Israeli officials hint at opening for further deals with Hamas, PIJ after ceasefire

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Senior Israeli officials indicate that there is an opening for further agreements with Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the wake of the ceasefire to end fighting in Gaza.

“There are absolutely aware that there is an opportunity in the aftermath that we don’t want to miss,” says an official, pointing at the ongoing attempts to arrange for the return of Israeli civilian captives and bodies of IDF soldiers held by Hamas, among other opportunities.

“The signals from Hamas in recent weeks have been received,” an official says.

“We want to take things forward, and not make do only with a ceasefire with PIJ,” says one of the officials.

The return to Israel’s regular policies toward Gaza will happen gradually and in a way that “sends a message about the future,” says one of the officials.

These policies are expected to be put back in place over the next couple of days.

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