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Aug 7, 2014

Analysis: Palestinian shift may bring war crimes case closer to Israel

THE HAGUE/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The possibility of a war crimes investigation into the conduct of Israeli forces in Gaza, until recently unthinkable, has grown after the Palestinians said this week they wanted to become a party to the International Criminal Court.

The world’s permanent war crimes court in The Hague declined two years ago to investigate allegations against the Israeli military in 2008-2009, citing the uncertain legal status of the Palestinian Authority.

Aug 7, 2014

Palestinian shift brings war crimes case closer to Israel

THE HAGUE/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The possibility of a war crimes investigation into the conduct of Israeli forces in Gaza, until recently unthinkable, has grown after the Palestinians said this week they wanted to become a party to the International Criminal Court.

The world’s permanent war crimes court in The Hague declined two years ago to investigate allegations against the Israeli military in 2008-2009, citing the uncertain legal status of the Palestinian Authority.

Aug 4, 2014

Censured over shelter deaths, Israel declares seven-hour Gaza truce

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel said it would unilaterally hold fire in most of the Gaza Strip on Monday to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid and allow some of the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians displaced by an almost four-week-old war to go back to home.

The announcement, made first to Palestinian media, met with suspicion from Gaza’s dominant Hamas Islamists and followed unusually strong censure from Washington at the apparent Israeli shelling on Sunday of a U.N.-run shelter that killed 10 people.

Aug 2, 2014

Hamas defends Gaza ambush blamed for ending ceasefire

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Hamas claimed responsibility on Saturday for a deadly Gaza Strip ambush in which an Israeli army officer may have been captured, but said the incident likely preceded and therefore had not violated a U.S.- and U.N.-sponsored truce.

The statement by Hamas’s armed wing, the Qassam Brigades, appeared aimed at preempting any intensification of Israel’s 25-day-old Gaza offensive as well as deflecting international blame for the collapse of Friday’s ceasefire.

Jul 31, 2014

Gaza toll soars as Israel ‘days’ from completing tunnel hunt

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel pressed ahead with its Gaza offensive saying it was days from achieving its core goal of destroying all Islamist guerrilla cross-border attack tunnels, but a soaring Palestinian civilian toll has triggered international alarm.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet on Wednesday approved continuing the assault launched on July 8 in response to a surge of rocket attacks by Gaza’s dominant Hamas Islamists. But Israel also sent a delegation to Egypt, which has been trying, with Washington’s blessing, to broker a ceasefire.

Jul 30, 2014

Israeli troops, using sniffer dogs and robots, hunt for Gaza tunnels

GAZA STRIP (Reuters) – Israeli Colonel Tomer was literally tipped off to the tunnel snaking under a Palestinian village when the tank-churned earth gave way under the weight of one of his behemoth bulldozers.

Twenty-four hours later, on Wednesday, his forces cleared a greenhouse that had provided cover and dug a 3 meter-deep (10 foot) crater exposing the concrete-reinforced passage wide enough for a man in battle gear to squeeze through.

Jul 29, 2014

Israel intensifies Gaza assault, Egyptians revise truce plan

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel knocked out Gaza’s only power plant and pounded dozens of other high-profile targets on Tuesday, while Egyptian mediators prepared a revised proposal for halting its war with Islamist guerrillas in the enclave. Israel’s Channel Two TV said progress was being made on such a deal in Cairo, where a Palestinian delegation is expected later on Tuesday, although the station retracted an earlier report that a truce had already been provisionally agreed.

Health officials said at least 85 Palestinians died in some of heaviest bombardments from air, sea and land since Israel’s offensive began on July 8 in response to rocket salvoes fired by Gaza’s dominant Hamas Islamists and their guerrilla allies.

Jul 28, 2014

Gaza fighting flares, Netanyahu and UN chief spar on truce terms

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A fragile truce in Gaza for the Muslim Eid al-Fitr festival was fraying on Monday as Israel’s prime minister said United Nations calls for a long-term ceasefire ignored his country’s security needs.

Israeli forces said they were firing only when fired upon while army engineers hunted infiltrator tunnels from the Gaza Strip’s eastern frontier. They accused Palestinians of firing 17 rockets across the border, causing no casualties.

Jul 28, 2014

U.S.-Israeli tensions rise as hostilities in Gaza subside

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel sees no need for another Gaza ceasefire, an Israeli official was quoted as saying on Monday, as tensions between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government and Washington flared over U.S. mediation to end the almost three-week-old war.

Fighting had subsided over the weekend, with the battered Palestinian enclave’s dominant Hamas Islamists endorsing a U.N. call for a 24-hour halt ahead of Monday’s Eid al-Fitr festival.

Jul 25, 2014

Crunch time for Gaza truce talks as death toll passes 800

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pressed regional proxies to nail down a Gaza ceasefire on Friday as the civilian death toll soared, threatening to spread Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed to the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem.

With Israel and Islamist Hamas setting seemingly irreconcilable terms for a truce that mediators hope will begin by a major Muslim festival next week, Kerry worked the phones from Egypt while aides made clear his patience was limited.