Hamas probably celebrating new Biden Deal: Biden administration will decide if Israel gets to defend itself based on assurances from Qatar, state sponsor of Hamas, and Egypt, which was caught red-handed with tunnels leading into Rafah to Hamas

Biden-with-Qatars-Emir

Important Takeaways:

  • On October 7, Hamas had a Plan A and a Plan B.
  • Plan A was to destroy Israel and kill all the Jews. Plan B was to pull back, stage ambushes and cry genocide while making up fake casualties and staging atrocities until its Islamist and leftist allies managed to save it while using hostages and their bodies as negotiating leverage.
  • Phase 1. Hamas frees some surviving female hostages and returns the bodies of the others in return for Israel releasing hundreds of terrorists. Then Hamas retakes control over populated areas in Gaza.
  • Phase 2. Endless negotiations for the possible return of the rest of the hostages as Hamas secures its grip on Gaza once again.
  • Phase 3: US sends billions to Hamas to “rebuild” Gaza in exchange for some bodies of hostages.
  • Phase 4: Hamas plots its next attack.
  • The plan, presented as Israel’s proposal, is really Egypt and Qatar’s proposal overlaid on Israel, and now put forward by Biden and endorsed by Obama, whose people are running foreign policy in this administration.
  • The Biden administration will decide if Israel gets to defend itself based on assurances from Qatar, a state sponsor of Hamas, and Egypt, which was caught red-handed with tunnels leading into Rafah to Hamas.
  • This isn’t an Israeli deal or an American deal. It’s a deal by Islamic terrorists for Islamic terrorists. And Obama and Biden, two men who have done more to empower Islamic terrorists than almost anyone in the White House except Jimmy Carter, have put their seal on it. It’s a bad deal for America, for Israel and for civilization.

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Former IDF General warns Egypt may become an enemy state

Egyptian-Army

Important Takeaways:

  • Egypt may become an unstoppable enemy for Israel, former IDF general warns
  • “For years, they’ve been building highways into Sinai. We’re the target. They’re not building the army for anywhere else,” retired Major General Yitzhak Brik said.
  • [Note: with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowing to send Israeli troops into Rafah, a city in Gaza on the border with Egypt, the Egyptian government is threatening to void the peace agreement made during Jimmy Carter’s era.]
  • Israel hoped Egypt would sit in custodianship of the Philadelphi Corridor
  • Regarding the fighting in the Philadelphi Corridor and in Rafah, Brik said, “The Philadelphi Corridor, we all know we have evacuations from Sinai under the corridor. The IDF did not want to sit along this corridor for the next few years because it did not have the power to do so and because there would be many casualties, so it hoped that the Egyptians would do it.
  • “But today, there is a very big problem with Egypt. They are not ready to do it in our place. They also do not agree for us to do it from this side of the corridor, and they threaten that if we start doing various things that will cause masses to cross into Sinai, then they will stop the peace.
  • “Although it’s a poor country, it’s the strongest army in the Middle East today – 4,000 tanks, 2,000 modern ones, hundreds of the most advanced aircraft, and a navy of the best there is.
  • For years, they’ve been building highways into Sinai. We’re the target. They’re not building the army for anywhere else. This means one decision to cancel peace, they become an enemy state, and we don’t even have a brigade to stand against it.”

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New Global Financial System pushes to ditch the US Dollar

Fake-money

Important Takeaways:

  • Egypt, India abandon dollar completely
  • Egypt and India, in a strategic alignment with the BRICS bloc’s de-dollarization efforts, have initiated discussions to eliminate the US dollar from their trade relations.
  • This bold move is a part of a growing trend among BRICS nations to reduce dependence on the US dollar in international trade, and it signifies a significant shift in the global economic landscape
  • The inclusion of six new countries, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Iran, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Argentina, into the BRICS bloc, reflects a growing discontent with the current global financial system.

