Hamas Israel Ceasefire, International Court and Palestinian Resistance Unity
By Eileen Fleming
On Tuesday evening, Israel’s 50-day’s of assault on the Gaza Strip ended with an indefinite ceasefire mediated by Egyptian officials in Cairo based on the understandings that ended the Israeli war against the Gaza Strip in 2012.
Three months ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the international community against rushing to recognize Hamas-Fatah reconciliation.
On Wednesday, Yossi Cohen, the head of Israel’s national-security council, said the Palestinian unity government would be judged by its actions.
Last weekend Hamas said it supported the push to bring the conflict before the International Criminal Court, a move that would expose both Hamas and Israel to probes into war crimes.
An investigation could also examine events as far back as mid-2002, when the ICC opened with a mandate to try individuals for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
Palestinian health officials report 2,139 people most all being civilians including more than 490 children were killed during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge which began on 8 July 2014.
Israel’s assault also destroyed thousands of homes, 130 mosques, 140 schools and made 1,800 children into orphans in the Gaza Strip.
Health officials in Gaza report that among the 11,000 people who were injured about 3,000 are children and one-third of them will be paralyzed for the rest of their life.
Israel also destroyed over 35 organizations many of which were children organizations that supported orphans and offered rehabilitation such as the al-Wafa Hospital, which was bombed by Israeli missiles.
On the Israeli side 64 soldiers and six civilians died.
Explaining Hamas’s decision to seek international court opinion Hamas official Mushir al-Masri told Reuters:
There is nothing to fear, the Palestinian factions are leading legitimate resistance in keeping with all international laws and standards. We are in a state of self-defense.
At a news conference in Cairo on Saturday, Abbas said he had asked all factions to support the ICC bid, adding: “There will be results for them joining.”
Israel is not an ICC member and made no comment other than citing Hamas for war crimes.
PA Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki told ICC prosecutors there was “clear evidence” of war crimes by Israel during its offensive in Gaza launched on July 8.
Following are the ceasefire terms according to Abu Marzouk, Deputy Head of Hamas’s Political Bureau:
Only two out of the five Gaza crossings are presently functioning. The deal stipulates Israel’s commitment to opening the other three crossings.
Regarding the Rafah Crossing, Abu Marzouk said there would be a Palestinian-Egyptian meeting to specify the demands for its full re-opening and called for this meeting to happen as soon as possible.
Fishing and buffer zone
The fishing zone is to be expanded to six nautical miles and to be gradually expanded to 12 miles at a later date, but before the end of this year.
The buffer zone was cancelled.
Money transfers and Gaza employees
Israeli, American and European restrictions on money transfers into the Strip were lifted and the ball is now in the court of the Palestinian unity government to pay Gaza employees’ salaries.
Reconstruction of Gaza
Abu Marzouk explained that the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip would be discussed at a conference slated to be held next month in Egypt. Preparations for this conference are to start after inviting all the related parties to take part in the reconstruction process. The Palestinian unity government is to run the reconstruction dossier.
The Hamas official, who participated in the Palestinian delegation to the indirect talks in Cairo, said Egypt is the only guarantor for the deal, and that a new round of talks are to start within a month to discuss the other issues, like prisoners, the seaport and airport.
He said that the Israeli occupation would stop targeting senior Hamas commanders, and would allow them free movement throughout the Gaza Strip, stressing that this is the point that had postponed reaching a deal at an earlier stage.
Coming soon to The Arab Daily News, photojournalist Mohammed Assad will be featuring the orphans of Gaza.
In 2005, Eileen Fleming established WeAreWideAwake.org in response to her first of 8 trips to both sides of The Wall as a public service.
Eileen is the Administrator for FREE VANUNU and TNT/Telling Nuclear Truths
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