Cease-Fire in Gaza Must Be Durable, Sustainable

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
January 7, 2009
Israeli Soldiers Walk Past Armored Vehicles Near Gaza Border

VIEW VIDEO | Full Text

Yesterday, Secretary Rice delivered remarks on Gaza at the United Nations Security Council. Secretary Rice said:

"The United States is, of course, deeply concerned about the situation in Gaza, which is clearly worsening. We have been working around the clock to try and end the violence there. The ongoing attacks against Israel and the decision that Hamas made not to respect the previous period of calm shows us that when this ends there must be new arrangements in place, not a return to the status quo ante. It is imperative that any ceasefire is durable and sustainable, and that it ensures the safety and security of Israelis and Palestinians alike.

The situation before the current events in Gaza was clearly not sustainable. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis lived under the daily threat of rocket attack, and frankly, no country, none of our countries, would have been willing to tolerate such a circumstance. Moreover, the people of Gaza watched as insecurity and lawlessness increased and as their living conditions grew more dire because of Hamas’s actions which began with the illegal coup against the Palestinian Authority in Gaza.

A ceasefire that returns to those circumstances is unacceptable and it will not last. We need urgently to conclude a ceasefire that can endure and that can bring real security. This would begin a period of true calm that includes an end to rocket, mortar, and other attacks on Israelis, and allows for the cessation of Israel’s military offensive. And it must include also an end to the smuggling into Gaza and a reopening of crossings so that Palestinians can benefit from humanitarian goods and basic supplies. The November 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access provides a basis for the reopening of these crossings.

We must find a way, with the consent and full cooperation of likeminded governments, to prevent any arms or explosives from entering Gaza, and the tunnel systems that have allowed rearmament of Hamas must be prevented from reopening.

Our goal must be the stabilization and normalization of life in Gaza. This will require a principled resolution of the political challenges in Gaza that reestablishes ultimately the Palestinian Authority’s legitimate control and facilitates the normal operation of all crossings. The November 26 Arab League statement will serve as an important guide in these efforts, efforts that are led by Egypt.

And the international community should adopt an intensive reconstruction initiative, perhaps through a donors conference, that would complement the efforts of the Palestinian Authority in Gaza. Because the Palestinian Authority actually devotes 58 percent of its budget to Gaza, there should be an effort to reconstruct Gaza.

As we strive for a ceasefire, the United States remains deeply concerned about innocent Palestinians and Israelis who are suffering. In that regard, let me assure you that we understand the urgency of an end to the fighting and that we are working around the clock to bring it into being. In this regard, we are pleased by and wish to commend the statement of president – the president of Egypt and to follow up on that initiative.

But we also are very concerned about the humanitarian situation in Gaza. I have had from people on the ground, American partners on the ground, detailed reports about the difficult circumstances in Gaza. I have discussed these in detail with Prime Minister Olmert and with Foreign Minister Livni, and the prime minister has informed me that as of tomorrow Israel will open a humanitarian corridor so that there can be some relief for the people of Gaza. This is something that we will follow up on, but we will also help you, Mr. Secretary General, to follow up on this through UNRWA because the problem, as I understand it, is that even if goods get into Gaza, it is not possible to distribute them within Gaza. And so the United States will actively work to relieve this circumstance. Moreover, the United States, which has already provided in the last year $85 million for humanitarian work in Gaza, will contribute more emergency aid if that is needed."Read the Secretary's full statement here. You may also read about U.S. Government support for humanitarian assistance activities in Gaza.

Comments

Comments

Joe
|
Tennessee, USA
January 7, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

Without realizing the total effect of the combined efforts of these underlying countries who support and create conflict through small ideological groups and eliminating that problem, there will be more Gaza type conflicts throughout the world...and more stories and pictures to sell.

To be honest, short of an International representation of rebuilding and being present in Gaza to latterly, hold hands with the peaceful and have an independent Armed Force (NATO) to enforce without hesitation and eliminate any problematic conflict, there is no solution.

