hamas
TEL AVIV – Hamas’ political leadership tentatively accepted the terms of an eight-year truce with Israel, according to sources within Hamas.

The sources, speaking to WND from the Gaza Strip, said Israel gave support to Egypt to accept a Hamas delegation for further talks on the proposed long-term cease-fire.

After discussions in Egypt, the Hamas delegation, headed by Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, will travel to Qatar and Turkey for more input on the deal, which is being brokered by former Quartet envoy and ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The Hamas sources said the current version of the truce, as accepted in theory by Hamas’s politburo, includes a Hamas pledge to stop all rocket fire from Gaza and to cease digging tunnels into Israel.

Hamas also agreed not to operate within 30 meters of the Israeli border, the sources said.

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In return, the Hamas sources said, Israel agreed to allow thousands of Palestinians from Gaza to enter the Jewish state for work, a detail that cannot be confirmed with Israeli diplomatic sources.

The Hamas sources said Israel will allow for a larger “fishing zone” off the Gaza coast along with a corridor to connect the Gaza coastline to international waters. Israel, however, would still monitor and inspect ships in the area.

Ahmed Yusef, an adviser to Haniyeh, last weekend said significant progress had been made in reaching a long-term cease-fire.

In response to the truce reports, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office released a statement to the media that “there are no meetings with Hamas. There are no direct contacts, no contacts through other countries and no contacts through intermediaries.”

The statement, however, did not confirm or deny that truce proposals are in the works.

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported while the “denial published by the prime minister’s bureau is not false” a more complex picture emerges from conversations with a number of Israeli officials, including those involved with the issue.

“Israel is not holding negotiations on a cease-fire with Hamas, but it is certainly checking the feasibility of the matter,” one of the Israeli sources told Haaretz.

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