Hamas and Israel reach preliminary ceasefire agreement ahead of truce talks

Hamas and Israel reach preliminary ceasefire agreement ahead of truce talks

Israel’s security cabinet meets today to discuss the recent Egypt-brokered ceasefire with Hamas, and the prospects for a long-term truce

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Photo: Reuters

Israel’s security cabinet meets today to discuss the recent Egypt-brokered ceasefire with Hamas, and the prospects for a long-term truce and aid agreement with the militant group.

Tensions between Israel and Hamas have flared since the relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem, as well as following recent Israeli legislation recognising self-determination in Israel as a solely Jewish right. Senior Israeli officials are expected to travel to Qatar to meet with exiled Hamas leadership. There, a long-term agreement is expected to see the re-opening of borders with Israel and Egypt, as well as the transfer of day-to-day governance powers in Gaza to the Palestinian Authority.

Additional terms of an agreement would link aid packages to Gaza with security criteria such as the disarmament of a number of Hamas militants, along with the return of captured IDF troops and remains to Israel. However, with Arab-Israeli tensions running high, it remains to be seen whether any potential long-term agreement will earn the support of far-right members of the government and Knesset likely to oppose aid and the easing of governance restrictions. Given the importance of peace talks to future stability this agreement would likely overcome political opposition in the Knesset and cabinet.

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