World News Brief, Tuesday July 8

Hamas vows to escalate violence in Gaza; Australian courts put stop to government's plan to hand over asylum seekers; Japanese PM Shinzo Abe meets John Key to talk about free trade; Ukrainian army prepares for showdown with pro-Russia separatists; 60 Nigerian women and girls escape Boko Haram; and more 

Top of the Agenda

Hamas Vows Escalation as Jewish Suspects Confess

Hamas's military wing on Monday vowed to avenge the deaths of fighters killed overnight in Israeli airstrikes (NYT), which came as Gaza militants fired more than twenty rockets into Israeli territory. The latest escalation comes as three Jewish suspects confessed to the murder of Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir in a suspected revenge attack for the recent kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank (Haaretz). Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a condolence call to Abu Khdeir's family, promising that the suspects will face trial. The events follow violent clashes that erupted again on Sunday night in East Jerusalem and Arab towns throughout Israel (WaPo).


"Within a 24-hour span, two of the Israeli defense establishment's long-standing and well-established basic premises were disproved. The first one was that Hamas had been deterred. Seeking to de-escalate the situation, the reasoning went, Hamas was interested in quiet at any cost. The second premise was that the outbreak of a third intifada in the territories was improbable," writes Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor.


"But for Hamas there is, we must be aware, an 'up side' for provoking an Israeli response. Once again Hamas would play the victim, and the condemnations of last month for the kidnappings and murders of three Israeli teens would quickly turn into cries of solidarity with the poor targets of Israeli assaults," writes CFR's Elliott Abrams.


"As the Obama administration steps back from Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in the wake of the collapse of the most recent round of talks in April, this current surge in violence should be seen as yet more evidence that the United States cannot simply feed the meter on this conflict. If left unresolved, it will continue to assert itself, unpredictably and tragically," writes Matt Duss for ThinkProgress.



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Australian Court Halts Asylum-Seekers' Transfer

Australia's High Court on Monday issued an injunction to stop the government from returning 153 asylum seekers to Sri Lanka (SMH), the same day Australia confirmed it had handed over forty-one to Sri Lankan authorities after screening their refugee claims at sea (AP).


NEW ZEALAND: Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe met with his New Zealand counterpart, John Key, on Monday to make headway on Trans-Pacific free trade ties and discuss defense cooperation amid Japan's more assertive defense posture (Japan Times).


Ukrainian army prepares for showdown with pro-Russian separatists

 Sixty Nigerian women and girls escape Boko Haram

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