Hamas's military wing on Monday vowed to avenge the deaths of fighters killed overnight in Israeli airstrikes (NYT), which came as Gaza militants fired more than twenty rockets into Israeli territory. The latest escalation comes as three Jewish suspects confessed to the murder of Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir in a suspected revenge attack for the recent kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank (Haaretz). Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a condolence call to Abu Khdeir's family, promising that the suspects will face trial. The events follow violent clashes that erupted again on Sunday night in East Jerusalem and Arab towns throughout Israel (WaPo).
"But for Hamas there is, we must be aware, an 'up side' for provoking an Israeli response. Once again Hamas would play the victim, and the condemnations of last month for the kidnappings and murders of three Israeli teens would quickly turn into cries of solidarity with the poor targets of Israeli assaults," writes CFR's Elliott Abrams.
"As the Obama administration steps back from Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in the wake of the collapse of the most recent round of talks in April, this current surge in violence should be seen as yet more evidence that the United States cannot simply feed the meter on this conflict. If left unresolved, it will continue to assert itself, unpredictably and tragically," writes Matt Duss for ThinkProgress.
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NEW ZEALAND: Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe met with his New Zealand counterpart, John Key, on Monday to make headway on Trans-Pacific free trade ties and discuss defense cooperation amid Japan's more assertive defense posture (Japan Times).
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of the self-proclaimed Islamic State that has captured swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria, made a rare public appearance at Friday prayers in Mosul to rally his followers (Guardian).
NIGERIA: More than sixty women abducted by suspected Boko Haram militants in northeastern Nigeria escaped as their captors clashed with the military (AFP). In Abuja, demonstrators were turned away from the presidential palace after protesting the absence of more than two hundred schoolgirls.