Netanyahu says he will not send delegation to Cairo talks

2 Sep

292192_345x230Residents walk through the rubble of their destroyed home as a
Palestinian flag flutters in the wind, in the devastated
neighborhood of Shujaiyya in Gaza City on Aug. 7, 2014
(AFP/Roberto Schmidt)

Ma’an News Agency report, Jerusalem, 1 Sept 2014

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not plan to send a delegation for negotiations in Cairo as stipulated by the ceasefire agreement that ended seven weeks of fighting in Gaza, Israeli media reported Monday.

Channel 10 said in a TV report that Netanyahu told his cabinet in a closed session that he would not send as agreed a delegation to Egypt for further talks regarding a seaport and airport in Gaza, the release of Palestinian prisoners, the demilitarization of Gaza factions, and the delivery of bodies of Israeli soldiers presumed held by Hamas, among other unresolved issues.

Netanyahu spoke proudly to his cabinet about the Gaza offensive, saying Hamas had not achieved any of its demands, according to the report.

Qais Abd al-Karim, member of the Palestinian negotiation team to be sent to Cairo, told Ma’an that any Israeli step that shows a lack of commitment to the ceasefire’s terms would render the ceasefire null and void.

Abd al-Karim said the Palestinian delegation is awaiting the Egyptian invitation for negotiations and that it is committed to the terms of the ceasefire agreement.

Israel and Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip ended over seven weeks of fighting last Tuesday with a long-term ceasefire agreement in which Israel agreed to ease its siege on the coastal enclave and expand the fishing zone off its coast. Further negotiations regarding many other key unresolved issues were to take place in Egypt a month later.

The Israeli assault on Gaza left over 2,100 Palestinians dead and some 11,000 injured, the vast majority of them civilians. Some 71 Israelis also died in the fighting, 66 of them soldiers.

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