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Month: July, 2014

No End to Israeli War Crimes in Gaza: Targetting Schools and Hospitals


Press Release

Gaza Ministry of Health, Palestine 

The Ministry of Health Gaza expresses its horror and outrage at the latest Israeli massacre moments ago at an UNRWA school sheltering displaced persons in Beit Hanoun. Ten people have been killed and there is a large number of wounded.

This follows hard on the heels of yesterday’s massacre in the governate of Khan Younis.

In the farming village of Khuza’a at least 25 civilians are believed dead and 16 wounded. Two thirds of the homes have been destroyed and 60 percent of the population has fled, while the rest are prevented from leaving by ongoing attacks and sniper fire.

Israeli tanks and special forces are currently surrounding emergency vehicles and ambulances seeking to retrieve the dead and wounded, and have seized some of the critically-wounded victims.

In the neighbouring villages of Abasan and Bani Suheila 17 people have been killed, and another seven in Al Qarara, including pharmacist Dr Ibrahim al Halaq.

Medical staff are afraid to travel to their work, and risk death from the Israeli bombardments.

In the last 24 hours, Balsam Hospital in North Gaza was attacked for the second time.

Three hospitals have now been forced to evacuate their patients following Israeli strikes, causing overcrowding in other hospitals, such as Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, which is struggling to cope.

Lack of essential medicines and medical supplies, already severely depleted prior to the Israeli offensive, have reached critical levels.

Medical staff are exhausted, and there is an urgent need for foreign medical teams including intensivists, neurosurgeons, anaesthetists to enter Gaza and assist.

 The closure of the Rafah Crossing is preventing much-needed humanitarian aid from entering, and civilians fleeing the war zone from leaving.

 We remind the international community and the Israeli occupation authorities that:

1.       the targeting of civilians is prohibited under international humanitarian law, and constitutes a war crime;

2.       hospitals are protected under the Geneva Conventions and international humanitarian law; destruction of these buildings and attacks on medical staff are war crimes;

3.       preventing the civilian population from leaving a war zone is a violation of international law.


Kiev Source: Ukraine Accidentally Shot Down MH17 During Exercises

Kiev Source: Ukraine Accidentally Shot Down MH17 During Exercises

A source within the Ukrainian defense department claims that Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was accidentally shot down by Ukrainian troops during a military exercise in near Donetsk which took place on July 17.

“On July 17 the commanding officer of 156th Anti-Aircraft Regiment was instructed to conduct a training exercise of ground troops stationed near Donetsk, which involved deploying the troops, and carrying out a routine tracking and destroying of targets with the Buk-M1 missile,” the source told RIA Novosti.

NATO Exercise in Ukraine Coincided with MH-17 Shoot-down

Rapid Trident was omitted from the flurry of coverage on the shoot-down MH-17.

NATO Exercise in Ukraine Coincided with MH-17 Shoot-down

From the U.S. Army in Europe website:

Rapid Trident supports interoperability among Ukraine, the United States, NATO and Partnership for Peace member nations. The exercise helps prepare participants to operate successfully in a joint, multinational, integrated environment with host-nation support from civil and governmental agencies. Rapid Trident is a part of U.S. European Command’s Joint Training and Exercise Program, designed to enhance joint combined interoperability with allied and partner nations. The exercise also supports Ukraine’s Annual National Program to achieve interoperability with NATO and commitments made in the annual NATO-Ukraine work plan.

Rapid Trident included a full range of military exercises. In addition to U.S. troops in Germany and Italy, the exercise included units from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Canada, Georgia, Germany, Moldova, Poland, Romania, the United Kingdom and Ukraine. Liberty Voice reported in March:

Twelve nations will send 1,300 troops to Lviv, a northwestern Ukrainian city near the Polish border. The exercise, called Rapid Trident, is the only military exercise the United States will participate in this year, according to U.S. Army spokesperson Col. Steven Warren, since the U.S. cancelled upcoming Atlas Vision bi-lateral U.S.-Russia military exercises in response to Russia’s actions in regard to Crimea. Atlas Vision had been scheduled to begin in the same month in the northeastern Russian city of Chelyabinsk.