Posts tagged Israel
Posts tagged Israel
Some 10,000 Israelis took to the streets on Saturday to protest against impending austerity measures proposed by new Finance Minister Yair Lapid.
A Palestinian protestor, with his face covered in the colours of his national flag, uses a plastic table as a shield during clashes with Israeli soldiers outside Ofer prison, near Ramallah, following a demonstration in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails on March 6, 2013.
[Credit : Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images]
Israeli airstrike hits truck convoy in Syria that may contain weapons bound for Hezbollah in Lebanon
Israel conducted an airstrike inside Syria overnight near the border with Lebanon, hitting a convoy of trucks, U.S. and regional officials said Wednesday.
The regional officials said Israel had been planning in the days leading up to the airstrike to hit a shipment of weapons bound for the Islamist militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon. They said the shipment included sophisticated, Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles, which would be strategically “game-changing” in the hands of Hezbollah.
Two years after construction began, Israelhas finished the bulk of the work on a fence along its border with Egypt.
Closing off the rambling, 140-mile-long stretch of desert border will prevent the “unfettered flow of illegal infiltrators, the smuggling of drugs and weapons,” said a statement from the Defense Ministry, which oversaw the $400-million engineering project.
Speaking at a ceremony marking the completion of the main section, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the effort to curb the illegal entry of migrants from Africa, reduced from more than 2,000 a month in January 2012 to fewer than 40 in December.
Stopping the migrants is one aim of the fence, which stands about 15 to 20 feet high and includes multiple layers of barbed wire, communications equipment, a patrol road and asphalt track. It is similar to portions of the barrier that seals off the occupied West Bank from Israel, although that fence includes sections of concrete wall.
Early last year, Netanyahu said Israel would build a similar fence along the desert border with Jordan.
The government says all African migrants entering Israel illegally in recent months have been placed in detention facilities before reaching Israeli cities, where an estimated 60,000 migrants and asylum seekers — widely called “infiltrators” — already live.
“Just as we have stopped infiltration into Israeli cities, so too we shall succeed in the next mission, repatriating the tens of thousands of infiltrators to their countries of origin,” Netanyahu said.
He recently appointed Hagai Hadas, a former Mossad official, to oversee repatriation efforts.
Israel deported nearly 4,000 Africans in 2012, but more sweeping repatriation could be difficult. Many migrants hail from war-torn areas or from countries that have no ties with Israel, according to Sigal Rozen, an official with a local migrant assistance organization.
The influx of African migrants, most of whom slipped across the Egyptian border, has became a divisive social and political issue, as Israelis from already-disadvantaged areas express resentment toward the foreigners and politicians warn of a demographic threat.
The tension has boiled over on several occasions in recent years, with demonstrators calling for the deportation of the Africans and extremists committing hate crimes, including firebombings of migrants’ houses last spring.
Pictured: African refugees sit on the ground behind a border fence after they attempted to cross illegally from Egypt into Israel, as Israeli soldiers stand guard near the border with Egypt, in southern Israel.(Ariel Schalit / Associated Press / September 4, 2012)
Egypt announced on Wednesday that a ceasefire had been reached to end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, starting later in the day.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr made the announcement in a joint news conference with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The ceasefire would come into effect at 15:00 EDT, said Amr, whose country has been at the heart of efforts to broker an end to the conflict.
“Egypt has made great efforts … since the start of the latest escalation in the Gaza Strip,” Amr said.
“These efforts and contacts have resulted in understandings to cease fire and restore calm and halt the bloodshed that the last period has seen,” he added.
“Egypt calls on all to monitor the implementation of what has been agreed under Egypt’s sponsorship and to guarantee the commitment of all the parties to what has been agreed,” he said.
The Arab Spring, the Syrian civil war what they mean for the conflict in Gaza
A lot has happened since the 2008/09 Gaza conflict. While the rebellion in Syria means the Jewish state can expect little substantial interference from one of its long-time adversaries, the Mavi Marmara incident in 2010 means Israel can also expect little public support from Turkey. Here’s a look at the geopolitical situation in the region today.
Air strikes, rocket launches and death tolls: The latest Gaza developments
Israel hit targets in the Gaza Strip for the fifth consecutive day on Sunday. So far, as part of Operation Pillar of Defense, the IDF says it has struck more than 1,200 such targets. Officials say 74 Palestinians have died since the operation began; about half have reportedly been civilians. Meanwhile, terrorists in Gaza have fired more than 1,000 rockets at Israel, 544 of which have reached Israeli territory. Israel claims to have intercepted 290 of those. Above is a look at some of the major incidents yesterday inside the Gaza Strip
Update on Gaza, Day 6. According to the New York Times, 19 more people have been killed in Gaza since midnight local time, bringing a current death toll up to 91, with 700 wounded (200 of those being children). According to Health Ministry official Ashraf Al-Kidra, civilians make up half of the Palestinian death toll. [Update: According to Al Jazeera’s figures, it’s 96.]
This morning an Israeli airstrike hit the Shurooq media center, a high-rise in Gaza City where a number of media organizations, both local and foreign, have their offices. The building houses Hamas’ television station, Al Aqsa, and this is the second strike on the building within two days. BBC journalist Paul Danahar tweeted a photo of the media center just after the strike (included in the above photoset).
