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We won't sign a deal against our demands: Hamas

Moussa Abu Marzouk, second in command in Hamas, underlines that Palestinian factions are insistent on fulfilling the demands of the Palestinian people in any permanent Gaza ceasefire deal

Ahram Online, Thursday 14 Aug 2014
Abu Marzouk
Senior Hamas official and delegation leader Moussa Abu Marzouk (R) talks with Fatah official and delegation leader Azzam Ahmed (C) as they arrive at a hotel after negotiations in Cairo August 13, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

The deputy head of Hamas's politburo, Moussa Abu Marzouk, has underlined that the Palestinian delegation attending talks in Cairo on a Gaza ceasefire cannot sign an agreement that does not "fulfill" the demands of the Palestinian people.

In interview with Al-Resala, a news website known for its close connections with Hamas, Abu Marzouk expected the finalisation of a permanent ceasefire in the coming five-day truce brokered by Egypt Wednesday.

"It is possible, but cannot be assured due to Israel's continuous intransigence," he stated.

Hamas's second in command argued that Hamas agreed on the new, temporary truce in order to "give a chance for reaching deal," putting into consideration the "conditions of parties to the negotiations."

Abu Marzouk pointed out that the disagreement between the Israeli and Palestinian delegations lies in "certain phrasings and details" concerning some of the latter's demands.

But he asserted that the Palestinian groups did not give in on any of their stipulations, including the airport and seaport issues.

"We need the presence of specialised experts in legal and technical matters to examine their (the airport and seaport) processes of reconstruction, as it will might take some time for different considerations [to be examined]," he noted.

In addition to these demands, the Palestinian delegation officially presented its prerequisites for a permanent ceasefire last week, including an immediate Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, halting airstrikes, lifting the Israeli blockade on the coastal strip, and releasing Palestinian prisoners.

Abu Marzouk said that the new Palestinian unity government, formed in April, is responsible for implementing any finalised agreement and accentuated the insistence of the delegation to fulfill the demands of "all sects of the Palestinian society."

The Islamist leader called on all Palestinian factions to "push their partnership forward" and overcome their differences in the coming period.

Speaking on the role of Egypt, Abu Marzouk said it cannot be replaced under any circumstances. "All surrounding conditions lead to this mediating role ... no other party has historically managed to play it," he said.

In a press statement, Egypt's foreign ministry declared late Wednesday the extension of a truce between Israel and Palestinian factions for another five days.

"The five-day ceasefire aims to provide more time to resume indirect talks in Cairo and reach a comprehensive and permanent agreement through negotiating over issues that matter to the Palestinian people," the statement said.

Israel's offensive on Gaza, which began on 8 July, has led to the death of more than 1,930 Palestinians and the injury of more than 10,000 others. A total of 64 Israeli soldiers and three Israeli civilians were also killed in the same period.

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