Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority are for once of one mind: They totally reject the exorbitant demands Hamas negotiators slapped down in Cairo for a long-term truce.
On Wednesday, Aug. 8, Hamas negotiators put a list of unreal demands before truce broker Egyptian General Intelligence Director Gen. Kemal Abbas in Cairo. The response from Jerusalem was that they are “totally unacceptable” and Israel did not intend to even start considering them. Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas signaled his rejection from Qatar.
And so, while Hamas called for a “long-term truce” its tactics produced the opposite effect and brought the indirect negotiations to a dead end.
The Palestinian terrorist organization’s four main demands are reported here by DEBKAfile:
- As a pre-condition for talks, the Gaza Strip’s borders with Israel must be reopened and the clock turned back to June 2007, that is before Hamas seized power in a military coup against the Fatah. DEBKAfile explains what this means. The removal of the Israeli-Egyptian blockade, the opening of the crossings to both countries, free movement between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank via southern Israel and permission for tens of thousands of Gaza Palestinians to work in Israel.
- Regarding the handover of Israel’s MIAs and the two civilians held hostage by Hamas, Israel must first open the prison doors and release all the convicted terrorists who are Hamas members. Only then, will Hamas provide Israel with its first information about the missing soldiers and hostages. Negotiations for their handover will then begin against suitable compensation for Hamas.
- Hamas is willing to transfer security control in the Gaza Strip and its border crossings to the Palestinian Authority, provided the PA break off all security cooperation with Israel.
- The Palestinian Authority must recognize the 40,000 armed men of Hamas’ Ezz e-din Al-Qassam terrorist wing as salaried members of its own staff.
Our sources note that Hamas has critically ratcheted up its conditions for a ceasefire compared with previous rounds of talks in Cairo. The military restraint policy against Hamas terror pursued by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkot, has led Palestinian extremists to believe they can bend Israel to their will by holding out the uncertain prospect of peace and quiet. Opening the gates of Gaza for thousands of Palestinians to swarm into Israel is a recipe for the revival of yet another mass suicide terror campaign in a short time.
While discussing a truce, Hamas is keeping the level of violence high: A couple of rockets from Gaza landed in Sderot Wednesday night, after two Gazan shooting incidents in two days and dozens of kites and balloons continue without pause to ravage the Israeli countryside.