Tag Archives: Gaza Strip

Six Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood highups flee to Gaza, set up command post for uprising

By Dave Robbins

A group of six Muslim Brotherhood officials escaped from Egypt after their president was overthrown in a military coup July 3 and smuggled themselves into the Gaza Strip to lead an uprising against the military in Cairo, DEBKAfile’s exclusive intelligence sources disclose. Read More: Six Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood highups flee to Gaza, set up command […]

The post Six Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood highups flee to Gaza, set up command post for uprising appeared first on Endtime Ministries | End Of The Age | Irvin Baxter.

…read more

Source: Endtime Ministries

Massive Al-Aqsa prayers on second Friday of Ramadan

Some 155,000 Muslims attended prayers at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound on the second Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, Israeli police said.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri told AFP the prayers passed “without incident”.

Last Friday’s prayers at the site were participated by some 80,000 worshippers.

After the prayers on Friday, hundreds of Hamas supporters took part in a rally in favour of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi and against army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Demonstrators held posters with Morsi’s picture and chanted “Morsi is the Egyptian president, Sisi is an American collaborator”.

A similar demonstration took place last Friday at the site.

Morsi was ousted by the Egyptian army on July 3.

More than 3,000 Israeli police were deployed in the walled Old City, where the compound is located, and elsewhere in occupied east Jerusalem, police said.

Israeli authorities relaxed usual restrictions on entry to Jerusalem by West Bankers for the second week, enabling access to women of all ages and men over 40 years of age.

Palestinians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are usually barred from Israel and from east Jerusalem, which the Jewish state occupied in the 1967 Six-Day war and then unilaterally annexed.

The Al-Aqsa compound, which lies in Jerusalem’s Old City, houses the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam.

Known to Jews as the Temple Mount, the compound is a deeply sensitive location where clashes frequently break out between Palestinian worshippers and Israeli forces.

Jews are not allowed to pray inside the Al-Aqsa mosque compound.

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Israel deploys Iron Dome near Red Sea resort of Eilat

Israel deployed its Iron Dome missile defence system near the Red Sea resort of Eilat, which is close to the border with Egypt, an army spokeswoman said.

“An Iron Dome battery was deployed this morning in Eilat,” the spokeswoman told AFP.

“The batteries are deployed in several areas of the country and moved around according to changes in the (security) situation,” she added without elaborating.

But Israeli media said the deployment was related to unrest in Egypt, where the army is waging a campaign to drive militants out of the Sinai Peninsula, which borders Eilat.

Ynet news website also pointed out that the deployment came at the height of the tourist season in southern Israel.

Eilat has been the target of attacks in the past. In April the town was struck by rocket fire from the Sinai and debris of a rocket that hit northern Eilat on July 4 were found days later.

Egypt’s official news agency MENA on Thursday reported that 10 jihadists had been killed in the Sinai Peninsula in the past two days during the army offensive launched to curtail a surge in violence since Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was ousted on July 3 in a military-led coup.

The Iron Dome deployment also comes hours after two rockets fired from the Gaza Strip hit southern Israel late on Thursday night, causing no casualties or damage, police said.

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Israel meets ambassadors over EU settlements ban

Israel met the ambassadors of Britain and France, and Germany’s deputy envoy over plans by the EU to ban its 28 members from having any dealings with Jewish settlements, an official said on Friday.

The Jewish state warned the envoys of a serious crisis between it and the European Union over the move, the high-ranking foreign ministry official told AFP.

“The British and French ambassadors and German number two were invited yesterday to the ministry… for discussions on the EU guidelines,” he said.

“We asked the ambassadors to tell their capitals that no Israeli government would accept these conditions, and they could provoke a serious crisis with Israel,” he warned.

The guidelines, published in the EU’s Official Journal Friday morning, forbid EU member states from funding or dealing with entities in territories occupied by the Jewish state in 1967.

Germany and France confirmed the Thursday meetings but the British embassy did not immediately comment.

Christophe Bigot, France’s ambassador in Tel Aviv, said the Israeli foreign ministry’s director, Rafi Barak, had called the meetings.

