Report: US to guarantee that it will 'deliver' Israelguarantee that it will 'deliver' Israel in any 'cease fire' agreement with Hamas.
The American government has been asked by the international community to directly intervene in any truce agreement between Israel and Hamas, according to a report in Arabic daily Al-Hayat, and force Israel to agree to Hamas's demands in future ceasefire agreements.
Egypt was reportedly behind the guarantee, as rumors swirl that the current conditions being discussed have found support both from the international community at large and from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
Israel has denied agreeing to any truce deal proposed so far, however, and diplomatic sources in Jerusalem have emphasized repeatedly that Israel will not agree to any conditions unless all of its security needs are met.
"The Israeli delegation to Cairo is made up entirely of security officials," the unnamed diplomat said to the Arabic daily, "with the understanding on their departure to Egypt that they would stand strong on the issue of Israel's security needs."
The announcement, if true, could stoke further discord in US-Israel relations, after a Wall Street Journal report on Wednesday night revealed that Obama's administration blocked a recent missile transfer to Israel, and ordered greater scrutiny for future requests.
So far, disagreement has centered mainly around Hamas's unflinching demands for a complete removal of Israel blockade to prevent arms transfers into Gaza - including a seaport and an airport. Both moves would allow Hamas to re-arm more quickly and lethally than ever before, aided by regional allies such as Iran and Qatar.
Little progress seems to have been made in the talks so far for Israel, save for some symbolic support for its security conditions.JPost adds:
The United States has also become involved in the talks, agreeing to serve as a guarantor that Israel will uphold what has been agreed to thus far in Egypt, the report added.
The paper quoted the head of the Palestinian delegation to negotiations in Cairo, Fatah's Azzam al-Ahmed, as saying that an international conference for the reconstruction of Gaza following Operation Protective Edge will be held in September, with the participation of international agencies and donors.
Hamas has said the Egyptian proposal on the table is unacceptable and threatened to renew fighting, while Israel has maintained that quiet and security will be restored “one way or another.”
Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas representative in Lebanon, said none of the proposals presented to the Palestinians meet their demands, adding that Israel “must accept the conditions of the Palestinian people or face a long war of attrition.”
In Jerusalem, meanwhile, government officials took the Hamas statements in stride, with one official saying Israel did not get excited when Hamas spokesmen were saying on Friday that a deal was just around the corner, and was not getting excited now.
The five-day cease-fire will expire at midnight between Monday and Tuesday.
“We will not agree to any arrangement that does not take into account Israel’s security interests,” one government official said. “They remain our primary focus. The goals of Operation Protective Edge remain the same: long-term quiet and security. And this will be achieved either diplomatically, militarily or through a combination of both.”
The official defined Israel’s security interests as a cessation of all rocket fire, preventing rearmament in Gaza, and no new tunnels.
The only party for whom the US could act as a guarantor in this negotiation is Hamas. No one in Israel trusts the United States under Obama and at this point, the only question is how much permanent damage there will be to US-Israel relations once Obama is out of office. With Obama likely to lose big-time in the midterm elections, he is essentially already a lame duck. Pressuring Israel is one of the few things Congress will not be able to stop him from doing once there are Republican majorities in both Houses.
What could go wrong?