Hamas responsible for deaths in Gaza

Negotiators from Israel and the Hamas terrorist group that controls Gaza met under Egyptian sponsorship last week, in an attempt to end fighting between the two. Israel had agreed to a cease-fire to facilitate the talks.

But last Tuesday night, Hamas broke the cease-fire by sending three rockets – seen by some journalists – into Israel. Hamas showed other reporters one of the tunnels it hopes to use to infiltrate Israel, as terrorists vowed to destroy the Jewish nation.

Before the negotiations broke down as a result of the Hamas attack, they were at a stalemate over one Israeli demand. It was only that Hamas agree to disarm.

Any questions about blame for civilian deaths in the weeks-long duel between Hamas and Israel? There should not be any.

Events last week reinforce history dating back years: Hamas is a terrorist group directly responsible for every death of Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

Until the world community recognizes that, there will be no peace in the Middle East.

Another reminder of the seriousness of the national debt came earlier this summer, when foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury securities topped $6 trillion for the first time in history.

Any debt carries with it serious challenges. But when the United States owes money to foreign governments, there is the possibility some may use that indebtedness to pressure Washington over diplomatic and military policy. Of the $6 trillion in Treasury securities held by foreign entities, about $4.1 trillion involves other governments.

Expect the amount to continue growing by leaps and bounds unless Washington finds ways to better reduce spending. That seems unlikely under President Barack Obama. When he took office, the national debt was just $10.6 trillion. It has skyrocketed to $17.6 trillion. Someone needs to apply the brakes.