Koenig's International News
Washington: 8:38:56 am - August 20, 2014 - Jerusalem: 3:38:56 pm - Av 24, 5774

William Koenig on Twitter
from Jerusalem



Gaza rocket fire continues:
Iron Dome intercepts over Ashdod, Ashkelon

Around 1:30 pm, Iron Dome intercepted one rocket over Kiryat Malakhi and one rocket over Hof Ashkelon. One rocket launched towards Hof Ashkelon Regional Council exploded near a synagogue in the area.

Around 1:00 pm, two rockets landed in open areas in the Eshkol Regional Council. A few minutes later, Iron Dome intercepted two rockets over Ashdod.

Shortly after 12:30 pm, a Gaza rocket hit a home in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council; no injuries were reported. A few minutes earlier, two Gaza rockets fell in open areas in Eshkol; no injuries and no damages were reported.

Shortly after 12:15 pm, Iron Dome intercepted four rockets in the skies of Ashdod.

Around noon, one rocket exploded within the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council; Iron Dome intercepted one. Two more rockets exploded in open areas in the Eshkol Regional Council, near the Gaza security barrier.

Rocket fire renews with sunrise;
IDF told to prepare for ground incursion

Smoke and debris rise after an Israeli strike hit Gaza City in the northern
Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014. (photo: Adel Hana, AP)

Hamas says Israel tried to kill Mohammed Deif; US blames Hamas for ending truce; 50 rocket attacks on center and south; Israel strikes Gaza, pulls out of talks for long-term ceasefire.

The Israeli military carried out a series of airstrikes after Hamas breached a truce and resumed rocket fire at Israel.

Heavy barrage of rockets fired
at Tel Aviv area, southern Israel

Hamas says it fired 40 rockets, claims responsibility for firing M-75 and Fajr-5 rockets at central Israel, J-80 missile at Ben Gurion Airport.

A heavy barrage of rockets was fired at Israel on Tuesday night, at around 10:40pm. Loud explosions were heard in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area, while Code Red sirens blared throughout southern and central Israel.

Some 20 rockets were fired in 20 minutes from Gaza at Israel. Among them, 2 hit open areas in the Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council, and 2 more in open areas in the Eshkol Regional Council. Five hit open areas in the Be'er Sheva area and at least one was intercepted by Iron Dome over central Israel and another fell in an open area. Two more were intercepted over Sderot and two intercepted over Be'er Sheva.

Hamas' armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, claimed responsibility for the fire at central Israel, saying they fired M-75 and Fajr-5 missiles at the Tel Aviv area and a G80 rocket towards Ben Gurion International Airport.

IAF strikes over 30 targets in Gaza

The IDF said it attacked over 30 targets in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday from the later afternoon hours in response to resumed rocket fire at southern Israel.

Hamas: Fired M-75 rocket at Jerusalem
(click for video on M-75)

Hamas TV broadcasts footage of M-75 rockets under production at an unknown location as the deadline for a three-day ceasefire draws near. Israeli forces are also seen gathering near the Gaza border. The 78-hour truce is due to expire at midnight on Wednesday with Israeli and Palestinian officials still locked in tense talks over the ongoing conflict.

Qatar threatened to expel Mashaal if
Hamas okayed Egypt-proposed truce

Is Qatar responsible for the collapse of the cease-fire in the South?

A senior Fatah official is quoted by the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat as saying that the Qatari government threatened to expel the Hamas political bureau chief, Khaled Mashaal, if the Palestinian Islamist group agreed to the Egyptian cease-fire proposal.

Mashaal, who is based in Qatar, has been blamed by Israeli officials in recent days for sabotaging a long-term truce along the Gaza front by repeatedly making new demands that Jerusalem is unwilling to meet.

The Fatah official told Al-Hayat that Hamas has insisted that Qatar be given a seat at the negotiating table in Cairo. According to the official, Hamas wants either the Qatari foreign minister or the head of intelligence to be permitted to take part in the discussions.

Abbas orders probe into Hamas
coup plot revealed by Israel

Mahmoud Abbas (right) in a meeting with the head of the political bureau of Hamas,
Khaled Mashaal, in Doha, on July 20, 2014. (photo: Thaer Ghanem, AFP/PPO)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas ordered his security forces to investigate an Israeli revelation Monday that Hamas was planning a coup in the West Bank aimed at toppling him and starting a third intifada. Abbas indicated the report could severely impact the unity pact signed between Fatah and Hamas in June, saying it represents “a grave threat to the unity of the Palestinian people and its future,” the Palestinian news Agency Wafa reported.

Israel’s Shin Bet security service said Monday it thwarted a Hamas coup attempt in the West Bank aimed at overthrowing Abbas and starting a new round of violence.

The Shin Bet said it arrested more than 90 Hamas operatives in May and June, confiscated dozens of weapons that had been smuggled into the West Bank, and seized more than $170,000 aimed at funding attacks. It produced photos of the confiscated weapons and cash and a flowchart of the Hamas operatives who had been questioned, and said they planned a series of massive attacks on Israeli targets, including the Temple Mount, in order to start a widespread conflagration. Indictments are expected to be filed against at least 70 of the suspects.

US blames Hamas for shattering truce,
after rockets stall Cairo talks

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, opposite,
seen during a visit at Ashdod Port on August 18, 2014.
(photo: Ariel Hermoni, Ministry of Defense/Flash90)

No injuries or damage reported in series of attacks on south; Israel strikes Gaza, pulls out of negotiations for long-term truce; Hamas denies it initiated rocket fire, says Jerusalem torpedoing diplomatic process

Hamas responsible for renewed rocket fire

The United States views Hamas as responsible for the violation of a renewed temporary truce in the Gaza Strip, and is “very concerned” about the resumption of rocket attacks, a State Department spokeswoman said Tuesday afternoon


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