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Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - Updated: 9:18 AM

Palestinian negotiators consider Egyptian proposal ahead of expiration of truce

CAIRO (AP) -- Palestinian negotiators were mulling over an Egyptian proposal to end the monthlong Israel-Hamas war as the latest 72-hour cease-fire in the Gaza Strip was due to expire on midnight Wednesday.

Since the truce went into effect Sunday, Israel has halted military operations in the coastal territory and Gaza militants have stopped firing rockets.

The cease-fire was meant to give the two sides time to negotiate a more sustainable truce and a roadmap for the coastal territory.

A member of the Palestinian delegation to Egyptian-brokered talks in Cairo said Wednesday that his team was considering an Egyptian proposal, which was tabled on Tuesday. Egyptian mediators have been were ferrying between the Palestinians and their Israeli counterparts in an attempt overcome the differences between the sides.

The Egyptian proposal calls for easing parts of the Israeli blockade of Gaza, bringing some relief to the territory, according to Palestinian officials in the talks. But it leaves the key areas of disagreement, including Hamas' demand for a full lifting of the blockade and Israeli calls for Hamas to disarm, to later negotiations.

Israeli tactic to stop capture of soldiers criticized after it kills 100 Palestinians

JERUSALEM (AP) -- An Israeli military tactic that allows overwhelming fire to stop the capture of soldiers -- even at the risk of killing them -- is facing criticism after its use in the Gaza war killed some 100 Palestinians.

The military used the "Hannibal Procedure" after soldiers feared militants had captured an officer, unleashing heavy shelling on the southern Gaza town of Rafah. Now, a group is calling on the military to abandon the practice, saying it puts captured soldiers at unreasonable risk and can lead to civilian deaths.

In an army with a strong ethos of "no soldier left behind," there is a near obsession with preventing the abduction of Israeli troops, in part because past cases have ended in painful, lopsided prisoner exchanges after years of protracted negotiations. New recruits learn that if they see a soldier being captured and rushed away in a car, they should shoot at the vehicle to stop its progress, even if it risks the soldier's life.

The "Hannibal Procedure" was designed in the mid-1980s by Yossi Peled, then head of Israel's Northern Command, after Hezbollah guerrillas captured two soldiers in southern Lebanon.

UN: It's OK to try untested Ebola drugs

MADRID (AP) -- The World Health Organization declared it's ethical to use untested drugs and vaccines in the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa, although the tiny supply of one experimental treatment has been depleted and it could be many months until more is available.

The last of the drug is on its way to Liberia for two stricken doctors, according to a U.K.-based public relations firm representing Liberia. The U.S. company that makes it said the supply is now "exhausted." Later Tuesday, Canada said it would provide some of its experimental Ebola vaccine for use in West Africa.

A Spanish missionary priest who died Tuesday in Madrid was the third person to receive the experimental treatment called ZMapp. Two U.S. aid workers who received it in recent weeks are said to be improving.

The outbreak, the biggest in history, has killed more than 1,000 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria.

     

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