Palestinian factions: Gaza closure increases tension
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Palestinian factions: Gaza closure increases tension

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As Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel was holding talks in Jerusalem and Ramallah as part of an effort to reach a long-time truce between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip warned that the continuation of the closure increases the state of tension in the coastal enclave.

After meeting with Prime Minister Naftali Bennet and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Kamel headed to Ramallah, where he met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian counterpart, Majed Faraj. The meeting was attended by Hussein al-Sheikh, head of the PA General Authority of Civil Affairs and Minister of Information Nabil Abu Rudaineh.

The two sides discussed ways of strengthening security and stability in the region, specifically the Gaza Strip.

The senior Egyptian official’s visit to Jerusalem and Ramallah came amid reports that Israel and Hamas were close to striking a deal that would see the easing of restrictions imposed on the Gaza Strip and the delivery of Qatari aid money to more than 100,000 families there, possibly through the United Nations.
A WOMAN shows a $100 bill she received as aid from Qatar, during a lockdown amid the coronavirus outbreak in Gaza City in September. (credit: MOHAMMED SALEM/ REUTERS)

A Hamas source said on Tuesday that progress has been achieved toward resolving the crisis surrounding the Qatari funds. The source refused to comment on Kamel’s visit to Israel and the West Bank.

Leaders of various Palestinian factions who met in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday warned that “what [Israel] did not take during its recent aggression will not be obtained through the siege and closure.”

The factions were referring to last May’s military confrontation between Israel and Hamas.

“The continuation of the closure increases the state of tension in the Gaza Strip,” the factions said in a statement released after the meeting.

They said that they “discussed the dangerous repercussions of the continuation of the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip, and the occupation’s attempts to empty our people’s victory in the Battle of Sword of Jerusalem from its content by putting pressure on the popular resistance, which was the main reason for the resistance’s victory in this battle.”

The factions further warned of attempts by Israel to “change the rules of engagement” with Hamas and other terror groups in the Gaza Strip.

The factions said that they are determined “to continue resisting the siege imposed on Gaza, and to struggle to end it without surrendering to the will” of Israel.

The factions called on Palestinians to mark the 52nd anniversary of the burning of the al-Aqsa Mosque by a Christian Australian citizen on August 21, 1969.

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