Hamas Relays Message to Israel of Willingness to Negotiate Over Gaza Truce

Published May 8th, 2018 - 09:00 GMT
Palestinian demonstrators wave their national flag and shout slogans against Israeli security forces during a protest on the Israel-Gaza border in the northern Gaza Strip on April 6, 2018. (AFP/Mohammed Abed)
Palestinian demonstrators wave their national flag and shout slogans against Israeli security forces during a protest on the Israel-Gaza border in the northern Gaza Strip on April 6, 2018. (AFP/Mohammed Abed)
The Palestinian Hamas movement has relayed to Israel its willingness to resume negotiations over a new truce in Gaza, revealed official Israeli sources on Monday.

The truce would include a long-term ceasefire, prisoner exchange, easing the siege on the Gaza Strip and allowing construction projects and the development of infrastructure.

Hamas made several overtures to Israel over this proposal through different third party channels during the past few months.

Israel did not clearly respond to the movement’s requests, said the sources.

Israel’s Israel Hayom daily said that Hamas politburo chief in Gaza Yehya al-Sinwar advocates the proposed truce, while it is opposed by politburo head Ismail Hanieh. The newspaper claimed that Sinwar had accused Hanieh of complying with Iranian pressure in rejecting the truce.

Sources informed on the intelligence provided by Israeli security agencies said that Hamas is suffering from an unprecedented strategic crisis and therefore negotiations would be possible with it over issues it had previously refused to discuss.

Hamas, meanwhile, announced that it was not ready for a truce with Israel.

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper confirmed Israel Hayom’s report on the alleged truce, adding that discussions are still ongoing within the movement over a long-term deal.
 

It attributed the Palestinian group’s willingness to talk to Israel to its “strategic confusion.”

Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth daily said that Yoav Mordechai, the Defense Ministry's outgoing head of liaison to the Palestinians, had prepared a political initiative aimed at ending the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, but it was refused by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

There are other factors that have made the Israelis hesitant in forging ahead with a truce in Gaza. The Palestinian Authority believes that any deal with Hamas will weaken it and would prompt Abbas to take retaliatory measures against Israel.

The ongoing tensions between Hamas and Abbas’ Fatah movement are also deterrents in any Israeli initiative towards Gaza.
 
This article has been adapted from its original source.

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