Friday, July 25, 2014
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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.


  Gaza | Israel
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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."


  Gaza | Israel | United States | John Kerry
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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."


  Gaza | Israel | United States
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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.


  Gaza | Israel
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2014.07.25 04:13:53

British low cost carrier easyJet said it will resume flights to Tel Aviv as scheduled from July 25, Friday, after regulators lifted advice over flying into the Israeli airport.

easyJet said it would operate a flight from Tel Aviv to London on Thursday afternoon, before returning to its normal schedule, which includes connections between Tel Aviv and both London and Geneva, on Friday.

On Tuesday the US Federal Aviation Authority issued a ban on the country's carriers from flying to Tel Aviv after a Palestinian rocket fired from Gaza fell close to Ben Gurion International Airport, with Europe's aviation regulator following suit with a recommendation not to fly there.

They both lifted their warnings on Thursday.


  Gaza | Israel
Comments 0 Hits: 44  

2014.07.25 04:12:45

Israel said its troops were engaged in combat in the area with Hamas gunmen and it was investigating the incident at the school, Reuters news agency said.

The Israeli military also said that their sensors detected rockets being fired from Gaza that might have fallen short and landed in Beit Hanoun and might have hit the UN school.  

This is of course a rapidly developing story and information is changing constantly. We'll have more as it breaks.


  Gaza | Israel | Hamas
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2014.07.25 04:11:09

Hamas must agree to a humanitarian ceasefire without conditions, British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond has said at news conference in Cairo on Thursday, as Egypt tries to mediate a truce between Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.


  Gaza | Israel | Hamas
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2014.07.25 04:09:44

Chris Gunness, the spokesman for UNRWA, called the attack on the Beit Hanoun shelter "tragic and appalling".

"We gave the Israelis the precise GPS co-ordinates of the Beit Hanoun shelter as fighting drew in. We were trying to co-ordinate a window [for evacuation] and that was never granted."

He said he could neither confirm nor deny that Hamas fighters were near the building, but said Israel and Hamas "must respect the inviolability of UN premises, and humanitarian law".

  Gaza | Israel
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2014.07.25 04:08:32

At least 15 people have been killed and 200 injured in the Israeli shelling of a UN school in northern Gaza that was being used as an emergency shelter, the Gaza health ministry says.

  Gaza | Israel
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2014.07.25 04:07:45

Robert Turner, the UNRWA director in Gaza, said there was no warning from the Israelis about the attack on the school in Beit Hanoun.

He said they were in contact with Israeli forces about a window to evacuate the school before the attack happened.

"This is a designated emergency shelter,” he said.

“The location was conveyed to the Israelis.

He said he had no information that there was military activity around the school.

"This was an installation we were managing, that monitored [to ensure] that our neutrality was maintained.

“We always call on all parties to ensure that civilians are not harmed."

  Gaza | Israel
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2014.07.25 04:03:11

UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos expressed deep concern about the mounting civilian casualties in Gaza, warning that it was "almost impossible" for Palestinians to shelter from Israeli airstrikes.

Speaking to BBC Radio, she said:

The reality in Gaza is, it doesn't matter how hard Israel tries to minimize harm, this is an extremely overcrowded stretch of land.

  Gaza | Israel
Comments 0 Hits: 42  

2014.07.25 04:01:40

Britain is "gravely concerned" by the high number of civilian casualties resulting from Israel's military operation in Gaza, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said on Thursday.

Speaking on his first official visit to the region since taking over as Britain's top diplomat, Hammond said London would do everything it could to help broker a quick end to the hostilities.

At a news conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Hammond expressed Britain's support for Israel's right to self-defense, acknowledging that the current fighting was caused by Hamas firing rockets "indiscriminately" at Israeli towns and cities.

"But we are gravely concerned by the ongoing heavy level of civilian causalities," he said as another 30 Palestinians were killed in ongoing fighting in Gaza, among them at least six children.


  Gaza | Israel | Britain
Comments 0 Hits: 38  

2014.07.25 03:59:41

Ukraine government forces and pro-Russian separatists continued to clash in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine on July 24. This video shows the remains of a bridge said to be in the Donetsk town of Horlivka. It shows a bridge collapsed onto a railway, with a vehicle amid the debris.

