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Entries in Palestine (248)


Israel-Palestine Live Coverage: Air Assault on Gaza Expands --- Ground War Next?

Israeli soldiers on the border look down on the Gaza Strip (Photo: Ronen Zvulon/Reuters)

See also Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Insurgents Change the Situation on the Ground
Friday's Israel-Palestine Live Coverage: The Conflict Escalates from Gaza to Tel Aviv

2144 GMT: The Israeli Prime Minister's Office has denied reports that a Government representative was sent to Cairo to conduct ceasefire talks.

2107 GMT: At a joint press conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has said, "There are some indications that there could be a ceasefire soon." However, he added that there are "no guarantees" of a halt to fighting.

A Haaretz journalist downplays the possibility:

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Israel-Palestine Live Coverage: The Conflict Escalates from Gaza to Tel Aviv

See also EA Video Analysis: Gaza --- The Top 4 Reasons For Israel's Attack (and Hamas Rockets are Not on the List)
Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: International Meeting in London Discusses Support for "New" Opposition
Thursday's Israel-Palestine Live Coverage: Day 2 of Operation Pillar of Cloud

2056 GMT: The Israeli government has approved the activation of up to 75,000 reservists, according to Al-Jazeera English, citing local Israeli media reports.

2049 GMT: Global Post journalist Noga Tarnopolsky reports that Israeli media has confirmed the deaths of senior Hamas commanders Ahmed Abu Jalal and Khaled Sha'er earlier today. Abu Jalal was reportedly killed in an air strike on the in al-Maghazi refugee camp, whilst Sha'er was killed on his motorbike in Deir Al Balah.

2005 GMT: Several sources report that an extremist group with links to Al Qaeda has taken responsibility for a rocket attack from the Sinai peninsula that targeted Israel on Wednesday. This could signal a disturbing escalation in the violence.

Interestingly, Egypt's new government has been actively engaged in fighting these extremist groups in Sinai for well over a year.

1948 GMT: War is often good for arms companies. Reuters reports that Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak "will seek cabinet approval for funds that could provide Israel with three new Iron Dome rocket interceptors". Israel currently has four Iron Dome interceptors and will soon receive a fifth, manufactured by state-owned company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

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EA Video Analysis: Gaza --- The Top 4 Reasons For Israel's Attack (and Hamas Rockets are Not on the List)

The Top 4 Reasons Why Israel Launched Attacks on Gaza this week:

4. Seizing the Initiative in a Changing Middle East
3. Blocking the Palestinian Move in the UN
2. It's Not Iran, But It Will Do


1. Did Someone Say Election Campaign? 


Israel-Palestine Live Coverage: Day 2 of Operation Pillar of Cloud

2239 GMT: It's been hard to balance the reports of intense bombing and explosions in Gaza with the similar reports from Israel. The clearest reason for this is that most rockets fired from Gaza do not appear to have landed near residences. Contrast this with the explosions in Gaza which are happening in the center of heavily populated areas.

One need look no further than Israel's own IDF Spokesperson Twitter account to see this play out. Below is their latest summary:

If this is true, then the number of rockets that have been launched from Gaza are equal to the amount of sites in Gaza that Israel says it has hit. However, the IDF has barely produced any pictures or video of the damage on the groun in Israel. Instead, they have focused on how effective their own airstrikes have been:

We've contacted IDF's spokesperson and asked them to post more videos from inside Israel. So far we have received no response.

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Israel-Palestine Special: Getting the Truth in a Phone Call from Gaza

Washington Post front page with BBC Arabic's Jihad Misharawi holding body of his 11-month-old son, killed in Israeli airstrike

Can we talk about the attack?

"There is no safe place. You get some flour, some sugar, some other necessities, and you stay home and you wait the rockets out. Remember the last time they attacked Gaza?

"There were about 400 fighters killed, but 1,100 civilians. There is no safe place for people to hide. Gaza is small and pretty much all just houses. Hamas is running about between them. How do you kill Hamas members without killing civilians?"

Does Hamas care?

"It's an investment, both for the Israelis and Hamas. After this operation is finished --- whatever it is --- Hamas will be stronger, people will feel that Hamas is the one fighting israel and giving martyrs from among its leadership. It's not easy to punish the militants. You can kill a few hundred, but it doesn't hurt them. It's very easy to administer Gaza, it's small, you can do whatever you want with a few thousand men. And Israel has an election so [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu will get what he wants."

