Bay Area United Against War Newsletter, July 1, 2024


2:00 P.M., New York City




Demonstration and Press Conference


SF Federal Building


Tuesday, July 9, 2024 5:00 P.M.

Protest the New Invasion of Haiti by U.S.-backed Kenyan Police


Protest the Murderous Repression in Kenya by the Same Police


Haiti Action Committee
PO Box 2040
Berkeley,CA 94702



Washington, D.C.



Leonard Peltier self portrait

Free Leonard Peltier This Week

The U.S. Parole Commission is considering his parole right now.

He is the longest-held political prisoner in the United States, unjustly kept behind bars for decades.


Click here to email the parole commission:





Facebook share link:






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This is our message:


I write to you today in support of parole for Leonard Peltier, who is almost 80 years old and uses a walker to move about within the walls of a maximum-security prison.

He is imprisoned for his alleged role in the deaths of two FBI agents during a shootout on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota in 1975. Imprisoned at the age of 31, Mr. Peltier was sentenced for aiding and abetting in a case where his co-defendants, principally charged with the murders, were found not guilty on grounds of self-defense. In fact, the prosecutors have admitted they do not know who killed the agents and could not prove Mr. Peltier committed a crime that day. 

A former FBI agent familiar with his case has called publicly for Peltier’s release. A former federal prosecutor who oversaw Peltier’s post-trial sentencing and appeals has also called for his release, saying: “I have realized that the prosecution and continued incarceration of Mr. Peltier was and is unjust. We were not able to prove that Mr. Peltier personally committed any offense on the Pine Ridge Reservation.”

Please grant Leonard Peltier his freedom after nearly a half century of incarceration.


Click here to send it:



Sign here:



After doing this action, please use the tools on the next webpage to share it with your friends.


This work is only possible with your financial support. Please chip in $5 now:




Thank you!


—The RootsAction.org team




                          9:00 A.M. 

Location: MECA office, 1101 8th St, Berkeley, CA 94710

Join us Sunday, July 21 for our Third Annual Ride for Palestine, a day of solidarity along the 14-mile scenic San Francisco Bay. The ride is designed to be enjoyable for cyclists of all skill levels and the post-Ride event, Gather for Gaza will include delicious Palestinian food, music, dancing, and more.


All funds raised this year will support MECA’s emergency work in Gaza–where the situation is dire and your support is more important than ever. Thanks to the efforts of our community, MECA’s 2022 and 2023 Rides for Palestine were a huge success, together raising more than $125,000 in support of our ongoing work in Palestine.


Help us reach our 2024 Ride for Palestine goal of $150,000 by registering today:



With your support, we can deliver food and other necessities and send a powerful message of solidarity to Gaza.


Ride for Palestinian children. Ride for solidarity. Ride for Gaza.


If you're not in the Bay Area or are not available July 21 but would like to participate you can register at a discounted rate as a Virtual Participant and ride, walk, swim, or even bake cookies for Palestine–you can decide what your fundraising activity looks like. Check out our Ride from Anywhere page to learn more.


Ride from anywhere:



Get involved in this year’s event at RideforPalestine.com and feel free to reach out to the MECA team by emailing us at info@rideforpalestine.com. 


#GatherforGaza #RideforPalestine #MECAforPeace



Greetings to U.S. students from Gaza: "Thank you students in Solidarity with Gaza, your message has reached.” May 1, 2024 (Screenshot)

‘Operation al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 265:


The total number of Palestinians killed by Israel is now over 37,765, with 86,429 wounded. Among the killed, 27,706 have been fully identified. These include 7,779 children, 5466 women, and 2418 elderly. In addition, around 10,000 more are estimated to be under the rubble.*  

More than 553 Palestinians have been killed and 4,600 wounded by Israel in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. These include 135 children.**  

—Israel lowers its estimated October 7 death toll from 1,400 to 1,140—666 Israeli soldiers killed since ground invasion, 3,860 wounded***

Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its Telegram channel on June 23, 2024. Some rights groups estimate the death toll to be much higher when accounting for those presumed dead.

** The death toll in West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to PA’s Ministry of Health on June 23, 2024—this is the latest figure.

*** These figures are released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” The number of Israeli soldiers wounded, according to declarations by the head of the Israeli army’s wounded association to Israel’s Channel 12, exceeds 20,000, including at least 8,663 permanently handicapped as of June 18.

Source: mondoweiss.net






Beneath The Mountain: An Anti-Prison Reader (City Lights, 2024) is a collection of revolutionary essays, written by those who have been detained inside prison walls. Composed by the most structurally dispossessed people on earth, the prisoner class, these words illuminate the steps towards freedom. 


Beneath the Mountain documents the struggle — beginning with slavery, genocide, and colonization up to our present day — and imagines a collective, anti-carceral future. These essays were handwritten first on scraps of paper, magazine covers, envelopes, toilet paper, or pages of bibles, scratched down with contraband pencils or the stubby cartridge of a ball-point pen; kites, careworn, copied and shared across tiers and now preserved in this collection for this and future generations. If they were dropped in the prison-controlled mail they were cloaked in prayers, navigating censorship and dustbins. They were very often smuggled out. These words mark resistance, fierce clarity, and speak to the hope of building the world we all deserve to live in.  

"Beneath the Mountain reminds us that ancestors and rebels have resisted conquest and enslavement, building marronage against colonialism and genocide."

—Joy James, author of New Bones Abolition: Captive Maternal Agency


Who stands beneath the mountain but prisoners of war? Mumia Abu-Jamal and Jennifer Black have assembled a book of fire, each voice a flame in captivity...Whether writing from a place of fugivity, the prison camp, the city jail, the modern gulag or death row, these are our revolutionary thinkers, our critics and dreamers, our people. The people who move mountains. —Robin D.G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination


Filled with insight and energy, this extraordinary book gifts us the opportunity to encounter people’s understanding of the fight for freedom from the inside out.  —Ruth Wilson Gilmore, author of Golden Gulag and Abolition Geography


These are the words each writer dreamed as they sought freedom and they need to be studied by people inside and read in every control unit/hole in every prison in America. We can send this book for you to anyone who you know who is currently living, struggling, and fighting 


Who better to tell these stories than those who have lived them? Don’t be surprised with what you find within these pages: hope, solidarity, full faith towards the future, and most importantly, love. 


Excerpt from the book:

"Revolutionary love speaks to the ways we protect, respect, and empower each other while standing up to state terror. Its presence is affirmed through these texts as a necessary component to help chase away fear and to encourage the solidarity and unity essential for organizing in dangerous times and places. Its absence portends tragedy. Revolutionary love does not stop the state from wanting to kill us, nor is it effective without strategy and tactics, but it is the might that fuels us to stand shoulder to shoulder with others regardless. Perhaps it can move mountains."  —Jennifer Black & Mumia Abu-Jamal from the introduction to Beneath The Mountain: An Anti Prison Reader


Get the book at:




Boris Kagarlitsky is in Prison!

On February 13, the court overturned the previous decision on release and sent Boris Kagarlitsky to prison for five years.

Petition in Support of Boris Kagarlitsky

We, the undersigned, were deeply shocked to learn that on February 13 the leading Russian socialist intellectual and antiwar activist Dr. Boris Kagarlitsky (65) was sentenced to five years in prison.

Dr. Kagarlitsky was arrested on the absurd charge of 'justifying terrorism' in July last year. After a global campaign reflecting his worldwide reputation as a writer and critic of capitalism and imperialism, his trial ended on December 12 with a guilty verdict and a fine of 609,000 roubles.

The prosecution then appealed against the fine as 'unjust due to its excessive leniency' and claimed falsely that Dr. Kagarlitsky was unable to pay the fine and had failed to cooperate with the court. In fact, he had paid the fine in full and provided the court with everything it requested.

On February 13 a military court of appeal sent him to prison for five years and banned him from running a website for two years after his release.

The reversal of the original court decision is a deliberate insult to the many thousands of activists, academics, and artists around the world who respect Dr. Kagarlitsky and took part in the global campaign for his release. The section of Russian law used against Dr. Kagarlitsky effectively prohibits free expression. The decision to replace the fine with imprisonment was made under a completely trumped-up pretext. Undoubtedly, the court's action represents an attempt to silence criticism in the Russian Federation of the government's war in Ukraine, which is turning the country into a prison.

The sham trial of Dr. Kagarlitsky is the latest in a wave of brutal repression against the left-wing movements in Russia. Organizations that have consistently criticized imperialism, Western and otherwise, are now under direct attack, many of them banned. Dozens of activists are already serving long terms simply because they disagree with the policies of the Russian government and have the courage to speak up. Many of them are tortured and subjected to life-threatening conditions in Russian penal colonies, deprived of basic medical care. Left-wing politicians are forced to flee Russia, facing criminal charges. International trade unions such as IndustriALL and the International Transport Federation are banned and any contact with them will result in long prison sentences.

There is a clear reason for this crackdown on the Russian left. The heavy toll of the war gives rise to growing discontent among the mass of working people. The poor pay for this massacre with their lives and wellbeing, and opposition to war is consistently highest among the poorest. The left has the message and resolve to expose the connection between imperialist war and human suffering.

Dr. Kagarlitsky has responded to the court's outrageous decision with calm and dignity: “We just need to live a little longer and survive this dark period for our country,” he said. Russia is nearing a period of radical change and upheaval, and freedom for Dr. Kagarlitsky and other activists is a condition for these changes to take a progressive course.

We demand that Boris Kagarlitsky and all other antiwar prisoners be released immediately and unconditionally.

We also call on the authorities of the Russian Federation to reverse their growing repression of dissent and respect their citizens' freedom of speech and right to protest.

Sign to Demand the Release of Boris Kagarlitsky


The petition is also available on Change.org



*Major Announcement*

Claudia De la Cruz wins

Peace and Freedom Party primary in California!

We have an exciting announcement. The votes are still being counted in California, but the Claudia-Karina “Vote Socialist” campaign has achieved a clear and irreversible lead in the Peace and Freedom Party primary. Based on the current count, Claudia has 46% of the vote compared to 40% for Cornel West. A significant majority of PFP’s newly elected Central Committee, which will formally choose the nominee at its August convention, have also pledged their support to the Claudia-Karina campaign.


We are excited to campaign in California now and expect Claudia De la Cruz to be the candidate on the ballot of the Peace and Freedom Party in November.


We achieved another big accomplishment this week - we’re officially on the ballot in Hawai’i! This comes after also petitioning to successfully gain ballot access in Utah. We are already petitioning in many other states. Each of these achievements is powered by the tremendous effort of our volunteers and grassroots organizers across the country. When we’re organized, people power can move mountains!


We need your help to keep the momentum going. Building a campaign like this takes time, energy, and money. We know that our class enemies — the billionaires, bankers, and CEO’s — put huge sums toward loyal politicians and other henchmen who defend their interests. They will use all the money and power at their disposal to stop movements like ours. As an independent, socialist party, our campaign is relying on contributions from the working class and people like you.


We call on each and every one of our supporters to set up a monthly or one-time donation to support this campaign to help it keep growing and reaching more people. A new socialist movement, independent of the Democrats and Republicans, is being built but it will only happen when we all pitch in.


The Claudia-Karina campaign calls to end all U.S. aid to Israel. End this government’s endless wars. We want jobs for all, with union representation and wages that let us live with dignity. Housing, healthcare, and education for all - without the lifelong debt. End the ruthless attacks on women, Black people, immigrants, and LGBTQ people. These are just some of the demands that are resonating across the country. Help us take the next step: 


Volunteer: https://votesocialist2024.com/volunteer


Donate: https://votesocialist2024.com/donate


See you in the streets,


Claudia & Karina


Don't Forget! Join our telegram channel for regular updates: https://t.me/+KtYBAKgX51JhNjMx




Mumia Abu-Jamal is Innocent!


Write to Mumia at:

Smart Communications/PADOC

Mumia Abu-Jamal #AM-8335

SCI Mahanoy

P.O. Box 33028

St. Petersburg, FL 33733

Join the Fight for Mumia's Life

Since September, Mumia Abu-Jamal's health has been declining at a concerning rate. He has lost weight, is anemic, has high blood pressure and an extreme flair up of his psoriasis, and his hair has fallen out. In April 2021 Mumia underwent open heart surgery. Since then, he has been denied cardiac rehabilitation care including a healthy diet and exercise.

Donate to Mumia Abu-Jamal's Emergency Legal and Medical Defense Fund, Official 2024

Mumia has instructed PrisonRadio to set up this fund. Gifts donated here are designated for the Mumia Abu-Jamal Medical and Legal Defense Fund. If you are writing a check or making a donation in another way, note this in the memo line.

Send to:

 Mumia Medical and Legal Fund c/o Prison Radio

P.O. Box 411074, San Francisco, CA 94103

Prison Radio is a project of the Redwood Justice Fund (RJF), which is a California 501c3 (Tax ID no. 680334309) not-for-profit foundation dedicated to the defense of the environment and of civil and human rights secured by law.  Prison Radio/Redwood Justice Fund PO Box 411074, San Francisco, CA 94141



Leonard Peltier “Why?” (Henry CrowDog)

Write to:

Leonard Peltier 89637-132

USP Coleman 1

P.O. Box 1033

Coleman, FL 33521

Note: Letters, address and return address must be in writing—no stickers—and on plain white paper.

