Palestinian factions agree to 72-hour ceasefire | Maan News Agency

Palestinian factions have agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire starting from 8 a.m. on Tuesday, sources close to talks in Egypt told Ma’an on Monday.

Palestinian officials involved in the Cairo ceasefire talks said that the three-day ceasefire agreement is likely to pave the way for a full cessation to fighting, which has killed over 1,800 Palestinians.

Representatives from Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, held their first official meeting on Monday after a Palestinian delegation agreed Sunday to joint demands to present to Egyptian mediators.

via Palestinian factions agree to 72-hour ceasefire | Maan News Agency.

Never ask me about peace again – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

My father’s brother, Ismail al-Ghoul, 60, was not a member of Hamas. His wife, Khadra, 62, was not a militant of Hamas. Their sons, Wael, 35, and Mohammed, 32, were not combatants for Hamas. Their daughters, Hanadi, 28, and Asmaa, 22, were not operatives for Hamas, nor were my cousin Wael’s children, Ismail, 11, Malak, 5, and baby Mustafa, only 24 days old, members of Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine or Fatah. Yet, they all died in the Israeli shelling that targeted their home at 6:20 a.m. on Sunday morning.

Their house was located in the Yibna neighborhood of the Rafah refugee camp. It was one story with a roof made of thin asbestos that did not require two F-16 missiles to destroy. Would someone please inform Israel that refugee camp houses can be destroyed, and their occupants killed, with only a small bomb, and that it needn’t spend billions to blow them into oblivion?

If it is Hamas that you hate, let me tell you that the people you are killing have nothing to do with Hamas. They are women, children, men and senior citizens whose only concern was for the war to end, so they can return to their lives and daily routines. But let me assure you that you have now created thousands — no, millions — of Hamas loyalists, for we all become Hamas if Hamas, to you, is women, children and innocent families. If Hamas, in your eyes, is ordinary civilians and families, then I am Hamas, they are Hamas and we are all Hamas.

Throughout the war, we thought that the worst had passed, that this was the pivotal moment when matters would improve, that they would stop there. Yet, that real moment of pain, of extreme fear, was always followed by something even worse.

via Never ask me about peace again – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East.

Man Who Filmed NYPD’s Fatal Chokehold Arrested On Gun Charges: Gothamist

Fail, fail, fail, fail – Who is in charge?

Orta’s wife Chrissie Ortiz told the Staten Island Advance, “They park across the street, they follow him. I’m speaking [about] the NYPD. It’s obvious. Once they rule this a homicide, now you all of a sudden find something on him? Come on, let’s be realistic. Even the dumbest criminal would know not to be doing something like that outside. So the whole story doesn’t fit at all.”

Ortiz told the Post, “I knew something like this was going to happen. Ever since he took that video the police have been targeting us, so I’ve told him over and over: ‘Keep your ass inside the house.’ If I find out that it’s true that they came out of that hotel together, I’m gonna beat his ass.” Apparently Lekaj confessed that Orta sold her pot and they were going to a hotel to get high.

The Post reports that when arrested, Orta said to his wife during a phone call, “I got arrested. Call Al Sharpton right away!” and said to cops, “You’re only mad because I filmed your boy,” referring to Officer Daniel Pantaleo who administered the prohibited chokehold.

One law enforcement source told the Post, “Here’s their star witness, and he’s nothing but a criminal himself.” Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch crowed, “It is criminals like Mr. Orta who carry illegal firearms who stand to benefit the most by demonizing the good work of police officers.”

via Man Who Filmed NYPD’s Fatal Chokehold Arrested On Gun Charges: Gothamist.

Israeli forces storm al-Aqsa Mosque, clash with worshippers | Maan News Agency

Clashes broke out in the squares of al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem Monday morning between worshipers and Israeli officers who stormed the compound to evacuate worshipers and escort right-wing Jews commemorating the anniversary of the destruction of the Temple.

Eyewitnesses told Ma’an that special Israeli forces stormed the compound from the Moroccan gate firing stun grenades and rubber-coated bullets at worshipers, the majority of whom were elderly people.

