21 November 2012, 14:27

Gaza truce postponed

Gaza truce postponed
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Wednesday can become the first day of truce between Israel and Hamas. It was expected that the truce would be reached late Tuesday but the continuing disagreements between the parties of the conflict delayed it.

Hamas is demanding that Israel stop its aggressive acts against Gaza first. The Palestinian movement is insisting that it was Israel which started the aggression. In its turn Israel wants to get firm guarantees from Hamas that it won’t fire missiles at its territory.

Israel fears that the truce, even if it is reached, will be broken sometime later because alongside Hamas other Islamist groups are active in the Gaza Strip.

Nevertheless Sergey Sergichev, expert of the Institute of the Middle East, believes that Hamas is quite trustworthy.

"Hamas can observe a truce. Hamas is not only the strongest group in Gaza. Other groups understand that the liquidation of Hamas also means their liquidation. Hamas is really strong. Once it took Hamas only two months to defeat the units of the Fatah movement in the Gaza Strip although Fatah is quite a battle-worthy organization."

Before it stops air strikes on Gaza Israel wants to get political guarantees from Egypt. Cairo is the main mediator in the negotiating process. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, US State Secretary Hillary Clinton and the delegation of representatives of 13 countries of the Arab League and Turkey - all consult Cairo. According to Georgy Mirsky, expert at the Institute of World Economy, Egypt’s mediation in the conflict settlement will give certain results.

"It takes colossal efforts to adjust the position of two implacable enemies. This will be a hard work especially for Egypt which is now in a very difficult situation. Palestinians will play a mean trick on Egypt if they continue to fire missiles at Israel, because Egyptian people entrusted the Muslim Brotherhood with power. President Mohamed Morsi comes from this environment. Conducting policy Egyptian people want would mean breaking ties with Israel and distancing itself from the US and Europe. That is why if Israel starts a land operation in Gaza Egypt will be in a terrible situation, so it is taking measures not to let it happen. I think a cease fire agreement will be reached."

Though Israel agreed to postpone its planned land operation in the Gaza Strip, it did it in the form of an ultimatum – it had delayed its decision on whether to launch a ground invasion by 24 hours to allow Egypt more time to broker a ceasefire. Meanwhile UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon and the UK, which is the ally of US and Israel, have decisively spoken against the land operation.

However, Washington has not urged Israel to refrain from a ground invasion if a cease fire is not reached. That means that Washington is indirectly justifying Israel’s actions. On Tuesday, the US blocked the declaration condemning Israel’s actions which had been prepared by the Arab countries in the UN Security Council.

In its turn, Russia is ready to uphold any proposals of the Arab League on settlement of the crisis in Gaza.

On Wednesday, the Israeli armed forces have attacked 100 targets in the Gaza Strip. Among Palestinians the number of victims has exceeded 140. Also 5 Israeli people have been killed.

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