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Hezbollah is backing the Palestinian 'resistance'
2014.07.22 04:23:40

Lebanon's Hezbollah is backing the Palestinian "resistance" in Gaza to defeat Israel, the Shia movement's leader Hassan Nasrallah said.

Nasrallah told Hamas' exiled chief Khaled Meshaal by telephone:

Hezbollah and the Lebanese resistance stand firmly on the side of the Intifada and the Palestinian people's resistance, and support Hamas' strategy and the just conditions it has set to end the conflict.



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Lebanon | Hezbollah

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EU will 'raise the pressure' on Russia
2014.07.22 04:21:39

Germany's foreign minister said the EU will "raise the pressure" on Russia over the Ukraine crisis following the downing of Malaysian flight MH17 with a suspected missile.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier said:

We will have to raise the pressure to achieve the results that all European foreign ministers believe to be necessary.



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | European Union | Germany

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Ban Ki-moon arrived in Cairo
2014.07.22 04:15:20

UN chief Ban Ki-moon arrived in Cairo for talks to build support for a truce in Gaza, an airport official said.

Ban, who arrived from Kuwait, is due to meet Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri as international efforts to end the deadly conflict in the Palestinian territory intensified, with US Secretary of State John Kerry also expected to arrive in the Egyptian capital later in the evening.

[AFP]



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Egypt | Ban Ki-moon

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Pro-Russian rebels had tampered with the black box
2014.07.22 04:13:25

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman suggested  that pro-Russian rebels had tampered with the black box flight recorders retrieved from the Malaysian airliner brought down in east Ukraine.

He told a news conference that the rebels would give the flight recorders to international aviation authorities, but added that: "There is information that the recorders were in their hands all these days and they did certain things to them."

[Reuters]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Spokesman for Ukraine's security council
2014.07.22 03:58:24

A spokesman for Ukraine's security council said the army was not responsible for any explosions on Monday in the center of the eastern city of Donetsk,  where rebels earlier reported Ukrainian tanks trying to cross the  city limits.

"There is work on clearing approaches to the city, on destroying checkpoints of the terrorists. If there are explosions in the middle of the city - then it is not Ukrainian soldiers," Andriy Lysenko told a news conference.

"We have strict orders not to use air strikes and artillery in the city. If there is fighting in the city, we have information that there is a small self-organized group who are fighting with the terrorists."

Kiev regularly calls rebels in the east "terrorists".



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Israel's invasion of Gaza
2014.07.22 03:57:15

Israel's invasion of Gaza has been the most deadly for its forces in the enclave since 2008.

  • July 2014: 22 soldiers
  • Nov 2012: 2 soldiers (no ground operation)
  • Dec 08 / Jan 09: 10 soldiers (including four in "friendly fire" incidents)


Tags: Gaza | Israel

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Remains of victims from the Malaysian airliner
2014.07.22 03:55:48

The head of a Dutch forensic team said on Monday a train, carrying the remains of victims from the Malaysian airliner crash, should set off later on Monday to a place where "we can do our work".

"The train is going. We don't know the time and we don't know the destination. We got a promise: today it is going," he told reporters at the railway station in the eastern Ukrainian town of Torez.



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | Netherlands

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Kerry appeared to criticize Israel
2014.07.22 03:54:33

John Kerry appeared to criticize Israel in candid remarks caught on an open microphone between television interviews Sunday.

Kerry was heard talking about Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza to a State Department official identified as Jonathan Finer just before appearing on the "Fox News Sunday" political talk show.

"I hope they don't think that's an invitation to go do more," Kerry says. "That better be the warning to them." A frustrated Kerry then says: "It's a hell of a pinpoint operation, it's a hell of a pinpoint operation," in apparent frustration over the civilian toll in the Israeli operation.

"We've got to get over there," Kerry is heard saying on the Sunday recording. "I think, Jon, we ought to go tonight. I think it's crazy to be sitting around. Let's go."

When confronted over the remarks by Fox host Chris Wallace, Kerry reiterated Israel's right to self-defense. "I think it's very, very difficult in these situations, obviously very difficult," Kerry said.

"You have people who've come out of tunnels. You have a right to go in and take out those tunnels. We completely support that. And we support Israel's right to defend itself against rockets that are continuing to come in. Hamas has started this process of rocketing, after Israel was trying to find the people who killed three young -- you know, one American kid, three young Israeli citizens. It's disgraceful," Kerry said.

"It's tough to have this kind of operation. I reacted obviously in a way that ... anybody does with respect to young children and civilians.

"But war is tough, and I've said that publicly and I've said it again. We defend Israel's right to do what it is doing in order to get at those tunnels," Kerry said.

Kerry then urged Hamas to "step up and be reasonable and understand that you accept the cease-fire, you save lives." Kerry traveled to Cairo early Monday for crisis talks on Gaza, following President Barack Obama's call for an "immediate ceasefire" between Israelis and Palestinians in the conflict.



