Israel-Hamas truce underway, Palestinian delegation heads to Egypt

In what could bring some respite from unabated violence, the residents in Gaza and Israel may expect three days of lull untouched by the deafening thuds of rocket fire and tank shells if the 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire holds.

By Supriya Jha | Last Updated: Aug 06, 2014, 00:15 AM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

  • Jordan has presented a new resolution on the Gaza crisis to the UN Security Council and hopes for action on the measure in the coming days, the AFP reported. 

    Also Read: Jordan in fresh push for UN action on Gaza

  • More than 400 children have been killed in Israel`s assault on Gaza, and almost a thousand times as many are traumatised and face an "extraordinarily bleak" future, the top UNICEF official in Gaza said in a Reuters news report. 

    Also Read: UNICEF laments Gaza child casualties, warns of task ahead

  • Three remaining members of a Palestinian delegation negotiating a longer-term truce in Gaza were on their way to Cairo Tuesday after entering Egypt through the Rafah crossing, state media reported, the AFP news report stated. 
  • Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said he was optimistic the latest ceasefire in Gaza will hold, even as Palestinians renewed efforts to haul Israelis before the International Criminal Court for war crimes, the AFP reported.

    Also Read: Palestinian Foreign Minister positive on ceasefire, renews ICC talks

  • A month of fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip will cost the Palestinian territory at least $4-6 billion in damages, Deputy Economy Minister Taysir Amro said, as per AFP news report.
  • Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki said on Tuesday after meeting prosecutors at the International Criminal Court that there was "clear evidence" that Israel committed war crimes in Gaza, the AFP reported.
  • Tens of thousands of Gaza residents who were displaced due to heavy shelling from Israel, began returning back from the UN shelters, only to find their homes and businesses in ruins.

    "I never thought I would come back to find an earthquake zone," the NBC news quoted one of the Gazans as saying.

  • Upset with the Britain government`s policy over Gaza conflict, UK`s senior foreign office minister Sayeeda Warsi submitted her resignation today.
  • Welcoming the ceasefire, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told Israel to take all measures to avoid civilian casualties.

    She termed the Israeli shelling of UN schools in Gaza as "indefensible", saying, "I am deeply troubled by the suffering being endured by the Palestinian population in Gaza, where many hundreds of innocent people have been killed, including women and children..There have been a number of shocking incidents, including the indefensible shelling of three UN schools, all of which were sheltering civilians.

    Also See: Israel-Gaza conflict: In Pics

  • Its more than three hours that a ceasefire agreed upon by both sides for three days, has managed to remain successful, untouched by any rocket fire.

    Also See: Gaza in Grief: A Season of Death

  • Confirming the wrapping up of Israel`s ground operation into Gaza, a military spokesperson said that all IDF troops have left Palestinian territory, reported the AFP.

    Also Read: All Israeli troops have left Gaza: Army spokesman

  • One of the documents released by the WikiLeaks suggests that Israel allowed Hamas to grow, by turning "blind eye" to its activities.

    "Many West Bankers believe that Israel actively supports Hamas in an effort to divide Palestinians and weaken the intifada," reads one of the US documents.

  • The WikiLeaks has released a set of secret US cables that deal with secret Israeli strategies in Gaza.
  • Israel must reconquer Gaza, kill all the fighting forces and set up tent camps for its civilians, and offer them ‘generous’ incentives to relocate, Israeli Parliament Knesset`s deputy speaker Moshe Feiglin said in a Facebook post to PM Benjamin Netanyahu, reports said.
  • Top Iranian officials have told an Arabic channel Tehran has supplied missile technology to Hamas for its fight against the Jewish state.

    "Palestinian resistance missiles are the blessings of Iran`s transfer of technology," top adviser to Iran`s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted as saying by Al-Alam, the Arabic channel of Iran`s state TV.

  • However, speaking to the CNN later, the Hamas official sought to defend his statement saying he had no problems with the Jews as a religion, it was just the occupation that was the problem.

    He also told the CNN that he had Jewish friends who supported the Palestinian cause.

