This Friday, Hamas' chief Khalid Mashal described the talks about a long-term truce between the Gaza leadership and Israeli officials as " positive," but he stated that no agreements have been reached so far.
Mashal told the al-Araby al-Jadeed news website that the discussion targets the five issues that the Gaza Strip suffers from," including reconstruction, ending the blockade, opening a seaport and airport, and fixing Gaza's crumbling infrastructure regarding water, electricity and roads.” Another issue discussed is that of the salaries for 50,000 former employees.
The Fatah party, Hamas' rival, said Tony Blair- former British prime minister was taking the role of a mediator in the talks.The former head of the Middle East Quartet- Tony Blair- and others had suggested a ceasefire for some years calling it ‘a truce.’
Mashal’s answer made clear that neither a ceasefire nor a truce is what ‘[they] need’, instead, there’s a need for a new terminology given Hamas does not want war, yet at the same time it is entitled to a legitimate resistance that will persist as long as there is occupation and settlement. He also emphasized that “[they] do not seek war.”Mashal stressed that Hamas is open to all suggestions for the truce as long as it does not contradict with Palestinian rights or national interests.
On Monday, Israel denied its engagement in "any meetings with Hamas, neither directly, nor via other countries or intermediaries". However, according to PA Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki "there have been negotiations and they are on the verge of reaching an agreement about a truce of eight to 10 years."
France 24 television reported that the agreement would see Israel lift its blockade imposed on Gaza and "allow maritime passage" to nearby Cyprus, Malki.
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