On August 19, 2014, Israel walked away from talks in Cairo which were held to discuss terms for a permanent ceasefire, and the fighting resumed. Initially, Hamas had demanded an end to Israel’s suffocating 8-year siege on the Gaza Strip. Many Palestinians I heard from in Gaza were demanding the same. “We’d rather die a fast death in battle, than a slow death under this siege.”
Israel was demanding that Hamas disarm — a nonstarter from the Palestinian side.
During negotiations, it appeared the Palestinian side made concessions in Cairo and agreed to a two-stage solution. First, open the crossings and allow reconstruction to begin immediately. Second, after further talks a month later, the demands for opening the seaport and airport in Gaza and other demands would be negotiated.
But the talks in Cairo ended.
More than 25 airstrikes hit Gaza in response to rocket fire, killing a woman and a two-year-old girl, and wounding at least 15 others in Gaza City. Two children were injured in Rafah, hospital officials said, and there were reports of hundreds of civilians fleeing their homes for UN shelters.
Who knows what went on behind the scenes in Cairo? A year later, we know that none (or very few) of the demands made by the Palestinians have been realized. No seaport today. No plans for rebuilding the airport in Gaza. Israel has not lifted the siege or eased travel restrictions against the Palestinians. Many families left homeless as a result of the fighting, remain homeless today.
One has to wonder, WHEN IS THE NEXT DEADLY ASSAULT GOING TO COME?
What we do know ……. the underlying factors that gave rise to Israel’s assault on Gaza last summer have not been addressed. Israel’s Occupation and its siege of Gaza continue to this day, representing a serious security threat to Israelis, and the inhumane and insufferable living conditions for 1.8 million Palestinians.