No truce: What does Hamas demand to agree to a ceasefire with Israel? – National

Posted on 29/07/2019

Watch above: Eric Sorensen on the brief hope for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

There was a brief period of hope for an end to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip and retaliatory Israeli airstrikes.

Israel agreed to an Egyptian-proposed temporary ceasefire Tuesday morning.

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But Hamas, the Palestinian faction that controls the Gaza Strip and whose military wing has launched the lion’s share of the more than 1,000 rockets into Israel since July 8, rejected the proposed ceasefire outright.

A Tuesday morning statement from the Hamas’ military wing, the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades equated the proposal to “a surrender.”

“The blood of the martyrs will not go to waste and no side can undo the gains of resistance,” the statement read, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz. “Our battle with the enemy will escalate and we will be true to the blood of the martyrs.”

READ MORE: Hamas not interested in peace as ceasefire rejected: Baird

“The resistance will continue until all the demands of our people are met,” the statement added, according to the New York Times.

At least 200 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have died since Israel’s began airstrikes last week and another 1,400 have been injured. Israel said Tuesday the first Israeli civilian had been killed, near the Erez Crossing into Gaza, as a result of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

Here’s a look at some of the demands Hamas has made as conditions to a truce with Israel.

End to Israeli blockade:

This would include ending both the Israeli airstrikes that have caused what the United Nations called “immense damage” in Gaza and an end to Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has limited travel and trade in and out of the tiny piece of land since 2007—the year Hamas took power.

Israel claims the land, air and sea blockade is necessary move to prevent weapons from entering Gaza. Humanitarian groups such as Amnesty International and Oxfam say the blockade is collective punishment and has left Gazans “largely cut off from the outside world.”

READ MORE: Israel accuses Hamas of using Gaza civilians as human shields

Rafah border crossing

Egyptian president, former military commander Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, closed off the crossing last year following the July 2013 overthrow of then-President Mohammed Morsi and the subsequent crackdown on the Hamas ally the Muslim Brotherhood.

Rafah is the only land crossing into Gaza that isn’t controlled by Israel.

Sisi’s government also destroyed hundreds of tunnels into the Egyptian Sinai.

Germany’s Der Spiegel reported last year these tunnels were Gaza’s principle source of food and construction goods, with 65 per cent of the territory’s flour, 98 per cent of its sugar and all its steel and cement coming through clandestine routes.

Release of prisoners

Hamas negotiated the release of more than 1,100 prisoners in 2011 when the group handed over Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit after five years in captivity.

Israel recaptured some of those same released prisoners in massive sweeps of Palestinian communities in the West Bank following the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers June 12. During these sweeps Israel, accusing Hamas of being responsible for the abduction and murders, arrested more than 500 people.

The Times of Israel quotes an unnamed Hamas official saying Israel has no proof those were rearrested had any connection to the teens’ kidnapping and murder.