Bay Area United Against War Newsletter, July 10, 2024



Washington, D.C.



                          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 276:


The total number of Palestinians killed by Israel is now over 38,153 with 87,828 wounded. Among the killed, 28,428 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 571 Palestinians have been killed and 4,600 wounded by Israel in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. These include 136 children.**  

—Israel lowers its estimated October 7 death toll from 1,400 to 1,140—680 Israeli soldiers killed since ground invasion, 4,096 wounded***

Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its Telegram channel on July 7, 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 July 7, 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 8,000 permanently handicapped as of June 1. As of June 18, 8,663 new wounded joined the army's handicap rehabilitation system since October common 

Source: mondoweiss.net




Leave a message at the Whitehouse:

My Whitehouse message:
"Leonard Peltier should have been granted parole but, again, his parole has been denied. Leonard was convicted even though there was no actual proof of his guilt. And, anyway, he was not sentenced to life without possibility of parole. He has been incarcerated for over 49 years and he's almost 80 years old and in poor health. His release would pose no danger or threat whatsoever to the public. He deserves to spend his last years with family and loved ones. Please grant clemency to him now—today." —Bonnie Weinstein 
[I was going to add "before you forget" but I controlled myself.]

U.S. Parole Commission Denies Leonard Peltier’s Request for Freedom; President Biden Should Grant Clemency


In response to the U.S. Parole Commission denying Leonard Peltier’s request for parole after a hearing on June 10, Paul O’Brien, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, made the following statement:


“Continuing to keep Leonard Peltier locked behind bars is a human rights travesty. President Biden should grant him clemency and release him immediately. Not only are there ongoing, unresolved concerns about the fairness of his trial, he has spent nearly 50 years in prison, is approaching 80 years old, and suffers from several chronic health problems.  


“Leonard Peltier has been incarcerated for far too long. The parole commission should have granted him the freedom to spend his remaining years in his community and surrounded by loved ones.  


“No one should be imprisoned after a trial riddled with uncertainty about its fairness. We are now calling on President Biden, once again, to grant Leonard Peltier clemency on humanitarian grounds and as a matter of mercy and justice.”




·      Leonard Peltier, Native American activist and member of the American Indian Movement (AIM), was convicted of the murders of two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975. He has always maintained his innocence. Amnesty International joins Tribal Nations, Tribal Leaders, Members of Congress, former FBI agents, Nobel Peace Prize winners and former U.S. Attorney James Reynolds, whose office handled Peltier’s prosecution and appeal, in urging his release.  

·      Parole was also rejected at Peltier’s last hearing in 2009. Due to his age, this was likely the last opportunity for parole.  

·      A clemency request is pending before President Joe Biden. President Biden hascommitted opens in a new tabto grant clemency/commutation of sentences on a rolling basis rather than at the end of his term, following a review of requests by the White House Counsel’s Office and the Department of Justice.

Amnesty International has examined Peltier’s case extensively for many years, sent observers to his trial in 1977, and long campaigned on his behalf. Most recently, Amnesty International USA sent a letter to the U.S. Parole Commission urging the commission to grant him parole.



Leonard Peltier’s Bail Denied July 2, 2024

Leonard Peltier June 26, 2024 statement on pending bail decision

Greetings my Friends, Family, Loved Ones, and Supporters,

Hope is a hard thing here. But I always hold hope in you, My People. Pay attention. The parole decision on July 11th may show you what justice truly means to this nation and to whom it is meant for.

Living in lockdown, time has twisted into something that has nothing to do with minutes, hours, or years. They have taken what little freedom I have outside this box. Art—gone. Ceremony—gone.

Yet they will never take the Spirit of a Sundancer. I have never given them my integrity. I remain undestroyed.

I will not pretend my body is sound. The lockdowns have been tough on all of us, in ways I cannot begin to explain and those on the outside cannot begin to imagine.

I am counting on you if this decision does not go my way. I always need your prayers. I need you to demand that this country finally commit one act of Justice.

My attorney assures me the battle is not over until it is over—she will not back down. I am counting on you not to back down. My time is running out here, with no medical care. I do not fear death, returning to Mother Earth’s womb, but I do not want to die in lockdown.

In my solitude, my mind often returns to Raymond Yellow Thunder. The profound tragedy of Raymond’s murder sparked change in our people and showed them who the American Indian Movement is.

Raymond was a hard-working man. When he came into town to give money to his sisters, it was not enough for the Raye brothers to humiliate Raymond, strip him, and parade him around an American Legion Dance.

Raymond was shoved into the trunk of a car and died the next day. The Raye brothers were charged with 2nd- degree manslaughter and released with no bail.

Raymond’s sisters were distraught that even that small charge may not stick. The authorities would not release the autopsy report. They would not allow Raymand’s sisters to see his body. The sisters sought help from the BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs), the Tribal government, and private attorneys. In desperation, they turned to the American Indian Movement.

AIM members are Spirit Warriors, not merciless savages. We organized 200 carloads of people and demanded justice.

With dignity, we demanded justice.

Sheriff’s deputies, state troopers, and FBI agents agreed that serious charges should be filed against the Hares and that the local police chief should be dismissed.

Indigenous people started holding their heads up after that victory. They started speaking out against abuses by the BIA and Tribal government, and white ranchers profiting off their land.

We must not allow Raymond’s fate to befall others. My mother used to ask with dismay, “Why is it so bad to be Indian?” I find myself wondering why they hate us so.

We will triumph over the misguided hate of others. Never, ever, forget who you are. We are the First People. Mother Earth herself fires the blood that runs through our veins.

Protect each other, protect Mother Earth for future generations, and stand with oppressed peoples everywhere.

Remember that true strength does not reside in holding power over others. Strength comes from living out of a place of humility and integrity, inspiring others to find their unique strengths.

Oppression is rising, running like black mold through every facet of society. We must stand together and let society know that Indigenous lives are not cheap. The lives of our oppressed brothers and sisters are not cheap. All people are worthy of basic human dignity.

Colonialism has all but destroyed us. We must do nothing less than transform society into a place where human beings are not disposable.

Do not weep if I am not granted parole. Cry freedom. Coalesce yourselves, galvanize your relationships, establish alliances. In the power of our people, we find strength. Hold your head up high. It is not over, until it is over.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse. Doksha,

Leonard Peltier






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) Live Updates: Starmer Becomes U.K. Prime Minister After Labour Party Landslide

Labour’s resounding election victory ended 14 years of Conservative government. But a fragmented vote and low turnout pointed to a deeply unhappy Britain.

By Mark Landler, Megan Specia and Stephen Castle Reporting from London, July 5, 2024


A close-up view of the front door of 10 Downing Street, photographed looking upward from its base.

The famed address has been home to prime ministers since 1735. And it’s much larger than it seems from the street. Credit...Andy Rain/EPA, via Shutterstock

Prime Minister Keir Starmer took office in Britain on Friday and promised a “national renewal” after his center-left Labour Party won a landslide election victory that decisively swept the Conservatives out of power but pointed to a dissatisfied and fragmented nation.


While Labour’s more than 410 seats in Parliament ensured the party a robust majority, the breakdown of votes, and the lowest turnout in years, indicated the challenges ahead for Mr. Starmer. The BBC estimated that Labour had garnered only 35 percent of the votes nationwide, which John Curtice, a prominent polling expert, said would be “the lowest share of the vote won by any single-party majority government.”


Just 60 percent of voters were forecast to have participated, close to a record low and a possible sign that some voters had checked out after years of political dysfunction. Smaller parties and independent candidates saw their support surge, and Reform U.K., the new anti-immigration party led by the Trump ally Nigel Farage, became Britain’s third biggest party by vote share, winning 14 percent of the vote.


After meeting with King Charles III at Buckingham Palace, Mr. Starmer seemed to acknowledge the pressure on Labour to act fast, saying in a speech outside No. 10 Downing Street: “Our work is urgent and we begin it today.” He added that Britons had “voted decisively for change” and called on the country “to move forward together.”


Hours earlier, the departing prime minister, Rishi Sunak, gave brief, conciliatory remarks in Downing Street, congratulating Mr. Starmer, accepting responsibility for his party’s resounding defeat and saying to voters that he had “heard your anger.” With almost all 650 races declared, the Conservatives were on course for fewer than 130 seats, the worst defeat for the party in its nearly 200-year history.


Here’s what else to know:


·      Labour’s makeover: For Mr. Starmer, a low-key lawyer who only entered Parliament in 2015, it was a remarkable vindication of his four-year project to pull the Labour Party away from the left-wing policies of his predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn, and rebrand it as a plausible alternative to the increasingly erratic rule of the Conservatives.


·      Sunak’s future: Mr. Sunak said he would resign as party leader, “not immediately” but once arrangements to choose his successor were in place. He offered a robust case for his achievements in less than two years in office: cutting inflation, resolving a trade dispute with the European Union and steadying Britain’s economy.


·      Right-wing ferment: Reform U.K.’s strong showing was a victory for Mr. Farage, the party’s leader and a veteran political disrupter who won a seat after failing in seven previous bids to get into Parliament. From his new perch, Mr. Farage could try to poach the remnants of the debilitated Conservatives.


·      Other parties: Frustration with the two main parties was apparent in the strong showing by others. The centrist Liberal Democrats earned 71 seats, their best result in a century. And Reform U.K. was not the only smaller party to do well: the Green Party and a number of pro-Palestinian independent candidates won formerly safe Labour seats.



2) Political Unrest Worldwide Is Fueled by High Prices and Huge Debts

Economic turmoil is spreading across the globe, and the response has been protests, attempted coups and elections of far-right politicians.

By Patricia Cohen and Jack Nicas, July 5, 2024

Patricia Cohen reported from Paris and Jack Nicas reported from Rio de Janeiro.


A crowd of protesters in the street, with some in the front carrying a banner and others waving flags.

Protests in Bolivia in June. Residents have lined up for gas because of shortages and a military general led a failed coup attempt. Credit...Juan Karita/Associated Press

Like a globe-spanning tornado that touches down with little predictability, deep economic anxieties are leaving a trail of political turmoil and violence across poor and rich countries alike.


In Kenya, a nation buckling under debt, protests over a proposed tax increase last week resulted in dozens of deaths, abductions of demonstrators and a partially scorched Parliament.


At the same time in Bolivia, where residents have lined up for gas because of shortages, a military general led a failed coup attempt, saying the president, a former economist, must “stop impoverishing our country,” just before an armored truck rammed into the presidential palace.


And in France, after months of road blockades by farmers angry over low wages and rising costs, the far-right party surged in support in the first round of snap parliamentary elections on Sunday, bringing its long-taboo brand of nationalist and anti-immigrant politics to the threshold of power.


The causes, context and conditions underlying these disruptions vary widely from country to country. But a common thread is clear: rising inequality, diminished purchasing power and growing anxiety that the next generation will be worse off than this one.


The result is that citizens in many countries who face a grim economic outlook have lost faith in the ability of their governments to cope — and are striking back.


The backlash has often targeted liberal democracy and democratic capitalism, with populist movements springing up on both the left and right. “An economic malaise and a political malaise are feeding each other,” said Nouriel Roubini, an economist at New York University.


In recent months, economic fears have set off protests around the world that have sometimes turned violent, including in high-income countries with stable economies like Poland and Belgium, as well as those struggling with out-of-control debt, like Argentina, Pakistan, Tunisia, Angola and Sri Lanka.


On Friday, Sri Lanka’s president, Ranil Wickremesinghe, pointed to Kenya and warned: “If we do not establish economic stability in Sri Lanka, we could face similar unrest.”


Even in the United States, where the economy has proved resilient, economic anxieties are partly behind the potential return of Donald J. Trump, who has frequently adopted authoritarian rhetoric. In a recent poll, the largest share of American voters said that the economy was the election’s most important issue.


National elections in more than 60 countries this year have focused attention on the political process, inviting citizens to express their discontent.


Economic problems always have political consequences. Yet economists and analysts say that a chain of events set off by the Covid-19 pandemic created an acute economic crisis in many parts of the planet, laying the groundwork for the civil unrest that is blooming now.


The pandemic halted commerce, erased incomes and created supply chain chaos that caused shortages of everything from semiconductors to sneakers. Later, as life returned to normal, factories and retailers were unable to match the pent-up demand, boosting prices.


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine added another jolt, sending oil, gas, fertilizer and food prices into the stratosphere.


Central banks tried to rein in inflation by increasing interest rates, which in turn squeezed businesses and families even more.


While inflation has eased, the damage has been done. Prices remain high and in some places, the cost of bread, eggs, cooking oil and home heating is two, three or even four times higher than a few years ago.


As usual, the poorest and most vulnerable countries were slammed the hardest. Governments already strangled by loans they couldn’t afford saw the cost of that debt balloon with the rise in interest rates. In Africa, half of the population lives in nations that spend more on interest payments than they do on health or education.


That has left many countries desperate for solutions. Indermit Gill, chief economist at the World Bank, said that nations unable to borrow because of a debt crisis have essentially two ways to pay their bills: printing money or raising taxes. “One leads to inflation,” he said, “the other leads to unrest.”


After paying off a $2 billion bond in June, Kenya sought to raise taxes. Then things boiled over.


