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Fragile ceasefire continues in Gaza

2009-01-23 19:14:16

Our Comments

Talk about propaganda, Israel still has the blockade in place and they've been shelling Palestinian homes by the sea.

CBC will always reflect the current government's views, since it is state controlled media.  In this case, Stephen Harper always says "Israel has a right to defend herself", yet Palestinians don't have the same right to defense, aid or existence.

People should really consider how many people of faith believe Israel needs to be made whole, as part of a certain prophecy.....

There is a large group of these people who don't care how many people have to die or what injustice takes place, so long as their promised Messiah will come back after Israel becomes whole.

Maybe CBC should report what the true motivation of Israel's supporters are.
It's unfortunate because until 1947, there was peace in the Middle East.

But because of the failure of the UK who created this whole mess, and of the UN to enforce the dozens of UN resolutions against Israel, there won't be peace unfortunately, all because people are waiting for their promised Messiah.....

Full Article:

Fragile ceasefire continues in Gaza

Officials expected to meet on Sunday

Last Updated: Friday, January 23, 2009 | 9:21 PM ET Comments0Recommend2

Despite signs that life was beginning to return to normal in the Gaza Strip, there were also indications that the six-day-old truce between Hamas and Israel remained fragile on Friday.

Fishermen cautiously sailed out and market vendors unpacked fruit and vegetables.

Israel also opened its pedestrian crossing into the Gaza Strip, allowing free access for international journalists and humanitarian workers for the first time since before its offensive was launched on Dec. 27.

The United Nations reported that about 200,000 children who study at UN schools were expected to return to class on Saturday for the first time since the offensive began.

But both sides' main demands for a durable ceasefire remained unmet.

Israel insists on guarantees that Hamas will stop smuggling weapons into Gaza and stop firing rockets at southern Israel, while Hamas wants Gaza's borders open.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy ordered a frigate deployed to the waters off Gaza on Friday in an effort to fight arms smuggling and consolidate the ceasefire.

"The urgency now is to consolidate the ceasefire through humanitarian action, a total end of arms trafficking to Gaza, the reopening of passages, reconstruction and inter-Palestinian reconciliation," said a statement issued by Sarkozy's office.

UN humanitarian chief John Holmes said Gaza's border crossings needed to be opened further to rush international aid into the besieged coastal strip.

"I hope we can keep at least the humanitarian side of it, the early recovery side, the essential repairs, free of politics, as we always try to do for immediate emergency relief," Holmes said.

Israel started an offensive Dec. 27 to try to stop Hamas rocket attacks. About 1,285 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were killed before the ceasefire took effect on Sunday.

Thirteen Israelis, including three civilians, died during the war, according to the Israeli government.

Officials have estimated that the damage in the region totals more than $2 billion.

Smuggling tunnels spotted

Sarkozy has also ordered Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner to co-ordinate with the United States and the rest of Europe to propose ways to fight arms smuggling on land and sea.

The Associated Press reported Friday that its journalists had spotted many smuggling tunnels already back in operation along Gaza's border with Egypt.

Israel has alleged Hamas procures weapons through passages and tunnels into Gaza.

Dozens of European monitors and experts are ready to deploy to the region immediately but will not go in until Egypt and Hamas officials agree.

Gaza-based Hamas officials will hold talks with Egyptian mediators Sunday to discuss ways to consolidate the ceasefire.

EU foreign ministers are also expected to meet with their counterparts from Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and the Palestinian Authority in Brussels on Sunday.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Barack Obama spoke with Saudi King Abdullah on Friday and asked for Saudi support in halting weapons smuggling into Gaza.

Obama also discussed the situation in Gaza with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the White House said.

John Ging, head of the UN agency that cares for Palestinian refugees, said a danger to the ceasefire is that war has created "more extremists" on both sides of the conflict.

Despite the Israeli ground offensive and air bombardment, Hamas appears firmly in control of Gaza, although most of its top leaders remain in hiding, according to the Associated Press.

"The Zionists thought they hammered Hamas, but they are mistaken," Hamas official Mushir al-Masri said in his sermon at the destroyed Khulafa al-Rashideen mosque on Friday. "We, the Palestinians, have a strategic weapon that is faith and patience," he said, vowing revenge.


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