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Old 08-04-2014, 09:16 PM
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Israel/Palestine Conflict Discussion Thread #3

From the previous thread:

Originally Posted by sunnykerr (View Post)
I think you've just summed up what I had hoped this board would do.

It's possible to be critical without being prejudiced.

It's possible to have rational debate without falling into personal attacks.

And it's certainly possible to support one country's right to defend its territory and also criticize its invasion of other people's land.
The latest news on the subject:

Gaza conflict: Israel and Hamas 'agree ceasefire'

Israel and Palestinian groups including Hamas have agreed to a 72-hour humanitarian truce in Gaza, officials and Egyptian mediators say.

The ceasefire will start at 08:00 local time (05:00 GMT) on Tuesday.

On Monday Israel held its own seven-hour "humanitarian window" in Gaza but then resumed its military operations.

Health officials in Gaza say more than 1,800 Palestinians have been killed in the four-week conflict, which has also claimed 67 Israeli lives.

A Thai national working in Israel was also killed.

'Without preconditions'

There have been several truces called during the conflict but few have lasted, with each side accusing the other of violations.

The latest was discussed on Monday by various Palestinian groups in Cairo, although Israel did not attend.

However, a senior Israeli official later told the BBC: "Israel will accept the draft of the Egyptian proposal for an unconditional ceasefire, without preconditions and for 72 hours."

Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for Hamas, which controls Gaza, told Reuters news agency: "Hamas told Egypt a short while ago of its acceptance of a 72-hour period of calm."

A senior Egyptian official told AFP news agency: "Egypt's contacts with relevant parties have achieved a commitment for a 72-hour truce in Gaza."

Egypt negotiated a similar truce earlier in the conflict that was accepted by Israel but rejected by Hamas.

The new agreement proposes that delegations from all sides then attend further talks in Cairo.

The main Palestinian demands remain on the table, notably a full Israeli troop withdrawal from Gaza, the end of the blockade of the territory and the opening of border crossings.

Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken welcomed the ceasefire but told CNN that it was up to Hamas to maintain the truce.

"This is a real opportunity. We strongly support the initiative," he said.

In Washington, President Barack Obama approved legislation to provide a further $225m to help Israel run its "Iron Dome" anti-missile shield.

Earlier state department spokeswoman Jen Psaki denied the US position was contradictory.

She said it was possible to strategically support its ally by providing it with defence supplies, but criticise the high number of civilian casualties in Gaza.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has also welcomed the ceasefire, and he called on both sides to hold talks in Egypt to begin as soon as possible.
The BBC's Mark Lowen, in Cairo, says Hamas needs to be seen to have achieved something after more than 1,800 Palestinian deaths, but a longer-term calm will need both sides to give ground.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said again on Monday that Israel's main goal was to "return quiet and security to the citizens of Israel".

Speaking after the seven-hour truce ended, he also said that the military operation would not end until all tunnels used by militants to infiltrate Israel were destroyed.

Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on 8 July with the stated aim of ending rocket attacks.
more here:BBC News - Gaza conflict: Israel and Hamas 'agree ceasefire'
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