Israel has agreed to end Gaza aggression, says Mursi



Agence France Presse

Published — Tuesday 20 November 2012

Last update 22 November 2012 12:14 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

CAIRO: Egypt’s President Muhammad Mursi said Israel’s “aggression” against Gaza will end on Tuesday and Cairo-mediated efforts will produce “positive results” within hours, the official MENA news agency reported.
“The farce of the Israeli aggression will end today, Tuesday, and the efforts to reach a cease-fire between the Palestinians and Israelis will produce positive results within a few hours,” it quoted him as saying.
A Hamas official said chief Khaled Meshaal and his negotiators were currently in a meeting with the Egyptian intelligence chief mediating the talks. “But it’s no secret we’re on the verge of an agreement,” he said.
He said Hamas was still insisting Israel lift its six-year blockade the Palestinian enclave for a truce, although it was not clear whether the Jewish state has agreed to this.
Israel on Tuesday halted a threatened Gaza ground offensive to give the truce talks a chance, after an overnight meeting of senior Israeli ministers weighed the Egyptian proposal.
Just as Mursi made the announcement, a rocket fired from Gaza struck near Jerusalem. A loud boom was heard in Jerusalem shortly after air raid sirens wailed, with the Israeli police and army saying a rocket had crashed into an open area near Gush Etzion without causing any casualties.
The attack was claimed by Hamas’s armed wing, the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, which said it had fired “an M75 rocket at the occupied city of Jerusalem.”
Earlier, in a rare statement aired on Hamas television, the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades commander Mohammed Deif said that “the enemy will pay a heavy price if it thinks of entering Gaza.”
The warning came after Israel halted a threatened ground offensive to give talks a chance to end the conflict that flared on Wednesday when an Israeli strike killed Deif’s deputy, Ahmed Jaabari, before launching its bombing campaign.
After the first night of the conflict without Palestinian deaths, the toll rose to 116 on Tuesday when another six people were killed, including a 15-year-old boy who was trying to catch birds, medics said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his key ministers took the decision to put off plans for a ground assault at a meeting overnight, a senior official told AFP.
“A decision was taken that for the time being, there is a temporary hold on a ground incursion to give diplomacy a chance to succeed,” he said.
The move came as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, in Cairo for Egyptian-led talks on a truce, traveled to Jerusalem and urged both sides to stop their fire “immediately.”
The flurry of diplomatic activity will also see US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cutting short a tour of Asia to head to Jerusalem, Ramallah and Cairo, and Arab League chief Nabil Al-Arabi leading a delegation of 12 ministers on a solidarity visit to Gaza.
Israel is looking for a 24- to 48-hour truce as a buffer to work out a more permanent arrangement, with Tuesday’s talks “expected to be decisive,” Haaretz newspaper said.
But it is pressing on with its troop buildup along the Gaza border regardless, said the official.
“If we see that diplomacy does not bear fruit — and the time we’ve given to diplomacy is limited — all the preparations are being undertaken so that if and when the order is given the ground incursion can happen expeditiously,” he said.
Hamas is understood to be seeking guarantees Israel will stop its targeted killings, and end its six-year blockade on the coastal territory home to 1.6 million people.
Analysts say a ground war could draw in other regional powers, including Israel’s arch foe, Iran.
Inside Gaza, where 116 people have been killed and more than 920 injured in the Israeli bombardment, many families have fled their homes in northern Gaza, which has taken the brunt of the air strikes, to seek safe haven in the south.
Since the violence erupted on November 14, Gaza militants have fired more than 1,000 rockets at the Jewish state, killing three people and injuring dozens.
Of those, 715 have crashed into southern Israel and another 359 were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system.
The violence comes as Israel heads toward a general election in January, raising the spectre of a broader Israeli military campaign along the lines of its devastating 22-day Operation Cast Lead launched at the end of December 2008.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman briefed the Cabinet, on Monday, about the message he sent to the Kuwaiti emir and the messages he received from the Moroccan king and the Qatari emir.The king also spoke about the outcome of his m...
RIYADH: The Eastern Mediterranean Office (EMRO) of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday announced that the region is considered a Zika virus-free zone.Dr. Alaa Alwan, the regional director of EMRO, said that it does not mean that Middle East...
JEDDAH: The Saudi Health Council is working to establish an electronic system to prevent manipulation of sick leave holidays.Dr. Yaqoob Al-Mazrouh, secretary-general of the council, disclosed this during a seminar on Sunday. He did not elaborate on h...
RIYADH: Specialized Clinics Arabia (SCA) treated a total of 9,220 Syrians at the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan during the month of January 2016, according to Dr. Hamid Mufalana, SCA medical director.“Many of the patients were children who were given...
JEDDAH: The Jeddah police have solved the mystery surrounding the thrashing of a man by another, the video clip of which had gone viral.It was a Herculean task for the police to search for the victim, who had not bothered to lodge any complaint. The...
JEDDAH: The Cutoms Department at Yanbu’s Prince Abdul Mohsen bin Abdul Aziz Airport recently foiled an attempt to smuggle 64,165 Captagon pills found hidden in four boxes.Saad Al-Buqami, director-general of Customs at the Airport, said: “During our c...
AL-AHSA: Plans are afoot to turn the Al-Ahsa dates festival into an international event by adopting top standards in the manufacture, packaging and marketing of the product, Adel Al-Mulhim, the general supervisor of the festival, has said.Speaking du...
RIYADH: A gang comprising two women and youth has been arrested for allegedly looting cash from pharmacies and snatching women’s handbags in malls.Col. Fawaz bin Jameel Al-Maiman, police media spokesman of the Riyadh region, said the arrests were mad...
RIYADH: Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar on Sunday called for conservation of water and electricity, even as the Water and Electricity minister said Saudi Arabia will need an investment of SR500 billion for power projects over the next 10 years t...
RIYADH: More than 200,000 people accused of various crimes were investigated by the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution (BIPP) in the financial year of 1435-1436 A.H.Among the 218,000 who were investigated, around 30 percent or 65,000 were...
RIYADH: Thousands of Saudis have visited the German pavilion at the Janadriyah festival since it was opened by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman last week, in the presence of German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and German Amba...
DAMMAM: The cold wave in many parts of the Kingdom over the last week caused a decline of between 30 percent and 50 percent in farm production. This decline in turn drove prices of agricultural products at wholesale markets up by 30 percent.Farmers s...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Commerce and Industry warned on Monday that heating devices should have a voltage of 220 volts with a capacity not exceeding 2,500 watts.The announcement was made when MCI inspectors seized more than 3,000 substandard heating...
ALKHOBAR: Nearly 100 leading figures in the government and private institutions have completed training programs specializing in integrity and anti-corruption provided by the Saafah Foundation for Good Example in Riyadh, Jeddah and Alkhobar.The secre...
JEDDAH: Iraqi authorities executed in Baghdad on Sunday a Saudi prisoner, Abdullah Azam Al-Qahtani, 35, on charges described by his family as fabricated.Al-Qahtani had spent almost 13 years in the Iraqi prisons.Rumors about the execution of Al-Qahtan...

Stay Connected

Facebook