On Friday, a draft of US Secretary of State John Kerry‘s ceasefire proposal was shown to Israeli officials. The draft apparently called for the opening of border crossings between Gaza and Israel and included measure to ensure ‘the economic livelihood’ of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. According to Haaretz, the document, which was titled ‘Framework for Humanitarian Ceasefire in Gaza,’ also said that a lasting truce would make possible the ‘transfer of funds to Gaza for the payment of salaries for public employees.’
The proposed ceasefire would also ‘address all security concerns’, stipulating that Israel would not be allowed to continue destroying tunnels during the initial ceasefire and making no explicit mention of the demilitarizing Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli officials were apparently shocked after reading the draft, according to Ma’an, saying that it ignored Israel’s security concerns.
‘We succeeded in foiling that document and now we are discussing other options,’ Haaretz quoted officials as saying.
One of Kerry’s associates is said to have responded:
‘There is no paper and no proposal. The draft was based on the Egyptian proposal that Israel wholeheartedly supported. So if they are opposed, they are opposed their own plan.’
Israel refused to work with the ceasefire proposed on Friday, agreeing instead to a 12-hour humanitarian truce which started Saturday at 8am.
Israel resumed its assault on Gaza for the 20th day on Sunday afternoon, killing ten Palestinians in attacks on Sunday.
Hamas leader Khaled Mashal spoke Sunday with PBS interviewer Charlie Rose. In the interview, Mashal stressed that the group was ready to ‘coexist with the Jews’ but would not tolerate ‘occupiers.’
During a continuation of Saturday’s temporary ceasefire, the Israeli army killed at least ten Palestinians.
Israeli forces have also killed a number of Palestinians in solidarity protests across the West Bank over the past several days, jailing even more.
This afternoon, after the expiration of the previous temporary ceasefire, Palestinian leadership said Hamas announced that all militant groups would be respecting a 24-hour ceasefire, beginning at 2pm.
Israeli airstrikes continued, however, as officials announced their rejection to any permanent ceasefire deal currently on the table and, thus, resistance rocket fire resumed from the Gaza Strip as well.
One Israeli civilian was injured. 43 Israeli soldiers have been killed during ‘Operation Protective Edge’, in addition to three civilians.
Over a thousand Palestinian deaths have been reported in the past 20 days, with many still unidentified
, most of which are accounted for by heavy, indiscriminate assaults on civilian neighborhoods, municipal facilities, end even hospitals.
Hamas insists that any lasting ceasefire must begin with lifting the blockade on Gaza, with leader Khaled Mashal warning that Palestinians cannot coexist with their neighbors while their land is occupied.
Gaza has been under a severe economic blockade imposed by Israel since 2006, leading to frequent humanitarian crises. Backed by Egypt, Israel tightened the blockade in 2007, following an election victory by Hamas. Israel does not even respect their own impositions on Gaza’s fishing industry and frequently fires on Palestinian fishermen, often damaging or even confiscating their equipment.
Charlie Rose asked Khaled whether he could foresee [Hamas] living beside Israelis in peace. He responded that only a future Palestinian state could decide upon [Hamas’] recognition Israel.
He said: ‘We are not fanatics, we are not fundamentalists. We are not actually fighting the Jews because they are Jews per se. We do not fight any other races. We fight the occupiers…
I’m ready to coexist with the Jews, with the Christians and the Arabs and non-Arabs. However, I do not coexist with the occupiers.
…Palestinian people can have their say when they have their own state without occupation.’
Further pressed on whether Palestinians could recognize the state of Israel as a Jewish state, Mashal reiterated Hamas’ position — the group does not recognize Israel.
‘When we have a Palestinian state then the Palestinian state will decide on its policies. You cannot actually ask me about the future. I answered you,’ he said.
A full version of the interview is to be broadcast late Monday.
Editor’s note: Any current reference to a ‘future Palestinian state’ obviously implies recognition of an Israeli state, as well.
See: (05/03/14) ‘Yair Lapid: Israel May Still Negotiate with Hamas’
and (06/29/140) ‘Indyk Resigns Following Failure of Peace Talks’ for related information.
Chris Carlson is a student of religion at Mount Mercy University, United States, and has been a regular volunteer with the IMEMC since 2013. He assisted in providing extensive coverage of the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip and continues, into the present day, with the issues at hand. He can be reached via email at c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g.