U.S., Israel sign agreement to curb weapon smuggling to Gaza
www.chinaview.cn 2009-01-17 02:26:18   Print

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- The United States and Israel signed here on Friday a Memorandum of Understanding to stop weapon smuggling to the Gaza Strip so as to boost efforts for a durable ceasefire in the war-torn region.

    The signing of the agreement "should be thought of as one of the elements of trying to help bring into being a durable ceasefire," U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told reporters. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni attended the signing ceremony.

The United States and Israel signed here on Friday a Memorandum of Understanding to stop weapon smuggling to the Gaza Strip so as to boost efforts for a durable ceasefire in the war-torn region.

Israel's Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni (L) and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (R) shake hands after signing a memorandum of understanding, aimed at preventing arms smuggling into Gaza, at the State Department in Washington, January 16, 2009. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
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    Livni said that "there must be an end of smuggling of weapons to Gaza." "The MOU we sign today is ... a vital component for the cessation of hostilities," he noted.

    Prior to the ceremony, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said that the "the essential element of this (document) is to inhibit the ability of Hamas to rearm."

The United States and Israel signed here on Friday a Memorandum of Understanding to stop weapon smuggling to the Gaza Strip so as to boost efforts for a durable ceasefire in the war-torn region.

Israel's Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni (L) and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (R) make remarks before signing a memorandum of understanding, aimed at preventing arms smuggling into Gaza, at the State Department in Washington, January 16, 2009. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
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    Hamas, which refuses to renounce its stated aim of destroying Israel and considered by the United States and Israel as a terrorist organization, fired rockets into Israel before the latter launched air-and-ground reprisal offensives in Gaza.

    More than 1,060 Palestinians have reportedly been killed and 5,000 others wounded in Israel's military strikes since Dec. 27. 

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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