Qatar brokers Gaza-Israel ceasefire

Hamas declared that an understanding has been reached with Israel via foreign mediation, according to a cessation of hostilities has gone into force, effective immediately.

The Islamist organization revealed in a statement that Qatari Ambassador to the Palestinian enclave Mohamed al-Emadi successfully brokered the ceasefire arrangement, which include “a set of humanitarian projects to alleviate the difficult situation in the Gaza Strip.”

The Israeli Military’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) confirmed the development with an announcement to TV7 that, “in light of security consultations led by (Alternate Premier and) Minister of Defense Benny Gantz, a decision was taken to resume the routine activity of the Kerem Shalom Crossing (between Israel and Gaza), including the entry of fuel products… In addition, the fishing zone of the Gaza Strip will be expanded to 15 nautical miles.”

COGAT went on to note, however, that “the resumption of the civilian policy toward the Gaza Strip is subject to the continuation of the calm and the security stability.”

Israeli Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld informed TV7 that airborne incendiary terrorism launched by Palestinians in Gaza at southern Israel has indeed halted since the agreement was implemented late last night. “As of now things are relatively calm and quiet and no balloons have landed,” said Superintendent Rosenfeld, but he stressed that “heightened security” is still being maintained in the area and that police bomb disposal experts remain on standby “to respond if necessary to any suspicious explosive devices that are attached to balloons that will land in Israel.”

It has been revealed to TV7 that in addition to the civilian measures undertaken by Israel, Qatar has pledged to transfer some $30 million to the Hamas-controlled enclave. An intelligence source who requested anonymity further told TV7 that additional agreed upon relief measures will be gradually implemented over the coming weeks – contingent on the cessation of violence instigated by Gaza.