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Since end of Cold War, U.S. has been world’s biggest weapons dealer

Revelations 6:3-4 “when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • Despite the White House’s rhetoric about supporting global democracy, the U.S. sold weapons in 2022 to 57 percent of the world’s authoritarian regimes.
  • The Biden administration has helped increase the military power of a large number of authoritarian countries.
  • According to their data, a total of 142 countries and territories bought weapons from the U.S. in 2022, for a total of $85 billion in bilateral sales.
  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine didn’t occur until five months into fiscal year 2022, and much of the assistance from the United States to Ukraine took the form of grants (not sales) and the transfer of materiel from Pentagon stockpiles through the presidential drawdown authority.
  • While Biden signaled early on that his arms sales policy would be based primarily on strategic and human rights considerations, not just economic interests, he broke from that policy not too long after entering office by approving weapons sales to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and other authoritarian regimes

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Water levels on the Nile have countries like Egypt worried

Revelation 16:9 “They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Short on fresh water, North Africa turns to desalination for water security
  • Low water levels reveal dry, crusty banks of the Nile River.
  • As the host country of the COP27 climate conference, Egypt kept water security front and center.
  • Egypt is angling to increase its desalination capacity, with the goal of quadrupling output by building 17 new desalination plants over the next five years.
  • The down side the process is energy intensive

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Egypt’s Sisi calls for first bread price rise in decades

By Omar Fahmy

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said it was time to increase the price of the country’s subsidized bread, revisiting the issue for the first time since 1977 when then president Anwar Sadat reversed a price rise in the face of riots.

Sisi on Tuesday did not specify the amount of any potential increase, but any change to the food support system in the world’s largest wheat importer would be highly sensitive. Bread was the first word in the signature slogan chanted in the 2011 uprising that unseated former president Hosni Mubarak.

Bread is currently sold at 0.05 Egyptian pounds ($0.0032) per loaf to more than 60 million Egyptians, who are allocated five loaves a day under a sprawling subsidy program that also includes the likes of pasta and rice, and costs billions of dollars.

“It is time for the 5 piaster loaf to increase in price,” Sisi said at the opening of a food production plant. “Some might tell me leave this to the prime minister, to the supply minister to (raise the price); but no, I will do it in front of my country and my people.

“It’s incredible to sell 20 loaves for the price of a cigarette.”

Previous attempted changes to the subsidy program, which caused deadly bread riots in 1977, were agreed as part of former President Anwar Sadat’s loan deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Sisi’s government has also turned to the IMF, which granted a $12 billion loan in 2016 and a one-year $5.2 billion loan last year, but specified that food subsidies should only reach those most in need.

The loan program also required higher fuel and electricity prices.

“I’m not saying we make it significantly more expensive, to as high as it costs to make it, 65 or 60 piastres, but (increasing the price) is necessary,” Sisi said.

“Nothing stays stagnant like this for 20 or 30 years, with people saying that this number can’t be touched.”

SUBSIDY PROGRAMME

The Egyptian supply ministry will immediately begin studying raising the bread price and will present its findings to the cabinet as soon as possible following Sisi’s remarks, minister Ali Moselhy told local newspaper El-Watan.

Sisi has sought to rein in Egypt’s massive subsidy program by targeting those deemed to be sufficiently wealthy while leaving bread prices untouched.

Hussein Abu Saddam, head of the farmer’s syndicate, told Reuters: “The decision is right and comes at a very suitable time. It helps us finish with the old practices and customs, in which the president was always afraid of touching bread prices, fearing the outcry of the poor.”

A hashtag which translates as “except the loaf of bread” trended on Twitter in Egypt by Tuesday afternoon with more than 4,000 tweets.

Last year the country shrank the size of its subsidized loaf of bread by 20 grams, allowing bakers to make more fixed-price loaves from the standard 100kg sack of flour.

“I hope that this is not poorly received, as if we are planning to make a big jump in prices … we are only talking about achieving balance,” Sisi added.

In its 2021/22 budget, Egypt allocated 87.8 billion Egyptian pounds ($5.6 billion) to subsidize supply commodities and support farmers.

