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Palestine’s Ambassador: Current Israeli-Palestinian Talks Focus on Humanitarian Issues

THE LEVANT – The current indirect talks between Israeli and Palestinian officials focus on the humanitarian situation and are expected to solve the problem of the Gaza Strip, while the general Palestinian situation is a political issue, Palestinian Ambassador to Russia Fayed Mustafatold RIA Novosti Wednesday.

“According to the ceasefire agreement signed on August 26, there was an agreement to achieve a ceasefire and to continue the negotiations within a month. The negotiations have to solve all the problems in the Sector Gaza [Gaza Strip],” Fayed Mustafa said.

The ambassador added that another two issues of importance in the current talks are Gaza sea port and airport.

“So, all these aspects are the subject of negotiations between us [Palestinian Authority] and Israel. That means all the negotiations with the Israelis in Cairo – are only dealing with the situation in sector Gaza [Gaza Strip] because the humanitarian situation is very difficult and we have to find a solution for the problems – for the movement, people suffering, how to repair all the damage and the destruction done by the Israeli forces,” Fayed Mustafa told RIA Novosti.

He stressed that over 45,000 Palestinians are currently homeless and living in shelters. The ambassador also confirmed that the next round of talks is scheduled for the second half of October.

“Even if we solve the problem about the Sector Gaza, we will not solve the Palestinian problems in general, because it is a political problem, not a humanitarian one,” Fayed Mustafa said, adding that the establishment of a Palestinian State is required for finding a permanent solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

On August 26 the Palestinian Authority and Israel mediated by the Egyptian government agreed to an open-ended truce. The agreement envisaged Israel opening border crossings to allow humanitarian aid and construction materials to enter the Gaza Strip, as well as extending the fishing zone. Moreover, the Rafah border crossing between Gaza Strip and Egypt was also to be opened. The parties also agreed to continue talks within a month.

A new escalation of the continuous Israeli-Palestinian conflict started in June this year after Benjamin Netanyahu laid the blame for the death of three Israeli schoolboys on Hamas, a radical Palestinian Islamic organization and the de facto authority in Gaza. In response, Israel launched its operation “Protective Edge.”

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