Archive for the ‘Jordanian’ Category

Day 17: Cease Fire Near? Hamas in Discussions; Israel “close” to achieving goals

January 12, 2009
The fighting in Gaza continued on Monday with both sides accused of possible dangerous changes in the nature of the battle.

But Israel paused the battle in Gaza at 10 AM Monday to allow humanitarian supplies to flow.
CNN said the halt in attacks started at 10 a.m. (3 a.m. ET) and was set to end at 1 p.m. (6 a.m. ET.) Israel will allow in 160 trucks of humanitarian aid into the Palestinian territory through the Kerem Shalom and Karni crossings, Defense Ministry spokesman Peter Lerner said.

This was the fifth day of humanitarian re-supply allowed by Israel.



Human Rights Watch said Sunday that Israel’s military has fired artillery shells with the incendiary agent white phosphorus into Gaza.

Israel said Iran is exerting heavy pressure on Hamas not to accept the Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire.

Hamas representatives met in Cairo with Egyptian Intelligence Chief Gen. Omar Suleiman and his aides to discuss ways of ending the fighting in the Gaza Strip.

The Hamas representatives reiterated their opposition to a cease-fire that did not include the reopening of all the border crossings into the Gaza Strip.

Israel wants a new international inspection effort between Israel and Egypt to prevent the re-arming of Hamas.

Despite the tightening Israeli cordon, however, militants still managed to fire off a rocket Monday morning which fell near the southern town of Kiryat Gat but caused no casualties, police said.

On Sunday an Israeli official said the two-week-old military operation might be in its final days.

The Israel Defense Forces said that there has been a dramatic drop in the ability of Hamas to launch rockets against Israel, Haaretz reported. Currently, the launches have dropped by 50 percent compared to to the first day of Operation Cast Lead, 17 days ago.
By Peace and Freedom
From BBC News:
Medics in Gaza say latest casualties include at least 60 people affected by suspected phosphorus shells fired illegally near civilian areas.


An Israeli army spokeswoman strongly denied the report, saying all its munitions complied with the law.

An Israeli spokesman also denied Human Rights Watch allegations of multiple use of white phosphorus in the bombing.

Phosphorus shells are allowed to make smoke in battlefields. Their use where civilian may be harmed is prohibited.

Read the rest:


A burned Palestinian boy is helped as he leaves Kamal Adwan hospital in Gaza on Sunday.

A burned Palestinian boy is helped as he leaves Kamal Adwan hospital in Gaza on Sunday.


The Assiciated Press reported:

White phosphorus is not considered a chemical weapon, and militaries are permitted under laws of warfare to use it in artillery shells, bombs and rockets to create smoke screens to hide troop movements as well as bright bursts in the air to illuminate battlefields at night.

Israel is not party to a convention regulating its use. Under customary laws of war, however, Israel would be expected to take all feasible precautions to minimize the impact of white phosphorus on civilians, Human Rights Watch said.

“What we’re saying is the use of white phosphorus in densely populated areas like a refugee camp is showing that the Israelis are not taking all feasible precautions,” said Marc Garlasco, a senior military analyst for the rights group. “It’s just an unnecessary risk to the civilian population, not only in the potential for wounds but also for burning homes and infrastructure.”

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The Jerusalem Post:



The New York Times Reported:

Egyptian and Jordanian officials are worried that they see a fundamental tenet of the Middle East peace process slipping away: the so-called two-state solution, an independent Palestinian state coexisting with Israel.

If Israel does not assume responsibility for humanitarian aid in Gaza, for example, pressure could compel Egypt to fill the vacuum; Jordan, in turn, worries that Israel will try to push Palestinians from the West Bank into its territory.

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The Washington Post reported:

Israeli troops pushed deep into the Gaza Strip’s most populated area Sunday, producing some of the fiercest fighting of the 16-day war against Hamas as Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert declared that Israel is “close” to achieving its goals but is not there yet.

The Israeli advance marked a possible precursor to a new phase of the conflict, in which Israeli forces engage Hamas and its allies in sustained urban combat.

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What’s the endgame for Israel and Hamas in Gaza?

Tony Blair said sease-fire discussions are fruitful.
Tony Blair: Gaza Cease-Fire Agreement Ready