Free Republic 4th Quarter Fundraising Target: $88,000 Receipts & Pledges to-date: $4,907
Woo hoo!! And the first 5% is in!! Thank you all very much!!

Keyword: stisraelhamas

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • Egypt: We will not revise cease-fire proposal rejected by Hamas [Israel]

    07/19/2014 4:41:01 AM PDT · by Star Traveler · 9 replies
    Haaretz ^ | Saturday, July 19, 2014 | Staff
    Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri says Cairo's offer 'provides the needs of all sides.' Egypt does not have any plans to revise its ceasefire proposal to end the fighting in Gaza, Foreign Minister Sameh Shukrisaid in a joint press conference with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius in Cairo. "It provides the needs of all sides and we will continue to offer it, hoping to get their support as soon as possible," said Shukri, referring to the initiative rejected by Hamas. On Friday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas asked France to use its influence on Hamas allies such as Turkey and Qatar to...
  • After the cannons fall silent [Israel and Hamas]

    07/19/2014 3:29:32 AM PDT · by Star Traveler · 8 replies
    The Jerusalem Post ^ | Saturday, July 19, 2014 | Herb Keinon
    Israel’s military goals for Operation Protective Edge are clear: restore quiet, and pound Hamas’s operation capabilities. Its diplomatic/political aims are murkier. What exactly does Jerusalem have in mind for Gaza, the day after? Netanyahu’s goals for the operation, which he has repeated almost every time he has met a microphone over the last 11 days, are to restore quiet, and deliver a significant blow to Hamas. “Hamas left us no choice but to broaden and intensify the campaign against it,” he said in a brief statement to the nation Tuesday evening, before yet another security cabinet meeting. “This is what...
  • UN secretary-general to visit Israel Saturday

    07/18/2014 8:33:14 PM PDT · by Star Traveler · 8 replies
    Haaretz ^ | Friday, July 18, 2014 | Barack Ravid
    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is set to arrive in Israel on Saturday to assist with efforts to reach a truce between Israel and Hamas. The unexpected announcement was made as the UN Security Council held an emergency meeting Friday on the Gaza crisis. All 15 member states expressed serious concern over the escalation, and called for a cease-fire. In a phone conversation between Ban and Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister objected to the UN chief's comparison over the past few days between the rockets fired by Hamas and the Israeli Defense Forces' activities in Gaza. "There isn't any symmetry...
  • Obama Pummels Al Qaeda While Calling for Restraint Against Hamas

    07/18/2014 7:06:37 PM PDT · by Star Traveler · 13 replies
    Algemeiner ^ | Wednesday, July 16, 2014 | Shmuley Boteach
    The greatest challenge facing Israel in its current battle against Hamas is the world’s absurd moral equivalence between a righteous democracy trying to protect its citizens from indiscriminate rocket fire and a genocidal terror organization committed to murdering Jews and destroying the State of Israel. Last week I published a column criticizing the Obama Administration for its calls for mutual restraint on the part of both parties, as if Israel and Hamas can in any way be compared. I received criticism and pushback from personal friends who work in the Administration saying I was misrepresenting what the Obama Administration had...
  • Peres to Pope Francis: ‘Our Operation is Aimed at Stopping Two Killing Methods’ [Israel and Hamas]

    07/18/2014 6:51:26 PM PDT · by Star Traveler · 3 replies
    Algemeiner ^ | Friday, July 18, 2014 | Joshua Levitt
    Israeli President Shimon Peres on Friday told Pope Francis that Israel’s Operation Protective Edge “aimed to bring an end to two killing methods – the rockets from the sky and the tunnels from under the earth.” Peres told the Pope: “We have discovered two tunnels which were supposed to enable them enter into the heart of civilian life and kill indiscriminately.” “Fortunately we discovered it on time and prevented the murder,” he said. “Right now the main thing we are doing is to put an end to these tunnels and we are trying to see how to limit the confrontation,...
  • Nothing Makes Hamas Happier Than Dead Palestinians [Israel and Hamas]

    07/18/2014 4:14:24 PM PDT · by Star Traveler · 6 replies
    Algemeiner ^ | Wednesday, July 16, 2014 | Jerold Auerbach
    Nothing plays better in the mainstream media these days than wailing Gazans, mourning their dead from Israeli missile strikes responding to the unprovoked deluge of Hamas rockets on the Jewish state. As Ben Wedeman (CNN) recently reported from Jabalia, “There is no Iron Dome in Gaza to protect civilians.” But Gaza civilians most need protection from Hamas. Its leaders intentionally jeopardize their lives by embedding rocket-launching and ammunition storage sites in schools, mosques and hospitals located in civilian neighborhoods. In Gaza, recruits for martyrdom in the holy war against Israel are urged to gather on rooftops. They are instructed by...
  • Washington Post Sees Hamas Missiles Moved Into Gaza Mosque During Humanitarian Ceasefire

