Israeli retaliatory strikes hit Hamas posts in Gaza

(JTA) – Israeli tanks and planes fired on four Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip in retaliation for mortar shells fired on soldiers working in southern Israel, the Israeli army said.

Following the mortar attacks early Thursday afternoon, trains running between the southern Israeli cities of Ashkelon and Sderot were stopped. Buses were sent to pick up stranded passengers. Service resumed about two hours later. [Read more…]

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Hamas, Hezbollah join Israel and U.S. in condemning Egypt mosque attack

(JTA) – Both Hamas and Hezbollah joined the United States, Israel and other nations in condemning a massive terrorist attack at a mosque in Egypt that killed more than 230 people.

In the attack Friday afternoon, an explosion ripped through the Rawdah mosque in the town of Bir al-Abd, roughly 25 miles west of the town of El-Arish in the north of the Sinai Peninsula. After the explosion, gunmen opened fire on the worshipers gathered for weekly Friday prayers, officials said. [Read more…]

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‘No free gifts,’ Netanyahu tells Hamas on return of bodies

Palestinians viewing what used to be a tunnel leading from the Gaza Strip into Israel, Aug. 5, 2014. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90)

Palestinians viewing what used to be a tunnel leading from the Gaza Strip into Israel, Aug. 5, 2014. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to return the Israeli citizens being held captive by Hamas in Gaza.

Netanyahu made the remarks on Monday during a construction agreement ceremony in the city of Migdal HaEmek in northern Israel. [Read more…]

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Israel says it holds bodies of five terrorists killed in Gaza tunnel

Palestinians viewing what used to be a tunnel leading from the Gaza Strip into Israel, Aug. 5, 2014. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90)

Palestinians viewing what used to be a tunnel leading from the Gaza Strip into Israel, Aug. 5, 2014. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90)

(JTA) – Israel is holding the bodies of five Islamic Jihad terrorists killed in the Gaza terror tunnel that the Israel Defense Forces blew up last week.

The army said Sunday that it has the bodies, days after Hamas, which controls Gaza, asked to be allowed to search for the missing men. Israeli officials said the bodies should be used to bargain with Hamas over the citizens and soldiers’ bodies that Hamas is holding. [Read more…]

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Trump administration welcomes Palestinian Authority deployment to Gaza crossings

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Jason Greenblatt, U.S. President Donald Trump’s special envoy handling Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, welcomed the deployment of Palestinian Authority (PA) personnel to control crossings into the Gaza Strip and said it was “essential” that the Palestinian Authority control Gaza.

“The United States believes it is essential that the Palestinian Authority assume full responsibility for Gaza,” his statement said. Hamas control of Gaza has been a major impediment to restarting Israeli-Palestinian peace talks; renewing the talks is a key foreign policy goal for Trump. [Read more…]

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Hamas releases footage of Gilad Schalit on final day of Israeli soldier’s captivity

(JTA) – The terrorist group Hamas released footage of Gilad Schalit taken while the Israeli soldier was in captivity in the Gaza Strip.

The footage released Wednesday shows some of the final moments before Schalit’s release in a prisoner exchange deal in 2011 for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners, many of them convicted terrorists responsible for killing Israelis. He had been held by Hamas in Gaza for six years after being captured in a cross-border, guerrilla-style attack. [Read more…]

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