Kerry seeks permanent ceasefire in Gaza

Kerry seeks permanent ceasefire in Gaza
# 26 July 2014 23:28 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. US Secretary of State John Kerry has set out the conditions for a permanent ceasefire to end the deadly conflict in Gaza, APA reports quoting Press TV.

Hamas resistance movement agreed to a humanitarian ceasefire starting at 7 a.m. local time on Saturday, while Israeli Army agreed to halt its fire from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The 12-hour ceasefire was holding, bolstering Kerry's effort to bring an end to Israel’s onslaught on the besieged Gaza Strip, where more than 1,000 people have been killed.

Top diplomats from the US, the UK, Germany, Italy, Turkey and Qatar and a representative from the EU gathered in Paris to discuss the terms of a long-term ceasefire proposal Between Israel and Hamas.

On Friday the Israeli cabinet rejected the ceasefire proposal presented by Washington.

Kerry, however, denied the allegation. The American diplomat – emerging from a day of negotiations in Cairo, where he had spoken with regional power brokers including the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-Moon – said that nothing had been offered to Israel for its cabinet to reject, The Guardian reports.

"There was no formal proposal submitted to Israel," he said. "Let's make that absolutely crystal clear. Prime Minister [Binyamin] Netanyahu called me a few minutes before this to tell me that that [rejection] was an error, and he's putting out a statement to that effect ... It's fair to say that Israel had some opposition to some concepts, but that doesn't mean a proposal by any means."

Israel says any agreement must recognize that it has the right to conduct operations against Hamas. And Hamas says it can agree to any ceasefire but it underlines that Israel must lift its seven-year blockade of Gaza and release Palestinian prisoners.

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