ISRAEL & GAZA: Israeli Defense Forces pushed deeper into Gaza today after launching a ground attack yesterday. The incursion follows a 10-day air campaign that failed to halt Hamas rocket fire aimed at Israeli cities. The Times of Israel is liveblogging events, including this morning’s clashes at the Temple Mount complex in Jerusalem, where Israel has barred Muslim worshippers under 50. Saudi and other Arab news sites (see #GazaUnderAttack on Twitter) are venting over Israel’s “invasion and occupation” of Gaza, but Egypt is blaming Hamas for the escalation of fighting: “Had Hamas accepted the Egyptian [cease-fire] proposal, it could have saved the lives of at least 40 Palestinians,” said Sameh Shoukri, Egypt’s foreign minister.
UKRAINE: The crash site of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 remains unsecured, and voice and data-recording devices are reportedly missing. Pro-Russian rebels control the region of eastern Ukraine where the Boeing 777 went down yesterday, killing all 298 passengers and crew on board in what U.S. officials claim was a surface-to-air missile strike. Ukrainian officials say the investigation will be international, with aviation experts from the Netherlands, Malaysia, and the United States. But Ukrainian forces have yet to wrest control of the site from rebel fighters.
Within hours of the crash yesterday, The New York Times had a first-hand look at the grisly scene near Grabovo, where “mundane items of life covered the grass” in a rural area of Ukraine now host to an explosive international flashpoint.
An Australian woman who lost her brother in the March disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 learned today her stepdaughter was aboard yesterday’s downed plane.
Prominent HIV/AIDS researcher Joep Lange, former president of the International AIDS Society, also was on board the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Lange early on was chief architect of antiretroviral trials used in the treatment of AIDS, and more recently a champion of a “prevention pill.” As AIDS Society president from 2002-2004, Lange advocated condom distribution programs to combat the virus and accused former President George W. Bush—who launched a $15 billion, five-year AIDS program advocating abstinence first—of “playing ideological games" in fighting the epidemic.
PAKISTAN: More than three years after the assassination of Pakistan’s first Christian cabinet-level minister, Islamist extremists have silenced prosecution witnesses and the prime suspect was released on bail on July 11, the prosecutor said. There has been no progress in the murder trial of former Minister for Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti, who was gunned down on March 2, 2011. The latest suspect, Omar Abdullah, was granted bail by Islamabad Anti-Terrorism Judge Atiqur Rehman on “medical grounds.”
RAMADAN: On Day 21 of the Muslim month of fasting, here’s a story of how one Muslim man with no peace found it.
I’M READING: The graphic edition of The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes, a brilliant new rendition that makes this important history on FDR’s role in prolonging the Depression accessible in a whole new way (think high school students, too).