Gaza ceasefire talks: Easing of blockade, but no demilitarization

Details of agreement obtained by Ynet show Hamas to receive overdue salary payments, construction materials will enter under close supervision.

Attila Somfalvi

Palestinian delegation in Cairo
Palestinian delegation in Cairo

Israel has agreed to ease the closure on the Gaza Strip, according to information obtained by Ynet regarding an apparent agreement between Hamas and Israel, achieved via Egyptian mediation at the negotiations currently underway in Cairo. In contrast, there is no agreement to demilitarize Gaza, as demanded by Israel.

Ynet has learned that Israel will agree to transfer the Hamas government salaries through a third party – facilitating the payment of Hamas officials’ salaries. It was further agreed that Israel would gradually expand the fishing area off the Gaza coast, initially expected to be six nautical miles. It was also decided that construction materials will enter Gaza under close supervision.

 

 

Another issue close to agreement is that Israel will double the number of trucks entering Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing to approximately 600 trucks per day. Similarly, a decision by Israel to increase the monthly quota of permits for entry into the Gaza Strip through the Erez crossing is also close to being finalized. At the same time, criteria for entry into Israel from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank will be broadened.

In the negotiations held Monday, the parties did not reach an understanding regarding the Gaza ports. Hamas sources in the Gaza Strip said Monday evening that it would be possible to delay in dealing with the airport and seaport if Israel agrees to the rest of their requirements. The sources noted that such a situation would still require an agreement in principle for the establishment of the ports.

Israel is at present opposed to the establishment of air and sea ports in Gaza for fear they would be used by Hamas and other factions to smuggle weapons.

“The problem is not just the port,” said former Military Intelligence chief Major General (res.) Amos Yadlin several days ago. “If it were only the port, I think it could be stipulated that only monitored, civilian arrivals would be allowed. It would take four years to build, and Israel has already agreed in the past to a port in Gaza, during Yasser Arafat’s time.”

Regarding the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt – not a direct issue for Israel – it seems that the Egyptians and the Palestinians are moving toward handing control over to Palestinian Authority forces loyal to Mahmoud Abbas.

A source close to the Palestinian delegation in Cairo said Monday night that the talks between the Palestinian delegation and Israeli delegation had been continuously ongoing since 1 pm, with Egyptian mediation, with no set schedule. According to the source, the negotiations have been thorough and difficult, but the common denominator is that all parties are interested in reaching agreement and not returning to a further escalation of violence.

Israel’s delegation returned home Monday evening, and is expected to head back to Cairo Tuesday for further talks. The delegation includes Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen; Defense Ministry Director of Policy and Political-Military Affairs Amos Gilad; Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s envoy Yitzhak Molcho; Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Gen. Yoav Mordechai and Head of the IDF Planning Directorate Major General Nimrod Shefer.

No demilitarization, no port

Meanwhile, the Security Cabinet was to convene at noon Tuesday to hear the details of the agreements reached so far. A political source said that the issue of demilitarization, although it became a key talking point for Netanyahu during the fighting, was not expected to be included in the final agreement, and certainly not by Hamas.

“Hamas cannot say that it agreed to demilitarization, but the important thing is that the issue was raised,” the source said. While Israel wanted rehabilitation in return for demilitarization in Gaza, it is will likely to have to make do with making life easier for the Gazans without Hamas giving any guarantees it will decommission its weapons.

It seems that during the talks in Cairo, the demilitarization requirement was shelved along with Hamas’ demands for a seaport and airport. Cabinet ministers have made it clear that a port will be built if Hamas agrees to extreme demilitarization.”

Several ministers have expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that the talks in Cairo were conducted without informing them of their progress.

“When the agreements are presented, the ministers will rubber-stamp them because it would be very difficult to change any items,” said one minister.

 

It has not yet been clarified whether there will be a Cabinet vote on the agreements reached in Cairo.

 

Elior Levy and Roi Kais contributed to this report

 

 

August 12, 2014 | 31 Comments »

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  1. @ honeybee:

    Recipes as requested courtesy of Bibi N.

