The United Nations Security Council has called for an immediate cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza. The Security Council's late night emergency session came Sunday after the deadliest day in Gaza in the nearly two-week conflict. Up to 96 Palestinians were killed Sunday, an estimated 67 of whom were killed in the Gaza City neighborhood of Shejaiya, where 13 Israeli soldiers were also killed in clashes with Hamas militants. On Monday, Israeli forces killed 10 Palestinian militants as they entered Israel through tunnels from Gaza. Additionally, an Israeli bomb hit a home in southern Gaza killing 28 members of one family. Nearly 500 Palestinians have been killed since July 8. In comments captured by an open microphone, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry appeared to be expressing frustration over the number of civilians killed in Israel's offensive in Gaza. Kerry is traveling to Cairo Monday to meet with Egyptian and international officials to push for a cease-fire.
Mortar strikes and a roadside bomb in the Iraqi cities of Baghdad and Mahmoudiya killed at least 16 people Sunday night. The attacks came after five car bombs exploded in Bagdad killing at least 26 people. Hundreds of Christian families fled their homes in Mosul Saturday after militants from the Islamic State issued an ultimatum to the community to either convert, pay a tax, leave, or face execution. Meanwhile, tensions are increasing between Iraq and Jordan after 11 Iraqi Sunni groups met in Amman and issued a statement urging other countries not to side with the Iraqi government in its conflict with Sunni militants.
- The IAEA reported Iran has converted its stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium in accordance with an interim nuclear deal after Iran and world powers agreed on an extension to negotiations.
- Over 700 people were killed in Syria on Thursday and Friday, the highest number of casualties in the span of two days since the beginning of the conflict, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
- At least 47 people have been killed since fighting resumed between rival militias Sunday at Libya's international airport in Tripoli.
- An attack on a checkpoint post in Egypt's western desert killed at least 21 soldiers Saturday.
Arguments and Analysis
'Five myths about Hamas' (Nathan J. Brown, The Washington Post)
"Hamas presents itself as the un-Fatah: Rather than grow fat and comfortable in government or become distracted by international diplomacy, it keeps its eye on the prize of the liberation of Palestine.
But the secret it does not want to share is that it has no idea how to get there. The movement is resilient, cagey and, in a perverse way, principled in its dedication to armed resistance. But it has no map, and all its actions to date - targeting civilians, capturing Israeli soldiers, running in elections, passing laws and caring for the sick - have brought Palestinians no closer to any kind of national goal."
'Violent Conflict Ongoing: Humanitarian Crisis Enfolds in Northern Yemen' (Mareike Transfeld, Muftah)
"The Houthi expansion shows that the NDC, which was mandated by the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative as part of the transition period, has failed to achieve its most important goal: to reconcile conflicting groups within Yemeni society. While the Houthis, officially named Ansar Allah, participated in the NDC, they rejected the conference's outcome and continue to be skeptical that the elite will effect real and meaningful political change."
-- Mary Casey
MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images