Ma’an: Sources: Egypt wants to host peace talks
- Sources: Egypt wants to host peace talks
Published yesterday (updated) 31/10/2010 20:43
]LONDON (Ma’an) – Egypt is contacting world and regional sides to organize
an international peace conference, the London-based Al-Hayat daily reported
Saturday quoting Egyptian sources.
“Egypt considers it unbelievable that the status quo remains unchanged in
light of Israel’s refusal to take a positive step regarding settlements,
while the Palestinian president insists that they stop settlements before he
resumes face-to-face talks,” a source said.
Egyptian officials were in Ramallah days earlier trying to convince
President Mahmoud Abbas to accept a partial freeze on construction in
settlements, excluding settlements that Israel intends to annex in a peace
agreement. The proposal was a US initiative aimed at restarting direct talks
between the PLO and Israel by mid-November, the official Palestinian
Authority news agency reported.
Peace talks, relaunched in Washington on 2 September, reached a deadlock
within weeks over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's refusal to
extend temporary restrictions on settlement building on occupied Palestinian
land. Despite pleas from the international community, full-scale settlement
construction resumed across the West Bank as the freeze expired on 26
'No new war on Gaza'
Al-Hayat's source ruled out the possibility that Israel would wage war on
Gaza as recent reports suggest.
“Israel will remain committed to the ceasefire as long as rockets are not
fired from the Gaza Strip at its territories and as long as Hamas does not
carry out military activities,” the source was quoted as saying.
Several high-ranking Israeli officers have made statements recently warning
of a repeat of Israel's last war on the enclave, which left 1,400
Palestinians dead and thousands injured. One senior officer, quoted in the
Israeli daily Haaretz, said if another soldier was captured Israel's
response would be no less severe.
In the Gaza Strip, dismissed Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said threats to
launch a new offensive were psychological warfare, but he does not think a
new attack is approaching.
His comments echoed remarks by Hamas leader Ismail Radwan, who said
statements by army officials were propaganda to be consumed by local media.
But the resistance is ready to respond, he said.
Two projectiles landed in southern Israel on Saturday, an army spokesman
said. They landed in Kerem Shalom in the northwestern Negev, and no damage
or injuries were reported, he said.