OT: G7 opposes full-scale military operation by Israel in Rafah

Foreign ministers from the G7 countries have said they remain opposed to a full-scale military operation in Rafah by Israel on the grounds that it would have catastrophic consequences on the civilian population there.

Ministers from Italy, the UK, US, France, Germany, Japan and Canada also criticised the “unacceptable” number of civilians killed in Gaza during Israel’s military offensive.

The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, told western diplomats this week that he intended to push ahead with a ground assault on Rafah, the southernmost city in Gaza, where more than 1 million people are sheltering.

The G7 ministers said: “We reiterate our opposition to a full-scale military operation in Rafah that would have catastrophic consequences on the civilian population.”

Israel has faced growing global opposition to the relentless war that has reduced much of Gaza to rubble, while its 2.3 million people have suffered under an Israeli siege. “We deplore all losses of civilian lives,” G7 ministers said at a meeting on the Italian island of Capri.

At the UN on Thursday, the secretary general, António Guterres, told the security council that only limited progress had been made in getting aid into Gaza and that six and a half months of war had created “a humanitarian hellscape”.


From Gaza to Iran, the Netanyahu Government Is Endangering Israel’s Survival

Israel is facing a historic defeat, the bitter fruit of years of disastrous policies. If the country now prioritizes vengeance over its own best interests, it will put itself and the entire region in grave danger

In the coming days Israel will have to make historic policy decisions, ones that could shape its fate and the fate of the entire region for generations to come. Unfortunately, Benjamin Netanyahu and his political partners have repeatedly proven that they are unfit to make such decisions. The policies they pursued for many years have brought Israel to the brink of destruction. So far, they have shown no regret for their past mistakes, and no inclination to change direction. If they continue to shape policy, they will lead us and the whole Middle East to perdition. Instead of rushing into a new war with Iran, we should first learn the lessons of Israel’s failures over the past six months of war.


The Israeli military’s intelligence chief has resigned, saying he took responsibility for the failures before Hamas’s attack on Israel on 7 October.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said Major General Aharon Haliva would retire once his successor was selected.

He acknowledged in a letter that his intelligence directorate “did not live up to the task we were entrusted with”.

He is the first senior figure to step down over the attack, which was the deadliest in Israel’s history.

Israeli military and intelligence officials missed or ignored multiple warnings before hundreds of Hamas gunmen breached the Gaza border fence that day and attacked nearby Israeli communities, military bases and a music festival.

Netanyahu is the one that needs to resign ASAP. It was on his watch that the Hamas attack took place. But he loves this war which keeps him out of jail for corruption.

Israel has yet to provide evidence of Unrwa staff terrorist links, Colonna report says

Israel has yet to provide supporting evidence of its claims that employees of the UN relief agency Unrwa are members of terrorist organisations, an independent review led by the former French foreign minister Catherine Colonna has said.

The Colonna report, which was commissioned by the UN in the wake of Israeli allegations, found that Unrwa had regularly supplied Israel with lists of its employees for vetting, and that “the Israeli government has not informed Unrwa of any concerns relating to any Unrwa staff based on these staff lists since 2011”.

Allegations of the involvement of Unrwa staff in the 7 October Hamas attack on Israel led major donors in January to cut their funding to the agency, the main channel of humanitarian support not only to Palestinians in Gaza but to Palestinian refugee communities across the region.

The funding was cut despite the dire needs of 2.3 million people in Gaza, most of whom have been forced from their homes by the Israeli offensive since 7 October and have been struggling to find water, food, shelter or medical care.

Most of the donor nations have resumed their funding in recent weeks. UK ministers had said they would wait for the Colonna report to make a decision on resuming funding. US financial support of Unrwa has been blocked by Congress for at least a year in the wake of the allegations.

On Monday, the Israeli foreign ministry spokesperson, Oren Marmorstein, accused more than 2,135 Unrwa workers of being members of Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad. He said the Colonna review was insufficient and an “effort to avoid the problem and not address it head on”.

“The Colonna report ignores the severity of the problem, and offers cosmetic solutions that do not deal with the enormous scope of Hamas’ infiltration of Unrwa,” he said.

He added that Israel calls on donors not to give money to Unrwa in Gaza and instead to fund other humanitarian organisations in the territory.

Colonna told reporters she had good relations with Israel during the review but was not surprised by the Israeli response. She said she had appealed to Israel to “please take it onboard, whatever we recommend – if implemented – will bring good”.

