Cairo Talks on Gaza might collapse: Islamic Jihad

Ahram Online, Tuesday 19 Aug 2014

Long lasting truce will depend on smoother negotiations in Cairo

Al Batsh
Khaled al-Batsh, a senior leader of Islamic Jihad (Photo:Al-Ahram)

Khaled Al-Batsh, a senior leader of Islamic Jihad mentioned that Cairo talks may collapse at any moment due to Israel's attempts to instil mistrust between the Egyptian and Palestinian sides, Ma’an Palestinian news agency reported on Tuesday.

 Al-Batsh also stressed that Israel's intransigence has been standing in the way of reaching a permanent ceasefire.

"We extended the ceasefire for another 24 hours, to give Cairo a chance to mediate properly and to save our people in Gaza" Al-Batsh asserted.

Al-Batsh stated that no agreement was reached on Monday due to Israel’s regular presentation of obstacles.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators agreed on Monday to extend a temporary ceasefire in Gaza by 24 hours to conduct additional talks for a long-term truce, Egyptian and Palestinian officials said.

Hamas confirmed the extension, but blamed Israeli "obstinacy" for the stalled negotiations.

Al-Batsh confirmed that the Palestinian delegation is ready to sign a deal for a permanent ceasefire. However, he also added that such a deal must meet the expectations and the pain of the Palestinians.

AFP mentioned on Tuesday that the chief Palestinian delegate to truce talks with Israel warned that Gaza violence could erupt anew unless progress is made toward a lasting deal ahead of a midnight deadline in Egypt-mediated talks.

After a last-minute agreement to extend the deadline to reach a truce by 24 hours, Azzam Al-Ahmed, senior leader of the Fatah movement, said there had been "no progress on any point" in talks aimed at resolving the Gaza conflict.

"We hope that every minute of the coming 24 hours will be used to reach an agreement,” he said, warning that the absence of such an agreement would allow “the circle of violence will continue."

He accused Israel of "maneuvering and stalling" as gaps on key issues continued to hinder efforts toward achieving a long-term deal between Israel and Palestinian factions, which would allow reconstruction aid to flow in after five weeks of fighting.

Al-Batsh also criticised the media outlets who raised the hopes of Palestinians when they motioned that a deal was reached, and how disappointed they were when they found out that this was not the case.

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