[News] All Around The World

A posting place for news from places around the globe, outside of the US/Europe.

^

Not sure if right thread for this but great nonetheless:

US expected to designate Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization

The Trump administration is expected to designate Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization as early as next week, according to a US official.

The designation decision, formally under the State Department's purview, is taking on heightened importance as part of the White House's increasingly aggressive strategy towards Iran.
Officials have been debating whether to make the designation for several months. CNN reported in July 2018 that the administration was considering doing so.
A spokesperson for the White House National Security Council declined to comment and the State Department did not respond to a request for comment.
The Wall Street Journal was first to report the expected designation.
Defense officials have told CNN that US troops in Syria and Iraq often find themselves operating in close proximity to members of the IRGC.
Last year, CNN reported that Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats cautioned the administration that designating the IRGC could pose dangers to US forces, according to one source familiar with the matter.

:eyeroll:

sonny615 wrote:
BushPilot wrote:

I don't really know how it all works, but it looks to me like the Human Rights Council isn't currently in session to be making resolutions. Short of declaring an emergency session, these call from their representatives seem like the strongest action they can take, no?

So what if a law was passed in 2019 allowing stoning gay people to death?
Absolutely no reason for emergency meeting. I mean, it's only Brunei, right?

I said nothing like this! I don't intend to minimize the plight of gay people in Brunei, not at all. I would love to live in a world where the moment such a law is passed, the world unites in condemnation and that pressure is enough to cause repeal. The UN is a not a world government, and it can't just enforce its will on everyone - there's a lot of politics and nuance involved. I don't really understand it well, and I'm not prepared for a discussion on the efficacy of the UN.

I probably shouldn't even have posted, but I felt compelled to push back a little against your post, as it didn't seem like you were interested in the plight of gays in Brunei. Someone pointed out that the UN had taken some action, and then you moved the goalposts. When you got minor pushback on that, you revealed what you really wanted to post about (and moved the goalposts again). Anti-Israel bias at the UN may well exist, and it wouldn't be remotely surprising to me. However, if you want to have a discussion about anti-Israel bias, make a post about that and you may find people willing to engage on that subject. But don't pretend it's about Brunei and then attack people who comment as being OK with stoning gays in Brunei. I was pushing back against your language and style as being misleading, not saying that gays should be stoned or that Brunei doesn't matter.

Edit: Better yet, why not make an Israel thread where you can post this stuff? The volume seems to warrant a dedicated space rather than posting it all here.

Yes, I am very upset by the fact that the body that should protect human rights across the globe doesn't do it and is actually used for political goals of certain groups and countries, especially when the target is my country (I hope this is somewhat understandable).
Perhaps I was at fault of diverting the subject but to say I don't care about gay right in Brunei (or gay rights & human rights in general) is simply not true.
I don't really want to start a separate discussion about Israel as some people completely lost their sh*t last time such discussion was held here.

Anyway, moving on.

sonny615 wrote:

I don't really want to start a separate discussion about Israel as some people completely lost their sh*t last time such discussion was held here.

People are very bad at dealing with a situation where one side can't be elevated to a blameless victim and the other side reduced to a reasonless brute.

This is absolutely mind-blowing.

Comedian Zelenskiy wins Ukrainian presidency in landslide

KIEV — Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a comedian and political novice, scored a crushing victory over incumbent Petro Poroshenko in Ukraine’s runoff presidential vote Sunday, in a resounding rebuke to the country’s political establishment.

With nearly all votes counted, Zelenskiy won 73.2 percent of the vote compared to Poroshenko’s 24.4 percent — a margin of victory of nearly 49 percentage points — according to the Central Election Commission.

Zelenskiy’s triumph was fueled by a wave of anti-establishment sentiment, similar to other populist insurgencies sweeping across the West.

But the comedian, who has promised to clean house among Ukraine’s ruling elite, will likely find fulfilling his supporters’ high expectations difficult — not the least due to his dearth of political knowledge: His only brush with Ukrainian politics has been to play the president in a popular television show called “Servant of the People.”

Here's a BBC piece on him before the elections:

Israeli troops accused of shooting handcuffed Palestinian

The Associated Press wrote:

A hospitalized Palestinian teen said Monday he was shot in his thighs by Israeli soldiers while he was handcuffed and blindfolded — the latest in what a leading rights group portrayed as a series of unjustified shootings of Palestinians by Israeli soldiers.

The military said it was investigating last week’s incident, which it said took place as Palestinian youths were throwing stones at Israeli soldiers.

