Hamas Offers Cease Fire of 10-Years with Conditions

A television station in Israel has reported that Hamas was seeking a truce for the long-term. However, with that truce comes conditions by the Islamic militant group.

The conditions include releasing Schalit prisoners who had been re-arrested, the opening of border crossing in Gaza and an end to a naval blockade by Israel of Gaza.

This came only a day after a cease-fire brokered by Egypt that was accepted by Israel but Hamas rejected, causing it to fall through.

The group’s conditions were delivered by Azmi Bishara to Al Jazeera Wednesday.

Bishara, who in 2007 fled Israel after being accused of helping Hezbollah in the Lebanon War, estimated that the Israeli’s escalation would end over the next couple of days.

He accused Israel of accepting the short-lived cease fire on Tuesday to legitimize more air strikes after the plan had been rejected by Hamas.

He said Palestinian groups were in talks with foreign authorities who would have agreed to the terms set forth by Hamas, but the initiative by Egypt, which favored the Israelis and ignored the Palestinian resistance goals, brought all the negotiations to an immediate stop.

Bishara is currently living in Qatar and said that the shared interests Egypt has with Israel and its conflict of interest with Hamas was too much for it to be an effective negotiator.

Bishara instead recommended that Qatar and Turkey as well as the U.S. and other powers from the West lead the negotiations between Israel and Hamas.

Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for Hamas said on Tuesday that the Islamist organization did not receive an official proposal for a cease fire and repeated the demands it made must be met prior to it laying down its arms.

The Kassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, rejected the text of the reported cease fire deal by saying the battle we have with the enemy is continuing and will ramp up in both intensity and ferocity.

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