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US resupplies Israel with weapons as death toll rises
Published Thursday 31/07/2014 (updated) 01/08/2014 15:32
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GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The United States confirmed it had restocked Israel's supplies of ammunition, hours after finally sharpening its tone to condemn an attack on a United Nations school in Gaza that killed 16 people sheltering there.

Israeli airstrikes and shelling continued overnight and into the morning leaving 27 Gazans dead and dozens injured, bringing the 24-day death toll to 1,395 with 8,100 injured, according to the Ministry of Health. The Israeli military confirmed that 20 "sites" had been hit overnight.

The dead included six people, including Majdi Fseifis, 22, Hani Abduallah Abu Mustafa, 44, Naji Abdullah Abu Mustafa, 31, Hanan Youssef Abu Tiema, Maher Najjar, and Mahmoud Fuad Najjar killed in a bombing that hit a crowd of people near a mosque in the Abasan area east of Khan Younis.

Two were killed in an Israeli strike on a car, identified as Hamza al-Haddad and Ibrahim al-Haddad.

Abudallah Abu Shabab, 20, and Alaa Alwah, 22, succumbed to wounds they sustained in Gaza City attacks.

Also in Khan Younis, one Palestinian was killed and four were wounded in a strike that hit a motorcycle in the Ma'an area south of the city.

Mahdiya Suleiman Omar Abu Luli, 58, was killed in an Israeli strike on Khan Younis as well.

Maha Abd al-Nabi Salim Abu Hilal was killed in a strike on her home that also "seriously" injured her husband and three children. She was brought to Abu Yousef al-Najjar Hospital.

Suleiman Baraka, 31, and Aref Baraka, 58, were also killed in a strike, and their bodies were both brought to the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Hospital in Deir al-Balah.

At least 55 were wounded after the al-Hamoud house in Beit Lahiya was hit at dawn. Injuries were also reported during an Israeli strike on the home of the al-Haw family as well as against Block 7 in Jabaliya.

Israeli aircraft also targeted a house east of al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip belonging to Abu Abdullah Abu Huwayshal, destroying it completely.

Violent clashes broke out between Palestinian fighters and Israelis forces in the Nabahin field east of al-Bureij.

The dead overnight included Yusuf Ibrahim, 19, son of the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Social Affairs who died of wounds sustained in an Israeli attack on Nuseirat refugee camp the day before. Ahmad al-Luh died early Thursday in al-Aqsa Martyrs' Hospital as a result of injuries as well.

The deaths in the besieged Gaza Strip come on the 24th day of an Israeli assault which has nearly topped the death toll from the 2008-9 Cast Lead, the bloodiest attack on the area in memory when Israel killed 1,400 in 22 days.

Israel launched the current assault -- called Operation Protective Edge -- in early July as part of what it said was an effort to combat rockets, but has since changed the focus to destroying what it say are tunnels dug from Gaza into Israel.

Rocket fire into Israel increased in late June and early July after Israel launched a sweeping assault on Hamas across the West Bank, killing nearly a dozen, injuring more than 100, and leading to more than 1,000 arrests, along with nightly airstrikes on Gaza.

Hamas has insisted that any ceasefire include an end to the eight-year Israeli blockade, which has severely crippled the tiny coastal enclave's economy and led to recurring shortages of basic goods.

Israeli authorities, meanwhile, have signaled their refusal to end the assault without inflicting heavy damage on Palestinian military capabilities.

Palestinian paramedics move a victim of an Israeli air strike on a market to an
ambulance in Shujaiyya on Wednesday (AFP Mahmud Hams)

No blame for Israel

While both the White House and the State Department condemned the shelling of the UN-run school in the Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza on Wednesday in which at least 16 Palestinians were killed, neither would assign blame to staunch US ally Israel.

"Obviously nothing justifies the killing of innocent civilians seeking shelter in a UN facility," deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf acknowledged, in some of the toughest US comments since the start of the 23-day fighting in the Gaza Strip.

"Innocent Palestinians seeking refuge in these schools should not have shells dropped on them, should not come under attack."

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA said Israeli forces had hit the school, which had been sheltering some 3,300 Gazans.

But despite heated exchanges with reporters, Harf stressed that "we don't know for certain who shelled this school, we need to get all the facts."

National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan also condemned "those responsible for hiding weapons in United Nations facilities in Gaza" and warned of rising fears that thousands of Palestinians who have been told by Israel to leave their homes increasingly had nowhere to go in the blockaded narrow coastal strip.

US officials also warned that patience with "crazy" Israeli criticism of would-be-peacemaker John Kerry had snapped.

