by: Kate Norman
Monday, 12 October 2020 | The Jewish state and the terrorist group that controls the Gaza Strip have reportedly reached another cease-fire agreement, mediated by Qatar.
Israel’s Channel 12 news reported on Sunday that the Hamas terror organization agreed to a six-month period of quiet in southern Israel in exchange for oil-rich Qatar transferring US $100 million to the enclave.
Hamas leaders were threatening to escalate clashes on the border, the report said, after living and economic conditions plummeted in the enclave, exacerbated by the virus.
Qatar frequently pours millions of dollars into the enclave in negotiations for calm between Gaza and Israel, and the coffer of money from the last round of Qatari funding was reportedly running low.
The head of the Mossad (Israel’s internal security agency) and the Israel Defense Forces Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) reportedly negotiated the terms of the deal.
One of the main topics on the table is negotiating the release of two Israeli captives, Avraham Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, who separately entered the terror enclave, Mengistu in 2014 and al-Sayed in 2015. Neither have been seen or heard from since, except for basic proof of life. Israel has also been attempting for years to negotiate the return of the bodies of two IDF soldiers who were killed in 2014.
The situation had previously been relatively quiet in the border region after an earlier Qatar-mediated cease-fire in August, following an especially volatile round of fighting. Only two attacks have broken the tentative quiet since August: a barrage of rockets fired on September 15—while Israel was signing historic peace agreements in Washington DC with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
One rocket was also fired from the enclave last week, which the IDF said landed in an open field, causing no damage. The military launched a retaliatory strike on Hamas targets in the Strip, reportedly causing no casualties.
Clearly, terrorists in Gaza take cease-fires and peace agreements lightly—leading to the inevitable question: will they honor this particular cease-fire after breaking all the previous agreements?
Nonetheless, Israeli residents—especially those who live just over the border from the volatile enclave—are hoping that the influx of Qatari funds will revitalize living conditions in the Strip and pacify Hamas, at least for the time being.
Posted on October 12, 2020
Source: (Bridges for Peace, October 12, 2020)
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