Gaza Offensive 2014:'The world stands disgraced' - Israeli shelling of school kills at least 15

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Gaza Offensive 2014:'The world stands disgraced' - Israeli shelling of school kills at least 15
  Gaza: nothing more shameful than attacking sleeping children, says Ban Ki-moon
United Nations officials described the killing of sleeping children as a disgrace to the world and accused Israel of a serious violation of international law after a school in Gaza being used to shelter Palestinian families was shelled on Wednesday.

At least 15 people, mostly children and women, died when the school in Jabaliya refugee camp was hit by five shells during a night of relentless bombardment across Gaza. More than 100 people were injured.
Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, said the attack was "outrageous and unjustifiable" and demanded "accountability and justice". The UN said its officials had repeatedly given details of the school and its refugee population to Israel.
A Palestinian girl 220 cries while receiving treatment for her injuries caused by an Israeli strike.  
A Palestinian girl cries while receiving treatment for her injuries caused by an Israeli strike. Photograph: Khalil Hamra/AP 
Fighting in Gaza continued through the day despite a four-hour humanitarian ceasefire called by Israel from 3pm. A crowded market in Shujai'iya was hit in the late afternoon, causing at least 17 deaths, including a journalist, and injuring about 200 people, according to Gaza health officials. They said people had ventured out to shop in the belief a ceasefire was in place. Witnesses said several shells struck as people were running away. Israel said rockets and mortar shells continued to be fired from Gaza.

Israel on Thursday was showing no sign of scaling back Operation Protective Edge, with the military reportedly calling up an additional 16,000 reserves as the offensive entered its 24th day.
At the UN school the first shell came just after the early morning call to prayer, when most of those taking shelter were asleep, crammed into classrooms with what few possessions they had managed to snatch as they fled their homes.

About 3,300 people had squashed into Jabaliya Elementary A&B Girls' School since the Israeli military warned people to leave their homes and neighbourhoods or risk death under intense bombardment. Classroom number one, near the school's entrance, had become home to about 40 people, mostly women and children.

As a shell blasted through the wall, showering occupants with shrapnel and spattering blood on walls and floors, Amna Zantit, 31, scrambled to gather up her three terrified infants in a panicked bid for the relative safety of the schoolyard. "Everyone was trying to escape," she said, clutching her eight-month old baby tightly. Minutes later, a second shell slammed through the roof of the two-storey school. At least 15 people were killed and more than 100 injured. Most were women or children.
Pierre Krähenbühl, commissioner-general of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, said the shelling of the school was a "serious violation of international law by Israeli forces".
Krähenbühl said: "Last night, children were killed as they slept next to their parents on the floor of a classroom in a UN-designated shelter in Gaza. Children killed in their sleep; this is an affront to all of us, a source of universal shame. Today the world stands disgraced."
Khalil al-Halabi, the UN official in charge of the schools in the area, was quickly on the scene. Bodies were littered over the classroom, and the badly injured lay in pools of blood amid the debris and rubble caused by the blast. "I was shaking," he said. "It was very, very hard for me to see the blood and hear the children crying."
By daylight, the detritus of people's lives was visible among ruins of the classroom: a ball, a bucket, some blankets, tins of food, a pair of flip-flops. The corpses of donkeys, used to haul the meagre possessions of refugees to what they thought was safety, lay at the school's entrance as two lads wearing Palestinian boy scout scarves collected human body parts for burial. Five of the injured were in a critical condition in hospital.

A palestinian collects body parts in a classroom at the Abu Hussein UN school.  

