Prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu at weekly cabinet meeting .
(photo credit:MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
The Palestinian delegation indicated Friday that a lasting cease-fire could be imminent.
"From our point of view, we're heading toward a cease-fire, even if there isn't an agreement," Islamic Jihad's Ziad al-Nakhaleh said. In media reports, he confirmed that Palestinian groups have agreed to delay negotiations over the airport and seaport, signifying what could be a step towards both sides coming to a compromise.
Senior Hamas official Izzat a-Rishak said that the next steps in the negotiation process are still up in the air, in terms of a decision in Cairo. "Talks are ongoing between Hamas officials in Qatar, in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank," he said.
Israel's security cabinet convened in Tel Aviv on Friday morning to discuss the cease-fire agreement and negotiations taking place between Israel and the Palestinians in Cairo.
The meeting is the second of its kind in 24 hours, as the cabinet also discussed matters on Thursday night.
The Israeli delegation is currently not in Cairo and is set to return on Saturday night.
Also on Friday morning, Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz said on Israel Radio that the country is "in the midst of the final stages of the negotiations, the most important stages."
He also said that the results of Operation Protective Edge remain to be seen and will only be visible once the negotiations conclude.
On Thursday, the prime minster convened the eight-member security cabinet to brief it on the talks in Egypt and what seems to be an emerging agreement that will be based on the accord reached after 2012’s Operation Pillar of Defense, which called for an end to the rocket fire, the opening of border crossings under Egyptian and Israeli supervisions, and the funneling of money into Gaza through Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, to ensure that it does not go into Hamas’s coffers.
Khaled Abu Toameh and Yasser Okbi contributed to this report.
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