Egypt Still Negotiating Temporary Truce

Ad Feedback - JERUSALEM, Israel - While Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman's efforts to secure a truce in the Gaza Strip is increasingly less likely, Israel supports his continuing efforts.

Defense officials said Monday it's important for Egypt to understand that Israel is not responsible for the failure.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister and Labor party chairman Ehud Barak told his fellow laborites Monday that Israel and Hamas are on a crash course.

Barak said that whether Egypt's mediation efforts succeeded or failed, sooner or later the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) would have to launch a major operation in the Gaza Strip.

"Fighting is taking place [in Gaza] daily, without a stop," Barak said. "I don't know if we will have a confrontation or a [temporary] cease-fire," he said. "I ask those who want to hurry up and launch a wide-scale operation, wouldn't it be worthwhile to exhaust negotiations [first]," he asked.

"The Egyptians are not just mediators sent by the United Nations, since they also have an interest in the matter," he said.

"Our demands are clear: an end to the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip and that Hamas stops its military buildup in Gaza," the defense minister said.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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