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People flee crisis in Ukraine
2014.07.26 02:30:35

A total of 230,000 people have fled their homes in the face of Ukraine's spiraling conflict, the United Nations refugee agency has said.



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Death toll update
2014.07.26 02:19:38

The 18-day Israeli offensive on Gaza has so far claimed the lives of at least 816 Palestinians, including scores of children, according to the health ministry in Gaza. More than 5,200 others have been reported injured.

Rockets fired from Gaza into Israel killed two Israeli civilians and a Thai migrant worker. The fighting also killed 32 Israeli soldiers.



Tags: Gaza | Israel

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HRW: Unguided Rockets Killing Civilians
2014.07.26 02:18:28

A report released by HRW has criticized the apparent use of unguided rockets by Ukrainian forces, which the rights group says are killing civilians.

"The use of indiscriminate rockets in populated areas violates international humanitarian law, or the laws of war, and may amount to war crimes."

HRW report



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Clashes in northern Syria
2014.07.26 02:15:50

Dozens of people have been killed in 24 hours of clashes in northern Syria between regime forces and self-declared jihadist fighters, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Friday.

The watchdog reported on Thursday that the Islamic State (IS) group had launched multiple attacks on government-held territory across north and northeast Syria.

The Observatory said it was the first time that IS, accused by rival rebel groups of focusing its formidable firepower more on them than on the Damascus regime, had launched such coordinated assaults on army positions.

IS fighters went on the offensive near the main northern city of Aleppo, in Hasakeh province in the northeast and in Raqa province around their Euphrates valley stronghold, the Observatory said.



Tags: Syria | Islamic State

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International ceasefire efforts
2014.07.26 01:58:01

An Israeli defense official says the country's security cabinet is meeting to discuss international ceasefire efforts, but also the option of expanding its ground operation in Gaza.

He spoke on condition of anonymity because Friday's deliberations are taking place behind closed doors.

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had no immediate comment.

[AP]



Tags: Gaza | Israel

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Political change in Ukraine
2014.07.26 01:56:30

Following the resignation of Yarsenyuk, which is yet to be officially accepted, there are reports that the current deputy prime minister has been appointed to act as interim PM.



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Destruction of the Younis Mosque
2014.07.26 01:55:45

This video, posted on Youtube, shows the destruction of the Younis Mosque in Mosul today, according to the author.



Tags: Iraq

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Jordan shot down a drone
2014.07.26 01:53:45

Jordan shot down a drone as it flew over the northeastern region of Mafraq, near the border with Syria, a security official said.

"The Jordanian armed forces shot down an unidentified drone with a missile as it flew over Mafraq," the official told AFP.

"It was a violation of Jordan's airspace. Jordan will take measures at a high level after identifying the drone."

[AFP]



Tags: Syria | Jordan

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Palestinian armed group al-Quds Brigades
2014.07.26 01:43:15

Palestinian armed group al-Quds Brigades confirms the killing of one of its leader, Salah Abo Hassanien, and his son.



Tags: Gaza | Israel

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Israel's security cabinet
2014.07.26 01:42:09

Israel's secretive security cabinet is expected to meet later in the day to discuss truce proposals passed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by US Secretary of State John Kerry earlier in the week, according to Israeli media.

Israeli paper Haaretz quoted a senior Israeli official as saying that Kerry drafted a new ceasefire proposal and presented it to both sides.

"International efforts to achieve a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip are approaching the critical point," the report read.

There was no official confirmation. Israel traditionally does not comment on security cabinet sessions or acknowledge that they take place.



Tags: Gaza | Israel

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The clashes in the occupied West Bank
2014.07.26 01:32:16

The clashes in the occupied West Bank are a turning point in the current violence between Israel and Palestine.

"Today’s clashes in Jerusalem are especially important considering the proximity and contact between Palestinians and Israelis. It’s also where Israelis are most fragile."

"It remains to be seen whether this will lead to a full-fledged third uprising with major implications for the Palestinian Authority and Mahmoud Abbas’s leadership considering he’s been stubbornly against any such escalation. Khaled Meshaal, the political leader of Hamas, called for such popular movement in his speech yesterday from Qatar.

"If as expected confrontations continue to escalate tomorrow, including in Jerusalem around prayer time, we are in a totally new landscape of conflict.

