On Friday, Israel’s security cabinet has unanimously rejected John Kerry’s cease fire proposal. In spite of the bloody clashes that rage on in Gaza, it seems that Israel’s officials aren’t too keen on taking the U.S. Secretary of State up on his offer.
John Kerry had proposed a temporary truce between Israel and Islamic militants. This truce should have made it possible for both parties to be able to discuss terms, hold indirect talks and even address the issue of easing the border closure of the Gaza Strip.
According to Israel TV, on Friday, members of Israel’s Security Cabinet (in which top ministers are assembled to discuss security issues) have unanimously voted against a temporary truce in the Gaza Strip. Further information indicates that this decision was based on the fact that, if such a truce would be enforced, Israel could no longer destroy the underground tunnels that the Islamic militants have been using to cross the Gaza-Israel border.
The Israeli government did not respond to this allegation thus far.
As the U.S. Secretary of State learned of the cabinet’s decision, he explained that his efforts would continue and that he would keep working towards ending violence. Kerry also added that Egyptian officials have made significant offers to make Cairo a rendezvous place for Palestinian Factions, representatives of Israel and any other interested states so that negotiations could move forward. Terminology still needs to be worked on, according to Kerry.
On Saturday, Kerry will be traveling to Paris in order to continue his plan to move negotiations forward. Prime Minister Benajamin Netanyahu supports the U.S. Secretary of State in his endeavors to find peace for the parties involved. On Friday, Kerry met Ban Ki-Moon (United Nation Chief) and Sameh Shukri (Egyptian Foreign Minister) to put together an agreement that would permit a week-long ceasefire between the Israeli and Hamas. His plan was that this week-long truce would allow negotiations to take place between Palestinians and Israelis and that, while other countries would also be attending the meetings, they could discuss matters of politics, economics and security.
Despite all these efforts, an Israeli aircraft struck over 50 houses today in the Gaza strip on Friday and killed the leader of an Islamic group. Salah Hussanein was the leader of the Islamic Jihad military group (second largest after the Hamas).
Hamas also claimed to have fired rockets at the Ben Gurion airport on Friday but there are still no words as to the impact of the strike.