  • In a controversial statement, Hamas spokesperson Osama Hamdan was seen in a video interview to an Arabic channel, saying that Jews killed Christians and baked their blood into matzah.
  • The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) wrote on its twitter account that the cost of constructing one tunnel cost Hamas a whopping sum of 3 billion dollars, the money which could better be used to benefit the people of Gaza.
  • As usual, both warring sides say that they will honour the ceasefire till the other party doesn`t violate it.

    On being asked whether the truce will hold, Israeli government spokesperson Mark Regev told the CNN, the "onus is on Hamas".

    "We are entering this with our eyes open," he said. "We have been burnt more than once."

  • The major decision of complete retreat by the IDF came after Israel claimed that it accomplished its key aim of destroying militants` tunnels.
  • Lt-Col Peter Lerner of Israeli Army said that all IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) troops would have left Gaza before the truce takes effect. Israeli Army says all troops will be deployed to "defensive positions" outside the Gaza Strip.
  • The Israeli Defense Forces say that minutes before the ceasefire took effect, the Palestinian militant group Hamas fired 17 rockets towards Israel.
  • The fresh effort by both the sides to placate the situation has been welcomed by the United Nations.

    In a statement, the Secretary-General urged both the parties to remain “committed to this ceasefire of 72 hours, to begin Tuesday, 5 August, at 8 am local time” and also suggested them to observe restraint till the ceasefire begins.

    The UN also welcomed “the proactive engagement of the Palestinian delegation under the leadership of President Abbas”, saying “such talks are the only way to sustainably stop the violence, which has cost far too many lives, and to change the untenable and tragic status quo in Gaza”.

  • The ceasefire agreed to by Israel, Gaza took effect from 8 am today. The Israeli Army said that during this time, we will maintain defensive positions near the Gaza border.
  • In what appears to be a further step towards peace, Israeli Army today announced that it will withdraw all its troops from Gaza by 8 am today when the ceasefire is slated to take effect from.

    In what could bring some respite from unabated violence, the residents in Gaza and Israel may expect three days of lull untouched by the deafening thuds of rocket fire and tank shells if the 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire agreed to by both warring sides manages to hold.

    However, questions remain on the possible success of the truce as similar ceasefires accepted by both sides earlier have ended up in disappointment with each side accusing the other of violating the truce.

    A similar truce was proposed days ago but Hamas had refused to agree to it even as Israel was ready to observe the truce.

    The latest ceasefire, based on the Egyptian-proposed draft comes after Palestinian factions discussed the truce yesterday in Cairo.

    The fresh ceasefire agreement stipulates that representatives from Israel and Gaza must attend further talks in Gaza.

    Israel, which observed a 7-hour ceasefire declared by it yesterday, also accepted the 72-hour truce, with a senior Israeli official telling the BBC, "Israel will accept the draft of the Egyptian proposal for an unconditional ceasefire, without preconditions and for 72 hours."

    However, Palestinians continue to keep their conditions which are complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza, ending the blockade of the territory and the opening of border crossings.

    The cross-border violence that has now entered its fourth week, has claimed more than 1800 Palestinian lives and 67 Israeli lives.

    Most of those killed in Gaza are said to be civilians. Israel accuses Gaza of using civilians as human shields.

    The Israeli Defense Forces say they found a Hamas manual on “Urban Warfare,” which reveals that “Hamas’ callous use of the Gazan population was intentional and preplanned”.

    In a blog, the IDF write that the manual which belonged to the Shuja’iya Brigade of Hamas’ military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, enlists benefits of human shields.

    Israel says since July 8, when it launched Operation Protective Edge, Hamas has fired more than 3253 rockets at Israel.

    Israel`s Operation Protective Edge which seems to be winding up, entered its Day 29 today. 67 Israelis too have been killed in the conflict that intensified after Israel launched ground offensive in Gaza on 17 July. 

    The latest bout of conflict between the two sides is thought to have been triggered by the abduction and kidnapping of three Israeli teens, after which a Palestinian teenager was killed in revenge.  

    The death of the Palestinian sparked a lot of protests and an increased salvo of firing from Hamas, triggering the Israeli operation.