Suddenly quiet: Last minute snapshots of the latest Israel-Gaza flare-up. Did anything really change? Latest details here.
IDF ATTACKS HAMAS MISSILE LAUNCHER INSIDE A SCHOOL: An IDF aircraft attacked a Hamas target in Shejaiya in Gaza immediately after it fired missiles into Israeli territory. The rocket launching station was also destroyed.
“The position is located inside a school, which proves once again how Hamas deliberately places its military assets in the heart of the civilian population,” the IDF said. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have launched over 3,000 rockets at Israel since last Monday. According to Magen David Adom, 12 people have been killed by the rockets and 134 injured. The Palestinian death toll is over 200. (INN / NPR / VFI News)
ISRAELI TROOPS FIRE TEAR GAS AT PALESTINIANS AT THE OLD CITY WALLS, TWO IDF SOLDIERS SHOT: Pro-Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli security forces in Jerusalem’s Old City today, and two soldiers were shot in Judea and Samaria, as widespread demonstrations turned into violent confrontations in Israel.
The eleven days of violence in the region followed Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s refusal to Joe Biden’s calls for a cease-fire and continued airstrike on the Gaza strip. Elsewhere, tear gas was fired at demonstrators at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s old city, around half a mile from Temple Mount where clashes last Monday at Al-Aqsa Mosque – Islam’s third holiest site – brought a barrage of missiles from Hamas in Gaza, which sought political high ground in its latest conflict. A water cannon and mounted police were deployed as Palestinians were sent running from the flash of stun grenades close to the Old City. Meanwhile two Israeli Defense Forces soldiers were shot and wounded around ten miles north near the West Bank settlement of Beit El as hundreds of Palestinians rioted at the entrance to the nearby city of Ramallah. According to local reports, one of the soldiers was said to be moderately injured, while the other was only mildly hurt. They were shot in their legs. (DM / VFI News)
BIDEN TO NETANYAHU: ‘WIND DOWN’ BOMBARDMENT OF GAZA: Israel plans to continue Operation Guardian of the Walls to strike at more targets, even as the US, EU, and others push for a ceasefire, officials said late Tuesday night.
Their comments came as the Biden administration continued to encourage Jerusalem to wind down attacks against Gaza. Among the targets was Hamas’s Qassam Brigades commander Mohammed Deif, whom IDF sources said that they believe the military has a chance of killing if the operation continued. Military sources said Deif had been targeted more than once during the last week of fighting but had succeeded to get away at the last moment. Defense Minister Benny Gantz said in a call with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Tuesday that the operation will continue until Hamas is deterred for the long-term. (JPost / VFI News)
NETANYAHU “DETERMINED TO CONTINUE” OPERATION AGAINST HAMAS: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday brushed off President Biden’s call for a “significant de-escalation” of the conflict in Gaza, saying he is “determined to continue” the operation against Hamas – just as Biden is facing pressure from the progressive arm of his own party on the issue.
Biden spoke to Netanyahu early Wednesday, and the White House said the two “had a detailed discussion of the state of events in Gaza, Israel’s progress in degrading the capabilities of Hamas and other terrorist elements, and ongoing diplomatic efforts by regional governments and the United States.” “The President conveyed to the Prime Minister that he expected a significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire,” the White House said in a statement. But, after a visit to military headquarters hours later, Netanyahu said he “greatly appreciates the support of the American president,” but said Israel will push ahead “to return the calm and security to you, citizens of Israel.” He added that he is “determined to continue this operation until its aim is met.” (Fox / VFI News)
MERKEL CONDEMNS ANTI-SEMITIC ABUSE AND ATTACKS ON SYNAGOGUES: Angela Merkel’s spokesman has warned that Jews no longer feel safe in Germany as he condemned anti-Semitic abuse hurled at pro-Palestinian protests last week.
Police were deployed outside synagogues across the country after protests against Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip descended into racial abuse. ‘What has been heard in the last few days of hatred of Jews and anti-Semitic abuse is shameful,’ Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Monday. He called it ‘particularly outrageous’ that a Jewish journalist had been attacked on the sidelines of a demonstration in Berlin at the weekend. Seibert said this ‘highlights the fact that Jews in Germany cannot move around as freely and safely in some areas and in some situations as is the right of every citizen in Germany. And that makes us angry and it is shameful for all of us.’ (DM / VFI News)
VIOLENT CLASH BETWEEN PRO-PALESTINIAN, PRO-ISRAEL PROTESTORS IN NYC: Violence erupted at a protest outside the Israeli consulate in New York City amid the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. On Tuesday, multiple arrests were made as protesters clashed with police and pro-Israel demonstrators as clashes continue between Israel and the Palestinian people.
Hundreds of people took place in the ‘Free Palestine’ protest, chanting and holding Palestinian flags as they walked down Second Avenue and made their way downtown. Protesters could be heard chanting: ‘Gaza, Gaza don’t you cry, we will never let you die!’ According to a flyer on Twitter, the demonstration was called an ‘Emergency Rally to Defend Palestine .’ It was one of many that took place throughout the country on Tuesday. There were also protests in Atlanta, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Boston, and Dearborn, Michigan, where President Joe Biden was visiting. (DM / VFI News)
GERMAN, CZECH, SLOVAKIAN FMS HEAD TO JERUSALEM: Three European foreign ministers are expected to visit Israel this week, days after the EU Foreign Affairs Committee failed to reach an agreed-upon statement on the fighting between Israel and Hamas.
Foreign Ministers Heiko Maas, Jakub Kulhanek, and Ivan Korcok of Germany, Czech Republic, and Slovakia, respectively, plan to visit Israel on Thursday, on invitation from their Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi. The Israeli Foreign Ministry characterized the trip as a way to “express solidarity and support,” and said more are expected to arrive next week for the same reason and as part of the ministry’s efforts to strengthen Israel’s international legitimacy in Operation Guardian of the Walls. The ministers are expected to meet with Ashkenazi and then visit sites where Hamas missiles struck. (JPost / VFI News)
ISRAEL’S EDEN ALENE ADVANCES TO EUROVISION FINAL: Eden Alene, Israel’s contestant in the Eurovision Song Contest, advanced to the finals on the opening night of the 2021 event, which was held in Rotterdam on Tuesday night.
While there was some concern that the current war would turn Eurovision audiences against Israel, Alene’s flawless performance of the song, “Set Me Free,” during which she hit the highest note ever achieved in a Eurovision performance, charmed voters. Alene, a rising star and Israel’s first representative of Ethiopian descent, managed to contain her disappointment over the postponement of the 2020 contest due to the coronavirus pandemic and conducted herself with quiet grace throughout the year. In addition to her high note, her performance was notable for her dancing and the striking black-and-white Alon Livne costume she sported. (JPost / VFI News)
The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by VFI writers and editors are based on the best information received.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff