Israel Brief August 22, 2013: Rockets fired from Lebanon do damage in northern Israel

ISRAEL BRIEF

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Rockets fired from Lebanon do damage in northern Israel

Source: JTA, 8-22-13

Four rockets were fired at northern Israel, causing damage to homes and cars….READ MORE

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Israel Brief April 29, 2013: Second Gaza rocket strikes Israel in two days

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Second Gaza rocket strikes Israel in two days

Source: JTA, 4-29-13

A rocket fired from Gaza struck Israel for the second time in two days….READ MORE

Israel Brief April 28, 2013: Israel’s Air Force hits Gaza sites after rocket attack

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Israel’s Air Force hits Gaza sites after rocket attack

Source: JTA, 4-28-13

Israel’s Air Force bombed a terrorist training base in Gaza hours after a rocket from the coastal strip struck near a community in southern Israel….READ MORE

Israel Brief April 7, 2013: Gaza rocket fired at Israel, no wounded: police

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Gaza rocket fired at Israel, no wounded: police

Source: The Daily Star, 4-7-13

A rocket fired from Gaza crashed into southern Israel on Sunday, without causing casualties or damage, shortly after the arrival of US Secretary of State John Kelly on a peace bid, police said….READ MORE

Israel Brief April 4, 2013: Rockets fired on Southern Israel from Gaza for third day

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Rockets fired on Israel from Gaza for third day

Source: JTA, 4-4-13

A rocket fired from Gaza struck southern Israel, the third consecutive day that rockets have been fired at Israel from the coastal strip….READ MORE

Israel Brief April 4, 2013: Rockets barrage launched toward southern Israel for 3rd consecutive day

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Rockets barrage launched toward southern Israel for 3rd consecutive day

Source: Nzweek, 4-4-13

For the third day in a row, a rockets barrage of three mortar shells was launched by militants in the Gaza Strip toward southern Israel Thursday morning, the IDF confirmed….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief April 4, 2013: Israeli military fires on Syria, Gaza after rocket attack incidents

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Israeli military fires on Syria, Gaza after rocket incidents

Source: JTA, 4-3-13

Israeli retaliatory airstrikes hit what the country’s military called “two extensive terror sites” in the northern Gaza Strip….READ MORE

Israel Brief April 2, 2013: Rocket fired from Gaza at Southern Israel as second rocket discovered in Sderot preschool

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Rocket fired from Gaza at Israel as second rocket discovered in Sderot preschool

Source: JTA, 4-2-13

A mortar rocket was fired from Gaza at Israel, while a partially exploded Kassam rocket was discovered in an Israeli preschool….READ MORE

Israel Brief February 26, 2013: Southern Israel hit by Gaza rocket for first time in 3 months

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Southern Israel hit by Gaza rocket for first time in 3 months

Source: JTA, 2-26-13

A rocket fired from Gaza hit southern Israel for the first time in three months….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief November 22, 2012: Israel warns of tougher operation if truce agreement violated

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Israel warns of tougher operation if truce agreement violated

Source: Xinhua, 11-22-12

An Israeli minister said Thursday that Hamas can expect an aggravated military response in the event that it or other militant groups in the Gaza Strip resume rocket attacks on Israel….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief November 22, 2012: IDF reservists released after Gaza operation: ‘We’ll be back’

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IDF reservists released after Gaza op: ‘We’ll be back’

 Source: YNet News, 11-22-12

הביתה. שמחה מהולה בתחושת החמצה (צילום: רועי עידן)

Soldiers recruited during Operation Pillar of Defense disappointed that IDF ‘didn’t get to finish the job’

The army began releasing on Thursday tens of thousands of reserve soldiers who were recruited under emergency orders during Operation Pillar of Defense.

Some of the soldiers were disappointed by the fact that the operation was cut short and they were not given the chance to “complete the mission,” as one soldier put it, while others said it is just a matter of time before they are called up again….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief November 21, 2012: 12 rockets fired on Israel since cease-fire truce takes effect

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12 rockets fired on Israel since truce takes effect

Source: YNet News, 11-21-12 

Twelve rockets were fired from Gaza towards Israel since 9 pm, when a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza was set to take effect.

