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PM Olmert. Seeking int'l forces in Gaza
Photo: AP
Israel examining int'l treaty to isolate Hamas
US promoting initiative for ceasefire treaty that would be forced on Hamas. Olmert says Israel will agree to offer only if all rocket fire and terror emanating from Gaza stop, military buildup is halted and international forces enter Strip

The United States has launched an international effort, which includes Israel, Egypt and the Palestinians, to formulate a ceasefire agreement that would neutralize Hamas' influence in the region, diplomatic sources in Jerusalem reported Sunday night.

 

The move will be carried out with the support of the international community.

 

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert spoke Sunday with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Quartet's Mideast Envoy Tony Blair, to discuss the possibility of promoting such a treaty.

 

According to Olmert, Israel is interested in a ceasefire agreement that would bring to an isolation of Hamas and include the following conditions: A stop to the rocket fire and the terror emanating from Gaza, as well as to Hamas' military buildup, and the deployment of international forces in the Gaza Strip to enforce the implementation of a truce.

 

The release of Gilad Shalit will also be stipulated as one of Israel's terms for a halt to the fighting as part of any future agreement.

 

A senior source in Jerusalem said Sunday: "After Israel launched the ground incursion, the world realized it must wake up and abide by the conditions set by Israel.

 

"Contrary to the empty moves initiated by various countries, including the humanitarian ceasefire initiative promoted by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, the American initiative is based on the agreement of the four elements that surround the only geographical territory in the world that is ruled by a terrorist entity – Gaza."

 

The official explained that the initiative does not include negotiations with Hamas, but rather forcing such a regional treaty on the organization. He added that Olmert has made it clear to the Americans and to other world leaders involved in the move, that Israel's conditions were not negotiable, and that if they are not obtained through a diplomatic course, they would be secured through the military operation.

 

"Moreover, Olmert stressed that at this point the operation in Gaza continues. If Hamas doesn’t stop the rocket fire, the terror and the military buildup and agree to international monitoring – the fighting will go on with international approval," he concluded.

 

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