Israel suspends decision for Gaza ground offensive
A lull is not on the agenda despite talks between Israel and armed Palestinian groups. Despite talks on a proposed cease-fire, the Israeli army continues its raid on the Palestinian enclave. Seven Palestinians were killed as of the noon, according to the emergency services.
Since the launch of the Israeli "Pillar of Defense" operation on November 14,some 120 Palestinians were killed and some 920 injured, according to Palestinian medical sources. Meanwhile, at least one Israeli officer was wounded in southern Israel from a mortar fired by the Gaza groups. Hamas also launched a rocket towards Jerusalem.
Meanwhile, the Israeli government has decided to suspend a ground operation in the Gaza Strip, allowing more room for reaching a truce. "A decision was taken to suspend any proposed ground offensive to give a chance to successful diplomatic efforts," said a senior Israeli official.
This decision comes as the Secretary General of the Ban Ki-moon called from Cairo all parties to the conflict in Gaza "to immediately cease fire." "Any further escalation would jeopardize the entire region," he said during a press conference with the head of the Arab League Nabil al-Arabi.
In a related development, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will leave Phnom Penh on Tuesday to go to Israel, Egypt and Ramallah. She will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, and will discuss the crisis with officials in Egypt and Palestine.