News / Middle East

    Egypt Gives Palestinian Cease-fire Demands to Israel

    Mideast Israel PalestiniansPalestinians salvage what they can of their belongings from the rubble of their destroyed apartment in a building hit by an Israeli strike in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, Aug. 4, 2014.
    Mideast Israel PalestiniansPalestinians salvage what they can of their belongings from the rubble of their destroyed apartment in a building hit by an Israeli strike in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, Aug. 4, 2014.
    Reuters

    Egypt presented Palestinian demands to Israel on Monday as part of efforts to mediate a cease-fire in Gaza which could pave the way for negotiations to end more than three weeks of fighting, an Egyptian source said.

    Palestinian groups including envoys of Hamas and Islamic Jihad held their first formal meeting with the head of Egyptian intelligence in Cairo on Monday, focusing on a joint list of demands presented by Palestinian factions.

    Those demands included a cease-fire, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, the lifting of a blockade, the release of prisoners and the start of a reconstruction process, delegation members have said.

    The talks began at noon local time (0900 GMT) and lasted at least two hours, but it was not clear how quickly mediation efforts could progress after Israel declined to send envoys as planned.

    Awaiting response

    An Egyptian source said Cairo was pushing for an extended cease-fire to allow talks to continue.

    “We are now awaiting the Israeli response,” the source said.

    A Palestinian official affiliated with one of the militant factions said a temporary cease-fire would open the door to more comprehensive negotiations.

    “Should Israel agree to the 72-hour cease-fire, Egypt would invite Israel to send a delegation to Cairo to conduct indirect negotiations with the Palestinian delegation over all issues,” he said. Another Palestinian official said there had been talk of a potential 7-day cease-fire.

    Egypt has positioned itself as a mediator in successive Gaza conflicts but, like Israel, it opposes Hamas and has struggled to seal a deal to end the latest fighting.

    Media speculation that U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns would fly to Egypt to participate in indirect truce talks had not been borne out by Monday.

    A U.S. embassy spokesman declined to say if or when Burns might arrive. A U.S. official in Washington said acting special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations Frank Lowenstein was on his way back from Cairo, suggesting the United States was following the talks closely.

    A U.S.- and U.N.-brokered cease-fire broke down within two hours on Friday, with Israel and Hamas trading blame.

    Hamas demands

    A Hamas source in Doha said the group would not lay down arms unless Palestinian conditions were met.

    Qatar, a backer of Hamas, has stayed out of the Egypt talks, but has continued consultations with Turkey and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry aimed at finding an end to the crisis should Egypt fail, a Gulf source and the Hamas official in Doha said.

    Israel has begun to wind down its offensive, saying the army had completed the main objective of the ground assault, the destruction of cross-border infiltration tunnels from Gaza.

    Cairo might contemplate easing the limited freedom of movement across its own border with Gaza, but was unlikely to accept Palestinian calls to allow a normal flow of trade, Egyptian diplomatic sources said.

    Egypt insists that any discussion over the Rafah border crossing take place bilaterally with the Palestinian Authority rather than as part of any overall deal between the Palestinians and Israel to ease the blockade, the sources said.

    Israel began aerial and naval bombardment of Gaza on July 8 after what it said was a surge of cross-border rocket salvoes by Hamas and others. It later sent in ground forces.

    Gaza officials say 1,804 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed and more than a quarter of its 1.8 million residents have been displaced. Israel has confirmed that 64 soldiers have died in combat, while Palestinian shelling has killed three civilians in Israel.

    You May Like

    US, Somalia Launch New Chapter in Relations

    US sends first ambassador to Somalia in 25 years; diplomatic presence and forces pulled out in 1993, after 18 US soldiers were killed when militiamen shot down military helicopter

    Brexit Vote Ripples Across South Asia

    Experts say exit is likely to have far-reaching economic, political and social implications for a region with deep historic ties to Britain

    Russian Military Tests Readiness With Snap Inspections

    Some observers see surprise drill as tit-for-tat response to NATO’s recent multinational military exercises in Baltic region

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Nihal El-Sayed from: Singapore
    August 08, 2014 5:25 AM
    Bravo for our country – Egypt is acting as the third party to stop extremism and terrorism in the region! For Western media who are skeptical of Egypt’s actions against the muslim brotherhood, I would say the US has done the same thing, if not more strict. Bravo Sisi!

