Benny Gantz Ready to Talk to Hamas

Jerusalem, MINA – Meeting with the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process on Monday, the Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz expressed his country’s readiness to engage in talks with the Palestinian Movement Hamas aimed at improving conditions in the blockaded Gaza Strip. Anadolu Agency reported.

On Twitter, Benny Gantz thanked UN’s Nikolai Mladenov for helping facilitate the resumption of coordination with the Palestinian Authority and also for discussing what he calls Hamas’s violations of Israeli sovereignty in the south.

Gantz added that Israel is ready to reach a solution and contribute to improving conditions for Gaza residents provided it reaches an agreement that includes the release of Israeli soldiers detained by Hamas.

There was no immediate response from Hamas to Gantz’s statement.

Last week, Palestinian Civil Affairs Minister Hussein Al-Sheikh confirmed the resumption of relations with Israel.

“In connection with the calls made by President [Mahmoud] Abbas regarding Israel’s commitment to the agreements signed bilaterally and based on the official written and oral letters we received, confirm Israel’s commitment to them. Therefore, relations with Israel will return to normal,” wrote Al. -Sheikh on his Twitter account.

The Gaza Strip suffers from a shortage of food and poor medical supplies plus extreme unemployment exacerbated by a worrying power crisis as a result of the Israeli blockade imposed since 2007.

Hamas is holding four Israeli prisoners, including two soldiers captured during the Israeli war on Gaza in the summer of 2014.

The Palestinian resistance movement has demanded the release of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel in order to exchange prisoners. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)