“The Israelis informed us of their concerns” over the EU plan, he said. “I reminded them that the new guidelines were a continuation of European policy on settlements.”

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton also said in a Friday statement that the guidelines simply “reiterates the long-held position that bilateral agreements with Israel do not cover the territory that came under Israel’s administration in June 1967.”

The preamble to the guidelines says that “the EU does not recognise Israel’s sovereignty over… the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including east Jerusalem… and does not consider them to be part of Israel’s territory, irrespective of their legal status under domestic law”.

The guidelines apply to “grants, prizes and financial instruments,” it adds.

“Only Israeli entities having their place of establishment within Israel’s pre-1967 borders will be considered eligible as final recipients” of this kind of funding.

Of particular concern to officials was a scientific cooperation deal with the EU, “Horizon 2020”, which would generate investments worth hundreds of millions of euros (dollars) in Israeli technology companies, Haaretz newspaper quoted a foreign ministry official as saying.

More than 80 percent of Israelis are opposed to the new EU guidelines, according to a survey published Friday by pro-government newspaper Israel Hayom.

Settlement building in the territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War is considered illegal under international law.

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Kerry flying to West Bank to pursue peace talks

A U.S. official says Secretary of State John Kerry will fly to the West Bank to press his effort for a new round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The extra stop indicates a possibility of success in Kerry’s sixth trip to the region this year, despite deep differences between the two sides.

The official said Kerry will meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. The secretary had a two-hour session with the chief Palestinian negotiator in Amman on Friday morning.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

After Palestinian leaders demanded further guarantees before restarting talks with Israel, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry discussed his ideas with the chief Palestinian negotiator in Amman on Friday.

A stormy, high-level meeting of senior Palestinian leaders called to discuss Kerry’s latest peace proposal ended with a decision early Friday to demand that Israel agree on the general border of a future Palestinian state, officials said.

The demand casts a cloud of uncertainty over months of U.S. mediation efforts because Israel rejects preconditions.

Hoping to push Israelis and Palestinians toward talks, President Barack Obama asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to work with Kerry “to resume negotiations with Palestinians as soon as possible,” according to a statement released by the White House late Thursday.

No details were immediately available about Kerry’s meeting with Erekat. The talks lasted more than two hours with a short break in the middle, possibly for consultations.

The Palestinians demand that the starting point for border talks must be the cease-fire line that held from 1949 until the 1967 war, when Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

Palestinians claim those territories for their future state, with modifications reached through agreed land swaps that could allow major Jewish settlement blocs built in the West Bank becoming part of Israel proper, in exchange for territories in Israel.

Previous Israeli governments twice negotiated on the basis of the 1967 lines, but no peace accord was …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Kerry meets Palestinian negotiator about talks

After Palestinian leaders demanded further guarantees before restarting talks with Israel, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry discussed his ideas with the chief Palestinian negotiator in Amman on Friday.

A stormy, high-level meeting of senior Palestinian leaders called to discuss U.S Kerry’s latest peace proposal ended with a decision early Friday to demand that Israel agree on the general border of a future Palestinian state, officials said.

The demand casts a cloud of uncertainty over months of U.S. mediation efforts because Israel rejects preconditions.

Hoping to push Israelis and Palestinians toward talks, President Barack Obama asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to work with Kerry “to resume negotiations with Palestinians as soon as possible,” according to a statement released by the White House late Thursday.

The Palestinians demand is that the starting point for border talks must be the cease-fire line that held from 1949 until the 1967 war, when Israel captured the West Bank. Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

Palestinians claim those territories for their future state, with modifications reached through agreed land swaps that could allow major Jewish settlement blocs built in the West Bank becoming part of Israel proper, in exchange for territories in Israel.

Previous Israeli governments twice negotiated on the basis of the 1967 lines, but no peace accord was reached.

Palestinian official Wasel Abu Yussef said Erekat would ask for more clarifications from Kerry on what Israel expects from negotiations.

