A planned 72-hour ceasefire between Israeli forces and Hamas militants in Gaza fell apart this morning—just a few hours in. At least 40 Gaza residents and five Israeli soldiers have died after an exchange of fire this morning. Both sides are blaming the other for the breakdown of the ceasefire, with Israel saying Hamas militants violated the deal by capturing an Israeli officer and killing two other soldiers.
The ceasefire, set up by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, was an attempt to pave the way to a more lasting truce, but it appears the fighting may escalate after this incident. In the three weeks since Israel began its latest ground invasion in Gaza, it’s estimated that more than 1,450 Palestinians and 64 Israelis have died in the conflict.
Officials in Liberia are asking for international help as the worst ebola outbreak in recorded history continues to grow. According to the World Health Organization, so far, at least 672 have been killed by the virus in Liberia and neighboring countries. The nation’s president issued a statement saying that officials are prepared to take dramatic steps to stem the spread of the deadly illness: They’ve closed schools, instituted a 30-day leave for many government employees, shut down markets and may soon even quarantine entire communities. Some humanitarian officials, like Mike Noyes of Action Aid UK, have criticized the approach of mass-quarantine calling “enforced isolation” a “medieval approach” in an interview with Reuters.
The country’s information minister told the news agency that their government is in dire need of additional international assistance: “We need the support of the international community now more than ever. We desperately need all the help we can get” ... Discuss
Explosions rocked a major hospital in the Gaza Strip on Monday, killing at least seven children. The Israeli military quickly denied responsibility, instead blaming "Gaza terrorists" for the explosions. The military had spent the night calling and texting residents of three neighborhoods in Gaza, warning them to leave their homes and move to middle of the city. Israel also says that four people have been killed and four more injured by mortar shells that landed in an Israeli community in the Gaza Strip.
Hopes that Hamas and Israel would be able to reach a cease-fire agreement ahead of the three-day holiday crumbled after the two sides were unable to agree on the terms. Reportedly, Hamas won't settle for less than the lifting of the blockade on Gaza, and Israel wants to continue in their efforts to destroy Hamas' tunnels during the truce ... Discuss
An American doctor and his colleague have joined the nearly 1,100 people who have become infected by the Ebola virus in an outbreak that has claimed 660 lives in West Africa. Health officials say it is the worst outbreak of the virus ever recorded. Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, who were both working with the Christian aid group Samaritan’s Purse, are receiving treatment for the virus they contracted while treating patients in Liberia. The group says that both of the aid workers were taking extreme caution while working with Serving in Mission—a collaborative treatment project between Samaritan’s Purse and the local ELWA Hospital. Both are currently receiving treatment for the potentially deadly virus ... Discuss