Hamas warns of renewed 'explosion' in South due to delay in Gaza reconstruction

Moussa Abu Marzuk says negotiators for both sides will meet with Egyptian mediators in Cairo for further discussions.

September 18, 2014 13:34
1 minute read.
Sami Abu-Zuhri

Sami Abu-Zuhri. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Fighting between Israel and Hamas will resume unless steps are taken to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, a spokesperson for the Islamist organization told Palestinian media on Thursday.

"The circumstances that led to the explosion of the situation in the Gaza Strip still exist," Sami Abu Zuhri is quoted as telling the Safa news agency.

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Abu Zuhri called on the international community to "take responsibility" by "lifting the siege" and "immediately starting the reconstruction of Gaza."

Meanwhile, another top Hamas official said indirect negotiations with Israel for a long-term cease-fire in the Gaza Strip will resume sometime before the Rosh Hashana holiday.

Moussa Abu Marzuk said negotiators for both sides will meet with Egyptian mediators in Cairo for further discussions.

Abu Marzuk said the task of rebuilding Gaza’s civilian infrastructure will be a joint undertaking that will involve the United Nations, the Palestinian Authority unity government and Israel.

“There will be inspectors and plans in place to bring building material [into the Gaza Strip],” Abu Marzuk said.

Diplomatic officials have called for a renewed sense of urgency in expediting talks for fear that a prolonged stalemate increases the chances of a resumption of hostilities similar to what was seen during the seven-week Operation Protective Edge.

"The precarious situation in Gaza and southern Israel, the danger that violence could flare up again at any point, are precisely the reason to move as quickly as possible on the short-term and long-term recovery efforts," Quartet envoy Tony Blair was quoted as saying by AFP.

"This is not about putting the pieces back together in Gaza," Blair said. “This is about making substantive, lasting change, uniting Gaza and the West Bank and opening Gaza back up to the world."

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