Cairo hosts intensive ceasefire talks between Hamas, Israel
Egypt's General Intelligence apparatus mediates intensive ceasefire talks
aimed at halting Gaza carnage; Sources close to negotiations expect
agreement within next 48 hours
Ahmed Eleiba , Sunday 18 Nov 2012
Three-way talks aimed at reaching a truce in Gaza are ongoing between Egypt,
Israel and Palestinian resistance faction Hamas, according to Egyptian
An Israeli negotiating team arrived in Cairo for talks on Sunday. Egypt's
General Intelligence apparatus is mediating the talks between the Israeli
team and a Hamas delegation, both of which are staying at different
locations in the Egyptian capital.
According to Israeli journalist Jacki Khouri, who spoke to Ahram Online from
from Tel Aviv, Israel expects its negotiators to return with a final truce
Cairo sources, however, say negotiations remain inconclusive, with
considerable push-and-pull between the two antagonists. Israel, according to
these sources, insists that Hamas and other Palestinian resistance factions
stop launching missiles into its territory, and for Hamas to desist from
receiving arms from abroad.
Hamas, for its part, has so far rejected the second stipulation, insisting
that Israel should first halt its frequent bombings and assassinations of
Palestinian leaders in the Gaza Strip. Hamas argues that, since Israel began
the current round of violence, it should be the first to implement a
In an interview with satellite television channel Al-Arabiya on Sunday
evening, Moussa Abu-Marzouk, deputy chief of Hamas' politburo, declared the
group's rejection of Israel's twin demands.
But a source close to the negotiations told Ahram Online that he expected a
truce agreement to be concluded within the next 48 hours. Washington, he
said, was intensely involved in the talks, and may offer guarantees of
Israelís commitment to the agreement, albeit not in written form.