Gaza conflict: UN accuses Israel over Jabaliya attack

Israel attacked a UN-run school housing refugees in Gaza despite warnings that civilians were there, the UN has said.

UN spokesman Chris Gunness said “the world stands disgraced” by the attack, in which 15 died and dozens were hurt.

The Israeli military said an initial inquiry suggested soldiers responded to mortar fire. The military says it is now holding a partial, four-hour humanitarian ceasefire.

Some 1,200 Palestinians and 55 Israelis have been killed in the conflict.

Most of the Palestinian deaths have been civilians.

Fifty-three Israeli soldiers have been killed along with two civilians. A Thai worker in Israel has also died.

Israel launched its offensive in Gaza after a surge in rocket fire from the territor

Hamas, which controls Gaza, says it will not stop fighting until the blockade, maintained by both Israel and Egypt, is lifted.

The current conflict is now the longest between Israel and militants from Gaza.

A 2012 offensive lasted for eight days, and the 2008 conflict went on for 22 days.

 

The Israeli military said the incident was under review.

It said in a statement that its “initial inquiry suggests that militants fired mortars earlier this morning from the vicinity of Unrwa school in Jabaliya”.

It said soldiers “responded by firing towards the origin of fire”.

The military later said a ceasefire would be in force between 15:00 (12:00 GMT) and 19:00.

However, it would only apply to areas where Israeli soldiers were not currently operating and residents were warned not to return to areas they had previously been asked to evacuate.

Lt Col Peter Lerner of the IDF told the BBC: “I hope that Hamas will hold their fire as well, because otherwise things are going to get messier.”

Israeli soldiers are seen atop an armoured personnel carrier (APC) near the border with Gaza July 30Polls suggest almost unanimous support in Israel for the military operation
Palestinians try to put out a fire in Gaza City after an Israeli air strike, 30 JulyPalestinians try to put out a fire in Gaza City after an Israeli air strike
Palestinians gather leaflets dropped by an Israeli plane warning residents of Gaza City, 30 JulyPalestinians gather leaflets dropped by an Israeli plane warning residents of Gaza City

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the truce was meaningless.

“The lull which Israel announced is media exploitation and has no value because it excludes the volatile areas along the border, and we won’t be able to get the wounded out from those areas,” he said in a statement reported by Agence France-Presse.

Israel has repeatedly accused Hamas of using schools and civilian areas as bases to launch attacks.

Last week, another UN-run school was hit, with Palestinians saying at least 15 people were killed.

But the Israeli military denied the killings, saying a single “errant” shell had landed in an empty courtyard.

In other developments:

  • The UN on Tuesday revealed that a cache of rockets had been found at one of its schools in Gaza – the third case of its kind – and condemned it as a “yet another flagrant violation of the neutrality of our premises”
  • A monthly opinion poll of about 600 Israeli Jews by Tel Aviv University suggests 97% support the current military operation
  • A baby who was born after her mother was killed in Gaza, making headlines around the world, has died

Israel stepped up the intensity of its strikes on Tuesday and overnight into Wednesday, saying it had hit a number of tunnels dug by militants to attack Israel.

But the Israeli military said rockets continued to land in Israel from Gaza.

Palestinian officials said Gaza’s port had been destroyed on Tuesday and its only power plant had been put out of action.

Meanwhile, Palestinian factions Hamas, Fatah and Islamic Jihad are expected to meet in Cairo later to discuss a ceasefire.

Map of Gaza

 

 

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Futures up ahead of GDP data; Twitter soars in premarket

The Twitter symbol is displayed at the post where the stock is traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, November 15, 2013.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The Twitter symbol is displayed at the post where the stock is traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, November 15, 2013.

CREDIT: REUTERS/BRENDAN MCDERMID

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures rose on Wednesday as investors sought bargains following a period of weakness and looked ahead to data on economic growth and comments from the Federal Reserve following its latest policy meeting.

U.S. second-quarter economic growth data will be released at 8:30 a.m. EDT, with GDP expected to have grown 3 percent. That would represent a sharp turnaround from the weather-impacted first quarter, when the economy contracted 2.9 percent.

The July ADP National Employment report on private sector employment will be released a little earlier, at 8:15 a.m., and is expected to show 230,000 jobs created in the month, down from June’s 281,000.

Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) surged 27 percent to $49 in heavy premarket trading. On Tuesday, the social media company reported monthly active users had risen a better-than-expected 24 percent in the second quarter and gave a revenue outlook that was above forecasts.

The results could bolster support for Internet and other social media stocks, assuaging concerns the group is overpriced. Facebook Inc (FB.O), which also posted strong results this quarter and is up almost 35 percent this year, rose 0.8 percent to $74.31 before the bell.

Among other earnings, American Express Co (AXP.N) late Tuesday reported adjusted earnings that were in line with expectations, while WellPoint Inc’s (WLP.N) earnings beat expectations.

At 2:00 p.m., the Federal Open Market Committee will release a statement as it concludes its latest policymaking meeting. The central bank is widely expected to trim its monthly asset purchases to $25 billion from $35 billion, which would leave it on course to shutter the program this fall. Investors are looking for any hint on whether officials are growing more anxious to start to reverse their monetary accommodation.

S&P 500 e-mini futures rose 4.75 points and were below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average e-mini futures gained 37 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures rose 13 points.

The S&P 500 has slipped 0.9 percent over the past three sessions, and on Tuesday it closed below its 14-day moving average for the first time since July 17. That level had served as support of late, and staying decisively below it would be a sign that near-term momentum is weakening.

While this earnings season has been positive in aggregate, with more companies than usual beating expectations for both earnings and revenue, there have been some high-profile disappointments that worry investors about the state of the economy. On Tuesday, UPS (UPS.N) gave a weak outlook that weighed on the broader markets, and last week Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and Boeing Co (BA.N) disappointed.

(Editing by Bernadette Baum)

 

Economy seen regaining muscle in second quarter

Economy seen regaining muscle in second quarter

A carpenter works on a new home at a residential construction site in the west side of the Las Vegas Valley in Las Vegas, Nevada April 5, 2013. REUTER/Steve Marcus

 (Reuters) – U.S. economic growth likely regained steam in the second quarter as activity picked up broadly, which would bolster expectations for a stronger performance in the last six months of the year.

Gross domestic product likely grew at a 3.0 percent annual rate after shrinking at a 2.9 percent pace in the first quarter, according to a Reuters survey of economists.

“I don’t think the contraction we saw in the first quarter is reflective of what’s truly going on in the economy,” said Gus Faucher, senior economist at PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh. “We are seeing broad-based growth throughout the economy and that’s going to be reflected in the GDP report.”

The anticipated growth pace will, however, leave output in the first half of the year flat. Earlier in the second quarter, growth estimates were as high as 4 percent, but they were cut as trade, consumer spending and business investment rebounded from the winter slump by less than expected.

Growth for 2014 as a whole could average below 2 percent.

“Irrespective of the precise GDP number that will print, we see no evidence to challenge our baseline view that the pace of economic growth is shifting higher to a three percent path for the balance of the year,” said Anthony Karydakis, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak in New York.

Employment growth, which has exceeded 200,000 jobs in each of the last five months, and strong readings on the factory and services sectors from the Institute for Supply Management underpin the bullish expectations for the rest of the year.

The Commerce Department will release its first snapshot of second-quarter GDP at 8:30 a.m. (1230 GMT) on Wednesday. It will also publish revisions to prior GDP data going back to 1999.

Also on Wednesday, payrolls processor ADP is due to release its private sectoremployment report for July at 8:15 a.m. (1215 GMT) which is expected to show a gain of 230,000 jobs, according to a Reuters poll, down from a gain of 281,000 in June.

LITTLE POLICY IMPACT

Economists expect upward revisions to output for the last three years, noting that an alternative growth measure, gross domestic income, is running above GDP.

The GDP data, which will be released only hours before Federal Reserve officials conclude a two-day policy meeting, is unlikely to have much sway on monetary policy as the U.S. central bank has already dismissed the first-quarter contraction in output as a weather-related anomaly.

“The Fed will acknowledge the improved economic conditions. However, we still believe the Fed will wait at least until the second quarter of 2015 before starting to slowly raise interest rates,” said Maury Harris, chief economist at UBS in New York.

Growth in the second quarter is expected to have been driven mainly by consumer spending and a swing in business inventories.

Consumer spending growth, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, likely accelerated to a pace above 2 percent after braking to a 1.0 percent pace in the first quarter because of weak healthcare spending.

Inventories are expected to have contributed as much as one percentage point to GDP growth after chopping off 1.7 points in the first quarter.

Business investment, government spending and home building likely also lent support to growth.

