NATO says it has no plans for peacekeeping in the Middle East

NATO has no plans for a peacekeeping force to supervise any cease-fire in Gaza, NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said Sunday. Israel is waging a fierce military campaign against Hamas to stop its terrorists from firing rockets into Israel, and says it will not stop until the attacks cease and there is an internationally guaranteed mechanism in place to stop Hamas replenishing its arsenal. Scheffer told an audience at Israel's Institute for National Security Studies Sunday that NATO would be prepared to play a peacekeeping role only if there was a full-scale Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, consent from both sides and a UN mandate. He acknowledged that such conditions seemed to be a long way off.