Koenig's International News
Washington: 9:51:43 pm - July 23, 2014 - Jerusalem: 4:51:43 am - Tammuz 26, 5774

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Senator Ted Cruz:
Barack Obama using FAA in ‘economic boycott of Israel’

The State Department and Sen. Ted Cruz sparred Wednesday over the Texas Republican’s accusation that the Obama administration was trying to sabotage Israel’s economy by barring flights into Tel Aviv.

“The facts suggest that President Obama has just used a federal regulatory agency to launch an economic boycott on Israel, in order to try to force our ally to comply with his foreign-policy demands,” Cruz said in a statement Wednesday, pointing to earlier comments from Secretary of State John Kerry implying Israel’s economy would suffer it the country’s occupation of Palestine continued.

The State Department vehemently objected to Cruz’s comments.

“It’s ridiculous and offensive, quite frankly,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said at a press briefing. “The FAA takes its responsibilities very seriously. … They make these decisions based solely on the safety and security of American citizens, period. For anyone to suggest otherwise is just ridiculous.”

Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier fired back: “We find the Obama Administration’s foreign policy to be ridiculous and offensive.”

FAA extends ban on US flights to Israel by 24 hours:
Is this US and European pressure on Israel to agree to a cease-fire agreement with the terror group Hamas?

On Tuesday, it suspended flights for 36 hours following the decision by America's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to suspend travel to and from Israel. A rocket had fallen in a house in Yehud, a residential area near the airport, earlier in the day.

Delta Air Lines will also extend its suspension of flights to Israel on Wednesday amid hostilities between Israel and the militant group Hamas, its chief executive said on CNBC.

"Today ... we are not flying to Israel," Delta CEO Richard Anderson said in an interview with CNBC.

His comments come a day after air carriers in the United States and Europe halted flights to Tel Aviv as turmoil in Israel and the Gaza Strip intensified.

US Airways canceled its flights to and from Ben-Gurion Airport on Wednesday night, saying it would resume air operations if the FAA removes its ban.

El Al says there is 'no chance'
it will cancel flights to, from Israel

Israeli airline El Al said it would not cancel any flights as air travel to Israel from all American carriers and several European ones came to a halt on Tuesday after the Federal Aviation Authority banned US airlines from traveling to and from Ben Gurion Airport for 24 hours.

"There is no chance we will stop operations," an El Al spokesman told the Post.

Transportation Minister Israel Katz called on American aviation companies to return to normal functioning, stressing that Ben-Gurion airport was safe from for take-offs and landings, and that there was no security concern for passenger planes.

"There is no reason for the American companies to stop their flight and give a prize to terror," he said.

Grounded flights but soaring morale

Col. Ghassan Alian during a patrol in July 2013 in Jenin. Col. Alian, who heads the Golani Brigade,
returned to the unit after being injured in battle two days earlier (photo credit: Yossi Zeliger/FLASH90)

Foreign airlines cancel flights and a soldier is MIA, but Israel is as resolute as ever

“We are strong and we will complete this mission” is Yedioth Ahronoth’s headline, quoting Colonel Ghassan Alian, the recently injured head of the Golani infantry brigade. Alian was released from the hospital on Tuesday and immediately returned to the brigade where he spoke to his soldiers.

Live Blog:
Israel's Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.

An Iron Dome Missile Defense battery set up near the southern Israeli town of Ashdod
fires an intercepting missile on July 16, 2014 (photo: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

French Foreign minister Laurent Fabius arrived in Israel Saturday evening and met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

"I don't think the international community should create any kind of symmetry between a democracy legitimately acting in its own self-defense trying to avoid civilian casualties and a terrorist organization that deliberately targets millions of innocent civilians," Netanyahu told Fabius.

Congressman Gohmert:
A friend will not put another friend in this kind of jeopardy: Cut off aide to PA/Hamas and it is time to bomb Iran's nuclear capability, if we aren't going to stop Iran's nukes, let Israel do it

IDF campaign shows rockets in schools and hospitals

The IDF Spokesperson's Unit has ramped up its efforts to rebuff the criticism of Israel and present Hamas as a group which uses innocent civilians as human shields. On Monday afternoon the IDF publishes visuals displaying rocket launchers placed at a number of civilian sites, like playgrounds, schools, and hospitals.

Ukraine Says Two Jets Downed By Missiles Fired From Russia

Two Ukrainian military jets were shot down today according to Ukrainian defense officials who charged that they were downed by missiles fired from the Russian side of the border.

The planes, identified as Sukhoi SU-25 fighter jets, were hit in the Donetsk region of the country not far from where the Malaysian Airlines flight 17 was knocked out of the sky last week. It is also where Ukrainian forces are battling separatist rebels outside the city of Donetsk, one of the last separatist strongholds.

The fate of the planes' pilots was not immediately known.

It happened at 12:30 p.m. Ukraine time (5:30 a.m. ET) while the planes were flying at roughly 6,000 feet, said a spokesperson for the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council.


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