Thousands March From Ramallah To East Jerusalem In Protest At Israeli Campaign In Gaza

25/07/2014 04:24 | Updated 25 July 2014

At least two people have died and more than 200 have been injured as Palestinians marched from Ramallah to East Jerusalem to protest against the Israeli campaign in Gaza. Organised by President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement, more than 10,000 people are estimated to have taken part in the uprising, which was met by resistance from Israeli forces as it approached East Jerusalem. The event is being tweeted under the hashtag #48kMarch.

Further protests in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are expected following noon prayers on Friday, the last Friday of Ramadan, after the Palestinian Authority called for a “day of rage” over the bloodshed in Gaza.

Israeli media is reporting that the latest West Bank demonstration is the largest protest since the Second Intifada, which ended in 2005. The IDF reportedly employed "riot dispersal means" in an attempt to disrupt the demonstration. More than 800 Palestinians have died in the recent Israeli offensive, mostly civilians. The fighting has also claimed the lives of 33 Israelis.


Israel Invades Gaza

An Israeli army spokeswoman told the AFP news agency soldiers used "riot disposal means" to control the protest – a term used to cover weapons such as rubber bullets and tear gas.

She said: "There are thousands of rioters there. They are rolling burning tyres and throwing Molotov cocktails and fireworks at soldiers and border police.

"The soldiers are responding with riot disposal means."


An Israeli security officer takes position as at least 10,000 Palestinian protesters marching against Israel's military offensive

According to Reuters, protests also broke out within the city of Jerusalem, close to the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Israel launched its offensive on the 8th July to stem the tide of rockets fired into the Israeli heartland from the Gaza Strip. Earlier on Thursday, 15 Palestinians were killed when a UN-operated school within Gaza was struck by shells.

The school was being used as a shelter by hundreds of Palestinians who have fled their homes since airstrikes two weeks ago.

It is the fourth time a UN facility has been hit during the recent conflict.

The protests came ahead of a meeting of Israel's security cabinet to discuss a US-drafted proposal for a ceasefire in Gaza, Israeli public radio said.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was "appalled" by the attack on the UN school.

Speaking in Cairo ahead of talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry, he said: "I was shocked and appalled by what has happened in Beit Hanoun. It is totally unacceptable."

08/08/2014 2:47 PM EDT

White House Concerned By Renewed Fighting

From Reuters:

The White House on Friday urged Israel and the Palestinians to resume talks and do what they can to protect civilians after Egyptian-mediated negotiations failed to extend a ceasefire and rocket fire resumed.

"The United States is very concerned about today's developments in Gaza," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters.

"We condemn the renewed rocket fire and we are concerned about the safety and security of civilians on both sides of that conflict," he said.

08/08/2014 1:42 PM EDT

Official: 5 Palestinians Killed In Gaza

Five Palestinians, including a 10-year-old boy, have been killed in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza since a ceasefire fell apart on Friday, a Palestinian medical official reported to Agence France Presse.

Meanwhile, the Israeli army said Palestinian militants fired 35 rockets into Israel on Friday, injuring a soldier and a civilian.


The father of a ten-year old Palestinian boy, who was killed in an Israeli air strike on the Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood in northern Gaza City, mourns at the city's Al-Shifa hospital, on August 8, 2014. (MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)

08/08/2014 9:23 AM EDT

Palestinian Delegation Says Gaza Talks Will Continue

From Reuters:

Palestinian factions will remain in Cairo and press on with Egyptian-mediated talks despite the end of the ceasefire in Gaza, the head of the delegation, Fatah official Azzam Ahmed, said on Friday.

"We are not for escalation. We are ready to continue through our Egyptian brothers in negotiating to reach a final agreement that would return the rights to their owners," Ahmed said. "I mean here lifting the blockade of Gaza."

Ahmed said Palestinian negotiators were due to meet Egyptian intelligence officials, who have been mediating the talks, later in the day. He said Palestinian factions were united in their decision not to extend the 72-hour truce that ended at 0500 GMT and had been clear about their basic demands to end the conflict.

08/08/2014 9:13 AM EDT

Egypt: Agreement Close In Gaza Talks

Reuters reports:

Egypt called on Friday for an immediate resumption of the ceasefire in Gaza and a return to the negotiating table, saying that only a few outstanding issues remained in negotiations it was mediating between Israel and the Palestinians.

"The foreign ministry calls on all sides to rise to their responsibilities ... and to return immediately to the ceasefire commitment and exploit the opportunity available to resume negotiations on the very limited sticking points that remain in the fastest possible time," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

08/08/2014 3:58 AM EDT

Israeli Airstrikes On Gaza Resume

08/08/2014 3:02 AM EDT

Cease-Fire Ends With New Rocket Attacks

A 72-hour cease-fire expired at 8 a.m. today, and not long after, Gaza militants began firing rockets at Israel, The Associated Press reported.

The Israeli military said at least 10 rockets had been fired at Israel since the truce ended. Prior to the attacks, a senior official for Hamas said the militant groups would not extend the cease-fire.

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08/06/2014 2:46 PM EDT

Official: Israel Agrees To Extend Ceasefire

From Reuters:

Israel has conditionally agreed to extend a ceasefire that ended a month of fighting in Gaza beyond a Friday deadline, an Israeli official said on Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The official did not say for how much longer Israel had agreed to extend the truce, only that: "Israel has expressed its readiness to extend the truce under its current terms," referring to the deal brokered by Egypt that took effect on Tuesday.

Hamas had no immediate comment.

08/06/2014 2:12 PM EDT

IDF: Rocket Sirens Were False Alarm

08/06/2014 1:18 PM EDT

Report: Rocket Sirens Sound At Gaza Border

ABC Foreign Editor Jon Williams reports that the IDF have confirmed the rocket sirens are sounding, but are checking to see if it is a false alarm.

08/05/2014 4:20 PM EDT

Israel Arrests Kidnapping Suspect

Reuters reports that Israel has arrested one of the suspects in the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank in June.

Hussam Kawasme, a 40-year-old resident of the West Bank city of Hebron, was arrested on July 11 in connection with the killing of Israelis Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrah, who went missing on June 12 and were discovered dead a couple of weeks later.

Their kidnapping sparked a cycle of violence that led to the month-long conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.

Kawasme's arrest was made public for the first time on Tuesday in a document from an Israeli court case over whether houses belonging to him and two other suspects - who remain at large - should be destroyed as a punitive measure.

The lawyers listed as representing Kawasme were not reachable for comment.

The court document said Kawasme had admitted to helping to organize the kidnapping - securing funding from the Hamas Islamist group in Gaza and purchasing weapons which he passed on to the two other suspects who carried out the attack.

Kawasme also helped to bury the bodies of the teenagers in a plot of land he had bought a few months earlier, it said.

Israel has named the other two suspects in the case as Marwan Kawasme and Amar Abu Aysha.

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