Hamas leaders meet in Gaza amid Israel truce reports

GAZA, The Hamas movement and Israel continued their separate internal meetings amid speculation of a long-term truce between the two sides.

Hamas movement held an extensive meeting with the Palestinian factions, including Fatah movement, to discuss the current political developments and the national reconciliation prcess held two weeks ago in Cairo under Egyptian sponsorship.

On the sidelines of the meeting held in Gaza, a senior Hamas official Hussam Badran stressed that the strategic goal was lifting the blockade that has been going on for 11 years.

On the truce, Badran said that Hamas movement told the Egyptian leadership that it was committed to the ceasefire agreement after the war of 2014.

He added that several issues have been discussed with the Egyptian leadership, including the Israeli blockade, the relationship with the occupation, reconciliation and national unity and the end of the division along with the bilateral relationship with Egypt.

On his part, Fatah spokesman in Gaza Atef Abu Seif told Voice of Palestine radio that there was no concrete agreement reached, adding that each faction presented its own views on the recent developments.

He said that Hamas’s possible truce with Israel was “an attempt by the movement to vindicate itself after it realized the public’s anger at these reports”.

Separately, the Israeli Security Council held a special session in Jerusalem on Sunday to discuss the current political situation.

Moreover, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the meeting stressed that the continuation of the ceasefire will not change the fundamental problems in the Gaza Strip.

According to Haaretz newspaper, the ministers discussed during the meeting the proposal, presented by Egypt and United Nations special Mideast envoy Nickolay Mladenov.

The ceasefire agreement being discussed between Israel and Hamas has four phases, it added.

The first phase of the deal would have Hamas stop the incendiary kites and balloons along the border fence. In return, Israel would re-open the Karam Abu Salem commercial crossing to full capacity, and the Egyptians would also fully open the Rafah crossing.

The second phase, under this agreement would be the implementation of infrastructure projects inside Gaza. The next stage being discussed, would be the building of major infrastructure projects for Gaza outside the Strip.

Moreover, the final phase of the plan that would lead to a five-year truce would be the eventual lifting of the blockade on Gaza by Israel and exchanges of prisoners.

Source: Kuwait News Agency