Israel is making diplomatic efforts to postpone a UN Security Council meeting scheduled for Wednesday, in order to prevent further international pressure from being exerted on the country to halt its military operation in Gaza.
Israel's political leadership has yet to decide who should represent Israel at the meeting. Top ministers are concerned that if Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is present at the discussion, this could validate any decision made by the Security Council and leave Israel exposed to even more pressure.
Livni has already noted that "even if the Security Council reaches an anti-Israeli resolution, this would not stop the military campaign against Hamas."
Diplomatic sources in Jerusalem told Ynet that, "At this point we intend to try and minimize the damage there (at the Security Council), while simultaneously operating vis-à-vis the French and the rest of the international community to promote the US initiative."
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is visiting the region in an attempt to promote a ceasefire, met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah Monday evening. After the meeting Sarkozy said that the violence in Gaza must stop, but stressed that Hamas' actions were "irresponsible and unforgivable."
Sarkozy, who met Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak earlier, said that Europe was seeking to establish truce in Gaza as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, Israel was pressing on with efforts to reach international understandings through the US initiative, which is based on conditions set by Israel, including the halting of all rocket fire and terror emanating from the Gaza Strip, an end to the weapon smuggling and Hamas' military buildup, and international supervision in Gaza.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has already spoken with the Czech president Monday afternoon, and is hosting Sarkozy Monday evening, to discuss the initiative.