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Israeli tank fire killed a four-year-old boy
2014.07.29 02:35:14

Israeli tank fire killed a four-year-old boy in the northern Gaza Strip in the first death since the two sides began observing an unofficial lull, Palestinian medics said.

According to emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra, the child was killed when a shell hit a house to the east of Jabaliya where clashes had recently erupted between Israeli troops and Hamas fighters.

[AFP]



Tags: Gaza | Israel

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Moscow would not take tit-for-tat measures
2014.07.29 02:33:50

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow would not take tit-for-tat measures or act "hysterically" in response to sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union over the Ukraine crisis.

We want to tackle the situation with a sober head and the President has already said that of course we can't ignore it. But to fall into hysterics and respond to a blow with a blow is not worthy of a major country.



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | United States | John Kerry | Sergey Lavrov

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Eid al-Fitr in Damascus
2014.07.29 02:32:07

Despite a brutal war that has been ravaging Syria for more than three years, residents in Damascus are trying to maintain the traditions of Eid al-Fitr, when people wear new clothes and children get new toys.

Traditional sweets shops are open in downtown Damascus to sell Eid specialties such as Kunafa, Maamul and Baklawa, while whirling Dervishes performed at the opening of a bazaar offering food stuffs and clothes.

Locals say that prices at the bazaar are lower than in general markets in a bid to help people shop for Eid. Prices have soared dramatically in the country as a result of the war.



Tags: Syria

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Security Council: Draft presidential statement on Gaza
2014.07.29 02:16:07

The Security Council expresses grave concern regarding the deterioration in the situation as a result of the crisis related to Gaza and the loss of civilian lives and casualties.

The Security Council calls for full respect of international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilian population, and reiterates the need to take appropriate steps to ensure the safety and well-being of civilians and their protection.

The Security Council expresses strong support for the call by international partners and the Secretary-General of the United Nations for an immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire, allowing for the delivery of urgently needed assistance, and they urged all parties to accept and fully implement the humanitarian ceasefire into the Eid period and beyond.  The Security Council commends the efforts of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for their efforts in this regard.

The Security Council also calls on parties to engage in efforts to achieve a durable and fully respected ceasefire, based on the Egyptian initiative. In this regard, the Security Council welcomes the convening of the international meeting to support the ceasefire held in Paris on July 26, 2014 and  urges all concerned regional and international parties to vigorously support efforts to consolidate an agreement between the parties.

The Security Council emphasizes that civilian and humanitarian facilities, including those of the UN, must be respected and protected, and called on all parties to act consistently with this principle.

The Security Council calls for the full implementation of resolution 1860 (2009) and stressed the need for immediate provision of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip, including through urgent additional contribution to UNRWA. The Security Council recognizes and commends the vital role played by the Agency, along with other United Nations agencies and humanitarian organizations, in addressing the critical humanitarian needs in Gaza.

The Security Council urges the parties and the international community to achieve a comprehensive peace based on the vision of a region where two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace with secure and recognized borders as envisioned in Security Council resolution 1850 (2008).



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Security Council

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Immediate humanitarian ceasefire
2014.07.29 02:14:43

The UN Security Council has called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza to allow for urgent aid to reach civilians.

The 15-member Council released a statement shortly after midnight on Sunday calling for the truce during the Muslim Eid festival marking the end of Ramadan.

The Council expressed "strong support" for an "immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire," and urged all sides to accept and fully implement the truce.

[AFP]



Tags: Gaza | Israel

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Navi Pillay's statement
2014.07.29 02:12:36

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said in a statement that increasingly intense fighting in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions was extremely alarming and the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner on July 17 may amount to a war crime.

The reports of increasingly intense fighting in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions are extremely alarming, with both sides employing heavy weaponry in built-up areas, including artillery, tanks, rockets and missiles.

In a new report issued by the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN monitors in Ukraine said that at least 1,129 people have been killed and 3,442 wounded in the conflict since mid-April.

The full report is available here



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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The children of Gaza
2014.07.29 02:01:52

Channel 4's correspondent Jon Snow recounts the struggles that children are currently facing in Gaza. In an emotional appeal, he calls for an end to the violence that has so far killed many children.

We cannot let it go on. if our reporting is worth anything, if your preparedness to listen and watch and read is anything to go by, then together we can make a difference.



Tags: Israel | Gaza

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Security concerns
2014.07.29 01:59:22

Security concerns have prompted international investigators to abandon plans to visit the crash site of the downed Malaysia Airlines jet.

Ukrainian troops are battling to push them out from nearby towns.



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Obama spoke with Netanyahu
2014.07.29 01:48:26

US President Barack Obama spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, and stressed the need for an immediate and sustainable ceasefire in Gaza.

In a statement, the White House said Obama "made clear the strategic imperative of instituting an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire that ends hostilities now and leads to a permanent cessation of hostilities based on the November 2012 ceasefire agreement."

During the call, Obama "underscored the United States' strong condemnation of Hamas' rocket and tunnel attacks against Israel and reaffirmed Israel's right to defend itself."

But the US head of state also "reiterated the United States' serious and growing concern about the rising number of Palestinian civilian deaths and the loss of Israeli lives, as well as the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza," according to the White House. [AFP]



Tags: Gaza | Israel | United States | Barack Obama | Benjamin Netanyahu

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US stepped up pressure on Moscow
2014.07.29 01:45:30

The US stepped up pressure on Moscow on Sunday by releasing satellite images it says show that rockets have been fired from Russia into neighboring eastern Ukraine and that heavy artillery for pro-Russian separatists has crossed the border.

