Israel and Hamas both “welcomed”–but did not accept– an Egyptian-French plan for a cease fire agreement. The United States finally placed some pressure on Israel to agree to a cease fire as Secretary of State Condi Rice telephoned Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and urged an end to the fighting. However, Rice also added: “Our goal must be the stabilization and normalisation of life in Gaza.” But any cease fire “has to be a solution that does not allow the rearmament of Hamas.” Egyptian president Mubarak was reportedly trying to get a 48 hour cease fire to provide time to work out details of a longer term agreement. Hamas made clear it would insist that Israel forces withdraw from Gaza and open all crossings. Hamas leaders did not make any promises of halting rocket attacks.
The proposed plan includes such ideas as:
A cease fire to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza.
An international presence on the border of Gaza that might include American, Turkish and European Union soldiers.
The reality is no cease fire will last unless Hamas ends its rocket attacks once and for all. At the same time if rocket attacks end, Israel must open all border crossings.