“It’s hard to remember a time when more crises were jostling for space in the headline news, or when the world’s leading diplomats were engaged in diplomacy on so many issues simultaneously.”

Israel says humanitarian ceasefire is over - live updates

Yigal Palmor, an Israeli foreign ministry spokesman, tells the BBC that the truce was “brazenly broken” by Hamas and that Israeli forces were “responding all along the frontline”. “I can confirm that Israel responded to Hamas fire, rockets and attacks against our troops,” he said.

Israeli soldier ‘captured’ - follow the latest updates

Smoke billows from buildings following an Israeli military strike east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. Photo: Said Khatib/AFP/Getty Images

Israel has said it is calling up another 16,000 reserves following a security cabinet meeting that decided to keep up military operations in Gaza, ignoring international pressure for an immediate ceasefire.

The move will allow the Israeli military to substantially widen its 23-day campaign against Hamas, which has already claimed more than 1,360 Palestinian lives – most of them civilians – and reduced entire Gaza neighbourhoods to rubble. Fifty-six Israeli soldiers and three Israeli civilians have died during the campaign.  

Full story here

Photo: Jinipix/REX

United Nations officials described the killing of sleeping children as a disgrace to the world and accused Israel of a serious violation of international law after a school in Gaza being used to shelter Palestinian families was shelled on Wednesday.

Full story here

“The injured boy cried in pain as the journalists cleaned and dressed the wound, wrapping a field dressing around his chest. He winced in pain, clearly embarrassed too as a colleague checked his shorts to look for unseen femoral bleeding. A waiter grabbed a table cloth to use as a stretcher, but a photographer took the boy in his arms to carry him to the ambulance.”
Gaza City, Gaza Strip: Palestinian security guards pray at a football stadium, which witnesses said was destroyed in an Israeli air strike Photograph: Suhaib Salem/Reuters


The Western media has chosen not to run the graphic pictures of the children killed in Gaza this weekend (nota bene: this is not the picture above, which shows members of the Daloo family during the children’s funeral yesterday).

Priest Giles Fraser asks: do pictures of children killed in Gaza force us to face a gruesome reality?

Let’s start slowly, carefully, with what can be said. Photographs show four small children dead on the cold aluminium surface of the morgue.

They are positioned in such a way that they look like they might be sleeping together. Are these pictures real? Are they staged? That already feels too suspicious a question to be asking so early on. And one’s emotional instincts will rail against the premature engagement of critical faculties. But one needs to bracket out the feelings just for a moment.

Earlier photographs have come in from multiple reputable agencies showing these children being pulled out of the rubble. Other images show numerous film crews witnessing the same event. The children’s bodies are accompanied by the press to the morgue. Those who are trained to spot discrepancies in this sort of story believe that it hangs together. The pictures are real, so it is concluded. And once that is accepted, one immediately feels more than a little uncomfortable that their provenance was ever questioned. Like disbelieving a rape victim when she first tells you her story.

So they are real. Dead children, killed by an Israeli missile while still in their pyjamas and the sort of clothes suited to playing in the street. The western media has chosen not to show them.

Read the rest here.

Photograph: Bernat Armangue/AP

Great piece on Cif worth checking out


Update on Gaza, Day 6. According to the New York Times, 19 more people have been killed in Gaza since midnight local time, bringing a current death toll up to 91, with 700 wounded (200 of those being children). According to Health Ministry official Ashraf Al-Kidra, civilians make up half of the Palestinian death toll. [Update: According to Al Jazeera’s figures, it’s 96.]

This morning an Israeli airstrike hit the Shurooq media center, a high-rise in Gaza City where a number of media organizations, both local and foreign, have their offices. The building houses Hamas’ television station, Al Aqsa, and this is the second strike on the building within two days. BBC journalist Paul Danahar tweeted a photo of the media center just after the strike (included in the above photoset).

Mona Mahmood of The Guardian interviewed West Bank resident Sameeh Muhssein about demonstrations in the West Bank in solidarity with Gaza. He said:

The Palestinian Authority is trying to stop the protesters … under the pretext of not having more causalities. If the aggression continued on Gaza, I can promise you there will be a third intifada as the political solution looks really futile and people are very upset here as they learn every few minutes of more martyrs in Gaza. We can’t put our feelings in a refrigerator and just keep watching; it is really heartbreaking watching the bodies of the children under the debris. 

From Cairo, Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal has stated:

All options are available. If Israel wants a ceasefire brokered through Egypt, then that is possible. Escalation is also possible, especially as there are differences in Israeli statements. We are prepared and ready for all options.

According to Reuters reporting, Meshaal is for a truce if demands are met, demands that include an end to Israel’s attacks and an end to the siege.

Highly recommend staying updated with The Guardian’s ever-excellent live blog, and making sure you read more than what I’ve put up here, which is just a brief snapshot. And check out the Reuters live blog for a live feed of the Gaza City skyline

Photos: Gaza City/Bernat Armangue/AP; Shurooq media building in Gaza City/Paul Danahar; remains of a Hamas building in Gaza City/Yasser Gdeeh/Reuters; Hamas rockets sent toward Israel/Mohammed Saber/EPA; Gaza City residents flee their homes following an airstrike/Bernat Armangue/AP

More just on on our live blog:

Mark Regev, and Israeli government spokesman, is suggesting on al-Jazeera that Hamas is using journalists as human shields. Israel does not target journalists, he said.

An al-Aqsa journalist lost a leg in yesterday’s strike on the building. Regev seemed to draw a distinction between al-Aqsa journalists and those working for the international media. Al-Aqsa is Hamas’s official TV station. He also described the building as hosting part of Hamas’s “command and control” network

& pictures here.

(via newsflick)

Latest pictures coming in as missiles have been fired in Gaza by Palestinian militants following the assassination of Hamas militant leader Ahmed al-Jabari.

Follow the news as it comes in live here.

Photograph: Nir Elias/REUTERS