MOSCOW, (PNA/RIA Novosti) — Israel and the Palestinians have resumed peace talks a day ahead of the deadline for yet another ceasefire in Gaza, Spain’s EFE news agency reports.
A member of the Fatah delegation to Gaza, Faisal Abu Shahla, said the Palestinians were moderately optimistic about the possible outcome of the negotiations with their Israeli counterparts, which are expected to continue on Monday.
The Fatah official was quoted by the EFE as saying that the success of the new round of talks depends directly on the amount of pressure that would be put on Israel to make it back down from its uncompromising and indifferent stance on demands made by the Palestinians.
Palestinians have been urging Israel to end the blockade of the Gaza Strip. Since Israel occupied Gaza in 1967, it has been exercising control over the territory’s borders, including goods and human flows.
Speaking in Egypt’s capital Cairo on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that his country and the delegation at the talks would make no concessions on Israel’s security.
“If Hamas thinks it will make up for its military losses with a political achievement, it is wrong,” Netanyahu said.
He went on, saying that, “if Hamas thinks that by continuing the steady trickle of rocket fire it will force us to make concessions, it is wrong. As long as there is no quiet, Hamas will continue to suffer heavy blows.”
On July 8, Israel launched an offensive against the Hamas movement in response to the military group’s rocket attacks. On July 17, the Israeli switched to a ground offensive to destroy the network of Hamas tunnels along the Gaza border with western Israel.
Around 1,900 people have lost their lives in Gaza, the majority of them are civilians. Sixty-four Israeli soldiers have died since the operation Protective Edge was announced by Tel Aviv, with further three civilians killed in Israel, including a Thai national.