Israel denies truce talks with Hamas

An official in Jerusalem denies that any negotiations between Israel and Hamas over a possible truce were taking place, contrary to reports in Arabic media over the past several weeks.

“There are no negotiations on a long-term cease-fire with Hamas,” the unnamed official says, according to the Walla news site. “Not with the help of Turkey, not with the help of Qatar, not Tony Blair nor any other parties,” the official adds.

Earlier today, Haaretz quoted a Turkish official as saying that Israel and Hamas are on the verge of a breakthrough in negotiations over a possible long-term truce agreement. The daily added that other Turkish sources indicated that the establishment of a seaport in the Gaza Strip was being discussed in the talks between Israel and Hamas as well. According to Arabic media outlets quoted by Haaretz, the proposed truce would last for up to ten years, and even the Islamic Jihad terrorist group would join in on the agreement.

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