Kerry hopes for more Gaza pauses

2014-07-27 21:04

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - US Secretary of State John Kerry is working for Israel and Hamas to agree to further halts in the Gaza bloodshed ahead of Egyptian-led peace talks, an official said on Sunday.

Kerry returned to Washington early on Sunday after a weeklong mission to the Middle East that failed to reach a permanent ceasefire to stop the 20-day conflict which has killed more than 1 000 people, mostly Palestinian civilians.

Just as Kerry returned, Israel announced a resumption of operations after a one-day pause which Hamas - which has been firing rockets into the Jewish state - belatedly accepted.

A senior US official said that Kerry was seeking a series of temporary ceasefires, which would lead the way for Israeli-Palestinian talks in Egypt on a more permanent plan.

"You have a way now to staunch the bleeding," the official who accompanied Kerry said on condition of anonymity.

Israel's security cabinet on Friday rejected a ceasefire proposal and insisted on the need to keep destroying tunnels through which Hamas can infiltrate from the Gaza Strip to carry out attacks.

Kerry, who spent much of the past week in Egypt, on Saturday held talks in Paris with the foreign ministers of Qatar and Turkey - key supporters of Hamas, which the United States classifies as a terrorist group.

The US official defended the meetings, which have come under fire in Israel, saying it was significant that Turkey and Qatar had joined other international players in calling for a ceasefire.

Asked whether the approach was at odds with past US criticism of Qatar's support for Hamas, the official said: "The fact is, they are [funding Hamas] and as a result of that they have some influence."

At the talks in Paris, Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid al-Attiyah called for an end to the eight-year Israeli blockade of Gaza and for the Palestinians in the impoverished territory to have their own seaport.

Kerry supported calls for Palestinians to live "in dignity", including through trade with the outside world, but backed Israel's calls for action on tunnels.

Read more on:    john kerry  |  palestine  |  us  |  israel  |  gaza

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.