Israel Rejects Ceasefire

Call it 'unrealistic'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2008 6:48 AM CST
Palestinians examine damage at the office of Hamas' deposed Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, following Israeli missile strikes in Gaza City, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008.   (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
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(Newser) – Israel today rejected a 48-hour humanitarian truce designed to allow foreign aid into Gaza, CNN reports. Israeli officials said the deal, proposed by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, didn’t come with any assurances that Hamas would honor it. “The residents of the south of Israel must have a real and sustainable solution and not a Band-Aid,” a foreign ministry spokesman said.

Hamas, too, scoffed at the truce proposal, which it said “put the executioner and victim on equal footing.” More than 150 relief trucks were allowed into Gaza yesterday, but the situation remains dire, the UN’s relief commissioner said. “There's no fuel, there's no power plant, there's no electricity working now.” Hospitals have been depleted and “stretched to the maximum,” according to the Red Cross.