Thursday, February 1, 2024

Like the PSA on TV used to say: Knowledge is power

What's a sweet potato?  What's a yam?  Toby Amidor (US News & World Reports) walks us through:

The terms sweet potato and yam are used interchangeably in the United States, but they are not the same. There are two types of sweet potatoes: firm and soft. Firm sweet potatoes are orange-fleshed and firmer and waxy after cooking. The soft, paler-fleshed sweet potatoes, which are often marketed as yams, have a creamy and fluffy texture after cooking.

Currently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture requires labels with the term “yam” be accompanied by the term “sweet potato,” which is certainly confusing. Most of the time, you're probably eating sweet potatoes.

True yams are native to Africa and Asia and are not widely found in the U.S.. Yams have rough, brown, scaly skin, either white or purple flesh and a more starchy and dry texture compared to sweet potatoes. Not are they as sweet. Their texture and flavor are more similar to potatoes or yuca.

Yams are closely related to lilies and grasses. They are the starchy edible root of the Dioscorea batatas genus. There are over 600 varieties of yams, but only about 15 to 20 are edible. They are especially popular in West African, Latin American and Caribbean cuisine. Most yams are grown in West Africa.

When Columbus came to America in 1492, Native Americans were growing sweet potatoes. By the 16th century, sweet potatoes were being cultivated in the southern states, where they became a staple in the traditional cuisine. Sweet potatoes are slim and tapered with fairly thin, edible skin. They are a member of the morning glory family and are botanically classified in the genus Ipomoea batata. When you eat sweet potatoes, you are eating the root of the plant.

Greg Owen (LGBTQ Nation) reports:

In 2008, future California Congressional candidate Evan Low was elected to his second term as a council member in the suburban city of Campbell near San Jose. He was just 25.

It was the same year one of Low’s political idols, Barack Obama, was elected president. And the same year Californians were shocked by the passage of Proposition 8.

The notorious amendment to the state constitution halted same-sex weddings in the Golden State (sanctioned in 2004 and again in early 2008), proclaiming, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

While the amendment became moot with a series of rulings culminating in the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges — which finally recognized same-sex marriage nationally — the language from Proposition 8 remains in the California state constitution.

If Obergefell were overturned, same-sex marriage in California would once again be outlawed.

Many elections later, Low, a California state assemblymember running for Congress from Silicon Valley, is the co-sponsor of a ballot initiative with state Sen. Scott Weiner (D) that would repeal the zombie amendment.

“It’s in direct response to Roe v. Wade being overturned because the Supreme Court said after Roe that marriage equality would be next,” says Low. “If they show you who they are, we need to believe that.”

Voters will have their say on the California Right to Marry and Repeal Proposition 8 Amendment in November, along with Low’s bid to represent Silicon Valley in Congress.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Thursday, February 1, 2024.  The death toll in Gaza has now passed 27,000, Chicago stands up to demand a cease-fire, more details emerge about the War Crimes carried out in Israel's raid of a hospital, Samantha Power gets called out on her participation in genocide, and much more.

For the second day in a row, we're starting in the US and again with Chicago.  CBS NEWS reports:

With Mayor Brandon Johnson casting the tie-breaking vote, the Chicago City Council on Wednesday approved a resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, amid the monthslong war between Israel and Hamas.

The debate was so heated, Johnson cleared the public gallery after repeated interruptions from protesters, just as he did in October during a contentious vote on a resolution condemning the Hamas surprise attack that sparked the war.

With the vote among alders 23-23, Johnson's approval was needed to pass the resolution, which makes Chicago the largest city in the nation to pass a Gaza ceasefire resolution; joining Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis, Oakland, and San Francisco.

Monica Eng (AXIOS) adds, "Chicago is now the largest U.S. municipality to urge President Biden to support a ceasefire, putting the Democratic National Convention's host city at odds with the administration's stance on the conflict and signaling growing discontent in the country."  Yes, seven months from now, Chicago's United Center will be hosting the party's political convention at which, it's expected, Joe Biden will be named the 2024 presidential nominee.  

March 31st.  Election year 1968, March 31st.  That's when then-sitting President Lyndon B. Johnson announced he would not be seeking re-election despite having already started his campaign.  Who knows, Joe might do the same.

He probably won't.  And Marianne Williamson probably will not get the party's presidential nomination.  

That's one of Marianne's latest videos.  She's upping her game and focusing on Nevada at present.  She is on the ballot in South Carolina -- which will be voting next.  

