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Content about Gaza Strip

February 25, 2024

report from the Gaza Health Impact Projections Working Group estimates that, even in the best-case scenario of an immediate permanent ceasefire, there will be more than 6,500 excess deaths in Gaza over the next six months due to the catastrophic food, shelter, sanitation and healthcare situation in the Strip. If the status quo of ongoing bombardment continues, projections rise to more than 74,000 deaths. Reports are starting to emerge of children dying of hunger.

In a message delivered Feb.

February 22, 2024

In Episode 213 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg notes how divergent responses to the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians and mass internment of the Uyghurs reveal the West’s shifting definition of genocide. Tragically, elements of the Palestinian leadership merely reverse the double standard, causing elements of the exiled Uyghur leadership to balk at supporting the Palestinians. Yet another example of how a global divide-and-rule racket is the essence of the state system. Illustrating the irony, the same corporate nexus is involved in putting in place the surveillance state that monitors the Uyghurs for China and the Palestinians for Israel. Fortunately, principled voices of dissent among both the Palestinians and the Uyghurs are calling for Palestinian-Uyghur solidarity.

In Episode 213 of the CounterVortex podcastBill Weinberg notes how divergent responses to the ethnic cleansing of the Palest

February 15, 2024

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Israeli military to draw up plans for the "evacuation" of Palestinians from Rafah in southern Gaza as it prepares to launch a full-scale assault on the area. Where people would be evacuated to—and how—remains unclear. Over one million Palestinians forcibly displaced by Israel's military campaign—now entering its fifth month—have been pushed into Rafah. Aid groups warn that there is nowhere left for people to flee to. People in Rafah are already experiencing disease and starvation, and aid operations are struggling to meet even basic needs. A ground invasion would "exponentially increase what is already a humanitarian nightmare," UN Secretary-General António Guterres said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Israeli military on Feb.

February 15, 2024

UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, was plunged into crisis when Israel accused 12 of its Gaza employees of involvement in Hamas' Oct. 7 attack on Israel. In response to Israel's claims, the US, UK, Germany, and other top donor countries suspended funding to UNRWA. In a statement, some two dozen aid organizations said they are "deeply concerned and outraged" by the suspension of funding, as some 2.3 million Gazans face "starvation, looming famine and an outbreak of disease under Israel's continued indiscriminate bombardment and deliberate deprivation of aid." 

UNRWA, the UN’s agency for Palestine refugees, was plunged into crisis on Jan. 26 when Israel accused 12 of its Gaza employees of involvement in Hamas’ deadly Oct.

January 28, 2024

The International Court of Justice ordered Israel to "take all measures within its power" to prevent breaches of the Genocide Convention in the Gaza Strip, but declined to order a ceasefire, following proceedings instituted by South Africa. The court also directed Israel to punish calls for genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, to enable the provision of "basic services and humanitarian assistance" to residents of Gaza, to preserve evidence relating to potential Genocide Convention breaches, and to submit a report regarding its compliance with the court's order within one month. In its interim ruling, the court stressed that it is not yet determining whether Israel breached the Genocide Convention but is acting to protect the rights of Palestinians ahead of a final decision.

The International Court of Justice ordered Israel on Jan.

January 23, 2024

The genocide case brought against Israel at the International Court of Justice charges that "Israel has damaged and destroyed numerous centres of Palestinian learning and culture" in the Gaza Strip, including schools, libraries, religious sites and places of historical importance. The United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reports that in the two-and-a-half months of bombardment, more than 200 schools have been damaged—around 40% of the total number in the Strip, about 40 of them seriously. UNESCO is also attempting to monitor damage to heritage sites using satellite data and sources on the ground. The agency has especially expressed concern over the ruins of fourth-century Saint Hilarion Monastery, which has been placed under "provisional enhanced protection." The oldest mosque in Gaza, the Omari Mosque, has been severely damaged in Israeli bombardment.

The genocide case brought against Israel at the International Court of Justice charges that "Israel has damaged and destroyed numerous centres of Palestinian learning and culture" in the Gaza Strip, including schools, libraries, religio

January 23, 2024

After more than 100 days of war and Israeli siege, every single person in Gaza is hungry, and a quarter of the population—or around 500,000 people—is starving, UN experts warned. The aid response is falling short of what is needed to prevent a deadly combination of hunger, malnutrition, and disease, four UN agencies said, calling for a "fundamental step change in the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza." Without it, deaths from starvation and disease could soon surpass the already staggering toll from bombardment and combat, which has reached nearly 25,000 people, according to health authorities in Gaza.

After more than 100 days of war and Israeli siege, every single person in Gaza is hungry, and a quarter of the population—or around 500,000 people—is starving, UN experts warned on Jan. 16.

January 21, 2024

In Episode 209 of the CounterVortex podcastBill Weinberg takes stock of the frightening international escalation set off by the Gaza cataclysm, with Yemen, Syria, IraqIran and Pakistan all coming under aerial bombardment over the past week, in a cascading regional crisis. The 1937 aerial bombardment of the Spanish town of Guernica by Nazi warplanes shocked the world. Today, what happened there is a near-daily occurrence in countries around the world. And the media ("mainstream," "alternative" and "social") are more concerned with how the various actors line up in the Great Power game than the horrific realities on the ground. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.

In Episode 209 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg takes stock of the frightening international escalation set off by the Gaza cataclysm

January 4, 2024

Eighteen-year-old Tal Mitnick from Tel Aviv has become the first Israeli to refuse mandatory military service since Israel launched its assault on the besieged Gaza Strip. Mitnick was summoned to Tel Hashomer recruitment center, where he declared himself to be a conscientious objector, and was sentenced to 30 days in military prison. Mitnick is one of 230 Israeli youth who signed an open letter in early September, prior to the war, announcing their intention to refuse their draft orders as part of a protest against efforts by Israel's far-right government to restrict the power of the judiciary. Connecting the judicial coup to Israel's long-standing military rule over Palestinians, the signatories—under the banner of "Youth Against Dictatorship"— declared that they would not serve in the army "until democracy is secured for all who live within the jurisdiction of the Israeli government."

Eighteen-year-old Tal Mitnick from Tel Aviv has become the first Israeli to refuse mandatory military service since Israel launched its assault on the besieged Gaza Strip. Mitnick was summoned to Tel Hashomer recruitment center, where on Dec. 26 he declared himself to be a conscientious objector, and was sentenced to 30 days in military prison.

January 2, 2024

The Pentagon carried out air-strikes on Iran-backed militia forces in Iraq in retaliation for a drone attack on a US airbase in Erbil, while a senior commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps was killed in a presumed Israeli strike in Syria. Israel continues to trade cross-border fire with Lebanon's Hezbollah, while Yemen's Houthi armed movement claimed responsibility for drone attacks targeting the Israeli port city of Eilat. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said that Israel is now fighting on "seven fronts"—Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran and Yemen.

The Iraqi government condemned air-strikes by the US military on its territory as “hostile acts” after the Pentagon said it hit sites used by Iran-backed forces. The strikes killed one member of the Iraqi security forces and wounded 18 people, including civilians, Baghdad said Dec.

December 18, 2023

There have been resounding calls from across the world for a long-term ceasefire to bring an end to more than two months of bombardment and a spiralling humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip. Over 20,000 people have now been killed by Israel's aerial campaign and ground invasion, according to the health ministry in the Strip, with over 80% of the 2.3 million residents of the enclave displaced from their homes. While Washington has continued to support Israel’s war effort (including through massive weapons transfers), Israel has paid little heed to belated US calls to try to limit civilian casualties and allow more access for humanitarian aid. Israel now says its war against Hamas could last months. With aid agencies already struggling to operate, amid food shortages and outbreaks of disease, the impact of a prolonged war in the Strip challenges the imagination.

Globally, there have been resounding calls for a long-term ceasefire to bring an end to more than two months of bloodshed and a spiralling humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip.

December 18, 2023

In Episode 204 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg returns to the persisting controversy around the slogan "From the River to the Sea"—portrayed as either a call to genocide or a cry for liberation. Much mainstream media coverage has dishonestly accepted the prior interpretation as a fait accompli. On the other hand, displays of unseemly enthusiasm for the Hamas attacks by certain sectors of the Palestine solidarity movement have provided propaganda fodder for Israel and its stateside pressure groups. This is (at least) a tactical error that abets moves toward campus censorship of pro-Palestinian voices. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.

