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Israel, Hamas discuss truce in Cairo
Published Monday 26/11/2012 (updated) 30/12/2012 15:56
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A woman walks past as policemen sit atop their destroyed
headquarters in Gaza City, Nov. 25. (Reuters/Mohammed Salem)
CAIRO (Reuters) -- Egyptian mediators began separate talks on Monday with Hamas and with Israel to flesh out details of a ceasefire agreed last week that ended eight days of fighting in the Gaza Strip.

An Egyptian official told Reuters the talks would discuss Palestinian demands for the opening of more Israeli crossings into Gaza -- a move that would help end six years of blockade of the coastal enclave.

The Egyptian-brokered ceasefire came into force last Wednesday, ending hostilities between the two sides that cost the lives of 171 Palestinians and six Israelis.

However, the text of the truce stipulated that issues such as access to the borders, free movement for Gazans and the transfer of goods would be dealt with "after 24 hours".

Israel imposed restrictions on Gaza in 2006, following an election victory by Hamas, which refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist. The curbs were tightened, and backed by Egypt, after Hamas took control of the enclave after winning elections a year earlier.

Some of the import and export limits have since been eased, but Israel still prevents a long list of goods into the territory -- including many items needed for construction -- arguing they could be used for the manufacture of weapons.

Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahar told reporters on Saturday that the group wanted to see the opening of all four goods crossings with Israel that used to operate before 2006.

Only one operates at present, with a second passenger terminal reserved for the handful of Palestinians and foreigners who are allowed in and out of the territory.

The Egyptian official said Cairo would also urge both sides to cement their commitments to the ceasefire agreement.

Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian man on Friday after he approached the Gazan "no-go" border area, apparently in the belief that under the terms of the ceasefire deal he was able to go up to the heavily patrolled fence.

Alarmed by the prospect of the truce failing, Egypt encouraged Hamas police to be deployed along the border line to keep Gazans away and prevent further violence.

Israel launched its air offensive against the Gaza Strip on Nov. 14 with the declared aim of deterring militants from firing rockets into its territory.

The Israeli military also says its soldiers have come under increasing attack from the border area this year, including earlier this month when a jeep was hit by an anti-tank missile.
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1 ) Julie / USA
26/11/2012 19:28
Pals should demand a Palestinian "no-go buffer zone" on the izraeli side to prevent izraelis from approaching the border. what?? no? why????? big hint: because izrael is a fascist, racist, criminal, state-sponsored terrorist entity

2 ) Mel / USA
27/11/2012 16:03
There shouldn't NEED to be any talks about lifting an ILLEGAL collective punishment blockade on a concentration camp,where even the air isn't 'open' because of constantly-buzzing drones harassing/meancing 1.6 MILLION civilians who've done NOTHING but resist an ILLEGAL Israeli occupation for 64 yrs overall in Palestine,6yrs(sea,air,land)on Gaza to punish people for voting DEMOCRATICALLY! JUST END THE ISRAELI BLOCKADE TOTALLY! Outside any pre-67 borderlines are ALL 'no-go'areas for Israel.PERIOD!

3 ) @ Julie-1 & Mel-2 / Forever TRUTH
27/11/2012 17:40
You both need to be more realistic, where though:
1- It's TRUE, that "Pals can demand a Palestinian no-go buffer zone on the Israeli side", of even 1,000 miles, and also say words like "illegal, collective punishment", etc. Forever, but
2- It is also TRUE, that Palestinians are NOT entitled to make any demands,
to which Israel can NOT simply say "NO", and easily prevent from becoming
a reality, which
3- Is the same TRUTH, that has the PA refusing to Negotiate for Statehood !!!

4 ) Daniel didn't have any choice / You do!
28/11/2012 17:13
This should produce an interesting outcome. Israel walks into mommy lion's den to ask her to tell her offspring to be a good little kitty!
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