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Report: Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian march near Qalandia
Egypt officials say Israel demands Gaza demilitarization
Published Thursday 07/08/2014 (updated) 08/08/2014 13:45
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Palestinians look at the wreckage from a damaged window
following an Israeli strike, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip
on August 2, 2014.(AFP/Said Khatib)
CAIRO (Ma'an) -- Officials close to ceasefire talks in Egypt said Thursday that Israel is demanding that the Gaza Strip be demilitarized as uncertainty remains over whether a 72-hour truce will be extended.

The officials said that the Israeli delegation has expressed reservations about building a seaport and airport, but showed greater flexibility in discussing lifting the blockade, freeing Palestinian detainees, and extending the designated fishing zone.

Egyptian mediators have tried to dissuade Israel from insisting on demilitarization and have asked for an extension to the 72-hour ceasefire, which ends at 8 a.m. on Friday.

The Palestinian delegation has demanded an end to the siege of Gaza, the construction of a seaport and airport, the release of detainees who were rearrested, and the creation of a safe passage between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

An Israeli official told AFP on condition of anonymity late Wednesday that it is willing to extend the truce.

But Hamas deputy leader Mussa Abu Marzouq, part of the Palestinian delegation holding talks in Cairo, denied overnight there was yet any agreement.

"There is no agreement to extend the ceasefire," he wrote on Twitter.

"Any news about the extension of the truce is unfounded," added Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri.
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1 ) Carol Scheller / Switzerland
07/08/2014 12:16
Israel has trouble putting itself in another's place. How could anyone in their right mind agree to being deprived of any means to defend itself, as little as it might be, from the ferocity of attacks the like of which Gaza has suffered for the last months ?

2 ) S Armstrong / Germany
07/08/2014 13:26
Amazing. We hear the constant repetition, "Israel has the right to defend itself", yet they seem to think that no one else has such a right. Such a shameful nation.

3 ) Sara / USA
07/08/2014 13:59
Thank you Carol.

4 ) Frank / USA
07/08/2014 14:47
End the occupation and blockade and stop killing children and Hamas won't have any need for weapons .

5 ) Joefattal / USA
07/08/2014 15:09
@1) Carol Scheller / Switzerland You are right. To claim sovereignty over a State a country must be able to defend it. Either they defend it themselves or sign a pact to have another country to defend it. If Hamas is willing to defend it, they must do just that. If Israel has the right to defend their State, so Hamas or the PA has the right to defend a future Palestinian State. You don't have to be a genius to figure that out.

6 ) Outlier / USA
07/08/2014 18:28
It hasn't been Gaza militarization that caused the problem; it has been offensive use of that militarization that caused the problem. On a practical basis, Israel must wait for Gaza to eventually realize Hamas' hope to eliminate Israel is futile, but by eliminating the means, Israel eliminates the problem.

7 ) Erika El Hussein / Germany
07/08/2014 18:29
If the Gaza strip should be demilitarized Israel should be demilitarized at the same time as well.

8 ) Al Webb / USA
07/08/2014 19:17
Hamas must lay down rockets and mortars ,they do little damage anyway...of course no tunnels....then the gazans can live ..and work in Israel ..as long as they don't kill their bosses or blow themselves up in a cafe....

9 ) Luke / USA
07/08/2014 21:31
I'm sad to say, but from Hamas point of view, they won. Terrorism was never about a military victory, but a political one. There were rallies of sympathy for Hamas in numerous cities all over Europe and USA. What other terrorist organization ever had so much acclaim? In the same time, Israel suffered a loss of prestige and sympathy. Hamas succeeded in terrorizing most of the israeli population, who had to run daily into shelters. Again, a feat rarely achieved by a terrorist organization.

10 ) Luke / USA
07/08/2014 21:33
-cont: Dead Gazan civilians? The population of Gaza is higher now, after the war, than it was before: 5000 children are born in Gaza in one month. The buildings and the tunnels destroyed? They will be rebuilt with money from EUSA. Rockets will be resupplied by Iran and also produced in Gaza. Hamas only real loss is that they triggered this war prematurely, before the big Rosh Hashanah operation.

11 ) Ayub / Palestine
08/08/2014 12:41
#8 If the Qassam rockets do little damage, then why has Israel just martyred a 10 year old boy, wounded several others & blown a mosque to bits in Gaza today? As the 'most moral army in the world' could they not have just sat this out a bit, until the ceasefire could be reinstated? The brigades refused to bow to pressure on lifting the siege on Gaza, because it is their right to have it lifted. Plan Dalet won't work anymore. All Israel & US create is more hatred & destruction all over the word.

12 ) Jimmy / Argentina
08/08/2014 15:50
Carol: You mean, like Japan after the Pacific War? Or Germany after WWII? Agreeing to disarmament in exchange for rebuilding is a pretty common endgame in war. But it requires one side (Hamas, in this case) to realize its goals will never be achieved militarily, that further war only hurts the population, and to surrender. Japan was able to do this. Germany was able to do this. Hamas, for some reason, thinks it is winning the war so it will not surrender.

13 ) Levi / USA
08/08/2014 19:56
4 ) Frank / USA 'End the occupation and blockade and stop killing children and Hamas won't have any need for weapons'

How about the opposite: How about Hamas stopping using international funds on acquiring and building weapons, building terror tunnels, shooting rockets at Israel, etc. and building and constructing positive things and maybe the blockade would stop? There is a reason for the blockade of Gaza. Guess what it is?

14 ) Shabeer / India, Delhi
08/08/2014 20:55
Dear friends nice to read the comments... If Hamas, an organisation figting to free their land from transgressors and occupiers, is a terrorist organisation, then all the freedom fighters from allover the world are terrorrists.
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