Reports in Israeli and Palestinian media say that the two Palestinian resistance groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad have set forth ten conditions for a ceasefire and ten-year truce with Israel.
Israel’s Maariv said that an unnamed “senior Palestinian official” passed it a copy of the demands, which have been transmitted by the factions to Egypt.
They include an end to all armed hostilities, the end of the siege of Gaza, and the construction of internationally supervised air and seaports.
While Hamas has not as yet officially stated these demands, they are in line with the group’s long-standing policy of offering Israel a multi-year truce.
The reported conditions come after nine days of Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip that has killed more than 200 people, injured close to 1,400, and destroyed the homes of 8,200 others. Almost 80 percent of the dead, who include more than thirty children, are civilians, according to the UN.
Yesterday, Hamas refused to respond to a unilateral “ceasefire” declared by Israel that would have left the situation of siege on the Gaza Strip unchanged.
Airport, seaport and an end to violence
The ten conditions were translated by The Electronic Intifada from an Arabic version published by Ma’an News Agency:
- Mutual cessation of the war and withdrawal of tanks to previous locations and the return of farmers to work their land in the agricultural border areas.
- Release of all the Palestinians detained since 23 June 2014 and improvement of the conditions of Palestinian prisoners, especially the prisoners from Jerusalem, Gaza and Palestinians of the interior [present-day Israel].
- Total lifting of the siege of Gaza and opening the border crossings to goods and people and allowing in all food and industrial supplies and construction of a power plant sufficient to supply all of Gaza.
- Construction of an international seaport and an international airport supervised by the UN and non-biased countries.
- Expansion of the maritime fishing zone to 10 kms and supplying fishermen with larger fishing and cargo vessels.
- Converting the Rafah crossing into an international crossing under supervision of the UN and Arab and friendly countries.
- Signing a 10-year truce agreement and deployment of international monitors to the borders.
- A commitment by the occupation government not to violate Palestinian airspace and easing of conditions for worshipers in Al-Aqsa Mosque.
- The occupation will not interfere in the affairs of the Palestinian government and will not hinder national reconciliation.
- Restoration of the border industrial areas and their protection and development.
“Should have been met years ago”
I believe that these requirements should have been met years ago. The core of these requirements are not political but purely humanitarian and legally binding. The international community has called many times for their implementation. Palestinians have the right to move in and out freely like others in the world. They have the right to import and export, to control their borders and airspace. Israel argues that it left Gaza, so it should stop controlling the lives of Palestinians.
Abdu noted that his organization recently published a detailed proposal to establish a maritime link from Gaza to the rest of the world with an international role that could “alleviate security concerns.” More