Qatari ceasefire offer adopts most Hamas demands

Qatar has drafted its own version of a truce offer between Israel and Hamas, The Times of Israel has learned — and it adopts almost all of Hamas’s demands.

The document underscores the power struggle being waged behind the scenes of the Gaza conflict between Cairo’s new leadership and Turkey and Qatar — two countries that supported the Muslim Brotherhood’s rule in Egypt and its ousted president Mohammed Morsi. Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was removed from power in Egypt in 2013 by then military chief, now president, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.

Promoting the document on Doha’s behalf is Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah. Washington held intensive talks with Qatar over the offer, but eventually chose the Egyptian proposal.

The draft stipulates that in exchange for a ceasefire, Israel will free Hamas prisoners who were released in the Gilad Shalit deal and re-arrested recently in the West Bank following the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers; Israel will allow construction of a seaport or “sea crossing” in Gaza; Israel will fully open all crossings to Gaza; Egypt will open the Rafah Border Crossing into Egypt 24 hours a day; and Israel will allow Gaza fisherman to venture out 12 nautical miles from the Gaza coast.

— Avi Issacharoff

Most Popular