Israel’s deadly ceasefire game | Al Jazeera

On August 25 Israel hit a 13-storey residential tower that housed at least 70 families, striking with five missiles over an hour. Israel could have destroyed the entire building with one missile in a few minutes, if it wanted to; after all it wiped out an entire neighbourhood in less than one hour on July 29.  Israel’s deliberate choice to slowly decompose the tower was psychological torture to its residents, to punish them and submit them. It is this same strategy of protraction that Israel used during the uncountable ceasefires and humanitarian lulls it declared during its war on Gaza. [Read more]

Different Operation; Netanyahu’s Speech Stays the Same | Jerusalem Online

Yesterday the PM concluded Operation Protective Edge, but what has changed since the end of Operation Pillar of Defense? Watching the speeches shows that there is more in common than different: “We have killed senior commanders of the terror organization and destroyed thousands of rockets”

The operation is different, the threats and explanations aren’t: yesterday PM Netanyahu concluded Operation Protective Edge after the ceasefire with Hamas. Those with sharp memories and ears can notice the resemblance between the PM’s speech yesterday and that of November 2012, with the finish of Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza. Despite the obvious differences between the operations’ character and length, Netanyahu’s words remain similar. [Read more]

Rebels’ seizure of Syria-Israel border crossing could herald new gains | Times of Israel

The capture Wednesday of the Quneitra crossing on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights takes Islamist rebels one step closer to controlling southern Syria and the country’s central airport in Damascus, said Maj. Gen. (res) Yaakov Amidror, a former national security adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

A linkage between the rebel position in Dara’a and the Quneitra crossing on the Golan Heights “would be very significant,” Amidror said in a conference call Wednesday afternoon, because, although the Islamist forces would still have to fight through Jabal Druze, they could then “threaten Damascus International, which would put huge pressure on the regime.” [Read more]

Hezbollah calls for resistance against IS | Al Monitor

Hezbollah’s military predictions, according to internal Hezbollah sources who wish to remain anonymous, indicate two areas in Lebanon likely to be the next battlefields of the expected war with the Islamic State (IS).

The first is in the northern Bekaa Valley and includes a vast area of barren land with rugged tracts, extending from the desolate area of the Lebanese Sunni town of Arsal, running south to the arid lands around the Shiite city of Baalbek and back into Syrian territory. On a parallel line to the area, there are seven Shiite towns — al-Nabi Othman, Al-Ain, Labwe, Nahla, Younnine, Maqneh and Nabi Chit, the most prominent of which is the village of Labwe, neighboring Arsal. [Read more]

Syrian Rebels Take Control of Crossing in the Golan | New York Times

Islamist opposition fighters in Syria, including members of an Al Qaeda affiliate, took control of the Quneitra crossing point on the demarcation line with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, activists said on Wednesday.

The move could bring Islamist forces within 200 yards of territory controlled by Israel. An activist in the area, contacted by Skype, said a coalition of Islamists, including members of the Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, opened an assault on the government-held crossing early Wednesday. The status of a United Nations force that is supposed to monitor the crossing point was unclear. [Read more]

Egypt’s Brotherhood, ’3rd Way’ call for Saturday rallies | Middle East Eye

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, the group from which ousted president Mohammed Morsi hails, and the revolutionary “Third Way” movement appeared to find common ground this week, with both calling for mass Saturday protests against “military rule.”

The Brotherhood-led National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy, Morsi’s main support bloc, called for protests on Saturday to mark the passage of one year since both groups staged demonstrations – albeit separately – in the wake of Morsi’s ouster by the military. [Read more]


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