A ceasefire agreement being hammered out between Israel and the Gaza-based Palestinian Islamist group, Hamas, may bring an end to recent cross-border hostilities, which have included the deployment of explosive-laden kites over the separation fence into Israeli territory, according to the Lebanese Al-Akhbar Newspaper.
The possible deal, should both sides accept it, will include the cessation of Palestinian protests along the Gaza-Israel border in exchange for a number of phased reciprocal measures by Israel.
These would begin with the reopening of two of Gaza’s crossing points to facilitate the entry of aid. The second phase would reportedly include an increase in Gaza’s electricity supply along with a larger variety of goods allowed to enter the besieged strip. The final stage — should cross-border calm prevail for that long — would include construction of a power plant in the neighbouring Sinai Peninsula to generate a reliable flow of electricity, with the aim of improving Gaza’s infrastructure, and a seaport in Ismailia for importing goods.
Cairo and Hamas have, so far, refused to comment on the specifics of the agreement being formulated with Tel Aviv state, but other possible outcomes could, according to Israel’s Ynet News, include long-discussed prisoner swaps.
If both sides agree to implement the plan, it is expected that the first phase of the ceasefire could come into effect within a week, brining an end to the so-called ‘March for Return’ protests that have been regularly carried out by Palestinians along the Gaza-Israel border since March 30, which are often animated by violence.