Israel’s Iron Dome defense system does its job, intercepting 15 terrorist rockets at once.
The Algemeiner reports on Hamas firing rockets from a church in Gaza:
A Catholic Archbishop ministering to Gaza’s minute Christian minority says Hamas terrorists forced him to allow them to use his church to fire rockets at Israel during the four week-long Operation Protective Edge.
“Islam is the rule of this place and whatever Hamas says we must obey or face consequences,” Archbishop Alexios told The Christian Broadcasting Network.
Alexios showed the reporter where Hamas terrorists used the roof of the center to fire rockets at Israel …
Functioning as a tolerated Christian minority in an Islamic supremacist entity, some residents charge that Hamas has “imposed strict Taliban-style Islamic laws” on the populace, Muslim and Christian alike.
However, Alexios allowed 2,000 Gazans to take refuge within the church compound during the fighting, according to the report.
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis in the Telegraph.
I welcome the much needed ceasefire in Gaza and pray that it will lead to a lasting, long-term resolution of a bitter and tragic conflict.
However, the prospect of a lasting cessation of hostilities between a Hamas-controlled Gaza and Israel will only be achieved if root causes of the conflict are fully addressed.
What we have witnessed in Gaza is not a conflict between Israel and the Palestinians but a war between Israel and Hamas – a ruthless terrorist organisation.
Within the last month alone, Hamas has fired over 3,000 missiles at population centres in Israel. In its deep-rooted desire to murder and cause maximum damage, Hamas does not distinguish between Jew, Muslim and Christian, so hell-bent is it on killing Israelis…
In light of the collapsed truce in Gaza, and Hamas’ kidnapping of an IDF soldier, Rabbi Eckstein recalls Psalm 120 when he looks at the reality of an enemy committed to war, even while Israel longs and prays for peace:
While the collapse of yet another ceasefire agreement is a bitter blow to war-weary Israel, it comes as no surprise. During Operation Protective Edge, Hamas has consistently refused to honor ceasefire terms, even as Israel has consistently accepted and tried to maintain them. History has shown us that terrorists will use any tactic to sow death and destruction and prolong conflict. The sad, but realistic attitude all Israelis must take is to be prepared for continued war – even while praying fervently for peace.
The psalmist wrote, “Too long have I lived among those who hate peace. I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war” (Psalm 120: 6-7). This is the situation Israel finds itself in today – longing for peace, and willing to make painful concessions to achieve it, but facing an enemy committed to hatred, war, and bloodshed. I ask you to pray for the bereaved loved ones of the soldiers who have lost their lives fighting this ruthless enemy, for protection for all the men and women of the IDF, and for the safe return of Lt. Goldin. And pray, too, for the day when Israel’s dreams of peace will be realized.
Unreported, and well researched.
From the Institute for Palestinian Studies:
Gaza’s Tunnel Phenomenon: The Unintended Dynamics of Israel’s Siege
A similarly cavalier approach to child labor and tunnel fatalities damaged the movement’s standing with human-rights groups, despite government assurances dating back to 2008 that it was considering curbs. During a police patrol that the author was permitted to accompany in December 2011, nothing was done to impede the use of children in the tunnels, where, much as in Victorian coal mines, they are prized for their nimble bodies. At least 160 children have been killed in the tunnels, according to Hamas officials. Safety controls on imports appear similarly lax, although the TAC insists that a sixteen-man contingent carries out sporadic spot-checks.
HT goes to Fr Z.
Palestinian and Israeli casualties are mounting at a pace that could surpass any other Israeli conflict in nearly a decade, amid signs of a deepening military and political stalemate driven by diplomatic gridlock, Palestinian militant resilience and the absence of a clear Israeli exit strategy.
The rising death toll in the Gaza Strip conflict propelled U.S. and European diplomats huddled in Paris to call for an extension of a 12-hour humanitarian truce Saturday that had afforded both sides a brief respite from the nearly three-week-old conflict.
Late Saturday, Israel approved a 24-hour extension of the truce but said it would retaliate if Hamas prevented its forces from continuing to destroy tunnel networks through which the militants have attempted to infiltrate Israel. Hamas fighters, though, resumed firing rockets and mortar rounds into Israel.
Read on here.
From Bloomberg News:
Omer Benjoya took a job this summer selling drinks, snacks and postcards on a hill that offers one of the most breathtaking panoramic views of Jerusalem.
Now all the 17-year-old needs are customers. Since hostilities flared this month between Israel’s army and Palestinian militants in Gaza, tourists have been scarce.
U.S. aviation regulators delivered a further blow this week, temporarily banning flights to Tel Aviv by American carriers for the first time since 1991, while their European counterparts also recommended a suspension after a rocket fired from Gaza landed about a mile from the city’s airport. The decisions came just days after a Malaysian Airlines plane was shot down in Ukraine’s war zone.
“Look around, see how empty it is,” Benjoya said next to the bright red truck his employer uses as a refreshment kiosk. “Normally, there’d be one or two hundred people standing here,” he said, gesturing to the near-empty stone-paved promenade that overlooks the walls of the Old City, the Dome of the Rock and the Mount of Olives.
While Jerusalem is calm, fighting that has left hundreds of Palestinian and more than two dozen Israeli families grieving their dead is threatening the livelihoods of many more. Almost a third of foreign visitors expected in Israel in July have canceled, according to a top trade association. An industry that welcomed a record 3.5 million overseas visitors last year is facing substantial damage.
Read on here.