Of that amount, 44.8 billion pounds are allocated towards the bread subsidy.

The government set a wheat price assumption of $255.00 per tonne in fiscal year 2021/2022, from $193.90 a tonne the previous year, according to the budget. Egypt last bought wheat on Monday for $293.74 a tonne c&f.

Wheat prices globally have rallied over supply concerns during the coronavirus pandemic.

($1 = 15.7100 Egyptian pounds)

(Reporting by Omar Fahmy; Additional reporting by Malaika Tapper; Writing by Nafisa Eltahir and Nadine Awadalla; Editing by David Goodman and David Holmes)

U.S., Egypt working closely to reinforce Gaza ceasefire, Blinken says

By Aidan Lewis and Nidal al-Mughrabi

CAIRO/GAZA (Reuters) -Egypt and the United States said they would work together to reinforce a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Cairo and Amman on Wednesday on a regional tour.

Egypt has longstanding relations with both sides in the conflict and played a key role in brokering the ceasefire after 11 days of violence, in coordination with the United States.

“We’ve had in Egypt a real and effective partner in dealing with the violence, bringing it to a close, relatively quickly,” Blinken said in Cairo after meeting with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and intelligence chief Abbas Kamel.

The United States and Egypt were now “working closely together build something positive,” he said. Egypt, Blinken said, is vital to shared aspirations for Palestinians and Israelis to “live in safety and security to enjoy equal measures of freedom, opportunity and dignity.”

Egyptian mediation in the conflict has raised questions whether Cairo might now feel under less U.S. pressure over its crackdown on political dissent that has steadily intensified in recent years.

Asked about the matter at a press conference later in the Jordanian capital Amman, Blinken said he had a “lengthy discussion” with Sisi on Cairo’s human rights record and the issue of detained American citizens.

“I think the fact that we had a lengthy exchange on that with President Sisi is a reflection of the fact that it remains very much on the agenda with Egypt,” Blinken said.

Sisi, who ousted the Muslim Brotherhood from power in 2013, has said there are no political prisoners in Egypt and that stability and security are paramount.

Blinken said he also discussed with Sisi Egypt’s water needs and the importance of finding a diplomatic solution to the giant Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Egypt regards the dam as a potentially existential threat as the largely arid country relies on the Nile for as much as 90% of its fresh water.

GAZA AID

Blinken arrived in Egypt after stops in Jerusalem and Ramallah on Tuesday, when he pledged that the United States would provide new aid to help rebuild the Gaza Strip, including $5.5 million in disaster relief and nearly $33 million for the U.N. Palestinian aid agency there, after hundreds of devastating Israeli air strikes.

Speaking in Amman, he said Washington intended to ensure that the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which rules Gaza and is listed by Washington as a terrorist organization, did not benefit from humanitarian aid.

“In the coming days I’ll be consulting broadly with Gulf countries and other partners to ensure we all contribute to recovery, stability and the reduction of tensions,” he said.

Yehya Al-Sinwar, the Hamas chief in Gaza, said the group welcomed Arab and international efforts to rebuild the enclave.

“We will ease and facilitate the task for everyone and we will make sure that the process will be transparent and fair and we will make sure that no penny goes to Hamas or Qassam (the Hamas armed wing),” Sinwar told a news conference.

“We have satisfactory sources of money for Hamas and Qassam. A major part of it from Iran and part in donations from Arabs, Muslims and liberals of the world who are sympathetic to our people and their rights,” he added.

Egypt, which shares a border with Gaza and has security contacts with Hamas, is likely to have a role in channeling aid, a senior U.S. State Department official said earlier.

During the fighting, Egypt opened the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and its Sinai Peninsula in order to provide medical aid and evacuate the wounded.

It also sent a security delegation to Israel and Gaza to help bolster the ceasefire after it took effect on Friday.

