Gaza truce negotiators set new talks

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in Cairo have agreed to schedule new talks on a durable Gaza ceasefire for the last week of October, a Hamas official said.


A delay in the talks following their first Egypt-mediated negotiations since the end of a devastating 50-day war in Gaza last month had been expected, because of upcoming Jewish and Muslim holidays.

The Palestinian delegation, which includes rival factions Hamas and president Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah, will remain in Cairo this week to discuss resolving their own disputes.

“We finished the indirect negotiations… it was agreed to resume them in the last week of October,” wrote senior Hamas negotiator Ezzat al-Rishq on his Facebook page on Tuesday.

The talks were almost derailed earlier on Tuesday when Palestinian negotiators threatened to pull out after Israeli soldiers killed two suspects in the June murder of three Jewish teenagers in the West Bank.

That incident shocked Israel and led to weeks of simmering violence culminating in the war between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza which killed more than 2140 Palestinians, most of them civilians, and 73 on the Israeli side, mostly soldiers.

The war ended on August 26 with an agreement to hold future talks on Palestinian demands to end an eight-year blockade of Gaza and exchange prisoners in Israeli jails for the remains of Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza.

Rishq said the Palestinian negotiators in Cairo proposed that the talks in October centre on reconstructing Gaza and setting up an airport and port in the Mediterranean enclave.

Israel has insisted that Hamas, which possesses a considerable arsenal of short- and medium-range rockets, disarm.

The July-August war caused a vast amount of destruction to homes and infrastructure in densely populated Gaza, leaving more than 100,000 Palestinians homeless in the long term, according to the United Nations.

Posted by at 29/07/2019
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