“We are working toward a cease-fire that would not allow a re-establishment of the status quo ante, where Hamas could launch rockets” Condoleezza Rice
WASHINGTON, Jan 6 (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will go to the United Nations on Tuesday to help with international efforts to arrange a ceasefire in Gaza, the State Department said.
“The purpose of her trip is to move forward the international efforts to create a ceasefire in Gaza,” said a State Department official, who spoke on condition he not be named.
Rice planned to leave Washington for New York later on Tuesday to meet Arab ministers and other allies and consult with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during her overnight trip.
The top U.S. diplomat will also meet the foreign minister of Turkey, who has been among the leading players working for a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, which launched a ground offensive into Gaza last weekend.
In addition, Rice will attend a U.N. Security Council meeting set for 5 p.m. EST (2200 GMT), the department official said.
While Europeans and Arabs have broadly been calling for an immediate ceasefire in the latest violence, the United States has been urging a “during and sustainable” truce, which would take longer to draw up.
In the Lebanon crisis in 2006, the United States came under strong criticism for not calling for an immediate ceasefire. This was seen as giving Israel a green light to continue pounding Hezbollah targets in Lebanon.
(Reporting by Sue Pleming, editing by Philip Barbara)
U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack
Washington (RushPRnews) 01/06/09 — Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is working on three elements of a plan that could lead to a “sustainable, durable cease-fire” between the Israelis and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, a State Department spokesman says.
The three elements include:
an end to rocket attacks from Gaza into Israeli communities;
the opening of Israeli border crossings by Israel into and out of Gaza;
and the issue of tunnels used to smuggle arms and munitions into Gaza,
State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said at a regular January 5 briefing.
the IDF channel
launched on December 29, shows constantly updated video footage
The Israeli consulate in New York on Twitter.
5 Jan. 2009 – Israel Defense Forces spokesman Capt. Benjamin Rutland discusses the second stage of Operation Cast Lead, which includes the use of ground forces to destroy the terrorist group Hamas’ ability to launch rockets against innocent civilians from the Gaza Strip. This update mentions the capture of Hamas terrorists in the field of battle, some of whom remain in Israeli custody.
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