    by: Lawrence Bush from: Houston, Texas
    August 05, 2014 5:30 AM
    The three day truce under the auspices of Egypt is humanitarianly welcome. But for the furtherance of it, a lot remain to be done. The very objective of Israel is to demilitarize the Gaza strip. While the Hamas keeps its conditionalities forward for a durable cease-fire, would that accept the same of Israel ........ to disarm completely as the Hamas militia is not the national defense of the Palestne state???? Certainly, instead of demilitarizing Gaza, it would behove well to completely disarm
    all the militia along with the Hamas as no further Israeli-Palestnian war to take place adhinc. Over the disputed, occupied territories like the West Bank and the Eastern Jerusalem that the Palestinians should get that they can succeed in engaging in the constructive dialouge process with Israel.
    In Response

    by: Faiyaz Ahmed S M from: india
    August 06, 2014 5:39 AM
    What's the guarantee that Israel will play a fair game? As a goodwill gesture, will it put a freeze on the settlements? I don't approve of Hamas tactics but for all the nonviolent resistance by Palestinian Authority, what has Abbas got? Peanuts. Gaza was blockaded for 7 years - vegetables, food, water, medicines - everything was rationed? Does one know that Intra venous saline fluids were not allowed to be brought in? Can Israel explain why? Do you know Israel does not permit more than the allotted quota of baby food to be brought in even if the annual quota gets used in 6 months? The list is too long to be mentioned here. The fact is given Israel's atrocities, even Mohandas Gandhi would have lost faith in nonviolence and ahimsa.

    by: G.A. Najar from: india
    August 05, 2014 2:17 AM
    The blood of children killed in Gaza flows in the vicinity of the Lord of universe, who heard their shrieks and assured them of Justice.

    by: Frank from: Paris
    August 04, 2014 2:37 PM
    Israel will never let the Palestinian ppl go. For one simple reason, never an occupation in history has ended through talks. Nazis never would have let them go, unless forced by barrel of a gun. So will the children or Israel.
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    August 04, 2014 6:03 PM
    Okay,d so called Israel should keep killing and socking their blood as their favorite drink.

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    August 04, 2014 1:47 PM
    Very unfortunate Israel will accept anything other than a complete disarmament and demilitarization of Gaza for a cease fire. Hamas has vowed Israel should not exist, so allowing it remain potent with ability to rebuild and strike at Israel is absolutely unacceptable. Maybe Benjamin Netanyahu is not as strong as he has been reasoned to be. Maybe also he has not been able to decipher the mindset of a diplomatic world expecting that he does the right thing now to end the belligerency once and fall time to be able to return peace to the region which has suffered chronically from incessant Hamas uprisings. Maybe Netanyahu is leaving the uncompleted assignment so as to have reason to continue to deny further peace negotiations with the Palestinians who cannot move forward while Hamas remains a threat to Israel and to its rival faction in the West Bank. But it will be suicidal to accede to Hamas conditionalities for the ceasefire - even the least of them - as they must have at least implicit Hamas traps.

    by: Kay Salicornia from: USA
    August 04, 2014 12:20 PM
    And Israel helped the creation of Hamas in the hope of overshadowing PLO (and other secular Palestinian forces - same way Israel helped arming the Ayatollahs against Saddam Hussein). Now, Frankenstein has to deal with the monsters it has helped to create. But as the story goes, nobody felt sorry for Frankenstein, and in the end, Frankenstein and the monster destroyed each other. For the curious and also for the deniers, look up Hamas history in Wikipedia or just google it.
    In Response

    by: Luke from: England
    August 04, 2014 8:43 PM
    Godwin, you realise that Israel is illegally occupying Palestinian soil. England created the state of Israel... I can understand the logic at the time, but now it seems that it may not have been such a great idea.
    In Response

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    August 04, 2014 2:04 PM
    And you think for whatever reason Israel put its money in the venture, it's not working? You're wrong. For all you know, Israel has used Hamas to stage-manage the delay in the creation of a Palestinian state. Israel knows the land belongs to it and there is no need to share it with anybody. Has there not been a Hamas, Israel would not have a reason to fight to get it back from the Palestine Organization, hence the other side has softened up and Israel would be foolish to fight with a side that has thrown in the towel. Negotiation would have released the land since to the Palestinians. So wisen up, Israel still has all the aces.

    by: meanbill from: USA
    August 04, 2014 10:56 AM
    IT WON'T END, as long as the US keeps funding the Israeli war with the Palestinians, (because), the arrogant Israeli's will never negotiate in good faith with the Palestinians, (because), the Israeli's will sit back in safety out of range, and massacre the Palestinians at a safe distance, (because), all the bullets, missiles, rockets, and bombs the Israeli use, are paid for, and replaced by the US taxpayers, (and), the US Congress just gave 225 million more taxpayer dollars to replace the Iron Dome missiles Israel used against the Hamas rockets....

    The US paid for all the bullets, missiles, rockets, and bombs the Israeli's used to kill the Palestinian Arab civilians, and will pay for replacing those the Israeli's used, so they can kill more Palestinians?..... CRAZY isn't it?.... If the US didn't give Israel the money to buy their weapons, bullets, missiles, rockets, and bombs, all those Palestinian civilians being killed, wouldn't be, would they?..... billions of US taxpayer money, and Netanyahu told Obama what?
    In Response

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    August 04, 2014 1:55 PM
    Where were you on September 11, 2001? You're still loving the activities of terrorists, are you not? See what your brothers are doing in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Pakistan. You must be loving those things and regret it's not happening to Israel - the only civilized country in the Mideast. Well it's not about to happen. For once the US is getting it right to put its money in the right pot. Good luck and kudos, the American Congress.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Testing Bamboo as Building Materiali
    X
    June 27, 2016 9:06 PM
    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapides’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora