News / Middle East

    Israeli Security Cabinet to Meet Tuesday on Truce Proposal

    • The son (L) of one of the Palestinian members of Tayseer Al-Batsh's family, who hospital officials said were killed in an Israeli air strike, mourns during their funeral in Gaza City July 13, 2014.
    • Mourners carry two bodies out of three Palestinian members of Abu Muamar family, who hospital officials said were killed in an Israeli air strike on their house, during their funeral in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip July 14, 2014.
    • Palestinians flee their homes to take shelter at the United Nations school in Gaza City, Sunday, July 13, 2014.
    • A Palestinian medic walks amidst the debris of a house which police said was destroyed in an Israeli air strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip July 14, 2014.
    • Palestinians look at damaged cars amid the rubble of destroyed buildings following an Israeli air strike on July 14, 2014 in Gaza City.
    • Palestinians inspect a bedroom inside a house which police said was destroyed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza City July 14, 2014.
    • Palestinians look at the damage of a destroyed house where five members of the Ghannam family were killed in an Israeli missile strike early morning in Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, July 11, 2014.
    • Four-year-old Palestinian girl Shayma Al-Masri, who hospital officials said was wounded in an Israeli air strike that killed her mother and two of her siblings, listens to her aunt as she lies on a hospital bed.
    • A Palestinian relative mourns during the funeral of four members of the Moamer family, including a 26-year-old militant of the Hamas movement, after they were killed in an Israeli air strike in southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, on July 14, 2014.
    • Israeli soldiers dance with members of the Breslov Hasidic sect at a military staging area outside central Gaza July 14, 2014.
    • Israeli residents, mostly from the southern Israeli city of Sderot, show the remains of a rocket, on July 13, 2014. So far, no Israelis have been killed in the latest round of violence.
    • An Israel soldier prepares to launch an Israeli army's Skylark I unmanned drone aircraft, which is used for monitoring purposes on July 14, 2014 at an army deployment area near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip. I
    • An Israeli woman takes cover as siren alarming sounds warning of rocket attacks by Palestinians militants from Gaza Strip in Ashkelon, southern Israel, July 14, 2014.
    • A woman walks past a damaged wall of a house of a house after a rocket fired by Palestinian militants hit in Ashdod, Israel, July 14, 2014.
    • A man surveys the damaged wall of a house after a rocket fired by Palestinian militants hit in Ashdod, Israel, July 14, 2014.
    • Israelis take cover as an air raid siren warning of incoming rockets sounds in Ashdod July 14, 2014.
    VOA News

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will convene his decision-making security cabinet on Tuesday to discuss an Egyptian-proposed cease-fire in the Gaza conflict, an Israeli official said.

    The official seemed to put a positive face on the proposed truce, saying that Israel's week-old offensive in the Gaza Strip had weakened the Islamist Hamas group militarily.

    The proposal marks the most serious attempt yet by international mediators to end the conflict.   In a speech broadcast on Al-Jazeera, Ismail Haniyeh, a Hamas leader in Gaza, confirmed there was "diplomatic movement." 

    Egypt proposed the initiative late Monday aimed at stopping fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, state news agency MENA said.

    The proposal, which would take effect at 0600 GMT on Tuesday, calls for a cease-fire within 12 hours of that time, followed by negotiations between both sides in Cairo within 48 hours.

    Worldwide pressure has been mounting for a cease-fire in the week-long clash  in the Gaza Strip, but the warring parties continued their attacks across the skies on Monday.

    The Arab League said in a statement it welcomed the Egyptian initiative "to protect the lives of the innocent."

    A White House spokesman says the U.S. will be engaged in an effort to reduce tensions in the region. 

    President Barack Obama praised Egypt's proposal Monday, saying he's hopeful the plan can restore calm in the wake of a deadly wave of violence.

    "We're going to continue to do everything we can to facilitate a return to the 2012 cease-fire,'' Obama said at a White House dinner celebrating the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. "We are encouraged that Egypt has made a proposal to accomplish that goal.''

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will hold talk with Egyptian officials in Cairo on situation on Tuesday, Egypt's state news agency said.

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who reached an agreement with Hamas in April that led to the formation of a unity government last month, welcomed the Egyptian proposal and urged its acceptance, official Palestinian news agency WAFA said.

    Hamas has said it would not agree to end its rocket attacks into Israel without several concessions from the Jewish state, including the end to its blockade of the Gaza Strip and the release of Palestinian prisoners it is holding.

    Rocket attacks

    Also, two Israeli airstrikes targeted the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis, killing four Palestinians and bringing the death toll from the seven days of attacks to 185, including militants, women and children.

    An Israeli police explosives expert carries the remains of a rocket fired from Gaza that landed in Ashdod, Israel, July 14, 2014.An Israeli police explosives expert carries the remains of a rocket fired from Gaza that landed in Ashdod, Israel, July 14, 2014.
    x
    An Israeli police explosives expert carries the remains of a rocket fired from Gaza that landed in Ashdod, Israel, July 14, 2014.
    An Israeli police explosives expert carries the remains of a rocket fired from Gaza that landed in Ashdod, Israel, July 14, 2014.