Members of Code Pink hold a vigil of civil disobedience and conduct a "die-in"
in front of the Israeli Embassy July 30, 2014 (AFP Paul J. Richards)

New ammunition for Israel

The Pentagon confirmed the Israeli military had requested additional ammunition to restock its dwindling supplies on July 20, with the US Defense Department approving the sale just three days later.

"The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to US national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability," Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement.

"This defense sale is consistent with those objectives."

Two of the requested munitions came from a little-known stockpile of ammunition stored by the US military on the ground in Israel for emergency use. The War Reserve Stockpile Ammunition-Israel is estimated to be worth $1 billion.

The decision to provide ammunition to Israel could fuel controversy, coming just as Washington expresses growing concern about the deaths of more than 1,300 Palestinians, most of them civilians, since the Israeli operation began on July 8.

Kirby said Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel told his Israeli counterpart that the United States was concerned about the deadly consequences of the spiraling conflict, including a "worsening humanitarian situation" in Gaza, and called for a ceasefire and end to hostilities.

He also renewed calls for the disarmament of Gaza's Hamas rulers and "all terrorist groups."

Relations between Israel and its staunch ally the United States have plunged in recent days after Kerry returned from a mission to the Middle East to try to broker a ceasefire between the Israelis and Hamas militants.

Anonymous Israeli officials have hit out at Kerry's truce proposal, calling it "a strategic terrorist attack" and criticizing it for being a "Hamas wish-list" including moves to lift a long-standing Israeli blockade of Gaza while failing to address Israel's security concerns, such as Hamas rocket fire and a network of underground tunnels.

And on Tuesday a fabricated transcript of a call between US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went viral on social media.

Out to hurt ties?

Stressing the "unprecedented" US support for Israel, Harf hit out at Israeli elites' "offensive and absurd" claims that Kerry backs Hamas.

She rubbished the fake transcript as "complete crap," adding "there's clearly people ... who are putting out false and defamatory and absurd information."

"I don't know what else you can assume about the intentions except that they're designed to hurt our relationship," she added.

Washington, which has provided billions in military aid to Israel, including funding the Iron Dome shield protecting the country from Hamas rockets, was "very committed" to Israel's security, which is "why these vicious attacks on the secretary are just crazy," she added.

And US lawmakers are working on a package of additional military support from Washington to commit $225 million for the Iron Dome missile defense shield.

More than 100 people died in Israeli strikes across Gaza Wednesday, medics said, including 17 at a crowded marketplace, sending the Palestinian toll from the 23 days of fighting to 1,363.

On the Israeli side, the conflict has cost the lives of 56 Israeli soldiers, and two civilians, as well as that of a Thai national.

AFP contributed to this report.
1 ) Father Ignatius / Ireland
31/07/2014 10:03
The demand for sea and air ports is not realistic because Israel fears, rightly so, that Hamas will use them to smuggle rockets and other weaponry. This could endanger the Christian priests and pilgrims arriving to visit the West Bank’s Bethlehem, and the Holy Land if their plane is shot down arriving at Israeli airports. We must protect Christians from all Hamas Islamic extremists.

2 ) Maisie / UK
31/07/2014 10:06
Regarding US/Israeli relationship: the filthy tail is wagging the stinking dog. And this horror show is before the eyes of the world.

3 ) Palestinian / Palestine
31/07/2014 10:53
No ammunition for Gaza? That's not fair; I thought the US was an even-handed broker in the Palestine-Israel question!

4 ) Brother Pius / Malta
31/07/2014 11:16
Father Ignatius - Pray for everyone, not just Christians. It is the Christian thing to do.

5 ) 1 / 2
31/07/2014 11:36
Yep the destruction of Palestinians courtesy of USA. American tax dollars at work for whom?

6 ) crazy / laddie
31/07/2014 11:51
#1 your insane , look at how christians are treated in israel, go to youtube and type it in the search box, moron.

31/07/2014 12:19
US hands directly gaza bloods.

8 ) Emma / Britain
31/07/2014 12:29
Father Ignatius, the fact that Palestinian Christians and Moslems live peacefully together seems to have escaped you. Christians are safe in the Palestinian towns of Nazareth and Bethlehem, and in East Jerusalem. It is the Israeli state that you have to fear.

9 ) Robert in Zionist controlled USA / Zionist USA
31/07/2014 13:02
#1 = Typical Jewish propaganda from a Zionist Jew this time posting as a Catholic priest. In 2003 jewish terrorists blew up St. Barbara's church in Aboud Palestine. In 1989 jewish terrorists threw a firebomb in the church of the Nativity. More churches have been destroyed by Jews since 1948 in Palestine than I have room to post here. Any Palestinian Christian will tell you that Israel is the worst thing that ever happened to Christians in Palestine. Google Sanhedrin 106a.

