israel news

Israel News for 8-16-18

Gaza Ceasefire
A ceasefire between Israel and Hamas went into effect Wednesday evening, although it was not confirmed by either side. Following the authorization of Israel’s security cabinet, the Kerem Shalom border crossing was reopened and 700 trucks carrying urgently needed building supplies, foodstuffs, textiles, animal feed, fuel, gas, hygiene products and more crossed into Gaza.

The ceasefire, brokered by Egypt and the UN, requires the halting of all rocket fire and incendiary balloons and kites from Gaza. Israeli officials said, “the current calm is the result of aggressive Israeli army action that will continue as necessary, and the quiet was achieved following the understandings advanced by the Egyptians and the United Nations.”

The agreement does not provide for the exchange of prisoners, including two Israelis held in Gaza and the remains of two Israeli soldiers taken by Hamas at the end of the last Gaza war. This has evoked protests from politicians in Israel, as well as the families of the prisoners and the dead soldiers.

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The head of Egyptian intelligence, Major General Abbas Kamel, reportedly came to Tel Aviv yesterday to discuss the final details of the ceasefire agreement. Kamel is also scheduled to meet today with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

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Lebanese media reported today that a cargo shipping connection between Gaza and Cyprus will be established as part of the ceasefire agreement. Israel will have security control over the sea lane. The agreement will also include Qatari funding for Gaza’s electricity and for Hamas salaries.

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