World Bulletin / News Desk
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Ramallah from Tel Aviv on Wednesday for talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas aimed at forging a ceasefire deal between Israel and Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip.
Kerry will return to Israel following his talks with Palestinian officials, Abbas' office said.
Kerry left Cairo early Wednesday for Tel Aviv for talks aimed at reaching a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip between Palestinian factions and Israel.
During his three-day visit in Egypt, Kerry held talks with Egyptian officials on the situation in Gaza and efforts to reach a ceasefire in the Palestinian territory. He also met with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Arab League Chief Nabil al-Arabi.
Cairo has been abuzz with diplomatic efforts aimed at reviving an Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire between Gaza-based Palestinian factions and Israel.
On Tuesday, Kerry said that the Egyptian proposal would be the "framework" for a ceasefire between Palestinian factions and Israel.
"There is a framework... to end the violence, and that framework is the Egyptian initiative," Kerry said at a joint news conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.
Cairo presented its ceasefire proposal last week amid a raging Israeli military offensive against the Gaza Strip, which has left at least 644 Palestinians dead – mostly civilians – since it began on July 7 with the stated aim of staunching Palestinian rocket fire.
Egypt, which shares a border with both the Gaza Strip and Israel, has long played a mediating role between Israel and Palestinian factions.
But its relations with Hamas have deteriorated since the ouster of elected president Mohamed Morsi by the army last summer.
Earlier this year, an Egyptian court banned Hamas – an ideological offshoot of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood group – from operating in the country.
KERRY CALLS ABBAS
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas received late Tuesday a phone call from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry as part of U.S. contacts to push towards a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.
During the conversation, Abbas and Kerry discussed the latest efforts aiming to restore calm in the Gaza Strip, including an Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire between Gaza-based Palestinian resistance factions and Israel, Palestinian Wafa news agency reported.
Israel's ongoing operation, dubbed "Operation Protective Edge," is the self-proclaimed Jewish state's third major offensive against the densely-populated Gaza Strip – which is home to some 1.8 million Palestinians – within the last six years.
In 2008/9, over 1500 Palestinians were killed in Israel's three-week-long "Operation Cast Lead."Güncelleme Tarihi: 24 Temmuz 2014, 10:10