After a nearly month-long assault that left at least 1,865 Palestinians dead, Israel has pulled its ground forces from the Gaza Strip under the 72-hour ceasefire that went into effect earlier today. Israeli and Palestinian factions have agreed to attend talks in Cairo on a longer-term agreement. Gaza officials say the vast majority of Palestinian victims were civilians in the Israeli offensive that began on July 8. Israel says 64 of its soldiers and three civilians have been killed. Palestinians are returning to homes and neighborhoods that have seen a massive amount of destruction. Nearly a quarter of Gaza’s 1.8 million residents were displaced during the fighting which destroyed more than 3,000 homes. The ceasefire was reached after international outrage over Palestinian civilian deaths peaked, with even Israel’s chief backer, the United States, criticizing recent Israeli shelling of United Nations shelters that killed scores of displaced Palestinians. To discuss the lead-up to the ceasefire and what to expect from the talks in Cairo, we are joined by author and scholar Norman Finkelstein.
President Obama signed a bill on Monday granting an additional $225 million in emergency funding for Israel to replenish its arsenal of interceptor missiles for its Iron Dome air defense system. The emergency spending was approved unanimously by the Senate and by a 395-to-8 vote in the House. Amidst universal support of Iron Dome from politicians and the corporate media, one of the country’s leading missile experts, Theodore Postol, says there is no evidence that Iron Dome is actually working. Postol is well known within defense circles for exposing the failures of the Patriot missile system during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. "I have been privy to discussions with members of Congress who have oversight responsibilities, who have acknowledged in those discussions that they have no idea whether Iron Dome is working or not," says Postol, a professor of science, technology and national security policy at MIT. "And I can also tell you that the U.S. government has not been given any information on the performance of Iron Dome."
After a New York City medical examiner rules homicide in the death of Eric Garner at the hands of police, we look at the growing concern over the use of police chokeholds and a new attempt to hold officers accountable by defending a citizen’s right to videotape their actions. On July 17, New York City police placed Garner, an African-American father of six, in a chokehold after they confronted him for selling single cigarettes known as "loosies." Graphic video of the incident shows an officer pulling Garner to the ground by the neck and then holding his head against the pavement. He repeatedly says that he cannot breathe. Garner’s family and supporters have called for criminal charges against the officer and a federal civil rights investigation. Chokeholds like the one that killed Garner have been banned under NYPD’s excessive force guidelines for more than two decades. But today, the city’s Civilian Complaint Review Board will meet to address more than 1,000 chokehold complaints against officers in recent years. We are joined by two mothers whose sons were killed by New York City police officers, Iris Baez and Kadiatou Diallo. We also speak to civil liberties attorney Norman Siegel and his client, Debra Goodman, a retired legal secretary who filed a lawsuit against the City of New York after she was arrested for filming police in an incident last year.
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