Friday, December 13, 2013
The Associated Press
(Continued from page 2)
A Palestinian woman sits in rubble following an Israeli airstrike in Rafah refugee camp in southern Gaza Strip on Sunday. An Israeli envoy held talks with Egyptian officials Sunday on a ceasefire in his country's offensive on Gaza as Israel widened the range of its targets, striking more than a dozen homes of Hamas militants and two media officials.
With fighting showing no signs of slowing, international attempts to broker a ceasefire continued.
Nabil Shaath, an aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who was in Cairo, confirmed that the Israeli envoy had arrived in Egypt for talks, saying there are "serious attempts to reach a ceasefire." There was no immediate Israeli confirmation.
Hamas' prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, spoke to Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. He told the Egyptian leader he supports such efforts, provided Hamas receives "guarantees that will prevent any future aggression" by Israel, his office said in a statement.
Morsi over the weekend hosted talks with Hamas' supreme leader, as well as leaders from Hamas allies Turkey and Qatar. He also held contacts with Western leaders.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius visited Israel on Sunday to offer his country's help toward forging an "immediate ceasefire," the French government said.
Meeting with Fabius, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman thanked him for "France's efforts to prevent casualties" but said "the moment that all the terror organizations announce a ceasefire, we can consider all the ideas that French foreign minister and other friends are raising."