Archive for the ‘Israel’ Category
Three rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip toward southern Israel on Tuesday afternoon, breaking the temporary 24-hour ceasefire more than six hours before it was set to expire, according to IDF spokesman Peter Lerner.
The rockets landed in open areas outside of the city of Beersheba. There are no reports of injuries at this time.
According to Ha’aretz reporter Barak Ravid, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the IDF to retaliate in response to the renewed attacks.
“Today’s rocket attack on Be’er Sheva is a grave and direct violation of the ceasefire to which Hamas committed itself,” Netanyahu spokesman Mark Regev tweeted. “This is the eleventh ceasefire that Hamas has either rejected or violated.”
The Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams were in Cairo on Tuesday to work on finalizing a long-term ceasefire outline. There is no immediate comment from either side on how the ceasefire violation will affect negotiations.
Rockets were fired from Gaza Wednesday night two-hours before the midnight deadline to Sunday’s 72-hour cease-fire, as the IDF enhanced its troop presence along the border preparing to once again wage war against Hamas in Gaza.
One rocket launched by terrorists in the Gaza Strip struck open territory in the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council, the IDF confirmed. No damage or injuries were reported.
At around 9:45 p.m., more than two hours before the end of the 72 hour ceasefire, rocket sirens sounded in Ashkelon and surrounding areas, including towns and moshavim in the Yoav Regional Council, Lahish Regional Council, Hof Ashkelon Council, and elsewhere.
A Hamas spokesman denied on Wednesday any rockets had been fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel, after a rocket launched from the territory landed in southern Israel.
Archbishop Alexios, the Greek Orthodox Christian leader of Gaza, told CBN News on Wednesday that Hamas had used the church to fire rockets at Israeli civilians prior to the 72-hour ceasefire. The church was also being used at the time as a shelter for Palestinian civilians of all faiths who were fleeing the war’s bombs and rockets.
Hamas used the church and the civilians as human shields–a war crime under international law–in order to deter Israel from striking the rocket launchers, and to cause Israel maximum public relations and diplomatic damage if it did return fire. At least two United Nations facilities housing civilians were struck in that fashion.
Though the White House called Israel’s actions in those instances “indefensible,” and other world powers rushed to condemn Israel, few bothered to consider that they were playing directly into Hamas’s hands, and creating an incentive for Hamas and other terror groups to continue to use the same deadly tactics in future.
The outrage that might have ensued if Israel had struck a church–instead of merely a UN facility–would have been formidable, and could have greatly complicated efforts to rally support for Israel among Christians in the U.S.
Hamas violated the 72-hour ceasefire Friday morning and launched a barrage of rockets at Israeli civilians.
Israel said the IDF will hold fire in most of the Gaza Strip for seven hours in order to allow the entry of humanitarian aid into the Strip and displaced Palestinians to return to their homes, starting at 10:00 a.m. on Monday.
During the cease-fire dozens of rockets were fired from Gaza on Israel, the IDF confirmed. Seventeen projectiles landed in Israeli territory or near IDF soldiers operating in Gaza, one rocket was intercepted by the Iron Dome rocket defense system, and eight rockets landed in other areas of Gaza.
There were no injuries or damage caused in the rocket attacks.
The humanitarian truce would not apply in areas of the southern Gaza town of Rafah where Israeli forces are still operating, a Defense Ministry official said in a statement.
Immediately after the temporary cease-fire took effect, Palestinians accused Israel of breaking its seven-hour halt in fighting by bombing a house in Gaza City and killing one Palestinian.
Monday night, tt was reported that the Shin Bet and IDF jointly carried out a strike on a building in the Shati region of Gaza housing senior Islamic Jihad members on Monday morning.
The targets of the attack were Amar Arhim, a deputy Islamic Jihad brigade commander, and Ibrahim Masharawi, an Islamic Jihad battalion commander in the Sheikh Radwan region.
“Can you imagine if one of the contiguous countries to America were firing rockets at America?” asked former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg on CBS’s Face the Nation. “The same people who are criticizing the Israelis would be going crazy demanding the president does more.”
To guest host Norah O’Donnell’s question of whether Israel’s latest attacks on Gaza had gone too far, Bloomberg responded: “Israel cannot have a proportional response if people are firing rockets at their citizens.”
“Unfortunately,” said Bloomberg, “if Hamas hides among the innocent, the innocent are going to get killed.”
Representative Keith Ellison (D., Minn.) justified his recent vote against additional funding for Israel’s missile-defense system as part of an effort to reach a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.
