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’Israel’ Surrenders, Hamas Cautious to Approve Gaza Truce
Local Editor

"Israel" surrendered to an Egyptian-proposed deal that would halt the week-old aggression on seized Gaza, while Hamas responded cautiously on Tuesday, saying it had not been consulted by Cairo.

At "Israeli" military headquarters in Tel Aviv, the Security Cabinet convened by Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it voted to approve the truce deal, minutes before it was to come into effect.

A senior "Israeli" war official and envoy to Cairo, Amos Gilad, attempted to cast the deal positively by saying, "Look at the balance, and you see that Hamas tried every possible means of striking at "Israel" while bringing great and terrible damage on its people, from their perspective."

"The Egyptian proposal includes a halt to all kind of [military] activity," Gilad said.

Meanwhile, a Hamas spokesman in seized Gaza, Sami Abu Zuhri, said earlier on Tuesday that the group had not received an official cease-fire proposal, and he repeated its position that demands it has made must be met before it lays down its weapons.

Hamas's armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, rejected the reported text of the truce deal, saying: "Our battle with the enemy continues and will increase in ferocity and intensity."

While "Israel" had mobilized tens of thousands of troops for a threatened seized Gaza invasion, Gilad further said, "We still have the possibility of going in, under cabinet authority, and putting and end to them [the rockets]."

Under the proposal announced by Egypt's Foreign Ministry, "de-escalation arrangements" would take effect at 0600 GMT, pending implementation of a full truce within 12 hours after.
High-level delegations from "Israel" and the Palestinian factions would hold separate talks in Cairo within 48 hours to consolidate the cease-fire with "confidence-building measures."

Hours before the proposal was announced, "Israel" kept up its strikes in the seized Gaza Strip and deployed infantry and armour along the frontier while Gaza fighters responded with rockets on Tel Aviv.

Late Monday, "Israel" bombed the house of a top commander of Hamas' armed wing, Marwan Issa, in Bureij refugee camp.

The surge in hostilities over the past week was prompted by the alleged murder in June of three Zionists in the occupied West Bank.

Hamas leaders have said a cease-fire must include an end to "Israel's" blockade of seized Gaza and a recommitment to a truce reached in an eight-day war there in 2012.

Hamas also wants Egypt to ease restrictions at its Rafah crossing with seized Gaza, imposed after the military toppled Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi last July.

However, the Egyptian proposal made no mention of Rafah or when restrictions might be eased. It said only that "crossings shall be opened and the movement of persons and goods through [them] shall be facilitated once the security situation becomes stable on the ground."

Additionally, Hamas has said it wants the release of hundreds of its activists arrested in the occupied West Bank while "Israel" searched for the three missing Zionists. The detainees include more than 50 Hamas men freed from "Israeli" jails in a 2011 prisoner exchange.

The proposed truce made no mention of the detainees in stipulating that "other issues, including security issues, shall be discussed with the sides."

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry will hold talks with Egyptian officials in Cairo on the situation on Tuesday.

In Washington on Monday, US President Barack Obama spoke positively of the emerging cease-fire.

Reiterating US support for "Israel" in the face of Hamas's "inexcusable" response and concern for Palestinian civilian casualties, Obama said in a speech: "We are encouraged that Egypt has made a proposal to accomplish this [truce] goal which we hope can restore a calm that we've been seeking."

Moreover, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who reached an agreement with Hamas in April that led to the formation of a unity government last month in June, welcomed the proposal and urged its acceptance, WAFA said.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team


15-07-2014 | 10:54

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