Are Israel and Hamas moving toward a truce that will resolve the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip?According to a report by Channel 10 broadcast on Wednesday, there are currently two proposals on the table – from Egypt and Qatar. Israel has reportedly demanded a complete cessation of rocket fire and tunnel building, in addition to respecting the security perimeter at the Gaza border and a solution regarding the missing Israelis held in Gaza.In return, Israel will substantially reduce restrictions at Gaza’s border crossings, including permitting the entry of goods and services to the Gaza Strip – on the condition that they will not be used to boost Hamas’s armed wing. Egypt will also offer to lessen restrictions at its Rafah crossing with Gaza.According to the report, Arab officials believe the truce is also of interest to moderate Arab states and that Cairo will take on the responsibility for monitoring the implementation of the agreement.Officials did, however, voice concern that the Palestinian Authority and its president Mahmoud Abbas will not support the arrangement, as it consists of a deal between Israel and Hamas, thereby overlooking the role of the Palestinian Authority.
The issue of Gaza is said to seriously concern the Trump administration, reported Channel 10, and they are keen to see quiet in the Gaza Strip and a response to the humanitarian situation. The US wishes to make progress in Gaza prior to presenting its peace plan, and is urging Arab states to publicly declare that Hamas is responsible for the situation in Gaza.The truce proposals come after weeks of clashes between Israel and Palestinians on the Gaza border.Last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told CBS News that there was no possibility of talks with Hamas.“As long as they seek our destruction, what am I going to talk about?” said Netanyahu, adding that no Hamas leader was free from the threat of targeted killings.
White House blames Hamas after deadly Gaza clashes, May 14, 2018 (Reuters)