Full Text Israel Political Brief November 21, 2012: Text of Ceasefire Agreement Between Israel & Hamas

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Text of Ceasefire Agreement

The partial text of the ceasefire agreement as reported by news agencies.
Source: INN, 11-21-12

This is the partial text of the ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas, as brokered by Egypt and the U.S. and reported by AFP.

“Israel shall stop all hostilities in the Gaza Strip land sea and air, including incursions and targeting of individuals.

“All Palestinian factions shall stop all hostilities from the Gaza Strip against Israel, including rocket attacks and all attacks along the border.

“Opening the crossings and facilitating the movement of people and transfer of goods and refraining from restricting residents’ free movements and targeting residents in border areas. Procedures of implementation shall be dealt with after 24 hours from the start of the ceasefire.

“Other matters as may be requested shall be addressed.”

“Implementation mechanism.

“Setting up the zero hour understanding to enter into effect.

“Egypt shall receive assurances from each party that the party commits to what was agreed upon.

“Each party shall commit itself not to perform any acts that would breach this understanding. In case of any observations, Egypt as a sponsor of this understanding, shall be informed to follow up.”

Israel Political Brief November 21, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu: I’m Giving Ceasefire a Chance before Using Greater Force

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Bibi: I’m Giving Ceasefire a Chance before Using Greater Force

According to Egyptian foreign minister, ceasefire will go into force at 9:00 p.m. Netanyahu’s statement leaves room for resumed fighting.
Source: INN, 11-21-12

According to the latest reports from Cairo and Israel, U.S. President Barack Obama spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Wednesday evening and asked him to agree to abide by a ceasefire with Hamas.

The terms of the ceasefire are not yet known in full….READ MORE

Israel Brief November 21, 2012: President Barack Obama Hails Ceasefire Agreement

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President Obama Hails Ceasefire Agreement

Source: News One, 11-21-12

President Barack Obama is hailing a ceasefire agreement to end a week of fighting between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip….READ MORE

Full Text Israel Political Brief November 21, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Statement at Press Conference with Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defense – Operation Pillar of Defense – Cease-Fire

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PM Netanyahu’s Statement at November 21 Press Conference with Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defense  – Operation Pillar of Defense – Cease-Fire

Source: PMO, 11-21-12

Photo by GPO

“Citizens of Israel,

Eight days ago, Israel embarked on operation Pillar of Defense. The Government decided to launch the operation after the frequency of the terror attacks originating from Gaza increased over the last few months. I announced that we would respond forcibly to these attacks when we see fit. I said that we would exact a heavy price from the terror organizations.

The terror organizations assumed that we would avoid offensive action against them; they were wrong. We hit their senior commanders, we destroyed thousands of rockets which were aimed towards the South and most of those aimed towards central Israel, and we crushed Hamas’ control facilities. I must say that we did this with the strong support of the leading authorities of the international community.

In particular, I wish to thank President Obama for his resolute support for Israel’s actions, for this operation and for Israel’s right to defend itself. I also thank him for supporting the Iron Dome systems. I thank Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and express my gratitude to the Egyptians for their efforts in achieving this cease-fire.

In a phone call I had this evening with President Obama, I agreed with him that we should give the cease-fire a chance in order to enable a lull in the situation and allow for the citizens of Israel to return to routine. However, Israel obviously cannot sit idly while our enemy reinforces itself with weapons of terror. Therefore we decided, President Obama and myself, that the United States and Israel would work together to fight the smuggling of weapons to the terror organizations – weapons, virtually all of which come from Iran.

From the day the State of Israel was established, it has had to deal with complex challenges in the Middle East, and we can all see that these challenges have become even more complex in the last few years. Under these conditions we are required to navigate this ship, the State of Israel, wisely and responsibly while taking into account all considerations – military and political alike. This is what a responsible government does, and it is what we did here: we made use of our military might while applying political considerations.

