NEWS

Gaza Israel Conflict: Deadliest Day Of Operation Pillar Of Defence Yet

18/11/2012 17:49 | Updated 19 November 2012

Twenty-three people, including nine children, have reportedly been killed by Israeli airstrikes and shelling on Gaza on the bloodiest day since the crisis began.

Gaza health officials said five women, including one 80-year-old, and four children were killed when an Israeli airstrike hit the home of Hamas member, Mohamed Dalou, the BBC reports.

It brings the total death toll to 72, including three Israelis who were killed when a Palestinian rocket hit a house on Thursday.

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Palestinians stand in the rubble of the Dalou family house following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City

Gaza's medical facilities have been overwhelmed by the casualties.

Palestinian militants continue to fire rockets into Israel with a number of injuries reported in the towns of Ashkelon and Ofakim.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned the country is prepared to "significantly expand" its operation in Gaza as "Operation Pillar of Defence" enters its fifth day.

The Israeli Defence Force has mobilised 75,000 reserve troops leading to speculation of a full-blown ground offensive.

The UK's foreign secretary William Hague warned on Sunday that Israel risks losing international sympathy if it launches a ground invasion in Gaza in a bid to crack down on militants.

Two media buildings were also hit in Gaza with eight Palestinian journalists hurt - leading Israel's president Shimon Peres to deny they were targeting journalists.

Speaking to Sky News on Sunday morning, Peres says Israel made "supreme efforts" to avoid hitting civilians.

"Unfortunately, they [Hamas] use their bombs in their mosques to hide their arms, to make them headquarters of shooting. In spite of it, until now I believe almost no civilians were hit.

"We have bombed headquarters where they host journalists as well, it is very hard for us to know, but journalists are not our targets."

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A Palestinian man waves national flag during a protest against Israel's operations in Gaza Strip near the West Bank city of Ramallah

On Saturday night it was reported by Haaretz that Yishai said the conflict's purpose was "to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages" to make Israel "calm".

David Cameron has urged Israel to "do everything possible" to end the crisis in Gaza as its military continued to trade missile strikes with Hamas amid fears of a new ground war.

Barack Obama has said America is "fully supportive of Israel's right to defend itself".

Egypt is leading efforts to broker a ceasefire and an Israeli envoy was in Cairo for talks today although the prospects for agreement with Hamas are not considered very high.

Israel-Gaza conflict

23/11/2012 05:31 GMT

Clinton Warned Netanyahu: Don't Punish Palestinians For U.N. Bid

From Haaretz:

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during her talks in Israel this week not to take any extreme actions in response to the Palestinian move in the United Nations for recognition as a non-member state. Clinton said such steps against the Palestinian Authority could bring about its collapse. The Palestinians are planning to ask the United Nations General Assembly to vote on upgrading its status from non-member entity on the symbolic date of November 29.

The day after the cease-fire with Hamas took effect, Israel is preparing for the next crisis with the Palestinians, which is scheduled for six days from now. November 29th is the anniversary of the United Nations vote on accepting the Partition Plan in 1947, which led to the founding of the Jewish Sate. It is also the United Nations' International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

Read more here.

23/11/2012 03:50 GMT

Report: U.S. Urges Israel Not To Build In E-1 Areas

From the Jerusalem Post:

Washington is urging Israel not to allow construction in the area known as E-1 between Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim as a possible response to the Palestinian bid for statehood recognition next week at the UN, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

Building in E-1, which would create contiguity between Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim to the northeast beyond the Green Line, is something various Israeli governments have long wanted to do, but which US opposition has prevented.

Read more here.

23/11/2012 00:01 GMT

Life In Gaza's Courtyards

The New York Times' Jodi Rudoren chronicles displays of pride and sacrifice:

Inside a courtyard, there are faded remnants of “Congratulations from the uncles,” from the April wedding of a son of Ahmed al-Jabari, the commander of the Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, whose assassination last week was the beginning of the latest round of intense battle between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

On the wall outside, the colorful Arabic script reads “Welcome hajji, Abu Muhammad,” a reference to Mr. Jabari’s return from a pilgrimage to Mecca last month. Nearby, the freshest paint pronounces a message from the troops: “Rest in peace. The mission has been accomplished.”

Read the full story at the New York Times.

22/11/2012 23:19 GMT

PHOTO: Egypt Tunnel Into Gaza

Egypt Tunnel into Gaza:

An underground tunnel connecting through which I got into Gaza from Egypt. Israel has repeatedly targeted the tunnel network, trying to hinder flow of goods and weapons into the strip. (Photo by Mosa'ab Elshamy via Flickr)

egypt tunnel gaza strip israel smuggle

22/11/2012 22:55 GMT

Soldiers Show Frustration Via Viral Facebook Photo

16 soldiers spelled out 'loser' with their bodies to critique Netanyahu and show frustration at not going into battle.

Read the full story at The Times Of Israel.

22/11/2012 22:29 GMT

Who Brokered The Ceasefire

The Economist discusses how the ceasefire was achieved and whether it could lead to lasting peace in the region.

Among others coming and going were the UN secretary-general, the American secretary of state and the foreign ministers of Turkey and Germany. But the real bargaining took place behind closed doors at the headquarters of General Muhammad Shehata, Egypt’s intelligence chief. There, in separate rooms, the Egyptians haggled with a legal adviser to the Israeli prime minister, and with representatives from Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group that runs Gaza, and a smaller, more radical Palestinian faction, Islamic Jihad.

Read the full story at The Economist.

22/11/2012 21:22 GMT

Israeli Arab Arrested for Tel Aviv Bus Bombing

From the Associated Press:

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's army spokeswoman says an Israeli Arab who is a member of Hamas has been arrested for Wednesday's bus bombing in Tel Aviv.

The bombing injured 27 people near Israel's military headquarters and threatened to scuttle efforts to broker a cease-fire to end fighting between Israel and Gaza.

Israeli military spokeswoman Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich reported Thursday on Twitter that authorities had arrested the man who planted the bomb on the bus and identified him as an Arab Israeli from the village of Taybeh. She said he was a member of Hamas.

22/11/2012 20:41 GMT

Arrest Made In Tel Aviv Bus Bombing

@ haaretzcom :

BREAKING: #Israel security forces arrest suspects in #TelAviv bus blast http://t.co/91fS0v48

22/11/2012 20:38 GMT

A Palestinian Boy

hamas
A Palestinian boy and militants of the Izzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, attend funerals of five Hamas militants in Mugharka village, central Gaza Strip, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012. Five Hamas militants were killed in an Israeli air strike yesterday, Palestinian health officials said. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

22/11/2012 20:28 GMT

Israel-Gaza Conflict Winners And Losers

While the cease-fire agreement between Israel and Gaza on Wednesday brought an end to the rockets and airstrikes, the political fallout is just beginning. The Associated Press offers a breakdown of who won and who lost as a result of the truce agreement:

Read the full story on HuffPost World.

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