U.N. Security Council stuck over Gaza


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Western powers and Arab nations are still negotiating the terms of United Nations Security Council action on Israel’s operation in the Gaza Strip.

Top officials from Security Council states hoped to have concluded a deal on Wednesday, but were still meeting into Thursday.

Late Wednesday, Condoleezza Rice, the U.S. secretary of state, told reporters that she and her French and British counterparts as well as Arab foreign ministers "are extending our stays, and we believe there is still work to do."

The Arab ministers are proposing a Libyan-drafted binding resolution that would end the conflict, and that only mentions in passing the Hamas rocket fire that started the conflict last month, Reuters reported.

The western powers want a non-binding statement that only calls for a cease-fire.

Israel, meantime, is at U.S. urging considering an Egyptian offer to broker a truce that would include guarantees of an end to Hamas rocket attacks and the smuggling of arms across the Egypt-Gaza border. Israel reportedly is pleased with the initiative but wants further details about enforcement. A high-level Israeli delegation arrived in Egypt Thursday to discuss the plan.

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