10 ) Dear / Father Ignatius
31/07/2014 13:07
I think you should check your facts, before 48 Christians made up 25% of the population since Israel was created the Christian population has fallen down to 2%. Hamas dont have any problem with Christians and the reason I know this is because Im a Christian living in Gaza and I see with my own eyes Christians and Muslims living and working together.The churches in Gaza has opened its doors to the Muslims for shelter and when they did the Israelis bombed the church.Ask Christian in the Holy Land

11 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
31/07/2014 13:43
Gosh, nobody seems to care about Iran and Qatar arming Hamas in Gaza with illegal weapons! Yes...firing unguided rockets at civilian areas is a war crime using unguided rockets, the only kind used in Gaza. Except for the odd exception that hits a military area, thousands of rockets are fired from Gaza at Israeli towns and cities and Hamas proudly says they did it! Of course Israel should defeat them. We should arm the Gazans so they can kick out Hamas and make peace with Israel. Hamas wants war.

12 ) Rondo Mondo / Canada
31/07/2014 14:13
#4 Turning the other cheek and praying for terrorists to succed in killing you does not work. Islam has been slaughtering Christians since its founding in the 7th century C.E.

13 ) JJ / NL
31/07/2014 14:36
Is the US using Israel as a proxy to 'correct a mistake' from the past, getting rid of Palestinian Arabs?

14 ) JoeFattal / USA
31/07/2014 14:56
Israel going to need more ammunition than that. The US has warned Israel for other threats not from Hamas. So who knows what's going to happens if Israel continue going after civilian targets.

15 ) Abdalla / Egypt
31/07/2014 15:19
Destruction of Gaza is courtesy of Hamas , Why all this investment in blood instead of investing in people future ??

16 ) Two Decisions / Truth
31/07/2014 15:30
-1- The Gaza "Death Toll" would be Zero, if HAMAS had not DECIDED
to start launching ROCKETS again (& digging attack tunnels into Israel),
since the war would never have started, and
-2- The Gaza "Death Toll" would stop growing, if HAMAS DECIDES
to Stop REJECTING PEACE with Israel.

17 ) Maureen / Australia
31/07/2014 16:03
The US recovering economy with help from the WMD industry! Hypocritical warmongering dogs!

18 ) guy / usa
31/07/2014 16:22
Israel also supplied gaza with food and vegetables. you gonna report that?

19 ) Father Ignatius / Ireland
31/07/2014 16:52
@6 I do hope the Israelis aske the Pope, what has happened in Middle Eastern countries to Christians who can no longer continue to live in the Middle East: we all lose something immensely and irreplaceably precious when such a rich tradition – dating back 2,000 years – begins to disappear. It comprises a rich panoply of church life, including the Antiochian, Greek, Coptic, Syrian and Armenian Orthodox Churches, the Melkite, Maronite, Syrian Catholic, Chaldean and Roman Catholic Churches.

20 ) Father Ignatius / Ireland
31/07/2014 16:55
@8 History tells me, for the past two thousand years of Christendom, I have nothing to fear as a Christian from the Jewish People.

21 ) saj ash / u.k
31/07/2014 16:57
You the u.s.a are the most stupidist pieces of crap that has ever walked planet earth. Ask yourself where do the loyaltys of the zionist scum lie. 2 American citizens died fighting for israel why didnt they fight in iraq or Afghanistan which were American wars ask yourself this please. They used American soldiers the British for there own means please wake up america.

22 ) [email protected] / uk
31/07/2014 17:30
You aer bastard Obama you belong to Africa planet of apes. You black swine. Dabble standard bastard.

23 ) bb / sl
31/07/2014 18:03
the name Ignatius even sounds disgusting. so are glad that Israel is killing both innocent Muslims and Christians in Gaza. you spoke not like a father. is that what the bible tells you? if you don't be a mediator to stop the killing don't be an agitator. Ignatius or igniter eh.

24 ) OZ / UK
31/07/2014 18:28
Ignatius, you are clueless. Check out Sabeel if you want to enlighten yourself about how Christians fare under Zionism. You might be surprised at whatZionists think and do.

25 ) Maureen / Australia
31/07/2014 18:41
#20 Father of what - a Zionist hasbara puppet? You need to check the facts, mate! The Revisionist Jabotinskyites running Israel are not real Jews!