Mona Mahmood of The Guardian interviewed West Bank resident Sameeh Muhssein about demonstrations in the West Bank in solidarity with Gaza. He said:The Palestinian Authority is trying to stop the protesters … under the pretext of not having more causalities [sic]. If the aggression continued on Gaza, I can promise you there will be a third intifada as the political solution looks really futile and people are very upset here as they learn every few minutes of more martyrs in Gaza. We can’t put our feelings in a refrigerator and just keep watching; it is really heartbreaking watching the bodies of the children under the debris.
From Cairo, Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal has stated:
All options are available. If Israel wants a ceasefire brokered through Egypt, then that is possible. Escalation is also possible, especially as there are differences in Israeli statements. We are prepared and ready for all options.
According to Reuters reporting, Meshaal is for a truce if demands are met, demands that include an end to Israel’s attacks and an end to the siege.
Highly recommend staying updated with The Guardian’s ever-excellent live blog, and making sure you read more than what I’ve put up here, which is just a brief snapshot. And check out the Reuters live blog for a live feed of the Gaza City skyline.
Photos: Gaza City/Bernat Armangue/AP; Shurooq media building in Gaza City/Paul Danahar; remains of a Hamas building in Gaza City/Yasser Gdeeh/Reuters; Hamas rockets sent toward Israel/Mohammed Saber/EPA; Gaza City residents flee their homes following an airstrike/Bernat Armangue/AP
MADNESS An Israeli airstrike on a home in Gaza City killed 11 people — including children — on Sunday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had warned of an “expansion” of hostilities against Palestinians for continued rocket attacks on Israel; the airstrikes have killed more than 50 residents in Gaza to date. (Photo: Tyler Hicks / The New York Times)
Palestinian militants nearly hit Jerusalem with a rocket for the first time in decades on Friday and fired at Tel Aviv for a second day, in a stinging challenge to Israel’s Gaza offensive after an Egyptian bid to broker a truce.
The attacks came just hours after Egypt’s prime minister, denouncing what he described as Israeli aggression, visited the Gaza Strip and said Cairo was prepared to mediate.
Israel began bombing Gaza on Wednesday with an attack that killed the Hamas military chief. It says its campaign is in response to Hamas missiles fired on its territory. Hamas stepped up rocket attacks in response.
Israeli police said a rocket fired from Gaza landed in the Jerusalem area, outside the city, on Friday.
Israeli air strikes have continued into the night in Gaza, after a missile killed the military commander of Hamas, Ahmed Jabari.
Dozens of rockets have been fired back into southern Israel following the strike. One has hit a shopping centre in a major Israeli city.
At least eight people have been reported killed in Gaza so far - including three civilians. Residential buildings are among those destroyed.
Al Jazeera’s Shakuntala Santhrian interviews Ali Abunimah, a Palestinian American journalist, and co-founder of Electronic Intifada, an online publication about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
A Hamas rocket killed three Israelis north of the Gaza Strip on Thursday, drawing the first blood from Israel as the Palestinian death toll rose to 15 in a military showdown lurching closer to all-out war and an invasion of the enclave.
On the second day of an assault Israel said might last many days and culminate in a ground attack, its warplanes bombed targets in and around Gaza city, where tall buildings trembled.
Plumes of smoke and dust furled into a sky laced with the vapor trails of outgoing rockets.
The sudden conflict, launched by Israel with the killing of Hamas’s military chief, pours oil on the fire of a Middle East already ablaze with two years of revolution and an out-of-control civil war in Syria. Palestinian allies, led by Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, denounced the Israeli offensive.
Jihad Masharawi weeps while he holds the body of his 11-month old son Ahmad, at Shifa hospital following an Israeli air strike on their family house, in Gaza City, on Nov. 14. The offensive began on Wednesday when a precision Israeli airstrike assassinated Hamas military mastermind Ahmed Al-Jaabari, and Israel shelled the enclave from land, air and sea. The 15 killed in Gaza included Jaabari and six Hamas fighters plus eight civilians, among them a pregnant woman with twins, an 11-month old boy and three infants, according to the enclave’s health ministry. Medics reported at least 130 wounded. A Hamas rocket killed three Israelis north of the Gaza Strip on Thursday, drawing the first blood from Israel as the Palestinian death toll rose to 15 in a military showdown lurching closer to all-out war and an invasion of the enclave.
[Credit : Majed Hamdan / AP]
Israel and the Palestinians stepped back from the brink of a new war in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, sending signals to each other via Egypt that they would hold their fire unless attacked, after five days of mounting violence.
The tacit truce arrested an escalation to all-out fighting, but both sides remain armed and primed for another round in the unresolved conflict that has festered since Hamas Islamist militants took over the enclave in 2007.
Ismail Haniyeh, prime minister of Gaza’s Hamas government, praised the main armed factions in the enclave for agreeing on Monday night to a truce.
“They showed a high sense of responsibility by saying they would respect calm should the Israeli occupation also abide by it,” he said.