Hamas and Israel in truce mediation

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by KevinB, Mar 12, 2008.

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  1. Hamas and Israel in truce mediation

    Israeli and Hamas officials are discussing a possible ceasefire through Egyptian mediators after Ehud Olmert, Israel's prime minister, ordered a halt to raids on the Gaza Strip.

    The order was issued on Monday in response to a significant drop in the number of rockets and mortars being fired from the territory, offficials said.

    "We certainly appear to have entered a period of talking rather than fighting now," Al Jazeera's Jacky Rowland reported from Gaza.

    "For more than three days now there have been virtually no rocket attacks into Israel ... and also there have been no Israeli air strikes, no overflights of Gaza."

    Both Israeli defence officials and Hamas leaders have insisted that no formal truce has been agreed so far, but officials in Olmert's office told said that he had ordered the army to scale back its operations to allow talks to proceed.

    "It seems that Hamas has decided for now not to shoot, and we're not shooting either," said an Israeli government official.

    "This could well become a ceasefire, but the ball is in Hamas' court," he said.

    Ahmed Youssef, an advisor to Hamas told Al Jazeera: "We hope the Israelis will understand that the time has come to lift the sanctions."

    "We would like to lay the foundations for peaceful discussions," he said.

    "What we are seeing is a period of shuttling backwards and forwards to Egypt by Hamas representatives, and on Sunday we know that in Egypt there was an Israeli official," Rowland reported.

    "But the Egyptians are being very careful that they are not even in the country at the same time."

    Hossam Zaki, spokesman for the Egyptian foreign ministry, confirmed that Cairo had been in contact with representatives from both sides and there had been some progress.

    "There is an interest on both parties in a period of calm and the issue now is to discuss whether there will be guarantees ... that the military confrontations and operation will not occur again," he told Al Jazeera.

    Hamas sources told Al Jazeera that the Palestinians are not only calling for an end to the military action, but also the reopening of the Rafah crossing and the lifting of the siege on Gaza.

    Zaki told Al Jazeera that the border issue was one of the top priorities for the Egyptians after thousands of Gazans poured into Sinai when Israel stopped deliveries of essential items to the strip.

    "They have their vision of how the crossing should work, they are entitled to put their vision, after all they are controlling the Gaza Strip," he said.

    "But the issue of reopening the crossings is dealt with in a different concept."

    Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, briefly called off negotiations with Israel in response to an Israeli military operation in Gaza in which more than 125 Palestinians, many of them civilians, were killed, according to Palestinian medical officials.

    Israel said it launched the raids in response to Palestinian rocket attacks on the south of the country.

    Hamas officials have said in recent days that the armed wing of the group would stop firing homemade missiles if Israel halted its military operations.

    That mirrored a remark by Olmert on Wednesday that Israel would have no reason to attack Gaza if the rocket launchings ceased.

    He also said on Monday that Israel was prepared to take a "significant, important and dramatic step" to advance peace.

    Although conditions in Gaza were relatively peaceful, Israel carried out several raids into the West Bank arresting at least 29 Palestinians on Monday.

    The army sealed off the West Bank on Friday night after eight Jewish students were shot dead in an attack on a religious seminary.

    On Monday, the Merkaz Harav Yeshiva in west Jerusalem said it would not welcome a visit from Olmert because of his support for the idea of withdrawing from some Jewish settlements as part of a peace deal with the Palestinians.

    "We cannot receive a prime minister who advocates against the spirit of the Torah and accept that Israel withdraws from a part of the land of Israel," Rabbi Haim Steiner, one of the Yeshiva's senior officials, told public radio.

    The seminary is considered the centre of Israeli religious nationalism and is a strong proponent of the settler movement.

    A number of plans to expand Jewish settlements in the West Bank were approved by Olmert on Sunday.

    Israel Radio reported that the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, a key coalition partner, had threatened to quit the government unless the construction at the Givat Ze'ev settlement, 8km from central Jerusalem, was approved.

    Olmert had barred ministries from ordering new Israeli construction in the West Bank without his approval because of its political rammifications.

    The settlements are illegal under international law because they are built on occupied land. Their ongoing expansion contravenes agreements under the road map peace plan and Annapolis final status talks.
  2. Doubtful much will come of this, but who knows?
  3. Whilst Gaza and the West Bank aren't on the top of my list of places to be turned into glass, they're still there...

    The Red Sea Padestrians should have given Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank back to Jordon so the cnuts would be fighting arab amongst arab (like that has never happened before!).
  4. The Arabs fighting among themselves? Never! :roll:

    Still, what do you think of a two state solution? Viable or no?
  5. Well it seems to be working in Ireland Kevin...

    I'll get my dish-dash...
  6. Not speaking of Ireland, though there are similarities. Still, took hundreds of years to get to that point there, and there are quite a few will never be satisfied with the 'two state' solution.

    But what of Israel and Palestine?
  7. As a certain chap once said jaw jaw beats war war, so the longer and more they talk the better.

    My solution would be to put the head of Hamas and the Isaeli prime minister in and un airconditioned room with no food and only let them out when they had a peace agreement they would both accept in public.
  8. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    The palestinians wont miss this opportunity to miss this opportunity. They will commit the next act of mindless violence that sets it all off again as always.
  9. That may well be the case for the short term. But which objective will they ultimately pursue? The two state solution, the demand for all of their land back, or creation of a unitary democratic and secular state where Palestinians and Israelis would be equal? With Hamas at the helm, the third option seems unlikely - and no doubt those who want to keep Israel a theocracy would also object.
  10. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    They won't pursue any objective because they don't have one other than the destruction of Israel, which ain't happening any time soon.

    It's war by proxie by the Arabs because they got their arrses handed to them on a plate in '67 and '74.

    We can come back in 10 years and rake over the same old coals as nothing will change.
  11. I think with Arafat, bad as he was, there was more chance of a resolution than there is with Hamas. But Fateh, due to their own corruption, did themselves in and opened the doors for Hamas.
  12. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    Don't mean to be pedantic, but are you talking about in 1994 when he had everything he wanted except Jerusalem and turned it down?
  13. No, more of the 2000 agreement I was thinking of. Wonder if he ever regretted it.
  14. Isn't peace in the middle one of the seven signs of the apocalypse?

    If the pals are at peace with Israel, then who will the other arab countries blame for the plight of arabs in the middle east? People may start looking at their own governments for their situation <gasp>.
  15. To be fair, yes I know it is the middle east and fairness doesn't often come into it but ceasefires have been also broken by mindless killing of civilians by the israelis in attempts to bump off arabs they don't like.