A conference of Hamas leaders in Cairo and a series of meetings with Egyptian intelligence officials have resulted in “significant progress” in talks between Hamas and Israel for a long-term ceasefire, the Saudi news outlet Asharq News reported on the weekend.
The Saudi report also said that Egyptian mediators had tried to move both sides closer to a workable prisoner exchange deal.
Also this weekend, the Beirut-based Al Mayadeen reported that Hamas had told Egyptian representatives mediating its negotiations with Israel that it would agree to a lasting ceasefire and a prisoner swap should Israel agree to a number of conditions.
The group’s demands include freedom of movement for Palestinians inside the buffer zone along the borders of the Gaza Strip, and that IDF vehicles refrain from “incursions” into eastern border areas.
Hamas said it was committed to maintaining the current state of calm as long as Israel adhered to it, the report said. “Consolidating the calm is part of the agreement to establish the mutual ceasefire,” the report quoted Hamas negotiators as saying.
As for a possible prisoner exchange, Hamas claimed that it has supplied the Egyptians with a complete roadmap for the prisoner swap deal; the terrorist group considers that “the ball regarding the exchange deal is now in Israel’s court.”
Egypt, in coordination with United States, has longstanding relations with both sides in the conflict and played a key role in brokering several ceasefires between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.