Israel has agreed to halt its attacks on Gaza for five hours Thursday in accordance to a deal brokered by the United Nations' special envoy to the Middle East, Robert H. Serry. The temporary break from assaults for a "humanitarian window" comes after days of airstrikes between the Israeli military and Hamas and the death of more than 200 Palestinians.
On Saturday, Amare Stoudemire deleted an Instagram captioned "Pray for Palestine." That same day, Dwight Howard tweeted and quickly deleted "#FreePalestine," claiming the tweet was a "mistake." Today, Rihanna also tweeted and deleted "#FreePalestine," proving that even the world's largest Twitter troll wants no part of the Israel-Palestine debate.
Egypt's proposal for an Israel-Hamas cease-fire fell apart today after Israel resumed airstrikes on Gaza in response to Hamas's rocket attacks. Israeli officials say the rocket attacks never actually stopped, and Gaza officials claim at least one Palestinian was injured in an airstrike during the supposed cease-fire.
Nearly 100 Palestinians have been killed this week in an ongoing Israeli offensive aimed at stopping rocket fire from Hamas. Hamas leaders promised a "long battle" with Israel on Friday: "We have prepared ourselves for a very long battle, not for a week or 10 days, as some have said, but for many long weeks," the group said in a statement.
Since Tuesday, Israel's offensive on Gaza has killed 41 Palestinians, including eight children. And the operation, aimed at stopping Hamas' recent barrage of rocket attacks, shows no sign of letting up. The New York Times reports that Israel is calling up as many as 40,000 reservists to "free them for a possible ground invasion of Gaza."
After eight days of intense fighting during which nearly 150 Palestinians and five Israeli were killed and hundreds of others were injured, both the Israeli government and Hamas officials have agreed to the terms of an Egypt-brokered ceasefire that is set to go into effect at 9 PM local time (2 PM ET).
Anderson Cooper's live report from the heart of Gaza was interrupted early Sunday morning when a large explosion nearly blew his broadcast off the air.
There's been a whole lot of cognitive dissonance going on in the Middle East on Sunday, as violence — and the death toll — continues to escalate despite reported efforts by both sides to reach a ceasefire. Today, an Israeli strike in Gaza City aimed at a militant allegedly involved in rocket attacks against Israel killed 12 Palestinians. According to a Palestinian health official, the 12 dead included five women and four children, and the Israeli Defense Force admitted that the targeted Hamas commander was not injured.
Fighting between Israel and the Palestinian people entered its fourth day today, and eight Palestinians were killed by Israeli fighter jets targeting Hamas government compounds, tunnels and transformers. That brought the overall death toll to at least 45, with all but three of those being Palestinians.
Following four days of intensive rocket strikes from the Gaza Strip on neighboring towns and villages, and just hours after an Egypt-mediated truce, Israel announced it was launching a "widespread campaign" to root out "terror sites and operatives in the Gaza Strip, chief among them Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets."
Saudi Arabia's Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice has banned Saudi pet stores from selling dogs and cats. Not because they wash up on shores looking like decayed hellspawn but because men are using them to pick up women. (Apparently they walk cats in the Wahhabi kingdom.) Meanwhile, it was reported yesterday that Hamas captured a Fatah agent, Nafez al-Namnam, and rather than torture him the old fashioned way, decided to humiliate him by shaving off his bushy, steer horn-shaped mustache. No canine cruise accessories, no wild facial hair — to think of all the liberties Brooklynites take for granted. [Yahoo, Israel Today]