Israel’s Use of Law and Warnings in Gaza | Opinio Juris

In the ongoing military campaign ‘Protective Edge’ the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) consistently issues warnings before air strikes against targets in Gaza. The population is warned of impending attacks with phone calls, text messages or so called ‘knocks on the roof’ (dropping of non- or low-impact explosives on the intended target). The warnings play a central role in Israel’s claim that, contrary to Palestinian armed groups, namely Hamas; it obeys the strictures of international law. ‘While the IDF goes to extraordinary lengths to avoid civilian casualties, Hamas deliberately puts civilians in the line of fire, the IDF maintains on its official blog. The First Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions, the relevant sections of which have the status of customary international law, in Article 57(2) c indeed prescribes that ‘effective advance warning shall be given of attacks which may affect the civilian population, unless circumstances do not permit’. [Read more]

Israeli teenagers: Racist and proud of it | Haaretz

“For me, personally, Arabs are something I can’t look at and can’t stand,” a 10th-grade girl from a high school in the central part of the country says in abominable Hebrew. “I am tremendously racist. I come from a racist home. If I get the chance in the army to shoot one of them, I won’t think twice. I’m ready to kill someone with my hands, and it’s an Arab. In my education I learned that … their education is to be terrorists, and there is no belief in them. I live in an area of Arabs, and every day I see these Ishmaelites, who pass by the [bus] station and whistle. I wish them death.”

The student’s comments appear in a chapter devoted to ethnicity and racism among youth from a forthcoming book, “Scenes from School Life” (in Hebrew) by Idan Yaron and Yoram Harpaz. The book is based on anthropological observations made by Dr. Yaron, a sociologist, over the course of three years in a six-year, secular high school in the Israeli heartland – “the most average school we could find,” says Harpaz, a professor of education. [Read more]

Powerless to stop Islamic State, West may have to join forces with Iran, Hezbollah | Jerusalem Post

US attacks on the Sunni Islamic State in Iraq and its cooperation and arming of the ruling Shi’ite government there is the latest signal that the West is moving toward an arrangement with the Shi’ite Iranian axis, which includes Hezbollah, Iraq and Syria.

Such an alignment has been feared by the Sunni world and Israel for some time. [Read more]

Egyptian President: We Are Working To Establish a Palestinian State | Jerusalem Online

In the background of reports that officials in Cairo are working so that Israel and Hamas will return to the negotiating table, the Egyptian President clarified today that the goal behind the Egyptian efforts is the establishment of a Palestinian state, with its capital in East Jerusalem.

In a meeting arranged with senior level members of the local media in Egypt, General Fattah El Sisi stressed that Egypt will not stop supporting the Palestinian cause. The Egyptian President added that his demand that the price paid by the Palestinian people in Gaza will be for a general and permanent solution. [Read more]

Post-Maliki Iraq: Can Haider al-Abadi deliver? | Today’s Zaman

International leaders have welcomed his nomination. US President Barack Obama called the move a “promising step.” Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has joined Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey in supporting the nomination. This demonstrates, among other things, the momentous importance with which the world is viewing the events in Iraq. Al-Abadi, however, is not in an enviable situation. US Army Col. Joel Rayburn, who served as an adviser to Gen. David Petraeus in Iraq and is the author of “Iraq After America: Strongmen, Sectarians, Resistance,” writes: “The stunning collapse of the Iraqi state in its vast northern and western provinces may be Maliki’s most significant legacy. After nine decades as the capital of a unitary, centralized state, Baghdad no longer rules Kurdistan, nor Fallujah, nor Mosul, and might never rule them again.” [Read more]

Response to Attack Reflects Iraq’s Sectarian Divide | New York Times

Iraq’s politicians were struggling to meet the constitutional deadline to form a new government when, in an isolated village, two masked men stepped into a Sunni mosque and opened fire on Friday, killing dozens of worshipers.

Within hours, Sunni leaders said they were pulling out of the negotiations, and the political process was suddenly jammed again by the same sectarian rifts that have long bedeviled this country. [Read more]

Iran Says Iraq Able to Fight Militants Alone | ABC News

Iran sees no need to send fighters to help the Iraqi government battle the Islamic State group, even as Sunni militants inch closer to the Iraq-Iran border, its top diplomat said Sunday.

Speaking at a press conference in Baghdad, Mohammed Javad Zarif said the Sunni militant group is committing “horrendous genocide and crimes against humanity,” and that Tehran is cooperating with both the Iraqi governments in Baghdad and the semi-autonomous Kurdish region to repel the threat. [Read more]

Saudi Arabia seeking the destruction of ISIS: official | Asharq Al-Awsat

Western media claims that Saudi Arabia is connected—in any way, shape or form—to the terrorist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) organization is a “malicious falsehood and should not be repeated,” a Saudi spokesperson has said.

In a statement to Asharq Al-Awsat, a spokesperson for the Royal Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in London said: “Saudi Arabia wants the defeat and destruction of ISIS and other terrorist networks. Terrorist networks are as abhorrent to the government and people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as they are to the governments and peoples of the rest of the world. That is why we urge the international community to do all in its power to join together to secure an end to the ISIS threat.” [Read more]

Libyan capital under Islamist control after Tripoli airport seized | The Guardian

Libya has lurched ever closer to fragmentation and civil war this weekend after Islamist-led militias seized the airport in the capital, Tripoli, proclaimed their own government, and presented the world with yet another crisis.

Operation Dawn, a coalition of Islamist and Misrata forces, captured the airport on Saturday in fierce fighting against pro-government militias after a five-week siege that battered parts of the capital. [Read more]


Related Articles – Michael’s Blog