptitiously Supply Arms to Unelected Regime in Egypt.”