Israeli defense minister: Now’s the time to strike Hamas

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to inflict “very strong blows” on Hamas after fresh violence along the border with the Gaza Strip controlled by the Islamist group. (AFP)
Updated 16 October 2018
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Israeli defense minister: Now’s the time to strike Hamas

  • Israel's Netanyahu previously threatened Hamas with “heavy blow”
  • Hamas has held weekly border protests for the past six months, aimed at easing a crippling Israeli-Egyptian blockade

JERUSALEM: Israel’s defense minister says the time has come to deliver a “heavy blow” to Gaza’s militant Hamas leaders, after weeks of border violence.
Avigdor Lieberman says he’ll recommend doing so when Israel’s security Cabinet meets the following day. The minister spoke on Tuesday during a visit to a military base near the border.
He says it’s “the only way to lower the level of violence to zero or close to zero.”
Hamas has held weekly border protests for the past six months, aimed at easing a crippling Israeli-Egyptian blockade.
The protests intensified as Egyptian-mediated cease-fire efforts faltered. Over the weekend, Israel halted Qatari-donated fuel shipments to Gaza’s power plant in response to escalating violence.
Since March, 155 Palestinians were killed during the protests. Israel says it’s defending its border.


Egypt to host African summits Tuesday on Sudan, Libya

Updated 46 min 27 sec ago
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Egypt to host African summits Tuesday on Sudan, Libya

  • The leaders will focus on “the evolution of the situation in Sudan” where protests continue after the military toppled president Omar Al-Bashir
  • The planned summits are the first to be convened by African leaders on the current crises in Sudan and Libya

CAIRO: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi will lead two emergency summits with other African leaders on Tuesday to address events in Sudan and Libya, his presidency said.
The leaders will focus on “the evolution of the situation in Sudan” where protests continue after the military toppled president Omar Al-Bashir.
They will also seek to “stem the current crisis” in Libya, where commander Khalifa Haftar is leading an offensive on Tripoli, Egypt’s presidency said in a statement.
El-Sisi is also the current president of the African Union.
He will receive the Chadian president Idriss Deby, Rwanda’s head of state Paul Kagame, Congo’s Denis Sassou-Nguesso, Somalia’s Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa as well as Dijbouti’s leader Ismail Omar Guelleh.
The planned summits are the first to be convened by African leaders on the current crises in Sudan and Libya.
For Sudan, the objective “is to discuss ... the most appropriate ways to address the evolution of the situation and to contribute to stability and peace,” Egypt’s presidency said.
The AU on April 15 threatened to suspend Sudan if the military does not hand over power within 15 days of that date to a civilian authority.
President of the African Union commission Moussa Faki is also expected to participate in the discussions, along with officials from Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria.
Another summit on Libya, which will bring together the leaders of Rwanda, South Africa and the Congo with El-Sisi, will focus on “relaunching a political process... (and) the elimination of terrorism,” Egypt’s presidency said.
Strongman Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army launched an offensive against Tripoli, the seat of the internationally recognized Government of National Accord, on April 4.
Egypt is a strong ally of Haftar, who is also backed by the UAE and — according to the White House — was consulted by US President Donald Trump in a phone call last week.