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Netanyahu will deliver a statement
2014.07.29 03:33:37

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will deliver a statement at 8pm local time (1700GMT), along with Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and army chief Gen. Benny Gantz.



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Benjamin Netanyahu

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Russia's actions in Ukraine
2014.07.29 03:32:39

EU diplomats has reached a preliminary deal on a list of people, including associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and firms to be subject asset freezes as part of tougher measures over Russia's actions in Ukraine, EU diplomats said.

The new list of names is expected to be published on Tuesday or Wednesday and is in addition to 87 people and 20 organizations already subject to EU sanctions.

[Reuters]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | European Union

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Israeli airstrike kills seven children
2014.07.29 03:31:16

BREAKING: Israeli airstrike kills seven children on Gaza refugee camp. Strikes have also targeted Gaza's main hospital compound.



Tags: Gaza | Israel

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Malaysia Airlines flight MH17
2014.07.29 03:30:18

The Ukrainian army has seized control of part of the vast crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in the east of the country, pro-Russia rebels have said .

"The Ukrainians have taken over a part of the crash site," said Vladimir Antyufeev, self-styled first deputy prime minister of the "Donetsk People's Republic".

Ukraine's military said its troops are battling separatist fighters for control of a string of towns around the impact site and had "entered" the town of Shakhtarsk, some 10 kilometers (six miles) from the scene.

[AFP]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | Malaysia

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Oilfields and pipelines in Syria and Iraq
2014.07.29 03:29:16

The UN Security Council has expressed grave concern over reports that armed groups have seized oilfields and pipelines in Syria and Iraq and warned that anyone caught trading in oil from the "terrorist groups" could face sanctions.

The 15-member council said in a statement that any trade in oil with Islamic State or Jabhat al-Nusra, would violate United Nations sanctions as both groups have been blacklisted.

The Russian-drafted statement "strongly condemns any engagement in direct or indirect trade of oil from Syria and Iraq involving terrorist groups," and "emphasizes that such engagement constitutes financial support for terrorists and may lead to further sanctions listings."

[Reuters]



Tags: Syria | Iraq | Islamic State

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Abbas to lead 'joint team' for Gaza truce talks
2014.07.29 02:59:30

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas is to head a team including Hamas for talks in Cairo on sealing a Gaza ceasefire between the Hamas and Israel, an official said Monday.

"Abbas is forming a Palestinian delegation including Hamas and Islamic Jihad representatives to meet Egyptian leaders and discuss a halt to Israel's aggression against Gaza," said the senior official in the West Bank city of Ramallah where the Abbas-led Palestinian Authority is based.

"The aim is to examine with Egyptian leaders how to meet Palestinian demands and put an end to the aggression and protect the Palestinians," said the source, declining to be named or to give a date for the mission.

[AFP]



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Egypt

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Ukraine's National Security and Defense council
2014.07.29 02:58:09

Ukraine's National Security and Defense council says investigators probing the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in rebel-held east Ukraine have determined the crash was caused by "massive explosive decompression".



Tags: Ukraine

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Bomb attacks in Aleppo
2014.07.29 02:56:53

At least 15 people have been killed in overnight bomb attacks in Aleppo by rebels and government forces in Homs, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has said.

"At least nine civilians, three of them children, were killed in barrel bombs (dropped by regime aircraft) in Shaar," an eastern district of the city

"Six more civilians, including three children and a woman, were killed in mortar shelling by rebels" of the government-held district of Jabiriyeh, the Observatory said.

[AFP]



Tags: Syria

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Israeli tank fire killed a four-year-old boy
2014.07.29 02:35:14

Israeli tank fire killed a four-year-old boy in the northern Gaza Strip in the first death since the two sides began observing an unofficial lull, Palestinian medics said.

According to emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra, the child was killed when a shell hit a house to the east of Jabaliya where clashes had recently erupted between Israeli troops and Hamas fighters.

[AFP]



Tags: Gaza | Israel

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Moscow would not take tit-for-tat measures
2014.07.29 02:33:50

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow would not take tit-for-tat measures or act "hysterically" in response to sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union over the Ukraine crisis.

We want to tackle the situation with a sober head and the President has already said that of course we can't ignore it. But to fall into hysterics and respond to a blow with a blow is not worthy of a major country.



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | United States | John Kerry | Sergey Lavrov

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Eid al-Fitr in Damascus
2014.07.29 02:32:07

Despite a brutal war that has been ravaging Syria for more than three years, residents in Damascus are trying to maintain the traditions of Eid al-Fitr, when people wear new clothes and children get new toys.

Traditional sweets shops are open in downtown Damascus to sell Eid specialties such as Kunafa, Maamul and Baklawa, while whirling Dervishes performed at the opening of a bazaar offering food stuffs and clothes.

Locals say that prices at the bazaar are lower than in general markets in a bid to help people shop for Eid. Prices have soared dramatically in the country as a result of the war.



Tags: Syria

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Security Council: Draft presidential statement on Gaza
2014.07.29 02:16:07

The Security Council expresses grave concern regarding the deterioration in the situation as a result of the crisis related to Gaza and the loss of civilian lives and casualties.

The Security Council calls for full respect of international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilian population, and reiterates the need to take appropriate steps to ensure the safety and well-being of civilians and their protection.

The Security Council expresses strong support for the call by international partners and the Secretary-General of the United Nations for an immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire, allowing for the delivery of urgently needed assistance, and they urged all parties to accept and fully implement the humanitarian ceasefire into the Eid period and beyond.  The Security Council commends the efforts of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for their efforts in this regard.

The Security Council also calls on parties to engage in efforts to achieve a durable and fully respected ceasefire, based on the Egyptian initiative. In this regard, the Security Council welcomes the convening of the international meeting to support the ceasefire held in Paris on July 26, 2014 and  urges all concerned regional and international parties to vigorously support efforts to consolidate an agreement between the parties.

The Security Council emphasizes that civilian and humanitarian facilities, including those of the UN, must be respected and protected, and called on all parties to act consistently with this principle.

The Security Council calls for the full implementation of resolution 1860 (2009) and stressed the need for immediate provision of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip, including through urgent additional contribution to UNRWA. The Security Council recognizes and commends the vital role played by the Agency, along with other United Nations agencies and humanitarian organizations, in addressing the critical humanitarian needs in Gaza.

The Security Council urges the parties and the international community to achieve a comprehensive peace based on the vision of a region where two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace with secure and recognized borders as envisioned in Security Council resolution 1850 (2008).



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Security Council

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Immediate humanitarian ceasefire
2014.07.29 02:14:43

The UN Security Council has called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza to allow for urgent aid to reach civilians.

The 15-member Council released a statement shortly after midnight on Sunday calling for the truce during the Muslim Eid festival marking the end of Ramadan.

The Council expressed "strong support" for an "immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire," and urged all sides to accept and fully implement the truce.

[AFP]



Tags: Gaza | Israel

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Navi Pillay's statement
2014.07.29 02:12:36

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said in a statement that increasingly intense fighting in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions was extremely alarming and the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner on July 17 may amount to a war crime.

The reports of increasingly intense fighting in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions are extremely alarming, with both sides employing heavy weaponry in built-up areas, including artillery, tanks, rockets and missiles.

In a new report issued by the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN monitors in Ukraine said that at least 1,129 people have been killed and 3,442 wounded in the conflict since mid-April.

The full report is available here



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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The children of Gaza
2014.07.29 02:01:52

Channel 4's correspondent Jon Snow recounts the struggles that children are currently facing in Gaza. In an emotional appeal, he calls for an end to the violence that has so far killed many children.

We cannot let it go on. if our reporting is worth anything, if your preparedness to listen and watch and read is anything to go by, then together we can make a difference.



Tags: Israel | Gaza

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Security concerns
2014.07.29 01:59:22

Security concerns have prompted international investigators to abandon plans to visit the crash site of the downed Malaysia Airlines jet.

Ukrainian troops are battling to push them out from nearby towns.



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Obama spoke with Netanyahu
2014.07.29 01:48:26

US President Barack Obama spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, and stressed the need for an immediate and sustainable ceasefire in Gaza.

In a statement, the White House said Obama "made clear the strategic imperative of instituting an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire that ends hostilities now and leads to a permanent cessation of hostilities based on the November 2012 ceasefire agreement."

During the call, Obama "underscored the United States' strong condemnation of Hamas' rocket and tunnel attacks against Israel and reaffirmed Israel's right to defend itself."

But the US head of state also "reiterated the United States' serious and growing concern about the rising number of Palestinian civilian deaths and the loss of Israeli lives, as well as the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza," according to the White House. [AFP]



Tags: Gaza | Israel | United States | Barack Obama | Benjamin Netanyahu

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US stepped up pressure on Moscow
2014.07.29 01:45:30

The US stepped up pressure on Moscow on Sunday by releasing satellite images it says show that rockets have been fired from Russia into neighboring eastern Ukraine and that heavy artillery for pro-Russian separatists has crossed the border.

The images, which came from the US Director of National Intelligence and could not be independently verified by The Associated Press, show blast marks where rockets were launched and craters where they landed. Officials said the images show heavy weapons fired between July 21 and July 26 - after the July 17 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 that killed all 298 on-board.

The four-page memo is part of the Obama administration's push to hold Russia accountable for its activities in neighboring Ukraine, and the release could help to persuade the United States' European allies to apply harsher sanctions on Russia.



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | United States

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Israeli conscientious objector
2014.07.28 04:19:24

An Israeli conscientious objector who was among 50 of his countrymen to sign a petition against Israel's military offensive in Gaza says opponents of the bombardment will continue to demonstrate, despite threats against protesters.

Itai Akin said on Sunday that he and others who staged a protest to support a peace activist jailed for refusing to serve in the Israeli army were threatened by Israelis who supported the offensive.

"It's scary right now in Israel. Yesterday we had a big demonstration against the massacre, Jewish and Palestinians demonstrating together. Afterwards we went to our homes ... an angry mob chased us to our homes," Akin said.

"We will not take part in this massacre, we will not take part in any massacre, we will not take part."

Akin said Israel "will never be safe when occupying another nation" and the only way to end the killings on both sides was to end the illegal occupation.

"Military oppression is not the answer, it is not going to give us any safety," he said.



Tags: Gaza | Israel

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Netanyahu accuses Hamas of violating ceasefire
2014.07.28 04:17:33

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday accused Hamas of violating a ceasefire that it had itself called and vowed that Israeli operations in Gaza would continue.

"They are violating their own ceasefire. Under these circumstances, Israel will do what it must do to defend its people," Netanyahu told the news network CNN.

Earlier, Hamas agreed to halt firing from 1100 GMT in response to a request from the United Nations.

[AFP]



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Benjamin Netanyahu

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