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“Rockets and Revenge” – VICE News Reports on Conflict in Palestine and Israel (Summer 2014)

The following videos are a series of reports from VICE News from the summer of 2014 covering the increased incidents of violence in Palestine and Israel at that time. VICE News is known for a style of balanced factual reporting offering an insight into events with as little bias or reporter influence as possible. Be warned that some segments of these videos contain raw unfiltered scenes of war as well as some extremist inflammatory language of hate, racism, and bigotry.

DISPATCH 1 – Kidnappings and Killings Spark Demonstrations in Israel (10 Jul 2014)

On June 12, three Israeli teens were kidnapped while hitchhiking through the West Bank city of Hebron. In response, the Israeli army launched a severe crackdown in the West Bank, arresting hundreds of Palestinians. Two weeks later, the bodies of the Israeli teens were found and Israel blamed their murders on the militant group Hamas. Then last week, the body of a 16-year-old Palestinian boy was found in East Jerusalem after being burned alive in a revenge attack carried out by right-wing Israelis.

Inside Israel and throughout the West Bank, the killings set off massive demonstrations the likes of which have not been seen since the Second Intifada more than a decade ago. Meanwhile, the Israeli military has been carrying out airstrikes over the besieged Gaza Strip in an effort to root out Hamas, which has launched hundreds of homemade rockets over the southern border of Israel during the past several weeks. Despite mounting criticism and civilian causalities, Israel has vowed to increase its military operation in Gaza in the coming days.

VICE News is in Israel and Palestine amid the mounting tension as Israelis and Palestinians prepare for the next round of violent confrontations. In this first dispatch, we go to a protest in the mixed Israeli-Palestinian town of Acre and speak with Palestinians intent on using peaceful means to make their voices heard.

DISPATCH 2 – Nowhere Safe in Gaza (13 Jul 2014)

The death toll in Gaza continues to grow as both the Israeli military and Palestinian militants show no signs of backing down. VICE News spent a few days in Gaza City surveying the damage and seeing how local residents were coping with the continuous barrage from the air and from the sea.

DISPATCH 3 – Life Under Israel’s Iron Dome (15 Jul 2014)

Hamas and other militant groups have been raining crude rockets into Israel since Operation Protective Edge launched last week — more than 1,000 at last count. Thanks to the Israeli missile defense system known as Iron Dome, few have struck targets and there has been one confirmed Israeli casualty.

But the threat of rockets remains terrifying for people across Israel, especially in the country’s south, which takes the brunt of the barrage. VICE News brings you there to get a feel for life under constant attack.

DISPATCH 4 – Palestinian Father Grieves for Slain Son (16 Jul 2014)

On the night of July 2, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, a 16-year old Palestinian from the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat, was abducted and killed by a group of right-wing extremist Israelis. The attack was in apparent retaliation for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens whose bodies were discovered north of the West Bank city of Hebron two days earlier.

Khdeir’s autopsy showed the boy burned to death while he was still alive. His killing set off demonstrations and clashes throughout the West Bank and elsewhere, with thousands of Palestinians protesting his death.

VICE News went to Shuafat to speak with a grieving father about his son’s death and the latest round of events that followed it.

DISPATCH 5 – First-Hand Look at Israeli Ground Invasion (18 Jul 2014)

On July 17, Israel launched a ground invasion of Gaza after pummeling the strip for nearly 10 days with airstrikes and shelling. The stated goal? To cripple Hamas, destroy underground supply lines, and stop militants from firing rockets into Israel. VICE News traveled to the border of Gaza to get a first-hand look at the buildup.

DISPATCH 6 – Jewish Settlers in the Hamas Stronghold of Hebron (19 Jul 2014)

As the Israeli bombardment and invasion of the Gaza strip continues — and militants continue to launch crude rockets into Israel — there’s relative quiet in the other Palestinian territory, the West Bank. With the conflict focused on the Hamas-run Gaza strip, it’s easy to forget the West Bank used to be one of the focal points of resistance against the state of Israel. That may still be the case, but today in the West Bank, there are no rockets being fired into Israel and few demonstrations compared to Jerusalem.

Palestinian security forces, activists, and ordinary Palestinians say this could quickly change. VICE News brings you to the restive city of Hebron, which has historically supported Hamas, to find out if, how, and for how long things can stay this way.

DISPATCH 7 – Radical Young Israelis and the Price Tag Attacks (20 Jul 2014)

For a few years, a young radical group of Israeli settlers in the West Bank have committed random acts of violence and vandalization against Palestinians and their property to make them pay the price for affronting their way of life. They call themselves “Pricetaggers,” and they’ve largely avoided prosecution by Israeli authorities.

