‘Crossings will open without demilitarization’

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Israel will commit to opening all the crossings with the Gaza Strip and allow the entrance of humanitarian, relief and construction materials for the reconstruction under Israeli supervision, under the terms of the ceasefire agreement signed with Hamas, Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth published yesterday.

In an article entitled “Crossings will open without demilitarization: details of the deal with Hamas”, the newspaper said Israel will also expand the fishing zone beyond three miles. It said Hamas’ demands to transfer salary payments; money and prisoners, having a seaport, airport and other requests would be discussed in the upcoming round of talks.

According to the newspaper, the initial deal did not include an Egyptian commitment to open the Rafah Crossing or the length of the buffer zone along the borders with Gaza.

The office of the prime minister claimed it told the office ministers about the deal; therefore, there was no need to vote on it in the Security Cabinet.

Yedioth Ahronoth said that the Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett called for a cabinet vote on the decision, saying that ministers had not been consulted about the deal.

The newspaper said that the cabinet appeared to be split on the deal, with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Interior Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich, Bennett, and Communications Minister Gilad Erdan opposing the decision.

An Israeli military source told the newspaper that this deal represents the Israeli demands. He claimed that Hamas accepted the Egyptian initiative after it was put under extensive pressure.

The source said that “we must not be affected by the celebrations in the Gaza Strip. Even if one Palestinian remained, he would claim victory.”

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