GAZA (Reuters) – One of the most joyous days in the Muslim calendar, the holiday of Eid al-Fitr was marked on Monday by tears and sorrow in the Gaza Strip, left battered by three weeks of merciless fighting between Israel and Hamas Islamists.
Marking the end of the holy Ramadan month of fasting, Eid is normally a time of feasts and fun, presents and parties, even in this impoverished and isolated Palestinian coastal enclave.
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel eased its assaults in the Gaza Strip and Palestinian rocket fire from the enclave declined sharply on Monday, the military said, with both the United States and United Nations calling for a durable ceasefire.
As international pressure mounted to end a 21-day conflict in which more than 1,000 people have been killed, an Israeli military official said the army would only fire in response to attacks, adding that this would be for an “unlimited” period.
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.
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Fighting subsided in Gaza on Sunday after Hamas Islamist militants said they backed a 24-hour humanitarian truce and U.S. President Barack Obama called for a ceasefire but there was no sign of any comprehensive deal to end fighting with Israel.
Hamas said it had endorsed a call by the United Nations for a pause in the fighting in light of the upcoming Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which begins on Monday.
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A humanitarian truce in the Gaza Strip collapsed on Sunday after a barrage of rockets fired by Palestinian militants was met with fierce Israeli shelling, in a fresh setback to efforts to secure a permanent ceasefire.
Israeli tanks and artillery army pounded targets along the coastal enclave, sending thick plumes of black smoke rising into the sky, signalling an end its unilateral, 24-hour truce in the wake of the missile salvoes.
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel extended a humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza Strip for another 24 hours, but Hamas, which dominates the coastal enclave, said it would only accept the truce if Israeli troops left the territory.
Israeli ministers had signaled that a comprehensive deal to end the 20-day conflict with Hamas and its allies, in which at least 1,050 Gazans – mostly civilians – have been killed, and 42 soldiers and three civilians in Israel have died, was remote.
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A 12-hour humanitarian truce went into effect on Saturday after Israel and Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip agreed to a U.N. request for a pause in fighting, and efforts to secure a long-term ceasefire moved ahead.
Israel’s military said it would hold fire starting at 8 a.m. (1 a.m. EDT) but would pursue its search for tunnels used by militants. A spokesman for the Islamist group Hamas, which is dominant in the Gaza Strip, said all Palestinian factions would abide by the brief truce.
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel has rejected international proposals for a ceasefire in its fight against Islamist militants in Gaza, a government source said on Friday, but U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said no formal proposals had yet been put forward.
Mediators hope that a truce could come into force ahead of a Muslim festival that starts early next week, but they have struggled to resolve seemingly irreconcilable demands from Israel and Hamas-led fighters, locked in conflict since July 8.
GAZA (Reuters) – Almost half of the Gaza Strip is a no-go area shelled by Israeli ground forces during almost three weeks of fighting, sending not just the living but the dead in search of a safe place to rest.
Many graveyards – along with whole neighborhoods once home to hundreds of thousands of people – are too dangerous to approach, pushing some families to cram their dead among the more than 800 killed by the bombs into old, or occupied, graves closer to safety.
GAZA (Reuters) – As the United States and regional powers strive for a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza militants, the impoverished enclave faces a daunting recovery, such is the scale of damage after almost three weeks of fighting.
Israeli artillery has shredded entire neighborhoods and air strikes have pounded the scant infrastructure that barely kept the crowded strip of 1.8 million people running even in peacetime.