Israeli/Palestinian Conflict

Truce Goes Into Effect Amid Clashes…….

“The Truce” is on….but it’s almost assured that the Hamas will be allowing the various terror groups operating in the areas under its control, to continue to rearm themselves with more weapons and ammunition during the next six months.

It’s been seen and done before, so the outcome this time around should reflect what has transpired in in times past, the Hamas feigns ignorance while their terrorist cohorts are more than happy to serve in the role of terrorists by proxy. And it’s not unlikely that the “proxies for terror” will even get a stipend from the Hamas for their efforts as well.

Gaza City, 19 June (AKI)Israeli armed forces clashed against Palestinian militants hours before Israel and the Islamist movement Hamas began a truce on Thursday. Six Palestinian militants belonging to the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, the al-Quds Brigades were injured in a series of airstrikes by Israeli forces before the ceasefire came into effect on Thursday, reported Palestinian news agency Maan.Islamic Jihad militants said they shelled an Israeli kibbutz in response, while a Qassam rocket landed on a house in the town of Sderot in southern Israel causing minor damage.

Under the ceasefire agreement, Gaza’s blockade will be eased to allow basic supplies into the Strip and talks are expected to intensify regarding the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, kidnapped in 2006.The truce, or ‘tahadiyeh’ is expected to last for six months and calls for a halt to all military offensive operations by Israel and a pledge by the Islamist movement Hamas to stop attacks against Israel by Palestinian militants.

Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the announced cessation of violence relating to Israel and the Gaza Strip.“The Secretary-General hopes that these efforts will both provide security and an easing of the humanitarian situation in Gaza, and end rocket and mortar attacks against Israeli targets,” Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement.“He also hopes that this cessation of violence will lead to a controlled and sustained opening of the Gaza crossings for humanitarian and commercial purposes.”

One development tied to the other:

Remarks by Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni following the EU-Israel Association Council meetingLuxembourg, 16 June 2008

This is a special day for me as Foreign Minister of the State of Israel. Today, we mark a new phase in the relationship between Israel and the EU. And, for me, it is a special honor to do so in the year that we celebrate 60 years since Israel´s independence.

The time is ripe for concluding the discussion on deepening our relations and cooperation with the intention of establishing additional foundations for the future. I am pleased that at the end of a year of deliberations we are able to convene here in Luxembourg and to declare that Israel and the European Union have decided to upgrade their relations. I believe that the upgrading of our relations benefits us both, and opens a new phase in the growing and deepening ties between Israel and the EU.

I know that the decision was not easy and I appreciate the open and serious discussion you have had on this issue with us and between yourself. This is the culmination of a process I launched here over a year ago, together with the EU leadership, and under the German presidency, to upgrade our relationship – and it also marks a new beginning.

It is clear that Israel and Europe share the same values and the same interests. The political dialogue between us has improved substantially both in quantity and in frequency. Today we have decided to upgrade our relationship even further in various fields including: political, economic, scientific, legal, cultural, education, counterterrorism and much more.

Israel and Europe also share many of the same challenges, especially in our region. I want to take this opportunity to express our appreciation for the key role the EU plays as a Quartet member in relation to the peace process. This includes EU support for the Annapolis process, for capacity building in the Palestinian Authority, and for taking a firm and clear stand against the extremists and the enemies of peace, including Hamas and Iran.

Finally, I want to thank Foreign Minister Rupel of Slovenia, High Representative Javier Solana and Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner for their leadership and for a successful Association Council meeting – in which we mark an important milestone in EU-Israel relations.

Thank you.

It’s further proof that Israel wants to end the conflict, though I doubt that the IslamOsupremacists in the Palestinian’s camp will be very much interested in allowing them to do so. *L* KGS

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