    07/18/2014 4:09:35 PM PDT · by Star Traveler · 22 replies
    Algemeiner ^ | Friday, July 18, 2014 | Joshua Levott
    The Washington Post‘s correspondents covering Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza reported that during Thursday’s five-hour humanitarian ceasefire, they saw men moving rockets into a mosque, a clear violation of international rules of war. On Friday, buried toward’s the end of The Post’s dispatch from the front, the newspaper reported what one of its correspondents saw during the break in fighting: “During the lull, a group of men at a mosque in northern Gaza said they had returned to clean up the green glass from windows shattered in the previous day’s bombardment. But they could be seen moving small rockets...
  • Israel’s UN Ambassador Says There Are More Hamas Missiles at UNRWA Facilities

    07/18/2014 3:51:37 PM PDT · by Star Traveler · 13 replies
    Algemeiner ^ | Friday, July 18, 2014 | Staff
    A day after UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, admitted that it had discovered 20 Hamas rockets at one of its schools, Israel’s UN Ambassador said he was certain that more such facilities housed Hamas weaponry. “Yesterday, UNRWA admitted that it mysteriously found 20 missiles in one of its schools,” Ambassador Ron Prosor said on Friday in an emergency Security Council session on Gaza. “I’m sure that if UNRWA takes the time to check its other facilities, it will discover that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Hamas is...
  • UN chief Ban heading to Mideast in Gaza peace bid

    07/18/2014 3:08:14 PM PDT · by Star Traveler · 13 replies
    Miami Herald ^ | Friday, July 18, 2014 | Edith M. Lederer
    UNITED NATIONS -- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will leave Saturday for the Middle East to help mediate the conflict in Gaza between Israel and Hamas, a U.N. official said Friday. Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman also said at a U.N. Security Council emergency meeting on the conflict in Gaza that a ceasefire is "indispensable" for urgently needed humanitarian efforts to succeed. He said the U.N. refugee agency was already stretched to its limit. The Palestinian U.N. ambassador threatened to go to U.N. and international courts, which would likely include the International Criminal Court, if the Security Council doesn't act to...
  • The treacherous task of tunnel demolition [Israel and Hamas]

    07/18/2014 1:35:06 PM PDT · by Star Traveler · 33 replies
    The Times of Israel ^ | Friday, July 18, 2014 | Mitch Ginsberg
    How exactly does the IDF dismantle Hamas’s offensive tunnels, some 60-feet-deep, over a mile long, with multiple exits. The tunnel threat, the unknowingness of it, has eclipsed the threat of rockets in Israel’s war with Gaza. This may change in the future, if detection methods improve. For now, though, after narrowly thwarting a mega-attack in the Eshkol region on Thursday, Israel has sent in troops to find, probe, and destroy the underground arteries that stretch beneath the border, all along the border. Brig. Gen. Miki Edelstein, the Gaza division commander, told reporters near an offensive tunnel discovered in October 2013...
  • US Jews furious over 'Washington Post' cartoon showing Netanyahu punching Palestinian infant

    07/18/2014 1:11:07 PM PDT · by Star Traveler · 43 replies
    The Jerusalem Post ^ | Friday, July 18, 2014 | Staff
    A prominent American Jewish organization is denouncing The Washington Post for posting an animated cartoon on its YouTube channel depicting Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu beating a Palestinian infant. The caricature is aimed at apportioning blame equally between Israel and Hamas for the suffering of Gazan civilians. It was created by Ann Telnaes, one of the newspaper’s editorial cartoonists. The Simon Wiesenthal Center declared its outrage over the cartoon. In a statement released to news agencies on Friday, the center’s associate dean, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, said the clip was “disgusting.” "It is disgusting that The Washington Post would present an animated...
  • Netanyahu Says International Coalition Supporting Israel ...

    07/18/2014 12:40:34 PM PDT · by Star Traveler · 5 replies
    Algemeiner ^ | Friday, July 18, 2014 | Joshua Levittown
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday said a broad international coalition is supporting Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, in its tenth day, as the Israel Defense Forces began a ground operation overnight to destroy Hamas tunnels in Gaza. Speaking at the start of a special cabinet meeting, in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said he “spoke with major world leaders” and “explained to them the impossible situation the State of Israel was facing and our need to defend our people. Since then, through constant, methodical diplomatic and media activity, we have been creating the international space – which is not self-evident – so...
  • Israel’s Ambassador Dermer on Gaza Child Deaths: ‘I Have No Doubt Hamas Was Celebrating ...

    07/18/2014 12:32:55 PM PDT · by Star Traveler · 8 replies
    Algemeiner ^ | Friday, July 18, 2014 | Shiryn Ghermezian
    Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, said on Thursday he is certain that Hamas terrorists rejoiced in the deaths of four children killed on Wednesday in Gaza when the IDF targeted a “nearby shipping container used in the past by Hamas security forces,” according to a witness. “I have no doubt that Hamas was celebrating when these children were killed,” he told CNBC’s John Harwood. “No one in Israel was celebrating when these children were killed.” Confronted about charges that Israel is using “vastly, disproportionate force” in its war against Hamas, Dermer said the Jewish state does everything...
  • In call to PM, Obama pledges support, urges minimal Gaza civilian deaths [Israel]

    07/18/2014 11:55:17 AM PDT · by Star Traveler · 34 replies
    The Times of Israel ^ | Friday, July 18, 2014 | Rebecca Shimoni Stoil and Staff
    President emphasizes backing of Jewish state’s right to defend itself against rocket fire, says current offensive focused on tunnels. President Barack Obama said Friday that he encouraged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to minimize civilian deaths in Israel’s ground push into Hamas-ruled Gaza, while letting him know that the US supports Israel’s right to self defense “No nation should accept rockets being fired into its borders,” Obama told reporters at the White House. The US president said he spoke by phone with Netanyahu earlier in the day, over the sounds of sirens going off in the background in Tel Aviv, and...
  • Netanyahu orders Israeli military to prepare for 'significant expansion' of Gaza ground offensive

    07/18/2014 9:32:23 AM PDT · by Star Traveler · 25 replies
    Fox News ^ | Friday, July 18, 2014 | Staff
    Netanyahu said the military's primary goal would be to destroy underground tunnels used by Hamas to attack the Jewish State. The announcement came hours after Israeli ground troops and tanks struck more than 100 terror targets in Israel's first major ground offensive in Gaza in just over five years. “Since there is no way to deal with the tunnels only from the air, our soldiers are doing it now from the ground," Netanyahu said at the opening of an emergency cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv, the Jerusalem Post reported. “We decided to launch the action after we tried all the...
  • Uncovering Gazan tunnel routes is critical, says prominent geologist and defense expert [Israel]

    07/18/2014 9:16:32 AM PDT · by Star Traveler · 11 replies
    The Jerusalem Post ^ | Friday, July 18, 2014 | Sharon Udasin
    Many tunnels have already reached Israeli land, and systems that could have been deployed to detect the digging of tunnels into Israel are no longer helpful. Israel must identify and destroy the complex tunnel infrastructure of Gaza to prevent future kidnappings and terrorist activity “before disaster occurs,” a geologist and defense expert told The Jerusalem Post Thursday. The advice comes from a man with an impressive track record. Langotsky, now 80 years old, is a renowned Israeli geologist and defense expert, During his IDF service, Langotsky received two Israel Defense Prizes, one personal and one together with his unit, as...
  • Israel's Gaza incursion to focus on locating, destroying tunnels

    07/18/2014 8:35:00 AM PDT · by Star Traveler · 26 replies
    Haaretz ^ | Friday, July 18, 2014 | Staff
    The Israel Defense Forces are currently operating on the ground in several areas throughout the Gaza Strip, from north to south, a senior IDF office said on Friday morning. After entering the strip at a number of points along the border on Thursday night, infantry and armored forces made their way to predetermined points in agricultural areas of the strip. By morning they were on the outskirts of populated areas. The immediate objective of the operation was for the forces to establish themselves in commanding positions, from which they could operate against tunnels running from the strip into Israel. Before...
  • Israel says Gaza ground operation aims to restore calm, not oust Hamas

    07/17/2014 5:55:48 PM PDT · by Star Traveler · 19 replies
    The Times of Israel ^ | Friday, July 18, 2014 | Staff
    Thousands of Israeli soldiers backed by tanks poured into the Gaza Strip on Thursday night, escalating a 10-day military operation to try to destroy Hamas’s weapons arsenal, rocket firing abilities and tunnels used to send terrorists from the Palestinian territory into Israel. The goal of the ground operation was to restore security for Israel’s citizens by stopping Hamas attacks, Israeli diplomatic sources said, and not to reconquer Gaza and oust Hamas. The high-stakes move was compelled by Israel’s growing exasperation over unrelenting rocket fire and followed the collapse of Egyptian-led efforts to broker a cease-fire. It also came after a...
  • Ground operation follows deceptive measures aimed at Hamas [Israeli Incursion]