The images, which came from the US Director of National Intelligence and could not be independently verified by The Associated Press, show blast marks where rockets were launched and craters where they landed. Officials said the images show heavy weapons fired between July 21 and July 26 - after the July 17 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 that killed all 298 on-board.

The four-page memo is part of the Obama administration's push to hold Russia accountable for its activities in neighboring Ukraine, and the release could help to persuade the United States' European allies to apply harsher sanctions on Russia.



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | United States

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Israeli conscientious objector
2014.07.28 04:19:24

An Israeli conscientious objector who was among 50 of his countrymen to sign a petition against Israel's military offensive in Gaza says opponents of the bombardment will continue to demonstrate, despite threats against protesters.

Itai Akin said on Sunday that he and others who staged a protest to support a peace activist jailed for refusing to serve in the Israeli army were threatened by Israelis who supported the offensive.

"It's scary right now in Israel. Yesterday we had a big demonstration against the massacre, Jewish and Palestinians demonstrating together. Afterwards we went to our homes ... an angry mob chased us to our homes," Akin said.

"We will not take part in this massacre, we will not take part in any massacre, we will not take part."

Akin said Israel "will never be safe when occupying another nation" and the only way to end the killings on both sides was to end the illegal occupation.

"Military oppression is not the answer, it is not going to give us any safety," he said.



Tags: Gaza | Israel

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Netanyahu accuses Hamas of violating ceasefire
2014.07.28 04:17:33

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday accused Hamas of violating a ceasefire that it had itself called and vowed that Israeli operations in Gaza would continue.

"They are violating their own ceasefire. Under these circumstances, Israel will do what it must do to defend its people," Netanyahu told the news network CNN.

Earlier, Hamas agreed to halt firing from 1100 GMT in response to a request from the United Nations.

[AFP]



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Benjamin Netanyahu

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Destruction of Hamas would only lead to something more dangerous
2014.07.28 03:58:03

A top US Department of Defense intelligence official has warned that the destruction of Hamas would only lead to something more dangerous taking its place, as he offered a grim portrait of a period of enduring regional conflict.

Flynn disparaged Hamas for exhausting finite resources and know-how to build tunnels that have helped them inflict record casualties on Israelis. Still, he suggested that destroying Hamas was not the answer.

"If Hamas were destroyed and gone, we would probably end up with something much worse. The region would end up with something much worse," Flynn said at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado.

[Reuters]



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | United States

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Hamas fighters agreed to a 24-hour humanitarian truce
2014.07.28 03:56:25

Hamas fighters have agreed to a 24-hour humanitarian truce in its conflict with Israel in the Gaza Strip that should start within the hour, the group's spokesman said.

"In response to the UN intervention and considering the situation of our people and the occasion of Eid, it has been agreed among resistance factions to endorse a 24-hour humanitarian calm, starting from 2pm on Sunday," Sami Abu Zuhri told Reuters.

There was no immediate word from Israel, which called off its own 24-hour truce earlier in the day claiming that fired a volley of rockets into southern and central Israel. Hamas rejected the claim.

[Reuters]



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas

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Egypt's army destroy 13 tunnel
2014.07.28 03:54:40

Egypt's army has said that it destroyed 13 more tunnels connecting the Sinai Peninsula to the Gaza Strip, taking the overall number it has laid waste to 1,639.

Cairo has poured troops into the peninsula to counter a rising fighters since the removal of Mohamed Morsi, the former president , last year, and its security operation involves the destruction of these tunnels.

Hamas, the armed Palestinian group ruling Gaza, reportedly uses the tunnels to smuggle arms, food and money into the blockaded coastal enclave.

Israel has been waging a military offensive on Gaza since July 8 to halt rocket fire, and it launched a ground assault on July 17 aimed at destroying the network of tunnels. It accuses Hamas of using the tunnels to attacks on Israel.

[AFP]



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Egypt

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Gaza residents experience during Israeli attacks
2014.07.28 03:49:42

Two Gaza residents tell what they have experienced during Israeli attacks:

Fatima Sa'ad: "The area where we live was bombed by Israeli forces. Our houses have become their targets. My children were injured and I brought them to the hospital. The doctor said my son shows signs of concussion."

Muamin Sabakhi: "Without giving any sign or warning, an Israeli F16 fighter suddenly fired missiles at our house, killing eight children on the spot. This is a massacre. They were killed innocently. Did they fire rockets at Israelis or do anything against the Israelis? What on earth did they do wrong?"

[Reuters]



Tags: Gaza | Israel

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Israel resumed its operations on Sunday
2014.07.28 03:32:00

The latest Palestinian death toll in Gaza is reported by medical authorities in the enclave as 1,052.

Israel resumed its operations on Sunday after a ceasefire, citing "Hamas's incessant rocket fire" throughout the 24-hour truce.



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas

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Lavrov and Kerry, in a phone conversation
2014.07.28 03:30:19

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry, in a phone conversation, agreed on the importance of ensuring a swift ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, a foreign ministry statement in Moscow has said.

[Reuters]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | United States | John Kerry | Sergey Lavrov

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Car bomb has exploded in the central city of Homs
2014.07.28 03:27:49

Syrian state-run media has said a car bomb has exploded in the central city of Homs, killing at least seven people.

State news agency SANA said the vehicle exploded on Sunday in the Arman neighborhood, and two rockets also were fired at the site after the bombing.

[AP]



Tags: Syria

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IDF will now resume its aerial, naval and ground activity
2014.07.28 03:23:09

The Israeli army says: "Following Hamas' incessant rocket fire throughout the humanitarian window, which was agreed upon for the welfare of the civilian population in Gaza, the IDF will now resume its aerial, naval and ground activity in the Gaza Strip."



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas

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