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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/1/2014 (7 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Secretary of State warns that there are 'no guarantees' that peace will hold

Five people were killed a few short hours later a 72-hour ceasefire was declared in Gaza. Both United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had previously announced that an unconditional humanitarian truce in Gaza would begin at 8 a.m. local time on Friday and last 72 hours as agreed by all parties.

The shelling occurred amid growing White House irritation with the scope of civilian casualties resulting from Israel's ground and air war.

The shelling occurred amid growing White House irritation with the scope of civilian casualties resulting from Israel's ground and air war.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/1/2014 (7 months ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Gaza, Israel, truce, Hamas, civilian casualties


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Kerry warned that there are "no guarantees" the lull in violence would cease the 24-day-old Gaza war. Israel and Hamas have agreed to send negotiators to Cairo to seek a permanent end to the bloodshed.

"This is not a time for congratulations or joy or anything except a serious determination - a focus by everybody to try to figure out the road ahead," Kerry said. "This is a respite. It is a moment of opportunity, not an end."

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Seventeen Palestinians died in Israeli strikes and Israel's military reported that five soldiers were killed along the Gaza border the previous evening.

While there was an immediate lull when the truce began, five people were reported killed three hours later. More than a dozen people were wounded in Rafah as a result of Israeli tank shelling. There were also reports of sniper fire in the east of Gaza City.

Four short humanitarian cease-fires have been announced since the conflict began, but each has been broken by renewed fighting. Israel repeated that it would not stop destroying Hamas' tunnel network even in the event of a cease-fire.

The White House criticized Israel's deadly shelling of a United Nations school in the Gaza Strip as "totally unacceptable and totally indefensible." Reports have surfaced that Washington had agreed to allow Israel to replenish its dwindling munitions with a local U.S. arms stockpile.

Delivered by spokesman Josh Earnest, the statement was the Obama administration's strongest critique yet of Israel's weeks-long offensive against Hamas in the coastal enclave, and came hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to press on with the operation "with or without a cease-fire."

"The shelling of a U.N. facility that is housing innocent civilians who are fleeing violence is totally unacceptable and totally indefensible," Earnest said.

The shelling occurred amid growing White House irritation with the scope of civilian casualties resulting from Israel's ground and air war.

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