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Hamas: Israel hinted at Gaza airport, seaport for long-term truce

March 12, 2015 10:12 A.M. (Updated: March 14, 2015 10:04 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Senior Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzouq said Wednesday that Israeli army commanders told Palestinian businessmen and independent figures that they would allow a seaport and airport in Gaza in return for a long-term ceasefire.

"Some people conveyed ideas about an airport and seaport in Gaza to separate it from Israel and consequently from the West Bank for lack of geographic contiguity, and so the Gaza Strip could have access to the outside world without the restrictions of the Rafah crossing and Israeli policies," Abu Marzouq wrote on his Facebook page.

Hamas discussed the idea with the Palestinian national consensus government twice, and multiple times with individual ministers, according to Marzouq.

The suggestions by top Israeli officials were designed to isolate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, he said.

Even though nothing official was presented, Marzouq said that "Gaza is paying a toll for refusing these thoughts with intensified siege, more economic pressure and more restrictions on freedom of travel."

The senior Hamas official blamed President Abbas and Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah for what he called "bad policies" towards Gaza, urging Abbas to "reconsider his attitudes and policies towards reconciliation and unity between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and never break up this unity."

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