Tom Kludt

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Tom

The nation's capital has become a decidedly less violent place over the last few decades, and the improvement to public safety has the city on track to make 2012 a milestone year.

With the number of killings for 2012 currently at 78, the District of Columbia is on pace to finish the year with fewer than 100 homicides for the first time since 1963, the Associated Press reports

Israeli troops killed a 20-year-old Palestinian and wounded nine others on Friday in a clash on the southern border of Gaza, the New York Times reports. The death comes fewer than two days after a cease-fire was struck between Israel and Hamas. 

The Times provides details of Friday's deadly clash:

Maan, the Palestinian news agency, reported that a group of Palestinians went to Abassan, a border area east of the southern town of Khan Younis, on Friday to pray on their land, and ended up throwing stones at soldiers, who responded with gunfire. Ashraf al-Qedra, a spokesman for the Health Ministry, identified the man who was killed as Ahmad Qudih.


Update: The Associated Press is reporting that 19 Palestinians were wounded in the clash, the first since Wednesday's cease-fire between Hamas and Israel. Hamas security reportedly tried to alleviate the tense situation at the border, an indication that the incident will likely not undermine the cease-fire.


Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal on Wednesday praised Egypt for its role in brokering a cease-fire with Israel and thanked Iran for supplying his organization's militants with arms during the eight-day conflict.

Meshaal asserted emphatically that Israel failed to reach its goals during the aerial bombardment of Gaza — an assessment diametrically opposed to the response from the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), which declared its military operation a success shortly after the cease-fire agreement was reached.

"After eight days, God stayed their hand from the people of Gaza, and they were compelled to submit to the conditions of the resistance," Meshaal told reporters in a Cairo hotel. "Israel has failed in all its goals."


Some Republicans still want answers from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) for his embrace of President Obama just days before the election and in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. But the tough-talking governor has won plenty of other allies for his handling of the storm's aftermath.

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The spokesperson for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) took to Twitter shortly after the cease-fire with Hamas militants began on Wednesday to proclaim that it had "accomplished its goals" in its eight-day aerial bombardment of Gaza.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday praised the efforts of President Barack Obama for helping to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

Netanyahu said Obama was steadfast in his support for Israel's right to defend itself, as well as in Iron Dome, the country's air defense system that the prime minister said successfully intercepted most of the rockets aimed at the country from Gaza. The U.S. has helped provide funding for Iron Dome. Netanyahu added that Obama pledged to help Israel prevent the smuggling of arms to terrorist groups — "the vast majority of which," according to Netanyahu, come from Iran.

“I have to say all this was done with the firm support on the part of the leaders of the international community," Netanyahu said during the press conference. "And I would like especially to thank President Barack Obama for his unreserved support for Israel’s actions in the operation and for Israel’s right to defend itself, as well as his support for the Iron Dome systems."

Netanyahu offered similar praise for the work of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and expressed his "appreciation" for Egypt's role in the agreement. 

Mark Regev, a spokesman for the Israeli government, said on Wednesday that success of the just-brokered cease-fire agreement between Israeli forces and Hamas militants will be gauged by whether or not it brings "peace and quiet" to Israelis living in the southern part of the country.

“We’ll be hoping for, and the arrangements are very specific about this, total and complete quiet," Regev said on CNN. "We’ve said from day one of this crisis, our goal is to bring peace and quiet to the people of southern Israel who have been on the receiving end of these rockets from Hamas-controlled Gaza for just too long. And this arrangement, which was obviously an Egyptian proposal with the Americans sponsoring them, and we thank both the governments of Egypt and the United States for their support in this matter, will offer a new reality in which we’ll have peace and quiet for our citizens in southern Israel who have suffered so much."


Speaking at a joint press conference with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Cairo on Wednesday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr announced that a cease-fire agreement has been struck between Israeli forces and Hamas militants.  It will go into effect at 2 p.m. ET.

The Associated Press provides some details of the cease-fire:

In details of the agreement obtained exclusively by The Associated Press, the official said Israel would cease all military activity against the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and Palestinian militants would cease rocket attacks into Israel. After 24 hours of quiet, Gaza's border crossings with Israel would be opened further to allow freer movement of goods and people.

Correction: The post has been corrected to indicate that the press conference involved Clinton and Amr, not Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.



Two men survey the wreckage of an Israeli air strike on Wednesday that decimated Palestinian office buildings in Gaza City. 



The health ministry in Gaza said today that 152 Palestinians, including 40 children, have been killed since the conflict broke out last Wednesday, Jon Donnison of BBC News reports. At least 13 in Gaza have been killed today.