Egypt mediates talks between Israel, Palestine

Cairo - Egyptian officials mediating talks for a durable truce in Gaza met an Israel delegation during the night and were to relay their demands to Palestinian representatives, Palestinian sources said on Wednesday.

The shuttle diplomacy comes as a fragile ceasefire in the Gaza Strip after a month of fighting between Hamas and Israeli forces entered a second day on Wednesday.

Palestinian officials in Cairo said they would respond to the Israeli terms through the Egyptian intelligence officials, although a senior Hamas official has already rejected an Israeli demand that militants in Gaza disarm.

Meanwhile international Middle East peace envoy Tony Blair and UN Middle East peace process coordinator Robert Serry were scheduled to hold talks with Egyptian officials later on Wednesday.

The Egyptian-mediated 72-hour ceasefire that went into effect on Tuesday has brought relief to both sides after fighting that erupted on 8 July killed 1 875 Palestinians and 67 people on the Israeli side.

The talks in Cairo are aimed at securing a durable ceasefire after the three-day window closes.

Experts say the underlying problems in Gaza, a small coastal enclave flanked by Israel and Egypt that has undergone three conflicts with Israel since 2008, would also have to be addressed.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, in a BBC interview, called for a sustained ceasefire but stressed that the crucial wider issues would need to be tackled.

The Palestinians demand an end to the eight-year Israeli blockade of Gaza and the release of Palestinian prisoners.

Israel has demanded that Hamas, which won Palestinian elections in 2006 although designated a terrorist group by the United States and Israel, disarm its militia.

A senior Hamas official in Cairo said on Tuesday the militants would not even consider laying down their weapons, which include an arsenal of unguided rockets and anti-tank missiles.

"Whoever tries to take our weapons, we will take his life", said Ezzat al-Rishq on Twitter.

Derek Bredenkamp 2014/08/06 12:56:32 PM
A military dictatorship mediating peace?
Steven Bresler 2014/08/06 01:27:28 PM
I will never understand how a country with it's own set of dire problems (including SA)feels that they can fix other countries or disputes. It's like going to a physiatrist and he/she sits there crying the whole session. Get someone like Sweden, Australia or Canada to do the mediation?
Ashburg Aaronsen Aaronsen 2014/08/06 02:06:05 PM
Apartheid Israel is finally beginning to end. I am so happy this might happen in my life time. I pray to God the UN dismantles this evil state soon. Christians, Jews and Muslims can live there peacefully like they did before World War 2.
Alan Yates 2014/08/06 05:45:33 PM
The recent BDS related article is closed for comment so maybe this forum will do...The Halaal Foods related stickers found on many foods on the shelves refers. Does any one know where the money to pay for this sticker goes to and how these monies are disbursed? Surely there should be transparency to the paying public around the annual amounts raised and where the money goes to? Is there a Government act controlling these what essentially amount to "poll" taxes on foodstuffs imposed on the general public by a religious institution? Which Government Institution has oversight of these funds? Are there detailed audited financial statements that the public can access? Maybe some can shed light on this matter? Is it just Halaal type stickers or is it other stickers as well? As a person who parts funds for such, one would like to know where these funds go...If one does not want to buy something with a Halaal foods sticker is there an easily available alternative? Maybe someone from the Muslim Judicial Council could shed some light on this matter? Is there Government Legislation around this source of funding? Where does the money go to? How much do companies pay for these certificates? Without much information on this topic, I have the same feeling that like in the case of e-tolls, my constitutional rights may be suffering from a lack of information/secrecy...
Peet Smit 2014/08/06 08:39:37 PM
Genesis 12:3 "And I will bless them that bless thee and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all nations of the earth be blessed." Point: God has promised to bless the man or nation that blesses the Chosen People. History has proven beyond reasonable doubt that the nations that have blessed the Jewish people have had the blessing of God; the nations that have cursed the Jewish people have experienced the curse of God.