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.
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    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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    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
     Previous    
    by: meanbill from: USA
    July 14, 2014 1:56 PM
    The Hamas opinion is... that a cease-fire is like a surrender with nothing gained, and all the martyrs that died, would have died for nothing...... Somebody said it;.. "You can take my life and my land, when you pry my gun, from my cold dead hand" ... and will Gaza be his last stand, and his blood merge with the blood, of all the other martyrs, killed before him?
    In Response

    by: hmp49 from: Rockleigh NJ
    July 14, 2014 2:23 PM
    Somebody needs to tell Hamas that they started the air war and they're losing the air war.

    They're in no position to make demands. They're lucky to b e offered "calm for calm."

    by: meanbill from: USA
    July 14, 2014 1:02 PM
    Israel shoots down a (2) hundred dollar drone, with a (50) to (100) thousand dollar missile, (and one has to wonder), how long can Israel keep that up, doesn't it? .... Gaza may just be that "Diem Bien Phu" battle, that finally ends this war, between Israel and the Palestinians? ..... (both sides go, ALL IN?)
    In Response

    by: hmp49 from: Rockleigh NJ
    July 14, 2014 2:27 PM
    It costs $100,000 per shot. That means 100 attempts costs $10 million.

    That's about as many attempts as Israel has made since most rockets fall into open areas.

    Chicken feed.

    by: meanbill from: USA
    July 14, 2014 12:49 PM
    As it sounds, the Palestinians just might win this war? ... Like that old saying? ... (you can lose every battle, but still win the war?) ... (like the Gaza Palestinians might fight to the last man, like the (300) Spartans did, at the battle of Thermopylae), and that just may inspire the Arab Nation to rise up, and defend the whole Palestinian Nation? .... Who knows?
    In Response

    by: Rad from: USA
    July 14, 2014 2:34 PM
    I hope so. Why is israel allowed to get away with this? Murdering hundreds of innocent people..

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    July 14, 2014 12:26 PM
    I read an earlier article that says France, Britain and Turkey express concern at Gaza blood shed. That is encouraging. But they know why, what have they done to help matters? Now it is drone attack from Gaza. We are dealing with full blown military campaign here. Seems those countries do not yet know Hamas or what they stand for. It is not enough coming up with diplomatic jingles; they should call a spade a spade.

    They know what is sustaining the crisis, they know that Hamas won’t stop firing rockets at Israel; they know that Iran tests its new technology in rocket development, including the stolen one from US drone technology, by instigating these crises, do they want Israel to fold its hands and watch Hamas use Israelis as test specimens for its war apparatus?

    While I have faulted Israel’s “knock on the roof” warning aimed at saving Palestinians’ lives which benefits the militants instead of the civilians, should we then say that all Palestinian civilians are daft and do not know what they ought to do under war situation to save themselves? 160 dead! There are many options available to them, including evacuating en mass to Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt or Qatar. They can also stage protests against the militants who foment the troubles while they - the civilians are the ones killed.

    In Response

    by: Robert Muir
    July 14, 2014 1:54 PM
    So you're saying they should just abandon their homes and problem solved? Most people can't afford to just up and leave because Israel wants their land, Israelis attacking Palestinians is like the US attacking Canada, then saying Canada is the terrorizing nation. I wouldn't leave my home.

    by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
    July 14, 2014 8:57 AM
    First of all, the both side must want peace. The UN cannot do any thing if the Palestinian doesn't want peace. I do care hoe much protection Mr. Abbas asked for, the UN will not protect them . The UN doesn't want to put her people in harms way.

    Israel shot down a drone from Gaza, this not stone, those of you that are saying the Palestinians only have stone. Israel cannot cease fire if she still have rockets from Gaza coining into her land. Hamas needs to agree to want cease fire, not Israel. Israel is not the problem, it is the Arab. No country will take that.

    Mr. Moon must understand that the Hamas and the Palestinian are playing TV politics, they fired their from civilians populated areas, from the schools, hospitals. And from their homes, making it harder for Israel based on international laws. But at the same token, if you can rocket from any area, Israel will retaliate. Israel must not allow international pressure to stop its operation.
    In Response

    by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
    July 14, 2014 11:40 PM
    Look Hawkx045, what are you telling me? are you saying Hamas firing rockets into Israel is justifiable? But when retaliate is injustice? If Hamas fired at Israel civilians populate areas. what the world expect Israel to do? just sit there, and say praise Yahweh? Look Hawkx045, If Russia or Canada start firing rockets into the US, you in particular will be the first one to say the US must nuke them. No Country will ever take that nonsense, so why should Israel take that? I will give you two instances, When Japan fired at Pierre harbor, what dis the US do? did they just sit there and say thank you Jesus? The US use her doomsday weapon on Japan, to this day, Japan is still suffering fro that effect.
    When the Terrorists blow out the WTC, using our own planes as weapons against us, did we just sit there and Bless you Lord? No. The US fought back harder then what Israel is doing. What kind of Country will be in a war, and sent a message to their enemies civilians by telephone, drop letters from the sky, informing their enemies civilians that they are about to hit back? only Israel.
    Ali Baba, Israel is not responsible for what goes on in so call Palestine. Israel is not responsible to give them jobs nor feed them. The so call Palestine Government and Hamas are responsible for their people. not Israel.
    In Response

    by: Hawkx045 from: Edina,MN
    July 14, 2014 2:52 PM
    There is NO one single piece of evidence that Hamas was behind the abduction of the three Israeli teenagers. If you read any information about any evidence please send me the link or the source, thanks.
    In Response

    by: Hawkx045 from: Edina,MN
    July 14, 2014 2:48 PM
    One should never justify killing civilian; children, women and elderly. Also one should never be neutral in an injustice situation like the one in Israel.
    In Response

    by: ali baba from: new york
    July 14, 2014 10:29 AM
    the conflict between Israel and Palestine Will continue indefinitely. There are many problems. can not be solved. There are millions of people live in poverty. no jobs and food. Israel has not help them. if west donate money ,the money has not deliver for the people in need. these people are very angry and many join the terrorist to fed their family .
    Comments page of 2
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