Islamic Jihad Says the War is Over
Islamic Jihad second-in-command Ziad Nahala was quoted on Friday in the Palestinian Authority (PA) Al-Hayat Al-Jadida saying that the war with Israel is "behind us," the same day that a Security Cabinet meeting was to be held in Jerusalem.
Nahala said "we have no choice but to reach a truce agreement. That stands at the head of our priorities. I believe that we are approaching an agreement."
"The great destruction caused by the war obligates us to leave this (war) status," said Nahala, adding that while not all of the demands of his terrorist organization and Hamas have been met, they will at the very least get to keep their weapons in the proposed agreement.
"Our achievements from the war are acceptable to the Palestinian people," claimed the Islamic Jihad leader.
On Thursday, Nahala likewise said an agreement is imminent, claiming that Egypt talked Israel out of its security demands to disarm Gaza, end the smuggling into the Hamas enclave and the local weapons production, as well as have the terror tunnels disclosed.
The agreement apparently follows an Egyptian proposal Tuesday, which Nahala said would have those issues, as well as Hamas's demands to have a sea and airport in Gaza, discussed a month after an interim truce agreement is signed.
The Security Cabinet is set to meet at the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem on Friday. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday reportedly held "softening talks" with party head coalition partners to gather support for Israeli concessions.
However, Hamas's "military wing," the Al-Qassam Brigades, made it clear on Tuesday that if any truce agreement is accepted, it will only be so as to prepare for the next terror war on Israel.
Report: Israel's proposal
Nahala's statement comes as the Palestinian Arab Ma'an News Agency on Friday released what it claimed to be the Israeli proposal presented to the PA, Hamas and Islamic Jihad delegation in Cairo, reports Walla!.
According to the report, Israel stipulated that the opening of border crossings between it and Gaza be dependent upon a detailed agreement with the PA. The move apparently echoes an Egyptian offer to have the PA monitor the Rafah Crossing to Sinai.
Confirming Nahala's announcement Thursday, the report adds that Israel agreed to gradually cancel the "periphery" no-entry zone on the Gaza side of the border, meant to prevent terrorist infiltration, from the onset of the truce.
Israel also offered aid to the PA in rebuilding Gaza according to the report, even though the idea of Israel paying the salaries of Hamas officials in Gaza was not seen in the proposal.
Earlier it had been reported that Israel had agreed to paying those salaries, a proposal which was met with harsh criticism.
The Israeli proposal expressed the Jewish state's opposition to the release of terrorists and the establishment of a sea and airport in Gaza, all of which have been Hamas demands.