Arabs slam Israel over Gaza
EGYPT: Arab foreign ministers roundly denounced Israel's campaign in
Gaza at an emergency meeting in Cairo Saturday, as Egypt tried to
mediate a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. The Arab ministers decided
that Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi would head a delegation to Gaza in
a show of solidarity, and to review the “usefulness” of their past
diplomacy towards Israel.
The session came amid a flurry of meetings to coordinate an Arab and
Turkish response to the four-day conflict, in which 45 Palestinians have
been killed in air strikes and three Israelis have died in Hamas rocket
At a press conference with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan in
Cairo, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi said his government was in
“vigorous” talks with Palestinians and Israel to bring an end to the
“There are some indications that there could be a ceasefire soon,” he
said, though he added that there were still “no guarantees.” Hamas chief
Khaled Meshaal was also in Cairo to meet Egypt's intelligence chief --
traditionally the point man in mediating truces with Israel -- and the
visiting Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.
A senior Hamas official told AFP the movement was reluctant to agree
a truce because it does not believe mediators could guarantee the terms
of a ceasefire. The “international community” had to put pressure on
Israel, he said.
Israeli raids kill children
GAZA CITY: Israeli raids killed three children and critically wounded
two more in Gaza early Sunday even as the army said there had been no
rocket fire all night amid growing talk of a truce.
Aircraft also hit two media centres in Gaza City, wounding at least
eight journalists, including one who lost his leg, emergency services
said, as Egypt and France pressed efforts to broker a ceasefire and
prevent an all-out ground war like that of 2008-9.
A senior Palestinian official in Gaza told AFP that amid serious
efforts to end the violence, a deal could be reached later on Sunday or
“There are serious talks to reach a truce, and it is possible that
understandings will be reached today or tomorrow,” the official said,
speaking on condition of anonymity.
With France's top diplomat Laurent Fabius en route to the region to
join the truce efforts, an Israeli air strike in central Gaza killed an
18-month-old boy and critically wounded his two young brothers, hours
after warplanes killed two more children in the north.
The latest deaths took the overall toll in Gaza to 49 from Israeli
strikes since Wednesday with more than 450 people injured, the emergency
services said. Nine of the dead have been children.
Two Gaza media buildings bombed
GAZA CITY: Israeli war planes targeted two media buildings in Gaza
City on Sunday morning, injuring at least eight journalists, including
one who lost his leg, medical officials said.
Separately, Israeli air strikes continued in other parts of Gaza,
including the north, where two children were killed in raids on homes.
As the strikes continued, the Israeli army said there had been no
rockets fired into the Jewish state since 9:00 pm on Saturday evening,
although around 7:30 am there were reports of alert sirens in the south
of the country.
And Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniya's office said he had spoken by
phone with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to discuss the ongoing
The first Israeli strike on a media building came around 2:00 am
“At least six journalists were wounded, with minor and moderate
injuries, when Israeli warplanes hit the al-Quds TV office in the Showa
and Housari building in the Rimal neighbourhood of Gaza City,” health
ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said.
The injured were taken to Gaza City's Shifa hospital. One journalist
lost his leg in the attack, Qudra said.
A second hit on a different, nearby media building came around 7:00
am (0500 GMT).
S. American bloc condemns violence
BRAZIL: A major South American trading bloc condemned Saturday the
“disproportionate use of force” in Gaza, calling on Israel and the
Palestinians to immediately halt the violence that has claimed more than
MERCOSUR leaders expressed “their strongest condemnation of the
violence taking place in Israel and Palestine,” said a statement
released by Brazil, which currently holds the group's rotating
They “profoundly lament the lost of human lives and express their
concern over the disproportionate use of force,” it added.
The statement also expressed support for the Palestinians'
controversial bid to secure upgraded membership at the United Nations
later this month, a move strongly opposed by Israel and the United
Hackers down hundreds of Israeli sites
ISRAEL: Online activist group Anonymous said on Saturday it had
downed the websites of dozens of Israeli state agencies and a top bank
in protest over the Jewish state's deadly air assault on Gaza.
The hackers said their operation “OpIsrael” had either damaged or
completely erased the sites of more than 650 private and public
institutions that included the Bank of Jerusalem -- one of the country's
main finance houses.
“Bank of Jerusalem database has been deleted,” the group said in a
tweet next to a link to the lender's non-functioning website.
It also claimed to have briefly downed the foreign ministry website
in protest over an alleged Israeli threat to cut the Gaza Strip's
“For far too long, Anonymous has stood by with the rest of the world
and watched in despair the barbaric, brutal and despicable treatment of
the Palestinian people in the so called 'Occupied Territories' by the
Israel Defence Force,” Anonymous said in a statement.
“But when the government of Israel publicly threatened to sever all
Internet and other telecommunications into and out of Gaza they crossed
a line in the sand.”
The group threatened Israel with the “unbridled wrath of Anonymous”
if it went ahead with the Internet cable cut.
Israel's foreign ministry was not immediately available for comment
on the threat, and no reference to the hack attack was made in official
government statements on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Israeli defence officials have used Twitter to provide
real-time warnings about incoming rockets and also make direct threats