Louis Charbonneau, the UN director at Human Rights Watch, said: “I don’t think the findings in the Colonna report are particularly surprising. Governments who haven’t should immediately resume full funding to Unrwa so it can deliver aid to desperate civilians. Many Palestinians are facing famine because of Israel’s use of starvation as a weapon of war.”

A separate investigation is being carried out into the 7 October attack by the UN’s Office of Internal Oversight Services. The UN said that inquiry had not yet been completed.

The Colonna review, an assessment of Unrwa’s neutrality drafted with the help of three Nordic research institutes and due to be published later on Monday, makes clear that Israel has yet to substantiate any of its broader claims about the involvement of Unrwa staff in Hamas or Islamic Jihad.

It notes that in March “Israel made public claims that a significant number of Unrwa employees are members of terrorist organisations”. “However, Israel has yet to provide supporting evidence of this,” the report says.

Alongside the Colonna report, a more detailed assessment was sent to the UN by the three Nordic research bodies – the Swedish-based Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, the Norwegian Chr Michelsen Institute, and the Danish Institute for Human Rights.

Their report says: “Israeli authorities have to date not provided any supporting evidence nor responded to letters from Unrwa in March, and again in April, requesting the names and supporting evidence that would enable Unrwa to open an investigation.”

The UN secretary general, António Guterres, said on Monday he accepted the recommendations from the Colonna report about ways to improve Unrwa’s capacity to monitor and address neutrality issues.

“Moving forward, the secretary general appeals to all stakeholders to actively support Unrwa, as it is a lifeline for Palestine refugees in the region,” the UN chief spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric, said in a statement.

The Colonna review makes clear that Unrwa is “indispensable” to Palestinians across the region.

“In the absence of a political solution between Israel and the Palestinians, Unrwa remains pivotal in providing lifesaving humanitarian aid and essential social services, particularly in health and education, to Palestinian refugees in Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the West Bank,” the review says. “As such, Unrwa is irreplaceable and indispensable to Palestinians’ human and economic development. In addition, many view Unrwa as a humanitarian lifeline.”

The Colonna review suggests several ways neutrality safeguards for Unrwa’s more than 32,000 staff could be improved, such as expanding the capacity of the internal oversight service, providing more in-person training and more support from donor countries. But it notes that they are already more rigorous than most other comparable institutions.

“The review revealed that Unrwa has established a significant number of mechanisms and procedures to ensure compliance with the humanitarian principles, with emphasis on the principle of neutrality and that it possesses a more developed approach to neutrality than other similar UN or NGO entities,” it says.

One of the frequent Israeli criticisms of Unrwa is that its schools across the region use Palestinian Authority textbooks with antisemitic content. The technical report provided by the Nordic institutions, however, found very limited evidence for those allegations.

“Three international assessments of PA textbooks in recent years have provided a nuanced picture,” the report says. “Two identified presence of bias and antagonistic content, but did not provide evidence of antisemitic content. The third assessment, by the [German-based] Georg Eckert Institute, studied 156 PA textbooks and identified two examples that it found to display antisemitic motifs but noted that one of them had already been removed, the other has been altered.”

The absence so far of evidence to underpin Israel’s allegations has raised questions about the snap decision by donor countries to cut millions of dollars of funding to Unrwa as the Gaza death toll soared, the health system collapsed and famine began to loom.

Germany said on Wednesday that it would resume funding for the main U.N. agency aiding Palestinians in Gaza, known as UNRWA, after an independent review found that Israel had not provided evidence of an allegation that led many donor nations to withdraw support for the agency.

The announcement was likely to cause further strain in Germany’s longstanding close ties with Israel, which have deteriorated because of differences over the war in Gaza.

Germany, which gave more than $200 million to UNRWA in 2023, is the agency’s second largest donor after the United States, which has also withdrawn its funding and has yet to say whether it will restore it.

“The German government has looked closely at the allegations made by Israel against UNRWA and has been in close contact with the Israeli government, the United Nations and other international donors,” read a statement issued by Germany’s foreign and development ministries on Wednesday.

The statement said that Germany expected the agency to take on the recommendations from the independent review led by a former French foreign minister, Catherine Colonna, to protect its neutrality.

The review was commissioned by the United Nations in January, just before Israel alleged that a dozen of the agency’s 13,000 employees in Gaza had participated in the Oct. 7 Hamas-led terrorist attacks or their aftermath, and that many were members of Hamas or its allies. In findings released on Monday, the review did not address whether some employees had taken part in the attack but said Israel had provided no evidence that many UNRWA workers belonged to militant groups.


