Head of Palestinian delegation to Cairo Azzam Al-Ahmad said on Friday that “we as Palestinians do not desire to resume escalation, but we have the right to defend ourselves.”
Al-Ahmad said: “We have told the Egyptian brothers that we are staying in Cairo until we reach a permanent ceasefire, which includes the return of our rights, lifting the siege on Gaza, guaranteeing a decent life for children and the right not to live under Israeli fire.”
The Palestinian official also criticised the international community, calling it “oppressive” because it sympathised with Israeli civilians for paying the price of this war and not the Palestinians.
Unlike the previous days Al-Ahmad hoped that the coming hours would be “fruitful.” He stressed the need to fulfil Palestinian demands, including lifting the air and sea embargo. He noted that there was a working airport in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority was supposed to start building a seaport in 1999, which was agreed with Israel.
Meanwhile, well-informed Palestinian sources said that the Egyptians attempted to deceive the Palestinian delegation. The source said that the Egyptians agreed on a statement with the Israeli occupation, which is different than the one agreed with the Palestinians.
The Palestinian source told Al-Araby Al-Jadid website on Friday that the Egyptian-Israeli statement included “hollow” terms about a ceasefire agreement and the Egyptians wanted the Palestinian delegation to accept it.
According to the source, the Egyptians introduced the statement to the Palestinians on Thursday under the pretext that Israel would not accept the Palestinian demands. The statement included the halt of aggressive acts from both sides and allowing the entry of aid and construction material to Gaza via international organisations.
Following the Palestinian-Egyptian meeting, the Palestinian delegation held a full meeting and decided to refuse the new Egyptian paper. As the Egyptians refused the Palestinian decision, the Palestinians decided to add their demands to the Egyptian paper.
Palestinian fighting groups in Gaza, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, blamed the Israeli occupation for the resumption of war and said the occupation did not meet any of the basic Palestinian demands.