To watch 16 minute interview with Charlie Rose, click HERE
Kerry slams Hamas for bucking ceasefire with Israel
LAST UPDATED: 07/15/2014 14:11
I cannot condemn strongly enough the actions of Hamas in so brazenly firing rockets in the face of a goodwill effort to offer a ceasefire,” he says.
VIENNA — US Secretary of State John Kerry blamed Hamas for powering through a ceasefire with Israel, brokered by the Egyptian government and accepted by Israel’s cabinet Tuesday morning.
At least 35 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip since the ceasefire was set to begin, mere hours ago.
“I cannot condemn strongly enough the actions of Hamas in so brazenly firing rockets in multiple numbers in the face of a goodwill effort to offer a ceasefire, in which Egypt and Israel worked together, that the international community strongly supports,” Kerry told reporters in Vienna on Tuesday morning.
Kerry said that Hamas is “purposely playing politics” by continuing the rocket fire, using innocents as “human shields… against the laws of war.” “And that is why they are a terrorist organization,” Kerry added.
The secretary is ready to fly back to the region at any moment, he said, and is declining to do so now in the hopes that Egypt’s effort to broker a ceasefire itself will bear fruit. But the US fears the potential for an even greater escalation of violence, he said.
“Perhaps reason could prevail” within Hamas, Kerry continued, “if the political wing could deal with the military wing.”
Kerry canceled a trip to the Middle East on Tuesday morning, relying instead on a ceasefire brokered by the Egyptian government between Israel and the Palestinians to at least temporarily end the conflict.
Israel’s government has accepted the proposal, but Hamas – the primary perpetrator of rocket fire from Gaza against Israeli cities and towns over the last month – has yet to respond to the paper, which calls for an end to hostilities followed by dialogue.
“The Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire and negotiations provides an opportunity to end the violence and restore calm,” Kerry said. “We welcome the Israeli cabinet’s decision to accept it. We urge all other parties to accept the proposal.”
Kerry will instead return to Washington from Vienna, where he has been engaging Iranian leadership directly over its controversial nuclear program.
“Secretary Kerry has been deeply engaged in conversations with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Egyptian government officials and President Abbas throughout this difficult period, and the United States remains committed to working with them and our regional partners to find a resolution to this dangerous and volatile situation,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
We hope the following information will create greater awareness of what is going on today and how you can access timely updated information on the situation in Israel.
Click HERE for the Jerusalem Post’s LIVE BLOG: Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza – Follow all the latest updates on Israel’s efforts to extinguish rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.
‘Rocket Attacks’ On Jerusalem And Tel Aviv
Sky News – 7/8/14
The Israeli cities of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa have been targeted in a series of rocket attacks from Gaza tonight, Hamas militants have said.
The wail of air raid sirens sent Israelis running for cover in Tel Aviv and there were reports of possible explosions in Jerusalem.
Television shots showed what appeared to be a mid-air interception of a rocket bound for Tel Aviv by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system.
Air raid sirens went off in the city, which is Israel’s commercial capital and about 45 miles (70km) north of the Gaza Strip.
Jerusalem is about 50 miles (80km) north of Gaza.
The apparent attacks came after Israel launched air and sea strikes on dozens of targets in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli soldiers also killed four Palestinian gunmen who slipped into southern Israel by sea from the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army said.
The White House “strongly condemned” the rocket attacks on Israel.
Israel said the current military campaign – dubbed Operation Protective Edge – could form part of an extended offensive on the Hamas-ruled territory.
“They chose the direction of escalation,” said army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner.
“So the mission will go on as long as we feel it is necessary to carry it out.”
His comments were echoed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who has instructed the military to prepare options for every scenario.
The army was authorised to activate up to 40,000 reserve troops and to prepare for a possible ground invasion of Gaza.
“One way or another we are going to stop Hamas,” said Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon, who announced a special state of emergency in southern Israel.
Among the sites targeted by the Israeli aerial and naval assaults were four homes of alleged Hamas operatives, concealed rocket launchers and training bases.
Palestinian media reported at least 15 people, including a child, had been injured.
An emergency services spokesman said four people had been killed, including a man in an area close to the Nusseirat refugee camp in central Gaza.
There was also a suggestion one of the houses targeted was of a senior Hamas military-wing figure.
Sky’s Middle East Reporter Tom Rayner, on the Israel-Gaza border, said: “Israel says it has also intercepted rockets. This morning we have seen about four or five rockets fired from northern Gaza towards southern Israeli cities.”
Hamas warned Israel had “crossed a red line” and would pay the price, threatening an “earthquake” in response to the attacks.
