Hamas and Israel have reached an agreement not to go to war with a tentative promise from Hamas to curtail airborne incendiaries launched into Israel, western diplomatic sources told London-based Arabic-language newspaper Al-Hayat.
Hamas reportedly informed a mediator that it was working hard against airborne incendiaries launched into Israel and that they had received a promise from Israel to avoid war.
Hamas also told the mediator that the movement will only continue “protecting the border” if options for “lifting the siege on Gaza” are explored further, according to the source(s).
If the blockade is not lifted, Hamas “will not continue the task of preventing attacks,” the source(s) told Al-Hayat.
The source(s) also said Israel may no longer demand major concessions from Hamas in return for lifting the siege.
Israel has traditionally said that the siege on Gaza will be lifted if Hamas is disarmed, tunnel digging ceases, and Israeli prisoners and soldiers’ bodies held by the terrorist group are released.
The source(s) said Israel is more open to humanitarian efforts in Gaza and has shown a willingness to separate security and political issues from humanitarian measures.
Israel has said it will not to initiate open war in Gaza, reportedly telling mediators that it has no desire to be at war with Hamas.
However, officials of the Jewish state have said they will not tolerate continued launching of incendiary kites and balloons into Israel.
A potential reconciliation between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority could help restore unity and stability to Palestinian society and affect further relations between Israel and the Palestinian government.
Hamas and the PA are engaged in reconciliation talks mediated by Egypt in order to put an end to the great divide between the Palestinians’ two main factions, senior PA foreign policy adviser Dr. Nabil Shaath told i24NEWS on Tuesday.
Hamas and Fatah have been at loggerheads for over a decade, following the Islamist group’s victory in 2006 parliamentary elections. Abbas’ Fatah and much of the international community refused to accept the result, leading to increased strife and a near-civil war that saw Hamas seize control of the coastal enclave.
Sources told i24NEWS that the Egypt’s chief of security is putting the final touches on a reconciliation deal, based on previously formulated agreements, following the return of a Hamas delegation to the Gaza Strip Tuesday from Egypt.
Hamas and the PA failed to implement a reconciliation framework signed in October last year, and Abbas has in turn imposed a number of punitive measures against the Gaza Strip in an effort to exert pressure on Hamas, including withholding salary payments to thousands of government employees and refusing to foot the bill for the Strip’s electricity supply.
Officials suggested that Hamas responded positively to the Egyptian vision of ending the divide, with the next few days critical to sealing the deal.
Reported by: i24News – Middle East