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Gaza Feature: Timeline of Events Leading to Israel's "Operation Pillar of Stone"

A timeline from the Institute for Middle East Understanding of events leading up to yesterday's Israeli airstrikes and rocket fire from Gaza:


Following a two-week lull in violence, Israeli soldiers invade Gaza. In the resulting exchange of gunfire with Palestinian fighters, a 12-year-old boy is killed by an Israeli bullet while he plays soccer.

Shortly afterwards, Palestinian fighters blow up a tunnel along the Gaza-Israel frontier, injuring one Israeli soldier.

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Israel-Palestine Opinion: Why Obama's Re-election Offers Renewed Hope for an Agreement

Obama has four years to craft a legacy, and there is reason to suspect he wants to include a Nobel Peace Prize with no accomplishment justifying it.

Taking another crack at a tenable two-state solution is as daunting as ever, but the cost is lower than once thought. Furthermore, after this past Tuesday, perhaps Republicans will realize that being superficially “pro-Israel” is irrelevant to the voters they most need to reach. The GOP will not help, but perhaps it will not stand in the way.

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Israel-Palestine Live Coverage (13 November): Deadly Clashes in Gaza --- Does Hamas Have a Plan?

1945 GMT: Although the Palestine Liberation Organization has already secured the majority of the members' consents ahead of the UN vote which is to take place on 29 November, the Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas wanted to take credit during the Arab League and European foreign ministers meeting in Cairo. 

A joint statement on the endorsement of the UN bid did not come out but the Cairo Declaration called for a negotiated two-state solution and blamed only West Bank settlements and Israel’s security barrier as obstacles.

1900 GMT: Egypt's ruling Muslim Brother accused Israeli government of heating up the conflict with Gazan factions to score political points ahead of elections.

1640 GMT: The inner security cabinet agreed not to fire on the Gaza Strip as long as the rocket fire stops. PM Netanyahu warned:

Whoever thinks that he can routinely attack the daily lives of the residents of the South without paying a heavy price – is mistaken. I am responsible for choosing the right time to exact the highest possible price and so it will be.

1555 GMT: The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine says that Hamas security forces arrested six protesters at a women-led demonstration demanding national reconciliation.

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: New Opposition Leadership Named --- Now What?

See also Syria Audio Analysis: Evaluating the New Opposition Coalition --- Scott Lucas with Monocle 24
Sunday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: New Opposition Coalition Formed "In Principle"

2215 GMT: Syria. The Local Coordination Committees, who resigned from the Syrian National Council last week in protest, have released a statement that they support the new Syrian National Coalition, the new organization finalized in the last 24 hours:

This entity was established independently and outside the purview of any other nation. Moreover, the National Coalition was established in accordance with the principles and objectives of the Syrian revolution and activists’ demands to:

  • Oust the regime (including its symbols and pillars of support);
  • Dismantle the security services;
  • Unify and support the military councils of the Free Syrian Army;
  • Reject dialogue or negotiation with the criminal regime; and
  • Hold accountable those responsible for killing Syrians, destroying our country, and displacing our people.

The National Coalition, in adhering to and fulfilling these requirements, will serve as the legitimate representative of the revolution and the Syrian people in their quest for freedom. In turn, the National Coalition, whose legitimacy as the sole representative of the Syrian people is also affirmed by the Arab and international community, can obtain the necessary support to protect civilians, oust the criminal regime, and reach the revolution’ highest goals to transition to a state of human rights, freedom, and citizenship.

The LCC reaffirms its participation in the National Coalition. The LCC has worked hard, and will continue to spare no effort, to ensure the success of the National Coalition in its service to the revolution. We congratulate the Syrian people, who have held steadfast in their efforts to accomplish this critical step in our revolution for dignity and in Syria’s history. The LCC affirms that it will always remain true to the objectives of our revolution for dignity, and will honor the hopes and sacrifices of our great Syrian people.

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: New Opposition Coalition Formed "In Principle"

2015 GMT: Syria. The new opposition umbrella Syrian National Coaliation has chosen Damascus cleric Moaz al-Khatib as its head.

Al-Khatib, the former Sunni Muslim imam of the Umayyad Mosque, left the country for Cairo in July after several periods of detention.

Leading dissident Riad Seif said a "12-point agreement" had been sealed. Proposals include an assembly of 55-60 members, with representation for ethnic Kurds, Christians, Alawites, and women, and from the SNC. The new body will also have a military council that will include the Free Syrian Army.

The Syrian National Council, the previous umbrella leadership, was reportedly given a deadline of 10:00 (0700 GMT) to join the Coalition or risk being left out.

Bassem Said Ishak of the SNC said the Kurds required 48 hours to get the approval of their leadership.

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