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Israel Resends Delegation to Cairo for Negotiations

Israel_smallerBCN editor’s note: please contact the author for reprint permission.

Israel has resent its delegation to participate in negotiations in Cairo Monday morning. On Sunday Israel announced it would send its delegation only if rocket attacks stopped from midnight until Monday morning. A 72 hour-ceasefire began at 12:01 am Monday. Israel pulled its negotiators from Cairo on Friday after Hamas refused to extend a previous negotiated 72-hour ceasefire.

Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch stated that negotiations in Cairo would unlikely bring a long-term deal. He stated, “There is a slim chance an agreement will be reached, but to my understanding after 72 hours the fire will resume and we will have to turn to the next stage, which is the decisive stage.”

Hamas threatened to resume rocket fire if talks in Cairo were to fall through, its political head Khaled Mashal stating, “If we don’t reach an agreement within 72 hours, it is likely we’ll quit the negotiations and there won’t be another ceasefire.” Mashal stated that, “Any long-term ceasefire would be conditioned on the lifting of the siege on the Gaza Strip. One of the results of the war is the fact the issue of the Gaza seaport has been put on the regional and international agenda. The Palestinians deserve to travel, study and go on vacation outside the Strip.” Mashal has repeatedly demanded that Gaza be provided with an international seaport and airport.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated on the 72-hour ceasefire that he “expresses his strong hope that this will give the two sides, under Egyptian auspices, another chance to agree on a durable ceasefire for the benefit of all civilian populations and as a starting point to address the underlying grievances on both sides…. The United Nations stands ready to assist in the implementation of an agreement that would consolidate peace and allow for much needed reconstruction and development of Gaza.”

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan and recently President elect stated on Monday morning that Turkey has begun to evacuate wounded residents of Gaza to Turkey for medical treatment. Reports that four Palestinians were airlifted to Ankara were released on Monday morning. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu stated that Turkish efforts to establish an “air corridor” to bring wounded Palestinians from Gaza to Turkey are under way.

Hamas has reportedly executed dozens of its tunnel diggers reportedly out of fear they would reveal tunnel site locations to Israel. According to reports, Hamas would blindfold may of its hired excavators so they would not know locations of tunnel sites. A former tunnel digger and Israeli collaborator state that, “The people we met had their faces covered, no one knew them by their real names, it was all codes and first names. They didn’t want to take the risk that some of the diggers were collaborating with Israel. Anyone they suspected might transfer information to Israel on the tunnels was killed by the military wing. They were very cruel.”

AmirTsarfatiAmir Tsarfati, a Jewish Christian, is the founder and president of Behold Israel, a news site to correct the scarcity in trustworthy reportage on issues and events impacting Israel, and to resolve the uncertainty about who or what to believe.

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