Hamas has stood by its Charter of: Death over life in mutual existence with an Israeli State?and that is a repeated quote by ALL HAMAS LEADERSHIP?

Even in the 1940s: Chicago gangster mentality broke down when Lansky enforced peace; because without peace: Nobody makes any money.

So, the answer to the question is to find out who is profiting from the conflict and solve that problem?. It aint rocket science people -- just common sense.

Syrian P.
|
Syria
January 8, 2009

SNP in Syria writes:

Back to old tricks for Hamas. They will just go underground with a dozen new martyrs brigade names blowing themselves up in the bus tops the middle of Tel Aviv causing nightmarish havoc. That will blow any chance for that PLO terrorist Org of reaching any agreement on rule with the Zionists. Back to square one, better off keeping them ruling in Gaza and held accountable. Now, who will be held to responsibility, Abu whatever? It is a loosing battle for Zionists. Should have opted for Transylvania and left the Hebrew alone to have a decent exemplary State in Palestine.

John
|
Austria
January 8, 2009

John in Austria writes:

The lack of action by the U.S. (my) government in Gaza amounts to criminal negligence and complicity in war crimes (and not for the first time). Our government feigns interest but remains completely indifferent to the suffering of the Palestinian people, who are living under catastophal conditions. The notion that Hamas is somehow responsible for Israeli shelling of schools and humanitarian aid convoys is revolting, and further evidence that neither the current American President nor his secretary of state take the slightest interest in this human suffering. I am not ashamed to be an American but I am deeply ashamed of my government.

Annie
|
District Of Columbia, USA
January 8, 2009

Annie in Washington, DC writes:

What a beautiful photograph! A big thank you to Dipnote for coverage of this issue.

Ron
|
New York, USA
January 8, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

USG empowered Hamas.

Hamas took military action.

Now they must be eliminated.

It's really that clear and simple.

The world can no longer tolerate bad behavior

and world leaders must stop trying to buy time by supporting

and appeasing bad actors.

We are in a new millennium....it requires integrity,
transparancy, and a global ethic.

Take responsibility; stop self-delusion.

ibtissam
|
United States
January 9, 2009

Ibtissam in U.S.A. writes:

The Israelis feel the moral and criminal sin they commited and they don't want to see their victim (the Palestinians) constantly reminding them of their immorality, so Israel is not only bent on stealing the whole land but also wiping out every trace of the owner of this land. Israeli prisons have 12,000 palestinians, Israel is famous for its massacres of the civilians-Dair Yassin, Quana, Sabrah and Shatila, Jenin, Jabalia are just an example and now Gaza. When Golda Maeir was asked what she would do with the Palestinians, she said:"what Palestinians?"

I am a Gazan who at age 5 saw the same terror Gazan children are living today. Israeli soldiers came to our house, my sister and i hid behind a cabinet, a soldier came with his rifle pointed at us, terrorizing us, everything and everyone around us. Any one with half of their mental power knows the injustice done to our people and judging from the anger at Israel around the world it is clear that more and more the State of Israel is isolated, hated and condemned. The U.S. cannot and should not continue to play this shameful role of spporter to an illegal and racist entity. All the aid to Israel should stop, it is money spent in the wrong place for immoral reasons. The Americans are more deserving of the billions of dollars, especially now. Would any one explain to me why $400 billion was sent to Israel ahead of the lehman bank collapse? Was it to prepare for this ongoing sensless war on the civilian Gazans?

Ms. Rice wants the rockets to stop firing on the settlement, well, demand of Israel to disarm and stop the use of illegal weapons against an imprisoned and impoverished people and Hamas will then stop the rockets. The Palestinians WILL NOT give up their right to fight the occupation even if they have a million of them killed. America should work to implement the ideals they believe in, freedom and justice not only on this continent, but all over the globe. As for the humanitarian aid,we would like it to be full of humanity, We don't want to feel like beggers, offered the aid while being slaughtered. We can do without it, just rid us of our "prison guards", rid us of the siege, leave us alone!!!!

sam
|
Illinois, USA
January 10, 2009

Sam in Virginia writes:

Yesterday I went to my favorite Lebanese restaurant after work. The owner and I spoke while my dish was being prepared. He wondered why the Arabs were still using the United Nations as a mediator for conflict resolution. I agreed with him paid for my food and left. The UN has had a really abysmal record lately. The evacuation from Eritrea and the reduction of peacekeepers in Darfur leads me to believe the organization can no longer implement its mandates. With the global economic meltdown in full swing it will become harder for the UN to raise enough money to support its outpost/mandates. The UN called for an immediate cease fire in Gaza and both sides continue to kill each other. This organization might be as useless as Ambassador Bolton says. Lessons learned; if you don't have shooters on the ground; if you can't cut off a gas pipeline or swindle people out of $50 billion dollars then you don't have the clout to do anything! Ibtissam what was your source for the $400 billion transfer to Israel statement. An amount that large would not be used for the invasion of Gaza but for something larger like an attack on Iran. A Hamas leader will make a statement in a few hours so let's keep our fingers crossed that violence will not increase. Last week I mention the Sirius Star and Lloyds of London. This week both made the news. Wow!

http://www.france24.com/en/20090110-lloyds-tsb-pay-us-350-million-sancti...
http://www.france24.com/en/20090110-supertanker-crew-safe-after-somali-p...

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
January 10, 2009

Donald in Virginia writes:

Peace, Goodwill and being Nice to one another on earth!

"These wars only accomplish more deaths, more bloodshed and more hate amoung people. I said it once, I will say it again..."Why can't we all get along with each other on earth? Is it so hard for people to accept everyone is different? Is it hard for the People of Gaza to accept the Jews in Israel?" or the Jews accept the people of Gaza?

Enough all ready... Everyone around the world should be praying that both sides will end the war. Peace can happen between them. A higher calling would be when both sides can see "eye to eye" without using violence to destroy each other.

Casualties of war is a serious matter - People are being used as human shields. People are making homemade rockets but only to destroy human life. What people should be doing is appreciating life, making every effort to establish peace and end the fighting.

What was that favorite tv show..."Mr. Rogers" who always said, "Are you a good neighbor?" When neighbors cannot even live together in peace without having to resort to violence is just plain wrong. I believe both sides needs to come together and talk to each other like human beings. God created everyone!

The land will never be owned by Arabs nor be owned by Jews. It will always be God's country. Who are we to dictate who is right or who is wrong. The point is everyone should agree to Peace and find solutions to this problem. You cannot destroy what does not belong to you!

My prayers are with Peace and end the violence. The victims in this tradegy should be showered with blessings from God. In our hearts and minds Peace can be reached between both sides. The Leaders of both need to control it's people and find a method of communications that works for everyone!

Another total recall, "bad programming" if everyone just accepted and respected everyone, we wouldn't have these problems on earth!

sam
|
Illinois, USA
January 12, 2009

Sam in Virginia writes:

@ Donald, Sir what text are you using when you make a statement like; it will always be GOD's country? Are you referencing the Torah, New Testament or the Koran?

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus%2019:4-6;&version=45;

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=joel%203:2;&version=45;

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
January 12, 2009

Donald in Virginia writes:

12 January 09

@ Sam in Virginia -- Since my belief is Baptist and I believe using the King James reference,yes your right Isreal was promised the land but if you truly think about it, God created the land, God promised the land and in the end it's still his land. We only live to about 120 maximum years if very lucky on earth but the land is God's country. The holiest of all land is there. The birth of Christ and yet this is where all the turmoil on earth exists for generations. I don't use the torah or the koran, I use the holy bible.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
January 15, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

God is not a real estate broker.

And sure as heck isn't my landlord.

Realizing this has been like grasping a bright pearl in a pile of feces.

The promised land is within us, such is our potential to create reality.

As anyone knows who's witnessed the birth of one's children.

The milk and honey of creativity, are the gifts bestowed upon us.

