CAIRO, August 20, 2014 (WAFA) – Head of the Palestinian delegation for ceasefire talks with Israel in Cairo, Azzam al-Ahmad of the Fatah movement, said on Tuesday that the Israeli delegation’s departure from Egypt proved Israel’s intentions to thwart the ceasefire negotiations.
He said while the departure of the Israeli delegation from Cairo was pre-planned,’ the Palestinian side has shown high flexibility in the ceasefire talks.
“At 5:15 PM on Tuesday we handed our paper to the Egyptian mediator … Yesterday and today afternoon, we made a set of proposals,” said al-Ahmad, adding that the Palestinian delegation received no answer from the Israeli side despite the fact that the later had received the Palestinian paper from Egypt, and stressing that only ‘simple’ amendments had been made to the paper “not exceeding 10 [more] words.”
“If there has been seriousness on Israel’s side, it would have responded to our proposals. We responded to the proposals of the Israelis and they should respond to our paper,” added al-Ahmad. “The paper that we handed to Egypt included lifting the siege on Gaza [imposed] from the land and the sea, as well as opening a path for a real peace process.”
“The Israeli arrogance and the latest airstrikes, estimated at 60 airstrikes on Gaza today, are evidence that Israel does not want a truce and wants to compel the Palestinian delegation and the Egyptian mediator to meet its conditions.”
“I hope that [the Israelis] respond to the Palestinian paper so that the ‘field commanders’ would believe that there is a possibility for an agreement to be reached or for the extension of a truce for hours,” said al-Ahmad.
The official underscored that all proposals submitted by the Israeli delegation in Cairo were aimed at ‘dividing the unified homeland,’ separating the West Bank from Gaza, and undermining the Palestinian reconciliation agreement.
“We will leave Cairo in hours to consult with the leadership, yet we do not consider ourselves to be withdrawing from the negotiations,” said al-Ahmad shortly before leaving Cairo to the West Bank.
“Whenever the Egyptian mediator sees that the time is suitable for resuming the negotiations after receiving an answer to our paper from Israel, we will be ready to return to Egypt.”