Thousands of protesters swarmed the Parliament in Nairobi. At least 39 people were killed and 300 injured in clashes with police, according to rights groups. The next day, President William Ruto withdrew the proposed bill that included tax increases.


In Sri Lanka, stuck under $37 billion in debt, “the people are just broken,” said Jayati Ghosh, an economist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, after a recent visit to the capital city of Colombo. Families are skipping meals, parents cannot afford school fees or medical coverage, and a million people have lost access to electricity over the past year because of unaffordable price and tax increases, she said. The police have used tear gas and water cannons to disperse protests.


In Pakistan, the rising costs of flour and electricity set off a wave of demonstrations that started in Kashmir and spread this week to nearly every major city. Traders closed their shops on Monday, blocking roads and burning electricity bills.


“We cannot bear the burden of these inflated electricity bills and the hike in taxes any longer,” said Ahmad Chauhan, a pharmaceuticals seller in Lahore. “Our businesses are suffering and we have no choice but to protest.”


Pakistan is deep in debt to a string of international creditors, and it wants to increase tax revenues by 40 percent to try to win a bailout of up to $8 billion from the International Monetary Fund — its lender of last resort — to avoid defaulting.


No country has a bigger I.M.F. loan program than Argentina: $44 billion. Decades of economic mismanagement by a succession of Argentine leaders, including printing money to pay bills, has made inflation a constant struggle. Prices have nearly quadrupled this year compared with 2023. Argentines now use U.S. dollars instead of Argentine pesos for big purchases like houses, stashing stacks of $100 bills in jackets or bras.


The economic turmoil led voters in November to elect Javier Milei, a self-described “anarcho-capitalist” who promised to slash government spending, as president. He has cut thousands of jobs, chopped wages and frozen infrastructure projects, imposing austerity measures that exceed even those the I.M.F. has sought in its attempts to help the country fix its finances. In his first six months, poverty rates have soared.


Many Argentines are fighting back. Nationwide strikes have closed businesses and canceled flights, and protests have clogged plazas in Buenos Aires. Last month, at a demonstration outside Argentina’s Congress, some protesters threw rocks or lit cars on fire. Police responded with rubber bullets and tear gas. Several opposition lawmakers were injured in the clashes.


Martin Guzmán, a former economy minister of Argentina, said that when national leaders restructure crushing government debt, the agreements fall most heavily on the people whose pensions are reduced and whose taxes are increased. That is why he pushed for a law in 2022 that required Argentina’s elected Congress to approve any future deals with the I.M.F.


“There is a problem of representation and discontent,” Mr. Guzmán said. “That is a combination that leads to social unrest.”


Even the world’s wealthiest countries are bubbling with frustration. European farmers, worried about their prospects, are angry that the cost of new environmental regulations intended to ward off climate change is threatening their livelihoods.


Overall, Europeans have felt that their wages are not going as far as they used to. Inflation reached nearly 11 percent at one point in 2022, chipping away at incomes. Roughly a third of people in the European Union believe their standards of living will decline over the next five years, according to a recent survey.


Protests have erupted in Greece, Portugal, Belgium and Germany this year. Outside Berlin in March, farmers spread manure on a highway that caused several crashes. In France, they burned hay, dumped manure in Nice’s City Hall and hung the carcass of a wild boar outside a labor inspection office in Agen.


As the head of France’s farmers union told The New York Times: “It’s the end of the world versus the end of the month.”


The economic anxieties are adding to divisions between rural and urban dwellers, unskilled and college educated workers, religious traditionalists and secularists. In France, Italy, Germany and Sweden, far-right politicians have seized on this dissatisfaction to promote nationalist, anti-immigrant agendas.


And growth is slowing worldwide, making it harder to find solutions.


“Terrible things are happening even in countries where there aren’t protests,” said Ms. Ghosh, the University of Massachusetts Amherst economist, “but protests kind of make everybody wake up.”


Zia ur-Rehman contributed reporting from Karachi, Pakistan.



3) Talks on Gaza Cease-Fire Revive After Weeks of Deadlock

The negotiations had been stalled for weeks until Hamas announced on Wednesday that it had exchanged some ideas with mediators on a new way forward.

By Aaron Boxerman, Reporting from Jerusalem, July 5, 2024


A man hugs a young girl with a crowd of people in the background.

A Palestinian man greets family and friends in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza on Monday after being released from Israeli detention. Credit...Bashar Taleb/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Israeli negotiators traveled to the Gulf nation of Qatar on Friday for the first time in weeks to restart talks over a cease-fire deal that would end the war in Gaza and free the hostages held there, following weeks of deadlock in the negotiations.


David Barnea, the head of Israel’s Mossad foreign intelligence service, led the Israeli delegation to Doha, the Qatari capital, where he was set to meet with Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, the Qatari prime minister.


Cease-fire negotiations had been stalled for weeks until Wednesday, when Hamas announced that it had exchanged some ideas with mediators on a new way forward. Both U.S. and Israeli officials said the revised Hamas position could allow for an agreement, but cautioned that a protracted and difficult series of deliberations lay ahead nonetheless.


An Israeli official, who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and so spoke on condition of anonymity, described the meeting as a preliminary discussion with more substantive talks to follow.


Both sides would have to sort out the identity, number and conditions for the release of Palestinian prisoners who would be freed in exchange for the 120 living and dead hostages held by Hamas and its allies. They also would have to determine a sequence of steps for Israeli military withdrawal and how much control Israeli forces would have at different phases in the agreement.


Most critically, Israel and Hamas would have to agree on a formula to resolve the major sticking point that has thwarted talks for months: Hamas wants nothing less a complete cease-fire and a full withdrawal of Israeli forces, while Israel has vowed to topple Hamas’s rule in Gaza and maintain postwar security control of the territory.


Israel and Hamas have been negotiating on the basis of a three-stage cease-fire framework publicized by President Biden in late May. The two sides refuse to talk directly, requiring Qatari and Egyptian mediators to conduct shuttle diplomacy between them.


Under the terms of the proposed deal, they would first observe a six-week truce during which hostages would be released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners. During those six weeks, officials would negotiate an end to the war and the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas’s “military and governing capabilities” in Gaza and still says the war will not end until that goal is achieved. But Israel’s military establishment — worn down by the ongoing war in Gaza and weighing the possibility of a large-scale fight with Hezbollah in Lebanon — now backs a cease-fire deal even at the cost of leaving Hamas in power.


Michael Milshtein, a former senior Israeli intelligence officer, said Israel was not going to successfully topple Hamas, leaving a cease-fire deal to bring home the remaining hostages as the least bad outcome.


“It is an extremely difficult pill to swallow,” said Mr. Milshtein, who oversaw the Palestinian affairs division in Israeli military intelligence. “But there are no good alternatives here.”


Israel’s political leaders, however, are deeply divided on the proposed deal, which some argue would effectively leave Hamas in power in Gaza. Although the top Israeli leadership has given a green light to the proposal, two senior members of Mr. Netanyahu’s coalition have vowed to oppose it, threatening to bolt from the government, potentially forcing him to choose between a cease-fire and his political survival.


On Friday, Benny Gantz, an opposition leader who recently quit Mr. Netanyahu’s war cabinet, reiterated that he would back the prime minister if he decided to advance a cease-fire deal to release hostages. In that case, Mr. Netanyahu would be forced to rely on his rivals for support, a combustible situation that would almost certainly force him to eventually call elections.


Mr. Netanyahu did not unequivocally endorse the proposal for weeks. In a television interview last month, he appeared to walk back his support for it, saying he would not countenance an end to the war against Hamas. After an outcry from the families of hostages, Mr. Netanyahu zigzagged and publicly backed the proposal in late June.


Hamas faces a similarly complex calculus.


In a statement on Friday, Hamas called on all Arab and Muslim countries to pressure Israel into ending the “Zionist genocide against our Palestinian people.”


The group also reiterated its rejection of any plans or proposals that would bring foreign forces into the Gaza Strip. The ideas of an Arab peacekeeping force and more recently, a U.N. peacekeeping force, have been floated as possible solutions to help bring an end to the war and Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territory.


“The administration of the Gaza Strip,” Hamas said in its statement, “is a purely Palestinian matter, agreed upon by our Palestinian people in all their diversity.”


Some Gazans increasingly criticize the armed group for launching the Oct. 7 attack on Israel, which triggered the war, without doing enough to protect Gazan civilians. And any agreement would need the blessing of the Hamas leader inside Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, whom Israel has vowed to kill for his role in the surprise assault.


Ahmed Yousef, a veteran Hamas member, blamed Israel’s hard-line government for the delay in achieving a cease-fire deal in Gaza. But he said many would likely argue the war had not been worth the heavy price paid in Gaza, even should an agreement see Israel release thousands of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the remaining hostages.


“Even if many prisoners are freed, no one is going to say that there was any achievement,” said Mr. Yousef, himself now displaced in southern Gaza.


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told journalists on Friday that Western countries needed to exert collective pressure on Israel to achieve a definitive cease-fire. He added that he hoped President Joe Biden’s intervention and Qatar’s mediation efforts would lead to a lasting truce.


While leaders on both sides weigh the path forward, Israel’s war in Gaza neared the end of its ninth month. The vast majority of the population has been displaced at least once, with many living in tents, and finding enough food and water to survive has become a daily struggle.


On Friday, Israeli forces continued to fight in Shajaiye, a neighborhood near Gaza City in the north of the territory, in an attempt to crack down on Palestinian militants there. The Israeli military has increasingly doubled back to areas of Gaza that its forces first swept through months ago, as it battles renewed insurgencies by Hamas and other armed groups.


“The military can talk all it wants about having dismantled battalions — but at the end of the day, Hamas has survived,” said Mr. Milshtein. “We can tell ourselves stories all day long, but this is not even close to the so-called total victory over Hamas.”


Raja Abdulrahim contributed reporting from Jerusalem.



4) Britain’s Election Is Not the Centrist Triumph It Appears to Be

By Rory Stewart, July 5, 2024

Mr. Stewart is a former British government minister, the Brady-Johnson professor of grand strategy at Yale’s Jackson School of Global Affairs and the author, most recently, of “How Not to Be a Politician.” He wrote from London.


A man, Keir Starmer, smiling in the foreground, British flags around him.

Keir Starmer, the newly elected prime minister of Britain. Credit...Toby Melville/Reuters

The British Labour Party has won its largest majority since the founding of the party over a century ago, securing at least 412 of the House of Commons’s 650 seats. And in an age of populism and polarization, it has done so on a moderate, centrist platform.


The new version of Labour — led by Keir Starmer, a former human rights lawyer who served as the head of the Crown Prosecution Service — may seem reassuringly reminiscent of the consensus of the 1990s and early 2000s, when moderate progressives like Bill Clinton and Tony Blair were committed to liberal economics, liberal democracy and a liberal global order.


But it is too early to celebrate this election as a triumph of the center. There is no clear sign that British voters are any more enthusiastic than voters anywhere else for the socially liberal, fiscally conservative politics that this incarnation of the Labour Party represents. Voter turnout was near a record low, and while Labour won a remarkable margin of seats, it secured a very low share of the vote in what one commentator dubbed a “loveless landslide.”


At its heart, this election was an emphatic rejection of a chaotic incumbent. The Conservative Party has been reduced to 121 seats, with two seats left to declare, the worst defeat in its 190-year history. It lost vote share not only to Labour and the centrist, pro-European Liberal Democrats, but also to the hard-right, anti-immigrant Reform U.K., led by Nigel Farage, an ally of Donald Trump.


With the far right ascendant and the Conservative Party battered, Britain has entered new political territory. What centrist forces in Britain have earned is not so much a victory as a brief reprieve; how long it lasts depends on how well they use it.


The Conservatives deserved the rebuke they got. They were in power for 14 years, with little to show for it other than a damaging exit from the European Union. After winning by a landslide in 2019, the party burned through three prime ministers, lurching from the feckless populism of Boris Johnson to the reckless 49-day libertarianism of Liz Truss to the uninspiring technocracy of Rishi Sunak.


After its own disastrous showing in the 2019 election, Labour embarked on a transformation. Mr. Starmer took over from Jeremy Corbyn — a veteran of the party’s left, a critic of liberal economics, free markets and Israel, and a passionate opponent of the U.S.-led global order — and committed the party to reduced public spending and lower debt, no increases to income taxes and backing President Biden’s position on the Israel-Gaza conflict. Mr. Corbyn, who was suspended from the party in 2020, was blocked from standing as a Labour candidate in this election.


Squint at these results and you can just about see a picture of a moderate landslide. But there are two things to bear in mind about Labour’s win. First, British voters had a limited sense of Labour’s platform — in part because Labour, so far ahead in the polls going into the election and determined to avoid unforced errors, has presented them with very few policies. The second is that Britain’s “first past the post” electoral system, which, like America’s, awards parliamentary seats to the candidate who wins the most votes in each individual race, rewards parties with concentrated voter bases. Labour, which secured 33.8 percent of the popular vote, has 412 seats, while the far-right Reform, with its base spread thinly across the country, has won four seats and received about 14 percent of the vote.


For a decade at least, the world has seemed to be tilting from democracy to strongmen, free trade to protectionism, intervention to isolation. The liberal global order is in retreat. The American and European response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was initially impressive, but the decade is better defined by the failures in Syria, the withdrawal from Afghanistan, the conflict in Israel and Gaza and the nine military coups in Africa since 2020.


There have been recent examples in Poland, Greece and Spain (and to a lesser extent, Turkey and India) of voters turning away from populism. But it has made significant advances elsewhere: Far-right populists won the most votes in the most recent Italian and Dutch elections, pulled ahead of the governing party in Germany and are on track for a resounding victory in France after the nation’s first round of voting. Trump’s current polling suggests this may not be a purely European phenomenon.


The governing classes in the West have been discredited by the humiliations of Iraq and Afghanistan, the 2008 financial crisis and a perception that they are unable to manage immigration or improve ordinary people’s living standards, while social media has intensified polarization. A majority of voters sense that liberal democracies are no longer delivering and believe that future generations will be worse off.


Britons have given Mr. Starmer’s Labour Party a chance. He has promised to finance government by securing “the highest sustained growth” in the Group of 7, but the odds are against him. Britain is troubled by poor productivity, creaking public services, a cost of living crisis, unaffordable housing and an aging population. And Mr. Starmer has limited his options by ruling out additional borrowing, tax increases, higher immigration and rejoining the E.U. single market.


If voters sour on him and this centrist vision of Labour, the next election will almost certainly draw them back to the extremes. The Reform party is already betting on this, with Mr. Farage’s vow to “reshape the center right, whatever that means.”


Labour must demonstrate that it can improve people’s lives and transform public services — and soon — or we may look back at the British election of 2024 as merely a pause on the journey to polarization and the fantasies of populism.



5) Meet the Followers of Martin Luther King Jr. in the West Bank

By Nicholas Kristof, July 6, 2024


A photograph of a field with trees in front of a ridge lined with structures.

An Israeli settlement outside the Tent of Nations farm. Credit...Samar Hazboun for The New York Times

A sign at the entrance to the Nassar family farm reads: “We refuse to be enemies.”


In a land torn apart by conflict, hatred and violence, this farm is an oasis of peace. Called the Tent of Nations, it is a monument to the idea that Arabs and Jews can live together in harmony.


The Nassars, a Christian Palestinian family, hold children’s camps and other programs on the farm to promote understanding and nonviolence even as they struggle to save their land from confiscation by Israeli settlers. They quote Martin Luther King Jr. and provide a model of peacefulness for their Palestinian and Israeli neighbors alike.


“It’s very important for us to show that nonviolent resistance is the key to change,” said Daoud Nassar, who runs the farm with his siblings Amal and Daher and other family members. “With violence, people will achieve more violence, will achieve more hatred, will achieve more bitterness and more enemies.”


During a week of reporting in Israel and the West Bank, I was mostly discouraged — the region may get worse before it gets even worse — but the Nassars buoyed my spirits. They underscored that while it is the militants who make the headlines, innumerable people on both sides of the Palestinian-Israeli divide are trying to bring peace and understanding to a region that lacks both.


It’s a challenge. The Nassars have just postponed a children’s camp session, partly because they fear violence from settlers who have periodically attacked the farm, uprooted their olive trees and occupied their land.


Amal Nassar showed me areas where settlers have seized part of the farm and built on it; construction stopped recently after an order from the Supreme Court, an encouraging sign.


“They came with guns and said, ‘You’re not allowed to work here,’” she recalled.


“How is this your land?” she said she asked them.


“God gave it to us,” she recalled a settler replying.


“They did not let us pick our olives; they said it was for security reasons,” she added.


Likewise, the main access road to the farm has been blocked to Palestinians like her, although settlers are still allowed to use it. Tent of Nations is on a hilltop near Bethlehem, and the Nassars fear that Israel aims to turn it — like so many other hilltops — into a Jewish settlement.


The Nassars say they are trying to encourage Palestinians to turn rage and negativity into something constructive. Denied electrical grid connections and piped water to their farm, which has been in their family for more than a century, they collect rainwater in cisterns and have set up a solar electricity system. At every setback they grit their teeth and double down on their values.


“We want to make this a place of dialogue,” Amal said. She leans on her Lutheran faith, but she has endured so much that she sounds like Job. A defiant Job.


“If they come to uproot one olive tree, I want to plant 10,” she said.


Tent of Nations has a group in the United States that offers political and financial support, Friends of Tent of Nations North America, and Daoud is a fluent English speaker who has published a book about the project. If even Tent of Nations is under siege and being nibbled away at, imagine what is happening to farmers who aren’t so well connected.


International volunteers from America and Europe arrive regularly and are invaluable, Amal said, explaining that settlers seem less inclined to use violence in front of foreign witnesses.


“People who come here and spend time with Palestinians here, they see systemic injustice,” Cody McCracken, an American nurse who was volunteering on the farm, told me. The Nassars emphasized that they would be thrilled to have more volunteers.


“We choose to build a healthier generation, learning to accept each other, to deal with each other as human beings,” Amal told me. “We want children to grow up without hatred.”


The Nassars are not unique. I’ve also written about Israeli Jewish activists in groups like Parents Circle — Families Forum, striving for peace even in the aftermath of the Hamas terrorist attack last October. I’ve quoted an Israeli whose parents were murdered by Hamas yet who weeps for Gazan children.


It’s true that Israel’s leadership is extremist, that Hamas is a misogynistic terrorist organization and that the Palestinian Authority is corrupt, autocratic and ineffective. So can these heroic efforts beneath the leadership tier by Palestinians and Israelis alike accomplish anything? The task feels Sisyphean, and the great need is not just for empathy and dialogue but also for fundamentally different policies.


Yet American and European governments should do everything possible to keep these embers glowing, to support these pioneers for peace in hopes that they can preserve space for dialogue and better policies, as happened in Northern Ireland a generation ago. If the Nassars lose Tent of Nations to violent settlers, a beacon of understanding will be extinguished.


Issa Amro, an Arab activist, has been described as a Palestinian Gandhi; when I visited him in his home in Hebron, he was nursing a broken shoulder after three Palestinian thugs beat him with iron pipes, he said. He’s not sure if they were doing Israel’s bidding or the Palestinian leadership’s, as he has been very critical of Israel as well as of Palestinian corruption.


Israeli authorities seem to regard Amro as particularly dangerous because of his commitment to nonviolence; they have arrested and tortured Amro, by his account, and shot him with rubber bullets. He said that when he was arrested on Oct. 7 “I was sexually assaulted by the Israeli soldiers” — something that he disclosed despite his embarrassment because he wanted to encourage other men and women who may have been raped or sexually abused by Israeli security forces to speak up.


Palestinian children grow up wanting revenge against Israelis for their losses and humiliations, he said. “It’s very wrong,” he added, about that yearning for revenge. “But that’s the reality.”


Some Palestinians see people like the Nassars and Amro as ineffectual or irrelevant. But in a region that seems so bleak, so caught up in cycles of escalating conflict, where extremists on one side empower extremists on the other, I think of the peacemakers as voices of our better angels. I write about them in hopes that we can collectively amplify their voices.


Amro seems fearless and has a talent for provoking Israeli soldiers — he was filmed earlier this year being beaten at a checkpoint — but his manner is gentle, and at a time when the world seems a mess, there’s much we can learn from this gentleness.


“My heart has no hate,” he told me, and then he laughed. “Otherwise it would explode.”



6) Corbyn Wins Reelection as Labour Ends 14 Years of Destructive Tory Rule

By Jake Johnson

—Common Dreams, July 5, 2024


Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn speaks following his election victory on July 5, 2024, in Islington, England. (Photo: Guy Smallman/Getty Images)

Former U.K. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn won reelection as an Independent on Thursday against a candidate from his erstwhile party as Labour—despite its unpopularity under incoming Prime Minister Keir Starmer—ended 14 years of disastrous Conservative rule at the national level with a landslide victory.


Corbyn, who last year was banned by Labour's governing body from running as a party candidate in the 2024 elections, kept the Islington North seat he has held since 1983 with a 7,000-plus vote margin over local Labour councillor Praful Nargund.


Corbyn used his victory statement to send a message to Labour, calling his win "a warning to the incoming government that dissent cannot be crushed without consequences" and "that ideas of equality, justice, and peace are eternal."


"Tonight, we celebrate. Tomorrow, we organize," said Corbyn. "The energy we have unleashed will not go to waste. We are a movement made up of all ages, backgrounds, and faiths. A movement which can win with and for people all over the country."


In 2020, Corbyn was suspended from the Labour Party following the publication of a government watchdog report alleging that, under his leadership, the party failed to adequately handle antisemitism complaints. Corbyn apologized for the failures while defending himself from relentless attacks, saying at the time that "the scale of the problem was dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media."


Starmer was elected Labour leader in April 2020, and he has since moved to stifle the party's left faction with what critics have described as "deeply anti-democratic" tactics.


Oliver Eagleton, an assistant editor at New Left Review, wrote in a New York Timesop-ed earlier this week that since the inception of his leadership, Starmer has engaged in a "merciless crackdown on the mildest forms of internal dissent."


"He expelled his predecessor, blocked left-wing candidates from standing for Parliament, proscribed various socialist groups, barred politicians from joining picket lines and introduced antidemocratic rules for leadership elections. He has also demanded a stifling level of ideological conformity," Eagleton wrote. "Lawmakers who criticize NATO face instant expulsion, and members who oppose Israel’s actions are cynically accused of antisemitism."


"This purge has turned Labour into a mirror image of the Conservatives: obsequious toward big business, advocating austerity at home and militarism abroad," he added. "It has also foreshadowed how Mr. Starmer would operate in Downing Street. He has said he intends to retain the Public Order Act, which places unprecedented restrictions on protests and makes it easier to lock up activists. He has described climate campaigners as 'contemptible' and 'pathetic,' pledging to impose harsh sentences on them. He has even backed a proposal to punish protesters who vandalize monuments with 10 years in prison."


Labour's landslide victory Thursday was a reflection of widespread discontent with nearly a decade and a half of Tory rule and the deep unpopularity of Conservative leader Rishi Sunak.


"Fourteen years, five prime ministers, four election cycles, two U.K.-wide referendums, and a global pandemic: a lot has happened since the Conservative Party entered coalition in 2010," The Guardiannoted Thursday. "But there are other, bigger figures on voters' minds: 7.6 million people on waiting lists for hospital treatment in England (three times the 2010 figure); 3% of Britons having to use a food bank, all while the cost of a weekly shop, household bills, and mortgage repayments is rising."


The advocacy group We Deserve Better said in a statement following Thursday's election that "this is a hollow victory for Labour, which is taking power as the most unpopular incoming government in U.K. political history, with the lowest vote share won by any single-party majority government."


"It's unprecedented for an opposition party entering government to have several of its leading politicians unseated, and to actively be losing votes across the country. Labour has won by default because of the Tories' implosion, not because of enthusiasm for Starmer or his Tory-lite policies," the group said. "Nationwide, Labour's vote share is lower under Starmer than it was under Jeremy in 2017 or even Blair in 2005. The Greens have triumphed by increasing their MPs from 1 to 4; Labour was trounced by Jeremy Corbyn in a historic victory; and several other independents have unseated Labour bigwigs or come close to doing so.


"Labour's heartlands are rebelling against them before they've even taken office," the statement continued. "Voters have sent them a clear message on Gaza, the climate, and austerity measures. Labour will continue to haemorrhage votes to pro-Palestine and socialist independent and Green candidates if they don't listen to their base."



7) In Rafah, We Saw Destruction and the Limits of Israel’s Gaza Strategy

Months after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that “victory is within reach,” the Israeli military escorted journalists into parts of a devastated Gazan city.

By Adam Goldman, July 7, 2024

Adam Goldman visited the Gazan city of Rafah as part of an Israeli military convoy for journalists.


Fire in a tent camp lights up the night sky.

A fire broke out at a tent camp in Rafah in May after the Israeli military dropped bombs there. Dozens of people were killed. Credit...Reuters

The armed convoy of jeeps filled with reporters rumbled into a dusty Rafah, passing flattened houses and battered apartment buildings.


As we dismounted our Humvees, a stillness gripped this swath of southern Gaza, near the border with Egypt. Slabs of concrete and twisted rebar dotted the scarred landscape. Kittens darted through the wreckage.


Streets once bustling with life were now a maze of rubble. Everyone was gone.


More than a million people have fled to avoid an Israeli onslaught that began two months ago. Many have been displaced repeatedly and now live in tent cities that stretch for miles, where they face an uncertain future as they mourn the loss of loved ones.


As Israel says it is winding down its operation against Hamas in Rafah, the Israeli military invited foreign journalists into the city on a supervised visit. The military says that it has fought with precision and restraint against Hamas fighters embedded in civilian areas.


But the death, destruction and mass displacement of civilians have left Israel increasingly isolated diplomatically.


More than 38,000 Palestinians have died in the conflict, according to the Gazan health ministry. Although that figure does not distinguish between civilians and Hamas fighters, it includes the dozens killed in May when Israel dropped a pair of 250-pound bombs on a tent camp in Rafah.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has placed the number of Palestinian dead at about 30,000 and said that about half were civilians.


The Israeli invasion was intended to destroy Hamas and free its hostages. So far, it has accomplished neither.


By the military’s count, it has killed at least 900 members of the Hamas brigade in Rafah and 15,000 Hamas fighters overall.


But three months after Mr. Netanyahu declared that “total victory is within reach,” the military acknowledges that the Rafah siege has eliminated only one-third of Hamas’s brigade. Hamas’s leadership remains intact. And roughly 120 hostages are believed to remain somewhere in Gaza, although about a third are thought to be dead.


Palestinians who fled the city have no idea when they will return and what they will find when they do. Marwan Shaath, 57, said he and his family had left behind their three-story home. “It was meant to be the family home for generations to come,” he said in an interview. His friends have sent him pictures of what is left. “It is badly hit. Half of it is down already. No walls, no windows and big parts of it were burned.”


The fighting in Rafah has been intense, Israeli officials said, with Hamas laying hundreds of booby traps. Officials showed us a video that they said showed a home outfitted with 50-gallon drinking-water tanks stuffed with remote-controlled explosives.


On Friday, the Israeli military said it had killed dozens of Hamas fighters in Rafah, and Col. Yair Zuckerman, the commander of the Nahal Infantry Brigade fighting in Rafah, taunted his Hamas counterpart as he briefed us.


“Where is the Rafah Brigade commander?” he asked.


The military supervised our visit to Rafah. We had to stay with the convoy, although Israeli officials did not review or censor our work. A representative of Hamas did not respond to text messages seeking comment.


We saw the periphery of a neighborhood that had been shredded by fighting. It was clear where Israeli forces had punched into Rafah from the south, smashing corridors for their tanks and troops. The air was thick with sand and fine debris.


Artillery, fighter jets and bulldozers had leveled buildings or reduced them to shells. From where we stood, the scale was incalculable, although it has been measured by satellites. We saw dozens of aid trucks, but it was impossible to assess relief efforts, which the United Nations has criticized as woefully inadequate.


Israel has accused Hamas of using Palestinians as human shields, positioning rocket launchers near schools and building tunnels beneath crowded neighborhoods, including in Rafah.


The military showed us photos of cameras positioned around a neighborhood, which officials said allowed Hamas to monitor Israeli forces and plan attacks against them. Israeli soldiers say they found Hamas fighting kits scattered in many homes, along with advanced weapons like Russian-made surface-to-air missiles.


Israeli officials argue that such tactics justify fighting in sometimes crowded neighborhoods, where Hamas fighters hide and stash weapons.


But Hamas’s guerrilla tactics also reflect a power imbalance between a sophisticated military and a militia that relies on smuggled weapons.


Much of that smuggling, Israeli officials say, occurs not far from where we stood, at the Rafah border crossing and in tunnels to Egypt. Stopping the flow of weapons was a key reason for Israel’s operation in Rafah. Israeli officials have described these smuggling routes as Hamas’s “oxygen.”


Despite a longstanding Israeli blockade and an Egyptian campaign to stop underground smuggling, Israel’s military spokesman told us that soldiers had found tunnels — he would not say how many — along the border. It was not clear how many of those tunnels were active before the war started.


“A lot of terror infrastructure was built next to the border,” said, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the military’s chief spokesman.


A little over a football field’s length away from the border, the military took us to a manhole-like entrance to a tunnel between a pair of damaged homes. Destroying these tunnels can be devastating to the buildings above them.


“We are ordinary people living over the ground,” Mr. Shaath said. “I don’t know what happens under the ground, and whatever is happening is not my fault as a civilian.”


More than two dozen Israeli soldiers have been killed fighting in southern Gaza, including eight last month in an explosion in Rafah that was one of the deadliest attacks on Israeli soldiers since the ground invasion war started in Gaza. While we were there, Israeli sniper fire occasionally crackled.


Israeli officials have identified nearly 700 soldiers who have been killed since the terrorist attacks of Oct. 7, when Hamas-led gunmen stormed into Israel, taking hostages and killing civilians, including women and children. Officials say about 1,200 people died that day.


One of them was Col. Jonathan Steinberg, the previous commander of Nahal. Hours after his death, Colonel Zuckerman replaced him. He told us that he and his troops planned to finish the job in Rafah.


We climbed into the jeeps and drove to another nearby spot, with a vista of the rest of Rafah extending to the sea. Admiral Hagari climbed atop a small sandy hill.


He pointed toward Tal al-Sultan, another Rafah neighborhood. Out there, he said, hostages were being held. A small group of Americans could be among them.


Freeing them, he said, required rescue operations or military pressure.


“We will bring back the hostages,” he told us. “Any one of your countries would do the same after Oct. 7.”


Abu Bakr Bashir contributed reporting from London.



8) After 9 Months of War, Israelis Call for a Cease-Fire Deal and Elections

A day of nationwide anti-government protests comes amid signs of progress toward a truce and hostage deal with Hamas, as well as continued fighting.

By Isabel Kershner, Reporting from Jerusalem, July 7, 2024


A boy cries as a woman comforts another child behind him.

Seeking refuge at the United Nations school in Nuseirat, in central Gaza, on Saturday after the Israeli airstrike. Credit...Eyad Baba/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Israelis on Sunday marked nine months since the devastating Hamas-led attack of Oct. 7 and the start of the ensuing war in Gaza with a nationwide day of anti-government protests at a time that many here view as a pivotal juncture in the conflict.


Primarily calling for a cease-fire deal with Hamas that would see hostages return from captivity and for new elections in Israel, protesters brought morning traffic to a standstill at several major intersections in cities and on highways across the country. By lunchtime, much of central Tel Aviv was blocked in one of the biggest protests in months.


Some progress has been made in recent days for a resumption of negotiations toward a tentative deal after weeks of an impasse, even as the fighting continues in Gaza, where an Israeli strike hit in the area of a U.N. school on Saturday, and across Israel’s northern border with Lebanon.


But many Israelis, among them the families of some of the hostages, fear that the cease-fire efforts could be torpedoed not only by Hamas, but also by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel who, they say, might prioritize the survival of his government over a deal that could topple it.


The leaders of two ultranationalist parties who are key elements of Mr. Netanyahu’s coalition have threatened to bring the government down if the prime minister agrees to a deal before Hamas is fully destroyed — a goal that many officials and experts consider unattainable.


The far-right parties in the governing coalition “don’t want a deal,” Shikma Bressler, a protest leader, said in a social media post early Sunday, adding, “They need Armageddon.”


“And Bibi?” Ms. Bressler added, referring to Mr. Netanyahu by his nickname. “He needs war so there won’t be elections.”


Israeli aircraft on Saturday struck in the area of a United Nations school in Nuseirat, in central Gaza, where the Israeli military said Palestinian militants had been operating out of a number of structures. At least 16 people were killed and dozens wounded in the strike, according to the Gaza health ministry, which does not distinguish between civilians and combatants. More than 38,000 Palestinians have been killed so far in Gaza, according to local health officials.


The school had become a shelter for displaced people seeking safety, the ministry added. Hamas, in a statement, called the strike a “massacre.” The Israeli military said it had taken measures to avoid civilian casualties in the strike and blamed Hamas for operating from areas crowded with Gazan civilians.


On Sunday, the Israeli military said it was continuing its operations in Rafah, the southernmost city in Gaza, and in Shajaiye, an area east of Gaza City, in the north. The air force also carried out a strike against the municipality building in Khan Younis, a large southern city from which Israeli ground forces withdrew in April.


Hamas was using the building, the military said, for military activities. Before the strike, the military said, the civilian population was evacuated from the area.


Israel’s northern border also remained volatile on Sunday, a day after Israeli aircraft carried out a deadly strike against an operative of the Lebanese Hezbollah organization in the area of Baalbek, deep inside Lebanese territory, about 40 miles northeast of Beirut.


Israel identified the target as Meitham Mustafa Altaar, describing him as a key operative in Hezbollah’s Aerial Defense Unit who had taken part in several attacks against Israel.


On Sunday, a barrage of about 20 rockets was fired from Lebanon into Israel, reaching deeper than most of the previous salvos in months of tit-for-tat cross-border clashes. One man was seriously injured by shrapnel, according to the Israeli emergency services.


At a protest calling for the release of the hostages in Tel Aviv on Saturday night, a weekly occurrence, Einav Zangauker, whose son Matan is being held hostage in Gaza, said of the renewed talks for a cease-fire, “For the first time in many months, we feel hope.”


But she added: “Netanyahu, we’ve seen how time and again you’ve torpedoed deals at the moment of truth. Our heart was shattered each time. Don’t dare break our heart again! It is your duty to return all of the citizens you forsook.”


Many Israelis are enraged over Mr. Netanyahu’s refusal so far to take any personal responsibility for the Israeli intelligence and policy failures leading up to the Oct. 7 terrorist assault, in which 1,200 people were killed, according to the Israeli authorities, and about 250 more were taken into Gaza. Of the 120 hostages remaining in Gaza, at least a third are presumed dead, officials say.


The protests on Sunday, which the organizers called a national “Day of Disturbance,” began at 6.29 a.m. — the time the Hamas-led attack began on Oct. 7 — with “wake-up calls” outside the homes of several lawmakers and ministers, including the minister of defense, Yoav Gallant.


Several tech companies announced that they would allow their staff time off to participate in the protests, which were expected to culminate in large rallies in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem later in the day. Sunday is a workday for most Israelis.


Despite recent progress in indirect contacts between Israel and Hamas, via U.S. and Arab mediators, sticking points remain, and a cease-fire deal is not considered imminent.


The talks are based on a three-stage framework first publicized by President Biden in late May and later endorsed by the United Nations Security Council.


Both sides agree on the broad outlines of a deal that would include an initial six-week cease-fire and the release of the most vulnerable civilian hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners. But Hamas is seeking assurances that Israel won’t restart the war after some hostages come home. Israel says it needs the option of resuming hostilities and will not effectively commit to a permanent cease-fire from the outset.


Gabby Sobelman and Myra Noveck contributed reporting.



9) Turnout Is High as France’s Snap Election Enters Its Final Hours

The vote will determine the composition of France’s National Assembly, and the future of President Emmanuel Macron’s second term.

By Aurelien Breeden, Reporting from Paris, Published July 6, 2024, Updated July 7, 2024


A protest against the far right in Paris on Wednesday. Credit...Louise Delmotte/Associated Press

Voters in France went to the polls in droves on Sunday in the final round of snap legislative elections. The results could force President Emmanuel Macron to govern alongside far-right opponents or usher in chronic political instability weeks before the Paris Summer Olympics.


Turnout at 5 p.m. local time was the highest in over two decades, at about 59.71 percent, the Interior Ministry said. That was much higher than during the previous legislative elections in 2022, when the participation rate at the same time was less than 38.11 percent, reflecting persistent interest in a vote that will determine the future of Mr. Macron’s second term.


Mr. Macron called the elections for the 577-seat National Assembly, France’s lower and more prominent house of Parliament, last month in a risky gamble that appeared to have largely backfired after the first round of voting last week.


Most polls close at 6 p.m. local time on Sunday, or as late as 8 p.m. in larger cities. Nationwide seat projections by polling institutes, based on preliminary results, are expected just after 8 p.m. Official results will come in throughout the night.


Here is what to watch for.


Will the far right win enough seats for an absolute majority?


That will be the key question.


The first round of voting was dominated by the nationalist, anti-immigration National Rally party. An alliance of left-wing parties called the New Popular Front came in a strong second, while Mr. Macron’s party and its allies came in third.


Seventy-six seats were won outright — roughly half by the National Rally. But the rest went to runoffs.


Over 300 districts were three-way races until over 200 candidates from left-wing parties and Mr. Macron’s centrist coalition pulled out to avoid splitting the vote and try to prevent the far right from winning.


That will make it harder, though not impossible, for the National Rally and its allies to reach an absolute majority.


Most French pollsters expect the party and its allies to win 175 to 240 seats — short of an absolute majority of 289 seats. But if the National Rally and its allies secure an absolute majority, they will almost certainly be able to form a government — and Mr. Macron, who says he will remain in office, will have to work with them.


How will the country’s leadership work?


A contentious outcome with Mr. Macron as president and the National Rally leader, Jordan Bardella, as prime minister is possible, under what France calls a cohabitation.


France’s prime minister and cabinet are accountable to the lower house, and they determine the country’s policies. But they are appointed by the president, who has extensive executive powers and is directly elected by the public.


Usually, the president and prime minister are politically aligned. (Every five years, France holds presidential and legislative elections within weeks of each other, making it likely that voters will support the same party twice.) But when the presidency and the National Assembly are at odds, the president has little choice but to appoint a prime minister from an opposing party — or someone lawmakers won’t topple with a no-confidence vote.


Cohabitation has happened before, between mainstream left-wing and conservative leaders, from 1986 to 1988, 1993 to 1995, and 1997 to 2002. But a cohabitation between Mr. Macron, a pro-European centrist, and Mr. Bardella, a Euroskeptic nationalist, would be unprecedented.


What if no one gets an absolute majority?


Polls suggest that a likely scenario is a lower house roughly divided into three blocs with conflicting agendas and, in some cases, deep animosity toward one another — the National Rally, the New Popular Front, and a reduced centrist alliance including Mr. Macron’s Renaissance party.