    07/17/2014 3:23:53 PM PDT · by Star Traveler · 7 replies
    Haaretz ^ | Friday, July 18, 2014 | Batak Ravid
    Israel’s inner cabinet decided on expansion of military activities on Tuesday, after Egypt’s cease-fire efforts failed; news media were told a decision would only be made Friday morning. The Israel Defense Forces ground operation in the Gaza Strip began after the inner cabinet met in secret on Thursday night in Tel Aviv. In a deceptive maneuver intended to give the impression that no significant expansion of the military operation would happen in the next 24 hours, Israeli officials told reporters the security cabinet would only be meeting on Friday morning. A senior official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the...
  • Full text of Israeli PM statement on Gaza ground operation

    07/17/2014 3:14:54 PM PDT · by Star Traveler · 1 replies
    Haaretz ^ | Thursday, July 17, 2014 | Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Office
    "The prime minister and the defense minister have ordered the IDF to begin a ground operation in order to damage the underground terror tunnels constructed in Gaza leading into Israeli territory. "Such a tunnel was used earlier this morning by Hamas terrorists to enter Israeli territory, with intent to case massive harm to Israeli civilians. "The IDF successfully thwarted this attempt at terrorism as well. The prime minister and the defense minister have ordered the IDF to make preparations for expanding the ground operation. The order to act tonight has been approved by the security cabinet, after Israel agreed to...
  • Israel launches ground incursion in Gaza Strip

    07/17/2014 2:50:44 PM PDT · by Star Traveler · 13 replies
    Haaretz ^ | Thursday, July 17, 2014 | Staff
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon ordered the Israel Defense Forces to launch a ground incursion in the Gaza Strip Thursday night, in order to "damage the underground tunnel terrors constructed in Gaza leading into Israeli territory." Earlier, Israel resumed airstrikes on the Gaza Strip at 3:00 P.M. after a six hour temporary cease-fire to allow humanitarian aid to reach Gaza residents. The cease-fire began at 9:00 A.M. on Thursday morning, though Hamas fired rockets at Israel roughly two hours later. 11:54 P.M. Israeli army to request cabinet to green light the recruitment of 18,000 more reserves...
  • Arab World Increasingly Frustrated With Hamas

    07/17/2014 12:26:44 PM PDT · by Star Traveler · 12 replies
    Algemeiner ^ | Thursday, July 17, 2014 | Steven Emerson
    While Israel’s response to incessant rocket fire from Gaza drew the requisite condemnations from the Arab world and some in the international community, Arab media is increasingly open in criticizing Hamas for instigating the violence. Media in Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Egypt blame Hamas’ actions for inviting Israeli counter attacks and prioritizing conflict over the safety of the Gazan population and criticized the leadership for waging war far from the conflict, a Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) report shows. After Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal criticized Egyptian inaction in Gaza, Egyptian columnists responded emphatically. “[Meshaal], we are tired of defending...
  • Israel is in no rush to crush Hamas government

    07/17/2014 12:03:51 PM PDT · by Star Traveler · 11 replies
    Haaretz ^ | Thursday, July 17, 2014 | Amos Harel
    IDF fears that, without Hamas, Gaza could descend into a Somalia-like situation, in which dozens of gangs or clans would take over various parts of the strip. The next 48 hours in the Gaza Strip will likely bring more of the same: Israeli air strikes, murmurs about a limited Israel Defense Forces ground operation and continued rocket fire from the Strip to central and southern Israel. But there is also a slim chance of reaching a cease–fire agreement. Contacts aimed at achieving this are ongoing on two different fronts: one Egyptian, and the other Qatari-Turkish. The Palestinian Authority is maneuvering...
  • The Mofaz plan for demilitarizing Gaza [Israel]

    07/17/2014 9:42:13 AM PDT · by Star Traveler
    The Times of Israel ^ | Thursday, July 17, 2014 | Mitch Ginsburg
    Former defense minister, inspired by success in Syria, believes Israel can spearhead international effort to strip Hamas of rockets. A former army commander and defense minister recently submitted a plan to the Prime Minister’s Office advocating for the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip as part of an international move constructed along the lines of the agreement that forced Syria to forgo its chemical weapons He presented the plan last week before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and earlier this week to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen. Shortly thereafter, on Tuesday, for the first time...
  • What Netanyahu’s thinking on Day 10 of war with Hamas

    07/17/2014 9:28:41 AM PDT · by Star Traveler · 21 replies
    The Times of Israel ^ | Thursday, July 17, 2014 | David Horovitz
    Op-ed: A land invasion is our last resort, but we might have to do it nonetheless; Hamas might compel us to. Get The Times of Israel's Daily Edition by email and never miss our top stories Free Sign up! If we emerge from this round of conflict with an extended period of quiet, I will consider that to constitute success. Operation Cast Lead (winter 2008-9) gave us almost four years of quiet. Operation Pillar of Defense (November 2012) gave us 20 months. Longer, needless to say, would be better. In pursuit of that goal we are hitting Hamas hard. We...
  • Hamas got rich as Gaza was plunged into poverty

