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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Conflicting reports about Hamas-Israeli truce

Israeli strikes in Gaza

As Israel continues its massive military operation in Gaza and Gaza based Hamas responds with firing the rockets into Israeli territory, the negotiations about the ceasefire are continuing in Egypt.

There are a lot of conflict reports regarding the faith and the details of the possible ceasefire, but until now the offensive continues, with the constant bombing of Gaza civilian neighborhoods.
The talks held between Israeli officials and Hamas are mediated by Egypt. The both sides are generally agreed on the ceasefire as the violence should be stopped, but both of the sides demand the guarantees for this truce.

Israel demands Hamas to stop targeting Israeli territories with its rockets as the residents of the cities close to the border with Gaza are living under constant fear of the attacks. Israel claims it defends its people and its territory and is ready for the massive ground operation in Gaza if the truce agreement won’t be reached and the fire from Gaza will not stop. The additional military forces and weapons have been already deployed to the region, and nearly 75,000 reservists were also called to be ready for the operation.

Meanwhile Hamas needs the guarantees from the side of US and demands that Israel should immediately stop its military operation which kills the civilians and lift the siege imposed on Gaza during last six years. Hamas says it is ready for the ceasefire and the following peace talks with Israel but only if their demands will be met.

Mohamed Morsy, Egypt's President.
Egypt is mediating Hamas-Israeli
peace negotiations
We would remind here, that the escalation of the violence is the region is terrible, and the death toll in Gaza is increasing, reaching more than 130 people at the current stage. More than half of them are civilians, with a lot of little children among them. There are also thousands of wounded treated in the hospitals. The international journalists and media centers were also targeted by the Israeli forces. The strikes are still continuing.

It’s worth mentioning, that Egypt, which is mediating the ceasefire talks, has announced that the deal is very close. The official source reported, that, according to the statements of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy and Prime Minister Hisham Qandeel, the ceasefire deal between Israel and Gaza based Hamas is expected to be signed and announced till Tuesday evening, 20 November 2012.

The joint press conference of the Egyptian mediators and representatives of Hamas and Islamic Jihad was scheduled for the Tuesday evening. Egypt’s President also announced the violence in Gaza should be ended in the Tuesday night.

But the strikes still continue, and there is no agreement between the sides till now. According to the representatives of Hamas, the future of this ceasefire depends only on the Israeli actions now. Egyptian side has sent the draft of the truce proposals to Israeli officials, but there is still no reply on the conditions of the truce agreement, so the truce cannot be announced till now. Hamas representatives stated they will sign the agreement when the Israeli side will respond.

Khaled Meshaal, Hamas leader
However, Israeli officials refused to comment the statements of the Egyptian President and Hamas representatives about the possibility of the truce on Tuesday evening. Israeli sources have said that there are ongoing negotiations about the truce, but declined to comment when and if the truce deal could be reached.

Israeli officials announced earlier that they are ready for the military operation in Gaza, but they would prefer the diplomatic solution of this crisis. Israel is also interested in the long-term deal about the ceasefire with Gaza.

Earlier on Tuesday UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon declared during the conference in Cairo that the escalation of violence in the region should be stopped immediately, and the peaceful, diplomatic solution is needed. UN Security Council has also condemned Israeli military operation and called on Israel to respect the international laws and human rights as the current actions of the Jewish state violate the terms of the convention. But USA has blocked the UN Security Council’s statement on the Gaza conflict using its right of veto. US said that the statement is “counter-productive”.

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister
Meanwhile US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has arrived in Jerusalem to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials for discussing the escalation of the conflict in Gaza and the necessity of the immediate ceasefire which will end the violence and killing of the people.

During the meeting with Hillary Rodham Clinton Israeli Prime Minister stated Israel is ready for the military operation in Gaza, but it would prefer a long-term diplomatic solution.

But unfortunately the ceasefire deal is not reached and signed at the moment, and the talks are expected to continue tomorrow. At the same time Israel is continuing shelling the Gaza territories, and the official death toll is more than 130 people, there are thousands of wounded. As for the Israeli side, its death toll raised to 5, since the beginning of the operation on Wednesday.