Again, it's very doubtful that she's going to get the nomination.  But it is possible.  

Does Marianne get on your nerves?  She gets on some people's nerves and I know that because I've known her for years and as many people ask me excitedly what she's like, I've heard the sneer in voices of those who don't like her and manage to register that in the tone in which they ask, "What's she like?"

So if you're one of those people who doesn't like her, you should be paying attention.  You'll most likely to get some joy over watching her go all out and not get the nomination.

If you like what she stands for, you should be watching as she goes deeper on the issues trying to help shape the dialogue.

If you're a poli sci student, what she's doing now should be fascinating because she's taken stock and made a left turn.  The obvious choice as this point in the campaign would be to drop out.  She's making a different choice and we should be watching that to see how it plays out because there will be so many lessons to learn from this.  

What she's doing is news and I'm surprised networks aren't grasping this David against Goliath story comes with so much built-in interest.  They really should be covering this. 

Before the 24 to 23 vote in Chicago yesterday, there was doubt that the measure calling for a cease-fire could pass.  But it did.  And it's one more step on the road.  By the same token, no one knows what impact Marianne's new strategy is going to have.  What she's doing right now is news and should be covered as such.

Johnson urged her to continue.

But as Silverstein spoke about the Oct. 7 attack, a man in the audience yelled “Wadea was murdered because of your lies.” The man then left, to applause and high-fives.

He was referring to Wadea Al-Fayoume, a 6-year-old Palestinian American boy who was stabbed to death in Plainfield a week after the Hamas attack, allegedly by the landlord of the home where he lived with his mom. Authorities said the landlord’s wife told them he regularly listened to conservative talk radio and  became worried his tenants’ “Palestinian friends” would “come and harm” him before he allegedly murdered the boy.

As chants of “Cease-fire now!” continued, the mayor ordered a recess and asked the sergeant-at-arms to clear the chambers.

Protesters were moved to the hallway, then initially required to return to the lobby to be re-screened to enter the glass-shielded third-floor observation gallery. 

This week, Israeli forces attacked a hospital, they disguised themselves, entered a hospital, attacked a nurse and then with their guns waiving went on to kill three unarmed people.  One of whom was paralyzed.  What brave men, right?  Remember, when you've got someone who's paralyzed and can't move, send the 'brave' IDF in.  That's the sort of action they can handle.

The action was illegal and it is a War Crime.  From yesterday's DEMOCRACY NOW!

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!,, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González.

Thousands of Palestinians took part in a funeral procession Tuesday in the occupied West Bank for three Palestinians killed by Israeli assassins in a shocking undercover raid on a hospital in Jenin. Surveillance footage from the Ibn Sina Hospital shows around a dozen undercover Israeli forces storming the hospital, guns raised, wearing white doctor’s coats or hospital scrubs and dressed as Muslim women wearing headscarves. One of the undercover troops carried a rifle in one arm and a folded wheelchair in the other.

The Israeli military claimed the three men it targeted were involved in planning an imminent attack and were using the hospital as a hideout, without providing evidence. Hospital officials said there was no exchange of fire and that the three men were asleep, indicating the raid was a targeted killing. One of the three men killed had been receiving treatment at the hospital since being injured in an Israeli drone attack on October 25th and was partially paralyzed.

This is Naji Nazzal, medical director at Ibn Sina Hospital.

NAJI NAZZAL: [translated] They killed the three youth — Basel and Mohammed Ghazawi and Mohammed Jalamneh — in their room while they were sleeping on their beds in the room. They were killed in cold blood with direct gunshots to the head.

AMY GOODMAN: Israeli soldiers and settlers have killed more than 380 Palestinians in the West Bank since October 7th, while more than 6,300 people have been arrested.

For more, we go to Ramallah, where we’re joined by the Palestinian physician, activist, politician Mustafa Barghouti. He serves as general secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative.

Welcome back to Democracy Now!, Dr. Barghouti. If you can start off by laying out exactly what you understand about this assault on the Jenin hospital? Who was killed? Who were these undercover assassins who moved in dressed as Muslim women in headscarves, dressed as doctors and hospital staff?

DR. MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI: Well, it is clear that those who assassinated the three Palestinians in the hospital are a Israeli military group, a special security group that is called the Arabists here. They usually act and dress as Palestinians in various places, and this is not the first crime they committed. But, by the way, this same group was taking photographs with the minister of internal security, the fascist, Ben-Gvir, recently, and he published that photo, and he praised them as heroes.