    07/17/2014 8:49:06 AM PDT · by Star Traveler · 6 replies
    YNet News ^ | Tuesday, July 15, 2014 | Doran Peskin
    With multi-million-dollar land deals, luxury villas and black market fuel from Egypt, Gaza's rulers made billions while the rest of the population struggled with 38-percent poverty and 40-percent unemployment. While the fighting is only expected to worsen the distress of the residents of Gaza, the Strip's economic outlook for the Strip was never good. The unemployment rate in Gaza stood at approximately 40% before the latest conflict, with a similar proportion being classed as living under the poverty line. But while most of the Gaza population tries to deal with the difficulties of daily life, it seems that one sector...
  • Accepting truce was a courageous move [Israel and Netanyahu]

    07/17/2014 8:35:46 AM PDT · by Star Traveler · 11 replies
    YNet News ^ | Thursday, July 17, 2014 | Sima Kadmon
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did what he had to do when he fired Danny Danon, who rudely and insolently attacked him and criticized the policy of his defense minister, Moshe Ya'alon. If it were possible, Danon would not be the only one Netanyahu would fire. If it were possible and would not jeopardize his government, he would also fire Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. We have probably never seen such a thing before, not even in wars with less national agreement than in the current operation: In the midst of a battle, while IDF soldiers are deployed on the outskirts of...
  • Hamas, not Israel, is the real enemy of the Palestinians

    07/17/2014 8:20:49 AM PDT · by Star Traveler · 5 replies
    Haaretz ^ | Wednesday, July 16, 2014 | Alan Dershowitz
    To Gaza’s innocent civilians: Demand a ‘Gaza Spring’ and rid yourself of Hamas’ violent theocrats and kleptocrats, who love Palestinian children less than they hate Israel. The real enemy of the innocent civilians of Gaza is Hamas, not Israel. Despite the fact that many Gazans voted for Hamas in the last Palestinian election, that terrorist organization has ill-served its constituents. When Israel ended its occupation of Gaza in 2005, it left behind farm equipment and other material capable of feeding the population. Donor countries promised support, both financial and political if Gaza would live up to its potential as a...
  • Gazans are more scared of Hamas than the IDF

    07/17/2014 7:43:59 AM PDT · by Star Traveler · 8 replies
    YNet News ^ | Wednesday July 16, 2014 | Ron Ben-Yishai
    Analysis: Islamist organizations in Gaza are still negotiating over negotiations, while in Israel, defense chiefs are seeing start of unrest against Hamas. The negotiations for a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza are complicated and are destined to be drawn out. This is mainly due to Hamas' determination to leave the battlefield with clear achievements for its military wing, especially in the eyes of the Gaza population. These achievements should be clear enough to justify to the Palestinian street – in Judea and Samaria as well - the escalation of the fire on Israel, which resulted in Operation Protective Edge. Also,...
  • Top US firefighters help Israel amid rocket fire

    07/17/2014 7:38:33 AM PDT · by Star Traveler · 10 replies
    YNet News ^ | Thursday, July 17, 2014 | Eitan Glickman
    A special delegation of firefighters from across the US arrived in Israel with one goal: To help firefighters from Israel's rocket battered south deal with ongoing rocket fire. Fire fighters in the south have been working ceaselessly to since fighting began ten days ago, and their mission include searching for the rockets as well as extinguishing the resulting blazes. Between the rockets attack from Gaza and rumors of ceasefire, little attention has been paid to the plight of Israel's firefighting forces in Sderot and other southern communities, however a group called Emergency Volunteer Project aims change that and work with...
  • Ceasefire negotiations bring Gaza ground operation closer than ever [Israel and Hamas]

    07/17/2014 7:31:56 AM PDT · by Star Traveler · 1 replies
    YNet News ^ | Thursday, July, 17, 2014 | Ron Ben-Yishai
    Israel's determination to demilitarize Gaza and Hamas' desire to shed Israeli blood could well mean IDF boots on the ground before calm is restored. Negotiations for a ceasefire moved into a serious stage on Wednesday night, but - absurdly – an IDF ground operation in Gaza seems closer than ever, and is apparently inevitable. This is down to the fact that Hamas is now trying with all its might, or rather last of its strength, to gain some kind of operational achievement, one that, if realized, could lead to the deaths of Israeli civilians and soldiers. On Wednesday night, the...
  • Liberman denies Israel, Hamas reach deal on Gaza cease-fire [Israel]