Osama Hajahjeh, 16, said he was trying to run from soldiers when he was shot Thursday. He said the incident began after a funeral for a school teacher in his village of Tekoa, who had been hit by a car driven by an Israeli while walking at a busy intersection.

Hajahjeh said school was let out early for students to attend the funeral. After the burial, he said he was tackled by a soldier who jumped out of an olive grove and forced him to the ground. He said his hands were cuffed and his eyes covered with a cloth blindfold.

After the arrest, he said he could hear Palestinian youths shouting at the soldiers, while soldiers yelled back in Arabic and Hebrew.

“I got confused” and stood up, he said. “Immediately, I was shot in my right leg. Then I tried to run, and I was shot in my left leg and fell on the ground,” he said, speaking from his hospital bed in the West Bank town of Beit Jala south of Jerusalem. Doctors said he is in stable condition.

A photo captured by a local photographer shows soldiers appearing to pursue a fleeing Hajahjeh with his eyes covered and hands tied behind his back.

...

The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said the incident was the latest in a series of what it called unjustified shootings on Palestinian teens and young men. It says four Palestinians in their late teens or early twenties have been killed in the West Bank since early March.

I thought you guys didn't want news about Israel........................

In any case, this is bad. As a (now reserve) soldier in the IDF, I have never done anything like that nor have I seen anyone do it in person.
Considering the constant friction, these things do happen and sometimes soldiers make mistakes. These cases are rare exceptions, they do get thoroughly investigated and in many cases, the soldiers are brought to trial in Israeli court (btw, are Palestinian terrorists ever brought to justice in Palestinian courts?).

My problem, however, that news about Israel seem to pop up only in cases like this, when Israel does something bad. The news ignore literally thousands of Palestinian acts and attempts to kill, shoot, kidnap and burn Israelis... posting news (even if true) with emphasis on only one side paints a false picture of "Evil Israeli soldiers killing poor Palestinians who just want to live in peace", thus promoting the Palestinian narrative even further.

Here are the statistics for Palestinian terrorism between Sep 2015 (beginning of Gaza border riots) and March 2019:

1,173 rockets/mortar bombs
600 Molotov cocktails
18 shootings
94 roadside bombs
102 rock-throwing events
152 burning tires/thrown objects
1,963 fires ignited by arson kites/balloons (30 Mar 2018 - 25 Mar 2019)
8,648 acres of land damaged (updated 4 Nov 2018)

...how much of that was reported by AP news?

sonny615 wrote:

Here are the statistics for Palestinian terrorism between Sep 2015 (beginning of Gaza border riots) and March 2019:

1,173 rockets/mortar bombs
600 Molotov cocktails
18 shootings
94 roadside bombs
102 rock-throwing events
152 burning tires/thrown objects
1,963 fires ignited by arson kites/balloons (30 Mar 2018 - 25 Mar 2019)
8,648 acres of land damaged (updated 4 Nov 2018)

...how much of that was reported by AP news?

I don't know. How much of it was reported by AP news?

My questions are:
1) what is YOUR source for this data?
2) How do YOU explain the discrepancy between this source and the AP?
3) This data (if valid) is meaningless without the context of the corresponding list of offensive actions taken by the Israeli military.

Jonman wrote:

I don't know. How much of it was reported by AP news?

Not much.

Jonman wrote:

My questions are:
1) what is YOUR source for this data?
2) How do YOU explain the discrepancy between this source and the AP?
3) This data (if valid) is meaningless without the context of the corresponding list of offensive actions taken by the Israeli military.

1) There are quite a few sources available, I used Israeli Foreign Ministry data.
I can already imagine the type of response I'll get but the list seems very accurate to me, as someone who lives here, I remember most of the recent events.

2) The world media bias towards Israel is a known fact and has been discussed and exposed many times in the past. Palestinian violence ignored, Israeli self defense blown out of proportions, misleading titles, switching order of cause and response, etc.
Why? Many reasons, I guess. It's like asking why the UN Human Rights council is biased towards Israel. That's just the political situation today.

3) Perhaps it's meaningless to you but it isn't meaningless to the victims of terrorism.
It's not like these are attacks on Israeli army, most are attacks on Israeli civilians, which makes your statement irrelevant.
Saying terrorism is meaningless without information about an army defending its people against said terrorism is like saying: the amount of people dead in 9/11 is meaningless without the corresponding data of offensive actions taken by the US army in the Middle East.

sonny615 wrote:

Saying terrorism is meaningless without information about an army defending its people against said terrorism is like saying: the amount of people dead in 9/11 is meaningless without the corresponding data of offensive actions taken by the US army in the Middle East.

