Israel prepared to ease conditions in Gaza to reach truce

An expanded fishing zone, easier passage for people and goods between Gaza and Israel and other concessions have been offered, a senior Israeli official says.


Israel has agreed to ease conditions in the Gaza Strip during the Cairo cease-fire talks, a senior official in Jerusalem said yesterday.

While no final agreement has been reached, Israel is prepared to ease conditions in a number of areas beyond those agreed to after Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012, Israeli officials said.

They include:

1. Expanding the fishing zone off Gaza from three nautical miles to six. Israel made clear that if security conditions allow in the future it will consider expanding the zone to 12 nautical miles, as Hamas demands.

2. Easing passage for people from the Gaza Strip to Israel and the West Bank and increasing the number of permits given each month to 5,000.

3. Significantly increasing the number of trucks with various merchandise that can enter Israel via the Kerem Shalom crossing.

4. Israel is prepared to allow money to be brought into the Gaza Strip to pay the salaries of Hamas officials through a third country that is not Qatar or through the United Nations. The transfer of the funds will be monitored so it is not used to finance terror.

The official said Israel is not prepared to discuss Hamas demands to build a seaport or airport in Gaza. He said during the talks on easing the siege, the issue came up of returning the bodies of IDF Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul and 2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin, which Hamas is holding. Israel would be prepared to release a few dozen prisoners arrested during the Gaza operation in exchange for the bodies.

As for Israel’s demand to demilitarize the Gaza Strip, no breakthrough is expected. In Jerusalem. Talk on this matter turned last week to preventing rearmament or preventing Hamas from growing stronger, rather than disarmament of the Strip.

The security cabinet is to meet this afternoon in the prime minister’s bureau in Jerusalem to discuss progress in the Egyptian-brokered negotiations in Cairo for a long-term stable cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinian factions.

The Israeli delegation to the Cairo talks spent yesterday in Cairo and returned to Israel in the evening, at which point they reported to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on the details of the talks.

Netanyahu and Ya’alon are managing the negotiations by themselves. The security cabinet meeting that is to take place today, the first in a week, will be the first chance ministers will have to hear details of the talks. A few of the ministers said yesterday that they do not know if a done deal will be brought to the meeting for a vote or whether they can still influence the components of the agreement in discussion.

At this point Israel is preparing for the 72-hour cease-fire to expire on Wednesday night and that without an agreement firing from the Gaza Strip will begin again. “If this happens we will respond more forcefully and it may even be decided to expand the operation and go back to a ground action,” a senior official said in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu and Ya’alon are said to be hoping that in light of Egypt’s tough stand against the tunnels in Rafah, Hamas will have difficulty obtaining the materials it needs to rebuilt the tunnels and manufacture weapons.

Meanwhile, an Egyptian source was reported saying that 95 percent of the problems raised in negotiations over a cease-fire with Gaza have been solved. The remaining 5 percent have to do with the construction of a seaport and airport, which Israel has rejected, arguing that these matters are linked to a final diplomatic solution between Israel and the Palestinians.

According to the Egyptian source, who spoke to the Egyptian daily Al-Shuruq, the Palestinian delegation also demanded the release of the fourth group of prisoners jailed since before the signing of the Oslo Accords – which was to have taken place in March under the terms of the Kerry talks – but Israel also rejected this demand. However, Palestinian sources said Israel had agreed in principle to release prisoners who had been part of the Shalit swap and were re-arrested after the kidnapping of the three teenage boys in June. But this agreement in principle, if indeed it exists, still does not appear in the drafts that are moving between the parties.

With regard to the border crossings, Egyptian sources say it has been agreed that all crossings between Israel and Gaza will be opened. However, how they will be monitored has yet to be settled – it has not been decided if monitors from the European Union would join inspectors to be appointed by the Palestinian reconciliation government. The Rafah border with Egypt will be discussed separately between the Palestinians and the Egyptians. Cairo has meanwhile announced that it intends to open the Rafah crossing for three days running, beginning today, to allow the passage of the wounded and the sick as well as foreigners.

Qais Abd al-Karim, deputy secretary general of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, said yesterday that a proposal was on the table to station 1,000 members of the Palestinian Presidential Guard along the border between Gaza and Egypt, and it seems that Hamas does not object. At the same time, Hamas political chief Khaled Meshal told the BBC that the cease-fire is a tactical step only, to allow assistance and medications to reach civilians in Gaza, and that if the talks fail, the “resistance” will act against Israel.

These reports indicate that the parties have not yet reached an agreement on the details of lifting the siege on the Gaza Strip, or on what kind and how much merchandise will be allowed in and out of the Strip. Nor is there agreement on overland passage between Gaza and the West Bank.

August 12, 2014 | 36 Comments »

Subscribe to Israpundit Daily Digest

Leave a Reply

36 Comments / 36 Comments

  1. Relaxation of restriction is seen as victory by hamas. This will encourage more terrorism. Overwhelming military victory over the terrorists must be the first step. Then inundation of re-education will lead to peace.

  2. yamit82 Said:

    Fact UNRWA is not a UN organization.

    You are right de facto but the UN has a LEGAL responsibility for the actions of the UNRWA which operates under its flag. Israel should hold them all accountable and make a legal attack on them all, on the individuals. the problem with Israel is that it never pursues its possibilities because it fears that the other side may pursue them, but the other side inc the UN has indeed been pursuing and attacking Israel.
    They hav no problem accusing Israel of war crimes with no evidence and knowing the circumstance, Israel needs to do the same….imagine the furor of Moon, Landi and guness being accused of war crimes and even indicted. The euros always threaten Israel with such action.

  3. yamit82 Said:

    BB’s new Arab Allie. Saudi FM Slams Israel, Pledges $500 Million to Gaza
    Al-Faisal at OIC calls for Arab unity against Israel which is trying to ‘wipe off Palestinian existence,’ Israel needs ‘peace’ to survive.

    We both know that arab rhetoric is often not indicative of their position. We have been informed for many months by BB and Liberman that there are arrangements, relationships and understandings which have increased beyond the past clandestine collaborations to a point where both consider them of great importance.

    we both know that the arabs cannot yet reveal these relationships to their street. It is even likely that the greater the divergence between their rhetoric and their action the greater the opposite of the rhetoric is more likely. We both kinow to expect such rhetoric as a way for the arabs to counter criticism that they are collaborating with israel.

    IN fact, I even just had this thought, after reading of the trashing of hamas by the same Dubai police chief who was “pursuing” mossad agents: I would not be surprised if dubai was in collaboration with Israel in the assassination of the hamas official and the pursuit and the rhetoric was a fig leaf, in the light of their current stance vs hamas. UAE is overtly anti hamas now.

    In my view, it is this relationship which explains most of BB’s seemingly irrational behavior. if the GCC seeks to install abbas/PA and BB agrees with this outcome(which I believe he does based on existing facts) then BB’s avoidance of going further in gaza makes sense. It indicates to me a covert agreement towards an outcome. BB’s behavior indicates a knowledge which remains unshared with the Israeli public. There is no rational basis for BB;s decisions unless undivulged factors are taken into consideration.

    you might remember my predictions of 2 years ago whereby the sunni jihadis instead of attacking Israel would attack and weaken assad, hezbullah,then Iraq and ultimately use the same tactics to weaken Iran using the internal baluchis, azeris and kurds in conjunctions with external sunni jihadis, kurds and Azeris We now see that Assad, hezbullah and Iraq have been weakened and appear to be fragmented, only Iran remains if it does not make a deal. I bleive that israel plays a part in this bigger scenario and that starting with the Pillar of defense, there has been a removal of hamas from the Iranian teat and a leashing to the GCC first through Qatar. Now we see Saudi stepping forward into the development of Gaza. All this must be presented, to the street, within the existing context of conflict and ideology…….however I believe that BB is part of this general movement. this explains the installation of abbas….BB fought against the unity gov but now abbas has become the one that Israel wants to see run gaza. I believe this agreement existed before the war. In the same way that the 9 mos peace talks went nowhere and both abbas and BB had already agreed that outcome. The talks were meant to remove the Israel pal conflict from the equation of the sunni jihad on Irans proxies so as to enable sunni recruitment. Now that ISIS has been introduced successfully and are recruiting jihadis to the “sunni cause” against Iran they can move forward with the gaza plan. I believe this started when Tamerod began its gaza spring.

    I have seen no logical explanation other than covert agreements which can explain BB’s behavior. I think he seeks a total Israel arab peace deal but it must evolve over time because the street is not ready to accept it. Thus he makes decisions with this in mind. Perhaps he believes he can get more land for israel this way than under the current scenario of negotiations, perhaps the GCC have told him that they dont care much what the pals get but they must save face. They often get face.