VICE News gets rare access to the young members of the Price Tag movement — at the homecoming of Moriah Goldberg, 20, who just finished a 3-month sentence for throwing stones at Palestinians. She and her family remain proud of the act, even as the current conflict in Gaza was sparked after an all too familiar round of retributive violence.

DISPATCH 8 – Inside Gaza’s Rubble (26 Jul 2014)

On Sunday, the Israeli military carried out the single deadliest offensive in its nearly three-week assault on Gaza, killing as many as 100 Palestinians in the neighborhood of Shejaiya. The operation — which many have called a massacre — has forced most of the remaining residents of Shejaiya to flee their homes and seek refuge in hospitals or UN schools because there is nowhere else for them to escape in the blockaded Gaza Strip.

VICE News was in Gaza to see the aftermath of the bombing of Shejaiya. We visited the central morgue in Gaza City, which holds the bodies of many who were killed. We then went to see the immediate aftermath of the shelling of yet another house in the city, and later saw another shelling site where residents were still trying to uncover family members in the rubble.

DISPATCH 9 – Operation Protective Edge Displaces More Gazans (30 Jul 2014)

Israel’s military offensive, Operation Protective Edge, is now in its fourth week. More than 1,200 Palestinians and 50 Israelis have been killed, and the fighting shows little sign of letting up. The majority of those killed in Gaza have been civilians, with many strikes hitting schools, homes, and hospitals. About 40 percent of Gazans have been told by Israel to evacuate, but they have few if any options for where to evacuate to.

In our ninth dispatch from Israel and Palestine, VICE News correspondent Danny Gold is in Gaza talking to Palestinians as they sift through the rubble of their homes, and visiting makeshift outdoor and indoor camps where displaced residents have fled.

DISPATCH 10 – Recovering the Dead Amid the Ceasefire (7 Aug 2014)

The residents of Beit Lahiya and Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, took advantage of the first day of the Egypt-brokered ceasefire between Israel and Hamas on Tuesday, and began returning to their homes to find what was left after almost four weeks of war.

Until then, the residents of areas hardest hit by shelling and airstrikes had been unable to return, for fear of getting trapped amid the violence. VICE News correspondent Henry Langston reported from the al-Nahda towers in Beit Lahiya, where families found their homes in ruins and then tried to salvage what was left of their personal belongings.

In Beit Hanoun, however, the grim task of recovering the dead trapped underneath the rubble was underway, with some bodies having lain undiscovered since the start of the conflict. Families were burying their loved ones as bulldozers, helped by an army of locals, were busy trying to uncover more corpses.

With the ceasefire holding for now, this grim task is set to be repeated over the coming days and weeks.

DISPATCH 11 – Hamas Defiant (10 Aug 2014)

As the 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire entered it’s second and third days last week, the people of Gaza used the lull in fighting to take stock of the destruction, flee the fighting, and demonstrate their defiance.

VICE News correspondent Henry Langston traveled to the Rafah border gate with Egypt, where hundreds of Gazans and Egyptians alike attempted to flee. With only two bus loads making the trip each day, however, many left disappointed and were forced to return the following day.

Meanwhile, in the towns of Shejaiya and Khuza’a, residents returned to neighborhoods completely devastated by the fighting.

As the ceasefire entered it’s last 24 hours, Hamas organized a demonstration in the center of Gaza City. Thousands converged from different mosques across the city, waving Hamas flags as kids with toy guns and grenades rode on their dad’s shoulders.

The spokesman for Hamas’ military wing, Abu Ubaida, made clear in a speech that evening that if Israel refused to re-open Gaza’s port, then rockets would once again threaten the people of Israel.

DISPATCH 12 – Gazans Return To Shattered Homes (13 Aug 2014)

At 8AM on Friday August 8, the first 72-hour ceasefire between Israel and Hamas to hold expired. Almost immediately, Gaza militants fired rockets into Israel, with the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) responding with missile strikes and artillery barrages. Over the next two days, militants in Gaza and the IDF traded fire that once again left civilians caught in the conflict and forced to pay the price for the breakdown of negotiations in Cairo.

VICE News correspondent Henry Langston traveled to Nuseirat refugee camp, where a mosque had been hit by a missile strike, leaving three dead and another trapped in the rubble as locals were wondering why they had been targeted.

[Date of Videos: Summer 2014. Posted: 8 Jun 2020.]

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com

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