Video at:


Sign our petition urging President Biden to grant clemency to Leonard Peltier:




Email: contact@whoisleonardpeltier.info

Address: 116 W. Osborne Ave. Tampa, Florida 33603



Updates From Kevin Cooper 

A Never-ending Constitutional Violation

A summary of the current status of Kevin Cooper’s case by the Kevin Cooper Defense Committee


      On October 26, 2023, the law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP wrote a rebuttal in response to the Special Counsel's January 13, 2023 report upholding the conviction of their client Kevin Cooper. A focus of the rebuttal was that all law enforcement files were not turned over to the Special Counsel during their investigation, despite a request for them to the San Bernardino County District Attorney's office.

      On October 29, 2023, Law Professors Lara Bazelon and Charlie Nelson Keever, who run the six member panel that reviews wrongful convictions for the San Francisco County District Attorney's office, published an OpEd in the San Francisco Chronicle calling the "Innocence Investigation” done by the Special Counsel in the Cooper case a “Sham Investigation” largely because Cooper has unsuccessfully fought for years to obtain the police and prosecutor files in his case. This is a Brady claim, named for the U.S. Supreme court’s 1963 case establishing the Constitutional rule that defendants are entitled to any information in police and prosecutor's possession that could weaken the state's case or point to innocence. Brady violations are a leading cause of wrongful convictions. The Special Counsel's report faults Cooper for not offering up evidence of his own despite the fact that the best evidence to prove or disprove Brady violations or other misconduct claims are in those files that the San Bernardino County District Attorney's office will not turn over to the Special Counsel or to Cooper's attorneys.

      On December 14, 2023, the president of the American Bar Association (ABA), Mary Smith, sent Governor Gavin Newsom a three page letter on behalf of the ABA stating in part that Mr.Cooper's counsel objected to the state's failure to provide Special Counsel all documents in their possession relating to Mr.Cooper's conviction, and that concerns about missing information are not new. For nearly 40 years Mr.Cooper's attorneys have sought this same information from the state.

      On December 19, 2023, Bob Egelko, a journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle wrote an article about the ABA letter to the Governor that the prosecutors apparently withheld evidence from the Governor's legal team in the Cooper case.

      These are just a few recent examples concerning the ongoing failure of the San Bernardino County District Attorney to turn over to Cooper's attorney's the files that have been requested, even though under the law and especially the U.S. Constitution, the District Attorney of San Bernardino county is required to turn over to the defendant any and all material and or exculpatory evidence that they have in their files. Apparently, they must have something in their files because they refuse to turn them over to anyone.

      The last time Cooper's attorney's received files from the state, in 2004, it wasn't from the D.A. but a Deputy Attorney General named Holly Wilkens in Judge Huff's courtroom. Cooper's attorneys discovered a never before revealed police report showing that a shirt was discovered that had blood on it and was connected to the murders for which Cooper was convicted, and that the shirt had disappeared. It had never been tested for blood. It was never turned over to Cooper's trial attorney, and no one knows where it is or what happened to it. Cooper's attorneys located the woman who found that shirt on the side of the road and reported it to the Sheriff's Department. She was called to Judge Huff's court to testify about finding and reporting that shirt to law enforcement. That shirt was the second shirt found that had blood on it that was not the victims’ blood. This was in 2004, 19 years after Cooper's conviction.

      It appears that this ongoing constitutional violation that everyone—from the Special Counsel to the Governor's legal team to the Governor himself—seems to know about, but won't do anything about, is acceptable in order to uphold Cooper's conviction.

But this type of thing is supposed to be unacceptable in the United States of America where the Constitution is supposed to stand for something other than a piece of paper with writing on it. How can a Governor, his legal team, people who support and believe in him ignore a United States citizen’s Constitutional Rights being violated for 40 years in order to uphold a conviction?

      This silence is betrayal of the Constitution. This permission and complicity by the Governor and his team is against everything that he and they claim to stand for as progressive politicians. They have accepted the Special Counsel's report even though the Special Counsel did not receive the files from the district attorney that may not only prove that Cooper is innocent, but that he was indeed framed by the Sheriff’s Department; and that evidence was purposely destroyed and tampered with, that certain witnesses were tampered with, or ignored if they had information that would have helped Cooper at trial, that evidence that the missing shirt was withheld from Cooper's trial attorney, and so much more.

      Is the Governor going to get away with turning a blind eye to this injustice under his watch?

      Are progressive people going to stay silent and turn their eyes blind in order to hopefully get him to end the death penalty for some while using Cooper as a sacrificial lamb?

An immediate act of solidarity we can all do right now is to write to Kevin and assure him of our continuing support in his fight for justice. Here’s his address:

Kevin Cooper #C65304
Cell 107, Unit E1C
California Health Care Facility, Stockton (CHCF)
P.O. Box 213040
Stockton, CA 95213




Call California Governor Newsom:

1-(916) 445-2841

Press 1 for English or 2 for Spanish, 

press 6 to speak with a representative and

wait for someone to answer 

(Monday-Friday, 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. PST—12:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. EST)




The writers' organization PEN America is circulating this petition on behalf of Jason Renard Walker, a Texas prisoner whose life is being threatened because of his exposés of the Texas prison system. 

See his book, Reports from within the Belly of the Beast; available on Amazon at:


Petition: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/protect-whistleblowers-in-carceral-settings



Daniel Hale UPDATE:  


In February Drone Whistleblower Daniel Hale was transferred from the oppressive maximum-security prison in Marion, Illinois to house confinement.  We celebrate his release from Marion.  He is laying low right now, recovering from nearly 3 years in prison.  Thank goodness he is now being held under much more humane conditions and expected to complete his sentence in July of this year.     www.StandWithDaniel Hale.org


More Info about Daniel:


“Drone Whistleblower Subjected To Harsh Confinement Finally Released From Prison” 



“I was punished under the Espionage Act. Why wasn’t Joe Biden?”  by Daniel Hale




Resources for Resisting Federal Repression



Since June of 2020, activists have been subjected to an increasingly aggressive crackdown on protests by federal law enforcement. The federal response to the movement for Black Lives has included federal criminal charges for activists, door knocks by federal law enforcement agents, and increased use of federal troops to violently police protests. 


The NLG National Office is releasing this resource page for activists who are resisting federal repression. It includes a link to our emergency hotline numbers, as well as our library of Know-Your-Rights materials, our recent federal repression webinar, and a list of some of our recommended resources for activists. We will continue to update this page. 


Please visit the NLG Mass Defense Program page for general protest-related legal support hotlines run by NLG chapters.


Emergency Hotlines

If you are contacted by federal law enforcement, you should exercise all of your rights. It is always advisable to speak to an attorney before responding to federal authorities. 


State and Local Hotlines

If you have been contacted by the FBI or other federal law enforcement, in one of the following areas, you may be able to get help or information from one of these local NLG hotlines for: 


Portland, Oregon: (833) 680-1312

San Francisco, California: (415) 285-1041 or fbi_hotline@nlgsf.org

Seattle, Washington: (206) 658-7963

National Hotline

If you are located in an area with no hotline, you can call the following number:


National NLG Federal Defense Hotline: (212) 679-2811






1) Some critically ill children are allowed to leave Gaza for the first time in weeks.

By Aaron Boxerman reporting from Jerusalem, June 28, 2024


A young girl looking out of the window of a vehicle.

A Palestinian girl in a vehicle taking children out of Gaza for medical treatment abroad on Thursday. Credit...Mohammed Salem/Reuters

Israel and Egypt agreed to allow at least 19 sick children, most of them cancer patients, to leave Gaza for medical treatment on Thursday, Israeli and Palestinian officials said, in the first major evacuation of critically ill Gazans since the Rafah border crossing shut down in early May.


The Israeli military said the operation had been carried out in coordination with the United States, Egypt and the international community. In total, 68 people — sick and injured patients and their escorts — were allowed to leave, the military said.


Tania Hary, who directs Gisha, an Israeli nonprofit organization that advocates the free movement of Palestinians, said she was relieved that the children may “have a chance at life and finally receive the care they deserve.” But she emphasized that many more sick and wounded people remained trapped in Gaza, without any obvious mechanism for how they might be evacuated.


“It is a drop in an ocean of suffering, as thousands more wait to reach medical facilities outside the strip,” she said. “It serves as another reminder that the most vulnerable residents of Gaza — its children, sick and elderly — are paying the highest price.”


More than 10,000 sick and wounded people in Gaza require urgent care that is available only outside the enclave, the World Health Organization said this week. They include those wounded in airstrikes, as well as cancer patients, children with life-threatening illnesses and older people who need open-heart surgery.


Even before the war, many Gazans were forced to travel abroad for lifesaving treatments, like chemotherapy, which were almost nonexistent in the Gaza Strip. The enclave’s health sector has struggled for more than 15 years under a crippling Israeli-Egyptian blockade intended to contain Hamas.


But the main conduit through which Gazans could leave — the Rafah crossing with Egypt — shut down after Israeli forces captured it in May during a military offensive. Egypt shuttered its side of the gateway in protest, and the Gazan part was later destroyed in a fire, according to the Israeli military, seemingly dashing hopes that the crossing would be reopened in the near future.


At least two sick Gazans who were scheduled to leave in early May have died while awaiting evacuation, their family members said.


With the Rafah crossing closed, the group of children allowed to leave on Thursday was taken into Israeli territory through another border point, Kerem Shalom, before being brought to Egypt. The move did not appear to immediately herald a new permanent route for the critically ill to safely leave Gaza.


One of the children who made the crossing on Thursday was a 10-month-old girl named Sadeel Hamdan.


For months, her family had looked on with growing dread as Sadeel’s condition deteriorated. Her belly swelled like a balloon because of severe liver failure, and she desperately needed a transplant, her father, Tamer Hamdan, said.


On Thursday morning — after weeks of waiting — Mr. Hamdan and Sadeel were finally permitted to leave the enclave. After entering Israel, they were ferried along with other patients to Nitzana, an Israeli border crossing, where they entered Egyptian territory, he said.


“Thank God,” said Mr. Hamdan, who was reached by phone as he sat in a bus on the Egyptian side of the checkpoint. “We’re so happy that we brought out Sadeel safely. Now we just need to complete her treatment.”


Their departure from Gaza, however, was bittersweet. Mr. Hamdan traveled with his daughter so that he could be a partial liver donor, but his wife and three other children were not permitted to join them. He said he feared for their fate in Gaza.


“We’re all heading into the unknown,” he said.


For each patient who left, there were many others left behind. Muna Abu Holi, a college professor from central Gaza, survived an explosion that killed one of her daughters and left two others seriously wounded.


Both of her surviving daughters had received approval to travel through the Rafah crossing on May 7 for medical treatment, according to documents from the Gaza Health Ministry. But the Israeli offensive led to the border’s shutting down.


“We’re grasping for any possible hope,” Ms. Abu Holi said. “Every piece of news we hear, we cling to.”



2) Why More Older New Yorkers Are Ending Up in Homeless Shelters

The number of people older than 65 who are living in shelters is growing quickly, in an unheralded sign of New York City’s affordable housing crisis.

By Andy Newman, June 28, 2024


A man in glasses poses for a portrait.

Robert Kirk, 74, became homeless after he was evicted. He now lives in a shelter in Brooklyn. Credit...Ahmed Gaber for The New York Times

Robert Kirk, a retired jack of many trades, finds himself homeless at the age of 74 after a chain of events that could happen to almost anyone.


His landlady in Brooklyn died, the building’s new owner raised the rent and later evicted the tenants, and he could not find another apartment he could afford with his Social Security check.


Now his neighbors at a hotel shelter in Brownsville, Brooklyn, include a 69-year-old ambulette driver who lost his job and apartment after a leg injury, a 73-year-old former plasterer from Panama and a 78-year-old retired sushi chef from Japan.


They are among the swelling ranks of older people who are homeless in New York City.


According to a report released on Thursday, the number of single adults ages 65 and older in the city’s main shelter system more than doubled from 2014 to 2022, growing nearly three times as quickly as the number of younger single adults in shelters.


There were about 1,700 people older than 65 in single-adult shelters, which house a vast majority of the older New Yorkers who are homeless, during the fiscal year ending in June 2022, up from about 700 eight years earlier. The share of residents in those shelters who were older than 65 increased to 8 percent from 5 percent.


The nonprofit group that released the report, LiveOn NY, which works to improve conditions for aging people, says the rising numbers point to an affordable housing crisis-within-a-crisis in New York City.


“There are hundreds of thousands of people who just muddle along, and they just muddle until they can’t,” Allison Nickerson, the group’s executive director, said in an interview.


More and more older New Yorkers are just a job loss, an uninsured illness or a real-estate flip away from homelessness, LiveOn NY said. The group studied data from the city departments of homelessness and housing and conducted a survey of property managers to produce its report.


About 315,000 older New Yorkers are on waiting lists for affordable apartments in federally constructed buildings reserved for people 62 and older, up from about 230,000 in 2016, the group said. The typical wait is six years; many buildings have longer waits.


