Palestinian divisions emerge in truce talks

The Palestinians appear divided Sunday as the clock winds down on the latest Gaza ceasefire, with officials saying Hamas is still opposed to a compromise Egyptian proposal that would ease the closure of the territory, whereas other factions, including delegates representing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, are inclined to accept.

Hamas officials say they were holding out in hopes of getting more concessions in the Egyptian-mediated talks.

Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, directed tough words at Israel.

“The Israelis will only return to their homes when the resistance decides. We are not seeking an agreement because we are weak, but to fulfill our people’s demands,” he tells a rally.

In a show of unity, the Palestinian delegation in Cairo has included representatives of rival factions, including Abbas’s Fatah movement and the smaller militant group Islamic Jihad.

One member of the delegation says that even if Hamas opposes the deal, Abbas’s forces are prepared to oversee the crossings and reconstruction.

“We won’t let our people down,” says the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the negotiations with the media.

AP

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