    07/17/2014 6:50:39 AM PDT · by Star Traveler · 4 replies
    The Jerusalem Post ^ | Thursday, July 17, 2014 | Staff Article
    Israeli official says Netanyahu's security cabinet is still examining details of an Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire; no immediate comment from Hamas, Palestinian groups on whether they had accepted permanent truce. Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman on Thursday denied earlier reports that Israel and Hamas had reached an agreement on a cease-fire that would put an end to the fighting as of Friday morning. Liberman's denial came minutes after Reuters quoted an Israeli official as saying that Israeli senior representatives at talks in Cairo had accepted an Egyptian proposal for a comprehensive Gaza cease-fire starting on Friday, but Israel's leaders still...
  • Cairo ceasefire talks said to be at an impasse [Israel and Hamas]

    07/17/2014 6:34:02 AM PDT · by Star Traveler · 5 replies
    The Times of Israel ^ | Thursday, July 17, 2014 | Avi Issacharoff
    Ceasefire talks involving Hamas, Israel, and PA delegations in Cairo are stuck on two of the terror organization’s demands that Israel refuses to accept, an Egyptian newspaper reported on Thursday According to Al Youm A Sabe, Hamas demanded that all Palestinians rearrested in recent weeks who had been freed in the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoner swap be released. It also called for free entry for Gazans to pray at the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. It is those two demands that the Israeli delegation in Egypt — comprising Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s associate Yitzhak Molcho, and...
  • Liberman’s unacceptable war on Netanyahu [Israel]

    07/17/2014 6:14:10 AM PDT · by Star Traveler · 20 replies
    The Times of Israel ^ | Tuesday, July 15, 2014 | David Horovitz
    If the foreign minister thinks the prime minister is doing a lousy job, he should either shut up when outvoted or quit, not publicly undermine the PM at the height of a bitter conflict with Hamas. Israel is currently a nation at war. It has been targeted with some 1,300 rockets over the past eight days fired at its population almost everywhere in the country. Untenably, on Tuesday, Liberman sought to score points at the expense of Israelis’ faith in their leadership. Whether his prescription for Gaza is right or wrong — does Israel really want to reconquer Gaza and...
  • IDF on 4 kids' deaths: Tragic if innocent civilians hurt in incident [Israel]

    07/16/2014 7:33:22 PM PDT · by Star Traveler · 14 replies
    YNet News ^ | Thursday, July 17, 2014 | You've Zitun
    The IDF launched an investigation into the incident in which four Palestinian children were killed on a Gaza beach Wednesday afternoon. "The inquiry into the event by the IDF is ongoing at this time. Initial findings show that terror activists were in the area that was attacked and that it served as a launching point for terror activities." The IDF statement said that "it is a tragic event if innocent civilians were hurt in the incident." The military stressed that "it is important to remember the cynical use of Gaza Strip residents by Hamas who hold them as hostages has...
  • The Danon effect: Rightists tone down criticism of PM [israel]

    07/16/2014 6:50:42 PM PDT · by Star Traveler · 25 replies
    Haaretz ^ | Thursday, July 17, 2014 | Jonathan List
    <p>The dismissal of Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon on Tuesday night had an immediate dampening effect on the right wing’s criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the offensive in the Gaza Strip.</p> <p>Danon was fired after publicly opposing the cabinet’s decision to accept a cease-fire with Hamas.</p>
  • Secret call between Netanyahu, al-Sissi led to abortive cease-fire

    07/16/2014 4:43:09 PM PDT · by Star Traveler · 4 replies
    Haaretz ^ | Wednesday, July 16, 2014 | Barak Ravid
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi on Saturday in a telephone call that has been kept secret until now, after Quartet special envoy Tony Blair urged the Egyptian leader to become more actively involved in promoting a cease-fire, diplomatic sources told Haaretz. Israel agreed to a cease-fire Tuesday morning and briefly halted its air strikes on Gaza. Hamas did not accept the terms of the truce, however, and continued firing rockets. Several hours later, Israel resumed its attacks as well. The Saturday conversation was the first between Netanyahu and al-Sissi since Israel's Operation Protective Edge began...
  • Egyptians Hoping Israel Will Destroy Hamas

    07/16/2014 3:56:01 PM PDT · by Star Traveler · 12 replies
    Gatestone Institute ^ | Sunday, July 13, 2014 | Khaled Abu Toameh
    Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi has thus far turned down appeals from Palestinians and other Arabs to work toward achieving a new ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. Palestinian Authority [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas telephoned Sisi and urged him to intervene to achieve an "immediate ceasefire" between Israel and Hamas. Abbas later admitted that his appeal to Sisi and (other Arab leaders) had fallen on deaf ears. Sisi's decision not to intervene in the current crisis did not come as a surprise. In fact, Sisi and many Egyptians seem to be delighted that Hamas is being badly hurt. Some Egyptians are...
  • Palestinian, pan-Arab media blast Egypt's failed cease-fire offer [Israel and Hamas]

    07/16/2014 3:17:56 PM PDT · by Star Traveler · 8 replies
    Haaretz ^ | Wednesday, July 16, 2014
    Palestinian and other Arab commentators are blasting Egypt's cease-fire offer this week in the Israeli-Gazan fighting, saying it was a gift to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who accepted it, and a trap for Hamas, which rejected it. Azmi Bishara, the fugitive former Knesset member who now heads the Arab Center for Research and Policy in Doha, Qatar, wrote in the pan-Arab that the offer gave no relief to Gaza, nor freedom for the Hamas members recently returned to Israeli prisons. "This Egyptian declaration represents a stab in the back to the resistance and the people of Gaza. … [T]his...
  • For ceasefire, Abbas proposes PA forces along Gaza-Egypt border

    07/16/2014 9:48:24 AM PDT · by Star Traveler · 39 replies
    The Times of Israel ^ | Wednesday, July 16, 2014 | Avi Issacharoff
    In its efforts to help arrange an Israel-Hamas ceasefire, the Palestinian Authority is set to propose to Egypt that it open the Rafah border crossing under the supervision of PA security forces, and deploy PA forces along the Philadelphi Corridor between Gaza and Egypt. Get The Times of Israel's Daily Edition by email and never miss our top stories Free Sign up! Israel does not oppose the idea of PA forces at Rafah, Israeli sources said. The proposal would mark a significant return of Mahmoud Abbas’s forces to positions of authority in Gaza, seven years after Hamas seized the Strip...
  • Israel ambassador to U.S. Jews: Hamas winning war of public opinion

    07/16/2014 9:34:01 AM PDT · by Star Traveler · 13 replies
    Haaretz ^ | Wednesday, July 16, 2014 | Debra Nussbaum Cohen
    NEW YORK -- Ambassador Ron Dermer, Israel’s chief diplomatic representative in the U.S., asked some 700 American Jews on a conference call this week for their help shifting the messaging on Israel. Israel is being routinely portrayed in both conventional and social media as an angry, well-armed giant leaving many innocent victims in its wake during the current crisis with Hamas, Dermer said. The call was organized by the Jewish Federations of North America, which this week sent federation leaders to visit targeted towns in Israel, and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. Dermer told his audience that Hamas may...
  • Israel calls up additional 8,000 reservists for Gaza operation

    07/16/2014 9:04:43 AM PDT · by Star Traveler · 5 replies
    The Jerusalem Post ^ | Wednesday, July 16, 2014 | Yaakov Lappin
    The IDF has already called up 48,000 reserves, bringing the total number to 56,000, once the additional forces are called up. The cabinet on Wednesday authorized the call-up of 8,000 additional reservists to assist in the military operations along the Gaza frontier. The IDF has already called up 48,000 reserves, bringing the total number to 56,000, once the additional forces are called up. Last week, the IDF began actively calling up the 40,000 reserves approved to it by the cabinet for Operation Protective Edge. IDF chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz requested the call-up of 40,000 reserves in order to...
  • Hamas' rejection of the cease-fire deal was a foregone conclusion

    07/16/2014 2:02:38 AM PDT · by Star Traveler · 11 replies
    Haaretz ^ | Wednesday, July 16, 2014 | Amira Hass
    The Egyptian cease-fire initiative proposes precisely what Hamas said from the outset it would refuse: “quiet for quiet.” Hamas and Islamic Jihad are convinced that Egypt designed the cease-fire together with Israel, and that was why Israel accepted it so quickly. Some even believe that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was also involved in the details, which was why he welcomed it. In contrast, activists from Fatah and the Palestine Liberation Organization thought the formulation of the Egyptian proposal rendered it unacceptable. Moreover, Hamas found out about it from the media, and viewed it as an attempt to humiliate the organization,...
  • If ordered into Gaza, IDF Ground Forces ready for anti-tank missiles, urban combat

    07/16/2014 1:50:21 AM PDT · by Star Traveler · 23 replies
    The Jerusalem Post ^ | Wednesday, July 16, 2014 | Yaakov Lappin
    If ordered into the Gaza Strip, IDF Ground Forces expect to encounter Hamas cells with anti-tank missiles, heavy urban combat, subterranean warfare, and other challenges. "This is the combat that characterizes a terror organization," the source said. The IDF has maintained large numbers of Ground Forces on the Gaza border. IDF Brigade commanders would have a high degree of independence if ordered to enter the Gaza Strip. Hamas planned to employ bomb-filled tunnels to facilitate large-scale killing sprees and kidnapping attacks on the border, according to Israeli security officials. Hamas will try to prove that an Israeli ground offensive will...
  • Senate panel doubles money for Iron Dome [Israel]

