(October 26, 2018 / Israel Hayom) Understandings have been reached between Israel and armed Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip, sources familiar with Egyptian mediation efforts in the enclave told the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper on Friday.
The understandings call for a complete cessation of violence, including incendiary balloons and weekly border riots, in exchange for an easing of the restrictions imposed on Gaza.
According to the report, Egypt issued a message that all sides must avoid escalating the situation.
It stressed that the understandings do not constitute a ceasefire and the Palestinians are not required to cease their demonstrations along the border, only to stop the violent aspects such as the attempts to breach the border, the throwing of rocks and firebombs at Israeli soldiers, and the launching of incendiary devices at Israel.
In return, according to the report, Israel has promised to expand the fishing zone off the Gazan coast, allow fuel to enter Gaza and provide additional electricity to Gazans.
Abbas Kamal, the head of Egyptian intelligence who has spearheaded mediation efforts, is expected to announce the development soon, Al-Hayat reported.
The report also said that both Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have accepted the terms of the Egyptian proposal.
Egyptian officials also presented the plan to Palestinian Authority leaders, who have opposed any agreement that excludes the PA.
P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas has conditioned his acceptance of such a deal on renewing and reimplementing inter-Palestinian reconciliation and the P.A.’s return to Gaza as the sole arbiter of understandings with Israel.
The P.A. leadership is expected to convene in Ramallah on Sunday to decide whether to sever ties with Gaza completely, which would exacerbate the situation and likely make a ceasefire more difficult to maintain.
On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to maintain a permanent Israeli military force in the West Bank, saying that if not for the Israeli troops stationed there, Abbas would be “overrun in two minutes” by Hamas.
Addressing the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu said that Israel does not have the luxury of repeating the mistake it made in Gaza, where Hamas seized control in a violent coup against Fatah in 2007, two years after Israel withdrew entirely from the coastal strip.