Wednesday,19 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1210, (21 - 27 August 2014)
Wednesday,19 September, 2018
Issue 1210, (21 - 27 August 2014)

Ahram Weekly

‘Manoeuvring and stalling’

Al-Ahram Weekly

A flurry of diplomacy between a delegation of Palestinian factions and Israel has failed to reach a comprehensive truce on Gaza. A one-day extension of the earlier negotiated ceasefire had brought some relief. But this came to an end on Tuesday when the Israeli government ordered the Israeli military to renew the use of force against “terror targets” in Gaza. The order came after the alleged launch of three rockets targeting Beersheva in southern Israel Tuesday.

“The gap is big, and the negotiations are difficult and complicated,” Palestinian Ambassador to Cairo Jamal Shobaki said Tuesday on Voice of Palestine Radio. “The Egyptians may present another proposal today.”

Both sides had declared their intention to resume fighting the minute talks collapse.

After a last-minute agreement to extend the deadline for a truce by 24 hours, Azzam Al-Ahmed, senior leader of the Fatah movement, said there had been “no progress on any point” in talks aimed to resolve the Gaza conflict.

“We hope that every minute of the coming 24 hours will be used to reach an agreement,” he said, warning that the absence of such an agreement would allow “the circle of violence” to continue.

Al-Ahmed accused Israel of “manoeuvring and stalling” as gaps on key issues continued to hinder efforts towards achieving a long-term deal between Israel and Palestinian factions. Such a deal that would allow reconstruction aid to flow into Gaza after five weeks of heavy Israeli assault.

In Gaza, a senior Palestinian official told Reuters that agreement had been reached on all but two points drafted by Egypt for a wider deal, including opening Gaza’s crossings to allow a freer flow of goods and extending maritime limits in the Mediterranean Sea.

Issues still not agreed upon include Hamas’s demands to open a seaport and an airport, which Israel has said it would only discuss at a later stage. Also unresolved is the demand that Israel free Palestinian prisoners and Hamas hand over the remains of two Israeli soldiers killed in recent hostilities, a Palestinian official said.

Israel, which launched its Protective Edge offensive on Gaza 8 July, has called for the disarming of militant groups in the enclave of 1.8 million people.

Hamas has said that laying down its weapons is not an option.

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