Hamas and Israel agree to restore calm to Gaza border – report

According to Palestinian media, Israel will expand the fishing zone in Gaza in return for a ceasefire.

Israel and Hamas reached a truce agreement on Friday, which would halt the launching of incendiary balloons at the Gaza perimeter, according to a report by the Army Radio.
The radio station also reported that “the main points relating to the truce agreement include stopping the firing of balloons and controlling the demonstrators along the border fence.”

The report further stated that in exchange for a ceasefire, Israel would expand the fishing zone in Gaza to 15 nautical miles and return 60 boats that had been confiscated from Gaza fishermen over the years.

Israel will also return diesel supplies to the Gaza Strip.

The agreement has purportedly been reached with the knowledge and approval of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after 18 consecutive days of fires breaking out along the Gaza border fence following incendiary balloons sent from Gaza.

Gadi Yarkoni, head of the Eshkol regional council responded to the report claiming that “We have turned into a place where the enemy can do as he pleases, and if there’s a ceasefire agreement, it seems that the prime minister does not have to update us.”

An interactive map from the Jewish National Fund indicates there have been 1,124 such fires, which have burned 11,036 dunams of land (roughly 2,700 acres) to date.

Since the beginning of the week, more than 100 fires had broken out as a result of the incendiary balloons, mostly at the Ashkelon Beach, Eshkol and Sha’ar Hanegev regional areas. Forces that are called in to put out the fires generally manage to control the flames and extinguish the fires.

Blue and White MK Yair Lapid related to the report on Twitter, saying “Why was the agreement signed? Because Hamas wanted. When will the agreement be violated? Whenever Hamas wants.”

Lapid made further comments, saying that “For the umpteenth time, a truce agreement with Hamas was signed. This agreement is equal to its predecessors, nothing. A few days of quiet and then we return to the routine.”

“Hamas holds and controls both sides of the fence, on the one hand, the civilian population in Gaza, and on the other, the communities surrounding the Gaza Strip. In its desire, Hamas sets flame to the area and wants to sign a truce. The Israeli government has lost all interest in the residents of the Gaza border communities,” Lapid added.


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