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Egypt proposes extending humanitarian aid to Gaza


08-13-2014 10:48 BJT

Turning to the meditation efforts in Gaza. Talks are entering a critical phase in Cairo, as the the current 72-hour cease-fire expires by midnight Wednesday.

Disagreements in the first round of talks failed to secure an extension to the ceasefire. With deteriorating humanitarian conditions in Gaza, Cairo wants to push for an extension of the talks, at least for humanitarian purposes.

"We have no option but to continue our efforts, this is a moral and political obligation on Egypt. And we are always there to support the parties in reaching an agreement that will protect civilians in Gaza from the suffering they enduring during the last month." Hamdy loza, Egyptian Deputy Foreign Minister, Said.

After nine hours of straight talks on Monday, a partial draft agreement has been reached. The Israeli delegation then left for a meeting with the Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office, for his response. But negotiators are calling on Israel to observe the Oslo accord signed in 1993, and subsequent agreements.

"All what we submitted are commitments on the Israel side. But Israel continues its irritating methods, they want things to remain as is. It is very clear now they want to tie the needs of 1.7 Million Palestinians who are living without electricity, water and infrastructure, it’s clear Israel doesn’t want reconstructing Gaza, it is using these needs to embezzle political gains, like disarmament." Saeb Erekat, Palestinian Chief Negotiator.

According to Palestinian sources close to the negotiations here in Cairo, Israel has agreed to gradually lift the siege on Gaza, through increasing the number of trucks importing goods to Gaza and the number of citizens using Israel’s Erez passage.

Fishing will be allowed to up to 12 nautical miles. Money wiring from the west bank to Gaza will be allowed through the Palestinian authority. And the Gaza Rafah Passage will operate normally from the Palestinian side.

These are just few of many other points still on the negotiating table. But the challenge is not just in Cairo, Palestinian factions must commit to their unity, because in some points like money wiring to Gaza, Hamas and Fatah agreed that a third party should take over this process, a signal that their disagreements are not over yet. 

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