Egypt mediates talks between Israel, Palestine

2014-08-06 12:17

Cairo - Egyptian officials mediating talks for a durable truce in Gaza met an Israel delegation during the night and were to relay their demands to Palestinian representatives, Palestinian sources said on Wednesday.

The shuttle diplomacy comes as a fragile ceasefire in the Gaza Strip after a month of fighting between Hamas and Israeli forces entered a second day on Wednesday.

Palestinian officials in Cairo said they would respond to the Israeli terms through the Egyptian intelligence officials, although a senior Hamas official has already rejected an Israeli demand that militants in Gaza disarm.

Meanwhile international Middle East peace envoy Tony Blair and UN Middle East peace process coordinator Robert Serry were scheduled to hold talks with Egyptian officials later on Wednesday.

The Egyptian-mediated 72-hour ceasefire that went into effect on Tuesday has brought relief to both sides after fighting that erupted on 8 July killed 1 875 Palestinians and 67 people on the Israeli side.

The talks in Cairo are aimed at securing a durable ceasefire after the three-day window closes.

Experts say the underlying problems in Gaza, a small coastal enclave flanked by Israel and Egypt that has undergone three conflicts with Israel since 2008, would also have to be addressed.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, in a BBC interview, called for a sustained ceasefire but stressed that the crucial wider issues would need to be tackled.

The Palestinians demand an end to the eight-year Israeli blockade of Gaza and the release of Palestinian prisoners.

Israel has demanded that Hamas, which won Palestinian elections in 2006 although designated a terrorist group by the United States and Israel, disarm its militia.

A senior Hamas official in Cairo said on Tuesday the militants would not even consider laying down their weapons, which include an arsenal of unguided rockets and anti-tank missiles.

"Whoever tries to take our weapons, we will take his life", said Ezzat al-Rishq on Twitter.

  • Derek Bredenkamp - 2014-08-06 12:56

    A military dictatorship mediating peace?

      Zubair Ebrahim - 2014-08-06 13:28

      @adam if only your mother had kept her viginity we wouldnt have to deal with a prick like you.

  • Steven Bresler - 2014-08-06 13:27

    I will never understand how a country with it's own set of dire problems (including SA)feels that they can fix other countries or disputes. It's like going to a physiatrist and he/she sits there crying the whole session. Get someone like Sweden, Australia or Canada to do the mediation?

  • Jewsagainstzionists Jaz - 2014-08-06 14:06

    Apartheid Israel is finally beginning to end. I am so happy this might happen in my life time. I pray to God the UN dismantles this evil state soon. Christians, Jews and Muslims can live there peacefully like they did before World War 2.

      Leanda Lourens - 2014-08-06 15:28

      Not in your life. Apartheid Israel? Anybody can live in Israel and become a citizen. The Palestinians has said time and again that no Israeli will be allowed to live in Palestine. It will be a Muslim state.

      Jason Jaded - 2014-08-06 16:09

      "Anybody can live in Israel and become a citizen. The Palestinians has said time and again that no Israeli will be allowed to live in Palestine. It will be a Muslim state." - Leanda Lourens Oh, really? I think 5 million Palestinian refugees that were displaced from their place of birth, during Israel's independence, might beg to differ! And if by "Anybody", you mean people who are only Jewish and whose parents or grandparents are also Jewish and that can speak Hebrew (even a little bit), then you have a very different understanding of "Anybody" to the rest of the world. As for your the rest of your claim, the PA has reiterated a number of times that they have no intention of creating a Muslim state and that any two-state solution that grants Palestinian refugees a right to return to Israel, would also grant any illegal jewish settlers that wish to remain, within the West Bank, Palestinian citizenship in their future state. Check your facts before repeating the garbage that circulates in that little bubble you live in.

      Jason Jaded - 2014-08-06 18:02

      Asked to leave, Alan? If you mean chased out of their homes, their cities, their homeland and killed by the Irgun, the Lehi, the Haganah and the Palmach terrorists in 1947, the same ones that were also killing, bombing, ambushing and assassinating the British in Mandatory Palestine at the time. Then, I guess you could say that they were asked to leave. Much like the political exiles in Apartheid South Africa, would agree. Yes, 750,000, Arabs were forced to leave and became refugees. Although, exile would be the more accurate. The 5 million refugee number now includes their children and grandchildren. If you want to dispute 'their' right to return to their homeland and the birthplace of their parents/grandparents, you had better then write-off every single Jewish immigrant, including their children and grandchildren that have made Aliyah. Ever. Considering they couldn't name a single one of their ancestors that left the region 2500 years ago, and that every single one of the Palestinian refugees can not only name their parents and grandparents that were forced to leave, but could give you their the street address and show you the title deeds to their property, I think it would be rich of you to so cavalierly throw around the term "hypocrite". Don't you think? As for Syria. I, for one, have not remained silent on Syria. And would point out that the horrific starving of 1,800 refugees there pales in comparison to the 1.8 million that Israel is trying to starve in Gaza. ...

      Jason Jaded - 2014-08-06 18:02

      … Besides, when does fleeing a country, FOR WHATEVER REASON, suddenly strip you of your birthright, your right to return, your right to claim your left behind belongings or your property, which you neither sold or transferred? By your same twisted logic, above. Every single Jewish emigrant or their descendants that fled Russia, Germany, Poland, or the rest of continental Europe before and during the Holocaust would have no right to return to their country of origin or birth. Nor would they have any claim to the property, money, art and other valuable belongings that they left behind, including their citizenship rights by birth. However, you may be surprised to find that the multi-billion dollar Holocaust industry and redistribution of billion and billions of US dollars paid in reparations and stolen art, might beg to differ with your sentiment and utterly flawed argument.

  • Alan Yates - 2014-08-06 17:45

    The recent BDS related article is closed for comment so maybe this forum will do...The Halaal Foods related stickers found on many foods on the shelves refers. Does any one know where the money to pay for this sticker goes to and how these monies are disbursed? Surely there should be transparency to the paying public around the annual amounts raised and where the money goes to? Is there a Government act controlling these what essentially amount to "poll" taxes on foodstuffs imposed on the general public by a religious institution? Which Government Institution has oversight of these funds? Are there detailed audited financial statements that the public can access? Maybe some can shed light on this matter? Is it just Halaal type stickers or is it other stickers as well? As a person who parts funds for such, one would like to know where these funds go...If one does not want to buy something with a Halaal foods sticker is there an easily available alternative? Maybe someone from the Muslim Judicial Council could shed some light on this matter? Is there Government Legislation around this source of funding? Where does the money go to? How much do companies pay for these certificates? Without much information on this topic, I have the same feeling that like in the case of e-tolls, my constitutional rights may be suffering from a lack of information/secrecy...

      Jason Jaded - 2014-08-06 20:00

      Alan, I would assume that Halaal foods are marked and certified in accordance with an NPO like the South African National Halaal Authority, in much the same way and manner that the Milchic, Fleischic and Kosher certifications and labels are handled by the Kashrut Division of the Union of Orthodox Synagogues of South Africa and the Beth-Din of Johannesburg etc. As for the funds, they are probably directly paid to each organisation by the manufacturers, restaurants and fast food organisations seeking certification. The cost of which is then maybe deferred to the customer at an, albeit, infinitesimal figure per product. If any at all. Considering that the financial benefits alone of reaching an otherwise, completely non-purchasing market would, itself be of far greater profit to the organisation even after the cost of certification is taken into account. As for Government regulation and oversight, I have no idea. I'd hazard a guess as to their prime concern being whether the religious affiliation to such a Non-Profit Organisation is indeed legitimate and in accordance with any TAX law that applies to these types of organisations. I imagine it falls in line with the bevy of goods including all communications devices, electrical goods, appliances, petrol, deisel, displays, newspapers, magazines, cleaning products, recyclable containers or basically anything you purchase. They're all certified in some way, shape, form and reason by an organisation - government & non-government.

      Jason Jaded - 2014-08-06 21:00

      Also remember that BDS in not designed or intended to target products or items that are Halaal or Kosher certified, but rather items that are made in or exported from nations that directly profit from human rights abuses; or corporate entities that financially benefit as a result of business conducted with a power that is carrying out an occupation and/or oppression of a people or nation. For example, thousands of products are marked, labelled and certified Halaal and/or Kosher in South Africa (and around that world for that matter) that aren't made in a region or country that directly and financially benefits from such abuses. So it would be pointless boycotting Clover milk just because it is labeled Milchic by the BD-UOASS or Simba chips because they are labeled Halaal by the SANHA, when both products are in fact made and produced in South Africa. It would basically be as silly as boycotting the FIFA Soccer World Cup, just because you don't like Switzerland's domestic policies. Although, an argument could still be made in this example, that even though FIFA is exempt from paying tax to the Swiss government, thus failing to directly profit from FIFA's success, FIFA itself would be indirectly profiting from the practices and policies of the Swiss gov. It's complicated, because it can go both ways. This is why so many EU countries have now issued dire trade warnings as to the potential legal implications of their local businesses conducting business with or within Israel.

  • Peet Smit - 2014-08-06 20:39

    Genesis 12:3 "And I will bless them that bless thee and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all nations of the earth be blessed." Point: God has promised to bless the man or nation that blesses the Chosen People. History has proven beyond reasonable doubt that the nations that have blessed the Jewish people have had the blessing of God; the nations that have cursed the Jewish people have experienced the curse of God.

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