Report: Hamas demand that Israel agree to 12-week ceasefire was a major sticking point in latest round of talks

The length of an initial pause in fighting in a potential ceasefire and hostage release deal between Israel and Hamas was a major sticking point in the most recent round of negotiations in Cairo, according to three sources quoted by CNN.

The sources are quoted as saying that Hamas’s latest offer demanded that Israel agree to a 12-week ceasefire instead of the six weeks offered in the previous proposal.

The Hamas proposal submitted to US, Egyptian and Qatari mediators this week designates two back-to-back “periods of calm” of six weeks each.

The sources quoted by CNN say that Israel is particularly concerned with the wording of how the first phase would transition into the second.

According to the CNN report, Israeli officials are opposed to a longer pause as it would effectively end the war — which Jerusalem has refused to accept as the terms for a hostage deal.

The report comes as Hamas said early this morning that its delegation attending negotiations to secure a deal in Cairo had left the city for Qatar, adding the “ball is now completely” in Israel’s hands.

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