In Episode 204 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg returns to the persisting controver

December 13, 2023

In the two months since Israel began bombarding and laying total siege to Gaza, around 85% of the 2.3 million people who live in the Strip have been displaced from their homes, according to the UN. More than 17,000 people have been killed—around 70% of them women and children—and many others are missing and presumed to be trapped under the rubble of destroyed buildings, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. The enclave's healthcare system is barely functional, and families are going entire days without food. The Israeli ground invasion is expanding into southern Gaza, squeezing hundreds of thousands of displaced into smaller and smaller areas. Relief efforts have essentially ground to a halt, and UN officials have repeatedly warned that nowhere is safe. The agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, warns that civil order is breaking down, stating: "We are reaching the point of no return."

In the two months since Israel began bombarding and laying total siege to Gaza, around 85%of the 2.3 million people who live in the coastal enclave have been displaced from their homes, accor

December 6, 2023

Since the "humanitarian pause" ended, Israel has focused its air-strikes on Gaza's southern city of Khan Younis—now swelled with hundreds of thousands displaced from the north of the Strip. Along with the strikes, Israeli planes are dropping leaflets on the city, warning the populace to flee further south to Rafah on the Egyptian border—despite having earlier declared the southern Strip a "safe zone." Most of the Strip's 2.3 million population has already fled to the south, and Egyptian officials believe Israel is preparing to next drive them across the border into the Sinai desert. The aim of the Khan Younis strikes is to "disrupt the mass of the population from the south and push it towards Egypt," one Cairo official told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has categorically rejected a forced resettlement, and the idea is generating anger among Egyptians.

Since the “humanitarian pause” ended, Israel has focused its air-strikes on Gaza’s southern city of Khan Younis—now swelled with hundreds of thousands displaced from the north of the Strip.

December 6, 2023

The Israel Defense Forces' expanded authorization for bombing non-military targets, the loosening of constraints regarding expected civilian casualties, and the use of artificial intelligence to generate more potential targets than ever before, appear to have contributed to the destructive nature of the current war on the Gaza Strip, an investigation by progressive Israeli website +972 reveals. These factors, as described by current and former Israeli intelligence officials, have likely played a role in producing what has been one of the deadliest military campaigns against Palestinians since the Nakba of 1948.

The Israel Defense Forces' expanded authorization for bombing non-military targets, the loosening of constraints regarding expected civilian casualties, and the use of an artificial intelligence system to generate more potential targets than ever before, appear to have contributed to the destructive nature of the current war on the Gaza Strip, an investigation by progressive Israeli website

December 2, 2023

In a disturbing coincidence in Missoula, Mont., a Palestine solidarity march to protest the bombardment of Gaza ran into a separate but simultaneous anti-Israel march by neo-Nazis. Since the Gaza bombardment began, open neo-Nazi marches have also been reported from Madison, Wisc., Dallas, Tex., and elsewhere around the country. Yet, in addition to displaying enthusiasm for Hamas, their banners also read "REFUGEES NOT WELCOME"—and we may assume it was a similar ultra-right xenophobe who shot three Palestinian youths in Burlington, Vt. This makes it all the more maddening that elements of the "left" share with the Nazis an unseemly enthusiasm for Hamas—providing much fodder for the pro-Israel and "anti-woke" right. In Episode 201 of the CounterVortex podcastBill Weinberg continues to explore the dilemma.

In a disturbing coincidence in Missoula, Mont., a Palestine solidarity march to protest the bombardment of Gaza ran into a separate but simultaneous anti-Israel march by neo-Nazis.

November 30, 2023

UN experts called for prompt, transparent and independent investigations into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the Gaza Strip, since Israel's new military offensive began last month. "Independent investigators must be given the necessary resources, support and access required to conduct prompt, thorough and impartial investigations into crimes allegedly committed by all parties to the conflict," the experts said, calling on Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the de factoauthorities in Gaza to cooperate fully with investigations.

UN experts Nov. 27 called for prompt, transparent and independent investigations into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the Gaza Strip, since Israel's new military offensive began last month.

November 24, 2023

As Israel crosses the genocidal threshold in Gaza, a regional summit in Riyadh protests, issuing an urgent call for a ceasefire. Yet the regional powers at that summit are guilty of equivalent crimes—Saudi Arabia in Yemen, and Iran and the Basar Assad regime in Syria. Assad's propaganda chief Bouthaina Shaaban especially decried Israel's targeting of hospitals in Gaza. Yet just last month, the Assad regime bombed hospitals in Syria's rebel-held north. Indeed, the Assad regime also savagely bombed and besieged Palestinians for months, at Yarmouk refugee camp outside Damascus. In Episode 200 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg notes with chagrin that key organizers of this month's National March on Washington for Palestine included pseudo-left "tankie" formations that actively support the genocidal Assad regime. They also now abet Russia's genocidal campaign in Ukraine, in which hospitals have been repeatedly targeted. This moral contradiction undercuts our effectiveness in advancing the demand for a Gaza ceasefire. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.

As Israel crosses the genocidal threshold in Gaza, a regional summit in Riyadh protests, and issues an urgent call for a ceasefire.

November 24, 2023

The International Criminal Court released a statement saying it received a referral from Bangladesh, Bolivia, Comoros, Djibouti and South Africa regarding the Situation in the State of Palestine. ICC prosecutor Karim AA Khan affirmed that an investigation is currently ongoing with its own dedicated team. The five countries made the referral in accordance with their powers under the Rome Statute. All five of the referring countries are party to the Rome Statute, as is the State of Palestine; Israel is not.

The International Criminal Court (ICC)

November 13, 2023

Three Palestinian human rights groups, Al HaqAl Mezan Center for Human Rights, and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, filed a lawsuit with the International Criminal Court asking for an investigation into alleged crimes by Israel. The submission, accuses Israel of war crimes, genocide and incitement to genocide, in the context of the bombardment of the Gaza Strip. This submission follows mounting allegations of Israeli war crimes by international human rights groups, including the use of toxic white phosphorous on civilians and attacks on medical services.

Three Palestinian human rights groups, Al HaqAl Mezan Center for Human Rights, and the 

November 10, 2023

In both the United States and United Kingdom, progressive politicians have been censured for use of the slogan “Palestine will be free from the river to the sea.” Much media reportage has simply accepted portrayals of the slogan as inherently anti-Semitic and a call for genocide. Nor, given the Hamas atrocities of Oct. 7 and the wave of anti-Semitic attacks around the world since then, should such concerns be merely dismissed. Indeed, the slogan does inherently challenge the precepts of Zionism and the moribund dogma of a two-state solution. In Episode 199 of the CounterVortex podcastBill Weinberg urges activists to articulate a vision of a single secular state with equal rights for all in historic Palestine. While this may seem utopian, clarity on this question will make us more tactically effective in advancing the urgent immediate demand: a ceasefire in Gaza. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.

In both the United States and United Kingdom, progressive politicians have been 

November 8, 2023

The Israeli Ministry of Intelligence is recommending the forcible and permanent transfer of the Gaza Strip's 2.2 million Palestinian residents to Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, according to an official document revealed in full by progressive Israeli website Local Call, and acknowledged by the ministry as authentic. The document, which has been translated into English, recommends that Israel act to "evacuate the civilian population to Sinai" during the course of the conflict; establish tent cities and later more permanent settlements in the northern Sinai that will absorb the expelled population; and then create "a sterile zone of several kilometers…within Egypt, and [prevent] the return of the population to activities/residences near the border with Israel."

The Israeli Ministry of Intelligence is recommending the forcible and permanent transfer of the Gaza Strip’s 2.2 million Palestinian residents to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, according to an official document

November 6, 2023

A member of the Israeli cabinet broached a nuclear strike on the Gaza Strip, making outraged headlines in the Arab world. Jerusalem Affairs & Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu of the ultra-nationalist Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) party said in a radio interview that there are "no non-combatants in Gaza," and using a nuclear weapon on the Palestinian enclave is "one of the possibilities."

A member of the Israeli cabinet broached a nuclear strike on the Gaza Strip Nov. 5, making outraged headlines in the Arab world.

November 1, 2023

As Israel now openly approaches a genocidal threshold in Gaza, it is clear that the hostages held by Hamas have been sacrificed to the end of collective vengeance on the Palestinian people. In Episode 198 of the CounterVortex podcastBill Weinberg echoes urgent demands for a ceasefire, and also notes the "all-for-all" solution now being advanced by the families of the hostages—all Israelis held by Hamas for all Palestinians held by Israel, many of whom have been detained for years without charge. First put forth by Mustafa Barghouti of the secular-left Palestinian National Initiative, this proposal holds hope for a step back from the brink, recognizing the humanity of both "sides." Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.

As Israel now openly approaches a genocidal threshold in Gaza, it is clear that the hostages held by Hamas have been