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APN Welcomes Progress toward Gaza Ceasefire Agreement; Proposes Requirements for Sustainable Ceasefire

APN President and CEO Debra DeLee: "We have been calling for such sustainable arrangements for months,...Such arrangements could have prevented this war..."

CONTACT:  Ori Nir- (202) 728-1893

Washington, D.C - Americans for Peace Now (APN) today expressed hope for the success of diplomatic efforts to reach a ceasefire on the Israel-Gaza border. APN urges the Bush administration to advance efforts for an urgent cessation of hostilities and for long-term, sustainable arrangements providing security and dignity for Israeli and Palestinian civilians.

"We very much hope that the current efforts will result in an immediate halt to the hostilities, followed by long-term arrangements, which provide the normal life that Israeli and Palestinian civilians deserve," said APN's President and CEO Debra DeLee. "We have been calling for such sustainable arrangements for months, both before and throughout the porous ceasefire agreement reached last summer. Such arrangements could have prevented this war," DeLee said.

"The killing of innocent civilians on both sides must stop, and the only reasonable and lasting way to stop it is through sturdy political agreements," she said, adding that an intense U.S. role is imperative for such agreements to succeed. "The Bush administration must work closely with players such as France and Egypt to push for an immediate cessation of hostilities, bolstered by a comprehensive agreement that takes into consideration the legitimate security requirements of Israel as well as the humanitarian requirements of the residents of Gaza," DeLee said.

"Any effort to achieve a political arrangement for Gaza must also serve international efforts to advance the Israeli-Arab and Israeli-Palestinian peace process," said DeLee.

APN believes that any sustainable agreement must include: 

  • Establishing a mechanism through which Hamas is held accountable for rockets fired into Israel after the ceasefire is reached; 
  • Setting up robust arrangements to interdict weapons smuggling into Gaza, including arrangements to deal effectively with the problem of tunnels between Gaza and Egypt and to address weapons smuggled into Gaza by sea; 
  • Opening the crossing points into and out of the Gaza Strip, bolstered by oversight mechanisms, with an international component, to address Israeli security concerns related to movement of weapons and terrorists, which will also be important in alleviating Palestinian concerns that crossing points not continue to be a tool of Israeli pressure against Hamas; 
  • Creating a political mechanism to ensure that where disagreements or conflicts arise, the parties have a place to resolve them short of a return to violence.

For a full text of APN's recommendations for ceasefire requirements, go HERE

APN is a Jewish, Zionist organization dedicated to enhancing Israel's security through peace and to supporting the Israeli Peace Now movement.