As Israeli PM Bejamin Netanyahu pledges to expand and intensify the military assault on Gaza, in the shadow of failed attempts at an Egyptian-brokered truce, a Hamas spokesman says that the official stance of the group on the initiative has not been decided yet. Furthermore, both Hamas and Islamic Jihad are now reportedly willing to sign a 10-year truce, should their conditions be met.Spokesperson for Hamas, Sami abu-Zuhri said yesterday that Palestinian resistance forces had not yet received an official ceasefire proposal, according to Al Ray, confirming that forces are determined to continue with armed resistance against Israeli criminal assaults on the Palestinian people.
Forces are refusing to accept any ceasefire proposal until Israel agrees to meet their just demands, Zuhri affirmed.
Israeli daily Maariv reported, today, that both Hamas and Islamic Jihad have submitted a list of 10 demands to Egypt in establishing a 10-year truce with Israel:
1) The withdrawal of Israeli military tanks from the border fence area, to a distance which enables Gaza farmers to access their fields and tend them freely.
2) Israel must free all Palestinian prisoners detained after the abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers in the southern West Bank, including those who were freed as part of Gilad Shalit prisoner swap. (This precondition also includes softening procedures against all prisoners in Israeli custody, according to Ma’an News Agency.)
3) Israel must end the crippling siege on Gaza, meaning all border crossings must be opened and the entry of construction materials and all requirements needed to run the Gaza Strip’s power station must be allowed.
4) An international seaport and airport must be opened in the Strip — one which is to be run and monitored by the United Nations.
5) Israel increases the Gaza fishing zone to 10 nautical miles and allows Gaza fishermen to use large fishing ships.
6) the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip should be monitored by international crews from friendly and Arab countries.
7) Israel must commit to a 10-year ceasefire which includes closing Gaza airspace to Israeli aircraft.
8) Israel must give Gaza residents permission to visit Jerusalem and pray at al-Aqsa Mosque.
9) Israel abstains from any intervention in Palestinian internal affairs, including political arrangements, the reconciliation agreement and all its consequences.
10) Gaza’s industrial zone must be re-established.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry announced, yesterday, that it did in fact offer a proposal which included at least 3 definitive stipulations of a cease-fire agreement, which were supposed to go into effect at 6 a.m. Tuesday:
1) Israel will stop all hostilities in the Gaza Strip land, sea and air — with guarantees that there would be no ground invasions or further targeting of the Palestinian civilians.
2) Palestinian forces in Gaza will stop all (hostilities) towards Israel land, sea and air — with guarantees that there would be no targeting of the Israeli civilians.
3) Border crossings will be opened to faciliate the entrance of goods and people, amid the stability of the security situation on the ground.
Other issues, including the security, would be discussed with the two parties.
Ma’an further reports that the military wing of the Islamic Jihad, al-Quds Brigades, said today that the fighting in Gaza will continue until the demands of the Palestinian resistance are met.
The group said, in a statement, that the all Israeli cities and towns would remain under fire… ‘as the resistance has prepared for a long battle which the enemy could not have expected.’
Although Palestinian resistance groups, including Islamic Jihad and Hamas, have fired more than 1,200 rockets into Israeli airspace since the fighting began, these rockets have caused only minor damage, killing one Israeli civilian reportedly feeding soldiers near the border, and injuring a soldier during a separate incident.
However, for the first time, Ma’an reports, resistance rockets have now struck as far north as Tel Aviv and Haifa, as well as Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, causing panic among Israeli citizens.
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