Gaza cease-fire gains a 1 day extension as Israelis and Palestinians try to make a lasting peace
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
8/19/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
After nearly a month of off and on violence, Israeli and Palestinian authorities have agreed to extend the current Gaza cease-fire by 24 hours, which will now end at 5 p.m. on August 19.
An Israeli missile explodes in Gaza. Israeli has regulated most of their action to destroying Hamas' arsenal of rockets and secret tunnels.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Israeli and Palestinian officials both confirmed the cease-fire extension, which will give negotiator more time to discuss issues with the intent of creating a lasting peace in Gaza.
"There hasn't been any progress at all," said Azzam al-Ahmed, the lead Palestinian negotiator, to reporters.
A rally of fighters for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. The group has been firing rockets into Israel for months.
An Israeli television station quoted Palestinian sources, reporting that the agreement included easing Gaza's border restrictions and enlargement of the fishing zone off the coast of Gaza.
More longstanding issues include demilitarization, the construction of a seaport, the release of Palestinian prisoners and the return of the bodies of two Israeli soldiers. These, and other issues will have to be discussed in September the station reported.
"We hope that every minute in the next 24 hours will be used so we can reach an agreement or the cycle of violence will continue," al-Ahmed said.
Even with the extension, Israeli military forces remain positioned around Gaza, likely anticipating a break by Hamas, the terrorist organization that controls much of Palestine. Israel is still calling for Gaza to be demilitarized-including the destruction of rockets and tunnels that lead into Israel, and demands that Hamas surrender all weapons.
"We are getting ready for the results of the deliberations in Cairo, whether they bring quiet or someone tries to challenge us by escalation," said Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon. "The IDF is ready and willing to react with power to any development. Hamas will not drag us to a war of attrition, and if they try, they will get back twice as much."
A senior Israeli official said that the most important and pressing issue on the table, for Israel at least, was nonviolence.
"On the basis on nonviolence, if you assume that includes no tunnels, then you would be correct. If you assume that would mean no missiles, then you would be correct," he said.
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