Skip to comments.[Israeli] Cabinet rejects 48-hr truce proposal
Posted on 12/31/2008 1:26:53 PM PST by mojito
The Security Cabinet on Wednesday rejected a French proposal for a 48-hour suspension of the IDF offensive against Hamas to allow Paris the opportunity to mediate a cease-fire, but Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that the proposal would be reconsidered when the time is right.
"We didn't initiate the Gaza operation in order to end it while Israeli towns are still under fire, as they were before the operation." said Olmert.
"Imagine if after a few days of the offensive we had declared a unilateral cease-fire and a rocket barrage had then hit Ashkelon" he continued. "Israel has shown restraint for years; it gave the truce a chance. We did this in full knowledge of its price only so that southerners could recover and to give them a period without the worry of a Red Color warning every minute. We told ourselves 'let's try it,' but Hamas violated the truce."
Olmert blasted those calling for an end to the military operation. "Do you understand what repercussions this would have in Israel and the entire region?" he asked rhetorically. "Nevertheless, if the conditions are right and we believe it would provide a solution that ensures a better scurity situation, we will consider it. However, we are not there yet."
The prime minister stressed that decisions about the military operation were totally detached for political considerations. "We are in a highly charged and tense political period," he said, pledging that he would not let anyone add "political fire."
"The foreign minister, defense minister and I are cooperating," Olmert said. "This doesn't mean that we don't have disagreements, but the public must know that decisions are being made level-headedly, carefully and responsibly without external considerations."
Meanwhile, Hamas on Wednesday announced that it was prepared to look into a cease-fire proposal, on condition that it would include a full cessation of Israeli attacks, and the opening of all crossings into Gaza.
"The moment that we receive the proposal, we'll look at it," said senior Hamas official Ayman Taha. "We will support a proposal that will bring about a full cessation of attacks, and a full lifting of the siege."
Earlier, Olmert's spokesman Mark Regev said that "Giving Hamas respite just to regroup and rearm is a mistake. The pressure on the Hamas military machine must continue."
On Tuesday, in discussions with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni that lasted late into the night, Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak had appeared split on whether to accept the French proposal.
The idea for a 48-hour suspension was first raised by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner in a phone call with Barak on Monday. Barak initially rejected the offer, but in a second conversation on Tuesday told Kouchner that he would reconsider and raise it in talks with Olmert and Livni.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced Tuesday evening that he would meet Livni on Thursday in Paris. Sarkozy is also expected to come to the region on Monday to look for a way to end the crisis. France, which holds the rotating presidency of the EU until Thursday, called an emergency meeting of EU foreign ministers in Paris Tuesday night to discuss the situation. On Wednesday, Kouchner expressed concerns that the Gaza fighting could escalate. "I hope there are no ground actions," he said of the possibility of an Israeli ground offensive in addition to airstrikes on Hamas targets. "I think it won't be a solution and will only increase the number of dead."
When HELL freezes over would be a good time line. Bye, bye Olmert, hello Bibi!
Sark is such a putz...
The French have mastered the arts of wine making, bread making and surrendering. And as they surrendered their own country to Islam some years ago, they now consider it their duty/right to surrender other nations as well. Swell people, the French. Kerry fits right in.
It just amazes me the level of anti-Semitism espoused around the world from its leaders and people.
Why should Israel back down when it was attacked?
Any push for Israel to cease fire is nothing short of being neo-Nazi
Will be an interesting switch.
Us: From a manly Bush to a dork “magic negro”.
Them: from a dork appeasing lawyer to a manly man Bibi.
Not to mention the fact that I wouldn’t want the French negotiating anything on my behalf. They walk in saying we surrender.
“The Security Cabinet on Wednesday rejected a French proposal for a 48-hour suspension of the IDF offensive against Hamas”
I would like to propose a suspension of the Palistinian bombing of Isreal until the ID offensive against Hamas is complete, uh, I mean until an agreement can be reached.