U.S. welcomes Israel-Hamas ceasefire deal
www.chinaview.cn 2008-06-19 05:09:44   Print

    WASHINGTON, June 18 (Xinhua) -- The United States welcomed on Wednesday the Gaza ceasefire deal between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), saying it is a "positive" development.

    "Anything that helps maintain security for Israeli citizens, that helps end the kind of violence that has been fairly constant along the border with Gaza is something that's positive," State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey told reporters.

    The ceasefire in Gaza "will be more conducive to an environment that will permit negotiations to continue to move forward between Israelis and Palestinians. So, in that sense, it's good news that this has taken place," Casey said.

    The spokesman also praised Egypt's efforts to broker such a truce. "We certainly support the efforts that Egypt has made to help ensure that this truce or calm, or whatever word is being used for it today, takes place."

    Prior to Casey's remarks, the White House expressed hope that the Gaza ceasefire deal would force Hamas to "give up terrorism."

    "We hope this means no more rockets will be fired by Hamas at innocent Israelis as well as lead to a better atmosphere for talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority," said U.S. National Security Council spokesperson Gordon Johndroe.

    Israel on Wednesday officially confirmed an Egyptian-brokered truce with Hamas-led Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip, starting at 6:00 a.m. (0300 GMT) Thursday.

Special report: Palestine-Israel Relations

Editor: Yan Liang
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