Palestinian militants took aim at Jerusalem for the first time Friday, launching a rocket attack on the holy city in a major escalation of hostilities as Israel pressed forward with a relentless campaign of airstrikes in the Gaza Strip.
Ibrahim Barzak and Josef Federman
, November 16, 2012
Israel carried out a blistering offensive of more than 20 airstrikes in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, assassinating Hamas' military commander and targeting the armed group's training facilities and rocket launchers in Israel's most intense attack on the territory in nearly four years.
Ibrahim Barzak and Josef Federman
, November 14, 2012
Israel carried out a series of airstrikes in the Gaza Strip late Tuesday, killing a Palestinian militant wounding others. Israel said it targeted militants before they could carry out an attack on the border between Israel and Egypt.
Israel has authorized its military to take all necessary steps to stop rocket fire from Gaza, including a ground operation, an Israeli military official said today, as Egypt worked on a truce and said Israel had agreed to delay stepping up its response.
Gaza militants launched barrages of rockets deep into Israel early Friday and Israeli aircraft struck targets in the Palestinian territory in the aftermath of the deadliest attack against Israelis in three years.
The reopening of the Rafah border crossing eases an Egyptian blockade that has prevented the vast majority of Gaza's 1.5 million people from being able to travel abroad. The closure, along with an Israeli blockade of its borders with Gaza, has fueled an economic crisis in the densely populated territory.
Egypt's decision to end its blockade of Gaza by opening the only crossing to the Hamas-ruled Palestinian territory this weekend could ease the isolation of 1.4 million Palestinians there. It also puts the new Egyptian regime at odds with Israel, which insists on careful monitoring of people and goods entering Gaza for security reasons.
The militant Islamic Hamas rulers of Gaza warned Israel today that it will escalate hostilities against Israel if tensions don't subside along the Gaza-Israel border, and the shadowy leader of its military wing vowed to make Israel "disappear."
The Israeli military indicted a soldier Tuesday on a charge of manslaughter during last year’s war in the Gaza Strip — the most serious criminal charge to come out of an internal investigation into the devastating offensive in the Hamas-ruled territory.
Thousands of marchers brought Israel's cultural and financial capital to a standstill, urging the government to do whatever it takes to win freedom for a soldier captured four years ago by Gaza militants. Near Israel's border with Gaza, thousands more gathered for a concert led by a world-famous conductor to press Hamas to let the Red Cross visit the soldier for the first time.
Israel today dropped its long-standing restrictions on allowing consumer goods into the Gaza Strip but retained limits on desperately needed construction materials, redefining the rules of its heavily criticized Gaza embargo on the eve of the Israeli prime minister’s trip to the White House.
Another blockade-busting ship with activists and aid on board could embark within days on a new attempt to reach Gaza after Lebanese authorities granted permission Monday for it to sail first to Cyprus.
An Israeli decision today to ease its blockade of Gaza under intense international pressure could spell the beginning of the end of the chokehold that has hurt ordinary Gazans far more than their militant Hamas rulers.
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