Wednesday, July 23, 2014
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Israeli army tanks shelled Rafah
2014.07.19 04:19:36

The Palestinian Ma'an News Agency is reporting that five Palestinians have been killed, including a five-month old baby, after Israeli army tanks shelled Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip.

The deaths were reported before Israel launched its ground operation in Gaza, Ma'an found.

Tags: Gaza | Israel

Hits: 61 |

AIDS researchers and activists were on board
2014.07.19 04:18:15

Several world-renowned AIDS researchers and activists heading to an international AIDS conference in Australia were on board the Malaysian jetliner that was shot down over Ukraine, officials said Friday.

Among the passengers was former president of the International AIDS Society Joep Lange, a well-known HIV researcher from the Netherlands, Australian opposition leader Bill Shorten said in parliament.

Chris Beyrer, president-elect of the International AIDS Society, said if reports of Lange's death were true, "then the HIV/AIDS movement has truly lost a giant."


Tags: Ukraine | Russia | Australia

Hits: 67 |

Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop
2014.07.19 04:16:43

Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has called for an immediate ceasefire to put an end to the violence in Gaza.

"Hamas have consistently and persistently refused to be part of a ceasefire. I condemn Hamas for refusing to put the interests of the Palestinian people above their own political ideology and we call for a ceasefire immediately," Bishop said.


Tags: Gaza | Israel | Australia

Hits: 70 |

Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton
2014.07.19 04:15:39

Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton said on Thursday: "There should be outrage in European capitals" if Russia had a role in downing Malaysian airliner.

"The questions I'd be asking is, number one, "Who could have shot it down? Who had the equipment?" It's obviously an antiaircraft missile. "Who could have had the expertise to do that?" because commercial airlines are big targets, but by the time they got over that part of Ukraine they should have been high, so it takes some - you know, some planning.

And the Ukrainian government has been quick to blame it on terrorists, which is, you know, their name for the Russian insurgents. And there does seem to be some growing awareness that it probably had to be Russian insurgents. Now, how we determine that will require some forensics, but then if there is evidence pointing in that direction, the equipment had to have come from Russia. What more the Russians may or may not have done, we don't know."


Tags: Ukraine | Russia | Hillary Clinton

Hits: 64 |

UN shelters need in the Gaza
2014.07.19 04:02:48

According to figures from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 22,900 Palestinians hosted at UN shelters are currently in need of emergency food assistance in the Gaza Strip.

An estimated 1,780 families (totaling 10,600 people) in Gaza have had their homes completely destroyed, the UN found.

Tags: Gaza | Israel

Hits: 61 |

Barrel bombs carrying chlorine gas
2014.07.19 04:00:13

Activists say 40 people in the rebel-controlled town of Kafr Zita have sustained breathing difficulties after government forces hit the town with barrel bombs carrying chlorine gas at midnight. The video below purports to be filmed in a local hospital following the attack.

Kafr Zita, in Hama province, has been targeted with chlorine gas several times in recent months, according to activists.

Tags: Syria

Hits: 81 |

Malaysia Airlines
2014.07.19 03:57:33

The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting Friday morning on Ukraine.

Britain's UN Mission said on Thursday it requested the meeting and later tweeted that it is set for 10 am on Friday.

The request follows Wednesday's downing of a Ukrainian air force fighter and Thursday's downing of a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane carrying 298 people over eastern Ukraine.

Britain proposed a Security Council press statement calling for "a full, thorough and independent international investigation into the incident.''

The statement was circulated to all 15 council members, who must approve it before it can be issued.

The White House in a statement released late Thursday also called for a "full, credible, and unimpeded international investigation'' as soon as possible.

Earlier, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-noon said "there is clearly a need for a full and transparent international investigation'' into the plane crash in Ukraine."


Tags: Ukraine | Russia | Malaysia

Hits: 65 |

Anti-tank missile hit an army bulldozer
2014.07.19 03:45:35

The Israeli military says an anti-tank missile hit an army bulldozer in the southern Gaza Strip. The strike caused damage, but no injuries were reported, the army said.

Tags: Gaza | Israel

Hits: 57 |

UN special envoy to Syria
2014.07.19 03:43:58

The United Nations chief says the new UN special envoy to Syria will be traveling to the country, regional countries and other relevant countries "in the near future.''

Ban Ki-moon introduced Staffan de Mistura and his deputy, Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy, on Thursday.

De Mistura is now the third special envoy tasked with helping to end the conflict in Syria that has killed at least 170,000 people and displaced some 9 million, a third of the country's pre-war population.

The Swedish-Italian diplomat was named to the post a week ago.


Tags: Syria

Hits: 89 |

Abbott blamed Russia
2014.07.19 03:42:17

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott blamed Russia on Friday over theĀ  shooting down of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jetliner over eastern Ukraine that killed all 298 people on board.

Abbott appeared to go further than other Western leaders in apportioning blame over the crash, demanding that Moscow answer questions about the "Russian-backed rebels" that he said were behind the disaster.

He also said the Russian ambassador to Australia has been officially summoned to discuss the issue.