What they’ve done is really unacceptable and represents a very serious violation of international humanitarian law in four different issues. First of all, they dressed as doctors, as nurses, as health professionals. And they put one of them, one of the assassins, on a wheelchair and dragged him into the hospital. This way, they are endangering actually all medical personnel, because from now on nobody will be sure that he’s dealing with a doctor or somebody who’s disguising as a doctor.

Second, they penetrated the hospital in an illegal manner, very early, in the very early hours of the morning. And they have no right to enter the hospital without even notification and without any alarm. And in principle, they are not allowed to enter the hospital.

Third, they attacked a patient who was handicapped, who was paralyzed, in his bed, while he was sleeping, and shot him in the head, and shot two others who were accompanying him in the same room — three Palestinians — in an act that can only be called as an act of assassination and illegal execution of Palestinians.

In every aspect of international humanitarian law, they have violated the law. They are continuing that. They are proud about it. They’re praising themselves for doing it. And that is all happening because the world is allowing Israel to be impunitive to international law and impunitive to any law, as a matter of fact.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, Dr. Barghouti, I also wanted to ask you what’s going — in terms of what’s going on in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, more than 380 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers and civilians, and supposedly there is no Israeli military activity going on in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. But could you talk about that other war, that the rest of the world is not paying any attention to?

DR. MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI: Yes. Actually, Israel is reoccupying the whole of the West Bank. I mean, since the 7th of October, not only they’ve killed 380 people, but more than that. They are allowing settlers to wander around with guns, and these settlers are behaving as terrorists, terrorizing Palestinian people. And in addition to that, the Israeli army has arrested, since the 7th of October, 6,300 Palestinians in the West Bank, including no less than 200 children, including women. They kidnap people, and they put them in jail without trial, without any legal process, without even charges. And in addition to that, they have divided the country in 224 small islands, with 650 military checkpoints, each of which has become a point of harassment for people and a very dangerous spot, because Palestinians could be killed for no reason. And the Palestinian Authority has lost any authority. Practically, Israel took over all of the West Bank, although West Bank is not under the government of Hamas, as they claim and regard in Gaza.

But that’s not the only thing. All these violations happen, and instead of punishing Israel or blaming Israel for its violations of international law, we see many Western governments, including United States of America, punishing the Palestinians. And if you’ll allow me to speak about that, I think the whole case of UNRWA was used by Israel to distract attention from the ICJ resolution, which indicted Israel for a plausible genocide. Instead of punishing Israel, they took up this case where Israel is claiming that some workers in UNRWA have been engaging in military actions, without any proof, without investigation. And then you found 12 European countries and United States of America and Canada and Japan cut off support to the only organization that is providing humanitarian aid to Gaza, that is the only bridge to humanitarian aid in Gaza. We are subjected to collective punishment. Palestinians, who are the victims of the Israeli aggression, of the possibility of a genocide, are subjected to collective punishment by these governments, none of whom have condemned this Israeli attack on the hospital.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to turn to a clip of the U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller at a briefing on Tuesday. He was being questioned about the Israeli raid on the Jenin hospital by the Associated Press reporter Matt Lee.

MATT LEE: This operation that the Israelis launched in Jenin, the hospital today, what — do you have any comment on that? Is this something that you think is problematic, or is it something that you look at with envy, like this is some kind of great Mission: Impossible mission that we wish that we could also do?

MATTHEW MILLER: So, I’d say that we strongly urge caution whenever operations have the potential to impact civilians and civilian installations. That, of course, includes hospitals. We do recognize the very real security challenges Israel faces, and its legitimate right to defend its people and its territory from terrorism. Israel, of course, has the right to carry out operations to bring terrorists to justice, but those operations need to be conducted in full compliance with international humanitarian law.

MATT LEE: Well, do those operations include going into hospitals and murdering people in their beds, regardless of whether they’re —


MATT LEE: — you know, they are suspected or even known terrorists? Is that OK with you guys?

MATTHEW MILLER: So, there was a lot in the premise of that question. Obviously, they — we did know that they went into —

MATT LEE: Well, you don’t think that they went in —

MATTHEW MILLER: We — well, hold on. We —

MATT LEE: — and killed complete — people who were completely innocent, do you?

MATTHEW MILLER: So, let me say that this —

MATT LEE: Because if you did think that, then you would be condemning it, right?

