Where as Israel agrees there is room for discussion, Hamas is first waiting for a tangible victory to show the Palestinian people. No Israeli killed yet.
By Elior Levy
Egypt and another Arab country, most likely Qatar, have put together an initial draft of a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, and presented it to both parties Saturday.
Hamas has so far refused to discuss the terms of the cease-fire, while Israel has expressed to the authors its willingness to meet to discuss the details of the deal.
The cease-fire draft is divided into two sections: security and socioeconomic.
The security aspect includes among other items the demands by Hamas for the release of 56 prisoners who were freed as part of the 2011 Shalit swap deal, but rearrested by Israel during the IDF operation followed the abduction and murder of three Israeli teens in the West Bank last month. They are also demanding the release of the senior Hamas members in the West Bank who were also detained during the same operation, known as Brother’s Keeper.
The socioeconomic aspect includes principles reached after the end of Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012, including the expansion of the fishing area off the coast of Gaza, which was recently reduced by the IDF, a reduction in the size of Israel’s security perimeter on its border with Gaza, the admittance of building materials into Gaza and the easing of the blockade on the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt.
Hamas at present is refusing to discuss a cease-fire. The organization is still looking for the tangible victory that has so far eluded it, such as heavy damage during a rocket strike on central Israel. It appears that Hamas is even ready for an IDF ground incursion, which would cost it dear, so long as it can present an image of victory to the Palestinian public by the end of the fighting. At the close of Pillar of Defense, this came in the form of a rocket strike on an apartment building in Rishon Lezion.
Israel, for its part, has told those behind the draft that there is a basis for discussion, in particular the socioeconomic sections.
View original Ynet publication at: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4542059,00.html