    07/16/2014 1:43:25 AM PDT · by Star Traveler · 17 replies
    The Times of Israel ^ | Wednesday, July 16, 2014 | Staff
    WASHINGTON — The US Congress showed tangible support for longtime ally Israel as Gazan terrorists fired rockets Tuesday, backing a measure that would double the amount of money for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. The Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee approved a defense spending bill on Tuesday that would provide $621.6 million for Israeli missile defense, including $351 million for the Iron Dome system that intercepts short-range rockets and mortars. In the latest hostilities between Israel and Hamas, Iron Dome has been successful in shooting down rockets and preventing Israeli deaths. “It works,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat and...
  • Turkey Trying to Broker Gaza Ceasefire

    07/15/2014 10:57:57 PM PDT · by Star Traveler · 14 replies
    Arutz Sheva Israel National News ^ | Wednesday, July 16, 2014 | Staff
    Turkey has stepped up diplomatic efforts to secure a ceasefire in Gaza, AFP reported on Tuesday. According to the report, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu spoke separately by telephone with Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal to discuss the ceasefire process. Abbas is due to meet Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey on Friday but Turkish officials refuse to confirm if Mashaal would visit. No contacts have been made with Israel so far, a Turkish official told AFP. "Concrete steps can only be taken after Israel stops its assault on Gaza," the official...
  • Netanyahu: ‘If there is no ceasefire in Gaza, our answer is fire’

    07/15/2014 10:37:28 PM PDT · by Star Traveler · 20 replies
    The Jerusalem Post ^ | Wednesday, July 16, 2014 | Herb Keinon
    The security cabinet met late on Tuesday night to determine the next steps in Operation Protective Edge, at the end of a topsy-turvy day that started with the prospect of a cease-fire and ended with dozens of Hamas rockets hitting Israel and intense retaliatory attacks on the Gaza Strip. Before convening the security cabinet, which some 12 hours earlier had approved a cease-fire brokered by Egypt that Hamas never accepted, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Israel would answer Hamas’s rejection of a truce with stepped-up attacks. “If there is no cease-fire, our answer is fire,” Netanyahu said, adding that Hamas...
  • Analysis: Netanyahu talks of demilitarization as rocket barrage continues

    07/15/2014 10:23:04 PM PDT · by Star Traveler · 5 replies
    The Jerusalem Post ^ | Wednesday, July 16, 2014 | Herb Keinon
    Tuesday was a roller coaster day that started with talk of a cease-fire, and ended with fire that would not cease. In the early hours of the day, however, when it appeared – at least in theory – as if the Egyptian- brokered cease-fire might lead to an end to Hamas’s rockets and Operation Protective Edge, diplomatic officials said that the security cabinet agreed to the Egyptian proposal in order to “give an opportunity for the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip.” The idea of a demilitarized Gaza Strip is an idea that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his spokesmen began...
  • US blocked Qatari funds intended for Hamas employee

    07/15/2014 8:47:54 PM PDT · by Star Traveler · 19 replies
    The Times of Israel ^ | Tuesday, July 15, 2014 | Elhanan Miller
    The United States has blocked the transfer of Qatari funds earmarked for the salaries of civil servants hired by Hamas in Gaza, The Times of Israel has learned. A diplomatic source in the Gulf state, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Qatar had transferred hundreds of millions of dollars to Arab Bank for the salaries of some 44,000 Hamas civil servants. Those civil servants — employed by Hamas in Gaza since its takeover of the Strip in 2007 – were rendered jobless by the unity agreement with Fatah last month. But the money was never processed by Arab Bank...
  • Netanyahu: This is why Israel can never unilaterally withdraw from the West Bank

    07/15/2014 4:56:29 PM PDT · by Star Traveler · 20 replies
    Vox Media ^ | Monday, July 14, 2014 | Max Fisher
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, discussing the escalating Israeli air strikes in Gaza and the rockets fired into Israel from Palestinian militant groups there, said at a press conference Friday that this latest violence shows why Israel cannot withdraw unilaterally from the West Bank as it did in 2005 from Gaza. While many have interpreted this as opposition to any two-state solution whatsoever, it reads to me as something a little different: a major Israeli requirement for any peace deal to work, and one that precludes Israel from ending its West Bank occupation without Palestinians agreeing to a deal that...