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A five-day ceasefire in Gaza which ended last night was extended by another 24 hours, at Egypt's request.
Israeli and Palestinian delegations restarted indirect talks in Cairo over the weekend, however Israeli officials were skeptical a truce could be reached by Monday's midnight deadline. Over the weekend, Hamas threatened a "war of attrition" if its demands were not met. Meanwhile, Israel threatened "harsh strikes" if Hamas broke the ceasefire with any type of fire against the Jewish state and Israeli officials said "quiet and security' will be restored 'one way or another.'
The security cabinet convened in Tel Aviv on Friday morning to discuss the cease-fire agreement and negotiations taking place between Israel and the Palestinians in Cairo, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Amidst rocket attacks and Israeli retaliatory strikes within the Gaza Strip, both sides agreed to extend a three-day truce by an additional five days.
Egypt presented a proposed cease-fire to Israel and Hamas aimed at ending the month-long war, Palestinian officials said early Wednesday after negotiators huddled for a second day of Egyptian-mediated talks aimed at ending the crisis and bringing relief to the embattled Gaza Strip.
The head of the UN's Gaza probe, Canadian legal expert William Schabas, said he would investigate possible Israeli human rights violations in Operation Protective Edge, but balked on Tuesday at clarifying whether his mandate included Hamas.
While reports from Palestinian media outlets say a long-term ceasefire could be reached by Wednesday, Israeli officials contend that the "gaps are still very wide, there has been no progress in the negotiations." The blockade and the demilitarization of Gaza remain as points of contention between the two sides.
A Turkish aid group said on Monday it would send a new flotilla of ships to challenge Israel's naval blockade of Gaza, four years after the deadly storming of one of its vessel by Israeli commandos.
A Catholic Archbishop ministering to Gaza's Christian minority said Hamas had forced him to allow the use of his church to fire rockets at Israel during Operation Protective Edge, according to The Algemeiner.
As a 72 hour truce went into effect at midnight, Israel sent a delegation to Egypt to negotiate a ceasefire with Hamas. Over the weekend, Hamas claimed it still had tunnels going into Israel. In order to conceal its extensive tunnel system, Hamas has killed dozens of diggers fearing they would reveal site locations to Israel.
While protests around the world condemned Israel's "indiscriminate" killing of civilians, the hard data does not support their assessment. In the latest figures coming from Gaza, a disproportionate number of men ages 20 to 29 -- which represent a mere 9 percent of the population, represented nearly 35 percent of those killed in the Gaza Strip over the past month. At the same time, 725 men were killed compared to 214 women.
Anti-Israel rallies took place all across the world condemning Israel's military action against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Thousands of protesters took to the streets in major cities of London, Cape Town, Santiago, Melbourne, Berlin, and New York. As antisemitism rises around the world, Bible scholars point to the fulfillment of prophecy as God is using hatred towards the Jews to drive them back to their ancient homeland.
Israel withdrew its diplomatic team from Egypt, after Hamas launched 20 rockets at Israeli cities, saying it will not negotiate under fire. Israel Defense Forces struck terrorist sites throughout the Gaza Strip as fighting has renewed.
Israel has reportedly agreed to extend the current ceasefire in Gaza Strip Wednesday as indirect Israel-Palestinian negotiations over extending a truce in Gaza got underway in Cairo. However, Hamas was quick to deny the reports, saying it will renew fire at Israel as soon as the current lull has ended, Ynet News reported. Meanwhile, EU powers proposed Gaza rehabilitation in exchange for disarmament.
As journalists left the Gaza Strip more details emerged as television crews showed detailed footage of how Hamas assembled rockets and then fired them from residential areas just before a 72-hour ceasefire went into effect. Meanwhile, Israel-U.S. relations have hit a new low after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry haven't spoken since their short phone conversation last week was disconnected due to "communications problems". Lastly, Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said the U.S. and E.U. must "recognize" Hamas as a "legitimate political actor" in order to bring peace to the region.
Jerusalem was hit with multiple terror attacks just before Tisha b'Av began. Riots broke out on the Temple Mount Monday morning when hundreds of masked Muslims stormed the holy site and injured at least five police officers. A few hours later, a Palestinian man seized a construction excavator, and mowed down and killed a pedestrian and injured six others, overturned a bus before being killed by police in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Shmuel Hanavi. Later, a soldier was seriously wounded at a bus stop after he was shot in the stomach by a man who fled on a motorcycle. During Tisha b'Av, Israeli police have heightened security throughout the capital.
Israel's Iron Dome Missile Defense System received a $225 million boost when U.S. President Barack Obama signed a bill on Monday authorizing additional funding for the program.
As Operation Protective Edge enters its fifth week, Israel and Hamas have agreed to an Egyptian proposal for a 72-hour ceasefire beginning Tuesday morning.
Over the weekend, Israel completed its demolition of Hamas terror tunnels and began withdrawing its troops from the Gaza Strip ahead of Tisha B'Av, which begins Monday night. Meanwhile, the U.N. condemned Israel for not sharing its Iron Dome technology with Hamas, saying Israel committed war crimes by not "protecting" Gazan citizens from misfired Hamas rockets that land within the Gaza Strip. Last week, there were scores of misfired rockets by Hamas that killed dozens of Palestinian citizens. On the diplomatic front, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the White House not to 'second guess' him on dealing with Hamas.
Hamas wants Hezbollah to join the three-week-old conflict with Israel, Musa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas official said. While Hamas rocket strength was estimated at 10,000 rockets, conservative estimates say Hezbollah has well over 100,000 rockets aimed at Israel.
Israel and Hamas have agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire beginning Friday morning. While Israel has said it will observe the ceasefire, the IDF will continue to destroy terror tunnels. Meanwhile, three IDF soldiers were killed Wednesday morning in an explosion at a booby-trapped United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) health clinic. However, UNRWA claims the building was not registered leading to speculation Hamas stole UNRWA signs and placed it throughout the building. Gazan health officials place the death toll at over 1,400 while the IDF casualty toll grew to 61.
One thing that really frustrates me is the number of Christians who believe Israel is in the wrong for destroying Hamas...
Tensions intensified internationally as a U.N. run school was caught in the midst of a battle that left 19 Palestinians dead, and scores more injured. Nevertheless, Israel called up another 16,000 reservists as the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) pressed forward with its campaign against Hamas vowing to destroy every terrorist tunnel. Meanwhile, the U.S. allowed Israel to resupply its grenades and mortar rounds from a U.S. munitions store located in Israel.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) found a cache of rockets at one of its schools in the Gaza Strip for the 3rd time in as many weeks, further confirming Israel claims that Hamas have used schools and other civilian sites to store weapons, making them legitimate targets.
The Temple Institute has created a $100,000 Indiegogo campaign to raise financing for "architectural plans" to construct the Third Temple, which it says will be a "house of prayer for all nations" and will usher in "a new era of universal harmony and peace" as prophesied in the Bible.
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