“When you’re on an affordable housing wait-list and you’re living on a couch and you’re 80, you don’t have seven or nine years,” Ms. Nickerson said.


The overall market for affordable housing in New York is the tightest it has been in half a century, with vacancy rates for the lowest-priced apartments below 1 percent.


Slowly but surely, Ms. Nickerson said, older people who are too able-bodied to qualify for nursing homes or assisted living facilities but simply have nowhere to live are “infusing into the homeless system.”


The phenomenon is unrelated to the thousands of migrants who have traveled to New York since the summer of 2022, overwhelming the city’s social service apparatus. Few of the migrants who have entered the shelter system for single adults are older, LiveOn NY said.


The number of older adults in shelters is also growing considerably faster than the broader population of seniors is increasing as baby boomers hit retirement age.


There are about 10 specialized shelters in the city for older adults. From the outside, they tend to look like other shelters housed in low-budget hotels, but for the prevalence of people using walkers going in and out.


In recent interviews, several residents of the senior shelters said they preferred them to mixed-age shelters, where conditions can be rough. In senior shelters, people tend to sleep one to four to a room. Some general-population shelters have dozens of people sleeping in one space.


Mr. Kirk, who worked as an administrator at a yoga foundation and as a cabby instructor, said that at one mixed-age shelter he was assigned to, he complained to the staff that his much younger roommate was blasting the TV in the middle of the night.


“I woke up and he was right next to me and he punched me in the face,” Mr. Kirk said.


His neighbor the ambulette driver, who gave his name only as Barry M., said that their senior shelter, at the Days Inn Crown Heights, was a decent place for him to stay while he applies for a subsidized permanent apartment.


“It’s not the Waldorf Astoria,” Barry said, “but my room is clean.”


While many newly constructed buildings in New York have affordable apartments marketed through the city’s fiercely competitive housing lotteries, including some reserved for people ages 62 and over, there are simply far too few to keep pace with demand, LiveOn NY said.


About 30,000 lottery apartments hit the market from 2020 to 2023, LiveOn NY said, but only about 10 percent were in buildings that included apartments reserved for older people. Households with older adults filed 220,000 applications for lottery apartments during that period, and fewer than 2,000 of the households received apartments, the study said.


LiveOn NY urged the city to strengthen its existing affordable-housing programs for older people, particularly those with the lowest incomes. Older adults who enter housing lotteries tend to have significantly lower incomes than younger adults, the group said. They are also more likely to live on fixed incomes and to have mobility issues, both of which limit their housing options.


The City Department of Social Services said on Thursday that during the 10-month period ending in April, nearly 650 single adults older than 65 moved from shelters to subsidized permanent housing. This was more than in any fiscal year since 2019, the city said.


If there is a silver lining to living in a homeless shelter, it is that it can be a shortcut to finding permanent housing, said Karen Jorgensen, the director of the Valley Lodge shelter on the Upper West Side, a temporary home for about 100 older adults.


Many new apartment buildings contain subsidized units set aside for people who have been homeless, and Ms. Jorgensen said that most Valley Lodge residents find a permanent subsidized apartment within two years.


Earl Boyd, 83, a unicyclist, D.J. and former aquarium cleaner who moved to Valley Lodge in May, said he saw people moving out to permanent housing several times a week.


Valley Lodge’s parent organization, the West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing, also operates an adjoining supportive-housing building — permanent apartments that come with a range of on-site social and medical services — and some Valley Lodge shelter residents wind up there.


Tanya Anderson, a great-grandmother who bounced between streets and shelters for over a decade, has lived in one of the supportive-housing apartments with her son since last year.


“I feel so nice there that I don’t have to live in the street,” said Ms. Anderson, 61.


Another recent arrival is Locket Strowder, 61, a former warehouse worker. Within the space of a couple of years, Mr. Strowder was disabled by tumors in his back, lost his wife to cancer, moved in with a niece in Queens, suffered a reaction to medication and spent three months in a nursing home, fell out with his niece and entered the shelter system, where he was eventually assigned to Valley Lodge.


When a supportive-housing apartment opened in October, he moved in.


“To this day, I’m not where I want to be, not where I used to be,” he said. “But if I can just stay here long enough, I think I’ll be OK. I’ve got people watching over me.”



3) Iran Warns of ‘Obliterating War’ if Israel Launches an Offensive in Lebanon

By Vivian Nereim, June 29, 2024


Smoke rising above an area of multistory buildings.

Smoke rising after a strike that Israel said hit a Hezbollah target, in Khiam, Lebanon, on Tuesday. Credit...Chris Mcgrath/Getty Images

Iran has threatened an “obliterating war” if Israel launches a full-scale attack in Lebanon, as diplomats work to prevent tensions between Israel and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, which is backed by Tehran, from escalating into an all-out conflict.


In a post on X late Friday, Iran’s mission to the United Nations said that “all options,” including the involvement of Iran-backed armed groups across the Middle East, “are on the table.” Chief among those groups is Hezbollah, a powerful militia that dominates southern Lebanon.


At the same time, Iran dismissed warnings from Israeli officials that Israel could invade Lebanon as “psychological warfare.”


Enemies for decades, Israel and Hezbollah have frequently exchanged fire along Israel’s northern border. Since the war in Gaza began last October, Hezbollah and the Israeli military have intensified cross-border strikes. Israeli officials have warned for months that Israel might invade Lebanon if Hezbollah did not pull its forces back from the border area. Hezbollah has also threatened to launch an incursion into Israel.


Israel’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant, met with Biden administration officials in Washington this past week, in large measure to discuss the friction along the Lebanon border.


U.S. officials are keen to avoid an escalation in which Iran and Israel again directly exchange blows, following back-and-forth aerial attacks in April. Political analysts say that Iran appears to want to avoid a direct confrontation as well.


During his visit to Washington, Mr. Gallant told U.S. officials that Israel also did not want a full-scale war with Hezbollah, but that it was prepared to hit the group hard if provoked.


On Thursday, the State Department issued an advisory again warning Americans not travel to Lebanon, emphasizing that Lebanon’s government “cannot guarantee the protection of U.S. citizens against sudden outbreaks of violence and armed conflict.”


Analysts and officials have said that a halt to the fighting in Gaza would be the surest way to defuse the tensions between Israel and Hezbollah.


An Israeli raid in Gaza City enters a third day, and other news.

·      An Israeli ground operation in eastern Gaza City entered a third day, with the military saying in a statement on Saturday that its forces had struck “terror targets” in the Shajaiye area. The raid has prompted more displacement, with at least 60,000 people fleeing from areas east and northeast of Gaza City as of Friday, according to the U.N. office of humanitarian affairs. The latest wave of Israeli strikes in Shajaiye began on Thursday, when people described a frantic effort to get out as explosions sounded around them. The Israeli military has said the operation there is targeting Hamas fighters and infrastructure.


·      The European Union condemned an Israeli plan to legalize five illicitly built settlement outposts in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, saying in a statement on Saturday that it was “another deliberate attempt at undermining peace efforts” with Palestinians. On Friday, Israeli officials said that they had reached a tentative agreement to retroactively authorize the outposts, a concession to the far-right finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich. In exchange, Mr. Smotrich would release frozen funds to the struggling Palestinian Authority, which administers some West Bank areas under Israeli occupation. The outposts, though illegal under Israeli law, have proliferated with the tacit support of the Israeli government, in what critics call a slow-motion annexation of land meant for a Palestinian state.


·      The troubled aid pier the U.S. military built off Gaza has been removed again because of sea conditions. A Pentagon spokeswoman, Sabrina Singh, said Friday that the military would be watching weather conditions to see when the pier could be re-established, but noted that aid had already been stockpiled at the pier’s marshaling area and was awaiting distribution. “If there’s not enough room on the marshaling yard, then it doesn’t make sense to put our men and women out there, when there’s nothing to move,” she said. Aid agencies have struggled to deliver supplies across Gaza in recent weeks amid continuing strikes, damage to roads and lawlessness in areas the Israeli military has vacated.



4) What does it mean when Israel authorizes an illegal West Bank settlement?

By Ephrat Livni, June 29, 2023


Men sit around a table on a wooden deck flying an Israeli flag, on a hill overlooking a town.

The unauthorized settler outpost of Evyatar, left, and the Palestinian village of Beita in the valley below. Credit...Amit Elkayam for The New York Times

Israeli officials have tentatively agreed to legalize five Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, a move that could further inflame tensions between Israelis and Palestinians and draw the ire of the international community, but one that advances the expansionist agenda of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government.


Israel’s far-right finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich, has agreed to release funds he has been withholding from the financially strapped Palestinian Authority, which administers some West Bank areas under Israeli military rule, in exchange for strengthening Israeli settlements in the territory, his office said on Thursday.


The tentative agreement would ease some of the financial pressure on the Palestinian Authority but would officially tighten Israel’s hold on the West Bank, further complicating any future effort to reach an agreement on a two-state solution for Palestinians and Israelis.


Much of the international community views Israeli settlements in the West Bank as illegal, and many of the outposts are illegal under Israeli law, too, but are tolerated by the government. Many whose creation violated Israeli law were later legitimized by the Israeli government, granting them formal access to services like running water, electricity, building permits and funding.


Still, outposts have grown with the tacit agreement of the government for decades. Mr. Netanyahu last year decided to ease the process for approving new settlement construction, transferring authority from the defense minister, Yoav Gallant, to Mr. Smotrich, who believes Israel should annex the West Bank and rule it permanently.


What outposts are being approved by Israel?


The details and timeline for legalizing the five settlements were not immediately clear. Among the settlements that Mr. Smotrich said would be legalized:


·      Evyatar: A controversial outpost on Jabal Subeih, a hill near Nablus in the northern West Bank, it is named for Evyatar Borovski, a settler killed by a Palestinian in 2013. In 2021, after the outpost rapidly expanded and incited Palestinian protests, settlers were ordered to evacuate. But they soon returned with the government’s tacit approval.


·      Givat Assaf: Located in the central West Bank and settled by religious nationalists in 2002, it was named after Assaf Hershkovitz, a settler killed by a Palestinian. The Israeli advocacy group Peace Now sued for demolition of homes there in 2007, arguing that they were established on private Palestinian property. The government in 2013 said it was considering legalizing the settlement, drawing the ire of American officials. In 2014, four homes shown to have been built on private Palestinian land were demolished under court order.


·      Sde Ephraim: Squatters established this outpost in 2018 on a hilltop near the Palestinian village of Ras Karkar, northwest of Ramallah. Settlers and villagers have clashed repeatedly here. This month, the Israeli military said that attackers had set fire to a trailer on the farm outpost.


·      Adorayim: This outpost comprises about two dozen religious-nationalist families in the area of Hebron and was established in 2017.


·      Heletz: A newly established farming area, it is located amid a cluster of settlements south of Jerusalem and Bethlehem called Gush Etzion.


Are the settlements legal?


Most of the world considers settlements to be illegal under international law. The United Nations General Assembly, the United Nations Security Council and the International Court of Justice have all said that Israeli settlements on the West Bank violate the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits an occupying power from moving its people into occupied territory. The statute that established the International Criminal Court in 1998 classifies such transfers as war crimes.


The United Nations in 1947 approved a partition creating a Jewish state and a Palestinian one that would include the West Bank, and put Jerusalem under international control. But after the first Arab-Israeli war, Jordan took control of the West Bank, and Jerusalem became divided between Israel and Jordan.


In the 1967 war, Israel annexed East Jerusalem and occupied the West Bank, which it says is disputed territory whose fate should be determined in negotiations. Soon after, it began to permit settlements there.


Palestinians have long argued that the settlements are a creeping annexation enforced by armed settlers and the Israeli military, carving territory that should become a Palestinian state into an unworkable patchwork, and steadily pushing Arabs out of their homes and farms.


Under Israeli law, legal settlements must be built on land held by the state, must have government building permits and must be established by a government resolution.


Under the Oslo accords, signed by Israel and the Palestinians in the 1990s, both sides agreed that the status of Israeli settlements would be resolved by negotiation, a prospect that grows dimmer with each new outpost.


The U.N. General Assembly last year asked the International Court of Justice to give an opinion on the legal consequences “from the ongoing violation by Israel of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, from its prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of the Palestinian territory.”


How many settlements are there?


Some settlement construction has continued under every Israeli government for decades. As of last year, more than 130 settlements had been built with Israeli government permission since 1967.


More than 100 unauthorized settlement outposts have been erected since the 1990s, and the Israeli authorities are working on legalizing many of them retroactively.


More than 500,000 Israeli settlers now live in the West Bank — not counting more than 200,000 in East Jerusalem — alongside more than 2.7 million Palestinians. Some of the settlements are home to religious Zionists who believe that the area is their biblical birthright. Many secular and ultra-Orthodox Jews also moved there, largely for cheaper housing.


This year, the Israeli government had designated a record amount of land, about 6,000 acres, as eligible for settlement by March, another signal of Mr. Smotrich’s intent to deepen the Israeli hold on the West Bank.


In March, the U.N. human rights chief, Volker Türk, condemned the rapid expansion of settlements after a U.N. report showed a “dramatic increase in the intensity, severity and regularity of Israeli settler and state violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, particularly since 7 October, 2023, which is accelerating Palestinians’ displacement from their land.”


Tor Wennesland, the U.N.’s special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, on Tuesday said that signs of expedited settlement and legalization of outposts undermine prospects for a two-state solution.


That appears to be the goal for Mr. Smotrich, who adamantly opposes Palestinian statehood. He has said that he will legalize additional outposts in response to any nation that announces recognition of a Palestinian state.


In the last two months, Spain, Ireland, Norway, Slovenia and Armenia have formally recognized an independent Palestinian state. In a social media post on Thursday, Mr. Smotrich indicated that the latest settlement legalization was a response to those decisions.


“We’ll continue developing the settlements to maintain Israel’s security and to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state that would endanger our existence,” he said.


Maj. Gen. Yehuda Fox, the head of Israel’s Central Command, which is responsible for the West Bank, has said that since Mr. Smotrich took office the effort to clamp down on illegal settlement construction has dwindled “to the point where it has disappeared.”


Aaron Boxerman contributed reporting.



5) A Message From the West Bank: ‘We Are Coming to Horrible Days’

By Nicholas Kristof, June 29, 2024


A photo showing a man with a white beard standing on a patch of dirt.

Abdel-Majeed Hassan on the charred ground where he said his car was set on fire recently. His burned sheep shed is behind him. Credit...Nicholas Kristof

The West Bank village of Qusra was smoldering as I arrived. Clouds of black smoke swirled from a field where rampaging Israeli settlers had lit it on fire, while also setting fire to Palestinian homes and vehicles, according to Qusra residents.


“At any moment, we expect settlers to attack,” said Abdel-Majeed Hassan, a salt-of-the-earth farmer in his 70s. He showed me the blackened ground where his car had been set on fire, the latest of four cars belonging to his family that he said settlers had destroyed.


Six residents of this village have been killed in such attacks since October, when the Israeli government responded to the Hamas terror attack from Gaza by imposing far harsher rule in the West Bank — more checkpoints, more raids, more Israeli settlements — and by giving armed settlers freer rein to attack Palestinian farmers. The result is a despair and fury that every Palestinian I spoke to predicted would lead to a bloody uprising.


I met Hassan here in 2015, on one of my many trips to Israel and the Palestinian territories over the years. Despite enduring repeated attacks by settlers who coveted his land, he thought then that he could hang on to his family farm.


Now he’s not so sure. His wife argues for abandoning their house for fear that settlers will firebomb it. After settlers smashed all their windows, the family installed heavy steel screens and window shutters, but this month settlers still tried to force their way inside while his granddaughter was visiting. So now he tells his grandchildren not to visit, and he or his son stands watch all night, every night.


A few days before my visit, Hassan said, settlers set fire to his barn with his sheep inside. Hassan ran and extinguished the fire as settlers hurled stones; “rocks were falling on my head like rain,” he said. Others in the village confirmed his account.


That is life for Palestinians in the West Bank today.


There are places in the world with significantly worse oppression and killing, including in Arab countries like Sudan, Syria and Yemen that draw less attention or protest. But Israel’s “state-backed settler violence,” as Amnesty International describes it, is enforced by American weapons provided to Israel. When armed settlers terrorize Palestinians and force them off their land — as has happened to 18 communities since October — they sometimes carry American M16 rifles. Sometimes they are escorted by Israeli troops.


With Israel possibly winding down the most intensive phase of its war in Gaza, we should be paying much more attention to the crisis building in the more populous West Bank. The United Nations reports that 536 Palestinians, including 130 children, in the West Bank have been killed by Israeli forces or settlers in the last eight months. During the same period, seven Israeli soldiers and five settlers have been killed here by Palestinians.


One way of thinking of it: An average of about 60 Palestinians have been killed each month in the West Bank since early October, in an area nominally at peace — six times the pace at which American soldiers were killed on average during the war in Afghanistan.


It could get much worse. Hassan warned that the West Bank is seething with so much frustration that “a big explosion is coming.” Others predicted that this wouldn’t be an organized rebellion but more of a spontaneous uprising, perhaps magnified by the possible collapse of the Palestinian Authority.


“There’s a war in Gaza, but the big war will be here in the West Bank,” Muamar Orabi, managing director of a West Bank news organization called Wattan, told me. Including East Jerusalem, the West Bank is home to three million Palestinians and 720,000 Jewish settlers.


Historically, Palestinians had few firearms, but that is changing. Military weapons are being smuggled into the West Bank, apparently mostly from Israel, and are sold on the black market.


“ People think that the only path left is armed resistance,” one young Palestinian man told me.


Extremists in the Israeli government are pressing ahead. When settlers invaded the farming village of Burqa in the West Bank last summer and shot dead a 19-year-old man, the U.S. State Department called it a “terror attack by Israeli extremist settlers.” But Israel’s far-right national security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, suggested the killer “should get a medal of honor.”


Older Palestinians like Hassan mostly don’t want confrontation. I asked him what he does when settlers periodically cut down the trees in his olive orchard, and he smiled sadly.


“I replant,” he said.


“I do my best to calm this new generation,” he said. “But I fear that one day they will no longer listen to me.”


Again and again, I encountered that dynamic. Abdul Hakim Wadi, 53, preaches patience even after his brother, a chemist, and his nephew, a lawyer, were shot dead while in a funeral procession mourning four other Qusra residents killed the previous day. “We have been preventing the youth from doing anything,” Wadi told me. But his 18-year-old son, Omar, thinks his dad is deluded.


“I have lost hope,” Omar told me. The only thing Israelis understand, he said, is force. “We no longer have these conversations,” his father told me, “because he says, ‘your generation has ruined our lives.’”


Hani Ouda, 70, the mayor of Qusra, believes in peace. “It’s impossible for them to get rid of all Palestinians, and it’s impossible for us to get rid of all Israelis,” he told me. “The only solution is for us to live side by side.”


But the hope seems beaten out of him. He wanted to show me his orchards, so he took me to a road and pointed to his land that he can no longer set foot on.


“If we go beyond here, we could get shot or arrested,” he said. Then he took me to the community hall, built with German aid money but now burned and unusable. Some 200 settlers set fire to it this spring, when they also burned six homes and a bus, Ouda said. And now, he warned, “we are coming to horrible days” with “lots of bloodshed.”


I don’t know how to assess the risk. I see deep anger and frustration among West Bank Palestinians but also great fear and recognition that an uprising could be suicidal. Over the decades, I’ve often heard predictions of upheavals that never come to pass, while others, like the Tiananmen Square or Arab Spring movements, erupted with little warning.


What is clear is the deterioration in freedom and well-being in the West Bank since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel. The heightened repression feels partly opportunistic — a land grab — but it is also shaped by a determination that Israel will never again be vulnerable to massacres.


Israelis do have legitimate reason to be fearful, and Palestinians do throw rocks at settlers and occasionally kill or injure them. While on average fewer than one settler has been killed a month since Oct. 7, that’s partly because settlers have guns, high walls and soldiers protecting them. Polls show growing support for Hamas on the West Bank, and many Israelis conclude that their survival depends on crushing Palestinians, not trusting them.


The village of Qusra has about 5,000 inhabitants, while the nearby Jewish settlement of Migdalim has about 600. One angry Qusra resident told me that it might take 2,000 Palestinian attackers, but they probably could overrun Migdalim if it came to that. So Migdalim settlers have a right to be nervous, but it’s also true that settlers have earned the loathing directed at them.


Settlers in Migdalim did not respond to my requests for comment, but Shmuel Junger, who works with an organization that supports settlements, said in an email that it is the people of Qusra who have attacked Migdalim, not the other way around.


“After everything we witnessed on Oct. 7, do you still believe that Israelis shouldn’t do everything in their power to protect their homes?” Junger asked.


That attitude reflects the tragic symmetry of the Middle East today. Israelis and Palestinians largely agree on just one point: The other side is untrustworthy, inhumane, illegitimate and extremist.


The final element of this symmetry is that each denies that there is any symmetry at all.




The anger about land theft and settler violence is compounded by a growing economic crisis. The World Bank estimates that about 300,000 people in the West Bank have lost their jobs since Oct. 7.


The economic difficulties were compounded in May when a far-right Israeli cabinet minister, Bezalel Smotrich, began withholding Palestinian tax revenue from the Palestinian Authority, or P.A. Along with other punitive financial measures taken by Israel, there are growing fears that the P.A. could collapse — but Smotrich is not concerned.


“If this causes the collapse of the P.A., let it collapse,” he reportedly said.


In contrast, the Biden administration is alarmed. “If you saw the Palestinian Authority collapse and instability spread across the West Bank, it’s not just a problem for the Palestinians,” said Matthew Miller, the State Department spokesman. “It is also a massive security threat for the state of Israel.”


There were reports on Friday that Smotrich had tentatively agreed to release some of the funds to the P.A. in exchange for strengthening Israeli settlements. There was no official announcement, however.


If the P.A. collapses, its security forces would no longer be there to gather intelligence on threats and prevent attacks, and it’s not clear what would happen to their guns.


President Biden and leaders of other Group of 7 nations this month called on Israel to release the tax funds. “Actions that weaken the Palestinian Authority must stop,” the leaders said in their communiqué.


Palestinians believe that the Israeli right would like to provoke an explosion of violence and use it as an excuse for an ethnic cleansing.


For my part, I think a simpler explanation is more likely: Israel is once again acting shortsightedly, against its own security interests. To paraphrase what the former Israeli foreign minister Abba Eban said of Palestinians, the Israeli right never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.


Policy to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is immensely complex, with infinite room for nuance. I’ve focused here on the security dimension, for I believe it’s in American and Israeli interests to create a Palestinian state. But one more thing must be said: The seizure and occupation of other people’s land is wrong. And it is not wrong in a complicated, finely balanced way; it is simply, straightforwardly wrong.


The Biden administration has spoken out against Israel’s abuses in the West Bank, imposed financial sanctions on some violent settlers and withheld delivery of thousands of M16 rifles for fear that they would be handed out to settlers. Those steps are useful but inadequate. Biden didn’t respond forcefully even when Israel in March announced one of the largest seizures of Palestinian land in the West Bank since the 1993 Oslo Accords.


I’m afraid that Biden’s refusal to stand up more firmly to Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister — over either Gaza or the West Bank — enables more extremism and increases the risk of a cataclysm.


Israeli officials are right to despair about the lack of credible Palestinian leadership, but there is a step they could take to address that. Israel could release Marwan Barghouti, the most popular Palestinian leader, from prison. Barghouti has spent more than two decades in prison for murdering Israelis, and Israel regards him as a terrorist. But he favors a two-state solution and he has enough legitimacy that he just might be able to deliver a peace deal. As a result, some serious Israeli commentators favor his release.


“He is the only one who can extricate us from the quagmire we are in,” wrote Alon Liel, a former director general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry.


The United States should push for Barghouti’s release and also press Israel harder to clamp down on illegal settlements and settler thuggery. For the same reason we oppose Palestinian terrorism, we should stand against Israeli terrorism.


I believe critics of Israel overuse the term “apartheid,” because Arab and Druze citizens of Israel have sat in the Knesset, held cabinet posts and, in 2007, briefly served as acting president. But the West Bank? Yes, that is apartheid.


“The entire area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River is organized under a single principle: advancing and cementing the supremacy of one group — Jews — over another — Palestinians,” says B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights organization.


The occupation is as toxic to Israelis as it is to Palestinians. “We are losing our identity as people, as Jews and as human beings,” Ami Ayalon, the former head of Shin Bet, the Israeli security agency, told the journalist Christiane Amanpour.


Americans should call for Israel to grant Palestinians in the West Bank the same rights — including voting rights — that it gives settlers in the West Bank. That’s a way of reminding Israel that it cannot simply occupy land decade after decade.


The United States is already in the thick of the West Bank conflict. Many settlers have American accents and draw financial support from donors in the United States. Meanwhile, some of the West Bank Palestinians on the other side of the fences also have American accents.


“I’m an American citizen, but if they attack me here, what can I do?” said Sayel Kanan, an engineer who lived in New Jersey for a dozen years and is now mayor of Burqa. “They can break my gate; they can kill me.”


Kanan put up a high wall around his home for protection from settlers (just as settlers put up high walls around their homes for protection from Palestinians), but he says he still fears for himself and for his son, a doctor who is also an American citizen. Settlers recently burned Kanan’s olive orchard and previously destroyed two of his vehicles, he said.


“I love America as a land of opportunity, but its foreign policy?” He paused. “I have lots of questions.”


So should we all.



6) To Serve His Country, President Biden Should Leave the Race

By The Editorial Board, June 28, 2024

President Biden standing behind a lectern with CNN’s name appearing repeatedly beyond him.

Damon Winter/The New York Times

President Biden has repeatedly and rightfully described the stakes in this November’s presidential election as nothing less than the future of American democracy.


