Two IDF soldiers were killed and seven injured during clashes in Gaza on Monday afternoon, the military cleared for publication overnight Monday-Tuesday, bringing the death toll of military personnel since Israel launched a ground incursion into the Strip last Thursday to 27.
The toll is greater than the number of soldiers who died in the two previous major Israeli efforts to thwart Hamas terrorism in 2008-2009 and 2012.
The IDF said one of the soldiers, Sgt. First Class Oded Ben-Sira, 22, from Nir Etzion in northern Israel, who served in the Nahal Brigade, will be laid to rest at 5 pm on Tuesday at the military cemetery in the moshav.
The three other Israeli soldiers were killed in Shejaiya. Two were hit by an anti-tank missile fired into a building. Like the 13 IDF soldiers killed there overnight Saturday-Sunday, they were members of the Golani Brigade. The third may have been killed by IDF forces in error.
Military sources said Monday night that Hamas was trying to utilize the “attack tunnels” it had spent years building before the IDF discovered them and blew them up. They said some 18 of the sophisticated tunnels had been discovered since the ground offensive began on Thursday.
Number of Palestinians killed in Gaza passes 600
UN chief to land in Israel at 2 p.m.
The Israeli army should be given the Nobel Peace Prize for its “unimaginable restraint” in Gaza, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, said Tuesday.
During an address at the Christians United for Israel Summit in Washington, Dermer was interrupted several times by hecklers, but delivered a passionate and warmly received speech in defense of Operation Protective Edge, calling Iran the “Great Evil” and accusing the United Nations and human rights groups of inadvertently aiding Hamas in its war against Israel.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he has stopped talking to US President Barack Obama on the phone, amid growing strains between Ankara and Washington over Syria and the Gaza conflict.
Turkey, a fierce opponent of Syrian President Bashar Assad and an open supporter of armed rebel fighters, felt betrayed when the United States backed away from military action against Damascus in September.
The torching of the church comes on the heels of the destruction of a number of other Christian monuments in Iraq in recent months including the tomb of biblical prophet Jonah, which was dug up by ISIL militants in the east of Mosul.
Many Christians still in Mosul also hurried to leave the city before Saturday when an ISIS ultimatum that Christians convert to Islam, pay a tax or leave came into effect.
"We left Mosul as we saw that [we] were close to being butchered, and under the threat of armed militants. It was serious and firm," a Christian named Mukhalis Yeshua told Shoebat.
"…But the issue that sparked the pain and sorrow was the checkpoints exiting Mosul as the armed men searched the families, and robbed all their money as search parties from the IS (Islamic Caliphate) searched all the women and robbed their jewelry and money, telling them that such money is Islamic property," added the Christian.
Patriarch Sako told AFP Friday that: "Christian families are on their way to Dohuk and Arbil," in the neighboring autonomous region of Kurdistan. "For the first time in the history of Iraq, Mosul is now empty of Christians," he said.
New World Disorder: Emerging Division Between East And West Threatens To Plunge The Globe Into Chaos
The civil war in Ukraine and the crash of MH17 have created an enormous amount of tension between the United States and Russia, and many analysts believe that relations between the two superpowers are now even worse than they were during the end of the Cold War era. In addition, the indictment of five PLA officers for cyber espionage and sharp disagreements over China's territorial claims in the South China Sea (among other issues) have caused U.S. relations with China to dip to their lowest point since at least 1989. So could the emerging division between the east and the west ultimately plunge us into a period of global chaos? And what would that mean for the world economy?
For as long as most Americans can remember, the U.S. dollar and the U.S. financial system have been overwhelmingly dominant. But now the powers of the east appear to be determined to break this monopoly. Four of the BRICS nations (China, Russia, India and Brazil) are on the list of the top ten biggest economies on the planet, and they are starting to make moves to become much less dependent on the U.S.-centered financial system of the western world. For example, just last week the BRICS nations established two new institutions which are intended to be alternatives to the World Bank and the IMF...
This comes at a time when both China and Russia are seeking to emphasize their own currencies and move away from using the U.S. dollar so much.
At this point, it seems clear that Russia plans to permanently decouple from the U.S. economy and the U.S. financial system. Just today we learned that Vladimir Putin plans to make Russia less dependent on U.S. companies such as IBM and Microsoft, and any future rounds of sanctions are likely to cause even more damage to U.S. firms that do business in Russia.
But potentially much more troubling for the U.S. economy is the startling deterioration in the relationship between the Obama administration and China. Some analysts are even describing this as "a tipping point"...
In fact, the Chinese military has grown so powerful that we are now seeing headlines such as this one in The Week: "China thinks it can defeat America in battle".
And the Russian military has made tremendous strides as well. Putin has been working hard to modernize the Russian nuclear arsenal, the Russians now have a "fifth generation" fighter jet that is supposedly far superior to the F-22 Raptor, and they have nuclear submarines that are so incredibly quiet that the U.S. Navy refers to them as "black holes".
If Russia and China stay united, they are more than capable of providing a counterbalance to U.S. power around the globe.
But even if military conflict is not in our immediate future, the breakdown in relations between east and west could still have a dramatic impact on the global economy.