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Hamas Re-issues Terms For Ceasefire With Israel, After Intervention by Qatar, Turkey

author Sunday July 20, 2014 10:41author by Celine Hagbard - IMEMC News Report post

A Hamas-affiliated website has published the ceasefire terms that Hamas and Islamic Jihad have reportedly submitted to the U.S. through a Qatari intermediary. The terms include an immediate cessation of military operations and the end of the siege of Gaza that has been ongoing since 2006.


Chart of Israeli ceasefire violations (UN/OCHA chart)

The proposal includes a requirement that the U.S. must be responsible for ensuring that Israel does not violate the terms of the ceasefire.

Youssef Munayyer, the head of the Palestine Center in Washington DC, told reporters with Al Jazeera America that only the U.S. has the ability to hold Israel accountable for cease-fire violations, but "They have not demonstrated the political will in doing so in the past."

The ceasefire initiative includes:
1. Mutual and immediate cessation of fire.
2. Mutual cessation of military and security operations.
3. Total lifting of the siege of Gaza and opening the border crossings for goods and people and allowing in food, industrial, fuel and construction supplies, expanding the maritime fishing zone to 12 miles, in addition to removing the buffer zone and implementing reconstruction projects.
4. Full commitment to the prisoners’ swap deal reached on 1/10/2011 under Egyptian mediation, and the release of all the Palestinians detained since 12 June 2014, including Palestinian Legislative Council Speaker Dr. Aziz Dweik, in addition to the reopening of public institutions and improving the conditions of Palestinian prisoners.

The ceasefire implementation mechanism:
1. Determination of a zero hour for implementation of all requirements of the ceasefire.
2. Full commitment to the ceasefire under US supervision.
3. Mutual cessation within 6 hours of its announcement.

Previous ceasefire agreements (in 2009 and 2012) have faced repeated violations by Israeli forces, with no enforcement mechanism to ensure compliance with the ceasefire.

According to Munayyer, quoted by Al Jazeera, “Within the first 30 days after the cease-fire was agreed upon, no rockets were fired at Israel. Israel, however, killed two Palestinians, injured more than 40 and detained dozens of fishermen. If the Palestinians violated the cease-fire and fired a projectile into Israel, Israel retained the independent capacity to hold them accountable for that and they did at will and on a regular basis if they had to. But the same could not be said on the Palestinian side, because they do not have the capacity to hold the much mightier Israeli side to account for violations.”

In 2009, after 3 ˝ weeks of invading Gaza and killing over 1400 Palestinians, at least 1,100 of whom were civilians, Israel declared a unilateral ceasefire and withdrew on January 19th, 2009 – the day before the inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the U.S.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad then declared a ceasefire as well, and laid out terms for the continuation of the ceasefire long-term, but Israel never agreed to or complied with these conditions. The main condition was that Israel lift its siege on Gaza’s air, sea and land.

According to Al Jazeera, “In the days after the [2009] cease-fire, Israel opened fire on Palestinian farmers close to the border and fishermen in the sea who thought the cease-fire allowed them to cultivate their land and fish six nautical miles off the coast. Riyad Mansour, Palestinian ambassador to the U.N., complained that the attacks were violations of the cease-fire. Within the first 30 days after the cease-fire was agreed upon, no rockets were fired at Israel. Israel, however, killed two Palestinians, injured more than 40 and detained dozens of fishermen.”

The current ceasefire proposal, which was reportedly passed to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday, has not been mentioned by either U.S. or Israeli officials.

category gaza strip | diplomacy | news report author email news at imemc dot org
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