    Israel said there have been no deaths in the rocket attacks by Hamas. It credits its Iron Dome anti-missile defense system for the lack of casualties.

    Earlier Monday, the Israeli military said it shot down a drone aircraft that flew into Israel from Gaza but mostly held back from a threatened escalation of attacks on the northern Gaza Strip.

    A spokesperson said the drone, the first reported deployment of an unmanned aircraft by Palestinian militants, was flying over Ashdod, located about halfway between the Gaza Strip and Tel Aviv, when Israeli forces hit it with a Patriot missile on Monday.

    “Hamas is trying for an achievement at any price,” Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, referring to the drone, said in a statement on Monday. “We will continue to pummel Hamas and other terrorist organizations until the safety of Israeli citizens is ensured.”

    The military also said Hamas militants fired more than 20 rockets Monday from Gaza, while Israeli warplanes and naval gunboats targeted dozens of sites overnight in their nearly weeklong campaign to halt the rocket attacks.

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed alarm at the violence and demanded both sides take immediate steps to end the fighting.

    Ban said in a statement late Sunday Hamas rocket fire goes against international law, while "too many Palestinians have been killed" by Israeli airstrikes.

    More Than 180 Palestinians killed

    A Palestinian reads from the Quran during the funeral of Munir Badarin, who was shot during clashes with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank village of Samoa, south of Hebron, July 14, 2014.A Palestinian reads from the Quran during the funeral of Munir Badarin, who was shot during clashes with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank village of Samoa, south of Hebron, July 14, 2014.
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    A Palestinian reads from the Quran during the funeral of Munir Badarin, who was shot during clashes with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank village of Samoa, south of Hebron, July 14, 2014.
    A Palestinian reads from the Quran during the funeral of Munir Badarin, who was shot during clashes with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank village of Samoa, south of Hebron, July 14, 2014.

    On Monday Palestinian officials said more than 180 people have been killed, including militants, since Israel launched its offensive last Tuesday. Most of the dead are said to be civilians.

    The U.N. children's agency said Monday that 33 children are among those who have died, and that young people are "bearing the brunt" of the violence.

    It joined the U.N. Security Council's call from Saturday for an immediate cease-fire.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Hamas for civilian casualties, saying Sunday the militants are hiding explosives beneath hospitals and using Gaza residents as human shields.

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he has appealed to Ban for "international protection" for the Palestinian people.  

    International calls for a cease-fire have grown as the death toll has mounted in the worst flare-up of Israeli-Palestinian violence for almost two years, sparked by the murder of three Israeli teenagers and revenge killing of a Palestinian youth.

    Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

    • Kashmiri protesters shout slogans against Israel from inside a police vehicle after they were detained during a protest in Srinagar, India, July 14, 2014.
    • Pro-Palestinian demonstrators shake a giant flag and chant anti-Israeli slogans as they protest against Israeli air attacks in the Gaza strip, Paris, July 13, 2014.
    • Pro-Palestinian protesters rally against Israel, in Sydney, July 13, 2014.
    • Arab-American demonstrators hold signs as they protest against Israeli military strikes on Gaza, during a rally in downtown Detroit, Michigan, July 13, 2014.
    • Pro-Palestinian demonstrators hold a banner that reads "Enough is Enough" referring to Israeli military strikes on Gaza, central Istanbul, July 13, 2014.
    • A Lebanese student from American University holds a placard during a protest against the Israeli offensive on Gaza, in Beirut, July 14, 2014.
    • An ultra-Orthodox Jew holds a Palestinian flag during a protest against Israeli air strikes on Gaza, London, July 11, 2014.
    • Protesters call for an end to the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza during a demonstration in front of the Israel Embassy, in Washington, July 11, 2014.
    • Police surround demonstrators during a protest against Israeli air strikes in Gaza, London, July 11, 2014.
    • A woman cries during a protest calling for an end to the Israeli air strikes on Gaza at La Constitucion Square in Malaga, southern Spain, July 11, 2014.
    • Demonstrators hold a Palestinian flag during an anti-war protest against the Israeli operation in Gaza, in Rome, July 11, 2014.
    • Bangladeshi children protest against Israeli attacks on Gaza, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, July 12, 2014.

