Israel-Gaza conflict: US seeks Arab ally to broker ceasefire
The US is signalling that it is looking for ways to broker an urgent ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, amid growing concern about a possible Israeli ground offensive in the coming days.
The message was relayed personally by President Barack Obama to Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, late on Thursday. While the US could not be seen to be engaging directly with leaders of Hamas, which it designates a terrorist organisation, it may seek an intermediary in the region, as Hillary Clinton did with Egypt when brokering a ceasefire in 2012.
“The United States remains prepared to facilitate a cessation of hostilities, including a return to the November 2012 ceasefire agreement,” Mr Obama reportedly told Mr Netanyahu in a phone call, adding that he also urged restraint from both sides.
He and Mr Netanyahu share a difficult relationship, however, and there was little sign yesterday of Israel at any rate paying the White House much attention. Officials in Washington indicated that the US was again looking to Egypt, possibly to wield influence on Hamas to stop its rocket attacks on Israel. Should Egypt demur, Washington might turn to Qatar or perhaps Turkey.
The Israelis “know we have been in touch with Egypt and Qatar”, one US official said.
Video: Israel continues air raids on Gaza
In a diplomatic blow to Israel, meanwhile, the UN human rights head, Navi Pillay, said she harboured concerns that its counter-barrage of missiles into Gaza since Tuesday may be against international law forbidding the targeting of civilians. She urged both sides to respect the rules of war. “We have received deeply disturbing reports that many of the civilian casualties, including of children, occurred as a result of strikes on homes.
“Such reports raise serious doubt about whether the Israeli strikes have been in accordance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law,” Ms Pillay, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said.
She urged Hamas not to place military assets in residential areas or launch rockets from areas filled with civilians.
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
- 1 Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies after injuring spine doing somersault celebration
- 2 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 3 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming that the street artist's identity has been revealed
- 4 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 5 Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
London bus driver allegedly kicks gay couple off for kissing
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
£80 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Year 5 Teacher KS2 teaching job...
£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Pensions Scheme After 6 Months: Clearwater People So...
£35000 - £37000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Busines...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Senior Change ...