The Bedouin kidnappers who grabbed Winnie Beyene, an Eritrean refugee, in the Sudan and brought her to the Sinai desert told her that they would harvest her three young children’s organs if she didn’t come up with $30,000.

Beyene and some of the 60,000 other African migrants who sought refuge in Israel share their harrowing accounts of journeying to the promised land.

Palestinian girls run away after an Israeli air strike on a house in the northern Gaza Strip on Nov. 18. Photo by Mohammed Salem/Reuters.
In Gaza, there are no sirens, no warnings and no bomb shelters. “We put plastic on the glass so that if it’s shattered during an air strike we won’t get hurt,” 35-year-old Marwa Bahar relays by telephone. “We run out to get supplies — bread, gasoline for generators and water — whenever we can. During bombing it’s safer in the apartment stairwell but nowhere is really safe.”
A colleague told me about the Almadhun family — four of the five family members are deaf. There’s no electricity in Gaza so they have no way of receiving television cues or audio warnings of any sort when air and naval strikes are ongoing.
"We also stay together. My sister lives on the 10th floor and now she has move into our place on the second floor," added Bahar. "If people live in different parts of the city, they stay together in one place. It helps with support. If anything, this situation makes people more committed to Hamas."
His face smeared with soot and white dust coating his black T-shirt , 30-year-old Ahmed Saleh stands atop the rubble that had been his home a day before.
"It was morning and we were sleeping. The walls collapsed. We didn’t understand what was happening and we couldn’t find the children. We had to dig them out. They were buried underneath the rubble."
The irony is that as European, U.N., U.S., Egyptian and Arab League leaders work overtime to hammer out a ceasefire deal, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Israel continue pounding each other. And the death toll is mounting in Gaza.

Palestinian girls run away after an Israeli air strike on a house in the northern Gaza Strip on Nov. 18. Photo by Mohammed Salem/Reuters.

In Gaza, there are no sirens, no warnings and no bomb shelters. “We put plastic on the glass so that if it’s shattered during an air strike we won’t get hurt,” 35-year-old Marwa Bahar relays by telephone. “We run out to get supplies — bread, gasoline for generators and water — whenever we can. During bombing it’s safer in the apartment stairwell but nowhere is really safe.”

A colleague told me about the Almadhun family — four of the five family members are deaf. There’s no electricity in Gaza so they have no way of receiving television cues or audio warnings of any sort when air and naval strikes are ongoing.

"We also stay together. My sister lives on the 10th floor and now she has move into our place on the second floor," added Bahar. "If people live in different parts of the city, they stay together in one place. It helps with support. If anything, this situation makes people more committed to Hamas."

His face smeared with soot and white dust coating his black T-shirt , 30-year-old Ahmed Saleh stands atop the rubble that had been his home a day before.

"It was morning and we were sleeping. The walls collapsed. We didn’t understand what was happening and we couldn’t find the children. We had to dig them out. They were buried underneath the rubble."

The irony is that as European, U.N., U.S., Egyptian and Arab League leaders work overtime to hammer out a ceasefire deal, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Israel continue pounding each other. And the death toll is mounting in Gaza.


Hamas official: “There is no more peace process”
Hamas representative Usamah Hamdan agreed to come on the NewsHour’s broadcast to be interviewed by correspondent Ray Suarez by phone. But Hamdan cancelled the interview shortly before it was expected to happen. 
We were intending to run the interview following Suarez’s interview with Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren.
During an off-camera conversation with the NewsHour earlier in the day, Hamdan blamed the Israel’s military offensive in Gaza on Israeli politics:

"I think the Israelis are trying to gain some votes in the upcoming election," he said, referring to the Israeli Parliamentary elections scheduled for Jan. 2013. "They are trying to improve their chances with the voters."
Hamdan also defended rocket attacks launched from Gaza into Israeli population centers as the only possible response to the Israel’s technological advantage. “I think when you are facing an occupation, an armed occupation with air support and the best weapons made in the U.S.A., what do you do? You must do the best you can.” He allowed that from a military standpoint, the Gazans’ “weapons will not be equal to what the Israelis have, but we must resist until we are liberated.”
Hamdan also said the lack of a peace process as a reason to continue rocket attacks into Israel. “There is no more peace process,” he said. “Abu Mazen [Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas] is considered an obstacle by Israel and Netanyahu is not interested…So what are we to do? We must liberate our own.”
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Hamas official: “There is no more peace process”

Hamas representative Usamah Hamdan agreed to come on the NewsHour’s broadcast to be interviewed by correspondent Ray Suarez by phone. But Hamdan cancelled the interview shortly before it was expected to happen. 

We were intending to run the interview following Suarez’s interview with Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren.

During an off-camera conversation with the NewsHour earlier in the day, Hamdan blamed the Israel’s military offensive in Gaza on Israeli politics:

"I think the Israelis are trying to gain some votes in the upcoming election," he said, referring to the Israeli Parliamentary elections scheduled for Jan. 2013. "They are trying to improve their chances with the voters."

Hamdan also defended rocket attacks launched from Gaza into Israeli population centers as the only possible response to the Israel’s technological advantage. “I think when you are facing an occupation, an armed occupation with air support and the best weapons made in the U.S.A., what do you do? You must do the best you can.” He allowed that from a military standpoint, the Gazans’ “weapons will not be equal to what the Israelis have, but we must resist until we are liberated.”

Hamdan also said the lack of a peace process as a reason to continue rocket attacks into Israel. “There is no more peace process,” he said. “Abu Mazen [Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas] is considered an obstacle by Israel and Netanyahu is not interested…So what are we to do? We must liberate our own.”

More

ICYMI: Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday afternoon that U.S. authorities had uncovered and stopped a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador and blow up the embassies of Saudi Arabia and Israel in Washington, D.C.

And video of Holder taking questions on the alleged terror plot

If you missed it- full video of Netanyahu’s speech.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Israel an “unwavering ally” of the United States in an address before Congress, but said that in a two-state solution any “compromise must reflect the dramatic demographic changes that have occurred since 1967.” 

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If you missed it: full video of President Obama’s Middle East Speech.

More coverage