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
    x
    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.

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    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.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.