MATTHEW MILLER: We certainly would, but I would say that Israel has said that these were Hamas operatives. They have said that one of them was carrying a gun at the time of the operation. So, I’m not able to speak to the facts of the operation. You’d have to pass some kind of legal judgment, know all of the facts of the operation. But as a general matter, they do have the right to carry out operations to bring terrorists to justice, but they need to be conducted in full —

MATT LEE: Including in hospitals?

MATTHEW MILLER: So, we want them to conduct their operations in compliance with international humanitarian law.

AMY GOODMAN: So, that’s U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller being questioned by the AP’s Matt Lee. Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, if you can respond to what he’s saying specifically here? And also, overall, then, talk about the attacks in West Bank and Gaza on the healthcare system, going right to Nasser Hospital, which is the largest hospital after Al-Shifa. It’s in southern Gaza, and it has been under siege for the last few days. But start with the spokesperson.

DR. MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI: There are many things to say here, but let me start by what he said about the proper legal process. Israelis should not have entered the hospital. They should not have disguised as doctors and nurses. This is all violation of international humanitarian law. But even if they wanted, they could have arrested these three guys and charged them and give them a due legal process, instead of executing them on the spot, just on the basis of their suspicion. What is the legal here? What is the legal system here? Israel now can say about anybody that he’s a Hamas terrorist or a terrorist or anything else and then kill him in the street, and nobody will condemn that. United States of America has no right not to condemn this action.

And it is unacceptable that they continue to use double standard because they don’t want to criticize Israel. Why? Because they know that they are participating with Israel in what could be perceived or condemned as an act of genocide by supplying Israel with weapons, by supplying Israel with soldiers even. They’re supplying Israel with advisers in its terrible attacks on Gaza.

And on the other hand, Gaza — Israel has been continuously persistent in attacking all hospitals, not only in Gaza, but also in the West Bank. They have subjected Tulkarem hospitals to attacks. They’ve subjected Jenin hospitals to attacks. They’ve subjected hospitals in Nablus to attacks. And they continue to do that in Gaza, where they’re bombarding the hospitals, bombarding the hospitals, killing patients, killing doctors, killing nurses. And add to that the fact that Israel has killed in Gaza, up to now, 304 of our colleagues, medical doctors, nurses, first aid providers. In addition, they injured 300 others while they were performing their medical duties. And they have arrested 90 of these health workers, including the director of Shifa Hospital, who is subjected now to torture in Israeli concentration camp in the Negev near Be’er Sheva.

This is the exact behavior of Israel. Do we hear any condemnation from the United States of America or from the United Kingdom? No. All the condemnation, all the punishment, all the collective punishment, is directed only at one people, which are the Palestinian people. We don’t understand how could these countries that claim that they are struggling — that they claim they support human rights, they claim they support democracy, they claim they support international law, and at the same time not only they are allowing these crimes to happen against the Palestinians, but they are actually participating in them.

That’s what’s happened in Jenin, like what’s happening now in Gaza, where, by the way, 32,000 Palestinians have been killed so far, if we include the 7,000 under the rubble, and more than 65,000 people have been injured. That is more than 4% of the population of Gaza. Had this happened in the United States of America, you would be talking about 12 million people killed or injured in less than three months. Proportionally, the number of Palestinians killed in Gaza after three months is more than all Americans killed in all America’s wars since the 18th century. Is that acceptable? Is that allowable? That is the question that should be directed to Biden administration and to the American administration. How could they continue to allow Israel to be so impunitive to international law? And how could they allow this act of collective punishment against the Palestinian population when it comes to UNRWA and other health, humanitarian services?

By the way, the International Court of Justice decided there should be support to providing humanitarian supplies to Palestinians, and Israel should be responsible for that. What do we see in reality now in Gaza? I’ve been talking to our 30 medical teams working there. They say there is a decline in the amount of support that is coming, in an unprecedented manner. What they get is absolutely not enough, less than 100 trucks daily, while what they need is 1,000 trucks daily, considering the terrible situation. We have people in the north and in the center of Gaza who are calling us, saying they are starving. They have no food. They have no medical supplies. Our colleagues have to operate on people, injured people, without anesthesia. And 600,000 people, according to the World Food Programme now, 600,000 Palestinians now in Gaza are starving. What does the United States of America do about that? Do they do anything, or just protect Israel and provide protection for this Israeli aggression?

