Egypt proposes Israel-Gaza truce to start 0600 GMT Tuesday

Ahram Online , Monday 14 Jul 2014

Egyptian proposal calls for immediate halt to hostilities from Israel and Gaza, to be followed by ceasefire and negotiations in Cairo

Smoke and debris rises as an Israeli missile strike hits a building in Jabalya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, Monday, July 14, 2014 (Photo: AP)

Egypt launched a ceasefire initiative on Monday concerning the ongoing war between the Israeli army and Islamist Hamas movement in which it called for an "immediate" end to hostilities from both sides.

According to Al-Ahram's Arabic news website, Cairo is holding talks with Israel and all Palestinian factions to put an end to assaults that have led to the death of 184 Palestinians and the injury of hundreds.

The initiative coincides with the visit of US Secretary of State John Kerry to Cairo on Tuesday to discuss the latest developments in the Gaza Strip.

Egypt's Foreign Affairs Minister Sameh Shukry received a phone call from Kerry on Sunday evening to discuss the escalation in hostilities between Israel and Gaza rulers Hamas.  

Kerry's visit to Egypt will also come a day after an urgent meeting of Arab foreign ministers was held at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo on Monday evening in a bid to seek an end to the violence.

As stipulated in the initiative's text, Egypt proposed a truce to be implemented starting from 0600 GMT Tuesday, with a ceasefire going into effect 12 hours later.

Within 48 hours of the truce announcement, Cairo is to then host high-level delegations from both Israeli and Palestinian factions to discuss trust-building measures required for confirming the implementation of the deal.

The Egyptian proposal stresses that both parties must refrain from committing acts that could "negatively affect" the implementation of the reached understandings. Both sides should stress their commitment with the agreed upon conditions to Egypt.

Egyptian officials will meet with each side separately, provided that the talks will be held in accordance with the Cairo-brokered ceasefire of 2012.

In November 2012, Egypt sponsored a truce between Hamas and Israel following a war that led to the killing of more than 140 Palestinians in non-stop airstrikes on heavily populated areas over a week-long period.

Five Israelis died as a result of rockets fired by Hamas fighters into Israel.  

The first article of Egypt's ceasefire proposed on Monday calls for "an immediate ceasefire" between Israel and all Palestinian factions, stressing that escalations, violence and the resulting lost lives will not benefit any of the parties involved.

"Israel should put an end to all of its land, sea, air hostilities against the Gaza Strip while emphasising that no ground invasion will be implemented against Gaza or the targeting of civilians," the proposal said.

"To end all hostilities by political factions based in Gaza against Israel via land, sea, air and underground, while emphasising the stoppage of rockets of all kinds, assaults on the borders and the targeting of civilians," Egypt proposed.

The proposal also called for the opening of crossings and facilitating the movement of people and goods through border crossings while considering "on ground security conditions".

It added that other "issues regarding security will be looked into with the two factions [Palestine and Israel]".


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