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Gaza Talks

April 30, 2008
Dani Reshef

Since the Hamas took over Gaza Strip, in 07/2007, cease fire talks between Hamas and Israel, through the Egyptian Minister for Intelligence Affairs, Omar Suleiman (picture), are taking place, on and off. There are three issues on the table:
A. The border crossing of Rafah with Egypt and the Hamas demands to open it, without any direct or indirect supervision of Israel, for free movement of goods and people.

B. The fate of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, kidnapped on 06/25/2006, from a military post within Israeli borders with Gaza Strip. Both sides agreed on the number of 450 Palestinian prisoners that will be released in exchange for Gilad Shalit. The HAMAS handed over a list of the 450 most heinous and dangerous prisoners Israel, although agreed on the number, rejected the list.
C. The demand of the Hamas to extend the cease fire to the West Bank too. The Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is keeping his office only thanks to daily Israeli military activity against Hamas cells in the West-Bank. The Hamas demand means that Israel suppose to stay aside when Hamas regroups and reorganizes in the West Bank, 6 km away from its only international Ben-Gourion Airport, and allows the Hamas to take over the West Bank as they did in Gaza. A demand that israel cannot except under any circumstances.
Last week, another delegation of Hamas and other organizations traveled to Cairo in yet another attempt to reach a cease fire and improve the life of the ordinary people in Gaza. Hamas agreed to postpone the demand to extend the cease fire to the Palestinian West Bank for six months if Israel will commit itself to such an extension should the first half year commence quietly. [See Hamas Engages Tahdia Tactics]
On Thursday 04/29/2008 night, the Gaza Palestinian delegation added another condition – to join Syria to the bilateral indirect talks with Israel. Syria and Iran are fully coordinated on that matter and the actual meaning of the new demand is to involve, indirectly, Iran in the talks.
Syria and Iran are indifferent about the hardship of the ordinary people in Gaza. Many of their own citizens are living in similar conditions. On the contrary, the international community is blaming Israel for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, which helps to de-legitimize Israel. For Iran and Syria Gaza Strip is just a tool, one of many, in the broader conflict with USA and the “Zionists”.
The new Hamas demands integrate Gaza in the “axis of evil” at the expense of the ordinary Gaza people and channel the cease fire talks in Cairo, Egypt, to a dead end. 
Source: Global Jihad
Related: Palestinians have pulled the Tahdia Tactics before, and this tactic allows them to stockpile munitions, upgrade weaponry, and to strengthen relationships with outside "vendors".
From the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs CLICK HERE 
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