Trade, however, was probably a drag for a second consecutive quarter as some of the increase in domestic demand was likely met by imports. Domestic demand is expected to have accelerated after almost stalling in the first quarter, which would underscore the economy’s firming fundamentals.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by James Dalgleish)

 

Muslims Mark End of Ramadan With Eid Celebrations

Millions of Muslims across the world celebrated the first day of the Eid al-Fitr holiday Monday, which marks the end of the monthlong fast of Ramadan.

The three-day-long Eid al-Fitr holiday is a time to celebrate the completion of Ramadan, a month devoted to worship and repentance during which observing Muslims abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset every day.

But the mood was dark for millions of people affected by the Syrian civil war, the Gaza war and the militant advance in Iraq. Many were just too busy trying to survive to observe the holiday.

Beyond the Middle East, the few remaining Muslims in the Central African Republic’s capital city ventured out to a mosque under the watchful guard of armed peacekeepers. Others like Aminata Bary stayed at home, still too fearful to venture out for fear of attack from Christian militias who drove thousands of Muslims from the capital this year.

In the Philippines, an insurgent group attacked people traveling to celebrate with their families, killing 21, including at least six children, in the bloodiest incident by the gunmen in recent years.

In Gaza City, streets were largely deserted, as residents huddled indoors for safety. More than 1,040 Gazans have been killed, more than 6,000 wounded and tens of thousands displaced in the last three weeks of fighting between Israel and Hamas, according to Palestinian officials. Israel has seen 43 Israeli soldiers and three civilians killed.

“All we think about is to stay safe,” said Fedaa Abul Atta, a nurse and mother of six. The family was grieving the death of her nephew, killed in an airstrike. Her house among hundreds demolished by Israeli fire in the Gaza City neighborhood of Shijaiyah.

The mood was equally subdued for the more than 1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

“Eid has no flavor here at all,” said Umm Ammar, who fled her country three years ago with her family and now lives in an encampment in Lebanon’s eastern Bekaa Valley. “We want to celebrate Eid in Syria, in our homes.”

Despite frequent car bombings in Iraq’s capital of Baghdad, shoppers packed malls and stores ahead of Eid in anticipation of family gatherings.

Muslims in Indonesia, across the Middle East, parts of Africa, Europe and the U.S. marked Eid on Monday. Millions in Morocco, India and most of Pakistan are still fasting and will likely celebrate Eid on Tuesday. That’s because Muslims use a lunar calendar and a moon-sighting methodology that can lead to the month of fasting ending on different days.

In West Africa, Eid prayers were dedicated to the victims of two tragedies in the region — the crash of an Air Algerie plane that killed 118 people and an ongoing Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 670.

Eid celebrations were less extravagant than usual in Malaysia as it tried to come to terms with loss of two Malaysian Airlines flights. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his Cabinet canceled their celebrations to mourn for the victims.

Similarly, Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam announced that he would not be receiving guests or congratulations because of the situation in nearby Gaza. Turkish President Abdullah Gul reminded people in his Eid message that though Turkey was enjoying a peaceful holiday, many of its neighbors were not.

 

A BASIC QUESTIONS WHY ARE COUNTRIES AND HARD CORE RELIGIOUS PEOPLE ARE FIGHTING FOR RELIGION

WHY THERE IS A LOT OF DIFFERENCE  BETWEEN ISRAEL AND HAMAS..

Jerusalem IS LOCATED IN SAUDI ARABIA AND  It is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religionsJudaism,Christianity and Islam. Israelis and Palestinians both claim Jerusalem as their capital, as Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there and the State of Palestine ultimately foresees it as its seat of power; however, neither claim is widely recognized internationally.

 

Jesus (/ˈzəs/; Greek: Ἰησοῦς Iesous; 6–4 BC to 30–33 AD), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth, is the central figure of Christianity,[12] whom the teachings of most Christian denominations hold to be the Son of God. Christianity regards Jesus as the awaited Messiah of the Old Testament and refers to him as Jesus Christ, a name that is also used in non-Christian contexts.

 

The Kaaba or Ka’aba (Arabic: الكعبةal-Kaʿbah IPA: [ælˈkæʕbɐ], “The Cube”), also known as the Sacred House (البيت الحرام Baytu l-Ḥarām) and theAncient House (البيت العتيق Baytu l-‘Atīq), is a cuboid building at the centre of Islam‘s most sacred mosque, Al-Masjid al-Haram, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is the most sacred point within this most sacred mosque, making it the most sacred location in Islam.[1] Wherever they are in the world, Muslims are expected to face the Kaaba – i.e. when outside Mecca, to face toward Mecca – when performing salat (prayers).

