A Palestinian delegation headed by Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal met with an Egyptian delegation on Saturday and demanded Egypt ease the blockade on Gaza via the Gaza-Egypt border and that Israel must stop assassinating Hamas leaders as conditions for cease-fire.
Leaders from Turkey, Qatar, and Egypt are heading an effort to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza, who have exchanged intense fire since early in the week after a number of deliberate military provocations by Israel. The cease-fire effort is being supported by the Arab League.
The draft cease-fire agreement condemns Israel for “aggression” and calls for it to stop airstrikes. The draft also called for League Secretary-General Nabil Al-Arabi to lead a delegation of ministers to Gaza “immediately” to show solidarity with Palestinians.
Secretary General al-Arabi said on Saturday that Israeli “aggression and brutal massacres against the Palestinian people cannot go unpunished,” adding that there in no solution for peace “as long as the occupation continues.”
But Israel doesn’t seem welcoming of a cease-fire agreement. As Interior Minister Eli Yishai said, “The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages. Only then will Israel be calm for forty years.”