Donald Trump has proved himself to be a significant jeopardy to that democracy — an erratic and self-interested figure unworthy of the public trust. He systematically attempted to undermine the integrity of elections. His supporters have described, publicly, a 2025 agenda that would give him the power to carry out the most extreme of his promises and threats. If he is returned to office, he has vowed to be a different kind of president, unrestrained by the checks on power built into the American political system.


Mr. Biden has said that he is the candidate with the best chance of taking on this threat of tyranny and defeating it. His argument rests largely on the fact that he beat Mr. Trump in 2020. That is no longer a sufficient rationale for why Mr. Biden should be the Democratic nominee this year.


At Thursday’s debate, the president needed to convince the American public that he was equal to the formidable demands of the office he is seeking to hold for another term. Voters, however, cannot be expected to ignore what was instead plain to see: Mr. Biden is not the man he was four years ago.


The president appeared on Thursday night as the shadow of a great public servant. He struggled to explain what he would accomplish in a second term. He struggled to respond to Mr. Trump’s provocations. He struggled to hold Mr. Trump accountable for his lies, his failures and his chilling plans. More than once, he struggled to make it to the end of a sentence.


Mr. Biden has been an admirable president. Under his leadership, the nation has prospered and begun to address a range of long-term challenges, and the wounds ripped open by Mr. Trump have begun to heal. But the greatest public service Mr. Biden can now perform is to announce that he will not continue to run for re-election.


As it stands, the president is engaged in a reckless gamble. There are Democratic leaders better equipped to present clear, compelling and energetic alternatives to a second Trump presidency. There is no reason for the party to risk the stability and security of the country by forcing voters to choose between Mr. Trump’s deficiencies and those of Mr. Biden. It’s too big a bet to simply hope Americans will overlook or discount Mr. Biden’s age and infirmity that they see with their own eyes.


If the race comes down to a choice between Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden, the sitting president would be this board’s unequivocal pick. That is how much of a danger Mr. Trump poses. But given that very danger, the stakes for the country and the uneven abilities of Mr. Biden, the United States needs a stronger opponent to the presumptive Republican nominee. To make a call for a new Democratic nominee this late in a campaign is a decision not taken lightly, but it reflects the scale and seriousness of Mr. Trump’s challenge to the values and institutions of this country and the inadequacy of Mr. Biden to confront him.


Ending his candidacy would be against all of Mr. Biden’s personal and political instincts. He has picked himself up from tragedies and setbacks in the past and clearly believes he can do so again. Supporters of the president are already explaining away Thursday’s debate as one data point compared with three years of accomplishments. But the president’s performance cannot be written off as a bad night or blamed on a supposed cold, because it affirmed concerns that have been mounting for months or even years. Even when Mr. Biden tried to lay out his policy proposals, he stumbled. It cannot be outweighed by other public appearances because he has limited and carefully controlled his public appearances.


It should be remembered that Mr. Biden challenged Mr. Trump to this verbal duel. He set the rules, and he insisted on a date months earlier than any previous general election debate. He understood that he needed to address longstanding public concerns about his mental acuity and that he needed to do so as soon as possible.


The truth Mr. Biden needs to confront now is that he failed his own test.


In polls and interviews, voters say they are seeking fresh voices to take on Mr. Trump. And the consolation for Mr. Biden and his supporters is that there is still time to rally behind a different candidate. While Americans are conditioned to the long slog of multiyear presidential elections, in many democracies, campaigns are staged in the space of a few months.


It is a tragedy that Republicans themselves are not engaged in deeper soul-searching after Thursday’s debate. Mr. Trump’s own performance ought to be regarded as disqualifying. He lied brazenly and repeatedly about his own actions, his record as president and his opponent. He described plans that would harm the American economy, undermine civil liberties and fray America’s relationships with other nations. He refused to promise that he would accept defeat, returning instead to the kind of rhetoric that incited the Jan. 6 attack on Congress.


The Republican Party, however, has been co-opted by Mr. Trump’s ambitions. The burden rests on the Democratic Party to put the interests of the nation above the ambitions of a single man.


Democrats who have deferred to Mr. Biden must now find the courage to speak plain truths to the party’s leader. The confidants and aides who have encouraged the president’s candidacy and who sheltered him from unscripted appearances in public should recognize the damage to Mr. Biden’s standing and the unlikelihood that he can repair it.


Mr. Biden answered an urgent question on Thursday night. It was not the answer that he and his supporters were hoping for. But if the risk of a second Trump term is as great as he says it is — and we agree with him that the danger is enormous — then his dedication to this country leaves him and his party only one choice.


The clearest path for Democrats to defeat a candidate defined by his lies is to deal truthfully with the American public: acknowledge that Mr. Biden can’t continue his race, and create a process to select someone more capable to stand in his place to defeat Mr. Trump in November.


It is the best chance to protect the soul of the nation — the cause that drew Mr. Biden to run for the presidency in 2019 — from the malign warping of Mr. Trump. And it is the best service that Mr. Biden can provide to a country that he has nobly served for so long.



7) Pattern of Brain Damage Is Pervasive in Navy SEALs Who Died by Suicide

A military lab found distinctive damage from repeated blast exposure in every brain it tested, but Navy SEAL leaders were kept in the dark about the pattern.

By Dave Philipps, Photographs by Kenny Holston, June 30, 2024


A hand in a purple surgical glove holds a glass slide with a tissue sample mounted on it.

Thin slices of brain tissue held by the Department of Defense Brain Tissue Repository revealed a pattern of brain damage unique to veterans who were repeatedly exposed to blasts.

David Metcalf’s last act in life was an attempt to send a message — that years as a Navy SEAL had left his brain so damaged that he could barely recognize himself.


He died by suicide in his garage in North Carolina in 2019, after nearly 20 years in the Navy. But just before he died, he arranged a stack of books about brain injury by his side, and taped a note to the door that read, in part, “Gaps in memory, failing recognition, mood swings, headaches, impulsiveness, fatigue, anxiety, and paranoia were not who I was, but have become who I am. Each is worsening.”


Then he shot himself in the heart, preserving his brain to be analyzed by a state-of-the-art Defense Department laboratory in Maryland.


The lab found an unusual pattern of damage seen only in people exposed repeatedly to blast waves.


The vast majority of blast exposure for Navy SEALs comes from firing their own weapons, not from enemy action. The damage pattern suggested that years of training intended to make SEALs exceptional was leaving some barely able to function.


But the message Lieutenant Metcalf sent never got through to the Navy. No one at the lab told the SEAL leadership what the analysis had found, and the leadership never asked.


It was not the first time, or the last. At least a dozen Navy SEALs have died by suicide in the last 10 years, either while in the military or shortly after leaving. A grass-roots effort by grieving families delivered eight of their brains to the lab, an investigation by The New York Times has found. And after careful analysis, researchers discovered blast damage in every single one.


It is a stunning pattern with important implications for how SEALs train and fight. But privacy guidelines at the lab and poor communication in the military bureaucracy kept the test results hidden. Five years after Lieutenant Metcalf’s death, Navy leaders still did not know.


Until The Times told the Navy of the lab’s findings about the SEALs who died by suicide, the Navy had not been informed, the service confirmed in a statement.


A Navy officer close to the SEAL leadership expressed audible shock, and then frustration, when told about the findings by The Times. “That’s the problem,” said the officer, who asked not to be named in order to discuss a sensitive topic. “We are trying to understand this issue, but so often the information never reaches us.”


The lack of communication has led Navy leaders to overlook a potentially critical threat to its elite special operators. When the commander of SEAL Team 1 died by suicide in 2022, SEAL leaders responded by ceasing nearly all operations for a day so the force could learn about suicide prevention. According to four people with knowledge of the commander’s case, his brain was later found to have extensive blast damage, but because the leaders were not told, they never discussed the threat of blast exposure with the force.


Evidence suggests that the damage may be just as widespread in SEALs who are still alive. A Harvard study, published this spring, scanned the brains of 30 career Special Operators and found an association between blast exposure and altered brain structure and compromised brain function. The more blast exposure the men had experienced, the more problems they reported with health and quality of life.


That study was funded by Special Operations Command, which has been at the forefront in the military’s effort to understand the issue. In December, the study’s main author briefed the command’s top leaders, including from the Navy SEALs.


“We have a moral obligation to protect the cognitive health and combat effectiveness of our teammates,” Rear Adm. Keith Davids, the commander of Navy Special Warfare, which includes the SEALs, said in a statement. He said the Navy is trying to limit brain injuries “by limiting blast exposure, and is actively participating in medical research designed to enhance understanding in this critical field.”


But without the data on suicides, a key piece of the problem was never discussed at the briefing.


Blows to the Head


The communication breakdown is part of a broader disconnect in the Defense Department, which spends nearly $1 billion each year on brain injury research, and many billions more to train and equip troops, but does comparatively little to ensure that the latest science on brain injury informs practices in the ranks.


Lieutenant Metcalf’s wife, Jamie Metcalf, said in an interview that she had come to see his death as an effort to draw attention to a widespread problem.


“He left an intentional message, because he knew things had to change,” she said. When told the information about his brain had not reached the SEAL leadership, she sighed and said, “You’re kidding me.”


The military readily acknowledges that traumatic brain injury is the most common injury from recent conflicts. But it is struggling to understand how many of those injuries are inflicted by the shock waves unleashed by troops’ own triggers.


There are signs that the damage can come from a wide array of weapons. Artillery crew members who fired thousands of rounds in combat came home plagued by hallucinations and psychosis. Mortar teams suffered from headaches and deteriorating memory. Reliable soldiers suddenly turned violent and murdered neighbors after years of working around the blasts from tanks and grenades in combat or in training.


Blast waves may kill brain cells without causing any immediately noticeable symptoms, according to Dr. Daniel Daneshvar, chief of brain injury rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School.


“People may be getting injured without even realizing it,” Dr. Daneshvar said. “But over time, it can add up.”


People’s brains can often compensate until injuries accumulate to a critical level, he said; then, “people kind of fall off a cliff.”


In many cases, doctors treating the injured troops give them diagnoses of psychiatric disorders that miss the underlying physical damage. Much of what is categorized as post-traumatic stress disorder may actually be caused by repeated exposure to blasts.


The stories of the SEALs who died by suicide point to a troubling pattern in the elite force.


Their average age was 43. Each had deployed to combat a number of times, but none had been wounded by enemy fire. All had spent years firing a wide arsenal of powerful weapons, jumping from airplanes, blowing open doors with explosives, diving deep underwater and learning to fight hand to hand.


Over the years they had developed the expertise and sharp judgment of seasoned special operators. But late in their careers, the effects of years of repeated blast exposure ate those skills away.


Around the age of 40, nearly all of them started to struggle with insomnia and headaches, memory and coordination problems, depression, confusion and, sometimes, rage.


“The first thing people think is, it must be PTSD, but that never made sense to me — it didn’t fit,” said Jennifer Collins, whose husband, retired Chief Petty Officer David Collins, was a SEAL for 20 years and died in 2014, just over a year after leaving the Navy.


A Late-Career Breakdown



Ms. Collins is the reason that the brains of a high proportion of the SEALs who died by suicide made it to the Defense Department’s lab.


Her husband was in many ways a typical SEAL: smart, confident, easygoing and high-achieving. He deployed to Afghanistan twice and to Iraq three times. When he was not deployed, he was away from home for hundreds of days each year in training.


Combat never seemed to faze Mr. Collins, but near the end of his Navy career, he started to change in subtle ways that Ms. Collins pieced together only in retrospect. He began to avoid social gatherings. He struggled to sleep. He started to make strange, obsessive family schedules and become irritated when they were not followed. Some simple chores, like raking leaves into a tarp, started to confound him. He would step out the door to go to work, realize that he had forgotten his keys, go back inside to get them and then forget why he had returned.


All were signs of brain injury. But at the time, the military generally associated brain injury with big blasts from roadside bombs — something Mr. Collins never experienced. No one was telling the troops that repeated exposure to routine blasts from their own weapons might be a risk.


Mr. Collins’s mental health took a sudden plunge when he was 45. He had left the Navy and started a civilian job teaching troops to operate small drones. One morning, well before the sun was up, he called his wife in a panic from a work trip, saying he had forgotten how to do his job and had not slept in four days.


“He was super anxious, almost paranoid,” Ms. Collins recalled. “He was nothing like my husband.”


When Mr. Collins returned to the couple’s home in Virginia Beach, doctors scanned his brain with magnetic resonance imaging but found nothing abnormal. They eventually gave him a diagnosis of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, and prescribed a number of drugs for sleep and mood. They didn’t help.


He then went to a specialty clinic for brain injury but failed to find relief.


Everyday tasks like booking a flight became so arduous that he would puzzle over them for hours. He was sleepless and agitated — scared that his mind was slipping away.


In March 2014, three months after placing the frantic pre-dawn call to his wife, he went to return a few library books, dropped off a tuition check at his son’s kindergarten, and then drove to a secluded side street. He sent a text to his wife saying, “So sorry, baby. I love you all,” and ended his life.


“I knew, with all he had been going through, that the text could only mean one thing,” Ms. Collins said.


When the police came to the house to confirm his death, she was adrift in grief and confusion. But one determined thought floated to the front of her mind.


“I told the police — I was adamant — that I wanted his brain donated to research,” she recalled. “I wanted to try to find some answers.”


