“When Hashem is pleased with a man’s conduct, He may turn even his enemies into allies.” Proverbs 16:7 (The Israel Bible™)
On Saturday, a Hamas-affiliated media released a draft of what they claim is a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas. If such an agreement is signed, it could theoretically end the hostilities on Israel’s southern border.
On Saturday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Sharm el-Sheikh as part of Egypt’s efforts to negotiate a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel.
Y-Net reported a copy of an initial draft of the ceasefire agreement between Hamas and Israel. In exchange for Israeli concessions, the report said, Hamas will contain the ongoing violence on the border connected to the “March of Return” riots and punish violators. Egypt will work to lift 70 percent of the ongoing blockade of the Strip and Israel will give 5,000 work permits to Gaza residents.
Published in Hamas-affiliated Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar on Saturday, the agreement included ten provisions, with every provision constituting a condition for the next one.
- Hamas will restrain the riots along the Gaza border fence, punishing protesters violating the terror organization’s orders.
- Cessation of Monday’s weekly demonstrations—including the flotillas embarking from Gaza towards the strip’s naval border with Israel—in northern Gaza near Kibbutz Zikim.
- The continuation of the “March of Return” campaign in its non-violent manner form until the end of the year.
- Egypt will work to lift 70 percent of the siege imposed on Gaza until the complete termination of the riots.
- Gaza’s fishing zone will increase up to 14 nautical miles.
- The strip’s crossings will open permanently, and 5,000 Gazans under the age of 40 will be granted work permits allowing them to be employed in Israel. The work permits will be granted only after the Palestinian Authority pays 80 percent of the salaries of Gaza’s government workers, and agrees that Qatar pays the salaries of Hamas officials.
- Egypt will work to implement the prisoner exchange deal between Hamas and Israel, on which currently negotiations talks are not being held.
- A calm of at least three years on the Gaza border under international supervision under the auspices of the United Nations and Russia.
- A permanent opening of the Rafah crossing and additional crossings for transferring goods into Gaza in order to support the strip’s power station and infrastructures.
- Launching projects meant to provide 30,000 workplaces for university graduates in Gaza.
I signed by both sides, the agreement will be binding for three years. The ceasefire was also reported by Palestinian news, Al Quds, which described the agreement as an exchange of “quiet-for-quiet” and “staged incentives.”
Though Hamas ousted the Palestinian Authority in 2007 and rules in Gaza, the Palestinian Authority is included in the deal. Hadashot news analyst Ehud Yaari explained.
“Sissi is pressuring [Abbas] to back the plan for calm by agreeing to pay salaries and to take the responsibility for Qatar passing funds to Hamas leaders in the Strip,” Yaari said.
“The next stage,” Yaari said, “is to for him to back [United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process Nikolay] Mladenov’s plan for developing the infrastructure in the Strip because donor countries won’t be willing to give money directly to Hamas and need the Palestinian Authority as an intermediary.”
Abbas is buying the deal since it may be a way for him to regain power in Gaza.