Now, I realize that there are citizens who expect a harsher military action and we may very well need to do that. But at present, the right thing for the State of Israel is to exhaust this possibility of reaching a long-term cease-fire. As Prime Minister, I have the responsibility, and it is the highest responsibility, to make the right steps to ensure our security. That is what I have done and it is what I will continue to do.

During the last week, Israel has lost several victims. On behalf of the entire population, I send condolences to the families, and wish the wounded a speedy recovery.

I would like to thank my colleagues, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman. We worked together as a team, in full agreement. I also thank the Nine-Member Ministerial Forum, the Cabinet and the Government, for working – each in its field of responsibility – for the citizens of Israel. I also appreciate the factions of the Opposition and the factions in Knesset for standing with us and proclaiming their support.

I thank the Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Benny Gantz, the Chief of Shin Bet, Yoram Cohen, the Director of the Mossad, Tamir Pardo, and all of their people for their exceptional efforts in reaching our accomplishments in Pillar of Defense. On behalf of the people of Israel, I thank the IDF commanders and soldiers, the pilots, the Iron Dome operators and developers, the members of the intelligence services, all the members of the security services and to the reservists, who left their families and immediately signed up for duty.

I appreciate the mayors and heads of regional councils for displaying leadership and level-headedness at the Home Front, and above all – I salute you, the citizens of Israel. We have a strong army; we have a strong people. I am proud to by your Prime Minister

Israel Political Brief November 21, 2012: Hillary Clinton Announces Israel-Hamas Ceasefire

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Hillary Clinton Announces Israel-Hamas Ceasefire

Hillary Clinton Announces Israel-Hamas Ceasefire. Secretary of state says that there’s “no substitute for a just and lasting peace….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief November 21, 2012: Israel and Hamas reach a cease-fire

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Israel and Hamas reach a cease-fire

Source: JTA, 11-21-12

A cease-fire between Israel and Hamas is set to begin at 9 p.m. local time….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief November 20, 2012: Cairo talks fail to yield cease-fire agreement, expected to continue

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Cairo talks fail to yield cease-fire agreement, expected to continue

Source: JTA, 11-20-12

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Nov. 20, 2012. (Avi Ohayon/ GPO/Flash90)

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Nov. 20, 2012. (Avi Ohayon/ GPO/Flash90)

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Makoto Otsuka, director general of the Holocaust Education Center in Fukuyama, Japan, with visiting schoolchildren in front of a photo of Anne Frank.–>

Talks between Israel and Hamas negotiated by Egypt have not produced a cease-fire.

The talks in Cairo are expected to stretch into Wednesday, a Hamas official reportedly said late Tuesday night.

A Hamas official had been quoted earlier on Tuesday by Reuters as saying that a cease-fire would go into effect at midnight.

Shortly after the Reuters report appeared Tuesday evening, Mark Regev, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told CNN that an agreement on a cease-fire had not yet been reached….READ MORE

Full Text Israel Political Brief November 20, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu & UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s Statements Before Their Meeting About Negotiating a Cease-fire

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Statements by PM Netanyahu and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon

Prime Minister Netanyahu:  Mr. Secretary, welcome to Jerusalem.  You’re always a welcome guest, and I appreciate both your coming here and your statement.  I want to thank you for making it clear that Israel has the right to defend itself.  I want to thank you for your consistent statements condemning the rocket attacks on Israel’s citizens.

I know you’re very concerned about the civilian casualties on both sides.  Well, we share your concern, and that is why, in fighting terror, our military always tries to avoid civilian casualties.  In fact, I’m not sure that there is another military on Earth that goes to such great lengths to keep innocents out of harm’s way.  Israel is, I think, remarkable in that, when you consider the conditions that we’re facing, I think that something almost without parallel in history is taking place.  We’re conducting these surgical operations against terrorists at a time when our own population is being bombarded by rocket attacks.