“If this policy does not stop, we will respond by enlarging the radius of our targets to the point where the enemy will be surprised,” the group’s military wing said in a statement.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas demanded Israel end its assault.
He called on the international community “to immediately intervene to halt this dangerous escalation which would lead the region to more destruction and instability”.
The Israeli military said close to 100 rockets had been fired at southern Israel on Monday alone.
Israel responded with dozens of airstrikes and eight Palestinian militants were killed.
Tensions in the region have been inflamed following the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teenagers.
Those killings were followed by the suspected revenge killing of 16-year-old Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khadair.
Three of the six people arrested over his death have reportedly confessed but charges are yet to be brought .
Harriet and Bill
For an extraordinarily moving 80-minute video of President Shimon Peres receiving Congressional Gold Medal on 6/26/14, click HERE.
“House and Senate leaders awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to outgoing Israeli President Shimon Peres at a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda. It is the highest civilian honor bestowed by the U.S. Congress and Speaker Boehner noted the similarity of this award to a founding father of Israel to the first such medal which was awarded to George Washington. Speakers noted the enduring relationship between Israel and the U.S. President Peres also commented on the need to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and his hope to resume peace talks with the Palestinians. The ceremony included prayers, the U.S. Armed Forces Color Guard, and the U.S. Army Chorus.”
Harriet and Bill
Dear Gabby and Mark (Americans for Responsible Solutions),
We share your commitment to addressing this critically important issue, incredibly painful and horrific tragedy as shown in the following:
Watch full Barbara Walters interview with father of Santa Barbara shooter on 20/20 Friday, 6/27/14 at 10 ET/PT, 9 CT on ABC
With best wishes for continued success,
Harriet and Bill
June 12, 2014 Times of Israel article below:
French president vows to ‘set example’ in fighting anti-Semitism
20-member Wiesenthal Center delegation meets with Hollande, who outlined steps taken to protect France’s Jews
BY ARON DÓNZIS June 12, 2014, 5:32 pm
An international delegation of Jewish leaders from the Simon Wiesenthal Center met with French President Francois Hollande Wednesday to discuss the threats facing his country’s Jews, particularly arising from French-born jihadists returning after fighting in the civil war in Syria.
The 20-member delegation, which included French Jewish leader Baron Eric de Rothschild and Canadian MP and former justice minister Irwin Cotler, is in Paris for the inauguration of the Wiesenthal Center’s new exhibition, titled “3,500 Relationship Between the Jewish People and the Holy Land.”
The exhibition opened Wednesday evening at the UNESCO World headquarters.
“We meet at a pivotal time in history, when the Jewish community and France’s democratic values are under unprecedented attack by the forces of extremism both from the far right and from extreme Islamist purveyors of religious intolerance violence and murder,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the Wiesenthal Center.
Hollande said that some 1,000 French citizens had traveled to Syria since the outbreak of civil war in 2011. Thirty-one were reported to have been killed in the fighting there.
The French president outlined steps that have been taken to protect the Jewish community, especially Jewish schools, from attacks and growing anti-Semitism.
“We would like to set an example to the world in fighting anti-Semitism,” he said, but conceded the current situation — following a murderous attack by a French-born terrorist in Belgium — bespoke a “new, heavy context.”
The same deadly attack on the Brussels Jewish Museum has compelled European Union and Arab League countries to cooperate against the terror threat posed by radicals who return home from conflicts in the Middle East.
Foreign ministers from the two regional bodies, meeting in Athens Wednesday, said in a joint statement that their efforts would also address radicalization, recruitment and travel of foreign fighters — and “dealing with” those who return home.
Many European authorities fear that jihadists who travel to Syria and other conflict zones will come back with skills and the will to carry out terrorism. Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders described returning foreign fighters as a “huge challenge.”
“They have become very dangerous for our societies,” he told reporters. “There is a risk of terrorist attack in our countries.”
AP contributed to this report.
Harriet & Bill
P.S. CLICK HERE TO GO OUR ANTI-SEMITISM PINTEREST BOARD
As of June 1st, I started the Spotlight on Women and Violence blog based on our longstanding Women and Violence Pinterest board. Driven by a deep sense of injustice and the terrible tragedy of the issues involved, I hope through this new emphasis to heighten public awareness and increase activism. A key goal will be to find ways to better protect women from multiple levels of threats including physical harm, emotional abuse and the enormous damage that at any moment can turn deadly.
I look forward to receiving your inputs and suggestions.
With appreciation for your attention,
SPOTLIGHT ON WOMEN AND VIOLENCE