“Because a cease-fire is what we should prioritize now,” he said when asked to explain his vote on Meet the Press. “A cease-fire protects civilians on both sides — it doesn’t just say, ‘We’re only concerned about people on one side.’”
He pointed to the devastation he witnessed during his trips to Gaza.
Additionally, Ellison penned an op-ed in the Washington Post earlier this week calling on Israel to “end the Gaza blockade.”
n response to the strongly-worded July 29 letter signed by Bardem, Cruz and Pedro Almodovar, among others and published in a Spanish newspaper, Voight blasted the actors this morning with his own Open letter saying they have defamed the only democratic country of goodwill in the Middle East: Israel (Bardem and Cruz later clarified their statements this week).
A longtime, outspoken supporter of Israel, Voight wrote that Bardem and Cruz should “hang their heads in shame” over their shortsightedness with the country’s situation, arguing that they “incited anti-Semitism all over the world and are oblivious to the damage that they have caused.”
When asked by Deadline this morning to expand on his op-ed, Voight said, “The letter says everything I need to say and I don’t want to diffuse what the words say in the letter.”
Voight wrote that Israel has always sought peaceful relations with its Arab neighbors, returning the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt and giving Gaza to the Palestinians as a peace gesture: “What was the response? The Palestinians elected Hamas, a terrorist organization, and they immediately began firing thousands of rockets into Israel.”
“I am asking all my peers who signed that poison letter against Israel to examine their motives. Can you take back the fire of anti-Semitism that is raging all over the world now? You have been able to become famous and have all your monetary gains because you are in a democratic country: America. Do you think you would have been able to accomplish this in Iran, Syria, Lebanon, et cetera? You had a great responsibility to use your celebrity for good,” said the Oscar-winning actor in his letter.
“Three young teens have been killed mercilessly and hundreds of rockets are being fired at Israel’s civilian population,.” he said. “Obama promised Prime Minster Netanyahu, ‘America is your ally and we will cover your back.’ So, why does he continue to send billions to the Palestinian Authority who have recently allied themselves with Hamas, an acknowledged terrorist organization and who are responsible for these crimes? Is that covering his back?”
Following the quick collapse of the cease-fire in Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the White House not to force a truce with Palestinian militants on Israel.
Sources familiar with conversations between Netanyahu and senior U.S. officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, say the Israeli leader advised the Obama administration “not to ever second guess me again” on the matter. The officials also said Netanyahu said he should be “trusted” on the issue and about the unwillingness of Hamas to enter into and follow through on cease-fire talks.
The Obama administration on Friday condemned “outrageous” violations of an internationally brokered Gaza cease-fire by Palestinian militants and called the apparent abduction of an Israeli soldier a “barbaric” action.
The strong reaction came as top Israeli officials questioned the effort to forge the truce, accusing the U.S. and the United Nations of being naive in assuming the radical Hamas movement would adhere with its terms. The officials also blamed the Gulf state of Qatar for not forcing the militants to comply.
With the cease-fire in tatters fewer than two hours after it took effect with an attack that killed two Israeli troops and left a third missing, President Barack Obama demanded that those responsible release the soldier.
In the end, the Senate couldn’t even agree to deliver emergency aid to one of the United States’ closest allies.
A last-ditch effort to deliver aid to Israel during its war with Hamas died on the Senate floor, as Republicans blocked the proposal over concerns that it would increase the debt.After Senate Republicans blocked Democrats’ $2.7 billion border aid package, which also included $225 million for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system and $615 million to fight Western wildfires, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tried to split off the Israel and wildfire money as a standalone bill, hoping to put aside the dispute over border funding and appeal to Republicans’ deep ties to Israel.
“We’ve all watched as the tiny state of Israel, who is with us on everything, they have had in the last three weeks 3,000 rockets filed into their country,” Reid said. “Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel asked for $225 million in emergency funding so that Israel’s arsenal as it relates to the Iron Dome could be replenished. It’s clear that is an emergency, and we should be able to agree on that.”
It didn’t work.
Even though GOP leaders had vowed to pass an Israel aid bill in recent days, Republicans rejected Reid’s request. First Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) objected to Reid’s request for a straight emergency cash infusion for firefighting and Israel. Then Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) offered an alternative that would deliver money to Israel and the West and offer commensurate spending cuts to international organizations like the United Nations; Reid blocked that.
“Our number one ally — at least in my mind — is under attack. If this isn’t an emergency I don’t know anything that is,” Reid said.