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Monday, January 19, 2009

Gaza ceasefire negotiations

Hamas and Israel consider ceasefire proposal as Israel steps up campaign.

For the first time since the Israeli attack on Gaza began, the diplomatic effort approached a tangible achievement. Hamas announced Wednesday it will conditionally accept a ceasefire proposal offered by Egypt. Israel sent Amos Gilad, General Major (Reserves) to discuss the Egyptian proposal in Cairo. The Real News spoke to George Rishmawi, founder of a multimedia independent network in Palestine called the International Middle East Media Center. Rishmawi says the proposal offers an immediate end to violence, but does not necessitate an Israeli withdrawal, a condition Hamas said it would not sacrifice. Israel's conditions were pending on a complete cessation of the rocket attacks from Gaza and an arms embargo. Further diplomatic efforts by Condoleezza Rice have involved the US Navy. Rice urged Israel's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tzipi Livni, to sign a memorandum of understanding stipulating the United States will secure the end of arms smuggling into Gaza by monitoring the Gaza shore.

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