(Additional reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza, Humeyra Pamuk, Daphne Psaledakis and Matt Spetalnick in Washington Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Brazilian drugmaker completes first batch of Russian COVID-19 vaccine

By Leonardo Benassatto

GUARULHOS, Brazil (Reuters) -Brazilian pharmaceutical company União Quimica completed production of its first batch of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine with active ingredients and technology supplied by Russia, the company said on Thursday.

The vaccine will be exported to neighboring countries in South America, since Brazil has not yet approved the Russian shot for domestic use.

Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, which developed the vaccine, said it had seen to quality control of the vaccine ingredients, which were put into vials and packaged for shipping – a process known as fill and finish – at the União Quimica plant in Guarulhos, just outside the city of São Paulo.

The factory’s first batch of 100,000 doses were packed into boxes labeled in Spanish, although the countries receiving them have not been decided yet by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), executives said.

Fernando Marques, chief executive of the family-owned firm, said Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina are interested in buying the vaccine. União Quimica will have a capacity for 8 million doses a month, when Brazil’s health regulator Anvisa approves its use in Brazil, he told Reuters.

Anvisa approval has been delayed after the agency took issue with some documents and missing trial data that the RDIF, which is marketing the shot, has been asked to provide.

Marques hopes approval will be given by June and his company will start producing the active ingredient at its biomedical lab in Brasilia instead of importing it from Russia.

RDIF said it has signed production contracts for Sputnik V with 20 manufacturing sites in India, Argentina, South Korea, China, Italy, Serbia, Egypt, Turkey, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

So far, the vaccine has already been produced in Russia, Serbia, Turkey, Egypt and Argentina, where the first test batch was produced on April 20 by Laboratorios Richmond, RDIF said.

(Reporting by Leonardo Benassatto and Anthony Boadle; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

Netanyahu vows to fight on as Biden urges Gaza ‘de-escalation’

By Nidal al-Mughrabi, Jeffrey Heller and Andrea Shalal

GAZA/JERUSALEM/ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) -Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to press on with operations against Gaza’s ruling Hamas militants after U.S. President Joe Biden urged him to seek a “de-escalation” on Wednesday in the 10-day conflict on the path to a ceasefire.

An Egyptian security source said the two sides had agreed in principle to a ceasefire after help from mediators, although details were still being negotiated in secret amid public denials of a deal to prevent it from collapsing.

Palestinian medical officials said that since fighting began on May 10, 227 people had been killed in aerial bombardments that have destroyed roads, buildings and other infrastructure, and worsened the already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Israeli authorities put the death toll at 12 in Israel, where repeated rocket attacks have caused panic and sent people rushing into shelters. Regional and U.S.-led diplomatic efforts to secure a ceasefire have intensified but so far failed.

Netanyahu has repeatedly hailed what he has described as support from the United States, Israel’s main ally, for a right to self-defense in battling rocket attacks from Gaza.

But Biden put the Israeli leader on notice in a telephone call that it was time to lower the intensity of the conflict.

“The two leaders had a detailed discussion on the state of events in Gaza, Israel’s progress in degrading the capabilities of Hamas and other terrorist elements, and ongoing diplomatic efforts by regional governments and the United States,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.

“The president conveyed to the prime minister that he expected a significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire.”

‘QUIET AND SECURITY’

In a statement released soon after her comments, Netanyahu said: “I am determined to continue this operation until its objective is achieved – to restore quiet and security to you, the citizens of Israel.”

Earlier, in remarks reported by Israeli media from a closed question-and-answer session with foreign envoys to Israel, Netanyahu was quoted as saying: “We’re not standing with a stopwatch. We want to achieve the goals of the operation. Previous operations lasted a long time so it is not possible to set a timeframe.”

In response to Biden’s de-escalation call, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassam said those who sought to restore calm must “compel Israel to end its aggression in Jerusalem and its bombardment of Gaza”.

Once that happened, Qassam said, “there can be room to talk about arrangements to restore calm”.

