(photo credit: REUTERS)
Hamas said on Sunday that any long-term truce agreement with Israel should include the reopening of the airport and the building of a seaport in the Gaza Strip.
The airport, which is named after Yasser Arafat, is located in the southern Gaza Strip. It stopped operating at the beginning of the second intifada, when the IDF destroyed parts of its tarmac.
Musa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas official, said that such an agreement should also include the reopening of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt and the lifting of the blockade on the Gaza Strip.
Abu Marzouk’s remarks came amid reports that Israel and Hamas are conducting indirect negotiations to reach an agreement over a long-term truce in the Gaza Strip.
Abu Marzouk dismissed allegations by some Palestinians that Hamas was seeking to strike a deal with Israel that would turn the Gaza Strip into a separate political entity. He said that Hamas would not sign any accord with Israel that does not win the backing of other Palestinian factions.
He added that Hamas has relayed its position to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has been acting as a mediator between the movement and Hamas, as well as the Palestinian Authority, the European Union and the Arab and Islamic countries.