Hamas: Cease-Fire Talks With Israel Will Resume in Two Weeks
A senior Hamas official said Wednesday that cease-fire talks with Israel would resume in mid-September, this in the wake of an Egyptian delegation’s visit to Jerusalem and Ramallah last week to broker the agreement, Israel’s NRG News reported.
Hamas deputy head political bureau chief, Musa Abu Marzouk, made the statement after arriving in Gaza from Cairo, and stressed that the talks would remain indirect.
“Egypt has yet to give us the exact date for renewing the talks,” he said, adding that his group “are determined to resume talks, and I hope the Israelis feel the same.”
Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority (PA) official, Bassam Al Salehi, told a Palestinian radio station that “the Egyptian delegation talked about the resumption of talks within two weeks falling between the dates of September 20-25.”
Senior Egyptian officials told AFP that Cairo had not set dates for hosting the talks, but confirmed that the members of the delegation met with PA President Mahmoud Abbas on the issue.
The cease-fire agreement signed between Israel and Hamas after fighting ceased on August 26th, after the 50-day Operation Protective Edge indicated that the parties would resume their talks on issues that remain unresolved, including Palestinian demands to establish an airport and seaport in Gaza, and the release of Palestinian convicts Israel detained in recent months.
For its part, Israel immediately allowed for greater entry of goods at land crossing points, including humanitarian aid and building materials, as well as increasing the fishing zone off Gaza to six nautical miles, according to Lebanon’s Daily Star.
New details emerged Tuesday about an Aug. 1 cease-fire violation by Hamas, revealing that the agreement’s chief mediators—U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon—provided Israel with incorrect information on Hamas’s intentions, according to the JNS News Service.
The 72-hour cease-fire deal, one of 11 cease-fires violated by Hamas during the recent Gaza conflict, ended when Palestinian terrorists emerged from a tunnel opening and attacked an IDF Givati Brigade infantry patrol in Gaza.
While the U.S., the U.N., and Israel said Hamas violated the cease-fire, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal claimed the terror group never accepted the deal’s principle of restraint against Israeli forces inside Gaza during those 72 hours. In retrospect, Israeli officials confirmed that Meshaal in fact never promised to accept the IDF presence in Gaza, despite U.S. and U.N. assurances to the contrary.