Israel, Hamas hold indirect talks for long-term truce

Gaza, June 17 (IANS/EFE) Israel and Hamas have engaged in indirect dialogues on a proposed long-term truce mediated by European officials, a prominent leader of the Islamist group in the Gaza Strip said on Wednesday.

“European delegations are visiting Gaza and trying to overcome obstacles between Hamas and the Israeli occupation, fearing the situation in the Gaza would explode, especially after international reports warning that it’s about to collapse,” Hamas leader Ahmed Youssef said.

Already the talks have made “significant progress,” Youssef affirmed, adding that European representatives have long been aware of Hamas’s stance on Israeli violations of international and humanitarian law and the blockade in Gaza.

Without specifying the details of the talks, Youssef confirmed that the Israeli delegation has communicated their Palestinian counterparts’ demands to Israeli senior officials.

The Hamas leader’s statements came one day after revelations that the Islamist movement has been considering a Qatari proposal to agree on a five-year ceasefire with Israel to reconstruct Gaza in light of the war last summer and to build stability in the area.

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