Israeli jets struck targets in the Gaza Strip early Sunday morning in an apparent retaliatory attack, hours after a rocket fired from the coastal Palestinian territory exploded in southern Israel.
The targets attacked were in the northern Gaza Strip, witness accounts said.
The IDF confirmed in a statement that it had struck “terror infrastructure” targets in northern Gaza.
The army also said it would close the Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings into the Strip, in an apparent punitive measure.
“The defense minister has instructed that the two crossings be closed,” the IDF said in its statement. “A decision to reopen the crossings will be made based on a situation assessment and in accordance with security considerations.”
On Saturday night, at least one rocket fired from Gaza landed in an open area near Ashkelon, where residents reported hearing at least one explosion.
The past week has seen an uptick in tit-for-tat exchanges in Gaza, with Palestinians firing small volleys, and Israeli aircraft attacking installations belonging to Hamas hours later.
On Friday, the IDF deployed at least two Iron Dome anti-missile batteries in southern Israel, two days after three rockets were launched at Israel from the Gaza Strip.
Netanyahu chides world over silence after Gaza rockets
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lashed out at the international community Sunday for failing to come to Israel’s defense during a spate of Gazan rocket fire over the last several days, seemingly ignoring a UN statement condemning the fire last week.
Netanyahu said Israel blamed Hamas for the rocket fire despite the fact that smaller Salafist groups in the Gaza Strip had claimed responsibility for it, and noted the lack of international condemnation over the attacks.
“I didn’t hear anybody in the international community condemn the fire, and the United Nations didn’t open its mouth,” Netanyahu said at the start of his weekly cabinet meeting. “I’m interested if the silence will continue even when we exercise with our full strength our right to defend ourselves.”
“The hypocrisy that has spread across the world won’t tie our hands from defending Israeli citizens,” he added.
Following both attacks, Israeli planes bombed “terrorist infrastructure” in Gaza, the army said, without elaborating.
Israeli military sources said they were concerned that the Islamic State-linked group was again threatening to target Israel because of its internal Gaza dispute with Hamas, which has arrested several of its members.
Renewed shelling hits residential areas in eastern Ukraine (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
Artillery shells have hit a local market in the north-western district of Donetsk, a city in eastern Ukraine. At least one person has been wounded, according to the head of the district’s administration aligned with Donbass rebels.
RT's Ilya Petrenko was on the scene at the spot which came under attack. He reports the local market was still burning after taking a direct hit, with self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic’s emergency personnel trying to extinguish it. Two residential homes were also devastated.
After the shelling locals rushed to salvage what remained of the goods on the market, taking food and other supplies to nearby basements turned into makeshift bomb shelters.
According to the Joint Center for Control and Coordination of the Minsk ceasefire agreement, the 82-mm mortars were fired from territory under the control of the Ukrainian military. “Five or six shells were fired, then all fell silent again,” a representative of the Center said according to RIA Novosti.
Shelling resumed after period of silence according to rebel official – Interfax.
Anti-government forces say that residential areas of the town of Gorlovka also came under mortar fire on Saturday.
Saturday’s shellings come following a recent escalation in violence in eastern Ukraine, and a subsequent United Nations Security Council meeting on Friday.
At the meeting, Russian envoy Vitaly Churkin said even the Ukrainian authorities’ supporters in the West are frustrated with Kiev’s “flagrant violation and blunt ignorance of the Minsk agreements.”
The EU's week will kick off in Bavaria, southern Germany, over the weekend where the bloc's key leaders will gather for a meeting of the world's richest nations (G7).
The forum is due to discuss the global economy, trade, and progress toward an international deal on reducing the effects of climate change.
The meeting - attend by the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US as well as EU Council and commission presidents - is set to defined by off-the-main-agenda issues such as Greece and Russia.
Greece's struggle to water down the reforms demanded by its creditors in return for a €7.2bn bailout payment has been a permanent fixture on the EU's agenda since early February - and is being keenly watched by other members of the G7.
Returning from an EU-Japan summit last week, EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker noted in an interview that prime minister Shinzo Abe is "keenly interested" in the situation in Greece and pointed out that Japanese investment in Europe depends on trust in the euro.
Washington, too, has made some pointed statements about the situation, amid underlying fears that Greece exiting the eurozone could have geopolitical consequences - through Russia gaining influence in the country.
US president Barack Obama is set to urge his counterparts to extend economic sanctions on Russia - a decision due at a an EU summit later this month.
While the Greek situation will form the backdrop to the G7 summit, it will also continue to shape the coming week. Greek PM Alexis Tsipras set the scene in a key parliamentary address on Friday in which he rejected creditors' latest offer to secure a deal.
The European Parliament will have a plenary session in Strasbourg where the key issue will be a vote on a resolution on the US-EU free trade agreement, TTIP.
US President Barack Obama set out to enforce the EU's sanctions against Russia on Sunday, at a speech prior to the opening of the G7 summit in Germany.