A Palestinian collects body parts in a classroom at the Abu Hussein UN school. Photograph: Lefteris Pitarakis/AP 
Halabi was facing impossible requests for advice from those who escaped the carnage. "These people are very angry. They evacuated their homes and came here for protection, not to be killed inside a UN shelter. Now they are asking me whether to stay or leave. They are very frightened. They don't know what to do."
The attack on the school was the sixth time that UNRWA premises have been hit since the war in Gaza began more than three weeks ago, the UN said.
Palestinians fled their homes after Israel warned that failure to do so would put their lives at risk. Those at the Jabaliya school were among more than 200,000 who have sought shelter at UN premises in the belief that families would be safe.
Analysis of evidence gathered at the site by UNRWA led to an initial assessment that Israeli artillery had hit the school, causing "multiple civilian deaths and injuries including of women and children and the UNRWA guard who was trying to protect the site. These are people who were instructed to leave their homes by the Israeli army."
Krähenbühl added: "Our staff, the very people leading the humanitarian response, are being killed. Our shelters are overflowing. Tens of thousands may soon be stranded in the streets of Gaza, without food, water and shelter if attacks on these areas continue."
The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said it was investigating the incident at the UN school. Initial inquiries showed that "Hamas militants fired mortar shells from the vicinity of the school, and [Israeli] soldiers responded by firing towards the origins of the fire", a spokeswoman said.
A UN source said there was no evidence of militant activity inside the school.
The US, which has been at odds with Israel's prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, over efforts to secure a ceasefire, condemned the school shelling but did not specifically blame Israel.
The incident comes after an explosion at another UN school in Beit Hanoun last week as the playground was filled with families awaiting evacuation. Israel denied responsibility for the deaths, saying a single "errant" shell fired by its forces hit the school playground, which was empty at the time.
Palestinians inspect a damaged classroom of the UN school in Jabalia, northern Gaza, 30 July 2014.  

A damaged classroom of the school. Photograph: Mohammed Saber/EPA
UNRWA has rejected the IDF's account, saying an initial shell was followed by several others within minutes. Reporters who visited the school shortly afterwards said damage and debris was consistent with mortar rounds. UNRWA has found rockets at three of its schools in Gaza in the past three weeks, which it has swiftly condemned as "flagrant violation[s] of the neutrality of our premises".
Israel says militants from Hamas and other organisations launch rockets from the vicinity of UNRWA properties.
The Israeli military said it had targeted more than 4,100 sites in Gaza since the start of the conflict on 8 July. The death toll in Gaza rose above 1,300 on Wednesday.
Three soldiers were killed in fighting around Khan Younis, bringing the total IDF death toll to 56. Three civilians have died in rocket attacks on Israel.
In an emotional statement, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said the "destructive cycle of violence has caused untold suffering".
He said: "You can't look at the pictures coming from Gaza and Israel without your heart breaking. We must cry to God and beat down the doors of heaven and pray for peace and justice and security. Only a costly and open-hearted seeking of peace between Israeli and Palestinian can protect innocent people, their children and grandchildren, from ever worse violence."
He called for a renewed "commitment to political dialogue in the wider search for peace and security for both Israeli and Palestinians".
Support for the military operation among the Israeli public remained solid. A poll published by Tel Aviv university this week found 95% of Israeli Jews felt the offensive was justified. Only 4% believed too much force had been used.

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Get to know the fabulous life of Facebook billionaire Sheryl Sandberg

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Get to know the fabulous life of Facebook billionaire Sheryl Sandberg
With a reported net worth of $1.1 billion, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is one of the wealthiest women in tech.
With a reported net worth of $1.1 billion, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is one of the wealthiest women in tech.

Though Sandberg lives in a stunning contemporary home in Silicon Valley with her husband and two children, she isn't known for having a particularly extravagant lifestyle.

Sandberg comes from a government background and has worked her way up to the top of two major tech companies. Now she's working on a movement to change women's position in the workforce, and she's recruited celebrities and traveled the globe to do it.
1. Sheryl Sandberg was born on August 28, 1969, in Washington, DC. She has two younger siblings: a brother named David and a sister named Michelle. The family moved to North Miami Beach when Sheryl was only two years old.

2. Sandberg's father was an ophthalmologist, and her mother taught French at a local college. The couple founded the South Florida Conference on Soviet Jewry through their local synagogue, and their home soon became a safe haven for Soviet Jews looking to escape anti-Semitism.

