Tuesday, August 19, 2014

In the Gaza Strip around midday, an armed Palestinian group launches 3 rockets into Israel that land in an open area nr. Beersheba, breaking the 24-hour extension to the previous 5-day cease-fire. The IDF responds with air strikes, hitting approximately 25 targets across Gaza, killing 2 Palestinians and injuring over 50. In 1 incident late at night, IDF troops launch 6 missiles at a house in Gaza City in an attempt to assassinate Mohammed Deif, Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades commander. Deif’s wife and 7-mo.-old son, as well as 3 other Palestinians, are killed in the attempt. The armed Palestinian groups fire over 50 projectiles into Israel, with 1 rocket hitting a highway nr. Tel Aviv and around 14 intercepted by Iron Dome batteries. At a hospital in Turkey, 1 Palestinian succumbs to injuries sustained earlier in the assault. Overnight in the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and raids in Dayr Istya, Hebron, 3 villages nr. Nablus, 1 village s. of Hebron, and 1 village n. of Tulkarm, arresting 13 Palestinians. In East Jerusalem, Israeli security forces raid a home and arrest 1 Palestinian. (AP, CNN, HA, MNA, WP 8/19; PCHR 8/21)

In the morning in Cairo, Palestinian and Israeli negotiators, as well as Egyptian mediators, conduct talks on a long-term ceasefire agreement, specifically the Israeli demands for Hamas’s disarmament and the Palestinian demands for lifting the blockade. Head of the Palestinian delegation al-Ahmad says “maybe we will reach an agreement and maybe not.” Palestinian negotiator Qais Abdel Karim says the Israelis have proposed measures that would comprise “not removing the blockade but easing it.” Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum says, in an email to CNN, that “if Netanyahu does not understand our message and people’s demands in Gaza through political language, we know a way to make him understand.” After hostilities resume in Gaza, both Israel and the Palestinian factions accuse the other of violating the cease-fire and instruct their reps. to end the negotiations. (AP, Guardian, HA, MNA 8/19)

German, French, and British diplomats begin circulating a document containing principles for a new United Nations Security Council (UNSC) res. at the UN’s New York headquarters. The principles include a return of PA control to Gaza, reconstruction under international supervision, and a return to Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. U.S. and Israeli diplomats have been briefed on the initiative. (HA 8/21)