Thursday, July 31, 2014
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US suicide bomber from Florida
2014.07.27 03:13:18

Syria's Al-Qaeda affiliate has released a video of a young US suicide bomber from Florida who blew himself up at an army post in the northwest of the country.

Moner Mohammad Abu Salha, alias Abu Hurayra al-Amriki, was believed to be the first American national to carry out such an attack in Syria's more than three-year-old war.

"I want to rest in the afterlife, not in this world... My heart is not at peace here. Hopefully it will be in heaven," Abu Hurayra says in broken Arabic in the 17-minute video posted on YouTube on Friday by Al-Nusra Front.

The footage, released via Al-Nusra's official channel Al-Manara Al-Baydaa, also shows Abu Hurayra saying: "I came to Syria without money to buy a rifle or a pouch.

"God gave me a rifle and a pouch and everything, and... (then) he gave me even more," says the bearded man in his early 20s.

The American fighter carried out a May 25 truck bomb attack on an army base in Jabal al-Arbaeen area of northwest Syria's Idlib province.

Six days later, the State Department confirmed that the US citizen, who traveled to Syria in 2013, had carried out a suicide attack.


Tags: Syria | United States

Hits: 62 |

The bodies of another 35 Palestinians recovered
2014.07.27 02:58:43

The bodies of at least another 35 Palestinians were recovered from rubble across Gaza this morning, raising the death toll to over 900.

Emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said the bodies were retrieved in the three hours since the humanitarian truce came into effect. Thirteen bodies were recovered in Shejaiya in eastern Gaza City, 13 more in Deir al-Balah and Nusseirat in central Gaza, and nine in north Gaza.


Tags: Gaza | Israel

Hits: 45 |

Ukrainian mayors targeted
2014.07.27 02:57:32

Two Ukrainian mayors have been targeted in separate attacks, authorities have said, with one shot dead while the other's house was hit by an anti-tank rocket.

Oleg Bayev, mayor of the central-eastern city of Krementchuk was killed not far from his home, the interior ministry said.

In the other attack, the house of Andrii Sadovyi, mayor of the western city  of Lviv, was hit by a rocket fired late on Friday.

No one was in the house at the time of the strike, his office said in a statement as local police launched a probe into what they described as a "terrorist attack".

Sadovyi was a key figure in the overthrow of former president Viktor Yanukovich in February.

"To my knowledge, no rocket launchers have been used to fire shots in Lviv," said Sadovyi.


Tags: Ukraine | Russia

Hits: 65 |

Red Cross and Red Crescent alarmed about water shortages
2014.07.27 02:56:21

Lack of rain, low water levels, armed conflict and damaged water and sanitation infrastructure are causing a worsening drought in Syria with dire humanitarian consequences for millions, warns the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

The Syrian Arab Red Crescent and its Movement partners are increasingly concerned about the humanitarian impact of the current drought," says Dr Attar, president of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC).

"Limited access to clean water will continue to affect the life of Syrians for years to come and we call on local and national authorities to cooperate with all aid agencies present in the country to not only meet current needs, but also develop a longer-term response to this deepening crisis."

Click here to read the full statement

Tags: Syria

Hits: 46 |

Death toll update
2014.07.27 02:44:46

The 18-day Israeli offensive on Gaza has so far claimed the lives of at least 900 Palestinians, including scores of children, according to the health ministry in Gaza. More than 5,800 others have been reported injured.

Rockets fired from Gaza into Israel killed two Israeli civilians and a Thai migrant worker. The fighting also killed 34 Israeli soldiers. One more soldier has been reported missing, but is presumed dead, according to the Israeli army.

Tags: Gaza | Israel

Hits: 55 |

Malaysian airliner
2014.07.27 02:43:57

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said he would meet Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte next week to discuss how to secure full access for investigators to the site in Ukraine where a Malaysian airliner was downed.

A statement issued by his office said Najib would fly to the Netherlands to discuss the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-17 and the deployment of 30 investigators it said were needed to conduct a full investigation.

