Home / International / News Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
Rice to consult Palestinian leader on ceasefire in Gaza
Adjust font size:

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will consult with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Tuesday in New York to help create a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

The secretary will also consult with her counterparts or senior officials from other countries, including Arab ministers, and attend the UN Security Council meeting, reports in Washington quoted State Department officials as saying.

The purpose of Rice's New York trip is to push forward the international efforts to create a durable, sustainable and non-time-limited ceasefire between Israel and the Islamic Movement ( Hamas) in the Gaza Strip, the officials said.

Palestinian medical officials estimated that the death toll during the 11-day war exceeded 560 on Tuesday and the United Nations said that about a quarter of those killed were civilians.

The Bush administration has defended Israel's military operation in the territories since it was launched on December 27, blaming the Palestinian militant group Hamas responsible for the current crisis in the Gaza Strip.

"I understand Israel's desire to protect itself and that the situation now taking place in Gaza was caused by Hamas," Bush told reporters on Monday, adding "any ceasefire must have the conditions in it so that Hamas does not use Gaza as a place from which to launch rockets."

Echoing Bush's comment, the US State Department on Monday specified that a sustainable, durable and non-time-limited ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip should include three elements.

"There would be an end to the rocket attacks; that you would have the opening of crossings into and out of Gaza; and also the issues of the tunnels would be addressed," said spokesman Sean McCormack, adding that Secretary Rice has been trying to push the international community to "coalesce around those three elements."

The tunnels mentioned by the spokesman were located across the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. They have been used mainly to smuggle weapons by Hamas from Egypt and other countries. Some of them have been destroyed in the latest Israeli military operation.

(Xinhua News Agency January 7, 2009)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Pet Name
China Archives
- Chinese FM, Rice talk over phone about Mideast crisis, bilateral ties
- Rice cancels China trip amid Gaza crisis
- Rice blames Hamas for violence in Gaza
- US blocks UN call for Gaza truce
- Cheney: Israel seeks no US green light on Gaza invasion