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Gaza Conflict: Fragility Of Ceasefire Highlighted By Rocket Attack On Israel By Militants

11/21/2012 09:32 pm 21:32:48 | Updated 22 November 2012

The fragility of the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was underlined on Wednesday by a rocket attack by Palestinian militants an hour after the Egyptian-brokered truce came into effect.

Twelve rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel after hostilities officially ended, according to Reuters.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told the news agency: "We have not changed our mode of alert and remain vigilant."

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Joy: Palestinians celebrate the ceasefire in Gaza City

There were no reports of any injuries, with Israel's sophisticated anti-missile system shooting down most of the rockets.

The ceasefire was announced by the Egyptian foreign minister Kamel Amr leading to Gazans celebrating in the streets.

The truce came after eight days of violence that saw the deaths of over 140 Palestinians and five Israelis.

gaza conflict

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, together with Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak, centre and Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman deliver a joint statement on the truce

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague welcomed the ceasefire, tweeting that it was now important to make it last.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said it was "a critical moment for the region." She thanked Egypt's new president Mohammed Morsi for his "personal leadership in de-escalating the situation and ending the violence."

"There is no substitute for a just and lasting peace," she said.

"The US welcomes the agreement today for a ceasefire in Gaza - for it to hold the rocket attacks must end and a broader calm must return.

"In the days ahead the US will work with partners across the region to consolidate this progress, improve conditions for the people of Gaza, provide security for the people of Israel."

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An Israeli security officer stands next to a blown up bus in Tel Aviv

A Whitehouse statement said: "Barack Obama commended Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu for agreeing to the Egyptian ceasefire proposal - which the President recommended the Prime Minster do - while reiterating that Israel maintains the right to defend itself."

A statement from Benhamin Netanyahu's office, reported by Aljazeera, said: "A short while ago Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with President Barack Obama and agreed to his recommendation to give a chance to an Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire and thereby give an opportunity for the stabilisation of the situation and a calming of it."

It comes a week after Operation Pillar of Defence began with Israel assassinating the head of Hamas' military wing Ahmed Said Khalil al-Jabari.

23/11/2012 05:31 GMT

Clinton Warned Netanyahu: Don't Punish Palestinians For U.N. Bid

From Haaretz:

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during her talks in Israel this week not to take any extreme actions in response to the Palestinian move in the United Nations for recognition as a non-member state. Clinton said such steps against the Palestinian Authority could bring about its collapse. The Palestinians are planning to ask the United Nations General Assembly to vote on upgrading its status from non-member entity on the symbolic date of November 29.

The day after the cease-fire with Hamas took effect, Israel is preparing for the next crisis with the Palestinians, which is scheduled for six days from now. November 29th is the anniversary of the United Nations vote on accepting the Partition Plan in 1947, which led to the founding of the Jewish Sate. It is also the United Nations' International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

Read more here.

23/11/2012 03:50 GMT

Report: U.S. Urges Israel Not To Build In E-1 Areas

From the Jerusalem Post:

Washington is urging Israel not to allow construction in the area known as E-1 between Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim as a possible response to the Palestinian bid for statehood recognition next week at the UN, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

Building in E-1, which would create contiguity between Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim to the northeast beyond the Green Line, is something various Israeli governments have long wanted to do, but which US opposition has prevented.

Read more here.

23/11/2012 00:01 GMT

Life In Gaza's Courtyards

The New York Times' Jodi Rudoren chronicles displays of pride and sacrifice:

Inside a courtyard, there are faded remnants of “Congratulations from the uncles,” from the April wedding of a son of Ahmed al-Jabari, the commander of the Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, whose assassination last week was the beginning of the latest round of intense battle between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

On the wall outside, the colorful Arabic script reads “Welcome hajji, Abu Muhammad,” a reference to Mr. Jabari’s return from a pilgrimage to Mecca last month. Nearby, the freshest paint pronounces a message from the troops: “Rest in peace. The mission has been accomplished.”

Read the full story at the New York Times.

22/11/2012 23:19 GMT

PHOTO: Egypt Tunnel Into Gaza

Egypt Tunnel into Gaza:

An underground tunnel connecting through which I got into Gaza from Egypt. Israel has repeatedly targeted the tunnel network, trying to hinder flow of goods and weapons into the strip. (Photo by Mosa'ab Elshamy via Flickr)

egypt tunnel gaza strip israel smuggle

22/11/2012 22:55 GMT

Soldiers Show Frustration Via Viral Facebook Photo

16 soldiers spelled out 'loser' with their bodies to critique Netanyahu and show frustration at not going into battle.

Read the full story at The Times Of Israel.

22/11/2012 22:29 GMT

Who Brokered The Ceasefire

The Economist discusses how the ceasefire was achieved and whether it could lead to lasting peace in the region.

Among others coming and going were the UN secretary-general, the American secretary of state and the foreign ministers of Turkey and Germany. But the real bargaining took place behind closed doors at the headquarters of General Muhammad Shehata, Egypt’s intelligence chief. There, in separate rooms, the Egyptians haggled with a legal adviser to the Israeli prime minister, and with representatives from Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group that runs Gaza, and a smaller, more radical Palestinian faction, Islamic Jihad.

Read the full story at The Economist.

22/11/2012 21:22 GMT

Israeli Arab Arrested for Tel Aviv Bus Bombing

From the Associated Press:

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's army spokeswoman says an Israeli Arab who is a member of Hamas has been arrested for Wednesday's bus bombing in Tel Aviv.

The bombing injured 27 people near Israel's military headquarters and threatened to scuttle efforts to broker a cease-fire to end fighting between Israel and Gaza.

Israeli military spokeswoman Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich reported Thursday on Twitter that authorities had arrested the man who planted the bomb on the bus and identified him as an Arab Israeli from the village of Taybeh. She said he was a member of Hamas.

22/11/2012 20:41 GMT

Arrest Made In Tel Aviv Bus Bombing

@ haaretzcom :

BREAKING: #Israel security forces arrest suspects in #TelAviv bus blast http://t.co/91fS0v48

22/11/2012 20:38 GMT

A Palestinian Boy

hamas
A Palestinian boy and militants of the Izzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, attend funerals of five Hamas militants in Mugharka village, central Gaza Strip, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012. Five Hamas militants were killed in an Israeli air strike yesterday, Palestinian health officials said. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

22/11/2012 20:28 GMT

Israel-Gaza Conflict Winners And Losers

While the cease-fire agreement between Israel and Gaza on Wednesday brought an end to the rockets and airstrikes, the political fallout is just beginning. The Associated Press offers a breakdown of who won and who lost as a result of the truce agreement:

Read the full story on HuffPost World.

Hamas Parade
Gaza And Israel, November 21
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