Palestinians in Gaza celebrate cease-fire.
The following are the broad parameters of the open-ended, Egyptian-brokered cease-fire agreement that went into effect Tuesday evening, and held on Wednesday.
This is the 12th truce declared during the 50 days of Operation Protective Edge, most of which Hamas violated before they expired.
This agreement is very similar to the one Israel accepted, and Hamas rejected, on July 15, the eighth day of the fighting.Immediate steps:
• Hamas and the other terrorist groups in Gaza halt all rocket and mortar fire into Israel.
• Israel stops all military action, including air strikes, ground operations and targeted killings.
• The Palestinian Authority will lead coordination of the reconstruction effort in Gaza with international donors, including the European Union, Qatar, Turkey and Norway. Saudi Arabia is also likely to be a major donor, with the expectation in Jerusalem being that unlike Qatar, it will take pains to ensure that its funds will not be directed to Hamas, but rather to build up the PA.
• Israel is expected to narrow the security buffer – a no-go area for Palestinians that runs along the inside of the Gaza border – reducing it from 300 meters to 100 meters if the truce holds. The move will allow Palestinians more access to farmland close to the border.
• Israel will extend the fishing limit off Gaza’s coast from 3 miles to 6 miles, with the possibility of widening it gradually if the truce holds. Ultimately, the Palestinians want to return to a full 12-mile international allowance.
• Israel agrees to open the Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings to the supervised transfer of goods, including humanitarian aid and reconstruction equipment, into the Gaza Strip.
Channel 2 reported that a three-person committee made up of Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the coordinator of government activities in the territories, UN Mideast envoy Robert Serry and PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah will supervise the process and determine what goods are allowed in.
Israel is demanding the tight monitoring of imports of construction materials like cement and cast iron to make sure they are used to rebuild homes, not destroyed terror tunnels, as well as ensuring that weapons, ammunition and any “dual-use” goods are prevented from entering Gaza.
Longer term issues to be discussed:
• Israel will demand that the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Gaza be linked to the enclave’s demilitarization, as called for under previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements.
Jerusalem’s formula will be that the extent of building above ground in Gaza must be linked to the degree to which “underground” Gaza is dismantled.
• Hamas wants Israel to release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners rounded up in Judea and Samaria following the abduction and murder of Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-Ad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah in June. Among those arrested were some 60 prisoners freed in the Gilad Schalit deal, and 37 Palestinian parliamentarians, including 35 affiliated with Hamas.
• Israel will demand the return of the remains of slain IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin.
• Hamas wants to rebuild an airport and seaport in Gaza, as well as the transfer of funds to allow it to pay 40,000 police, government workers and other administrative staff who have largely been without salaries since late last year. The funds were frozen by the Palestinian Authority.
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