Secret talks between Hamas, Egypt and Israel

Israel may agree that Egypt's border with Gaza be opened, as part of secret negotiations being held with Hamas

by The Commentator on 16 February 2013 11:40

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Sources have claimed that Israel and Hamas have been engaged in a fresh round of 'secret negotiations', with Egypt acting as the interlocutor.

Israel's Channel 2 website reported that the talks are being held as part of the ceasefire agreement between the two sides at the end of November last year. Both sides are commitment to refraining from attacking one another and are expected to 'reach understandings'.

An Israeli delegation apparently landed in Cairo on Thursday to negotiate under a veil of secrecy. According to the understandings reached between the sides, Israel will agree that the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt be opened for the passage of commercial goods and construction materials.

At the same time, reports in the Arab media have indicated that one of the issues around which the meetings revolve is the terrorist prisoners being held in Israeli prisons.

Israeli news outlet Arutz Sheva reports: "Despite the constant claims by Gaza’s terrorist rulers that Israel is imposing a “siege” on the region, Israel has consistently allowed humanitarian aid into Gaza, approving internationally funded and monitored projects in the region. Since 2011, 235 projects have been approved. In September 2012 alone, 16 new projects were approved."

The Commentator this week reported on how Israel often surpasses international expectations with regard to water aid to Gaza. Despite this, activists and legislators are quick to blame Israel rather than Hamas for the poor conditions in the strip.

Israel has tightly supervised the materials which enter Gaza through its crossings and with the borders with Egypt being closed, Hamas has resorted to smuggling in materials, including weapons and explosives, through underground tunnels which connect between Gaza and Egypt.

Hamas apparently makes at least $1 million dollars a day in “tax” money from Gaza smugglers, providing protection to smugglers and collecting payments for the service.

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