Wed, 08/20/2014 - 9:55amToday’s Top Stories
1. Hamas breaks the ceasefire with a barrage of rockets prompting the IDF to resume sorties over Gaza. According to the IDF, 50 rockets were fired at Israel from 4pm Tuesday afternoon through midnight and six rockets were intercepted by Iron Dome. Tel Aviv and Jerusalem were among the areas under rocket attack.
Refusing to negotiate under fire, Israel PM Netanyahu ordered the Israeli delegation at the Cairo ceasefire talks to return home.
Israeli government spokesperson Mark Regev explains the situation in an interview with CNN:
In one sortie, the Israeli Air Force attempted to assassinate Hamas’s top military leader Mohammed Deif in an air strike that reportedly killed his wife and two-year-old daughter.
The IDF has recalled 2,000 reservists in preparation for a potential new ground operation in Gaza.
Over 100 rockets have been fired from Gaza since midnight and continue to rain down on Israel. Hamas even said it fired two rockets at an Israeli gas installation about 30 km (19 miles) off the coast of Gaza in the first apparent attack of its kind.
2. Qatar’s increasingly poisonous influence on events in the Middle East and particularly the Gaza crisis are apparent in a report from Arabic daily Al-Hayat that claims that Qatar has threatened to expel the Doha-based Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal if the terror organization agrees to the current terms of the ceasefire framework put forth by Egypt.
3. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) posted a video that it said showed the beheading of James Foley, an American journalist who was kidnapped in Syria nearly two years ago. This in retaliation for U.S. air strikes in Iraq according to the brutal terrorist organization.
This marks the first time that ISIS or IS as it is also known, has murdered an American citizen since the outbreak of the Syrian conflict in 2011
Israel and the Palestinians
• B’Tselem’s Gaza casualty statistics have come under fire from both the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Center and NGO Monitor.
“All figures or data originated from Hamas’s ministry are not reliable,” Dr. Reuven Erlich, the head of the Amit terrorism center, told The Jerusalem Post during a telephone interview on Sunday, adding that one should be “suspicious of all figures from the Gaza Strip.”
. . .
NGO Monitor leveled criticism against B’Tselem for relying on the Hamas Health Ministry in Gaza as its “primary source for casualty claims,” asserting that “B’Tselem has no independent sources of information in Gaza, and as an Israeli organization, is unable to send personnel or verify information, particularly during major conflicts.
Its only source of independent information is from telephone interviews with Gaza residents, whose claims cannot be verified.”
• The Palestinian Authority confirmed Tuesday that Fatah activists in the Gaza Strip have been shot in the legs by Hamas during Operation Protective Edge.
• The Wall St Journal (access through Google News) takes an in-depth look at the Hamas terrorists who, in stark contrast to previous operations, have emerged from the shadows, presenting IDF soldiers with a range of serious challenges.
Hamas’s internal communications proved more difficult for Israel to track, and Hamas exhibited a new capacity for aerial observation of Israeli troop movements. Hamas rockets, though mostly intercepted above Israel, managed to shut down Israel’s main airport for a time.
A 22-year-old Israeli infantry soldier said recently that Hamas units inside Gaza didn’t wait for Israeli ground forces to enter the territory but instead fired mortars into military staging areas along the border inside Israel. In one incident last month, Hamas mortars killed four Israeli troops there and injured another four, the soldier said. “The danger on the border was just as bad as going inside,” said the soldier.
• The Palestinian Ma’an news agency proves once again that both it and so-called Palestinian eyewitnesses are utterly unreliable by claiming that: “Four rockets fired from Gaza late Tuesday hit an illegal Israeli settlement west of Ramallah, causing a fire, witnesses told Ma’an. Witnesses said a rocket landed in the settlement of Modiit Illit [sic], and that Israeli ambulances and firetrucks rushed to the area.”
Except that the reliable eyewitnesses of HonestReporting’s staff who happen to live in the Modi’in Illit and Modi’in areas who can testify that there were no sirens nor any rockets landing in the area on Tuesday night.
• A prominent UK opposition party MP was accused of encouraging mob rule after she boasted of taking part in an anti-Israel protest that forced a supermarket to close. Shabana Mahmood lay in the street outside a Sainsbury’s store in Birmingham alongside dozens of anti-Israel campaigners, protesting against the fact that it was ‘stocking goods from illegal settlements’.
• Boycotts aren’t only taking place outside UK stores. AFP reports on Palestinians protesting with their wallets and refusing to buy Israeli goods from West Bank stores. According to the report, Israeli-Arab-owned stores within Israel have also suffered as Jewish customers have avoided their stores and restaurants.
• UK MP George Galloway’s calls for an “Israeli-free zone” in Bradford have now led to him being interviewed by the police.
• Australia’s Supreme Court bans an anti-Israel protest at Sydney’s Israeli film festival.Commentary/Analysis
• Irish Independent columnist Ian O’Doherty makes a mockery of an Irish sportsman who tweeted “If you are lucky enough to know or work with a Jew, punch him right on the nose tomorrow.”
• Shlomo Shamir attacks the UN’s undisguised hostility towards Israel at i24 News.
• In the JPost, Gil Troy criticizes the sloppy journalism inherent in American media:
Last week, while visiting friends who had CNN on in the background, I half-watched for about two hours. CNN’s reporting was obsessive, speculative, hysterical, sensational and sadly lacking in context.
The news show offered an endless loop, reporting the same story over and over again. We saw the same few images, the same phrases, the same news crumbs recycled every few minutes, again and again. Viewers landed mid-story, at its most inflammatory juncture, without understanding the context. At one point, introducing a new image, the anchor admitted she had no idea what she was reporting, saying, “Whether or not that is Michael Brown we just don’t know.”
Gotcha. No, we were not watching Gaza on endless loop, with no explanation of why Israel was bombing, how Hamas turned opportunities for Palestinian development into attempts on Israeli lives, or the way Hamas cowards cower behind their own civilians while targeting others.
This journalistic sloppiness covered the tragic police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, of an African-American teen, Michael Brown, and the ensuing riots.Rest O’ the Roundup
• Ronald Lauder asks in the New York Times, who will stand up for the Christians?
WHY is the world silent while Christians are being slaughtered in the Middle East and Africa? In Europe and in the United States, we have witnessed demonstrations over the tragic deaths of Palestinians who have been used as human shields by Hamas, the terrorist organization that controls Gaza. The United Nations has held inquiries and focuses its anger on Israel for defending itself against that same terrorist organization. But the barbarous slaughter of thousands upon thousands of Christians is met with relative indifference.
Image: CC BY flickr/Rene? Voorburg
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Original article can be viewed at Hamas Fires Barrage of Rockets After Breaking Ceasefire on HonestReporting.