SO GOD JESUS WAS NOT BORN IN A EUROPEAN COUNTRY . HE WAS BORN IN SAUDI ARABIA.

SO BASED UPON THE FACT OF INVASIONS AND INFLUENCE OF RELIGION HOW ONE CAN JUSTIFY THE DEATHS IN GAZA.

Gaza Health Ministry: Palestinian Death Toll Tops 1,000

 

 

CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM BOTH HAVE  ROOTS IN SAUDI ARABIA.

NOW THE ETHNIC GROUPS FROM SAUDI ARABIA DIDNT WENT TO EUROPE, USA AND SETTLED 

DOWN ITS ONLY THE INFLUENCE OF RELIGION AND INVASIONS WHICH HAS BROUGHT A LOT OF DIFFERENCE ALL AROUND THE WORLD. PEOPLE WHO ARE PRESENTLY FOLLOWING ISLAM, BUDDHISM AND CHRISTIANITY IN INDIA , PAKISTAN , AFRICA , ASIA  WERE FOLLOWING DIFFERNT RELIGIONS AT DIFFERENT PERIODS OF TIME IN HISTORY.

IN RUSSIA (SO BASED ON THE FACT RUSSIA SHOULD HAVE FOLLOWED HINDUISM AT A DIFFERENT TIME PERIOD IT INCLUDES CHINA ALSO )

Ancient Idol of Lord Vishnu found during excavation in an old village in Russia’s Volga Region

 

Ancient Idol of Lord Vishnu found during excavation in an old village in Russia’s Volga Region

MOSCOW: An ancient Vishnu idol has been found during excavation in an old village in Russia’s Volga region, raising questions about the prevalent view on the origin of ancient Russia. The idol found in Staraya (old) Maina village dates back to VII-X century AD. Staraya Maina village in Ulyanovsk region was a highly populated city 1700 years ago, much older than Kiev, so far believed to be the mother of all Russian cities.

“We may consider it incredible, but we have ground to assert that Middle-Volga region was the original land of Ancient Rus. This is a hypothesis, but a hypothesis, which requires thorough research,” Reader of Ulyanovsk State University’s archaeology department Dr Alexander Kozhevin told state-run television Vesti .

Dr Kozhevin, who has been conducting excavation in Staraya Maina for last seven years, said that every single square metre of the surroundings of the ancient town situated on the banks of Samara, a tributary of Volga, is studded with antiques.

Prior to unearthing of the Vishnu idol, Dr Kozhevin has already found ancient coins, pendants, rings and fragments of weapons.

He believes that today’s Staraya Maina, a town of eight thousand, was ten times more populated in the ancient times. It is from here that people started moving to the Don and Dneiper rivers around the time ancient Russy built the city of Kiev, now the capital of Ukraine. An international conference is being organised later this year to study the legacy of the ancient village, which can radically change the history of ancient Russia.

Some Conclusions by others:

The discovery of an ancient Vishnu idol in an excavation in Russia only confirms certain ideas I have always had about the Vedic ancient and glorious land and culture.

The report says that the area in which the idol was found is called Staraya Maina. In the Rig Veda, there is a passage that goes, Itham ascati pasyat syantham, ekam starayath mainaa-kaalam. This translates into Staraya Maina is the name of the land of the 45 rivers (on whose banks the noble Rishis conducted the famous Horse Sacrifices), where the sun god descends into one fifty two forty seven. While the first line identifies a location, the second line talks about the exact latitude and longitude at which the solar spectrum produces interference lines at one, fifty two, and forty seven.
The extreme precision of the calculations show the advanced science of the Vedic period, and also a thorough knowledge of SI units (it has been conclusively proven that French scientists stole the system from the Indians.

The discovery of the idol confirms the location in Russia, identified in the Rig Veda as rus soviath sapthamahanagaratham (the ancient and holy land of the 722 flying vehicles). The ancient connections between the Russians and the Indians has been unequivocally confirmed. In Russian orthodox Christianity, worship is conducted very much like in Vishnu temples. The Russians refer to the feast of Vizhnyir Ekoratsya Vikhunh, directly corresponding with Vaikhunda Ekhadasi.

The Russian language also owes a lot to Sanskrit, whose origins 50,000 years ago roughly correspond with the language of the people of the Smritzyi archaeological site, along the banks of the now-dried up Vernstokhlin (Varnasatyakhalini) river system.

