President Barack Obama pledged on Monday that his new Middle East envoy George Mitchell would engage “vigorously and consistently” in the quest for Israeli-Palestinian peace and would seek concrete results.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Saturday night announced that Israel’s security cabinet has voted in favor of a unilateral cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, which will come into effect at 2 a.m. on Sunday.
Israel entered the second week of its offensive against rockets from Hamas-ruled Gaza on Saturday evening by launching a much-expected ground operation into the coastal strip. Shortly after the ground operation began, a heavy exchange of fire was reported between Israeli troops and Hamas militants inside the Gaza Strip.
The Israel Defense Forces will call 6,500 reservists to duty, as part of the largest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip since it captured the territory in 1967. Defense officials said some reservists had already been mobilized to help in protecting communities on the Gaza border from retaliatory Palestinian rocket salvoes. New reservists would help complete the armed forces’ preparations for a possible escalation of the fighting, anofficial said.
Indian commandos were dropped by helicopter on the roof of the besieged Chabad headquarters in Mumbai as Indian snipers at the site opened fire early Friday morning.
A Palestinian bulldozer driver went on a rampage in downtown Jerusalem on Tuesday, wounding at least 24 people, just weeks after a similar attack in the capital left three dead.
Israeli security forces struck a range of targets in the West Bank and Gaza Strip on Thursday, killing a total of 15 Palestinians, including five children. Meanwhile, militants in Gaza continued to fire rockets at southern Israel, striking as far north as Ashkelon.
The Lebanese-based guerilla group Hezbollah said Wednesday that its deputy leader Imad Mughniyah was killed Tuesday evening in a bomb blast in a residential neighborhood of Damascus, and accused Israel of responsibility for the explosion.
The Israel Defense Forces on Tuesday continued its assault on Gaza Strip militants responsible for the Qassam rockets that batter southern Israel on a daily basis, raising the death toll among Islamic Jihad and Hamas to 13 in the past 24 hours.