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Aug 18, 2014

Unless blockade ends, Gaza faces years of misery: U.N.

GAZA (Reuters) – Unless negotiations to end the Gaza war succeed in lifting a blockade of the territory, Gazans will not see any improvement in their lives for at least another 15 years, the head of a U.N. relief agency said on Monday.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are in Egypt trying to secure a permanent ceasefire after a month of fierce fighting in the Gaza Strip destroyed whole neighborhoods and forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes.

Aug 18, 2014

No sign of Gaza talks breakthrough as ceasefire nears end

GAZA/CAIRO (Reuters) – Talks in Cairo on ending the Gaza war showed no signs of a breakthrough on Monday, with Israel and the Palestinians entrenched in their demands hours before the expiration of a five-day ceasefire.

The truce is due to run out at 2100 GMT (5.00 p.m. EDT). A Palestinian source quoted by Egypt’s state news agency MENA said Egyptian mediators were making “a big effort to reach an agreement in the coming hours”.

Aug 18, 2014

Netanyahu says undeterred by Hamas warnings in talks on ending Gaza war

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday any deal on Gaza’s future had to meet Israel’s security needs, warning Hamas it faced “harsh strikes” if it resumed firing into the Jewish state.

With a five-day ceasefire due to expire late on Monday, negotiators returned after consultations to Cairo to seek an end to five weeks of hostilities that have killed more than 2,000 people.

Aug 17, 2014

Undeterred by Hamas warnings: Israel

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday any deal on Gaza’s future at truce talks in Cairo must be contingent on Israel’s security needs, cautioning Hamas against carrying out its threat of a long war if Palestinian demands are not met.

With a five-day ceasefire due to expire late on Monday, negotiators were to reconvene in the Egyptian capital to seek an end to five weeks of hostilities that have killed more than 2,000 people.

Aug 15, 2014

Palestinians accuse Israel of violating Gaza truce

GAZA (Reuters) – The Palestinian Interior Ministry in Gaza accused Israel on Friday of a cross-border shooting in violation of a truce that has largely held since getting off to a shaky start on Thursday.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said: “We have no knowledge of such an incident.”

Aug 15, 2014

Doctors tackle damaged minds amid Gaza’s post-war destruction

GAZA (Reuters) – In a ward at Shifa, Gaza’s largest hospital, child therapist Rabeea Hamouda is trying to elicit a response from two small brothers, Omar and Mohammed, aged three and 18 months, hoping for some words or perhaps a smile.

For seven straight minutes the children, peppered with burns and shrapnel wounds sustained in Israeli shelling that hit their home in north Gaza, stare at him blankly, emotionless.

Aug 15, 2014

Renewed Gaza truce holds after rocky start

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A new, five-day truce between Israel and Hamas appeared to be holding on Thursday despite a shaky start, after both sides agreed to give Egyptian-brokered peace negotiations in Cairo more time to try to end the Gaza war.

The Israeli military said Gaza militants had breached the truce by firing eight rockets at Israel shortly after midnight. In response, Israeli fighter planes targeted “rocket launchers and terror sites” across the enclave. No casualties were reported and hostilities died down by dawn.

Aug 14, 2014

Deep underground, Mohammed Deif shapes Hamas war with Israel

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli assassination attempts may have left him badly hurt and driven him deep underground, but Mohammed Deif, the shadowy leader of Hamas’ armed wing in the Gaza Strip, has emerged as a mastermind of the war with Israel.

As chief strategist behind a network of tunnels under Israel’s border, Deif caught his powerful enemy off guard with surprise attacks that caused heavy casualties. Despite punishing Israeli strikes in the month-old conflict, Hamas kept up its rocket fire, even against business capital Tel Aviv.

Aug 14, 2014

Israeli-Palestinian talks face major hurdles as new truce begins

JERUSALEM/GAZA, Aug 14 (Reuters) – Israel and the
Palestinians have given themselves five days to come up with a
comprehensive agreement to end the war in Gaza. While that is a
welcome extension on past ceasefires, there is still a
dangerously long way to go to bridge their differences.

After agreeing to Egypt’s proposal to extend the halt in
hostilities until Aug. 18 – a deal clinched with barely an hour
to run on the previous, 72-hour pause – Palestinian and Israeli
negotiators left Cairo to consult with their leaders.

Aug 14, 2014

Renewed Israel, Palestinian truce off to shaky start

GAZA/JERUSALEM/CAIRO (Reuters) – Israel and the Palestinians renewed a truce that had largely tempered a five-week-old war, but the deal got off to a shaky start on Thursday with rockets from Gaza slamming into Israel and Israel retaliating with air strikes.

Hamas, which denied involvement in firing some of what Israel counted as eight rockets shot just as an earlier truce expired on Wednesday, and accused the Jewish state of violating the new truce by launching air strikes.

    • About Nidal

      "I have been Reuters senior correspondent in Gaza since 1996 working alongside a team of photographers and video journalists covering one of the world's perennial 'hot spots'."
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