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Aug 5, 2014

From fruit basket to scorched earth, Gaza town changed by war

BEIT HANOUN Gaza (Reuters) – The stench of rotting animal carcasses was in the air as 10-year-old Ahmed al-Kafarna picked through the debris of his Gaza home after a ceasefire began on Tuesday, looking for his toys.

“Mine was the middle room, I found it, I mean the rubble,” he said. “Those are the photos of me, with my dad and my mother and sisters. But I couldn’t get my toys – they were crushed.”

Aug 5, 2014

Israelis, Palestinians set to launch 72-hour truce in monthlong war

GAZA/CAIRO/JERUSALEM – (Reuters) – Israel and Islamist Hamas were expected to hold their fire for three days starting on Tuesday, under terms of an Egyptian-brokered truce, while launching negotiations to cement a long-term deal to end a four-week Gaza war.

The ceasefire was the latest of several failed attempts to stop what has been the worst Israeli-Palestinian fighting in two years.

Aug 5, 2014

Israel, Palestinians accept Egypt’s 72-hour truce bid

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel and the Islamist Hamas movement agreed on Monday to an Egyptian-proposed ceasefire to end four weeks of fighting in the Gaza Strip, while Jerusalem was rocked by two attacks that appeared to be a backlash to the violence.

Egypt’s plan called for a 72-hour-long truce to begin at 0500 GMT on Tuesday and then for representatives of Israeli and Palestinian factions to attend talks in Cairo to negotiate a longer-term agreement.

Aug 4, 2014

“We come in sadness, we go in sadness”: Gaza family briefly returns home

GAZA, Aug 4 (Reuters) – Glass and debris littered the road
to Ahed Marouf’s house in a northern Gaza town on Monday as he
rode on a donkey cart with his wife on three children to check
on their home during a seven-hour truce declared by Israel.

What they saw when they reached Beit Lahiya, near the
Israeli border, persuaded them to return to their temporary
shelter in a U.N.-run school in nearby Jabalya refugee camp.

Aug 4, 2014

Hope among the ruins: Gaza looks to post-war aid to rebuild

GAZA (Reuters) – Reconstruction in Gaza, where heavy Israeli bombardment in a war with Islamist militants has caused widespread devastation and displaced half a million people, will cost at least $6 billion, the Palestinian deputy prime minister says.

This time, Mohammed Mustafa said, Palestinians hope future donors will make good on aid pledges. In 2009, only a fraction of the nearly $5 billion in funds promised at an international conference after a three-week war between Israel and Gaza’s ruling Hamas actually arrived in the battered enclave.

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 3, 2014

Soldier feared abducted is dead, Hamas will pay heavily for more attacks, Israel says

JERUSALEM/GAZA (Reuters) – Israel on Sunday declared dead a soldier feared abducted by Hamas Islamist militants in the Gaza Strip and said it would continue to fight even after the army completes destroying cross-border tunnels used by Palestinian fighters to attack its territory.

As Israeli television showed live footage of some tanks withdrawing from Gaza in an apparent winding down of the 26-day campaign, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Hamas would pay an “intolerable price” if it continued to attack Israel.

Aug 3, 2014

Soldier feared abducted is dead, Israel says

JERUSALEM/GAZA (Reuters) – Israel on Sunday declared dead a soldier feared abducted by Hamas Islamist militants in the Gaza Strip and said it would continue to fight even after the army completes destroying cross-border tunnels used by Palestinian fighters to attack its territory.

As Israeli television showed live footage of some tanks withdrawing from Gaza in an apparent winding down of the 26-day campaign, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Hamas would pay an “intolerable price” if it continued to attack Israel.

Aug 2, 2014

Israel looks for missing soldier; Hamas says he may have been killed

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The armed wing of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas said on Saturday it had no clear indication on the whereabouts of an Israeli soldier that Israel has accused it of abducting in the Gaza Strip, adding he may have been killed during an ambush.

Israel said Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, 23, who went missing on Friday, had been abducted by Hamas gunmen. It declared a planned 72-hour Gaza ceasefire over, saying Hamas militants breached the truce soon after it took effect.

Aug 2, 2014

Gaza truce over, Israel soldier captured, 70 dead in Rafah shelling

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel declared a Gaza ceasefire over on Friday, saying Hamas militants breached the truce soon after it took effect and apparently captured an Israeli officer while killing two other soldiers.

Renewed Israeli shelling killed more than 70 Palestinians and wounded some 220, hospital officials said. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called his security cabinet into special session and publicly warned Hamas and other militant groups they would “bear the consequences of their actions”.

    • 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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