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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Israel accepts several terms of the peace talks regarding Gaza ceasefire

Gaza after IDF bombings
(Image: BBC)
After almost one month long military offensive in Gaza Strip, which left hundreds people dead and many more injured, Israeli side accepted some terms and deamnds of the Palestinian side. 

Egypt, which is a strong and influential regional power and traditionally mediates the talks between Israel, Palestine and Hamas, played the role of a mediator this time as well, offering the ceasefire plan, which was initially rejected by Hamas three weeks ago and then finally accepted on Monday, with the 72-hour ceasefire starting since Tuesday, 5 August.

Israeli delegation has arrived in Egyptian capital Cairo on Tusday for the further ceasefire talks which could lead to the further progress and possible end of war. Palestinian officials delegation has arrived in cairo as well, and even representatives of Hamas and Islamic Jihad forces, ruling the nesieged Gaza, were also presented during the Tuesday talks.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas in Cairo
(Image: Times of Israel)
The Palestinian side has officially presented the paper with the list of demands for the secafire and the further negotiations, what was discussed with the Israeli side. Israel has initially accepted four of those main terms, while it rejected three others, according to Arab media.

Thus, Israeli officials agreed to end the Gaza offensive and tp withdraw the IDF troops and nilitary technique from Gaza. The second terms which was also accepted by the Israeli side is lifting Gaza blocade. Israel also accepted the demand to grant the rights for Gaza fishermen. In addition to that Israeli officials declared they are ready to negotiate the prisoners' deal and to release some of them.

As for the main demands of the Palestinian side which were rejected, were re-opening of Gaza international airport and Gaza international port and imposing connections between Gaza and the West Bank.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
(Image: Wikipedia)
Meanwhile, the talks are expected to continue and to possible reach the next stage, as Israel started withdrawal of its forces from the Gaza Strip. The main goal of the current military operation aimed to destroy the network of the underground tunnels activily used by Hamas militants for smuggling and inflitrating Israeli territory was declared to be complete, as almost all the tunnels were destroyed by the Israeli military, according to the IDF spokesperson. Thus, Israel continues withdrawal of its troops from Gaza and is expected to participate in the further talks to be held in Cairo.

The current Operation Protective Edge conducted by Israel in Gaza left more than 1800 Palestinians dead, most of them civilians, and more than 9000 people wounded. Tens of thousands of people remain to be displaced, as Gaza infrastructure is almost destroyed, while the cities of Gaza are on the verge of the humanitarian catastroohe. As for Israeli losses, Israel has lost 64 soldiers and 3 civilians since the beginning of the operation.