News / Middle East

Israel: No Truce Deal Till Long-term Security Needs Met

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Aug. 17, 2014.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Aug. 17, 2014.
VOA News

Israel warned on Sunday it would not accept any long-term truce deal that did not meet its security needs as Gaza cease-fire talks resumed in Cairo.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking before Israel's weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday, said that Hamas had suffered a huge setback in the four-week war and that would be reflected at the Cairo talks.

"If Hamas thinks that by continuing the sporadic shootings (of rockets at Israel) it will make us agree to concessions, it is mistaken," Netanyahu said.

The negotiations between Israel and Hamas have been going on since early last week. 

The aim is to broker a long-term arrangement to halt over a month of bloody fighting, which erupted on July 8 and has so far claimed 1,980 Palestinians lives and 67 on the Israeli side.

Threat of renewed fighting

Netanyahu also said he was undeterred by Hamas' warnings of renewed fighting in the Gaza war, pledging Israel would hold fast to its security needs in indirect talks with the Palestinians in Cairo.

Netanyahu promised “harsh strikes” if Hamas fighters renewed their attacks on Israel.

“The Israeli delegation to Cairo from the first day, is working under very clear instructions: To stand steadfast on Israel's security needs. Only if there will be a clear solution for our security needs, only then will we be prepared to come to understandings,” Netanyahu said.

“If Hamas thinks that it can compensate for its military defeat with diplomatic gains, it is mistaken. If Hamas thinks that through continued intermittent firing it will cause us to make concessions, it is mistaken," he added.

Commenting on Netanyahu's remarks, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said: “The only way to achieve security is to afford security to the Palestinians first and to lift the blockade and to agree to their demands.”

Hamas rejected on Saturday as insufficient offers made in Cairo to Palestinian negotiators seeking to end Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip, and raised the possibility of renewed fighting when the current truce expires at midnight (2100 GMT) Monday.

Hamas, Gaza's dominant Islamist group, wants an eight-year-old Israeli-Egyptian blockade on the coastal enclave lifted, as well as the establishment of a seaport and airport, as part of any enduring cessation of hostilities with the Jewish state.

Palestinian lawmaker Mustafa Barghouti said, "The Palestinian side still demands a real lifting of the siege.

"What is proposed is not enough yet, what we need is a complete elimination of the siege and this can only be achieved if there is an independent port and an independent passage internationally protected and internationally guaranteed that Israel can not interfere with," Barghouti said.

Talks in Egypt

The talks began Sunday afternoon at the headquarters of the Egyptian intelligence in the absence of four officials from Gaza, among them representatives of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, who were expected to arrive during the evening.

It was the first time they had sat down since Wednesday after the negotiators returned home for three-days of consultations with their respective political masters.

Both sides say gaps remain in reaching a long-term deal that would keep the peace between Israel and militant groups in Gaza, and open the way for reconstruction aid to reach the battered enclave.

Israel wants the disarmament of Hamas in the territory of 1.8 million people.

The Palestinian demand for a Gaza seaport and reconstruction of an airport destroyed in previous conflicts with Israel has been a stumbling block, with Israel citing security reasons for opposing their operation.

“The demilitarization of Gaza which was already guaranteed in the Oslo agreement, that there will be no rocket no missile whatsoever in Gaza, should be on the table again. Otherwise a seaport or an airport without commitment for demilitarization is like a duty free for rockets and missiles,” said Yuval Steinitz, Israeli intelligence and strategic affairs minister.

Some conditions met

Israel said it is willing to ease the blockade but not lift it completely, fearing that Gaza could be flooded with weapons. Hamas, on the other hand, said it will never agree to Israel’s demand to give up the armed struggle.

Therefore, Egypt is pushing for an open-ended cease-fire, to give negotiators more time to hammer out a long-term agreement.

Israeli Communications Minister Gilad Erdan, a member of Netanyahu's security cabinet, said Israel was examining the Egyptian proposal as a whole and had yet to make any final decision.

The Gaza offensive has had broad public support in Israel, where militants' rockets, many of them intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system, have disrupted everyday life but caused little damage and few casualties.

Robert Berger contributed to this report from Jerusalem. Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AFP and AP.

You May Like

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Tadek from: Bangkok
August 18, 2014 7:39 PM
Netanyahu keeps Israelis ignorant of his massive destruction in Gaza and wanton killing of Palestinian innocents. His relentless and indiscriminate bombardment recall Hitler 's treatment of Warsaw in 1939. His policy of ghettoising Gaza results in Hamas' resistance and apparently
creates his excuse for action.
Anyone with access to independent news reports sees clearly
this "final solution" approach that may clear the way for new settlements in Gaza.

by: Mike Stand
August 18, 2014 8:00 AM
Hamas is the ISIL, except Israel has a military that can do what neither Syria or Iraq can do. Political Islam will be kept at bay in Gaza, despite of what the world says.

by: eusebio manuel pecurto from: Portugal
August 18, 2014 6:12 AM
International community stop the War Palestine and Israel

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 18, 2014 5:36 AM
There has been what I would like to refer to as over pampering of both the situation and Hamas in these negotiations. But this is also not the first time to hear Benjamin Netanyahu issue tough warnings to Hamas how harsh the consequences of further Hamas attacks might be, and nothing more than kid glove treatment came out of it. He should assure us if his “Harsh Strike” will be a total inclusive strike on Gaza this time around that can force both the UN agency there and everybody else to evacuate.

I just read about ISIS operation in northern Iraq that sacked over 1.5million people – little less than whole population of Gaza – and yet the whole world has not gone up in smoke, Saudi Arabia has not called an islamist jihad, nor have Europe, USA or anybody else said anything about a world war. Instead those who have said anything appear to suggest allowing ISIS a state it has carved out for itself there, no army raised, no weapon supplied while IS fighters continue their foray of abductions, mayhem, forced conversion and conscription.

Israel is not going to do all that, but can apply harsh, preemptive, total inclusive strikes that will force everybody in the place to evacuate. 1.2million Gazans can evacuate in a few shiploads while Hamas 0.6million soldiers can wait behind and fight to the last drop of its blood. Sure the world will not end if Israel truly takes a harsh aim at Gaza. If the Arabs wish, they can re-enact the 1967 6-day war, though this time it will include all muslims.

Israel should hold unto the Oslo agreement on Gaza demilitarization. Once again Hamas continues to reveal the crack in the Palestinian arrangement which should make it easy for Israel to defeat it and delight the PLO and the Arab League despite the frustration by Saudi Foreign Minister more from Israel’s failure to destroy Hamas than the supposed support he touted on the surface. But from Hamas standpoint, the only solution for Israel’s peace is destruction of Hamas, hence a militarized Gaza is a mortal/existential threat to Israel, peace or no peace.

by: Igor from: Russia
August 18, 2014 2:30 AM
Israel has every right to protect itself from those terrorists. Palestinians must not habour, support those terrorists in order to stop the bloodshed. You must say NO to terrorists. Russia strongly believe in the sincerity for peace of Israel.

by: Anthonybellchambers from: London
August 18, 2014 2:27 AM
No Gaza airport, no Ben Gurion airport. No Gaza seaport, no Haifa seaport. Simple. Seven years of oppression and lockdown of 2 million indigenous people is enough. Israel does not own the Middle East - nor does the US congress!

by: andishmand from: afghanistan
August 18, 2014 1:37 AM
it is a shame for those who claim to be pro human rights and mentions this as the topic of their seize and deceive nations by these kinda pledges.
these are like double dealer wolves
(western leaders
) who wage war behind the stage and claims rights of equally before the face of the world they should know that no one is listening them as all know the mask men.

by: Sudhama from: USA
August 18, 2014 12:49 AM
Miko Peled is a former IDF special forces soldier, his father was an Israeli general and his grandfather was a signer of Israel's declaration of independence. He is about as far from an anti-Semite or self-hating Jew as you could get. Miko says, “To criticize Israel, to criticize Zionism, there's this fear that somebody might might bring out the word 'anti-Semite'.
“Or somebody might, God forbid, remind us of the holocaust, and we can't deal with that, therefore we will allow Israel to continue with its crimes, to continue with the oppression, to continue imprisoning thousands of political prisoners, because we cannot deal with this issue of anti-Semitism and be reminded of the holocaust. Even though the claim of anti-Semitism, when we talk about criticizing Israel is complete nonsense.
“There's nothing anti-Semitic about criticizing Israel. In fact there's countless Jewish people that criticize Israel all the time. Jews from the very beginning rejected this idea of Zionism, and most Jews don't live there anyway. But there's this fear, God forbid they will call us anti-Semitic. [...] There is no issue of anti-Semitism when we criticize Israel. It's nonsense, the only reason the anti-Semitism card is played is because they have nothing else to say.” Why would they care if it was an uninhabited pile of rocks? It does not make you anti-Semitic or a self-hating Jew to disagree with what Israel is doing, just a person of compassion, with a conscience and with a good heart.

by: scott sorrell from: louisiana
August 17, 2014 4:29 PM
So the war criminal says no long-term deal until security guarantees are met by the Palestinians ...

How about Israel stop expanding their illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem? How about Israel live up to the terms of all their peace deals brokered by the Americans? How about Israel commit to no longer committing war crimes, as in 2008-09 and currently? How about Israel stop taking US taxpayer dollars to commit these war crimes? How about AIPAC stopping their endless assault on US representation with their campaign dollars and threats? It is a very sad commentary when a foreign prime minister visits the US, and gets invited to speak to Congress, and then speaks about the "indefensible" nature of the 1967 borders, in conflict with the stated US position and agreed-upon Israeli commitments, and the speaker, Natanyahu, gets 31 standing ovations, by our Congress. The whole spectacle was a slap in the face of the US Presidential position (Obama, Bush, and Clinton) and our Congress applauded with slavish servitude the new stance of the Israeli government. How can that be, without the disproportionate influence of AIPAC? Can any rational thinker explain this to me? And don't say "fighting terrorism" because the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians the exact same things they did long before Hamas won political positions in 2006!
Let's just keep giving them more money to commit their war crimes and other violations of international law...


by: Ken from: Patel
August 17, 2014 4:10 PM
Israeli prime Minister should be a bit more human, pragmatic and understanding. When you occupy someone's land, destroy their lives by any and all means and use brutal force at whims why would you expect them to accept you as people or country. Only way to have lasting peace is by returning their land, granting them total freedom, lifting "economic embargo" and help them to build up their economic infrastructure as we in USA have done for you! Yes there is other way too...,,,equalize military capability between Israel and Gaza.
Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs