Israel-Gaza conflict: Hamas leadership considers ceasefire offer


Hamas negotiators met with the Islamic militant group’s leadership in Qatar on Friday to discuss a proposal for a long-term truce with Israel, with an official saying the group was inclined to accept the Egyptian-mediated offer.

Israel and Hamas are observing a five-day temporary ceasefire in an attempt to allow indirect talks in Cairo to continue. The negotiations are meant to secure a substantive end to the month-long Gaza war and draw up a roadmap for the coastal territory, which has been hit hard in the fighting.

Hamas is demanding the lifting of the blockade Israel and Egypt imposed after the militant group seized power in Gaza in 2007. The proposal is believed to include the lifting of some restrictions, with Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s forces assuming responsibility for border crossings under new arrangements with Egypt.

Israeli officials have said little about the negotiations, saying only that the country’s security needs must be met.