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Egyptian sources: Sides are 95% of way to agreement

According to Egyptian daily al-Shorouk, the Israeli and Palestinian delegations convened in Cairo to discuss a ceasefire have agreed on 95 percent of the issues, with Israeli refusing only to discuss the immediate establishment of a seaport and an airport, as well as the final tranche of pre-Oslo prisoners that Israel was supposed to free as part of negotiations with Abbas.

Citing unnamed “knowledgeable sources,” the daily reports that Israel has agreed to expand the permitted fishing zone in Gaza’s waters from 3 to 6 miles (approximately 5-9.5 kms); to re-free Hamas prisoners released as part of the Gilad Shalit deal and recently rearrested; and to allow the transfer of salaries to Hamas civil servants.

Israel has reportedly also agreed to reactivate all the crossings into the Gaza Strip, with the presence of EU observers at each crossing. A separate agreement will be reached in the future between Egypt and the PA regarding the reactivation of the Rafah crossing with Egypt.

The daily’s sources also blast Hamas for trying to embarrass Egypt and portray it as indifferent to Palestinian suffering.

— Elhanan Miller

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