The top leader of Hamas has dared Israel to launch a ground invasion of Gaza and has dismissed diplomatic efforts to broker a cease-fire in the conflict. The Israeli military conducted a new wave of deadly airstrikes including a second hit on a 15-story building that houses media outlets. And a volley of rockets fired from Gaza into southern Israel included one that hit a vacant school. Hamas says the death toll in Gaza has risen to 107. Israel has had three with dozens injured; and hundreds of rockets intercepted by the technology "the Iron Dome.
Meanwhile, a cyber war has been accompanying rocket attacks against Israel. 44 million cyber attacks have been recorded since the operation began six days ago — with all but one failing, thanks to the recent strengthening of computer defense systems in Israel. The attacks are coming from IP addresses in Europe and the US and are believed to be affiliated with the group "Anonomous". In 2012, Time Magazine named Anonymous as one of the most influential groups of people in the world.
The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews has announced an emergency package worth 2.7 million dollars for families in southern Israel, who are in the line of rocketfire coming in from Gaza . The group has also unveiled new security projects to assist those communities
Meanwhile…. Christian Aid is calling for all sides to exercise maximum restraint and protect civilian life. The aid agency is urging Israel and Gaza to uphold international law and ensure that civilian life is protected.
U.S. president Barack Obama is in Burma. He will meet with democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi. Dan Rivers looks at the significance of the visit.
European Union ministers are looking at a French proposal to have the Syrian opposition National Coalition officially recognized as sole representative of the Syrian people ; and also….to arm the rebels. France has become the only country to recognize the National Coalition. Britain is less willing to take the chance. And in the embattled province of Allepo, the main Islamist rebel groups have rejected the coalition. The National Coalition was formed on November 11th and has decided to make Cairo its headquarters. It is now lobbying for weapons and cash to topple the Al Assad regime.
Meanwhile Turkey is expected to lodge a formal appeal with NATO for the deployment of Patriot anti-missile batteries to protect its border with Syria.
Egypt's Coptic Christians have a new official leader. Pope Tawadros II has been enthroned as the 118th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa. His ceremony took place at Saint Mark's cathedral in Cairo. Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi was not able to attend the ceremony.
But he did send the prime minister in his place.
The Sudanese government has stepped up bombing of civilians in Christian areas of Sudan's South Nuba mountains. A 1-year-old baby was recently killed and an undetermined number of others….wounded. The government has forbidden the media and aid agencies access to the area. Since South Sudan split from Sudan in a referendum last year, and Nuba people believe the government's increasing goal is to rid the area of non-Arab peoples and Christianity. From June 2011 when the military conflict began, the Sudanese military has bombed Nuba churches, schools and farms. Most civilian deaths have been taking place where there was no evident military target or rebel soldier.