You're absolutely right. 9/11 is meaningless without the context in which it occurred.

Terrorism is meaningless without the context that provokes it. That's how it works, pal. Terrorism is a political act, viewing it stripped of the political context is pointless.

Which is precisely why you get such short shrift around here. Palestinian terrorism is a byproduct of Israeli government policy. Just like 9/11 was a response to US policy. Your refusal to admit to this and concede the part your side plays in sustaining the conflict is why no-one's keen to engage with you.

Jonman wrote:
sonny615 wrote:

Saying terrorism is meaningless without information about an army defending its people against said terrorism is like saying: the amount of people dead in 9/11 is meaningless without the corresponding data of offensive actions taken by the US army in the Middle East.

You're absolutely right. 9/11 is meaningless without the context in which it occurred.

Terrorism is meaningless without the context that provokes it. That's how it works, pal. Terrorism is a political act, viewing it stripped of the political context is pointless.

Which is precisely why you get such short shrift around here. Palestinian terrorism is a byproduct of Israeli government policy. Just like 9/11 was a response to US policy. Your refusal to admit to this and concede the part your side plays in sustaining the conflict is why no-one's keen to engage with you.

Perhaps you are confusing war and terrorism.

Terrorism of all sorts should be rejected and under no context or circumstances be accepted or explained.
Israeli civilians living peacefully near Gaza are not 'provoking' terrorism, just like the people who lost their lives on 9/11 didn't.
You can fight army, don't target civilians for the sake of killing civilians. I will never accept any argument that tries to justify that.

I never said Israel was 100% right, I'm not even a supporter of the current government and I agree that Israel has a big part in sustaining the conflict (and I am a very big critic on many issues) but it takes two to tango. If we look at all the peace negotiations since the mid 90's, Israel wasn't the one refusing to move ahead...

I did say that the treatment Israel is getting in the world media is completely unfair and does not reflect the reality on the ground.

"no-one's keen to engage with you" as in with Israel or with me personally?

sonny615 wrote:

Terrorism of all sorts should be rejected and under no context or circumstances be accepted or explained.

Accepted? No, of course not.

Explained? Of course. Because how do you put a stop to something if you don't understand why it's happening the first place?

sonny615 wrote:

If we look at all the peace negotiations since the mid 90's, Israel wasn't the one refusing to move ahead...

Riiiiiiiiigghht. Yup, that's definitely been the tale of the last 20 years, Israel begging for peace the whole time.....

sonny615 wrote:

Perhaps you are confusing war and terrorism.

Terrorism of all sorts should be rejected and under no context or circumstances be accepted or explained.
Israeli civilians living peacefully near Gaza are not 'provoking' terrorism, just like the people who lost their lives on 9/11 didn't.
You can fight army, don't target civilians for the sake of killing civilians. I will never accept any argument that tries to justify that.

It is not like nations at war never target civilians for the sake of targeting civilians either. War and terrorism are intrinsically linked.
Sure, terrorism should be rejected. Acts of war often should too. Trying to understand and explain both is probably not a bad idea though. But I do agree it can be disturbing when explanations turn into excuses. No matter how much people think they struggle or are suppressed by others, nothing justifies terrorism as an answer.
I think some of this comes as a reaction to the perceived bias, at least in US/EU, that when an Islamic terror attack happens, the media and governments instantly calls it terrorism and links the terrorist act with Islam. When a white supremacy (or whatever other causes) terror attack happens, media and governments are often careful and considered with their words, desperately looking for other explanations like mental illness etc., too often refusing to accept that these acts too have roots in systemic issues in a society.
People might focus more on the non-Islamic terrorism because it feels like it gets underrepresented as an issue.

Not too dissimilar with bias against Israel. Of course there is a political/religious bias (and yeah, lots of bad elements in UN). But it also comes down to Israel being the supposed democratic, wealthy, institutionalized nation in the conflict. People rightly have higher expectations for Israels behavior, when compared to terrorist groups. Winning a beauty contest against Hamas etc. is not a very impressive feat. So yeah, Israel is getting a fair amount criticism for its behavior.
That doesn't absolve the Palestinians from their major part in the conflict. But criticizing one part more, for the "same" actions, is not inherently unreasonable imo.

You know how many innocent people have been killed by the US drone war? Well it’s way higher than it was a few years ago because we simply stopped talking about it.

While I certainly wish we lived in a world where terroist attacks were unnecessary, the reality is that disenfranchised people’s sometimes have to turn to desperate measures. I don’t agree with terrorist attacks but I understand why they happen and I respect the resolve of those who feel forced to commit them.

While Islamists are viewed as a great evil, the fact of the matter is the U.S. is the most violent, lethal purveyors of terror in the world and are responsible for causing the deaths of many fold more innocent deaths than all of the suicide bombers in all if history. The only measure that those who are powerless to stop the evil empire can resort to is inflicting small scale damage through suicide attacks.

9/11 was an awful tragedy and I feel for those who lost loved ones there. But the US had it coming and my heart goes out far more for the many many more innocent lives that the actions of our government have destroyed in the Middle East over the past 50 years. And we exacted so much blood in retribution for that comparatively minor attack.

Jonman wrote:
sonny615 wrote:

If we look at all the peace negotiations since the mid 90's, Israel wasn't the one refusing to move ahead...

Riiiiiiiiigghht. Yup, that's definitely been the tale of the last 20 years, Israel begging for peace the whole time.....

But it's true.

Israel has always been willing to go a long way for peace and proved it by making peace with bitter enemies like Egypt & Jordan. Palestinians have a history of rejecting peace time and time again.
From 1937 Peel commission, to 1947 UN decision, to 1993 Oslo (which the Palestinians did sign but right away started a horrific wave of suicide bombing), to Camp David in 2000 when Ehud Barak offered Arafat most of the the land and half Jerusalem (!) to 2008 when Olmert offered Abbas an even better offer but was turned down again. Let's also not forget that Israel withdrew from Gaza in a one sided move only to result in thousands of rockets on Israeli civilians, which once again proves that no matter what Israel does, the Palestinians wouldn't settle for anything less than its destruction (this is basically the infamous 'from the river to the sea Palestine will be free' chant).

Today, not only does the Gaza leadership refuse to negotiate peace with Israel but it doesn't even recognize Israel's right to exist. Jihad is the only way. The West Bank leadership (if you can call it that) has already rejected Trump's peace plan, before it was even presented!

Israel cannot sign peace with itself, it needs a partner and currently there are none on the other side.

Docjoe wrote:

9/11 was an awful tragedy and I feel for those who lost loved ones there. But the US had it coming and my heart goes out far more for the many many more innocent lives that the actions of our government have destroyed in the Middle East over the past 50 years. And we exacted so much blood in retribution for that comparatively minor attack.

It's not the first time I've seen this sentiment expressed, but for some reason, I guess I'm struck by how much it reduces people killed to just "dead meat on a butcher's tray" in a way I was not before.

cheeze_pavilion wrote:
Docjoe wrote:

9/11 was an awful tragedy and I feel for those who lost loved ones there. But the US had it coming and my heart goes out far more for the many many more innocent lives that the actions of our government have destroyed in the Middle East over the past 50 years. And we exacted so much blood in retribution for that comparatively minor attack.

It's not the first time I've seen this sentiment expressed, but for some reason, I guess I'm struck by how much it reduces people killed to just "dead meat on a butcher's tray" in a way I was not before.

The people killed in 9/11, or the people killed in the middle east after the past 50 or so years? or just the callousness (numbness?) to both?

I had the same question.

Me too.

My observation is that we've always conceived of war casualties this way, particularly when it's not Americans that are the casualties.

The Japanese Emperor, Akihito, is about to abdicate the Chrysanthemum Throne.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/KRIlu4p.jpg)

The Japanese Emperor is going to abdicate the throne and retire on April 30th, 2019. The last emperor to abdicate was over 200 years ago.

Some interesting facts:
- His son, Naruhito, is 59. He has no male heir, but he does have a 12 year old nephew.
- At the private ceremony where regalia (royally symbolic items) will be presented to the new emperor, only royal men and government ministers are allowed to attend; this'll be the first time a woman will witness the ritual (because there's a woman in the Japanese cabinet). The new empress consort isn't allowed to attend.
- The Japanese legislature had to pass a law to allow the Emperor to abdicate/retire.
- The Japanese monarchy is the oldest in the world, understood to go back 125 generations/2,700 years.
- It's believed in the Shinto religion that the Japanese imperial line is descended from goddess Amaterasu.
- After WWII, the Japanese Emperor was stripped of all political power. The Queen (or king) of the United Kingdom holds more power politically than the Japanese Emperor.

I'm sure everything will be fine. Just like in all the other coups the US has engineered...

