Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, October 18th, 2018

Hamas: Indirect Gaza Truce Talks with Israel ‘Advanced’

Hamas: Indirect Gaza Truce  Talks with Israel ‘Advanced’

GAZA/JERUSALEM - U.N.- and Egyptian-mediated talks on a deal to tamp down tensions between Israel and the Gaza Strip are in “advanced stages”, a senior member of the Palestinian enclave’s dominant Islamist Hamas group said on Wednesday.
The remarks were echoed by a top Israeli lawmaker, suggesting a possible breakthrough after four months of confrontations and clashes that stirred mutual threats of war.
Gazans launched weekly, sometimes violent, border protests against Israel on March 30, their anger exacerbated by a grinding Israeli-Egyptian blockade and funding cuts by Hamas’s rival, the Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
The Israeli army has killed at least 158 Palestinians, while a Gaza sniper killed an Israeli soldier, and Israel has lost tracts of forest and farmland to fires set by incendiary kites and helium balloons flown over the frontier. There have also been several, mostly bloodless shelling exchanges.
Neither Hamas nor Israel, which last fought a war in 2014, appears keen on another full-blown conflict. But public demands by either side for a detainee release by the other appear to have been a stumbling block in securing a long-term truce. (Reuters)