JERUSALEM (Reuters) - About 800 members of Syria's White Helmets civil defense group and their families were evacuated via Israel to Jordan on Sunday from southwest Syria, where a Russian-backed Syrian government offensive is under way, media said.In a statement, the Israeli military said it had completed "a humanitarian effort to rescue members of a Syrian civil organization and their families ... due to an immediate threat to their lives".It said they were transferred to a neighboring country, which it did not identify, and that the evacuation came at the request of the United States and several European countries.Israeli media identified the Syrians as belonging to the White Helmets organization. Officially called the Syrian Civil Defense but known by their distinctive white helmets, the group has operated a rescue service in rebel-held parts of Syria.Jordan's official Petra news agency said on its website the kingdom "authorized the United Nations to organize the passage of about … [Read more...] about Hundreds of Syrian ‘White Helmets’ evacuated by Israel to Jordan: reports
The Israeli military said on Sunday it had rescued members of a Syrian volunteer civil organization from the volatile border area on the Golan Heights and evacuated them to a third country. The announcement marked the first such Israeli intervention in Syria's civil war, now in its eight year. The military said it was an "exceptional humanitarian gesture" that was done at the request of the United States and its European allies due to "an immediate threat to (Syrians') lives." Israeli media reported that some 800 members of the Syrian rescue organization known as White Helmets and their families were evacuated overnight. The reports say they were transferred to Jordan and would travel on from there to Britain, Germany and Canada. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he misspoke during his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland. Trump said he does "accept" the intelligence community's conclusion that Russia meddled in the 2016 election. Trump also said … [Read more...] about Israel Evacuates Volunteer Group ‘White Helmets’ From Syria
Sections SEARCH Skip to content Skip to site index Middle East Subscribe Log In Subscribe Log In Advertisement Supported by News Analysis ByIsabel Kershner July 21, 2018 JERUSALEM — The Israeli military calls it “the campaign between the wars” — short but increasingly harsh operations against the Hamas rulers of Gaza that are meant to warn off the Islamist militant group and postpone, if not prevent, the next major conflagration. The problem is that each round of escalating violence may instead bring the next war closer. For the second time in a week, Israel and Hamas battled across the Gaza border on Friday. Israeli warplanes fiercely pounded about 60 Hamas military sites after Palestinian gunmen from Gaza fatally shot an Israeli soldier. Both sides then quickly stepped back from the brink. Hamas, which lost three of its members, said Saturday that it was resuming the cease-fire that ended the last war with … [Read more...] about Hamas and Israel Are in a Perilous Cycle. Is War a Miscalculation Away?
Sections SEARCH Skip to content Skip to site index Middle East Subscribe Log In Subscribe Log In Advertisement Supported by ByDavid M. Halbfinger July 20, 2018 JERUSALEM — Wrapping up its business before a long summer recess, the right-wing, religious coalition that rules Israel’s Parliament moved aggressively this week to push through its polarizing agenda, piling up points at the expense of its already weakened foes. On Monday, it empowered the education minister to bar some groups that criticize the Israeli occupation of the West Bank from speaking in public schools. On Tuesday, it accelerated what critics call the creeping annexation of the West Bank by cutting off Palestinians’ access to the Supreme Court in land disputes. On Wednesday, it blocked single men and gay couples from having children through surrogacy. The capstone, though, came Thursday, with passage of a law granting the Jewish people an exclusive … [Read more...] about Israel Cements Right-Wing Agenda in a Furious Week of Lawmaking
Since its establishment in 1948, Israel has claimed to be both a Jewish state and a democratic state. But are those two aspirations achievable, or are they mutually exclusive? Can a country founded as a Jewish homeland – with a “right of return” for diaspora Jews, a flag featuring the Star of David and a national anthem that evokes the “yearning” of Jews for Zion – treat non-Jews as true, equal citizens? It is a fundamental tension that has only intensified as the Palestinian Arab population in Israel – Christian and Muslim – has grown. Today more than 20 percent of the country is Palestinian. Israelis wave national flags outside the Old City's Damascus Gate, in Jerusalem, in May. A new law that defines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people will sideline minorities such as the country's Arabs. Associated Press/Ariel Schalit That’s the backdrop for a controversial law Israel passed Thursday that defines the country … [Read more...] about Another View: Israel’s ‘Jewish state’ law latest assault on its Arab citizens