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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Gaza fisherman's bay
From numerous Arab media, and in English at the Hamas-affiliated Palinfo site:
The Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas denied news of the existence of a proposed 10-year truce with Israel in return for economic concessions to the Gaza Strip.

The movement stressed in a brief statement Saturday that the news reported was unfounded.

The news item claimed that the Israeli government provided a new offer to Hamas through intermediaries for the purpose of signing a long-term truce in the Gaza Strip, including a truce for 10 years in exchange for substantial economic concessions to the Gaza Strip.
According to more detailed versions of the story, Israel presented the offer through intermediaries to Hamas leaders in Qatar at the end of May. the proposal allegedly included an agreement for Hamas not to do any work on tunnels and weapons in exchange for a small commercial port between Ashdod and Gaza exclusively for Gaza with a rail line between this port and the larger one in Haifa, allowing Gaza workers to work in Israel, further opening crossings between Israel and Gaza for import and export, plus other points that were considered too sensitive for the document to mention.

I don't know if this offer was real, but this is not the first time that Hamas has denied any offers of a truce in exchange for calm.

You will be hard-pressed to find any public pressure, from the Western or Arab nations, on Hamas to accept such an idea of economic relief for a truce. Similarly, the idea of NGOs or news media calling on Hamas to accept Israel's existence or even a long-term truce is pretty much absurd. This even though the only concession asked from Hamas is to stop doing things that are illegal under international law and that could only lead to another devastating war for Gaza.

The only international pressure is, as always, on Israel and Israel alone.




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