Friday, August 01, 2014
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2014.08.01 02:52:48

Palestinians are "facing a precipice" in Gaza, the top UN refugee official there told the Security Council on Thursday in a strongly-worded appeal for action.

Philippe Krahenbuhl, the head of the UN Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA, told the 15-member UN security council that he had reached breaking point.

"I believe the population is facing a precipice and appeal to the international community to take the steps necessary to address this extreme situation," he said. "We have exceeded the tolerable limit that we can accommodate."

  Gaza | Israel
Comments 0 Hits: 48  

2014.08.01 02:51:46

Mark Regev, the spokesman for the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has defended Israeli fire around a UN Gaza school on July 30, which killed at least 19 civilians including children.

In an interview with, Regev said that Hamas armed fighters had been firing from the "immediate vicinity of the school".

Christopher Gunness, the UNRWA's spokesman, said the attack was a "source of universal shame" and blamed Israeli forces.

  Gaza | Israel | Hamas
Comments 0 Hits: 47  

2014.08.01 02:50:05

Russian and Ukrainian envoys have agreed to keep open a route that was used by international experts to reach the site where a Malaysian airliner came down in eastern Ukraine, a senior Ukrainian government official said.

Deputy Prime Minister Volodymyr Groisman told a briefing in Kiev on Thursday that the agreement was reached during talks in Minsk, the capital of Belarus.


  Ukraine | Russia
Comments 0 Hits: 45  

2014.08.01 02:30:13

The United Nations in Gaza is struggling to withstand a flood of almost a quarter of a million refugees into shelters that have repeatedly come under Israeli fire.

Out of cash, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the main UN body in the impoverished enclave of 1.8 million Palestinians, said on Thursday that it can barely handle the humanitarian crisis unleashed by more than three weeks of fighting between militants and Israel.

Asked to explain the scale of the civilian suffering to an Arab news station, an UNRWA spokesman simply burst into tears.

"There are times when tears speak more eloquently than words. Mine pale into insignificance compared with Gaza's," Chris Gunness said.

"Where will it end ... UNRWA now has 225,178 displaced in 86 shelters. But Gaza is being destroyed. So when the war is over, where will these people go?" Gunness said.

Eight UN employees have been killed since Israel launched its offensive on July 8 after rocket fire from Gaza intensified.

UN shelters have been bombed by Israel on six separate occasions, including in another shelling of a UN shelter last week that killed 15 people. [Reuters]

  Gaza | Israel | UNRWA
Comments 0 Hits: 50  

2014.08.01 02:29:05

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has said its monitors, accompanied by Dutch and Australian experts, reached the crash site of a Malaysian airliner in eastern Ukraine, two weeks after the plane came down.

Fighting between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian forces in the wider area has frustrated international experts' efforts to get to the site to recover remains of the victims and investigate the crash.

"OSCE... monitors reach MH17 crash site for first time in almost week, accompanied by four Dutch, Australian experts. Used new route to access," the OSCE said on Twitter on Thursday.

Kiev and the rebels accuse one another over the downing of the plane, which killed all 298 on board.


  Ukraine | Russia | Netherlands | Australia | Malaysia
Comments 0 Hits: 35  

2014.08.01 02:27:43

Jabhat Nusra has taken control of Sarmda town near the Turkish border in Idleb province.

Nusra had sent a large convoy to take over the town according to activists.

Comments 0 Hits: 39  

2014.08.01 02:08:36

The Israeli government has threatened to destroy all cross-border tunnels regardless of any possible ceasefire.

Israel has also called up more reservists, and requested military resupplies from the United States.

Israel's Prime Minister held a meeting of his security cabinet - and made it clear he's determined that the offensive will continue.

  Gaza | Israel
Comments 0 Hits: 34  

2014.08.01 02:07:24

Ukraine's parliament has voted not to accept the resignation of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, meaning he will remain at the helm of the strife-torn ex-Soviet state, AFP news agency reports.

Yatsenyuk dramatically announced his resignation last week in protest at the collapse of his ruling coalition, sparking fears of a political crisis.

Comments 0 Hits: 35  

2014.08.01 02:06:25

At least 10 people have been reported killed in government shelling on the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Douma.

Activists say dozens of others were wounded. They posted the above footage which purports to show the shelling on the town.

MWC cannot independently verify the authenticity of the footage.

Comments 0 Hits: 36  

2014.08.01 01:50:41

Ahed Zaqout, a former Palestinian national footballer, has been killed by an Israeli bomb that hit his apartment in Gaza, Palestinian medical officials said on Thursday.

"Palestine has lost one of its best players, he may have been the best midfielder we ever had," Gaza sports journalist Khaled Zaher told Reuters.

Neighbors and medics who rushed to Zaqout's apartment said he was killed on Wednesday while sleeping in his bed. The 49-year-old was not known to belong to any particular political entity and had never expressed clear political views.

