‘Israel offered humanitarian gestures to Gaza’

Israel has offered humanitarian gestures to the Gaza Strip during negotiations for a ceasefire in Cairo, a member of the Palestinian delegation tells The Associated Press.

The delegate says Israel has offered gestures aimed at improving life for Gaza’s 1.8 million residents, including an increase in the number of trucks permitted to deliver goods into the territory from Israel each day and the transfer of funds by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority to Hamas-affiliated government employees in Gaza — a gesture Economy Minister Naftali Bennett voiced stark opposition to earlier today.

Also included in the purported Israeli package, the official says, is an eventual quadrupling — to 19 kilometers — of the sea area in which Gaza fishing vessels are permitted to operate.

But the official says Israel is linking progress on the Palestinians’ biggest demands — to reopen the territory’s sea and airport — to Hamas disarming. The group has rejected this demand.

Meanwhile. Palestinian officials say they are open to extending the talks if progress was being made.

— AP

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