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Netanyahu tries to convince Israeli cabinet to accept ceasefire in Gaza

August 13, 2014 at 9:36 am

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has met with several ministers in his government’s coalition to try to convince them to accept a permanent ceasefire agreement in Gaza, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported.

According to the newspaper, Netanyahu met separately with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Communications Minister Gilad Erdan, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, the latter who is trying to build opposition to the ceasefire.

During the one-on-one meetings, Netanyahu tried to convince the ministers to accept a formula for a lasting ceasefire with Gaza under Egyptian auspices.

A senior Israeli official told Haaretz that under the terms proposed, Israel would double the fishing zone in Gaza, ease the passage of Palestinians to the West Bank, allow more trade through the Kerem Shalom crossing and allow for the transfer of money to pay salaries.

In addition, a deal could be worked out to release several dozen Palestinian prisoners.

However, Israel continues to refuse the Palestinian demand to open any ports.

Netanyahu reportedly postponed a mini cabinet meeting scheduled for Tuesday afternoon until the talks in Cairo end.

The newspaper pointed out that the ministers do not know what might happen during the next few hours since no fundamental breakthrough has occurred in the talks.

Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon said the operation was still on, adding that he could not forecast if the ceasefire would be extended or if the fighting would resume.