Gaza conflict: new 72-hours ceasefire holds

Posted: August 11, 2014 in World News
Tags:

A fresh three-day ceasefire agreed between Israel and Palestinian faction Hamas in Gaza was holding on Monday.image

The agreement, which began at midnight (21:00 GMT Sunday), came after days of intense mediation by Egypt.

If the truce continues to hold, Israel will send negotiators to Cairo on Monday for talks on a longer-term deal.

About 2,000 people have died in the conflict, which began on 8 July when Israel launched an operation
intended to deter militant attacks from Gaza.

Those killed include more than 1,900 Palestinians, mostly civilians, according to the UN. Sixty-seven
people have died on the Israeli side, including three civilians.

Minutes before the ceasefire began, militants claimed to have fired several rockets at Israel, including one at Tel Aviv, but there were no reports of damage.

Israeli air strikes also continued throughout Sunday evening.
The Ynet website said the Israel Defense Forces had killed a militant in a tunnel in north Gaza before the ceasefire started.

Israel has tanks and troops deployed along the border with the Gaza Strip Israeli air strikes on Gaza continued throughout Sunday It is the second such ceasefire to be announced over the course of the conflict – the last one ended on Friday.

Since then, Israeli air strikes have killed at least 20 Palestinians and two Israelis have been injured by
mortars.

After a weekend of tense talks that both sides had threatened to abandon, the surprise announcement of the truce came late on Sunday.

In a statement, Egypt’s foreign ministry urged both sides to resume indirect negotiations and “work
towards a comprehensive and lasting ceasefire agreement”.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also said he hoped it would give the two sides “another chance
to agree on a durable ceasefire for the benefit of all civilian populations and as a starting point to address the underlying grievances on both sides.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Sunday that the military operation would not
stop until there was a prolonged quiet.

“Israel will not engage in negotiations under fire,” he told a cabinet meeting.

Jerusalem Post quoted an Israeli official saying Hamas was not only under military pressure from Israel but also under pressure from many in the Arab world, as well as people in Gaza, who want to see the crisis end.

Correspondents say Israel is likely to continue to push for Gaza to be demilitarised, and Hamas will
continue to demand the blockade of Gaza to be lifted.

The issues have caused previous talks to founder.

BBC correspondent, Wyre Davies in Jerusalem says the ceasefire should allow more humanitarian aid into
Gaza, where thousands have been left homeless.

On the Israeli side, where dozens of communities have been evacuated, residents will also be able to return home.

Human cost of the conflict

Palestinian deaths
– 1,935 killed, including at least 1,408 civilians
452 children
235 women

Israeli deaths
– 64 soldiers
– 2 civilians
– 1 Thai national in Israel

(Source: OCHA; 0800 GMT on 9 August)

News source: BBC

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s