US welcomes Israel unilateral 'ceasefire'

Olmert said Israel had "achieved its aims" in a Gaza assault that killed more than 1,200 Palestinians a third of them children.

US welcomes Israel unilateral 'ceasefire'
The United States on Saturday welcomed Israel's "unilateral ceasefire" in its 22-day offensive on the Gaza Strip after more than three weeks of war in the Gaza Strip, 1,203 Palestinians have been killed and more than 5,200 injured.

"The United States welcomes the cessation of hostilities in Gaza announced by Israel and expects that all parties will cease attacks and hostile actions immediately," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in a written statement.

"The United States commends Egypt for its efforts and remains "deeply concerned" by the suffering of innocent Palestinians," Rice added.

Egypt drew condemnations, anger and protests by Muslims around the world since it refuses oppening border with Gaza under crippling Israel siege and bombardments.

"We welcome calls for immediate coordinated international action to increase assistance flows and will contribute to such efforts."

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert earlier announced that Israel would halt its Gaza offensive at 0000 GMT Sunday, but that troops would remain there despite unilateral "ceasefire".

On Saturday, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in a televised address that Israel was responding to an appeal from President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt.

Olmert said Israel had "achieved its aims" in a Gaza assault that killed more than 1,200 Palestinians a third of them children.


Agencies



Last Mod: 18 Ocak 2009, 12:46
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