Hamas Rejects Egyptian Cease-Fire Proposal, Says Its Demands Must Be Met

 @marcykreiterm.kreiter@ibtimes.com on August 16 2014 6:47 PM

Hamas Saturday rejected an Egyptian proposal to extend the cease-fire with Israel, calling the deal "unacceptable." The rejection came with just two days to go before the current five-day cease-fire is due to expire. Talks in Cairo were to resume Sunday.

Senior Hamas representative in Lebanon Osama Hamdan said none of the proposals under consideration meets Palestinian demands, the Jerusalem Post reported. In a speech in Khartoum, Sudan, Osama Hamdan, Hamas' foreign affairs chief, told students Israel "must accept the conditions of the Palestinian people or face a long war of attrition."

“The Palestinian delegation has affirmed its rejection of any formula that does not meet the demands of the Palestinian people,” said Izzat Al-Risheq, a Hamas member of the Palestinian delegation. “Many of the issues offered by the Egyptians are unacceptable.”

Bloomberg, quoting the Egyptian newspaper Al-Shorouk, reported Cairo laid out an 11-point plan that included opening border crossings in cooperation with the Palestinian Authority, rebuilding Gaza, expansion of the Gaza fishing zone and a Palestinian promise not to build any more tunnels into Israel. Hamas also is demanding a seaport and airfield but Israel wants to delay those issues until negotiations on a final peace agreement with the Palestinians. Earlier, Israel turned down an Egyptian proposal for a bridging agreement for a long-term cease fire, the Post said.

In Jerusalem, officials said any deal will have to take Israel's security needs into account. "The goals of Operation Protective Edge remain the same: longterm quiet and security. And this will be achieved either diplomatically, militarily or through a combination of both,” an unidentified government official told the Post.

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