ISIS sacrificed French priest at alter before Beheading

UPDATE 17:10 PM: Sister Danielle, a nun who was in the church during the attack, told BFM television that Father Jacques Hamel was forced to the ground by the terrorists, who recorded themselves conducting an arabic sermon at the alter before slitting his throat.

Sister Danielle said:

“They forced him to his knees. He wanted to defend himself. And that’s when the tragedy happened. They recorded themselves. They did a sort of sermon around the altar, in Arabic. It’s a horror,” she told BFM television.

Of her fallen colleague, she said: “He was a great priest.”

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Former European leaders call on EU to up pressure on Israel

Letter sent to EU foreign policy chief urges labeling of settlement products, refers to Netanayahu as an obstacle to peace

A group of former high-ranking European officials is set to send EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini a joint letter Wednesday calling on the union to adopt a proactive and more aggressive attitude to pressure Israel on the Palestinian issue.

The letter, which was obtained by the news site Ynet, is addressed to Mogherini and the foreign ministers of EU countries, with copies to US Secretary of State John Kerry, European Council President Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Parliament President Martin Schulz. Continue reading

Lapid: Israel-US relations in ‘crisis’

After Ynet learns White House officials prevented defense minister from meeting Kerry and Biden, Lapid says ‘We need to act with more respect. We must remember that US funds and technology helped Gaza operation.’

“There is a crisis with the Americans and it needs to be addressed as a crisis,” Finance Minister Yair Lapid said Saturday after ongoing tensions between Washington and Jerusalem led US officials to block Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon from meeting with senior administration officials during his current US visit.

“We mustn’t pretend there isn’t a crisis,” Lapid told a crowd in Tel Aviv Saturday. “Our relations with the US are vital and everything that can be done must be done to end this crisis.” Continue reading

IAF strikes nine military targets in Syria

Israel says direct hits confirmed on Assad army positions; attack comes in response to cross border assault Sunday which killed 15-year-old boy in Golan Heights

The Israeli Air Force launched retaliatory air strikes on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights overnight Sunday, confirming direct hits on nine army positions belonging to the Assad regime — including a regional command center – after a 15-year-old boy was killed earlier Sunday in an attack on the Israeli side. Continue reading

Israel said expecting US military response in Syria

Damascus warns ‘mass of flames will ignite Middle East’ if regime attacked; Assad’s chemical weapons use reportedly discussed in call between US and Israeli army chiefs

Israel believes that the United States will respond militarily to Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons, according to unnamed military sources quoted by the Hebrew website Ynet on Saturday night.

When proof surfaces that the Assad regime used chemical weapons last Wednesday, “the US will act even in the event that the UN Security Council does not take a decision to that effect,” the report claimed, citing estimations by Israeli officials. Continue reading