Possible ceasefire agreement with Hamas getting closer

New details about the ceasefire purportedly agreed upon by Israel and Hamas were revealed in a Lebanese report.  

By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

New details emerged from the Lebanese Al Mayadeen news channel Thursday regarding the alleged ceasefire agreement being formulated between Israel and Hamas.

According to the Lebanese report, Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, would stop hostilities for a year while Israel would organize a sea route from Cyprus to Gaza under Israeli security control.

The Hezbollah-affiliated channel added that Qatar had agreed to help the Islamist government financially by paying its electric bills as well as Gaza officials’ salaries, which together make up a large portion of Hamas’ running expenses.

The UK-based Al-Hayat newspaper cited an unnamed Palestinian official as saying that the deal could be signed as early as Friday.

If true, this accord seemingly leaves out an issue that is crucial to the families of the missing civilians and dead soldiers whom Hamas has held onto for years – the safe return of three mentally unstable men who had wandered into Gaza and the remains of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, two IDF soldiers killed in Operation Protective Edge four years ago.

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The families have been vociferous in their demand that no agreement be reached with Hamas before their loved ones are returned. Hamas is holding out for many more Israeli concessions before doing so, such as the release of Hamas prisoners in Israeli jails and an increase in humanitarian projects in the Strip.

Speaking on Israeli Radio Thursday, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman repeated his theme of recent days, insisting that the residents of Gaza would have much to gain when Israeli citizens enjoy quiet and security.