72-Hour Ceasefire Holds as Israel and Hamas Undergo Negotiations
Israel and Gaza are once again under a 72-hour ceasefire, as world leaders push for the opposing sides to negotiate a permanent peace agreement and end the month-long conflict. The ceasefire was issued Sunday night in order for the injured to seek medical treatment.
Leaders of the Israel Defense Forces and Hamas planned to travel to Cairo for another round of negotiations Monday. Previous talks accomplished little, as Hamas said it wants to remove the Israeli and Egyptian blockade and Israel demands the destruction of Hamas’ weapons. It is believed that the militants still maintain an arsenal of several thousand rockets.
Palestinian spokesman Qais Abdelkarim said that this round of negotiations have a “hope of reaching a lasting ceasefire.”
An anonymous Palestinian negotiator said, “We might not get everything we want, particularly on freedom of movement. But we believe the Israelis and the world have gotten the point that Gazans should live normally and things should be much better than today.”
The negotiator said that a partial relief of the blockade would be acceptable, but Hamas has given no indication that the group would be willing to disarm.
Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said, “"They want to get legitimacy as a terrorist organization without accepting the requirements of the international community.”
Publication date: August 11, 2014