Monday, April 27, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Egypt proposes cease-fire between Israel, Hamas

By
July 15, 2014 |

JERUSALEM — Egypt presented a cease-fire plan Monday to end a week of heavy fighting between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip that has left at least 185 people dead, and both sides said they were seriously considering the proposal.

The late-night offer by Egypt marked the first sign of a breakthrough in international efforts to end the conflict.

Hamas’ top leader in Gaza confirmed there was “diplomatic movement,” while Israel’s policy-making Security Cabinet was set to discuss the proposal early Tuesday. Arab foreign ministers discussed the plan Monday night at an emergency meeting in Cairo, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was expected in the region Tuesday.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry announced the three-step plan starting at 11 p.m. PDT with a cease-fire to go into effect within 12 hours of “unconditional acceptance” by the two sides. That would be followed by the opening of Gaza’s border crossings and talks in Cairo between the sides within two days, according to the statement.

Gaza’s crossings should be opened for people and goods “once the security situation becomes stable,” according to a copy of the proposal obtained by The Associated Press.

Israel launched the offensive July 8, saying it was a response to weeks of heavy rocket fire out of Hamas-ruled Gaza. The Health Ministry in Gaza said 185 people, including dozens of civilians, have been killed, and more than 1,000 people wounded.

There have been no Israelis killed, although several have been wounded by rocket shrapnel, including two sisters, ages 11 and 13, who were seriously hurt Monday. Ahead of the Egyptian announcement, there appeared to be no slowdown in the fighting, with Hamas for the first time launching an unmanned drone into Israeli airspace that was shot down.

The Israeli military said 3 rockets were fired at the southern city of Eilat early Tuesday morning, lightly injuring two people and sparking a fire. The military said it did not immediately know who was behind the rocket fire. Previous rocket attacks on Eilat were from radical Islamic militants in the neighboring Sinai Peninsula.

The violence followed the kidnappings and killings of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank last month, as well as the subsequent kidnapping and killing of a Palestinian teenager in an apparent revenge attack, along with Israeli raids against Hamas militants and infrastructure in the West Bank.

Israeli officials have said the goal of the military campaign is to restore quiet to Israel’s south, which has absorbed hundreds of rocket strikes, and that any cease-fire would have to include guarantees of an extended period of calm.

Hamas officials say they will not accept “calm for calm.” The group is demanding an easing of an Israeli-Egyptian blockade that has ground Gaza’s economy to a standstill and that Israel release dozens of prisoners who were arrested in a recent West Bank crackdown following the abductions of the Israeli youths.

With the death toll mounting, both sides have come under increasing international pressure to halt the fighting.

Egypt Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri said there is “no alternative but return to the truce” of November 2012, and added that Egypt contacted all the parties, including the Palestinian leadership, different Palestinian factions, and Israeli authorities in addition to Arab and international parties. Such contacts led to shaping up the proposal which called for cease-fire.

“Egypt stresses the international responsibility toward what is happening in Palestine,” he said.

In a speech broadcast on Al-Jazeera, Ismail Haniyeh, a Hamas leader in Gaza, confirmed there was “diplomatic movement.”

“The problem is not going back to the agreement on calm because we want this aggression to stop,” he said. “The siege must stop and Gaza people need to live in dignity.”

An Israeli official said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would convene his Security Cabinet on Tuesday morning to discuss the proposal. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

Naftali Bennett, a member of the Security Cabinet, said he would oppose the proposal, calling it “good for Hamas and bad for Israel.”

“A cease-fire at the present time shows the government’s weakness,” he said in a statement. “A cease-fire now will create a bigger campaign against the south of the country and more rocket attacks in another year.”

Egypt, the first Arab state to reach peace with Israel, often serves as a mediator between Israel and Hamas.

In the 2012 fighting, Egypt’s then-President Mohammed Morsi brokered a cease-fire, leveraging the influence his Muslim Brotherhood held with Hamas, its ally.

That deal included pledges to ease the blockade — promises that Hamas says were never kept. The blockade has greatly restricted movement through Gaza’s Rafah crossing with Egypt — the territory’s main gateway to the outside world — while Israel has restricted the flow of many goods, particularly much-needed construction materials, into Gaza. Israel says Hamas can use things like metal and concrete for military purposes.

Hamas has seen its position further weakened by last year’s military coup in Egypt that ousted Morsi. Egypt’s new leaders have cracked down on Hamas by nearly shuttering a network of smuggling tunnels along the border that were Hamas’ key economic lifeline — and supply route for its weapons.

Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007 from the rival forces of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. With the economy stagnant and Hamas unable to pay the salaries of its thousands of civil servants, the group recently agreed to back a unity government under Abbas’ leadership. But Hamas remains in firm control of Gaza.

Israel and Hamas, which is considered a terrorist group by the West, have battled many times. In the latest round, Israel carried out more than 1,300 airstrikes, along with attacks by naval gunships and artillery forces. Hamas fired hundreds of rockets into Israel.

Israeli military officials say the airstrikes knocked out roughly a third of Hamas’ rocket supply and delivered a blow to the group. It says that roughly 90 of the dead were wanted militants, and it has accused Hamas of using civilians as human shields.

A Hamas drone launched Monday into Israel marked the Islamic militant group’s latest effort to catch the Israeli military off-guard. But like the others, it had little impact on the battlefield.

Israel shot down the drone — named Ababil for a protective flock of birds mentioned in the Quran. Still, the drone represented a new level of sophistication for Hamas, and Israel said it was taking the threat seriously.

It was the first time Hamas has launched a drone into Israel, though military officials say they knew the group has had the technology for some time. Israeli airstrikes in the past have targeted what were believed to be drone facilities in Gaza.

“Hamas is trying everything it can to produce some kind of achievement, and it is crucial that we maintain our high state of readiness,” Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said. “The shooting down of a drone this morning by our air defense system is an example of their efforts to strike at us in any way possible.”

The hundreds of rockets fired by Hamas disrupted life across Israel. But a new Israeli rocket-defense system has intercepted dozens of projectiles headed toward major cities.

Looking to gain an edge, Hamas has employed tactics not seen before. It has fired rockets deeper than ever into Israel, including weapons it has developed and manufactured in Gaza. Last week, Hamas sent a team of scuba divers on an infiltration mission, but Israel quickly detected the frogmen and killed them outside an army base.

Isaac Ben-Israel, a retired Israeli air force general and a former head of the Israeli space agency, said the Hamas drone was similar to aircraft sent by Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon during a 2006 war.

He said the drone’s capabilities were limited. But “looking to the future, these technologies are becoming more and more available,” he told Channel 10 TV.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

     
    Paint the Town Purple; and Roxie

    By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

     
    City Coach hosts first block party

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

    Bid Corderos Park, city staff recommends

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

     
    White minister fought for civil rights in the South

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

    Farmers markets herald return of summer

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Denim and Diamonds fundraiser set May 16

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

     
    Crash claims life of Concord teen

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

    Biz Buzz: Dutch Bros. plans ALS fundraiser

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: B7

     
    Biz Buzz: Company schedules pasta class

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: B7

     
    Biz Buzz: NorthBay offers extended hours for primary care

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B7, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    Biz Buzz: Retail store helps those with autism

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: B7

    Biz Buzz: Committee schedules contractors breakfast

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B7

     
    Biz Buzz: Budweiser kicks off new parks campaign

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: B7

    .

    US / World

    Picture it: A 1,000-year exposure showing a changing Earth

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    No time to lose: Global response to Nepal quake gears up

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Japan’s prime minister goes to US to showcase close ties

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Israel says airstrike on Syrian border targeted militants

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Family, friends in Baltimore mourn death of arrested man

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    ‘Batman’ killer studied brain disorders before mass murder

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Image from the quake: Heavy damage in Nepal ancient city

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Fighting rages in Yemen’s 3rd-largest city, strikes continue

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Mountaineers, guides stream from Everest after avalanche

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Putin accuses US of supporting separatists in Russia

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Death toll in Nepal quake rises to more than 3,200

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Late spring complicates already perilous amphibian migration

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Quake agony revealed quietly on trip from Nepal airport

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Corinthian Colleges to shut down all 28 remaining campuses

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    .

    Living

    Community Calendar: April 27, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

     
    Today in history: Monday, April 27, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Parenting: How to set boundaries on screen time

    By The Washington Post | From Page: B5

     
    Horoscope: April 28, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

    Horoscope: April 27, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

     
    My husband doesn’t want me to redecorate home he had with first wife

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

    .

    Entertainment

    TVGrid April 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    TVGrid April 28

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

    .

    Sports

    Warriors confident after sweep of Pelicans

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Giants-Rockies game postponed by rain

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Wall, Beal lead Wiz past Raptors 125-94 in Game 4 for sweep

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Paul, Clippers even series with 114-105 win over Spurs

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Ko wins Swinging Skirts for 2nd straight year

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Motorcycle rider from Livermore killed in Nevada race

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Billy Andrade and Joe Durant win Legends of Golf

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Cavs sweep Celts as James scores 27 in 101-93 victory

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    It’s here: Fight week begins with Pacquiao caravan to Vegas

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    American Pharoah completes final pre-Kentucky Derby workout

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Newgarden claims first IndyCar Series win not far from home

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Justin Rose wins in New Orleans for 7th PGA Tour title

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Elizabeth Cepeda

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

     
    Kirk Noonan

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

    Sandra King

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Janis Ruth (Sefzik) Skinner

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Dilbert April 28

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    B.C. April 28

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Blondie April 28

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Frank and Ernest April 28

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Wizard of Id April 28

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Peanuts April 28

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Baldo April 28

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Garfield April 28

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Beetle Bailey April 28

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    For Better or Worse April 28

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Sally Forth April 28

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Baby Blues April 28

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Zits April 28

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Pickles April 28

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Rose is Rose April 28

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Get Fuzzy April 28

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Cryptoquote April 28

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Word Sleuth April 28

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Crossword April 28

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Sudoku April 28

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Bridge April 28

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Get Fuzzy April 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Pickles April 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Wizard of Id April 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Baldo April 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Rose is Rose April 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    For Better or Worse April 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Zits April 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Frank and Ernest April 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Peanuts April 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Dilbert April 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Baby Blues April 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Sally Forth April 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    B.C. April 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Garfield April 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Beetle Bailey April 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Blondie April 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Cryptoquote April 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

    Word Sleuth April 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

     
    Sudoku April 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

    Bridge April 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

     
    Crossword April 27

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7