Israel has promised Gaza leadership medicine, aid and the entry of a greater amount of goods into the territory if the ceasefire on the border holds, a top official in a terror group in Gaza said Saturday.
Hani al-Thawabta of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine told the Al-Quds website that benefits would also include a return of detained fishing boats, compensation to fishermen whose boats were confiscated and increased permits for workers to enter Israel.
He cited officials from an Egyptian delegation who visited the Gaza Strip Saturday and met the heads of various factions to discuss maintaining the calm, as well as ongoing efforts to promote reconciliation between Hamas and the Fatah leadership of the Palestinian Authority.
Meanwhile, the Ynet news site reported that another terror group in Gaza, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, warned in a statement after the talks that it was “prepared to respond” to any Israeli action that harmed “residents and the resistance.”
The most recent ceasefire in Gaza was put in some doubt in recent days. On Thursday a Hamas field commander was shot dead by Israeli troops in what the army characterized as “a misunderstanding.” Hamas’s military wing vowed retribution.
On Friday night two rockets were fired from Gaza toward southern Israel, causing no injuries. Uncharacteristically, the Israel Defense Forces has so far not responded to the attack.
Also Friday some 6,000 Palestinians gathered on the Gaza border for protests, where some rioters hurled rocks as well as explosive devices at Israeli soldiers. The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said 55 people were injured, 33 of whom were wounded by live fire, according to Channel 13.
On Thursday, the slain Hamas field commander, Mahmoud Ahmad Sabri al-Adham, 28, had been erroneously identified by soldiers as an armed terrorist, but was apparently an operative trying to stop Palestinian youths from breaching the security fence.
Al-Adham’s death threatened to spark another round of large-scale violence between Israel and terror groups in Gaza. Throughout the past year and a half, the two sides have fought several bouts — with terror groups firing mortar shells, rockets and missiles at Israeli cities and towns, and the IDF retaliating with airstrikes — often sparked by smaller incidents along the border.
AFP contributed to this report.