  4. bernard ross Said:

    A great indicator of UNRWA culpability is that the majority of their employees on salary are hamas members

    Fact UNRWA is not a UN organization. While it carries the UN lable and is funded by the UN out of the 30,000 employees all but 100 are Local Arabs and in Gaza 100% Hamas controlled. It’s a fiction used to perpetuate a system designed to wipe out Israel eventually. They also cook the books like few die in Gaza. They pad the numbers and pocket the difference.

  5. yamit82 Said:

    UNRWA. Read the report
    UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME Office of Audit and Investigations

    It is my view that Israel has a good legal opportunity here which it should beat to death.

    My understanding is that Israel has informed and warned the UN/UNRWA for years that it’s facilities were being used for military purposes. this fact means that legally the UN & UNRWA knew or should have known that its facilities were being used for military purposes in this war. There is no reason to assume that the UN & UNRWA are NOT criminally culpable and knowingly guilty of war crimes. In fact I argue that Moon pointing fingers at Israel, knowing the criminal culpability of the UNRWA for which he is responsible, appears to be an intentional act of criminal obstruction of justice by creating a red herring which he knew to be untrue in order to obfuscate and cloud HIS OWN GUILT! The same with the current UNRWA director, Fillipo Grandi of UNHRC fame and Chris Guness who intentionally weeped on TV pointing a finger at Israel when he might be the greatest war criminal of the bunch. It was his responsibility to make sure that UNRWA facilities WERE NOT used as military facilities in aid of an officially designated terror org. The sudden discoveries of the weapons appeared convenient, after years of being informed, as if he were suddenly discovering the crime of someone else.
    A great indicator of UNRWA culpability is that the majority of their employees on salary are hamas members

    Weapons were stored in UNRWA facilities, weapons were fired from UNRWA facilities, Tunnels were dug to and from UNRWA facilites, UNRWA employs officially designated terrorists. This was all known prior, enabled and allowed by the UNRWA.

    Without the fake cover of the UN flag, Moon, Guiness and other UN staff would likely be indicted for war crimes. There is no reason to assume that the flying of the UN flag precludes the intention to aid and abet terrorists. Due to prior knowledge, and warnings from Israel, it is more reasonable to assume a UN/UNRWA intentional collaboration with the designated terror org hamas. the behavior of the UNHRC demonstrates the impartiality of the UN and the willingness to ignore facts.

    Israel should seriously pursue this legal scenario as a tactic to deflect UN action. Israel should demand that the UN investigate itself and bring it to the ICC. Unless the UN can do this they it should expect no one else to take them seriously. Israel should threaten indictments in Israe as was done with Eichmann if the UN and ICC do not pursue the matter. However, Israel tends to miss or underestimate the value of such pursuits.

  6. yamit82 Said:

    I hate Toynbee.

    But do you love honeybees???? We like to sting, but don’t be scared. I have had more honeybees this year then I have in 5/6 yrs. And fewer wasps and hornets.

  7. MKs, President Rivlin Attend Aliyah Ceremony for 338 Olim

    Despite tensions surrounding the war in Gaza, 338 new Olim (immigrants) from the United States and Canada arrived in Israel Tuesday on an Aliyah charter flight to Israel. Of them, 108 will be enlisting in the IDF.

    Despite war in Gaza, North American immigrants land in Israel to start a new life; 108 to enlist in the IDF.

  8. Netanyahu ‘Softening’ Ministers for Concessions to Hamas?

    One minister defines personal meetings as ‘softening talks’ to rally support for highly controversial truce conditions with Hamas.

    Netanyahu’s private meetings came in place of a security cabinet meeting which the prime minister called off, indicating his attempts to rally support for a potentially highly contentious truce agreement.

    How not to fight terror by rewarding it according to BB.

    BB is a gutless f***Up. Always was and still is. He is trying to coerce the ministers to go along to share the blame and blunt political backlash after the fact.

  9. Bennett Slams ‘Calm for Cash’ Formula in Talks with Hamas

    “It is impossible to fight our enemy with one hand and to fund it with the other.”

    Bennett also strongly rejected arguments that Hamas will not use the money for terror.

