Hamas Rejected 5-year Israel Truce in Return for End to Gaza Blockade, Says Abu Marzouk

Hamas senior official says proposal, presented by Israeli, Palestinian, and international elements, included clauses about operating of airport, seaport.

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
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Senior Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouk.
Senior Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouk.Credit: AP
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Hamas has rejected an offer for a five-year ceasefire with Israel in exchange for lifting the Israeli blockade over the Gaza Strip, Hamas senior official Musa Abu Marzouk stated on Wednesday.

According to Marzouk, the offer, proposed by Israeli, Palestinian and international elements, also included clauses about operating an airport and a seaport in the Strip.

"We're paying a steep price for our stance by the continued blockade and economic pressure over the Strip, but we reject any idea that would lead to the separation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, despite the fact that Palestinian President Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) and his government are actively doing so with their policies," Marzouk said in a Facebook post.

Abu Marzouk's statement came several days after the outgoing United Nations representative to the Middle East proposed a three-to-five year truce in the Gaza Strip in order to enable the rehabilitation of territory following the summer's 50-day war.

Robert Serry raised the proposal to the Hamas leadership in Gaza last Monday, during his final visit to the territory. Serry is winding up his seven-year term as UN special coordinator for Middle East peace, and will be replaced by former Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolai Mladenov.

"The rehabilitation of Gaza will take years and for that we need time and a commitment from all concerned parties for a long-term 'reconstruction hudna,' to which all Palestinian factions should be committed," he said.

At the end of the visit, Serry issued a statement to the press which received minimal attention in Israel because it was eclipsed by media coverage of the election campaign and of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress. A senior Israeli official said Israel was familiar with the proposal, but that it had not been officially presented to Israel.

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