Israel has intensified strikes on the Gaza Strip after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Israelis there would be a long conflict ahead. In a televised address Monday, Netanyahu said "We will not complete the operation without neutralizing the tunnels." Ten Israeli soldiers were killed Monday, including up to five who died in clashes with militants who emerged from a tunnel running from Gaza into Israeli territory. The Israeli military said it hit 70 targets in one of the heaviest nights of bombardment Gaza has seen in three weeks of conflict. One of the strikes destroyed the unoccupied house of Hamas political leader Ismail Haniya. Additionally, Israeli shelling knocked out Gaza's only power plant, which supplies up to two-thirds of the area's energy needs. According to Gaza health officials, 1,156 Palestinians have been killed since July 8, mostly civilians, while 53 Israeli soldiers have been killed as well as three civilians.
Australian police have issued arrest warrants for two citizens believed to be fighting with the Islamic State in Syria after photos allegedly of them holding the severed heads of Syrian soldiers were posted on Twitter. An estimated 150 Australian citizens and residents are believed to have joined militant Islamist groups, and the country is reportedly the largest per capita source of foreign fighters for the Islamic State. Meanwhile, Syrian government barrel bombings overnight killed at least 15 civilians, including six children, in the northern city of Aleppo, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Six additional civilians were killed in mortar shelling by rebel forces.
- Italy has offered to help Libya contain a massive fire at a fuel depot near Tripoli as clashes continue between rival militias over control of the capital's international airport.
- A U.S. court has ordered the seizure of a cargo of Kurdish oil worth $100 million, claimed by the Iraqi government, aboard a tanker off the coast of Texas.
- FIFA's vice president has ordered the payment of migrant laborers who worked on offices in Qatar for the 2022 World Cup who reportedly are owed 13 months' wages.
Arguments and Analysis
'Isolating Gaza' (Ilana Feldman, Stanford University Press blog)
"Palestinians living in Gaza's 'open air prison' are not only targeted for attack, but also victimized by enforced immobility. Through years of policies of increasing control, closure, and blockade, Israel has created this vulnerability and is now deploying immobility as a lethal weapon. There is frequent reference in the media to the blockade imposed on Gaza in 2006 after Hamas won parliamentary elections, but the process of isolating Gaza began long before that. Understanding how immobility was imposed and then weaponized requires looking at the history of borders, movements, and constraints on motion that have defined this place since 1948."
'What's behind Libya's spiraling violence?' (Frederic Wehrey, The Washington Post)
"One of Libya's conundrums is that nearly all the militias claim legitimacy from their affiliation with competing organs of the weak and fractured government. Government subsidization of militia power arose from the enfeebled state of the formal army and police, which Moammar Gaddafi had marginalized in favor of elite units commanded by his sons and which had largely evaporated during the revolution. Bereft of a way to project its authority and police the country's periphery and towns, Libya's transitional authorities, the National Transitional Council (NTC), put the militias under its payroll. The chief of staff, minister of defense, minister of interior, and president of the outgoing General National Congress (GNC) have all at one time "registered" or "deputized" militia coalitions. One result of these subsidies has been a mushrooming of militias, well beyond the number that actually fought against Gaddafi."
'A war in search of an objective' (Gregg Carlstrom, Medium)
"The three-week-old Israeli offensive in Gaza, which has killed nearly 1,100 Palestinians and wounded more than 6,500, is a war in search of an objective. Perhaps more accurately: it is an open-ended military campaign yoked to the ever-more-difficult political objective of sustaining an unsustainable status quo."
-- Mary Casey
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