Time and declassification will tell, I guess, but I didn't think that the US had a lot to do with this one?

EDIT: Some Googling tells me about some economic sanctions, etc. I'm ill informed, though, was there anything more concrete?

BushPilot wrote:

Time and declassification will tell, I guess, but I didn't think that the US had a lot to do with this one?

EDIT: Some Googling tells me about some economic sanctions, etc. I'm ill informed, though, was there anything more concrete?

Economic sanctions. There was also a thing about sending a 'hamnitarian aid' convoy that was never requested, which is a method we have used in the past to deliver special operations teams.

The U.S. says Maduro is blocking aid to starving people. The Venezuelan says his people aren’t beggars.

Lots of public statements by the president about how Maduro needs to go, publicly supporting the same leader undertaking a coup now.

I wouldn't say there's anything concrete, but there is an awful lot of things that are suggestive.

HAMAS FIRES OVER 200 ROCKETS FROM GAZA, TWO SERIOUSLY INJURED

Weeks before the Eurovision Song Contest and Israel’s Independence Day, close to 200 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israeli communities on Saturday, striking several homes and leaving one elderly woman severely injured from shrapnel.

According to IDF Spokesperson’s Unit dozens of projectiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.

While the majority of rockets launched by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad struck in open areas, several rockets made direct hits on homes in communities in southern Israel, including in Sderot and Ashkelon.

Magen David Adom reported that an 80 year old woman was injured severely and suffering from shrapnel wounds to her head and limbs. She was evacuated to Barzilai Hospital by MDA teams. Another 50 year old man in Ashkelon was transferred to hospital moderately injured with shrapnel wounds to his limbs.

A 15-year-old boy was lightly injured while running to a shelter and another two suffered from shock.

Incoming rocket sirens began early on Saturday morning and by early afternoon were heard in Israel’s Shefla region and in Kiryat Malachi and Beit Shemesh near Jerusalem.

In response the IDF attacked over 30 targets belonging to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad across the Gaza Strip.

Among the targets struck were a number of Hamas military compounds in the Gaza City neighborhoods of Tel Alawah and Shajiya, which are used for training and manufacturing weapons. Other targets struck belonged to Hamas’ naval force and a joint military compound used by Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PLO) in Beit Lahiya.

Several targets belonging to Palestinian Islamic Jihad were struck including a number of military compounds in Dir al-Balah, Tel Sultan, Shati and Khan Yunis.

The IDF also struck two high-trajectory launchers and several observation posts along the border.

The Israeli military also struck a cross-border stack tunnel in the Rafiah area of the southern Gaza Strip belonging to PIJ, which according to IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis was going to be used by the group to carry out a terror attack and had increased their excavation work in recent weeks.

Context & personal opinion:

No Israeli strategy towards Gaza lead to these 'rounds' and escalations.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad have the initiative and decide when these rounds take place, making Israel look very weak and the Israeli civilians suffer.
Israel was very close to a serious military operation a month or two ago. Every time that is about to happen, Hamas agrees to a cease fire and Israel never goes through with the operation.

The terrorists in Gaza understand very well that these days are very sensitive and Israel has no wish for another military round in Gaza. We just had elections and the new government isn't even formed yet (the old government, which is technically the one still in charge, has members in the security cabinet who didn't even get elected for the next parliament!).

In addition, we just had Holocaust day. Memorial day & Independence day both occur next week, so is the Eurovision, which should bring many tourists (and attention) to Israel and the last thing we need is rocket alarms in Tel Aviv.

Hamas is using that and these barbaric attacks are a mean to extort the Israeli government to get better terms in negotiations for a cease fire (basically more money for the terror organizations but also other things).

What should happen:
A serious military operation initiated by Israel that will really hurt the terrorists (for example targeted assassinations of terror leaders) -> get Hamas begging for a cease fire (happened in the past) -> After a cease fire is reached on Israel's conditions, initiate a strategic international move to improve the Gaza economy and lead a peace process (or a long term non fighting agreement at the very least).

What really happens:
No partner in Gaza + Rigth wing government in Israel lead Israel to 'maintain' the conflict -> Hamas initiates violence whenever it pleases -> Israel with weak responses (shooting at sand and buildings, surgical strikes to avoid casualties at all cost) -> Hamas increases fire and launches even more rockets -> Israel prepares for a ground move into Gaza -> world media presents Israel as the aggressor, international pressure starts to mount -> an agreement is reached for a cease fire that usually holds a month, in the good case -> Hamas gets money -> Money runs out -> start over.

