Israel wants to 'regulate, not lift' Gaza siege: Negotiator
By Islam Mosaad, Friday, August 08, 2014
CAIRO – A negotiator with the Palestinian delegation, currently in Cairo for indirect talks with Israel to reach a long-term ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, said that Israel is responsible for the failure to reach an agreement because it wanted to "regulate and not to lift" the siege on the Palestinian enclave.
"Until now, there was no single positive Israeli response to the demands of the Palestinian delegation," Qais Abdel-Karim of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine told Anadolu Agency in Cairo.
"The Israeli responses to the Palestinian demands showed that they want to regulate the siege, and not to lift it, which we totally reject," he added.
Earlier in the day, Palestinian resistance movement Hamas said that Israel did not respond to any of its demands for a durable ceasefire, which prevented the extension of a 72-hour truce between Israel and Palestinian factions amid an ongoing Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip.
"Israel is responsible for all the consequence of not renewing the truce," Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas' spokesman, told Anadolu Agency.
Abu Zuhri accused Israel of "stalling" and "wasting time" during derailed indirect talks in Cairo, which kicked off earlier this week.
The Egyptian government, for its part, called on both parties to extend the truce and resume talks.
"We call on all sides to shoulder their responsibilities…immediately return to observe ceasefire and seize the opportunity to resume talks on the few remaining points that are still pending as soon as possible," the ministry said in a statement.
The Egyptian ministry also regretted the re-eruption of violence between Israel and the Gaza factions following the expiry of the three-day lull, brokered by Egypt following a month of incessant Israeli strikes against the Gaza Strip that left 1894 Palestinians dead and 9817 others injured.
A number of Palestinian factions said they fired rockets at Israel shortly after the truce expired. Israel then confirmed one soldier and one civilian injured in the southern Negev region.
One Palestinian child has been killed and ten others injured during subsequent airstrikes across the besieged coastal enclave.
Palestinian factions and Israel held indirect talks in Cairo to extend the ceasefire, but no agreement was reached as Palestinian factions linked the extension to Israel's approval of their demands, including lifting a years-long blockade on the Gaza Strip and building a seaport.
"An agreement was reached on most of the points of interest for the Palestinian people with only a few remaining to solve, which required an extension to the ceasefire to open room for more talks," The Foreign Ministry's statement added.
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