Cairo Truce Talks to Resume Wednesday

Thorny issues of sea and airport, terrorist swap and disarmament will be raised, despite terror tunnel digging reports and mortar breach.

Ari Yashar, | updated: 23:23

Hamas and Fatah at Cairo talks (file)
Hamas and Fatah at Cairo talks (file)
Reuters

An extension of truce talks in Cairo between Israel and the Palestinian Arab delegation, which includes the terrorist groups Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian Authority (PA), will reportedly resume on Wednesday and try to address larger issues pushed off in the August 26 ceasefire.

AFP cited Egyptian and Palestinian Arab officials on Saturday as placing the date for Wednesday.

"Egypt has invited Palestinian and Israeli delegations to resume talks in Cairo on September 24," a Palestinian Arab official said; an Egyptian official confirmed, adding Fatah and Hamas have been invited to meet on Monday.

Several have noted that Wednesday evening marks the start of the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashana), meaning the renewed negotiations will conflict with the holiday.

That concern was addressed by an Israeli official, who later on Saturday confirmed the date of the truce talks but said Israel had requested the talks start earlier to try and minimize conflict with Rosh Hashana. In fact some reports indicate Egypt has agreed to moving the talks to Tuesday.

Just last Tuesday, Israel agreed to a UN proposal to allow construction materials into Gaza with some sort of oversight mechanism to try and prevent terrorist appropriation of the materials, as they have been doing for years in building lethal terror tunnels.

That same Tuesday the ceasefire was breached by Gaza mortar fire, although Hamas, which has breached numerous ceasefires, denied involvement and said it arrested the perpetrators.

In the renewed round of negotiations under an Egyptian intermediary the thorniest demands on both sides are to be raised. For Israel the lone demand has been the disarmament of Gaza - a request that has been resoundingly rejected.

Hamas has made several exorbitant demands, including a sea and airport in Gaza, and a swap of hundreds of terrorists for the bodies of IDF soldiers Second Lt. Hadar Goldin and First Sgt. Oron Shaul hy''d, who were killed in Operation Protective Edge.

The terrorists being demanded include those arrested in Operation Brother's Keeper, roughly 60 terrorists who were freed in the 2011 Gilad Shalit deal and later re-arrested, 37 Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) members, all but two of whom are Hamas members, and 26 terrorists promised in the fourth batch of release "gestures" as part of the Israel-PA peace talks that broke down in April.

The resumption of truce talks comes as tensions are boiling over between Hamas and the PA, with Hamas last Friday charging the PA of splitting the unity government and the PA revealing no plans have been instituted to ensure the implementation of the reconciliation agreement signed by the two in April.

Despite the ceasefire, reports have revealed that Hamas and Islamic Jihad have already started rebuilding the terror tunnels; video evidence shows that the renewed digging of the tunnels started even minutes after the ceasefire.

Likewise, a terrorist of Hamas's "military wing," the Al-Qassam Brigades, died in a Gaza tunnel last Friday during "underground activities" according to the terror group. Hamas has revealed that Al-Qassam members dug terror tunnels during the last lull period between operations as well.

As a result of the reports of terror tunnel digging, and the lack of decisive military action in the operation, many residents of the Gaza Belt area have left the region for the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashana) over fears of an impending attack. Indeed, it was revealed that Hamas had planned to use the tunnels the IDF destroyed in massacre against Jews on Rosh Hashana.




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