Friday, August 07, 2020

Humanitarian ceasefire enters second day while Gazans try to cope with the immense devastation

By Lynda Franken - August 06, 2014
Section: [Main News] [Life under Occupation]
Tags: [Gaza] [Operation Protective Edge]

 Two Gazan women overlook their destroyed home | AFP


The 72-hour ceasefire entered its second day today while indirect negotiations between Israel and Hamas, on a more lasting truce, continued in Cairo. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki expects “the ceasefire to expand into another 72 hours and beyond,” according to Al Jazeera reports


With discussions ongoing later tonight, an Egyptian official stated that “the indirect talks between the Palestinians and Israelis are moving forward.” He added that “it is still too early to talk about outcomes, but we are optimistic.” 


An American delegation is expected to join the negotiations. Spokesperson for the State Department Jen Psaki said “it is likely we will be participating in these talks” and added that “we are determining at what level and in what capacity and when.”


Suspect in killing three Israeli teenagers revealed


Israeli authorities revealed yesterday that it holds Hussam Kawasmeh, 40, in custody for his involvement in the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers in June. Kawasmeh, a resident of Hebron, has been arrested since July 11th.


His name was made public after a recent court case that deliberated whether his house and that of two suspects should be destroyed as a way of punishment. 


According to the court document, Kawasmeh received money from Hamas to purchase weapons. These were passed on to two other suspects, identified as Marwan Kawasmeh and Amar Abu Aysha, who carried out the attack. The two remain fugitive. 


The statement of Kawasmeh contradicts earlier statements made by the Israeli Police Spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld, who told a reporter that the attack was definitely done by a “lone cell” that was not Hamas affiliated. 


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denied these claims, stating on Facebook right after the teens were found that “Hamas is responsible – and Hamas will pay”.


Searching for loved ones


With the ceasefire holding, Gazans search the rubble for the remains of loved ones. Ma’an reports of a family who searched for four days trying to find the body of four-year-old Yamin Abu Jabir in the rubble near his destroyed family home in Al-Bureij refugee camp. 


Unable to find him, they resorted to visiting hospitals and eventually found him alive in Al-Shifa hospital. Yamin is the only survivor after an Israeli air strike killed 22 of his relatives in Al-Bureij.


The death toll stands at 1,875 Palestinians according to the Gaza Health Ministry. There is a high possibility this number will increase as more bodies are discovered under the rubble. 


A figure presented by Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights shows that 79 per cent of the Palestinian victims are civilians. 


On the Israeli side, 67 people have been killed of which 4 per cent are civilians. 

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