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Ceasefire in Gaza extends for a day

THE LEVANT – The announcement that the two sides had agreed to extend the ceasefire for another day came shortly before it was set to expire at midnight local time on Monday. “Palestinians and Israelis agreed on extending the ceasefire by 24 hours to continue current negotiations,” said a statement released by the …

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Breaking Palestine one house at a time

THE LEVANT – The Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem demolished on Monday a two-storey building in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Tur/ Mount of Olives, leaving a family of 17 homeless, according to media sources. WAFA correspondent in Jerusalem said Israeli Police demolished a house belonging to a local Palestinian …

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Israel accused of mass executions in Gaza

THE LEVANT – Three weeks on, Rami Qaddih can still easily recall Israeli troops’ “war crimes” of mass-executing Palestinians outside their homes in his battered Khuza’a town in the Gaza Strip. “I saw with my own eyes Israeli troops shoot displaced residents who had been trying to flee the town under …

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No water in Gaza makes life unbearable

THE LEVANT – Feriel al-Zaaneen hasn’t had a shower in more than a month. Like thousands of Palestinians, she doesn’t have enough water to wash, adding to the miseries of life in war-battered Gaza. In searing summer heat, where temperatures can reach 34 degrees Celsius, (93 Fahrenheit), Feriel is one …

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Can Israel-Gaza truce hold?

THE LEVANT – A fragile ceasefire around Gaza held for a second day Friday as Israel’s relations with its US ally showed new signs of strain with tough talks looming on a more lasting peace. Washington denied a report that the White House was tightening the reins on the routine …

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OIC condemns Israel’s war crimes in Gaza

THE LEVANT – The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on Tuesday condemned “war crimes” by Israel in Gaza and urged a meeting of donors on financing reconstruction in the enclave devastated by a month-long war. In a statement after a ministerial meeting, the second on Gaza in three days, the OIC …

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Fatah militant killed in West Bank shootout

THE LEVANT- A Palestinian militant was shot dead early Monday in an exchange of fire with Israeli troops in the northern West Bank, witnesses and a Palestinian security source said. Zacharia Akra, a 24-year-old militant allied to the Fatah movement of president Mahmud Abbas, was killed in a shoot out …

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Fresh 72-hour truce begins in Gaza

THE LEVANT – A fresh 72-hour ceasefire between Israel and Hamas came into effect in Gaza Monday, paving the way for talks in Egypt aimed at a durable end to a month-long conflict that has wreaked devastating bloodshed. The agreement, which began at 00:01 am (2101 GMT on Sunday), clinched days …

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Hamas slams Israel for lack of commitment towards peace

THE LEVANT – Attempts at talks between Palestinians and Israelis aimed at ending theGaza conflict look in danger of breaking down following warnings from both sides. Hamas’s lead negotiator said the Palestinians may abandon the Cairo-based negotiations if Israel does not take them more seriously, and says that the Islamist group may continue …

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Gaza ceasefire ends – violence resumes

THE LEVANT – The Palestinian militant group Hamas has rejected an extension on a three-day ceasefire which expired this morning after largely holding, saying Israel had failed to meet its demands during negotiations in Egypt. The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) said Gaza militants fired a barrage of at 18 rockets at …

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Hamas: No agreement yet to extend Gaza ceasefire

Israel and Hamas appeared at odds Thursday over prolonging a 72-hour Gaza ceasefire, with Hamas resistance group insisting on fulfillment of all pending stipulations. Guns have stayed silent in the tiny Palestinian enclave since 8:00 am (0500 GMT) Tuesday, bringing relief to millions of people on both sides after the …

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UN Chief: Gaza massacre, destruction shame whole world

THE LEVANT – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon demanded an end to the senseless cycle of suffering in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict Wednesday, telling the General Assembly that “the massive deaths and destruction in Gaza have shocked and shamed the world.” Ban urged the international community to support the enormous task of rebuilding …

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Zuma slams Gaza conflict in US speech

THE LEVANT – President Jacob Zuma raised his concerns about the Gaza conflict for the third time on his US visit on Tuesday when he met US Vice-President Joe Biden on the margins of President Barack Obama’s US-Africa leaders’ summit. Zuma raised eyebrows when he sharply criticised both Israel and Hamas …

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Truce, Peace and Gaza

THE LEVANT – A definitive end to the four-week conflict in Gaza appeared possible on Tuesday morning as an agreed 72-hour ceasefire between Hamas and Israel came into effect and the Israeli military said it had withdrawn from the Palestinian territory. The suspension of hostilities came into force at 8am on Tuesday and is due to be followed …

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Israel has failed in Gaza

THE LEVANT – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has failed to achieve the objectives of his war on the Gaza Strip, the Anadolu news agency reported a Hamas official as saying today. Sami Abu Zuhri, the movement’s spokesman, said in a statement: “Netanyahu has utterly failed in the Gaza Strip. Hamas is still …

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France and Spain Condemn Shelling of Gaza UNRWA School

– “The President of the [French] Republic, [Francois Hollande], condemned the unacceptable shelling of a UN school in Rafah, resulting in the death of at least ten people who took refuge in it,”  said a statement by the French Presidency on Monday.  Hollande “joined the UN Secretary General in asking …

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Gaza – Overcoming the trauma of war

THE LEVANT- Ask any child in Gaza to do a drawing and the resulting picture is likely to be a house being bombed by a fighter plane. In the strife-torn Palestinian enclave, thousands of children are suffering from the trauma of war but resources to help them are scarce. At a …

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Israeli settler attempts to kidnap Palestinian child

THE LEVANT – Two Israeli settlers attempted to “kidnap” a two-year old Palestinian from Jerusalem while he was walking with his father and two sisters in Shufat neighborhood in northern Jerusalem on Monday, the family said.Taha Riyad Tufahha’s father told Ma’an that he was taking a walk with his two daughters …

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Gaza’s health sector on brink of collapse

THE LEVANT – Dr. Mohammad Abu Arab has warned, in an exclusive interview with the PIC, that medical services in Gaza city are on the brink of collapse as the Israeli aggression against the Strip continues for the 20th day running, calling for immediate action to save Gaza health sector. Abu …

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Gaza – One child killed every hour

THE LEVANT – The Under-Secretary-General for humanitarian affairs, Valerie Amos, has described the situation in Gaza as “dire”, as the organization revealed that one child has been killed every hour in the conflict for the past three days. According to the latest situation report from Gaza by the Office for the …

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Israel resumes attack on Gaza

THE LEVANT – Six Palestinians were killed and several others were injured Sunday in Gaza after Israeli forces resumed attacks, an official said. Ashraf al-Qidra told reporters that two Palestinian men were killed in al-Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. He identified the two as 27-year-old Ibrahim Khalil Dirawi …

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Iran marks Al Quds Day

THE LEVANT – Hundreds of thousands of Iranians, including President Hassan Rouhani, took part in massive rallies across the country on Friday to encourage Palestinians to keep up their struggle despite the Israeli assault on Gaza. Footage from Iranian state television showed massive crowds demonstrating in the capital Tehran, chanting “Death to …

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Al Quds Day

THE LEVANT  – Millions of people across the globe are preparing to hit the streets Friday to mark International Quds Day, an annual event expressing support for the Palestinian resistance against Israel. This year’s protests coincide with Israel’s brutal attacks on the blockaded Gaza Strip, which entered its 18th day. …

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Iran stands with Palestine

THE LEVANT – Iran’s Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani says the Islamic Republic had provided the Palestinian resistance groups with “the technology for producing weapons.” “We have no doubt to help the people of Gaza. At present, Gazan fighters have good capabilities to meet their weapons demand, although we had provided them …

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Death toll rises in Gaza

THE LEVANT EXCLUSIVE – Gaza residents on Saturday used a 12-hour humanitarian truce agreed to by Israel and Hamas on a UN request to pull out several bodies from mounds of rubble and metal of bombed homes, as the Palestinian death toll climbed to nearly 1,000. With the temporary ceasefire …

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13 Palestinians are arrested in the West Bank

THE LEVANT – The Israeli Occupation Forces arrested 13 Palestinians this morning in the West Bank cities of Hebron and Nablus. The Palestinian Prisoners Society reported that the IOF arrested ten Palestinians from the Hebron governorate. The Israeli soldiers arrested Moneer Sharar, 30 from Dura and Ashraf Abdel Jalil Hathaleen, …

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France stands by Israel, bans pro-Palestine protests

France’s government provoked outrage on Saturday by becoming the first in the world to ban protests against Israeli action in Palestine. In what is viewed as an outrageous attack on democracy, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said mass demonstrations planned for the weekend should be halted. Mr Cazeneuve said there …

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