Report: Israel to Lift Blockade, Travel Restrictions on Gaza
Israel has agreed to lift travel and import restrictions on Gaza, Egyptian sources told Palestinian news agency Ma'an Thursday - including the naval blockade and border crossing restrictions.
However, according to the source material - in Al Quds Al-Arabi - Israel's main condition for Hamas is the total demilitarization of Gaza - something Hamas is unlikely to accept. Moreover, among Hamas's unprecedented demands are a seaport and airport, conditions both Egypt and Israel are unlikely to accept.
The report, which should be taken with a grain of salt, says that Egypt, despite its animosity toward Hamas as an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood, has come down on the Palestinian side of negotiations - and is putting heavy pressure on Israel to acquiesce to Hamas's demands.
Israel has yet to formally confirm the acceptance of any of the terms of the ceasefire, including unconfirmed rumors that it has accepted its extension.
In the latest confirmed development, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) called the demands "blackmail," and denied reports of a rumored extension deal.
Updates to follow.