Via Haaretz, here are the terms of the Israel-Hamas cease-fire proposal from US Secretary of State John Kerry.
Kerry’s initiative stipulates the following terms:
1. A one-week, temporary cease-fire, starting Sunday, during which Israel Defense Forces troops will not leave the Gaza Strip entirely and will continue to locate and destroy Hamas tunnels.
2. During this cease-fire, Israel and Hamas will begin negotiations on a more permanent arrangement, with Egyptian mediation. The Palestinian Authority will participate in these talks.
3. The United States, the UN secretary-general and the European Union will provide guarantees to both sides that the negotiations will deal with the issues important to them - for Israel, disarming Gaza of its rockets and tunnels, and for Hamas, ending the blockade of Gaza and repairing the damage the Strip has suffered.
As soon as I posted this I saw the latest live update — the Israeli cabinet has rejected Kerry’s proposal: LIVE UPDATES.
8:34 P.M. Israeli cabinet rejects John Kerry’s cease-fire proposal, according to a senior Israeli official. Discussions continue on how to improve the proposal in Israel’s favor.
A cease-fire has just gone into effect between Israel and Hamas…
CAIRO — Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire on Wednesday, the eighth day of lethal fighting over the Gaza Strip, the United States and Egypt said after intensive negotiations in Cairo.
The cease-fire, to take effect at 9 p.m. local time (2 p.m. E.S.T.), was formally announced by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Foreign Minister Mohamed Amr of Egypt at a news conference here. The agreement was aimed at quieting an escalating aerial battle between Palestinians and Israelis that had threatened to turn into an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza.
Whether the cease-fire could hold was uncertain at best, and even in the minutes leading up to the effective start time, both sides were firing at each other.
French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie has reiterated France’s outrageous threat to shoot down Israeli aircraft keeping watch over Hizballah arms smuggling: Israeli air violations in Lebanon ‘extremely dangerous’: France.
UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie warned that Israeli air violations in Lebanon were “extremely dangerous” and must end in the interest of all parties.
French President Jacques Chirac, speaking from Finland where he was attending a European Union summit, also urged Israel to stop violating Lebanon’s air space.
Alliot-Marie spoke to reporters after holding talks with UN chief Kofi Annan and Jean-Marie Guehenno, the French head of the UN peacekeeping operations, that focused on the Israeli intrusions into Lebanese air space.
“These violations are extremely dangerous because they may be felt as hostile by forces of the coalition that could be brought to retaliate in case of self-defense and it would be a very serious incident,” the French minister said.
After injecting themselves into the Lebanon crisis and making all kinds of promises they didn’t intend to keep, France and the United Nations have made it explicitly clear that they will not use force to disarm Hizballah, or to prevent weapons from being smuggled in from Syria.
But Israeli Air Force overflights, to keep watch over the terrorists? Now there’s something the French are willing to fight against: Peretz: French UNIFIL say will fire at IAF overflights. (Hat tip: Shiplord Kirel.)
Commanders of the French contingent of the United Nations force in Lebanon have warned that they might have to open fire if Israel Air Force warplanes continue their overflights in Lebanon, Defense Minister Amir Peretz told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday.
Peretz said that nevertheless, Israel would continue to patrol the skies over Lebanon as long as United Nations resolution 1701 remained unfilfilled, adding that such operations were critical for the country’s security, especially as the abducted IDF soldiers remain in Hezbollah custody and the transfer of arms continue.
Over the past few days, Peretz said, Israel had gathered clear evidence that Syria was transfering arms and ammunition to Lebanon, meaning that the embargo imposed by UN Resolution 1701 was not being completely enforced.
United Nations “peacekeepers” in Lebanon have had their first tense confrontation. No, not with Hizballah terrorists, silly.
MARWAHEEN, Lebanon (AFP) - UN and Israeli tanks have been involved in a brief face-off on a road in southern Lebanon where the Israeli army has been setting up checkpoints.
Four French Leclerc tanks with UN peacekeepers moved up the hill to stand 500 meters (yards) from the entrance to the border village of Marwaheen, as two Israeli Merkava tanks operated nearby on Lebanese soil.
Standing some 50 meters from each other, the tanks were locked in a 20-minute face-off, the first between the Israeli army and the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which has been boosted to oversee the current truce.
The French tanks then withdrew from the area [Heh. —ed.], as observers of the UN Truce Supervision Organisation deployed in the area.
Israeli soldiers confiscated the identity cards of photographers at the scene, claiming they may give pictures of the Israeli military to militants of the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah.
I hope you’re sitting down, because the Associated Press is reporting that there’s very little (read: “no”) pressure on Hizballah to disarm.
MARJAYOUN, Lebanon - Six weeks after the end of the Lebanon war, the militant Hezbollah group is facing little on-the-ground pressure to give up its weapons and disarm — despite a U.N. cease-fire resolution demanding just that.
The leaders of a U.N. peacekeeping force in south Lebanon say the job is not theirs. And Lebanon’s ill-equipped army, some of whose soldiers wear tin-pot helmets and carry outdated M-16 rifles, shows no signs of diving into a confrontation with battle-hardened Hezbollah fighters.
For now, all sides say it’s likely full disarmament will happen only in the future as part of a political solution — despite the U.N. resolution that ended the 34-day war on Aug. 14 and required disarmament.
But they’re very good at watching.
Lebanon appeals to the United States to pressure Israel into lifting their blockade, so that Hizballah can restock their arsenals.
They also want more money from us.
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon urged the United States on Wednesday to make Israel remove a sea and air blockade it imposed at the start of its 34-day war with Hizbollah fighters.
Prime Minister Fouad Siniora also called on Washington to boost its financial aid to help Lebanon recover from war-related economic damage running into billions of dollars.
“The United States can do more,” he told a news conference. “The United States can support us in putting real pressure on Israel to lift the siege.”
Anti-Israel UN tool Terje Roed-Larsen (lgf: search) says that if Israel discovers Hizballah smuggling arms into Lebanon, they should file a complaint through diplomatic channels: UN envoy to Livni: IDF raid near Baalbek violated cease-fire.
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan views the Israel Defense Forces’ commando operation near Baalbek over the weekend as a violation of the cease-fire agreement, UN envoy Terje Roed-Larsen told Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni during their meeting in Jerusalem Monday.
“If you discovered arms smuggling, you could have complained through diplomatic channels,” Larsen told Livni.
“We will consider that route as well,” Livni replied with a smile.
Ehud Olmert wakes up and realizes that if he doesn’t do something fast, France, Indonesia, and Malaysia are going to be supplying most of the troops for the UN “force” on Israel’s northern border: Olmert asks Italy to lead UN force. (Hat tip: The Possessed.)