• Friday, August 01, 2014

West moves for Gaza ceasefire

Iran condemns US, UN inaction; Arabs to meet tomorrow

Agencies
The mother and sister of Palestinian Mahmud al-Sewati mourn over his body during his funeral in Gaza City, yesterday. Photo:AFP
The mother and sister of Palestinian Mahmud al-Sewati mourn over his body during his funeral in Gaza City, yesterday. Photo:AFP

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said he will discuss an international push for a ceasefire in Gaza with US Secretary of State John Kerry and his German and French counterparts during talks in Vienna today.
Meanwhile, Arab foreign ministers are to meet in Cairo tomorrow to discuss the escalating conflict between Hamas militants in Gaza and Israel which has already killed more than 135 Palestinians, a diplomat said.
Hague said in a statement yesterday that the discussions on ending the hostilities between Israel and Gaza would take place on the sidelines of talks on Iran's nuclear programme in the Austrian capital.
"It is clear that we need urgent, concerted international action to secure a ceasefire, as was the case in 2012" during the last round of conflict between Israel and militants in the Palestinian coastal enclave, Hague said.

A Palestinian man inspects the rubble of a destroyed mosque following an Israeli military strike in the Nusseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. Photo:AFP
A Palestinian man inspects the rubble of a destroyed mosque following an Israeli military strike in the Nusseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. Photo:AFP

He said he had also spoken by telephone yesterday with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
"I stressed the need for an immediate de-escalation and restoration of the November 2012 ceasefire, our deep concern about the number of civilian casualties and the need for all sides to avoid further civilian injuries and the loss of innocent life," Hague said.
Meanwhile Iran's foreign minister has called for an "immediate end" to Israel's bombing of Gaza and criticised the United States for not restraining its most important Middle Eastern ally.
Mohammad Javad Zarif, in a taped interview with US broadcaster NBC to air today, urged Washington to use the United Nations to stop the Israeli strikes.
"We know that all the weapons that are used by Israel in order to attack civilians in Gaza have been provided by the United States and we don't see any move by the United States to condemn that, to use the Security Council in order to put an end to it," he added.
As the conflict between Hamas and Israel taking more civilian toll, The Arab states said they will convene a meeting tomorrow to take a united front to face the situation.
Kuwait, which holds the rotating leadership of the Arab League headquartered in the Egyptian capital, had demanded the "urgent" meeting, the diplomat told AFP yesterday.
There has been no coordinated Arab response to the conflict which erupted on Tuesday when Israel launched waves of air strikes against Gaza aimed at halting rocket fire across the border.
Egypt, the traditional broker in Israeli-Hamas conflicts, said Friday its efforts to halt violence in the Gaza Strip had met with "stubbornness".
But it is seen as having taken a step back from the latest round of fighting.
Its new government has been opposed to Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood which the military ousted from power last year.

Published: 12:00 am Sunday, July 13, 2014

Last modified: 3:58 am Sunday, July 13, 2014

TAGS: US Secretary of State John Kerry Gaza British Foreign Secretary William Hague German and French Austrian capital.

Comment Policy