A ceasefire came into effect at around midnight on Sunday, August 8, ending the three-day-long Israeli bombing campaign inside the occupied Palestinian territory of Gaza. The latest round of Israeli aggression on the besieged territory, which began on Friday, killed at least 44 Palestinians and wounded more than 360 others. Contrary to the Israeli claims that its airstrikes targeted leaders of Islamic Jihad, most of the Palestinians killed were civilians, including 15 children. This was the second large-scale air raid carried out by the Israeli occupation in a little over a year inside the Gaza strip which has been placed under a comprehensive air, sea and land blockade since 2008. Similar raids were carried out in May last year, in which over 260 Palestinians were killed and over 2,000 injured. The raids also caused large-scale destruction of civilian infrastructure.
An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire is expected to go into effect at 11:30pm local time (20:30 GMT). Palestinian Islamic Jihad announced the ceasefire in a statement, adding that they have a right to “respond to any Zionist aggression.” Mondoweiss correspondent in Gaza Tareq Hajjaj reported that Israeli airstrikes were ongoing in the last hour leading up to the ceasefire. The Times of Israel reported that Israel agreed to the ceasefire, and that Egypt was working to ensure two of PIJ’s principal demands, including the release of Palestinian hunger-striking prisoner Khalil Awawdeh and recently detained PIJ leader Bassam al-Saadi. It remained unconfirmed if Israel had agreed to the PIJ demands.
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres proposed this global ceasefire: Our world faces a common enemy: COVID-19. The virus does not care about nationality or ethnicity, faction or faith. It attacks all, relentlessly. Meanwhile, armed conflict rages on around the world. The most vulnerable — women and children, people with disabilities, the marginalized and the displaced — pay the highest price. They are also at the highest risk of suffering devastating losses from COVID-19. Let’s not forget that in war-ravaged countries, health systems have collapsed. Health professionals, already few in number, have often been targeted. Refugees and others displaced by violent conflict are doubly vulnerable. The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war. That is why today, I am calling for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world.
By Staff of Tele Sur - Social organizations are warning that peace will not be realized until right-wing paramilitarism is annihilated. Afro-descendent rural leader Nestor Ivan Martinez was shot twice and killed at his farm on Sunday night, according to social organizations from the central province of Cesar—the fifth rural leader killed in Colombia since the beginning of the cease-fire between FARC rebels and the government.
By Staff of Al Jazeera - The United States and Russia hailed a breakthrough deal on Saturday to put Syria's peace process back on track, including a nationwide ceasefire. The deal, agreed upon by US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, aims at halting fighting in Syria and moving towards a political transition after over five years of combat between President Bashar al-Assad's forces and opposition rebels.
After nearly a month of inflicting death and destruction on Gaza, the Israeli occupation forces withdrew on August 5, as part of 72-hour ceasefire agreement. Negotiations are now underway in Cairo over the terms of a more long-range truce. After subverting previous ceasefires, it is clear that Israeli leaders wanted the latest agreement. Gaza, whose population of 1.8 million is 80% refugees from other parts of Palestine crowded into an area of just 139 square miles, has suffered more than 1,860 killed and over 9,600 wounded since the Israeli military assault began on July 8. The vast majority of the casualties on the Palestinian side were civilian victims of Israel’s indiscriminate bombing and shelling. On the Israel side, 67 were killed, all but three soldiers. At least 640 Israel soldiers were wounded. Although the Palestinian losses were exponentially greater, the Israel losses were five times those in the last ground invasion of Gaza in 2008-9. The U.S.-funded and armed Israeli military deployed a wide range of high-tech air, land and sea weaponry. The Palestinian side has no air force, navy, armored units or air defense system. Thousands of homes were destroyed, schools, hospitals, mosques and Gaza’s only power plant were repeatedly hit. Entire neighborhoods, like Shejaiya in Gaza City were turned into rubble. Most of Gaza has little or no electricity and there are acute shortages of water and other necessities.
As academics, public figures and activists witnessing the intended genocide of 1.8 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip, we call for a ceasefire with Israel only if conditioned on an end to the blockade and the restoration of basic freedoms that have been denied to the people for more than seven years. Our foremost concerns are not only the health and safety of the people in our communities, but also the quality of their lives – their ability to live free of fear of imprisonment without due process, to support their families through gainful employment, and to travel to visit their relatives and further their education. These are fundamental human aspirations that have been severely limited for the Palestinian people for more than 47 years, but that have been particularly deprived from residents of Gaza since 2007. We have been pushed beyond the limits of what a normal person can be expected to endure. A living death Charges in the media and by politicians of various stripes that accuse Hamas of ordering Gaza residents to resist evacuation orders, and thus use them as human shields, are untrue. With temporary shelters full and the indiscriminate Israeli shelling, there is literally no place that is safe in Gaza.