"As Israelis also warn of 10 more days of operations in Gaza, the coming days promise yet more escalation with unpredictable ramifications.

"The spread of conformations would also complicate the ceasefire efforts in Gaza and even embarrass those trying to bring about a quick arrangement."



Tags: Gaza | Israel | West Bank

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Crash site continues to be hampered
2014.07.26 01:30:18

"There are still some lunatics taking cautions (actions) that it is very hard for us to get to the bodies, to get to the remains. You call it terrorists, to me it is criminals but it is very nearly the same."

Jan Tunder, head of Dutch Police Commission in Ukraine

[Reuters]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Protests in the occupied West Bank
2014.07.26 01:23:11

This is raw footage of the protests in the occupied West Bank, posted on Youtube by the Assosiated Press news agency. There are some scenes of injury. Again, most of the explosions you hear are fireworks.



Tags: Gaza | Israel | West Bank

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US says Russia firing artillery on Ukraine troops
2014.07.26 01:18:22

"They're firing artillery from within Russia to attack Ukrainian military."

The United States on Thursday said it had evidence Russian forces were firing artillery from inside Russia on Ukrainian troops, in what officials called a "clear escalation" of the conflict.

Moscow is also planning to "deliver heavier and more powerful multiple rocket launchers" to the pro-Russian separatist forces in Ukraine, US deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said. [AFP]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | United States

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Israeli forces fired tear gas
2014.07.25 04:53:48

A man has been killed in the village of Qalandia - near the West Bank city of Ramallah - and more than 55 have been injured by Israeli security forces, according to Palestine TV.

Mohammed Al-Aaraj was killed after Israeli forces fired tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets at protesters near the Qalandia checkpoint, the state TV said.



Tags: Gaza | Israel

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Dutch children are telling the stories of Palestinian children
2014.07.25 04:21:33

In a new short film, eight Dutch children are telling the stories of eight Palestinian children killed during Israel's offensive in Gaza. The video, titled "We are no longer here, do you care?" shows the children in the situations where they were killed, such as playing on a beach, at a playground, or using Facebook.

The Palestinian children whose names are given in this video are Aahed Baker, Ismail Baker, Zakareyya Baker, Mohammed Baker, Ranim Abdul-Ghafoor, Anas Qandeel, Nour Al-Najdi and Sahir Abou Namous.



Tags: Gaza | Israel

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Flights resumed to Israel
2014.07.25 04:19:06

American, Russian and some European carriers have resumed flights to Israel on Thursday after a two-day freeze amid fears that rocket fire from Gaza was endangering commercial air traffic into Tel Aviv.

However, some European airlines continued to suspend their flights, out of security concerns around Ben Gurion International Airport.

Officials in Washington lifted a formal ban on American flights to Israel late Wednesday, and flights by carriers Delta, United and US Airways, as well as Air Canada, were scheduled on Thursday.

[AFP]



Tags: Gaza | Israel

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Kerry will not stay in the Middle East
2014.07.25 04:17:41

US Secretary of State John Kerry will not stay in the Middle East indefinitely trying to broker a ceasefire to halt the Gaza conflict , a senior US official has said.

"Gaps remain between the parties, so his focus is on finding a formula that both sides can accept," said the senior US official, according to Reuters news agency.

"But he is not here for an indefinite amount of time and in the near future he will determine whether there is a willingness to come to an agreement on a ceasefire."

[Reuters]



Tags: Gaza | Israel | United States | John Kerry

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Israel's Gaza offensive
2014.07.25 04:16:40

The US has urged greater effort to protect civilians in Israel's Gaza offensive as it voiced sadness over deaths at a UN school serving as a shelter.

"We are deeply saddened and concerned about the tragic incident," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in Cairo where Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to negotiate a ceasefire.

"We again urge all parties to redouble their efforts to protect civilians."

[AFP]



Tags: Gaza | Israel | United States

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Attack on a UN-run school
2014.07.25 04:15:15

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon has said he was "appalled" by an attack on a UN-run school in the northern Gaza strip that had killed women, children and UN staff.

"Circumstances are still unclear. I strongly condemn this act," Ban said in a statement.

"Many have been killed - including women and children, as well as UN staff."

The Gaza health ministry said at least 15 people had been killed and some 200 wounded.

[Reuters]



Tags: Gaza | Israel

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