Sunday,22 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1207, (24 - 30 July 2014)
Sunday,22 October, 2017
Issue 1207, (24 - 30 July 2014)

Ahram Weekly

Humanitarian truce – but what next?

As a humanitarian truce begins in the Israel war on Gaza, diplomatic efforts continue to find a lasting solution, writes Dina Ezzat

 

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Al-Ahram Weekly

Egyptian and regional diplomatic sources said on Saturday that they expected the humanitarian truce that started that morning in the Israeli war on Gaza to be extended, at least for three to four days.

They also said that the diplomatic flurry that had delivered this humanitarian truce would continue to work to conclude a more sustainable ceasefire.

Speaking to Al-Ahram Weekly following the successive Cairo and Paris meetings that had convened on Friday evening and Saturday morning, the diplomats said that what Israel was willing to offer in terms of accommodating the Palestinian factions’ demand for an end to the siege that has been imposed on Gaza since 2007 fell far short of what they could agree to.

The meetings also failed to agree on the terms of the security guarantees demanded by Israel.

The Cairo meeting that brought together the foreign ministers of Egypt and the US with the secretary-generals of the Arab League and the UN agreed that Egypt would use the humanitarian truce to follow up on consultations with Israeli officials and representatives of the Palestinian factions in the hope of bridging the gap on the requirements of a sustainable ceasefire.

The diplomatic meetings would continue at a lower level to make sure that the humanitarian truce did not collapse and to generate the right atmosphere for constructive negotiations.

The Cairo and Paris meetings convened as the war on Gaza entered its 19th day, with close to 900 Palestinians, mostly women and children, killed, 4,000 wounded and close to 40 Israeli soldiers killed in operations on the ground in the impoverished Gaza Strip.

The strip, under a suffocating Israeli siege, has been suffering enormous destruction due to the war and two previous and equally devastating aggressions in 2008-2009 and 2012. Thousands of houses have been demolished in these conflicts, with water, sewage and electricity and health services all badly damaged.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, both of whom have spent five days in the Middle East, are expected to go back to Washington and New York and work on organising the next diplomatic move

Palestinian, European and American sources have suggested that this will be in New York in the second week of August.

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