A senior Hamas official said that an agreement between Israel and Hamas may be achieved by the end of the month, Israeli media reported Wednesday.Based on a report by the Turkish Anadolu News agency, the official, who wishes to remain anonymous, provided details on the five-year agreement.The official reported that the agreement would include an end to the incendiary balloons and kites that have been launched against Israel from the Gaza Strip, causing widespread fires in the Gaza border region; the return of the remains of IDF soldiers held by Hamas, and the establishment of a port and airport serving the Gaza Strip on Egyptian territory.
The report came just a day after two Hamas militants were killed when the IDF shelled a Hamas position near Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip. The IDF acknowledged that the strike on the Hamas militants was an error, as the gunmen, part of Hamas's naval commando unit, were not shooting at the border fence patrol, as the IDF believed at the time, but was part of a Hamas drill being observed by the organization's senior leaders.. Israel's security cabinet met earlier in the week to discuss intensive Egyptian and UN efforts to cobble together a long-term Gaza-Israel truce that would also include reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah.Before the meeting, Transportation and Intelligence Affairs Minister Israel Katz posted on Twitter that “the situation in Gaza is nearing a decision, either an arrangement or war.”The laconic statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office after the security cabinet meeting, however, gave no indication of which direction matters were headed. According to the statement, the ministers were briefed by IDF chief of staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot on the situation concerning Gaza, “and the IDF was prepared for any scenario.”The ministers were briefed on the efforts of the Egyptians and UN Mideast envoy Nikolay Mladenov, and told that the failure to work out a reconciliation agreement acceptable to Hamas and Fatah was one of the major stumbling blocks to the deal.Anna Ahronheim and Herb Keinon contributed to this report.
Raw footage of Hamas terrorists shooting at IDF troops from an outpost in the Gaza Strip and IDF retaliation, August 7, 2018 (IDF Spokesperson"s Unit)