اجعلنا صفحة البداية RSS خدمة Add to favorite Facebook Twitter

Advanced

Egyptians press Gaza truce talks between Israel, Palestinians
Published Wednesday 06/08/2014 (updated) 07/08/2014 21:43
Font- Font+
Egyptian motorists drive past the Mohammed Ali mosque in Cairo on
March 11, 2013 (AFP/File Khaled Desouki)
CAIRO (AFP) -- Egyptian officials mediating talks for a durable truce in Gaza met a Palestinian delegation Wednesday to relay terms laid down by an Israeli team, Palestinian officials said.

The Egyptian intelligence mediators had met with the Israeli delegation in Cairo during the night, the officials said.

Wednesday's shuttle diplomacy came as a fragile ceasefire in the Gaza Strip after a month of fighting between Hamas and Israeli forces appeared to be holding for a second day.

Palestinian officials in Cairo said they would respond to the Israeli terms through the Egyptian officials, although a senior Hamas official has already rejected an Israeli demand that militants in Gaza disarm.

Meanwhile, international Middle East peace envoy Tony Blair and UN Middle East peace process coordinator Robert Serry held separate talks with Egyptian officials on Wednesday.

The Egyptian-mediated 72-hour ceasefire that went into effect on Tuesday has brought relief to both sides after fighting that erupted on July 8 killed 1,885 Palestinians -- the vast majority civilians -- and 67 people, primarily soldiers, on the Israeli side.

The talks in Cairo are aimed at securing a durable ceasefire after the three-day window closes.

Experts say the underlying problems in Gaza, a small coastal enclave flanked by Israel and Egypt that has undergone three conflicts with Israel since 2008, would also have to be addressed.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, in a BBC interview, called for a sustained ceasefire but stressed that the crucial wider issues would need to be tackled.

The Palestinians demand an end to the eight-year Israeli blockade of Gaza and the release of Palestinian prisoners.

"The six Israeli crossings should be dealt with and opened to provide basic humanitarian needs and to rebuild Gaza," said Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri at a press conference.

"This is one of the main issues that will be tackled in the negotiations... to open (the crossings) after years of suffering by the Palestinian people."

The Palestinian delegation is also demanding an airport be allowed to operate in Gaza, senior Hamas official and delegation member Ezzat al-Rishq said.

Israel, for its part, wants Hamas, which won Palestinian elections in 2006 although designated a terrorist group by the United States and Israel, to disarm its militia.

Rishq said Hamas would not even consider laying down their weapons, which include an arsenal of unguided rockets and anti-tank missiles.

"Whoever tries to take our weapons, we will take his life," he said on Twitter.

Ma'an staff contributed to this report.
Print
1 ) JoeFattal / USA
06/08/2014 23:19
Disarming Hamas is immaterial. Lift the Gaza siege as a beginning will allow the Palestinians in Gaza to provide themselves with basic needs. With the siege lifted Israel probably will not hear a sound from Gaza, and Hamas probably will settle in Gaza as a a seperate government, maybe dissolve the unity which Israel objected to. Hamas in reality doesn't have anything to do with the settlements in the West Bank. Their main objective is to remain in Gaza with the the siege lifted.

2 ) JR / Canada
08/08/2014 16:48
The rockets are completely useless and destroy any credibility that Palestine has. The rockets are a bargaining chip not a threat. If they can be traded for opening Gaza it should be done. If Palestine feels a need to attack Israel all the attacks should be aimed at settlements. That would rob Israel of their PR platform that Palestinians want to eliminate all of Israel. Palestine has already paid the price by surrendering over 80% of Palestine to Israel but get no credit because of Hamas.
Name Country
Comment
Characters
Note: Comments will be reviewed for appropriate content. Click here for more details.

Share/Bookmark

Gaza ceasefire indirect talks to resume in Egypt
Israel bans Muslims from Ibrahimi Mosque
Palestinian factions head to Cairo for ceasefire talks

Close Next Previous
All Rights Reserved © Ma'an News Agency 2005 - 2014