swagandpassion asks: Thanks SFB…Why did the IDF conduct the air strike?
» SFB says: Some background info: Ahmed Jabari was Hamas’ acting second-in-command at the time of his death, and was rarely seen in public. He was allegedly responsible for organizing the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, as well as the subsequent prisoner exchange for his safe return, and was theoretically being pursued with the same level of fervor that the United States dedicated to tracking Osama bin Laden. After a noted increase in rocket attacks earlier this week, and a rare opportunity to strike at a virtually unguarded Jabari, the Israeli government presumably saw a prime opportunity to strike a major blow to Hamas and took advantage of it. — Scott @ SFB
A step forward for Palestine? Today, the United Nations agency UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) admitted Palestine as a full member. In response, the United States is cutting off all funding to the agency. This will effectively gut one-fourth of UNESCO’s budget. The move is in accordance with US law, which prohibits the government from funding any organization that includes Palestine as a member, prior to the reaching of an Israeli-Palestine peace agreement. Nevertheless, both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas hailed the decision. source
Opening this door does not mean Egypt wants to allow bombs and explosives … Egypt wants to allow safe passage of individuals who want to conduct their lives.Senior Fatah official Nabil Shaath • Expressing his approval for Egypt’s decision to permanently open their Rafa border to Gaza, the region’s main outlet to the outside world. It’s all a part of the Egyptian government’s desire to build a stronger relationship with the Palestinians. Hamas’ Deputy foreign minister, Ghazi Hamad, calls this ”a unique move and a positive development.” As for those allowed to leave the tiny, dense region of Palestine, they’re thrilled to finally get to leave. ”The closure did not affect only the travel of passengers or the flowing of goods. Our brains and our thoughts were under blockade,” said Khaled Halaweh, a 28-year-old man who hopes to study at Alexandria University, but hasn’t been able to leave the Gaza region in seven years. source
Hamas, Fatah sign reconciliation deal: The two Palestinian groups (Fatah, of which Palestinian Authority President Abbas is a member, holds power in the West Bank while Hamas, which won the last parliamentary election in 2006, holds power over the Gaza Strip) have struck a deal to form an interim government and set the stage for elections. The two sides truck the deal after secret meetings in Cairo, and comes as a huge geopolitical surprise. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu issued a stern ultimatum in response: “The Palestinian Authority must choose either peace with Israel or peace with Hamas. There is no possibility for peace with both.” source