    Cut the pomegranate in half.
    Remove the sweet seeds and give them to Hamas.
    Give the bitter rind to the Israelis.

    Give the gefilte fish to Abbas.
    Save the horseradish for the israelis.

    At least that is the way it looks to me.

    Mickey

  2. mickeyobe Said:

    With thinking like this I fear Israel is paving the way to its own demise.

    I am shocked and dismayed.

    Why shocked?
    Is there any one of us here on the pundit did not know this outcome before it even started? Everyone here since 2006 has taken a ride on the Hamas merry-go-round.

    What would be surprising is if anything ever changed.

  3. @ Max:

    Sadly, Max, you are right.
    Israel gave concessions.
    What did Hamas give?

    Yet another Israeli/Arab war that Israel quit before it ended.
    Israel could have brought it to a successful, victorious conclusion.

    And now it is going to treat Hamas like victors and give them money and food and goods and materials and also allow them to keep arms.

    With thinking like this I fear Israel is paving the way to its own demise.

    I am shocked and dismayed.

    Mickey Oberman

  4. It was all for nothing.
    What a crime.
    It will be repeated in 2 or 3 years.
    More dead Israelis.

    Mickey Oberman

  5. the missing pieces to this puzzle are too extensive to draw any conclusions at this point, i do not see reliable persons up in arms…give it 48 hours

  6. “A senior Israeli official told AFP there was still a long way to go to reach an agreement to end the conflict, which erupted on July 8 when Israel launched military operations to halt cross-border rocket fire from Gaza.
    “The negotiations are difficult and gruelling,” a Palestinian official said of Monday’s talks, which lasted almost 10 hours and which were described as “serious.”
    But he said Tuesday’s meetings would be “the most important,” saying they would tackle core issues such as Israel’s eight-year blockade of Gaza, which the Palestinians want lifted.
    Tuesday’s talks were expected to go on into the evening, a Palestinian official said.
    Ahead of the talks, an Israeli official played down the chances of success.
    “The gaps are still very wide. There has not been progress in the negotiations,” he told AFP on Tuesday ahead of the return of the Israeli delegation to Cairo in the early afternoon.
    The two delegations gather in separate rooms at the headquarters of the Egyptian General Intelligence and never see each other, with mediators shuttling between them with proposals and counterproposals, a source said.
    Hamas wants Israel to lift the blockade it imposed on Gaza in 2006 before it will stop rocket attacks. Israel has said it will only facilitate Gaza’s reconstruction if the enclave is fully disarmed.
    And in a sign that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also faced domestic political battles to sell any deal to his factious coalition government, he called off a planned meeting of his security cabinet on Tuesday and instead invited key ministers, mainly hawks, for private meetings, Israeli media reported.”

    Read more at: http://reliefweb.int/report/occupied-palestinian-territory/truce-holds-cairo-talks-turn-gaza-blockade

  7. yamit82 Said:

    So called salaries are for the 20,000 terrorist fighters, tunnel diggers and rocket factory workers.

    Some Joke!!!!

    It’s Bibi’s little practical joke on Israel.

    Or Obama’s – the Americans are probably pulling the stings .. or the Brits or the EU.
    Can’t be Israelis in charge, can it? Well– not the sane ones.

  8. For new ceasefire, Israel agrees to shrink Gaza buffer zone, for Hamas demilitarization, a seaport

    extended ceasefire gives Hamas time to find answers for Israeli Chariot-4’s Windbreaker armor

    Hamas tacticians are desperate to find a chink in the Chariot-4 tank’s Armored Shield Protection-Active Trophy missile defense system, known as the Windbreaker. The 401st armored brigade is the only IDF unit with this armor.

    Hamas has tried to stop these tanks with two kinds of advanced guided anti-tank missiles, the Russian Kornet-E, and the 9M113 Konkurs. But Windbreaker repels them and blows them all up.

