Israel Considers Gaza Bombing Pause, Protests Continue
Israel has announced the possibility of a temporary pause of attacks against Gaza, a day before meeting to discuss options for a ground invasion.
The Israeli officials raised the prospect on Tuesday night of accepting a french proposal for a temporary ceasefire to give Hamas an opening to halt rocket fire.
Israel is considering suspending its Gaza offensive to give Hamas an opening to halt rocket fire, but the threat of a ground attack remains if the ceasefire does not hold, an Israeli defence official said Tuesday.
Israel's defence minister is to raise the proposal during a meeting of the security cabinet Wednesday, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.
After a fourth day of Israeli attacks and Palestinian casualty figures rising to more than 370, there came the first signs of diplomatic activity getting under way as the EU discussed a call for a "humanitarian pause" that would require a ceasefire and the cooperation of both sides.
World Leaders urged Israel and Hamas to halt their conflict, amid fears the conflict could escalate. There was also a crisis call between the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and United States.
The world's top diplomats urged Israel and Hamas to halt their conflict Tuesday, amid mounting concern over the bloodshed and fears the conflict could escalate.
European foreign ministers met in Paris to demand a truce, while the members of the Middle East diplomatic Quartet -- the European Union, Russia, United Nations and United States -- held a crisis conference call.
Egypt's president, Hosni Mubarak ruled out the possibility of reopening Egypt's border with Gaza until EU observers and representatives of the Palestinian Authority were deployed at the checkpoint.
The deal provided for EU observers to monitor the border and operate surveillance cameras to allow Israel to keep an eye on comings and goings.
It fell into abeyance when Hamas ousted forces loyal to Abbas from the gaza Strip in June last year.
A small group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators protested near President-Elect Barack Obama's Hawaii vacation retreat.
A small group of placard-waving pro-Palestinian demonstrators gathered near U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's vacation retreat in Hawaii on Tuesday to protest against the Israeli airstrikes in Gaza.
Obama has made no public comment on the strikes, which Israel launched on Saturday. Aides have repeatedly said he is monitoring the situation and continues to receive intelligence briefings but that there is only one U.S. president at a time.
A day after the United Nations reported that at least 21 children had died during the recent air strikes, charity group Save the Children called again for an immediate end to the bombing in Gaza and rocket attacks against Israel.
The United Nations reported on Dec. 29 that at least 21 children had died during the recent air strikes.
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