Visible Under a Microscope


In Bethesda, Md., the Defense Department had built a lab in 2012 called the Department of Defense Brain Tissue Repository, whose goal was to gather the brains of deceased veterans to look for clues to the two most widespread injuries of recent wars, PTSD and traumatic brain injury. But two years after opening, the lab faced a fundamental problem: It had no brains to study.


The lab depended on tissue donations from the families of war veterans who had recently died, but few families knew it existed, and the lab’s bylaws barred it from cold-calling grieving families to ask. Brain tissue deteriorates quickly; by the time most families found out about the lab, it was too late.


Ms. Collins’s quick decision meant that her husband’s brain was soon packed in ice and on its way.


That single brain revealed a pattern of damage that the head of the lab, Dr. Daniel Perl, who had spent a career studying neuropathology in civilians, had never seen before. Nearly everywhere that tissues of different density or stiffness met, there was a border of scar tissue — a shoreline of damage that seemed to have been caused by the repeated crash of blast waves.


It was not chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or C.T.E., which is found in football players and other athletes who have been repeatedly hit in the head. It was something new.


The lab’s research team started looking for similar damage in other brains. In civilians’ brains, they did not find it. Nor was it in the brains of veterans who had been exposed to a single powerful explosion like a roadside bomb. But in veterans exposed repeatedly to blasts, they found it again and again.


The team published a landmark study in 2016 reporting the pattern of microscopic damage, which they called interface astroglial scarring.


“For the first time, we could actually see the injury,” Dr. Perl said in an interview. “If you know what the problem is, you can start to design solutions.”


Dr. Perl said privacy rules bar him from discussing specific cases, but members of the families who provided brains to study say the lab found interface astroglial scarring in six of the eight SEALs who died by suicide. The other two SEALs, including Lieutenant Metcalf, had a different type of damage in the same blast-affected areas. Star-shaped helper cells called astrocytes in their brains appeared to have been repeatedly injured and had grown into gargantuan, tangled masses that barely functioned. The lab plans to publish findings on the astrocyte injuries soon.


Recent studies suggest that damage is caused when energy waves surging through the brain bounce off tissue boundaries like an echo, and for a few fractions of a millisecond, create a vacuum that causes nearby liquid in the brain to explode into bubbles of vapor. Those tiny explosions are violent enough to blow brain cells apart in a process known as cavitation.


Dr. Perl shared with Ms. Collins what he had found in her husband’s brain in 2016, and she made it her mission to get more families to donate.


Spreading the Word


For the next several years, Ms. Collins told anyone who would listen about his case — Navy SEAL leaders, veterans’ groups, gatherings of wives. And when a career SEAL died by suicide, a call from Ms. Collins often soon followed. In 2017, she called the parents of Special Operator First Class Ryan Larkin. A few months later, she sat down with the wife of retired Chief Petty Officer Bill Mulder.


“She had the paperwork in her hand, and said, ‘I think this would be a smart thing to do,’” Mr. Mulder’s wife, Sydney Mulder, recalled in an interview. “I was in a blur, but I didn’t hesitate, and I’m glad I did it.”


Ms. Collins’s influence spread until brain donation became somewhat common for Special Operations troops. But little of what the researchers have learned from those brains made it back to the SEAL team leadership.


Mr. Mulder, like Mr. Collins, had spent a career in the SEALs but had never been wounded. He was an explosives expert in the elite SEAL Team 6, exposed to thousands of blasts in training.


After years of steady service, he went into a steep decline. He couldn’t sleep and was constantly misplacing things. Frustration would send him into a rage. He stewed over negative interactions in his squadron and started drinking before work.


“For all the years I’d known him, he had been such a capable man,” Ms. Mulder said. “He would wake up at six in the morning and get his workout. He was incredibly smart and organized and diligent. And then he just wasn’t.”


After years of trying to get help from doctors who largely overlooked the possibility of brain injury, Mr. Mulder took his own life at age 46.


Jamie Metcalf also noticed a sudden decline in her husband when he returned in 2018 from his fifth deployment. For years, Lieutenant Metcalf had been a high achiever. He was an enlisted SEAL sniper, and taught martial arts to other SEALs. A few years before he died, he decided to pursue a military medical career, became an officer and sailed through the demanding training program for physician assistants.


But after his final deployment, he was moody, confused and plagued by headaches. He put wet laundry in the dryer on top of dry clothes. One day he emptied out the kitchen cupboards to organize them, then left everything in piles on the counter.


“It was so unlike him — he had always been so organized,” Ms. Metcalf said. “Now I know he was afraid there was something happening in his brain, but at the time, I think he tried to hide it.”


He died a few months later at age 42.


The men who died by suicide represent only a small fraction of the career SEALs with signs of brain injuries after years around blasts.


Several SEAL veterans said in interviews that many of their former teammates are now divorced and grappling with depression, paranoia and substance abuse — all of which can be caused by deteriorating brain function. Desperate calls from suicidal friends are common, they said.


Ms. Metcalf saw how broad the problem was when she read the letter her husband had left about his brain injury symptoms to two of his SEAL friends.


“One of them was crying on my lap, saying, ‘That’s me, that’s me,’” she said. “And the other told me a lot of them have problems, but don’t know what to do.”


If you are having thoughts of suicide, call or text 988 to reach the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for a list of additional resources.



8) Biden’s Debate Performance Raises Alarm in Israel

By Isabel Kershner reporting from Jerusalem, June 30, 2024


An aerial view of people walking down a street with damaged buildings and rubble.

A street market in Khan Younis in southern Gaza on Saturday. Credit...Jehad Alshrafi/Associated Press

Israelis expressed growing concern on Sunday that President Biden’s shaky debate performance could spur on the country’s Middle Eastern foes at what many view as a critical time for American leadership in the region.


Israeli commentators from across the political spectrum warned that Iran and its proxies could try to exploit Mr. Biden’s apparent weakness as Israel fights Hamas in Gaza and weighs the prospect of an all-out conflict with the Hezbollah militia in Lebanon.


U.S. officials have been working to broker a diplomatic solution to the tensions between Israel and Hezbollah in an attempt to avert a wider regional war that they fear could draw in both Iran and the United States. The Biden administration is also involved in intense efforts with other mediators to try to advance a truce deal for Gaza that would involve exchanging the remaining hostages there for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.


And Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has publicly pressured the Biden administration to speed up munitions supplies ahead of any conflagration with Hezbollah in Lebanon.


Several of Israel’s Sunday newspapers featured the debate on their front pages in a kind of delayed reaction: The debate took place before dawn on Friday local time, after the weekend papers had gone to press. And Hebrew dailies are not published on Saturday, the Sabbath.


Analysts for Israel Hayom, a right-wing free paper, and the left-leaning Haaretz newspaper differed sharply in tone but both raised the specter of enemies of Israel and the United States testing the administration’s resolve.


“Will Hezbollah and Iran assess that Biden is too busy now to back Israel in case all-out war breaks out in Lebanon this summer?” Amos Harel, Haaretz’s military affairs analyst, wrote on Sunday.


While some on the Israeli right have mocked Mr. Biden’s debate performance, hoping for a Trump victory, Mr. Harel continued, that was a display of ungratefulness after the U.S. president stood by Israel and supplied it with large quantities of weapons. “Moreover,” he added, “Trump is a feeble reed to rely on.”


During the presidential debate on Thursday, Mr. Trump accused Mr. Biden of not wanting Israel to “finish the job” in Gaza — calling him weak and raising eyebrows by using the word “Palestinian” as an insult. Mr. Biden offered little in the way of a response.


Mr. Biden has been a staunch supporter of Israel throughout the war, although he has also been critical, frequently calling on Israel to limit civilian casualties and to work to mitigate the humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian enclave.


He has a long history with Mr. Netanyahu. Mr. Biden flew to Israel in a powerful show of solidarity last fall, soon after the Hamas-led terrorist assault on southern Israel that prompted the war in Gaza. He has since paid a political price for his support, which has infuriated American opponents of the war who want the U.S. government to stop providing Israel with munitions.


But the visions of Mr. Biden and Mr. Netanyahu have diverged in recent months. The U.S. government held up one shipment to Israel of heavy bombs, fearing that they would be used in densely populated areas. And Mr. Biden has dismissed Mr. Netanyahu’s oft-stated goal of “total victory” over Hamas as a vague objective that would mean indefinite war.


Mr. Trump was strongly supportive of Israel as president and largely went along with the agenda of Mr. Netanyahu and his right-wing allies. During his term, Mr. Trump moved the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, fulfilling a longstanding Israeli demand.


But the former president appears to have soured on Mr. Netanyahu. He has said the Hamas-led assault was a result of Mr. Netanyahu’s lack of preparation and praised Hezbollah as “very smart.” In an interview with Israel Hayom in March, Mr. Trump advised Israel to wrap up the war in Gaza, because it was losing much of the world’s support.


“You gotta get it done,” he told the paper, “and we gotta get to peace — we can’t have this going on.”


Israel Hayom’s publisher is Dr. Miriam Adelson, the widow of Sheldon Adelson, and a staunchly pro-Israel megadonor who is now backing Donald Trump’s third White House bid.


Amnon Lord, a columnist for Israel Hayom, asserted on Sunday that Mr. Biden’s performance in the debate proved persistent claims that “an extreme progressive group” of aides was driving U.S. foreign policy.


“In a world rife with aggressive forces,” he wrote, “the unflattering image of an American president — the leader of the free world — appearing weak and incoherent encourages them to exploit opportunities.”


“Biden’s decline mirrors the collapse of his Middle East policy vis-à-vis Iran and its proxies,” Mr. Lord added.


Mr. Lord trod carefully around Mr. Trump’s performance in the debate, saying only that he, too, “didn’t gain supporters.”


Yediot Ahronot, a mainstream Hebrew daily, flagged a column on its front page describing Mr. Biden’s performance as a “catastrophe.” The columnist, Nadav Eyal, wrote that faced with the prospect of another Trump presidency, the Democrats and their allies carried the fate of the free world on their shoulders.


“Weakness is not a characteristic that an American president can broadcast, by any stretch,” he wrote.


Gabby Sobelman and Myra Noveck contributed reporting.



9) Israelis expressed growing concern on Sunday that President Biden’s shaky debate performance could spur on the country’s Middle Eastern foes at what many view as a critical time for American leadership in the region.


Israeli commentators from across the political spectrum warned that Iran and its proxies could try to exploit Mr. Biden’s apparent weakness as Israel fights Hamas in Gaza and weighs the prospect of an all-out conflict with the Hezbollah militia in Lebanon.


U.S. officials have been working to broker a diplomatic solution to the tensions between Israel and Hezbollah in an attempt to avert a wider regional war that they fear could draw in both Iran and the United States. The Biden administration is also involved in intense efforts with other mediators to try to advance a truce deal for Gaza that would involve exchanging the remaining hostages there for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.


And Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has publicly pressured the Biden administration to speed up munitions supplies ahead of any conflagration with Hezbollah in Lebanon.


Several of Israel’s Sunday newspapers featured the debate on their front pages in a kind of delayed reaction: The debate took place before dawn on Friday local time, after the weekend papers had gone to press. And Hebrew dailies are not published on Saturday, the Sabbath.


Analysts for Israel Hayom, a right-wing free paper, and the left-leaning Haaretz newspaper differed sharply in tone but both raised the specter of enemies of Israel and the United States testing the administration’s resolve.


“Will Hezbollah and Iran assess that Biden is too busy now to back Israel in case all-out war breaks out in Lebanon this summer?” Amos Harel, Haaretz’s military affairs analyst, wrote on Sunday.


While some on the Israeli right have mocked Mr. Biden’s debate performance, hoping for a Trump victory, Mr. Harel continued, that was a display of ungratefulness after the U.S. president stood by Israel and supplied it with large quantities of weapons. “Moreover,” he added, “Trump is a feeble reed to rely on.”


During the presidential debate on Thursday, Mr. Trump accused Mr. Biden of not wanting Israel to “finish the job” in Gaza — calling him weak and raising eyebrows by using the word “Palestinian” as an insult. Mr. Biden offered little in the way of a response.


Mr. Biden has been a staunch supporter of Israel throughout the war, although he has also been critical, frequently calling on Israel to limit civilian casualties and to work to mitigate the humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian enclave.


He has a long history with Mr. Netanyahu. Mr. Biden flew to Israel in a powerful show of solidarity last fall, soon after the Hamas-led terrorist assault on southern Israel that prompted the war in Gaza. He has since paid a political price for his support, which has infuriated American opponents of the war who want the U.S. government to stop providing Israel with munitions.


But the visions of Mr. Biden and Mr. Netanyahu have diverged in recent months. The U.S. government held up one shipment to Israel of heavy bombs, fearing that they would be used in densely populated areas. And Mr. Biden has dismissed Mr. Netanyahu’s oft-stated goal of “total victory” over Hamas as a vague objective that would mean indefinite war.


Mr. Trump was strongly supportive of Israel as president and largely went along with the agenda of Mr. Netanyahu and his right-wing allies. During his term, Mr. Trump moved the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, fulfilling a longstanding Israeli demand.


