Abbas agrees to terms of Gaza truce

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas has reportedly agreed the terms of an Egyptian-backed ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

The London-based Al-Hayat newspaper reported that Abbas opposed the deal initially as he believed it would perpetuate Hamas rule in Gaza. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi persuaded Abbas to support the ceasefire on condition that, at a later stage, an agreement must be reached to restore full PA control to Gaza.

According to Al-Hayat, the ceasefire deal has two parts. The first phase went into effect last week with the reduction of violence along the Israeli border, the increase in the number of daily hours of electricity supply and the payment of civil servant salaries. Yesterday Israel facilitated the transfer of $15m into Gaza to pay salaries, part of $90m of Qatari funds that are due to be handed over to Hamas in the next six months.

During the second phase an Egyptian security delegation will work to finalise inter-Palestinian reconciliation according to principles agreed upon in 2011 and 2014. According to those principles, the PA will restore its control of the Strip and a unity government will be established that will hold presidential and parliamentary elections in Gaza and the West Bank.

On Thursday, a senior PA official in Ramallah told The Jerusalem Post that he was unaware of any change in Abbas’s position towards the proposed truce between Israel and Hamas.

Palestinian factions in Gaza yesterday announced an end to violent protests on the Israeli-Gaza border. Protesters will stop launching firebombs and explosives, setting tyres on fire and approaching the security fence.

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) fired at Palestinians who were attempting to damage the border fence in the southern Gaza Strip. One Palestinian died and two others were injured. IDF sources said it was the first Palestinian killed near the fence in the past ten days, and that the assailants had not crossed the border into Israeli territory.