  Russia | Ukraine
Comments 0 Hits: 36  

2014.07.25 03:58:54

US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to his counterparts in Qatar and Turkey, which support the Palestinian group Hamas, as he pressed for a Gaza ceasefire.

Kerry - who is in Egypt, which has drafted a truce proposal for the Israel-Hamas conflict - spoke by phone with the foreign ministers of Qatar and Turkey, a US official said.

The top US diplomat was hoping Qatar and Turkey would use their influence to encourage Hamas to accept a ceasefire plan, which the Islamist group has so far rejected, the official said.

Kerry also spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, after meeting him for two hours late Wednesday.

Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal is based in Qatar.

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has harshly criticized Israel's assault on Hamas-ruled Gaza as well as Egypt's role in trying to  clinch a ceasefire.


  Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Egypt | United States | John Kerry | Turkey | Qatar
Comments 0 Hits: 38  

2014.07.25 03:57:16

Reports say Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Hroysman has been named as acting prime minister of Ukraine following the resignation of PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Hroysman is also a former mayor of the west-central Ukraine city of Vinnytsya.

Comments 0 Hits: 36  

2014.07.25 03:56:12

Palestinian youths protesting against Israel's offensive in Gaza, clashed with the Israeli military in Bethlehem.

Dozens of Palestinians hurled stones and molotov cocktails at Israeli soldiers, who responded with tear gas and water cannon.

  Gaza | Israel
Comments 0 Hits: 39  

2014.07.25 03:54:53

The United States  government has accused Russia of firing artillery across the border into Ukraine to target Ukrainian military positions in the conflict against pro-Russian separatists.

"We have new evidence that the Russians intend to deliver heavier and more powerful multiple rocket launchers to the separatist forces in Ukraine, and have evidence that Russia is firing artillery from within Russia to attack Ukrainian military positions," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said.

Harf, speaking at a regular media briefing, cited intelligence reports, but said she could give no more information of what the reports were based on.

Russia has in the past denied it is directly involved with the rebellion in its western neighbor, but the United States and its European allies accuse Moscow of arming and encouraging the uprising and have imposed sanctions on Moscow in response. [Reuters]

  Ukraine | Russia | United States
Comments 0 Hits: 37  

2014.07.25 03:43:00

Thailand on Thursday urged Israel to relocate 4,000 Thai nationals working near the battle-scarred Gaza strip after one of its citizens was killed.

Israeli police said a farm laborer, Narakorn Kittiyongkul, died on Wednesday when a projectile fired from Gaza struck the greenhouse where he was working in the southern part of the country.


  Gaza | Israel | thailand
Comments 0 Hits: 39  

2014.07.25 03:41:53

Dutch investigators into the shooting down over Ukraine of flight MH17 have said that they had downloaded data from the black box flight recorder and that it had not been tampered with.

"No evidence or indications of manipulation of the recorder was found," the Dutch Safety Board (OVV) said in a statement on Thursday.

"The data was successfully downloaded and the flight data recorder contained valid data of the flight," it said.

The OVV said on Wednesday that it had successfully downloaded recordings from the black box cockpit voice recorder.

The recorders, salvaged from the plane wreckage in eastern Ukraine, are being analyzed at the Air Accidents Investigation Branch headquarters in Farnborough, southwest of London. [AFP]

  Ukraine | Russia | Netherlands
Comments 0 Hits: 42  

2014.07.25 03:40:52

Since midnight, approximately 98 rockets were fired at Israel, out of which 70 hit Israeli territory and 25 were intercepted, according to a statement by the Israeli military.

The military said that over the course of Wednesday, it "targeted over 100 terror sites across the Gaza Strip, including concealed rocket launchers, terror tunnels, militant compounds, and terror activity posts located within the premises of Al-Wafa hospital".

Israeli forces have also detained 150 Palestinians suspected of involvement in “terror activity” and transferred them for security questioning, the statement said.

  Gaza | Israel
Comments 0 Hits: 23  

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