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International Powers Repeat Calls for Cease-Fire in Gaza

Calls for cease-fire, 'end to violence,' grow - despite the fact that Hamas has rejected three attempts thus far.
By AFP and Arutz Sheva Staff
First Publish: 7/21/2014, 10:27 PM / Last Update: 7/21/2014, 10:40 PM

Hamas terrorist in Gaza (file)
Hamas terrorist in Gaza (file)
Reuters

Several international powers called for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas on Monday, calling for an "end to violence." 

"The new dangerous cycle of violence has shown with absolute clarity the need for a ceasefire," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement as the United States and the United Nations demanded an immediate ceasefire.

"Now we need to urgently bring an end to the suffering of peaceful Palestinians and Israelis and the destruction of civilian infrastructure,"
Moscow said on the 14th day of Israel's self-defense operation, Operation Protective Edge. 

"The scale of the losses and the affliction of the people calls for urgent concerted action by the international community."

Russia said it would work with both sides in the conflict and with the Middle East Peace Quartet to deescalate the situation.

It also said it "confirms support for the efforts of Egypt" to end the conflict as Egypt has taken the lead in trying to broker a truce between Israel and Hamas.

French President Francois Hollande later Monday called for urgent measures to stop the suffering in Gaza after a phone conversation with UN chief Ban Ki-moon.

"Everything must be done to put an immediate end to the suffering of the civil population in Gaza," a statement from Hollande's office said.

It quoted Ban, who is now in Cairo, as saying that he was working to try and "bring about a truce as soon as possible and an end to the crisis."

 The "violence must stop, it must stop now," he said at a news conference.

Kuwait also called on Ban on Monday to urge the international community to put an end to the Israeli "aggression" in Gaza as well, as a representative of the Arab world's insistence on siding with Hamas. 

The call came in a meeting between Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Sabah and Ban who arrived in Kuwait on Monday in the second leg of a regional tour aimed at pushing for a ceasefire in Gaza.

The UN chief was separately received by Kuwait Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, the official KUNA news agency reported.

The foreign minister "renewed Kuwait's support for the Palestinian people and condemned all Israeli acts of aggression," KUNA said following the meeting.

"He called on the UN Secretary General to urge the international community to shoulder responsibility to put an end to this dangerous aggression," it said.

The foreign minister also reiterated Kuwait's support for the Egyptian truce proposal, which Hamas publicly rejected. 

Hamas categorically rejected attempts for a cease-fire in multiple statements, insisting that the terms of the agreement 'did not apply' to them.

Later, Hamas officials reportedly set a series of unprecedented demands on Israel to accompany a ten-year truce - before threatening Israelis if the government refused to accept.

Over the past week, terror group has made a point of flaunting not one, but two humanitarian cease-fires - one brokered by the UN, and one brokered by the International Red Crescent.