The fair-haired midfielder captained the junior national side and turned out once for the full national team in 1994 in a friendly against a team of French stars that included Michel Platini.

More recently, Zaqout turned to coaching and hosted a sports show on national Palestinian television.


  Gaza | Israel
Comments 0 Hits: 33  

2014.08.01 01:49:02

Apparently, you can find everything online. Including a guide on how to launch a BUK missile.

Reuters opinion editor writes:

  Ukraine | Russia
Comments 0 Hits: 27  

2014.08.01 01:47:14

The United States unveiled $378 million in new humanitarian aid for the Syrian people, denouncing "appalling 'starve or surrender' tactics" by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

"The regime is asphyxiating half a million Syrians in Aleppo by obstructing deliveries of food, water, and medicine," Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement on Wednesday.

Kerry said:

Syrians all over the country are being butchered at the hands of a ruthless tyrant.

The regime was "dropping dozens of barrel bombs a day on the city and surrounding suburbs," he said.


  Syria | United States
Comments 0 Hits: 23  

2014.08.01 01:44:33

UN human rights chief Navi Pillay on Thursday slammed what she said was Israel's "deliberate defiance" of international law during the Gaza conflict.

Pillay lambasted the country's attacks on homes, schools, hospitals and United Nations facilities in Gaza.

"None of this appears to me to be accidental," she told reporters. "There appears to be deliberate defiance of obligations that international law imposes on Israel.

  Gaza | Israel | Navi Pillay
Comments 0 Hits: 28  

2014.08.01 01:32:10

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was determined, regardless of ceasefire efforts, to complete the destruction of tunnels that Palestinian fighters have built under the Gaza-Israel border.

"We are determined to complete this mission with or without a ceasefire," Netanyahu said in public remarks at the start of a cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv.

"I wont agree to any proposal that will not enable the Israeli military to complete this important task for the sake of Israel's security."

Major General Sami Turgeman, chief of Israeli forces in Gaza, said on Wednesday they were "but a few days away from destroying all the attack tunnels".


  Israel | Gaza
Comments 0 Hits: 28  

2014.08.01 01:30:55

Palestinian al-Aqsa TV is reporting that one building housing its offices has come under attack by Israeli warplanes.

The TV channel, which has offices in three locations across Gaza, said all three sites had been attacked during the military assault on the Palestinian territory,

  Gaza | Israel
Comments 0 Hits: 28  

2014.08.01 01:22:04

The White House is making increasingly strong statements condemning Israeli strikes that kill Palestinian civilians, including Wednesday's attack on the UN school.

But at the same time the Pentagon has confirmed they are resupplying the Israeli military, this while President Obama calls for an immediate ceasefire.

  Gaza | Israel | United States
Comments 0 Hits: 29  

2014.08.01 01:20:33

Israel has ordered its ground forces to focus on locating and destroying a warren of tunnels through which Hamas has menaced its southern towns and army bases.

Major General Sami Turgeman, chief of Israeli forces in Gaza, said on Wednesday they were "but a few days away from destroying all the attack tunnels".

The army said 32 of the secret passages had been found so far and half of them blown up.

  Gaza | Israel | Hamas
Comments 0 Hits: 29  

2014.07.31 10:06:20

Palestinian Death toll in Gaza:

The Gaza Health Ministry announced that the death toll in Gaza is now 1361 killed and more than 6780 were injured since the start of Israel’s Protective Edge offensive.

According to the Health Ministry:

Out of the killed

315  Children

166 Females

58 Elderly

Out of the injured

2307 Children

1529 Females

287 Elderly

According to the Israeli military, the Israeli death toll is as follows:

59 have been killed in Israel so far, including:

55 Israeli soldiers

1 Israeli soldier "killed in action whose burial site is unknown"

2 Israeli civilians

1 Thai citizen working in Israel was also killed.

The Palestinian Death toll OUTSIDE of Gaza of those killed in clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli army/police in Jerusalem/West Bank:

13 Palestinians were killed and at least 577 have been injured. At least 388 of them have been injured from live ammunition, according to sources on the ground.

  Gaza | Israel
Comments 0 Hits: 89  

2014.07.31 10:02:44

The European Union has imposed an asset freeze and travel ban against two close associates of President Vladimir Putin, also the leading shareholders in Bank Rossiya servicing senior Russian officials.

The EU's Official Journal listed on Wednesday eight people and three firms hit by an asset freeze and travel ban over the Ukraine crisis, including Yuriy Valentinovich Kovalchuk, chairman and leading shareholder of the bank, and Nicolay Terentievich Shamalov, second largest stakeholder in the institution considered the personal bank of senior Russian Federation officials. [AFP]

  Ukraine | Russia | European Union
Comments 0 Hits: 93  

2014.07.31 10:01:44

Gaza: power plant destroyed, electricity and water supplies collapse

  Gaza | Israel
Comments 0 Hits: 83  

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