The cease-fire between Hamas and Israel continued to hold Friday, three days after it went into effect and ended 50 days of fighting between the two sides. The Israeli death toll went up to 72, however, as an Israeli soldier who was critically wounded by a Gaza-rocket which exploded in Gan Yavne last Friday succumbed to his wounds.
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On Thursday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that Prime Minister Netanyahu had agree to the establishment of a state on '67 borders, which the Prime Minister's Office later refuted. Abbas also said Palestinian officials were set to meet U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry next week. Meanwhile, Hamas leader Khaled Meshal in Qatar said his organization still has rockets and tunnels at its disposal, and will not hesitate to use them against Israel again truce talks come to naught.
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11:45 P.M. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman says in an interview with Channel 1 that Israel should have toppled Hamas during the operation in Gaza.
"I don't understand why they are giving them time to recover," he said. "Common sense says that if you're already in a war and your opponent has been defeated and weakened, you should finish the job. Hamas' leaders should have been assassinated or expelled.
"It was possible," he said, citing top military officials. "We were closer to it than ever."
8:19 P.M. Israel's Defense Ministry Moshe Ya'alon told Channel 2 that Israel's military victory in Gaza is clear. He also said discounted the idea that Hamas would be able to negotiate for a port off the Gaza coast in the upcoming truce talks. Read the full article here.
4:24 P.M. Two Palestinians were arrested in the West Bank on suspicion of throwing stones at passing cars, injuring two, including baby. (Gili Cohen)
3:26 P.M. French President Francois Hollande called for the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip and the easing of Gaza’s blockade. In a speech to the French diplomatic corps, Hollande outlined French proposals that included international supervision of the destruction of tunnels from Gaza into Israel, reopening Gaza’s border crossings with Israel and Egypt, and giving Hamas’ rival, the Palestinian Authority, the means to rebuild Gaza. (JTA)
2:00 P.M Israeli soldier Sergeant Netanel Maman laid to rest in Gan Yavneh cemetery.
10:45 A.M. An Israeli soldier who was critically wounded by a Gaza-rocket which exploded in Gan Yavne last Friday succumbed to his wounds, raising the number of fatalities on the Israeli side to 72. (Shirly Seidler) Read the full article here.