Abu Yussef said Palestinians did not want to reject Kerry’s efforts to restart negotiations outright.

The Palestinians did not bring up their often-repeated demand that Israel stop building in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem before talks could resume. One official said that if Israel accepts the 1967 lines as a basis, that would make most of the settlements illegitimate.

While Kerry has not publicized details of his plan, the Arab League’s decision Wednesday to endorse his proposal raised speculation that the Palestinians would agree. Abbas traditionally has sought the blessing of his Arab brethren before making any major diplomatic initiative.

U.S. officials played down hopes that negotiations would begin soon.

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Israel 'readying peace gestures' to Palestinians

The Israeli military is preparing to lift some restrictions on Palestinian movement in advance of possible renewed peace talks, army radio said on Thursday.

“It appears that in the next few days the future of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians will be determined,” its reporter for the Palestinian territories reported.

“In the light of security assessments, two roads in the territories are expected shortly to be opened to Palestinian traffic; one north of Ramallah and one close to Beit Haggai,” he added, referring to a settlement near the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

The radio quoted the military spokesman’s office as saying that the plans were a gesture for the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan and not linked to peace efforts.

The office did not immediately reply to an AFP request for comment.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas was to meet senior members of his Palestine Liberation Organisation in the West Bank city of Ramallah later on Thursday to brief them on his meetings in Jordan with US Secretary of State John Kerry, a Palestinian official said.

Kerry said Wednesday that his intense diplomacy in six visits to the Middle East was bearing fruit, narrowing gaps between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Palestinians have said that they will not renew peace talks, stalled for almost three years, until Israel agrees to accept as a baseline the borders that existed before the 1967 Middle East war, when it occupied the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

They say Israel needs to freeze all settlement construction in the occupied lands, including in east Jerusalem, which it annexed in a move never recognised by the international community.

Israel rejects such “preconditions”.

Regional Development Minister Silvan Shalom told the radio that easing some restrictions on Palestinians’ daily lives did not constitute bowing to preconditions.

“I think that in the framework of opening negotiations, if we carry out what is known as confidence-building measures which do not endanger security, such things have always been possible as part of a larger context,” he said.

“If it is the judgement of security officials that such a thing does not damage security, then of course we have the possibility to do that.”

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Israel president urges EU to reconsider funds ban

Israel’s president has called on the European Union to reconsider its new ban on funding Israeli institutions operating in territories Palestinians claim for their future state.

Shimon Peres’ statement on Thursday came as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in the region, trying to restart Israel-Palestinians talks.

Peres said Kerry is making progress and that talks could resume soon.

Peres urged the EU to “give priority to peace” and warned the ban “could cause another crisis.”

The EU decision is to go into effect in 2014. It marks a new international show of displeasure with Israeli settlements built on lands captured in the 1967 Mideast war.

The Palestinians claim some of those territories — the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem — for their hoped-for state.

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Israeli premier phones European leaders after ban

Israel’s prime minister has talked with a series of European leaders a day after the announcement of a decision on a European funding ban to Israeli institutions operating in occupied territories.

Mark Regev, a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, would not disclose the content of Wednesday’s phone calls. Israeli media reported Netanyahu urged his counterparts to delay the measure.

The European Union said the ban applies to “grants, prizes and financial instruments.” The new funding guidelines go into effect in 2014.

The EU decision marked a new international show of displeasure with Israeli settlements built on lands captured in the 1967 Mideast war. The Palestinians claim some of those territories — the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem — for their hoped-for state.

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Settler leaders: Israel should ban EU projects in Area C | JPost | Israel News

By Dave Robbins

The government should ban European Union funded projects in Area C of the West Bank until it rescinds its ban on providing funding and grants to Israeli projects over the pre-1967 lines, the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip said on Tuesday. Read More: Settler leaders: Israel should ban EU […]

The post Settler leaders: Israel should ban EU projects in Area C | JPost | Israel News appeared first on Endtime Ministries | End Of The Age | Irvin Baxter.

