World
Kerry travels to Cairo calling for 'immediate ceasefire'
Publish Date: Jul 21, 2014
Kerry travels to Cairo calling for 'immediate ceasefire'
US Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Cairo early Monday for crisis talks on Gaza
  • mail
  • img
newvision

WASHINGTON - US Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Cairo early Monday for crisis talks on Gaza, following President Barack Obama's call for an "immediate ceasefire" between Israelis and Palestinians.

The US top diplomat is scheduled to meet with senior officials from Egypt and other countries, the State Department said, in a bid to halt a blistering land, sea and air assault that has sent thousands of terrified civilians fleeing their homes.

Kerry will seek "an immediate cessation of hostilities based on a return to the November 2012 ceasefire agreement," the White House said, stressing the need to protect civilian life both "in Gaza and in Israel."

According to the State Department, Kerry supports Egypt's initiative to bring about a ceasefire. His visit to the region comes in parallel with a high-profile peace mission by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Obama spoke Sunday by telephone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to express his "serious concern" after more than 100 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers were killed in the bloodiest day since the Gaza offensive was launched.


h


Palestinian families flee their homes in Gaza's eastern Shejaiya district after heavy Israeli shelling

As more human remains are pulled from the rubble, the Palestinian death toll had risen to 501 by Monday, the fifth day of the Israeli ground operation.

Kerry's high-stakes trip came as US media reported that two American members of the Israeli Defense Force were killed in Gaza fighting.

The State Department said two US citizens were killed in Gaza violence, but did not immediately disclose their occupations.

Obama decries rising death toll

During their second call in three days, Obama and Netanyahu "discussed Israel's ongoing military operation," including "the loss of Israeli soldiers," the White House added.

Obama "raised serious concern about the growing number of casualties, including increasing Palestinian civilian deaths in Gaza and the loss of Israeli soldiers," the White House said.

The US leader also condemned attacks by Hamas and "reaffirmed Israel's right to defend itself."


Ron Prosor, Israel's Ambassador to the UN speaks to the media outside the Security Council chambers at UN headquarters in New York as an emergency closed door meeting of the Security Council about the situation in Gaza was called


Many civilians have been caught in the exchange of fire between Israel and Palestine. (AFP)

"The president underscored that the United States will work closely with Israel and regional partners on implementing an immediate ceasefire, and stressed the need to protect civilians -- in Gaza and in Israel."

Kerry on Sunday did the rounds on the influential US television political talk shows, with Netanyahu also appearing on two of the TV programs.

Just before Kerry's 0515 GMT Monday departure from Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington, the UN Security Council deplored the mounting death toll in Gaza and appealed for an immediate ceasefire.

Meeting for two hours at an emergency session, the 15-member Council called for the respect of international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians.

In a statement, the Council threw its support behind Egypt's bid to broker a truce as well as the peace mission by the UN's Ban, who is due in Kuwait on Monday before heading to Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian West Bank.

Egypt, which has been a mediator in previous Israel-Hamas conflicts, had proposed a halt to the fighting but Hamas rejected the initiative saying it had not been consulted. Israel initially accepted Cairo's plan.

Hamas has laid out a set of conditions, including the lifting of Israel's eight-year blockade on Gaza, the opening of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt and the release of scores of prisoners Israel re-arrested in recent weeks.

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
US airstrikes kill Qaeda fighters in Syria
US-led air strikes killed 30 Al-Qaeda militants and eight civilians, including children, in northern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said...
Ebola cases to triple to 20,000 by November - WHO
THE number of Ebola infections will triple to 20,000 by November, soaring by the thousands every week if efforts are not significantly stepped up to stop the outbreak...
Islam has been tarnished by "forces of darkness" and Saudi Arabia should do more to protect its youth from violent extremism....
Ukraine says won
Ukraine''s military said Sunday it would not pull back its troops from the frontline until all sides abide by a ceasefire under the terms of a new peace plan....
Two Iranians held in Kenya amid terror alert
AUTHORITIES in Kenya say they have arrested two men believed to be Iranian nationals transiting through the East African nation on fake passports...
Queen urges unity after Scotland votes
Queen Elizabeth II has called for "mutual respect" among Scots following a divisive campaign in a referendum that saw Scotland reject independence from the UK....
Do you think installing CCTV cameras in public places will help in the fight against terrorism?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter