Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Gaza Bargaining

Here are the public bargaining positions as Hamas-Egyptian and Fatah-Egyptian negotiations begin over Gaza:

Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar

Talking about a partial role contradicts reality. The reality is that there
is a legitimate government. We will not give up our legitimacy to anybody

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

We do not accept any new agreements. We are committed to the international
agreements as they are....Hamas has to end its coup in Gaza, accept all international obligations and accept holding early elections. After that, our hearts are open for any dialogue.

Other reports:

The UN Special Coordinator's Office for the Peace Process in the Middle East reported that Israel continues to block access. Only 32 trucks with supplies have entered Gaza from Israel since January 18, compared with 250 per day before June.

The Israeli Supreme Court upheld the right of the Israeli government to continue its economic warfare policy of collective punishment of the Gaza population by rejecting a suit by Israeli & Palestinian human rights organizations.

Egyptian diplomats said one of Cairo's proposals that could be accepted by both factions would suggest handing over the border's supervision to "neutral" Palestinian forces that belong to neither Hamas nor Fatah.

The United Nations Security Council gave up trying to adopt a non-binding statement on the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip caused by an Israel's blockade after the US alone of the 15 council members refused to support it. The statement would have both criticized Hamas rocket attacks and called on Israel to reopen the border. Alejandro Wolff, the US deputy ambassador, called the “illegal coup” by Hamas (which won a democratic election and formed the legal Palestinian government in 2006) the core issue.

Meanwhile, both sides continue? resume? shooting even as talks occur.

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