News / Middle East

    Extended Israel-Hamas Truce Holding

    A Palestinian worker walks inside al-Awdah food factory, which witnesses said was shelled and torched by the Israeli army during the offensive, in Deirl al-Balah, central Gaza Strip, Aug. 14, 2014.
    A Palestinian worker walks inside al-Awdah food factory, which witnesses said was shelled and torched by the Israeli army during the offensive, in Deirl al-Balah, central Gaza Strip, Aug. 14, 2014.
    Scott Bobb

    A new, five-day cease-fire between Israel and Hamas was holding Thursday despite a brief overnight exchange of rockets and airstrikes.

    The two sides agreed Wednesday to extend the halt in fighting for five days to give Egyptian-brokered negotiations a chance to bring about an agreement to end the conflict that has raged for more than a month.

    However, Israel said it carried out airstrikes early Thursday on Palestinian militant targets in the Gaza Strip in response to Palestinian rocket fire. At least eight rockets were fired into Israel Wednesday night.

    No casualties have been reported.

    Extended cease-fire

    Israeli military said the rocket attacks began two hours before a three-day cease-fire expired. An official of Hamas, which controls Gaza, said its forces had not staged any such attacks and accused Israel of violating the cease-fire.

    Palestinian negotiator Azzam Ahmed said the extended cease-fire would begin at midnight Wednesday and continue until Monday.

    Gaza Conflict, death tolls, damaged schools, August 13, 2014Gaza Conflict, death tolls, damaged schools, August 13, 2014
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    Gaza Conflict, death tolls, damaged schools, August 13, 2014
    Gaza Conflict, death tolls, damaged schools, August 13, 2014

    Each side reportedly had agreed on measures to facilitate the movement of goods and people across the Gaza border, but they appeared to still be far apart on a Palestinian demand that an airport and seaport be allowed in the enclave and Israel's demand that Palestinian fighters disarm.

    There was no comment from Israel.

    Israel's security cabinet, which has determined the course of the Gaza conflict, was scheduled to meet later on Thursday to discuss the proposals being put forward by the Egyptians, Reuters reported.

    Members of the Palestinian delegation said they would return to Cairo for more talks on Sunday, according to Reuters.

    Israeli warning

    Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon earlier had told Israeli armed forces to be prepared for a possible resumption of hostilities.

    He warned that he did not know if there would be a new cease-fire agreement and that Israeli forces would return fire and resume operations if shooting erupted.

    During the five weeks of conflict more than 1,900 Palestinians were killed, mostly civilians, and some 9,000 others were wounded. 

    The Israeli death toll included 64 Israeli soldiers and three civilians.

    • Senior Hamas leader Khalil al-Hayya speaks to the media upon his return to Gaza City from truce talks in Cairo, Aug. 14, 2014
    • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo enters a tunnel exposed by the Israeli military on the Israeli side of the Israel-Gaza border, Aug. 14, 2014.
    • Part of a tunnel exposed by the Israeli military is seen on the Israeli side of the Israel-Gaza border, Aug. 14, 2014
    • Former Israeli President Shimon Peres (second from left) and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, right ride an armored vehicle during a tour near the border with the Gaza Strip, Aug. 14, 2014.
    • Children collect water during a five-day truce in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, Aug. 14, 2014.
    • A Palestinian worker walks inside al-Awdah food factory in Deirl al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, Aug. 14, 2014.
    • A worker looks out of the severely damaged al-Awdah food factory in Deirl al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, Aug.14, 2014.
    • People sit in wooden boxes to represent living conditions in Gaza, during a protest, Parliament Square, London, Aug. 14, 2014.
    • This Monday, Aug. 11 2014 photo shows Associated Press video journalist Simone Camilli in Beit Lahiya, Gaza Strip. Camilli, 35, was killed in an ordnance explosion in the Gaza Strip, on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014 together with Palestinian translator Ali She

    Some information for this report provided by Reuters.

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    Comments
         
    by: Sudhama from: US
    August 15, 2014 4:42 PM
    Dutch nonagenarian recently returned Righteous Among the Nations medal after six relatives killed in Gaza. Henk Zanoli, who helped save a Jewish child from deportation to concentration camps, said holding on to the medal would be an 'insult to the family.' He said, "For me to hold on to the honor granted by the State of Israel, under these circumstances, will be both an insult to the memory of my courageous mother who risked her life and that of her children fighting against suppression and for the preservation of human life." It doesn’t make you anti-Semitic, racist or a self-hating Jew to disagree with what Israel is doing, just a person with compassion, a good heart and a conscience.

    by: Faiyaz Ahmed S M from: india
    August 14, 2014 10:24 PM
    Right thinking Israelis should speak up and pressure their government to give the Palestinians their rights. Israel with the help of the U S can deny them their rights, kill their children with impunity and starve them to a slow death. The collateral damage to it is Israelis themselves will never live in peace and consequently there will no peace in the Middle East for a long time to come.

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    August 14, 2014 1:29 PM
    To say the Palestinians started shooting even before the last truce ended is a sign that they do not want what is going on in Egypt. The so-called peace negotiation is not meant to benefit Israel in the long run, so Israel should use the advantage of the truce-breaking by Hamas to carry out whatever they want to do out there in order to settle the Hamas insurgency permanently. Whatever the Knesset is resolving, if Hamas does not disarm, and if Hamas receives ability to import heavy duty weaponry, Israel should know that the call by the Saudi Arabia FM for concerted effort to defeat Israel would only be superfluous.

    Israel must not allow a striding terrorist group diagonally across its borders. If USA is a true ally of Israel, it should implement what it has proposed to do to the Yazidis and Christians of northern Iraq to the Palestinians in Gaza in order to minimize civilian casualties and reduce blames to Israel when Hamas fighters use civilian shields to bomb Israel. That will enable Israel go for Hamas Jugular and defeat it - if it can - or force Hamas to negotiate lasting peace in the region. Without a demilitarized Gaza, there is no peace; and with freedom to own an airport and a seaport, Hamas will import the most lethal weapons from Iran and Russia and make Israel the once upon a time story the islamist world has been intending it to be.

    by: Lawrence Bush from: Houston,USA
    August 14, 2014 12:50 PM
    None does want unnecessary commotions,wars and mahymes....but the root-causes do develop automatically. What'er be the original root-cause of the fights between the foreign-hand created Hamas and Israel, the current root-cause is the Hamas which triggers it. And, the cease-fire is necessary now; alright, but the very question does arise - "If this cease-fire to last permanently? Certaly not. Again, both the sides to resume that today or tomorrow on in future. None can avert it in the Middle - East or in this world...........

    Even, after the occupied territories are returned to the Palestinians, there would be fights........ For prolonging the current cease-fire, the preconditions of the Hamas are - to lifting embargoes upon the Gaza; and, erecting an air port and hydro -port........ if it's permitted by Israel, again, the Hamas would've clear opportunity to import clandestine arms and spares for building rockets. There's no slightest doubt over it............ The Hamas is declared as a terror organization by our government; so, our friendly states.

    The UN does have the counter-terrorism center that's funded by us; our friendly states in the Middle -East and other areas of this world. In the very platter of terror, the Hamas should be taken. Actually, the Hamas is not a governmental side. For the Palestine people, it's the Palestine Authority led by Abu Mazen now, not the Hamas leaders. To stop war on the humanitarian ground, it's necessary; alright, but the Palestine terror must not go scotfree. That must be totally disarmed, punished.
    In Response

    by: Faiyaz Ahmed S M from: india
    August 14, 2014 10:29 PM
    The solution is really simple : let Israel and U S give the Palestinians their lands, their rights and their lives.

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