Monday, 20 August, 2018

Egypt bears equal responsibility for Gaza: Israeli minister

An Israeli and a Croatian pilot pose together in a video released by the Croatian Ministry of Defense An Israeli and a Croatian pilot pose together in a video released by the Croatian Ministry of Defense
Melinda Barton | 09 August, 2018, 08:27

Hamas has linked their fate to Israel freeing Palestinian security detainees - something many Israelis oppose.

"Hamas has conducted internal meetings that have not yet ended", one senior official, Hussam Badran, told a Gaza radio station.

The official declined to comment on whether the issue of Israeli civilians and the bodies of fallen soldiers being held hostage by the group is on the table. Hamas has reportedly agreed to a three-stage deal proposed by the global interlocutors. A number of Palestinians "infiltrated" Israel and threw firebombs and "an explosive device" before returning to Gaza, it said. According to him, Fatah leads a systematic campaign against Hamas.

The PA, which has placed several economic sanctions on Gaza in an attempt to pressure Hamas, is no expected to play a major role in the Strip's hoped-for development projects that will reportedly be funded by cash from Washington, Brussels and wealthy Gulf states.

According to al-Hayat al-Jadida, thousands protested in the city of Tel Aviv and other Arab towns in Israel against Israel's racist recent nation-state law.

The report came as Hamas briefed various Palestinian factions on the ongoing mediated talks.

An unnamed Israeli official said Sunday that there might be talks focusing on a proposal to ease the blockade of Gaza if the Palestinians calm their side of the fence that separates the occupied territories from the blockaded coastal sliver.

Israel insists its blockade is necessary to isolate Gaza's Islamist Hamas rulers, with which it has fought three wars since 2008.

Another Palestinian, 25-year-old Ahmed Yaghi, was killed by a sniper east of Gaza City on Friday.

Israel has shut the Kerem Shalom crossing, Gaza's sole commercial access point, as a punitive measure over the launch of incendiary balloons by Palestinian activists from the seaside enclave into Israel, banning all deliveries except food and medicine. It said that Israel's military chief had briefed the cabinet about the situation in the Gaza Strip and that the army was "prepared for any scenario".

The long-term deal is supposed to give Gaza access to a seaport and airport, albeit in the Sinai Peninsula, as well as a power plant.