As the political aftermath of the long-term ceasefire between Hamas and Israel began to unfold, a government source in Jerusalem told Ynet Tuesday night that the US would be looking out for Israel's interests among the international community, namely in the UN Security Council, where concrete decisions could potentially be made regarding the future of Gaza, Israel, and the West Bank.
"Israel will have American backing if a decision is made in the Security Council," said the source. Most especially, said the government official, the US would be looking out for Israel's security interests in the Gaza Strip. "The US will be sure that the issue of demilitarization will be included," he said.
For their part, the Americans welcomed Tuesday's ceasefire agreement and US Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement that, "We strongly support today's ceasefire agreement, and call on all parties to fully and completely comply with its terms. We hope very much that this ceasefire will prove to be durable and sustainable, that it will put an end to rocket and mortar attacks, and that it will help to bring about an enduring end to the conflict in Gaza."
Kerry with Netanyahu in Jerusalem. (Photo: Motti Milrod)
Kerry expressed optimism for the future and said that the US would be working with the international community on reconstruction in the Gaza Strip, but hinted that Hamas' interests wouldn't be taken into consideration by the US. "We look forward to coordinating closely with President Abbas and the Palestinian Authority on these critical efforts."
"I want to commend the Egyptians for their role in hosting the negotiations in Cairo and for continuing to work to reach agreement on a ceasefire," said Kerry.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas echoed Kerry's sentiments, thanking Egypt, Qatar, the UN and Kerry for lending a hand in ceasefire talks and making an overall effort to advance the ideals of peace.
Quartet representative Tony Blair also welcomed the ceasefire and said that he would begin pushing for steps to facilitate peace in the long-term.
"The Quartet will now concentrate on a long-term plan for Gaza and for its reconstruction, including the effective and efficient re-opening and re-connection to the outside world under the authority of the PA Government," said Blair. "Such a plan will enable a proper and decent life for the people of Gaza, as well as protect the security of the people of Israel."
The former UK Prime Minister expressed regret however, at the price of life that came as a result of the operation. "It is only tragic that such a ceasefire has come too late to save the lives of so many innocent people."
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon added his voice to the political responses Tuesday night, saying that any violations of the Gaza ceasefire would be "utterly irresponsible". He also said that the blockade of the territory should come to an end and called for Gaza to be brought back under the rule of one legitimate Palestinian government that will adhere to PLO commitments.
Meanwhile, US State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that, "We call on all parties to fully and completely comply with its terms, and hope very much that the ceasefire will prove to be durable and sustainable," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters at a daily briefing.
"We view this as an opportunity, not a certainty," Psaki said. "There is a long road ahead and we're aware of that, and we're going into this eyes wide open," she added.
Reuters contributed to this report.