Unfortunately, Mr. Secretary, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, and the other terrorist groups, do not share your concern about our civilian casualties or about civilian casualties at all.  They’re deliberately and indiscriminately targeting our civilians and they deliberately hide behind their civilians.  The terrorists target our children and they use their own children as human shields.  They place explosives, weapons, other destructive weapons of any kind in schools, mosques, hospitals, universities.  Targeting civilians and hiding behind civilians, as you well know is a double war crime.  If we hope to make these tactics illegitimate, they should be condemned in the most forceful terms by all responsible members of the international community.  The moment we draw symmetry between the victims of terror and the unintended casualties that result from legitimate military action against the terrorists, the minute that false symmetry is drawn, the terrorists win.

I know, Mr. Secretary, that you understand this, and I am confident, as always, that you will continue to lend your moral authority to the struggle against terrorism.  Mr. Secretary, no country would tolerate rocket attacks against its cities and against its civilians.  Israel cannot tolerate such attacks.  If a long-term solution can be put in place through diplomatic means, than Israel would be a willing partner to such a solution.  But if stronger military action proves necessary to stop the constant barrage of rockets, Israel will not hesitate to do what is necessary to defend our people.

I look forward to our discussions today, and I hope we can advance a peaceful resolution.

Secretary Ban:  Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister.  Shalom, ladies and gentlemen.  Todah.

Again, I’d like to thank the Prime Minister for welcoming me to Israel at this time.  Regrettably, I’m back again in the region only nine months since my last visit because of violence in Israel and Gaza, this again requiring our attention, not progressing towards a lasting peace and a two-state solution.  But all this we are truly concerned at the rising loss of human lives.  A further escalation would be dangerous and tragic for Palestinians and Israelis, and would put the entire region at risk.  I’m here to appeal to all to hold fire and restore calm.

Rockets have hit areas just outside of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, as well as Israeli towns near Gaza, killing and injuring civilians.  I myself visited Sderot and these cities, and met many people, and I was able to witness myself how these people were living in fear and terror.  This is unacceptable, irresponsible and reckless.  I strongly condemn these actions.  Rocket attacks by Palestinian militants targeting Israel must cease immediately.  I know how desperate the situation is here, but Israel must exercise maximum restraint.  I strongly caution against a ground operation which will only result in further tragedy.  I have also stressed that while Israeli rockets may be aimed at military targets inside Gaza, they kill and injure civilians and damage civilian infrastructures.  The loss of civilian lives is unacceptable under any circumstances.  The excessive use of force is unlawful and must be rejected, and I take note of your statement that this military operation was aimed against only military facilities, but still in the course of military operations, the civilians are actually victimized, as we have seen.

My paramount immediate concern is for the safety and well-being of all civilians, in Israel and in Gaza.  Innocent people, including children, are being killed and injured on both sides.  I appeal to all and those commanding, bearing and operating arms, weapons, to respect international humanitarian law to ensure the protection of civilians at all times.  I was here under similar circumstances in early 2009.  It is truly painful for me to be back for the same reason.  This new cycle of bloodshed will make neither Israelis nor Palestinians more secure, nor will bloodshed open the door to negotiations that could achieve a two-state solution necessary to end such violence permanently.  Further escalation benefits no one.  I and all my staff, including Special Coordinator Robert Serry, will spare no effort to put an end to violence and provide humanitarian assistance to those who need it.

Over the past week, Mr. Prime Minister, I have spoken with many international leaders and regional leaders by telephone and in person.  I have come here directly from Cairo, where I met with Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Araby and Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Mohamed Qandil earlier today.  Egypt is a leader in the region, and I was encouraged that the Egyptian authorities are using their contacts on all sides to seek an immediate ceasefire.  I’ve also met Foreign Minister Leiberman and Defense Minister Barak this afternoon since arriving in Jerusalem.  I will be meeting President Peres after our meeting with you this evening, and Palestinian President Abbas tomorrow morning.  I’m here to offer my help and good offices to end the violence and find a path back towards a peaceful resolution of the conflict.  The world is watching and waiting.  We have not a moment to lose.

Again, Mr. Prime Minister, I count on your strong leadership while working together with the United Nations for peace and stability and human rights in this region.

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