Israel

Israel and Hamas Consider Egyptian Ceasefire Proposal

The plan reportedly requires a de facto demilitarization of Gaza

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Israel's cabinet, as well as Hamas officials, are reportedly considering a surprise Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire to the fighting which has engulfed the region. Sparked recently by the murder of three Israeli teens after a kidnapping praised by Hamas, and then the revenge killing of an Arab youth, the conflict has taken civilian lives amidst rocket attacks on Israel and air and naval strikes in return against targets in the Gaza strip.

According to the Jerusalem Post:

The Egyptian government on Monday proposed a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip according to which the two sides would end "hostilities" as of 9 a.m. Tuesday.

The proposal, which was published on the eve of US Secretary of State John Kerry's expected visit to Cairo, states that Israel would end all "hostilities" in the Gaza Strip from the land, air and sea and would refrain from launching a ground offensive that targets civilians.

According to the proposal, the Palestinian factions in would cease all "hostilities" emanating from the Gaza Strip against Israel.

Earlier today, the Egytian Foreign Ministry reported that it was coordinating efforts with Kuwait to bring the fighting to an end.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry headed Egypt's delegation to the Arab Ministerial Emergency Meeting held in Cairo on Monday, July 14th 2014 upon an invitation from Kuwait, head of the current Arab Summit and supported by Egypt to ensure the holding of the meeting in order to discuss the critical situation in the occupied Palestinian territories in light of the continued Israeli aggression on the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, further to working to immediately halting bloodshed of innocent Palestinian civilians the and formulating a unified Arab stance in this regard.

While Egypt's official verbiage is full of references to "Israeli aggression," the proposal seems to be welcomed by both sides. Hamas officials are under enormous pressure to find an end to the struggle as Gazans flee their homes in a conflict that has expanded well beyond the usual (though always potentially lethal) limited exchange.