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Israel rejects Kerry Gaza ceasefire proposal
Published Friday 25/07/2014 (updated) 26/07/2014 23:40
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Israeli soldiers evacuate their wounded comrades at an army deployment
area near the Gaza Strip on July 23, 2014 (AFP/File Jack Guez)
GAZA CITY (AFP) -- Israel on Friday rejected a Gaza ceasefire proposal presented by US Secretary of State John Kerry, Israeli public television said.

"The security cabinet has unanimously rejected the ceasefire proposal of Kerry, as it stands," Channel 1 said, adding ministers would keep discussing it.

Kerry met UN chief Ban Ki-moon and Egypt's foreign minister on Friday as pressure mounted for a ceasefire to end an 18-day conflict that has killed more than 800 Palestinians and 38 people on the Israeli side, 35 of them soldiers.

Israeli media reported Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government demanded the army be allowed to continue destroying tunnels used by the Palestinian group Hamas to carry out attacks inside Israel.

Kerry's proposal reportedly involved an initial truce to be followed by negotiations on a final deal by delegations from all the parties.

Hamas, the main power in Gaza, previously rejected an initial ceasefire proposal, demanding a full settlement before it stopped shooting, but international mediation efforts have gathered pace in the past few days.

Kerry, who spent another night in Cairo reaching out by telephone to regional officials, met Ban and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri for around half an hour.

He later went into a one-on-one meeting with Ban, who has also been shuttling around the region.

Kerry had said he would speak to reporters late on Friday.

Ma'an staff contributed to this report.
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1 ) Billy Bragg / UK
25/07/2014 22:06
First Israel military needs to pull those terror tunnels apart, then bring in the engineers and the IDF bulldozers and excavate the layers of the Hamas military wing command and control centers built underneath the evacuated the Shifa hospital. Israel has only destroyed 170 terror targets , they need to expand that action and double or triple the number of Hamas' destroyed targets. And then Israel will talk about a humanitarian cease fire.

2 ) JoeFattal / USA
25/07/2014 22:30
So Israel accepted Egypt ceasefire proposal, and now refuse to accept Kerrys proposal. I guess Egypt came with a better deal than Kerry. I think the US need to dump Israel and get themselves another girfriend. But in a way no one really cares if Israel accept it or not, the UN can impose a mandatory ceasefire if they have too and place UN peace officers on the ground, but than Israel like to shoot at them so that might not work.

3 ) gabi / australia
26/07/2014 04:15
. . . but . . but . . . but . . . doesn't Israel repeatedly bleat about their wish for peace but the Palestinians won't come to the table? Ruthless hypocrites.
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