Hillary Clinton holds talks in Jerusalem in attempt to broker ceasefire
Israeli air strikes continued to pound the Gaza Strip and Palestinian rockets hit across the border as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton carried out talks in Jerusalem on Wednesday morning, in search of a truce that can prevent Israel’s ground troops from advancing into Gaza.
Egypt’s new Islamist government is leading the talks and claimed that a ceasefire may become a reality by late Tuesday between Israel and Hamas. However, by the time Clinton met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, it was obvious the peaceful solution to the violence may still take some time to reach.
Hamas leaders in Cairo blamed the Jewish state with failing to react positively to proposals and said an announcement on holding fire would not come before Wednesday.
As Clinton landed in Israel after nightfall, the country was continuing its bombardment from air and sea.
After seven days of fighting that have killed over 130 Palestinians and five Israelis, the international community is desperate to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.
Following talks with Israel’s Netanyahu, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promised to the PM a “rock-solid” US support for Israel’s security, spoke of seeking a “durable outcome” and of Egypt’s “responsibility” for endorsing peace.
“In the days ahead, the United States will work with our partners here in Israel and across the region toward an outcome that bolsters security for the people of Israel, improves conditions for the people of Gaza and moves toward a comprehensive peace for all people of the region,” Clinton said.
“It is essential to de-escalate the situation in Gaza. The rocket attacks from terrorist organisations inside Gaza on Israeli cities and towns must end and a broader calm restored,” she said.
Clinton travelled to the West Bank on Wednesday morning where she met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to talk about the crisis.