Egypt Finalizing Details of Long-Term Israel-Hamas Truce

Israeli Promises Gaza Reconstruction In Hamas Ceasefire

UN Secretary-General, antónio Guterres, welcomed the decision of the Israeli authorities to resume the work of the checkpoint "Kerem Shalom" on the border with the Gaza strip and called for support to the overall efforts of the UN and Egypt to resolve the humanitarian crisis in the enclave.

Hamas ousted Abbas' Fatah party from power in Gaza in a coup in June 2007, an event that dissolved the tenuous Palestinian unity government that had been in place since the 2006 Palestinian election, in which Hamas defeated Fatah.

Palestinian side of the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and Gaza, May 2018.

Israel's security cabinet, a forum of senior ministers headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, discussed the Gaza situation on Wednesday and an Israeli "diplomatic official" said Hamas would have to prove its commitment to the truce.

Even amid the reports a long-term agreement, Hamas has fired rockets into Israel, which has responded with retaliatory air strikes.

Israel and Palestinian groups in Gaza, including its Hamas rulers, have fought three wars since 2008 and tensions since late March have led to fears of yet another full-blown conflict.

Israeli Promises Gaza Reconstruction In Hamas Ceasefire
Two Palestinians shot dead during Gaza border protests

Israel also returned the fishing zone it enforces off the strip to nine nautical miles in the south of the enclave. The maximum allowed for Gaza fishermen is six nautical miles in the north bordering Israel. That crossing has been largely closed since mid-July, as a response to the wave of incendiary balloons and kites that set alight thousands of dunams around the Gaza Strip.

With supplies of fuel and other essential supplies dwindling, Gaza's two million citizens have been living through what the United Nations humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, has described as "an unprecedented humanitarian crisis".

Ashraf al-Qedra, spokesman of the Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip had earlier stated that since the beginning of the Great March of Return, the Israeli army killed 169 Palestinians and wounded more than 17,000 others, mostly with gunshots. An Israeli soldier was killed by a Gaza sniper during this same period.

The Rafah crossing is now only open to people, according to Egyptian sources, but a Hamas source said goods such as cement and fuel have passed through since May.

Residents of Israeli communities near the Gaza border ‎‎harshly criticized the negotiations with Hamas.

Since Tuesday, leading Hamas members have been holding meetings in Egypt with other Palestinian resistance factions to discuss a possible ceasefire with Israel and prospects for inter-Palestinian reconciliation.

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