But the former president appears to have soured on Mr. Netanyahu. He has said the Hamas-led assault was a result of Mr. Netanyahu’s lack of preparation and praised Hezbollah as “very smart.” In an interview with Israel Hayom in March, Mr. Trump advised Israel to wrap up the war in Gaza, because it was losing much of the world’s support.


“You gotta get it done,” he told the paper, “and we gotta get to peace — we can’t have this going on.”


Israel Hayom’s publisher is Dr. Miriam Adelson, the widow of Sheldon Adelson, and a staunchly pro-Israel megadonor who is now backing Donald Trump’s third White House bid.


Amnon Lord, a columnist for Israel Hayom, asserted on Sunday that Mr. Biden’s performance in the debate proved persistent claims that “an extreme progressive group” of aides was driving U.S. foreign policy.


“In a world rife with aggressive forces,” he wrote, “the unflattering image of an American president — the leader of the free world — appearing weak and incoherent encourages them to exploit opportunities.”


“Biden’s decline mirrors the collapse of his Middle East policy vis-à-vis Iran and its proxies,” Mr. Lord added.


Mr. Lord trod carefully around Mr. Trump’s performance in the debate, saying only that he, too, “didn’t gain supporters.”


Yediot Ahronot, a mainstream Hebrew daily, flagged a column on its front page describing Mr. Biden’s performance as a “catastrophe.” The columnist, Nadav Eyal, wrote that faced with the prospect of another Trump presidency, the Democrats and their allies carried the fate of the free world on their shoulders.


“Weakness is not a characteristic that an American president can broadcast, by any stretch,” he wrote.


Gabby Sobelman and Myra Noveck contributed reporting.


"The latest wave of Israeli strikes in Shajaiye began on Thursday, when people described a frantic effort to get out as explosions sounded around them. The Israeli military has said the operation there is targeting Hamas fighters and infrastructure." 

The Gaza health ministry warns that a fuel shortage could shut down hospitals, and other news.

·      The Gaza health ministry said on Sunday that the hospitals, health centers and oxygen stations that are still running in the Gaza Strip would stop operating within 48 hours because of a shortage of fuel. In a statement, the ministry appealed to international and humanitarian organizations to “intervene quickly” to bring fuel into the strip, where it says about 70 percent of the health infrastructure has been destroyed. The United Nations humanitarian agency said on Friday that “the inability to bring in sufficient medical supplies and fuel has forced aid organizations to scale back their services.”


·      An Israeli drone strike in the occupied West Bank killed one Palestinian and wounded five others, according to the Palestinian health ministry in Ramallah. The strike hit the Nour Shams refugee camp east of Tulkarm, the ministry said. Palestinian Islamic Jihad, an armed group that operates in Gaza and the West Bank, identified Saeed Jaber, 24, as the target of the strike, mourning him in a statement that called him “one of the leaders of the Tulkarm Brigade” and said he had survived several previous Israeli attempts to kill him. Wafa, the Palestinian Authority’s news agency, reported that the strike damaged several homes and that some residents were wounded by shrapnel, including women and children.


·      Osama Hamdan, a senior member of Hamas, told reporters at a news conference in Beirut on Saturday night that negotiations for a cease-fire and hostage release deal in Gaza were stalled for now. Mr. Hamdan said Hamas’s demands remained the same, including a complete end to the war and a full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza. Israel has said it would accept a permanent cease-fire only after the destruction of Hamas’s military and governing power in Gaza and the return of the remaining 120 living and dead hostages. Hopes for a truce rose after President Biden publicized a proposal approved by Israel at the end of May. Hamas responded by demanding amendments that Israel rejected as unacceptable. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel appeared to walk back support for the deal last week in a televised interview, before later re-endorsing it after criticism at home and abroad.


·      The Israeli military’s ground operation in eastern Gaza City continued for a fourth day on Sunday, and the military said its forces had killed “several terrorists” and hit “dozens of terror infrastructure sites” in an area known as Shajaiye. Hamas’s military wing said in a statement on the Telegram messaging app on Sunday that its fighters had shelled two Israeli tanks in Shajaiye. The claims could not be confirmed. As of Friday the raid had driven at least 60,000 people to flee from areas east and northeast of Gaza City, according to the U.N. office of humanitarian affairs. The latest wave of Israeli strikes in Shajaiye began on Thursday, when people described a frantic effort to get out as explosions sounded around them. The Israeli military has said the operation there is targeting Hamas fighters and infrastructure.



10) Palestinian Fighters in West Bank Seek to Emulate Hamas in Gaza

In the towns of Tulkarm and Jenin, armed militants are flocking to more hard-line factions, such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad, while the Israeli military tries to rein them in.

By Steven ErlangerPhotographs by Sergey Ponomarev

Steven Erlanger reported from three refugee camps in the northern West Bank, including Tulkarm and Jenin, where the Israeli military has been conducting regular raids.

July 1, 2024


From inside a damaged building, people can be seen walking among the rubble outside.

Covering the damaged wall of a house in June after an Israeli army raid in the Jenin refugee camp.

The alleys are cast in permanent semidarkness, covered by black nylon tarpaulins to hide the Palestinian fighters there from Israeli drones overhead. Green Hamas flags and banners commemorating “martyrs” hang from the buildings, many badly damaged during Israeli raids and airstrikes to try to tamp down a growing militancy in the territory, fueled by the war in Gaza.


This is not Gaza or a traditional Hamas stronghold. It is a refugee camp in Tulkarm, a town in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where the relatively moderate Palestinian faction of Fatah had long held sway.


I recently met a local commander of these young militants, Muhammad Jaber, 25, in one of those dusty, shattered alleyways. One of Israel’s most wanted men, he and other fighters like him say they have switched allegiances from the relatively moderate Fatah faction, which dominates the Israeli-occupied West Bank, to more radical groups like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad since the Hamas-led attack on Israel on Oct. 7.


Asked what lesson he had taken from the war in Gaza, Mr. Jaber paused for a moment to think.


“Patience,” he said. “And strength. And courage.”


Refugee camps in the northern West Bank, like the one in Tulkarm, have been hotbeds of militancy for years, well before the war in Gaza, as fighters pushed back against ever-increasing Israeli settlement activity and the failure of the peace process to produce a Palestinian state. After Oct. 7, Hamas urged Palestinians to join its uprising against Israel, a call that seems to have been heeded by some in these camps.


Militants like Mr. Jaber want to push the Israelis out of the West Bank, which Israel occupied after the 1967 war, and some, like Hamas, want to push the Israelis out of the region entirely.


More weapons and explosives are being manufactured in the West Bank, according to both the fighters themselves and Israeli military officials. They say the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority, which runs parts of the West Bank, is losing ground to the more radical Palestinian factions, who are actively fighting Israel and gaining more support from Iran in the form of cash and weapons smuggled into the territory.


Fatah recognizes Israel’s right to exist and cooperates with its army. But some of the militants affiliated to Fatah, part of the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades crucial to the second intifada of the early 2000s, have never respected the Palestinian Authority and its compromises with Israel and the occupation. Some have, like Mr. Jaber, simply declared their new allegiance to the more hard-line Islamist factions.


Mr. Jaber, widely known by his nom de guerre, Abu Shujaa, meaning Father of the Brave, commands the local branch of Islamic Jihad, which dominates the Tulkarm camp. He also leads a collective of all the militant factions in that area, including the Aqsa Martyrs Brigade there, which is known as the Khatiba. He switched from Fatah, he said, because it was Islamic Jihad and Hamas who were taking the fight to Israel to end the occupation and create Palestine by force of arms.


Mr. Jaber gained a kind of cult status in the spring when the Israeli military announced that it had killed him during a raid on the Tulkarm camp. Three days later, he emerged alive at the funeral of other Palestinians killed during that same raid, to joyous shouts from camp residents.


We met in an alley with streets stripped to sand by Israeli bulldozers, before ducking into a storefront to avoid being sighted by drones. Thin and bearded, wearing a black Hugo Boss T-shirt and a Sig Sauer pistol on his hip, Mr. Jaber was watched by six bodyguards. Some were armed with M16 and M4 rifles with full magazines and optical sights.


The day was blisteringly hot, dust coating everything, laying in layers on the leaves of the few trees. The area has been heavily damaged by Israeli drone strikes and armored bulldozers, which have ripped up many miles of paving in what the military said was an effort to uncover roadside bombs and other explosives.


The atmosphere was suffocating, mixed with wariness as spotters and bodyguards searched for undercover Israeli soldiers, who sometimes arrive dressed as city workers, garbage collectors or vendors pushing carts with fruit and vegetables.


Even before Oct. 7, Israel was battling the growing threat of Palestinian militants like Mr. Jaber in refugee camps in the northern West Bank towns and cities, such as Tulkarm, Jenin and Nablus. Militant groups were establishing footholds in the camps, which were originally set up for refugees from the 1948-49 Arab-Israeli war but later became impoverished urban settlements.


In the months preceding the Gaza war, Israeli troops were raiding the West Bank camps to root out weapons, find explosives factories and arrest or kill leaders like Mr. Jaber. There was a major Israeli incursion into Jenin almost a year ago, among other operations.


The Palestinian Authority and police no longer control these refugee camps, where the militants threaten to shoot officers if they try to enter, according to the militants, Israeli military officials and Palestinian officials, including the governor of Jenin, Kamal Abu al-Rub.


The Israeli actions aim to combat what one senior Israeli military officer called the terrorist infrastructure — command centers, explosives labs and underground facilities — that militants were trying to establish there with the help of Iranian money and weapons.


In the last two years, the West Bank camps have become safe havens, the officer noted, because the Palestinian Authority did not operate there anymore. The officer requested anonymity in accordance with Israeli military ground rules.


When the Israeli military attacks Tulkarm or Jenin, residents say, the Palestinian Authority security forces stay in their barracks in the city centers and do not confront them.


Though Mr. Jaber insisted he had no war with the Palestinian Authority, he condemned those “who have guns and stand in front of Israel and do nothing.”


“Liberation of our lands is our religion,” he said. “This is not my conflict but the people’s conflict, a war for land, freedom and dignity.”


On Sunday, an Israeli drone strike on a house in the camp killed a relative, Saeed Jaber, 25, a wanted militant who had also moved from Fatah to Islamic Jihad.


Mr. Abu al-Rub, the governor, does not deny that the authority’s security forces stay out of the refugee camps, but he blames Israel. “If Israel does not come, there are no problems,” he said. “Israel is constantly working to create divisions among us, because if they kill the people they can take the land.” It is Israel, he said, “that causes chaos, that enters our refugee camps for no reason, killing our youth, to weaken the P.A. and ensure people lose respect for their government.”


In the alleys of another impoverished Tulkarm refugee camp, a young man appeared, dressed in modish black with logos from North Face and Under Armour. Aged 18, he said he had been wounded several times and would only identify himself as Qutaybah, his nom de guerre, honoring an Arab general from more than 1,000 years ago. He belongs to Hamas, which dominates his camp.


Qutaybah has a long scar down his left arm, another on his abdomen, and he wore a black patch over his left eye, which he said he lost to a drone strike on Dec. 19. He said his earlier wounds came in May 2023 when Israeli soldiers dressed as city workers entered the camp.


He said that he was badly wounded in that raid, during which two others were killed. His relatives later corroborated his story, but it could not be confirmed directly with the Israeli authorities.


Qutaybah carried an M16 with an optical sight, one of two weapons he said he had stolen during an attack in May on Bat Hefer, an Israeli village abutting the West Bank. That attack shook many Israelis and seemed to render a calm part of Israel less safe, foreshadowing further military moves to counter the Palestinian fighters.


“No one comes to you and tells you to join the resistance,” Qutaybah said. “What is there for us here anyway? We live in a prison.”


He and his friends have learned some lessons from Gaza, he added.


“We see the Israelis killing our innocent women and children. Their plan is to carry out a genocide here next,” he said. Gaza will at least “encourage more in the West Bank to resist.”


Qutaybah rubbed his black sneaker over broken pavement in the alley.


“There is a bomb under here,” he said. “When the Israelis come.”


The bodyguards and fighters posted to the camp’s entrances work in shifts. They carry walkie-talkies to warn of Israeli raids and of any stranger who would risk wandering in.


Most of those fighters, like Hassan, 35, have been in Israeli jails. Hassan has three daughters but did not want to discuss them or their future or his family name, just his mission.


“Every entrance is blocked and watched,” he said. “The Israelis can come in any time.”


Also in the alley was Ayham Sroudji, 15, who was born in the refugee camp. He is not a member of any militant group and says he’s good at school, when it isn’t canceled because of violence.


Did he want to become a teacher and help his people that way? “Become a teacher?” he answered. “There is no such thing here. What did I see in my life but Israeli soldiers invading my camp?”


Asked about his dreams, he said: “I want to see a beach. I’ve never seen a beach in my life.”


Beside him was Ahmed, 17, carrying an M4 rifle. “Is there no one who doesn’t want to see the beach, the land they took from us?” Ahmed said.


“I dream to see Jerusalem liberated,” Ayham added. “Israelis are living in and enjoying our land, and we want to force them out of what they stole.”