…read more

Source: Endtime Ministries

Israeli officials slam new EU settlements directive

Israeli officials on Tuesday slammed an EU directive that will bar all 28 member states from dealings with Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, including annexed Arab east Jerusalem.

A high-ranking official, who requested anonymity, described the European Union’s move as a disproportionate “attack” on Israel.

“When it comes to disputed territories, the Europeans prefer to attack a small country like Israel instead of taking on more powerful states, because they’re afraid of retaliation,” he said.

Israel was “only informed of the directive at the last moment,” he added.

The directive, due to be published on Friday and take effect from 2014, forbids EU member states from funding or dealing with Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, according to Israeli media.

It requires a clear distinction to be made in all signed agreements between Israel and the territories it occupied in the 1967 Middle East war — the Golan Heights as well as the West Bank, including east Jerusalem.

EU spokesman David Kriss told AFP: “These are guidelines on the eligibility of Israeli entities and their activity in the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967 for grants, prizes and financial instruments funded by the EU from 2014 onwards.

“It makes a distinction between Israel and the entities in the West Bank, east Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights,” he said.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin told army radio the Europeans had made a “mistake” and that the directive would undermine any return to peace talks with the Palestinians.

“It’s a very worrying initiative launched at a bad time, because it only reinforces the Palestinians’ refusal to restart negotiations,” he said.

Palestinian leaders say they will only resume direct negotiations with Israel if they are held on the basis of the lines that existed before 1967, and if Israel freezes all settlement activity in the territories.

Israel insists they be held “without preconditions.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry was due in neighbouring Jordan later on Tuesday on his sixth visit to the region in as many months in a bid to bridge the differences between the two sides.

Kriss said the EU wanted Israel to cooperate fully with the directive to ensure its “participation in projects between 2014 and 2020.”

But Elkin told the Haaretz newspaper: “We are not ready to sign on this clause in our agreements with the European Union,” a refusal that could “halt all cooperation in economics… (and) cause severe damage to Israel.”

A leader of the Yesha Council — an umbrella group of municipal councils in Jewish settlements in the West Bank — strongly criticised the EU.

“The one-sided and discriminatory EU directive means Europe has effectively decided to abandon any involvement it had in the Middle East peace process,” Dani Dayan said in a statement.

“By aligning itself with the most extreme Palestinian demands… the EU can no longer be perceived as a neutral or objective,” he added.

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Hamas leader lambasts new Egyptian regime

A senior Hamas official says the new Egyptian government’s crackdown on militants in the Sinai Peninsula is part of an anti-Hamas campaign, the first criticism by the group of Egypt’s new leadership.

The Gaza-based official says the Egyptian military is pressuring Hamas since it ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, whose Muslim Brotherhood is Hamas’ parent organization.

He spoke on condition of anonymity because referring to an internal Hamas discussion. The comments came two days after an Egyptian military helicopter flew over the Gaza Strip.

The official also criticized the Egypt’s targeting of smuggling tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border.

The Egyptian military is moving against Islamic militant groups in Sinai that have launched attacks after Morsi’s ouster. Militants have killed eight security officers and bombed a gas pipeline to Jordan.

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

In Egypt's Sinai, militants intensify attacks

Military attack helicopters rattle over the impoverished desert towns of northern Sinai and the sound of gunfire erupts nightly, raising fears among residents of a looming confrontation between Egypt’s military and Islamic militants who have intensified attacks since the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi.

Militant groups have grown bolder, striking security forces almost daily and also turning on local Christians. Some are now openly vowing to drive the military out of the peninsula on the borders with Israel and Gaza and establish an “Islamic emirate.” Further fueling the turmoil is the longtime resentment among many in the Bedouin population over decades of neglect and harsh security crackdowns by the state.

The military and security forces have widened their presence, and military intelligence officials told The Associated Press an offensive is being planned, but no further details were given.

In a rare move, the Egyptian military sent a helicopter across the border to fly over the southern end of the Gaza Strip early Friday. Egyptian security officials said it was intended as a warning to its Hamas rulers amid concerns that Gaza militants are trying to cross to back those in the Sinai. The security and intelligence officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the press.