This is ridiculous. There are 4 other horrible wars in the region. Crickets. No one give a damn.

The G7 have not noticed all the killing.

Palestinian students in US colleges are playing word games.

If the Palestinian students care then the students should denounce Hamas for starting this war. More crickets.

Hamas just called for an escalation of their war efforts. The G7 needs to confront Hamas like the big men they pretend to be.


Wrong - There are 1000 times more non-Palestinians students protesting across the country. They have compared the numbers of killed/injured on both sides and they see full blown genocide by Israel.

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US arms in Yemen, Syria, Sudan, and Somalia.

Why are there zero protests?


None of those countries have a large constituency in the US. The Syrian civil war was only of interest to the US to the extent than unhorsing Assad helps Israel, which does have a large constituency in the US. I vividly remember CBS “news”, offering “rare” reports, nearly daily, of Syrians in refuge camps saying, according to the translator “where is America? America has to help us”.



How many are protesting is irrelevant. What they have NOT done is what needs to be done–look at who attacks who, and when/why. They do NOT do that because their attention span is too short AND it is “inconvenient” to look at anything over a multi-year period.

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In addition to Steve’s reasoning, these countries’ atrocities against civilians are against their own populations. They’re internal. Certainly, outside countries contribute to the conflicts in most, but these conflicts involve one internal faction against another.

With the Israel / Gaza conflict, it is one country/people v. another. It does not matter that the Gazans have selected a terrorist government for themselves, which creates a no win situation for Israel, regardless of its current extreme and feckless government. Of course, most of those protesting in the US (at least if given sodium pentothal) would much rather live under an Israeli system than the one that rules in Gaza largely because they themselves would be marginalized at best or worse.



You are not part of any constituency having to do with Israel or the Arabs. Both constituencies are the same size.

We give more aid to Japan and Germany than Israel. It is a larger part of the Pentagon budget. Israel is a separate budget.

The question was do you care about Muslim lives? Meaning are the lives of Gazans more important in your cause than the rest of the Arab lives?

You seem too USD focused but as I said Israel has less support than others. I can also state Israel delivers more economically to the US than the others.

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My Y chromosome is closest of all to the Arab Palestinian’s Y chromosome.

As far as those other wars go American arms are all over the place in those wars. We have had boots on the ground all over the place. We have armed the Arabs like UAE and SA against the Houthis for over a decade now.

We see all of those conflicts as proxy wars with Russia/Iran. Gaza is no different in that way. Hamas is part of a proxy war.

If Israel lost the Muslim Brotherhood would start wars in at least half a dozen capitals. Iran would fuel that. Russia would love to see it and would fuel it.

Israel is fighting an internal war according to Hamas.

So far more US arms have been used in Yemen over a decade or more than in the current Gaza conflict. My best guess.

Let’s get bare bones honest. You do not care. You have never shed a tear.

Israel Has Lost America’s Universities. It May Eventually Lose the White House

Israel is now at a crossroads in its relations with the United States, while the past few months have demonstrated the degree of our dependency on U.S. diplomatic, economic, and military support

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Do you think we should lose proxy wars with Russia in the Middle East?

In other words, I fully comprehend how pitifully stupid the college students are. All that money for tuition and sheer stupidity anyway.

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Don’t confuse stupidity with passion. If you’re not passionate when young, when will you be?

In my book club (all septuagenarians and quite bright, excluding yours truly), I am the only person in the group who doesn’t have a career working at a university. The subject of university protesters came up at the last meeting. Everyone was complaining about the protesters until one guy chuckled and said “Hey, remember when we took over the dean’s office?”

Laughter followed.


I get it.

We have five proxy wars in the region. If Hamas actually did well we’d have another five wars on top of that because the Muslim Brotherhood would rise up.

The irony here is just how poorly informed these students are.

NPR did one more disservice this morning discussing the Israeli response to a two-state solution. The programming left out that the Palestinians absolutely do not want a two-state solution.

Someone I know running a nonprofit has to lay off workers. Things changed with the pandemic. She is far to the left. The workers are far to the left. The garbage the bunch of them are spouting. The irony is their jobs, still here for most of them, are totally soft crud. She can not get into a single notion that might veer from the hate-Israel stance. There is no room for other thoughts. It is childishness.

What you are really talking about is resistance to growing up.

It is like go home and just wail at your parents again. Go on get it out.

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