Sunday, November 18, 2012

Morsi hoping for a ceasefire

From Ynet News, 18 Nov 2012:

Egyptian president says 'there are indications of imminent ceasefire.' Israeli state officials confirm negotiations being held but deny there is any outline for lull

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi said at a joint press conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday that "there are indications of an imminent cessation of combat between Israel and the Palestinians."
Morsi said that countries such as the US, France, Russia and Italy were involved in efforts to reach a ceasefire.
A senior [Israeli] official told Ynet's defense analyst Ron Ben-Yishai that Morsi and Erdogan are indeed engaged in efforts to bring about a ceasefire and are in contact with Hamas officials in Cairo. Nevertheless he stressed that there is no outline for a ceasefire anytime soon.
Other state officials said that it will soon become evident whether a lull has been achieved or not. "The objectives have yet to be met, the IDF has more goals," one Israeli official said.
"The IDF is planning to expand its activity against terror targets in Gaza on Saturday night," he added. State officials said that the main goal was and remains the cessation of rocket fire on the south....
...Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah ...expressed his concern of the pressure that Arab states are putting on the Gaza factions to withdraw their terms for a lull. "We have not heard any threats to cut ties, cancel agreements or use the weapon of oil to pressure the United States," he said.
Since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense on Wednesday, the IDF struck 950 terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip, 300 of which were hit on Saturday....

Arab League convenes
Meanwhile, Arab foreign ministers who convened in Cairo ...said in a joint statement they support Egypt's efforts to bring about a ceasefire.
Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Alaraby said that a delegation of Arab foreign ministers is scheduled to visit Gaza in the coming days to review the situation. During the meeting, he called to reconsider "all of the past Arab initiatives regarding the peace process."
Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani said, "Our meetings have turned into a waste of time and money. We are meeting here today and we'll issue a statement. The statement will have no significance. We need to review the whole situation over again."...
During the meeting, hundreds of people demonstrated outside the Arab League's headquarters and protested the "Arab disgrace in handling the Israeli aggression in Gaza." Meanwhile, they said that the best reaction to the "anarchy" created by Israel would be Palestinian unity.
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