AMY GOODMAN: Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, we want to ask if you can stay with us 'til after break. We're going to talk about that conference that took place in Israel. Almost a third of the Israeli Cabinet was there. A number of the Cabinet members addressed the conference, calling for the Israeli resettlement of Gaza. We’re talking to Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, Palestinian physician, activist and politician, who serves as general secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative. We’ll also be joined by a reporter for +972 Magazine. Oren Ziv will join us from Tel Aviv. He covered the conference of thousands of Israelis. Back in 20 seconds.

In other War Crimes the Israeli government has carried out on medical care, Geneva Abdul (GUARDIAN) reports:

An Israeli airstrike hit a compound housing doctors working for UK charities in January, a month after the the Israeli military told British counterparts the site was marked protected, MPs were told earlier this week.

Conservative MP and Foreign Affairs Committee chair Alicia Kearns said the compound in Al-Mawasi, “a supposed safe zone in Gaza”, housing the UK charity Medical Aid for Palestinians and the International Rescue Committee was bombed by an F-16 airstrike in January.

Raising the incident during a parliamentary debate on Monday, days after the UN’s International Court of Justice ordered Israel to ensure its forces do not commit acts of genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, Kearns said:

Thankfully, the four British doctors living there were only injured, although that itself is a cause for concern.

A month before that, on 22 December, it was confirmed via UK defence channels that the IDF had logged the co-ordinates of the humanitarian base and de-conflicted it, marking it as a protected sensitive and humanitarian site. I am gravely concerned that the airstrike still took place.

Around 6am on 18 January, the missile strike severely damaged the compound, injuring a number of team members and the compound’s security guard, according to MAP, who said following their evacuation, were unable to continue their work at Nasser hospital, the largest remaining health facility in Gaza. Last week, Doctors Without Borders and Medecins Sans Frontieres warned the hospital in Khan Younis was no longer able to provide vital medical services.

MAP said in a statement:

The IRC and MAP are working with the UN to determine what has happened and to ensure the continued safety of our teams and viability of their vital humanitarian work.

Foreign minister and Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell acknowledged the strike and said it had been raised by the foreign secretary, David Cameron in Israel last week, and by the UK ambassador, Simon Walters, in Tel Aviv.

Mitchell said:

We continually remind the Israeli government of their duties under international humanitarian law. The bombing of the compound is an extremely serious matter.

The incident comes as the UK Department for Business and Trade is being challenged by the Global Legal Action Network (Glan) in a judicial review over its decision not to revoke arms export licences to Israel. Last month, court documents revealed UK Foreign Office legal advisers were unable to conclude that Israel was in compliance with international humanitarian law (IHL) in its bombardment of Gaza.

According to the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), the UK provides components to US-built equipment destined for Israel, including Head-Up Displays for F-16s.

Siobhan Allen, a senior lawyer at Glan, said:

The papers released through our legal case show that, even as the UK government continued to allow arms licenses for weapons to assist Israel in its assault on Gaza, its own Foreign Office harboured ‘serious concerns’ about Israel’s compliance with IHL.

Those concerns can now only be more acute in the face of an incident of such obvious concern as this, where UK weapons appear to have been used in a direct attack on a site Israel knew to be a de-conflicted, protected, humanitarian site.

The Israeli military has been approached for comment.

