Report: Longterm Ceasefire With Hamas Back on Table

YERUSHALAYIM -

The possibility of a hudna – a longterm ceasefire – between Israel and Hamas has re-emerged in talks between the two sides mediated by Egypt, according to media reports on Wednesday.

Israel is seriously considering the proposal after rebuffing the Hamas offer for weeks, Channel 10 reported.

Diplomatic officials were quoted as saying that Israel has put aside its demands that Hamas demilitarize and allow the Palestinian Authority to take over administration of the coastal enclave. Israeli officials have reportedly come to the conclusion that such demands are now unrealistic, given PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s deteriorating health.

Current negotiations conducted through mediators in Egypt and Qatar are focused instead on an easement of the Israeli blockade of Gaza in exchange for the& complete cessation of rocket fire and the digging of terror tunnels, as well as a resolution of the issue of the return of the bodies of two Israeli soldiers and two Israeli citizens still held captive by Hamas.

The Egyptians would also ease restrictions at its Rafah crossing, according to the report.