Mideast truce about "stopping the killing," not long-term peace
(CBS News) U.S. and Israeli officials say Wednesday's cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas was sealed with a final phone call from President Obama to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. But, as CBS News' Margaret Brennan reports, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was instrumental in urging Netanyahu to sign the agreement. Clinton arrived in Egypt earlier this week to work toward an agreement and is the first Obama administration official to meet with Egypt's President Morsi after his historic election.
Morsi's aid in brokering the truce legitimized his presidency on the international stage, after he has struggled to consolidate control over a post-Arab Spring Egypt.
The U.S. did offer some concessions in return for Morsi's involvement, including $450 million in emergency cash pledged to Egypt. Obama pledged the funds months ago, but the House Appropriations Committee froze the money in September. An Obama administration source told Brennan that Congress may release the funds in the coming weeks.
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The U.S. has also pledged increased financing for Israel's Iron Dome defense system, in addition to the approximately $3 billion the U.S. has already given Israel in military aid this year. (At left, watch: Covering Israel with an "Iron Dome")
Despite these concessions and the withdrawal of Israeli troops from many sites along the Israel-Gaza border, officials on both sides remain skeptical of the long-term promise of the cease-fire agreement.
A U.S. State Department official told Brennan the agreement was not about launching a lasting Mideast peace process, but more about stopping the current bloodshed.
A senior Israeli official echoed these sentiments, telling Brennan it would take one or two more days before it could truly be called an agreement, and adding that Israel has "zero confidence" in Hamas.
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