Diplomatic moves to shore up the fragile ceasefire in Gaza are underway hosted by Egypt, but Israel has declined an invitation to attend.
President Mubarak invited several European leaders, including co-host President Sarkozy of France, Britain’s Gordon Brown, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Spain’s Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also agreed to fly to Sharm el-Sheikh, after earlier saying he would stay away. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon is also there, after earlier denouncing Israel’s assault on Gaza in the strongest possible terms. The main issue now is stopping Hamas re-arming via its smuggling tunnels under Gaza’s border with Egypt. American hi-technology will help pinpoint the tunnels, while EU countries have offered warships to patrol the seas off Gaza. All sides admit the ceasefire is fragile, and in its very early hours.