World View: Gaza-Israel Truce Deal Fails to Materialize

This morning's key headlines from

  • Purported Gaza-Israel truce deal fails to materialize
  • Panicked Gazans run from their homes as Israel drops leaflets on Gaza City
  • China is forced to back down diplomatically at an ASEAN meeting

Purported Gaza-Israel truce deal fails to materialize

Hillary Clinton and Benjamin Netanyahu meet in Jerusalem on Tuesday (CBS)
Hillary Clinton and Benjamin Netanyahu meet in Jerusalem on Tuesday (CBS)

Rumors flew on Tuesday that a ceasefire deal between Gaza and Israel was imminent. Egypt's president Mohamed Morsi was quoted as saying,

"The farce of the Israeli aggression will end today, Tuesday, and the efforts to reach a ceasefire between the Palestinians and Israelis will produce positive results within a few hours."

Sources from Hamas and Islamic Jihad also said that there would be a deal on Tuesday evening, but Israel did not confirm. Israel has said that a peace deal they would agree to a peace deal only when there are international guarantees that there would be no further missile attacks from Gaza for a long period of time. Otherwise, a peace deal would only be temporary, since Iran would simply take advantage of a peace deal to supply Hamas with thousands more rockets to be used to attack Israel.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is currently visiting both parties in the Mideast with the objective of pressuring both sides to accept a peace deal. Telegraph (London) and Al-Jazeera

Panicked Gazans run from their homes as Israel drops leaflets on Gaza City

On the seventh day of the Gaza conflict, Israel's air force dropped leaflets across Gaza City telling residents in Arabic:

"For your own safety, you are required to immediately evacuate your homes and move toward Gaza City center. ...

This is a temporary confrontation. In the end, everyone will go home.

In keeping with Israel Defense Forces (army) regulations, all civilians will be kept from harm's way."

The leaflets directed residents to use specific roads to move out of their neighborhoods to specific locations. Panicked residents, fearful of airstrikes, used donkeys and carts to flee to the designated areas for safety, only to find some times that there was no room left.

Separately, the army posted the following message on Twitter: "Warning to reporters in Gaza. Stay away from Hamas operatives and facilities. Hamas, a terrorist group, will use you as human shields."

Tuesday was probably the most violent day so far in the week old conflict, with hundreds of missiles and rockets flying back and forth between Gaza and Israel. AFP and ABC News

China is forced to back down diplomatically at an ASEAN meeting

Not that it's going to make any real difference, but at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations [ASEAN] in Cambodia this week, China's attempt to win a diplomatic victory over control of the South China Sea backfired, forcing China to agree to negotiate disputes through ASEAN, rather than through one-on-one bilateral negotiations with each country.

In the last couple of years, China has become extremely nationalistic and belligerent, and has been adopting a policy similar to Hitler's "Lebensraum" policy in the 1930s, with respect to territories in the Pacific Ocean, India, and central Asia. In the South China Sea, China is demanding control of vast regions, including areas historically belonging to Brunei, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam. China is using its vast military power to take control of this entire region, including setting up a military installation in the Paracel Islands.

Part of China's strategy all along has been to demand negotiations with each country on an individual basis, so that it could dominate the negotiations. However, the other countries have been demanding to force China to negotiate with them as a bloc, to get them more negotiating power. The United States has been encouraging this approach, which has infuriated the Chinese, calling Americans "troublemakers."

At this week's ASEAN meeting, China got its ally, Cambodia, to put forth a draft agreement saying that all sides had agreed not to "internationalize" the dispute over the South China Sea. However, the attempt backfired, as the Philippines objected to the draft statement, forcing it to be rejected. As a result, the Chinese representative said:

"China will continue to come back [with] sincere dialogue with ASEAN countries and to fully implement in an effective way the DOC so that all parties can accumulate mutual trust and carry on cooperation and put this issue of South China Sea in good control so that we can work together to safeguard peace, stability, cooperation, and development."

China was forced into taking the position diplomatically, but it doesn't change any reality in the South China Sea. CS Monitor and VOA

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