Get to know the fabulous life of Facebook billionaire Sheryl Sandberg

Sandberg always shone in school. "In public schools, for a girl to be smart was not good for your social life," her mother Adele told the New Yorker.

She went on to Harvard, where she researched with future treasury secretary Larry Summers and graduated at the top of the economics department.

Summers would serve as an important mentor for Sandberg in the beginning phases of her career. When Summers became the Secretary of the Treasury in 1999, Sandberg was his chief of staff.

But after the Democrats lost the 2000 election, she decided to move to Silicon Valley to join the booming tech industry. Though at the time Google was a small company with no consistent revenue, she found the company's mission attractive. Eric Schmidt reportedly called her every week, telling her, "Don't be an idiot ... This is a rocket ship. Get on it." She joined Google as business-unit general manager in 2001.

7. Google grew immensely during Sandberg's time there, and she was eventually promoted to VP for global online sales and operations. But after nearly seven years at the company, she was ready for a new challenge. She began meeting Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg for dinner once or twice a week, first at Menlo Park's Flea Street Cafe and then at Sandberg's Atherton home. Sandberg returned to the cafe for an interview with Oprah in 2013.

Get to know the fabulous life of Facebook billionaire Sheryl Sandberg

After six weeks of dinner meetings, Zuckerberg eventually offered her the COO job. "There are people who are really good managers, people who can manage a big organization," Zuckerberg told the New Yorker. "And then there are people who are very analytic or focused on strategy. Those two types don't usually tend to be in the same person." Sandberg celebrated her six-year Facebook anniversary this past March.

She married her longtime best friend, SurveyMonkey CEO Dave Goldberg, in 2004. They have two young children together.

Last year, the couple completed construction on a 9,210-square-foot home in Menlo Park. The home has six bedrooms, a wine room, gym, movie theater, basketball court, and giant waterfall. Like the upcoming Facebook headquarters, Sandberg's home has a living roof. Rows of solar panels make a bold statement in this traditional neighborhood.

Get to know the fabulous life of Facebook billionaire Sheryl Sandberg

Sandberg is known by many as an advocate for women's rights in the workplace. In December 2011, she provided some troubling statistics about working women in a TED talk that has since been viewed more than 4 million times.

In March of 2013, she published "Lean In," a book that recounts some of her own personal work experience as well as advice for women to pursue top positions in their field.

Arianna Huffington and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg threw Sandberg a huge party to celebrate the launch. Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and AOL CEO Tim Armstrong were among the important people in attendance.

With "Lean In," Sandberg has sparked a feminist movement she hopes spreads across the globe. Her aim is to give women the practical skills they need to reach their goals while encouraging them to support each other in small peer groups she calls "Lean In Circles." Here, she meets with female business leaders in India.

15. In February, she partnered with Getty Images to take stock photos that are meant to change the perception of women in the workforce. The photos depict women in fashionable clothing that aren't pantsuits, as well as older women and "cool" working moms.

She's enlisted the help of some famous friends along the way. In March, Beyonce, Jennifer Garner, Jane Lynch, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Condoleezza Rice starred in a Lifetime PSA that encouraged young girls to take the lead without worrying about being "bossy." Sandberg has campaigned against using the word "bossy," arguing that it damages women's confidence and desire to pursue leadership roles.

"Lean In" will soon be a movie as well. Sony Pictures reportedly acquired the rights to a film based on the book in January, and all proceeds will go to Sandberg's foundation.

Get to know the fabulous life of Facebook billionaire Sheryl Sandberg

But not everyone has been so crazy about Sandberg's advice to lean in. Some critics say that it's not enough to tell women to have confidence if they're not being given the opportunity to succeed. Others say it's unfair to use Sandberg as a model for all women, as she is able to afford a nanny and a staff at work.

For her part, Sandberg is fairly open about the things she and her husband do to maintain a balance and make sure they are both pursuing their career goals. Sandberg says she has a rule for leaving the office each day at 5:30 so that she can enough time with her family.

20. And whether or not you agree with her feminist movement, it's clear she's making a difference. Fortune has included her on its list of Most Powerful Women since 2005, and Facebook's stock continues to soar. She's also led the social network in revamping its mobile strategy. 

The Times of India

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Gaza Offensive 2014: 'Israeli market strike kills 15'

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At least 15 people have been killed and 160 wounded in an Israeli strike that hit a fruit and vegetable market near Gaza City, Palestinian officials say.

The explosion hit a busy market in Shejaiya, where hundreds of people were shopping, a spokesman for the Gaza health ministry said.

The attack came during a four-hour truce called by the Israeli military - rejected by Hamas as meaningless.

Separately, three Israeli soldiers were killed in Gaza, the military said.

Palestinian doctors said another Israeli air strike after the truce was announced had killed seven people in Khan Younis.


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Israeli shells kill refugees in Gaza UN school

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Israeli shells have struck a UN school in the Gaza Strip, killing at least 19 people and wounding scores more, after Israeli ground troops made a significant push into the territory.

Wednesday’s shelling of the Jabaliya refugee camp was the second time in a week that a UN school sheltering hundreds of homeless Palestinians had been hit, with the latest violence pushing the Gaza death toll over 1,280.

Christopher Gunness, the UNRWA's spokesman, said the attack was a "source of universal shame" and blamed Israeli forces.

"We have visited the site and gathered evidence. We have analysed fragments, examined craters and other damage. Our initial assessment is that it was Israeli artillery that hit our school, in which 3,300 people had sought refuge.

"I condemn in the strongest possible terms this serious violation of international law by Israeli forces. I call on the international community to take deliberate international political action to put an immediate end to the continuing carnage."

Many of those in the school had fled their homes in northern Gaza after Israel dropped leaflets warning them of an "upcoming phase" of action.

The Israeli military said fighters near the UN school had fired mortar bombs and Israeli forces had shot back.

"Earlier this morning, militants fired mortar shells at [Israeli] soldiers from the vicinity of the UNRWA school in Jabaliya. In response, soldiers fired towards the origins of fire, and we're still reviewing the incident," a spokeswoman said.

Israel announced a four-hour "humanitarian window" on Wednesday, starting at midday GMT, but said it did not include areas where its soliders were operating - about half of Gaza.

Hamas said it would not abide by the pause, unless its conditions were met - namely, the end of the blockade of Gaza.

At least 1,300 Palestinians have died in Israel's invasion, according to the Gaza's health ministry figures.

An official for UNRWA, the UN's Palestinian refugee agency, told the AFP news agency that the shelling hit a bathroom and two classrooms inside the girls' school.

Al Jazeera's Imtiaz Tyab, reporting from Gaza's Kamal Adwan hospital, where many of the injured were brought, put the number of wounded at more than 90.
Israeli rockets hit Gaza's largest refugee centre

"Looking around me I can see some with what appears to be shrapnel wounds and some with far more serious wounds," he said.

He said people there did not know why Israel had hit the shelter, adding that the attack caused panic among people living in different UN-run shelters.

"As we were driving to the hospital, we saw families with many children leaving other UN schools. They feel insecure. There seem to be no safe shelter for them, not even in UN schools," our correspondent said.

At least 180,000 Palestinians have sought shelter in about 80 UNRWA schools, according to the agency.

The Israeli army had begun heavy tank shelling in the area a couple of hours prior to the incident.

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New search area for the missing ‪#‎Malaysian‬ Plane ‪#‎MH370‬ announced

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New search area for the missing ‪#‎Malaysian‬ Plane ‪#‎MH370‬ announcedThe Australian government made the announcement after further analysis of satellite data.

The search will now shift south to focus on an area 1,800km off the west coast of ‪#‎Australia‬.

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