Hamas began firing rockets on May 10 in retaliation for what it said were Israeli rights abuses against Palestinians in Jerusalem during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The rocket attacks followed Israeli security police clashes with worshippers at al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and a court case by Israeli settlers to evict Palestinians from a neighborhood in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem.

In a 25-minute attack overnight into Wednesday, Israel bombarded targets including what its military said were tunnels in southern Gaza used by Hamas.

Some 50 rockets were fired from the enclave, the Israeli military said, with sirens sounding in the coastal city of Ashdod, south of Tel Aviv, and in areas closer to the Gaza border. There were no reports of injuries or damage overnight but days of rocket fire have unsettled many Israelis.

CRATERS AND RUBBLE

Nearly 450 buildings in densely populated Gaza have been destroyed or badly damaged, including six hospitals and nine primary-care health centers, and more than 52,000 Palestinians have been displaced, the U.N. humanitarian agency said.

The damage has left large craters and piles of rubble across the coastal enclave.

“Whoever wants to learn about the humanity of the (Israelis) should come to the Gaza Strip and look at the houses that got destroyed on top of those who lived in them,” said university lecturer Ahmed al-Astal, standing by the rubble of his house in Khan Younis in southern Gaza.

He said there had been no warning before his home was destroyed in an air strike before dawn.

Israel says it issues warnings to evacuate buildings that are to be fired on and that it attacks only what it regards as military targets.

The hostilities are the most serious between Hamas and Israel in years, and, in a departure from previous Gaza conflicts, have helped fuel street violence in Israeli cities between Jews and Arabs.

The conflict has also spilled over to the Israel-Lebanon frontier and stoked violence in the occupied West Bank.

Four rockets were launched towards Israel from Lebanon on Wednesday, the third such incident since the Gaza conflict began, the military said. Israeli forces responded with artillery fire towards targets in Lebanon.

There was no claim of responsibility for the rocket attack.

In the West Bank, Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian woman who the military said had fired a rifle at troops and civilians at a bus stop near the city of Hebron.

At least 21 Palestinians have been killed in clashes with Israeli troops or other incidents in the West Bank since May 10, Palestinian health officials said.

The latest deaths in Gaza included three Palestinians killed in overnight air strikes, one of them a journalist with Hamas’s Al-Aqsa radio station, officials said.

Gaza medical officials say the Palestinian death toll includes 64 children, and that more than 1,600 people have been wounded since the fighting began. Israeli authorities say the death toll in Israel includes two children.

(Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi and Jeffrey Heller; Additional reporting by Aidan Lewis in Cairo and Ari Rabinovitch in Jerusalem; Editing by Peter Cooney, Michael Perry, Timothy Heritage, William Maclean and Gareth Jones)

Israel pounds Gaza to curb Palestinian militants but rockets still fly

By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Stephen Farrell

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel pummeled Gaza with artillery fire and air strikes on Friday as it targeted Palestinian militant tunnels to try to stop persistent rocket attacks on Israeli towns.

The 40-minute, pre-dawn offensive killed 13 Palestinians, including a mother and her three children whose bodies were pulled from the rubble of their home, health officials in Gaza said.

The Israeli operation included 160 aircraft as well as tanks and artillery firing from outside the Gaza Strip, Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus said.

Palestinian rocket barrages against southern Israel swiftly followed on the fifth day of the most serious fighting between Israel and Gaza militants since 2014.

Egypt was leading international efforts to secure a ceasefire and ensure the conflict does not spread. Security sources said neither side appeared amenable so far but a Palestinian official said negotiations intensified on Friday.

French President Emmanuel Macron spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, urging a return to peace in the region.

Hamas, the Islamist group that rules Gaza, launched the rocket attacks on Monday, in retaliation for Israeli police clashes with Palestinians near al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, in East Jerusalem.

Violence has since spread to cities where Jews and Israel’s minority Arab community live side by side. There have also been clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where health officials said seven Palestinians were killed on Friday.

At least 122 people have been killed since Monday in Gaza, including 31 children and 20 women, and 900 others wounded, Palestinian medical officials said.

