by: Itamar Eichner
Friday, 17 August 2018 | An anticipated ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas will include a year-long cessation of hostilities and the creation of a maritime route between the Gaza Strip and Cyprus under Israeli security supervision, according to a Thursday report in the Al Mayadeen news channel.
The Hezbollah-affiliated pan-Arabist satellite channel in Lebanon claimed that the next 48 hours will prove crucial in the much-sought truce between Israel and the Gaza-ruling terror group.
In addition, the report said that Qatar will pay the salaries of officials in Gaza together with the Egyptians, and will also pay the electricity bills in the Strip in cooperation with Israel.
The report comes on the heels of another report by Al-Hayat newspaper that the head of the Egyptian intelligence, Abbas Kamel, met with Israeli officials in Tel Aviv on Wednesday in order to finalize the details of a long-term ceasefire deal.
Al-Hayat cited a Palestinian official as saying that the final accord could be announced on Friday.
“A possible deal will be signed [today] in the presence of all the Gaza factions,” a Palestinian official said.
One of the core issues under discussion is the future negotiation with Hamas for the release of captive Israeli civilians and the remains of fallen soldiers in exchange for several humanitarian projects in Gaza.
Palestinian officials told Al-Hayat that Kamel discussed with Israel the final details of the ceasefire agreement before making his way to Ramallah for further talks
Kamel’s visit follows two Hamas and Islamic Jihad expeditions to Cairo that discussed the agreement’s details. Other Gaza officials are to travel to Cairo on Thursday in order to further discuss the details.
Azzam al-Ahmad, a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) executive committee, criticized the Israel–Hamas deal and called it “a betrayal of the Palestinian people and its national aspirations.”
In his interview with a Palestinian radio station al-Ahmad added that “what is happening is not negotiations but rather a resolution festival,” and stated that “our government has no time for futile celebrations, not all factions participated in the talks and we were surprised to discover the names of some movements that did participate.”
On Wednesday, during a PLO central council meeting, [Palestinian Authority] President Abbas attacked the US government, denouncing its members as “liars.”
“How come the Americans have all of a sudden remembered the humanitarian situation in Gaza? Where have all these humanitarian projects come from?” Abbas said.
“We will continue to fight against Trump’s ‘deal of the century’—until it is canceled,” he added, emphasizing the American policy is aimed at putting Gaza at the central stage.
On Monday, it was reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had secretly met with the Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, but no confirmation was given by Netanyahu’s office.
Ten News reported that the meeting between the two took place in Egypt, on May 22. Netanyahu flew to the meeting with only a handful of advisors and security personnel. He participated in a Ramadan Iftar dinner and returned to Israel after a few hours, late at night.
According to the report, government ministers knew nothing of the Netanyahu–al-Sisi meeting.
A Palestinian official involved in the diplomatic channels involving Israel, Hamas and Egypt said that the discussions, dubbed “quiet on condition of quiet,” were held between Netanyahu and al-Sisi in Cairo.
Posted on August 17, 2018
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