Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have sent a document detailing their conditions for a cease-fire to the United States, members of the Arab League and other countries involved in efforts to reach a truce.
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Among the conditions listed in the document are: the opening of borders and freedom of movement for Gazan residents; the opening of the Rafah crossing in coordination with Egypt and the Palestinian Authority; the release of prisoners who were re-arrested after they were released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal (during Israel’s Operation Brother’s Keeper that followed the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teenagers); and the carrying out of the fourth prisoner release (which Israel refused to do amid the failing round of peace talks earlier this year).
In addition, the following demands were made: permitting Gazan fishermen to sail up to 12 nautical miles from shore; and enabling freedom of movement for Palestinians in currently restricted corridors, including agricultural areas along the Strip’s border.
Hamas and the Palestinian Authority also demand an international committee be set up to guarantee to implementation of the agreement.
The Palestinians have gotten the impression throughout the cease-fire negotiations that Israel opposes most of these demands, and is only willing to do the following: open borders for humanitarian purposes and other specific exemptions; the payment of salaries of workers in Gaza on behalf of the unity government; to a water desalination project in Gaza and to partially expanding the fishing permit.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry returned to Cairo late Wednesday to continue cease-fire negotiations, after a lightening visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority, where his meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and failed to yield a breakthrough.
From Cairo, Kerry is engaging in ongoing talks with world leaders in an effort to promote the cease-fire agreement initiated by Egypt. A senior American official told Haaretz that Kerry spoke with the foreign ministers of Qatar and Turkey, and asked that they apply pressure on Hamas to agree to a truce. Kerry also held a phone conversation with Netanyahu on Thursday.
Egypt, Qatar, Turkey, the United States, the Palestinian Authority and Israel are among those involved in efforts to reach a cease-fire.