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TV: Israel in Deal with Hamas for Sea Port in Cyprus in Return for Bodies, Calm

Israel’s Channel 2 television has reported a bombshell of a story revealing that in return for the repatriation of the bodies of Israelis it’s holding, the Islamist Hamas will receive a seaport to be constructed in Cyprus and supervised security-wise by Israel. The deal, which was worked out by Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, is part of an effort to bring humanitarian relief to the Gaza Strip that is being proffered by the United States as part of its forthcoming plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Although the full Trump administration proposal has not been revealed, peace envoys Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt have emphasized the American vision of jumpstarting the Gaza economy as a way to peaceful coexistence with the Jewish state. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who remains intent on avoiding any peace talks – and just about anything else with an American imprimatur — is opposed to the plan but it is becoming increasingly apparent that the Dylan-esque TeamTrump response to Abbas, backed by a growing number of Sunni majority Arab nations, is to tell the octogenarian to “get out of the new [way] if you can’t lend your hand…” This is evident by news of the Cyprus port project coming on the heels of an angry tongue-lashing aimed at the US administration by chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, one of Abbas’ most senior advisers. But it’s not just Abbas the Trump team is circumventing. A new signature piece of the Trump negotiators is to push their way around the governments and directly to the public – as it seeks to do in Hamas-controlled Gaza and the Fatah-ruled West Bank. The betting is that even Hamas cannot withstand a populace that is denied a way out of humanitarian crises.

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