Tags: Gaza | Israel | United States | John Kerry

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Ukraine's prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk
2014.07.22 03:52:38

So Ukraine's prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, says that the investigation into MH17 should be lead by European inspectors, possible Dutch. The comments come as three Dutch victim identification inspectors headed to the MH17 crash site in Donetsk region.



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Chris Gunness, UNRWA spokesperson
2014.07.22 03:42:50

The number of people seeking sanctuary with UNRWA from the fighting in Gaza has gone up by over 400% in the last 4 days. The current total is over 83,000 people in 60 schools. As we lead the international response to the Gaza crisis, funds are urgently needed and I urge particularly state donors to give generously to our 60 million USD flash appeal for Gaza. This will fund further emergency work and assistance such as home repairs and psychiatric counseling for traumatized children during a 3 to 6 month recovery phase.

-- Chris Gunness, UNRWA spokesperson.



Tags: Gaza | Israel | UNRWA

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SA-11 Buk SAM system
2014.07.22 03:41:39

Turning back to the subject of MH17, here's an article by the Aviationist...

What it's like to be sitting behind a radar screen of an SA-11 Buk SAM system
The Aviationist


If you thought Buk (SA-11) SAM operators had a clear view of the airspace around their vehicle you were wrong. The images and video in this post show the inside of a Buk (SA-11) SAM (surface to air...

... on what it is like to sit at the radar station of an SA-11 missile launcher. the article also explains how the weapon system can distinguish between friendly, enemy and civilian aircraft. Please excuse the video's 1990s rap soundtrack.



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Gaza health ministry
2014.07.22 03:36:56

Ashraf al-Qedra of the Gaza health ministry says rescue workers near the city of Khan Younis were digging out bodies from a home flattened in an Israeli air strike early Monday.

He says 20 bodies were found at the site and two people were pulled alive from the rubble overnight.



Tags: Gaza | Israel

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Meanwhile, in Donesk
2014.07.22 03:34:04

BREAKING NEWS

PRO-RUSSIAN REBEL LEADER SAYS UKRAINIAN FORCES TRY TO BREAK INTO DONETSK CITY, FIGHTING INSIDE CITY LIMITS, NEAR RAILWAY STATION - REUTERS



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Another 'tunnel incident' in southern Israel
2014.07.22 03:16:46

Palestinian fighters entered Israel via two tunnels from Gaza, according to the army. There are conflicting reports about numbers and locations, and whether they're still fighting



Tags: Gaza | Israel

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More from Putin
2014.07.22 03:15:41

"It's essential that a full team of experts under the auspices of ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization), the corresponding international commission, is at the crash site.

"We must do everything to ensure its full and absolute security, ensure humanitarian corridors that are necessary for its work.

"For its part, Russia will do everything that we can so that the conflict in eastern Ukraine moves from today's military phase to a discussion phase at the negotiating table, [by] exclusively peaceful and diplomatic means."



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | Vladimir Putin

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Israel's ambassador to the United Nations
2014.07.22 03:14:30

Ron Prosor, Israel's ambassador to the United Nations has dismissed the report of a kidnapped soldier as untrue: "There's no kidnapped Israeli soldier and those rumours are untrue."

But Abu Ubaida, the masked spokesman of the Qassam Brigades on Sunday said: "Qassam Brigades captured a Zionist soldier.".

He identified the soldier as Shaul Aron and recited what he said was Aron's identity tag number. He gave no other evidence the soldier was in the custody of the Islamist militants.

Aron would be the first Israeli soldier held captive in Gaza since 2011, when Israel released more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners to free Gilad Shalit, a soldier who was held for more than five years after his 2006 capture in a cross-border raid.



Tags: Gaza | Israel

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UN Security Council to vote on MH17 crash resolution
2014.07.22 03:13:35

UN Security Council will vote on Monday on an Australia-proposed resolution demanding international access to the Ukraine plane crash site and a cease-fire around the area, with diplomats pressuring a reluctant Russia to approve it.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said his country would view a Russian veto of the resolution "very badly," adding that "no reasonable person" could object to its wording.

[AP]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Death toll in Gaza has reached 500
2014.07.22 02:47:14

The death toll in Gaza has reached 500, according to the Gaza health ministry.



Tags: Gaza | Israel

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Statement from the Russian president, Vladimir Putin
2014.07.22 02:46:18

And here's excerpts of a statement from the Russian president, Vladimir Putin:

"We have repeatedly called on all warring parties to immediately stop the bloodshed and to sit down at the negotiating table. We can confidently say that if June 28 fighting in eastern Ukraine were not renewed, then this tragedy would not have happened for sure.

"No one should, and no one has the right to use this tragedy to achieve their  own selfish political goals. These events should not divide, but unite people.  It's necessary that all people who answer for this situation in this region of  Ukraine increase their responsibility before their own people and the people of  the countries whose representatives are victims of this catastrophe."



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | Vladimir Putin

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Osama Hamdan, Hamas spokesman
2014.07.22 02:45:04

When they [Israel] decided on this operation they have to expect that their soldiers may be killed, captured, or injured.

-Osama Hamdan, Hamas spokesman



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas

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