Young worshipers, who entered the compound Sunday evening and stayed over, took shelter inside the al-Aqsa mosque and shut down all its doors except the Funeral gate. They found themselves clashing face-to-face with Israeli officers who tried to raid the mosque. Witnesses said the Israeli officers fired rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades inside the mosque and as a result, a fire broke out on a carpet before guards managed to put it out.

Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers and police officers stationed on the main gates of the compound denied Palestinians entry.

via Israeli forces storm al-Aqsa Mosque, clash with worshippers | Maan News Agency.

Middle East – Video: In Rafah ‘they’re exterminating entire families’ – France 24

Over the weekend, Rafah came under heavy Israeli fire. Dozens of residents died as Israel shelled the area – many of the victims were under the same roof, according to Abu Dobaa.

“They are exterminating entire families. There are many families in which every single member was killed. Do you understand what that means? It’s insane. People do not realise what is happening here,” he told FRANCE 24.

FRANCE 24’s special correspondents in Gaza went to a hospital where bodies were piling up. As they interviewed injured Palestinians, other wounded kept arriving. Some of them, very young, obviously had nothing to do with the conflict.

Nine-year old survivor

Saja Mustafa Zorob is recovering in a hospital bed. The nine-year-old girl does not know yet that she is the only one in her family who survived an Israeli air strike.

“I have no idea what happened. We were sleeping at my aunts’ house with everyone, my two uncles, my grandma and my mummy. All of a sudden I woke up and I was in an ambulance,” the little girl says.

Bodies in the Gaza strip have to be buried in a haste. Abu Dobaa’s brother and nephew are laid to rest in a row of freshly dug open graves.

Minutes after the burial, people who attended the funeral rush off to avoid being hit by another Israeli air strike. In Gaza, even graveyards are no longer safe.

via Middle East – Video: In Rafah ‘they’re exterminating entire families’ – France 24.

Israel Suspends Attack in Parts of Gaza, but Strike Kills Girl –

Minutes after Israel began a unilateral and partial cease-fire in Gaza on Monday, the air force struck a house in the Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, killing a girl, 8, and wounding at least 29 others.

More than six hours later, there was still no official comment about the strike from the Israeli military, which continued to withdraw many of its ground forces from populated areas in Gaza, about why it struck the house.

After sharp criticism from the United States and the United Nations of its strike outside a United Nations school on Sunday, which killed seven people in addition to its intended targets, three Islamic Jihad fighters on a motorcycle, Israel announced a unilateral cease-fire to last from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Israel said the cease-fire was intended to assist humanitarian relief efforts.

Continue reading the main story


Questions of Weapons and Warnings in Past Barrage on a Gaza ShelterAUG. 3, 2014

Airstrike Near U.N. School Kills 10 as Israel Shifts Troops in GazaAUG. 3, 2014

But the cease-fire was to take place only in areas where Israel was not engaged in military activity. Israeli Army officials said that east Rafah, in southern Gaza, far from Gaza City itself, was the only urban area where troops and tanks were engaged in fighting on Monday, with most of the rest of the Israeli troops pulled back closer to the border with Israel and some redeployed in staging areas inside Israel itself.

via Israel Suspends Attack in Parts of Gaza, but Strike Kills Girl –

Nigerian Doctor Who Attended To Liberian Man Comes Down With Ebola Virus In Lagos | Sahara Reporters

Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, has just confirmed that one of the doctors who attended to Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian, who recently died of Ebola in Nigeria, is now sick with the disease.

Chukwu said two other people placed under quarantine were showing signs of the disease, although it is too early to say if their symptoms relates to Ebola.

Sawyer was Nigeria’s first case of Ebola death two weeks ago, and since his demise there have been widespread fears  that some of the more than 70 people he had contact with also develop the virus.

via Nigerian Doctor Who Attended To Liberian Man Comes Down With Ebola Virus In Lagos | Sahara Reporters.

Guess what happened to the Fujian whale shark?: Shanghaiist

After being “accidentally” nabbed by a Fujian fisherman yesterday, this gentle, endangered giant was butchered and auctioned off at charity prices because “threatened species” laws are apparently about as enforced as “no-smoking” ones. May the guilty parties be reincarnated as plankton and “baleened” to death.

via Guess what happened to the Fujian whale shark?: Shanghaiist.