Wednesday, Dec 31, 2008
Israel mulled proposals for a truce to its Gaza offensive on Wednesday but ruled out any temporary halts, as jets pounded Hamas targets for a fifth day and the Islamists pummelled Israel with rockets.
Amid mushrooming protests around the globe, the world’s top diplomats scrambled to find a way to end one of Israel’s deadliest-ever offensives on Gaza that has so far killed at least 390 Palestinians.
The Israeli security cabinet convened in Tel Aviv to consider international proposals of a truce , with a senior government official telling AFP the Jewish state would not agree to a French offer of a 48-hour lull.
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“The proposition by the French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner for a unilateral temporary ceasefire is not useful as it is evident that Hamas will not stop firing rockets against Israel,” said the official on condition of anonymity.
A foreign ministry spokesman said that the Jewish state would only consider a permanent halt to its operation, under the condition that Hamas stops firing rockets and acquiring arms.