Egypt and the Palestinian Authority on Tuesday planned to announce both a Gaza ceasefire and a diplomatic initiative by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to establish a Palestinian state.
Senior Palestinian officials told The Times of Israel that according to the joint Palestinian-Egyptian plan, the Palestinian leadership will convene in Ramallah between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. this evening to introduce Abbas’s framework to “put an end to the occupation” and establish a Palestinian state.
At the same time, Cairo will call for a permanent ceasefire based on the agreements reached after Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012. According to the Egyptian proposal, the Palestinian factions’ demand for a seaport and airport will be discussed in a month’s time.
A senior Hamas official said Tuesday that an extended ceasefire was reached with Israel. Israel didn’t make any official comment on the report.
An official announcement concerning the ceasefire deal was expected to be made by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at 7:00 p.m. local time. Islamic Jihad also confirmed that a ceasefire deal was reached.
Moussa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas official involved in the ceasefire talks in Cairo, said that “the negotiations are over and we’ve arrived at understandings which cement the strong position of the Palestinian people and the victory of the resistance.”
“We’re waiting for the official announcement to determine zero hour and declare the ceasefire and the end to Israeli aggression,” Abu Marzouk said.
Earlier, Hamas’s Gaza Strip Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said that the two sides were close to reaching a ceasefire agreement.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesman Mark Regev told the International Business Times that reports of a Gaza ceasefire are “just reports,” and that “the truce is not signed, sealed, delivered… yet,” a reported for the International Business Times tweeted.
Israeli spokesman Mark Regev says reports of a #Gaza ceasefire are "just reports". The truce is not signed, sealed, delivered….yet.
— Jack Moore (@JFXM) August 26, 2014
Tuesday’s announcement comes after a string of unsubstantiated reports of ceasefire agreements in recent weeks. An eight-day series of back-to-back truces cobbled together by Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in Cairo fell apart last week after Hamas fired rockets into southern Israel.
Times of Israel staff and AFP contributed to this report.