Saturday, October 31, 2020

Hamas says no Gaza truce extension agreed as ceasefire talks continue

By Charlotte Drax - August 07, 2014
Section: [Main News] [Life under Occupation]
Tags: [Gaza] [Operation Protective Edge]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during conference about 'Operation Protective Edge' | The Nation
Israeli media has reported that Israel has agreed to extend the 72-hour break in fighting under its current terms. Hamas, however, stated that no agreement has been reached on an extension, adding that it will consider resuming fire on Israel if its demands aren't met.
Ismael Radwan, a leader of the Palestinian group Hamas, told Al Jazeera: “The truce will not be renewed; it cannot be renewed without real achievements. As we speak, no response has been received to Hamas’s demands, which means there is no breakthrough in this respect.”
The Egyptians have warned that the talks could stalemate if both sides remain entrenched in their positions. 
According to Ma’an News Agency, officials close to the ceasefire talks in Egypt said Thursday that Israel is demanding the Gaza Strip be demilitarized. 
The Palestinian delegation has demanded an end to the siege of Gaza, the construction of a seaport and airport, the release of detainees who were rearrested, and the creation of a safe passage between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
The officials told Ma’an News Agency that the Israeli delegation has expressed reservations about building a seaport and airport, but showed greater flexibility in discussing lifting the blockade, freeing Palestinian detainees, and extending the designated fishing zone.
“The people of Gaza are not our enemy, our enemy is Hamas”
In his first public remarks since a 72-hour ceasefire came into effect on Tuesday, Netanyahu told local and foreign journalists that the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas was to blame for the heavy destruction and civilian casualties.
 “Israel deeply regrets every civilian casualty. The people of Gaza are not our enemy, our enemy is Hamas. Every civilian casualty is a tragedy, a tragedy of Hamas's own making.”
“I think it was justified. I think it was proportionate and that doesn't in any way take away the deep regret we have for the loss of a single civilian casualty,” Netanyahu added, in response to a question from the US news channel CNN.
At least 1,875 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in the assault, while 67 people, including 64 soldiers, died on the Israeli side.
The deaths in Gaza “have shocked and shamed the world”
Netanyahu's comments came as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the deaths in Gaza “have shocked and shamed the world”.
Speaking at the General Assembly, Ban Ki-moon demanded an end to what he called the senseless cycle of suffering and urged the international community to support the enormous task of rebuilding Gaza, providing humanitarian aid to thousands in need and treating the wounded.
“We will build again, but this must be the last time to rebuild,” the UN chief told the 193-member world body. “This must stop now. They must go back to the negotiating table.”
“We must spare no effort to turn the current calm into a durable ceasefire that addresses the underlying issues of the conflict,” he added. 

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