Hamas Urges Egypt to Revise Peace Initiative to Mediate Ceasefire
CAIRO, July 29 (RIA Novosti) – The militant Hamas movement in Gaza believes Egypt needs to come up with an expanded version of truce to reclaim its role as the main mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian armed conflict, a senior Hamas official told RIA Novosti Tuesday.
In an exclusive interview with RIA Novosti, Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzouk, deputy head of Hamas's political bureau, said "[our] refusal to accept the Israeli [peace] initiative does not mean that Egypt has also been denied its role."
"It is important to either amend or completely replace this document," Mousa Abu Marzouk said. "What [we] need is talks and a respect toward Hamas, only then will Egypt's role be adequate."
The Hamas official said the group demanded that peace negotiations begin ahead of a ceasefire and immediately open border crossings to ease travel and the flow of goods, as well as the right for fishing up to 12 miles into the sea.
Marzouk added that other Hamas requirements included the abolishing of the buffer zone between Gaza and Israel and the lifting of the Israeli blockade, the release of Palestinian prisoners who were held in West Bank on June 12, the restoration of the Gazan infrastructure, and guarantees of Israel's commitment.
"We demand that all these key points be discussed ahead of the ceasefire," the hamas political leader stressed.
Earlier in July, Cairo proposed a peace initiative, which suggested a ceasefire followed by negotiations between Israel and Hamas. Tel Aviv accepted the draft deal but after long discussions the Palestinian side rejected it.
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