The White House stated Tuesday that efforts by the United States to mediate negotiations between Israel and Hamas will not be the determining factor in ending the violence, despite multiple previous efforts.
“Its important to understand that extending the cease-fire is going to require a decision that’s made by Palestinian leaders and Israeli leaders. As much as the United States and other countries around the globe, even international organizations like the U.N. would like to impose a cease-fire, that can’t successfully occur,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said during Tuesday’s press conference.
“A cease-fire will only be sustained if both sides that are a party to this conflict make the decision not to prolong the violence. So, the point is, these will have to be independent decision made by the two sides.” (RELATED: Kerry’s Failed Cease-Fire Leads To More Violence)
Israel and Hamas began a 72-hour cease-fire mediated by Egypt on Tuesday. Israel withdrew troops from Gaza and Hamas agreed to take part in peace talks in hopes of creating a long-term arrangement. (RELATED: Indian TV Records Hamas War Crime)
“In the end, it is up to the two parties to make a decision,” President Barack Obama said last Friday. “We can lead them… show them a path, but they’ve got to want it.” (RELATED: President Obama, Clueless In Chief)
Many of the previous cease-fire efforts and peace negotiations were led by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry or the United Nations. The White House also stated the administration’s belief that this current 72-hour cease-fire will be different from the previous failed attempts. (RELATED: John Kerry Not Wanted In Middle East)
“Based on the progress that the Israeli military has made in accomplishing the military goals they laid out, we believe that the circumstances for a cease-fire have been strengthened. More importantly, that was a conclusion that was arrived at by the two parties in this context, the Palestinians and the Israelis,” Earnest said.
The Israeli government has agreed to cease-fires multiple times, but Hamas has continually violated them. The White House criticized Hamas, but continued to help negotiate agreements that were seen as favorable to Hamas. (RELATED: Obama Pushes For Ceasefire To Save Hamas)
“I would anticipate that both sides will have long-held grievances and grievances and concerns about the conduct of the other side, so it’s going to require at least addressing some of these deep seeded issues in order to get a more sustainable cease-fire in place,” Earnest said. “So the United States and the U.N. and other will be advocating for a cease-fire to remain in place and against the resumption of violence, but I think it’s going to require, I’m confident it’s going to require, a decision made by both sides.”