Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Israel and Palestine agree to 72-hour cease-fire

The Isreali and Palestinian governments have agreed to a 3-day cease-fire beginning from tomorrow August 5th. The 3-day cease fire, which was proposed by Egypt, will be a "pure humanitarian cease-fire," with no military action.

Both governments are expected to sit tomorrow and deliberate on their terms and conditions for a total cease fire.

Earlier today, Egypt which is serving as a mediator, presented the Palestinians' demands to Israel, which includes an end to the blockade on Gaza of goods and people, the release of recently rearrested prisoners who had been freed in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange; the reconstruction of Gaza, including the port and the airport; and the extension of Palestinian fishing rights to 12 nautical miles.
Israel on Sunday began withdrawing troops from areas of Gaza after saying that its military had completed a main objective of the ground assault - the destruction of infiltration tunnels from Gaza into Israeli communities on the border with the coastal strip.

Though both sides have agreed to the cease-fire, they still seem suspicious of one another.
From CNN
"The onus is on Hamas," Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said shortly after announcing on CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper" that Israel had accepted the Egyptian proposal.
"We are entering this with our eyes open. ...We have been burnt more than once."
The sentiment was similar from Hamas spokesman Osama Hamdan, who told CNN as long as Israel honors the agreement, so will the Palestinians.
News of the cease-fire comes as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Monday to finish the military operation to destroy Hamas' network of tunnels.
"This operation will end only when quiet and security are restored to the citizens of Israel for a lengthy period," he said.
The remaining tunnels are few, according to IDF spokeswoman Lt. Libby Weiss. "Those remaining numbers are in the single digits, between one and three," she said.

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