Among eight dead in Israel were a soldier patrolling the Gaza border, six Israeli civilians – including two children, an elderly woman and an Indian worker, Israeli authorities said.

SYSTEM OF TUNNELS

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said there were reports of more than 200 housing units destroyed or severely damaged in Gaza and hundreds of people seeking shelter in schools in the north of the coastal enclave.

Israel says it makes every effort to preserve civilian life, including warning in advance of attacks.

“What we were targeting is an elaborate system of tunnels that spans underneath Gaza, mostly in the north but not limited to, and is a network that the operatives of Hamas use in order to move, in order to hide, for cover,” Conricus told foreign reporters, adding that the network was known as “the Metro”.

Israeli warplanes bombed the houses of three senior Hamas military commanders in central Gaza on Friday that had already been evacuated, local residents said.

An Israeli plane also bombed the building that housed the National Production Bank in Gaza City, with bricks and debris sent flying and windows shattered in some nearby buildings, witnesses said.

Dozens of mourners took part in the funeral of six people – members of two families whose houses were hit by Israeli air strikes on Thursday – in the southern Gaza town of Rafah.

Holding the cloth-bound body of his 19-month-old nephew in his arms, Khamees al-Rantissi said their house was bombed without prior warning. “What was this child doing? What threat did he pose for the state of Israel?” Rantissi asked.

Netanyahu said on Thursday the campaign “will take more time”. Israeli officials said Hamas must be dealt a strong deterring blow before any ceasefire.

The Israeli military’s build-up of forces on the Gaza border has raised speculation about a possible repeat of ground invasions during Israel-Gaza wars in 2014 and 2009, but Israel is loath to risk a sharp increase in military casualties.

FLURRY OF DIPLOMACY

Egypt was pushing for both sides to cease fire from midnight on Friday pending further negotiations, two Egyptian security sources said, with Cairo leaning on Hamas and others, including the United States, trying to reach an agreement with Israel.

“The talks have taken a real and serious path on Friday,” a Palestinian official said. “The mediators from Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations are stepping up their contacts with all sides in a bid to restore calm, but a deal hasn’t yet been reached.”

The hostilities have fueled tension between Israeli Jews and the country’s 21% Arab minority. Violence continued in mixed communities overnight after street fighting and tit-for-tat attacks that prompted Israel’s president to warn of civil war.

Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, who led Friday prayers at al-Aqsa Mosque, decried the treatment of the mosque by Israeli forces. He said its “sanctity has been violated several times during the holy month of Ramadan” in what he called violations “unprecedented” since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

Israel’s military said a Palestinian tried to stab a soldier near the West Bank city of Ramallah. The soldier shot the attacker. Palestinian health officials said the man was killed.

Major airlines have suspended flights to Israel and at least two owners of tankers delivering crude oil asked to divert from Ashkelon to the port of Haifa, farther north of Gaza, because of the conflict, shipping sources said on Friday.

There were pro-Palestinian protests in Jordan and Lebanon, on the borders of the West Bank and Israel, and in Bangladesh, where thousands marched from Dhaka’s national mosque.

But the broader picture across the Middle East and the Islamic world, where Muslims are marking the Eid al-Fitr holiday and where restrictions on movement due to COVID-19 are in place in some countries, was noticeably muted.

The U.N. Security Council will publicly discuss the worsening violence on Sunday, diplomats said after the United States had objected to a meeting on Friday.

The Israeli military has put the number of militants killed in Israeli attacks at between 80 and 90. It said that so far, some 1,800 rockets have been fired at Israel, of which 430 fell short in Gaza or malfunctioned.

(Additional reporting by Rami Ayyub, Dan Williams and Ari Rabinovitch in Israel; Aidan Lewis in Cairo, Nandita Bose and Steve Holland in Washington, Michelle Nichols in New York and Emma Farge in Geneva; Editing by Philippa Fletcher, Mark Heinrich and Frances Kerry)