Hamas ramps up pressure to resume negotiations
Terror group encourages Gaza residents to escalate weekly 'March of Return' protests along border to restart moribund ceasefire talks. Sources in Gaza tell Ynet that Iran sends a $200 handout to every Palestinian wounded in the clashes since the beginning of the month.
Since the end of August, after Israel and Hamas reached advanced stages of the agreement—mediated by Egypt and the UN envoy to the Middle East—the ceasefire talks have been brought to a halt.
The reason for the delay is an explicit threat made by Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas to Egypt, saying that truce at in Gaza—that includes significant efforts to ease the Israeli and Egyptian blockade—without the PA's involvement, will result in the PA's complete withdrawal of monthly payments transferred to the strip.
Abbas's strong opposition stems from concerns of appearing to be ineffective, fearing that Hamas would flaunt its achievements, gained using violent methods, to demonstrate the PA's apparent ineptitude.
For the time being Egypt has responded to the threat by suspending the negotiation process.
In the past two weeks, Hamas has been encouraging the public in Gaza to intensify the weekly clashes on the fence. Sources in Gaza said that last week a $200 grant was handed over to every Palestinian who was wounded during the riots since the beginning of September.
In addition, sources say Hamas transferred a $100 grant to every Palestinian who was wounded in confrontations with the IDF in the weeks preceding the "March of Return" campaign.
According to the same sources, the funding came from Iran.
After a weeks-long lull, Hamas renewed the launching of incendiary balloon terror attacks and has called for a series of violent confrontations on the fence almost every evening.
In addition, numerous attempts have been recorded to infiltrate into Israeli territory using drones, and increase the number of participants in the weekly riots on the border.
In August, it was reported that Israel and Hamas had reached a ceasefire under Egyptian mediation, as Israelis living in the south urged the government to stem the daily launching of incendiary balloons and near-daily barrage of rockets that threatened to drag the two sides into yet another conflict.
Two weeks ago, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar said that no arrangement has been reached with Israel to put an end to daily hostilities, despite the quiet that has prevailed on the volatile border in recent days.
“I will state clearly: So far there is no agreement and no outline for an agreement for a ceasefire with Israel,” the terror leader during a Hamas conference in the coastal enclave.
More mass protests are expected to grip the Gaza border on Friday afternoon.
Last Friday, thousands of Palestinians took part in the weekly "March of Return" demonstrations along the border fence, with rioters hurling stones and burning tires.
According to the IDF Spokesperson's Unit, Palestinian terrorists tossed three grenades at the Karni crossing, and threw a pipe bomb in the Rafah area, targeting IDF troops.
The Israeli troops responded with crowd dispersal measures, and no casualties were reported among the soldiers.