Meanwhile, this is our reality. A rocket lands in the middle of Ashkelon, as filmed by a family driving in a car:

Over 200 of these today only, and the day isn't over yet. Imagine living like this.
Edit: over 300 rockets at 8:30 pm IL time. The whole night ahead of us.

Ah, Hamas. Can always count on you to be a bunch of genocidal assholes.

The NYT on Gangs in Honduras

SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras — Three sharp cracks rang out, followed by three more in quick succession. The thoroughfare emptied. Two old men ducked behind a corrugated fence. A taxi jerked onto a side street. A mother shoved her barefooted toddler indoors.

The shooter, an MS-13 gunman in a tank top and black baseball cap, stood calmly on the corner in broad daylight, the only person left on the commercial strip. He stuck the gun in his waistband and watched the neighborhood shake in terror.

Bryan, Reinaldo and Franklin scrambled into a neighbor’s dirt yard, scattering chickens. In panicked whispers, they traded notes on the shooting, the third in less than a week. Only days earlier, a child had been hit in a similar attack. Bryan, 19, wondered what response the few young men still living in the neighborhood could muster, if any.

Mara Salvatrucha, the gang known as MS-13, was coming for them almost every day now. It raided homes, deployed spies and taunted them with whistles at dusk, a constant reminder that the enemy was right around the corner, able to charge in at will.

There was no avoiding it. The neighborhood, a patch of unpaved roads no bigger than a few soccer fields, was surrounded on all sides.

To the east, near the Chinese takeout where the three friends used to splurge on fried rice, MS-13 was planning its takeover of the area. To the south, past the house repurposed as an evangelical church, the 18th Street gang was plotting to do the same. North and west were no better. Gangs lined those borders, too.

In reality, not much differentiated the neighborhood where Bryan and his friends had grown up from the ones already controlled by gangs. There was a sameness to them — the concrete homes worn by age; the handcarts offering fried chicken and tortillas; the laborers trudging to work at sunrise, waiting for buses on busy corners.

But for Franklin, whose family had been there for generations and who had a child of his own on the way, the neighborhood was his entire world. Reinaldo and Bryan felt the same way.

Only bad options remained for them: stay and fight, abandon their homes and head elsewhere, maybe to the United States, or surrender and hope one of the invading gangs showed them mercy.

All three had been members of the 18th Street gang, but were sickened by the cadence of murder, extortion and robbery of their neighbors, the people they had known all their lives. Seeking redemption, they kicked the gang out of the neighborhood, vowing never to allow another back in.

Now, they were being hunted — by their former comrades in 18th Street, and by MS-13, which wanted their territory.

And so the young men doubled down for their own protection, transforming back into the thing they hated most: a gang.

“The borders surround us like a noose,” said Bryan, standing in the yard with the others in their group, the Casa Blanca. “We don’t want the gangs here, and for that we live in constant conflict.”

Reinaldo, 22, stood guard, watching the street for any signs of movement.

“Lots of people ask me why we’re fighting for this little plot of land,” he said. “I tell them I’m not fighting for this territory. I’m fighting for my life.”

An update from Israel:

- Over 650 rockets fired on Israeli civilians within two days.
A ridiculous bombardment of civilian population that no country would accept. Here is just one example of a rocket landing next to a bus:

- 4 Israelis dead, nearly 100 injured.
- Unconfirmed reports say 25 Palestinians dead, most identified as terrorists.
- Nearly 60 rockets fired at once on Ashdod, stretching the the Iron Dome interception ability.
Here is how the rocket launch looks like from Gaza (you can hear the sick cheering in the background):

- Israeli army steps up with retaliation, still mostly bombing empty buildings (using the 'knock on roof' warning method) but now, for the first time in many years, a targeted assassination of a terrorist who was responsible for laundering money from Iran.
- So far no full scale operation in Gaza and no 'boots on the ground' (again, any other country would probably erase Gaza entirely following such attacks). Netanyahu already said many times that it would be a last resort.
- So far, Israel is getting credit from the world and even the UN coordinator to the middle east condemned fire from Gaza but everyone knows that as soon as the Palestinian casualty number rises, that credit will end, regardless of the facts and the aggressor seamlessly becomes the victim.
- As expected, as soon as Hamas sees Israeli Infantry mobilization, it asks a cease fire. Currently, at least publicly, declined by Israel.

Edit: Reports from Egypt about a cease fire in effect as of midnight IL time. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Edit 2: It's after 1am and rockets are still being launched at Israeli towns so I guess this might take a while...