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April 28, 2015

UN Report Slams Israel For Firing on UN Schools in Gaza, Killing 44

A United Nations inquiry finds that the Israeli army fired on seven UN schools during last summer’s war between the Islamist Hamas and Israel in the Gaza Strip. The UN said the Israeli fire killed 44 civilians who had taken refuge in Gaza schools. The inquiry also found that Palestinians gunmen hid weapons and launched rocket attacks on Israel from several empty UN schools. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said he “deplored” the fact that Israel was responsible for the 44 civilian deaths and was “dismayed that Palestinian militant groups would put United Nations schools at risk by using them to hide their arms.” Israel’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement that “Israel has received an executive summary of the UN Board of Inquiry (BOI) and will study it carefully wit a view to continuing its cooperation with the UN Secretary General and his staff regarding the protection of UN facilities, particularly in periods of armed conflict.”

Kerry: World Closer than Ever to Nuclear Deal with Iran

US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the world is “closer than ever” to reaching a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran, but that key issues remain unresolved. Kerry met Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif on the sidelines of a global disarmament conference, their first meeting since they signed a framework agreement on April 2 for a deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for lifting some sanctions. The comments came at a global meeting on nuclear disarmament, which Israel is attending for the first time in two decades as an observer. The conference aims for a landmark treaty on disarmament. Israel has sharply opposed any deal that leaves Iran with any nuclear program.

Car Bombs Kill 20 in Iraq

A series of car bombs in busy commercial areas in Iraq’s capital killed at least 20 civilians on Monday. Security forces said the deadliest attack was Monday night on a commercial street in Baghdad when a car bomb killed 10 people. Violence in Iraq continues to rage, and more than 5000 people, many of them civilians have been killed so far this year.

Islamic State Kills five Journalists in Libya

A Libyan army commander said that Islamic State gunmen had slit the throats of five journalists working for a Libyan TV station in the eastern part of Libya. The reports had been missing since August when they left the eastern city of Tobruk after covering the inauguration of the country’s elected parliament to travel to Benghazi. On the way, they were kidnapped and their bodies found this week. Meanwhile, the New-York-based Committee to Protect Journalists warns that a double threat of extremist groups and governments has led to “the most deadly and dangerous period for journalists in recent history.”