Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has called for meetings between the Israeli leaders and “Palestinian factions” as well as a ceasefire in the Gaza conflict. According to the CNN article, the Egyptian President “said the discussions would focus on avoiding an escalation of the violence, securing borders between Israel and Gaza”. The U.S. has supported Israel’s right to defend itself and respond to the terrorist threat of Hamas. It is important to remember that a cease-fire without being lasting and stable is catering to Hamas’ pledge to destroy Israel.

Heritage Foundation’s James Phillips, expert on Middle Eastern Affairs, recently published a WebMemo addressing this issue. In “Gaza Cease-Fire Must Halt Hamas Rockets” Phillips offers three principles which should guide U.S. policy on the conflict. He highlights that a cease-fire agreement must immediately and permanently end the rocket attacks by terrorist groups like Hamas. Secondly, there needs to be recognition of the moral difference in the way the conflict is being fought by both sides. Thirdly, international pressure should be put on the instigator of the conflict, Hamas. We need to see the actions of Hamas for what they are and understand the reasons for Israel’s provocation.