Negotiations for a truce and video: Former Middle East envoy George Mitchell on truce v. ground invasionThere are negotiations over a truce going on in Cairo and I will get to those in just a minute.
Here's an interview with former Obama special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell on whether we will have a truce or a ground invasion.
Let's go to the videotape.
There are negotiations in Cairo over a cease fire. Here's what Israel is demanding.
Some Hamas figures have declared that the ceasefire negotiations have failed, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the cessation of rocket fire on Israel is a prerequisite for starting talks, but Palestinian sources who are familiar with Cairo's efforts to broker a truce said it was too soon to announce that the talks have collapsed.
According to reports in Cairo, these are the conditions for a ceasefire set forth by Israel:According to YNet, Israel has said that if there is no agreement on a truce in 48-72 hours, it will add a ground attack to the air and naval attacks and persist until Hamas is overthrown.
- 1. A lull for a period of more than 15 years.
- 2. An immediate cessation of arms smuggling and the transfer of weapons to Gaza.
- 3. Cessation of rocket fire on the part of all armed Palestinian factions and an end to attacks on soldiers near the Gaza border.
- 4. Israel has the right to hunt down terrorists in the event of an attack or if it obtains information on an imminent attack.
- 5. The Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt will remain open, but the crossings on the Gaza-Israel border will remain closed.
This list of demands has not been confirmed by any other source.
- 6. Egypt's politicians, headed by President Mohammed Morsi, will be the guarantors of any ceasefire agreement. Meaning, the agreement will be backed by Egypt's political echelon rather than by its security establishment.
Hamas' demands for a ceasefire include the lifting of the naval blockade of Gaza, international community guarantees for the cessation of targeted killings, an end to IDF cross-border raids and the cessation of attacks on fishermen off the coast.
According to Sha'ath, Israel has withdrawn a key demand that Hamas lay down its arms and make certain that the rocket fire on Israel is stopped entirely. The Palestinian official said the negotiations have entered a "very important" phase.
On the other hand, the fact that we are no longer demanding that Hamas lay down its arms strikes me as absurd.
The one thing that's cute here is that under Islamic law, Hamas is forbidden to agree to a hudna (truce) for more than 10 years.