As it stands, no bloc appears able to find enough partners to form a majority, leaving Mr. Macron with limited options.


“French political culture is not conducive to compromise,” said Samy Benzina, a public law professor at the University of Poitiers, noting that France’s institutions are designed to produce “clear majorities that can govern on their own.”


“It would be the first time in the Fifth Republic that a government could not be assembled for lack of a solid majority,” he said.


Some analysts and politicians have suggested that a broad cross-party coalition could stretch from the Greens to more moderate conservatives. But France is not accustomed to building coalitions, and several political leaders have ruled it out.


Another possibility is a caretaker government that handles day-to-day business until there is a political breakthrough. But this, too, would be a departure from French tradition.


If none of those solutions work, the country could be headed for months of political deadlock.


Will the vote end in violence?


The campaign, one of the shortest in France’s modern history, was clouded by a tense atmosphere, racist incidents and acts of violence.


One television news program filmed a couple who support the National Rally hurling invectives at a Black neighbor, telling her to “go to the doghouse.” A television host of North African descent revealed a racist letter he had received at his home. A bakery in Avignon was burned and covered in homophobic and racist tags.


Gérald Darmanin, France’s interior minister, said on Friday that over 50 people — candidates, their substitutes, or supporters — had been “physically assaulted” during the campaign.


There are fears that postelection protests will turn violent. The authorities have deployed about 30,000 security forces around the country, including about 5,000 in the Paris region, to deal with potential unrest.


Catherine Porter contributed reporting.



10) What the Mood Is Like in France After Surprise Election Results

The final tally confirms that the left has the most seats in the National Assembly, with the far right third. Now, there’s a scramble to figure out a way forward.

By Catherine Porter, Reporting from Paris, July 8, 2024 


A crowd of people, many with their hands up. Some stand on a structure and some hold French flags.

Crowds gathered in the Place de la République in Paris after the second round of elections. They danced, hugged and congratulated one another. Credit...Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times

“And now, what do we do?” blared the front page headline of Le Parisien, a daily newspaper, as the shock of Sunday’s election results began to sink in.


The day after a historic election, France awoke to final results that none of the polls had predicted. The left-wing coalition’s New Popular Front took the most seats in the National Assembly, but nowhere near enough to form a government, followed by President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist coalition, which lost scores of seats. Finally, in third place, was the party that pollsters and pundits alike had expected to lead — the far-right National Rally.


Now the question gripping the country was who would govern France, and how.


In a country with little taste for political compromise and collaboration, it is unclear how a government can be formed and take on the important work of passing the country’s budget and enacting new laws.


On Monday morning, one question was answered, but seemingly only for now. Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, from Mr. Macron’s party and once a favorite of the president’s, offered his resignation, but Mr. Macron asked him to stay on for the time being “to ensure the country’s stability,” the Élysée Palace said.


Mr. Macron will now need to wrestle with whom he wants as prime minister. The challenge will be naming someone capable of forming a government that the newly seated lawmakers on the left and the right will not topple with a no-confidence vote.


The president called the snap election a month ago, after the Euroskeptic far right walloped his pro-European party in the elections for the European Parliament. The domestic vote, Mr. Macron had explained, would offer a “clarification” for the country. Put simply, he was asking his fellow countrymen if they could really allow the far right into power when so many consider its views a danger to society.


In the end, the answer seemed to be that many could not envision that scenario. That included the left-wing parties and some of Mr. Macron’s centrists, who came together to form a so-called dam against the National Rally by withdrawing scores of candidates in three-way races.


Still, the country seemed more muddled than before, with three big political blocs, each with a vastly different vision and plan for the country. The electoral map showed enduring divisions — with Paris and its suburbs voting for the left and center, and the regions in the far north and south along the Mediterranean voting for the far right.


Le Parisien summed up the state of affairs this way, in the coda to its editorial: “When the clarification plunges into the thickest fog.”


The country was mired in “the biggest confusion,” announced an editorial in the conservative daily Le Figaro. “The National Assembly of tomorrow will be more ungovernable than yesterday’s.”


The editorial vowed to readers to “chart a path in the fog of this crisis without end.”


“Everything is possible and everything is imaginable,” said Jean-Philippe Derosier, a professor of public law at the University of Lille, who was interviewed at length on a special radio program dedicated to the election on France Info in the morning.


Much of the country was in shock. Going into the election, all of the polls had suggested that the far-right National Rally was poised to win the most seats. The question was whether it would win enough to assemble an absolute majority and take over both the prime minister’s office and cabinet appointments.


“The flip — a spectacular reversal,” read the headline of an editorial in La Croix, a Catholic daily.


To some, the results seemed a clear rejection of the National Rally’s anti-immigration ideology, even though the party and its allies made big electoral gains, securing about 140 seats, about 50 more than the National Rally had before.


The front page of the business daily Les Echos was covered by a large photograph of the party’s president, Jordan Bardella, with the short biting headline: “The slap.”


The reaction in financial markets was muted on Monday morning, with France’s CAC 40 stock index steady, although down nearly 4 percent since the election was announced on June 9.


But investors have expressed concern that a gridlocked Parliament will make it harder for a heavily indebted France to mend its finances, which could pose problems for the government down the road.


“France’s budget problems have not disappeared,” said Alex Everett, an investment manager at Abrdn, an investment company based in Britain. “Macron’s attempt to force unity has instead fueled yet more discord.”


The sense of relief and joy in the country’s capital — which blocked out the far right — was palpable.


People thronged into the city’s perennial place of protest, the Place de la République. They danced, they hugged, they congratulated one another. Fireworks exploded overhead.


“I am relieved,” said Charlotte Cosmao, 33, a set designer, who was at the edge of the square drinking a celebratory beer with a friend. “I am happy.”


In a different Place de la République 140 miles southwest of Paris in the city of Le Mans, a smaller celebration occurred. The region had also blocked the far right from getting any seats. One of the defeated candidates was Marie-Caroline Le Pen, a daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen, a founder of the party. (Another daughter, Marine Le Pen, is a longtime leader of the National Rally, and won her seat outright in the first round of the election.)


“It’s unbelievable and completely unexpected,” Damien Fabre, 36, a history teacher, said at the celebration in Le Mans, while someone nearby screamed that there were no fascists in the region to a chorus of cheers. “It changes the whole political future of this country.”


“We were beginning to get used to the idea of having a relative majority for the National Rally,” said Mr. Fabre, who was involved in the campaign of a candidate for the far-left France Unbowed party. “Now a way for the left has opened: though it may not be able to implement its platform, at least it will be able to be in an offensive position and set the pace.”


Though the night ended with some confrontations on the streets with the police in parts of the country, the vote did not give way to a surge of violence that many, including the interior minister, anticipated. Some 30,000 police officers had spread across the country — 5,000 in and around Paris, where the far right is particularly unpopular and where the authorities worried that protests might turn violent if it won. Many shop owners in the city had boarded up their storefronts along the capital’s most famous street, the Champs-Élysées, expecting looting and riots that did not happen.


Among supporters of the far right, many drawn to its promises of tax relief, less immigration and increased state services, there was clear disappointment.


“They call us fascists, but that doesn’t exist anymore,” Claire Marais-Beuil, a newly elected National Rally politician, said at her small victory party in a local cafe in Beauvais, in northern France.


“I’m worried for my France,” she added. “It’s going to become ungovernable, and all of the things that we wanted to do will be blocked or difficult.”


There was also a question of whether the left’s win was more a rejection of the far right than an endorsement of the left-wing coalition’s platform. The newly formed coalition had called on voters last week to help it form a barrier — the “dam” or “Republican front” — against the surging National Rally to keep it from power. It even pulled 130 of its candidates from three-way races and threw its support behind opponents to beat the National Rally.


The left-leaning Libération newspaper’s editorial gave credit to the left for defeating what it termed a xenophobic right. The editorial began: “Thanks to whom? Thanks to the Republican Front.”


But that vote, it said, obliged the left-wing New Popular Front to “live up to the maturity of voters.” The editorial asked the coalition to be humble, tone down its partisanship and address many voters’ deep feelings of downward mobility — déclassement in French — that feed the far right.


Do not forget, it tells the left’s leaders, that the “extreme right is more powerful than ever in our country.”


Liz Alderman contributed reporting from Beauvais, France; Ségolène Le Stradic from Le Mans, France; and Aida Alami from Paris.



11) Russia Strikes Children’s Hospital in Deadly Barrage Across Ukraine

President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia had launched at least 40 missiles at targets across Ukraine, and he condemned the strike on the country’s largest children’s hospital.

By Marc Santora and Brendan Hoffman, July 8, 2024


A view of a damaged building.

While a medical building about 150 yards away sustained the most damage, the explosion also blasted out the windows of the main hospital and sent shrapnel tearing into it. Credit...Thomas Peter/Reuters

A Russian strike ripped into a crowded children’s hospital in the center of Kyiv on Monday, part of a large-scale aerial bombardment that killed at least 20 people in cities across Ukraine.


President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine said that at least 40 long-range missiles had been fired at targets across the country in the deadly barrage, and that people were trapped under the rubble at the children’s hospital. There were also reports of damage in central and eastern Ukraine, raising questions about the state of Ukraine’s air defenses just a day before NATO leaders were due to meet in Washington to discuss how to bolster them.


At least 50 people were wounded in the barrage, according to Ihor Klymenko, the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Officials cautioned that the toll was likely to rise.


In Kyiv, the local authorities said that at least 17 people had been killed and another 41 wounded. It was not clear how many of the casualties were at the Ohmatdyt Children’s Hospital or at other locations in the city, where fires were reported after debris from missiles that had been shot out of the sky crashed into residential neighborhoods.


The children’s hospital is Ukraine’s largest. Shortly after the strike, a woman carried a small child covered in dust and blood near the entrance.


A desperate search and rescue operation was underway there on Monday afternoon; the mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, said more than 100 rescuers were on the scene. Outside the hospital, civilians formed a human chain to help clear the rubble brick by brick.


Doctors and others inside the hospital — which treats 20,000 children annually — shared images of bloodstained hallways, collapsed ceilings and destroyed operating rooms.


Dr. Tymofii Dvorovyi, a surgeon at the hospital, said he had managed to get his patients into the bomb shelter just before the strike.


“I don’t know about other departments,” he said. “There were surgeons who were performing operations when the missile hit.”


After the explosion, he said, he saw scores of “badly injured” people staggering through the halls.


A two-story medical building situated about 150 yards from the main hospital sustained the most extensive damage, with the structure completely collapsed. The explosion also blasted out the windows of the main hospital and sent shrapnel tearing into the building.


“Now, we are evacuating the patients to another hospital,” Dr. Dvorovyi said.


Viktor Lyashko, the Ukrainian health minister, said that intensive care units, operating rooms and the oncology department had all sustained damage.


Mr. Zelensky condemned the attack on the hospital, which he said “has been saving and restoring the health of thousands of children.”


“Russia cannot claim ignorance of where its missiles are flying and must be held fully accountable for all its crimes,” he said in a statement. “It is very important that the world does not remain silent about this now, and that everyone sees what Russia is and what it is doing.”



12) New Pushback From Netanyahu Narrows Hopes for a Truce in Gaza

By Patrick Kingsley reporting from Jerusalem, July 8, 2024


A large crowd of demonstrators, some with Israeli flags, seen from above.

Demonstrators gathered in Tel Aviv on Sunday in recognition of it being nine months since the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attacks on Israel. Credit...Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu drew criticism in Israel on Monday after he reiterated his opposition to a permanent cease-fire with Hamas, just as hopes were rising that a truce could be within reach.


Critics said his intervention narrowed the chances of a deal in which Hamas, which seeks a permanent truce, would free at least some of the Israeli hostages still held in Gaza.


Negotiations over a deal continued on Monday in Cairo, where Israeli officials gathered for talks mediated by the Egyptian government. After months of failed negotiations, hopes for a deal were revived last week amid reports that Hamas had become more flexible on key areas, leading Israeli officials to fly to Qatar, another mediator between Hamas and Israel.


But Mr. Netanyahu’s statement on Sunday night dampened those expectations, since it appeared to lessen the chances of a compromise with Hamas over the length and permanence of the cease-fire.


“Any deal will allow Israel to resume fighting until all of the objectives of the war have been achieved,” his statement said, reiterating his long-held position that the war must continue until Israel has destroyed Hamas’s military and governing abilities.


To Mr. Netanyahu’s critics, his intervention — at such a sensitive moment in the negotiations — risked derailing the efforts to secure the release of roughly 120 hostages Israeli officials say are still held in Gaza, both dead and alive, after being captured by Hamas and its allies at the start of the war in October.


“We’re at a critical moment in the negotiations. The lives of the hostages depend on them. Why issue such provocative statements?” Yair Lapid, the opposition leader, wrote on social media. “How does that contribute to the process?”


Analysts said that Mr. Netanyahu’s intervention showed how he is trying to balance the effort to free the hostages with his desire to hold together his coalition of ultranationalist and ultrareligious political parties.


Mr. Netanyahu’s grip on power relies on the support of two far-right parties opposed to any agreement that would leave Hamas in power in Gaza. Critics say this has made him wary of committing to a hostage release deal that could lead to the collapse of his coalition and prompt early elections that polling suggests he would lose.


“The simple truth is as follows: Benjamin Netanyahu doesn’t want a hostage deal,” Ben Caspit, a biographer and prominent critic of the prime minister, wrote on social media. “He might be willing to get the hostages back, but not at the expense of his coalition’s well-being. It’s that simple.”


Others more sympathetic to Mr. Netanyahu say he may be using hardball negotiating tactics in order to force bigger compromises from Hamas. With each passing day, Israel’s military operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah further weakens Hamas’s position there, said Nadav Shtrauchler, a former strategist for the prime minister. “The efforts of the military in Gaza may help him get more from Hamas,” Mr. Shtrauchler said.


Additionally, Mr. Netanyahu may be trying to stave off the collapse of his coalition until the end of July, when Parliament goes on recess. Without a sitting Parliament, lawmakers would find it far harder to bring down the government, giving Mr. Netanyahu more room to strike a deal that his coalition partners might resist, Mr. Shtrauchler said.


“He’s trying to create room for maneuver — and for that, he needs time,” Mr. Shtrauchler said.


Gabby Sobelman contributed reporting from Rehovot, Israel.



A Hezbollah strike injures a U.S. citizen in Israel, and other news.

·      A cross-border strike by the Lebanon-based armed group Hezbollah wounded a 31-year-old U.S. citizen in Israel on Sunday, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, who said that the man did not work for the American government. The condition of the man, who has not been named, has since worsened, Israeli news media reported on Monday, citing hospital sources. Israel and Hezbollah have for months traded cross-border strikes, leading to concerns that the war in Gaza might ignite a second conflict.


·      Nine out of every 10 people in Gaza — or around two million people — have been displaced from their homes in the nine months of war since Oct. 7, the United Nations estimated on Friday. The enclave’s population stood at around 2.2 million before the conflict. More than 38,000 people have been killed, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza.



13) The Israeli military returned to an area of Gaza City where it said Hamas had re-established itself.

By Hiba Yazbek and Abu Bakr Bashir reporting from Jerusalem and London, July 8, 2024


Debris in front of a smoking damaged building.

Debris and rubble outside a school building in Gaza City on Sunday. Credit...Omar Al-Qattaa/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The Israeli military said on Monday that it had started a new ground operation in Gaza City overnight, the latest in a series of raids targeting areas where it says Hamas militants have re-established themselves since Israeli forces turned their focus to other parts of Gaza.


Palestinian news media reported heavy bombardment and the presence of Israeli troops as thousands of Palestinians evacuated the area.


The ground operation was prompted by “intelligence indicating the presence of Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist infrastructure, operatives, weapons, and investigation and detention rooms,” the military said in a statement.


It added that the area it had moved into included the headquarters of the main United Nations agency that assists Palestinian refugees, known as UNRWA. Juliette Touma, the agency’s communications director, said it did not have any information about the military’s actions, but she noted that the agency had left its headquarters in October.


Israeli forces have repeatedly found themselves returning to parts of Gaza that they had previously left, especially in the north, which they invaded in October, as Hamas regroups amid the chaos of the nine-month war. The fighting has flared even as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has spoken of a new, less intense phase of the war.


The operation shows that Israel is still struggling to achieve one of its stated objectives in the war: wiping out Hamas, which organized and led the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel that set off the war in Gaza.


The military said it had warned civilians about its activity and opened a “defined route” for their evacuation. Wafa, the Palestinian Authority’s official news agency, reported “a massive exodus of thousands” of Palestinians from the area toward the northwestern neighborhoods of Gaza City.


The agency said Israeli military vehicles had entered areas in southwestern Gaza City, including the Tal al-Hawa neighborhood and the southern outskirts of the upscale Al-Rimal neighborhood. It added that residents reported heavy aircraft and artillery fire that killed and wounded dozens of people.


Ahmed Saleh, 44, who lives near Al-Rimal with 13 family members, said in a phone interview that the strikes began suddenly, “all kinds of strikes — tank shelling, artillery and aircraft.” He said they began receiving calls and text messages from the Israeli military telling them to evacuate, but only after the bombardment had begun.


Mr. Saleh said he managed to grab a bag with important documents and some clothes before fleeing with his family, including his 70-year-old mother, whose wheelchair broke on the way because of the bombed-out roads.


After borrowing another wheelchair, the family walked for another hour amid continued strikes, until they arrived at the house of Mr. Saleh’s sister outside the evacuation zone.


Mr. Saleh said that while fleeing his neighborhood, he saw “dozens of people” who had been killed or injured. He told people along the way to move west, “but they had to go east to collect their stuff and rescue their families,” he said. Many were caught in the bombardment, and “no one could reach them for help,” he said.


The Palestinian Red Crescent said in a statement that its emergency and rescue teams had evacuated at least 30 wounded people from a hospital in the Rimal neighborhood to the Indonesian Hospital, which is outside the evacuation zone.



14) France’s Far-Left Firebrand: Ready to Govern?

Jean-Luc Mélenchon led his coalition to a narrow victory in elections. But even some of his allies bristle at the thought of the combative former Trotskyist becoming prime minister.

By Adam Nossiter, Reporting from Paris, July 9, 2024


Jean-Luc Mélenchon and others on an outdoor stage with fists raised as a crowd cheers. Mr. Mélenchon stands at a lectern with the label, "Nouveau Front Populaire."

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, right, after the second round of French legislative elections on Sunday. His tone and hard-line stance have given him a devoted, youthful following. Credit...Thomas Padilla/Associated Press

Emphatic, pugnacious and demanding: The style met the moment in the far-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s speech to a fired-up crowd of thousands celebrating victory in Sunday’s French legislative elections.


Standing before supporters in the working-class 20th arrondissement of Paris, Mr. Mélenchon addressed himself to President Emmanuel Macron, and not politely. “The president should either resign or name one of us prime minister,” he declared.


Other leftist leaders have said that there should be “discussions” about the future of the country. Not this one. The crowd on Sunday roared.


Mr. Mélenchon’s tone and hard-line stance have given him a devoted, youthful following — the only leftist leader with one — and made him both adored and hated, marginalized and central in French politics. More French have a negative opinion of him, 73 percent, than they do of Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right National Rally. But he also attracts large crowds who hang on his every word, as they did on Sunday.


Now he is necessarily at the center of the discussion of what might lie ahead for France: his brand of leftism or the milder form represented by his critics within the winning leftist coalition, the New Popular Front. His party, France Unbowed, won the most seats in Parliament, 75, in the coalition.


He has said the person chosen to lead the government should be himself. Unlike the other leaders on the left, he has come close to the presidency, nearly making it to the runoff two years ago. He told France 5 television on June 22 that “very obviously” he was ready to be prime minister. “I intend to govern this country,” he said.


It is a prospect that even members of Mr. Mélenchon’s own coalition, wary of what is viewed as his intermittent extremism, have vowed will never happen. “If he really wants to help the New Popular Front, he should put himself off to the side,” said François Hollande, the mild-mannered former president, a Socialist and now newly elected deputy, two weeks ago. “He should just shut up.”


He is not going to, and that is both a source of his support and his major problem with the others in the leftist coalition that almost immediately threatens to fracture despite its narrow victory on Sunday.


“The problem they will have, when the president looks for a new government, the others don’t want Mélenchon,” said Gérard Grunberg, a political scientist and research director emeritus at the National Center for Scientific Research. “He makes a real union of the left impossible. He’s very provocative. The left is totally disunited.”


For now, France is without a government, and it is not clear how it will get one. No party or alliance won a majority in the elections. Despite that fact, Mr. Mélenchon said on Sunday, “We’re not going to cancel a page or a comma of our program.”


That program is a redistributionist, egalitarian, hostile-to-capitalism economic vision that was inspired in large part from Mr. Mélenchon’s 2022 presidential platform.


On Sunday, he spoke of the coalition’s economic plans as if he owned them: raising the monthly after-tax minimum wage to 1,600 euros, from 1,398 euros (or about $1,700 from about $1,500) — “We’ll decree it,” Mr. Mélenchon said; freezing prices on food, energy and fuel; $162 billion in taxes on the rich. Other elements include payments to households for costs associated with their children’s education. The right, and Mr. Macron, have criticized it as adding an unbearable fiscal burden to an already deeply indebted country.


Mr. Mélenchon didn’t even have to bring up another signature element in the left’s platform: “Retirement at 60!” the youthful crowd began chanting spontaneously.


It is hard to imagine Mr. Macron appointing Mr. Mélenchon prime minister. They are not fans of each other. Mr. Macron has compared the leftist’s political movement to the far right National Rally. Mr. Mélenchon is happy to return the compliment.


“Under his baton, France has become a global example of police violence and government abuse of power, in a regime that is supposed to be democratic,” Mr. Mélenchon wrote of the president in his 2023 book, “We Can Do Better! Toward a Citizens’ Revolution,” which was not translated.


“Emmanuel Macron is dawdling, deliberately dragging his feet,” Mr. Mélenchon said Tuesday after arriving at the National Assembly. “He’s holding things up to hang on to power as long as he can.”


Mr. Mélenchon fights with the media, targeting individual reporters, professes hate for the United States and love for leftist Latin American dictators whose prolixity he shares. He has offered praise for authoritarian regimes in China, Cuba and Venezuela. “The Yankees represent everything I detest,” he told Le Monde in 2011. “A pretentious and arrogant empire, made up of ignoramuses, of pitiful leaders.”


A former Trotskyist, longtime senator from the Paris exurbs and onetime government minister under the pragmatic Socialist prime minister Lionel Jospin, Mr. Mélenchon is a reader of Faulkner who left the Socialists in 2008 to found his own party, moving further and further left.


He has refused to condemn Hamas as a terrorist organization, has fought publicly with the leaders of Jewish organizations in France and is regularly accused of antisemitism, which he denies. He sometimes traffics insinuations that are stereotypes, once saying, for instance, that a Jewish former economy minister, Pierre Moscovici, didn’t “think French” but thought “international finance.”


“There is at least an ambiguity there that favors antisemitism,” Mr. Grunberg said.


Patrick Weil, another political scientist, agreed: “There’s a limit to Mélenchon. He’s considered by a big part of the population as dangerous and antisemitic.”


When Mr. Mélenchon said on Sunday that a top priority would be to “recognize as quickly as possible the state of Palestine,” the crowd erupted in roars of “Free Palestine.” As at other Mélenchon rallies, kaffiyehs and Palestinian flags were much in evidence.


One of his longtime heroes is Maximilien Robespierre, the most bloodstained of the French revolutionaries, and during the campaign he showed his own authoritarian side, purging five members of his France Unbowed party who had often disagreed with him. “Our democracy deserves better than you,” François Ruffin, an independent-minded deputy and party member who was not one of those purged, posted on social media.


Yet he has a formula — populist economics to appeal to hard-up youths, fierce hostility toward Israel to appeal to working-class French Muslims in the suburbs, anti-American and anti-Europe rhetoric, and a pro-immigrant stance — that proved to be a winner in this election. Many in the crowd on Sunday cheering him on were of Arab and African origin. “The French people are not a religion, not a skin color,” Mr. Mélenchon said.


He is the rare French politician who speaks approvingly of immigration, employing the term “creolization” to describe his country, as he did Sunday. “That is very positive,” Mr. Weil said. “He integrates into citizenship young people of North African and African origin. He says France has become a melting pot. It’s super important.”


It is one of the many things that has earned him supporters. In a pre-emptive move on Monday, one of France Unbowed’s leaders, Mathilde Panot, told the RTL radio station that Mr. Mélenchon was “absolutely not disqualified” to be prime minister.


There were echoes of his hero Robespierre, who presided over the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution, in his rhetoric Sunday night.


“The government of the New Popular Front will have no other authority than what the people give it,” he said — a line that could have been written 230 years ago by Robespierre, a man who ceaselessly proclaimed that “the people” were the only source of government authority.


“It’s not the politics of the past that will continue,” Mr. Mélenchon said, “it’s the people who have surged up from all the working-class neighborhoods.”



15) A departing Israeli military leader denounces Jewish settler violence in the West Bank.

By Ephrat Livni, July 9, 2024

"Israel seized control of the West Bank from Jordan in 1967 during a war with three Arab states, and Israeli civilians have since settled there with both the tacit and explicit approval of the government, living under Israeli civil law while their Palestinian neighbors are subject to Israeli military law."


An aerial view of a hilltop dotted with low rectangular buildings.

Evyatar, in the northern West Bank, is one of five settler outposts that Israel recently decided to give legal status. Settlements in the territory are widely considered to be illegal under international law. Credit...Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times

Amid rising tensions between Jewish settlers and Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and new moves by the Israeli government to expand its hold on the territory, an Israeli general on Monday issued a harsh rebuke of the government’s policies there and condemned rising “nationalist crime” by Jewish settlers.


Maj. Gen. Yehuda Fuks, the outgoing chief of Israel’s Central Command, which is responsible for the country’s military forces in the West Bank, said at a departure ceremony that a “strong and functioning” Palestinian Authority was in Israel’s security interest.


The general’s statement appeared to be a swipe at Israel’s far-right finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich, who is himself a settler and who has been crippling the authority by withholding tax funds that Israel collects on its behalf in the roughly 40 percent of the West Bank that the authority administers.


