Prime Minister of the dissolved government in Gaza, Hamas political leader, Ismail Haniyya, stated on Friday that the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip will be fully lifted after ten days of truce between Hamas and Israel. The truce took effect on Thursday.
In a speech after Friday prayers at a local mosque in Gaza, Haniyya said that food supplies will start flowing into Gaza 72 hours after the truce and that after 10 days of truce the siege will be fully lifted and Israel will start opening the crossings.
The Hamas leader added that this deal was achieved through Egyptian intervention and mediation.
Haniyya added that the success of this truce depends on the Israeli commitment to it, and refused to accept Israeli demands to condition the release of the captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, with the success of the truce.
He said that the issue of Shalit is another issue which will be dealt with through a prisoner-swap deal.
“We want to end the case of Shalit as soon as possible in order to achieve the release of our detainees”, Haniyya stated, “but truce and the release of Shalit are two different issues”.
Haniyya added that a list of the names of 450 detainees was provided to Egypt, which acts as a mediator, and that Israel must approve the release of those detainees if it wants to end the issue of Shalit.
Regarding the opening the Rafah Border Crossing, Haniyya said that Egypt will invite the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, the European observers and Hamas for a meeting in Cairo in order to discuss this issue.
“We demanded our Egyptian brothers to open the crossing for urgent cases until we achieve an agreement to fully open it”, Haniyya said, “The Israeli siege has failed in pushing us to make concessions, and failed in isolating us, we are having talks with Arab and European countries”.
Meanwhile, Israeli government spokesperson, Mark Regev, stated that the ceasefire deal includes stopping all attacks against Israel and stopping arms smuggling into Gaza.
Israeli sources reported that the Egyptian security forces are facing difficulties in stopping the arms smuggling through the borders as smugglers are using underground tunnels and boats.