It is common knowledge in the archaeological community that the Parashurama Sutra, the basis of all government policy in the erstwhile Kerala kingdom of Vaazhappazhaa, contains the lines Sthulyam Kaamyunishancha kalanam brighahaha. The links between the ancient Russians and Indians almost certainly aided by the 60,00 odd scholars of the University of Vexalate (Sk. Vekhshalatha, Ru. Vekholotsla), in modern-day Central Afghanistan, in the 17th Century BCE, is said to have transferred political ideas through the land of the Vanga (Ru. Vangnya) in modern-day West Bengal.

The Vishnu idol is depicted with a hammer in one left hand while the deconglated seventh arm on the right side holds a reticulated sickle. This hammer and sickle imagery is also found in the Parashurama Sutra, conclusively placing the origin of great and popular Russian political ideology in Vedic India.

The Bringdunthaladeena Upanishad also mentions Kaamyunishcham in its list of land sacrifices, where under the directions of the King, all the land in the country was donated to the performance of sacrifices where Brahmins continuously tickled horny silk-rats (Gandharvamooshicam) until they collapsed in orgiastic exhaustion. The text also clearly identifies a group of scholars referred to as the Paalita Buryam, who oversaw the functioning of the King.

For years, western historical study dominated by Greco-Capitalists, has sought to undermine the Vedic Indian contributions to what came to be 19th and 20th Century world politics. The Greco-Capitalists also attributed the ideology of Communism to the work done by Karl Marx, one of their own. It has been well documented that Marx indeed visited Kerala and West Bengal, and had thorough understanding of the Parashurama Sutra, a copy of which he picked up in the old-book-stall near the Cochin airport. Later on, as part of the larger Greco-centric Capitalist conspiracy, Marx took all the credit himself.

In 1952 in Soviet Russia, an archaeologist, Prof. Varely Smirzkoff of Odessa University found artefacts near the ancient Belarussian town of Kozhikodz. He was the first to speculate that the ruling political ideology of his country could well have had its origins in Vedic India rather than Modern Europe. Stalin funded Smirzkoff’s research until Smirrzkoff was suddenly found to have stolen over 500,000 paper clips from work over the course of his tenure at Odessa University. He was sent to Siberia, and with him went almost all academic proof that would have certainly brought Russia and India closer together.

This recent discovery should resurrect the pioneering work started by Prof. Varely Smirzkoff, who died of Contracted Poloniumitis of the nose, in 1964.

Fighting in Gaza abates, but truce hopes look fragile

A Palestinian man salvages belongings from damaged buildings in the Shejaia neighbourhood, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during an Israeli offensive, in Gaza City July 27, 2014. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

1 OF 12. A Palestinian man salvages belongings from damaged buildings in the Shejaia neighbourhood, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during an Israeli offensive, in Gaza City July 27, 2014.

CREDIT: REUTERS/FINBARR O’REILLY

 

(Reuters) – Fighting subsided in Gaza on Sunday after Hamas Islamist militants said they backed a 24-hour humanitarian truce and U.S. President Barack Obama called for a ceasefire but there was no sign of any comprehensive deal to end fighting with Israel.

Hamas said it had endorsed a call by the United Nations for a pause in the fighting in light of the upcoming Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which begins on Monday.

Some firing of rockets continued after the time that Hamas had announced it would put its guns aside and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu questioned the validity of the truce.

Obama spoke by phone on Sunday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and stressed the need for an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, the White House said.

Urging a permanent end to hostilities on the basis of the 2012 ceasefire agreement, Obama added that “ultimately, any lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must ensure the disarmament of terrorist groups and the demilitarization of Gaza.”

Israeli artillery guns also fired barrages into the Gaza Strip, Israeli media reported, although the objects of the fire was initially unclear.

“Hamas doesn’t even accept its own ceasefire, it’s continuing to fire at us as we speak,” Netanyahu said in an interview with CNN, adding that Israel would “take whatever action is necessary to protect our people”.

Nonetheless, Gaza Strip residents and Reuters witnesses said Israeli shelling and Hamas missile launches had slowly subsided through the afternoon, suggesting a de facto truce might be taking shape as international efforts to broker a permanent ceasefire appeared to flounder.

However, Israel’s military has said it will need more time to destroy a warren of tunnels criss-crossing the Gaza border that it says is one of its main objectives.

Egypt had also destroyed 13 tunnels which crossed into its territory, an Egyptian general said on his Facebook page. It was “a continuation of the efforts by the armed forces in protecting the borders of the state from smugglers and terrorists,” Brigadier General Mohamed Samir Abdulaziz Ghoneim said.

