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Monday, November 19, 2012

International pressure mounts for Gaza truce

Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi, speaking in Brussels ahead of a meeting of European Union foreign ministers, said: "I believe there are the conditions to quickly reach a ceasefire in the next few hours."

He said that from his conversations with members of the Israeli government, he understood "there is no interest at all" to invade the Gaza Strip.

"Exactly the opposite is true," Terzi said. "Obviously, this Israeli self-restraint should rely on a guarantee that the launches of rockets should end."

China today urged both sides to halt the violence, while U.S. President Barack Obama said at the weekend it would be "preferable" if Israel did not mount a ground invasion of Gaza.

The Gaza flare-up, and Israel's repeated signaling that it could soon escalate from the aerial campaign to a ground sweep of the cramped and impoverished territory, have stoked the worries of world powers watching an already combustible region.

In the absence of any prospect of permanent peace between Israel and Hamas and other Islamist factions, mediated deals for each to hold fire unilaterally have been the only formula for stemming bloodshed in the past. But both sides now placed the onus on the other.

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Tags:  Cairo  truce  Gaza  violence  United Nations  





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