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    by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
    July 15, 2014 12:02 AM
    The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon country is under constant threat from North Korea, what did South Korea say, we will retaliate if North Korea fired missiles into our country. Likewise Israel. If Hamas fire rockets into Israel, Israel should not firing back at where the fired came from. Israel has the right to defend itself against any aggression. What right do they have to fired at Israel and Israel cannot do the same? Hamas Fired their rocket indiscriminately, into Israel civilians populated area, what Israel cannot do the same? I don't care how they fight, they can never win Israel, All the wars the Arabs fought with Israel, they lost.
    Khaled Mashaal and Haniyeh sitting in UAE eating good food, sleeping good, why those fools are dying. what a stupid people. If these want to liberate so call Palestine, why they are not in so call Palestine? cuz they know Israel is coming for them. you cowards

    by: harry from: australia
    July 14, 2014 6:37 PM
    Not long back the Israeli PM talked about how the offenders believed in violence and revenge and the Israelis believed in mercy.Surely after killing so many in Gaza after 3 were killed in Israel is not an example of mercy.I thinkwhat he means is his kind of mercy reserves the right for the Israelis to TIT for tat.

    by: Zoolane from: Lancashire
    July 14, 2014 5:33 PM
    What proof have people got saying gaza started it? First of all, israel needs to stop trying to steal land. Its a simple thing to do. Also the media will never tell people truth. Israel started the missiles 1st. Not gaza!. Israel reckons they can invade gaza, stop and destroy rockets alltogether and gaza will stand and watch? DREAM ON BENJAMIN.

    by: Anthonybellchambers from: London UK
    July 14, 2014 5:27 PM
    So now, killing civilians is suddenly acceptable, judging by the deafening silence from both America and the European Union.

    If you're an occupying power (for more than 40 years) you can now kill unarmed civilians - including men, women and children in addition to those sick, disabled or elderly. The international agreed Geneva Conventions on Human Rights and the rules on the Conduct of War are now only applicable to certain states leaving others able to kill at will any civilian - whether young or old, male or female, fit or disabled. The West has never before sunk so low as to allow the wanton, criminal killing of civilians

    by: Robert Rowley from: Tucson, Arizona
    July 14, 2014 5:09 PM
    Since when does the loser of a war dictate terms? If Gaza wants Israel to ease restrictions what do they have to offer Israel in return?

    by: gino from: nva
    July 14, 2014 2:44 PM
    why not give all jewish and Palestinians a knife a let them fight for the land...the winner get the land.....

    by: W Jones Jordan
    July 14, 2014 2:28 PM
    The United States is paying for virtually all of the fire power, although Israel probably gets the lion's share. So the US could stop the violence by refusing to pay for it. Or Netanyahoo could stop provoking the Palestinians with continuing occupation of their land, and that might be better for Israel in the long run.

    by: gratefulneal from: Richmond, VA
    July 14, 2014 2:24 PM
    There should be NO "world pressure" on Israel - yet again, they didn't START this fight - but they surely will end it if HAMAS truly wants to go the distance.
    Palestine must remember - when you are "out gunned" "out manned" "out smarted" , a "retreat" is the only thing you can do. They started this fight (yet again) - but, they will use their population centers to "launch attacks" from and then cry if Israel retaliates at that same location.
    In Response

    by: Jim Adams from: New York
    July 14, 2014 2:53 PM
    What were our leaders thinking when it was agreed to set up a country for the Jews after WWII in a place where the Palistinians had been living for generations.
    In Response

    by: Lawrence Murphy from: Canada
    July 14, 2014 2:45 PM
    I agree with this and support Israel 100%. They did not start this.
    Is Israel supposed to just sit there and allow their people to be bombed.

    by: truthmonger
    July 14, 2014 2:01 PM
    Israel and the US give millions to the Palastinian Authority every year. And their always paid back the same way: with more rockets, more attempts to militarize Gaza, with more hatred and violence. Israel should level the whole strip. Enough is enough - there is no diplomatic cure for cancer. Muslim jihad is exactly that: a cancer and a blight on civilization. Reasonable "Palastinian" people should be allowed to join Israel as full citizens and allowed to practice their faith so long as it does NOT promote violence or the eradication of the Jews.
    In Response

    by: Eric from: USA
    July 14, 2014 4:23 PM
    Israel really can't absorb so many Pals as it would create a Muslim majority in Israel. And Israel cannot just level all of Gaza without facing complete isolation from the international community. It still wouldn't solve the problem anyway. New and existing groups from other nations would simply step in and replace them. Israel has peace with Egypt and Jordan and this must happen with the Pals as well. If both sides could extract the radicals, it would be possible. Sadly, extremists on both sides have created a no-win ongoing battle. No fight is totally one sided and there is plenty of blame to go around on both sides. Until both the Muslim and Jewish communities condemn the radicals and reign them in, peace will never be achieved.

    by: Curt from: USA
    July 14, 2014 1:58 PM
    Terrorism 101. Invade, occupy, colonize, steal and coerce stolen resources and lands, intimidate through bribing local dictators and puppet regimes, imprison the locals to barbed wire in concentration camps while they watch others conquer their lands.
    we should rethink our policies supporting colonialism and its theft and murder. I would think the anglo jesus will have it to address with our leaders when they pass on to their rapture, as all my life I have been educated about his philosophies and ideals of him helping the sick, weak, infirm, oppressed, hungry and the dying. I know he kicked the money lenders and opportunists out of the temples. So where is he and his followers while this shame goes on?
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