Two Palestinians reported dead in Gaza tunnel blast

(JTA) – Two Palestinians were killed and five were injured in what Gaza authorities said was an airstrike on a smuggling tunnel between Egypt and Gaza, officials in the Strip said.

The fatalities from the strike Wednesday, which Hamas’ health minister Ashraf al-Qidra on Thursday said was carried out by Israel, were identified as Hussam Hamid al-Sufi, 24, and Muhammad Anwar al-Aqraa, 38, Ma’an news reported. [Read more…]

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Israeli cabinet ministers warn of possible escalation in Gaza

(JTA) – Two Israeli cabinet ministers warned of a possible escalation along Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett said Tuesday that a conflict in Gaza is a “matter of when, not if,” The Times of Israel reported. And in an interview the same day with Army Radio, Housing Minister Yoav Galant, a former general and head of the army’s Southern Command, said Hamas “might … be drawn to escalation in the spring or the summer.”

The comments followed a day of tensions in Gaza, beginning with an early morning rocket launch from the coastal territory that landed near the Israeli city of Ashkelon, causing no injuries. Later in the day, an Israeli patrol came under fire near the Gaza border. In response, Israel struck several Hamas positions from the air and with tank shells.

“We have no interest in an escalation of violence, but are determined to fulfill our obligation and protect the people of Israel from attacks originating in Gaza,” Israel Defense Forces spokesman Peter Lerner told The Times of Israel.

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Tzipi Livni threatened with arrest if she lands in Brussels

Tzipi Livni arriving for the weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, July 21, 2013. (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)
Tzipi Livni arriving for the weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, July 21, 2013. (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

Tzipi Livni arriving for the weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, July 21, 2013. (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

(JTA) – Tzipi Livni will be detained and questioned in connection with war crimes charges if she lands in Brussels, a Belgian Justice Ministry official said ahead of the Israeli politician’s planned visit there.

On Thursday, Belgium’s Le Soir daily quoted a federal prosecutor as confirming authorities intention to detain Livni, a centrist lawmaker, as per a complaint filed against her by a local pro-Palestinian group in connection with Israel’s 2009 assault on Hamas in Gaza when Livni was foreign minister. [Read more…]

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Israel frees UN employee who helped Hamas in Gaza

(JTA) – A United Nations employee who assisted Hamas was released after six months in an Israeli prison.

Waheed al-Bursh, a Palestinian engineer working for the United Nations Development Programme in Gaza, was sentenced last week to time served for assisting the terrorist group in transporting 300 tons of rubble to a Hamas-run facility, the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported Thursday. [Read more…]

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British Labour Party promotes MP who made Holocaust reference on Gaza

U.K. Labour politician Yasmin Qureshi (University of Salford Press Office/ Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0)
U.K. Labour politician Yasmin Qureshi (University of Salford Press Office/ Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0)

U.K. Labour politician Yasmin Qureshi (University of Salford Press Office/ Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0)

(JTA) – In a move likely to deepen British Jews’ trust issues with the Labour Party, the party’s leader promoted a member of Parliament who seemingly compared Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to the Holocaust.

Jeremy Corbyn made Yasmin Qureshi, who has apologized for causing any offense with her remark in 2014, shadow justice minister – a position that makes her Labour’s point person on the subject. [Read more…]

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