PA Says Egypt Presented Ceasefire Proposal
Egypt has presented a proposal for a ceasefire in Gaza to Israel and Hamas, Palestinian Authority (PA) officials told The Associated Press (AP) on Tuesday night, at the end of a second day of negotiations in Cairo.
After more than 10 hours of talks on Tuesday, the PA officials told AP that Egypt's proposal calls for easing parts of the Israeli blockade of Gaza, bringing some relief to the territory.
It leaves the key areas of disagreement, including the Hamas's demand for a full lifting of the blockade and Israeli calls for Hamas to disarm, to later negotiations, according to the officials.
One of the officials who spoke to AP said that according to the Egyptian proposal the blockade would be gradually lifted over time.
He said it would stipulate that Israel would end airstrikes on Gaza, and a 500-meter (547-yard) buffer zone next to the Gaza and Israel frontier would be reduced over time, he said.
It was not immediately clear if either side would accept the deal.
The PA officials spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the negotiations with the media.
Hamas has so far refused to give up any of its preconditions for a ceasefire, including a demand for Israel to allow the opening of a sea port for Gaza.
In fact, a Hamas spokesperson has declared that Israel is being held "at gunpoint" to accept the group's demands.
Israeli officials would not comment to AP regarding the negotiations, but a report earlier Tuesday hinted that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was preparing the heads of the parties in the coalition for concessions to the terror organization.
MK Danny Danon (Likud) warned against making any concessions to Hamas, saying that doing so will only strengthen the terrorist group.