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Gaza truce between Israel, Hamas holds but top Muslim Brotherhood cleric urges ‘jihad’Gaza residents cleared rubble and claimed victory on Thursday, just hours after an Egyptian-brokered truce between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers ended the worst cross-border fighting in four years.The cease-fire announcement had set off frenzied late night street celebrations in the coastal strip, and raised hopes of a new era in relations between Israel and Hamas. The two sides are now to negotiate a deal that would open the borders of the blockaded Palestinian territory.“Today is different, the morning coffee tastes different and I feel we are off to a new start,” said Ashraf Diaa, a 38-year-old engineer from Gaza City.However, the vague language in the agreement and deep hostility between the combatants made it far from certain that the bloodshed would end.

Gaza truce between Israel, Hamas holds but top Muslim Brotherhood cleric urges ‘jihad’
Gaza residents cleared rubble and claimed victory on Thursday, just hours after an Egyptian-brokered truce between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers ended the worst cross-border fighting in four years.

The cease-fire announcement had set off frenzied late night street celebrations in the coastal strip, and raised hopes of a new era in relations between Israel and Hamas. The two sides are now to negotiate a deal that would open the borders of the blockaded Palestinian territory.

“Today is different, the morning coffee tastes different and I feel we are off to a new start,” said Ashraf Diaa, a 38-year-old engineer from Gaza City.

However, the vague language in the agreement and deep hostility between the combatants made it far from certain that the bloodshed would end.

Israel and Hamas agree to ceasefire after week of intense fightingIsrael and Hamas agreed on Wednesday to a ceasefire brokered by Egypt on the eighth day of intensive Israeli fire on the Gaza Strip and terrorist-led rocket attacks out of the enclave, Israeli, Palestinian and Egyptian sources said.First word of the truce came from a Palestinian official who has knowledge of the negotiations in Cairo, where U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was also pursuing peace efforts.Asked whether a ceasefire deal had been reached, an Egyptian official in Cairo said: “Yes, and Egypt will announce it.” (REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma)

Israel and Hamas agree to ceasefire after week of intense fighting
Israel and Hamas agreed on Wednesday to a ceasefire brokered by Egypt on the eighth day of intensive Israeli fire on the Gaza Strip and terrorist-led rocket attacks out of the enclave, Israeli, Palestinian and Egyptian sources said.

First word of the truce came from a Palestinian official who has knowledge of the negotiations in Cairo, where U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was also pursuing peace efforts.

Asked whether a ceasefire deal had been reached, an Egyptian official in Cairo said: “Yes, and Egypt will announce it.” (REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma)

Tagged with:  #news  #Israel  #Hamas  #Gaza  #Gaza Strip
Hamas fires rocket at Jerusalem as Egypt says ‘aggression’ set to endA Palestinian rocket struck the outskirts of Jerusalem on Tuesday, landing harmlessly in an open area in one of the longest rocket strikes fired from the Gaza Strip in nearly a week of fighting.The rocket attack, the second aimed at the holy city since an Israeli offensive began a week ago, set off air raid sirens throughout the metropolis. A distant explosion could be heard in the city’s downtown. Jerusalem residents ran for cover as buses and trains stopped to let passengers off.The strike comes as Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi said he expects what he called Israeli “aggression” against Gaza to end today, citing “positive results” from ongoing truce talks. (Gary Clement/National Post)

Hamas fires rocket at Jerusalem as Egypt says ‘aggression’ set to end
A Palestinian rocket struck the outskirts of Jerusalem on Tuesday, landing harmlessly in an open area in one of the longest rocket strikes fired from the Gaza Strip in nearly a week of fighting.

The rocket attack, the second aimed at the holy city since an Israeli offensive began a week ago, set off air raid sirens throughout the metropolis. A distant explosion could be heard in the city’s downtown. Jerusalem residents ran for cover as buses and trains stopped to let passengers off.

The strike comes as Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi said he expects what he called Israeli “aggression” against Gaza to end today, citing “positive results” from ongoing truce talks. (Gary Clement/National Post)

Israel finishes ground war preparations as Clinton heads to Jerusalem in hopes of brokering Gaza peace dealU.S. President Barack Obama is sending Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the Middle East in hopes that she can help mediate an end to bloody conflict in the region.A deputy White House national security adviser says Clinton will depart Tuesday from Cambodia, where she had accompanied Obama on a visit to Southeast Asia.Clinton will begin her Mideast diplomacy by meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. She also will meet with Palestinian officials in Ramallah before heading to Cairo to meet with leaders in Egypt. Israel has been firing rockets into the Gaza Strip in an attempt to end months of rocket fire out of the Hamas-ruled territory. On Monday, it finished preparations to launch an invasion into Gaza if it deems it necessary. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba)

Israel finishes ground war preparations as Clinton heads to Jerusalem in hopes of brokering Gaza peace deal
U.S. President Barack Obama is sending Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the Middle East in hopes that she can help mediate an end to bloody conflict in the region.

A deputy White House national security adviser says Clinton will depart Tuesday from Cambodia, where she had accompanied Obama on a visit to Southeast Asia.

Clinton will begin her Mideast diplomacy by meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. She also will meet with Palestinian officials in Ramallah before heading to Cairo to meet with leaders in Egypt.

Israel has been firing rockets into the Gaza Strip in an attempt to end months of rocket fire out of the Hamas-ruled territory. On Monday, it finished preparations to launch an invasion into Gaza if it deems it necessary. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba)

Air strikes, rocket launches and death tolls: The latest Gaza developmentsIsrael hit targets in the Gaza Strip for the fifth consecutive day on Sunday. So far, as part of Operation Pillar of Defense, the IDF says it has struck more than 1,200 such targets. Officials say 74 Palestinians have died since the operation began; about half have reportedly been civilians. Meanwhile, terrorists in Gaza have fired more than 1,000 rockets at Israel, 544 of which have reached Israeli territory. Israel claims to have intercepted 290 of those. Above is a look at some of the major incidents yesterday inside the Gaza Strip

Air strikes, rocket launches and death tolls: The latest Gaza developments
Israel hit targets in the Gaza Strip for the fifth consecutive day on Sunday. So far, as part of Operation Pillar of Defense, the IDF says it has struck more than 1,200 such targets. Officials say 74 Palestinians have died since the operation began; about half have reportedly been civilians. Meanwhile, terrorists in Gaza have fired more than 1,000 rockets at Israel, 544 of which have reached Israeli territory. Israel claims to have intercepted 290 of those. Above is a look at some of the major incidents yesterday inside the Gaza Strip

Israel agrees to temporary truce in Gaza during Egyptian PM’s visit — Hamas violates it almost immediatelyRockets fired from Gaza hit several sites in southern Israel on Friday shortly after Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil arrived in the Palestinian enclave.The Israeli air force responded with an attack on the house of Hamas’s commander for southern Gaza, a Hamas source said.Israel had announced it would suspend military operations in Gaza during Kandil’s three-hour visit so long as Hamas also halted all fire.

Israel agrees to temporary truce in Gaza during Egyptian PM’s visit — Hamas violates it almost immediately
Rockets fired from Gaza hit several sites in southern Israel on Friday shortly after Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil arrived in the Palestinian enclave.

The Israeli air force responded with an attack on the house of Hamas’s commander for southern Gaza, a Hamas source said.

Israel had announced it would suspend military operations in Gaza during Kandil’s three-hour visit so long as Hamas also halted all fire.

Tagged with:  #news  #Israel  #Hamas  #Gaza Strip  #maps  #Palestinian  #Gaza
Jonathan Kay: In Gaza, Hamas military leader Ahmed Jabari got what he deservedIt’s a rhetorical question that’s been asked many times before. But given Wednesday’s events in Gaza, it’s worth asking again: Can anyone name a country on the face of the planet that would regard recurrent rocket attacks on its territory as anything but an act of war? And since the obvious answer is no, why should Israel not be expected to fight back when Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups seek to murder Israelis in this fashion?

Jonathan Kay: In Gaza, Hamas military leader Ahmed Jabari got what he deserved
It’s a rhetorical question that’s been asked many times before. But given Wednesday’s events in Gaza, it’s worth asking again: Can anyone name a country on the face of the planet that would regard recurrent rocket attacks on its territory as anything but an act of war? And since the obvious answer is no, why should Israel not be expected to fight back when Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups seek to murder Israelis in this fashion?

Israel and Hamas on the brink of war after airstrike kills top militant commanderIsrael killed the military commander of Hamas in an airstrike on the Gaza Strip Wednesday, bringing the two sides to the brink of a possible new war.The attack came despite signs that Egypt had managed to broker a truce between Israel and Palestinian militants after a five-day surge of violence which saw more than 100 missiles fired out of Gaza and repeated Israeli strikes on the enclave.Islamist Hamas said Ahmed Al-Jaabari, who ran the organization’s armed wing, Izz el-Deen Al-Qassam, died along with a passenger after their car was targeted by an Israeli missile. (REUTERS/Ali Hassan)

Israel and Hamas on the brink of war after airstrike kills top militant commander
Israel killed the military commander of Hamas in an airstrike on the Gaza Strip Wednesday, bringing the two sides to the brink of a possible new war.

The attack came despite signs that Egypt had managed to broker a truce between Israel and Palestinian militants after a five-day surge of violence which saw more than 100 missiles fired out of Gaza and repeated Israeli strikes on the enclave.

Islamist Hamas said Ahmed Al-Jaabari, who ran the organization’s armed wing, Izz el-Deen Al-Qassam, died along with a passenger after their car was targeted by an Israeli missile. (REUTERS/Ali Hassan)

Tagged with:  #news  #Isreal  #Gaza Strip  #Hamas
Palestinian unity government could serve interest of both Abbas and NetanyahuPalestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has decided he has a better chance of making peace with the militant Islamist group Hamas than he does of signing a treaty with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.In the short term at least, that might serve the interests of both Abbas and Netanyahu. It could equally open the door to Hamas dominance over Palestinian politics, as fellow Islamists rise to power elsewhere in elections following the Arab Spring.

Palestinian unity government could serve interest of both Abbas and Netanyahu
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has decided he has a better chance of making peace with the militant Islamist group Hamas than he does of signing a treaty with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In the short term at least, that might serve the interests of both Abbas and Netanyahu. It could equally open the door to Hamas dominance over Palestinian politics, as fellow Islamists rise to power elsewhere in elections following the Arab Spring.

Hamas set to reject violence: reportIn the Middle East what happens in the shadows is frequently more important than what occurs in bright daylight and Wednesday’s 24th anniversary celebrations in Gaza of the founding of Hamas were no exception.The dusty Palestinian enclave by the sea was an ocean of green flags as more than 300,000 people attended a Hamas rally in the centre of Gaza City.Masked men, armed with AK-47s, formed a ceremonial guard for Gaza’s de facto prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, who mounted a stage shaped like a ship and decorated with a model of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque, as a 10-man vocal group led the crowd in chanting, “We will not recognize Israel.”Beneath the surface, however, something else may be going on.The same day as Hamas’s Gaza celebration, IHS Jane’s, the well-respected defence and security intelligence analysis agency, published an exclusive report claiming Hamas was on the brink of renouncing armed resistance and moving to a policy of non-violent resistance to Israel. (Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)

Hamas set to reject violence: report
In the Middle East what happens in the shadows is frequently more important than what occurs in bright daylight and Wednesday’s 24th anniversary celebrations in Gaza of the founding of Hamas were no exception.

The dusty Palestinian enclave by the sea was an ocean of green flags as more than 300,000 people attended a Hamas rally in the centre of Gaza City.

Masked men, armed with AK-47s, formed a ceremonial guard for Gaza’s de facto prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, who mounted a stage shaped like a ship and decorated with a model of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque, as a 10-man vocal group led the crowd in chanting, “We will not recognize Israel.”

Beneath the surface, however, something else may be going on.

The same day as Hamas’s Gaza celebration, IHS Jane’s, the well-respected defence and security intelligence analysis agency, published an exclusive report claiming Hamas was on the brink of renouncing armed resistance and moving to a policy of non-violent resistance to Israel. (Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)

Middle East on the brink of war: analysisAs Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad clings to power with the quiet backing of regional powers Iran and Russia, the Middle East may be sliding slowly into war.Squeezed between the rebellions of a bloody Arab Spring and growing fears of a possible military response to Iran’s growing nuclear threat, the region is becoming increasingly unstable.“I would be very surprised if it turned into a Russian-American war, but this could be a Mid-East war: Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran, Syria, Israel all having at each other,” said Jack Granatstein, military historian and senior research fellow at the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute.

Middle East on the brink of war: analysis
As Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad clings to power with the quiet backing of regional powers Iran and Russia, the Middle East may be sliding slowly into war.

Squeezed between the rebellions of a bloody Arab Spring and growing fears of a possible military response to Iran’s growing nuclear threat, the region is becoming increasingly unstable.

“I would be very surprised if it turned into a Russian-American war, but this could be a Mid-East war: Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran, Syria, Israel all having at each other,” said Jack Granatstein, military historian and senior research fellow at the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute.