The Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, has met his Egyptian counterpart, Hosni Mubarak, in an effort to revive the Franco-Egyptian ceasefire plan.
Both men have ruled out proposals that foreign troops be stationed on Egypt’s border with Gaza to prevent arms smuggling. Instead, Abbas said he wants an international presence in Gaza to stop Israel from, what he described as, spilling the blood of Palestinian people. “In our opinion, the Egyptian proposition is the mechanism which will allow the UN Security Council’s resolution passed on Tuesday to be applied so that order can be restored,” Abbas said. Israel has said talks over the proposal will continue while Hamas has sent representatives to Cairo. Some European diplomats, however, have expressed doubts over whether the plan could succeed unless foreign troops can supervise the operation of the border crossings and monitor the truce between Israel and Hamas. Neither diplomatic initiative has made much difference on the ground in Gaza, which received more Israeli attacks by land, sea and air.