Daily Israel Report

Hamas Truce Talks Reportedly to Resume in Next 48 Hours

Delegations to return to Cairo as Hamas refuses to disarm, demands sea and airport, terrorist swap. Ya'alon: 'they won't get a seaport.'
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 8/31/2014, 10:58 AM

Islamic Jihad terrorists during Gaza "victory" parade
Islamic Jihad terrorists during Gaza "victory" parade
Flash 90

Truce talks between Israel and the Hamas, Palestinian Authority (PA) and Islamic Jihad delegations in Cairo are to be renewed within the next 48 hours according to reports Sunday morning.

The news of renewed ceasefire talks come from Palestinian sources quoted in the Dubai-based newspaper Al Bayan, as cited by Walla!. Dubai is the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which reportedly along with Saudi Arabia urged Hamas into the ceasefire by offering massive funds to the terrorist organization.

According to the report, the PA delegation head Azzam al-Ahmed will arrive in the Egyptian capital on Sunday night.

The Arab sources cited accused Israel of not fulfilling its obligations in the controversial ceasefire deal sealed last Tuesday, claiming Israel promised to open all five Gaza border crossings.

However, al-Ahmed revealed last Tuesday that the deal included the immediate easing of restrictions on only the two major Gaza crossings - one of which is managed by Egypt, not Israel - and did not mention all five crossings.

Humanitarian goods were to be allowed in immediately; likewise construction materials were agreed to be let in, despite their use in the past in building terror tunnels and rockets. Additionally, the Gaza fishing zone was to be opened to six nautical miles, later to be extended past its previous limits to 12 nautical miles according to al-Ahmed.

The renewal of truce talks comes quickly, as in the deal last Tuesday the next round of talks were set vaguely to be held within a month's time.

In the upcoming talks the major demands of both sides are to be debated; for Israel the lone demand that has been raised is the disarmament of Gaza.

That demand has been flatly rejected, with Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri saying Saturday "our people will not allow it. It is not required to disarm the Palestinian people, but rather to disarm the (Israeli) occupation and to ban the American administration from providing it with the weapons that are used to kill children and women."

A Gaza airport and seaport - with or without permission

Hamas has tried to blackmail Israel through the terror war it launched last month into submitting to several extravagant demands, including a Gaza seaport and airport.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon last Friday rejected the demand, saying "there is no chance that Hamas will receive a seaport - it is not in Israel's interest, it is not an Egyptian interest, it's not even in the interest of the Palestinian Authority."

However, senior Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahar declared last Tuesday that his group would build a seaport and airport in Gaza, even without permission. He hinted construction materials brought in to reconstruct Gaza would be used for the projects, which threaten Israel's security by increasing Hamas's ability to smuggle in weapons.

Another issue to be brought up in the truce talks is a terrorist swap Hamas is pushing for, after the terrorist group refused in the deal last Tuesday to return the bodies of IDF soldiers Second Lt. Hadar Goldin and First Sgt. Oron Shaul hy''d, who were killed in the operation.

Reportedly Hamas is demanding hundreds of terrorists to be released from Israeli jails in return for the bodies, including those arrested in Operation Brother's Keeper, roughly 60 terrorists who were freed in the 2011 Gilad Shalit deal and later re-arrested, and 37 Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) members, all but two of whom are Hamas members.

They further demanded the release of the 26 terrorists promised in the fourth batch of release "gestures" as part of the Israel-PA peace talks, which broke down in April when the PA signed a unity deal with Hamas.