Daily Israel Report

PA Official: It's All Israel's Fault

Senior official who heads the Palestinian Arab delegation to Cairo says Israel is to blame for the collapse of the temporary truce.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 8/20/2014, 2:13 AM

Azzam al-Ahmed
Azzam al-Ahmed
Flash 90

A senior official who heads the Palestinian Arab delegation for talks on a long-term ceasefire in Gaza on Tuesday night blamed Israel for the temporary ceasefire having collapsed.

"The ceasefire has collapsed and Israel is responsible," Azzam al-Ahmed, the head of the delegation in Cairo participating in indirect negotiations with Israel, told the AFP news agency.

"We are leaving tomorrow, but we have not pulled out of negotiations," he added, noting the Palestinians were waiting for Israel to respond to their truce proposal.

"We will not come back (to Cairo) until the Israel responds," he declared.

Ahmed, an aide of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, heads the delegation that includes senior Hamas officials.

One of the Hamas officials, Ezzat al-Rishq, warned Israel "will not enjoy security so long as the Palestinian people do not."

The comments came hours after Hamas violated a ceasefire that was set to expire at midnight by firing rockets towards Be’er Sheva, then continued by firing another barrage towards southern and central Israel, including Jerusalem.

Hamas later declared that Israel had “opened the gates of hell”.

In a statement, the group’s so-called “military wing” said that it had resumed the rocket fire on Israel because the Israeli Air Force had launched an airstrike on a home in Gaza.

The group warned that “the price will be a heavy one”.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri earlier on Tuesday accused Israel of "stalling" ceasefire talks in Cairo, hours before the extension of the temporary truce was due to expire.

"Israel is responsible for the stagnation of ongoing negotiations in Cairo," he claimed. "It's dragging its feet and shows no desire to reach an agreement."