aside ISRAEL- PALESTINE CONFLICT FROM 2013 TO MAY 2015

Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Benjamin Netanyahu
Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Benjamin Netanyahu

Information detailed below is compiled from a PBS documentary:

July 29, 2013 Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks Resume in Washington, DC

“Israeli and Palestinian negotiators will resume peace talks (in Washington, DC), the State Department said in a statement. It will be the first time that the two have held direct talks since 2010. Clearing the last obstacle to resuming peace talks, the Israeli cabinet voted 7/29/13 to approve the release of 104 Palestinian prisoners, an unpopular move with many Israelis. Secretary of State John Kerry then spoke with Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to formally invite them to send their negotiating teams to Washington”…
“The goal of the negotiations will be to establish a Palestinian state alongside Israel with agreed-upon borders and security arrangements. Officials said that talks are initially expected to focus on procedural issues, like the location, schedule and format of negotiating sessions, before moving on to tackle the core issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Israeli side will be represented by Israel’s justice minister, Tzipi Livni, and Isaac Molho, Mr. Netanyahu’s special envoy. On the Palestinian side will be Saeb Erekat, the chief negotiator, and Mohammed Shtayyeh, a close adviser to Mr. Abbas. The Monday evening session will be a working dinner at the State Department, hosted by Mr. Kerry, who has made an intensive effort to revive the moribund talks. The Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams are to meet again on Tuesday before heading home. The next round of talks would be held in the Middle East. Martin Indyk, the former United States ambassador to Israel, whom Mr. Kerry is expected to name to manage the talks for the United States, would attend that round.”
Senior Fatah official Azzam Al-Ahmed (L), head of the Hamas government Ismail Haniyeh (C) and senior Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouq hold their hands after announcing a reconciliation agreement in Gaza City April 23, 2014.
Senior Fatah official Azzam Al-Ahmed (L), head of the Hamas government Ismail Haniyeh (C) and senior Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouq hold their hands after announcing a reconciliation agreement in Gaza City April 23, 2014.
Apr. 23, 2014 Hamas and Fatah Announce Agreement to Form a Unity Government

“The rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah on Wednesday agreed to form a unity government and hold new elections, making a new attempt to overcome a seven-year split that has left them divided between two governments. While the announcement was greeted with smiles and celebrations, it remained unclear how the plan would succeed where previous attempts at unity have failed. It also added new complications to U.S. efforts to broker a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians”…

“Earlier Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of sabotaging peace efforts by seeking rapprochement with Hamas”…

Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas mending ties with Hamas
Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas mending ties with Hamas

“He said the sides planned to form an interim government within five weeks. Presidential and parliamentary elections should be held on the same date, ‘at the earliest six months after forming the government.’”

July 19, 2013 Israel Launches Operation Protective Edge against Hamas Militants in Gaza Strip

“Israel launched a major air assault on the Gaza Strip, bombing hundreds of targets in what Israeli officials said was a bid to halt escalating cross-border attacks from Palestinian militants… who fired a new a salvo of more than 150 rockets toward major Israeli cities”…

“The Israeli military said it carried out airstrikes against more than 150 sites in Gaza, killing five alleged members of Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the enclave. Ashraf al-Qidrah, a spokesman for Gaza’s Health Ministry, said early Wednesday that 24 Palestinians had been killed in the Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip and 152 wounded”…

Israeli Army attacks Gaza
Israeli Army attacks Gaza

“The Israeli operation against Hamas in Gaza… came against a backdrop of weeks of rising Israeli-Palestinian tensions after the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teens in the occupied West Bank — which Israel has blamed on Hamas — and the suspected revenge killing of an Arab youth in East Jerusalem”…

“In a sign that the cross-border conflict could widen, Israel said  that it had called up 1,500 reservists and was mobilizing two infantry brigades, artillery, combat bulldozers and tanks along the Gaza border in preparation for a possible ground invasion. The Israeli cabinet subsequently approved the call-up of an additional 40,000 army reservists, according to the Defense Ministry”…

Smoke and fire from the explosion of an Israeli strike rise over Gaza City, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. Israel escalated its military campaign against Hamas. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
Smoke and fire from the explosion of an Israeli strike rise over Gaza City, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. Israel escalated its military campaign against Hamas. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

“Hours after Israel launched what it called ‘Operation Protective Edge,’ Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the army to ‘take their gloves off’ against Hamas and increase attacks on Gaza”…

August 26, 2014 Egypt Brokers One-Month Ceasefire to Halt Violence Between Israel and Gaza

“Israel and Gaza’s ruling Hamas agreed to an open-ended ceasefire after seven weeks of fighting — an uneasy deal that halts the deadliest war the sides have fought in years, with more than 2,200 killed…

“In the end, both sides settled for an ambiguous interim agreement in exchange for a period of calm. Hamas, though badly battered, remains in control of Gaza with part of its military arsenal intact. Israel and Egypt will continue to control access to blockaded Gaza, despite Hamas’ long-running demand that the border closures imposed in 2007 be lifted”…

John Kerry and US Middle East Envoy, Martin Indyk
John Kerry and US Middle East Envoy, Martin Indyk

“Under the Egyptian-brokered deal, Israel is to ease imports into Gaza, including aid and material for reconstruction. It also agreed to a largely symbolic gesture, expanding a fishing zone for Gaza fishermen from three to six nautical miles into the Mediterranean”…

“The cease-fire went into effect at 7 p.m. local time (noon ET) Tuesday (Aug. 26, 2014), and violence persisted until the last minute.”

Vatican recognition of Palestinian State
Vatican recognition of Palestinian State

May 13, 2015 The Vatican Recognizes State of Palestine in New Treaty

“The Vatican officially recognized the state of Palestine in a new treaty finalized Wednesday, immediately sparking Israeli ire and accusations that the move hurt peace prospects. The treaty, which concerns the activities of the Catholic Church in Palestinian territory, is both deeply symbolic and makes explicit that the Holy See has switched its diplomatic recognition from the Palestine Liberation Organization to the state of Palestine.

The Vatican had welcomed the decision by the U.N. General Assembly in 2012 to recognize a Palestinian state and had referred to the Palestine state since. But the treaty is the first legal document negotiated between the Holy See and the Palestinian state, giving the Vatican’s former signs of recognition an unambiguous confirmation in a formal, bilateral treaty.

‘Yes, it’s a recognition that the state exists,’ said the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi.  The Israeli Foreign Ministry said it was ‘disappointed’.

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