Choose wisely their manifestation, lest they become beasts of burden.

sam
|
Illinois, USA
January 16, 2009

Sam writes:

Three straight days of bizarre events! The UN Secretary-General is in the Middle East, the Israeli Prime Minister is in Washington DC, outgoing speeches and appearances by President Bush; and last but not least, the perfect plane crash to distract everyone. What is really going on? Who is Tzipi Livni speaking with? What arrangements or deal is she trying to cut and why? Is she talking to Secretary Rice (State Department); Barack Obama (Blair House) or George Bush (White House)? Why is Secretary -General Moon in the Holy Land after repeated calls for a cease fire have gone UN heeded? Joel Rosenberg distributes flash traffic email from his NOVA office. This week he interviewed BiBi. Netanyahu has spoken with President elect Obama in the past about how Israel deals with Hamas. I have taken the liberty to cut and paste small part of the email I received and paste it here: He was asked if he thought Hamas was holding out for the new administration of Barack Obama, hoping that Obama would put new pressure on Israel to stop fighting and accepting a potentially premature cease fire.

"I do remember Mr. Obama visited Sderot not long ago and said something to the effect that, 'If my two girls lived in a home that was rocketed by terrorists, I would do everything in my power to stop it.'" He added, "I think the U.S. has an interest in stopping terrorists wherever they are."

Netanyahu said the biggest threat Israel faces is not from Hamas, or even from Hezbollah, but from Radical Islamic terrorists or states possessing nuclear weapons. He described Iran acquiring such weapons of mass destruction as a "nightmare scenario," along with militant Islamists seizing control of Pakistan. Though he did not lay out how he would approach the Iran crisis should he be elected Prime Minister, he strongly hinted that time is running out and that the West had to take decisive action before it is too late.

Wow that's good stuff!!

Anyway @ Donald, Leviticus 25:23 tells us that we are but aliens and tenants in GODS land. I wonder does this statement include everyone that lives on earth. You can't take the land with you when you die. When I die my houses will still be in South Texas and the land will still belong to GOD. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=leviticus%2025:%2021-25;&ver...
http://www.france24.com/en/20090116-rice-sign-gaza-deal-livni-israel-smu...

Last year an administrative notice came out saying that all international treaties have to be approved by the House and the Senate. Can this MOU be approved in an emergency session before Tuesday?? Wow this really is a great time to be alive. Two years ago former Israeli Ambassador Freddy Eytan came to our Church on a Wednesday night for Q&A and to sell his book (Sharon, A life in times of turmoil). This Church is predominantly African American but you can't tell that from the outside looking in. There is a replica of the Wall outside the Church. Anyway, Ambassador Eytan quotes Beaumarchais in his book; Politics is the art of creating facts, in order to control -- and toy with -- events and people. How true, how true.
http://www.france24.com/en/20090116-iranian-nuclear-programme-has-no-civ...

Renato
|
Switzerland
January 17, 2009

Renato in Switzerland writes:

The sad truth is, that what the U.S. understands as "sustainable and durable" is always going to the debit of the Palestinian people. It is very obvious that the US, due to the fact that it's "governed and paid" by an influencial zionistic society, will never seriously work on a balanced solution and equal rights for both, Israel and the Palestinians. Israel could kill 10'000 children and women, the US would always vote against any UN resolution condemning Israel! It is not anymore about the right to exist for Israel (which no one disagrees) or Palestine -- its about a massakre on innocent women and children and the U.S. is once more not taking position to put the agressor into its barriers. As long as the U.S. does not clearly condemn Israels actions, Israel feels very confident of what they are doing -- and the Foreign office, the US president and the president-elect now this exactly.

It is very sad; even the president elect, Mr. Barak Obama, does not clearly take position agains the latest massakre the Israeli are doing. Obviously, its one thing to stand for equal rights of Black and White -- but it is something very differenct to stand for equal rights and humanity when it concerns Israeli and Arab. "Yes we can"? -- this already failed.

.

Latest Stories

December 16, 2009

"Kilimo Kwanza"

Writing for the U.S. Department of State DipNote blog, Ambassador Ertharin Cousin recounts her visit to Tanzania, where she saw… more

Pages