Israeli tanks are moving toward Gaza and Israeli Defense Forces have called up about 16,000 reservists in anticipation of a possible invasion of the Hamas-controlled territory. Israel’s stepped-up military operation against Gaza began this week following repeated missile launches from Gaza into Israel—the latest, this morning, reaching into the southern suburbs of Tel Aviv. Three Israelis were killed by a Gaza rocket launch on Wednesday, and so far 21 Palestinians are reported killed in the conflict.
Israeli television now is reporting rockets fired toward Jerusalem. As a reporter noted on Twitter, even Saddam Hussein didn’t fire Scud rockets on Jerusalem—recognizing it as a holy city to Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
Demonstrators in Jordan are stepping up calls for King Abdullah’s ouster, this time mostly over an increase in the state-controlled price of gasoline.
Two “extremely courageous” Egyptian fathers, both converts from Islam, have sued Egypt’s Interior Ministry for their right to change their religious identity. This issue is at the heart of anti-blasphemy laws and anti-conversion laws that lead to the persecution of Christians in the Muslim world. Meanwhile, Muslim men are being encouraged to seduce and marry Christian girls, as a way to reduce the Christian demographic in Egypt, where the largest population of Christians in the Middle East currently resides.
Iran is near being able to process weapons-grade uranium, according to three diplomats from IAEA nations who spoke to the Associated Press as the IAEA prepares to release its latest report on Iran’s nuclear capability later today. Israel has said Iran would not be ready with weapons-grade nuclear material until next summer.
British Petroleum has been slapped with a record fine—$4.5 billion—by the U.S. Justice Department for fines and restitution associated with the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. The oil giant faces another battle with the U.S. government over civil penalties associated with pollution in the Gulf of Mexico after the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history. Already BP has paid out about $14 billion on oil spill cleanup and more than $9 billion in claims to businesses and individuals.
Former CIA Director David Petraeus is on Capitol Hill today to speak with lawmakers behind closed doors on what happened in Benghazi—after he was summoned over the wishes of the White House. “If the president really wants to get to the essence of the truth as to what happened in Benghazi,” asked one eminent military historian and analyst, “why did he not insist that Petraeus remain at his post until after his testimony clears the air? Certainly President Obama and his advisors understand that the Petraeus resignation at this critical time will only fan the flames of speculation concerning a Benghazi cover-up.”
Pro-abortion advocates are blaming Ireland’s law against the procedure on the death of a 31-year-old mother who had a miscarriage.