Israel and the Hamas Islamists who control Gaza had agreed to a 12-hour ceasefire on Saturday to allow Palestinians to stock up on supplies and retrieve bodies from under the rubble.

Netanyahu’s cabinet voted to extend the truce until midnight on Sunday at the request of the United Nations, but called it off when Hamas launched rockets into Israel during the morning.

Palestinian medics said at least 10 people had died in the wave of subsequent strikes that swept Gaza.

Some 1,031 Palestinians, mainly civilians and including many children, have been killed in the 20-day conflict. A Gaza health ministry official issued revised figures, saying that 30 fewer people than thought had died in the conflict.

Israel says 43 of its soldiers have died, along with three civilians killed by rocket and mortar fire out of the Mediterranean enclave.

The military said an investigation into an attack last Thursday on a U.N.-run school in which 15 people were killed showed that a single errant mortar shell landed in an empty courtyard, denying it was responsible for the deaths.

DIPLOMATIC BLOCK

Israel launched its Gaza offensive on July 8, saying its aim was to halt rocket attacks by Hamas and its allies.

After aerial and naval bombardment failed to quell the outgunned guerrillas, Israel poured ground forces into the Gaza Strip 10 days later, looking to knock out Hamas’s rocket stores and destroy the vast network of tunnels.

The army says its drive to find and eliminate tunnels would continue through any temporary truce.

A poll published by Israel’s Channel 10 television said some 87 percent of respondents wanted Israel to continue the operation until Hamas was toppled.

Diplomatic efforts led by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to end the conflict have shown little sign of progress. Israel and Hamas have set conditions that appear irreconcilable.

Hamas wants an end to the Israeli-Egyptian economic blockade of Gaza before agreeing to halt hostilities. Israel has signaled it could make concessions toward that end, but only if Gaza’s militant groups are stripped of their weapons.

“Hamas must be permanently stripped of its missiles and tunnels in a supervised manner,” Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said, “In return we will agree to a host of economic alleviations,” the security cabinet member said on Facebook.

Kerry flew back to Washington overnight after spending most of the week in Egypt trying to bridge the divide, putting forward some written proposals to Israel on Friday.

Speaking off the record, cabinet ministers described his plan as “a disaster”, saying it met all Hamas demands, such as lifting the Israeli-Egyptian blockade completely and ignored Israeli terms, such as stripping Hamas of its rockets.

There was no immediate comment from U.S. officials.

The obvious rancour added yet another difficult chapter to the already strained relations between Netanyahu and Kerry, whose energetic drive to broker a definitive peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians ended in acrimony in April.

DESTRUCTION

The main U.N. agency in Gaza, UNRWA, said 167,269 displaced Palestinians have taken shelter in its schools and buildings, following repeated calls by Israel for civilians to evacuate whole neighborhoods ahead of military operations.

But in southern Gaza, residents of villages near the town of Khan Younis attacked the offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross, torching furniture and causing damage, saying the organization had not done enough to help them.

During the lull in fighting inside Gaza on Saturday, residents flooded into the streets to discover scenes of massive destruction in some areas, including Beit Hanoun in the north and Shejaia in the east.

An Israeli official said the army hoped the widespread desolation would persuade Gazans to put pressure on Hamas to stop the fighting for fear of yet more devastation.

The Israeli military says its forces have uncovered more than 30 tunnels in Gaza, with some of the burrows reaching into Israeli territory and designed to launch surprise attacks on Jewish communities along the border.

The military said on Sunday it found a tunnel that led directly into the dining room of an Israeli kibbutz.

Other underground passages, the military says, serve as weapons caches and Hamas bunkers. One official said troops had found it easier to operate during the truce as the immediate threat to their safety was diminished.

The Gaza turmoil has stoked tensions amongst Palestinians in mainly Arab East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.

Medics said eight Palestinians were killed on Friday in incidents near the West Bank cities of Nablus and Hebron – the sort of death toll reminiscent of previous uprisings against Israel’s prolonged military rule there.

The violence has sparked protests outside the region.

Demonstrators in London marched from the Israeli embassy to the Houses of Parliament and Whitehall, blocking traffic throughout the West End. French police clashed with pro-Palestinian protesters who defied a ban by authorities to march in central Paris.

(Additional reporting by Maayan Lubell and Ari Rabinovitch in Jerusalem, Noah Browning in Gaza, Ali Sawafta in Ramallah and Jim Loney and Steve Holland in Washington; Writing by Mayaan Lubell and Crispian Balmer; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky, Stephen Powell and Eric Walsh)