Gaza-Israel: A Ceasefire At Last!

Posted: January 18, 2009 in Life, World
Tags: , ,
Israel call for unilateral gaza truce

Israel calls for unilateral gaza truce

Sky News has reported that the Israeli war cabinet has backed a unilateral ceasefire at last in Gaza from 2am Sunday morning local time.

Troops will however remain inside Gaza, at least for a few days.

After several hours of discussions with his ministers Prime Minister Ehud Olmert emerged to say that ‘the goals we set for ourselves have been achieved’.

Mr Olmert said: ‘Hamas has been beaten badly, its leaders are hiding, most of its people are dead.’

But he insisted that if fired upon by Hamas, the Israeli Defence Forces would respond.
He added that it was Hamas’ own policies that had allowed its own community to suffer and accused it of acting as an Iranian proxy.

But even as the cabinet met, a rocket fired from Gaza hit a house in the town of Ashdod.

There is no word yet on casualties.

Israel’s decision to call a ceasefire follows a proposal from Egypt to end the 22-day long war in Gaza after what was described as ‘substantial progress’ during talks in Cairo.

A Hamas official said the militant group would continue to fight unless Israel withdrew completely from Gaza.

An emergency summit on the crisis, co-hosted by the French president Nicolas Sarkozy and his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak is to be held on Sunday in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el Sheikh.

Mr Sarkozy’s office said the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will attend, along with several European leaders including Gordon Brown.

Earlier, Mr Brown offered British naval resources to help prevent arms smuggling into Gaza as part of an arrangement to end the fighting there.

The Prime Minister said after meeting the Israeli and Palestinian leaders that there was “general understanding” that the ‘appalling violence […] should come to an end as quickly as possible’.

He pledged to help make sure there was proper protection and monitoring of the crossings into Gaza, if requested as part of a ceasefire deal.

‘We will do everything that we can to prevent the arms trafficking that is at the root of some of the problems that have caused the conflict,’ Mr Brown said.

An agreement has also been struck between Israel and the US to expand intelligence cooperation to prevent Hamas smuggling weapons into the Gaza Strip.

UN officials have condemned the killing of two Palestinian children in an Israeli strike on one of their schools in the north of the Gaza Strip.

They were among 1,600 people taking shelter in the building in Beit Lahiya, reports said.

A UN spokesman said there was no excuse as Israel knew the locations of all its operations in Gaza.

Ban Ki-moon condemned what he called an ‘outrageous attack’ and demanded a thorugh investigation by the Israeli authorities.

Around 1,200 Palestinians have been killed and 5,000 wounded since Israel began its offensive on December 27. Ten Israeli soldiers have died in the fighting and three Israeli civilians have been killed by rockets fired from Gaza.

P/S: NOW, that there’s an understanding between them, I REALLY hope that the ‘ceasefire’ isn’t JUST a word. . . God help them.

  1. Israel unilaterally declared a ceasefire yesterday. Of course it quickly vanished when Hamas fired five rockets into Israel. Hamas does not want to cease fire unless it is on their terms. They are concerned about looking defeated in the eyes of the Arab world. In truth, they have been defeated from a military standpoint.

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