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Monday, January 12, 2009

Cease Fire

The Next Century Foundation adds its voice to calls for an immediate cease fire between the Palestinian Authority and the State of Israel. The NCF is concerned at the real possibility that current events in Gaza, of themselves profoundly saddening, may soon spiral towards a wider Middle East war in the absence of a cease-fire. The key elements to be delivered in a cease-fire are:

FROM ISRAEL - The return of access for incoming trucks to pre-closure levels.

FROM THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY - No rockets.

These were the key elements of the failed six month cease-fire that expired on December 19th.

The NCF has a valid permit to travel to Gaza and will do so shortly as part of its continuing program of Gaza visits to promote the severely fragmented Middle East Peace Process. The prayers and efforts of all people of goodwill are needed for all those caught up in the current war. Even in the event that an early cease-fire is reached and there is no wider regional war, this current Gaza war will have a severe impact on future relations between the USA and the Arab and Muslim world.

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NOTE: The terms of commitment under the cease-fire that expired on December 19th are below (we reproduce the full text of the agreement).

Ceasefire Understanding between Hamas and Israel
as Mediated by Egypt


1- Mutual agreement to cease all military activities by the start of “zero hour” on Thursday, June 19, at 6:00AM.

2- Duration of ceasefire is six months according to agreement concluded among the national parties under Egyptian auspices.

3- Ceasefire will be implemented under national consensus and under the Egyptian auspices.

4- After seventy two hours from the start of the ceasefire, the crossing points will be opened to allow 30% more goods to enter the Gaza strip.

5- Ten days after that (i.e., 13 days after ceasefire begins), all crossings would be open between Gaza and Israel, and Israel will allow the transfer of all goods that were banned or restricted to go into Gaza.

6- Egypt will work to expand the ceasefire into the West Bank later.

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