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Egypt Reassures Abbas... Hamas - Israel Truce in 'Final Stretch'

Egypt Reassures Abbas... Hamas - Israel Truce in 'Final Stretch'

Saturday, 18 August, 2018 - 07:45
A truck carrying goods arrives at Kerem Shalom crossing in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip August 15, 2018. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/File Photo
Ramallah, Tel Aviv- Kifah Zboun, Nazir Majli and Asharq Al-Awsat
Egypt is finalizing details of a long-term truce deal based on 2014 agreement between Israel and Palestinian factions, said reliable sources to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper. This arrangement would pave the way towards a subsequent prisoner exchange deal and huge projects in Gaza.

Palestinian sources affirmed that there is an initial approval from Israel and Hamas, but Egypt hopes to conclude a reconciliation agreement before or parallel with the truce.

The sources added that truce talks sent a negative message because they were held during the meetings of the Palestinian Central Council. They went a long way without referring to President Mahmoud Abbas and they disregarded the Palestine Liberation Organization as being the core of the deal.

Khalil al-Hayya, a senior member of the Hamas, said that talks with Israel on a long-term ceasefire deal were in “the final stretch.” He added that the talks with the factions, Egypt and the UN have made a significant stride in rehabilitating the understandings of 2014.

An Egyptian source told Asharq Al-Awsat that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a secret meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Cairo in May, and he proposed a long-term truce between Israel and Hamas. Yaakov Amidror, National Security Adviser of Israel, said that this can’t be called a truce but an agreement through a third party…

"Hamas needs the truce as the person needs air," he added.

“That’s the only way,” Israeli Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, a member of Netanyahu’s security cabinet, said on Thursday when asked if a broad arrangement depended on the return of the soldiers’ bodies.

“Nothing will be done to enable (Gaza’s) significant rehabilitation and the improvement of infrastructure and ports and other such fantasies, unless they release the bodies and the two Israeli captives,” he told Israel radio.

Extensive meetings will be resumed on Saturday between the Palestinian factions and the intelligence body leadership to discuss topics such as the truce and reconciliation.

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