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Draft terms for long-term Gaza truce revealed in Egyptian newspaper
By YASSER OKBI/ MAARIV HASHAVUA
08/15/2014
Draft terms reportedly include agreement to open border crossings, deploy PA security forces in enclave.
 
Details of a framework for a long term cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians, including highly contentious issues such as border crossings and the deployment of Palestinian Authority security forces, were revealed in a report of the Egyptian newspaper A-Shorouk on Friday. 

Israel's security cabinet convened in Tel Aviv on Friday morning to discuss the negotiations taking place in Cairo to end the hostilities in Gaza which began at the beginning of July. 

On Friday evening, Israeli government officials said that Israel has not yet acceded to any agreement, and that Israel stands firm that understandings will be reached only if its security interests are ensured. 

Neither Israel nor the Palestinians have yet responded to Egypt's call to commit to the terms of the truce, according to the report that cited Egyptian sources with insider knowledge of the negotiations.

The sources, who requested anonymity, told A-Shorouk that there has been progress in the talks and the parties were set to discuss the Cairo framework proposals following consultations over the weekend. 

The draft cease-fire terms stipulate that Israel will stop its offensive against Gaza from the air, sea, and land and will promise not to enter the territory or harm its citizens. The Palestinian factions will stop their attacks on Israel and will stop digging tunnels outside Gaza's territory in Israel and will promise not to fire rockets  at Israel and not carry out border attacks or harm its citizens.

On the issue of the border crossings, the agreement states that they will be "open so that the 'blockade' on the coastal territory will be lifted. The movement of people, goods, and building material between the West Bank and Gaza will flow pursuant to understandings reached between Israel and the Palestinian Authority."

Under the reported terms, Israel will coordinate with the PA with regard to the transfer of funds to Gaza, the elimination of Israel's security buffer in the northern and eastern part of the coastal territory, and the deployment of Palestinian Authority security forces beginning in January 2015.

The document also reportedly establishes that there will be a six-mile fishing zone in Gaza's territorial waters that will be expanded to at least 12 miles subject to the future understandings between Israel and the PA.  

After the parties sign the draft and following a month where the cease-fire holds, the parties will return to Cairo to conduct broader negotiations which will include talks on prisoner swaps as well as finding a way to establish an airport and a seaport in Gaza.

An Egyptian source told A-Shorouk that when the Palestinian delegation to the talks raised the issue of a Gaza airport, the Israeli delegation demanded the demilitarization of the enclave, and that both issues were subsequently taken off the table for a later stage of negotiations. 

Jpost.com staff contributed to this report.


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