Kerry to propose weeklong Gaza truce

The truce would lead to negotiations between Gazan and Israeli officials.
By Ed Adamczyk  |  July 25, 2014 at 10:42 AM
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CAIRO, July 25 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry proposed a Gaza peace plan that includes a one-week truce, an official involved in negotiations said Friday in Cairo.

Assuming the truce held, talks between Palestinians and Israelis would then begin on economic and security issues. Other nations would be involved in the talks. Unresolved issues in the proposal involve whether Israeli military forces, now on the ground in Gaza, would retreat back to Israel during the truce. Khaled Meshal, political leader of Hamas, the militant organization controlling Gazan government, called for a humanitarian truce Wednesday after an Israeli strike on a United Nations school in Gaza used as temporary shelter for hundreds of refugee families. The Israeli cabinet was also expected to debate Kerry's proposal Friday.

Kerry has been involved in constant negotiations while in Cairo, and has had extensive phone conversations with leaders of Gaza and Israel, as well as his counterparts from Norway, Egypt, Qatar and Turkey. Qatar and Turkey have been Hamas supporters and appear to be intermediaries in the negotiations. Kerry expects to leave Friday, the Israeli news media said.

"He isn't here for an indefinite amount of time, and in the near future, he will determine whether there is a willingness to come to an agreement on a cease-fire," a senior State Department official said Thursday.

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