Palestinian students supporting Hamas demonstrate in the West Bank city of Hebron.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel has sent Hamas several proposals for a long-term cease-fire, a senior official from the Islamist movement claimed on Thursday.
The overtures were relayed to Hamas through Palestinian, Arab and Muslim officials, he said.
But none of the proposals were serious, Ziad al-Thatha, a member of Hamas’s political bureau, said.
“There offers did not reach the level of maturity and don’t derive to be dealt with in a serious way by Hamas,” Thatha said in an interview with a Hamas-affiliated online newspaper.
He said that mediators between Hamas and Israel include Palestinian businessmen and former British prime minister Tony Blair
, as well as other Western officials and politicians. “We deal with everyone and have no reservations about anyone,” Thatha said. “Hamas is politically open to the Arab and Islamic world, as well as the international community.”
Asked about Hamas’s conditions for a long-term truce with Israel, Thatha said his movement’s positions were clear. Any cease-fire should be based on the understandings reached between Hamas and Israel in Cairo last year following Operation Protective Edge, he said.
According to the Hamas official, these understandings call for the lifting of the blockade on the Gaza Strip in return for consolidating the cease-fire with Israel. “This means that our people would simply open a gate to the outside world through a seaport and airport,” he explained.
“This would not require Hamas to make any political concessions.”
Thatha said that Hamas was not taking any of the Israeli proposals seriously.
“All what we can say now is that we want the blockade to be lifted. The world needs to understand that the barrel of dynamite in the Gaza Strip won’t wait for too long before it explodes.”
Hamas was coordinating its moves regarding a proposed truce with all Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip, first and foremost Islamic Jihad, he said.
An Israeli official denied the report on Thursday and said there are no direct or indirect negotiations with Hamas.