Australia is due to host Russian President Vladimir Putin and other world leaders at the G20 Leaders Summit in November.

Asked if he would still welcome Putin if Russia was proved to be behind the accident, Abbott hinted there may be repercussions.

"That's a fair question, let's just wait and see exactly what turns out to have happened here," Abbott said in an interview with Melbourne-based 3AW Radio.


Tags: Ukraine | Russia | Australia

Hits: 71 |

Ahmed Davutoglu, Turkey's foreign minister
2014.07.19 03:03:07

Ahmed Davutoglu, Turkey's foreign minister, has called for an "open extraordinary meeting" of the United Nations Security Council to discuss Israel's military offensive in Gaza.

He earlier tweeted:

"We vehemently condemn the ground operation launched by Israel into Gaza tonight following its inhuman murders by air strikes."

Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Turkey

Hits: 64 |

Palestinian envoy to the United Nations
2014.07.19 03:01:16

The Palestinian envoy to the United Nations said he hopes "a very intensive negotiation" in Cairo might produce a ceasefire to end the violence in Gaza.

Ambassador Riyad Mansour said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with leaders from Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Egypt and other many others and he understood that US Secretary of State John Kerry was on his way to Egypt.

"We hope that an agreement and ceasefire to take place as quickly as possible before shedding the blood of one additional single Palestinian soul,'' Mansour said. [AP]

Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Egypt

Hits: 77 |

Diana Buttu, former legal adviser to the Palestinian
2014.07.19 02:58:47

Diana Buttu, a former legal adviser to the Palestinian negotiating team, said that the Israeli ground invasion of the Gaza Strip was inevitable "only because the Israelis wanted it to be inevitable".

"They've been talking about this for some time. There hasn't been any stop to their actions," she said.

"I think it's high time that the Palestinian Authority go and sign on to the International Criminal Court and start charging Israel with war crimes. This isn't the first time this has happened."

She added, "They [Israel] shouldn't be allowed to behave like they are above the law, and treat Palestinians like they are beneath it."

Tags: Israel | Gaza

Hits: 64 |

Israel's ground incursion into the Gaza
2014.07.19 02:48:22

Hamas said Israel's ground incursion into the Gaza Strip that started on Thursday would have "dreadful consequences".

"It does not scare the Hamas leaders or the Palestinian people," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told Reuters. "We warn (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu of the dreadful consequences of such a foolish act."


Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas

Hits: 63 |

Conspiring to undermine Cairo's efforts
2014.07.19 02:40:38

Egypt's foreign minister accused Qatar, Turkey and Hamas on Thursday of conspiring to undermine Cairo's efforts to bring about a ceasefire between the Hamas and Israel in Gaza, Egypt's state news agency reported.

Egypt sees Hamas as a threat because it is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, which the army removed from power last year, straining ties with the Gulf Arab state of Qatar and with Turkey, both countries that backed Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri made the accusation against Turkey, Qatar and Hamas in a briefing with local newspaper editors, the state news agency MENA reported.

"Had Hamas accepted the Egyptian initiative, at least 40 Palestinian souls would have been saved," MENA quoted Shukri as saying.


Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Egypt | Qatar | Turkey

Hits: 93 |

France's foreign minister
2014.07.18 06:24:39

France's foreign minister said on Thursday he was extremely worried by an Israeli ground offensive in Gaza and called on Israel to show utmost restraint.

Laurent Fabius, who will meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and US Secretary of State John Kerry in Cairo on Friday as part of a three-day trip to secure a "lasting ceasefire", said it was vital to protect civilians and avoid new victims.

"France is extremely concerned by the Israeli decision to launch a ground offensive in Gaza. It calls on Israel to show the utmost restraint," Fabius said in a statement.


Tags: Gaza | Israel | France

Hits: 169 |

Ban Ki-moon expressed regret
2014.07.18 06:23:13

Reacting to Israel's initiation of a ground offensive on Gaza, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said he expressed regret that an already dangerous conflict has escalated even further.

Tags: Gaza | Israel

Hits: 168 |

Heavy artillery and naval shelling
2014.07.18 06:17:34

Heavy artillery and naval shelling and helicopter fire have are being reported along the Gaza border.

Smoke could be seen rising over buildings in Gaza on Thursday night and explosions were heard in the city.

Tags: Gaza | Israel

Hits: 181 |

United States called on Israel
2014.07.18 06:16:45

The United States called on Israel to do more to prevent Palestinian civilian casualties.

Even while stepping up U.S. pressure for Israeli restraint, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki reasserted Washington's condemnation of Hamas's "indiscriminate rocket attacks" targeting Israeli civilians and affirmed U.S. support for Israel's right to defend itself.

"We continue to urge all parties to do all they can to protect civilians," she told reporters.

She added:

We have been heart-broken by the high civilian death toll in Gaza.

Tags: Gaza | Israel | United States

Hits: 186 |

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri
2014.07.18 06:14:35

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri reacts to Israel's decision to invade the Gaza Strip:

It does not scare the Hamas leaders or the Palestinian people

Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas

Hits: 200 |

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