Najib said pro-Russian rebels in control of the site had fulfilled two conditions in a deal reached with Malaysia - returning the bodies of the victims and the aircraft's two "black boxes", but a full investigation was yet to take place.

Tags: Ukraine | Russia | Malaysia | Netherlands

Hits: 68 |

Islamic State fighters accused of atrocities in Syria
2014.07.27 02:42:12

Islamic State fighters accused of atrocities in Syria are expected to be added to a list being drawn by the United Nations of possible war crime indictees, the chief rights investigator said.

Brazilian Paulo Pinheiro, who heads the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria, said incriminating evidence against IS would be easier to collect because "there are indications of a strong chain of command."

"They are good candidates for the list," said Pinheiro, who briefed the UN Security Council on the results of their inquiry.

"I can assure you that we are collecting information on perpetrators from all sides including non-state armed groups and ISIS," he told reporters.

"I am not in a position to say who is winning the World Cup of human rights violations. Both sides are doing horrific things and they will continue if there is no accountability."

The UN Security Council failed in May to agree on a formal request to the International Criminal Court to take action toward prosecutions after Russia and China vetoed the move.


Tags: Syria | Islamic State

Hits: 61 |

Two Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza
2014.07.27 02:28:01

Two Israeli soldiers were killed in Gaza fighting on Friday, taking the total number of military deaths since the start of ground operations there to 37.

"Yesterday evening two Israel Defense Forces soldiers were killed in combat in the Gaza Strip," an army statement said.

Tags: Gaza | Israel

Hits: 45 |

EU edges to economic sanctions on Russia but narrows scope
2014.07.27 02:27:10

The European Union reached outline agreement on Friday to impose the first economic sanctions on Russia over its behavior in Ukraine but scaled back their scope to exclude technology for the crucial gas sector.

The EU also imposed travel bans and asset freezes on the chiefs of Russia's FSB security service and foreign intelligence service and a number of other top Russian officials, saying they had helped shape Russian government policy that threatened Ukraine's sovereignty and national integrity. [Reuters]

Tags: Ukraine | Russia | European Union

Hits: 58 |

Israeli tank shelling killed 18 Palestinians from a single family
2014.07.27 02:18:29

Israeli tank shelling killed 18 Palestinians from a single family in the southern Gaza Strip on Saturday, the Gaza health ministry said, shortly before a 12-hour humanitarian truce agreed by Israel and Hamas went into effect.

Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidra said that the 18 members of the Al-Najar family had been trapped inside their house in Khuzaa village east of Khan Younis since Thursday and that many others were wounded in Israeli tank shelling.


Tags: Gaza | Israel

Hits: 43 |

12-hour ceasefire came into force
2014.07.27 02:17:30

A 12-hour ceasefire came into force between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip at 8am (05:00 GMT) on Saturday, the 19th day of a conflict that has killed at least 900 people.

Israel and the Palestinian armed group said they would observe the temporary UN-mediated ceasefire, after US Secretary of State John Kerry was unable to reach a lasting truce during talks on Friday in Cairo.

In the lead-up to the ceasefire, our correspondent said the battles were "incredibly heavy" overnight.

At least 10 houses in Gaza were reportedly struck by Israeli aircraft overnight, she said, including one house in Khan Younis, where at least 20 people, most of them members of the same family, died.

Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas

Hits: 50 |

Lufthansa, Air Berlin to resume flights to Tel Aviv
2014.07.27 02:15:44

German airlines Lufthansa and Air Berlin said they will resume flights to Israel on Saturday July 26, lifting a ban imposed in response to fears that rockets being fired from the Gaza strip could pose a threat to aircraft.

"On the basis of the most up-to-date information we have available and our own assessment of the local security situation, the airlines of the Lufthansa Group will resume their flights from and to Ben Gurion International Airport," the airline said on Friday. [Reuters]

Tags: Gaza | Israel | Tel Aviv

Hits: 121 |

Israeli cabinet
2014.07.26 04:44:49

According to the Israeli media, the Israeli cabinet is considering US Secretary of State John Kerry's suggestion for an 12-hour ceasefire in Gaza, during which the army will continue its work on locating terror tunnels but will not carry out explosions of the tunnels and will hold its fire.

After long hours of deliberations, the ministers went on a break and will resume the meeting either later Friday night or on Saturday, Israeli media said.

Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Egypt | United States | John Kerry

Hits: 135 |

France to host foreign ministers
2014.07.26 04:43:33

France will host several foreign ministers, including those of the US, Turkey and Qatar, in Paris on Saturday to coordinate efforts for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza conflict, a French diplomatic source told Reuters news agency.

"In support of initiatives currently under way, most notably Egypt's initiative, our objective is to converge all international efforts so that the conditions of a ceasefire can emerge as quickly as possible," the source said.

The meeting, which will start early on Saturday morning, will also be attended by foreign ministers of Germany, Italy and UK as well as EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

There will not be any representatives at this stage from Israel, Hamas or the Palestinian Authority.


Tags: Gaza | Israel | United States | Turkey | France

Hits: 126 |

News conference in Egypt after the Israeli rejection
2014.07.26 03:14:01

At a news conference in Egypt after the Israeli rejection, John Kerry said diplomats were still trying to agree a deal.

"We are working towards a brief seven-day peace in honor of Eid, to bring people together to create a more durable ceasefire," he said.

"We still have terminology and context to work through, but we are confident we have a framework that will work, and we will continue to work for that ... none of us here are stopping."

Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Egypt | United States | John Kerry

Hits: 139 |

Week-long pause in Israel-Hamas fighting
2014.07.26 03:13:00

According to the AP news agency, the proposal by the US secretary of state John Kerry called for a week-long pause in Israel-Hamas fighting. During this time, the two sides would begin indirect talks on easing the border closure of the blockaded Gaza Strip.

Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Egypt | United States | John Kerry

Hits: 124 |

Proposals for a ceasefire rejected
2014.07.26 03:11:34

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security cabinet has rejected proposals for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, a government source told Reuters news agency.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has been pushing for a halt to 18 days of fighting between Israel and armed Hamas group in the Gaza Strip.

Full details of the proposed truce have not been released, but the government official, who declined to be named, said Israel wanted modifications before agreeing to any end to hostilities. Hamas has yet to respond to the proposed ceasefire.


Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Egypt | United States | John Kerry

Hits: 143 |

35th soldier killed in Gaza
2014.07.26 03:10:11

The Israeli army has confirmed that a 35th soldier was killed in Gaza on Friday. This brings the total Israeli death toll to 38, including three civilians.

Tags: Gaza | Israel

Hits: 100 |

Gaza health ministry
2014.07.26 03:09:10

As of 4.42pm GMT, Gaza health ministry confirms death toll of Palestinians in the Israeli offensive in Gaza has increased to 848. More than 5,694 have been injured since the operation began.

Here are the numbers announced by the ministry:

Out of the 848 dead, 40 were elderly (20 males, 20 females), 600 were adults (518 males, 82 females) and 208 were children (138 males, 70 females).

Out of the 5,694 injured 230 elderly (108 males, 122 females), 3685 adults (2573 males, 1112 females) and 1779 children (1126 males, 653 females).

Tags: Gaza | Israel

Hits: 88 |

French lawyer lodge a complaint at ICC
2014.07.26 03:08:08

A French lawyer said he had lodged a complaint at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on behalf of the Palestinian justice minister accusing the Israeli army of "war crimes".

The complaint targets "war crimes committed by the Israeli army in June and July 2014 in Palestine" in the context of the operation known as Protective Edge, Gilles Devers said on Friday.

"Israel, the occupying power, is carrying out a military operation which in principle and form violates the basis of international law," he said.


Tags: Gaza | Israel | ICC

Hits: 66 |

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