End-of-conflict issue becomes stumbling block in Israel-Hamas deal — media

WASHINGTON: The issue of a complete end to the armed conflict in the Gaza Strip has become a stumbling block in a possible deal between Isra...


WASHINGTON: The issue of a complete end to the armed conflict in the Gaza Strip has become a stumbling block in a possible deal between Israel and the radical Palestinian movement Hamas on a ceasefire and the release of hostages, the Axios news outlet reported, citing sources.

According to them, Hamas wants guarantees that the fulfillment of all the terms of the deal will lead to a permanent cessation of hostilities, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not agree.

The news outlet pointed out that amid the difficulties in the negotiation process, the US, Qatar and Egypt have stepped up efforts to keep it from collapsing for good. According to an Israeli official, mediators are currently focused on finding a formula that suits both sides of the conflict, but have so far fallen short. "It doesn't look good. There is no such formula right now, it doesn't look like we're even close," he said.

According to Axios, Director of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) William Burns, who arrived in Qatar earlier to meet with Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, will continue talks in Doha on Monday before traveling to Israel later in the week to meet with Netanyahu and other officials. The failure of the talks, the news outlet said, will lead to a new round of escalation in the conflict, including an Israeli ground invasion of the town of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

On May 5, senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said that the movement remains committed to reaching a comprehensive ceasefire agreement in the Gaza Strip. The final version of the document, according to Haniyeh, "must include an end to Israeli aggression and a serious prisoner exchange agreement, as well as guarantee the withdrawal of enemy troops from the enclave."

Earlier, Egypt’s Sada al-Balad TV channel reported that negotiators in Cairo had made progress on the technical aspects of a possible agreement, but according to individual participants, even if Hamas accepts the proposal presented to it, it will take time to agree on specific details that should eventually lead to a ceasefire. Negotiators said that the talks could be long and difficult.


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Local Glob: End-of-conflict issue becomes stumbling block in Israel-Hamas deal — media
End-of-conflict issue becomes stumbling block in Israel-Hamas deal — media
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