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Editorial Note: The following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may also include corrections of Arabic names and political terminology. Comments are in parentheses.

 

Egyptian plan, with US and EU backing, engages Hamas, PA and Israel in resolving Gaza crisis

Egyptian sources: Comprehensive plan for calm, ending siege ready

[ 09/03/2008 - 10:58 AM ]

CAIRO, (PIC)--

Egyptian diplomatic sources have revealed that a comprehensive plan for calm, ending siege and opening crossings in the Gaza Strip was ready with international approval but still facing difficulties.

The sources told the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper that Cairo was working on calming conditions in Gaza in preparation for easing the siege on the Palestinian people. They added that the Americans as well as the Europeans were supportive of the Egyptian efforts.

They explained that the mediation bid targets achieving calm, lifting the siege, solving inter-Palestinian problems and resuming negotiations.

Egypt proposed returning to the Rafah border agreement of 2005 that might be amended later on and easing the siege to be simultaneously met with ending the rocket fire on Israel, the sources underlined.

They noted that the IOF army would halt its raids, aggressions and assassinations.

The sources acknowledged presence of difficulties and that contacts take time to be made, however the Egyptian side was the only party capable of contacting all parties and that it would go ahead in its efforts to the end.

Egyptian plan, with US and EU backing, engages Hamas, PA and Israel in resolving Gaza crisis

Date: 09 / 03 / 2008  Time:  11:43
Bethlehem Ma'an

Egyptian diplomatic sources revealed the details of a ceasefire proposal that Cairo plans to present to Israel and to Palestinian leaders from both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.

The sources told the Al-Hayat newspaper in London, that "Egypt is working to calm the situation in Gaza in preparation for procedures that allow the easing of the siege on the Palestinian people," adding that American and European government officials had expressed support for the plan.

They explained that the Egyptian role is larger than just mediation between Hamas and Israel, because it aims to achieve a truce, an end to the Israeli blockade, and a resumption of talks between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.

"After the events of the border crossing, the Egyptian leadership felt the need to reach an end to this situation," the sources said, referring to the breach of the Gaza-Egypt border wall in late January. Egypt, the sources said, wants to end "the ongoing embargo, and the suffocating and humiliating situation of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip."

The Egyptian proposal includes four main points:

1. An end to the Israeli blockade of Gaza through the reinstatement of the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access (AMA). Under the proposal, Hamas' views would be taken into account before the reinstatement of the treaty.

2 In return for an end to the Israeli blockade, Palestinian military groups will stop launching homemade projectiles from the Gaza Strip.

3 Hamas will allow the Palestinian Authority's forces into the Strip so that they can be posted at the crossing points.

4 - In return for this, Israel will refrain from violent attacks on the Gaza Strip.

The proposal still has many hurdles to cross before it is approved, however. "Cairo is facing difficulties in communication and it takes time," indicating that "Cairo is receiving and received high-level officials from the Foreign Ministry and the Israeli intelligence apparatus and organs of Hamas and the Authority, the United States and the European Union."

She explained that "the Egyptian side is the only one that can be related to everyone and wants to use those contacts."


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