Egypt Works for Gaza Ceasefire

Progress toward ceasefire after behind-the-scenes talks
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2008 10:13 AM CDT
A Palestinian man stands next to camels during a protest against Israel and for human rights, in Gaza city Tuesday, March 11, 2008. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert ordered the army to scale back...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 5 more images

(Newser) – Egypt is quietly working to broker a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, with its intelligence chief meeting with both Hamas and Israeli officials, allowing the two sides to formally deny that they are talking to each other, the Guardian reports. Israel is calling for a trial 30 days of calm before entering into a ceasefire, according to Egyptian sources. Israelis want rocket attacks from Gaza to stop, and arms smuggling from Egypt into Gaza to be halted.

Hamas said today it could agree to a ceasefire if the Israelis stopped incursions into the West Bank and Gaza, stopped killing militants, and lifted the siege on Gaza. Both sides have agreed to an Egyptian proposal to deploy Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' troops at crossings between Israel and Gaza, Haaretz says.