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Egypt plan for Gaza cease-fire
2014.07.23 05:22:31

The Palestinian leadership proposed to Egypt a plan for a Gaza cease-fire to be followed by five days of negotiations to stop the conflict in Gaza, Palestinian official Azzam al-Ahmed told reporters in Cairo on Tuesday.

The Palestinian leadership offered a new suggestion in the framework of the Egyptian initiative for a ceasefire followed immediately by negotiations lasting five days.

[Reuters]



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Egypt

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Framework to end the conflict in the Gaza Strip
2014.07.23 05:07:17

US Secretary of State John Kerry says that an initiative from Egypt is the framework to end the conflict in the Gaza Strip.

There is a framework to end the violence and that framework is the Egyptian initiative.



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Egypt | United States | John Kerry

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Possibility of restarting stalled peace talks
2014.07.23 03:49:54

Egypt's foreign minister is raising the possibility of restarting stalled peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians as part of negotiating a cease-fire in the war that has broken out on the Gaza Strip.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri's comments Tuesday came at the start of a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is in Cairo trying to help broker a truce after two weeks of fighting.

[AP]



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Egypt

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Hamas's conditions
2014.07.22 05:03:56

An important line from this Reuters report just now: "'Egypt does not mind adding some of Hamas's conditions provided that all involved parties approve,' a senior Egyptian official said." Egypt has until now insisted that Hamas accept a cease-fire with no concessions—terms would be negotiated after the fighting ends. Hamas has rejected this.



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Egypt

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Ban Ki-moon arrived in Cairo
2014.07.22 04:15:20

UN chief Ban Ki-moon arrived in Cairo for talks to build support for a truce in Gaza, an airport official said.

Ban, who arrived from Kuwait, is due to meet Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri as international efforts to end the deadly conflict in the Palestinian territory intensified, with US Secretary of State John Kerry also expected to arrive in the Egyptian capital later in the evening.

[AFP]



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Egypt | Ban Ki-moon

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Palestinian envoy to the United Nations
2014.07.19 03:01:16

The Palestinian envoy to the United Nations said he hopes "a very intensive negotiation" in Cairo might produce a ceasefire to end the violence in Gaza.

Ambassador Riyad Mansour said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with leaders from Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Egypt and other many others and he understood that US Secretary of State John Kerry was on his way to Egypt.

"We hope that an agreement and ceasefire to take place as quickly as possible before shedding the blood of one additional single Palestinian soul,'' Mansour said. [AP]



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Egypt

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Conspiring to undermine Cairo's efforts
2014.07.19 02:40:38

Egypt's foreign minister accused Qatar, Turkey and Hamas on Thursday of conspiring to undermine Cairo's efforts to bring about a ceasefire between the Hamas and Israel in Gaza, Egypt's state news agency reported.

Egypt sees Hamas as a threat because it is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, which the army removed from power last year, straining ties with the Gulf Arab state of Qatar and with Turkey, both countries that backed Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri made the accusation against Turkey, Qatar and Hamas in a briefing with local newspaper editors, the state news agency MENA reported.

"Had Hamas accepted the Egyptian initiative, at least 40 Palestinian souls would have been saved," MENA quoted Shukri as saying.

[Reuters]



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Egypt | Qatar | Turkey

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Israel denied reports it was considering a wider ceasefire
2014.07.18 04:53:25

A five-hour humanitarian truce has ended in the Gaza Strip, as Israel denied reports it was considering a wider ceasefire proposed by Egypt.

The UN-brokered humanitarian truce ended at 12pm GMT on Thursday with two reported infractions - three mortar bombs landed in Israel while Israeli tank fire was reported in Rafah.

The truce ended amid reports by the Reuters news agency that Israel was considering an Egyptian proposal for a comprehensive Gaza ceasefire starting on Friday, but this was quickly denied by Israel's foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman.

Speaking to a group of diplomats, Lieberman said that "the reports of a ceasefire, are far from representing reality, I spoke with the prime minister, and as of now they are incorrect".



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Egypt

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Israeli official: 'There is an agreement for a ceasefire'
2014.07.18 04:51:55

Reuters quoted an unnamed Israeli official as saying "There is an agreement for a ceasefire beginning tomorrow, I believe it is six in the morning "

The official said Israeli leaders approved a truce after an Israeli delegation held talks in Egypt.

There is no confirmation as to whether Hamas has agreed to the reported agreement.



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Egypt

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Proposal for ceasefire
2014.07.18 04:10:53

Egypt's foreign minister has given an interview to the Associated Press, in which he says its proposal for ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian fighters is "gaining momentum".

Sameh Shukri added his country's plan was the only viable way to stop an "intolerable humanitarian situation" in Gaza.



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Egypt

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Israeli delegation landed in Cairo
2014.07.18 03:02:06

An Israeli delegation landed in Cairo last night for indirect talks with Hamas.

The delegation includes Yoram Cohen, the head of Shin Bet, and Yitzhak Molcho, the prime minister's aide, who was also heavily involved in the failed talks with the Palestinian Authority earlier this year.

Egyptian mediators are shuttling back and forth between the two sides.



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Egypt

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Abbas met Hamas political official
2014.07.17 05:06:35

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met Hamas political official Moussa Abu  Marzouk on Wednesday in Cairo to discuss an Egyptian initiative that has  so far failed to halt more than a week of warfare in Gaza, Egypt's state news agency MENA said.

The talks were the first concrete sign that efforts to reach a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian fighters were still active despite the collapse a day earlier of a proposed mutual "de-escalation" of violence.

[Reuters]



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Egypt

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Secret call between Netanyahu and al-Sissi
2014.07.17 04:53:04

Israel-based Haaretz paper reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi on Saturday in a telephone call - prompted by Quartet envoy Tony Blair - that has been kept secret until now.

