News / Middle East

Israel: 'No Progress' in Talks with Palestinians

Ahmad and Mahmoud al Masri are seen on the rubble of their family house destroyed by Israeli strikes in the town of Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, Aug. 12, 2014.
Ahmad and Mahmoud al Masri are seen on the rubble of their family house destroyed by Israeli strikes in the town of Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, Aug. 12, 2014.
VOA News

The skies over Gaza were quiet for a second day Tuesday in the midst of a 72-hour cease-fire, but Israeli negotiators reported no progress in their talks with the Palestinians on a permanent end to fighting in the coastal enclave.

The negotiators talked for a second day in Cairo, focusing on the Jewish state's blockade of Gaza, where the Hamas militants running the impoverished strip of land along the Mediterranean say they want a seaport opened to promote economic development.

Israel said the issue should only be dealt with as part of longer term peace talks, fearing that ending the blockade now would allow Hamas to restock weaponry from abroad that could be used against Israel if fighting resumes.

An Israeli official said the gaps between the warring sides were big as they sought to end a month of conflict in Gaza that has left more than 2,000 people dead.  In daily attacks, Hamas fired thousands of rockets into Israel and Israel bombarded Hamas targets with aerial strikes.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation condemned Israel for what it called "war crimes" in Gaza.   Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said Israel must embrace peace if it hoped to survive as a nation.

"Standing united to back the rights of the Palestinian people will make the world fully aware that Israel cannot continue its aggression against the Palestinians without having to pay the price.  Israel should be aware that peace is the only option for survival,'' he said.

Britain said it would suspend 12 licenses to export military items to Israel if the current cease-fire expired and fighting continued.

Hamas is calling for a complete end to an Israeli-Egyptian blockade that has prevented Palestinians from leaving Gaza and made the majority of its residents dependent on humanitarian aid.

Israeli said it would not loosen the restrictions unless it can ensure the demilitarization of Hamas.

Humanitarian groups are warning that the fighting has created a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.

On Monday, the United Nations World Food Program said it was bringing food to the 730,000 people in Gaza who are not already receiving help from other programs.

The WFP took advantage of the cease-fire that started on Sunday to begin one-time deliveries of rice and wheat flour to 143,000 families.  It said that security permitting, the distribution would be complete within two weeks.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid