Koenig's International News
Washington: 3:05:31 am - August 28, 2014 - Jerusalem: 10:05:31 am - Elul 2, 5774


William Koenig on Twitter
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No guarantee of quiet, but we’ll hit Hamas
hard if attacked, Netanyahu says


Netanyahu with Ya'alon and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz at a press conference in
Jerusalem on Wednesday, August 27, 2014. (photo: Yonatan Sindel, Flash90)

Hamas suffered a near-fatal military and diplomatic blow during Israel’s military campaign in the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday, but he acknowledged that he could not guarantee sustained quiet for Israel — the key goal of the operation. He said the Islamist group had achieved none of its stated objectives after 50 days of fighting, assessed it would be wary of initiating another round of violence, and indicated that planned indirect negotiations on a long-term arrangement next month might go nowhere.

Netanyahu warned that if Hamas were to resume attacks against Israel in any form, the IDF would strike back “sevenfold.”

"What we have is a great military achievement and a great diplomatic achievement,” Netanyahu said in a press conference in Jerusalem, alongside Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz. “Hamas was badly beaten and received none of the conditions it had demanded in return for a ceasefire. [Hamas] demanded a seaport and did not get one; an airport – not accepted; a release of Shalit deal prisoners — not accepted. [Hamas] demanded to have a Qatari brokered deal — not accepted; Turkish mediation – not accepted.”

Syrian jets bomb border post near Israel;
border post was captured by rebels


Soldiers sit atop a tank as they watch the border
with Syria near Quneitra. (photo: Reuters)

Syrian jets shelled rebel positions near a border crossing close to the Israeli Golan Heights that was seized by rebels in some of the heaviest clashes in the strategic area this year, rebels and residents said on Thursday.

Al-Qaida's Syria wing Nusra alongside moderate rebel groups who had launched the attack early on Wednesday on the border post were "holding ground" despite the heavy bombardment, according to a source in the Islamist Beit al Maqdis brigade, whose fighters were involved in the fighting.

During the fighting, two Israelis were wounded by stray bullets, an IDF soldier and a civilian, both in the Golan Heights. Israel responded with artillery fire at two Syrian army positions, the Israeli military said on Wednesday.

Quiet night in southern Israel as Gaza ceasefire holds


Iron Dome interceptor in Hof Ashkelon (Photo: Diti Horowitz, Ynet)

Even though rocket attacks continued until the very last moment, the open-ended ceasefire deal reached between Israel and Hamas which came into effect Tuesday evening held throughout the night and Wednesday morning.

The rocket alerts in the south continued for at least 15 minutes after the truce came into effect at 7 pm Tuesday evening, and two men severely wounded by mortar fire Tuesday succumbed to their wounds and died after the deal came into effect.

In the past day of fighting, over 182 rockets and mortars were fired at Israel, 143 of them falling in open areas, five hitting in residential areas, while 27 were intercepted. Since the collapse of a ceasefire last week, over 1,045 rockets and mortars were fired at Israel, 141 of which were intercepted.

Gaza truce deal:
Crossings to open under Israeli supervision

Talks in Cairo lead to long-term ceasefire accord, though central demands of both sides postponed for later negotiations.

After 50 days of intense hostilities, Israel and the Palestinians reached a framework agreement resembling the understandings reached after Operation Pillar of Defense – the sides will reconvene in a month to start deliberations on central issues like demilitarization and the establishment of ports.

Until the next round of talks, Israel has agreed to open to border crossings into the Strip and allow the transfer of humanitarian equipment and construction materials to rehabilitate Gaza – all under heavy Israeli supervision.

Massive barrage as open-ended truce takes effect;
half of cabinet ministers oppose truce


Education Minister Shai Piron (center) with mayors of towns in southern Israel
on a tour of school readiness due to the current security situation,
on Monday, August 25, 2014. (photo credit: Courtesy Education Ministry)

Five others injured, 2 seriously; Hamas claims ‘victory’; Abbas announces truce in Ramallah, later confirmed by Jerusalem; rockets hit Ashdod preschool, Ashkelon house; six said killed in Gaza strikes

Fireworks and celebratory gunshots are heard in the Gaza Strip as its residents celebrate what Hamas spokesmen have hailed as a resistance “victory” against Israel, Al Jazeera reports.

Army Radio quotes “the most senior and official” Israeli government source confirming that Israel has accepted the Egyptian proposal for an open-ended truce.

The official says the terms do not include any response to Hamas demands, including those for a seaport, airport, prisoner releases, or transfer of funds to pay salaries.

He adds that those issues will be discussed in a month, if the quiet proves itself.

Half of the ministers in the security cabinet are still opposed to the Egyptian framework for a ceasefire, even as an open-ended truce in the Gaza Strip takes effect, Channel 2 reports.

According to the report, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, and Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch say they are opposed to the Egyptian framework, with Communications Minister Gilad Erdan also voicing reservations.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly approved the proposal without putting it to a vote in the cabinet, as the move does not legally require the ministers’ approval.

Israeli source:
US will back Israel in Security Council

The world weighs in on Gaza truce: Kerry looks to work with Abbas on rehabilitation, Blair heads for long-term prosperity, US prepares for 'long road ahead'.

As the political aftermath of the long-term ceasefire between Hamas and Israel began to unfold, a government source in Jerusalem told Ynet Tuesday night that the US would be looking out for Israel's interests among the international community, namely in the UN Security Council, where concrete decisions could potentially be made regarding the future of Gaza, Israel, and the West Bank.

"Israel will have American backing if a decision is made in the Security Council," said the source. Most especially, said the government official, the US would be looking out for Israel's security interests in the Gaza Strip. "The US will be sure that the issue of demilitarization will be included," he said.

Libya crisis:
US 'caught off-guard' by Egypt and the UAE air strikes


Planes have been badly damaged by fighting at the airport - Reuters

US officials say Egypt and the UAE were behind air strikes in Libya last week that targeted Islamist-linked militia.

A senior US official told the BBC that Washington was not consulted about the attacks and was "caught off-guard".

The air strikes on militia positions around Tripoli's international airport were reportedly carried out by Emirati fighter jets using bases in Egypt.

The Egyptian authorities have denied involvement, and there has been no direct comment from the UAE.

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'Koenig's Eye View from the White House'
August 22, 2014

This Wednesday’s edition:

Audio interview for the week: A Middle East discussion with Bill Koenig and Bill Salus

The coming disintegration of Iraq

How Maliki broke Iraq

Obama: The pinprick President

Libya crumbles, as the United States looks the other way

Friday’s edition:

Iran: Threat not forgotten, with a plan to deal with them militarily

ISIS: 'Apocalyptic, end-of-days vision'

Understanding the Israeli-Egyptian-Saudi alliance

Netanyahu: Radical Islamic terrorism threatens the entire world and it is time for us all to confront it

Americans brace for new wave of Islamic State terror

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Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither
slumber nor sleep. - Psalms 121:4 (KJV)


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Haniyeh Hospitalized


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August 28: Being Proven -
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August 28: The Purpose of
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August 28: Is He More? -
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A.W. Tozer's Daily Devotional

Charles Spurgeon's 'Morning and
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Daily Light 'Morning and Evening'
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Charles Stanley's Audio Messages

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Four 'blood-red' total lunar
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