Secret call between Netanyahu, al-Sissi led to abortive cease-fire - Diplomacy and Defense

Haaretz has learned that the PM spoke to the Egyptian president in a phone call prompted by Quartet envoy Tony Blair.

Haaretz.com



Tags: Egypt | Hamas | Israel | Gaza

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Hamas officially rejects Egyptian-proposed Gaza ceasefire
2014.07.17 03:54:09

Hamas has officially told Egypt that it rejects an Egyptian-proposed Gaza ceasefire, a spokesman for the group said.

"The outcome of discussions within the internal institutions of the movement was to reject the proposal and therefore, Hamas informed Egypt last night it apologies for not accepting it," spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.

Hamas's armed wing had already spurned the Egyptian plan on Tuesday, and Israel, which briefly halted its Gaza offensive, resumed attacks after cross-border rocket fire from the Palestinian territory persisted.



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Egypt

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Egyptian-led efforts to end the conflict
2014.07.17 03:36:21

A Hamas official is to hold talks in Cairo on about Egyptian-led efforts to end the conflict between the Gaza-based Hamas movement and Israel, the Palestinians said.

The movement has already rejected a proposal that Egypt put forward this week aimed at bringing an end to the violence, complaining that it had been excluded from the discussions.

"A meeting will be held this afternoon between an official from Hamas and a representative of the Egyptian leadership," said Azzam al-Ahmad, a senior member of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement.

Speaking at a meeting of the Arab League, Ahmad voiced hope that those at the gathering would "crystallize a definite formula for an Egyptian initiative" or clarify Cairo's plan, which proposed and end to hostilities from 0600 GMT on Tuesday.

[AFP]



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Egypt

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'Great degree of irresponsibility'
2014.07.16 04:50:45

Netanyahu said he fired deputy foreign minister Danny Danon because his comments criticizing Israel's acceptance of the Egyptian truce showed a "great degree of irresponsibility" at the height of a military campaign.

In a statement released by the prime minister's office, Netanyahu said:

In light of these declarations that express a lack of confidence in the government and its leader, personally ... I have decided to remove him from his post.



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Egypt

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Hamas' rejection of truce proposed
2014.07.16 04:40:46

In a speech just now, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Hamas' rejection of a truce proposed by Egypt forces Israel to "broaden" the campaign in Gaza.

"If there is no cease-fire, there is fire," he said. But he didn't provide specifics, and he implicitly criticized Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's call to reoccupy Gaza, describing it as "background noise," suggesting that he's still not entirely keen on a large ground invasion.



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Egypt

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Hamas was not consulted on cease-fire proposal
2014.07.16 04:02:29

Worth remembering: Hamas insists it was not consulted on this cease-fire proposal. It was discussed by Israel and Egypt, while Palestinian factions say they learned about it via the media.

Benjamin Netanyahu and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi both want to hurt Hamas, and a one-sided proposal is a very effective way to do that.

If Hamas accepts the deal, which includes no real concessions from Israel, it will suffer domestically—fighting a pointless war that achieved nothing for Gaza. If it rejects the deal, it gives Israel international legitimacy to escalate further (see Nick Schifrin's tweets below). Either way, the group is weakened.

Nick Schifrin

Israeli official: "From the intl community’s POV, if Hamas rejects these proposals, they will understand there was an alternative."



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Egypt

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Israeli security cabinet
2014.07.16 03:18:14

More details to come: The Israeli security cabinet has decided to approve the cease-fire initiative proposed by Egypt last night.

Avigdor Lieberman and Naftali Bennett—the foreign minister and economy minister, respectively, both of them staunch hawks—voted against the cease-fire, according to Barak Ravid, the diplomatic correspondent for Ha'aretz.



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Egypt

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Egyptian Initiative
2014.07.16 02:34:33

Statement from Egypt's Foreign Ministry on ceasefire plan for Gaza:

Egyptian Initiative

1-    Stemming from  Egypt’s historic responsibility in view of its believe in the importance of achieving peace in the region, protecting the lives of  the innocent , and ending the bloodshed, Egypt calls upon Israel and all Palestinian factions to immediately enforce a seize fire, in view of the fact that escalation and mutual violence, and resulting victims , is not in  the interest of either party; as such both sides shall abide, during the period of the ceasefire, by the following:

a.     Israel shall cease all hostilities against the Gaza Strip via land, sea, and air, and shall commit to refrain from conducting any ground incursions against Gaza or targeting civilians.

b.     All Palestinian factions in Gaza shall cease all hostilities from the Gaza Strip against Israel via land, sea, air, and underground, and shall commit to refrain from firing all types of rockets, and from attacks on the borders or targeting civilians.

c.     Crossings shall be opened and movement of persons and goods through border crossings shall be facilitated once the security situation becomes stable on the ground.

d.     Other issues, including security issues shall be discussed with the two sides.  

2-    Modalities of Implementation:

a.     It has been decided to initiate the implementation of the de-escalation arrangements at 06 : 00 hours (GMT) on 15 / 7 / 2014, pending the implementation of a full ceasefire within twelve hours of the announcement of the Egyptian initiative and its unconditional acceptance by both sides.

b.     High-level delegations from both the Israeli government and the Palestinian factions shall be received in Cairo within 48 hours of the initiation of the initiative’s implementation, in order to conclude talks for the consolidation of the ceasefire and conclude confidence-building measures between the two sides; talks shall be held with each side separately (in accordance with the arrangements for the consolidation of de-escalation in Cairo in 2012).

c.     Both sides shall commit to refrain from taking any action aimed at undermining the implementation of the understandings; Egypt shall receive guarantees from both sides of their commitment to implement what has been agreed upon, and shall follow up on its implementation and engage with either side in the case of any action that impinges on its stability.



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Egypt

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