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Leaked Ceasefire Terms: Hamas Gives Up Airport and Seaport Demands, But Resists Demilitarization

Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth late on Monday published extensive details of what is reportedly an all-but-complete agreement – stipulating steps to be taken by Israel, Hamas, Egypt, and the Palestinian Authority (PA) – aimed at bringing an end to the current round of fighting between Hamas and Jerusalem.

“Hamas cannot say that it agreed to demilitarization, but the important thing is that the issue was raised,” the source said. While Israel wanted rehabilitation in return for demilitarization in Gaza, it is will likely to have to make do with making life easier for the Gazans without Hamas giving any guarantees it will decommission its weapons.

It seems that during the talks in Cairo, the demilitarization requirement was shelved along with Hamas’ demands for a seaport and airport. Cabinet ministers have made it clear that a port will be built if Hamas agrees to extreme demilitarization.”

The Egyptians appear to be insisting that the border between Gaza and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula will be overseen by PA forces subject to Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas. The Jerusalem Post noted that the concession would put PA forces in control of portions of Gaza for the first time since they were ousted from the territory in a bloody week-long 2007 battle.

Some analysts criticized the leaked agreement for failing to establish a pathway to disarming Hamas. The terms are likely to reinvigorate what had been an active policy debate earlier this summer, before Hamas escalations in the Gaza Strip and West Bank triggered Israel’s Operations Protective Edge and Brother’s Keeper: the degree to which the terror group would succeed in establishing a kind of “Hezbollah model” in the Gaza Strip, under which the Palestinian Authority (PA) would be responsible for civil administration while Hamas maintained its military infrastructure.

Daniel Nisman, a geopolitical risk analyst who heads the Middle East-based Levantine Group, explicitly contextualized Monday’s diplomatic developments alongside Hamas efforts to establish a Hezbollah-like scenario.

[Photo: TimesofIsrael / Googleimages]