Escalation of the Conflict in Israel and Gaza
Israel’s security cabinet unanimously rejected U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s proposal for a temporary cease-fire in Gaza Friday, as bloody clashes continued between Israel and Islamic militants. See video on Fox News
However, it appeared there could be a brief humanitarian pause in the fighting Saturday.
Germany’s two largest airlines said they are not yet resuming flights to Israel even though the European Aviation Safety Agency has lifted a recommendation that airlines refrain from flying to Tel Aviv airport. The F.A.A halted American commercial flights to Ben Gurion Airport Tuesday, after a Hamas rocket was intercepted nearby, prompting some European carriers to follow.
The F.A.A lifted the ban Thursday, but Air Berlin says flights to Tel Aviv remain suspended at least through midday Friday, while Lufthansa says all Friday flights to the airport have been canceled because of ongoing security concerns.
Hamas said it fired three rockets at Ben Gurion airport Friday, in an apparent attempt to cripple operations there. There was no word of the impacts of the strike, although Reuters reported a passenger hall was evacuated at the sound of sirens.
Escalation of the Conflict in Russia and the Ukraine
U.S. says Russia is moving bigger rocket launchers to Ukraine border. The Pentagon said Friday that Russia was moving troops and adding heavier artillery near its border with Ukraine where separatists are battling government forces, the latest escalation of Moscow’s involvement in the conflict.
Russia’s actions in Ukraine ‘gasoline on the fire,’ U.S. diplomat says. The U.S. ambassador to Ukraine had stern words for Russia on Friday, continuing a week in which Washington has toughened its rhetoric against Russian President Vladimir Putin over his nation’s alleged involvement in clashes in eastern Ukraine. More than a week after the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, Ambassador Geoffrey R. Pyatt lamented that rather than “take this crisis as an opportunity to put things back on a diplomatic track, instead what we have seen from the Kremlin is the pouring of gasoline on the fire.”
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