As Bombs Fly, Pushing for Three-Day Ceasefire

Israel and Hamas Still Split on Terms of Deal

Peace Push: Hillary Clinton meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in hopes of forging as Gaza ceasefire deal.
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Peace Push: Hillary Clinton meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in hopes of forging as Gaza ceasefire deal.

By Reuters

Published November 21, 2012.
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Rishq said a short-term truce, whose proposed duration he did not disclose, “would only buy (Israel) time” until a general election in January and “we would have accomplished nothing in the way of a long-term truce”.

Hamas sources said the group was also demanding control over Gaza’s Rafah borders with Egypt, so that Palestinians could cross easily, and Israeli guarantees to stop assassinating Hamas leaders.

Israel, one of the Hamas sources said, wanted a commitment from the group to stop smuggling through tunnels that run into Gaza under the Egyptian border. The tunnel network is a conduit for weapons and commercial goods.

News of the Tel Aviv bus bombing, the first serious blast in Israel’s commercial capital since 2006, emerged just after Clinton and Netanyahu ended their meeting. A spokesman for Netanyahu declined to give details on their discussions, which followed talks on Tuesday.

Clinton, who flew to the region from an Asian summit, said in her public remarks after Tuesday’s meeting with Netanyahu that it was “essential to de-escalate the situation”.

“The rocket attacks from terrorist organisations inside Gaza on Israeli cities and towns must end and a broader calm restored,” she said.

Clinton earlier assured Netanyahu of “rock-solid” U.S. support for Israel’s security, and praised Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi’s “personal leadership and Egypt’s efforts thus far” to end the Gaza conflict and promote regional stability.

“As a regional leader and neighbour, Egypt has the opportunity and responsibility to continue playing a crucial and constructive role in this process. I will carry this message to Cairo tomorrow (Wednesday),” she said.

“LONG-TERM” SOLUTION

Netanyahu told Clinton he wanted a “long-term” solution. Failing that, Netanyahu made clear, that he stood ready to step up the military campaign to silence Hamas’ rockets.’

“A band-aid solution will only cause another round of violence,” said Ofir Gendelman, a Netanyahu spokesman.

While diplomatic efforts continued, Israel struck more than 100 targets in Gaza overnight, killing a Hamas gunman and destroying a cluster of Hamas government buildings.


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