The Israeli military announced it has called up 16,000 reservists and Prime Minister Netanyahu vowed to complete the destruction of Hamas's tunnel network in Gaza. Netanyahu said, "We are determined to continue to complete this mission with or without a cease-fire." The military reported it has uncovered 32 tunnels, and that it would take "a few more days" to destroy that tunnels it has located. Additionally, a U.S. defense official said the United States has allowed Israel access to a weapons stockpile for a resupply of grenades and mortar rounds. In 24-days of fighting, an estimated 1,372 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed, as well as 56 Israeli soldiers and three civilians. An Israeli strike on a busy market near Gaza City killed an estimated 17 people on Wednesday. Palestinians believed there was a temporary cease-fire in place, however Israel said that the area was a combat zone. The United Nations has accused Israel of violating international law for shelling a U.N. school on Wednesday that was being used to shelter refugees. U.N. officials said 20 people were killed and dozens were wounded in the attack. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has also accused Hamas militants of committing war crimes.
Fighting between Islamic State forces and Syrian Kurds in the northern Aleppo province has killed at least 49 people. Fighters from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) reportedly seized several Islamic State positions in Ain al-Arab, near the border with Turkey. Meanwhile, Moner Mohammad Abusalha, a U.S. citizen who carried out a suicide truck bombing at a restaurant in northern Syria in May, returned to the United States for several months before the attack.
- Rival Libyan militias fighting near Tripoli have agreed to a temporary truce for firefighters to contain a fuel depot blaze meanwhile at least 75 bodies were found after militias overran a Benghazi army base.
- Yemen's army broke up protests Wednesday over fuel price increases killing one demonstrator and wounding another.
- Hezbollah commander Ibrahim al-Haq has been killed during a mission in Iraq, suggesting the group, which is involved in fighting in Syria, is also participating in Iraq's conflict.
- Turkish expats have begun voting in Turkey's first direct presidential election, in which Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the frontrunner.
Arguments and Analysis
'Americans still support Israel, but views vary by age and race, poll finds' (Gram Slattery, The Christian Science Monitor)
"How one views Israel in the recent Gaza conflict depends largely on race, age, and political affiliation, the poll indicates. While 40 percent of Americans overall see the Palestinian militant group as the prime instigator of the current violence versus 19 percent who blame the Israelis, this gap is smaller - and even nonexistent - within certain demographic groups.
Consider differences among age groups: Among Americans 65 or older, the fault lies with Hamas, as 53 percent of them blame the militant group for the current violence, while only 15 percent blame Israel. Among Americans ages 18 through 29, however, 29 percent put Israel at fault, versus 18 percent who put the blame on Hamas.
Why are Millennials less supportive of Israeli policy? According to Alec Tyson, a senior researcher at Pew, the answer may have to do with religion, as young people are less likely to be members of denominations that tend to support Israel."
'The Sana'a Illusion' (Farea Al-muslimi, Foreign Affairs)
"Last month, U.S. President Barack Obama suggested that Yemen could be an example for how to bring stability to Iraq. 'You look at a country like Yemen -- a very impoverished country and one that has its own sectarian or ethnic divisions,' he said. 'There, we do have a committed partner in President [Abdu Rabbu Mansour] Hadi and his government.' His comments came as a shock to most Yemenis. The contradiction between their country's political reality and its reputation as an Arab Spring success story has always been glaring, but now it had become absurd.
Just days before Obama spoke, demonstrations -- which were largely ignored by the international media, since few foreign journalists are allowed into country these days -- had broken out in the capital. Angry protesters shut down Sanaa's main streets, burning tires and shouting chants against the transitional government and against Hadi, the man who heads it. Yemenis, it seemed, had simply snapped under the strain of severe fuel shortages, kilometer-long lines at gas stations, and 20-hour electricity blackouts."
'The Man Who Haunts Israel' (Michael Crowley, TIME)
"Today, Khaled Mashaal and Benjamin Netanyahu are again adversaries in an international crisis, as Israel wages war with Hamas in what might be its bloodiest fight yet against the militant group that controls the Gaza Strip. In the 58-year-old Palestinian, who is now Hamas's political leader and most visible spokesman, granting interviews to the likes of Charlie Rose and the BBC, Netanyahu faces an enemy who has only grown in stature since their existential encounter. Although he does not rule Hamas by fiat, Mashaal 'is one of the most influential figures in Palestinian politics,' says Nathan Thrall, a Jerusalem-based analyst for the International Crisis Group. Thrall says Mashaal is even a plausible candidate to lead the larger Palestinian national movement once the presidency of moderate Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who is 79, has ended."
-- Mary Casey
DAN BALILTY/AFP/Getty Images