GAZA: Two rockets were fired last night from Gaza just before the end of an Israeli-Hamas ceasefire, and Hamas said it was ready to resume fighting. Claudia Rosett explains how the UN has become the handmaiden of Hamas in Gaza (funded mostly with U.S. taxpayer dollars). Even the BBC is questioning the UN’s casualty count, noting that three times as many men as women were killed in Gaza: “If the Israeli attacks have been ‘indiscriminate,’ as the UN Human Rights Council says, it is hard to work out why they have killed so many more civilian men than women.” WORLD’s review of the Israeli-Gaza conflict is just out in the latest issue.
There are ways to help Palestinian victims of the fighting, and here’s an appeal from Baptist World Alliance and Gaza pastor Hanna Massad.
IRAQ: The Pentagon is reporting this hour U.S. planes have struck ISIS artillery positions in northern Iraq. President Barack Obama authorized the air strikes and humanitarian aid air drops in Iraq late yesterday, but seemed to steer clear of action in support of perhaps 200,000 Christians cleansed from Mosul and Nineveh province. The first aid drop reportedly happened yesterday, and manned and unmanned surveillance planes have been flying over Erbil in northern Iraq to assess the ISIS threat.
From today’s Wall Street Journal:
“In the corridors of realpolitik, it is always possible that even events that shock the conscience in seemingly faraway places will be seen as insufficient to justify U.S. involvement, especially after the opinion-poll fatigue of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
What is happening in Iraq, however, won't remain faraway. The men driving their Islamic State have no intention of settling down in dusty towns to a contented, Shariah-led home life. The Islamic State is a dynamic, messianic, outward-moving force.”
NIGERIA: Boko Haram has killed dozens in the northeastern town of Gwoza, and according to our sources, has occupied the town, burning a hospital and killing perhaps 100 without promised Nigerian military intervention. More than 70 Christians have been killed in northern Nigeria during the last month, not including Wednesday’s attack.
CHINA has released Christian human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng.
RUSSIA: Edward Snowden gets to stay in jail, err Moscow. The American’s temporary asylum ran out on Aug. 1, but Russian authorities have granted a three-year residence permit, with three-month stints to travel abroad.