Hamas says it will accept an agreement with Israel, while Israel believes the chances for such an agreement are slim.
By: World Israel News Staff
Hamas’ leadership is working on a developing agreement to end the violent riots it leads on Gaza’s border with Israel and towards a cessation of hostilities, including Hamas’s airborne arson terrorism, in exchange for lifting some of the economic sanctions imposed on the Gaza Strip, Asharq Al-Awsat reported Monday.
“Informed Palestinian sources” told Asharq Al-Awsat, a pan-Arabic daily based in London, that the agreement, mediated by the United Nations and Egypt, is stipulating that Israel first open the Kerem Shalom border crossing, which has been shut down in recent weeks, and expand the fishing zone off Gaza’s coast in return for halting all attacks on the border.
The second part of the agreement includes the exchange of prisoners and captives.
The report did not say if the “captives” included the remains of two IDF soldiers held by Hamas.
Hamas stated Sunday that alongside the “Palestinian factions” as well as Egypt and the UN, it is “exerting great effort to lift the unjust siege on Gaza, end the sanctions imposed on its residents, achieve the national reconciliation, so that the Palestinian people will have a secure and decent life.”
Husam Bardan, a member of Hamas’ Political Bureau, stated Sunday that his group held a meeting with the Palestinian factions in Gaza to discuss the latest developments.
Hamas leader Sami Abu Zohri said in a tweet that “maintaining a ceasefire with the Israeli occupation will be decided within the national framework.”
Israel’s Channel 10 News quoted sources on Sunday as saying that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the IDF believe that the chances for an agreement with Hamas are slim.
Israeli Minister of Construction Yoav Galant, a cabinet member, said on Monday that a ceasefire deal with Hamas currently being discussed involves easing some restrictions on Gaza.
Israel’s security cabinet met on Sunday to consider the Gaza proposals. IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot updated the cabinet on the situation regarding Gaza.
“The IDF is prepared for any scenario,” the cabinet stated after the meeting.
Galant told IDF Radio on Monday that the ministers discussed, among other things, reopening the recently closed Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza.