Koenig's International News
Washington: 9:09:26 am - July 26, 2014 - Jerusalem: 4:09:26 pm - Tammuz 28, 5774

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12-hour hiatus in fighting tentatively takes effect in Gaza

US Secretary of State John Kerry at a press conference in Cairo with
United Nations Chief Ban Ki-moon, on July 25, 2014 (Photo credit: AFP/Pool)

A UN-requested 12-hour humanitarian cease-fire between the IDF and Palestinian terror groups in the Gaza Strip tentatively went into effect at 8 a.m. on Saturday as efforts to secure a longer truce moved ahead.

The IDF said it would continue searching for tunnels used by terrorist amid the temporary halt in fighting. A spokesman for the Islamist group Hamas said all Palestinian factions would abide by the brief hiatus.

After Israel rejects his ceasefire deal,
Kerry says PM okays 12-hour time out; IDF death toll 35

Israel’s government unanimously rejected a ceasefire offer advanced by US Secretary of State John Kerry, with sources saying it was too tilted towards Hamas. However, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly accepted a 12-hour truce to begin 7 a.m. Saturday.

Kerry travels to France for international meeting on Gaza cease-fire

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry leaves Cairo for Paris where he is scheduled to meet with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and the foreign ministers of France, Britain, Germany, and Italy in order to promote a cease-fire in Gaza. The meeting will also be attended by the foreign ministers of Turkey and Qatar who are responsible for negotiating with Hamas.

Ya'alon to Iron Dome troops:
Prepare for significant expansion of Gaza op

Ya'alon visiting troops at Iron Dome battery (photo: Ariel Hermoni, GPO)

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon visited an Iron Dome battery deployed in central Israel on Friday evening, telling the troops to be "ready for the possibility that we will instruct the IDF to significantly expand the ground offensive in Gaza very soon."

Ya'alon's comments came shortly before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to accept US secretary of State John Kerry's proposal of a 12-hour humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.

"At the end of this operation, Hamas will think carefully whether it was worth it to provoke us and whether it should provoke us in the future," said the defense minister, who got to watch a live interception of rockets fired at central Israel.

Live blog:
Israel's Operation Protective Edge in Gaza

Relatives and friends seen mourning at the funeral of Golani Brigade soldier Daniel Pomerantz who
was killed during fighting in Gaza on Sunday, in Kfar Azar, near Tel Aviv. (Photo credit: Flash90)

Follow all the latest updates on Israel's efforts to extinguish rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

Gaza Underground, the threat Israel chose to ignore

Hamas’s attack tunnels are now recognized as a major danger, but Israel would have to reconquer Gaza to make sure they aren’t rebuilt, and that would cause untenable losses.

The tunnels inside Gaza and under the Israeli border are not a secret project Hamas ran under the noses of Israel and the Palestinian public. Every child in Gaza, like every junior officer in IDF Military Intelligence, knew that, beneath Gaza City and beyond, a network of tunnels was being dug over the past five years, with an investment of millions of dollars. In other words, Gaza Underground.

Yet the Israeli public was still surprised by the scope of the tunnels when the danger became clear in the past week or two. The Israeli press had reported on the phenomenon, but it appears that Israel’s political leadership — and, to some extent, its security leadership — had preferred to play down the threat. Today, on Day 18 of Operation Protective Edge, the public recognizes the strategic danger.


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