General Fuks also expressed dismay over an increase in settler violence in the West Bank, which is home to about 2.7 million Palestinians and a Jewish settler population that has grown to well over 500,000. An extremist minority of violent settlers, he said, had been undermining Israel’s reputation internationally and sowing fear among Palestinians. “That, to me, is not Judaism,” he said. “At least not what I was raised on in my father’s and mother’s home. That is not the way of the Torah.”


Israel seized control of the West Bank from Jordan in 1967 during a war with three Arab states, and Israeli civilians have since settled there with both the tacit and explicit approval of the government, living under Israeli civil law while their Palestinian neighbors are subject to Israeli military law.


The international community largely views Israeli settlements in the West Bank as illegal, and many of them are illegal under Israeli law but are tolerated by the government. Many outposts that began as illegal under Israeli law have subsequently been legitimized by the government, and Palestinians have long argued that they are a creeping annexation that turns land needed for any independent Palestinian state into an unmanageable patchwork.


Last year, the United Nations reported that attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank had surged in the weeks following the Oct. 7 attacks that set off the war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas, with at least 115 killed, more than 2,000 injured and nearly 1,000 others forcibly displaced from their homes, citing violence and intimidation by Israeli forces and settlers.


General Fuks argued that terrifying the Palestinians living alongside Jews was “a dangerous mistake” and that the actions of violent Jewish settlers threatened Israel’s security.


But Mr. Smotrich has been vocal about wanting Israel to claim all of the West Bank. Last month, he struck a deal with ministers to release some money withheld from the Palestinian Authority in exchange for the legalization of five more Jewish outposts, and last week, the finance ministry released about $136 million.


Mr. Smotrich said in a post on social media that day that he was working with planning authorities on approving more than 5,000 additional housing units in the West Bank. “We’re building the good country and thwarting the creation of a Palestinian state,” he said.


Last month an Israeli ministry approved the largest seizure of West Bank land since the 1993 Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestinians, claiming about five square miles in the Jordan Valley, according to Peace Now, an Israeli group that monitors settler activity. Israel has seized roughly nine square miles of the territory this year, making 2024 by far the peak year for appropriations, Peace Now said.


While settlers and ministers are defiant, their activities are a source of tension for Israel with other nations, including its ally the United States, at a time when it is increasingly isolated in the world over its conduct of the war in Gaza.


“Settlements continue to be counterproductive to a two-state solution,” John Kirby, the national security spokesman for the White House, said in a briefing with reporters on Monday. “We don’t support that.”


Johnatan Reiss contributed reporting.



16) Residents Flee as Israeli Troops Push Deeper Into Gaza City

By Hiba Yazbek and Iyad Abuheweila reporting from Jerusalem and Istanbul, July 9, 2024


A family on and around a cart pulled by a donkey.

A Palestinian family with their belongings in Gaza City on Monday. Credit...Omar Al-Qattaa/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

When the Israeli military started scaling back its campaign in Gaza City early this year, the city’s residents thought the worst was over, and some soon moved back to its shattered blocks from other parts of Gaza.


Now, a new Israeli ground offensive is expanding into large areas of the city and people are fleeing once again, with even fewer options for refuge than before.


The Israeli military reported Tuesday that it was pressing on for a second day into neighborhoods in the center and west of the city, targeting areas where it says Hamas militants have re-established themselves in the months since it turned its focus to other parts of Gaza.


The pattern has repeated itself across the territory, as critics say Israel has done little to fill the power vacuum left behind when its troops move on. The latest raid was coupled with evacuation orders for several neighborhoods in the city and areas west of it, and crowds of people were scrambling to get out.


Zainab al-Khaldi, a lawyer and researcher with UNICEF who was working at a school-turned-shelter in Al-Daraj, one of the areas that the Israeli military moved into on Monday, described a frantic effort to figure out which way to go after the shelter where she was staying came under artillery fire with no warning on Monday evening.


“People went crazy and started running in all directions,” she said in a phone interview. Ms. al-Khaldi said she saw more than 20 people who were wounded by the shelling, “and no one could reach them to help.”


The military was already conducting a separate operation in the city, in the Shajaiye neighborhood in the east, which entered its 12 day on Tuesday. The Israeli military said it was “engaged in close-quarters combat” above and below ground with Palestinian militants. It said it had killed more than 150 militants in Shajaiye and “located tunnel shafts and significant tunnel routes.” The United Nations office of humanitarian affairs said 60,000 to 80,000 people were displaced on the first night of that raid.


About 20 minutes after the shelter in Al-Daraj was hit, Ms. al-Khaldi said she and others there started getting text messages and automated phone calls from the Israeli military instructing them to evacuate to the west. People started to do so, but many felt trapped as fighting raged in several areas nearby.


“If we wanted to go east to Shajaiye, there’s bombing,” she said. “If we wanted to go toward Al-Ahli Hospital there’s bombing,” describing a facility where people have been sheltering in central Gaza City.


“There was danger in all places,” she said.


Ms. al-Khaldi and a crowd of others headed west “under an insane amount of fire from quadcopters,” she said, before she was able to find shelter in the home of some she knows.


“This was not our first displacement and it will not be our last,” she said.


Humanitarian groups have condemned the new Israeli incursions and evacuation orders. The U.N. Human Rights Office said in a statement on Monday that it was “appalled” by the orders issued to Gaza City residents, “many of whom have been forcibly displaced multiple times.” It said the orders were confusing and often told people to move to combat areas.


The main U.N. agency that assists Palestinian refugees, known as UNRWA, said in a post on X that the displacements meant that “people have to move back to destroyed areas despite the threat of unexploded ordnance.”


Wafa, the Palestinian Authority’s official news agency, reported that dozens of Palestinians were killed and wounded in the neighborhoods of Al-Daraj, Al-Tuffah and the Old City amid intense Israeli bombardment. The agency added that Israeli attacks had also targeted Deir al Balah, an area in central Gaza where many of those fleeing had headed.


The Palestinian Red Crescent said in a statement that all of its smaller clinics and emergency rooms in Gaza City were “out of service” because they were located in the evacuation zones.


Rawan Sheikh Ahmad contributed reporting.



17) Why Weeds Are Worth Reconsidering

We’re told we should get rid of them. But one person’s menace can be another person’s medicine.

By Jennifer Kabat, July 9, 2024

"...in Britain property can be unsaleable if knotweed is found nearby. Lenders can refuse to back a mortgage. This weed, a relic of Europe’s collecting and conquest, now challenges the smooth functioning of capitalism."


An illustration of a hand holding plantlike figures, some of which appear to have face profiles.
Illustration by Lydia Ortiz

I love weeds because I am a bad gardener, and I am a bad gardener because I cannot weed. The work seems violent. What might I kill or cut off? I also cannot mow. Haphazard paths crisscross my yard, enough to avoid ticks, and the vegetable beds are full of plants most people would call weeds: docks, dandelions, broadleaf plantain and mallow.


Just how a plant is designated a weed and not an herb or a flower involves complex histories of medicine, food, language and migration. I realized that if I learned about these unwanted plants, I wouldn’t have to battle them. I began to study websites like the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Biotechnology Information (N.C.B.I.) for studies on weeds’ chemical and medicinal properties, or the Global Biodiversity Information Facility’s database of occurrences to see how and when plants have traveled. Take Achillea millefolium, yarrow, its name a hint; Achilles supposedly carried the herb to stanch his soldiers’ wounds. Its lacy-leaved stalks are linked by runners spreading among my patio’s paving stones. Broadleaf plantain, with its thick, veined leaves, hugs the ground as if to avoid attention. It too has been used on wounds and followed white settlers across North America and came to be called white man’s foot.


In the weeds I find a palimpsest of capitalism and colonialism, a living history of globalization. In the 1840s, a Bavarian doctor working for the Dutch East India Company shipped Japanese knotweed back to Europe. Soon after, he sent samples to Kew Gardens, and later the bush was described as “handsome in rough places.” It was eventually deployed to stabilize banks and ditches.


Knotweed grows down the street from me. In spring, the heart-shaped leaves don’t just line the roadside but pierce the road itself, puncturing the tarmac. The doctor who first shipped it back noted the roots’ use in Japanese and Chinese medicine, and now they’re being investigated as a possible cure for Lyme disease. The tender shoots taste of rhubarb and asparagus. I feel a perverse glee eating them. Termed an “escaped ornamental,” knotweed, I think, defies the orientalism of its original export. Today, even when so much wealth is held in real estate, in Britain property can be unsaleable if knotweed is found nearby. Lenders can refuse to back a mortgage. This weed, a relic of Europe’s collecting and conquest, now challenges the smooth functioning of capitalism.


A Mohawk artist and language educator wrote to me about these weeds I love, “In spite of having potential medicinal properties, they have destroyed our ability to access our medicinal plants, to practice our ceremonies, to practice our material culture.” The plants, she went on, have as much impact “as any human invasion.” She’s right — many were brought here by settlers to make the land more familiar or arrived hidden among grains used in farming. One such plant, the one I struggle with, is garlic mustard.


It’s one of the year’s earliest wild edibles. The flavor is in the name, and it’s easy to guess why it was brought to the United States. Its foliage rises from the leaf litter like a bouquet, a fistful of green-green-green suggesting spring itself. I eat them and hate them, not for the taste (they are tasty) but because they supplant the ephemerals: trilliums that can take nearly a decade to reach maturity, or jack-in-the-pulpit that can change sex in middle age, and the trout lilies whose colonies can survive hundreds of years. Garlic mustard is allelopathic, meaning it can produce an herbicide that stunts the growth of these flowers I adore. Trying to find a way to appreciate the plant, I started picking its blooms. A bouquet of them sits on my desk, the delicate white petals nodding in my direction. I watch, beguiled, as they transform into thrusting green seed heads that look like something Walt Whitman would conjure. I stare at the siliques, as the seedpods are called — the word itself sounds erotic — and turn to them for a different model for how to be in the world.


Whitman writes of weeds in “Leaves of Grass.” They come just after the loafing and the sex. He talks of mullein and pokeweed: “Limitless are leaves, stiff or drooping in the fields.” He goes on about grasses. “Tenderly will I use you,” he professes to their blades. He uses them as a metaphor for boundlessness, for immensity, for love. Like Whitman, I turn to them for their multiplicity, for how they exist and reproduce. Weeds can be asexual, bisexual, clonal. They thwart notions of binary sexuality. Pigweeds can self-pollinate. Other weeds propagate by extending a leaf, stalk or stolon to spread. They refuse to stay in the boxes we create for them. This is true of all plants, but especially for the ones we call weeds. In them I see intimations of what’s possible and a promiscuity that flouts the strictures that colonialism and capitalism have built.


The first time the G.B.I.F. database identifies garlic mustard in the United States is June 1, 1870, a few blocks from what is now Prospect Park in Brooklyn. I think of Whitman living and writing there, walking in the park 15 years after “Leaves of Grass” was first published. Did he pass the plant? What did he see? I know he was depressed that year. I imagine his pleasure, though, watching the bounding green seed heads, sexy and irrepressible. Now in early June in the park, along the road in the shade, you too might find the siliques waving in the breeze.



18) Forces on Both Left and Right Battle for Europe’s Political Soul

A coarsening of public discourse and contempt for mainstream parties have politicians on both sides denouncing what they say are extreme positions by their opponents, analysts say.

By Andrew Higgins, July 10, 2024,

Andrew Higgins has reported on politics across Western and Eastern Europe for more than three decades.


A crowd mills around a fire in a city plaza under a statue.

Celebrating France’s election results in Paris on Sunday. The leftist coalition won the most seats in the lower chamber of Parliament, but analysts fear political gridlock. Credit...Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times

Primed to celebrate victory but left explaining why his party finished third, the leader of France’s hard-right National Rally blamed Sunday’s surprise election result on the “caricature” of his party as extremist. That “disinformation,” he said, handed victory to “formations of the extreme left.”


The speech to glum supporters on election night by Jordan Bardella, leader of the nationalist party formerly known as the National Front, captured a Europe-wide trend: intense political polarization in which each side denounces the other as “extremist.”


Europe is far from what the British historian Eric Hobsbawm termed the “age of extremes” in the 20th century, when the continent succumbed to the twin extremist ideologies of fascism and communism. There are no violent street battles in Berlin, Paris or Vienna as there were before and sometimes after World War II between rival camps, or urban terror campaigns like those in the 1970s and ’80s by the would-be left-wing revolutionaries of Germany’s Red Army Faction and France’s Direct Action.


Instead, today’s battles are mostly confined to hurling insults across a widening and increasingly poisonous political divide, though an assassination attempt in May against the prime minister of Slovakia showed that the ghosts of past violence were still lurking.


“Don’t underestimate style. It often gives the true message. Substance in democracy is in the style — in the unwritten rules of behavior,” said Slavoj Zizek, a Slovenian philosopher who describes himself as a “moderately conservative communist.”


The main divide is no longer defined by ideology. Both ends of the political spectrum have much in common in their economic and foreign policy views, including a distrust of NATO and sympathy for Russia, and in their shared contempt for establishment “elites” they see as masters of a self-serving political center.


The most divisive issue is whether nationalism offers salvation from the shocks of an increasingly interconnected world, such as immigration and economic dislocation, or a threat to liberty and even to democracy. In this political world, there are no longer opponents, only enemies to be reviled as extremist.


Mr. Zizek lamented that on both the left and right when he said, “Everyone is calling people they don’t agree with extremist.”


“We are in sad and difficult times and this label is very dangerous,” he went on. “Democracy means being open to difference. It presupposes that we share an understanding of basic values and certain basic manners.”


Whether this polarization amounts to a threat is a matter of debate. Neither the raucous right nor the anti-system strain of the left represented by France’s Jean-Luc Mélenchon, whose grouping of parties got the most seats on Sunday, has the support to be a truly disruptive force where institutions are strong. And while the hard right has made more gains in Europe overall, it too has stumbled. But the more political camps dig in, scorning previously accepted norms, the more the center erodes and the more democracy is tested.


Wojciech Przybylski, president of Res Publica Foundation, a research group in Warsaw, said there had been a coarsening of political discourse and a growing contempt on both ends of the spectrum for mainstream forces.


That, he said, reminded him of Poland between the world wars, when the far left and the far right rallied, sometimes violently, against the central government.


Today, he said, both “are united against globalization and claim to be defending the so-called average man against elites.”


A French historian, Jacques Julliard, has described this as the “dangerous ideology of the common man,” a political philosophy promoted by Guglielmo Giannini, a postwar Italian populist whose motto was “Down with everyone!”


Europe’s nationalist parties, which have soared in popularity over the last decade, have had mixed success in recent years converting their rock-the-boat, anti-elitist message into enduring power.


Law and Justice, a conservative Polish party that traffics in conspiracy theories involving Germany and vows to defend what it sees as traditional Christian values, lost power in an October election. But just a month later in the Netherlands, Geert Wilders, a provocateur with a history of antipathy toward immigrants and Islam, won the most votes in a general election.


In June elections for the European Parliament, the right-wing Alternative for Germany party won a record number of votes, outperforming each of the three parties in Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s governing coalition.


Perhaps the most vivid example of Europe’s polarization is Slovakia, where Prime Minister Robert Fico, a shape-shifting populist who started on the left before embracing nationalist messaging, returned to power in September after a thin election victory. In May, he narrowly survived an assassination attempt by a gunman whom officials initially called a “lone wolf” but who was later described by Mr. Fico as a “messenger of evil and political hatred” from his left-wing opponents.


The French vote on Sunday was met with relief by Europe’s mainstream politicians, who worried that victory for the National Rally would have bolstered the so far lonely calls by Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary for an end to military aid for Ukraine.


Poland’s prime minister, Donald Tusk, responded on social media to the result: “In Paris enthusiasm, in Moscow disappointment, in Kyiv relief. Enough to be happy in Warsaw.”


Nationalist parties have, to varying degrees, tried to distance themselves from their darker pasts. The party of Giorgia Meloni, the prime minister of Italy, traces its roots to the postwar wreckage of Italy’s experiment with fascism under Mussolini. Marine le Pen’s National Rally, in its earlier incarnations, embraced Holocaust deniers and reactionary veterans of France’s colonial wars.


They have more recently disavowed connections to extremism and sought, largely successfully, particularly in Ms. Meloni’s case, to present themselves as modern, pragmatic politicians. Individual supporters have been caught on camera voicing openly racist and xenophobic views, but they have been strongly rejected by party leaders.


Before World War II, political division fed off hyperinflation and mass unemployment — one in three Germans was jobless. By comparison, Europeans today are in many ways remarkably comfortable and well cared for.


Their welfare systems are buckling but still provide health care and other services far beyond what the state offers in the United States and other countries. Economic growth is picking up again after several years of stagnation.


Trust in democracy, however, has fallen steadily in recent years in Europe and in other economically advanced parts of the world.


A survey this year by the Pew Research Institute found that people in high-income democracies, including France, have since 2021 become increasingly frustrated with the way the systems work in their countries.


Votes now are often about bucking the establishment, whatever form that takes.


In Britain, the desire for change last week handed the Labour Party, out of power for 14 years, a thumping election victory against a divided and discredited Conservative Party. But Labour’s victory in Britain was paired with a strong electoral showing by the Reform party of Nigel Farage, a driving force behind Britain’s exit from the European Union.


The French left’s triumph on Sunday was in large measure the result of what Mr. Bardella, the National Rally leader, denounced as an “alliance against nature” between Mr. Macron and leftists. And no party won a majority, with seats pretty closely split.


Few analysts see the election results in Britain and France as evidence of a resurgence by the left. Shut out of power for years, leftist parties in most countries have ditched past commitments to socialist economic policies like the nationalization of banks and industry, and differ little from the center-right.


“There is clear polarization, but I see no sign the left is rising again,” said Mr. Przybylski, the researcher in Warsaw.


The National Rally fell short of expectations, but it and many other hard-right European parties, he added, “do better and better with each election. They are far from running the show but they get more and more votes.”


Europe’s political struggles, mostly bereft of debate about concrete policies and dominated by eye-catching stunts, are in many places viewed as a “joke and a circus,” Mr. Zizek, the philosopher, said.


An extreme example of that was the election victory in European Parliament elections last month of a 24-year-old prankster in Cyprus with no political experience or policy proposals. He promoted himself as a “professional mistake maker” and won a seat after a campaign that featured his spending a week in a coffin.


“His point was that politics is a farce,” Mr. Zizek said. “But global mistrust of politics is a tragedy, especially when it reaches the young.”



19) Deadly Israeli Strike Was 4th in Recent Days to Hit School Buildings in Gaza, U.N. Says

By Raja Abdulrahim reporting from Jerusalem, July 10, 2024


A crowd of people prays near shrouded bodies on the ground.

Praying next to the bodies of those killed in an Israeli strike that hit the entrance of a school housing displaced people in Khan Younis in southern Gaza. Credit...Haitham Imad/EPA, via Shutterstock

An Israeli strike that Gazan authorities say killed at least 27 people at a school-turned-shelter was the fourth in four days that hit or damaged a school building in Gaza, the head of the main U.N. agency that helps Palestinians said Wednesday.


The strike, which the Gaza Ministry of Health says wounded more than 50 people, hit the entrance of Al Awda School on the outskirts of Khan Younis in southern Gaza.


Since Israel began its punishing military offensive in Gaza more than nine months ago, two-thirds of U.N.-run school facilities in the territory have been hit, with some bombed out and many severely damaged, Philippe Lazzarini, commissioner-general of the U.N. agency, UNRWA, wrote on social media Wednesday.


“Schools have gone from safe places of education & hope for children to overcrowded shelters and often ending up a place of death & misery,” he said.


The Israeli military said that the strike had targeted a Hamas member who took part in the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel that ignited the war. It did not release details on the identity of the Hamas member or whether the person had been killed. The military said it was “looking into reports that civilians were harmed.”


School buildings have become critical shelters for Palestinians in Gaza since Israeli bombardment and ground fighting have forced much of the territory’s 2.2 million residents to flee their homes. The Israeli military has claimed that militants are using such shelters and other civilian infrastructure to hide themselves and their activities.


Hamas has used urban areas in Gaza to conceal its operations, running tunnels under neighborhoods and holding hostages in city centers. The group’s members, who are from Gaza, have long lived among the civilian population. Ghazi Hamad, a senior Hamas official, has said that the group tries to keep Palestinian civilians out of harm’s way. Hamas leaders have said that the Israeli military also has headquarters, offices and soldiers in civilian areas.  


Most of those injured or killed in the strike on Tuesday were taken to Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis in ambulances, private vehicles and donkey carts.


“There were 56 wounded and most of them were children and women,” said Dr. Mohammed Saqer, director general of nursing at Nasser, in a phone interview on Wednesday. “And unfortunately nearly 10 cases of amputation among them; hands and feet completely blown off.”


The state of the bodies brought to Nasser made it difficult to determine the number and identities of the dead, he said.


The influx of traumatic injuries came at a time when the few still-functioning hospitals in the Gaza Strip are struggling to keep operating amid Israeli strikes and raids and a lack of medicine, medical equipment and reliable power. “Many of our medical staff have been detained, many have been killed and many have had to leave Gaza,” Dr. Saqer said.


There is a shortage, too, of hospital beds, and most of the airstrike victims were treated on the floors of wards or in the hallways, he said.


Video shared by Al Jazeera and verified by The New York Times showed the moment of the strike: As some boys play soccer in the school courtyard and others watch, a large explosion is heard. A man yells, “Run away, run away, Al Awda has been targeted.”


The person shooting the video runs toward the entrance of the school, and the camera pans across a scene of devastation. Bodies are on the ground amid debris, and there is a cacophony of screams. “Oh God,” someone yells.


Another video shot by Reuters showed a weapon fragment at the site of the strike. Two weapons experts — Trevor Ball, a former U.S. Army explosive ordnance disposal technician, and Patrick Senft, a weapons expert at the consulting firm Armament Research Services — identified the fragment as a part of a small-diameter bomb, also known as a GBU-39.


The precision-guided bomb, which is U.S.-made, weighs about 250 pounds, and is increasingly the weapon of choice for the Israeli military. Two GBU-39s were used in a deadly strike on a tent camp in Rafah on May 26.


In Gaza, such bombs “are often used to target specific floors in buildings, penetrating through the roof before detonating,” Mr. Ball said.


Although smaller in explosive power than the 2,000-pound bombs that have been used elsewhere in Gaza, the bombs “can still cause significant injury and death, especially when used in areas where there is little to no protection for people from blast and fragmentation effects, such as a street, or area with just tents,” he said.


Malachy Browne, Sanjana Varghese and Rawan Sheikh Ahmad contributed reporting.



20) Israel tells civilians to leave Gaza City, saying it will remain a ‘dangerous combat zone.’

By Aaron Boxerman reporting from Jerusalem, July 10, 2024


People walk along a dirt street with destroyed buildings on either side. One pushes a bicycle with saddlebags draped over the back wheel.

Palestinians making their way through a devastated part of the Shajaiye neighborhood in Gaza City on Wednesday. Credit...Dawoud Abu Alkas/Reuters

The Israeli military called on Palestinians in Gaza City to move south into central Gaza on Wednesday through four “safe corridors,” indicating that its ground operations against what it has described as a renewed Hamas insurgency could escalate after more than nine months of war.


“Gaza City will remain a dangerous combat zone,” the Israeli military said in a statement published on social media.


Israel has already issued orders for Palestinians to leave specific parts of Gaza City and it was not clear if its latest statement amounted to an expansion of those calls. But the notice raised new fears among residents, many of whom have been displaced multiple times.


An Israeli military spokesman did not respond to a request for comment on whether the military was evacuating the entire city. It said in its statement that Palestinians who left Gaza City through the approved routes would get out “quickly and without inspection.”


Israeli troops have re-entered Gaza City in recent days, in the latest instance of Israeli forces returning to fight in places they had secured earlier and then withdrew. The Israeli military has repeatedly returned to areas across the Gaza Strip in an attempt to suppress Hamas fighters, who have fought a dogged guerrilla war. Analysts have said Israel’s unwillingness to install an alternative administration in Gaza has created a power vacuum, allowing Hamas to regroup.


In January, the Israeli military dialed back the intensity of its military campaign in Gaza City and the rest of the north. Since then, Israeli forces have carried out a series of targeted raids in the area, and in March its troops raided Al-Shifa hospital for a second time, killing nearly 200 people it called “terrorists” and leaving devastation behind after extended gun battles with Palestinian militants.


It is not clear how many Hamas fighters remain in Gaza City. Israeli forces launched an operation in the Shajaiye neighborhood late last month, and the fighting has since expanded to encompass other parts of the city: Tel al-Hawa, where Israeli forces stormed a United Nations compound that the military said had taken over by militants, as well as the neighborhoods of Al-Daraj and Tuffah.


In statements on social media, Hamas has said over the past few days that its forces were fighting Israeli troops in Shajaiye and Tel al-Hawa. In Shajaiye alone, Israel claims its troops have eliminated “more than 150 terrorists” over the past week and have destroyed six underground tunnels.


Hamas has used urban areas in Gaza to conceal its operations, running tunnels under neighborhoods and holding hostages in city centers. The group’s members, who are from Gaza, have long lived among the civilian population.


Ghazi Hamad, a senior Hamas official, has said that the group tries to keep Palestinian civilians out of harm’s way, but Israeli operations in Gaza have left little room to maneuver.


Israel first ordered hundreds of thousands of Gazans in the northern part of the enclave to move south in mid-October, just days after the Hamas-led attack that killed 1,200 in Israel and saw 250 taken hostage. Hundreds of thousands remained, however, and others joined them after a weeklong truce in November allowed some to return to their homes in the north.


In May, an estimated 200,000 people were still in northern Gaza, according to UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestinians. But the new wave of Israeli military operations has forced tens of thousands from their homes, leaving the current tally unclear.


Many have been already been displaced multiple times, seeking shelter in schools and relatives’ homes, only to be forced to flee the fighting yet again.


“People continue to flee and be on the run in search for safety that they never find,” said Juliette Touma, an UNRWA spokeswoman, on Wednesday. “Gaza has become an exodus on repeat.”