Israel has begun to exhume the remains of a number of Palestinian militants to return them to their families for burial, the army said on Sunday, a move that could help ease some tension between the adversaries.
Israel and the Islamist Hamas movement ruling the Gaza Strip agreed on Wednesday to an Egyptian-sponsored ceasefire to halt an eight-day conflict that killed 162 Palestinians and five Israelis.
Hillary Clinton worked to win a proposed three-day Gaza truce. But Israel and Hamas were still split on terms of the potential ceasefire agreement.
Two cameramen working for al-Aqsa TV and an educational programming director for the al-Quds channel, both affiliated with Gaza’s Hamas government, were killed by Israeli air strikes on their cars on Tuesday.
Hamas backed away from claims a ceasefire in the Gaza conflict was imminent. Hillary Clinton arrived in Jerusalem for talks with Israeli leaders.
Farmers on their way to sell vegetables in the marketplace, vendors of purified drinking water and people who just happened to live too close to the targets of Israeli air strikes were among the 34 Palestinians estimated to have been killed in Israel Defense Forces attacks in the past two days alone.
Foreign extremists are escalating the conflict in Syria according to a UN commission investigating human rights abuses in the country. The panel’s chairman Paulo Pinheiro reported that Jihadist militants are pushing anti-government fighters towards more radical positions and that Syrian President Bashar Assad has also been receiving foreign help from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. Pinheiro said that government forces and allied militias had committed more serious war crimes and human rights violations than the rebels, highlighting daily indiscriminate attacks on civilians. The UN panel also said it has drawn up a list of Syrians and Syrian military units suspected of committing war crimes who should face criminal prosecution. Activists say at least 23000 people have been killed in Syria over the past 18 months.
Israeli leaders are praising the vigilance, quick response and courage of the soldiers who thwarted a large-scale terrorist attack from the Sinai desert. By air and land, the soldiers chased down and killed a group of Islamic terrorists who had brazenly breached the border in an armored vehicle. A number of the dead militants were wearing explosive belts, leading officials here to believe their plan was to kill Israeli civilians in a string of suicide bombings. This official Israeli army video shows that a strike from the air force finally stopped the terrorists as they sped down a highway…a couple of the militants who survived the hit were killed by ground soldiers… Israel was the second act in this terrorist plot…the first target was an Egyptian border station in Sinai. Officials in Cairo say more than 30 Islamic militants opened fire on Egyptian troops as they broke the Ramadan fast, killing at least 16. Spilling Israeli blood was the terrorist’s next goal…but a general intelligence warning had put Israeli soldiers on high alert and they were prepared and in place to deal with the infiltrators… Visiting the scene, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the attack showed Israel can only rely on itself when it comes to its security…calls from Jerusalem to Cairo to root out Islamic extremists in the Sinai and tighten security have largely fallen on deaf ears… Defense Minister Ehud Barak said he hoped the attack would serve as a wake up call for …