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PA, US officials try to broker ceasefire

The Palestinian Authority is mediating with Hamas, in an attempt to broker a ceasefire with Israel.

A senior Palestinian official tells The Times of Israel that US diplomats visited the West Bank city of Ramallah yesterday and met with PA representatives.

According to the official, the US diplomats asked the PA officials to work with Hamas in hopes of halting the rocket fire at Israel. The Palestinians contacted Hamas but quickly understood that there “is nothing to talk about” and that the terror organization is not interested in a ceasefire.

The source claims that the US delegation met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well, whose response was similar.

Netanyahu does not want US mediation, or any other foreign mediation, to broker a ceasefire and intends to continue fighting Hamas.

Other Palestinian sources say the Norwegian ambassador in Cairo met with senior Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouk, who is in Cairo, and gleaned that Hamas does not want a ceasefire. According to the sources, Hamas’s military wing is calling the shots, dictating the political agenda.

Marwan Issa, Muhammed Deif, Raed al-Atar, Muhammad al-Sanwar, and Yahia al-Sanwar and others, all members of Hamas’s military wing, are said to be those refusing to discuss a ceasefire.

According to the sources, Hamas’s military wing’s agenda is to change the present reality: to ensure the survival of the Hamas government, by opening the Rafah crossing with Egypt, to forge ties with Cairo, and to ensure the transfer of funds.

Hamas’s goal is to harm Abbas’s Fatah government and after the present escalation, it does not intend to uphold the reconciliation agreement. The sources maintain that Hamas primarily wants to improve ties with Egypt and thaw the present freeze in talks between the two.

— Avi Issacharoff

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