Koenig's International News
Washington: 5:48:50 am - August 22, 2014 - Jerusalem: 12:48:50 pm - Av 26, 5774


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Hagel:
Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'


Hagel speaks during a press briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, August 21, 2014.
(photo: Yuri Gripas, Reuters)

The sophistication, wealth and military might of Islamic State militants represent a major threat to the United States that may surpass that once posed by al Qaeda, U.S. military leaders said on Thursday.

"They are an imminent threat to every interest we have, whether it's in Iraq or anywhere else," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters at the Pentagon. Asked if the hardline Sunni Muslim organization posed a threat to the United States comparable to that of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Hagel said it was "as sophisticated and well-funded as any group we have seen."

Hagel's assessment of Islamic State, which gained strength during Syria's civil war and swept into northern Iraq earlier this summer, sounded a note of alarm several days after the group posted a video on social media showing one of its fighters beheading an American hostage kidnapped in Syria.

Netanyahu:
Hamas leaders are legitimate
targets, no one is invincible


Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ya'alon (photo: Yaron Brenner, Ynet)

Netanyahu says that Operation Protective Edge is not over; does not confirm or deny reports that Israel attempted to kill Hamas military leader Muhammad Deif; says Hamas and ISIS are "branches of the same tree."

Hamas leaders are primary and legitimate military targets in Operation Protective Edge, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday night, as he explained that Israel’s military operation in Gaza is not over.

Israel has not given up on the possibility of a cease-fire agreement, a permanent agreement, or any other diplomatic solutions, Netanyahu said. What is important is to restore security, whether that happens through diplomacy or on the battlefield, he asserted.

Ya'alon:
IDF will continue to strike Hamas leaders at any time and place

Hamas says three of its top Gaza
commanders killed by Israel

The Shin Bet confirms it targeted two Hamas leaders, Raed Al-Attar and Mohammed Abu Shamaleh. A third Hamas member, Mohammed Barhoum, was also killed in the Rafah airstrike.

“The strike was the result of intelligence and operational activities, which led to the detection and attack on two central operatives from the heart of Hamas’s military leadership,” it says in a statement.

Cairo ceasefire talks ‘not dead,’ says Israeli official

Palestinians say negotiations may resume next week; rocket fire picks up at dawn; US joins European efforts for UN ceasefire resolution on Gaza; Hamas vows revenge after Israel hits 3 top commanders.

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Hamas keeps up rocket pressure on Israel;
man seriously hurt along Gaza border


Rocket damage caused to a house in Nir Oz. (photo: Motti Kimchi, Ynet)

Sirens sound in Be'er Sheva, Gaza border communities; Israel says 223 rockets fired in 116 barrages since Tuesday evening.

Rockets continued pounding southern Israel at noontime Thursday, with 6 rockets hitting Eshkol, 2 near Ashdod, one in Kiryart Malachi, one in Sdot Negev and one near Ramle. In the late morning hours, 3 rockets hit open areas in Merhavim, and 5 hit open areas in Eshkol. Before that, 2 rockets hit open areas in Eshkol. Overnight, 2 rockets were intercepted over Ofakim.

In Eshkol, a man in his 30s sustained serious chest wounds when he was hit by rocket shrapnel.

Gaza rocket fire hits new heights:
168 launched in one day


Iron Dome (photo: Avi Rokach, Ynet)

Overcoming previous record of 154 rockets during last operation, Gaza militants launch more than 150 rockets at Israel since last midnight; IDF recalls 2,000 reservists from leave; 60 targets attacked in Strip.

Gaza militants resumed their rocket fire campaign against Israel on Wednesday, with at least 168 rockets launched at Israel since last midnight. Rockets were fired at central Israel Wednesday evening, and over 35 missiles exploded in Eshkol Regional Council in the south, which was the central target for Gaza militants throughout the day. Some 23 rockets were intercepted by Iron Dome.

Haniyeh vows Hamas will 'liberate Palestine'
after top commanders killed by Israel

After the killing of three of its senior commanders by Israel, Hamas vowed early Friday that it would be “strengthened” in its quest “to lift the siege on Gaza” and “liberate Jerusalem and Palestine from the neo-Nazi occupier who destroys houses and kills women and children.”

Hours after the targeted strike on the Hamas commanders, Ismail Haniyeh, the former head of the Hamas regime in Gaza, released a statement that was read aloud by the Hamas television network.

Haniyeh said that Hamas “was saddened over the deaths of our brothers and commanders who went on the path of great ones.”

“We want to emphasize that despite the pain of their loss, the history of the Hamas movement has proven more than once that it is stronger after every targeted killing of one of its senior members,” Haniyeh said.

Mashaal, Hamas defiant after assassinations

Hamas officials remained defiant Thursday despite the assassination of three of the organization’s top commanders in a pre-dawn strike.

“The Palestinian people have prepared themselves for hundreds of years to fight the enemy until the end,” Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal said in an interview with the Turkish news agency Anadul. “We won’t get tired of fighting after a month, a year or many years.”

“There will be no return to negotiations in Cairo before we have ensured favorable circumstances that will force the enemy to meet the demands of the Palestinians.”

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

Hamas admits to kidnapping three Israeli teens


(photo: Shaul Golan, Ynet)

Two months after Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrah were murdered near Hebron, top Hamas official admits groups' operatives behind 'heroic' kidnap, murder of teens.

A senior Hamas religious figure admitted Wednesday that Hamas had kidnapped and murdered Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrah, the three Israeli teens who disappeared June 12th only to be found dead three weeks later after a massive IDF search mission.

Despite Hamas threats, it’s business as usual at Ben Gurion

All flights were operating normally at Israel’s Ben Gurion international airport near Tel Aviv early Thursday despite a warning issued by Hamas’s armed wing in Gaza, officials said.

Ofer Lefler, spokesman for the Israel Airports Authority, told AFP that flights had been disrupted for a brief 10 minute pause but aside from that, everything was operating normally.

“There has been no change to takeoffs or landings. Flights were interrupted for 10 minutes for security reasons but I cannot give any details on that,” he said.

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'Koenig's Eye View from the White House'
August 15, 2014

New additions to Koenig’s Eye View

Insight on the United States from Giora Eiland, Former Head of Israel’s National Security Council

The Gaza conflict analyzed by experts on both sides

Senator: Obama’s Iraq withdrawal ‘incredibly stupid, historic blunder’

Obama Administration actions in Iraq and Syria fueled rise of ISIS

Can Iraq be saved? The US, ISIS and Iraqi political reconciliation

Iconoclast departs Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) with a warning

Qatar’s dangerous game: Switzerland of the Gulf, patron of Islamists

Challenges for the Saudi Royal Family succession

Camouflaged as humane concern, anti-Semitism flourishes

Where is the outrage?

And more ....

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