Israeli officials: If Cairo talks fail, Western powers will seek Gaza truce via UN Security Council

If the Cairo talks do fail, Israel is likely to unilaterally declare an end to the military operation and the introduction of a de facto cease-fire.

By Barak Ravid, HAARETZ
Aug. 17, 2014 | 2:53 AM

PalestiniansSenior Israeli officials have said that should the Egyptian efforts to forge a long-term cease-fire between Israel and Hamas fail, Western powers will likely try to push for a UN Security Council resolution that would call for an end to the fighting in the Gaza Strip.

An Israeli delegation was expected to return to Cairo Sunday morning for what seemed to be a last-ditch effort to reach an agreement. The talks were expected to continue through Monday night, when the five-day cease-fire is scheduled to end.

Israel’s inner cabinet met for two and a half hours Friday morning to discuss the draft of the Egyptian proposal, which was given to the Israeli and Palestinian teams in Cairo. Senior figures said after the session that judging by the content of the discussion, the chances of reaching an agreement with Hamas and the other Palestinian organizations by Monday were slim, owing to the significant gaps between the parties.



One Israeli official in Jerusalem, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Israel had not yet given an answer to the Egyptian proposal. “We don’t intend to compromise on our security concerns, but everything must wait until Monday night to see whether an agreement is possible,” he said.

If the Cairo talks do fail, Israel is likely to unilaterally declare an end to the military operation and the introduction of a de facto cease-fire based on “answering quiet for quiet.” Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett support this option, in which Israel would reserve the right to strike “terror tunnels” from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory or rocket factories in the Strip.

Senior Israeli officials said that if the Cairo talks fail to produce a negotiated agreement, pressure from the international community for a deal would increase. They said Britain, France and other nations were preparing a UN Security Council resolution calling for an end to the fighting in Gaza, the lifting of the blockade on the Strip, the return of Palestinian Authority forces to the territory and the reintroduction of international monitors at the Gaza border crossings to prevent arms from entering the Strip.

On Friday the foreign ministers of the 28 European Union member states approved a German, British and French proposal to support reconstruction in the Gaza Strip, in exchange for an international arrangement to prevent Hamas from rearming. The EU decision stated that the member states would support an international initiative endorsed by the UN Security Council.

The European foreign ministers said that they would like to see the international initiative include redeployment of EU personnel previously sent to monitor the Rafah border crossing, as well reinforcing their numbers and expanding their mandate. The EU would also support training the Palestinian police in order to deploy them and other PA security forces along the Gaza-Israel border.

During the fighting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected a proposal put forth by Livni and the Foreign Ministry to push for a UN Security Council resolution against Hamas. If such a resolution were proposed now, Israel will be able to influence its content, though in a more limited way.

So far, the U.S. administration has worked to block any procedures in the UN Security Council regarding the fighting in Gaza. Due to U.S. pressure, a Jordanian initiative for a cease-fire in Gaza that called for setting up an international commission of inquiry to look into Israeli strikes on UN facilities did not advance. Sources in Israel believe that if the talks in Cairo fail, the U.S. administration will change its policy and also start pushing for a cease-fire agreement via the UN Security Council.

August 17, 2014 | 8 Comments »

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8 Comments / 8 Comments

  1. Why oh why does Israel not withdraw from that Islamic basket case, the UN?

    Then they may pass anti Israel resolutions till the crescent moon turns blue but Israel not being a member will not be bound by them.

    Tiny Israel does more good in the world than all the UN groups combined.


  2. @ Steve Smyser:

    I believe the major oil companies are strongly but silently pro Arab.
    That is where all their wealth came from and from whence it continues to pour in.
    That is also why they are so adamantly opposed to Canadian oil. It is why they are spending millions of dollars in campaigns and propaganda to prevent Canada’s oil from penetrating their markets.

    It matters not to them that the Arab oil producers are all bloody dictatorships that would collapse if oil from a democracy like Canada were available.

    Mickey Oberman

  3. As for the subject of the tunnels – the oil companies (for just one group) have ground penetrating radar – why is this technology not used to totally destroy all the tunnels with bombs along (on) the borders dropped from a few thousand feet? Why are things like this not being done?

  4. Once again Israel, despite the wishes of the majority of Israelis, is willing to settle for less than absolute victory. They thus ensure yet another war in a few years and more dead Israelis.

    To hell with what the rest of the world wants or thinks. They do not have savages like Hamas for neighbours.

    What of the israeli towns and villages close to the border of Gaza? The IDF is far from certain that all the tunnels have been located and destroyed. How are the citizens of those places to live with the perpetual fear of Hamas attacks?

    Dammit, Israel, finish the job once and for all.
    Settle for nothing less than UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER.
    You owe that to your people.

    Mickey Oberman

  5. @ NormanF:
    That would be a mandated arrangement inasmuch as the SC can so so. To make it mandatory it requires a GA decision and in all cases vetoes may pop. I doubt that the US adm. will help in that case.
    A very bad setting no matter how one cuts it.

  6. And if Hamas decides not to show restraint, what is Israel prepared to do? Ignore it and pray it will go away?

  7. “Unilateral de facto cease fire” Meaning more or less, OK I am not playing anymore, I’ll pick my marbles and will go home, so there!
    We did advance in this war from “cease fire” as end result to the above format. Unilateral de facto cease fire! That is what for our 64 great soldiers died.