On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that any deal made on Gaza had to meet his country’s security needs; he also added that Hamas will continue to absorb very hard strikes if Hamas continues firing.
The five-day ceasefire expires today and negotiators have returned after consulting in Cairo. The five weeks of hostilities have killed more than 2,000 people, mostly Palestinians.
There is still a long way until a long-term deal is reached between Israel and militant groups in the Gaza Strip. Yesterday evening, a Palestinian official said that Egyptians mediators presented Israel’s position as being in retreat from what had already been achieved and discussions had returned to square one.
The official that made the comments wish to remain unnamed. They told MENA, Egypt’s official news agency that Israel had somehow toughened its stance and has made impossible demands, especially on security matters. The source also added that Palestinians were to review the situation and offer a response on Monday.
The source continued:
We are determined to achieve the demands of our people and foremost is ending the aggression and launching the rebuilding process and lifting the Israeli-imposed blockade of the Gaza Strip.
A senior Hamas official that took part in the talks revealed that there is no certainty if the ceasefire would continue past Monday. Moussa Abu Marzouk continued:
There are 24 hours left for the agreed calm period and it may not be renewed. The Palestinian delegation will not cede any of the rights of our people.
Israel doesn’t appear to show interest in making too many concessions and has called for the disarming of militant groups; Hamas wants Egyptians and Israeli blockades of Gaza lifted.
Benjamin Netanyahu, stated that Hamas should not underestimate Israel’s decision to continue fighting. He added:
Only if there is a clear response to our security needs will we agree to reach understandings. If Hamas thinks that through continued intermittent firing it will cause us to make concessions, it is mistaken. For as long as quiet does not return, Hamas will continue to absorb very harsh strikes.
A member of Netanyahu’s security cabinet, Israeli Communications Minister, told a news channel that the way it is looking now, I think that we will not reach a deal.
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