Reports: Humanitarian Cease-Fire Due in 2-3 Days
Hamas has agreed to a five-day "humanitarian cease-fire," the London-based Al Hayat newspaper reports Friday, on terms suggested by US Secretary of State John Kerry.
Kerry's proposal reportedly includes some of the unprecedented terms proposed by Hamas leaders, but not all. According to the daily, the truce would not see any terrorists released, despite Hamas's demands.
The Political-Security Cabinet will convene at noon Friday to discuss the US proposal and Hamas's response.
According to Al-Hayat, the truce deal would come into effect on Saturday, and involve demilitarizing Gaza. A Hamas official told the newspaper that the real purpose of the agreement is to open border crossings.
A separate report from Walla! News insisted Friday morning that Kerry's proposal, if accepted, would see fighting pause for a full week, and begin on Sunday.
During that time, it said, Israel and Hamas would negotiate over political, economic, and security issues and set clear policies on those issues.
However, according to that report, neither Israel nor Hamas has been willing to sign the truce deal.
News of a possible deal surfaces less than one day after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu declared that the operation would continue "at full strength in both the air campaign and land campaign."
Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal declared on Wednesday that Israel must accept his list of unprecedented conditions for a ceasefire in order for any truce to be declared.
For now, however, Hamas has officially rejected all cease-fire demands.
"We reject it and we will reject [a ceasefire] in the future," he said, speaking from Qatar.
Meshaal claimed that the terms - which Palestinian sources stated are even more grandiose than what was leaked to the media - are "legitimate," and that Hamas would not stop firing rockets until Israel capitulated to its demands.
This is not the first time Hamas has rejected a cease-fire deal. Last week, Egypt was reportedly in the process of brokering a cease-fire, which Israel accepted, but Hamas did not; in addition, Hamas has broken three confirmed 'humanitarian truces' within minutes of their being announced.