Sunday, June 8, 2008
Rice flies in as Gaza faces renewed threat of Israeli invasion
A year after Hamas's takeover of the enclave, it may be close to another turning point. By Donald Macintyre in Gaza City
"Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, returns to the Middle East this week for yet another round of shuttle diplomacy aimed at bolstering the flagging hopes of a negotiated agreement on a future two-state solution between Israel and the moderate Palestinian leadership based in the West Bank.
What she cannot ignore, however, is what the State Department spokesman Sean McCormack, announcing her trip, cryptically called "the situation in Gaza". For in the week that marks the first anniversary of Hamas's enforced takeover of the Strip, Gaza could be nearing another turning point.
This week, Israeli ministers will again consider whether to pursue a ceasefire, after Egypt brokered an agreement among militant armed factions to drop their earlier precondition that Israel also stop military operations in the West Bank. But another scenario is that the Israelis will mount a full-scale invasion of the Strip......."