Reports that ceasefire will begin in coming days; Hamas chief claims ceasefire result of Gaza’s “resilient stance”; Hamas officials: Our weapons will remain in our hands and there are no conditions regarding Hamas’s right to the resistance.
Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh claimed the blockade on the Gaza Strip would soon end as a result of the Palestinians “resilient stance”.
Giving a speech on the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha Tuesday, Haniyeh stated “Gaza is on the way to ending the blockade thanks to your resilient stance… There will be no political price for humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip,” referring to the Egyptian brokered ceasefire with Israel. He claimed the ceasefire agreement with Israel was a result of Palestinians in Gaza’s months of riots and violence on Israel’s border, stating “This is the result of our struggle and our steadfastness.”
The Hamas leader also claimed that Gaza’s humanitarian aid would be protected under an “Arab security net to offer suitable warranty,” however adding “we emphasize that opposition is the best warranty there is”. He also claimed that a unity government with Fatah would be created, as well as Palestinian elections to be held in the future.
On Monday, Hamas announced that it would not disarm under any agreements with Israel, a Hamas official stating “Our weapons will remain in our hands and there are no conditions regarding Hamas’s right to the resistance… The truce does not require a political price…”
Talks with Hamas are reported to be near an end with a possible one-year ceasefire to be announced. In the Egyptian-mediated deal, there would be a lift of restrictions on Israel’s borders with Gaza and humanitarian support, as well as the return of the remains of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, held since Operation Protective Edge in 2014, and release of Israeli citizens Avera Mengistu and Hisham Sayed.
Talks with Hamas with senior officials and representatives from Egypt, Qatar and the UN in the Gaza Strip began weeks ago. Hamas delegations held rounds of talks in Cairo with Egyptian officials with reports that Egypt’s General Intelligence Chief, Abbas Kamel, secretly visited Israel before meeting with Abbas last week. Reports also surfaced that Prime Minister Netanyahu met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in May, their meeting centered on efforts for a ceasefire in Gaza.