Palestinian factions give Gaza border ultimatum to Israel

Cargo passes the Karem Abu Salem crossing in Rafah in southern Gaza (Said Khatib - AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  August 18, 2021

The Palestinian resistance factions in Gaza have given Israel until 21 August to resume the entry of basic commodities to the besieged Gaza Strip to the level that it was before the Israeli offensive in May. The ultimatum has been passed to Israel via Egyptian mediators.

“We will take counter-measures if the Israeli occupation authorities do not reopen the border crossings at the same capacity they were before the ‘Sword of Jerusalem’ battle,” said Issam Daalis, a member of the Hamas Political Bureau, on Tuesday evening.

During a meeting with senior Hamas members in Gaza, Daalis spoke about the impact of the Israeli siege on the coastal enclave and how the government is coping with it.

“The Israeli siege was tightened after the ‘Sword of Jerusalem’ battle and affects every aspect of life in Gaza,” he explained. “It is also affecting the workflow of the government. The Palestinian resistance will not tolerate more suffering to be inflicted on the Palestinians. If Israel does not comply with our demands, it will pay the price.”

He said that the factions might activate all kinds of resistance, including night disturbances, storming of the borders, and launching incendiary balloons or rockets.

At the same time, he pointed out that Egypt and the UN are putting pressure on Israeli to comply with the Palestinian demands which are, in effect, the conditions under which a ceasefire was agreed in May.

“Egypt asked us to give an opportunity to the new Israeli government led by Naftali Bennett,” added Daalis. “Bennett sent a message through the Egyptians that he would do everything, but gradually. We will not wait forever, though.”