Israel’s security cabinet is expected to meet Friday to discuss proposals for a Gaza ceasefire given to the Jewish state and its Hamas foes, Israeli public radio said.
“If Hamas accepts the American proposal it is not impossible that there could be an Israeli decision to accept it also,” it quoted an unnamed senior Israeli source as saying.
Exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal told the BBC in an interview Thursday that a truce must include a guaranteed end to Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.
“We want a ceasefire as soon as possible, that’s parallel with the lifting of the siege of Gaza,” he said.
“We want an airport, a [sea] port; we want to open up to the world. We dont want to be controlled by a border crossing that makes Gaza the biggest prison in the world.”
The Israeli security cabinet meeting was set for 1:30 pm in Tel Aviv.
“International efforts to achieve a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip are approaching the critical point,” Haaretz wrote. “A senior Israeli official said that US Secretary of State John Kerry has drafted a new ceasefire proposal and presented it to both sides.”
Both Haaretz and the radio said that the proposal included a ceasefire of several days during which the Israeli army reserved the right to continue ground operations in the Gaza Strip against tunnels built by Palestinian terrorists for attacks into Israel.
During that time the sides are to engage in indirect negotiations on a longer term agreement, with guarantees from the European Union and the United States.
Kerry, who met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, is currently in Cairo seeking to further regional efforts to broker an end to the bloodshed.