Hamas rejects demilitarizing Gaza
Smoke and flames Smoke billows from a Gaza City after an Israeli airstrike - REUTERS

CAIRO: Hamas strongly rejected Israel’s demand to demilitarize the Gaza Strip after resumption of the indirect ceasefire talks, brokered by Egypt in Cairo, according to Hamas Political bureau member Khalil al-Haya who participates in the Palestinian delegation.

Haya said that talking about establishing a maritime port would not be included now, but rebuilding an airport in Gaza is necessary, according to ON T.V.

The talks resumed Sunday to reach an agreement for putting an end to the ongoing conflict. A five-day truce announced by Azam al-Ahmad, head of the Palestinian delegation, Wednesday evening, is scheduled to end by the end of Aug.18..

The Israeli Strategic and Intelligence Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said that his country will not accept maritime and airports in the strip if Gaza remained militarized, CNN reported.

The Palestinian Health Ministry announced Monday that the death toll hit more than 2,000 while more than 10,000 were injured. Three Israeli civilians and 67 soldiers werealso killed in the conflict.

Egypt and Norway plan to co-host a donor conference in Cairo once a cease-fire agreement is reached, according to a statement from the Foreign Ministry of Norway on Monday morning.

“The invitations to the conference, to be held in Cairo, will be duly extended once an agreement on a sustainable ceasefire has been reached as a result of the ongoing talks in Cairo,” the statement read.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced during the opening meeting of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah that the conference for Gaza reconstruction is scheduled for September.

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.

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