At a news conference in Egypt after the Israeli rejection of the ceasefire, US Secretary of State, John Kerry said diplomats were still trying to agree a deal. “We are working towards a brief seven-day peace in honour of Eid, to bring people together to create a more durable ceasefire,” he said.
Kerry says the ceasefire will give both sides the chance to step back from violence. He confirmed that he is confident that Israel PM Netanyhau is committed to working to reach a ceasefire in Gaza..
He insisted that there was a general agreement on the “concept” of a truce but that both sides had concerns over details of carrying it out.
“Gaps have been significantly narrowed,” he said. “It can be achieved, if we work through some of the issues that are important for the parties.”
He was speaking after talks in Cairo, with Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri and UN chief Ban Ki-moon, who likewise called for the seven-day “humanitarian” truce.
For the UN, Mr Ban said progress was being made but much more work remained. He said “Palestinians have bled enough.”