    “This is exactly the reason that Hamas insists on obtaining financing,”
    ‘It is impossible to fight our enemy with one hand and to fund it with the other,’ Bennett fires, in criticism over Cairo talks.

  10. @ Max:

    How did the White house learn about the ceasefire before this one? Answer: From twitter. BB also Hung up on Kerry in mid sentence. While relations are strained Israel or BB will always tow the line because America controls the UN veto and can slow down and stop the supply chain to the IDF

  11. bernard ross Said:

    I wonder if Israel can go long without arms resupply from US and elsewhere?

    A scandal in waiting. Why has the IDF not stocked adaquit supply of munitions to cover such an eventuality?

    The Finance ministry cut the IDF Budget several times in the last few years and the IDF cut costs among them was training reserve cal ups and apparently min resupply or ordnance, counting on American stockpiles in the Negev to be used in an emergency. It’s humiliating to have to run to Obama and beg for bombs and missiles that we also produce but were short ordered on purpose.

    What would happen if America said no? What is the price America is asking or will demand for the use of their stocks of ordnance?

    America financing most of the cost for Iron Dome is one thing but most of the production was given to American contractors giving work to Americans instead of Israelis.

    This stinks!!!!!

    But consider the the IDF budget is weighted to non military purposes like paying permanent IDF soldiers full pensions after 20 yrs of service along with many other perks. The conditions for payouts do not discriminate in favor of combat soldiers all receive the same benefit packages which for Israel and probably America are very good.

  12. bernard ross Said:

    I wonder if Israel can go long without arms resupply from US and elsewhere?

    From the way Bibi backtracks whenever there is any dispute with the White House , I would say he is desperate to kowtow.

  13. honeybee Said:

    Obama ,et al., have their hands full with Iraq !!

    The only thing Obama has in his hands is his noble peace prize which he sits staring at 24/7.
    He has people to do the housekeeping – someone to make diner, someone to bomb ISIS – he don’t pay too much attention unless it’s to silence those Jews.

  14. I wonder what average Israelis are thinking about this situation? It appears to be ushering in the “unity gov” that BB was “against”. Suddenly the PA has morphed into the savior and a peace partner to be desired. Is it this war that is now making the PA look better. Everything appears to be moving towards my original prediction: a unity gov followed by more peace talks.
    I wonder if Israel can go long without arms resupply from US and elsewhere?

  15. Its a hudna. Netanyahu is a master of spin. I’m sure he will come up with a way to justify defeat as a victory.

  16. Max Said:

    America and Obama somehow forced the Israeli leadership to kneel down and kiss the feet of Hamas instead of exterminating them.

    Obama ,et al., have their hands full with Iraq !! “The Mills of G-d grind exceeding slow, but exceeding find”.

  17. Until all of Gaza is fully disarmed including sling shots, there should be no concessions only conditions.

    The conditions should be:

    No fishing period, any vessel 10 yards off the coast should be sunk let them eat the fish their woman smell like.

    All passages should be permanently closed.

    No trucks or merchandise through the Kerem Shalom crossing.

    No money. Let the Hamas and PLO leadership drain their Swiss bank accounts of the billions they’ve stolen from the aid already sent to Gaza over the past years.

    No ports or airstrips for Gaza (see below for an exception)

    The immediate return of the bodies of 2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin and Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul or Israel will release 1 prisoner an hour from a cargo plane sans parachute at 10,000 feet.

    If one more rocket is launched into Israel, It will result in all of Gaza being bulldozed into the Mediterranean sea. this would expose the tunnels still in existence and allow them to be filled with sea water. Then the entire strip will be paved over and used as an alternative airstrip for an expanded Israeli air force.

  18. Why doesn’t Bibi want to go “all the way”

    is concerned about fatalities on both sides
    is worried Hezbollah will join the fray
    focused on Iran
    doesn’t want to occupy Gaza.

    This poll is invalid , there should be more options or “other’.

  19. “truce”


    “truce”??? !!!

    It’s not truce it’s hudna mixed with concessions to terrorists..

    Israel doesn’t need a “truce”. Hamas is going to do exactly what Hamas wants to do. Giving them anything will result in a negative return. nothing.

    This is so irrational and self-destructive the only explanation I can think of is that America and Obama somehow forced the Israeli leadership to kneel down and kiss the feet of Hamas instead of exterminating them.