Israelis won’t negotiate a ceasefire unless there’s a ceasefire

Middle East Eye: As violence resumes in Gaza, the Israelis have withdrawn their delegates from the Cairo ceasefire talks saying they won’t negotiate “under fire.”

Though these are not the first time ceasefire talks have been held in Cairo, the circumstances are very different from previous occasions.

Ramzy Baroud, managing editor of Middle East Eye, discusses the ceasefire talks between Palestinian and Israeli delegates in Cairo, the political influence of Egypt and how the circumstances have changed for Hamas.

The Jerusalem Post reports: Egyptian and Palestinian delegates have reportedly reached a new agreement on a draft cease-fire proposal that will be submitted to Israel on Saturday, a Palestinian official told AFP.

According to the official speaking on condition of anonymity, the deal would see the Palestinian Authority and the government in Cairo render control of the Rafah border between Gaza and Egypt.

Under the reported terms, Hamas would in effect enact a unity deal signed in April with the PA, entrusting the group’s demands for a port in Gaza to the Ramallah-based government for negotiations at a later point with Israel.

Egyptian sources who are intimately familiar with the discussions are quoted by Arab media sources as saying that the sides have reached verbal agreements on a truce that would go into effect Saturday evening, even as Hamas threatens to renew rocket fire against Israel’s most populous areas in the center of the country in response to what it says is Jerusalem’s “obstinacy” in cease-fire talks.

“The launching of rockets from the Gaza Strip toward Israel and the Israeli air force strikes in response to those rockets will cease completely [Saturday evening] in parallel with the arrival of the Israeli delegation to the talks in Cairo and the continuation of negotiations toward a permanent cease-fire,” sources told the Palestinian daily Al-Quds.

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