Egypt's new government has proposed a cease-fire in the newest Israel-Hamas conflict that has left over 180 people dead. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry announced a plan that calls for a multi-step approach:
- Israel would stop all air, land and sea hostilities on the Gaza Strip — with guarantees that there will be no ground invasion or targeting of civilians.
- Hamas and other Palestinian factions within Gaza would stop all hostilities towards Israel, with guarantees that there will be no targeting of Israeli civilians.
- Those two steps would be followed by the opening of border crossings and talks in Cairo between the sides.
The cessation of hostilities would go into effect at 6 a.m. Tuesday, the ministry said.
Secretary of State John Kerry was considering going to the region from Vienna but now will likely return home to wait and see if the cease-fire proposal gains traction.
Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, said the group had not received an official cease-fire proposal, and he repeated its position that demands it has made must be met before it lays down its weapons.
"Such a proposal was not presented to us so that we can study and it, and therefore it does not commit us to doing anything," he said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu planned to convene his decision-making security cabinet on Tuesday to discuss the proposed truce, an Israeli official said.
Following the announcement, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, "we welcome Egypt's call for a cease-fire and hope this will lead to the restoration of calm as soon as possible."
— Andrea Mitchell in D.C. and Ayman Mohyeldin in Gaza
First published July 14 2014, 2:32 PM