Hamas kidnapping attack shatters ceasefire, sets stage for broad escalation

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<li><strong><a href="#First Bullet">Hamas kidnapping attack shatters ceasefire, sets stage for broad escalation</a></strong></li>

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<li><strong><a href="#Second Bullet">IPOs, investments thrive despite war</a></strong></li>

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<div><a name="First Bullet"></a><strong>American and United Nations officials blasted Hamas throughout Friday for shattering a 72-hour ceasefire after the terror organization attacked Israeli soldiers - killing at least two and kidnapping one - 90 minutes into the truce.</strong> White House Spokesman Josh Earnest <a href="http://mms.tveyes.com/PlaybackPortal.aspx?SavedEditID=38166f52-5528-4ca9-9676-e3d7def3e560">condemned</a> the seemingly pre-planned abduction plot, which involved the use of civilians and suicide bombers for diversions, as a "barbaric violation of the ceasefire agreement." Secretary of State John Kerry <a href="http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2014/08/230114.htm">subsequently issued</a> an official statement "condemn[ing] in the strongest possible terms... [the] outrageous violation of the cease-fire." U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued <a href="http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=7901">similarly worded remarks,</a> "condemn[ing] in the strongest terms the reported violation by Hamas." The kdinapping will trigger a cascade of diplomatic and geopolitical consequences. Qatar <a href="http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.608372">was reportedly central</a> to crafting the ceasefire, and - per an assessment in Israel's left-wing <em>Ha'aretz</em> - "now finds itself in the embarrassing situation of explaining why it can't control its client and deliver the goods." Doha's regional standing and posture may suffer accordingly. The Egyptians meanwhile were the official brokers of the ceasefire and observers believe they are considering diplomatic retribution. Cairo has kept its border with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip closed throughout the day. The most immediate consequence of the attack has been a renewal of Israeli action against Hamas infrastructure throughout Gaza and especially around southern Gaza, as Israeli forces attempted to prevent the kidnappers "from finding a safe haven from which they can start the process of making demands" for the return of the kidnapped soldier, Hadar Goldin. Broader Israeli moves in the coming days and weeks are nearly certain. Gershon Baskin, who is broadly considered one of Israel's top negotiators on Hamas matters and was a key figure in the talks over perviously kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, <a href="https://twitter.com/gershonbaskin/status/495178935559135233">tweeted almost immediately</a> that the Hamas fighters behind the attack had "just signed the death sentenced of many Hamas leaders. There will not be another Schalit deal."</div>

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<div><a name="Second Bullet"></a><strong>When TV’s talking heads ask serial entrepreneur and investment guru Jon Medved whether the current conflict with Hamas is harming Israel’s high-tech sector, he points out some surprising facts: Investors poured $920 million into Israeli startups in the second quarter of 2014.</strong> Mobileye, ReWalk Robotics, MapiPharma and three other Israeli companies are moving ahead with major IPOs. On July 29 Mobileye increased the amount of money it plans raising in its NYSE IPO by 22 percent, to more than $600 million. And, believe it or not, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange is up since the start of hostilities less than a month ago. “Go figure that out,” he says. “This is a pattern that’s repeated itself in the last three wars. Israelis are pretty resilient.” Medved, CEO of the Jerusalem-based OurCrowd equity crowdfunding platform, does not deny that the stress Israelis are feeling extends to those in high-tech. “Most of us view our roles in this crisis as a form of reserve duty,” he tells ISRAEL21c. “It’s hard to stay focused when you have kids in the army or the reserves, and when you have to go to stand in a safe area or stairwell because of incoming missiles, and if suddenly an important business visit was cancelled because the person didn’t want to fly in. That makes life more difficult, but you realize your inconvenience is nothing compared to the sacrifice our kids are making in the fight itself, so you soldier on and get the job done." He says OurCrowd’s 48 portfolio companies “report that it’s business as usual in this rather unusual place we live. Many startup executives are pulling [military] shifts in the conflict and then running home to finish a product and then going right back into the conflict. For a few weeks, people can survive that way.” (via <a href="http://www.israel21c.org/headlines/ipos-investments-thrive-despite-war/">Israel21c</a>)</div>


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