Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Concerns grow as hobby drone use increases

Read more

WEB NEWS

Buffalo residents share stunning images of the snowstorm

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Senegalese photographer's flashbacks to Africans throughout history

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Hollande photographed with Julie Gayet on Elysée Palace balcony

Read more

REVISITED

Is Beirut still haunted by ghosts of the civil war?

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Band Aid 30 - Hit or Miss? Bob Geldof in Hot Water over Ebola Single

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Deal or No Deal with Iran? Home Stretch to Reach Historic Agreement

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Football scandals: The ugly side of the beautiful game

Read more

#THE 51%

Ending violence against women: The dangers of trial by Twitter

Read more

Middle east

Israel set to vote on ceasefire as Gaza fighting continues

Video by Oliver FARRY

Latest update : 2009-01-17

The Israeli government is set to vote on a unilateral truce Saturday after overnight shelling killed two Palestinian boys in a UN-run school, according to senior israeli officials. Earlier, a Hamas official criticised the terms of the truce.

"Ceasefire talks gain steam, but outcome uncertain" (to read more click here)


REUTERS - Israel plans to halt its Gaza offensive without any agreement with Hamas, a senior Israeli official said on Saturday. The Islamist group vowed to fight on.

 

"The goal is to announce, subject to cabinet approval, a suspension of military activities because we believe our goals have been attained," said the official, asking not to be named.

 

Israel launched air raids on the Gaza Strip on Dec. 27 and ground troops moved in a week later.

 

Without an accord with Hamas, diplomats said they feared Israel would let only a trickle of goods through Gaza's border crossings, hampering reconstruction and creating more hardship for its 1.5 million people. The security cabinet is due to meet in the evening and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will address the nation after that.

 

"There is no agreement with Hamas," the Israeli official said, adding that Israel would reserve the right to act if Hamas continued firing or launched rockets across the border.

 

A Hamas official in Beirut said earlier that the militants would fight on until Israel met their demands, mainly for an end to a crippling Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.

 

Israeli forces attacked 50 targets in the coastal enclave overnight. Tank fire killed two small boys sheltering at a United Nations school, a U.N. official said.

 

"These two little boys are as innocent, indisputably, as they are dead," John Ging, head of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza, told Reuters after the school was hit.

 

The Israeli army was checking the report.

 

In addition to declaring a unilateral ceasefire, Israeli officials said they expected Israel and Egypt to announce an agreement on increased security along the Gaza-Egyptian border.

 

Under that agreement, they said, the Rafah border crossing would only reopen in line with a 2005 agreement with the Palestinian Authority, which calls for President Mahmoud Abbas's forces to be in control and for Europeans to monitor traffic.

 

Abbas left for Cairo and his aides said he would meet Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak there on Sunday morning.

 

In a televised address, Mubarak called on Israel to end its military operations immediately and said his country would call for a meeting on post-war reconstruction.

 

Hamas drove Abbas's forces from Gaza in June 2007

Date created : 2009-01-17

COMMENT(S)