Israel Focuses on Demilitarizing Gaza at Cairo Cease-Fire Talks

(Times of Israel) Herb Keinon and Khaled Abu Toameh - Israel's security cabinet on Tuesday night discussed Israel's position on the negotiations in Cairo to put together a more lasting arrangement than the 72-hour cease-fire that went effect in the morning and held throughout the day. The Israeli negotiating team in Cairo will conduct indirect negotiations through Egypt. While Hamas has a long list of demands it is presenting to the Egyptians, Israel - according to government officials - is concentrating on preventing Hamas from rearming in the short term, and demilitarizing Gaza over the long run. Israel will insist on a mechanism to ensure that Hamas is unable to rearm as it has done after previous campaigns. (Jerusalem Post) See also Israel: Truce Means Hamas Must Disarm to Govern Gaza - Raphael Ahren "By accepting the ceasefire, as proposed by Egypt, Hamas has actually made a strategic decision," said Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Yossi Kuperwasser, director-general of Israel's Strategic Affairs Ministry. "They realized that in order to keep Gaza under their control, they will have to give up - at least temporarily, but hopefully for a long time - their nature as a terrorist organization....They will continue to speak like a terrorist organization. But they will be forced to give up their ability to carry out their attacks." The creation of a reliable international mechanism to monitor imports and exports and oversee the demilitarization of Gaza is "what we're worried about most," Kuperwasser said. If Israel is satisfied with security guarantees and an arrangement to disarm terror groups in the Strip, it would be willing to "enable the reconstruction and better economic conditions in Gaza." "Control of what's coming in and out of Gaza would be strictly supervised," he added. PA President Mahmoud Abbas can play a limited role, "but we can't say that we can fully trust just [Abbas]. It has got to be something more robust than [Abbas' security] forces." Kuperwasser said he was confident that the current ceasefire would hold longer than previous such efforts. "Hamas has realized not only that they're not gaining anything from the continuation of the fire, but that they're losing a lot."

2014-08-06 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive