Archive for the ‘Shimon Peres’ Category

Israel Ponders Truce Plans as Conflict Enters Its 12th Day

January 7, 2009

One day after Israeli mortar shells killed as many as 40 Palestinians, among them women and children, outside a United Nations school in Gaza, Israel pondered its next move in the 12-day conflict, under international pressure to accept a pause in the fighting but committed on the ground to breaking Hamas’ ability to fire rockets into Israel.

The New York Times

With the death toll mounting, President Shimon Peres told Sky News in an interview on Wednesday that Israel would study cease-fire proposals put forward by Egypt. According to news reports, Israel’s security cabinet was also planning to debate the military options after almost two weeks of aerial bombardment of Gaza and a ground offensive that began Saturday.

Agence France-Presse reported on Wednesday that Israeli tanks which reportedly pushed into the southern Gaza city of Khan Yunis pulled out before dawn as fighting continued elsewhhere.

In Gaza City, many still reeled from events on Tuesday when Israeli mortar fire struck near a U.N. school where many people were taking refuge. The Israeli military contended that Hamas fighters had fired mortars from the school compound, and U.N. officials called for an independent inquiry into the episode.

The rising civilian death toll in crowded Gaza heightened international urgency to end the combat. American and European diplomats said it was highly likely that Prime Minister Ehud Olmertof Israel would travel to Egypt on Wednesday to discuss a cease-fire. Israel has said it will not end the operation until it has crushed Hamas’s ability to fire rockets into its civilian areas.

Meanwhile, Hamas continued to fire rockets on Tuesday, despite the presence of large numbers of Israeli troops on the fourth day of the ground operation. One rocket reached farther than ever into Israeli territory, only 20 miles from Tel Aviv, and wounded an infant.

Read the rest:

Gaza: Israel Still In “First Phase” But May Offer 48 Hour Cease Fire

December 30, 2008

“We are currently at the first stage of the operation,” Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told President Shimon Peres during a morning briefing, according to officials.

In the fourth day of its assault on Hamas positions inside Gaza, Israel is holding the door open for more complex warfare unless Palestinians stop sending rockets into Israel.

A column of Israeli armored vehicles is deployed in a farmer's field Tuesday near the Gaza border.

Above: A column of Israeli armored vehicles is deployed in a farmer’s field Tuesday near the Gaza border.

But according to the Jerusalem Post, officials in Israel’s defense establishment have recommended to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to suspend military operations against Hamas in Gaza for 48 hours and during that time to review a number of possible ceasefire solutions for Operation Cast Lead.

The Israeli Defense Ministry said Defense Minister Barak would consider a proposal for a two-day truce to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza for the Palestinians.

If the unilateral ceasefire fails, Israel would launch a ground offensive, according to Israeli defense officials.

An Israel Defense Forces spokesman vehemently denied the reports by Israel’s Channel Two, Channel 10 and the newspaper Haaretz, CNN reported.

Mark Regev, Olmert’s spokesman, said high-level government meetings were slated for Tuesday night and he was aware of no such proposal on the agenda.

“A cease fire offers Israel nothing unless they are unprepared for the ground offensive which is doubtful,” a retired Israeli army officer told us.  “During a cease fire, more international pressure will be brought on Israel with very little on Hamas.  Plus Hamas will re-arm during a cease fire.”

Mark Regev, the Israeli government spokesman said, “We want to keep Hamas guessing but we want to keep pressure on them.  Hamas needs to know that sending rockets into Israel is simply not worth their while.”

See the Jerusalem Post Report: