Israel is reportedly considering a cease fire that would see their attacks on the Gaza strip stop for 48 hours so wounded civilians desperate for humanitarian aid would be able to receive it, according to the New York Times.
The cease fire would also require Hamas to stop launching rockets into Israel. Attacks between the two have been trudging on for five days, with no real solution in sight.
The Palestinian death toll now exceeds 370.
The idea for the cease fire came from a conversation between French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Aides to Barak said that he would suggest the‚ cease fire to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, the New York Times reports.
Several nations and international bodies, like the U.S., Russia, the U.N. and the European Union, have called for a permanent cease fire. ‚ We know that won’t happen any time soon, especially after Olmert said that air strikes are only the beginning of attacks on Gaza.
“We are currently at the first stage of the operation,” Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told President Shimon Peres during a morning briefing, according to CNN.
Israeli boats have surrounded ports near Gaza and Israeli ground forces are on pins and needles waiting for the go ahead.
An Israeli ship collided with a relief boat on its way to Gaza in the Mediterranean Sea early Tuesday, in an attempt to intercept it, CNN reports. ‚ The cease fire would require ships like these to retreat, allowing medical supplies to reach injured individuals with no obstacles.
The cease fire will help some individuals for a short time, but right now, with no end in sight, short-term aid will do very little overall.