26 ) Mel / USA
31/07/2014 18:46
#1,10,19,20: LOL! Nice try dude! But you're about as "Irish" as Saudi Arabian! LOL! You sound like a Yeshiva-student-IDF-summer school HASBARA troll,for sure,Seamus! If you were a"Father"in"Ireland"your script would be SUPPORTIVE of Palestine,the land of 'Isa',because you WOULD REALIZE THE HUGE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING "Jewish People"(capital 'P' there only used by Jews)& Israeli ZIONISTS who happen to be Jewish(¬ Christian Zio-whack-jobs).Don't insult Jewish people in calling them ISRAELI's!

27 ) Michael / Italy
31/07/2014 19:09
What is hypocritical, is for GAZA to accept the 52 Million John Kerry gave them for humanitarian ease. Gaza, you can't HATE the West and America and then take their money too. This shows so clearly that Hamas is not taking care of you. Hamas, your government should be taking care of your needs --- you voted them in. I still don't know if your the dumbest people on earth, or just don't care.

28 ) JoeFattal / USA
31/07/2014 19:16
@19) The Pope needs to stay out of the war in the Holy-Land. His visitation to Israel few month ago aggravated the situation and made the Jewish-Extremists angry to the point where they kidnapp 3 of their own and set up their murder and Israel of course blame Hamas for it. I call it "Kidnapping for Christ". In other words Christ emissary (the Pope) had no business in Israel.

29 ) @ Saj-21 / USA
31/07/2014 20:27
- Actually, "the most stupidist pieces of crap that ever walked planet earth" is Hamas, who restarted virtually the same conflict, after losing three time before ( 2006 - 2,200 killed, 2008 - 1,400 killed, & 2012 - 200 killed), and
- Iran is Not far behind in the stupid category, for they will soon resupply Hamas with weapons, so that the death toll can be restarted in two years !!

30 ) daz / uk
31/07/2014 20:29
America and Israel terrorists who go hand in glove

31 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
31/07/2014 22:09
Crikey, Maureen. If you're so upset about "occupation" doesn't that make you a hypocritical warmongering dingo? Or are you going to live by example - give your home over to an Aborigine and sail back to England where you came from before you occupied and colonized Aussiland?

32 ) Abdul / India
31/07/2014 23:07
Shame to US for helping the terrorist israel in the massacre of innocent palestine people.the occupier israel has brought shame to the humanity.

33 ) willard / USA
31/07/2014 23:39
Be strong. Keep the resistance. There are many of us here in the US that deeply resent the "special relationship" between Israel and the US. We deeply resent that our media is now controlled by Zionist interests.

34 ) Citizen / Earth
31/07/2014 23:50
#16, what kind of sick logic is that?! Israel is killing Palestinian civilians. They do it because they WANT to do it. Blaming Hamas for Israel killing Palestinians is like blaming a woman for defending herself against a strong man who rapes her. Your logic is just disgusting. And your moral compass, if you have one, is completely broken. And if Israel wants to destroy tunnels that go into Israel, why don't they do it from THEIR side of the WALL they constructed to isolate Gaza?!

35 ) Citizen / Earth
31/07/2014 23:54
#12, you do know that Christians have sent Crusades into MidEast to kill the Muslims, right? So spare us your false sense of moral superiority.

36 ) Eszter F?rizs / Hungary
01/08/2014 00:59
As a Christian an Hungarian I had to fear jewish in my own country. Hungarians are abused by Jewish in their own country, taken to jail and to pschychiatry department for being good Hungarian. It is horrible what jewish are doing with brave Hungarians in the middle of Europe.

37 ) @Brian / get a grip
01/08/2014 03:09
# 31 your people had everything to do with colonizing lands

38 ) Reader / Us
01/08/2014 03:59
#12 has no clue of history. The crusaders (Christians) killed 95,000 muslims sMuslims on one day in jarusalem. Look it up. The Spanish Inquisition (christians) murdered thousans of Muslims for their refusal to convert to christianity. Look it up. The truth burries the lies

39 ) jootoo / UK
01/08/2014 10:11
@36 Any links or documentation to back up your vile bile?

40 ) Saburah / Misri
01/08/2014 13:42
We know the truth about the crusades, Arabic history doesn't distort the facts. We know that the people of faith (all) lived together in Jerusalem & stood together against the invaders. Salahadin Yusuf Ibn Ayub is forever remembered as a great warrior & hero here.

41 ) zionist in us / zionist in Israel
02/09/2014 03:09
Hey Israel , try out these weapons in gaza. Gaza testing grounds
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