Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ US pushes for truce as Israel/Palestine battle tops 700 dead ]]> Lead story image

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli troops battled Hamas militants on Wednesday near a southern Gaza Strip town as the top U.S. diplomat reported progress in efforts to end fighting that has so far killed more than 680 Palestinians and 34 Israelis. But neither side appeared to be backing down, after Palestinian rocket fire led several international airlines to cancel flights to Tel Aviv and Israeli troops clashed with Hamas near the Gaza town of Khan Younis in heavy fighting that forced dozens of families to flee. Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal later demanded Gaza’s borders be open and an … ]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 15:27:51 -0500 <![CDATA[ UN human rights official warns of possible Gaza war crimes ]]> Lead story image

he U.N.’s top human rights official demanded Wednesday that all sides in the two-week war in the Gaza Strip refrain from indiscriminate attacks on civilians, warning that violations may amount to war crimes. ]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:45:02 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hamas leader open to truce if blockade of Gaza ends ]]> Lead story image

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal is calling for the opening of Gaza’s borders and the end of a more than seven-year-long blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt on the Palestinian strip. Striking a defiant tone, he said Wednesday that Gaza is fighting an occupying force and that the Palestinians are “the true owners of the land.” He says Hamas cannot abandon its terms in a cease-fire agreement, and can accept a humanitarian truce that is supported by a genuine relief program for the besieged Gaza Strip. Meshaal, spoke from exile to reporters in Qatar, Doha. Israeli troops … ]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 15:28:21 -0500 <![CDATA[ FAA continues ban on US flights to Tel Aviv ]]>

The Federal Aviation Administration says it will continue its ban on U.S. airline flights to Tel Aviv while assessing the danger of rocket attacks. ]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 12:20:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ U.S.: Russia ‘created the conditions’ that led to shooting down plane ]]>

Senior U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that Russia was responsible for “creating the conditions” that led to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but they offered no evidence of direct Russian government involvement. The intelligence officials were cautious in their assessment, noting that while the Russians have been arming separatists in eastern Ukraine, the U.S. had no direct evidence that the missile used to shoot down the passenger jet came from Russia. ]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 23:47:51 -0500 <![CDATA[ UN chief believes that fighting in Gaza will end “in the very near future” ]]> Lead story image

The U.N. secretary-general said Tuesday it is his “hope and belief” that his emergency mission to the Middle East will lead to an end to the fighting between Hamas and Israel “in the very near future.” ]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:51:43 -0500 <![CDATA[ Nigerian president meets parents of abducted girls ]]> Lead story image

President Goodluck Jonathan met for the first time Tuesday with parents of 219 kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls and dozens of classmates who managed to escape from their Islamic extremist captors. ]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:46:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Separatist rebels release bodies, black boxes from downed jet ]]> Lead story image

HRABOVE, Ukraine — Bowing to international pressure, pro-Moscow separatists released a train packed with bodies and handed over the black boxes from the downed Malaysia Airlines plane, four days after it plunged into rebel-held eastern Ukraine. ]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 22:30:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Gaza death toll rises as effort to push for ceasefire intensifies ]]> Lead story image

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — A high-level attempt by the U.N. chief and the U.S. secretary of state to end deadly Israel-Hamas fighting was off to a rough start Monday: Gaza’s Hamas rulers signaled they won’t agree to an unconditional cease-fire, Israel’s prime minister said he’ll do whatever is necessary to keep Israelis safe from Hamas attacks and the overall Palestinian death toll surpassed 560. ]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 22:14:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Rebels take full control of bodies after Malaysian plane crash ]]> Lead story image

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Ukraine’s separatists were to blame for the downing of the aircraft, adding there was “extraordinary circumstantial evidence” that showed Russia was almost certainly complicit in arming the rebels. “There’s a stacking up of evidence here, which Russia needs to help account for. We are not drawing the final conclusion here. But there is a lot that points at the need for Russia to be responsible,” Kerry said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” television show. ]]> Sun, 20 Jul 2014 16:43:17 -0500 <![CDATA[ Thousands flee major battle with Israel in Gaza ]]> Lead story image

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Escalating their ground offensive, Israeli troops backed by tanks and warplanes battled Hamas militants in a crowded neighborhood of Gaza City early Sunday. The fighting, including heavy Israeli tank fire, killed scores of Palestinians, forced thousands to flee and damaged or destroyed dozens of homes. ]]> Sun, 20 Jul 2014 10:04:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Monitors try to secure Ukraine plane crash site ]]> Lead story image

HRABOVE, Ukraine — International monitors moved gingerly Saturday through fields reeking of the decomposing corpses that fell from a Malaysian airliner shot down over rebel-held eastern Ukraine, trying to secure the sprawling site in hopes that a credible investigation can be conducted. But before inspectors ever reach the scene, doubts arose about whether evidence was being compromised. The Ukrainian government and separatist rebels accuse each other of firing a surface-to-air missile at the Boeing 777 with almost 300 people aboard. Many see the hand of Russia, either for its suspected support of the insurgents or perhaps for firing the missile … ]]> Sat, 19 Jul 2014 21:05:21 -0500 <![CDATA[ Israelis destroy Hamas tunnels in Gaza offensive ]]> Lead story image

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israel said it widened its ground offensive early Sunday, sending more troops into Gaza after demolishing more than a dozen Hamas tunnels and intensifying tank fire on border areas. Loud explosions shook Gaza as Israeli flares lit up the night sky and Israeli fighter jets flew low across the densely populated territory. Since the start of Israel-Hamas fighting almost two weeks ago, 348 Palestinians were killed and 2,700 wounded in Israeli air and artillery strikes, according to Palestinian health officials. One-fourth of the deaths were reported since the start of the ground offensive late Thursday, … ]]> Sat, 19 Jul 2014 23:50:41 -0500 <![CDATA[ Israeli troops push deeper into Gaza ]]> Lead story image

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israeli troops pushed deeper into Gaza on Friday in a ground offensive that officials said could last up to two weeks as the prime minister ordered the military to prepare for a “significantly” wider campaign. The assault raised risks of a bloodier conflict amid escalating Palestinian civilian casualties and the first Israeli military death — and brought questions of how far Israel will go to cripple Gaza’s Hamas rulers. Officially, the goal remains to destroy a network of tunnels militants use to infiltrate Israel and attack civilians. In its first day on the ground in … ]]> Sat, 19 Jul 2014 02:09:06 -0500 <![CDATA[ Malaysia says jetliner did not make distress call ]]> Lead story image

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — The Malaysia Airlines jetliner that went down in war-torn Ukraine with 298 people aboard did not make any distress call, Malaysia’s prime minister said Friday, adding that its flight route had been declared safe by the global civil aviation body. ]]> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 23:52:00 -0500