Hamas’s leaders in Gaza said on Monday that they have reached a deal with the help of mediators to end the cross-border escalation and violence with Israel.
According to the details, Hamas, the Palestinian group controlling the besieged Gaza Strip, announced that it had reached a deal with Israel to end the latest round of confrontations. A statement from the office of Yahya Sinwar, the group’s leader in Gaza, said that Hamas reached an understanding to “end [Israeli] aggression against our people” with the help of Qatari envoy, Mohammad el-Emadi. El-Emidi praised the Hamas leadership saying that they understand the condition of the people of Gaza and are, therefore, ready for table talks.
Under this deal, Hamas is to halt the launch of explosive-laden balloons and rocket fire into Israel. Israel, in return, would ease the blockade that has crippled Gaza and aggravated the condition for its inhabitants at a time when coronavirus is rampant in the region.
With the intermediary efforts of the United Nations, Egypt and Qatar, Hamas announced that several projects will be launched to continue mitigating the difficult situations in Gaza and to “serve our people.” The statement didn’t specify the nature of the armistice, neither it detailed the projects but said that conditions will return to “what they were before the escalation.”
Israel and Hamas are bitter enemies since 2007 when the latter seized the control of the Gaza Strip. They have fought three wars and several skirmishes that have resulted in hundreds of casualties, attracting global condemnation for both Hamas and Israel. Israel and Egypt have maintained a blockade of Gaza, ostensibly to bar Hamas from leading an armed struggle against Israel.
Israel has carried out almost daily attacks on Gaza since Aug. 6 seemingly in response to airborne incendiary devices and rocket fires. The explosive-laden balloons are reportedly attempts from Hamas to convince Israel to improve the terms and conditions of an informal truce under which Israel is committed to easing the 13-year-old blockade of Gaza in return of calm. So far, Israel has only tightened the blockade. It has restricted Gaza fisherman from fishing in the sea, prompted the closure of Palestine’s only power plant for the want of fuel and closed its goods crossing with the territory.
This agreement, according to Hamas, will halt the launch of incendiary balloons and put an end to ‘confusion operation’ where armed groups throw grenades along the fences to cause disruption. It also said that the power plant and the electric grid will be opened on Tuesday.
COGAT, Israel’s liaison agency to the Palestinian territories, said that after the efforts to maintain calm, it would “resume the routine activity of the Karem Shalom Crossing, including the entry of fuel products.”
He also said that Gaza’s fishing zone will be expanded by 15 nautical miles.
COGAT also warned that if Hamas fails to restrain its violent activities, “Israel will act accordingly.”