Gaza remains under assault. Day 117 of  the assault in the wave that began in October.  Binoy Kampmark (DISSIDENT VOICE) points out, "Bloodletting as form; murder as fashion.  The ongoing campaign in Gaza by Israel’s Defence Forces continues without stalling and restriction.  But the burgeoning number of corpses is starting to become a challenge for the propaganda outlets:  How to justify it?  Fortunately for Israel, the United States, its unqualified defender, is happy to provide cover for murder covered in the sheath of self-defence."   CNN has explained, "The Gaza Strip is 'the most dangerous place' in the world to be a child, according to the executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund."  ABC NEWS quotes UNICEF's December 9th statement, ""The Gaza Strip is the most dangerous place in the world to be a child. Scores of children are reportedly being killed and injured on a daily basis. Entire neighborhoods, where children used to play and go to school have been turned into stacks of rubble, with no life in them."  NBC NEWS notes, "Strong majorities of all voters in the U.S. disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of foreign policy and the Israel-Hamas war, according to the latest national NBC News poll. The erosion is most pronounced among Democrats, a majority of whom believe Israel has gone too far in its military action in Gaza."  The slaughter continues.  It has displaced over 1 million people per the US Congressional Research Service.  Jessica Corbett (COMMON DREAMS) points out, "Academics and legal experts around the world, including Holocaust scholars, have condemned the six-week Israeli assault of Gaza as genocide."   The death toll of Palestinians in Gaza is grows higher and higher.  United Nations Women noted, "More than 1.9 million people -- 85 per cent of the total population of Gaza -- have been displaced, including what UN Women estimates to be nearly 1 million women and girls. The entire population of Gaza -- roughly 2.2 million people -- are in crisis levels of acute food insecurity or worse." ALJAZEERA notes, "At least 27,019 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed by Israeli attacks since October 7 while another 66,139 have been wounded, the Health Ministry in the besieged enclave has just said."  AP has noted, "About 4,000 people are reported missing."  And the area itself?  Isabele Debre (AP) reveals, "Israel’s military offensive has turned much of northern Gaza into an uninhabitable moonscape. Whole neighborhoods have been erased. Homes, schools and hospitals have been blasted by airstrikes and scorched by tank fire. Some buildings are still standing, but most are battered shells."  Kieron Monks (I NEWS) reports, "More than 40 per cent of the buildings in northern Gaza have been damaged or destroyed, according to a new study of satellite imagery by US researchers Jamon Van Den Hoek from Oregon State University and Corey Scher at the City University of New York. The UN gave a figure of 45 per cent of housing destroyed or damaged across the strip in less than six weeks. The rate of destruction is among the highest of any conflict since the Second World War."  Max Butterworth (NBC NEWS) adds, "Satellite images captured by Maxar Technologies on Sunday reveal three of the main hospitals in Gaza from above, surrounded by the rubble of destroyed buildings after weeks of intense bombing in the region by Israeli forces."   

"South Africa’s foreign minister alleged Israel is ignoring the ruling by the United Nations’ top court last week, which ordered Israel to do all it can to prevent death, by killing hundreds more civilians in a matter of days in Gaza," AP notes. And you can see that in the daily headlines.  Here are just two items Amy Goodman noted on Wednesday's DEMOCRACY NOW!:

New satellite imagery shows at least 144,000 buildings in Gaza have been damaged or destroyed since the Israeli bombardment began nearly four months ago — that’s more than half of all buildings in the Gaza Strip, including mosques, schools, universities and cultural sites. Corey Scher of the City University of New York told the BBC, “We’ve done work over Ukraine, we’ve also looked at Aleppo and other cities, but the extent and the pace of damage is remarkable. I’ve never seen this much damage appear so quickly.”

[. . .]

Israel has admitted it has begun flooding tunnels in Gaza with seawater despite warnings from the United Nations that the move could damage Palestinian drinking water and sewage systems. Israel said Hamas and other Palestinian groups have built as many as 450 miles of tunnels, where many leaders of Hamas are believed to live.

THE NATIONAL notes further War Crimes:

Israeli soldiers have been ordered to burn down Gaza homes “until they are rendered useless”, according to a report by Haaretz newspaper. Several hundred homes have been incinerated in the past month, the Israeli newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Three army officers leading Israel's offensive on Gaza said burning homes occupied by the military has become “common practice”, it said.

One commander told his troops to “clear your things from the house, and prep it for incineration” when leaving the area last week, he told the newspaper.

CNN adds, "The International Rescue Committee and Medical Aid for Palestinians say they have evidence that indicates Israel carried out a strike earlier this month on a compound in Gaza housing humanitarian workers in a supposed safe zone. "  ALJAZEERA notes, "The Palestine Red Cross Society (PRCS) say it still has not heard from the ambulance crew 66 hours after it was sent to rescue a six-year-old girl called Hind in northern Gaza. Hind was trapped in a car with the bodies of her family members, one of whom was killed while on the phone pleading for help from the PRCS."

Samantha Power, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development and a world-renowned scholar on genocide, was pointedly challenged by current and former USAID employees who during a public event Tuesday questioned her stance on the war in Gaza and complicity in the divisive U.S. policy.

“You wrote a book on genocide and you’re still working for the administration: You should resign and speak out,” said Agnieszka Sykes, a global health specialist who told The Washington Post she left her job at USAID late last week.

Sykes interrupted a speech Power was giving in Washington on climate change and natural disasters to invoke Power’s book “A Problem from Hell.” The Pulitzer Prize-winning work examines and condemns U.S. inaction on various atrocities, from Armenia to Rwanda, spanning several presidential administrations.

Like other members of President Biden’s National Security Council, Power oversees an agency deeply divided about Washington’s military support for Israel’s war in Gaza and refusal to demand a cease-fire.

This is an excerpt from a full story.

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