Israeli offensive

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Israel Again Strikes Syria

Targets missiles believed headed for Hezbollah

(Newser) - Israel has again struck Syria , this time in a series of airstrikes in and around Damascus last night that targeted a shipment of Iranian-made missiles Israel believed were headed Hezbollah's way. "In last night's attack, as in the previous one, what was attacked were stores of Fateh-110... More »

Israel 'Violated Laws of War': Rights Group

Human Rights Watch says it targeted media in Gaza conflict

(Newser) - Israel broke the laws of war by targeting media facilities and journalists "that were making no apparent contribution to Palestinian military operations" during its November offensive against Gaza, Human Rights Watch argues in a statement released today. The group recorded four attacks by Israeli forces over the eight-day conflict... More »

Attacking Iran Would Be Gargantuan Task for Israel

Would require hundreds of miles of dangerous flying: US experts

(Newser) - A hypothetical Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear program would be a dangerous and expensive mission full of practical hurdles, Pentagon-affiliated experts tell the New York Times . The mission would call for 100 planes, and pilots would have to zoom through more than 1,000 miles of unfriendly airspace whilst... More »

Netanyahu to Iran: Be Afraid

Thinks 'credible military threat' the only way Tehran will abandon nukes

(Newser) - Benjamin Netanyahu thinks the only way to keep Iran in its place is with a big stick: The Israeli PM, meeting with Joe Biden yesterday, reportedly said that the only thing that will deter Iran's march toward nuclear power is a "credible military threat" against Iran—not sanctions. Defense... More »

Bin Laden Tape Calls Gaza Offensive a 'Holocaust'

(Newser) - A tape recording attributed to Osama bin Laden supports the Palestinian cause and says some Arab leaders have “conspired” with the US and Israel against it, CNN reports. “The Gaza holocaust is a historic event and a tragic turning point,” says the tape, aired on the Al-Jazeera... More »

Israel Bombs Gaza Tunnels

Escalating violence threatens ceasefire as US envoy heads to region

(Newser) - Israel bombed smuggling tunnels under the Egypt-Gaza border today in response to yesterday's killing of an Israeli soldier, CNN reports. The escalating violence is threatening the fragile ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians. The strikes occurred just as George Mitchell, President Obama's envoy to the Middle East, was scheduled to... More »

Right Groups Cite Evidence of Israeli Phosphorus Use

UN workers say incendiary weapon used to attack Gaza compound

(Newser) - Witness accounts are adding weight to accusations by human rights groups that Israel is violating international law by using white phosphorus as a weapon against civilians, the Guardian reports. Palestinians say the incendiary shells were used to set their homes on fire and doctors report treating patients with injuries clearly... More »

Obama Plans Mideast Diplomatic Offensive

President-elect plans to tackle Gaza crisis from first day in Oval Office

(Newser) - Barack Obama will launch a diplomatic offensive to tackle the Gaza crisis and other troubles in the Mideast his very first day in office, he tells USA Today. He plans a more cohesive approach to the region than President Bush, and may appoint special envoys. The challenges in Iran, Afghanistan,... More »

Livni Heads to Washington to Cut Gaza Deal

Critical step toward truce would block Hamas arms smuggling

(Newser) - Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is on her way to the US to sign a deal central to a Gaza ceasefire as diplomatic efforts intensify to stop the fighting, reports the Jerusalem Post. The agreement, designed to stop Hamas from rearming, would step up intelligence agency cooperation to stop weapons... More »

Hamas, Israel Deploy Deadly New Tactics

Civilians pay the price of 'asymetrical urban warfare'

(Newser) - The disturbing civilian death toll in Gaza is a result of new tactics being deployed by Hamas, Steven Erlanger writes in the New York Times. Hamas militants, trained by Hezbollah and Iran, are said to be systematically hiding weapons in schoolyards, mosques and hospitals, fighting in civilian clothes, using tunnels... More »

Israelis Drive to Heart of Gaza City

Death tolls edges to 900 in 16-day offensive.

(Newser) - Israeli forces pushed toward the heart of Gaza City today in continued defiance of a UN call for a ceasefire and killing close to 30  Palestinians, Reuters reports. Nearly 900 people have been killed in the 16-day offensive. Israeli forces and tanks backed by helicopter gunships battled Hamas militants as... More »

Israel Warns Attacks Will Intensify

(Newser) - Israel dropped leaflets on the Gaza strip today warning inhabitants of an escalation in the 2-week offensive against Hamas militants, the BBC reports. The leaflets assured civilians that the action was against “Hamas and the terrorists only” and urged people to stay away from military targets. The development could... More »

To Halt Hamas, Win 'Confidence War'

Psychology is at center of current struggle

(Newser) - The Arab-Israeli conflict was once about reaching some kind of long-term land settlement—but for extremist groups like Hamas, a “handshake on the White House lawn” is no longer a goal, writes David Brooks in the New York Times. Now, “both sides seek the destruction of the other,... More »

Hamas Support Grows in West Bank

Palestinians call for tougher stance from president

(Newser) - As violence continues in Gaza, support for Hamas is growing in the Fatah-controlled West Bank, the New York Times reports. Though demonstrations of solidarity with Hamas have thus far been relatively small, West Bank residents see Gaza as “part of themselves,” writes Steven Erlanger. Still, there’s little... More »

Middle East Fumes Over Obama's Gaza Silence

Arabs and Muslims disappointed after 'promise of change'

(Newser) - Barack Obama's studied silence on the Gaza attacks—there’s only one president at a time, and so on—isn’t playing well in the Middle East, writes Simon Tisdall in the Guardian. “Foreign wars don't wait for Washington inaugurations,” Tisdall notes. Many Arabs and Muslims “cannot... More »

US Blocks UN Call for Gaza Truce

Americans want Hamas labeled 'terrorist'

(Newser) - The US has blocked Libya’s push to issue a UN Security Council call for a Gaza ceasefire, Reuters reports. Libya, the only Arab member of the council, had circulated a draft statement expressing "serious concern"  and urging all parties to "observe an immediate ceasefire." American... More »

Israel Attacks Serve as Reminder of Might

Leaders feared being seen as 'paper tiger'

(Newser) - Israel’s overwhelming strikes on Hamas are in part an effort to flex the country’s muscles and strike fear in the hearts of its enemies, Ethan Bronner writes in the New York Times. “There has been a nagging sense of uncertainty in the last couple years of whether... More »

Israeli Strikes Kill 205 in Gaza Strip

100 more wounded in assault on Hamas targets

(Newser) - A huge Israeli air assault on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip has killed more than 200 Palestinians and wounded at least 400, the AP reports. Those killed had mostly been inside police headquarters, Hamas said. Israel said the attacks were meant to end rocket and mortar attacks on Israel... More »

Abbas Freezes Peace Talks With Israel

Says negotiations won't resume until offensive on Palestinians ends

(Newser) - Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas halted peace talks with Israel today “until [Israeli] aggression is stopped,” Reuters reports. Abbas ordered the suspension of the US-brokered talks as Israel’s Gaza offensive continued and the Palestinian death toll topped 100. But Israeli PM Ehud Olmert showed no sign of relenting,... More »

19 Stories