Then he pointed around him, to the dust, the rubble, the guns.


“Look what we wake up to,” he said. “Do you even see a sidewalk? Sometimes I dream of a smooth pavement and a sidewalk.”


Rami Nazzal contributed reporting from Tulkarm and Jenin, and Natan Odenheimer from Jerusalem.



11) Israel Frees Gazan Hospital Official Whose Detention Prompted Outrage

By Hiba Yazbek reporting from Nazareth, Israel, July 1, 2024


The front of a tank in an area with destroyed buildings and rubble.

The ruins of Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City in March. Credit...Avishag Shaar-Yashuv for The New York Times

Israel released the director of Gaza’s largest hospital on Monday after more than seven months of detention, Palestinian health officials said, a move that drew an immediate outcry in Israel even though no charges against him have been made public.


Mohammad Abu Salmiya, the director of Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, was taken into custody in late November during an Israeli military raid on the facility, an early focus of its invasion of Gaza. Human rights groups have said his prolonged detention was a sign of Israeli mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners, while some Israeli officials on Monday denounced the decision to release him as an example of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s mismanagement of the war.


Speaking at a news conference after his release, Dr. Abu Salmiya, visibly frail, said that he had been released and returned to Gaza along with nearly 50 other Palestinian detainees, including other doctors and health ministry staff members.


“We were subjected to extreme torture,” said Dr. Abu Salmiya, adding that his finger had been broken and that he had been beaten over the head repeatedly. The Israeli Prison Service, which operates the Nafha Prison where he was last held, said in a statement that it was not aware of Dr. Abu Salmiya’s claims, and that “all prisoners are detained according to the law.”


Dr. Abu Salmiya told reporters that no charges had been brought against him, and that he had been brought in for three or four trials that resulted in no indictments.


He was detained while traveling with a United Nations convoy of ambulances that was evacuating patients from the hospital to southern Gaza, and was stopped at an Israeli checkpoint, the Gaza health ministry and the Palestine Red Crescent Society said.


At the time, the Israeli military said that Dr. Abu Salmiya had been taken for questioning “following evidence showing that Al-Shifa Hospital, under his direct management, served as a Hamas command-and-control center” — an accusation that Hamas and hospital officials have denied. A spokesman for the Israeli military told reporters at the time that Dr. Abu Salmiya had not been charged, and that the military was not suggesting he was affiliated with Hamas.


The raid turned Al-Shifa into a symbol of the war, and many Gazans saw Israel’s targeting of medical institutions as a sign of disregard for Palestinian life. Dr. Abu Salmiya’s detention reinforced that view. To Israelis, the hospital was an example of Hamas’s exploitation of civilian infrastructure for military purposes.


The Israeli military later publicized some evidence to support its case that Hamas operated from within the Shifa complex, including by showing reporters a fortified tunnel constructed underneath its grounds. An investigation by The New York Times suggested that Hamas had used the site for cover and stored weapons there. The Israeli military, however, has struggled to prove its assertion that Hamas maintained a command-and-control center under the facility.


Dr. Abu Salmiya’s release caused turmoil among Israeli ministers and members of Parliament who were already at odds over Mr. Netanyahu’s handling of the war. Benny Gantz, a former key member of Mr. Netanyahu’s war cabinet who quit the government last month, called the decision a “moral and ethical operational error,” and accused the prime minister of releasing Dr. Abu Salmiya to free up “space and budget” for other Palestinian prisoners.


The Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic intelligence agency, said in a statement that the government had failed to meet its demand for additional space in detention centers to allow for the arrests of more “terrorists in Israel and the Gaza Strip.” Because of that, the Shin Bet and the military had been required to release a certain number of detainees that posed “a lesser danger” from Gaza to “clear places of incarceration,” it said.


After its initial raid of Al-Shifa in November, Israeli troops withdrew from the area. But in late March, after the military said that remnants of Hamas’s military wing had regrouped there, Israeli forces returned to the hospital, touching off two weeks of combat in which they said they killed around 200 Palestinians and arrested hundreds of others.


The fighting badly damaged many of the hospital’s main buildings. Bodies were left scattered in and around the complex, according to a doctor there and a spokesman for the Palestine Civil Defense.


The health ministry in Gaza said in a statement on Monday that Dr. Abu Salmiya had been released along with Dr. Issam Abu Ajwa, a surgeon at Al-Shifa. The statement called for the release of all other detained medical workers from Gaza who were “arrested and abused simply because they were treating the sick and wounded.”


The health ministry said on Sunday that at least 310 medical workers in Gaza had been detained by Israeli forces since the start of the war, but did not specify how many had been released.


Abu Bakr Bashir contributed reporting from London, Myra Noveck from Jerusalem and Gabby Sobelman from Rehovot, Israel.



12) As the U.N.’s relief chief steps down, Gaza’s aid woes are piling up.

By Ephrat Livni, July 1, 2024


A woman sits on the ground, baking pita bread in a makeshift oven, amid the rubble of buildings.

A Palestinian woman baking bread Sunday in a makeshift oven in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip. Credit...Eyad Baba/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The United Nations’ top relief official, Martin Griffiths, stepped down on Sunday, adding another layer of uncertainty to struggling efforts to get food, fuel and other supplies into Gaza, where almost nine months of war have brought an array of dire threats to the civilian population, including catastrophic hunger.


The U.N. secretary general, António Guterres, has not named a permanent replacement for Mr. Griffiths, whose departure from the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, for health reasons, was announced in March.


“To my fellow humanitarians, it’s been my honor to lead you, represent you and learn from you,” Mr. Griffiths wrote in a post on social media on Sunday. “Yours is one of the most important jobs in the world: bringing hope, compassion, survival and humanity to people in their darkest hour.”


However, the relief efforts in Gaza have fallen far short of the needs of the sealed, densely populated enclave in which the majority of the population of some 2.2 million has been displaced. In May, Israel closed the Kerem Shalom crossing after a Hamas attack killed four soldiers in the area, then mounted an incursion that closed the Rafah crossing along the border with Egypt. U.N. officials said this effectively choked off the two main arteries for aid.


For most of the last month, aid deliveries within Gaza have slowed to a near halt. Hopes to revive them via a temporary pier built by the United States have largely been thwarted, partly by weather conditions that have more than once forced the pier to be moved from Gaza’s coast, and partly by the difficulty of distributing the aid once it arrives.


The U.N.’s main agency for Palestinians, UNRWA, earlier this month said that Gaza had become the deadliest place in the world for aid workers, with at least 250 killed since the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attack on Israel sparked the war in Gaza and a humanitarian crisis. U.N. aid agencies have demanded that the Israeli authorities do more to protect aid workers in the Gaza Strip and ensure that assistance reaches those who need it, Stéphane Dujarric, a U.N. spokesman, said on Tuesday.


On Friday, a Pentagon spokeswoman, Sabrina Singh, said that the temporary pier had been removed again ahead of sea turbulence, while indicating that the backlog of aid was taking up so much space that re-establishing the pier might not be a top priority.


Days earlier, in a social media post directed at the World Food Program, a U.N. agency that coordinates much of the humanitarian work in the enclave, the Israeli agency overseeing aid in Gaza displayed a photo of supplies that it said were waiting at the pier’s offloading area. “Stop making excuses and start playing your role as a humanitarian food organization and the head of the logistic cluster,” it said.


The World Food Program suspended operations near the pier earlier this month. The program’s officials said some of its facilities were hit during an Israeli mission that rescued four hostages but involved strikes that killed scores of Palestinians, including women and children.


In his last week as U.N. relief chief, Mr. Griffiths addressed concerns that the suspension might forecast the halt of all aid groups’ operations in Gaza. “We’re not running away from Gaza at all,” Mr. Griffiths said in an interview on Wednesday. But he added, “We are particularly concerned about the security situation in Gaza, and it is becoming more and more difficult to operate.”


On Sunday, a World Food Program spokeswoman confirmed that the organization’s suspension of operations at the pier remained in place, pending a security review by the U.N.’s safety and security arm, but said that the aid group had made arrangements to start clearing the backlog of undelivered aid and that it would “be distributed immediately.”


Anjana Sankar contributed reporting.



13) Utica Residents Grill Mayor After Police Killing of 13-Year-Old Boy

An officer in Utica, N.Y., fatally shot the boy, Nyah Mway, after he brandished what the officer believed was a gun. At a community meeting, residents called the killing “an injustice.”

By Hurubie Meko, Reporting from Utica, N.Y., June 30, 2024

“He was already on the ground, subdued by officers, when he was shot.”


Dozens of lit candles sitting next to bouquets of flowers and a photograph of Nyah Mway, who is smiling.

A vigil was held on Saturday evening for Nyah Mway, a 13-year-old boy who was shot and killed by a Utica police officer after a foot chase. Credit...Adrianna Newell for The New York Times

More than 100 residents of Utica, N.Y., grieving the death of a 13-year-old boy who was fatally shot by a police officer there last week, gathered at a church on Sunday afternoon to demand accountability for his killing.


The boy, Nyah Mway, was walking in the city with another boy on Friday night when they were stopped by three police officers. When one officer asked to pat them down, Nyah fled, footage from officers’ body-worn cameras shows.


The police said in a statement that Nyah had displayed “what appeared to be a handgun” as he ran. In footage that has been slowed down, it appears that he turns while holding something that looks like a handgun, before he is tackled, held to the ground and shot.


The police later determined that he had been holding a pellet gun.


On Sunday, the mayor of Utica, Michael P. Galime, answered questions from residents who filled the auditorium at Tabernacle Baptist Church. Police officials were not in attendance.


Almost all of the attendees were part of the city’s Karen community — members of an ethnic group from Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, who speak the Karen language. Nyah’s family members are Karen refugees.


In Utica, a city of about 60,000, refugees and their families make up about a quarter of the population.


Nyah’s killing was the first time that a Karen person in the United States was killed by the police, Mr. Galime said at the meeting, which was livestreamed on a Facebook page for Utica’s Karen community.


“As I stand here today, I am not asking you to stop being angry,” he said. “I am not standing here telling you to bury your grief and your feelings.”


Residents, some speaking through an interpreter, questioned the mayor about the protocols officers followed when pursuing people and asked what would happen next to the officers involved in the shooting. They asked Mr. Galime how he could prevent what happened to Nyah from happening to another child. Many voiced their anger at the circumstances of Nyah’s death: He was already on the ground, subdued by officers, when he was shot.


On Saturday evening, the police identified the three officers. Patrick Husnay, a six-year veteran of the Utica Police Department, was the officer who shot Nyah, the police said. The others were identified as Bryce Patterson, a four-year veteran, and Andrew Citriniti, who has been on the force for two and a half years.


Throughout the meeting Sunday, Mr. Galime emphasized that the New York Attorney General’s Office would determine if the officer’s use of force was justified. Though Mr. Galime often said he could not answer questions about the officers’ decisions because he was not personally there or because that was the purview of state officials, he told the crowd, “I did not see anger.”


“I saw three officers attempting to perform their jobs,” he said. “And the end result was the worst result we can possibly imagine.”


The meeting, which lasted about two and a half hours, was mostly peaceful. But at one point, organizers had to step in and calm several people down after a woman, who was upset about the mayor’s remarks at a news conference the day before, when he appeared to sympathize with the police officers in the presence of Nyah’s family members, began shouting at him.


Others joined her in sharing their frustrations.


Another woman challenged the mayor to “take a side,” saying the boys had been stopped because of their race. “This is an injustice,” she said to the mayor.


The mayor pushed back, arguing that he had reviewed the footage and that “there was no reference or any indication that there was any racism.”


According to a police statement, the three officers stopped the boys while investigating recent robberies where the suspects were described as Asian males who brandished a black firearm and “forcibly demanded and stole property from victims.” The boys were approached because they matched the description, the police said, and were near the location of the robberies at the same time of day.


The Police Department also released a series of videos from the officers’ body-worn cameras. In one clip, an officer approaches the two boys, one of whom is seated on a bicycle. Two other officers approach and begin circling the boys with their flashlights. The first officer then asks if they can pat down the boys to “make sure you have no weapons on you.”


At that point, Nyah fled on foot, according to the police.


Slowed-down footage shows Officer Patterson chasing him, and when Nyah appears to turn, holding something that looks like a handgun, the officer yells “Gun!” and tackles him.


Officer Husnay’s body-camera video shows him running behind the pair, pulling out his gun as he approaches them.


As Officer Patterson and Nyah struggle on the ground, a gunshot can be heard. The officers, including Officer Husnay, step away immediately, the footage shows.


Nyah was taken to a hospital, where he died, the police said.


In addition to the attorney general’s investigation, the Police Department is investigating the incident, Mark Williams, the police chief, said at the news conference on Saturday. The officers involved were all put on administrative leave with pay, he said.


On Saturday evening, Utica residents gathered near the site of the shooting for a vigil in the boy’s honor. Some lit candles, and some brought Mylar balloons in the shape of the number 13, Nyah’s age.


Earlier that day, Lay Htoo, who identified himself as a close relative of Nyah’s, said his family wanted justice for his killing.


The boy’s mother “wants the officer to be in jail forever,” he said.