- Israel launches Operation Protective Edge to halt rocket attacks, after State Dept. declares "Israel has the right to defend itself and we certainly support that"
The Israel Defense Forces announced late Monday that it had launched Operation Protective Edge against Gaza-based Palestinian military infrastructure "to stop the terror Israel's citizens face on a daily basis," a day after at least 80 rockets slammed into Israel and after multiple Israeli efforts at deescalation - including a last-ditch gesture last Friday - had failed. At least 220 projectiles had been launched by Gaza-based Palestinians in under a month, and Hamas had recently begun openly taking credit for the barrages. Business Insider had assessed earlier in the day that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was seeking to avoid a broader conflict for a range of domestic and geopolitical reasons, to the point where "Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman pulled his Yisrael Beitanu faction out of Netanyahu's Likud Party, supposedly over Netanyahu's insufficient response to the rocket barrage." The pace and amount of attacks nonetheless increased over the course of the day, at one point reportedly reaching 30 rockets per hour and penetrating deeper into Israel than at any point since Jerusalem concluded its November 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense. Rail services across southern Israel had been suspended, as had summer camps, kindergartens and schools within 40 kilometers of the Gaza Strip. Asked about the crisis in general at Monday's daily State Department briefing - and more specifically, about Hamas's declaration that barrages targeting Israeli civilians would continue until Jerusalem lifted security-related import and export restrictions on the Gaza Strip - State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki tersely stated "our view is that Israel has the right to defend itself and we certainly support that."
Another Israeli television format has been picked up for global audiences. This latest deal sees The Gran Plan – a factual entertainment format featuring a trio of hilarious grandmas as life coachers for the young and confused – going to Finland and Russia. Leading commercial Finnish broadcaster MTV3 commissioned the format and has already entered into production in partnership with Banijay Finland. Russia’s REN TV are also currently in production. The Gran Plan is an original Israeli production produced by Artza Productions in cooperation with Channel 10. In each episode, the three strong-willed grannies tackle situations from first dates to last dates, from career struggles to unhealthy addictions. They bridge the generation gap in their own amusing way and force their young protégées to move on with their lives. The show is also already airing on Switzerland’s TeleZueri and TV24. “After the success of Connected, we´re thrilled to partner with Armoza on another exciting format,” said Matti Paunio, Head of Domestic Programming, MTV. “With its unique, intriguing edge we expect The Gran Plan to be one of the most talked about programs of the season.” (via Israel21c)
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