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Obama calls on Netanyahu to accept unconditional humanitarian ceasefire; 15 killed in Gaza

In a phone call held Sunday night, U.S. President Barack Obama told Prime Minister Netanyahu that there is a “strategic imperative” to reach an immediate humanitarian ceasefire based on the one agreed to in November 2012 after the previous round of fighting between Israel and Hamas.

According to Obama, the U.S. supports the Egyptian ceasefire initiative, as well as international efforts to bring about an end to hostilities, stressing that any solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must include the disarmament of Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinians inspect damages in Abasan village, East of Khan Yunis, July 27, 2014. During the ceasefire on 26 July, many Palestinians went back to Abasan to inspect the damages together with medics who attempted to rescue injured or collect bodies.  Israeli attacks have killed more than 1,000 Palestinians and injured around 5,000 in the current offensive.  (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

Palestinians inspect the damage in Abasan, east of Khan Younis, July 27, 2014.  (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

The call comes on the heels of a 40-hour humanitarian ceasefire that ended late Saturday night after rockets were shot from Gaza into Israel. The Israeli security cabinet voted to extend a humanitarian pause in fighting until midnight Sunday, as per the UN’s request, but insisted that the IDF continue to neutralize Gaza tunnels. A Hamas spokesman responded to the decision by stating that “Any ceasefire that doesn’t ensure that the IDF pulls out of Gaza and the evacuation of the injured is not acceptable to Hamas.” However, the organization later requested another humanitarian ceasefire, which the Israeli cabinet rejected.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry attempted to broker a ceasefire on Friday evening, although his proposal was immediately shot down by Israeli cabinet members who bashed Kerry for proposing a ceasefire which, in their eyes, served Hamas’ interests and betrayed Israel. According to Haaretz’s Barak Ravid, a top U.S. official called the reactions “extremely offensive. Mainly the charges that he betrayed our closest ally in the region – Israel.”

The official added that the draft proposal presented by Kerry to Israel was intended “for Israeli comments and input” as part of a coordinated effort by the U.S. and Israel to secure a ceasefire.

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, 15 Palestinians were killed by IDF fire on Saturday, and 53 others were wounded. According to Ma’an News Agency, Palestinian medics managed to recover 117 bodies on Saturday, since they had access to large areas that had previously been off-limits before the ceasefire. Since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge 1,034 were killed and 6,233 were wounded. Forty-three Israeli soldiers have been killed since the start of the operation, and hundreds have been wounded.

Related:
PHOTOS: Gazans use ‘ceasefire’ to pick up the pieces
Why Israel won’t sign any ceasefire that’s fair
Israeli, Hamas war crimes becoming increasingly hard to distinguish

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    1. Craig Vale

      As with any can of whoop ass that is on the shelf , the underside has an expiration date as does the can being held by Bibi. International pressure is building as more and more folks see this butchery for what it is.The stakes are extraordinarily high for Bibi’s political fortunes as he has made an unforced error from which he can’t recover. The typical incursion that happens with regularity this time carries expectations not present in the prior ” lawn mowing” of the Gaza. Without a massive invasion of IDF troops the tunnels will be rebuilt and the rockets replenished in time and Bibi will be back to square one. The risk however is having these scenes of butchery brought in to more living rooms across the planet and will end up crushing the Hasbaran lackey’s narrative resulting in the propaganda machine being damaged beyond repair. People will get to judge the horrific images for what they are. Unbridled savagery in which civilians are continually slaughtered in order the feed the beast residing in the Knesset. We in the West find it hard to fathom that Bibi can be seen as occupying the ” left” as if he were a McCarthyite of our own Viet Nam experience here in the US but as amazing as that is, Bibi is indeed far to the left Of Avigdor Lieberman and Bennet, who given their druthers would go into Gaza and turn the area into a massive parking lot.
      Netanyahu is now faced with a political dilemma of major proportion. Does he succumb to mounting international pressure to disengage from Gaza or does he go full throttle and use the contents of the aforementioned can before the expiration date. I suspect it will be the latter. The pariah status of the nation of Israel will reaffirmed in the eyes of the world and Israel will find itself further isolated as nations and peoples across the planet will begin to boycott Israel in a way never before experienced. Pictures of months old babies with chunks of shrapnel protruding from their tiny little bodies have a way of swaying public opinion in spite of their not convincing the Israeli war mongers who revel in the images. Israel has become morally bankrupt and there is no chapter 7 filing available for this vile and repugnantly violent nation who won’t be satisfied until the last Gazan is pushed into the sea to make way for condo’s and yet more settlements as Israel’s policy of Lebensraum picks up steam and provides yet more opportunity to make a buck.

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