    Hundreds of anti tank rockets fired at our Armour and none with trophy was hit.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtMgnRMIspQ

  9. BB has managed to confuse everyone even himself.

    I think he as-hocs everything with no operative plan to achieve any goals he voiced in public. In the end he will have everyone against him right to left across our political landscape.

    Today he had private meetings with his cabinet ministers probably telling each in turn what each wants to hear and preparing them for far reaching concessions especially release of prisoners to Abbas which were promised but never delivered and some Hamas terrorists rounded up after the kidnap murder of the 3 kids. He knows he will get lots of flack on that issue and is trying to smooth the waters before announcing.

    Israel is ready to give the Palestinian Authority a leading role in the rehabilitation of the coastal enclave, Netanyahu said last week. “It’s important in the reconstruction of Gaza, in assuring the humanitarian aid and also the security questions that arise, that we have these discussions and the cooperation with them.”

    A few weeks after Israel condemned Abbas for building a unity government backed by Hamas, Abbas is now apparently considered good enough to be trusted with guarding the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt.

    “Let’s be frank: The PA security force is preferable to Hamas,” the senior Israeli official said.

    Israel is ready to double the number of trucks bringing humanitarian supplies into Gaza via the Kerem Shalom crossing — from 250 a day to 500. Israel is further prepared to let building materials into the Strip, under careful supervision, but no “double use” materials such as iron and various chemicals, which might be diverted to the Hamas terror infrastructure, would be allowed into the Strip.

    Israel would supervise any access to Gaza from its side, and Egypt would oversee any access from its side, while having Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority deploy 1,000 security troops at the Rafah Border Crossing. And Israel and Egypt would work together to prevent Hamas from rearming

    According to an unconfirmed report on Channel 2 Monday night, Israel’s delegation in Cairo is basically demanding a return to the understandings that were agreed upon at the end of Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012. http://www.timesofisrael.com/what-does-israel-really-expect-to-get-out-of-the-cairo-talks/

    Max Said:

    Ynet has learned that Israel will agree to transfer the Hamas government salaries through a third party – facilitating the payment of Hamas officials’ salaries

    Is this some kind of sick joke?

    So called salaries are for the 20,000 terrorist fighters, tunnel diggers and rocket factory workers.

    Some Joke!!!!

  10. I’m not surprised Netanyahu buckled. Hamas won its key demands. Meshaal and Haniyeh did not even have to submit an undertaking to disarm. This is exactly like the armistice agreement that ended the First World War; a twenty years’ truce. Hamas forced Israel to grant it its hudna. That is the bottom line.

  11. AbbaGuutuu Said:

    There is a willful ignorance by uninformed individuals all over the world.

    The willful ignorance is by those who know/should better. Thorough effective PR campaign all over the world there is opportunity to inform the uninformed ones not only during a war but all the time as the Arabs have been doing.

    AbbaGuutuu Said:

    if Hamas and Islamic Jihad are not demilitarized, the Israeli leadership should ahve Gaza demilitarized at least.

    If the so called international community doesn’t stand against well known and recognized terrorists (Hamas, Islamic Jihad and others, it is up to Israel to defend its citizens and sovereignty. Appeasement/tolerance of terrorists is a sign of weakness that will embolden them more than ever!

    Acceptance of Hamas demands at this juncture encourages the anti-Semites, terrorists and others to demand more unreasonable concessions from Israel.
    Why should Israel subject itself to humiliation? Even if the whole world turns against it, it should come out of this terrorist initiated war with honor!!!!!! Is there any other country since recorded human history that has made truce with a terrorist like Hamas? None to my knowledge.
    A truce by Hamas is hudna (temporary deceitful agreement until they get a better arms to fight again). Postponing a problem is not a solution!!!!

  12. AbbaGuutuu Said:

    Israel should stop making itself a laughingstock.

    Yep definition of a laughingstock: The Hamas got a murder contract on the Jews and the Jews are paying for the hit.

