Thanks for checking in on my Blog. Here's the latest overall view on our situation here for you today.
It seems now that we have rounded a corner in Israel's action in Gaza. After the threshold of 1,000 Palestinians killed and nearing 5,000 wounded – with 1/3 of both those figures being children – and 100,000 people displaced, the international pressure is such that Israel is now considering a one week “humanitarian ceasefire”.
This is not coming without contention though. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has reportedly ignored the demands by his Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni for a ceasefire.
He allegedly is convinced that the military operation in Gaza has yet to achieve its 'goals'. Defense Minister Barak has proposed to stop the air strikes and hold the ground troops in place in return for negotiations on an improved accord.
Mrs. Livni, as Israel's Foreign Minister is feeling the blunt force of the International Community and international aid organizations to stop Israel's action. The IDF's shelling today of a hospital, the Foreign Press Associations office, and the UN headquarter compound all in Gaza City is going to raise the temperature to a boiling point diplomatically the world over. But while talk is going on in the hall ways and offices of governmental buildings, the IDF advances inward to the populace of Gaza.
With UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon here today Israel's end plan at the moment is this;
Israel is still awaiting Egyptian commitment to halt arms smuggling from it's territory into Gaza and is formulating scenario to end it's military operation. This would be:
1. A temporary ceasefire with troops stopping their advance. 2. Completion of the current understandings with Egypt to prevent entrance of arms from what is called the Philadelphia Route along Gaza's southern border with Egypt. 3. A formal ceasefire and then the withdrawal of IDF ground troops. 4. Lastly, discussions on the opening of crossings – the instigator in this conflict.
There is a growing sense it seems, that Israel wants a ceasefire before Mr. Barak Obama's Presidential inauguration next week.
Therefore this day, there really is the sense that the pressure is increasing on the Israelis to stop – and it shows.