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Gaza ceasefire proposal leaked, news site claims

Arabi21 have published a one-page document they claim is the ceasefire proposal being pursued by US Secretary of State John Kerry
US Secretary of State John Kerry with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Paris today (AFP)

An Arabic language news site has published a document it claims is the ceasefire proposal made by US Secretary of State John Kerry, which was reportedly rejected by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Arabi21 says the one-page document, entitled “Framework for a Sustainable Ceasefire in Gaza”, is genuine, although MEE has not been able to verify it, and sets out the details of the solution being pursued by the Americans and other interested parties.

It proposes a seven day “humanitarian ceasefire” and includes provisions for the Palestinian factions and Israel to negotiate over ending the punishing eight-year long siege of Gaza.

The proposal stipulates that during the ceasefire all sides will “convene within 48 hours to negotiate resolution of all issues necessary to achieve a sustainable ceasefire…including arrangements to secure the opening of border and non-border crossings, allow the entry of goods and people and ensure the social and economic livelihood of the Palestinian people living in Gaza”.

There is no mention of conditions relating to disarmament of Hamas or tunnels in Gaza, which are understood to be key concerns for Israel. The document does, however, state “international partners” will aid in solving the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

“The International Partners also commit to a major humanitarian assistance initiative to address the immediate humanitarian needs of the people of Gaza, including an initial commitment of $47mn from the United States,” it says.

John Kerry denied on Friday evening that Israel has rejected the proposal, although he did acknowledge there was “some opposition” to it in Tel Aviv.

“There was no formal proposal submitted to Israel. Let’s make that absolutely crystal clear,” he said. “Prime Minister Netanyahu called me a few minutes before this to tell me that that [rejection] was an error and he’s putting out a statement to that effect.”

“It’s fair to say that Israel had some opposition to some concepts, but that doesn’t mean a proposal by any means,” he added.

Israel announced a 12-hour unilateral truce in Gaza on Saturday, which has been observed by both sides, allowing Palestinians to buy vital supplies and ambulance crews to collect bodies from declared “no-go areas”.

Medics have collected more than 100 bodies during the truce, which has taken the death toll past 1,000. The number injured now exceeds 6,000 and a group of international diplomats who met in Paris on Saturday called for the truce to be extended.

“We call on parties to extend the humanitarian ceasefire,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters after meeting with Kerry and their counterparts from Britain, Germany, Italy, Qatar and Turkey, as well as an EU representative.

The truce is due to expire at 8pm (1700 GMT) and the Israeli security cabinet will meet at 830pm (1730 GMT) to discuss an extension.