QATAR NAMED AS POSSIBLE MEDIATOR IN ISREALI-HAMAS CONFLICT AFTER HAMAS REJECT'S EGYPT'S PLAN

Jul 15, 2014

By Jane Brown

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Hamas is rejecting an Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire after Israel accepted it earlier today.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is warning that Israel will intensify the Gaza campaign if Hamas continues to reject the ceasefire.  The Israeli military says it has resumed airstrikes on Gaza after Hamas militants violated a de-escalation brokered by Egypt.  Military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner says that after holding its fire for six hours Israel has “resumed operational activities.”  The military says that during the six hours Gaza militants fired about 50 rockets all over Israel. No injuries were reported.

Martin Himel is our correspondent in Israel.  He says possible mediation to end the week long conflict is tricky.  Hamas doesn’t trust Egypt and the Israeli’s don’t trust the Prime Minister of Turkey as a possible mediator.  “So that leaves countries like Qatar, which has great sympathy for Hamas, and yet in many respects, it does have some contact with Israel, and is the hosting nation for the biggest U.S. military base in the Persian Gulf.  So Qatar may be able to play that role but their leader is young and inexperienced so it remains to be seen.”

Israeli air strikes on targets in Gaza have led to the deaths of 192 Palestinians, while more than a thousand Hamas rockets fired from Gaza have caused no Israeli fatalities.

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