Israeli security officials say their military has not taken any special precautions, but it is watching the situation carefully. They say they remain in close contact with their Egyptian counterparts, and that Egypt has coordinated its security moves in Sinai with Israel, as required by their 1979 peace treaty.

“The situation is not secure. It is better to be home than to go out into the street,” said Moussa el-Manaee, a resident in the northern Sinai town of Sheikh Zuweyid, which has a heavy presence of jihadi groups. “I am afraid to ride my car and catch a stray bullet.”

Sinai has been the most lawless corner of Egypt since the ouster of autocrat Hosni Mubarak in early 2011, with increased violence. Police stations were torched and security forces kicked out of tribal areas where they were notorious for abuses. Shootings took place regularly on police and military outposts.

But after the military deposed the Islamist president on July 3, militant groups have lashed out.

In the past 10 days, at least eight security officers have been killed, the most recent on Friday. Two …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Israel allows an Egyptian Apache gunship base in Sinai to combat Islamist terror

By Dave Robbins

Israeli military sources reported Friday, July 12, that, after an Egyptian Apache gunship flew over the Gaza Strip, an Israeli Air Force control tower notified the Egyptian Air Force that the gunship had strayed off-course. This sort of interchange further testified to the quiet Israeli-Egyptian cooperation afoot in recent days in combating the upsurge of […]

The post Israel allows an Egyptian Apache gunship base in Sinai to combat Islamist terror appeared first on Endtime Ministries | End Of The Age | Irvin Baxter.

…read more

Source: Endtime Ministries

80,000 pray at Al-Aqsa on first Friday of Ramadan

About 80,000 Muslims attended prayers at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound on the first Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, Israeli police said.

“There were close to 80,000 worshippers,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP.

There was a peaceful show of support for ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi and against army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Women held Palestinian and Egyptian flags and signs reading, “Sisi go! Morsi is the president” and “Jerusalem is for legitimacy and against the coup”.

More than 3,000 Israeli police were deployed in the walled Old City, where the compound is located, and elsewhere in occupied east Jerusalem.

Israeli authorities relaxed usual restrictions on entry to Jerusalem by West Bankers but limited entry by men to the Al-Aqsa compound to those over 40 years of age.

The site houses the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam.

In a Ramadan concession, the military extended the opening hours of crossing points from the West Bank and allowed those aged 60 and over to pass without the usual mandatory entry permit.

Palestinians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are usually barred from Israel and from east Jerusalem, which the Jewish state occupied in the 1967 Six-Day war and then unilaterally annexed.

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Israel responds to rocket fire from Gaza with airstrike

Israel‘s military says its aircraft hit Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip after militants there fired rockets at southern Israel.

The military said it struck “a terrorist weapon storage facility and a Hamas training installation” early Sunday. Gaza health officials said nobody was hurt.

The military said it was responding to Gaza rockets fired at Israel the night before that landed in an open field causing no injuries.

Gaza attacks on Israel have declined since a military campaign in November, but sporadic fire persists.

Israel holds Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers responsible for all attacks from the territory.

A shadowy extremist Muslim Salafi group was behind recent attacks, including one last month.

Hamas sees the Salafis as a threat to its rule while Salafis view Hamas as too moderate.

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Prominent Muslim cleric to visit Gaza

The head of Gaza’s Islamic affairs ministry says the prominent Muslim scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi will visit the Hamas-ruled territory in May.

It’s the first visit by the Qatar-based cleric who is widely-respected through the Muslim world, and underscores his support for the Islamic militant group Hamas.

It also shows how Hamas has slowly been breaking its diplomatic isolation after years of blockade. Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is also expected to visit the Gaza Strip in May. The emir of Gulf state Qatar visited last year.

Gaza minister Ismail Ridwan didn’t say how long al-Qaradawi would stay. Spokespeople for the cleric weren’t immediately available.

The visit is also a boon to Hamas as they battle their Gaza rivals, hardline conservative Muslims who see the militant group as too moderate.

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News