85 bodies recovered from Gaza rubble; baby saved from dead mother’s womb

A 12-hour 'humanitarian window' began on Saturday
Gaza City/Paris: The bodies of at least 85 Palestinians were recovered from the rubble across the Gaza Strip in the first half of a 12-hour humanitarian truce on Saturday, medics said.
Emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said the 85 bodies had been brought to hospitals in north, central and southern Gaza, as well as Gaza City, but that the toll was expected to rise further still.
Palestinian Manal Keferna, 30, right, cries with her sister-in-law Najwa
Keferna upon their return to the family house destroyed by Israeli
strikes in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, on Saturday. (Photo: AP)
The grim discoveries raised the toll in Gaza on the 19th day of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas group to 985, Qudra said.
In northern Gaza, particularly the area of Beit Hanun, medics recovered 32 bodies, Qudra said, along with another 13 people discovered in the central areas of Bureij, Deir al-Balah and Nusseirat. Gaza City's Shifa hospital received 29 bodies from the eastern neighbourhoods of Shejaiya, Zaitun and Tuffah, and 11 other bodies were taken to hospitals from the southern areas of Khan Yunis and Rafah, Qudra added.
Baby saved from dead mother's womb
On Friday, Israeli fire on Gaza killed a pregnant woman and a senior Islamic Jihad figure, as the Palestinian death toll from 18 days of violence reached 848, emergency services said. Surgeons saved the life of the 23-year-old woman's unborn child after the air strike hit a house in the central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah, Qudra said.
Another air raid killed a senior spokesman for Islamic Jihad, the second largest militant group in Gaza after Hamas, which dominates the territory. Salah Hasanein's sons, 12 and 15, were also killed in the strike in the southern city of Rafah, Qudra said.
Islamic Jihad confirmed the deaths.
French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, center, delivers his speech
during a press conference flanked with, from left, U.S. Secretary of
State, John Kerry, British Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, and
German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier after a meeting at
Quai d'Orsay in Paris, France, Saturday, July 26, 2014 to press for a
cease-fire in Gaza. (Photo: AP)
The strikes took the Palestinian death toll in Gaza since Israel launched its offensive on July 8 to 848. Rockets and mortar rounds fired into Israel have killed three civilians — two Israelis and a Thai farm worker — and fighting in and around Gaza has killed 35 Israeli soldiers.
World leaders press for long-term truce
Meanwhile in Paris, US secretary of state John Kerry and other top diplomats from Europe and the Middle East held talks to press efforts for a long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
Kerry met with French foreign minister Laurent Fabius and their counterparts from Britain, Germany, Italy, Qatar and Turkey as a 12-hour "humanitarian" truce in Gaza entered into force.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton was not present as she was attending her daughter's wedding, but her deputy Pierre Vimont came in her place.
More than 900 Palestinians — a large majority of them civilians — have died in a 19-day Israeli offensive on Hamas-ruled Gaza that was launched in response to rockets fired by militants of the Islamist group into the Jewish state.
The Israeli army meanwhile has suffered 37 casualties and world powers are rushing to try and negotiate a lasting ceasefire to avoid more deaths.
"It's now about reaching a common position that we must put an end to the deaths," German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said before the talks began.
Kerry, who has been leading international efforts to reach a truce, has been in regular contact with the foreign ministers of Turkey and Qatar as both countries yield influence on Hamas.
Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal is based in Qatar, while Turkey's Islamic-oriented prime minister has strongly criticised Israel's assault on Gaza as well as Egypt's role in trying to clinch a ceasefire.
Kerry failed to secure a lasting deal in Cairo Friday where he met with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukri and UN chief Ban Ki-moon.
Palestinian women grieve during the funeral of Eid Fadhelat, 32, who
was injured during clashes with Israeli soldiers Friday, at Al-Arrub
refugee camp near Hebron city in the West Bank on Saturday. (Photo: AP)
The United States has worked with Egypt on a plan that, diplomats say, would provide a seven-day truce during which the two sides would negotiate a longer-term deal.
But while Israel and Hamas agreed to the temporary ceasefire on humanitarian grounds, they have rejected any form of lasting truce.
Unlike his Islamist predecessor Mohamed Morsi whom he toppled and detained last year, current Egyptian leader Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has sought to isolate the militant Palestinian movement in the neighbouring Gaza Strip.
Egypt's foreign minister was pointedly absent from the Paris meeting, which France dismissed by saying that Egypt was still closely associated with the talks.
Speaking in Cairo Friday after his plan was rejected, Kerry said Israel and Hamas "still have some terminology" to agree to on a ceasefire, but added they had a "fundamental framework" on a truce.
Still, the two sides remain at odds over the shape of a final deal. Hamas says any truce must include a guaranteed end to Israel's eight-year blockade of Gaza, while in Israel there are calls for any deal to include the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip.
Watch Video: Gaza residents walk through rubble during truce
( Source : AFP )
Next Story