At his opening speech prior to the Group of Seven (G7) summit, United States President Barack Obama reiterated his desire to enforce European sanctions against Russia.
Prior to the summit, German business interests including the German Engineering Association spoke out, saying that EU sanctions against Russia are hurting their business. According to German news magazine Der Spiegel, US companies have been ignoring sanctions, making deals with sanctioned Russian companies while German companies abide by them.
"Over the next two days we will discuss our short future, global economy that creates jobs and opportunities, maintaining strong and prosperous EU, new trade partnership across the Atlantic, standing up to Russia aggression in Ukraine, combating threats from violent extremism to climate change," Obama said.
EU President Donald Tusk earlier claimed that the only question is whether the EU will consider more sanctions against Russia.
G7 members did not recognize a March 2014 referendum that saw the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea rejoin Russia from Ukraine.
Western leaders have also accused Russia of playing a role in the armed conflict that erupted in eastern Ukraine in April 2014, a claim denied by Russia.
Russia was suspended from the informal forum, then known as the G8, in March 2014.
Judge Napolitano: Why the NSA Loves the USA FREEDOM Act
Why did the National Security Agency (NSA) dispatch hundreds of agents to the US Congress to lobby for the USA FREEDOM Act if the legislation would, as many of the bill’s advocates in the Congress assert, greatly restrain the US government’s mass surveillance program? Judge Andrew Napolitano, the senior judicial analyst at Fox News, answers in a new video commentary that the NSA lobbied for the USA FREEDOM Act because the bill actually provides absolutely no “savings of civil liberties” and does not in any way change the “volume or nature” of the information the US government obtains via mass surveillance.
Napolitano, a Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board member, concludes that under the USA FREEDOM Act there is only “a very slight difference in the manner” by which information is acquired in mass surveillance in comparison to how it has been acquired under the PATRIOT Act. Napolitano explains that, under the USA Freedom Act, NSA snoopers who have been sitting in front of computers located in telecommunications companies’ offices will instead sit in front of computers in NSA offices. From their NSA offices, they then can remotely access everything they had been accessing while inside the companies’ offices.
Watch Napolitano’s complete commentary here:
'Camel flu' crisis: More than 900 schools closed in South Korea to prevent MERS virus | World | News
The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus, also known as 'camel flu', has so far claimed the lives of two people in South Korea and forced more than 1,300 into quarantine as a fresh outbreak continues to circulate in the Middle East – with travellers carrying it to other parts of the world.
As a matter of drastic action, it was announced today by South Korea's eduction ministry that more than 900 schools have been shut to help boost the desperate preventative measures put in place.
The spread of the virus took the Asian country by surprise when the first case of the latest outbreak was reported on May 20.
A 58-year-old woman was the first person to die from the infection after she tested positive for MERS on Monday.
The second fatality was a 71-year-old man, who had been on respiratory support with a history of kidney ailments.
MERS – also known as camel flu – has been spreading across the Middle East since it was first discovered in 2012.
The majority of cases have been recorded in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Ermirates and surrounding nations.
However, cases have also been reported in Britain, France, Holland, Austria and Italy – as well as South Korea - with a Briton tested as recently as three weeks ago.
In 2010, President Obama sold Obamacare with the line “If you like your insurance, you can keep it.”
Millions of canceled policies later we discovered the line was a lie.
Now, Obama and his salesman are saying the Trans-Pacific Partnership, aka Obamatrade, will keep China from taking over the world.
Yet just this week, Obama told a public radio program China can join the pact and in fact has already asked his administration for an invitation to the party.
Obama’s sales job for Obamatrade is as dishonest as his drumming for Obamacare.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Obama’s slip of the tongue exposes something even more troubling than the number of conservatives willing to trust a proven liar in the Oval Office.
Sen. Jeff Sessions read the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership and was shocked to learn that it is “a living agreement” that can be rewritten and updated at any time in the future.
If you think the U.S. Congress will be involved in updating the agreement, think again. Obamatrade creates a new global authority, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Commission, and vests it with powers to enforce the deal and admit new members, even China, on its own.
Tellingly, the midwives pushing Obamatrade through the Senate killed an amendment that would have required congressional approval for China to join. Though not yet born, this new regent already has squires jealously guarding its powers against intruders, including our elected representatives.
Like the EU, the Trans-Pacific Partnership has the ability to admit other countries, simply on the basis of consensus agreement of existing members. That is unlike any previous trade deal the U.S. Congress has approved.
Maybe the similarities between Obamatrade and the European Union are just a coincidence. Maybe.
But this is certain: there is only one way to be sure we won’t wake up one day to find our food, energy and businesses are being regulated not by bureaucrats in Washington, but in a far-away capital.
Sen. Sessions says the White House must come clean on the nature of this “living agreement” with nations known and unknown, and the powers of the new international authority it will spawn.
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