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Operation Protective Edge War-Blog: August 12, 2014

August 12th 2014

8:20 PM ET August 12, 2014. Hamas claims no progress has been made in the Cairo talks and that the group will decide tomorrow on next steps. - i24News

8:17 PM ET August 12, 2014.  Israel's cabinet meeting has been canceled due to gaps between both sides' demands in the Cairo negotiations. - i24News

8:15 AM ET August 12, 2014. Prime Minister Netanyahu convened a security cabinet meeting over developments in the Cairo ceasefire talks. The meeting could herald the beginning of an agreement with the Palestinians for a long-term truce, although some of the ministers are expected to oppose the deal, which reportedly does not meet Israel's key demands. - i24News

8:10 PM ET August 12, 2014. Israeli Defense Minister  Ya'alon said Gaza operations have not ended,  "but Hamas and other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip definitely suffered a hard blow." - i24News

7:45 PM ET August 12, 2014. Israeli Foreign Minister  Lieberman said that Israel's priority should be getting rid of Hamas before widening its diplomatic efforts. Lieberman said "as long as Hamas is strong on the ground, controls Gaza, and is popular in Judea and Samaria, a diplomatic process is simply impossible." -- Jerusalem Post.

6:20 AM ET August 12, 2014. The Israeli navy fired warning shots at a Gazan fishing boat that strayed outside of its allowed range.

Israel's Minister of Economics Naftali Bennet of the Jewish Home Party likened Israel's capitulation to Hamas demands to paying "protection" to mafia gangsters. According to an unconfirmed report in Ynet, Israel has tentatively agreed to transfer money to pay Hamas salaries through a third party. This is a formula of 'quiet in exchange for money for the terrorists,'" said Bennett. "We can't fight Hamas with one hand and sponsor it with the other."

The Knesset's Finance Committee has voted in favor of adding $949 million (3.3 billion shekels) to the Defense budget to make up for the expenses of the Gaza war. Cuts will thus be made in public transportation projects, water development and earthquake preparedness. During the debate Labor MK Stav Shafir was thrown out of the meeting after representatives of the finance ministry refused to answer her questions on the destination of the funds, citing security concerns. The precise purpose of the funds will be debated in a closed-door session of the committee.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin welcomed a group of 110 Jewish youths from the US and Canada who came to enlist in the IDF. Thanking them, he said "Your presence here today lends us strength. With your help we feel the warm embrace of US and Canadian Jewry." 

A report in Egypt's Al-Quds says the current ceasefire may be extended by a further 72 hours in order to overcome the gaps between the Israeli and Palestinian delegations. The Palestinians had refused to discuss the fate of the bodies of Israeli soldiers left behind in Gaza and that they would be debated in separate talks. Senior Hamas official Moussa Abu-Marzouk says Cairo talks on long-term ceasefire are very serious. "We are facing difficult negotiations. The first ceasefire passed without any significant achievements. This is the second and final ceasefire. Things are clearly serious now. What's needed is for the delegation to achieve what the Palestinian people strive for," he told reporters in Cairo.

The Palestinians in Cairo rejected an Israeli proposal to allow a seaport to be built in Gaza in exchange for a demilitarization of the Strip. The offer was reportedly rejected, with a representative of the Islamic Jihad saying that the groups will only agree to disarm if Israel does. - agencies.

Israel is reportedly considering to expand the fishing perimeter for the Gaza Strip from three to six naval miles (with a possible future expansion to 12 miles, as Hamas demands); more construction materials permitted into the Strip and raising the number of Gaza entry permits issued monthly up to 5,000.

A senior member of the Palestinian delegation to Cairo told the Ma'an news agency that Hamas "does not oppose" that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will control the border crossings to Gaza. It was also reported that the Palestinian Authority will be tasked with the rebuilding of Gaza.

Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs blasted the UNHCR (the United Nations Refugee Agency) for its anti-Israel bias and says "Israel cannot expect justice" from the organization. “When the decision about the creation of the committee was made on July 23, the prime minister and Foreign Ministry announced that the Human Rights Council had long ago become the Terrorists’ Rights Council, a kangaroo court in which the results of its ‘investigations’ can be predicted in advanced," the ministry said.

Hamas' armed wing -- the al-Qassam Brigades -- says it is willing to give Israel information regarding the fates of soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin in exchange for the names of all the Palestinians who collaborated with Israel during its military campaigns in the West Bank and Gaza, Al-Jazeera reports. - i24News, Haaretz, BBC.

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