Iraq | Flotilla Massacre | Israel
• READ: Obama to Announce Substantial Troop Withdrawal From Iraq
President Obama will make a speech later today that details his withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq. A series of excerpts released by the White house indicates that by the end of August, only 50,000 U.S. soldiers will remain in the country; the rest are slated to leave by the end of 2011 (via TPM)
• READ: UN Announces Panel to Probe Gaza Flotilla Raid
UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Monday announced a four-member panel, including an Israeli and a Turk, to probe Israel’s deadly raid in May on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla. The panel, chaired by former New Zealand prime minister Geoffrey Palmer and with outgoing Colombian President Alvaro Uribe as vice chairman, will begin work August 10 and submit a first progress report by mid-September.
• READ: Revered Rabbi Preaches Slaughter Of Gentile Babies
A rabbi from one of the most violent settlements in the West Bank was questioned on suspicion of incitement last week as Israeli police stepped up their investigation into a book in which he sanctions the killing of non-Jews, including children and babies. Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira is one of the leading ideologues of the extreme wing of the religious settler movement. He is known to be a champion of the “price-tag” policy of reprisal attacks on Palestinians, including punishing them for attempts by officials to enforce Israeli law against the settlements.