Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh announced Thursday that Gaza will establish a new military academy, the first of its kind, to prepare children for the "phase of liberating Palestine."
The exiled Hamas chief broke into tears Friday as he arrived in the Gaza Strip for his first-ever visit, a landmark trip reflecting his militant group's growing international acceptance and its defiance of Israel.
Frantic efforts to reach a cease-fire in the 7-day-old Israel-Gaza conflict appeared stalled late Tuesday, after negotiators throughout the day confidently predicted an imminent truce and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton rushed to Israel to appeal for peace.
Israel bombarded the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip with about 300 airstrikes Saturday and shot down a Palestinian rocket fired at Tel Aviv, the military said, widening a blistering assault to include the Hamas prime minister's headquarters, a police compound and a vast network of smuggling tunnels.
Hamas rocket squads aimed at Jerusalem for the first time Friday, along with commercial hub Tel Aviv, showing off their expanded reach as Israeli airstrikes pounded the Palestinian territory for a third day. Israel called up 16,000 reservists, moving a step closer to a possible ground offensive in the Palestinian territory.
Israel massed troops outside the Gaza Strip late Thursday, signaling that it was prepared to send in ground forces to engage Hamas militants who bombarded the Jewish state with more than 200 missiles and killed at least three people.
Israel is considering resuming its contentious practice of assassinating militant leaders in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip in an effort to halt intensified rocket attacks on Israel's south, according to defense officials.
An international rights group said Wednesday that Hamas security forces in the Gaza Strip commit rampant abuses against Palestinian prisoners, including beatings with metal clubs and rubber hoses, mock executions and arbitrary arrests, and urged the Islamic militant group to swiftly reform its criminal justice system.
North Korea's ceremonial head of state has vowed to strengthen ties with Iran and reaffirmed a shared hostility toward the United States during a meeting with Iran's leader, state media said Sunday.