  13. Gaza ceasefire talks: Easing of blockade, but no demilitarization

    There is a willful ignorance by uninformed individuals all over the world. Hamas and anti-smites want the annihilation of the Jews no matter what!
    Keeping Hamas in power and not having Gaza demilitarized would scare Israeli public. For the sake of the courageous Israelis that continuously reside close to Gaza borders by keeping their children and themselves under ground without having a normal life like the citizens of most countries of the world usually enjoy, if Hamas and Islamic Jihad are not demilitarized, the Israeli leadership should ahve Gaza demilitarized at least. If not, rewarding Hamas for its aggression and criminal acts would embolden other terrorists in the west bank and anti-smites all over the world. The left stands with Islamist. World public opinion may not change in favor of Israel/Jews. The problem Israel is facing under the guise of territorial claims, economic blockade, ‘occupation’ … is mainly racism and spiritual (so called progressives and some so called elites in the west do not have a clue and cannot understand).

    Unless Israel resists external and internal pressure and passes a resolution to deal with Hamas and Islamic Jihad now, she may loose the support it is getting now (I wish to be wrong in this as it saddens me even as I wrote this).

    If Egypt wants Israel to have some sort of agreement with a well known terrorists (Hamas and Islamic Jihad), why not they be asked to agree with Muslim Brotherhood? If US continues to put pressure on Israel, why not it should be asked to have truce with Al Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS)?

    If the world sees Israel’s determination to defend its citizens not only in words but in action, they will be forced to respect her. Israel should stop making itself a laughingstock.

  14. will enter under close supervision.

    Really ? In a closed network of 1.6 million terrorists?
    Who supervises the supervisors and who supervises the supervisor’s supervisors?

    Exactly how many Israelis or pro-Israeli Gazans live in Gaza to keep an eye on things?

    “Hamas cannot say that it agreed to demilitarization, but the important thing is that the issue was raised,” the source said.

    Ha ha. that is really important oh yeah! To make someone feel better if they don’t have to live til tomorrow.

    Wouldn’t it be simpler and expedite matters if Israel simply surrendered?

  15. Ynet has learned that Israel will agree to transfer the Hamas government salaries through a third party – facilitating the payment of Hamas officials’ salaries

    Is this some kind of sick joke?

  16. WHAT!!!!

    Israel is paying HAMAS???!!!

    Every Hamas person needs to be executed with extreme prejudice – they are terrorists – active loose terrorists. They need to be killed in the field NOW!

    I cannot support self-destructive insane people. The people that do this get what they deserve -annihilation – it’s just unfortunate they have to take everyone else with them.

    Maybe the annihilation of Israel can be an object lesson to Americans – maybe – but they have a slow and warped learning curve.

  17. it looks as if the only one who improved their position is hamas. I dont understand why israelis find this situation acceptable. The Israeli position has not improved even though a war was fought and supposedly won. Dont Israelis demand to know what is going here. BB appears to be playinng a hand that only he and the foreigners are aware of. I certainly dont get the feeling that Israelis have a clue as to where BB is taking them. Is this a situation where they are reverting back to agreements before hamas took over. I am clueless and mystified and my only analysis is that BB knew the whole time where this was ending, there is no logic to his behavior except in a framework of which we are all unaware.

  18. Hamas won.

    By conceding anything without demilitarization, it makes Israel look guilty for having set up those rules in the first place.

    Israel has to go in and destroy Hamas before making concessions.

    Israel should ease up … YES, the blockade was stiff … BUT NOT WHILE HAMAS IS IN POWER.

    The next time, Israel will get hit much harder. There are ways to win urban warfare ala Jenin. Netanyahu should have bit the bullet and gone in and taken over.

    Israel has gotten nothing substantial in return.

  19. So what does Israel get, other than another couple of years of quiet? Just kicking the can down the road? Why the Palestinians instead of the Egyptians at the Rafah crossing? Why is that so great for Israel? It seems like Israel just walked away from the chance to deal a final blow to Hamas with its tail between its legs. Maybe Bibi is totally afraid of world opinion. I don’t know. Another inconclusive outcome, just like 2006 in Lebanon, and the earlier “mowing the lawn” campaigns in Gaza, I guess only to be repeated in a few years.