Israel, Hamas said close to ceasefire agreement

Thursday, February 05, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

A senior Hamas official said on Thursday that his group and Israel have agreed to an Egyptian brokered ceasefire deal.

Salah Bardawil told Egypt's al-Ahram weekly newspaper that the agreement will last for 18 months, and that in return for a cessation of Hamas rocket attacks, Israel will open the border crossings between Gaza and southern Israel and lift 80 percent of the current embargo.

However, Bardawil said that Hamas and Israel are still in disagreement over what kinds of goods and materials will be permitted to enter Gaza, and Jerusalem has rejected the demand that international monitors man the border crossings.

The report did not mention Israel's demand that all arms smuggling into the Gaza Strip also stop as a condition for Israel not targeting Hamas leaders and terrorist cells.

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