Hamas says pact reached to calm violence with Israel

Gaza’s Hamas rulers said on Monday they have reached an agreement through international mediators to end the latest round of cross-border violence with Israel.

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Under the deal, Hamas would halt the launches of explosives-laden balloons and rocket fire into Israel, while Israel said it will ease a blockade that has been tightened in recent weeks. The Israeli restrictions have worsened living conditions in Gaza at a time when it is coping with coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

As a result of indirect mediation efforts led by Egypt, the United Nations and Qatar, Hamas said “several projects will be announced to serve our people in Gaza Strip and contribute in mitigating” difficult living conditions.

Hamas said conditions would return to “what they were before the escalation.”

Fuel supply to restore

Under previous, unofficial understandings reached through intermediaries, Hamas has sought a broader easing of restrictions on movement, increased power supplies from Israel and large-scale economic projects to help lower unemployment hovering around 50%. It accuses Israel of moving too slowly or not honouring its commitments.

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COGAT, an Israeli defense body responsible for Palestinian civilian affairs, announced late on Monday that it would reopen Gaza’s only cargo crossing and resume fuel shipments into the territory. It also said it would reopen a 25-km fishing zone off Gaza’s coast.

“This decision will be tested on the ground- if Hamas, which is accountable for all actions that are taken in the Gaza Strip, fails to stand its obligations, Israel will act accordingly,” it said.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2020 12:24:51 PM |

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