CAIRO: Egypt’s cease-fire proposal is the only option to put an end to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Saturday after meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in the Ithadeya Presidential Palace in Cairo.
“We talked with Hamas and the Egyptian proposal is the only choice posed” to stop the bloodshed in the Gaza Strip, Abbas said during the press conference, held jointly with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry at the presidential palace.
The Palestinian president added that he agreed with Sisi to find a solution for the Gaza Strip crisis, noting that his Egyptian counterpart vowed to resume cease-fire negotiations soon.
“We hope to resume negotiations with the Israeli side to put an end to the war in Gaza,” Abbas said.
Cairo-brokered cease-fire talks failed on Aug. 19 after renewed shelling from both sides a few hours before the 24-hour extension of a five-day truce would have ended.
In related news, Hamas has signed a document proposed by Abbas and the Palestinian Authority to unite the two factions and pave the way for Palestine to sign the Rome Statute, which would grant Palestine membership in the International Criminal Court, said the deputy to Hamas’ political bureau chair, Abu Mosa al-Marzouki, on his Facebook page. The document was signed after Abbas met with Hamas political bureau head Khaled Mashaal and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in Qatar on Thursday.
Palestine hopes to bring Israel before the International Criminal Court over charges of war crimes committed against the Palestinian people, Hamas leaders said Saturday.
Israel has rejected the unity government.
Hamas leader Izzat Risheq, the movement’s representative in cease-fire talks, said Saturday on his Twitter account that signing the paper could lead “the enemy leaders be sued over the crimes and massacres committed against our people.”
On Nov. 29, 2012, the UN General Assembly granted Palestine non-permanent membership. Without membership in the UN, Palestine could not be party to the ICC.
More than 2,000 Palestinians were killed and 10,500 injured during the conflict that started at the beginning of July, said Palestinian Health Ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qedra on his Facebook page Friday. Meanwhile, four Israeli civilians and 64 soldiers have been killed, according to the Israeli Army.
The latest Israeli raids on Gaza began July 1, a day after Israel found the bodies of three kidnapped settlers in the West Bank. The body of Palestinian Mohamed Abo Khodeir, 16, was found mutilated and burned, in what is widely seen as a revenge killing for the death of the Israelis. Hamas started launching rockets into Israel in its latest campaign on July 4.