|Image credit: RNW/ANP/EPA|
Madison Ruppert, Contributor
While the violence in the wake of the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas has indeed continued, it is thankfully clear that we are no longer seeing the massive number of strikes occurring before the ceasefire, including entire families being killed in airstrikes.
Yet the ceasefire talks themselves are surrounded with a cloud of confusion as Ismail Haniya, the Hamas prime minister, “announced progress regarding restrictions on the movements of fishermen and farmers in the border area, which the Israeli prime minister’s office denied,” The New York Times reports.
Haniya claimed that the Egyptian intelligence service, the entity responsible for getting the first ceasefire agreement in place, informed him that the fishermen’s limit had been extended to six nautical miles instead of the three nautical mile limit previously in place.
Mark Regev, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, said on Saturday that “nothing has changed on the ground or at sea until it is agreed to by Israel and Egypt.”
Regev declined to confirm or deny if there was another meeting slated for Monday, as Hamas claimed, while also refusing to discuss “the question of Palestinian movements in the so-called buffer zone, the 1,000-foot strip of land on Gaza’s northern and eastern borders where the shooting broke out on Friday,” according to the Times.
Instead, Regev simply claimed that there was an immediate halt to all hostile activities despite Israeli troops firing on Gazans on Friday.
While Western media claims that the action was not a breach of the ceasefire, likely because it wasn’t an airstrike, Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian Envoy to the UN indeed called it a violation of the ceasefire and an illegal action.
Masour added that Israel has used “excessive and lethal force” against Palestinian civilians in recent days, according to Iran’s Press TV.
“The arrangements negotiated with Egypt led to an immediate cessation of hostile activities,” said Regev. “All other factors will be negotiated in an expeditious manner directly with the Egyptians.”
This alleged cessation of hostile activities has not stopped Americans from demonstrating against the conflict. One such demonstration took place on Saturday in Florida, including groups ranging from Friends of Human Rights to St. Pete for Peace to the Islamic Community of Tampa.
Meanwhile, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad congratulated Haniya on a “great victory” over Israel during a telephone call, as confirmed by both sides and reported by Pakistan’s Daily Times.
Haniya “thanked Iran for its support” while Iranian news outlet ISNA reported that Ahmadinejad “congratulated the people of Gaza and the [Palestinian] resistance facing Zionist aggression … on their great victory,” according to AFP.
“We stand beside the Palestinian people,” Ahmadinejad reportedly added.
On Wednesday, Ali Larijani, speaker of the Iranian parliament, said that Iran supplied Hamas with military aid, according to AFP.
“We are proud to defend the people of Palestine and Hamas … and that our assistance to them has been both financial and military,” Larijani reportedly stated.
However, General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the chief of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps said that they indeed supplied the “technology” for the Fajr-5 missiles that hit Israel but Jafari denied that they actually supplied the weapons themselves.
Instead, he said that the Fajr-5 was being “rapidly produced” within Gaza.
Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal thanked Iran on Wednesday because, according to him, they “had a role in arming” Hamas.
Larijani, addressing a crowd in Istanbul, Turkey, said that Israel actually faced “defeat” in this latest operation, adding, “You should rest assured that the Zionist regime [of Israel] has harder days ahead,” according to Press TV.
Press TV also reports that Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary general of Hezbollah, “congratulated all the Muslims on the Palestinian resistance fighters’ recent victory over Israel, saying that Tel Aviv failed to achieve its goals in its eight-day offensive in the Gaza Strip.”
The confusion surrounding the ceasefire agreement and what will become of it over the coming days remains to be seen, but the veil of secrecy is hardly conducive to an unambiguous picture of the talks.
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This article first appeared at End the Lie.