There is a growing amount of international pressure toward Israel to adopt a cease-fire to “temporarily pause” the attacks on Hamas.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner proposed a cease-fire to Israeli officials that would last 48 hours to “get essential supplies into the territory, where 1.5 million Palestinians are running short of food, fuel and other goods.”
As Israel currently amasses ground troops along the Gaza border, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said that “If a real proposal with credibility and guarantees is submitted to us, we will give it a very serious examination.” However, earlier in the day, the Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit told Israel Radio, as reported by The Washington Post:
There is no room for a cease-fire . . . The Israeli army must not stop the operation before breaking the will of the Palestinians, of Hamas, to continue to fire an Israel.
This coming as rockets pounded down 25 miles into Israeli city Beersheba, reaching the furthest strike to date.
“We have got to get a commitment from Hamas that hey would respect any cease-fire and make it lasting and durable,” [White House spokesman Gordon] Johndroe said. “Until Israel can get that assurance from Hamas, then you will not have a cease-fire that is worth the paper it is written on.” The scene in Gaza was the focus of intense diplomatic efforts Tuesday. Marie Okabe, the U.N. Deputy spokeswoman, told the Associated Press in New York that the Quartet group seeking to negotiate Middle East peace – the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations – appealed to Israel and Hamas for an “immediate cease-fire.”
All this coming after the fourth day of relentless attacks, some 384 killed and more than 800 wounded.